3 Things I’ve Noticed Since I Lost My Phone

A couple of months ago I lost my phone in a gay bar, it must have been picked up through the night and sold off or whatever, unfortunately though it left me phone-less, without enough money to buy a new one, and it completely shattered my opinion that the gay community were far too fabulous to ever commit such a heinous act.

Those pants are good for smuggling phones as well as budgies!

Since then I ordered a new sim card and put it in an old Sony Erikson I had lying around the house, however due to an un-avoidable accident (launching the phone at a wall while calling it a Twat is un-avoidable right?) I have been once again left bereft of a phone, save for my landline. But in the last few weeks I’ve noticed a few weird things, and I’d like to share them with you now, things like…

People Treating Me As If I’ve Contracted A Fatal Disease.

After week three of being without a phone I got a call on the landline from my Mum, she was worried because I hadn’t been replying to texts and because when she called it went straight to answer phone. I’m not going to get into the fact that even though she purported to be worried about me it still took her three weeks to call (Thanks Mo-om!), but when I told her that my phone had kissed a brick wall intensely and passionately she responded ‘Are you okay? What are you going to do?’ like I had just told her I had contracted Ebola.
My brother was exactly the same, telling me that ‘I had to get it sorted as soon as possible’, like I had caught Syphilis and if I didn’t get some antibiotics soon my face would fall off. It’s just a phone, this is the 21st century, there are a myriad of ways to get hold of someone, email, Facebook, MSN, the landline, you could write a letter, if you’re feeling particularly ornithological you could use carrier pigeon, it’s not like those 11 digits are the sole way of communicating is it?

I think it’s time we left this silly mobile phone business alone and went back to good ol’ fashioned Rambo Pigeons.

At some point I expect to be watching TV and see an advert with my family and friends impotently trying to use their phones to call me, and a well-meaning actor doing a voice over telling the good British public that ‘for just £11.99 a month you could sponsor a man like Charlie, and give him the freedom to be texted at any time of day or night, just £11.99 will give Charlie the tools to check Facebook anytime anywhere, please call this number today.’

For the record I would like The Doctor to do the voice over.

It doesn’t end there though because people also assume that you can’t complete the simplest of tasks without a phone, for instance, I have to be at work by 5:30am, and when my boss found out I didn’t have a phone he went into full panic mode, ‘but how will you wake up?’ he asked. So I had to describe to him this machine the ancients used to force themselves awake to tend their bushels of grain or whatever it is people did back in the days of yore, the Alarm Clock. Or Ye Olde Alarme Cloke, to give it its proper name. Its like phones have become such a powerful and multipurpose device that even the thought of something else being able to do the same job is total anathema to our minds.

But of course this isn’t to say that being ‘sans phone’ isn’t without its annoyances, such as…

Meeting People Becomes A Herculean Feat Of Logistical Skill.

I’m not talking about making new friends here; I’m not really one for meeting new people anyway, I’m talking about meeting up with the people I already know. For Instance when I was planning a trip down to my hometown for a weekend, I had to revisit all those skills I thought I had left in the 90’s, things like, pre-arranging times and meeting places, organising my time so that I was punctual (not an easy thing for me to do I can assure you), and writing phone numbers on scraps of paper so that I can call people when I inevitably fail at punctuality (My family staged an intervention when I was caught scrolling EBay for Filofax’s).

Did you know they still sell these? I didn’t.

The problem with all this is that I am plagued with single-mindedness, I can literally complete one task at a time, if I try any more my brain turns to goo and I’m left shivering on the floor in a pool of my own urine. Even when I’m cooking, I have to complete all my chopping first, then I do boiling, then frying, so trying to keep track of times, and numbers, and people, and trying to co-ordinate my day so that I am in the right place at the right time has left me smelling faintly of urine on more than one occasion, especially when you consider the fact that…

The Availability And Condition Of Public Phone Boxes Is Shocking.

Look I get it, the future is now, and virtually everybody in the western world has a mobile these days, this renders the humble phone box practically obsolete and other than Superman, junkies, and the occasional person in need of a good bladder emptying, who uses phone boxes?

Well, Me, that’s who!

When I’ve been out and about on my travels sometimes I’ve needed to call someone, and whenever I’ve needed to do this over the last few months first I’ve had to find one, time for some audience participation, when was the last time you saw a phone box? Can you locate it? Imagine it in your mind, now blow it up! Yeah, phone boxes have been disappearing at an exponential rate, so all those phone boxes you used when you were out of credit fifteen years ago are probably not there anymore.

So once you actually find one (it took me half an hour to do this on one afternoon), you have to face the humiliation of searching through your wallet for the scrap of paper with all your numbers on, or dig through your Filofax depending on whether or not your family are Filofax Nazi’s who stop you from buying such an item (Thanks again Mo-om!!). Then you have to suffer even more humiliation by entering one, honestly, I’d receive less dodgy looks if I entered a sex shop wearing nothing but a tutu with I LOVE NIPPLE CLAMPS emblazoned across the front.
So you go through all of that, get your 60p to put it in the machine, and find out it only takes phone cards, so you find another, phone cards, and another, and another. It’s like BT one day just said ‘F**k it, no one uses these things anyway, let’s just make them phone card only then we won’t have to piss about with all those 20 pence’s.’ Then they all had a line of cocaine and went to lunch.

Like I say, I can’t really complain, I know that I’m in the tiny minority of people who don’t own a mobile, it’s simply not profitable for BT to keep operating payphones just so  I can call someone to say  I’m running half an hour late because I got distracted by a fairly amusing squirrel.

But one thing I can complain about is the utter bell end that I discovered (after wandering around Weymouth for an hour to find a payphone that accepted, you know, money and s**t) had got some bolt cutters or something, and clipped the receiver from the torso of the phone! Two things went through my mind, one, why would someone want the receiver of a public pay phone; do those things get a good price on EBay? Is there some kind of underground payphone receiver black market I’m un aware of?

Two, Why would anyone go to those sort of lengths to steal something so ridiculous it’s the kind of thing you might conceivably look at while drunk or something and go yeah, I’ll nick that. But in order to complete the task you would actually have to go home, find your bolt cutters, then come back, I don’t know about you but my commitment to a kebab can waver in the space of two minutes when I’m drunk, let alone my commitment to random acts of vandalism.

So yeah, these are some of the things I’ve noticed, but in many ways it has been nice to be without a phone. If I go out I know I’m not going to be disturbed, I’m able to be much more ‘in the moment’ with people because I don’t have the availability of distraction, but the time has come for me to join the land of the living and buy a new phone. I’ve ordered the sim card, now I’m just waiting for someone just like you to call 0800 GIV-A-FONE and pledge just £11.99 a month, please, call today, I’m proper skint…

Advertisements

In Response To ‘Street harassment: There are some things only a man can explain’.

Yesterday Katy Guest wrote an article in The Independent, trying to explain why men feel the need to ‘cat-call’ women in the street, and why 37% of female students have received “unwelcome sexual advances” and why “two-thirds of students were aware of “unwanted sexual comments”.

She seemed to think firstly that this was just a male problem and that the issue boiled down to something as simple as wanting to impress our mates, and that making unwarranted sexual advances towards women was simply about trying to look the big man. This is ultimately not the case I’m afraid, and it seems that actually, Katy will never be able to understand why some men feel the need to behave like this, why? Because she has a vagina!

I know that a lot of people will not like to hear that, but I also know that men aren’t the only section of society which make un-warranted advances. I have been grabbed, pinched, stroked, whistled at, called too, hugged and kissed by women who didn’t understand that those actions were making me uncomfortable. I however will not be presumptuous enough to explain the behaviour of the women who made me feel uncomfortable, because I don’t know what drives some women to act like that, what I can do though, is try to explain why some men behave that way.

(By the way, for anyone thinking that a man cannot be sexually harassed or for anyone who thinks its funny to harass a man. I urge you to watch the video in the following link. Why Rape Is Sincerely Hilarious * Please watch in full before commenting, it is not what you think!*)

It is nowhere near as simple as saying that we just want to show off in front of friends, although I admit that sometimes that may be a part of it, but there are many other important factors to consider. Things like social norms play their part, genetics and evolution play a major role, and a lack of education is an important factor. I’m not trying to defend the actions of the minority of men who make these advances, I want to make that very clear, but I do want to explain why some men behave this way.

Part of the problem is with our genetics, we are hardwired to look for sexual partners, when you see a guy ‘eyeing up’ someone in the street, it’s basically down to the oldest, simplest, and darkest part of our brain. It is the last vestige of the animal brain that still resides within us. It is the part of the brain that thinks only of eating, sleeping, defence, attack, and reproduction. Now most men are able to control the animal brain, we have evolved higher social functions in order to reign in our base impulses, this is what gives us our capacity to reason, learn, feel empathy, and not try to have sex with everything that moves. But, when we see a woman (or man) which we find sexually attractive, we are going to look; there is no two ways about it! We may not like it, we may not be proud of it, but it happens. It’s just the way we are.

It is also the animal part of the brain which is active when some men make advances towards women, and which makes them shout, and call. The animal is telling us to be an ‘Alpha’ in order to attract the person we find sexually attractive, for some men, being an Alpha means being the biggest physically (which is why a lot of men hit the gym to gain muscle, they aren’t doing it to wrestle tigers are they?), but for others it means being the loudest, and sometimes this manifests as ‘ORITE LUV SHOW US YER T*TS’.

So what can we do to overcome the animal brain? Well education is a good start. We need to start teaching boys how to be men, or more importantly, how to be Gentlemen! Most men have only found out how to be men from the men we surround ourselves with, our father figures as children, and our peer group as teenagers, etc. Unfortunately the way women have been treated by our fore fathers (until very recently) has been pretty bad, women have been viewed as an underclass, or the pretty accompaniment, or a play thing for men. So it is going to take a bit of time for the real world to catch up with the progress that women have made by fighting for their equality. Most of the men my father’s age which I have met in pubs and through work have abhorrent views towards women, which go well beyond simple ‘Get back to the kitchen’ jokes. I remember being taught by an aging divorcee when I was 19 the four F’s. Find em’ Feel em’ F**k em’ Forget em’. This sort of societal sexism is not going to go away anytime soon unless we teach the next generation of boys what sexual equality really means.

I wish I knew a solution to stop this minority of men from making comments, making advances, and generally treating women as walking semen receptacles, but I don’t. All I can do is apologise for the men that do think that way, and assure any women reading this that we aren’t all controlled by the animal brain. Yes we may look at you and think ‘Oh my I’d like to have sex with her!’ But that is as far as we will allow our primal brain to carry us, the vast majority of men are far more interested in your minds, and not just your bodies!

Do Not Read This Post! (Oh, Go On Then, As It’s You)

Man, what a day, and it’s not even over yet! People who read this blog will know that I’m not usually the kind of guy to dump on everything, and get all angry and such, but I really need to have a bit of a rant today. Usually, if I’m stressed I’ll turn on the PS3, whack on ‘Killzone’ and blast some Helghan scum into smitherines,

Unless you can trell me what a smitherine is, EAT LEAD!

but Mr Playstation has decided to die on me, so that ain’t an option. I’d smash something up in my house, but my Mum has come to stay and I don’t really want her to watch me go all ‘Hulk SMASH’ on the fruit left in the bottom of my fridge.

Those grapes won’t even see it coming!

So instead I’m going to have a moan on here, and release it into the ether, so you have been warned, DO NOT READ THIS POST! It’s only going to get worse from here.

So first, I arrive at work, and as usual, everybody else has turned up early and outside my vans I have at least 30-50 packages waiting for me. It’s a bit annoying but what are you going to do? Then 3 hours later, I have 60 packages outside the vans, and another 40-50 waiting on the line ready for me to load up. Do I get any help? F**k No! All I get is one of the drivers b*tching at me that I’m ‘not doing it right!’

Well you know what Mr Driver whose name I can’t be bothered to remember, F**K YOU!

The other thing that has annoyed me today is the bloody heat! Man, its oppressive isn’t it? It’s like the sun has become Kim Jong Un and is trying to bend us all to his will through heat exhaustion.

You know what sun F**K YOU!

Then, I realised that I still haven’t renewed my Tax Credits. Which in itself is annoying. Why do they even bother to say, ‘You need to let us know if anything has changed, or if it hasn’t changed.’ It just makes no damn sense, if nothing has changed why do they need to know? And, if anything changes in the year we have to let them know, never mind the fact that THEY ARE THE HMRC! Do you know the one institution other than my employer who know how much tax I pay HMR-F**KING-C!

DUUUUUH!

If HMRC don’t know how much I have earned in the year, then how do HMRC know how much tax I’m supposed to pay? Why have I got to call THEM up, to say what THEY already know?

It’s just HMRC f**king with people, making it so damn difficult to claim for these things in the hope that people like me will just give up and not bother applying, either that or hoping that people like me will destroy their phones while trying to get through to their “help line”

Speaking of which…

When I finally did get through, the moron on the other end of line told me I needed to provide 2 years worth of P60’s for me and the Mrs, so I tore the house apart looking for them, unsuccessfully. I tried to give an estimate.

So I hung up, looked for the P60’s, and found something that gave me a close estimation for the both of us, and thought, to hell with phoning them up I’ll do it online.

So I phone them up for a second time, got through the automated security questions for the second time, got through to an advisor, who was obviously on work experience from moronsville, dumbasf**kistan, who asked me for my post code, which I gave,

Previous address?

Address before that?

Sorry sir but…

Finally, after resisting the temptation to google the office in which she works, and flying to it using the super heated wings of flaming righteous anger which had emerged from my spine, then ramming the P60s and current address down her slack-jawed mouth. I gave her my old post code, which surprise surprise worked. They obviously hadn’t changed my address on the system, even though I receive all my HMRC letters to my new house, so really it was a case of the so-called governments arse not talking to its elbow.

They’re too busy trying to lick it!

So you know what HMRC F**K YOU!

Finally, I just had a row with the Mrs, I dropped the kids off at nursery, called her up (she’s away at the moment) and politely asked if she could send me another £20 as ‘our cupboards are beginning to look a bit bare and I’m seriously beginning to fear for the fate of the grapes!’

Too which she replied ‘What you spent all the money already?’

All the money? I replied. £70 in a week! Yeah, supplies are running low, guess what, food is f**king expensive these days, especially when the closest shops are a Co-op and a Tesco Express, have you ever tried to buy a pair of chicken breasts in either of those places? It’s cheaper to go to a plastic surgeon to buy a pair of people breasts!

So you know what food prices F**K YOU!

GRR, yeah, I think I got it all out, sorry if I bummed any of you out, but to be fair, I did warn you. So for an apology/reward for making it to the end, here is something to lighten the mood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex Sells! (Even By Proxy)

So I work for a multinational parcel delivery company, I’m not going to say which one because I have a strong desire to keep eating and I don’t want to lose my job. But trust me when I say it is a BIG one, and it is a company you will recognize no matter which country you reside in. The reason I’m writing this post is because I went to work yesterday, went to buy a coffee from the vending machine (yeah I have to buy my own coffee don’t get me started on that!), and on the wall was a poster which read.

BRING IN A SALES LEAD AND GET YOUR VAN WASHED BY A BIKINI CLAD BABE!

This was accompanied by a very pixellated picture of a woman wearing a bikini (whether or not it will be the same woman I really don’t know), but it got me thinking. Is this really how a company in the 21st Century should behave?

Now I’m not going to try and say that I have never looked at women wearing not-a-lot (a casual glance at my browsing history can confirm that), or that I have never looked at a woman and objectified her. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s hardwired in my genetics to search for potential mates, so what you gonna do? I do just want to make you aware though that although I do that sometimes, I am capable of understanding that women are not purely sexual objects and that they have, like, thoughts and stuff. I’m not living in the 50’s!

But, like I said, the poster got me thinking, is just offering a bikini-clad babe good enough? Sure, where I work is a VERY male dominated environment, but what about the one woman who works on the vans? Assuming she is not a lesbian, why should she not get a mankini-clad hunk to wash her van?

 

Also, I don’t know if any of the guys who work there are gay, or even if they have latent homosexual feelings, but where is the option for them to get a beefcake to get soapy on their van?

I guess what I’m saying is that in this day and age, where people can openly identify as gay, straight, bi, or as guy who wants to be a girl, or a girl who wants to be a guy, or a person who wants to be neither! Is it good enough to offer just one option?

I’m not sure it is anymore, and I really believe that big companies and individuals alike should start realising this.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very-inspiring-blogger-award

 

 

 

 

 

So Hugh and Toby over at hughsnewsandviews.com (check out how he very nearly got married to Lara Croft here) have nominated me for a ‘Very Inspirational Blogger Award’, so please, if you haven’t already, click the link and show him some love.

The Rules For Accepting The Award.

1. Thank and link to the amazing person(s) who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger(s) who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me.

1. I still feel guilty about a book I borrowed from Sebastian Tarrier when I was 10 that I never returned. I lost it and was too embarrassed to own up so I spent the summer avoiding him.

2. I really hope that Humans will discover that there is or has been intelligent extra-terrestrial life in my lifetime, just because I would love to have the question ‘Are we alone?’ answered.

3. I love crisps! I could, and have, eaten nothing but crisps all day.

4. I secretly worry sometimes that I am like Edward Norton in Fight Club, and that the world might be a figment of my imagination. Maybe in reality im sitting in a corner, drooling, and talking to myself? Or maybe the world is like the Matrix and we are all just slaves to our robot overlords! Or maybe I am the product of someone elses imagination and I’m just waiting to be snuffed out with the right combination of prescriptions drugs.

5. Sometimes I think too much!

6. I really want to visit China before I die, when the kids are old enough the Mrs & I are planning a round the world trip.

7. I like to make up songs as I go about my day-to-day activities. My favourite being my song about cooking eggy bread to the tune of Peggy Sue.

The Blogs I Would Like To Nominate.

As it’s taken me an hour to write what I have so far using the On Screen keyboard (mine has died), I’m just going to list them and say that I really enjoy reading their posts and they really do inspire me to keep slogging away at my corner of the internet. So please, if you have some time click the link and see what they have to say, go on, what’s the worst that can happen eh?

http://lukemckinney.net/

http://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/

http://300stories.wordpress.com/

http://theapocalypsebites.com/

http://amforte66.wordpress.com/

http://katcarpita.wordpress.com/

http://tigerpawsjnrsstories.com/

http://janeyinmersin.com/

http://pavanneh.com/

Yeah so I haven’t listed 15, deal with it :p.

4 Things I Am Too Afraid To Google.

I like to write stories, and most of my characters tend to be criminals, be they murderers, hackers, or just plain ol’ fashioned bad guys. But being a (reasonably) well-adjusted, (mostly) law-abiding citizen means that I’m the complete opposite of a plain ol’ fashioned bad guy in the sense of the characters I like to write about. I will rarely use anything worse than a strongly worded letter against a foe who has slighted me.

So this leads me with having to research things that I have little to no experience with, and where better to begin researching than with the internet? I’m glad you asked, let me tell you.

What with the NSA and GCHQ keeping tabs on all our emails, phone calls and Google searches, I’m almost certain I’m one poorly executed Google search away from a team of SWAT guys kicking in my door and taking me on a little holiday to Guantanamo Bay. So I have to use what few reference books I have to gather what little information I can, and then top it off with a liberal amount of bulls**t in order to complete my stories, but I really wish I wasn’t to scared to Google…

What Is Gun-Powder Made Of?

I know that Gun Powder has been in use in China for hundreds and hundreds of years, it has many useful applications, not just in guns and cannons but in those oh so pretty fireworks for Bonfire Night. But what is it made of? How does one produce it? I know it must be relatively easy to do, otherwise it wouldn’t have been used for such a long time.

The problem with wanting to know this is that any books or legitimate websites that can tell you anything about explosives (quite rightly) don’t give people the information to make their own. I know there are a lot of people who might use that information to hurt others or themselves, but, I am not one of those people!. So the only way I can find out is if I try to find non-legitimate websites, and considering the fact that I don’t want SO19 taking me down Bad Boys style with their shiny, shiny guns I’m not in a hurry to try to Google The Anarchist’s Cookbook.

 

Speaking of guns…

What Kinds Of Guns Are There? Which Are The Most Useful? What Kind Of Ammo Do They Take?

I’m sure you all know that a gun in the UK is a very hard thing to come by, people can’t just walk into their local ASDA and by gun’s or ammo, and there aren’t very many resources for finding out about how to go about it. But I have no interest in owning a gun, I’ve said before that I’m pretty sure I’d do more damage to myself than to an attacker, and I don’t like the fact that if you are going to pull a gun on an attacker or intruder, you better be prepared to use it. But that doesn’t mean that I sometimes want to find out about them.

In my stories, most of my characters carry weapons, which tend to be either described as a 9mm, a Beretta, a Glock, or a Colt. These are every characters weapon of choice because they are the only guns I have even the faintest clue about, I have no Idea what kind of ammo they take, what their stopping power is, how heavy they are, or what they look like. But if you think I’m going to Google it you have another thing coming my friend.

So untill I find some kind of book on weapons all of my characters will  carry a generic gun, that shoot slugs, and makes a noise like ‘pew, pew, pew’

How Do You Make Poison And Which Are Totally Undetectable?

I once wanted to kill off a character by having the protagonist make poison, and then I realised that I had no way of finding out how to go about that. I know there are poisons out there, Deadly Nightshade, Arsenic, 3am Kebabs, but I had no idea how my protagonist could make any of them (The secret to a poisonous kebab are a tightly guarded secret).

 

I vaguely know that you can get arsenic from potato’s, and deadly nightshade is a plant, but since I am not a botanist or a 16th century assassin I am never going to find out.

So I ended up having to write a really awkward scene where the protagonist went into a generic pub, found a generic bad guy, and bought the equivalent of a glass vial with smoke pouring from the top and a big skull and cross-bones on the front. But sometimes a story requires something a little bit more special, and far less Googlable, something like…

How Do You Hack A Computer?

I don’t think I really need to tell you why I refuse to Google this. All I can imagine is typing it in, and then somewhere in the depths of GCHQ all the computer monitors turn red and a picture of my face flashes on the screen while stroboscopes flash and sirens blare and the words ‘BAD GUY BAD GUY’ spin on a constant loop on those digital ticker sign things.

But again, I could go down the non-legitimate route, find ‘The Dark Net’ and use Tor browsers and what not to find a forum. But do you know whats even worse than being a Noob on Call of Duty? Being a Noob asking dumb questions to a bunch of hackers! I might as well print out all my naked selfies and d**k photo’s and hand them out as leaflets around town.

If I’m going to email a picture of my d**k to someone I want it to be on my terms thank you very much.