Wednesday, 29 July 2009

My Life ... According To Rush

A friend of mine set me (and a few others) a challenge on Facebook:

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. You can't use the artist I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!

I’ve chosen to take the challenge on this blog instead of doing the Facebook thing (though I may do that later). My mate chose the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and came up with some clever answers. I’ve chosen Rush – my favourite rock band on the entire planet. Anyway here goes:

Pick your Artist:

Are you a Male or a Female:
New World Man

Describe Yourself:
The Analog Kid

How do you feel:

Describe where you currently live:
Between Sun and Moon

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
A Passage To Bangkok

Your Favorite form of Transportation:
Red Barchetta

Your Best Friend is:
Tom Sawyer

You and your best friends are:
In The Mood

The weather is:
Chain Lightning

What's your favorite time of day:
Fly By Night

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Ghost Rider

What is life to you:
Finding My Way

Your last relationship:
Something For Nothing

Your fear:
The Necromancer

Thought for the day:
Show Don’t Tell

How I would like to die:
Between The Wheels

My soul's present condition:
Closer To The Heart

My Motto:
Stick It Out

Well that was trickier than I thought – but fun. Feel free to have a go and let me know if you wish.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Women's Problems - Cellulite

The other day I was having a chat with Mrs PM about the trauma of being a woman. She was arguing that women have it bad; I mean women have it really bad. Women have far too many problems and the fact that I don’t understand women stems from the fact that I don’t understand women’s problems.

“Take cellulite, for example. Do you know what it is?”

“Of course,” I replied. “It’s that stuff you put wallpaper up with isn’t it? Why is that a problem?”

“That’s POLYCELL you moron!!” she snarled before leaving the room in utter disgust to search for a blunt instrument to wallop me with.

To be fair, I was trying to lighten the mood because whenever we discuss the differences between men and women, in particular the problems that women have, Mrs PM’s starts to lose her temper.

However, I do have a genuine confession to make: I had never heard of cellulite until some time in the 90’s (when I was in my thirties!!!). I was watching a TV programme that was making fun of American women’s obsession with beauty. Cellulite was mentioned but they never actually defined it. And for an embarrassing period afterwards I did get “polycell” and “cellulite” mixed up:

“I’ll pop off to the DIY shop to get some cellulite,” I once said, before receiving a violent slap.

And then, all of a sudden, I started seeing headlines in moronic tabloids stating that famous female celebrities had massive cellulite problems, together with photos of them on a beach taken by some low-life paparazzi armed with a telephoto lens.

To me, they still looked lovely. Only a complete imbecile would think less of them for having a little cellulite.

So now I really know what cellulite is. To consolidate my knowledge I’ve looked it up. Guys, I’m helping you out here – it is a condition in women where the skin on the legs and bum become “dimpled”. I’ve seen it described as “orange peel skin” or “mattress” skin.

And what’s more – this condition is almost exclusive to women – which means that I will never ever get it. Not ever.

The purpose of this post is not to be sexist or to make fun of women who might suffer from this condition. If anything, it is to bring this to the attention of any men who don’t know what it is (just like me).

So guys – do not ever mention cellulite unless you have to. It is best to feign ignorance though beneficial in some ways to know about it.

As for any ladies who may read this post: please examine your urge to travel to Manchester armed with a nasty torture instrument to drive home to me exactly what cellulite is. I am simply trying my best to educate ignorant men (and they don’t come more ignorant than me). Also, help is at hand because, in my research about cellulite, I have managed to stumble across techniques for reducing it:

(1) Drink plenty of water.
(2) Do some exercise.
(3) Reduce fat, sugar and calorie intake.
(4) Take vitamins and antioxidants (whatever they are)
(5) Try body brushing (what the hell is that??)
(6) Embrace the body you have.

Now none of these points come from me so please don’t blame me if body brushing tears your skin to tatters (personally I wouldn’t try that – my imagination is running amok just thinking about it). The picture at the start of the post is apparently a body brush!

To me the above points are necessary anyway for a healthy life and I’m sure that lots of women already follow the advice.

The fact that I lived well over thirty years of my life in blissful ignorance must surely demonstrate that men don’t really care whether women have a cellulite problem or not. From my own perspective, it really doesn’t matter one iota. Men just don’t care; most, like me, don’t even notice.

Finally, I’ve decided to write a few more posts in the future about how both men and women suffer. I will use my own experience for the male side and ask Mrs PM about female problems. Mind you, regular readers of this blog may already know that I suffer from more than my fair share of male problems – I have so many to choose from (mad hair, embarrassing beard growth, an ever-increasing beer gut, rampant ugliness – to describe just a few).

I only hope that Mrs PM doesn’t assume that I am a complete and utter moron as I ask her questions. If I stop posting suddenly for three weeks or so, you can assume that I have gone too far with MRs PM and that I am in traction in the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Should that happen, you can visit me if you like – though if you are female I will insist on having a metal detector at the entrance of the ward in case you decide to bring any nasty torture tools to remind me about cellulite.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

The Flirt

When I was young free and single I often wondered why women used to punch me in the face.

Now, however, I know why: I think I may be a flirt.

Being a flirt is big trouble particularly if, like me, you have a face like that of an exceptionally ugly baboon (though some would say that I am more like the rear end).

I have always envied those handsome guys who can walk up to a woman, flash their most striking smile and capture her heart without saying a word. I’m more likely to make her flee the vicinity as fast as she can, screaming at the monster who has just leered at her.

Life has been difficult for me with women: I’ve had to overcome shyness, having crazy hair and a face that could scare elephants. As a young man, when I approached women and smiled, they usually passed out in pure terror. It was soul-destroying.

Yet despite this, I’ve managed to at least become friends with members of the fairer sex and have been in two long term relationships since my early 20’s.

Before that, however, when a woman talked to me, I assumed that she fancied me. This would inevitably lead me to subconsciously start flirting with her and, fuelled by her kindness or by too much alcohol, I would overstep the mark. Some women simply walked away, others refused to speak to me again. I imagine that being groped by a drunken orang-utan isn’t the most pleasant experience. Others turned to violence and battered me with the nearest blunt object.

I could never get the balance right and I never understood why. You see, I never thought I was a flirt, even when a woman was pounding my face with a cricket bat screaming “STOP FLIRTING WITH ME YOU GROTESQUE GORILLA”.

And of course the beatings have made my situation worse. Every time a woman kicked my face in, I acquired a higher degree of repulsiveness – it was as if I was being hit repeatedly with an ugly stick. My face mutated into a something horrific; I would catch a sight of myself in the mirror the next morning and frighten myself half to death before I realised that the reflection was me having been savaged by an irate victim of my flirtatious nature.

Over the years, I have become older (obviously) and wiser (less obvious). Having a steady girlfriend helped, of course, and since then I have reacted to women in a different way. I still try to make them laugh and ask probing questions in an attempt to understand them but I certainly don’t overstep the mark. Thankfully the beatings have effectively been reduced to zero and until fairly recently I believed this was due to my devotion to my partner. You see I didn’t think I was a flirt.

That all changed a few years ago when I was told by a female friend that I am definitely a flirt. We were talking about astrology and I said “I’m a Libran. I’m supposed to be indecisive and balanced.”

“Librans are also flirts,” she said. “And you flirt all the time.”

“Me? A flirt?” I said incredulously. “I am the opposite of a flirt.”

She then told me that I had basically flirted with her a number of times over the years I had known her. I was speechless and horrified.

“When? When exactly did I flirt with you? Name one single occasion!”

She told me that she had lost count. I was mortified.

“You don’t do it so much now,” she said quickly, trying to make me feel better. It didn’t work. I recalled those awful slaps and beatings that I had received as a young goon and it all began to make a weird kind of sense.

But am I a flirt? What are the signs of flirting for a man like me? Does my body language change? Here are a couple of ways that a man might flirt:

(1) Eye contact - staring into the eyes of a woman while having a conversation. I am shy but when I get to know a person I tend to do this, particularly with women.

(2) Touching – looking back, this is probably the reason I was frequently beaten up by women. I’ve always had the tendency to put my arm around female friends, touch them briefly on the shoulder or arm. This is not intentional; this is who I am. Even today after a few beers I will put my arm around mates, both female and male.

(3) Show that I am an alpha male – I am definitely not an alpha male; however, I have noticed this behaviour in others, particularly in pubs or social occasions when there are women involved. If a man fancies a women he will subconsciously make himself seem to be bigger and stronger than he is. I can’t see me ever being guilty of that – maybe I’m wrong.

(4) Complements – I see nothing wrong with complementing a woman but on occasion I have gone way over the top. For example I once said: “I’m not coming on to you but you are absolutely gorgeous.” I had had a couple of beers and she was a friend of a friend and about half my age. She thanked me politely and then turned away, much to the amusement of my mates. I have to say in my defence that it was a genuine complement and I definitely was not trying to chat her up. Had I been fully compis mentis I wouldn’t have said a word.

So am I really a flirt? I could try asking a female friend I suppose: “Am I flirting with you?”

The only problem is that she might say “YES YOU ARE!” and then slap my face.

So how about you, dear reader? Do you flirt? Have you been the target of a baboon-like flirt?

As for me, I’ve now decided to stop that nonsense; the self-examination I mean. If I flirt then so be it. I’ve just got to make sure that I wear full protection when I am out with female friends.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Is It Blindingly Obvious Or Am I Just Stupid?

Certain people assume that I am totally stupid – and that annoys me.

Last week I popped into the toilet at work to answer a call of nature. I won’t go into graphic detail but when I had finished, I went to wash my hands. On the mirror in front of me were a set of instructions telling me how to wash my hands.

This stupid sign had appeared that day and basically told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t wash my hands it would be totally unhygienic and I would spread germs. It then went on to tell me that I should:

Wet my hands

Put soap on my hands (from the soap dispenser)

Rub my hands vigorously together

Rinse my hands

Dry my hands

And there were pictures illustrating each step.

“What the &*$£?” I yelled, scaring the hell out of an anonymous person still in a cubicle. I was doubly annoyed because I have been trying to cut down on my swearing and two days of effort had been scattered to the four winds.

Do they think I’m a bloody fool? I think my parents taught me how to wash my hands when I was three. Do they think that I’ve forgotten?

I needed a cup of tea, so after I had washed my hands, as per instructions, I went into the kitchen with my mug. There on the hot water dispenser was a sign saying “CAUTION: VERY HOT WATER

I would hope so because in order to make a superb cup of tea, you actually NEED very hot water.

Do they honestly think that I am going to put my hand under the tap and allow scalding hot water to cascade over my skin?

I’m surprised that there isn’t a sign above the toilet saying “Don’t drink the water” or a sign at the top of the stairs saying “Do not throw yourself down the stairs”.

It’s incredible and extremely worrying. Are there really people out there who need to be told these things? Are there any adults in Manchester who need to be told and shown how to wash their hands?

It’s not just Manchester nor indeed the UK. Such signs are all over the place. Here are a few examples I’ve found on the internet:

“Milk bottles contain milk”

“Don’t commit crime. Pay for your fuel”

“Visitors are warned to take every care to avoid accidents”

“Road flooded during floods”

“Caution: Water on the road when it rains”

“Sign not yet in use”

“Warning: Platform ends here”

“Do not throw stones at this sign”

“Caution: This sign has sharp edges”

“For town centre shopping, follow “Town Centre””

“Removing a wheel can affect the performance of the bicycle”

“For indoor or outdoor use only”

“This door is neither an entrance or an exit and must never be opened”

“Contents hot on removal from microwave”

“Always pick up the knife by the handle”

“Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts”

“Danger: Vehicles on the road”

“Warning: This heater will get hot. Please take note and for your own safety do not touch the unit”

It’s clear that the police in my country think that I need to be told not to commit crimes. When I drive up to a petrol station forecourt I have to be told to pay for my fuel. I’m that stupid. Or at least these people think so. How many petrol stations have forgotten to put up sign and had customers drive off without paying? It’s bloody absurd.

Have you ever watched daytime TV? Apart from the mind-numbing banality of the programmes, the adverts are geared towards people with a low IQ.

“Have you had an accident that wasn’t your fault? We at Accident Claims For Muppets will get you compensation.”

I presume that the muppets in question accidentally put their hand under a tap dispensing scalding hot water when there wasn’t a sign warning them not to do so. I’m sure that there are genuine accidents caused by neglect but the line has to be drawn somewhere. I don’t need to be told how to pick up a knife or that drinking toilet water can make me violently ill.

I am not a stupid child (even though I act like one sometimes; well of most the time if the truth be known).

Saturday, 18 July 2009

People Who Annoy Me (Part One) - Politicians

I hate politics; politicians annoy me immensely.

I heard a quote that summed up what I think about politicians:

“You can tell when a politician is lying – he is talking!”

You would have thought that the people who govern us are worthy to fulfil such an important role in life. I’m sure that there are politicians who are deeply sincere and are in politics for all the right reasons. Unfortunately you don’t normally see these gems because they are usually working in the background; the politicians we are exposed to on the media and in the newspapers are the ones who irritate me most.

I watch the news and see interviews with these people and I am flabbergasted that they have the front to even open their mouths, such is the crap that pours forth from their lying lips.

I shake my head in absolute disgust when they throw statistics that “support” their arguments; statistics that nobody can prove and that have been made up on the spot – here’s one: “Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes” – no they couldn’t. Why? Because they don’t bloody well have any – they never did!

I cringe when I hear them bad-mouthing their opposition counterparts knowing that they are as guilty, if not more so, of the same things.

I yell in frustration when these people refuse to answer civil questions with a simple “yes” or “no”, choosing instead to subject us all to a complete pile of horse manure that is totally irrelevant to the question that has been asked.

I rant when I hear politicians distorting the facts and telling us outright lies, expecting us to believe them just because they are using ridiculous flowery language to disguise the true meaning of what they are saying.

I descend into an apopleptic rage when they preach about moral values when they are guilty of the most immoral and sometimes criminal activities.

I recoil in shock when they slap on a false deceitful smile to make themselves appear to be lovable, sincere and good human beings.

In recent years I have really struggled to cope with my irritation. In the UK we have three parties jostling for position to become our governors:

The Labour Party – led by bumbling Gordon Brown, our current Prime Minister, a man who has a smile that scares small children.

The Conservative Party – led by David Cameron, an old Etonian who comes out with crap like “Hug a Hoodie” because he is so out of touch.

The Liberal Democrats – led by the anonymous Nick Clegg. I would say something about him but I wouldn’t know him if I fell over him.

What a choice we have when our next general election comes next year. I can’t bring myself to vote for any of them, particularly given the disgusting shenanigans that have been going on recently regarding expenses.

In Britain we have more than our fair share of self-righteous pillocks but other countries suffer as well. Look at Italy with Berlusconi. I wouldn’t trust that man to look after my cats. And don’t get me started on the United States of America; one look at George W Bush lets me know that they too have the same problem.

I want to change the constitutions of most if not all countries in the world. As far as I am concerned, most politicians are power hungry liars who will do and say anything to cling onto powers. Most are hypocrites and deserve nothing but contempt.

I’ll finish on a lighter note. Here (again) are some more George W Bush gaffes (with a bizarre scene at the end containing some rhythmic British politicians):

Here in Britain, we have Prime Minister’s Question Time, when our beloved Prime Minister gets to answer tough questions. However, when he makes a gaffe, he is ridiculed mercilessly. Here is what happened when Gordon Brown claimed he had saved the world recently:

And finally, we have my favourite target of ridicule, the Mayor of London (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN????) Boris Johnson. This man is being touted by some as a future Prime Minister. Heaven help us:

And finally back to Gordon Brown who makes a fool of himself in front of the world once more:

"Obama Beach" - I love it! What a pillock!!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Great Gigs

Mrs PM paid £120 to see Madonna at the Manchester Evening News Arena last week. Last night I paid £30 to see Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction at the same venue.

Why the difference in price?

Well you could argue that Madonna is, arguably, the greatest pop star in the world and has been for decades, especially after the recent death of Michael Jackson (did you know he’d died by the way? I think I saw something on the news).

I used to have a major crush on Madonna, though her music certainly didn’t float my boat. Mrs PM asked me if I wanted to see her and I would have gone had the ticket price been around £40, just to say that I had seen her. The £120 price tag put paid to that.

Mrs PM enjoyed the show but, because Madge danced around a lot, her voice suffered apparently. I don’t think Mrs PM would see her again, certainly not at that price.

As we talked about the show, I began thinking about all of the concerts I have been to over the years. I have lost count to be honest and I wonder exactly how much I have spent. I’ve decided to share some of the best with you. I have seen some amazing acts, not necessarily because of the music but the experience as well. Below are some of the greatest gigs and live performances I have seen (in no particular order):

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Bramhall Lane Sheffield (Sheffield United FC), 1988

Although I wasn’t a huge fan of “The Boss”, I thought that seeing him perform would be quite a good experience. I knew quite a lot of his songs, as I had a mate back in Walsall who was a huge fan. The album “Tunnel Of Love” had just been released and Bruce Springsteen was riding on a wave of popularity following “Born In The USA”. To be honest, I was just curious and my expectations were fairly low.

How wrong I was. Bruce Springsteen was magnificent. The first three songs he sang blew me away, the best being “She’s The One”, one of my favourite songs by the man. He was on stage for well over three hours (in two separate stints) and when the concert ended I wanted to stay for more.

Highlight: “She’s The One”

Alice Cooper – Manchester Apollo, 2000

I went to see Alice Cooper for the show rather than the music. I was only familiar with “Poison” and “School’s Out” and I had heard the title track of his current album “Brutal Planet”, which was enough to justify seeing him. The Apollo is a snug place and we had great seats at the front in the stalls with a perfect view of the stage.

And what a show it was. Alice Cooper is brutal and his show tells a story. By his own admission, the stage persona is a horrible person, who commits atrocities as he sings. Ultimately, he ends up in a strait jacket half way through the show and is punished by being brutally slain (in this case he was beheaded), before returning to life with “Feed My Frankenstein”. The great thing about this show was that I was introduced to classic Alice Cooper songs such as “Elected”, a song I had never heard before, but absolutely love.

Highlight: “Elected”

Def Leppard – Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, 1992

Def Leppard were the biggest rock band on the planet when I saw them in 1992. Unlike normal gigs, Def Leppard built the stage in the middle of the arena with the crowd all the way around, so absolutely everybody got a fantastic view of the band as they belted out all of their very best songs, up to and including the “Adrenalize” album.

During “Rocket”, the drum kit rose really high into the air, making me feel a little worried for Rick Allen. The encore was fantastic; Jo Elliott running around the immense stage whipping up the crowd to sing along to the extraordinary “Rock Of Ages”. This was Def Leppard at their absolute peak.

Highlight: “Rock Of Ages”

Queen – Knebworth, 1986

This is still, to date, the biggest gig I have ever been to. Supporting Queen were Big Country and Status Quo and they warmed the place up nicely. However, when Queen took the stage, it was as if we had been transported to a different place ruled by Freddie Mercury.

He was outrageous and absolutely mesmerising. The rest of the band played their part of course but Freddie was the leader; every one of us was in thrall and I have never seen such a great front man. We were quite a distance from the stage and had to rely on screens to see the band properly, which was a bit of a pain, but I enjoyed to concert nonetheless. I’m glad I can say that I saw Freddie Mercury before his sad death a few years later.

Highlight: “Radio Ga Ga” – 120,000 people clapping their hands in unison.

Foo Fighters – Manchester Evening News Arena, 2007

David Grohl is a legend and I leapt at the chance to see the Foo Fighters even though the ticket price exceeded my upper limit.

Our seats were quite far from the stage but that didn’t matter too much as they did an acoustic set almost directly in front of at the half way point. I’m sure he looked at us when he said “I haven’t played a song for you guys yet” before playing “But Honestly”.

I’ve seen the Foos three times in total, the other two times were in sports grounds in front of huge crowds. However, paradoxically, the Manchester Evening News Arena, a huge venue in its won right, the show seemed much more intimate, and therefore the best of them.

Highlight: “But Honestly”

Aerosmith – Monsters Of Rock, Castle Donnington, 1990

The Monsters Of Rock festival in 1990 was headlined by one of my favourite bands, Whitesnake, with Aerosmith in support. I had discovered Aerosmith in the late eighties with the release of “Permanent Vacation” and had become a big fan. That year, I drove my ex-wife up the wall with “Love In An Elevator” – she hated it.

After Thunder, the Quireboys and Poison, we decided to get a little closer to the stage, just as Aerosmith appeared. They blitzed through their set so magnificently that I barely had time to catch my breath. They pumped out song after song with consummate ease; Steve Tyler had the audience in the palm of his hand.

Whitesnake were, to be honest, a disappointment after Aerosmith. The difference was that Whitesnake seemed to be a bunch of egotistical individuals but Aerosmith were a team. It was a real shame that Aerosmith weren’t the headline act.

Highlight: “Rag Doll”

Metallica – Manchester Evening News Arena, 2009

I was never into Metallica in the 80’s but in recent years the band has grown on me immensely. Last year, I bought “Death Magnetic” and I have to admit it is one of the best albums I own. With a little bit of apprehension, I allowed a mate to persuade me to see the band. I feared that they would be a little too thrashy for me. I was so wrong.

Like Def Leppard, the stage was in the centre of the arena so we had a fantastic view of the band. The laser show that kicked off the gig (to “That Was Just Your Life”) was breath-taking (see the picture above). The music was polished, professional and perfect, something I didn’t expect at all.

I will have no hesitation seeing them again on their next tour.

Highlight: “The Day That Never Comes”

Whitesnake – Liverpool Royal Court, 1984

I am a huge fan of early Whitesnake, particularly the early 80’s material. In 1984, a couple of years before Whitesnake became absolutely huge. I saw the band at the Royal Court in Liverpool, a relatively intimate venue for a band like this. The line up was the classic one, featuring Jon Lord (from Deep Purple), Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. However, what made this special was the presence of Cozy Powell on the drums.

This was the first time I saw the band and it was the best by far. David Coverdale was immense on stage and his voice was perfect. Halfway through the gig, Cozy Powell was allowed ten minutes or so to turn the stage into a crazy zone. He performed an outstanding drum solo to my favourite piece of classical music, “Mars, The Bringer Of War” from The Planet Suite by Gustav Holst, complete with an amazing light show.

This really was Whitesnake at their very best.

Highlight: Cozy Powell’s drum solo

Rammstein – Manchester Evening News Arena, 2005

You haven’t lived until you’ve seen this crazy bunch of Germans live. Complete with flame throwers and a cooking pot (don’t ask) they produced one of the most mesmerising, strange yet enjoyable shows I have ever seen.

The music was superb and the heavy industrial rock music whipped the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Almost everybody in the English speaking audience was singing along with the German lyrics, including myself.

If you like pyrotechnics, flames and fun you will not be disappointed seeing this controversial band.

Highlight: “Feuer Frei” complete with flame throwers.

Rush – Manchester evening News Arena, 2004

Rush can do no wrong in my eyes; they are quite simply the greatest band on the planet. I have seen them four times (not nearly enough) but the best one was their 30th Anniversary Tour where they played most if not all of their greatest songs from their hugely successful career.

With eighteen albums behind them, they had a colossal number of songs to choose from, and I believe they got their set absolutely spot on. There were so many songs that they were on stage for well over three hours, including a short break.

The concert was clinical, spectacular and perfect. Long may they reign and, please guys, come back to Manchester again.

Highlight: “La Villa Strangiato”

Sometimes I think I’m getting a little too old for concerts, particularly since my music of choice is generally loud and heavy. Yet when I think back on the concerts above and the great music that these and other bands are producing, I reconsider and say, so what? You are as old as you feel, and these guys make me feel young.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Why (Part Two)?

Here are some questions I stumbled across – I’ve added a few of my own too.

Why do people like modern art when in reality it is just awful?

Why is it that the further you are from a toilet, the more desperately you need to go?

Why isn’t “ten” pronounced “onety”?

Why are most politicians ugly?

Why do they make cars that can travel at 140 mph when the maximum speed you can drive is 70mph?

Why do banks have branches when money doesn’t grow on trees?

Why are the instructions on how to cook packaged meat always on the inside of the package?

Why did my mum ask if I’d washed behind my ears, when my hair was so long that it covered them?

Why do doctors have such poor writing? And why are pharmacists the only people who can read prescriptions?

Why does more hair grow out of a man’s nose and ears as he gets older?

Why can’t I tickle myself?

Why do you look up the spelling of a word in a dictionary when, surely, if you didn’t know how to spell it you would never find it?

Why is a lift called a lift when it can go down?

Why are people promoted above their level of competence?

Why do people demand to have the word “manager” in their job title, even if, say, they only sweep the streets?

Why do slow drivers always wear hats?

Why do you never see the headline “psychic wins the lottery”?

Why is the third hand on a clock called the second hand?

Why is there a light in the fridge but not in the freezer?

Why do celebrities die in threes?

Why aren’t there any guilty bystanders?

Why is there an “s” in the word “lisp”?

Why do you get on a train but into a car?

Why do intelligent intellectual types always look so weird?

Why are intelligent intellectual types always portrayed by good looking actors in films?

Why is it that when a door is open it’s ajar but when a jar is open it’s not adoor?

Why is it that lemon juice contains mostly artificial ingredients but dish washing liquid contains real lemons?

Why do they make bullet-proof vests but not bullet proof pants?

Why aren’t there “junior citizens” as well as “senior citizens”?

Why do British people complain about the hot weather in the summer then pine for it in the winter?

Why are there instructions on a shampoo bottle?

Why doesn’t the glue stick to the inside of a bottle?

Why do we say “sleep like a baby” when babies wake up constantly?

Why do we still have apes if humans were supposed to have evolved from them?

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

Why do mattresses have patterns on them when they are always covered by a sheet?

Why do lawyers charge so much for doing not a lot?

Why do we say “goodbye” but not “goodhello”?

Why isn’t “phonetic” spelled the way it sounds?

Why is “abbreviation” such a long word?

Why is the alphabet in the order it’s in?

Why do shops that stay open for 24 hours have locks on their doors?

Why does traffic move slowest during the rush hour?

Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Why do British singers sing with an American accent?

Why is the plural of “tooth” “teeth” but the plural of “booth” not “beeth”

Why is the plural of “goose” “geese” but the plural of “moose” is not “meese”?

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Why when you yawn do other people in the room start to yawn as well?

Why is your funny bone not funny at all?

Why do people fall head over heels in love? Isn’t your head always over your heels?

Why do people always want to push the red button that says “Do not push this button”?

Why are the elderly called “old people” yet children are not called “new people”?

Why does it never rain when I take an umbrella but always rain when I forget it?

Why is there no pine nor apple in pineapple?

Why do women have so many pairs of shoes?

Why do women always go to the toilet in pairs?

And finally - Piers Morgan - WHY????????

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Shopping - Will I Ever Learn?

I am the most stupid man in the world. Will I ever learn from my mistakes?

We are going to a family wedding next weekend and, of course, Mrs PM has to have a new dress for the occasion. I know from past experience that shopping with Mrs PM is a dreadful experience, made even worse when she has to buy clothes for herself.

I’ve suffered before (read about it here).

Last weekend, I made several mistakes. First, I told Mrs PM that I was thinking of going to the Trafford Centre to buy a new shirt and tie for the wedding.

“I need to buy a new dress,” she replied.

The horror of a trip to the Trafford Centre being dragged around lady’s clothes shops well up inside me and I almost screamed:

“NOOOO!!! Don’t make me come with you. In the name of all that is sane and holy, please don’t make me come with you.”

Thankfully, my mental firewall intercepted the tsunami of pure panic that threatened to overwhelm me and turn me into a gibbering, blubbing wreck and I managed to compose myself and say:

“Fabulous. I tell you what – why don’t you go ahead and I’ll join you later. I’ve got one or two things to do; I’ll give you a call when I arrive.”

“Fine,” she said, much to my relief.

I let her go and my intention was to give her three hours before joining her. That was my second mistake.

I can barely stand to spend more than an hour in the Trafford Centre myself, so I foolishly assumed that three hours would be ample time for Mrs PM to find herself a dress. Wrong!

Three and a half hours later I set off and arrived at the Trafford Centre with a very simple plan; meet Mrs PM for a coffee, buy a shirt and then go home.

I called her.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“I’m in NEXT”, she said.

“Have you found a dress?” I asked.

“No!” she said.

I felt an invisible hand squeezing on my heart. I almost wept. People stared at me as I crumbled.

“Are you there?” she asked.

“Yes,” I squeaked. “I’ll see you in a minute.”

I managed to pull myself together before I reached NEXT and found her looking frustrated as she moved from dress to dress. I managed a smile.

“Honestly, I’ve been to loads of shops and I can’t find anything,” she said.

“Fancy a coffee?” I said hopefully.

There was no chance. She looked at me as if I had just kicked a dog. We spent the next twenty minutes wondering around NEXT before she dragged me off to Debenhams.

Some people say that Debenhams is a great shop because of the wide variety of choice. I say that it is the eighth level of Hades. The entire ground floor is dedicated to woman’s shopping; if you aren’t asphyxiated by the smorgasboard of female fragrances, then you find yourself, as a man, surrounded by all manner of female attire. It is quite easy to panic in there and find yourself in the lingerie section. If you a male and alone there, you may as well start praying to your maker.

Within Debenhams, there are a large number of franchises each of which has a huge selection of clothing. Mrs PM was like a kid in a candy shop. I was hauled around every single rack of clothing. I saw dresses for small women, big women, fat women, thin women and there were numerous varieties for all ages. I was surrounded by females all of whom were totally and utterly indecisive. Are all women Librans? I think they are. I made another mistake at this point. I said:

“There are hundreds of dresses. Why can’t you decide? You’re worse than I am.”

She physically abused me at this point. If the look of rage wasn’t enough to strike fear into my soul, the thump that followed was an appetiser that had me wondering about the manner of my impending doom at the hands of my beloved.

I had to make amends. I had to feign interest.

“What about this one?” I asked.

“Are you mad?” she replied with ill-concealed venom.

“How about this?” I asked picking up a small number that I foolishly thought would accentuate the better parts of her figure.


I decided to shut up and only add words of encouragement when she showed a little interest in a garment.

After an eternity Mrs PM managed to select some dresses. By this time my diminishing interest was but a memory; I had no idea where she had picked up each item and had followed her around the store like a lost puppy.

“Right,” she said. “I’m going to try these on.

“At last,” I whispered under my breath.

“WHAT?” she snarled.

“Nothing, my sweet,” I said smiling.

I thought that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had a moment of pure optimism where, in my mad mind, I saw Mrs PM trying the first dress on, loving it and then both of us leaving the store happy.

What an utter clueless goon I was.

I forgot two things:

(1) It was Saturday afternoon, arguably the busiest time on the busiest shopping day of the week.
(2) Debenhams had a sale.
(3) Mrs PM had several dresses to try.

We arrived at the changing rooms and found a queue. We moved to another set of changing rooms and found another queue. My heart sank.

“We may as well join this one,” said Mrs PM and before I could blink, she added

“OOH – just hang on a minute. I want to look at that dress over there. Keep my place in the queue.”

She handed me the dresses.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse I found myself in a queue of four women waiting for a changing room cubicle to become free - and I was holding several dresses. To the average passer by it looked as if I was queuing to try on the dresses myself.

For the first time I felt like a colossal pervert, a cross dressing maniac. Several blokes walked past. Some laughed openly; others whispered to their partners and pointed; the rest shook their heads, knowing the torment I was going through.

After what seemed like an eternity, Mrs PM returned.

“I didn’t like it,” she said, as if that would make me feel any better.

After an eternity, Mrs PM finally reached the front of the queue. As she disappeared within the changing room I said “If there’s anything you need, let me know.”

That was my biggest mistake. Born out of a desperate need to rectify the numerous faux pas I had offered to assist Mrs PM in the hope that we would leave this hell hole in harmony.

I vowed not to make the mistake of trying to answer the world’s most difficult question: How do I look in this?

Regrettably I heard seven words that shattered any hope of leaving with a tiny amount of my pride intact. The changing room attendant came out holding one of the dresses that Mrs PM had taken in.

“Are you Dave?” she asked.

I should have run away at that point but I said, yes.

“Can you get this in size 14?”

She handed me a purple dress and disappeared back into the changing room leaving me standing there like a complete cranberry.

For a while I was too shocked to react. When I finally came to my senses I realised the enormity of the task before me. I hadn’t paid any attention to the exact location where Mrs PM had acquired the dress. It could be anywhere in this enormous shop. And then I realised that I would have to find the location whilst clutching the bloody dress. I wouldn’t have Mrs PM with me so once more I would look as if I were shopping for a dress for myself.

This last fact was with me as I walked through the shop. I was being mocked by a series of thoughts entering my head from an unknown nemesis within:

“They think you’re buying that dress for yourself.”

“I’ll bet it would suit you if you tried it on.”

“They’re all laughing at you – you’re a PERVERT!”

I ran around the store, frantically searching. My haste made matters worse because the dress clung to me like a purple leech, giving some people, I’m sure, the impression that I was actually wearing it.

It probably only took me five minutes to find the location and swap dresses but it was the longest five minutes of my life. I raced back to the changing room and almost threw the dress at the changing room attendant. My face was red and flustered; I’m sure I heard mocking laughter.

Thankfully my efforts weren’t in vain and Mrs PM chose the dress that I had just humiliated myself with.

Two hours had passed since I’d arrived- Mrs PM had been there for FIVE AND A HALF HOURS.

I managed to buy a shirt and tie within ten minutes and we enjoyed a relaxing coffee before finally going home.

To give you some idea about how I feel when shopping with Mrs PM, consider the following excerpt from the hilarious show “Father Ted” where a bunch of Catholic priests suddenly find themselves in the lingerie section of a department store and have to escape unnoticed (follow this link).

I am looking forward to the wedding – I just hope that Mrs PM doesn’t tell everybody about our escapades with the dress. Knowing her, she will convince them that I actually tried on the dress myself – or worse that I actually enjoy shopping with her!!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Nutter Magnet

I have an affliction that has tormented me for most of my life: I am a complete nutter magnet.

I’ve asked myself why nutters are drawn to me but I simply cannot see what it is about me that sends them into a frenzy. I could be in a room full of people who are all completely different. When the nutter enters the room, he will invariably look around for a victim, spot me and then home in. As soon as he sees me, he will shift into the highest gear of weirdness, smile his crooked smile and, before I can blink, he will be there, inflicting his nuttiness on me.

It’s happened all of my life and continues to happen to this day.

Here are a couple of examples of my encounters with nutters.

In the eighties, I was sitting in a pub with a mate. He got up to buy a couple of beers and when I turned around a second later, the only nutter in the pub had taken his seat. It was as if he had been waiting for my friend to leave. This guy (they are always guys) stared at me with a very creepy grin. He didn’t say a word.

“Excuse me,” I said politely. “This seat is taken.”

His grin widened but he said nothing. I should have simply stood up and joined my mate at the bar, but being the idiot that I am I stayed there.

“I can read your conscience,” he claimed. “I KNOW your mind.”

Oh no, I thought – a bloody nutter. Instead of getting up and walking away, I tried to engage him in conversation.

“Look mate, my pal’s at the bar and will be back in a minute.”

“I knew you were going to say that,” he said, his grin becoming even weirder. “I can read your mind like a book.”

“No you can’t,” I said. “Nobody can read minds.”

What kind of idiot was I? What was I doing trying to engage the nutter in conversation? I knew that it would end in pain.

The nutter, buoyed by my stupidity, settled into his seat and started to explain why my thoughts were so easy to read. I can’t remember what he said exactly but his words were mad enough and loud enough to attract the attention of quite a few people in the pub. Instead of coming to my rescue, these people simply enjoyed the show and started laughing openly.

“What’s he saying now?” said one.

My mate returned from the bar and, being much more forceful than I am, said “Oy, mate! That’s my seat.”

The nutter got up and I breathed a sigh of relief. However, such is the strength of my nutter magnet that he wasn’t finished. He walked behind me and continued telling me, in increasingly bizarre terms, why my every thought was screaming at him. And then the final humiliation – he put his hands on shoulders and started massaging my neck. He lowered his lips to my ear and said “I think you can read my mind as well – we’re so alike.”

I have to thank my mate at this point because he intervened.

“I wouldn’t touch him, mate,” he said to the nutter. “He’s got AIDS.”

I have never seen a man fly out of the pub so quickly.

Perhaps I should have simply ignored the nutter. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work as my second tale will reveal.

I was on the London Underground. The train was full but I had been lucky enough to get a seat. When I say “lucky” I really mean “unlucky”. I was listening to music at a fairly high volume and was so engrossed in it that I was oblivious to my surroundings. I noticed that the woman opposite me was staring in my direction – I thought for a brief second that I may have attracted the welcome attention of a nice young lady. But then I noticed she wasn’t looking at me at all; her gaze was focussed slightly to my right. Her eyes briefly flitted back to mine and her brow furrowed as if she were puzzled. I turned my head to my right to see what was so fascinating.

That’s when the person to my right grabbed my headphones and ripped them off my head.

The man next to me was a complete nutter, one of the worst kinds – an angry nutter. He had apparently been yelling at me for a while but my music had been loud enough to cover his insane screaming; that’s why the lovely lady opposite had looked so puzzled. I had been sitting next to the nutter as he screamed at me but my music had been so loud that I was oblivious to his insane ranting.

He gripped my headphones in his dirty hands and shouted “WHY WON’T YOU LISTEN TO ME????? NOBODY LISTENS TO ME.”

The person on the other side of the nutter must have breathed a sigh of relief at this stage because, as usual, the nutter had focussed all of his attention on me.

“Can I have my headphones?” I asked calmly.

He threw them into my lap in indignation and shouted.


Because he was angry, I agreed to listen to him. He spent the next ten minutes telling me about alien invasions, evil doppelgangers and peculiar conspiracy theories. He punctuated his ranting with “DO YOU BELIEVE ME????”

I nodded in the hope that he would leave me alone – he didn’t. I’m sure that if I said “No,” he would have carried on ranting.

Of course, the rest of the train found my experience highly amusing and again some people were openly laughing. It was as if the nutter and I had been surrounded by a bubble impervious to sound; he was oblivious to everybody else and the mocking laughter that echoed around the train.

When the train finally stopped, I waited for the doors to open and a few people to get off, before leaping up at the last minute. I managed to get off the train before the nutter could react and follow me.

These days I am more aggressive to nutters; if one were to sit next to me in a pub I would get up and leave rather than being subjected to a one way humiliating tirade of abuse.

All this has got me wondering whether I have any physical properties that draw nutters to me. Have I got a kind face? Can they really read my mind? Am I an alien?

Ah – I think I may have it. I think it is my mad bad hair. It must be an antenna that draws nutters in. Perhaps if I shave it all off the nutters will leave me alone. Perhaps I’m like Samson – except my hair doesn’t give me strength; it is the nutter magnet.

Maybe I’m wrong though – perhaps it’s just me. Whatever the reason, I fear that nutters will still be drawn to me. I have never done anything to encourage them at all. I wonder whether I have an invisible tattoo on my forehead saying “I LOVE NUTTERS” that only they can read.

Anyway, I’m not the only one who suffers:

Listen here for the Birmingham commedian Jasper Carrott's experience of nutters: Nutter On The Bus

I know exactly how he feels.