Miscellaneous

Fred Phelps (1929–2014): A Timeline

Disclaimer: There is very little factual truth in this piece. Almost none in fact.

November 13th 1929 – Fred Waldron Phelps is born – his index finger is longer than his ring finger.

November 15th 1929 – Fred’s mother has her genitalia exorcised

February 23rd 1946 – Fred has his first homosexual experience with an attractive young man from down the street.

February 24th 1946 – Fred spends most of the day doodling the attractive man’s name on the back of a Liberace poster.

Macho man… Fred spots a glory hole in a local restaurant toilet [Photo: Wikipedia]

February 25th 1946 – The attractive man doesn’t call Fred back.

February 26th 1946 – still no call.

February 27th 1946 – nothing.

May 3rd 1952 – Fred has a conversation with the first woman he’s met since his mother. He marries her immediately, confirming his heterosexuality.

September 16th 1953 – Fred reads the Bible and highlights the bits he likes.

March 14th 1967 Fred Phelps begins to target smokers, the media misinterpret his ‘God hates Fags’ slogan. Bemused, Phelps decides to just go with it.

Smoking is bad for you… Fred and his friends.

November 20th 1976 – Fred decides to give his family ‘the talk’ about the ‘birds and the bees’. An awkward conversation ensues, in which only back-door entry is on Fred’s agenda

November 25th 1977 – Fred’s daughter, Shirley gives birth out of wedlock, but beats God at a game of Chase the Ace to avoid condemnation to Hell.

1977 – 2002 – Fred has absolutely no gay thoughts at all. None. Seriously, he didn’t.

December 15th 2002 – Fred delves in to the forest in search of unicorn blood to ensure he lives forever. He fails.

December 17th 2002 – On his way home, he bumps in to the attractive young man from his teenage years. Fred makes himself look presentable in the bathroom but the attractive man has left. Fred snaps a Ricky Martin CD in half and feels better.

November 9th 2007 – Fred attends the premiere of Wrong Turn 2, in which daughter Shirley plays one of the cannibals.

Rising star… Shirley Phelps-Roper as inbred cannibal #3
[Photo:theevilontwolegs.com]

February 17th 2014 – Fred is banished from the Westboro Baptist Church after being caught twerking to Glee’s cover of Madonna’s ‘Vogue’.

March 20th 2014 – Fred suffers a heart attack after accidentally watching an episode of Modern Family. He is surrounded by posters of WWE’s Batista.

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Room 101…Four

Scouting for Girls Syndrome

Scouting for Formula…Sing a new song, would ya?

Also known as “Ke$ha syndrome; the unfortunate inability to make any of your songs sound any different from the other. “Elvis isn’t lovely just for the day! Ooooooooooo ooooooo!” sing-a-long, anyone?

Cat haters

Furry friends… Dogs are great but I’m a cat person.

I love cats. I have two so I should but my adoration for my furry feline friends doesn’t mean I hate dogs. The same isn’t said for the snooty dog-loving brigade of whom a sizeable bunch dislike cats. There are so many misconceptions of cats that they’re boring. They’re really not, my cats keep me entertained for hours every day and they’re no spring chickens at the ripe age of twelve. They’re not unloving either, my cats are the soppiest, clingiest things ever. They truly love you, once you’ve earned their love, dogs are just more liberal with their life. Cats are just plain cool; loving, funny, cute, furry little bad-asses. As a Shaniqua, a 14-year-old Facebook user would say whilst snapping a pic of her with a WKD blue… FUCK DA H8Rz!

Word shortenings

OMG So Shit… Learn to speak.

Whose idea was this? You know, to shorten every word possible in to one syllable? What is ‘perf’? Fucking hell, soon every word will be monosyllabic and conversations will sound like an endless string of morse code.

Whose id was this? You know to short ev word poss in to one syll? What is ‘perf’? Fuck hell, soon ev word will be mon and cons will sound like an end stri of mor code.

Failing technology

adAHIASHFKJASHFKJSHFKSFKJshfkjh! *PUNCHES SCREEN  AND NEARBY RADIATOR*

Away kits being unnecessarily worn

NO!… This is wrong

This one is completely irrational. I have no real reason to be so offended by this but I really am. I mean when let’s say Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday were to meet at the Valley (they did the day before I wrote this), then I expect to see Charlton in red and Wednesday in blue and white stripes but I didn’t. Of course, the Addicks donned their usual home colours but Wednesday appeared in their all-black second strip despite no clash with the home side. This is now commonplace in football and it upsets me. Wednesday aren’t black they’re blue and white!

New Look

No Look… You’ll never see again

Having spent a lot of time in this dreadful retailer when I was younger as my Mum and sister loved visiting it at Fosse Park – I have grown to despise it. Why? It’s compressed in there. They make the gangways ridiculously small, leaving very little room for that thing I like to be exposed to at all times, what is it called? Oh, yeah… oxygen! But what’s worse is the lighting. Literally, it is the brightest place in the world, you could stumble in with three pairs of sunglasses on and you’d still be left clenching at your eyelids begging God for your sight back. It must be comparable to staring in to a Super nova. Maybe they use such offensive lighting to distract from the shitty clothes they’re trying to sell. If they had an ounce of business acumen, they’d look in to selling guide dogs.

The McCallisters

Villains… Somebody call Social Services and save poor Kevin from these tyrants.

I saved these until last because quite simply, they’re the worst thing on this list. Since it’s been Christmas time, my hatred for this putrid family has reared its ugly head again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Home Alone, I bloody love it, it’s my favourite Christmas film, 1 and 2, not the other rubbish ones. Now, I know that Marv and Harry are supposed to be the villains but if we’re being honest, Kevin’s family are the true evil in this film franchise. Let’s start with the first film, they bully him, calling him disgusting names and then leave him at home while they toddle off to a different continent, they don’t realise at the airport, but mid-flight and only the mother realises. They make several half-hearted attempts to contact him whilst Kate shows some genuine concern and desire to get home for her son. When they all finally do get back home, they speak to Kevin for all of three seconds before leaving him on his own yet again and going about their business. The second instalment is even worse. First of all, Kevin’s big brother Buzz embarrasses him at the Christmas concert and then Kevin retaliates. Buzz gets off scot free with a blatantly insincere apology while Kevin is once again banished upstairs. Once more, the irresponsible clan oversleep leading to a rushed dash to the airport while Kevin is trying to change batteries in his recorder, the family all bomb off leaving him behind. Kate tells the stewardess she refuses to board without seeing Kevin get on the plane, of course some tame reassurance from the stewardess is all it takes for Kate to hop on board without a second thought to Kevin. Worse than before, the family only realise Kevin is missing at the baggage claim. This time, Kate is the last to realise but what’s worse is that every family member before is completely nonplussed by Kevin’s second disappearance – even his father. Once more, the McCallisters seek the authorities for help before making a shockingly insensitive joke about losing their son twice but never their luggage. Fucking freaks! I mean honestly! The family is staying in Florida when Kate gets the call that Kevin has been located in New York, now you expect the family to hug eachother and break in to sobs as they realise their loved one is safe and alive but do they? Do they buggery! Instead, all those heartless scumbags can think about is a free trip to the Big Apple! Once more, Kate is the only one genuinely trying to find Kevin, which shouldn’t distract from her shocking negligence. When they’re reunited, Kevin apologises to his mother… for some reason. The next morning, on Christmas day, Duncan’s Toy Chest has donated presents to the entire family because of Kevin’s heroics. Of course, this greedy, selfish bunch can’t wait to tuck in, allowing Kevin to slip off undetected…on Christmas morning…one day after being found following a lengthy disappearance…for the second time. So Kevin goes off to talk to the pigeon lady and what does he hear? His concerned dad making sure Kevin never leaves his sight again? No. An angry Peter McAllister who is far more bothered by the fact he has a pricey hotel room service bill to pay rather than his lax parenting abilities, traumatised son and awful demon spawn children. Maybe, had this incompetent twat bothered to pay attention to 10-year-old Kevin, he wouldn’t have a $900 bill. I honestly wish Kevin had unleashed his deadly pranks on his atrocious family members rather than the Wet/Sticky bandits. Arseholes.

My Story as a Football Fan

I didn’t always like football. Actually, when I was little I didn’t see the point. As a seven-year-old boy, I didn’t understand why kicking a sphere of air in to a net brought such joy to people – I was really all about Star Wars. One day circa 2002, my sister was playing football outside with my Dad while me and my two cousins re-enacted Yoda and Count Dooku’s lightsaber duel with my Lego… I know. They soon got bored and went outside to join them, apparently people don’t appreciate being told that they’re not recreating an intricate fight scene with toys correctly. I didn’t want to be a loner so I went outside and played too and I loved it. I never expected to but I really did. From that point on, I was a football fan. I didn’t know anything about the English game, except that my family’s club, Leicester City were on the brink of relegation from the Premiership; a concept I simply didn’t understand.

Glorious… Filbert Street’s infamous double decker stand.

Something, I’ve never tweeted nor mentioned in any blog is that initially, I was Manchester United fan. Truthfully, they were the only team other than Leicester that I knew and I think I thought Leicester ceased to exist whilst they weren’t in the Premier League.  My ‘support’ of Man U didn’t last long. I soon decided to support my local club (still Leicester) and it came about in a very special way. The 2001–02 season marked Leicester’s last in the Premiership and their last at their historic home, Filbert Street.  On the day prior to its demolition, the ground was open to fans to have a kick about. Me and my family went down and had a game and I ended up scoring the winning goal against my Uncle Paul. To our knowledge, the ground closed when we left, meaning we were the last people to play a game of football on that historic pitch. I was the last person to score a ‘goal’ at Filbert Street, as the family legend goes. Not a bad way to start off your following of a club, eh?

From then on, my support for the Foxes ebbed and flowed, I went to my first game in 2002/03 after I won a pair of tickets from a football course at my primary school. We drew 1–1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday. The next season, following our promotion back to the top-flight my Dad caught the City bug again and bought us season tickets. Sometimes, me and my sister and my cousins who also went loved it and sometimes we didn’t. We used to take a small ball and play downstairs on the concourse. I still remember every result from that season and most from every one that has followed. We’ve renewed our season tickets every season since but I truly fell in love with Leicester again in 2008, after years of mediocrity, our club had been relegated to its lowest ever position – the third tier of English football. From then on, I’ve been hooked, resonating City’s triumphs with my own and their defeats likewise. I’ve always been proud of my hometown. In fact, I was always infamous at school for being from Leicester, because I never stopped banging on about it.

As you can tell if you follow me on Twitter, I’m very much infatuated with Leicester City Football Club. Which is weird when you really think about it, especially when you know how skeptical and cynical I am about these sorts of things. Being a Leicester fan and a football fan unites my family and my community. Some of my best memories are from football. We all want to feel apart of something bigger than ourselves and football offers us that. That’s why we refer to our favourite team as ‘we’ when we have nothing to do with the actual playing of the game. To be honest, I don’t know why I’m writing this. I was inspired by Kyle Andrews’ post on Charlton Athletic and MK Dons which I’ll link at the bottom of this post. He talked about feeling a sense of belonging around his club and although, we admire the fans of Germany, Spain, South America etc., following a club is a unique experience in this country. Where else do you see 7,000 fans in the fifth tier of the domestic league turning up every game like they do at Kenilworth Road for Luton Town and better yet, where else do 1,500 fans pile in on a cold Tuesday night to back Darlington 1883 in the 8th tier? This dedication, to me explains why English football fans nearly always put club before country. Football is our game, it’s part of our culture and we don’t like to share it. We’re more bothered about being the best on these shores than globally because our clubs have a real sense of belonging. It sounds corny, I’m sure I’ll read this back and cringe myself but it’s true as far as I can see. You often see people refute claims that football is ‘just a game’. But it is. Football is merely a game, nothing more, nothing less. The problem is, the people that chose what was allowed to encompass a ‘game’. Passion, drive, community, dictation of mood, anything you want can be part of this game. But really, football is just a game. It’s also just a very special one.

 

False Widow. False Problem.

Recently, the British media has been in a frenzy (when are they ever not?), over the apparent surge in the UK population of the false widow spider. Several newspapers, particularly the Daily Star have been running stories about the spiders attacking and severely injuring unsuspecting citizens. Typically, people up and down the country are now petrified of this new frontier of deadly arachnids, because quite simply, they’re being sold a bunch of striking lies.

Here’s what the media has been saying about the false widow spider and with it, the truth;

  • “The false widow spiders can kill humans”

No one in the UK has ever died from a false widow bite, in fact, no spider of any sub-species has every killed a human being on these shores. Even so, the false widow spider isn’t even likely to attack unless provoked.

  • “The false widows have recently landed in the UK”

Incorrect. False widow spiders have actually inhabited Britain for over 100 years. Scientists suspect that climate change is the major contributor to their modestly swelling population.

  • “They are extremely venomous”

Again, a misconception. The false widow’s bite is usually only dangerous to those who are allergic to its venom. Otherwise, it would have a similar effect to that of a bee sting.

  • “They are engulfing the entire nation”

Now, it’s true that false widows are commonly spotted in the south of the country. There have been a fair few sightings in Essex, Hampshire and London for example, but north of Birmingham, sightings of the species are very much a rarity.

  • “Now the winter is here, the false widows are coming in to our houses”

This is partly true. Apparently, false widow spiders don’t like houses but prefer sheds, conservatories, garages and places of the like. So, while they are moving indoors now the temperatures are dropping, don’t expect to be sharing a bed with one any time soon.

2013-10-13-Falsewidow.jpg

In honesty, this pandemic really is nothing to worry about. It’s just the media’s way of selling papers, by preying on an already common fear in arachnophobia. Has anyone noticed that they never report that twelve people are actually killed by bees and wasps every year? That’s because people aren’t usually fearful of bees. Maybe, when the entire nation recovers from the swine flu we all contracted back in 2009, we can focus on this ‘killer’ spider problem, that’s assuming we’re all not wiped out by yet another ‘killer’ freeze this winter…

The Inner Twerkings of Miley’s Madness

This post is pure speculation,  I have no real proof to suggest anything I’m going to ramble on about here is true but it may be something worth thinking about. At any given time, there is usually one celebrity making all the headlines, the one you can’t go anywhere without having a conversation about them, I’m talking Lady Gaga after she wore her meat dress, Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift at the VMAs but who would have thought innocent-faced, Miley Cyrus would ever reach the required height of relevance to make such a huge impact? Well, she has and while most are labelling her a ‘whore’ among other things, there is a just a chance that she may really be a marketing genius.

Scantily clad… Miley has become quite attached to skimpy clothes and sexual grinding.

In case you live under a rock, country darling Miley Cyrus has recently transformed in to a mega slut, think Draco Malfoy in a strip club. It all started with her single “We Can’t Stop”, exploring the sinister themes of a drug party rather than the cute on-goings of Tennessee hoedowns like her previous singles. The video was the most controversial with Miley writhing around barely clothed, making out with dolls, licking men’s torsos and twerking like she’d been tasered. That was stir enough but Cyrus managed to exceed her antics when she then twerked right in the lap of Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards. She also showed the world that she had a rare disease called ‘restless tongue syndrome’. Anyhow, interest continued to generate and she once again kept her momentum of craziness going by appearing in her latest music video for follow-up single, ‘Wrecking Ball’ entirely naked on an actual wrecking ball and by practically fornicating with a sledgehammer. She claims that this is purely artistic but you would have to be a moron to have seen that video and think she’s not trying to promote her sexuality.  You’re probably wondering where I’m getting with this but if you think about it; sex sells.

Hammer time… Miley claims this is artistic.

Miley acting promiscuously in her weird videos generates interests, which generates more views which generates more publicity and before you know it, Sly little Miley or Sliley as I’m now dubbing her, has her first UK number-one single. Pretty clever right? She follows her madness up quickly with her stint at the VMAs, everyone’s left talking about Miley and we’re waiting for what she’ll do next. She releases ‘Wrecking Ball’ accompanied by another equally controversial video and subsequently she breaks the record for most views on Vevo within 24 hours. And you can bet that ‘Wrecking Ball’ will be another top 5 hit globally. Why has she done this? Probably because it’s worked. Crazy behaviour gets noticed. Just think about how irrelevant Amanda Bynes was 12 months ago and now she’s arguably been the most talked about celebrity of 2013. But what I’d bet is that this is an ingenious plan by Miley to simply distance herself from her Hannah Montana days. She tried and failed to do that with “Can’t Be Tamed” but this time has thrown out all the stops to ensure she will no longer be seen as a kid. Here’s the checklist; 1) she’s singing about drugs, 2) she’s provocatively licking and flirting with literally any object she can find, 3) she’s changer her image so people know she is different now and 4) she’s declared ownership of a slutty dance move that is easy to replicate and already popular. In fact, that last point is her biggest triumph. Twerking is all the rage in clubs, on Twitter, on Vine and when ever anyone hears that word they think; Miley Cyrus – which is probably why she’s been trending on Twitter in some medium for the last two weeks.

If what I’m suggesting is correct, you really have to give Miley credit, she’s done a remarkable job of making herself relevant when in reality she’s not the best singer nor the most distinguishable popstar of this generation but if she can make some money and herself a success from these eccentric escapades than more power to her; Twerk, Miley. Twerk, twerk! On the other hand, if she has just gone a little bit insane and actually thinks her behaviour is normal and appropriate, maybe we should get her some help and perhaps get Billy Ray on the Jeremy Kyle show.

Other Celebrity publicity stunts that have worked out

  • Mariah Carey scored a platinum-selling single with the only slightly above average, ‘Obsessed’ by targeting Eminem in her video.
  • Lady Gaga cemented her reputation as ‘quirky’ and ‘off the wall’ by wearing a dress made of meat – it didn’t harm her album sales either.
  • Swapping spit seemed to bolster sales for both Britney Spears and Madonna.
  • Any number of female celebrities have increased their sex appeal by coming out as ‘bisexual’.
  • Kim Kardashian masterfully handled the fallout of her sex tape to become one of the world’s most famous names (well her mother did).

Richard III: Greedy York Eye Fortune

The body of the last king of England to die in battle, Richard III was discovered under a council car park in the Grey Friars area of the Leicester. The discovery was made in 2012 and proven to be him in early 2013 but now some several months after the excavation, the citizens of York have pound sterling signs wedged between their eye lids.

The citizens of the northern city claim that York is his ‘spiritual’ home and it would be ‘morally correct’ to bury him at York Minster. The petition to remove his remains from the East Midlands has drawn plenty of support in online petitions with even Dame Judi Dench joining the crusade. My question is, do they really have a claim to his remains? No. Richard III was not born in York, he was born in Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire. He did not even live in York, nor did he grow up there. He was the Duke of Gloucester and his wife was buried in London, if anything these are the places that should be contesting Leicester not York.

Resting place… Richard III was discovered in Leicester.

While, his links to the town are obvious through the war of the roses you must too question the timing of the people of York who are now adamant his remains should be moved. Nobody cared when the excavation was taking place and nobody cared when he was found. It was only when the mainstream media latched on to his discovery and tourists flocked to see him that York-dwellers paid any attention whatsoever. Now, you won’t find a more passionate hive of Richard III sympathisers.

The ludicrous nature of the campaign reaches new heights when you realise that the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council have spared no expense in their historic search. They’re the ones who put their hands in the pockets to find him and put in the time and effort to uncover his body in the first place and now York want to reap the rewards and pass it off as a compassionate act of humanitarianism? The Richard III society remain neutral on the subject, realising we have no concrete knowledge on where Richard wanted to be buried and there’s a huge chance, Leicester nor York were his preferred choice.

Greedy… York Minster initially backed Leicester’s burial plans.

In fact, the only people claiming to know of his wishes are a group of people claiming to be his family. The same ones who didn’t know they were his descendants until they were tracked down and are now acting as if they had a deep emotional bond. It’s even more ridiculous when you realise that Richard III’s number of descendants has been estimated as somewhere between one and fifteen million. The fact remains is that nobody alive has ever met Richard III – not even close. There is not one person who knew him well enough to make this decision or who know him well enough to even care. I’m talking about a social version of the Statute of Limitations. So how they have the audacity to proclaim his burial wishes is beyond me.

Those in the pro-York burial clan have certainly had no qualms in bashing the city of Leicester for its conduct in the matter by trying to pass organisers off as money-driven buffoons. Those same people quietly ignore the fact of Leicester’s great expenditure and effort in unearthing the fallen king not to mention the historical significance of Richard with the city. They also don’t seem to care that Leicester Cathedral has commemorated many of the major anniversaries of the Battle of Bosworth; York Minster has not.

Exhibition… The city of Leicester has already spent money honouring the king.

Keeping the King in Leicester is even within keeping of archaeological and religious practice. York Minster even backed plans for Richard III to be re-interred in Leicester cathedral in March of this year. Unsurprisingly, as soon as Leicester began the construction of their tourist attraction, including alterations to their historic cathedral, and the citizens of York saw the potential income involved they decided to play the role of moral guardians.  Leicester is even in the middle of the country and a bigger city in general, far more recognisable on the international stage and a much better place for people to pay their respects and visit the King. The worst thing of all is that the citizens of York have managed to convince much of the general public that their cause is an honourable one and not a factually invalid ploy to make money for their city. Please don’t be taken for a fool and allow this injustice to occur. Although, not initially, Leicester has honoured Richard III for decades. York only became involved when the money did. As Leicester’s mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby so plainly put it; “the case for Leicester is overwhelming.”

Please sign this petition and keep Richard III in Leicester. Thank you in advance; http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/39708

Culture Clash : Things Americans do that Brits hate

To start, let me say that Britain and America are bezzie mates, at least politically. We like you, we really do, I mean we don’t like you as much as your cooler Northern neighbours but that’s a different story. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that this post is purely for fun and nothing is really meant by it. Please still be our friends. 

1. Aggressive patriotism

Now, don’t misunderstand. Most Britons love their country. In fact, patriotism was at an all-time high during the Olympics and the Queen’s jubilee celebrations last year but Americans’ love for their country is a different kettle of fish. The average Brit won’t take kindly to you using phrases such as ‘greatest nation on earth’, ‘God bless, America’ or chanting ‘USA! USA! USA!’ repeatedly. In the States, you see the star-spangled banner hung from every other building. Here, you’ll only find a Union Jack on the beach front of Skegness. Maybe, we’re just jealous of how much pride you have for your country. Or maybe, we still feel a little awkward about the whole ‘Empire’ thing.

Proud… Your love for your country upstages ours.

2. Mispronunciation of UK place names

Get an American to look at these two place names; Leicester and Loughborough and then ask them to pronounce them. They probably will be unable too. While we know they’re pronounced as LES-STER and LUFF-BROH, some and I stress some Americans have been known to refer to them as LAY-SESS-TER and LOO-GUH-BUH-ROO-GUH. I suppose we can’t be too hard on you though, we do like to pronounce things completely differently to how they’re spelt. And in fairness, I’d imagine those from the north-eastern states are quite apt at interpreting the pronunciation of British place names, seeing as we creatively named every bleeding town up there after one of our own.

Sad… I wish everyone knew how to pronounce the name of my hometown

3. Therapy 

Americans love their therapy. They use it liberally and why not? It’s an effective way of raising issues with a mediator to allow all parties the chance to voice concerns. Us Brits don’t understand this, we’re more for repressing our issues and deep-seeded anger and letting it bubble up later in the form of sarcastic quipping.

Open… Even America’s favourite family uses therapy

4. The hatred of ‘Jaywalking’

This is more of a personal one. When I went to America last summer, there was nothing the average pedestrian was called up on more than ‘jaywalking’. For those of you that don’t know; ‘Jaywalking’ is walking to the other side of the street when the road is clear but traffic has not been halted by a red light. In the UK, it is called crossing the road.

Absurd… Americans like to make crossing the road a difficult experience

5. American Sports

People of all nations will be reading this bit and in their head shouting ‘YES!’. We hate your sports and everything about them. We hate the cheerleaders, the pop stars doing the half-time show, the silly commercialised names, I mean what is with the ‘New York Red Bulls’? The local derbies of the MLS are even sponsored by car manufacturers, for goodness sake! We hate the paegantry, sports in the UK are for getting merry and singing amusingly hurtful songs to the other team not for catching a sneak preview of Miley Cyrus’ latest single. We’re driven insane by the fact baseball’s prime competition is called the ‘World Series’ despite the fact all but two of the world’s nations don’t bother to compete. But, most of all we hate what you call ‘football’. You have tainted our favourite creation. This will always be a blip in American-British relationships, one for which we will probably NEVER forgive you.

Pageantry… Brits dislike the showbiz nature of US sports

6. How much you love our accent

At first, we have to admit, it’s very flattering when you compliment us on our accents. In Britain, we aren’t very complimentary to each other’s dulcet tones. But you lot seem to love it – if you head Stateside you’ll be greeted by people asking ‘where is that accent from?’ before they politely pretend to have heard of a small commuter village outside of Huddersfield. But it does go a bit far when you then reel off lists of phrases that you want us to say in ‘British’, which isn’t a language by the way, nor an accent. In fact, some of our accents are as audibly offensive as some of yours. Also, do we always have to be the bad guys in movies? We’re not all evil.

Diverse… For a small country, we have many accents.

7. Geographical ignorance

Again, I think this annoys me more than most Brits. I like to know about geography and I’m sure many of you are very knowledgeable too but a lot of Americans seem to think that London is the be all and end all of old Blighty. You don’t know the names of our counties but I can name all fifty of your states (I’ve done it many times). Maybe, we don’t like that you don’t reciprocate our appreciation of your country’s geography.  Then again, if I’m honest, I’d probably be as ignorant as many of you, if my country had the wonderfully varied landscape yours has. Just know this, at least. We don’t all live in London and whilst we’re on the subject, we’ve never met the Queen either.

Ignored… There are more places in the UK than London

8. Taking credit for others work

Americans and Brits have learnt to avoid certain topics of conversation over the years and at the top of that list are the events of World War II. A tip for all of you, never say to a Briton that you ‘saved our ass in World War II’ or that we’d ‘be speaking German now if it wasn’t for you’. We appreciate your help and over the years, we’ve been great allies to each other but Brits see these sorts of comments as a huge mark of disrespect to our armed forces. We also don’t really appreciate your tardiness in said events either but hey ho. Another thing that grinds our gears is when the American flag appears next to the ‘English’ option on a language selector – we would probably settle for the bisecting half-flags of the States and the UK but ignore our flag altogether and we are not amused.

Irritating… It was our language first

9. Your chocolate

I think you’ll agree with us – our chocolate is better than yours. In honesty, ours isn’t even that good but at least it’s not Hershey’s! I’m not being melodramatic here, I once tasted a Hershey’s kiss and it tasted like vomit. Chocolate stateside generally tastes burnt and bland, not velvety smooth and sweet like we’re used to over here. Many Brits were actually appalled when Kraft bought Cadbury’s a few years back, I was simply happy for you.

Vile… There’s a reason they’re shaped like turds.

10. Your spelling

No surprises here. We hate the way you spell words. Why do you hate the letter ‘U’ and why do you love Zs (Zeds) so much? If we’re honest, this is one of the few reasons we prefer Canada. Although, they’ve fallen victim to your movement for excessive usage of the alphabet’s 26th letter, they at least know how to spell ‘centre’ eh?

Different… Americans have mutated the English language.

11. Your interest in our dental hygiene

Our teeth are not that bad. Yes, some of us have some dental issues but we’re not that bothered. You seemed to be more concerned about the alignment of our gnashers than we are! We care more about bad breath. I’m not really sure where this stereotype started – I for one don’t know anyone with horrible teeth. Maybe you’ve been watching too much of the Jeremy Kyle show? In fact, speaking of trashy talk shows, we get the Jerry Springer show here, we know your teeth aren’t always perfect either!

False… I don’t mean the teeth

12. Your politeness

Okay, we don’t actually dislike this, it just baffles us. It genuinely confuses the average Briton when in the US, a stranger stops to say hello or help you take a picture or carry something. When Americans in restaurants or shops are polite and compliment us for being good customers, or if any American compliments us in general, we immediately think to scour your face for traces of sarcasm and when we find nothing, our brains nearly explode. Your politeness is so wonderfully genuine that our overly cynical mindset simply cannot cope.

Okay… Google thinks this is a picture of ‘friendly Americans’

That completes my list. I hope nobody was too offended and thus, I invite any American to do the same thing for us Britons – we love to put ourselves down.

Leicester: England’s Forgotten City

I’m weirdly proud of my city. Most people up and down the British Isles don’t hold that strong a sense of local pride. Of course you hear people from places like Liverpool, Cornwall and Essex exerting their local pride but a proud ‘chisit’ is a rare sight to behold. Leicester often goes unnoticed on a national scale despite being one of the largest settlements in the United Kingdom. Many just see Leicester as a big town stuck between Birmingham and Nottingham, but it is so much more than that.

History… Leicester’s Roman remains

People had lived in the area for thousands of years, but Leicester began as a late Iron Age settlement set up by people from the Corieltauvi tribe. After the Romans fled British shores, the town’s urban function ceased to exist. Although listed as a city in medieval times, Leicester lost its city status for 800 years until 1919. Despite being one of Britain’s most important places for wealth, religion and trade, Leicester remained a borough. In spite of it’s lack of coal and iron, Leicester began it’s expansion and industrialisation in the 1700s.

Nowadays, Leicester is a superb example of a cross-cultural city owing to it’s large South Asian population. Despite this mix of ethnicity, culture and religion, little tension is experienced within the city between different groups. The city benefits from this influx of Asian culture in many ways such as; the locally known Golden mile on Belgrave Road, which provides some of the best curries in the country. Believe it or not, this obscure Midlands city boasts a lot of historical and social relevance. Leicester is home to the National Space Centre, one of the UK’s leading tourist attraction – I even know a family from San Diego who holidayed in Leicester for a week… really.

Picturesque… Bradgate Park in Summer.

Leicester is a massive sporting city too, being home to the biggest rugby union club in the country in Leicester Tigers, the oldest British basketball club in Leicester Riders, multiple time 20/20 champions in Leicestershire CCC and of course the mighty foxes, Leicester City.

The surrounding areas in Leicester are also stunning too, when you take in to account the charming county of Rutland, which if we’re honest is Leicestershire in all but name. The Charnwood area of the county is home to some of the best woodland areas for miles and home to the infamous Bradgate Park where the 9-day-Queen, Lady Jane Grey once lived.

National Treasure… Sir David Attenborough grew up in the city.

Leicester has actually been the home to many well-known names over the years. Famous ‘chisits’ include spud-flogger and England legend, Gary Lineker, as well as former City and England keeper, Peter Shilton. Successful band, Kasabian (who grew up a mile from my house), fashion expert Gok Wan (whose parents own my local chippy and Chinese takeaway). Engelbert Humperdinck, the Elephant man, Joseph Merrick, the world’s fattest man, Daniel Lambert and of course the legendary Attenborough brothers; David and Richard. You can even thank the city for the timeless classic that is ‘Return of the Mack’. Leicester is also famous for being the home of Walker’s crisps but many people are unaware that most of Britain’s beloved snacks are produced in the city or county, including Galaxy, Mars and Snickers in Ashby de la Zouch – you’re welcome.

The city also has its ties to the British monarchy due to the well publicised finding of Richard III’s body in late 2012. He was found buried in the Grey Friars area of the city following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 – the last King to die in battle. The Queen also personally chose Leicester as the first stop on her 2012 Diamond Jubilee tour and thanked the city for exceeding her expectations in welcoming her. The visit made such an impression on the locals that the council plans on opening a new complex called ‘Jubilee Square’ in the coming years.

To be clear, I’m under no disillusions. I realise Leicester will never be an iconic city of the world like Paris or New York but as far as Britain goes, Leicester, in my opinion is one of the best cities there is. Ask my Granddad – he’s compiled a comprehensive argument on why Leicester should actually be the country’s capital but that’s a different story altogether.

Interesting facts about Leicester

Rejuvenated… The city of Leicester.

  • Leicester is home to the biggest outdoor, covered market in Europe.
  • The city lies on the River Soar and on the edge of the National Forest.
  • With a total population of 329,600 Leicester is the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom.
  • As one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least 2,000 years – Leicester appears in the Doomsday Book as “Ledecestre”.
  • BBC Radio Leicester was the first local BBC radio station.
  • Leicester has the largest economy in the East Midlands and one of the largest in the country.
  • Leicester hosts the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India, the largest comedy festival in the UK as well as annual Pride and Caribbean events.
  • Leicester was Britain’s first ‘Environment City’ and was singled out for special praise at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
  • The name for a person from Leicester is a ‘Leicesterian’ or ‘chisit’, the latter deriving from the locals of Skegness (a popular holiday destination for Leicesterians), who noticed that the phrase ‘how much is it?’ sounds like ‘I’m a chisit’ in a Leicester accent.
  • Leicester was the first place outside of London to have traffic lights and Tesco.
  • Experts have determined that Leicester is the birthplace of modern standard English.

The Price of Success

In every popular sport in the world, there are heroes and villains. Those the crowd love and those they hate. Typically, the athletes or teams the spectator takes a disliking to share one trait; success.

Prime examples of the unfavoured, are sports’ elite competitors; Manchester United, Leicester Tigers, the New York Yankees etc.. Many people would put this dislike down to an admiration for the underdog, the romance of the unworthy pretender emerging in glorious victory. But why?

Brand… The Yankees are well-known and disliked in the sport

I was actually inspired to write this article based on a Ladies’ 4th Round match at the recent Wimbledon Championships between Serena Williams and Sabine Lisicki. Taking place in Old Blighty, neither’s home nation, you would probably expect a neutral crowd or one that’s slightly swayed toward the plucky underdog in Lisicki or another edging on the side of a respected veteran in Williams. That wasn’t the case. The raucous Centre Court crowd were overtly biased toward Lisicki, cheering her on to every point and greeting Williams’ successes with groans of disappointment. Lisicki’s support rivalled that of the home talents, Andy Murray and Laura Robson and it even continued through the next rounds when her more arrogant nature came to prominence.

In Serena’s case, she is partially disliked for her intense competitive nature. Understandably, most perceive a dislike of losing as a negative trait but it really isn’t as bad or counteractive as it seems. In reality, a hatred for defeat is the very thing that breeds the successful sports stars that are loved the world over. Serena is often levelled with criticism about her image too, with many labelling her as a ‘man’, usually the same people who detest the shameful body image tabloids pressure women to obtain, while mocking a woman making a positive contribution through sport. Actually, you could argue that Williams is simply ostracised because of her race or gender. It would be untrue to say stars like Nadal, Djokovic and veteran, John McEnroe are dealt the same backlash. They remain popular despite exhibiting very similar behaviour.

Of course, there is less opportunity for vocal bias in neutral grounds in football but that doesn’t stop Manchester United being targeted for abuse from supposedly apathetic fans. In contrast, local rivals, Manchester City have become many fans’ ‘second team’. Back in May 2012, when City pulled off a remarkable title theft from United, fans of other clubs publicly celebrated the failure of the Red Devils despite their club having no links to them themselves. In the Etihad, QPR fans (the visitors on the day), even publicly celebrated a goal being scored against them, because it was at Manchester United’s expense. Seriously.



(around the 1:45 mark)

Legend… Serena’s success breeds more resentment than admiration.

Ultimately, it comes down to jealousy. No matter that Serena Williams’ success story in particular comes from hard graft and determination and Manchester United didn’t necessarily employ the bank-rolling tactics of their cross-city rivals to start their route to success, they are still loathed by sports fans alike. It’s the same jealousy that sparks the Scotland or British debate among Andy Murray’s fans. Some Scots are keen to claim Murray as just theirs so they can exclusively identify his success. However, Englishmen are less likely to do the same because as a nation, they’re more successful. As with football, the neutral supporters identified with Man City’s title triumph as a victory for every other club against Manchester United… for some reason.

I’ve never bought in to the establishment of disliking the successful stars of sport. I can see why people do, but I don’t share their feelings. Being prosperous is an adaptive characteristic that biologically, every human is attracted to. When I think of the aim of sport, I think of every team or competitior striving to be the best and I cannot see any rationalisation for hating that. After all, being victorious is the reason we love sport, if you’re not trying to win then what would be the point?

Room 101…Two

I realised since my last Room 101 blog which is now a year or so ago that there are plenty more other things on this planet that I don’t like and wish to eradicate.

Mary Poppins

Pompous… Mary Poppins is a cow.

I know she’s meant to be lovable and I know she was played by a true screen legend in Julie Andrews but my God, how arrogant is that woman? She comes floating in with her morbidly black umbrella and decides she’s the fucking queen? I mean her only solution to anything is to pump children full of sugar and she still has the audacity to claim she’s ‘practically perfect in every way’. Urgh, bitch.

American Sports

Nonsensical… Logically, this game should be called football, right?

Americans are great. I mean that. I really do… for the most part. They’re a proud nation with much to be proud of. But at times it comes across as undeservedly arrogant, especially when it comes to their sports. Football (not soccer) is the most popular sport in the world but in the States, baseball and hand-egg are the big games. Now, if the ludicrous rules and thoroughly uninteresting game-play of both isn’t enough to make you dislike the US’ sports, then their delusion over how important and popular they are should be. How can they call baseball’s top competition, the WORLD series when only one country is allowed to take part? They even label the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees as the ‘biggest in sport’. I’m pretty sure River Plater and Boca Juniors would tell our friends across the pond something quite different.

Gary Barlow

Dull…. Gary Barlow is…………………………………………………………….. Zzzzzzzz

Given how boring this man is, writing about him at 12:21am is dangerous to say the least. I actually can’t say much more than that. He’s dull and he’s not even redeemed by his songwriting, which he seems to be lauded over. He was once good but his latest stuff including ‘Shame’ and ‘Sing’ are two of the cheesiest songs in existence. He falls in to the ballad clichés very often. I find it hard to believe that a person so fucking one-dimensional can be so famous and popular.

Chavs

Anti-social… Some people collect stamps, Chavs collect ASBOs

I’m not going to lie; I can be a snob. I really don’t like chavs. I mean, I’m not going to go as far as to judge people based on what they wear but I mean I don’t like the sort that hangs around town centres in groups, drinking Strongbow, wearing tracksuits and heckling old ladies with obscure slang. You know the sort of ignorant souls that go on Jeremy Kyle, get pregnant at 7 years of age, claim benefits and spend the rest of their lives sitting on the sofa, munching on a 24 pack of Hula Hoops with their one remaining tooth. In other words, these people are scummy and grimy and yuck.

The London Underground

Scary… I’d rather walk…

This place is a dark, dank, sweaty death tramp! It’s so awful, it’s pitch black, noisy and screechy. You hear stories about ghosts being on the tube, you go under a fucking river and people regularly try to kill themselves. I think I would be absolutely chuffed if my oyster card got revoked.

Thunderstorms

Scary… FUCK YOU THUNDER! YOU CAN SUCK MY DICK

I hate thunder and lightning. It scares me shitless, I literally hide behind objects during thunderstorms and will not move until they’re over. Why? Because about a year ago, lightning struck the window of the room I was in, whilst I was peeing and it was without doubt the scariest moment of my life. Honestly, just fuck off ligntning, you hot, electric cunt.

“You was” / “I seen”

Strict… Say it right or don’t say anything.

How do people get this wrong? It’s the most fucking irritating grammatical error around, just pipping the ‘definitely/defiantly’ debacle to the top spot. I associate this mistake with idiocy so if you get this wrong regularly then I probably won’t like you.

The Big Bang Theory

Over-rated… An average programme for average people.

This programme is the 2nd most over-rated thing in existence. It is popular on both sides of the Atlantic and I just don’t know why, it’s Dexter’s Laboratory except not animated. There is only one notable character with the rest rendered practically useless serving only conform to social and racial stereotypes. Sheldon’s only popular for being able to complicate simple dialogue, hardly the feat of good comedic writing. Is it really that easy to please the public? Well actually, yes, it really is. That being said, I’m sure the producers of TBBT are laughing all the way to the bank. I mean, it really is fucking depressing when ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is searched on Google, that the show comes up before the actual theory itself. Maybe, Kaley Cuoco is attracting viewership as the show’s piece of eye candy? Personally I preferred her in 8 Simple Rules but when it comes to this show I have only one simple rule; after the theme song (the only good bit), turn this shower of shite off.

Oasis

‘Heroes’… LOLZ, its so funni 2 act lyk a petulant twt all da tym LOLZ ❤

No, I don’t mean the drink. I literally can’t stand this band and unlike many, I rejoiced when they broke up. They are persistently rimmed and labelled as one of ‘the best bands ever’. I can’t take away their commercial and critical success but to me, they’re painfully average. One of the greats? My tits are they! I can recall two memorable songs both of which are so similar they may as well merge in to one 7 minute piece of monotonous drivel. They’ve almost become a cult thing amongst teenage football fans on Twitter too, I doubt you’ll find a more common bio than “*Football club*, Oasis, away days ♥” as if their music is now the official soundtrack. If their overly stated music that is arselicked beyond recognition by the masses isn’t enough to turn you off them, then you only need to be reminded of the members of this band; the Gallaghers. Referring to the easily impressed public I mentioned in the last entrant to Room 101, people seem to love Noel Gallagher because he swears in interviews. Apparently, a 46 year old man still acting like a Year 6 student that needs a smack on the arse is something that the average Briton likes. Both brothers have inevitably bought in to their own misplaced hype, not that you could blame them for that. Noel even had the audacity to claim that ‘music was dead’ citing pop music as responsible. I didn’t hear him saying much back in the pop-dominated noughties when he was still able to sell music himself, did you?

UKIP / The BNP / The EDL

Supremacists… Closet racists the lot

I have no idea why people support these sham-organisations. They’re just xenophobic alliances, disguised under the common protestation that they want to ‘protect Britain’. Let’s face it, the average supporter is a braindead thug with a lower IQ than a Jacob’s cream cracker. Unfortunately, scare tactics work on many in Britain and few of those on the bandwagon seem to realise that nationalism, an ideology all three employ, was the founding principal of Adolf Hitler’s nazi party. Just a heads up, to the media slaves; nationalism and patriotism are very different things.

Lad Culture

#BanterLAD #RESPECT… #StupidCunt #FuckOffYouOdiousPricks

Another thing formed from moronic thinking is lad culture. Who is the fucking ignoramus that decided acting like a prat should be glorified and celebrated? I mean, I honestly think I could get ‘LAD points’ for mugging an old woman in the street. As long as I chose to define it as ‘banter’, another over-used term that muppets seem to crave, like some sort of verbal drug. If I’m being quite frank and I’m not often anything else, if you’re ever called a lad, the chances are you’re just a plain old cunt.