Things That Annoy Me (Part Four – Midgets)

Like many people, I have a number of phobia’s. I don’t like mice (too quick!), am terrified of heights (albeit on account of once being on a 25 foot platform which fell over) and I’m not overly keen on snakes. However, I also have another phobia. I suffer from achondroplasiaphobia.   

Quite why I have ended up with this affliction escapes me although I suspect, like many sufferers, it can be traced back to watching ‘The Wizard of Oz’ when I was a kid. You see achondroplasiaphobia is a fear of midgets and the truth is, they scare the shit out of me.

I dodge them in the street, can’t watch them on TV and the idea of going to panto (where there always seems to be at least one if not more!) has never entered my head. I suspect it also explains my hatred of Christmas. Damn elves.

It is of course, grossly unfair. Not on me, but on them. I’ve met a few wee folk over the years and they have generally been exceptionally nice and far more normal than many…. well, ‘normal’ folk. But there is something about them I find extremely unnerving.

It could be of course, that they always seem to be smiling. Almost as if they know something I don’t. Indeed, I do have a theory that they are actually all aliens from the planet Munchkin and will one day rise up (pun intended) and take over. The reason they are short merely a consequence of someone on some far distant planet reading the design brief wrong. Extreme I know, but there has to be something that explains it!

Or it could be the fact that their legs are so short and seem to move so quickly. Ironic given that I am also somewhat challenged in the length of leg department!

Whatever it is, it is something I have to get over if only out of respect and courtesy for those who are vertically challenged. However, I am struggling to work out how best to effect a cure. I did try calling ‘Midgets Anonymous’ but no one was able to reach the phone.

Given that those with a fear of spiders are advised to simply hold one for a while and they will soon realise that they aren’t actually scary at all, I did consider grabbing a passing dwarf and rubbing myself all over with him or her for a while. But I quickly realised that doing so might cause problems of a different kind and whilst I have never minded my name appearing in print, I don’t really want it mentioned in any ‘midget molester’ context.

I also thought about spending a weekend watching the aforementioned Wizard of Oz back to back with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory until such time as I can do it without squirming in my seat but the idea of that simply fills me with horror. Especially since I’m on a diet and are off the sweets.

So quite what is to be done escapes me for a while. But rest assured I am on the case. Although I could simply wait until they have taken over the planet. Because by then, we’ll all be afraid. And maybe with good reason!!!

But at least then I’ll be able to say I told you so!

Things That Annoy Me (Part Three – Me!)

From ‘The Yob Laureate’ to names that are (or should be) unprintable on any kind of media, it’s fair to say that over the years, I have been tagged with all sorts of labels.

This is however, understandable. After all, I’m known for writing about issues that are often considered unpalatable and in a style which could best be described as abrasive. As a consequence, it hardly comes as a surprise when occasionally, someone takes exception.

That’s fine by me and to be honest, is one of the reasons why I do it. After all, the primary aim of commenting on anything has to be to provoke some kind of response or better still, kick start a debate. To that end, I don’t really care what anyone thinks about me, just as long as they think something! The old adage ‘it’s better to be talked about than not’ is most certainly true.

There is of course one exception to that because there is one person whose opinion I value above all others and that’s my own. For in recent years, I have come to the conclusion that I am quite annoying. Not least because prior to any major football tournament (or post any outbreak of football related violence) I’d pop up on the news and say, in essence ‘I told you so.’

The fact that I am still asked to do this on a regular basis proves numerous things not least the simple truths that I am usually proved right, no one in authority has ever really taken any notice of what I’ve had to say and that many journalists are basically lazy bastards. However, a couple of years ago, I realised that I was as bored of saying this as the general public almost certainly were of hearing me say it and so I took the decision to simply call a halt to doing anything media related unless it was of particular interest to me.

Taking this decision proved to be a very positive step for all kinds of reasons. The main one being that I have finally begun shedding the ‘you’re that hooligan bloke’ tag which had been dogging me for years and as a result, these days I get involved with a more varied range of work.

The problem with this is that all of a sudden, I have found myself in competition with other writers and that is extremely unnerving. After all, to compete on an equal level means that I have to assume a degree of talent and since I’ve spent most of the last 15 or so years wondering how I am getting away with it, that isn’t easy.

As a result, I tend to prevaricate, often for days on end, which is extremely annoying. Indeed, with a script to finish, I’m starting to wonder why I am writing this instead of doing that.

Which does kind of prove my point!

*Note: I am well aware that I have other habits which some people find extremely annoying. These include biting my nails, falling asleep in front of the TV, being occasionally grumpy, being insensitive, not listening properly, having a terrible memory and not being very romantic. However, as far as I am concerned, those are character traits and what make me, me. J .

Things That Annoy Me (Part Two – Women)

Since my last blog, I’ve received numerous mails supporting my thoughts on those morons who hog the middle lane on motorways as well as suggestions for future topics to write about.

Not surprisingly, the majority of those suggestions relate to the thorny subject of women which is quite handy really as that was always going to be the theme of my second rant because let’s face it, women are a bloody nightmare for the average male.

The only trouble I’ve had is where to start. Since writing my novel ‘Billy’s Log’ I’ve been in the habit of analysing pretty much everything women do which has, in the main, involved trying to work out why we males put up with them. And in most cases, I have come to the conclusion that it’s because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we are either stupid or inferior which is ironic given that they spent so long trying to gain equality with us (and that’s a whole blog right there!).

The tragedy is that it has worked. Women do things on a regular basis which when you look at them objectively, make absolutely no sense. Yet when a male dares question the logic of any of these acts, we are the ones looked at as if we are raving mad.

Cushions are a prime example. Women seem to be obsessed with them these days with six seeming to be the bare minimum required on a bed but that the hell is that all about? The only point they seem to have from a male perspective is that they make making the bed an even more tedious task, getting into bed an event and a trip to the loo in the middle of the night a positive danger!

The argument that they ‘look nice’ would stand up were it not for the fact that generally speaking, bedrooms are places where only one or two people venture which, unless the housewives of Britain are conducting guided tours around their homes when their men are at work, merely reinforces the simple truism that women and logic are two words that rarely sit comfortably together. After all, why moan that you have too much to do around the home when you are seemingly happy to make additional work for yourself for no apparent reason?

And so, as someone who is past caring, I’ve decided that rather than write one single blog about the things 50% of the population do to annoy the other 50% and possibly miss out something important in the process, I will post up occasional thoughts relating to the madness of the female species as and when they occur to me. That is after all, the logical thing to do.

So with that in mind, here’s the first: Why do we put up with women moaning about us leaving the toilet seat up when it’s equally as reasonable for us to moan about them leaving it down?

Things That Annoy Me (Part One – Middle Lane Hogs).

driving, motorways, middle lane, road hogs, £100 fine, police, watford, brimson, top dog, the crew, farting, sex, women, guys, cars, motorcyclesFor some reason, I am often accused of being miserable.

Quite why is something of a mystery to me as in spite of the fact that life continually builds brick walls in my path, I consider myself to be generally speaking, a cheerful and optimistic soul.

I suspect this misconception has much to do with the fact that I have a face which was specially constructed to look grumpy. I’ve certainly never gone for all this ‘you use more muscles to scowl than smile’ rubbish as my scowl has always come perfectly naturally and without any effort whatsoever!

That said, there are numerous things which irritate me on an almost daily basis and whilst I generally try to let them wash over me, they do occasionally drive me to distraction. Therefore, it strikes me that now that this blog is up, running and increasingly popular apparently, it might provide a useful vehicle for me to let off steam with a selection of rants. A kind of online counselling if you will.

The hard bit is deciding what to rant about. For the more I have pondered today, the more I’ve realised how irritating life can be. Well, I say life but what I actually mean is people.

Of course, it surely goes without saying that if everyone were like me, life would be a lot easier but they’re not. Instead, generally speaking, they are a pain in the arse. Primarily because of the things they do. And by that I mean things they do that piss me off.

Now it’s fair to say that smugness, ignorance, disrespect and plain rudeness are personal traits I have no time for which is why I tend to avoid trains whenever possible. For it is here that I usually find the very worst excesses of bad manners. Quite why people feel the need to regale an entire train carriage with inane details of their sad lives by talking loudly on their phones escapes me and as for ‘males’ who remain happily seated whilst leaving a female to stand…. Grrr!

However, trains are not the worst places. Roads are far worse and it is on motorways particularly that people do things that sometimes have me boiling with rage. Chief among these, and quite possibly the most irritating thing I ever encounter, are those morons who drive along in the middle lane oblivious to the chaos they cause. I hate them, all of them.

It genuinely escapes me how people can be so stupid. Do they notdriving, motorways, middle lane, road hogs, £100 fine, police, watford, brimson, top dog, the crew, farting, sex, women, guys, cars, motorcycles understand that by driving along in the middle of a three lane motorway, they are effectively blocking off an entire lane to other motorists? How many times have you come up behind slow moving traffic only to find that at the head, driving along in the centre of three lanes, is some idiot in a Nissan Micra or a people carrier? And why do they do it anyway? Are they incapable of driving in the left hand lane? What is the thought process of driving along an empty motorway and deciding to drive in the middle instead of on the left?

The sad thing is, the people with the power to deal with this (the government!) seem loathe to do anything about it preferring instead to focus their attentions on what to my mind, are less pressing matters such as the economy and world peace. Even the police seem incapable of acting in spite of the fact that these people are driving without due care and attention (and let’s face it, by causing an obstruction that’s exactly what they are doing!) and quite why those signs which seem to spend most of the time warning me of impending doom ahead are not being used to tell these dickheads to drive with a little bit of consideration for everyone else escapes me.

What really annoys me is that I am reduced to flashing them to get out of the way when in reality, what I really want to do is utilise the skills honed in my stock car racing days and simply spin them off into oblivion. Yet if I were to do that, I’d be the one hauled in front of the courts! How does that work?!?!

And of course if they do deign to get out of your way (only to move back the second you have passed) they have the temerity to look at me as if I’m either mad or some kind of irritation. Which merely makes me even more rabid.

If there is an answer, I don’t know what it is. But I tell you one thing, if someone ever invents a way of letting me inform a guilty party exactly what I think of them as I drive past, I will be the first in the queue.

Rant over… that’s better. For now anyway.

Full details of all of my books and movie projects can be found at dougiebrimson.com

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Multi-Tasking!

 Following a recent discussion about multi-tasking and the apparent inability of the average male to carry out more than one function at a time, I had intended to write a blog on this very subject today.

 However, with a screenplay to finish, a new book to start, three TV proposals to work on and a million other things to do and think about today, I simply haven’t got the time.

 But then again, maybe I’m not the ‘average’ male!

The Joy of Farting…

It might not come as too much of a shock to hear that I am not an animal lover. Indeed, I would actually go so far as to say that the only interest I have in anything four-legged relates to the potential of it ending up on a plate in front of me.

Now I realise that this might offend some people, but I simply do not see the point in pets. Dogs seem to do little but eat, shit and make demands on your time whilst cats seem to do little or nothing at all.

As for the ‘companionship’ argument, if I want to spend time with dumb animals, I can switch on the telly and watch Big Brother.

In spite of this, I have over the years, somehow ended up with various beasts living under my roof and currently share living space with two goldfish and two kittens. One of which seems hell bent on inflicting as much pain on me as is possible as the numerous scratches on my hands will testify.

The other however…. well, I have to admit that I am kind of warming to her. Not because she is cute or fluffy, but because of something she did last night. She farted.

Now I have heard plenty of dogs fart over the years and have witnessed on too many occasions to recall that ‘what the hell was that?’ face that all canines seem to be able to do. However, I have never before heard a cat fart. To be honest, the very idea of them doing it at all had never even occurred to me.

What made it all the more impressive was that she did it not once, but three times and with a nice little pause in between each squeak. She actually looked quite pleased with herself when she’d finished. It was a joy to witness.

Reflecting on this later, it struck me as quite significant that of the two kittens, it was the female that had performed. After all, for the majority of human females farting is not something to be celebrated at all. At least not within sight or sound of a male. Instead, it is a bodily function to be carried out as discreetly as possible or even, so some women would have me believe, never at all!

Well, I say discreetly… I recall an occasion in hospital when an elderly nurse was standing in front of me removing a drip needle from my arm and she not only farted but lifted a leg up to do it. Then she just carried on as if nothing had happened whilst every male within ear shot was dying with laughter.

But let’s be honest, for us males farting is a source of much humour. As a youth in a house with a mad father and four brothers, we once kept a microphone set up and a cassette player on permanent pause with the sole function of recording every fart exhausted. The subsequent C90 tape being a source of huge hilarity to us much to the disgust to my mother and poor sister. Latterly, ‘Atomic Fart’ was one of the first apps I downloaded onto my IPhone and remains one of my favoured tactics for reinforcing my child like persona to any women who might doubt it.

Furthermore, the farting scene in the movie ‘Blazing saddles’ remains one of my all time favourite movie moments closely followed by Jim Carey letting one loose in the lift in ‘Liar, Liar’.

Yet aside from cheering us up, there is another function the humble fart performs. It signifies a passage (pun intended).

After all, when a relationship arrives at the point where your partner feels comfortable enough to pass wind in your presence (and I’m not talking about her sticking your head under the covers or anything like that) you know that she’s reached that special point where she’ll be feeling safe enough with you to actually be herself. And that’s an important point in any relationship.

One my little kitten has obviously reached with me.

The Joy of Farting…

It might not come as too much of a shock to hear that I am not an animal lover. Indeed, I would actually go so far as to say that the only interest I have in anything four-legged relates to the potential of it ending up on a plate in front of me.

Now I realise that this might offend some people, but I simply do not see the point in pets. Dogs seem to do little but eat, shit and make demands on your time whilst cats seem to do little or nothing at all.

As for the ‘companionship’ argument, if I want to spend time with dumb animals, I can switch on the telly and watch Big Brother.

In spite of this, I have over the years, somehow ended up with various beasts living under my roof and currently share living space with two goldfish and two kittens. One of which seems hell bent on inflicting as much pain on me as is possible as the numerous scratches on my hands will testify.

The other however…. well, I have to admit that I am kind of warming to her. Not because she is cute or fluffy, but because of something she did last night. She farted.

Now I have heard plenty of dogs fart over the years and have witnessed on too many occasions to recall that ‘what the hell was that?’ face that all canines seem to be able to do. However, I have never before heard a cat fart. To be honest, the very idea of them doing it at all had never even occurred to me.

What made it all the more impressive was that she did it not once, but three times and with a nice little pause in between each squeak. She actually looked quite pleased with herself when she’d finished. It was a joy to witness.

Reflecting on this later, it struck me as quite significant that of the two kittens, it was the female that had performed. After all, for the majority of human females farting is not something to be celebrated at all. At least not within sight or sound of a male. Instead, it is a bodily function to be carried out as discreetly as possible or even, so some women would have me believe, never at all!

Well, I say discreetly… I recall an occasion in hospital when an elderly nurse was standing in front of me removing a drip needle from my arm and she not only farted but lifted a leg up to do it. Then she just carried on as if nothing had happened whilst every male within ear shot was dying with laughter.

But let’s be honest, for us males farting is a source of much humour. As a youth in a house with a mad father and four brothers, we once kept a microphone set up and a cassette player on permanent pause with the sole function of recording every fart exhausted. The subsequent C90 tape being a source of huge hilarity to us much to the disgust to my mother and poor sister. Latterly, ‘Atomic Fart’ was one of the first apps I downloaded onto my IPhone and remains one of my favoured tactics for reinforcing my child like persona to any women who might doubt it.

Furthermore, the farting scene in the movie ‘Blazing saddles’ remains one of my all time favourite movie moments closely followed by Jim Carey letting one loose in the lift in ‘Liar, Liar’.

Yet aside from cheering us up, there is another function the humble fart performs. It signifies a passage (pun intended).

After all, when a relationship arrives at the point where your partner feels comfortable enough to pass wind in your presence (and I’m not talking about her sticking your head under the covers or anything like that) you know that she’s reached that special point where she’ll be feeling safe enough with you to actually be herself. And that’s an important point in any relationship.

One my little kitten has obviously reached with me.

Safety First!

Whenever I am writing, there will inevitably come a point where an alarm bell rings. More often than not it will be heard once I’ve already written something and will involve a distant voice asking “do you really want to say that?” (OK I know a voice isn’t strictly speaking a bell, but if you want to be pedantic, I don’t actually hear it, it’s merely a thought that springs up from the recesses of what passes for my brain).

Now if life has taught me one thing, it’s to pay heed to warnings. After all, when a PC asks ‘do you really want to delete this file’ or a woman in mid-argument stops, folds her arms and poses the question ‘do you really want to go down that road?’ whatever decision is made is going to have consequences for someone. Usually dire ones. And so that decision, whatever it might be, should only be made after considering what those potential consequences might be and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each.

Of course the default decision for all men is ‘no’ whilst for women, it’s yes. In my experience female’s tend to worry about consequences ‘post’ action as opposed to ‘pre’ but then again, they are devious enough to either hide whatever damage they have done or blame someone else for making them do it. Failing that, they can usually call on a man to sort things out for them. And before anyone says anything in response to that, I have lost count of the number of computers I have had to sort out for women who have deleted things even after being warned not to.

Anyway, to return to the case in point…as far as writing is concerned, I usually hear this voice when I commit something to paper that I know is either going to kick up a storm, cause controversy, offend someone or even attract personal criticism (or worse).

In the past this has included such things as my various attacks on the police (the self-serving Army of occupation), the government (cowards), the game (inept), the anti-racist movements (whoo whoo! Keep that gravy train running at all costs lads), the extreme political groups (please wake up to reality chaps), Helen Chamberlain (geezer bird) and gay footballers (for fucks sake, it’s 2010 not 1910!) and in the majority of cases, I’ve gone ahead because I have felt so strongly about something that not to say it would have detracted from the argument I’d been making and I’ll have been confident enough to back up what I’ll have written in the flesh if need be.

I say the majority of cases but in truth, I can only think of one instance where I wrote something and then deleted it. Ironically, it wasn’t in a non-fiction book at all, but in my novel, Billy’s Log. 

I won’t go into details about it here but suffice to say, it was very relevant at the time of writing and to be honest, is just as relevant today (as is the rest of the book I think). However, for some reason it didn’t sit well with me and so I pulled it but I’ve regretted that decision ever since because I should have had the courage to say what I wanted to say.

I mention all this now because I sat down at my computer this morning and began writing a blog when all of a sudden I heard ‘do you really want to say that?’ And as I read back over what I’d written, I realised that there was only one answer…..NO!

You see when it comes to the battle of the sexes, even I know that there are some skirmishes which are best avoided! Especially when one runs the very real risk of shooting oneself in the foot!!

Safety First!

Whenever I am writing, there will inevitably come a point where an alarm bell rings. More often than not it will be heard once I’ve already written something and will involve a distant voice asking “do you really want to say that?” (OK I know a voice isn’t strictly speaking a bell, but if you want to be pedantic, I don’t actually hear it, it’s merely a thought that springs up from the recesses of what passes for my brain).

Now if life has taught me one thing, it’s to pay heed to warnings. After all, when a PC asks ‘do you really want to delete this file’ or a woman in mid-argument stops, folds her arms and poses the question ‘do you really want to go down that road?’ whatever decision is made is going to have consequences for someone. Usually dire ones. And so that decision, whatever it might be, should only be made after considering what those potential consequences might be and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each.

Of course the default decision for all men is ‘no’ whilst for women, it’s yes. In my experience female’s tend to worry about consequences ‘post’ action as opposed to ‘pre’ but then again, they are devious enough to either hide whatever damage they have done or blame someone else for making them do it. Failing that, they can usually call on a man to sort things out for them. And before anyone says anything in response to that, I have lost count of the number of computers I have had to sort out for women who have deleted things even after being warned not to.

Anyway, to return to the case in point…as far as writing is concerned, I usually hear this voice when I commit something to paper that I know is either going to kick up a storm, cause controversy, offend someone or even attract personal criticism (or worse).

In the past this has included such things as my various attacks on the police (the self-serving Army of occupation), the government (cowards), the game (inept), the anti-racist movements (whoo whoo! Keep that gravy train running at all costs lads), the extreme political groups (please wake up to reality chaps), Helen Chamberlain (geezer bird) and gay footballers (for fucks sake, it’s 2010 not 1910!) and in the majority of cases, I’ve gone ahead because I have felt so strongly about something that not to say it would have detracted from the argument I’d been making and I’ll have been confident enough to back up what I’ll have written in the flesh if need be.

I say the majority of cases but in truth, I can only think of one instance where I wrote something and then deleted it. Ironically, it wasn’t in a non-fiction book at all, but in my novel, Billy’s Log. 

I won’t go into details about it here but suffice to say, it was very relevant at the time of writing and to be honest, is just as relevant today (as is the rest of the book I think). However, for some reason it didn’t sit well with me and so I pulled it but I’ve regretted that decision ever since because I should have had the courage to say what I wanted to say.

I mention all this now because I sat down at my computer this morning and began writing a blog when all of a sudden I heard ‘do you really want to say that?’ And as I read back over what I’d written, I realised that there was only one answer…..NO!

You see when it comes to the battle of the sexes, even I know that there are some skirmishes which are best avoided! Especially when one runs the very real risk of shooting oneself in the foot!!