'funny, and not a little bit strange' - the guardian; 'an offbeat treat' - web user
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Graber Inc. - excellence in introspection since 1963
You know me. Well, actually you don’t. But, I get utterly absorbed in things (one thing at a time) and go into a sort of trance. Well, I’m there, this morning, on the web (permitted before 9am), when I become dimly aware that someone is speaking to me. It’s the boss. When you’re deep inside yourself and you’re suddenly forced to speak, it’s like somebody forcibly waking you up from a general anaesthetic and immediately making you do a 45-minute scientific presentation.
“Morning, Nigel, you look brown.”
“Did you get that Urology paper completed?”
“Uh? Fgghmmm. Yeh, tharg, it was quite hot in Cornwall.”
“How about the newsletter? Was anything resolved?”
“Gnurr, yeh. Urology paper on desk.”
It was like a transatlantic phone call, with a sort of built-in sense delay. I’m sure nothing I said dented her belief that she’s dealing with something off a 4th-century farm. Poor woman. I have some advice: always stick to your own species when employing staff.
See, I don’t focus on people. On a printed page with head-and-shoulders pics, I’ll see the text. In a room full of people, I’ll take an interest in the furniture. On a walk over the moors, I see the landscape, not the person coming the other way. People may see this as ignorance. But it’s just introspection – to international standards.
Incidentally, I've picked up another link, on some crazy guy's web page.
Sunday, August 25, 2002
First time for everything
Just want to say seven things. We've just hosted a big barbecue. We ate lots of charred animals. Charred by me. I am off my head, following copious amounts of Stella. I am now going to spend the night in the summerhouse in the garden with my two young daughters. I fully expect to eat my lifetime's quota of seven spiders. Life gets no better than this. See you in the morning. First pissed blog....
Friday, August 23, 2002
Exposed: the dark underbelly of British education
Prof. Cumulus Gripspeed (not your real name)
Centre for Applied Excellence
University in the Midlands
Dear Professor Gripspeed
I am writing to you about the Basic English Skills course on your website. While some of the material is correct, there are some glaring errors that I feel will do a huge disservice to your students, unless they are algae or take some other, similar, sub-human form.
In particular, the apostrophes exercise contains three (very funny) major errors that go some way to explaining the total illiteracy of the British public under the age of 30. In fact, using its with an apostrophe in its possessive sense sits uncomfortably within the orbit of ‘applied excellence’. In the commas section, even my pet dog would be in no doubt that the quoted example should not feature a comma before ‘and assassination’. And I don’t even own a dog. If I did, its sense of language and grammatical construction would, I’m sure, be far superior to yours.
Under semi-colons, you state that, ‘They are used to seperate two parts of a sentence which could easily be two seperate sentences’. While this is correct, you have misspelled ‘separate’ (twice), and the word ‘which’ should be ‘that’. This incorrect use of ‘which’ occurs throughout your site. You should note that ‘that’ and ‘which’ are not interchangeable. You should also, I suggest, go back to school (primary, possibly nursery) or to an era when language was of little consequence and men carried clubs.
Under full stops, you write that, ‘They are NOT used in acronyms - example: NATO, GNVQ, BBC etc.’, but you should know that you have defined acronyms incorrectly. NATO is an acronym, but BBC is an abbreviation. I would add that the use of upper case on ‘not’ suggests a sort of moral indignity about the correct use of language that not even Fowler in his classic Modern English Usage would have the temerity to employ; coming from a set of illiterate cowboy buffoons, it’s little short of scandalous.
I have not investigated the rest of the site, for fear of what I might find. I trust you will correct these errors forthwith. If you need any advice, you can contact me as above. I work as an editor. I sincerely hope you are not charging money for your services. In fact, merely offering help on your Aunt Fanny’s written crochet patterns may be a little out of your compass.
I have also sent this letter to the Principal of your shoddy little college. I would suggest that you are no more qualified to run English skills courses than the average domestic hamster is to fly Tornado jets solo.
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Grounds for justifiable homicide
I've been irritable lately. Little things are starting to get to me. Little things, like people. I think it's down to my decision never to use a public toilet ever again. Matter - both physical and psychological - is beginning to build up inside. But, let's face it, some things are grounds for justifiable homicide:
1 Turning statements into questions with that irritating, lilty upturn at the end of the sentence. To these people I say: read the entire contents of Fowler's Modern English Usage and only talk to me again in the event of nuclear attack. And then only to say 'You get down the bunker, I'll cover you(?)'
2 Trumpeting any minor achievement with that grotesque 'da-daaaaaa'.
3 Doing that hideous Twilight Zone spooky wibbly voice thing.
4 Making me wince, by trilling 'What can I do you for?' or, even worse, 'How are you diddling?' I'm diddling just fine, thanks, but I'd be diddling much better if you'd insert something large, volcanic and, preferably lethal in a painful, lingering sort of way, up your oversized rectum.
5 Responding to the question 'How are you?' with 'Oh, not three bad'.
People really need to stop saying these things. Sorry. No, things are fine, really. Apart from the government's terrific new idea to deal with the refugee crisis. They're going to give them £2500 each to go away. Brilliant! The whirling political Dynorod at Westminster has hit upon the one policy guaranteed to attract even more illegal immigrants to these shores. And, of course, they not only come over on free flights to collect their windfall, but they turn up on false passports knocked up in the back room of some fart-processing shop in Kabul, so they come over again and again and again...
I'll feel better tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
Sit at your desk, hold tight, bite your mousemat
I've needed the toilet quite a bit at work, recently. Here's a few observations I've been making along the way:
Embarrassing episodes in the loo: number 1
So you start a conversation with a colleague as you walk down the corridor. You both enter the john. Embarrassingly, you both head for the cubicles, still chatting. So, now, you’re sitting there, wondering whether to continue the conversation or sit in silence (apart from the usual noises associated with a toilet visit). I chose the former.
“So you live in (grunt) Macc, do you, Steve?”
“Yeah (groan, sputtering sound), I usually walk to work. It’s (groan) very convenient. What about (loud explosion) you?”
"Well (uugh), I live in Chorle(eeee)y. It's a (huh) bit of a hike, but you (uuugh) get used to (dzzzzh) it."
Embarrassing episodes in the loo: number 2
You're sitting on the john, when someone comes in, humming. They choose the next cubicle. Within seconds, they're singing quietly. Then quite loudly. You try not to make a sound; try to limit their embarrassment. You're hoping fervently that they don't notice your closed cubicle door as they leave. Because you know that, if they even suspect that you knew who they were, they would have to leave the company.
Embarrassing episodes in the loo: number 3
Two of you enter cubicles at the same time. Neither of you can achieve what's required. It's embarrassing to sit there. Who will bottle it first? I didn't. I was mentally strong. My opponent capitulated. A couple of parps and he'd had enough, leaving me to savour the spoils of victory.
On a more elevated note, I have sent my Better Britain plan to local MP, Linford Hogg.