Monday 31 October 2011

Yet when I said the exact same thing in Tottenham three months ago, apparently THAT'S a criminal offence...

Today, I heard a mother say this to her son:

'Look, a policeman! Go on, run up to him and give him a scare!'

Now, there's an example of a sentence which is only good parenting under certain very specific circumstances. About seven pm on Halloween; in a leafy middle-class bit of London, and when the son is four years old, and dressed as an adorable lion - OK. Pretty much any other time or place... not so great.

The other memorable sentence I overheard on my walk was: 'Ethan! Never mind about your sweets - just put your willy away!' 

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Conversations with robots.

I have only just discovered that Blogger has a Spam folder, in which it filters out, but stores, the more obvious spam that is posted in the comments of these posts. However, reading through it, some of the comments there are so personal and human that they can't possibly be spam, and so I can only apologise for the error, and make amends by answering them here now.

Your site is great, and your story gives many other people strength. I marched on up to Post 1 just expecting the usual, but this hit the nail on the head 
You're too kind! I hope you have now been given the strength to march right on up to post 2.
Drop in on us at times to grasp more information and facts in the matter.
I certainly will. Interestingly, this was very nearly the official slogan of the BBC News website.
We Really Should Get In Toch. Have you been an energetic person on leading social networking sites like Digg, Facebook, or Stumble Upon?
No, I haven't. You may be thinking of someone else. But I hope this doesn't make you reconsider Getting In Toch. (Also noteworthy: this person was selling ‘New Era Hats’ and ‘Canada Goose Coats’)
I definitely like the road you are posting! You receive an engaging sharp end of estimate!
I do, yes. Thank you for noticing. And you have a very nice road, too.

Do you think anyone will be champion of Euro 2012?

Yes, I think someone will. 

Collection of some of your personal information is essential for completion of some of the functions and activities of this Website.
Oh, really? I mean... you do realise this is my website? You’re the one visiting me? But still, I expect you know best. Will my bank details, PIN, and mother’s maiden name be enough?
Someone told me to go onto the website www.dodgywebsite.con  What exactly is this website and will it give me viruses?
Well, you certainly did the right thing by coming here to ask me. Safety first. Tell you what, I’ll just go to that website myself, and then let you know if I get any viruses. How does that sound?
You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate.
Thank you, I’m touched. Though given what I said in this case was to announce the date and venue of a show I was doing, I’m not surprised you had trouble communicating it. 
You most definitely have made this blog into something thats eye opening and important. You clearly know so much about the subject, you’ve covered so many bases. Great stuff from this part of the internet.
Aw, I'm blushing. Thank you very much, from this part of the internet. 
Great article, but it would be better if in future you can share more about this subject. Keep rocking.
Excellent - good to get some constructive advice. Both about how to make my article better - share more about the subject! Of course! It seems so obvious now you say it! - and of course about whether or not I should continue to rock. 
This is my first message. Please don't delete it.
Do not throw stones at this notice. 

Sunday 16 October 2011

Others say it was laid out by the dinosaurs.

This is from a leaflet about the small Portugese town I am in today:

'The year in which Loule was founded is unsure. There are historians who attribute its foundation to the Carthaginians (404 BC), while others defend a more contemporary origin, accrediting responsibility to the Romans.'

Wow. Like most unbearably smug Englishmen, I have in my time scoffed at American or Australian 'historic buildings' from the 1920s. But the boot's on the other foot now. Round here, if your town only dates back to Roman times, it is disappointingly contemporary...

(The leaflet also tells me, to my inexpressible disappointment, that the town's Museum of Dried Fruit is not open on Sundays.)

Saturday 8 October 2011

How to tell Scouts apart

Before I go any further, I think the Scouts are basically a good thing. But I'm not so sure about this recruitment poster for them:

Is that actually a thing people say about the Scouts? That they all look the same? 'Oh, I was thinking of joining the Scouts, but I don't like the way they all look the same. Because if I don't look the way they all look, I might not fit in; but on the other hand if the way it works is that as soon as you're invested your face morphs to take on the standard Scout look, my parents might get confused, and pick up the wrong Scout from the milling hordes of identical Scouts outside the Scout hut.' No, I don't think it is, and I don't think the Scout Association should just make up things they pretend people think to debunk: 'Brownies are all allergic to feathers? Think again!' 'Cubs are all two foot tall with square heads and feet made of glass? Think again!'

Except, obviously, I know what this poster is really getting at. And to be honest, I think they should have the courage to come out and say it explicitly:

'All Scouts look the same? Think again! This one's black!'

Thursday 6 October 2011

Who would have thought a biscuit could be punchable?

Hello, sorry it's been so long.

Now, I am a staunch biscuit supporter. Biscuits and me go way back. Biscuits can rely upon me as one of their staunchest supporters / devourers. Which makes it all the more painful when a biscuit betrays this trust by having something this nauseating written on it: 

Oh, god. That's so hateful I very nearly didn't eat the biscuit.

Very nearly.