Archive for category Rants
Yesterday, Boy had a friend round for tea after school.
As a working parent I normally miss these sorts of events. I’m normally busy fiddling with a spreadsheet or on a conference call about toothbrushes or trying to find out where Darren the Office Junior* has hidden my collection of highlighter pens. Or else I am sitting on a stationary train outside a Surrey Council Estate next to the world’s fattest commuter watching them play Solitaire on their fucking i-Pad (why is it whenever we invent some new and brilliant technology the only thing anyone ever does with it is play Solitaire which they could do with an actual pack of cards for fucks sake). So I never quite see how these things pan out. However yesterday I was working from home which meant I came downstairs right in the middle of the tea date.
They had been playing remarkably nicely together. His friend is a lovely child and we get on really well with the parents. They played the Wii together, didn’t argue and even let Whirlwind join in. I packed away my laptop and started to cook for everyone. Naturally I made Sausages Chips and Beans. At one point I didn’t think the sausages were browning quickly enough and turned up the heat a bit. When I turned them next the little black line showed me that I might have turned it up TOO high and I turned it down again, giving the rest of the sausages a nice even browning.
I called them in to eat. What I didn’t mention about his friend is that, though he is indeed lovely and they get on very well he is also cheeky. Very cheeky. He looked at his sausages. “What are these black bits?” he asked. “We don’t have black bits on the sausages at my house.”
I know he was just asking because they were different but in my mind’s eye I saw Gordon Ramsay losing it. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE? OVERCOOKED SHIT! HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO SERVE THESE TO THE DINERS? YOU SEE MARY OVER THERE ON TABLE 12? IF SHE EATS EVEN A MICROGRAM OF BURNED STUFF SHE DIES! DO YOU WANT TO BRING ACTUAL FUCKING DEATH TO MY DINING ROOM? MAKE THEM AGAIN. MAKE THEM AGAIN RIGHT NOW AND DON’T MAKE THEM SHIT! HOW LONG?”
“About 10 minutes chef” I’d reply. Then I’d hang up my apron and cry.
The sausages, by the way, are probably the fattiest thing I have cooked for the whole of January. I am a few pounds over my ideal fighting weight. I’m over forty now! I thought this was allowed, that it was a sign of contented middle-age, but according to my wife it’s not. We are officially on a health kick. Lots of veg and poached things. Less booze. Almost no sausages at all. Also I am about to start cycling regularly for the first time since I was about 17. So steps are in hand to reduce the spare tyreage. Just as well.
After tea the boys were playing the Wii again when Boy’s friend suddenly came over to me. “You’ve got a big fat tummy” he said. Then he poked it to make sure it really was a tummy and I wasn’t smuggling a beach ball or giving birth to a small elephant. I know it was just a 5 year old boy being cheeky but in my minds eye I saw Daniel Callahan addressing someone who is one donut away from a gastric band.
“YOU DISGUSTING WASTE OF SPACE. HOW DARE YOU BREATHE THE SAME AIR AS NORMAL PEOPLE FATTY? I BET YOU HAVEN’T SEEN YOUR DICK IN MONTHS! DROP DOWN AND GIVE ME 5 PUSH UPS. NO? CAN YOU EVEN MANAGE ONE? YOU’RE FILTH! NOW WALK ROUND WEARING THIS SIZE 86 T-SHIRT THAT SAYS ‘I AM A DISGUSTING MESS’ ON IT BEFORE I ROLL YOU ON THE FLOOR LIKE A SMALL CHILD’S WEEBLE.”
The boys went back to playing the Wii revealing a wife who was nearly crying with laughter.
I realise now that she’s right about the weight losing.
I realise that despite being as hands on as possible there are many things about small children that I still have to learn and that she shields me from.
Most of all I realise how much fun it is sitting on a train stuck outside a Surrey Council Estate next to the world’s fattest commuter watching them play Solitaire on their fucking i-Pad.
*I don’t really sell toothbrushes or have an office junior called Darren but my real job isn’t even as exciting as that.
I woke the other day and left for work with the morning looking suddenly far more dark and feeling suddenly far more cold that it had been. This is normally a sign that autumn’s on it’s way. I know. I’m a genius. Just call me Michael feckin’ Fish.
Another sure fire indicator of autumn is that the football season has begun and we have gone past ‘deadline day’. This farcical modern invention starts about a week before the actual time as football fans across England worry that either they won’t buy anyone or that they will sell their prized asset. The day itself makes me fume as team’s message boards are flooded with false rumours, the BBC site is flooded with comedy texts about seeing Lionel Messi on the M6 (who does these things?) and Jim White spends the night cutting away to gangs of prepubescents in Mackenzie sportswear who have nothing better to do than hang around their team’s training ground in the vague hope of getting on the telly. I could write about this particular sweet hell all day but I’d better get back on topic.
Autumn sucks big hairy infected rodent bollocks.
There are people, including friends of mine, who love autumn. Who long for a clear freezing morning admiring mist and reddy-brown leaves. Who like snuggling up in front of the fire with a bowl of stew when the first truly horrid rain storm comes in. Who ENJOY frost. I am not one of them. There are three reasons.
The first is that I commute by train and the very mist, frost, storms and reddy-brown leaves so beloved of others are the kind of thing to make the train service I use fuck up in the most inexplicable manner possible. It’s not a secret that autumn comes every year yet every year it is met with ever longer delays due to ‘adverse weather conditions’ and ‘poor rail conditions’. Every year the platform staff look more and more confused at what’s occurring and every year the commuters get wetter and colder and angrier. This year someone may spontaneously combust. It might be me.
Then there’s the fact that Boy is now at school and soon, one of his school mates will catch a cold. In a heated classroom full of 5 year olds with quite basic grasps of personal hygiene this means that his classmates will start getting the cold. One of the little buggers will give it to Boy, Boy will give it to me and I will be sick until April, going about my business breathing through half a nostril, coughing like Dave Allen and talking like Barry White. Fucking awesome. Yay me.
But worst of all, any day now, the Bastard Tree That Hates Me will start shedding its leaves on to my garden. Our garden backs on to a graveyard (sneer if you want but they’re bloody quiet neighbours and no-one’s suddenly going to build a tower block that overlooks our garden) and the tree is enormous and is the only thing that lives in the graveyard, save a couple of urban foxes. It’s sprawling branches provide much needed shade at the back of the garden in summer but in autumn they shed all over every bit of the lawn.
One tiny gust of wind can make the Bastard Tree That Hates Me cover every inch of the lawn in leaves to about the depth of the Olympic swimming pool. OK maybe not quite that deep but deep enough. Deeper than a deep pan pizza. Deeper than a Jethro Tull record. Deep. This will happen when I am away working and because the bastard trains will also have gone wrong and I will have man flu from hell I’ll arrive back wheezing in the pitch black and my wife will take pity and make me a drink and only half mention that THE ENITIRE LAWN IS THREE FEET DEEP IN FUCKING LEAVES AGAIN.
At the first weekend I will go out and rake them in to a pile. This is where I must thank my mother for buying Boy a boy sized rake as he comes out and “helps”, helping generally involving raking the leaves back on to the lawn that I had just piled up or jumping in to the pile. Want to know why Peppa Pig jumps in muddy puddles? Because Daddy Pig has told her that if she jumps in a freshly raked leaf pile he’ll turn her in to so many gammon joints. Eventually we have a pile but the fun is only just beginning. I now have to get them in bags and take them to the dump which has a three mile tailback emanating from it because every other male with a tree and garden is doing the same thing.
Eventually I will leave the dump and come home to find the Bastard Tree That Hates Me has newly covered the lawn in even more leaves. Reluctantly I will rake again but this time I will not be able to clear as the dump is now closed and so you will just pile. On Sunday I repeat the dump step. On Monday I go to work and the Bastard Tree That Hates Me will produce a 4 foot deep covering. Twice.
At this point you have lost the battle. By Saturday the garden resembles a brown crunchy mattress and I will chase the leaves hopelessly with the leaf blower I bought that has never quite worked. The pile I vaguely created will be left to bio-degrade. Next door’s children will be invited round for a leaf fight. I will down another Day Nurse and think about writing an angry letter to my M.P. before realising that would be totally insane and that I might as well eat stew and drink scotch and watch football till May and that the leaves are fine so long as they don’t actually get higher than the house.
The next day they will get higher than the house. Roll on summer.
Last night I watched the Olympics opening ceremony. I thought it was very well done, light hearted fun that I enjoyed with a glass of whisky and the snarky laughs of my fellow twitterers. I wasn’t mad on the farm animals (I didn’t get it) or Mr Bean (for I hate visual comedy) but in general I enjoyed it greatly. All the tweets were about James Bond and if the Queen was asleep in her seat and how they’d fit everyone in. Nothing about politics at all. Which is odd because I awoke to find I’d been watching a cross between a multi-cultral takeover of the country and an organised North Korean rally. And those twin bastians of casual racism, The Mail Online and the Tory backbenches had come out and said so.
Aidan Burley MP has been widely castigated already for tweeting “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap” and I won’t go in to that as it’s been done to death. However, soon after, there appeared on Mail Online an article by Rick Dewsbury that is so stunningly moronic I can only assume he’s going head to head with Samantha Brick and Jan Moir for the Mail’s lifetime troll achievement award.
I’m not linking to it and I don’t want you to click on it. This is, after all, how they make their money. Instead we’ll take a couple of points. Dewsbury starts with stating that the NHS shouldn’t have been celebrated because of the case of Kane Gorney who died because he wasn’t given water in an NHS hospital, as if deaths don’t occur in private hospitals which of course they do. But let’s move on to my own experiences. Not only have I just had the little operation I’ve been writing about (painless, on time, out in 30 minutes, on the NHS) but they also delivered both my children and let me put it on record that I would walk over hot coals for each and every member of staff involved in the safe delivery of both my children. Bounce on that fucking bed Rick.
But the most inane claim (and the one that confirms him as Brick’s weekend stunt double – or something that sounds like stunt) is this gem.
But it was the absurdly unrealistic scene – and indeed one that would spring from the kind of nonsensical targets and equality quotas we see in the NHS – showing a mixed-race middle-class family in a detached new-build suburban home, which was most symptomatic of the politically correct agenda in modern Britain.
This was supposed to be a representation of modern life in England but it is likely to be a challenge for the organisers to find an educated white middle-aged mother and black father living together with a happy family in such a set-up.
Well hang on there Rick. You happen to be describing my family. After my educated white mother divorced from my father she moved in with, and eventually married my step dad, a Londoner who happens to have black skin. They live part of the time in France and part of the time in a flat on the ground floor of a suburban house in Finchley. When we go round for get togethers and parties me and my brother and our families come and so do my Step-Dad’s daughters from his first marriage and their families. We drink, play music and indulge in conversation and games. We are all slightly different skin hues but no-one says anything because, to be honest we don’t notice it much. That scene could be us and it could have been my stepdad 35 years ago to boot.
They’re hardly unusual either. The fact is they don’t stand out and they don’t stand out because London is a multi-cultural city as the BBC were at pains to point out in the build up. And guess what? That’s where the games are being held. Not Hereford or Taunton or Wooton-on-the-Wold. You’d expect a nod to the city actually holding the games n’est pas?
Of course Rick probably thinks that Step Families should be deported to North Korea and the BBC are some sort of left-wing propaganda machine themselves (or at least he does when he pulls on the substitute’s shirt for Trolls United when it’s Brick’s turn to have a massage). I’ve honestly NEVER read anything so woeful. So please don’t look it up or click on it. It doesn’t deserve it.
Last night I was snarking about sheep and Mr Bean. Now I’m getting wound up by the idiocy of the right. Suggests Danny Boyle got it spot on all along.
The weekend just gone we made a last minute decision to drive to Oxfordshire and help out with some family shizzle that needed attending to. This meant driving on several of the South’s motorways. It was a decision that nearly wiped us out as a family.
Going round on the Saturday wasn’t too bad as there were so many traffic jams any prang would have been at 10mph anyway. Some brainiak had decided to close the M4 in to London for the whole weekend. This meant the traffic round the M3 junction all the way to the M40 was very slow moving (bear with me, this is relevant later). But we got up there unscathed, saw the family, had a nice meal and saw the family again on the Sunday morning then we drove home.
The M25 was nearly as busy but not quite and this means variable speed limits. Essentially, again until past the, M3 we were doing anything between 0 and 40 and in general needing to stay in the same lane. But once we got past the trouble the motorway opened up, the traffic eased and restrictions went. Not in the mind of one elderly driver though who stayed at a resolute 55mph IN THE THIRD LANE OF FOUR. Essentially you could overtake in one lane legally or two illegally. I find this sort of driving exasperating but it was nowhere near as dangerous as what happened next. As we reached our turn off (a 2 lane one) a young girl suddenly realised that she was in the wrong lane for it and, rather than check her blind spot and find a suitable gap to turn in to she drove straight at us. While admiring the cigarette she was smoking. Yes, clearly looking “cool” in front of her mate and taking a nice big lungful of poison was far more important than CHECKING TO SEE IF SHE WAS ABOUT TO DRIVE STRAIGHT FUCKING IN TO A CAR WITH A YOUNG FAMILY IN IT. We escaped only because the lorry inside of us saw what was happening and braked allowing us to swerve and then settle in front of him. Cue some fairly industrial language than I hope neither child repeats and then some fairly rapid breathing.
Was that the end though? No. For Mr Cunt was taking his Porshe for a spin. Half the the A23 is being dug up and the 40 mph limit imposed starts about a mile before it. Did this matter to Mr Cunt? No. For He Had A Porshe And He Was Going To Use It. Down the outside lane he flew at about 100 before he too realised he needed to turn off. This he accomplished by cutting across the inside lanes and a fast speed and diagonal trajectory so that, had the rest of us NOT been doing 40 he would soon have been renamed Mr Dead Cunt. Presumably he used the extra 5 minutes this gave him at his destination to take out his tiny needle dick and knock one out in front of the mirror (utilising 4 minutes and 30 seconds of this time to clean up).
The odd thing is I wasn’t driving. I was the very willing passenger. I learned to drive late in life and my Mrs has far more motorway experience and so, on drives like that she takes the wheel. Thank Christ she does as well for if I’d have been driving either of the 2 incidents would have done for us.
I know what you’re thinking. The irony of a self-admitted shit driver ranting about other shit drivers. But it’s not just that. When we did the much longer drive in France recently we didn’t get any near misses despite being on the wrong side for the wheel so to speak. In France you drive on the inside lane only and you use the outside to overtake. You do NOT sit in it. Once you have overtaken you pull back in. The motorways are less crowded too. Partly because of the less dense population of course but partly because of tolls. Where one isn’t charged (like many of the terrifying Peripheriques) the same issues as on the M25 come up but, long stretches of French toll road are a pleasure. I know we have the M6 toll here but is it time to start introducing it here more widely? It’s a bit Un-British isn’t it but consider this.
If I had been a plane passenger landing at Heathrow this week from a non-EU country then here’s what my first experience of the UK would have been. Coming in to land I note that we get below the clouds just before the runway. Because it’s pissing with rain. We pass over what looks like a huge car park but is actually London’s ring road. After the 2 hour wait at immigration during which people are arrested for slow hand-clapping I finally jump in a car to be told that the main motorway in to London from Heathrow is closed all weekend. We will have to go in the long way. Using that big car park thingy you flew in over a few hours ago. We emerge in to the jam and an hour or so later we are wiped out in a multi car pile up caused by Mr Cunt and a girl who’s too busy smoking.
Welcome to Britain. Enjoy the Olympics.
Come with me to 20 years in the future. Everyone is still everyone but Baby shall be called Youngest Child for the purposes of this exercise because calling her Baby would be ridiculous.
*wavy lines and xylophone music*
Scene: Slightlysuburbanmum and I are sat under a tartan blanket, I’m drinking Sanatogen
I get up slowly and answer the door to Youngest Child.
Me: Oh hello love. Nice to see you. I didn’t realise you were coming for a visit. Come in, I’ll put the kettle on.
Youngest Child: Er, well, the thing is Dad it’s not really a visit.
Me: But you’ve got a suitcase with you?
YC: Er, yeah. I need to move back in.
Me: Oh. You do know that Boy moved back in 2 years ago? He’s taken over the spare bedroom already. I suppose you could kip on the sofa bed for a bit? Come in and we’ll talk about it but try not to wake your Mother up. She’s crashed out after the Sanatogen and we’ve both got work in the morning.
YC: SANATOGEN? What the fuck are you drinking that stuff for? It’s HORRIBLE. What happened to the St Emillion?
Me: Oh dear, you have been immersed in your degree haven’t you dear. Well, two years ago Boy moved back in. Yes I know he got a first in Mathematics from Cambridge but these days that isn’t even good enough for an intern-ship. With no job and the degree course finished he came back while he got himself sorted. Shame we’d moved out to this two bed cottage in the middle of nowhere with very little job opportunities but then after the collapse of my pension in the crash of ’15 and it’s tax raiding by the DEAR LEADER, not to mention the increasing of state retirement age to 108 we really had very little choice. Do you know when I was just middle-aged there was this brilliant scheme called Housing Benefit whereby he could have rented somewhere near to where there were lots of jobs for him. Soon even a Cambridge grad will find SOMETHING and he could have started working and paying tax and….Never mind. Because a few hillbillies took the piss publically out of this system the DEAR LEADER abolished this for anyone under 25 most of who weren’t taking the piss but trying to make a start in life.
YC: You shouldn’t say this DEAR LEADER stuff out loud you know. *points nervously at huge picture on wall of David Cameron with suspiciously blinking eye*
Me: Oh I’m beyond caring. What can they take from me now? With no pension supporting an extra adult has reduced us to Sanatogen and the herbs I find growing in the garden. Boy drank the wine cellar. I think he had depression because not only did he have no chance of finding a job but we kept interrupting him and Emma during sexytime. She left him for a 54 year old Junior Accountant. He had his own studio flat that one of The Great Landlords didn’t want anymore. Anyway why do you want to move back.
YC: Well Dad, having just graduated I too have found the only work I can get is work that doesn’t actually pay you a wage. Did I say Sanatogen was disgusting by the way? It’s not, it’s lush. Give us some foraged Rocket would you?
At this point slightlysuburbanmum wakes up and silently heads for a shift making Princess Diana dolls to sell to Russian tourists.
Seriously. Stop HB for under 25s? Really? Because it will save us 2 billion a year or because there are a few “undeserving” cases (yes we are already back at the deserving and undeserving poor stage) highlighted by Jermy Kyle and The Express (highlightable of course because they are the exception not the rule).
If I was 21 and British and bright right now the first thing on my mind would be moving to Australia. Even if their government came up with something so monumentally stupid at least the weather’s nice.
I woke up this morning feeling ok, if a little dusty, following my wife’s birthday / England football game. My initial chipper demeanour has been slowly disappearing through the morning. It started when I was eating breakfast and realised my mouth didn’t want to chew on the left side. A slow dull ache then took over for an hour until I suddenly realised, about mid-morning I have toothache.
Toothache, if you don’t mind me saying so, is a cunt.
Already it feels like the whole left side of my head is going to FALL OFF any damned minute. I’m scrunching my inner cheek in to my molars so that I look like a cross between an actor playing someone having a stroke and a lobotomised barbary ape.
I have taken Paracetamol AND Ibuprofen, an hour apart because I know you can cycle them and yet I am still about to look up what the “real” amount of each you can take in 24 hours is on the internet in the hope it’s wildly different to the packet instructions. I have ordered Cognac online (yes a bottle) in case I want to operate on myself with some sort of steam powered implement. I have gargled every mouthwash in the house and brushed my teeth 12 times. Painfully.
If none of that has worked by mid-afternoon I am going to have to call the dentist.
This will result in one of two things. Either they will poke around my mouth WHILE MY TOOTHACHE IS STILL GOING ON before telling me it’s just an infection, prescribing anti-biotics and handing me a bill the size of Sweden or they will poke around my mouth WHILE MY TOOTHACHE IS STILL GOING ON and THEN inject it and THEN do drilling and THEN hand me a bill the size of Outer Mongolia and try to persuade me to come back for a deep clean next Tuesday, at additional cost.
I hate the dentist.
But the worst thing of all? Knowing that most of my readers are by now thinking “he doesn’t know he’s born. Try shitting a space hopper out of your front bottom with no drugs at all and then tell me that a little bit of toothache is painful.” And you know what? You’re probably right.
*mooches round a bit felling sorry for self*
Baby loves swimming. I have been taking her for baby swimming lessons since she was 3 months old and these lessons have always been on a Sunday. She was due one this afternoon.
However today I won’t. Today in Brighton there is a ‘March for England’ and having checked with the Police a minute ago they are due to finish and march back to the station on the same route I would use at the same time I would head back home. I simply cannot risk taking her especially as there is a counter demo planned according to the local paper.
One of the things I did to check the route was look at the March For England facbook page. It is a sickening parody of right-wing Englishness, bigotry dressed up as patriotism. They may go to pains to explain they’re NOT the EDL but they most certainly are. And they’re promoting it as a ‘Family Day’.
Spending a day in cheap Burberry and tracksuits, singing ‘no surrender’ and spouting vile Islamophobia and paranoid creeping Sharia is not my idea of a family day out. It may be their democratic right to demonstrate. It’s mine to call them a bunch of mindless, Neanderthal, fascist cunts.
A theme of this blog is not to judge other parents but I’ll make an exception here. Anyone who takes their child to this event knowing the threat of violence, and who inculcates such mindless unthinking bigotry in their children should expect a visit from Social Services sooner rather than later.
Thanks for ruining an 18-month-old’s usual treat you brainless wankers.
So today I made a mistake as you may have seen from the apology I posted. I am still angry though. Angry with technology.
Technology wars are absurd and they nearly always involve an emerging invention which has 2 big forms each made or promoted by a similar but different behemoth. It started for me with video players. VHS v Betamax. As wars go it was short but you definitely didn’t want to be on the losing side. There was a kid at our school who had a Betamax recorder and he didn’t live it down for 5 years. Still to this day I bet he walks in to the pub and someone says ‘Alright Betamax?’
At around the same time the Sinclair was taking on the Commodore 64 in the first of computer wars. And guess what? They were fairly similar but with annoying subtle differences. One similarity though – half the time the games didn’t load.
The next generation was p.c. v Mac. WHY? Two computers with different operating systems that have slightly different things they are better at and yet people have fights over which is best. Why the actual fark is that?
DVD v Blu Ray. Haven’t a clue who’s going to win that. Got one of each so I don’t get laughed out of pubs.
Then there’s wars within wars. Android vs iPhone. Smartphone vs tablet. Smartphone vs tablet vs p.c. All doing more or less the same stuff but not quite and Vicente Rodriguez help you if you get it wrong.
But the worst has to be browsers. I use Google Chrome at the moment because I like the look and feel and rendering speed but I have used Firefox in the past and IE when I didn’t know better. Opera is probably the best yet no-one uses it so no-one codes or tests for it. Each one makes stuff look just a bit different.
This is where the real war is. Open the wrong browser in the wrong company and you’re toast. There seems to be a competition to use the most different or obscure software too. “Look at this new open-source browser, Genghis v5.0. It can render any page in a trillionth of a nano-second and it tugs you off while it does it”. “Gerald?” “Yes?” “it only comes in Mongolian and there’s no translate facility”. “Oh”.
And here’s a thing. For a good long while Apple have been famous for not running Flash. Astounding. Famous because your farking hardware won’t run something used by half the websites in Christendom. And they’re proud of it. They wear it like a badge of honour.
It’s no wonder people get a little confused. I’m just the one that goes on instant rant mode over it instead of taking a while to think.
*Nails a permanent Rant Alert poster to the blog*
So today I was back on the trains. I like my job a lot (yes, really). I do not like the train bit though*
If only these simple rules and observances were adhered to….
• One seat per person in rush hour. If you need the seat next to you for your bag then buy your bag a season ticket at an additional £4000 per year. If you need a seat for your bag and another for your paper / iPad I’m getting the guard to throw you off. Between stations.
• Garlic and cigarettes are not the correct breath smells for the morning commute unless you’re on the Paris metro.
• Unless it’s got a little ‘reserved’ ticket in it that you paid for that is not YOUR seat. It’s just the seat you sat in yesterday.
• Playing Angry Birds on an iPhone 3 when you’re a 52 year old accountant isn’t going to make you cool. Especially with the sound on.
• No we don’t ALL want to hear you rescheduling that conference call with Nigel. Or about the horror who blew you during the stag weekend in Rhyl.
• People freshly arrived from Latvia probably don’t know to stand on the right and walk on the left of escalators. Stop tutting at them. If this makes you 10 minutes late, and that loses you a bonus then leave. Your job sucks.
• If you’re so fat you need 2 seats to yourself then commuting isn’t for you. Get a job nearer to home and walk there and back until you no longer need 2 seats.
• Quoting the most obvious immigration story in the Daily Mail doesn’t make you Malcolm Muggeridge. Those of us in the carriage snickering at you are in the right.
• The Metro is shit
• Let all the people off who are getting off before elbowing your way past the old lady to the last remaining priority seat.
• Stopping dead still at the bottom of an escalator is never going to end well for anyone.
• During rush hour you are not allowed to save a seat for your friend who’s getting on 3 stops later. It’s not fucking lunchtime at Infants School.
• The instructions for exiting a ticket barrier are this; have ticket ready, put ticket in slotty thing, walk through barrier as soon as it opens. Really, really simple unless you’re doing Physics, Higher Maths and Chemistry A Level at Sixth Form College in which case it appears to be a greater challenge than nuclear fission.
• Crowd surfing is discouraged on the tube.
• Smile and the world smiles with you. Unless you’re on the 6.30 to London Bridge. Smile on that and you need locking up.
*these days I will often write blog drafts in Word on the way home which is, believe it or not marvellously therapeutic.
So this from parentdish dropped in to my Twitter time line via DaddyNatal today. You will have to take as read that I understand that …
- Many of my readers are mums and
- It’s international women’s day
…when I say that I have never read such an irritating piece of claptrap in all my days.
Apparently all dads are useless in the delivery room. Apparently we shouldn’t be allowed near it because we all walk in to televisions and knock ourselves out or fill birth pools with freezing cold water. All of us. Without exception.
Well I didn’t. I was present throughout most of Boy’s birth and at no point did I scoff a burger, glare at the doctor or fall asleep. I have already posted Baby’s birth story. My wife ordered me out. I went out. My wife ordered me back in. I went back in again. Simpls. We’re not all Fred Fuckin’ Flintstone.
But there is a far more disturbing element to the post. You see what women really need is a doula (it says there). You know those fantastically EXPENSIVE PRIVATE BIRTH PARTNERS you can hire from £350 to £1000 (according to http://www.nurturingbirth.co.uk/doula_costs.html )
Yes you read that right. £350 to £1000. On top of all the extra shit you had to buy, getting the nursery ready, car seat, travel system, baby clothes that last 3 months, monitor etc etc, you, yes you scared first time middle class parent can part with a sizeable chunk of cash to not have your husband / partner there. You remember him don’t you? The guy who’s going to have half DNA shares in the baby? Who you’ll shortly want to take time off work and help with nappies and feed expressed breast milk. You’ll want him to do all that but you also want him replaced with a stranger and a sizeable overdraft during the actual birth? Really?
You’ll note the use of middle-class there. I’ll tell you who a doula isn’t an option for and that’s a poor 18-year-old soon to be single mum from a sink estate. The guy who impregnated her isn’t going to be doing any burger eating or falling asleep (at least not in the delivery room). He’s not going to be involved in the baby’s life at all. And the girl he’s left impregnated is now alone and shit, shit scared.
So here’s an idea. If you really care about empowering women instead of laughing at loving husbands (and writing thinly veiled doula sales articles on websites) who are actually being rubbish because they’re TERRIFIED why not volunteer at your local maternity unit FOR FREE and help out girls who are a bit less fortunate than yourself in the husband department.