DREW-RASSIC PARK

My names Drew and I am a dinosaur!

Apparently acceptance is the first step towards enlightenment but good God – when did it happen to me? I am still so young and vibrant (to all my friends – SHUT UP! I AM). I pride myself in my effortless immaturity. I am hip, cool and groovy – kids still use those terms right?

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans it seems. Not sure what I was busy planning but I certainly seem to have been looking the other way. I was probably busy eating a Twix or something, I don’t know, but here we are, well into the digital party and I forgot to R.S.V.P.

I now seem to be constantly and unavoidably hit with barrages of technical babble just to enable me to get from A to B. A piece of poop for the majority it seems but, for me, you might as well ask me to scuba dive in a saucer because, frankly, I don’t want to play.

I think the online world has caused us to lose way more in life than we’ve gained. It’s become an iron lung we cannot seem to function properly without.

Whatever happened to :-

  • Talking to people face to face ?

  • Being able to spell ?

  • Forming proper sentences ?

  • Shake & Vac (OK, not a relevent example, but what DID happen to it?)

Call me an old fart if you like – and, after a quorn stew, you’d be uncannily accurate in that accusation – but we’re fast becoming a world of illiterate strangers.

Go on public transport, into any bar/cafe/restaurant or in pretty much anywhere there are living breathing people and all you see are heads looking down at some sort of appliance, ignoring their partners, friends and the outside world in general. Wasn’t the advance of communications supposed to bring people closer together rather than making us more and more distanced from one another?

Walking to work, its impossible not to notice that the bulk of my fellow pedestrians have earphones in and eyes fixated on a screen, thus cutting off two major senses. They don’t even look up at crossings to check if a truck is approaching.

It’s a pretty embarrassing demise if you get flattened by a tram just because you were too distracted watching a clip of juggling kittens or something equally trivial. No minister or vicar could deliver that eulogy with any dignity.

I have a friend who doesnt even use a credit card and steadfastly refuses to be forced into getting one, preferring instead to pay by cash or cheque! This may be extreme but there are many things in life that are thrust upon us with no choice, so if you can dig your heels in about other things I can see the twisted appeal. I’m not advocating we go back to barter and exchange – I don’t have any camels to trade at the moment – but often the simpler things in life remain the best.

A sunset, angel delight (Flake optional), a genuine belly laugh with that old friend who shares your sense of humour, turning on the radio and hearing a song you love – the list is endless and none of it involves charging anything up !

Maybe those of us without the natural inclination or desire to form relationships with computers should start a support group?

I concede that part of my aversion is a complete lack of interest and that now, more than ever, the working world largely rejects you if you’d rather cut your googlies off than create an excel spreadsheet but it’s square pegs, round holes people! We can’t all be good at everything. Some of us are just on a more spiritual plain (again, to my friends – SHUT UP!)

Mind you, if that shepherd job I’ve applied for turns out to involve electronic sheep that only operate on j-pegs I’ll be hugely disillusioned…

Perhaps I’d just prefer a hassle free life? A less meddle-some existence? Just yesterday, my email provider, for no valid reason, forced upon me changes in the format and design of my messages. It hasn’t made things better, its made them worse…way worse (with no option to change settings to suit). Why BT why? I was happy with the way things were in my limited little PC world (good name for a shop that – what do you mean there already is one?)

My name is Drew and I’m a dinosaur…and proud of it !!!!

LET ME HELP YOU (whether you like it or not…)

I know this is the digital age and that our daily interactions are meant to be faster and more streamlined but, retail and public service outlets – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I BESEECH THEE – will you please stop pushing other unwanted information upon us !!

Yesterday, I headed to the Post Office. I just wanted to buy a stamp (for those of a youthful disposition, that’s a small sticky square thing that pays for the delivery of a letter…oh, hang on…a letter is a written document that people fold into an envolope…an envolo…oh for feck’s sake…google it.)

Anyhoo, before I’d even finished uttering my request, the woman on the counter butted in…

‘Who is your broadband provider ? Whoever it is, I bet the post office have a much better deal you know‘ she forcefully declared before shoving a pamphlet into my hands.

This was just the overture…

‘And if you don’t mind me asking…’

(I DO, not that it would have stopped her)

‘How much do you pay for your mobile and line rental? We do a much better deal than everyone else right here at the Post Office.’ Another leaflet was thrust upon me.

‘I JUST WANT TO BUY A FIRST CLASS STAMP !!!’ I wailed, desperately hoping that this Stepford salewoman would take the hint.

She didn’t.

‘And what about your house insurance? We do a lovely little deal here at the Post Off…’

‘NO! NO! NO!’ I yelled, forced to be abrupt as she failed to notice me curled up in a ball rocking and crying by this point. The lengthening queue weren’t impressed either though it was obvious from their glares they didn’t realise that it wasn’t me causing their delay.

The counter woman looked a little crestfallen but how else could I get the message across how ridiculous this all was? ‘I’m a little peckish – do you do cheese & ham toasties here at the Post Office? How about podiatry? I’ve got an ingrowing toenail that’s giving me jip…’

I decided to wave the white flag and retreat, slid my letter back into my pocket and sloped off, drained and defeated even though she was STILL pushing unwanted information at me. Let the next person in line have a go at getting her to give them the ACTUAL thing they came in for.

On my way out I was accosted by another staff member asking if I needed any services that the automated system could help with. Despite noticing that the queue for this was even longer I let out a freeble, babbling whimper ‘I just wanted to buy a stamp’ …

‘Well, we have lots of options for that here at the Post Office’s automated service…you can have first class, second class, recorded delivery, then there are all the weight options…’

I actually ran out of the place, headed into the nearest newsagents and was charged £27.50 for my stamp though, by this point, I didn’t care.

Sometimes less is more. I don’t always need or want MORE options that don’t help. I want simple, uncomplicated, straight forward. Remember how easy that used to be?

Go into any clothing store and you have the same problem trying to navigate through a formerly simple transaction.

You just want to buy a pair of pants and leave before anyone notices that you’re no longer a 32 waist but is this possible? Nope because you get held up by someone trying to force feed you the dreaded store card.

The staff clearly loathe and feel uncomfortable doing it but obviously have no choice so they pretend to wrap it up as a great deal even though, at it’s heart, it’s just putting the public further into debt so people higher up the organisational chain can get a bonus.

For the hapless few that do go along with it, they’re stuck for half an hour giving intimate details of their financial and personal life not always understanding exactly what they’re signing up for. For all they know, they may have just promised to name their first born after the store manager.

If you don’t go for the debt and destitution option, there’s usually some other card or add on they have to inform you about, oblivious to the fact that your eyes glazed over ten minutes earlier and that you’ve actually outgrown the garment you tried to buy during the time it’s taken just to purchase the damn thing!

So I have come up with an easy yet effective method of cutting the crap in order to get your task completed quickly so that you are free to get on with the rest of your day. A system so simple you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself…

Fart & Go.

You have to put a little bit of preparation into it beforehand – downing some green, cruciferous vegetables perhaps or scoffing something overly eggy, whatever it is that makes your insides churn and flatulate.

You are then ready to head out into the wide world, fully prepared to unleash the beast whenever you anticipate that a load of customer service babble is coming your way.

For example :-

Counter person ‘…and have you got one of our fantastic new…’

YouPARP !!!!!

Counter person (totally taken aback) ‘I err, was um…’

You (grabbing bag with purchase in and leaving) ‘Good day to you.’

Voila ! Job done (no pun intended, I don’t advocate following through unless it’s a particularly complex transaction)

So, consumers of the world, there you have it.

Just Fart & Go !

Good day to you 🙂

GYMNAUSEUM

A Beginner’s Guide To (sort of) Keeping Fit

A New Year is a time for change. People make all sorts of promises to themselves about self improvement. Always being ahead of the game, I had a crack at it in the lead up to the New Year.

Backache, tennis elbow (in my left arm that hardly does anything!), energy levels sapping…the list of ailments, aches and pains seemed to be increasing by the day so rather than drift through middle age (whatever THAT is) with mobility issues piling up I decided to do something constructive. I did what I swore I would never do. The thing I have scoffed at friends for succumbing to for years now…I joined a gym.

I signed up mainly for swimming – NOT pumping weights (I’m sluggish, not insane) which is best for all round flexibility although I may eventually to have a crack at those hideous machines that are favoured by body pumped, tight fit clothed loons ! If it’s supposed to make you feel good why do they always look so miserable? Probably through lack of cake.

So here dear reader are my GYM LIFE LESSONS to starting something healthy. I must warm you however, it is never without incident…

Visit 1

  • Pay attention to signage – dont go up to the gym in your swimmies when the pool is downstairs – they dont like it

  • On hearing ‘Rock The Boat’ over the tannoy whilst struggling with the breast stroke, dont start synchronised disco dancing in the pool – they dont like it

  • When entering the sauna only to be met with some loon doing lunges with his right knacker on view, dont say ‘Oh good God!’ – he didnt like it. (Why is he lunging at me? I’d ask him to stop but he might have a knife…)

  • When changing next to someone who has produced a tub of loony bulk building powder, dont get out a king size Twix from your Tescos bag – they dont like it


Now consoling myself with a giant slab of quiche – if that doesnt sum up the phrase ‘one step forwards two steps back’ I dunno what does

Visit 2

  • 3 words sum up today’s ‘experience’ – giant great wanger! I swear to God I had to fosberry flop over it to get to my locker. It took up the whole cubicle. What kind of weights is he pumping?

  • Was also despondent that an elderly lady was a faster swimmer than I was – and she had to be helped into the damn pool! She did however appreciate my dance efforts today when Supremes ‘Stoned Love’ came on (impossible not to move to – try it!) Twas like being a Rep doing poolside aerobics all over again.

  • Still, 2 swims in 2 days – at this rate I may well have a verucca by Bonfire night!


Today’s apres gym treat – a Crunchie (3 pack – which I decided to think of as just a very long Crunchie…) I’ll be unable to get into the sodding jacuzzi at this rate…

Visit 3

  • For the 3rd straight day the receptionist has eyed me with suspicion as I’ve swiped in as if to say ‘What the hell’s he doing here? Greggs is next door…’

  • Urgent memo to the guy jogging on the treadmill wearing a hoodie (hood up) – its a gym not an audition for ‘Rocky’

  • When in the jacuzzi (which is just a big plastic tub of human soup) dont wear trunks with a net lining as it billows up in the bubbles and when you exit it looks like you’re having a particularly difficult time of the month.


So I am contemplating tackling the gym part soon and am now searching for an adult to accompany me as I should not be allowed in there unsupervised… Any takers? Anyone..?
Post swim treat – Bombay Bad Boy (King Size) Pot Noodle…

Visit 4

  • So today I experienced what every athlete dreads – I hit the wall…literally, I hit a wall when I skidded on some wet tiles and slid into the side of the shower unit

  • 5 swims in 7 days (I took the weekend off so sue me) is also taking its toll. Today I opened my gym bag (aka : an Aldi plastic carrier) to discover 3 socks, no shampoo and a tin of sweetcorn…

  • So what if the others are thinner, more muscley and generally fitter than me?
    So what if they personify the image of the body beautiful more than I do?
    So what if they can do way more in there than I can? ……
    …… you’d think I’d be going somewhere with this wouldn’t you..?

Visit 5

  • When the fire alarm goes off while youre soaping yourself down in the locker room showers do you
    A: Slap a claggy towel round yourself and head up to reception as requested, dignity a distant memory?

or

B: Finish what you’re doing and take your chances in the inferno?

  • The answer for future reference is B:… ALWAYS choose B….

Visit 6

  • The toggle on my trunks is loose and swingy – what could possibly go wrong? Oh, yeah, THAT could…

  • A headline today read that the chlorene in swimming pools is supposed to lower testosterone levels. That explains the moobs in the changing room. Do I now have to wrap my bits ‘n’ bobs in cling film before I take a dip?

  • A guy in the changing room farted loudly and I tried so hard not to laugh I let one rip myself. Flatulant karma will get you every time. Even odder, neither of us acknowledged the other during this fart-in.

On the plus side, I did not have a slab of chocolate after today’s swim…I had a bag of Dorritos instead. That, my fellow athletes, is growth. I can also tell that the gym peeps realise i’m taking it more seriously now having swapped my Aldi bag for a Waitrose one…

Visit 7
The locker padlock I purchased from the gym got stuck…

The female receptionist’s solution was to send a random male punter downstairs with a large pair of bolt cutters to free my clothes (which took two big blokes in the changing rooms as my lenses (and therefore, sight) were also locked inside.

She then said I couldnt get a new padlock or a refund on the 2 week old purchase because I hadnt reported it had been a little sticky.This is irrelevant, the fact remains it totally jammed today and shouldn’t have so after protesting in my best Margo Leadbetter tone I was patronisingly given a new lock.

I was so wound up by this point though (surely the opposite effect of a gym visit?) I sought solace in Greggs as I was in urgent need of something hot wrapped in flaky pastry to recover from the trauma.


The gym owner better get a decent support system in place (and give it a lick of paint) or, in his own dragon-like words, ‘I’m Out !’

Visit 8

Just returned after a week of deep training (aka : over eating) in Scotland. I have also entered more into the spirit of gym life by ditching my Aldi carrier bag for a snazzy little duffle bag thing. The shoulder strap of which caught on the automatic entrance barrier causing me to practically twerk my way inside – this does not happen with plastic bags!!!


As I entered the pool for the first time in a fortnight the theme from Titanic was playing – did the bint on reception pre-arrange this after our heated debate over my buggered padlock?

I’m still being lapped by pensioners and almost lost a flip flop in the jaccuzi but come the New Year I’ll be like Tom Daley’s ‘slightly’ older brother (I already have a nose like Rebecca Addlington)


Note to self – don’t wear a Superman t-shirt again as it’s too much to live up to in the changing room…

Visit 9

The last visit before Christmas…

The pool water has suddenly become way colder than usual.

  • Downside – my meat and two veg disappeared back up and inwards

  • Upside – I can now sing the whole of ‘Walking In The Air’ in the key choirboys intended

(note to self – never forget to wear lenses in future after a blurry chat with someone in the locker rooms who clearly know who I was but I, in my sightlessness, hadn’t the faintest idea who he was)

In ConclusionFunny-Gym-and-Workout-05

  • Do I feel better? A little bit – scaling stairs is less daunting and wearing shirts feels less like trying to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube

  • Will I keep it up? I absolutely and most definitely plan to hope to think about possibly doing so

  • Would I recommend it to others? Aside from dignity, the ability not to smell of chlorene and the joy of chips, you’ve got nothing to lose…

So Good Luck fellow self-improvers… Must go, got a Pop Tart simmering…