Sunday 3 October 2021

Facebook Questions


Welcome to South Manchester on day 77 since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. I’ve taken my fifth Covid-19 test this morning because I am now going to be working in the office two days a week and my company insists that we self-test – even though we aren’t necessarily supposed to tell them the result. It’s a weird idea if you ask me but it is good to test just to make sure. 

The test, like all of the others, was negative - so I don’t have the virus, by the way, in case you were wondering.

I didn’t take part in Sunday Stealing last week as I had a university reunion in London, and spent most of the weekend strolling down the South Bank visiting a few sites and popping into a couple of pubs. It was good to see these old mates of mine again. One guy came across from the US to visit his family and took the opportunity to see us. I’ve known these guys for 40 years now and I regard them as my best mates. Sadly we don’t see enough of each other but it is always fun when we do; it’s just like we are still at university. 

Anyway, let’s answer some more silly questions from Sunday Stealing. Don’t be misled by the title; these questions have been stolen from Facebook but aren’t about it.

1. Do you like bleu cheese? 

I love all cheese apart from blue cheese, although having said that, I quite like blue cheese sauce. To me, blue cheese looks inedible and, having tasted it, I can confirm that it tastes almost as bad as it looks. 

2. Coke or Pepsi? 

Neither. I have tried the brown fizzy sweetly revolting drink a lot  over the years and I really don’t like the taste of it. Both Coca-cola and Pepsi, to me at least, taste very similar. To be honest, I don’t really drink pop (for American readers, what you call soda, we call pop) because it is too sweet and sickly. If I feel really thirsty or have a mild hangover, I might just try a Sprite or 7-up but Coca-cola and Pepsi are near to the bottom of the list. The worst fizzy drink I have had is a Scottish drink called Irn Bru – it is utterly revolting. Oh – and root beer – oh – and Dr Pepper. All of those drinks are utterly disgusting.

3. Do you own a gun?

I live in the United Kingdom so the answer is a resounding no. I am curious about the American obsession with guns. It seems that it is easy to get a gun over there and is the right of all Americans to “keep and bear arms” because it was written in a document back in 1776. 

I am always appalled by the number of mass shootings that occur over in the US and the power that the NRA seem to have. The easiest way to stop these mass shootings is not to arm “the good guys”; it’s to make difficult to get a gun in the first place. 

Things like this hardly ever happen in the UK. There is a reason for that.

4. Hot dogs or cheeseburgers? 

Cheeseburgers. I like hot dogs but cheeseburgers are one of my many food weaknesses. It involves cheese and a burger – what’s not to like?

5. Favourite type of food?

I love so many different types of food that I cannot pinpoint one in particular as my favourite. I’m not keen on Thai food but I will try anything else. 

6. What do you drink in the morning? 

I usually start the day with a fruit juice and a cup of tea. 

7. Can you do a 100 pushups? 

I used to be able to when I was young and fit. I could probably do 100 push ups now but it would be in groups of five with a gap of ten minutes between them. I may have a go later just out of curiosity.

8. Tattoos? 

What about them? 

No – I don’t have any tattoos and I will never get a tattoo. They are two permanent and I am not a fan of them. Besides, as I get older and my skin starts to droop, the tattoo would become a parody of itself.

9. Do you wear glasses? 

Yes. Without my glasses I am like Mr Magoo. I could probably find my way around but it would be difficult. I can actually read without my glasses and in fact I prefer to do that – I have to hold the book right up to my face though. My lenses are really expensive as they are varifocals and specifically made for somebody who sits at a computer screen all day. To make matters worse, I suffer from astigmatism too.

10. Phobia? 

I am scared of heights and spiders. I am not fond of any insect if I’m honest. Anything with four legs or less is fine – anything with more can get out of my house.

11. Piercings? 

I don’t have piercings. I have never understood why people do that to themselves. The funniest piercings I saw were on a barman in rock club we used to have in Manchester. It was full of weird and wonderful people and played rock and metal music for people who hated the more conventional clubs. As I was ordering my beer I looked at the barman and thought that there was something wrong with his moustache. On closer inspection, it was because he has about ten large studs on his upper lip giving himself a metal moustache. 

That must have hurt.

12. Can you whistle? 

I can whistle with just my lips but I can’t do that weird whistle where you put your fingers in your mouth.

13. Surgeries? 

I’ve never had any surgery. I think I am quite lucky in that respect because I am a massive hypochondriac and would always fear the worst.

14. Like gambling?

Gambling can be fun if you are sensible with it. I’ve been to horse racing events and had a plan to enjoy it. 

There are usually seven races and the minimum you can bet on a race is £5. If you decide to just bet the minimum, no matter what, then the most you will lose is £35. What some people do is look at their winnings and decide that if they win a race or two the they will increase their stake on the next few races. They will probably lose it all. 

I once had one good meeting in Chester. Mrs PM and I were with friends and we decided to bet separately on the first race. She won and her £5 bet returned her £20. I lost, and suggested that we pool our resources as she seemed to be luckier than me. She refused thinking that she might be on a lucky streak. So I bet for myself on the remaining races. 

I won every single one. Out of all of our friends, Mrs PM was the only one who won a race apart from me and that was the first one. Instead of putting say £20 on the next race after I had won, I stuck to my £5 maximum. 

I ended up winning close to £200. 

After the race meeting, we went to the pub and I bought a round on my winnings and Mrs PM and the rest of them looked at me with frustrated and envious eyes. 

That was a one off. Every other race meeting I have been to, without exception, wins have been few and far between and the best I have done since is to just break even. If I counted that first race meeting where I won £200, I have lost money on the rest and probably lost that £200.

That’s what I mean – they will get you in the end – but if you are prepared to lose just a small amount, it can be fun. 

For casinos, and I have been to one or two, it is best to walk away if you win big. Just stop or be prepared to lose just a small amount.

Ultimately you will not win. The odds are stacked against you in any form of gambling. As long as you know that you can enjoy it.

Sorry for the rambling answer.

15. Do you like to dance?

Yes – sometimes. I am not a bad dancer – I can maintain the beat – but these days I just mess about and act a little silly while dancing. That said, I haven’t danced for about three years now. 


Me, Myself, and I said...

Over 4th of July, we went to Ruidoso, New Mexico. It's famous for its quarter horse racing (a distinctly American thing, I think). The races are very short--the longest is 800 furlongs I think. I bet the minimum, 2 dollars, on each--it makes it fun to have a horse to cheer on. Last race of the day, I won 80 bucks! I took my Mom and husband out to dinner. Fun was had by all :)

Jodi said...

I don't like spiders at all.... if I see one in the house and just the youngest is home, we are both doomed, as he is just as freaked out about them! LOL

Happy Sunday!

Songbird said...

I agree, I don’t understand my fellow Americans and their obsession with guns.

Bev Sykes said...

The place where I saw the most piercings was -- I may have the place wrong -- Camden Town. Never saw so many piercings in my life, before or since.

I think you guys must be the reason why we have the gun laws that we do. We had to "keep and bear arms" against those red coats who were trying to keep us from becoming our own country. We then took it to extremes. I am with you on the power of the NRA. I sometimes think the NRA is running the country.

The Gal Herself said...

I am fascinated by your POV on Americans and our guns. To me, the thing that's most confusing is that the noisiest gun advocates seem to be those on the Religious Right. I don't understand how they can so openly and unashamedly adore a weapon of destruction. And it is handguns we're talking about. When the Queen goes out hunting, she doesn't conceal a nice little Ruger under her coat. Handguns are not for sport, they're for killing other people at close range. How do gun lovers square that circle?

Oh well, I can't solve the ills of the nation on Blogger, can I? Just wanted to thank you for stimulating thought.

Elephant's Child said...

I agree with you on guns. And on coke/pepsi/the whole damn lot of them. I will occasionally (usually when unwell) have a lemonaide.

Lisa said...

I always love reading the answers from people who live in places other than the US. It makes me rethink things when I hear how others view us.

Lori said...

Meatal Mustache sounds super weird.
I am not sure what the deal is with pop here. I hated it when I was young, but I drink a lot of it now that I am older. I do not think Coke and Pepsi taste the same at all. Loved your answers. Have a great day!

CountryDew said...

I'm glad you had a meet up with your friends. My husband loves Dr. Pepper. I used to drink root beer but haven't in a long time. As for guns - I'm a gun owner but I think they're too easily bought, need to be licensed, and specifically insured so that they're extra. We live on a farm and occasionally have to kill a coyote as they kill our calves and we can't have that, and my husband deer hunts. Legitimate reasons for a certain caliber of gun, but no one needs something that is an automatic designed specifically to kill people (AR15). I would like to see better control over the things myself.

Kwizgiver said...

I don't understand the obsession with guns, either. And I'm American.

River said...

#2, pepsi over coke, but haven't had either in over two years now.
#4, cheeseburger, but again, haven't had one in about three years
#6, water in the mornings, then mugs of milo through the day. Milo is our version of your Ovaltine, which we also have but at twice the price.
#8, no tattoos for me, but I don't object to them on others.
#10, phobias? None that I can think of, stuff just doesn't scare me.
#12, I can make a sound when I try to whistle, but I can't whistle tunes like some people. My dad used to whistle along with songs on the radio while he worked.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Me, Myself and I,

Yes - that sounds like fun - and cheaper than the minimum bet in the UK. Glad you won - it's a good feeling isn't it?




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jodi,

I get that - Mrs PM hates them even more than I do. And, yes - it is up to me to get rid of the eight-legged beasts.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Songbird,

Neither do I. Mass shootings in the US often make the news over here and we all say "Why don't they control guns more?"

It's puzzling.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

Yes - Camden Town is a special and very interesting place, full of eccentric people (which makes it fascinating to me).

The War of Independence was well over 200 years ago - and a lot of our laws from that time have been put out to pasture. I still don't get it - nor the obsession of the NRA.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Gal Herself,

I have given up trying to solve problems with my country - we are in a mad place at the moment.

But, yes, the US and guns is baffling to me. I don't get it.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Yes - fizzy soft drinks aren't as pleasing to me now ( I used to love them - except the coke ones).

I've lost my sweet tooth.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,
I'm quite well travelled and have been to the US quite a few times. I love your country but it has its problems - but then again don't we all?




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

I'm the opposite - I used to love it and now I don't.

We must have passed each other on the way down/up (if that makes sense).




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Some farmers here have guns - not for coyotes - but perhpas for foxes. We do have guns here but they are super difficult to get a hold of and I see no reason for having one living in a UK city.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

Outside of war films and cowboy movies, I don't get it either.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I've not had Ovaltine for decades.

I have been known to whistel to songs on the radio.