Category Archives: Modern Etiquette

There’s a Joke Here Somewhere

Three political party leaders walk into a kitchen. They want to show their prowess as chefs to encourage more men to cook. David “Call me Dave” Cameron and Nick “Who” Clegg produced “something with pasta” while Ed “I’m the labour leader” Miliband made a tuna melt. These imaginative men who lead (or oppose the leadership) of our fair nation can actually cook enough to sustain themselves. Honestly isn’t that enough? I dare say that they’d even manage to boil an egg if faced with a national emergency.

Nigella thinks so anyway. Apparently cooking and baking are feminist pastimes. Who knew? Yes girls, slaving away in the kitchen is just the same as asserting your equal rights as a productive member of society. Menz don’t need to be able to cook obviously because the feminist thing to do is to produce a slap up mean for your man to eat as soon as he returns from his busy day at the office. Her husband, Charles Saatchi, is no slouch in the kitchen though. He can make his own toast and his own Weetabix. What a guy.

My view, setting sarcasm aside for a moment, is that every single person should be equipped with basic skills for living. You should be able to cook, sew a button on, repair a tear, balance your chequebook (you remember those?), produce a CV, clean up after yourself, do your laundry and ironing and, most importantly, solve your own problems. Having a “cook off” with party leaders might be nice spin but it just highlights the fact that they are a bunch of dicks.


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Filed under Modern Etiquette, Recipe for disaster

Super *yawn* injunctions

So the news of the day seems to be all about super injunctions. A process where the press aren’t allowed to publish the truth in order that the sensibilities of the wealthy are protected. They are still allowed to publish lies though as long as they make it clear that they are only reporting rumour.

My hope for the media and, really for the human race, is that news of who has slept with whom and which celebrity has had an affair with which celebrity will simply not be interesting enough to report. I don’t care who celebrities sleep with as long as they aren’t breaking the law. I don’t care if they are at one another like randy dogs in the street. Actually I don’t care about celebrities at all but that is besides the point.

What I object to is the suggestion that Jeremy Clarkson is having sex. It isn’t a thought that I want to have in my head. In particular I don’t want to imagine his sex face.


Sorry about that.


Filed under Modern Etiquette

Online presence

I am a member of a number of professional groups and forums as well as informal ones like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Indeed beneath this rugged and boyish facade I’m a dedicated professional developer. I’ve just read an informal article about the IT job market that offers some tips for getting that job and five things to avoid. One point stood out and reflects on something that Brennig mentioned last week. That is that having an online presence is an asset for seeking employment.

Now I don’t get to interview for IT staff very often. We’ve got a tiny IT team here at “someone else’s lily pad” that consists of me and some part time consultants with a bit of floorwalking by some power users in the office. If a consultant were to leave (why would they do that when they earn more than anyone who is employed) or the spending freeze were lifted then I’d have to interview again. Just don’t ask why they’ll pay for consultants and not permanent staff. I would certainly check out the web site and profiles of any candidates shortlisted for interview and do a google search on them. Some companies go an awful lot further than that.

What would this tell me about a professional though that isn’t on their CV (resume for any US readers)? I’d be interested on what wasn’t available rather than what was. Only by omission could I assess someone’s commitment and interest in a given area. If they weren’t a member of a professional body or didn’t have a LinkedIn profile with membership of the right groups then I’d want to know why not.

Yet how useful is this? They could have, like Brennig, decided that LinkedIn was just shit. They might be over 12 and therefore not interested in Facebook. It is possible that they don’t find Stephen Fry all that interesting and so haven’t joined Twitter. They may simply value their privacy and use a pseudonym when on the web. They may know a little bit about the shockingly poor security measures of public facing social web sites and just steer clear of the whole shebang. What use then is my googling their name or searching for their profile? My expectation that they’ll have an online presence may be unrealistic and even if it is realistic do I want to employ someone who spends time on Twitter and Facebook when they should be working?

Not finding something tells me nothing useful. Finding something questionable or embarrassing does. Well it tells me that the person has done something embarrassing and not much more. That is why you should find that video from last year of you drunkenly singing Lou Reed’s Perfect Day while naked and delete it. You should delete entirely the profile that you use to write online slash porn about Harry Potter and Dobby (what were you thinking?) and you should definitely recover those “candid” pictures from your ex and get them removed from his MySpace page. Delete them now before you even apply for that job.

Although nothing ever truly gets deleted from the Internet.


Filed under Modern Etiquette

Slut Shaming

I don’t usually post anything about feminism. I leave that to the people who are really good at it like Tenderhooligan but this week has been particularly irritating and I’m sick to my teeth of all the people I work with and their double standards that flop about like dying fish in the sun. Yeah, think about that metaphor for second. The people at “someone else’s lilypad” are OK most of the time. Some of them work hard. Some of them care about their families. Some of them make pretty good friends. On the other hand, some of them are lazy, irritating back stabbing bitches who shouldn’t be trusted with anything sharper than play school scissors.

One thing that has particularly annoyed me (and there has been a lot this week) are the few instances of slut shaming that I’ve picked up from the gossip round the kettle and water cooler. Someone is pregnant. Ooh, they must be a slut. Someone got drunk and went home with a bloke. Ooh, they must be a slut. Two people are going out. She’s obviously a slut.

FFS leave everyone else alone! What other people do is none of your business. It isn’t even interesting. We’ve all had sex. Some of us with more than one person. Some of us with more than one person at a time.* There isn’t anything particularly shocking about human sexuality once you’ve actually started having sex. Shock horror, people enjoy it. Women enjoy it. They’re allowed.

Get over it.

The ever so smashing ZOMGitsCriss has posted a wonderful video about Slut Shaming.

*By way of illustration you understand.

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Filed under Debate, Lazy Blogging, Modern Etiquette, Shitbiscuits

Odd conversation

I left work late yesterday and bumped into Interesting Jeremy on the train.  Interesting Jeremy works for the National Statistics office and is very religious.  I once bumped into him on the train and asked if he was planning anything the new year.  He replied that he was wondering what God wanted him to do.  Talk about conversation stoppers. 

Moving on we exchanged greetings and inquired about one another’s day.  The usual pleasantries.  Somehow we got onto the topic of Barack Obama and his lifting of the ban on stem cell research.  I expressed the opinion that stem cell research could potentially revolutionise medicine.  He thought it was a terrible evil.  Not a lot of middle ground.

Moving on we somehow got onto the topic of euthanasia.  He said it was a terrible and I said it was a great idea and when would I get my licence to start killing people.  Although I was joking there wasn’t a lot of middle ground.

Luckily we got to talk about cricket.  I think cricket is one of the most relaxing games to watch in the world but I know nothing about it at all.  IJ is a cricket enthusiast and keen player.

Then the train reached it’s destination and we departed.

What topics stump you?


Filed under Modern Etiquette

Simple question

Why are banks “too big to fail”?

Back in the olden days there was a saying that went like this:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

The general idea being that a distribution of eggs throughout several container would mitigate the loss of one container and damage to said eggs whereas a single container results in the loss of all eggs if the container somehow fails.  In banking the analogy is that the banks are the baskets and the eggs are our money.

Fairly obvious really.  Why is it then that banks and other large corporations are allowed to grow to such a size that failure of any one of them can result in disaster for the whole economy?  Shouldn’t there be some kind of monopolies commission, government body or something in place to stop companies from growing too large and threatening the stability of society?  Just a thought.

This is also an excuse to post this picture:


Filed under Modern Etiquette, You decide


I referenced a Daily Mash story in a forum today and was asked:

(What does “Mash” refer to?)

This is my response.  Can anyone confirm that it is accurate as I was pretty much blagging the whole thing.

Mash comes from the term “mashup” which I think is of Jamaican origin. Jamaican immigrants brought it to England where it became popular, particularly in inner city culture. That goes back to the days when we were begging for cheap workers to come in to England. Nowadays we’re still begging for cheap workers but slagging them off for having the audacity to want to work in “our” country while generations of English live in a state of institutionalized welfare.

Anyway “mashup” means to mix or bring from several sources, to bootleg or rip off. Daily Mash is also a pun on Daily Mail, a popular tabloid paper that Satan would read if he existed. Some days it is hard to tell the difference between a Daily Mail headline and a Daily Mash headline and I’m not joking about that.

I’d like some validation that my blagging is close enough to accurate to warrant my continued use of “making stuff up as I go along”. 

Please and thank you.

Also, it’s Friday.  Yay!


Filed under Modern Etiquette

Feeding time

Do NOT feed the trolls.


Seriously, just don’t.  They never stop once you start.  It is better to ignore them.


Filed under Modern Etiquette

Bad Mood

There are some people in this world who just don’t seem to understand that they irritate other people.  I am not one of these.  I know that I annoy lots of people, I know that I am pedantic, sarcastic and occasionally mean.  I can be intolerant of views and downright condescending when people do things that go directly against the actions that they could take if they bothered to look at the evidence.  People on diets tend to receive my scorn for example.  Diets are utterly ineffectual except for temporary weight loss.  What is need instead is a change in eating habits for sustainable health in most people coupled with an increase in exercise.  People who try diet after diet but lose no weight need to give up diets, go for a walk and eat their greens.

This isn’t about diets.  This is about people who are annoying but don’t know that they are annoying. Mrs The Pain in our office is one such person.  She wrongly believes that everything that she says is cute, funny and amusing.  In fact this is rarely the case.  Most often what she says is just plain stupid.  She also seems to think that the world revolves around her.

I got to work this morning with my usual alacrity.  I have a modest walk to work of about two miles which usually warms my muscles and gets the blood flowing so my excess heat can be dissipated and I don’t overheat.  However Mrs The Pain thinks that I will be freezing cold when I arrive at work because she drives to the door and then sits in a chair gossiping on the phone.  Despite assumptions about talking and hot air this doesn’t warm a body much.  Mrs The Pain also wears clothing suitable for a central heated house, heated car or summer walk on the beech.  She makes no change for approaching winter weather except to turn the radiators on in the office.

When I arrive at work it is always uncomfortably hot.  Typically it’s 25ºC (77ºF in American) which I would usually consider to be hot.  The radiators are all on and the windows are tightly closed.  In previous winters I’ve sat down and opened my window till the temperature drops to a more acceptable 21ºC although I’d be happier at 19ºC.  I’d take off surplus clothing but I already wear the minimum.  Apparently opening a window when you’re too hot is an issue that makes people complain and “piss off to another office” isn’t an acceptable response.  I’ve tried underhanded tactics like turning the boiler off and I’ve tried being reasonable but she persists in keeping to her own view that it is too cold so the heating goes on.

A compromise would help.  I could be a little too warm and she would wear a cardigan, she could leave the heating off and I could leave my window closed.  I’ve suggested as much but Mrs The Pain is unmoved.  If she is cold then the heating goes on.  I’ve even turned the boiler up and the radiators on full and taken the day off so she can experience a day of being far too hot.  She doesn’t care.  Her view is the only one that matters.

Anyway, today I arrive at the office and it’s like a furnace.  I hang my coat up and go outside to cool down but comment on the heat politely in the hope that she’ll turn it down a notch.  Apparently this means that I am in a bad mood.  I wasn’t until I’m told by Mrs The Pain that my being too hot and asking for some consideration in a shared office is a sign of my own bad attitude.  Now I’m in a stinking mood and am plotting how to torture, kill and dispose of her corpse.

Any suggestions?  We don’t need a patio at work so my first plan is out.  Such a shame really, no-one would ever think to look under a patio for a body.


Filed under Modern Etiquette, Reasons to be cheerful, Shitbiscuits, You decide

An Open Letter on Commuter Etiquette

Dear Mr WideHead

Picking your nose on the train is something that should be done either not at all or subtly.  Not at all being the preferred option.

My fellow commuter, this morning you received my most harsh stare of disgust for your blatant delving of your nasal cavities in search of an elusive booger.  When you found it you very obviously examined it, even going so far as to turn it in the dim morning light to properly appreciate the awesomeness of your sinus’ accumulated waste.  Perhaps you were checking for dura matter, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I let out a audible “Eww!” of revolt when you popped the green and fetid lump into your mouth and started chewing.  You seemed to enjoy it as you were rolling your tongue about in your mouth and murmuring happily.  You even licked your lips.

I think I should probably thank you.  I have been over eating recently and fear that I may have piled on a few pounds.  Thanks to your demonstration of snot munching I am certain that I won’t be able to eat either the noodles I had planned for lunch or the cheese and onion pies I’d put in the fridge for tomorrow.

Your faithfully


Honest Mr hoverFrog


Filed under Modern Etiquette, Shitbiscuits