Friday, December 31, 2004

Just in case you were wondering..

..I have the answer to the question that has bothered you all for ages.

"What question Watksi?" I hear you all cry. "There are so many - is it the one about the meaning of life?"

No, not that one, the other one. You know, the one about the ants.

No? You weren't wondering? Course you were. Haven't we all wondered at some stage just how much an ant is worth? In pounds sterling?

For those of you that were wondering, I have the answer to the question of just how much it would actually cost to buy a living, breathing, common or garden ant.

14p. Per ant. So remember this next time you're tempted to pour hot, boiling water into an ants nest. You could be drowning your financial future.

Oh and ants don't breathe either, that breathing bit I mentioned earlier doesn't actually happen. Ants don't have lungs you see. I guess they'd do some sort of ant magic breathing substitite thing. I haven't investigated that far yet.

I know all this because I am now officially a myrmecologist.

I haven't got any qualifications, or a certificate, or anything like that. I just am one. Because of this: my christmas present.

CJ got it me - yes I know it's a bit geeky, especially as at the moment it is ant free and doing a very convincing impersonation of a perspex recepticle full of blue stuff sitting on a shelf. But I like it. Ever since we went here and saw their ant colony.

It's ant free because of the fact that I can't find any of the little beggars to kidnap and put into it. Typical. We're overrun by them in the summer and I can't find any anywhere now that I actually want some.

I've been up and down the garden path at least 50 times looking for any, with not one success. The neighbours must think I'm mad. They're probably writing their own blogs now about stupid neighbours digging random holes in the garden in near freezing temperatures and sprinkling what looks like sugar on the path.

I've even dug into the soil too but all I've found is a couple of worms and a dozy millipede that looks like he's been woken up before he wanted to. The ants must know I'm looking for them. They are clever like that. Any animal that can lift 100 times it's own body weight should not be underestimated. They're probably down the gym lifting an elephant or something.

And now onto the reason why I know ants cost 14p. I know this because enclosed in the box is an order form, for ordering ants. For people who are either too lazy to go out and catch a few, or those that are really trying their hardest but are being beaten by the forces of nature. For £3.50 you can buy yourself 25 ants. Enough to have a colony. Which works out at 14p each.

I wonder if ants know that they're 14p each, and whether they would be pleased with that or not.

Well it's either an order form for ants, or an order form for very cheap underwear typed on a broken typewriter.

We'll soon see.

That's yer lot. Have a great New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Bloody Thieves.

Have a look at this pair of cheeky chappies.

I've named them Trevor and Simon. That's not their real names.

They are also thieves.

Opening a card from my Mother (Mummy Duck) on Christmas Day, I expected it to at least have a nice Christmas scene on the front, or maybe a little joke or something. It would definitely have some sort of currency in it.

My joy waned as I was greeted by the bright faces of Trevor and Simon looking up at me from the front of the card. No colourful Christmas scene, no snow, no tree, no comedy Santa and Rudolph caricature. They are smiling, as though at the end of a laughing session, having been amused by some sort of joke.

The joke is me. I wasn't smiling.

Inside the card they tell me that they have my Christmas present. A goat. There is also a nice picture of my goat. And they are laughing at me because there's nothing I can do about it. It is now their goat.

My Mother, either under pressure from these 2 rascals or more likely in the middle of some sort of brainstorm, decided to give them a goat instead of giving me my present.

The goat, which was an odd present for my Mother to buy me anyway, what was she thinking? is now in the posession of Trevor and Simon, in some African backwater.

Never mind that I would not ever need a goat for anything, unless I had a nuisance rope that I needed chewing or had something that I required butting for the fun of it. Never mind that I have nowhere to keep a goat. They have my present - and I want it back. With the receipt preferably.

I'm not sure how she got it to stay still whilst she wrapped it and I'm even more unsure about how she got it in the post box. It's cruel at the very least. And I'm extremely curious as to how she knew where to buy a goat from in the first place. That's not the point. These questions can be answered later, once I've retrieved my present.

I'm even more intrigued about how she came across Trevor and Simon in the first place. I warned her that those interweb chatrooms can be a dangerous place.

I'm not happy. I want my goat.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Santa setback..

Santa falls off the wagon in night of dramatic binge drinking..

"The reindeers just left me - I thought they were my mates" A sheepish Santa commented later

Christmas is not a good time for recovering alcoholics with a penchant for sherry and mince pies. Especially when venturing out on an empty stomach.

Have a great Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiit's Christmas!!

Not content with having a name that I find difficult to pronounce, Arun has now taken it upon himself to become DJ to the office massive.

It's not uncommon to hear music in the office every now and again. Some find radio stations on the internet, some play CD's on their drives. Some bring Christmas CD's into the office and play them at unreasonable levels with no sense of shame, some actually like it if some bring Christmas CD's into the office and play them at unreasonable levels with no sense of shame or their own shame.

Some shake their heads and wish that thoughts about painful deaths to work colleagues came true.

Now I like Christmas as much as the next reasonably minded, level headed sane individual, but Christmas songs are rubbish. They are. No arguments. There is no-one that can tell me that Christmas songs are good. And it being Christmas doesn't automatically make Christmas songs good or worth playing. You wouldn't play rubbish songs all year round, unless you're commercial radio, so why play rubbish songs with vigour at Christmas? They're rubbish!

Making sarcastic comments about Christmas music too always brings the 'get into the Christmas spirit' and 'Bah Humbug' comments from the tinsel huggers. If playing 'Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time' 25 times an hour for a month means I'm in the Christmas spirit then I'll leave it if it's all the same with you. I notice John Lennon popped his clogs soon after furnishing the future with a Christmas record. Coincidence? I'll leave it up to you. I call it shame. Either that or Mark Chapman was as fed up as me.

When Roy Wood sang 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' did he really think about the practicalities of such a statement? I don't think he did. Christmas trees would have to be replaced monthly, changing fused bulbs on lights would become annoying, the money spent on presents would be ridiculous, shopping would just become impossible. Life as we know it would cease to exist - society would break down.

What a stupid thing to say - just actually think about having Christmas every day. Think about it Roy. Have you thought about it? I don't think you have have you? Irresponsible. I can't bring myself to think about it.

The worst thing about having Christmas every day in my mind though would be having to listen to shite Christmas music every day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

What's up with my woggler?

"Is my dangly bit bigger than it usually is?" I asked CJ at 8am on Sunday morning after it had woken me up for what seemed like the fourteenth time. If I was being woken up by it then CJ was going to be woken up by me being woken up by it. I'd made enough accidental on purpose noise and she hadn't stirred - but the old elbow in the back trick had the desired effect.

"Let's have a look then.." She submitted as I stretched, pretending that I had just woken up myself. "..I can't see - get nearer the light"

I moved into the light made by the gap in the curtains.

"Ooooh" She inhaled as she raised her hands to her face and recoiled in horror.

I was guessing it wasn't good news.

"It is very swollen"

"K! K!" CJ shouted as she heard her friend, whose house we were staying at, go along the landing to the toilet. "Come and have a look at this"

Ordinarily I wouldn't have been too bothered about my girlfriend calling her best friend into the bedroom to look at my swollen dangly bit. In some cases I might even encourage it. But the problem was that it wasn't THAT dangly bit that was swollen - it was the dangly bit at the back of my mouth which had seemed to come to the conclusion that it was fed up of being the forgotten organ of the mouth and that if no-one could be bothered to at least know what it's name was then it was going to start making life uncomfortable for people, i.e, me.

"Oooooh" K inhaled as she raised her hands to her face and recoiled in horror. Then she looked at CJ and giggled, then they both laughed, then asked to look at it again, then giggled, then laughed, then asked to look at it again. You get the idea of the shenanigans of the next 10 minutes.

I'd been woken throughout the night by my throat hurting, it felt as though I had something stuck in the back of it. I'd tried to get back to sleep after attributing it to the fact that I'd had a heavy night and had partaken in a few social cigarillos. Each time I had woken up within an hour, coughing.

"Stop laughing at me. What do I do? What if it gets bigger and stops me breathing?" I shouted, as though chewing a gobstopper.

I looked in the mirror and my 'woggler', as it had now been christened was indeed a fair size. It was almost covering the hole in my throat where the food goes down. I don't know the holes name either, maybe that will stop working soon too.

"Oh dear, what a pity, never mind" CJ said.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How did they get away with that?

Zoe Salmon, the new Blue Peter presenter, was interviewed whilst jumping up and down on a trampoline. It must have been an all male interviewing panel.

How would you get round to the subject?

"Right, that's all the questions over, now if you wouldn't mind just errr, umm just standing on this err, .."

"What's that?"

"A ermm trampoline. Dont worry - it's ermmm normal procedure"

"Are you sure?"

"Oh yes, and can you just err, umm undo your top a little and, ummm jump up and down a bit"

"This can't be right"

"It is, ermmm, hang on, let me just get my video camera"

I can see why they would take this route though. I got the sack the last time I tried something like that, but I knew my 'interviewing techniques for women' would catch on in the end.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Slow coaches

I'm convinced that most of the people who amble around shopping areas in towns and cities at the moment are there purely to get in the way of people rushing around doing last minute Christmas shopping. None of them have any bags!

The gits.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The last word...

"....and I ended up with the blasted thing this year" I heard the lady sitting opposite me say as I got back to my desk.

I thought she was talking about me.

"No, I'm on about my Mother" She said, and told me a story.

Her Mother used to have a particularly nasty ornament on the mantelpiece above the fire at home. 'To keep the kids away from the fire' she would say. Over the years most of the family have seen it when visiting and have said to her at some stage: 'don't leave me this horrible thing when you die'.

She died 3 years ago and left a will.

In it she says that the family must get together on her birthday every year and draw names out of a hat. The name drawn out will be the lucky owner of the ornament for the following year and must display it in a prominent position in their house.

Great story.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Watch out, Watski's about...

Similar to the theory that everyone gets 15 seconds of fame in their lifetime is the Watski theory that you will only ever get 1 or 2 chances to win £250 from Jeremy Beadle - so get your camcorder ready.

On Saturday night, I and 100 other people used up one of our chances at CJ's mothers 50th birthday that she hosted for 100 of her family and friends above a pub in town.

CJ's mother is a scouser, although she's lost the accent having been provincialised for so long she manages to find it again though when the clan get together. As an exiled scouser she is also the beneficiary of my raised eyebrow look after hub caps go missing or something. 'You can take the girl out of Liverpool, etc'. The rest of her family still live there and they exhibit the typical Liverpool stereotype of one half of the family supporting Everton and the other half supporting Liverpool. Safe to say that the Blue half were the happier on Saturday night.

CJ's sister lives in India and couldn't make the party, so we'd arranged for her to send a CD of her wishing happy birthday so that we could play it in the middle of the party in true 'this is your life/bring on the tears' style.

The brief was that CJ had to keep her Mother occupied while I set the projector and laptop up and got everything ready. CJ duly did this then got her mother and placed her in the appropriate position when I gave the signal.

The only problem with the appropriate position, as we found out immediately was that it was stood next to the fire door. Not a great problem normally but it became a problem when her Mother leaned on it and proceeded to fall backwards out of it.

No-one helped her, we all were jumping for our cameras and cursing the fact that we hadn't got anything set up.

She wouldn't even do it again for us.

Friday, December 10, 2004


I don't get home much now. Why would I when I have my meals cooked for me at another house? And much better than I could knock up they are too. Watski's no fool.

My house sits lonely though, pining for my return daily. Or at least I hope it does, it ought to with the money I spend on the ungrateful thing. The days pass by, the neighbour continues to slam his doors and Clive the goldfish gets fat as it eats the 4 days worth of food I give it all in one go. I've warned him that he'll put on weight. The Kleeneze catalogue still gets delivered despite my protestations, and in it's wake the clump of red 'sorry we missed you' (with sad face) leaflets pile up afterwards.

Things come and things go in my absence I guess. To prove this I have to battle through the door when I arrive as the plethora of junk mail combines to try and keep me out. I feel like I'm disturbing something in my own house.

I get back for 2 nights a week at the most, a couple of hours on another night and then Sunday morning for the football.

So how is that the door to door callers always seem to catch me in?

Within 10 minutes of getting back last night the NPower dork had arrived. It cant be the greatest job in the world but I've no sympathy for people coming to my door trying to sell me something I dont want. Imagine a Dixons Saturday boy with a large overcoat and a clipboard trying to sell you a power supply. That's what greeted me.

"Don't shout at me, but can I interest you in cheaper electricity Sir?" he said as I opened the door.

I wasn't planning to shout at him, maybe I looked like the type of person that would. Maybe it was the lack of flashing festivity in the front garden that singled me out as a shouter.

He showed me photo ID so that I would be safe in the knowledge that he wouldn't be rummaging around under my mattress whilst I was in the kitchen getting him a drink of water.

"It's not me who you want to be tempting with cheaper electricity, it's these soft sods round here with their Christmas lights you want to be talking to..." I replied, as the neighbour nodded at me.

"...let me save you and me the hassle of a sales pitch and just say no now. It's cold." I told him.

"Any reason for that Sir?" He went on.

"Well, if I wanted something, anything at all then I would get it on my own initiative rather than get it from someone who sells it door to door at 8pm on a Thursday evening, and even then I would do a bit of investigating so that I got the best deal. And it's cold."

"You'd look at the internet then would you Sir?" He replied.

The internet? Me? What did he know? What had he seen? I eyed him up and down, suspiciously.


"Can I suggest that you dont look at the comparison sites then as they dont always show the best comparisons" He bumbled.

I was relieved that he continued as he did after the words '...look at the'. I was beginning to wonder where he was going with the conversation.

I hadn't got the energy to pick at what he'd just said, although I was mightily tempted. If it had been summer, lighter, warmer and I'd been in one of my winding up moods then he'd have been in a conversation that he wished he hadn't got into. He'd got off lightly.

I released the prey, closed and locked the door. There would have been a collective exhale of breath at that moment in the living rooms in the houses of the Lions around the world as they watched another door to door salesman escape the clutches of a Watksi on their Human wildlife programmes.

No sooner had I reached the top step of the stairs than the door went again.

"Collecting for the windows mate" said the scruffy looking bloke as I opened it again.

I was tempted to enquire about the need to collect money for windows, and what downturn in luck had befallen them that meant haggard old men were collecting money on their behalf. I was being given so many open goals tonight, but I let this one pass too. The Lions all 'phewed' again.

"How much do I owe you"

"Just £3 mate, front and back"

"Back? How did you get round the back?" I said, intrigued. I'd started locking the back gate to prevent DEG from completing a return visit. He couldn't get round surely.

"I've got me ladders" he said as I handed over £3. He then tapped his nose and wandered off.

I still cant work out how he did them.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The name game..

I’m sure the HR department here at work are playing with my mind. It must be a new style of psychometric test.

A little while ago a guy called Aaron started in my department. For some reason Aaron is one of those names that I always have to think about when I say. Fortunately, for me and Aarons in general, I’ve never really happened across many of them – you just wouldn’t in deepest Nottinghamshire, where would they have gone to school? They wouldn’t have lasted 2 minutes. Maybe they all went private.

As this Aaron is in my department, he sits near me and I have cause to say his name a lot as I deal with him quite a bit. This is where the problem rears it head, mainly because he pronounces it Air-un, whereas I instinctively want to pronounce it as Ar-un. I think it’s down to the fact that I used to work with another guy who pronounced it that way.

Some people don’t mind mis-pronunciation, not him. After a trial period where he would correct people on the unsaid understanding that it never happened again, I am now the only person who still gets it wrong, albeit only every now and again. I am improving. You can see the pure hate in his eyes whenever I do get it wrong though. And why shouldn’t he? It is his name after all.

Last week, another chap starts here and I was down to do part of his induction. I almost cried when he introduced himself as Arun.

I think I may have to kill one of them.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Short circuit

"It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid"

Well I'm bloody afraid, I'm afraid for the sanity of this country. Afraid for our future generations.

"At Christmas time we let in light, and we banish shade"

I really think some people are taking Midge and Bob's words too literally.

Those flippin Africans might not have much, but at least not having much means that they haven't got male adults adorning anything and everything on the front of their houses with all manner of flashing things, in the name of Christmas. They should be thankful.

'Oooh look at our house, we have a 12 foot flashing Snowman, we may be misery arses all year round and moan about the kids playing in the street but we are fun people really and all this proves it'

No you're not. You need help. Some of you are going to be landing planes if you're not careful.

It's getting beyond a joke.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Looking for a bus..


My car said, to the man stood in the middle of the road. I've got a girly sounding horn on my car. People look around and laugh when I do it. Which is why I dont do it very often. Then again, people dont stand in the road when I'm driving very often.

He didn't laugh though - he gave me the finger. I saw him doing this in the rear view mirror. It was brave of him to did it when I had passed him, if he had done it before I had pipped him then I would have been minded to just run him over. For the hell of it. Although if he had done it to me before I had pipped at him then I'd have wondered why he was doing it, and I may have been even more minded to run him over. At least now I knew why he was doing it.

When I say 'middle of the road' I actually mean about a metre from the kerb. Although 'middle of the road' is what I would have told the police if I had actually run him over. Nevertheless, he was stood in the road.

He was looking down the road. For a bus.

Not content with just wating for the bus to come he was stood in the road, away from the bus stop, away from the kerb, looking to see if the bus he wanted to catch was coming.

Why would you do that?

Does he think it's going to come any quicker? Does he think that his impatientness is going to make the driver of the bus put his foot on the accelerator? Even though he cant see him.

Why doesn't he just sit down in the bus shelter and wait patiently for the bus, which is going to come anyway whether or not he looks down the road for it.

If I hadn't put my paper down in time I wouldn't have seen him.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Presenting a problem

"Get me anything" CJ said to me as I drove us through the town towards Tesco

"But I’d rather get you something you want, or at least like" I replied

"I think you’ve known me long enough to know what I like" she countered.

I had to be careful, CJ was good at slipping questions like this in when I wasn’t expecting it. My mind had alerted me to this one though. The firewall was working.

"I know, but I’d rather get you something that you want rather than get you something that’s pink and sparkly that you might like…what’s the point in getting you 5 or 10 things, when half of them you don’t want or wouldn’t have bought yourself?…..." I said

"...with that theory I might as well get you 10 vegetable boxes from the Co-op and stick them straight in the loft, then the girls at work can ask you what you got for Christmas and you can tell them that you got the space in the loft filled, like they all did" I finished.

"But it’s not about that is it? It’s about Christmas, sharing gifts, the spirit of Christmas"

"Isn’t Christmas just about getting other people to buy you the things you were going to buy yourself anyway, I’d rather get something that I wanted or was going to buy myself. PP - Practical Presents, it's the way forward"

"You are a cynical sod. Were you a child or were you just born middle aged?"


Middle aged? She’d said that word again. Is it a word, or is it two? Whatever. She knew that saying it to me was akin to using a taser gun. She always threw it in when I was being overtly cantankerous. It was her way of letting me know that I was being overtly cantankerous, rather than just telling me outright. I think that she thinks that it hurts more.

She’s right.

So I sulked. For a minute.

"Wouldn’t it be better to just save the money we would have spent on each other and go away on holiday?" I carried on.

"Yes it would, but that’s not Christmas is it?"

"We could go to Lapland"

Thursday, December 02, 2004


I was perturbed last night whilst driving home from work. I was perturbed that I couldn't make my mind up what to have to eat when I got back. It's a big choice for me and I normally have it in the bag by mid-morning, but this time I was struggling. I just didn't know what I wanted.

Not that there's much choice when I get back to my place anyway, it's like Old Mother Hubbards 10 years after she moved out. CJ, the usual chef, was away, so I was forced back to mine.

I turned the radio from 5live, that was perturbing me too. And it was annoying me - I hate the way they are always swopping and changing the presenters. I like consistency when I'm driving - I like to know who I'm going to be greeted by when I start the car up and contemplate my drive home - their constant change bothers me.

*Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
A four of fish and finger pies*

..the new radio station sang at me through the speakers.

And there it was. My tea was sorted. Fish Fingers. Who am I to argue with genius?

Sandwiches though - not pies. You may be genius but what weirdo has fish fingers in a pie? And then sings about it?

With lots of tomato sauce.


So I sped homeward bound with an extra poke on the accelerator, only pausing to stop off at the local shop, to pick up some fish fingers and some bread with which to prepare my culinary extravaganza.

They were even more lovely than I had imagined.

Thank you Mr Lennon and Mr McCartney.

I look forward to the time when you recommend my tea again.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


*...and I demand to have my blog up and working now or I'm changing to typepad, my audience need me....oh, I'm back on again. Thanks*

In a world of 6 billion people how is it that I get saddled with the cretinous bunch who happen to be plonked next door to me? Both sides. I mean, what are the odds of that? It's no coincidence is it? This has been done to try me.

It's been close on 4 months now since new cat moved out. And many weekends since then have begun with the unmistakeable sound of a house being demolished and rebuilt emanating from the house next doors adjoining room, peaking one memorable morning when we were shaken out of bed at 7.30am.

We didn't say anything at the time as a) they'd actually done us a favour as we'd set the alarm clock wrong and had slept in, and it felt churlish to complain when they had actually helped us, and b) they did had to redecorate and we'd had the inconvenience of a not very tolerant other side neighbour who would come round and complain at the sound of painting when CJ moved in. He actually asked us whether we would mind restricting our DIY to the hours of 6pm - 9pm, and not at weekends.

The drilling and banging stopped about a month ago though, but was then replaced with the drilling and banging of someones poor record collection. Loud dance music to be precise. There have actually been times where I can hear it above the TV and that's sacrilege, although the screaming that followed when I pushed CJ down the stairs after not having my tea on the table was conveniently masked. So it's good and bad I say.

There are no more exasperating things that a neighbour can do than play dance music very loud. The constant badum-bum-badum-bum-badum is extremely annoying - I mean, Celine Dion may get a lot of bad press, but if it was a choice between her and dance music for the music that I'd rather listen to through a wall, then Celine wins every time. At least she doesn't sing at 200 beats per minute - all credit to her I say. Although there are those that might say she ought to consider it.

The only other thing I can think of that would be more frustrating than that would be to play the same record over and over and over and over...and over, etc.

And then maybe the only other thing more frustrating thing than that would be to play the music for a couple of songs then switch it off for a while, then play it again for another 10 minutes then switch it off again.

And the maybe the last thing more frustrating than that, I would say, is to have a song in your head that you dont own or have never listened to of your own volition, just because you heard it through the neighbours wall!

Why haven't you been round Watski? I hear you ask. Well good question.

I actually feel like going round with some of my CD's and saying 'Look, if you're going to play shite then at least play some decent shite'.

The thing is that, as soon as I get up to go round it stops. Like they know. I'm like a jack-in-the-box, up and down. The Watski jack-in-the-box, available at all good toy shops this xmas. It's either that, or we actually happen to be going out in the very near future. So it seems pretty pointless.

"Excuse me, would you mind switching the music down" kind of loses it's relevancy when there's actually no music being played. And has even less relevancy after you walk down their path, get in the car and leave for the afternoon after you've spoken to them.

But the other day I had my chance when DJ neighbour started his Top 40 countdown. I waited 10 minutes to see if it would stop, and then I checked with CJ that we had no plans which involved leaving the house. It didn't stop, and we were staying in.

I put my shoes on and left the warmth of the house and went round. I didn't know what to expect the dance master to be like, so many people have come and gone from the house in the last couple of months that the neighbours could be anyone. Although I fully expected my mental image of a young guy with bleached blonde hair, sporting a burberry cap and fluorescent clothing, with piercing through anything that dangles, and doesn't dangle, posessing maybe a souped up Renault 5 GTI with big speakers, to be confirmed. He'd probably say 'nice one, mate and sorted' a lot too.

I knocked once.

No answer.

I knocked a second time.

This time I was aware of a twitch in the curtains. The music stopped.

Still no answer.

I knocked a third time.

The porch light came on.

Still no answer.

They were actually making a pretty poor job of pretending that no-one was in. Let's face it.

But still, the music had stopped. And I was only going to ask him to turn it down. I'd won the negotiation without even firing my opening salvo. I left whilst I was ahead.

And the music hasn't been on since.

Nice one.