Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tagged - whatever that is

Many thanks to the inimitable Jerry Chicken for 'tagging' me. Apparently, I must now impart 10 items of information about myself, and I'm only really doing this because the tagger reckoned I'd pooh-pooh him. So I'm pooh-poohing his pooh-pooh (etc in a Blackadder style).
Not sure I'll find 10 things that are particularly interesting, but anyway:

1. Although I work programming computers, there are few things in life that bore me more than programming computers. This also means that when you find out what it is that I do for a living, it does not follow that I can fix your printer/wireless network/Skype phone (whatever they are) so don't bother asking and ruining dinner. In fact, it's come to the point where I'm tempted to make up jobs that I could be doing instead and tell people that. Taxidermist perhaps. Maybe topiarist. Or something not beginning with T. It'd make for more illuminating conversation and would indulge my mischief-making gene.
The only reason I'm still doing it for a living is that I don't know how to do anything else that pays this money. Maybe one day I'll wind down and do something I actually want to do, but it'll do for now. Also, I own no Red Dwarf t-shirts.

2. I'm not sure what my marital status is. I signed something once, but I'm not entirely certain what it meant. And it was a long time ago now, so what that thing I signed meant might not be the case any more. Or not. I don't know.

3. I was brought up as a Catholic and this is quite probably the reason behind my atheism - i.e. it quickly became obvious that, in the words of The Specials, it's all a load of bollocks. Reciting the same things time and time again every week to get you somewhere when you're dead just didn't add up. And it's bread and wine, not some old bit of flesh and blood. A kindly Irish chap waving his hands over it isn't going to magic up some chemical transformation to convert a wheat-based wafer into meat or some horridly sickly wine into blood. I'd rather have the blood actually. That altar wine is disgusting, something I learned at a young age, snaffling cheeky bits of it when tidying up after mass when I was an altar boy. I have tried other wines since, but still none of them do it for me. I blame the church for the amount of lager I drink.
Oh and the Salvation Army is nonsense too. Fair play on the soup kitchens and all that, but why the tambourines?

4. My great aunt Edith Robinson was the first civilian into Belsen when it was liberated by the Allies in 1945. Working for the Red Cross at the time, she was often deployed literally hundreds of yards behind the front line, hence she came to be there. It was only when she died that I found any of this out. I also found a couple of boxes full of photos. Harrowing stuff and it really ought to be in a museum. One day, I might get round to sorting through it all and getting it into the public domain. I ought to really.
Having seen the pictures, reading the nonsensical outpourings of Holocaust deniers riles me more than it did before. And it annoyed me a lot before.

5. I wasn't there when York City beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford. Neither was I the year after when we beat Everton 3-2 at Bootham Crescent. The first season I went to football was 1983/4 when we were plying our trade in what was then Division 4. The first game I saw was a 2-2 home draw with Reading and I really enjoyed it. That season, we were unstoppable, winning the division by a mile and ending with a then record 101 league points. It was brilliant and it felt really good to be a small, 9-year old part of it. Shame, then, that the subsequent 23 years have largely involved misery. I don't get to many games these days - not as many as I'd like to. Football largely bores me, but it's totally different when City are involved.

6. I really hate bananas. No, I really hate bananas. Everything about them. I think the sight of them is merely a trigger for how it will smell when it's opened, but I've come to hate the sight now as well. They have no redeeming qualities. I hate things that are banana flavoured. At Scarborough one time, I had a go on one of them grabby claw machines that was full of sweets and got two out. One Refresher and one generic yellow thing. I gave the missus the Refresher as they're nice and I know she likes them and popped the generic yellow thing into my mouth. Suddenly I was retching against the taste of banana and desperately needed to spit the offending item out, but could I find a bin?
I used to hate flying, but after a period of time in which I flew a lot I got used to it and now it doesn't bother me. I don't envisage the same happening with bananas.

7. I was once shouted at by a 'yoof' in Huddersfield. "You fucking Jew bastard", he shouted, apropos of nothing. This took me aback slightly, so I asked him why he'd ejaculated that particular phrase. He merely repeated his assertion of my fucking Jewish bastardry. I pointed out that my religion (if I had one) couldn't possibly be obvious and why would it matter anyway? I could see he was confused, so I offered to show him that I wasn't Jewish if it really meant that much to him. His reply was "you fucking gay Jew bastard". You can't argue with logic like that, so I went on my way.
It's not the only time I've been subjected to anti-Semitic abuse, but the other time was in Castleford so it kind of goes with the territory.

8. I started writing a sitcom once. At the moment, it's a loose collection of jokes - sarcastic quips, witty asides, one liners, physical gags and something about farting - in my head and some on random scraps of paper. If it ever actually makes it to a manuscript, I'll be utterly amazed, let alone making it onto film. The problem as I see it with my comedy writing is that it's actually really hard. And in the words of Homer Simpson, if something's hard to do it's not worth doing.
Strangely enough, that slogan was on my socks on the day I got married. When I kneeled down at the front (Catholic wedding, you see. They love a good kneel), my mum could read the slogan quite clearly.

9. Our Expression of Interest in applying to become resident in New Zealand was accepted yesterday. The NZ immigration service is checking to see if we are who we say we are and then we'll be invited to apply. Still lots of work to do on this, but we're underway.

10. Back in the day, I set out to fill the Panini '86 football sticker album. You remember the things, surely? Happy were the days when the playground rang out to the strain of lads hunched over massive stacks of pictures of Kevin bloody Keegan going "got, got, got, got, need, got, need". I was one sticker away; then Chelsea reserve keeper Eddie Niedzwiecki. All those stickers. All that money. And for what? Thanks to Eddie Niedzwiecki, bugger all. It's all his fault.

I'm now going to go and mither Asim with this. He's been everywhere. I bet his will be more interesting than mine.

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