Monthly Archives: March 2016

Anti-Social Media

Well, I’ve had a very productive commute! My gifts to the world include…

Rate My Troll (.com) The pitch: Why feel morally superior to people who post anonymous racist, misogynistic rants by tackling their indefensible comments with more enlightened points of view when you can feel morally superior by criticising them on their poor use of grammar? For example: ‘A womans’ place is in the kitchen?’ – I think you’ll find it woman’s – Get your possessive nouns right pleb. Or did you mean a collection of individual women? In which case it’s still wrong and a paradox – douchebag(‘s)!

This is how we end all malice. I think I’ve stumbled onto something here. Either that or the abuse gets more eloquent (which is a victory of sorts).

Shoredicks: Like Michelin stars, but for A-holes. I went to a hipster cafe. The barista had a tattoo of a chemical equation on his arm. I inquired after its meaning. He told me it was the chemical formula for love. I wanted to punch him in the face. If there’d been two Shoredicks in the window I’d have known not to go in!

Shat-Nav: The William Shatner-themed-satellite-navigation system, complete with strange pauses in conversation that make you miss your stop and sudden forays into spoken-word renditions of popular tunes. Either that or one that allows you to record your own voice so that you feel like a driving Adonis (‘Check me out – I know where everything is.’ or ‘Why thank you Martin, I will take the next left.’)

Informiaowshon Super Highway: Make it illegal for people to post cat pictures anywhere other than on the dark web – that supposed part of the internet reserved for ultra-violent and morally bankrupt material. We’ll obviously still have to hunt them down and punish them for their crimes (I’m still talking about the cat people).

Light Web: A saccharine-sweet cyber world in which no one says anything nasty ever. Anyone writing a trolly comment has their IP address instantly blocked for life leaving people free to post things like ‘I’ve just bought a new fridge’ or ‘Look, I’ve made a casserole nyom nyom’ or whatever, and other people can reply with ‘Ooh, I made a casserole once. Did you use beef?’ and the first person can say ‘Yes – LOL’ or whatever (but no cat pictures). At the end of each month a list is compiled of everyone who has used the light web. They are then rounded up and killed, and the rest of us normal people can get back to being miserable without bothersome interruptions.

Inadvertently Curing All Prejudice: Advocate one day a week when it’s acceptable to use all of the really great insults you harnessed as a child before finding out what they really meant and subsequently losing the right to use them. It would be awkward at first, but once we’ve all got over ourselves we can crack on with establishing utopia. I’ve come up with two amazing names for this day, but am too afraid to post either of them! 

Los Lobotomy: ‘You know what this crowded tube train needs?’ I thought, ‘a mariachi band!’ and etc…

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…In Which Raconteur Skills Abandon the Ageing Lothario

The man sitting next to me is on a date. I know this by the way he answers his phone. He has that higher-pitched air of non-threatening concern so essential in the initial wooing process  (You know, the one that gets abandoned forever after a few weeks)…

‘That’s alright. I was a little late myself…No, it’s the independent one next to Starbucks… OK, see you in a few minutes.’

His date arrives and greets him with a warm smile. The man, eager to impress, steps up to the plate and unleashes the conversational mother-load: ‘Sorry for the terrible directions. Maybe we should have just met at Starbucks…but…I like to drink in places where they pay their tax.’

Even the delivery is a little strange – Kind of passive aggressive – Like: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

‘Oh,’ the woman replies, a little taken-aback. ‘Well, it’s a nice choice.’

‘Yeah…lots of companies seeking to avoid…tax…at the moment…there’s…’

He glances around the room in desperation. Our eyes lock and we share a telepathic moment.

Help me brother!

Hey man – You did this to you – Pull your shit together.


‘I think maybe some of the banks,’ his date tries to assist.

‘Yes, probably – goodgood

I hate to see brethren stumble, but what am I supposed to do? Lean across and say: Tell her she looks great you douche? And besides, my date has just arrives and so I’m like: Watch and learn my young apprentice. Listen to the Surgical Sensei work his lyrical mastery…

…And within less than a minute we’re talking about Supply-Chain-Management.

How the hell did this happen?

I fall back on my training. It tells my to show interest and ask questions, so I dredge up: ‘What’s the best supply chain you’ve ever managed?’ Her face relays so many complex messages – a mixture of I’m sorry for bringing this up / Stop asking questions / You’re only making it worse, whilst also answering the question (Multi-tasking! Women are amazing!)

Over on the next table the other guy’s date is performing the coup de grace. ‘I think maybe Google don’t pay tax as well?’ They leave soon afterwards. I appreciate their honesty (put it down to experience and move on).

But I’m still there, trapped in a rictus. I don’t think it’s the women’s fault or mine – Nothing in common – that’s all. Time and time again I’m bottling lightning and laughing at my own jokes (always a good sign), but no amount of electricity can reanimate a corpse.

Forty minutes in fate cocks the weapon and places it against my temple.

A comment about TV prompts her to say ‘I’ve just finished watching the Nordic crime drama – ‘The Killing.”

‘What a coincidence – I also enjoy killing…’

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My Punchable Face…

…Or ‘My Expletive and Dwarf-laden journey home…’ (Certain words have been substituted to give this a PG-13(ish) rating).

Aldgate station, London 17:45, usually quiet, on this particular occasion – rammed to the gills: ‘We apologise for the congestion,’ droned the tannoy, ‘This was caused by a fight on a train and subsequent cancellations.’

A cursory glance at the board told me that I wasn’t getting home via the conventional route. I took the next available train going west and changed at Baker Street. As I reached the start of the escalator an incredibly short man cut in front and tripped over my feet. Temper-wise he went from zero to a zillion within the space of a nanosecond – peppering me with a barrage of C-bombs and spectacularly overreacting.

‘Charming,’ I replied like an imbecile. Further C-bombs abounded.

In addition to the man’s height deficiency he was also three rungs below me. As such my genitals bore the brunt of his fury;  an overarching thought throughout: I am perfectly positioned to kick you right in the face…but I’m not going to do that. Sure, you look like a midget with a Napoleon complex, but you might be a ninja. I can’t go out like that. It would be like choking on a marshmallow or getting run over by a segue.

A voice from behind came to my aid: ‘Mate, calm down, I saw – It was an accident – you pushed in.’ I turned. The voice belonged to a man in a three-piece suit

‘Well you can funf yourself as well,’ screamed the ninja.


Napoleon stormed off leaving me a little shaken.

‘Don’t worry about it mate,’ reassured Three-piece, ‘guy’s a douche – you handled it well.’


‘I would’ve hit him!’

‘Fair enough.’

Far below Napoleon had clearly decided our encounter wasn’t over and was waiting for me at the bottom of the escalator.

‘If you ever deliberately trip me again I will slit your throat you C-bomb.’

‘Mate, it’s been a long day – I’m not doing this.’

‘You’ll do what I funfing well tell you you’ve doing.’

‘OK…’ I went to the right side of the platform, as did Three-piece. Napoleon followed.

Together we tried to placate the little man whilst he continued threatening and bombarding us with abuse. Eventually he lost interest and started to walk away.

‘Jeez,’ sighed Three-piece. ‘I bet you wished you’d pushed him down the escalator.’

‘What did you funfing say?’

‘Oh c’mon! No one can be this angry!’

The train arrived, packed to the rafters. No one got on board. It pulled away leaving us on the platform.

‘Yeah,’ snarled Napoleon, ‘you thought you’d escaped, but now you’re stuck with me.’

Three-piece made a strange noise. I looked to him and saw that he was laughing his ass off. He set me off.

‘This isn’t funfing funny!’ Napoleon declared.

‘It’s quite funny,’ Three-piece responded.

‘This is ridiculous,’ I added. ‘You’re ridiculous. Why are you so aggressive?’

‘If you don’t stop laughing…’

Before I knew what I was saying I’d stepped up to him. ‘I tell you what – Throw down or f*&% off.’

‘Oh, you want we to throw down? I’ll funfing throw down. I’ll throw you off the funfing earth.’

I am living proof that it is possible to find something hilarious whilst also fearing for your wellbeing. ‘No, I don’t want you to throw down. I want you to go away.’

Another train arrived. The three of us got into the same carriage and stood staring at one another for the next ten minutes . It was the closest I’ve ever come to an out of body experience in that I could sense how smug I must look, but was powerful to wipe the provocation from my lips. Three-Piece was clearly having the same issue.

At Paddington the two normal-sized people alighted.

‘Bye C-BOMBS!’ Napoleon yelled.

If I was going to smack him I’d left it a little late. I looked at Three-piece. He gave me a cheeky wink.

‘BYYYEEE,’ we both waved euphorically.

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