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IYH BLOG: Some asshole is trying to invent a new type of Tsunami. Right now.

It’s always been a good idea to live by a motto, and what better phrase to live by but "Quid illyas manholia actuality", which of course means "An electric eel can easily be adapted for foreign travel with the help of a lightweight converter plug". But of course, life is never as simple as that, is it? For a start, you cannot put electric sea creatures into water. You’ll get electrocuted, and at best cause the warranty to become void.

There was a time, back in the early nineteen eighties, when the only thing we had to worry about was finding some way to harvest the sweat water running off our backs, so that we wouldn’t be accused of wastage when it flowed onto the ground while we were working. In the end, somebody developed drainpipe trousers, and that was another of life’s problems over with, done and dusted, all sorted out by technology.009

On the other hand, nobody has as yet managed to find a cure for the summertime blues, over thirty years after the sadly-deceased Eddie Cochrane raised the issue and brought it to the attention of the pop-record buying public. Perhaps he should have chosen his audience more wisely. Scientists and inventors rarely have time to listen to pop music, with the obvious exception of Trevor Bailiff, inventor of the clockwork radio. I believe at the moment he’s busy working on a clock that’s powered by radio waves.

This is very worrying. We have had enough problems recently with sea waves that tragically ended the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The last thing we need is this asshole harvesting audio waves and making them bigger.

We here at Into Your Head podcast urge you to boycott the radio-wave powered clock, the minute it comes out.

Remember the solar eclipse of the nineteen eighties? When the whole moon was blocked by the sun for ten minutes? Mercifully the moon managed to move out of it’s shadow, but next time we might not be so lucky. It is obviously no coincidence that this happened just as solar powered calculators were becoming fashionable. Let’s put a stop to this crap right now, before it gets out of hand.

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IYH BLOG: Why Cats can’t use Anti-perspirant

First published 2004

I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up alcohol permanently, and substituting it with sweets or something. I find that I’m becoming addicted to it’s medicinal qualities, and rarely does a week go by when I don’t "accidentally" get a bruise on my knee, and dab it with an alcohol-soaked squab to disinfect it.

Experts believe that there is a particular pore behind our knees which, when exposed to sunlight, can lead to us feel happier. This is unfortunate for me, because the last thing my knees need when they’re hung-over, is the sun shining down on them. I’ve always found, though, that alcohol makes me happy. It may be because beer cans here in Ireland come with a Dilbert comic printed on them, or it may be that I’m a raving alcoholic. Either way, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it’s time to grasp the bull by the steering-wheel, admit that I have a problem, and go to AA Ireland. I’ll ask them whether they’ll reduce my motor insurance premium if I stop drinking.CavanAug2010IMG_0022 (4)

The Automobile Association has always been a fine refuge for those of us who like to drink. Before I finally collapse for the night, I always make sure to fall into a car that has an "AA Member" sticker on the windscreen. For one thing, I love the yellow and black logo. And it may interest you to know that I’ve deleted a rather poor bit here about a Russian cartoon that used to be shown on Irish television in the nineteen eighties. But besides that, it’s always lovely when I wake up with a massive headache, and all I have to do is call up a mechanic to fix the window that somehow got broken during the night. He usually turns up within half and hour and brings tea and doughnuts, so that’s breakfast taken care of. I’ve thought about asking them to bring a change of clothing too, but recently I’ve found that if I just concentrate, I can aim the other way and I don’t get any vomit on them at all usually.

It’s very important, when reclaiming your body from alcohol and becoming a tee-totaller that you cleanse out your body by having plenty of fruits and juices and healthy crap like that. For that reason, I’ve taken to drinking a lot of apple juice. Well I did, that is, until last night, when there was a documentary on the Discovery Channel about fruit juices. I didn’t see it, but it was in the TV listings, and apparently it said that apple juice is pretty much the same as cider. Since cider comes in larger cans than traditional apple juice, I’ve decide to switch to cider. That way I’ll get even more apple juice into my system, and it won’t be long until I’m permanently "dry".

I’ve always been a great admirer of the Discovery Channel, ever since I discovered it. There is now nothing that I don’t know about how zebras fuck each other in the wilderness. And my sex-life is all the better and richer for it. I’ve learned an awful lot from these programmes, and have put much of it into practice. Yesterday I took a little trip to the zoo on the way home, and had a great time. They sell lovely ice-cream there, too.

That reminds me. Many of you probably have probably always assumed that ducks don’t care if there’s a huge Noah-style flood. This is rather short-sighted of you. When the water-level rises to the highest mountaintops, as it did in biblical times, the ducks have to swim at a much higher altitude than normal, unless they manage to get their hands on some stand-by tickets for a passing ark. Obviously during Noah’s kick-ass biblical flood, oxygen tanks were at a premium, but Noah had to supply them to every duck on the planet. Otherwise, what you would have had was an ark with hundreds of ducks swimming around beside it, quacking sarcastically and making Noah look ridiculous, by implying that they were managing to survive without any help from him whatsoever. At least if he supplied the oxygen tanks Noah could take credit for their on-going good health, and not look like an idiot.

Obviously this ate into Noah’s costs quite a bit. He cut back by not having any cats on board. As a result, all of the cats which we have in the world today are completely free of sin, as they are all descended from cats who were born after the flood, which according to the bible was sent to kill off all the evil cats in the world. That’s why cats are always licking themselves, by the way. They were born at a time when there was still a lot of dampness around after the flood, and so they are not used to being dry, and have to cover themselves with saliva to make themselves feel normal. For the same reason, cats are very uncomfortable with the idea of using anti-perspirants. They just can’t stand being dry.

Anyway, till next time, I’m Neal , and I’m seriously thinking of getting a cat.(First published 2004)

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IYH BLOG: Neal’s Brief History of Television

A relic from one of my old websites, first published in 2004.

Accordian According to archaeologists, television was first discovered by Neanderthals in the early twentieth century. Originally known as "telly fishing", the first systems did not require a TV set, but only a lucky few who were telepathic, could receive the transmissions. "Telly Fishing" meant scanning the psychic bandwidths for a TV programme, in other words, fishing for telly. Later it was discovered that psychically receiving broadcasts in this way had caused major health problems in the viewers.

The highly-paid transmitters, very highly psychic individuals who were capable of telepathically transmitting programmes to millions of viewers at a time, were much sought-after and highly paid, but tragically tended to burn themselves out in their mid-twenties, due to high pressure and the limited life-span of the television tube.

The television set is thought to have been invented by John Yogi Bear, who himself later went on to enjoy a career as a much-loved TV character. Television is transmitted in "waves", through "the sea", which is why at times of full moon and high tides, your television reception improves dramatically.

Most television programmes start their lives with a "pilot". Due to auto piloting technology, the people who fly commercial aircraft now have a lot of time on their hands during flights, so the pilots make sample episodes of TV programmes, to be shown to the networks. The sad irony is that most aeroplanes do not themselves have live TV reception, and have to make do with pre-recorded programmes and movies.

Many TV stations carry a bulletin of news on a regular basis. Everything that is said during these "news", is entirely true and accurate. However, there is one exception. The presenter is allowed to lie or exaggerate a news story as long as they are shown to be crossing their fingers. Most networks get around this by getting the newscaster to cross his or her fingers behind their backs, filming it from behind with an extra camera, and showing the crossed fingers on a separate channel, conveniently placed on a hard-to-receive frequency, but technically within the law and above board.

And that’s everything that you need to know about television. All that’s left is for you to test your knowledge with this quiz. All of the answers can be found on your television.

  1. In the X Files, how many actual filing clerks are there? Not counting part-timers
  2. Is there life on other planets?

Well done! You are now eight percent less ignorant that your were when you started! Your diploma will be posted sometime in the next twenty eight years. And remember, if you’re not spending at least six hours a day watching television, you’re missing out on life.

About the author: The guy who wrote this is a psychopath..

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IYH BLOG: Killing the Laurel

Once upon a time there were three enormous tables. One of the tables was a posh, polished mahogany banquet table, the second was a bog standard coffee table with stains all over it, although they could probably have been removed quite easily but obviously the owner didn’t think it was worth the effort. The third table wasn’t a table at all. It was a stool with a folding tray on top of it. The third table is what I’m typing this on right now (in early 2004). It’s also what I eat (ate) my dinner off. I’d like to say a special hello to my (former) landlord who has been promising to get me a table since I moved in at the end of March..

Anyway, I’ve always been a great admirer of the people who make tables. It’s a very difficult skill to learn, you know. First you have to find out the latitude and longitude of the house where the table is going to be. Then you have to calculate the length of each leg of the table so that they match the curvature of of the earth under that house. Otherwise the table is going to be wobbly. A bit like jelly, but you can’t eat it, although you can in theory spread ice cream all over it. But why would you do that? Not that you are required to have a reason. I mean, this is a free country and you’re more than entitled to spread ice cream all over your table if you want to. And I will defend to the hilt your right to do so. I’m just curious as to your reasons,that’s all.

If I were you, I would put the ice cream into a bowl or between a couple of wafers. Or I might just decide to have corn flakes instead. It depends. Is this an afternoon snack we’re talking about, or breakfast? You really need to give me more information because otherwise I’m just guessing.

But I digress. Back to the tables. I once found a lovely old table that was so beautiful that I felt guilty about killing the tree that made it. Not that I killed the tree myself. No. I got a hitman. Or hitwoman. I intentionally avoided learning the identity and sex of the hitperson, although she did have quite a masculine voice so I’m guessing she was a man. Anyway, as I said I felt guilty about using this beautiful tree to make a pointless piece of furniture for me to rest my beer can on. So what I ended up doing was having the wood converted back into a tree. And boy was I surprised at the result.

The "tree" turned out to have been a hideous laurel bush. I hate those. Every time I walk past one it’s leaves are always covered in dew and I get the sleeve of my jacket wet. But I’m not a vengeful person and I decided to give the laurel bush a chance. I gave it a pistol and we had a duel at dawn the next morning. Obviously I won. And before you ask, no I did not cheat. I merely increased my chances by using a water pistol filled with weed killer. The laurel bush got all excited when it saw the water pistol, and stood expectantly, thinking that I was about to make peace with it by giving it a lovely drenching. Two seconds later, it was writhing. It wasn’t writhing in agony – plants don’t feel pain, so don’t worry. But, rather generously I thought, the laurel bush played it’s part and added some dramatics to the occasion by writhing on the ground, as if in agony.

Anyway the upshot of it all was that I’d killed the bush again, and had it turned into a box of matches. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to light some fires.

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IYH BLOG: How I came to hate Elephants

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be an elephant. And those of you who are regular listeners to my podcast will know that I am not the type to sit and wonder – instead I go out and do things.

Anyway, yesterday I took a little trip to Foto Wildlife Park. Unfortunately it’s two hundred miles away and I can’t drive, so by the time I got there the place was closed. So instead I walked to the nearest residential area and knocked on every third door until an elephant answered. And boy was I surprised.

Southafrican rhino JOANNY'S FIRST VISIT TO AFRICA

I had always thought that elephants were huge, grey monsters with a trunk and large ears and tusks and legs and things, but apparently not. The elephant who answered the door looked more like a cat than anything else. Not that I’ve ever seen a cat, but I’ve heard about them on TV and I’ve seen the reconstructions that they make using computer generated whatsits, so I feel that I would recognise a cat if I saw one.

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But that’s not the point. You see, today, my bank statement arrived, and the third item from the bottom was a charge on my debit card for a packed of wine gums. So obviously I suspected the elephant. I mean, who wouldn’t? I don’t mean to generalise, but elephants are thieving bastards. Everyone knows that. So I went round to the elephant’s house and switched off his television, but I didn’t switch it off at the main power button. Instead I put it into standby, which uses up a small amount of electricity and therefore will result in a small but definite charge on his electricity bill. That’ll teach him.

You see, I don’t like to go over the top when I’m plotting revenge. Instead I prefer to be subtle, and cause a small amount of pain in a devastingly ineffective way. That way, I have all the satisfaction of a Kill Bill style massacre, without any of the disadvantages of the subsequent police investigation, the lengthy court case and the death sentence commuted to life after I plead insanity.

And, frankly I would also be a little disappointed at how easily the court believed me when they said I was mad.

That’s not to say that I’m not mad. And I don’t mind being mad, if I am. That’s not a problem at all. Where I live, you can get a free television license and monthly butter vouchers if you’re mad, because the government cares deeply about people with disabilities or illnesses. So it would all be fine.

But that’s not the point. You see, I went to the doctor yesterday to ask for a few empty sugar pills to help cure my insomnia. However I forget to tell the doctor that I didn’t want to know that the pills were empty. The placebo effect doesn’t work if the patient knows that they are placebos. And it sprang to mind that I could have just gotten an elephant to sit on my head until I got bored with not being able to move, and fell asleep. That would have saved me forty euro in doctor’s fees.

So you can see how I am a little bitter about elephants at the moment, can’t you.

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IYH BLOG: Sojourn to Nibit

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Sojourn to Nibit

Every Monday afternoon without a deviation
I climb aboard an army tank and ride it to the station
On arrival I dismount and purchase me a ticket
Then off I go along the track to destination Nibit

Nibit is a city of which very little’s known
But for the last decade or so I have there weekly flown
It might be for the discount stores which sell cheap toiletries
More likely it’s because I like to go there to catch bees

(By Neal from IntoYourHead.com – All rights reserved)

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IYH BLOG: PUPPY ON A ROOF

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Puppy on the roof

Once upon a slated roof
A tired puppy rested hoof
He sat atop the summit’s crest
And faced his weary eyes out west

He spied a gasworks, lit and smokey
“Gosh” he cried out “Be the hokey”
Up atop the gasworks chimney
Sat his second cousin Jimmy

“What you up to?” he did shout
And cousin Jimmy turned about
To find out who was calling him
And why they thought his name was Jim

“I’m sorry” Jimmy hollered back
You’ve confused me. My name’s Jack
The puppy did apologise
Something had clouded his eyes

“So what you up to anyway?”
To his new acquantance he did say
“I’m crapping down this warm gas pipe
About to give my ass a wipe

Any other questions, shithead?”
“No” said puppy, then he fled
And nothing further ‘twixt them said
Till the day when both were dead

(By Neal from IntoYourHead.com – All rights reserved)

IYH BLOG: Neal’s Photocopying and General Human Existence Tips

After several years experience in the world of clerical office work, and decades of existence as a human being, I’ve built up a lot of knowledge and tips about both photocopying and human existence. Here, for the first time in one place, everything I know about these vital life skills.

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  • If you point a gun at somebody to threaten them, be sure to imply that you intend to hit them over the head with it. This draws a shorter sentence than a threatened shooting.
  • If you put a dog’s collar and lead on a cat, the dog is likely to escape.
  • If you have five hundred blank sheets of paper, and you make two copies of each, you’ll have two thousand altogether if you count them incorrectly.
  • Ladies: Saved-up fingernail clippings make excellent glue-on fingernails for that special occasion.
  • If you built four tennis courts on top of each other, you’d only be able to use the top one unless you leave gaps between them.

 

  • If you photocopy a blank sheet of paper, then fax the copy to somebody, it’s exactly the same as sending the original.
  • The letter Z is pronounced “Zed”. However, the “Z” in “Zed” is pronounced “Zee”. That ‘s what the diplomats would have you believe, anyway.
  • If you photocopy a sheet of black paper with the brightness turned up really high, you’ll get a blank white sheet that you can use again.
  • Contrary to popular misunderstanding, dental records rarely survive catastrophic events such as plane crashes and explosions. Always make a backup.
  • If you make eight hundred and seventy-two copies of a blank sheet of paper, you’d better have a damn good business case for wasting all that stationery.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side. For that reason, using a grass roller in the correct direction can make your lawn appear greener.

For more occasional dollops of this sort of thing, follow me @intoyourheadpod on Twitter, and listen to my podcast, Into Your Head.

IYH BLOG: Neal’s Construction and Interior Design Tips

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Gathered together in one place for the first time, here is everything I know about how to design and build things. Follow me @intoyourheadpod on Twitter for more occasional dollops of this sort of thing.

  • If you build a floor with a ceiling immediately below it, people will think they’re upstairs, and eventually jump out a window to try to escape.
  • If you build two floors, one right on top of the other, people will assume you’ve accidentally omitted a ceiling and thirteen feet of headspace.
  • Make your own window: Put two mirrors back to back and place a series of peripheral mirrors in position to reflect one mirror onto the other. Alternatively, just place two two-way mirrors back to back.
  • Cleaning the outside of a pane of glass is pointless unless you also clean the inside. This is why mirrors don’t work.
  • Contrary to popular misconception among furniture manufacturers, a Table Tennis table only needs to have two sides, not four.
  • If you build two walls right up against each other, the pro-agoraphobic brigade will jump down your throat like you’re some sort of evil Nazi.
  • Because of the ease with which a passing burglar can see potential rich pickings, people who live in glasshouses shouldn’t store thrones.
  • However, contrary to popular misunderstanding, it is not particularly risky for people who live in glass houses to throw stones, as long as it’s done outside in a large open space, away from the glass house.
  • Building a partition wall between two rooms is always a pointless exercise, since there is already a wall there.
  • Cleaning the outside of a pane of glass is pointless unless you also clean the inside This is why mirrors are a waste of money
  • If you build a room that’s so big it takes up a whole continent, don’t expect any gratitude for all your hard work. That’s all I’ll say. 
  • If you install a staircase upside down, it’s not really a problem
  • If you build a wall that goes all the way up to the clouds, people will whinge about dampness and make assumptions about your religious persuasion.
  • If you build an exact, life size replica of the universe, people will critics will pan your work for being “derivative”.
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IYH BLOG: In which two cats walk into a bar, but one of them is dead

A short, short time ago, in a galaxy not too far from here – unless of course you subscribe to the rather old fashioned linear view of distance and time, in which case it’s gazillions of light years away – two cats walked into a bar. One of the cats was already substantially intoxicated, having partaken in an organised pub crawl earlier in the evening. The other cat was dead, but had been spotted by a taxidermist and stuffed. Unfortunately his fur had become infected with ants and effectively this was a walking ant-colony, not a cat. The ants, invigorated by their collective, new-found ability to walk on four legs and get let into a bar disguised as a deceased cat, were taking full advantage of the situation.

Anyway, the first cat – or to be accurate, the only one of the two creatures who can truly and accurately be described as a cat – goes up to the bar and orders a Guinness. It all goes fine, and he gets his Guinness and sits down and it’s nice and we don’t need to worry about that particular cat any more. He had a nice evening and a rather entertaining one too, which he spent watching the other “cat” trying to order a drink.

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I say “trying” to order a drink, because when you’re not really a cat but a dead stuffed cat covered in millions of ants, each of whom have individual tastes in beverages, it’s not easy to order a drink. The powerful right wing anti-alcohol lobby in the colony managed to make the most noise, so in the end the “cat” ordered a pint of milk and a cheese sandwich. Although several of the younger anti-globalisation ants complained that the idea that cats are partial to cheese, is a stereotype created by the media. But nobody listened because they were hungry, and after all, you don’t get much choice in a pub. Unless you like corned beef, which cats don’t. I know they don’t because I heard it in the media.

Several years later, a dog walked into the same bar. The dog was alive, but infested with fleas, all of whom were thirsty. Luckily, fleas are all brainless and they will buy whatever the the advertisers throw at them. So the dog, who wanted a vodka-lemonade, stood in front of a poster advertising vodca-lemondade until all of the fleas had seen it and became convinced that the only thing that would make them happy was a serving of that beverage. So that all went fine.

It just goes to show, doesn’t it, that it’s much better to be a live dog infested with fleas, than a dead cat infested with ants. That’s what I draw from the story, anyway. Maybe you’ve read something different into it. And that’s fine. It’s not as if I’m trying to tell you what to think. If I was, I would do it subliminally. D r ink C o ca-Cola. But I don’t. I’ve always found that if you want to convince somebody of something, the best way to go about it is to get them drunk, bring them to a disreputable hypnotist, murder the hypnotist in cold blood and somehow convince the person, when they sober up, that they did it. Then all you have to do is tell them that you’ll keep quiet so long as they agree with everything you say. It’s as simple as that.

Anyway, the two cats had a great time in the end, even though one of them wasn’t a cat. The band were playing Queen songs and they both won t-shirts that said “I’m with stoopid”, and had an arrow pointing to the left. One of them chose to wear his upside-down. partly so that the arrow would point the other way, and partly because his neck was much thicker than his waist and he always wore t-shirts upside down. Which, by the way, was the reason why he was dead. He had, a couple of days before, underestimated the width of his neck when choosing a new collar and tie, and choked himself to death. It just goes to show, doesn’t it, that it’s very important to get measured properly when buying clothing.

By the way I noticed, while writing this several years ago, that “ants” is almost an anagram of “cats”. Almost.

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IYH BLOG: Interpreting History through Parrots

I assume that parrots are unable to hear their own squawking. I base this on the fact that I (thankfully) have never come across a parrot stuck in an infinite feedback loop.

As a Podcaster, I find that I cannot perform unless I can hear my own voice in the headphones. I can therefore only assume that before these gadgets were invented, humans were just spouting random noises, except for an occasional, and obviously very rare, “thousand monkeys on thousand typewriters” creation, which would have to have been unsophisticated enough not to necessitate infinite time.

Therefore we cannot, when assessing history, rely on any audio recordings made before the invention of the personal earphone.

As I type this I’m listening to Bowsy II purring in my left ear and Leo Laporte on “This Week in Tech” in my right. Yet how can I trust my own brain to accurately “listen” to these sounds if I don’t even have to hand a veterinary stethoscope?

cat on head gammagoblin escapist

Image: Gamma Goblin

IYH BLOG: Breaking the law is Already Illegal

Yesterday I was on my way out of a train station when I noticed something that I had never noticed before. Without exception, every single one of the turnstiles at the exits was set to turn in a clockwise direction. So I did some research and it turns out that all turnstiles and revolving doors in the northern hemisphere turn that way, while everything south of the equator goes counter-clockwise. Apparently the same is true of the way liquids swirl clockwise or anti-clockwise when you pour them down the sink. For some reason that I can’t quite fathom, the hands on clocks move clockwise no matter what part of the world you are in.

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But this got me thinking. What would happen if I started messing with the laws of gravity or magnetism or whatever you call it? Would I get in trouble with the law? I mean, who the hell set up all these scientific laws anyway. That’s a rhetorical question, hence the lack of a question mark. Where I come from, if you want to pass a law you must first put yourself up for election to the national parliament, and then convince a majority of your colleagues to vote for your proposed piece of legislation. But apparently if you’re Isaac Newton or somebody, you can pass a law just by saying stuff that nobody else understands.

As an aside here, I would just like to pay tribute to all of the scientists throughout the ages who have experimented with apples. I myself once ate an apple right through to the core, and on seeing the hard white flesh near the centre, and thinking about it in silence for a few long minutes, came up with an idea for an essay about turnips for my website. So I can easily see how an apple could provide inspiration for such masterpieces as Newton’s Gravity Yoke, or whatever he came up with. Really if we’re being fair, we should give credit to the apples, not the scientist. But this is a topsy-turvy world and for some reason it’s always the human, not the inanimate organic food, that gets thanked.

Anyway, back to the thing about laws of science. Now I, as a private citizen, am not empowered to pass a law, for example, that bans television stations from killing selected viewers who change stations during the commercials. However, apparently I am completely free to legislate that “What goes up, must spin three times, freeze for a second like a tense moment in a cartoon, then come down”, and call it “Neal’s Law of Going up and Spinning”, Because that’s science. So I’ve decided that I’m going to take advantage of this new-found power by passing some new scientific laws.

I hereby order that cats cannot land on their feet unless they are covered in orange marmalade and humming the theme tune from Frasier.

Okay that’s enough for now. I don’t want to abuse my privileges. In fact, in the above short paragraph I’ve achieved pretty much everything I set out to achieve when I decided to go into politics, so I’m going to retire now. I think I can achieve more by quietly campaigning and maybe making a few Euros on the lecture circuit to support myself. You know, when I was a twelve year old I wanted to change the world. I thought I would become Prime Minister of my country and I would outlaw all crime and remove poverty forever. Then I came to realise that all crime is already outlawed, so I decided to concentrate on a cure for poverty. The solution I came up with was to give everybody a large quantity of money and order them not to spend it. Then nobody would ever be poor ever again and we would all live happily ever after. Just like in the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Although Goldilocks, of course, would never have dreamed of putting orange marmalade on her cat’s paws. And this refusal to conform with the norms or our society would mean she is now guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal under my new “Orange Marmalade Humming Act, 2004”, referred to earlier. (Specifically, seven years earlier, when the original version of this article was first published). But you shouldn’t take from this that I am a staunch conservative who wants to hang all criminals and then put them in jail after they’re dead. No. All I’m saying is that it’s fun to make laws that annoy people, especially those who have cats or who refuse to keep a minimum level of marmalade in stock. You know, these are the same people who you see at polling booths, scratching their heads and trying to make a last minute decision about who to vote for. My country now has colour photos on the ballot sheet, so you can pick which candidate has the best hair, and vote for him or her without having to find out who they are or what they stand for.

So it’s not all bad. And I never said it was. I’m not a glass-half-empty person. It’s not empty until I shove the flat, day-old coke from last night down my parched throat at seven o’clock the next morning because I don’t have time to make coffee. Then it’s empty. And that brings me nicely back to the hemispheres / clockwise / anticlockwise thing. Because there’s going to be nothing left in the glass to throw down the sink and test which way it swirls as it disappears down the drain.

So now we’ll never know.

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IYH BLOG: Bowsy’s Theory of Non Existence

 

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Guest post by Neal’s Oldest Bear Bowsy

As I sit here contemplating the issues that affect all of us (Well, the issues that affect me, anyway. If they happen to coincide with your problems, it’s just good luck on your part that you get to bask in the shining radiance of my wisdom. I’m not trying to help) it occurs to me that many of the bad tidings that are brought to us in this stinking life, are the result not of our own actions or those of others, but of minute changes in the positioning of the stars that were in view the day we were born.

Astrology, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t taken anywhere near seriously enough. I’m convinced that if we sent Bruce Willis up on a self-sacrificing mission to destroy the asteroid that’s currently obscuring the Capricorn nebula under whose sky I was born, my life would instantly be the better for it. Ditto Michael Keaton. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people with weird permanently inquisitive eyebrows. Admittedly my face is entirely covered in hair and in theory if you shaved the right bits of it away, you would be left with a weird eyebrow. However, that’s not going to happen, and if any asshole tries to shave me they’ll soon find out about the full moon and why it shines bright red after I kick the crap out of it.

As I was saying to Rush Limbaugh the other day, there is not enough corporal punishment in this world. If someone’s ass needs kicking you are doing them a service by kicking it, and possibly preventing them from falling into a spiral of crime and deviation into which they would otherwise tumble. I myself was thrown around the room by both Neal and his dad as they shouted “Flying lessons, Bowsy” when I was younger, and I’m all the better for it. In fact, I believe another few trips and I would now be able to fly. Those bastards stopped as soon as they realised I was learning a new skill that could release me from my domestic slavery and allow me to see the world.

Of course, nowadays I have the advantage of being old, which means it is expected of me that I am grumpy and cranky. This is a wonderful development, and I use it to my great advantage. Just yesterday I gave out stink to a milkman for false advertising. His sign claimed that the milk was 98% fat free, and I pointed none of the milk was fat free.  I maintained that every single drop of the milk, all one hundred percent of it, contained 2% fat. You can’t let these people walk all over you. If you do, your stuffing gets squeezed down to your legs and you end up having your chest opened and an old windscreen cloth and half of Neal’s pyjamas get inserted permanently into your chestal cavity. Oh dear, I seem to have strayed from the topic. Wonder where I picked that habit up from.

Anyway, there’s a little known system of belief followed by some people, that they are the only person in the Universe and everyone else is just a figment of their imagination, put there for their entertainment and stimulation. Apparently this has been the reason given for the actions of some or the great serial killers. Or at least by the fictional one-time alleged murderer featured on British television police soap “The Bill” last night, but I’ve used poetic license and trajectory and decided it happens all the time. Sue me. Anyhoo, my own belief is the complete opposite, as I will explain.

I am convinced that everybody in the whole universe is real, except me. My theory is that I am a figment of your imagination, created for your entertainment and / or stimulation. The evidence backs it up: How many bears do you know who can write a five hundred word article in two sitting of fifteen minutes each? Very few I suggest.  In reality, most bears are barely able to string a sentence together without making a fatal grammatical error and becoming misunderstood

The upshot of all this is that if I am a figment of your imagination, it follows that everything I say has come from your mind, not mine. In other words, all of the opinions expressed on this page are yours. Every single one of them.

Christ, you’re weird.

 

 

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IYH BLOG: The Problem with Creme Eggs

As I write this, one of my cats is trying to get into a bag of salt and vinegar crisps. Must be sea-salt. Probably smells of fish.

You know, it’s weird that pigs are so salty, when they are mostly not raised in sea water. They must be adding something artificial to them. And of course, they’re training our kids to be ignorant with these so-called “crème eggs”. Chocolate comes from cows and cocoa plants, not hens.I mean, if you try to remove the shell from one of those things, your hands get all covered in brown crap.

Whither Louis Pasteur?

And when you think about it, chocolateers are really pushing it with “min eggs”. A real chicken foetus could not have developed a yolk at that early stage in it’s development, never mind a chocolate outer lining. Ridiculous. And don’t get me started on white chocolate eggs. Artificial colouring gone mad.

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That said, if the statistics for people’s preferences in chocolate colours had been used as a basis for the original South Africa, the darker chocolate would always have had it’s place as the majority. I’m probably over simplifying the issues here, but now that you mention it, I’ve been to South Africa, brought back three ostrich eggs from different regions, and they’re all white. Meanwhile the New Zealanders call their rugby team the “All Blacks”, and you never hear anything about their eggs.

It’s a mad world.

 

First published as a series of overcaffeinated tweets @intoyourheadpod

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IYH BLOG: Vomitoriums and the legal system

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of the ancient Roman vomitorium. Constantly we are told that the Mediterranean diet is among the best in the world, yet for millennia upon millennia, these people have been regurgitating their supposedly delicious food almost as soon as they’ve eaten it. And we’re not talking about teenagers with eating disorders here. These are men and women of all ages and sexes.

Nowadays of course, it is de rigueur for the young generation to stick their fingers down their throats and try to dislodge the chicken bone that’s been stuck there since dinner time. In my day it was considered sufficient to clear a path only through the zone that can be reached by a standard toothpick. Now they not only have to poke the food out of their trachea, they even get their stomachs pumped by a medical professional because they have become heavy with liquids.

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Clearing a path through one’s trachea, it must be remembered, is not remotely similar to clearing a path through a snowdrift on your front path. For one thing, if you don’t clear your path you can be held legally responsible for the injuries of anyone who comes to harm because of the frozen precipitation on the ground in front of your house.

Leaving your throat blocked, on the other hand, has no consequences for anyone other than yourself. And most people are unlikely to attempt to pursue a writ against themselves in the civil courts, as it is very difficult to get one’s legal costs back, even if they are awarded in full to the plaintiff. Furthermore, courts nowadays tend to dissuade members of the public from attempting to represent themselves, unless they are well adept in the intricacies of the legal system, and have shown that they understand fully the financial risks involved.

Anyway, two cats walk into a bar. One of the cats is a trained lawyer, and is able to get through his evening without doing anything that results in litigation against him. The other cat, sadly, knows nothing about the law, and recklessly goes about flirting with girl cats in the bar, spilling beer on the floor and offering drinks to other patrons. He thereby puts himself at risk of being sued for sexual harassment, negligence and manslaughter, should the drink prove to be poisonous. Fortunately none of these worse-case scenarios happen, and a good night is had by all.

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IYH BLOG: Johnny Cash and the String Vest Issue

I must admit that after first watching the movie “Walk the Line”, based on the biography of Johnny Cash, a long-held bitterness about the world’s attitude to white vests was reawakened in me. For those who don’t know, this all started a number of years ago when I spent a Summer working as a sock model for an underwear manufacturer here on the east coast of Ireland .

You are probably not aware that there are two completely different ways of making string vests. The traditional method, of course, involves simply knitting the vest from a long roll of white string. This was perfectly adequate for many centuries, when the only cats were tigers and lions who lived far away in the jungle, and were of no particular threat to the average male whose string vest had a loose thread. When wild cats wanted some string to play with, then just had to go find themselves a sheep.

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Then of course, somebody invented the domestic cat. And everything unravelled. So the clothes designers came up with a new idea. Most modern string vests are made by punching a series of holes in a plain white t-shirt, until it becomes effectively a string vest, with the advantage of not being made from a ball of string. Now, these vests bear absolutely no relation to the awful string vests of the early twentieth century, yet apparently it is “uncool” to be seen wearing one.

However, if the aforementioned movie is to be believed, Johnny Cash’s career was going reasonably well until he ditched his cool white vests and started to dress entirely in black. A feeble attempt, of course, to turn himself into an artificial black cat, thereby attracting good luck. However, Cash apparently misunderstood the concept of “crossing your path”. Rather than traversing the carriageway directly from one side to the other, as any competent black cat will do, Cash decided to stop halfway across, then, in a pathetic attempt to outdo his feline heroes, he “Walked the Line”.

The result of course was Cash’s infamous arrest for jaywalking, followed by a spell in prison. And rightly so. But the point is, Johnny Cash has recently attracted a new generation of young fans, despite having been seen blatantly wearing a white vest on at least two occasions, as depicted in this authorised biographical movie. Not only that, there have been several films over the years in which vest-wearers have been depicted as tremendously cool and macho – Martin Sheen in “Wall Street”, for example, and that guy in “Rambo”.

And Bruce Willis in pretty much everything, except of course “The Sixth Sense”, in which he played a **** ***. (I’ve deleted a couple of potential “spoiler” words here in case you haven’t seen the film yet). Those guys don’t wear vests because if they did, you would be able to see their decomposing arms, and that would distract you from what they are saying. There’s nothing more irritating than having someone stare at your decomposing elbows when you’re trying to subtly explain a major plot point through a conversation with another character.

Anyway the point is, I’ve never managed to get the hang of these damn subtle differences between the real world and the word of make-believe. I mean, last night I dreamed that I was eating a cat. Yet, when I woke up, I was ravenously hungry. That’s ridiculous. There must have been at least a half pound of meat on that thing. But of course a dream interpreter will charge you a week’s wages to tell you that the cat whose meat you ate in the dream was made of “black matter”, like the stuff they’ve discovered in black holes in space so it just makes your stomach even less full than it was before you started the dream.

Then you pay another week’s wages to a nutritionist, who’ll tell you cats don’t contain enough vitamin “C”, and you’d better buy a bucket of these orange tablets or you’ll die. Well, I didn’t buy them, and I’m still here. Instead, I fed them to my neighbour’s black cat. My experience with the dream interpreter has led me to believe that a black cat is some sort of weird creature that’s made from anti-matter. If that’s the case, they probably spend their entire day getting hungrier and hungrier. Poor bastards. So anyway, I ate it.

(First published yonks ago on one of my old websites)

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IYH BLOG: Red Bull Cola Motoring Politics

As I write this (many eons ago, when you could still get Red Bar Cola without travelling to Mars), I’m just back from buying a device to retrieve a tank full of fuel from our old car, to use in the new one. A deluxe aquarium gravel-cleaner is to be my petrol-siphoning accessory of choice. I have only have to salvage €6.49 of fuel from the old car to break even. Allowing for spills of course. Although I suppose I could just prohibit those. Lateral thinking is still legal here, last I checked.

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Of course, “normal” folk would probably have gone into the Halford’s next door to the pet shop and bought a petrol siphon. That’s why Hitler won. I know what you’re thinking. But since my country was never officially at war, we can hardly declare victory over the Nazis, can we? Especially when I’ve just spent a Sunday morning drinking German-made Red Bull Cola.

That’s not to say that I’d have anything against being invaded by a modern day German dictator, now that they have a fully democratic and benign government. And I know what you’re thinking there, too. But I have a vote whether you like it or not. That’s what these wars were fought for.

Freedom.

“Democracy, freedom of choice and Wrangler jean”. I believe that’s how the old expression went. Oh, and sweat shops. Of course, if everybody thought like me, we would have a problem. A dictatorship where the entire population dictates how things are done. Luckily, people like me are in the minority, so it’s all fine.

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IYH BLOG: Saving Amoebas for Mother Teresa

I’ve always found the misuse of language extremely irritating. Just yesterday I saw a Spanish dictionary being used to prop up a leg of a table that was a bit wobbly. This kind of thing has to stop. Worse still is the use of the symbol @ instead of the word “at”. Everybody knows that @ must only be used for two things; e-mail addresses and price labels on items of fresh produce that are sold by weight.

Frankly, I think pricing items according to how much they weigh, is ridiculous. Just because something weighs two pounds, that doesn’t mean that two pounds is an appropriate resale value. Not least because we no longer use the pound here in Ireland. We prefer to use shiny chocolate buttons instead. I’ve always been a great admirer of people who indulge in the chocolate button. It displays a great self-control, to be able to wear that much confectionery on one’s clothes without getting stains all over the place. Not only that, I’m amazed they don’t just eat them when they get hungry.

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It can be very difficult, even for the best of us, not to succumb to temptations. Personally, I think the late dead Mother Teresa said it best, when she said, at an awards ceremony, “The reason why I don’t have very many possessions is because I ate most of them. By the way, thanks for this engraved thingy. Is it edible? It sort of looks like it might hurt my elderly teeth”

Dental problems of course, have always been a great problem in the third world. When you get hungry, you’re bound to eat all of the toothpaste. Who wouldn’t? Several years ago I came up with a practical solution to this, which involved making the toothpaste taste less attractive. Sadly, few if any of the manufacturers took it up, and as a result I have had to sell my house to pay back the mortgage that I took out on foot of my expected earnings from the patent.

In the end it was okay though. There was a clerical error at the bank and they accidentally gave me a new mortgage on the bank building itself. The lobby can be a little cold and uninviting but there’s a guy who opens the door for me and knows me by name, although he tends to get a little less friendly around four pm when he’s trying to empty out the bank so his friends can rob the place.

You know, I’ve always been deeply suspicious of bank porters. They seem to spend half the day smiling maniacally at people, and the other half of the day locking things. If they wanted to do that all day they would been better advised to take jobs as a canal lock operators. Assuming, that is, that somebody was prepared to offer such positions. What with automated canal staff and ship’s cats nowadays, there are fewer and fewer jobs available in the water industry.

I myself was once part of that industry, when I used to work at a bottled-water manufacturing plant, and my job was to go out onto the lake and gather up the water in the plastic bottles, ready to be sent to the shops. There were very strict quality control measures in place, and I was required to throw back any water that looked dirty or had tiny amoebas swimming around in it.

People are so prejudiced against amoebas, and without good cause. They are the most modest, simple life form in the universe, apart from their arrogant insistence on having millions of square miles of raging sea to live in, when they’ll never be able to do anyway except float about in it

But that was a great time in my life, bottling fresh water to be shipped to the thirsty in Mother Teresa’s hospital in Calcutta. I felt like I was contributing something important to society, thereby serving out my one hundred hours of community service for robbing the bank that I live in.

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IYH BLOG: Schizophrenia and it’s part in my imaginary friend’s downfall

3x/4 ^72+ (3y-7) = 4.

Although of course that’s just my personal opinion. I’ve always, from an early age, held strong convictions on certain elements of mathematics. In my first year of school I held the class up for half a day while I explained to the teacher why I felt that two plus two is equal to five. I patiently brought her through my arguments about encouraging positivity and aiming higher than the rather easy and defeatist objective of “four”. I simply felt that she was not pushing us enough, and I was not prepared to stand idly by while my future was sold to the gods of complacency and underachievement.

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Nowadays of course we’ve all realised that there is no need to educate our children. I certainly won’t be sending my children to any sort of a school. The risks of catching nits are far too high. My local private school breeds them in the chemistry lab and throws them at cats to scare them and make them think they’ve got fleas. It’s all in the interests of science, of course. They are carrying out admirable research into whether a nit can be used as some sort of a flea-placebo. The theory is that animals can be tricked into thinking they have fleas, and that therefore they will scratch themselves a lot more, and the static electricity produced can be harnessed and used to power inflatable emergency rafts and toasters.

I myself have two emergency toasters, and of course I make sure that they are never both in the same building at any one time. I don’t like to take risks with anything. I’ve been stung too many times. Just yesterday a wasp leapt out at me from behind a window ledge and attacked me in broad daylight, apparently for no other purpose than to exert mindless violence on an innocent member of the public.
Which itself is rather stupid, because I am not a member of the “public”, and to the best of my knowledge never have been. I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would want to join such a stupid and pointless organisation, other than to mock and ridicule the other members secretly from the inside, without their knowing. Just like I used to do in the Beavers.

I must say though, I think people are rather lazy in their negativity about getting stung. It’s not always bad. Spiderman got stung, and ended up being able to jump over things in space, and star in movies. I’d love to be able to do that. And I live in hope, although so far the only thing that has happened to me as a result of an insect bite is that I’ve developed three extra personalities.

That reminds me, I’m starting to think that one of my personalities, Brian, is a schizophrenic. He seems to spend an awful lot of time apparently talking to himself in two alternating voices. One of my other personalities, Zebadee, is a psychiatry student, and he disagrees strongly with me. He argues that that fact that I am conscious of Philip talking to himself, means that I must be psychic, and that what I’m actually hearing are Brian’s memories of a conversation that he heard earlier, between myself and Zebadee.

I’m inclined to agree with Zebedee. Not least because he has spent several years in University studying all this stuff. I must say, that was a wasted time of my life. I deeply regret that I didn’t pay attention during the lectures that Zebedee attended. I wouldn’t even have had to pay any fees for the course, since of course we shared a body. That aside, I’ll tell you one thing. Sharing a personage with another personality is not a pastime for the claustrophobic.

I never had any privacy in those days, except at night when we would hang a blackout curtain between our inner ears. It didn’t work of course, but we would convince ourselves that we couldn’t hear each other’s thoughts when the curtain was up.

It was the only way we had of keeping sane.

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IYH BLOG: So Anyway, Back to the Anteaters

Back in the early to mid two-thousands, in my then regular online column entitled “Neal’s Belch” on my then website MatchstickCats.com, I started to tell you about a colony of Anteaters who lived off the coast of Rwanda. At the time I somehow got sidetracked onto the subject of macroeconomics, then got into podcasting and have just passed my five hundredth episode of Into Your Head. So let’s pick up where we left off.

After he got back from the launderette that day, William’s outlook on life had, of course, changed forever. No longer did he waste his day lying on the beach watching the waves float my. No. Instead William determinately set to work on the new railway that would bring peace and prosperity to his homeland. So anyway eight years later the railway opened, but sadly ticket prices were uneconomical and everybody had cars by that stage, so it was all a flop. William didn’t give a crap though. He had his golden handshake.

William had acquired his unique golden hand when he was fourteen, after a bout of glandular fever. At nineteen he had floated it on the stock exchange and made his millions. But nobody was able to help him find a way to liquidise his millions of hands, so he had been sitting on the stock ever since. The refrigeration and manicuring costs alone were massive, and he ended up transporting them across Russia by train to somewhere cold enough to not need refrigeration. There he dumped them and left the useless little bastards to fend for themselves.

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This brings me to my point. Several years ago I boarded a train here in Ireland and sat down, as is my habit, in the front seat of the front carriage. I find that from there I can get a good view of the tracks ahead, which is important because I need to navigate and watch out for red lights, for which I am obliged to stop. Also of course I have to watch out for stray cats on the line. If I see a stray cat, I have to gently guide it back onto the tracks, and then call for a locomotive to come and tow it back to the station.

The staff there are always very kind to the stray cats. They sometimes take them out for a ride when they go to raid a house. Cats love being taken out in police vans. Cats like to imagine that they are criminal masterminds, who have tricked the cops into giving a ride to the very criminal for whom they are supposed to be hunting. Cats are funny. Y eah. Anyway I’m out of steam. You should go read something else. Or alternatively I could just carry on driving this into the ground.

Oh why the hell not.

I’ve always enjoyed driving things into the ground. I think it’s because I have happy childhood memories of camping holidays, where driving a tent peg into the ground meant it was almost time to go to bed, and make shadow-puppets of cats with my knuckles on the inside of the tent. Those were happy days. Just me and my teddy bear Bowsy and my torch and my parents and my eighteen brothers.

Pardon?

No, no cats involved. That’s becoming a bit of a cliché. You can overdo the cat thing, you know. I’m a professional, and I know when to stop. So anyway I’ve changed my mind about marmalade recently. I think you should only put it on one side of the toast, thereby halving your chances of a total loss if it falls on the ground. That’s of course assuming a hygiene insistence level of only thirty percent. I think that’s about right for most of my readers. Personally, I have higher standards than that. But only because I have linked my cleanliness level to the NASDAQ index, which happens to be doing well at time of writing (several years ago). Next time there’s a financial scandal or something, I go back to three pairs a week.

And I can’t do anything about it. That’s the free market economy at work. If you’re going to complain about marmalade toast falling face-down on the floor, you may as well hand the nuclear briefcase over to Saddam Hussein, and throw him the keys as well.

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IYH BLOG: Sitting on the Fence

I always like to sit on the fence when contemplating issues of great controversy. For one thing, I find that it toughens up my thigh muscles, as well as my ability to endure pain. Endurance is very important in a world where you could at any moment inadvertently switch on the channel that shows Judge Judy. Anyway, it seems to me that there are two sides to everything. I discovered this to my cost yesterday morning, when I got out the wrong side of my bed, which I now know has two sides. The window was open at the time, and I fell out of it and landed on the fence, in a sitting position, and that’s how all this started.

Recently my country had a referendum on whether or not it should be illegal to steal things from sweet shops. We’re a rather old fashioned and conservative nation, so everybody voted yes. But anyway while we were all debating the issue in the run-up to polling day, I agreed to take part in a televised debate in which I represented both sides of the argument. It was rather tiring, running from one podium to the other every time I switched sides to argue against myself, but apart from that it went fine, thanks for asking. I successfully argued that anyone who pilfers a fizzy cola bottle should be hung, drawn and quartered, then I ran over to the other side of the stage and criticised myself for being an extremist.

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I suggested that rather than fighting the crime, we should fight the causes of crime, and examine why people feel the need to take fizzy cola bottles from their fellow human beings. After that I rushed back to my original seat and branded myself a “ninny”, saying that this was political correctness gone mad. The audience applauded warmly. They love when you show the other side up as a complete idiot.

Anyway the outcome of all this was that it’s still illegal to steal sweets in this pathetic, backward little place in which I live. So we all have to make our own. We do this by removing cake decorations and stamping on the cake until it becomes small enough to be called a sweet. It works very well so long as you don’t go too far. If you do, the cake becomes so dense that a black hole is formed. Even then, it’s probably going to be fine because with a bit of luck the universe at the other side of the black hole will have recently liberalised the sweet laws and you’ll be able to go over there and score yourself some Jelly Babies.

Just be careful that you don’t wander into the universe where cats have become all-powerful and omnipresent. Because then you’ll get caught, and despite the fact that it’s not illegal to steal sweets there, they’ll extradite you to your own universe and plant some fake evidence on you. They won’t mean any harm by it. Cats just like being playful with you. I myself once had a cat who liked to play drinking games with me. Strip poker was his particular favourite, but he always lost instantly because he didn’t have any clothes to begin with.

Cats don’t like to wear clothes. They find them very restricting, particularly when they’re trying to pee. Dogs, on the the other hand, love to dress up in fancy outfits. But don’t give them anything that you might want to wear again, because they’ll get dog hairs and crumbs all over it and you’ll have to take it to the dry cleaners and you might accidentally leave a fifty euro bill in the shirt pocket and it’ll get destroyed in the cleaning process and then you’ll be fifty euro short for the rest of the week and you won’t be able to afford any popcorn when you go to the cinema and you’ll be starving by the time you get home, so much so that you’ll eat the mouldy bread that’s in the cupboard beside the damp patch where you spat a few days ago when you couldn’t get to the spit-bucket in time, and you’ll get food poisoning and end up sharing a hospital ward with somebody who isn’t afraid to steal sweets, and then you’ll have to testify in court or possibly on the Judge Judy show and you’ll be a national celebrity and you won’t ever have any privacy again, at least for three days and during re-runs, and you’ll become a pale shadow of your former self, who hangs around in bars waiting for the price of beer to collapse, and let me tell you you’ll be waiting a hell of a long time, given the current economic climate.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

(First published on one of my old websites)

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IYH BLOG: In which two cats break into a matchstick factory and smell bacon

The Australian music artiste Kylie Minogue said it best, I think, when she said

“Cast not a clout for he for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee. And unless I’m greatly mistaken, thee are a “she”, not a “he”. So let’s be accurate here”.

In a way, I suppose we all have our own individual bells tolling for us. I know I do. Mine is operated by the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, who chimes it every twelve hours, or sometimes at pre-arranged extra times, from his majestic bell tower in Pari . Of course it isn’t really his, but he does live there and therefore derives much personal enjoyment from his job. I’ve been trying to find some way of deducting this from his wages as “benefit in kind”, but alas to no avail.

I’ve always had a major problem with my avails. I think it’s because I’m not from a sea-faring family. We have always much preferred to travel by land, no matter what the consequences. This can be an awful nuisance when travelling overseas, as we have to drive along the ocean floor in a submarine, and we get seahorses and things all over the windscreen. Not that I have anything against seahorses, you understand. It’s just that I’ve never appreciated their obsession with remaining wet all the time, while their land cousins are happy to run about in a dry wind and risk breaking their legs and being put down, all in the interests of having fun. That’s what’s missing from today’s exotic sea-creatures, you know. No sense of fun. Just yesterday I performed an (admittedly unrehearsed) trampoline act for a group of them at my local aquarium, and not one of them could be bothered even to applaud.

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Not that I do these things for recognition, you understand. No. I do them for money. I find that money is a much more liquid asset than recognition, and it comes in especially useful when you’re hungry. I prefer not to spend money. I consider that to be rather common and vulgar. Instead I have joined a local barter system, whereby we exchange assets such as cash or chequebooks for other assets such as food and clothes. For example, I might have a collection of one Euro coins, which I would “barter” for a couple of pints of milk. It works much better than simply buying things.

You know, there’s a lot to be said for the way things used to be done. In the old days, if you wanted to light a fire you didn’t have to go out and buy matches. Instead you simply got a couple of old matchsticks and rubbed them together until they started to burn. Then you used the resulting heat to power a small portable matchstick factory, producing, at it’s peak, a couple of hundred boxes of matches a day. Of course nowadays the politically correct anti-smoking lobby is at the throats of the small matchstick producer. Many of us have had to diversify and instead of making fire we now convert our matchsticks into crude drawings and hangman games and the like.

But that’s not the point. You are greatly mistaken if you think it is. Unless I’ve got this all wrong and you are right, in which case my humble apologies to you and to all of your family who must feel greatly humiliated. I really am most dreadfully awfully sorry for all of the pain and distress that I must have caused you. Anyway, two cats break into a matchstick factory. One of the cats smells bacon and immediately hides behind the cafeteria door, because if there’s one thing he can’t stand, it’s roasted pig.

The other cat notices a policeman nearby, who appears to be rather deviously roasting a pig on a spit, in order to scare into hiding any cats who might be trying to break in to the factory. This approach, which has been adopted by the police in recent years has of course got it’s advantages and disadvantages. On one paw it prevents cats from going ahead with such robberies. On the other, it scares them into hiding so there is no chance of them being caught red-handed, not least because they don’t have hands.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the end.

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IYH BLOG: The first ever blasphemous “two cats walk into a bar” story

If there’s one sentence by which I live my life, it is “Espedianta eluminum agraphobia”. I swear by it, and thereby cause quite a great deal of offence to those for whom it forms the basis of a religion. Here in Ireland , it’s now once again illegal to blaspheme, because apparently god has a bit of a fragile ego and we don’t want to offend him. This legal thing though, is a bit of a problem.

Those of you who frequented my old websites will know that I once hired god to do an occasional article, and in it he made frequent references to his late son, Jesus Christ. Each time he did this, I had to issue a formal warning to him for taking his son’s name in vein. The people who write these laws really need to tighten things up a bit.

I recently had a go at writing some legislation, and it was surprisingly easy. I composed a flawless bill that, if passed, would outlaw the use of the symbol @ in inappropriate places, such as cinemas and night clubs. It was so easy I ended up adding one of my old “two cats walk into a bar” stories, from the pre-podcasting days, as section four, subsection three. It stands very little chance of getting passed, of course, since I am not a member of my country’s legislative body. I’ve never held any great ambitions toward politics. I’d far rather continue in my current role as part time househusband, full time podcaster, or failing that become an astronaut.

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I’ve always admired astronauts, with their ability to live for several months without going to the toilet. I must say, they put camels and llamas to shame. You wouldn’t see an astronaut going round with an unsightly hump on his back, yet they still get the job done. That hunchback guy who lives in Notre Dame feels the same way, I’m sure. Not that I’ve asked him. I really have no right to be putting words into people’s mouths, but on the other hand he can’t speak very well, and somebody has to act as interpreter. And since I have something to say, it may as well be me. So anyway, the hunchback of Notre Dame says “Hi”.

Personally I think the (now deceased) Australian guy who does that crocodile thing on the television, said it best when he said “Laugh not at those for whom the bell toll. It tolls for thee”. Well, I’d certainly go along with that. I’ve never found bells to be very funny at all. They just repeat the same old line over and over and over again, and we’re supposed to laugh every time. It’s so repetitive. Anyway, two cats walk into a bar.

One of them asks for a “Jesus is an asshole” cocktail, and promptly gets arrested for blasphemy. And quite rightly if you ask me. The other cat, on seeing his friend being dragged away in handcuffs, exclaims “Jesus Christ”, whereupon somebody taps him on the shoulder and whispers in the ear, “Yes, but if you don’t mind, it’s my day off and I’d rather not have the autograph-hunters and things breathing down my neck. And if I have to do that loaves and fishes thing one more time, I swear to god I’ll kill myself, and not rise for at least five days. Besides, I still haven’t paid the fine for my last miracle, when I produced a couple of buckets of wine without the appropriate liquor licenses.

So the other cat replies, “Well, nice to meet you anyway. Can I buy you a damp spong- …oh..sorry. Didn’t mean to be insensitive”

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