Maintain Microwave Silence

There really needs to be a way of muting the annoying completion beeps on a microwave oven. Or even a choice. Like phone ring-tones.A soft ‘Ta’daa’ would suffice. Maybe a bit of Brahms. I’m not asking for a talking microwave. That would, I’m sure, quickly lose its novelty factor.

It’s a first world annoyance but shushing at a microwave oven at three in the morning and asking it (OK, failing to catch the final few seconds in order to manually avoid filling the silence with those annoying completion beeps) to be more respectful of sleeping neighbours can test your usual relationship to functional white goods.

Image by Micah Taylor under this creative commons licence


Consumer Item Limbo

“For the love of God give me my item”. The man in front of me in the queue at the Argos store had finally lost his patience. His number called as ready for collection long ago he had watched as his item moved from dispatch hatch to shelf and then seemingly to literal limbo.Argos counter anxiety

His way of ‘losing it’ was interesting in that he suddenly raised both arms skyward with one hand still clutching his item ticket and proclaiming his ‘love of God’ utterance as if attending an evangelical religious event.

His mild outburst stopped the two customer service operatives in their tracks as they were forced finally to acknowledge both the man and the overdue item. Each fixed him with a look of annoyance and disapproval. His long arms moved down to his side and the hand clutching the item ticket pointed to the item not 4 feet from him and that he could identify as his. The man’s pointed finger almost trembled with a mixture of frustration and anticipation.

He got his item and soon it was my turn to wait puzzled that my item number had long been called but couldn’t obviously be seen in my line of sight. I drifted in and out of daydreams and numb vacant stares (a speciality of mine) before finally my item had spent enough time in limbo for an operative to call my number.

I declined a bag, clutched my item and was only slightly waylaid by a poor man who seemed to walk and sway in a stilted manner akin to a drunk robot though it soon became clear that he was not drunk or otherwise intoxicated but afflicted with this method of motion as the norm. He swayed around a tower of catalogues and special offers that he seemed unable to reach out and grasp despite repeated attempts so I offered to assist in a completely non-verbal interaction  that was mutually beneficial to both parties whilst balancing my own item under one arm.

For us both the frustration was temporarily over.

Photo by cubemate under this creative commons license

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Globesity Is Here

I heard the term Globesity used on the news last night.Obviously describing the rise in global obesity. It’s intriguing how these new hybrid words come into being and into popular use. The car-crashing together of two existing words to make a new bastardised word. This latest little miracle of language came from The World Health Organisation, no less.

It would seem that the UK is not that keen in giving up its love of junk food. Personally I think the belligerent Brits just have a knee jerk reaction to being told what to do by central government (No matter what political shade of beige they are).

Parliament should really play the reverse psychology card and announce that junk food is now compulsory and that healthy food should only be eaten in limited quantities and there would very rapidly be a campaign in the Daily Mail spouting outrage and rallying against it.Britain would be scoffing healthy options and eschewing junk food at a surprisingly rapid rate soon after.

My previous favourite hybrid word from a year or so ago was celebutard aimed at a certain genre of celebrity who may not be especially blessed in the brains department.

I look forward to hearing more blended words enter our vocabulary.
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When Is A Candle Not A Candle?

Coming round after the operation took me some time.The op started around 8:15 am (I was bumped from 3rd on the list after the previous two showed pre-med anomalies and there weren’t even any free beds at that stage) and I woke up around 6pm albeit with only a tenuous grip on reality. The next few days were very painful and I was pinned to a bed with blood drains, limb weights (not fun), catheter (you could get used to that kind of convenience) and a fluid drip and oxygen mask (does oxygen smell or was I inhaling disinfectant fumes on the mask?).

Getting Back 
By day three I was conscious enough to slur a few words to various nursing staff but mostly I was just taking the morphine shots, drinking water and sleeping. In the evening of day three a nurse came in and asked if I wanted the television on (I had a telly in my room which I felt guilty about but was in no position to turn it on but at least it wasn’t a patientline rip off).

Mind Your Language 
Before I could say no thanks a channel had been selected and the set was blaring out (what is it with side mounted speakers they are a nightmare for us hard of hearing types).Almost as soon as the nurse had left the room I realised that the programme she’d selected might not be the most appropriate choice considering the audio content that would leak out onto the ward. It was Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Expletives spilled out of the set as I lay half bemused and keenly worried about the stream of F-words blaring out.

When IS A Candle Not A Candle? 
Television looked doubly inane when watched from a hospital bed and adverts doubly so. This advert for a candle looks unbelievably kitsch and inane even out of the hospital confine. I thought adverts like this stopped in the 70’s. Makes me smile though.

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Music In The Aisles 7 Nov 2007

Another quick dash for stash and today the supermarket chain radio was on but playing nothing recognisable to my eyes. The ‘DJ’ then decided to quiz those of us who tune part of our hearing into these things on what song would be coming up by reading out part of the lyrics in a very stilted but somehow accusational way:

“Who’s gonna pay attention,
To your dreams?
And who’s gonna plug their ears,
When you scream? “

I was by the Kit Kats at the time.

I can’t really hear that song (Drive by The Cars) without seeing the film played at Live Aid in 1985 that accompanied it.Feeling tearful by the Kit Kats is not a great feeling.

Ninja Shopper And Thoughts Of Children
I mercifully sped through the checkout, disposable bags whipped from my pockets like some shopping ninja. As I got to the perimeter of the store car park the youngsters were emerging from the nearby primary school. One young blonde haired boy had raced ahead of his mother carrying his bag and with his coat worn only in the sense that he had the hood drawn over his head with the garment hanging behind him like some super hero cape. He was making speeding car sounds complete with enthusiastic screeching as he careered down the incline and slammed into a bollard in a way that would have given a much older buy a great deal of sensitive pain. He half acknowledged my nearby presence before pretending that I wasn’t there and talking excitedly to himself in a away I presume he intended to be over heard and said “great brakes”.

I smiled and he slyly smiled back and I had one of those pseudo maternal pangs.

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Music In The Aisles 3-10-07

Exit stage left for a late evening raid for some ‘essentials’ at the local supermarket thus managing to avoid Rhydian (he’d be camp if he wasn’t so up his posterior) on X Factor (hurray) and walked half heartedly in the evening air with fireworks going off all around me.

Halloween Hangover
There were still people wandering the streets dressed in Halloween get-up, some of them adults of advancing years so I imagine that either dressing up is their thing or some of them were combining Halloween and fireworks night for the benefit of ‘the kiddies’.

I meandered around the sparsely stocked supermarket aisles to the sound of Razorlight’s ‘Somewhere else’ (‘I really really wish I could be some where else…’).

I had forgotten to report that a few days ago the same supermarket was playing Peter, Bjorn and John’s ‘Young Folks’ which had prompted many fully grown adults to whistle along in unison (almost surreal).

The checkout lady managed to have what seemed like a near fatal coughing fit all over my items whilst I offered a meek ‘Are you alright?”. She waved me away and may still be in the throes of coughing even now.

You Can’t Beat A Good Meander 
I meandered my way home through the dark streets, taking the long way around which avoids the alley ways that I’d probably use in the daylight hours. Quite a few families with young children standing outside to watch some of the fireworks.A jogger passed passed me whilst doing that limbering up thing they do to loosen their arms and hands which looks daft when undertaken whilst still running.

Nearer to home a lone woman stood out of the pavement watching a nearby display standing  alone in what seemed to be just a camisole top and jeans, arms folded tightly and self consciously  whilst a casually holding a lit cigarette.

She did not look happy.

Music In The Aisles 17/10/07

A swift charge around the supermarket aisles today gave me two subliminal music messages via the store tannoy: I could be happy by Altered Images and F.E.A.R by Ian Brown.

There seemed to be a lot of people just standing and staring into space. Perhaps I was one of them. Also there were a lot of very fashion conscious women presenting smart casual. I felt very dowdy and unusually envious.

More music in the aisles 

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