20 May 2009

50 More Moans, Whines & Whinges

If anyone has seen this before they may have read a previous article where I got 50 things that irritated me off my chest. I swore that once I'd purged myself of these, I'd turn to a life with a positive outlook. I lied.

If you want to read the original 50 - click here.

51) I wonder if the hair product company assignment is a real taboo in the world of advertising executives – meaning only those who have fallen upon hard times would ever consider creating TV commercials for them. From ‘Here come the science bit’ onwards, they are truly the graveyard of advertising creativity.

52) The European Union. Go in it properly or not at all. At present we appear to reap none of the rewards of membership and none of the advantages of independence from it. The fence-sitting position adopted by the United Kingdom gives the worst of both worlds.

53) I saw a feature on TV recently about the BNP, where people were interviewed on the streets of Carlisle, where I grew up. One angry punter declared ‘I’ll vote for them as we’re overrun by illegal immigrants!’ This in a city where the ethnic origin of over 95% of residents is white-British.

54) No matter how hard I try, unlike Tory MP Douglas Hogg– I can’t get anyone to pick up the tab to clean my moat. In fact, it is now so overcrowded with weeds that some are threatening to spread as far as my portcullis.

55) People who complain about wind farms being located in their area on the grounds that they will spoil the landscape. What will the landscape be like if the ice caps melt? Or the oil ran out and the ensuing chaos that would ensue?

56) Wafers. I can’t stand these little dry segments of wood chippings and cardboard that infiltrate your ice cream. A hot day, a refreshing ice cream is consumed and then you eat the cone and need another one because it dried your mouth out as if you’d guzzled a bucket of sand.

57) What possesses the manufacturers of clothes to place an itchy, synthetic label on their garment solely to make the back of your neck itch. Is that really the best system they could come up with.

58) I don’t understand the fuss about David Tennant. As an actor seems a bit hammy to me. And as an object of lust by huge numbers of people? When was weedy oddball elected as a good look?

59) I’ve started to order Shandy.

60) A number of times in North Wales, in shops and public places people have switched their language from English to Welsh when I walked in. Not very welcoming for a visitor.

61) People who, in public, choose to finish a bag of crisps by opening their mouth and tilting back their heads, before draining the remaining crumbs into their maw.

62) In many commercial art galleries you can see Jackson-Pollock inspired abstract paintings. Being the 10,000th person to ape this style is so far from original it’s untrue. But there they hang.

63) In England, if you have an interest in football you will constantly hear the call that ‘foreigners are stifling English talent’. There are more foreign players as a percentage in Italy, but they are world champions. Why don’t our young players move abroad to get games like people in every other nation.

64) Blackpool is seedy, filthy and full of drunken undesirables. Yet it is the second most visited tourist destination in Europe. After the Vatican. Not only that, but I inexplicably like it.

65) Whatever Jonathan Ross’s other qualities, he is always unerringly generous towards his guests. He never fails to ‘love’ the actor’s latest film or artist’s new album. Even if that means praising Scooby Doo 2.

66) Britain is well blessed with counters. Enter a bank or post office and you’ll see a wealth of shiny glass and little signs saying ‘position closed’ in all but two of the windows. Note – it is in all but one of the windows at lunchtimes when you actually need to use it.

67) I can’t stand dirty newsprint. I don’t mean the articles in the Daily Sport but newspapers like the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. This leaves your hands jet black, perhaps to remind residents of the northeast of their coalmining heritage.

68) Do you remember Neil Kinnock’s incredibly embarrassing ‘We’re Aaaaalright!’ speech at the Sheffield Rally in 1992? If you don’t you are lucky and will have saved yourself some cringing.

69) Why are trainspotters so vilified? I’ll clarify that I’m not one and never have been. But it’s a shame that happyslapping is not more taboo than ticking off which trains you’ve seen.

70) I recently read some graffiti which said ‘If you can read this you’re gay’. So the author is clearly in admiration of people who are both straight and illiterate.

71) Why does my spam filter allow ’77 Hot Lovemaking Tips' through, but quarantines an e-mail from the gallery we’re exhibiting in providing feedback on visitor numbers.

72 ) For 13 months in a row, my virus checking programme has performed a full system scan. In each of these 13 months it has found 1 item that needs attention. Never 0 or 2, but always 1. I wonder if this is pre-programmed to occur in order to encourage me to continue my subscription.

73) Something very specific to the area I’m from and consequently of little interest to anyone else. I’m from part of Cumbria that falls into the 66% of the county that isn’t within the Lake District. Cumbria Tourism’s official website? Golakes.co.uk. Nice to see a holistic view of the county’s needs from the authorities.

74) There is something seriously wrong with food labelling. I saw a poster for coco pops which advertised it having ‘no artificial colours’. This suggests it is healthy, yet it’s packed with sugar and probably preservatives and sweeteners too. What next? Arsenic coming in a bottle with ‘less than 5% fat’?

75) When I worked in an office, I had to come in when I was ill as we were so busy. If I happened to sneeze inadvertently I would get ‘manflu’ jibes. In that same office, some of the women would ring in sick every time they had a sniffle. But it was me who got the stick.

76) William Hague earns a fortune from after dinner speaking. I have no issue with the money. But, if he spoke to me about the secret of eternal life I still think I’d have to smack him and shut him up before he revealed the answer.

77) There are a great many fashions I don’t understand, but most of these pass me by without a second thought. But that isn’t the case with Ugg boots. Why do people want to walk round with footwear than makes them look like an elf from Lord of the Rings.

78) Alcohol is a clever poison. The damage it causes to the brain removes the memory of how you felt the last time you had a hangover and swore ‘never again’.

79) When I went to Leeds to go to university, it should have been a sexual awakening and permanent party. However, for the first year I insisted on sporting lank long hair and a Mexican poncho. Unsurprisingly it didn’t quite work out as planned.

80) Is it the pace of modern life that won’t allow my brain to relax for a second. Even when I recently tried to relax by having a walk along the beach I created a ‘World stone-skimming championships’, allocating different countries to each throw and keeping score.

81) I worked for a bank, a failed one. I was once asked by a colleague how many zeroes there were in 90,000. I was made redundant and she remains there to this day.

82) Stephen Mulhern, host of Britain’s Got More Talent and The Planet’s Funniest Animals. This man takes smugness to levels only previously seen in Care Bears.

83) DVD extras annoy me. They provide a long list including such gems as ‘the original trailer’ and a ‘still photo archive’. Great, so an advert for the film I’ve just bought and a series of pics I could have seen anyway if I just used the pause button.

84) I tried to grow a beard at the age of 18 and failed miserably. I only discovered I could grow a proper one after trying again ten years on. It will always be a regret of mine, thinking how many unnecessarily beardless years I went through.

85) It amazes me just how angry people can get at individual representatives of companies. I worked as a Complaints Manager and had death threats and suggestions that I should hang because of the bank’s actions. That sort of rage requires therapy.

86) There is a lot of moaning about ‘The PC Brigade’, but much of this mythical legion’s initiatives have been vital in educating people about minorities of all kinds. However, they went too far with claiming people who suffer from epilepsy would be offended by the word ‘brainstorm’. Try as I might I am unable to use ‘thought shower’ as an alternative.

87) When my daughter was ill recently I went to the chemist with her prescription for Penicillin. I had to wait for an hour, returned and was told they didn’t have any. My annoyance that the substance that was the foundation of modern medicine was lacking didn’t go down well. Neither did my indignant claim that I would go home and get my own by leaving some bread to go mouldy.

88) We expect young people to have an idea of what they want to do with their lives at the age of 15 when they choose their A levels. I still don’t know now. But the options I took, all sciences, led to three miserable years studying Pharmacology at University.

89) Following on from the previous moan, during that course I was invited by the lab technician to witness how they prepared the Guinea Pigs for experimentation (well bits of them anyway). I expected some miniature gas mask or at worst an injection. Instead, with undisguised zeal, the woman tickled the creature under the chin and then clobbered it against the side of a desk. That put me off for good.

90) Management speak is not only irritating, it creeps into your vocabulary without you having any control over it. Yes, I too have ‘reinvented the wheel’.

91) When you use social networking sites and read people’s biographies, half will say ‘goat herder, florist, ukulele monster and shoe polisher – but not necessarily in that order’. Well, not the first bits but the part about the order. It doesn’t annoy me in itself – I just wonder how this became the staple statement for millions of people.

92) I feel no admiration for manufacturers of crisps when they say their products use sunflower oil and now contain far less fat than they used to. It irritates me that for so long they were happy to use worse fats for so many years just because they saved 10 pence per million litres they purchased over the healthier version.

93) I can’t manage gyms. I love exercising but only if there’s a ball involved. I need to go really, but I feel like I’m one of a number of hamsters in their wheels.

94) Since they brought the smoking ban in, you realise just how horrible the average nightclub smells. The smoking ban has had no effect on improving the sticky carpets though.

95) I never know what all these ROFLMAO and PMSL things are and have to frequent a dictionary site for people like me who are clearly behind the times.

96) I am annoyed that Bill Bryson wrote ‘Notes from a Small Island’. He has a similar (but better) writing style and has written the book I wanted to.

97) I sometimes finish off a night out with a chicken kebab, purely for the red cabbage. I’ll go those extremes for a raw red cabbage but have never bought one in the supermarket.

98) Why should we feel and fear shame when getting on a bus if we have the temerity to try and pay the fare with a note.

99) It’s not an issue that preys on my mind too often but why on earth did circumcision catch on? Just who decided to give it a try and why weren’t they instantly locked away.

100) I await the day with trepidation when I cease to find farting funny.

You're welcome to add your own below!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Karen - I mananged to read that before you removed it. I hope you are right!

  3. Amanda Marwood21 May 2009 at 17:47

    No. 56 RE Wafers. So true it hurts.
    No. 58 RE David Tennant. It's a geek-chic thing! Guess you need to be female/gay to understand that one. It's like men fancying Carol Vorderman - I don't get that either!
    No. 75 RE Man Flu. All men think they are martyrs to illness and suffer more than women. FACT. Don't argue.
    No.90 RE Management speak - don't forget the classics - 'Evolution not a revolution' and 'thinking outside the box'. Terms I hear everyday in my job, and I grind my teeth when I hear them.
    No.100 RE Farting. It will always be funny, don't worry.

    Another classic set Matt, well done!!