Category Archives: A Digression

These are mostly little pleasant rambles. Something to amuse, to think about, to enjoy. Often not about anything you can put a finger on, but there’s something there nonetheless.

Trouble At the Cinema

I went to see Nightcrawler this evening, but I arrived late. It was starting at 6:25 and it was already 6:30 when the staffmember tore my ticket. I asked him if there were trailers on first. He said “yeah -10 minutes worth …6 minutes left now.” So I took note of the screen it was showing in and risked a visit to the bog first since my seat was reserved.

When I returned, a woman and her two kids (maybe 12 year olds) were going in just ahead of me. Also with them was a cinema staffmember. He had their tickets and was leading them to their seats. The place was full and the lights were down. There was a trailer showing for Maze Runner, but I wasn’t paying attention since I was concentrating on where I was going.

It seems other people were sitting in the family’s seats and the usher was asking them to leave. I quickly moved past them because I knew where my seat was (E8)… problem was when I got there a young fella was sitting in it.

He looked up at me nervously and surprised when I stopped and re-examined my ticket. Instead of asking him to leave I thought I’d get the usher to do it. So I went back, explained the problem, he took my ticket, had a look and started down to E8…

I said “I don’t mind sitting somewhere else, but someone else might come in for that seat…”

We got to E8 and the young fella looked up with surprise again. Clearly he was nervous. Just as the usher began to talk with him I looked at the screen… that trailer for Maze Runner was still on. In fact it seemed a bit slow for a trailer. Then it hit me! I tapped the usher on the shoulder and asked “is this Nightcrawler?” He looked at the ticket and said “yes -Nightcrawler.” Then we both looked at the screen and back to the ticket together in near-comic timing.

Oops! Silly me!

 

Dangerous work, well documented

So there I am, 10ft off the ground, on my hands and knees precariously perched on a ladder across a perspex roof with aluminium frame. I was attempting to finally mend and seal-in the panels that blew out in the storm some month before.

“Quick!” I shout to the missus. “Take some photos -if I fall through they could be great.”

Off she goes and strolls back some time later to snap snap snap.

“Make sure you zoom-out to show the context,” I said, “so you can  see the EXTREME danger I’m in!”
(I may have been slightly exaggerating in this, although only slightly.)

Snap snap snap.

“Maybe take one from over there,” I pointed, trying to ensure the best location was covered in case of an accident. Every cloud has a silver lining an’ all that -plus it’d be nice to show future generations the final images of their grandfather.

“Are you getting the perspective?”

“YES!” she snapped.
It wasn’t the camera this time. She had had enough.

Finally, after spending a few hours trying to wash/ brush/ scrape Tec7 sillicone off my hands I was able to sit down to examine the results.

47 photos she took, of which this is the best one:

1-IMG_2159-1Luckily, the camera was set to take RAW images, so I was able to recover this level of detail from the almost-all-white images.
2-IMG_2161-2

Here I am squirting in the sillicone.

 

 

 

4-IMG_2171-5This is my good friend, John McSweeney (without whose assistance I’d never have managed), looking on.

3-IMG_2170-4Pardon me for posing in this one. Cheese!

 

So there you have it.

Tough work, but I’m glad we had someone on hand to document the day. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Dog Mark

.

One of the kids had done something but I wasn’t sure which one. I knew they’d only blame each other if I asked. So I called them and said “I’m afraid I’m going to have to put the dog down.”

.

“NNNnnnnnnnoooooOOOOOO!” screamed the six year old, with tears in his eyes.

.

“Yes,” I said, “he did a very bad thing.”

.

“What did he do?” they both cried.

.

“…He put a permanent marker in his mouth and drew a big black circle on the wall in the bathroom!”

.

“That wasn’t the dog!” shouted the six year old -“that was an accident!”

.

“So it was YOU!”

.

“I dropped it!” he part-confessed. Case solved! 🙂

.

The funny thing is we don’t even have a dog.

.

.

 

The Tyranny of Consensus

.

Say you find yourself in a large indian tent on the American plains circa 1880 and everyone is sitting around a large fire, passing a pipe from one to another… When it gets to you, would you point and deride the people for passing on their vile fumes?

.

I know it’s a silly question, but I think complaining about a bit of cigarette smoke is a comfortable 21st century prejudice that would be incomprehensible in any other era. It would not only be laughed at, but seen as a childish concern.

.

Sure people always have preferences (my own preference is not to be around smoke if I can help it) but I find anti-smokers (as opposed to non-smokers) take things a bit far. Their views and opinions have an unassailable militant edge. They are the only allowable voice on the topic and their message is one of hate. In short, they are bullies. Whether they know it or not.

.

Leaving smoke aside for a little while, I’ve been in the company of people (mostly women) whose noxious perfume, etc. have caused me to almost collapse. Literally.

.

If enough people were with me and we got a good campaign going I dare say I could point at such a lady in a crowd and deride her choice and application of toiletry products. And I would be applauded. And she should race home immediately and scrub herself down. And the contrary view would not be tolerated.

.

But I wouldn’t like to do such a thing. I’m happy to stay away from smelly people (of any kind) whenever I can and to suffer in silence when it’s my ill-luck to be near them. If I worked near one I’d have to say something eventually, but that’s a separate and isolated matter.

.

Similarly, I find people who kick up a fuss about doggie doo-doo to be equally angry and chipped individuals. Concrete paving and expensive, stylised footwear are an affront to nature. Excrement is not. I wouldn’t like to step in it every day, but that would be my problem, not the poor dog’s.

.

Ideally dogs should be trained to dump in by walls and lamp-posts where possible, but the whole notion of ranting and raving about excrement is the mindset of imbeciles.

.

I’m in the minority on this, I know, but that’s OK. My point is less about my personal opinion, than how opinions and prejudices become curiously militant and segregating once they are shared by a majority of vocal assayers. People who perhaps suffered in silence for many years suddenly rise up with an incongruous anger and scream foul at the perpetrator once their view is in the ascendant, seeking to destroy any vestige of the “foul deed” from sight and mind. In the process, I believe such people are as “wrong” as the crime they are fighting against -whether I agree with their cause or not.

.

In short, live and let live. 🙂

.

…And I don’t own a dog either. Never have. To date. Mainly because

.

a) I hate the smell of dogfood. It makes me sick.

.

and

.

b) I’m not going to walk behind it with a bag in my hand, eagerly awaiting a donation.

.

and

.

c) There is almost nowhere left for dogs to run free. Thankfully we have  a garden, but outside that I’d have to suffer the tyranny of concensus that dictates dogs –ALL dogs- should be tied up.

.

To that view, I say pooh pooh!

.

.

Would you do the lotto if…

.

Odds on winning the Irish lotto (45 numbers to choose from): 1 in 8,145,060

 

.

 

Odds on being involved in a fatal accident in one of the world’s Top 25 airlines with the best accident rates: 1 in 9.2 million (according to planecrashinfo.com).

.

Obviously the second rate could change depending on the airline, but lets just say the above numbers are more or less comparable.

.

My question is… if there was a lottery whereby you could win “the grand prize” (whatever that may be) and also be as likely to win the booby-prize of Death (delivered by the press of a button by the lotto organisers, causing your whole being to immediately explode)… would you do the lotto?

.

 

Nine Kids

.

I was talking to a man a couple of weeks ago, who during the course of the conversation mentioned he had nine children.

.

“Nine kids!?” I cried.

.

“Yes,” he nodded sagely before sitting back in his chair as if to intone some wise words.
“And the funny thing is,” he declared, “six of them turned out great!”

.

Snow is like People

.

We were driving through the snow earlier today when a philiosophical young five year old came out with a good one from the back seat.

.

“Y’know,” he said, “snow is like people…”

.

I asked how.

.

“They both go up and over the car” he explained. I noticed how the falling flakes changed its downward path as the car sliced through the light blizzard.

.
“How do people go up and over the car?” I asked.

.
“Y’know …when they hit the bonnet”

.

One slide

.

Yesterday I collected my son (5 years old) from a party at a local play centre. His eyes welled-up as I approached him.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I didn’t want to go yet,” he cried.

I told him, “well OK, go and have one slide down.”

Immediately his face burst into joy and he ran off laughing.

“..but we’re leaving as soon as you do one slide!” I called after him.

“Alright,” he shouted, pausing to look back, “but I’m not going down any slide so I won’t be back for a while!”

.