Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The BBC's subjective blatherings in the name of "news"

Sipping my pint (a Brakspear bitter if you're interested), and mercilessly beating my wife at backgammon, I was inwardly fuming. It wasn't my pint, which was delicious, and it wasn't the taste of winning, which was as sweet as ever. It was the BBC and their reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that made me fume.

The BBC's report on the conflict consisted of lamenting the loss of Palestinian lives, which was over 300, interviewing a tearful Palestinian mother who had lost two children, and lambasting Israel for their use of force. Their report, in essence, was basically saying that Israel is the big bully with guns who, consumed with blood lust, is needlessly and mindlessly blowing up Palestinian civilians for no apparent reason, apart from perhaps a bad mood and a warped desire to destroy.

I too lament the loss of Palestinian AND Israeli lives. I too am sympathetic with the Palestinian mother who lost two children. And I don't deny that the situation is dire, complex and difficult. But I'm furious with the BBC for flushing objective reporting down the toilet in such shameless idiocy, and instead going for a blatant pro-Palestine report, which will no doubt drive up anti-Israel and pro-Palestine feeling in viewers.

And listen, I am pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. But I'm also in favour of news reporting to be as objective as possible. Sure, nothing reported is truly objective, but I'd like the BBC to at least try, rather than spewing out content akin to the puerile wining of a spoilt three-year-old.

The BBC failed miserably to mention that Hamas and Israel had been observing a six-month ceasefire brokered by the Egyptians. Israel was prepared to resume trade with Gaza if the violence ceased, which it didn't. Even at the quietest period 15 to 20 rockets were still raining down on Israel each month.

The BBC failed to mention that Hamas ended the ceasefire, firing 70 rockets on Israel.

The BBC also failed to mention that Hamas deliberately embeds its fighters and weapons amongst the civilian population, hence the high Palestinian death toll. In fact, one of its own rockets misfired and killed two Palestinian schoolgirls. I didn't hear the BBC mention that in the report.

To be fair on the BBC, maybe the above were covered in other reports which I did not see. But that's the point I suppose, each report should have some objectivity, just a smidgen if you please. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, 29 December 2008

The Owl God

The Christmas service was very English. It oozed that Englishness that makes me proud, set in the most beautiful old Norman ever crafted by man. OK, I'm biased, it is our town's church, and I don't even know if it is truly Norman. I could ask my wife, who is a fountain of all knowledge and knows all about these sorts of things, but she's on the phone to her mum, so I'm just going to guess. But hey, if you're bothered - maybe you're a church historian or some geek with a book on Norman architecture - then feel free to examine the picture.

There weren't many people, which was both sad and surprising. Actually, I wasn't that unsurprised, given our nation's slide towards a culturally vegetative state, but it was sad, and I had hoped that families would have put the turkey on, and then headed to this beautiful old church to thank God for a short hour - come on, it was just an hour folks - but never mind.

We sat at the back, partly because neither of us are Church of England - or for that matter know anything about Church of England - and it was all a bit unfamiliar, and partly because little baby R was due a change and feed, and more importantly, 10am is her poo time. Without fail, between 10 and 10:30am the little one roots, gurts and poos, thrashing her little legs about with the freedom of baby that has no understanding of propriety, extorting the most incredible expressions.

The last thing we wanted was to be on the front row, reading the wrong liturgy and struggling with a gurting, pooing, thrashing little rooter. So we found a spot on the back row.

The vicar - or would he have been a curate, clergyman or priest? - was a gentle, kind, bumbling old man. He had one of those bumbling, rambling, almost unintelligible posh accents where his r's are almost w's, a kind of speech impediment that is merely the result of upper-class breeding. Hilarious to listen to. I don't think I took a single word in, I was too busy enjoying his bumbling, Boris Johnson-esk, and trying to pinpoint his accent. Canterbury perhaps.

He had a great hooked nose - I found myself imagining a caricature where his nose nearly reached his feet - and with all his robes, hood, and small round glasses he had the appearance of a benevolent eagle-god. Or an owl-god. I nearly wrote that he reminded me of an owl-god, but as I haven't ever met (or worshipped) an owl-god that would be untruthful.

We were all equipped with a hymnal and a little red book, which contained liturgy, readings, prayers and had the most infuriating page-numbering system known to man, animal or alien. At the bottom right of each page was the "real" page number, i.e. standard sequential numbering. At the bottom center of the page was another number. This was seemingly arbitrary, but teasingly sequential. For example, the real page numbers went from 1 to 55, the other numbers spanned from between 107 and 348. Those numbers are from memory, so if you challenge them, please don't be cross with me, just my memory, which at a tender age of 26 is deteriorating alarmingly.

Bizarrely, the owl-god was driving from the arbitrary numbering and not once did I find the right page. I did find the right page once, but only in time for the "Amen". Before you question my incompetence, let me defend it. Frequently we were asked to turn to, say, page 111, but I didn't have a page 111 in either numbering system, so after thumbing forwards and backwards through the book I gave up.

Maybe I had an old copy.

There were lots of nuns in the congregation, some in blue robes, some in black. This distracted me, would that have been personal preference or a simple matter of orders, or classes? I like the idea of classes, you know, when you reach a certain level of nunhood you get a blue robe. In fact, I like classes generally. Not in a discriminatory sense, though in the true sense of the word it does help you differentiate between people groups, but rather for clarity's sake. I do like clarity. It settles my stomach and makes my heart sing. Our trains have first class seas (which generally are empty because none of us can afford first class season tickets), and standard class, which are overcrowded. I'd like them to bring back cattle-class, carriages with just a couple of benches and lots of dung. Tickets would only cost a few quid and I would be there, amongst the cattle.

The choir was motley crew, apparently much depleted by winter colds, and consisting of a few children, a couple of grannies and an aging rocker. Ah yes, the aging rocker, no choir, band or group of people - no matter what the function - is complete without one.

Little R timed her morning poo to perfection. She timed everything to perfection. Quiet during the hymns, shrill wails during poignant moments of prayer and readings. I think babies know exactly what they are doing.

Anyway, it made me proud to be English.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

James Bond's Alpha Romeo

The two women were wasting my time. I've always felt very protective of my time, I don't have much of it, and I have no allowance in my schedule for that kind of tomfoolery. Or any kind of tomfoolery.

When I write, it is pretty much always in my lunch break. My precious, inestimable, invaluable hour-long slot that rapidly disappears as imbeciles steal my time from right under my nose, twisting it, beating it and flushing down the toilet.

I'm an off-the-cuff writer (like most of my friends here), meaning my endless, mindless, brainless drivel just splurges out in one hit, and then lunch is over, so I post it. Not that I'm particularly proud of that, as the resulting flood of grammatical errors is enough to make a grown man cry.

Note, I use the word "writer" loosely here. When I say writer, in my head I just hear "blah blah kerfuffle blah".

So in order to make the most of my hour, I shoot straight out of work and straight to the same old same old pub, which has cheap coffee, cheap beer, free wifi and (best of all) hardly any customers.

So today that was where I headed, ready to utilize my hour with the sort of efficiency that makes me a good programmer, but destines me to be a bad listener (I try, I really do).

Bringing about my demise, two women single-handedly (or quad-handedly?!) whittled away at my hour as they dithered, faffed and fuddled their order. In the time they took to klutze their way through the simple task of buying two burgers and two drinks I could have carved an Alfa Romeo GTV6 out of a single tree trunk using nothing but nail-clippers and a teaspoon. For the sake of flippancy and continuing the recent hamster theme, I could also have carved an entire colony of hamster joy-riders. Fully seat-belted in.

For the sake of expediency, and for the sake of my diminished lunch break, here's a quick questionnaire for you.

Q) Did the two women have any idea what they wanted to eat or drink before they attempted to order?

Q) Did the two women state they were paying together using a two-for-one deal before they ordered, or did they wait until after the order had been put through the till? Or did they try to pay cash, before discovering that they did not have the correct change? Or did they try to pay separately by card, but discover that individually their costs were below the "minimum card limit"? Or did they somehow, with mindbogglingly imbecility, manage to combine the above three options into one huge mammoth-sized fuddle?

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Disentangling Hybridized Spaniels

A friend has given me a lovely old book for Christmas. The Art of Growing Old, by John Cowper Powys. The book is brilliant. A magical combination of complete tosh interwoven with nuggets of truth and gorgeous prose. Seriously, this guy was a writer of real quality. I keep finding words that I am unfamiliar with, feeling like General Melchett in Blackadder when he declares that he likes the word gobbledygook and wants to "use it more often in conversation".

I thought I would share with you some of the little gems in this book. Rather unfairly, I'm focusing on the tosh. Quotes are in italics.

Now in many respects it would be true to say that just as the United States is the paradise of young women, so Great Britain, and especially England, is the paradise of old men.

Is the USA really the paradise of young women? Perhaps my American readers can shed some light on this. England certainly is not the paradise of old men. Or of young men. In fact, England is the paradise for nothing and no-one, except bad drivers, stupid cyclists, badly trained yappy dogs and Gordon Brown and his crazy tax system.

Yesterday on the train home an old man stole another man's seat when he went to the toilet. There was no room for misunderstanding. The victim's bag was on the floor, his coat hanging on the hook, and the bloke sitting in the neighbouring seat told this old gent in no uncertain terms that the seat was taken.

"There's someone in this seat," he said.

"Yeah, me." retorted the old man.

When the victim returned an argument erupted. The victim said that he was brought up to respect his elders, and that therefore he was happy to let the old man keep the seat. But he wanted to know how the old man was brought up, and whether his parents had encouraged him to steal other people's seats. The old man wasn't best pleased.

Has an aristocratic old age any special advantages, beyond the choice of wines from a superior cellar or the glow of exercising primogenital power over less fortunate relatives?

Tell you what, those sound like excellent advantages. I can't wait to be old.

Now why is it that men are able to enter more fully into the consciousness of women than women into the consciousness of men? Isn't it because men are by nature so detached from Nature that in their wise folly they flout the great Mother-Harlot and float away from her actual-factual wash-tub upon Aristophanic soap-bubbles of immemorial amusement?

Um, to be perfectly honest I have no idea. Reading that sentence makes me feel like my grey matter has been put in ancient Athenian's blender before drifting away distributed amongst bubbles blown by an ancient Athenian baby.

Good thing is, he (cough cough) helps us all out with his next paragraph.

And yet, just because these airy bubbles of a man's contemplations are, after all, made of the soap she has been using, they carry a nearer guess as to a woman's feelings than, immersed in that soapy tub, she can form about a man's.

You what?

Why are old women so much happier and so much less pathetic than old men?...The circumference of their pleasurable contemplation is twenty times larger than that of men!

I wonder what my friend Bat Canary has to say about the spacial aspects of this statement. I can a Da Vinciesk picture of a woman's pleasurable contemplation, encapsulated in a giant circle, next to a teeny weeny circle representing a man's. The thing is, I think the circumference of my own pleasurable contemplation can be pretty large sometimes, especially when fuelled by a freshly ground coffee, fine wine or a pint of creamy Yorkshire bitter.

In the pursuance of any sempiternal caprice, whether it be the breeding of spaniels, or the hybridizing of roses, or the disentangling of the convolutions of a lost syntax, an old gentleman can at once be actively selfish and the passive recipient of celestial overtones.

Tell you what, when I'm old I certainly won't be receiving celestial overtones through syntactical disentanglement. More likely, I'll still be blathering inanely on whatever digital medium is the norm, or yelling at Simon Cowell, who prances around on TV as if he had celestial overtones, but really just has a bad hair do and an overblown ego.

Having said that, disentangling hybridized spaniels sounds fun, although not particularly celestial.

Better to be a pedantic prig enjoying yourself than an unconscious simpleton tormenting yourself.

Worst of all would be to be a pedantic prig tormenting yourself.

When they [women] do abandon themselves to Nature it is, I fancy, in one or other of four ways. They can, to put it briefly and crudely, give themselves to the elements, first as possessive and maternal Envelopers; second as Narcissistic Self-Lovers; third as virginal-athletic Dianas; fourth as Men-Cozeners, or Dryads playing up their mates.

So, my dear female readers, which of these are you? A possessive and maternal Enveloper, a Narcissistic Self-Lover, a virginal-athletic Diana or a Men-Cozener?

Monday, 15 December 2008

A Response To Morag

After Morag's response to my last article, posted here (a good read, seriously check it out), I had to respond. In case you are intriqued by the comments about fish, come back and read Mickey's article.

Dear Morag,

Please accept my humble apologies. I certainly didn't intend to hurt your feelings. But in my defence, I didn't know about the sad memories, the war, the grit, the eye or the briefs. Come to think of it, I never said "all expenses paid" either.

Sorry to hear that stations are such a mournful place for you. They are for me too, especially after today's cancelled trains.

If I uproot my family to Norway, and if I become an Associated Content billionaire, then at least I could fly you around in a Learjet, although I'd expect you to pay towards some of the fuel costs...

Unless you don't like flying. I hate flying, always get grit in my eyes. Maybe I should wear goggles.

But you have to admit that while Norway may be cold, it has to beat this shoddy little country hands down.

Take today, for instance.

Morning train cancelled, so half an hour late to work and standing room only. Nearly knocked over on my lunch break by some gimp-grandchild twit of a man who was cycling through a crowded pedestrian street. Call me a darned old traditionalist, or just a grumpy old man, but isn't that illegal and doesn't he deserve a life sentence for being a menace to society?

And then I had to wait 10 minutes at an ATM while some witless droids faffed and dithered as they were seemingly thwarted by the simplest user interface known to man.

Changed your mind? With the pound devaluing by the second we may find ourselves penniless, with our Associated Content billions reduced to nothing. On the off chance that we're out of food but in possession of a dead fish then it would be helpful to have Mickey around to resurrect it. Although it would be helpful to know - when Mickey resurrects a fish is its freshness restored? Or will it just taste like a fish that has been dead for a few days?



Sunday, 14 December 2008

Pubescent Fury

Snubbed by Morag, scorned by Maria, it looks like the emigration to Norway (based entirely on the premise that their trains are better than ours) might be off.

On the up side, at least the daily drama on our trains more than makes up for it.

The three chavs were loitering on the platform opposite, scowling like monkeys. Chavs always scowl like monkeys. In fact, the only time I've seen a chav smile is when leering over page 3 of The Sun.

The chav that is. I wouldn't be seen dead with The Sun - unless I had been beaten to death with one rolled up and used as a club.

The Sun, that is. I don't intend to ever be rolled up and used as a club.

In case "chav" is lost in translation, I think the American equivalent is "white trash". I'm going to try and start pre-empting any translation issues. See some excellent definitions from the online urban dictionary.

As they swaggered about gobbing between every breath, they were smoking, and looking pretty pleased with themselves - smoking is banned at stations.

When I say they were smoking, I mean smoking collectively as one, sharing a cigarette.

Ugh! I imagine (not being a smoker) that sharing a cigarette is acceptable amongst couples, but when three grubby salivating teenagers are sharing one it is pretty gross - akin to sharing gum or a boiled sweet, or even (dare I say it) toilet paper.

Swaggering, loitering, gobbing, puffing, and all the while looking like they thought they were Kiefer Sutherland. Or three Kiefers I suppose.

When their train pulled in they seemed unfazed. Nonchalant in fact, continuing to puff and gob as if they couldn't care less. Then the doors shut and they panicked, banging on the doors and cursing the train driver. The train pulled away leaving them marooned on a cold, icy platform.

As for the rest of us on the safety of our own platform, we just laughed.

And then there was the time when our train pulled into a station that was lit up with fiery pubescent passion. A chav was on the platform snogging his girlfriend. I use the word "snogging" reluctantly, it's not a nice word, but it is the only one appropriate.

He got onto the train, then lept back out to give his girlfriend a final kiss. The doors shut, leaving him behind cursing in a stroppy fit of pubescent fury.

As the train pulled away I pointed and smiled. I felt it was appropriate to "let him know".

Saturday, 13 December 2008

I have a gift

I've always known I have a gift. Throughout my life things have just worked. In my presence babies stop crying, kitchens clean themselves and hamsters produce Oscar-winning performances.

I jest.

My wife S had a very difficult day with little baby R yesterday, who griped, pooed and wailed to her little heart's content for the whole day, for no apparent reason.

I normally do the night feed, but S asked that she could do the night feed on the condition that I looked after little R for the morning, allowing her to have a bit of space and to (cough cough) sort the flat out. For some reason the kitchen hadn't cleaned itself, neither had the bathroom. I was worried my powers were waning.

So S did the night feed, and I had a beautiful full night's sleep, my first in months.

This morning little R woke at 8:30 (pretty good for a baby, huh?), so I fed and changed her. We (me and R) spent a happy hour dozing and then I spent the rest of the morning "baby sitting" tucked up in bed with coffee, laptop and The Spectator, while little R snuggled and slept.

I clearly have a gift.

Friday, 12 December 2008

A tribute to the Friday Joker

Today my post is simply to recommend The Friday Joker.

Check his blog out, the man is a genius and it is one of my favourites!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Welcome To Britain

I'm slowly freezing to death on an icy platform, ruefully nursing my lip. I've managed to bite my tongue twice, and my lip twice, all within 24 hours. What are the chances? If I survive this I'll probably continue to munch on my lip until it is the size of a beach ball.

Good job it is not the season for beach activities, otherwise I would be in huge trouble.

A little bit of ice on a tiny section of the train line and pretty much every train in Britain is delayed or cancelled. On the other hand, the only thing that would delay a train in Norway would be a thawed woolly mammoth, brought back to life by MickeysBigMouth as he develops his healing powers above and beyond fish.

The first train cancelled, the second train delayed and carrying everyone from the first train, the connecting train cancelled, and here I am, freezing to death while slowly becoming engulfed by my lip.

Of course, this is despite the fact that our rail fares have increased above the rate of inflation every year, and this year will increase by 6-8%. There's nothing like paying more for less.

Welcome to Britain. Don't come here. I'm thinking of taking the family to Norway. Morag, you're welcome to join us.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The UK at a glance

I don't often comment on the news, but with today's papers containing all sorts of juicy material it would have been a crime not too.

Having said that, I spent most of the commute listening to three teenage girls moan about their dads, one of whom spends too long in the bath. But anyway, back to the news.

Drug-addicted or alcoholic thieves will escape jail from next month if they can prove their crimes are driven by their need for a fix. Aside from the fact that this will become the shoplifter's charter, I think it is a great idea. In fact, I think they should escape jail if they were merely in a bad mood.

A cat Frankie has been stealing cuddly toys from the neighbouring households. So if you can't find your favourite teddybear, maybe Frankie has him. The good news is that Frankie is a friendly cat, so your teddybear will be in good care, albeit a little shaken.

Christian campaigners have lost their legal challenge against scientists being allowed to create human-animal embryos for research. Phew, that means my dream of having a duck's wings and a bull's head could still be realised.

Horses, donkeys and ponies were left to starve and die at a farmyard. The defendants deny all the charges. Presumably they overslept, or were repeatedly distracted by daytime TV. Of course, they could always claim it was due to their drug or alcohol addiction.

Chemists will be making the Pill available over the counter without a prescription, this despite evidence that it will have no affect on unplanned pregnancies, with one study suggesting that it will lead to more STD infections. Moral arguments aside, I always like to see evidence ignored. Evidence shmevidence, that's what I say.

A lollipop man has been banned from putting Christmas tinsel on his stick, and even burst into tears. Given the number of times I've tripped over tinsel hanging off a lollipop stick I'm not in the slightest bit sympathetic. Good riddance.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has spent considerable time and effort ruling that "feck" is not an expletive. I'm hoping that they will now rule that "banana" is an expletive, as I think it is a heinous swear. In the meantime, I'm off to the local FCUK store to exploit the VAT cut.

A reveller who killed a stranger for looking like Wayne Rooney is denying manslaughter. I imagine his defence would be "Your honour, Rooney is not a man, he's a boy."

Irish beef is at the centre of a health scare after cattle tested positive for illegally high level of dioxins (hey, I don't know what they are either). The meat will not be recalled because apparently there is only a risk if there is long-term exposure to the meat. This is particularly harrowing for those of us on an Irish-steak-a-night diet.

A ban on a pornographic Wikipedia image of a young girl was lifted by the Internet Watch Foundation yesterday. The image was on the Scorpion's album Virgin Killer. It warms my heart to see the IWF living up to its responsibilities. I may have to buy the album though, it sounds like lovely dinner music.

Cigarettes will soon be off display and under the counter. Hopefully cheap scratchcards will also follow suit, meaning I'm no longer stuck behind lotto junkies at the counter.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

How to direct a hamster nativity play

I have read a number of articles recently on making Christmas decorations and scenes, so I've decided to lay out how to direct a nativity play casted by hamsters.

I ought to let you know that this venture is not for the fainthearted or the frugal. Directing a cast of hamsters can be exhausting, and the little critters aren't cheap either. I mean, even when playing a minor role a hamster will expect you to pay through your nose.

The Cast (all hamsters are assumed to be Syrian)

Mary : One heavily pregnant hamster. You want her to be roughly 16 days pregnant on the day of the big production.

Joseph : A male hamster.

Baby Jesus(es) : Played by one of (or all of) the babies in the mother hamster's womb. There are some complications which need to be considered, but I'll cover this below.

The Three Kings : Three male hamsters. For diversity's sake, one should be black, one brown and one white.

The Shepherds : Three male hamsters.

Flock of sheep : 30 white baby hamsters.

The Donkey : A large male hamster.

The Production

The play should move very fast, as hamsters are very restless creatures. It starts with Mary and Joseph arriving at the stable. Mary should be riding on the donkey. From experience, I should warn you that the donkey typically does not like this, and Joseph and the donkey often end up fighting over Mary.

Upon arriving in the stable, you want Mary to give birth to the baby Jesus(es). Timing is everything. A Syrian hamster will give birth any time after 16 days, so you will want to delay the production until she is just about ready.

Note, while a Syrian hamsters' litter sizes average 6-8 pups, they can be as large as 20. You have two options. Either have one baby Jesus, and sneak the rest of the babies out the back, or have multiple baby Jesuses, which is historically inaccurate. If you go with the latter, bear in mind that the stable could get pretty chaotic.

It is important to have an extra pair of hands available to keep the baby Jesus(es) from being eaten by Joseph or the donkey.

Now it is the time for the shepherds to arrive with their flock of sheep. You will need another pair of hands to prevent the shepherds from eating the sheep. Actually, make that several pairs of hands. The shepherds should be wearing tiny little headscarves, which can be made cheaply from an old tea towel.

It is wise to place the set on a thick plastic sheet, as the flock of sheep tend to wee everywhere, which is extremely unprofessional, and smelly to say the least. Whatever you do, don't place the stage on your parent's new carpet, or your grandma's antique cabinet. Hamster wee is very acidic.

The time has come for the three kings to arrive. They should be wearing little pointed hats, which are easy to make from paper. Little pointy booties are also an option, although hamsters find these difficult to walk in. If you go down this route, be wary that the three kings can become quite aggressive if they keep tripping up on stupid pointy boots.

At this point you want the cast to prepare for the final bow. This is extremely difficult to orchestrate, and the stable will be chaotic and full of "activity". If you are not vigilant, the kings, shepherds, Joseph and the donkey will end up fighting furiously. Watch out for any escaping sheep.

I should add that a consent form should be filled out by every member of the cast, excluding the baby Jesus(es), who will be covered by their mother's signature.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Latex bifurcation

The old man cyclist was tapping his feet on the platform with the ferocity of a tap-dancing piglet. It was bad enough that my train was cancelled. But then to be driven splenetic by an irritating old man. What could be worse?

Well, for that matter, a ferocious tap-dancing piglet would be worse. On the up side, at least my tedious rigmarole of a commute was interrupted.

Yeah, right.

I have no tolerance for people that violate protocol. Especially when it involves tapping.

Rule number one. Don't tap your feet on the platform.

Rule number two. Don't tap your finger nails on the table.

Rule number three. Don't tap your pen against your laptop.

To make matters worse, he was wearing the type of cycling shorts that no self-respecting man should wear, let alone any self-respecting old man. Or, for that matter, any self-respecting tap-dancing piglet. Latex bifurcation. Nice.

I was torn between stomping along the platform in the miserable stoop of nihilistic despair, or sowing my eyes and ears shut with dental floss. Fortunately I was out of floss.

Instead, I sat there simpering like an old dog that had just been crushed by a Christmas tree. 'tis the season to be jolly.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Anger Management (alternative treatment)

So here's the question. Would I rather be stuck behind some nitwit doing 25 in a 40 zone, or have a family of frogs stuffed down my pants?

I'd go with the frogs, every single time. It's a non-argument really, especially as being stuck behind a nitwit doing 25 in a 40 zone makes me feel like I have a family of frogs stuffed down my pants.

Not that I have an anger management problem. My wife would tell me I should give them (the nitwit, not the frogs) the benefit of the doubt. As would my Mum, the most gracious person I've ever known.

But I do. I have to assume that they had their brain sucked out through a straw by a Zombie, who had the grace to replace it with a soggy battered cod. Presumably blown back through the straw. Although you would have to question the Zombie's sanity, wasting good fish like that.

Here's another question. Would I rather wait 15 minutes at the "Can I help?" queue in Barclays while the assistant painstakingly explains interest rates to a customer, or have someone stand behind me and repeatedly flick my ears? It's a tough one, but I think I would go with the ear-flicking.

I walked to the front of the queue, handed her my thumb-worn copy of "Interest Rates For Dummies", and told her in no uncertain terms to "Google it".

Actually, that's what I did in my mind. I did have 15 minutes to kill after all.

It's not as if I get cross when I have to wait for the green man for more than 5 seconds , muttering under my breath that I'm going to move to Holland where they build cities designed for the pedestrian, while vowing to write scathing letters to the council complaining that I'm the "green" one and things have to change - or they'll have their backs to the wall when the revolution comes...

And it's not as if I glare at every buffoon that cycles over the FOOT bridge, wishing on them a sequence of irreparable punctures ending with them spilling yogurt on their suit on the way to work.

Maybe I should reduce my caffeine intake.

Or maybe I should sign myself in for an alternative anger management course involving slimy amphibians, fish, ear-flicking and rubber bands.
As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!