I Just Prefer My Doctors Older

23 Aug

This afternoon, I was outrageously accused of being unfair to young people. And I have no intention of forgiving the childish little shit who said it.

Yes, I had just finished writing up a complaint to the council about the lads across the road, but this had nothing to do with bias — I was only speaking on behalf of the entire street. And when I came home from the surgery yesterday, my comment about the new consultant’s youthful choice of shoes was purely innocent. And why would someone appear on television in droopy trousers if he didn’t want his pert, tender bottom to be remarked upon? I’m allowed my opinions, aren’t I?

Despite Christopher’s attempt to back me into a corner (an experience I have enjoyed much more in the past), you’ll not see me making any grand comments on a large group of people. That would be discriminatory, and if there’s one thing I hate more than Australians, it’s discrimination.

Capaldi

 

But I will say this: if you are a member of the large group of people who claimed the new Doctor’s dialogue needs subtitles, you, my friend, are a racist.

Memo to All Idiots: Stop Being Idiots

10 Aug

This morning a friend sent me an email letter to which was attached a ‘hilarious’ photograph of something she saw on her travels across the US (I won’t say which state it was in, but if you assumed it was a Midwestern one, you would not be wrong). It was of a bumper sticker that read:

If I pass you on the right, your in the wrong.

The car displaying this sticker was unsurprisingly red and had hubcaps on its wheels which spun even when the vehicle was stationary.

Unlike in England where two-way roads are so narrow bicyclists barely have the space to travel down them, most roads in America are multi-laned in each direction. Americans drive on the right side of the road (and before any Britons assume that I mean right as in correct, rest assured I mean right as in not left: you will not find me in any motoring-based morality arguments like that). The general rule is that those driving the speed limit should drive in the right lane, and that the left lane be used only by those who are speeding (which happily makes it quite easy for coppers to spot lawbreakers).  The left lane therefore is also known (by twats) as the ‘fast lane’.

Clearly the driver in the red Ford displaying said bumper sticker feels strongly about this guideline. He is clearly so outraged by those in the left lane travelling at the speed limit that not only does he feel the need to overtake them, he also takes the opportunity to remind them that they are in fact wrong’. I can only deduce from his placing of a non-removable decal on his vehicle (not even on the bumper, mind, but across the rear window) that the ‘fast lane’ issue is a passion of his, something he feels in the very pit of his soul.

Perhaps I should admire his commitment. However, I do not. Because he is clearly an idiot, and idiots do not deserve admiration for anything they do.  There is one simple clue to his idiocy—though I’ve no doubt there’s plenty more evidence available—and I trust that you all spotted it instantly within my unbiased description above.

It’s the word your.

Not driving fast in the ‘fast lane’ may be frustrating and naive, but if you need a clear cut example of something that is across-the-board, out-and-out wrong, you need look no Stop Sonfurther than the word your.

Your means ‘belonging to you’. I assume the driver meant you’re, meaning ‘you are’. While I acknowledge the two words sound the same, they are in fact two completely different words. The bumper sticker might as well as read ‘tomato in the wrong’. Tomato does not mean you’re and your does not mean you’re.

God gave us the English language to use to communicate with one another. It’s a great language. It’s got words like crumbly and delicate and trumpery, fantastic words that incorporate a range of sounds and many shades of meaning. But the language only works when used correctly. Using words incorrectly destroys marriages (my darling, our love is so holey) or results in incarceration (I have the head of that old dear hanging over my fireplace).  Using words incorrectly is wrong.

If I ran the world (which as of yet, I do not), people driving slowly in the left lane wouldn’t give me much pause. But people who say your when they mean you’re would immediately be banished to Idiot Island (formerly Molokai) where they would be exiled until they learned to speak correctly. If that took their entire lifetimes, then so be it.

Your Body When Dancing

27 Jul

Earlier this month, I wrote about the body and why it’s okay to like yours even if it doesn’t fit the unrealistic ideal perpetuated by the media and my mother. However, now that I’m thinking more clearly and my finger is fit and flexible once again, I feel compelled to attach an addendum to my previous treatise.

It’s about dancing.

KeychainHave you ever heard the phrase ‘Dance like no one’s watching’? It sounds wise, doesn’t it? But as with many life philosophies written on key chains and fridge magnets, it needs a little unpacking.

It implies that most of the time we’re dancing, we restrict ourselves if there are others around because we fear being judged by someone else. It is only when we are alone — when ‘no one’s watching’ — that we (the key chain implies) ‘let go’ and respond naturally to the music.

Here’s the irony: when you dance as if someone were watching — and I’m the one who’s watching — I am going to be judging you hard.

Because there’s no better guarantee that you’ll look a twit than if you try to control your body while dancing. Dancing should occur without restriction because it is a natural function of the body: like sneezing, breathing, or orgasm, it is simply an instinctual reaction to external stimuli. If you try to control your sneeze, you can actually blow up your brain (or something, I don’t remember exactly, I didn’t do the research myself). If you try to control your dancing, the result can be equally devastating (at least to me, if I happen to be there when you do it).

What I’m saying is this: don’t think about who’s watching. Just dance. Sometimes you might look silly, but that’s fine — you look ridiculous when yCharlie-Brown-Christmas-Peanuts-danceou sneeze but you don’t stop yourself from doing that. Have you ever seen your orgasm face? I confess I didn’t watch the entire video your ex posted online, but from what I saw, I’m confident it wasn’t pretty. Yet, that video received over a thousand likes before your lawyer had it taken down. Why? Because you were just being natural, you were just letting yourself go and enjoying the moment.

That’s what you should do when you hear music you want to dance to: let yourself go and enjoy. When I see people who refuse to do this — who dance as if they know people are watching them — yes, I will mock them. I don’t even care if it is during the father/daughter dance. I mean it was her third wedding anyway, and why have an open bar if they didn’t want people to take advantage of it?

I Have A New Boyfriend

16 Jul

I jest, of course, but isn’t this review simply lovely?

Agatha ReviewTo pick up your copy, please click on the link to the right. If you write a review as charming as this one, I will definitely put you in my list of my most favourite people.

On the Body

9 Jul

During the three and a half hours I spent in A&E last night, I had plenty of time to consider the human body (including the body of an elderly gentleman who wore his hospital gown both untied and the wrong way round). It wasn’t how I had intended to spend my evening, but I suppose it had some value as it kept from me smacking the face of the bubblegum-chewing child who sat next to me for the majority of my stay.

9A6_cuerpoFrom a medical perspective, bodies pretty much serve one basic purpose: they are bags of skins in which we carry our bones, muscles and guts. Some bodies are big, some are small. Some have hair all over them, others don’t. Women’s bodies have lovely, soft curves, and men’s bodies have dangly bits which apparently, I have recently learned, go teeny tiny as they age. Whatever — it doesn’t really matter what the body looks like: its job is simply to keep our insides inside.

(Note: I do not mean to imply that the processes that go on within the body aren’t complicated. Indeed they are. However, as I am not a scientist, how all that stuff works really isn’t any of my business.)

So on a very practical level, as long as our bones, muscles, and guts stay out of sight, our bodies shouldn’t be a worry. However, if the magazines I skimmed through last evening are anything to go by (and I think they are, despite their having been published in 1982), we are bloody obsessed with the human body. And the main obsession appears to be changing the way ours looks.

Now I’m not saying I don’t understand the desire to look good. A cursory glance over my person proves that an appealing appearance is of importance to me. I like to keep fit, my hair is nicely styled, and there’s no reason cleavage like mine shouldn’t be out on show. However, when a desire to improve our looks involves going against nature and/or doing our health harm, well, there’s a problem there.

Not all bodies have trim waistlines, puffed out lips or wrinkle-free skin. That’s not a bad thing; it’s a fact of life. We don’t need to invest so much time, worry and money trying to make our bodies all look the same. Instead, we need to just be comfortable with ourselves. I know for many that’s easier said than done, but trust me, it’s a sound strategy, because self-hate is never a good look for anyone.

Today, I’ve been taking it a bit easy after the trauma of last night. Please don’t worry yourselves over my health, though — in the end, I only needed a few quick stitches on my ring finger and then I was right as rain. That’s the last time I use someone else’s knife when playing Five Finger Fillet. You live and learn, I guess.

Hooray for Freedom!

4 Jul

Let’s celebrate the Founding Fathers’ commitment to ensuring the freedom of speech and religion of all corporations!

A Lovely Pre-Match Story

14 Jun

Once upon a time in a green and pleasant land, men, women and children woke with a great sense of anticipation. A little boy in Exeter refused to eat his breakfast until his father joined him in singing a variety of football chants across the kitchen table. A mother in Dewsbury quickly started her ironing, did the washing up, hoovered the front room, and nipped out to the shops to buy her lottery tickets so she’d have all her work done in plenty of time. Thousands of hungover lasses in Newcastle woke up in strangers’ beds with a desire to get home as soon as possible.

The sense of excitement grew throughout the day. A bin man in Croydon braved the PC Brigade, pinned a flag of St George to the back of his fluorescent tabard and walked into a local pub. As a group of Scousers pushed her and her shopping cart over, a granny gave a cry that sounded like “England til I die” (though it might have actually been, “Help! Police!”). A benefit cheat in Derby spent two hours making sure his telly was precisely angled to allow for maximum viewing pleasure. An intelligent and sexy woman in my very own village asked her houseboy Christopher to hurry through her usual pedicure.

A flock of doves flew over a playing field in Basingstoke.

Today was the day. An entire bunting-covered nation put their mobiles on vibrate, opened their tabs at the bar and waited for the moment of truth.

A Rose By Any Other Name

1 Jun

What’s in a name? you may very well ask. In fact, I will pause and wait while you do.

. . .

Now that you’ve asked, apparently “scientists” claim there’s quite a bit in a name. According to some clever clogs in Pennsylvania, boys with common names are less likely to commit crimes than those with less common names. (First let me clarify that as we’re talking about America, common means “more frequently found.” Therefore, a common American name is John Smith, a less common American name is Chucklenuts McGee. In England, I appreciate, common denotes something which would imply a distinction between the names, say, Wayne Rooney and Perciville Wilberforce DeMontford.)

So “science” tells us names can lead one to criminality. What I found quite interesting about this particular research is the selection of bad, uncommon names, particularly Ernest and Ivan. For, in my vast experience of male-female relationships, I have known (biblically) both an Ernest and an Ivan. And, I can assure you, they were far from bad. They were good, quite good, if you can catch the meaning of my drift.

Ernest was a boy from Louisiana whom I met one day in New York City as I was meandering through Central Park Zoo. We were both watching the mini Nubian goat kid being tended to so lovingly by its mother.  Although the zoo was bustling with children (as it so often unfortunately is), it felt like he and I were alone in this scene of nature’s beauty. I turned my delicate face towards his and noticed a single tear making its thoughtful way down the contours of his rugged but not unlickable face. His eyes met mine and, for a moment, we stood in silence, before quickly making our way to the nearest hotel. After, he said his name was Ernest and I felt that there could not have been a more perfect moniker for such a sincere and thoughtful lover. During the week that we spent in each other’s company, I was able to discern, with the help of a UN translator, that he had moved north from the bayou to learn how the big city folk lived and ended up the head of a charity devoted to protecting city pigeons from verbal abuse. My Ernest was not a criminal: he was a generous and compassionate do-gooder, who definitely could do it good.

I didn’t meet my Ivan until much later when I was touring the rugged landscapes of Montana. My expedition was hoping to reach Sacagewea Peak but got stranded without enough provisions. Ivan, as I’m sure you can imagine, was originally from Russia and had come to Bridger Range to do some skiing. He intercepted our calls for help and immediately rushed to our aid. After my group came back down the mountain, I felt I wanted to thank him personally before leaving town. He was staying in a little place near Devil’s Backbone and was delighted to entertain for me for the weekend. A lady, of course, does not like to kiss and tell, but, suffice it to say, the only crimes Ivan committed were against nature but they were so, so forgivable.

This quick, wet trip down memory lane has provided ample evidence to prove that said “scientific” theory about names is tommyrot (unless, I suppose, your name is actually Tommy Rot). In my own life, I have had some run-ins with a few Victorias, but they are definitely the exception which validates the rule that one’s name is of very little consequence as to whether one is likely to be unlawful or legit. No child should be condemned at birth simply because of thebaby-criminal name his parents chose for him. What one makes of oneself is what matters. After all what woman hasn’t met her fair share of bad Johns? And while “scientists” David and Daniel may be sitting pretty in their ivory research laboratories, I personally can testify to knowing at least two Davids currently serving rather long prison terms. I will admit to knowing a Daniel who was completely above board, but he suffered from premature ejaculation so I think I’ve proved my point sufficiently.

Tell Me A Little Less About Yourself

20 May

Bronson CollageOne day when I was a young girl, I happened upon an unusual scene in the street. A friend and I were walking down the avenue when we noticed a man dressed in grey crumpled clothes, on the other side of the road. “That’s the actor Charles Bronson,” she said. I wasn’t familiar with his work (let’s face it, at the time, I tended to favour the weedier man — as I still do today). He was just walking along slowly when he stopped and bent down to pick something off the pavement. “Is this your penny?” he called over to us. We shook our heads no. And then he popped the coin in his mouth and swallowed it before continuing on his way.

Now this was before the Internet so I couldn’t rush home to Google some information about his upcoming role as a numismatic or how he suffered from a copper deficiency. Instead, I just found the episode quite intriguing and when his next film came out, I went to see it to find out what other charms he possessed.

Had this happened today, though, I would have discovered all I needed to know about him within a half hour. Then I probably wouldn’t have gone to the cinema and just think of all the vengeance killings I would have missed out on.

That’s the problem with celebrity today: it’s just too much. Whether via social media, gossip sites, or just their stupid faces showing up on every television screen twenty times a day, there’s no mystery or intrigue these days. Think about it — the more we know about someone, the more we tend to despise them (see recent divorce statistics as science-based evidence for this claim).

If I were a celebrity, which I’m not (I’m an international mover-and-shaker and there is a difference), I’d spend all my time holed in my mansion, lounging poolside, drinking spritzers and having my toenails painted by foreign boys whose silence I’d buy with cash from the piles I’d have stored underneath my bed. To guarantee my fans’ devotion, I’d appear in public no more than twice a year and I would always refuse an interview.

You stay a star by making us want to see you. Forcing us to see you all the time everywhere is nothing but career suicide.

Never make a death wish because a death wish always comes true.

Darling Buds of May

1 May

As we turn over our calendars to expose the new month, we are unsurprisingly greeted with May 1, known as May Day in many cultures. People celebrate it in a variety of ways, but most festivities involve weaving flowers into one’s hair, dancing in an inordinately silly manner and/or the bashing in the brains of factory bosses. May 1 holds meaning for me as well, though I cannot bring myself to think of it fondly. In my family, May 1 is remembered only as the Day of the Incident.

It began, as so many unhappy stories do, with my mother’s Bridge Club. I’m afraid the competition between the women players extended far beyond the card game. The ladies were always trying to outdo each other in their personal lives: a husband’s promotion, a son’s sporting triumph or an exotic accent belonging to a cleaner—all were fodder for the rivalry. While often the bragging was greeted simply with patronizing nods, sometimes the afternoons would end with bitter silences and, on one occasion, actual bloodshed.

One Tuesday, something said really set my mother off. It came from the mouth of Deborah Bullwinkle, a relative newcomer to the group, who was married to a dentist whose hygienist’s attitude my mother found objectionable. This particular afternoon, Mrs Bullwinkle came in with the story of her daughter’s first menstrual period, a tale so fascinating that no one could deny that she had “won” (not at cards, of course—my mother almost always won at bridge because she is famously a cheat).

When my mother returned home, she was fuming. She began to pick on me—why hadn’t I cleaned up my room, swept the back porch or started dinner? She demanded to see my homework, something she rarely did as by then she had realised that my intellectual abilities had surpassed her own. She criticised my handwriting and noted that my dress was wrinkled. This abuse continued until she confessed that what was really upsetting her was the fact that I had yet to shed my uterine lining.

Now when my mother came back from bridge, she was usually pretty loaded so there was no point in trying to introduce any logic into the conversation. At the time, I had yet to reach double digits so my lack of menstruation was hardly my fault. But my mother was determined that I should be able to outdo the Bullwinkles. She then announced that the next day—May 1—I would not be going into school but instead she and I would be heading to Gatsby’s Department Store. She would become the first of the Club to buy her daughter a proper, grown up lady’s brassiere.

I shan’t go into great detail about the excursion, partly because I do not want to frighten my younger readers but also because the clerk has served her time and paid her debt to society. Suffice it to say that my mother was not amused by her suggestion that we start off with a training bra. My mother had not allowed me training wheels for my bicycle when I was learning (as evidenced by the still-visible-today scars on my knees), and “my daughter got her first training bra” would not earn her the respect she was expecting at next month’s bridge game. So the clerk, my mother and I bundled into the changing room with a pencil, a pad of paper, and a measuring tape, leaving little space for my dignity.

Ultimately, my mother’s bragging about my early entry into the world of intimate apparel gave her the triumph she had hoped for. The fact that my bosom didn’t properly fill the cups until quite a few years later was irrelevant. My mother had turned my tender breast buds into a weapon, and it’s a testament to my moral fiber that I was able to overcome such trauma and go on to develop the magnificent bustline that I still maintain today.

So this May Day be assured that I’ll be remembering the Incident and the hurt that it caused. Whether you’re dancing around with ribbons or demonstrating around a bonfire, you know I’d appreciate your taking a moment to think of me. Then, if you aren’t already doing so, think of my breasts.

Nice, aren’t they?

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