amusements

Hermit Crat?

And it came to pass that earlier today we had a pile of toot in the living room, where we were in the process of turning out the rat’s nest known as the under-stairs cupboard. Upon this pile there was a green bucket. And in the bucket a strange furry hermit crab — or should I say cat:

Wiz in a Bucket

Ten Things

As we’re rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day, thought that for this month’s Ten Things we should have something slightly different …

Ten Quotes about Prostitution

  1. The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.
    [Brendan Behan (1923-1964)]
  2. You can make prostitution illegal, but you can’t make it unpopular.
    [Martin Behrman (1864-1926)]
  3. I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal.  Selling is legal.  Fucking is legal.  Why isn’t selling fucking legal?  You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away?
    [George Carlin (1937-2008)]
  4. Blessed be they as virtuous, who when they feel their virile members swollen with lust, visit a brothel rather than grind at some husband’s private mill.
    [Cato the Younger (95-46 BC)]
  5. Why waste your life working for a few shillings a week in a scullery, eighteen hours a day, when a woman could earn a decent wage by selling her body instead?
    [Emma Goldman (1869-1940)]
  6. The issue is privacy.  Why is the decision by a woman to sleep with a man she has just met in a bar a private one, and the decision to sleep with the same man for $100 subject to criminal penalties?
    [Anna Quindlen (1952-)]
  7. [Prostitution] isn’t inherently immoral, any more than running a company like Enron is inherently immoral. It’s how you do it that counts. And the reality is that it’s going to happen anyway. It’s not called the world’s oldest profession for nothing. Why not make it, at the very least, safe and productive?
    [Jeannette Angell, “A Wellness Perspective on Prostitution, Freedom, Religion, and More”, Seek Wellness, 30 April 2005]
  8. Every hooker I ever speak to tells me that it beats the hell out of waitressing.
    [Woody Allen, Deconstructing Harry]
  9. Prostitution is criminal, and bad things happen because it’s run illegally by dirt-bags who are criminals. If it’s legal, then the girls could have health checks, unions, benefits, anything any other worker gets, and it would be far better.
    [Jesse Ventura, Playboy, November 1999]
  10. All civilized wo/men are prostitutes: Some sell what’s between their legs; the rest sell what’s between their ears.
    [Mokokoma Mokhonoana]

Birthday Meme

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I’d make up my own birthday meme. Hopefully it doesn’t give too much away!

  1. Do you share your birthday with anyone well known? Yes, former miners’ leader Arthur Scargill (b.1938), golfer Ben Crenshaw (b.1952) and England footballer Bryan Robson (b.1957).
  2. Do you share your birthday with anyone you know? Yes, JP.
  3. Do you share your birthday with an historical figure? Yes, most notable Harry Gordon Selfridge (b.1858), founder of the eponymous London department store; also James Paget (b.1814, English surgeon and pathologist) and Ezra Cornell (b.1807, founder of Western Union and Cornell University).
  4. Do you share your birthday with an important historical event? Again yes, the first recorded lottery in England in 1569.
  5. Where were you born? University College Hospital, London.
  6. What time of day were you born? Just in time for lunch! [No change there then!]
  7. How much did you weigh? Something over 8lb.
  8. Who are you named after? No-one to my knowledge, although I do have my mother’s family name embedded.
  9. Zodiac sign? Capricorn.
  10. Chinese zodiac sign? Metal Tiger.
  11. Innie or Outie? Innie.
  12. Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Glasses since I was about 14.
  13. What have you had pierced or tattooed? No tattoos, and you really do not want to know where my piercing is.
  14. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes, I still have my tonsils, but I’ve been robbed of my appendix, a deformed fingernail and my right knee joint.
  15. At what age did you become aware of pornography? I think probably at about 13.
  16. What is your best attribute? An analytical brain.
  17. What is the thing you least like about yourself? An ability to be tactlessly outspoken.
  18. With who do you feel most comfortable talking to about anything? Noreen, Katy.
  19. The last time you felt broken? Today — it’s a knee thing.
  20. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert.
  21. Have you ever taken drugs; if so what? Only the West’s drugs of choice: alcohol and tobacco.
  22. Who amongst your current friends (not family) have you known the longest? Ken King; we were at primary school together 50+ years ago and have recently make contact again.
  23. Is there anyone on your friends list you would ever consider having sex with? Yes; but no I’m not going to tell you who!
  24. Are you cool with talking about sex? Yes.
  25. Who did you lose your virginity to? Faith.
  26. Has reading a book ever changed your life? Yes, see this from my Zen Mischief weblog.
  27. What were you doing when you last lost track of the time? Being wheeled into the operating theatre.
  28. What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago? Use crutches properly.
  29. Do you think you’ll change in the next 3 months? Yes, of course; we all change all the time.
  30. What will you be able to do at this time next year that you can’t now? With luck I’ll be able to walk properly.
  31. If you had to be executed but could choose the method, what method would you choose? Instantaneous poison.
  32. What will people say at your funeral? “Phew! There goes that PITA at last.”

So you’re all now challenged to complete this on (or even not on) your birthday each year. The only rule is that you must add or change at least one question each year. Have fun!

Amusements of the Year, 2016

2016 has thrown up so many things which are worthy of a good chortle, and that’s leaving aside all the political stupidities. Let’s follow the scheme of the last couple of years.


Product of the Year
Three contenders for this year’s accolade:

Little Rooster Vaginal Alarm Clock

Camel Balls

Deep-fried Curry-filled Doughnuts which are buried deeply in http://londonist.com/2015/08/w-a-cafe-quirky-japanese-savouries-and-patisserie-in-ealing


Best Unintended Consequence
The prize this year goes to the Scandinavian stationery company Locum for their excellent logo:


Auction Item of the Year (from our local auction house)
This year’s three winners are:

Third: A Brookes Champion Standard B17 reproduction penny farthing

Second: A vintage Agricastrol hand delivery pump for oil in original green cabinet

First: An unusual Edward VIII commemorative toilet roll holder, circa 1936, with an unopened pack of Tri-Sol medicated toilet paper (price 6d)


Poseur of the Year
This award has to go to politician Ed Balls for “Strictly has released my inner Beyoncé“.


Name of the Year
This year’s winner is Dr Wendy Chan She Ping Delfos, a Dietician quoted in Daily Telegraph back on 23 September.


Organisation Name of the Year
The medal goes to the 1920s American firm of architects Corbett Harrison MacMurray Hood Fouilhoux & Crane.


Best Neologism
The prize here has to go to whoever perpetrated gentrification of the mind.


Best Oxymoron
This year’s prize to the National Liberal Club for Afternoon tea is served between 3.30pm and 5.30pm in the (non smoking) Smoking Room


Best Paint Shade
It’s been a difficult year for interior designers, after all they have to comne up with new names for the plethora of paint shades available. Manufacturers Crown and Dulux share the award for the following shades:
Fairy Dust (Crown)
Lavender Cupcake (Crown)
Potting Shed (Crown)
Secret Escape (Crown)
Botanical Extract (Crown)
Chatterbox (Crown)
Scrumptious (Crown)
Berry Smoothie (Dulux)
Wellbeing (Dulux)
Purple Pout (Dulux)
Muddy Puddle (Dulux)
Muddy Puddle (Dulux)


Best Book Title
This is always a popular category and this year we have two winners:

How to Live with a Calculating Cat by Eric Gurney

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin


Best Academic Paper Title
There was really only one contender this year: Perilous patches and pitstaches: Imagined versus lived experiences of women’s body hair growth.


Best Research Topic

The two awards in this category go to:

‘Unperformable’ music — an ontological approach

101 uses for the sacred foreskin


Most Unusual Sport
Following on from last year’s Elephant Polo, this year we have Tuk-Tuk Polo, which avoids the problems of elephants going on the rampage.


Most Crass Media Statement

Oh dear, there are just so many of these from which to choose, but the jury finally agreed that the award goes to the Guardian headline:

Without journalism, there is no America


Outstanding News Headlines
Three medals are awarded this year to:

Large Hadron Collider: Weasel causes shutdown (actually the unfortunate animal turned out to be a Beech Marten.

Passengers evacuated at Purley station after train crashes into pheasant

Hitler’s wife’s knickers sold at auction


Best Marketing Bollocks

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION WHERE IT IS UNLAWFUL TO RELEASE, PUBLISH OR DISTRIBUTE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.
[From a government email about sale of Lloyds shares; 28 January 2016]

Hand picked by artisan farmers
[The Real Olive Company tub of Organic Kalamata Olives]

From the sweeping 100ft balcony through to the iconic bed and integrated open fire, The May Fair’s signature Penthouse Suite is a 200-square metre exercise in light, space and opulent style.
[Quoted by Londonist]


And finally we come to …

Do what?
Where we celebrate the intelligibly unintelligible. This year the winner is:

The philosophy of tiddlers is that we maximise the possibilities for re-use by slicing information up into the smallest semantically meaningful units with rich modelling of relationships between them. Then we use aggregation and composition to weave the fragments together to present narrative stories.
TiddlyWiki aspires to provide an algebra for tiddlers, a concise way of expressing and exploring the relationships between items of information.
[From Philosophy of Tiddlers]


Let me know your favourite amusements of the year — and don’t forget to start collecting for 2017!