Tuesday, January 27, 2004


I am getting over my 'still having a job' heartache by whiling away the hours playing dodge. Simple, addictive, fun and ultimately satisfying. Much like my good self.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Analyse This...

Today I mostly hate people who over-analyse things that don’t need analysing. Like that 80’s knob Paul King on VH1, talking about music like it’s some intellectual subject that only 7 people understand. If you understand it so deeply Paul, why were you so shit?

I think this is a massive issue at the moment because - whilst I don’t want to get my arse in my hand about tuition fees - it is the major contributing factor to the higher education problem.

On m’soapbox then…

The Government has a target of how many people will be in University by 2007. What a crock of shit. In order to achieve this they have made vocational courses that require ‘on-the-job’ training and getting your hands dirty into essay-based classroom courses. People are actually going to college to write essays about how to lay bricks!

This is based on the idea that everyone has the right to go to university – which I agree is how it should be, but only where appropriate to the industry. Not where it is to learn something that would be better learnt in the real world. People should be taught in the most appropriate way, i.e. mechanics trained to be mechanics in a workshop, green keepers trained to be green keepers on a golf course. How can someone possibly know whether they can actually make a baked Alaska if they have only ever written about one? Equally, a honey manufacturer cannot possibly employ a bee keeper without finding out whether they are allergic to bee-stings. (or highly evolved – see 19th Jan)

I have first hand experience of this. Me, Penciland Worzel are all products of such a course. Whilst the basic media ethics we learnt on our journalism degree were of value, the depth they went into and the intellectual slant that was put on them was a nonsense. The time we spent on the 4 modules of media ethics we studied would have been better served by a placement at a newspaper.

For me, this is why tuition fees are WRONG. The Government are throwing money at ex-polytechnics who are running courses with no value whatsoever. Less courses and less university students would mean the resources could be concentrated on those courses that really deserve them. As a tax payer I am more than happy to pay a little bit extra tax to have properly trained doctors, teachers and bee-keepers. Does this government not realise that by ploughing more and more people into Universities all they are succeeding in doing is increasing the number of young people in debt and devaluing the degree. You need a masters to get ahead these days. Something that your average graduate is too far in debt to afford.

And if you ever see the Labour MP Heather Blears in the street, throw spears at her. She's got something to do with all this (and I've heard she's probably a witch.)

Friday, January 23, 2004

Super Duper

Someone has just very kindly got me a coffee from the vending machine. I then, (as I always do) transferred the coffee from the crap plastic cup into my mug. I took a sip. I turned green.

My mouth was filled with the grimmest taste, like how I'd expect pure mould to taste, slightly bitter with a vomity undertone. It was clinging to my teeth and I could feel it's thick pungency overloading my tongue.

Because I'd just eaten an apple I wondered whether the sweetness was effecting my tastebuds. You know, like the natural sugar and fruitiness wasn't lending itself to the fine Brazilian blend. So I asked two other people to taste the coffee, they both agreed to it's mingingness.

Just before I phoned reception to let them know that the vending machine was buggered I went to pour the coffee away. I then realised that when I had transferred the coffee between mugs I had done so without looking. I then remembered the wild mushroom soup I'd had mid-morning. I then remembered that I hadn't finished it.

If anyone ever, ever, ever tries to make you drink espresso mixed with mushroom soup. Hit them.

In the face.

Very hard.


God I'm a twat.

Jobbing Hell

As feared, I have been fortunate enough to maintain my employed status within the demoralising quango. I shouldn’t moan, at least I still have a job and can muddle along as before; some of my colleagues may not be so fortunate. But as someone has rightly pointed out to me, everyone has their own agenda. Some may be even more eager than me to get out, while others might be desperate to stay.

I had my heart set on a redundancy pay out. I’d have stuck it in a savings account and used it to fund a college course in September. It's funny that in my department of over 20 people, I bet no two people have the same reasons in hoping for their individual outcome.

It’s tough. Tough on those who are made to leave, tough in some ways on those of us who will remain. Tough to see those who hate the place having to stay, tough on those who want to cry congratulating those who are singing. And I’m finding it tough to empathise with people I care about when I don’t really give a shit myself.

The ‘restructure’ has transformed this place from a buzzing, fun and challenging place to work to a silent, soulless vacuum. It has sapped morale beyond recognition. So at the end of the day, whatever hand everyone here is dealt by this atrociously-managed, public-sector circus, I wish them all the luck in the world for their futures.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Making Life Taste Better

Dear Mr J Sainsbury

I'd better be able to taste the fucking difference at that price, pal.

Yours Sincerely

M Crumb (Mr)

Monday, January 19, 2004


You know when you hear something that you find astonishing, but then when you think about it for a while you wonder whether it’s really obvious and that you have just been a bit dense?

A recent example of this in my life is the realisation that the pub in Eastenders is called the Queen Victoria and it’s in (Prince) Albert Square. Wow.

On a wider scale my mate Dave never noticed that it is ladies who have boobs and men who generally don’t. (He’s looked a right twat wearing a bra for the last 15 years.)

The point of the story, I was flabbergasted to learn over the weekend that it isn’t just a tiger’s fur that is striped – their actual skin is striped too! (Does everyone know that??) Tigers have evolved to be naturally camouflaged, enhancing their chances of survival. Genius. Their prey does not see them coming, so they have a better chance of getting hold of some lunch. Hunters and their (few) predators have ‘nuff hassle finding them.

That got me thinking about how shit us humans are. Why don’t Aboriginals in the Australian outback develop skin the colour of the scrublands to blend in? Why don’t bee-keepers develop tough sting-proof skin? Why don’t cyclists develop glow-in-the-dark skin and extra hard heads?

I can only conclude that humans are not only rubbish, we’re endangered.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Bloody hell bastard shit.

D Day today then? Finding out about my future today then? Going to be informed of my immediate fate today then?


I'm actually cross with myself for actually allowing myself to believe that this (dis)organisation would put us all out of our misery on schedule. I should have known that the date would slip back without them telling anyone. It's typical of the whole bloody charade.

Latest rumour is next Tuesday. But that's all it is, a rumour.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

More Tatty Telly

I have documented before my perfectly rational hatred of ITV news. Sadly I fear that I may have been hasty to single ITV out as the only culprits of shite newscasting.

Last night's BBC news at 6 o'clock featured a report about Colonel Robert 'Riley' Workman who was shot dead on his doorstep last week. The event occurred in the village of Furneux Pelham in Hertfordshire. To my annoyance both George Alagayah and the reporter at the scene insisted on pronouncing the 'x' on the end of Furneux. So it was coming out as 'Fur-nicks'

Surely you don't have to have an award in the intricate history of the French envelope industry to know that an 'eux' suffix on a word makes the sound along the lines of 'o'.

It's not called the 'Bay Yucks' tapestry, we don't eat chocolate 'Gattix' for Christs sake.

Why are the British, in many ways, so shabby?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Britney Spears Is Alright

I have read recent reports from people saying that Britney Spears wears trousers with the waistband too low.

I say that's bollocks.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Andy Fordham

Not often you see a 30 stone 'sportsman' with dodgy facial hair and a mullet advancing to the status of world champion.

Full respect to the Viking.

I'm Not a Celebrity! (but please get me out of here regardless)

The government organisation for whom I slog my guts out are making trillions of people redundant due to a 'restructure'. To cut a long story short, this coming Friday (16th Jan) I will learn whether I will be assimilated into a role, placed in a redeployment pool, or given the boot.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that I have listed the these three options in order of preference. They are actually in reverse order. I am so sick of my job I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I think I'd prefer to get dealt a mystery role rather than continue doing what I'm doing. Better still would be to get the boot, pick up the pay-off and sod off to the pub for a week.

The bad news is that I have a gut feeling I will be assimilated. Which means next week, the week after and for the foreseeable future I'm going to have as much satisfaction as a lethargic badger whose lost his favourite Rolling Stones CD and has run out of Snickers. I need to make a decision about my long term aims.

The trouble is that I have a degree in journalism but zero experience so I'd have to take a MASSIVE wage cut and start again. On the flip side I have 'nuff experience in Human Resources but no qualification, which means that the moment I step out of my current job, I'll have to take a wage cut.

It's not about the money, I'd much rather be happy. But I have to be realistic. Rob is training to become a teacher. We had a drunk chat about it last week and I've thought about it before. It appeals. It would be a life changing decision.

So Friday is the day. Good job I'm meeting the pencil for a beer.

Friday, January 09, 2004

At Last

I'm back. Happy New Year.

Post or Present

I was stuck behind a Royal Mail van in traffic the other day. On the back of the van there is a 'catchy quip' in italic writing

"What will you send?"

Well let me think, a letter probably. A parcel maybe, in certain circumstances. Whatever it is, it certainly isn't going to be something particularly thought-provoking.

Royal Mail appear to think that seeing this daft slogan on a red mail van is going to make people think - ''Ooo, I must post off that giraffe".

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