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Posted on August 30, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay31 Comments »

BillyVid2I’m having to work my way up to a decent length session on the new treadmill slowly, but when I can do a thirty minute fast walk with a little incline on it, I’m going to switch to using it every other day, perhaps adding in something different on the ‘off’ days.

You’re not really interested in my treadmill though, are you? You just want to know what I mean by ‘one line’, don’t you?

Well, I’ve been amusing myself watching old Billy Connelly tapes while exercising, because, let’s face it, walking on a treadmill is tedious. Yesterday I was watching part of his 1994 tour, and giving myself a little extra cardio workout with all the laughing. And this one line stood out as completely, insanely funny:

‘So, I leapt out of bed – naked, except for a jaggedy-arse balaclava!

I so wish I could link you to a video clip of that little piece, but I can’t find it anywhere. However, if anyone wishes to speculate as to what that was all about, feel free – it could be fun.

No prizes, but I’ll tell you if you’re close!

Posted on August 28, 2008 in Johnny Depp, Junk Mail by Jay27 Comments »

EmailCropChain letter emails. Who likes them? C’mon, hands up! Anyone?

OK, now, be honest – how many of you hate the damn things but still pass them on?

Uh-huh. I thought so.

Yesterday, I checked my email, and there, nestling among the spam and the offers to enlarge my non-existent penis, was a message of a different sort. This was even less fun than the invitations to take out life insurance, because this was one of those evil chain letter emails that play on your worst fears and warn you of the dire things in store should you be foolish enough to even think about not passing it on to everyone in your address book, plus their brothers, their second-cousins twice removed, and the postlady’s husband.

The grammar and punctuation are bad, the spacing is worse – I counted over twenty line-breaks between one line of the ‘poem’ and the next – and the general tone is threatening. It is not remotely funny or clever, as you might expect from a spoof chain letter. This is the real deal, and they’re like viruses, these things. They’re very irritating and they have a way of causing damage and infecting others.

In this one, there are three ‘true’ case histories. In the first, a young woman goes out to lunch with her boyfriend. He proposes, she accepts. Then she goes back to work, presumably walking on air and wrapped in a pink fluffy cloud of happiness. When she gets back to work, she finds an email – this very email – waiting for her, and she deletes it without following the instructions and forwarding it to the whole world and her sister. Needless to say the boyfriend gets hit by a truck and killed.

In the second, a young woman gets the email and tries to complete the instructions, but doesn’t have five email buddies to send it to, so she fails to do it right. She goes out that evening and gets killed by a hit and run driver – even though she did her best. Poor soul.

The third example is young man who reads it diligently, and forwards the email to the required number of people – and all within 45 minutes! My, what a fine young man he must be!

Anyway, shortly afterwards, this fine young man is on his way to a Very Important job interview with a Big Company, when he meets the Secret Love of his Life. She confesses to him right there on the street that she has a Secret Crush on him and three days later they get married and have three children. Quick work, huh? My, what a fine young man! I don’t know what happened about the job, but I bet he got it. Probably Managing Director by now, I shouldn’t wonder.

So, I bet you’re curious, aren’t you? I bet you want to read this poem to see what is so earth-shatteringly important that the author will resort to threats and intimidation to get his work circulated.

Are you ready?

> Around the corner I have a friend,

>
> In this great city that has no end,

> Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,

> And before I know it, a year is gone.

> And I never see my old friends face,

> For life is a swift and terrible race,

> He knows
> I like him just as well,
>

>
> As in the days when I rang his bell.
>
> And he rang mine but we were younger then,
>
> And now we are busy, tired men.
>
> Tired of playing a foolish game,

> Tired of trying to make a name.
>
> ‘Tomorrow’ I say! ‘I will call on Jim

> Just to show that I’m thinking of him.’

> But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
>

> And distance between us grows and grows.
>
>
> Around the corner, yet miles away,
>
>
> ‘Here’s a telegram sir,’ ‘Jim died today.’
>
> And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
>
> Around the corner, a vanished friend.
>
> Remember to always say what you mean.
>
> If you
> love someone, tell them.
>
> Because when you decide that it is the right time it might
>
> be too late.
>
> Seize the day. Never have regrets.
>
> And most importantly, stay close to your friends
>
> and family, for they have helped
>
> make you the person that you are today.
>

I’ve left in some of the multiple spacing, so you get an idea just how horrible this thing is, but I’ve reduced it to save your sanity.

Now, the ‘poem’ contains some good sentiments, but overall, this email is just plain nasty. There is no outright threat, but the clear implication is that if you do not forward it to a whole bunch of people without taking too long to think about what you’re doing, you are in deep shit and will probably be run over by a truck. It is spam, ladies and gentlemen, but of a particularly insidious kind, playing on people’s fears and superstitions.

As it happens, I’m going to the dentist in the next few weeks to get my mouth checked, not only for holes in my teeth, but to make sure my oral cancer hasn’t returned. I also have several friends in bad health right now, and others with serious relationship difficulties. There’s a recession looming. I have a very fragile, elderly dog, and a very fragile elderly mother who lives alone, and I’d say that most people can write a similar list, and there’s a terrible compulsion to do anything and everything short of ritual sacrifice to make sure all goes well and stays well when we have health fears and loved ones to protect.

But I would ask you all to consider whether you should be forwarding this garbage to other people who might be frightened or intimidated by it. Or would you be better just to do as I do and say ‘Fuck it’?

I can tell you one thing. If I get run over by a truck tomorrow, it won’t be anything to do with this email – unless I were so rattled that I’m thinking about it instead of concentrating on looking both ways when I cross the road.

Oh, and by the way, this thing reminds me of Jack Sparrow in a way. You know that bit in Pirates of the Caribbean where Jack’s talking to some fellow prisoners about the legend of the Black Pearl?

One of them says to Jack ‘They say it leaves no survivors!’

And Jack grins. ‘No survivors! Then where do the stories come from, I wonder?’

Do you suppose the unfortunate young ladies in those first two stories left a note?

Posted on August 27, 2008 in Conversations by Jay14 Comments »

MugshotThe dogs were tired as we walked back into the village this morning, having completed the long trek through the fields. Clearly, they also looked a bit shifty, because a K9 unit van passed us and a barking erupted from within.

Here’s the conversation as we imagined it.

Police Dog No. 1: ‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello – what’s goin’ on ‘ere, then?

Police Dog No. 2: Yeah – wait up, Driver-Monkey! Those mangy dogs out there look highly suspicious to me. Let’s have ‘em in for questioning!

Police Dog No. 1: What are they doin’ this far from the track, that’s what I wanna know!

Police Dog No. 2: Yeah – let us out! We need to go and do some serious sniffing of bottoms!

Police Dog No. 1 *mutters*: For goodness’ sake, Fido. Can’t you get anything right? It’s ‘time to sniff butt!

The K9 van disappeared round the corner, still barking.

Police dog No. 1 *faintly*: Can’t we at least check their ear tats against the computer?

And you know how it is. When a member of the police force looks at you funny, you immediately feel guilty. Those two lily-livered dogs of ours tried to hide behind us and look inconspicuous – which isn’t easy when you’re four and a half stone with legs like walking sticks.

But I’m beginning to wonder just what they got up to in their racing days. After all, one of them is a Pirate …

LinenChestYou know it’s true.

There are gremlins that live among us, and they wreak havoc in the best run household.

Now, I’m the first to admit this is not exactly one of the best run households – I’ve always hated housework, and I’ve never seen the point of a floor you could eat off when I could be doing something more enjoyable. But now I have all these tedious health limitations and to be frank, housework hurts.

So the little gremlins who sneak around hiding remote controls and eating biros and collecting dog hair and tossing it into the clean laundry and the dishwasher – those gremlins, who lose telephone numbers and shopping lists and eat the last biscuit, those little imps have been having a field day.

But yesterday they went too far.

As a direct result of gremlin activity, I realised I was going to freeze this winter. And I was also condemned to manage with only one duvet cover, the other having mysteriously disappeared along with one half of my four seasons quilt. Or duvet. Whatever you like to call it.

How did this happen? Well, at the beginning of the summer, I split the quilt as usual, putting the thicker half away and leaving the light and silky, featherweight half on the bed for the warmer months. I put it away somewhere safe. And those darned gremlins* stole it!

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realised the extent of their perfidy. I went to change the bed, and when I looked for the clean duvet cover, there it was … gone!! It was not in the laundry bin. It was not on the drying rack, in the tumble drier, the airing cupboard, or any of the various drawers and cupboards I use to store bed linens. Neither was the other half of my duvet. Quilt. Whatever. They were gone!

Other Half was convinced that, at some point, the missing duvet cover would turn up. He said it Had To Be Somewhere.

Ha!

I looked for it, only I was somewhat hampered by not being allowed in the Gremlin Dimension, and I wouldn’t bet a dead beetle on them bringing it back just because I asked nicely.

‘John Lewis – that’s the thing’, I thought. ‘I’ll pop into town tomorrow and just buy some new stuff. That’ll fix their little wagon!’

But this morning, just to be sure, I determined to take everything out of the airing cupboard and examine every single item – no matter if it did look like a pair of pink socks or a blue shirt. Everything was coming out, and I would prove, once and for all, that the duvet cover, plus the winter half of my duvet, were both irretrievably lost. And then I’d go shopping.

And, would you believe it? There, on the very top shelf (where I never ever put duvet covers or quilts) were both of the missing items!! And the quilt had somehow got inside the cover and buttoned itself up … and it had to be gremlins, because I absolutely, one hundred percent, refuse to believe that I’ve been managing all summer by washing my one and only duvet cover and getting it straight back on the bed, and that for some bizarre reason, I had stuffed both the missing items up into that black hole, still together and therefore unwashed.

Surely it has to be the gremlins …

Tell me – how old am I again? And have I had my tea yet?

 

* To be fair, it could have been the Nac Mac Feagles.

 

Today’s nominees for the awards are:

Kick Ass Blogger – This one goes to Drowsey Monkey. Drowsey is one of my favourite bloggers, and never fails to amuse and entertain. I like the fact that her content is so varied, too!

Brillante – One of the first blogs to be added to my feed reader was English Mum in Ireland and it’s been sitting there giving me pleasure ever since. Well done, EM – you’re a bright spot in the blogosphere!

Today’s Top Commenter is Ruth Hull Chatlien. Ruth has an excellent and inspirational blog of her own, but still finds the time to go around and leave interesting and thoughtful comments on others. Thanks, Ruth!