Friday, March 13, 2009

Not that I'm one to complain, but...

So anyway, I poured some “organic” milk into my cup of tea, and glanced down at the “best before” date…
It said “March 4th”, and the actual date was “11th March”….
I cautiously sniffed the top of the carton, but a nasty pong was conspicuous only by its absence.
“Hang on a minute”, I thought…”organic milk shouldn’t last that long…”.
This leads me to believe that the whole “organic milk” industry is complete bollocks.
There surely must be preservative chemicals in the milk for it to last that long.
In the olden days I remember milk used to last a couple of days max.
When I was at school, by the afternoon the old free milk would often be “on the turn”, and was best avoided.
My “organic” milk was now 10 days old, and should really be stinking out the joint…
If this is the case with organic milk, I wonder how much else of this whole organic business is a complete con…
I’ve also been having a wretched time trying to book a snowboarding holiday in France.
It should be a piece of piss doing this on the Internet, bad sadly this is not the case.
Too many annoying companies and businesses have second-guessed every possible “Google” search you might carry out trying to sort out the details of such a holiday.
As a consequence, it’s infuriatingly difficult to find precisely the information that you need, as every search result is awash with sites of no interest at all to me.
It’s trying to discover relatively simple things, like trying to work out what the transfer options are from airports to the different resorts.
If you didn’t know better, you might assume that the only option available would be an expensive private hire cab, as these
companies have managed to smother all the search results completely.
There are maybe ways you can tinker with google to filter off all this shit, but unfortunately it’s beyond my ken.
There were times where I was on the point of giving up and abandoning the idea of even taking a stupid, bloody snowboarding holiday.
And don’t get me started on booking flights.
It’s now an obstacle course of trying to avoid accidentally paying too much for baggage handling, insurance, car hires, “special” check-in
privileges…eg pay a tenner and get on the plane first (marvellous…well worth the money)
The sites are designed to catch out people making bookings in a hurry.
It’s ridiculously easy to unwittingly include an add-on you don’t require, and once you’ve booked it, you’ll get charged an admin fee and will have a long extended 0871 call to pay for, should you try to revise your booking details.
I made a vow never to use Ryanair again after I’d recently booked a flight to Dublin, and found at the end of the procedure that the “booking fee” for using a “Visa debit” card was £9.50.
In the future I’d rather pay more to another airline than go with them.
It’s pure deception, and I’m surprised they’re allowed to get away with it.
How on earth can you justify £9.50 as a handling charge for a debit card?
The flight I booked from Edinburgh with was advertised at £69.99.
By the time they’d added on taxes, snowboard carriage fee, card handling fee, a meal on board (I wasn’t going to, but weirdly I always enjoy airline food…I know..I know…), it came to £143.50.
I was mildly irritated at the discrepancy between advertised and actual fare.
Is this still legal?
I did a charity gig this week, and unwittingly found myself on the bill as the “Headline act”.
I was introduced as”…and now…our headline act, “The Stand’s” Jim Parks (sic)….”
I’m not quite sure how I became an official ambassador for “The Stand”, and I can only apologise for any damage that I have caused to their
reputation as a result of this unforeseen association.
I had a pretty good gig, but must admit to being slightly spooked by the “headline” tag…it’s a very different feeling to that comfy womb-like place in the middle of the running order.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Write Stuff

I’ve got some new clips on Rooftop comedy.
I don’t think they are the strongest elements of my set, and it is likely that the ensuing publicity will dictate that I never work again.
But on the bright side, it’s all been a marvellous “journey” hasn’t it?
I’ve also got my Hackney set on youtube.
I think that most of my set is now in the public domain on various sites.
This is a good reason to get writing and revamp the whole set.
I’m trying to stick to a new regime of writing for an hour every day.
I figure this is better than spending hours on end at one sitting, banging my head off the table trying to come up with some new, dynamite funnies.
The disheartening fact is that 99% of the stuff I write is complete rubbish and totally unusable.
(Some people might hold the opinion that I am badly underestimating this figure)
However, you just have to keep plugging away to mine that 1%...there is no alternative.
Rather than increase the price of alcohol, I would introduce legislation whereby all Scottish children, upon attaining the age of 13, must drink the entire contents of a large bottle of Advocaat.
This certainly completely ruined my taste for alcohol throughout my succeeding adolescent years in which you traditionally tend to perform your most anti-social acts.
Most of us can handle drink without going around punching people and jumping up and down on car roofs, so surely this practice would be more efficient, and would target would-be troublemakers while they are still young and impressionable.
I didn’t so much have a hangover per se , more a 3-day vomit-fest, wondering what on earth had hit me.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Thatch's dotage

I very much enjoyed the play “Margaret” on the telly the other night.
It concerned itself prinicipally with the fall from grace of Margaret Thatcher.
I find it difficult to fathom that this occurred more than 18 years ago.
Lyndsay Duncan was excellent in the leading role and inhabited the
character of Thatcher very accurately.
I have to confess though to being in a highly confused state during and after the play, mainly down to the fact that this particular characterisation of “The Iron Lady” was unarguably giving me the horn.
This is beyond “wrong”, and I am honestly thinking of receiving counselling to allow me to come to terms with this trauma.
This blurring of fiction and reality in this way is highly dangerous.
It’s probably fair to say that I found Denis Healey to be sexier than the real Margaret Thatcher, (it was the eyebrows, I think).
John Sessions was great as “Geoffrey Howe”…he WAS Geoffrey Howe!
There was an interesting portrayal of John Major, apparently base on the character of “Blofeld” in the James Bond films.
Also, less-than-convincing was the Michael Heseltine character who looked (and talked) like he was half-way through a werewolf transformation scene.
Other good news is that myself and the “No Comedy For Old Men” boys have got our show accepted as part of “The Stand’s” 2009 Fringe programme.
This is fantastic news.
It’s a big step up from last year’s show in a pub at the bottom of Leith Walk, (enjoyable though it all was).
I reckon we’ll be changing the name of the show though, as “No Comedy For Old Men” is somewhat out-of-date