Friday, 29 February 2008

Colluding With The Alpha Male

Meg no longer believes in Santa, of this I'm sure. She makes a good show of faith in the old beardy one mind - asking me whether he's still on holiday after the Christmas rush and so on. But the way she looks at me whilst she's asking belies the truth that she's discovered.

It's all in the eyes.

Of course I play along with the charade;

"Well Meg, I think he'll be getting back to work soon, what with all the Nintendo DS's he'll have to make..."

This way, if we're both convincing enough, we can keep alive what's left of the magic for a little while longer.

On a related matter - they say that things come in threes. Take this evening for example. In the space of thirty seconds or so, I'd spilled my tea cup running to Meg who'd fallen off the doorstep and scuffed her knees just as Dom choked on a Jelly Baby. A high drama was had in suburbia for a while, I can tell you.

Similarly, in these past few weeks, I've come across a pair of mental Scientologists and been accosted on my doorstep by a fervent Jehova's Witness. And to complete this triad - I was invited to join an Alpha Course by a mate last night down the pub.

"Are you kidding?" I asked, "Me? I'd be a right pain in the arse, I swear."

The Christian mate said that I'd enjoy debating with the group leader. Mind, he let slip after a few jars that the Alpha Gaffer had told him that "Atheists were the easiest to convert."

"Ha! He's talking out of his arse" I said.

"Well, come along then and prove it." - so the gauntlet had been thrown.

Now, if I'm honest I really can't be bothered, as I know I'll just get irked, argue the toss and piss off the faithful. However, I am intrigued to find out how a group of educated, intelligent professionals have formed a group to explore their faith in Santa, sorry, God.

Yet who am I to ask how and why they have their faith? But I can't help myself.

Any reasonably intelligent person will doubt the existence of a higher power - it stands to reason, as the notion of God is rather like infinity - impossible to comprehend and difficult to understand even in theory.

I guess this is the purpose of Alpha Courses;

If other people make a show of having faith, and we collude and do the same, then maybe we can all feel safe together and keep what's left of the magic alive for a little while longer?

I might just go along to see if I'm right...

Thursday, 28 February 2008

A History of Evil

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A Very English Drama

England suffered a severe earthquake last night, some 5.3 in magnitude.

Chimney pots have fallen.

Insurance companies have been telephoned.

I slept right through it.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Frozen nuts

A frozen nut and a pic of some boats that I froze my nuts off taking early Sunday morning;

Sunday, 24 February 2008

The nicest Satanist you're ever likely to meet

I knew how much better his life could be before he'd even spoke - if only he'd loose the tash, cut the combover and shorten the grey hair that made ringlets over his ears. Yet I warmed to him the moment I opened our front door last Saturday morning.

He was a portly, barrel of a type-2 diabetic and firmly in his sixties. His large, childlike eyes beamed from behind his thick rimmed glasses and I was helpless to resist liking him. I wanted to tweak his rosy little plump cheeks and take him out for a night of debauchery, where we would get drunk, smoke a bit of weed and perhaps get shagged by a pair of amoral blonds.

That'd sort him out, I thought.

It came as no surprise then, when he produced The Watchtower from his little brown satchel.

"Ahh, I'm afraid I'm atheist" I told him.

"Ohh" he said, still smiling "what makes you feel this way?"

"A myriad things, really. Not least that I see no evidence for, nor have any real need for a god..."

And so we got into the same old tired debate that's written about ad-nauseum on the Atheist Blogroll. I needn't fill you in with the minutiae.

Suffice to say that his grey mac would just have to go.

It was a pleasant chat, all in all, despite his assertion that evolution was false and that it was logical not to "take of the blood". He told me about his wife, who's suffering badly from Trigeminal Neuralgia. Before he could weave this into an allegory about Jesus Christ, I gave him some advice on pain management and the side effects of carbamazepine. He seemed to appreciate this greatly, despite calling me a Satanist.

You see, if you are not 'For' Jesus then, by elimination, you must be 'For' Satan.

"Cool," I said to him, "Satanist sounds much better than Atheist. Cheers!"

Anyway, to cut a long story short, just as he was leaving, he shot a conspiratorial look behind him, leaned in close and whispered,

"I know I shouldn't be saying this, but your the nicest sata, sorry, atheist I've ever met."

We shook hands.

That's right my friends - The anti-christ will be reborn in the guise of an affable, balding thirty-something.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Right there under my nose

Before Sunday I don't think I'd met a real life Scientologist. Perhaps I had but they were disguised as normal people. I do have a nose for oddness however, so I'm pretty sure I'd have spotted them - what with their freaky alien tentacles hidden under their trench coats and all.

Imagine my suprise then, when on a family trip to the Newcastle Quayside Market, I bump into a pair of them pedalling their bullshit, bold as brass, right there infront of me!

I guess my sentiments were let slip when I shouted back to Miche "Hey, it's the Church of Scientology! Well I'll never!"

The pair looked over sharpish, but quickly got back to the business of standing at their stall all nonchalantly like. They looked decidedly shifty to me. The chuckling musn't have ingratiated me neither, as I had to hang around inspecting their stall for a good minute or two before they approached me.

"Hi I'm Beth, would you like to take the free stress test?"

"No thanks, I don't think it's up my street" I replied.

"I think you may find it enlightening, sir." She said with a knowing grin. "Tell me, what's your name?"

I swear, it came out of my mouth before I'd even thought it -

"I'm sorry, I'd prefer to remain Anonymous."

How cool was that? Eh? I swear, she went white. If only it was deliberate.

I assumed, given her reaction, that our conversation was over, so I retreated to take the photo you see above. It didn't go down well, because no more than two minutes later they'd packed up their little stall and trolleyed it out of the market.

Ok, if I'm honest, it was only an hour before closing time so they may have hoofed it anyways, but I did feel a slight sense of achievement.

Am I bad?

Incidentally, names are changed and faces are blurred, simply because my beef is with the organisation, not these daft mites who hung around a freezing cold market stall for six hours on a Sunday.

Monday, 18 February 2008

The art of inverted snobbery

The house is done and I find myself back on the Internet.

Our money is spent and we now preside like royalty over our newly plastered, illuminated, hardwood floored home that we've adorned with pristine art work.

Which is nice, if that's what turns you on.

Around the corner from us, on the other side of our modest cul-de-sac, you'll find four households locked in an eternal arms race of home improvement. Night time is perfect for observing them. Not that I'm one to stare you understand, it's just that for now, I return home from work in the dark and have the (mis)fortune of driving past them.

They never close their curtains you see. Doing so would spoil their perfectly pleated drops. Closing them would also mean nobody would see how beautifully affulent, stylish and well illuminated they are. What with their top lit cabinets and dining tables never to be eaten upon. If you we're to drive past yourself, you probably wouldn't see the occupants. They're usually busy elsewhere whilst their 90 inch LCD TVs broadcast Sky TV into the enemy's house opposite.

So it goes each night that I drive past.

I guess the collective noun for such an unfortunate group of households is an 'envy'. An envy of homes in the same way a group of teenagers who loiter on street corners could be collectively known of as a 'cunt'.

Anyways - my house is nice, my wife is happy and the curtains are drawn.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Chicken Oriental

Sorry, I've not been ignoring you. It's just that we're undergoing a drastic home improvement regime. I upset Dom the other day, as we were waiting outside of school, when I told him that our house is upside down right now.

"But Daddy, all my toys will fall out!"

I'll be back soon enough. In the meantime, here's some photos from this morning's dog walk in the fog. The only chance I'll get for some peace & quiet right now, that's for certain.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Friday, 1 February 2008

Bish Bosch

My friends - the purpose of life is to hear the shlurp shlurp of a Bosch dishwasher in mid cycle. The freedom to lie on your sofa, laptop on lap, whilst the work of the day is munched by a machine gives limitless happiness.

You see, for the past month we've been without our beloved washer of dishes. Unfortunately, we haven't the resources to keep buying new crockery, so (god forbid) we've had to wash them by hand!

I did what all men do when faced with broken machinery - stuck my ear against it and diagnosed the problem.

"Yup, it's the water pump." I told Miche, "We should order a new one - I'll fit it."

"Yeah, right!" She said, "I'll get a man in eh?"

"Nah, it's quite simple" I said with as much bravado as I could muster, "I can do it - dead easy."

That was four weeks ago.

Last Sunday, under duress, I peeked under the hood of the beast, with new pump in hand. Hmn...

Today Miche disregarded my male pride and got one of those magic men who can fix things to finish the job.

My pride hurts, but at least my hands are dry.

Schlurp, schlurp...