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?