Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

It's A Wrap For The Clangers

IT'S A WRAP FOR THE CLANGERS.

I've spent most of the last two weeks wrapping parcels to help my father become the next eBay/GAME. Of course, it's not quite like the blokes who invented Wikipedia from a laptop in somebody's shed, as both eBay and GAME already exist, and that lack of original concept is always going to be a hindrance to a business. Still, he seems to be implementing a rather sneaky practice that works on a local level; he's buying every single computer game in the South of England, so that people have no choice but to order them from him. Quite clever really, though as with every one-man bid to take over the world: he has two women helping him. (And with all the traipsing about buying games that Sam has done, if she doesn't get a foot spa for Christmas then he may just be in trouble.)

He's not the only one that may be in trouble. All this exposure to sellotape can't be doing me any good. A report was recently published in science journal 'Nature', that said scientists (well it wouldn't be clowns would it) have discovered that sellotape emits enough radiation to take an x-ray.

"The technical term for the X-Ray phenomenon is something called triboluminescence. As the sticky tape unrolls, the adhesive becomes positively charged, while the plastic tape takes a negative charge.

In a vacuum, this causes an electric field to be generated and 100 milliwatts of X-Rays to be released in a pulse lasting a billionth of a second."


This is vaguely worrying, because in Spiderman Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and inherits arachnid characteristics. Now, I'm not concerned about becoming a superhuman roll of sellotape – that'd be stupid – but I find it really difficult to sleep if there's too much light in a room, so don't think it'd help my insomnia if I was to glow in the dark. (Don't tell me radiation doesn't glow, either, because I've seen the trailer to The Simpsons - and on there it does - which is good enough for me.) The only benefit to being a superhuman anything would be the Catwoman-esque leather catsuit. Not that there's much opportunity to wear one unless a person is either a hells angel or a Dominatrix, and I can't drive. (And I'd be a shit dominatrix; I feel guilty ordering the dog to do as she's told.)


X-Rays from Sellotape

The main reason we have all been so frantically wrapping parcels is that the month is hurtling unstoppably towards Christmas. I haven't done a single bit of my shopping yet, have no decorations up, and haven't made a Christmas card list yet – let alone started writing any. I have begun panicking over what to buy people though. I am atrocious at buying presents people will like. I tend to have wildly grandiose ideas of what I want to buy them when I first try and think of something, then due to the constraints of time, money, charm, influence, logic and importation law have to settle for something far less magnificent. Trouble is by then anything else seems unfortunately tawdry in comparison to the "ideal present," and I find myself on Christmas Eve doubting every single thing I bought, and generally feeling as if I have spectacularly failed to get anyone anything they might actually like – which is why I end up apologising profusely as I hand over the gift on Christmas day. The worst bit is being there when people unwrap their present. Ideally I'd put them in a room with a one way mirror, so I can see them feign delight while trying to work out what the object actually is, but they can't see me cringing into myself at the embarrassment of being the madwoman who always gives people crap stuff. If one is going to do that really, then they need to have no self-awareness whatsoever, like my Auntie Margaret, or my Nana Tess. They both give really random and bonkers presents: so bonkers that the opening of their gifts is an event in itself, albeit one that always ends in bemuslement and derision.

Another, slightly more entertaining tradition is sitting down to watch TV on Christmas day once all the presents have been unwrapped, all the food has been eaten, and all the Christmas-cheer has been supped dry. So I was sad to hear this morning of the death of Oliver Postgate – creator of The Clangers, Bagpuss and Ivor The Engine. Now, saddened as I was in a nostalgic momentary-"awww"-then-carry-on-with-life sort of a way, I heard a radio 1 news reporter describe his death as "untimely." At this juncture I should mention that the man was 83, so whilst his death was unfortunate, it can hardly be described as 'untimely.'

Watching old episodes of the clangers I came across this one, which shows the day the Clangers went political. This episode hasn't been shown since the first time it was broadcast, as it has been deemed too controversial to be aired since. Mr Postgate was the grandson of a Labour MP, and this episode was written to coincide with election night in October 1974.

Vote For Froglet!
Clangers episode

In other news, a Chinese woman has gone deaf after getting a little over-amorous with her boyfriend. According to a news website:

"A Chinese woman has partially lost her hearing after her boyfriend ruptured her eardrum during an excessively passionate kiss, reports Reuters.

The woman, who is in her 20s and hails from Zhuhai in southern China’s Guangdong province, went to hospital after completely losing her hearing in her left ear following the overly amorous embrace.

China Daily, citing a report in a local newspaper, quoted a doctor surnamed Li who explained that the kiss had reduced pressure in the woman’s mouth, pulled the eardrum out of place and caused the breakdown of her ear.

The doctor added that the woman’s hearing was likely to return after around two months.

The incident prompted several Chinese newspapers to dispense kissing safety advice. While kissing is normally very safe, doctors urge people to proceed with caution, the China Daily reported."


Health and Safety officers will think their Christmas has come early (okay, not by much.) They'll probably outlaw mistletoe now, on the grounds that it encourages people to indulge in potentially reckless behaviour. Christmas kiss-o-grams will be arrested on suspicion of assault (and not just an assault on good taste.) Katie Perry will probably have to provide police with the name of the girl she kissed, so they can check that she did indeed like it, and still has her full range of auditory senses.

The only slightly reckless thing I've done recently (which I liked a lot, but didn’t involve any snogging on this occasion,) was buy Morrissey tickets for his 2009 50th Birthday tour. It's a little daft because I have no idea whether or not I'll actually be in a position to go -- but I have every intention of being bloody-minded enough to make it happen, so am not too worried. If you think you're sick of me talking about this now, then just wait ‘til next year when his Years of Refusal album is launched and the birthday celebrations begin in earnest. I will be truly unbearable company by then, but will naturally assume that you have all had fair warning and that I may be as ridiculously overexcited as I like. So, just to warn you, Anna and I will (hopefully) be going to see Steven Patrick Morrissey on his 50th birthday 22nd May 2009 at the Manchester Apollo.

If only he didn't look quite so much like a paedophile on the new album cover. At least I won't be tempted to lay out any cash on a t-shirt. (Though the new stylistic font on the logo will doubtless grace many a tattooed Mancunian die-hard fan's bodyart in the coming year - as it's all nice and swirly.)

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