My childhood bedroom

I found this photo today, of the bedroom I had when I was 5:

childhood bedroom main

It’s a much better bedroom than the one I currently have, which is full of Alex’s pants.

Because the alternative is sitting here scratching myself, I’m going to examine what made this bedroom so great. And then I’m going to sit here scratching myself.

Bluebird Market Stall

market stall

This was my main present the Christmas before. On one side was a fruit and veg stall, full of quality produce at low low prices; on the other side was ‘Hamburger Heaven’, a fast food joint. No one ever phoned me on that phone.

I loved this to death, but clearly I could have taken better care of it. Seriously, what kind of quality produce emporium has the roof missing? I’d also lost all the quality produce by this point, leaving me to terrorise my family into buying some stones I’d found on the drive outside.

Care Bears wallpaper

wallpaper

Because I was a girl, I had fucking girly wallpaper. This was later to be replaced with ‘Victoria Plum’ and ‘Snatch’ décor, until I was a teenager, and decorated my room with old cereal bowls, Radiohead posters and the smell of misery.

Rainbow poster

rainbow poster

Of course. Of fucking course. This came free with Rainbow Comic, and features Detective Zippy, The Great Georgio, and a terrifying Bungle with muscles.

Books

books

At least half of these will be Rainbow annuals. Non-Rainbow fare includes these two:

parson dimly

And countless ‘Read It Yourself’ and Puddle Lane books. My parents never minded buying me books – because I was good at reading for my age, they were convinced I was some kind of super genius. I soon proved them wrong.

Soft toys

soft toys

I had billions of these, thanks to our seemingly never-ending holidays to Ingoldmells, Scarborough or similar. My dad was brilliant at grab machines, so we always came home with 37,000 knock off teddies that were probably full of nails and gas. Of particular note is the phallic Mickey Mouse on the right. There are also a couple of Pink Panther knock-offs with beards.

And speaking of knock-offs…

Bin

bin

Some kind of Dusty Bin/Ninja Turtles hybrid. I think my mum won this at the Telly Bingo. This probably wasn’t her first choice of prize, but I was obsessed with Turtles at the time, so I’m guessing I threatened to shit on the floor or something unless she got me it.

As an adult, I can see that the poor thing’s eyes are glued to the outside of its headband.

10 mildly annoying things

10 mildly annoying things

Are you annoyed? No? Don’t worry, I can help with that. If you fancy getting just the right amount of annoyed (for example, if you want to be able to kick something quite hard), then take a look at this list. Also contains solutions, for when you want to stop being annoyed. I’ve tried them, but to be honest they don’t work and I mostly just end up being annoyed until I fall asleep.

1: Slow motion eating in adverts

slow eating woman

I do not want to see that food go in your mouth, and mix with your spit and probably last night’s jizz. Normal people eat at 360mph – start doing that instead please.

Solution: Watch the advert on fast forward. Watch all the other adverts on fast forward too, because they’re mostly shit.

2: Getting a hair on you and you can’t get it off

hair

This normally occurs when you’re doing something that requires not having a stray hair floating about, such as the washing up, or open heart surgery.

Solution: Shave your head and entire body.

3: Seeing a ‘bit’ on the carpet when you’re trying to watch TV

carpet bit

And you just know that you won’t be able to concentrate on ‘Celebrity Anal Vasectomies’ until you’ve picked the bit up.

Solution: Move house. Try to get somewhere without floors next time.

4: Someone saying “It’s ok” after you apologise even though THEY bumped into YOU.

sorry not sorry

Making you immediately start questioning what just happened. Did you actually bump into them? What if… oh wait no, they’re still just a fat ignorant dick who’s pulled you into their gravitational orbit.

Solution: Kick them up the arse. Wait for them to apologise. Bonus points if you make them drop their shopping.

5: Only strawberry ones left in a tub of Quality Street

quality street

This is assuming you don’t know any of those freaks who like the strawberry ones.

Solution: There’s actually quite a decent recipe to try when you have this problem:

Put all unused chocolates in a blender (unwrap them first you fucking idiot)

Add 1 cup milk, ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Blend for 30 seconds

Throw the mix down the sink, and have a Wispa.

6: Jeans are too tight because you’ve just taken them out of the dryer

mini jeans

Bonus annoying thing: all the metal bits are hotter than the sun.

Solution: Don’t wash your jeans. What the fuck are you washing your jeans for anyway? Who do you think you are, the Queen?

7: People saying “Feel free to…”

feel free

As in “Feel free to check out my shit blog that no one wants to read anyway, and which would only benefit me and not you.” Thanks, because otherwise I might not have felt welcome over at your shit blog.

I realise being mad at other people for having a shit blog is hypocrisy on my part.

Anyway – “feel free to do me this favour that doesn’t benefit you in any way.”

Solution: Ask them at least 10 times: “Are you sure it’s ok if I read your shit blog? Are you sure you’re sure?” Ask them another 20 times just to be extra sure.

8: Clickbait that doesn’t contain the thing in the advert

clickbait

I realise this is most clickbait, and that it’s my fault for bothering, but it’s especially bad when I attempt to read a thought-provoking piece like “7 celebrities who had their skulls removed for charity”, only to discover I’m actually reading “Red hot women in Dudley want to fuck you now.” They really don’t.

Solution: Meet up with one of the red hot women from Dudley, and see what she has to say for herself. Don’t let her off the hook until she can name “7 celebrities who’ve had their skulls removed for charity”.

9: People standing too close to you

queue_close.jpg

Normally found in queues, crowds, and wherever the fuck I choose to stand. Not sure if these people are trying to steal my DNA. They normally smell and are called Alan.

Solution: Start scratching yourself and shout “Those bastard fleas are back!” Alternatively, start a small fire.

10: ‘Fun’

Women-Dancing-in-Club-1

People having ‘fun’ on TV that’s no such thing. It isn’t fun to keep your arms above your head for hours at a time, unless you’re training for Gladiators.

See also: splashing each other’s eyes in a pool, laughing hysterically while looking at a shoe, fucking Salsa fucking lessons.

Solution: Try not to have any fun ever. And if you see those women doing that arm dance, aim the fire extinguisher at them.

16 memories of old technology

Hello. The other night I couldn’t sleep, mostly due to my depression and the inevitability of death. So to cheer myself up, I compiled a mental list of old electronics and assorted bric a brac (mental as in ‘in my head’, not ‘insane’. To tell the truth, it was both).

Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

My dad’s Psion Organiser

psion-organiser_ii-model_xp-14

I used it more than he did, because it had a cartridge with a game on it. In the days before having any friends or interests, I loved that game. A thing would move around the screen and you had to stop it, I think.

Also, endless fun to be had from the ‘Lang’, ‘Calc’ and ‘Diary’ functions. No one needed the fucking internet back then.

Bright orange headphones

phones

Nothing says ‘I’m cool as hell’ more than having ginger biscuits taped to your ears while you listen to Five Star.

Wanting an electronic typewriter because I wanted to be like Snoopy

jcpennyelectric

Never mind the fact that Snoopy never had an electronic typewriter. But fuck that, because I knew that if a dog could make a fortune writing ‘It was a dark and stormy night’, then I could make a fortune writing the shit I write now. I was very wrong.

Spelling out ‘BOOBIES’ on a calculator

boobies

Never gets old. Somehow, typing out ‘BOOBIES’ in MS Word doesn’t have quite the same rebellious appeal.

Bossa Nova button

bossa-nova

See also: Marimba, Big Band 4, Clavichord.

My Discman skipping every time the car went over a bump

discman

Or – my Radiohead albums being ruined by going over speed bumps near Worksop. Rock ‘n’ roll.

Video Library fake books

video-library

Who exactly were these people they were trying to fool? “Oh, You have loads of books! I love books, let me examine them. A ha, I see you have the entire works of Video Library, that well known author.” No. This was for people who were ashamed of the fact that they liked to watch loads of Minder.

Being desperate for a pocket TV

pocket-tv

So I could watch ‘forbidden’ TV like American Gladiators, while hiding under the quilt. The fact that I had the black and white portable TV in my bedroom, and fell asleep at about 9 p.m., spoiled this sense of mystique.

People with ghetto blasters

ghetto

If you saw one, you were to run away immediately, because they were hard and a ‘no good punk’. You never saw one though, because you lived in Doncaster.

Cassette carousels

carousel

For easy access to tapes such as ‘Baby Come Back’ by UB40 and Pato Banton, Gala’s ‘Freed From Desire’, and my dad’s Shadows albums.

Woolworths singles

woolworths

See above. Also, I think we can all agree on how horrified we were to buy ‘Spaceman’ by Babylon Zoo, only to discover that the song was lying to us.

It is now safe to turn off your computer

turn-off

It has never been safe since, which is why I don’t dare come off Twitter or stupid crap slots games. Ever.

Messing about with the video like you have a clue what’s going on

tracking

As if you dicking about with the ‘Dub’ and ‘Edit’ buttons did anything at all, apart from make the video recorder go off.

 

 

PlayJam

playjam

Surprisingly little exists about PlayJam, the competitor to Sky Games. I mean, it might do now, but I couldn’t be bothered to look. Contained brilliantly addictive games like ‘Outpatients’, ‘Nutz’, and ‘Bok’.

Honourable mention – Challenge TV red button games, which included ‘String ‘Em In’ and ‘Tactiles’. More information on Playjam/Challenge Games is always welcome.

Renting Mega Drive games

1607243-sega-master-cartridge-ecco-the-dolphin-0

Every week a guy came round, and we’d rent Space Jam, Ecco The Dolphin or similar from him. My parents wouldn’t buy me any permanent games because I was rubbish at them. Take they typical conversation I had with my mum or dad every time the guy came to take the cartridges back and I hadn’t finished:

“Never mind, you might get that last jump next time.”

“No, because you turned the TV over to Brookside when I was just about to finally do it for the only time ever, you whore.”

“Bed. Now.”

Trying to see German porn on Sky

porn

On channels like RTL, courtesy of the Astra satellite. Squinting enough always convinced you that you were seeing the sex going on. In reality, you had to make do with the European noises coming from the TV, which you couldn’t even fucking hear anyway, because you had the sound turned down to 1 because your parents were in bed.

17 out of context pictures from Jackie

The other day I spent a whole sodding morning scanning in some old Jackie annuals. Why is not important. What is important is the scary pictures I found in them.

Because I’m tired and I can’t be arsed to write captions, I present to you – a selection of Jackie pictures with zero context. In my opinion, this makes them better. However, if I were doing captions, I’d suggest ‘Tron for girls’, fanny kicking’, and ‘Steve’.

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A tribute to dad shops

The other day I passed a ‘car spares and accessories’ shop. Immediately I started thinking “I’m glad I don’t have any possible reason to have to go in there.” Then an old lady nearly pushed me so I forgot all about it.

But later on it did get me thinking about the shops my dad loved going in when I was a kid. He mostly liked man shops that sold things made of electricity and concrete. If I was with him on a shopping trip, I’d have to spend a lot of time looking at man things. I was fine with this, because I’d probably get a Wimpy out of it.

The following are shops that tend to attract dads like a magnet. Most of them sell magnets. That’s probably why.

Tandy

2044465163_43ac8c58a3

Sells: 10m speaker wires. Speakers. Wires.

Do they sell toys? No, and if you try to play with the stuff you die from all the electricity.

Dad appeal: Strong. My dad was forever dragging me into Tandy, leaving me to examine the weird grey carpet while he stood marvelling at things made by Alba and Basf.

See also: Maplin. But we never went to Maplin so fuck off.

Cash Converters

cc

Sells: Video recorders. Old saxophone reeds. One DVD of Only Fools And Horses.

Do they sell toys? Sometimes. But they’re always behind glass cases or some other fucking place where you can’t reach them.

Dad appeal: Medium. My dad hardly ever bought anything from Cash Converters, but that didn’t stop him having to go in there every time we were out, to look at guitars. However, now I’m in my 30s, I can wait for him in the pub instead of attempting to be interested in the stuff people have pawned to pay the gas bill.

B&Q

bq

Sells: 10mm rawl plugs. 14mm rawl plugs. 16mm rawl plugs. Slabs.

Do they sell toys? Do they fuck. But they do have those trolleys, if you can get away from your parents long enough to steal one and have a go on it.

Dad appeal: Strong. B&Q was the bane of my small life. This was made worse by the fact that my mother loved B&Q as well, so I had two parents telling me not to “show them up” instead of one. I couldn’t even play in the mock-up display rooms they had, because I had to accompany my parents to look at brackets instead.

I don’t know why parents are so fascinated with Ronseal and allen keys, but they are.

Car accessory shops

west-kirby-shop

Sells: Mats in various shades of grey. Pine tree air fresheners. Those stretchy cords with a hook on each end.

Do they sell toys? No. They sell lots of shiny things that look like they might be toys at first glance, but turn out to be wheel trims.

Dad appeal: Weak. We didn’t exactly have a pimpin’ car when I was a kid. We had an old Peugeot that apparently used to be light blue back when it had some paint on it. It also backfired every time it stopped/started/moved. This was a cause of much hilarity for my parents, but not for me, as I had to be picked up from school in it, leading to the other kids calling me a “gyppo”.

We did go in occasionally though; my dad would look at steering wheel covers, as if buying one would somehow improve our car and stop it embarrassing me all the time.

Millets

millets

Sells: shock-corded tent poles. Mallets (specifically, Millets mallets). Sensible things.

Do they sell toys? Not really, although display tents are always fun to play in.

Dad appeal: Weak. I don’t remember ever setting foot in a Millets when I was a kid. We didn’t do camping; we had a static caravan in Ingoldmells. I suspect my dad would have been all over their selection of sensible clothing though. He once bought me a pair of “insulated golfing mitts”. I never did get to the bottom of why he gave me those.

Dixons

dixons

Sells: Minidisc players. Curly wires. Amstrad.

Do they sell toys? No, but they did have those boxes of software, and they were always fun to look at. Usually called things like ‘Corel Graphics Pack’ and ‘Quicken’, but sometimes they had stuff about Batman or The Magic School Bus.

Dad appeal: Strong. My dad was forever in Dixons looking at the minidisc players. In his defence, back then he was a musician with thousands of backing tracks to store, so he at least had a reason to be looking at minidisc players. Also: floppy disks, packs of 1000 batteries, watching Richard and Judy with the sound off.

The contents of a 90s pencil case

Sometimes I’m really glad my boyfriend is a bit of a hoarder. He’s the type to store his nuts away, and I don’t mind this too much unless I’m navigating through a sea of odd screws, lids and general crap that “we might need one day”.

(For “one day”, see: “If the government ever decides to kill anyone who can’t do Blue Peter makes when asked.)

Anyway, from among his precious hoard of crap and lids, he recently produced this:

1

Ladies and gentlemen – his pencil case from school. Join me as we wander through a treasure trove of Tippex, shit pens and evidence that I go out with Will from The Inbetweeners…

Ruler

ruler

This is a big, serious ruler, for big, serious ruling. Also, note that the only vandalism is his name written on it neatly. This leads me to the conclusion that Alex was a gimpy swot at school. Further investigation confirms this, as he admitted to having A) a briefcase, and B) name tags sewn into his ties.

Old Tippex

tippex

The first thing I did with this was sniff it, because that’s what you do. Then I tried to paint my nails, but I got bored with that.

Old batteries

batteries

For his special calculator that does graphs. When I heard this, I was the opposite of surprised. Apparently, he also programmed games into it by hand, which makes him a bona fide genius as well as a gimpy swot. Note the Jan 2000 expiration date, and the fact that they have amazingly not leaked.

Coronation Street rubber

rubber

Got from a Granada Studios tour. Alex was very enthusiastic about going on the Aliens 4D ride, but mentions nothing about Coronation Street.

He also claims his dad made the entire family buy loads of rubbers so he could claim them back on his work expenses. And that it was a shit rubber which just made the paper go a bit red.

Crayola pencils

crayola

Colours include:

‘Golden yellow
‘Grey’
‘Aqua green’
‘Brown’
‘Shocking pink’
‘Atomic tangerine’
‘Laser lemon’
‘Green’
‘Blue’

An interesting mix, I’m sure we can all agree.

Magic pen

magic-pen

One end pen, one end eraser. The magic part comes from the eraser bit being able to ‘magically’ smudge the ink bit so it sort of goes away but not really.

All hail Satan.

Protractor bits

protractor

Includes bits of Alex’s special gimp protractor that goes all the way round, for people who want to do maths.

Fountain pen

fountain-pen

This was Alex’s favourite pen, because he said it reminded him of the space shuttle. Something about the way you load the ink cartridge in. Then he said something about cargo bay doors, but I was trying to watch The Apprentice at the time.

Alex’s school didn’t allow biros. Their desks had inkwells in them. They also had a moat. I wish I was lying.

Serious pencils

pencils

Yellow and black pencils that are in various states ranging from ‘never used’ to ‘Fuck, I can’t remember the capital of Gibraltar!’.

Highlighters

highlighters

As Alex was a serious student with a stupid round protractor, he had no need for things like highlighters. As everyone knows, highlighters are just for dicking about by looking like you’re doing work, but really just highlighting words like ‘sex’ and ‘testes’.

Alex was above such nonsense, so his highlighters remained largely unused. He explained that he only had them in the first place because his dad nicked a load from work.

12 scary things and why they are scary

Stop going on about scary clowns. Here are 12 things that are scarier than clowns.

Jam Mini Rolls

jam-mini-rolls

They are not chocolate ones. There is a danger of buying these thinking they’re chocolate, then getting them home and discovering they are nothing of the sort.

Oak Furniture Land

oak

As long as it exists, you might accidentally go there one day. Then men will smile at you and make you buy a table.

Phone calls

phone-21

You have to answer them if you can’t get away with hiding under your bed. Then you might say the wrong thing by mistake, such as “My penis is missing” when you meant “Hello”.

Envelopes

envelope

Carry the risk of paper cuts. Also, they might contain ghosts.

Shoes

shoes-jpeg

Murderers wear shoes.

This woman

this-woman

I have good reason to believe she breaks into my flat and uses my coffee when I’m asleep. She does this by somehow getting through the gap under the door.

Homes Under The Hammer

martin_0

This man can demolish an entire house with a hammer. Best not make him cross. It might be a house just three miles from a local school.

Crosswords

crossword

What if you fill one in, and all the words form an incantation that summons the devil? And the people at the Birmingham Express & Star didn’t realise? They probably did realise, but they were too busy writing about some people having a sponsored knit.

Doritos

doritos

They sell so many, it’s inevitable that at least one of them is haunted.

This jumper

jumper

Look at it.

King size duvet covers

duvet-cover

Once I tried to change one of these on my own, but I got lost inside it and I’m still in there to this day. I’ve had to do a wee in here and everything.

Vernon Kay

vernon-kay

If you laugh at Vernon Kay, he owns your soul. I think I read that in a thing somewhere.