Fancy another? (to be sure, so it is…)

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so naturally everyone at work is starting to wear green, drink green beer, and eat Lucky Charms (or whatever it is that Americans think the Irish actually do). In fact, some people have been wearing kilts and playing traditional Irish music including ‘Scotland The Brave’.

I shit you not.

I don’t think they realise that Scotland and Ireland aren’t the same place.

Anyway, during this morning’s drive into work, I had the radio on as usual and I was listening to a show called ‘Mercedes in the morning’ in which Mercedes – a woman, not a car – and her co-host, JC (not jeebus christ, just a metro-male called….well….JC) were talking about St. Patrick’s Day and all the fun and frivolity that goes with it.

Hey, by the way, did you know the mascot of Ireland is the Leprechaun? I didn’t! I wrongly thought it was a type of hat wearing fairy from Irish folklore and NOT something used to sell god awful cereal to sugar addicted snowflakes! In fact, I was so taken aback that they called it a mascot that I contemplated calling into their show and correcting them, but then I realised that profanity – an ACTUAL Irish tradition – isn’t really tolerated in the US, let alone live on air. So instead I decided to smile, shake my head disapprovingly and mutter lots of Irish traditions under my breath.

And by ‘under my breath‘, I meant ‘out loud, with the windows down, scaring other drivers‘.

But I digress.

Mercedes said there was a recent study regarding the number of drink-related injuries on St. Partick’s Day.

Really, a study?

She then went on to say that the maximum amount of drinks typically imbibed before some sort of injury occurs is 8 drinks for men and 6 drinks for women.

‘Fair enough’, I thought to myself.

It was at this point that Mercedes exclaimed, “8 drinks?? Who can drink 8 drinks?? I get to 3 drinks and I’m feeling all woozy!“. Then JC said proudly that he would occasionally knock back 8 drinks in his younger ‘party‘ days.

Fuck me, 8 drinks is what you consume at home BEFORE you head out on the piss!

In fact, my friend and I used to polish off a 12 pack of beers EACH on the sofa, and then get all miserable when we ran out.

Maybe if the US reduced their drinking age back down to 18 (yes, it was once 18), they could build up their tolerance sooner and keep up with us expats who are desperate for drinking buddies who can go the distance.

And get a fucking round in, from time to time.

Cheers!

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2017 is already a crazy ride!

Before I start……Happy New Year!!!!!

It’s New Year’s day and I’m working.

My shift started at 4am, so I had to leave the house around 3am.  This meant driving through post-New Year crowds and traffic….in Las Vegas.

This is what I encountered:

  • A mere 45 seconds into my drive an oncoming car veered into my lane for about 10 seconds before realising they were on the wrong side of the road.  I had to stop the car otherwise I would have hit them!
  • A multitude of cars were drifting between lanes without any indicators [turn signals] or awareness of others around them.
  • A few cars straddling lanes for extended periods of time.
  • Lots and lots of red lights.  Seriously, I was at a set of red lights for almost 5 minutes, with no other cars going through the green lights on the cross street!
  • A truck stopped in the middle of the road, blocking everyone.  No reason that I could see.  Also, no driver that I could see.
  • Lots and lots of cars cutting each other up/off.  One driver was so impatient at a red light that he moved into the ‘Right Turn Only‘ lane and then when the lights went green he went straight, cutting up the driver to his left just to get in front.  He pulled over and parked 100 yards later.
  • Lots of loud, drunk people teetering on the edge of the pavement [sidewalk] threatening to walk out in front of my car.

Now, this was the first time I had EVER had to drive to work on New Year’s day in Las Vegas.  I couldn’t believe the experience compared to my normal commute…..

It was no different.

toystorybaddrivers

The tale of apes and alcohol

Yesterday (Friday), was a pretty amazing day at work.

Firstly, it was the last day of training at my new job which meant it was ‘graduation day’.

As part of graduation day we were asked to collectively choose a theme. As there were almost 60 of us, we all pitched in ideas and then put them to the vote.

Considering the date of this post, you wont be surprised to read that the consensus was the vastly unimaginitively unoriginal theme of ‘Hallowe’en’

Or ‘dress up in whatever the fuck you want’ day.

I wanted to represent the British sense of humour, so I went as a Whoopie Cushion.

No, really.

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What’s even better is that my co-worker and friend Trevor (the guy in the picture with me) decided his costume would be ME!

Yes, that’s right….his Hallowe’en costume was ME!

He even had tattoos drawn on his arm.

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They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Personally I find it to be a really good blow job.

But Trevor wasn’t swallowing it.

Also, it’s worth noting here that us Brits don’t use the word ‘costume’ when it comes to dressing up like a bunch of idiots.

We call it, ‘fancy dress’, and we wear ‘fancy dress’ to a ‘fancy dress party’

It was my wife who made me realise that fancy dress is a stupid way of saying it.

“I say Nigel, your attire is positively fancy”

It makes us sound like prancing twats with lace handkerchiefs in our hands and thumbs up our arses.

Anyway back to graduation day.

As a Brit I didn’t realise the sheer magnitude of the word ‘graduation’ here in America.

In England it’s not a big deal and conforms to the dictionary definition of ‘receiving an academic degree or diploma’.

In America it means ‘A celebration that is batshit crazy like rabid gibbons in a banana farm’

Seriously, it was lunacy at its best with over the top celebrations for (essentially) turning up every day and learning what you were taught.

I’d heard that people had failed training in past training groups but the quality of the training and the sheer determination by the trainers that you actually LEARNED the content only suggested that these cockwombles were either asleep, dead or too busy masturbating in the toilets to pictures of gibbons in banana farms.

But that’s not why I’m writing, although I hear http://www.bananafarmgibbonlove.com is getting some traction, as is Kleenex.

No the reason I’m writing is because I made an interesting cultural discovery about my American chums, particularly when it comes to bar etiquette.

After the graduation ceremony had finished and all the gibbons had been rounded up, we all decided to celebrate by wiping off the remnants of confetti, silly string and mashed banana and going to a local bar.

We piled in and made a beeline for the bartender.

Straight away I got the first round in.

“Right, who wants a drink?” I asked.

I received requests for 2 Bud Lights, a Jack Daniels and Coke, a pint of Guiness and a some vodka cocktail thing that was far too complicated to be a drink; I think there were body parts and aviation fluids mentioned.

Anyway, the round came to about $40 which I was happy to pay.

My co-worker who had ordered the complicated vodka monstrosity kept offering to give me the money for her drink. I found this to be a little odd and slightly insulting.

Did she think I couldn’t afford it? She’s usually so lovely.

I blame the booze.

Anyway, my beer was downed in about 3 minutes and after about half an hour I was getting thirsty for another, but no one had offered to get the next round in.

Fuck it.  I headed to the bar again and joined some of my fellow graduates.

Like before I offered to buy them a drink.

This round was about $30.

‘No biggie’ I thought, ‘at least I’ll have a few drinks come my way later’.

About an hour passed and one of the guys came over with a bottle of Bud Light and said “this is because you bought me a drink earlier”.

Well obviously.

And that was it.

We were in that bar for almost 4 hours and no-one other than one person (thanks Justin) bought me a drink, or even offered.

I found this to be a little weird. I thought these people liked me.

Later that night I told my wife about it and she enlightened me.

Americans don’t do rounds.

Seriously, they dont do rounds…they only buy drinks for themselves – or for a friend or someone they’re trying to shag.

Oh god, do my co-workers think I was trying to get in their pants? Do they now feel that it was a blatant attempt to throw one up them?

This might explain why my lovely co-worker and friend was desperate to pay for her drink. She must’ve felt guilty and was worried she might have to, ahem, ‘flatter’ me later on.

It’s OK, I’ll tell her it was Trevor all along.

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Wishing the Mile High Club was an actual bat!

A week or so ago my wife and I took a trip to Venice.  In lieu of our upcoming move to Las Vegas we felt it wise to visit some places in Europe while they were still pretty close by (and a lot cheaper!)

Plus, as we are moving to sin city, I thought it was a good idea she see what Venice REALLY looks like, rather than basing her ideas on The Venetian hotel on the strip.  We’d already visited Paris the year before and she’s already been to New York, so the only one left – that the Las Vegas strip had ripped off – was Venice.

And before you mention The Luxor, friends of mine have been to Cairo and apparently it’s a shithole; so fuck that.

Anyway, I want to tell you about our trip.

But, Headinablender isn’t a travel blog, nor will it ever be unless something weird, wonderful or funny happens.  I’m not about to go on and on about the beautiful canals, the crippling expensive food and drink, the amazing architecture or the overpriced gondolas driven (driven? Is that right?) by uninterested Italians with an oar in one hand and their phone in the other.

No, i’m talking about our actual experience of getting there and back; literally ‘the trip’.

There are certain moments in life when you realise you’re now ‘a proper grown up’  These include hosting a dinner party, paying rent/mortgage, choosing curtains and, in the case of our trip, checking in at an airport.

I remember going to the airport when I was a kid and just following my parents around while they organised tickets, passports and luggage.  It was just a thing they did until it was time for all of us to sit on the plane.  I never considered the effort that had been put in before we’d even got to the airport.

The thing is, no-one pulls you aside at school and shows you how to book a holiday, you just ‘wing it’.  Nowadays it’s pretty much all done online.  There seem to be two types of holiday companies; those you’ve heard of, and those who are cheaper. Either way, you select your holiday, type in some stuff, pay some money and it’s done.  Apparently.

No tickets, no paperwork.  That’s it.

Then you find out you have to go to the airline’s website and enter your passport information and pay extra if you want to take a suitcase.

Still no tickets or paperwork.  Just faith that all will be OK when you get to the airport.

So, when we arrived at the check in desk and the clerk took our passports, checked us in, took our luggage and handed us our boarding passes, I felt like a proper grown up.

I felt like turning to an imaginary 5 year old me and winking, but I decided against it as I didn’t want to appear twitchy or weird and I wanted to actually be allowed on the flight.

franco wink

Anyway, fast forward to the departure gate.

We were walking down the tunnel to the plane and there were a lot of people in front of us, and more coming in behind us, including one couple who had a little boy that kept running up and down the tunnel.

“Elliott!  Elliot!  Come back here darling.  Elliott!  Elliott!”

His name was Elliott.

After we (and a lot of our fellow passengers) had enduring Elliott’s delightful stomping and kicking of our hand luggage, shins and patience, we finally boarded the plane.

Then, after waiting an eternity for people to put their hand luggage in the overhead lockers and actually sit their fucking arses down, we took our seats and relaxed.

This relaxation was short lived as, sat noisily behind us, was Elliott and his fucking family, comprising of mummy, daddy and younger sister Imogen.  How did we know their names? It was all…..we fucking heard…..for the duration…..of the fucking……flight.

Mostly from ‘Daddy’

“Elliott, try not to kick the seat in front”

(my wife’s seat; Elliott was playing a very dangerous game)

“Elliot, please sit down”

“Elliott, please let Imogen look out the window”

“Elliott, please stop crying.  Look out the window, can you see the clouds?”

“Imogen, please stop crying.  Look out the window, can you see the clouds?”

“Imogen, let Elliott have a go with the colouring book”

“Elliott, please don’t throw the pens on the floor”

“Elliot, please try not to kick the seat in front”

(this was a popular one.  Notice the word ‘try’)

“No Elliott, you can’t sit by the window now, we’re about to land.  No, please stop crying”

And then, once we’d landed and taxi’d to the gate, we were treated to this moment of absolute fucking lunacy…..

“We’re here!  I’m going to get you an ice cream for being such a good boy”

You had to be shitting me!

Once the ‘Fasten Seat Belt’ sign had been switched off we stood up and joined the rest of the plane, who had already stood up a long time ago, to retrieve our bag from the overhead locker.

baseball riot

This was my opportunity to turn around and get a proper look at these people who had made our two hour flight feel like ten.

The parents looked like death.  Gaunt, tired and dead behind the eyes.  They almost looked grey; drained of all the colour in their lives by the little prick jumping up and down on their laps.

So that made me feel better.

To be honest, the best part of the flight was shortly after the wheels had hit the tarmac.

We were sat over the wing, so as the plane was still hurtling down the runway we were able to see part of the wing lift up; creating more drag and slowing the plane.

I smiled, turned to my wife and said “Flaps”.

Ryan Reynolds grin

We both laughed.

It was all we could do not to strangle (H)Elliott with his seatbelt.

Speaking of seatbelts, have you noticed the crew walk up and down the plane to ensure you’ve fastened it, and THEN show the demonstration of how to fasten your seatbelt?  It seems as redundant as showing a pregnant woman how to lose her virginity.

Anyway, we left our woes at baggage claim and went on the have a great time in Venice. What a beautiful city.  If you ever get the chance to go, go. Photos don’t do it any justice, it truly is stunning.

Venice

By the end of our stay we were looking forward to our flight home.  We had chosen a late night flight to ensure we got as much time in Venice as possible and we could also enjoy a nice sleep on the plane.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

We had the ONLY drunk person on the plane sat behind us, sprawled out across three seats kicking us both in the back for the entire flight whilst he snored like a baboon being sawn in half.  We lost count the number of times the cabin crew had to show him how to use the seatbelt.

If anyone needed to pay attention to the safety brief and seltbelt demonstration, it was this guy.  Mind you, he was having problems blinking both eyes together so it’s unlikely he’ll be able to successfully operate a life jacket.

Silver lining.

Also, we were lucky enough to have three incredibly noisy Italian kids on the row behind him who were the ONLY people on the plane making a noise; everyone else was sleeping.

This is the reason they don’t allow guns on planes.

Still, two amusing things happened during our stay in Venice that i’d like to share with you.

My wife really wanted a new purse/bag, so I said I’d buy her one.  Big mistake.

I was dragged into almost every bag store in Venice, and when you consider that shops in Venice only sell either Bags, Gloves or Masks (yes, masks)…..that’s a lot of fucking shops.

I noticed a lot of the bags had ‘Vera Pelle’ written on them.  Never heard of her.  This designer was everywhere!

vera pelle

My wife pointed out that ‘Vera Pelle’ means ‘Real Leather’ in Italian.  I could be forgiven for my mistake, but i’m half Italian!

Twat.

And the second funny thing was this:

ARS Liquid

Nuff said.

Take a seat

There’s a worldwide unwritten rule that men don’t sit down to pee. 

Ever. 

I can’t actually remember at what age I stopped sitting, but the act of standing up and draining the lizard rates up there as one of the defining moments of becoming a man; alongside losing my virginity and being in charge of my first barbeque.

Over the years I’ve discovered there are three occasions that I feel allow us to be exempt from this unwritten rule without fear of ridicule, mocking and generally being called a girl.

Here are my three exceptions to the rule:

When you’re drunk

It’s a well known fact that being drunk renders most of us virtually incapable of performing more than one task at a time.  Usually the primary focus is the simple act of standing up, and yet we can still fuck that up; often spectacularly.  So, standing AND aiming is a logistical impossibility and something us men simply daren’t attempt.  It’s easy in the street because a wall (or car, or bus shelter, or police officer) isn’t a particularly small target, whereas a toilet can be.  And if you’re 6ft tall like me, it’s like trying to hit a thimble…from space.  The only real risk with sitting down and peeing whilst drunk is comfort.  It’s likely you’ll simply pass out and wake up on the floor with your trousers around your ankles and your integrity in the bin.

When it’s dark

This one screams of common sense.  I remember years ago sharing a hotel room with a friend (twin beds I hasten to add) and in the middle of the night he got up, went to the toilet, switched on the light (waking me up), said “fuck!” when his retinas burned out of his skull, pissed on the floor anyway because he couldn’t see, then stumbled back to his bed and promptly missed.  I used to do the same to be honest.  I used to attempt to combat this by doing the ‘one eye open and one eye closed’ approach.  This was cunning as I’d switch the light on and I could see where I was aiming with one eye, and then when I switched the light off to go back to bed I would transfer to the other eye that still had night vision.  Genius.  Opening both eyes at this point is weird though.  Try it.  Then one night common sense came for what the Americans call ‘a sleepover’ and I had the ultimate epiphany; just sit down.  No harsh light, no losing valuable night vision, no blue/green blob in your line of sight that looks like an alien attacking the Enterprise when you stumble back to bed….and no having to aim.  Again, the only real risk here is the same comfort as when drunk.  Try not to fall back to sleep.

When you’re horny

The best way to describe trying to pee whilst in this state is a lot like trying to hold down loose tarpaulin in a hurricane.  Just when you think you’ve got it, you haven’t.  It’s messy, difficult, and often uncomfortable and we end up standing like a duck with our arse sticking out trying to get ‘the right angle’.  Just sit down.  SO much easier.  For those of you who haven’t considered this before; beware.  It’s likely you’ll still douse the bathroom floor through the gap between the toilet and the lid. 

Classic rookie error. 

Soon you’ll discover the ‘sit and hook’ method.  You’ll end up sitting a bit forward on the toilet, but chances are you’re on your phone anyway leaning on your knees (possibly reading this right now) so what does it matter?  I was overjoyed when Justin Timberlake’s character in ‘Friends With Benefits’ did the sit and hook.  Good man JT.

Now, these three exceptions to the rule of peeing like a man have been with me for years.  Nothing else made it onto the list; it was Drunk, Dark or Horny, no exceptions.  You could have all sorts of shit on your hands or have a broken leg and it will still be considered a bit girly if you sit.

That is, until now. 

Now there is a fourth rule.

Rule Four

You are excused from touching your penis if your hands have come in contact with chillies.

(I’ll let you take a moment for that to sink in….I fucking did!)

In my case I’d finely chopped three bags of bird eye chillies.  What followed was a sensation not unlike getting a blowjob from the Balrog, and luckily* doesn’t go away anytime soon.  Even if I’d taken my blog’s name literally I still don’t think it wouldn’t have been as bad.  Sitting down was an adventure and I’d even contemplated dipping myself into a glass of milk.

So, exception number four is chillies.  And probably Deep Heat.

 chillipenis

*sarcasm, in case you hadn’t noticed