Thursday, 24 January 2013

Yeah, I Should Probably Say…

I'm not updating this blog anymore. I have moved here instead.

Please do not, however, assume that I have in the meantime been vigorously posting regular updates there. I most certainly haven't.

But I shall be picking it up again at some point in the near future. And I shall also be leaving this blog up for the time being.

So, there you have it. Try not to get too excited, yeah?

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Clash of the Titans

Yes, it's the exciting and heroic tale of an epic battle that will live on in the hearts and memories of many for centuries to come. And it begins, as so many thrilling sagas do, in an ordinary suburban bathroom…

So, I got in the shower this morning, hoping I'd feel a bit better for it. You see, I'm quite poorly at the moment and I thought a nice hot shower would help clear my sinuses, ease my general congestion and soothe my aching muscles.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Well, I probably wouldn't have been wrong about the easing of my symptoms part, had everything gone to plan; but the actual outcome turned out to be quite counterproductive. Not to mention, in no small degree, bad for the blood pressure.

It seems that there's a spider setting up home in the creases of the shower curtain. It's not a small spider, either; and, unfortunately for all involved, it's almost exactly the same shade of brown as the curtain, and thus very hard for the untrained eye to spot.

Needless to say, I spotted it. Although, frankly, even the most untrained eye would be hard pushed not to spot a large spider when it is close enough to pat the untrained nose; and especially if that particular eye is not keen on seeing spiders at any distance.

Some people might have prayed to their gods. Others might have done a little bit of wee. But not me: I just kept my cool. It was clear that one of us needed to leave. And fast. I considered grabbing the shower head and firing a jet of water at the spider, hoping to wash it down the plughole… but doubts plagued me: what if it was a strong swimmer? The water was exceedingly shallow; what if the beast managed to struggle against the current and then ended up using my foot as a lifesaver? Or, frankly, was just able to wade? No, no, this was all sounding just far too risky.

Thinking quickly, I pushed the curtain up the far end of the bath and I got out, keeping as much distance between me and the forbidding bunched fabric as I could. Then I stretched the curtain back out, across the full length of the bath. And I stared at the monster before me, and wondered just what the hell I was going to do next.

The eight-legged fiend chose this moment to disappear over the top of the curtain, presumably to do evil spidery things in what should have been my shower. I tried punching the curtain a few times, my highly-trained fist expertly jolting the brown fabric as I hoped to dislodge the invader and send it on its way to a watery grave. Even the best of swimmers would have struggled against the odds now, I figured. The water may have been barely covering the bottom of the bath, but I was now on hand with an empty pouring jug to supply a makeshift waterfall. Nothing short of the Duncan Goodhew of arachnids would have stood a chance for very long.

But it was at this point that I realised the folly in what I was attempting. Being at close quarters, as I was, there was a danger that my opponent could climb right to the very top of the curtain, and one further punch from me could send it hurtling down, — completely out of the shower — and possibly onto my unprotected head*.

There was nothing else for it: bravely, I reached for the shower-end edge of the curtain, and I bunched the curtain up again, this time down the far end of the bath. I reached up and unhooked the shower head. Now I was armed and dangerous. There would be no messing with me. I stretched out the curtain again.

The spider must have known I meant business; it was now curled up around one of the curtain rings. I tried to spray it with the jet of water from the shower head, but my target was high and gravity felt obligated to stick in its oar. Still, obviously sensing danger, the multi-limbed little sod high-tailed it back over the curtain where it could plot and scheme in relative safety.

I decided to get a bit trigger-happy with the shower head. I wondered if perhaps a wet shower curtain might be a slippery shower curtain, and that I could send the furry little bastard slip-sliding into the murky depths - or, rather, the clean shallows.

It seemed to have worked. The coast looked clear. I gathered up just enough curtain to allow room for me to peer round and admire the results of my handiwork. There was no spider in the bathwater — which I have to admit was more than a little suspicious — but there seemed to be no spider on the curtain, either. Success!

I mustered every bit of nerve I had and got back into the shower. I managed almost a whole two minutes before I realised I was being watched. The poly-appendaged little bastard must have nipped over to the outside of the curtain to avoid being seen and to lull me into a false sense of security. This most certainly would not do.

I quickly got back out of the shower and retrieved the shower head. I sprayed my foe with as much water as could send up that high. Which turned out to be none, as it happens; the little fucker was too high. It's almost as if it knew I couldn't reach it up there, and was choosing to taunt me.

Now, I mentioned earlier a pouring jug. There is a largish blue plastic jug in our bathroom. It is used for rinsing shampoo out of the youngest member of the household's hair when she is in the bath. It also happens to look highly appropriate for spider-imprisonment. It was certainly an idea, albeit one riddled with peril. I grabbed it and contemplated my next move.

Anyway, the upshot is that after boldly doing battle for half an hour with the spider, I washed my hair in the sink. I still need a shower. The bathroom door will be remaining closed until my other half gets home (because, obviously, that half-inch gap at the bottom is impervious to any kind of creepy crawly). And I will be spending the rest of the day jumping at noises and being terrified of bits of fluff.

Yes, well, the spiders may have won the battle, but they haven't yet won the war.

Although, in fairness, they probably will. And, frankly, if this is actually a war, I would prefer to be a conscientious objector, anyway.

* Yes, this might sound unfeasible and sensationalist, but anybody who's spent much time around me will vouch that my person is something of a spider magnet.

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Bedford Garden Implement Massacre

Ordinarily I don't mind the sound of children playing. Ordinarily.

I don't like it so much when they scream, however. Or when they insist on shouting, even though the person they're actually speaking to is standing only three feet away — children so rarely seem to master the concept of using your indoor voice.

I have discovered today, however, that the sound of children screaming can be greatly enhanced by the sound of a lawnmower.

I've no doubt that there was nothing untoward going on, and that the children were not harmed in any way — and that probably it was even a completely different garden from which this second noise came — but my overactive imagination caused me some entertainment all the same.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

And Another Thing…

Following on from my earlier post about suspect television adverts, it occurs to me exactly how strange the current Febreze advert* actually is.

What sort of stupid questions are those, anyway:

"Have you smelt this chair? And those curtains?"

"Actually, Mother, since I tend to put my arse in that chair rather frequently, I would generally recommend that other people keep their large — and apparently somewhat over-eager — olfactory organs quite far away from it, for fear of choking and eventual death.

"And are you quite sure you're not confusing chairs and curtains with flowers and scented candles again? Surely you of all people would remember how embarassing that was for us all last time. I couldn't look the vicar in the eye for a week."

* Sorry, but I could only find the US version.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Finishing School Turns Them Out Young These Days

I have seen an advertisement for My Mini Baby Born dolls.

I must confess to finding them disturbing in the extreme. They look like babies, sure enough. So, why are they just so wrong?

For one thing, they're wearing jodhpurs, riding hats, and are carrying riding crops.

A real baby would not demonstrate this poise and control. No. A real baby would accidentally smack itself in the face with the riding crop, drop it and inadvertently kick it out of reach, before removing the hat and falling clumsily onto its arse.

Instead of the pristine depiction of a baby in full riding gear, looking ready for the gymkhana, what you would actually see would be more akin to a vacant-looking child sat on its bum, chewing on the brim of — and otherwise defacing — a posh hat. Whilst shitting itself.

Doll in dressage outfit
If that's a baby, then I don't think those were vitamin pills that his mum was taking during the pregnancy

Another somewhat creepy aspect about these dolls is their height relative to their accessories. They make horses look the size of cats in comparison. And they are supposed to ride these?

What rubbish. A real baby would be tiny in comparison. It would bum-shuffle untidily across the ground towards the horse, grab one of the animal's rear legs in order to pull itself up into a standing position, belch loudly, then pull sharply on the tail, thinking it's the funniest thing ever.

Big doll with a tiny horse
I've met horses before, but I've never known one that short

Finally, I also find it incredibly worrying that these 'new borns' can apparently drive cars. In fact, not only can they drive, but they can supposedly tow horseboxes as well.

Of course, a real baby would have no hope of this. Even if they somehow managed to get the horsebox and the car coupled-up correctly, there's just no way they'd be going anywhere. Instead, they'd climb up on the seat, attempt to eat the steering wheel, and repeatedly headbutt the windscreen. And fart.

Doll towing a horsebox
Giant bald infants in undersized cars towing midget horses are one of the primary causes of accidents in the UK

I'm not actually convinced that these dolls are babies at all. I guess the marketing divison decided that My Upper Class Bald Midget didn't have quite the same ring to it.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Ad Break

It's lucky it's not an ambition of mine, I guess, but I've come to realise that I could never star in an advert for Vanish.

I can act; but, sadly, my eyebrows can't.

I'd have to do all the work myself, and I get the impression that that's just not the look they go for.

Perhaps I should instead go for something a little more realistic. Like an advert in which I have to pretend that I find it endearing when my little brat of a child tries to put his scooter in my dishwasher — and not actually go for his throat for bringing that filthy thing, not only inside the house, but anywhere near my nice, clean crockery.

Or one where I go into my teenage son's bedroom and sniff his chair before spraying it with any well-known odour eliminators.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Darkest Inkiest Pitch

So is it onyx, is it ebony, or is it midnight?

Exactly how many shades of so-called black can curtain fabric come in?

Surely all these different, poncy names are just a way of the manufacturers saying that none of them are actually black.