Monthly Archives: February 2013

Four Ways To Quit Smoking

Smoking

I bet you didn’t know this but smoking is not good for you. Seriously, it’s not. And even though there are so many plusses to throwing the guts of a tenner down the drain in exchange for lung cancer, there are a variety of downsides to smoking, such as cigarette boxes being a major hindrance when fashion dictates that eenie-weenie handbags are all the rage. Yes, smoking is a ‘drag’… etc.

So, if we can’t fit our smokes in mini-semi-functional accessories, why do people smoke, I hear you ask out-of-politeness. I have no idea, to be honest. As a lifelong non-smoker, I’m writing this sanctimoniously from up upon my self-built pedestal, nodding along to the episode of Happy Days when Fonzie got Joanie to quit smoking. I suppose it has something to do with being addicted to nicotine, trying to fit in with the ‘cool gang’ like Danny Zuko and the rest of the T-Birds and generally enjoying standing outside in the pissing rain sucking on a death-stick while the rest of us are inside the club dancing ironically to Ride on Time by Black Box.

But even though I know nothing, I’m getting my two cents in. Here’s Four Ways To Quit Smoking.

Switch Your Supplier

I recently watched a really depressing episode of Rip Off Britain (is there any other kind?) in which Customs & Excise had cottoned on to a huge, decade-long scheme in which fake cigarettes had been shipped to England from France and supplied to local corners shops. ‘These cigarettes contain nothing more than floor sweepings wrapped in greaseproof paper, and people have been smoking these for years thinking they’re authetic,’ tutted the investigations team (made up of the sort of people who start sentences with ‘I’m not racist but’ and proceed with a racist statement). No-one seemed to realise that the ‘criminals’ behind this scheme had probably saved hundreds of smokers from lung cancer with their fake cigarettes, and almost certainly cured anyone who smoked their fake cigarettes long-term of their nicotine addictions, and, considering their stolen taxes were more than recouped in NHS savings on cancer treatment and the infinite cost of saving human lives, they deserve a good pat on the back. So switch your supplier to your local corner shop, and the only thing you’ll be addicted to is laughing at the petty nature of Rip Off Britain.

Get Pregnant

Having another human inside of you means you can blame all sorts of shit on them when really, it’s your own crappy willpower. ‘The baby is a social smoker’ is what you should tell people when they look at you judgementally. Yeah, like they never endangered the life of their own child. This statement implies that the baby only smokes socially, and that you’re not chain smoking at home and blaming it on your unborn child who will thank you when they’re older that you smoked while pregnant and as a result, they now shop in Topshop’s petite section. Bastards.

The sign under which many a smoker stands in the lobby of your local supermarket

The sign under which many a smoker stands in the lobby of your local supermarket

Blame Philosophy

‘If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?‘, Starbucks patrons egocentrically pontificate. The jury is out on the one, peeps, apparently there are some fucking idiots out there who believe in the possibility that the no sound is made in an unpopulated place. So, you should find this tree, because evidentally, you could probably smoke there and you wouldn’t be smoking, too. And, even if those who do believe that the tree does make a noise in an empty forest are all like ‘Yes, you’re definitely smoking’, those who oppose their viewpoint won’t think you’re smoking, which means you’ve cut down on your smoking by 50%, so you’re halfway on the road to quitting anyways.

If someone points out that as you are now in the tree-vicinity and thus, this makes the argument void as someone is now in the forest, tell them to fuck up and go back to their non-taxpaying coffee.

Smoke Crack Instead

Focusing your nicetine cravings on something else may help in achieving a cigarette-free existence. Smoking crack instead will help you achieve this, as when you lose your job, home and relationships, and whilst shacking up in your local crackden and pimping yourself out to fund your crack habit, cigarettes will be the last thing on your mind.

Quitting smoking is a journey towards addressing the underlying reasons that drove you to start smoking in the first place, such as peer pressure, feelings of inadequency, stress, unhappiness or other life issues. With this in mind, you might consider taking up smoking as a coping mechanism when you’re trying to quit smoking. I won’t tell if you won’t.

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Exercise Move of the Month- Putting in a Home Gym

About to give up and have a Snickers.

About to give up and have a Snickers.

Yes folks, it’s time again for another Exercise Move of the Month! And this month’s move aims to give you a full body workout by doing… fuck all, really.

As the sort of person who drinks wine as 5 0f my 5-a-day, I’m hardly the most motivated to make a decent lifestyle change. Which is why I think vowing to do something about your shit diet and lack of exercise routine tomorrow is a great idea because then you don’t have to worry about it today and you can relax because everything will be alright when you wake up tomorrow with a magic personality transplant that includes not wanting to smoke anymore and a burning desire to lift some weights. Yes, this will definately happen.

Furthermore, when you wake you tomorrow, you only have to do ‘something’ about your crappy diet and exercise routine, and that doesn’t neccessarily mean cut out the crap and start riding a bike, it just means you have to appear as though you’re making a change for the better. And it is for this purpose, and this purpose only, that the Argos catalogue has a ‘gym equipment’ section.

Of course, no-one who purchases such equipment actually uses it. No, it’s just there to self-delude that today is the first day of the rest of your life. The day after purchase, it’ll morph into an expensive clothes-fucker-overer. But for that first day, it’ll be your ‘I’m doing something about my Type-2 diabetes and possible drinking problem’ procrastination station. And only for the cost of a few thousand quid. So this month’s exercise move is brought to you by your imminent heart attack, and is called ‘Putting in a Home Gym’. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1

It’s Sunday and you’ve just eaten four portions of dessert and the big bowl of pasta salad you made yourself well-meaningly for lunches all week. You vow to ‘do something about it’ tomorrow. With that in mind, start to work out your biceps by chain-smoking all night in accordance with ‘the rules’- i.e. you must get rid of all temptations in the house that will prevent you from starting your life over again tomorrow. If your fitness level permits, push yourself with star jumps so you can see if there’s anything lurking at the back of the cupboards that you can eat now while you have the excuse.

Step 2

You wake up on Monday morning and remember your pledge to live a healthier lifestyle. Work out those chest muscles as you sob loudly. As you take your crying down to a gentle whimper, feel the burn in your wrists as you chop 14 carrots resentfully for your ‘lunch’.

Step 3

Get those stomach muscles moving as you try to eat your lunch as fast as you can without vomiting at how bland and shit it is. While your abdominals are fighting back, get those wrists moving as you flick through the Argos catalogue, circling treadmills and other shit you’ll never use. Finally, focus on you breathing as you let out a sigh of despair that you’ve turned out to be such a failure.

This will be you, like, every night once you buy this gym crap.

This will be you, like, every night once you buy this gym crap.

Step 4

Keep that gut in gear as you dry heave when you hand over your credit card to Argos to pay them £1999 for a Reebok treadmill you are surely going to neglect. Whilst your stomach is convulsing, wake up those barely-used neck muscles by shaking your head in denial at that little voice in your head saying ‘Don’t do it’.

Step 5

Kick your workout up a notch by dragging all of your new bollocks out to your car and wrestling to fit it all in. When you admit defeat, lunge back to Argos to purchase a roof-rack. When installing your new roof-rack, lunge back to the the shop again to inform them of which screws are missing from your purchase.

Step 6

Arrive home and tone your core with a miserable night of setting up your home gym and arguing with your spouse. Get that heart rate up by screaming ‘You never support any of my dreams’, throwing your spanner at them and locking yourself in the bathroom all night. Keep that heart rate up while you listen to your spouse continuing to erect your home gym just to spite you. Probably.

Step 7

Bring your body back to down to resting rate as you finally come out of the bathroom and apologise for storming off in a huff. See your new gym in all of it’s glory, taking up space in the spare room. Say ‘Brilliant, I can start working out tomorrow morning’ to your spouse, close the door and never open again.

And… rest. Great workout, everyone!

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Ten Things I Hate About Sky

Fuck you

Fuck you

I fucking hate Sky TV. Here’s why:

1. Why do they even bother to show the weather on Sky News when your Sky box breaks when it rains?

Despite being a multi-billion pound company, evidentally Sky make their viewing boxes from bits of old potato skin and a few milk bottle tops left over from a Blue Peter project when they were deemed ‘too flimsy to use’. They are tempermental as fuck, to the point I get anxious doing anything scart-related down the back of the TV, for fear of the box knocking off and having to deal with the dreading blue screen and error code 26 (call centre representative translation: this caller has raped your spouse and you should treat them as such).

I’m now at the point that I’m praying that Winter will pass mildly lest I have to ring their fucking premium rate line and listen to ‘Let Me Entertain You’ by Robbie Williams on loop until I either A) die of old age or B) cut myself just to feel something.

2. Ringing their call centre

Which brings me to my next point. I avoid ringing Sky at all costs. Usually, I try to solve Sky-related problems myself (i.e. taking out the wire connected to the satellite dish, blowing the dust off it and putting it back 57 times before kicking the TV and walking off to cry elsewhere), but sometimes I have no choice and must ring their premium rate number so that someone can ruin my day. The last time I had no choice but to ring, a representative advised that the technical difficulties I had experienced were due to snow, to which I pointed out that it wasn’t snowing. I was asked to check with my next door neighbour, to see if they had snow. Obviously, my neighbour lives in Antarctica. Fuck sake.

3. Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch: doesn't need your money but he's taking it anyway

Rupert Murdoch: doesn’t need your money but he’s taking it anyway

Probably the most sickening thing about being tied into a Sky contract is that you’re making Rupert Murdoch, a cunt of the highest order, a little bit richer. Not that he needs it. In Alan Sugar’s autobiographical bore-fest, ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (I bet other potential titles included ‘You Are The Weakest Link, Goodbye’ and ‘Only Smarties Have The Answer’, the unoriginal wanker), he whittles on for a few pages about how he wasn’t too fond of Rupert Murdoch when they first met back in the days of Sky’s conception, but now thinks he’s a top guy.

Ahmmm, Rupert Murdoch completely controls any UK right-wing propaganda-style media that relentlessly spews out sensationalised nonsense about how immigration and benefit-claimants are responsible for the ongoing economic turdslide, whilst neglecting to point out that, actually, we wouldn’t be in this fucking mess if it wasn’t for greedy investment banker bastards and people like himself, large multi-nationals who don’t pay their corporate tax and the tolerance for white-collar crime. He is literally the exact opposite of Robin Hood, in that he steals from the poor, gives to the rich. What a cunt.

4. Their fucking motto

Sky saying ‘Believe in Better’ is like a domestic abuser whispering to his/her spouse after a particularly harsh beating, ‘One day you’ll escape’.

5. They own the rights to Modern Family

Why?

Why?

And if it wasn’t for Modern Family, I’d be skipping off to Virgin with more delight than Richard Branson arsing about in a hot air balloon and posing with disadvantaged yoofs for photographs on the CSR section of the Virgin website (you can’t access it because your Virgin broadband is currently experiencing technical difficulties, but it’s there, I promise). On second thought, Richard Branson is so irritating that I don’t own enough knives to stab him adequately, so perhaps not.

6. They don’t reply to e-mailed queries

And you know why? Because they don’t give a fuck.

7. The staff are a drag

Two years ago, I rang Sky after receiving a letter to advise that they had tried to ring me twice (they hadn’t) to inform me that they were cancelling my Broadband order because my address didn’t exist (it did- hence the fact I’d received their letter). When I (delightfully) rang back, I spoke to the one remaining department whose work hadn’t been outsourced to Mumbai to exploit cheaper operational costs, which was great. Except it wasn’t, at all. The call centre representative spent the majority of the call talking about how she was disappointed that her First in Law amounted to a Sky call centre job, while I made sympathetic noises and prayed she didn’t get put me on hold to go for a smoke in the staff toilets. Unsurprisingly, my broadband order remains unfulfilled because Sky maintains my home does not exist. Which is funny because they still charge me for Sky TV when according to them, I’m homeless and can probably do with the money, not to mention the fact that I probably wouldn’t have a TV what with living on the streets.

8. They treat new customers better than existing customers

Yes, Sky are happy to hand out freebies and shit to people who don’t have Sky, but what do you get for loyalty? A hearty ‘Fuck you’, that’s what. This is the equivalent of going on a dinner date with your partner, in which they shit in your handbag and hand out roses to every other lady in the restaurant. I, for one, would not put up with that shit. But what am I going to do? Ring and complain? Can’t do that as my neighbour doesn’t have snow. Leave? Then I’ll never get to see Gloria have her baby on Modern Family. Not that they’re even showing Modern Family anyway as Sky says it’s ‘still on Christmas break’. It’s the middle of February, for fuck’s sake.

9. They get you hooked and they treat you like a bitch

Girls: What is this hold you have over me? Oh yes, a 12 month contract.

Girls: What is this hold you have over me? Oh yes, a 12 month contract.

You see, they hooked me in with Modern Family and then I watched Girls on Sky Atlantic and I’m hooked on that, too. Us people who watch TV as a substitute for actual relationships with real, non-TV based people are well and truly fucked. There’s no chance I’m going to leave. What would I do with my time? All my possible timefillers lead to murder.

10. Other

Even though I’ve ranted for 1,000 words, I still don’t feel like I’ve scratched the surface of Sky’s cuntdom. We all know that public hatred for Sky is infinite.

Anything you don’t like about Sky? Perhaps you love the romance of ringing Mumbai and then listening to someone who has spent their day on the receiving end of mild racial insults for the majority of their 14-hour shift and don’t agree? But maybe you aren’t a fucking moron and you do. So let me know what you hate about Sky and we’ll sit around and bitch about it until we both pledge to cancel, but then decide against it privately.

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Ten Things You Never Knew About… One Direction

One Direction

X Factor ‘royalty’, One Direction, first exploded on to the music scene when they were deemed not good enough to compete as solo artists on the show and were lumped into the group category with the suspected instructions, ‘Don’t struggle with Louis Walsh, it’s best to just let him finish’. But after that initial scramble, these modern day Sk8r Bois have taken the music industry by storm, miming in iconic concert settings all over the world.

As famous for their exploits as they are their manufactured asexual dronings, everything these boys touch turns to gold. Well, Disney-necklace-exclusive-to-Argos gold. But what do we not know about One Direction? Here’s the scoop:

1. Mickey, Mikey, Mike, Ike and Biffo hail from working class backgrounds in various regions around England and Ireland. When the boys first applied for X Factor, the producers insisted they compete under ‘sexier’ aliases, and renamed the boys Louis, Niall, Harry, Zayn and Liam because they wanted the boys to sound like ‘a special needs class in a modern-day Grange Hill‘.

2. As is customary on X Factor, the boys had to each submit a sob story in order to qualify in the preliminary heats. ‘When I heard that every one of us had a shitting-their-trunks-in-a-public-setting story, I knew it was fate,‘ explains Biffo Liam.

3. Whilst competing in the X Factor, the boys popularised a variety of old songs, giving them an updated twist for their new generation of fans. Such songs included ‘Girl You Know It’s True’ by Milli Vanilli during Mime Week, ‘Gimme More’ by Britney Spears during Singing Along To A Prerecorded Track While Eating Cheesy Wotsits Week, and ‘Backstreet’s Back’ by Backstreet Boys during Arguments In Favour Of Pro-Choice Week.

4. Even though the boys didn’t win the X Factor, they remain firm friends with series winner, Hats McGee, who won with his original mash-up of, ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows/No Way No Way (Manah Manah) Don’t get Fresh With Me’.

One Direction: Dead zany.

One Direction: Dead zany.

5. The boys frequently return to the X Factor stage to perform, where Mickey Harry was rumoured to have had a relationship with Xtra Factor presenter, Caroline Flack. This affair was concocted by X Factor producers and was deliberately outlandish to keep people from guessing that Harry was actually dating Olly Murs.

6. The boys’ love lives are the subject of much speculation but not all of the boys are interested in dating. ‘I’d much prefer to spend my time sewing dresses for my porcelain doll collection,’ laughs Ike Louis.

7. Token minority Mike Zayn, however, has been dating fellow X Factor turd, Perrie from Little Mix, since their record label forced them together for marketing purposes. Sadly, it has been reported this week that Zayn is rumoured to have cheated on Perrie and has been subsequently dumped. Although neither party has confirmed anything, a record label representative has said, ‘Expect to see staged pictures of Zayn in a rehabilitation facility playing guitar on his own wearing a loose fitting linen shirt and hemp bottoms in a future issue of Heat magazine in relation to this issue.’

8. Sadly, the same can be said for Biffo Liam, who split with long term girlfriend Danielle in September 2012. ‘She didn’t know she was beautiful, and even though that’s what made her beautiful, the memories of Louis Walsh make me not want to be touched,’ he shudders.

9. Baby of the group, Mikey Niall has no time for love, even though he’s had plenty of offers. ‘I’m too busy with my Facebook poke war with Jedward, and buying various colours of oversized baseball caps in Footlooker with team logos on them of which I couldn’t even tell you what sport they relate to,’ he shrugs, going back to his Scalextric set.

10. Despite their tumultuous love lives and extensive work and personal commitments, these boys are intent upon world domination. But what’s next for One Direction? ‘We want to start releasing our own compositions, and have been working on a album that with songs about each flavour of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastille. My favourite is purple flavour, and I hate green. But it’s ok because Biffo loves green,‘ said the one with the floppy hair, Disney-boy smile and formal suit blazer with skinny jeans.

Well, no matter what, these boys are heading in the right Direction. Insert other jokes here.

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