Monthly Archives: May 2010

I didn’t buy a wooden spoon today

Unfortunately with me writing one of these things here every day I am going to repeat subjects. I’m not ‘likely’ to, I’m not ‘probably’ going to – I just will. Case in point: right here. I’ve been browsing more kitchen utensils and equipment, just as before when I bought a wooden spoon, only this time I’m inspired on two fronts. One: I’m looking online at far more thrilling items, and two: it came about after reading this toastie-based article on the Grauniad. More toasties in the news, please.

As I live in a tiny little flatlet/bedsit that doesn’t have much room in its kitchen I have to rely on plug in hotplates. Think Charlie from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and you get the idea. Though to be honest I’m more like Frank. Anyway, they’re a bit shit, so I’m all like browsing for other ones and shit, just generally getting an idea of what the water’s like in the world of hotplate economics when I realise that the toaster/poacher linked in the Grauniad story isn’t the only mental thing out there.

I present to you, the mini oven/hotplate combo. Amazing. I want five. Well, just one, as that’s all you’d need. Plus there wouldn’t be room for more than one. And it does make me wonder what happens when there are spillages – do you just have the hinges and cracks inside the oven coated in boiled-over water and other such goo? Probably. A cheese-coated oven. YUM.

What about this for your kitchen? Well it’s listed in the kitchen appliance section, so I’m taking their word for it. The day I have a kitchen big enough for that is… well, it’s the day I have one of those, frankly. I can sit in comfort while I am cooked for, with beer in easy reaching distance.

Ah, one day I will be so lazy all of these appliances will make sense. One day…

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Lenny Henry would turn in his grave. If he was dead.


I’ve decided to go down a route I never thought I would – one that I’m taking inspiration from a friend called Jack for. You see, a few years ago he decided that he would ask on a music-based forum a few hundred people frequented if anyone would donate foodstuffs to him, as he was poor and couldn’t afford it himself. The fact of the matter was he could afford it, he had just decided to spend all of his money on booze and records. We laughed at him. A lot.

Then the packages started arriving. He was getting care parcels sent from people he had never met, and they were genuine. They had food in them. They had treats in them and notes wishing him well. He managed to feed himself for months, simply because he had the temerity – the foresight – to ask a bunch of strangers for some food. So I’m going to do something similar, even though I was at the very frontline of people mocking him for being a cheeky, degenerate bastard (I can say that as I was one too).

Except I’m not asking you for food – mine is a simpler, more raw request. I simply require the thing that contributes to me having food, as well as having other things. The clever ones out there will already have worked this out, but if you’re thick and need some help: money. I am asking you for money. Not pissy amounts like 50p or a tenner, so don’t even waste your time offering me a pittance like that. No, I want you to donate thousands of pounds to me right now so I can live in relative comfort for a while. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get on it.

Please make some donations

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RULE BRITANNIA!

We’ve entered the run up to a new World Cup, meaning we get the inevitable bunch of stupendously bad adverts that go along with it. Chief among them are the likes of Carlsberg’s ‘best teamtalk in the world’ ad, which makes me want to immediately abandon this country for less jingoistic – and wanky – climes, as well as the Walkers ad for their collection of crisps that taste like stereotypical foods from countries. Or feet, I’m not sure which.

But both these ads at least have some air of what could possibly be referred to as ‘dignity’ about them. They don’t actually have dignity, don’t get me wrong, but at least they’re not adverts for The Sun or News Of The World. These ads, for those who haven’t seen them, involve in one case Tim “eh?” Westwood saying… words… about some George Cross flags on a car, or something. It will make you sad to be alive. The other is Terry “Dodgy” Venables singing a song while Ian Wright and some other idiots (and Harry Redknapp) look on, smiling. It’s pretty much insane. For those who have seen them – I share your pain, and if you want me to help you burn your own eyes out I will. Happily. Anything to relieve the suffering of my fellow humans.

It’s testament to the absolute insanity of the Murdoch empire that they opted for ads involving Tim Westwood – vying for the title of ‘Worst Person’ every year for the last however many he’s been alive – and Terry Venables singing. No media goliath would want to inflict this kind of shit on the people of the world if it weren’t for one of two reasons: they legitimately don’t know what they’re doing, or, they actually want everyone in England to kill themselves immediately. The latter, of course, wouldn’t make sense though – it would mean there’d be no one left in the country to not buy their papers.

Oh yeah – that’s some fucking hardcore satire right there.

Still, as a show of good faith to a giant of the publishing industry that brings nothing but hateful, misinformed bile to the world at large (no, not this blog – ha ha HAHAHA), I will suggest a substitute ad to be used in place of these two obscenities. Take into account this took me a long time to come up with – at least four minutes – so I’d appreciate you taking into account the magnificent effort I’ve put in.

The scene opens in a familiar fashion, with Terry Venables walking towards the camera – it soon becomes apparent however that he’s actually in the midst of selling a used car. The viewer then becomes aware that Venables is actually selling a clapped-out motor to a cowardly Italian for a grossly inflated price. When the sale is complete and the frightened European has been royally ripped off we hear a crowd of fans cheering, probably shouting “VINDALOOOOO!” or something. We then cut to some hilarious footage of Ian Wright dancing when he thinks the cameras aren’t switched on while Gary Lineker – hidden somewhat in the background – can just about be made out bathing in a tub of contract-breaching Monster Munch. Alan Shearer then scores a goal with Hitler’s head, after the Fuhrer has been decapitated by Britannia and some creative use of her trident. Three lions then shit on a baguette. The scene slowly fades to black as a chorus of “Two World Wars and one World Cup!” rings out, the vocal charge lead by Baddiel and Skinner, who also do shits on the already-lion-shitty baguette. The Sun’s masthead appears with the caption reading “Today: the World Cup. Tomorrow: the Falklands.”

Mad Men is the inspiration for my new-found skill when it comes to advertising, in case you were wondering.

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Ocean’s 14 confirmed, Dransfield to star

Judging by the phenomenal reaction to yesterday’s tell-all bingo piece, I can see you lot are up for some more investigative journalism of the highest calibre. So it is that I actually played more online bingo today – in the name of research, of course – and can report back with good news. See, Ladbrokes have an offer on of deposit £5, play bingo with all of it, they’ll give you £20 credit and a £10 Morrisons voucher. I took advantage of this, hence my impromptu research yesterday.

The thing is – and the thing Ladbrokes certainly weren’t expecting – is that I used this £20 betting credit, which you cannot withdraw into your bank account, and by using the cunning ploy of ‘playing a bit of bingo’ I converted it from credit into real money. This means I’m actually up on a bookie for the first time in my life, and I actually feel like I should be in the lead role for Ocean’s 14.

No, really – I should. I can see the blurb now:

One man stood for all that was right in society – a paragon of all that is right, hopeful and true in our society. But all that was to come crashing down around him when he accidentally deposited £10 into his bingo account and spent all of it. Now though, in a powerful tale of the strength of the human spirit, this man will learn to stand again, to walk tall amongst the giants and – ultimately – to get £19.77 back out of the deal. Ocean’s 14, coming soon to a theatre near you. Rated PG-13.

It will be fucking astounding.

Though I suppose I could just put a fiver on the FA Cup final…

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Bingo! research

Tonight I immersed myself into an alien world, the likes of which I had never before been privy to. No, I hadn’t decided to eat a salad – far worse. I played online bingo for a bit to see why they seem to advertise it to insane fat women on telly. It’s all in the name of research, obviously.

I can actually see why the bingo in particular could eat so much into someone’s funds – and I don’t just mean from the perspective that gambling is so deliciously addictive (my self-imposed deposit limit on Ladbrokes is testament to that*). No, what I played was so insanely easy to do, so laid back and so out of your hands it’s easy to forget you’re actually playing with real money. You simply click a couple of buttons to buy your tickets then either sit there watching intently, maybe chatting with the reams of pillocks in the chat section, or just go do something else for five or ten minutes and come back to see if you’ve won money. That’s bloody dangerous for a bored housewife/husband/drunk bloke who is bored (not me. I’m not drunk).

I’m actually writing this while a round is playing out in the back – I can see it behind this Word document. I have three balls to go, apparently. Which isn’t something I hear often. If I get a full house I’m able to take home the tidy sum of £21.91 – not too shabby, seeing as that would feed me for a couple of weeks… In fact… I really could win at this… It could be better than working… I could live the high life, free from responsibility and able to buy all the beans I want!

Or I could play blackjack… Or roulette! Always bet on black… Hmm…

*That makes it sound like I have a gambling problem – I don’t. I rarely, if ever gamble.

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Free (stuff) to complain

It’s odd, this whole thing of having this job what I do indeed have right here. I get to travel around the world to be shown new games, to play them before anyone else in the world and to talk to the people who make them about what they’re making. I like games quite a lot. It’s win-win, right? The jealous reactions from people show me that it’s a coveted position to be in, if not financially – but for sheer satisfaction it’s hard to beat. Right? Well, yes. I’d be stupid to deny that.

But the simple act of going to London for a day to talk to a few people and see a few games is surprisingly knackering. It’s a logistical nightmare for the PRs to sort out, but that doesn’t mean it’s much easier on us (boo hoo, etc). Going to the US and Canada a couple of months ago was shattering – I don’t remember what I did most of the time and I know I spent about 80 per cent of my time there feeling rough as hell. But it’s all part of the experience, innit.

It’s one of those things where when you’re doing it you may well be tired and not feeling up for talking to another bloke about something you’ve never heard of. But even during that, you – well, I, at least – never feel like you/I don’t want to do it. Then there’s the benefit of hindsight, which kicks in (shockingly) once it’s all said and done. That’s when you realise you just had a luxury – albeit short – trip to two countries you didn’t think you’d be able to afford to go to. It’s when you realise you’ve had a good natter about a game from a series you really enjoy with one of the blokes who’s making it. And it’s when you remember you didn’t pay a penny for any of that beer.

So bollocks to the whining – I’m still going to do it, but it’s hollow. It pales into insignificance when you think about how fucking good I’ve got it right now. That is, as long as we ignore my money situation…

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Fear and confusion from a hotel room

Apologies I missed yesterday – this was written then, but I wasn’t about to pay twenty fucking quid for internet access. I haven’t read it since yesterday, so it may well be awful and half-baked.

Where were you when the world ended? I was sat in a hotel room across the road from Gloucester Street (or Road, I can’t be bothered looking out of the window) tube station. I had just eaten a hearty, healthy meal of a chicken and mushroom slice and a scotch egg (26% of your daily saturates? NOM), with dessert of a double Double Decker waiting for me and a freshly-made coffee on the side. When the world ended, I was surrounded by deliciosity.

Even so, it didn’t manage to soften the blow that David Cameron was set to become our next Emperor. What is it the kids say? Oh yeah: FML.

I’m not as angry or full of despair as I was the other day – and I realise I’m going back on what I said about no more political posts, but hush down. I am still worried though, but more than anything I’m angry: at that yellow bastard for talking me into voting for his stupid, pointless party. These may well be words I eat as it comes out that it’s the most perfect unison of governmental parties in the history of the universe, but right now I’m as clued-up as the news, which is “not very much”. So baseless speculation it is:

Nick Clegg will be nothing more than a voiceless face sat next to Plumboy McToff, waiting silently until his party is dismantled from within by wheelings and dealings of Tory rats. The country will be into a financial spiral of Death and Destruction for those of us with little-to-no money and the Liberal Democrats – partners in this – will have no say on the matter. Blah blah other negativity – you get the picture.

It’s just a speculative fiction. I’m not placing any bets right now.

On a lighter side, it is funny to watch this on BBC’s rolling coverage. They have no idea what’s going on, and they’re even talking about how Brown was just caught in traffic as if that’s actually some kind of news. Le sigh.

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