Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Coleman Family versus The London Flower Lovers' League

In which I am exposed as slightly better than average by the London Flower Lovers' League
"What the hell is this nonsense?" my sister asks.

She is at my father's house in Cornwall, and is Going Through Stuff, and using the electronic witchcraft that is Facebook to convey significant finds back to me and my brother.

And indeed, what the hell is this nonsense, and what the buggery were we doing getting mixed up with the London Flower Lovers' League?

I slept on it, and it all came back. Just before Christmas, a group of nice ladies with large handbags would visit our school on the Fulham Palace Road and give each child one daffodil bulb. They were the London Flower Lovers' League, and their existence has been a complete blank in my mind for the last four decades. We were expected to take the bulb away, grow it in a pot, and bring it back on a set day in the spring term, and Face The Judgement of the London Flower Lovers' League.

Naturally, at the age of six, I couldn't give a shit whether my bulb lived or died, and once it was safely at home, it was all down to my mother to do all the hard work. After a few weeks, still giving zero shits, the plant was ferried back to school and The Judgement of the London Flower Lovers' League commenced.

I have no memory of this, except for A Very Special School Assembly, where a group from the London Flower Lovers' League (looking exactly like the Monty Python team in drag as the Batley Townswomen's Guild) stood at the front and gave prizes to the winners. After a brief moment of hope mixed with giving a shit, I found I was not a winner, and returned to my default setting vis-a-vis daffodil bulbs (ie not giving a shit).

But, on returning to my class, I was handed a London Flower Lovers' League certificate saying my mum's daffodil was "Highly Commended", an item which I have no recollection of ever owning. My sister, as you can see, got a second class certificate of merit, and she claims she once got a first class one as well. Pictures or it didn't happen, swot. Away from these scenes of jubilation, my brother got a certificate saying "Thank you for your flower", clearly missing the words "but it was shit and we've already stamped on it".

Now he's got a house with a swimming pool in the garden, so sod you, the London Flower Lovers' League.

"Which one of you's Coleman? I know your mum grew your bulb for you. Don't deny it"
And what of the London Flower Lovers' League? The London Flower Lovers' League became the London Children's Flower Society, are still going as a registered charity, appear to be lovely people doing this as volunteers, and still do the spring bulb-growing competition.

I'm sorry if I was rude about you and your efforts to bring some colour into children's lives. Don't send the Batley Townswomen's Guild round.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

The dinner party conundrum

Gandhi: "Aww, crap. Not another dinner party"
It's that age old philosophical question: If you could invite three figures from history to a dinner party, who would you choose?

And this is where I feel sorry for people like Gandhi, Joan of Arc and Jesus, because they're doomed to spending their entire life in the hereafter attending dull dinner parties with unimaginative hosts and the same small circle of A-List celebrity stiffs.

Even the stoical Gandhi's heart must sink when he turns up at another front door in suburbia to see Hitler's jacket, swastika arm-band winking at him like the evil eye, hanging from the coat hook. Christ's endless well of forgiveness is surely running dry as he finds he's been sat to a hedge fund manager from Surbiton, and he'd commit actual murder for a KFC bargain bucket instead of fucking sea bass again.

"You realise the whole fisherman thing is symbolic," Jesus protests, but the hedge fund manager won't shut the fuck up about the profit he'll turn in his latest asset stripping adventure. Jesus makes a note to pass on the the people at the gates of heaven: "Don't let this one in. 100% twat."

That's why - if posed with the dinner party question - I'd steer well away from the A-Listers and go for a threesome a bit further down the food chain. In fact, I'd invite notable bastards from history, in the hope that they might turn on each other, I get to throw them out, and finish the whole ordeal as early into the evening as possible. So:

Idi Amin Dada: All-round bastard and ruler of Uganda between 1971-1979. Said to have had an interest in cannibalism and the painful death of his enemies. I'd like to force feed him Buckie and Irn Bru, just to make him realise the folly of his keenness for ruling Scotland.

Dr Harold Shipman: Said to be Britain's worst serial killer, although what the press actually means is 'best', because he seemed to be rather good at it. I'd like him to check out my feet, then accidentally kick him in the face.

Thomas Midgley Jr: You may not have heard of him, but he is the inventor of both lead in petrol and CFCs in aerosol cans. His inventions lead to the poisoning of millions and the slow destruction of our ozone layer, contributing largely to the climate change we are experiencing today. He also invented a contraption to help get him out of bed, which killed him. One eulogy says he "had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth's history", which is probably not an overstatement. I'd like to talk to him about a couple of small matters.

Amin: "Yer me best pal, hic"
Now, sane people would be wondering why I've invited a cannibal, a mass murderer and the worst person in the world round my place for a nice little dinner party in commuter-belt Hampshire. It's quite simple. I was going to make them three delightful courses of the finest Waitrose-based cuisine, all heavily garnished with their own shit, because fuck those dead guys.

And that's my ideal dinner party.

P.S. In case one of these three devils cries off for any reason:

Reserve place-setting: Ron

Ron: "I swear on my life somebody hacked my account and ordered two big pink wobbly blancmanges in the shape of a lady's bosoms."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Walt Disney's Minnie Mouse, RIP

Why did nobody tell me about Minnie Mouse dying? I had to find out about it on Facebook of all places.

And to make things worse, it looks like poor Mickey's taking it really badly.

Instead of the help he so clearly needs, he's being forced - at the end of an electric cattle prod - to get up on the carnival float and do another parade down Main Street at Disneyland Paris. And it's killing him.

Why - we ask - is he feeling so guilty?

That'll be it. Minnie gave birth to a dog, and it drove her over the edge. Tragic.

How many times have we seen loved ones giving birth to dogs, leading to a tale of tragedy and woe? Too many times, that's how many. 

I think I speak for us all when I say: RIP MINNIE MOOSE U ARE WIV DA ANGLES IN HEVEN WIV DIANA AND CECIL THE LOIN. AND ALSO CILLA AND THE QUENE MUM GOD BLESS HER.

I am not mad.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The importance of correct grammar in a post-modern society

Without punctuation, we tend toward chaos, and this anti-nazi banner that reads "GET IN THE SEA NAZIS" is all the proof we need. It could be saying any number of things:

- "Get in the Sea Nazis" = The Sea Nazis are recruiting again. Please join the Sea Nazis, they're like the Sea Scouts, only with weird ideas about racial purity. (See also: Pond scum)

- "Get in! The Sea Nazis" = We support FC Athletico Hitler of Hamburg, otherwise known as The Sea Nazis. Get in!"

- "Get 'In the Sea Nazis'" = 'In the Sea Nazis" is the new bestseller by Jeffrey Archer, and tells of his 100% true adventures infiltrating the Sea Nazis from their base in a Scout hut on the banks of the River Thames in Abingdon.

- "Get in the sea! Nazis!" = Often heard during the Dunkirk Evacuation of 1940.

- "Get in the sea, Nazis" = Go on, fuck off the lot of you.

SEA NAZIS: They're back, in Lego form
The more eagle-eyed among you will note from the photograph that trucking company Eddie Stobart is now offering "trolled distribution" to its customers.

Trolled distribution is when you receive a huge delivery on a truck pallet, but all it contains is a slip of paper saying "I've done your mum, LOL".

In fact, Eddie Stobart, renowned for giving all of their trucks women's names, have given their experimental Trolled Distribution lorry the moniker "Your Mum" as special tribute to the juvenile joke that never dies. No, that's YOUR mum.

Even Ron's in on the act:

RON: In dispute with Virgin Media, who claim he watched the adult movie "Get in the She Nazis" on a pay channel, which he didn't.
 Poor Ron.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The worst Facebook fridge magnet in the world

You know I'm a big fan of those rubbish share-me Facebook fridge magnets that people keep sharing. So I had to save this one for posterity.

It has been shared 352,000 times, proof indeed that our society deserves every terrible thing that it gets.

Then I remembered this exists...

 ...which is doing the rounds with a reminder to the punters that it's photoshopped and not real. Because somebody, somewhere is going to say "Is that real?"

It's real.*

*Lie.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We Will Go To Mount Paektu

Slovenian avante garde industrial rock band Laibach are playing a couple of dates in Pyongyang next week, and I'm not entirely sure what the North Koreans have let themselves in for.

To mark the occasion, they've released their own version of popular North Korean propaganda song "We Will Go To Mount Paektu". It's actually quite good, and is easily the best song about a volcano I've heard today.



And here's the original version by the Moranbong Band, the popular beat combo reputedly hand-picked by Kim Jong Un himself, who once did a mental live version of the Rocky theme on Korean Central TV.



But which one's better? Only one way to find out....

 I'm pretty sure that the Moranbong girls will take them, easy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The boy's finest hour

This, from the Reddit thread Parents of Reddit, what's something that your kid has done that you pretended to be angry about but secretly impressed or amused you? is my son's finest hour. Apart from all the other finest hours he's had, because he's had loads of finest hours.


~~~~~~~ Wobbly flashback lines ~~~~~~

I was called into school by my son's form teacher because he had upset one of the other boys (who had just happened to be bullying my son, virtually unpunished, for several months). In the course of a tense meeting in which the boy was essentially blamed for allowing himself to be bullied, came this exchange:

Teacher: He really upset [bully's name]. I demand that he apologises for his behaviour.

Me: What - exactly - did Adam say to him? You know [bully's name] is a thug.

Teacher: [reads matter-of-factly from a piece of paper] He went over to him in the school field during lunch break and said "Yo momma's so fat she's got her own gravitational field"

Me: Oh, well played

Teacher: Beg pardon?

Me: Disgraceful. Utterly disgraceful. I have no idea where that came from.

That night was pizza night by way of reward, because that teacher was an arse.

I was also secretly impressed at the way he managed to ride his bicycle straight into a castle, which was not my finest hour because I forgot to warn him about not riding your bike into an antique building with walls six feet thick.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

OH MY GOSH IT'S LIL' SEBASTIAN!!!

And if you've no idea what the hell I'm on about, them I'm afraid we can't be friends, and angry Ron Swanson will judge you.

Consider yourself judged.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

A short guide to petty acts of revenge, some of which involving killer bees


"Sod off, I'm busy"
"Help", says a user on Reddit's United Kingdom page. "The woman across the road cut down my lavender in my front garden because one of her kids got stung by the bees whilst he was kicking a ball around it. Is there anything I can do about this... woman? It looks like she took a lawn mower to it whilst I was at work."

People only get to hear about the bad side of Reddit. The trolling, the racist and sexist sections that are slowly being weeded out, the gore pictures. But there's a good side to the site as well, and that's Redditors coming to the aid of their contemporaries when they are in distress.

In the case of this particular Redditor, the sensible answer was to put the fear of God up the Neighbour From Hell by asking the police to make a house call about the alleged trespass and criminal damage. However, the more enlightened among us know that official action is unlikely in the case of minor vandalism, what with the cops around Croydon probably not having the time and resources to dust a lawnmower for prints and DNA evidence. So, minor acts of revenge are the thing.

Of course, some people went right over the top with their suggested acts of vengeance, and we frown on the idea of wiping dog poo on her door handles, because this is wrong and won't anyone think of the kiddiewinks? It also means walking round Croydon with a handful of dog poo, and hoping that Croydon CSI don't have the time or resources to dust door handles for prints and dog poo DNA.

So, let's think out of the box. Think anonymous mail order.

  • Mail order bees are an actual thing.
  • Order 1,000 of the killer variety for your enemy
  • Allow 28 days for delivery
  • Ensure that the package reads "Shake vigorously before opening"
  • Turn yourself in to Croydon CSI when you find out she has an allergy and dies of toxic shock

As a typical resident of the United Kingdom, surely the correct response is to go full British:

  • Almost nearly say something to them
  • Nod curtly when you see them in the morning
  • Park directly outside their house
  • Plant a rumour around the neighbourhood that their bins are full of buggered watermelons and won't anyone think of the kiddiewinks?
  • Send them the second worst Christmas card in the box late on Christmas Eve when it's too late to give you one in return without it looking like they've broken some unwritten social rule

Revenge – I think you will agree – is a dish best served nervously.