I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon. I pay for the stuff, the sellers gets the money, and they send me the stuff. Transaction complete.
But then the next thing I know I'm being asked to write a review about the stuff. And putting aside the aforementioned "transaction complete", there are some things that there just isn't much to say about.
So here's some of the reviews I've given to Amazon products which there is nothing to say about.
First up it's an iPhone sock I bought, which is a sock that you put your iPhone in.
Next up is an Amazon gift card I bought for someone, which is ... well read on...
My iPhone cable was broken so I bought a generic Amazon one which had exactly the same features.
Last up is a coffee bean grinder which does literally one thing.
I will post up more of these as I buy them. In the mean time, if you like this kind of thing then go to the top right of the page and do what it says to get more of them.
Shortly after arriving in the UK I had a hankering for a lovely Indian dinner, a pair of large and rugged high-topped shoes, and the desire to somehow be turned into a superhero. So off on my mission I went.
So I went into the first place I saw which seemed by it's name to be an Indian restaurant. It was a weird experience in that instead of tables, chairs and plates, they just had islands of tables full of phones, computers, and cords. The taste wasn't quite right either, everything tasting dusty and way too crunchy. Overall was disappointed with Currys.
Next off, the shoes. Instead of the lovely leathery smell of an ordinary shoe shop, this shop smelled like cheap cosmetics mixed with the smell of the infirm and unwell. I tried to put my feet into many things in the shop but nothing quite fit. Sorry Boots, worst shoe shop ever.
Now off to try to achieve my dream of becoming a superhero. The obvious choice seemed to be SuperDrug, as many a superhero started by having some sort of narcotic experience that transformed them. But after taking one of each of the pills in SuperDrug, and awaking a few weeks later in hospital, I was disappointed to find that I didn't have large sharp metal protracting claws coming from my knuckles.
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.
People ask me, "What's doing standup comedy like?"
The language used to metaphorically describe standup comedy is rather dire. If the audience like them, the comedian "killed", and if they don't, they "died". Comedians say "You smashed it" and deliver "punchlines". The language tends to be conceptually similar to a battle between the comedian and the audience.
But is comedy like a battle? And is it useful to think of comedy this way?
To me, comedy is like doing little word puzzles and sharing them with others. Sometimes these puzzles may be impossible to complete, and sometimes they may be possible but not aesthetically pleasing to others. Often, the puzzles work just right, and when shared the right way are enjoyed by most people. Sometimes an audience will like whatever puzzles they see, and sometimes audiences just don't like your kind of puzzle.
And there's little point getting overexcited if people really like your puzzles, or disappointed if they don't. They're just puzzles for gods sake.
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This week, an in-depth study was released from the University of "I'm just making this up", in East London, showing that while comedians are typically thought to be weirdy psychotic types they are actually psychologically superior and have special abilities.
The main finding was that comedians have superior flexibility of mind. While a "normal person" (which is comedian talk for non-comedians) sees situations unfold in their day to day life, they take them for face value, while comedians will spend most of their effort thinking of different ways of looking at everything in the desperate bid to come up with something funny to say in order to be liked by strangers.
The second psychological ability of the comedian is courage. Getting up in front of a group takes some courage, no, not foolhardiness, courage... no, not a desire to please above anything else even their self preservation, courage. A simple technique used by most comedians is to simply hallucinate that they are amazing orators and that the uninterested audiences are actually revelling in their brilliant social commentary about paedos and wanking. PS Yes, there is an a in paedo. We are not Americans, except for those of you who are.
And the third psychological ability of the comedian is their superior fox grooming skill. While non-comedians see a fox and think "ah bugger me there's a fox", comedians see the foxes true potential and visualise the various different styles that could suit that individual fox. And even though the foxes seem like they really are not into it, comedians go the extra mile and pin the foxes down and take to them with a high level of hairdressing finesse. Because foxes don't know what's best for them do they? They don't know if their haircut is making them look like a dick. And they just don't know how much better life can be if they diversify and maybe try a mullet or a rats tail.
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