I saw a bit of a TV programme called Room 101. Minor celebrities compete to get things they hate put into ‘Room 101’ by the host, symbolising the removal of those things, on a permanent basis. It is supposed to be funny, and it isn’t at all. However, it got me thinking about things that I would like to ban, or make disappear, and here is a short list of them.
Centre Lane drivers. On a three lane motorway, there are always drivers who insist on never moving out of the middle lane. They usually drive quite slowly, or just on the legal limit, making it hard for slow lorries to get out of the left lane, or for other drivers who have overtaken them, to move back in safely. Even when there is no traffic, say during the early hours of the morning, they still hug this middle lane, like some kind of tarmac safety blanket. What is their thought process? I would love to know. There seems to be no definite type, as both men and women, and the old and young, can be found carrying on this strange habit. I just wish that the Police would pull them over, and point out the stupidity of their actions. It has gone on forever, seemingly, and shows no signs of going away.
Tabloid Newspapers. What is the point of these rubbish, so-called newspapers? Their silly punning headlines, huge typefaces, and slang terminology, make a mockery of the Press, and ruin the English Language. The pictures of half-naked girls inside are so outdated and tired, they are almost something of historical interest. They are full of Bingo games, Lottery competitions, and advertisements for cheap holidays, cheap food, and anything else owned by the corporation that happens to also own this mockery of a newspaper. Actual news is thin on the ground, and consists mainly of speculation, unfounded allegations, and gossip about TV reality shows. There are at least three main ones on sale in England, and they are all, without exception, complete and utter shit.
Car Servicing Companies. There are numerous, well-known companies that offer servicing, and fitting of parts, such as tyres and exhausts, supposedly while you wait; that is if you are prepared to wait a very long time. They sport huge banners, advertising fixed prices for specific services, and special offers on the exhaust system, or tyres, that are just right for your car. Once you drive into them, your problems really begin. It always turns out that they don’t have any cheap tyres in stock, in the size you need. So, that will be twice as much please Sir. Despite having the country’s most common hatchback car, your exhaust will have to be a ‘special order’, unfortunately excluded from all current deals. As for servicing, they are guaranteed to find something terrible, lurking beneath the placid exterior of your mundane runabout. With a sigh, and an upward glance, they will tell you how sorry they are, but you need new discs, new suspension, new steering rack, wheel alignment, and balancing. That will be £600 please Sir. Why don’t they just advertise themselves accurately? They should have a name that reflects their business ethic, like ‘Quik Crooks’, or Fast-Fit Bandits’. Don’t even think about going around the corner to the competition, as they are all the same firm, just using different names, to make you think that you actually have a choice.
Very noisy motorbikes. I have nothing against motorbikes. I used to ride them, and they are ideal for commuting, or for a nice trip on a sunny day. They are cheap to run, as they are economical on fuel, easy to park, and you can even go in bus lanes, at least in London. But why do some owners have to make them so noisy? The big cruisers, like a Harley-Davidson, are loud enough to start with. By the time they have been modified for maximum ‘grunt’, they sound like an approaching Tiger Tank, and can be heard for miles. This is exacerbated by the tendency for them to ride around in packs; accountants and van drivers trying to emulate the wild freedom of the Hell’s Angels. Come on guys, it is just unnecessary, and a bit embarrassing, to be honest. There are also the mad teens on go-faster, learner legal, off-road bikes. Limited to a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, the only way that they can jack-up their riding experience, is to mess around with their exhaust, until it sounds as if they have a million angry wasps trying to get out of their engine. Pack it in, please.
Inappropriate wearing of sunglasses. It is often advisable to wear sunglasses. On a sunny day, they can be beneficial, stopping you from squinting, and keeping harmful UV rays from damaging your eyes. They might even be excused in a very bright interior, though I can’t think of an example of one just at the moment. It is also acceptable for blind people, like Stevie Wonder, or Ray Charles, to wear them at all times, as it stops people staring at their eyes. But, tell me, please do, when it is ever OK to wear sunglasses at night, or in clubs, pubs, cinemas, and gig venues. It is just pretentious, emulating sad pop stars, or even sadder celebrities, in the hope that you are considered special by association. A spin off of this, and just as annoying, is the ‘placing’ of sunglasses, but not wearing them. This can be seen everywhere, with sunglasses placed carefully on the head, as if ready to drop into place, should light levels exceed 60 watts. Grow up and stop doing it. You know who you are.
Men who wear wigs and toupees. Most men suffer hair loss, in fact the great majority. Some lose their hair early, most during their 40’s and 50’s. We may not like it, but we have to ‘man up’, and accept it. Cut it short, or shave it off, and NEVER resort to the terrible comb-over. Many men, especially those in show business, as in TV and Films, think that it is alright to wear a toupee (hair piece) or, unbelievably, even a full wig. Even those with wealth of untold millions, like Elton John, can never carry this off. For most of the others, the result is either a bit of old doormat stuck to their head, or a completely unsuitable full head of shiny black hair, resembling a cross between Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley. And it always, always, looks completely fake. Nobody is ever fooled, so people who would not warrant a second glance by being bald, become objects of derision, sniggered at, and catcalled in the street. Why do you do it? Why?
Men with pony tails. This is similar in many ways to the section above, though dealing with a different foolishness. Men should never have a pony tail. Young or old, nerd or well-known rock musician, it does not work, at any level imaginable. There are distinct types of pony tailed men. The young ones tend to be found in shops that sell comics, or small figures for fantasy gaming. They can also be tracked down in electrical retailers, and specialist computer shops. They often pair the pony tail with similar obscenities, like a beard without moustache. They usually have fair, sandy, or red hair, a tendency to plumpness, and never have a girlfriend. The older pony tail aficionados, fall into easily recognisable groups. There is the smart group. Suit-wearing, late 40’s, normal job, house in the suburbs, and a go-faster car. They have noticed that their hair is disappearing rapidly at the front, so they begin to grow it longer at the back. They slick it down, and wear the pony tail tightly wound, with a secure fastening. The end result, is that they look like a Latino drug dealer from Florida, which is never a good look for someone called Darren, living in Pinner. Then there is the Old Hippie, or Academic group. Proudly grey, glasses-wearing, concerned by Green Issues, and growing vegetables in their garden. They will have compost bins, wear very large belt-buckles, and might even have a second home, in an unusual part of France. They still like Bob Dylan, and read a lot, often writing to local newspapers about their concerns too. They have a favourite old leather jacket, and a ‘different’ car, like a Saab, or Citroen, perhaps even a Volkswagen camper-van. Despite all this, they still end up appearing to be totally ridiculous, sporting a straggly grey pony tail, looking like the wrong end of a tired old horse, on its way to the knacker’s yard.
Obese people who say ‘it’s my glands’. We have all seen them on TV, or worked with one, or come across one in our everyday lives. Men and women who are usually grossly obese by the time that they are 40, yet are adamant that they hardly eat enough to keep a sparrow alive. They trot out the same old mantra, that they have ‘glands’ that convert a lettuce leaf into ten pounds of ugly fat within an hour. Making no mention of their round the clock diet of fast food, as well as extra chips, crisps, sweets, pizzas, and ice cream, they blame the whole problem on these mysterious glands, so that is OK then. I have nothing against people who want to eat crap, and get fat. Good luck to them, each to his or her own, we all have our problems. Just stop telling me that it is your glands, and not the food that you shovel down. As an ex-colleague of mine from the Ambulance Service once memorably stated, and to a very fat woman, ‘you didn’t see any fat people liberated from Auschwitz, saying, ‘it’s me glands’, did you love?’
‘Basics’ groceries. Each supermarket chain has some sort of twee name for these. Whether ‘Basics’, ‘Value’, or ‘Everyday’, they all refer to the same thing; cheap shit for poor people. Poor quality ingredients, lacking any goodness, in simple packaging that tells the world that you are hard up. The flimsiest sliced bread, anaemic-looking baked beans, burgers so thin they are almost see-through, and many more the same. It is exploitation of the poor, disguised as some sort of Public Service, and should be stopped. It actually saves the buyer nothing, as they have to eat twice as much to feel satisfied, or use twice as much of the useless toilet paper to wipe their arse properly, or blow though twice as many opaque tissues to clear their nose. False economy, impersonating good value. It is just bollocks, and they know it.
That is my list of just some of the things that I don’t like. Let me know what you think.