Top 5 unexploited fashion trends

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If fashion is anything*, it is the triumph of novelty over aesthetics. The newer an idea, the better, which is why the fashion conscious frequently find themselves gulled into wearing things like snoods and mid-calf boots.

Neither of these items are new, of course. They are merely old enough to ensure that no one who remembers their last appearance is young enough for their opinion to matter.

I can do better. Here are five items that are so new that I expect them to be foisted upon the credulous imminently.

Wishnets: any fashion designer could come up with tights attached to boots (although I’m not sure anyone has) but to date no one has had the wit to combine fishnets with waders. These could also be known as faders.

Pit stops: shirts once had detachable collars so that they could be washed separately. A capital idea, but half-baked. They should also have detachable armpits. Not only would they be novel, but economical. It’s only really the collar and armpits that need washing on a shirt. The environment thanks you.

Shocks: combined shoes and socks, with detachable lining to facilitate washing.

Scoves: everyone has fond memories of mittens connected, through the sleeves of one’s coat, with a piece of string. But string? Am I a conker? (No.) Join the gloves with a woollen scarf. It would be warm, and only carry a slight risk of strangulation in the event of sudden arm movements, such as might happen during a snowball fight. (There will have to be a warning label.)

Sock-bra (working title): the halterneck bra is a commendable deviation from the shoulder-strap tyranny, but it needs an ally. My friend B suggested a bra with straps that go over the shoulders and connect to a pair of socks at the back. This would have the added function of lifting the wearer’s breasts while seated and indeed exercising them when walking.

*I’m willing to listen to arguments that fashion is actually nothing.

Kiss and tell

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A girl I once snogged has published a book about spending a year maintaining a vow of chastity. It’s hardly a claim to fame for me. It was only a brief snog, and it didn’t even occur during her period of abstinence, but I was still mightily surprised to see her striking a coquettish pose on the front page of The Guardian.

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Adverse mental conditions

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Every few minutes at Tottenham Court Road Tube station this evening came this announcement:

“Due to adverse weather conditions, customers are advised to take care on entering and leaving the station.”

I’ve had enough of this. It isn’t “adverse weather conditions”, it’s rain. Passengers have the wit to guess that they’re listening to advice without having to be told as much in the passive voice.  What is it about train staff that makes them want to talk like a PE teacher trying to read the instructions on a box of shuttlecocks? Does the RMT union hold courses in how to speak in stilted manner in the belief that using words like “beverage” lends authority, rather than the air of  an automated drinks machine at a swimming pool?

When train staff talk about a “range of teas and coffees” they must know that they merely mean tea or coffee, with or without milk and sugar. When they ask passengers to remember “personal belongings” do they think that there are impersonal ones? What would they be? Parking meters?

Do they think the public makes a distinction between a stop, a station and a station-stop? If so, are they surprised that we don’t try to get off when the train comes to a halt in the middle of the countryside or when it whizzes past minor stations?

There are two solutions to this. Either I lighten up, or Parliament passes legislation requiring announcers to obtain a licence, issued only after a course on how to avoid sounding like a policeman appealing for information at a press conference. I’m going with the second one.

The turd of the Nile

Monday, November 1, 2010

It can be difficult, sometimes, to spot the difference between:

a) an Islamic fundamentalist earnestly bent on mass murder, and

b) a character from a 1980s action-comedy starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

Is Anwar al-Awlaki, al-Qaeda’s man in Yemen and suspected mastermind of the recent parcel bomb plots, related to the Jewel, the title character in The Jewel of the Nile portrayed by Avner Eisenberg?

Al-Awlaki and Eisenberg were both born in America and Eisenberg is a clown, which, as we all know, is an indicator of evil. On the other hand, Eisenberg is Jewish, which suggests that he and al-Awlaki would struggle to maintain a temperate conversation once talk drifted away from their mutual distaste for pork.

I’m not ruling out a Jekyll and Hyde scenario, but on balance it seems more likely that al-Awalki simply based his image on the Jewel after watching the film as a child. The Jewel is, after all, a religious leader, albeit a humble, peaceful one rather than a self-aggrandising wankpot.

Science nil – Faith nil

Friday, October 29, 2010

My friend P pointed me towards this mash-up that turns scientific soundbites into song. It’s strangely poignant, all the more so because pop music and science are conventionally such a terrible match.

It is posted on Youtube, which means of course that there is a ferocious debate in the comments section beneath about the merits of religion vs those of science. Is it obvious why this debate is pointless? No? Really? Here it is.

The existence of God cannot be proven or disproved. It is the impossibility of such a proof that makes religion faith rather than fact. Scientists are not concerned with faith in the spiritual sense, only with probabilities, and so cannot answer questions about the existence of God. Scientists can say that there is no evidence for God, but given that the faithful avowedly don’t need or want evidence, that changes  nothing.

Equally, theologians have no means to try to explain the mechanisms of the universe except by claiming divine insight, which cannot be tested or replicated. It does not make theologians redundant. There is still a human need to answer questions that are unlikely ever to be answered definitively, like “Why are we here?” and “Where do we go when we die?”. Their answers to these questions are not scientific, but they are not intended to be.

Science and theology are wholly independent of one another. To compare them is like comparing scissors with paper (not in the scissors-paper-stone sense, necessarily, although that would be an interesting argument). By arguing, pro-science debaters are distracted from their mission to gather knowledge, and pro-faith debaters betray a lack confidence in their beliefs.

Eggs. Period.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Me: Why do birds lay unfertilised eggs, anyway?

Colleague: They’re basically birds’ periods.

Me: You don’t often hear eggs described that way, do you? “Go to work on a bird’s period.”

Me: Why do birds lay unfertilised eggs, anyway?
Colleague: They’re basically birds’ periods.
Me: You don’t often hear eggs described that way, do you? “Go to work on a bird’s period.”

Facebook and children

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do Facebook and children mix?

My friend L changed her status on Facebook to say that she was happy. Not a seismic event, to be sure, but gaily informative. A friend of hers, called Patricia, then commented:

Luca always says “happy mummmeeeee”

Is Luca, I wondered, a child or an imbecile?

On balance, I reckon Patricia is probably referring to her son, but it doesn’t really matter. The comment is still imbecilic. Why do parents think other people are interested in their children’s insights on life?

I’m not saying all children’s remarks are unamusing. I overheard a mother telling a boy on a train that he had to mind the gap between the train and the platform or else there would be big trouble. “Will we go to prison?” he replied, earnestly. “Yes,” she said.

I’ve got nephews who say witty, or apparently witty things on a regular basis.

But “happy mummmeeeee”? Passez le sac malade, as they may say in France. It’s almost as bad as posting a photograph of your child in lieu of a picture of yourself on Facebook, as another friend of a friend did with this:

Jesus, that’s an ugly baby.*

*I’m not entirely sure why I’ve attempted to disguise this baby’s identity. It’s not as if anyone would ever identify him even without the black stripe. Nor, indeed, is the disguise likely to mollify the parents in the unlikely event that they ever chance across this blog. Still, it does at least remove the horror of its mad, staring eyes, even if the parents’ choice of a “Santa’s little helper” outfit remains uncensored.

Rules for life. Number five in an occasional series.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sometimes expensive foods don’t taste better, they just hurt your gums more.

See Kettle Chips, crusty bread

What kind of idiots do you think we are?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

“You wouldn’t clean your teeth without using a brush,” says the narrator on an advertisement during Top Gear on Dave. “So why don’t you do the same for your skin?”

Well, yes, that stands to reas… wait a minute! What kind of idiots do you think we are? I insist that the narrator be found and forced into a regimen that extends this logic. He must be made to spend a year flossing his hair, soaping himself in mouthwash and having tartar scraped off his testicles with that sharp implement used by dentists in toothpaste advertisements.

Worst performing parties in the 2010 British General Election

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who did worst in the General Election of 2010? Did the Christians do worse than the Loonies? Did the Communists outdo the Libertarians? And did the banking crisis spur any of the seven socialist parties to any shred of electoral success?

Here, for your pleasure, is the internet’s only guide to the success and (more commonly) failure of the lunatic fringe.

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