Tag Archives: consumerism

Grumpy humour: A top 10

20 Feb

I’m a sucker for grumpy humour. Where most people stopped watching My Family when Nick disappeared, I happily carry on watching because of my favourite character – the universally disliked Ben Harper – is still there. A grumpy old dentist who basically hates his life and everything in it, he’s TV’s ultimate grumpy old man.

But this post is not about Ben Harper – it’s about a book that reads as if it was written by him: Is it just me, or is everything shit?

Ben Harper - the grumpiest, funniest bugger on TV

Ben Harper – the grumpiest, funniest bugger on TV

This book is not to be found on any current best seller list, and is probably not even easily available at the shops anymore. I found it at an Exclusive Books sale years ago, and rediscovered it this week.

Almost 300 pages of pure disgruntledness about, well, everything.It’s fabulous when you just hate the world and all its Polyannas. (It’s also the sort of thing the Erasmus and Snyman cousins find hilarious – so here’s to Carli, me, Iranda, Caroline and Lara. I’m not sure why we have such a sick sense of humour, but I love it.)

Allow me to share my personal Top 10 entries:

1. Unnecessary Greeting Cards

“For my wife…On Mother’s Day.” Such messages are presumably intended to carry the subtext “For my wife on Mother’s Day, because, as you know, I tend to think of you as my mother.”

“Congratulations on your divorce!” Presumably comes with the message: “Roses are red / Violets are blue / You didn’t get the house / But you did get the canoe!”

“Congratulations on your teeth whitening!”

2. The Markets’ Reaction

Whenever a new terrorist catastrophe hits a major Western city, the first thought on every citizen’s mind is: Hmm, I wonder how my shares are doing. Oh, that’s right, I don’t have any. Still, I wonder how other people’s shares are doing… This is why, after the 7/7 bombings, news networks speedily escorted viewers away from the sites of the atrocities and toward the City of London to discover how “the markets” might be affected. And what did our correspondents tell us? Stocks remained “resilient.” Thank G*d.

Rich douche

Rich douche

(As a personal side note – I’m writing this in a coffee shop in Johannesburg. Often work from here. Table next to me has 3 typical “big city” JHB idiots who probably DO consider the markets’ reaction before anything else. Don’t expect any less from people who spend coffee with friends bragging about their stock portfolios and bank balances. Groan.)

3. Paying off your mortgage in 2 years

Top tip to save money to do this: Kill yourself.

There’s no surer way to spend less than being dead. As a bonus, any insurance policies you hold will be paying out like a fruit machine with three triple bars on hold… Irony is free, so treat yourself to a highly poignant death by smashing your brains open against the window of your bank… Now, for insurance reasons, it needs to look like an accident. You’ll need a big run-up to get enough force to kill yourself, so start from the other side of the road while looking down the street and smiling and waving into the distance, as if you have just seen an old acquaintance and have become distracted. Just keep running until you hit the bank and hopefully die… Also remember, in the days leading up to killing yourself, that you can save money by not eating anything or turning on any lights.

4. Sex tips

Some people are so expert at sex that they become “sexperts”. Some of the most common sex tips include the following:

Breathe on each other. As one of you breathes in, the other breathes out, so you inhale each other’s breath. Breathing – it rocks!

Don’t underestimate the erotic power of the elbow. Find out what you can do with yours and before long your love buddy will be dragging you upstairs as soon as you walk in the door!

Sexy!

Sexy!

Lather up each other’s pubic regions with shampoo to make amusing shapes. Laughter is a great way of creating a sexy atmosphere!?!?

Stuff each other’s mouths full of cheese – then lick each other all over. You’ll be amazed at the new sensations you both experience!

5. Kitsch Knickknack shops

“Ooh”, people think, “a present shop. Maybe I can get a present in this shop for presents and thus satisfy my present-buying needs.” Then they go inside and remember it’s actually a festival of shit with price tags on. You can find:

George Bush fridge magnets – you can dress him up as either Shirley Temple or Wonder Woman

Numerous cards featuring a picture of a 1950s housewife and a rude slogan – something like, ON SUNDAYS, DOREEN ENJOYED NOTHING BETTER THAN A GOOD SPIT ROAST

1950's housewife

1950’s housewife

A monkey. With the head of a monkey.

Of course, no-one actually wants this crap. But they get it anyway…

6. Celebrity perfumes and product lines

Celebrity fragrances have rubbish names. There’s Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker; David Beckham’s Instinct; True Star Gold by Beyonce… Sean John’s scent is Unforgivable. By which we don’t mean that it’s unforgivable, although it probably is.

Pop sensation Usher has his own line of credit cards aimed at impressionable teenagers. Sort of like saying, “Hey kids, if you enjoyed my album Confessions, you’ll love a life of debt!”

7. Ads for credit cards

Your life is not exciting enough, quite simply, because you haven’t borrowed enough money. That much should be self-evident. Borrowing money may make you taller. You will have a nicer smile, and have read more books – while still finding time for that all-important Jet-skiing holiday.

8. Baby name books

Nobody has ever found a good name in a baby book because most of the entries are things like Hadrian, Dylis, Mortimer, and Binky. Oh yes, and Adolf.

The UK’s Collins Gem version genuinely point out that the name has never been popular and received a further setback with the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Setback? I’ll say.

9. Porsche SUV’s

Want an SUV so you can loom over other road users like the US Army? But also want something sporty to accelerate ludicrously away from the lights before suddenly braking at the next roundabout?

Then the Porsche Cayenne is the car for you: two utterly pointless vehicles in one. No-one likes you.

10. Yummy mommies

Don’t just lie there! It’s been two hours since you’ve given birth. Get on that treadmill now. Or you’re never going to “snap right back” by the end of the week. Society expects!

Naughty, naughty!

Naughty, naughty!


Also, if you don’t spend on your child in its first 3 months the same as a yearly wage, then your child will be ugly and stupid. And who wants that?

***

Absolutely loved this book – treat yourself and find it online. The authors are Steve Lowe, Alan McArthur and Brendan Hay.

One day in the life of a Sandton housewife type

7 Feb

In a society of consumerist capitalists who define themselves by what they “do”, I did the unthinkable today – no work. In a way then, I guess I did nothing.

It was great.

As a small business owner, my days usually start with my Blackberry. I awaken from a fitful sleep, and start sorting through whatever nonsense landed in my inbox between 17:00 and 07:00. After a shower, I’m off to a day filled with contracts, emails, phone calls, interviews, issues and too much coffee. I usually don’t have breakfast, never take lunch breaks – why does anyone – you’re perfectly capable of having a sandwich in one hand and type with the other? – and rarely know what is happening in the news.

So, despite the big plans and the everyday obligations, I got to a point this morning that I needed to recharge. After the usual early morning Blackberry session, I just had my final in a long line of “fed up” moments, and decided to have a “Me-day”.

My life right now :(

My life right now 😦

This morning, I got to experience what life must be like as a Sandton housewife – I had a lengthy appointment at the hair salon, popped through to have some waxing done, and then read an up-my-own-ass eco-living magazine as I had my nails done.

It was great.

And man, was it needed! I didn’t realise just how run down I looked until my mother sat me down and sombrely told me that I had better stop wearing ponytails every day. She also said that I should get a bloody manicure, and that I shouldn’t be surprised if Andrew went to work and saw a younger, groomier girl whose roots don’t show and who walks comfortably in stilettos…

Apparently, I had allowed myself to look so shit that I was basically inviting my guy to cheat.

(In complete contrast to my mother’s theory, Andrew told me I looked beautiful despite my Carrie Bradshaw roots and unruly eyebrows. He’s amazing, and I am the luckiest woman alive. If I had to date me, I’d have left a long time ago.)

Awww - thanks, Andrew!

Awww – thanks, Andrew!

But anyway – being obsessed with work during the day and dog tired over weekends and evenings had a baaaad effect. I had left my hair to just grow out its natural, dull, mousey colour, and simply tied it in a bun (or the style my mother so despises, the humble ponytail) for way too long. My nails really did need a manicure. And working alone and from home on days where I don’t see clients and team members, I had developed a tendency to dress way too casually.

I needed my Sandton housewife day BADLY.

Though it was refreshing, and actually did succeed in clearing my head of all the trouble I’ve had of late, it reminded me of just how unfair it is to be female in this consumerist culture we live in.

Andrew went for a haircut the other day, and it was less than R200. I go, and it’s over a Grand. Andrew’s nails are considered ‘well groomed’ if he bites them regularly. Mine, if I get artificial who-knows-what bonded to them, and return for maintenance at least twice a month.

Then there’s the issue of wardrobe – men can wear T’s and jeans every day; women can’t. Men can have two pairs of shoes; women can’t. Men don’t need handbags, earrings, bangles, shawls, scarves, hair ribbons or rings; women do.

Shoe normality: Female mind

Shoe normality: Female mind

Shoe normality: Male mind

Shoe normality: Male mind

They also get by with a two-in-one shampoo and a bar of soap, while we need that amount of product times 22 for each and every body part.

Sucks, I tell you.

Still – despite the price of my day – so worth it :D.