CC Theresa May Day

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Theresa May

It’s May Day (happy Beltane to any Pagans out there), and in light of Government proposals tosnoop on all of our emails, texts, love-letters and whatever else they fancy, what better way to celebrate the day (other than getting shitfaced and dancing round a Maypole) than by copying all our emails to Theresa May.

It’s simple. Every email you send today, you also CC to all these addresses:

parliamentaryteam@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk,
Ministers.HO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk,
privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk,
mayt@parliament.uk, sharkeyj@parliament.uk,
office@maidenheadconservatives.com,
public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Easy. See the facebook page for more info: http://tinyurl.com/bokfuac

Stuck for something to write? Here’s a sample email that I sent to a good friend earlier —

Dahling,

Let’s do lunch sometime this week. Although not today because I’m meeting Sophie for casual sex while her boss is away, and not Thursday ’cause I’m getting my clunge cleaned (there’s this Fabulous holistic place in Ladbroke Grove I go to). Maybe Friday? We can make an afternoon of it, POETS day and all that, and discuss our plans for a Revolution. Which I will henceforth call ‘Wank’ so we don’t arouse suspicion.
It’s about time this country had a major wank and ousted these fuckwits in charge of this country – if that’s the right phrase – but I get the impression we’re too scared to wank. Terribly un-British and all that. What’s wrong with us?? The last major wank we had was 400 years ago, and god knows we’ve desperately needed a few wanks since then (with the exception of Churchill, that’s one man nobody would wank over). We could start a Facebook page and get some of the youth interested in wanking, although I fear they’ll be too stoned to wank. Or too busy watching Jeremy Kyle. Or just in bed wanking! What’s more productive, a wank, or a good ol’ wank?! People today have got their priorities all wrong, I tell you. They’re all fine with quietly wanking in their own homes, or with their next-door neighbour over the fence, but rarely have a proper, rambunctious wank in public! What’s wrong with these people?!
Anyway, I’ll stop writing now in case I arouse any further suspicion.
Let’s go to that Italian place, they do a fantastic chocolate bombe.
Paul
xox
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Kim Kardashian: The Truth!

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I don’t really follow celebrity news, since it seems to me that, as a general rule, popularity is directly proportional to lack of talent.

And as far as I can tell, Kim Kardashian is up there – or down there – with Her Royal Lowness Paris Hilton in the list of nominations for Leading a Life With Little or No Obvious Talent or Purpose.

Usually I would’ve heard about her divorce a week after everyone else and offered an indifferent shrug. But I heard it on the breakfast news in Sydney while most of the western world were asleep (I’ve never been ahead of gossip, so this is a world-first for me), and couldn’t help but feel a range of emotions.

Mainly: What a fucking twat.

The reason she gave for her splitting up with Kris Humphries (what’s with all the K’s?) after only 10 weeks of marriage was ‘Irreconcilable Differences’. I can’t for the life of me imagine how a couple could appear so happily in love, make those solemn vows, and then over the stretch of 70 days discover that they have conflicts of interest, differences of opinion, that are so distressingly agonising that they can’t possibly work them out, and then decide that the best option is to break up.

You consider that at least a week – 10% – of that period was spent boffing in luxuriousness on an Italian honeymoon, that leaves 8 or 9 weeks to get on each other’s nerves so much that not even the $18m they got for their nuptials could make the future together seem tolerable.

This reeks of bullshit more than the Captain of the Rena saying “Oh yeah I was paying attention”.

What could there possibly be to argue about in those first few weeks of marriage? Which position to fuck in? Seriously, I’m out of suggestions. I can understand maybe divorcing after 10 years, but 10 weeks??

Her excuse is a deliberately vague one, one that suggests troubles but doesn’t go into detail. A politician would be proud of that vagueness. Let’s apply her excuse to other prematurely-ended relationship scenarios and see what such a proclamation might mean:

“My new puppy and I parted after Irreconcilable Differences” – It shat on the suede futon so I had it put down.
“Yeah the new girlfriend had to go, Irreconcilable Differences” – She was frigid/her clunge smelt funny.
“I sent my new tablet back cos of Irreconcilable Differences” – It was an iPad.

Considering all of the above, and doing some clever interpolative analysis in the vast quantum calculator that is my brain, I have produced the following translation of Kim’s explanation:

“Kris and I have decided to divorce after Irreconcilable Differences” – I’m a money-grabbing piece-of-shit morally-void pointless fuckbag

Ah. Plausible.

Now, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of marriage. I’m not entirely great at relationships, the closest I’ve ever come to a soul-mate being an Airedale Terrier. I think marriage is a rather out-dated institution, that promising yourself to one single other person for the rest of your life is a bit weird because, yes, people do change after time, leading to differences.

But not over the course of 70 days, Kim.

I could understand if her and Kris were both actors, spending 12 hours a day together for 3 months, intensely pouring out some badly-written, badly-acted lines whilst staring into each other’s eyes. It’s this on-set chemistry that is mistaken for real feelings, and why actors tend to get hitched after 10 days of meeting. (See Jennifer Lopez. Although how she mistook her acting for genuine emotion I can’t imagine.)

But no, you’re not an actor, Kim, although you did a pretty good job of convincing the world that you were genuinely in love with Mr Humphries. Perhaps you should receive an Oscar for that performance. Preferably delivered by an industrial nail-gun, straight into your over-made-up face.

You may have noticed, Kim, that I dislike you. I know you’re not too bright, but I’m confident you will have picked up on that. I dislike you partly because you’re talentless. I dislike you partly because you’ve made a mockery of marriage and set a bad example to millions around the globe, partly because you’re a greedy bitch, and partly because you have a face like an Arabian mare.

But mostly, I dislike you because you’re a dick.

Why’s the Victoria Line so hot?

If you’re a Londoner, you may have noticed that the Victoria Line Tube has introduced new carriages recently. And if you’re a grumpy old git like me, then you might’ve thought:

How come the brand spanking new trains are so much hotter than the old ones? How come travel fares go up way beyond inflation yet the standards have regressed? How is that progress?! ANOTHER TYPICAL BRITISH COCK-UP!!‘ then muttered to yourself about how the country’s declined since ‘my day’ and something about how teenagers are to blame…

Well, I posed this question – not quite in the same words – to TFL, and they gave me this more-in-depth-than-expected response:

“Dear Mr Franklin,

Thank you for contacting us regarding the heat on the new Victoria line trains. I’m sorry if you have found them to be too hot, and as a regular Victoria line user myself I can understand your frustration.

The heat comes from the air in the tunnels, and after a train has been in service for an extended period of time this can cause the carriages to become hot. As the entirety of the Victoria line is underground, ventilated air is normally hot air circulating in the tunnels, as the Victoria line does not have any open sections like the other lines to cool trains down.

Fitting air conditioning to trains for the deep Tube lines is a particular challenge, partly because of lack of space on the trains, but more importantly, because conventional air conditioning systems, like those used in cars, buildings and many trains, would cause even more heat to be created in the very small tunnels, compounding the problem, rather than curing it.

Tackling heat on the Tube is one of the biggest challenges facing London Underground. We are currently doubling the capacity of all the main ventilation fans serving the Victoria line, in readiness for increases in the speed and frequency of train services. We will then install cooling systems above the platforms at four of the busiest stations on the Victoria line, to feed cool air into the tunnels.

On the new trains, there is a regenerative braking system, which means that energy created when the brakes are used is turned into electricity that will go back into the line, thus saving energy.  However, we could not switch on this system until all the old trains, which do not have this system, had been replaced which has only happened in the past couple of weeks. Consequently the energy generated by the brakes on the new trains is being turned into heat which goes into the ventilation system.  Now that the old trains have been removed, we have turned on part of this braking system with it being fully utilised by next spring.

Once again I’m sorry if you find the Victoria line to be too hot, however I hope that you can understand the challenges we face to overcome this issue. Please contact me again if you need any help in the future.

Kind regards…”

I have to say, I was almost impressed.

I Ain’t Afraid of No Toast

'This deceitful charlatan of a device'

Okay, I know the title doesn’t exactly make sense in regards to the following, but it sounded catchy.

You know when you think a product’s so bafflingly bad that you just have to complain about it? Yes? Then you might like this. No? Then this is what happens when I get that urge…

December 2009

Dear Kenwood,

My name is Paul W. Franklin, and I would like to complain about one of your products.

Over the summer I moved into a new flat, to share with two other professional men. Like most professional men, Kenwood, I like shiny silver kitchen equipment, and so was happy to spot, amongst other things, a shiny silver Kenwood TTM404 toaster in one corner of the kitchen. However, this contentment lasted all of mere hours up until the point where I proceeded to use said toaster.

Now this isn’t a product that I myself bought, Kenwood, otherwise I would have complained a lot sooner. In fact I would have put the item back in its box and returned it whence it was purchased at the soonest convenient opportunity. But no, it is not my toaster, and so for the next few months I put up with its poor performance, until finally it has come to this. I am so irritated by your pathetic excuse for a toaster, Kenwood, that I am compelled to write to you and complain, prior to the likely event that I do two things:

  1. Buy a decent toaster in the January sales; and/or
  2. Take a baseball bat to your TTM404 toaster, whilst filming it in High Definition, and watching it afterwards in slow-motion as an act of cackle-inducing catharsis.

In case you are not aware of your product’s shortcomings, Kenwood, let me go into detail for you:

It is far, far too slow. It is slow because the elements are either not hot enough, or too far from the bread, or both. It takes so long to get bread even vaguely brown that I have to allow two more minutes for breakfast. I do not appreciate this. Furthermore, due to some design fault that I cannot pinpoint, one side of the bread comes out more done than the other. How, Kenwood, I do not know, since the elements far away as they are from the bread still seem to be equidistant from each side. Therefore, I have to pop the bread up and rotate it 180 degrees midway through ‘toasting’. That’s not very convenient, is it? What is the point in having modern 21st century technology if it is not convenient and does not perform like a 21st century device? Flipping the bread halfway through is comparable to turning a cassette tape over at the end of Side A. It’s so very 1980s, Kenwood.

Furthermore, when the toast is finally ‘done’, it is not really done. It is brown, but goes cold very quickly and does not have that satisfying toasted crunch that good toast should have. The apparatus does, however, operate slightly better if when toasting two slices of bread – the bread is dropped into the middle two slots and both sides of the toaster are engaged, thus having all four slots heating at once. The end result is quicker and somewhat more acceptable, but of course it should not be necessary for all four slots to be engaged just to toast two slices of bread. I didn’t go and change all the lightbulbs in the flat to energy-saving ones, Kenwood, only for that eco-efficiency to be undone by a juice-thirsty toaster.

Oh, and furtherfurthermore, [I am fully aware that this is not an official English word, but I am so animated by your poor item that I am forced to invent a new word so as to push home my dissatisfaction,] the slots are ridiculous shapes, being cut off on one side, so that in a cross-section they might resemble, for example, a lean-to at the side of someone’s house, or, appropriately, a loaf of bread that’s had a stroke. It is as if the designer of the product the product with your name on it, Kenwood thought that the traditional rectangle looked too boring, and decided to chop off one top corner. Perhaps, given this aerodynamic tweak, they wish to be a car designer? I remember many years ago I wanted to be a car designer too, Kenwood. I think most men probably did. Anyway, I digress. On top of this curious design flaw, the trenches aren’t deep enough either, even for not-particularly-large pieces of bread. All this adds to the laughable level of ‘toasting’ offered by the TTM404, and also adds to the cause for the bread to be rotated midway.

Frankly, Kenwood, the TTM404 is the worst toaster I have ever used.

No, more than that it is the worst product I have ever used. In my entire life.

I may as well unblock the chimney in the lounge and toast my bread over an open fire with a metal toasting fork. Just like in Victorian times. Remember those days, Kenwood? Those glorious days when Britain invented almost everything, and built things with quality and more than a dash of pride? Ah, yes, how I long for those days again. And yet I have to put up with this: this pathetic excuse for a toaster, this Fisher-Price imitation of kitchen equipment, this sham of a gadget, this deceitful charlatan of a device.

I owned a 」12 Tefal toaster in 1991 that was better. Surely toasting technology has come on significantly since then??

I am now forced to buy a new toaster, despite the unfavourable economic situation, because there is no way I can live my day-to-day life with such an incompetent tool. Even if this means reducing my alcohol consumption or eating over-processed and under-nourishing food for a month to finance this purchase. I bet you did not for one brief second envisage that one inferior item could have such a grave effect on an individual’s life?

What baffles me so much, Kenwood, is not only how such a woe-inducing machine could be conceived, but also how the finished product (I use ‘finished’ with my tongue wedged firmly in my cheek) could be allowed by your Heads of Department to be sold in the shops. At which stage of the design and manufacture process from inception, to initial sketches, to prototypes, to testing, to production line did somebody not spot the inadequacies? Which person with a clipboard put lots of ticks where there should have been crosses, and allowed this infernal demon to be born? Which division of your business does not comprehend the phrase ‘Fit for Purpose’? Who gave the green light for this contrivance to enter the public domain and, in exchange for money, to pass into the public’s homes? To sit on their kitchen work-surfaces, like faulty toys at Christmas, lurking, waiting to disappoint.

I would suggest to you, Kenwood, that whoever bears the blame for this is not worthy of doing their job. Not worthy to wear a badge with their name emblazoned beneath your very Kenwood logo. Not meritorious enough to have even a company car, let alone their own named space outside HQ. I would go as far as sticking my neck firmly out there, Kenwood, and suggesting that I a person who quit their engineering degree ten years ago could do this person’s job twice as well as they can, and for half their wages.

For me, Kenwood, Kenwood has always been a brand synonymous with reliability, trustworthiness and innovation. I recall fond memories of days spent helping my Mother bake cakes with her Kenwood Mixer the Jaguar E-Type of 20th Century kitchen products and wondering at its quality and versatility. It may even have been this contraption that, on some level, contributed to my wanting to study engineering. Now, however, I feel that all that good sentiment has been dramatically undone, forever tarnished, by this abominable creation of yours that is the TTM404 toaster.

Please feel free to restore my faith.

Yours, disappointed and disgusted,

Paul W. Franklin