I am immediately put off this article of mine because of the way I've used "vs" in the title. It reminds me of two things that I am embarrassed about being familiar with, one being the fad of 90s and early 2000 computer games where the players names were shown at the top of the screen with "vs" between them, and the other being those songs where two Americans collaborate in a song and instead of referring to it correctly as a duet, they refer to it as something like Big-E-Small Vs Puppy-G-Dog. I can barely bring myself to continue writing.
But I have continued, as you can see. There are more words to this, here's some, here's some more, and a quick glance down will show you that there are a bunch more to come. Is more words better than good words? Is dubious grammar but more grammar better than not as much but better grammar? Will there be a point to all of this? Is it too subtle?
I was walking along the other day in the city of London, and as usual expending most of my energy observing people's coffee habits. I noticed that the bigger the coffee cup, the worser the coffee, and the smaller the coffee cup, the better the coffee. Although I think that it is more that the companies who make terrible coffee think that they can overcompensate for badness of coffee by providing more of it. How do they manage to sell this idea? We don't see Primark selling only massive clothes, that would be silly. But the big chain coffee shops manage to convince people to buy and drink a gallon cup of something that tastes like it came out the back of a cow. Surely it would make more sense for terrible coffee to be sold in particularly tiny cups so that those who are drinking it can think to themselves "Wow, this is absolutely awful but at least I'm nearly finished."
So you may be thinking that yet again I have managed to make one of my articles more about coffee than comedy. But look closer, as each of the paragraphs above have comedy in them if you look really hard. A clue if you are reading this on an iPad is to do that two finger thing where you put your fingers together then move them gradually apart therefore making the words bigger. The bigger the words, the easier it is to see the comedy hidden in them.
The greatest thing about being a kiwi in London is that by being an outsider it's easy to get away with not conforming to unspoken social rules. And by a kiwi, I don't mean a little brown bird, although they would have even more of an excuse to not comply. Or a kiwifruit, which is often mistakenly referred to as a kiwi, as their chance of understanding any kind of social structure would be extremely slim indeed.
Anyway, I was walking along the other day with my pet kiwi, carrying a kiwifruit, and my kiwi said to me that she fancied some McDonalds. And would I ever argue with anyone or anything suggesting McDonalds? I think not. So we were approaching McDonalds and I saw that there was a line out the door. In this situation I'd ordinarily just walk on rather than waiting in line, but my kiwi looked at me with those big blue kiwi eyes and I couldn't refuse.
Upon closer investigation I noticed that in McDonalds there were eight different counters, each with someone serving from them. However, the configuration of how the Londonish people had decided to queue was in one long queue rather than the more sensible one queue per counter configuration. What is this madness? With a moment of thought I gathered that it must be something to do with fairness in that the people should be treated equally and each be served according to their punctuality in getting to the McDonalds store the earliest. But that's hardly exciting is it? Surely in the one queue per counter configuration there would be more of an element of excitement? "Am I in the quickest queue?", "Did I make the right decision?" Then again maybe that would be too much to add this conundrum to the everyday anxiety of the Londonish folk.
But you know what? I live life to the fullest so decided that I would be the catalyst for change in this situation. I strolled in and walked straight up to one of the counters which didn't have someone lining up at it. The looks on the faces of the folk in the long line were a mix between shock and awe, shock because someone had done something so utterly unacceptable, but also awe of the braveness of going against the grain and creating a more optimum queueing configuration. Slowly, as my bravado rubbed off on them, the others in the queue decided to follow suit and the next thing I knew there were eight lines, one in front of each counter.
As I walked out, each and every person in McDonalds gave me a look of respect. One of them gave me a high five, but I refused it because that's way too American and I didn't want to get lynched by the folk who I'd just a moment ago impressed so deeply. My kiwi and my kiwifruit were both so impressed by the situation that they both shared their chips with me which encouraged this kind of behaviour and lead to more stories just like this which I will share in the coming weeks.