Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Urban Survival Technique #1 - Avoiding 'Chuggers'

Working on busy Tottenham Court Road has it's advantages; there are loads of good restaurants within spitting distance of each other (allowing you to spit at the dinners of other restaurants, if you so desired), there's every type of shop you could possible need within 3 minutes and there is a thriving drug scene by centrepoint allowing you to get your afternoon fix of heroine to numb that Monday feeling.

TCR however does have some major drawbacks. One is that it is simply not possible to walk more than 10 metres without a begger, chugger, free london "newspaper" vendor, big issue seller or scientologist (Crazy-Cult HQ is about 50 doors from my office) stepping in your way.

However having worked here for over two years I have developed various tactics I thought I should share with you on how to combat these.

This time...I tackle the Chugger.

Technique 1 - The Shield

This is probably the most effective way. As you approach the chugger get behind someone walking slower than you so that they are directly in line with you and the chugger (ie acting as a shield). This works pretty much all the time. The only risk is if there are more than one chugger and the "shield" is stopped by the first, or if they suddenly change direction or cross the road, before reaching the chugger. In this case all you can do is follow them in their new trajectory and hope that they don't notice.

Technique 2 - Out-Chugger them

This works better if you are a guy and the chuggar is a girl or newbie. Chuggars rely on high confidence to stop you. they make you change your plans by trying to act more confident that you in the situation and taking control. All you need to do act even more confident.

As you approach a chugger, start singing or dancing (a combination works best). Wink at them and wave. Once you reach a certain thresh-hold of ridiculous over-confidence they won't be able to compete....hopefully and you can actually probably get them to do things for you.

This is probably the more risky.

Technique 3 - Lonely Drunk

The easiest. You see the chuggar.....immediately act drunk....also make a beeline straight for them. As above, singing will help in this situation, but remember to slur your words. They will immediately try to find someone else to bother to give themselves an excuse to ignore you.

If they try and talk to you about their charity just start talking about something else, but remember to slur it so that they don't understand.

If you don't actually have anything pressing to do, and you are a good actor, you can have fun by hanging around the chuggar for the rest of the day. Leave every now and then because the most fun part is seeing their face sink when you return.

There are many more ways but the above are by far the most effective.

Next time - How to safely make someone who is drunk and wants to hit you, cry.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


21:53 - It's finally all set up. The blue balloons are hanging from the ceiling, the table in front of me is covered in various US State booze and nibbles, a big colouring-in map of the States sits leaned against the wall and live BBC news 24 is being projected onto the wall.....well actually it was a bit boring seeing as all the action doesn't start for another hour or so, so I've actually switched it onto an old episode of QI on Dave (Joe Brand just made another "fat-bird" joke).

Now before you start, I understand the utter pointlessness of writing a live blog of the elections - i know no one actually reads this blog unless they are very very bored at work....and so the chance of anyone waking up in a cold sweat at 3am in the morning, turning on their computer and visiting this little ego project of mine is even smaller than me being able to point out Delaware on the map, or explaining the difference between a governor and a senator.

22:00 - BREAKING NEWS - QI has just finished, on next is "Celebrity Blow your Tits-up"...(100 points if you get the reference)

23:47 - ACTUAL BREAKING NEWS - The results for the first two states are in. Kentucky (McCain safe) and Vermont (Obama safe) went as This could be a long night. (D=3, R=8)

Richard Dumbledore has just brought up the issue of Obama's race for the 500th time tonight. Fortunately Jeremy Vine doesn't have a graphic for this. Someone on Dumbledore's round table of experts (ie those not important enough to get on US TV coverage) just said that the issue might not be that Obama is too black for people to vote for, it might be that he is too "green". Award winning.

23:55 - I should probably explain that me and my "team" will be celebrating the arrival of results from states by drinking related drinks, ie Californian wine, "Spirit of Louisana" (don't know what it is yet), Vermouth, Oregano. All this, and the fact that I am using a tiny new keyboard will probably mean that this becomes even more nonsensical as the evening goes on.

24:20 - Jeremy Vine is operating his completely unnecessary touchscreen graphic interface
with all the confidence and success of John McCain trying to roll a spliff with his bumcheeks. We have a better system, with marker pens.

01:02 - BREAKING NEWS - Crap, shit and wowzer! You look away from the screen for one moment and it's all over! (maybe)

Obama is reported as taking Illinois, Washing DC, Delawhere? Conniticut, Mashitushits, New Hampshire , Maine and Tony Soprano's very own neighbourhood - New Jersey. More importantly he has also been reported as having taken the hugely important state of Pennsylvania, one of the big three that Obama needs to take to almost guarantee a clear victory tonight. The next of the big three is Ohio, which was being counted as a close fight, but latest reports indicate an easy win for Obama. McCain has won Tennessee, South Carolina and Oklahoma...the bloody racists! (D=103, R=34)

01:16 - One of the group, Simon, has just shaved off his goatee and now looks exactly like a younger version of either Barry or the other Chuckle.

01:44 - It's gone quiet for a while which has given us all time to refresh ourselves with wine. Speaking of which, Jesse Jackson's voice sounds a little slurred....but that might just be my inherent racism. Jesse Jackson reminds me of Beckham, cheering on Walcott (Obama) from the sidelines. His time came and went and it never happened. The new wonderkind who might actually get the hell am I on about?

Still 103 Democrats to 49 Republicans

1:59 - Ten second to poles close in another 9 states

2:00 - Apparently FoxNews...the most reliable and honest news network in the world has given Obama Ohio. If true, and I'd be shocked if it wasn't 100% fact checked, then Obama has won and the world is saved from the possible inauguration of a moose shooting, witchcraft fearing idiot woman. Georgia is being as going to McCain. If it didn't then it's be the equivalent of the socialist workers party taking Chelsea. (D=175, R=76. Another 95 for Obama to reach the magic 270 to ensure victory)

2:31 - Sorry got a bit distracted there. I completely given up any facade of being non-partisan and was forcing everyone here to look at Obama shooting hoops. He's so cool. I think I love him in the same way that we all loved Tony Blair in 1997. Here it is.

2:38 - Simon Shama is mocking John Bolton about the Republicans losing New Mexico. Life is so, so, so good. For those of you who don't know who John Bolton is, think of a dreadful, dreadful man then imagining him holding a kitten in one hand and with the other repeatedly jabbing a fork into its head, then denying that he was doing it and telling everyone that you were responsible for 9/11. He looks like a paedophile physics teacher. He is dreadful. He just keeps going with the same un-rational analysis, he's like the Duracell Bunny, but one with a penchant for gang-rape.'s lovely to see his brain struggle....

Having said all this I did take certain things about 30 minutes ago to keep me awake that may be affecting me.

3:20 -McCain, who I have been slightly neglecting for some reason or other is now up to 135 votes. Obama is up to 207, although these are unconfirmed. Things have quietened down a tad, which mean more time for drinking which is taking it's tole. Apparently Louisiana has gone to McCain which means we can break open the "Spirit of Louisiana" booze. Results from California come in 30 minutes and the 55 seat jackpot that is a relatively safe result for Obama could well be the moment of "change". This word and that fact that is it repeatedly used is the only worry I have. It's like "choice" or "fit for purpose" - a phrase of rhetoric that may mean nothing. Socialised Healthcare, Responsible Foreign policy...shit...Texas went to McCain ages ago!

We all rush for the previously forgotten about the Texas BBQ Sauce Pringles, who cares if they're Republican...once you pop you can't stop.

3:50 - The reason why alot of people are feeling sorry for Mr Chips is that he actually didn't run that nasty a campaign....the majority of the negative messages (ala Rove, so important for Bush's victories) didn't come directly from him. He has run a relatively clean campaign compared to what I expected. If you think that negative campaign techniques are a new thing check out this INSANE campaign video for the DEMOCRAT chap Lyndon B Johnson (of "LBJ, LBJ, How many kids did you kill today")

3:56 - The next 5 states will be closing voting in 4 minutes. They are California, Hawaii, Oregano, Washing Town and Idaho. Only Idaho is thought to be red. With Obama just 63 short and California giving 55 votes alone.....This could be it!

California - Clear projection for Obama (262) !

Washington - Clear projection for Obama (273) !

That's it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


04:34 -
It's all starting to sink in. McCain has given his concession speech. Genuinely moving and honorable. If only he had beaten G.W.B when competing for the Republican candidacy.

Listening to Black voters interviewed afterwards you can feel the 2 feet added to their height afterwards, a genuine change for a country.

Sure this result might end up being America's version of Tony Blair 1997 and there's a chance Obama may not really improve things through his policies (after all he has little room to make the changes he has promised in his policy), he will make mistakes and eventually we will probably lose our love for him but THIS is important. The weight has been lifted, the blockage unblocked.

It also is a shot in the arm to democracy. The young and the minorities queued for hours. They believed they would make a difference....and they did.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Why bother?

Why would you work for the Daily have a choice....and yet you clearly choose to work for a hateful, nasty, selfish-breeding, paranoid and destructive organisation. The big, rascist bully in British society.

Why would you work for British American tobacco. Your job to try and increase the sales of addictive, carcingenic drugs to a developing country. Your meagre graduate paycheck buying your complicity in the addiction and death of millions of people.

Why would you work for the bookmakers. Turning the desperate hopes of disillutioned and beaten down men, who just want a safety net, into profit for your mafia system of the house always wins.

Why would you lobby against scientific reason, be it for religious or commercial gains (is there a difference). Knowing that you'll hold back the gains that have come from reason and open, rational, proofbased, critical review.

Why would you work to place a cage around us, knowing the dangers that this will cause.

In's been a bad day.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Twitching curtains

I hate caravan sites.

I spent so many holidays in my youth in them and I think it probably did a lot to encourage my general misanthropy.

So many rules, you have even less freedoms than at home. Why not just check in to your local prison. There's a lot more chance of getting fucked.

I like wild camping, although I'm not sure why. People usually say that the enjoyment is the feeling of freedom that it gives you, but in a way I think it's the opposite.

Instead of worrying about 100 insignificant things, all you need to worry about is where you're going to shit, and what you're going to do to stop yourself freezing to death in the night. That's real you can't do 99% of the things that you can usually do at home. You can't choose the brand of leaf you're going to have to wipe your arse with, you can't change channel, you can't consolidate all your debt into one monthly loan, you can't change at Waterloo rather than at Bank, you can't buy the own brand rather than the leading manufacturer

Freedom isn't about choice from a list.

It's about the basics. What do you want to do. sites.....if the Nazi's had won (and it's not over yet) we'd all live on caravan sites.