All posts by The Fat Controller

CORONARSE VIRUS 2

This time it’s personal!

I had a long chat with my boss’s boss yesterday about all these shenanigans! It helps that he’s a friend and that we’ve known each other for over fifteen years, because it’s not always easy to admit that you’re scared. And I am!

One of the first people to die in the UK was a man in his early 60s with “an underlying medical condition” – or someone like me!

Most of us will remember the pig flu ten years ago. I certainly do, not least throwing up in the bath at two in the morning and then a week during which I could barely get out of bed I felt so rough. It took me several weeks to fully recover. A decade later and I’m by no means certain that I’d do as well if Covid 19 comes a-knockin’. I was diagnosed with emphysema (or COPD to those who can’t spell it!) seven years ago. It’s a long term, degenerative and terminal lung disease which also has the charming side-effect of compromising the immune system. Even on a good day I have limited lung capacity and I’m very prone to chest inflections which can severely limit my mobility. Covid 19 would be extremely dangerous for me.

Which brings me to my point. There are STILL people out there who just don’t appear to get it!

The hand-washing, the self-isolation and the social distancing have to be universal or their effect is limited. I’ve seen numerous examples in the last few days of people who say that they’ll carry on as they were because they’re at low risk and likely to survive it. Well, bully for you! But it isn’t just about you – it’s about sad old buggers like me for whom this could literally be a matter of life and death.

Fortunately I’ve been able to work at home for nearly two years and my employer has taken very positive steps to help us all reduce risk. Alex is taking similar precautions. We’re mostly keeping ourselves to ourselves and having as much delivered to the house as we can. That’s all we can do and hope that coronarse passes us by. (But we’re still gonna spam up the internetz!)

See you in June, dahlinks!

Coronarse Virus 1

I haven’t blogged for five months – to be honest I can’t be all that arsed about things these days. But I’ve got some time on my hands over the next three months and I need to get one or two things off my chest.

Firstly, to any of you that are belly-aching about the UK government’s response to this bloody virus, STFU and take a long, cold, hard look across the pond. Bojo might not be your cup of tea, but he’s making a far, far better fist of this than that ignorant, dangerous tangerine tosspot in Washington.  There! That’s that said!

It is a fact that a national crisis will bring out the best in some people. Unfortunately it also brings out the worst in others. There is a line in the 1951 (and best!) version of A Christmas Carol in which the late Jack Warner as Mr Jorkin rebukes his colleague with the observation “We’re all cutthroats under this fancy linen, Mr. Snedrig.” The last two weeks have proven just how true that is. For all our technological and scientific advancement humans can still be feral.

The current spate of “panic buying” is misnamed – it’s not panic, it’s carefully calculated selfishness. It is also woefully and deliberately ignorant and all these sheeple have managed to do is to fill up the garage or spare bedroom. And why toilet paper, FFS? The virus makes you cough up a lung not shit yourself. From day one there never has been a shortage of arse-paper – one factory in Manchester churns out nearly 5 million rolls of the stuff every day on its own – about enough to wipe every arse in Greater London or clear up after one Katie Hopkins press conference. And that’s just one manufacturer – the Andrex puppy has three such factories  and that’s not even starting to count the stuff we import.

No! All these clowns have achieved is to fuck up the supply chain to a monumental degree. Just be sensible about things and take what you need and there won’t be a problem. Of course the looters don’t see it as a problem. They’ve got what they want and every other bugger can go screw themselves. The lack of common sense, decency or morality would be shocking but for the fact that it’s just one more example among many of human stupidity. I’ve been watching and despairing …

… and then I found this:

Two teenagers in South Yorkshire have been handing out care packages to vulnerable people.

Matty Merry and Sam Hornsby, who are both 17, have been giving out bags containing items such as porridge, toilet roll and teabags to people in the village of Harlington who are self-isolating due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sam said: “I really advise people to do it if you’re actually able to and if you’re willing to do it because I think at this moment in time, we really do need to pull together as a community.”  Clicky.

… maybe humans have a future after all.

Six Weeks of THIS???

Just been watching the wind-up of the first reading of the election bill in the Commons. Basically just half an hour of ad hominem attacks on each other.

Soooooooo tired of all this Yah, Sucks, Boo behaviour and then one of them has the nerve to stand up on a point of order and say they should all be a model to the country during the coming campaign.

We’re doomed, I tell you!

Die in ignorance if you want …

… but don’t kill your kids with it!

A few days ago a friend on Facebook posted this devastating picture.

CaptureFor those lucky enough not to know about such things I’ll explain what it is. Rows and rows of children in rows and rows of iron lungs – victims of polio in 1950, they can only live by staying inside a machine which breathes for them. Medical science has come a long way since then. Modern ventilators are a fraction of the size and allow far greater autonomy. Oh, and vaccination has all but eradicated polio, and numerous other similarly grizzly, disabling and fatal diseases.

I must be one of a gradually thinning group of people who have seen at first hand what polio can do to a human body. In the house next door to where I was born and spent the first six years of my life lived a lovely woman by the name of Doris. She has long since passed away, but in her early years she contracted polio and it left her disabled for all her adult life.  She had a speech impediment. Her right arm was withered and she wore leg irons and a surgical boot, but could still only just walk as far as the outside toilet. For all that, she was a gentle soul who I will always thank for introducing me to plain chocolate! But the years of struggling against such disability took their toll and she died all to soon.

There are those on this planet who would take us back there! The anti-vaxers with their ill-conceived conceit that they are right and decades of scientific research, experiment and proven results are wrong. They tend to fall into two groups, both equally deluded and very dangerous in their beliefs.

The “vaccines cause autism” brigade. There was never any serious evidence to support that old chestnut. It came from a case study sample of only 12 children and was blown up out of all proportion. Besides, parents who use that argument are essentially saying that they’d rather have a dead child than an autistic one. Well, congratulations! By not vaccinating your children you’ve raised the prospect of the former by an order of magnitude utterly and completely out of proportion to any risk of the latter.

The “(insert deity of choice here) is my vaccine”. Well, good luck with that, but I’ll take science over prayer any day!

Anti-vaxers say that it is nobody’s business but their own. Wrong! Their irresponsible behaviour puts that child who is unable to be vaccinated because of health reasons at serious and unnecessary risk. Anti-vaxers say they have a right to decide for their own children. Wrong again! They have no right to decide that their child will die a horrible death from a preventable disease. Not vaccinating children in the face of overwhelming evidence of the benefits amounts to child abuse, and should be punished accordingly.

Seriously?

I’ve just read the Parliamentary Standards Committee’s report on Keith Vaz. (Yes, I know I need a life, but they don’t make ‘em in my size!)

Vaz was for years the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee – in which capacity I’ve seen him be quite impressive and magisterial with people who haven’t quite towed the line. He rather impressed me with the way he dealt with Camilla BatmanDooDah’s histrionics when Kids Company went tits up. However, if you’re going to present yourself as a champion of truth you’d better not have too many nasty little secrets in your closet.

Now, I’ve been a follower of politics for knocking on for half a century and in that time I’ve heard some absolute whoppers. But two rent boys in your flat at 11.30pm on a Saturday, you talk about having had bareback sex and then agree to pay for Class A drugs, all of which is recorded and you would then like us all to believe that they were only there to go through the Dulux catalogue with you?  Pull the other one!

The Committee was quite clear – they couldn’t give a toss about who does what with what and how to whom – even going so far as to remind us that paying for a toe curler is not illegal. It was his offering to stump up for some  Class A  and the rather pathetic excuses he then came up with which finished him.

Time for this humbug to resign!

Election

Well, at least a general election might knock some of those ceaseless christmas adverts out of the TV schedules – even though both make unrealistic promises about how wonderful our busy lives could be if we just voted Tampax …

This just in

“Prime Minister Theresa May has weighed into a row about Jo Brand. The comedian made a joke on BBC Radio 4 about the recent spate of milkshakes being thrown at politicians.

“Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?” she asked, adding: “I’m not going to do it. It’s purely a fantasy.”

Ms Brand was accused by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who has had milkshakes thrown at him by protesters, of “inciting violence”. Mrs May said the BBC should explain why the joke was deemed “appropriate content” for broadcast.”

You would think that people in May’s position would have a) a sense of humour and b) more important things to do. As for the idea that Jo Brand was inciting violence that is as utterly, utterly ridiculous as most of our politicians now look. It was a “Joke”, you unbelievable imbeciles. If you don’t know what that is, Google it for an explanation.  What a boring and humourless life these snowflakes must live.

King Bill Bombs It

You really should be careful when on line that the person you are really speaking to or about IS ACTUALLY who you think you are speaking to or about.

Last Sunday we went to the King William IV, a pub in West Horsley to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. It was not a particularly inspiring evening, which resulted in the management discounting the bill because both the food and the service were so poor. Later that day I posted the following review on TripAdvisor:

“Mediocre (at best) food at exorbitant prices and served extraordinarily slowly. Certainly would not recommend.”

To which MarkF849, General Manager at King William IV, responded:

“Hi – well we were expecting this from you. As discussed with you we do realise that 1hr and 15mins for 8 people to have a 2 course lunch is slightly longer than expected but it was a very busy day and at no point did we know you were in a rush!
One thing we do not accept is the foul language thrown at our staff (within reach of many children, including your own ) and the threat of violence towards us and the kicking of furniture across the decking.
Our prices are consistent, and even lower, than the majority of other offers in the area and our food is cooked fresh.
Thanks.”

So let’s do bit of forensic examination of this, shall we?

“Hi – well we were expecting this from you. (Somehow don’t think so!) As discussed with you we do realise that 1hr and 15mins for 8 people (We were a party of 14.) to have a 2 course lunch (We went for dinner.) is slightly longer than expected (We didn’t complain about the delay so much as the poor quality of the food.) but it was a very busy day (Didn’t look that busy, plenty of empty tables.) and at no point did we know you were in a rush (We weren’t)!
One thing we do not accept is the foul language thrown at our staff (At no point did any member of our party swear at any member of staff. In fact, my pension-age aunts had a whip round to tip the waiting staff because we knew that it wasn’t their fault.) (within reach of many children, including your own) (the only children within earshot of our complaint WERE ours.) and the threat of violence towards us (Just didn’t happen, and if that were so I would have expected a call to the police.) and the kicking of furniture across the decking (That didn’t happen, either. We were inside and never went anywhere near the decking.).
Our prices are consistent, and even lower, than the majority of other offers in the area and our food is cooked fresh.
Thanks.”

There are only two possible explanations for this. Either MarkF849 has decided that the best form of customer relations is to lie through his teeth and invent a load of slanderous nonsense, or more likely, he’s confused us with another party of dissatisfied customers who were somewhat more forceful in their objections. Either way, this post stays put until he removes his unwise comments on TripAdvisor.

That being said, this is my gaff, so my rules and I can say exactly how I feel about what the King William IV calls “a modern quality offer”.

The pub has most of what you’d expect from Ye Olde Englishe Pubbe, although this is a mid-19th century copy. Parking seems to be adequate, although it wasn’t all that busy when we were there, so it might be a nightmare for the neighbours. Garden seemed to be OK from what we could see on the way in. The décor was reasonable, although there was an element of just plonking car-boot pictures on the wall without thinking about relevance or context – I’m thinking in particular about some rather naff butterfly prints which could so easily be replaced with something local from Francis Frith. The toilets were adequate, although probably hadn’t been cleaned since the morning and were therefore a bit whiffy.

The menu on offer that night is not extensive and doesn’t cater well for vegetarians or vegans.

The starters were nothing really to write home about. I’ve seen a better prawn cocktail in a high street café, my potato skins were soggy and seven quid for five (not very big) king prawns is more than a bit steep. Added to this was that the salad garnish accompanying all these both looked and smelled off. It was wilted and rotting and seemed to have come out of a bag of Florette.

As far as the main courses were concerned – the haddock and chips looked competent, although the portions were on the small side as was the case with the pie of the day. Never trust somewhere that serves everything on the plate in bowls, they’re just trying to hide how little they’re giving you. The “ploughmans” amounted to a few slices of bread, a mound of dry cheese, a stick of celery and some pickled onions. There was no salad, no coleslaw and was served on an old cheeseboard.

The ham in the ham egg and chips appeared to be boiling bacon and had a large lump of fat and gristle attached to it. The steak was also small and somewhat fatty. The fisherman’s platter consisted of a breakfast bowl with a small starter portion of whitebait, three breaded prawns, a small piece of smoked salmon and a shallow dish the size of a small coaster filled with what I would call shrimp (advertised as Atlantic prawns) swimming in a vapid and watery attempt at Marie Rose sauce. This was also served on an old cheeseboard (just WTF is wrong with a plate??) and was accompanied by two pieces of pre-sliced bread and a single small knob of butter.

Alex fared even less well with the “Sizzling Fajitas with Quorn vegetables”. The fajitas were undercooked and there were only about three small lumps on Quorn in it. There was a small dish of tired looking grated cheese, but the sour cream never made an appearance. At nearly thirty quid for those two dishes alone I felt like we’d been mugged. Especially when the same money in other gastro pubs buys you a gammon steak and trimmings that can barely fit on a fifteen-inch dinner plate.

I’ve had pub food all over this country. Most of it is good, or at least competent. This wasn’t either. It was the first time the family had been to the King William IV. It will be the last.

And they’re off ..

The absentee MP Sam Gyimah has already dropped out – reading between the lines he couldn’t get eight MPs to sign his nomination papers – and won’t be sadly missed.

We’ve already had a taster with GoveCoke-gate, but if this lot stay the course we’re in for two weeks of the bitterest and bitchiest campaigning you’ll ever see.