Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sugar White And The Sixteen Apprentices

My friend Irish Kim and I were discussing last night's The Apprentice this morning. For those of you who don't live in Britain, The Apprentice is a television programme, and here I will quote the actual synopsis from the BBC website so you can get a taste of what it involves;

"Sixteen candidates, two eagle-eyed advisers and one self-made millionaire. Sir Alan Sugar tests the nerves and brains of the hungriest hopefuls in the business world as they compete to win a six-figure salary job as his apprentice. Over twelve weeks the candidates will be split into two teams and given a weekly task with which to expose their entrepreneurial abilities. For those on the winning team, a taste of the executive lifestyle awaits in the form of a luxury treat, but the losing team must visit the boardroom, defend their respective corners and battle for survival. "

This is...well.... it's not exactly untrue. However, they omit mentioning that the contestants are almost always comprised of twelve or thirteen management types who couldn't find a tree in a forest, one or two oddly aggressive people and one or two actual decent humans. For the most part, the contestants are shouty, arrogant and tend to be very quick to blame everyone but themselves. I actually wrote a post last year about this same show (link here ) which featured my favourite participant of all time, Helen.

Oh, Helen. How I miss your flair for creative thinking, your uncanny ability to deliver perfect pitches to clients, your sweet smile and classy taste in suit jackets. Okay, so I admit I had a little crush on Helen. But come on, who didn't?

 (courtesy of

Kim: You watch the Apprentice, right?

Me: Of course. That Irish woman is COLD. I can't believe she told Lord Sugar that she cared more about this job than she did about her crying child.

Kim: The Irish woman is awful! Also, is it just me or does she look 40, not 27? I am so sad that the eye-shadow-lady was fired. She didn’t deserve it. Also, I thought it would have been amazing to see her as project manager because I’m pretty sure she’d get violent.

Me: Yes, the Irish woman is old and is built like a tree, as well apparently being a seriously neglectful mother. Whereas Maria-in-the-sky-with-eyeshadow totally would have stabbed someone with her stiletto, which in my opinion would have made for excellent telly.

Kim: I would have bought that tap cosy, seriously. I now want to go to Amazon and pitch a million units of my flimsy piece of plastic that you can draw on.

Me: And come on, the Irish woman is totally picking on Katy who actually seemed to have a fair clue about what was happening, and when sent to do the market research job actually did it, and then was told “we’ve going to ignore that entirely” – so how can she be blamed? I like Katy. And the Scottish one, I don’t know her name and I don't like her accent, but at least she took responsibility for the idea and didn’t start throwing blame around in the boardroom so she has my respect.

Kim: I adore Katy. And Gabrielle. I don’t know why but I like Gabrielle a lot. She’s nice.

Me: No way, Gabrielle was a terrible project manager last week. I would have fired her ass, because I’m harsh like that. But Katy, hmm. She might be my Helen for 2012.



The rest of the emails were comprised of pictures of Helen, looking ever more radiant. I will of course keep you up to date on whether Katy can walk in Helen's perfect shoes, but I encourage you all to watch the show, if for no other reason than to potentially see someone hit someone else with a stiletto.

Friday, 23 March 2012

We're Going To Need A Bigger Bath

Since I've been learning to speak Portuguese recently, I sometimes can't fight the need to show off slightly in everyday conversations by trying to teach (a usually unwilling) friend a phrase or two. Since Wetsoks is around me most often, she receives the brunt of

Me: Hey. Guess what?

Wetsoks: What?

Me: I've been learning all the essential phrases.

Wetsoks: (pinching her nose) Oh dear.

Me: Eu vou comprar um golfinho.

She stared at me blankly.

Me: It means 'I am going to buy a dolphin'.

Wetsoks: That's an essential - Nevermind. We're not keeping it in the bathtub. I'll tell you that right now.

Me: But that's not a full 'no'?

Wetsoks exited the room, rolling her eyes.


The silence continued.


The silence continued.


Wetsoks: I didn't say anything.

Me: Well. Did you?

Wetsoks: No, I didn't.

Me: Well. Did you?

Wetsoks: Goddammit! Don't expect me to get up to feed it! And if it cries during the night then it's your responsibility.

Me: Sweet.

I know that people now breed miniature sheep and teacup pigs as pets, so I don't imagine it will be very long before science develops goldfish-sized sea mammals. If I can't have a pet otter, I'm damn well having a pet dolphin. Who's with me?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Give The Otter A Little Sugah, Sugah

Wetsoks and I were in her room the other day, looking at something on the internet, when one of those erotic pop-up ads sprung up from nowhere.

Me: Wow, look at that!

Wetsoks: I'm good, thanks.

Me: No, seriously, look! It's called Hunter's Revenge!

Wetsoks: I don't think anyone is getting revenge. Someone might be 'getting' something else, if you know what I mean.

Me: I don't. I'm very innocent. Click it.

Wetsoks: No.

Me: Click it.

Wetsoks: I'm not going to click it.

Me: Click it!

Wetsoks: No! What if I die and the last thing someone sees on my browser history is Hunter's Revenge?

Me: It's worth it.

Wetsoks: No! 

There was  a brief silence.

Wetsoks: Okay, fine, I'll click it.

I hate to admit it (actually I don't because I have no shame, as anyone who has read this site already knows) but our clicking led to an adult toy website (where our minds were, for want of a better word, stretched) by all the products on offer. My expression was mirrored on Wetsoks face - much like if Hansel and Gretal had discovered  the witch's gingerbread cottage hidden in a very realistically phallic forest.

Me: Do you suppose... Nevermind.

Wetsoks: What?

Me: This might be a stupid question, but could you wash those in machines?

Wetsoks: What kind of machines? Like a washing machine?

Me: (nostalgically) As a child, I broke our washing machine by putting Lego bricks in it.

Wetsoks: That's... a.totally similar situation. Yes, look, it says right here - dishwasher proof.

Me: Dishwasher proof?!

Wetsoks: Oh. Yes. That's kind of messed up.

There was another brief silence. 

Me: Well, it's good to know that they're promoting proper hygiene, at least.

In summary, practise safe sex and remember, almost everything can be put in machines now. 

Do try this at home. 
But not with Lego.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Dear Miss H. Granger

When my friend Wetsoks approached me at work the other day, jumping around excitedly, to tell me that our dear friend Fleetch (see here  and here  for Fleetch and Wetsoks-related comedy) had emailed to say that she'd sent a package from Americaland, I was likewise thrilled. I miss the Fleetch and the many amusing things she used to do - although one of my absolute favourites was when she would walk around with her bathrobe pulled over her head, yelling "I'm a bacon-making BEAR!" at top volume. She always did have a slightly twisted sense of humour, so it was with no surprise that I found she'd sent this package to Wetsoks, but addressed it to Miss Hermione Granger.

The Fleetch lived in this country for a few years - certainly long enough to know that if you need to pick up a delivery from a Royal Mail depot, you need one or more of the following with you:

- proof of identification, such as a passport
- proof of address, such as a utility bill
- a urine sample
- documents pertaining to the right to name your first-born child
- sacrificial meat to offer to the great Post Dragon who devours all unwanted mail within 5-7 days

So, with this in mind, sending it to someone other than Wetsoks was highly likely to result in hilarity. I totally approved of this. Wetsoks did eventually manage to convince Royal Mail that firstly, Hermione Granger was a fictional character, secondly, that our friend has an odd sense of humour, and thirdly, despite what the package stated, it was actually probably not sent by someone called Severus Snape given that he too is a fictional character and in all likelihood would never have been caught dead using Muggle post. The post office gave in and Wetsoks finally got her package. It turned out to contain not just the promised gift, but presents for all of our group. My present in particular (see below) managed to be both endearing and an insult, for which I must thank the Fleetch.

Yes, that's right. It's a Justin Bieber singing toothbrush. I did not even know that such a thing existed. I challenge you, readers, to find any weirder Justin Bieber related merchandise.

In any case, I wanted to thank the Fleetch for her love and attention. I'm going to have to scour the interwebs to try to beat this one when we send your care package, dude. Challenge accepted!

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Portuguese Survival Guide: Part 1

My Portuguese friend and I were in Glasgow on Saturday night, heading towards a birthday party which incidentally was at Kelvingrove Museum, after-hours, on a Victorian theme. We got into a taxi as we were already rather late and I'm still nursing a hacking cough which oddly has not been improved by hanging around in the cold very late at night.As we got into the taxi, I put my seatbelt on. I often do this, even for small journeys, because you never know when disaster may strike and I tend towards the blackest sort of cynicism. Portugal looked at me in horror.

Portugal: What are you doing?!

Me: I'm being safe.

Portugal: I can't believe this.

Me: (genuinely puzzled) What? If we crash, I'd rather not fly three feet at high speed and break my face on the glass window.

Portugal: You're weird.

Me: I'm normal. And safe.

Portugal: You're weak. And you wouldn't survive in the wild.

Me: I wouldn't survive in.... Okay. (pinching nose)

Portugal: You're not used to pain!

Me: Tell me, how many times have you crashed in a taxi?

Portugal: Well, just one.

Me: Uh huh. And so you're "used" to pain, are you?

Portugal: Yes. More than you.

Me: I see. And just out of interest, are lions and other predators particularly attracted to seatbelts?

Portugal: ....Um.

Me: Because what you're saying is that since I have chosen to attach a potentially life-saving device while I am in a vehicle, in a city, this makes me automatically more likely to die in the wilderness of, say, a jungle.

Portugal: It's just so British of you.

Me: Yes, it's very British of me to prefer my face unsmashed.

There was a brief pause.

Portugal: Can I have some of your lip balm?

Me: No. Having dry lips is important for strength. If I give it to you, it'll just make you weak and then you'll die in the wild.

She may have been mad at me, but at least I arrived at the party safely and with appropriately moisturised lips. Otternator 1, Portugal 0.

Game on.