Saturday, May 31, 2008

Generally not listening

Millie has an ear infection that just won’t go away. Emma takes her for her latest check up…

Emma: “the doctor said that we should review it in a couple of weeks, if it hasn’t cleared up then he’ll refer her to the hospital.”

Me: “Right.”

Emma: “He said that they might have to put her under general anaesthetic in order to have a look. I said I didn’t like the idea of that.”

Me: “General anaesthetic? That can’t be right”

Emma: “Well that’s what he said. He said that Millie was quite compliant so it might not be needed.”

Me: “Jesus, general anaesthetic just to have a look at an ear. It’s not that she’s suffering or can’t hear.”

Emma: “Well that’s what he said.”

Me: “But general anaesthetics are dangerous at the best of times, especially on small children, especially on small children with heart conditions.” [Ruffles considers that doctor may be part of grand conspiracy to steal children’s brains whilst under unnecessary anaesthetic.]

Emma: “Well that’s what he said.”

Me, furiously thinking: “I think we should get a second opinion on that, I know I’ll ask Spankee’s GP friend, see if he does this.”

Conversation continues for a few minutes in this vain before drifting into other topics and finally to silence.

Then there’s some more silence

And more.

Emma: “Hmm, maybe it wasn’t a general anaesthetic.”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More than just a game

“Fate” is how Alex Ferguson described Manchester United’s victory over Chelsea on Wednesday. Fate it wasn’t, there was much more to it than that. A victory for Chelsea would have signalled the end of football and with it the end of history itself.

Manchester United’s victory was been built on a history of footballing success. It’s a story of famous heroes - Busby and Ferguson - and tales of derring-do – The Munich Air Disaster, the 1968 and 1999 European Cup Final’s. Only by travelling this journey have they built a position where they can compete with the best.

A victory for Chelsea, the nouveau riche of European football, would have forged the link between money and trophies. It would have removed the requirement to build success over time. In short, it would have proved that money buys trophies dismissing the precursor of being good at football.

This would have finally proved the triumph of science and logic over human endeavour, spirit and imagination. Why waste the effort and experience the tragedy to win trophies, when such triumphs can be achieved quickly, objectively and without waste?

Chelsea are an efficient, bullying, belligerent team. Strong and well drilled built and bought for the purpose of winning.

Manchester United are, by comparison, swashbuckling adventurers; risk taking and imaginative, brave and spirited. Had Chelsea triumphed the very thing that makes us human will have been defeated. And the thing that our own imagination has created: science, will have, finally turned on us.

This is what makes us people and more specifically British. We are a people whose essence is built on adventure. To leave an island for an unknown destination, as we once did, is a demonstration of imagination and spirit unparalleled. It is said that Britians love a gallant loser more than it does a winner. This isn’t true; Britains respect the adventurers’ spirit; to try is to and live. To succeed is merely a bi-product.

Presented to us on Wednesday was a vision of what might be. The master puppeteer Abramovich lording over his chosen court jesters. “Lamps and JT” the arrogant two-headed beast playing centre stage. The scent of burning flesh and impending doom was real as Terry stepped up to slaughter the innocent. Then, as though the Gods had mustered an ounce of strength he slipped allowing goodness to return. As if the great poets were writing the game, then Nicolas Anelka; the greediest footballer on the planet missed; the horror presented to us before we were returned to The Shire and safety.

I am no Manchester United fan; and they are hardly without criticism. They too have been enticed by logic over spirit and have been at the forefront of the movement to pull up the drawbridge to success. Our constant thirst to strive for logicality will see football’s inevitable decline with a small number of billionaire clubs competing and technology deciding every marginal ruling. Only Alex Ferguson stands between football and oblivion.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fat not phat

“How did he do it?” Asked the bloke at work as I described to him what I’d seen on ‘Half-Ton Dad’ on Channel 4.

It was an all-pervasive question; how did he get to weigh half a ton? How did he conceive a child? I can’t say I found out the full answer to either question. I turned over at the point they were slicing great slabs of his flesh from his thighs in the vain attempt at getting him under the svelte thirty stone mark.

I’ve seen programmes like this before where some of the ‘how did he do it’ questions are answered. There was one bloke who claimed that his pizzas were healthy because they contained all the main food groups. Now I don’t care how fat, stupid or American you are; surely everyone knows that vegetables, cheese, bread and meat are not main food groups.

Also there was the bloke became housebound so put his money in a bucket and lowered it to children down below so they could get his Kentuky Fried Chicken bucket. You would think that the first time you had to resort to such a drastic action would be the point at which you start to think you’ve got a problem to sort out.

So, how did he do it? He ate a shitload of food, that’s how he did it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dead bloggers society

Some bloggers finish their blogs having achieved something; losing weight, finding love etc. Some just go away – perhaps they’ve been rumbled and set up shop elsewhere, perhaps they realise that despite their best intentions, their lives are so cyclical, they’ve only got a few things to say. Perhaps they descend into some personal crisis.

Some, like me, plod on regardless of the number of visitors or whether you have anything interesting to say. I don’t like abandoned blogs, they unnerve me. I’m conscious that it looks like I’m abandoning this one, but it’s not true.

I’m suffering from bloggers block. I can’t get round to getting anything down. Since Christmas we seem to have been in a constant state of adjustment, any sense of routine (including the routine of posting) has been largely absent. In addition to, and perhaps because of, this constant (though in no mean bad) flux, I’m finding that I’m doing what I want to do rather than what I feel I have to do. So I’m not idly fiddling with my laptop when I really prefer to watch TV or read or go out and do something less boring instead.

Anyway, I’m here. But still not very interesting.

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