Sunday, 24 May 2020

Sabotage



We are in Day 62 of the lockdown and in the UK we have a bit of a lockdown scandal. The chief aide to Boris the Clown is a guy called Dominic Cummings who is partly responsible for the rules and regulations that have been inflicted upon us for the past nine weeks. He has basically flouted the lockdown rules himself by driving over 250 miles to take his child to his parent’s house to look after him because his wife had symptoms of Covid-19. 
The rules are that if you or any member of your household show the symptoms you must self-isolate for 14 days. Cummings didn’t do this and drove 260 miles away. 
Here is the man in question.
If weasels were to evolve into humanoids, they would look exactly like him.
Anyway, enough of that. Let’s answer some sill questions from Sunday Stealing

1. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
Of course I would. Given that we are in lockdown that person is of course Mrs PM so I would do that again repeatedly even if we weren’t stuck at home.
2. What’s the closest thing to you that’s red?
 I am wearing a red shirt. You can’t get closer than that.
3. Did you meet someone new today?
Not today – it is too early. However, we have friends in Abu Dhabi and yesterday we were invited to join in their family quiz. It was amazing fun and we met many of their family members for the first time. We finished third by the way.
4. What are you craving right now?
Mrs PM is currently in the kitchen cooking a full English breakfast. The smell of bacon and sausage is driving me wild so I am definitely craving that at the moment.
5. What comes to mind when I say “cabbage.”
Sunday lunch.
6. What does your last text say?
“Cheers Steve”.
7. Do you bite into your ice cream, or just lick it?
If it is an ice cream cornet then I am a licker. If it is ice cream contained in a lolly, like a Magnum, then I am a biter.
8. Do you like your hair?
Absolutely not. One of the recurring themes in the inane drivel I write on this blog is my hatred for my own hair. I am convinced that it is sentient. It is mostly uncontrollable and the rest of the time totally annoying. As you can imagine, I can’t even get it cut at the moment due to the lockdown, so it is rampant. I am considering buying some hair clippers and Mrs PM has bravely volunteered to have a go at taming it if she can. 
I am almost tempted to shave it all off and become bald. 
Last weekend, I tried an experiment. I washed it and brushed it back while it was wet. My hair is so thick that it tends to stay in the last position I inflict upon it – or when I go to bed – the most absurd position it can ever find itself in. I walked around with my hair brushed back all day. 
Mrs PM said “I love your hair curly – it looks terrible brushed back”. 
Later in the day, I attempted to comb it forward again just to make Mrs PM happier and it refused to do so, mutating into a horrific hybrid mess. 
I went to bed. 
The following morning, I got up to go for a walk and my hair was horrendous - absolutely bloody horrendous. 
Every single hair decided to go its own way spiking up in places, laying flat in others, curling like a demented corkscrew in yet other places. 
And I had to face the public who were going through their daily exercise. I looked like a mad alien that had been tasered in the hair. 
Mrs PM didn’t think I looked too bad. I did – my hair was terrible – as it is right now.
I think I can sum this question up nicely. 
I HATE MY HAIR!
9. Do you like yourself?
Absolutely. 
As I get older I actually like myself more and more. Liking yourself is the first step to a happy life, I find. 
I watched a TED talk that touched on this recently, the gist of it being that when we are all kids we are happy but as we get older and reach middle age, we become much less happy. The good news is that after that dip, the older we get, we suddenly rediscover that happiness and by the time we reach old age we are generally more content than we have ever been. 
I am definitely on that upward curve.
10. Do you like cottage cheese?
I love cottage cheese and I don’t buy it often enough. I will have to rectify that situation.
11. What are you listening to right now?
I am listening to “Left Out” by one of my favourite bands called Riverside, a progressive group from Poland. I love this band and will take every opportunity to promote their brilliance to the world at large.
Here it is:


12. Is there anything sparkly in the room where you are?
Yes a sparkly face mask similar to this:

Last night we had a video call with our friends and were supposed to put on something silly. The mask was Mrs PM’s choice, from a Christmas Ball we went to a couple of years ago. I wore a silly wig that actually made me look better than my horrible hair does.
13. How many countries have you visited?
I have been to 35 countries and around 375 cities. 
Here is a map of my travels. 
I once worked out that I had travelled over 300,000 miles and seen about 25% of the world.
Some of the more interesting countries I have been to include China, Canada, Vietnam, Russia, Australia, United States of America, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Oman. One day I will try to write some kind of travelogue about my adventures.
14. Are you sarcastic?
Sarcastic? Me? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Of course I am sarcastic. I am British – we are ALL sarcastic.
15. Have you ever crawled through a window? 
Yes. When I was about 15 years old my parents were out and I was tasked with looking after the house and my two younger sisters. Some friends called around and I went out to the front garden to chat to them. My curious sisters also came out, my youngest sister at the age of 10, walked out and slammed the door shut behind her, locking us all out of the house.
I didn’t want to get into trouble, so I frantically ran the back door hoping that was open. It wasn’t. Thankfully, I spotted that there was a window open – a small window where I had to climb up and slide down into the room beyond. I managed somehow to squeeze through, although I almost broke some items on the other side. 
And did my parents find out? No – until about two weeks later when my youngest sister, the one who had locked us all out, grassed me up (and herself) by innocently telling my mum about it.
And yes – I was in trouble.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Ty and Logan




Day 55 of the lockdown and things are moving slightly. There is a rough timetable to easing the lockdown over the coming weeks and months but, as you can probably guess, Boris the Clown has been suitably vague and actually started to confuse people in the UK about what we can do at the moment. 
I won’t elaborate but suffice it to say his usual blustering buffoonery is still evident in what should be a clear message. It’s not. 
But, hey, we are talking about Boris Johnson so I didn’t expect it to be. For me, nothing has changed and I shall maintain the same level of lockdown at least for the next couple of weeks.
For now, let’s answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1. Where did your name come from?

My forenames are David George and I have to thank my mother for that. My dad’s fornames were George William as was his father and, apparently, his father before him. My mum put her foot down and told him that she didn’t like the name George. The compromise was to have George as my middle name. My mum liked David and so that became my name. I am glad for that. I love the name Dave.

2. Where were you born?

I was born in a rather large town called Walsall that is about ten miles north of England’s second city, Birmingham and about 75 miles south of where I live now.

Here is where it is. 



3. What as your house like, growing up.

I lived in a small three bedroomed terrace house until the age of about 8 and then we moved to a small three-bedroomed detached house next to a park. It was a small house but, being the oldest of three kids, with two younger sisters, I was the only person in the house to have a room of my own. It was a nice enough little house and the proximity to the park meant that I spent a lot of time outdoors with friends running around, playing football etc etc.

4. What was your childhood bedroom like?

It was small but had enough room for a big cupboard and a wardrobe. On top of the cupboard I had my dad’s old music centre, so I could play records and tapes and listen to the radio, something which my dad in particular wasn’t keen on. When I discovered heavy metal, he used to come up and tell me off for playing it too loudly. It was the only thing that he couldn’t change about me.

5. Did you travel as a child? Where?

Not really. We went for holidays in England to places like Brighton, Minehead, Skegness and Blackpool but, sadly, we didn’t venture abroad.

6. Write about your grandparents.

All four grandparents were amazing people. On my mum’s side, my grandad was a retired bus mechanic, a very intelligent man who loved books. They lived next door so I spent a lot of time there, talking to him, reading his books and helping him with odd jobs. Although he had retired, he simply couldn’t keep still and had part time jobs from home just to keep his mind active. My grandmother was the sweetest woman you would ever meet and I never saw her without a smile. They were both strict Catholics and used to take me to church as a youngster. They both sadly died within a couple of years of each other, my grandmother the last one when I was about 11. 

On my dad’s side, my grandad fought in World War 2 and was captured and held prisoner in Germany until the war ended. My grandmother thought he had been killed and when, in 1946, he turned up on the doorstep and said “I’m back”, she apparently fainted. My grandad was a very interesting and sweet man who rarely spoke about his ordeal in the war and was the last of all of my grandparents to go. My grandmother was lovely but quite strict with us. Sadly we lost her when I was about 20. My grandad lived on for another couple of years and died of lung cancer at the age of 84 when I was about 24 years old. 

7. Who taught you how to drive?

I learned to drive when I was in my early twenties and passed my test first time. The guy who taught me was the next door neighbour of a work colleague and was in his late sixties and a retired driving instructor who still gave a few lessons for friends of friends to keep himself busy but charged a cheaper rate. I am very grateful to him and the patience he had.

8. When did you first leave home?

I left home at the age of 18 to go to university in Liverpool.

9. What did your parents do for work?

My dad worked in a factory making bolts and nuts and my mum really only looked after the kids. We were a working class family really.

10. Who inspired you as you matured?

My dad. He was a very intelligent guy but a war child who never really had the chance to finish his education and improve his life. He saw something in me and drove me to do well in school. I managed to get a place in the grammar school in Walsall and that made him so proud because it opened up more opportunities for me, resulting in me becoming thee first person in my family to go to university. Thankfully he knew about it before his untimely death in the early 1980’s. I owe him everything.

11. What was the best part of your 20s?

I loved being in my 20’s and if I could go back to that time, I would do it in a heartbeat. What was the best part? There are too many to choose from; being at university, moving to Manchester where I bought my first house, travelling abroad for the first time. Take your pick.

12. What as the best part of your 30s?

I would say the birth of my two boys.

13. Where is the most fascinating place you’ve visited?

I have travelled to many places all over the world, but by far the most fascinating place is Japan. It is an incredible country full of amazing people, strange customs and a unique outlook on life. I desperately want to go back there and plan to do so within the next few years.

14. What is your favourite family story?

That’s a really tough question. The holidays in Brighton were quite memorable with my dad urging us to spend one day on a long walk along the cliffs and through the Sussex countryside for the whole day rather than going to the funfair and the beach. These days I would much rather go for the walk but back then we loved the beach and the fairground. Sadly, my dad always got his way (he was very persuasive) and we would have to go for a ten mile hike despite the fact that nobody else wanted to do it. It was only one day though so we did it just to shut him up.

15. What was your most memorable birthday?

My thirtieth birthday was quite memorable because I had a surprise party. My ex-wife took me for a meal on Saturday night and then complained that she was felling ill, so we had the main course and went home. I was disappointed but if she was ill, what could I do? It was a ruse and when I opened the door to my house, I was confronted with “SURPRISE!” and bombarded with a barrage of cuddly toys hurled at me by my mates. I have never been so shocked. We had a great party that went on until the early hours of morning.

16. What was your favourite food as a child?

I have to say it was my dad’s Sunday dinner. My dad was a very good cook and he and my mum shared the responsibility but on Sunday he completely took over the kitchen and cooked what was always an amazing family meal. You can imagine what Christmas dinner was like too. Incredible.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Black Feathers



Day 48 of the lockdown and apparently the clown that has somehow fooled people into believing that he is a worthy Prime Minister of my country is going to demonstrate his “wisdom” in a declaration of how we are going to ease lockdown measures over the coming weeks and months in a speech this evening.

I can’t say I’m anticipating any immediate relaxation of the lockdown to be honest and rumour has it that he may allow a few more shops to open as an opening gambit. Hopefully this is the case because, as much as I hate the lockdown and given the statistics, we are not ready to ease anything just yet.

Some people are praising Boris Johnson but when you look at the statistics, we, as a country, have handled the whole thing very very badly. We now have the most deaths in Europe and the second most deaths for a country in the world behind the United States.

It’s all very depressing so I think I will cheer myself up with some silly questions from Sunday Stealing.

1. Do you prefer writing with black or blue pen?

I haven’t really thought about that to be honest. I tend to alternate but I sometimes use different coloured pens at work to highlight different things or the importance of things I have to do. I will say blue because at school we used to have to use fountain pens and my favourite ink was a lovely blue colour called Royal Blue.

2. Do you prefer living in the country or the city?

I prefer the city but I do like escaping to the country. I am lucky where I live because I am five miles from the centre of Manchester with great transport links to get there easily, but equally, I am about twenty minutes drive from Cheshire, a lovely county full of small towns and villages with loads of great places to walk in the countryside and breathe the fresh country air. Also, nearby is the Peak District national park and North Wales. Plenty of scope for exploration of our beautiful countryside.

Here is a map which includes Manchester, Cheshire, the Peaks and North Wales. If you look closely you can see me - a kind of British Where's Wally.


3. How do you drink your tea or coffee?

I suck all of my drinks through my left nostril with a straw –or sometimes my right one (I like to live dangerously).

Of course I don’t. I drink it through my mouth like everybody.

Ah – okay. You mean how do I take it? I like my tea strong with just a small amount of milk and no sugar. I drink coffee black with no sugar. In both cases the beverage has to be piping hot.

Cold tea and coffee are abominations that are not meant to be.

4. Do you prefer bath or shower?

I haven’t had a bath for several years.

No – that doesn’t mean I am a dirty old man. I much prefer showers and I have one every morning.

5. Do you prefer reading paper or electronic books?

For the convenience, I prefer using a Kindle because in those reckless days when I could go travelling, I could stash several books on the small device to enjoy for the duration, rather than having to carry loads of books and weigh down my luggage.

However, for reference books, paper is so much better.

6. Would you ever want to be famous?

Not really. I like my privacy and I fear that if I were famous, my entire life would be subject to public scrutiny and I would be forever paranoid about being a target for prying paparazzi and unscrupulous reporters.

I’d quite like the money though, so if fame is going to come my way, it would have to be anonymously like an author using a pen name such as Theo Plastique or something like that.

7. Are you a restless sleeper?

Rarely. I actually had a nightmare about a month ago and I have no idea why. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say, I sat up in bed, in pitch black darkness with a pounding heart and heavy breathing. Mrs PM was snoring gently next to me, oblivious to my trauma. I then found myself smiling and slightly excited that I had had a dream that had caused me some distress. I lay down again and stayed awake for about half an hour trying to work out what caused the dream.  But then I dozed off and, like every other night, slept through until morning in blissful slumber.

8. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I have been to China and Japan so the list is endless. I am a fussy eater and I have to know what the food is before I will agree to try it and then I have to be slightly adventurous.

I would say that the strangest things are jellyfish, which I had in China and Japan, and Kangaroo steak which I had in Australia.

9. Do you like cereal crunchy or soggy?

Definitely crunchy. Soggy cereal is disgusting.

10. Do you like ice in your drinks?

Only if it is really hot outside.

11. Do you prefer swimming in pools or the ocean?

Swimming in the sea is more exciting but I hate the sand on my feet and the bits of seaweed floating about (I have a fear of seaweed after an episode of Dr Who I saw as a child).

I guess I would have to say a swimming pool because it is cleaner and there is no sand.

12. What can you hear right now?

The clacking of my keyboard, the washing machine and a progressive metal masterpiece from Sons of Apollo called Fall to Ascend:



13. Where do you feel the safest?

I would probably say at home. I haven’t really thought about it to be honest.

14. What would you like your legacy to be?

I’d like to think that I made a positive difference to somebody’s life.

15. Do you like spicy food?

I love spicy food – but not too spicy. I like to enjoy the meal and the moment it becomes painful to eat, it ceases to be enjoyable.


Sunday, 3 May 2020

Conversation Starters


So here we are in the UK currently languishing in day 41 of the lockdown. The news this week is encouraging in that the number of deaths per day is stabilising and falling and the trend for new cases is also dropping slightly. The government are talking about the potential of easing the lockdown and a strategy for doing so. I don’t want to discuss the politics of the situation but the news is encouraging, even though we will feel the effects for months in my opinion.

Let’s start a conversation from Sunday Stealing.

1. What is your favourite song lyric? Why?

I have a few favourite song lyrics. To me they are like poetry if written well. The late great Neil Peart, drummer of my favourite band – Rush - wrote some amazing lyrics. Basically his lyrics tend to be deep, meaningful and thought-provoking, Here are a couple of examples that hopefully illustrates the point I am trying to make.

From the song Losing It. This is about artists, authors, dancers who were brilliant in their youth but now they are old, they are losing the skills that made them great.

Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies
But most of us just dream about
The things we'd like to be
Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it
For you, the blind who once could see
The bell tolls for thee

From the song Second Nature:

Folks have got to make choices
And choices got to have voices
Folks are basically decent
Conventional wisdom would say
Well, we read about
The exceptions
In the papers every day

2. Who was the worst teacher you ever had?

I attended a grammar school and all of the teachers were pretty adept at their subjects so I can’t really complain about any of them. If you twist my arm, however and force me to name the worst one, I will have to point the finger at my third year geography teacher (I was about 13 or 14 at the time). I won’t name him to protect the guilty – but let’s call him Mr Bogus.

Why has Mr Bogus won my prize as worst teacher? Because I was absolutely dreadful at geography – it was by far my worst subject at school. Mr Bogus was also my Form Master which meant that I had to deal with him all of the time. Mr Bogus did nothing to encourage me in the subject or in the classroom generally. Quite the opposite in fact. He often used me as an example of somebody who could possibly fail in life because I answered back when he tried to use me as an example. I didn’t really like him at all and during that year I was on the receiving end of several detentions for, well, just being a cheeky little git. I guess I deserved that so I can’t complain too much.

I gave up geography at the end of his year, thank goodness, and never had to deal with him again. In fact, if I were to see him now, I would say “Hi Mr Bogus! I think I’ve proved you wrong haven’t I?”

3. What were 3 things that scared you as a child?

I was both scared of, yet fascinated by, vampires. My dad taught me a lesson for mithering him about watching horror films – he let me watch Christopher Lee playing Dracula when I was about ten years old. It scared me half to death.

My dad was also partly culpable for my second fear. After watching a child friendly version of “A Christmas Carol” at the age of about eight, I asked about ghosts and whether they exist or not. My dad was a great story teller and he told me that ghosts were the spirits of people who were dead but didn’t know it, and lived their ghostly existence in anguish, trapped where they had died and wailing in self-pity for somebody to rescue them. I was convinced my house was haunted until my own rational mind told me it was a load of old codswallop. Ironically, the only time that I thought I saw a ghost, was when I was 19 – and that ghost was that of my own father. But that’s another story.

My third fear was insects and spiders. I still hate them to this very day.

4. What are 3 things that scare you now?

I am now, unbelievably scared of heights. I am also scared of public speaking, even though I have done it quite a lot. Finally, the shift in politics worldwide and the misinformation being passed around scares the hell out of me but I won’t go into that.

5. Would you rather have the power of time travel or the power to see the future?

Time travel definitely. I would go to the future to see how technology has developed over the next few hundred years. I might just pop back to the past for a laugh too.

6. Money, power, or good looks – which would you rather have an unlimited supply of?

I would go for money because with money comes power and if I had an unlimited supply of it, I could help out the needy. Even better it would allow me to build a fleet of spaceships that I could use to explore the galaxy but manned by the most odious people on the planet, like Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Piers Morgan etc. etc.

7. Are you jealous of anything?

Not really. I love life so I want to experience it forever, so unless I am immortal already (or can find a way to become immortal), I would have to be young again. In that respect I am jealous of young people.

8. What makes you feel most loved?

A cuddle on the settee with Mrs PM. I am a man of simple tastes.

9. Do you believe in soulmates?

Yes – see the answer to the previous question.

10. What is something that made you laugh the most?

There are quite literally thousands upon thousands of things that have made me laugh throughout my life and to single out one of them is near to impossible. I love comedy so I will single out one of my favourite comedians – Mr Billy Connolly – as an example of somebody who has made me laugh a lot over the years.



11. What were 3 of the happiest days of your life?

Two of them were the birth of my two sons. The third? I’m not sure to be honest – probably the day I graduated from university. There have been some really good days in my life.

12. What is your biggest flaw

I think that my biggest flaw is possibly also a strength. I am quite risk averse so I will not try anything if I think it is too risky. For example, I would never hurl myself into a venture that I didn’t think I could cope with or that I had serious doubts about. People who like taking risks would argue that this is a flaw because sometimes risks can pay off and your life will improve as a result.

However, on the other side of the coin, in my mind at least, if the risk doesn’t pay off then you could potentially pay the price and never recover. In that way, I think the fact that I am risk averse has given me a life that I am quite content with.

13. Who would play you in a movie about your life?   

I would say somebody like Johnny Depp because he is a weird looking guy who could just about pull it off, I reckon.


14. What is something you experienced that you have no explanation for.

See my answer to question 3. I thought I saw the ghost of my father. Way back in 2010 I wrote a post about the experience and I still can’t explain it. Here is the post.

15. What is the saddest book you ever read?

Honestly? I don’t know. I tend to read science fiction, novels, thrillers, horror stories or anything that is weird – and because they are all so weird, they cannot really be described as sad. Sadness is one of the many conflicting elements of them all but not the dominant one. So I’m afraid I can’t answer this one.

16. What is your dream home like?

I would like one of those old English mansions with many rooms that can be converted to be the following:

(a) A pub
(b) A snooker room
(c) A home cinema
(d) An entertainment room
(e) A music room
(f) A gym
(g) A swimming pool

17. What creature/insect would most creep you out if you found it crawling on you?

Any insect in reality but in particular a huge spider would freak me out so much that I would be running around screaming blue murder.

18. What’s your preferred Monopoly piece?

Really? I don’t have one. Okay – if I had to choose it would be this one:

19. What was your most embarrassing moment?

Oh dear - there have been too many to mention. I will tell you one though. I was working in Amsterdam and in the evening, a work colleague and I was with him in an Ethiopian restaurant enjoying a nice meal.

I had run out of beer and I waved to a female waiter to bring me a new one. I shouted “Excuse me,” and waved to her repeatedly. She was a beautiful African woman with a white blouse and a black skirt and dressed like the other waiters. She stared at me as if I was insane and I stupidly thought this was because she was Dutch and couldn’t understand English (momentarily forgetting that everybody in Holland speaks perfect English). My colleague said “No Dave no!” I wondered what he was talking about so I waved again and shouted to her – “Can I have another beer please?”

She walked through the tables across the restaurant to me and as she was doing so, my colleague said “You bloody idiot! I’ve just seen her come out of the toilet – she’s a customer!”

I was mortified but she arrived at the table anyway. “Would you like me to ask at the bar for you?” She said with a smile. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “I thought you were a waiter.”

To rub salt into the wound, she walked away found a real waitress and directed her to my table. People were sniggering at me openly.

I am not a person to let something like that lie, so when we left I walked to her table and apologised again. She was with a friend and said “That’s quite alright. It was an easy mistake to make.”

I heard them laughing as I left. My colleague said rather too loudly I thought “That’s the last time I come to a restaurant with you.”

20. Could the earth be flat?

Of course it couldn’t. I come from a scientific background and the earth is 100% definitely a sphere. This is one of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories I have ever heard. There are so many scientific facts proving without any doubt whatsoever that our planet is a sphere. I won’t bore you with this topic again but if you are interested in my thoughts on this madness, please read a post I wrote in 2016.

Here it is. 

Here is a video about why people might fall for this bullshit:


For me, personally, the flat earth theory is just a load of old codswallop.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Fill It In


In the UK we are now in day 34 of our lockdown and faced with the prospect of two or three weeks more at least. The good news is that the weather has been good so we have been able to sit in the sunshine in the garden and at least been given a tantalising glimpse of what normal life is like.

Sadly, today, the weather is starting to turn a little and the clear blue skies we have enjoyed are now filled with clouds and the prospect of rain later in the afternoon. So what better time to have a little light relief and answer a few silly questions on Sunday Stealing.

1. Right now I'm _____.

Right now I am listening to "(Don’t Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult and sitting down at my desk in the back room answering questions for Sunday Stealing. I have a cup of tea at my side in my special Game of Thrones mug (which I won’t share with you as it includes my name – very geeky – but to give you a brief idea of what it is like, it contains a picture of a dragon and text similar to “Lord Plastic of House Mancunian” – you get the idea).

2. _____ is my well-known quirk.

Trying to be funny is my well-known quirk. The weird thing is that when I actually really try to be funny, like telling a joke, I fail miserably. People say things like “Well it must have been funny at the time” or “Don’t give up your day job Dave” – yet when I am in normal conversation with people I can make them laugh with just a quick observation, a witty ditty or a massive rant.

3. Are you _____?

Are you as stunned as I am every time Donald Trump opens his mouth? This week has been an absolute nightmare for the Orange Goblin and I am still incredulous that this creature is President of the United States of America. Inject yourself with disinfectant? What on earth is he taking?

Mind you, we’re not much better in the UK. We have the Clown Prince of Buffoonery as our leader, a man whose attitude to the virus was so stupid that he went to a hospital full of people with COVID-19 and made a point that he would “shake their hands”. Guess what?  The bloody idiot caught it. I think he may be taking it seriously now he has been out of action for weeks.

The world is mad! MAD!

4. _____ first, then _____!

Beer first, then another beer. During the week I abstain from alcohol so that I can concentrate on work but at the weekend, five days of pent up frustration force me to open up my beer fridge and crack a couple of cans to relax. It is a high spot and I miss the pub immensely.

5. That's why _____.

That's why I am now a cynical and grumpy old git. Every time I switch on the news, listen to politicians or read newspapers I just want to rant and rant and rant. The news is bad but it also allows politicians to pontificate about their own agenda with speeches full of lies and interviews where they avoid answering the questions asked. Absolute charaltans the lot of them. And don’t get me started on newspapers …

6. _____ is one of my favourite tv shows ever!

Babylon 5 is one of my favourite TV shows ever. At the moment there are a lot of recent shows that are right up there (like Breaking Bad, Stranger Things) but I am currently rewatching the entire five series as I do my ironing every week (to break the tedious monotony of ironing my shirts) and I have to say I am still enjoying it despite the fact that it is now slightly dated.

Politics and intrigue in space all with aliens and monsters. Wonderful.



7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!

Since today is Sunday, let’s talk about next weekend.

And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to enjoying a Friday night pub night in my lounge with Mrs PM, with a couple of beers and a pizza, tomorrow my plans include going for our daily exercise of a walk down by the rivers and a little writing, reading and watching TV and Sunday I want to go for another walk and do something fun in the house (as well as the mundane chores we have to do) before enjoying a lovely evening meal.

My life sounds so boring under the current circumstances.

8. If I could go anywhere on a road trip, I'd go to _____.

If I could go anywhere on a road trip, I’d go to the south of Spain via France. This would mean driving from Manchester to Folkestone and then through the Channel Tunnel and into France, visiting Paris and other lovely towns and villages, before heading south into Spain and the south coast via Madrid. I am thinking this might be something I really do when I retire.

9. _____ is something I don't understand.

Brexit is something I don’t understand. I am not going to dwell on our reasons for leaving the European Union because, quite frankly, I don’t know what they are. I have a history of ranting about this but recently I have tried to engage people who wanted to leave to find out if I was missing something. And not one of them can tell me why it is a good thing to leave, nor any benefits for us as a country. The pandemic we are suffering will seriously hit our economy and after that we have the prospect of a similar hit due to Brexit. The future is not bright for the UK and part of it is self-inflicted. I just don’t get it.

10. Thanksgiving makes me think of _____

Thanksgiving makes me think of Americans. I am British and we don’t have it so what else can I say?

11. _____ is the best way to relax!

Travelling is the best way to relax! I am not talking about the act of getting to your destination (which is far from relaxing) but when you arrive, there is nothing better than wandering around, taking in a new place and allowing yourself to mingle with people from another culture.

12. It looks like Autumn _____.

It looks like Autumn will be about six months away (as it is normally at the end of April).

13. _____ is one of my favourite healthy snacks.

Fruit is one of my favourite healthy snacks.

14. The smell of _____ makes me think of _____.

The smell of freshly mown grass makes me think of summer walks in the countryside.

15. When I am feeling lazy I _____.

When I am feeling lazy I watch a lot of rubbish on the TV.

16. When I look to the left, I see ______________.

When I look to the left I see my back garden.

17. ___________ are the room(s) that have the best view in my home.

The back bedrooms are the room(s) that have the best view in my home. From there I can see my own small garden and those of my neighbours.

18. _________ was done dirt cheap!

Dirty Deeds – of course. What else?



19. __________ is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

At the moment (and perhaps always), trying to change our world for the better by creating a caring and sharing society is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

20. If you have any __________feel free to share it with me.

If you have any decent ideas to break the monotony of lockdown feel free to share them with me.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Quirks


It is day 27 of the lockdown and I am looking out of the window upon a bright sunny day with a few clouds in the sky. It is the perfect day to go outside and do something interesting – except we can’t. Apart from the walk that Mrs PM and I took down by the River Mersey this morning, we are now stuck inside for the rest of the day (though we maygo and sit in the garden for a while later).

What better way to spend the time than to answer some more questions from Sunday Stealing which seem to be quirky – a word that has been used to describe me in the past.

Let’s dive in and see just how quirky I am then, shall we?

1.   Did you become what you wanted to be when you grew up? Are you happy with your choice?

No. When I was a kid I didn’t know what I wanted to be to be honest. I did briefly consider being an actor after I was about to star in a musical play at junior school about Aesop and his fables. Sadly the play was cancelled but I had played the Prince in Sleeping Beauty and also the Gryphon in Alice in Wonderland. Then I wanted to be a singer – the problem was my voice then, as now, sounded like a cat being strangled.

I chose the easy way out – do something I was good at, rather than something I wanted to do. And now I am stuck with what was considered a very geeky career – doing daily battle with computers.

At first I was happy because to me it was easy. I never understood why people cannot handle computers – I still don’t. But now I am bored with it. It is a chore. I don’t challenge myself any more. Thankfully my career is nearly over (we are talking four or five years) so I shall rid myself of that particular burden.

Is it too late to do something new?

Judging by some of the famous singers and actors out there whose vocals are worse than mine and whose acting skills are so wooden, maybe I could have and still can do it.

It’s a thought but I prefer creativity. I enjoy writing and I am still learning – so I shall do that.

2.    Did man really go to the moon or was it a publicity stunt?

I love conspiracy theories and this is one of my favourites. The main story is that the Americans were so paranoid and desperate to better the Soviets that they filmed the entire moon landing in a studio to say “We did it – NER NER NERNER NER!”

I don’t buy it. I think the Americans got there. I do wonder why we haven’t been back for decades though.

3.    Given the opportunity to change one major aspect of your life (i.e. career, relationship, family) with no guarantee of the outcome, would you take the chance? Why?

As I said in question 1 I would change my career if I could. As I approach the end of it, I can start looking at alternatives but as hobbies. The good news is that if I fail or don’t like my choices, I can just move on without risk. I like that.

4.    Does money buy happiness?

Money certainly contributes to happiness. One of my passions is travelling and I am grateful to have been able to visit lots of places thanks to the money I have earned as a geek. So in a certain way the answer it yes. I wouldn’t like to be obscenely rich though if I am honest. I would end up giving most of it away to worthy causes and to help others.

5.    What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I sleep without my glasses so the first thing I do is reach over to my bedside table so that I can find them. Without my glasses I can’t see the bedside alarm clock so I don’t know what time it is. The only problem is that when I am groping around I end up putting my greasy fingers all over the lenses and for a while, until I have cleaned them, my vision is very foggy.

6.    What are we going to do when we run out of room to bury the dead?

I would guess that we will cremate people. What else would we do? Blast them into space?

7.    What is your greatest fear? Why? Is it rational or unreasonable?

I have a few irrational fears. Probably the greatest is a fear of heights. I never used to be scared of heights and I vividly recall being at the top of the Eiffel Tower and marvelling at how wonderful the view is. In the past three decades however, my fear has got to the point where I will avoid anything that is high. Stupidly I have tried to conquer my fear on several occasions and each time I have failed.

It is irrational I think because it is not dangerous to be at the top of a skyscraper – falling off yes but not if you are looking through a window. I just don’t get why it has happened. It’s madness.

8.    How do you feel about the exploitation of your private data in the digital age? Does it ever cross your mind or are you hyper-aware of the risks?

Working in the world of IT has taught me that your private data can be accessible. All it takes is a dedicated and capable hacker. Forget what you see in movies – it is not that simple. However, it is definitely possible and sometimes people can be their own worst enemies by using simple passwords, giving away details to people who ask via phishing emails etc. If you have your wits about you, you should be fine.

As far as social media is concerned, you should also limit the amount of personal details you publish online. I am very careful what I reveal. Okay as “The Plastic Mancunian” I am merely an anonymous blogger and dabble in social media as that alias but I still reveal very little about who I really am, who my family and friends are etc.  Some people know who I really am – and I don’t mind that – but generally I prefer the anonymity.

9.    You can be forgiven one debt. What is it? If you don’t have debt, then how did you do it?

I don’t have any debts, having paid off my mortgage a year or two ago. I did it by overpaying when I could. I would recommend it.

10.    Hot or cold?

I think I prefer to be hotter rather than colder – but not too hot.

11.    What is your favourite thing in the world (aside from family, friends, pets)?

Probably travelling abroad – something I can’t do at the moment and won’t be able to do for a while yet. I love getting away to foreign countries and trying to immerse myself into different cultures. If I win the lottery, the first thing I shall do is book a round the world ticket, travelling to as many countries as I can.

12.    You have to give up one of your five senses. Which one would you go without?

I wrote an entire blog post about this way back in 2011 – here it is.

I came to the conclusion in a roundabout way that if forced, I would give up my sense of smell.

13.    Do you believe everyone has a doppelgänger?

Yes. I have several. I look like these guys:



If you don’t believe me …


Here is another post I wrote way back in 2015 about my doppelgängers

14.    Likewise, does everyone have a soulmate or is it just a matter of proximity and circumstance?

Yes, I do – and not just one. I think proximity and circumstance have something to do with it. I reckon that if I were young free and single and decided to move to a foreign country I would manage to find a soulmate wherever I went.

15.    Imagine you have a theme song that plays every time you enter a room. What would your song be?

Now there’s a challenge! Wait a moment while I look through my collection of songs (it may take a while).

Hey, hey, hey
I'm back in your face like I've never been away
I'm back in your face and it's where I'm gonna stay
Like a runaway mack, like a union jack
I'm back

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Coronavirus Part 2


We are now in day 20 of the Lockdown on Easter Sunday so it seems fitting to answer a few more questions from Sunday Stealing about the reason that we are in this situation – the Coronavirus.

Shall we dive in?

1 – What is something you are doing due to the pandemic that you normally don’t do? After the pandemic will you continue to so this?

Being a mild sufferer from OCD and a rampant hypochondriac I have been very carefully avoiding anything that could pass on the virus – like door handles, other people etc. Being in lockdown is a massive help to be fair although in the UK we can take daily exercise outside once a day. My exercise of choice is my usual one – a good walk. However, even that has been fraught with danger to Captain Hypochondria and Captain OCD. So I have been avoiding the periods of time when I think most people will be out and about.

My daily routine on a work day involves getting up at the crack of dawn (around 6am) and immediately going for a walk (about half an hour). I don’t even get into the shower first, effectively just cleaning my teeth and going straight outside – having got dressed of course (I wouldn’t inflict my undressed self on anybody).

My hair is, of course, an uncontrolled mess having not been beaten into submission by a shower so I walk our streets and the local park with a grim and stern look on my face (I am not the happiest person in the morning) in the hope that anybody else who might see me will avoid this weird looking angry alien with crazy hair. A win-win for all concerned.

The Plastic Mancunian on his Daily Walk

When I get home, Captain OCD urges me to wash my hands. I have done this so many times since the Coronavirus appeared that my hands look like they are made of leather. I have even resorted to using Mrs PM’s moisturiser to soften them.

Here’s a picture of my hands:


I will almost certainly start my day with a walk after this pandemic is over because it is the best part of the day to do so. I will also wash my hands more too – Captain OCD is winning that war.

2 - What made you happy, sad, or frustrated today? List, all big and/or small, as there may be some of one or all of these feelings!

I was saddened by the fact that we are three weeks into the lockdown and I see it lasting at least another three weeks.

I was frustrated by some irresponsible joggers once more struggling to understand the concept of social distancing during my walk.

I was happy to be home after an hour’s walk today to enjoy a little comedy on the TV while eating a well-deserved full English breakfast.

I am also quite content right now, writing this nonsense, drinking a large cup of tea and listening to this:



3- What is one of the first things you will do when the pandemic is over?

My eldest son and his girlfriend moved out a couple of days before the lockdown and we haven’t had the chance to see their new house. So I will almost certainly go to visit them – and then I will go to the pub to have a couple of beers with mates. Then I will look at booking a holiday somewhere.

4 – Are you an essential employee or do you know someone who is? Is this affecting you in some way?

I am not an essential employee but I do know three nurses who must be suffering at the moment. I feel for them every time I see news reports about what is happening at hospitals up and down the country.

5 – What are you doing to destress during this stressful time?

I’m not really that stressed to be honest with you. The greatest enemy at the moment is boredom. Obviously I have Mrs PM for company which keeps me occupied most of the time but I am also relying on the introvert within me to help relieve the ennui of being stuck at home. There is plenty of stuff to do, if I think about it, such as reading, writing, playing games, watching TV, trying to be creative, exploring the internet to find new music and revisit older music, as well as the more mundane things like cleaning, cooking, ironing etc.

6 – Have you tried any new recipes during this time? Please share your recipe if you want to.

No – I hate cooking. When it is my turn to do this, I rely on my basic recipes rather than trying not to poison Mrs PM and myself. However, Mrs PM has been trying out a couple of new things from her collection of recipe books, the best one recently being a Mediterranean chicken and chorizo dish which was very tasty.

7 – Have you always lived where you do now? If not, how did you wind up in the place you currently live?

No. I was born in Walsall, an industrial town in the West Midlands, about 11 miles north of Birmingham and lived there for 18 years until I went to university in Liverpool. I lived there for three years popping back to Walsall during the summer before moving to Manchester where I have lived ever since. This is why my blog alias is The Plastic Mancunian because I am not a true Mancunian even though I have lived here for 36 years.

8- Where is the last place you visited on-line?

I would say You Tube in order to embed “Long Live Rock and Roll” by Rainbow into this blog post.

9- What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

Lots of people have said nice things all through my life so it is difficult to select a single one and elevate that to the position of “nicest thing”. I will tell you one funny thing though which was nice in a weird way.

I was in a pub in Liverpool with some mates about 15 years ago when a woman came up to me and grabbed my hand. She was a little inebriated and asked me if I was married. I told her I was in a deep and loving relationship and a look of sadness crossed her face. “That’s such a shame,” she slurred. “I would marry you tomorrow if I could. You are so gorgeous!”

I was shocked and my mates supported me by laughing their heads off. She turned to them and said “I’m serious!” before storming off.

My mates still mention it to this day saying "she must have had her beer goggles on when she said that!"

She may have been a little drunk but I thought it was a really sweet thing to say.

10 – Tell me about the last photo on your camera (phone or real camera or both!)

I took a couple of photos on my walk yesterday – the last one being this one of the River Mersey:


Sunday, 5 April 2020

Gratitude


It’s lockdown day 13 in the UK and I think I know every square inch of my house now. It’s a bit weird getting up and then working in the comfort of my own home, with the occasional video conference to remind me that my work colleagues still exist. In fact, at the moment, I am quite busy so the day passes quickly so I am managing to cope without going stir crazy.


Weekends are a little surreal too. Although we are locked down, we can, at the moment, pop out for exercise and to walk the dog. So I have been getting up early to avoid any others out there and strolling around the neighbourhood and local park for half an hour or so before starting work.

I must say that joggers annoy me. I won’t rant about it now – I think I will save that for a post in a couple of days.

Anyway, it’s Sunday and therefore time for a few silly questions from Sunday Stealing.

Off we go …

1. Name a highlight of your day

A highlight for now, given the lockdown situation, is to venture outside for my daily exercise. As I stated above, I like to go early to encounter as few people as possible, which is actually quite easy since the streets are largely deserted. It reminds me of when I was a child doing my newspaper round, walking around deserted streets with my mind wandering off to all sorts of weird places as people sleep in their beds. The introvert within me feels extremely content during these walks.

2. What made you smile today?

Nothing yet. But last night, we had a Whatsapp video call with some friends of ours. We all had beer and wine and had a decent chat for a while as if we were out in the pub. It was fun.

3. What made you laugh today?

It is Mrs PM’s step-mother’s birthday today and this morning on the family Whatsapp group, her daughter, who is a policewoman, made a really funny video of her and her daughter singing happy birthday. It was hilarious. She is as mad as a bag of badgers.

4. Recall a time when you needed encouragement.

Probably within the last two years generally for everything. I have actually been quite disciplined trying to prepare myself for retirement in a few years’ time, looking for new and interesting things to do and ways to occupy my mind. It’s not been bad but I’ve needed the occasional word of encouragement from Mrs PM. I’m getting there.

5. What is a luxury you are thankful for

At the current moment, I am thankful for all of the things that keep me entertained at home, such as my laptop (writing, communicating, internet, music), smartphone (communicating, internet, games), PS4 (games, TV), smart TV (NetFlix, Amazon Prime, Sky), Kindle (reading) and my old iPod (music). There’s enough to relieve the boredom of lockdown.

6. Favourite childhood memory

We used to live next to a park and I remember hanging around with friends all day in and around the park, playing football, messing about and generally just spending the entire day outside, no matter what the weather was like. It was particularly good in the summer. We were rarely indoors. It was great.

7. Favourite song–and why?

I have so many favourite songs that I can’t pick one. However, I will endeavor to select one that I have been listening to a lot recently. Devin Townsend – Genesis.

Devin Townsend is an incredible artist who has crossed many genres from ambient rock, progressive rock to progressive metal.  With his last album, Empath, he mixed all of his styles together and, in the case of Genesis, into one song. The result is astonishing with ambient rock, choral music, dance, power metal, electronic pop, dance and tropical beach music all headlining at various parts of the song. The video is epic and quite amusing.



8. Where is your favourite place?  Why?

Outside the UK, I would say Hong Kong. It is a magnificent city with a culture of its own. It is also the place where Mrs PM and I got together so it also brings back wonderful memories.

9. What is your favourite scent

I don’t have one really but I quite like the smell of the English countryside in early summer.

10. What is your favourite topic to talk about?

My goodness. Music and movies, probably followed closely by sport. I also enjoy talking about politics but please don’t get me started because it tends to annoy the hell out of me (that’s why I have tried to avoid it in recent years as I watch my country fall apart).

11. What do you like doing so much that you lose track of time?

It usually involves sitting at a computer and writing and researching but also, reading. It is very easy to get lost in a good book.

12. If you had 5 minutes and the whole world was forced to listen, what would you say?

I would tell the world to unite and come together rather than trying to tear itself apart. The policies of isolation from some of our so-called world leaders (Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, Bolsonaro) is pushing the world into a dangerous place. I would urge people to question their governments and actually consider the fact that the only thing that comes from their lips is a pack of lies.

13. Whose life do you envy the most, and why?

My own life back in 1981. I was just beginning on a wonderful adventure and I would love to do that again with the knowledge I have now.

14. What would you different with your education if you got a chance to start over?

I would focus more on English and foreign languages. I was good at both but better at science, hence the reason why I drifted down that path. I would perhaps have been able to expand my horizons and travel more had I been able to write and speak foreign languages, taking the science side of my mind down the path of hobbies and interests rather than a career choice. Oh – and I would have learned to play the piano and guitar too.

15. What would you do with your life if you had no fear?

I would probably be higher up the corporate ladder and making my own decisions about where I want to go rather than having to succumb to the constraints I have at the moment. I would have earned enough money to have retired now.

Who knows? I might also have ended up in politics and might be ruling the world now – which would be bad news people who annoyed me. I have a master plan that when I rule the world, I am going to build a spaceship and send it off to the deepest darkest depths of the galaxy manned by all of those people who have pissed me off – you know, people like Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, the Kardashians, Kanye West  etc. I’ll make space explorers out of the lot of them and make our world a better place.


Sunday, 29 March 2020

Alec Clayton's Questions


My hair is loving this lockdown. As you may have heard, we in the UK are locked down and can only go out for a little exercise once a day, for essential work and shopping for food and medication. My hair isn’t too long at the moment but after another couple of weeks it will require cutting and I can imagine that it will be a total uncontrollable mess by then and have a life of its own.

I might publish a photo just to cheer people up – but then again, maybe not although I could ask it to write a guest blog post.

In other virus news, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also has the virus and a couple of his cabinet have the symptoms as well as the Chief Medical Officer. Critics and cynics are arguing that he hasn’t been following his own advice. Maybe he thinks he is indestructible. Apparently his symptoms are mild so he can still “lead the country” from his isolated position.

Anyway, it’s time for some Sunday Stealing questions created by an author no less, called Alec Clayton. This means they may be tough.

I like a challenge – so let’s dive straight in.

1. If there's a personal god, what quality would you most like that person to have (and why)?

To me, a personal god would have to be one that is kind and forgiving and, more than anything else, can provide comfort and advice and one who doesn’t govern by fear, choosing to help people in need.

2. What's your death-row meal?

I would ask for the biggest and thickest steak that could be found, with a mountain of thick cut chips and several pints of the best British ale.


I know it’s bad for me but I wouldn’t care, given that I was on death row.

3. Assuming we make it through this outbreak with minimal loss of life, what do you think our big takeaway should be?

I am hoping that this pandemic gives each and every one of us a massive kick up the arse, especially our leaders and so-called betters.

In the UK we have seen some amazing acts of kindness and assistance and I know that such acts are being reflected by ordinary people all over the world. We all need to help each other and countries need to work more closely together instead of being bastards to each other.

I doubt things will change but we can hope.

4. Whom do you find yourself missing more than you would've predicted?

I’ve been in touch with friends and family but it’s not the same as being in the same room as them. At least I have Mrs PM to keep me sane.

5. What brings you the most joy? Not happiness, not contentment -- JOY.

There’s not an awful lot to be joyful about at the moment as the UK lockdown has removed most of the things that make me joyful.

However, usually on Friday, Mrs PM and I stroll down to the local village and have a beer or two and a meal – a kind of date night if you like. We obviously can’t do that at the moment, so we have transferred that experience into our home and for two hours we turn the lounge into a “virtual pub”. We share wine, put on some background music and chat over a meal. It is fast becoming the highlight of our week and adds a little joy.

There is always a way.

6. Do you find yourself regretting anything you've said or done on social media?

No. This blog is really the only thing I use to express myself in cyberspace. I have accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – but I rarely use them.

7. What are your favourite and least favourite things about your body and face?

As I mentioned above, I hate my hair. And my eyes are so bad that I can barely see without glasses.

However, a few women have told me that I have a nice arse (though why women like arses I have no idea) – so I will say that as a favourite.

8. and your life?

Far too many favourite things but I will give you as taste:

Expressing myself in words (even though I am not very good at it), travelling, football, music, socialising with friends, family, Mrs PM of course, the British countryside, movies, epic box sets, reading, learning new things, dining out, rock concerts.

Least favourite things:

Being stuck at home and not enjoying the favourite things I mentioned above, my career (soon to be over with any luck), chores.

9. How's the self-isolation affecting your libido?

No change. Why would it?

10. Which three places in the physical universe would you most like to visit?

Since space travel is unlikely to become a commercial business in my lifetime, I will stick to Planet Earth and the places I have never been to:

Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland

New Zealand

Malaysia

There are also lots of places I would love to go back to.

11. On whom did you have a crush years ago? Have you ever told them?

I had a crush on these lovely ladies. I could never pluck up the courage to write them a fan letter.


Agnetha

Lynda Carter


12. How have your religious views changed since you were in high school?

I was raised as a Roman Catholic and was immersed into the religion from a very early age, reading the Bible (both New and Old Testaments) and listening to the stories and the life of Jesus etc. with a mixture of awe and, if I’m honest, terrible fear.

I was told by scary priests that we were tainted with Original Sin the moment we were born and were promised that we would spend the rest of our lives trying to atone for this and all of the other sins we would invariably commit as our lives progressed.

The punishment for failing to do this would be Purgatory or Hell itself where, for basically being a sinner for three score and ten years, we would be punished for the rest of eternity by Satan and his evil army or torturing henchmen.

I don’t like the idea of being governed by fear. That’s why I started to question everything. For example, what made St Paul so special? Why did God appear to Moses in the first place and ask him to save his people but then make sure that Moses never actually make it to the Promised Land himself afterwards having done all of God’s bidding?

It seems to me that God could appear to me and convince me very easily that he actually exists. Instead, we are asked to have faith and trust in something that has never manifested itself to anybody.

As a person with a scientific background, I need tangible proof and have yet to see it. The only evidence I can see are the words in a book that has been rewritten so many times that I imagine the messages have been changed, embellished and adjusted to favour the authors.

In conclusion, I have asked lots of questions, got no satisfactory answer and therefore stopped going to church. I know that religion plays a part in making people feel comfort and for that reason I would never argue with anybody’s beliefs, as long as they didn’t use those beliefs to kill, maim or suppress other people. Religion is important – but not to me. We’ll see what happens when I shuffle off this mortal coil. I may have some searching questions if there is an afterlife, the first one being:

“Where were you, when I needed you?”

Here is a nice little song about religion, sung with the tongue firmly placed in the cheek.




13. If you could change one law, what would it be?

I would make it mandatory for all politicians to hook themselves up to a lie detector when campaigning or being interviewed. If they were found guilty of lying, then they would go to prison for six months and never be allowed to stand for office ever again.

Perhaps it would do something about these two:



14. If you could add one commandment to the original ten, what would it be?

Thou shalt share thine wealth with those less fortunate than thyself if thou art obscenely rich.