15 things you pretend to understand

15)- The Balkans: If only they stopped making new countries for five minutes we could learn the current ones: Serbia, Croatia, Sierra Leone, Alderaan….


14)- Newsnight: Far too stressful. Stick with good old reliable News at 10, with its digestible headlines and superficial investigative standards- just enough knowledge to keep up with the spods at work. And no Paxman to remind us of our dad.

13)- Women’s fashion: Talk about gilding the lily. Girls possess the ultimate clothes-horse to work with: the female body. But how do they adorn this sublime, warm curvature? Baggy gypsy skirts, that’s what. Leggings. Gold ballet pumps. Military fringes. Big-arsed culottes. And many more scraps on unflattery that we can only stare at in Vogue, mystified, wondering whatever happened to the miniskirt.

12)- Periods: You’re down with the basics- once a month ‘there will be blood’. But beyond that…. Are they really fertile during, or just before the deluge? What is that blood, anyway- the lining of her stomach? And does it really mean she’s a witch?


11)- Wine: ‘’The fish, sir? Excellent choice. So you’ll want a sancerre to compliment the monkfish’s subtle nuances. Don’t you find the acidity helps cut through the oily richness! The cost? Just £27, sir. Sorry? So… three Stellas it is then.


10)- Offside trap: Traditionally the litmus to weed out non-football fans or, worse, girls. But now? Does the defender gain the advantage… is he interfering with play? Is there ‘daylight’? What? Thanks Sepp Blatter: now we’re all women.


9)- 2001: A Space Odyssey: They say: ‘’Kubrick debunks the humanist vision of man’s development through increasing knowledge with his portrayal of the modernist apothesis of technology- a ‘mechanarchy’ if you will’’. We say: not enough lasers or explosions.


8)- Directions: Stop car. Wind down window. Beckon friendly yokel. Solicit instructions to niece’s christening. Heed four minutes of gesticulating navigation. Nod; smile. Wind up window. Instantly forget everything. Drive straight into cul-de-sac/ flood zone/ ex-soviet minefield. Blame TomTom.


7)- Female friendships: Can you even call them ‘’friendships’’? Just look at your girlfriend’s motley collection of ‘mates’. One minute it’s hand-holding, tearfully-hugging sisterhood who’d rather die than criticise someone’s shoes. The next? A blood-spitting, high-pitched melodrama of hierarchical jockeying that only ends when someone gets a boyfriend or dies of an eating disorder.


6)- What they’re saying in The Wire: So you once smoked some puff round the back of Feltham Boys’ Club. Didn’t prepare you for the narcotic underworld of Baltimore’s projects did it? Just keep rolling your eyes at mum when she asks you, ‘’what are those horrible men saying?’’ And then turn the subtitles back on when she leaves the room.


5)- Hermaphrodites: So… they can have sex with themselves, yes? Is that why you never see them out and about?


4)- Mobile phone contracts:  Carphone warehouse guy: ‘’CheckthisoutgeezaNokia3526withbluetoothN-GageGPS200freeminutesandunlimitedtextsfiftyquidamonth’’ You: ‘’Just take everything I own’’.


3)- Why ferries don’t sink: Buoyancy, ballast and centre of gravity, apparently. And definitely not because the Dover to Calaisseacat is in fact… like Jesus.


2)- People who speak with a mechanical larynx: ‘’… juhbfkkd ashnjksuuiop asp, jhwduhcb kskwhhuiis ajs…’’. ‘’Err, can I record you for my voicemail please, Mr Robot?’’



1)- The difference between Sunni and Shia: It’s a bit like American pop duo Sonny and Cher, isn’t it? They used to like each other, they had a hit TV show, bitterly fell out, then one died in a skiing accident… oh.



Uploaded 09/18/2008
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