Posted in Humor, Meerkat Musings

Telling Stories

I fancy myself a writer. It’s a rather lofty aim of mine to one day write a novel – after all, apparently we all have one great novel in us. Personally, I’d like to know who keeps putting novels inside people. I mean, ew.

That aside, my aim would be to write a book for my daughter, who keeps asking me to tell her stories, especially spooky stories. The trouble is, I can’t simply magic up a story off the top of my head, I need to think about it and put it to paper, and my little girl is not nearly patient enough to wait for me to chew the fat and produce a thrilling tale. What I’m therefore doing is putting together a vampire story, and trying to carefully balance it so it’s appropriate for a seven year-old, whilst having it be scary. In theory I can do this, but lines about ‘torn flesh’ and ‘bloodied ruins’ might not be the best choice of words.

Still, to write ‘the creepy vampire bared his fangs’ seems just a little tame.

What’s the limit with kids? My favourite child’s author, Roald Dahl, was not afraid to push the envelope in terms of macabre or disgusting. How about Revolting Rhymes? Or The Twits? How about the brutal opening scene of James and the Giant Peach? Here was a man who understood that children could handle being scared, or grossed out – and not only handle but enjoy it. I dare say the modern successor to Dahl’s style is David Walliams, whose books are in fact quite grim (Demon Dentist and  Awful Auntie, you both have a lot to answer for in my house), and also quite poignant – last Friday marked twenty years since my grandfather passed away, so given the touching ending and words of Grandpa’s Great Escape… well, my eyes were wet, let’s just put it that way.

Perhaps this explains the more sombre tone I am adopting today. Time moves forward so quickly, quicker than we realise – one day I was reading Roald Dahl books and listening my grandfather tell me stories – the next, I am reading Dahl’s stories to my daughter, and reminiscing about my grandfather. To add to my reflective mood, I had a dream about my dear grandmother recently… it was emotional. My brother and I could see her, my little girl couldn’t. This particular dream followed on from a pair of exceptionally weird dreams (Hillary Clinton stepping into the ring in Las Vegas and taking on a heavy champ, check, nuclear war, check), but it meant at least that the dream ended with me seeing my Nan. I can’t ask for more than that.

Wow, this started out as ‘Telling Stories’ and I guess that’s true. I’ve spun a bit of a yarn here after all. I guess that’s what we all need to keep doing – tell stories, listen to each other, and I’ll sign off this post with the words at the end of Grandpa’s Great Escape

‘As long you as you love me, I can never die.’

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Posted in Humor, Meerkat Musings

The Case of the Bad Memory

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I had so many ideas for a post, and I kept telling myself ‘I’ll write it soon, I’ll start it today, I’ll get it done’. What happened? Did some super urgent secret mission take me away from my plans? Was I abducted by aliens? Did some fantastical amazing event lead my astray? Nope. None of the above. I forgot. I will therefore perform self-flagellation in the form of this post. It’s my way of apology to you, the Nudge Wink community.

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What was I saying? Oh yeah, Daleks! I recently posted about the appearance of a man taking his Dalek for a walk, and mentioned it was the fourth weirdest thing I’ve seen from the store window.

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See, I didn’t make that up! And yes, it’s the fourth weirdest thing. I have seen weirder – or scarier, depending on your perspective. Don’t worry though, we have the Doctor!

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Take that you stupid Dalek!

What might be stranger than a man taking his Dalek for a walk down the high street? Well, for one, there’s Snake Man! Not sadly, a man whose half-man, half-snake, but rather a man who was carrying some form of snake on his shoulders as he walked down the street. Quite what compelled him to take a snake for a walk, we will never know.

There’s the Shouter – we watched him go back and forth, over and over again, whilst hurling abuse at the local pub across the road. Quite what the pub had done to him, I don’t know. He is in fact one of several shouters – ranging from the harmless, to the ones that might be genuinely dangerous, which leads me on to the weirdest/scariest thing I’ve witnessed outside the store window – the Knife Idiots.

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Yep, the other day a pair of… well, I can’t call them adults because their behaviour was anything but – a pair of creatures decided the sensible way to resolve their conflict was to stand outside the pub waving blades at each other whilst screaming obscenities. It lurched between being sadly amusing and downright terrifying – though the wave of the blades was half-hearted and it was all a display of pointless, desperate bravado. Hands up if you’re impressed by that…

The Dalek was smarter, and it was possibly an empty shell.

For the record, where I work is not actually a bad area, it just has miscreants, like anywhere would. It just seems that half of them enjoy displaying their strange or unruly behaviour outside my shop window.

 

Posted in Humor, Meerkat Musings

I am… Beaker?!

During the week I did that most lethal thing. I asked a question, about myself, on social media. To what end would I inflict such suffering upon myself?! The question was ‘what celebrity do I most resemble?’ My own dear wife put forward the comparison with Mr Bean, one former colleague suggested a very angry Basil Fawlty, and another colleague felt Beaker from The Muppets was my natural twin.

No, I am not inflicting you with pictures of myself and my celebs, so you will just have to imagine whom I most resemble (it’s Beaker).


Sadly, I am not as skilled at science as our flame-haired friend here. My powers extend to only mild explosions and the occasional power outage.

This all got me thinking – who else do I resemble?


Screech? I was frequently told by my classmates at school that I looked like him. Good thing, or bad thing?


Ok, this is wishful thinking.


I have more hair. In fact, too much hair. I hate my hair. It’s not even Beaker hair, it’s unkempt thornbush hair.

The overall point to this post, if there is one, is that we often seek to compare ourselves – or we get compared – to other people. Why? When did we forget to love who we are? I will never been Zak Efron, not even close, so why should I care? It’s taken me a long time, but these days I feel comfortable in my own skin. I no longer regard myself as an ugly ducking, even if I’m no swan. I am me, and I am happy.

That’s the key message folks. It might take time to grow into the person you want to be, but grow you shall. No one starts out as a mighty oak – we all start out as some crazy nut. In my case, I’ve grown into a nut tree, but that’s not the point. Eventually, you will learn to be you, in all your glorious uniqueness (is that a word?), and you should celebrate that! That’s why I will be the Beaker of light in the darkness. I’ve Bean Fawlty for too long.

 

Posted in Humor, Meerkat Musings

Well Well Well


So, after banking on a sure-fire win, the Tories are left reeling from a Labour revolt that’s stunned the nation and sent a very clear message to the people in power – don’t ignore us. The Tories lost 12 seats, whilst Labour gained 29 – a clear swing toward the opposition. In fact, it left us with a hung Parliament for a short while (I’m not explaining what that means), until Theresa May, who stubbornly refused to resign despite a spectacular own goal, set up a minority government with the bastion of the far-right, the DUP.

Even with the support of a party that is outspoken on its opposition to LGBT rights, opposed to a women’s freedom to decide what happens to her own body, and filled with climate change deniers, the Tories still only have a majority of two seats, which means it’s a minority government now, one very much dependent on the good will of smaller parties voting for its policies in Parliament. So, far from securing the majority that would have let them pursue a hard Brexit, the Tories are now in bed with a party that opposes hard brexit, and actually has a number of disagreements (based on manifesto pledges) with the Tories. Well done…

So whilst it can be claimed that the Tories won the election, it can also be claimed that they didn’t win. They fell short of what they needed to win outright. They are depending upon another party to enter power with them, a party that is quite radical in its beliefs. Even then, they only have a minority government of two seats. Woo! To say this is a gamble that backfired is the understatement of the century. The Tories are more battered than the guy who ran as Mr Fishfinger (yes, seriously).


On the lighter side, Theresa May herself did defeat Lord Buckethead in her own constituency. She kicked the Buckethead…

So what does this all mean? Frankly, I have no idea. We don’t have a fish finger or a man dressed as a bucket for Prime Minister. It’s a huge vindication for Jeremy Corbyn, who may not have won, but he has certainly given Labour something to shout about. He even dabbed… well, he might have. In any event, he survived a determined campaign by the press to smear him, and even opposition from his own party, to show he can most certainly lead, and get results.

This is also one big rejection of the recent wave of populism that’s been going on. France rejected such notions, and now the UK has pushed back against it too. Younger generations are getting more involved, and asking serious questions of their leaders. They look at the Tories as a party of the past, more interested in austerity and helping their own than helping the country. Is that a fair perception? I can’t say. However, both the Tories and Labour need to look at why younger people have predominately voted Labour. To understand the reasons is to control the destiny of the next election.

I’m sorry that this post is so serious, but it’s a serious subject. A serious subject the Tories didn’t take seriously, and it’s hurt them.

 

Posted in Humor, Meerkat Musings

Is it our Turn?

I’m feeling somewhat subdued as I write this, and I know the reason why. No, it isn’t the various and on-going political nightmare that is Brexit, or the equally frightening nightmare that is Trump, it’s something that we Brits manage to moan about each and every passing day – the weather. It is, currently, shocking.

You see, we are now in May. We are well and truly into spring. The weather is supposed to be taking a turn for the better, so why is it getting bloody worse?! Isn’t it our turn for good weather, for warmer weather, for sunshine? I have pictures of my little girl sitting in the garden at this time of year, enjoying the glorious outdoors. There’s no chance of that right now, and it’s getting right up my nose.

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Eh, this post is boring. Everyone knows Brits moan about the weather. I live in a desert. Try that for once.

I suppose he’s right. I could have it worse. A lot worse. But I’m pissed off that I still need my coat to go to work, even now! And it gets even more stupid from there! You see, I need my coat, but by the time I get to work, I’m sweating! What the @!”% is that all about? (wait, can’t you swear here?). How can it be both too cold and yet hot at the same bloody time?!

No, I don’t live in a desert, or the Artic, or anywhere that experiences hurricanes or tornados. So I have a lot to be thankful for, weather-wise. But us Brits have a deep yearning to lose our pasty-white skin and for once, look tanned and healthy. I’d show you pictures of my chest*…

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Oh dear God no!

… but who wants to see a milk bottle?

It’s even about enjoying the simple things. It’s nice to be able to sit down in the garden, and read my book. It’s quite quaint to take dinner in the, erm, outdoors (in the outdoors? Is that right?). Imagine being able to look at the stars on a warm summer’s night, cold beer in hand… it’s the stuff dreams are made of! A cold beer on a cold night just isn’t the same…

I don’t know if there’s a God. If there is, then I pray for summer. Or at least spring. We can’t go on with this weird, miserable, never-ending winter we seem to have. This isn’t the North, I am not a Stark, and Winter isn’t Coming – it should have been and gone!

*for anyone who was sincerely traumatised by this suggestion, I have set up a helpline to help you deal with your situation. It may be too late to prevent nations from crumbling, but if you call 0800 -B-L-E-A-C-H-M-Y-E-Y-E-S you can address this trauma!

Posted in Humor, Meerkat Musings

April Fools!

So somehow, the April 1st post falls to me. This means I’m under even greater pressure to produce something observant and witty. Thankfully, our glorious leaders are providing us with all the material I need to turn this into a Pulitzer Prize-winning article.

Let’s start with Britain. I’d love to wake up tomorrow and find out Brexit was one big trick – a game, albeit a cruel one, that turns out not to be true. Failing that, I’d love to think we have leaders and negotiators that can do a half-decent job. Unfortunately, we have these:

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That’s the logo of the Conservative Party. I don’t have a lot of confidence in them. We have trusting our future to a party that have gladly quadrupled their champagne intake – boozy people are fun to watch from afar, but do we want them steering the ship?! They’ve been so drunk they forgot to declare certain expenses during the last election – oops. Perhaps this also explains their flip-flopping – who knows? Alcohol does strange things to the mind!

Yet somehow, it’s the Tories who will be representing all of us (even Scotland, who don’t want anything to do with this) when the talks start in earnest. Why am I not convinced they will put the best interests of the people first?

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That’s the exact face I made when Brexit won the vote. Now it’s the face I make whenever I read about Brexit. Or hear the word Brexit. Or think it.

Guys, this man wanted us to vote Brexit (there’s that face again). If that wasn’t a good reason not to, I don’t know what is. Here’s an exclusive photo of him in his lair, celebrating:

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Here’s another man who thought Brexit would be a swell idea – assuming he has any understanding of what it means:

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Speaking of Donald, he was America’s Trump card last year – just when Brexit (that face) seemed to be the lowest ebb politically, he raised his orange head and told everyone ‘hold my beer’. Unsurprisingly, he’s crashed hard in the approval ratings since becoming President – as it stands, only 38% of those polled think he’s doing a good job – where were the 57% who disapproved of him when the election was on?! Were you all sleeping?! Grabbing a quick latte?! I mean come on – now you’ve saddled yourself with Putin’s favourite horse.

Why can’t this be one big (unfunny) joke? The entire world would love to wake up tomorrow and find out Obama was back. ‘April Fools’ says Trump, announcing his presidency was one big prank, and he’s stepping down. What a sigh of relief for the entire globe (well, unless you’re Trevor Noah, who would lose a metric ton of material to work with if that happened).

All this talk of a drive toward populism is now being met with reality – and all of a sudden, no one wants populism anymore. If the Brexit (that face) vote happened now, we wouldn’t vote leave – not surprising given little details like misdirection on EU costsNHS spending, the economy and so on. Like it or not, we’re committed. The UK is committed to Brexit (that face), the US is committed to an orange wearing a wig.  What’s gonna be worse, Trump or Brexit (that face)?

The upshot for America is, Trump isn’t likely to last four years – I mean, how can he when his plans keep failing miserably? The guy has the temperament of a toddler and the ego of Emperor Palpatine. He’ll end up impeaching himself.

 

Posted in Humor

Fifty Shades… of Greyskull

I wrote out a post the other day, and earlier I completely destroyed it. Why, you might ask? Because Nudge Wink is supposed to be funny. It’s supposed to offer up witty insights in what’s happening in the world, yet my earlier post wasn’t funny and it wasn’t insightful. I made a pledge when I started writing it to not discuss You-know-who, as frankly I’m sick of him, but without taking aim the obvious orange elephant in the room, what is there to say? What material exists that can transform this post from a thoughtful yet unfunny monologue, to something that has you aching from side-splitting laughter? So much so that if you’re reading this at work, you say to your boss:

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I wish to entertain you, yet this meerkat feels out of creative juice. At least, he’s all out if he wants to be original and try something different.

Maybe I’ll regal you with a chapter from my upcoming novel…

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Or not. It’s badly written trash anyway (I wonder what that reminds me of?)

So where do we take this introspective little post? Especially if we wish to avoid You-know-who? I could speak of work – but who wants to hear about the world of bathroom sales? Such a post wouldn’t make much of a splash.

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Come on, pull yourself together. You’re better than this.

He’s right, I can do better. I’m just not sure I can do better right now. My dismay with the world is frustrating me.

On the horizon though, is a bright light. One that allows my full geek to show. One that I have been waiting for since forever. Something that I’ll talk to you about all night, even if we were down the pub, and you were trying to get away from me. I keep dreaming about it – it’s invading my subconcious and my every waking thought. What is it that keeps a meerkat so excited? This:

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What is it you ask? The Nintendo Switch. I get to finally touch one in more or less a week’s time, and let me tell you, I am going to cry when I do. Yes, this meerkat is likely to well up when he gets hold of this device. I owe my mother big time for making this happen – thank you mum! It will transform cold and damp February into dramatic and epic adventure March. I will leave behind the wretched politics of this world for the world of Hyrule and take a journey to meet old friends.

You know what? This is going to be my sage advice to you all. Every time You-know-who does something stupid, we gobble it up and give him airtime. Let’s stop doing that. Let’s stop giving the spoilt toddler so much attention and simply walk away. Drink beer. Play games. Hug loved ones. Go for a walk. Take a deep breath and detox from him. Remind yourselves of what’s good in this world, and of what you enjoy. Deny him battle, and when the time is right, choose a fresh fight of your choosing. Be good to each other.