Banned For Life

‘English is a crazy language, isn’t it?’ I said. ‘I mean, there is neither egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down.’

‘Don’t fucking go there,’ Jimmy sighed. ‘That is what me got banned from the local swimming pool for life.’

‘The vagaries of the English language?’ I asked.

‘Let’s just say the breaststroke is not what it sounds like.’

The Imitation Game

 

I hope the new film based on the life of Alan Turning, a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, called The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Kinightley is successful and faithful to the life of Turing, given how badly he was treated after the war he helped to win.

During World War Two, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain’s codebreaking centre. and devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany. Turing’s pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles.

After the war Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, when such acts were still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with estrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning.

An inquest determined his death a suicide; his mother and some others believed it was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated.”

The Queen of England, in a homage to the too little too late cliché, granted him a posthumous pardon on 24 December 2013.

The Horse Whisperer

‘Have you ever shoed a horse?’ I asked, as Jimmy narrowly avoided a kick to the head from the clearly distressed horse.

‘No, but I’ve told a donkey to fuck off,’ Jimmy replied, tossing the horse shoe away. ‘I give up.’

‘Why did you agree to do it?’

‘A friend of mine is away and said his horse needed to be shoed. I volunteered.’

‘That was stupid.’

‘It might even be worse than the time I spent the entire Irish Blind Society’s budget on a firework display. I never saw that one backfiring.’

‘In a way, neither did they.’

‘True. But what am I going to do with this horse?’

‘You’ll have to find someone who knows what they are doing.’

‘It’s a pity my Uncle Peter isn’t around. He would know what to do. We used to call him the horse whisperer.’

‘Because he was good with horses?’

‘No. Because he had throat cancer.’

 

The Psychotic Postman

MAX POWER

 

I have a dog who loves to bark. He looks scarily like the dog in the picture above. His name is Maximus Decimus Meridius (movie fanatics will understand) and he takes his house minding duties very seriously. Nobody that he does not know gets in via any entrance no matter how big or small. He loves to bite too.

One time, around October, Irish winter so it is dark at 5.00pm. I had moved house and me and my cousin were checking out the backyard in the dark (I know it all sounds a little George Michael now, but get those filthy thoughts out of your head) and through a series of unfortunate events, I ended up locked in a shed. I bang on the door of the shed, but my cousin is laughing outside and has no intention of releasing me from the shed.

Eventually he does.

However, he ducks into the house before I can connect my shoe with his arse. So I run after him and next thing Maximus Decimus Meridius, who has been hiding under some bushes in the corner of the garden, leaps out and thinks someone is running across the yard, in the dark, towards the door of the house.

So he leaps out, and bites me before quickly letting go.

Then he hears my voice and looks up at me pitifully, and his face was all like; Dude, my bad, but seriously what are you doing running around in the fucking dark? Can’t you see I have a job to do here?

I couldn’t be too hard on him. Five minutes earlier and it would have been my cousin who got bit and then the dog would have been a hero and received a treat. Good doggy! Very good Maximus Decimus Meridius!!

He hates the postman. He barks at him all the time.  In fact, a lot of my letters are ripped because he would leap up and snap at the letters coming through the letterbox. Then out of pure frustration that the postman still had all five fingers attached, he would tear the letters apart.

I was worried about the postman, so I put a small postbox outside the front door, so the postman could put the letters in there.  Of course, the postman ignored it. The dog kept barking and doing his imitation of a paper shredder. So I pointed out the new postbox to the postman, which was obvious and not that hard to miss.

But…it turns out Maximus Decimus Meridius was onto something, and the postman was more than a little crazy because he kept ignoring the postbox. So I nailed the inside of the letterbox shut, now he would have to use the other postbox, and so he did.

But he took it to the extreme.

The postbox is designed only for letters. This postman, however, was a little special, so he tries to ram, and I mean literally ram in parcels that even the most cursory of glances would tell you would never fit in there. In fact, he knows this, because they get stuck halfway.

I sometimes order books, comics, DVDs and other stuff, usually things that might be difficult to purchase, and so I order them online and they are promptly delivered. However, they are damaged by the psychotic postman. What a knob, I have often muttered out loud as I try to free a parcel from the postbox.

It is nearly always damaged.

Now, I no longer care about the postman and his fingers, in fact, I got my own back on him by going to the door completely naked. I’m not sure what scared him more, me in my birthday suit, or the fact that I knew where he lived.

 

Christopher Hitchens-If You Can Talk, You Can Write

 

I really enjoyed the bit about ‘If you can talk, then you can write’. I didn’t always agree with the late Christopher Hitchens and his views, especially his views on Muslims post 9/11, maybe I am wrong but I think he got swept up in the war fever that gripped America at the time, anyway, I always enjoyed his views on religion and atheism. He could be devastatingly witty and erudite at the same time.

Life In Plastic, It’s Fantastic!

‘I was reading this article about Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker, said its global sales had fallen 9% in the three months to the end of June, as demand for its Barbie dolls and Fisher Price toys fell faster than an Israeli missile on kids playing at a beach,’ I said.

‘Not enough variety in Barbie for contemporary society,’ Jimmy replied. ‘I mean Barbie always looks Caucasian, tall, thin and blonde, like some inch perfect 1960’s housewife. They should bring Barbie into the 21st Century, like Obese Barbie, Diabetic Barbie, Blind Barbie, Amputee Barbie, and then Dead Barbie, Dead Barbie has her own pink coffin and funeral accessories sold separately.’

‘Yeah, you never see a pregnant Barbie.’

‘That’s because Ken came in another box,’ Jimmy replied. ‘The dirty wanker.’

Seagulls

Steven-Seagull-730

 

Like some kind of Irish version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, one Irish politician has decided in the age of austerity, poverty and high unemployment, that people should stop worrying about cancelled Garth Brooks concerts and should instead focus on the very real problem of………seagulls

Dublin seagulls to be precise, obviously a different breed of a seagull than the seagulls the rest of us has to put up with regularly.

‘Dublin seagulls have lost the run of themselves completely and must be stopped!’ Ned O’ Sullivan said.

Ned O’Sullivan said seagulls have “lost the run of themselves” in Dublin City and are even taking lollipops from children.

The bastards, is there no low these pesky seagulls won’t sink to? It’s bad enough they leave your car looking like Jason Pollock did the paintwork, but they are stealing lollipops from kids too? That is where I draw the line. We need to take some lessons from Israel and react to a tickle with an almighty fucking punch. We need Steven Seagal Seagull to kick their feathered arses, so they stop behaving like animals.

I do agree with Ned on the seagulls though, seagulls really are the Chavs of the sky. They skwawk at you aggressively while you’re minding your own business, mess up your car when you leave it parked, breed recklessly and scavenge wherever they go, and it is illegal to shoot them.