Fuelling the flames of discontent

I hate talking about politics - most people who talk about politics sound like they should be in a grotty sixth form college with a broom up their arse, and I include myself in that. And then you have the uniformly shite stand-up comedians who all went 'political' in the 1980's and were not funny then, and certainly ain't funny now. I'm looking at you, Ben Elton. So, as a warning to people reading this, I will be speaking about some political things in the next few paragraphs. Sorry about that. I am only compelled to write about it now because I am really fucked off.

You may have witnessed David Cameron's little jaunt to the USA recently, where he basically spent the better part of a week trying to insert his tiny, flaccid public school penis into Barack Obama's arse. The love-in was as sickening as it was cynical; we all know that Obama hates us for that Mau Mau shit, so what do we do? We send over exactly the type of weak-chinned, toffee-nosed chump who would have tortured Obama's relatives and then chatted to his chums about it over a jolly game of tennis on his return.

I'd have much rather Obama simply told the assembled throng of dignitaries in the White House that the thought that Cameron was a bulbous-headed little fawning tosspot rather than pretend he liked him. Although, the hyperbole was laid on so thickly that I actually think that Obama was being sarcastic. I really hope he was. Maybe we'll find out when he overwhelmingly fails to get his second term and has to resort to writing books and stuff again, if only to keep his she-hulk missus stocked up in red meat and egg yolks.

I've digressed a bit. My point is, that at one point, the vacant dickhead we have to call our Prime Minister managed to remove the silver spoon from his mouth for just long enough to muse how expensive petrol was in the UK when compared to the US. Cameron actually said the following: "The commoners who actually pay for their fuel we are all facing the problem of higher oil prices and that translates into the cost of filling up the Rolls Royce family car, which is very high here in the US but frankly even higher in the UK"

LOWER TAXES ON FUEL THEN, YOU OVER-PRIVILEGED, BLINKERED IDIOT. The reason we pay more than pretty much everyone else is because YOU tax 58 PENCE IN EVERY LITRE OF FUEL. In the USA, the average tax paid (which fluctuates by state) roughly comes in at about 35p per gallon. That's per gallon. Now, I know that US gallons are gay, and thus smaller than imperial ones, but you're still looking at about 8 PENCE PER LITRE. So, we pay 50p more per litre on TAX ALONE (not including an additional 20% VAT) than the yanks do. There's your answer, Cameron.

Now things have come to a head, with Diesel costing almost £1.50 per Litre, and fuel tax will be going up AGAIN following the latest 'budget'. Lorry drivers around the UK are now considering taking a break from murdering people to form blockades in front of petrol garage forecourts. And the official advice from the bunch of feckless morons who supposedly run this ruined country is to rock up to your local BP garage and stockpile fuel, carrying it in as many jerry cans as you can. So now, motorists are haemorrhaging their remaining fuel by sitting in massive queues in petrol garages across the land, blind as they are to the irony of their actions.

Stirling work once again from the absolute divs we have in charge.

The road to hell

Does anyone know someone who can build jetpacks? I ask this, for I am rapidly running out of palatable ways to get to work. It is well-documented that I have issues with commuting, whether it be by train, car, or bicycle. Perhaps I need to face up to the fact that I either need to move house or change my employer to avoid the utter hell that is my current commute. Last week, I was driven into by someone on their phone who then subsequently blamed their bad driving on the fact that 'they had an automatic car'. I wish this was an isolated incident of stupidity, but the cretin who rammed me is not alone amongst the scores of retarded motorists who should still be tucked up in bed at 7 am. Because I am a highly irritable and pathetic specimen, I have categorised the bad driving styles I witness below, because I have OCD and need to do stuff like that.

The Creeper

This is the driver who thinks that, by driving very slowly, they basically have the right of way in any given situation. They typically exhibit this behaviour when entering onto major roads; they creep forward at about 1 inch per second, slowly becoming more and more of a dangerous obstacle to the flowing traffic until someone loses their nerve and lets them go. These people rarely finish the day with their front bumpers intact.

The Mourner

These mongs seem to be perennially driving to a funeral, as they never come within 10 miles per hour of the speed limit at any given time. Either that or they can see ghosts, and are stuck behind an unseen 1970's era rag 'n' bone man's Horse and cart. A likelier explanation for their behaviour is that they are just not very bright, and their tiny little minds cannot process information in real time. These are probably the same people who walk really slowly too.

The Distracted

Some drivers really have an inflated opinion of their abilities. These are the ones who can smoke, talk on the phone and do their makeup (sometimes all 3 at once) while also being completely safe, and aware of their surroundings. These are also the ones who will crash into objects with alarming regularity, and then blame factors beyond their control for their utter stupidity. They don't know what a 'no claims' bonus is, as they have never had one.

The Tank Driver

I regularly witness people in tiny cars who seemingly are under the illusion that they are driving Hummers. I watch, awestruck, as they hesitantly overtake cyclists, by nonchalantly drifting out 25 yards into oncoming traffic and eventually completing a protracted overtaking manoeuvre which has endangered the lives of the cyclist, the other road users and any pedestrians unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity.

The Duke of Hazard

These drivers like using the old hazard lights, and indeed they will use them to basically excuse being rude, inconsiderate twats. Whether it is stopping on a very busy road to talk to their equally slack-jawed companion who happens to be passing them in the opposite direction, or simply double parking and grid-locking an entire street, they have no shame. Perhaps they will park in a disabled bay despite being able-bodied (if not minded), but then they do have their hazards on so the rest of you can all fuck off.

The Queue-Jumper

Why bother waiting in traffic in a filter lane when you can bomb along on the outside, and then simply force your way into the required lane at the last second? These guys are just too damn busy to wait in traffic like the rest of us proles. They have jobs at Estate Agents or Next to get to. They will wait in the outer lane, blocking it entirely without any shame, and then make out that it is your fault if you rightly decide to not let them in. Someone always caves, and the lesson goes unlearnt.

The Suspicious

These people seemingly have an aversion to circles, as they quite simply refuse to move if there are any other vehicles using a roundabout, regardless of where the others may be in relation to them. If the roundabout is completely clear, they will then bravely venture onto it, reciting 'Hail Mary' as they go. Clutching their rosary beads, they will eventually make their way across - they may indicate, they may not; it all depends how scared they are at the time.

I hope that you have enjoyed this petty and utterly futile brainfart of mine, and that you now regard me with even less fondness than before (if that were possible) but someone has to tell the truth about these menaces on our roads. Be on the lookout for them, for you are only a step away from inflated insurance premiums and Cat D write-offs if you see them. Also, look out for those drivers that combine all of the attributes above - they generally have long hair and wear dresses and things, and they are the most dangerous of all.

Starwars toys were rubbish

There was a time when the mere mention of the word 'Starwars' would send many a dysfunctional virgin all giddy with excitement. This was before George Lucas ruined what would have been his legacy with 3 dreadful prequels. I remember watching the Phantom Menace through my fingers and shaking my head a lot. Then after I watched Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith I realised that The Phantom Menace was actually the best of the trilogy by some distance. At least there were attempts at levity and humour rather that just a depressing and highly unlikely descent into evil, portrayed by one of the worst actors of all time. There are people in Hollyoaks who could have played Anakin with more conviction and gravitas.

The other unfortunate side effect of the prequels is that it got me thinking about what it was that I liked about the original 3 films. I mean if you detach yourself emotionally from the franchise, the first movie is pretty awful. Camp, hugely derivative and poorly acted (with the exception of Harrison Ford) No wonder Frank Herbert was pissed off about its level of success. The Empire Strikes Back is a great film, despite the title. One of my favourites. I really can't fault it. Return of the Jedi would be the worst conclusion to a trilogy were it not for The Matrix - Revolutions. So I was scratching my head about what endeared me so to Starwars. Surely only one excellent film out of 3 isn't enough. And then I remembered the inhabitants of my mum's loft. It's always been about the figures, or 'toys' as I like to call them.

Except, thinking about it now, the toys were rubbish too. At a time when Action Man even had moving eyes, the lack of articulation on the Starwars figures was staggering. They had 5 points of movement on the whole toy. You could move the arms and legs and head, although care had to be taken with the head as it was prone to falling off (more about that later). You could only make Starwars figures move around like Basil Fawlty doing his best impression of a Nazi. They had seats on some of the spacecraft but the figures couldn't use them properly, having to perch on the end of them, straight-legged, doing a bit of yoga. The vast majority of the figures looked awful, with massive heads. Han Solo in particular looked like the Elephant Man.

Even the better-looking figures were flawed. Darth Vader's and the Jedi lightsabers had a peculiar thin tip on the end of it, so it looked like one of those novelty balloons used to make animals which had been partially blown up by an asthmatic child. It also 'magically' appeared from the arm of the character, so was at a very odd angle which made duels a bit awkward really. Boba Fett, who should never have been killed off looked OK but even he suffered. I spent years of my youth trying to pry that rocket out from his back, only to later read that the Rocket would have been a spring-loaded missile, but for overzealous intervention from the heath and safety bods. I didn't realise health and safety even existed in the early '80s. My school certainly didn't seem to be aware of it.

Amongst the Starwars toys I have in my mum's loft a good proportion of them are headless. I remember dropping Han Solo and his head simply fell off. I didn't even drop him with any force, or so I told my brother. I have a lanky bounty hunter without a head, too. I don't even know how his head fell off - I just went to play with him one day, and his head was gone. Princess Leia lost her head during an incident in late '87. And I only have C3PO's leg, the rest of his torso lost along with all of the various weapons, capes and other accessories that would invariably break, or become forever entombed down the back of the sofa. I sound like such a careless child. But I have all the little weapons and stuff from my Transformers. But then Transformers were good and worth looking after.

I only had a few vehicles. I couldn't afford any with lights and sounds or anything like that, given that they costed the same as a family hatchback at the time. I wanted the walky thing with 4 legs, but got the little one with 2 legs. I wanted the Millennium Falcon and get the 'rebel transporter' which was basically a large shell with nothing inside it at all, just rows of studs to attach your hapless escaping rebels to. That's right, an interstellar vessel which apparently you have to stand up in during hyperspace. It looked vaguely like a beige turd. I did manage to get Boba Fett's ship (Slave1 I believe) which actually looked like an Iron.

Because the toys weren't great, they eventually became the whipping boys of my other toys. I had some He-Man figures which I used to terrorise the Starwars ones with. I had one called Fisto (really) with a 'bashing' action that I used to wreak havoc on them. Rows upon rows of demented-looking Starwars characters were felled in this manner. Others were simply blown to smithereens by Galvatron and his Transformer cronies. I even used to use my Hamster as some sort of pit monster who unfortunately would only look at them in a vaguely disinterested manner. Even he was unimpressed. That is because they were small, looked gay and some didn't even have heads.

The day after the day after tomorrow

According to a bunch of long-dead midgets and some very odd contemporary Americans, 2012 is the year of the apocalypse, and we are all doomed to die as a result of some unlikely disaster or another. As some of you may know, I am quite intrigued by the end of the world, perhaps because, while accepting all of our differences in colour, creed and religion, we are all equal in death. Nah, the truth is far more prosaic than that - I'm just a morbid twat. Extinction fascinates me. In the past, there have been loads of so-called disasters that have threatened to kill everyone, but unfortunately have been a massive damp squib. Here are some of my most bitter disappointments, in roughly chronological order.

Mutually Assured Destruction

As a child of the 1980's, it was impossible to avoid the cold war. There were loads of films about it, and I remember being genuinely scared that Gorby was going to melt us all to bits. Perhaps I should have been more worried about the geriatric loony in charge of the USA at the time, but never mind. The spectre of nuclear war was everywhere. Raymond Briggs created a wonderful cartoon called 'The Snowman'; he followed up this poignant tale with 'When the Wind Blows', which is a lovely story about London being eradicated from the face of the earth, and one nice old couple's cheery descent into radiation sickness, and death. Lovely stuff. I like to think that the Soviet and US leaders all sat down together and watched 'War Games', and decided that, like Tic Tac Toe, there can be no winner. Disappointing.

AIDS

Holding hands, playing games with girls, sitting on toilet seats, being sneezed on, hanging around with the poor kids. As a child, these were but a few of the ways in which it was possible to catch AIDS. Kids were terrified, genuinely running scared of each other in case they caught AIDS. AIDS firmly supplanted Skill - which had somehow mutated into an African bum disease - as the most scary virus to catch. Years later, rumours circulated that people were being stabbed with AIDS syringes in clubs. I'm not one to trivialise such a serious virus, but the adverts in the 1980's created a whole generation of paranoid, terrified children, and an epidemic which could only fail to live up to expectations.

Salmonella

Salmonella was everywhere, and had something to do with Eggs and Edwina Currie, or 'Eggwina Currie' as she was known for a while. All I know is that children suddenly started to regard eggs with suspicion. Chickens were also implicated, and all sorts of rumours circulated in the school playground that eating chicken would give you chicken pox, or the AIDS. Edwina Currie would later have sex with John Major, but she was never to quite reach the same level of fame again; deciding to steer away from hugely generalistic statements that terrified everyone.

Mad Cow Disease

In the mid 1990's everyone who had eaten beef within the last 10 years was told that they had a jolly good chance of being DEAD before the decade was out. Luckily, I had been eating and subsequently working at McDonald's during that period, so I hadn't gone near beef at all. I still remember the look of fear washing over vacant eyes as I told my customers that we had thrown away all of our burgers and could only serve chicken or fish. I remember the piles of cows being set on fire in farms across the land. The truth is, that only about 3 people died of mad cow's disease, and I'm convinced that the whole epidemic was made up by French people or fanatical Hindus.

Ebola/Ecoli

I can't remember if these were the same things or not. All I know is that they came out of Africa and would disintegrate all of your flesh in a matter of minutes. They sounded really great but were unfortunately confined to sparsely populated areas, so not nearly enough of us died. Promising, but ultimately a letdown.

Foot and Mouth

Apparently the poor cows hadn't had enough first time around, so a bunch of farmers decided to set fire to all their bovine livestock again. Poor cows. Cue lots of Labour MPs running around in the Cotswolds, trying to placate upset yokels.

Swine Flu

This is another joke disease which was made up by lazy Mexicans who couldn't be bothered with all the tourists one summer, so they shut up shop. Much like chickens, eggs and cows before them, pigs were suddenly public enemy number one and were lynched or shouted at wherever they were seen. People were terrified - hundreds of thousands of deaths were expected, but it actually turned out that Swine Flu was only slightly less gay than normal flu. What had so much promise rapidly degenerated into another crushing disappointment. Such is life.

Indignant Proposal

Yesterday should have been a reminder of how insignificant we are - how we have to add a day every 4 years to compensate for magnificent, cosmic events outside of our control. Like a watch that runs a tiny bit too slow, every four years us earthlings must readjust ourselves to get back into step with the celestial rhythms that are happening beyond the confines of our stinking mudball. As a bitter young child, leap years were one of the few things that fascinated me, if only because they wreaked havoc with all the scrooges who wanted to reuse their calendars.

So I am quite annoyed that the only mentions of this year's extra day were related to women being 'allowed' to propose. Men all over the world must have made whatever excuses they could to be apart from their girlfriends yesterday - deciding instead to do a spot of spelunking or going to work in an oil rig. In fact, the only safe place to be was deep in the bowels of the earth, just to make sure that a poorly-spelled text message didn't find it's way across within the allotted 24 hours. Even the FA tried to reduce the window of opportunity for women by arranging the England-Holland game for the same day.

The poor men who couldn't escape yesterday were screwed. Say 'yes', and you're married, say 'no' and you're single.  So saying 'no' to a woman regarding such an important question is bound to result in a breakup. It's normally men who have to take most of the risks in a relationship; To meet a mate, they have to saunter up to an unimpressed lady and her entourage whilst dancing like a spasming epileptic, or try online dating, where deranged harridans who are too odd for the real world lie in wait.

Men typically have to decide when the opportune moment is to introduce their penises into the relationship, and then hope that said introduction isn't met with raucous laughter or tears of disappointment. Toughest of all, men have an unenviable 1460-day stint in which it is their job to propose. But, as men are well used to being told 'no' by women, they can take the quite probable rejection with good grace. Women, on the other hand, aren't used to being told 'no' by men, and will cry and sulk and jump up and down and scream until they are sick to get their way.

Women just cannot be trusted to ask questions of this magnitude. Something needs to be done about this. I propose that this silly, politically-correct right to propose once every leap year is removed from the grasping hands of females forthwith, and restored solely to men, as it should be. I realise that this complicates things somewhat for lesbians, so the job will go to the most butch one of the couple. There are certain things which are just best left to men - such as driving, operating complicated machinery, voting and receiving an education. To all the ladies out there I impart the following wisdom - Never ask a question if you are not prepared to take 'no' for an answer.