I have been sorting my room. Picking through drawers of junk – junk to throw away when I work out how; junk to re use when I think of how; junk I’d forgotten about. Anyway, I came across this, the old lithium battery for my phone that I can’t put in the bin and couldn’t work out where to dispose of it. I hope you can see from the way it’s no longer lying flat that it’s swollen up, like it’s been pumped up with a football pump.
The instructions say don’t put it in a ‘mostness or corrode environment’, but I’ve never done that! I’m not even sure what a mostness environment is.
Is it going to explode? Is it leaking toxins? Should I throw it out the window and duck down? Is it going to make me radioactive so I have superpowers? Do I already have superpowers but haven’t got to use them so haven’t noticed? You all seem smart, help me out!
Was walking to the station early on Friday morning and saw this sparkling fizzy pop of a car. In case the picture doesn’t make it clear, it has the texture of glitter ball deely boppers, in the colour of an orangeade-cherryade mix.
I have no idea what I think of it. Is it a daring and dashing fashion choice? A practical joke? The car of a disco champion reliving their glitterball hey-day? Did someone end up with too much glittery wrapping paper and became inspired?
Not a huge drama this one, but a mystery none-the-less. So Jessica took out a can of diet coke from her locker, then looked at it in confusion, then at us in confusion, then back at the can.
‘Ok, so mystery of the day,’ she said, ‘is how is this can empty?’ She put the unopened can on the table. I went and shook it, I could feel there was a dribble of coke left. There were no holes in the can. There was no sticky drink all over her locker, but the can was empty.
I feel like I’m leading you into one of those lateral thinking riddles, like how did the man hang himself with only the puddle of water or why didn’t the doctor use the elevator? But no, I genuinely have no clue.
My thoughts so far:
the can was always empty and Jessica somehow didn’t notice when she bought it
a thirsty poltergeist
a new side-effect of Covid (I mean, they’re all so weird anyway, why not this?)
So yesterday I believed I had the power of King Cnut and could control the cars. By merely strolling up to the side of the road, the stream of traffic would halt and wait for me to cross, UNTIL I got to the middle of the road, when cars coming in the other direction would speed towards me without a care. This was clearly an awesome, but mightily flawed power.
Well, shockingly, it turns out I don’t have this power at all. Actually, they have changed the traffic lights so that the lights on one side of the road change about twenty seconds sooner than the lights on the other side of the road (although for the pedestrians it’s only one crossing). This means that people blithely cross when the cars on the near side stop and then nearly get hit when somebody shoots round the bend on the other side.
There’s going to be an accident!
And for all those sick of hearing about hashtags (not from me, just in general):
Walking home I reached the pedestrian crossing, where the little man was red and the cars were trundling ahead. But as I stopped at the side of the road all the cars on my side of the road also stopped. The little man didn’t change to green, but I assumed it would in a moment and started crossing. I got to the halfway point when a car came whizzing along on the other side of the road. I thought ‘What a wanker! The lights are red, it could’ve hit me!’
Then I realised the little man still hadn’t changed to green. So the cars must have stopped on one side of the road even though the lights hadn’t changed. It was a whole line of cars, but nobody honked, they simply sat waiting as I crossed the road. Odd eh?
Bizarre word of the day: Camelopard – giraffe
Yes a giraffe used to be called a camelopard (or cameleopard) because most people hadn’t seen an actual giraffe, and assumed it looked like a cross between a camel and a leopard. That idea came from the picture of a giraffe below, drawn in 1655 .
A woman on the tube today had a high vis vest on, she wasn’t acting oddly at all, just standing by the window at the end of the carriage looking out so that her back was turned towards me. Written in huge letters across the back of the high vis was
I’m straight, get it? Yes, I’m a woman and an engineer so keep your prejudices to yourself. Even in a high vis I’m straight.
Then on the front
Straight hetero engineer
I’m undecided what I think of this. On the one hand I’m sympathetic to the hassle women get for working in what are traditionally men’s roles, because I’ve had plenty over the years. It isn’t upsetting, but it’s irritating and it wears you down. On the other, writing it in huge letters on your clothes is somewhat stroppy and attention seeking, since 99% of people wouldn’t give a crap either way, and the only reason people were staring at her was because they were trying to work out what her high-vis said. On the other hand (I have three hands now) what’s the stress about being gay or straight? Does it matter if someone assumes she’s gay? On the other hand (now I have four hands, I’m a mutant!) I don’t know the circumstances surrounding this, maybe she didn’t even write the words herself.
Any other hands people can help me with?
Word of the day: paralipsis – fixing attention subject by pretending to neglect it
Note: I’m taking that as a literal huge pig, and not a reference to my love of all foodstuffs fatty or sweet.
I was fairly sure it was Thursday today, all day my brain kept assuring me It’s Thursday, definitely not Monday, even though that would mean that three days had vanished. Could this be the time portal?
Today Mike found a drone lying in one of the gardens at work, under an Acanthus. I’m not sure if it got out of control, flew into the garden and then the owner couldn’t get in to retrieve it (the garden is gated) or if our residents are so rich that the owner couldn’t be bothered trying to find it. And I’m not sure what they were using it for. Do people fly them for fun like they flew remote controlled planes? Or only to take photos where they shouldn’t?
The managers in the office are trying to spread the rumour that they’re using it to spy on us. I really hope Barry doesn’t find out about this, he’ll probably assume that it’s mine and I’m watching him. If he can believe helicopters are spying on him, then being paranoid about a drone is easy.
Word of the day: Bombilate – to hum, buzz or drone
I’ve mentioned that recently we moved to a fancy new messroom at work, and I think I talked about our high tech fridge. It has an LED that says the temperature and the date, I get the relevance of the temperature, but the date seems unnecessary. It also makes a high-pitched squealing noise whenever the door is open, I’m not sure why since it’s got one of those doors that thunks closed if you let go of it.
Anyway, now the LED is broken and the high-pitched noise has become annoyingly erratic. Sometimes it comes on when you open the door, sometimes it comes on when you turn on the tap and sometimes it squeals continuously for an hour in a fit of pique. Luckily, unlike the chairs designed to tip you off and the clock that won’t set to the actual time, this affects the managers, so it will get fixed soon.
And speaking of the clock, a few readers suggested the exciting idea that the wrong times it kept setting to were coordinates, that would lead me to an inter-dimensional portal or some such (I can’t remember the details now, I might be making this up). So I tried setting it to see what time it moved to. It’s satellite connected, so no dial, I simply pressed the button, the hands whizzed round for a bit and then hung limply, twitching. I may have to accept that I’m not being sent important messages from another dimension, it’s just crap technology. This new messroom is falling apart.
Just to sum up what everyone has worked out about the advert since it seems that it did make some sense if you’re more knowledgeable about markets, children’s books and life than me.
Calmgrove – the bear is Paddington who was from darkest Peru and could talk. I suspect this is an invoke sweet things trick to mask their devilish intent.
Jasper Hoogendam – Winnie the Pooh was originally from Winniepeg, hence the name. Not in the ad, but still interesting.
Colin McQueen – in rugby the Lions have a coach from New Zealand (kiwi) and the cheeky chicken refers to ‘having a cheeky Nandos’. I have no idea what either has to do with banks.
Shaily Agrawal/ – pointed out that bear is a market term for someone who takes risks. I don’t really want my bank to take risks, because that’s what caused the economic crash last time. Maybe that’s the subliminal bit, they rename recklessness as ‘open mindedness’ and then throw in the bear.
I, after a foolishly long time, worked out that being shut on bank holidays is what banks do.
So to translate
Keep an open mind because being open minded has opened doors to Paddington Bear, who’s secretly a risk-taking banker; rugby coaches from New Zealand; and a cheeky Nandos. Now is not the time to batten down the hatches, it’s time to stay open, except when we’re shut. Because we are not an island, well we are, all the surrounding water makes that clear, but people can still visit, which is nice. And the world is big, and it has bears and lions, unlike the UK which only just got bears and has no lions to speak of.