Friday, June 8, 2012

Hodge Podge

Another Friday brings the unsorted dribble that has collected all week long as things jotted down that I found interesting or funnyish. Which will now be dripped all over this blog with no particular relation to what precedes or follows it.

- I'm genuinely impressed with the intensity of how annoyed my wife is by some of the people who dare to walk up the public road outside our house. It's often quite bracing. She's a placid, reasonable logical woman. She holds little-to-no prejudices - and most of the one's she does hold firmly to are based around stupid people/people who state something they don't have the knowledge to support with empirical evidence. Which is what makes it so interesting when someone she doesn't recognize wobbles past the house and my wife stands up demanding to know why that wobbler is wobbling past. She doesn't even mean it like, "this is a local street for local people...." way. That's irrational and possessive and plenty of people are weird like that. No - my wife means that it doesn't add up that someone with that much wobble would be walking by on a street like ours because we aren't really near anything - ergo they must be burglars. It's a little bit like finding out someone you've known for years secretly runs a dog fighting ring or likes Celine Dion.

- My son got caterpillar fuzz stuck in his hand a few weeks back. He found an old one that had curled up under a plastic spade in the garage and was dipping it in a cup of water. Hurts like a bastard when you get them in your skin. We've spoken to him at length about how you don't touch the hairy ones (a lesson to follow in most relationships to be honest). My wife then told me about a story involving someone's kid (I forget the details) getting them stuck in his throat. Anyhoo - the talk was much needed as The Great Pilgrimage has just begun and the hairy buggers are showing up all over the place. Give it a few weeks and they'll be absolutely everywhere. The trees outside will look like their wearing massive caterpillar socks on their trunks because they'll be so enveloped in them. Yesterday we went out to wait for the bus and Kevin the Caterpillar (as he was instantly named) was wriggling about on the front step. My son didn't touch him and his sister told him, "No! Don't eat him!!" to her brother. When I asked why she picked that warning over other ones she said, "....he eats everything." Which isn't true. Then I told my kids about how I vaguely  remember daring a kid in comprehensive school to eat all the dead flies on a windowsill for about 50 pence. Which he did and nobody gave him the money. My conclusion to that poorly chosen story was that they shouldn't eat bugs if anyone tells them to because unless Joe Rogan is there you aren't getting any money.

- Yesterday my daughter decided that five is the age that she'll be able to drive. Not one to crush her dreams I told her that 5 is too young to drive here, but it's perfectly acceptable in England. So unless I make an unscheduled visit with her over the next year I think I've cleared that hurdle. All of which has lingered like a niggling flea at the back of my brain since I've said it because everybody knows that driving in the US is piss easy compared to the UK. I remember arriving back home after four years away, walking to the car park and being shocked at how tiny the spaces between everything was. I won't mention the tests being harder or that the entire process of getting your license in the UK seems to involve a well orchestrated swindle. Instead I'll mention two things. Firstly - cars in the Us are essentially a dodgem. We've all been to a fairground and jumped in thinking mayhem would commence only to be told that the aim of the game is actually not to hit anyone. Well - it's like that. You don't need to do anything but not hit stuff. Not so in the UK. The roads are tiny, dirty, cluttered with huge numbers of buses that do not care if you are in the way, militant cyclists who refuse to move over and pedestrians trying in vain to avoid all the dog shit on the pavement. And more to the point there are convoluted coming-togethers of roads that seem to be designed to bring about carmageddon. Seriously Americans - take a look at this - it looks like a Magic Eye picture.

- My son is currently wearing a t-shirt I got at a thrift store a week or so ago for 25 cents. I have no idea what television show it is from, but my son likes the picture because the tools are alive. I didn't notice until I put the photo here but even though it is cutesy and twee, I am a little disturbed that the bog using the tape measure appears to have a serious hand-wound and is bleeding profusely.

- Every day I load my son into the car to drive the short distance to school to pick his sister up from school. Being between the hours of 10pm and 4pm my local NPR station plays white-man jazz. The kind that instantly evokes this image of the very white man in a bow tie from Americas Test Kitchen. Due to this I've taken up the hobby of putting on Right Wing Talk Radio just to see what they're banging on about. All of which has encouraged me to seriously consider making a website called The Limbaugh 30 Seconds. Because I tend to only hear 30 seconds of him till I get to the end of the road and turn it off either laughing or shaking my head. The last one I heard was a commercial for a conservative alternative to the AARP - because apparently it is a bastion of communism and whatnot. And there was me thinking it was old people. The last segment of actual Limbaugh programming I heard was an off-hand statement that the Finnish government pays women extra money to have darker skinned kids. At which point I turned it off because you know - my son is in the car and that sort of shit is why one group of people hate all other groups of people not like them.

- My daughter has already picked out this year's Halloween outfits - prompted by seeing old photos of herself in different ones over the years. Partly this is bad because there are plenty of other parts of the year and because the outfits are terrible. But secretly I'm happy because let's face it - Summer sucks (too hot, too humid and bugs all over the place) whereas Fall is a blissful idyllic wonderland filled with great holidays, sweater-wearing outdoor activities, things that smell good and loads of tasty food like stews and casseroles - often involving root vegetables - none of which you can make in Summer because it's just too bloody hot. So it's nice that my daughter recognizes that Fall is the best time of year. Of course, it would likely be less fantastic without the annoying bit before it with all that humidity and mosquito bites. Anyhoo - these are the outfits she's chosen for us this year. It's probably not a good thing that I can still imagine my wife being quite sexy in it.

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