Caring For The Environment

Nowadays, most of the world is falling victim to the effects of modern-day living …

One aspect of consumerism today is the abundance of plastic packaging. Almost everything that one purchases is wrapped in some type of plastic and many foodstuffs are often in plastic trays with a plastic-derived wrapping. After decades of free supply, supermarkets are now charging for plastic carrier bags in the hope that they will be used more than once. This initiative has often been implemented by governments but to be honest, it is too little too late. Many countries encourage recycling of various products including certain plastics but this facility can be very confusing to the consumer as there is currently no universal directive. The recycling option depends entirely upon the facilities available in any given area which means that far too much refuse continues to end up in landfill sites.

The younger generation no doubt view recycling as innovative and a step forward, but in truth, the practice was a well-instilled discipline several decades ago. To illustrate this point about ‘going green’, just read the following that has been doing the rounds on social media.

An elderly customer was at the store checkout. The young cashier suggested to her that she should bring her own bags because plastic bags are not good for the environment. The woman apologised to the young girl and explained “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded in typical blame-culture fashion “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The customer agreed with her saying that “our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day. Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day! Grocery stores bagged groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household rubbish bags was to use brown paper bags as book covers for our school textbooks. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalise our books on the brown paper covers. But, too bad we didn’t do the ‘green thing’ back then”.

The elderly customer continued. “We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator or lift in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a gas-guzzling machine every time we had to pop around the corner. But you are right … we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in our day. Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the disposable kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-consuming machine indoors. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Children often got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, and not the over-priced designer stuff of today. But you, young lady, are right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day”.

The old lady went on. “Back then we had one television or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of  a football pitch. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send via the post, we used old newspapers to cushion it, not foam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t start an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to visit health clubs to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But you’re right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’back then. We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade was blunt. But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then!

“Back then, people took the tram or bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s €35.000 SUV which cost what a whole house did before the ‘green thing’. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23.000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest fast food outlet. Isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then?”

Too many youngsters today are of the smart ass brigade and only too willing to preach to their far more experienced elders. Whilst old age is never going to be easy, we’re thankful still to be around, but it’s easy to be pissed off … especially by a tattooed, multiple-pierced smartass who can’t give change without the cash register indicating how much.

So, basically, there’s nothing new in recycling and today’s generation of industrialists and consumers have much to learn!


The Art of Translation

Some wonderful signs in English seen around the world where something vital has been lost in translation …

Norway cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

Rome doctor’s surgery: Specialist in women and other diseases.

Bangkok dry cleaners: Drop your trousers here for the best results.

Nairobi restaurant: Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.

Nairobi – Mombasa main road: Take notice – when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.

A city restaurant: Open seven days a week and weekends.

In a cemetery: Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

Tokyo hotel rules and regulations: Guests are requested not to smoke or do other disgusting behaviours in bed.

Swiss restaurant menu: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

Japan hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

Moscow hotel lobby opposite a Russian orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and soviet composers, artists and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

Germany Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for this purpose.

Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

Thailand donkey ride promotion: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

How To Fix The Economy

With a General Election imminent in the United Kingdom, and the economy very much at the top of the political agenda, this tongue-in-cheek solution was seen on social media …

An open letter to our political leaders. Here are some practical solutions to fixing the UK’s economy!

Instead of giving billions of pounds sterling to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following solution which we will call the Patriotic Retirement Plan. Currently there are some 10 million people over the age of 50 in employment. Pay each of them £1 million in severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

  • They must retire. This will create 10 million job openings therefore solving the unemployment crisis
  • They must buy a new British-made car. That’s 10 million cars ordered and thereby fixing the decimated car industry
  • They must either buy a house or pay off their mortgage. This resolves the current housing crisis
  • They must send their kids to school, college or university. This will keep them off the streets and drastically reduce the crime rate
  • They must spend a minimum of £100 a week on alcohol or tobacco products. There’s your money returned in duty and tax

It really can’t get much easier than that! However if more money is needed, get all members of Parliament to repay their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances.

Now for some more radical solutions:

  • Put pensioners in jail and criminals in nursing homes. This way, pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks
  • They’d benefit from unlimited free pres rioting, dental and medical treatment, wheelchairs etc, and receive money instead of having to pay it out
  • With constant video monitoring, they would get instant help if they fell or needed assistance
  • Bedding would be laundered at least twice a week and all clothing ironed and returned to them
  • A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals directly to them
  • They would enjoy family visits in a purpose-built suite
  • They would have access to a library, gymnasium, pool, education and spiritual counselling
  • Simple clothing, shoes, bed attire, slippers and legal aid would be free on request
  • Private, secure rooms for everyone with an exercise outdoor yard and landscaped gardens
  • Each senior could have a television, radio and computer, as well as daily telephone calls

A board of directors would oversee matters and handle any complaints, whilst the guards would have to adhere to a very strict code of conduct. Meanwhile, the criminals would have to exist on cold food, live in isolation in a tiny room and unsupervised. They would have a weekly shower and pay £600 per week for their accommodation with little chance of ever enjoying freedom.

Now for another point of contention. It seems amazing that during the mad cow disease epidemic, government officials could track a single cow from its birth and subsequently identify its calves yet are incapable of tracking 125000 illegal immigrants wandering around the country. Maybe they should each be given a cow!


A Grumpy Old Man

Oh to be in England

A Londoner moves to Scotland …

20 DEC It’s 6pm and starting to snow; the first of the season and the first snowfall seen in years. The wife and I took our hot toddies and sat on the porch, watching the soft flakes drift down from the gloomy sky. It was a beautiful sight watching the flakes cling to the trees and slowly cover the ground.

24 DEC We awoke to a lovely blanket of crystal white snow covering the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Every tree and bush was covered with a beautiful white mantle. I shovelled the snow for the first time and loved it, clearing both the driveway and the pavement. Later a snowplough came along and accidentally covered up our driveway with compact snow from the street. The driver smiled and waved. I waved back and shovelled the snow away again.

26 DEC It snowed an additional 5 inches last night and the temperature dropped to around -8C. Several branches on the trees and bushes snapped due to the weight of the snow. I shovelled our driveway once more. Shortly afterwards, the snowplough came by and did his trick again. Much of the snow is now brownish-grey!

1 JAN Happy New Year! It warmed up enough during the day to create some slush which soon became ice when the temperature dropped again. Went out and bought snow tyres for both our cars. Fell on my arse in the driveway. Paid £100 to a physiotherapist but thankfully nothing was broken. More snow and ice expected.

5 JAN Still cold. Sold the wife’s car and bought her a Land Rover so she could get to work. She slid into a motorway barrier causing a considerable amount of damage to the front wing. Had another 8 inches of the white stuff in the night. Both vehicles are covered in salt and iced-up slush. More shovelling in store for me as the snowplough came by twice during the day.

9 JAN It’s -15C outside. More bloody snow. There’s not a tree or bush on our property that hasn’t been damaged. Power was off most of the night. Tried to keep from freezing to death with candles and a paraffin heater which tipped over and nearly burnt the house down! I managed to put out the flames but suffered second degree burns to my hands and lost all my eyelashes and eyebrows. The car slid on the ice on the way to A&E and was written off.

13 JAN The bloody white stuff keeps coming down! Have to put on all the clothes we own just to get to the post box. If I ever catch the arsehole that drives the bloody snowplough, I’ll chew open his chest and rip out his heart. I think he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shovelling before coming down the street at 100mph and burying our driveway again!!

17 JAN Another 16 inches of bloody snow, sleet, ice and God knows what other kind of white stuff fell last night. I wounded the bloody snowplough driver with an ice axe but he got away. The wife left me. The car won’t start. Think I’m going snow blind. Can’t move my bloody toes. Haven’t seen the sun in weeks. More snow predicted. Temperature -20C … I’m moving back to Clapham!

Vodka & Red Bull Christmas Cake

It’s that time of year again when one’s cooking skills are put to the test!

Here’s a fail safe receipe for that seasonal favourite Vodka & Red Bull Christmas Cake

The following ingredients will be required:

1 cup water
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of butter
1 tsp salt
Lemon Juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle of Vodka
1 can of Red Bull
2 cups dried fruit

To ensure perfect results, follow the method to the letter and without deviation:

  • Sample the vodka to check the quality
  • Take a large bowl, check the vodka again
  • To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and mix with a little red bull and drink
  • Repeat
  • Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl
  • Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again
  • At this point it is best to make sure the vodka is still OK
  • Flavour with red bull to taste
  • Try another cup. Just in case turn off the mixer
  • Break two eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit
  • Pick fruit off floor
  • Mix on the turner
  • If the dried fruit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver
  • Shample the vodka to check for tonsisticity, flavour with a little Bed Rull
  • Next ssiffft two cups of salt. Or something … who giveshz a sh*t
  • Throw a pinch of Bed Rull over your shoulder
  • Pick up the can, mop the floor
  • Check the vodka
  • Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts
  • Add one table
  • Add a shpoon of shugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find
  • Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over …
  • Don’t forget to beat off the turner
  • Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the vodka and kick the dog
  • Fall into bed!


The Balloonist

This was recently sent to me and sadly the message it carries is so very true…

A woman in a hot air balloon realised she was lost…

She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. She descended a bit more and shouted ‘Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don’t know where I am.’

The man below replied ‘You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.’

‘You must be an Engineer’ said the balloonist. ‘I am’ replied the man ‘but how did you know?’

‘Well’ answered the balloonist ‘everything you have told me is probably technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip by your talk.’

The man below responded ‘You must be in Management.’ ‘I am’ replied the balloonist ‘but how did you know that?’

‘Well’ said the man ‘you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my f**king fault!’