Friday, 25 July 2014

Punked again

Some time ago, I reported that Julie had trolled me as we were out for a drive (Fingered...). I'm sorry/happy to say she has done it again.

What? Sorry - you want context? What's to say? I mean, we're driving along and I slowly became aware that Julie appeared to be groping her own arse. Then I asked a silly question.

Well played.

All I could think of though, was one of Paul Whitehouse's characters from The Fast Show, Clive Tucker.

Clive Tucker, left.

Incorrectly listed (initially) in many articles as having a sneezing problem, you will clearly see from this 'episode' of Country Matters with Bob Fleming, that he has a different trouble altogether...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Twofer Wednesday - Limiting the options

Driving back home the other day, we were passed by someone in a bit of a hurry.

Relative speeds not captured, sadly.
In Britain, the national speed limit on normal roads is 60 mph - unless otherwise stated, of course. On dual carriageways and motorways, this goes up to 70 mph - again, unless there are signs telling you otherwise.

On this occasion, I estimated that the now rapidly-disappearing dot in the distance was going at least ninety. At times like this, I wish I could just open the window and drop a flashing blue light onto the roof of the car...

Splitting hairs, but I suppose it would be an entertaining defence to try out in court...

Have a tune.

Monday, 21 July 2014

It's Twofer Monday!

A lot of our Gems come from when we are driving. I'll be concentrating on the road and the pillocks on it, and Julie will normally start drifting off to sleep, passing through a rich vein of Gems on the way.

On Sunday, we took Roxy back to the rescue centre, where she met up with one lady who had formed a deep attachment to her - and it was mutual. Both Roxy and this volunteer were over the moon to see each other.... but I'm getting way off track.

Years ago, I used to work at a dairy that was some distance from home. Despite this, there were a number of colleagues that lived in the same town as us - or pretty much on the way. This meant that there could be a bit of fuel saved if we shared a shift and a car for the journey. One of my colleagues had a fun little habit. Instead of wolf-whistling or shouting some crude epithet in appreciation of a comely young lady, he would shout 'sausage!' This wouldn't be aimed directly at the young lady, but just exclaimed in general, almost as an observation.

It's not hugely subtle, I admit, but since I picked up the habit - and then passed it on to Julie, it's become a lot less subtle. Shouting it out about a man? Wow...

The first time Julie did it, we were driving past a cyclist. I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the cyclist. I know we both wobbled as we tried to keep on the road. Apparently, Julie had forgotten her window was open..

Sorry - I'm veering off track again - it's those sausages... er... yeah...

Um, where was ...ah, yes.

Anyway. Out for a drive to the rescue centre, and to the side of one road were the remains of an animal. A mammal of some sort - that's all we could tell.
Mind you, Julie reckoned it had a doppelganger.

This last was aimed at a cyclist we were passing. As I tried to contain my laughter, I looked my mirror and found that the lycra-clad bloke was doing the same thing...

For reference - some people may not have seen Ice Age (why not?). Scrat is a sabre-toothed squirrel with a fondness for acorns and a case of bad luck big enough to hold the world.

Acorn just out of shot...
Meanwhile, Sid the Sloth is an intentionally pathetic character who nonetheless has a decent side. Useless at pretty much everything, Sid only ever achieves anything by accident, and sleep usually only arrived at after some awkward shifting around on a bed of rock (and it's possibly that was meant to be a geological pun).

I have to admit tossing and turning a lot like this...

Friday, 18 July 2014

I've told you a million times...

People - including Julie, sometimes - often ask if I make up the stuff I post on this blog.


Well, apart from trying to fill in some blanks in the background. But the main gist of it, the core of the posts, remain exactly as they were when I recorded them. Trust me, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

That doesn't stop Julie from protesting.. well, not her innocence, exactly - more my lack of it...

...and thereby dropping herself further into it.
Not quite a win for me, but I'll take it.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Crossing the eyes and dotting the tease

Julie needs to wear glasses - so do I, come to that, but Julie needs to wear glasses all the time. Apart from when she sleeps or is bathing. That'd be silly.

In a sense, Julie has been lucky with getting her glasses made up, as technology has managed to stay barely a step of her needs. Almost each time she gets her eyes tested, Julie is told that she may have to have corrective surgery 'next time'. Fortunately, 'next time' appears to be taking a cue from Tomorrow in this instance, since 'next time' never really manages to reappear.

You see, to get the right level of sight correction, Julie's glasses have been getting thicker and thicker.

No, she does NOT look like that.

Obviously, there is only so far you can thicken lenses, and the threat has always been to have the surgery, but technological advances mean that the opticians can get a decent lens from a thinner piece of material.

Without the glasses, one eye does have a tendency to pull to one side, but it's nothing major - certainly not Marty Feldman territory. Or, as Julie puts it,'s true, I suppose...

Monday, 14 July 2014


There are many divisive topics of discussion. Politics is obviously the major area of activity, especially when you realise that 'politics' is not just anything to do with your government, but anything in life that has a meaningful impact on your your own life and those of the people you love (and, in the case of the abortion/sexual health situations, those of people who don't even exist yet. And may not).

Increasingly, people are becoming more and more overly opinionated about things that don't really matter, notably in the area of entertainment. And, for the record, I include all sport in that broadly-sweeping category. Why? Because when you get down to the basics, football (for example, he said, writing this on the day of the World Cup final 2014...) is not a job for most of the millions involved. And for those that are, so what? You are still only creating something to entertain the great unwashed masses (another quote mangled there*).

"I beg your pardon?"

Moving to the world of food (and I realise that some of you will now realise where this is going), it is oddly more cloudy. When you think about it, food is an essential part of life, so having an (informed) opinion about it can have a direct impact on the health of people that consume it. Eating something slightly out of date. Chili-eating contests. Fast food. Aspartame in diet drinks. Corn syrup in diet drinks. Marmite.

the offending article

Wait, what?

Some years ago, that reactionary and inflammatory rag of a newspaper known as The Daily Mail reported on a set of food products that were deemed in their pet scientists' (paid) opinions. Most of these foods were obvious, some of which I have listed above. However, tucked away in there was Marmite.

Horror of horrors, it seems Marmite is 11% salt! (full nutritional info here) That means that if you slather 100g on your toast you... wait, what? It seems someone has never eaten Marmite or has tasted it briefly and taken against it. In case you don't know, the black stuff is not for piling on like jam, Nutella, or peanut butter (blech). Seriously. If you tried eating 100g of Marmite in one go, you may as well call a priest for the lining of your mouth, as it would be stripped away like butter under a blowtorch.

This is where people get it wrong. Unlike the other spreads, Marmite is savoury, not sweet, and savoury generally means that it has more salt. Besides - have you seen how much salt is in bread? I bet you eat far more salt in that than you would in a single serving of Marmite.

Oh, and just for giggles, here is a link to a Daily Telegraph article commenting on how healthy Marmite can be.

As a company, Marmite are fully aware of how divisive their product can be. In fact, in Britain, a totally divisive subject is often known as a 'Marmite topic', and reactions to it range from this:

To this:

As I say, the company knows of this, and uses it extensively. In the past, they have gone for a 'political campaign' on behalf of the 'Love' and 'Hate' parties, but my favourite ads were drawings made of Marmite with the tagline 'you either Love it or hate it' (sic) scrawled on one side.

For the record, I hate Mr Bean.

In our house, the human population is split down the middle. I love it, Julie hates it, and we aren't going to let Roxy near it. Not if she wants to sleep in the same room as us.

It's fairly entertaining for me, as whenever Marmite is mentioned, Julie goes into a paroxysm of disgust. Some of this is a physical shudder, but much of it is a loss of sentence structure as she goes into a stuttering ramble mode.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Logic has been diminished

When I started writing these Gems down, I never gave a thought to context. All I committed to paper were the exchanges, divorced from the events that led to and followed them. This wasn't much of a problem to begin with, but now I have a small box full of scraps of paper and filled notebooks, I find myself looking at a set of almost unintelligible scrawls, with no idea of what prompted them.

All this means that I am now faced with two options. I can either fake a backstory, and hope I can get it as true to life as possible, or I waffle on, filling the post with a series of side-stories and unrelated topics.

No idea who did this, but it belongs to the surrealism art school. ...perhaps not that unrelated...

Forcibly dragging the post to something resembling order, the only background I can provide to today's Gem is that me and Julie were discussing her ability to entertain with verbal slips (and spot-on bon mots). Very often, Julie will do herself down, claiming she is thick, slow, and dull.

That's one thing that is pretty much guaranteed to anger me and anyone else who knows Julie. Just because I remember lots of useless titbits of information, that does not mean I am more clever than the next person. When Julie talks about her work, I generally sit there while my eyes glaze over and the conversation flies so far over my head that it attains near-earth orbit. The reverse is true wen I begin discussing the intricacies of playing Magic: the Gathering.

However, there is one aspect of my psyche that would enforce such a self image. I can be very picky about some things. I like things to be correct and will attempt to correct people - including myself - when I believe them to be wrong. Since I spend a lot of time with Julie, this means that I do nit-pick at things she says. And trust me when I say I have got into trouble about doing this. Right, sis?

That said, may I present this legally-themed Gem.

Yes, I am fully aware that 'grounds of diminished responsibility' is a defence tactic, not an accusatory one. But - it was fun to roll with it, right up to the final brain crash.


The two cartoon images come courtesy of an anime game series known as 'Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney', although some people, mostly in the West, will know them from the series of parody videos, Phoenix Wrong. These videos cut together parts from the games and then overdub music, quotes from movies, and classic comedy sketches, all punctuated by a banged gavel and a cry of "Objection!" Take a peek at this example.