‘Faeces’tious and ‘Poo’dantic

At work, someone has put up these notices in all the toilets in the entire building.

bog sign

Note the use of an ‘@’ symbol instead of the word ‘At’, as if to save space or something. I hate that, especially when the word ‘At’ was actually used a bit further down.

And what if I leave my toilet in an awful state at home?  Does that give me permission to do the same at work?

Ultimately, I want to do the right thing, so I’m going to take heed of the advice offered and (being the literal and pedantic bastard I am) do exactly what it says.

I’m going to enjoy flushing the toilet non stop and shitting in the bin.

Guzzling gas and soda: A comparison

Last month, whilst in Vegas visiting the in-laws, my wife and I stopped for gas (or ‘petrol’ as it’s known in the civilised world). The way they ‘pump gas’ in America is in complete contrast to how we do it in the UK.

Here we drive up to the pump, get out of the car, open the petrol cap and start filling. When we’re finished we head into the shop and pay for it.  In America they drive up to the pump (from any entrance I might add; none of this ‘way in’ and ‘way out’ bollocks), go into the shop, pay in advance for fuel (and snacks and beverages) and then head back to their vehicle and fill up.

The American approach comes with two pros and a con.

Pro number 1 – If you decide you want to spend $30 on gas (petrol), you pay the clerk in the shop and your pump is credited with exactly $30. There’s no chance of putting in more than you can afford. And on top of this, you can clip the trigger in position and leave it pumping fuel knowing you will never put in more than you want to spend.

pump gas

Genius.

Why aren’t we doing this?

It saves on hand strain and gives you more time to do other things, like eating.

If you then discover that your tank only needed, say, $25 worth of gas (petrol) you go back inside and the clerk behind the counter gives you back the difference.

Simple.

Pro number 2 – There’s no chance of people filling up and then not having the means to pay, or filling up and fucking off.

It’s a bit like prostitution but with pumps instead of pimps.

Con – You don’t get to play the ‘Petrol Pump Game’.

The what?

Allow me to elaborate. Let’s say you want to put £30 of fuel in your vehicle’s tank.  You start filling up until the price gets to somewhere around £29.85 at which point you ease off the trigger, slowing down the pumping speed.

(He he)

Then you start to adopt the technique of squeezing the trigger gently at little intervals to hit the price exactly at £30.

£29.85

Gentle squeeze.

£29.91

Gentle squeeze.

£29.95

Very gentle squeeze.

£29.96

Very gentle squeeze.

£29.97

VERY gentle squeeze.

£29.99

A squeeze so gentle it wouldn’t pop a soapy bubble even if your fingers were covered in coarse sand.

£30.01

Bollocks!

You then decide to go to £31.

Squeeze.

£30.85

Gentle squeeze.

£30.91

Very gentle squeeze.

£30.97

VERY gentle squeeze.

£30.98

A squeeze so gentle it can’t be measured at a microscopic level.

£31.01

Fuuuuuuck!!

This continues until you either:

  • Finally hit a round number.
  • Admit defeat and pay the extra penny, convinced the clerk is laughing at you behind those eyes.
  • Fill your tank.

It’s not a great game and can be quite costly, but there’s no feeling like hitting the price dead on, first time.  I’ve been known to let out the occasional air grab, sometimes accompanied by an “Aww Yeah!”

Anyway, whilst at the gas (petrol) station in Vegas I decided to get a drink because it was a very hot day, or as the locals call it; “a day”.  I was expecting to see a few fridges full of various beverages, the brands of which I’d never heard of, but nothing could prepare me for the sheer choice of refreshments available to me.

As well as the aforementioned fridges full to the brim with beer, wine, sodas (soft drinks) and so on, there were also aisles (plural!) of crisps (chips), nuts, beef jerky, slim jims (Peperami), candy (sweets and chocolate), cakes, sandwiches, cereals and other brightly coloured bags of chemicals and deliciousness too numerous to mention.

Most of these on a ridiculously huge scale!

big rice cake

And it didn’t stop there. There was a hot counter that had burgers, hot dogs, burritos, nachos, pies and pasties (the UK word for a type of pie and not the US word for a small plastic nipple hat)

In addition there was a coffee station that had more options than a Starbucks, a milkshake station that not only allowed you to choose your flavour(s) but also how thick you wanted it, a massive slushy machine with various flavours and the most amazing machine I’d ever seen; a touch screen soda dispenser with an overload of choices.

Oh, and everything was self-serve.

So let me tell you about this epic soda machine.

Firstly you’re presented with a screen with 24 choices of beverage.

That’s 24.

imagesPR1FKG3G

This is a significantly larger choice of drinks than any dispenser I’ve ever seen in the UK, which usually consist of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta.

That’s 4.

It’s an impressive choice but I wasn’t surprised at all because it’s what I expected from an American soda machine.  I selected Caffeine Free Diet Coke and prepared to fill up my oversized 64oz (approx 2 litre) plastic cup.

But no, there was another layer of choices awaiting me.

images34RVM3MM

Yes, that’s right.  I could have…

  • Cherry
  • Orange
  • Vanilla
  • Raspberry
  • Lime
  • Cherry Vanilla

…versions of Caffeine Free Diet Coke.

What the hell??  That’s AWESOME!

This got me thinking, is it the same for other drinks?

Yep.

imagesLH6K4J4H

Orange Fanta Zero comes with the option of:

  • Cherry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Grape
  • Lime
  • Fruit Punch
  • Peach

imagesNXJC7Q8I

Lemonade comes with the option of:

  • Cherry
  • Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Fruit Punch

images3KHD0GK8

Even Ginger Ale gets a flavour makeover:

  • Orange
  • Cherry
  • Vanilla
  • Lime
  • Raspberry

My wife wanted Dr.Pepper and she had the choices of Cherry Dr.Pepper or Cherry Vanilla Dr.Pepper in addition to the (now somewhat boring) regular Dr.Pepper.

I’d never seen anything like it.

And yet, with all the awesome innovations in convenience and technology, the Americans STILL don’t appreciate the importance of privacy in the toilet!

stall gap

“Peek-a-boo! I see poo!”

Getting your fear on track

This morning I saw a man on the London Underground accompanied by his wife who was dressed in a Burka.

Some people unfairly assume that, being a Muslim, he is probably up to no good like bombing the train or something equally insane.

This is, of course, ridiculous. It is an irrational fear created by the few extremists out there ruining it for the rest.

I have to say that I disagree with the oppressive nature of the burka, despite the excellent UV protection it provides.  Having said that, I do have Muslim friends and my experience has taught me that their religion is no more or less peaceful than any other (except maybe Buddhism).

Also, this dude had his wife with him.  There isn’t a man alive (or dead) who wants to be greeted by 72 virgins with his wife!

Unless that’s their thing.

Which I doubt.

So I wasn’t worried.

However, this guy was wearing a T-shirt that wasn’t doing him any favours whatsoever.

It read:

I must not think bad thoughts

I must not think bad thoughts

I must not think bad thoughts

 

Hilarious.

There were some uncomfortably sweaty people on the train this morning.

train-scream

When intelligence goes backward

As we all know, doctors and ambulances tend to have ‘Doctor’ or ‘Ambulance’ written on the bonnet (hood) of their vehicles in reverse. This is for 2 reasons.

  1. So some people can make complete twats of themselves by mistakenly mocking the vehicles for putting the stickers on backwards.
  2. So the car in front can read it in their rear view mirror and get the fuck out of the way (in case the siren and flashing lights weren’t enough).

Well, this morning whilst walking to work through central London, I saw a small van attempting to adopt the same principle whilst advertising its plumbing and cleaning services.

I say ‘attempting’; it looked a little something like this:

bob plumb reverse

How was that supposed to be effective?

For starters, the van looked like this:

small-van

It wasn’t tall enough to be read through the rear window in stationary traffic anyway. Plus, the text was so small it was virtually impossible to read unless your rear window was a huge magnifying glass.

Now THAT would scare the shit out of anyone driving behind you.

“Honey, the children in that car in front are huge!”

This got me thinking.

Assuming you COULD read the writing on the van behind you, and assuming you DID need a plumber AND a cleaner simultaneously, who the fuck has a pen and paper at the ready to take down all those details whilst driving?

Gnitsuahxe si elpoep emos fo ytidiputs eht.

Waiter minute!

I’m a fast eater.

eat-fast

I always have been.

I’m not sure where it stemmed from, but I’ve never remembered a time when I ate slowly. My brother is the same.  Maybe it was due to having Italian relatives (on my Father’s side) who loved to feed us whenever we visited, or maybe it was from our time spent in prison.

I’m joking of course. There’s no way my relatives are responsible.

I suppose I began noticing my accelerated eating pace when I became an adult and started dining with other adults. Whenever I go out to a restaurant with anyone I’m usually the first to empty my plate.

This isn’t an issue for me as I’m happy to sit there having a conversation as they painstakingly take an age to eat their meal that probably went cold an hour ago.

Really, it’s fine. I can always lick my plate if I get bored.

Or can I?

You see, my big issue with finishing first is the fact that the waiter/waitress inevitably comes to the table and does the unspeakable; they take away my plate.

Why?

Are they so bereft of crockery in their restaurant that they need to relieve me of mine as soon as possible?

They’re like sharks, circling the table and watching.

fight club waiter

What makes it worse is when they quietly ask “are you finished?” whilst reaching for my plate before I can answer “yes”.  And let’s be honest, the only answer I can possibly give is ‘yes’ because my plate is empty.  I can’t say no because, well, my plate is empty.

“Actually, I’m not finished yet.  There’s still a pattern on this plate” is not a well received answer.

And once I’ve been parted from my plate I’m left sitting there watching the others eat. I realise I was doing this beforehand, but somehow I now feel less involved.  I’ve now become an outside observer like a scientist with a room full of chimps.

I really hate this behaviour in restaurants (from the waiter/waitress, not my chimpy friends). I’m sure the waiting staff think they’re doing the right thing, but I find it intrusive, unwelcoming and a bit rude; and they don’t even have the decency to leave a copy of Watchtower magazine to keep me occupied.

To me it’s the same as saying:

“Wow, someone was hungry weren’t they Mr Piggy McOink? Look everyone! This guy has finished before anyone else at his table!  How Fatty-Boombatty is this jelly-belly?”

This is all made worse when it’s only two of us having a meal. Now they’re not only mocking me non-verbally with their smile, they’re piling the pressure on my fellow diner (usually my wife):

“One down, one to go. Come on slowcoach, you’re wasting everyone’s time.  Pay up and get lost; I need this table for another couple.”

A while back I went for a meal with a friend who is the slowest eater in the world. And when I say slow, I mean s-l-o-w.  Usually, by the time she approaches the end of her meal, the restaurant has become a bank and cobwebs have formed on her plate.

As frustrating as it could’ve been, I didn’t mind. We were so busy catching up on old times that it didn’t matter she took an additional 20 minutes to finish her food.

Seriously, 20 minutes.  Time it.  That’s a long time on a single plate of food.

eating-tortoise

The worst part was when the waited unashamedly cleared my plate and cutlery after I was finished (5 minutes, tops).  My friend, who was now feeling the pressure, apologised to me.

It can’t be a good thing when the person you’re eating with feels the need to say sorry for being ‘too slow’.

I didn’t care. I was there for the company and the conversation…and dessert, but there was no way I was seeing that for at least 2 hours.

My point is, don’t take plates away until everyone has finished.

In America they get it right. And here’s why

  • They don’t usually take away your plate until everyone has finished.
  • If they DO take your plate away, they replace it with something else (free refills on soup in Olive Garden anyone?).
  • Usually the meal is so massive it’s almost impossible to finish it anyway.
  • Sometimes the meal comes with more than one plate of food (breakfast at Denny’s for example has one plate for your massive breakfast platter and one plate for your massive stack of buttermilk pancakes).

Sometimes a waiter/waitress will also attempt to take your plate after a period of inactivity, despite how much food is still on your plate. It’s like some kind of evil computer screensaver with a plan for world domination through malnutrition.

If you stop eating for a period of time (I estimate this to be about 2 minutes), it is assumed you’ve finished and they will attempt to wrestle your food away from you.

I will stab you.  Be warned.

This behaviour wouldn’t translate anywhere else would it?

For example, whilst writing this post I’ve stopped a few times to re-read paragraphs, check my splellnig and make coffee.  This means I’ve left the keyboard for small periods of time.  By their reckoning I’m finished with this post and they’ll simply attempt to take it away from me, even if I’m in the middle of a

What I really think of Pandas

Pandas are idiots.

panda-fail

  • “What did you just say?  Are you mad?”    
  • “Pandas are cute and cuddly and adorable!”   
  • “They look like oversized teddy bears”
  • “Coochicoochicoo”

No, sorry; you’re all wrong.  Pandas are idiots.

Don’t misunderstand me, they DO look cute but it’s all a lie; a ruse to shield you from the fact that they are unfathomably stupid, fat, bamboo chewing twats.

How can we add any level of credibility to a species that simply won’t procreate?  How hard can it be?  (Pun intended)

Their species is endangered (no surprises there) and it seems we work hard to get a boy panda and a girl panda together for some serious (and often heavily televised) jiggy jiggy.

And do they get funky with each other?  No.

The female panda usually rejects the male panda for some stupid reason or another, blah blah blah….

Have you ever watched the news reports on these ‘stories’?  The reporter delivers it with an ‘ahh, isn’t it cute and adorable’ smile, but their lifeless eyes tell a different story.  They’ve died inside; died I tell you.  Their career has hit rock bottom and they know it.

Yet there they stand with their manufactured smile and microphone in hand.

“Ling Ling is still rejecting Ping Ping after her 12th day with him”.

If you ask me, Poor Ping Ping isn’t getting Ling Ling on his ding-a-ling.  I feel for him, I really do.

Eats shoots and leaves?  My arse.

And of course these big, fat, hairy mimes have no idea they’re endangered.  But that shouldn’t make a difference.  It’s just hardwired into the male of a species to pork the female of the same species (unless the male is a dog and the female is your leg).

Are we flogging a dead horse when we have to artificially inseminate a female panda with the sperm from a male panda that is sat 12ft away playing with his perfectly functioning dick?

panda-play

That’s not right is it?

Also, we gloss over the poor person who had to wank* off the male.

Ha ha, ‘gloss over’.

“What do you do for a living mate?”

“I’m a wanker”

Maybe we’re going about this all wrong.  Maybe we’ve overlooked something obvious?  What about putting the female in some sexy underwear?  What about a little mood lighting and Lionel Ritchie?

panda-bra

Nope, straight to the plastic syringe full of panda paint.

Not once have I suggested to my wife that we get out the turkey baster.  If I did I’d end up looking like a panda.

But seriously, alarm bells should be ringing here.  These creatures either WANT to be extinct, or are simply too stupid to save.

They say that pandas don’t know how to procreate because they ‘haven’t been shown’, but that’s got to be complete bollocks, surely?  I saw a documentary once that had a TV in the panda enclosure showing a DVD on how to procreate.

Yes, that’s right, it was playing panda porn!

I pity the cameraman on that gig.

panda-porn

This creature has more sexual hang-ups than a bondage dungeon.

It just grates on me that so much time, effort, money, paperwork and stress goes into getting two pandas together from opposite ends of the globe, only for the female to take one look at the male and say “nah”.

Typical woman.

Although, when you think about it, maybe the female panda is turned off by the fact that the boy panda looks exactly like her. That would make sense.  After all, who actually goes and fucks themselves when asked to?

Not enough people in my opinion.

By this reasoning, any pandas that DO mate successfully are therefore either incredibly vain, borderline narcissistic or mentally unhinged.

Put a mirror in the enclosure and sit back.

Stupid pandas.

tree-panda

*jerk