Wednesday 23 January 2013

The Throne

It is said that an Englishman’s home is his castle.

If that’s true, I put it to you, dear reader, that there is a throne within that castle that every single Englishman loves to spend time perched upon.

And it is not just Englishmen.

This place is every man's sanctuary, a place where he can escape within his fortress, a place where he can lock the door and forget about all of his troubles, as he meditates and ponders the particulars of his life.

He is truly at home on his throne.

Yes, that’s right – it is the toilet.

And yes – this is yet another reason for me to stoop to the depths of depravity and waffle on about toilet habits.

If you are easily offended, please stop reading.

For the rest of you …

A friend recently said something that made me think about the role of the porcelain throne in a man’s life.

He has a young son who has just started potty training and his wife said to him:

“We need to go and buy potty training essentials.”

She was thinking about a trip to Mothercare, where she would undoubtedly purchase trainer pants and a potty chair.

My friend said:

“OK – you go to Mothercare, I’ll go the newsagents and buy Auto Trader”.

You see, there’s nothing better than reading a newspaper, car magazine or sports magazine while contemplating life as you are perched on the throne.

Women all around the world ask their men:

“Why do you spend so long on the toilet? And why do you use so much toilet paper?”

I can answer the first question: we spend so much time on the toilet because for some men it is the only place they can get a little peace and quiet in their house. Reading the newspaper on the throne can be extremely therapeutic.

This is an ideal toilet:

I am going to let you into a little secret. When I go to the toilet, I love to read a good comedy book, particularly the ones that have short chapters or segments, just enough reading material to let nature take its course.

This practice can backfire.

On one occasion, we had friends round and I needed to answer that call of nature. As I settled on my throne I read a particularly amusing story and found myself guffawing like a demented animal. It is an urban myth but it was so funny that I found myself howling with laughter.

In many ways it was fortunate that I was positioned where I was. Here’s what I read:

Dear Sirs,

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building.

When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later, were found to be slightly in excess of 500 pounds.

Rather than carry the bricks down by hand I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks. You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 155 pounds.

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed in section 3 of the accident report form. Slowed only slightly by the encounter with the barrel, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley, which accounts for the four broken fingers and various lacerations of my right hand.

Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning to experience pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my luck began to improve. The encounter with the barrel slowed my descent enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs. I hope this answers your inquiry.

Thanks in advance for expediting my claim,


Abe Ricklayer

When I left the bathroom, the inevitable questions were hurled in my general direction:

“What on Earth were you DOING in there?”

“Did you catch sight of yourself in the mirror?”

“Were you choking on toilet paper?”

If you still have any doubts about how important a toilet is, listen to Al Bundy from the brilliant American comedy Married With Children.

And if you had any doubt about how dear the toilet is to a man, just check out Al Bundy’s reaction when he discovers that Peggy Bundy has redecorated his oasis – his sanctuary:

I’ll leave you with this thought:

It is good to have reading material next to the toilet. If the book is rubbish, you can always find a use for the paper – as I have, having started Piers Morgan’s autobiography.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Reality TV Is Rubbish

A few years ago I found myself watching a television programme. It featured a house filled with people, none of whom I had heard of, and they were ranting and raving and their behaviour was, quite frankly, depraved and idiotic.

I turned to look at Mrs PM who was catatonic having been fully been sucked into the nonsense in front of her.

I realised that I, too, had been totally enthralled by the antics of these strange people.

Something happened.

I had a feeling in my stomach gradually began to take control. My brain, which was close to shutting down, began to react and found a new lease of life. My common sense slowly began to exert its influence on my comatose sensibility and suddenly I found myself blurting out the words that would save me:


My outburst shocked Mrs PM back into the real world and instead of watching a bunch of idiots on the TV she had to endure a massive rant from the man in her life. It wasn’t long before she ushered me out of the room to rant to the cats instead.

For me it was a Eureka moment. I had seen the light. I realised a basic concept that I should have grasped years before. It became my mantra:


It was a life changing moment.

The programme we had been drawn into was Big Brother 2, the second series of one of the worst programmes ever to grace our TV screens.

Why was I watching it?

I don’t know, is the honest answer.

I had purposely missed the first series and caught part of the start of the second series on a Friday night after returning home, under the influence of a few beers from the pub. I still can’t fathom what possessed me.

I hated the contestants who were largely people who simply wanted to be famous but possessed absolutely no discernible talent.

Yet I still watched it.

The contestants were either extreme egomaniacs, deeply annoying at a primeval level, totally and utterly stupid, had no shame whatsoever or were a combination of all of the above.

And now we are inundated with programmes of a similar variety. In fact, it’s worse than that because now, failed celebrities desperate to kick start their careers, are humiliating themselves in the name of entertainment.

Big Brother has had its celebrity version and I’ve really never heard of many of these so-called stars. And not content with being locked up in a house for weeks, other celebrities allow themselves to be carted to a jungle in Australia and expose themselves as arses as they are forced to eat bugs, crawl through pits of snakes or wear a helmet full of cockroaches.

Yes – I’m talking about I’m a Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here! – except, in my view the “celebrities” aren’t really celebrities – they are the dregs of the cult of celebrity, Z list celebrities, celebrities who have had their day and should just retire.

With the advent of satellite TV we now have approximately 1000 channels, most of which have nothing worth watching, but which the TV producers seem content to fill with reality rubbish.

I came home from the pub on another Friday night and caught a programme called Geordie Shore which features an obnoxious bunch of male arses from Newcastle who just want to “get pissed and pull women” and their female counterparts who would make any woman ashamed to be female.


 It was so dreadful I didn’t know where to begin and for the first five minutes, at least, I sat there, so stupefied, my brain so focussed in disbelief at the chaos on the screen in front of me, that my mouth dropped opened and I drooled like a madman.

And then I said:


Geordie Shore is based on a similar American show called Jersey Shore, which I have never seen but I can imagine is just as dreadful.

Equally appalling is Made In Chelsea. I have never seen this show but the cast members have appeared on other TV shows as guests – as if they are really famous. And guess what? They are arses too.

What I find really sad about shows like this, is that if you want to be famous these days, all you need to do is switch off your brain and become an outrageous, egotistic, flamboyant narcissist and somehow convince a television producer that you have talent - even if you don't have any whatsoever.

All the TV producer then has to do is put together a whole bunch of these arses with the instruction:

“Just be as offensive and despicable as you can be and I will turn you into a star”.

Incredibly for some of these people such a ploy actually works. We see them on panel shows and on the front of tabloid newspapers.

How can “TV personality with no talent” be a job?

It makes my blood boil.

And that is why, dear reader, Reality TV is rubbish.

Of all of the items I have labelled as rubbish, this is the one that genuinely makes me angry. Such is the appetite for this car crash TV that audiences crave more and more. Each time a new show appears it is more depraved, more annoying and more shockingly dreadful that the last one.

Our TV airwaves are diseased because reality TV is spreading through the like a virus from country to country, gradually turning the human race into a species of catatonic brain-dead halfwits..

Big Brother is still going strong.

This is a crime against humanity. 

The show was finally dropped by Channel 4 in the UK but Channel 5 have bought the rights and we are currently in the middle of Celebrity Big Brother with a new series destined to start in the summer.

Heaven help me! Can you believe that?

Perhaps I should work myself into a ranting frenzy and apply for the next series – and destroy the programme from within.

I would be tempted to become so obnoxious that the producers would sign me up in an instant.

“This is Plastic Mancunian, a 50 year old ranting arse who loathes Big Brother and all it stands for. He hates all of the other contestants by default.”

No – it’s just not worth it.

I don’t want to be famous for being famous.

I don’t want to walk into posh restaurants and say “Do you know who I am?” when they refuse to give me a table at the last minute.

I don’t want to be mocked mercilessly by comedians on late night panel shows.

I don’t want to have my face splashed over the front of tabloids for months and months.

I have a life.

Oh – and please don’t get me started on The X Factor – my cats will never forgive you.

Friday 11 January 2013

Sir Spamalot's Comments

I am a wonderful blogger – at least if you believe some of the spam comments I get. I like to think they are from the same person - a very strange and disturbed surfer called Sir Spamalot.

In my early blogging days, I fell for the crap in these bogus comments and actually (and rather stupidly) published some.

I then noticed that the wording was a bit strange and the "links" they sent under the guise of “Here’s my blog” were very dodgy indeed.

I thought, for a laugh, I would share some recent spam comments that didn’t make it to my blog.

You could certainly see your expertise within the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren't afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart.

So I’m a passionate and expert writer and like to say what I believe. My ego is swelling.

Once we consider the term your message really like, with regards to a close romance with a further, yet to be a sensing that's engendered once you have miltchmonkey a better relationship with yourself very * or even just as the sense of increased oneness household as well as human race ( space ) therefore it gets much more really clear that every one anyone wants in your life will be really like. 

Random use of a word that sounds fabulous – miltchmonkey – what a word!

Now I am going away to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

Well thanks for sharing that. I hope you enjoy you breakfast, and be sure that, as a news blog, I will satisfy your need for more. Now then, let's invent a story about the Queen...

Asking queѕtions аre truly fastidіous thing іf уou are not understanding аnything fully,eхceρt this poѕt prеѕents niсe undеrstanԁing yеt.

I have a question. What on Earth are you talking about?

I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I'm quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

Wow – I didn’t for one second ever think that the inane garbage that poured forth from my brain onto this blog was in any way helpful information. My God – I must be a genius.

Are you looking to have a video chat with your relatives overseas or out of state.
If you will be unable to attend the live chat, you can post your questions for Patricia in the comment area below. Overconfident men and women are insecure and are putting up a show of fake self-confidence to mask their internal flaws.

Thanks Patricia. I’m glad you liked my blog post telling you how I am a slave to my cats and I can see that your comment is wholly relevant to that. Are you telling me that my overconfident cats are really insecure and faking their self-confidence to mask their internal flaws? I’ll be sure to mention that to Liquorice when she next tries to rip the flesh from my face.

I've read some excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you set to make the sort of fantastic informative site.

I don’t charge for bookmarking. Basically all I do is write bilge – I really didn’t know it was informative.

Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It's on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

Why thank you. I stole it from you, you know.

I am frequently to blogging and I seriously appreciate your content. The post has definitely peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web-site and maintain checking for new facts.

If you think I write facts then you should seriously consider therapy.

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks. 

I am an expert on the weird and wonderful world of the Plastic Mancunian. Oh – and I checked your website - thanks for telling me about your sexual problems. I would recommend that you pop along to a clinic and speak to a specialist.

I have an endless supply of similar comments, plus many who seem to be aware that I am 50 yet think that anyone of my age and older needs to eat Viagara by the bucketload. If I followed their advice I think none of my trousers would fit and I would be afraid to leave the house.

I appreciate genuine comments and will always reply – but not to those sent by Sir Spamalot (who uses the name Anonymous)

Do you get this problem?

Er – the spam comments, I mean, not the Viagara…

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Flying In A Blue Nightmare

I’m so tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for … EVERYTHING TO DO WITH FLYING!

Mrs PM and I have just returned from a New Year trip to Tenerife and as I was standing, hanging around yet again, I started to think about how much time I waste waiting for things that I really shouldn’t have to wait for, increasing my frustration exponentially.

If only I could get to foreign soil without having to fly there!

Let’s take a return flight from Manchester to Tenerife as an example of why flying is an exasperating experience for me. For the outbound flight, our tickets told us that we needed to arrive at the airport a full three hours before our flight.


At this time of year, apparently, there are a lot of travellers so the strain on airport security is immense. Or so we are told. Nobody seemed to tell the staff at Manchester Airport.

Manchester Airport security is currently under scrutiny because of a major security flaw. I am not making this up.

In July, a young child of 11 managed to sneak aboard a flight to Rome and was only noticed once the aircraft was in the air. He managed to sneak through the airport security without a boarding pass and actually get on board the aircraft itself.

Read about it here.

Consequently, staff at Manchester Airport have been severely reprimanded and have had to become extra vigilante. The result; yet MORE ways to infuriate me.

We had already checked in online for our flight but that didn’t help us one bit. The bag drop queue was immense and as I stood like an idiot, desperately frustrated and frantically trying not to rant, I began to wonder about why checking in online makes things quicker. I don't believe it does.

It took an age to meander through to the departure area, having to remove anything metallic, including my belt, watch, cash, keys, phone etc. What usually happens is I forget something and end up setting off the alarm and have to endure being patted down by a burly security guard who enjoys the experience as much as I do, i.e. not at all.

The exception to this is China, where I have been groped and prodded by a very angry and serious looking female security guard who was about half my height. She treated me as if I had set the scanner off on purpose.

Back in Manchester, the staff didn’t appear to have noticed that this was a particularly busy time to travel. Not all of the security desks were manned and, pretty soon, I was joined by hundreds of kindred spirits, each one grumbling openly about the lack of progress and the possibility of missing their flights.

Having made my way through the security, I then had to get dressed again (belt, watch etc.) before entering the departure lounge in search of food, while pondering why I had to get up at 4am to catch an 8:30 flight when I live approximately 20 minutes away from the airport.

Guess what? Yes – that’s right. I had to queue to get breakfast, and wait for the gate to be published.  Yet more bloody waiting and hanging around. The staff in the airside shops must be equally frustrated because by the time passengers make it through security, they only have five minutes before they have to board their flights.

And when you arrive at your destination, depending on where you land, the waiting just continues. The first problem is usually the immigration queue. Why are there only ever two immigration officers there when five packed flights have just arrived?

In Europe this isn’t so bad because as a European I can wave my passport at the guy and away I go. In places like America, the inquisition takes so long that I have to bite my lip to stop myself from saying:

“I’m in the United States of America to complain about the length of time it takes for any foreign national to get INTO your bloody country. Oh – and by the way! HAVE A NICE BLOODY DAY!!!”

I fear I would be marched off to jail fairly quickly if I did. Knowing my luck I would be deported and have to queue for hours to leave again.

After the humiliation of immigration, comes the free-for-all known as collecting your baggage. Usually, the queues from immigration are so slow that one of two things happen.

Either …

You have spent so long trying to convince the immigration official that you are here on holiday and not to spy in his country, that by the time you get through, your carousel is full of bags from the next flight and your luggage has been confiscated because you didn’t get through in time to collect it.

Or …

You actually get through quickly and then wait for an hour for the baggage handlers to unload the aircraft and dump your bags on the carousel.

When we returned to Manchester on Saturday, we had to wait for an hour for our bags and I was ready to commit grievous bodily harm.

On other occasions, I have had my luggage shifted into a holding room because immigration took so long. In South Africa, I arrived along with six other long haul flights, to find that only three immigration desks were open. I almost completely soured UK South African relations.

Of course, there is a third possibility. Your bag may not arrive, particularly if you have had to transfer. This is the most frustrating of all because you end up standing there like a lemon as all of the other passengers collect their bags and bugger off with a relieved smile on their faces, while you break down and start sobbing because you are in a foreign place and all of your clothes for a three week business trip are on a flight to the other side of the world, and you realise that you have no spare underwear in your hand luggage.

I love travelling but the frustration of waiting and waiting around at airports threatens to turn me into a primeval, subhuman Neanderthal.

Can I please ask all of you science boffins out there to do me a favour?

Please, please, PLEASE hurry up and invent the Transporter they use on Star Trek.

I am sick and tired of waiting for you guys to pull your fingers out.