Green fingered, like The Hulk.

On Sunday I decided to bite the bullet and buy a strimmer to tackle the garden again.  It had been over a year since I’d last done it, and last week I swear I saw a man in a loincloth swing past on a vine.

For those who don’t know what a strimmer looks like, it’s one of these.

strimmer

In fact, this is the exact model I bought.

I got it home, assembled it and ventured into the garden to kick Mother Nature in the vagina.

‘This is going to be fun’ I thought to myself as I pulled the trigger and the 350 watt engine roared into life.  I felt manly and primal as I revved the engine in a threatening manner.  The greenery in front of me was about to feel nylon death.

After 30 seconds of sheer and utter joyful destruction, the strimmer stopped cutting.  I switched it off, checked underneath and saw that the spool of nylon cord had snapped.

Actually, if it had simply snapped I could’ve pressed the ‘manual feed’ button and pulled more thread through the holes, but this had snapped completely and gone inside the spool.  The feeling was similar to noticing the cord on your joggers (sweat pants) had retracted inside the holes.

No problem; I’ll just open up the spool and manually feed it through.  I soon discovered that threading the small red nylon cord through tiny aluminium holes in the ‘feeder’ was like trying to perform keyhole surgery with your elbows.

replace spool

(not actual photo, but close enough)

After 3 or 4 minutes of silent rage and suppressed expletives I was back in business.

Tearing through the flora again made me feel alive; alive I tell you!  I shredded through the overgrowth like an 80’s action hero with an Uzi.

It was short lived, however.  Another 20 seconds and the same thing happened again.

I could see where this was going.

This time the nylon cord had not only snapped and retracted into the spool, but it had melted slightly and fused itself to both the spool and the coiled up nylon cord inside.

A further 5 or 6 minutes of keyhole surgery, and some less silent rage and expletives, and I was up and running again.

Feel nylon death you bastard garden!

Another 15 seconds and it happened again.  This time I had to prise the melted cord away from the spool with a screwdriver.

This went on for a while.  In fact, on the 8th time of doing this the nylon cord decided to unspool itself fully right before my eyes.

The strimmer now looks like this.

strimmer rage

(actual photo)

In its 20 minute working life it had one function.

One!

Time to call a gardener.

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You, shall not, PASS!

The place – London Victoria Station.

The time – 07:29am.

The scene – Hundreds of ‘cheerful’ commuters ploughing through the ticket barriers with an assortment of tickets and cards.

At times the barriers decide to have a hissy fit and refuse to open.  This could be for several reasons:

  • Your ticket or card has become unreadable.
  • You’re travelling in peak hours on a leisure fare.
  • You’re carrying several bags, boxes and children.

The machines love preying on those who need the barriers to open more urgently than anyone else.

These bastards know; (whispers) they KNOW!

However, this morning there were no commuters carrying anything heavier than furrowed brows and a desire to get through the barriers quickly.  This is when these automated arseholes prefer to strike; picking off the weakest of the herd and testing their patience to the limit.

Today was no different.

A woman strutted up to a barrier, pressed her Oyster card against the card reader, received the usual ‘beep’ and continued strutting, only to be virtually impaled on the unopened barriers.   This can be frustrating at the best of times, but when you’ve got a queue of 20 or more people behind you, it is also incredibly embarrassing.

She tutted and pressed her card against the reader again.

‘Beep’

The barriers didn’t open.

The air suddenly felt thick with silent rage and suppressed violence from those behind her.

“Oh come on!” she half shouted as she slapped her card against the reader.

‘Beep’

The barriers didn’t open.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!”

Slap!

‘Beep’

Slap!

‘Beep’

“Come on you fucking thing!”

Slap slap slap!

‘Beep’

The barriers remained closed and the queue behind her was getting longer and longer like some massive dickheaded snake.

Instead of admitting defeat and seeking the help of a guard, she did something that inspired me to write this post; she began ramming herself against the barriers shouting “come on!”

Over and over she thrust herself against the barriers, trying to squeeze through the unyielding and un-widening gap.  It had eluded her that it was called a barrier for a reason.

Slam!

“Come on!”

Slam!

“You bastard, come on!”

Slam!

“Gnn!”

Slap slap slap!

‘Beep”

Slam!

I noticed the snake had started to dissipate and join other queues, but a few people stayed behind to watch this woman meltdown before their eyes.  I don’t blame them.

She eventually relented and went, bloodied and bruised, to find a guard.

‘Beep’

I went through.

train barrier

Subway club

Imagine a Subway sandwich shop at lunchtime.  It was busy; heaving with people cramming themselves in for 6 or 12 inches of satisfaction.

Ahem…

The queue was practically out of the door and it was going to take a while until anyone was served.  This allowed plenty of time to peruse the brightly back-lit displays of delicious sandwiches on offer.

And yet there was some penis who, after queuing quietly for a lifetime, got to the front and THEN begin deciding what he wanted.

That’s it, start the decision process now dipshit.

Right now.

Not when you came in. Not while you were queuing for an eternity.

Nope…now.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about what you might possibly maybe want to have, you total and utter bell-end.

“Erm….I think I’ll have, er…hmm, I don’t really know.  What’s your sub of the day?”

“We don’t do the sub of the day anymore sir”.

“Oh right, er, ok.  Right….I’ll have…erm….hmm….what do I fancy?”

At this point I could take no more.  I stood up from my seat (I wasn’t even in the queue), turned him around, clubbed him across his stupid face with my sandwich shouting “too slow cockface!” while covering him in bits of masticated turkey ham and salad, before frogmarching him out of the shop to an enthusiastic, if not distinctly boney, round of applause from the emaciated starving masses in the queue.

If only.

subway penis bread

Checkout challenge

The self service checkouts at ASDA were an experience last night.  We thought it would be so easy with my wife scanning the items and me packing them into bags.

I pressed ‘Start’ and we were greeted by a friendly female voice.

“WELCOME.  PLEASE SCAN YOUR FIRST ITEM”

That’s nice.  My wife picked up the first item to scan it and….

“UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA”

Unexpected?  It’s a bagging area and they’re my canvas shopping bags (from this very supermarket), so if anything they’re completely expected.  Calm down love.

I picked up the bags and put them down again in the hope that this impatient piece of tech would realise the additional weight is just bags.  You know, being a ‘bagging’ area and all.

“UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA”

Oh for fucks sake, “Excuse me!”

I called over a female member of staff who inserted a key and typed in a passcode to allow us the luxury of continuing with the combined weight of the canvas bags in the bagging area

“PLEASE SCAN YOUR FIRST ITEM”

Finally!

(Beep)

“PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA”

Jesus, give me a second will you?

(Beep)

(Beep)

“PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA”

Yeah yeah, I’m just playing Tetris with our shopping so they fit in the bags better.  She’s more passive aggressive than GLaDOS!*

“PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA”

Alright!  Hang on!

(Beep)

(Beep)

“UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA”

What the…?  “Excuse me!”

The member of staff was summoned again.  We got to know her quite well by the time the evening was through.

Just as she reached the checkout, the error message disappeared.  “Oh, never mind.  It seems to have figured it out”.  I sent her away again.

(Beep)

“PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA”

Grrr!

“UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA”

Eh?  I’ve just bagged it.  Ok, I’ll take it out again.

“PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA”

What?  Fine!  I’ll put it back in again.

“UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA”

“Excuse me!”

Back she came, with the same look in her eyes of a parent whose child just will…not…stop…crying.

(Beep)

(Beep)

Uh oh.  We’d filled the first three bags and had no more room for the rest of our shopping.  I needed to remove the filled bags to make space for new empty ones, but this stroppy piece of machinery might blow a fuse.  Shall I call our new friend over?  Nah, maybe the machine will figure it out.

I removed the bags.  It didn’t figure it out.

“PLEASE WAIT FOR ASSISTANCE”

Oh, we will.

Back she came with her key and passcode; a tear trickling down her cheek.

“Thanks”.

She smiled, sort of.

(Beep)

(Beep)

“UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA”

Fucking bags.

Key.  Passcode.

This time our friend left the checkout in ‘staff override’ so it stopped whining about weight and how long we were taking.  I suppose ‘male mode’ was considered a little sexist.

We finished the shopping and paid.

No issues with that I noticed.

self service anger

* One for the gamers.