Says Who?

Driving home from Sheffield last night after an enjoyable evening watching Alan Davies, well worth the £25 if you get the chance to go along,however SezJez says she’s never felt so young since she took her Dad to see The Stranglers for his birthday a couple of years ago, I elected to go along the A61 as opposed to the cross country and much more fun B roads that I usually use. It’s donkeys years since I drove along that stretch of the 61 and the bastards have made it a 50 mph speed limit. Not only that, at seemingly every kink in the road they have put up “Maximum Speed 40 MPH” and at one point 35 MPH.

So there are all the goody two shoeses, driving along at 39 mph then slowing dramatically to 25 mph at every slight deviation from the straight and narrow. Of course when they get to the street-lit 30 mph zones they all speed up ro at least forty, I presume because they can see where they are going.

And I’m driving along, calm but frustrated because even the sharpest bend on this stretch can be taken, at worst, at a good fifty, 60+ in the Polo and probably well in excess of 70 in the GTi, without straying over the white line or ending up in a ditch.

So it made me wonder, was it just a knee-jerk reaction to a bad accident involving an uninsured, teenage drunk, driving a car too powerful for his limited capabilities and showing off to the gaggle of peers in the passenger seats?

Or did somebody, an 84 year old, flat cap wearing, pipe-smoking, short sighted grandpa perhaps, actually go out and drive along the road at gently increasing speed until they were either too scared to carry on, or they lost control and crashed, or thier nose started to bleed?

Either way, if there is a vacancy for a road test driver can I put myself up for it, I can even supply 3 very different vehicles to do the test in. C’mon that’s got to be worth £50 grand p.a. of any highways agency’s money.

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Skip To The Loo

Off to Penistone Paramount last night, the local cinema cme theatre, for the Comedy Club. It’s very civilised at the Paramount, the seats are comfortable and well spaced, plenty of leg room, good clear view of the screen/stage from wherever you sit. And they’ve got a bar. When they are in cinema mode they still have an intermission so that you can get a half-time pint.

So out show was due to start at 8pm, the doors opened at 7pm and the bar was soon doing a roaring trade, pre-show drinks, orders for interval drinks.

At 8.15 the lights went down and the compere, Toby Foster, local radio DJ, arrived on stage, getting the audience in the mood for the first turn, a young man by the name of Christian Reilly, and his guitar. Christians act centres around his music and we found it tear inducingly funny.

However something was up with the locals. There was fidgeting down our row and then a man made his way past and dashed into the toilets. He was quickly followed by two others.

“The Penistone Cottagers?” I mused to hubby, but no, very soon, while Chris was stil up there on stage singing a song about fellatio, there were streams of men going to the loo.

“How rude,” (as in bad mannered) I thought. But then I reasoned there must be a cause.

Undiagnosed diabetes? Most of the chaps were in their forties and some of them quite stocky.

Prostate problems? That makes you chaps pee a lot doesn’t it?

I resolved to mention it to my doctor friend when next we meet.

By now nearly every male in the place was going to the toilet, Chris had taken to playing a little ditty,
Skip to the loo,
skip to the loo,
will it be a pee or
will it be a poo?
but these guys were unabashed, as they queued, shuffling at the toilet doors – and ladies I can’t tell you what a gratifying sight that was.

Then Chris called it a day and we went to the interval.

It was then that the mystery was solved. The Paramount has gone metric, it now sells its ale in 1/4 litre glasses, for the girlies, 1/2 litre glasses for the lasses and puffs, and in 1 litre glasses for the real men.

Yep all the blokes were drinking litres as opposed to pints and consequently having to go for a pee twice as often.

Health and Safety?

So this week I have read an article where a US lifeguard was fired for saving a swimmer’s life, as the swimmer was out of the proteted area and they have liability issues.

I also heard that a local landowner not too far from me in France has started to charge 2€ for access to his land which also happens to be a popular river beach. This is because he was recently sued by a holiday maker (punter as they are known among local workers) who had jumped off a high rock and injured himself, and therefore sued the landowner. And won.

Had said landowner had a sign up saying ‘Jump off the rock at your own risk’ (or preferably, ‘if you jump off this rock, you are a dick, its well high and you will more than likley injure/kill yourself’, as I have ever decreasing trust in the common sense of the general public).

Another story that came to light in the same conversation was that a female punter had broken her back jumping off a bridge. Her insurance company said they wouldn’t pay out as clearly, she shouldn’t have jumped off a bridge (dick). In her defence, she actually said ‘there wasn’t a sign saying ‘don’t jump off this bridge”. See? Clearly suffering from common sense issues.

I have no love for insurance companies in general, and I would have liked to hear that they put up more of a fight in the instance of the lady with the broken back. Clearly her mother never said ‘…and if Jenny jumped off a bridge, would you to the same?’. Mine did, and of course I thought ‘No, because if I jumped off a bridge I’d surely seriously injure or kill myself’. However, I do feel a tad sorry for them these days. I agree they will do their absolute damnedest to find a loophole in your policy and avoid paying out in lots of cases, but I think now we have reached a stage where health and safety, risk assesments and liability issues have gone so far that they are fucked if they do and fucked if they don’t.

When I was a kid, we had a sandpit in the garden, and I used to eat sand by the handful. Nowadays I could do that, but if I contracted any kind of illness within the few days following, I could potentially sue my parents for allowing me to eat it.

Everyone is so paranoid about everything today, kids don’t go outside because its not sterilised. Workplaces have a health and safety team whose sole purpose is to perform risk assessments and potentially disrupt the work of others. Don’t even get me started on school trips or the world of activity holidays.

Lets go back to letting people be responsible for themselves and their own mind. Make your own risk assesments. If you decide to jump off a bridge and survive, uninjured, then happy days. If you decide to jump off a bridge and injure yourself, or worse, accept the consequences knowing that while you may be a dick, you would always accept a dare.

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Giant Toilet Roll Blues

I was away at the weekend, camping down in Sussex whilst we attended The Festival Of Speed at Goodwood. If you’re a petrol head this is an excellent event to go to, Supercars, Touring cars, Rally cars, Vintage cars, Le Mans Cars, F1 cars, you name it. Unlike at Grands Prix you can get up close and personal around the machinery on display, and also the personnel. Sez Jez came away with Alain Prost and Rene Arnoux’s autographs, and also a kiss from M. Arnoux, lucky bugger. We were six inches from the old siver fox himself, Damon Hill, swoon. Seb Vettel was everywhere where Sez Jez wasn’t, everybody else saw him. Our old mate Bruce is now best muckers with Jensen Button, Murray Walker is still a motormouth and Sir Jackie Stewart is still the perfect ambassador for the sport.

The weather wasn’t too bad, warm and sunny at times, just one or two heavy showers and a howling gale. The tent stayed up alright, in fact far better than some on the campsite, so we were able to sit around in the canopy, snug, warm and dry, drinking vast quantities of ice cold bottled beer, ice from Lidl, 89p per bag! who’d have thought it. We did decide if we actually wanted to put ice in our drinks, Pimms anyone?, we would have to lash out an extra 11p and get the ice from Sainsbury’s, there being no Waitrose nearby.

But then the downside. Copious beer equals copious widdles. So off we kept trooping to the loos.
And spending so much time in there I came to contemplate the utter uselessness of the giant toilet roll.

Giant toilet rolls first made a debut way back in the 80s. They were heralded as god’s gift to public toilets. Last longer, need changing less often, less likely to run out, cheaper in the long run, more hygenic as they came in an enclosed dispenser, and able to find a cure for the common cold to boot if my memory serves me, or so it seemed at the time.

Its thirty years now and the bastard things are still there.

But if something ever turned out not to be a great idea, then this has to be it.

Because the roll is so big and heavy it doesn’t actually unroll very well, so you have to stick your hand up inside the casing and manually rotate the roll until the end eventually flops down. Very hygenic. Then you start pulling and one of two things happen:-

a) you pull hard and unravel at least four feet of the stuff, economical see?

or

b) you pull hard and the paper snaps off leaving you with 3 inches and the need to stick your hand inside the cover once again.

Then there are the times when the roll has run out. Because these rolls are so valuable the dispensers have locks on, so spare rolls can’t be left out cos nobody except staff can fit them anyway. They also can’t be left out cos they’re quite heavy and if some poor unsuspecting punter tried to lift one they’d probably give themselves a hernia. Elf and Safety hazzard innit?

And of course, you can’t actually see if there is any paper left on the roll when you enter the cubicle, so you can sit down, commune with nature, stick your hand up the dispenser, twiddle away for a bit and then discover its grope through your pockets to see if you have a tissue, resort to the bare hand wipe or ,hoping there is nobody else about, gather up ones trousers and shuffle to the next empty cubicle time.

There’s only one conclusion I can come up with about these abominations and that is, as us gilies use a lot more of the stuff than the boys, IT MUST HAVE BEEN INVENTED BY A MAN.

Is It really That Easy?

Journalist, Carol Midgley, has written a book for children entitled,”My Family and other Freaks”.

The book is the anguished musings of a pre-teen child who suffers abject mortification anytime any of her family breathe by the sound of things.

In the children’s section of the paper today Mrs Midgely writes a light hearted guide for children to present to their parents to help said parents avoid being soooo embarrassing, outling potential embarrassments and the effect on the child.

These include not using hip language; not dancing, ever, never mind at weddings; not dressing inappropriately for ones age.

The one that caught my eye was “… and never say to your eldest, ‘How’s my big boy/girl today?’ This could a) make them vomit and b) make them want to leave home.”

Really Carol? Is that all I have to do to ensure BBC is asking to borrow a suitcase?

Hmmm, if you’ll excuse me I just have to go and find out how my big boy is today….

Just When You Thought It Was SafeTo Get Out The Deckchairs……

Having endured one of the wettest Aprils and most of Mays since the last really wet April and May, our brief foray into summer has brought a new threat to mankind, or little-old-lady-kind to be more precise.

For the second time in the space of two weeks a little-old-lady enjoying the warm weather has been trapped inside the frame of her deckchair when the fabric ripped and the deckchairs swallowed them whole.

In the first instance, in Sweden, the 84 year old l-o-l was trapped for two days before neighbours rescued her from her balcony where she had been sunbathing, before her usually placid and trusted deckchair turned on her, ripping its fabric and entangling its owner in its wooden frame.

In the latest incident, worryingly much closer to home in Scarborough, an 83 year old l-o-l was trapped for six hours in an identical attack by her deckchair before being rescued by the fire service.

The government has issued a statement asking everybody to be wary around deckchairs, especially those of more mature years, be that the deckchair or the member of the public.

An official stated, ” Obviously this is a very worrying trend, although you can sympathise with the deckchairs, they do get bored with all that time on their hands as they loll about in sheds and storecupboards during the winter months and extended periods of bad weather. Hopefully if the public are vigilant such attacks can be avoided, but anyone noticing a deckchair behaving in a suspicious manner should contact the police who will ensure that the offending deckchair is humanely destroyed.”

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Just When You Thought It Was SafeTo Get Out The Deckchairs……

Having endured one of the wettest Aprils and most of Mays since the last really wet April and May, our brief foray into summer has brought a new threat to mankind, or little-old-lady-kind to be more precise.

For the second time in the space of two weeks a little-old-lady enjoying the warm weather has been trapped inside the frame of her deckchair when the fabric ripped and the deckchairs swallowed them whole.

In the first instance, in Sweden, the 84 year old l-o-l was trapped for two days before neighbours rescued her from her balcony where she had been sunbathing, before her usually placid and trusted deckchair turned on her, ripping its fabric and entangling its owner in its wooden frame.

In the latest incident, worryingly much closer to home in Scarborough, an 83 year old l-o-l was trapped for six hours in an identical attack by her deckchair before being rescued by the fire service.

The government has issued a statement asking everybody to be wary around deckchairs, especially those of more mature years, be that the deckchair or the member of the public.

An official stated, ” Obviously this is a very worrying trend, although you can sympathise with the deckchairs, they do get bored with all that time on their hands as they loll about in sheds and storecupboards during the winter months and extended periods of bad weather. Hopefully if the public are vigilant such attacks can be avoided, but anyone noticing a deckchair behaving in a suspicious manner should contact the police who will ensure that the offending deckchair is humanely destroyed.”

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