…. this is what’s grinding my gears!
Yes folks, it’s time for me to start channelling the spirit of Peter Griffin once more, because at the moment my gears are well and truly grinding….
Where to start? Let’s kick off with something that’s always annoyed the bejeepers out of me, and it’s this: people who appear mentally challenged when they navigate traffic.
You see them all over the place – not just on the roads, but in the supermarket as well. Picture the scene: you’ve got your basket, and you’ve planned your route via the fruit and veg section, over to the cheese, then swoop through condiments and flavourings before heading towards the mecca of all male supermarket visitors: the beer and DVD aisles.
Suddenly, appearing much as the shopkeeper used to in Mr Benn, you’re stuck behind someone who has appeared from nowhere, pushing a trolley in which they have a single can of tuna chunks. Or maybe some quiche. And despite the speed at which they travelled to get in front of you, the first thing they do is to suddenly stop dead right in your path, causing you to fully check the anti-lock brakes in your ankles. And the purpose of their action? Organically pressed chilli-infused yak’s yoghurt from Mozambique. Nobody in the history of shopping has ever actually brought any of the stuff, but for some reason fate, evolution or intelligent design has thrown into your path a specimen who feels the need to check out the sell-by date and the serving suggestions.
So having stopped sharply to avoid impaling yourself on the end of her walking frame – because they are always elderly women – you squeeze between her trolley and the pallet truck the store shelf-stacker has thoughtfully placed in the worst possible location and turn the corner, only to have another old lady ram you in the shins with her trolley. And all this to the soundtrack of a half-dozen screaming kids.
Cars are only slightly different – the screaming kids are rarely an issue, and thankfully, old ladies seem more intent on dithering at junctions as they strain to peer above the steering wheel at the empty road ahead. But don’t imagine that the danger is averted. Because you have someone even worse in your rear mirror. Someone I shall term “Audi Man”.
He’s the guy who will zoom along the dual carriageway, doing eighty-seven miles an hour (must be 87, he hasn’t yet managed to disappear back to 1955 so the flux capacitor can’t have kicked in, and that only happens at 88, as we all know) completely ignoring the three hundred yards of empty lane behind you – then he swerves into the non-existent gap between you and the car in front just as you get to the roundabout. He then hugs the bumper of the car ahead, but only for the time it takes to get over the roundabout, before he pulls out again and zooms off in a cloud of diesel fumes, thus rendering his entire dangerously reckless manoeuvre completely unnecessary.
He used to be BMW Man, of course, but these days BMW drivers are only interested in getting their clubs to the golf course, and so pootle along in their own time. They have been replaced by Audi Man, about whom I have come to agree with Jeremy Clarkson – who thinks they are all ‘cocks’.
Talking of objectionable individuals, this brings me on to my second point today, which is Julian Assange, recently granted asylum by Ecuador and currently living at their expense at their London embassy, which I read is now surrounded by police to make sure he doesn’t make a run for the airport.
Now I have never been able to get inside the mind of someone like Assange. I really don’t understand how his brain functions. As we all know, he’s the founder of Wikileaks, the website that somehow gets hold of classified, confidential documents relating to governments, armies, financial organisations etc., and publishes them. He’s the grown up equivalent of the spotty kid that always got bullied at school for being a ‘tell-tale’. His whole philosophy appears to be that ‘The Truth’ is the only important thing.
Well here’s an open message for you, Jules: why not face ‘The Truth’ about the sexual assault charges you are wanted for in Sweden? Why not admit that ‘The Truth’ is you are subject to a European Arrest Warrant, and that you’ve only taken asylum in the embassy because you don’t want ‘The Truth’ to be told about you? You can bleat all you like about how much the Americans dislike you (and after what you have published about them, I’m not surprised) but there are always consequences for your actions, and you have zero credibility if you continue to expose other people’s secrets but run away from your own guilty actions.
All you were interested in was publishing and becoming famous. You should have realised that just because you could publish, it doesn’t mean that you should.
Maybe next time, you’ll think twice about making powerful enemies.
And finally, on a lighter note, it appears that paragon of footballing virtue, Joseph Barton, may be off to Marseille on a season-long loan. As a QPR fan, this possibility fills me with joy. Barton has been a liability from day one, a ticking bomb, a lit fuse fizzing away. Some of which you can maybe accept – but only if he was the star of the show when he stayed on the pitch. Sadly, Joey, you are not only a disciplinary statistic waiting to reoccur, you’ve not been a very good player. So farewell hopefully, I wish you a great career a long way from Loftus Road.
It’s always possible that he doesn’t leave, and sits sulking in the reserves and on the payroll – which is enough to grind anyone’s gears!