It should’ve been plane and simple…

A few months ago my wife and I flew to the Spanish island of Majorca [or ‘Mallorca’] to attend my brother’s wedding. Well, it was also because we felt we had too much money in our bank account and a few grand just needed to go.

Majorca was such a close destination when I lived in the UK, and would entail a 3 hour flight and about 150 quid1 per person. From Las Vegas it was a 26 hour relay race of flights and fuckwits that cost around 2000 bucks2 per person.

Not the same.

Not even close.

Anyway, we couldn’t NOT go, so off we went. However, it wasn’t a journey we are ever likely to forget because so much went wrong.

(Whispers) SO much!

So come with me as I walk you through the levels of hell that Dante forgot about, and see just how undivine this comedy was.

Before I continue, I feel the need to introduce you to the concept of the ‘airport zombie’. These infuriating creatures are not dissimilar to the train zombies I used to write about so much, except these ones are dumber, slower and are found exclusively at airports.

Obviously.

These are people who choose to suddenly stop dead in their tracks so you have to do a weird little dance to avoid walking straight into the back of them. They turn in random directions without warning, shuffle around at the speed of stop, and generally show no sense of urgency as they meander about with their gaping faceholes open, sucking up all the oxygen and joy in the world.

So, back to our comedy.

It all started with our flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. This flight was very important because we would only have about 90 minutes at Los Angeles airport to connect with the crucial long haul international flight to Madrid.

So, naturally, it was delayed.

By 50 fucking minutes.

Oh, wait, no it was 30 minutes.

Wait, wait, my mistake…..45 minutes.

Nope, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Hang on, hang on…..50 minutes.

Sigh, I love airports.

This wasn’t a stressful start to the trip at all. In addition, there was NOWHERE airside at Las Vegas airport to change our currency from Dollars to Euros in the 50/30/45/80/50 minutes we suddenly had available to us. I mean, why would there be? After all, who needs to change currencies at an airport, of all places?

I later discovered there is a teeny tiny Bureau De Change by the arrivals gate…..landside! So you can change money when you fly into Las Vegas, but not when you fly out.

Regardless, once we arrived in Los Angeles we had to get to Tom Bradley International Terminal. The problem was, Tom Brady International Terminal was a clear 30 minutes away, and we had 20 minutes before our connecting flight departed.

Needless to say, we had to run.

Actually, it was more like a slalom because of all the fucking airport zombies.

I think my wife decapitated one of them with her handbag [purse]. She denies it to this day, but I know what I saw.

So proud of her.

So much blood.

Anyway, we finally made it – panting and sweating – to Ted Bundy International Terminal and joined the queue of shuffling airport zombies boarding the flight; we’d made it!

Still nowhere to change our money though. Just thought i’d mention that.

It was at this point that a couple with two young children had a ‘moment’ where one of their little darlings fell off her pushchair [stroller], hit her head on the floor, and then decided to scream blue bloody murder until the paramedics arrived on bicycles, halting the boarding of our flight.

I’m still not sure why boarding was stopped. They weren’t even in the queue for our flight!

Anyway, after putting an ice pack on the little cherub’s head and calming down her parents (who were being SO dramatic and somehow blaming everything BUT their child to the point where you’d have thought she had been shot3), we were allowed to continue boarding our flight.

Despite the failed acrobatics of the pint-sized twat of a banshee, our flight departed on time and I settled into my seat to read Ernest Cline’s bestseller, ‘Ready Player One’. I was excited because I LOVE the movie and was looking forward to finding out how much it differed from the book.

(Side note: It was a LOT different to the movie but I love them both for different reasons. Anyway, this isn’t a book review site, so I shall continue…)

No sooner had I opened the book, than the guy in front of me put his seat right back and put an end to it. Thankfully it was an 11 hour flight and our seats didn’t recline because we were in the last row at the back of the plane section.

We arrived in Madrid almost an hour late and we had about 30 minutes to reach our connecting flight. The word ‘run’ became very commonplace with my wife and I by the end of this journey.

So did the words ‘Get out of the way’, and ‘Fuck’.

We managed to FINALLY get off the plane after about 6 hours of waiting for more zombies to s-l-o-w-l-y pull their bags out of the overhead bins, and began the next leg of our run along the skybridge to the terminal. This was accompanied by shouts of ‘EXCUSE ME!’ and ‘SORRY, COMING THROUGH!’ from my wife and I, which parted most passengers, er, I mean zombies, like the red sea as we bolted along the narrow, enclosed walkway like a pair of deranged Moseses (Mosi?).

(shrugs)

Anyway, halfway along the skybridge we encountered two guys who were shuffling along at the speed of backwards, side by side and reluctant to move out of our way.

We KNOW they knew we were approaching because there was NO way they couldn’t hear us running up behind them, Moses-ing our way through the other considerate passengers who appreciated the stress and urgency of having to make a connecting flight.

My wife was able to get around them but, being a bigger guy, I lightly brushed one of these bell ends’ arm as I slipped past.

I didn’t think anything of it and continued running, until I heard one of them mutter something behind me.

Now, regular readers of my blog will know that I tend to internalise rage and frustration and then vent it all on here, instead of unleashing a verbal tirade at the person in the moment…but not this time; not after the flight we’d just had with 11 hours of non-reclining seats, no legroom and the inability to read my book.

I stopped in my tracks, whipped around and shouted “Well fucking MOVE then!” to the twat who was pointing to his arm and saying something in Spanish. I had literally brushed his arm with the lightest of lightest touches.

Being English, I would’ve normally apologised, but this time I wish i’d ripped his arm off so I had something to beat him with.

He tried to argue back, but a) I was bigger than him, and b)…..actually, a) was enough.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. He’s a poo head. Let’s move on.

Passport control at Madrid was a joke, with no discernible queues [lines] and no decent signage. Thankfully we weren’t all sweaty, irritable and hot. I asked one of the employees (I use the term VERY loosely) if she could get us to the front because we now had 20 minutes to catch our flight, and there were around 150 people in front of us.

She looked at me with her dead eyes and uttered the one word that soon became synonymous with Spain; “No”.

I pleaded with her, but she just looked at me deadpan and repeated that word again and again. Annoyingly, while we were ‘talking’, two guys pushed past us, ducked under the multitude of ropes holding back the zombies and went straight to the front and through passport control.

I pointed at the guys who had the sense to ask forgiveness than permission and said, “Hey, look! They just did it!”, but this prize winning jobsworth just looked at them, then back at me, shrugged, and said….

Well, you know what she said.

So we waited….and we waited….and finally made it through passport control.

This was followed by more running.

So much running.

We had about 8 minutes left.

We made it to the domestic departure terminal and…..no screens. We couldn’t find anything displaying flights, times, gates or anything. Plenty of stores and zombies, but no screens. With no airport staff available to shrug and tell us ‘No’, we asked the closest store clerk where the departure information was, and she pointed to the ceiling, showing a huge 50ft wide screen with flight information.

OK, so this isn’t the EXACT one, but it gives you an idea of how it looked…

‘What a great idea!’ I thought, until I realised that they were only using 30% of the screen, and they had important, time sensitive flight information displayed on a slow….rotating….basis….

Screen 1 of 5…..
Screen 2 of 5…..
Screen 3 of 5…..

OH COME ON!!!!!

Screen 4 of 5….

Yes, that’s our informa…

Screen 5 of 5…..

Wait, what? The screen info was on there for literally 3 seconds!

This was so frustrating because the remaining 70% of screen real estate was taken up with stupid animations of paper aeroplanes and fish in a pond. It was the biggest waste of space I’ve ever seen. Up until then, the record had been held by that prick on the skybridge.

After the departure information had scrolled through another 10 screens, we were able to glimpse our flight and gate number and continue our run.

There was STILL nowhere to change our currency by the way.

We finally made it onto our final flight, coughing and wheezing like a fat guy in a gym, and arrived in Majorca a couple of hours later.

But the adventure didn’t end there. Oh, no it didn’t….

While we waited for our baggage, I decided to try and find somewhere to change up our money because, weirdly, Spain doesn’t tend to accept US Dollars.

I found a currency exchange booth and, luckily, there was no-one in it. It looked open for business, but the person was either out to lunch, on a break or maybe they had gone home? Who knows?

After 10 minutes of over-the-top neck craning and other movements that suggested I was keen to change money, a young woman appeared with a coffee in her hand and a uniform that matched the booth. Awesome.

She looked over at me standing there and shot me a knowing wink as she slowly moseyed over to the booth and entering through the unlocked door. I should’ve done that myself.

She put down her coffee, calmly sat herself down behind the desk, and then smiled and asked if she could help me.

No apology, you’ll notice.

I wanted to sarcastically ask her for a Big Mac, fries and a large drink…but I didn’t want to risk pissing off the ONE and ONLY currency exchange employee I’d seen in the last 5800 miles.

As we were staying with family, we only took $700 with us, so I handed it over and she told me that all she could do was give me a 500 Euro note (as that was “all they had”) and some loose change; she didn’t have anything smaller, apparently.

What if I’d wanted to change a smaller amount of money?

Anyway, being fatigued and not wanting to argue, I agreed and went back to my wife who was waiting for our luggage.

But she wasn’t there…..because neither was our luggage. It was lost.

Great.

She’d been told to check a different baggage carousel, but guess what? Yep, it wasn’t there either.

Perfect.

I went over to the Iberia airline desk and told them the exciting news. They didn’t appear to be surprised at all as they handed me a form to fill out. They told me that IF it turns up, they will deliver it the next day.

We’ll see.

Thankfully that suitcase didn’t have all of our clothing (including wedding attire), toiletries, swimwear, and gifts for our nieces because that would’ve been disastrous.

However, at this point we had been travelling for almost 24 hours, so I just wanted to pick up our car hire and get through the one hour drive to the villa where our family was waiting for us.

So we took the vague instructions given to us by the car hire company and went looking for them. They were going to be at a small desk at the entrance to the car park [parking lot] on the 4th floor. Easy.

It took us about 30 minutes to find the area, and when we did…there was no sign of them or their small desk.

Now what?

Then I had a thought, ‘My family who had come from the UK had used the same car hire company, so why not use the airport wifi to call them and see if they can give us better directions?’

Genius.

No signal in the car park, naturally.

So, it was a 10 minute walk back to the airport to get a signal.

As soon as we had the vaguest of signals, we called our family and they gave us completely different directions. We followed those and another 10 minutes later we were at a completely different place with no car hire company representative, or desk, or anything.

We went BACK to the airport to try and call them again, but the wifi was so ropey that it was virtually impossible to talk to them.

Bear in mind, it was about the temperature of the sun with over 300% humidity and we had been awake for almost 24hrs, so we were feeling pretty good about all this.

Finally we asked an airport trolley attendant and he pointed us in the right direction…which was the same fucking place we went to in the first place; the 4th floor of the parking lot. However, this time we had the added bonus of being told to “look for a blue shirt”.

We saw the representative in a blue shirt – who had been waiting for us the whole time – and made a bee line for their desk. Well, actually, it was more of a shelf than a desk. I can’t fathom how we missed it before! Maybe their fucking instructions should fucking include to ‘look for a blue (fucking) shirt’?

Or, maybe assume the couple standing there, looking around like idiots, are your customers and maybe ask if they’re picking up a car?

No?

Common sense not on the agenda?

Maybe it was the lack of suitcase that confused them.

Anyway, by this time we’d been running around for an hour and exhaustion was slowly starting to seep in, so we filled in the paperwork, were handed the keys to the car, and given the parking ticket to exit the airport.

Yes, we were responsible for paying the parking charges.

Sigh, fine. Can we just go?

So we went down the escalators to the 3rd floor where the car was located, and found the car park ticket machine. I put the ticket in the slot followed by my credit card.

The machine didn’t accept my credit card.

I tried it again. Same result.

I tried a different credit card. Same result.

So we went back up the escalators to the 4th floor, and back to the car hire desk, er, I mean shelf.

We were told to use a different machine on another floor which took change. Thankfully we had a little bit of change because I suspected the machine wouldn’t take a 500 Euro note.

We paid the ticket fee and took the escalators back to the 3rd floor to locate our car. Luckily the row numbers were painted in a very light, translucent yellow paint on the white walls of the car park, so it was really challenging to find our car. What fun!

But, after about 15 minutes, we found it.

So far it had been an hour and a half since we exited the airport.

We loaded up the car with, oh, wait…that’s right, no luggage.

We got in the car, I inserted the key in the ignition and turned it.

Nothing happened.

The car wouldn’t start.

I tried again…..nothing.

So, with rage in my heart, I left my wife in the car and headed back to the 3rd floor shelf. Apparently you need to hold the clutch down WHILE you turn the key. This is a new thing for cars in Europe and maybe, just maybe it would’ve been nice to TELL US THIS….along with ‘look for a blue shirt’.

So I headed back to the car, started it and drove to the villa…26 hours after checking in at Las Vegas airport. Ironically, the part of the journey I thought would be a challenge, wasn’t.

The next morning, as you can imagine, we had to buy some temporary clothes while we waited for our luggage to arrive, so we headed into the tourist area of town to find something cheap and cheerful. But guess what? Yes, that’s right, nowhere would accept a 500 Euro note, so it turned out we had too much money to shop there.

Not to worry, a local bank will change our money.

Nope. They wouldn’t change our money either as it was 11:38am when we got to the bank and they only perform banking transactions between 8am and 11am. At least, I think that’s what the woman in the bank was tersely barking at me in Spanish.

Then why…..THE FUCK…..were they still open? We would’ve offered to go back the next day, but it was the weekend and they would be closed.

Woo hoo!

So we had to borrow money from family, who had less money on them than we did! Worryingly, we couldn’t even put fuel in the car!

We did eventually get the money changed at a local hotel the next day, and I shed a small tear.

But there is a silver lining to this tale (well, more of a brown one); our suitcase finally arrived….the day after the wedding.

So that was nice.

1 – Slang for Pounds, like ‘Bucks’
2 – Slang for Dollars, like ‘Quid’
3 – It can be arranged

Oxymorons

This morning, as I drove up to the gym, I noticed several cars circling the car park (parking lot) like sharks.

I soon realised they were looking for spaces that were as close to the gym entrance as possible. 

These people were actually trying to avoid having to walk too far. Now, I could understand this behaviour if it was raining or the zombie apocalypse was upon us, but this is Las Vegas; it’s nothing but sunshine and blue skies. 

It’s a hard life.

What makes it more ridiculous is the fact that I saw these pillocks 20 minutes later clocking up miles on the treadmill.

Still, at least these cretins didn’t get my space right by the entrance.

Result.

Expect the expected

Here’s a post I haven’t been able to post due to switching computers at work and technology was acting like a Cuban Airport Employee.

Well, I’ve managed to retrieve the file before launching the old machine through the air, and the window, into the street.

Here it is.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Yesterday I went to the cinema to see ‘Star Trek: Beyond‘.

It was awesome by the way.

I had booked my ticket1 online, which meant downloading the app (because mobile sites usually suck dick), finding the closest ‘Galaxy’ cinema to me, selecting my movie, selecting my preferred time and choosing my seat.

Pretty standard stuff. At every step of the way I had all the information I needed available to me; 2D, 3D, Dbox, Dolby Atmos, IMAX, movie rating and full running time.

(2 hours and 2 minutes, in case you were wondering).

Now, the ‘Galaxy’ cinema chain do an awesome thing before each and every movie; a member of staff stands at the front of the auditorium and announces the following to everyone:

  1. What film they’re here to see (because some people are that stupid).
  2. How to use the recliner seats (because some people are that stupid).
  3. What the running time of the movie is.
  4. If there’s anything to see after the credits.
  5. If anyone uses their phone or is distracting during the movie, they will be kicked out.
  6. Sit back and enjoy the movie

I have to thank Galaxy cinemas for numbers 4 and 5. These are little touches I would implement if I owned a cinema chain, except theirs have fewer snipers.

Anyway, as the staff member was going through his repertoire, he reached number 3 and announced the film was just over 2hours in length. At this point there was an audible groan from almost everyone in the theatre.

Double-U, Tee, Eff?

I couldn’t believe it. What were people expecting?

This isn’t 1985 anymore; movies aren’t a standard 90 minutes in length. In fact, ‘Back To The Future‘ was released in 1985 and that piece of excellence is still a cool 2 hours in length.

Some2 people get on my tits.

There would have been outrage if we had been told the movie was 45 minutes in length. If anything, I wanted the movie to be 4 hours long for the price I paid!

I would certainly not be setting my phaser to stun.

khaaaan!

1 Yes, singular. Want to make something of it?

2 Most

No offense. Oh….wait….

As some of you will know, the over-censorship of media and entertainment in America really pisses me off.

I’m not a child.  I can handle the word ‘fuck’ in a movie filled with uncensored (and apparently child friendly) blood, gore, guts and violence.

Well, this morning as I drove into work I heard censorship on the radio that pushed censorship (and me) to the next level.

It happened during the song, ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ by Panic At The Disco; it’s a great song with an incredibly catchy chorus.

The beginning of that chorus goes:

‘I chime in with a “Haven’t you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door?!”

No, it’s much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poise and rationality’.

Guess which word was censored?

Yep, that’s right, the word ‘Goddamn’ was censored. The irony of that second line of lyrics was most definitely lost here.

I love this song, but the joy of singing along was ruined.

You see, in America religion is a big deal and it’s so easy to offend people.  I knew this was the case before coming in, but I had no idea it was this bad.  The phrase “went to church” comes up in more conversations than I’m comfortable with and a lot of my new friends here in the States are very religious.

This is something I have tended to find out when they casually mention going to church or they post something ‘God-ish’ on Facebook.  When this happens I get a real sense of dread because I have to think back over every conversation we’ve ever had.

Did I say something blasphemous or offensive?

Have I made jokes about God or Jesus?

Did I sacrifice that goat in front of them?

In fact, not 10 minutes ago, this very subject came up at work (not instigated by me, I hasten to add) and one of my colleagues said, “I swear a lot.  I use ‘Fuck’, ‘Shit’, ‘Asshole’ and all that, but if I use GD or JC, then you KNOW I’m pissed!”.

It took me a moment to figure out what she meant by GD and JC.  She couldn’t even bring herself to say the words.

To her, saying ‘God Damn’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ is worse than saying ‘Fuck’.

What the Goddamn?

Is it me, or does that seem a bit fucked…er, I mean, ‘Jesus-Christed’ up?  This would go some way towards explaining why the word ‘Goddamn’ was edited out of the song this morning.

A few months ago I said ‘Goddamn it’ at work and got told to watch my language.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was being scolded like a 7 year old by a woman I have heard swear numerous times.

I’ve even started to replace “Oh my God” with “Oh my goodness”.  I hate that I’ve started doing this.

But people here are way too sensitive, and the entertainment business knows this.  Out of fear of being sued,they’re pandering to the masses by censoring the shit out of television.

Unless the customer is paying for it of course.

Netflix anyone?

Nothing on Netflix is censored and I hear it’s a popular service[1].

So, is America OK with bad language, blasphemy and sexual content when they’re charged a premium?  Apparently so.

My wife pays a yearly subscription for something called XM radio in her car.  It’s pricey, but there’s little to no censorship.  It really expands the selection of music they play as they can air otherwise unplayable tracks and, being a premium service, there are no Goddamn, Jesus Christing commercials.

When it comes to TV, the UK have it right with censorship.  Everything is the same as the US until 9pm.  Well, I SAY it’s the same, but that’s not strictly true; they don’t play violent action movies on a Sunday afternoon when kids can see it.  But apparently it’s OK for kids to see heads being chopped off and people being riddled with bullets, as long as there’s no sign of a nipple or someone saying ‘Goddamn it’.

violent tv kids

At 9pm (or the ‘watershed’ as it’s called) it is assumed that your delicate little snowflakes are all tucked up in bed.  After that, it’s the parents’ responsibility to manage what their kids watch.

At 9pm, all bets are off.  The only word that is bleeped out is the word ‘Cunt’.

Sorry; ‘the C word’.

After 9pm, TV is for adults and if you’re easily offended, change the channel.

blasphemy

 

[1] Sarcasm, in case you didn’t realise it.

Mis-carriage

This morning the much coveted front carriage of the train was inaccessible and the doors weren’t working.

It is much coveted because the exit at London Victoria station is at the front and saving ourselves an extra few metres at the end of the journey is just SO important.

As a small group of us collected by the door, the allocated ‘pusher of the door button’ (which is never discussed or agreed, but still the responsibility somehow falls to one person and never disputed) started prodding away only to find that nothing was happening.

The driver had to lean out of the window and tell us, as we continued to stand there watching the ‘pusher of the door button’ moronically repeat her duty over and over, that the carriage was out of order due to a broken window and we’ll have to use the carriage behind it.

That would explain all the yellow and black striped tape covering the window. I was actually looking forward to it blocking out the sun to be honest.

There was the slightly squelchy noise as all eyes rolled in unison before we grudgingly, but with a slightly awkward walk/run, made our way to carriage number two.

What was interesting*, as I took my seat, was the fact that my fellow commuters then tried to access the front carriage from the inside, moaning and tutting when the doors were inevitably locked. It was almost as if the train company KNEW they were going to attempt that.

Clever train company; they thought of everything.

Asking these creatures of habit to find a seat in a different carriage is like asking a man to stop touching his penis or a woman to change her mind.

Possible, but not without a little drama and upset.

You know when a dog takes forever to pick where they want to lay down, and then when they do eventually make a decision they circle and circle and circle until they either finally lay down or get shouted at to lay the fuck down?

It’s the same with commuters.

image

*fucking annoying

Crapham’s junction box

The guard on the train has just announced that we will not be stopping at Clapham Junction because the station has had a power cut and the lights aren’t working.

It doesn’t affect me but it clearly affects half the carriage as they all let out a very angry and very audible sigh, in perfect unison.

To be honest, I’m now feeling a little faint from the sudden increase in carbon dioxide.

Granted it’s almost 7pm and its starting to get dark, but as we passed through Clapham Junction it was sumptuously lit up by surrounding houses and street lamps.

Apparently the closure is for health and safety reasons.

I’ve just seen the guard lock himself away for the exact same reasons.

image

Piss de resistance

Regular readers of my blog will remember I once ranted about automated doors and their ability to hinder the actual act of opening a door.

For those new to my blog, or those with the memory of a man under investigation for allegedly having sex with a goat, you’ll find the entry here.

Following on from this, I had another choice encounter.

Last night as I left the office, I paused for a moment as I could feel that slight tickle in my bladder suggesting there was a piss in my very near future.  I was running late and, as it only takes about 20 minutes to get to Victoria station, I decided against draining the main vein until I was on the train home. 

I could wait 20 minutes.

Fortunately, having walked for about 3 minutes towards the underground station, my tickle turned into a dull ache.  Having consumed a litre and a half of squash in the last 45 minutes of the day I knew my bladder was not going to be filling up slowly.

I‘m now not sure I could wait 20 minutes.

I negotiated the shuffling morons, ticket barriers, escalators, platforms, trains and countless cases, bags and bell-ends to make it to Victoria station; by which time my bladder was really starting to hurt.

I walked as fast as I could to the platform where my 12 carriage toilet would be waiting.  Unfortunately, ‘as fast as I could’ wasn’t very fast at all considering my bladder felt like it had swelled to the size of a small baby screaming for its mummy.  If the station hadn’t been so noisy I would’ve been reported to Child Services.

I made it to the last set of barriers and was held up by some dickhead with a suitcase who couldn’t activate the barrier with his ticket AND walk forward with his suitcase at the same time.  These skills appeared to be interchangeable, but not combinable.  Interestingly it was the opposite with my foot and his arse.

My bladder shouted at me to use a different barrier and we were through.  I walked to my platform like a wounded soldier on the battlefield and there in front of me was my train; my beautiful, beautiful train.  What a magnificent sight.  Tears were welling up in my eyes…at least I think they were tears.  Are tears yellow?

I was starting to feel a little nervous at this point because a single knock from an arm swinger or one of the countless idiots I commute with and I would’ve basically unleashed yellow hell in my trousers.

I desperately scanned each carriage as I ‘walked’ down the platform; slaloming the directionless cretins who had just vacated the very train I was boarding.

There!  A carriage with a toilet!

It was one of those automated toilets with the big curved door, but it would have to do.  I frantically pressed the ‘open door’ button as I was beginning to tremble and sweat urine.  The door started to rumble open at the speed of a tired sloth walking uphill through treacle whilst carrying a piano and wearing flippers.

As soon as the door had opened wide enough for me to fit through, I slipped inside.  For the uninitiated, there are three buttons inside the cubicle that read ‘open door’, ‘close door’ and ‘lock door’.  I pressed the button to close the door but it seemed the automated system hadn’t finished opening it and therefore I had to wait.

And wait.

It’s a big ol’ door.

Finally the door finished opening and I pressed the button again to close it.  Well, I say ‘pressed’; it was more like ‘jabbed it 74 times in about 6 seconds’.  The door then started to trundle slowly shut.  It was slow.  I mean REALLY slow.

It’s a big ol’ door.

Who fucking designed this?  In fact, who fucking decided we needed an automated door on a toilet in the first place?  It only serves to slow us down at a time when we’re probably in a hurry, like running away from zombies, hiding from the ticket inspector or….dare I say….needing the fucking toilet!  Plus, being automated, we’re always left a little nervous that the door will suddenly and unexpectedly open of its own accord.  Not what any of us want to experience, or see.

Also, these automated cubicles are massive.  You could easily fit two normal cubicles in the same space.  Two normal cubicles with two normal doors that open and close normally; and quickly.

Eventually the door came to rest and I pressed the ‘lock’ button whilst unsuccessfully attempting to open my fly.  I was shaking so much from the pain that I resembled a person with Parkinson’s disease trying to thread a needle.

Finally I managed to free the beast and I did indeed unleash yellow hell. 

Without going into too much detail, it felt like I was pissing out my soul.  I could literally feel my body temperature drop and I believe I may have let out an “Oh yeah” at some point, but it’s unconfirmed. 

It was emotional.

As I’ve said before, I bet Captain Kirk didn’t have to put up with this shit whenever he wanted to use the toilet.

(Insert Captain’s Log joke here)

i need to pee dog

Holy shit

I tend to avoid certain subjects in my blog because amongst all the talk of mindless idiots, insufferable twats, shit, piss and vomit; I wouldn’t want to offend anyone now would I?

One of these ‘off limit’ subjects has been religion.

If you’re particularly religious or easily offended, I suggest not reading any further. There are some opinions in here that may upset you and it’s probably best to just go about your day and maybe pray for me if that makes you feel better.

However, If you’re reading this sentence you’re either not a religious person or you’re lying about it, in which case you’ve broken the 9th commandment and you’re going to hell.

As you can probably tell, I’m not religious man.

Although I do actually respect others’ rights to believe whatever they want; God, Allah, Buddha, The Wizard of Oz, Aslan the lion etc, but what really pisses me off are those narrow minded types who impose their beliefs onto those who aren’t in their club, er I mean their gang, no, their cult….damn it; religion! I mean their religion!

Sorry, I always get those mixed up.

There are those out there who take their faith to unnecessary levels. These are the deluded fools who stand outside abortion clinics with rosary beads, pictures of sad children and babies, handing out cards to any women walking in, walking by or simply owning a vagina.

I actually see these misguided morons with vacant faced smiles every day between the tube station and the office and every day I’m tempted to say something especially when I see them attempt to ‘help’ a woman walking into the clinic, or some young girl with her mother. Is this right? Is this holy and just?

Is it fuck.

There are a lot of reasons why a woman would choose to terminate a pregnancy; maybe the condom broke, maybe the baby isn’t growing properly and won’t survive full term, maybe she’s too young or not ready. And what if she’s a rape victim? Sorry to be so blunt, but what if?

One thing is for certain, it’s not an easy decision to make and it takes a lot of courage to walk into a clinic like that. It’s likely to be a very emotional time, so the last thing they need is judgement from a wool wearing twat who smells of mothballs and biscuits.

It’s simply not fair.

I’m not a cruel person, but I’d love to walk up to one of these woollen wankers whilst holding an open box full of knitting needles and ask, “Where do you want these medical supplies?”

This is just to see their reaction. I want to see if they lose their (holy) shit!

In fact, thinking about it, let’s look at it from another angle. We don’t see fashionably dressed people stood outside maternity clinics with pictures of happy and childfree couples, complimentary cigarettes and beer and handing out free coat hangers to every pregnant woman going in. So why is this somehow ok?

Although I will say they are stood out there every day. In the morning when I walk to the office, there they are. When I walk to the station in the evening, there they are. They’re doing what they feel is right. They believe they are fighting the good fight and they will never back down or give up.

Except today.

Today was raining.

holyshit

Let me clear my throat

I wake up most mornings between 6am and 6:45am, depending on whether my alarm clocks (plural) do an effective job at waking the dead.  I tend to leave the house around 7:15am and suffer the tedious commute into London every day by train.

You may have noticed.

I navigate the multidirectional London crowds, endure the hot and sweaty tube (which is the London Underground and not the duty of a bored housewife), walk the streets of London and arrive at work around 8:55am.  When I say “Good morning” to the girls behind reception I clear my throat beforehand because it’s usually the first time i’ve spoken that day.

Well, this morning whilst crammed on the tube I had a woman fall into me when the train stopped abruptly.  She turned to me, somehow surprised that Newton’s law of motion had actually applied to her despite not securing her footing or holding onto a pole like the rest of us, and apologised.

Without thinking, and without throat clearage, I said “that’s alright” in what has to be the best Mickey Mouse impersonation I think i’ve ever heard.

Bollocks.

don_t-look

A post post post.

Tonight I had to collect a package from the post office that couldn’t be delivered to my house.

I can only assume it was too large to fit through my letterbox, or the postman is a complete bastard.

It could go either way.

Anyway, I was stood in line waiting to collect my parcel when a short fat guy in a shirt and tie came in and almost immediately started talking to the slim and pretty girl in the queue behind me.

“Hello stranger!”, he said.

“Oh hi, how are you?”, she replied in a tone that suggested she knew him from work but didn’t really socialise with him, possibly because they’re in different departments, but probably because she just didn’t want to.

“I’m good thanks, how are things?”, he continued.

“Yeah good, good”.
Pause.
“So how’s things?”

Which is pretty much the same question she asked the first time around.

“Yeah,  you know; picking up a parcel”, he said, waving his post office slip.

“Me too” said the girl.

What were the chances they’d both be picking up parcels!? I mean, here; of all places!!?

Anyway, there was a short pause that lasted an eternity before she broke the silence.

“The weather’s been lovely hasn’t it?”

“Yeah it’s been really good”, he said enthusiastically; “really nice”.

And that was it.  They didn’t utter a single word again.

Awkward.

image

By the way, the parcel WAS small enough for my letterbox.

Git.

Mutton grumble…

This evening at Victoria station could have been described as bedlam. Or, alternatively, bat shit crazy with a massive dose of dumb fuckery.

Basically there had been a power cut and the electronic display boards (that tell the sheep which platform their train will be departing from) weren’t working properly. By this I mean they were ON, but not displaying anything except ‘please listen for announcements’; a big issue for display boards methinks.

I soon realised this when I’d spied a small, aggressive, uniformed woman stood at the front of the bleating flock with far too much power and a megaphone.

Despite this, a lot of the sheep were still stood under the undisplaying boards,  looking up with dead eyes and mouths agape,  expecting the magic orange words to change from ‘please listen for announcements’ to which platform they needed to be herded to.  A lot of them were drooling.

Baa….

I stood amongst the dumb flocks and waited for little Miss Megaphone to point us in the right direction. She kept talking into her radio and I wondered if she was calling in a couple of sheepdogs in high vis jackets to get the masses to their platforms. Maybe the megaphone was reserved for whistles and the occasional “good boy!”.

I hoped so.

Alas, she pointed it at the crowd, pressed the trigger and cleared her throat. The old woman next to her jumped so hard her teeth fell out.

Ok, not quite…but she could’ve cleared her throat quietly BEFORE using the amplification qualities of this vocal menace.

*KRRKT!*
“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!”
*KRRKT!*

A few of the sheep looked down from the undisplays, closed their mouths and wiping away their drool to focus on what she had to say.

*KRRKT!*
“PLEASE BE AWARE THAT DUE TO A POWER CUT EARLIER TODAY THE BOARDS ARE NOT DISPLAYING ANY PLATFORM INFORMATION… !”
*KRRKT!*

She then began to list off all the upcoming trains and their platforms. A lot of the sheep amazingly ignored her and looked back up at the undisplay boards, resuming their open mouthed drooling.  The floor was becoming shiny.

Baa…

*KRRKT!*
“THE HORSHAM TRAIN WILL BE DEPARTING FROM PLATFORM 17”

“Excuse me” interrupted a small woman.

*KRRKT!*
“YES?”

“Aargh!”

“Sorry… yes?”

“Is this the Horsham train?”, asked the woman pointing to platform 17.

“Yes it is.”, said the unamplified harbinger of trains.

“Thankyou”.  As she trotted off I saw her ask another guard which train was stood at platform 17.

Brilliant.

If it’s not displayed in orange and black then the seed of doubt starts to grow. What is wrong with people? Are we that reliant on technology that we don’t trust a person? Who do you think supplies the (un)display boards with information in the first place? R2-fucking-D2?

Typically my train was the only one running late. This resulted in more blank, drooling stares at the boards as if somehow the megaphoned harpy or the constant audio announcements were somehow misinformed.

Baa…

Finally my train was announced and the flock surged forward, being filtered through the barriers like sheep through a dip.

Baa…

Some of us slipped.

image

I Queue Test

This morning I woke up at 06:52am.  This is a problem when you need to be out of the house at 07:15am and I still needed to have a shower, shave, brush my teeth, style my hair, get dressed and make myself some lunch.  It’s also a little concerning as my alarm clocks (yes, clocks; plural) go off around 6am.  Oops.

If the house had been on fire and I was under attack from ninjas I still wouldn’t have moved as fast as I did when I realised the time.  I was quick.  Very quick.  At one point I passed a Coyote in a slingshot holding an anvil.

I made it out of the house at 07:18am.  Not bad.

Meep meep!

I then drove at breakneck speed to the station.  Well, it was at a speed that made me want to break the neck of the bell-end driving the car in front of me at 21 miles per hour.

I finally made it to the station with about 3 minutes to spare and I was faced with a decision; buy my weekly ticket now, or at London Victoria.  Hmm….

There was a dithering twat of a woman at the ticket office, laughing that she “simply can’t find my purse in here! Ha ha ha!”

Ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HA HA!!!!  Hilarious.  No really, please continue.  Take your time.  I can’t get enough of your cripplingly funny shit. 

So I thought, fuck it; I’ll buy my ticket at Victoria. 

The train pulled in, I got on, sat down and revelled in watching the dithering twat almost miss the train.  She made it.  Shame.

The journey was the usual social scene; complete silence whilst staring at a small screens and desperately trying to ignore the annoying fucker talking on her phone.  In fact, it was this annoying fucker…..http://headinablender.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/blooble-fabwa-sibbladoo/

I really have to pick a different carriage….or just punch her in the face.

We finally pulled into London Victoria and I made my way to the ‘customers needing to pay additional fares’ desk.  It should be called ‘customers who tried to pull a fast one, realised there were automated gates and now have to reluctantly pay for a ticket which they will say was from the station just before Victoria’.

I shamefully joined the queue of people like we were waiting outside the headmaster’s office, feeling the judging eyes of all the other commuters as they passed by.  The people in front of me were taking forever to buy their tickets which I thought was odd.  It then dawned on me pretty fucking quickly that they weren’t simply buying excess fares.  No, they were haggling for the cheapest way of paying for the journey they’ve just done. 

No rush folks, I don’t have a job to get to.

The woman commuter at the desk had a ticket for off peak travel and hadn’t realised it wouldn’t let her through the barriers at 08:30am in the morning, in central London, on a Monday.  I could see her confusion.  This is the sort of woman who needs to ensure her Vagisil and Colgate are kept in separate rooms.

“I didn’t realise I couldn’t use this ticket”.  Yes you did, now fuck off.

She continued to argue this for a good two or three minutes, as if somehow it would change the circumstances.  At this rate we were going to hit off peak travel times.  This could’ve been incredibly frustrating if you were someone worried about being late for work.  Not me though, I had aaaaaaaaall the time in world.

The guy that followed her wasn’t any better.

“I’ve come from Gatwick, but I’m here to see my brother, so I need to get to Kensington, but my ticket from Gatwick was a staff ticket, so I need the cheapest ticket to see him and then I’ll be coming back, but that will be today, but tomorrow I’m with my brother at his flat, so do I need an oyster card?  I basically need to get back, but the ticket I’ve got isn’t valid on the times I need to be out of my brother’s place”.

I’m sorry, what?

The massive Nigerian train guard behind the glass looked right through this little man with a stare that sat somewhere between utter contempt and not giving a shit.  It was a beautifully crafted look and one I plan to master myself.  He clearly gets this kind of idiocy all the time.

Where’s that dithering twat from earlier?  I’m feeling a bit punchy.

People Waiting In Line

Wax off

I was sat on the train for a mere 10 seconds when I heard a sound in front of me that caught my attention.

It was a fast paced squelchy noise that sounded like a furiously masturbating gibbon. Or at least how I imagined an intensely self indulging primate may sound,  IF that was something I’d try to imagine.

Which I wouldn’t.

Because that would be weird.

So I looked around to see what was causing it, hoping not to see an ape having a tug, furious or otherwise.

There, sat two seats in front of me, was a large man who resembled a massive shaved orangutan (Ooh, I nearly called it with gibbon!). He had his little finger in his ear and was doing that fast paced jiggling action that could be either an attempt to scratch an itch that’s further down the canal than he could reach,  or an earful of water.

The sound of monkey wank suggested the latter. I HOPED It was the latter, otherwise what was causing all that squelch?

So I watched him as he was really going for it and his size suggested it was the most exercise he’d had in, well, ever.

After a vigorous and very audible squelching he pulled out his little finger and looked at it.

What is he…?

Oh no.

No.

Don’t do it.

Please don’t do it!

– sniff –

He did it.

Yuck.

image

Catch me if you can

I saw something this evening that was both amusing and adorable.

Let me start with a question…

If you saw an article of clothing fall out of a stranger’s rucksack as they walked by and they hadn’t noticed,  would you pick it up and run after them?

I think most people would.

I would.

Well that’s exactly what I saw happen this evening as I was walking to the tube station. Only, on this occasion the stranger was a London jogger.

For the uninitiated, a London jogger tends to be quicker than a regular jogger. This evolution of speed has adapted itself over the years so the LJ can nimbly negotiate the cruel and unrelenting London traffic (and the types of dawdling twats you only get on the pavements of this fine city) like Lycra clad urban ninjas.

So anyway,  this jogger ran by and something fell out of her rucksack onto the floor.  The LJ hadn’t noticed and continued running.

A woman bent down, picked up the scarf type item and called out to the LJ,  but she couldn’t hear through the music she was listening to on her headphones.

“This will be interesting”, I thought.

I slowed down, naturally.

The woman then decided to run after the LJ waving this article of clothing as if somehow the flapping of material would create enough breeze to alert the runner.

It didn’t.

I looked away briefly to cross the road as I didn’t want to get hit by a car (I’m no urban ninja) and when I looked back she was still running after the LJ, a further 50 metres up the street!  You’ve got to respect her resilience!

She finally caught up with the runner,  handed her the scarf (or whatever it was) and then proceeded to bend over and pant like a knackered dog.  The LJ was rubbing her back and saying what looked like “are you ok?”

It’s moments like these that lift my spirits; not only because it’s funny,  but because it renews my faith in people.

That is until I encounter the inevitable pricks on the tube.

image

Epic rail fail

I’ve just seen a guy miss his train.

Was he running late, or dashing like a madman? No, he was actually early.

He was stood on the platform, headphones in his ears and reading the morning paper; positioned right at the very end of the platform, presumably to get on at the front of the train.

The train pulled in, everyone got on and the train pulled out. The thing is, the train had pulled in about 20 feet short of where he was standing, so he hadn’t seen or heard it.

He was about to.

As the train started to leave it trundled slowly past him. It was at this point he put the newspaper under his arm and prepared himself to board. It had then dawned on him this train wasn’t slowing down, it was speeding up.

He looked around, checking the boards, glaring at his watch and strutting around frantically as if it was somehow someone else’s fault.

No mate,  you really did just stand there like a twat and watch it leave all by yourself.

I think I may have seen one of the passengers waving at him.

Fantasy Vs. Reality – Part 3

I’ve noticed that people who wear headphones fall into two very distinct camps; those who just sit there listening to the music, and those who dance.  Now, when I say dance, I don’t mean literally strutting their funky stuff in the street or outside public toilets (those people are in a completely different camp of their own, complete with high gates and heavy medication).

No, I’m referring to those who move ever so slightly to the music; either slaloming their head from side to side for R&B, or nodding along to rock like they’re sucking off an ant.  If you look closely enough it’s often possible to see them mouthing the words.  I don’t mean full on singing; just mouthing.  The ones who sing are mentally unhinged and need avoiding at all costs. 

I had one of these singing idiots in a gym once; just him and me.  He was lifting these heavy weights and grunting (as you do), and then in between sets he was singing tonelessly along to something in a high drawn out wailing voice.  It was like working out with Moby fucking Dick.

The last two words there were intentional.

But back to the dancing…

Being a headphone user myself I fall into the ‘dancer’ category.  I often find myself moving my head to the ‘riddim’ and occasionally mouthing the words.  I’m even guilty of walking along the pavement in time to the music like some obnoxious musical, half expecting those around to suddenly fall in behind me for a big dance number.

Why do I do this?  What do I think I look like? 

Actually, I think I look cool. 

People look at me and I can see they’re thinking “Wow, that guy really knows his music, and he’s got rhythm.   Look, he even knows the words.  He’s SO cool”.  I’m cultured, hip and simply awesome.

However, when other people do it they look like total pricks.

Weird.

sing

Chew chew train

I was on the train this morning, minding my own business and sending messages on my phone and generally living in my own happy little world.

The train pulls into some station or another, and this guy boards and plonks himself down in the seat next to me.

After about 10 minutes I’m aware, from the corner of my eye, that he’s watching me type out my messages!  Cheeky fucker.

I own a Galaxy Note 2 which is like having an LCD TV in your pocket, so it’s massive and it’s difficult not to look at it when someone whips it out…a lot like the camera crew on the set of ‘massive dongs’.

He was also furiously biting his nails, so all I could hear was the occasional loud click when he’d chipped a piece away, accompanied by heavy nostril breathing on his fingers.  What was even more unnerving was the fact he wasn’t spitting any of them out (which in itself is disgusting), so this meant he was consuming them.

Basically, to him, this was the commuting version of watching a subtitled film whilst munching popcorn.

I started to wonder what his reaction would be if I started typing stuff specifically for him to read, like…

  • ‘The piece of shit arsehole next to me on the train is watching me type. What a fucking twat LOL’
  • ‘Yes babe, I have my penis out under my jacket, wanna photo?’
  • ‘I’ve just peed myself and I can feel it running down my leg. The seat is getting warmer.’
  • ‘I really fancy this guy next to me, i’m going to touch him the next time the train jerks to the side’
  • ‘I’m just getting my knife out now. I’m going to do it right now.’

I needed to do something; his breath was starting to smell like burned hair.

textrage

BLOOBLE FABWA SIBBLADOO

It’s my first day back in the office after a bank holiday weekend. Alas, I worked Saturday and Sunday but was able to do so from home.  This was great because I got to email and generate reports whilst only wearing pants and maybe a sock. Strangely it’s frowned upon when I do that in the office.

So this morning I am back on a train heading towards London, contemplating a much needed nap.  Then, out of nowhere, a young woman gets on and sits practically next to me talking… sorry… TALKING into her phone at great speed, without breaks or punctuation, in a language I don’t recognise.

That’s annoying.

If you’re going to disturb me and keep me awake at least have the decency to let me have a narrative I can mock you with.  Instead all I have is “CHAMBO LAPAMOOPOO DIBIDO BICHEDOOFIBBLE CHOOMA WOPPY BADUMOPA LIPU”

Hmm, pick the bones out of that one Dan….

It’s ok, i can still sleep through this. I CAN sleep through this.

“WABBADONG CHIBLOFANTA MISA BILOP PLOBBLE”

Come on Dan, you can sleep through this…..(eye starts to twitch)

“BAMSA FOOGLIN JIBBY JOBTOSH BIDDYBUDCHIMCHANG”

After a couple more stations of this shit, the door opens and….oh fuck, it’s the dipstick from my previous blog http://headinablender.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/suited-and-unmuted/ who decides to sit right in front of me.

I wonder if stripping to my pants and sock will make them fuck off and let me sleep? 

Let’s find out….

RahRah