Thursday, October 20, 2005

And our survey said ...

WHENEVER newspapers have a space to fill you can be sure the dreaded “survey” will emerge from the news editor’s bottom drawer.

These nonsensical exercises are dreamt up by public relations drones to try to shoe-horn the names of the companies they represent into the national press as a means of obtaining free advertising. We therefore get a survey conducted on behalf of a bed manufacturer telling us that 99 per cent of adults think they need a new mattress while a survey conducted on behalf of a condom manufacturer tells us, with all due gravitas, that Welsh girls will drop their knickers for a free pie. Preferably meat and potato.

Occupying far too many column inches this week was a survey purporting to tell us how long we spend doing routine activities. I won’t tell you who it was “conducted on behalf of” because that will really annoy them, but to illustrate the pointless stupidity of the task, we will cast a careful eye over the conclusions.

Apparently, the average Brit spends four months of his or her life playing computer games, three months sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms, three months in the pub (well that’s a laugh for a start), five months wrestling with DIY jobs (more hilarity ensues), six months sitting on the toilet, nine months washing and ironing clothes (I’m in hysterics now), 16 months cleaning and 18 months shopping.

Further to that, we spend seven years working, five years eating, six years watching telly and over 24 years sleeping. In fact, if you add up all the days and months listed in the so-called survey, you arrive at the magnificent total of 57 years. Well I’m only 51, so that’s obviously utter rubbish for a start.

ANYWAY, I was reading this survey in the paper the other day that said that one in five women has hit someone because of premenstrual tension – sometimes even a total stranger. Never has a truer word been spoken.

I have largely managed to avoid road rage incidents in recent years, except for those involving people with Baby on Board stickers on their vehicles or those pushy Christians with the little chrome fishes on their bumpers, but twice in the past month I’ve been verbally roughed up by screaming women.

Both times I was driving sensibly and soberly around country lanes, and both times the hormone-crazed harridans have taken offence at the fact that I wasn’t doing 105 down what was basically a farm track. I think I know the reason why.

Now that our education system has collapsed into a complete shambles, parents are trying harder than ever to place their children in what are considered to be “good” schools. This results in them ending up with three different children in three different schools in three different parts of the county. Life then becomes one long race against the clock requiring manic journeys across country, usually behind the wheel of a large 4x4, just to get all the kids to the right place at the right time.

Add to this potentially-explosive cocktail a hefty dose of PMT, then it’s no surprise that these out-of-control mothers will happily spray spittle over any old fool who gets in their way. I used to argue that the most dangerous place on earth wasn’t the first corner of a Formula 1 Grand Prix, but Tesco’s car park at 4.30pm on a Thursday. I have now had to revise that opinion.

IT’S NOW getting silly in Self Pity City. Not content with trying to claim New Orleans as their twin town (never has been) the hand-wringing grief junkies on Merseyside are now desperately searching through their history looking for any previous offences they might be able to grieve over.

And so council leaders are proposing that the city apologises for the “hurt” caused by the decision to flood a valley in Wales more than 40 years ago to provide water for Liverpool. Residents of the small village of Capel Celyn protested after they were forced to move out of their properties in 1965 to make way for the reservoir. The council used an act of Parliament to compulsory purchase the homes despite the protests.

The apology reads: “We realise the hurt of 40 years ago when the Tryweryn Valley was transformed into a reservoir to help meet the water needs of Liverpool. For any insensitivity by our predecessor council at that time, we apologise and hope that the historic and sound relationship between Liverpool and Wales can be completely restored.”

First of all, why bother? It’s only a few grumbling Welsh who are going to hate the English whatever mealy-mouthed utterances the Scousers come up with. Secondly, when are they going to come clean about the major role they played in the slave trade, instead of trying to blame Manchester and Bristol for the atrocities that made their forefathers stinking rich?

LET’S IMAGINE that you are a male Cabinet Minister. You get caught red-handed appointing another man to a prime Turkey Army position instead of a better-qualified female candidate. What do you think would happen to you?

The sack, or an enforced resignation at the very least. So why then is Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt still in a job? Because she’s been caught doing the very same thing, only with the sexes reversed. In this case she over-ruled an interview panel that had decided that 52-year-old, white middle-class Malcolm Hanney was the best candidate for a development agency post, instead inflicting upon us the third choice candidate, a 60-year-old Devon county councillor called Christine Channon.

The decision, and the subsequent tribunal at which the Freedom of Information Act was used to expose the embarrassing evidence, has already cost us, the taxpayers, tens of thousands of pounds. More compensation may follow.

This is the women who is fond of lecturing the rest of us on the horrors of discrimination in the workplace and has regularly bemoaned “career sexism”. Now she stands exposed as a hypocrite and a manipulative cheat. So will she resign? Err … of course not.

IS THERE anyone out there who doesn’t think that Peter Falconio’s girlfriend had something to do with his disappearance? No? Just checking.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone planning on dressing their dog up for Halloween (outfits only £7.99 from a tat shop near you), of anyone who fancies Saddam Hussein’s chances of copping for an electronic tag and three months painting old ladies’ fences, or of any new father stupid enough to take six months off work to look after a wailing, farting, puking monster when he could be enjoying a lunchtime pint with the lads and ogling the typing pool instead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its an oldie, but still valid....the reason its called PMT is that Mad Cow Disease had already been allocated.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another one gone? Interesting...

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's blood on the carpet everywhere. I understand that Bath Chron has handed out redundancy notices to all the process staff as production is being moved to Plymouth. Long way to go for a scan! Anyway, rumour is that it will be a bi-weekly come January. Looks like the web is where the future lies.

4:20 AM  
Blogger The Weardale Militia said...

Tony Blah has started this health rumour that if we stop work we will die. It has not affected Liverpool has it?? What is the secret?? Thongs and shell suits !!!!
No!! Mr Blah is intent on the plebeians working till they are 70+ so get used to it. I intend to put my children back down the mines (sorry they are all shut) no even better cleaning chimneys (Oh no every one has gas central heating . No back up the chimneys due to the fact we will have no gas this winter and every one will be burning IKEA furniture to stay warm.

10:35 PM  
Blogger phatbobsmate said...

Our survey shows that doormice obviously stopped working some time ago. They are not totally extinct, being caught just in time by the doormouse conservation team. Value for money anybody.
Perhaps Peter had stopped working and simply died in the outback. Although it could well have been that the he stopped the car to answer a call of nature. The femail in question suffering a fit of PMT lept into the drivers seat venting her rage by mowing him down, as he was obviously in her lane leaving him to be ravaged by the pack of dingos on their return from hunting doormice.
Im pleased to see that the weardale milita are not wasting their time washing - contrary to popular surveys.
One final thought on the reservior I actually believe its real use is to provide fire water support for the English holiday homes in Wales remember - come home to a real fire, buy a hoilday home in Wales!

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Parky said...

Self pity city has even started leaving tributes to dead chickens now ....

1:04 AM  

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