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Monday 5 April 2010

Terrible Music - Part 1

Why Part 1? Because there's a lot of terrible music out there. And by next week, there will be even more. All we can really hope to do is tackle it in little chunks of awfulness, a bit at a time.

In a bid to go a bit multimedia, I have created a playlist on Spotify, so, if you have Spotify and are feeling masochistic, you can listen to the crap discussed in this article at Pony and Tracks - I was going to call it "Now That's What I Call Pony vol 1", but instead opted for "Pony and Tracks". That's right. It is a terrible, terrible pun.

If you don't have Spotify, just print off this list and give it to the "DJ" next time you're at a wedding. He will have all of these songs, guaranteed, and will be more than happy to play them for you, although he will babble incomprehensibly far too close in to the microphone at random intervals, like the guy from Phoenix Nights who goes "Shabba!". Everybody will thank you, because at least none of these songs actually have their own special dance...

This first list only goes as far back as the mid nineties. As I said - little chunks of awfulness, a bit at a time.

Track 1: Girlfriend - Billie Piper

What is really fucked up, and what a lot of people forget, is that when 15 year old Billie Piper brought out the truly awful track "Because We Want To" in the mid nineties, which somehow got to number 1, a then unknown from the States was about to release a single called "Baby One More Time", and she was billed in the paper as "America's Answer to Billie"... Now you have to admit, that is fucked up.

Billie's records were all, without exception, dreadful, and with the horsey teeth and denim, and the weird black eyebrows (she still has those), she was no match for Britney as slutty jailbait either, which explains why she went a bit fucked up long before Spears did.

OK, so she didn't lose the plot quite as spectacularly as Britney, but she did marry freckly ginger Chris Evans, spend all her time in the pub, and get a bit fat. I suppose actually that's not really that bad or that interesting. Not in the age of Winehouse. But still, the songs really were turds.

The one I have selected is "Girlfriend". This is about Billie trying to chat up some boy by going "Do you have a girlfriend? You're looking real cool!"... Yeah, about as cool as my arse. You could make a mash-up, if you had mad mixing skills, of this with "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne, and make a song basically so bad it could probably be used to train attack dogs.

If you look at the Spotify playlist you will see that the album this comes from is called "The Very Best of Billie Piper". Not just "The Best", but "The Very Best", as if there were a load of other Billie Piper songs that were really good but not quite "The Very Best", this is la creme de la creme, the first pressed extra virgin, special reserve of Billie Piper's music. Bollocks.

Track 2: Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

Hey everybody! It's Self-Harm Sally's favourite song!

This turgid, miserable thing was on the damn radio all the time. At Christmas, as well. There would be like, Wizzard, then that horrible cover of Santa Baby by Kylie that makes you feel dirty and wrong, then this.

It sounds all depressing and that, but if you actually listen to the words it's utter nonsense. Like, to the same degree as David Bowie when he used to make up lyrics by getting random words out of newspapers. "Let's waste time chasing cars around our heads" (yes, it does take about thirty seconds for the whiney gimp that sings it to get that sentence out, but that is what he says). Chasing cars you say? Like dogs? Only in our heads? What the fuck are you talking about you cunt? Can't we waste time by, I don't know, going on the XBox or Googling ourselves instead? Christ even Farmville sounds more fun than what you're proposing there.

"If I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?". No. I would kick you to fucking death you lazy shit for brains twat. Now get up, this is fucking Primark (honestly, in the video where he's just lying in places. What a fucking knob).

Track 3: Dance The Night Away - The Mavericks

In putting together this list, I listened to most of the tracks, you know, to remind myself how bad they are and to help me think of things to write about them. This one I couldn't make it past the intro. If this song comes on I get that same horrible sense of panic one gets when one's head is stuck in something. Like all that matters in that moment is making it fucking stop. Neutralising the situation. I once shoplifted from Asda because it came on and I ran out of there, still clutching a bottle of Diet Coke. THERE WASN'T TIME TO PUT IT BACK.

OK so it was only a bottle of Diet Coke from Asda, but it could have been anything of any value and I maintain no judge in the land would have sent me down for that if my defence played him this song.

What is quite so bad about it I can't quite put my finger on, I mean, sure, it's really annoying, but so are lots of things, and for some reason I would rather have three hours of the Crazy Frog, the Macarena or even "Teletubbies say 'Eh-Oh'" than three minutes of this. Honestly, it makes me want to bite people.

Track 4: 3 Words - Cheryl Cole and

If you've read this blog before, you are probably aware of the fact that I would really like it if Cheryl Cole wasn't fucking everywhere, all of the fucking time, but that isn't actually the reason this song made it onto the list.

Her first solo single, "Fight for this Love", I don't really have any beef with. It was catchy pop for the kind of people who like that sort of thing, and if you didn't like that sort of thing you could just make jokes about the fact she's a geordie singing about fighting (guess what I did?). Also she wears this fucking stupid sequin tiger skin hoodie at some point in the video and I reckon some wardrobe guy is still sitting pretty on the money he won betting a mate he could make her wear that.

This song, 3 Words, is just weird though. Weird and boring. And a bit creepy. Weird, boring and creepy - not good features to have in a song.

I don't think we need to go into the quite obvious and cynical reasons for collaborating with (who I am going to call William in any future mentions because is a fucking stupid name), who is the guy from the Black Eyed Peas, or one of the Guys from the Black Eyed Peas, I don't know how many of them there are that aren't the woman one.

Would you like to "break America", Cheryl? Oh, yes please pet, I'd reet like that, pet. Seriously? We'd never have fucking guessed...

I think we can expect a lot more collaborations between Cheryl Cole and American artists, who I think we can safely assume will all be black (she carries a little card around with her now reminding her not to call, say, Kanye West, a jigaboo), but don't worry, American readers (ha! Fuck you Cheryl, they like me!), if the standard is as poor as this monotonous offering she won't be troubling you any time soon.

Track 5: Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai

I know what you're thinking. How do you pick just one song by that madcap cunty hat wearing retard Jamiroquai, given that they all sound the exact fucking same? All in his special brand of withered twatfunk?

Well, I went for this one because this is one of his more preachy ones. Preachy about some sort of sci-fi shit that isn't even actually happening.

"Now every mother can chose the colour of their child, well that's not nature's way"... Well, I can only assume with the rest of the song being about "twisting of their new technology" he means that in some sort of genetically modified babies sort of way, as opposed to just having a pop at inter-racial couples, though I could be wrong. Maybe he is actually just a big old racist. He did go out with Denise van Outen (why, Denise, why?) and she is pretty Aryan master race looking. Hmmmmmm, could we do a collaboration with Cheryl Cole, maybe? It'd be a grand thing, it could be called "I ain't Gonna Bump no More (with no Jigaboo)". Nick Griffin could use it as his theme song for the election like Blair did with "Things can only get Better" by D-Ream. Maybe that should have been on the list, thinking about it, it was diabolical. Anyway, I digress.

Jamirocunt does get a bit carried away with the old sci-fi at the best of times. Singing about cosmic girls from another galaxy, and having to live underground because of roaming herds of Godzillas. It's his third biggest interest after sulking about not having been the fastest celebrity on Top Gear for about ten years and twatty hats. But in this song it's like he's warning us. Take a fucking peek at yourself, people on Earth. All this crazy shit you're doing. It's bad. Jamirocunt has seen the future, and it's bad. Godzillas, man, I'm telling you.

Lay off the drugs, son, and maybe they'll let you have your license back.

Track 6: Heartbeat - Scouting for Girls

There were a few bands like this a couple of years ago. This shower of bastards, The Hoosiers, The Ordinary Boys. Irritating sub indie twatpop. Scouting for Girls annoyed me most because their songs were somehow a bit more gay. It was a toss up, and I mean it, between this piece of dreadful catspunk and "She's so Lovely". That was always on TV, whenever there was a woman who had just had a makeover by Gok or somesuch, or just whenever there was a woman (if there was more than one woman it would be "Here Come the Girls").

This one came out a bit later, when you thought "She's so Lovely" had gone away, and it was, if I'm not very much mistaken, the very self same song! It's about a lovely girl! It has an annoying a-rinky-dinky-dink sort of sound! A shit video of some scruffy art school looking prick playing a piano! It's the same song! It was back!

And it has the same name as that really crap TV show that was on ITV on Sunday nights. It might even still be on, I don't know.

Track 7: Life for Rent - Dido

Are you a boring, slightly frumpy single woman in your thirties, who thinks Bridget Jones's Diary, which was a made up story, is about you? You'll be wanting to listen to Dido then.

Oh, my stars. How dreary is her voice. It's like she's had a stroke and can't annunciate the consonants in the words. If she has, then I'm sorry, fair play to the woman for selling all those records with stroke face, but really, it is not a nice sound, all those words just blurring together like melted cheese. She looks about as dreary as she sounds too. Like some woman that might live alone in the flat upstairs from you who always has a big cardigan on and who you imagine wears pyjamas with animals on in bed might look when she's going to the corner shop. Only she's not going to the corner shop, she's performing at fucking Live 8. Make an effort you bland, bland lump of plainness!

And the song itself. Fucking miserable. She's bored, she's depressed. Her life is going nowhere. She'd like to go travelling but she can't be arsed. Blah blah blah blah blah. This would be boring if your best friend was saying it to you after too much wine, it's even worse coming from someone who you know is actually, for reasons you can't fathom, a multi million selling multi millionaire. Is there also some sort of subliminal new Labour theme here about how if you don't get on the property ladder you "deserve nothing more than you get"? Fuck you Dido. Fuck you trying to get me into negative equity with your dismal song.

Track 8 - Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble

Michael Buble was originally know for doing hacky covers of old swing songs, and for being someone your aunt might fancy. He has a pretty good voice, nobody is disputing that, but no one much in the UK gave a shit about this because Robbie Williams had done all those songs years ago, and then so had bloody Westlife.

In 2009, when the X Factor went two nights a week (just so Cheryl Cole could be fucking everywhere, all of the fucking time a bit more, I'd wager), it became compulsory, for reasons I could never quite figure out, to have some act on on the Sunday night show that either hadn't been heard of in years (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Bon fucking Jovi), or that nobody gave a rat's tiny arsehole about (Buble). The contestants would make out that the act was their biggest hero and influence, even though they were 16 and had had to ask Dannii Minogue (the shit Minogue sister - honestly, would you bank on that woman to make you a star?) what a Bon Jovi was backstage.

Buble's appearance on the show was to plug the release of this single. Not, as the world was accustomed to, an old song we already knew, just with Buble singing it as close as he could to the original, but a new song, a new song just for Michael Buble to sing, all of his very own. Seemed like a good plan.

Trouble is, it is fucking rubbish, isn't it?

It's a love song, but with a twist! He doesn't know the girl yet! He's desperate for a bird! He's gone a bit with the whole thing! He's got so much to give, but he hasn't met her yet! That is a stupid idea for a song, for a start. Then, there's the plinky plonk pianos. Did the guy from Scouting for Girls fucking write this for him? It was always going to do alright, because as I said, he does have a decent voice, but if you are going to take someone who is a big star in certain circles for singing covers and try and branch him into doing new material then is this cheap, lightweight crap the best song they could find for him? And that video with the shopping trolley and shit? Crap. Total crap.

Track 9: Wild Horses - Susan Boyle

This song was also debuted on one of those Sunday night X Factor shows, to pad out the bit that only needed to take five minutes where they tell you who has been booted back into obscurity that week to a full hour long programme. But was I the only person thinking, "fuck me, Susan Boyle singing the Rolling Stones? Was that not in the book of Revelations as one of the harbingers of the apocalypse?"?

A lot of the appreciation for this, and I may be being a little harsh here, mess of a woman's voice really came from the shock value. It was some sort of mad cat lady from Scotland with a face like melted Lego that had been rolled on a dog blanket to pick up fur. It claimed, and nobody for a second disbelieved the claim, that it had "never been kissed". You were just waiting for her to do some crazy, scary thing on the Britain's Got Talent stage, maybe some sort of nightmarish magic trick that would make Piers "the cunt" Morgan's head turn 360 degrees, or just some very bad puppet theatre. But no, she sang, and the sound wasn't actually hellish. It made Amanda Holden cry, but then she did that when those fat Greek people did some comedy Irish dancing as well - woman needs to get some fucking help if you ask me.

Su-Bo, as she became affectionately known, didn't win the show, and there were some reports that she had gone a bit mental from the fame (but nobody told us whether she had got laid yet, which I felt was most unfair on the public), so it seemed like that was the end of the crazy ride on the Boyle train for Britain as a whole. But then this, the X Factor appearance, and the Rolling Stones song.

The trouble with it was, apart from the fact it is a very fucked up and bizarre choice of song for someone who had only ever done some old thing out of Les Miserables on TV before, that it got played on the radio and sold as a CD and download. It got played in situations where you couldn't see how ugly she was when you were hearing it. And if you listen to it without that whole, wow, it looks like a manatee thing, her voice is pretty mediocre. This is possibly the only case ever of someone's ugliness launching a music career that they would not otherwise have had...

So, that was volume 1 of the most terrible music ever made. Please feel free to make suggestions of tracks you hate. Volume 2 will be released soon.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Local Tourist Attractions

It's still Easter. Everything was shut today, because some people are still labouring under the misapprehension that this day is somehow significant. Well, everything apart from the pubs, happily, and those off licenses with the blue carrier bags that never, ever seem to shut. That's the backbone of Britain right there. Pubs, and blue offy bags.

As a result of this, you are now either off your face, or bored out of your mind, and there's more of it to come tomorrow.

One way you could spend the Easter Bank Holiday Monday, is going for a lovely wholesome day out to a local tourist attraction. This is easier if you have access to children (no, not in the "show me on the doll where he touched you" sense, I just mean like, you have kids or nieces and nephews or whatever), because they are easily impressed and if you suggest any of this to your mates and none of you are high they're just going to mug you off. That crate of Stella Asda are doing for a tenner isn't going to drink itself.

You could go to Alton Towers or Chessington World of Adventures, or if you're in London one of the many pretty cool things they have there, but odds are that'll seem like a bit of a mission what with the hangover and the fact the kids, if you've managed to commandeer any, are going to be unbearably sugared up having spent all weekend gorging on chocolate. You don't want to actually do anything exciting because you will all be sick, so you are more likely to end up heading out to a more low rent local alternative.

There are some pretty staggeringly shit places out there. Usually the prime hunting ground for crap tourist attractions is the kind of places those weirdos who go to another part of England on holiday go to (even though it's cheaper to go to Greece or Spain where you won't have quite such a horrible time and can make the holiday pay for itself by bringing back a load of fags). Places like the South Coast. Places like that. These places, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset etc., are absolutely fucking teeming with really bizarre "attractions". Not bizarre as in they have a cat with three heads and a bearded lady (though if you want to see a bearded lady there's one who hangs around the bus station in Guildford - it's a proper, ZZ Top style beard as well, not just a bit of fuzz), but bizarre as in, why the fuck did they build this?

Cornwall has a place you can actually go to, seriously, I went there when I was a kid and I've checked I didn't dream it and it is somehow, over 20 years later, still in business, called Dairyland. It's a theme park, where the theme is cows. That's right, those big animals that do fuck all. One of the attractions boasted on its very shit, early 90's looking website includes "Milking Clarabelle". Am I just a very disgusting person for thinking that sounds like some kind of very niche porno?

Honestly, there are cultures in the world that believe cows to be sacred and worship them, and even they don't put up fucking theme parks in their honour. How much interest can a child really be expected to have in a bunch of steak stuffed in a leather handbag, crapping, mooing and having milk squeezed out of its weird boobs? It bloody stinks as well, undoubtedly. So, you could go there.

Another thing that they have in Cornwall, the arse end of nowhere, is a place called Flambards, which, again, has been there, somehow surviving, for my entire life. You know a theme park is going to be pretty crap when they boast on the TV about having Britain's "Most Southerly Rollercoaster". How far south it is within the UK is not really a statistic that is important when discussing rollercoasters, is it? Is it the biggest? Hell no! It's fucking tiny! Is it the fastest? Noooo, in fact it is incredibly fucking pedestrian, that is why we put an old lady on the advert riding it. OK, so, er, does it go upside down more than all the others? No, that it does not do, not even once - there is a bit where it stops quite suddenly and you hurt your groin, but we didn't think that "Most likely to render you infertile" was snappy enough so we're going with "Most Southerly".

It's called the Hornet. The only way they could make it scary is to place an actual hornets' nest in each of the little cars. Then, when you collected the photos at the end of the ride (yes, they actually bother with that, as if it's something good that you are going to want to remember happened to you), instead of everyone looking underwhelmed, some people would look all sort of red and puffy as they go into anaphylactic shock from the stings. I'd be scared of that. I fucking hate wasps and shit (another reason why these places all suck, they get very waspy on account of all the ice cream and whatnot. There is usually a candy floss machine with wasps actually crawling around inside of it. Do not want.).

Moving out of Cornwall and the realm of awful theme parks, though these are by no means restricted to the region, you can find something just as piss poor anywhere round the entire coast of the UK I would wager, what if you fancy a bit of nature?

From Poole or Bournemouth in Dorset you can take a day trip by boat to a place called Brownsea Island. The name doesn't sound appealing, does it? Brownsea? Brown sea? Why is the sea brown? Is it sewage? Nice.

The main selling point of this small island as a tourist attraction is, get this, it has squirrels that are ginger.

There aren't many places you get ginger squirrels in the UK. This is because the normal ones, sorry, I mean the grey ones, kill them or some shit. Whether this is squirrel racism or whether some sort of evolutionary thing has just meant the normal ones, sorry, grey ones are somehow better equipped to survive, perhaps better camouflaged, than the ginger ones I don't know. It's probably the latter, although a squirrel race war would make a great cartoon. In any case, if you want to go and walk around some woods looking for genetically inferior squirrels that can't survive on the mainland, and which look exactly the same as the ones in your office car park if they'd been Tango'd, this is the day out for you.

Incidentally, I know someone who thinks ginger people have no souls and when they die they end up in limbo. Even that cute little girl off of Doctor Who and my mate Sarah. A lot of people just say they smell of fox piss. Not me, just you know, other people.

The National Trust also offers a wealth of other nature walks and boring stuff like that. I can see why that might be fun in other countries where they have bears or snakes or fucking tigers and stuff, cool animals, but in England all the wild animals are boring and brown, apart from badgers which are fairly cool and apparently dead vicious, but you only ever see them when they're dying by the road. I don't think they're hard at all, or they would come out and fucking face us like men.

You are probably just going to see more squirrels, some ducks, and if you are most especially unlucky a fucking swan. The swan is an evil bastard. Why the queen loves the fuckers and won't let you kill and eat them I have no idea, she has obviously never had one chase her making that devil sound they make. It's a shame, because it does look like there is good eating on one. Whether killing a swan actually constitutes treason, the only offence you can still be executed for in Britain, I do not know, but I'm not risking it no matter how good I reckon its leg would be. Kentucky Fried Swan. Omnomnomnomnom.

A mate of mine did once get told off at work for bitch slapping a swan across the face because it was blocking his entrance into his office (which was next to a big pond, it wasn't just a random swan). I would love to see that. A man slapping a swan across the fucking face. Break my arm would you? You fucking reckon? Come on then, let's be having you, you long necked bastard! THWACK!

That's how I imagine it went.

So, there's a few options for you anyway. Let me know if you find anything else really pony to do and see near you. I know you won't let me down.

Friday 2 April 2010


Well, it's Good Friday, so welcome to the Pony and Trap Easter Egg-stravaganza, or Sp-egg-tacular or whatever. Easter is the most rubbish holiday of the year, so let's pay tribute with a list (I do enjoy a list) of all the things that make it so very pony.

Bad puns involving the word "egg"

You see what I did there? The fucking egg puns. Have you ever seen one of these, like, in the window of Clinton Cards or somewhere (who even sends cards at Easter? Nobody fucking does. But they want you to. They make them, I've checked. But who is buying them?), something about "Egg-citement" or something, and pissed yourself laughing? Like, oh god, that tickled me, that did. It's like "excitement", but they made it say "egg", like an Easter egg. Oh, that was a good one. I'll remember that one for later down the pub. The lads will be in stitches.

I've come up with a few egg puns that could be used to advertise stuff at this time of year, but probably wouldn't be:

"Egg-stortionate prices on all our hollow chocolate shit!"
"Get s-eggs-ual thrills with the new Rampant Easter Rabbit!"
"Sweat your tits off and dance all night on Egg-stasy! Because there's no work for four days!"

See, it's quite easy. Please feel free to leave your own shit Easter puns in the comments.

At least once Easter is over you don't get any more awful pun holidays until Halloween, when everything has to be "spook-tacular"...

It moves

You know where you are with all the other holidays. Same date every year. You know everything will stop happening around Christmas but that's OK, you know when it is going to be and there's plenty of warning - from September onwards you can't really go a day without a reminder somewhere. Plus it always coincides with the end of the X Factor.

Easter on the other hand moves around. It isn't always even in the same vague time span, even in the same month. I don't know whose job it is to decide on what arbitrary date it is going to be and how far in advance this is done, but I suspect, like a lot of crazy religious stuff it is done using some kind of highly Christian method like the phases of the moon.

As a result of this, and as a result of the fact Easter is shit so nobody talks about it in the weeks leading up to it, it can sometimes sneak up on you and annoy the fuck out of you. I only found out on Tuesday that it was now. That's not even a joke, or an exaggeration. I didn't even have time to make an Easter Bonnet.

The Easter Story

OK, as well as the swearing, I do do a spot of the old blasphemy as well so, er, sorry about that...

Easter is one of those fucked up Christian festivals that seems to have just sort of tacked itself on to some other thing people were already doing to celebrate some sort of natural thing, like Christmas with the longest night. It seems weirder with Easter though, somehow. On the one hand, there is all the springtime shit - eggs, bunnies, daffodils, lambs, that sort of junk. This is the main sort of imagery and symbolism that if you were to get some people to do some sort of wanky Easter "mind-map", as beloved of corporate away days everywhere, they would come up with. It's a bit primitive, I mean, eggs are pretty much a year round fixture, but it works. Celebrating the end of winter, no more of that snow and ice and shit. I can get on board with that (although spring weather is usually just rain and wind so not that much of an improvement).

But then we are reminded that the real reason for the holiday is actually nothing to do with any of that. It's a story from the Bible. It's a story that, if you are the sort of person that questions this sort of shit, starts off quite horrible and depressing and ends up just frickin' implausible. There are no bunnies or lambs gambolling in the fields, because it's fucking Jerusalem 2000 years ago (when it was probably just slightly less fucked than it is now). There is basically this Jewish guy who gets screwed over by one of his mates, who it turns out is a bit of a cunt. As a result of this the Jewish guy, who has long hair and sandals, gets humiliated and quite brutally executed - yeah, these old stories you hear at primary school are pretty delightful in how barbaric they can get, but kids love all that so it's fine - by being nailed to a big wooden cross with a couple of other local crims. That's the depressing but plausible bit.

A couple of days later he comes back to life - not like a zombie, he doesn't want to eat anybody's brain or anything, he just comes back from the dead. I think some hooker he used to knock about with finds him first or something. This is where it starts getting implausible. They actually want you to believe this really happened, it isn't just something they made up for a laugh. After some period of bodding about freaking people out about the whole being back from the dead thing, he flies up in to the sky, never to be seen again, although he was, it is safe to say, talked about quite a lot in the two millennia that followed.

It's not a bad story. I preferred Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and that episode of Doctor Who with the giant wasp that was actually a ginger vicar played by that bloke out of Game On, but it's not bad. I'd give it 6 out of 10, but it is pretty old so, you know, people were more easily entertained back in the day. Mel Gibson liked it a whole lot, at least, though I've never quite got why the whole thing was called "The Passion", that's not what I associate with the word "passion", especially in the title of a movie, at all...

The Easter Bunny

When you're a kid, if you're one of the lucky ones, there are only three entities you believe sneak into your room while you are sleeping. You've got Santa, obviously the best because he brings you the annual mother lode of all presents, the Tooth Fairy, she gives you cash but takes away your teeth for reasons unknown, so she's a bit wrong, but cash is always nice, and the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny is shit. With Santa, over the years the legend has been padded out quite a lot. He's got his reindeer, his sleigh, we know what he looks like, we know he likes a drink, he lives at the North Pole with some elves who make the toys (that's right kids - the Wiis are all made by funny little short guys), and now, you can even track him on the NORAD website and Google Earth. A lot of time and effort has gone in to making what is basically quite an elaborate global lie to make it fun for the kids. But with the Easter Bunny, the adults have just gone, uh, yeah, it's a rabbit that brings you chocolate.

He hasn't even got a fucking name. What colour is he? Is he a normal sized rabbit or some kind of freaky giant Donnie Darko rabbit? Can he talk? Where does he come from? How does he get to all the children? Why does he give them eggs, when rabbits don't have anything to do with eggs? Seriously, nobody can even be bothered to fabricate him into anything, because it's that shit a concept - a magical rabbit confectioner.

Cadbury's Cream Eggs

The only Cadbury product that has a "season" (like it's vegetables and you're one of those knobs that won't eat them if they've been flown in), which is unaccountably from January (why?) to about May, after which you see them being sold off for 10p as they go past their sell by date.

They are fucking gross. That is the only word for that sickly ooze in a chocolate shell. It makes my teeth itch just thinking about it. What even is that sugary mess inside? Pure, solid diabetes in egg form?

I know someone who, for a bet, took one into a chippy and asked them to batter and fry it (he took the foil off first). He then ate it. A Glasgow style Cream Egg. For a fucking fiver. Animal.

Mini Eggs are alright though. Now they don't do those adverts with Mr Cadbury's Parrot on. He was an annoying little cunt.

The next part of the Pony and Trap Easter Egg-stravaganza, here to keep you company throughout the long (fucking interminable) weekend, is going to cover general British Bank Holiday fun... It's out there to be had, apparently.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Chuggers (Charity Muggers)

For those of you who weren't aware of the term "Chuggers" as meaning anything other than those who chug beer, which I have no issue with whatsoever, I provided the handy parenthesised title there so you know that I am talking about those scruffy bastards in the vests with the clipboards who try and guilt you up when you're going about your business on one of our (now largely boarded up) British high streets.

The act of giving money to charity is a deeply personal one. Maybe you give to a cancer charity because you lost somebody close to you to the big C. Maybe you give to an animal charity because they can't speak for themselves. Maybe you give to Sport Relief because you thought it was kind of cool that Eddie Izzard did all that running and that Smithy sketch was possibly the only remotely funny thing James Corden will ever do again. Maybe, like me, you give to a bunch of quite random charities because you were really drunk one New Year's Day and thought it might sort your karma out because you'd done some pretty questionable things the year before and My Name is Earl was on. It's a choice, and usually a proactive one.

Obviously to make you aware of the work the charities are doing so you can make the choice to give to them, some sort of fundraising tactics need to be employed. This used to be a man coming round your house and sticking a little sticker of a lifeboat on you if you put your loose change in his lifeboat shaped collecting tin. It was all quite nice. But not now. Now it has taken a far darker turn.

When someone with a clipboard approaches you on the street you know it's not going to be a good time. You will either have to be quite uncharacteristically rude (I am assuming all my readers are lovely and charming here), or you will have to have an awkward conversation where you have to get yourself out of giving some money to something. Very occasionally it will be someone trying to recruit you to the Church of Scientology. If this happens to you I suggest calling them a freak, they hate that and the resulting outburst which will always, always include the phrase "We're not the freaks! You are the freaks!" will brighten the day of any passers by or local market traders who happen to be watching. Bonus points if you can continue the argument without using the words "Katie Holmes".

Usually it's just a chugger, though.

The chugger will approach you, usually using some form of flattery to appeal to your ego. You might fleetingly think they are hitting on you. They're not, but that's OK, you don't want to go out with a chugger, they make fuck all and have to live with their mum, and they are probably also perverted in a way you wouldn't enjoy. Nobody normal would do that job, face it.

They will then fact you up a bit about the charity. It will be boring, this bit. You're just trying to get to Greggs (it is a recession, so eating like a northerner is the new rock 'n' roll. Fuck you, little M&S sushi selection!). It will give you the arse. You can see Greggs. You can almost taste that cheese and onion pasty. Yet you have to listen to this scruffy little codpiece tell you about water first.

Once that bit is over the chugger will attempt what sales people call "closing". The difference of course is that sales people are selling something. All that you actually get out of the deal here is that the chugger will go away, and while that is certainly an appealing idea, you reckon you can get that for free so you're not ready to give in and give yet.

There are several techniques you can employ here. Obviously the most fun is to punch them square in the jaw and watch them go down like a sack of aid parcels dropped from a helicopter. But that's illegal so it's better to keep that as your fantasy response. Same applies to shooting or raping them or any kind of hostage scenario involving their families. It's better to try and just blag your way through it so you don't come away in cuffs.

One approach is to say you already give to that charity, and say how good you think they are. Obviously you don't, because chuggers tend to only chug for the charities that sort of suck a bit - you never get chuggers for the ones with the good public image like Guide Dogs (cute dogs doing clever shit - it's cool) or Breast Cancer (pink fluffy pens and ribbons and crazy bra related antics - it's cool). This, you would think, if the chugger truly cared about the cause as they have just been impressing on you that they really, really do, would please them. It doesn't though, These fuckers come from an agency, they will chug for anybody. They didn't honestly go, oh, I do hate dirty water. Think I'll give up this lucrative job in the City and go and collect for those people who sort out all the dirty water. Of course they fucking didn't. They are working on commission so they only care about signing you up. That's why this is a good tactic. It pisses them off, because they think hey, this person gives to charity, if only I had got them sooner, or on a day when I'm chugging it up for a different one! And they can't show their disappointment either because it makes them look like a grasping cunt. I enjoy this approach.

Another option, if you are feeling like being a bit of a bastard and having a row, is to say you don't agree with the work the charity does. This is easier, but less fun, if it is a charity some people don't agree with the work of, such as Greenpeace, but you can do it for just about anything if you commit and are prepared to come out with some outlandish, horrible shit. "No, I think those people should die of the shits from all that dirty water. Too many people on the planet anyway and they haven't got anything to live for, have they, it's just the AIDs and witch craft over there, really, isn't it." or "I think leukaemia is sort of Darwinian really - weeds out some of the iffy genes." or just "nah, I fucking hate seals.".

I tried this approach once with a chugger for World Vision. World Vision do good things involving Africa as far as I can remember, but years ago they were a client of a company I worked for, and one of our guys had been to their head office. This place was fucking legendary. As a Christian organisation they would only hire Christians, and only the psychotic kind. I'm not even sure how that isn't discrimination and therefore a bit on the, well, illegal side, but somehow they managed to enforce this, and who gives a fuck anyway - would you want to work there? No, the answer is no, you would not. At lunch time, they would hang out in the canteen, singing Jesus tunes with an acoustic guitar. I had to inform the chugger that I couldn't bring myself to fund this. Not on my watch, soldier. Not acoustic guitars. Not tambourines and clapping. I will not finance these atrocities. What do you think I am, America?

Obviously the other thing you can do is sign up and give, then call your bank and cancel the direct debit once you've had your pasty, but that takes effort and you know you can't be fucked to actually call and cancel it, and that you'd feel a bit sleazy telling the person in the call centre you want to stop your donation to the NSPCC. Yeah, that's right, Shona (she's Scottish, I bank with Santander, remember) I don't care as much about the abundance of paedos as I may have made out to a total stranger on the street earlier. Please don't give me fees.

Sadly, once you have used your chosen method to extract yourself from the chugging scenario, you have to run the gauntlet of all of their mates, wearing the same vests. Chuggers hunt in packs. And so you have to keep going - do not ever, ever break your stride - shouting "I just spoke to one of you! I've already been done!". On the way back from Greggs, pasty grease burning your hand, the same chugger you already had quite a lengthy exchange with will stop you again, with the same line.


Thursday 25 March 2010


This started getting annoying long before the actual smoking ban came into effect.

First, there were the trains. I used to commute in and out of London back in the early noughties on South West Trains. The trains were those mangy old ones with the slam-shut doors that always provided a kind of cool sense of slight danger to the trip. You could stick your head out of the window and have it taken clean off by a train coming in the other direction, so you had to make sure you didn't do that, and you could open the door at any point in the journey and throw people out of it if you wanted. Another thing that was great about them, was these were among the last trains to still feature a smoking carriage.

It was lovely in there. Well, it wasn't, it was really, really fucking filthy, but that didn't matter because you always had a nice civilised journey. It was a 12 coach train, but only one carriage of one coach was for the smokers, and so being a commuter train you always saw the same people in there. This meant people would actually speak to each other, so you could enjoy a bit of banter along with your fags.

You'd arrive at work suitably nicotined up and ready to go, and on the way home you could kick back with a can of beer (from Threshers at Waterloo, obviously you didn't want to pay the extortionate amount for the ones off the stupid little trolley on the train) and chain smoke the stresses of your day away.

These halcyon days soon came to an end when South west Trains announced there had been a survey, and the survey had said that their customers (as if anyone is a customer of South West Trains out of choice because of the wonderful service they provide as opposed to, them being the operator of the train that goes from where they live to where they work) wanted the trains to be 100% smoke free.

I have my suspicions about this survey. Suspicions along the lines of: it never fucking happened and they made it up. Or perhaps: it did fucking happen but they only surveyed the people in the non smoking carriages, and there was no option on the survey for "I don't care. I don't smoke but hey, I don't have to go in the smoking carriage, do I? It's all sealed off. Live and let live, I say, I'm not going to be a cunt about it.". Nobody asked me, or any of my smoking carriage posse, anyhow.

Some people said South West Trains did it to save costs on cleaning the smoking carriages, because they got dirtier than the regular carriages. This was usually met with convulsions of hysterical laughter by anyone who had been in the smoking carriages, for whilst dirtier they did indeed get, clean them South West Trains did not. There was graffiti in biro on the backs of the seats saying "Trev woz ere '77" for a fucking start. I didn't even know they had biros in 1977. The chewing gum in those little metal ash trays had actually fossilised.

I suspect it was more a case of the charmless fuckwits in the anti-smoking lobby interfering where they have no business and spoiling it for people. This is my beef with these bastards. Fine, you don't like smoking. You don't like how it smells and whatnot. But if it is taking place in an area you never, ever have to go to, why the fuck do you have such a problem with it? I hate the smell of Lynx body spray, so I just don't go in teenage boys' bedrooms, it's quite simple. There were always the other 23 or so carriages you could sit in with all the twats reading Harry Potter in the "adult covers", as was the fashion of the day, if you didn't want to go in the one that was smoky. Dickwads.

These are the kind of people who, if you're having a cigarette outside somewhere, will walk past you and have some histrionic coughing fit. When this happens I like to say "hey, relax - obviously you thought this was a vial of anthrax I was holding, but don't worry, it's just a Marlboro Light! Panic over!". When these people look at you like you're killing them, you should look back like you really wish that were the case.

These people put as much energy into hating smoking as Nick Griffin does into hating, well, black people. But unlike Nick Griffin, who most people just think is mental, these people somehow get their borderline fascist views listened to.

So, a couple of years ago we got ourselves a little old smoking ban. This mostly affected pubs, which began closing at an alarming rate (this was pre-recession as well, so there was no other obvious cause). And whilst when other things close they sometimes turn in to pubs (remember that old biddy on the old NatWest ads, "my bank is now a trendy wine bar!"), for some reason when pubs close they just turn into boarded up pubs, still with the sad banner advertising Sky Sports (Premiership '07-'08! Live here!) dangling off of the guttering.

Before the ban the government had promised that the pubs would thrive more than ever as all the people who never used to go to the pub because they didn't like the smoke would now be lashing it up in droves. This was never going to happen. Did they really think all these people, not just non smokers but people who really, really hated smoking, were sitting at home watching Eastenders going "Gosh, it looks like so much fun in the Queen Vic. I would dearly love to have a local pub of my very own, where I might participate in quizzes and meat raffles, but alas that is where there is all of the smoking, which I am very much opposed to.". Of course they fucking weren't. Plenty of pubs had non smoking areas (admittedly it was more your shitty chain pubs, but if you're going to be an arsehole about it you take what you are given), so anyone of that persuasion would have just been going to them, but aside from that your fervent anti smoker just isn't your down-the-boozer-chucking-arrows-of-a-night kind of guy.

So there were none of these new faces in your local pub, just less of the old ones as they either jumped ship to another pub that had a beer garden so at least they didn't have to huddle on the street like something from Soviet Russia, or they just stayed at home with some tinnies instead, wanking over internet porn (probably).

A lot of the pubs with the beer gardens or other outdoor seating realised that here was an opportunity to make themselves more appealing and therefore not go completely under because of a law they had no say in, and invested in some patio heaters. This was pretty nice. You could be warm, you could sit outside all evening and smoke as much as you wanted, any time of year. It was a pretty good solution, the old covered, heated beer garden. The anti smoking bastards had won the battle, but with our patio heaters we would not be defeated and, you know, just fucking give up smoking, that easily... It was still tough titties for the pubs with no outside space of course, but at least some landlords still had a fighting chance.

The trouble is, it turns out, that whilst the anti smoking nutters don't want you smoking in the pubs, the eco global warming carbon fucking footprint nutters really hate the patio heaters. Oh, Jesus. Nutters around every corner. Honestly, will people stop creating problems every time we find a solution here? Currently, nobody gives substantial enough of a fuck about this so we're alright for now, but it's only a matter of time before those get banned too going on past form for getting things-that-aren't-really-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-worth-getting-all-upset-with (I hear carrier bags are next) banned under Labour is anything to go by.

The smoking ban was not of course, just for pubs, but for all workplaces and "enclosed public places". This means that long distance lorry drivers can't smoke in their cabs anymore, and if you and your partner both occasionally work from home, you could be done for smoking in your own house (even if you both smoke) as this too is a workplace, though I don't really think they can police that, not without putting cameras in your house, and we're not quite that far into 1984 territory just yet. It would suck, once the initial kinkiness wore off anyway.

Other countries have the ban too of course, but in France they pretty much just ignore it and do what they want anyway, in Italy publicans can just bribe the police to leave them alone, and in Spain they have a slightly more liberal version of the ban where certain places can still have smoking areas. They have it better than us, and come on, are we really going to let those crazy European bastards be better than us? Fucking looks like it. And the fags are cheaper there too, so they not only have it better than us, they are paying less tax for the privilege.

The latest change made to pander to the anti smoking lobby, is those grim pictures on your packet of snouts. Not content with the big massive "You are going to DIE" messages, now you get to look at a delightful image of some throat cancer or a corpse. Now come on, we've all seen a dead body before (right?), and that cancer is clearly Photoshopped. What kind of pussies do you think we are that that is going to put us off? There's even a bizarre one with a baby breathing out smoke (again, Photoshopped, or at least you'd hope so). What does that even fucking mean? Don't give a baby blowbacks? Smoking only looks cool once you get into your teens? It's kind of stupid. I mean, you don't buy a bottle of Bollinger and there's big fuck off picture of a cirrhosis liver on it. Postcards from beach resorts almost never have a little melanoma in the corner to remind you of the dangers of sun bathing. What next, will whores have to have little tattoos of a penis with herpes on it, just to make you aware of the risks? We know the risks, attempting to portray them in a slightly more "shocking" way makes no difference, and if we decide we've had enough we'll just buy cigarette cases. They look kind of cool, anyway. So balls to you, balls I say!


Wednesday 24 March 2010

Old People

Today I asked for suggestions of things other people thought were pony because I was basically feeling too lazy to come up with an idea myself. One of the best suggestions was this. Old people aggravate the crap out of everyone, probably even each other.

I'm talking about proper old people here, the ones with the cat food and the bus passes and the incontinence, not the people going through some sort of existential crisis and wondering if they are old because they don't understand why some people wear baseball caps backwards and their trousers round their arses. As a reassurance, if this is you, no, you're not old, you just hate tossers, and this is still definitely the blog for you.

Some things that are annoying about old people comprise:

The Post Office

The fucking Post Office. Old people love it. It's hard to know what they are doing in there, aside from making it smell of piss, because there are very few reasons left to actually go in one of these dismal places. Want to post a letter? No, of course you don't, they take for-fucking-ever. In any case, if it was one of those few occasions annually where you have to post something, you can get stamps in the supermarket where you go all the time anyway and where you don't have to wait in one of those fucking roped off zig-zag queuing systems like they have at Disneyland (only at the end it's a fat woman behind some bullet proof glass instead of Space Mountain). Need to send a parcel? Fed-Ex, mate. They never go on strike and they will actually deliver it to the recipient rather than to a depot on an industrial estate seven miles away. Also, if the guy taking your parcel somehow gets marooned on a remote island, he can make friends with the thing inside the parcel, like in Castaway. Have you seen Castaway? It was boring and it was boring for a long time. Seriously, I just paid money to watch Tom Hanks' podgy face get all hairy while he talks to a fucking volleyball? That's what people who paid to watch it were saying. I didn't, I just saw it on telly once, but it was still a couple of hours of my life I'm never getting back.

Some people use the Post Office to conduct some weird financial transactions. I think if you are too much of a pikey to get an actual bank account then you can open an account there, but seeing as how they even like to pay benefits into a bank account these days just how scabby would you have to be to need to do that? Is there a league system for this sort of thing? If so I'd like to see it visually represented in the style of the Top Gear "Cool Wall", you could have say, Jodie Marsh, scabbier than Frank Gallagher off of Shameless but still not as scabby as Kerry Katona. It could be a fun game.

They also do currency exchange, but so do all banks, travel agents and those kiosks at airports and stations, and in any case these days your bank card works abroad (in theory, if you remember to tell the bank you are leaving the country as if they're your fucking mum) so you don't really have to bother with it at all. How many old people are fucking off to Vegas to spunk their pension money anyway? Or is it a fag run to Calais? Old people do drink and smoke a surprising amount, which makes me wonder if it really is as effective a method of suicide as the government make out.

Because of the fact that most services the Post Office offer became redundant at least 15 years ago, it is not surprising that a lot of them are closing down. This leads to cuts for the workforce, which leads to strikes, which leads to an even worse service. The whole enterprise is pretty much fucked. This is on the news a whole lot, some Post Office in some small, shitty little town is closing and some people are irate about it. These are always, always the old people. Nobody else has been in there since they were 17 and needed the driver's license form so they could get the hell out of the shitty little town in question. But as I said at the start, what in the name of Beckham's Achilles are they actually doing in there? They can't need to buy string, en masse, every single fucking day.

I reckon there's some sordid septuagenarian swingers club in the basement of every Post Office. That's what the randy fuckers are really up to. "Oooooh, they took away my driver's license because I can't see for shit anymore and my reaction times are about as fast as continental drift, so that put an end to the dogging. But then Elsie told me about this place. The password is 'Steradent'."... They all dress up like it's the war and go at it in a replica bomb shelter under the Post Office. Viagra pills sit in little bowls like those packs of lube and extra strong condoms in gay bars. Someone from St John's Ambulance gets to watch - not because they enjoy it, mind, but because they know CPR. This is my horrible theory. Don't have nightmares, kids.


Old people get to ride the bus for free, which is good because as I implied in the previous paragraph, they can't drive for shit. Buses are already basically mobile asylums, so adding some dementia into the mix doesn't really make much difference. But unlike the other general nutters, students, immigrants and smug eco-twats that make a bus such a fabulously diverse place to spot annoying people if for some reason you have to get one, the old people will interfere with your journey somehow.

First of all, they get up really fucking early. This is one of the reasons I think humans are badly designed and therefore God doesn't exist. When you are of working age, you're busy all the time, and yet you still need 8 hours sleep a day. Getting out of bed is horrible and most people have to be whizzing their tits off on coffee, to the point where they basically piss and bleed espresso, just to get started. As soon as old age rocks around though, suddenly you have fuck all to do as you have no job and all your friends are dead, and yet you now only need around four hours of sleep a day. Because daytime TV is so appalling it won't even occupy your ancient mind, you have to get out and somehow make the task of buying a tin of cat food last you the entire day. As soon as that bus pass becomes valid, you're down the bus stop, ready for your rich full day.

Unfortunately, this is the exact same bus that the schoolkids and the commuters have to take, because they actually have to be somewhere at a given time or they get a bollocking. The old people will shuffle on, and then they will have to talk to the bus driver like he is their mate, rather than just waving the ticket at him and trying to make the whole exchange as quick as possible like everyone else. They don't like him, of course, they hate everyone, but it's one of the only conversations they will be having today so they stretch it out. They then need to find somewhere to put the weird little tartan shopping thing with wheels, which is a bit excessive seeing as how they're only going to be buying the one tin of cat food, but still, it needs to come with because it has all the important shit in it like a clear plastic umbrella and some boiled sweets. In the future, when the chavs of today grow old, the weird little shopping things will probably come in Burberry and Louis Vuitton designs. And double up as jetpacks. Actually that's worth sticking around for, maybe I should give up smoking after all.

It is customary to stand up if you, a young person (and bear in mind that anything under 65 is young to these people), has a seat on the bus and an old person doesn't. This is fine, and good manners, but there are occasions when I believe you are well within your rights to keep the seat, and they fucking hate that.

Once, I had to get a bus to work. It was a dark and evil time. I was about 20. I had sustained a serious leg injury, I was on crutches, and my leg was quite visibly bandaged up. After limping on to the bus with even less ease than the old people, I sat down. I even sat in one of the seats at the front reserved for disabled people and preggos, figuring a mangled leg was pretty much a pass for that, and there weren't any disableds or preggos there. But no. In the game of bus seat Top Trumps, mangled 20 year old leg does not beat able bodied 70 year old legs, and because I sort of just sat in my seat and didn't make eye contact as the old people got on, I then had to spend the whole bus ride listening to them bitch to each other about how awful the youth of today were because I was young and didn't give up my seat, which basically made me a worse version of Hitler - and they really don't like him. Maybe they suspected, quite correctly, that I had done said injury whilst doing some sort of young person thing they don't like like binge drinking or snowboarding or fight club.

This whole situation could be avoided for everyone if they just got up half an hour later and got on any of the other virtually empty buses, of course, but noooo. Old people business is important business and their pile ridden arses need to be plonked on your seat no matter what condition you are in. Broken legs do not, I repeat not, trump bunions, whatever the fuck those actually are. Some form of gross foot rot as I understand it. Which brings me on to the next thing...

The Ravages of Time

Now this bit is a little bit unfair, but if you haven't got that Pony and Trap is a bit like that and it's all just supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek then, well, feel free to leave comments about how horrible it all is, I do love a good argument with the kind of person that gets all riled up by this sort of stupid shit!

OK, so it's not their fault, but they look really gross, don't they? The men have hair growing out of their ears and noses. It draws your eye, you just can't help looking at that fucking nose and ear hair, even though it makes you a bit nauseous. Actually this bit is kind of their fault, there are those little machines you can get for trimming the curly greys out of the facial orifices, and getting the eyebrows a bit less mad professor-esque. These are advertised in those shitty little Innovations catalogues that fall out of the Sunday newspaper, targeted specifically at the old and the sick and the lame (the Post Office is shut on Sunday so they may as well read that shit while they wait for Songs of Praise), so it's not like they didn't try and sort you out on that front, old men...

The women, who generally have a physique akin to that of Gollum, that crazy bastard out of Lord of the Rings, unaccountably usually have weird ankles like an elephant's ankles. Maybe the men have that too, but you can't see it because they don't wear those weird flowery skirts (where do they come from? Have you ever seen them in a shop? Have you ever seen a shop that even looks like it might sell them? It's a mystery, like those shoes with the see through plastic platform heels all girls in pornos are wearing. Where do you buy those? I want some damn porno shoes!) and American Tan tights. The tights don't make you look like you have a tan, but I reckon they're called that to remind the old bags of the war days when they had to slag it up for American soldiers in return for chocolate and nylons. That's why they all loved the war, nothing to do with the community spirit and the rationing (which they always seem to make out was somehow a good thing), it was all the dick they got. As a consequence I bet more of us than we think have a bit of yank in us to this very day.

I'm no doctor (which is why I don't know what bunions are or how nipples work as I mentioned in my last post), but I would assume the gross ankles are caused by fluid retention, which can be relieved by just sticking your legs in the air for a while. Maybe try a different position next time you're at the "Post Office".

The thin wispy white hair, you know, where you can see the scalp through it. The wrinkly skin. The weird spots. All those things you hear talk of but don't want to ask too much about, like colostomy bags and erectile dysfunction and Tena Lady (again, I'm no doctor, but they don't sound like good things). Looking at old people reminds us of our mortality, and that is horrible. It unsettles us on a deep level to confront what inevitably becomes of us all, if death doesn't come first, and those are both pretty horrible concepts to be forced to face when you're young.

Also there's something really unpleasant about the way they eat soup, all slurping and stuff. Gives me the heebeejeebees. As an old person might say.

The Ravages of Age is probably the worst thing about old people. Not all of them are cantankerous assholes who are rude and hate the young. Some of them are sweet, grandparent types who give you a sweet and a tenner every time they see you even though you're nearly thirty now. Some of them are hilarious nutjobs with loads of cats that all the kids think are witches, and they're pretty fun, too. But even the ones who aren't terrible people or who are kind of a laugh to have on your street still have a touch of the Gollums when you look at them. And unless botox style technology really does improve a lot in the next 30-40 years, so will we.


Saturday 20 March 2010

Twitter for Dogs and Foetuses

As if preggos and dog people weren't already annoying, now they can irritate you on Twitter too.

Now, the sensible thing to do when a friend gets up the duff is obviously to cut them out of your life completely. They're just not going to be any fun any more. For nine months, they won't be smoking or drinking, for a start. They might come out, but you don't want them to because having someone who isn't drinking and will therefore remember everything you say there makes you paranoid. Also they will talk about The Pregnancy, and that is at best boring, and at worst fucking disgusting.

It doesn't get any better once they pop out the sprog, either. You will, first of all, have to hear how much it weighs, even though you don't care. Why is it so important to know the weight of a baby that has been born? What is even a good weight for a baby? Studies show that a high birth weight usually correlates to a high IQ but there must be limits, I mean, if it comes out at like, 14 and a half stone that isn't a good thing, surely, no matter how fun it is to tell everyone how many stitches you had?

You will then have to pretend you don't think the name they have given the poor bastard is stupid. Oh, called her Heaven, have you? That's good. She won't have to come up with a stripper name when she's older now because she already has one. Well thought out, you've saved her some time there.

Then there's all the gross stuff. They might try and breast feed in front of you. This is one of those horrible facts of nature that takes place, I'm afraid. Yes, I know it's not what they're for, but some women happily flop them out and attach children to them, even though you don't actually have to because you can buy stuff in shops to feed them apparently. I don't even really know how it works, nipples don't have obvious holes in them, so where does it even come out? God nature disgusts me. They will also talk about The Childbirth. This is weird, because before The Pregnancy this woman wouldn't actually admit to ever having done a fart, and yet now, here she is describing in terrifying detail all the gruesome stuff that has now, she says, left her vagina looking like some kind of axe wound. Nice.

Like I said, the most sensible thing to do is cut them out and avoid all of this. But if you don't, if you decide to face it out, or you have to because the preggo is your wife or your sister or your mother (double gross - mum tits!), then just pray that she doesn't coerce you into following the kicks on Twitter.

The "Kickbee" is the abomination that makes this shit possible. The details of how it works are pretty nerdy, but to summarise, the future subject of yo' momma jokes and MILF porn dons a hi-tech vest which has sensors that pick up movement and transmit a signal to a computer (it'll be a Mac, only the kind of people who use Macs would want to do this). This then uses some software to verify if the movement was a kick as opposed to, I don't know, an alien waiting to bust out of her chest, and if so, to fucking put it on the Twitter. Christ, people should at least wait to learn how to form words or at least be fucking born before they start yabbering tedious shit on the fucking Twitter. People think this is cute, do they? Yeah, well they're assholes.

More annoying than this is the product from Mattel (they make Barbie, fact fans) called Puppy Tweets. This is a device freaks can attach to the collars of their dogs, that senses canine activity and posts one of a bank of 500 pre-written updates to Twitter. Posts your dog can invoke by barking, licking his balls, humping people's legs etc. include "I bark because I miss you. There, I said it. Now hurry home." (that's a real one), "I finally caught that tail I've been chasing, and ... OOUUUCHH!" (that's a real one) and "Please stop making me lick peanut butter off of your genitalia." (that one I made up). If you weren't already planning to kick your dog when you get home from work, odds are after a day of reading the crap he's posting you will be.

I wonder what the next crap innovations for hurling pointless shit into the Twitter void will be. I have a few ideas, feel free to steal them only on the grounds that you take them on Dragon's Den, the look on that cock Peter Jones's face will amuse me.

1) A device you attach to your penis, that tweets when you get an inappropriate erection. Could also link to TwitPics and post a picture of the thing that got you hard.
2) A device that can be attached to people who sell the Big Issue, which uses GPS technology to tweet their whereabouts, so people can avoid them. Nobody wants the Big Issue, it has poetry in it by homeless people. Nobody wants that.
3) A device that can be attached to your arse, sending an electric shock up it every time you annoy the world with your inane, banal fucking tweets.

Twitter for dogs and foetuses. Not big, not clever, and definitely, definitely pony.


Thursday 18 March 2010


No, not the place, but the Spanish bank that has taken over Abbey and Bradford and Bingley among others. The one with the adverts with Lewis Hamilton, who almost definitely doesn't bank with the skanking bastards. What is the deal with Lewis Hamilton? Everyone liked him and now they don't. He was shagging that one from the Pussycat Dolls, the one who seems to have had a fair bit of the old surgery. You know, the one who sings. Speaking of which, that show they put on sometimes on T4 (for when you have a hangover) where all these girls audition to be in the Pussycat Dolls? What's the fucking point in that? There are already like 60 of them and only one sings. Why does there need to be more? I know they called their tour "Doll Domination" but are they actually trying to form an army here? Will all girls who can sort of dance a bit eventually be conscripted? Anyway, I digress...

Even the name is a bit annoying. It looks like you would pronounce it so it would rhyme with "salamander". Or "back hander". But being Spanish, you have to say "San tan dair", and this makes you feel a bit pretentious for some reason. Like those smug bastards who roll the "r" when they tell you they're going on holiday to the Côtes du Rhône. Of course, say it the way it looks like a British person would say and you may as well say "Bonnet de douche, Rodney. Bonnet de douche". Either way you feel like a twat.

Because Santander raped and pillaged in the wreckage of the UK banking crisis, looting all the shitty little building societies, there are now around seven branches on every UK high street. Obviously this isn't viable long term and a bunch of people are going to get fired, but for now the employees of the former shitty building societies are making hay while the sun shines with their shiny new red Santander livery and uniforms. Yes, the uniforms are shiny too, like one of those suits that you can get for 17 quid in George at Asda. Only red. Now red looks great if you're an olive skin Spaniard, but over here we have ginger people. You've seen Paul Scholes, come on, it makes them look way worse!

Raping, pillaging, and the humiliation of some gingers aside, Santander want you to know that they are a caring bank. That is why they are giving away lots of money to charities local to your local Santander. However, to make sure you know about this, when you go into the branch they want you to take a little card and put it in a box to vote for which of three local charities should have a share of this tax dodge, er, I mean gift. It's like the X Factor meets Sophie's Choice. For fuck's sake. In one branch I was given the choice of cancer nurses, guide dogs or a hospice for the terminally ill. I could picture Harry Hill in my head - "Now, we all know nurses are good, and guide dogs are good, but which is better? There's only one way to find out. FIGHT!". Just divvy out the money between them and leave me alone, I don't want that kind of responsibility. I'm also concerned it will invoke some kind of ironic justice, like if I vote for the nurses or the hospice I'll go blind and if I vote for the dogs I'll get cancer. All because I went in to take out some money because the bastards cocked up and somehow irreparably fucked my card.

Santander's customer service comprises an onshore/offshore model. So it's a lottery really, when you call in, whether you will speak to someone in India or the UK. When I call, which I often do because they seem to somehow screw me over on pretty much a weekly basis, I sit there listening to the terrible hold music, praying to get someone in Bangalore. The hold music is just one bad corporate theme, the kind that sounds a bit like Viva La Vida by Coldplay without the singing, looped, but even if you liked that sort of thing you wouldn't get to enjoy it because every few seconds it cuts to a recorded message telling you some bollocks about "prudent banking". It's one of the few experiences that makes me feel violent without drinking, and as you may have gathered I'm kind of an angry person.

The reason I am hoping to get through to India, is their UK call centre seems to be housed in a very strongly dialected region of Scotland. A lot of people complain about the Indian call centres, because of the strong accents of the operators, which can be difficult for the caller to understand. There's been enough material written on this subject, and it's never going to change so I'm not going to bother going into it here. A lot of companies and banks accept this and also boast UK call centres, which is a strong selling point to people who feel strongly about that kind of thing. So why, why the fuck, put your UK call centre, the thing that is meant to make us feel at ease when we contact you, in a part of the Isles famed for having a really difficult accent for people to understand? I've spoken to many Indian people in my life, but I have never met (or indeed watched) Rab C. Nesbitt, so sorry, I'm just more at home with talking to the people on the subcontinent. Also, in India, to work in a call centre you need to have like, a degree. Over here it's what you do once you've earned your five stars and feel like there's nothing left for you to achieve at McDonalds. This is because they pay absolutely fuck all, and you know what you get if you pay peanuts? That's right, imbeciles. Imbeciles who seem to be abnormally offended by being sworn at for people whose job it is to inform other people that the computer, in fact, says no.

Yes, they do all the regular stuff all the banks do that gets on your nerves/ruins your life. You know the stuff. The charges, the stopping your card if you dare to try and use it abroad and then only being open during UK business hours for you to call up at great expense and get it activated again, the turning up the heating far too high in the branches so you sweat like you're nervously waiting to rob the place rather than pay in a cheque. That sort of stuff. But they all do that, and Abbey did all that shit before it became Santander (or as I call them, Banco Bastardos). I just feel like it has all gotten just a little bit more pony since then.

Still, at least they didn't go bust.


Wednesday 17 March 2010


OK, so as broadcasting networks go it isn't the worst. ITV is. People knock Five for only showing stuff about the Nazis and cosmetic surgery all the time, but I'd take Goebbels and Lesley Ash's botched face over Peter Andre and Kerry fucking Katona any day. And as for Jeremy Kyle, well, I do kind of feel sorry for him, being surrounded by the dregs of society every day trying to do his good work of promoting family values and... No, not really, obviously I think he's a cunt, same as you do. But ITV is too easy a target, and as literally everything they do is shit we'd be here all day, so let's look at the BBC instead.

The BBC is world renowned for making quality programmes. And it does. A lot of their shows are great, even with the most mainstream stuff they often manage not to insult you too horrifically. This is abundantly clear if you compare Doctor Who with its complex interlinked storylines and, for the most part, decent acting (OK yes, it does sometimes make you go, no, seriously, you're ending it like that? With the fucking mobile phone network? After I've waited like a week, you're ending it like that? Bastards.) to ITV's response, Primeval, which was shit and had one of bloody S Club 7 in it. Yes, I know Billie Piper was in Doctor Who, and yes, I know she was if anything even worse at the old pop music, but we'll gloss over that.

Even with the soaps, Eastenders manages to be sort of good, at least it has usually got some hardmen in it and a plot involving a "shooter", whereas Coronation Street is full of these weird scenarios where people work in a factory. This is confusing to me because it is set in Greater Manchester, not China. Also, the women drink bitter, and there are all these kind of stupid Northern storylines about pigeon lofts and butcher's shops and whatnot. OK, I admit I haven't watched it for about 14 years but I bet it's still like that. As an aside, I did get accused of being "regionist" after I said all Northerners were casual racists in my post about Cheryl Cole, but it's only casual regionism so don't worry.

But alas these shows that are top notch in their respective genres, and also the BBC shows that nobody has ever managed to successfully imitate like Top Gear (have you seen Fifth Gear? It's boring, they actually review cars, regular boring cars like the ones in the car park at work. And Vroom Vroom on Sky is just objectionable on every level - I'm not kidding, they have bit with a car with cat ears and a car with mouse ears and the cat one chases the mouse one while someone out of Blue or something drives it... It is really bad. Really fucking bad.) and that one everyone loves with the animals and the sea and David Attenborough, are not the whole story by any means. So I present to you, a by no means conclusive list of stuff that is pony about the BBC:

1) Kids shows that aren't any fun

You know the shit I mean, the shit that's urging kids to have a social conscience from the age of like five, and go to bed worrying about Rwanda and polar bears. Blue Peter. Newsround, that sort of crap. And really, who wants to watch a piece about some kids in Columbia that have to work down a mine followed by some light entertainment from the Cirque du bastarding Soleil or those cunts from Stomp when the other channels have SpongeBob SquarePants? It's patronising, it's no fun, and the kids watching it are the sort of goody two shoes little douchebags who want to be sponsored for shit every fucking week and quite deservedly get bullied.

Even the programmes that aren't preachy have some sort of depressing edge to them, Tracy Beaker there, getting into all those scrapes with her mates, but wait, she's in care? Nobody wants to foster her? Hell's teeth!

2) Sunday Nights

The Sunday evening schedule on the BBC has not changed since television was invented. First off, you get some repeats of a very bad, very old sitcom - usually Keeping Up Appearances or 'Allo 'Allo. Nobody knows why. In the what, 20 years since these shows were originally aired a lot of other shows have been made which they could put on instead, but they still believe this slot needs to be filled with that fucking woman that lives next door to Hyacinth breaking a bloody coffee cup, or that bloke who used to be Terry in Eastenders being an Italian. If "comedy" from the 80's is compulsory at this time, why not show one people actually liked like Only Fools and Horses or Blackadder? What's fucking wrong with you?

Then you get the Eastenders omnibus. Which is kind of redundant now everyone just watches it on iPlayer or Sky+ anyway if their life got in the way, but what the hell. This is followed by Points of View, where someone has written in to say they noticed a continuity error in Holby City, and someone else thought the background music on Masterchef ruined the show for them. These people are freaks, and this is their time.

Once that is over, a sense of numbing inevitability overwhelms you as the announcer announces (as is his wont) that it's time for Songs of Praise. Jesus Christ. No, really, it's his time now. I'm not being flippant (well, I am, obviously) but in modern Britain 99.9% of people are more interested in Jedward than in Jesus, and we're not all that interested in them. With that being the case, with this show being publicly funded by the most secular public in the world, the BBC aren't doing Christianity any favours with this laborious shit. That bloke who used to be the little boy in the Snowman, having a look around a cathedral, then some jowelly white haired old women singing? With the words on the bottom of the screen, like some kind of nightmarish game of Sing Star being played by people in nursing homes? Do people sing along at home? If so can I see this on YouTube?

Then of course, the Antiques Roadshow. This is the old school format of antiques show, which, if possible, is even more shit than the modern ones where at least everything gets auctioned off at the end, raising enough money for the old couple to go and visit their new grandchild in Australia (always, that is literally always what they want the money for. Honestly, watch one, I promise you. OK, sometimes it's Canada, but it's always that basic story), and you get some kind of closure. On the Antiques Roadshow, some people talk about the lovely veneer on the piece of furniture, tell some old bag her hideous plate is worthless because there's a fucking chunk missing out of it, and everyone just goes "mmmm" and nods. 45 minutes of that, just that. Even the music sounds like a portent of mindblowing boredom.

At least they don't put Last of the Summer Wine on anymore.

3) BBC Three

Again, not all terrible, but mostly this is the kind of stuff even ITV don't bother to try and rip off, it's that lame.

A typical night on BBC Three will contain at least one really piss poor sitcom aimed at the yoof. It will be painfully unfunny, but you will catch yourself laughing at a knob gag or an amusing way of referring to periods at some point and you will feel dirty for dignifying this pap with one of your usually far more discerning "lolz". I think they are aiming for something along the lines of The Inbetweeners on 4, but instead they end up with something along the lines of total shit. Examples of this include Lunch Monkeys, Coming of Age, Grown Ups, and that one I can't remember the name of where they're at university. The daddy of all this was of course Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, which refuses to die. It's the crap that just keeps on giving.

There will also be some hardcore investigative journalism carried out by, er, Clare from Steps, Sonia out of Eastenders, or the girl that used to be the fat ginger one in Hollyoaks. Anyone who has lost a whole lot of weight basically. How this qualifies them, I don't know, but hey, at least they aren't making us look at fat people. This will usually be about binge drinking or some other topic close to the hearts of the yoof. In fact, everything about BBC Three has this air of that teacher at school who wore Converse trainers and had an earring. I AM DOWN WITH THE KIDS! HONEST!

And there's Snog, Marry, Avoid, but secretly I quite like that. Trampy looking girls being told they are a right mess and everyone hates them? What's not to like. I don't care about the makeover bit, I just like the bit when they get told they look like disgusting slags. It amuses me.

4) International BBC Channels

OK, so it's only fair that these channels, such as BBC World and BBC America, shouldn't be too good, given that it's us in the UK paying to make all the damn shows, but then we should probably at least make some effort to represent ourselves to the rest of civilisation as not being totally weird and retarded. And think of the ex pats! Will nobody think of the ex pats?

In Europe, often the only channels in English are CNN, which is just rolling news so you're pretty much done with it after 15 minutes, and BBC World. You think, great, BBC World. This will have some BBC shows on it. OK, it'll probably just be My Family, but still, I'm in fucking Italy, I'll take anything that isn't a topless version of Wheel of Fortune that goes on for four hours straight.

But no. All that is shown on BBC World is endless documentaries about climate change, interspersed with adverts for Singapore Airlines. What the holy fuck is that all about?

BBC America is less weird in that it does actually have some programmes on it that people might like to watch, but it is still notably odd for the fact that half the shows on it are in fact Channel 4 and ITV shows. Why? Why do that? How does that even work? Do they buy the rights for say, Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares off of Channel 4 but only to show in America? With the Channel 4 shows you can kind of see why they might want to put them on their channel, but the ITV ones, really? You want people in the States to think you made Primeval, even though, as we have already established, it is really fucking dire? They also bill stuff as being new when it blatantly isn't. All New Top Gear? No it's not, it's that one where they get the supercars stuck getting out of that garage in Paris. Hilarious, yes, new, no. My dad pointed out that you can work out how old an episode of Top Gear is by the plates on the cars. I tend to go by Richard Hammond's hair. Both are good systems.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, I haven't bothered talking about the daytime dross, the fucking One Show, Strictly Come Dancing or the fact they have no decent live sport whatsoever, and I'll cover off their radio stations in a future post, but hopefully you'll agree that this argues the case for the BBC being pretty pony after all.



There's a lot of bollocks that the government puts on adverts on TV that assumes we all agree that we are a nation of lazy, fat bums who should be drinking less, driving less, not drinking and driving at all, and eating a whole lot of vegetables (five portions a day... I don't think I even eat five portions of food a day going by what they reckon a portion is, either - the L and the T in your BLT apparently don't even count).

Most people just ignore all this bullshit. Some even say, hey, stop worrying about my potassium levels and sort out the economy, you fuckpigs. Other people buy it. And these people love to use their fervent adherence to these pony and trap principles as another reason to be smug to a level previously only achieved by people looking for a second home on bastarding Escape to the bastarding Country.

These people are better than you. They actually like the taste of smoothies (and not even as a mixer) and genuinely prefer wholemeal bread (the bread that tastes stale even when you first buy it and sucks all the moisture out of your mouth as you chew). They don't leave their appliances in standby mode. They do that insane thing you're supposed to do of washing the rubbish before you put it in the recycling thing. They care.

And how do these hateful bastards get to work? That's right, they cycle.

Cycling is great when you're a kid, you can go wherever you want, or at least you could when I was a kid before that massive influx of paedophiles that took place at some point in the nineties. It was great because it gave you some freedom, it gave you a taste of what it was going to be like in another 8 years or so when you could get a car.

So now you're an adult. You can have all the cars you want, big, bastard cars with big fuck off engines that sound awesome, and you could sit there in air conditioned comfort playing some tunes, drinking some coffee. You could arrive at work looking basically the same as you did when you set off, and you could crack straight on.

But rather than do that, instead you are going to don a ridiculous luminous outfit that is so tight it allows people to see what religion you are, a special needs "I might hurt myself" looking helmet, and in London, quite often, a fucking gas mask. You are then going to physically exert youself in whatever conditions British weather has thrown at you (usually drizzle), arriving at the office with your hair plastered to your face is a sweaty, helmety mess. You have to have a shower and get ready for work actually at the office? That's weird. Trouble at home, is there, mate? She kicked you out again? Oh no, my mistake, you're just doing that asshole cycling to work thing.

She fucking should kick you out.

Yes, I can see that it's a good way to get your government recommended amount of daily exercise, but you can do that in a gym without annoying everyone on the road and at your work, and you can watch Eastenders there while you're doing it and you never have to wear a gas mask or a special needs helmet. Plus everyone else there is dressed like that so nobody is laughing at you. It's a lot more fucking civilised. And when you get bored of cycling, because it is really bloody boring, there's other shit you can do there too! Plus, being a gym goer, well, there's loads of potential for smugness there. You'd enjoy that.

There is a lot of this tedious shit going on in the UK, but Jesus wept, have you seen Holland? They have taken it to whole new psychotic levels over there. I guess because it's flat it is a) easier to cycle and b) more scary for them if global warming kicks off to the levels described in the Daily Mail.

Remember that god awful song by Katie Melua about "9 Million Bicycles in Beijing"? You know the one, not that other one with the equally weird lyrics that went "If you were a piece of wood I'd nail you" and all that shit, though it did basically have the same tune as that one. Yeah, well there are 9 million bicycles chained together outside every single station in Holland. How anyone finds the bike of their very own I have no idea, but unlike over here all the bikes look really, really shit, like they were dug up on fucking Time Team, so maybe you just take any old one.

Cyclists rule the roads over there, and for some reason I am more worried about being hit by a cyclist than by a car (I reckon it'd be nasty, getting all tangled up its spokes and all those poky metal bits going at your ribs), so this freaks the granny out of me, especially if I'm already feeling a bit freaked out which seems to happen in Holland a fair bit.

You might think it would be cool if this country was a bit more like Holland, but if the trade off for legalised drugs and hilarious red light districts was having to live off of ham sandwiches (honestly, that's all there is) and ride a rusty penny farthing everywhere then fuck it, let's stay as we are.


Tuesday 16 March 2010

The England Squad

Bill Bailey once said that the English enjoy disappointment. He said this is why we buy Kinder Eggs. I believe this is also why we bother supporting our national football team. Supporting England is, to someone with a disappointment fetish, like a threeway with Beth Ditto and Susan Boyle is to a chubby chaser who also likes terrible music. It's the ultimate.

The key to what makes them so disappointing is that they should be really, terrifyingly good. Week in, week out we watch these players in the Premier League, easily, and without bias on my part, the best league in the world. UEFA know it, that's why they had to rape Chelsea to avoid another all England Champions League final last year (you know it's true). They're great. Gerrard almost single handedly carries his team (it's easier for him since they got Spain's number one Britney Spears lookalike up front, but even before that he did a sterling job). John Terry sustains kicks to the head that would kill most people but still makes it to the party afterwards. Crouch gambols around like a happy baby giraffe that hasn't quite mastered walking yet, but still hoofs the goals in. And Rooney decimates the opposition like a big, thundering potato. They almost never suck.

But come a year that ends in an even number, it all goes the way of the pear. Obviously there will be injuries to key players. Beckham has done his Achilles, and unlike the fun we had in 2006 waiting for daily updates about the state of Rooney's metatarsal this time, we know for sure that he's out. No fourth World Cup for you, Beckham, although apparently he has been offered a job on England's "backroom staff". This being Beckham, the mind boggles as to what that job could be. Michael Owen has had so many x-rays in his career that his children will be born with ears on their foreheads and telekinetic powers, and those x-rays have revealed that his bones are made, not of glass as previously thought, but of bamboo. And Joe Cole, who is a great player and looks like a lovable gypsy urchin boy from Dickens, also seems to fuck himself up more than most. It's a rough sport, whatever those weirdos who prefer rugby might say. This shit is inevitable.

But then there's The Really Stupid Stuff That Happens Off The Pitch And Shouldn't Affect The Game But Somehow Does. Fabio Capello is not tolerant of The Really Stupid Stuff That Happens Off The Pitch And Shouldn't Affect The Game But Somehow Does. That's why he has banned the crazy, marauding band of slappers we call the WAGs from the World Cup. What a shame we won't be enjoying the pictures of their nights out, which resemble exactly the kind of cackling hen party everybody loves to see rock into Yates's... And also, what a shame they aren't all going to get to visit South Africa. Given it has a LOT of gun crime.

Capello's distaste for The Really Stupid Stuff That Happens Off The Pitch And Shouldn't Affect The Game But Somehow Does is also the reason why Rio bloody Ferdinand is going to be England captain. John Terry, who was going to be captain, given he's rather good at it at Chelsea and hasn't done a bad job for England either, fucked the wrong slag. As I understand it, it is OK, in fact pretty much compulsory for them to fuck slags, but this slag was already Wayne Bridge's slag so alas, the union was forbidden.

So Terry has had the coveted armband taken off him, and they couldn't really give it to Gerrard because he was being done for assault or something (something that happened in Liverpool anyway, I hear a drink was involved), but I suspect the real reason Rio Ferdinand was made captain was to psyche out the USA, who are also in our group. How do you put the fear of God into a team that has Landon Donovan (who I keep getting mixed up with Lando Calrissian out of Star Wars)? Give the captaincy to the player with the maddest name. John Terry isn't a very mad name at all.

Another side effect of Terry's little indiscretion is that Wayne Bridge is now refusing to play in the World Cup at all (as if he wouldn't have spent the whole time on the bench anyway while Ashley minced around in left back taking his fey throw ins). I wonder how many of the other English left backs kicking around the minor leagues have said to a mate in the pub in the last week "I'd let John Terry have a go on the missus if I could be in the World Cup. He can fucking destroy her for all I care."... That's unprofessional if you ask me. It does sort of paint a picture of John Terry as Jeff out of Peep Show, sending Wayne out to buy the condoms, which I enjoy though.

Another example of The Really Stupid Stuff That Happens Off The Pitch And Shouldn't Affect The Game But Somehow Does is of course all the stuff about Ashley and Cheryl Cole, but you know what I think about that shower of shit.

We all know what will happen. Last year we were all looking forward to it, trying to work out how many years it was since 1966 so we could make up a new version of "Three Lions on a Shirt", the only good football record ever made (what was that fucking thing by Embrace about last time? It didn't even mention England or football or any of the players and it was as dreary as fuck, Jesus, might as well have got fucking Dido to do it. Really, they want hanging for that song), but now, as usual, there's a sense that yeah, we'll go out on penalties in the quarter or semi finals as per usual.

You would think they would spend a bit more time practicing the penalty shoot outs. At club level, teams don't get into many penalty shoot outs, they only happen in the last rounds and finals of knock out tournaments, and only then if there's a draw after extra time. Chelsea have only been in about 11 in over 100 years. Liverpool practice them every single training session, but that's because they operate under the delusion that they have a god given right to be in the final of everything. But an international squad, who pretty much only play in knockout tournaments, especially one with a strong tradition of going out on penalties, well, it might be a better use of time than say, all this high school who's shagging who shit.