Tuesday 26 April 2011

Happy Easter

One of my parents is essentially Christian, and I received some "Religious Education" at school, so I should be able to remember the stories attached to Easter. Jesus died on the cross in agony like a mortal man, I'm confident of that much. I'm pretty sure that he had a direct line to his dad and could have just said "bugger this" and gone home, calling forth terrible retribution if he'd felt like it. Where I get hazy is his motivation. It was either to atone for the sins of all mankind, or so that the people of Europe would get a four day weekend, and cinnamon-spiced fruit buns for breakfast.

Important further reading:


Richard "theology B

Monday 18 April 2011

Swimming Pool

I know that some of you positively look forward to my lottery emails, and expect some enlightening or entertaining paragraph about my weekend. Well this weekend nothing interesting happened. I washed my car, did the hoovering, changed the bed linen, and worked on a couple of guitars. I did go to the cinema to see "Sucker Punch" to which I was completely indifferent. My only lasting impression is that whoever made it must have seen "Pan's Labyrinth" and said "well that was good, but what it was missing was a load of good looking young women in short skirts with samurai swords and machine guns doing battle with fantastical CGI monsters.

I was reminded of something that happened several years ago when I was staying at my mum's house in Plymstock. A woman knocked at the door carrying a bucket.
"Hello - I'm collecting for the Plymstock swimming pool"
"Err, do you want me to go and run that under the tap for you?" I asked.
"No, I'm collecting money for the Plymstock swimming pool" she said rattling the coins in the bucket.
"Really? I didn't think there was a pool in Plymstock"
"That's the whole point, we want to build one"
"Brilliant" I said wracking my brains for somewhere in an expensive and sought after suburb they could fit a pool. "Where's is going to be?"
"Well we haven't actually identified a suitable site, that's one of the things we need money for"
I gave her some money and went back to the lounge and explained to my parents that there had been a crazy woman at the door collecting for a swimming pool that didn't exist, and didn't even have a proposed location. It turns out that my mum has lifetime membership to the same completely notional swimming pool.
Anyway the Plymstock swimming pool committee celebrated its 18th birthday last week, or as I charitably think of it, 18 consecutive years of failure.

Richard "nothing to report" B

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Silver crowd surfers

I've been to a few concerts with different age groups in the audience. In the mid 90's I drove to Cardiff to see the original line-up Monkees. We were split about 50/50 between drunk students/twenty-somethings and little old ladies. A few years later I found myself amongst the old folks. I saw Muse at the pavilions when I was about 27, apart from me, Fast Eddie, and somebody's dad it was completely full of children, most of whom weren't old enough to use the bar.

This weekend I saw The Undertones on their 35th anniversary tour. They haven't stopped playing and touring since the first wave of punk in the late 70s, and they were fantastic. Half of the crowd were too young to remember it first time round, and the other half were in their early 50s. It was the balding, greying, and middle-aged-spreading fans who knew how to enjoy themselves. They were the ones who pushed their way to the front, they were the ones who drank like fishes, danced, pogoed, pushed and shoved, and who were bedraggled and running with sweat. When I see someone carried aloft by the crowd I usually think 'whatever's just fallen out of your pockets - you're never going to get that back' and 'don't you think these people would rather be watching the show than trying to support your weight'. On Saturday I found myself thinking 'sombody's going to get properly hurt - oh hell, I'm probably the soberest fist aider here'
Richard "teenage kicks" B

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Date Report 8


  Academy of Training Certificate of Education
APRIL 2011         BASIC LEVEL

Subject Title:  Love and Relationships
Paper No/Title:  Passes and First Dates
Subject Code No: DATEREPORT8

Forty Five Minutes
Multiple Choice

Answer every question by marking the letter alongside the most appropriate answer.
Some questions have already been answered correctly to help you.

1) Man R approaches woman A in a bar and attempts to make a date by explaining that he doesn't have enough time to spend chatting, flirting and buying her drinks, but instead asks outright if she would ring him. Does this demonstrate:
  • A Charming Honesty
  • B Stupidity
  • C Drunkenness
  • D Therminic emmission
2) Woman A is sitting on a stool in a public bar wearning full makeup, a short and well fitted dress and heavily patterned fishnet tights. Man R steps completely out of character to approach her. Is he attracted by:
  • A Her legs
  • B Her implied personality and character
  • C Her legs
  • D Her legs
3) Man R supplies woman A with a card printed with contact details for a local band. He explains that he is not promoting a band, but is using it because the first contact number on the card is his. As a result man R is asked about the quality of his musicianship. He says that he is "Nothing special in the grand scheme of things, but much better than most people who play." Does this response demonstrate:
  • A Hubris
  • B Charming honesty
  • C Adiabatic expansion
  • D Drunkenness
4) Upon learning of R's musical talent, woman A says "Maybe we'll make beautiful music together." Would you assume that she was:
  • A Drunk
  • B A musician
  • C An idiot
  • D Flirting
  • E Taking the piss
5) After hearing the line "Maybe we'll make beautiful music together." man R says "Oh fuck off, you're not on 'Blind Date'". Would you assume that he was:
  • A Socially handicapped
  • B An idiot
  • C Taking the piss
  • D Youngs modulous
6) On a Friday night a man specifically asks a woman to telephone him on Sunday. Should she:
  • A Never contact him again
  • B Ring him on Sunday
  • C Text him on Sunday
  • D Email his band's website the next day
7) A man has been hosting a weekly dinner party for approximately 15 years. He cancels the dinner party with less than 8 hours notice in order to make a date. is this:
  • A A travesty
  • B Normal
  • C Shameful
  • D Charmingly impulsive
8) A woman arranges a first date at a pub within 1/2 a mile of her house. She expects her guest to make his own way to and from the date. Is this:
  • A Convenient
  • B Rude
  • C Normal
  • D Selfish
9) A woman arranges a date for 6.00pm on a Sunday. Her date arrives approximately 90s early. When does she arrive:
  • A She is already there
  • B 6:03
  • C 6:08
  • D She appologises by text at 6:05 and arrives at 6:21
10) A woman travels approximately 1/2 a mile to a date by car. Is she:
  • A Lazy
  • B Running late
  • C Avagadro's number
  • D Wearing 6" stilleto heals
11) How much perfume was woman A wearing when she arrived at her date?
  • A Enough
  • B Too much
  • C Far too much
  • D 3x10^8 l/m2
12) Man R first meets woman A approximately 4 pints into a heavy drinking binge. 2 days later he meets her sober but severely deprived of sleep. He was unable to remmember what woman A looked like. When she arrived was she in fact:
  • A Familiar, but rougher than he hoped
  • B Unrecognizable
  • C within acceptable limits
  • D Unbelievably beautiful
13) Man R habitually wears handmade leather boots. On his date with woman A it transpires that she is a shoe enthusiast. How does R's choice of shoes influence A's impression of him?
  • A He was wearing the wrong shoes
  • B She saw them as soon as she entered the pub and loved them
  • C No influence
  • D Majority carrier conduction
14) A woman announces on a first date that she's a vegetarian who eats fish and occasionally chicken, and that she never ever cooks.
i) In the short term is this:
  • A Charmingly ideosyncratic
  • B Fucking bizarre
  • C Isothermal compression
ii) In a relationship would this be:
  • A Charmingly ideosyncratic
  • B Fucking bizarre
  • C Intollerable
15) On a date a woman happily acknowledges that she is extremely beautiful, and that she gets a lot of attention from men. She tells her date that she only decided to meet him because he is musical. She also says that she will have to hear him play. Is this:
  • A Acceptable
  • B Rude
  • C Shallow
  • D Charmingly honest
16) Man R and woman A decide to eat at a pub and read the menu at the bar. Woman A orders their food while man R is visiting the toilet. She does not tell him that their food has been ordered until after is has been delivered to a table. Is this:
  • A Charmingly impulsive
  • B Efficient
  • C Taking charge
  • D Weird
17) After eating on a first date woman A reapplies her lipstick and perfume. How much perfume is she now wearing?
  • A Too much
  • B Far too much
  • C It was litterally dripping off her fucking throat
18) By the end of a date woman A has drunk 3 large glasses of wine. How does she get her car back home?
  • A Drives it
  • B Picks it up the following day
  • C She has her date drive it home, then shyly changes into flat shoes, and then walks with her date back to the pub so that he can drive her home a second time in his own car.
19) Why wouldn't woman A drive her own car home while drunk?
  • A It's illegal
  • B It's completely unacceptable
  • C Frightened of getting caught
  • D It's immoral
20) A woman is slightly older than a man, has a much more senior job, and is obviously very much wealthier than him. Is this:
  • A Irrelevant
  • B Advantageous to the man
  • C Advantageous to the woman
  • D Slightly galling
21) On a date in a pub, woman A is friendly with the bar manager who is responsible for booking entertainment. She gives the manager a promotional recording of her date's band. Will their date be accompanied by:
  • A Hubbub from a crowded bar
  • B Songs from the jukebox
  • C Brownian motion
  • D The promotional CD being played several times interspersed with random 60s soul songs
22) On a first date, physical contact should be limited to:
  • A Nil
  • B One brief kiss
  • C prolonged kissing and petting
  • D sex
23) On a first date, the man should not kiss the woman's neck:
  • A In any circumstances
  • B If she tells him to stop
  • C If his lips suffer chemical burns from all the perfume
  • D Raleigh scattering
24) On a first date the man should not remove the woman's blouse:
  • A In any circumstances
  • B Unless dictated by a medical emergency
  • C If she tells him to stop undressing her
25) Woman A would reject proposed follow-up dates with R because:
  • A Out of town with work
  • B Will be in Cuba
  • C Will be watching the Grand National
  • D Too tired
  • E All of these
26) By the end of a first date where the woman has drunk considerably more than the man the woman has spent at least an hour telling the man how intelligent and sucessful she is. She has also advised him on what car he should drive, how he should promote his band, how he should kiss her, and what excercise he should do. She also seems not to have stopped talking for 2 seconds together. Is this:
  • A A natural consequence of the different levels of drunkenness
  • B Her style of conversation
  • C Rude
  • D Irritating
27) Shortly after a date in a pub where the bar manager had been given a demo CD his band, a man receives a phone call from the bar manager. why?
  • A To book the band
  • B Garment left in pub
  • C The couple had left the pub without paying for their meal
28) Approximately what is the speed of sound in air at sea level?
  • A Chalk it up to experience and don't call her again
  • B 340m/s
  • C Organise another date where both people will be drinking
  • D Leave it up to her
29) After a first date, should the lingering impression be:
  • A Rejection
  • B Mild irritation (social)
  • C Mild irritation (chemical)
  • D Lust
  • E An odd combination of all of these.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Middle Names

Important literature news
There is a new date-report on the way, I might have finished typing it up by lunchtime, and I really feel it's going to be the best yet! Use the voting buttons (If I have managed to add them to this email) to request a copy. It's interesting to note that I am more excited about, and have spent longer on, the report than the date.

Middle names
As well of signing each lottery email with a pretend middle name, which I try to make funny or illuminating, I am sometimes assigned a joke middle name. When my band plays, if the audience seems to be indulgent, and we have played well then the female singer will introduce the band. Almost invariably we're assigned an embarrassing or insulting middle name based on something we've done. I have been Richard "Love Rat" B; Richard "cotton bud up the eurethra" B; Richard "peado" B amongst others. This week I was introduced to a reasonable sized audience of my colleagues, friends, and strangers as:

Richard "Milfhunter" B