Tuesday 28 August 2018

The Identitarians are Winning

A couple of weeks ago the singer Aretha Franklin died. It’s sad news and at my band rehearsal we talked about her songs and her legacy. We listened to a couple of her recordings, and played one of her songs (an easy one).

I was very disappointed by the coverage on the BBC and in the newspaper. Nobody seemed to care about what a great singer she had been, it was all fashionable politics. People talked about her family's place in the civil rights movement, her being a woman, her being black, and even about her weight (which was apparently up and down like a bride's nightie).

If you hear the news that she's dead, and you think "A prominent black has passed away" or "A prominent woman has passed away" or "A prominent body positivity icon has passed away" then you’re the racist/sexist/fattist. I bet you only know her name because of what a fantastically spectacular and hardworking musician she was.

Richard "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." B

Wednesday 22 August 2018

What's In a Name

My friend's dad has an amazing knack of getting celebrities names wrong, and in so doing making them both funnier and more mundane. For example talk show host and actress Winifred Opry and model/actress Baywatch star Pam Lampton.

My mother's hearing is deteriorating and she has started playing the same trick. At the weekend she told me a story about ex racing driver and motoring personality Tiffin O’Dell.

Richard "Oprah Winfrey, Pamela Anderson, Tiff Needell" B

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Hurry Up

Yesterday I was at a car show in the rain and one of the things we saw was a demonstration by the fire brigade and ambulance service of rescuing a stricken victim from a crashed car.

I enjoyed watching the hydraulic cutters and spreaders, but overall, considering I watched a car have all its glass removed and its roof cut off, it was surprisingly boring. It was done at a slow pace with what seemed an undue emphasis on containing broken glass. Nothing was loud, dangerous or impressive.

Worse, we happened to see what was done to the car before the demonstration. What we learned is that if you're thinking of needing to be cut out of your vehicle you should make sure that all the doors are unlocked and open freely, that all the trim and rubbers are removed from the roof pillars, and that the seatbelts have been cut. You should then allow at least 20 minutes between crashing the car and needing to be in an ambulance because of blood loss.

I work with a chap who had to be cut out of his car when it was crushed by a bus, his legs were mashed into the wreckage and he was lucky to survive. I always thought he was joking but he told me that he asked the fireman to hand him the angle grinder because, even though he was bleeding to death, he could make a quicker and better job with it.

Richard "smoke alarms save lives" B

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Really Useful Boxes

My sports car has a very small luggage space so I built a luggage rack. On my way to a track day it will normally contain 4 plastic boxes:

  1. Service tools and fluids.
  2. Drinks and snacks.
  3. Clothes and toiletries.
  4. Guest luggage allowance – which is worse than Easyjet.

The rack and the boxes look both comical and functional. Once on a heavily congested motorway a Welshman matched my speed, wound down his window and shouted (in his charming accent) "I love your boot!". Some people however have no respect for other people's property and no sympathy for their misfortune.

On Friday, when I was negotiating a high speed roundabout all 4 boxes came off the rack and spread their contents over the carriageway. "Tools and fluids" actually stayed upright with the lid on and people tended to drive around it. The empty box was destroyed by impatient drivers. My clothes mainly got run over, but miraculously the toothpaste tube was unscathed. The snacks and drinks varied between untouched (8 Belgian waffles) and mashed (crisps).

Apparently there's something funny about the sight of a fully grown man in a state of panic charging around a busy roundabout (2 lanes, 4 exits, 40mph limit) gesticulating wildly, trying not to get run down, attempting to stop people from driving over his stuff and picking up scattered items.


Richard "improperly secured load" B