Sunday, 2 January 2011

Top 10 Shit-Brained New Year's Resolutions

Top 10 Shit-Brained News Years Resolutions

It's the New Year. So, like a shabby, sanctimonious, bum-fluff-bearded Moses pontificating on the highest floor of the Whitgift Centre, here are the ten most flabby, over-used and shit-brained New Year's Resolutions.

1. No more booze
What a noble idea, ignoring the fact that it’s exercise and healthy eating that actually makes you fit; alcohol abstinence is just an empty placebo, like an angry father shouting to his miscreant children: "I swear, I will turn this car around and we'll go straight back home!" halfway through a journey to Disneyland Paris.

Getting on the wagon sets off extreme Twilight-style reactions in some: Goth-type skin pallour, excessive frothing and spewing all kinds of shit from their hateful mouths (jaysus, see Shane McGowan). Ineviteably, the ‘no alcohol’ resolution gets broken after three weeks - well, gotta celebrate Burns Night somehow - undoing any good work in one fell binge of Frank-from-Shameless proportions, attractiveness and coherentness.

2. Help someone in need
It’s naïve, but I still hold strong in the belief that most people, through common courtesy or simple kneejerk moments, do end up helping someone in need, even without realising it, over the course of a year. So there’s no need to suddenly go all Mother Teresa come 2011, chopping your kidneys out and hurling them at sickly children on hospital drips. Or sailing to Louisiana and sucking petroleum out of lifeless baby otters.

3. See friends and relatives more
January. You had a few beers too many and really caught up with a long-lost amigo. Great. But of course it doesn’t last. May rolls round, you’ve been on the road three weekends in a row talking about mainly the same generic things and a deathly boring ‘friend-quaintance’ is wittering on about grit shortages. Or your mother is chastising your personal hygiene and life choices.

Sensible people love friends and family – so they stay out of their way, making occasional darting forays to see them before retreating back to safety, much like a stealth squadron in Helmand Province.

4. Be happier
Aside from being a vague and all-encompassing resolution, it’s the kind of moany, melodramatic thing said that’s sure to gain back-handed pity and sympathy. People will pat you on the shoulder and convincingly say ‘Life isn’t that bad, buddy’ before later telling fellow friends behind your back: “Didn't realise he was depressive” or “I’ll give it six months till he has that big gay epiphany”.

5. Go travelling
Lost? In need of inspiration? Don’t go travelling. You don’t get a life-changing realisation from partying to Pendulum with a bunch of drug-addled European backpackers in Bali. Just two holes simultaneously smashed into the wallet and memory bank. And a stubborn STD.

6. Take a photo of yourself every day for a year

It’s lose-lose with this one. Either you stop doing it after ten days because it’s easily forgettable/completely pointless, or you end up having 365 photos of you looking gradually less attractive, more saggy and closer to death than before. All it’s good for is a Youtube photo montage set to Snow Patrol, allowing shitbag teenagers to make comments like “ROFL, you got smacked wid the ugly tree” in between screaming racial slurs at each other over Call of Duty headpieces.

7. I shall get new straighteners / I will buy a new wardrobe / something else utterly shit-brained
Ask the New Year's resolutions question, and there’s always someone who pipes up with absolute drivel. Yeah, it would really have been smarter to say nothing at all and continue that staring contest you had going on with the mirror.

8. Save money
Shit, it’s the Age of Austerity! Drain that last drop of champagne by 1159 on December 31, and spend the next twelve months barricading yourself into a self-sufficient commune on the Isle of Skye. Live off the land. Wear hand-knitted sweaters. Finally understand what Scottish people are saying. It’s a lonely and windswept existence, but you can save £6,000 for that class-A drug habit or some such similar endeavour. Worth it.

9. Get organised
New Year's Day is the best time to start getting organised: waking up surrounded by confetti and beer bottles, with a tramp's todger in your ear. Disorganised people are perennially disorganised, no amount of willpower will change that. I would know. There are little steps you can make - buy a diary, make knots in handkerchiefs, employ a nubile, attractive secretary - but essentially realise that your bedroom/desk will always be covered in paperwork, past receipts and fortnight-old pizza.

10. Learn a musical instrument
Musical instruments are for secondary children or youngsters being lived vicariously through by their flashback-and-money-motivated parents. For anyone over 18, it’s an always expensive, almost-always unsuccessful pursuit, ending up as a one-time anecdote or “that Fender in the corner”. And anyway, musical instruments? Make like a normal person and enter the X Factor.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Synergy by name, not by nature

The Apprentice is back. Tonight, Series 6 sauntered into our living room to fill that gaping recess in the nation’s hearts.

It’s a winning formula that rightly hasn’t been tampered with. Take sixteen of the most misplacedly-confident, attention-starving “entrepreneurs” (just like Peaches Geldof is a “journalist” and I “read” Ulysses at university) and let havoc commence. It’s like shooting suited, shit-spouting fish in a barrel for Lord Sugar, Nick Hewer and new girl Karen Brady. You don't have to be a multimillionaire rags-to-riches success story to point out their shortcomings, but it helps.

The shit was flying before the start credits had even finished. The usual train station montage was interspersed with candidates saying things like “My first word wasn’t mummy, it was money,” or “Everything I touch turns to sold.” Alan Sugar? More like lines from a recession-era Alan Partridge.

Once given the task of buying, making and peddling sausages to Londoners and dispatched to Smithfield Market, the issue of team names came up. Apollo was cringe from the ladies, but it had more lift-off than the men’s Synergy. Apparently, shruggable boardroom jargon means something; maybe they’ve been watching too much 30 Rock.

The Herculean boasting and flexing of business brawn briefly shut down when it came to choosing team leader, and a tumbleweed silence drifted across both groups. Then, when the lambs for the slaughter volunteered themselves (Dan and Joanna), did they all start up again.

Having bought their woeful, orphan-grade meat to fob off on the capital’s unsuspecting carnivores, Dan soon showed the leadership style of Francisco Franco, assigning each person a role and bellowing orders, with the intensity and looks of Barney Rubble post-Betty-divorce.

The women won. They went for a mixture of flavours, higher quality meat, they didn’t mess up for quite as long as the men in sausage production and employed a more efficient selling and leadership technique. That wasn’t difficult when Stuart the Anti-Midas's method was wholesale harassment, and blue-eyed Dan had all the hallmarks of a mini Hitler, shouting down any objections to his iron rule. It was Synergy by name, not by nature.

Ah, Stuart. Down to the final three in the boardroom, 21 year old Stuart belied his years by displaying the obnoxiousness and misplaced arrogance of a truly veteran prick. His uber-confident boadroom argument was based around rewording “But how many did you sell?” to Dan over and over again.

The best bit was when he punched the numbers into an invisible calculator, looked at the imaginary “zero” and then screwed up his extremely-punchable crowing face to Dan, before claiming that he – sorry, Stuart Baggs, the brand - was “one of the best businessmen in the country, if not the world.”

Meanwhile, neither a massive twat or an Ayran-alike close to a violent, rampaging breakdown, Alex ummed and aahed, his hangdog expression giving at least a description to someone who looks like a real contender for The World’s Most Boring Man competition.

Fortunately for Alex and Stuart, because crazy eyes Dan had been too busy leading the group – ie. belittling them and marching around like a drill sergeant – to sell anything himself, he got the chop.

Back at the central London Georgian townhouse – why not, just once, give them Croydon Travellodge, for poops and giggles? - the women screamed in unison at the swimming pool (“We can narcisistically stare at our own reflections in the water! Eeee!”) and glugged champagne.

It’s early days yet, but there are already some stars waiting in the wings for coming weeks. Take token toff Raleigh Addington, whose parents were evidently Dallas characters with a penchant for cycling. The young graduate is clearly in way over his head, but had his own little pop at Dan, adding “It’s shameful!” and pointing with histrionic, J'Accuse intensity.

Then there’s Jamie and Chris. Footballer looks, intact senses of “hang on, this is actually bullshit” self-awareness and good timing? They’ll make it down to the last few.

Standing out from an outwardly nondescript women’s group, Jenny Éclair-a-like Melissa also had a little sniping match with the team leader. Too right; Joanna did seem more than a little makeshift, but with a narrow victory in the bag, the women postponed their cat noises and petty backbiting for a later date.

All in all, the Apprentice settled right back into the groove. A meaty start to what is going to be another good series.

Monday, 22 March 2010

TV: The Secret Millionaire

First blog of the year? I must have been busy. Or gone soft. Or spent too much time eating pretzels and watching 30 Rock.

TV: The Secret Millionaire

Several girls have told me that it is life-changing, sob-inducingly beautiful, superb television. No, it’s not BBC pondlife programme Snog, Marry, Avoid. I’m talking about C4's "The Secret Millionaire". I had to watch it, if only to see if I too would shed Notebook quantities of tears.

Before the show, I had imagined that the millionaire would be the stereotyped monnied, upper class twat who would normally be lynched within five minutes of walking into an anything-other-than-Sloane-Square scenario. But, by wearing an Adidas shellsuit, shortening his vowels and eating four Greggs pasties a day, he blends seamlessly into the rank and file. There’s got to be a baddie in the piece, after all, right, so why not make it the rich man in a worldwide recession?

But the whole piece is carefully crafted, and the millionaire is accordingly cast with great thought; it's not C4's remit to be so anti-capitalis, anyway. Last week’s wealthmonger was Iranian-born Jahan Abedi, who looks just like the offspring of a Bond villain and Asian Telly Savalas (who loves ya baby?). They show him cavorting with lovelies in one of his Welsh bars at the start, but this is a red herring. It materialises that he’s not a thoughtless knob; quite the opposite in fact.

Then they take him to downtown Leicester and drop in a rancid apparetment that looks it’s been ransacked. It's a fate I’d only wish on my worst enemy. And Katie Price. Which is maybe one and the same. But despite being out of his comfort zone, despite being without his butler, despite being in the Midlands for Christ's sake, he takes to his role with great purpose, visiting care workers, volunteers and the like.

Gradually, over the course of show, he comes over as a genuine, caring and down-to-earth man who has worked hard to make his riches. 

He comes off both genuine – surprising in an act of made-for-television philanthropy - and likeable which is important when some of disenfranchised in this piece can be victims of society’s ills, and it's easy to transfer blame onto the upper class (just see my second paragraph stereotyping, for instance).
I felt no resentment for him, just for the fact that he has a million times more money than I do. And that he wore more obscene amounts of black clothing.

The show is, of course, utterly contrived and unbalanced, designed not to tug at the heart-strings so much as yank on them like a classroom of sugar-overdosing kids let loose on a bell ringing session. DING DONG, DING DONG; it's 48 minutes of pure emotional assault.

First, we meet a kind and generous volunteer worker (aww!) who needs a minibus, then a landlord who lets houses for shafted immigrants (bless!). And, to top it off, there’s John, whose wife of 40 years died a few years ago. Now, he spends almost every day volunteering at a hospice in her memory. They might as well show a film of an Andrex puppy crying or Bambi’s mother being killed. No wonder women lap this up, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Weepy, hormonal fish.

Throwing money at life’s problems is not presented as the cause to the problems; after all, the problems here are not flimsy or insignificant, and will not be solved by the money. But through his brief window of interest and whopping cheque, the millionaire provides unquantifiable emotional recompense to the most selfless or unfortunate beings.

It could be patronising and corny, but with Jahan Abedi, the undeniable sense that he does care is always there. And so, the woman gets £3,000 for a minibus, the millionaire feels slightly better about hoarding all that cash and the reader’s heart isn’t so much warmed as exploded. It's win, win, win.

I defy you to not smile at the moment the millionaire reveals his riches (although starting a sentence with “I haven’t been completely honest with you…” is usually ended with “ … about my new status as a post-op transsexual with a Nazi sex penchant, honey.”). Sweeping background music plays, the lovely John cries as he remembers his wife and treasures the cheque which means he can go to Cyprus, the couple's last holiday destination. And you can almost hear a million housewives simultaneously weeping at the sheer loveliness.

Of course, I didn't cry. Or even punch the wall at the difficult, difficult feelings I was experiencing. But there was a lump in my throat. In finding the unheralded gems in the country, it’s brilliant entertainment surprisingly life affirming (just don’t think about that one too much, as life affirmation and money are argumentative bedfellows), an all too rare offering of positivity in the weekly telly schedule.

Well, next week, no wall whacking, no life changes, no disenfranchisement. I’ll watch Sophie Dahl food porn on the BBC. The only moral dilemma I’ll have is whether masturbation over a food programme is ethical. No worries.

To watch it:

The Secret Millionaire
Season 2, Episode 4
First broadcast, Monday 15 March 2010

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Dogs – a man’s best friend. If you’re a dangerous and lonely sociopath.

It’s been almost three weeks since I vented my spleen about something inane and pointless. Can’t be good for my health. Anyway…

The dictum ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’* normally goes down easily, alongside lots of imaginary shots of Andrex puppies rolling around in toilet roll and floppy-haired, happy dogs frolicking and rolling around in sun-dappled fields with similarly-delighted owners.

But something shocking and profound dawned on me some morning last week, while I watched two dog-owners at the top of the hill nauseatingly make awkward ‘OH MY GOD WE BOTH HAVE DOGS so we must automatically have other things in common’ conversation. It suddenly struck me that a dog is not a man’s best friend. It’s not even close. Barely even an acquaintance.

My best friends buy me slippers for Christmas. My best friends play Fifa with me on the Playstation. Hell, my best friends talk to me. Dogs patently cannot do any of these things, and are therefore, using cold, philosophical logic, inferior friends. They can’t speak English, they don’t even know what Christmas is with no understanding of the Gregorian calendar.

And you can’t take your dog for drinks without calling the RSPCA two hours later when Fido has suddenly but violently sicked up a daquiri and a chewtoy like a comically broken turntable hastily depositing vinyls across the room at quickfire intervals.

This view paints me as a dog (and daquiri) disliker. I’m not. I like cute, fluffy, mindless and bounding animals as much as the next guy. I think the case is more that I dislike human beings who make a beeline for a domesticated animal in times of social trouble.

In later life, it strongly smells of ‘no other human being has sustained a meaningful relationship with me so I’ll opt for the next best thing which doesn’t talk back.’ In short, especially over the age of 35, dogs and cats are the domain of lonely/dangerous/sad sociopaths. There’s a reason that ‘spinster’ and ‘crazy cat lady’ go hand-in-hand these days.

Really, the only human equivalent of a dog is like saying 'I love my mute, heavily-incontinent shaggy-haired wife who lives outside in a little house'. And that’s just ridiculous and pathetic, who wants that from a person?

And OK, in an ideal world, all you get is unstinting, brainless, floppy-eared love, which is actually pretty great. But it's also like having a friendship with a cuddly toy-nee-sycophant. You can hug them when things are bad and say 'But you love me, don't you Rover?' To which Rover will bark and his eyes may appear to sparkle, to which the sad, lonely speaker will take the answer to be ‘yes, I ruvv rou rots and rots’ (in a dog voice, y' see). No dog bark actually sounds like ‘no’, after all.

But, take away the bias, and it’s very different. He might just be saying** with yelps and screaming eyes: 'No, you're a friendless loser and when you let me off that lead and I went missing all those times, you didn't take the fucking obvious hint, woman. Unbelievable. I’m going to bite you while you’re sleeping then piss on the priceless lounge rug'.

Don’t even get me started (one of those beautiful things people who are about to get started say. Just like people who say ‘No offence but…’ are always about to say something massively insulting) on the weirdos – ok, usually middle-to-upper class women with more money than sense - that dress their dogs in people clothes, thus turning them into a walking fashion statement.

They’re animals, they don’t need garments. Much like babies or mischievous old people, they're just going to get themselves dirty by excreting/vomiting/somehow getting food or dirt all over themselves. Doing this is like saying ‘I may be wearing Primark, but my dog is sooo Prada.’ A man’s best friend (or not, as I’ve said), a woman’s best accessory? The only thing I pity more than the dogs in this tortuous situation are any potential human offspring that these kind of moron women have spawned.

And so back to the two dog-walkers at the top of the hill, clinging to their banal, dog-prompted conversation as if it were the final dinghy on the Titanic. Something else dawned on me a little later.

Oddly, dogs, the sociopath’s choice, lead them back into the human social sphere. Maybe they moved on from talking about dogs, connected, went for a bite to eat. Maybe there’s hope for us all.

*No, I totally haven’t taken one accepted saying too literally and torn into it needlessly.

**One day I’ll make my millions with a dog-to-English language translator. One day.

This week Andy is loving… double duvets
Winter is cold, bitter and unloving. The nights have drawn in, the wind has an extra nip in it, you fell over on ice the other day and had to smile and brush it off as if nothing had happened when it really, really hurt, you were holding back the tears and you think you’ve cracked your femur.

But yes, winter is a bit of a bitch. But I do have a lovely solution to one problem that the season throws up. Rather than depressingly wearing layers in bed – thus waving a white flag to Mother Nature - I give you: the double duvet.

It’s dead simple. Take one duvet and put it on top of the other.

It’s so toasty. Like sleeping in an embrace. I think of the double duvet in the same way that M&S advertise food: "This isn't just sleep, this is super awesome double-duvet winter sleep."

Sunday, 29 November 2009

A guide to lift etiquette

You get into work, carefully go through the swinging doors that you will inevitably walk smack-bang face-first into one day but mercifully haven’t done so yet, and into the lobby. You press the electronic 'lift' button. A whirr and a clunk. The doors open and into the lift you venture.

To the uninitiated/unsarcastic/downright boring, it’s a maximum 40-second journey, a simple means of transportation getting you from ground floor to mid-tower block office.

It’s just a lift, right? Wrong.

Getting the lift is an integral part of the pre-work process - it sets you up for the whole day. Your mood can hinge on whether someone is acting like a twat in the lift. A lot can happen in those 40 seconds.

In an ideal world, the lift would be empty. And let’s face it, the worst a lone person can do in an empty lift is self-harm.

But lifts involve other people, and, as Sartre, agoraphobics and David Mitchell can testify, Hell is other people. It’s a metaphorical and literal journey frought with dos and don’ts, full of various unpredictable oddballs - a veritable volcano of social awkwardness waiting to spew pyroclastic feelings of intense unease over you.

Other people’s actions are magnified twentyfold when you know that, albeit for an uber-brief period of time, you are trapped in a moving box with no other place to go.

So, here are the main lift types, plumbing the range of the social spectrum. See how many you recognise, in an I-Spy kind of way; hell, see how many categories you fall into. And no, I’m definitely not reading too much into this:

1. The normal
Normals like to think they’re in this category on every lift trip, but really it’s one out of three times at best. Courteous, will press the ‘open door’ button if they hear someone running. Yet, tactful enough to know that the best lift conversation is no conversation.

So, for that interminable ride up to the twentieth floor, they will subtly stare at the lift’s wooden panelling so long and so intently that they can see the termites eating away the first layer. This is how it should be; it beats making eye contact. You don’t want to be a number 9, do you?

2. The ‘blanker’
The lift journey is 40 seconds long. Do not make eye contact with the other forms of pondlife in the lift. Do not help by pressing the button. Do not make room for others. Dead to the world, will suddenly stir and show signs of life at their floor. Take note, this is also well observed by other human beings on the Tube or considerate bouncers when faced by repeat-offender drunkards.

3. The ‘flincher’
May have been unloved as a child or sexually assaulted by a religious official. In a crowded lift, will suddenly twitch wildly, akin to a spring-heeled Michael Flatley, when accidentally touched or having their feet trodden on.

4. The ‘optimist’
“Rise and shine, what a beautiful morning, did you see the sunrise today?” a cheerful woman (90% time a woman, seeing as men are too lazy to be optimistic or wake up in time for the sunrise) says to the rest of the lift as if they’re lifelong buddies, rather than total strangers. ‘Well, love, it’s winter, Croydon has never looked more soulless and that sunrise was actually the Home Office on fire. But yes, civil disobedience and arson has never been so hauntingly beautiful.'

5. The ‘captain’
Will say things such as ‘All aboard!’ and ‘All hands on deck!’ to fellow lift passengers. All well and good, but this isn’t the HMS Pinafore. As you leave the lift, you can easily imagine him* never actually going to work, instead riding the lift 9 to 5 every day, repeating the same jolly, slightly-camp nautical platitudes to confused comers and goers.

6. The preener
Our lift at work has a full-way mirror in it. The preener is prone to playing with his hair for the entire duration of the lift journey, assiduously making sure not a strand is out of place. You think ‘you utter preening tit’ - until you find yourself subconsciously doing it the very next day. Oh well, we’re all vain creatures at heart.

7. The talker
Pipes up with inane conversation when any sane person knows that the only appropriate question allowed in a lift is ‘which floor you going to?’ And let’s face it, you aren’t going to discover your soulmate by chatting to a randomer in a lift.

And if you do, then invent a better, more romantic story for the wedding speech: ‘When our eyes met across the dangerously-over-crowded office lift after he got on at Floor 5B, I knew John was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…’ (on that note, see number 12 actually)

8. The moron
Similar to 7, but more annoying. Gets in with at least one colleague from their office and blathers on about something utterly banal. Most painful when it’s a two-on-one situation and even worse when they somehow manage to betray a dishonourable or un-PC character trait in a 40-second journey e.g. racism (‘Too many colours in this town, knowwhaimean mate?’), sexism (‘I was gonna fire her, but she was too attractive’) or, worst of all, utter moronicness (‘Babes, I’ll join you at Tiger Tiger in a few hours, just have to worship at my Katie Price shrine and go to the tanning salon’).

Annoyingly, most of us have been lift morons, albeit unknowingly and for lesser offences than the three listed above.

9. The ‘starer’
Possesses a shocking lack of social graces. This is terrible for a two-in-a-lift situation. Slack-jawed, the starer gawks – regardless of gender, age or attractiveness - transfixed, like a pubescent teenager at Channel Five’s post-midnight line-up. Like a balding man in a midlife crisis at a red Porsche in a showroom.

At this bombardment, your thoughts switch from ‘Why is he staring at me to?’ to ‘Does he fancy me or something?’ to ‘Is this how the Texas Chainsaw Massacre started? Is he going to brutally gut me?’ with startling alacrity. This is a rare one, mercifully.

10. The dick
Usually under 35, a child trapped in a man’s body. Just before departing the lift, may suddenly press all the buttons in the same gleeful manner that a 5-year-old child goes along every key of a piano, before darting out with a giggle.

Alternatively, may let off wind before departure. The child in you wants to giggle and shake his hand for the sheer daring and chutzpah. The adult wants to give him a sharp jab in the face for turning a simple journey into a foul-smelling gas chamber.

11. The phoner
Walks into a lift on the phone and proceeds to shout ‘Hello? I’m losing you. HELLO? Signal’s really bad mate, it’s really crackly. Hello. HELLO? HELLO??’ Well done genius, the lift isn’t sponsored by O2 or Vodafone, so work out that there’s no network in a lift. Your friend on the other line probably isn’t that bothered about talking to you anyway.

12. The lovers
Much like star-crossed teenage lovers in front of a Hugh Grant rom-com, they will proceed to make out as soon as you enter the lift, as if they were just waiting like twisted exhibitionists for someone to witness their red-hot passion. Aah, there’s nowhere to look – the mirrors make it look like there’s four couples making out! You just want to get out before they start going at it, doggy-style, on the floor.

These ‘oh-get-a-room-you-two’ kinds of obstrusive public displays of affection are more common at popular places of transit rather than lifts - say, on street corners, by traffic lights and in train stations.

And finally, the most heinous of all…

13. Mr. One-Floor
This is the worst: so simple, yet so annoying for the lazy idiocy of it. Best observed when in a crowded lift, when there is only 30 seconds supply of oxygen left and lift inhabitants are desperately gasping at air pockets like a sailors trapped in the hull of an overturned catamaran. Gets on at the third floor, gets off at the fourth floor. A one-floor journey.

Everyone in the lift – this is perhaps the only occasion when strangers in a lift are allowed to show any kind of cohesion - mentally pillories him; in fact, never in history has one person lost the respect of so many strangers in one so fell swoop. After he leaves, there will be tutting or someone indignantly saying “Unbelievable!”

Unless you have a serious injury, there is NO EXCUSE for a one-floor journey. Use the stairs next time, Mr. One-Floor, you lazy fuck.

If the lift jams...

As a bonus sub-category, there’s three types for the eventuality of the lift getting jammed. When 40 seconds becomes five or ten minutes, it doesn’t really bear thinking about. Nobody can ever be completely "normal" in this situation.

1. If the lift jams: The panicker
‘Maybe we’re going to die!’ the panicker shouts, harbouring thoughts of lift cables snapping and him plunging 40 floors to an unceremonious death.

Despite the fact the lift's only on the third floor, this isn’t a New York skyscraper and the cables are made from sturdy, modern materials, not liquorice laces. Refuses to be calmed by fellow lift-dwellers and the sensible logic they employ, instead quickly folding himself into the foetal position, rocking back and forth for the length of the three-minute lift jam.

2. If the lift jams: the hidden panicker
Slightly too cool/wannabe cool to immediately show his consternation that the lift is stuck, when really his screaming thoughts are precisely ‘THE LIFT IS STUCK, I’M GOING TO DIE IN A METAL CUBE’. His panic becomes quickly evident from the flop sweats and nervous tics he develops.

Harbours romantic notion, spawned from too many Hollywood flicks, that the solution to the problem will climb down the lift shaft and remove the roof, hauling him to safety, presumably with ‘Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong’ playing in the background. When, in fact, the ‘saviour’ is a hairless and obese handyman called Dave. The hidden panicker leaves the lift, po-faced, with a quiet ‘thanks Dave, sorry for the urine patches’.

3. If the lift jams: The beleaguered worker
‘Maybe we’re going to die!’ the beleaguered worker shouts, harbouring thoughts of lift cables snapping and him plunging 40 floors to an unceremonious death.

But wait, this is what he wants; death is the sweet release from his meaningless life. Over fifty, scraggly-haired and wrinkled, the beleaguered worker has done the same, pointless menial job for 30 years and lost the will to live some time around when Steps lost the will to live.

Unpredictable and dangerous for you because you start imagining him clambering out of the lift and attempting to bite through the lift cords like a cornered rat.

*To any bra-burning feminist out theres: I use him a lot, but it’s not meant to be sexist. Rest assured, darling, both men and women are equally fallible when it comes to bad lift etiquette.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Welcome to welcome to Croydon

Welcome to Welcome to Croydon, the blog that will be documenting the highs and (more likely and more amusing) lows in my life. If I can be bothered to write frequently.

The only thing I can promise is that it will be ever so slightly less soulless, moribund and cluttered than my darling home town of Croydon.

I'll try not to write about it too often, but at times you might marvel at the amount of vitriol and rancour stored up after 21 years. Hey, is it so much to not want to live in a town that so closely resembles Hell?