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Toulouse, Haute-Garonne, France
Living alone is the key to inner happiness...Isn't it?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Quarter Pounders, Katie Price and Shoes vs Food

This week I was in London. As I recline in my Ikea Jerrik Swivel Chair and consider the events of the last few days, several in particular jump out at me and present themselves as Blog-worthy. None of them really are, I just don't have much else to say; it's been a lean week. Haha. You'll laugh later.

Katie Price to Quit Music

That's right folks - you heard it here first. Except you didn't, because we all knew it was definately going to happen when she announced her intentions about going into music in the first place. And what does that even mean anyway? At which point did her ever being 'in' allow her to qualify to 'quit' the music business? She was never 'in' music. Idiot. According to our friends at Marieclaire.co.uk, the star (again, negligible use of the word 'star') has decided to arrest her efforts at making music, after her single, Free to Love Again, flopped, reaching just #60 in the charts. Basically it was terribly and amazingly awful. Quelle surprise. No but really, I had thought, going on past occurences of similar nature, that a washed-up topless model (who are often renowned for their wide range of talents by the way) would be really good at singing! Whoever said that is a moron. Her agent probably. Having just listened to the song again, I'm frankly surprised it got as high as #60. The poor thing's probably got vertigo, given the lowly place it truly deserves. She attemps a kind of Madona/Gaga dance trip, but instead achieves a rather unimaginative computer-generated drone. The backing instrumentals aren't great either.

Also, 'Free to love again?' Not with that picture love. Looks like she's been taken for a joyride by Hector from the Illiad. If you didn't get that joke, then I apologise for all of the above. Because you're probably a Katie Price fan.

McDonald's, I'm NOT loving it

This week I have uncovered a fact about the world's best-known fast food chain that is more groundbreaking than Watchdog, You Are What You Eat and Supersize Me combined. Upon entering the aforementioned establishment on the 23rd of July last, I fixed my gaze on their oh-so-colourful electronic wall-mounted menus. Oh the modernity. My eyes came to rest upon one item in particular; the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Now, I didn't have enough cash for a 'meal'*, so I thought I'd go for the staple QPwC. No problems you say, wap your quid on the counter and be done. No no, it costs £2.99. That's ALMOST THREE POUNDS! That, my friends, is a disgrace. Firstly, they never used to be so expensive. And secondly, the name suggests that the thing should cost a sixth of what I paid for it. In case McDonald's haven't noticed (and I'm so sure they haven't), a quarter of a pound is 25p. Maybe an extra 2p for the plastic masquerading as cheese, but essentially, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese should cost 25p. Plus cheese costs.

*Their use of the word 'meal' is so far from the truth here, it almost becomes 'meat'. Oh the irony.

Food vs Shoes

Forget bullfighting in Catalonia, the battle worth recapping this week is the one I had with the National Express bus driver, on my coach home from London. Contrary to what they said about doing their best to 'assure my comfort and safety', it turned out you can't have food on the coach. And I was Marvin, as they say down there.

 "You can't take food on mate. Food smells, see? Drinks are alright though, they don't smell".

Now, I took issue with several things in the Driver's immaculately gramatically structured parlance. Firstly, food does not always smell. MY food smelled, but that was because it was a bit of dodgy cheese and a positively biohazardous megabag of roast beef flavoured Monster Munch (incidentally, have the people at Monster Munch ever even tasted roast beef?). However, you know what they say; same rules apply for all. So if little Jimmy No Mates in seat 47 is allowed a Taz bar, I should be allowed my pungent sarnies. Secondly, drink sometimes does smell. What if someone brought some milk on? It was 28 degrees in London that day...

So we cannot eat food on the coach, yet people are permitted to remove their shoes. Let me tell you, I'd rather choke down a load of ageing cheesey sandwhiches than have to sit in front of the bare-footed Miss Hot Dog Jamaica 1995 for 2 and a half hours. Trust me, I did both.

In summary then, this week I discovered, and have since proved, the following three things. Or facts, as they are now known:

1. Katie Price is, has been, and always will be, rubbish. In every sense of the word imaginable.

2. McDonald's are conniving little cheats, who employ false advertising as a building block upon which to murder the whole planet through cholesterol overdose and other heath-related complications.

3. National Express Group PLC employ fascist, illogical drivers with no common sense or rationale regarding odour prevention.

So, another positive week then. Here endeth the lesson.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Animal Rights and Beauty Parlours

So this week, given that I have no job (thanks, Government) or hobbies (thanks, HDTV), I have to thank my lucky charm (if I had one, which I don’t. Do Dream Catchers count?) that my house was invaded.Invaded, admittedly, is a strong word. But I’m told one needs to open the dialogue of one’s Blogs with an attention grabber. 


It worked in 1939, so why not now? Although, it would have been najechany in the original Polish.* So, this week, my house as been hosting more than its usual quota of inhabitants. Around 50,000 more, if truth be told. They’re small, brown and live behind the boiler. And some of them have wings. As many of you have doubtless already guessed, it’s ants. But not the nice ants like in A Bug’s Life and Antz. These are real ants, with ‘survival of the colony’ in mind. If only the Polish had been as successful as I in countering their invaders, the early 1940s would have been a lot less eventful. Although, I doubt sweeping up the Nazi threat with a Morphy Richards PremiAIR 1700 would have been as effective as it proved in this instance. Honestly, believe me when I say; Ant vs Hoover - no contest.

*Incidentally, the polish word for 'peak' is szczytowy, which when vocalised causes vomiting. Don't worry too much though, if you pronounce the word 'polish' wrong, you can use it to re-shine the furniture afterwards.

As well as our Formicidae (ant family) friends, there has also been frequent visits from a member of the Sciruidae (squirrel family, ie. a squirrel) this week. I'm no animal expert, but I'm pretty sure it's the same little fellow who comes back again and again. First it was the strawberries (the protective anti-invader mesh is laughed aside with tragic ease), and then he moved on to his other staple food source; nuts. At least, that's going off the common layman's understanding of the phrase 'nuts and berries'. Either way, those bird feeders have been ravaged. Of said bird feeders (one of which is a bird hotel, don't you know), four are hanging up in the garden. Well, were. As of monday, two remain in the garden, and two are in the garden shed, having been savaged by something, like the goat in Jurassic Park. As of this morning, one of these broken ones has moved to the garden path, with its lid off, and is now empty. Time to apply for that gun license...

Not only, however, have our Formicidae (Ant family) friends caused me a problem this week. There also happens to be a rather inquisitive Sciurida (Squirrel family, ie. a squirrel) who has been doing his best to upset me. And my strawberries. Not content with stealing the majority of the juicy red fruit through its protective mesh, he has now moved onto his other main staple food source, (and I’m going off the common household phrase, ‘nuts and berries’ here); which is, well, nuts.  There are 4 bird feeders in my garden. Or rather, there were last week. Yesterday, there were two bird feeders in my garden, and two broken bird feeders in my garden shed. As of this morning, and due to the shed door being left open, there were two bird feeders in my garden, one broken bird feeder in the garden shed, and one broken, open and empty bird feeder on the garden path. Time to get my gun licence…
*Incidentally, the polish word for ‘peak’ is ‘szczyt’, which, upon vocalising, causes vomiting. But don’t worry too much, if you pronounce ‘polish’ wrong, you can use it to re-shine the furniture.  
Does my hair look as good as my wallet feels light?   
Does my hair look as good as my wallet feels light? The other provider of excitement this week was my haircut. Only after having typed this sentence has its true depressive nature struck me. Honestly, even though Newport has tried its best to copy Liverpool’s Super Lamp Banana idea by depositing model dragons everywhere, Capital of Culture it is not.
Basically, boring personal anecdotes aside, I got my haircut. The subject of this week’s rant is really just that I cannot believe that some of these places charge so much. I had the second-cheapest option on the menu, a ‘gentleman’s dry cut’. I didn’t think the tight-faced woman would give me a discount had I pointed out that I wasn’t really a Gentleman, so I didn’t ask. I paid £11.50. I can hear the Ooo’s and Ahh’s. After that, had I so wished, I could have gone into the (dubiously named) Back Room, for a waxing. HELLO, hot wax! I have never been waxed, but I’m told that it can be painful. A chest wax costs £15. A chest-to-waist wax costs £25. This means that, for some unknown (and probably unsavoury) reason, there is ten pound’s worth of waxable hair in the space between the chest and waist. You don’t have to be a genius to realise that this would only be true if you were waxing a Gorilla. And I don’t think he’d qualify for the ‘gentleman’s dry cut’ either. After that you can get your nails done, for £30. Please. I cut mine this morning after a shower. For free.  
                                           "Do I look in a waxing mood?"     
Essentially, what I’m getting at is that this is all massively overpriced. Did the little pot of wax cost so much it warrants a price tag of £30 for a tenth of its usage? Now I’m no maths genius, but that’s £300 a pot. What.Ever.  
I am aware that a significant part of my unfortunate readership are involved, in one way or another, in cosmetics. And to you, I apologise. Not because I’ve just slagged off your livelihoods, interests and hobbies for the last few paragraphs; but rather because you feed a rip-off industry with no morals, social fairness or economic credibility.   
Having said all this, I’m male (I think), and thus my purse strings are never tightened by this unforgiving industry. And, in fairness, makeup does make women look really good. So (and for the first time ever), I'm going to go contrary to all I've said before when I ask the question; Is L'OrĂ©al really 'worth it'? Hell yeah it is.  

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

You'd never find tweed in an electro club

This week I drove down to the South East (sarff eeast) to London (landin) to visit some friends. For security reasons, I can't state their names, mainly because it is possible that some amongst the literally thousands (millions possibly, the page counter's stopped working so WHO KNOWS) of you may harbour stalkerish thoughts, but more truthfully because the people reading this probably know them anyway.

Yah, no like, Totally

The timing of my London trip was excellent, as it falls in with one of our new Youtube sensations, VM Productions' Gap Yah. We all know the video, so I won't introduce it. On the second day of my stay in our High Wycome base camp (steady, stalkers), we went to the much maligned (and hereafter infamous, I hope) Henley Royal Regatta. For those who do not know, this is a 5-day outdoor event encompassed around many individually classed amateur rowing races. The Regatta's website, http://www.hrr.co.uk/, informs us of this fact. It also boas - states that the Regatta costs "over £2 million a year", has bought Temple Island, and 'acquired' (taken) land on the Buckinghamshire bank of the river. How commendable. At this point you may be detecting a portion of sarcasm (what? Really?) in these words. There is no mistake.
I've no problem with the rowing, the Lamborghinis or any other anchors of the continuing 'class war' ever-present in modern society. It's just, well, what are those straw hats and coloured blazers all about? Actually, the clothes are alright as well. I suppose. I would argue then that this is the common outcome of any modern-day rant towards the upper class - what is it that makes them so unbearably annoying? Is it one reason? Is it many? Is there a way to chronologise them? Of course there is. I know what you're thinking, and yes, it's another countdown list. Sorry in advance for any offense this may (probably will) cause. As you will see not least from the title, this time I've tried to make it as uncontroversial as possible.

Eight Things Everyone Hates About the Upper Class
8. They cannot behave in public. Their social skills are usually poor, especially when communicating with people of 'lesser' stature, eg. hairdressers

7. They tend to be pretty arrogant, in terms of their perceived place amongst the other people they have to unfortuneately share the world with (namely, us).

6. They breed horses. For fun.

5. Too. Much. Money! Stop buying mozaic floor patterns for your swimming pools and extensions to put on your 'land'. Actually, stop with land stuff altogether. NOBODY BUYS LAND ANYMORE!

4. Their lives, that's to say money, is hereditory. Which is a massive kick in the teeth for the hard-working House and Garden Staff, I can tell you. Also, little Cecil and Pandora don't have to get proper 'jobs' when they grow up (oh perish the thought, mother!), because daddy's legacy (not daddy's actually, because he got it from his dad, who may have been murdered by the way, although that might not be true...) will pay their way their whole lives.

3. They're so cliquey! There's only one thing worse than a posh person, and that's two posh people. Worse than two is three, and worse than three is four and so on. I see a trend developing...

2. Contrary to what was said earlier, their dress sense does often twang. Those boating hats are frankly ridiculous and the multicoloured jackets look like the whole lot of them got their clothes tailored at Hansel and Gretels' house, using 'natural' materials.

1. Accent. Seriously, what is that all about? Stop pronouncing words wierdly. And stop scoffing! And putting overly-exaggerated breaks and downward inflections in sentences. I actually heard one guy going "yah, and then I was like 'oops, Guilty. As. Charged!'" What a noob.

I suppose it is testiment to my earlier point that I had to write a list of 8, since I couldn't really think of 10 reasons. I suppose this just angers us more, because we know that really these people are probably more deserving of pity rather than hatred. It's probably just jealousy. Definately we were jealous at the Regatta when we didn't have Enclosure (what are you, sheep?) Passes, so had to make do with skulking on the rubbish part of the river, up to our necks in nettles and cholera.
Didn't even see a bloody boat race.

London Town

What a great place London is. Massive, but at the same time seperated and diverse. To tell you the truth, we just went there to party, so there's no point going into it in great detail. Probably the most notable observation was that we somehow managed to drop about 5 classes in 2 hours. It was great, home sweet home, back amongst those who accepted us. The club we went to certainly didn't have an 'enclosure', unless you count the smoking area 'round the back. Not a pipe in sight though. I should really follow this up with a more detailed account of our nuit blanche complete with the 1.5 hour early morning (Night)bus road trip across central London. But that class rant episode has warn me out.

So that pretty much wraps it up for this week. Well, this time. I don't want to trick myself into having to post this weekly now that I've got copious amounts of free time on my unemployed hands...I've decided to start a new feature, which so far doesn't have a name. 'This week, I have enjoyed...' doesn't really have much of a snap to it, but it's 00:54 in the morning and I've been up for ages writing this. The things I do for you. Therefore it is in the temporary absence of a better name, that I give you
This week, I have enjoyed...

  • Quavers
  • Welcome Break Radio
  • The wonders of Sat Nav
  • 5 Alive

Excellent. Feel free to discuss all these in the comments below, or alternatively at home or school with your friends.
Make sure you tell them where you got it from though.