Rubbish sayings (part 1)

Excellent warning, rubbish saying

‘Time will tell’
Time doesn’t do anything other than pass – that’s its job. It doesn’t announce stuff – it’s completely mono-functional.

‘Time flies’
See above.

‘Needs no introduction’
Oddly, when people use the phrase they wobble on for about the next five minutes…

‘Goes without saying’
Yup, they do the same here…

‘Needless to say’
… and here.

‘A house is not a home’
Unless, of course, the home’s a house.

‘A picture paints a thousand words’
Only if there are a thousand words featured in the picture.

‘A problem shared is a problem halved’
Well, that’s basic maths isn’t it? If you have three people on the job, then the problem is thirded…

‘Attack is the best form of defence’
No, defence is the best form of defence.

‘Paying through the nose’
More a lesson for Daniella Westbrook and other coke fiends.

‘It cost me an arm and a leg’
Clearly it didn’t if the person saying that still displays a moderately symmetrical appearance.

‘Every Jack has his Jill’
Unless she’s called Joan.

‘A woman’s place is in the home’
Unless she’s at work.

‘A woman’s place is in the kitchen and the bedroom’
Unless she’s in the bathroom.

‘A woman’s work is never done’
Unless she’s finished it.

‘All roads lead to Rome’
No they don’t. Some go to Newcastle.

‘Brevity is the soul of wit’
Brev is wittier then.

‘Less is more…’
… more or less.

‘Love makes the world go around’
Then all that stuff about the Sun’s gravitational pull is a load of old cobblers then… Get with the picture, Copernicus…

‘Money makes the world go around’
Ah… now I see…

‘It’s never too late’
You’re supposed to be at that job interview for 11.30am. There’s been a traffic horror show, the cat ate your tie and it’s now 2.30pm.  That, my friend, is way too late.

‘No use crying over spilt milk’
Unless you’re Gordon Brown, you just had a conversation with a woman called Gillian Duffy, and forgot to turn your radio mike off.

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Best men

Best man: utterly, utterly useless

Best men are usually hopeless. They have been chosen on the basis that they they are the best friend of the groom, which is no reason to select anyone for such an important job.

If you are in the market for a best man, try to book Bruce Forsyth. If he’s not available, then William Hague or Tony Blair. These are tried-and-tested after-dinner speakers. Obviously Bob Monkhouse would be in pole position but he’s dead, so that’s a no-go.

The primary job of the best man is to deliver a humorous speech, and 99.9 per cent of these people are incapable of this. The second job is to tell people when it’s their turn to be photographed and, again, you’ll be extremely lucky if they are able to achieve this. The only other job is to organise the stag night and keep hold of the wedding rings. Most best men make a pig’s ear of the former but almost all can just about achieve the latter.

You have to be multi-skilled to be a decent best man and as such, the groom must not pick his best friend. He needs to employ somebody with organisational qualities and a decent sense of humour – and that’s nigh-on impossible.

If you think you can only get one of these qualities go for the guy who you can rely on to make people laugh. It’s horribly embarrassing when a best man’s speech dies during the reception, particularly if he was hopeless at organising the photos.

Idiot best men will search the internet for inspiration when preparing speeches and the preposterously stupid will buy a book. Both strategies will yield cringe-inducing results. You know you are in trouble when the stiff in the monkey suit declares: ‘I’m a bit nervous’. At this point, you’ll curse the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald is no longer available for freelance work.

After a mirth-free 20 minutes of dull anecdotes about the groom getting drunk and throwing up – and how terribly funny it all was – you’ll be looking around the room for a solid looking beam that’ll withstand your body weight.

If you have been charged with the task of being the best man and have been stupid enough to search the internet for ideas you might have come across the website thebestmanspeech.com. This cheeky little website has a few templates for you to follow if you are a dull person. They have a number of categories for different parts of the speech and they are, in fact, more amusing than a shipping report, but only just.

Consider thebestmanspeech.com’s ‘alternative’ icebreaker: ‘Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen – Never before have I stood before such an impressive audience… unless you count my one and only time as a steward at Wrexham FC.’

Once that spleen-wrecker has done its job, why not use the stag night as a source of material? Thankfully thebestmanspeech.com has that covered too with: ‘As far as the stag night went, I can assure the bride that the groom’s conscience is clean … well, it should be clean – because he never used it.’

Stop it man, you’re killing me.

Of course, thebestmanspeech.com has been a boon for some. Indeed, Gareth King from Gerrard’s Cross, UK (just in case you didn’t know) said he went down a storm after taking advice from this online portal.

Gareth’s testimonial on thebestmanspeech.com glows like a lava lamp: ‘Just to say many thanks as I used your website to help with the structure of my speech last Saturday, and it went so well that people were actually asking me whether I was a professional stand up comedian!!! At one point I had to wait half a minute for the laughter to stop.’

Gareth is now available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and funerals.

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With respect

Chris Huhne lookalike? Maybe not

This morning on  Radio 4 anchorman John Humphrys used the expression ‘with respect’ before tearing into Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne who was attempting, and failing, to extol the virtues of the now-popular-formerly-dull Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. What followed was a huffety puffety diatribe from Huhne, who was feeling less than respected.  

Huhne was having a girlie strop.  

Lies Lies Lies is impartial. We have no political bent because it is taken as read, by us, that all politicians lie. In this seemingly unending election run in the UK we’ve heard scores of lies in numerous interviews. To claim a politician is a liar is to state the obvious.  

What does interest us though, in this context, is the lie that is ‘with respect’.  

Anyone who starts an argument with the words ‘with respect’ is demonstrating little or no respect and Humphrys is no exception. ‘With respect’ is merely an attempt to put the knife into the heart of even the most eloquent point. If you hear ‘with respect’ as a pre-amble to a gossamer-thin point you’ll know that the person you are talking to is without doubt, a moron. At this point you are well within your rights to introduce physical violence as a way of settling the issue. Kicking people squarely in the crotch with force is a great deterrent.  

Usually it’s the politicians who use ‘with respect’ in an attempt to outfox tenacious journalists and it was enlightening to hear the usually sound Humphrys employing this underhand tactic.  

We all know ‘with respect’ is pejorative and we also know that anyone who uses this quite odious linguistic tool on regular occasions should be placed in stocks and have old shoes thrown at them.  

We’ll forgive Humphrys though, because he did make us laugh and he’s a crinkley old git. We’re so fickle.

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‘Nothing to fear to but fear itself’

Give this fella a wide berth

There’s plenty to fear: rioting chavs, earthquakes, tsunamis, holocausts, a hoodie with a penchant for Nike trainers, military dictatorships, a David Cameron speech, nuclear weaponry, terrorists, box jellyfish, Nick Clegg’s thought process, Boris Johnson’s hairdresser, serial killers, risotto recipes, Piers Morgan claiming not to know anything about phone hacking, anyone claiming to be from the English Defence League, that ticking timebomb moment when you realise the chicken kebab was undercooked, rabid dogs, Croydon, young people called Jason, belly button fluff, deadly snakes, a particularly solid stool that requires a head-shake to get it out, people at dinner parties who like Woody Allen, instruction manuals for digital televisions, a neighbour called John Terry if you have a particularly attractive girlfriend, a neighbour called Tiger Woods if you have a particularly attractive girlfriend, T-Shirts that show your nipples, volcanic dust clouds, pubs that tell you they’re absolutely not doing food at 2.01pm, a par 5 with a dogleg and two inviting bunkers ahead of the green, left-over Chinese food, undercooked chicken, paisley shirts, Ian Paisley, the dreaded ‘insert’ button, IT helpdesks, beetroot, late-night drunken texts to members of the opposite sex, poorly serviced aircraft, Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women, Eighties revivals, speed cameras, trifle, any Zero 7 album and that infernal Here Come the Girls song.

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Girls – ‘I’m not hungry’

'Can I have a chip?' This the start

You go out to dinner, you’re having a lovely time, the service is good, the atmosphere’s pleasant and then your vision of beauty pipes up as the waiter is standing there ready to take her order: ‘Y’know what, I’m not that hungry. Think I’ll just have a Caesar salad’.

This is a decision based on an earlier, ill-advised adventure on the weighing scales in your bathroom. Usually, your tiny female companion weighs 8st 7lbs, but today, that’s creeped up to 8st 10lb. Not a disaster but yes, a little heavier.

Quite frankly, you haven’t noticed your partner’s extra timber and even if you did, you quite like it. The reality is there’s a little more shape and yup, she looks like a gift from heaven.

Then as the evening and the reality of the Caesar Salad kicks in, your love starts stealing the odd chip from your plate. Soon the chip-theft gathers pace: there’s even a cheeky little dip into your tomato sauce.

You know what’s coming.

‘Could I try some of your steak? It looks lovely’.

You agree to carve off a bit of your Filet Mignon knowing full well that this determined assault onto your plate isn’t going to end here.

‘Mmm, that’s lovely. Really tender.’

Pause.

Wait.

Hold breath.

‘Can I have some more?’

At this point you are perfectly within your rights to tell your partner to stick to her plate of rabbit food and bugger off. She fell at the first fence during the ordering stage and if she didn’t want the chuffing Caesar Salad, she shouldn’t have asked for it in the first place.

You know, however, this will be a fruitless, argument-prompting exercise that will inevitably lead down the Insensitivity/Accusation minefield. The reality is you are a dead man walking. Your only option now is to give her your meal, let her consume the whole lot and make sure she orders the biggest, most fattening dessert on the menu. Then later, drop her off, kiss her goodbye and stop off for a kebab.

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Non-stick pans

Non-stick pans won't release their prey

When a non-stick pan is brand spanking new and you’ve got it home from the local superstore it works… like a dream. You’ll marvel as that egg dutifully slips down, out of the pan and into your grease-laden fry-up with frightening ease.

The new non-stick pan is the kitchen equivalent of Eddie the Eagle. Bacon shows little resistance and sausages roll and skip across the surface like skippety lambs on a spring day. Beans exit in a similar fashion to that of a cinema audience leaving a screening of Police Academy 6 and you can guarantee a residue-free experience after concocting a particularly glutinous pasta recipe.

But, like old people, non-stick pans lose their lustre. They become belligerent and unwilling to let their prey go. Never try to lever a fried egg from a two-year-old non-sticker. It has a vice-like grip. Witness that perfectly formed yolk break into constituent molecules as you try to wrench it from the limpet-like base. Non-stick pans take no prisoners and if you threaten them with a steel implement from any part of your newly purchased budget 32-piece cutlery set it will yield, knowing full well that those scratches will make it stronger. It will lose that battle, but it’ll be secure in the knowledge that it will, ultimately, win the war.

Owning a five-year-old pan is like being involved in a bad relationship. You can’t negotiate or apply any sort of reason – the only language it understands is a transfer to the charity shop. Once you’ve left this hardened soul at the door of the Cancer Relief store in the village, it’ll start a new career as a prop in amateur dramatics, leaving you free to search for a new non-sticker that’ll make your life equally miserable.

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Dogs – ‘Don’t worry, he’s harmless’

Harmless? You must be kidding

You go round your friend’s house and as you walk in the hallway there is a dog the size of a zebra, foaming at the mouth and baring its teeth.

It’s growling that most gut-wrenchingly scary growl that you know is a precursor to a savage attack.

This pet, clearly, is not that fussed about your arrival into its home and will stop at nothing to ensure you do not continue your passage into the residence it has been charged with guarding.

‘Oh, don’t worry about him, he’s harmless.’

At the insistence of your host, you take a solitary step forward and in an instant you have become the reluctant lead in a police dog training video. Benji is coming at you like Ben Johnson before a dope test and within two tenths of a second your hand has a fairly good idea of the contents of this canine’s previous meal. While you make attempts to stop the pet swallowing your whole arm, your former friend makes a pathetic appeal to its better nature by saying the word ‘down’: a negotiation that proves utterly fruitless.

At this point you realise all bets are off and the only way you can ensure your forearm does not end up looking like a photograph from a Floridian shark attack is to fight fire with fire and employ straightforward violence.

As soon as you sink your molars into Benji’s ear he is now well aware that you are not be messed with and that if he relies on any kind of assistance from the owner he will come out of this second best. After a brief struggle the animal relents, thereby freeing him up for his second most favourite pastime, which is to go and dump on the lawn.

Your host, who you are fairly sure you will never visit again, says: ‘Oh, that is a surprise, he’s never done that before.’

That’s a bare-faced lie. The reality is Benji has done that before and, like any hardened terrorist, will continue to do so again.

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Doc Martens boots

Boots are made for walking, not torturing

Not technically boots or even footwear, more foot/ankle/legwear that, in the initial stages, is something Guantanamo torture experts would have been pleased with. Putting on a brand-spanking new, rigid-as-a-dartboard 10-hole ‘Air Wear’ Dr Marten boot is like strapping a cast iron drainpipe to your leg; there is little resistance and, although it affords you the pleasure of leaning over at any angle – Michael Jackson smooth-criminal-style – it forces you to goosestep until the ‘running-in’ period of three months is over.

You can, if you like, pummel the leather with a tent mallet, but that won’t help. Nor will a vatload of that stuff that’s called something like ‘leather-food’. No, with Docs, there’s only pain in the gain; you just have to make it clear to your friends that for three months you’ll walk like a Nazi but assure them that you really do not have any plans to annexe the Sudetenland.

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Caramelise

'Caramelised' toast

Caramelise is a posh way of saying something’s burnt. It’s the ultimate get-out for people who haven’t been paying attention when they’ve been cooking.

Imagine your partner saying: ‘Here you are, darling – your toast has been perfectly caramelised to your liking.’

‘No honeybun, you’ve bloody burnt it.’

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Funfairs

Funfairs: not fun or fair

This is a trades descriptions horror. It all looks very inviting. Pleasant, friendly people run fairground rides – you know this because they generally have ‘love’ tattooed on one knuckle. They have ‘hate’ tattooed on the other one, but let’s forget about that.

Then there are the rides.

They are fantastically safe and they’re also a hoot aren’t they?

Let’s consider ‘the Waltzer’ for example. You sit in a nice chair that goes up and down and around and around. Then a very nice man – with tattoos – comes and spins you around some more. You may have paid £3 for this three-minute extravaganza but this man wants you to have value for money so when you tell him that you are feeling a little queasy, he spins you some more until you barf a lung.

In the pursuit of absolute accuracy let’s ditch the first letter and then we’ll all feel a lot better. Hopefully, that should deter the idiots who religiously attend this multi-coloured abhorrence every Easter.

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