Sunday, 1 July 2012

Just one Cornetto...

Why the snorkel mask?

I was queuing up in Spar for some milk the other day.  The kid in front of me was holding a Bounty Ice-cream and asking the assistant where she'd find a big pouch of Malteasers.  She's about eight years old.  And I just thought to myself; what the hell are you doing buying a Bounty Ice-cream and a big pouch of Malteasers?  You could get a hundred Spearmint Whoppa bars, fifty packs of Frosties, five  AND a ten penny bag for the price of those.  And then it occurred to me, kids these days don't buy cheapo sweets like Dip Dabs or Pickled Onion Postman Pats.  Hell, they don't even call them sweets any more!  Apparently it's "candy" now. Thanks for that, Cartoon Network.  Looking at that girl buying her Mammy ice pop (that's what my Mam would have called it) reminded me of another HB related incident I'm gonna share with you...

I used to be a childminder, it was a few years ago.  One day I was out with the kids, it was a hot and we'd just gone for a really long walk.  So, we were passing the shop on the way home and I thought as a little treat I'd get them all an ice pop.  We walk into the shop and I tell them to pick one.  They leg it over to the fridge and start pulling the thing apart.  I'm standing there humming to myself when they all come back holding Magnums.  Magnums!  Are they fecking mad?  So I says to them, "are yis mad?  Put them back and get something for kids."  They sigh in unison and skulk off back to the fridge.  I walk over with them, sensing their idea of a kid's ice pop is very different to mine.  The eldest girl picks up a Cornetto. She looks at me.  I glare back at her. "Kids!" I shout.  One of the lads picks up a Solero and smiles eagerly.  "No, no! That's not kids!  Do you know what I'm talking about at all?"  They clearly don't. I grab four Loop the Loops, walk to the counter and pay for them.  "Here you go," I hand out the ice pops.  And the face on them, you'd swear I was handing out poison.  "If yis don't want them I'll bring them back to the shop and you can have nothing."  They mumble their thanks and peel the wrappers off.  I never got a Loop the Loop, that was a 20p ice pop.  That was considered flashy, a luxury lolly. Not any more, it seems.  And so I lament for a time when a Captain Quencher and a bite of yer Mammy's Mint Feast sufficed.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Did you ever...

They look so innocent...
So I went to buy a dress. I was in Miss Selfridge and they had these beautiful  body con style frocks. They didn't have my size though so I figured I could probably squeeze into the size down. I grabbed it off the rail and went to try it on.  So take off clothes, take dress off hanger and pull it over my head. It's feeling pretty tight. I reef it down over my bum. Ugh! I don't even need to look in the mirror, this thing is cutting off my circulation it's so tight.

So I take it off. Or at least I try to take it off. I pull it up and get it as far as my chest. Have to get one arm out now. I try and pull the strap down so I can get arm out. Not working. Try again and yes! One arm is out. But I am now in a funny position and cannot use my right arm to get my left arm out, if you know what I mean. I try to get other arm back in and go some other way about this but I'm stuck. I pull really hard and hit my arm off the wall. These fitting rooms are so way too cramped. I pull again, and again and again. It's going no where. So the dress is kind of half around my head, I'm pretty much blind and my arms are of no use to me. I take deep breaths. Then try really slowly to pull my arm out. But it doesn't move.

So I pull really hard, losing my temper now. I twist myself around and try and grab something but my arms just can't get around to where I need them. Ok, starting to panic now. I'm thinking I might be stuck in this dress forever. I'll have to call the girl in and she'll have to cut me out with a scissors and she'll see my grey pennys knickers and I'll be the story to tell everyone who comes in to the shop. I tug and tug, I'm sweating now. I start to cry. I'm stuck. I'm stuck, I'm never getting out. I bang my head off the mirror. Ouch! Come on, you stupid fucking, bloody, dress! AHHHH! I slide to the ground. I'll have to call the girl. Oh, the shame. No! I can't. I won't. I don't believe in God, but Jesus if you're up there get me out of this poxy dress! Please, I'll go to Mass every week for the rest of my life , I swear, please! This one favour, prove to me you exist, come on! I know there are people way more deserving of your love but they're not me! Please?

Right, I'm going again. I'm doing it this time if it kills me. I get up. I tug and tug, rrrrip, yeah, I heard it but I don't care. I yank the thing. I pull and tug and grab and swish and swirl and do the funky chicken, anything to get this bloody- Oh my god! It's over my head. It's coming off, it's coming off. It's off! Oh my god! Its off! The relief! Oh, sweet mother of divine lord! Jesus, Mary and all the saints! Hurray! I collapse in a heap in the change room.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Crimes against cuisine.

I'll bet you that mustard drizzle makes it even less appealing.

First I just want to apologise. I have neglected this blog for the past few weeks.  My husband was sick with swine flu / viral infection / suspected appendicitis / food poisoning. We'll never know for sure thanks to the vagueness of the local doc and the A&E at the hospital. But anyway, he's better now so my stint as Florence Nightingale is over and I finally have some time to myself.  So now, onto the real post...

Cheese stuffed crust, yeah, I can understand that.  Pizza and cheese, they go hand in hand so it's a fairly obvious marketing gimmick.  But when I got home today and found the new Pizza Hut leaflet on the table I couldn't understand it.  This was a marketing gimmick gone too far. Hot Dog Stuffed Crust. Yes, Hot Dog. Stuffed. In the crust of a pizza. It is the most horrendous looking food I have ever laid eyes on. Everything about this makes me want to hurl. Are people not satisfied enough with their Super Duper Extra Large Loaded to the Edge Pizza that they now need to cram the crust with an ugly processed sausage that, let's face it resembles a lightly grilled penis poking out from an albeit, odd-looking vagina. What will they come up with next? Pizza stuffed crust, a pizza inside your pizza, perhaps? Jesus wept.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Small talk.

I was feeling a bit lazy so instead of making dinner I decided to get some fish n chips for me self as a little treat. I walked up the road to the chipper and asked for me cod and chips. Yer man behind the counter gets them and throws some salt and vinegar over and then wraps it all up nicely for me.  I go to take it and he asks me: "Did you 'ave a nice day t'day love?" I froze. Did I have a nice day? I didn't know if I did or not. I looked at him. "Em yes." "That's nice love, you'll enjoy these, eh?" He hands me the bag; "Yes." I tell him, trying to think of something better to say, something that will show what a wonderful and witty person I am. Something that will cement me in his mind as his customer of the week. But I can't think of anything. " You live close by?" he asks me, all friendly. I nod my head. "Ah, that's good, you'll be home soon, enjoying them so." I nod my head again, still trying to think up the most astounding and wonderful response that will knock the batter off his sausage. "Have a lovely evening," he says before moving onto the next customer.  I nod again before leaving the shop.  The whole way home I think about what I should have said, what I could have said and my embarrassment at my total lack of social skills.
Greg and I attended the same school of Small Talk

Small talk. I just can't do it. When I see someone coming down the road that I know, I pray they don't stop and talk to me. Just a quick greeting and a little wave will do me grand, thank you. And don't sit beside me on the bus. You'll ruin the whole journey for me. I'll be sat there, squirming in my seat, trying to think of things to say to fill the awkward silences. And there will be many of them. Don't even think of bumping into me at the shopping centre. I'll lose the ability to speak. I won't be the girl who never backs away from a heated discussion down the local of a Sunday afternoon. Instead you'll be greeted by a grunting, nodding, bag of nerves, who shifts from one foot to the other while wringing her hands as her face turns from bright red to puce.  I'll wring my hands so much that welts will form between my fingers; yes, that has actually happened. I have often run into shops to avoid people I know. In my local Pennys I have hid behind railings of clothes and on the street I run past friends exclaiming, "I'm running late, so sorry I can't stop", all to save myself from chit chat. Sometimes I get caught of course, and make a complete idiot of myself. I bring up something inappropriate like the smear test I just had, making us both sorry we stopped for this tete a tete.  Other times I waffle on, out of control, not sure when to call a halt to the little chat.  I want to shout at the acquaintance "I'm sorry, I'm crap at this, just walk by in future!" Letting them know, it's nothing personal, that I am just a freak.  But I never do.

At least I'm safe over here in Derby; having no friends can sometimes be a blessing.  Except down that chipper, won't be going there again so.  Which is a pity cos it were right tasty.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Nikita on Tallafornia.

Nikita before she roars at Cormac to "Shut the fuck up!"

Will someone please drag me away from the laptop screen.  I can't watch any more.  And yet, I cannot stop watching. I feel sick seeing this girl make a complete idiot of herself on national television.  Yet at the same time I am drawn to Nikita's gradual self destruction like a German to a empty sun lounger.  This poor girl. She is just nineteen; totally naive and completely ignorant to the consequences of her actions.  Now, I'm no angel.  I may or may not have behaved like Nikita when I was her age but I didn't have a camera following me around, recording my every action and then broadcasting it for the whole of Ireland to see on a Friday night. Thank Christ.

For those of you not familiar with the show, here's a quick synopsis. TV3 used a Big Brother template for Tallafornia but with no evictions.  There are seven house mates, four blokes, three girls. They are given a house in Tallaght to live in and their actions are filmed for all to enjoy and cringe. The group are allowed come and go as they please from the house.  Most nights they are filled with booze and released into Dublin to make complete tools of themselves, and they are only too happy to oblige.

From left to right: Kelly, Natalie and Nikita. 

Nikita seems to come across worse than the others, God bless her. She has a mouth like a sewer, every second word out of it is fuck. She has slept with two of the house mates.  She performs lap dances at a second's notice, displaying her thong-covered crack to over 250,000 viewers. The girl brings a lad back to the house then while he is down stairs drinking a beer, she is upstairs shagging house mate, Philly. It gets worse, Philly is only shagging her to win a bet with one of the lads. He has discussed this with house mate Cormac, who has also shagged Nikita. The bet being that he can take Nikita away form any bloke when he likes.  After she sleeps with him one of the male house mates comes into the  score room and laughs at her.  "Your dress is inside out!" He jeers. And what does Nikita say back: "It's better than cum all over your shoulder." Yes, there is cum all over her shoulder. How is this possible? "I missed!" exclaims Philly.

God help us all.

For a weekly synopsis & hilarious piss take watch Tallafornia Swipe:

Friday, 2 March 2012

The rise and fall of the exclamation mark.

It came from no where.  I mean, we never used it in school, well rarely. We were told in no uncertain terms they were not to be used willy nilly.  This piece of punctuation was to be taken seriously, not carelessly tossed about the place with no regard for the consequences. This was no harmless little comma. No, the exclamation should be used on special occasions, like the gravy boat sat in the "good china" press that only made an appearance at Christmas and Easter. Shrieking, shouting, screaming; all of these allowed for an exclamation. But who shrieks or shouts or screams in a written text? Not many of us, so the exclamation kept it's special position, looking down superciliously at the full stops, apostrophes and ampersands, laughing haughtily.

A picture speaks a thousand exclamation marks.
And then there was texting. Overnight the exclamation went from no use to overuse.  Everyone had something so important to say that it required numerous exclamations and CAPS TOO IF IT WAS ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING!!!!!!! The exclamation was not the only victim of generation text, the question mark suffered too. Sometimes people had a question that they really didn't know the answer to: Where should I go on my holiday??? And there were the rhetorical questions that brought both punctuation marks together: Hath not a Jew eyes????!!!!

Suddenly everyone was screaming and shouting and telling the whole world how flippin' offended they were by everything. At first the exclamation enjoyed all the attention, this new found fame.  Little did he know what was to become of him.  With the launch of social networking sites the trend spread and soon it was totally unacceptable to use a full stop. Surely if what you had to say had any merit it must warrant an exclamation mark, or two or three.. hundred? It wasn't long before the special position of the exclamation was lost.

Social media sites have been around a long time now, with no sign of a reduction in exclamation usage.  Whenever I read someone's Facebook status I find myself shouting their comments in my head. I have to ask: Why are people so angry, why do they feel the need to exclaim everything, isn't saying something enough any more? And worst of all, why do I find myself overusing the little bastards too?

Monday, 13 February 2012

Tales of the 41c.

Public transport, I love it. It's the people you meet, the things you see and the overheard conversations that I can't resist. Like the drunken lunatic mumbling away to himself on the 43, smelling like the local bottle bank after St Patrick's Day.  Or the junkie on the DART that pukes into a paper bag, then tries to throw it out of the window, misses, and floods the carriage with vomit.  He gets off at the next stop.  And don't forget the oul' wans on the LUAS chatting about poor Frank who's an alcoholic but allergic to beer, he breaks out in hives every time he has a drink.  Quote: "He can handle it, Josie, but his body can't."

So the other week when myself and husband boarded the 41c, I was only dying to eavesdrop on the conversations between the dodgey looking teenagers at the back of the bus. Teenage girl: "Alrigh' Dylan, did you get expelled?" Dylan: "Yeah." Teenage girl: "What d'ye get expelled for?" Dylan: (genuinely confused) "I dunno." So yeah I was leaning back in me chair picking up such gems as; "Don't burn me jacket, just melt the things hanging off it," cue smell of burning plastic and "She was screaming cos she wants to get pregnant so she doesn't have to go to school any more." All the while husband, who does not approve of my earwigging, throwing me filthy looks.

I'm really enjoying myself until something comes flying through the air and nearly hits a passenger across from me.  The group of teens explode with laughter and everyone else on the bus shifts uncomfortably in their chairs, staring dead ahead. So it happens again and this time it lands in the aisle. I look on the ground and see it's some plastic keyring thing with an elastic on it. Next thing an empty bottle of Yop whizzes past and hits the girl across from me on the shoulder. She flinches and people shift in the seats again but no one even looks back at these little scumbags.  I can't take it any more. I turn around and tell them to give it a rest and stop throwing things. They start screaming at me; "fuck you, ye bleedin' cunt. Mind yer own fucking business." "I'll come there and fucking kill ye." I turn around again and tell her to come right up, I'm not afraid of her. She's this tiny little scrawny thing that given the chance I could snap in two. "I fucking will, I'll put ye back in yer chair, bitch!" I ignore her.  They keep screaming. Husband turns round in his chair and stares them out of it. Silence. He stares for about ten seconds and there is total silence the whole time. He turns back and they burst out laughing. "Big, hairy man" one of them shouts.

Lovely, just lovely.
Before we know it, I'm being repeatedly targeted with their arsenal of empty Coke, Lucozade and Club Rock Shandy bottles. They piss themselves laughing all the way through the air raid. All the time my heart is beating faster and I am losing my cool.  Should I go down there and rip them out of it?  Should I keep ignoring them? Should I get the bus driver involved? A bottle hits me in the back of the head and I jump up out of my chair, march down the stairs and up to the bus driver. I tell him about the teens, he listens intently before pulling the bus in at the next stop and turning off the engine.  He gets out of his seat and jogs upstairs. I can hear him tell them to get off.  They scream and shout objections: "We didn't do ant'in" "It was all dem, dey did it, we said nutin'" before finally capitulating. But not without one last dig at my big hairy husband: "I'll fuckin kill you, ye bleedin' prick." He laughs back at them: "Enjoy the walk home."  They stand at the bus stop, yelling at the windows, giving the fingers to the whole bus. The driver pulls off while radioing the other buses telling them not to pick up the kids at that bus stop. I walk back upstairs to my husband. He smiles at me. Outside it has started to rain, it's really heavy, torrential; the kids will be drenched. We look at one another and howl with the laughter.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Banjo and the shit.

Banjo and a bag of his own shit.  Cute.

My sister got a pet dog there a few weeks ago.  She lives just around the corner from me so when she was away for her husband's birthday last weekend she asked me to look after him for the night.  I call him Banjo.  He's a real cutie pie.  Anyways, it's the night of the minding so meself and husband walk round to her house to keep the poor, old thing company.  Husband gets distracted by their telly and sits down to watch some crap while I bring the dog for a walk.  We're walking around the green area down the end of our estate, it's surrounded by bushes and shrubs and all that malarkey.  The dog loves it.  He sniffs everything and loves having a good old gander about. So we come to one particular exciting set of brambles. Banjo sniffs at them, he is loving them. He sticks his little snout in and has a root around. There's something in there he wants.  Now, it's pitch black so I can't see a thing, only Banjo looking cute rooting around in the bushes. Then he starts to roll around onto his back.  He looks up at me; on his back with his little paws like a bunny rabbit. Little cutie! He rolls around a bit more before I get bored and yank him away with his lead. After a while we head back to the house. I let Banjo off the lead as he runs in the door and up to Kieran who is dying to give him an oul hug and a pet.  "Aw, Banjo, you're so cute, c'mere Banjo, you cutie little bundle of cuteness." He's hugging and kissing him and giving him a good rub on his little belly.  Then Banjo comes back over to me and I'm about to pet him when husband sniffs the air, then sniffs his hand, then sniffs the dog.  "What's that smell?" I sniff the air, then sniff my hands, then sniff the dog. "Ugh, Jesus! He's covered in shit!" The dog is covered in shit.  It's all over his back, his face, his collar, everywhere. "Ya dirty fecker!" I yell.  How'd it happen though?  I think back to Banjo rambling around in those brambles, looking so cute.  He wasn't being a sweet little dog, he was being a dirty old mongrel, rolling around in some other dog's shite! Needless to say we had to give him a good old scrub. The dirty git.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My take on tights.

Nutin' sexier than a burd with tights half way downs 'er legs, wha?
I can't wait for Spring so I can throw all my tights away and go bare legged again. Right now, it's bloody freezing so tights are a staple but I have so many issues with them. The crotch never stays put, it's always slowly slipping down as you walk to wherever so you have to do a quick scan for passersby before reefing them back up. The waist always rolls down on them so if you're wearing anything remotely figure hugging you look like you're carrying a baby sized hula hoop around your waist. They are nearly always too tight so they dig into your stomach causing all sorts of mad stuff to happen to your insides - anyone else get tights related indigestion?  Tights are singularly the most unsexy item of clothing ever invented, nothing gets me out of the mood quicker than the word gusset.  But the most annoying thing I have found about tights is how they make your arse itch like mad! Seriously, what's that about? My Jesus, it is so irritating. You're sitting there in your class, office, whatever and feel it coming on. You so desperately want to stick your hand down the back of your knickers and rummage around like a pre-school kid with a bad dose of thread worms. Instead you squirm inconspicuously in your chair, shifting from one arse cheek to the other, letting a bit of cool air at your bum in the hope that the urge will leave you. Usually I end up excusing myself and legging it to the toilets for a good oul scratch. I could spend five minutes scratching before I'm satisfied. Ahhhh, the relief! Once I even  pulled the feckers off and stuffed them in the bin. I couldn't deal with that itchy sensation any more. Maybe that's what we should all do - shove the offending articles in the bin! Ditch the tights! Free the itchy arses! Anyone else with me?

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Gym.

New Years, ugh!  Lucky it's nearly over. I reckon those resolutions have lost their novelty by now for most of you. The daily hours jog you promised yourself you'd do has turned into a quick stroll around the block and back home. I mean, who'd want to spend more than twenty minutes out in those freezing temperatures? It's bleedin' Baltic out there! And the healthy lunch that you'd get up every morning to prepare has become nothing more than an inconvenience, ten more minutes you could have spent lying in bed listening to Ian Dempsey shite on about how much he loves David Bowie before he plays "Heroes" for the trillionth time.  And that session in the gym you swore you'd commit to at least three times a week has dwindled down to your reluctant attendance of the odd step class, consisting of you standing at the back shuffling from one foot to the other while cursing the instructor for her amazing figure and boundless energy.  Ah yes, the gym. The one place in the world where I feel significantly fatter, uglier and dumber than everyone around me.  So here's my list of reasons for hating the gym. Feel free to add to it with a comment below!

Sweet Jesus.  God, help us all.
1. Not knowing how to use the equipment but being too intimidated by the muscled bound oafs who work there to ask for help. Seriously, why don't they get some normal looking people working at the gym? Someone who doesn't look like a steroidal Honey Monster after a body waxing session. 

2. If you exert yourself in any way you will end up looking like Waynetta Slob after a quick one down the alley way with some randomer. This is completely unavoidable.

3. The fact that the last statement is only unavoidable for you! Others will end an hours treadmill session looking refreshed and positively blooming. 

3. The mirrors stuck to the walls everywhere you look will make sure you are constantly reminded of the above facts.

4. Not knowing where to look. When you look in the mirror and watch yourself exercising you will feel like a complete tool/tit. This is especially true when completing squats, probably the most embarrassing exercise ever invented. However, if you chose not to look in the mirrors then where do you look? At the other people doing their exercises? And risk being thought of as a gawping idiot, verging on lewd stalker? Or maybe you could just look into space, look no where and end up smacking some lad in the head with your bar bell. Well done, Nutty.

Me and me husband before we head out for a jog
5. The constant feeling that others are looking at you, judging you and laughing at you. Even though you have no proof of this and it is clearly paranoia of epic proportions due to lack of self worth brought on by exposure to impossibly perfect bodies parading themselves about the place.  

6. Men standing around watching one another bench press. Yeah, they'll say they're spotting but we all know it's all about competition brought on by their feelings of inadequacy. Losers.

7. There is always one weirdo who strolls about the place, picking up this weight and that weight, standing just that bit too close and staring for just that second too long. This guy never actually seems to do any weights, exercises or machines and he is always at the gym. Always. Even when you get up at half seven in the morning in a desperate attempt to avoid him. He will be there.
Model doing a poo, I mean squat. Attractive, eh?

8. It ruins your whole week. If I go to the gym I always feel great after a session, so glad I pushed myself and went and did what I had to do.  But how long does that feeling last? Maybe an hour or two, until you realise you have to go to the gym again tomorrow. Until you remind yourself this isn't a one off thing. You have to keep going to the gym to maintain any kind of fitness level and/or slim figure. How depressing is that? I literally spend hours dreading the gym. It's there in the back of my mind the whole day. Contemplating going, contemplating just legging it home and getting into my pyjamas and watching "Tallifornia" repeats on TV 3. It drives me crazy. Takes any pleasure out of the day. This year, I reckon you should add up all the time you spend feeling good after going to the gym and then add up all the time you spend dreading going to the gym. Maybe after a glance at the results you'll do the same thing I did, not bother your arse going at all.