Saturday 24 February 2018

Room 101 (Part 4)

As I get older, I am generally getting happier but when something really pushes my buttons, I feel the need to rant and these are becoming more frequent, despite my attempts to be more positive.

So I thought I would do something cathartic and liberate myself of more reasons to rant by popping ten more things into Room 101 so my nightmares can be inflicted on somebody else.

Here goes:

People who do not flush the toilet.

I expect toilets to be pristine when I use them. Sometimes it’s too much to ask for total cleanliness and I can tolerate some minor misdemeanours. But when I enter a cubicle in a public toilet and see a vision of Hell itself because the previous occupant has selfishly left it in such a state that Satan himself would howl in anguish, then I simply cannot forgive them. 
Worse, if the toilet lid is down and I have locked the door before lifting the lid then I am trapped in there. I can’t leave because if there is somebody waiting then that person will think I am responsible for the filthy mess.


Of all the months in winter, January is the worst. I can cope with December because Christmas is just around the corner and we get to have a party and time off work. February is bearable because the days are getting longer and the weather generally improving. 
However, January – all 31 days of it – is a wretched month with short, cold days and long dark freezing cold nights. Moreover, after the highs of Christmas we are all brought crashing down to earth in a month that is full of people preaching about how they are going to lose weight and go alcohol free. 
I’ve heard of people now detoxing by becoming vegan for the month and renaming it Veganuary. The month is so fucking awful that I totally need to drink and eat bad food to get through it.


When it comes to work, I am very professional and my aim is always to get the job done. At the same time, I want to enjoy a decent work/life balance and not let my job dominate my entire life. 
There are people around who sadly seem to be driven by something else and in order to achieve their goals do not mind working silly hours. Some people are worse than this and expect everybody else to be as dedicated to work as they are. 
Such people look down on others because they want to see their families and not work until 8 pm every night. 
Personally, I think that you need rest to perform. When I arrive at work at around 7:30 am, my mind is at its most incisive and I am much more productive. As the  days passes, my mind becomes less sharp and I become less productive. It is the same for most people. When I leave at around 4 to 4:30 I am ready to get the rest I need. If I carry on working,I don’t achieve much. 
So when Mr Workaholic urges me to stay until 8 pm I only have two words for him: “Room 101”.

The Daily Mail and The Daily Express

Of all the terrible tabloids in the UK, these two rags are the worst.

In my opinion they are purveyors of hate-filled right wing fake news and unproven scaremongery.

Don’t get me wrong, there are respectable right-wing papers out there that put a different slant on the news that is actually worth reading.

But not these two. Their headlines encourage the politics of hate – when it suits them. Some of their headlines and stories are scandalous. At the moment it seems that the only people who read these rags are the older generation and I can thankfully see a time in the future when newspapers like this start to fade from our lives.

I probably won’t be around to see that day but in the meantime if putting these two into Room 101 helps then I am delighted to do that.

Jamie Oliver

I really do not like TV chefs but Jamie Oliver is the worst of them all.
Not content with his awful accent and his use of words like “pukka” he has also tried to use his “celebrity” to suggest stupid things. Once he suggested that women should deny sex to the men in their lives unless they start cooking.

Who does he think he is?

 Before you accuse me of anything, I have to tell you that I do cook – and not because I have been blackmailed by Mrs PM because of Jamie Oliver. His TV shows and appearances make me want to rant mercilessly. I refuse to go his restaurant in Manchester, unimaginatively  called “Jamie’s Italian”. Mrs PM even has one of his recipe books and when it is out on the kitchen table with his smug grinning face leering at me as I pass, I turn it over in disgust. I would throw it away but Mrs PM would be upset.

And finally...

That will do for now.

I will almost certainly be ready to consign more annoyances into Room 101 soon.

Certain things are living on borrowed time.

Do you agree with my choices?

Saturday 10 February 2018

How To Speak British

English is a language that is widely used across the globe in Canada, the United States, Australia and many other places. However, I personally think that in the United Kingdom, where English originated, we have a kind of weird monopoly on crazy sounding words and phrases.

I have been to many English speaking countries on my travels and often been looked at strangely – not because I am a weird looking fella but because sometimes I forget that I am in a foreign country.

For example, in America I used the word “bloke” and received a rather strange look from the person I was talking to. I had to translate the word into American – I used the word “guy” instead. Had I been in Australia or New Zealand I would have been understood because “bloke” is used there too.

Nevertheless, there are some words that are quintessentially British or at least widely used in the United Kingdom and not generally in the rest of the English speaking world.

I thought I would compile a list of some  of these words, so that if you are ever unfortunate enough to meet me, you might actually understand what on Earth I am talking about.

I imagine that some of these words have made it across the pond or traversed the globe to Australia, New Zealand or South Africa – so some of them may sound familiar.

Arse – The equivalent in America is “ass” but in the UK it is used in a slightly different way. For example “I really can’t be arsed” means “I really can’t be bothered”. Also, if you describe somebody as “arseholed” or “rat-arsed” it means they are drunk.

Barmy – Foolish – but in a good way, I think. For example, if somebody I knew was about to go skydiving I would tell him to his face that he was “barmy” and he would laugh. It is also heard at football matches when fans of a team unite in a chant based around the manager of the team  - “Gareth Southgate’s Barmy Army!”

Blimey – An expression of surprise or alarm. “You’re going skydiving? Blimey!”

Bollocks (Dog’s bollocks) – This really refers to a man’s testicles but has become an expression of anger. “Bollocks! I’ve dropped my dinner!”. It is also used as a way of ridiculing something that somebody has said, for example “You are talking utter bollocks!” Conversely, if something is great it becomes “The Dog’s Bollocks!”. I’ve never figured that one out.

Chav – This is the equivalent of “white trash” in America. Chavs are typically lower class and behave badly, swearing all the time and causing trouble whenever they can.

Chin Wag – A conversation. “I’ve just been having a chin wag with my wife!”

Chuffed – Very happy or delighted. “I was really chuffed to have won the lottery!”

Cock Up – A massive mistake. “We lost the bid. What a complete cock up!”

Codswallop – Meaningless nonsense. “Piers Morgan’s speech was a load of old codswallop!”

Dishy – Strangely, this means attractive. “Morena Baccarin is really dishy!”

Faff – A phrase that really means to waste time. “Stop faffing around!”

Fag –I realise that this is a derogatory term for gay people in America but over here it is simply a slang word for a cigarette. Going for a smoke is known as “having a fag”

Gagging – I guess the closest  translation for this word is “desperate” as in “I am gagging for a beer.”

Gobshite – Basically this is a person who “talks bollocks” (see above).  “Piers Morgan is a gobshite!”

Gobsmacked – Astounded or surprised. “I was gobsmacked when the Americans elected Donald Trump”.

Kip – Sleep. “I’m going for a kip! Wake me up in an hour.”

Knackered – Tired. “I’ve just been to the gym and I’m bloody knackered!”

Lurgy – Any illness. “I think I’m coming down with a lurgy.”

Mug – A gullible person. “He conned me out of £10. I’m a right mug.”

Nosh – Food. “Where shall we go for some nosh?”

Numpty – A fool. “Don’t listen to him. He’s a numpty.”

Nutter – A mad person. I’ve mentioned that I am a nutter-magnet before – I seem to attract them. I’m talk about the kind of person who will hurl himself into a weird or dangerous situation without thinking of the consequences or somebody who simply talks gibberish.

On the piss – Getting drunk. “Where’s Dave? Oh – he went out on the piss with his mates. Don’t wait up for him; he’ll be rat-arsed.”

Quid – A pound sterling, our currency. “Can you lend me ten quid?”

Plonker – A clumsy idiot. “How did you manage to fall down the step you plonker?”

Scrump – Steal apples. “The farmer caught me scrumping from his orchard.”

Slapper – A promiscuous young lady. “She’s a right slapper. She’ll sleep with anyone.”

Tara – Goodbye. “See you tomorrow. Tara!”

Thingamajig - Something that you can’t think of the name of. “Pass me the thingamajig!”

Toff – A well-off person. Most members of our Conservative party and the Royal family are toffs.

Wobbler – This is really used to express a temper tantrum. “I told him he was wrong and he threw a wobbler!”

You may have heard of some of these words watching British TV programmes and movies and I recall hearing a couple of them on my visit to Australia. Hopefully, next time you meet a British person and think he’s speaking codswallop you will recall this post and be able to translate his words.

See you for the next post.


Thursday 1 February 2018

Mr Denial

I have been watching Leah Remini’s documentary about the aftermath of her split with Scientology and have been fully absorbed by it. One episode in particular struck me because it discussed the true beliefs of this so-called religion and covered how a Scientologist would advance to a state of “Clear” and effectively become something more than just your average human.

Scientology claims that you can heal yourself, just like its mad founder L. Ron Hubbard claims to have done, and that every human is possessed by an alien called a Thetan, that is used to push people along something called “the Bridge”, via OT Levels (“Operating Thetan”) to powers that are beyond belief thus making Scientologists super humans.

When L. Ron Hubbard died of a stroke, unable to cure himself of death itself, the new Scientology “pope”, David Miscavige, said this:

So L. Ron Hubbard didn’t die! He merely discarded his body so that he could leave Earth for God knows where and explore the upper OT echelons.

What an absolute pile of crap!

Yet, practising Scientologists believe this. – and every single word that Hubbard wrote and that David Miscavige continues to preach about – no matter how utterly absurd they sound.

Similarly, members of the Flat Earth Society are absolutely convinced that the Earth is a massive frisbee, that gravity doesn’t exist and NASA and all governments of the planet have been lying to us for centuries.

These are yet another truly amazing group of people who have dug their heels in and simply refuse to believe what the rest of us know.

But can we be wrong? These people are so convinced they are right that sometimes, for a brief microsecond, I have actually begun to doubt myself – but only until my inner brain kicks in and says:


And then common sense prevails and I realise that they are – I’m trying to find the right word here but I can’t. Are they idiots or gullible or brainwashed or stubborn or crazy?

I honestly don’t think they are crazy or stupid but I believe there is an element of brainwashing going on – certainly in the case of Scientology. In a sense, you could argue that a lot of religions are the same, I guess.

As a Catholic, for example, I was brought up to believe in a God I have ever seen and told that if I didn’t dedicate my life to him then I would be sent to meet the devil, another being I had never met, and spend the rest of eternity having hot pokers shoved up my arse by Piers Morgan while listening to modern jazz on an eternal loop and being force fed rhubarb while Satan chuckles on his diabolical throne.

Obviously again common sense prevailed and I questioned it.

Yet if you talk to somebody who believes the crap that Flat Earthers or L. Ron Hubbard tell us they are absolutely astounded that you don’t think the same way that they do.

Another favourite of mine is David Icke who also has an army of fans and listen to him witter on about his major conspiracy theories for hours at a time.  He has written loads of books and people actually buy them. Whether they encourage him for a laugh or not, I don’t know but he certainly appears to captivate audiences with speeches about his mad thoughts about aliens, reptiles and the Illuminati.

Here he is trying to convince anyone who is listening that aliens are treating us a batteries, just like the machines did to us in the movie The Matrix:

In 2016, for example, people in Sydney queued to listen to him give a 12 hour seminar – 12 HOURS!!!

Were these people just there out of a morbid curiosity or do they truly believe the rubbish that he is blithering on about?

I ask all of these people three questions:

(1) Why do you believe what you do?
(2) Where is your evidence?
(3) Why do you not trust the reams of evidence that contradicts your arguments?

I honestly believe that the more you try to convince them they are wrong, the more they dig their heels in – almost as if their pride forces them to prolong the myth and they don’t want to appear to be seen as wrong.

Of course, some people see the light (so to speak) – people like Leah Remini. In her case, she was a Scientologist from childhood so had the bizarre teachings of Hubbard forced on her from an early age, when she was susceptible to this nonsense – she had no other points of reference until later life.

But what about David Icke? Does he see himself as a sort of L. Ron Hubbard character? Does he truly believe that inter-dimensional beings are using our emotions as energy to feed them and that there are reptilian shape-shifters running the world’s governments and waiting to enslave us?

I don’t know but to me it sounds utterly ridiculous.

And when questioned, Icke basically calls disbelievers na├»ve sheep who don’t see the bigger picture.

I’ll leave you with a video of an Australian news presenter questioning David Icke about his beliefs as he was promoting his 12 hour seminars Down Under. When pushed – he gets very defensive and slightly aggressive. It’s worth a watch.

Don't you just love Australians?

To be honest, I also like David Icke – aka Mr Denial – because I am fascinated with how he has managed to get where he is based on absolutely groundless rubbish.

I wonder what he thinks of Flat Earth theorists and Scientology? That would be a cracking three way debate to watch.

I’m even tempted to read one of David Icke's books – I love a good comedy.