Saturday, 7 September 2013

Hotch Potch

Up until now my previous posts have tended to follow a theme of sorts, but after much deliberation I've decided I can't be arsed working to one subject on this post, so instead it will be a veritable Smorgasbord of the ramblings that have recently fallen out of my head.

Points of reference

During a recent monthly poker game my compatriots and I had a discussion about handling the subject of impending puberty in their children.  When I say discussion what I really mean is, the subject was raised, I made a drunken comment that fell flat on its ass, (probably spraying crisps as I did so) and which resulted in bemused looks from everyone in the room. Fortunately I now have the opportunity to explain myself with a touch of sobriety.
The drunken point I was trying unsuccessfully to make was my scepticism that a father can fully explain the ups and downs of menstruation to his daughter.  Now I appreciate that this is a very sensitive and potentially divisive subject, but bear with me.
I will accede that it is perfectly possible for a father to discuss the process with their child however it is impossible to describe how it feels, as a man clearly has no point of reference with which to make comparisons.  For all we know it could be as gruesome as attempting to pass a bowling ball wrapped in barbed wire or conversely as insignificant as leaves falling from a tree in Autumn.  Incidentally these were the two analogies I gave on the night which is probably why I got some strange looks.
Right about now I can hear all the female readers out there screaming, 'It's one of the worst experiences a human being can suffer, and it doesn't just happen once it happens every month for 40 years.  What the f@#k are you on about falling leaves from a tree?  You don't know what you're talking about'.  And they would be absolutely right and that's my point. When it comes to the experience we can sympathise but not empathise.
In much the same way no woman will ever be able to describe the gut wrenching pain a man experiences when he takes a blow to the scrotum (and when I say blow I obviously mean an impact not the other kind which is a different discussion altogether).  They may think they can compare but again there is no point of reference.  You may as well ask a blind anosmiac to describe what the colour blue smells like.
Similarly I also take issue at phrases such as 'I suffer from bad hangovers' or 'I suffer with bad PMT'. To be accurate the individual experiences the hangover or PMT, it's the partner who suffers.


Cooking up a storm

One of my many failings in life is my lack of culinary expertise.  Fortunately I have a wife who is a very accomplished cook so I have a good diet, but I am wholly reliant on her abilities to ensure I that don't just exist on ready meals or fast food.  It's not that I don't think I could manage it, given the correct supervision and time, it really boils down to my inflexibility when it comes to following instructions.
The trouble is I have a very digital mind.  If I have to make flat pack furniture, with the right instructions and a full kit of parts it can be quite diverting and one of my favourite hobbies as a child was constructing Airfix model aircraft by following the instructions to the letter (I even painted the pilot first).
Based on this you would have thought I'd have no trouble following a recipe but this is my issue.  When I look at the average recipe it has all the main ingredients and the required quantities spelt out, so if it says 1/2 a pint of milk I will measure exactly 1/2 a pint of milk.  If it needs 18lbs of butter I will weigh out, to within a gnats testicle, 18lbs of butter.  This process will continue until I have all the ingredients measured, mixed and prepared as described in the recipe.  The item will then spend the specified time in the oven at the precise temperature as instructed.
Once this has all been done I will open the door expecting to find a perfect example of 5 star cuisine only to find that I have created, what would probably be best described as, hot arse gravy.
At this stage I will exclaim "What the f@#k happened there?", my children will look at me pityingly, and concerned that they'll have to eat it, and my wife will say "Yeah that recipe isn't quite right, you need 1/2 pint of butter and 18lbs of milk", then we'll go to McDonalds.
And how the hell is anyone meant to work with quantities like a 'pinch' or a 'splash', a 'dash' or a 'sprinkle' or even a 'knob'.  These aren't proper measures, they're extra services offered by high-class hookers (or so I've been told).
Perhaps I'm setting my sights too high.  Perhaps I shouldn't be aiming for Master Chef but be content with blue plaster chef.  The trouble is that I look at the dishes they produce on Master Chef and think to myself, "I could make a much better job of that", knowing deep down that I couldn't.  Half the time I don't even know what they are attempting to create and have never heard of half the ingredients.  When the voice-over lady describes the dishes, in her dulcet tones, she may as well be saying "Today, Rupert will be serving roast turds, on a bed of door knobs, served with flash fried fallopian tubes and topped with a liposuction jus."
Cooking would appear to me to be an exclusive club that I can't get into because I'm wearing trainers.


Written in the stars

All horoscopes are meaningless tosh.  There, I've said it and won't be persuaded otherwise. There is less likelihood of a horoscope being true than witnessing a wedding anniversary on Eastenders - for the benefit of my dear readers of a foreign persuasion, Eastenders is a thoroughly depressing British soap opera where nothing good happens to anyone ever.
In researching the subject of horoscopes I came across the following guff on-line.
According to the fact that I was born in March this makes my star sign Pisces and this was what I was to expect on 7th September:-

Your domestic life might appear like a war-zone: perhaps because you've been too busy to keep on top of things.
Perhaps all that's needed is a good tidy-up.
Relations with a younger person could reach boiling point however, you might not understand their game-plan (if there is one).
There's potential problems with 'a set of wheels' or transport arrangements too.
Your patience could be tested in many ways. Under this pressure though you could arrive at an important decision.

Now I could link some of that to elements of my life right now - I have been busy lately but my domestic life is not a war-zone.  I do need a good tidy-up.  I have no 'younger person' issues over and above having two lively young children.  My car needs a service and my patience is constantly tested. I have decided to keep breathing, and that's quite important.
But there are some key words here that make it impossible to challenge its accuracy with the author of the horoscope.  Key words such as 'might', 'perhaps', 'could' and 'potential'.  So with this in mind, and for all Pisceans out there, here is my horoscope for you all:-

Your spaniel will display signs of pregnancy, unless it's a male, or not pregnant or you don't have a spaniel.
Someone called Gary will deliver Aubergines to the next door neighbour of a friends aunt.
You will suffer woodworm in your artificial leg, if you have one.
You will have relations in relation to a relation.
Nobody will ever find out your big secret, so stop worrying.
You are going to die - one day.

That's it

So I now reach the end of another blog post but remember, horoscopes are fake, there's no such unit of measure as a splash and never get drunk whilst playing poker.
See you next time, love you all.

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