Friday, November 14, 2003

Those of you familiar with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers will be able to imagine the planning that went into this anarchic, military manoeuvre.

And for those of you entirely unfamiliar with the work in question, I found these scripts but it was the standard of the drawing that always did it for me.

And as an incentive for Webbo to drop in from time to time, here is No. 1 of an occasional series concerning feline filosophy.

Closely followed by No. 2...I just couldn't resist it.

This talk of occasional series has put me in mind of another I would like to run as the fancy takes me...a list of pet hates. Now I don't mean anything that would have me screwing the silencer on the old .45 or reaching for the nearest blunt instrument to hand...nothing really winds me up to that extent...but rather those little niggly things that may cause your hackles to rise and generally introduce a feeling of irritability into an otherwise perfectly acceptable day. Anyway, in no particular order, I present the following.


I was woken up this morning at what was, for me, a rather ungodly hour by my mobile phone ringing. After struggling for a while to co-ordinate brain and fingers, I finally managed to press the right button and position said phone against ear. A rather bored sounding Hungarian woman introduced herself and bade me good morning. Now, I am never at my sharpest before at least three coffees and a cigarette or two so it took a while before my brain clicked into understanding rapid Hungarian mode. At this point, I realised that she was telling me something about my mobile phone number having been drawn at random and that if I would be so perspicacious as to take advantage of this wonderful..."Yeah, right. Thankyou for waking me up. Now, fuck off!" Suppose I should be grateful really. After all, it isn't every day you get to swear at complete strangers with total impunity, is it? Mind you, if my phone rings every hour on the hour tonight, I might just revise my opinion.

Ring tones.

Now, it may be the old conservative in me but Muzak of any kind does for me what fingernails scraped down a blackboard do for numerous other souls of my acqaint and to hear it coming from a phone is rather like hearing a butch Alsatian dog coming out with an effete miaow. The two do not belong together. A phone is a phone and should sound like a phone.
"But how will I know that it's my phone that's ringing, then?"
"Because it is on or about your person, you tit! Or if your auditory equipment leads you to believe that the sound is coming from the place you last deposited said phone, then you are at liberty to assume it just might be yours that is ringing. Do I make myself clear?"

Musical doorbells.

Pretty much as above really. Muzak again and the fact that doorbells seemed to more than adequately perform their function when they went ding-dong or buzzed. It doesn't help that I once lived in an apartment block the intercom doorbell of which would have me mentally reaching for the sledgehammer every time it produced a version of "Fur Elise" with its tinny electronic circuitry. Mind you, if I could find one that played "Fohat Digs Holes in Space" or "Itchy and Scratchy" at stomach pumping volume, I just might be persuaded to change my mind.

Chivas Regal.

A perfectly acceptable blended Scotch and one which does, in fact, use Laphroaig as its base note. But what really tees me off about this is that it has managed to somehow attach to itself an image of superiority by a mind-bendingly simple bit of reverse logic. Some guy had the wonderful idea that if they made it noticeably more expensive than other equally acceptable blends, Joe Public would automatically assume that it was of a much higher standard. I can't really hate them for the idea, I guess. What really beggars belief is that it has worked!

Txt spk.

"But it saves time!" is the cry. Yeah, right. For somebody with nothing better to do with their time than to send text messages, I can see how an extra 30 seconds or so might make a really important and vital contribution to their day. Besides, I harbour the vague suspicion that it affords them an opportunity to conceal the facts that their grasp of English spelling is tenuous at best and that, if brains were chocolate, they wouldn't have enough to fill a Smartie. The only text message that I would look upon with anything other than a sneer would be one promising "Gr8 sx l8er" and even then...

Drivers of Suzuki Swifts.

Chimps the lot of 'em. You could sell these here in Hungary without indicators or rear view mirrors and their owners would never even notice. Enough said.


Or any other small dog that is usually carried by women of a certain age, bedecked in canine accessories and possessant of a most irritating yap. Upon confronting one of these abominations, I am seized with a curiosity to discover the distance in feet that I could kick it.


Now don't get me wrong. Forums and message boards are a fine and wonderful thing but as for avatars...The cause of a momentary snigger at best and a monumental distraction at worst. Rather like leaving a TV on in the corner of the room when you want to get down to some serious shaggin'. No matter the expertise of your partner, your eyes will always be drawn to it...until the short strokes of course, when they're probably clenched shut, wrinkled like sun-dried Italian tomatoes and part of a face the expression of which might possibly suggest to a casual observer that its owner is in the middle of a rather strenuous dump. Anyway, that's by the by. Avatars? No.

That bloody awful, diamond pattern Sheffield United shirt.

Still rankles even after all these years. The Blades play in red and white stripes. End of story.

Hungarian shop assistants.

These deserve and will no doubt one day have, a post all of their own. Until such time as I have stored enough bile and sufficient spleen to vent on this subject, I will confine myself to the following observation. Some two or three years ago, I had returned to England during the summer months and was in Tesco's, at the checkout to be precise. After being stuck behind a woman who seemed to be taken by surprise by the fact that she might possibly be expected to pay and was rummaging in her bag for her purse, it was suddenly my turn to check out my goods. The rather attractive young lady at the till fixed me with an open, bright smile, wished me a good afternoon and asked, "Do you need any help?" Well, so taken aback was I by this question that I found myself going through a quick mental checklist. Have I got my trousers on back to front? Did I remember to take the straightjacket off? How did I look in the mirror this morning? Are my ears haemorrhaging? You know, those kind of things. I blurted out something along the lines of "'m I look...well, mentally subnormal or something?"
"Oh no, with your packing." It was then I realised that I had been living in Hungary for far too long.

Anyway, looking for something on which to work out my frustrations, I came upon this. It isn't every day you get to find out that you're a serial killer. Takes a while to load but I found it strangely invigorating. Then again, maybe I need therapy.

And thanks to this, which also might take a wee while to load, I have a whole new strategy for dealing with chihuahuas.

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