Sunday, 19 February 2012

How to talk on the phone

Once upon a time, at some point in the ages of communication between carrier pigeon and instant neural download, people talked to each other over the telephone. The telephone was a strange sort of device where you talked into the bottom bit and listened with the top bit in order to converse with another living being or, in more advanced models, ghosts.

The main twist was of course that in contrast to standard dialogue, this was conducted across huge distances and without visual contact. This of course opened up a huge range of opportunities for anonymous shenanigans and tomfoolery, as well as allowing both perverts and asthma sufferers alike to intimidate people at range.

Nowadays, regardless of whatever rubbish BT says, the phone is a less popular method of communication, as human contact is ever marginalised by the joy of digital interaction and haptic feedback. However on rare occasion you may be required to engage in communication using one of these archaic devices, be it to get in a virtual queue to complain about something, to talk to an elderly relative who doesn't know what a 'lol' is, to call a sex line, or perhaps to do all these things at once.

 I myself am capable of operating this technology, and as a bloody good guy I intend to teach you how to use it too, just like Bono showed us how to feed the world or something.


Part One: How to Answer the Phone

1. Detect a ringing phone
When it is time to answer the phone, it will traditionally make a ringing sound, like a bell. In snazzier phones it may even play a tune or recite a phrase from a popular television broadcast. Learn to identify the particular noise your breed of phone makes and you'll know when it's ready to be answered. If you're having trouble with this step, you may be better off receiving your messages via crystal ball- talk to your local post office and they will reroute your phone calls appropriately.

2. Answering the phone
Once you have detected and located the phone, the time for action is upon you! Spring into action from your chair, stool, or hammock and grab that phone. Often simply lifting the phone from its place and gently pressing it into the side of your face will be enough to answer it, sometimes you'll have to press a button or do a bit of a dance. I should note that you didn't ought to answer anybody else's phone when it rings, especially if it is secreted within a bag or pocket, as it is considered rude and may be illegal.

3. Listen closely
Whoever is calling you clearly needs to deliver some important message: listen to it! When they stop talking, consider your context appropriate response and move onto step 4.

4. Respond
After careful consideration, adopt a posh and articulate 'telephone voice' and deliver your own message back to whoever it is that you are speaking to. If you are having trouble coming up with things to say, try these:
  • Hello
  • I'd like to talk about something else now
  • I'm trapped and they won't let me leave
  • Have you considered a sex change sir?
  • Oh really?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
  • I'm sorry but I have to go now due to unexpected milk
  • Nnnnggghhh!
  • Fuck Off!
5. Have a conversation
If things are going to your liking, you may continue to repeat steps 3 and 4 until you either get have something else to do, get bored, or develop a third nipple. If things are not going well, for example you are being murdered over the phone, you may want to use one of these handy methods of influencing the flow of the teleconversation:
  • Pull a funny face. As well as helping to entertain yourself during boring or stressful period, the subtle vibrations of facial expressions can be transmitted as almost imperceptible sonic waves down telephone cabling, and trigger an empathetic response on the listener.
  • If you are feeling upset or angry, give the talkytaker (the bit you speak into) a stern stare. Telephones are cowardly creatures and it will probably start playing some soothing music to try and calm you.
  • Stop talking altogether and see how long the other person stays on the line saying 'hello' repeatedly before they hang up. Alternately, do this a number of times and then resume the conversation as though nothing has happened. 
  • Put some jam on the voiceyspeaker (the bit you listen to)
  • Achieve orgasm
6. Ending the conversation
Eventually you will reach a point where both parties wish to end the conversation (unless one of the parties is from a charity or is trying to sell you something, in which case you will run out of things to say long before they do- my advice in this situation is to run far away and never return). Timing is of the essence in this area- ending a conversation abruptly will mark you out as rude and get your crossed of Christmas card lists and party guest lists alike, but taking too long to put the conversation out of it's misery will make you seem desperate and people may start avoiding you in the street as word of your creepiness gets about.
 Don't worry! As long as you say 'Good Day Sir!' there can be no more iterations of conversational matters. If the other party attempts to press the conversation, remind them it's time for them to get back to whatever pointless business they are otherwise involved in by affirming 'I said Good Day Sir!' Legally there is no way one can misinterpret this phrase, and if they were somehow to do so it would be punishable by dismemberment.

If you got through these steps alive, then well done. You have survived a conversation over the phone. Now, the other way of using the phone is that you get in contact with other people to bother them about your own piffling nonsense. This is done by a method of key presses, secret codes, and complex handshakes that I am unfamiliar with, so I will not be able to help you with this one. Instead, if you wish to get in touch with somebody who is not in throttling distance, I suggest that you train a team of skilled local foxes to deliver messages for you in exchange for meat and cocaine, or go back to the old method of doing things which is to carve messages on bullets and fire them into your intended recipient's flesh.
 Although only in their foot of course, for safety reasons.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Don't tell me to keep calm

 I can only assume that as you have eyes and can read (unless you're viewing this on some sort of amazing braille computer) you will have seen something recently with the 'keep calm and carry on' slogan boldly printed upon it. Perhaps you did exactly as you were told and proceeded to keep calm and carry on.

If so it may already be too late for you.

  Spit out that tea you must surely be drinking now and brush your teeth with bleach to disrupt the neurotoxins. The teatrix has you and you must free yourself. Eat some red jelly babies if you can't get yourself out under your own power.


 Okay, now that you're back with us (perhaps you were fine all along in which case disregard that last bit) I can explain my concerns without the nanomachines reading your thoughts.

 This whole keep calm and carry on business was of course inspired by/a direct copy of a propaganda poster circulated during World War 2. The aim was to boost morale through the power of big stupid slogans and the ever so relaxing colour of blood red.

  Maybe this was acceptable back then, socially at least. After all there was a war on, and no lolcats with which to keep the nation jolly. Perhaps saying something pointless and non-commital was truly the most effective way of keeping people happy as the whole world went to shit.

 But that was back then. We don't need this slogan now. There is no war on our doorstep. No dreadful enemy ready to invade our lands unless we continue diligently farming and bullet making and having heartwarming relationships with refugee kids or whatever it was people did during the war.

So, unnecessary as it is, what does 'Keep Calm and Carry On' actually mean when you break it down?

Keep Calm
An instruction to remain in a state of calmness and serenity, or to mandate self control and lack of agitation. But surely this should be the default setting if all is well. Is there something wrong that we must keep calm in the face of? Are we being ordered to remain placid despite circumstance? Are there ants in my pants?

And
A word used to grammatically coordinate two phases, in addition to, or as well as. The meaning of this word is most/least mysterious of all.

Carry On
A series of slightly dodgy comedy films revolving around a continual cast and the use of parody and double-entendre. To continue as previously. To bear a load upon yourself. To do as you're told.

 Put these together and effectively you're being instructed to adopt a relaxed demeanour and resume business, regardless of all this other shit going on around you. But what if you're being told to do this by the very people who are causing all the things that are going wrong?

 That's right. The Thunderbirds. Uhh, I mean the government.

 I put it to you that this whole slogan is being revived by the government to pacify the population in the wake of brutal spending cuts and the inability to prevent banks from pissing all over their customers and themselves. I also put it to you that (as referenced earlier) it is being used to prop up the tea industry, which is obviously owned by the government and not privately run or anything of the sort. A tea industry using mind control enzymes and pacifying drugs to reinforce your calm and compliant state so your drink more tea and fund more stupid posters and oh dear a recurring loop.

Lets look at the evidence against the tea industry:
  • Millions of Britains drink tea, and probably couldn't give it up
  • Tea has it's own counterpart biscuit, the Rich Tea. Using the power of conjecture, I have determined that buying these biscuits to dunk in your tea not only funds the rich (see what I did there) but accelerates the rate of pacification relative to how soggy your like your biscuits
  • Though drinking tea can be said to hold health benefits (but who did this research? Giant corporations? The government? Lizard people? Who!?) it is almost universally drank with milk, which not only nullifies any health benefits but is stolen from cows on a global scale
  • PG stands for Pro Government
  • I don't like tea

Also, just look at the poster itself. Doesn't that crown look kind of like a teapot/ tea cosy?
Image Credited to:http://www.flickr.com/people/atomicshed/
Well, not really, no.

 In being told to keep calm by these bloody posters and the endless references to them by people thinking they're clever by subverting something archaic I have only been annoyed further. I don't trust the source and you can't either. After all, if you look up at that poster, you can even make out a sad face in the top of the crown- calm doesn't mean happy. Calm is boring. Excitement is where it's at.

This is a completely superfluous and indeed highly suspicious slogan to be putting about in this day and age unless something is blatantly, brutally wrong with the world, and in the case that there is something dreadful occurring, it is no more effective at raising spirits than Derek Acorah.

 I for one would have much preferred one of the other posters about at the time, which put out a far more assertive and still culturally relevant message.

"FREEDOM IS IN PERIL. DEFEND IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT'

 If this message was on everything I doubt we'd be in half the trouble we are now. And there'd no none of that psychotropic tea you're probably still drinking either. Just drink water instead.

I've never heard any conspiracy theories about people putting stuff in that.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Frankentrees


A little while back I had an idea (as I often do, I'm quite a creative chap you know) for a way of alleviating the strain on the environment that the wood and paper industries place upon it. The idea was for genetically modified trees, to be grown hydroponically indoors in warehouses, which would grow rapidly and without flaws due to their modified nature, and allow for rapid production of lumber for any use without having to chop down trees to get it.
 Having just today remembered that I needed to research this idea, I did a Google search on it and discovered that some bastard has not only come up with and set in motion this idea before me, but that they are doing it utterly and dangerously wrong too.

 According to this article, certain American corporations intend to plant a great big genetically modified eucalyptus field. Not only does this sound like a recipe for disaster from a biodiversity perspective, they also haven't taken into account that Eucalyptus is the Mike Tyson of the plant world: boasting impressive talent, but wrong it and it will knock you the fuck out.

 Even before being upgraded by mad scientists eucalyptus (or Kipper as I shall refer to it from now on) was a violent son of a birch. It inspired the xenomorphs from the Alien trilogy by having flammable blood. That's right, Kipper's oil, which these buggers are obliged to produce is highly flammable, with risk of burnination high. It's all some sort of joke to the Kipper though as they can in fact regenerate themselves after being burned, unlike their unfortunate victims who fall prey to this Australian arsonist. Oh and Kipper oil is also poisonous too.

 As well as being able to catch fire and laugh it off, Kipper trees routinely drop their dense and unwieldy branches spontaneously- spontaneously being whenever they see a child walk beneath and they are feeling particularly menacing. Kipper branches are proper heavy and capable of crushing a human being down to the size of an olive within milliseconds.

 Aside from their natural qualities of violence and explosiveness to rival Al Qaeda, this is a tree that drinks more water than Bear Grylls drinks piss.

 Genetically modified, these trees will be even worse that the brain sharks in Deep Blue Sea. 'Worse how?' you say. "Nothing is worse than a clever shark." How about a regenerating exploding boxing tree with eight legs and a bad attitude that comes into your neighbourhood and drinks all your water?

 It's not just one that they're making, it's whole forests of these psycho bastards, biding their time until they've grown with their trademark Kipper rapidity into thousands of unstoppable juggernauts ready to take over America. What will these monsters demand when they arrive at the Whitehouse and threaten Obama with some Evil Dead style tree rape?

 The one source of hope is that Kipper trees are not especially frost resistant, and as my house and  everywhere outdoors in the UK currently resembles a huge freezer, it is unlikely these scumbags will every be able to sail across (or maybe drink and walk over) the Atlantic and take root in frosty old Britland.

 Then again, knowing American scientists, they'll probably have designed it to be frost resistant too. And a plant like that really could take over the world.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

How to deal with Snow in Britain

How to Survive Snow in Britain

It's that time of year again. The time when everybody goes completely nuts, has a mental time shopping, crashes their cars, and blames the government for not saving them from this misery.

That's right people.
It's snowing.

You'd think that living in a cold country would make people more prepared to deal with snow, or at least accustomed to the idea that it might happen during the 80% of the year that they're freezing their arses off, but no such luck. As it stands whenever it snows here everybody totally loses their shit and the country grinds to a standstill whilst children revel in the temporary collapse of society like tiny anarchists.

Well as a upstanding member of society and a generally amazing guy I have come up with this advice on how to not totally be annihilated by panic when pretty bits of frozen rain float down to earth.

1. Show no fear

Snow is made up not only of water but also of 'bastard particles'. These are the reason snow causes people to panic, as snow itself is obviously fairly docile. The way of preventing further panic is to show the snow no fear. If anything a show of bravado such as a flying kick or eating a lightbulb will put it right off. Try tearing a phonebook in half whilst yawning, as though such acts are beneath you.

2. Ignore the snow

Positive thinking is 99 problems but where are my scones? What was I saying? Anyway if you must tremble either with fear or due to the weather, do it at a private moment. Remain positive and you can simply not acknowledge the biting cold as your nipples cut through your outer garments.
Oh, did I say cold. I meant bracing. A but of a chill in the air will do you good. Go for a stroll in your underpants and remember that snow cannot defeat you. Nothing can defeat you!
Except hypothermia.

3. Sit down

Sitting down has been clinically proven in either some, all, it no situations, to instantly make things okay. Try it now.

4. Declare war on snow

If being tough and sitting down hasn't done the trick, It's time to play hardball. Declare war against snow (or put out a bounty or jihad if that's your thing) and lay waste to its frozen hateful form. The following activities may be worth trying:
  • Stamp on it
  • Throw it at things
  • Build a snowman and punch it in the snowballs
  • Set fire to a cloud
  • Yell obscenities at the snow
  • Eat it (unless it's yellow)
  • Run over it in a car
  • Shit on a snowflake

5. Give up

If these methods haven't worked for you then firstly I'm very disappointed in your snow stopping abilities. Secondly it may be time to call it a day. Mother nature is a powerful bitch and sometimes you can't stop her. I probably could but you certainly can't.
Lie down, cry quietly, and eat some cake as you watch the frozen apocalypse come down about your home or place of business. Tell yourself you did your best and have a biscuit, then maybe a sombre wank to try and keep up your spirits as jack frost lays his filthy claws on your world, whilst a blizzard engulfs the immediate vicinity.

I'm sure it'll all blow over by Tuesday.