Sunday, November 12, 2006

Getting to the Meet of it.

At the airport arrivals have you noticed that some people arrive with no one to greet them? Have you noticed that sometimes even taxi-drivers, on their day off, go to the airport and hold up a sign just so some poor displaced person can feel at home?

Well, now you too can join in the fun! Here's what you need to do:

1) Buy some crayons and some card (white card although if you have white crayons maybe you need black card).

2) Print on the card a suitably obscure greeting. Something like: 'enjoy our weather', 'welcome to our smog', 'avoid our cheese' and other friendly greetings.

3) Greet all arrivers with drums, flash photography and wild screams.

If you have some friends who are arriving from another country, make a card for them!
Impress them with your grasp of languages: write your greeting in a language that you don't know. Better still, write a greeting in a language neither you nor your friends know!

Identify your friends by some article of clothing: 'hello dirty purple shoes', 'welcome back wrinkled green trousers'.

If you are a traveller and arriving in a foreign place, you are an ambassador of your country. Greet all the people that you see as you arrive. If you can, tell them where you're from and how many people live there, what your GDP is and how your currency compares to theirs.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saving your sole

Without a doubt the most difficult thing to do is buy shoes. I have tried it and have been thrown out of quite a few shoe shops. The dialogue usually follows as:

Shoer: Hello Madam can I help you.
Me: Yes. I'd like a pair of shoes.
Shoer: Any particular type.
Me: Well a pair of clowns shoes would be good.
Shoer: I'm sorry, but we don't sell clowns shoes.
Me (looking around): But, I see some shoes here that look like clowns shoes.
Shoer: No I'm sorry they're designer shoes and are quite expensive.
Me: Well how about all these people they're dressed like clowns surely they're here to buy some clown shoes too?
Shoer: I'm sorry, but we do not sell clown shoes and I will have to ask you to leave.

At this point I'm usually asked to leave the store.
Clown shoes are indeed difficult to buy.

I have also had no luck when buying train passenger shoes (technically known as trainers). I usually use the following technique:

Me: I'd like a pair of trainers please.
Shoer: Yes madam we have a fine selection of trainers any particular make?
Me: Yes, I'd like British Rail trainers please.
Shoer: Ok, well most people tend to wear these green ones. Perhaps you'd like to try a pair of those?
Me: Yes indeed do you have them in my size?
Shoer: What size is that?
Me: I'm not sure.
Shoer: What size shoes are you wearing?
Me: I'm afraid I don't know. They're not my shoes they belong to a friend.
Shoer: Well do you know the size shoe your friend wears?
Me: Certainly not! I don't ask personal questions like that.
Shoer: Perhaps we can measure your feet then.
Me: I'm afraid that's difficult to do as I'm not allowed to take my shoes off in public.
Shoer: Right well if you could lift up your foot perhaps we could get a pair roughly the same size?
Me: That's a good idea. But, could you get them a bit bigger?
Shoer: Why?
Me: Well, these ones are a bit small for me.
Shoer: Any idea how small?
Me: They seem to be uncomfortably small for me. Can you find a pair that's comfortably larger.
Shoer: I'm sorry, but we're all out of comfortably larger shoes perhaps you could try Bond Street they sell comfortably larger shoes there.

Indeed, I have had great difficulty in finding shoes in my size, colour and for all my needs. I have had to resort to creating my own shoes.

I have found that by creating a paper-mache of paper, glue and water in a bucket. And then putting my feet into the bucket I am able to make a resonably decent pair of shoes. By then sticking half-metre square pieces of carpet to the underside I have a comfortable surface on which to walk on. I usually wrap the shoes in tape to make them waterproof.

I have found that these shoes tend to wear better than those elsewhere and may be worthwhile trying out yourself.

Hope this helps

Friday, September 01, 2006

Trash conservation...

Some countries are getting rather worried about the amount of trash (or rubbish to the non-technical) we refuseniks are generating. Well, I've been searching around and have found the following article.

Scientists have recently performed a large and detailed simulation on the effect of increased trash production and burial in land-fill sites. The results show that the land-mass increases roughly as the square root of the number of people occupying the land. Which means, in small countries like the USA and Russia that we generate enough material to increase the land mass to accomodate the influx of people into that country alleviating the space crisis and pressure on house prices.

Their simulations also reveal that the new land mass would be lighter than the existing land mass (by virtue of the high non-degradable plastic content) allowing the new land mass to rise with rising ocean levels. This technique is currently being used in Venice (or Venus to the non-technical) where huge amounts of non-degradable trash from China are being dumped. We are already seeing the benefits: Venice has risen by approximately the length of Berlusconi's nose in one year.

In a related piece of research archeologists have unrefutable evidence that Siberia and the mid-west of the USA are the direct result of bronze-age and iron-age landfill sites.

We have to be thankful that large supermarkets (shoporamas to the non-technical) are increasing the amount of packaging (by packaging the packaging) and we have to be thankful that the governments will be asking us to pay more to dispose of the packaging's packaging as we are really securing our country for our future consumers.

With my rubbish I for one am building a new extension to lower Russia. What are you doing to help?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Getting in tune...

Do you find it difficult to get up in the morning?

Do you find your alarm clock lying in the street every morning whilst rushing to get a double espresso (without cream, but with hazlenut syrup followed by an omelette on fried bread with smoked kippers and mushrooms)?

Do you always wake up too early and then sit in the garden wondering what to do?

Well, scientists have discovered the reason. It seems that each one of us inherits our body clock from our parents. Further, whilst in the womb our body clock is heavily influenced by the foods our parents eat. So, if our parents eat more food from, say, India then our body clock will be more aligned to the time-zones of India! It seems that this is because our little bodies are highly sensitive to maturity of the foodstuffs our parents eat. So, it's hereditary!

Scientists have suggest that if we move to the country that dominates our body clock we will get up at the right time. All we need to do is to scan the globe for timezones that match our body clock and then simply move there.

I've tried this and it seems to work. In the US I get up at a sensible time which suggests that my parents must have worked in a hamburger joint.

Moving around

Public transport is a great way to get out and meet people (especially if you're claustrophobic). It is great that so many of us get together during a brief moment in the morning and stuff as many of ourselves as possible into as few compartments as possible maximizing the chance of a brief encounter. We have to thank the transport system for decreasing the vehicles at these times too!

In many civilized countries when one boards public transport one announces oneself to fellow passengers. In some more civilised countries you give your name to the driver, or conductor who will then announce you to the privileged travellers.

You must live in a civilised country, try it! Announce yourself to your fellow passangers with a 'A Lord/Lady Rhumbaba boarding'. Or, ask the driver to announce you to everyone else. The announcement is usually followed by polite applause from the other passangers.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Something to do during the idle moments...

Do you frequent coffee-shops? Do you frequent coffee-shops that ask for your name and then yell it all over the shop when your concoction is ready?

Excellent! Then try this give someone elses name when they ask for your name. Or, give the name of a famous person. Give an inanimate object as your name (eg Red Triangle).
See if you can get the brew-meister to shout 'latte for Green Lantern' or some such. Give your fellow drinkers something to puzzle over...