Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

When you’re giving way to oncoming traffic, there is an unwritten rule that is polite for all drivers and that is the thank you ‘wave.’

I was giving way to a loooong line of traffic at rush hour thisy morning – this is how nice I am – or how little of a hurry I’m in to get to work. The people behind me weren’t so sure but the feeling any we get for doing a good deed is quite pleasurable, and if someone doesn’t say thank you it makes you feel quite bitter (well it does me) – I will always wave ‘thank you’ to traffic letting me pass.

When letting this long queue go past of approximately 10 cars, all but but two said thank you, and in all different ways. Some flashed their headlights – so frustrating to be blinded though, some even gave me an entire palm of wave, some lifted a finger or two off the steering wheel, some bared all 4 fingers and some even nodded, but given all those little ways of saying thank you, you realise that no one was taught this during their driving lessons, this little habit has just caught on.

This isn’t something I’ve observed driving on the continent. Certainly not while pulling of a do-it-yourself international removal last month from France to England. If anything I’ve rarely been so angered by both traffic and lack of common courtesy. Given I was driving a giant of a Citroen van I could’ve quite easily thrown my weight around on the road.

Is this unwritten but widely observed driving practice just a sign of our general, good English manners?

The two moody cars this morning that refrained from saying thank you were,  shockingly both Hondas. One a new CR-V. Obviously enjoying the extra amount of condescending allowed by the driving position or had recently read my less-than-positive comments about their looks. I’ve seen increasing amounts of the new Honda CRV in Kent lately. Still not too keen on them and this morning’s experience has just added to that.

The E.U is a funny thing. I don’t mean that in an “oh isn’t it funny that Romania and Bulgaria still aren’t full members.” I mean that in a “ha ha, that looks like a ….” way.

Norway remain as non-EU members, sitting happily above Sweden and Finland who are full members. Accordingly, it’s not featured on the map of the EU Europe that graces the Euro coins. Not a problem for them, they have their own currency. But for Sweden and Finland, it makes them the butt of a joke. Well, not the butt exactly…

2 euros

As a regular user of the Euros I was surprised I hadn’t noticed this before. I even had to dig one out of my pocket to check but, sure enough. I have to wonder if this is the real reason Norway haven’t become EU members yet, as it means that Sweden looks like a different kind of member…

Somehow, despite my numerous alerts and scans of the news pages, I’ve only just heard about this. Surely the best news story that has emerged this year.

sega gun hostage

In Brazil late this February, a man named Gustavo (great name) took a woman hostage at gunpoint and held her for a 10 hour hostage-negotiation ordeal with the police after entering the house to recover a R$42 debt.

Only thing is, he did this using a Sega gun. You know the thing everyone used to use on Safari Hunt of Alex Kidd in Miracle World? The very same. To hold a person hostage.

“Stop or I’ll shoot!” And what?? She’ll vanish and enter screen-right again in two seconds?

I’m not sure what’s more amusing – the fact that this guy had the brass jacobs to pull it off in the first place of the fact that it took Brazilian police 10 hours to talk someone using a gaming accessory to let his hostage go.

Seriously: look at it! Does it look remotely real? What kind of guns do they have in Brazil? Maybe they all grew up playing Duck Hunt instead …

Next week:  Xbox controllers become the accessories for kidnap?

Ah it’s always a joy to see my tax money being so carefully spent by the government. Imagine my delight last night then when driving home down the motorway in Kent to see a lovely new Peugeot being hoisted onto the back of a tow truck while a pair of ‘traffic wombles’ stood watching having a chuckle to themselves. traffic womble

Seriously: what is the point in these people? You know the ones I mean, they drive up and down the motorways in their Highways Agency 4x4s, people slow down thinking it’s a police car. They arrive at the scene of incidents and seem to do little more than watch as they have zero authority or juristiction to do anything that doesn’t involve traffic cones. They seem to add more of a delay to things than benifit anyone. 

Someone breaks down, it’s a modern age, they use their mobile to call the AA or whoever, wait a while, get repaired or put on the back of a tow truck. Does that really need two extra people to be paid from my taxes to stand and watch? 

What used to happen when someone bumped into another driver? They’d get out, try not to shout and scream, exchange details and drive off – probably swearing under their breath or, worst case scenario, call the emergency services. What the hell do they need someone else with flashing amber lights to turn up and ponce around the scene for? Collecting debris? Yeah it’s real tricky getting a bit headlight off the tarmac. Closing the road? That’s what the police do, as they have authority.

Can the government really justify this expense or am I wrong: do they provide an essential service?

In need of amusement on one of those work days where nothing seems to get done except further requests filling the inbox, I remembered seeing an advert a few years ago that made me chuckle and thinking it was for a VW, ended up finding this: 

For those that don’t speak Dutch (myself included) the wording reads:  The company that continues, even if you are stopped. 

Or if I’ve got that last word wrong and it’s “gestapt” not gestopt” : The company that keeps going as you are stepped on.

Either way I can’t see where the humour is. It’s clearly designed to be funny but I guess it’s a purely cultural or language-based joke as it’s beyond me.

I’m trying to think of an English equivelant: a van parked up at a Sussex beach in that half-sun half-rain weather selling deck chairs for a fiver only to be outdone by some elderly couple selling them on for £6 from the back of a better, albeit cheaper van?

This was a shocker, but UK tv channel Gold commissioned a survey that today announced that us “cheery, stuff-upper lip” Brits are in fact the angriest nation in Europe. 

The survey found that, on average, we get angry four times a day while those hot-headed Italians only manage 3.5 bouts of anger. How do you manage half a bout of anger? “What??! Are you… oh, no. It’s ok” ?

The biggest causes for our anger have been labelled as queue jumping, rude service, foreign call centres and traffic jams. Seems perfectly reasonable to get hacked off at that. 36% said that racism and bigotry made them made too. 

The survey was commissioned as part of the channel’s celebration of notorious anger junky Basil Fawlty and head of Gold, Paul Moreton said “we can all relate to a Basil Fawlty type character but there’s something quite endearing about Basil. After all, he is quintessentially British!”

Given the time of Fawlty Towers, I’d love to see how Basil reacted to trying to phone his bank, having found his branch closed, and be put through to a foreign call centre where nobody has that good a grasp of English. 

The survey questioned six thousand adults from Britain, Spain,  Italy, Austria, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Sweeden, Norway, Denmark and, of course, the French.

The French admitted to losing their temper three times a day and claim their biggest annoyance being bad food and restaurant service. I spend a lot of time in Paris and I should add the French to what makes this Brit angry, I find it highly hypocritical for them to complain about restaurant service when they fail to give even basic service anywhere else. Would it kill them to acknowledge a customer once in a while? 

I wonder how angry the Americans get, what hacks off an American?