How To Save a Sugar Baby

A sugar baby, what an utterly ridiculous concept! Oh, they’re a thing? Well that derails absolutely everything I had planned. I mean, well, it’s easier to just ramble on about stuff that already actually exists rather than coming up with stuff from the nefarious nether regions of my brain (I totally could but what’s the point when there’s plenty of existing intellectual real estate out there?).

Before I launch into an explanation of what sugar babies actually are, it’s important that you understand what I was originally thinking of. Well, not really but it’s my blog and you’ll sit through whatever tangents I feel like throwing out. I was definitely picturing some variety of hybrid between a jelly baby and the sacks of flour they supposedly got teenagers to lug about in an effort to turn them off activities that would lead them to unplanned procreation.

However, it would seem that sugar baby refers to something else entirely. Who’d have thought? Of course I’d heard of the term sugar daddy (for the sake of gender equality, is the female equivalent a sugar mama? Or would she be a cougar? Can’t say I’m totally up on the lingo but I think you’d already picked up on that) before, I’d just never really associated it with babies. Kind of weird when there’s shenanigans involved.

But what you want is to save a sugar baby from that sort of life. How noble of you. Before you get too carried away with your plans, do try and make sure that the sugar baby in question is actually in a situation they might wish to be saved from. You’re not a white knight in shining armour if what you’re doing is actually kidnapping the fair maid. Oh, I don’t know, talk to them and see how they’re getting on and offer them a lift if necessary.

Song choices courtesy of: The Fray, Christophe Beck and Benjamin Francis Leftwich


Six Degrees of Kung Fu

Ok, so full disclosure, the title doesn’t really work but my brain is scrambled because I’m stuck in an actual time loop. That might be a slight exaggeration but it got your attention now didn’t it? I promise that I absolutely haven’t been mucking about with the laws of relativity or what have you again. The day is definitely progressing onwards but there’s a little sliver of repetition that is downright arresting my concentration.

The company I work for makes digital signage. This means that within my eyeline there are a vast number of different screens testing a range of content. There was a charming one armed lady presenting the weather forecast earlier (there’s no sound or subtitles, I’ve only got images to go on). And to the left of my desk, up on the wall for all to see is the largest screen in the room. Playing on a loop is a vaguely buggy scene with Asian actors in overly elaborate armour having some variety of tense standoff.

I have no idea what this is from. One of them is kneeling in supplication, the other gets his sword out (not a euphemism, this literally has to be safe for work remember) and there’s a general lack of mirth or action. I’ve seen it approximately three hundred thousand times. I don’t even know what feature is being tested at the moment.

Sure, I could ask someone about it, I could ask that they put something else on (Jeremy Corbyn is sternly looking at me from the opposite wall. They had one of the endless Lord of the Ringses on the other day). But it’s so much more fulfilling to moan about it on the internet. I want to see if I can transmit this scene to all of you and drive you mad in turn. Kneeling, sword bop, serious faces, using a sword to lift another one and hand it to someone else, man in gold eventually leaves. A cinematic classic.

Song choices courtesy of: The Script and the Piano Guys

No One’s Controlling the Skeleton Ants

Sure, your first impulse is to scoff that of course no one’s controlling the skeleton ants. Ants don’t have skeletons, not in the conventional way of we vertebrates. They must have exoskeletons though, mustn’t they? But don’t get distracted and run off to the welcoming embrace of Wikipedia and its ‘facts’. No amount of googling is going to help you on this one (probably, I can’t say that I’ve checked) because these aren’t just regular ants: they’re skeleton ants.

I’m not surprised to hear that you haven’t seen them, pale and ghostly as they are, they’re also really rather small. About the same size as ants and how often do you notice them? Exactly, only when they’re swarming your lovingly crafted picnic and only then when you’ve taken a surprisingly squirmy bite of sandwich. Skeleton ants are even more elusive, skittering about in search of fellow bone piles or whatever it is they eat (if they even do).

But rest assured, no one’s controlling them. They’re tiny, utterly autonomous beings that you didn’t previously know about but will now be on the lookout for. If someone somewhere did however find a way to take over these little critters… well, it could easily constitute one of the steps in an overarching plot for world domination.

The possibilities are endless: if one could work out how to secrete tiny cameras into them then that’s a global surveillance network that would be incredibly difficult to hack; or perhaps the ants could be persuaded into delivering very well coordinated wriggly messages; if you had enough skeleton ants you could get them to build you huge cavernous anthills. Or maybe it would just be a hobby, they’d be nothing more than a benevolent dictator. It’s probably for the best that no one is controlling the skeleton ants. Who totally do exist.

Song choices courtesy of: Ramin Djiwadi, King Creosote, Axis of Awesome and the Piano Guys

Day of the Heavy Storm

The weather’s definitely getting worse. You’d think that the British would be more excited about that than they are. It lends so much additional credence to our endless conversation about what the conditions are like out of doors. Already this year we’ve had incredibly (for us, this is Britain after all, one wouldn’t want to go overboard with snowdrifts) heavy duty snow days.

We’re in a spate of the hottest years on record and there was even an earthquake recently (not necessarily anything to do with the weather but it does also feel like an ominous sign of the end of days getting that much near). And yet no one seems too excited about the climate developments.

I hate to keep playing the doom and gloom card over and again (if I’m being honest, I don’t especially mind it. It’s a low hanging fruit that I’m only slightly embarrassed to be reaching for quite as often as I do. Perhaps I’m attempting to hook in the highly motivated emo demographic). There’s plenty of evidence out there that as a species, planet, whatever group you identify with, we’re somewhat screwed. The hockey stick chart ought to be enough to convince anyone that the changes we’re seeing are far from normal, natural or non-worrisome.

Actually though, there are some other theories out there (that I definitely haven’t just made up). For one, these stroppy behaviour of the planet’s climate might simply be a sign that our little blue and green marble is entering another phase of its life. However, people don’t necessarily agree precisely which stage of life earth is entering. Some argue most passionately that this is either the equivalent of the terrible twos and others would have you believe that this is teenage rebellion. Another faction say that this is a far later period: Mother Nature is going through the menopause.

Song choices courtesy of: Murray Gold and First Aid Kit

Escaping the Vikings Group Hang

Yeah there should probably be an apostrophe in that title but what are you going to do about it? And it’s worth bearing in mind that to have put one in would be to deprive you of the warm feeling of having better grammar than me. But you know what? We’ve definitely got more important things to worry about and I really don’t know quite how you’ve managed to get yourself into this particular pickle.

For one, vikings aren’t really that much of a thing in the modern age. I’m sure we’d have noticed their attention seeking hats (yes, I know that such horned helmets wouldn’t have been used as day to day wear, much less in battle. It would give your enemy a conveninent hand hold for when they’re attempting to stab you in the face). And there’d be a run on artisinal longboats. Maybe it explains the rise of hipsters.

Anyway, somehow in a way that only you could manage in a world that has been sans vikings for many a year, you’ve found yourself mired in their annual general meeting. If you’re quick, you can get out of dodge before you accidentally end up voting on a good old pillage of the low countries or some such thing. You probably shouldn’t have chugged those last three tankards of ale (or whatever you think it was).

A distraction’s going to be the best bet. Call their attention to a particularly perplexing set of runes or a deliciously tempting stack of potential plunder (not that anyone’s resorting to obvious stereotypes). Then when they’re arguing over precise translations or who’s going to get to lead the raid or whatever, slip away from the party. I know, it’s been quite the experience but once they realise there’s a modern day interloper in their midst no one’s going to be able to guarantee your safety.

Song choices courtesy of: Michael Giacchino, John Powell and Rachel Bloom

Paint Microscope Eyes

When life gets increasingly grim to the point that you’re not sure the sun will ever come out again, you may well feel compelled to do something about it. You could console yourself with the fact that some problems have been around seemingly for forever (threat of nuclear annihilation, political corruption etc.). Burying one’s head in the sand has been proven in the past to be an effective endurance activity. However, it won’t necessarily make you feel any better about the general situation.

Of course, there are things like campaigning to battle against problems you deem to be in particular need of attention. Whether it’s waste of plastics, cyber bullying or something really juicy like a genocide in a far off land, there’s a petition out there just begging to have your name added to it. Or better yet, you could make your very own. This is a natural gateway to sign making, protest going and making oneself a general bother to their elected representative.

Then again, this sort of fervour requires a hell of a lot of effort and might not end up changing one damn thing. You could end up feeling even sadder about the parlous state of existence because you tried to make it better and failed most spectacularly. You may even have ended up humiliating yourself along the way. It’s just not what you signed up for.

Worry not because there’s an easier and more impactful way to make your life and those around you decidedly better with minimal effort: googly eyes. Paint them, stick them, draw them on absolutely anything you come across. Sure, a scientist might have walked away from a research project with a raft of baffling data that outright contradicts their initial hypothesis but imagine how delighted they’ll be when they notice that their microscope has developed a whole personality of its own with its endearingly wobbly peepers.

Song choices courtesy of: Ramin Djiawdi, Mads Langer and Buffering the Vampire Slayer

Unwell Rebels

It’s so hard when life comes along to mess your plans right up. What if Guy Fawkes had been hit by an explosive bout of diarrhoea on that fateful night in November? How about if the Bolsheviks, as they were poised to storm the winter palace discovered that they had been infiltrated by a nasty case of the snuffles?

It’s at this point that I realise I can’t really call another convincing set of rebels to mind (potentially various upstarts as part of the wars of the roses? Or maybe Cromwell? Who knows what would be considered acceptable by a discerning public?). Perhaps in the interest of full disclosure I ought to admit that I’ve got what feels like a monster cold coming on (no congestion as of yet – too much information? – but something of a scratchy throat and headache clamping down). But I’d hate to shatter the godlike image my readers definitely have of me.

So let’s stay loose and strictly hypothetical. After all, you ought to be able to put yourself into a slightly ill rebel’s shoes. You’ve had plenty of moments of protest over the course of your life and I know that germs have worked their way into your system on more than one occasion.

Just picture it, the most momentous instance of your life, one you’ve been planning for all those weeks, months or years. You’re psyching yourself up, it’s only natural to have a bit of anxiety. And yet, it won’t go away, bubbling malevolently through your innards. You can’t be doing whatever rebel activity you have planned whilst spewing your guts. That would be awful for posterity. You’ve got to power through, it’ll be fine.. You know what they say, you can sleep when you’re dead. Or something or other. Just storm the castle, execute the unjust king and then you can have a lovely lie down.

Song choices courtesy of: Matchbox Twenty and Flogging Molly