Things I should have done when I was younger and my brain would say YES rather than NOOOOOOOOOOO

Learnt Latin.  School did not offer this, but I could have at least looked into it, or borrowed something from a library.

Done Biology at A Level, instead of Psychology.

Or instead of History.  Or done more History.  Also Art.

Studied something horticultural at uni.

Or English Lit.  No? Could have been fun, could have been disappointing. Could also have been useful, if I was working in something literary, which I’m not.

Learnt to play the cello. And the banjo.

Obviously it’s too late to do any of these things now because now I’m old and my brain is mush, innit.


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Anthropology – in numbers

Anthropology is a collection of 101 super-short, lovelorn tales, as told by Dan Rhodes.

At first, it appears to be dominated by fantastically beautiful girls that leave, often quite suddenly, leaving a trail of broken menfolk in their collective wake.

And it is.

But rest assured that some of the girls simply die, or lose their minds, or get lost at sea, adding a touch of variation to the proceedings.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Girlfriends that leave = 20

Girlfriends that die, or are already dead = 6

Far-too-beautiful girlfriends = 11

Girlfriends for whom smoking is their main/only pastime = 4

Creepy/lovestruck girlfriends = 3

Heartbreaker girlfriends = 26

Unfaithful girlfriends  = 12

Mean girlfriends = 6

Kidnapped girlfriends = 1

Plain-looking girlfriends = 2

Not-so-bright girlfriends = 5

Girlfriends of questionable sanity = 6

Lost at sea = 1

Washed up ashore = 1

Happy couples = 4

Intelligent girlfriends = 1

Unemployed girlfriends = 3


Find a proper-ish review on Hand+Star

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Filed under book review, number crunching, whimsy, woe

Sarah Who? Oh, yeah.

So apparently some chick called Sarah had her inbox outed last week.  Word on the street is she’s in Politics so it’s a gotta be a juicy haul (expect, actually, it’s not – the juicy bits have been filtered out, leaving us with non-tasty dregs).  I personally couldn’t care less about what she sends across the digital strings that hold our little world together, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be shoved in our faces all the same.  As always, Charlie says it best, “Gleeful reports saying ‘ha ha she ordered a sunbed!’ So fucking what? I don’t like Sarah Palin, but I don’t like this either.”[ii]

Here’s what we have learnt from this shameful frenzy:

  • Palin thought Obama said made some good points during his campaign and that he is good at speaking
  • She is able to write at an eighth grade level, making her a ‘solid’ communicator (as a point of reference, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address scored 9.1 on the same scale, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech scored 8.8.)
  • ‘Alaskanisms’ are woefully underused
  • Scandalous gossip made her think about quitting (but alas, our little trooper stood firm)
  • Palin is wary of the media (an apparent ‘flaw’).  She is also ‘ambitious’ (shocking for a would-be presidential candidate)
  • The phrase ‘holy frippin’ crap’ is almost endearing and sure to be ping ponging itself all over the shop by now
  • God is called upon to help with the big Qs
  • These are all things we mostly already knew

Fluff and frenzy aside, it’s interesting how some papers, including the Washington Post, New York Times and the Guardian, invited readers to do the hard work for them, offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to whittle away our futile lives by trawling through Ms Palin’s not-so-dirty laundry.  Already, those with far too much time and very little life have flocked to the Guardian to throw in their sterling’s worth of two cents after wading through the dishwater-dull waters of the raw data – 24,199 papery pages of it.

In return for their drudgery, these folk get to see a little something for themselves before the story has been spun through the laptops of journos worldwide.  Yes, it’s boring and painful and pointless, but let’s not forget that the mass media is mostly evil and mediates all of our infotaining fodder.  Just break down the word ‘representation’ if you think I’m being weird (or even worse, wrong).  That’s right; everything we see, read and hear is being re-presented and re-packaged for easy consumption and so is only ever someone else’s take on a story (even the word ‘story’ implies that a narrative is being placed on much larger chunks of information).  This may have been a mere case of large-scale delegation, but it’s sort of nice that us non-media folk had a chance to play, and uh, would now rather be spoon-fed from now on. Victory is… um … not quite ours.

[ii] If you scroll rilly rilly far down @charltonbrooker’s twitter feed, you’ll be sure to find it.

FYI – this is ‘late’ because I had to wait for Nameless People to reject it before reclaiming for my own, ever pointless, ends.

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Filed under passing news, vaguely topical

Bad Idea #32 – Rent A Puppy

Is there a puppy-shaped hole in your Sunday afternoon?  Want the fun without the faeces?  You could get a puppy and leave it in Battersea when you’re bored… OR … you could rent a puppy for a day, half day or weekend.  Guilt-free puppy antics for all!*

  • Choose from tiny dogs, lumpy dogs, hairy dogs and ones that can be programmed to whisper your name.**
  • All puppies probably don’t have worms, fleas, or rabies.  Some items may have incurred minor emotional and structural damage (discounts ahoy!).
  • Want a pup with extra pep?  Super zany puppies are available for a one off top-up fee.

Since this service is subject to a smidgeon of scrutiny by law-abiders, we only accept cash payments, sans receipt.  Simply email us your phone number and we’ll take care of the rest.

*After payment has cleared, of course.  Those who can’t stump up the cash cannot take advantage of short-term puppy love.

** Until a diverse range of puppies are sourced and sanitised, choice is limited to black puppies that answer to ‘Harold’.

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Filed under bad ideas, farce

Buy A New Lung / Tesco Special Offers From The Future Times

No one is made to last forever, but doesn’t mean you can’t buy a little more time.

Get a new lease of life with a new lung and suck in a few extra hours. Liver had enough? Chuck a new one in your trolly and get trashed like you’re 14 all over again.  Bliss.

Our extensive range of Value organs means it’s more affordable than ever before to make do and mend.  All items are harvested within 5 days of maturation and approved by the British Organ Relocation Authority.

If you fancy something a little special, treat yourself to something from our Finest range.  Each organ is grown from prime infant stock and guaranteed to last a good five years – subject, of course, to proper aftercare.

Our installation fee varies from item to item, depending on the complexity of the transition.  Compatibility tests are essential in order to determine the suitability of the hosting environment. To get the greatest benefit from your new Tesco organ we recommend you choose from our competitively priced reconciliation and acclimatisation packages.*

Buy one get one free on eyeballs and testicles of all sizes – mix & match for great deals on head-to-toe modifiation.

This month we’re offering triple points for every kidney – save up for a new heart in time for summer and impress friends and family with some good ol’ get up and go.

* Details available upon request.

*Subject to availability.

*Terms and conditions apply.


Filed under bad and wrong, fake copy, hypothetical, not so black market, supermarkets

Hypothetical Letters From Supermarkets: Sainsbury’s + Purchasing Trends

Ref: 9001-43-AA

Dear Valued Customer,

Your Nectar usage report has flagged up a repeat purchase of a particular item: in the past [30] days you have purchased [16] bottles of Russian Standard Vodka (special offer: £10, reduced from £14.95).  For high volume and high frequency purchases of this nature, we are legally obligated to write to you.

We are sure you are one of the many responsible UK consumers who drinks alcoholic beverages in moderation, but to ensure you continue to make informed choices regarding your consumption, we have enclosed a handy guide that helps you keep taps on the number of appropriate alcoholic units.  Simply select your drink of choice – in your case Russian Standard Vodka (special offer: £10, reduced from £14.95) – and turn the wheel to reveal the daily allocated number of units.  We are sure you are aware that this figure is a recommended limit, rather than a goal.

We are, of course, aware that the most likely scenario is simply that you, valued customer, appreciate the excellent value Sainsbury’s offers on branded alcoholic products and are merely stocking up for the summer (garden parties ahoy!) with the intention of sharing your [16] litres of Russian Standard Vodka (special offer: £10, reduced from £14.95) with a great number of close friends and/or work related acquaintances.

If this is indeed the case, we’d like to take this opportunity to bring to your attention some other products from the Russian Standard range which may be of interest:

Russian Standard Platinum – “Upping the ante on perfection, this sensuous elixir blends timeless savoir-faire with state-of-the-art sophistication.” Introductory Offer! 1 litre for £15.00 (usually priced at £21.98)

Russian Standard Imperia – “The ultimate distillation of years of experience and vodka science, brought together with an exciting dash of Russian Standard élan, Imperia is the definitive luxury vodka of its era.” Introductory Offer! 1 litre for £25.00 (usually priced at £34.75)

On the off chance that you are in fact consuming [16] litres of Russian Standard Vodka (special offer: £10, reduced from £14.95) at an alarming rate, we have also enclosed some NHS literature, a nifty little flip-book of what your liver will look like in 2, 6 and 12 months’ time, plus details of your nearest AA Meeting.  We value your loyal custom, and appreciate that prolonging your life is financially advantageous. Consider us your friend.

On an unrelated note, you may also be pleased to learn that our own brand of vodka is a mere £8.83 per litre and can be found in our Basics range.

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Filed under imaginary letters, supermarkets

Little Does He Know …

Yesterday, during a Sunday stroll through Highgate Cemetery (the £3.00 bit), I wandered by a delightfully book-shaped headstone (in fact, dear reader, it was fashioned in the guise of a shelf laden with four books, arranged all wonky, just like in the home). Having snagged my interest, I stopped for a moment to investigate the stone in question.  Low and behold, the stone belonged to a fellow we used to know and love from TV times gone by.  They also have a giant Marx head, but in lieu of suitable video footage, here’s a little something from Mr Beadle …

Courtesy of VHS (and youtube) the very best of Beadle “from the comfort of your own home.”

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Filed under 90's television, the good old days, video fare