Category Archives: Humour
In a week that started with more Tuesday night humiliation who could have predicted the way it would play out by Friday evening. Following his successful purchase of Leeds United, Massimo Cellino celebrated in the way most Yorkshire folk do, by hitting the local for a pint or two.
In an alternative look at this weeks events we start at The Old Peacock. Massimo Cellino has just secured his purchase of Leeds United and in the process posed for a photo or two with some fans. Massimo quipped in a somewhat believable Yorkshire/Italian accent that “he was-a extremely excited, hey hey, a, bellisimo pleased to be-a in charge of ze greatest team in a England” he followed this by saying “hey up love, I’ll av another pint of 1919”
David “Devil” Haigh hits the local news by stating his intent to join Massimo as his Chief of stationery ordering, it’s at this point nobody questions his purchase of security equipment via his Staples online account. This turns out to come back and haunt him as the week draws to an end. David is politely told by Massimo to “join the devil and burn in hell” it’s still not clear who he means as last week Haigh was referred to as the devil by Massimo.
The Square Ball threw their opinions out into the open and the most creative cover seen in a long time confirmed what we’d all feared. Poor old Brian has been controlled by Haigh, Patel and Narooooodin. Sadly for us it’s become apparent that despite the harmony we were led to believe, Brian has been pulled in all directions. It’s still a mystery as to who controlled his hand that threw his little notepad in the dug out. The said notepad was last seen in the Vicarage Road turf as Wootton and Lees gave Watford a 3rd goal.
Friday saw the most bizarre twist yet as Cellino opened up an Order Confirmation addressed to the Chief of Stationery ordering. Nobody knows the exact date of this document but it confirmed the purchase of some not so discreet security cameras. Some think it could date back to the purchase of Gold Fish in the Quidsdale days, however if this is the case then he negotiated some pretty damn good repayment terms which makes it highly unlikely, ruling him out.
Once Massimo called in the CSI Leeds crime lab to carry out a thorough sweep of Elland Road, Haigh quickly departed grasping his belongings including the shiny Leeds scarf he wore for his photos at the club. Now whilst the timing of his resignation is purely coincidental the further discovery of cameras in the toilets has done little to help his defense.
If ever there was a show to watch at nighttime before bed, it’s Channel 4’s latest “what if?” Drama called Blackout. It’s a drama constructed of different stories from people caught up in the scary and unthinkable situation of a week long power cut. The drama itself is well written and highlights all the stages along the way from curiosity and excitement right through to fear and survival. It basically comes back down to animal instincts and those who act on them the most will survive it. The drama is certainly worthy of the positive comments and reviews it has attracted and it has confirmed in my mind, that we as a country would be well and truly tested if put in this frightening situation. From the story of a Mum and her 10 year old daughter traveling from Hampshire to her Mums in Sheffield right through to the self sufficient Dad and family who resorts to looting Kwik Safe and leaving a guy for dead, it makes edge of the seat viewing.
It is because of this, that as soon as the final credits rolled up our TV screen in a darkened front room our collective minds got thinking WHAT IF?….. It is because of the hard hitting writing and production of this drama that you can’t think about doing anything else. What would we do if we were thrown into this scary and realistic situation? What if cyber terrorists disarmed our National Grid and we were stripped of Electricity? It’s quite an interesting topic of conversation and by the end of it, some quite constructive and devious plans were formed.
These plans were based on prior knowledge of the length of time this Blackout would last for. I know if thrown into this situation we wouldn’t have this benefit, however after 10 minutes of a Power Cut it would seem rather dumb and cavalier to be launching an attack on Waitrose behind our house and raiding their fridges and legging it out without paying just to see the power restored and the normal world carry along as before. We drew up a list of things that we’d do if put in a week long Blackout situation, it goes something along these lines:-
Day 1 – Go to Waitrose and use the money in our food jar to stock up on bottled water, tinned cold food and a bottle of Jack Daniels (the latter is my wish!) Remember the cash machines will have shut down! Strip our camping box of Gas Stoves, Pots, Pans and the cans of gas we have and move all of this to our top floor. For those not aware of our house layout we have 3 floors. Drive to the Christian Builders Merchants in our town and convince them that The Lord would want this and “borrow” 18mm sheets of Ply and nails to board up our ground floor windows. This would be done on both sides. Put big lock on our side gate in garden and prepare to head into lock down mode. Get through the night and hope that everybody else thinks this is still a novelty.
Day 2 – Head out into the world and see what’s going down. I’m pretty sure that our High Street would be intact but it’s worth using this opportunity to see what else could be purchased or bartered for in our local Hardware Shop. Return visit to Waitrose and see if there are any Ian Rankin Irish Soda Farls remaining and sneak them out whist distracting the Security Guard. Under no circumstances will I be having a BBQ and inviting the neighbors, nor disclosing I have a wind up generator that runs on Beetroot Oil in our cupboard. All Beetroots, Beans and tiny potatoes will be harvested and stored under the bed upstairs. Toilet will comprise of Poo Bags from camping trips and the bath will be filled with water for emergency. Survive the night taking it in turns and hoping the distracting noises outside are nothing more than the local drunks, blissfully unaware of what’s happening in the world.
Day 3 – A few noises and an obvious visitor in our garden suggests they were hunting for our Beetroot. Nothing is broken however it is evident that Waitrose is now populated by the local youths of our town. No longer an option it’s a relief I didn’t open up the Soda Farls. Temptation to venture out is still there. Wander down to find the Town Hall is open for a Book Fare confuses me, but what am I to question. Morale seems ok and it won’t be long before the novelty of reading wears off. Discover my cars still where I left it minus two dust caps, strange! Mobile Phone main battery is dead after watching You Tube videos last night, onto back up charge pack. I think we will play Scrabble tonight under Candle Light. Disruption outside and a broken window means we will block up the doorway and stairs to our first floor in the morning. Just got to survive the night yet again. Strange note to self, the sparrows have stopped singing in the evening.
Bizarrely as I tried to upload this photo our Broadband stopped working, slightly eerie!
Day 4 – We’ve had a break in and our Seed tin has been stolen. It’s also evident that someone has swiped our Magnet collection from the fridge. It’s not safe anymore. We board up the back door best where entrance was forced and roll the fridge against it. Apart from this everything else is intact. We have inherited a copy of All Creatures Great and Small, which suggests to me that this intruder was at the Book Fare yesterday. I shut the door on our staircase and block up the stairs with furniture and various bulky items. We are not leaving the house anymore, Poo Bags thrown out of our windows and the Ian Rankin Farls devoured, we set out to check our security efforts. It looks good but we just can’t get comfortable. There is a strange air of unrest outside, a trolley somehow sneaks past the metal security grid and rolls past our house. It’s not nice and as the dusk settles we think to ourselves, only one more night to survive! Of course we don’t really know this, but it it gives us an edge over everybody else.
Day 5 – We’ve survived the night and are relieved to find our secure doorway and staircase blockage is still blocked. Noises come from down below us but it could be anything. Noises appear amplified from around and because of this it is near impossible to identify where from. Gas is running low and water is down to what’s in the bath. It’s at this point I really shouldn’t mentioned I cleaned myself in it! The days goes slowly as every second a new threat appears. This bizarrely includes a Traffic Warden checking the cars opposite our house. God they work every hour including the Bank Holidays! Good to see our Councils trying to make some money in these challenging times. As this thought passes I realize it was a looter wearing a uniform, that’s more like it! Final night tonight, just gotta keep on going. Blog is updated and as I prepare to see through our final night I think hurry up please!
And there you go, the dawn of a new day appears, the sunshine glows red and the sparrows are singing. My phone lights up and a network signal appears. The lights outside our house spark up as if to tell us, fear not this ordeal is finally over.
It was pretty fun creating our diary and plan to survive this ordeal if presented with it. On a more serious note though, it’s scary just how quickly human nature changes and how public services we rely on heavily will start to falter if this situation happened. Please watch this Drama if you haven’t already done so, it’s easy for me to make it sound light hearted but it drives home some scary facts and truths.
So what would you do if you were in the same situation? I’d love to hear your stories.
Now I for one appreciate it when people or companies make things simple. I am the first to find it a relief when faced with something that has the potential to cause concern if there’s an instruction close by.
My first experience of blind panic came when I was heading to the exits in Tesco. It was as if the technology changed overnight and I found myself presented with a Self Service Till for the first time. I do find the concept of self service redundant when it’s constantly manned, however if it wasn’t for their presence I’d have been stuck. Trying to find a loose bagged bakery product with no barcode is not simple! It was at this point I knew that people would either get it and till attendants would be a thing of the past or they would be an unpopular second choice. The jury is still out!
Tonight I have experienced the complete opposite, where instructions appeared overdone. it has made me question the extent of guidance certain people require and how they could possibly do this a different way.
As I approached the Drive Thru in McDonalds I was directed to the order point with arrows. It was at this point I noticed a big sign with a number one on it which said “Order” After placing my order I drove to the next window to see a sign with an equally as large number two followed by the word “Pay”
It was after this that the counter assistant that took my money instructed me to head to the next window. As I approached I was then in view with a sign with a number three in it saying “Collect”
This is pretty self explanatory and by going back to my earlier point, I’m trying to see how this process could cause confusion without the three step signage. It was at this third point I was advised that my order wasn’t quite ready and asked to pull into the Order Bay on the left hand side. Strangely enough there was no sign for this!
As the weeks holiday comes drawing to a conclusion, it’s at times like these that I wish I had really concentrated on the Back to the Future films. I am sure had I really understood it, that I could have created a device and fitted it to my Car in an attempt to go back to last Saturday when we first arrived here. I would obviously pick the moment after the 7 hour journey and also with the tent and canopy all set up. In fact I would like to be in the exact moment of time where I’m sat down in my chair with a nice cold can of beer in my hand! Not too much to ask for.
Since my last blog we have experienced another couple of days out and about and have ticked off both the Saints from the Cornish town list. We went to St Just on Wednesday and despite initially finding parking spaces a challenge to find, we were able to park up and have a wander around the centre. I had my first Cornish Cream Tea, to which I later discovered had got the Jam and Clotted Cream the wrong way around! Only I could do that and a successful shop in a local Craft Shop provided my partner with some creative options further down the line. We then finished the wander with a nosey of the local church. If there is one thing we have noticed in Cornwall it is the tidy presentation and appearance of their churches. This one was no different, however it did provide me with a chuckle when I discovered a certain book title in their give a way section. You couldn’t script it any better a hardback copy of The Satanic Verses, free to a good home!
The journey took us to Cape Cornwall and another climb to see more amazing scenery off the coastline. Now Cape Cornwall may not sound dramatically interesting, however it is the only point around the entire United Kingdom where two different seas or oceans merge together. I will always try and offer some education along the way and this is my token gesture! Another musing was to discover that the tower on Cape Cornwall was constructed by Heinz as a marker of their decision to purchase Cape Cornwall and donate it to the National Trust. It was exactly at this point I noticed a similarity between the tower and a certain accompaniment to chips!
On Thursday we went to St Ives and just about survived the crowds flocking to soak up the Summer Rays that were hitting the beach and coast lines. St Ives is a lovely place and one that I intend to visit again when it’s not so in season. If you visualize the letter U it gives you the perfect image of St Ives. There are two extremely high points and the main part of the town is in the dip between them. We were parked on one of these high points and walked over to the other, crazy stuff but even more beautiful views to take in. It was here that I learnt the correct way to eat a Cream Tea the proper way and also to discover they aren’t even scones! In a nutshell St Ives is beautiful, creative and has a nice positive vibe to it. There are however a few too many Art Shops each selling exactly the same pictures and prints!
On the way back we went via “St Ives Cider” farm and met the guy behind supplying St Ives with the majority of its Cider. It certainly was an eye opener to say the least. He just finished a 10,000 litre batch of one type and it was then we discovered that he bottled it four at a time! Now that is one effort that needs saluting. The set up was no bigger than two medium storage units and it shows the belief and desire that he has in his product. It was this evening that I finally tasted the Cider that my partners step dad has produced this year. Percy certainly didn’t disappoint and I’m pretty certain that the other bottle I’m lucky enough to have will be enjoyed later this weekend.
Finally I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Milton Keynes Bucks Baseball Team on clinching the AAA title last weekend. I have been very fortunate to play a couple of games for the Bucks this year and its so amazing to be so close to the success. They have played terrific Baseball this year and the First Team are a terrific bunch of guys, well done again you all deserve it so very very much! For my non Baseball followers this is the equivalent of winning the league and earning the first seeded ranking going into the Play Offs. Jon and Ernie a special thanks goes to you guys for making all this possible!
Firstly I totally understand the importance of Departments and whilst we all have hard, challenging jobs and roles at work and at home, there are certain things that I can’t just leave alone. Today I experienced first hand the flawed and mind-boggling logic behind our Marketing Team.
So without using too many colours to paint the scene, I have been running my depot these last few days. I am greeted with the message as I walked back in from the yard to contact, umm… let’s call him Alan from Marketing. Now the message was one of panic, one that seemed to hint that the sole reason of the call was to draw concern and a furied haste from me. Now what could it have been? A missed promotion, a last-minute visit planned or an embarrassing missed proof read on a document that I’d signed off?
Well it was down to a Branch Promotion set up to challenge our biggest rivals, a strategic direct marketing plan to peg them back in a fashion like the arrows on the beginning of Dads Army, poking away at them until they finally retreated. As I called I am told that the email sent to me indicated a selection of Petrol Stations close to our depot in a location that they were based and that I could simply select one to have some “free” advertising set up to inform customers of our Depot.
I understand that Marketing Departments are constructed of people who earn decent money, they are the brains of the company who can steer us into a direction that wasn’t clear to anybody Non-Marketing. That makes up roughly 98% of the people in this country* As I read across I couldn’t help but notice that the postal codes of these Garages were in Enfield, a whole 60 miles away!
So as I told…… Oh yes sorry, Alan, that this proposal wasn’t the slightest bit of use to me or my depot! I am sure I put it with a few more choice words but as I indicated to him that Luton was only 20 miles from me and in my delivery area he realised that the document and email carefully constructed had about as much credibility as Paul Gascoigne applying for a Rail Card!
It was when I suggested to him that our Canning Town Depot 10 miles away would benefit from this location that he realised it was all flawed, to make things even more concerning they weren’t even on the original list of depots to benefit from this! Simply mind-boggling and slightly concerning!
* Made up statistic by me and after this error I’m sure it’s nearer 99% which includes Alan.
Top v Bottom in the form of the MLB (That’s Major League Baseball to all my non following readers) It couldn’t have been simpler, well it shouldn’t have been. That’s why Baseball is oh so completely unpredictable and in typical fashion as soon as I am getting carried away my beloved Boston Red Sox showed how to not only lose to the worst team in MLB, but also in the process they managed to avoid scoring any runs! I am certain that tonight’s second game in this series will be different, well in saying that nothing is predictable.
Finally I see a lot of sights in Queens Park which is where I work in Bedford. Today I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. As I was walking to grab some food for Lunch, I saw one of the many Sikhs walking towards my direction. It wasn’t until we passed each other that I realised he was talking to someone, this was despite not having anyone next to him. It was as he passed I noticed he had his Nokia wedged firmly in his Turban in such a manner it replicated that of a Handsfree Kit, now that is why I love Queens Park! Diverse Culture at its absolute best.