Thursday, November 13, 2008



I got trapped in a conversation, where a woman was telling me about an argument she had with a man over where he parked his car. She's quite a nice woman as it happens, but the mouth on her, Jesus, she needs to clean her teeth. Anyway here's a transcript:

"So I turned round to 'im and said: 'I don't think so mate, you can't fucking park there, it's on my drive', and then 'e turned round to me and said: 'I'll park where I fucking want, you slag' so then I've turned round to 'im and said: 'Don't call me a fucking slag you fucking nonce - I've seen you looking at all them schoolgirls' and then 'e's turned round to me and he's said: 'Did you call me a nonce? I'll fucking burn your fucking house', so I've turned around, and I've said: 'Are you fucking threatening my family, you fucking nonce? Have you noticed that everyone in the street thinks you're a fucking nonce as well, and one word from me and you'll be the one looking like Simon Weston?' and so 'e's turned around to me, and he's got 'is face right there, and e's said: "I'm not moving my car. Fucking deal with it you fucking mouthy slag".

What I want to know, is what way round they were facing to start with. By my calculations, they probably both started out by not having eye contact, so began by performing a half turn apiece, followed by pirouette, pirouette, pirouette, pirouette. If they were facing each other when the conversation began it would have been pirouette, pirouette, pirouette, pirouette, pirouette, pirouette. I have been thinking about this for nearly a month.

Monday, November 03, 2008



Nuts are a divisive issue. On the one hand there are people who are violently allergic to them - so much so that they can't stand near a nut tree or even think about nuts. On the other hand there are people who argue about the best type of nut and get passionate about the subject. There is a class element to nut choice, as well and there is a definite vogue for the different breeds of nuts.

Women often boast about the pecan. Shaped like a flattened brain, it tastes of not much. "Oh but the pecan is a very special kind of nut" you will hear. "It is like a walnut, but far nicer". See - I don't like walnuts very much. I find them a bugger to crack - the shell gets caught in the convolutions of the kernel, the nut itself has a bitter taste and the texture is gritty and a bit oily. I'll eat one or two to be polite, but I am entirely happy to leave them alone. The logic of a pecan being "better than a walnut" is just like the difference between Danny Baker or Cheryl Baker - neither person is totally hideous, nor is either of them all that, both are humans on the telly, one is male, one is female and both are called Baker. Looking like a walnut, but not tasting bitter isn't the greatest feat in nutland. Off with you, pecan nuts and your fancy yank ways.

The other disproportionately popular nut du jour is the macadamia. I did not know what a macadamia nut was until about ten years ago, when I went on a long haul flight. The air hostess gave me a bag of nuts and they looked like chick peas - rounded with slight bumps. They were very bland. Bigger than peanuts, with a texture somewhere between a brazil nut and a cashew, macadamias are not as creamy as the cashew and lack the slight, dirty, bitterness of a brazil. They are perfectly servicable nuts to eat, salted, with a drink. They are also sold in every airport in the world, covered in chocolate and packaged in boxes with "A present from (insert name of airport here) on them. I got slightly obsessed with the provenance of macadamia nuts for a while. My Australian friends told me they were Australian nuts, but the Chinese claimed they were discovered in China and sell them in boxes with pictures of pandas on. The Moroccans flog them in boxes decorated with camels and Berbers and I have seen boxes of macadamias on sale in the Harrods shop at Heathrow, complete with a little teddybear dressed as a beefeater painted on the lid. The one mystery for me is why anyone gives a fuck about them. They are very plain nuts -yes, I'll give you they have a versatility but they are just nuts. Nuts are for squirrels.

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