Saturday 25 February 2017

Weird Books

I’ve always wanted to write a book - a novel, a travelogue or something that is loosely based on the inane crap you are reading at this moment. If I manage to get something published, one of the first things I will have to do is give it a title. You can rest assured that it will be decent title, an appropriate title or a vaguely amusing title. It certainly won’t be in any way weird, inappropriate or even offensive.

Yet some people have actually written either books with strange titles or with wholly unsuitable, politically incorrect or just plain bizarre titles. Worse, the contents of the books, I imagine are equally tasteless and improper.

I thought it would be amusing to share some of the books I have found on the internet with you.

How Green Were the Nazis?

Adolf Hitler plunged the world into war, destroyed half of Europe and committed genocide on a scale that will cause tremors of horror for years to come. He is the most hated man in history. But, hey – I’m sure he loved his plants and when he ordered his marauding armies across Europe, I’m sure that he avoided destroying forests as they killed innocent people. I wouldn’t know – I haven’t read the book.

How To Survive a Garden Gnome Attack

There’s a house down the street that had a single gnome in their garden just five years ago. Now there are over thirty of the little buggers. They are massing for attack, I tell you. I’ve been down to the house and put notes through their letterbox warning them about this. Surely they know that gnomes are a war-like species that hate humanity and breed like rabbits. I’ve never seen the owners of the house. Maybe they are giant gnomes. Unfortunately I don’t know what to do if they decide to rise up and invade. I haven’t read the book. 

Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them

If the gnomes do attack then a tractor might be a good weapon to crush the little blighters underfoot. Therefore if you have an old tractor, it is best to make sure that it is in perfect working order and to do so you need to find an old tractor enthusiast to help you. It might just save your life. How? I don’t know – I haven’t read the book. 

Learning To Play With a Lion’s Testicles: Unexpected Gifts from the Animals of Africa

Let me just say this: there are no creatures on God’s earth who own testicles that I would like to touch let alone play with. If I were so inclined (and I am not I AM DEFINITELY NOT), then a lion would be WAAAAYYYYY down the list of animals whose plums I would want to fondle. Imagine the gravestone? “Here Lies A. Nutter. Savaged By An 800lb Lion For Groping His Balls”. It makes me wonder whether there is a way to sneak up on a giant man-killing cat. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t read the book.

Does God Ever Speak Through Cats? 

If my cats are anything to go by, the answer to this question is easy – NO! My cats treat me with no respect – unless they want food. If indeed God really is speaking to me through my cats then he is telling me that I am a slave, an oaf, a huge scary mad-haired ape, the source of all his food and an insignificant moron. I would guess that one thing a cat may say is "Do not ever ever EVER play with my testicles." Did the author include this? I don't know - I haven’t read the book.

My Darling My Hamburger

You would be forgiven for thinking that this is the story of a pervert who is in love with a Big Mac. Apparently it’s just a love story for young adults – although my mind is boggling about where the hamburger comes into the tale. My mind is boggling about the concept of “playing with your food” in this context. But I wouldn’t know – I haven’t read the book.

Natural Bust Enlargement With Total Mind Power

I now have a black eye because of this book. Why? I asked Mrs PM to buy this to see if it really worked. It was a simple enough question and her response was a violent punch in the face. I feel like writing to the author, suggesting that he writes another book called “How To Get a Black Eye With Autosuggestion” using his previous book as a tool. Mrs PM now thinks the remaining 90% of my mind is a cesspit of pure filth. Is this true and does the author warn against such speculation? I wouldn’t know – I haven’t read the book.

Teach Your Wife To Be A Widow

Given that I was lucky only to get a minor injury from the last book, perhaps I should have suggested this book to Mrs PM instead. Mind you, she probably knows – especially since the moment before her spontaneous and unexpected moment of extreme violence, I received a factor 8 look (if you don’t know what I am talking about, read this). I think she knows how to be a widow already. I don’t – I haven’t read the book.

Reusing Old Graves

Call me mad but when I finally do shuffle off this mortal coil I don’t want to share my final resting place with anybody else - apart from Mrs PM of course. If ghosts do exist then the previous occupant of an old grave would be totally angry if he or she suddenly had a squatter hanging around after decades of solitary bliss. Perhaps the sequel to this book would be “How To Deal With Grave Squatters” or “How To Share a House With Somebody Who Died In The 19th Century”.  Does the author even consider the possibility of forcing a grumpy old bastard like me into their afterlife? I don’t know – I haven’t read the book.

What’s Your Poo Telling You?

Call me weird if you like but if I had just answered a call of nature and I heard a gurgling voice from beneath me saying “You shouldn’t have had that chicken madras last night” then I would be out of that bathroom like a rocket. Worse, this is another book title that is likely to lead to violence. Imagine walking up to a woman in a bar and saying: “Hi! My name’s Dave. What’s your poo telling you?” I wonder whether the book mentions the risk of being beaten up? I don’t know – I haven’t read the book.

And finally…
Rest assured, dear reader, that when I finally pull my finger out and write a book, the title will be not be as bat-shit crazy as the ten above. 
Actually, that might not be a bad title: Pull Your Finger Out

What do you think?

Sunday 19 February 2017

The Quest For Positivity

I just want to reassure you all that this post may initially appear to be a political ranting mess from the mind of an angry Plastic Mancunian.

It isn’t.

It is about positivity.

First of all, let me say this: Donald J Trump is an incredible man.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly.

“Why would you say this?” I hear you cry. “You’ve said horrible things about him on this very blog.” 

That is true. Here are some of the things I have said:

“I mean look at the guy! He has mad hair and a mad attitude.”

“He's like a walking parody of a politician, an idiot who allows his mouth to utter his thoughts without going through his mental firewall.”

“I am a lot younger than the oversized oompa loompa with mad hair currently residing in the White House.”

I stand by those things – I think “the Donald” is as mad as a bag of badgers. Yet the reason I think he is incredible is because he seems to be getting away with it and has conned a lot of people – somehow. I would like to add that he is also a comedian.

The Plastic Mancunian of 2016 would have ranted and raved like an insane lunatic about the antics of the man who is leading America into a deeply uncertain future. However, I want to thank my quest for positivity for making me step back and remove negative thoughts about Donald Trump and also Brexit.

In the case of Trump, I watched the highlights (or should I say lowlights) of his totally embarrassing and deranged press conference last week and I actually laughed.

There was no anger. What is there to get angry about?

His lies were exposed (again!) and most of the western world were and remain incredulous that this man has the balls to say what he says.

That is why he is an incredible man. Everything he says is incredible and his outrageous lies are so breath-taking that they are hilarious.

So instead of dragging my soapbox out of retirement, I have been watching marvellous comedians, satirists and political commentators from both sides of the Atlantic, ripping him apart.

I have had a great time.

A positive outlook also helped me cope with a potentially disastrous family exchange on Sunday.

Before I continue, let me just fill you in on a few things you need to know.

(1) Mrs PM’s mum is a rampant Brexiteer, which means that she gets really, really angry because we haven’t left the European Union yet.

(2) I am the complete opposite and Brexit was the main contributor to my ranting negative angry persona in 2016.

(3) Mrs PM’s mum and I have had several arguments over the years, one in particular over lunch in a nice restaurant where I totally belittled her in public. Mrs PM and Mrs PM’s other half told us both off for being so stubborn and humiliating them in public.

(4) I avoided Mrs PM’s mum for almost five months in 2016 because I knew that the moment she brought up Brexit I would erupt like a human volcano and say lots of things that I would regret.

(5) Mrs PM’s mum’s political views are the polar opposite of mine.

(6) The only political similarity between Mrs PM’s mum and I is that we both have been known to stand up and bellow at political programmes on the television.

(7) Until today, Mrs PM had ordered her mum, that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should she mention Brexit in front of me.

(8) Apart from politics, Mrs PM’s mum and I get on really, really well and we have been on holiday together quite a few times.

(9) Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, a rampant Remainer last week urged the people of the UK to rise up and fight against Brexit, causing every single Brexiteer in the UK to bellow their hatred of, in their words, “this arrogant delusional undemocratic arsehole”.

(10) Mrs PM’s mum hates Tony Blair.

On Saturday night we stayed at her mum’s house in Blackpool and went out for a lovely Chinese meal. Afterwards we went to the pub for a nightcap before returning to her house to retire for the night.

Now picture the scene:

I came down in the morning to see Mrs PM’s mum with a face like thunder. She was sitting on the television watching a political programme where the interviewer was asking a politician about whether Tony Blair could and should attempt to derail Brexit. The politician was talking and Mrs PM’s mum slapped the sofa in anger and looked like a coiled spring, ready to launch into a tirade of abuse about Remainers.

She knows my political stance and glared at me with the words “I AM SO WOUND UP!”.

Her face dared me to speak, challenged me to rant about Brexit. She had prepared herself for a confrontation with a Remainer, and there was one standing in her lounge - ME! The good time we had had the night before was a mere memory in her eyes.

The 2016 version of the Plastic Mancunian would have embraced the fight and unleashed my true thoughts about Brexiteers to her. He would have told her what he thought of her views and he would have insulted her with words that he would later regret. He would have pointed out her narrow-minded hypocrisy and upset everybody.

I somehow found something within to calm the situation. I wanted to be positive and non-confrontational. I knew that trying to point out why I hated her views would be as futile as leaping off Blackpool Tower in the hope that I would sprout wings and glide over the Irish Sea like a seagull.

I sat next to her and said, as calmly as possible:

“I am equally wound up but my views are the exact opposite of yours. Let’s find something else to watch.”

She looked at me in a puzzled way and then also found something within. Her face softened and she remembered where she was and who was in front of her.

“Do you want some tea and toast?” she said, finally realising that I was a guest in her house.

“Yes please,” I said. "Remainer tea, with Remainer milk and toasted Remainer bread with Remainer butter.”

I nudged her and grinned.

She smiled back and said “We only serve Brexit breakfast here.”

By this time I had flicked over the channel and Frasier popped on the TV.

“Have you ever seen this?” I said, swiftly changing the subject

“No, “ she said and then got up to make my breakfast.

Her other half then came in and said, “She’s been ranting all morning.”

But now she had stopped. I got my lovely toast and a fine cup of tea. The subject was forgotten and not mentioned again, even though , deep down, the anarchist within me wanted to destroy her argument in a furious verbal attack.

I regard that as a small victory for positivity.

The future is bright.

Saturday 11 February 2017

Bicycle Race

I have an Australian friend who currently lives in London and is a keen cyclist. As I may have mentioned, London during the rush hour is horrific for commuters and, rather than facing day after day of crowds and frustration, he prefers to cycle to work, which not only allows him to clear his head but also keep himself fit; a good thing for somebody who is marginally younger than me.

I will call him Rocky to protect the guilty.

I don’t want to generalise about Australians, but Rocky is a typical Aussie bloke and that’s one of the reasons I like him so much. Conversations with him are amazing and funny.

We visited Rocky and his wife a couple of weeks ago and I was chatting to him about my terrible procrastination when it comes to cycling. And, of course, he was blunt.

“Bloody hell, mate. It’s only FOUR MILES! Get on your bike!”

Of course, he’s right and I really should take his advice. When he said this, I chuckled and said, “You’re right. I have cycled to work before and it’s just a small pootle for somebody like me.”

For those of you who have never heard of the word pootle, it’s a British word that means to travel in a leisurely fashion taking your journey easy and relatively slowly. That’s the way I would pedal to work because I am not competitive and, at my age, racing everyone and everything would be very tiring and also mean that I arrive at work sopping wet, flooding the office with dripping sweat. I would be an even more repulsive creature than I am at the moment.

Rocky takes a different view.

“I’m a MONSTER on my bike,” he claimed when I explained what “pootle” means. “There’s NO WAY you would find me doing that. I go FAST, man. I try to overtake everybody else I see on a bike. It’s like a race and I want to win.”

I can picture him racing along the streets of London, overtaking slower cyclists with a defiant and competitive grin on his face.

However, he told me a story where he came unstuck.

During his normal journey, he spotted another cyclist in the distance travelling at roughly the same speed. Rocky allowed his competitive demon to take control and increased his pace to catch up and overtake the man in front.

At first, he started to gain ground but after a few minutes, the man’s speed also increased and Rocky didn’t like this. The distance between them grew wider and, rather than being sensible and giving up, Rocky became the monster that he had mentioned earlier.

“I pedalled like a bloody DEMON,” he said. “All the time I was watching him and it looked like he wasn’t even trying.”

Rocky pedalled even faster to catch what was now becoming his nemesis and every time he thought he was closing the gap, the man in front surged ahead again.

By this stage, Rocky was distraught. His entire focus was on one thing: defeating this man.

Thoughts started going through his head. Was this man Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome or Peter Sagan? Was he trying to beat an Olympic athlete or a Tour de France winner?

Eventually, Rocky had to reduce his speed. Desperate in defeat he watched the man pull away again, with seemingly no effort.

Rocky was now quite angry with himself. If you are competitive you probably know why. Winning is everything and if you fail to win then you are less than a human being and a total failure. I think all men are competitive to a certain extent but I have come to terms with my flaws over the years (having failed spectacularly on occasion). When I lose I accept defeat and move on.

Rocky struggled – he really struggled.

And then fate stepped in.

Rocky, now cycling much slower, turned the corner and saw in the distance a red traffic light. Waiting there was his nemesis.

“Right,” thought Rocky to himself. “Now I’ve got you.”

Rocky found some inner strength and pushed himself to get to the light before it changed to green. He wanted to see who had beaten him. He wanted to talk to his new nemesis and find out why he had lost.

After a minute or two he pulled up alongside the cyclist and, to his horror, saw that the man was a little chubby and clearly, in Rocky’s view, not as fit as Rocky himself. The nemesis had hardly got any sweat on his face. Rocky on the other hand was gasping for breathe red faced and wild with frustration.

“Bloody hell, mate!” Rocky said to the man. “What are you? Some kind of machine? I’ve been trying to catch you up for the past couple of miles and you look like you’ve hardly broken sweat!”

The man looked at Rocky as if he were an idiot.

“I’m riding an ELECTRIC BIKE mate,” he laughed.

“FOR PHAARRKKS SAKE!” screamed Rocky.

He felt like a complete idiot.

So did I.

Why? Because when he mentioned the electric bike, I sprayed the table with beer because I had been in mid sip. A mouthful of beer and a guffaw do not mix.

“Yeah,” said Rocky laughing as beer dripped down my chin. “That’s exactly how I felt.”

Saturday 4 February 2017

Fake News

Last week MPs in Britain decided to launch a parliamentary enquiry into something that has been disturbing them more than looking at their own faces in the mirror.

They are worried about what they describe as “the growing phenomenon of fake news”.

When I read this, I struggled to contain myself. After 2016 my soapbox is currently totally worn out and in hiding and I strive to be more positive and this news story almost made me break my resolution not to rant.


And then I just laughed at the hypocrisy of it all.

MPs, known for their ability to tell lies at the drop of a hat, are complaining because somebody is actually outdoing them. The number of lies that these mutant power hungry liars told in 2016 is utterly breath-taking. The hypocrisy is so tangible I could shake its hand and take it out for a meal.

Are these MPs just being dumb or do they think that the general public is stupid too?

They portray themselves as paragons of virtue and yet their entire lives are spent fooling the general public by lying to themselves to get elected.

It makes me wonder whether any of them have actually read any tabloid newspapers like the Daily Mail or Daily Express which have basically been publishing fake news ever since I can remember. If they want to have an enquiry into fake news they should visit the offices of these two rags and listen in as their editors discuss the lies they are about to publish for the week ahead.

And then they should investigate their own house, including most of the speeches they make in parliament – or on programmes like Question Time where they hand out half-baked lies backed up by fake figures to an audience.

What they are really pissed off about is the fact that the general public are being swayed by other sources of lies apart from their own. Worse, some of them have even been caught out themselves, using fake news stories to reinforce their points only to discover that they have been led up the garden path themselves.

It’s all about gullibility and personally I love reading truly fake news – because it’s hilarious. Some of the stories out there are amazing.

Many years ago, a spoof newspaper arrived in the UK called “The Sunday Sport” and basically it publishes ridiculous stores in a similar way to the usual British press – but in this case they are clearly crazy.

Here are some example headlines:

“World War II Bomber Found On Moon”

“Statue of Elvis Found on Mars”

“Adolf Hitler Was A Woman”

“London Bus Found Buried At The South Pole”

There are lots more so-called stories but a lot of them these days are rather crude albeit still funny.

However, if you compare these obviously spoof stories with some of the supposedly genuine tabloid newspaper stories, sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Headlines like:

“Freddy Starr Ate My Hamster”

“Boy, 4, Has The Mark Of The Devil”

“UFO Hits Wind Turbine”

To be honest, my feeling is that politicians should get their own house in order before targetting so-called fake news. For example, last year, I was beyond being outraged at some of the blatant lies we are hearing from the aftermath of Brexit and also those coming from the other side of the Atlantic as Donald Trump also waged war on those media outlets that are trying to tarnish his image.

Thankfully, I stopped reading newspapers years ago and some fake news sites are far more entertaining. I prefer to rely on news on the TV rather than the intended brainwashing by newspapers whose editors have their own agenda to influence world politics.

Of course, all of this will change when I become world president. I’m just biding my time until I find the right moment to strike.

Don’t laugh.

My time will come. I am younger than Theresa May and a lot younger than the oversized oompa loompa with mad hair currently residing in the White House so there is plenty of time for me to start my own propaganda machine.

In fact, I’ve set the machine in motion by contacting Mr Trump himself. He agrees with me and is preparing an executive order.

Similarly I have been in touch with Theresa May, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and she is whole-heartedly behind me.

Now how’s that for news?