Wednesday, 3 February 2016

5 Things I Don't Understand

My "confused face" needs work.

I like to think I'm at least relatively savvy.  I might be something of a technophobe at times (it took a friend's help to get my podcast onto iTunes recently, because the whole process made my head hurt), but I'm pretty switched on about the world.

That said, there are some things that I will just never, ever understand.  And, because I love to share my very existence with people on the Internet, I thought it would be fun to list a few of those things...

1. Equations.

I am completely unashamed to say that back when I was at school, on more than one occasion, I literally sobbed over my total and utter inability to understand how to solve an equation.  I genuinely think your brain needs to be wired a certain way in order to actually know where to even begin when faced with a seemingly random load of numbers and letters, squashed together on a page, staring at you like a creature from the Hell Mouth.  And my brain, ladies and gents, is most definitely not wired that way.

Whilst doing my GCSE maths homework, I could frequently be found shrieking "WHY ARE THE NUMBERS HIDING BEHIND LETTERS?!  LETTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MY FRIENDS AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE MATHS!" whilst rocking back and forth, with frustrated tears streaming down my face.  It was all very dramatic.  To this day, my stock response to the unlikely event of anyone randomly handing me an equation and asking me to solve it would be: "I don't care what X is.  I don't care what Y is.  Who are you and why do you hate me?"

Similarly, as an adult, if I ever accidentally click the "HTML" button on this blog, I have about five seconds of sheer heart attack, where I think I might have actually broken the entire Internet.  I might be a blogger, but I don't want to see that.  Give me sweet, sweet words, without bizarre bracket-y things and numbers that have no place being in a sentence.

I'm aware that if I were to have become a rocket scientist, I would probably have needed to have understood equations a little better.  But I'm not a rocket scientist and equations need to disappear into my murky past and stay there forever.  If I ever have children, I'm just going to have to hope that by some strange stroke of luck, I've had them with someone good at maths.  Otherwise, they're screwed.

2. Incontinence adverts making women seem as though they are THRILLED about wetting themselves!

According to the incontinence pad brand, Tena Lady, "oops moments happen."  Apparently, an "oops moment" is when you accidentally wee your pants.

Forgive me for being crude, but to me, that would be less of an "oops" moment and more of a "HOLY CRAP, I HAVE ACTUALLY WET MYSELF" moment.

Now, in no way am I mocking those who genuinely suffer with incontinence.  That must be horrible and I have nothing but sympathy.  However, the creators of Tena Lady (or at least, the makers of the adverts) aren't exactly helping the situation by filming women laughing and then going "oooooops!" in an almost "Carry On" sort of way.  I honestly expect Sid James to pop up, laugh dirtily and then pinch Barbara Windsor's bum on the way out.

And the women on those ads look so pleased with themselves!  I don't know if the director told them "try to smile as though you've had a wee in your knickers, but you're happy because nobody can tell" and the resulting secretive smirk was the best the models could come up with, but wow.

"Ooooops!  I seem to have accidentally attempted to make sexy eyes in an incontinence ad."

There could well be people thinking that I'm trivialising an embarrassing medical condition here, but I swear, it's the advertisers doing that.

3. Tall people who push to the front at gigs.

Insert photo of me in your average Manics gig outfit...

Let me make it plain: I am not tallist.  If you are massive in comparison to me (and chances are, literally everyone reading this is, because I'm five foot nothing), then GO YOU!  And if you get to a gig before me and you've queued all day to get to the front, then damnit, you deserve your place.

BUT...  If you turn up ten minutes before the band come on stage and you barge through the crowd on your crazy long legs, bashing people out of the way with your crazy long arms, before standing in front of me, so I see the back of your head all night (or, more accurately, the back of your...well, back), don't expect me to politely accept your utter lack of gig etiquette.  I may be short, but I am feisty.  Think of me as a slightly less hairy Jack Russell Terrier.  I will bite your legs if I have to.

Seriously though, why do you do that, rude members of the tall community?  You can see perfectly well with my tiny little head in front of you.  I don't even reach your eye line.

Now, it must be said that some tall people are awesome at realising that smaller people aren't going to ruin their view, whereas they might easily ruin the view for a short person.  Last December, I went to a food festival in Padstow and found myself in a massive crowd of people, trying to watch TV chef James Martin perform a cookery demonstration.  I could see several backs, a few shoulders and the odd back of a head if I stared fixedly forwards and that was it.  I'm just not tall enough to be in a squashy crowd like that.  After a while, I started to feel funny and I could feel an asthma attack coming on.  I coughed and reached to take my inhaler out of my pocket and as I did so, the couple in front of me turned round and said: "Oh, goodness!  You can't see a thing, can you?  Please, go in front of us."  Filled with the glow of humanity, I thanked them and walked past and a chain reaction was triggered; people were genuinely turning round and letting the ridiculously little person walk past them, until I found myself at the front.  I could see and everyone behind me could see too, because I'm never going to be tall enough (even in heels) to block anyone's view. 

James Martin made a cake and we all had a lovely time, wishing we could eat it.

Mmm.  Cake.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Tall people: please don't push past me at a gig.  I'm the height of a child.  You really don't need to.

4. Ticket touts: how do they sleep at night?!

I like to think that I'm a nice person.  I try to be thoughtful towards others and I make an effort to think about how my actions might affect those around me.  None of which can be said for ticket touts.  Ticket touts are essentially walking piles of excrement, with faces drawn on.  And that's my polite description.

I recently watched a documentary about ticket touts (people who buy tickets for concerts or sports events etc and then flog them at a much higher price) and I swear I nearly passed out with rage.  One guy was casually buying standard-priced tickets to a huge concert that lots of people were clamouring to get tickets to, using several different email addresses to get around the "maximum ticket allowance" rule.  Then, when he'd bought literally dozens of tickets, he was asked how he felt about the many fans who had missed out on buying any because of people like him, and he simply shrugged, smirked and went: "If they want to go that badly, they'll buy their tickets from me."  And then he listed his £35 tickets on eBay at around £100 each.  At least I think he did.  I had thrown a brick at the TV by that point.

Seriously, the answer to the question "how do these people sleep at night" is, unfortunately, "on a bed made out of money and the tears of music lovers," but how anyone can look at themselves in the mirror and not be disgusted by their own greed and selfishness if that's how they make a living is beyond me.  On the documentary, not one of the touts interviewed had the slightest bit of regret about what they did.  But, speaking as someone who has sat on a website, clicking "refresh" over and over, desperately trying to get tickets to a concert that was selling out by the second, only to fail and then see tickets listed at £100+ elsewhere by ticket touts, I hope they all collectively develop ingrowing pubic hairs that become infected and start to blister.  And I hope all their underwear magically turns into sandpaper.


You know exactly what I'm talking about and don't pretend you don't, dear reader.

I mean that thing, when someone whips out a camera and the person they're snapping (sadly, usually a woman - I mean come on girls, you're letting the side down), does something like this:

Such sexy.  Very model.  Wow.

Stop it.  I don't even want to say much more, because JUST STOP IT.

I'm all for pulling stupid faces in photos.  In fact, I'd guess that at least half the photos of me in existence are of me purposefully pulling a stupid face (the other half are of me pulling an accidental stupid face).  It makes me laugh, it - hopefully - proves that I don't take myself too seriously and it's just a thing I do.  

But the dreaded "duck face" isn't supposed to be funny (aside from when you're doing a spoof duck face, but let's not get into that or this blog will eat itself), it's supposed - believe it or not - to be sexy.

Yes, apparently people are supposed to find the image of a woman looking like she's chewing on a wasp whilst casually turning slightly to the side so she looks like the wasp contains no calories is meant to be GODDAMN HAWT.

Except it actually looks more like this:


So, there we have it.  Five things I have never understood and never will understand.  I could have done five more, but hey... Let's save that for another day.  Is there something you just can't get your head around?  Let me know and we'll commiserate with each other, about how we're the only ones in the world who understand what it's like to just not understand.  Or something.

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