Tuesday 25 August 2015

What's the capital of Peru?

file under: Embarrassing social situations

Last week I did a pub quiz with my niece. There were loads of questions that we couldn't answer but two that seemed particularly difficult.

We didn't recognise the road sign for "Migratory Toad Crossing". Moreover I didn't know that there was a road sign for Migratory Toad Crossing, and it wasn't shown in my 1994 highway code when I got home.

More confusing was the question "What is the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome?" We both knew that Stockholm Syndrome is where you get kidnapped and end up liking it. The opposite would seem to be "not liking getting kidnapped" and there isn't a specific word for that. "Being normal?" "Sanity?" "a healthy sense of fear?".

Stockholm Syndrome is where the captive develops an affection for their captor. Lima syndrome is where the captor develops an affection for the captive and treats them very well or releases them. It's got nothing to do with growing a long furry tail and living in Madagascar.

Richard "anti-Patty Hearst" B

Tuesday 18 August 2015

You're Fired

file under: Musical boasting

I'm not expecting that much sympathy from my readers, but this weekend I discovered the most hideously annoying situation. To feel my pain you'd have to be exactly the same combination of busy lazy comfortable OCD luddite that I am.

My CDs are kept, as God intended, in alphabetical order by band/artist. The order is simplicity itself: the word "The" is ignored from the beginning of band names. If I recognise the artist name as a first name and surname, then it is sorted by surname so "Patti Smith" is under "SM". Word boundaries come before "A" so "Red Hot Chilli Peppers" comes before "Redding". Soundtracks, compilations and mashups with no clear band/artist are in an imaginary letter after "Z". Within a band/artist they are sorted by my best (uninformed) guess of chronological order.

I don't own any CDs where both the composer and the orchestra are pertinent. I don't own any CDs by "The The" and I don't own any CDs by that band whose name was just a squiggle.

On Saturday night I discovered that my cleaner has been putting CDs away in the wrong place. I don't just mean "Physical Graffiti" before "Four", I mean any-fucking-where at all she can find a fucking space. The bitch! It took me a very long time to find the album that I was looking for, and I spent over an hour putting it right on Sunday.

Richard "Furious" B

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Baking Bad?

Never thought a bath tub full of blood and body parts would be so tasty!

Valley of the shadow of death

file under: Embarrassing social situations

My mum asked me if I had made financial arrangements for my funeral (like my sister has). I haven't made explicit arrangements, but when I took out a mortgage I was obliged to buy life insurance. When I'm dead there’ll be £100,000 sculling around in my estate so the executor should easily be able to afford to bury or cremate me.

"But that'll only pay out if you die." Said my mum – quite rightly. I politely explained that I had no intention of having an expensive funeral while I was still alive.

One weekend (back when I lived with a woman) her parents came to visit and we went to a restaurant to celebrate her mother's birthday. I asked whether I should put on a suit and discovered that her dad doesn't like suits, and only owns one which he calls his "funeral suit".  Thinking that I was being flattering and charming I said that he was rather young to have that picked out already. It turns out it was the suit that he wears to OTHER PEOPLE’s funerals.

Richard "The deceased was a keen welder – we'd like to put his favourite oxygen and acetylene cylinders in the casket for the cremation." B

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Summer Holidays

file under: Childish wordplay

It's decades since I've been in full time education and I don't have children. All that the six weeks between late July and early September mean to me is the time when my teacher friends make social calls and go on holidays. As such we're now calling it "teacher-season".

One of the things I did this weekend was to trim a bush. When I was a teenager my mum kept a big muscular tomcat called Willy and she planted a bay seedling next to his grave after he died. The Willy-cat-memorial-bay-tree is now over eight feet tall and trained into a globe shape.

Whatever smutty jokes you're busy making (willy pussy-cat bush etc), they're probably not as good as the ones that the woman whom I used to carshare with was subjected to. She got a letter from Plymouth City Council telling her that it was time to trim her bush! Apparently it was overgrown and extended so far past her "boundary" that it interfered with sight-lines at the junction, and as such constituted a danger to road-users.

Richard "she got rid of the whole thing" B