Fancy a cuppa?

Being British, we tend to default a lot of our inane smalltalk to three tedious topics; the weather (and how shit it is), our health (which some people go into FAR too much detail about, including aches, pains and various forms of discharge) and how work is.  The latter is usually answered with one of the following gems:

“Ah, y’know, work is work”
“It pays the bills”
“Knackering”
“Same old, same old”

It’s never answered with:

“I fucking love it and everything about it!  My boss is awesome!  Here, have some money!”

It should be answered with:

“Work?  Work!!? That soul sucking pit of mindless oppression is slowly driving me to drink.  The mindnumbingly malignant fuckwits I call colleagues only serve to remind me that I’d rather be somewhere else, covered in jam, armpit deep in a fire ant colony, licking piss off a thistle.  But thanks for asking”.

I wonder how that would be received?

The other less common, but certainly contentious and inevitable subject, is tea making.  I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve been drawn into debates about the correct way to make tea.  It’s surprising how strongly people feel about the process which begs the question; ‘why don’t you just get a life?’

I’ve been told on many occasions that I make it wrong.  Wrong?  I’ve been berated for the order in which I add the various components.  I’ve also not given a shit each time, but still they push on.

I personally make it like this:
Teabag in.
Hot water in.
Stir and squash the bag to let it brew.
Add milk.
Squeeze the teabag and remove it.
Add sugar or sweeteners to taste.

Simple. 

And yet I’ve been told you should put the milk in before the water.  Before?  Are you fucking serious?  Firstly, tea only brews in hot liquid (which milk isn’t).  Secondly, the milk clogs up the perforations in the teabags resulting in a shit brew.  Thirdly, don’t be a twat.

But what gets me the most is I also get told that I make a superb cup of tea!  Doesn’t that mean that I’m doing it right and the rest of you can suck it?

Hmm let me think, er yes it does. 

Especially when the person complimenting me on my tea asks me how I do it, only to tell me I’m doing it wrong.

There’s another solution, you make the sodding tea.  I frankly don’t care who makes it as long as it’s not me.

One sweetener please.

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10 second rule…

“10 second rule”

How many times have we heard this from those who have dropped something delicious they didn’t want to not eat?

In fact i’ve heard all sorts of variations ranging from 2 to 15 seconds, which makes me wonder if different germs travel at different speeds. Is the common cold slower that, say, diphtheria? And does the rule vary depending on location? I suppose the 5 second rule may apply to the pavement, whereas the 40 minute rule may apply to, say, my plate.

I remember these sort of situations growing up.  My parents would scold my brother and I for attempting to pick up something we’d dropped in an attempt to put it in back our mouths, accompanied by the phrase, “Don’t put that in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been!”

Actually I do; the floor.

I never understood the difference between eating something I’d dropped and eating something that’s had a fly on it. Flies land on all sorts of shit, including shit. So how’s that different? I remember being told, “Oh it won’t kill you”.

If diphtheria is as fast as I think, it could.

And it doesn’t apply to everything you drop either. Drop a muffin and you’ll consider brushing off the grit, hair and other suspicious detritus and eating it, whereas a malteser can sod right off. No matter how much you blow on it…somehow it’s dirtier and more yuck than the cakey goodness of lemon poppyseed.

Now this brings me to the inspiration behind today’s incredibly overdue entry…

We won’t pick up a malteser, or a boiled sweet and we probably won’t pick up a sandwich either… and yet the other day I watched a guy drop a cigarette in the street, bend down, pick it up off the grimy, wet, footprint riddled pavement, brush it off, blow on it (clearly makes a difference) and then pop it in his mouth.

10 second rule.

Yet somehow this is deemed socially acceptable.  Pick up food and you’re gross; pick up a cancer inducing stick of death and you’re just doing the sensible thing.  Maybe it’s because they cost so much.  That said, I wouldn’t pick up and eat caviar I’d dropped on the floor… mostly because it resembles the crap on the floor you’ve dropped it in.

I once saw a woman drop a cigarette in a suspicious puddle on the dancefloor of a nightclub, pick it up, straighten it and then attempt to smoke it.  If that had been her drink would she have got on all fours and licked it up?

Actually, she probably would’ve… it was that sort of club.

But my point is, how come a cigarette is ok but some food isn’t?  If both have been dropped on the floor I know which one I’d put back in my mouth… the one that doesn’t slowly kill me.

Mind the gakk!!

London underground at rush hour is, in short, a fucking nightmare.

Never before have you seen so many people squished into such a confined space in such a short space of time.

It even gets to the point where it simply isn’t possible to get any more bodies onto the train because there isn’t a molecule of space remaining.

That is… until someone throws up, like they did this evening.

Then suddenly a whole shitload of space miraculously becomes available.

I call it the Moses Effect.

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Down wid da kidz

Picture the scene…

The train out of London Victoria was going to be departing late this evening.  It was sat in the platform, but wasn’t going to be moving for at least another 15 minutes.  My friend Barney and I were sat at a table talking bollocks and watching the train fill up with an overabundance of commuters who took advantage of the delay to get an earlier train than they usually catch.

Stood next to us was a couple, although I suspect they weren’t romantically linked; merely colleagues.  He was dressed in a full length business coat over his business suit, carrying a business briefcase and sporting business hair.  I think he may have been a businessman, but I may have been wrong; maybe a plumber?  She was dressed similarly business-like with pearl earrings, starched skirt, Margaret Thatcher hair and perfume that could strip paint.

They were poshly discussing that the train should’ve left four minutes ago.  He said it was unlikely we’d have to wait a further 11 minutes until we departed.  She agreed that it would be ridiculous for the train to wait until the delayed time displayed on the boards if a space in the ‘traffic’ opened up.

This went on for a good 2 minutes, which may not sound like a long time…but it really is.

The train’s doors then closed and it began to pull out of the station.

It was at this point that Mr and Mrs Business stopped talking, smiled at each other and…without saying a word or indicating any premeditation…they high fived each other.

Full on.

Up high.

It was so out of place that it stopped Barney and I mid-bollocks.

I can imagine it would be like hearing your mum say “Booyah!” or having your dad get down to Dubstep.

There’s nothing wrong with it, except everything.

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Signalling a failure

This morning my train terminated after two stops due to some signalling failure further down the line.  

I wasn’t annoyed at all, considering I was running late this morning and had run around like a headless chicken trying to get to the station on time.  

Still, there was nothing I could do. My train was terminating and soon I was going to have to get off my warm, virtually empty train with the comfy seat, and stand out on a frosty platform to await a packed sardine tin of a train that everyone else was going to be getting on.  

But, as expected, the two people over the aisle, who clearly didn’t know each other, decided to bond by mutually moaning and whining.  

I could go into detail around the guy complaining about the price of tickets and the fact that he only needed to go one more stop blah blah blah…but it was what she said that made me smirk.  

“What I don’t understand is why they don’t just go back to manual signals. All these computerised electronic signals; all they do is break down”.  

A fair point, I thought to myself.  

It’s not like there are literally thousands upon thousands of varying types of signals up and down the country is it? That would suggest that, somehow, railway capacities, schedules and speeds have increased over the years…which is nonsense.

His reply was brilliant, if not a little understated,  “They just don’t have the staff”.  

Really? They don’t have, like, a billion staff members to man these signals day and night? That’s ridiculous… I’m writing to my MP.  

Surely there’s an opportunity here to tackle our unemployment issue in Britain. I’m sure there are loads of people out there who’d love nothing more than to stand out in the cold, right next to a live rail, risking being hit by high speed trains, for hours on end, for minimum wage.    

And will it be a set salary for this job? Surely it should be graded somehow based on geography? The signals at Clapham Junction are far busier than, say, Coombe in Cornwall.  

And what if someone falls asleep on the job, or is close to a high score on Angry Birds? Surely then it could be said that we have a signal failure…only this time with no advance warning sent ‘electronically’.  

Manual signals indeed. What next?

Should I wash my clothes on a mangle to avoid the inconvenience of a washing machine breakdown, or go to a library if my ISP let’s me down and I need to look up one of britains quietest stations to contrast Clapham Junction?  

Sorry love, you’re talking bollocks.

Are you going to eat that?

Here’s something that really pisses me off.

You’re in a restaurant with friends and you all order your meals. But when the food arrives and your much anticipated delicacy is placed in front of you, one of your friends exclaims loudly “Euw! That looks disgusting! What is that? Are you really going to eat that?”

Did it ever occur to these culinary challenged arseholes that the reason these meals are on the menu in the first place is because there are those of us out there with a palette craving more sophistication than a Big Mac and fries?

Of course I’m going to fucking eat it. Why else do you think I ordered it you prick?

Also, thanks for pointing out that it looks disgusting. No, really….I mean it, thanks. Now I really, REALLY can’t wait to eat it; knowing full well that others at the table may now perceive it as disgusting. Did I say the same about your wife when I met her? No.

At least I get to poop mine out in a day or two.

It seems to get worse with anything salad related. Usually I get told by people that they “don’t eat that green shit”. That might explain why, when we were seated at the table, you decided against sliding onto the bench behind the table by the wall and opted for the chair instead. I know you said it was for better back support and leg room, but you’re fooling no-one.

I have one friend who, whenever the word Parmesan is mentioned, scrunches up his face and squeals “Oh god, come on! What’s wrong with you?”. This is to highlight that I’m somehow an idiot for loving an entire nation’s most revered grated cheese. He then continues to loudly exclaim that it smells like baby sick, over and over again.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never actually smelled baby sick. However, I do concur that it does have an aroma not unlike full grown adult sick. Mind you, Stilton smells like feet and I still absolutely adore it (Stilton, not feet). One could argue that a curry smells* the same going out as it did going in, but does that make it any less appealing?

Does it fuck. Pass me a fork.

He makes matters even more infuriating by announcing that he hasn’t actually tried Parmesan. The smell is enough, apparently. He also doesn’t like Stilton…or any strong cheeses for that matter. He also hasn’t tried any of them either.

When I was 5 years old I probably said that girls smell funny and are disgusting too. How wrong I was.

He then continues to ‘correct’ us all by saying that chicken has no place on a pizza and neither does barbecue sauce. Domino’s and thousands of their customers worldwide may disagree with you, but what do they know? Apparently pizzas should only have pepperoni on them. I suppose he’s just being a traditionalist, although I haven’t the heart to tell him that pepperoni pizza is actually American.

But it’s not just him. Loads of people have sat there and done the whole “Euw! What is that? Are you going to eat that?” shit at various times in my life. Yes, I like a variety of foods:

Liver, steak and kidney, Marmite, artichokes, Parmesan, Stilton, lettuce, parsnips, brussel sprouts (yes, I fucking LOVE brussel sprouts….what’s wrong with the rest of you??), garlic, plain yoghurt, skimmed milk, ice-cream in a bap (the Italians do it all the time, and yet we’re accepting of it in a cone shaped wafer somehow…and arctic roll gets away with it in sponge!), calamari, baked beans, etc…..the list goes on and on.

And these were just the ones I could think of recently.

I do, however, draw the line at things like tarantulas, placentas, sheep’s eyeballs etc…because I don’t want to do something that would make the room smell of parmesan. Otherwise I’m a lover of flavours, textures and variety.

I also once got openly berated for saying that I’d eaten cornflakes for my lunch.

“Cornflakes for lunch? They’re for breakfast; you can’t have them for lunch!”

Oh the scandal!

I did point out that the cereal box didn’t specify that it HAD to be the morning, but it made no difference. What if I worked nights and my morning was actually at 5pm? Would the world implode? Apparently, it’s just the way it is…cereal is for the mornings.

I recall this conversation vividly. We were walking in town on a lunch break and when we’d arrived back at the office my friend approached some colleagues standing outside having a cigarette and said, “Dan had cornflakes for lunch, what the fuck’s up with that?”, to which one of the guys replied, “Yeah? So? I do it all the time”.

Awesome.

In your face traditionalist.

Two days later my berating friend admitted to trying cereal in the evening when he’d got home from work and had loved it.

I’m changing the world, one narrow-minded wanker at a time.

*and feels

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