Now I don't want to sound like Peter Griffin, but do you know what really grinds my gears? Adverts on telly that say ridiculous things without any hint of realising how ridiculous they sound. There are the old classics of course, like ones for cosmetic or laser eye surgery that, after relaying the benefits of their treatment (being able to play tennis, be sexy etc), reassure you that "our procedures are carried out by fully qualified surgeons". Really? I sort of assumed that. If I need any of that stuff doing, I think I'll go with a firm that doesn't feel that having qualified surgeons performing their surgery is one of their main selling points thanks all the same.
Or the ad for InjuryLawyers4U - the Toys'R'Us of the legal world - where the bloke who was a bit nasty in The Bill and Eastenders (and what sort of message is that supposed to convey?) lets you know that the people who will be representing you in your quest for compensation are "real lawyers". He actually says that. He actually says "they're real lawyers". In an advert for a law firm! Have I gone mad? Is there a firm offering to represent people in court proceedings that doesn't employ "real lawyers"? I would guess they're struggling.
The latest is the advert for RAF careers that shows loads of random stuff from civilian workplaces coalescing into a cool looking fighter jet before informing us that "you don't have to be a pilot to fly in the RAF". ARE YOU SERIOUS!!?? WHY NOT? Let's hope for Britain's sake that there's not another major conflict fought in the air then, because I don't reckon that a motley crew of nurses, telephonists and health & safety advisors would be able to emerge victorious.
What next, you don't have to be able to sing, play an instrument or write songs to be a famous and popular musician?
Hmmm? Eh? Oh. I see.
And don't even get me started on Iggy Pop. Dear, oh dear, oh dear.
People Who Are Annoying On Buses
Now I'm not one for branding myself a loser, so I definitely don't subscribe to the notion (attributed to Margaret Thatcher) that anyone still taking the bus beyond the age of 26 can consider themselves a failure. I think it's ok to take the bus, whatever your age or status. I am not, however, an eco-warrior who insists that everyone should take public transport. In fact, I think there are a few people who certainly should not.
I don't mind travelling on the bus, but there should be a shared understanding that it both widens and shrinks your personal space. Physically, it shrinks it. Audibly, it widens it. On the whole, people tend to accept these truths. Some do not.
Like this woman on the bus the other day. Alerts all of us bus-dwellers to her presence by arguing with the driver about the fare before she even properly gets on, marches down the bus with bedraggled boyfriend strolling sheepishly behind and, with seats at a premium, they sit on isle seats across from each other. I mention the boyfriend because he offered a beautiful counterpoint of how a reasonable person behaves on a bus throughout. After taking no part in the loud and pointless exchange with the driver, he sat down in his seat, tucking himself into the available space while taking care not to enter the orbit of the person he sat beside. She, in contrast, kept her rucksack on her back, turning sideways as she sat down to smack the person next to her on the arm, then thrust her legs out into the isle to block the route of everyone else getting on and off the bus. Naturally, with job done on the invasion of physical space front, she immediately opened a second front on all of our ears. Fascinating details of what this girl would be doing once she got off the bus were available for all to enjoy for the duration of the journey, even if you had the presence of mind to stick a pair of headphones on and crank the volume. Why are the people with the most disinteresting conversations always the ones bestowed with the most piercing voices? Of course, the boyfriend managed to participate in this conversation without us all having a rigid timetable of his movements over the next number of hours because HE ONLY SPOKE AS LOUDLY AS HE NEEDED TO IN THAT SITUATION.
You'll be pleased to know that I struck a minor blow for natural justice (or, possibly, mild vigilantism) by
kicking deliberately failing to avoid her outstretched foot as I alighted the vehicle. That ought to teach her. Unite, reasonable people, UNITE!