The Compostual Existentialist

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Chuck it aaaart

downloadMrs Gnomepants: So we might get our lovely period bath re-enamelled rather than buy a new one. Its a lovely original cast iron bath.
Ma Gnomepants: Why would you want to do that? Oh buy a new one instead.

and

Mother-in-law – Why have you made your own cake? You’d have been better off buying a shop bought one.
A bit later..
Sister-in-law phwarr this cake’s lovely
stegzy Oh yes. Its delightful. Really chocolatey and moist. I’ll have another slice there should be plenty seen as your mum would prefer a shop bought one.

Ma Gnomepants Get yourself a new vacuum cleaner
stegzy Why? Whats wrong with the one I’ve got? I’ve only had it for 4 years
Ma Gnomepants It doesn’t suck right. I think it’s broken
stegzy Mum…Its either full or the pipe is blocked. Bit of poking about Ah yes. Look a big ball of cat hair and paper blocking one of the pipes. And look, it sucks….Thats saved me £100

My mum and the wifes mum are part of what I call the “Throw away” generation. The throw away generation tend to be aged between 50 and 80. If something breaks, whereas their parents would have endeavoured to fix or mend the broken item themselves or have the item repaired by someone else, the “Throw Away” Generation simply chuck it out and buy a new one.

junkMy Dad was born on the cusp of the arrival of this generation. If a hole appeared in one of his socks he used to darn the sock and prolong its life by a further 2 years. Similarly if something mechanically simple breaks, my dad will take it apart and have a look to see if he can repair the thing. This attitude saved me loads of cash as a kid when my over used joysticks for my Commodore 64 would break. A simple twist of the screws and a blob of solder would often fix the problem. Likewise with bicycles, bits of furniture, plumbing, general repairs or whatever, if a simple patch and repair could be affected it would. My mum however, is the opposite. Even the slightest tear of fabric in something and it must be thrown out and a new one bought. Note I said thrown out. Rarely are such items given away to anyone other than family and even then prolonged usage would receive comments such as “Why don’t you buy yourself a new one?” or “I see John Lewis have a sale on “.

I suppose the post war years and the post rationing years promised that generation exciting and disposable things. Instant Car! Just add water! or Our sofas are made of 100% cheap and nasty non-biodegradable polymer based materials. SO cheap! Why buy one? Buy four! If one breaks…chuck it out! Hurrah!!. Their rationed parents and grandparents looking on in bewilderment. “Hey wow look Ethel! Dorothy has bought yet another labour saving device! Gosh do you remember when you had to spend all day Wednesday working on the mangle?”.

So we come full circle again.

Things break
I’ll have a look at the thing.
Assess if I can fix it.
Ask my dad if he can fix it.
Buy a new one but keep the old one for spares.
Get bollocked by the wife for keeping shite that I’ll never get round to fixing
Dispose of thing in recognised place of refuse disposal.

Even when in our house where we have separate bins for recyclables and compostables. After the olds have visited we tend to find things in the wrong bin. I think if Liverpool council hadn’t had a “If you don’t compost we’ll frown at you” campaign, the olds would still be chucking out plastics and glass to landfill. Although to be fair my dad has always separated his bottles and papers, but mum just puts anything resembling rubbish into the bin. I think my dad separates the bottles because when he was young he could take bottles back to the shop for the penny deposit and newspapers were always useful for a variety of purposes. Whereas my mum sees that as a bit lower class and although my mum comes from the roughest arse end of Garston, she sees herself as having worked her way up to near the top and is quite proud.

The wife’s mum tends to just lump everything into the same bin despite constantly being told by her daughters that there are greener ways to do things. Though to give her her due she does switch everything off at the wall when she has finished. Not something I can hold my hand up and say I do religiously and she doesn’t drive a car (my dad drives a petrol guzzling Ford Focus) so I suppose that off sets some of her carbon foot print slightly.

I read this…..Is it right? Are your olds part of the throw away generation? How about you?


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Wet

I watched the last remaining survivors clinging to the life raft. They had been adrift for some time allowing the cold north easterly wind carry them through the mist. The waters were uncannily still and they observed little wavelets lapping at the shore of two distant islands.

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Watching

cctv_2I just had an air guitar moment. It was to In Motion Pt 2 by The Gathering. Thing is I was really enjoying myself and then I thought “OMG! Someone might see” so I stopped. Thing is I didn’t think “OMG! Someone might see” because I’m sat somewhere public with millions of people passing by. Nor did I think “OMG! Someone might see” because I’m sat in a place someone might catch me in the act. No! I thought “OMG! Someone might see me” because after 30 odd years I still think there might be a hidden camera somewhere.

Historically, for me, this began before CCTV became as wide spread as it is in the UK. Longer term readers might recall my telling of what my eldest brother said to me on my first day in school that being “You had best be on your best behaviour because I have hidden cameras about”.

That really set me up for life.

Followed by bumping into Mrs Thingie (friend of my nans) on the Isle of Man at the age of 10 and often having my mum confront me about things and events that there was no way that she could have witnessed (only later to find out one of her spies had seen me and told her everything).

This all proved to be the grounds of my really good behaviour. I’ve never stabbed anyone, never robbed anything (apart from that little ring of rubber that you attach face masks to snorkels with from a Hypermarché in France) , even when picking my nose I make sure nobody can see me. So not being an exhibitionist as such I conform and do as little to embarrass, offend or upset as I can incase somebody is watching or sees.

big-brother-is-watching-youTotally unfounded I know. I know that people have got better things to do with their time than scrutinise my every move and laugh at (note…I said at not with) me doing air guitar or whatever. I know that really nobody could careless and I won’t end up plastered all over the Sunday tabloids as being “That wanker that did the air guitar” or whatever it is I’m doing. But in the UK today, what seemed like an unlikely event in the 1970’s, CCTV and hidden cameras are everywhere. I’m not being paranoid or weird or owt…THEY ARE!! Just cos you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Ok they might not be there. But there is always the chance that they might be, so I adapt my behaviour accordingly. Likewise, being the person that monitors the internet and computer usage of the students here makes me more paranoid. WHO IS WATCHING ME? Probably  you or the CIA. Not that I care….

So I thought am I alone in thinking this….


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Surnames

For some time now I have been fascinated by the origins of surnames (or last names if you want to be all modern and right on). My own surname Gnomepants stems from the Greek Gnomos Pantalonkikos which is a trade that was popular in ancient Greece. People would flock to ancient Athens and Crete to visit the numerous Gnomos Pantalonkikos and inspect their handicrafts. I think Plato said “My Gods! The Gnomos Pantalonkikos in my street is the best!”. At one time one of my ancestors would have been a Gnomos Pantalonkikos and we all know how important they were to the development of civilisation.

Butcher

Butcher (n) – to be a butcher

Heaton-Harris (n) - Wanksplat

Heaton-Harris (n) old Swahili – Wanksplat

So likewise when I come across unusual names I like to look them up (on google & wikipedia) in an effort to locate their origins. Today, I was dealing with a person that goes by the name of Spink. Now Spink is an unusual name from my perspective. I don’t know you might know lots of Spinks, in which case it won’t be all that unusual to you. I know several people called Grobinglops which is quite common though some would argue that they don’t know anyone called Grobinglops and they might find the name Grobinglops unusual. But anyway….that’s by the by. So I look them up and I think “oooh I wonder what their ancestors must have done. So for example someone called Colin Computersalesman would obviously have descended from a prominent Barrel maker. Likewise David Butcher would have been descended from a butcher, Barry Bumscrape – a tramp and Simon Quantumphysicist would most likely have been a quantity surveyor. You get the idea don’t you. Maybe you have a occupational surname too….I know that the likes of Sean Bean would be descended from a bean (maybe he was planted and grew) and Gordon Honeycomb would more than likely have been related to some ancient piece of a bee hive or something.

You get what I’m on about. So I looked up Spink on Wikipedia and I learnt a new thing. So I thought I would share that with you. According to Wikipedia (and yes I know that contrary to popular belief Wikipedia is not 100% reliable) a spink is the formal name for human meat! So at one time this Spink person would have come from a family of food. I can imagine them sitting in the tribal village during the harsh winter months.

Mr Chieftan – We’re so cold. All the meat and food has been eaten. What shall we do?
Mr Advisor – Well why not have a reserve of meat in the village. Fresh meat. How about that family over there? They worked hard in the fields this summer so they’re all nice and muscley. No sinew or fat on them. We could eat them!
Mr Chieftan – Who the Spinks? Well yes! I don’t like the way they look at me anyway

And so it happened, the villagers were eaten and a name gained a meaning.


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Joseph Wiseman – Making the world a better place – Part three

I once read an article was about physical assaults on driving examiners, how they are on the rise and how the union of driving examiners says it’s all down to the culture of not taking No for an answer.

Pint glass

A pint in a pint glass

Having worked in the service industry for some years now I am all too familiar with this culture. For example:

stegzy – How can I help?
Self-opinionated Wankstain – I want you to help me put 3 pints into this 1 pint jug please.
stegzy – Er. I can’t it’s against the laws of physics.
Self-opinionated Wankstain – That’s not acceptable. I want to speak to your manager.

or

stegzy – How can I help?
Over important Fuckwit – I need you to help develop a transparent, dynamic and flexible framework strategy to empower our co-workers to heighten their productivitity using spoons and blu tac.
stegzy – Surely that will require several think tanks, a working group and a number of cross-departmental forums. It can’t be done!
Over important Fuckwit – Nonsense! You have to have several corporate lunches and at least a couple of away days to arrive at such decisions! You can’t just pluck something like “It can’t be done” out of the ether!

Or

Scruffy smackhead tramp – ‘av ya gorranny change der lah?
stegzy – no
Scruffy smackhead tramp – in dat case am gonnarav t’stab yer

Such is society today. No doubt brought on by the Culture of Now and propagated by the increasingly annoying “Everyone’s a winner” mentality and non-competitive environment they seem to be rearing children up in today.(I tell you this. If and when I have kids of my own they’re so going to be home schooled. None of this Hitler Youth conditioning that seems to go on in schools today). Some people, it seems, really do not expect to hear the word no when they ask for something.

Calc

Can I put OSX on this please?

From the simple:

“Can I put Mac OS 10 on this calculator?”
“No”

To the more complex

“Can I put Mac OS 10 on this calculator?”
“No”
“Why?”
“Because you can’t”
“Well find me evidence that you can’t because I don’t believe you”

and the more absurd

“Can I put Mac OS 10 on this calculator?”
“No”
“Why?”
“Because you can’t”
“Well get onto Steve Jobs and demand that he do something about it!”

And not just in IT, it’s similar in retail environs

“Can I have a pizza please?”
“I’m sorry this is a hardware shop”
“Well that’s not my problem is it?!”

And in Libraries

“Do you have a book on the history of pink rhino race meetings held in Milton Keynes between 1999 and 2003?”
“Erm. No”
“Well you bloody well should have! Call this WH Smiths!?”

DrJuliusNo

Do you know Dr No? No?

It seems we don’t like to be told no. No is not the answer we like to hear. However it is often the only answer available

“Which Doctor was played by Joseph Wiseman and starring Sean Connery in the film of the same name?”
“No”
“Correct”

I am of the opinion that all that is required is a large scale public celebration of the word “no”. Tshirts, badges and hats escribed with the word “NO”. The constant playing of “No Limits” by 2Untalented. Banners and kites. Hot air balloons and zeppelins. Feel proud of the word NO as a forbidding word. Embrace it with open arms. Take it to bed with you and touch it up. Say NO today.

Its easy isnt it?

Ok thats a bit simplistic. Its not that people dislike the word no. Its just people don’t like negativity. It is negativity that we should embrace. Use it to our advantage. Those people banging on about how we should all be POSITIVE in our actions and thoughts are basically fueling this epidemic of violence. We should be more negative. So next time the driving examiner says

I’m terribly sorry. You havent passed

Cheer for joy! Say out loud “Thankyou!”. If you feel necessary kiss the examiner on the lips. Remember you have celebrated bad news and that is a just cause. So you failed your driving exam! You can now go and sit in a pub all miserable and resentful. Alcohol consumption generates revenue. Revenue is good for the economy.

The next time the shop man says

I’m terribly sorry but I don’t want to serve you because your eyebrows meet in the middle

Don’t hit him. Thank him. Such negativity is good. Your eyebrows probably do meet in the middle and that is probably why people call you wolfie behind your back. Go home. Shave. Become self concious. Become reclusive. Let that anger, paranoia and resentment build up. It’s good for you! It helps raise the blood pressure which means your heart is pumping faster. Surely that is better for you than it just beating as if you were calm and at rest? Accept that you, like many other people, are disfigured by excessive eyebrow growth. The shop keeper isnt going to get your money. It is your money that he needs to keep the protection racket away from his counter which is probably already splattered with his blood and covered by his bruised body. The police are probably already investigating. Such negative actions create employment. Employment creates revenue. Revenue is good. Think negative. It’s good for you and society.

Instead of calling the bus driver a twat because he refuses to change a five pound note. Call him a patriot. His negativity is exactly what this planet needs. So you have to walk the nine miles home in the pouring sodding pissing rain. You will no doubt get some sort of pneumonia and require care in a hospital or somewhere. The care you receive will be provided by nurses. Jobs that will need to be filled. So you might lose a lung or become infected with MRSA. Just think of those lawyers you will be employing to fight for compensation. So the lawyers will take 80% of your award as a fee. 20% is awful! Blow it all on beer and fags. Keep them revenue coffers overflowing.

It isn’t your duty to be negative?

Be like an electron. Be minus 1. Be black and white and in reverse. Be negative.


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They’re all out to get me

Sometimes I can’t help feeling singled out.

Of course I know it’s nonsense but I like to think that the reason some things happen is because of a greater conspiracy. One involving the “Powers that be” be that the illuminati, the Government, MI5, Tescos, the man in the post office that looked like Elvis or whom-so-ever is in favour this week and Me. Of course, if you know me well you’ll know I really dont believe half the shit I spout but I gain great pleasure from trying to convince people that the fruits of my overactive imagination are real. Again those that know me well join in and make even more outlandish suggestions. Those that don’t look at me bewildered, confused and even concerned for my mental well being. But I assure you as I said, most of the conspiracy stuff is utter bollocks and I know it.

Anyway, today I mentioned in a comment on one of poggs‘ posts about buses how whenever I’m waiting for a bus none will show yet when Im not you cant move for the buggers. Which made me think. I’ve never really written about this side to me. Ok some people love it. Of course others hate it (probably because they think I really do believe the shite I spout) some even become hostile, which I find sad.

So. After that windfilled explanation on with the show….Here for your delight and mind to chew over, are how they are trying to undermine me….why? I haven’t a clue….possibly because Im the real heir to the throne….

IMG_0441

Comes in threes

1. When I’m waiting for a bus or train :-

  • a) millions of buses or trains that I can’t get will sail past empty yet mine will always be chockablock and infrequent.
  • b) The bus or train I want will only come every 3 years even though
  • c) The line of buses I cant get will go so far down the road from the bus stop that the bus I want cant see me and will go sailing past on its merry way.
  • d) Some old myopic biddy (who is of course a secret agent for the sinister organisation) will flag my bus down and then wave it on because she doesn’t want it (without ANY consideration for others that may be waiting for it)

2. I’ll find some food/hair product I really like. Then mysteriously (like almost over night) it will disappear from the shop shelves. An example of this is Heinz Pepperoni Pizza. Yumtastic. Now you cant find them for love nor money.

3. I’ll find a restaurant that does really good quality food with really excellent service. When I take others to impress them the service is shite, the food substandard or its closed or changed management.

4. When in a rush I’ll always end up behind Mr “Slow and considerate” and in front of Mr “Im in a rush get a move on you twat”

5. Some fucker will go into my bag and discharge the battery on my MP3 Player the day I need to listen to it. The same fucker will do the same to my mobile phone when I’ve not got my charger.

6. Whenever I’m waiting for an important piece of mail. The postman (who is in the employ of the “sinister” organisation behind my persecution) will hold on to the post or accidently lose it on purpose.

Phone box Post box

People phone me

7. If I get excited over a particular TV listing, like so excited I cant wait and am bubbling with anticipation like a bottle of Grand Prix Mumm

  • Some fucker will call on the phone when its on
  • Some fucker will call round when its on
  • Some famous fucker will die and it will be rescheduled (or delayed thus fucking up any video settings)
  • Some fucker will do something tasteless and the program/film will be indefinitely postponed on the grounds of taste

8. If I get into a TV serial:-

  • Be assured that someone will distract me and drag me away during a crucial moment
  • I will forget (due to the mind rays that they beam at me) and miss key episodes
  • It will be rescheduled to a time
    • – when I cant be bothered to stay up
    • – thats abhorrent to God
    • – when I’m at work
    • – when I’m otherwise occupied

9. When I really fancy a cup of tea, a bowl of cornflakes or something milk involved, sinister agents raid my fridge or turn any milk in it sour.

10. The expensive electrical gadget I covet for months turns out to be a turkey when I finally get the thing. Either that or I’ll buy it and a week later it’ll be like 50p for 3.

There are more….but they’ve turned the brain rays onto me again and I can’t remember what they are….

This post originally appeared in May 2005 on Livejournal. It has been reposted here for new audiences. When they arrive. One day….perhaps….


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British Customer Service – A training course

Hello! Thank you for coming to Stegzy‘s Customer Service School. Today I am going to show you the key skills required to succeed in this line of work*

Now please turn your workbooks to Chapter 1 – Key Skills