Monday, 26 December 2011

Automatic Christmas Message

You shouldn't be reading this.  If you are that means you're not out there in the snow, frolicking around with family and friends in festive jumpers, or interferring with a reindeer.

I'm not here.  I wrote this message weeks ago and scheduled it to appear on Boxing Day, just to taunt you creeps.  I hope this automatically generated Christmas platitude finds you well and that it warms your blackened heart.  This is the most you're going to hear out of me until the New Year, so you'll have to make do with this short sentiment, and a jolly festive picture that I'm going to post below.

In all seriousness, I'd like to thank everyone who takes time out to read Muppets For Justice.  Over the past six months I've seen a lot of growth in terms of traffic, and many of you have left some positive, often hilarious comments, which is always appreciated.  I started Muppets For Justice back in 2007 and it's always served as a scribblepad for the last remnants of my sanity to scratch out a semi coherent form.  It's only this year that I've started to take it more seriously with a regular update schedule, and the efforts seem to have paid off somewhat.

Thanks again.  Now enjoy the wonderous glory of Leathersanta:

Friday, 23 December 2011

2012 Predictions

What a busy year this has been. 2011 has been so stuffed with fun-packed memories that I can’t even remember everything that happened. What with all the Middle Eastern civil wars, dictator toppling, newspaper closing and rioting, I’d forgotten that I won a tenner on a scratchcard back in April! I really ought to cash that in, oh wait, it’s expired. Damn you, distracting news!
Anyway, rather than do a retrospective piece which will have been done to death by now (by the way, I wrote a retrospective article on other people’s “Best Of 2011” articles, but it was so overwhelmingly metaphysical that it caused test audiences to cry blood), I thought I’d make a few predictions for the coming year instead. Here they are, in a lazy list format:

The Middle East Will Stop Rioting

2011 was such a tiring year for the Middle East, so it’s time for them to put their feet up for a while. With most fascist dictators either overthrown or in exile, citizens will start swapping their AK-47s for a cup of camomile tea instead. Images of people shooting into the air as though they have a vendetta against the Sky People, will eventually come to a close.

Hope you don't mind charred gifts this year

Europe Will Start Rioting

Westerners are starting to get agitated that they can no longer afford their designer iPhone cases, with many people taking to the streets to protest against capitalism, banks, money, and anything to do with finance. By 2012, the protestors will be demanding that all currency symbols are censored (meaning that we’ll no longer be able to censor swear words with £$%$£ anymore), and that money is replaced altogether with a convoluted sexual favours system. Stock exchanges will be transformed into perpetual, writhing orgies, and Abba’s hit “Money Money Money” will be conveniently erased from history.

Gary Barlow Will Be Assassinated

Since Gary’s appointment to X Factor judge, gossip pages can’t get enough of his manbaby features and unkempt stubble. The headlines are all the same: “Gary Barlow Insults Hopeful”, “Gary Barlow On All Night Bender”, “Gary Barlow Can’t Achieve Orgasm Unless Suspended In Gelatine”. It’s enough to drive a perfectly sane person crazy!

As is always the case, when someone becomes inconceivably popular, someone will try to kill them. Just look at John Lennon and John F Kennedy. If we take this recurring theme as fact, and if Mr Barlow changes his name to John, his fate will be sealed! That’s why they never managed to bump off Hitler.

Next year, he'll be on Ex Factor!  Ahahaha!

Someone Will Die

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I reckon that at some point during 2012, someone, somewhere, will die. I can’t be any more specific in terms of name, date, or location, but I have a terrible feeling that it will happen.

The Mayan Prophecy Won’t Happen

I know it’s outlandish to suggest such a thing, but perhaps the world won’t end this year. I mean, just because some ancient dudes couldn’t be bothered to create calendar dates further than 10,000 years in advance doesn’t mean we’re all doomed. It’s like you trying to mark Auntie Maggie’s birthday on a calendar for May the 22nd in the year 8042. Just remember you’ve got a dentist appointment on the 23rd.

Rupert Murdoch’s Son Will Be Exorcised

That says exorcised, not executed. We’re not savages, for Christ’s sake! No, we’re only going to tie James Murdoch to a stake, throw tainted water at his face, sear his flesh with hot branded crucifix symbols, and chant religious nonsense until the demons are driven from his mortal coil. Then if he confesses to witchcraft, we’ll burn him. Actually no, this is the 21st century. We’ll microwave him instead.

The power of Anthony Hopkins compels you!

Saif Gaddafi Will Get A Reality Show

The funniest moment of 2011 is when the Libyan rebels claimed to have captured Colonel Gaddafi’s favourite son, Saif, only for him to turn up the next day and start shaking hands with people. Either the rebels accidentally captured Penfold from Danger Mouse instead, or Saif is the world’s greatest escapologist. It’s just a shame he got captured again a few weeks ago.
In a repeat of this extraordinary feat, I expect Saif to appear on television in his own Osbournes-style show, to show the world how free he is again.

Clegg And Cameron Will Fuse Into One Entity

After almost two years of coalition government, I find Nick Clegg and David Cameron hard to differentiate. Perhaps it’s because they both look like misshapen waxworks of themselves, or the fact that the unintelligible garbage they both spew is nearly identical. Either way, a gap in the Science And Research budget will reveal a plot to combine the two politicians into the unique policy-making cacodemon known only as Cleggeron. Actually, that Mayan prediction isn’t looking so farfetched anymore...

And there you have it. If all of these don’t happen at some point during 2012, I’ll eat my hat! It doesn’t matter that my hat is made of cheese, it’s the gesture that counts.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Contact The Company 2: Christmas Edition

In the run up to the Christmas season, I felt it was time to brush off my corporate annoyance of an alter ego, Alan Paige. Alan's had a busy Christmas period this year, trying to find suitable toys for his son Bradton.  Unfortunately, most of those toys are either unsuitable or just plain rubbish, forcing Alan to send in a lot of complaints to companies.  Here are the results:

First up, a complaint to Halfords about their children's bikes:

Dear Sir/Madam

I recently purchased one of your bicycles for my son Bradton, which I thought would be the perfect present for him on account of its wussy girliness (he’s not the most macho of boys). Although I originally purchased it as a Christmas present, due to his incessant whining I let him have it early. The glee on his face as his pasty, spaghetti arms tore into the wrapping paper was like watching a starving man tear into a packet of peanuts. He couldn’t wait to open the package and taste the salty goodness.

Alas, tragedy struck as Bradton found the bicycle to be precariously unbalanced. Due to his cripplingly crippled legs, he hasn’t been able to stay on the bike for more than a few seconds without hilariously cracking his head open in the rockery, or falling down a pot hole.

I don’t think you have taken the necessary design precautions to make sure that your product is compatible for disabled users. I thought I’d offer a few suggestions which would improve your bikes for the disabled community:

1) Give them four wheels rather than two for extra stability.

2) Rather than an exposed seat, you should put a chassis around it to encase and protect the rider. You should include a couple of doors too.

3) A passenger seat so that a supervisor can sit in the bike in case of emergencies.

4) Headlights so that the user can be seen in oncoming traffic.

5) A diesel engine, for faster commutes.

I hope you will take my design revisions into consideration in future.


Alan Paige

Halfords sent back a rather bland reply.  Presumably they decided that I wasn't genuine and that I wasn't worth bothering with.  Not sure what gave them that idea:

Dear Mr Paige,
Thank you for your email.
Halfords welcome feedback from our customers and we will certainly ensure that your comments are passed onto the relevant department for their future consideration.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us and please be assured of our best attention.

Kind Regards,

Mrs E Valentine
Customer Service Advisor

Next, there was a weird looking shark toy at Toys R Us.  Time for a complaint!

Dear People/Humanoids,

I am writing to inform you that your shark toys are completely inappropriate for youngsters. I purchased one as a Christmas present for my son, Bradton, as he has a fascination with the natural world. However, due to a regrettable shark attack when he was a toddler (Bradton was badly injured by a loan shark. I used him as a human shield during a disagreement about repayments), this triggered a rather negative reaction. Bradton went, as described by his doctor, “Batshit Insane”, flailing his arms and legs around like a squid in a hurricane. I was forced to punch him until he eventually calmed down.

What I would like to see is a redesign to these toys. If you can remove the sharp teeth and make them more rabbit shaped, I’m sure you’d have a brilliant shark toy on your hands that kids would love.

Yours forever n’ ever

Alan Paige
They respond awesomely:

Dear Mr Paige

Regrettably, the Air Swimmer Shark is supplied to us by an external company.  As a result, we are unable to fulfill the design changes you requested.  We can relay your message on to the manufacturers and recommend that they take further care with their products in the future.

At least you made it out alive.

Thank you for your correspondance.
Then I decided to bother a larger company.  Lego seemed like an ideal candidate:

Dear Lego

With the darker months approaching, my wife Marlene has been pestering me to buy some presents for our youngest son, Bradton. Despite my protestations that he’d be happier if she stopped dressing him like a drunken farmer, she still thinks we should spend actual money on his happiness. Her suggestion was that I should purchase “a lego” for him.

After researching your products online, I’ve noticed that your bundles include many legos. I don’t think Bradton would enjoy a full set as he doesn’t have the necessary motor skills to build a fantastic medieval castle, or a rocket ship. Could you please give a quote for one lego? I’d like one that is 4x2 and is red in colour. Red is Bradton’s favourite, and I’m sure he’d enjoy the sensation of the smooth side on his tongue.

Thanks in advance

Alan Paige

Frankly, Lego's response was even more bizarre than my initial email:

Dear Alan,

Thanks for getting in touch with us regarding Bradton and a toy for him for the darker months. We can of course sell individual bricks, or alternatively by using Pick-a-Brick on our website, you can buy as many different LEGO elements as you would like.

The quote below is for a bright red, 2x4 DUPLO brick, as if Bradton is intending to lick our toys, we feel the larger the better in terms of brick size, to make sure he does not swallow it.

I've checked the prices for the piece you requested. The total amount is £ 2.84 including VAT and postage. For payment we accept Visa or Master credit cards.

Your order details will be stored in our database for the duration of 4 weeks. After this period of time, the details of your order will be deleted. Please ensure that you contact us before the end of that period so that you can place your order with us.

If you want to order these parts call one of our experts on 00800 5346 5555 (9am - 5pm Monday to Friday). You'll need to give them this reference number: 029772132A.

I also need to tell you that price and availability of these pieces can change.

Did you know that replacement parts can also be ordered and paid for directly through our Pick a Brick (PAB) service online? The price for elements might be lower and you can also order larger quantities. Please have a look at

The elements that we sell cannot be used for commercial purposes I'm afraid, so we ask that you do not use them for any sort of promotional campaign, marketing, PR or otherwise. We also ask that you do not associate LEGO elements with any other company's name or logo. For more details please see our "fairplay" policy on our website:

Thanks again for getting in touch and best of luck with Bradton and his style of clothing for the future.

Happy building!
Andy Gosling

LEGO Direct

Then I decided to email Monopoly with what I thought was an outlandish request:

Dear Monopoly Beings

I noticed that you sell a lot of special editions of your once popular board game, Monopoly. I’ve been looking at all of these, and I haven’t found one that I think my family would enjoy. Then, all of a sudden, an idea stuck me. What if the makers of Monopoly would make a personalised version just for us?

What I’m asking is, would you make a version of Monopoly based on my house? It’d be called “Paigey’s Palace” and would include such unforgettable destinations such as “Kitchen” and “The Downstairs Toilet”. The most expensive place would be my wife’s wardrobe. Ha ha ha! Train stations could be replaced with doors (front, back, cellar and attic), and utilities would be “Fridge” and “TV”. Community Chest cards could be replaced by “Do The Pissing Dishes” cards.

Please let me know how much I owe you for the trouble, and if it can be delivered before Christmas.

Yours Expectantly

Alan Paige.

As it turns out, this wasn't such a ridiculous thing to suggest:

Thank you for your email.

Our personalised Monopoly is known as My Monopoly, please visit our website for further details.

Unfortunately the deadline for guaranteed pre Christmas delivery was 21/11/2011 at Noon.

Boards cost £79.99 which includes shipment to a UK shipping address.

Please see our terms and conditions, listed on the website for guidlines on what is permissable to print and the options you are able to customise.

May we thank you for contacting Hasbro and if we can be of any further assistance, either now or in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Kind Regards,


Hasbro UK Ltd

This has got me thinking about what other versions of Monopoly could be bought to life thanks to My monopoly.  Does anyone have any ideas for new Monopoly versions?

I think the overall winner has to be a tie between Lego and Toys R Us.  Their responses were wonderful, and will keep me warm throughout the winter.  Everyone, I implore you to shop at Toys R Us and buy Lego in the future.  Their profits deserve to skyrocket as a result of this.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Number 1: Soldier WAGs

After years of Simon Cowell’s X Factor minions dominating the music charts around the festive season, 2011 finally looks like the year that will break the mould (excluding 2009 when people went out and bought Rage Against The Machine in protest).

But who is likely to cause this buck in trend? Is it going to be another rebellious song in the form of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit? Perhaps Matt Berry’s crowd sourced charity single? Or maybe grannies nationwide are flocking to buy Cliff Richard’s song? In fact, does he even have a song this year? Stupid question, he has one every year.

The huanting face of Christmas present

The answer to all of these is “No”, followed by “You stupid titbox”, and a slap to the back of the head. The correct answer of course, is a choir made up of soldier WAGs.

Otherwise known as “The Military Wives Choir”, these army-marrying ladies have released a single called “Wherever You Are” which contains lines from poems and letters to their Afghanistan-bound hubbies and men folk. Awww. What a lovely sentiment. Although, it strikes me that they could have just sent some letters and poems through the post instead. Topping the music charts doesn’t seem like the most cost effective way of communicating with a loved one in another country. Plus, it means that everyone else has to listen to their dreadful singing.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I don’t dislike charity. I actually work for one myself (admittedly for money), so it would be rather hypocritical of me to denounce charitable giving, especially during the festive season. But what happened to putting money in a donation box, or stealing someone’s credit card and pledging money to Comic Relief with it? Why is it that people only put their hand in their pocket for some contrived sentimental bullshit from a bunch of talentless people with a sob story? I believe a cut of the profits from this sickly sweet sentiment is to go towards the British Legion and institutions such as this.

If you love soldiers so much, why don't you marry them?!

Is the idea to make us feel sorry for these women? Naturally, soldiers do a difficult job and their other halves are going to miss them during Christmas. But the thing you have to remember is that these soldiers do the job VOLUNTARILY. They’ve not been conscripted; they’ve chosen to run around the desert shooting at people for Christmas. That’s fine, if that’s what they’re good at, then they can fill their boots, just don’t try and guilt trip me into buying music off the back of it. Frankly, I’d rather buy a hundred CDs of Little Mix’s single and pin them to a jumpsuit.

When the winner is finally announced, it’ll probably be Little Mix rather than the Military Wives Choir anyway, simply because of the viewing audiences. The Military Wives choir was formed by conductor for hire, Gareth Malone for the BBC reality show, The Choir. Despite its growing popularity, the show only pulled in around 3 million viewers as opposed to X Factor’s 10 million (the kind of figures that make you want to kill everyone, starting with yourself).

Whatever happens this Christmas, I implore you not to buy any music. The vast majority of it is downright atrocious or is a 20 year old grunge classic that you already own. In fact, boycott music altogether, including Christmas jingles. If you hear any jingle bells, rip them off of whatever reindeer they’ve been sewn onto, and eat them in protest. That’ll teach ‘em.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Great Expeditions - With "Rugged" Robbie Doyle

Bong thang city dwellers. I’m “Rugged” Robbie Doyle, outdoors entrepreneur and wilderness survival guru. The other day, a pasty urban guy named “The AddingMan” approached me and asked me to push buttons on a shiny box so that I could share my experiences with people on an Intro Net. I think he was off his tits on some sort of city drugs, but he was very persuasive and offered me some items of value in exchange for my wisdom. He gave me two brass circles engraved with a woman’s face, and a necklace made of heron’s beaks. How could I say no?

Over the years I have overcome some of the most treacherous terrain, withering weather, cretinous critters and alluring alliteration. What’s the worst that’s ever happened to you, concrete sucker? Did your wheel fall off your trendy scooter one time? Poor little bastard!

You couldn’t comprehend the stuff I’ve endured. Have you ever caught gonhorrea from a beech tree? Didn’t think so! Have you ever been dateraped by an elk? Well I have, and it ain’t pretty! Actually, it was kind of pretty, which I think was a large part of the problem.

The main story I want to tell you though is the tale of how I got this fuck-off scar across my scrotum. It was a dark, gloomy night, and I was surviving like a hero as usual in the outback at a place called Thorny Bottom. You wouldn’t have heard of it being the white-bellied house-lover that you are, but suffice to say its one uncomfortable motherfucker. Bear Grylls once went there and turned up several days later without a shirt, half his head shaved, and all the money in his wallet replaced by pictures of a guy’s asshole.

This is what outdoors looks like

As I was creating a hut for the night out of the hundreds of woodland animal skeletons I’d collected throughout the day, I heard a terrifying roaring noise. This wasn’t any run of the mill electric brontosaurus, or a tiger/spider mutant hybrid. No, this was something worse. I decided to investigate and either tame or slay this beast, as any good humanitarian would.

Creeping through the piercing darkness (and this was the type of blackness that could actually pierce your flesh like a needle. That is, unless you toughen up your skin with a fresh application of buffalo sperm), I strode forward, listening intently as I tracked my prey through the soggy undergrowth.

Suddenly, I fell into a deep chasm. This was unusual as I have the area mapped out on my internal GPS, and a hole should not have been there. This hole was obviously freshly made, but what made it? I picked myself up out of the mud and began to feel my way around the walls of this pit.

Just then, a bolt of lightning illuminated the surroundings, setting fire to an overhanging tree and giving me a full view of the horror I was facing. This appeared to be a nest of some description, piled high with slimy, quivering egg sacks. They smelled suspiciously like egg sandwiches, and tasted like charcoal. ‘Whatever laid these deserves to die in the most horrific circumstances’ I thought to myself as I steadily shit my pants.

Pulling out my trusty rifle, I began to tip toe around the perimeter, trying to find an exit to this devil’s lair. Then I heard that roar again. The shit that I did earlier retreated from whence it came, and I wanted to follow it. It sounded closer than it was before. Much closer. I felt a draught of air on my neck, and my nostrils filled with the scent of rotting corpses. It must be behind me!

In a blind panic, I swung round and unloaded several rounds into the darkness, hoping to hit something. Each shell hit the dirt wall with a soft, disappointing thunk. Nothing there. I composed myself, then reloaded and started to resume my search for a way out.

A bolt of lightning revealed the creature before me. It was at least 10 foot tall, human shaped, but with a seagull’s wings on it’s back. It had 100 pairs of eyes, and 50 pairs of designer spectacles. It had 5 knees, but no nipples, and was completely covered in marzipan.

I tried to scream, but my scream must have been frightened of being eaten, as it failed to emerge. I instead opted for the usual approach of shitting my pants.

You may think that my reaction was cowardly, but I’ll have you know that, as an experienced woodsman, I’ve never come across anything so terrifying in all my years. After the time I gave a polar bear a prostate exam, there’s very little left on earth that can frighten me anymore. But this thing, it exuded pure undiluted death from it’s eyes. Something inside me told me that I would be lucky to survive this encounter.

That’s when it moved. Tilting itself towards me, it breathed out a purple cloud of toxic gas, rendering me unconscious in seconds. This was quite a relief, because I’d rather not be awake for whatever this demon has planned.

I awoke dazed and confused outside the gents toilets on Hampstead Heath. Judging by the star patterns, I reckon I lost at least 12 days. What the creature did with my unconscious form during this time would have been a mystery were it not for the scrapbook it made of our time together. Judging by the photos, it spent nearly a week and a half putting novelty hats on me and making me wear ballet skirts; the ultimate humiliation for a manly man like myself.

So let this be a lesson for all you townies. If you ever get a hankering to visit the great outdoors, remember what lurks out there. Until I capture the beast (I have a suspicion that it likes Hendersons Relish, so I’ve been smearing it on myself and shouting “Eat me, you bastard!” every night) it isn’t safe to venture out of your brick huts. You just sit tight eating your frozen, processed shit until your bellies get soft, and leave this to rugged people, like me.

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Friendly Faces Of Frustration

First of all, I must apologise for not updating for over a week, over a week ago. After keeping such a tight schedule over the last few months, I understand that those of you with severe Aspergers will be upset by this break in routine. To them, I say sorry, and offer the excuse that I have recently started a new job.

Which leads me on nicely to today’s topic. As a result of my new employment I have started taking the train on a more frequent basis. When you board a train, a voice comes over the tannoy and starts to introduce you to all facets of the train and everyone in it.

“Good morning and welcome to this East Midlands train service. My name’s Richard, but you can call me Rick. I’ll be your train manager this morning. I’m here with your driver, Toby, and we are scheduled to arrive at our next station in approximately 15 minutes time. There’s a buffet car in coach C today for any light refreshments, and please be aware that there is a quiet zone in coach F, so please refrain from using mobile phones or making any unnecessary noise here. Please take some time to familiarise yourself with the safety posters on board and please retain all tickets as there may be a ticket barrier in operation when you leave the train. Make sure you keep your bags and belongings with you at all times and take care when stepping down from the train.”

Once Dickie Boy here has finished his little rant, it’s time to disembark. Then he’ll have repeat his speech for the benefit of any new passengers boarding the train. And thus the horrendous cycle of fake smiles continues.

This may be considered to be great customer service, but I don’t really give a flaked shit about who is driving this hunk of high speed container of human sardines, as long as they actually get us there without derailing into a ditch. By the time I’ve whizzed through every car reading every safety poster, nipped to the buffet car to have a look, then double, triple and quadruple checked I have my bags before paying a visit to the driver and train manager to introduce myself, have a cup of tea, and share a heart warming tale in which the driver rescues a dog from being hit by speeding train, I’m several hundred miles past my stop.

Many of the tannoy’s words simply fall on deaf ears, or at least, ears plugged with the sounds of thumping bass or whatever young ‘uns listen to these days. In this way, such long winded and polite train announcements seem pointless. They might as well reel off a long list of the passenger’s names and denounce them all as paedophiles, and still no one would pay any attention.

This sort of corporate chumminess is manifesting itself in more and more areas. Americanised customer service works very well in America, but here in Britain where your average citizen is a curmudgeonly sociopath with as much warmth as a meal at Little Chef, it doesn’t work. Many people seem to dislike this babyish pandering, especially when it feels as forced and artificial as it does here. Maybe it’s our accents that make us sound insincere and even outright sarcastic when trying to muster the energy for another platitude, yet Americans seem so breezy with it all that it is almost infectious.

Some people are just too demanding...

Branching out from this, every corporation is almost falling over itself to placate morons in exchange for money. Good customer rapport isn’t essentially new, but it is being rammed down our throats like never before. For example, I bought a bottle of milk from Farmfoods the other day. As the checkout lady scanned that milk, I noticed a message appear on the screen:

“Smile politely and ask the customer ‘Do you require any bags today?’”

It seems that even politeness is being scripted. But this is the way companies are working now.

A little while ago, I made an article called “Contact The Company” in which I emailed various businesses with outrageous demands, hoping to exploit this type of thing. Nearly every single one of them had an autoreply which basically acknowledges that they have received your email and that they’ll get back to you in due course. Thanks! It’s not as if I was expecting an instant reply from some poorly paid PR worker who has to trawl through endless dull emails about “your product made my cat sick”. I can understand that they have a lot of shit to wade through as though it’s a Parisian public restroom. The worst part about this automatically generated, faceless waste of inbox space was that it was just so damn nice! I wish they had the balls to reply back and say “Piss off and wait your turn”.

I suppose that whinging about how nice the world is puts things into perspective a little bit. If this is the worst my life has to offer, I’ll happy offer up more anaesthetised fury next time, probably about how much I hate getting static shocks off of escalators and lifts. Anyway, peace and chicken grease, y’all.  Please enjoy this short informational film about trains:

Monday, 5 December 2011

Because We Need A Little Controversy

Clarkson’s been at it again, so it seems. Fresh from jokes about lorry drivers killing prostitutes and going to Australia to slag off our then “unelected Scottish leader”, Clackers is no stranger to a little controversy.

During an appearance on BBC’s comfort blanket The One Show on Wednesday, he said that anyone who was on strike “should be shot, in front of their families”. Only, he didn’t actually say that. Well, he did, but not like that. He actually said that the strikes were great because he could get around much more easily, but then went on to say “because this is the BBC we need a balanced opinion” before making his other statement in jest.

5000 complaints later, along with political leaders sticking their noses in and union leaders calling for his dismissal, Clarkson has been forced to apologise for a joke which wasn’t that contentious in the first place. I hear more scathing remarks in day to day life. People are quick to call in the firing squad for the slightest inconvenience, such as an old lady walking too slowly round a supermarket, or a teenager with his iPod on too loud. When ordinary members of the public are prepared to discuss mass genocide for the unemployed and women drivers, it makes Jeremy Clarkson seem like a voice of reason.

As someone who read one of his books, I feel loathed to defend Clackers. The amount of times he mentioned his Aga, or how much nicer it was in first class on Virgin Atlantic than British Airways made me want to vomit blood, and someone else’s blood at that.

Clarkson:  The Aga Saga
I suspect that roughly 4999 of those complaints were from people who read about the incident in the newspaper rather than people who actually saw the broadcast. I didn’t see the broadcast either as there are a thousand other things I’d rather do than watch The One Show. These things include plucking out each of my individual pubic hairs and trying to weave them into a string instrument, or perhaps, eating a live cat during a keynote speech for the RSPCA’s Christmas party.

At the risk of bringing up old news, this reminds me the whole Sachesgate thing a couple of years back. Does anyone remember what happened to Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand? Actually, Ross went on to get a lucrative TV deal with ITV, and Brand became a massive star in LA and married Katy Perry, so it turned out alright. But there was a whole fucking fortnight where they couldn’t work because everyone hated them for leaving a voicemail message. They attracted tens of thousands of complaints because the Daily Mail told people that they should be offended. Then they turned to the notoriously offensive comedian Frankie Boyle, leading one of the presenters of Newsnight to hilariously recite the line “I’m so old, my pussy is haunted”.

The fact is, if you go out of your way to find something offensive, you’ll find it everywhere. Perhaps you need to stop going out of your way to throw a strop over something which isn’t meant for you. Perhaps you should look at the context a little more before jumping to a conclusion. But most of all, perhaps you should get a sense of humour.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Movember Aftermath: Get A Shave, Dirty Boy

So how was Movember for you? Have you enjoyed having pieces of your breakfast stuck in your filthy facial hair for days on end? Are you looking forward to spending a fortune on shaving products yet again?

I’d love to speculate further, but unfortunately for everyone I decided not to participate this year. This is mainly due to the fact that my own facial hair only grows in odd little clumps, which makes me look as if I’ve been genetically spliced with a sheet of aging Velcro. However, I also didn’t want people to look me in the eye and automatically associate my face with testicular cancer. Call me vain, but I never pictured myself as a hairy poster child for knob rot.
Regardless, I hope that those of you who chose to grow a funky moustache have managed to enlighten many other men into thinking about their balls. I’m not sure how many men weren’t already thinking about their balls, and out of those, how many of those men were not aware of testicular cancer. I’d imagine the number is very small, comprising of only an elderly hermit who has retreated to a monastery in Bulgaria, and a lobotomised Yorkshire Terrier named “Thicko McStupidson”.

The Selleck celebrates Movember all year round.

At the risk of seeming like an uncharitable sadsack, Movember has managed to get on my nerves this year. Although I agree with the cause and I understand that this type of cancer is a massive issue which kills many men due to their own embarrassment, I just don’t see how sideburns and a bitchin’ handlebar are going to eradicate this deadly disease. Some people were collecting for cancer research and other charities, and I can get on board with that. As it is, I've heard a lot of people say that they are "raising awareness".  When I asked them if they were also raising money, I was met with a few blank stares.

I wonder if these men actually believe that they are fighting cancer simply by destroying the profit margins of Wilkinson Sword. Maybe it’s a badge of honour which shows how committed you are to killing tumours; the longer the beard, the more cancerous cells you have personally eradicated. At this rate, Brian Blessed may be drafted in to bellow loudly at chemo patients.

Interestingly enough, as I was researching Movember I found out that it coincides with International Men’s Day on the 19th of November. Why did no one mention this before? It’s like Father’s Day for those of us without kids! Next year, I’m writing a list of presents I want for International Man’s Day. I think that, in a similar way to how children send Christmas lists to Santa, men should send their lists to a central person who can make sure that everyone gets what they want. Who should that person be? It has to be someone who is admired universally by the male gender, but probably shouldn’t be a lingerie model as many men may stay up way past their bedtime in giddy anticipation. It should be a man who inspires and is a good role model for our gender. The only person I can think of is Santa, but his union informs me that he refuses to take on additional work. Who do you think would be best suited to the job?