Letter to the BBC

Dear BBC,

I notice that you are increasing the regularity of the appearance of people who seem to be experts on everything and have opinions on everything which, for some reason, you think reflects society at large.

I would like to offer my services as a gobshite. I too have strong opinions on everything from David Cameron’s underwear to the cost of prawns in the Middle East during the Byzantium Empire. I am an expert on everything and nothing. I have several years experience of spouting utter crap to backup people’s clandestine agendas and I am happy to cast aspersions and morals to the wind without forethought for the wider consequences.

Hope this will cover everything. 

Lots of Love

Gnomepants

From the Archives:- Saying Goodbye

Goodbye, I’m told, is the hardest word to say. Certainly, in recent times at least, I’ve had difficulty saying goodbye. Not because of some hideous speech impediment or because I’ve had a mouth full of pizza, but because emotionally it has proven difficult. That said, I’ve also said goodbye with as much ease as taking my socks off.

bye

 

Every morning, with the last slurp of tea still fresh on my lips, I bid the girlfriend farewell with a peck and a dash for the door. Sometimes it’s a “See you later”, others a “bye” or a “ta-rah”. Maybe I will see her later, maybe I won’t. I might fall down a forgotten mine shaft (Now what ever happened to that mine shaft I used to have?) and never be seen again or maybe it’ll be her. I can never be sure so I suppose, out of habit, manners and education, I bid adieu in case I’m never seen again. A kind of closing statement. A full stop (or period if you’re over the other side of the planet (Do you know? When Merricans say period I immediately think of women menstruating….yeah it isn’t nice).

An end.

Other people don’t tend to be so lucky, the bus driver, the shop keeper, that weird bloke with the funny smell that lives down the street, they all tend to get smiles and grunts. Maybe peppered with a “ta” or a “nice one”. Is this because I feel these guys don’t deserve a farewell? I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve been on the receiving end of a broad spectrum of endings. Especially through the variety of jobs I’ve done.

 

 

In the helpdesk for example from:-

goodbye

stegzy – and that’s how you fix it
Person on other end of phone – Thank you. Bye.
stegzy – Bye

to

stegzy – and that’s how you fix it
Person on the other end of the phone**Click** brrrrrrrrrrrr

stegzy – Twat.

or

stegzy – and that’s how you fix it
Person on the other end of the phone – well that’s bally well not good enough!
stegzy**Click** brrrrrrrrrrrr

I suppose it would be not only discomforting but unusual if, when saying goodbye, everybody took the same amount of time as is taken in the last hour of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I mean can you imagine?

stegzy – Goodbye
Bus Driver – **hugging stegzy** Goodbye old chum, what happy adventures we have had
stegzy – But we only went 5 stops
Bus Driver – Indeed, but what an adventure. I’ll miss you
stegzy – I’m only going to the off licence to get some cigarettes I’ll be getting this bus home.
Passenger A – **hugging Bus Driver and stegzy** Ha! What a wag. Goodbye old friend. May you meet fortune face on
stegzy – Jeez you’re a bunch of weirdos
Passenger C – Ha! Farewell fellow travellers!
Passenger D – Get a bloody move on, I’ve got to be places!

Be seeing you!

 

Sometimes it needs to be quick, more like

stegzy – See ya **gone**
Person A – See y…oh you’ve gone.

 

 

Personally, when I’m going somewhere I’d rather it be a small goodbye than some re-enactment of the Waltons. I mean, I’m going, I need to be somewhere, hurry up! Let me go! Mrs Gnomepants, on the other hand will spend ages saying goodbye, sometimes saying goodbye, only to start another 1 hour conversation and then have to say goodbye once again. It’s not unusual, as Tom Jones said, for Mrs Gnomepants to take 5 minutes saying goodbye on a telephone conversation to her sister. Surely all that is needed is “Bye” followed by a reciprocated acknowledgement of the end of the conversation.

 

Goodbyes though eh?….we’re a peculiar bunch aren’t we?


This entry first appeared on Livejournal in September 2008 and has been edited to reflect changes in circumstance

Birthday

I’ve moaned about this for long enough. I think I’ve complained about it every year without fail.

Those that know me will remember I’m a stickler for tradition and I loathe breaking from it. So this year will not be any different.

I am one of the many people who are unlucky enough to have a birthday that falls within the festive season known as Christlemas. I’ve always pitied those that have birthdays actually on the big day or during the following week. While a birth at Christmas is a boon and a wonderful gift to most parents, to the child it is a curse.

Some would say “Oh but you must have a smashing Christmas, what with birthday AND Christmas presents”. Others would comment on the size of your sack (of presents) while others might discuss the finances behind present giving at this time of year and how they have had to down size your birthday present and some how merge it into your Christmas present. Yet still, there will be others who, for reasons of faith, do not have this problem over the period and flagellate themselves with barbed strips of salted linen.

Now, having had nearly 39 years of this festive cheapskatery, I am not as bitter about it as I might come across. Its kind of like having someone stab you in the arm with a pencil every day, eventually you get over the pain and it’s just a minor annoyance.

No, in fact it is not the presents nor is it the fact that nobody ever seems to be about for your birthday to go to the pub with (Office parties, Christmas shopping trips, visits to the temple, genuinely don’t like you). It’s the fact that year in, year out I have an ever growing stack of cards that I am unable to open prior to my birthday.

Now, it takes but a small amount of consideration to write on an envelope some sort of identifying mark. Like “Birthday” or “Do not open until 17th” or “I hate you I don’t know why I bother” to distinguish the Birthday cards from the Christmas cards. So why does this bother me so much? Well because I get this overwhelming feeling of popularity looking at the wedge of unopened cards on my mantelpiece. Yet when I open them they are 75% Christmas cards.

So I ask you, as I’m sure you know someone who shares a similar curse, please write on the envelopes of your cards this year “Birthday” or “Christmas” or “Death Threat” or “Go away”. That way people know and don’t go through life with a misguided sense of overpopularity.

Spare not the children, lest the evil persist

 

The other week zoefruitcake and I visited our local Frankie and Benny’s for a bit of a post payday treat.

It was busy; mostly because it was Halloween but also because it was the day after pay day and the world, his wife, their neighbours and their best friend’s uncle’s favourite mechanic’s son also had the same idea.

Because it was Halloween weekend there were many children present. A good deal of these children were sat, well behaved and happy to be out with their family. There was, however, a pair of little shits present whose parents obviously went to the “freedom of expression” school of parenting. These delightful little darlings thought it fun to run rampant around the restaurant squealing with glee instead of remaining seated and only speaking when spoken to.

spoiled-bratSpoilt shits.

You know the type. They usually have traditionally cheeky scamp names like Bob or Tommy. The type of names traditionally apportioned to working class flat cap wearing, roll-up cigarette smoking betting shop regulars but, for some bizarre reason only known to fashionable middle class Guardian readers, deemed preferable to Tarquin, Charles and Gordon.

The type whose parents, as stated previously, believe in “freedom of expression”. The same parents who probably inexplicably develop a “cough” when walking near smokers. Or fuss about their children and whatever food allergy or intollerance may be fashionable at the time. The type of parent that any normal person would want to smash into a granite table face first before flushing their head repeatedly down a particularly dirty toilet.

The type of child who runs around restaurants unbidden. Screaming and tripping up waitresses. Any accidents that arise are clearly the fault of the waiting staff not taking care when carrying a tureen of boiling soup or molten lard.

That got me thinking.

Bloody kids.

When I was a kid at a restaurant (or, more likely, a Berni Inn) , if I didn’t sit straight, shut up and eat my greens provided with my scampi and chips the likelihood of eating out again would diminish to the point of never again. But no, not these chuffing days. Noooo. These days it seems it is totally socially acceptable to allow your child to run rampant with no regard for other diners or waiting staff.

All in the name of “freedom of expression”.

kitchen-classics-steak-knife-59kszSo to express my own freedom, I rose from my chair, went over to the little shits, grabbed them by the collars. Dragged them over to their parents who were sat, jaws agape in protest. Threw them into their seats and said: “If you don’t fucking control your children I will pickle them and feed them to the tramps.”

“Oh but they’re only expressing themselves” came the protest.

“Yeah well I’m expressing myself freely too.” I retorted as I stabbed the father in the nose with his blunt steak knife and forced the mother to swallow her barbequed rib bones whole. Sideways.

“Do you want a starter?” Zoe asked, snapping me out of my daydream.

“No, let’s get straight to mains” I replied.

International I Haven’t Bred Day

family-mulitigenerationalSo mums have Mother’s Day, dads have Father’s Day and grandparents get both the gender specific card selling day AND Grandparent’s Day.

Hurrah!

Well done. You’ve bred. You’ve contributed to the gene pool. You’ve created another mouth to feed. Another housing and clothing need.

Congratulations for contributing to the overpopulation of the world.  Have a day of adoration. Have special cards, gifts and a shiny new hat.

Well done.

And what do the rest of us get eh?

Month-of-SundaysWhen I was younger I asked my parents “When is it Son’s Day?” to which they replied “Everyday is Son’s Day”. Imagine that. A month of Son Days….

Now I am older I see the injustice of it. Those that breed get recognition; those that don’t, don’t. Moreover, there are “FAMILY FUN DAYS”, “FAMILY SIZED PORTIONS”, “FAMILY RESTAURANTS” and “FAMILY TICKETS” and other such discounts. Those that don’t breed get to luxury of having to support the entitled discounts for those that do. Fair? Not very.

But what seems fair is that there should be a day where all those that haven’t bred receive recognition for their act of selflessness and their increased costs for sustaining those that do breed. A day where those that have bred send those that haven’t cards of thanks, gifts and specifically targeted benefits. Reader…I give you

INTERNATIONAL I HAVEN’T BRED DAY

Thanks and  recognition at long last.

I propose that this day should be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of  July. Which should give those that have bred plenty of time to think of gifts and remember to pop cards into the postbox for their friends that, as yet, have not spawned a new generation of people that will one day require a pension, a house, transport and food.

Collectors Edition

The other day I took Zoe to the local Hobbycraft so she could choose a delicious and chewy glue gun for her Easter present. Nom. It was while we were wandering around the aisles that I was reminded about materialism and the satisfaction of surrounding ourselves with useless tat.

 

This could have fed a family of sixOne of the aisle displays contained parts to make your Hornby railway set complete. As well as trains, carriages and track there were little plastic men, shrubbery and model things. These you might buy to make your little network of trains look like a piece of English countryside harking back to the bygone age of steam and rail.

 

What struck me first was “How ace would it be to have a railway set with all these little men and things dotted about the place? I could have my very own pre-Beeching world with stops, junctions and level crossings.”

 

And then I looked at the price. The price for 5 little plastic men no bigger than the toenail on your middle toe was a shocking….£8. £8 for 5 tiny bits of anthropomorphic plastic. I looked at the packs of tunnel portals; £20. The starter packs were about £80. “Blimey!” said I and as I said it, and the people in the aisle flashed me confused glares the thoughts of my passing raced through my head.

 

SkipIt was, ultimately, all shite. If I invested my money in such a scheme, upon my passing, they would no doubt be separated, given away or sold for a fraction of the price I paid for them. My corpse festering in a box  somewhere while my worldly possessions divvied up into “Charity shop”, “Skip”, “Sell” and “Give away” piles.

 

Now I can understand spending your hard earned cash on something that will accumulate value like antiques, gold or stocks. I might even understand buying things that retain their value, but most of the time we are presented with useless tat to spend our money on, which in turn, makes the economy flourish.

 

Or so we are told.

 

218828pw150Then there’s the 99p “fitting” fee for screen wash. Yes, you read that right.  99p for someone who works in Halfords to come out to your car, pop your bonnet, open the cap to the screen wash reservoir and empty the contents into it.

 

99p

 

Are people really that stupid? Are there people who, through some bizarre chain of events are unable to open the bonnet to their car and fill up their own reservoir? Do these people have the vote too?

 

This got me thinking. People + money = no sense. It’s like adorning your house with those fucking god awful stone lions rampant. Do you really think they add value to your home? Is there some people out there that think “Oh you know I’d buy this stately home but it hasn’t got fucking lions rampant on the gate posts” or people that think “You know this place has lions rampant on the gate posts, I think I’ll offer a little bit more money when I’m buying this house.

 

I doubt it. But I can’t be entirely sure. I mean the evidence is there around us.

 

strawI suspect this is why I have no money. I used to be materialistic. I’d want the car, the latest electronic gadgets and a little cork donkey to set off my living room. I’d want the smoked glass divides, the egg cosies, the camping pans and all the other rubbish. But then I broke myself. I now look at things and think: “Hey! Camping pans! Neat! But I could just take my own pans from my kitchen” or “Oooh hey! A pizza wheel would really make my kitchen complete. But then, what’s wrong with a really sharp knife instead?”

 

The paranoid part of me says the powers that be know that I am now immune to pointless spending and have engineered it so that I can’t get a job that pays a daft salary. Which of course, is daft in itself.

 

I find that I ask myself “Do I really need this?” with increasing regularity. Ornaments are wasted on me, gadgets are pointless and things like railway sets, hobbies and the like a waste of money.

 

CDs and DVDs are the same. I no longer rush out to buy the latest release of my favourite film or artist. I simply wait a year or so and buy them off Amazon for a pound or less. I no longer have the desire to rush out and buy the latest thing. Box sets are a waste of money and, if my video cassette collection is anything to go by, as soon as the format changes, the old stuff is worthless and you have to rush out and buy again.

 

My life free from such waste I should have tons of cash. I check my bank account and see little evidence of this…then…to help numb this realisation I fire up my laptop, sit back in my second hand couch and begin another quest on World of Warcraft. And that, dear reader, is why I am a hypocrite.

That Thing

Do you suffer from THAT THING?

I do.

THAT THING happens to me nearly every day. When you notice THAT THING it happens more and more and you become aware of THAT THING more. In fact I’d even say with skill and dexterity one can use THAT THING to one’s advantage. Of course you could just become frustrated with THAT THING and feel resentful.

Of course you probably have no idea what the fuck I am on about. But because it is Christmas and I am cruel I will share with you the experience that is THAT THING, purely so that you will become aware of it and you will become paranoid like me.

But only if you click on this cut.

Watching you do what you do

This actually happened. I know because I was there *

Scene – The boardroom of a sinister government department hidden somewhere in plain sight.

Sinister government operative – So we’re now on the next phase of our “constantly track the public’s whereabouts by sinister means” scheme.
Shady government operative – Indeed! We have successfully lulled the public into openly accepting our covert tracking devices
Shifty government operative – Mobile phones with GPS tracking….totally inspired!
Sinister government operative – Muhahahahha yes inspired! More inspired than the covert use of surveillance cameras with face recognition software linked to the Facebook database
Shifty government operative – Yes! But this technology is restrictive, the reception when they are indoors is limited and we cannot find a way for some of the proletariat to willingly accept monitoring devices into their homes.
Sinister Government operative – Ah that is where you are wrong number2. Our top scientists have developed an amazing infra red scanning device which will constantly monitor the interior of most living rooms. We can use this to monitor what people do in their own homes without them knowing.
Shady government operative – We can? Oh good! Pray tell us what this new device is so that we can continue to conduct our sinister global domination plot!
Sinister Government operative – It is quite simple. A device that recognises faces, tracks movement and such like which can be connected to the internet. It shall be marketed as a gaming device and sold to the public to cover the production costs. It shall be called….”KINECT”….and we shall be known as RULERS OF THE WORLD! muhahahahahahaa
All present – Muhahahahahahahah

* ADVISORY NOTE:- This may be outrageous lies

Terrorism: What to ban

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The scene: A secret governmental office in some seemingly innocuous building in London. Four top executive types sit around a conference table.

Man 1: Right, the department that provide us with our funds are wanting to cut our funding back unless we can prove how valuable and useful we are to the country.

Man 2: Again?

Man 1: Yes again. So what we need to do is highlight the dangers of something…like what we did before.

Man 3: Yes like with the bottled water thing. That proved effective though unpopular with voters and as approval ratings of our existence is wavering on the low side we need to appear to be proactive but not too disruptive to society.

Woman: I get it. Ok, how about getting MI7 to create another terrorist attack?

Man 1: Too costly. We’re still paying the compensation on that one.

Man 2: Could we not create some new figure of focus like Abu Hamsa?

Man 3: That requires international agreement and at the moment we’re not that popular.

Man 1: Indeed, so what we need to do is think of something like with the bottled water thing that makes us look proactive but causes the minimal amount of disruption.

The four look around the room for inspiration…

Woman: Oooh! Ooh! How about pens? A would be terrorist could pack a pen with explosive and then detonate it aboard a plane or ferry.

Man 3: Good one…but still too disruptive. Worth remembering that one though. The airlines would probably be in agreement with that and be able to sell biros during the flight for exorbitant prices….but no…not this time…let me think…

 

The four look around more…

Man 1: How about spectacle cases?

Man 3: Yeah…fewer people carry those…but I don’t think the public would buy it.

 

More looking round and scratching of heads.

There is a knock on the door. The door opens.

Youthful IT dude: Entering room Alright…sorry…I’m from IT. I’ve been asked to change the toner cartridge on the printer in here. Would it be OK for me to do that? I’ll only be a couple of minutes.

All four: With look of universal approval and acceptance. Toner cartridges!

 

And that….is EXACTLY what happened.

I know this…because I was the IT dude *

 

 

 

 

*May be lies

International Fib Day

““The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”” – Adolf Hitler

It’s been years since I did an International Fib Day. Ok I did a poll last year and the day has moved around more than a cigarette lighter in a washing machine but I think it is time for one today.

In reaction to something on the telly the other night, zoefruitcake asked if I thought the moon landings were real. My shortened reply was “yet to be convinced”. You see the way I see it is that ever since like wayyy before the second world war, whoever has been in administration in Washington over the years has enjoyed telling big fibs. And, as my mother always told me, if you tell lies eventually nobody will believe you.

The longer version might have gone something like this. Sorry if this upsets anyone.

“There’s gold in them hills” – nope…if there was its all gone now, but now you’re on the Western Sea board, you might as well stay and populate the area yeah?

“The Japs did it first so we hit back” – If you poke a stick at a nest of hornets, don’t be surprised if you get stung.

“They’re probably commies” – Just because you like to share bags of sweets with people doesn’t necessarily make you a “commie”, besides, what’s wrong with sharing the wealth as long as
everyone does the same amount of work? Isn’t that what social security is?

“We decoded the enemy’s codes because we pinched something off a submarine” – No you didn’t, it was the Brits. All you did was make a film about it. With actors.

“Aliens aliens aliens” – A documentary I saw this week suggested that there was more evidence to prove that the suggestion of alien abduction, UFOs and cattle mutilations was actually a smoke screen used by black operations run by the military so they could get away with doing all manner of odd shit and get it put down as the ramblings of some weird hick. It was quite a compelling argument. Especially when the documentary was followed by Fourth Kind

“Them damned Eyerakkies have WMDs and have been giving them to the Tally Bahn in Afghanistan” – Have they really? Is WMD a code word for oil? Or natural mineral resources?

“The spill is the worst ever” – Tell that to the Nigerians yeah?

“Elvis is dead” – yeah? Then who’s that working in my local chippy?

“Jackson is dead” – Yeah? The who’s that lurking round the local kiddies school?

“This specially ionised water is healthier than ordinary water” – ding ding…hear that? That’s the sound of my other leg.

Anyway, you get the idea. So it comes as no surprise that unless I can see the proof for myself, I’m not going to believe a word that comes out of the mouths of certain Western governments. You know like go to the moon myself and see the foot prints and “Neil wuz ‘ere” written on a rock. After all I’ve seen Capricorn One. I remain…unconvinced. Has man been to the moon? Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t. Think about it, how implausible is sticking 3 men onto the back of a stick of explosives, shooting them into the sky to travel through an airless vaccuum, land on a ball of cheese and send back some grainy holiday snaps before bringing them all the way back again. What ever next?

But as we are all human, it comes as no surprise that we all, at some point, tell fibs. Even if we are governments or just the little people. Its fun to fib. It’s fun to spin yarns. And the point of International Fibs Day is to tell me the most outrageous fib you can possibly fib all guilt and conscience trouble free.

You may do so in comments.