Category Archives: bloke

Things That Annoy Me (Part Six – Selfish bastards)

A couple of weeks ago, whilst returning home from an unexpectedly successful meeting in London, something happened that scared the shit out of me.

However, before I relate this particular tale, I need to go back 24 hours prior to that because what I am about to tell you is important in relation to the story that will unfold. You see the previous day I had been haunted by a Crow. And I say haunted advisably because as those who follow my ramblings on twitter will know (well, I had to tell someone!) this bloody thing seemed to be everywhere I went. Not only did it keep staring at me through the window, but it was even sitting on my car when I went out to run an errand!

Now being pursued by a bird which, if you believe in such things, is supposedly a foreteller of doom or even death does not do much good for the nerves. However, I somehow managed to survive the day intact (as did everyone I know I think) and even more amazingly, the night.

So, delighted to be still in this mortal realm and with a meeting to get to, I headed off to London and another encounter with the Underground which, for a variety of reasons, I despise.

OK, with the scene now set I can jump forward to my journey homeward.

There I am, heading for Euston and escape from the big city with the euphoria of what I had just been told still fresh in my mind when I glanced across the carriage and saw something that made me freeze in my tracks.

Sitting there, dressed head to foot in his traditional clothing was an Asian chap. Not an altogether unusual sight in London I’m sure you will agree but what made him stand out was the fact that he was rocking backwards and forward in his seat, eyes closed and twirling some beads between his fingers.

Having served in the Military for as long as I did and having seen at first hand the evidence of what human beings are capable of, to say I became somewhat worried is an understatement. More so because of my recent encounter with the aforementioned Crow.

Thankfully, I was getting off at the next stop and the second the doors opened I was out of there. A glance back revealing him still rocking backwards and forwards with his eyes clamped firmly shut.

Now I’m sure he had his reasons for doing what he was doing and it was obviously totally innocent but even as the train vanished into the tunnel, I actually began to become annoyed. Not just at myself for being more concerned about getting off the train than about actually saying or doing anything, but at the offending individual.

After all, if he wasn’t in London at the time of the 7/7 bombings he would certainly have heard about them and would, like every other traveller on the tube, be wary of anything suspicious. So why did he feel that he had the right to act in what to me at least, was a suspicious if not actually frightening manner? The answer of course, is that it almost certainly didn’t even occur to him and that, to me, is the definition of selfishness.

Indeed, trains and selfishness seem to go hand in hand these days. Quite when it became acceptable for males to remain seating whilst elderly, middle aged, pregnant or even disabled women are forced to stand is beyond me but it really is the height of bad manners. And why do increasing numbers of people seem to feel obliged to wear rucksacks on packed trains? Do they not realise what a bloody pain they are? Of course they do, because they are exactly the kind of people who moan about people wearing rucksacks on trains!

But most selfish of all are those people who talk on mobile phones. I very, very rarely have conversations on phones in public because to me, they are private and I don’t want anyone knowing my business almost as much as I doubt they want to hear it. So quite why others why people feel the need to regale the world with the most inane conversation escapes me. I don’t need to know you are on the train home, I don’t give a toss what you are having for dinner and I certainly don’t care that such and such is screwing such and such.

To make matters worse, I’m sure that these ignorant gits think that when they are talking on mobiles, no one else can hear them. I once listened to a young woman talking loudly to her bank in the seat opposite to me and by the time she had finished, I had written down her account number, sort code, name, date of birth and home address. When I handed them to her and told her that she really needed to be a bit more discreet, she looked at me like I was some kind of sex fiend.  

The sad thing is, selfishness is merely a reflection of what this once great nation has become. It is bereft of both good manners, courtesy, politeness and most importantly of all, shame. And whilst it is easy to blame Lady Thatcher and the ‘me, me, me’ policies of the 1980’s or even the quest for sexual equality (a just battle fought appallingly) the truth is that it’s because too many people do not understand the notion that respect is only given if it is earned.

And they don’t understand it simply because they were never taught it. Which to me is one of the great failings of both our schools and parents across this increasingly desolate country of ours.

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.

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