Tag Archives: humour

Can we just all stop being so angry?

There’s so much anger around isn’t there? 

Which is weird because most of us are nice and comfortable. So you’d expect us to be nice and relaxed. 

For example, I’ve just eaten some lovely treacle sponge and custard. This is well known comfort food. 

And I even know people who can pay more than the minimum payment on their credit card! Austerity my arse. 

So why is there so much anger out there? And does anger actually make a difference to anything – except the number of articles about anger? And maybe the number of people beaten up and beaten to death by angry people?

First things first – the scary health bit. 

Anger is bad for the person who’s angry – some people get so angry their head literally explodes. 

And anger is bad for society. Angry people attack and kill other people. If they’re really angry they can smash phone boxes and bus shelters.

Angry people sometimes even write nasty things on the internet.

So let’s all chill out, take some deep breaths and try to calm down. Remember it’s for the good of you as an individual and society as a whole. 

Here’s what you can do:

If it’s a particular person who’s pissing you off, try to blank them out and think about cute lambs gambolling in a field or a nice roast dinner – lamb and mint sauce with plenty of gravy for example. 

If it’s a thing that’s making you angry – like climate change or the murder rate in Belgrade – try to think of something good like After Eights or something difficult like String Theory. 

But as with all advice, there are exceptions. 

If you’re a decent, intelligent person, some people and things will just literally make you want to scream and cry and freak out with utter helpless and crippling rage. 

Things like: 

Aaron Banks for being a racist disgrace and an arrogant swine who thinks he knows more about Roman history than Professor Mary Beard of Cambridge University.

The Tory Brexit lot:

– boring Christians who think they’re doing god’s work
– free market lunatics who’ve never actually worked in the private sector and don’t understand economics
– clever ex-Oxford bores who are going for a hard Brexit because it’s such a hilarious jape
– heartless racist hypocrites who claim immigrants and poor people are a drain on the public purse, but who think they themselves are entitled to receive lots of public money for spouting their poisonous bile.

All utter arseholes on any measure of anal verisimilitude. 

Anyone who supports that bell end Donald Trump. 

And don’t get me started on religious freaks of any and all denominations, dicks who drive too fast, utter morons who let their dogs shit everywhere … 

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!

Do something lovely for yourself this Valentines Day

This Valentines Day, why not do something good for yourself – instead of swallowing the marketing bullshit whole?

animal-smiling

Love is in the air

There’s an adage that says you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.

But this adage says nothing about being obsessed or dependent or hopelessly devoted to someone else before you love yourself, does it?

And look around – there are so many dysfunctional relationships in this world aren’t there?

Just look at the Catholic parishioners who lust after their priest …

… The priest lusting after their altar boys …

… And the altar boys lusting after Minecraft characters.

Luckily, you don’t have to be in a dysfunctional relationship to show yourself a bit of love.

Here’s how:

 

Give up smoking: This is easy once you get over the anger, depression, physical agony, obsessive day and night-time dreams, rages, suicidal and murderous thoughts, etc.

Rab-C-Nesbitt

Not sure he loves himself enough to cut down on his drinking

Cut down on drinking alcohol: This is easy as long as you can put up with losing your friends and social life, shaking like an ornament during a smallish earthquake and feeling a restless emptiness like the worst form of grief.

Stop eating so many sugary snacks: Again it’s a piece of piss as long as you can put up with virtually constant sobbing, dizziness and pure, unadulterated emptiness.

If these methods sound a bit extreme, you could opt for less ambitious options of showing yourself you care:

  • call a friend you absolutely love, but haven’t spoken to for ages (as long as they’re still speaking to you – and aren’t dead or in a coma)
  • on a cloudless night, just look up at the sky and stare at the stars (but not for so long that you crick your neck)
  • get a dog or a cat (unless you’re scared of – or allergic to – them, and don’t mind proximity to animal faeces)
  • there are loads of other ways to make yourself feel special – they’re littered throughout the http://simlington.com blog. So feel free to look around.

And if you do want to be nice to someone else, why not just give them a hug and say ‘I love you’.

And maybe give the money you were going to waste on a heart-shaped box of chocolates to a charity for refugees, domestic abuse survivors or the homeless – who really do need to be reminded that someone cares.

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Can we be united in our divided world?

The UK and US are divided to an extent many of us haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

These divisions have gone beyond the historic milk v dark chocolate controversy.

Communities – even families – are being ripped apart over the relative merits of semi-skimmed v skimmed v full fat cow’s milk v goat’s milk v soya milk v almond milk.

Heartbreaking.

But if there’s plenty that divides us, is there anything that can unite us?

In short, can we hold out any hope for the human race?

Or should world leaders press their big red buttons now and finish us off now?

Here’s a list of things that unite us – things that perhaps could form the basis of a new optimistic future. Or maybe not.

We all want to be loved.

The only problem being that some people think they have the right to dictate who we can love. Keep your noses out of our bedrooms, you bigoted arseholes. Just because you’re not getting any doesn’t mean you have the right to deny other people the pleasure of a richly fulfilling sex life. Jesus Christ Alight!

We all get ill.

And in the UK, we still have a publicly funded health service that’s free at the point of delivery. The NHS is a shining monument to the absolute best of human collective endeavour. Some sphincters hate it on principle. These are often the same people who think the world is 8,000 years old and who believe Queen Victoria is still on the throne.

We will all die.

Indeed, several thousand Americans will die prematurely this year at the hands of gun-toting fellow Americans. Just saying.

So there we have it.

We’re all human.

And we’re all up shit creek – and if we had paddles we’d probably beat each other to death with them.

Why you don’t need booze, presents or Christ for a happy Christmas

I love Christmas.

This is weird as I’m not into presents, I don’t touch booze, I’m not a glutton, I don’t like the telly and I don’t do God.

When I was younger so much younger than today, getting a bottle of beer shampoo or a soap on a rope was actually exciting – and not in an ironic way. But why do I only remember the cleaning products? I think we’ll leave that one for my shrink in the new year.

I also really liked Jesus.

Midnight Mass, singing carols and praying were a way of life – not a pissed-up, nostalgia fest. I believed the whole thing – angels coming down from heav’n on a cold winter night that was so deep, trembling shepherds and their equally scared flocks of sheep washing their socks by night, the Virgin Mary wrapping LBJ in swaddling clothes and laying him in a manger after giving birth in front of lowing cattle and the most famous cuckold in 0th Century Middle Eastern literature.

On the other hand – and equally Christmassy – I’ve been known to spend every waking hour for several weeks either side of 25 December  as pissed as a fart.

img_8612

I’ve also experienced severe meat sweats while overdosing on TV Christmas specials, downing After Eights dunked in brandy while simultaneously farting sprout fumes and chain smoking the 200 Marlboros I got as a present – and thinking I’m having fun. So much for a typical Christmas Day in the early 1990s.

‘What’s the big deal?’ you may be asking. ‘Most of this sounds like pretty average festive behaviour, TBH!’

Nowadays, I’ve stopped boozing and smoking and I’m not arsed about parties – even political ones. I enjoy eating without the sweating. I’m not materialist. I’ve been kicked out of the Catholic Church on the grounds of apostasy and heresy. And I don’t particularly like Xmas jumpers – whether traditional or sarcastic-ironic, Mariah Carey, Christmas crackers, Santa hats, board games or annual quizzes, tinsel,  smug round-robin letters, Quality St, Advocaat or even the Holidays Are Comin’ TV campaign.

So how come I’m still simply having a wonderful Christmas time?

Put simply, it’s just that – for however short a time – we’re nicer to each other. For a little while, we think about – and even try to help – people who aren’t the lucky bastards we are.

It’s pretty impossible to be unmoved by the humanitarian tragedies around the world – and Christmas makes us think about them more as charities do a great job reminding us about them. And making effective pleas for help.

These campaigns also remind us there are so many people doing good, brave, extraordinary things to make this barmy world a bit better.

The need to give a shit hits home especially hard after a year like 2016 that’s seen a concerted attempt to move the hatred and bigotry of the far right into the political mainstream. And when utter arseholes (even smellier more revolting than the usual ring pieces) have secured some pretty powerful jobs.

So Christmas is a much-needed kick up the arse to give something to people I will never meet in countries I will never visit who face horrors I could never imagine. Or to people I pass on the street every day who also lead lives of quiet torture.

It’s a reminder to stop worrying about the insignificant bullshit that tends to clog our brains and to work out what’s actually important.

So thank you to everyone who’s reminded me to stop and think. Thank you to everyone who is trying in trying times.

You’re my true Christmas heroes. And you’re why I still love Christmas.

Oh and the Christmas jokes

Improving your mental health one good memory at a time

2016 could have been better in so many ways. 

You’ll have your own personal, emotional, musical, political and environmental low points. 

Which reminds me of the Tim Vine pun: ‘Crime in multi-storey car parks is wrong on so many different levels.’

Anyway, there’s little point bitching now the year’s nearly over and the lunatics really are taking over the asylum. 

We’ve all made mistakes this year. My major howlers included having seconds of rhubarb crumble one dinner time in March when I was already pretty full. To make matters worse, all the custard had gone, so it ended up being a bit on the dry side despite the rhubarb juice and – to me at least – rhubarb without custard is like a fart without the smell: weird and slightly creepy. 

Bad simile. Second major mistake of the year. 

But no matter how angry, despairing and sad 2016 has made you, it’s good to remember things could get worse in 2017. They really could! 

But let’s park that, as chauffeurs often say. 

And instead of thinking about how shit 2016 has been or how much shitter 2017 could be, we could try a psychological trick that encourages you to concentrate on the good stuff that has happened to you. 

There is some evidence that by directing your thoughts to the happy, uplifting, bright part of the spectrum of your experience and away from the dark, dispiriting, draining part, you can make a positive impact on your mood. 

Get into the habit of doing this and you could make a permanent change to your default level of mental health. 

To start with, it’s harder than you think – especially if you have a tendency to think the world is populated by morons, that we’re all doomed and what’s the fucking point anyway. But it is possible to improve your default.

One technique is to imagine you’re the absolute opposite of the Daily Mail’s editor. Hopefully, this doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination. If it does, you may need professional help for anger issues, paranoia and cuntishness.

Now the next thing to do is to think of some good things that have happened to you or that you saw or heard or read about. 

Write them down if you can be arsed or just think about each memory for as long as you can. What were the colours like, the smells, how did you feel during the experience?

Do this lots and see if your mood improves – surely it can’t do any harm. Unless you start daydreaming while you’re chopping a turnip or flying a light aircraft.

To get you started, here are some things I liked this year and which I think about to make me happier than I otherwise would be. 

Growing a moustache – and people’s kindness, sponsoring the poor little ginger bastard. Also killing the little ginger bastard at the end of Movember was like taking off a pair of shoes that are a size too small after wearing them for 31 days. 

Giving blood – each time I felt a bit more connected to my fellow humans. A really good part of giving blood (as well as the salty and sweet snack selection after you’ve donated) is the text you receive a few days later telling you the hospital where your blood has been used.

Discovering Belgian chocolate options drink – at only 40 calories a cup it is a true taste sensation. I received no remuneration for this blatant plug. However if anyone from Options is reading this, I am open to receiving free samples in return for apparently natural mentions of the product in my writing. 

Voting – I absolutely love voting. I feel like crying my eyes out whenever I go to a polling station,  thinking about the sacrifices people have made on the long march to universal suffrage. And recently I’ve felt like crying my eyes out when the results have come in. But that’s going off-subject. 

Seeing three deer in a frosty field this very morning – totally unexpectedly. You can’t go wrong with deer in my view. 

Seeing any videos of any baby pandas. 

A squirrel starting to climb my leg presumably thinking it was a tree (I was wearing brown geography teacher cords) before realising its mistake and jumping off just after it had reached my knee. 

Throwing a scrumpled-up piece of paper at a bin that was quite far away – and getting it in first time. 

Eating a particularly good fried egg when I was particularly hungry. 

I could go on. They all bring a smile to my face. 

Write your own positive 2016, think about things that have gone right, then remember some more. 

Let’s see if we can look back on this year as not being that shite after all! 

The life cycle of a Movember moustache

Moustache babies

Moustache babies aren’t like other babies. As soon as they’re born they can reason well and follow complicated arguments. 
During the first few days of life, it’s a good idea for the parent to bolster the baby moustache’s sense of purpose and pride. 


‘Movember moustaches are the best type of moustaches,’ you coo. ‘Because their chief purpose is to raise money to help people and reduce suffering. What a cause you live for! I’m so proud of you.’ 

The more positive conversations you can have at this early stage in development, the more your moustache will prosper. 

Each day can be a revelation for both of you as the baby moustache changes in so many ways. A new sprout here. A growth spurt for an existing bristle there.  

‘I’m growing well, aren’t I, daddy?’ asks the baby moustache. ‘Am I the best one ever?’

The parent always looks back on these early days with immense pride and some nostalgia.  

Itchy adolescence

Especially during the adolescent period when the baby moustache becomes – sometimes literally overnight – a juvenile delinquent. The bristles start itching, some bristles start to grow in out-of-the-way nooks and crannies

And the previously benign friendly moustache becomes recalcitrant and moody.

‘I don’t care if I’m itchy,’ he says. ‘You grew me. And no I won’t grow in that bald patch. Why should I? You’ll only murder me soon. Yeah – I’ve read all about it. You only keep me for a month. I hate you!’

These are torrid days indeed when cajoling, soothing and even bribery with wax products seem to have no effect. 

Patience is the only useful virtue during this dark period of Movember. 

Glorious growth

If you both survive the growing pangs and panics of itchy, scratchy adolescence, the moustache’s early and mid adulthood are a joy. 

Here the moustache can truly find his feet in the world, blossoming to full maturity. Strong, virile and full, the adult moustache is one of the world’s wonders – a bit like Niagara Falls without all the water or the Great Wall of China without the stones. 

‘I love life, dad. Thank you for giving it to me. It’s such a pleasure living above your top lip. You’re an inspiration.’

Even now, though, the clouds of doom slightly blot the landscape. And you may be faced with a degree of pleading and emotional blackmail from your hairy side-kick. 

‘Please can’t I stay beyond Movember? I promise to be the most loyal moustache a parent could ever want. Life is so good – it would be a travesty to kill me in my prime.’  

Again a patient attitude and a sympathetic stroke can do wonders to soothe the anxious mature moustache. 

The final cut

Toward the final week of Movember, you’ll find a welcome and increasingly philosophical attitude from your moustache – with his questions veering towards the amount you’ve raised and encouraging you to do more fundraising in the final days of the month.  

‘We’ve been through so much,’ he sighs. ‘I’m so so tired. But I think I’ve got one final push in me before it’s curtains.’

And so December comes into view and the razor blade appears. The moustache is now ready for his fate. 


‘Thank you for giving me life, father. We haven’t wasted it have we? Farewell from your faithful friend.’
Thank you Emma Godivala for the lovely drawings. 

You can donate to the wonderful Movember cause here 

The EU, the judges and the right-wing press. What’s wrong with this country?

The government needs parliament’s agreement before we start the process of leaving the EU. 
So the high court has decided. 

Now here’s the boring theory bit:

We live in a parliamentary democracy underpinned by the rule of law. 

This means ‘we, the people’ can’t be bothered with ‘the issues’. We elect MPs to worry about them for us – so we can go shopping or watch the football. 

We also have Lords and Ladies who worry about issues too – but they’re not democratically elected. 

Oops. 

And the rule of law has stood us in pretty good stead since arbitrary killing, maiming and stealing were limited after some particularly bloodthirsty king went too far with his dastardly deeds. 

The judges decide what the law says. And the judges are independent – so they can’t be bribed or beheaded. 

So much for the theory.

In practice, the right-wing newspapers think they would run the country best – and their amazing ideas include bringing back hanging, erecting statues of Margaret Thatcher in every town and city and undermining the rule of law. 

So, after the decision by the high court, these newspapers screamed that the judges are ‘enemies of the people’, claimed democracy has died and basically said the country hasn’t been in such a state since the Black Death.

I know the people who run these papers are very rich and get very angry when they don’t get their own way or when people disagree with them. Still, they should believe in free speech, shouldn’t they? So here’s an alternative view.

Some things that are wrong with this country 

Too much dog shit on the pavements 

People using their mobiles while driving 

Loads of people having to sleeping rough

Parents at children’s football games getting far too angry

People having to go to food banks so they don’t starve to death

The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Express being allowed to print hate-filled articles full of factual inaccuracies that encourage bigotry and prejudice

Kale

Special Brew

Some things that aren’t wrong with this country

The Yorkshire Dales

Test Match Special

An independent judiciary upholding the rule of law.