Been awhile since I did one of these. But I had a whole bunch of unconnected pish that didn't really run together. So seeing as it's a nice easy Saturday here goes.
- This week my daughter solved a mass of long-held fundamental American problems in one fell swoop. She was watching a television show in which it was mentioned that your average pterodactyl's wing span would make it as big as a generic yellow school bus. She asked me if that was true so - not about to argue with a paleontologist - I said it was. She then clearly thought about it for a few moments before saying, "We should get people to use pterodactyl's instead of school buses. All the kids could ride it. It would be much quicker and save money!" Not to mention it would save untold amounts of gasoline and environmental anguish. That level of thinking made me massively proud. Of course moments later I realized that this might mean she'll grow up to be a cross between George Stephenson, Dr. Moreau, the billionaire loon in Jurassic Park.
- My kids have commandered the old dining room as a play room and Halloween display museum. Which is alright by me as I was getting a bit tired of the living room looking like a hippo from the local zoo had broken in and had molested the kids toy box. Anyhoo - the living room still needs a new rug, some tables and bits and bobs. But the other room will do for now. The kids love it in there so that's fine by me.
- I mentioned the strangely innocent weirdness that was You Bet the other day. After clicking through a bunch of links with my daughter I ended up with Jim Davidson's Generation Game on my computer. It felt a bit like watching Nick Griffin present Wipeout or chortling it up on Match Of The Day (I bet his analysis of the football would still be better than the turgid dross the regulars offer up though). Being the liberally minded fellow I am I'm not about to suggest Davidson should have been barred on principle. And comedians should be allowed to say whatever they like - and if you don't like it don't watch them. But it was a little bit like showing my daughter photos of Oswald Mosley to show how you can pull off a turtle-neck despite what Steve Jobs suggested. So a little while later I had a goose about to see what kind of wilderness Davidson had ended up in and read about how he apologized a few years back and has been doing a stage show about how a racist, homophobic idiot gets shamed into realizing what a horrible pig he is and has the epiphany that that's not who he is. Obviously whether he actually has evolved or not - or is just re-using all his old 80s jokes in the Ricky Gervais manner of claiming your laughing at and not with the jokes - is debatable. But then I had my own realization. I'm using a new laptop. Just got it last week because the old one was so scarred from having adware/malware chiseled off it like nasty digital genital warts that it took ages to do anything. So the new thing was completely virginal. But now it's entire online search content consists of Jim Davidson, Oswald Mosley, Nick Griffin and a Youtube video of an Australian man squashing cane toads in a VW bus like a genocidal lunatic.
- I was sat at home the other morning and Jeremy Kyle bounced on to my screen. He's basically Jerry Springer, but with a frightening bi-polar disorder that he's trying to treat by taking cocaine and drip-feeding mushed-up copies of the Daily Mail. My son - sat on the floor with a toy helicopter - was roused by the shouty-man on the TV with the accent a bit like Daddy. How is it that this is what we export to the US television now (irony of Jerry Springer's birthplace aside)? Now that Hugh Laurie is gone we're left with Kyle, Simon Fucking Cowell (that's his full proper name) and Gordon Ramsey. They've even managed to shoe-horn the K-list quality of Amanda Byram and Vernon Kay (I'm not even joking) onto US television at some point. So all we send here now are massively pompous, opinionated men with strange physical characteristics that make it seem like all British men are villainous, ugly blokes who get worked up a lot. It's simply only a matter of time until Noel Edmonds gets a prime time TV show on NBC.
- My daughter has had a coughing-based cold all week. My son has an almost constant running nose (heating vents are open). So I got fed up with forgetting to carry fistfuls of tissues with me every time we went somewhere. So I started carrying a handkerchief around with me. Now let me tell you - there is practically nothing as culturally bizarre as when Americans observe someone who looks just like them whip out a handkerchief and wipe their nose. It's like living in central NY state with all it's weird conservative, faux-catholic trappings and telling your coworkers that the reasons you don't listen to Rush Limbaugh is because he's clearly mental. At least that was the reaction I got this past week when I pulled a Wallace and Gromit handkerchief handkerchief that my mother had given me 15 years ago and wiped my son's nose with it. Judging by the reactions I received it was as if I'd pulled out a pair of my wife's soiled knickers and rubbed it in his face. And while I could see that at least one parents was clearly thinking, "wow - you're supposed to rub women's underpants on your face in private and not in the school hallway..." I could tell most of the others gawking were wondering what kind of vile, nasty pig would use a handkerchief. And it was deemed especially icky because I was using it on my son. I could practically hear them thinking "I bet his whole sordid, foreign socialist family share the same snot-rag as well."
- In a strange fit of British nostalgia I also showed my daughter Sooty and Sweep on Youtube as well. And I'm ashamed to say I genuinely laughed at almost everything Sweep squeaked. But it did give me the chance to tell my daughter that - once upon a time - this show was controversial because one of the puppets was pregnant and famously said the questionably inappropriate comment that she feels she has, "got the whole of the Manchester football team inside me." You can make up your own Ryan Giggs/Wayne Rooney jokes here.
- Today the kid's mother will actually be at home. She got home Friday morning (in the wee hours). Then she went to work. When she got home my daughter was wilting from illness and went to bed at 6.30 so didn't spend any time with her. My son had a bit more time but was quite put out that she went into work today until after lunch. At which point I will be going out in the rain for a run. I don't care how cold, wet or ill I feel - I'm bloody well going.