Wednesday 29 December 2010

Goodbye 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, I thought that I would resurrect a meme that I audaciously stole this time last year in order to summarise my thoughts, feelings and activities of the past year.

Please feel free to steal it if you like.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?

Our holiday to the Canadian Rockies and Alaska provided a few new experiences:

(1) It was the first time I had been to Calgary, Jasper, Kamloops, Banff, Vancouver and Victoria in Canada and Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway in the US. It was a shame that we only got to spend only a small amount of time, ranging from a couple of hours to a day or two, in each place.

(2) I saw a couple of wild bears in the mountains (thankfully from the safety of a coach).

(3) I walked on a glacier in snow in the middle of May.

(4) I went on a cruise for the first time.

It was a fabulous holiday that cost a fortune and the scenery was absolutely breath-taking.

We also visited Iceland for the first time and had a really fun time which also coughed up a couple of firsts:

(1) I had my first sauna (hard to believe but true).

(2) I went to the Blue Lagoon where I basked in a geothermal spa and covered my face in white silica mud.

(3) I ate whale for the first time (not a whole one obviously).

You can read about our trip here.

On a business trip to China, there were a few firsts, particularly in the work environment. But the highlight for me was the Stone Forest (which you can read about here)

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Not really. I don’t make resolutions as such but at the beginning of this year I was determined to get fit and at least attempt to write a book of some sort.

I failed – spectacularly.

In January, I actually did make an effort to get fit and lost a little weight as a result. Sadly, it was all over by February and my determination to improve my fitness fizzled out like a dud firework. And I have put the weight back on.

I also had a go at writing a book but, thanks to some heavy defeats in my war against procrastination, that too stuttered to an embarrassing halt. The only vaguely literary achievement I enjoyed was the continued outpouring of codswallop on this blog.

So – what about 2011?

The same aims apply and I will try harder this time to have a go at writing that elusive book and making myself a little fitter.

Wish me luck – I’ll need it.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

We are going to see “The Drifters” at the Palace Hotel in Manchester. Ideally I would like to bring in the New Year with a bit of heavy metal or progressive rock – but you can’t win them all. And yes, I will be dressing up as a penguin again.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, nobody I know died this year. Sadly, workwise, my morale continues to suffer a slow death.

5. What countries did you visit?

I visited Canada, the United States, Iceland, Spain (Majorca) and China.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

The answer to this question is exactly the same as last year; more money and a house that is 100% complete. Our house is a money pit and we have just finished redecorating the second bedroom. We also spent money on replacing the front door and painting the outside of the house. This year, it is the turn of the hall and landing and I can see my hard earned cash disappearing as I type. At the end of 2011 we may have completed the inside of the house.

The problem is that we then have to turn our attention to outside of the house including the garden and the drive at the front of the house.

AARRRGGHHH!!!! Find me more money – somebody – please!! I will take next week’s winning lottery numbers, though, if you have them.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

No dates particularly stand out.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My continued ability to spout drivel on this blog and display crap photos on The Plastic Mancunian’s Eye.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I think I hinted about this above – my inability to write a book – AGAIN!!!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No. My only illness was a touch of man flu (it visits me once or twice a year usually).

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Without a shadow of a doubt, that has to be my new HTC Desire HD smartphone. I am still playing with it and it has become, almost, like a third limb.

Bizarrely I rarely use it for basic stuff like phoning people up and texting; I spend most of my time playing with the satellite navigation, writing notes, taking photos, surfing the internet and all of the other wonderful things it can do. One useful application might actually help me get fit. There is a cardiovascular workout measurement application that uses the GPS to work out how fast you have walked/run, how many calories you have burned etc.

I intend to make use of this on January 2nd, when my new exercise regime begins – maybe.

12. Where did most of your money go?

The house (as usual) – oh and paying for my eldest lad’s driving lessons.

13. What song will always remind you of 2010?

I am going to name three songs, none of which were actually released in 2010 but all of which came into my possession for the first time this year:

(1) Octavarium – by Dream Theater. This is a progressive rock masterpiece that has to be listened to appreciate it fully. At 24 minutes long, it may be a little extreme for some readers, but the opening and closing sections are simply breath-taking in their beauty. Of course, being a rock song, it has wonderful fist-clenching moments of metal majesty but the last five or six minutes of the song actually bring tears to my eyes. I implore you to listen to it – even if you don’t think progressive rock is your cup of tea.

(2) Fear Of A Blank Planet – Porcupine Tree. Last year I discovered Dream Theater and this year I discovered Porcupine Tree. Some of you may have heard of them but I would guess that most haven’t. This song is a great introduction to the band.

(3) Fatal Tragedy – Dream Theater. Yes – I’m afraid it is another Dream Theater song, this time from the concept album “Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory”. Again it is a masterpiece that starts of slowly and then cranks up so brilliantly that you have no choice but to grab your air guitar and leap around the room like a lunatic. A massively wonderful piece of progressive rock.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?

The book again, I’m sorry to say. I also wish I had considered an alternative to the daily grind, which is seriously wearing me down. I think I might seriously consider my career options in 2011.

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Same answer as last year – procrastinating.

16. What was your favourite TV program?

There were several TV programmes that stood out this year:

(1) Dr Who – the new Doctor was surprisingly good.

(2) The Apprentice – how fantastic to see arrogant arses brought crashing down to earth.

(3) True Blood – Vampires and ghouls – what more can you ask for?

(4) Fringe – continues to improve. It is a wonderful slice of science fiction.

(5) Dexter – We saw series 4 this year in the UK and it was wonderful and shocking at the same time. Can’t wait for series 5.

(6) 24 – Stupidly I watched series eight having never seen the programme before. It was magnificent. I need to watch the first seven series now I think.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Absolutely not. There are people I dislike but “hate” is too strong a word.

18. What was the best book you read?

I’m going to list three:

(1) “I Am Ozzy” – Ozzy Osbourne – Ozzy is a legend and this is one of the funniest books I have read – not sure that it is meant to be though.

(2) “Patient Zero” – Jonathan Maberry – A cross between “Night of the Living Dead” and “24”. Fabulous.

(3) “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – A superb return to form for Mr King (after the disappointment of the Dark Tower series of novels).

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

2010 has been a fabulous year for me in terms of music because I managed to complete my collection of Dream Theater CD’s.

However, on the way, I discovered a British progressive rock band that have also been around for a while, called Porcupine Tree. Check out “Fear Of A Blank Planet” and “In Absentia” – superb albums.

20. What was your favorite film of this year?


21. What did you do on your birthday?

Mrs PM took me for a lovely meal.

22. What kept you sane?

The usual – beer, music and writing this drivel.

23. Who did you miss?

Nobody really.

24. Who was the best new person you met?

Again, I’ve met a few new people this year and I don’t want to single anybody out – that’s unfair.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

It is better to get up an hour earlier than you have to when you are working in China in order to avoid using a squatter later in the day.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas Everybody

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again.

I’ve started a mini tradition on this blog at Christmas time – to take a well-loved Christmas tune and ruin it by changing the words into something stupid and inane.

My previous two efforts are here and here.

This year, I have decided to ruin a more modern song: Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade.

The lead singer of Slade, the fabulous Noddy Holder, was actually born in my home town of Walsall and although he doesn’t sing any more, his heartfelt cry of IT’S CHRISTMAAAASSSSSS is as ubiquitous in the UK as mince pies and turkey at this time of year.

I will take this opportunity to apologise to Noddy and the other boys in Slade for destroying their humorous lyrics with my own dreadful effort – but, as I said above, it is traditional.

And I would like to also take this opportunity to wish you, dear reader, wherever you may be, a Merry Christmas.

May Father Christmas bring you everything you desire and may your Yuletide celebrations be wonderful.

And now, I present to you my alternative lyrics:

Are you stuffing tons of turkey in your face?
Is your belly finally running out of space?
Have you drunk a pint of sherry washed down with a quart of ale?
Are you starting to look like a humpback whale?

So here it is Merry Christmas
And PM is having fun.
Eating lots and drinking beer
He’s only just begu – u- un.

Have you wasted lots of money on your gifts?
Were you tempted to give up and just shoplift?
Are you bored with Christmas carols sung by warblers at your door?
Are you tired enough to sleep upon the floor?

So here it is Merry Christmas
And PM is having fun.
Eating lots and drinking beer
He’s only just begu – u- un

What will Mrs PM do when she sees that PM's drunk and overweight? Ah ah!

Is there lots and lots of crap on the TV?
Are there lots of Christmas specials left to see?
Did you fall asleep while watching the Queen grumbling again?
Do you wish you were on a beach in sunny Spain?

So here it is Merry Christmas
And PM is having fun.
Eating lots and drinking beer
He’s only just begu – u- un


And for those of you who may not have heard the original – here it is:

Saturday 18 December 2010

The Ninja Meme - Parts One and Two

It’s been a week or two since I stole a meme from Sunday Stealing and as is typical of the situation, I find myself facing the second of a two part meme.

The only possible way forward is to attempt both parts.

Here we go.

1. What do you add to your coffee?

I usually add just milk. Occasionally, when there is no milk available or if the only milk available smells like the inside of a rugby player’s jock strap, I don’t bother and drink it black.

I have been known sometimes to add something alcoholic – purely for medicinal purposes you understand.

2. What are you reading now?

Apart from these questions?

If you are referring to my current book, it is “Under The Dome” by Stephen King. It’s a bit of a monster but is compelling and very enjoyable. I’ve almost finished. It will make a great film – it will be about eight hours long though.

3. Do you own a gun?

I own a water pistol to shoot invading cats. Apart from that I would never even consider owning a gun. This isn’t the kind of country where you need one to be fair. Besides, if I did own one, I would be tempted to emulate Elvis Presley and shoot the TV – particularly if Jeremy Kyle or Piers Morgan were on.

4. Are you registered to vote?

Of course I am. I live in England.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?

It depends what I am going to see the doctor for. So far, the answer is no – but you never know in future. I would imagine that having a boil in a very embarrassing place might make me nervous – particularly if the doctor were female.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?

I like them and I think they should be put on the endangered species list.

7. Favorite Christmas Song?

That has to be “Fairy Tale of New York” by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

I’m sure I’ve answered this one many times – a cup of tea and a glass of grapefruit juice.

9. Can you do push ups?

I’m not sure now. I’ve been able to do them in the past – it was a natural part of my gym routine a few years ago. Sadly, though, since my exercise now consists of walking around a bit and lifting a pint of beer, I may not be able to do as many as I used to be able to.

I will have a go in the New Year, when I try to become fit again.

10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend?

That’s a great question. I think, really, it was probably Anita, who I went out with at the age of about nine. I can’t remember too much about her to be honest – she was probably crazy for being my girlfriend.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery?

I don’t wear jewellery. In fact I don’t think I actually possess any jewellery.

12. Favorite hobby?

I would say writing the drivel that you are reading now, i.e. blogging. Sorry about that, dear reader.

Cat baiting comes a close second.

13. Do you work with people who idolize you?

Absolutely! ALL of my work colleagues idolise me. I am a deity in their eyes and they all strive to be as brilliant as I am.

I am also a total and utter liar.

14. Do you have ADD?

Not as far as I know.

15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?

That has to be procrastination. I have declared war on this terrible evil nemesis of mine and am struggling to overcome it. I am improving but it is a bloody hard slog I can tell you.

In fact, I will tell you my strategy – tomorrow maybe.

16. What’s your Middle name?

My middle name is Adonis. Actually, no – it’s more embarrassing than that – it’s George.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.

(1) I really love Metallica (I am currently listening to “The Day That never Comes”).

(2) I hate winter. Its bloody freezing and I hate the fact that Britain grounds to a halt when we get snow.

(3) Why did I take on this bloody meme?

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday.

A pint of bitter, a glass of dry white wine, another pint of bitter. I was at the pub.

19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink.

Tea, grapefruit juice and beer - not together of course.

20. Current worry right now?

Will the weather get worse overnight? We’re going to a wedding reception in Accrington tomorrow night and the journey might be a little scary. The news is full of stories of people being stuck in their cars for hours on end. We are really shit in this country when we get bad weather. Perhaps I said that before.

21. What side do you dress to?

That’s a bit personal but I will answer it anyway because that’s the kind of guy I am; the right side.

22. Favorite place to be?

At this current moment I would say in front of the fire because it is bloody freezing. Apart from that, probably Hong Kong as long as Mrs PM is there too.

23. How did you bring in the New Year?

I spent the last night of 2009 in the company of five lovely ladies, dancing to songs by “The Rat Pack”. You can read about it here.

Lucky me!

24. Where would you like to go?

At the moment, anywhere warm. A fortnight in a wonderful warm place would be lovely.

25. Name three people who will see today.

Odd question. I imagine most people in the world will see today.

26. Whose responses to Stealing do you want to read the most?

I read a lot of them to be honest and all of them are fabulous. I particularly like funny ones.

27. What color shirt are you wearing?

I am wearing a black T-shirt.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

With my hair? I would imagine that the friction would make me look like Einstein on crack.

29. Can you whistle?

Yes – as long as you aren’t asking me to do that whistle involving sticking fingers in my mouth. If I try that, I end up looking like a dribbling imbecile (as opposed to just an imbecile).

30. Favorite colors(s)?

Black and blue.

31. Could you be a pirate?

I would love to be a pirate – as long as it didn’t involve sailing, cutlasses and parrots. I just want the treasure.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?

I sing all sorts of stuff. I try not to sing anything by Dream Theater though because the songs last so long.

33. Favorite girls name?

If I had had a baby girl I would have wanted her to be called Rachel – so I guess I will say that.

34. Favorite boy’s name?

Dave, of course. Dave is the greatest boy’s name in existence. Everybody loves Dave – we even have a TV channel named after us in England.

35. What’s in your pocket right now?

Nothing. I usually have a phone, keys and a wallet normally.

36. Last thing that made you laugh?

I watched last night’s “Peep Show” earlier today – and that made me laugh out loud.

37. Best bed sheets as a child?

I always had boring sheets. I would have wanted something involving space ships and aliens but my mother would never buy them.

38. Worst injury you’ve ever had?

I’ve never really been injured seriously. The worst injury was due to my monumental stupidity. At the age of fifteen I was riding on a bike down a hill with a friend on the back. He pushed my arms and we both went over the top of the handlebars.I landed face first on the road and he landed on top of me. I thought I had lost both of my front teeth but thankfully only managed to chip one of them. My lips came up like a couple of oranges and my glasses shattered. There was blood everywhere and my mother thought I had broken my nose – I hadn’t thankfully. I ended up with two black eyes and loads of scratches and looked like I had been fifteen rounds with Mohammed Ali.

39. Do you love where you live?

I love Manchester as a city – it is full of life and a very entertaining place to be. The only thing I don’t like is the weather.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? How many HDTVs?

I have one 37 inch HDTV, an old TV that we use for the Wii and Playstation and a portable one upstairs.

41. Who is your loudest friend?

My friends would probably say that I am their loudest friend – compared to me they are all mice.

42. How many dogs do you have?

Sadly I don’t own a dog. I would dearly love one though but it isn’t exactly fair to keep one at the moment, with both of us working all the time. I am still hoping to persuade Mrs PM to get one when I retire, which may prove difficult because she is a cat person.

43. Does anyone have a crush on you?

I think that Mrs PM does (she has such bad taste in men). If there is anybody else, I don’t know about it.

44. What are the most fun things you ever did?

Too many to mention but all involve travelling abroad.

45. What are your favorite books?

I love horror, science fiction and action thrillers like those written by Robert Ludlum. I will name one in each genre for you.

Horror – “The Dark” by James Herbert.

Science Fiction – “The War of the Worlds” by H.G.Wells

Thrillers – “The Bourne Ultimatum” by Robert Ludlum.

47. Favorite Team?

I am sad to say that my favourite team is Walsall Football Club, currently languishing at the bottom of the third tier of the English football league. They stole my soul at the age of five and try as I might I simply cannot retrieve it – no matter how shit they are.

48. What songs do you want played at your funeral?

I definitely answered this a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who didn’t read that particular meme:

Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

Home – Depeche Mode

49. What were you doing at 12 AM?

According to Mrs Pm I was snoring so loudly that the cats were trying to escape the house through the walls.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?

What’s the bloody weather like today?

Monday 13 December 2010

I'm Pink Therefore I'm Spam

A while ago, somebody asked:

“What on earth are you doing, you stupid arse?”

That question made me start thinking, which is always a dangerous thing.

I didn’t ponder the question directly because I knew why it had been asked – I had spilled a cup of tea on my desk at work and it had flooded onto somebody else’s desk (his reaction was quite good, really).

Instead it made me consider the point of existence. I can almost hear you thinking “What the hell are you talking about?” Allow me to elaborate, dear reader.

I started to consider whether my mistake would make any difference in the global scheme of things.. Thousands of years into the future, my faux pas would be long forgotten. Both my work colleague and me would eventually both fade into oblivion and be lost in the mists of time. So why was he kicking up such a fuss?

Would anybody be even remotely interested in my antics in three thousand years’ time? Would anybody living in the year 5010 be even vaguely aware that a guy in Manchester had once pissed off a work colleague by soaking his desk in hot tea?

Can you imagine a future historian saying:

The man who calls himself The Plastic Mancunian wrote, what can be best described as drivel and exposed it the world for a good few years. However, the turning point came when he spilled hot tea over a colleague’s desk at work, resulting in a chain of events that ultimately led to World War Three. Thankfully, the hogwash he published has been lost.

The only reason that somebody like me might be remembered would be if I really had triggered World War Three eventually causing the violent destruction of humanity, all animal and plant life and possibly the Earth itself.

In the grand scheme of things, I am an insignificant moment in a vast infinite universe of time and space and my existence will not be remembered.

But I digress.

The original angry question rattled around my brain for a good few hours, teasing me, trying to stimulate my imagination and thought processes; in effect it tried to kick start the philosopher within. And it succeeded – to some extent.

In the past, I have had a bit of a problem with deep thinkers. I didn’t particularly mind them cogitating and filling their minds with nonsense – just as long as I didn’t have to listen to the bollocks that poured out of their mouths.

Also, I didn’t want them to think any less of me because I refused to engage with them about reason, conclusion and speculation. I’m sure that most philosophers are in fact very intelligent people; however, there are some that I have read about and some I have met who pour scorn on those refusing to enter their world, considering them to be idiots of the highest order. And that annoys me.

“I think therefore I am; you don’t think therefore you are a moron”.

I have questioned their intelligence because, quite simply, their minds tend to wander into crazy realms and, to me at least, the nonsense they talked about was just idiotic. For example, at university, I was once rummaging through some past mathematics papers in the library so that I could practice them for my forthcoming final exams. As I searched through the folders of old papers, I stumbled upon an old philosophy exam. I was curious about the subject and began to read the questions. There was a lot of stuff about famous philosophers, hidden meaning, thinking and other stuff that probably needed a level of understanding about various concepts in order to pass. To be honest, I would have been prepared to sit down and take a stab at the some of the questions. I wouldn’t have answered them in the way the examiners expected; my answers would have been facetious. I would have failed spectacularly and made an example of.

Some of the questions were absolutely ridiculous. Like this one:

There is a planet in existence that is identical to Earth, but populated only by unicorns. Discuss.

I read the question and within three minutes I was ejected from library, howling with laughter and struggling to maintain control of my bladder. Passers-by saw a demented science student, rolling around on the floor with tears in his eyes, clutching his groin, laughing maniacally and babbling “Unicorns! UNICORNS!”

These days, however, I have changed my opinion and I might even be tempted to have a go at answering the unicorn question, simply because I find it intriguing that somebody dreamt it up in the first place. And it also makes me wonder what other questions there are out there rattling around the minds of deep thinkers worldwide, like:

How do you know that you are not dreaming at the moment?

While you are pondering that, I have had a quick peek on the internet, looking for a few philosophical quotes some of which might make you chuckle but also might make you think.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

A chocolate bar is better than nothing. Nothing is better than eternal happiness. Therefore a chocolate bar is better than eternal happiness.

Philosophy: unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.

To err is human. To forgive is unusual.

Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Believe those who seek the truth. Doubt those who find it.

Even a clock that doesn’t work is right twice a day.

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia. [PM addendum: Unless of course you LIVE in Australia in which case you're screwed!]

I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time.

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."

Being a philosopher, I have a problem for every solution.

Philosophy, like medicine, has plenty of drugs, few good remedies, and hardly any specific cures.

To ridicule philosophy is really to philosophize.

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

The philosophy exam was a piece of cake -- which was a bit of a surprise, actually, because I was expecting some questions on a sheet of paper.

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.

My favourite is a story I heard about a philosophy exam question that simply said:


A candidate simply answered:

Why not?

I love that!

Friday 10 December 2010

Things That Make Me Cringe

Some things really make me cringe. I wince and want to curl up in a ball and scream. Such things make me want to run away, in some cases, making me feel quite ill in the process.

I thought, for a bit of fun, I would share them with you. However, when I started the list, it grew and grew and grew, which leads me to conclude that it is surprisingly easy to make me cringe.

I have therefore cut down the list, dear reader, for your benefit (and mine if I'm honest). Here it is:

Men with long hair who are bald.

Old men who wear thongs.

Piers Morgan

Fat people who wear tight clothes.

Young men who snog pensioners

Two intertwined forks (they make my teeth itch)

Jeremy Kyle

Piers Morgan

Men who urinate on the toilet seat

People who don’t flush the toilet

Vanessa Feltz

Old women with enormous breasts who insist on sunbathing topless

Fingernails on a blackboard

Piers Morgan


Rolf Harris singing “Stairway to Heaven”

Every single “Just For Men” advert I have ever seen.

Watching operations on TV – even if they are not real.

Boy bands who call themselves “musicians”

People who clack spoons and forks on their teeth

People who crack their knuckles

The Bon Jovi lyric where he sings about “French kissing the morning”

People who think they can sing and clearly can’t.

Women who wear so much make-up they look like clowns

Large insects with hundreds of legs

A dentist drilling a tooth

That bloody Nokia ring tone that gives me mobile phone twitch.

Katie Price

David Cameron

Gordon Brown smiling

People who shout with food in their mouths

People who clap when the aircraft lands

Broken limbs

Piers Morgan

David Brent’s antics in “The Office”

Reading something embarrassing – particularly if I wrote it

Women asking me deeply personal questions

People who say “nucular” instead of nuclear

That fracking “Go Compare” Advert on TV

British people who shout at foreigners because they think it makes them understand English.

Male nudists

Chewing gum stuck in somebody’s hair

Bad singers

Anything to do with touching eyes, bloodshot eyes, eyes popping out of sockets etc.

Old women who wear revealing dresses

Watching needles going into people’s arms

Whenever Boris Johnson opens his mouth

Footballers who are injured in their groin area

That fracking “BOGOF” advert

People throwing up

Bald men who comb their hair over

Slugs and snails

Cat vomit

Men with long fingernails

People touching my PC monitor at work

Stepping into cat vomit

People who slap their mouths

The Christmas Coca Cola “Holidays are coming” advert.

Piers Morgan

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I will save the rest for a future post - perhaps.

And now, over to you, dear reader.

What makes you cringe?

Sunday 5 December 2010

More Stupidity

There is compelling evidence that the world is a stupid place and it worries me, dear reader.

I am fully aware that I have momentary lapses when, without thinking, I say something daft. Unlike some people, however, it is usually due to me not noticing my surroundings rather than genuinely being thick.

Take, for example, the time when I climbed on my soapbox at work after one too many comments on a document I had written. An anal commentator pulled me up for using a compressed font in in just one sentence. I don’t know how it happened and I don’t particularly care.

The problem was that it was unnoticeable to the naked eye. The person who spotted it was one of those guys who comments on really minor things that make absolutely no difference.

“How can he tell this sentence is in a compressed font?” I asked.

“He’s searched the document for it?” said a colleague.

“He’s done WHAT???” I yelled.

It was the last straw. This was an internal document and I had violated a minor quality law and was being pulled up about it by a man who clearly suffered from some weird form of OCD. I hauled my soapbox out and started ranting.

I ranted about quality. I ranted about how pointless it was and how it made my job so much more difficult. I targeted my tirade of abuse at a bunch of graduates, who had only been at the company a year. I insulted the very core of the quality procedures. I tore strips of the company’s quality policy. I verbally annihilated the quality department.

“And what is the bloody point of the Quality Manager? That’s money for old rope,” I bellowed.

Somebody behind me said “Can I have a word, Dave?”

“What?” I shouted, whirling around, still agitated and wound up.

I stared into the eyes of the company Quality Manager.

“Oh shit,” I said.

That’s how stupid I can be, dear reader. I was stupid enough to start a rant about a department in our company unaware that the Quality Manager was standing behind me listening to every word I was saying.

So, yes, I can be stupid. But there are people in the world who take stupidity to new uncharted depths. These people are totally unaware of their own idiocy and genuinely ask the most bizarre questions, expecting people to not only answer them, but also simply cannot see why the questions are stupid.

The internet, as you can imagine, is a vast database of examples of idiocy and is full of stupid questions. To save you searching yourself, dear reader, I have trawled the worldwide web to find some of the most stupid questions ever asked. I ask myself whether these people are actually sentient or just ill-educated. Judge for yourself:

“Windsor Castle is very nice but why did they build it so close to an airport?”

“Do they have Christmas in Australia?”

“Which direction is North in South Africa?”

“Where can I download a good webcam for free?”

“Are there any lakes in the Lake District?”

“Does Wales close in the winter?”

“What’s the capital of Africa?”

“Do you have dogs in Germany?”

“Do you celebrate 4th July in England?”

“How do you know what day of the week it is if you are blind?”

“I want to walk from Durban to Johannesburg. Can I follow the railway track?”

“Why did they build so many ruined castles in England?”

“What’s the right age to start teaching my dog about sex?”

“Who feeds the Loch Ness Monster?”

“What’s the difference between Asian and Chinese people?”

“Will I get wet if I go snorkelling?”

“Can your baby get pregnant if you have sex while pregnant?”


“What do you do with the ice carvings after they have melted?”

“Can I wear high heels in Australia?”

“I made Jesus-shaped pancakes but I burnt them. Am I going to Hell?”

“Which universities play Quidditch?”

“Was the Grand Canyon man-made?”

“What language do they speak in England?”

“Can I get pregnant from a kiss?”

“Is this island surrounded by water?”

“Would it be cheaper to fly or take a train to Hawaii?”

“What time does the 2 o’clock show start?”

“Do these steps go up or down?”

“Which religion has the best hats”?

“How do you get You Tube to come and film you?”

“What time do they turn the Northern Lights on?”

“Can I take my frozen turkey into my sauna to thaw I faster?”

“Does it go dark at night where you live?”

And a couple I have been asked:

“Do they have microwave ovens in England?”

“I’ve been to England. I met a guy called John Smith in London. Do you know him?”

“How many times have you met the Queen”?

There are many more stupid questions that have been asked and many more stupid people to ask such questions in future.

It’s scary isn’t it?