If get out of jail free cards really existed but you were only allowed one in your lifetime how would you use it?
You could hold onto it for when times got really tough, knock over a bank and live comfortably for the rest of your life.
Or perhaps you would elect to take a much darker path, and do something utterly heinous just because you could, knowing you’d never have to face any consequences.
Just an odd conundrum that popped into my head while I was in the bathroom looking for cotton buds. Thought I’d share.
Every year, usually around the beginning of January, once the effects of Christmas have worn off, I start getting really worked up about summer.
I’m fed up of the constant rain, the lack of anything to do and the general feeling of “here we go again” that comes as standard with the beginning of a new year.
"Summer shall be fun this year", I always think to myself, "I shall frolic on the beach, have big, bombastic barbecues and generally lounge the long, balmy, summer nights away".
Then, inevitably, we have a week or two of sun sometime in May, followed by it promptly chucking it down for around three months solid. September rolls around, and, faced with going back to work (another thing that evokes that special “Groundhog Day” feeling), I start looking forward to winter.
I begin to fantasise about crisp, cold mornings, wandering leisurely around town, window shopping in preparation for Christmas, wrapped up warm in coat, hat and scarf, and drinking hot chocolate from one of those special takeaway cups, resplendent in red with that snowflake pattern that only appear for the last two months of the year.
And then it rains for three more months. And Christmas fails to live up to the hype. And then it’s January again.
Rinse and repeat.
Almost every morning starts the same way for me; I get up, spend about five minutes dithering around the bathroom waiting for my vision to clear, brush my teeth, and take a shower.
Most days this all happens without event, but sometimes, just sometimes, if I’m especially tired and spend too long staring down at my feet, I find myself wondering how long it’ll be until my bathtub finally kills me.
Now, I’m not as paranoid as I’m making myself sound - my bathtub has a bumpy area at the end with the plug-hole to facilitate grip. The problem is that my shower-head was installed at the wrong end of the tub (or the tub was installed back-to-front - whichever you prefer). This means that when you take a shower you’re standing at the shiny, slippery, plasticky, non-bumpy end of the tub, and by the time the water is running and shampoo runoff is forming a thin, soapy layer on the floor of the tub it can get quite dangerous.
I’ve never done myself any serious harm - at least not yet - but I’ve certainly done my fair share of sliding around, sometimes even when getting into the tub if the floor is still slick with water from its last use, and, for someone as clumsy as me, I count the fact that I’m still alive as nothing short of a miracle.
It’s during these moments of contemplation (or sometimes the moments following a slip) that I think about how many ways the tub could actually kill me. I could fall out of it face first and break my neck. I could brain myself on a tap. Even if a fall doesn’t kill me there’s plenty of potential for many a nasty fate.
Sometimes I’ll drift even further and think about all the other things that could have brought an abrupt end my pitiful existence over the years. Once, an aerosol deodorant canister that had been thrown into a bonfire burst, sending a large ball of twisted metal and flames whistling mere inches past my face. Then there was the time I almost fell out of a roller-coaster. It was one of those types with an overhead restraint and a little belt that clicked into the bottom of it. Halfway around the first corkscrew the belt popped out and the restraint shot upward. I can’t say for certain if it would have shot up enough to allow me to slide out of it the moment we leveled off, but I’m glad to say that I was able to grab it, pull it back down over myself and put the belt back in so I never had to find out. One time I blew up a toilet in France.
I’m surprised I didn’t quickly become a gibbering wreck, but then again I used to jump off the school roof for fun when I was a youngster so obviously I was enough of a daredevil to let these things slip by me. Of course, these days I find myself so overly cautious of everything that I’m surprised I ever get anything done, but that’s a story for another time.
So, anyway, the bathtub.
I can’t work out why nothing’s ever been done about it; it’s been like that for the best part of 24 years and could be cured with a simple mat, but it seems slipping is rare enough an occurrence that nobody really thinks about it long enough to bother fixing it. Maybe I should start having baths instead. Drowning seems far less likely.
I thought I’d get an early start on my Hallowe’en costume this year. I realise I’m getting too old to get kitted out in fancy dress and go out on the town, and for the most part I don’t participate any more, but Hallowe’en is different as everybody is doing it so I feel far less of a tit. I’ve had a couple of ideas already so it made sense to at least start rounding various costume elements up.
The past couple of years I’ve ended up somewhat disappointed with my choice in costume, partly due to the last-minute nature of their creation and partly due to them not really fitting well into the overall spooky theme of the occasion. For example, last year I went as venerable douchebag Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog - great for fulfilling my own nerdy fantasies but not so good in terms of being recognisable. The year before that I was Roger Rabbit, a costume that was slightly better received but suffered due to it being an incredibly last-minute contingency costume, for which I spent the best part of two hours carefully crafting my own set of fluffy bunny ears, and then a rushed five minutes throwing on a white, long-sleeved t-shirt and a red pair of dungarees.
The best thing about the idea I’ve had this year (which I refuse to reveal in case it doesn’t go to plan and I end up as yet another sodding zombie) is that I knew where to find all the various components. Or at least I thought I did. One of the items I require is a relatively simple suit. Well, a specific style of suit, but a suit nonetheless. I had seen this very suit available in Matalan sometime earlier this year - quite cheaply, too - and it would have been perfect… except that it’s disappeared without trace.
I keep forgetting how fickle the world of fashion is, and how once a line of clothing has had its run, it can get completely discontinued with nothing even remotely similar to replace it. I’ve scoured a few websites but so far anything which seems suitable is well out of my price range. Several hundred pounds out of my price range, in some cases.
I’m almost tempted to just plump for one suit that I found on eBay - the only problem being that I have no idea if it’ll fit me (my size has changed rather drastically since I last bought proper, fitted clothing, but possibly not quite enough to fit this particular suit) and the auction ends in just a few hours so I’ve little hope of even finding a real-world size equivalent to try for fit before rushing home to put my bid in.
It is possible that a suit like this would be suitable for various other occasions, so it may be worth me spending the extra cash and coming out away with something half-decent, but my brain refuses to allow me to blow huge amounts of cash on what is essentially little more than children playing dress-up.
Maybe I should just plan to stay in instead and hand out sprouts to trick-or-treaters.
That “Miles Prower”, Tails’ full name in the Sonic the Hedgehog games, was a play on the words “miles per hour”.
Just what the “that” was that Meatloaf claimed he wouldn’t do for love.
That I’d been tying my shoes incorrectly all these years. No, really - see this video for details.
That The Mask pulls a condom from his pocket during a scene in the 1994 movie of the same name.
That in a different scene in the same movie, two characters got car tail pipes forcibly inserted into their bottoms (I’d always thought that they’d been impaled, which is actually far more gruesome but made more sense to me).
The meaning behind the now infamous “Finger Prints” gag in Animaniacs.
That Nickelback are shit (I figured this out sometime in my late teens, but that was still after liking them for the better part of five years. I feel unclean).
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the little boxes that appear on food packaging listing nutritional information. They usually get broken down into two catagories; information per hundred grams and information per portion.
Today I bought a bar of Lindt Creations Caramel after hearing about it from friends. I was skimming the info on the packet and noticed the nutritional info box. The bar was one hundred grams and a portion was listed as twenty-five grams - one quarter of the bar. It seemed straightforward enough, until I realised that the bar consisted of ten squares of chocolate. That meant that Lindt considered a portion to be two and a half squares.
Now, this may seem trivial to you but it’s the type of thing that really rustles my jimmies. Who the hell is going to eat half a square? It’d be fiddly enough trying to bite off half of a block of regular Dairy Milk or Galaxy, but a square of chocolate filled with oozing caramel? No, chances are you’ll either eat two or three. Call me a glutton if you will, but two would probably be less than satisfying, so chances are I’d go for the three, and as there are ten squares that means I’d get three portions and one square left over.
What bugs me about it is that it means that Lindt either didn’t think it through hard enough to realise they’d be giving you an uneven number of portions, or they chose twenty-five grams in an attempt to keep the number of calories listed per portion low in an attempt to appeal to those trying to watch their intake.
It could have been fixed so easily, too - why choose a design that features ten squares? They’d probably have you believe that through various focus groups and other market research it was revealed that this particular size and shape piece was the most appealing, but you know what? Bollocks the market research. With something as simple as a change in the mould they use to cast the bar in they could have made the same hundred gram bar come in four rows of three squares. That way they keep their twenty-five gram portion size and it means people don’t have to muck about trying to either eat half a square or figure out how much impact that extra piece is going to have on their diet.
Maybe you think I’m just being pernickety, and perhaps I am, but I see this happening far too often these days, and I see absolutely no good reason for it.
There. End rant. I need some chocolate.