Up or Down? (THE TOILET SEAT CONUNDRUM)

Since the dawn of porcelain potties there has been a vicious global debate…no sorry, not a debate – in fact I’d say it’s closer to a war. An unholy battle that seems to have no end in sight…relationships have crumbled, families have been torn apart – and billions of toilet seats have been spattered with hostile revenge pee…and for what?

Toilet Explosion GIF

I’d say it’s pride and ego mostly; which has been the unmaking of mankind from the very start of our civilised existence – and just like most of these rifts we will never budge from our own separate barracks, instead telling ourselves over and over that we have it right, and they have it all wrong; in this particular case women want the seat down, and men want it up. It all sounds so silly, and maybe it is…but if it’s so moronic a quandary then why do we have so much trouble overcoming it?

Now this debate doesn’t really affect me as I live alone and poop standing up (I enjoy the challenge) – so I feel I am at a unique position to weigh in for both sides impartially. As we know the main argument from the women’s camp is that they shouldn’t have to touch the bacteria infested toilet seat just because men are too lazy to put it down after use…well this would be all well and good if men absolutely loved touching gross toilet seats that are painted in various people’s faeces – but research suggests they don’t. There have been numerous reputable studies that have backed this up; or at least there probably would be if it wasn’t so glaringly obvious…so alas it seems only a small section of society take pleasure in such exchanges, and they are banished to a very dark and peculiar cavern of the internet – the large majority however find the prospect of handling human waste stained plastic horrifying, and rightly so… 

Vomit GIF

But what can we do? How can we solve this age old dilemma? 

Well, I think like all arguments in life a resolution can only come by making admissions and allowances on each side; a toilet treaty if you will. So this is my proposal as an impartial adjudicator…I suggest from now on we make efforts to meet in the middle, that way things are fair for everyone. What do I mean by this exactly? Well what I’m saying is we should leave the toilet seat in the middle – not up, not down…strengthen those hinges so that it can sort of just hang there awkwardly…that way it is just as inconvenient and annoying for everyone – and no one (not man, nor woman) profits from acts of kindness or outdated versions of chivalry…instead everyone’s toilet time experience is equally as frustrating. This can be one more remnant of a forgotten age of good manners that we cut off, and do away with forever.

But actually…as I make this suggestion I can already foresee a wealth of problems…well one problem really – and that is men and their fondness for peeing on things. Because even if hypothetically we have a utopian middle of the road toilet seat situation…guys will actually see this is a little challenge, sort of like one of those game stalls at the fairground – except even more rigged…after all we don’t have a Super Soaker  as much as we may like to pretend – more of a leaky faucet if anything…better than what the ladies have for sure, but still no sharp shooter…

Cowboy GIF

So where does that leave us then? Well, right back at the start unfortunately. I am not sure there is one acceptable answer, as either side will never back down – if we wanted to blame something then maybe we could pin it on our ultra fast, ultra busy way of living these days…we are so wrapped up in our schedules that no one can afford the half a second it takes to put up/down the toilet seat…in fact it is completely absurd to even suggest anyone undertakes such an exhausting task! But yet, the saga rolls on – and a glimmer of hope remains, hope that someday some visionary like an Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, or a Steve Jobs will come through and revolutionize things for us…but until that day the war will rage on.

Peeology man…it’s a tough one. 

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Lazy Sundays (ARE THE BEST SUNDAYS!)

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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A-Z Of Our Lives…

A-Z of Life Pic

Here is a quick run down of the average person’s life…in the form of an A to Z…

A – ‘A’ is for alien; as we were all once part of this weird science fiction scene were we grew inside another person, took sustenance from all they ate until we were ready, and then thrust ourselves into this new and unknown galaxy…weird, right?

B – “B’ is for bare faced lies…as no one likes to admit that recently born babies look like red faced Popeyes that literally have no idea what the hell is going on, (probably because they don’t, obviously.)

C – ‘C’ is for cute…because, well, admittedly…most of us get there eventually, with our chubby bulldog cheeks and fat bootys (for some reason it’s okay for strangers to mention this – I mean, no wonder babies have low self-esteem…)

D – ‘D’ is for diahorrea…yeah, deal with it…because you know the kid isn’t going to.

E – ‘E’ is for expected, like “I expected it would be a good thing when he/she started talking – but now I have a never ending headache, and due to all the weird questions I get asked, I realize in fact I know nothing about this world at all!”

F – ‘F’ is for “I’ll flip you – heads – you have the birds and the bees talk, tails – I do it.”

G – ‘G’ is for grown-ups; and that moment as you are ‘growing up’ when you realize the entire concept isn’t even a real thing – everyone is just kinda wandering around doing things, and going places – hoping it will all work out in the end…

H – ‘H’ is for “how cool would it be if, rather than have to decide what we want to do, a random  long lost wealthy Uncle came out of nowhere and gave me a massive inheritance, so all I had to do was hang out with friends and eat things for the rest of my days!?”

I – ‘I’ is for “I actually have to work? Fuck, this is awful. I miss childhood already.”

J – ‘J’ is for “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST?! I HAVE TO PAY HOW MUCH IN TAXES?! CAN I JUST OPT OUT OF ALL THE STUFF THE TAX MONEY PROVIDES?!”

K – ‘K’ is for “Kids are the last thing on my mind – I want to get my career on the right path first…”

L – ‘L’ is for “look everyone – we’re pregnant – I couldn’t be happier, wooooo!” (Cries inside.)

M – ‘M’ is for “maybe if I just pretend I have everything under control people will believe me…okay…I’ll join a yoga class…and a…book club…that’s what real grown-ups do, right?

N – ‘N’ is for “never in a million years did I think I would go jogging and basically cut out all  unhealthy food…apparently I’ll die twenty years earlier if I don’t…but…err…cake…just one slice won’t change anything…”

O – ‘O’ is for “Oh, God! Why are you so cruel? I thought we agreed I would be the hip and trendy parent? But apparently using the words ‘hip and trendy’ in the first place makes me unfathomably embarrassing to my kids…what has happened to me?! Is this punishment for me wearing Crocs that one summer?”

P – ‘P’ is for “Phew, I can’t wait till they leave home – they have taken everything I once had, my money, my youth, my passions, they’ve left me a hollow burnt out husk. Maybe…just maybe…I can return to my early 20s once they’re gone…”

Q – ‘Q’ is for “question – how old do I have to be before I get one of those cool mobility scooters? No…I don’t need one…I just want one…fine, I’ll come back in ten years…”

R – ‘R’ is for railing…as eventually you find yourself needing to use that railing on the stairs…and forcing out an “AHH-FF” with every step…“AHH-FF”, “AHH-FF”, “AHH-FF”…”should have taken the elevator.”

S – ‘S’ is for spending time with your Grandchildren – and delighting in being loved for spoiling them, aka annoying their parents by giving them everything you know they’re not allowed ordinarily!

T – ‘T’ is for “too many daytime dramas, not enough time!”

U – ‘U’ is for understand “I don’t understand the kids of today…and I don’t fucking want to!”

V – ‘V’ is for Viagra…or “very limp penis.” Your choice.

W – ‘W’ is for “well at least I can get away with saying just about whatever I like…”

X – ‘X’ is for xylophone…like, “why does it feel like some horrible bastard is playing the xylophone all over my body…but instead of little sticks they are playing it with baseball bats? Argh! My back…Argh! My knees…Argh! The inside of my eyeball itches…God, I am so over this life.”

Y – ‘Y’ is for, “YOU YOUNG WHIPPER SNAPPERS! I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH MY DAY SO I AM GOING TO TAKE STRANGE JOY IN RUINING YOURS, GIMMME THAT BALL! I’LL TRADE YOU THIS FOR A VIAL OF YOUR YOUTHFUL BLOOD! COME ON HAND IT OVER! I NEED IT MORE THAN YOU! I’M DYYYYYYING!”

Z – ‘Z’ is for zwieback…which is (apparently) a slice of sweet raised bread that is baked until it is hard and crispy…okay fine, I didn’t have anything for ‘Z’…but hopefully your life was, errr, sweet…and not too hard.

Scratch that, that’s shit…instead hopefully you are riding a flying zebra in the afterlife…wow, yeah – that sounds good, can’t wait for that one actually…that’s a great way to end things!

Of course I am just joking around…there is much more to life than this…but life is short; so get out there, and fill your pages with love, happiness and terrific memories…I mean, it’s not like you get a re-write!

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UK vs. USA

UK VERSUS THE USA!!!! WHO WILL WIN?! WHO IS BETTER?! BATTLE ROYALEEE! LET’S GET REAAAAAADY TO RUMMMMMMBLEEEEE!

Okay, it’s not as dramatic as all that but still…in this video I look at the differences between the UK and the USA…were are we similar? Were are we COMPLETELY different?!

I only name  few that I have encountered firsthand…did I miss any major ones? 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Happiness – What Could Have Been…

I am fascinated with life, and the idea of each and every person having their own pathway on which they follow… 

It’s not that I believe in fate, or that I think we have any kind of predetermined outcome by some fella upstairs…instead I think of us as paving our own way – desperately struggling to lay the yellow bricks in front of us as we attempt to navigate through our lives. Sometimes we stumble across good eggs like Scarecrow, Tim Woodman, and Cowardly Lion – and then occasionally there are sadistic witches and flying killer monkeys who rip off all of your limbs…

Wizard of OZ GIF

Swings, and roundabouts I suppose…

 I mean granted not everything can be cheese, back rubs, and new posts from Storytime with John, right? There are shitty moments too – it’s just all about finding those happy moments, and treasuring them, whilst also trying to derive some purpose from our small window of life (wherever, and however that may be!); after all we all want to be happy!

But you know what? I have some rather backward advice (which just so happens to work!) when it comes to being happier with your present situation…it’s not particularly to look at the things that you are lucky enough to possess; a loving family? A great set of friends? A job you actually enjoy? A really comfortable pair of socks? Whatever! No. 

Although naturally…good for you – especially the socks thing.

But I do find that spending some time considering what could have been (for the worst), really helps pump you up, and give a greater perspective on your life as a whole. It’s basically like you are looking backwards down the yellow brick road, and viewing the different paths that you see were no available…but you didn’t take. And as you are older, and hopefully a smidge wiser you now see they would have led to doom and gloom. I find this gives confidence in going forward…PUMP UP DAT CHEST, BRUH! 

Judge GIF

For me I look back at past relationships that would have anchored me to one spot…limited me…and kept me in a closed community, with a minimal amount of opportunity – so I look back at that, and then examine the present day…and I feel more positive about meekly edging forward. Or perhaps I peer pack down the yellow brick road again, and see friendship circles centered solely around drinking, drugs, and a lack of ambition…then again I look at the now…and feel a stronger person for being where I am today.

If I had made certain other choices, my reality would be totally different. 

I could of course ramble more about this for a lot longer, but it wouldn’t make much sense to you…after all life isn’t always a cohesive narrative, it is actually a very personal story which is only ever reported as a polished epilogue – one with which we can perhaps relate, but never truly experience – each of us walk in our own shoes, on our own path. 

But just try it, look back and see where your life could have taken you…not for the better, but for the worse…it should bring a wry smile to your face – and hopefully more faith in yourself, and your future…

Spiderpunch GIF

You’ve got this my friend!

(This post is dedicated to my very good friend over at Pixelated Lifestyle – keep going, just keep going…oh and watch out for the flying monkeys.)

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I’m 24.

It’s my birthday, and I am 24 years old. Why does that sound like an AA meeting, or something? Like  a confessional? Because I’m not bummed about it by any means – in fact I think I like the sound of it a lot better! It’s a kind of in between age like 23 is, still on that cusp…still uncertain, but certainly nearing the rank of legitimate adult. Rather than you know, man-child status, which is what I feel like I have at the moment!

Laughs COnan GIF

So what does 24 even look like? What should I expect? In all honesty I think I just want things to continue on the path they seem to be going…because I have faith that there is a lot of positive stuff in store. And I’ll be honored to have you all along with me for the ride! For all the thrills, and spills, for all the bumps, and…lumps? Urgh, errrr…well maybe we’ll ask the doctor about that one –

But anyway! If you are looking to get me anything for my birthday – then a homemade savoury pie of some description would be great! Or you know, share  one of my stories you enjoy with the world…either, or! Pie is naturally preferable though! Here’s to another year, much love to you all – cheers! 

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The Forking Path

As this year draws to a close, I find myself musing on all that has happened up till now – and pondering on what may come my way in the future…the funny thing is, things never turn out the way you expect – which is what makes life so interesting! Or scary depending on how you look at things…

Fargo GIF

I could have taken a lot of different pathways already, and by not following certain ones it has in turn led me on to other things – for better, or for worse! 

Like when I was seventeen, or eighteen…or something, I found myself on the pathway to becoming an accountant. Yeah, exactly…ME…an accountant?! It was complete madness, as I have never been any good at maths; actually even now I find myself counting on my fingers out of force of habit! I recall in school I was often lucky to even get a C grade…that was probably because it didn’t engage, or excite me as a subject – instead I did a lot of looking out of the window, and day-dreaming, which for some reason didn’t pay dividends when it came to my exams. In English it did…which may be unsurprising, but more on that later…

But you see I wasn’t on the accountancy pathway by chance. I had purposefully plonked myself there, albeit with a somewhat faulty compass. I had my (first) girlfriend, who I loved a horrendous amount…you know, the horrible first love where you would tear your eyes out, and fry them for dinner should it ever be requested. It’s manic, and a total roller-coaster – it has ups, and downs,  makes you physically sick, and  leaves you full of regret afterwards. That’s why I only like the bumper cars at theme parks. Wait that sounds like a weird metaphor…

Anyway, as I was in love, like true Disney style love – and clearly this young lady was the one with which I would spend the rest of my days, and nights with – it would be necessary that I provide for my to-be wife, and our inevitable swarm of children. It sounds farcical, and ridiculous now – but at the time I was very serious about all of this. So I found an accountancy training programme with Proctor & Gamble, in which they would pay for me to do a finance degree (OH MY GOD CAN YOU IMAGINE MAN?!), whilst also earning a good salary. Sure, I would hate my working life from start to finish, and would probably eagerly await death to put an end to the constant Matrix style stream of numbers, as every day I would return from my toil to my resentful wife, and the children who hate me because I am never there – because I am at a job I don’t even like, to get things I don’t even want…but still, at least I would have money. Which is all that is really important, right? …wait, RIGHT?!

So I told my plan to one of my best friends…who in turn told me I was a fool, and reminded me in no uncertain terms that this was a silly choice to make. I tried in vain to create circumstances in which my life in accountancy would be one of excitement, and thrill…

Accountancy Cool GIF

But he came back in amazing style, bombarding me with text, after text, after text, of cruel accountancy jokes – of which most centered on the premise of how boring that career path would potentially be for me, a person with no interest in mathematics whatsoever. I wasn’t convinced, or at least I told myself I wasn’t. That is until my girlfriend broke up with me out of the blue, (leaving me utterly destroyed may I add) and I came to a new clearing in which another pathway emerged…after the soul-blackening anguish that was getting over her, of course. But after that I saw the pathways more clearly – filled with real dreams, and hopes – not made up ones that were only fueled by money, and things.

So sure I headed on with my heart as my guide, rather than my head – but I am glad I did. Even if my Mother does often hark back to those times whenever I am hard up; whether it be facing rejections, unemployment, or general urghhhhhnessss frustrations – all things that will come to writers/English graduates. She likes to reminisce, and remind me that I could be driving a “flash sports car”, and living in a “classy apartment” now, like the guys in American Psycho. Well, nerr. It’s not me.

Instead here I am, suddenly at a spaghetti junction of pathways, which stretch out, and wind in all different directions. And despite all the madness…I am happy, and I am hopeful. 2015. I am pretty much blind to what you may have to offer along the road, but I am walking with you all the same. 

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DISRESPECT YOUR ELDERS.

Were you brought up, and instructed to “respect your elders”? Well yeah, so was I…and although this phrase sounds a little Star Wars-ish, once you get past that, it is for the most part a sound bit of advice. After all with age, comes experience, and with experience comes wisdom (most of the time)…why would I want to make my own mistakes, when someone who has been there done that, can advise me against them? It’s common sense, right?!

What are not so common, are these super-rare dance moves:

Old People Rock GIF

YOU’RE WELCOME!

Anyway, now the reason I am rambling on this topic, is that I have found in South Korea they have the same ethos…except it is, for want of a better phrase…out of fucking control! In this land you must respect your elders, but continue to do so even when they continually show YOU, or anyone else aggressive disrespect. You, and the rest of the onlookers must just remain silent, or possibly nod – and/or apologise if the aggressor demands you to do so. Odd, right? 

I’ll give you a couple of examples…alright firstly, whenever I am walking around with a Korean friend (who has the misfortune of being female)  it is not a rare occurrence for evil death glares to  be shot our way by senior citizens. Uncomfortable, sure…but I smile back politely, and try to remember my Jedi training. My issue is with them coming over, and screaming at my friend for even sitting next to me…calling her a slut, and other things that I can’t translate, but which are probably worse. I mean respect your elders – sure…but how do I respect that kind of behaviour? 

No one intervenes…and tells them they are out of line…they just look down, and think “they’re old, so it’s okay.” Well patently – it is NOT okay. 

Oh, and here’s another one! Just this past weekend – I walked past a few old guys, who jabbered something angrily in my direction…again, as usual, I just smiled at them, nodded politely, and carried on. Before long I heard the jabbering again, this time it was a lot more agitated – I didn’t turn around straight away, just moved along nicely…but then when I did eventually look, I saw that one of them was running after me with a crazed vigor – he may as well have been foaming at the mouth. I wasn’t particularly scared – what was he going to do, chew my leg with his three remaining teeth? But my friend urged me into the crowd of the market, and said it isn’t the done thing to deal directly in that way. So I entered the bustle, and foul smells of the little stores….still, I heard him getting closer. I felt someone grab my shoulder, and spun around – he started pushing, and shoving – swearing at me in Korean…

Again, no one intervened…to tell him he was out of line…they just looked down, and probably thought “he’s old, so it’s okay.”

Funnily enough from what I could gather, and what was told to be later – he was complaining that I had shown him a lack of respect, as he had said “hello”, and I had ignored him completely, (bullshit). He began pushing again – my face was so red with rage, I thought I was going to explode. Thankfully my friend apologised despite no wrongdoing, and pushed me into a back street…he followed for a while, still ranting, and raving…but after a while my aggressor gave up, and returned to his pensioner friends. Probably to tell them how people have no respect for their elders these days, oh the bitter irony. 

Crazy Cat Lady GIF

This is so commonplace  – it’s a cultural flaw, really. It’s so bad, that it is now a huge stereotype – and consequently rude Korean grannies become the butt of jokes (when they’re not around of course!) I know you can’t lump everyone in the same category, and that is never my intention – it’s just something I couldn’t help but recognise; that got me thinking about respect, and whether it should be expected...or earned.

So what do you think? Have I got it all wrong? 

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The Meaning of Life (Poem)

Yellow Brick Road GIF

We walk on that yellow brick road…

Hoping for something greater to show us our soul.

We try, and dig deep – but in thoughts we are lost…

the who, what, when…it’s true; ignorance is our cross.

There is no manual, no how to guide –

Just life’s rich tapestry…the roller-coaster ride. 

“NO! I AM THE WIZARD, THE WIZARD OF OZ!”

Oh.

“KNEEL BEFORE ME IF YOU DESIRE APPLAUSE!”

Okay.

“Only I can show you how to live – only I can tell you what you need to give! To possess a life that truly matters, you must be selfish – and help those in tatters! Love those closest, and the strangers too! Always work TOO hard – and find time for play too! Invest, and splurge – be safe, and dangerous! Live every second, and take some days off!”

Huh?

“Oh, you’re confused – then welcome to life! Don’t try, and understand…just live it, and love it…till the day that you die.” 

Yeah, well that’s all well, and good – but what about global warming, and all of that stuff? The sad polar bears, and my bills…man, it’s tough. What about pensions, and purpose? What about oil, and who is the president?  What about if I’ll have kids, or how I will afford rent? What about keeping in trend, you know – fashion, and stuff – what about following my passion, but helping those sleeping rough…what about expressing my view –

“STOP! I’ve heard enough! FUCK, YOU!

You live life by looking in front,

examining everything…from left to right…

all the while, missing out…on the truly beautiful sight.”

Shaking Head GIF

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