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Stuff I probably should have tweeted, #19

More random Facebook updates from June to September…

18th July – It’s easy to get disgruntled during a heatwave, but you should always remember those less fortunate than you. For example, somewhere in an office in India that’s even hotter than this part of Oxfordshire, there’s a ‘Microsoft Technical Consultant’ waiting to fix the ‘errors’ on my PC and wondering why I’m taking so long to come back to the phone.

26th July – Dreamed in the early hours of this morning that we watched an episode of the new Doctor Who series, set in a haunted mansion, in which the monsters looked a bit like pint-sized versions of the Vocs from ‘The Robots of Death’, but with the temperament and behavoiur of the Boohbahs. I think may be onto something. Or possibly just on something.

31st July – There was a large dog poo sitting at the edge of the coastal path. But that was OK, because I was able to warn the rest of our party by loudly declaring “MIND THE CRAP!”

10th August – If all the world were paper, and all the seas were ink, the coastal erosion would presumably be catastrophic.

17th August – Does anyone else look at a box of Bryant & May matches and get an involuntary Queen earworm?

24th August – “We ordered a breakfast bap without ketchup,” I said to the nice woman behind the counter, “but you’ve put ketchup in there. Now, it’s only on the underside of the bap, and everything else is fine. Would it be possible to give my wife a new bottom?”

29th August – Irony is: working out a painless, efficient and argument-free method of erecting the tent three days after you deem it no longer fit for its intended purpose.

29th August – There’s a woman on Radio 2 being interviewed at the National Gallery, where they apparently “have paintings by Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo”. It is impossible for me not to add another name onto the end of that sentence.

3rd September – Yesterday morning, we heard Chris Evans say “You’ve got to hand it to One Direction”. Presumably the ‘it’ was a live grenade, with the pin removed.

3rd September – In the kitchen doing the dishes while Kate Bush sings “Washing machi-i-i-i-ne…”. This led Emily to come in and ask if the cat was all right.

8th September – The words “Please. Don’t leave me. Not like this” carry considerably less emotional weight when you’re shouting them at the cat, who’s run out of the cat flap because you accidentally trod on her paw.

9th September – Dear person who found my blog by Googling “sonic screwdriver porn pics” …oh, never mind.

16th September – In a new publicity drive, anyone who votes ‘yes’ on Thursday will have a free Proclaimers album added to their playlist.

17th September – Emily sprinkled chopped rosemary on the lamb steaks she cooked for dinner this evening. She would have used more herbs, she said, but she didn’t have thyme.

20th September – It turns out that if you jump on the vacuum cleaner in just the right way, you can switch it on. The cat has just discovered this. She is not pleased.

29th September – Dear Skyrim avatar: for future reference, the next time you travel through snowy mountains, past bandits, booby traps, wolf things, undead orc things with Nordic swords and a giant spider in order to retrieve a dragonstone, it’s always best if you remember to actually take the stone with you when you leave.

29th September – Life is all about the small things. This evening we were coming back from swimming and on the roundabout a couple of hundred yards from home, some boy racer roared in behind me, tailgating furiously and swerving, gesticulating because I wasn’t matching his dangerous speed in a built up area, desperate to overtake but unable to because of oncoming traffic.

So I drove the final stretch at fifteen miles an hour.

Hello, Wabbit

Anyone who watched the later years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will remember Anya’s irrational fear of rabbits. The erstwhile vengeance demon’s leporiphobia (yes, there actually is a word for it) was seldom anything other than a source of comic relief – although it manifested in song in ‘Once More With Feeling’, when she bellowed out “They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses – and what’s with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?”.

It’s a silly scene, but after trawling YouTube for suitable clips this morning, I’m starting to think she may be onto something…


The Rabbit of Caerbannog (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975)


Travelling north on their quest for the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his knights catch up with the improbably named Tim the Enchanter (John Cleese, in one of his finest turns), who leads them to “a cave which no man has entered”. The seemingly sweet and innocent little rabbit guarding the entrance has one or two tricks up its sleeve, and in the end the knights have to blow it up with a sacred hand grenade. The rabbit in question was covered in fake blood, which apparently distressed its owner, but this is still comedy gold.


Harvey (Harvey, 1950)


Donnie Darko wasn’t the first film to feature an enormous rabbit that may have existed purely as a hallucination. Honourable mentions also go to Cabin Fever, which features a giant rabbit in a hospital for NO REASON AT ALL – oh, and this. What’s creepy about Harvey is his ambiguity: Elwood Dowd (James Stewart) insists that Harvey is not only real, he also has the ability to stop time and travel in space. And frankly, who’s to say he’s wrong? It’s enough to drive a psychiatrist to distraction, which is exactly what happens.


General Woundwort (Watership Down, 1978)


After developers move in and destroy their old warren, a bunch of rabbits are forced to travel across the Hampshire downs to seek a new home. On their way they encounter farmers, wounded birds and a sinister community led by the despotic General Woundwort. Monstrous in size, fearless and disfigured, Woundwort rules his roost with intimidation, cunning and brute force. He meets a (presumed) bad end at the hands of a dog, but his legacy lives on as the stuff of children’s nightmares.


Ellen’s Rabbit (Fatal Attraction, 1987)


I don’t use the word ‘iconic’ lightly, but it says something when a single scene in a film spawns its own terminology in popular culture. Furious at being dumped by married attorney Michael Douglas, an unhinged Glenn Close delivers tapes filled with abusive language, pours acid on his car and then cooks the family rabbit. The intercutting between Ellen’s sprint through the garden and Beth’s gruesome discovery in the kitchen gives the scene its power – as well as giving rise to the term ‘bunny boiler’, to describe any vengeful ex who is basically in need of medical help.


Frank (Donnie Darko, 2001)


No one really understands Donnie Darko. They’ve just read half a dozen usenet threads and assume they can comprehend the incomprehensible. But whatever the truth behind Richard Kelly’s dark and brooding tour de force, it’s hard not to be a little freaked out by the sight of a six foot tall rabbit who appears in ghostly visions preaching about the end of the world. The truth behind Frank is both complex and simultaneously mundane, but is no less effective for it. See him, and shudder.

When life hands you lemons…

…make sure they really are lemons.


The elephant in the chocolate factory

A not-so-new perspective on Roald Dahl. I wonder if Grandpa Joe is a Daily Mail reader?



Tweet to who?

Purely out of curiosity, a few weeks ago I found myself reading a Guardian article by a bloke I’d never heard of, complaining about a Lily Allen song that’s just been released, which is itself a bitchy response to a Twitter argument she’d had with this bloke some time ago when he complained about one of her other songs, which may or may not be racist, because some people complained about it at the time, but they may just be trolling.

And then I wondered how I could hypothetically explain all that to my dead grandmother, and also explain why it warranted front page coverage in a national broadsheet. And it was at this point that I realised society as we know it may be going down the pan.

Ice. Ice. Boobies.

Or even eyes, eyes, boobies.


Chitty Chitty (Great Big) Bang Bang

It was Peter Bradshaw, in the Guardian, who pointed this out. But anyway.


Stuff I probably should have tweeted, #18

Now that I’ve joined the twenty-first century, I might have to change the name of this segment to “Stuff I probably should have tweeted, and occasionally did”. But why break with tradition?

2nd April – I do not like green XNM.

4th April – It’s hard to tell what’s weirder: Marmite-flavoured peanuts, or the fact that the cat is trying to eat them.

12th April – There is just one moon and one golden sun / And a smile means friendship to everyone / Except to a small Polynesian tribe, who will interpret it as an act of war and probably kill you on the spot.

16th April – Have just driven a medium sized white van to Twyford and back to collect a pile of furniture from Kate. It went fine and I didn’t crash the thing once, but I swear this stuff is easier in Grand Theft Auto.

19th April – Oh give me a home / Where the buffalo roam / And a shovel. And also a Vax machine.

22nd April – I am halfway through Naoki Higashida’s Book Club favourite on autism. It’s called The Reason I Jump. As interesting as his given explanation is, I would have preferred it if the answer had been “Because someone somewhere is pressing X on the Playstation controller”.

2nd May – The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: 1. Remove wrapper. 2. Eat chocolate.

10th May – That awkward moment when the guy in the Transporter that you deliberately obstructed when he tailgated you and tried to cut you up is not only travelling the same way but is in the car park next to you…

10th May – It really does sound like Conchita’s singing “Rise like a penis”.

28th May – I was ruminating the other night: it can be so upsetting when people you know work so hard to fulfill their dreams, and then have everything snatched away from them, right in front of their eyes. It just seems unfair. Then I remembered that they’d already won six of the prizes hiding behind Bully, and their darts hadn’t been great, so they probably shouldn’t have gambled.

8th June – Finished Dan Brown’s Inferno. Genuinely couldn’t work out whether I was reading a conspiracy thriller or a travel guide.

13th June – Have reached the conclusion that it’s called a DNA test because when the Jeremy Kyle guests are asked the identity of their children’s fathers, the general response is “D’naaaa….”

24th June – The pub along the road from Reading Cemetery used to be a favourite spot for post-funeral gatherings, but these days it’s part of the Sizzling chain. We had thought about heading there today when the service had finished, but decided it might not be the most appropriate venue to visit just after a cremation.

Up in arms

I will never forget, but how I choose to remember is my responsibility, and not yours.


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