'funny, and not a little bit strange' - the guardian; 'an offbeat treat' - web user
Monday, June 30, 2003
Courageous choice of name
Me: Hmm, I’ve been giving some thought to a name for our baby. Apparently, 102,401 people in the USA are called Andre. And eight in the UK.
Wife: Well, it’s a ludicrous name.
Me: It means ‘manly and courageous’, and it gets a user rating of 2.6 out of 12 on Babies R Us dot com.
Wife: Please get real.
Me: Lucky numbers for Andre are 24 and 42 – they’re both quite close to our house number. Well, some of them.
Wife: Shut up.
Me: Lucky vegetable is onion. We sometimes eat onions. Lucky commercial-van specification is rear-axle differential lock. If we had a van…
Wife: And does it also say, by any chance, on Your baby dot co dot UK, that calling your child Andre will result in it having a finely developed, fierce two-handed backhand by the age of three, playing the county circuit by eight, and turning pro in its early teens?
Me: Funnily enough…
Me: Sarah, I can’t stay out here much longer. It’s getting really wet and I can’t sleep.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
Lanced a lot
Wife: At Camelot today, why did you go on the Pirate Ship 17 times seemingly without pausing for breath?
Me: Well, that'll be because, after 40 years, it's the last true experience of pure joy and unfettered ecstasy that remains in this life.
Me: Sarah, it's really cold out here when the sun goes down. Can I come in now?
Saturday, June 28, 2003
Switzerland's Roger Federer has rightly been acclaimed as a great tennis player, and, quite possibly, the winner of the Wimbledon men's singles crown next Sunday. Only 21, Federer is already the holder of four singles titles, and is widely recognised as the most naturally gifted of the current crop of youngsters in the professional game. But Federer's success is all the more remarkable - because Switzerland is an entirely landlocked country.
Friday, June 27, 2003
How unlucky is it that when you have a nasty accident with a particularly fierce, bleach-based product when cleaning the bathroom, you always happen to be wearing your favourite, most expensive shirt? How unlucky is that?
Clues that you are frustrated at work
Putting up a large sign next to the picture of your daughters on your desk, reading, ‘Please give me work or these beautiful children will starve’, could indicate a degree of despair with life in the office.
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Olympics now published in London
Busier than a nappy-rental man at a convention of bedwetters today, so you’ll have to make do with the excellent Mark publishing on my behalf (see ‘Sub standard’ article).
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Ludicrous-but-true stories: Not me, this one
You, your wife and children fly to Spain for your holiday. When you get there, you take up an open invitation to visit an ex-colleague, now retired to Portugal. You and your family spend two airless days and nights driving 1300 miles across the Med, through Malaga, Seville and Huelva, then through the Algarve. In a rented, miniature car. In the 40-degree heat. By the time you arrive, your kids are restless and your wife is tetchier than Mike Tyson dipped in honey and nailed to an apiary wall.
You knock. No answer. You knock again. Nothing. Looking around, you see some kids kicking a ball in the baking dust. In your best Spanish–Portuguese–English, you ask where your friend is. ‘In hospital.’ You are sorry to hear this, but, could you, perhaps, visit him? Where is he? The Figo boy fishes crumpled paper from his pocket and reads carefully, 'Birkenhead'.
You begin to contemplate the drive back to Spain.
Monday, June 23, 2003
At the neighbours’ barbie, you will drink too much fizzy water and you will ask Mr and Mrs We’re-so-liberal-with-our-small-children-but-we-do-set-boundaries: usually-the-second-lane-of-the-southbound-carriageway-of-the-M6 if free play for five year olds on Britain’s motorway network is appropriate. You will ask the attractive girl next door who keeps odd hours if she is a high-class prostitute, and you will variously insult other neighbours, within their earshot, with the words ‘muscle-bound’, ‘I’ll bet his IQ begins with a decimal point’, and ‘How can anything with only one head be that ugly?’. You will not be invited again.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
26 days on the wagon
I'm trying to go 26 days without alcohol, until my summer holiday on 18 July. From time to time, I'll keep you up-to-date with progress.
There’ll be more news on this shortly.
Big prize beckons
Dr Krippen, plotting acid-bath mayhem in Squirrel's Pinnacle, is link number 49 for this site. This, of course, means that the next person to blogroll me will receive a racing tip for the 1997 Derby and a box of fog (see AO, 11/6).
Half a century of links!
Well, it didn't take much longer. Crash-test dummy and amateur poltergeist Lori Smith is the 50th - yes, the 50th - link for this ridiculous little blog. Many, many congratulations, Lori. I am sending you your prize as an e-mail attachment. Because I like your blog, I'll also throw in a joist from Giles Brandreth's underpants.
Friday, June 20, 2003
33 days on the wagon
I’m trying to go 33 days without alcohol, until my summer holiday on 18 July. From time to time, I’ll keep you up-to-date with progress.
There’ll be more news on this shortly.
Things that annoy me
How, when you go to the pub, even a microsecond's silence is immediately converted into an embarrassing one, in the way it wouldn't be if you were sitting in your lounge at home. Nice, relaxing drink? My arse. The pressure's on, mate. The only antidote? Non-human company.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Car repairs in this life or the next
Me: Hello, is that Begley’s Motor Body Repairs: ‘Bring us your best quote and we’ll beat it’? I’ve got substantial front-end damage – bumper, bonnet, cross-member and sill. Now, I’ve had a quote of £1200 – can you beat it?
Begley: Pah! Call that a quote? Listen here, Sonny, and listen good… 'My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius: commander of the armies of the North, general of the Felix legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius, father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance… in this life or the next'. Or how about, 'Once more unto the breach, my friends, once more. Or close the wall up...'?
Me: OK, OK, OK, fair do’s. But, do you do car-body repairs?
Begley: No, just the quotes.
More inevitable cliches
On Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot, the racing pundit on the radio will say, “I’ll be concentrating on the fillies – the four-legged variety of course! Ho-ho-ho.”
Link number 48
Fresh n juicy, live from a Poole beach hut (I used to work there from time to time, and everyone lives in a beach hut), is link number 48 for this ludicrous site.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
More Audi man
90 I lost the school cross-country championships while waiting for a train to pass by a level crossing (see AO, 20/9/02).
89 I believe the Isle of Mull is probably the most wonderful place in the solar system.
88 I think that Noel Harrison’s Windmills of your Mind could be the best song ever written.
87 I work as an editor in a medical-communications agency, but I’m not sure why.
86 Woody Allen’s written work is the funniest material I have read: 'The authenticity of The Scrolls is currently in some doubt, as the word 'Oldsmobile' appears several times in the text'.
85 I think people should have to pass written and practical exams before they can have children.
84 After a day of eager anticipation, I once walked into Pizza Hut in Poole, Dorset, passing a man on his way out carrying two large Meatfeasts, only to be told, when I reached the counter, that they had, that very nanosecond, lost the franchise.
83 If I had a turf-supply company, I would call it The Other Side. Come on, think about it.
Friday, June 13, 2003
Side effects kick in
Dear Mr Champion
I write to take issue with your product statement, 'There should be no significant side effects with Beconase nasal spray'. I am a Beconase user and sweat profusely at night, refer to myself constantly as 'Miranda Nicholson’, and come to work with the near-certainty that I am on Big Brother. This would be amusing, except that I’ve evicted the Commercial Director and the MD, I describe people I’ve known for two weeks as my ‘soulmate’ and I discuss my sex life with all and sundry. I have a heavy discharge of Swarfega from my ears and, in addition, the horse's head attached to my shoulder is beginning to terrify me with its ill-considered advice on social skills. I must, however, thank you for the sudden, encyclopedic knowledge of the ballads of Woody Guthrie, which won me some bizarre new friends and a bottle of Blue Nun in the pub quiz.
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Who is Audi man?
For some reason, some people want to know more about me, so here’s the 100 things thing, a bit at a time:
100 I was once in MENSA, but have difficulty working out who gets the receipt when I buy something.
99 At 36, my pulse rate is extraordinarily low and partly explains why I lapse in and out of consciousness at work.
98 I am uncomfortable around people, and used to practise making eye contact on the fridge.
97 I am also uncomfortable with the things you have to do at work ‘to get on’, and don’t understand professional ambition.
96 My wife and children are ace and I prefer them to me.
95 I would be happier never, ever working again, and yet somehow still being paid.
94 I sometimes play half-decent tennis, captained the university first team and got a coaching badge.
93 I have a fear of flying as, strangely, the prospect of hurtling into the side of a mountain in an out-of-control, high-octane fireball and never seeing my family again holds little appeal.
92 I am unbelievably unlucky and, as a 15-year-old, while youth-hostelling, once spent an evening with acute food poisoning, while my three friends enjoyed a night out with a coachload of 72 practically naked female teenage hockey players.
91 Writing is a grillion times easier than talking.
47 I've been linked by Green Fairy, who is neither green nor a fairy.
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Great new prize comp
With Beatnik Salad bringing up the 46th link for this site, it’s time to offer yet another great prize for my loyal readers. Yes, the 50th site to blogroll me will receive a racing tip for the 1997 Derby and a box of fog.
There’s an additional offer of a Welsh baby dipped in wood preservative for anyone who can spot the subtle change to this site’s name.
In the news
Audi Olympics has learned that the 13-year-old boy convicted of drink-driving is to receive a three-year driving ban.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Things not to do in hospital
When the pregnant Mrs Audi man has been rushed into hospital with high blood pressure and high protein levels, and the talk is of pre-eclampsia and other unsavoury matters, and the nurse asks you if you have brought your wife's ‘hand-held notes’ say, ‘No, but I’ve got a Gameboy’. No one will laugh.
Literally linked again
I have, quite literally, been linked again. Mr Non-literal, a metaphorical engineering graduate, is the 43rd link for The Audi Olympics. The Massive Whinger, aromatherapist to Singapore's growing vagrancy industry, is link number 44. And coach to the Welsh paranormal swimming squad Knobby is number 45.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Professional blogging dream realised
Boss: Nigel, I’d like a word about last week’s timesheets, if I may.
Me: Oh yes?
Boss: Yes, just looking through these job codes you’ve entered… Monday, we’ve got JZ 225667 – the Novartis oncology account… Tuesday, when you were working on the database, JZ ADMIN… JZ 416152 on Wednesday morning, no problem, Wednesday afternoon JZ HOLS, you had the afternoon off… that’s fine. Hmm, it’s just Thursday morning, really. We’ve got three-and-a-quarter hours chargeable at maximum rate to Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical International, and it’s the code that’s giving me problems.
Me: What, er, code is that then?
Boss: JZ BLOG.
Moose man moves in
Manchester man and toy-moose lover Destruction for dummies is the 40th link for The Audi Olympics. And, at risk of being boring, Jerry Hall's passionate new boyfriend Daniel etc. is link number 41. Finally, I am a Donut has apparently blogrolled me, although I can find no evidence of this on his site, apart from some sugar and a few crumbs.
Sunday, June 08, 2003
Californian sharpshooter links Audi man
Uzi, a 21-year-old fruity-go-loopy-nuts hippy from California’s McMaster University, where they research the boiling point of marsupials, is the latest to link the Audi man. Sorry, Uzi, this is all meant to be funny, but I will try to put more of it into italics, just for you. And Uzi’s best mate, Blues over troubled waters, an LA researcher currently collecting daylight with a spatula, is link number 38 for this world-changing site.
Duck link puts Audi man in A-league
Well, a link from The Guardian’s Best Weblog of 2002 surely puts the Audi man in the A-list. Scary Duck is the 39th link for this site.
Friday, June 06, 2003
Things it’s best not to do
When you are on your way to work and a fat, posh, out-of-control, pig-ignorant, arrogant, butt-ugly, smelly, probably drunk middle-aged hag in a large Volvo ruins both your wedding anniversary and the front end of your car, and a policeman turns up and routinely breathalyses you, say, “Damn. Shouldn’t have put that Jack Daniel's on my Wheat Crunchies”. He will not laugh.
When you are on your way to work and a fat, posh, out-of-control, pig-ignorant, arrogant, butt-ugly, smelly, probably drunk middle-aged hag in a large Volvo ruins both your wedding anniversary and the front end of your car, and you are, frankly, lucky to escape with your life, sit there thinking, 'How can I turn this into a blog?'
Thursday, June 05, 2003
Road to Damascus
Wife: Nigel, what the hell are you doing?
Me: I’m sending a plaque to the Alaskan President to commemorate my support for the Inuit Stone-Carvers Respiratory Birthright Collective. It’s a small yet influential support group set up to protect the lungs of Inuit craftsmen.
Me: Yes, the Inuit carvers have adopted high-speed power tools over the last 10 years. They fill the air around the carver with clouds of fine, flour-like stone dust. It’s a disaster for their respiratory systems.
Wife: And what’s this? An adoption form… for… a Lhasan monastery? You’ve adopted a monastery?
Me: Well, part of it. Just one of the cisterns. The point is that Tibetan monasteries are controlled by China. And it’s a brutal regime. China is a deeply mistrusted occupying force. Oh, and you ought to know that the annual early-death rate for Maori men is more than twice the level of all other ethnic groups, despite years of Government talk about allowing them official access to fruit and vegetables. And the Native American flute players are being denied their full repertoire of techniques – chirping and triple-tonguing are already outlawed in parts of the Mid-West…
Wife: And you’re wearing sandals…
Me: Plastic sandals. No animals were harmed dur…
Wife: Nigel, for God’s sake, you’re the most right-wing man since Nietzsche. You believe that people should have to pass an intelligence test just to get dry bread. You keep a pair of signed Mussolini boxer shorts in a glass tank in the bedroom, you think those under a certain earnings limit should be spayed and you’ve campaigned for years to bring back compulsory slavery. I know hungry velociraptors with more feeling for their fellow creatures than you. Just what are you playing at? Oh, hang on, I know, it’s since you got into the bloody Guardian, isn’t it?
Me: Hang on, I can't talk right now. There's a man at the door with an Oron Ibibion tribal rights mask...
Lancashire blogging ring complete
Every blogger in central Lancashire is mutually linked, now that Raised by Chaffinches has blogrolled me, becoming the 36th link for this small yet hugely influential site.
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Not all there
Doctor: Well, I must say, looking at the scan, your baby is 95% a boy.
Me: Ugh. Bloody little freak. What the hell's the other 5%?
Monkey see, monkey do, monkey link. If you discount The Guardian, Stuart's site is the 34th to blogroll The Audi Olympics. And Frank's Blog is link number 35. Thanks, Frank.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
There's a slight possibility you've taken too much sick leave recently when you say to your wife, "You know what, damn it all, I think I'm going to throw a workie tomorrow".
Er, I appear to be 'must-read-blog-of-the-moment' in The Guardian. Jumping Jesus... sandals.
Monday, June 02, 2003
Primitive teenage communication
Me: So, did you enjoy your work experience at the caravan place?
Sam: Yeah... good.
Me: Because you thought it'd be quite boring and taxing, yes?
Sam: Yeah, thought it would be... bad.
Me: But it was good?
Sam: Yeah... good.
Me: What did you do?
Sam: Uh. Caravan stuff... it was good.
Me: Not, ah, bad then?
Me: That's good.
Sunday, June 01, 2003
More things it’s best not to do
When your neighbour is deeply distressed at the passing of his father and when, since you are going to the supermarket anyway, you offer to collect his funeral suit from the dry-cleaners, let it slide gracefully from its hanger into a muddy flower-bed.