What this blog isn't

It's not a Leeds-based exploration of the joys and challenges of shaping the mortar between house-bricks so that the rain runs off without undue damage.
Nor is it about looking at, achieving, or maintaining erections of the male variety. That's what the rest of the internet is for.
It's also not about drawing peoples' attention to the beauty of the Aurora Borealis by indicating it with an extended forefinger
It probably isn't SFW[Safe For Work] either (especially if you work in a church) thanks to the liberal sprinkling of profanities, heresies and blasphemies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The give and take of giving directions

Why is it that in this day and age - when you can practically get a sat-nav free in your fucking breakfast cereal - do we still get people asking us for directions when we are happily minding our own business pootling about on our own two feet, without need of mechanical aid?

Even in the pouring rain. Car pulls up. You momentarily have a flashback to childhood when your parents told you never to speak to strange people in cars, but you shrug it off. You're a grown-up now, and - as far you are aware - haven't angered any mafia-types in your locale. You are not a sleeper agent for a now-defunct spy network. You are unlikely to be a prostitute. A car pulling up next to you is therefore probably not going to be the precursor to a kidnapping, a silenced bullet in your treacherous heart; or an opportunity for you to make a quick couple of quid out of some married businessman from Stirling, in town for a couple of days for a conference on waste management. Okay, maybe that last one - Stirling isn't exactly the French Riviera so any freaky fun the locals can get when out of town can't really be begrudged them - but it is usually just some cunt asking for directions.

I ventured out from the manse yesterday, briefly - as always. I loathe the idea of having food, toilet rolls, newspapers and suchlike fucking brought to me like I am some God-King in a jungle palace deep, deep in the heart of a lush, lush rainforest filled with the calls of strange, strange creatures. It pisses off the tiny remnant of hunter-gatherer left within this civilised, pussified shell. I itch to get out and bring SOMETHING home. An atavistic call from the hindbrain, maybe. Whatever it is - if I don't do it I get irritable. Even though going out just makes me bloody angry most of the time as well.

So I perform a balancing act of efficiency versus laziness, of need versus want. I plan my hunting trip to some extent. I know where the shops that sell the stuff I want to buy are. A typical man, my purpose is to get there, get the goods, get home...job done. If I have to go somewhere else I find out where it is and when it is open. I am directed. I am focused. Like the arrow of shopping loosed into the heart of the stag of consumer need. Straight and true. Pretentious, poncey and prone to claptrap - I'll give you that, sunshine...I'll give you that; especially with that last sentence about arrows and stags - but straight and true nevertheless.

So when a car worth around 25 grand pulls up next to me and the window rolls down, and the driver leans across his wife slightly to ask for directions to a house number in a residential street, like so: "Can you tell me how to get to..." I noticed one little detail about the car, and something inside me snaps - just a little. I probably shouldn't listen to Bill Hicks on my mp3 player during these little trips out - things never go well for the rest of humanity when I do. Glorious, clever, misanthropic dark poet that Bill was, he's not conducive to good-natured helpfulness toward strangers who couldn't be arsed to think about what they were doing.

The first thing that went through my mind was: 'What makes you fucking think I even know where I'm going, let alone where you're going?' I did not say that however. That would have been rude. What I said was: "Yeah, but...How many moons does Jupiter have?"

A palpable wave of puzzlement came out of the window at me. I was enjoying this.

"What?" he asked in a voice pitched higher than when he first spoke.  I repeated the question. He shook his head, looked at his wife and asked me again if I knew how to find the place he wanted. I told him that yes, I did - but I had questions too. Burning ones.

"What was Captain Mainwaring's first name in Dad's Army?" I asked him. I wasn't being an abstruse cunt just for the sake of it, mind you. The little detail that I had noticed was the sucker-mark left on the inside of his windscreen where his sat-nav ought to have been. He asked me again if I knew how to get to his destination, his voice now becoming angry.

"Yes," I replied with a smile, which was directed toward his wife, who was holding in a giggle. "If you can tell me the day on which your wedding anniversary falls this year."

Well, he couldn't have pulled away fast enough. I swear that there were marks on the road from the tyres and the scent of burnt rubber in the air. As I pressed play on the mp3 player I saw, further up the road, his car pull up by a young couple walking hand-in-hand. As the dark poet's half-mocking, half-caring tones started up again I hoped that the answer he got from them was in the form of a question.

I came home with forty cigarette, the ingredients for a variety of omelettes, assorted alcoholic beverages - and a steam cleaner. Well, they do say the journey is better than the destination half the time. I shall probably go out again tomorrow.

[updated to linkify Bill Hicks, Stirling, Henry Kuttner and Holly Willoughby. Getting the hang of this tech-know-low-gee, bit-by-tiny-bit. Baby steps old boy. Baby steps]

As well as listening to Bill Hicks far too much for anyone's own good, I have been reading Henry Kuttner's The Proud Robot - short stories about a drunken inventor (who can never remember how, or even why,  he worked when he finally sobers up) and his very, very, very irritating robot. That bloke never really stood a chance, did he?

I have also been forced to watch far too much reality TV - specifically The X-Factor - by people who supposedly care about me. I'm not so sure. When told that I could just watch Holly Willoughby for eye-candy ogling purposes, and simply ignore everything else, I replied that it would be like visiting an art gallery full of beautiful works - but having to stand waist deep in shit and used syringes while doing so. I'm surprised I didn't key that chap's car, to be honest. I really am.

[Just a thought - if I manage to get voted down to last place on Humor-blogs.com, I'll have to petition them to put a 'LAST' link on the members list page so I don't have to click through all the mere failures and half-arses who just stopped updating and who aren't attempting my epic Lucifer-like fall from grace. Bollocks. Now I need an 'UnDigg this' and a 'StumbledAwayFrom' button. More fucking work.]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bagsies Kirk! - The end to violence worldwide

Let me explain bagsies Kirk.

To 'bagsies', 'bagseye' or (presumably the progenitor term) 'bags I' something is to stake a claim on it, especially when choosing from a selection. Specifically used in English children's games of make-believe to choose your favourite character. Got that? Right, I can go on.

In the Shatner-era Star Trek episodes, he would frequently get into a fight with some saboteur, brain-washed compatriot or alien interloper. Even though there was apparently an inexhaustible supply of security officers there to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Regardless of how these mano-a-mano bouts came to be - they would always be settled with Kirk having a tear at the neckline of his tunic and a little bit of a cut on his face.  No more injured than the average old lady wrestling for a cracked teapot with her best friend at a jumble sale.

In any fight, be it knife, gun or fisticuffs - I'd like to bagsies Kirk. The tailoring repairs may get a little costly, but you'll never see me on life-support weakly asking all the relatives I've pissed off over the years for that kidney they weren't using. If this works on the individual level then maybe, just maybe, we can scale it up.

Chess is apparently a symbolic representation of war. Well, if a lengthy game like chess can sit in place of horrific bloodshed and destruction, then why not Bagsies Kirk? I see all the members of the United Nations filing in to sit at their little desks, behind their little nameplates. They make sure their translator can be heard and then they - as one man - cry BAGSIES KIRK! - tear their necklines slightly and nick their cheeks with a pair of UN branded nail scissors. Plasters are on hand of course, and to speed things up they all have velcro fastenings on their clothing.

Hey Presto! The business of keeping the peace is concluded and it's still only ten past fucking nine in the morning.

Everyone can go and have some cakes or buy the wife a present or something.

[The only downside to this is that I may at some time have to engage in a disturbingly homoerotic duel with Ricardo Montalban. I suppose that's the price you pay for assured safety in today's angry, violent world.]

Nothing serious to stick in this bit this time around. Apparently there's been some sort of world financial collapse or something; and some little country is having an election. Well Great Grandpa Magnetite made sure we would all be taken care of when he installed hydroelectrics in 1899 - and I've never voted on anything more important than the names of the pets on Blue Peter. 'Fucking Cunt Cat' never got picked, to my eternal disappointment.

Anyway, I've noticed that almost everyone else links to shit on the Intertubeweb instead of coming up with their own crap to spout about - so I'm going to see just how good the suspension on that particular bandwagon is. Here's a link to an early Woody Allen stand-up routine in which he shoots a moose. This may even be topical in some twisted way. Don't expect it to fucking happen again.

[That's right - keep voting me down on Humor-blogs.com - it only fucking encourages me]

Friday, September 12, 2008

Space, God and porn

Imagine, for just a moment, that Erich von Däniken was totally, bang-on right about our origins and the extraterrestrial nature of God. Imagine God IS a spaceman. It might explain why he never seems to be very quick on the ball when it comes to helping out by preventing misery, war or famine. The Bible tells us that God is Light.

Well, on that basis if God lives, say,  23 light years away from us (Fomalhaut is about 24.2 LY - I reckon that's where he lives. It's just as likely as any bloody where else) he'll see Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and Band Aid pretty soon. The first time round of course. So God says “Look at the state of that place! I’d better do something about this, quick-smart.”

“Ah, but then there’s the 50 year round trip, and by the time I get there...”

We are chucking all our radio and television signals out into space, in all directions, all the time - willy-nilly. So it's only a matter of time before he sees what we’ve been up to all these years and it won’t be long before he waxes WELL wrathful.

He’s there in his celestial throne and it all gets too much for him. He shoots to his feet, and drop kicks the remote into a nearby star , making Jesus jump from his cross-legged position in front of the telly.

“That’s it! I’ve seen enough! It’s not as if they’re a bad lot. I quite like Moonlighting, Brookside, and Scooby-Doo. Well, before Scrappy anyway – but it’s the wall to wall porn that I can’t take anymore.”

“I’ve seen Adam’s children getting stuck into every creature under the Sun. Even the weirdest ones I could think up and a Granddad can only take so much!”

“Holy Ghost! Make 25 years worth of sandwiches, grab the kid and get in the Car. I’m getting changed into my Smiting gear and then we’re off!”

And Jesus says “Where are we going Dad?”

God says “Earth, son. Earth.” and Jesus just puts his head in his hands.

Yes, that's right. I'm still banging on about PROTEIN FOLDING. Don't tell me you have something better to do, because you're fucking here reading this. I wouldn't worry though, the next post will probably have an advert for edible knickers or something. For the moment though, why don't you just humour me - and go and have a look at how you can help fight some of mankind's present horrors. Come on, wouldn't you want to live in a world where there is no Alzheimer's, Huntingdon's disease, CJD..etcetera? The fact that you can help save humanity from it's own wayward building blocks while sitting on your arse must appeal to you.

http://folding.stanford.edu/English/Main - Help some boffins to help you and your loved ones. Go on, you know it makes sense.

[Paid to strangle kittens, but only on a Tuesday by: Humor-blogs.com]

Saturday, September 6, 2008

DNA, I hate you - so this is a torch song for Ribonucleic acid

Allow me to introduce to you two people. Except they're not actually people. They are in fact chains of nucleotides, fundamental to life on earth, but let's go back to looking at them as people for a while.

Denny is a fat, lazy bastard who thinks he knows everything but is mostly just full of shit. Renee is his little sister, her light is hidden under a bushel. A bushel that stands in the massive shadow of her torpid brother. She's lithe, clever and secretly the star of the family.

Trouble is, Denny is the media darling. His name is bandied about everywhere from taverns (even though they haven't existed since about the nineteenth fucking century - it's a PUB; if you must do so you can call it an inn or a bar - mention the word tavern around me again and we'll see just how much you love archaic things by allowing me to stick a couple of leeches on your eyeballs, and letting me stuff half a lime up your arse*. Jesus, you might as well call it a taphouse and be done with it) to Parliament to the press to bloody car advertisements.

Everyone is kissing DNA's backside like doing so bestows one with eternal life or something - which of course is promised. I am not, I should point out, one of those who believes that DNA is God's patent, signature and Magnum Opus Dei. I'm just sick of RNA getting the shit end of the stick.

Type DNA into your favourite search engine. Hundreds of millions of hits, spanning the whole range of human experiences.

Now do the same with RNA. Dry, dusty scientific Acrobat documents that read like they fell out of a mad scientist's briefcase on the train. Yet she's the one we should be paying a little overdue attention to.

DNA might have a bloody good memory, but most of what he knows is useless bollocks (including the code for making useless bollocks - all the way back to primitive life-forms). RNA is the cutter and paster, the editor who turns a bloated confused novel into a slim brilliant gem that you just can't put down; the one who prevents DNA from accidentally giving you and your descendants useless bollocks. Probably on your forehead.

Let's hear it for Renee. The day I hear her name on CSI (insert name of city here until about 2052) instead of her shitwit brother's, I'll jump for joy.

*Supposedly a cure for malaria before they discovered quinine. Didn't work. Imagine dying anyway, but with half a lime up your arse.

Do you want to give DNA a well-deserved kick in it's own bollocks? Well, we'll have to find those tiny plums first, somewhere deep inside that twisty bastard's innards. As a welcome side-effect we'll probably be able to find a cure for a lot of nasty shit that happens to us people too - sooner rather than later - and the best part is your computer will do all the work. All you have to do is sit back, grin and take the credit.

Help research PROTEIN FOLDING and maybe we can get shot of horrors such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, BSE, CJD, an inherited form of emphysema, and even many cancers - as well as learning enough about that little shit Denny to help those suffering from the DNA of nasty fucking bacteria and viruses to boot. Everybody fucking wins. Find out how you can help and see what progress has been made by clicking the link below. You owe it to Renee, yourself..and everyone you've ever loved, or ever will...


[Still trying not to be disheartened by being ranked in the thousand-and-odds on: Humor-blogs.com]

Friday, September 5, 2008

The death knell of blackberry picking

Apparently Enid Blyton does not rule all England any more. No more middle-class interfering kids ruining your smuggling operation. No more joyful picnics with nary a drop of white cider and no knife fights to mar the occasion. We have stopped using the dying days of summer to remind our kids that they've got to trudge back to school soon by dragging them out into the middle of fucking nowhere and picking blackberries.

Ah, the blackberry. Nature's Mars Bar. Eat about a hundred of these and you too will be dragging employees of McDonald's over the counter in a fructose-powered frenzy.  Pack about a hundred of them into your loinfruit's smaller frames and that's a recipe for projectile vomiting, cage-fighting across the back seat and fractured sentences full of expletives spat out at passing police cars by your likkle ones.

We don't take our kids out blackberry picking for another reason too. How on earth do we explain England's countryside full of corpses?

-Dad, I just tripped over a mound shaped like a man.

-It's okay son, that'll just be another unsuccessful small-time dealer who thought he could spend the money his supplier kept demanding with menaces.

-That's alright then...aaaaaaaaargh! What?

This was why dad and son fishing trips have fallen by the wayside too.

-Catch a fish there son?

-Nah, just another limb wrenched from the submerged corpse of a petty criminal who got too big for his boots...aaaaaargh!

-Calm down, son. Just chuck that soggy white-fleshed lump onto the pile over there. We'll tell everyone it's Hoki and pass it off as just as good as cod.


We must continue to take our children fishing AND blackberrying, even in the face of a green and pleasant land that has disturbing surprises just beneath the surface. How on earth else will we wind up with a Tupperware tub half full of a disturbing black liquid that's still in the crisper drawer of the fridge six weeks from now?


[Still taking it from foreign sailors on the orders of: Humor-blogs.com ]