Category Archives: Uncategorized

Transmissibility

It’s back in the headlines and the debate is intense: masks.

I’ve held my fire on it up to now. I pick opinions on a case-by-case basis, not led by the nose by people I always agree with, like a cow that goes into that special shed because all his mates did and what’s the worse that can happen?

But it’s time to heal this red-raw split in the populace once and for all. I’ve picked a stance.

You’re all wrong.

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Anchovies versus Worcester sauce

If someone had told me in my twenties that it’s possible to eat healthily and enjoy it, I’d have looked at them balefully, slowly shaking my head as I picked a piece of congealed lamb off yesterday’s T-shirt, contemplating microwaving it.

I mean, it’s obviously nonsense isn’t it? Everything I’ve ever had advertised at me suggests vegetables are dangerous and sweets are magnificent. It’s cheaper, easier and better in every way to crack open the Fanta than attempt to make or consume a ‘pineapple and spinach smoothie’. At no point did any of my parents suggest that broccoli is anything more than an obstacle between me and the ice cream that I want right in my face right fucking now please.

Apparently it didn’t cross their minds to teach me how to cook properly. So it’s with mixed feelings I report to you that, believe it or not, I now can.

Continue reading Anchovies versus Worcester sauce

The Golden Age of Chris

The thing everyone likes about skills is they get better over time. Refining and smoothing your talents to become a master of your craft, to put novices and the young to shame and possibly even pick up an award or two. ‘Honing’ they call it, which sounds a bit like an Australian having a wank.

But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Form is temporary, but even class is fickle. And as I turned over my card to reveal a three of clubs, the realisation dawned.

I’m fucking rubbish. The Golden Age of Chris is over.

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Dragging Granny down the slip-road

Classic TV news footage: a line of white people in hi-vis gilets sitting in a line across a motorway. An angry bloke waving his arms strides forth from the gridlock and starts dragging some old dear along her arse. Glorious, nay Great Britain.

Today a bunch of people from something called Insulate Britain disrupted traffic for a while in the name of combating climate change. These are the same strand of protester as that Extinction Rebellion rabble and here they come again, messing up normal people’s lives, nobody supports it, the whole thing defeats the object, just go and get a job you workshy scum, and so on.

I’ve not asked a protester but I don’t think their ideal day involves sitting on a motorway. Like you, they’ve got better places to be. Maybe, therefore, let’s take the time to work out what they’re trying to achieve, and for whose benefit.

Everyone’s benefit. Absolutely everyone’s benefit.

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The good news

Every morning I wake to the radio. ‘Breakfast TV’ is not for me. Stories of fruit shaped like Keith Chegwin and how many tiny Union Jacks John Redwood has stapled to his member this morning are insufficient to rouse me towards the rage on which my existence relies.

I wake to the BBC World Service, because believe it or not I’m capable of having my own thoughts for the day without some holy fool calling out my sins on the Today programme. Some days, though, I long for the murder of an alpaca to be the most important item on the agenda. Today, in what’s still theoretically the silly season while all the important people are off ‘not holidaying’ in the west of England, I awoke to a stunning parade of grim news stories that seemed to herald the end of the world.

Is news all bad all the time now? Is there any good news, or are we fucked? I’m here to tell you that there’s plenty of good news if you look hard enough for it.

Continue reading The good news

Puff and wheeze

One of many unexpected benefits of life-threatening illness, that they don’t often tell you about in the brochures, is that it puts Weight Watchers to shame.

At the start of 2018 I was dragging the better part of 100kg around with me, and before we go any further, because I’ve had this conversation many times: it’s kilograms now. “But what’s that in proper money?” says everyone, thinking it makes them look like they’re upholding some wonderful British tradition, like slavery or the plague. Shut up and get used to it, because it’s what hospital scales use and one day you too will grace them with your sagging torso.

And then the fun started. On my first roll of the dice I lost 10kg, although most of that was shuddered off in horror at the prospect of a consultant named Alan gently cupping my testicles with cold if surprisingly smooth hands. Second roll it was another 10kg. At 80kg I was quite pleased, sprightly even. Another couple of goes at this and I’ll be able to see my cock.

Why am I telling you this? Because the number’s started creeping back up. And to arrest this slide back into corpulence I have to do two things.

First, fix my diet. That’s done – drink is a protected characteristic of course, but these days I cook well and eat less.

Second: exercise. Oh, fuck.

Continue reading Puff and wheeze

And so do dreams of greatness dwindle

In the darker recesses of 2021, I once found myself on Twitter. I know. It’s been a hard year for us all.

I don’t know how I came to be looking at the feed of a man whose surname’s a mashup of two giant US companies I wouldn’t touch with a Zimbabwean dollar, but so it was I happened upon Dr Simon Ubsdell. I think it was around the time there was some slapstick fishing dispute in the Channel Islands. Thus:

‘Now Jersey. Eventually the Royal Navy will be tasked with defending a small boulder somewhere in the Thames Estuary. And so do dreams of greatness dwindle.’

Whether the country of my birth and current last known location deserves the word ‘Great’ is one of the principal dividing lines of our society. The perceived loss of greatness is an outrage to many, including Dr Ubsdell by the sounds of it.

Not to me. Who the hell needs greatness anyway?

Continue reading And so do dreams of greatness dwindle

Business attire

There’s one massive drawback from all this working from home: the death of a great gag.

Don’t deny you’ve cracked it yourself. “Can we have a meeting tomorrow to discuss it?” “I can’t, I’m working from home.” “Oh yeah, wink, working from home is it?”

“Wanking from home more like!”

Hahaha. Hahahahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that’s what you do is it?

But the thought that we’re all sitting around pounding at ourselves while the kids charge about in the background is one that leads to the dark web and a Thai jail, so these days there’s a chance people are actually working from home when they say they are, and maybe even enjoying it.

So no wonder there’s an army of arseholes marching to put a stop to it.

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The Kingdom of Finchley

Amazing fact: there’s no such place as Finchley.

There’s an East Finchley, a West Finchley, a North Finchley and a bit in the middle called Finchley Church End. There was a South Finchley once, but we don’t talk about that (dirty ‘Hampstead Garden Suburb’ splitters). But there’s no ‘Finchley’.

With all this time on my hands I’ve decided to create a country. It’ll include all the named areas of this wonderful segment of north London suburbia plus the parts of Mill Hill nobody wants and I, of course, will be king. Clearly if you’re going to make a country in 2021 you don’t bugger about with democracy and presidents and elections and all that – you install a family who will rule for centuries through the trusted mechanisms of serfdom, patronage and inexplicable, unearned loyalty.

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Far, far away

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a bloke who’d never seen a Star Wars movie and was arguably better off for it on balance.

Until recently I would probably have said I love Star Wars. Yeah I’m one of those ancient bastards who just about remembers it coming out as a kid – the second one obviously, I’m not an OAP for Christ’s sake. As we know, the second one’s a lot better than the first and third. The fourth one’s childish drivel, five and six are forgettable. Seven is a remake of the first one for no discernible reason, eight was a glorified chase movie and nine brought little beyond blessed relief that we were finally done with it all.

So I’m really looking forward to 10, 11 and 12, as you can tell, because oh fucking sweet Christ they’ve only gone and announced another trilogy.

Continue reading Far, far away