Warning : This blog’s initial draft contained a reference to Jedward that was replaced with something marginally less predictable.

I’ve been supposed to be blogging every day this week as a test of discipline and to see if I can be remotely interesting, but haven’t posted yesterday’s up as it needs some cosmetic surgery and doesn’t quite make sense yet. I’d left myself plenty of time but I’d had a bit of travel hassle that led to my train journey and subsequent gig being cancelled. Then Doctor Who was on, I drank some Chablis and then the evening disappeared in a blur brought on by mind boggling continuity developments and Bacchus’s brain-fug juice. So I may post yesterday’s blog up later tonight or even tomorrow, which isn’t quite blogging every day but I could get away with it by saying it’s a clever timey-wimey manipulation, or, for the more down to earth, argue that it’s a bank holiday weekend and so one of the days somehow doesn’t count. Or, like the Sinclair C5, the coalition government or Cheryl Cole on X-Factor USA, you could just deem the “blogging every day for a week” thing a failed experiment and gloat.


Anyway, there are a number of things that annoy me that I’m perfectly happy annoy me. I am supposed to be annoyed by things like shrinking TV credits, that little evil plastic hair shard bit from a trainer that sometimes sticks into your foot and itches that you can never quite find or prise out or work out what it’s bloody doing there in the first place, and genocide. Being miffed about those shows that I am a righteous, frail and reasoned human being. But despite the fact that I think I’m generally quite benign, and pretty easygoing if you get to meet me, there are some things that annoy bat-shit out of my brain-cave that in my more contemplative moments lead me to think I have some kind of personality disorder. This isn’t that contrived “grumpy old man” oo-isn’t-Ikea-irritating nonsense. That’s been done to death. I’m actually worried that being irked by the following might just mean I’m evil.

I do hope not, it would be most inconvenient.

The following is best read in a voice of slightly strangulated indignation:

Looks Innocent Enough Now, But Just Add People And It Becomes Worse Than A Big War

1. Finsbury Park Tube station has a tunnel that leads to and from the tubes. There is a barrier in the middle so people all have to walk in the same direction (decided by which side they’re on) and so not bash into each other. So far so good. However, the whole design is rendered useless when people walk three abreast on one side (making those behind them unable to overtake) and amble, chatting, oblivious to the fact that people behind them might – what with all the tube trains and things lying about – be in something of a hurry (see also people who stand side by side on escalators and people who stop walking to chat or look at a map in a fucking doorway).

2. “There’s millions said Henry* all under one roof.” There may be Henry, but the backward R in Toys R (no, I’m not doing it on a point of principle … and because I can’t with this keyboard) Us isn’t the worst of your evils. There are millions Henry, not there’s millions, and it’d still scan if you said it correctly. You benefit neither your ditty nor your target audience by your slapdash approach, Henry. People make spelling and grammatical mistakes all the time – I’m no lexicographical fascist and can forgive this. To perpetrate such felonies on purpose to be either cool or branded makes you Satan’s fluffer here on Earth, Henry, you giraffe-bastard. No wonder our children are feral.

3. People texting or calling me when Doctor Who is on (I should put it on silent, sure, but I expect people to know and leave it on deliberately so that I can get annoyed).

4. I like to cook because I hope I’m quite good at it, I get a great feeling when people enjoy my creations, and like to think the whole process is creative, cathartic and rewarding. Speak to me whilst I’m doing it however, and I’m about as pleasant as a chlamydia sandwich at Jeremy Clarkson’s house.

5. My eldest son remembers the minutiae of television episodes and describes them in detail, without pause, recalling dialogue, jokes, and situations. I find myself getting grumpy with him for doing so despite the fact that it’s what I do for a living and what I did when I was his age (and probably to a greater extent).



6. The fact that the makers of Appletise bowed to public ignorance and renamed it Appletiser. Why? The public were wrong. Just because everyone pronounced it incorrectly wasn’t a reason to change the name. Especially as the people who did it will now think they were right all along. That’s like God ironing the Earth just to make the ignoramuses who thought it was flat feel good about themselves. Or Wendy Richard changing her name by deed-poll to Wendy Richards. Or the word “ask” deciding to spell itself “arks” because some cockneys can’t talk properly.

7. Fussy eaters. I hated loads of food as a kid. My Mum made me eat it. I learned to like it. Anyone else that can’t be bothered to go through that process deserves at best starvation and at worst, some sort of extreme food camp where desperately middle class fascists like me force feed them asparagus and wean them off Big Macs. A bit like those courses where batty Christians try to cure people of being gay, except morally right. “I don’t like any vegetables” I hear people say. As if vegetables all taste the same. That’s like me saying “I don’t like any people” just because some people – like you – can’t be bothered to see if your taste buds might have matured since you were six.

8. The fact that for about 7 years I didn’t realise that Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny wasn’t live. When I found out the truth it was, of course, so obvious  – why would those high end celebs (no Big Brother winners here ) all give up their family New Year’s Eve to sit in a BBC studio to listen to Ladysmith Black Mambazo doing covers of Kajagoogoo’s back catalogue? Yet I was still crushingly disappointed when I found out. And I don’t even care about music. Or know who any of the people on it are. Except Jools Holland.

9. When I was a kid I did amateur dramatics with a woman called Glenys. That’s right, Glenys. Except my Mum always pronounced it Glynis, even when I’d corrected her more times than Keith Allen’s come across as a bit of a knob in interviews. When I hear her say it in my head, now, as I type, it bothers me so much that I’ve gritted my teeth enough to give me lockjaw. It’s like the mispronunciation equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard. She probably hasn’t done it for twenty years, but I know, deep down, that I can never forgive her.

10.   I still haven’t thought of a reasonable excuse for not having done yesterday’s blog, and even though it’s up to me whether or not I do it and it doesn’t really matter, it still really annoys me, and it annoys me even more that I’m explaining it and justifying it in a massively uninteresting way but nonetheless feel the need to clarify my position even though I don’t know what that position is.

There you go. I never said they had to be enlightening.



* Before you both write in, the Giraffe Grammar Pervert is called Geoffrey (of course, alliteration is your friend when luring children into your den of imminent parent poverty) not Henry. I let my initial mistake stand because (a) I’m not afraid to admit to mine and (b) Glenys Barber (very good) who points out the mistake in the comments below does so in an extremely witty way and deserves credit for doing so.


  1. It was a while ago now. Mike held some sort of event to celebrate her life, if I remember right. Must be 10 years ago.

  2. Love the idea of him being Satan’s fluffer here on Earth…

    If that’s the Glenys I’m thinking of, she died a few years ago.

  3. “Chlamydia sandwich.” New favourite comparison. Also, lack of escalator etiquette bothers me more than most other things – but, being Canadian, I don’t actually say ‘excuse me’ to them, no. I just stand behind them really closely and tap my hand on the railing.

    Also, people who decide that stopping right after stepping off the escalator, to figure out where they’re going, during rush hour, and then giving me an indignant look when I plough into them (along with the 85 other people behind me)… they have a special circle of hell reserved just for them.

  4. Hello, Tommy, it was actually a giraffe called Geoffrey and not his brother Henry who was the face of Toys R(me neither)Us. Harrumph!

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