Sunday, 25 April 2010

Hey Prestolino!

A guest columnist promotes his latest video.

“Hi there, Björn Olofsson here. Senior Marketing manager and ultra cool dude for WMF Hey Prestolino coffee machines.

Let’s break bread a little here my lovely cool British homeboys and girls. You maybe wonder what I up to here? Well I tell you, I have super cool video to share with the world. My super cool team said to me ‘Hey Björn, how can we make the Hey Prestolino coffee machine super cool and trendy, just like our customers?’

I organised a think tank with some of my cool colleagues and then it hit us like a lightning bolt. What does every super cool, state of the art, fully automatic speciality coffee machine need? I’ll tell you what it needs. Rock and Roll. Yeah baby.

It seems such an obvious fit, don’t you think dudes and dudesses? A modern design and intuitive operation. Cool, yeah? Rock and Roll. Super cool, yeah? Yeah baby yeah!

So what I decide to do is hire coolest band in Stockholm, ‘Exkrementgnidning’, which I think translates to Faecal Rubbings. How super cool is that? So they saw the fit straight away, or as soon as I offered them the cheque and free coffee machine. See how they buy into the dream? Those guys are super cool and down with it alright?

So we got top director, the band and me into a studio and hey presto, we made some magic. Or we made a corporate video that made our coffee machine look as funky and with it as the band. You see that guy in the studio with the thinning hair and moustache giving the high five? That’s me. Yeah baby yeah. I showed it to my teenage daughter and she said I looked like a complete dickwad, which I think is your English slang for super cool fly guy. And when I tell you about the response from my more junior marketing team you will not be surprised. One man said I was biggest Jiz stain arse wipe patronizing piss pipe he had ever had pleasure to work with. Not sure of exact translation, but tears of honour flowed from my eyes like a flushed toilet.

Take a look at my super cool video and see how Rock and Roll and coffee go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong. And remembered for ever like shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yipitty boom de boom.”

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Superiority Complex

“If I can just give you a bit of advice mate?” Said the cretinous, patronising security guard at Heathrow to the well-dressed businessman scrabbling around on the floor looking for the money that had just fallen there. “Never, ever, ever put your belt in the small tray. Never. That was an accident waiting to happen. It was always going to make it tip up, taking your change with it. I could have told you that.”

Well, thank you very much Einstein. Those pearls of wisdom will stay with all of us present until the day we die. I personally shall turn to my children whilst lying on my deathbed and say, “If I can give you a bit of advice kids? Never, ever, ever put your belts in the small tray, it’s an accident waiting to happen.” This will be a lesson they can take with them through the rest of their lives and lead to them developing into well rounded, self-sufficient, productive adults. If I had been the well-dressed businessman I would have taken said belt, wrapped it round the guard’s stupid, scrawny neck and tightened it until all the life had drained out of his moronic pock-marked face, then removed it and beaten him black and blue with it. Okay, obviously I wouldn’t, I would have smiled benignly and thought about it whilst silently calling him a very rude name.

There is a certain type of person, usually employed in a position where the only qualifications needed are to have breath and opposable thumbs, which delight in lording it over everyone else. They seem to think that because they know how to do one single task better than the general population, they are some kind of mastermind, and we are all ignorant heathens. We all know them: Security guards, tip workers, traffic wardens, train revenue inspectors, bouncers the list goes on. Why they feel the need to act like a prize dick at every opportunity is anyone’s guess, but they do. Perhaps its some kind of a peak cap syndrome? How they would love a peak cap, and possibly epaulettes to mark out their rank. ‘I hold the temporary balance of power, so therefore I am far more important than you are, and I will take every opportunity to let you know.’ You can just imagine them saluting themselves every morning in the bathroom mirror, before putting on their uniform, collecting their packed lunch, kissing their mum goodbye and heading off for work.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Every cloud does not have a silver lining…

…especially the one spewing out of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano (surely a name conjured up by a cruel news editor to challenge Alastair Burnet and company). The chaos caused by this unprecedented event has left over 150,000 Britons stranded abroad, three of whom happen to be my wife and children.

As pissed off as I am (and I am) there is no one to complain about, no one to complain to. Their safety has to come first and while there is any risk at all it is only right that they stay where they are. This makes it even harder, because without anyone or anything to rant about I have no outlet for my burgeoning rage. Instead I am left pottering around my quiet, tidy house with only our wretched cat for company. I don’t even like the bloody animal, but yet it has turned into a little black shadow following me around at all times. I can’t even go for a pee without two black paws and a head appearing between my legs to check if all is in working order. Urinary personal space issues aside, a Morecombe and Wise-esque relationship seems to have developed between us. Two lonely beings co-existing in their suburban retreat; me mooching around looking for things to do, and the cat following behind to see if it can join in. I half expect a song and dance routine to start at any time, and a famous actor to pop up as a surprise guest.

When we are in the middle of our busy, stressful lives we all crave some quiet time; a little quality period of rest and reflection. Yet when you have it, by God it’s boring. Did you know for instance that we have 326 tiles in our kitchen, or that if you close your eyes really tight for a long time and rub them with your fingers you get an amazing kaleidoscopic light show of all different shapes, colours and patterns behind your eyes? No of course you didn’t know about my kitchen tiles, and I’m sure you couldn’t care less about my kaleidoscopic light show because they’re fucking pointless and you would have to be bored out of your mind to even think about it. Can you imagine how depressing it is to have a water gargling competition on your own?

My family are stranded in Dubai trying to make the most of their unexpected stay, while I muddle along here in good Old Blighty. I’m not sure who has the shittier end of the stick, although I know where I’d rather be. At least I know they are safe, and as I watch the news I am heartened by the spirit and resilience of those affected by the disruption. Whether finding their long way home or making new friends. Out of adversity has come ingenuity and isolation has come friendship.

However none of this helps me much so I’m off to kick the cat.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Diddy Daytona

I have never felt the need to live near Santa Pod, or Daytona, the Hockenheimring or indeed any other racetrack. So I guess I should consider myself lucky that my distance from the world of racing is countered for by the plethora of boy racers who see fit to roar along the high street covering tiny distances at a time, at very nearly a great speed.

What makes these daredevil young racers ever so slightly laughable is the vehicles they have to perform in. Due to the outlandish insurance costs now available for anybody under the age of 87, these brave young men are forced to buy cheap slightly less than super minis, and then do with them what they can. This usually involves painting them a hideous colour (lime green seems to be a favourite), adorning them with ridiculous patterns and then equipping them with an exhaust bigger than most people’s television sets. This gives the sound of a jet fighter, with the unfortunate side effect of the performance of a shopping trolley. Then for the Pièce de résistance: The stereo. A ludicrous monster that they can turn up to roughly the same volume as the Live aid concert.

I was lucky enough to witness one the other day as he roared past me at 28mph, the four hooded occupants nodding away rhythmically to their song of choice. I was left somewhat bemused by the song itself, a mix of ‘Loving you is easy ‘cause you’re beautiful’ by Minnie Riperton and some kind of ragga drum and bass track. It was the aural equivalent of combining treacle and barbed wire. Not my cup of tea, but hey, each to their own.

In a world of order, peace and tranquility what every regional town needs is a courageous band of unintelligent boy racers to liven things up. The sight of their bobbing heads accompanied by the roar of the engine and thumping music is enough to stir the soul of even the most die-hard car hater. Without them life would simply be too quiet. Too pleasant. My only hope is that they don’t crash and burn in a horrifying accident, caught inside their mangled mini, surrounded by flames that match the ones painted on their doors. The banging on the window for help drowned out by a delightful techno ditty, as we stand by watching; mouthing the words ‘What? Sorry can’t hear you. What are you saying? You want some kelp, are you sure? Strange boy.’

This would clearly be a tragedy.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


My family were due home today after nearly three weeks away in South Africa.
With the house tidied, beds made and shopping done I was just about to set off for Gatwick when Peter Pessimist, the annoying voice in the back of my head piped up:
"I wonder if anything will go wrong?"
'Don't be so negative' I thought, what could go wrong?
"Perhaps the flight will be delayed?" Said Peter Pessimist.
'Well, I'll just get a coffee.' I thought.
"What if there are delays?"
'I'll just be a bit late, not the end of the world.'
"What if the car breaks down?"
'The car is fine, it's not going to break down.'
"What if there's a volcanic eruption over Iceland causing all flights in and out of the UK to be cancelled?"
'Don't be ridiculous.' I thought. 'What are the chances of that happening?'

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The crassest ad ever?

Surely it's one thing to be caught out as a serial philanderer, but to then allow your dead father's voice to help you use that to sell running shoes is ever so slightly tasteless?

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Can I start by saying that I fully accept that it is everybody’s God given right to dawdle if they choose. Whether it be through old age, infirmity or inclination that they see fit to walk at a snail’s pace, so be it. But can I just say, on behalf of the rest of us, if you do choose to dawdle, can you please for the love of God get out of the bloody way?

It can be almost unbearably annoying to get stuck behind a two mph roadblock that restricts you to walking at the kind of pace that would send a sloth into a rage of impatient apoplexy. Heaven help you if you get two together, a dawdling duo, then all chance of overtaking is lost and you are left bobbing and weaving from side to side like some kind of frustrated boy racer in a souped up Citroen Saxo. And to make matters worse the dawdlers seem to have a Puffer fish like ability to swell to twice their normal size, just to ensure there is no available route past.

But worse than the dawdler, so much worse than the humble dawdler, is the slaloming dawdler. Those people with the sixth sense or hidden eyes in the back of their head who know exactly when you try to pass and then totter over to block your path. You go to overtake on the right; they meander over to the right. You quickly make a dash to the left, but too late, they’re already there. Stumbling across with all the time in the world and not a care to speak of.

Dawdlers are usually to be found at airports or train stations, or indeed any other location frequented by people in a hurry. Shopping centres on a Saturday afternoon are also a popular venue, and it is of course here that they can really spread out with shopping bags or other props to hinder a safe passage through to the car park before your ticket runs out.

Is it not reasonable to suggest a dawdler lane? Perhaps even an unspoken agreement that the sauntering strollers among us stick to the right hand side of the path, and let the rest of us by at a respectable pace? This way they will be far less annoying; we might become friends, we may even wave at them as we pass. If there are any renegade slaloming dawdlers however, then I can only suggest that they are rounded up and carted off to a countryside exile where they can take up as much room as they want and wander off dawdling to their hearts content.

Monday, 5 April 2010


There seems to have developed a rather annoying habit of certain people ending each statement with the word so.

This new convention seems to be taking over as the default end to a sentence, so…?

I can only presume this is because they don’t quite know how to finish their thought, but by leaving a questioning so? They hope somebody else will do it for them, so...?

It has become almost as annoying as Australian Question Intonation, where the voice goes up questioningly at the end of each sentence. A trait that is particularly popular with young girls influenced by Neighbours, Home & Away etc, so…?

I wonder where people have lost the confidence in their own point of view so much that they feel the need to let somebody else finish off their thoughts, so…?

It could be that they aren’t even looking to illicit a response, but simply have no idea what they are actually talking about, so…?

It’s possible that the idea of leaving a thought hanging could indicate an open mind on the subject, so…?

It could also suggest they would rather hand over the task of finishing their thoughts to someone else, so…?

It takes the responsibility off them and they can simply nod in agreement to whatever follows, so…?

They still seem intelligent enough to have proposed a question, even if it started off life as a fact, so…?

I suggest a fine system for anyone caught ending a sentence with the wrong intonation, a thought left hanging and double penalty points for using the word so.


Saturday, 3 April 2010

Snatch Wars

This has been doing the rounds a bit recently, but is very funny.
Here is a man who truly knows how to Rant.
The east end meets outer space.
(Be warned, the language is a little fruity if you're thinking of watching it in front of your grandparents or eight year old niece)