I’m sitting at my desk whilst two of my colleagues are having a conversation next to me.
Her – “It’s so big”
Him – “You’ll get used to it”
Her new phone had arrived and they were talking about the size of the screen.
The other day, whilst [while] walking down a supermarket aisle, I passed a couple having a quiet, yet heated conversation.
‘This should be interesting’, I thought, as I passed them….slowly.
“It’s e-a-t-E-n”, said the guy.
“Uh uh, no”, his other half said dismissively, “it’s e-a-t-A-n”.
“No baby, i’m telling you, it’s e-a-t-E-n”, he repeated with a slight chuckle in his voice.
This didn’t go down well with her.
Not well at all.
It was at this point she did that thing so many of my exes have done to me in the past when out in public; she raised her voice slightly in an attempt to embarrass her man in front of an audience….or, in this case, the slow, shuffling Brit who was taking far too much interest some nearby canned goods.
“Mmm-hmm, sure baby; whatever you say, but you is wrong![sic]“, she retorted, clearly convinced she wasn’t.
Besides, the correct spelling is ‘c-r-E-t-i-n’.
Today, during a meeting at work, one of my colleagues decided to share a top culinary tip with us. She’s a pretty smart cookie, so I was curious to know what mind blowing gastronomic trickery she was about to impart.
She smiled, opened her mouth and said:
“The best way to tell if your pasta is cooked properly is to throw it against the fridge and if it sticks, it’s cooked.”
After a long pause and a few shared looks of concern for both her mental health and the quality of her spaghetti bolognese, I replied, “Or, you could, y’know, taste it”.
After a few nods of agreement at my introduction of sanity, and some repressed chuckles at the ludicrous nature of what she’d just spouted out of her mouth hole, she sat up in her chair and became very animated.
“I’m serious! It’s the best way to test if your pasta is cooked!”, she insisted.
She was wrong, of course.
“Ask anyone!”, she continued, “Google it!”.
This was a great suggestion because if it’s on the internet, it’s got to be true. Hey, did you know that a duck’s quack doesn’t echo?
So, as we argued the toss (see what I did there?), we decided to Google it and, lo and behold, there were a plethora of videos uploaded by NOT chefs showing that pasta, when thrown at a fridge or a window (or a flat screen TV, or a work colleague’s face) does, in fact, stick.
At this point we argued that under-cooked pasta will also stick because, y’know, starch.
She wasn’t having any of it.
So, as we all went back to our desks, still disputing the issue, she collared the first person we came across and pounced on him; “Hey, how do you test if pasta is cooked properly?”.
He paused for a moment, clearly not expecting to be asked this question today, and replied with, “You throw it at the ceiling and see if it sticks”.
“YES!!” she screamed, victoriously throwing her hands in the air, before turning to us with fingers pointing, “See, I told you! Ha!”.
So let me get this right, your only reliable and factual back up is someone who is clearly NOT Google, and also throws his pasta ON THE CEILING to check if it’s cooked? Not only does his kitchen probably resemble a cave full of stalactites, but he’s also an idiot.
Being half Italian myself, I know how to check if your pasta is cooked; you time it and you taste it; it’s simple really. Hurling your food at a kitchen appliance is not a sure fire way to check how cooked your meal is.
Plus, it’s fucking up my fridge magnets.
I know, I know….I haven’t posted anything recently and I’m sorry. Although, weirdly, I’ve had more email subscriptions in the last few weeks than a Nigerian prince has in a year.
Anyway, not one to complain, I thought I’d share a conversation I literally overheard at work about 10 minutes ago.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent.1
Dumbelina – “Hey, Tarquin! What’s the name of the ramen place we’re going to later?”
Tarquin popped his head up from behind his computer, clearly preoccupied with something he was watching or masturbating to.
“The ramen place.”, she continued.
Tarquin stopped for a beat and blinked twice; “What ramen place?”
“The one we’re going to at lunch.”
Tarquin paused again, desperately tring to cling to a conversation he was clearly not understanding.
“What about it?”, he replied, rapidly losing wood.
“What’s the name of it?”
“Oh…”, he said, finally getting a grasp of the conversation, now that he no longer had anything substantial to grasp, “…I think it’s called [insert the name of the ramen place here because I can’t remember it for the life of me!]”
“OK, thanks T-Dog2; I just wanted to have a look at the menu.”
“Uh huh”, he mumbled as he went back to whatever it was he was doing to himself.
There was a brief silence, punctuated only with the tapping of keys and the faint clicking of a mouse button.
“Ah, here it is”, muttered Thumbelina as she found the website.
> click <
> click <
A longer pause (Jesus, some people surf the internet slower than a sloth wearing a heavy backpack, trekking through deep snow, wearing flippers)
“What the hell is this?”, she half said to herself, but I suspected was intended for those around her (including me) to ask, ‘What’s that?’.
She continued clicking.
“Deep fried octopus balls??”
I choked on my coffee.
“Ha ha ha…er, excuse me; sorry!”, I said through caffeinated coughing.
Now having an audience, she attempted to engage me in conversation, “Right?? Octopus balls!”
“Ha, yeah right”, I said wryly as I continued checking Facebook – er, I mean continued working – realising I had a blog post happening right now….live! I smiled to myself as I wondered what she would say next. Would that be it? Would that be the only amusing thing she’d say about the menu from ‘that ramen place’?
She continued down the list muttering the occasional ‘Oh’, and ‘Eeuw’ before exclaiming, “Ooh, french fries!”.
Maybe the ramen place is called McDonalds?
“Tarquin, they have french fries! Oh wow, they have french fries with gravy!”
Tarquin didn’t care. He was laid back in his chair, sweating, and smoking a cigarette.3
1 – Stupid
2 – OK, maybe I’m embellishing here a little bit.
3 – See 2
I was just on Facebook and one of those annoying links came up that challenged:
“OK, I’ll bite“, I thought to myself.
So I bit and clicked the link.
I got all 16 words correct (naturally) and was heralded a genius (obviously), which was nice. But to be honest, it was pretty easy…any idiot could have done it.
Then I noticed the website name:
Wait….did this website cause me to have a sexist thought? It most certainly did. For the tiniest of nanoseconds, my thought was ‘So, is it easier because it’s aimed at women?‘
That’s not a good thought to have. It’s also not a great thought to share on a blog either!
Hmm, maybe my I.Q. isn’t as high as I thought.
I would like to say at this point that I’m not sexist. If anything, the website was sexist by pandering to its readers, right?
Maybe this clickbait quiz was designed to have men go through what i’m going through and question their views on the better sex?
(Yes, I’m grovelling for forgiveness here).
But in all seriousness, I’m not a sexist guy; women are awesome.1 In fact, now I think about it, all my girlfriends have been female.
Every single one.
My wife’s a woman too. I checked.
I’ve never considered women to be inferior to men (except for their inability to see the difference between DVD and BluRay picture quality which is SO annoying! Come on….look at the crispness of the image and how clear each pixel is when you….no, no I’m not going to get into this now), so was the website subtly imposing sexism on me?
Was I sexist by proxy? Was it designed to make us men think about sexism? Was the quiz actually difficult and I am, in fact, a monumental genius?
Whatever the case, I’m sleeping on the sofa tonight when my wife reads this.2
1 – Except a couple of my ex-girlfriends; they were a fucking nightmare!
2 – Not really. My wife is not that type of person. She’s amazing! 3
3 – Yep, still grovelling.
We have a pot luck1 at work today with an assortment of chips, dips and other fattening and delicious things.
One of my colleagues came over to me and said, “Hey, we have Enchiladas over here. In England, do you call then Centimetreladas?”.
I laughed like a fucking drain.
1 For my English readers (or ‘friends and family’ as I like to call them). A ‘Pot Luck’ is when Americans bring food to work either store bought or in a slow cooker (crock pot). In a nation that loves buffets, American workers have figured out a way to bring the buffet to the workplace.
There are phrases out there in the world that people have tattooed on bodies, printed on clothing and plastered all over social media profiles to make them appear somehow more profound.
I’m talking about the sort of drivel designed to be inspirational or empowering, but actually results in me despising them more than a complete stranger should.
These are words of encouragement to let you know you’re special…a unique little snowflake.
Here are a couple of examples:
“Only God can judge me”
Hmm, I’m not sure I – and groups of people all over the world known as ‘Juries’ – fully agree with that one.
“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”
What about arthritis?
Anyway, yesterday at the gym I saw a guy wearing a t shirt with this slogan emblazoned across the back of it.
“No weapon formed against me shall prosper”
So I shot him.
I’ve just been for that first satisfying bowel movement of the day. The one that usurps all others.
It was great.
But, unlike those I enjoy at weekends, this one was at the office.
A downside to curling out a fresh biscuit at work is that you’re not always the only baker in the bakery. This visit was one of those times.
Now, a story like this isn’t unusual under normal circumstances, but this was far from normal. As I entered the toilets [restroom/bathroom] I could hear that the occupant of the far cubicle [stall] was talking to someone. He was on the phone.
I took the first cubicle because, well, no-one likes to poo within a foot of another person. I don’t care if there’s a layer of wood between me and him; if I can see the shadow of his feet, I’m too close.
The toilets at work don’t have piped in music, nor are they located next to an airport runway so it was deathly quiet in there and therefore I could hear every word he was saying.
“Yes, I heard you”
“Well, you hurt my feelings”
“Yes I know”
There was a pause.
“I love you”
His call must have ended at that point because he then proceeded to wipe his arse.
I finished my performance, flushed and then spent an unnecessarily long time washing and drying my hands.
Well, it could be because I believe in good personal hygiene, or it could be because I wanted to see if this guy had the bollocks to come out of his cubicle and reveal himself.
I wouldn’t have either.
So, to respect his privacy and integrity, I left.
Then, out of respect for the guy, I didn’t hang around in the kitchen waiting to see who emerged. I didn’t think it was right to make myself a coffee really slowly so I could check out if it was someone I knew (who may read my blog and somehow take this invasion of privacy personally).
After a few minutes he emerged. Thankfully I didn’t know him.
It was just one of our security team; a massive bastard built like a brick shithouse.
This could be my last post.
There was a guy in the gym tonight who, I would say, is in his early sixties with a shaved head and built like a brick shithouse.
He’s clearly been working out for over half his life which was evident from the fact that he was as wide as he was tall, like an equilateral triangle….but sweatier.
Like most of the meatheads in there he was grunting and groaning with every push or pull of the machines he was using, and quite rightly so; he was lifting some heavy shit.
Anyway, as I was leaving I thought I’d wash my hands because, well, I’ve seen some of the people who touch the machines. Most of them are sweaty, and a lot of them are douchbags. I don’t want any of that on me when I leave, especially douchebag.
So I went to the toilets, washed my hands and as I turned around to dry them, in came the equilateral triangle.
He walked to the urinals, barely wedged himself in the ‘normal human being’ sized space and fumbled with the cord of his gym trousers.
At least, that’s the assumption I’m making here. There’s no way I was going in for a closer look just to give validity to this post.
Once he’d (presumably) undone the cord he let out a grunt similar to those he’d demonstrated when lifting the heavy weights before.
Yeah right. Don’t flatter yourself mate.
I’ve heard the stories about steroids.
 It was the awkward walk of someone with three huge pillows under each arm and a protein bar inserted rectally.
I’ve written a lot of entries that have been toilet related. In fact, if you type the word ‘toilet’ in my search bar you will get an almost endless list of posts.
I clearly need to get a lot of things out.
(smirks smugly to himself)
Today’s log (smirk) is no different, and yet it is; it’s about certain observations and forms of etiquette I’ve noticed when using a toilet cubicle [stall].
Firstly there’s the ‘call to attention’. This is a customary noise you make to alert any new toilet visitor that you’re already there, sat down, mid performance.
This customary noise usually comes in the form of a cough, a clearing of the throat, a loud sniff or the dropping of a big, heavy turd.
Often, when I’m the new arrival to the toilets this ‘call to attention’ comes in the form of general grunting and groaning, like the cubicle occupant is attempting to shit out a small donkey. Even after I’ve dropped my dignity and taken a seat, the grunting and groaning continues.
Is their turd coming out sideways?
Imagine your grandfather sitting in a big comfy chair after a huge meal; that’s the sound I can best liken it to.
So anyway, regardless of who came in first or last, the next thing I’d like to comment on is the deafening silence that follows when the coughing, grunting and sniffing has subsided.
I mean, you can literally hear a pin drop, let alone anything else.
This is a level of silence that actually hurts your ears. It’s quieter than being in church, or so I’ve been told; I don’t tend to hear it over the sound of my burning flesh and the screams of a thousand tortured souls.
Or is that just me?
This silence is counterproductive to the task in hand when all you want to do is push out some bum rope, especially as it’s likely you’re in the most echo efficient room in the building.
It’s almost a battle of wills to see who will set free the first fart, or something decidedly more sinister.
This is exacerbated if you have a bad stomach and want to let loose the fizzy beast within.
Personally, I reach around (easy now) and flush the toilet in time with each contraction; evacuating my bowels in perfect time with the masking sounds of the flush.
And while I’m on the subject of masking sounds, it’s a huge frustration of mine when people don’t use the hand dryer KNOWING their fellow man is attempting to curl one out – with sweaty brow and trembling knees – a few feet away. Instead they opt for a paper towel or trouser wipe.
Give me some cover noise mate, come on.
I’d do it for you.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I had an epiphany the other day whilst sat on the loo. I was sitting there, spending a little too long on Facebook and creating those infamous red thigh marks…
…when I heard the guy in the neighbouring cubicle stop grunting and groaning and reach for the toilet paper.
In the library-like silence I could heard the rumble of the roll as he pulled at the paper, followed by the soft but definable snap of the paper.
It then occurred to me that the rustling that followed wasn’t him practicing Origami, it was the actual act of wiping his arse. I could literally hear him smearing poo from his balloon knot. And what made it worse was that he kept going, returning to the loo roll two or three times for back up.
Now I think about it, the word ‘wipe’ should be replaced with ‘vigorously scrub’.
Now, whenever I hear the rumble of the toilet roll, I know I’m about to hear a guy cleaning out his chocolate tea-towel holder with wads of tissue paper a foot and a half away from me.
I want to hum or sing to drown out the noise, but I feel that would just make the hole situation worse.
Once you’ve had this epiphany and heard that noise, you can’t un-hear it.
But all of this pales into comparison to my last observation and experience.
This one has resulted in three words of advice. Three simple words that will ensure you are not mentally scarred for the rest of your days.
When you’re next sat on the toilet, pay close attention to the floor.
Is it shiny?
Has it been buffed to a mirror-like perfection?
If the answer is yes, and someone joins the cubicle next to you, remember these three little words.
Don’t look down.
 Not a typo
This evening I went to Target which, to my English brethren across the pond, is like Woolworths used to be…but on steroids.
I found what I was looking for and made my way to the till (checkout).
The guy at the till (checkout), upon hearing me speak, joined the slew of uncultured twats I’ve encountered since moving to America by asking, “So what part of Australia are you from?”
Here we go again.
He could’ve simply asked where I was from, but no; he thought he’d be clever and join the ranks of twattery by asking the question I’ve heard about a million times since I emigrated.
Even if I was from down under, would he have known the area? I doubt it. This guy probably couldn’t find his own arse with both hands. [¹]
It didn’t stop there. He went on to embarrass himself and his country further.
Here is an almost literal account of the entire conversation.
Him – “So what part of Australia are you from?”
Me – “Guess again”
There was a unnecessarily long pause.
Him – “New Zealand?”
Me – “Nope. Where else do they speak ENGLISH a lot?”
He paused again and really thought about it this time.
Him – “Scotland?”
I couldn’t believe it.
Me – “No. Think about it. Where is the most ENGLAND place you can think of that speaks ENGLISH?”
Him – “Well, there’s England but….”
I had to interrupt him. I didn’t want to know what level of ignorance was churning that sentence out of his mouth.
Me – “That’s right, England. I’m English”
He looked at me skeptically and turned to scan my goods though his till (checkout).
Him – “Huh, well you don’t sound English. You sound Australian”.
No I don’t; I sound English.
Do you know how I know I sound English? Because I’m English! That’s where I came from! The Australian accent is completely different.
I was warned that a majority of Yanks thinks we’re either Ozzies or Kiwis, when in fact we’re just Poms.
It amazes me how they can’t tell the difference and then, when corrected, proceed to ask me if I’m sure or – in the case of Captain Cretin tonight – dispute it.
Then, on cue, he decided to tell me about people he knows or is related to that once lived in England or he knew someone in England, or read about England in some book.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fucking atlas.
[¹] Also down under
This morning on the tube I saw a man eating a McDonalds meal like a man possessed. Well, I say ‘eating’; it would be more accurate to say ‘pushing his whole face into the burger that was resting on his lap’.
After he’d stop burrowing into his meal like he was bobbing for apples he emerged for air and I couldn’t help but smile; he had a piece of burger stuck to his forehead, just above his right eyebrow.
But, after it had been sat there for a minute or so, I realised it wasn’t a piece of burger but a skin tag! This wasn’t your everyday skin tag the size of a rice krispie, no this one was almost an inch long; like a small penis!
I tried to avoid looking at it, but I just…couldn’t…stop.
Every fibre of my being was resisting the urge to do this:
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. To be honest it’s been a hectic couple of months which I will no doubt write about in the coming weeks.
Aren’t you excited?
Anyway, to ease myself back into the habit of writing, I just wanted to share an interaction I had the pleasure of witnessing on the Tube this morning.
There was a couple. I would say they were mid-to-late twenties and very posh.
How did I know? Well…
He had immaculately combed back (and yet thinning) hair with glasses and was wearing cufflinks. Yes, he was one of those people who actually wear cufflinks to work.
She had straight strawberry-brunette hair with enough make-up to choke a rabbit. You could still see her freckles which gave her that posh ‘England Rose’ look. Her handbag looked stiffer than a Scotsman’s drink.
They were both wearing those long expensive coats you only ever see in magazine adverts worn by good looking people walking and laughing under trees in autumn.
Anyway, as the train filled up I was herded in their direction until I was stood inches away with my back to them.
This, they had decided, was the time to engage in a very posh and plummy conversation.
“I say, what time will you get to work?” she asked him with a voice that emphasised the ‘h’ in ‘what’.
“Not long now”, he replied, lacking any hint of enthusiasm; “I am so frightfully tired”.
“Mmm, yes me too” she said; “I ordered some new contact lenses but I ordered the wrong ones and they’re actually making me tireder”
There was a pause.
I’m sorry; did she just say ‘tireder’? That can’t be right. Surely it’s ‘more tired’?
A few seconds passed.
“Do you know; I don’t think tireder is a word” she said, emphasising the ‘h’ in ‘word’.
Neither is ‘twattiest’, I thought to myself, but I think I’m going to use it anyway.
On the London Underground there were two black guys stood not too far away from me, both dressed virtually identically and both with shaved heads.
They weren’t travelling together, yet they had both hit the stereotype perfectly on the head with their choice of attire, hairstyle (or lack of) and the fact they were both sporting red Dr.Dre Beats headphones.
They were both casually bopping their heads to whatever they were listening to.
RnB or Hip Hop probably.
Is that a bit presumptive?
(Well, stereotypes exist for a reason).
We all got off the train and headed for the lift (elevator) to the surface, packed in tighter than a takeaway carton at a buffet.
The headphone twins both adopted the stereotypical swagger of someone with one leg shorter than the other, holding up their jeans with one hand and showing us too much underwear.
Like all lifts (elevators), it was deathly silent as we ascended, despite there being approximately 25 people in there. It was at this point I realised I could hear music coming from one of our ‘gangstas’.
In the silence I could make out what he was listening to.
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.
I must not think bad thoughts
I must not think bad thoughts
I must not think bad thoughts
There were some uncomfortably sweaty people on the train this morning.
-massive vocal yawn
-pig snort noises
Breathe in… !! Cough !! “Hwaraaaagh!!!!”
Breathe in… “MmmmMMMmmm”
These are the noises coming out of the mouth of the bouncy castle sized man sat across the aisle from me on the train.
I could be wrong; it could be his blowhole.
This morning, whilst walking to the office, my wife and I saw a man cross the road in front of a cyclist.
To be honest, he had plenty of time to cross the road before she reached him, but I think he knew she was coming and had decided to walk so painfully slow that the cyclist had to swerve, barely missing him.
Although it could never be proved, we all knew he was trying to demonstrate it was his right of way (which it wasn’t); forcing her to slow down (which she didn’t).
As she whizzed by he looked up and shouted “Fuck off!”
Without hesitation she replied “Charming!”
London…the friendliest city in the world.