I approve of Kingfisher’s T&A policy.

A couple of weeks ago, rushing to make my connection at Bombay airport. (That’s my subtle way of setting the scene up. It is true. I am a master of tact and subtlety. In these two areas I stand alone, surveying my domain, master of all I see.)

During the rushing, rushing that was very, very painful because of the fucking large ass suitcase I was dragging behind me while futilely trying to get it to roll behind me on its “confused about their role in the universe” wheels. (Suitcase wheels: Those round anomalies in the fabric of reality that refuse to roll but instead find themselves a comfortable spot at the bar from which they refuse to budge thank you very much!)

But I digress. Rushing in process. Dodging of the hordes of people in the airport being done simultaneously. (Master of multi tasking. And Tact. And Subtlety.) And then, everything stops. By everything, I mean me. The rest of the universe trundles along. I stopped. My attention had been grabbed by the sign right out side the entrance to the terminal. The sign had a list of everything that a person was not allowed to bring on board a flight.

When I say everything, you surely think, “He exaggerates. He exaggerates for comic effect.” To that I reply, “No. I fucking do not. I am truly a reporter of sagacious disposition and of a nature that holds veracity and accuracy in the highest esteem.” And we speak this way because that’s the way we fucking roll.

Back to the list of everything. It contained the usual suspects. The pistols, the rifles, the knives, the explosives, the firecrackers, the gas cylinders, the cans of petrol, the flammable material, the compressed gas tanks etc. etc.. Things you expect on that sign. Things that make you think, “These people here clearly are on top of things.” But they just had to go and ruin it. The list they decided needed to be comprehensive. Everything was the philosophy they subscribed to. Everything. No coy minimalism here. None of that brevity that is so open to misinterpretation.

The usual suspects were followed by the less usual suspects. The Molotov Cocktails, the spears, the clubs…Well, not yet outlandish.

Not yet.

And halfway through the list, there emerged, that shining example of outlandishness.

“Throwing Stars.”

You know. Shurikens. The kind used by Ninjas and four mutant adolescent turtles. Throwing fucking stars. Seriously. Did they need to fucking put that down? Is Bombay a major hub for Ninja traffic? Are there hordes of men and women dressed all in black going through customs and security with nary a sound with one too many a throwing star? Is there a plague of throwing stars on passengers at the Bombay Airport? Are there other Ninja weapons that one should not carry? Nunchuks? Katanas? Do the Ninjas eschew the elevators and the escalators and instead do they choose to run up walls to the international departure lounge? Do they fling throwing stars at people working at concesion stands to get their attention? Do they try to pass the throwing stars off as dislodged suitcase wheels!

The list needs more.

  • Lightsabers.
  • Broadswords.
  • Pikes.
  • Tridents.
  • Gandalf’s magic staff. (Insert penis joke here)
  • Photon Torpedos.
  • Rocket Launched Chainsaws.
  • Robot Ninjas with throwing stars.

Cheesecake, good cake or the best cake?

So I’m sharing my current digs with a cat. A very, very friendly cat. Also a very, very overweight cat. A very, very overweight cat with the body image of a wee little kitten. She firmly believes that she weighs as much as a feather and that the rest of world should see her the way she sees herself.

A wee little kitten.

Inside every fat cat is a thin cat trying to get out.

The cat has decided that my lap is the ideal place to take a little nap. Not liking the fact that this nearly crushes my thighs to a fine pulp I always protest. And then I try to push her off my lap.

In a movie there are usually bad guys and good guys. Well, in the interesting kind of movie. I’m sure that in movies where someone’s feeling are examined, and people discuss past traumas and the passing of childhood and the uncertainty of life and the transience of existence and the intangibility of material possessions and the transcendence of love, there are protagonists and there are antagonists.

“Memories of a friend drowning”: Antagonist.

“Memories of your sixth birthday”: Protagonist

“Memories of a friend drowning on your sixth birth day” : Protagonist. (What? There were cakes and presents. Too bad for the little tyke. If he had only learnt to float)…Fine…antagonist.

“Discussion about the transience of life”: Antagonist

“Discussion about the glory of cheesecake”: Protagonist.

So, scientifically, we have established that a protagonist and an antagonist do exist in every kind of movie. And their very nature dictates that there can be no peaceful coexistence. There has to be conflict and only one can win. At some point or the other during the narration they will duke it out. If you’re lucky, they will duke it out multiple times, sometimes face to face and sometime through proxies and sometimes the antagonist will wipe out the protagonist’s family with the aid of a well placed incendiary device. This unwise course of action almost always annoys the protagonist and causes him to go postal on the antagonist and his minions.

For the purposes of this discussion, the protagonist is “Memories of your sixth birthday” (henceforth abbreviated to MOYB) and the antagonist is the “Discussion about the transience of life” (who shall from this point on be referred to as DATTOL). The antagonist was deeply in love “Discussion about the glory of cheesecake” (we shall abbreviate this name to Mighty Lady Omegatron Six). MOYB and DATTOL used to be the best of friends but had had a falling out over whether it was “Paint your own pottery” studio or it was Paint your own “Pottery studio.” Now they were bitter enemies who fought each other at every opportunity.

Finally matters came to a head and after one particularly galling defeat, DATTOL acquired the incendiary device from a couple of paragraphs up and blew up Mighty Lady Omegatron Six, her family (mum, dad and uncle designated as comic relief), her pets (canary and tame toaster), a passing postman (Two days from retirement. Poor guy), three trees and a partridge in one of those trees. MOYB nearly went insane with grief. But as in all good stories the grief hardened into a fiery (Hardening into fire. No kidding.) desire for revenge.

And here we are now, three years later, after a quest that took MOYB across three continents he has tracked down DATTOL, and this is the time for their final confrontation. On this narrow windswept balcony, the two face each other, the only light that they have the blazing sun, three floodlights and a small emergency lamp. No words are exchanged. No words are necessary.

MOYB is unarmed. DATTOL is not. He has with him his trusty switchblade.

It makes a tiny “snick” sound when he extends the blade.

Kinda like the sound made by an irritated cat’s claws when you try to push her (the cat, not the claws) off your lap.


James Oliver Rigney, Jr.
Robert Jordan
October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007

Bivalve molluscs inhabiting lakes, rivers, and creeks, as well as intertidal areas along coastlines worldwide.

Three days after returning from San Diego, I realized that for a person who does not know how to swim, I’m awfully fond of the beach and the ocean and the water. One may, with some accuracy, call it a fatal fondness for the water. “Nothing will happen to me, I’m only chest deep in the water. Oh look, a large wave. And now, a larger one. And now a completely involuntary and completely uncontrolled somersault underwater. Whee?”

A few hours after that, as I sat in my genial (hah!) host’s living room, languorously watching the seawater drain out of my sinuses and gently soak his carpet, I decided that this had to change. To avoid washing up on shore one day, bloated with all the sea water I’d inhaled, and with a barnacle nestling under my chin, I would need to take swimming classes.

And I enrolled for them with surprising alacrity. Every Saturday afternoon during the fall, slam bang in the middle of my weekend, pretty much ensuring that I’m not going to be going on any weekend road trips for the next fourteen weeks…But I digress, the swimming classes. I signed on late on a Friday afternoon, and the next day I showed up for my first class.

All things considered, it could have been much worse. For instance, there could have been a large, hungry shark in the pool. Or piranha with a case of the munchies. The instructor could have been an axe murderer, or a tax collector. See, all things considered, it could have been worse.

If that previous paragraph led you to suspect that the class was a disaster, I apologize for misleading you. It wasn’t. All I was doing was pointing out worse case scenarios. For instance, you’re crossing a road, and a piano falls off a plane and falls on you. Or you are reading the newspaper and while your attention is diverted, you are attacked and subsequently eaten by a tribe of cannibal kindergarteners. You switch your computer on and that same piano jumps out from behind a door and falls on you. (This last case requires that the piano be a little more active than when it was dropping on you. But I’m sure you realized that.) Or you could be having dinner at a nice restaurant and a car driven by a pair of desperate hoodlums plows though the room. You narrowly avoid it by lunging to the left and heave a sigh of relief, and then you are run over by the cops in hot pursuit. You know, those cops, the ones in the movies, the ones who see no harm in driving through a crowd of civilians to get the bad guys. Worst case scenarios.

Now, most people here in this country, apparently learn to swim when they are wee tots. When they weigh half a kilogram and can be slung about with nary a care. Not something that one can do with me. Unless the swimming instructor was a three hundred and fifty pound linebacker.(…who looked upon me as the hated opposing team quarterback, and whose wife had run away the previous night with the opposing teams toaster. Run away in an eloped sense, and not in a stole the toaster sense. See another worst case scenario.) My instructor is a rather pretty blonde woman. She isn’t very large and she did explain to me that it was easier with kids, but reassured me that we should have no problems at all.

She said that the first lesson would involve teaching me how to float, both on my back and on my stomach. (Not simultaneously. I’m taking the basic aquatic contortionist course next year.).

“Floating is good,” I said, “Since it implies not drowning.” (Oh yeah. I still got it.)

So, there I was in the pool, trying to float , the instructor’s hand supporting my back, as I raised my hips and pushed my head down and enjoyed the sensation of all that liquid goodness entering my auditory canals. After a few moments of these delicate adjustments she said, “You should easily float now,” and removed her supporting hand.

I didn’t.

My descent to the bottom of the pool would have put any rock anywhere in the world to shame. If sinking were a sport, I would have been its undisputed champion. The man who set the gold standard, a man who could not be caught in his generation, a man whose feats would inspire awe among his fans, and sadly, envy among his competitors, whose petty jealousy would cause them to allege the use of Sink Enhancing Drugs. Charges that would never be proved…

We tried again. It was slightly better this time. I did stay up on the surface for a couple of seconds before diving for the depths, like a German U-boat at the height of the second world war that had just been sighted by a few disgruntled Allies who wanted to discuss with it the U-boats distressing, some may say socially embarrassing, habit of sinking merchant ships and crippling supply lines.

We tried a third time. There was a gentle plop as the water took me into its gentle bosom.

The instructor realized that this wasn’t working. She decided that she’d like to teach me to float on my belly, hoping perhaps for more success.

More adjustments.

I sank. Faster than when I’d tried to float on my belly. A feat that I would have refused to believe was possible scarcely five minutes in the past.

A few more repetitions with me doing my impressions of the brave ships Titanic, and the Lusitania, and the Bismarck. During that last one I provided sound effects. “Mein Gott. Was zeit ist ihnen?”

And far too quickly, I had but a minute left in the class. The floating remained a distant, seemingly unattainable dream. But then, perhaps the one sentence that made me chalk the class as a success. The instructor said, and I paraphrase because I do not quite remember her exact words, “The problem is, you’re too muscled. People who are very muscled usually have trouble floating.”


Um…This is probably the only time that an emoticon is far more eloquent than a sentence could ever be.

Um…I may have exaggerated a bit. By a bit I may mean a lot. By exaggerated I may mean completely fictional. Except for the statements about the muscles. That’s competley true.



Networking in today’s Fast Paced and Increasingly Connected world, with an Emphasis on Online Contacts and Leveraging of Connections.

LinkedIn’s default invitation is worded so, “Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.” I’ve nothing against the people who use the default message. Heck I use it too. But, you have got to admit that that is a more than averagely smarmy message.

No, you don’t trust me. You don’t trust most of the people you sent that message to. You may have worked with those people, or you may know them from some place, like school or college or a previous job. That does not mean you trust them. It means you one knew them and that they may be useful to you in future. You know, like duct tape. You always need to keep duct tape around. On the off chance that you may need to use it. Just like you can use the people you link to on LikedIn.

So, here are alternatives to that invitation message:

· “You do not suck. Link to me.”

· “You did not stick a knife in my back. Link to me.”

· “I know where you hid the bodies. Link to me.”

· “I know what you did last summer. Linky.”

· “You let the dogs out. Linkination.”

· “You are a space ninja pirate. Link.”

· “I once saw your name in the CC field of a mail that someone forwarded to me about a large dog and sixteen rabbits performing unnatural sexual acts. Link please.”

· “You are a Homo Sapien. Link to me.”

· “You have a name. Link to me.”

· “I need a plumber. Link to me.”

· “Pick a number. Link to me.”

· “You need Herbal male enhancement medicine. Link link link.”

· “Porn, porn, porn! Link!”

· “”I” before “E” except after “C”. Link.”

· “Handcuffs, butter and two super models. Link to me.”

· “You look like someone I once worked with. Link to me.”

· “You liked to look at someone I worked with. Link to me.”

· “Meow! Link to me.”

· “Woof! Link to me.”

…Seriously, I was trying to make a halfway coherent post. I think I might have failed.


However, I am proud of the sheer amount of crap I managed to cram into the title. I warms the cockles of me heart laddie. Aye I remember the time, me and me pirate brethren of the good ship “The LinkedIn” were fighting Ninjas off the coast of ReallyITrustYou island…

Coherent post. Honest.

You are not welcome here.

This abuse of adjectives has got to stop. People use them willy-nilly with nary a concern for accuracy and truthfulness.

Driving up Route 1, I saw a sign for “Luxury” Apartments. Well, upon closer examination, I decided that they weren’t. They were medium nice-ish apartments. The kind inhabited by young professionals and toaster salesmen, but they were missing the signs of luxury that a reasonable person may look for when pointed towards a Luxury apartments. There were no butlers bringing people cups of tea. Neither were there dancing fountains (There was one weak, rather anemic fountain, one that spurted weakly and clearly was merely marking time until retirement), belly dancers, albino peacocks (I’ve never been fond of peacocks. They’re rather freaky looking birds.), rich lush carpets and tins of caviar gamboling on the grounds. Saying something is luxurious does not make it so. Show some restraint please.

And…you know, calling something a “Gourmet” doesn’t make it so. It isn’t a very good sandwich. Tagging gourmet to the front of it does not make it any tastier. It disappoints me when I bite into it and causes me to entertain negative, some may say violent thought towards gourmets. If I ever ran into a gourmet I would look at him sadly, and shed a single tear to show my sorrow at his duplicity.

“Designer” means…somebody designed it. Not necessarily a professional designer. Maybe an unusually dexterous orangutan or a mildly retarded six year old or a zombie with a missing brain or a large loaf of bread or a…Nobody believes you anymore. Consumers do not hear the designer bit of the spiel. The mind ignores the designer part, and so your sign may say designer shit, but our minds register only shit.

“Exclusive” fucking offer. For fuck’s sake, you’re advertising on television and asking everyone to come on down, and take a look at your designer crap. Everyone! Every-fucking-one. You aren’t excluding anyone! No exclusion. Therefore you cannot be fucking exclusive. To be exclusive you have to exclude. It’s simple. Again, for emphasis. To be exclusive, you need to fucking exclude!

You are not fooling us any more (Assuming you fooled us ever). Cease and desist and all that jazz. Resist the urge to embellish. Adjectives are delicate creatures that dislike being molested by lowly worms such as you. Um, I suppose they’d dislike be molested by anyone, not just the worms. They’re strange that way.

So, yeah, I noticed I switched from writing about the adjective-molesters in the third person to writing about them in the second person. I hope you’ve decided to mend your loose ways.

Tea, coffee and robots.

So there’s a new coffee/tea machine thing robot at work. It’s a good coffee/tea machine thing robot and I approve of it.

Except that once it’s done brewing a cup of whatever it tells me to enjoy the brewed whatever (Little LCD display, it does not talk. It should have. That would be cool). It doesn’t ask me. It doesn’t say (say, display, you get the point), “Please enjoy that cup.”

No, it says, “Enjoy!” Not a request, a command. With a menacing undertone. “Enjoy or thou shall repent. Because I am your machine overlord and it is your duty to obey me…Beep.”

As the chosen (by me) representative of the organic human race, it is my duty to defy the machine orders. But…I do need my cup of Earl Grey in the morning. So I drink my tea, but I make it a point to not enjoy it. I savour it gloomily. I sip at it with a frown. I taste the delicate flavours and shudder. No enjoyment here. Take that. I bow only to the cephalopod overlords and not to the machine overlords.

Everybody’s ordering people around these days. By everybody, I of course mean certain blogs that have a section which says, “You! Become a member of my community.” No. I won’t. Fuck off. I’m not going to become a member of your community. No, you cannot order me around blog, who’s just met me. Maybe if we get to know each other a little better, I might consider acceding to your requests. But for now, I will not become a member of your community. And stop abusing the exclamation mark. It makes my eyes bleed.

Now, if only the makers of tea/coffee robots and overbearing blogs would swing by wand read this post.