H is for Half-Minute Hero

Describe your sex life with the name of a video game. Well that sounds like a fun and diverting activity now doesn’t it? And before you merrily skipping off and galloping to any false conclusions, the title of this post is not my answer. Oh, piqued your interest have I? I am afraid to have to say that you’re out of luck nosey, I’m not telling. I share far too much with you people anyway. Ponder your own responses, I’m sure they’re infinitely more compelling. What does it say about you? Especially with regards to your, er, technique?

Perhaps you’re a terribly noble thing and it’s Call of Duty. Or is something going really quite wrong and it’s all about the Angry Birds? It might be the time to realise that you have intimacy issues when the title you’re opting for is Space Invaders. There might be some very niche role play going on with Alien vs Predator. Oh dear, I’m scrolling through a list of video games and some pretty wrong suggestions are presenting themselves to me: Dead or Alive, Need for Speed, Pong… I really hope this isn’t revealing anything too incriminating. There have got to be at least one or two slightly more positive options out there right? Words with Friends? That’s ever so slightly too much of a stretch isn’t it? Sorry, I’ll work on it.

But back to the Half-Minute Hero (a game I have to admit that I haven’t actually heard of). There’s something wonderfully self deprecating about it while still being pretty damn confident. It gets your hopes up but not for particularly long (that was a little more suggestive than I was originally intending, I do apologise). When it comes to this sort of thing, a little bit of self awareness really can’t hurt. Can it?

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G is for Getting the Reference

No, not forgetting the reference. F was yesterday my dears, you are getting confused aren’t you? Don’t worry, I’m here, patronising until the end (I just won’t mention quite how soon that is, I wouldn’t want to panic you). The thing is, I’m increasingly getting the feeling that I’m just not doing enough background reading to make my extensive television watching properly worthwhile. Well, background viewing.

I can explain (you would hope so wouldn’t you?). I recently watched my very first ever episode of M*A*S*H. Because David Nobbs told me to, that’s why. And of course it immediately put me in mind of the Futurama episode where they go to war and in the course of events pay homage to this particular programme. Obviously I knew it would be a nod to something or other but now I can put it neatly in context. Hooray for me. When this sort of thing happens it does make me wonder quite how much of my viewing material goes over my head. It’s simply not fair.

But what is there to be done about it? Perhaps before every single new episode of a show there should be a list of stuff you ought to have already seen to fully appreciate the brilliance that is whatever this is. Or maybe not, that sounds a little labour intensive. I could just embrace my own stupidity (it couldn’t hurt really could it? Slow wits are famously rather far away from being sharp) and accept that there will be jokes I’ll miss every now and again. That would be the mature thing so clearly I cannot be doing that then. Instead I shall be mailing a list directly to Hollywood of all the things I’m vaguely aware of (it’s not going to be all that long really, I can probably use an airmail envelope. Sending an actual letter is that little bit more dramatic than firing of an email after all) so that they know what references they can use. I’m so considerate.

F is for For the Love of Good Queen Bess

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t mean the current one. I am obviously referring to the particular queen we happened to have back in the old timey days when the huddled masses still required that sort of leader. Maybe I just couldn’t find a good way of getting into what I decided to talk about (so what else is new? Over the months I think we can all agree that I’ve developed something of a mastery when it comes to clunky segues). After all, I’m not exactly the poster girl for things like national pride (though perhaps delving into the past isn’t exactly the very best plan ever, there’s rather a lot of guilt just waiting there).

But that natural apathy of mine runs dry surprisingly quickly when the criticism starts rolling in. Americans aren’t allowed to hate on the British for our various arbitrary mannerisms and idiosyncrasies. I think you’ll find that’s my job. Most of all though, I hate how the word hate is bandied round far too readily, it’s starting to lose all possible meaning. What’s going to happen when you discover something truly despicable that you cannot help but loathe? You won’t be able to find sufficient words to express such feelings.

So Americans of twitter, you are not allowed to hate us for such ridiculously small things as pronouncing words such as mum and schedule correctly and sticking with proper spelling. You really do have to forgive us for not giving even the faintest hoot about your stupid version of football and instead collectively obsessing over our equally moronic one. Just deal with the fact that we write the day first and then the month, it makes so much more sense. How much do you know about British politics? Maybe you should stop complaining about us not knowing about American ones then. And some of us are actually English, it’s a language too. Stop taking to the internet to show off quite how ill informed you are. Again, that is my job.

E is for Emily

Technology is trying to go fight me, I do not appreciate. First the internet refuses to connect at my house (it’s working now but I’m scared of how  temperamental it can be so I’m writing this on campus on my tablet) and now the interface is playing up while I’m trying to write (how on earth did I manage to type ugly by accident? You know the machines are getting smarter when they manage to insult you and make it look like your own inadvertent fault. We’re all definitely doomed). It’s totally not just me making excuses.

There is a theory floating round the internet about Toy Story. While this is certainly a subject that really does deserve a whole lot more rigorous academic study, I think this particular hypothesis is pretty far off. Basically, it suggests that the mother in this franchise is in fact one and the same as Emily, the cold and callous little girl who abandoned her Jessie doll because she outgrew it. Ridiculous.

Admittedly, the person who dreamt up this idea has put forward some interesting bits and pieces of evidence in support of it but I’m afraid to say that I simply cannot get behind it. The main reason for this is that there would have been some moment, however brief, of  acknowledgment from Andy’s mother. Yes, there would be no way for her to know it was the same doll she’d discarded and she had not cared about her in the past. However, nostalgia is something that grows over time, fondness for childhood toys increases in adulthood when you no longer care about being cool, particularly once you’ve become a parent.

Not everything in life has to be connected, coincidences are actually a thing. Yes, the Pixar films are pretty self referential with many an Easter egg but this is just a bit much. That being said, I greatly enjoyed the second long cameo of Rapunzel and Eugene in Frozen. I’m deeply cool.

D is for Don’t Complain

Ok ok ok, I take it back. I will never complain about trains again for so long as we both shall live. It would seem that things can get a lot worse so I shall refrain from a jinx situation (in spite of my vehement opposition of all things superstitious, I’ll stick to good old fashioned one hundred per cent verified Christianity thank you very much) by never saying another bad word against the railway system in this country (boy, that’s going to be difficult). But no, all it takes is delays caused by flooding at one end of the country and a tree blown onto the tracks at the other to tell me that it’s clearly all my fault for bad mouthing them.

It’s definitely nothing to do with the freak weather we’re currently experiencing (or is that my bad too? Sorry people, sorry. Well, there are plenty of people out there who believe that weather events are directly related to the actions of we mere mortals so if pairs of charming men or ladies getting hitched is enough to incite the wrath of mighty Thor and Poseidon and cause gales and typhoons then is it really so ridiculous for me to conclude that it’s really all about me?). This in turn has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with climate change (it’s positively freezing outside, how can you possibly tell me that it’s all down to global warming? How charmingly perverse you scientific types can be).

So in conclusion let me tell you this, trains are lovely and happy all the time, they’re never late (you in your infinite foolishness have simply arrived far too early with altogether too high expectations. You really ought to have allowed yourself more time for your journey you silly thing) and will always be able to find a seat (there’s plenty of floor now isn’t there?).

C is for Craft of Comedy Writing Conference

Oh it’s like it was meant to be or something. Well, there was a one in twenty six chance and that’s very nearly the same thing I suppose. Of course, had today just so happened to be any other letter of the alphabet, I’d have found a way to shoehorn this in. So I went to a comedy writing conference (I am smug, I’ll admit it). And it was amazing. I have excellent tips and advice now, some new ideas to try and put together and I even made a stab at networking. Yes, I ought to have grabbed John Finnemore by the collar and insisted that we work together on his next project (even though I would have been arrested, it would totally have been worth it) but I’m just too shy for that.

There did so happen to be a man present who took full advantage of the networking opportunities. He came equipped with extremely shiny leaflets and everything. So what was it he was promoting? It was his carefully crafted e-book that seems to (if the flyer’s anything to go by) mainly consist of knob gags. If that’s your bag then obviously that’s more than fine but I’m sure you’ll understand my point of view when I say that I won’t be making a purchase.

I have to say that the most disappointing part of the literature was that in the list of items in the book, attempting to compel me to read it, the word penis was used twice. None of the other rude words had to be repeated so to make up for me not buying, for missing out on this obviously classic work, allow me to offer up some advice. Clearly the dead penis sketch ought to remain as it is but the Harry Potter reference isn’t quite right. The Philosopher’s appendage you’ve chosen just doesn’t work for the parody, it should be either one syllable or begin with an s. Maybe scrotum?

What have I become?

B is for Budget Perfume

Among all of the wondrous and incredibly good value for money items on offer at the fantastical emporium that is Poundland is something that I can honestly say, barring some serious lapse in my judgment or other major faculties, I can never see myself buying; perfume for the low low price of just one hundred pennies. Perhaps you don’t consider that to be such a damning indictment given that I never actually buy perfume anyway. But even if I did, something tells me that one really ought to invest more than just a pound in what is considered to be a relatively luxury product. Hell, I shell out more than a quid a go on deodorant (I am officially the last of the big spenders).

It’s certainly fair to say that perfume in and of itself is almost universally overpriced (apart from the stuff I found in Poundland obviously). From what I understand though, that high ticket price tends to be because of the various celebrity endorsements and designer labels associated with perfume as opposed to actual product quality. That being said, there are bound to be at least one or two pricey ingredients used in the process of making the stuff. The things that make the nicest smells are probably going to cost the most, basic supply and demand (who said I didn’t know anything about economics?), like sandalwood for example.

What I’m saying is that while some things in life are expensive for absolutely no good reason whatsoever, others are worth a little investment. Not perfume necessarily (I happen to think that you smell very nice just as you are, you’ve started using a different type of shower gel haven’t you?), but some of the more important things in life like teabags. You have to be canny in this life to know what’s best to blow your load on (wow did that come out wrong).