User avatar Where to wee

A few months ago, my department was moved downstairs as we were merged in with another similar department. Now we all sit in the same place. Our new surroundings are in the basement, as befits our status. Engineers do not need daylight, and are not to be allowed to have it. We are so deep in the basement that Bakerloo line trains cause an audible rumble through the walls every few minutes. We’ve calculated that they might actually be slightly above our floor level.

One interesting feature of the sub-basement where we have been hidden away, as though we are some sort of embarassment, is the shortage of toilet facilities. It’s almost like this floor was designed for apparatus rooms and storage areas, and the idea that teams of people might spend their lives down there wasn’t considered by the architects.

That leaves me with a choice of three sub-optimal toilets, as follows.

  1. Toilet One is a single cubicle, self-contained with a sink and hand dryer, located a short walk from our room, but close to other rooms where people work so it’s often busy. If you flush the toilet the sink tap stops running, so you have to wash your hands before you flush or (more often) you forget to wash your hands before you flush so you then stand there for several minutes waiting for the cistern to slowly refill before you can get a trickle of water on your hands.
  2. Toilet Two is another single self-contained cubicle, not much further away, but located at a little kitchen area where people come to make tea. From inside the cubicle you can hear everything people say and do at the kitchen, and I know from experience that people in the kitchen can hear everything that happens in the toilet cubicle. I don’t like that at all. Once I sat in there for the whole time it took someone to make a round of tea because I didn’t want them to hear me having a poo.
  3. Toilet Three is yet another self-contained cubicle, and technically a disabled toilet with one of those seats that feels a bit higher up than it should be. The automatic tap makes a massive noise when you wash your hands, like a siren going off to alert anyone nearby to the fact that you’re using a disabled toilet. It’s a long walk away from the room where I work on the other side of two security doors. Someone once came out of it when I was approaching to go in who gave me a really angry look.

I haven’t yet decided which of these is the least worst, but please keep me in your thoughts as I struggle to find somewhere satisfactory to go for a wee at work.

User avatar Episode 12: Queens

The podcast technically known as ‘Episodes’ is back for an epic second series. And this time it was recorded in a building with more than one floor. Exciting or what?

Episode 12 kicks us off perfectly with happy, nonsensical chat about:

  • Queen Mothers
  • Queens
  • Basketball
  • Queens.

User avatar More of You and Your Orb

Now that the shock of having an orb instead of a child has disappeared, you can settle into a routine that fits the both of you. Remember that you have to get used to your orb as much as he or she has to get used to you. You are not an easy person to live with and people do talk about you behind your back.

In order for your orb to understand how to behave around children and other orbs you may to take them out to a soft play facility. Here, kids and orbs of all ages run or hover around in well-crafted industrial buildings that nobody knew what to do with, panicked and then threw some padding on the floors. You can watch from the safety of the coffee shop, with your half-fat vanilla latte, whilst your little one floats in and out of tubes, ball pools and slides. You will also get to listen as other, more smug parents (more smugger or smuggents as they’re referred to) chunter on about how their child managed to get into Cambridge University based on the contents of their last nappy.

Maintain your distance whilst also keeping a close eye on them. This is one of those contradictions that you often see in parenting guides because really, deep down, nobody knows what they’re doing. You want your orb to make friends without you, ironically, hovering about behind them. And you certainly don’t want to one of those dads that follows their orb into the soft play facility and proceeds to comment on every single thing they do, and then convince them not to go down the big slide because it may be “a little too scary” for them. You’ll get a slap round the man nuggets for conduct like that.

Sometimes a float through the park is enough to keep them occupied. With the sun on your back and the fresh air coursing around your orb’s complex series of gas, emissions and chutney, they will appreciate the time you have spent together. Make sure to take plenty of photographs and decorate your orb’s room with memories you have made together.

If they burn a likeness of you into a piece of paper, put it up on the fridge for everyone to see. If they build a statue of you using pasta and PVA glue don’t go with your initial reaction and throw it in the bin; be sure to make a lot of noise about how great it is, put a picture on Facebook and then put it in the garage in the box with the rest of the tripe, or throw it out of the window of a moving car on the way to work the next morning. It’s much funnier that way.

User avatar Kids today, eh?

Wrap up tightly for this one. It is gonna burn like a case of hot pie (hot pie!) cold custard.

What is going on with toys for kids? If you ask Old Man Kevvers what he ‘ad when ‘ee were a lad he’d tell you that it was a drawing of a stick on the pavement, drawn in coal dust, and each morning it would blow away before he had a chance to play with it. Times were different in the 18th century or whenever Old Man Kevvers was around.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to wander into a Smyths toy store then your eyes would be greeted by huge corridors of wall-to-wall dustbin fodder. They will stick a goofy face on anything and charge you fifty quid for the privilege, and your kids and your little sisters and your nieces and your cousins all want this steaming pile of excrement in their houses. Let’s take a look at some of the choices you have from my recent excursion to a toy shop with Professor Reuben:

  • Has your child or small relation recently been turned to stone by Medusa? Are you wondering what to get them for their birthday now that they have no pulse? Take a look at the Zipline Play Set for the recently petrified. All the fun of flying through the air on a piece of plastic. Make sure not to push them too hard otherwise they’ll shatter on the ground. Also works for those pesky ghosts refusing to pass into the next life.
  • Q: Where can we put something in an animal that isn’t provocative or sexy? A: In its mouth. Let me present you with the Number Crunching Squirrel! Put a piece of plastic in its mouth and watch it choke to death in the name of light entertainment. Jam disc after disc of brightly-coloured coins into Chip or Dale’s food pipe. It might play a song or add the numbers together, I don’t know, I was too horrified to find out.
  • I couldn’t walk past this without laughing. I’m very immature.

It was these three items as far as the eye could see. They are your ONLY options for future purchases. Break out the Kunst-Dose!

User avatar Story time

Here’s a challenge that none of us will be able to resist.

You know what to do. You have the words. You can also use any other word you like, as long as the other words are no longer than four letters long. I also choose to permit the words “scintillate”, “bigamy” and “washing machine”.

There will be a prize. Probably.

User avatar King for a Day

Early. Bleary-eyed. Rummaging through emails before work and there it is.

Now I have my fair share of luck like everyone else. I’m not swimming in lottery wins yet occasionally the cosmos chucks me a bone and a I manage a few numbers in the Chunderball. It’s a balancing act no doubt due to my years of annoying people and general sanctimonious behaviour. Yes, me.  Look at me.

“Congratulations! You’re our Mastercard Competition WINNER!”

I’m your what the what now? This email sat in my inbox is telling me I’m a winner. It is praising me for winning more than anyone else. I am a winner. I have won a VIP trip for two adults to attend the UEFA Champions League Final Madrid 2019. I would rather stick my eye sockets in a paste of pepper and lemon juice than have anything to do with fucking football but even so, it does come with hotel accommodation and a £250.00 prepaid card so I can stick twos up at the final and go off to get hammered in some squalid Spanish bar, where the locals can pick my pocket when I am stumbling back to my hotel room around 7pm or however long it takes for me to get wasted these days.

This is pushed to one side by my acute distinct overwhelming sense of pessimism. “What do you think you’re doing? You actually believe you’ve won a competition? When did you enter this competition”

“I… I erm I don’t er… I didn’t?”

“Well done, genius! You didn’t. Why on earth would you have entered a competition to win tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final? It’s clearly a sham. It’s a fake. They’re trying to scam your sorry ass for a quick buck.”

Having checked the details, even though it looked like a genuine email I was inclined to agree with my pessimism that it was some hoodlums attempting swindle the last few pennies from my account. Like with all great phishing scandals, I sent a message to Zavvi saying that I had received an email that looked about as legitimate as a Smidge Manly Coco Loco advertisement from Spain, and asked them to verify if this was the case. I received a response a few hours later, two responses in fact. It seems as though a lot of people had received the same email I had because the first reply was a mass-produced email from Zavvi apologising for their error. This was further confirmed by the poor customer service adviser who had to message me back to say that I had not won the tickets, as well as several tweets from people on Twitter who had gone through the same highs and lows as I had.

So in one sense I have missed out on the chance of flying to Spain to live out a brief fantasy of downing alcohol in a foreign country. On the other hand though I have avoided a poxy holiday based around a shit game of football.

Hotter Otter out.

User avatar Easter is murder.

I’m not quite sure what the marketing team at Mars had in mind for this one….

I can only assume from this packet of m&m’s eggs that Yellow m&m and Pink m&m Egg were love rivals for the affections of Green m&m Egg, and that for some reason Yellow has seen fit to slaughter Pink splattering himself and Green in the blood of his rival.

Do you think they picked up on the start of the Easter story, the bit where Jesus gets killed, and not bothered reading on to get to the more traditional ‘re-birth’ bit?

User avatar Lemon drizzle

If you ask the question
About what is the best one,
The bakery transcendent,
The cakery resplendent:
I answer it with ease, take
Away your silly cheesecake.
Gingerbread and Eccles
Will meet only with my heckles;
Pineapple upside-down
Meet the deepest darkest frown.
You will find I have no time
For fondant fancy or key lime;
Though partial to a parkin,
There is only one worth markin’.
I tip my hat as witness
To the cake with all the citrus:
Lemon drizzle cake
Is the shizzle cake,
The finest there is,
Lemon driz
Is the biz.