I’m a man, and I order Lemon and Herb

Disclaimer: MWG had the TV on while I was watching this so I got distracted by the cheesiness of The Lizzie McGuire movie, so forgive me if this goes astray.

On Sunday night, to celebrate my birthday MWG took me to a rather fancy hotel. It was four stars and probably the nicest place I’ve ever stayed, having checked in we went for food and decided on Nando’s, I think in part to cancel out the poshness of the hotel.

nandos

For those unfamiliar with Nando’s it’s a chain of chicken restaurants that serve food with peri-peri sauce and have a Mozambican/Portuguese theme according to Wikipedia. The food’s pretty decent and it’s got a relaxed atmosphere, so it’s a pretty cool place all in all, apart from that some idiots go in there and use terms like “cheeky Nando’s”.

Whatever, as we sat down I decided on my order- a double burger. And as you can choose your spice level, from Plain(ish) to Extra Extra Hot, I opted for Lemon and Herb, which is towards the low end of the spectrum. If I’m having just one burger I’d go for medium, but with two I decided to take it down a notch, and the Lemon and Herb is actually pretty tasty.

While MWG placed the order I sat at the table and remembered something I’d read once, a quick Google found the same thing, via the Cosmopolitan website, where a Nando’s staff member confessed:

You wouldn’t believe how many guys order ‘weak’ chicken and quietly ask you to change the flag so it makes it looks like they ordered hot chicken. It happens ALL the time.

That is hands down one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever heard. And one of the most pointless.

If you don’t want spicy, don’t order spicy. There’s nothing wrong with not liking hot food, it’s just a personal taste thing.

I suspect it’s some kind of bollocks macho thing, where they don’t want to look weak or girly, which is a little bit depressing. And I’d argue it’s kinda weak to pretend to be eating Extra Extra Hot when it’s just a Medium, just be open about it, you are who you are, don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

The fact that these dudes feel the need to mask it shows how stupid this whole masculinity concept is in our society. It’s a vague concept at the best of times, that someone is somehow more “manly” than another guy. That there’s a checklist you have to tick off in order to be a “real man”.

There isn’t.

Stephen Fry. Tommy Lee. Bear Grylls. David Cameron. Russell Brand. Mike Tyson. Prince. The Rock.

All of these are men. Is one more of a man than the others? No.

Masculinity shouldn’t exist, or at least shouldn’t be a big deal. Why not just do what you want, rather than worrying about how it looks to other people?

I’m not the most macho of guys, and I regularly get grief from people about liking stuff which isn’t traditionally manly- rom coms, Eurovision, shirts with flowers on, Made in Chelsea, Lady Gaga etc. I get told I need to stop being “girly”.

lady gaga

This is annoying because (a) is being like a girl really an insult? I don’t think so and (b) what the hell is wrong with liking what I like? Does it hurt others that I like blaring Born This Way on my iPod? Or that I think When Harry Met Sally is a quality movie?

Does it matter that I don’t give a toss about cars or the size of their engine? That I scream when I see a spider? That I order a Korma sometimes?

There’s this pressure on dudes to be “manly”, and it’s not good. It’s making people insecure about who they are, and that’s never good.

It’s also not healthy, and potentially dangerous, making men less likely to open up about their emotions, or seek help for problems, because that’s not seen as being a manly thing to do. They bottle things up, but sooner or later something’s gotta give, and talking it out early on might save everyone a lot of bother and misery.

That’s the serious end of the spectrum, but it bleeds through into regular life for dudes. They worry about how they look to others, they can’t be open about what they like and who they are. It even ruins their trips out for some chicken, because they’re worried about being exposed as a Lemon and Herb eater.

And even more depressingly it’s continuing this view that feminine things are lesser, or bad. That the worst thing a man can be is like a woman, as if women are inherently a bad thing. Which I think we all know is utter bollocks.

You like what you like. Don’t worry about whether it’s traditionally aimed at the other gender, it speaks to you, so embrace it. Trying to stick to what society expects of your gender limits your opportunities and choices, and you’ll never match all the expectations and standards, and you shouldn’t try to.

You’re an individual, not some daft list of characteristics that people can’t even agree on fully.

You’re a man because you’re a man, not because of what you like or how spicy your food is.

Be who you are, and when you make peace with that, you’ll feel a whole lot better, and won’t have to switch flags in your chicken.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Awkward moments: Wet balls

Like any rational person with a basic understanding of hygiene and germs, I don’t like touching toilet flushes. I get why we need them, but imagining the other hands and what might have been on them touching the same handle is gross.
So I applaud that anonymous genius who invented the hands free flush. You know the thing, there’s a sensor and you wave your hand in front of it and it flushes.
Its genius and keeps you away from unnecessary germs.
But like the inventors of mobile phones, cars and television, this clever fellow’s gift to mankind, while useful can wind up in the hands of idiots.
Like the folks who design the toilets in the St David’s centre in Cardiff.
They’ve gone for contactless flushes (and soap dispensers) and that’s great the problem is that after they made this decision they let a complete knucklehead install it.
It was because of these idiots that when I sat down to go about my business on the way to work earlier this week, I wound up with wet balls because the flush went off literally as soon as my arse hit the seat.
I’m a big bloke, but I ain’t the biggest, so if my shoulder is setting off the sensor then others will to. And take it from someone who’s been there, having to tissue dry your balls before you go to your first day at a new job is not a great experience.
This is why, regardless of the genius of an idea, if its initiated by idiots it’s all foe nothing. A tiny bit of thought or sense would have told them to put the sensor someone else, and kept my balls dry.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


It’s not the strangers he had to worry about

Disclaimer: I’m writing this on Saturday, because I’m going to be away for a few days this week, so if anything massive happens between now and Tuesday, or a news story comes up that relates to this post, I apologize for it appearing tactless or like I’m ignoring a major event/story. Thanks.

Raising kids can be hard, especially when it comes to making them aware of the dangers in the world around them. On the one hand, you need them to be aware that they can’t be too trusting and of “stranger danger”, but at the same time you don’t want to utterly destroy their innocence and turn them into terrified, nervous people who are afraid to leave their house.

Of course, back in the 80s parents had help, He-Man would tell your kids not to talk to strangers after defeating Skeletor or you could go to the font of wisdom and good advice that was Mr T, and ,speaking as a child of the 80s, let me just say if Mr T tells you not to do something, you don’t do it, fool.

mr t's commandments

So, how do you broach the subject with a kid who’s maybe a bit too friendly and trusting? Well, call me old fashioned, but surely the way to teach your kids about something is to sit them down, have a chat and explain things to them? Yeah? I mean, that’s how Atticus Finch worked, and he’s the kind of parent we should all aspire to.

atticus

But to some the “actually talking to your child” approach can seem too difficult, and what’s far better to do is to stage a fake kidnapping of the child, threaten him with a gun and the potential of “sex slavery” and tie him up for a bit. I mean, there’s no way that could possibly have a negative effect on a 6 year old, right?

To be honest, if that had happened to me, I probably wouldn’t trust strangers, but I can guaran-damn-te that I definitely wouldn’t trust my family again.

This story, crazy as it sounds, is actually what a bunch of dumbasses did over in the States. The family from Missouri decided that their six year old relative, was “too nice, too open, too polite”. Before I crack on, can someone be too polite?

Anyway, the family enlisted a friend to stage the kidnapping and then proceeded to terrorize the kid for four hours. The kid was probably a total mess at the end when he was sent upstairs to have a lecture about “stranger danger”. Here’s the thing you blithering idiots, you could just have had the lectures and not scared and traumatized your child!

The kid understandably talked about it after, mentioning it at school, where staff decided to get in touch with the cops, who arrested the players in this bizarre tale and moved the kid to protective custody, going on to send him to another relative, hopefully one who’s a little bit more sensible.

What truly boggles the mind is that the family apparently still don’t think they did anything wrong and they were just trying to educate the child, which sounds like the blind leading the blind. Hopefully they’ll be punished and the kid can grow up and live a normal life with folks who aren’t utter nutbars.

Seriously, not one of the four people involved had the sense to stop and think, “You know what, this is all sounding a bit stupid. Let’s just sit him down and have a chat. Or buy him a Mr T album.”

Having a child is a massive responsibility, and these idiots don’t seem to be up to that.

Story.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


The city never sleeps, but this dude does

Sometimes you get just tuckered out and need to sleep. I get that, but there are some places you’d think it was more awkward to nod off. For example at a live sporting event. Aside from a chess tournament, because I’m guessing that’s quite restful. Is competitive chess a sport? Or a game?

Whatever, as unlikely as it seems it happened to New Yorker Andrew Rector, who’d taken himself down to watch the Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox. Rector dozed off as the Yankees led 2-1, and like a pigeon on the court at Wimbledon or a busty fan at the World Cup, the camera picked him out.

Dozing: Rector

Dozing: Rector

The commentators on ESPN were amused and exchanged a bit of gently mocking banter about the snoozing supporter.

It was all fairly good natured as they joked about his awkward position and wondered why the man next to him hadn’t woken him up (see link below for the clip).

I’m sure it was rather embarrassing for Rector if he was recognized by a friend or family member. And with the internet, I bet it was spread around a bit, but while slightly awkward it’s nothing that wouldn’t have died off after a while.

But clearly, Rector is a more sensitive soul than I, as he’s contested that ESPN and their commentators have caused him “emotional distress” and is suing them to the tune of $10m.

And they say that you can’t put a price on happiness.

Seriously, $10m? That’s almost two Steve Austins.

I get that you’re embarrassed, but he must still be dreaming if he reckons he’s got a hope in hell of winning that much. He’s on screen for a matter of seconds and this pointless case isn’t exactly making it fade from memory. Hell, I never would have heard of it if he hadn’t filed.

ESPN won’t pay and I’m guessing have better lawyers, and can reasonably argue that the commentators were not mean or especially cutting, they were just having a little bit of a laugh.

There is a more serious issue here, and that’s the fact that this is another case of folks not understanding genuine suffering. Rector has cited “emotional distress” when what he’s probably had is “mild embarrassment with occasional mockery”. For him to ask for money to compensate him for emotional distress is to trivialize those who have actually suffered and deserve some form of repayment.

Come on dude, get a grip, shrug it off and get on with your life, and stop wasting everyone’s time and giving people a second reason to laugh at you.

Just realized that “field of dreams” would have been a shorter, better title for this post.

Story.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


News Grab Bag: Bunnies, Busts and Bedroom Blunders

Unbelievable

Over in Switzerland a shopping centre decided that instead of using the cliche of bunny girls in skimpy clothes  for it’s Easter promotion they’d use an actual bunny in underwear. Cue this rather daft photoshopping:

bunny

It’s a fairly harmless, goofy little advert. I mean, who’s going to kick off about that?

Well, it would appear that some animal protection group kicked off about it, stating that “the respect of the rabbit has been badly damaged”. How someone used the phrase “respect of the rabbit” with a straight face is beyond me. I mean, come on, man, calm down it’s just a silly little advert.

They also claim that the ad promotes bestiality, which is one hell of a stretch. I got a lot of time for animal rights groups, needlessly hurting a living creature is a dick move, but when they chose to kick off about something as trivial as this I can’t help but feel it makes them look like a bunch of humourless tools and makes people take them less seriously. Why not just save the outrage for where it’s justified, yeah? (Here)

Unlucky

Quite frequently you hear of crimes being solved by a stroke of luck or random chance. But none are as lucky/unlucky as what happened up in Manchester recently.

A toddler was fooling around with his dad’s phone and accidentally rang 999. On the other end they heard muffled sounds before the line went dead and a cop car was deployed to investigate. Arriving at the scene they discovered that the child’s parents were actually growing weed on the house and the father got nicked.

The parents' stash

The parents’ stash

That little kid must be the youngest grass in the world, and you know that this story is going to be part of the family lore from now on. What I liked most of all was how the police force’s twitter account handled it, addressing the funny side of the story by tweeting “How many times can we stress not to let your children play with the phone? #NaughtyChild”. (Here)

Un-clever and definitely un-sexy

I’m all for trying new stuff out in the bedroom, I mean, folks have got to keep it fresh and it can be quite fun trying new things. But think it through first.

A couple apparently wound up in hospital because they decided to bring food into the bedroom in a unique way. They decided to melt down some Gummi Bears and eat them off each other.

The problem is, that by melting it down they turned the jelly teddies into a molten gloop which burnt the chest of the poor lady in question. They realized they couldn’t lick it off, and had to seek medical help.

I admire their adventurous spirit, even if their common sense and reasoning seems to have taken a break. I mean, could they not tell that when it was in the bowl it was really hot? And that it would eventually set again? Think it through, guys.

In future maybe just stick to the classics, like strawberries, Haagen Dazs or best of all, the whipped cream bikini as modeled by Ali Larter in Varsity Blues.

cream bikini

Turns out safe sex is more than just condoms. (Here).

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Too much, Sun

I don’t often by a newspaper. With the net there’s not really any need, I can get the news from the BBC and Huffington Post, but I do occasionally pick up The i, sometimes even the Guardian.

What I will not buy is the Sun. Or the Daily Mail, but let’s focus on the Sun for the time being.

Barring the occasionally amusing headline, it’s a terrible newspaper. It’s crass, xenophobic and doesn’t fit with my view of the world, so I leave it alone.

It’s also one of those papers that is pretty quick to go after people for “disgusting behaviour”. Sometimes these can be genuinely horrible instances, but often they’ll work themselves into a lather over some celeb’s ill advised quip or Twitter gaffe. It only takes some boy band star to tweet rashly and the paper is rallying the troops and calling for justice.

Which means recent events have a generous seasoning of schadenfreude.

One of the paper’s Twitter accounts, which deals with showbiz news was discussing one of this year’s X Factor crop, who’s apparently been caught stealing. They don’t reckon it’ll hurt her chances though and decided to put out this incredibly insensitive tweet:

suntweet

Now, I’ve heard worse gags, but still, this is unbelievably daft from the person concerned. Ignoring the obvious bad taste and nastiness of the comment, the startling thing is the stupidity.

It’s all too easy to fire off an ill advised tweet, when you put something up and only afterwards think it may have been a mistake or be taken the wrong way. But that’s personal tweeting, this is someone who’s being paid to tweet. You’re representing a major company and tweeting to around 30k followers.

I appreciate this person isn’t at the forefront of journalism, but they must have had some kind of training in the past about what’s appropriate for publication and what isn’t. The tweet was hastily taken down, but with that many followers it was bound to get captured by someone and they’ve received a bit of a kicking.

It’s easy to see why, they’ve made reference to a missing child, a case which is still in the public forum and used it to make a trivial, and not even particularly funny, gag about a reality TV show contestant. It’s an inconsiderate, dim witted thing to do.

It’s horrible, but it’s hard not to take some malicious glee in the fact that a paper which frequently tries to take the moral high ground, despite it’s own catalogue of errors and sins has come a cropper in such a painful and public manner.

As one comment said on Twitter stated: “Why are you all shocked? Do you expect high standards from them?” (posted by @PhantomGoal)

I don’t expect much from them, but I was surprised by the sheer idiocy of it. If there was any justice they’d get dragged across the coals in the manner they do whenever someone at the Beeb slips up, but I suspect this won’t get the same coverage as those cases.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


People are idiots the world over.

A while ago I wrote about my disbelief that 139 people would not only be shocked by Holly Willoughby’s cleavage, let alone take the time out to lodge an official complaint.

holly

But it appears that people losing their head over the mere glimpse of some female flesh is a worldwide phenomenon, and that in Turkey recently it went a lot further.

On a light entertainment show presenter Gozde Kansu appeared wearing this outfit:

gozde

Now, I get that Turkish culture might be slightly different from the UK, but I can’t imagine that this would cause massive outrage outside of those countries where they enforce that women be fully covered, and as far as I know, Turkey isn’t one of those countries.

One of the complaints was from a member of parliament for the conservative Justice and Development Party, Huseyin Celik, who described it as “unacceptable” and “too much”.

Regardless of whatever you think of her dress, although in my view it’s extremely tame, what happened next is not on- she got fired.

Now, I’m guessing the channel she works from knows what it’s performers are going to be wearing and had given her the OK. For them to turn around and fire her because of some prudish complaints is ridiculous. They could have offered an apology for anyone who wasn’t happy, but this has been ridiculously mishandled.

A woman has lost her job because someone was offended, she didn’t do anything nasty, or bigoted, or mean spirited, she just showed a bit of excuse. Yes, some folks might not have been happy, but why does their outlook on life mean more than her career or the feelings of those who don’t give a damn?

As is often the case with this sort of controversy I’m reminded of a Stephen Fry quote:

fry offence

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Twelfth Man

I’m currently reading One Night In Turin by Pete Davies (previously known as All Played Out), a fascinating book about the 1990 World Cup focusing on the England team, it’s a wonderfully written book and one of the lines that stood out for me was this one:

Because at a football game you don’t just watch, you take part

I get what he means, not just because of the way that as a fan you join in with the chanting and clapping and communal spirit of the supporters, but also because when it’s the team you love or just a particularly good game as a neutral, you get involved. You groan at the misses, argue with the ref when he gives a soft foul or gesticulate madly when he misses a blatant penalty, you celebrate like a maniac when your team score, you tense up at penalties and you mourn a defeat.

As a fan all you can do to influence the game is cheer loudly and that this inspires your teams. Aside from that you’re left no option but to hope, pray and occasionally sacrifice the odd goat at the altar of sport as you watch from the stands.

But what if you could get closer and intervene?

Last season, a dickhead ball boy at the Liberty decided to help the Swans out by stalling for time. This led to Chelsea player Eden Hazard trying to get the ball back and kicking out at the ball boy, who proceeded to roll around on the floor as if Bruce Lee had kidney punched him.

At everyone was calling for Hazard’s head but as time passed it became increasingly hard to sympathize with the ball boy- this wasn’t some kid but a teenager, he was loaded (I know that shouldn’t matter but finding out ), seemed a wanker on his Twitter page (anyone who describes themselves as a “LAD (sic)” seems a douche) although he did sell it for charity, so maybe he’s not all that bad, but it still hurt his standing in the public.

hazard

But, when you’re that close it must be tempting to intervene. But you shouldn’t. You really shouldn’t, because you could get a deserved kicking.

Which brings us to the story of Brazilian fourth division side Aparecidense and their physio. During an important play off match, their physio was loitering behind the goal as their opponents Tupi surged forward. The clock was winding down and Tupi needed a goal to put them through.

With an open net they fired on goal, at which point the physio stepped onto the pitch, cleared off the line. Twice. Now, this was a fine defensive performance, albeit a highly illegal one. The ref didn’t see it and Tupli went out on goal difference.

Understandably annoyed they went for the Physio, who showed some good pace as he legged it to the tunnel where police protected him. Watch the madness here:

Tupi are calling for a rematch and are rightfully pissed off with the outcome. I hope they get the rematch because it’s an unbelievably cruel way to be denied, as it was clearly heading for the back of the net if this numpty hadn’t got in the way. Whether he faces disciplinary action is unknown but the Brazilian FA need to do something, although I suspect he’ll keep his job and become a kind of local legend among Aparecidense.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Pic Post: Spelling Mistakes, Sweet Revenge and Silliness

When parking remember- Mirror, signal, maneuver, oh and don’t be a dick!

karma

Spelling mistake 1- I don’t think the dark lord is gonna be happy with this

Great sign though,

Great sign though,

Seriously, drivers, don’t be dicks.

note

Spelling mistake 2- Morons.

coffee fail

Genius advertising

guitar ad

Quality pun work

zen pun

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Raw Deal

I’ve got a love-hate relationship with the show Deal or No Deal– it’s relentlessly addictive once you get going, but I don’t like it because there’s no skill or knowledge involved, and I think those are the game shows that work best, where the winners earn their prize (Countdown, University Challenge, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Total Wipeout, Pointless, The Crystal Maze, Eggheads). DoND is basically just pointing at boxes and gambling against the mysterious banker, while Noel Edmonds chats to the players and makes bad jokes.

noel

They’ve clearly picked contestants who are “characters” (read: idiots, twats and show-offs) who regularly push on despite getting a fairly decent offer early on. For me, I’d deal at about £20K, whatever happened. Adding to my irritation is talk of “tactics” and “strategy”, yeah, like you can have a strategy in randomly selecting sealed boxes, you eejit.

I get why people go on it though- their 15 minutes and some quick cash for a new car, holiday or clear some debts. I get it, I mean, I play the lottery, so I’m not opposed to people getting some easy money to make their lives easier.

If I won some cash, I’d pay of my student loans, clear some cash I owe people and stash some in a nest egg, join a gym, maybe use some to learn to drive and buy some wheels. The rest of the money I’d probably blow on holidays, gigs, sporting events and general crap, probably in the aid of chasing after girls.

Make it rain

Make it rain

Notice how my debts are the first thing I’d address, that just makes sense, getting yourself back to breaking even would be a priority, which is why the actions of one winner, Andy Baker, who won £35,000 a while back.

Andy with Noel in happier times

Andy with Noel in happier times

Baker turned out to have filed for bankruptcy and owed over £60K, and should, by law, have declared his winnings to insolvency authorities, having been declared bankrupt two years ago.

Instead, Andy went on a bit of a spending spree, probably due to not having had much cash beforehand, and reportedly spent most of it on “holidays, hotel and jewelry”. I’ll admit the jewelry bit threw me, I mean, that must’ve been a heap of bling, dude must have been walking around like Mr. T.

t

Andy would have gotten away with it, if not for the fact that one of the people he owed cash to was watching and called the authorities. Sadly, he’s received a 13 year sentence for this, and while he may have been a bit of a numpty, I gotta say I feel bad for the guy.

Still, in this case he probably should have taken a Lannister approach to the situation.

Story.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.