Because stuff needs talking about.

Posts tagged “rant

A (Flappy) Bird In the Hand…

Recently there’s been quite a lot of stuff going on; the most expensive and possibly most anti-homosexual Olympics has kicked off, Philip Seymour Hoffman has sadly departed this world, and, in the celebrity “news” section, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have split, causing a tidal wave of drool to circumnavigate the globe as Goslingites worldwide drift off into steamy daydreams.

Up there competing for valuable social media space though, and somewhat surprisingly I might add, is a rage inducing game with the addictive nature of heroin cut with pure Pringles extract. Yes it’s Flappy Bird; a largely simplistic yet inexplicably hard game where the player guides an incapable bird through a maze of varying, Mario-esque pipes with the objective being…to fly through an infinite number of pipes. It certainly seems that for the public to get hooked on a game, it has to be bird based and fucking impossible.

Another victim of bird rage.

Another victim of bird rage.

I’m happy to admit I’m a bit of a games nerd, I’ve played FIFA games for so long that the majority of real players have retired, and overdone it on Call of Duty to the point that a walk down the street often resulted in assessing objects for their camping opportunities. To cut a long, geeky story short, I expect to be pretty good at games in general, especially ones where the only input needed is to occasionally tap the screen. Surely, a game named ‘Flappy Bird’ where the key objective is, rather obviously, making a bird flap can’t provide much of a challenge to seasoned gamers?

It took me seven attempts to get through one gap, it took me another ten attempts to reach three. After twenty minutes I had managed six, and after another ten minutes it had been deleted after rage had filled my body and left me on the verge of reducing my phone, and it’s infuriatingly flappy contents, to pieces. It raises some issues too, other than how can a pixellated bird which has no ability to fly already be airborne, and also, what’s with all the pipes? No, what it really brings to light is that as a whole, the public is a massive glutton for punishment, on the basis that we can get a couple of ranty and relatable statuses out of it. We will happily put ourselves through the hardship of guiding a wholly dependent blob through a plumbing fiasco in a doomed attempt to complete an endless task, because we know we can get pissed off and vent it all over social networks and be safe in the knowledge that a load of other poor saps will be doing the same and like or share or whatever to show their agreement.
Such is the annoyance level of this game even the creator has had enough and deleted it from the app store. Perhaps it was the relentless internet hate directed towards his avian invention, or simply the constant trips to the bank to deposit his bulging bags of money. Whatever it is, the bird is set to no longer be the word and the world has been freed from its addictive grip, ready to move on to another equally infuriating and tweet generating time-waster.


Top 5 #14

Top 5 Worst Things to Have to Buy From the Shop

We all having a handy shop in walkable distance, you can avoid the hassle and distraction of a trip to the supermarket and you know it’s always there to get those essentials should you suddenly realise you’re without. Sometimes though, they can set up situations of extreme embarrassment and a walk of shame comparable to that of any post-night out Sunday morning, and here’s how:

5. Just milk

So you’re halfway through making a brew, you open the fridge and terror strikes; no milk. No worries, you can just nip to the shop in your slippers, pick some up and be back for the click before the click of the kettle. What you forgot about however was that for some reason a plastic bottle of milk has the potential to be the coldest thing on the face of the earth. So cold, that two Jean Claude Van Dammes would be needed to get the message across. So cold, that scientists could use them when liquid nitrogen just isn’t good enough. So cold, that…that, well you get the point now. Anyway, after realising halfway home your error of not bringing one of thousands of bags for life from home, all that is left is to walk as fast as possible without breaking into a full on slipper scuttle, and making it home to thaw out your frozen fingers with a well-earned cup of tea.

4. A solitary can of beer

Nothing screams desperation like apologetically placing a single can of lager on the till, disdain beating down on you from the shopkeeper’s gaze as he tars you with the alcoholic brush. Sometimes one can is all you want though, for example, it could be a work night and there’s a football match on. You could be mildly upset, but not so sad as to warrant fully drowning your spirits. There are thousands of possibilities which would necessitate in only one can being purchased but society frowns on such an act and restricts beer buying to a four can minimum. It’s your choice though, buy the solitary can that you wanted and face the judgement of all that witnessed it, or give in to peer pressure, buy the multipack and inevitably drink them all, resulting in one horrible Tuesday morning in work.

3. Munchies

It’s a well-known and widely accepted fact that indulging in certain drugs leads to an insatiable appetite for anything unhealthy and attractively packaged. The kind of food you don’t have at home unless you’ve thoroughly prepared for the night’s frivolities. Sadly, the majority of the people who are likely to partake in such a pleasure, aren’t exactly the most organised of folk and thus may not have bought in the necessary supplies to quell the dreaded munchies. This means a half-baked squinty stumble to the shop (or dream factory as it may seem at the time) is called for. Aisle upon aisle of salty and sweet treats await the plucky adventurer, anything that a ravenous reveller could ever wish for all lined up and organised for ease of purchase. There is a drawback however, and it’s not just deciding between Frazzles and salt and vinegar Chipsticks. It’s standing at the checkout, red-eyed and incredibly self-conscious while the person on the till scans through several Chomps and your buy one get one free 2 litre bottles of Fanta, trying to hold it together long enough to get back to the safety of your house with your all-important rations. It’s the realisation that everyone around you is aware of your basket of goodies and has deduced from your appearance and noxious odour that you are most likely not a diabetic crashing. No matter how subtle and inconspicuous you might try and be, in reality you might as well be walking around with a dreadlock wig on and have Bob Marley’s greatest hits playing as your own personal soundtrack. In reality, you are this guy:Stoner-Sterotype

2: Embarrassing Medicine

Yep, the title says it all really. You’ve got something wrong with you that you don’t want anyone to know about but sooner or later, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and take a trip to Boots. Getting the required humiliating product to the till is hard enough in itself, at least three in-motion scouting attempts of the aisle are necessary, obviously without lingering too long so as not to draw attention. Eventually, after hours of circling and feigned interest in the new scents of Original Source shower gel you may get your chance, a clear shot at your target. Now the object mortification is in your hand however, things have got so much worse. You are now linked to this thrush treatment, the haemorrhoid cream and you are one, a semantic union has been created between man and product, between your reddening face and the bulk buy Imodium in your hand. Yes folks, I think Martin Lawrence sums everybody’s feelings up perfectly in this video:

Luckily, shops now have the self-service option, potentially saving you huge embarrassment by avoiding the mandatory human interaction of the till. Just to make sure you don’t escape without complete humiliation at every stage of your shop visit though, the name of each product is proudly emblazoned across the screen as you bundle your shame into your bag. This wouldn’t be so bad if pharmaceutical companies had settled on normal names for the products but alas this is not the case. As one last shot to the wounded pride of the buyer, glaringly obvious and disgusting titles are flaunted to the baying crowd behind them. Titles such as Vagisil, Germaloids, and my personal favourite, Retardex. That’s right, you’re not even spared from humiliation when buying mouthwash.

1: Toilet Roll

Here we are then, number one. I know this should have been number two for the cheap lolz but it has been deemed in certain circumstance as the most embarrassing product to have to buy at the shop, and here’s why. There will be times in everyone’s lives where a collision between saving money and logical thinking will occur. On multiple occasions you will have bought into unnecessary buy one get one free offers, two for five pounds on multipacks of Coke when one was awkward to carry anyway, or enough bulk buy packets of crisps to sustain a small army, albeit a very unhealthy one. Toilet roll falls into this category far too often, giving customers fifty per cent extra free on a regular basis and as result creating huge, whole redwood sized packs for the buyer to struggle home with. But what if all you wanted from the shop was toilet roll? What if you had all of a sudden realised you were running out and nipped to the shop to top up? Then the decision becomes harder to make, buy the smaller, more discreet pack, or save those precious pennies and look like a man proudly parading around the fact that he is in imminent need of the toilet? Maybe I’ve thought too far into this, but when I see I person walking down the street with a 24 pack of Andrex under their arm and nothing else, I can’t help but think that that person has got some serious business to attend to. I mean, what situation can result in needing to buy a gargantuan amount of toilet roll in one go and nothing else? Does this person not need any sustenance of some kind? Some Lucozade at least wouldn’t go a miss. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me who feels massively embarrassed advertising to the world what my immediate plans are when I get home, but now after reading this you’ll all be converted and stop signifying your impending toilet trip to all that you meet. All I can say is, you’re welcome.

Agree with this list? Got anything else to add? Leave a comment and let us know what would have made your top 5.

What I don’t get is…

Billy Bear Ham.

Or Billy Bear Slicing Sausage as it’s officially known.  You’ve all had it, and if not, go out and buy some, it’s really cheap!  But as you’re tucking in to your reformed turkey and pork fat, think about these ethical quandaries; is it morally right to tell bare-faced (couldn’t resist) lies to children in order to get them eating a product made primarily of off cuts of different animals, and also, the more burning issue of; why the fuck am I eating a bear’s face?

You may be thinking, “What?  How does serving Billy Bear, my most beloved of childhood sandwich fillers, constitute as telling lies to children?”  Well I’ll tell you.  By reforming that hydrogenated conglomerate of all the worst parts of animals into a smiling cartoon bear’s face; you are deceiving children into happily chowing down on the contents of an abattoir bin which in its natural form would haunt their dreams and turn any trips to farms into a harrowing affair for years to come.

“Y’know, now that you mention it, I do find it strange that my face is three different colours despite being primarily made of only two types of meat.”

What’s also strange is that children are ready and willing to eat this smiling hybrid of nastiness.  I know it obviously relates psychologically to enjoyment, most likely TV programmes like Winnie the Pooh, and Yogi Bear which the youngsters recognise and like.  But do they really like them that much that they want to consume slices of their faces?  I mean, I’m a big fan of Planet Earth and nature programmes but fashioning a joint of beef into a replica of David Attenborough’s adventure-ravaged face might be a step too far for me.

My last quandary surrounding this under-nourishing sandwich filler is; why a bear?  It’s made primarily of pork so surely a cartoon pig would be the logical choice of template for the manufacturers.  Maybe it was deemed too close to home for children to deal with, conjuring up disturbing images of a pig being forced head first into a ham slicer.  Or maybe they’d already decided they wanted to call it Billy and the lack of alliteration in Billy Pig just didn’t have the same fortitude as its mammalian counterpart.

All I hope is that when the time comes for me to have children, this waterlogged mish-mash of animal pick ‘n’ mix is still readily available from all major supermarkets.  I can’t wait to see the sheer delight on their faces as they tuck in to the fraudulent, smiling ham substitute and then, as the years progress, their puzzlement as they begin again the questioning that brought us all here in the first place; why the fuck am I eating a bear’s face?

What I don’t get is….

…When people can’t make tea.

It’s a pretty simple process isn’t it?  Ok, maybe in terms of drink making it’s a little harder than average, but in the grand scheme of things, adding water and milk (maybe sugar if you’re that way inclined) to a teabag isn’t really that taxing.

But some people just don’t get it right, and I’ve no idea how.  There are few more disappointing things than being offered a brew but instead receiving an abomination in a cup.  Seeing as my tea making skills are second to none, I can only guess at the procedure which takes place for those unskilled in the art, but what I do know is that the bastardised fluid that sits in these unfortunate cups, is only tea by a technicality.

Erm…yeah cheers mate.

So, to save you all from being disheartened by a diabolical brew, here’s a useful guide to terrible tea.

1:  The Brown Film:  I don’t know how people manage to make this occur and cling to the sides of the cup, but this mystery tea residue is an early indicator that something has gone awry. Seriously though, how can you make skin on tea?

2:  Thickness:  If you’re brew looks like you could turn it upside down and it would stay in the cup, someone’s screwed up big time.  It’s like these people have been using cream or something!

3:  Cup Fullness:  Have you not noticed the size of the cup?  Were you just not looking when you poured the water in or do you just not care that you’ve only served me a half cup?  Honestly, if people aren’t bothered about leaving a monumental gap between tea and cup rim, then chances are they don’t care about the tea at all.  Tut tut.

4:  Sugar Content:  Not yours, but theirs.  If they have three or more sugars in their tea then do not accept anything they offer you!

So you have been warned people, look after your tea, and your tea will look after you, whatever that means.

What I don’t get is…

…Jeans Today

What’s with all the pockets, and zips, and paint?  Surely there can’t be that much stuff that anyone can need to carry that would necessitate such a gargantuan surplus.  Honestly, people are walking around looking like they’ve pieced together their pants from a ScrewFix catalogue.

The time of combat trousers has long past, so how has their detestable denim relative survived?  Surely it’s time to put them to bed and rid the world of this multi-faceted fashion faux-pas.

Just look at what could happen if we don’t put a stop to this:

Actually, these might be quite handy.

Daily Top 5 #6

Top 5 Worst Train Passengers

We’ve all been there, stuck on a boring train thinking that nothing could make this return journey to Monotony General any worse and then BAM! Hit by any one of these trip ruiners with no escape other than the option of getting of some backwater stop like Lichfield Trent Valley or something, and I ain’t never doing that, not never.  So here’s a top 5 featuring a selection of these irritating fools, sorry in advance for raising everybody’s hatred levels.

5. The broadsheet newspaper reader:  There’s always at least one of these idiots on the busiest train or tube journey imaginable when everyone’s crammed in like clowns in a mini.  Yet somehow they still think it’s acceptable to unfurl enough newspaper to house at least 12 homeless people and persist on elbowing everyone in the vicinity in the chest while they try and turn their comically oversized pages.  They’re hard to enough to read in the comfort of your home let alone in an overcrowded carriage.  Even when they manage to get a table to support their gargantuan sheets it still doesn’t work because not even the table is big enough!  Next time, give up trying to read your Financial Times and just stare awkwardly at the extremely close face of the person in front of you like we all have to do.

4. The terrified old lady:  I couldn’t put this any higher because you can’t be nasty to old ladies, can you?  But, old lady, just because I may look younger than 30, and have casual clothing on, possibly including a hood or a hat, does not mean that I am going to viciously attack you and steal your purse.  Where am I going to hide anyway, I’m on a train for God’s sake, I’m not likely to get off at Warrington Bank Quay am I?  And we’ve all done it, you think, I know, I’ll ease their worry with a nice friendly smile saying ‘you’re perfectly safe with me, I’m no threat’.  But somehow this act of niceness gets lost in translation and becomes a menacing, knowing smirk meaning, ‘that’s right old lady, you know you’re fucked now!’  Not all of us are capable of attacking and stealing from the elderly, so just give us a chance sometimes.

3. The fidgeter:  This person is inevitably the person sat next to you on a busy journey when, disgustingly, you actually have to share your row with another person.  More often than not they’ll be sat in the window seat as well, bastards.  They are the people who put their bag on the rack at the top, apparently oblivious to the fact that they might want/need something from it at some time during the hours on board.  Then they realise but instead of thinking, ‘I know, I’ll just get everything I need at once to save the nice looking chap next to me the inconvenience of me rubbing my crotch or arse in his face every time I shuffle past him’, they persist in getting their drink, then putting it back, getting some overly loud food, then putting it back, getting their book often titled ‘How to be more of an annoying prick in public’ and, yes you guessed it, put it back.  As well as all this, they’ll no doubt have a cold, and rummage in their pockets every two minutes for a tissue, and to really top it off, they’ll leave taking they’re massive coat off until a few minutes into the journey and then drag it all over your face when they struggle to take it off in the confined space of the window seat!

2. The small time businessmen:  You know the type, the ones who take up all the table seats with their laptops, ipads, blackberries, documents, briefcases, newspapers (only broadsheet of course!) and other pieces of crap they think they need to help them make inconsequential decisions about shit that no one cares about.  What’s worse is when a few of them get together and carry out a business meeting directly opposite which only consists of drinking coffee and spouting nonsensical phrases at each other like, ‘conceptualize’ and using words like, ‘impact’ and, ‘flowchart’ as verbs.  If you are as big time as you think you are, shouldn’t you be in the office or in a nice car not on a shit train, at two in the afternoon, ruining my life.

1. The mental person:  This person is one of those are just on the border of crazytown and can quite easily pass of some degree of normalcy except for, it seems, when they step on to public transport.  You’ve got to start wondering when someone comes and sit next to you on a completely empty train, if everything is alright upstairs.  You can sense them on the platform, and secretly edge away until you’re at the other end of the train, but just wait, you’ll hear that carriage door open and that sinking feeling of despair kicks in as they bound over to you, like a big friendly puppy.  To these, the wearing of headphones doesn’t mean a thing, they’ll just keep talking until you take them out, there is no escape, you are cornered, carefully monitoring everything you say and agreeing vehemently with anything so that hopefully you might just escape being stabbed in eye while they laugh manically.  Then they throw down the ultimate gauntlet, by offering you their cider, at nine in the morning.  Say yes, and you have to drink a crazy person’s cider but say no and you get the taken aback pause, and you sit there, shitting yourself, while they work out whether to go mental or laugh.  Luckily these people often only stay on for a stop or two (normally getting off at Crewe) but for that ten or fifteen minutes, you actually fear for your life.  Next journey, you just pray you get the boredom of an uneventful, solitary train ride.

So that’s it, today’s list is complete, incidentally I started thinking about this on a train journey whilst writing on my laptop.  What have I become…

Got something to say about this list, leave a comment.