D4D

Swearing is the literary crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker

Archive for the category “I Don’t Understand”

Married At First Sight

Following on from Valentine’s Day, Channel 4 has a documentary series going about people who have allowed themselves to be paired up by scientists and specialists, signing up to meet on their wedding day. (It turns out that this is actually the third series of it in the UK – and the results on the previous two series haven’t been all that promising!)

They’ve done it with some run-up in order to do all the stuff like declarations of intent to marry, telling family and friends, and make all the preparations. So they get told that they’ve been paired up (and are now ‘engaged’) and then six weeks later they’ll meet for the first time and get married.

Thursday’s episode was the first one, and basically all the set-up and preparations. From there I assume it’ll be about the aftermath, and how they work out once the wedding is done.

Marriage is something that, to be honest, leaves me cold – it really hasn’t ever appealed to me at all, and it’s never been on the list of Things To Do. And so far, there’s never been anyone I’ve been with who’s changed that opinion, or made me think differently about it at all.

But I do still find it an interesting concept, and the whole arranged-marriage type thing, of seeing how people handle that and so on.  Whether I continue watching the programme or not is a different matter, but for now it’s at least vaguely interesting. We’ll see.

Fish, Cambridge Corn Exchange

About 18 months ago, I went to see Fish (the ex-lead-singer of Marillion) at a gig in Aylesbury, including performing the whole of Marillion‘s “Misplaced Childhood” album for its 30th anniversary.

This year, it was announced he’d be touring again, and this time performing both stuff from the new album, and the whole of the “Clutching At Straws” album – again, for its 30th anniversary.

As with “Childhood”, “Straws” isn’t among my all-time favourite albums, but they both got played a lot as I grew up, so it was still of interest to go and see it performed live.  And I’m glad I did.

The gig started with some old favourites, but nothing new. And there was a reason for that – he hasn’t actually written the new album yet, let alone released it.  When they advertised the gigs and organised the tour, they expected it to be done, but life got in the way. So… some classics instead of new stuff. Fine with me, and apparently fine with most of the audience too.

As for the performance of “Straws” itself, that was excellent, and brought back a bundle of memories of listening to the album, as well as re-realising just how bleak it is in places. There were also parts of it that they’d never performed live before this tour, including one track that was ad-libbed at the time, so Fish had to listen to the album in order to write down the lyrics to learn them for performance. Which is, when you think about it, pretty messed up.

Anyway, the gig was one I really enjoyed – in spite of the audience.  As always, I really don’t understand the mindset of people who go to a concert, and then spend the entire gig going to and from the bar, and the toilet.  The three people in front of me (it was a seated gig) were barely ever in their seats, and kept walking off. That’s not just a waste of their time and money, it’s also insanely annoying for the people around them, getting constantly disturbed and having to move.

But, audience aside, it was a good gig. It might be the last time he tours, it might not. It’s likely the last chance to see “Straws” performed like that, so it was definitely worth going.

Illumination

On Friday morning, while it was still dark, I started the car to go to the client office – and one of the headlight bulbs blew.

Bollocks.

I’m not a fan of driving with one bulb out, but in this case it was going to have to happen, so off I went, a bit more carefully than usual, as a bigger swathe of the road than usual was in darkness.

On the way home though, I dropped in to one of the local(ish) Halfords, and got a new bulb sorted and fitted. Yeah, in theory I could fit it myself – but seeing the struggle the lad had with getting to it (the space was extremely tight/narrow) I’d have had issues, so it makes sense to get them to do it. (Also, when he opened the packaging for the first bulb and dropped the bulb through the engine block, he just went to get a replacement – that wouldn’t have happened if it’d been me doing it!)

From start to finish, it took less than half an hour – even with the difficulties the lad had. And all for less than £20.

I really don’t get why so many people seem to have problems with getting bulbs replaced. Some people I see in the village have had the same bulb out for weeks, if not months. I understand that sometimes you just get used to the problem existing, rather than fixing it – but at the same time, working headlights are a pretty basic requirement, I’d have said.

And besides, if it’s only £20 all-in to fix it, really, I don’t get the point of not bothering. but maybe I’m missing something. Wouldn’t be the first time, after all.

PIDU – Blockage

Another in my list of “People I Don’t Understand” pieces…

I do wonder sometimes about people, and what goes through their minds. On occasion, I’m pretty sure that the only thing that should be allowed through their thought processes is a sledgehammer.

One of those occasions – which comes up with depressing regularity – is what logical process leads people to block toilets with paper. It’s not ‘used’ paper (it’s always surprisingly white and mark-free) so it’s more that they’ve just decided to fill the bowl with paper. Why? I have no fucking idea.

There are some places that seem more prone to it than others. Most Wetherspoons pubs, in my experience. The majority of cinemas. But really, it seems like anywhere that’s got shared facilities (by which I mean where they’re publically accessible, rather than a private “it’s mine and mine alone” set-up) is fair game.

I’d love to see someone who’s just done it, stop them, and ask why, ask what went on in their braincell to think it would be a good/fun thing to do. However, weirdly you also never get to see someone doing it, you just always come in to the aftermath.

PIDU – Performance Cars

[PIDU = People I Don’t Understand]

There are many, many types of people I don’t understand – or at least whose thought processes are beyond me. That’s the theme of the PIDU posts (as mentioned here, although I’ll probably repeat this a few times) and may also become a bit of a throwback to the rants of yore.

In this case, I don’t understand people who buy performance cars, and whose driving abilities can’t match the car at all.

I’m not even talking about high-end performance vehicles like Ferraris and the like.  No, this is even down to the level of a standard (for example) VW Golf GTI.   Anything that’s at the higher-end of performance than the standard models of cars.

As an aside, I also don’t really get why anyone in the UK would bother buying any of the seriously high-end performance cars, when our top legal speed can be attained by them in second or third gear.  But that’s a thought for a different time.

A lot of the drives I do are on country roads – still decent-enough roads, which I can easily (as well as legally and safely) cover at 55-60mph with no problems. But they’re narrow enough, and bendy enough, that if you’re stuck behind someone, you’re stuck behind them for the duration.

I regularly end up behind other drivers, usually in cars with a much better performance than my shitty Kia – yet we’re going at 40mph instead, and they’re still braking at every sodding corner, and panicking when another car comes towards them.

Last night was a perfect example – I spent the drive following a beautiful Lotus Evora 400 (one of my current favourite cars) that did the entire thing not going above 50mph, and usually slower than that.   It was a total waste of a brilliant little car, and I almost wanted to stop them, and suggest we swapped vehicles.

I just don’t get it, why someone/anyone would pay out a load more on a sporty/performance car – and on the commensurate higher-rated insurance and so on – when they’re just going to drive it slowly and badly. It seems to be a case of either “More money than sense” or just believing they’re better at driving than they actually are.

PIDU – Ill-prepared

As I’ve said before, I tend to be ridiculously early for things, primarily so I know it’s all sorted well in advance.

However, I find it utterly amazing how many people appear to be so chronically ill-prepared for just about anything and everything in their lives.

My primary office is near(ish) to the local test centre for the theory part of the UK driving test.  By “nearish” I mean “it’s walking distance, in a straight line, but over a significant road, so maybe five minutes walk”.  On a regular basis I get stopped outside my office, and asked where the test centre is, by people obviously already running late, and get this “Oh shit” look when I tell them it’s still five minutes away.  These tests are renownedly run punctually, and they don’t have much tolerance for lateness – but from memory, it makes all that very clear on the paperwork that tells you where the test is to be taken.

So because they haven’t checked where they’re supposed to be, they’re now running the risk of not even being allowed to take the test – and you don’t get a refund on it for being late and/or disorganised.  I’ve never seen it as all that difficult to do, to be in the right place at the right time, but it’s obviously an issue for some people.

Similarly, a couple of weeks back I was with friends in London, and their son was meeting other friends of his so they could go to a concert/festival thing in Hyde Park. We’d got other plans once he was in the venue, but they were somewhat dependent on the friends actually having IQ points of their own. They’re similarly pathologically early to me, which helps – but the son’s friends…. weren’t.

Despite the concert tickets telling them where they needed to be, which entrance to use and so on, they decided to turn up to the wrong Underground station, at the wrong time, and at the wrong entrance.  There’d been no preparation, no thought, not even an understanding of how best to get around, yet still left it all to the last minute, as if expecting some fairy godmother to wave a wand and everything would be All Right.

And it kind-of was. They got there, and we got to where we were going, but a couple of minutes late. (Anyone else, it would’ve been late by twenty minutes or more, but we can all shift our arses when necessary) So it did work out OK, but only because we knew more about where they were than they did, and walked the extra to find the fucking idiots.

All told, it’s just an attitude I don’t understand.   I know I’m at the opposite end of the scale, but still, it never seems that difficult to me, to be prepared, to know what you’re doing, and get wherever on time.  But obviously it’s more of a challenge for others…

 

One Minute

Yesterday, a lot of people held a one-minute silence for the victims of Monday’s bombing in Manchester.  Personally, I don’t really understand why this appears to have become one of the “done things” to do for any tragic event.

Yes, the bombing is awful, and should never have happened. The people who did it are unutterable motherfuckers, and deserve to be damned to whatever eternity their religion believes in. The victims shouldn’t have been victims, because this shit shouldn’t have happened.

But it did, and so we go on.

But what do these silences actually do? They re-focus attention on the event (but of course we’re not going to give terrorists the air of publicity that they crave, except when we then have every news broadcast for the next 72 hours focused pretty-much-purely on that event) and make people think about it even more.  But we’re not going to let terrorists change our lives, are we? Except when we do, when there are now more armed police on the streets, and even more security on the streets, in airports and elsewhere – all of which changes our lives, and makes us think about terrorism even more.

I know the silences started off from the two-minutes-silence on Armistice Day – and I’m fine with that.  But when did they become the done thing, the marker for every event?

I feel the same about the huge numbers of bouquets at the sites of deaths and tragedies.  I get that people want to voice their sympathies, but when did a bouquet and gifts become the way to do it? It’s almost enough to make you wonder whether it’s not the florist industry behind it all, in a similar way to Valentine’s Day, just to improve their own profits – but this time out of the grimness and death of others.  And the sodding cards that go with it – the ones that get read out in news broadcasts, that all seem to be suspiciously “on-message” for whatever’s been being reported.

The real start for the floral stuff seemed (to me) to be the death of Princess Diana, when flowers appeared everywhere, in true Damien Day style. Since then, they’ve accompanied every bloody event known to man.

Fine, people want to show their concerns, voice their sympathies and so on. But surely it’s better to do so with donations to a particular cause, with speaking up about (in the case of Manchester) terrorism and the like, to actually do something, rather than pay lipservice through a wallet and a minute’s silence?

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