Monday, 25 April 2011

Toilet Humour with Asterix and Obelix

Here we are; I expected that I'd write another entry last week, but those plans ended up dead, gutted and fried in the pan. Things seem busy, and not necessarily in a bad way. Last Monday I travelled up to London's O2 with friends Sam and Andy to see WWE Raw live. We made a day of it, setting off at 10am. My day began in a hurry, as instead of pressing the 'snooze' button on my alarm clock, I turned it completely off, and woke up again at 9:45. I hopped in the shower, and got ready A.S.A.P. Andy picked me up and we headed to Sam's. Before setting off for London, Sam sorted his car at the local BP (of which Pete is fully familiar), which allowed me to have a little banter with a couple of former colleagues from the woolies days. It was on the way to the O2 that I got to make up for having skipped breakfast with a nice healthy Burger King. The show wasn't to start until 7:30pm, so I'm sure many of you are wondering why we left do darn early. To answer that, I'll explain that there's plenty to do at the former Millennium Dome, and we entertained ourselves by going to the cinema. We watched new comedy Your Highness, starring Danny McBride, James Franco, and the lovely Natalie Portman. There were memorable quotes galore in what was a very epic adventure comedy, such as 'Look at Courtney's new hair cut, doesn't it make him look like the tip off a cock', which gave us a new nickname for Andy in Courtney. I'm not exactly sure why, but from now on Andy shall be known as Courtney, and that's that.

Now, before the movie started I found myself needing the loo - having not been on my morning excursion to the lavatory what with rushing thanks to oversleeping. I'm not one for public toilets, and usually make visits to them as brief as possible. However, this was precarious situation, I'd become pretty uncomfortable and would not enjoy myself nearly as much if I attempted to hold it all in for the entire day, so I had suck it up (not literally), and do what a man sometimes has to do. I entered the men's room and as there was nobody around, I took the time to make a brief inspection of the facilities... I had a look at which of the cubicles was the cleanest, that the one I had chosen had a working lock and toilet paper, and that the dispensers above the sinks had a fresh supply of soap. With all of the above confirmed within half a minute, I placed some paper over the seats, and... well, you get the idea. While in this position, I couldn't help but wonder whether I was being over the top, and whether I was maybe crossing the boundaries into complete suffering of O.C.D. I came to the conclusion that either way, I was in a losing position, as I'm guessing that about half of you reading this think I'm insane for going through all of those checks and precautions, while the other half of you probably think I'm insane for using a public toilet in the first place - and to the women out there, trust me when I say that you can't imagine how much worse a men's room can be in comparison to how I'm imagining the ladies' to look.

After some drinks in Thai Silk and a tasty meal that sizzled like the sun in T.G.I. Friday, we made our way into the arena and found our seats, which although were close to the entrance stage, were to the side of it, meaning that we couldn't see the jumbo-screen. Thankfully there was nothing of note to see on the big screen during the telecast, however when going to a TV taping like this, when the crew were setting up for the next segment, they'd play a video on the screen to keep the fans entertained - all we could do was hear some sounds out of context, while looking out into the arena and seeing 20,000 people staring past us. Highlights of the night included a guy by the name of R-Truth turning bad and lighting up a cigarette, inciting a 'That's Illegal' chant from the masses, and a couple of thrilling, edge-of-our-seats matches.

The rest of the week seemed to disappear in a blur. I enjoyed the sunshine when I could, and worked a couple of shifts, one of which lasted for 11 hours, on what was a busy day indeed due to the company's schizophrenia causing us to have to change our systems every other week. I also attended a leaving night out for one of Stacey's (now former) colleagues. Suddenly it was Good Friday, and I had the day set aside for a visit from some relatives. We spent the day in the garden talking, drinking and jumping around on the trampoline. Saturday was spent at work again, and then I had my first Easter Sunday off in quite a few years. Easter Sunday happened to coincide with the 75th birthday of Stacey's Grandma, so the day was spent round her Uncle and Aunt's house. I tried beef wellington for the first time, which I'm sure you're all excited to read, and we spent a day talking and playing games. I hate the Best of British board game - because I lost - but love Articulate, because nobody can beat Stacey and me when we team up. We are The A-Team, even if Stacey had never heard of Asterix and Obelix....

...I'm hoping some of you readers actually know who these guys are, because I'm starting to think I may be the only person I know who's actually heard of them, let alone read their adventures in Primary School.

I'll end things here, as all I did on this day - Easter Monday - was kill a day at work... Oh, and I ate some ice cream, it was Ben and Jerrie's Phish Food, and it was yummy. Um, yeah.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

I Came To Play

For the last three years now, in April I've had what I like to think to myself as a 'big weekend'. A big weekend is one in which there's plenty going on, events planned, and that usually stretches into the next week. I remember back in April of '08 (which terrifyingly is 3 years ago now), on this very weekend it was jam packed to the brim! On the Friday was the release of Mario Kart Wii, which for me was a pretty big freaking deal - I still give it an occasion play even today, three years on, which must say something about that great game. Then, the Saturday night featured a house party for our friend Chris's birthday, followed by additional birthday drinks in our local Wetherspoons on the Sunday evening. This big weekend then stretched into the Monday, as I went on a double date to London, during which we wandered around Oxford Street before heading to the O2 Arena to see WWE Monday Night Raw live. Then in 2009, we had ourselves a similar weekend, although I can't quite recall nearly as well what exactly happened as I can with the wonder-year that was 2008.

Last year was probably the biggest of all, and was one that I even documented in this very blog, as things kick started on the Friday night with celebrations of Chris's 21st in what turned out to be a pretty wild night... So wild that my good buddy Pete dozed off in the middle of the night club. Classic Old Man Town! Stacey and I were then to get up early...ish after a night out to travel up North for her baby (toddler these days - they grow up so fast) cousin's naming ceremony, from which we'd travel back down on the Sunday. This was all followed on the Monday by another trip to see WWE Raw at the O2 arena on a day in which I'd also watch one of the finest films I bore witness to last year, Kick Ass. This 'big weekend' would even stretch as far as Tuesday, as I'd go to the O2 arena yet again to see WWE's other show Smackdown.

One thing's for sure, these April big weekends seem to centre around two things: My friend Chris's birthday, and going to see WWE. And, here I am, sitting here on a Sunday night, slap-bang in the middle of the 2011 version.

On Friday night, along with Stacey, Jason, Pete, and Natty, I travelled down to Portsmouth where Chris currently resides for University (three guesses as to which Uni he attends), and we spent the night there to celebrate the Old Boy's 22nd. We kicked things off in style, by ordering a Domino's and by... watching Eastenders... Come on, it was the one where Ronnie finally admits that she stole a baby, how could we not watch? After kicking things off in admittedly, maybe not so much a grand a style as I would at first boast, we did then kick things up a notch by playing some drinking games. While it was a bit of a laugh, and allowed us to persuade Chris to pull a mooney outside his front door (I have video footage of this, just ask), the problem with drinking so much before heading out was that myself, and I believe one or two others were ready to hit the hay before a taxi had even been booked. I was seriously sleepy, and would have been happy to call it a night the way I felt back then. Thankfully I managed to get perked back up, and off we went into the weird and wonderful land of Pompey. We first stopped in at an overpriced Yates bar, which came with built in soap-dispensing man - I hate those guys, I mean this guy, he actually fired soap at me in order to try and score a tip, despite me using the furthest sink, and obviously attempting to use the normal soap dispenser on the wall. After leaving Yates, Chris guided us into a gay bar. He claims this was for Pete's benefit, but I have some other theories on that matter. Anyway, this was certainly a new experience for me, and for the sake of not giving our straightness away and potentially getting kicked out (I'm assuming thems the rules), Stacey and I avoided physical contact, and it turns out we touch each other a lot - And if it's there, get your mind out of the gutter! It was in the gay bar that Jason came out... with the quote of the night, when he began frantically stating that he needed to find a chair to sit down in because he could 'feel them staring' at him. To be fair to the nervous wreck that was Jason, there was an intimidating, tall, and bald man staring at him for the entirety of the time that we spent in there.

After leaving the gay bar, which aside from the butch lesbians making out was actually a little different to how I pictured one to be, we set off to a 90s club. Due to most students in Portsmouth being back home for the holidays, the club was a little quiet, although I still enjoyed it more than a regular night club due to actually knowing/recognising/enjoying the music played. They even strayed a little from the 1990s and in the right direction, as they played several hits from the early 2000s, a time when I was first discovering my music palette. There were several people dressed up as icons from the period, and at one point, as an employee of the establishment was taking our photograph I spotted a WWE Championship belt at my feet, and as the picture was being taken hoisted the gold above my head. Unfortunately none of us remembered to buy the photo, so my moment of glory has probably been deleted from history. On the way out of the club, I went over to grab my title to leave with it, but as I went to pick it up I spotted a group of guys and girls dressed up as Hulk Hogan and John Cena among others blocking my path to the door, and putting 2 and 2 together, realised that the belt must belong to them. Fearing a suplex through a table, I chickened out and left the belt behind, and I still regret it to this day, 48 hours later.

It was after the club that things really kicked off, and a certain birthday boy may not like this part being brought up, so he'll be known as 'CJW' for the duration of the following paragraph. Most of us were feeling pretty hungry, the Domino's having evacuated our stomachs and making its way through our intestines. So we stopped off at a classy joint known by two names, Ken's Chicken/Ken's Kebabs. CJW went right up to order, while the others all sat down. I took Stacey's order and went up to order for the two of us. Jason then shouted over that he wanted to grab a doner kebab meal which consisted of a doner kebab, chips, and a can of drink for the bargain price of just £4.99. Pete had sat down next to Jason, thus Jason couldn't get out without asking Pete to get back up again, so he passed me five £1 coins and asked me to give them to CJW to order for him. I relayed the order to CJW, 'Doner Kebab Meal, with Dr Pepper for the drink' and handed him the dosh. CJW ordered and paid, and then I ordered mine and Stacey's food. As I began to eat, CJW's order of his food and Jason's was ready and placed on the counter by the friendly staff of the fine restaurant. Suddenly CJW's eyes turned to crimson as a storm began to brew. CJW began throwing a fit over how he didn't have enough money for it all, and blamed Jason for not having given enough. We tried pointing out that he'd already paid and here was the food, to which he began claiming that he had been ripped off. The end result was an upset CJW storming out of the eatery and disappearing for 10 minutes while we ate. I still don't fully understand what brought about the temper tantrum, but I believe it was something along the lines of when CJW ordered Jason's meal deal, he worded it so that he asked for a doner kebab and chips, followed after a little while with 'and a Dr Pepper', so I guess it was all just an error in communication. No big deal, but it made for a funny little story. Natty and I even went to look for him at one point when he's stormed off, but CJW had disappeared completely, hiding in an alleyway or something. I guess that's just the kind of thing that happens when you've been drinking in celebration of turning of age, you either pass out as I did last year; fall over and crack your head open as Stacey's brother did; or storm out of a wannabe KFC at 2am over a doner kebab and a can of Dr Pepper. Happy Birthday CJW, and thanks for all the laughs and all the memories!

This currently-in-progress 'big weekend' doesn't feel as big for some reason though. Maybe last year's was too big. Maybe it was because there were only six of us down in Portsmouth (although I doubt this as we still had a very entertaining time). Maybe I'm just getting old. Oh God! No, I think the real reason is that I kind of derailed the whole thing today by having work. I'm appreciative of the hours if you're reading this boss, buy man was it a quiet day. The sun was out and no one came into the store. Then when I finished at 5 it decided to cloud over a little... Great! It wasn't too bad, it just killed my momentum a little. Saturday was pretty good though, the six of us from the night before went wandering around Portsmouth, eating an oriental buffet lunch, and looking around various outlets. I discovered an awesome store called The Works, which seems to sell various cool bits'n'bobs for low, low prices. I was even talked into trying on some designer jeans in FCUK by Stacey and Natty, and in the shocker of the year, I wound up parting with £25 on clothes - although Stacey did chip in as she was so happy to see me actually spending on such a product, cheers sweetie! Now, I've never been one for expensive designer clothes, and have always felt/assumed that you're only paying for a label, however, when I tried on these FCUK jeans, I could literally feel the difference between those and my regular non-designer pairs. They felt more comfortable, and as if they'd last longer. Plus they were on sale at £25 down from £55! Check me, maybe I should auditon for Sex and the City 3 after all.

Enough with the fashion talk, I'm scaring even myself. Tomorrow comes the final day of my big weekend. And once again I'm heading to the O2 Arena to see the TV taping of WWE Raw. As of yet, nothing has been announced for the show, which has me questioning whether it will be as good as shows I've been to in the past or not. It could go either way with nothing at all announced, as you have no idea what to expect from a WWE show. It could be the a bigger flop than CJW's brewer's droop was on Friday night, or they could put on the most spectacular show ever seen. All I can do is anticipate for now, and in 24 hours, those questions will have been answered and I'll most likely write about it.

That'll do me for the evening, as I've been writing for quite a while and fancy some reading before bed. I'm currently reading Ozzy Osbourne's autobiography and a 50 pages in can safely say that it's better than expected. The stories he's had to tell are more than fascinating, and so far he's not even formed Black Sabbath. I've read of bar fights, imprisonment, and self tattooing so far in the book, yet for me the part that's made me smile the most is of learning that there are more human beings in the world that eat pickled eggs. Ozzy Osbourne eats them! Seriously, I eat them, Stacey eats them, as does her cousin, and that seems to be it. People seem to be scared to try them. Next time you're down you're local chippy have them throw a pickled egg in with your cod and chips - you won't regret it!