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Somebody likes Scampi Fries

January 19, 2012

There’s a certain miasma that permeates 24-hour shops and garages. It’s not desperation – quite the opposite, as anyone who’s experienced the urgent need for a stroopwafel¬†at 3am will tell you. Instead, there’s a permanent air of madness and chaos humming away, almost imperceptible behind the shuttered-off canned lager offers and dusty white wine bottles. The local 24-hour shop is an impressive affair. There’s a hot food counter that I am yet to see in operation, but believe exists in a functional form because of the amazing bacon sandwich smells that emanate from the shop in the morning. As we live in place that thinks it’s quite posh, there’s an interesting range of fresh ready meals, extortionate but delicious looking pizzas, organic this and wholefood that.

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Things look tragic…

November 11, 2011

I was thinking the other day about the way little habits or tics can be seen completely differently by people. I’ve noticed a couple of things that I do routinely that are a bit weird but also, I hope, cute. On a day where my heart is harsher, I decide that these are tragic signs of a maladjusted idiot destined to live a sad and unfulfilled life. I’ll add to the list as things occur to me. Creepy or cute? Harmless or evil? Who knows? Read more…

There’s got to be a better way…

August 30, 2011

I called the credit card company the other day to query something and as part of security was asked a few questions. Used to being asked for my date of birth (a series of numbers whose unflinching permanence means that you can pretend that nothing ever changes, including your age), I was brought back to my early-30s with a knee-stiffening jolt. “Madam, can you confirm¬†what age you will be on your next birthday?”

There’s got to be a better way to verify I am who I say I am than forcing me to confront the creak of middle-age ambling lopsidedly in my direction. It’s not even asking my age, which is bad enough. It’s asking me to project to the next milestone of impending decay, fastforwarding another year closer to the end. Brrrr, it’s bad enough having to think about the fact that some fully grown adults were born in the 1990s.

I think Barclaycard’s just trying to depress me into thinking about how few quality life years ahead of me I have to use their (frankly disappointing and non-competitive) credit to buy a whole range of goods and services.

I cancelled the card anyway, immortality reinstated! How does that feel, mortals?

Questions that bring you back down to earth #46

August 15, 2011

“Out of Office Assistant is currently turned on. Would you like to turn it off?”

nrrgghhhghh. ugh. ok.

Things you don’t want to hear as you taxi on a runway #1

August 14, 2011

Flying to Edinburgh recently, this announcement came over the Tannoy as we prepared for take-off.

“This is your captain speaking. We’d like to apologise for the slight delay here at London Gatwick. This is caused by problems with Air Traffic Control. The computer systems they usually use are not working, so everyone’s having to calculate things in their heads instead.”

Err, ok. Thankfully we arrived in as many pieces as we left in. Go humans!

Once you’ve seen one corpse, you’ve seen them all…

July 30, 2011

My sister is a doctor. This leads to certain assumptions, some of which are more founded than others.

One example is that anyone with even a passing acquaintance to her can suddenly feel it appropriate to uncover an unspecified part of their body to allow the rash/spots/warts/scaly skin to be inspected and the causative condition diagnosed. Another is that because she’s seen some dead bodies, all subsequent dead bodies she is exposed to will have little or no effect on her.

The latter is not an assumption she expected to be tested on a day out at a large London park. Yet when she needed a wine-induced wee stop in some bushes, taking her husband as look-out, she noticed what looked like a clothed mannequin semi buried in the leaves. She mentioned this to her husband, who then observed that an abandoned dummy probably wouldn’t be attracting as many flies as this one was. They hurried back to their friends, selecting one whose birthday they weren’t celebrating in the park, and asked him to come and have a look at what they’d found. Face-down, smartly dressed was the body of a woman. Read more…

Hi, I’m a witty, hilarious blogpost. Come read me!

July 24, 2011

I don’t know when it first happened.

I think it began with a bus.

“Sorry, I’m out of service!” a single-decker cheerily informed me as it sped past towards the depot.

During its active service it kept a professional, machine-appropriate detached way of communicating: “University via Town Centre”, “Reading”, “254”. But something happens when those lights go out and the last passenger disembarks. The bus becomes like us.

Not so slowly, this phenomenon seemed to spread. Smoothies telling me how healthy they are. Soup admitting that it’s been “known to hang around with Nuts” (yeah, but not with any foodstuffs that know about capitalisation then), adding apologetically, “My pot can get a bit wobbly when hot”. Read more…