Friday, May 29, 2009

Waiter, there aren't enough slugs in my salad

"And what about the slugs, you wonder? They’re not so very different, anatomically, and they come shell-free. In the Hebrides they used to chop up the big black ones, salt them and store them for use in the hungry days of the winter."

I can't believe I actually read the article in its entirety, but if that particular paragraph had appeared at the beginning rather than at the end, I would probably have been too busy yarking up breakfast to finish reading the article. As it is, I'm feeling very queasy, and the banana and pear I ate a couple of hours ago are uneasily close to making a reappearance from the same orifice as they went in - not the normal state of affairs, I assure you.

Bad enough to think of people eating snails... but slugs? Slugs!!! Urgh!

If snails and slugs were quite the delicacies that the author of the article suggests they are, wouldn't there be a lot less of them in gardens everywhere? Wouldn't people be pouncing on them for a snack, or at least with the intention of selling them in farmers markets or exotic food outlets?

Instead of being boiled alive in the kitchens of gourmets, these slimy, disgusting little beasts are rife in my garden, nibbling at the tender leaves of things I'm trying to grow and ignoring all the weeds (which, for information, I am trying NOT to grow!)

I'm going to go out on a limb and bet that these abominations of creations originated from God's nose pickings, probably during a time when He had a really phlegmy cold. No religious tome of any of the world's religions is going to mention this, though... because you can't reveal such things to the faithful without compromising God's Omniscience and All-Powerfulness - not to mention His Dignity.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Worry"

Can your earlobes get detached and if they do, will they flap in the wind?

What if my plants arent growing because I don’t talk to them?

What if my plants aren’t growing because I DO talk to them and they’re so bored they’re trying to become seeds again?

What if there’s an alien living in the ATM I use?

What if the alien inside the ATM I use has tentacles?

What if the alien inside the ATM I use decides to slide a tentacle out and nab my finger when I try to collect my money?

What if my trouser leg gets stuck between the teeth of an escalator and my trousers are ripped off?

What if Britney Spears shaves her head again?

What if I’ve already done a post about my worries and don’t remember? What if these aren’t even new worries?

What if some hacker creates a virus that erases the internet?

What if I’m too funny for people to understand?

What if my blog gets a huge readership and I can’t cope with the pressure of fame or stop playing to the gallery all the time?

What if the worst thing that can happen ISNT the worst thing that can happen?

What if I don’t have enough to worry about?

How will I know if I’m worrying enough about my worries?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Disconnected"

People who live their lives through their Blackberry (or whatever other equivalent) are completely mystifying, their pride in being “connected” to everything somewhat bizarre. Now, I’ve no idea of all the things that a Blackberry can do that make it so indispensable that some people own and use more than one - at the same time! So, say that you can call people, listen to music, watch a video, read a book, send/receive email, make appointments, book tickets, take photographs or videos, watch live TV programmes and everything else on your Blackberry that makes it a multifunctional item. Brilliant. Very cool. Very clever.

Does it mean that you simplify your life by getting rid of your ipod, TV, video/DVD player, music system, phone, camera, videocam, computer, books and possibly your secretary? No. So if you’re still going to have all those things anyway, what’s the point of a Blackberry?

Phones that play music, ipods that function as phones – what’s with that? I would be happy for my ipod to just play music and do nothing else. I don’t need my ipod to be a diary, an alarm clock, a radio, a DVD player, a TV, computer or anything else. I have all those things separately, and they all work just fine.

I have a nice large-screen TV on which I enjoy watching TV programmes and movies. I have never been overcome by an irresistible urge to watch a movie on a 3” screen anywhere, no matter how little else I have to do. Even on long-haul flights, when I could conceivably be expected to be bored and require entertainment, I don’t bother with the 3” screens on the back of the seat in front of me.

I don’t think I’m a Luddite when it comes to technology. I just don’t feel the necessity to be connected all the time to an electronic leash, everywhere I go. Technology is a utilitarian thing, as far as I'm concerned - if it does what I need, that will do. When an item that's meant to make your life simpler turns out to need training to operate, because it's complicated by the sheer number of things it does, those technological "advances" defeat the original purpose - simplicity.

I wonder what they would do, those very important, very tech-savvy people who are addicted to their Blackberrys, if they were disconnected from the electronic world. How would they survive the lack of entertainment at the touch of a dinky little button on a dinky little screen?

Me, I’d read a book – just your normal, printed book, which wouldn’t tell you the time, remind you of an appointment, play music, make a phone call, receive an email, take a photograph or do anything other than be something to read. The kind of book that would have pages made from paper that you could touch, smell and feel, the kind of book that wouldn’t need batteries, mains power or recharging. That kind of retro book.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Making a clean breast of things

Came across this news item today, and couldn’t help laughing – I mean, how ridiculous is it to say that the woman breached food and drink rules? (Actually she breached both rules simultaneously – hahahaha! Sorry, cant help it, I just think it’s really funny.)

Seriously, though, it’s not like she was going to litter the poolside with empty bottles or cans or sandwich wrappers! She would certainly not be leaving anything behind for someone else to clear up as the container(s) would go home with her. That really was a ridiculous enforcement of an otherwise reasonable rule and the pool management definitely owed her an apology at the very least.

Anyway, as expected, the woman protested that she was doing “the most natural thing in the world”. And that's where my irritation kicked in. I have a problem with that description as applied to breastfeeding... it is NOT the most natural thing. Or rather, it’s one of many “most natural” functions, including crapping. Obviously most normal people wouldn’t crap in public, given a choice of doing it more discreetly and comfortably away from the eyes of onlookers. (Men who pee/crap in public, by the way, are normal too – it’s just that they should be classified as animal, rather than human.)

Breastfeeding discreetly in public is ok by me, and even indiscreetly done it doesn’t really bother me, as obviously it doesn’t bother the woman doing it. What I find odd, though - if displaying one's breasts all the time is unacceptable despite their being natural (forget about surgically enhanced for the moment), why is it acceptable to display them while breastfeeding? Yeah yeah, I know, boobs are for feeding babies, yada yada. But call breastfeeding the “most natural thing” all you want, protest as much as you like that she’s a mother providing nourishment to her infant, the undeniable fact is that the woman has her boobs out in public. It's not something women do in the normal course of things, is it?

I don't mean those who do it discreetly. I assume that those who don't make a big deal of breastfeeding their babies openly are those who do not have the exhibitionist gene in their make-up. Single women who were comfortable with putting their assets on display probably continue that way as mothers – but with the added approbation of doing the “most natural thing”, this time as a more or less socially-acceptable form of exhibitionism.

Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong, and the call of motherhood is stronger than any inhibitions that might be caused by modesty. I wouldn’t know that personally and don’t care to find out.

Still, if boobs must be whipped out in public, at least done to feed a baby, it’s in a good cause. I’m all for good causes.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Allah’s revenge

or, How Non-Believers Are At Fault For Everything

Convenient explanation, isn’t it? The tsunami in 2004 was Allah’s punishment on those people who had fun by the beachside. And now the swine flu (oh WHAT a godsend for the True Believers... SWINE flu!) which, because of its perceived piggy origins, has most certainly everything to do with the infidels who aren’t Muslim and who eat pork, and with those fallen Muslims who, defying the Godly ban on the ingestion of swine, bravely eat pork anyway. (Question: Should we be calling this the Revenge of The Pork, much as the mad cow disease was probably Bovine Retribution?)

Logic, of course, has sod all to do with this explanation. I wonder if the righteous proponents of Allah’s Heavenly Persecution have taken into account those of their fellow righteous brethren who died in the tsunami along with all the sinners, or those of them who have contracted swine flu and may be dying even now, this minute, as I write. Or are the innocent part of the – what’s the term now ... oh yes, the collateral damage which occurs when retribution, whether divine or human, is sweeping rather than specific? Or maybe the collaterally and terminally damaged go directly to Heaven even as the rest go to Hell.

Oh, and how would the righteous explain away those sinners – Muslim and non – who survived the tsunami and who will, inevitably, also survive the swine flu? I’d love to hear it.

This article says a lot more about the prescience of Islam when it comes to natural disasters. So do read it.

I would like to add that my blanket condemnation would apply equally as much to any Hindus or Christians or believers of any other denomination who come up with religious explanations for non-religious occurrences. Being agnostic/atheist has its plus points in that you can be equally scathing of all religious head-cases (and, of course, its minus points too, in that you might attract the wrath of the "true" followers of Ram, Christ AND Allah). But the bottomline is, it’s religious fanatics that I’m against, not any religion in particular.



(Just doing my bit for the tabloid world.)

But seriously, spiders that size? Aaack!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Confession"

A couple of confessions, in no particular order of importance because they’re not terribly important. The really interesting ones get to remain unconfessed and I shall carry the guilt (or the secret joy) of those unconfessions to the grave (or the crematorium) with me. Sorry, folks.

Confession No 1:

When I was 10 years old or thereabouts, I accompanied my parents to their friends’ home. There were two boys there, the older one about 12 years old and the younger a couple of years younger than me. Younger one evidently worshipped older one, and older one showed off freely and quite unashamedly, encouraged to greater “feats” by the presence of an extra onlooker (me). At one point he opened an atlas and challenged me to match his hand span at full stretch, thumb on Australia and tip of middle finger touching India (or something like that).

I did it fairly easily (the older one hadn’t observed this, probably busy trying to think of the next “challenge”) but then saw the look on the younger boy’s face – total shock/disappointment/disbelief at the perceived fall of his hero, beaten by a mere girl… and oh dear, a few incipient tears. So I asked the older one to show me again exactly where he’d placed his thumb and middle finger, and then - oh, how I cringe at this confession - I pretended that I couldn’t match his “manly” hand span!
Yes, I ensured that the younger one’s hero didn’t fall off his pedestal and protected the reputation of the older one… but oh, at what price this impulsive defence of a young blowhard! What a letdown of my gender, of all the women who fought for emancipation, who fought for the vote, who fought for equality, who fought to be seen as equal to or even better than men! It is a difficult, difficult thing to confess, and I may never live this down...

Confession No 2:

Actually, come to think of it, this next confession may actually matter – but never mind, I shall come clear no matter at what further cost to my reputation.

I’ve always made fun of people who cried at emotional scenes in movies, pointing out perfectly logical and perfectly true things like “It’s not real, they’re only acting”, and shaking my head in disbelief when I caught anyone blubbing – which was pretty often. But what they didn’t know, because I was at great pains to hide from everybody (friends and family both), is that I cried at every single melodramatic scene I came across. Since everybody would be watching the movie and not me, and because the cinema halls were always dimly lit, I got away with it every time (I’m pretty sure of this). And by the time the credits got over and the lights came on, I would have collected myself, ready to mock those who didn’t have a problem with being openly “emotional” or being labeled “sensitive”.

There. That’s about as much as I’m willing to lay bare.

An award/tag from Umm Oviya, and my duty is done

Okay, this is a tag started by Umm Oviya of Quite Qatar, and although it's also an award she's instituted, I prefer to think of it as a way to discover new blogs, hopefully at least some of which will be very readable. There are probably thousands of well-written, funny blogs out there which need outing and propagating, and this is my bit towards that end.

I got to this site by blog hopping, and unfortunately have no idea which one led me there. It's not always the journey which matters, anyway, so here is the link to journey's end:

Scary Duck

I've no idea if Mr Scary Duck (who is neither scary nor a duck, apparently) will continue this tag... mainly because unless he follows linkbacks, he's not likely to know that he's received a newly instituted award. I hope he will do all of the above, though, if and when he ever finds out.