Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 Things That Irritate The Shit Out Of Me

A few months ago, I wrote a post titled ’10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me’. I really enjoyed writing it, and it has been one of my favourites so far, in fact I think I learned more about myself writing it than my blog audience did. As such, I have decided to come up with a regular ‘10 things’ feature. I would like to say I would do this on a weekly basis, but as my blog faithful know, I can less than…erm..*cough*..prolific. So although I will aim for a list per week, this might not always be the case. This list is about things that get on my last nerve, enjoy

1. Slow-mo pedestrians during rush hour. Whenever I get caught behind one of these people, I can feel the rage start to build within me till it comes to a slow boil and I have to physically restrain myself to stop from screaming ‘GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!!!’. Tough life having to commute in NYC.

2. Flagrant abuse of whipped cream. Since moving to New York, I have been forced to learn the hard way that when someone asks if you want whipped cream with something, the correct answer is always no. To reply otherwise will always result in the utter obliteration of whatever you are attempting to ingest. I tried being slick and asking for just a little whipped cream on my frappuccino, but apparently this translates to 1/10 coffee and a massive gushing fountain of whipped cream that cannot be controlled. Moral of the story: Just Say No.

3. Cultural snobs. I get really aggravated when people look down their noses and laugh knowingly as I pull out my copy of Harry Potter and settle in to read. They sit back with a smug expression on their faces giving me the ‘poor thing, she obviously doesn’t know any better’ look. For your information, I know more than enough not to deny my self the pleasure of reading or listening to just about anything that takes my fancy. I know just as much DH Lawrence as JK Rowling, so don’t feel sorry for me. I am enjoying myself a damn sight more than you are at this moment in time.

4. Smug Married Nigerian Women. I have nothing against married people, in fact I intend to join the ranks of the normal variety someday, but these are not the folks to whom I make reference. I am referring to those bizarre women who are not much older than me that walk into a room and survey the single girls with a pitying stare while clinging for dear the life to their husband’s arm as he proceeds to spend the whole evening with his eyes firmly glued to my derriere. Should I then be so foolish as to attempt to engage one of these insipid dishrags in conversation, she will invariably ask, “Are you engaged?” When I shake my head to indicate that I am not she will always come out with the words that she has been dying to say since she first walked in, “Don’t worry, just have patience and your time will come. One day maybe you will be as lucky as I am.” Thanks, but no thanks lovie….how about you keep your lecherous ogre and I’ll keep my lunch in my stomach? Cheers.

5. Men who take up half of my seat on the Subway. Anatomy or not, there is no reason to sit with your legs so far apart. You are practically in the lotus position for crying out loud, and the last time I checked the subway car does not double as your yoga mat. Coming to think of it, I noticed that your subway fare was exactly the same as mine not 50% higher.

6. Trousers that don’t talk to shoes. It was a tough call between this one and Visible Panty Line, but the trousers won out because I am not sure how anyone can fail to notice how diabolical this looks. Fair enough, it takes a two-way mirror for those who refuse to embrace the thong to understand the impact of that V staring at the whole world. But all you have to do with the trousers is look down. They are not even close to touching your shoes!! They are exposing white socks!!! Hello? Horrific! Plus VPL at least provides a source of entertainment; the trousers sadly just make me want to cry.

7. Rude waiters who get upset when my tip is paltry. I have moaned about this in the past, so no need to go into too much detail. I maintain that in my book, a tip has a zero beginning point and goes up depending on the level of service you provide. I tip excellently for excellent service, well for good and what is expected for mediocre. If I get very bad service from you and you are rude, then your tip will be paltry. If you want a good tip then don’t be rude. My money does not exist purely for the express purpose of paying your rent; you have to earn it. And no, wagging your finger in my face and moaning about bloody foreigners will not sway the outcome in your favour.

8. People who take that whole ‘ignorance is bliss’ thing in a disturbing direction. Why would any self-respecting person choose not to arm himself or herself with as much cerebral ammunition as possible? It just seems odd to always want to be the least informed person in any situation. Would you jump out of a plane without a parachute in the name of being cute? Ignorance is not bliss, knowledge is power.

9. Text message politics. I really miss the days when life wasn’t punctuated with the politics of text messaging. You simply saw or called each other to talk. The rules were much simpler that way. You didn’t have to agonise over sending a message that could not be retrieved, you could simply hang up the phone. I love texting, not sure how I ever lived without it, but it was so much more fun when things where less open to hours of overanalyses.

10. Jodie Foster. I was hard pressed to choose between Jodie Foster and Jessica Simpson for this prized spot, but then I was forced to remember that Jodie has been irritating me for far longer than Jessica, plus boldfaced Simpson’s name for any reason would just be wrong on so many levels. Poor Jodie, I have no idea what she did to bring my wrath crashing down on her so, but whenever I hear her say “Dr. Lecter” from behind that clenched jaw, I feel the urge to smash in the screen. A sign perhaps then that she irritates the shit out of me


Monday, July 16, 2007

Binge drinking taxes? Seriously?

Having read several reports on the proposal to impose a binge-drinking tax in the UK, I can only shake my head and wonder how we could possibly continue to miss the point so badly. The idea is to create a varying further number of levies on alcohol in the hope of discouraging young people from binge drinking. This money will go towards funding alcohol abuse programs etc.

While an admirable idea, it seems clear to me that this program cannot possibly hope to achieve its stated objective. It is the mindset of the people that needs changing in order to discourage bingeing, not the price. In other words, the issue is moral, not financial and the idea that further taxation will do anything apart from take even more money away from other needs is ludicrous. Those that insist on bingeing on alcohol will do so whether the price of a pint goes up by 7p or not. This isn't something that the government can tax into oblivion, so I don't believe they should even try.

A dedicated binge drinker will always find the funds to do so, there will simply be less money for food, etc. The incredibly high taxes on cigarettes have done nothing to stem the tide of teenage smokers. As a nation, or moral compass has gone awry of late and the celebration of mediocrity and is at an all time low. People have no respect for their bodies or minds.

I like a drink as much as the next person, but you will not find me puking my guts out on Oxford Circus at 10am. This is a choice that people have to learn to make for themselves. Otherwise we should increase taxes on junk food in order to combat obesity in the interest of fairness.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

And so it came to pass...

that on the 11th day of the 7th month, the heavens burst open and the wrath of God poured forth, drenching New York in a torrential downpour, the likes of which I haven’t seen since leaving Nigeria. The first daytime serious thunderstorm of the summer was spectacular to behold…especially as I was walking the streets of Manhattan when it happened.

At first it was merely spitting as I left my office. I was heading over to meet friends before going to Central Park. The plan was to have drinks and then watch Femi Kuti do his thing at Central Park’s SummerStage and be amazed as always at the dexterity of his dancers’ derrieres. I hadn’t made it halfway to my destination when lightening split the sky and thunder temporarily deafened me. I counted to 10 under my breath in the hope that I could somehow will the clouds to hold on to their bounty. By the time I got to 7, enormous raindrops and gusting winds were doing great battle with my brolly.

All around me I could hear people screaming and making mad dashes for cover trying not to get soaked and all I could think about was how utterly ruined my hair was going to be. The only time I ever rail against my ethnicity is when it rains. A storm is a glorious thing and I would love to be able to throw aside my umbrella, lift my face up to the sky and feel the cool stinging water wash over me taking with it the grimy nastiness of a day spent walking in muggy Manhattan. But of course, this is never the case. I hold my umbrella as close to my head as I can, trying not to let a single drop permeate the cover and frizz up the hair.

Needless to say it was to no avail anyway, by the time I made it to meet my friends I was soaked from head to toe with poodle hair on my head and buckets of water in my shoes. At that point I gave in to the hilarity of the situation, embraced it and it turns out….it was fun! We went on to the park and danced to the hedonistic rhythms of afrobeat for hours. We sat there as they screened a documentary on Fela and his trials and tribulations and I put my umbrella down and proudly rocked the poodle hair as the rain seemed to fall in unison with the sound of Femi’s drums.

Monday, July 09, 2007

i need a spark!

I know my absence from the blogsphere has been rather conspicuous, so I'm grateful to everyone who has left comments asking where and how I am. To answer that truthfully, I'm fine...just dealing with a curious lack of inspiration and the worst case of writer's block ever.

I need a spark people!

I wonder if the long hazy summer days have anything to do with it...or maybe it is the fact that despite moving nearly 3 months ago I am yet to unpack my computer (note to self: must purchase laptop). Either way, something is missing at the moment because I haven't felt the need to take out my joys and frustrations on the keyboard, but at the same time I really miss writing. Maybe I should trawl for ideas on subject matter. If anyone has any, feel free to holla. But for now, there is no blogging going on because...I NEED A SPARK!

PS. Who knew blogging from a blackberry was so easy?!!