Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Why we should all be supporting Julian Assange

If you don't know who Julian Assange is then you haven't been paying attention to the Internet or the News.
Julian Assange is the founder of Wikileaks and right now the USA would rather spend their time trying to prosecute him than any major terrorist.

What is his crime?
He's telling the US Government's dirty little secrets to the world.

And that is, in fact, not actually a crime. The US Government are falling over themselves trying to pin something on Assange so they can put him away somewhere out of the public eye. Chances are he would disappear into the kind of place where the US Government likes to undertake some light waterboarding.
True, the man who supplied Assange with the leaked Cables broke the Law but Assange most certainly has not.
As he said in this article on The Australian: Don't shoot [the] messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths.
The US Government themselves have admitted that his actions have not caused harm to anybody, yet they are liberally applying their very favourite label of 'Terrorist' to him.
Of course, they apply that to anybody they want to make conveniently disappear.
A Terrorist, by definition, is a person who terrorizes or frightens others, usually to get what they want. Therefore, the US Government are the Terrorists, along with every other government trying to silence Assange for exposing their lies, using underhand tactics, like freezing his bank accounts, when he has committed no crime.

We should all be supporting him because what he is doing is right. He is a very clever man and, no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to silence him. He has the support of the internet and many people of import, around the world. The documents the US Government are desperately trying to keep under wraps are now all over the world in encrypted files and Assange has assured his detractors that if anything happens to him, the decryption key will be sent out as well.

All he's trying to do is bring a little transparency to the underhand dealings of the Government. Candidates all over the world build their platform on promises of transparency but never actually deliver it. Assange is simply taking the decision out of their hands.

As the famous quote goes, "People should not be afraid of their Government; The Government should be afraid of The People."
And the US Government is fucking petrified.

Monday, 6 December 2010

On The Stupidest Parcel I Have Ever Received

I know I'm supposed to be on hiatus and I totally still am but this was too stupid an occurrence for me to not post about it.

The story goes like this:

I ordered somebody a Christmas present from then received a letter a few days later telling me it was out of stock and some crap about 'A Big Thank You Coupon' and a 'Kitchen 4 Catalogue'.

Click to embiggen

Fairly annoyed that they hadn't bothered to mention stock level when I ordered, I just hoped it would get shipped out in time.

Then today I received this box:

CD is just for size reference. It's a copy of Linux Puppy, in case that helps.
Assuming the item had come back into stock as quickly as I hoped, I proceeded to open up this rather large box.

Do you know what was inside? It certainly wasn't the present I was hoping for.

If you haven't figured it out by now, they sent me what is tantamount to an empty box. They sent me this large box, complete with packaging I might add, so they could rush me my 'A Big Thank You Coupon' and 'Kitchen 4 Catalogue'.

What. The. Fuck.

Not only have they sent me a large box for no reason at all, by courier, they will have to send me another one when my item comes back into stock. I just cannot understand why anybody would pack and send this box. It has packing material in it, for fuck sake!

I just had to share this piece of utter idiocy. Hiatus back on from...... Now. Unless something else like this happens, of course.

Oh and, Mum? Your present may be a little late...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

FwF is on Hiatus

As I'm sure you've noticed, I've not been writing recently.

I feel like I'm stuck in kind of a rut. I just seem to be enveloped in a cloak of apathy most of the time and that doesn't exactly make for funny posts. So I've decided to put FwF on hiatus for a bit to give myself time.

Knowing it's sat here waiting for content is putting pressure on me to write and the more I try to write, the worse it is. I figure that if I put it on hiatus, I can write if I want to without the pressure that another Monday has come and gone without a new post.

I'm hoping Christmas might jump me out of this slump and I can get back to writing in the New Year. Who knows...

What I do know is that, up until I stopped writing, I was getting more hits which, although good, increased the pressure on me to fill the site with worthwhile content.

I am a very self-analytical person and, usually, my own hardest critic. Now every line I write seems like crap and even on the odd occasion I write a line I actually like I can't seem to link it to more to create an actual paragraph. The chance of managing a complete post is nigh on zero.

One of the most irritating things about it is that I do have some good ideas sat in my drafts; ideas that could become good posts and one that could become an easy and reliable way to post new content every week. I just can't write them.

I suppose it all comes down to the fact that my biggest fear is failure and every time I try and write and all that comes out is crap I know I've failed and then the next time I think about writing I don't even want to pick up my laptop because I know there's a damn good chance I will fail all over again.

I saw this picture today and it brought home how much all this is affecting me:

Normally I would have been like the rest of the internet community and had a good old laugh at this picture but today it just made me really sad. In case you don't know, the old fella on the right is famous Comic book author, Stan Lee and the guy on the left is dressed as Wolverine, one of Lee's most famous characters.
This picture makes me sad because this is probably the happiest day of that guy's life and now people are mocking him on the internet. Yes, he's fat; yes, he's most likely a massive loser who lives in his Mum's basement but on that day he was fucking Wolverine and he got to meet Stan Lee and have his picture taken with him. You can see it in his body language: The way he's holding his hands like a little girl meeting a big movie star, the slightly bewildered smile as his mind rushes to process what is happening.
He probably has that photo framed in a place of honour.

Now imagine you're that guy and you see this on the internet. Imagine how it would feel to know that your proudest moment is the butt of an internet joke. Imagine looking at that picture with fresh eyes, rather than the rose coloured spectacles you've always seen it with before, and seeing what everybody else sees.

That's how I feel.

I don't actually expect anybody to be reading this but, if you are and you have been where I am and got past it, please tell me how. I'm sick of feeling like this.

Friday, 29 October 2010

In Memoriam

Today I'm saying goodbye to my Granddad.

It's strange how you can not see someone for years and then miss them so much when you realise you will never see them again.
You also realise how little you really knew them. I know so little about him. I know he was a Veteran of WWII, where he was a Ships Gunner in the Navy; I know he did a fantastic job raising my Mother; I know he was a wonderful, kind and caring man.

But I never really knew him as a person. I guess most people feel like that when they loose a Grandparent. Grandparents are the kindly old people who would always give you sweets or a pound when you were a kid. You tend to see them less as you get older, which you justify to yourself with excuses.

Then one day they're gone.

My Granddad was 92 years old. He was born in 1918, when you still had to hand wind most cars before you could start it, and before television. I wish I had just taken some time to talk to him about what it was like to see the 20th century unfold, what his life was like, the details, the stories.

When I was about 10 years old, I did a project on WWII for school. I interviewed my Granddad and did the project around him. He told me stories about his time in the Navy, what it was like living on the ships, what it was like being a Gunner. He showed me his medals and even let me take them into school. I was like Gollum with The Precious. I wouldn't let them out of my sight. Now I'd just like to hold them again and remember being a 10 year old boy, sat on the floor with a tape recorder. On that day, he became a hero to me and it's only now I realise it.

That project was thrown away, along with all my other old school books and things, when I moved out of my Parent's house. I got an A for that project. It was probably the best bit of school work I ever did. I even got a certificate.

Today I'm saying goodbye to my Granddad. I just wish I could tell him he's a hero and shake his hand one more time.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Jim the Tractor Fan

Jim loved Tractors.
Like, really loved Tractors. Imagine the thing you love the most and how much you love it. Got it? Jim totally loved Tractors at least 5 times more than that.

It all started when he was a young child. When he was no more than an infant he saw a large Tractor rolling down the lane outside his house. He was transfixed. Everything about the Tractor, from the huge wheels to the growl of the massive engine, excited Jim more than anything he'd known in his short life (and babies totally get excited about the dumbest shit).

After that, the only books he would read were Tractor books; the only toys he would play with were Toy Tractors; the only things he would draw were Tractors. Tractor, tractors, tractors, all day, every day.

His parents figured this obsessions with Tractors couldn't really do any harm and it was nice seeing their child so excited about something so they encouraged it, figuring he would grow out of it sooner or later.

They decorated his room with Tractor wallpaper and carpets, bought him a Tractor lamp, bought him every tractor toy they could find. His father even custom built him a bed that looked like a Tractor.

When Jim hit 17, his tractor obsession was still very much alive and his dream was to study agriculture and mechanics with the aim of one day being a Tractor operator and repairman.

He worked hard all through college and University, putting in long hours and working part time at the local garage to garner both experience and money to put towards buying his own real-life Tractor.

Then finally, on his 21st Birthday, he put a down payment on a brand new FarmMaster 3000.

It was a majestic machine, capable of pulling all manner of farm equipment and moving huge loads.
He packed his Tractor centric belongings into the cab and, with a farewell to his parents, set off to pursue his dream.

After enquiring at several farms he eventually found one that was hiring. They snapped up his offer as their Tractor had just had a nasty run in with a herd of angry cows and was a little worse for wear so his FarmMaster and mechanic skills were invaluable.

For a while Jim was the happiest he had ever been. He was living his dream: Working on his Tractor by day; fixing the farmer's ailing tractor by night.

Alas, the happiness couldn't last. A year passed on the farm and things seemed to be going perfectly, until one fateful day.

The day started much like any other day. Jim got up early and went to check on Bessie (which his FarmMaster was now named). After doing the daily maintenance and hooking up the trailer to haul a load of Cattle Feed to the upper dairy fields, he set out to get on with his work.
As he was unloading the feed the herd of cattle began to act strangely towards Bessie the Tractor, mooing at it and stamping their feet. Too late did Jim realise that this was the same cattle who had ruined the Farmer's other tractor many months before.

"Imma fuck you up."

The biggest cow of them all started pawing the ground and snorting, eyes fixed on the Tractor. Before Jim could do anything to try and avert the imminent crisis, she charged, hitting the door of the Tractor with enough force to buckle it. The door swung open and she stuck her head straight in, pulling the hand-brake off with her long, prehensile tongue.

Straight away the Tractor started rolling away down the field. Jim went to run after it but was roughly yanked off his feet. A piece of metal jutting from the trailer had snagged his thick overalls and was now dragging him along behind the rapidly accelerating Runaway Tractor.

Jim could do nothing but yell warnings and try not to get too badly hurt as the tractor careened down the hillside, heading straight for the Farmer's house. All he could see about him was cows. The whole heard was flanking the Tractor and bellowing, some even overtaking the out of control machine. Suddenly there was a searing pain in Jim's head as it made contact with a large rock, protruding from the grass, and he was overcome by darkness.

As he opened his eyes it took him a minute to orientate himself. His eyes searched his surroundings, trying to digest the carnage that greeted them. Rubble was all that remained of the Farmer's house, strewn here and there with bits of Cow.

With an effort he pulled himself to his feet. To his surprise, the tractor was still running, idling away on top of the remains of the Farmer's house, although now when he looked at it he no longer saw a thing of beauty.

All his eyes saw, when he looked upon what he had previously though of as magnificent and beautiful, was a machine of carnage and death; a monster bent on destruction.

"Imma fuck you up."
 He ran from the farm, running as if pursued by Tractor Satan and all his Tractor Demons.

He ran and ran, he knew not for how long, until he collapsed from exhaustion.
He was woken by somebody gently shaking him and upon opening his eyes he saw it was his Mother.
He had unwittingly run to, and collapsed in front of, his childhood home which he had not been back to ever since the day he rode forth to start his new life.

For the next few days he lay in a deep fugue as he recovered from his injuries and the long run home. His Mother dutifully ministered to his needs, pouring water over his parched lips and pressing a damp cloth to his feverish brow.

Eventually he stirred and opened his eyes to see his Mother looking down on him. At first all he could focus on was her smile but after a few moments the rest of the room started to swim into view.
It was his room, as he had left it, only now all the toys, furniture and decorations he had treasured seemed sinister and evil. The very sight of a Tractor sent a chill straight to his bones.

Jim bolted from the room and refused to return until every single Tractor was disposed of. After that he became progressively reclusive, spending more and more time in his now very bare bedroom, rarely venturing into the outside world, until he ceased to go outside at all.
He spent day after day in the dark, haunted by visions of the carnage at The Farm.

His parents became more and more worried about their son. He was becoming almost hermit like: his hair long and unruly, his skin greasy and pale.
Eventually they decided something needed to be done and as soon as possible. They could no longer sit and watch their son, once so animated by life and passion, fade away.

They sent him to the best psychiatrist they could afford and, after many sessions and much leading, she managed to get him to relate the events from The Farm and set him on the path to dealing with them and putting them behind him.
"After all," she said, "it wasn't your fault! There was nothing you could have done."

Jim came home that day a changed man. He felt alive again. He finally felt like he could move forward with his life.

He set out for a walk, his body still weak from so much neglect. He took it slow and didn't pay much attention to his course. The sun was warm on his face and the light breeze brought him the scent of fresh cut grass.

Jim was snapped from his revelry by a scream. It was piercing and filled with terror. He looked in the direction he thought it came from and saw thick smoke billowing from a house down the road.

He ran to the scene and, looking up at the upper windows, saw a woman holding a small child. It was she that had screamed and he could see, from the way the flames licked from the windows on the ground floor, that she was well and truly trapped.

Thinking not of himself and only of saving the poor woman and her infant child he ran to the front door.
He opened the letter box, placed his mouth to the heated metal and proceeded to suck all the fire and smoke from the house.

With the Mother and child safe he collapsed onto the front lawn, coughing smoke and ash.
The Woman appeared at the front door, child in her arms, and rushed towards him, tears of joy streaming down her face.
She embraced him and thanked him over and over again.
"Thank you so much for saving me and my baby!" she effused through her tears, "But how did you do it?"

He looked her in the eye, cleared some ash from his throat and said:

"I'm an Ex-Tractor Fan."

Author's Note: This is my second Shaggy Dog Story and I hope you enjoyed it. Find the first one here.

Friday, 8 October 2010

On Disappointment

I am a creature of habit.
I have my little rituals and I don't like them to be fucked about with.
This is partly from necessity; I will forget to do things if I don't do them out of habit. I have a memory like a really shitty sieve. A sieve that's had a really fucking hard life, all rusty and full of holes.
I have poor information retention, is what I'm saying.

Tell me a piece of important information, it's gone in five minutes. On a good day.
But tell me a useless fact about Wombats and I will never, ever forget it.
Isn't the human mind a wonderful thing!

Due to my nature of habit-out-of-necessity, coupled with my OCD tendencies, other random things I do regularly, at a certain time or place, become habit and when they get fucked up, it ruins everything.

I pick up my other half most evenings at a tram stop near my work. Because of the difference between the time I finish work and the time her tram arrives I generally sit in the car for the best part of an hour and read my book.
During this time I like to enjoy a packet of Walkers Salt and Shake crisps.
This started as me doing that once, deciding it was good and doing it again. I now always take a pack just for that. I'm often not even hungry but I will eat them anyway. It's part of my routine.
Plus, I fucking love Salt and Shake.


Today, however, I opened my Salt and Shake and found it lacking. There was no Salt sachet in my Salt and Shake.

What. The. Fuck.


However, I know opportunity when I see it and I also know from past events (involving Fox's Echo Biscuits and unreasonable biscuit/delicious minty filling ratios) that if you email them to tell them their product was below par they will often send you vouchers. I learnt this from a work-mate, many years ago, who did it as a hobby, just to see what he could blag for free. A lot of stuff, apparently. I tried it with Fox's and got a load of vouchers. Then the chocolate was buy one get one free in the supermarket. Fucking result!

I also understand that, as one of the minimum-wage jobsworths who usually receive these complaints, it is not the fault of the person who receives the email, so I try and keep the tone light.

This is what I sent to Walkers:

A sad, sad thing happened today.
I opened my packet of Salt and Shake, looking forward to the British Potato Goodness, and found it bereft of a Salt Sachet.
As I'm sure you will appreciate, this somewhat ruined my Salt and Shake experience.
It doesn't work when it's just 'And Shake'.

I just wanted to make sure that you know some packets of Salt and Shake are emerging into the world, unable to fulfil their full potential.

 I'll update you on the results. Finger crossed, cos I really like Salt and Shake and I really, really like free stuff.

Monday, 20 September 2010

On Health and Safety

One day Common Sense was walking down the road, minding his own business, maybe thinking about what he was going to have for dinner when WHAM! He's down and bleeding, head split open from ear to ear. He rolls onto his back and looks into the face of his assailants and there, standing over him, is Health and Safety. Then it all goes black.

Health and Safety is like Morphine: A little bit can take your pain away but a lot will ruin your life.
I absolutely despise Health and Safety. In the half a century I have been alive, I have watched it grow from a Common Sense based practice to an exercise in utter lunacy.
Thanks to Health and Safety people can't do their jobs effectively. Bin men aren't allowed to handle rubbish; Window Cleaners are often not allowed to use ladders; TV Aerial fitters aren't allowed on roofs. It's fucking stupid. And who's fault is it? America, that's who. Their culture of Sue, sue some more, ask some questions and then sue again has come over to the UK and utterly buggered the place.

Must be worth a mil!
I think it's worst for kids. Sure, our insurance premiums are all sky high and a lot of us have difficulty performing our jobs, but Health and Safety wants to suck all the fun out of childhood.
I've heard cases of schools where children aren't allowed to run in the playground, in case they fall over. Seriously! How fucked is that? A lot of schools have had to rip out play areas because a kid has fallen and hurt themselves (like kids do) and the parents have sued.
When I was a kid, if you fell you got the fuck up and carried on. If it was bad, you went to the school office and, depending on the situation, they either gave you a plaster or called an ambulance. Now, most schools aren't allowed to give out things as simple as plasters anymore because 1 in a million people might be allergic or some such shit. It's fucking stupid. Many schools have banned Football and other ball games, deeming them hazardous. What are kids supposed to do now? Stand still in the yard and talk quietly?

When I was a kid we would spend our break times running around, playing football, chasing each other; generally having fun. I remember a few injuries, but not many! Me and my friends used to play full contact roller hockey in a school playground with almost no padding and we never had one serious injury. Not one. I spent most of my childhood either on a mountain bike, jumping over whatever I could find, or on inline skates; on the street and in skate parks. I saw many a broken wrist or ankle in the skate parks (though I never had one myself) and, nearly every time, I would see the skater back again, often still in a cast, as soon as was possible. What does a broken wrist really matter, in the long run?

But it isn't even about that, is it. It's nothing to do with the health and welfare of the child. That's the bit that annoys me the most. No-one actually gives the faintest fuck about someone getting hurt: They just don't want to get sued.

Judges need to wake the fuck up and stop awarding claims to idiots who fall over because they haven't the sense to look where they're going. It's not the Council's fault that you can't walk down a pavement without falling on your face. That's your fault.
It's not the schools fault if your kid falls over in the playground. That's just what happens to kids. They'll be fine.
It's not your employers fault that sometimes floors need to be cleaned and this makes them slippy. Look where you're fucking going.

The system is there to help people who are the victims of others being idiots. It's fair enough to make a claim against someone who rear-ends you at a traffic light because they were adjusting their eye make up or if a builder chucks something from a scaffold and it breaks your skull.

The problem is, of course, that the system gets abused: people make claims they shouldn't make and they win! It costs UK governments about £800 million per year and we cannot afford to spare that sort of money!
The bulk of these claims are from people tripping on pavements that have cracked or become uneven, the irony of course being that the councils can't afford to fix them because of all the claims being made.

"Had an accident that wasn't your fault?"
Look, I have fallen over many, many times in my life. I'm fallen over pavements, fallen off walls, fallen on my face whilst skating, and I have never sued anyone. I think ambulance chasing lawyers are parasites. They encourage people to sue over stupid things that are their own fault. The adverts drive me up the fucking wall, as well. They're so ubiquitous; you can't get away from them. TV adverts, radio adverts, billboards, posters; Accident and Emergency departments are strewn with posters and pamphlets for them. It makes me sick. They may as well have some greasy lawyer going around whispering to everyone like Grima fucking Wormtongue.

As a song once said: What the fuck am I working for? Just fall over in railway station and climb 2 mil in compensation.

If we all used our common sense and admitted to our mistakes the world would be a better place. We'd all save money on our insurance and we'd be able to do away with snivelling little Health and Safety workers and slimy ambulance chasing lawyers.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Tale Of The Noise

There was once a high powered banker who became disillusioned with the cash-hungry, soul-sapping world he was living in. He decided he wanted to get away from it all and return to his real passion: Art.

So, one day he quit his job, pulled his dusty painting paraphernalia out of the attic and set out to find something beautiful.

He travelled for many days and many nights, he knew not where. Along the way he sold his big, fancy car and bought a dirty, old Landrover and all the supplies he would need for his quest of self discovery.

After weeks of travelling, he crested a rise in the landscape and ahead of him he saw exactly what he had been looking for. High up, clinging to the side of a mountain, was a Monastery. At the foot of the mountain was a wide lake of the most beautiful ultramarine. Starting at the edge of the lake and climbing up the mountain side was a deep, dark forest.

He made his way to the flat, soft grass a little way from the lake and set up his camp.
By the time he had set everything up and eaten it was too dark to start painting so he settled into his little tent, weary from so many weeks travelling, and fell straight to sleep.

He woke with a start. All around was darkness. He strained his ears to try and hear what had awoken him. He waited in the dark, hardly daring to breath. Then he heard it. A loud, piercing noise unlike anything he had heard before. He knew not what it was but was certain it was not of this world.

The Noise continued on into the night and, although he managed to relax a little when no danger made itself apparent, he could not sleep.

As the first rays of the sun climbed over the horizon, The Noise finally stopped. The former banker turned artist finally managed to get a couple of hours of much needed rest before he was to start his work.

After a meager few hours sleep he emerged from his tent and looked upon the day. It was beautiful beyond his wildest dreams. Looking upon the sunlight glinting off the water and the mists climbing over the forest, up to the Monastery, he almost forgot his harrowing night.

He quickly set about readying himself for a day of painting, setting up his easel and spreading all his pencils, paints and brushes across a sheet by his stool. The hours quickly passed him by and it was soon evening. Once again, exhausted, he cooked a small meal and retired to his tiny tent.

A little earlier than the night before, the sound started again. He bolted upright in his tent but it seemed to be no closer or further then the previous night. He tried to sleep, covering his head with his pillow, but it was to no avail. No matter what he did, he could not escape that sound.

Once again it stopped suddenly as dawn broke, he got a few hours sleep and then got back to working on his masterpiece.

The next night the same thing happened and the night after that, until, the following night, he just couldn't take it anymore. He ran out of his tent and spun in circles, trying to pin-point where the sound was coming from. Although it was reflected from the mountain side and the lake, he was fairly sure it was coming from the Monastery. He resolved that, first thing tomorrow, he was going to find out what the hell it was once and for all.

As the sun rose and the sound abated, he pulled his weary, sleep deprived body from his tent and set off towards the Monastery. At the base of the mountain he came to a gate. It was large in stature and made of thick, age-hardened wood. Upon it was set a huge knocker, in the shape of a head, but to what manner of beast the head belonged he could not say.

He lifted the huge ring, needing both hands, and let it fall against the metal plate with an almighty bang.

After a few moments a small opening appeared and a pair of eyes appraised him.
"Yes?" asked the eyes.
"Erm.. Hello. I've been camping down by the lake and every night I hear this terrible noise. It seems to be coming from the Monastery and I have barely had a wink of sleep in days. What is it? I have to know!"
"Oh, I see. Are you a Monk?"
"No... Why do you ask?"
"Well, if you aren't a Monk, I can't tell you."
And with that the opening snapped shut.

Rather annoyed, he turned away from the door and headed back to his tent to continue his masterpiece but try as he might, he could not paint. His mind was too distracted.

He retired early, figuring he could get some sleep before The Noise started, but he had slept barely an hour when The Noise once again reached him on the night air. Unable to control himself any longer he flew from his tent and up to the gate. He swung the huge knocker and waited.

The slit opened and the eyes appeared once more.
"Yes?" asked the eyes.
"Look I can't take this anymore! I must know what that damn noise is! Please tell me."
"Are you a Monk?"
"NO! I'm not a Monk! I told you that earlier."
"Oh I can't tell you then."
The opening snapped shut but he would not be turned away again.
He hammered on the great door with his fists until the eyes reappeared.
"Yes?" asked the eyes.
"How do I become a Monk, then?"
"To become a Monk in our order you must complete two gruelling tasks, designed to show you are worthy."
"Well, what are they then?"
"For the first task you must venture into the forest and seek a Giant Boar. Fierce and wild he is, with tusks three meters long and a voracious appetite for human flesh. You must find and kill the boar and, from it's hide, fashion the robes you will wear for the rest of your days. Go now and do not return until this task is completed."
With these words the opening closed and the eyes disappeared.

He made his way back to his tent and spent the rest of the night contemplating his task whilst The Noise continued, unabated.

When dawn eventually arrived, bringing an end to The Noise for another night, he allowed himself a few hours of sleep and then set off into the forest, armed with the only thing he had: A Swiss Army Knife.

He crept through the wood for hours uncountable; day and night was irrelevant under the thick canopy. Sometimes he saw signs that a creature of giant stature had passed by and these he followed until he came to a clearing.
On the opposite edge loomed a creature unlike anything he had seen before. It was easily as tall as two men, it's huge tusks catching the light as it rooted in the foliage.

As if sensing his presence it turned and fixed him with a black, beady eye.
Snorting and stamping it let out a huge bellow and charged across the clearing, straight for him. He just managed to dodge behind a huge, twisted tree as the Beast slammed into the other side. The impact shook the tree and he took the opportunity to run, whilst the Beast was stunned.

He had run only a short distance, skirting the clearing in the deep undergrowth, when he became aware the creature hadn't moved again. He edged back towards it and saw that both it's enormous tusks had penetrated the tree and it could not loose itself; could barely move at all, in fact.

He carefully worked his way back to it's massive flank, avoiding it's mighty hooves, which it was kicking out at him with great force. He could see the rage in it's eyes as he slipped the Pen Knife from his pocket. The Beast's jugular was clearly visible from exertion and he dove forward and plunged the knife into it, to the hilt, needing all his strength to pierce the thick hide.
The Beast loosed an almighty bellow and thrashed around, but to no avail, and it was soon motionless and still in a crimson pool.

He then set about the arduous of skinning the great creature, using only the tools on the Swiss Army Knife. Once he had removed it he cleaned it as best he could and, using a piece of tusk broken off in the struggle, secured it about him.

That done, he set off back to the Monastery on the Mountain by the Lake.

Once again he raised the great knocker and let it fall and once again the eyes appeared.
"Yes?" asked the eyes.
"I have done as you ask. I stand before you in a robe made from the hide of the mighty Boar. What is the next task?"
"You have slayed the bore? Not many get that far. For your next task, look yonder."
He pointed to the centre of the lake where a small island could just be seen above the glimmer from the water.
"You must swim to that island and there you will find a grave. You must dig until you find a Key. Then you must bring it back here."
With these words the hatch closed, the eyes disappeared and away he went.

As he approached the lake he could only just see the tiny island but he knew he had no choice but to complete the task. He waded into the water until the the floor fell away under his feet and then set off swimming.
It seemed to take hours to swim the distance to the island and, just as his strength was failing, he felt the lake bed under his feet once again.
Exhausted and bedraggled, he hauled himself onto the island, which was no more than 30 feet across. In the centre was a grave with a large stone at it's head, inscribed with runic figures he did not understand.

Determined to finish his task he set to work, using his hands to dig into the soft earth. The hole started filling with water after only a few feet but he carried on until he eventually felt unyielding metal beneath his fingers. He pulled and tugged and with one last, great effort pulled free an enormous key.

Securing it inside his Boar-skin robe he once again waded out into the lake and began the long swim back to shore. Straight away the key started feeling heavier and heavier and it continually dragged him under the water but he fought valiantly on until, at last, he reached the shore and collapsed onto his back, gasping for air.

Once he had recovered somewhat he slowly made his way back to the gate. He had no strength left to lift the gargantuan knocker so he just fell against the gate with his shoulder until the hatch opened and the eyes once again appraised him.
"Yes?" asked the eyes.
"I have the key. Now can I see what makes that noise?"
"You have the key, you say? Well, in that case, come on in!"
The eyes disappeared and the gate creaked open to reveal a very hairy man in his own Boar Skin robes.
"This way." He beckoned our weary ex-banker on and set off down a passage behind the gate.
Almost immediately the thin passage became a steep stairwell and he soon started to lag behind the hairy Monk. Exhausted and weary he slogged on and on up the seemingly never ending stairs until eventually he came out onto a wide landing with the Monastery ahead of him. It seemed to give him renewed energy and he rushed to the door, where the hairy Monk awaited him.
The Monk turned to him and pointed towards the door of the monastery.
"Through that door is a passage way that runs into the mountain. This corridor has many doors and you will be tempted to enter them but you must continue to the last door. Do not deviate for if you open any other door you will never find what you seek. Upon reaching the last door, you may use your key and find what you seek."

The Monastery door was heavy but he opened it eventually and beheld the Corridor Of Many Doors. He could not see the end of it, though it was well lit with torches. Being so close to his goal lifted his spirits and he set off at a good pace.
As the Monk had said, there were many doors on each side of the corridor and emanating from them he heard many things. Voices called to him, promising untold riches and wanton hedonism but he ignored their siren song and kept on walking, though he was sorely tempted. He tried to keep his goal in mind and kept walking.
After what seemed like miles he finally saw the great door at the end of the corridor and, brandishing his mighty key, hastened towards it.
The key slipped into equally mighty lock and turned with ease and with a puff of warm air and barely a sound the door swung inwards.

There, in the room, before his very eyes was the thing he sought and do you know what it was?

I can't tell you. You're not a Monk.

Author's Note: If you have read this far, congratulations and I am so, so sorry.
This was a Shaggy Dog Story, comprising over 2,300 words but I hope you enjoyed it.
I may start doing these occasionally, so be prepared. 
Wait... Where are you going? Please come back. I'M SORRY!!
I may start doing these occasionally, so be prepared.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

On Censorship and Political Correctness

Censorship and Political Correctness are invading all our lives.

They're everywhere and have now gone so far beyond the realms of sanity that they have ceased to be useful and have actually started to offend a lot of people. Ironic, eh?

It has got to the point now where they force kids in school to sing "Bar, Bar, Green Sheep," you can't use the term Brainstorm, you cant say Bedlam, manila or bulldozer; You have to consider every word you say in case it offends somebody.

This would actually help them blend in a lot better.
Well, I say fuck that. I subscribe to the view of "They're just words; grow the fuck up."

Take Swear Words as an example.
The only reason swear words offend people is because they're taboo. Most adults these days will gladly swear and probably have been doing since they were kids, yet they try to shield their children from swearing. It's hypocritical and backwards.

I tend not to censor myself. I don't see why I should. As a lover of the English Language, I feel all words were created equal (with the exception of words made out of truncated names, such as Brangelina) and that they are not innately offensive.
I believe the offence is created by context, not the individual words themselves. Any word can be offensive if used in an offensive manner. For instance, Sheep is not an offensive word (again with the sheep?) but if you call someone a sheep, they may well be offended because you are implying they have no real individuality, and simply follow others in order to 'fit in'.

"I am beautiful and unique."
One of the main reasons censorship is generally absurd is that the ones we're trying to protect from these evil words wouldn't know the meaning of a swear word if it dressed as a dragon and raped their nostrils. Plus, swear words don't tend to be very prevalent in shows meant for Children. I don't know about you but I don't remember the episode of Sesame Street where the theme was F for Fuck.
No, it's usually shows aimed squarely at adults but aired during the day that get poked with the censor stick. Take House, for instance. I fucking love House (and no I don't care that every episode is basically the same). House is a pretty adult show, aimed at adults. If you're the sort of person who believes in censorship, it is probably not the kind of thing you would let your kids watch. Yet they censor words like 'Ass' or 'Bastard' for the day-time repeats. Not only that, but the censorship quite often seems to be continued well after the watershed which I think is plain out of order. As a fucking adult, watching a show aimed at fucking adults, after 9pm, I do not expect the word Fuck to be censored.

"I hate it when they cut the swearing... Ruins the realism."
My personal opinion is that the offensiveness of swearing could be eradicated in one generation, by just treating the word Fuck, and words like it, in the same way as any other word. Rather than finding the word fuck offensive by default, note the context used before becoming offended.
The phrase, "Fuck! I banged my toe" is not offensive. However, the phrase, "Fuck! I banged your Mum" is. The word Fuck has not moved, nor has it's meaning changed. It is still an exclamation. In this case, it's the noun that changes. The new noun, in itself, is still not offensive, but when coupled with the preceding Verb... Well, you get the idea. Take away the taboo and you quickly learn that one word is no more or less offensive than any other word, if used in a non offensive context.
You can be just as offensive without using any swear words, at all, e.g. "Your Mum loves it when I do her in my Sheep costume."

Loves it!
I know this seems to be more about censorship than Political Correctness but the two things are often mutually inclusive. A lot of censorship happens for Political and Religious reasons and nearly all political correctness requires some form of censorship. It's utter crap and needs to stop. The world in general could greatly benefit from everyone being less sensitive.

This is not to say I support racism or anything like that, but I do feel that people look for Racism in places where it simply doesn't exist and thus make ridiculous decisions that are racist, in and of themselves.  One of the most recent ones I heard was 'Coffee Without Milk' instead of Black Coffee. Look, I know some people in the world have skin that is a different colour to mine, and that's cool. I know the evolutionary prerogative behind skin pigment and see it as no more than that. By making people say things like 'Coffee Without Milk' you are not being racially sensitive. You are emphasising that skin colour is a big deal to you. And we teach this to our children!!
Earlier I used the example of Bar, Bar Green Sheep. A lot of overly PC authorities make kids sing it that way so they don't offend any black children in the class. At least, that's what the (probably racist) authorities think they're doing. What they are actually doing is drawing attention to the fact they have changed a word and therefore making that word all the more obvious, not to mention woefully mis-educating children on the subject of sheep.
Nearly all censorship basically does the same thing. Rather than masking the word, it emphasises it. For instance, I am far more likely to notice a swear word if it's blanked, bleeped or whatever.
'F**k' will always capture my eye faster than fuck and, whereas I wouldn't usually notice the word 'ass' in a spoken sentence any more than the other words, if that one word is blanked or beeped it grabs my attention.

Turns out you can make a lot of analogies with sheep...
Censorship and Political Correctness do nothing more than highlight whatever they are trying to mask.
In the case of Censorship, this makes words more taboo which only encourages their use.
In the case of Political Correctness, it only serves to draws attention to whatever you are trying to be 'sensitive' about.
If we all just use a modicum of tact and a small helping of common sense, maybe we can act like adults and just get on with our fucking lives.

Monday, 23 August 2010

On Revolutionising Supermarkets

The Supermarket.
A place where you can buy just about anything from food to clothes to electronics.
It's also a place where you get all manner of people; most of them rude.

I really fucking hate the Supermarket. It's always full of people and I don't really like people, especially when they're apparently oblivious to the fact that there are other people in their vicinity. They leave trolleys in the middle of the isle and wander off, stop suddenly when you're walking behind them, allow their spawn to run amok and generally act like utter bellends.

What we need is a Supermarket Revolution and, friends, I believe I am the man to lead it.

Below I have detailed what I feel are the main issues with Supermarkets and how I would fix them.

#1 - Trolley use

The Problem

One of the biggest issues with Supermarkets is all the wankers within them and most of them are pushing a trolley (or shopping cart, depending where you're from). I've written about shitty drivers before and this is a very similar subject.
People walk every which way, cut each other off and consistently act like douchenozzles. During peak times it can become absolute bedlam. You end up stuck in positions where you can't go forward or back and you have to wait for the one cockdonkey who has stopped sideways across the isle while they try to figure out exactly what kind of Cat Food Colonel Fluffykins would prefer.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

In my revolutionised supermarkets there will be lanes and traffic control to discourage the cockish behaviour so prevalent in Supermarket patrons.
Option 1: The main isle down the centre of the supermarket would be split into two lanes and would work just like a road with two streams of traffic heading in separate directions. There would be cross junctions for the smaller isles, complete with traffic lights. There would be areas at the side of isles where people can stop to put goods into their trolley without impeding the flow of traffic.
Option 2: Due to space constraints, not all Supermarkets would be able to use the above solution. Where that is the case I propose a one way system around the supermarket. Starting at the entrance there would be a set path through from beginning to end, with an access road running down the side for if you missed anything or wanted to skip a few isles. Isles would still require the stopping areas so people can put things in their trolley without impeding traffic but, as this system would not require a central isle, I don't think that would be too much of a problem.

People who flaunt the rules would face warnings and then expulsion from the Supermarket because fuck you, that's why! Everyone else is following the rules and you are not special.

#2 - Chill-Out areas

The Problem

Supermarkets are big and fucking boring. Sometimes you just need a break. Maybe it's extra busy and you want to wait for the queues to go down, maybe you have been dragged there by your fairer half who wants to look at cheap shoes and bags, maybe you've just had a long day and need a rest, mid-shop.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

In my revolutionised supermarkets there would be a designated chill-out area. Exactly what goes into this is really up to the individual Supermarkets but they would have to be within certain guidelines.
There would need to be plenty of comfy seating. I propose bean-bags and cushions, rather than couches/sofas, as they allow greater flexibility.
There would need to be some form of entertainment. Be it a TV or games consoles, some entertainment would be required. This would also be a good opportunity for marketing. Much like in HMV/Game stores, they could have consoles for the public to play which gives people a chance to try out the consoles and the latest games, which could lead to them buying one. Oh and it would need WiFi, obviously.
There would need to be an area in which you could leave your trolley/basket. It would be wholly impractical for everyone to bring their shopping into the chill-out area so I propose an area where they can leave their stuff on a ticket-based system, like a cloakroom.

#3 - Crèche/Play area

The Problem

Shitty parents and their bratty spawn. People let their children act like fucking idiots and it needs to stop. If I had pulled a fraction of the shit I see kids getting away with I would have got a proper bollocking. I always see some little devil child pulling things off shelves, screaming and whining and on the whole being a little shit goblin whilst the parents do sweet Foxtrot Alpha.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

There would be no children allowed in the main supermarket area.
I understand that a lot of people don't have somebody they can leave their child with whilst they go shopping, but this should not have an adverse affect on my life. A free Crèche area would allow parents to leave their children in a safe, entertaining environment, do their shopping and then retrieve their child on the way out.
These areas would also be invaluable to staff members with children.
This would mean fewer obstacles, less noise and less stress for customers. I would leave it to Supermarkets to decide at what age children can enter but would propose no admittance to those under 11 years of age.

#4 - RFID Checkouts

The Problem

Currently there are two types of checkout at most Supermarkets. There's the auto-teller self-checkout style and the old school person-behind-a-till style. Both of these methods require every item to be individually scanned and then bagged which can cause long queues.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

The technology already exists to have RFID checkouts. Radio Frequency Identification is used for many things. Basically, a small radio transmitter sends a signal to a receiver which identifies what it is. RFID Checkouts would work in the following way: You would push your trolley into an area, the RFID scanner would scan everything in your trolley, without you having to take anything out, and would then give you the total cost. This would allow whole trolleys of shopping to be scanned in mere moments which would seriously reduce waiting times.
The reason massive supermarket chains don't already have these installed (Tesco have already basically perfected the system) is because it would instantly make the job of checkout monkey obsolete.
To help counteract this, I give you my last idea:

#5 - Staff Reallocation

All these new areas and ways of doing things means that some jobs disappear whilst others are created.
First off, there would need to be people monitoring the traffic flows and making sure people are doing it right. This would require no experience or qualifications, much like till-work, so a number of people whose jobs were eradicated by the RFID checkouts could be moved over to the traffic control department.
Staff would also be needed to oversee the Chill-Out Area and the Crèche (where some training may be needed) so that's some more jobs there.

In the end, I think it would square out ok.

So, in conclusion, I believe deeply that I am the man for this job!

Write to your Local Councillor, Mayor, Governor, Senator, Congressman, whoever.
Let's make this happen, people!

Monday, 16 August 2010

On the Safety of Criminals

Author's Note: Once again Monday has rolled round and I have nothing prepared. I am working on a good one that will have diagrams and everything, I promise. For now, here's a post about a news article I read this morning.

Last night some scumbags broke into a motorbike shop in Altrincham and drove away on £20,000 worth of motorbikes.
Police were called to the break in, saw the aforementioned scumbags fleeing the seen on the motorbikes, radioed for instructions and were told:

Don't chase them as they aren't wearing safety equipment or helmets.

What. The. Fuck.

 Supt Steve Nibloe, of GMP, was quoted as saying:
"The officers were asked not to pursue the suspects, as they were not wearing the correct safety equipment and were not wearing helmets, so it is clear to me the correct decision was taken."

No, Steve, it absolutely fucking wasn't. I don't know about you but, personally, if one of these fucking thieving little cunts fell off one of the stolen motorbikes and killed themselves, I would call that karma. If they choose to break into a shop and steal motorbikes then they have chosen their path. If they die whilst fleeing the scene, good.

Criminals have too many rights in this modern age. The law has been totally skewed so that the health and welfare of a criminal is put ahead of that of the victims. Like if some son of a bitch broke into my house and I kicked the fucker down the stairs and he broke his neck there is a damn good chance I would get done for it when he came onto my property and got injured in the course of committing a crime.
During the course of a crime and any ensuing chase, criminals should have exactly zero rights of any kind. Between commencing the crime and being taken into custody it should be a free for all where any victim or bystander can do what they like.
For instance, you're driving along and you see some prick nick and old lady's purse. You should be allowed to run the bastards over! Purse is returned, scumbag is caught. Where's the problem? If they get injured or killed then who cares. They had it coming the moment they chose to mug an old lady. The world will be better off without them.

There has been cases, more in the States than the UK, of burglars injuring themselves whilst robbing somebody's house, suing and actually winning the fucking case! Any judge who would allow that to happen should be removed from the bench immediately as they are clearly a moron with no concept of right and wrong.

In conclusion, fuck criminals and anyone who thinks that the rights of a criminal are more important than the rights of a victim. If that's you, I advise you take a long, hard look at your life.
Imagine if the victim was you or one of your family members. Would you rather be able to defend yourself, regardless of the outcome, or just have to sit back and let the criminal do as they wish, even if that means dying yourself?

I know what I'd pick.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

On the Pets I have loved and lost

Author's Note: The following will not be very funny.
If you would rather read something humorous, go here, here, here or here. Or watch this video.
You have been warned.

Last week I told you about my dog. This week I want to talk about some of the other pets I have had.
I'm gonna put them in the order they affected me, least first.

Nibbles - My First Hamster

This is not Nibbles but this is what he looked like.
Like many children, one of the first pets I had that was solely my responsibility was a hamster.
He was a large white Syrian. When I bought him they put him in a little cardboard box which I put inside the cage I had waiting in the car. During the ride home he chewed his way straight out of the box so I named him Nibbles.
Nibbles was a good hamster for the most part. He only ever bit me a couple of times and I'm sure it was my fault. He did, however, live up to his name. The cage I had him in was one of those plastic ones that isn't really a cage but a transparent box with a wheel coming out of the side. His favourite thing to do was shun his little house and drag all his bedding into the wheel. Once in there he would chew away at the inside of the wheel and the place where the wheel connected to the rest of the cage. He actually managed to escape like this as he chewed so much he disconnected the wheel from the cage. I found him on the opposite side of the room, on top of a wardrobe. He'd obviously chimney climbed up between the wardrobe and the wall and was chilling behind my stereo. He also liked to try and run in the wheel whilst it was still full of bedding which was always pretty funny. He also loved going down stairs in his hamster ball. The first time he did it we thought he would die but by about the 5th time we figured he must enjoy it as it never seemed to bother him.
One day I found him lying on the bottom of his cage. I've never really had a problem with death, per se, but I was very sad he'd gone and so I carried him downstairs, dug him a little grave and buried him in the garden under a rose bush.

Lemmy The Rat

A beautiful creature. The rat's pretty cute, too.
A lot of people have a problem with rats and I really don't understand it. They're very intelligent, very clean and very trainable. It seems to be something about the tails? I dunno.
Anyway, I loved my rat. I got her from a friend who had just had a new baby and so needed to get rid of her. She brought her into the bar where we both worked, inside her coat. Lemmy had just been chilling in there on the bus ride over. She was named Lemmy after Lemmiwinks from South Park, the gerbil who had an adventure in Mr. Slave's ass. Not my doing, though I fully approved.
Lemmy used to sit and chill on my shoulder whilst I wandered around the house and she'd play on the couch whilst I watched TV. Whenever I got up and left the room or anything she'd come to the edge of the couch and wait until I came back. She came when I called her name and had the sweetest temperament.
The problem came when I met my fiancée as she had a certain little Terrier who, being a Jack Russell, really wanted to eat Lemmy. When we moved in together I had to keep Lemmy in a back bedroom full of boxes to keep the dog away. In the end it became too much hassle and it wasn't fair to Lemmy so I gave her to my Fiancée's brother. He loved her just as much as me. She even found him a £20 under his bed (she had a thing about money).
Sadly, she started to get ill and the vet diagnosed Meningitis. She died soon after. Even though she wasn't with me all that long I was very attached to her and her death really affected me.  I would love another rat as they make amazing pets but, due to the little bundle of rodent hunter I have running around the house, I can't.

Finally, we come to the last entry:

My First Dog - Bonny

She's actually in the middle of howling at the moon in this picture.
We got Bonny when I was four years old. My sister was away at a summer camp type thing and me and my parents went to the local dog home. There were loads of puppies there, all waiting for someone to take them home. We knew our dog as soon as we saw her.
She was a little black, white and brown mongrel. We picked her out, went and bought her a collar and lead and took her home. We let her into our tiny back yard and watched her through the patio doors as she explored. I wanted to call her Peaches and a host of other stupid names but, in the end, we settled on Bonny.
Me and Bonny grew up together. We played in the field behind our house, we ran in the snow, I kept her company on Bonfire night when the fireworks scared her.
My sister used to walk her in the mornings, on a field near our house. One November she got spooked by a firework and ran away. My sister looked for her but couldn't find her and ended up taking the day off College to keep looking. That night we were all sat in our front room, wondering if we were ever going to see our dog again, when I heard a noise at the front door. I ran and opened it and there was Bonny. She'd obviously been hiding and then, when she felt safer, had found her way back to us.
That wasn't the first or only time she ran away. The first time was when she was quite young and my Mum was walking her on the field behind our house (these stories span two houses, hence the two different field locations). A hot air balloon fired it's hot air jet as it was flying over my Mum and the dog and it freaked the dog right out. She did a runner and it took my Dad ages to find her. We were terrified she'd fallen in the marsh on the field. After that she always howled at the moon.
I loved that dog so much. When I couldn't sleep she would cuddle up with me on a cushion on the floor of my room. When I was sad she would comfort me. When I came home from school she would go absolutely mental, dragging herself along the floor and then rolling over so I could pet her belly.
As she got older she developed a lump on here leg. We took her to the vet and had it removed but it grew back. Time and again we took her to have it removed and would have kept doing it, but for her suffering.
One day she was in a very agitated state, running up and down and rubbing herself on the carpet. When we stopped her and rolled her over we discovered a huge tumour between her back legs that seemed to have come from nowhere.
We took her to the vet, knowing this was it. One of the staff knew why we were there and took us into a back room where I said Goodbye to one the best friends I ever had. She was only 11 years old.
It was the worst day of my life and I will never forget it.
You can never replace a dog. You can get another and you will love it the same but it is never a replacement. I still miss Bonny. I always will.

And that brings us to the end of this very cheerful post.
I will try and be funny again next week and will also try and post on time.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

On TV Series, Books and Endings

You know that feeling, when you come to the end of a book and wish you hadn't?
Like, with Films there's always an Ending (with a capital E) and everything gets tied up in a nice little bow. But so many books end on a sort of, "huh..." and then there is no more and you'll never know if White Fang went on to have more adventures or not.

Did he get over his injuries? Did Collie ever stop being a Bitch?
Dammit, why can't I know?!

The other place this happens a lot is TV Shows. This can be because they got cancelled (possible due to Fox Network being a load of dicks), the latest season has not started yet or that's how they choose to end it. Regardless of why, it is really fucking annoying.
I fear change and get very attached to the things I watch and the characters there in. You watch and you watch and over time you grow to love the characters and then suddenly, one day, that's it. You get to the end of a seemingly innocuous episode, never suspecting the abandonment just around the corner, and BAM! There is no more. It's like the TV show is saying, "Look, I know we've had good times together and it's been fun, really, but we both knew it had to come to an end one day."

We'll always have Hallmark.
Law and Order: SVU is one of my favourite shows ever and it fucking finished. You watch a show from the very beginning, you think you know it, you think you have a connection and then it goes and finishes without any concern for your feelings or how you're going to fill the void it has left in your life.

My planner is empty and I feel weird inside.

Ok, I just Googled it and it would seem that I have seen to the end of season 10 and they are currently making season 12...
So where are the new episodes? Why has Hallmark gone back to the beginning? WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME?!

The last episode I watched was filmed in June 2009. Does this mean I'll have to wait till next year for the newer episodes to hit Hallmark? Why wont IMDb tell me what channel they're on? Why are they all conspiring against me?

Now there's a very good chance I wont know they're airing the new episodes until I've already missed most of the season (which happened with House and Lie To Me) and then what the fuck will I do? I'll have to wait for Hallmark to play them from the beginning all over again! I cannot wait that long!

I'm going to go find a quiet corner and have a little cry.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

On my Freak of a Dog

Oh, Hai!
My dog is a fucking nut job. She may look cute but she is an epic pain in the arse.
She is a very good dog, in all fairness... When it suits her, but she is far to intelligent for her own good. She knows more words than it is reasonable for a small dog to know and is apparently unconcerned by tone of voice. You get the same reaction if you use the usual 'Who's a good dog!!' voice as if you whisper to her. She's very clingy and can be exceedingly needy at times. She's also ridiculously small - 9 inches tall, to the shoulder, and only 18 inches long!
This article will detail the main things that make my dog who she is.

#1 - Hiding Food

One of her most annoying little habits is hiding food fucking everywhere. We don't know if it's because she was the runt of the litter and maybe hid food to protect it from her sisters or if it's because she has something against me.
You can see it all over her face, as well.
You give her a treat, such as the one pictured here, and her eyes start darting around the room looking for the perfect stash place. Instead of just leaving it on the carpet or, you know, eating it, she will take it and hide it somewhere, probably in some washing, so that by the time we find it, it's gone through a wash cycle and has now become part of my jeans.

#2 - Being unreasonably cute

Look at that fucking face! She has being pathetic down to a fine art, including the sad ears and holding one paw up.
She uses this to great affect when she's in trouble or when she wants something.
She also combines it with the slow walk when I wont give her a treat and want her to leave the kitchen, the belly crawl or the snuggle. Imagine trying to be angry with that pathetic specimen of the Canis lupus familiaris.
Trust me, it's very difficult... No matter how much you want to strangle her.

#3 - A love of teddies

I guess most dogs like toys of some kind. With my dog her favourites are teddies.
Now, when I said she was clever, I wasn't exaggerating. She knows her teddies by name and will bring you whichever you ask for, assuming she can find it. The one pictured is her absolute favourite. It's called Bearguin because it's a bear wearing a penguin suit, for some reason.
Bit of a weird name, but she learnt it in about half an hour. She knows the difference between balls, teddies and toys (dog toys, like ropes, etc.) and if you put them all in a pile she will bring you whichever you ask for.

#4 - Staring out of the window

Her absolute favourite thing to do is stare out of the window. At nothing. In the picture she's staring into an empty garden but usually it's the empty street we live on that she stares at.
Wherever we go she finds a window and if there isn't one she can look out of she reverts to #2 until you pick her up so she can see nothing's going on.
This need to know what's happening outside causes her to act like a Grade A Moron. She will hear a noise, like a cat farting 3 streets over, and hurl herself towards the window, often jumping straight into the side of the armchair on the way.

# 5 - Blankets/Duvets

Fuckin' poser!
By christ does my dog like a blanket! When she's tired herself out being a pain in the arse, she likes nothing better than to curl up under a blanket. As you can see from the pic, she also likes getting inside the duvet. This resulted in us being woken up at 4 am one morning because she'd gone inside the duvet and then got caught between two buttons on the way out and was thoroughly wedged. We don't know how long she'd been stuck there but she was hanging off the side of the bed, growling and not at all happy! We now have to keep them unbuttoned as this minor incident did not stop her climbing in there and we'd rather get sleep! I bought my better half a Doggie IQ Test as a joke-y stocking present one Christmas and one of the tests was to throw a blanket over the dog and see how long it took the dog to get out from under it. We never actually tested her IQ but I suspect she would have gone to sleep when we threw the blanket over her.

#6 - Being fucking giddy!

Not only is she a giddy, little ball of energy but she insists on being at her giddiest at the most inappropriate times, such as bed time. For some reason, my dog sees getting in bed as some sort of sign that now is the time to grab a teddy and start running around like a fucking lunatic.
She gets over excited and you have to open the bedroom door so she can run up and down the tiny space between the upper rooms of our tiny house, which would be fine if she didn't make so much noise with her running. It's not that she barks, she's just heavy footed for a creature who only weighs about 6.5 lbs.

# 7 - Being Silent

My dog is the quietest dog I have ever known. It's actually quite unnerving. It's not that she can't make sound, she just doesn't. She will occasionally squeak when she's very excited or growl when you're playing tug-of-war with her but she doesn't, for instance, bark at people who come to the door. She runs up and down from window to door and gets all worked up... but doesn't make any noise. She's like the Michael Myers of dogs, but without the vicious murder (unless you're a teddy). When she's with my Mum and Dad's dogs (who bark like it's going out of fashion) she will occasionally bark along with them but she almost never does otherwise. It's one of those weird things you notice every so often, and when you do it always seems weird.

#8 - Posing for photos

These are some other pics I wanted to use in this article but didn't have space for.
They see me prancin'. They hatin'.
Bat Dog
A Challenger Appears...
A Sunny Spot
I will get you, Bird.
This was not my doing.
Searching for a hiding place.
After bath time.
It's a Dog's Life.
As you may have guessed, I take a lot of pictures of my dog.

If you want to tell me about your dog, please  use the comments section. I never get bored of talking about dogs and the weird shit they get up to.

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