Monthly Archives: September 2006

The side of the canal

By the time we got to the side of the canal we were slightly out of breath. But we could stop. Stop running. And while we looked at each other we realised the ridiculousness of what we were doing and I laughed a little bit while you kicked a stone that you decided was slightly out of place. It jumped off of the grass where we were standing, hit the concrete side-path, skittered along and plopped into the canal.

“I can’t believe we just did that”, I said.
And you looked back at me, “I know”, you said, “we really did it”!

And then we heard a shout from the main road, “there they are”.

And we started running and although we were probably about to be caught I had never felt so free.

Two dyslexics

Two dyslexics are in a car and one says to the other can you smell petrol?

And the other one says, “Sorry mate I can’t even smell my own name”.

I have two active computers

I have two active computers these days, I have many more hidden in cupboards so Katherine can’t find them and throw them away! (Not really Katherine 🙂

One of the computers is the main server tower computer that is speedy and fast but has all the big bloaty applications on it Office, Photoshop, Premier etc. The other computer is a nice sleek little laptop from Toshiba. I call it LapTosh and it’s my baby. That is where I do most of my writing, posting and surfing. And because I use that machine a lot, Katherine has tended to use the main computer for all her computer needs.

But this morning for another post (Word thing) I needed to draw a diagram so needed photoshop and for another reason I needed Excel so I ended up on the main computer which wasn’t particularly a problem at first because Katherine was still asleep. But once she woke up she found that we were turned round, she was on the laptop and I was on the main machine. It’s funny how quickly you get used to doing things one way around. And despite only having the laptop for four months it now seems impossible that we were able to function as human beings with only one of us on the internet at a time.

A little old lady

came up to me at a cash point and asked me if I could check her balance.

So I pushed her over.

Literally overlook fine hard dusting custom run trial drive time

Although it probably doesn’t seem like it the title of this post makes sense. In fact it makes, in a way, more sense than most sentences.

The other day I mentioned auto-antonyms (here: Why different species can’t mate) and after doing so my father asked me what “Literally dusting” would be. As literal and dusting have two meanings a piece how many meanings of the sentence would there be? The answer is four meanings from two words.

Literally dust Literally dust
meaning meaning meaning
A A Actually remove dust
A B Actually put a fine powder on something
B A Not actually remove dust
B B Not actually put a fine powder on something

And after that we started discussing how complicated we could actually make the sentence. We worked out that for each two meaning word we added we were doubling the previous number of options. Here’s how the options work visually:

And then we just started adding words. Now the sentence we ended up with does make sense, not necessarily at first perhaps, but it does. And fine has three meanings to boot exquisite, small and just good enough. Which means that “Literally overlook fine hard dusting custom run trial drive time” has 1536 different meanings. Which is pretty good going.

A couple sit

A couple sit opposite each other in a restaurant discussing didacticism and allegory too loudly. At the next table sits a guy alone just sitting kind of moochy there in the corner. You wouldn’t have known you could mooch without moving until you saw this guy. He’s drunk five cups of coffee since they sat down. The couple want to talk about him but they can’t while he’s there. He might hear them. He has no distractions to speak of except trying to stop himself from spilling coffee down his shirt, which at the angle he’s leaning back in that seat is actually a reasonable concern.

Surely, they’re thinking, he’s remaining awfully laid back for a guy whose drunk that much coffee that fast. And also they’re thinking that they must be about to get a chance to discuss this as after drinking that much coffee he’ll have to go to the bathroom.

Every time he nears the end of a cup he simply lifts his index finger off of the table slightly and the waitress nods at him and brings him another coffee. Or rather each of the previous five times. But not now, not this time. This time he raises his hand and uses that same finger to beckon over the waitress. She walks over and he gets her to move in really close to leave her ear very close to his mouth. The man in the couple looks on enviously as he realises that the guy’s managed to engineer the perfect angle to look down the waitress’ ample cleavage. The woman in the couple is concentrating on something else – she wants to hear what he says – but all she gets is an overpowering sense of a gravel deep voice. It’s her imagination but it almost feels like the bass in his voice is making the hairs on the back of her neck vibrate. The guy gets up and leaves the table moments after the waitress went back to her work station.

She turns to her boyfriend and says, “did you hear what he said”?
“No. Just assumed bathroom”.
“I don’t think so”.
“Man he can drink a lot of coffee”.
“He seems like an interesting guy”.
“You think so”? The man is asking like he feels threatened.
“Yeah, I mean he seems interesting”.
“Interesting how? He’s a guy sitting drinking coffee in a diner. I mean how interesting can you get – woah hold the front page Julie! ‘Man drinks coffee in Diner’ I can see the headlines now”.
“You know what I mean. You wanted to talk about him as well. I could tell”.
“No way”.
“You did. You gave me that look”.
“What look. Like you saw something about him. Probably something funny”.
“Yeah, well he had that joke on his shirt”.
“What joke? I didn’t see a joke”.
“His shirt said ‘Yes I’m alone and with stupid'”.
“No. He had a black button down shirt. No slogans. I was just going to mention the coffee thing. Just say something like I just said, like ‘man that guy drinks a lot of coffee’ I didn’t realise I was going to have to share my wife with him”.
“Michael we’re not married”.
“Yeah, but we’re engaged. And you don’t like me calling you my fiancée”.
“Yeah well it’s a horrible word”.
“Well, I just think you forget sometimes about me”.
“I do not, Michael. I just think you’re a bit of a protective jealous idiot sometimes”.
“Well, I need you. You know? I mean I need you to be around. And I can’t stand the idea of loosing you”.
“Yeah, I do understand that kind of. But I just… I just don’t like the way that you’re always doubting me. It undermines me you know. I mean I got engaged to you didn’t I, you know I didn’t want to at first but you talked me around, so why can’t you trust me”?
“Because you’re a woman. I know it’s not fair but that’s just the way I was brought up”.
“You’re a pig”.

Michael is laughing now.

“Don’t laugh Michael, take that back”.
“No,” he’s smiling kind of wildly, “I will not. Women have been betraying man since the garden of Eden. And you are no different, even if you haven’t got the brains to understand your own weakness”.

At that exact moment the guy comes back and instead of sitting at his table he sits down next to Julie. In his low rumble he says, “You’re a fucking idiot”.

Michael, stands up and says “who are you talking to”?

“Both of you. You for staying with this bastard and you… You for… well continuing to breathe”.

The guy holds out his hand to Julie and Julie puts her hand in it. “Come with me”. They get up and walk away from the table.

Michael sits back down, or perhaps slumps is more like it. He’s shell shocked. And he almost doesn’t notice when the waitress comes back a moment later with the bill and it has five coffees on it. Michael grabs the waitress’ wrist and holds her back. “I told her she’d leave me. I told her!”

“Then maybe that’s why she did”.

Two old men…

…are in a bar – drunk. And they see a new man walking into the bar in a sharp suit.

One of the old men turns to the other and says, “bet you can’t guess what that chap does for a living”.

The second old man says, “I think he’s a lawyer”.
The first says, “I think he’s an accountant”.

Well the two old men don’t have an answer so they carry on drinking until finally the second old man needs to go to the toilet. As he’s in there at the urinal the smartly dressed man comes in and starts taking a piss.

So the second old man says, “Excuse me old chap, pardon for interrupting but my pal and I have a bit of a bet on to see what it is that you do for a living, he thinks you’re an accountant, but I think you’re a lawyer. Whose right”.

“Well actually,” says the smartly dressed man, “I’m a Scientific Logistician”.

“What on earth is that?”

“Well says the man, let me explain it like this: Do you have a fish”


“Do you have it in a tank or a pond?”

“A pond”.

“Then,” said the smartly dressed man, “I deduce you have a large garden”.

“Yes I do as a matter of fact”.

“Which means you probably have a nice house. Which means you probably have a wife as you would live in a big house by yourself. Which for a man of your age means you’re probably have kids”.

“Yes I have four”.

“If you have four kids that probably means that you have a pretty good sex life. And that means that you probably don’t masturbate often.”

“In fact no I haven’t bashed the bishop in five years”.

“You see, that’s what being a Scientific Logistician is all about. Just by asking you if you have a fish I have discovered that you haven’t masturbated in five years”.

Duly impressed our old chap goes back to his table. And as soon as he arrives back the first old man asks the second if he’s found out what the chap does. And the second says, “I’m sorry he’s not a Accountant or a Lawyer, he’s a Scientific Logistician”.

“What the bally hell’s that then?”

“Well,” says the second old man, “do you have a fish”?


“Then you’re a wanker”.


Some days you’re just luckier than others (as I was talking about the other day: Some days). And on Saturday this week I went to visit my cousin who lives down near Bath. It was going to be a long trip six hours in total of travelling for six hours of visit time but then it was just one of those things that you have to go and do sometimes. It was their housewarming, their husband’s birthday so a visit was in order. Anyway I thought, I’ll get a chance to catch up on some reading on the train.

So off we went to the station, Katherine and I were running a bit late. But so was Pete, we got to Clapham Junction and a train just magically pulled up, we made up the time and got to Paddington with plenty of time to buy the tickets and some food. And this is where the first thing went wrong of the day. Because of some confusion about how we were going to be getting down there (car or train) we didn’t buy any tickets until we got to the station. And once we went up to the machine the tickets were 45 pounds each! So £135 in the hole we went to the shops to buy some food. The rest of the train journey was fine, and actually quite enjoyable. That’s right we were being lulled into a false sense of security. In fact this security went on all of the way through the party at my cousins house. It was fun, there was good conversation and food. So it was time to leave, all we needed was a lift to the station. The journey to the station should have taken twenty minutes, but…

it took…

two hours. There was some kind of mysterious “cars driving into Bath convention” going on. Loads and loads of traffic and no seeming problem at the end of it. After about an hour and half we had to get out of the car and start walking. We’d missed two trains. And once we got out of the car and Dominic had turned around and went back home two things happened. It started raining, and there was suddenly no more traffic.

Pete suddenly said, “One of us is unlucky today who is it”?

To which I replied that it must have been Dominic and that the traffic had moved around now to block him on the way home.

Which seemed funny at the time but clearly it wasn’t true. So we headed off to the station in the rain and started following the signs to the station. But because we were on a ring road the signs were taking us the way that the cars are taken to the station. Katherine at one point said that surely we must need to walk through the town centre to get to the station but there were no signs in the town centre so we followed the road signs. And by the time we arrived at the station thoroughly soaked we could tell two things. First that we’d walked around the whole of the outside of Bath, and second we could see the place that we’d started from from the station and what had taken half an hour would have taken five minutes.

Well we got to the station and as luck would have it the train we thought we’d missed was running late and was still stopped at the station. Excellent we thought. Lets get on this one. However the train was broken, so then we had to get on a train on the other platform that then had to swap positions with the other train. Finally we were on a train and it started moving, after fifteen minutes it suddenly stopped and started going backwards. And another fifteen minutes later we were…

back in Bath train station.

Then another ten minutes later we finally left the station and headed for London. It had taken us two and a half hours to leave Bath!

After we got back to London we were walking back to our house. It was so late that the back entrance to the train station was closed so we had to walk around from the front and under the railway bridge. In the six years that I’ve lived here it’s something that I’ve probably done once a week without incident. But today, today something, some force, some something, needed to tell everyone that it wasn’t our group that was unlucky, but that no instead it was me – Alex.

How do I know it was me and not say Katherine or Pete?

I’ll tell you how. Because as I was walking under the railway bridge a Pigeon shat on me. And I’m not just talking a small amount either, oh no.

Massive white and brown runny gobs of crap all over my shirt. And then as I turned to see what it was the biggest bit of white shiny poo slid right into the middle of my crotch. Yes dear reader it looked like I had become a bit too excited.

All I could smell the entire time I was walking home was the incredible smell of scampi!

It was truly a crappy end to a crappy journey. At least Katherine and I got to laugh about it all the way home.

You can read her version of events here: A bird under a bridge

I went into a Indian restaurant

And ordered a chicken tarka.
The waiter said, “what’s a chicken tarka”?
And I said, “it’s like a chicken korma but a little ‘otter”.

Some days

I’m not superstitious. But I know a lot of people who do things which would be called superstitious by any normal person – kind of just in case. And I am no exception. For example people might not walk under a ladder, kiss across the threshold, cross on the stairs and so on. Just in case it kind of might be true.

I’ve started a new one of late which is truly silly. I have days of the week socks (which is turns out I have talked about before:
At any rate today I am wearing on the left foot the correct sock for today and on the right foot the correct sock for tomorrow.
)* I now end up wearing pairs of socks, but before I take them out I don’t know which one I’m going to wear. The socks have a day on them and if the day that it happens to be the day that it is then I’m going to have a lucky day. Because I’m an optimist I do not assume I’ll have an unlucky day on the other days. I just assume that I’ll have an even better day on the days when the day and socks match.

Obviously this is madness, and I don’t actually think that there will make a difference. But I do actually go through the process of thinking of it every time I put my socks on. I always check the day of the socks when I put them on. And I never attempt to cheat the system.

But I don’t think this means that I’m truly mad. People think much more crazy things than that. But which is worse thinking that not walking under a ladder makes a difference, or knowing that it doesn’t make a difference but not walking under them anyway?

It’s similar in a way to a phobia, spiders in this country can’t hurt you at all and yet people are still terrified. I think it’s like Woody Allen said, “I don’t believe in God but I feel guilty about it”, lots of atheist’s while actively not believing in God don’t actively go and do things to annoy God just in case.

Gosh that’s a pretty tortuous last sentence. If they don’t believe in God how can they avoid upsetting something they don’t believe in? Well that’s the essential problem I suppose.

Right quick time to leave with a joke, another from Woody Allen: “As the poet says, ‘Only God can make a tree’, maybe that’s because nobody else can figure out how to get the bark on”.

* I seem to have been just as obsessed with
Feng Shui
back then too.