Like duh! As my children say all too often to me. It’s been hot before – for example in 1976 when we had week after week of scorching weather and yet nobody (that I recall anyway) seemed to find it necessary to constantly lecture us about Health & Safety in The Heat.
Am I being unreasonable (really, that should have been the name of this blog, but I suspect it’s already been nicked) to object to constantly being lectured on the bleedin’ obvious by pious pillocks on radio, TV, in shops? HELLO? I’m an adult and I am perfectly capable of applying my own sun cream, drinking adequate fluids and staying out of the midday sun. I do not need some smug weather man rattling off the number of NHS Direct with every forecast and exhorting me to ‘keep an eye on elderly neighbours’. Only one of my neighbours is elderly and he is as mad as a box of frogs, owns two properties at either end of the street and strolls between them dressed only in a pair of ancient, grimy safari shorts. He looks like Catweazle’s first cousin and is clearly a major soap-dodger (you don’t want to get downwind of him in any weather, frankly). So, if you think I’m going anywhere near him you can think again. I’ll pass on Michael Fish’s address or whoever it is who reads the weather these days – can’t tell one from another anyhow – let him deal with it, sanctimonious sod.
Another thing that gets right up my nose is being asked a raft of fucking stupid questions every time I want to buy something as simple as a box of Paracetamol. First of all, you can only buy them in 16’s – presumably just in case I take an overdose. Well here’s a flash – 16 IS enough to kill you and anyway, if I wanted to kill myself, don’t you think I might be intelligent enough to buy a box of 16 tablets at five or six local pharmacies, duh? Then, when I ask for a box, the zitty youth behind the counter starts to ask me intrusive questions about my medical history. Generally, I manage to hold on to my temper and the conversation goes something like this:
Me: A small box of Paracetamol please.
Zitty Youth: Joo want tablets, capsules, caplets or syrup?
Me: Er, just whatever is cheapest, will do fine.
ZY: Tha’s tablets then.
Me: Thank you
ZY: Joo wan’em?
Me: (now gritting teeth) Yeeessss.
ZY: twenny pee. Joo ‘ave a clubcard?
However, in a parallel universe or inside my head, there is another conversation running and one day, I swear it will actually happen. It goes like this:
Me: A small box of Paracetamol please.
Zitty Youth: says nothing because he is staring into space, lovingly caressing a small pustule on his chin.
Me: (slightly louder) excuse me? A small box of Paracetamol please.
ZY : Huh ? Stares blankly at the shelves.
Me: There! Right a bit! Down a bit! THERE!
ZY: Eventually locates box. Begins to recite a script he has been taught and has committed to memory, well partially, anyway.
ZY: Er, are you takin’ any uvver meddysin?
Me: Mind your own business and hand over the pills.
ZY: begins to look panic stricken, clings to script like a lifeline. Um, do you ‘ave any allerjees?
Me: Yes I am allergic to spotty little oiks like you asking me questions you don't understand and demanding answers you couldn’t judge the meaning of in a month of Sundays.
Then there is the great carrier bag con. Some time ago, it was decided by someone (possibly Al Gore?) that most of the world’s ills and certainly all global warming was caused by the use of plastic carrier bags. Almost overnight, asking for a carrier bag in a supermarket became the greatest social faux pas one could commit. Instead, we were required to purchase a selection of worthy-looking hessian sacks with that ugly reduce-reuse-recycle logo on them, the better to
inflate the profits of Mr Tesco , sorry, I mean save the planet. If you happened to leave all your bags in the boot of the car and decided to ask the nice lady cashier for a plastic carrier instead, you would be treated as if you had just stamped on a kitten. Somehow, this ludicrous behaviour has now died down and bags appear to be as freely available as ever they were with no discernible change to the state of the globe.
Lastly, there is the “Don’t try this at home” twaddle, closely allied with the “No animals were harmed in the making of this item” baloney. The best (by which I mean most stupid) example of both came courtesy of the BBC in a morning news item during the recent World Cup . That little chap who won Strictly (sorry, not very good with names) had been shipped out for South Africa for a
jolly er, spot of serious journalism and was inexplicably bussed out to a big cat reserve, where he was pictured stroking a Cheetah of pensionable age. Crouching behind the supine animal (clearly extremely well-fed and not interested in snacking on a tiny dancer), doing the special whispery voice that everyone has to do in the vicinity of wild animals in order that they can assume some gravitas and sound like David Attenborough, he uttered an idiotic sentence which went something like “Now of course, no animals have been harmed by our visit here but I must stress that we are in a controlled environment and you really shouldn’t try something like this at home.”
Oh really? Okay, I certainly shouldn’t pet any of the hundred or so Cheetahs lying around in my back garden then, should I?