All entries for March 2005

March 14, 2005

Home Sweet Home

Three days ago I would have sworn on the life of some cute fluffy animal that I was relatively normal. As long as you excepted the fact that from Wednesday morning I went 50 hours without sleep – only to “go for a quick nap” on Friday and consequently miss the deadline I’d been working towards – genius!

Now, barely a weekend into the holidays, I am being subtly alerted to the fact that I am possibly a little crazy, or just plain abnormal.

All of a sudden given values and truths I had wholly accepted as gospel are being overturned, quite rudely, by my immediate family. Like a cross between “one man and his dog” and “changing rooms” I don’t quite know what I’m doing but somehow I’m managing to make an incredible mess. Why does this happen every time I go home?! Surely all students feel the same.

No longer is sleep a pleasant luxury, it is now forced upon me – and only once a day! And consciousness is demanded at the ungodly hour of 9; 9:00 am, as in morning. Ghastly. Like prisons and kennels, food is supplied three times a day at set hours. The new definition of breakfast is apparently not “the first meal of the day” as I had previously come to understand, but a mythical meal seldom seen beyond the ungodly hour. Pants.

So just to clear up any confusion here are some new definitions:

Handy definitions

  1. sleep – enforced mass unconsciousness (see ‘night’)
  2. naps – subject to age restriction; must be 5years old or younger
  3. breakfast – Mythical meal apparently given as a reward for insomnia at the appropriate time (yet to be verified)
  4. meal – large portion of food presented twice a day as opposed to the recommended minimum of six irregular snacks per ‘day’ demanded by a student body.
  5. snack – term has fallen into disuse
  6. frescato – term met with the look of one who has just witnessed a purple moose give birth to a large inflatable glittery crocodile. Attempts to elaborate are generally fruitless
  7. day – length of time apparently stretching from 7am to 10pm, though the actual existence of time before 8am is widely disputed. ‘Day’ officially contains ‘meals’ and ‘worktime’
  8. night – opposite to day; 10pm through to 7am; when ‘sleep’ takes place. No longer means ‘any time I feel like sleeping’
  9. worktime – generally accepted as 9am-5pm, attempts to work from 1am onwards not appreciated by adult cohabitants especially when combined with ‘meals’ and ‘music’
  10. teatime – yes, it has been assigned a time and that time is 4pm (experiments have shown 3pm and 5pm to be unacceptable) When tea is made at other times and more than twice, drinker is regarded as a strange caffeine addicted crack-whore alien (of which only 2/4 are true. The first two – before you get any ideas...)
  11. music – now falls into acceptable and unacceptable categories based on genre and volume. Philistines…
  12. Personal space – sorry, what?

Also the language seems to be curiously different, common phrases seem to have evolved to mean two completely different things.

Handy Phrases

  • “No thanks, I’m full.”
    "I hate you all and your cooking is terrible.”
  • “I don’t like black cherry yoghurts”
    “What is this congealed cow-juice crap you’re passing off as food – I only eat tescos *Finest”
  • “That soup tastes really nice when one puts potatoes in it”
    “I have been cooking for myself for two and a half years and thus know more about culinary expertise than you have amassed in your entire life. Why don’t you just give up and listen to me I am obviously superior.”
  • “OK, I’ll get up in 10 minutes.”
    “I am disrespecting you, your entire family and their ancestors. I intend to live my life as a sloth, bumming money off other people, existing as a permanent burden. And on top of that I’m not going to help you clean the house. So there.”
  • “Do I have to?”
    “I hate you and hold your authority in little or no regard. I will not miss you when you are dead.”

Hopefully others can learn from my experience and avoid the same traps and pitfalls that I keep on falling into.

Oh, and on NO ACCOUNT are you to EVER let the words “I really like it at Uni.” Escape form your lips. I’ve yet to deduce what it translates into but it must lie somewhere along the lines of “cursing your parents’ entire lives and every molecule of their being whilst simultaneously expressing the desire to burn the house to the ground and ruin everything they have come to achieve, then wishing them dead so you can dance and spit on their graves” – or a similar wording.

I don’t know why they get so upset. All I mean is “This place is killing me, I’m dying inside; oh please take me back soon – pretty please.” Is that soooo offensive?

N.B. As a disclaimer for reasons of inheritance, All the above is pure fiction, completely. All of it. Even the bit about the soup – that’s especially untrue and made up. I love my parents very very much.

Ok, you can put the guns down now guys...

M xxx


March 08, 2005

Lovely glorious tea.

Of all the days I could have had yesterday rates pretty high on the Richter scale and has left me pretty shaken. I’ll spare everyone the details but lets say it wasn’t just the fact that I missed my first blog in over a week. I haven’t the bitterness in me to bitch, not right now, so I’m going to fill this entry with nice stuff Fluffy sparky stuff and bunnies. Everything that makes me happy I actually bothered to get up this morning. Not a lot, but the good stuff is worth it

Starting us off is tea

Tea.

PG tips, milk, no sugar please.
Miracle in a mug, or indeed a teacup. Probably more calming and addictive than any drug free liquid should be. I am cutting down to about 4/5 mugs a day since the 1st term this year where I was actually getting through a 250 bag box every 5 weeks. What can I say? I love tea. I’m surprised there isn’t a Tea Soc already – it’d be the biggest in the Socs Federation surely? And socials with tea, cakes and biscuits would be heavily attended. Plus there’d have to be personalised mugs printed for members. Hmmm I wonder…

If there are no existing societies that cater for what you want to do, you can quite easily set up a new one that does. All you need is 30 people with the same interest who want to become members, and have aims that do not overlap with any existing society.
The steps to setting up a new society are:
1) Find 30 people with a similar interest.
2) Fill in the Society Constitution Form and Exec Contact Sheet, both of which can be obtained from Pam Walker (the Societies Administrator) in the Resources Room (At the top of the stairs in Union North)
3) You will be invited to a meeting of the Socs Fed Committee, where you society will be discussed
4) If approved you will be able to operate as a Union society

Ok, well, this wasn’t the direction this blog was supposed to be heading in but I guess if there’s enough interest why not? Gah, stop it Mia, stop it! I don’t mean to incite mass revolutionary action from the student masses. I just love tea.

Here’s an idea for any tea lovers that frequent Top B, something that I intend to put into practice next term. Request a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows but without the chocolate, cream or marshmallows – essentially just the “hot”. Then add teabag and milk (from a cartony doodah), that were cunningly secreted away in your bag at the beginning of the evening. Et voila! Tea, in the most unusual of locations when you need it most. Lovely. I wish I’d thought of it before I got to the union. Yeah, I’m not quite sure of the exact motive behind the hot chocolate, maybe it’s the “do unto others” bit, and it was decided that the only thing that one would want “done unto oneself” at 1:05 in the morning is a hot chocolate. If so, then it’s good sound logic I guess. Maybe it’s an attention grabbing publicity campaign for promotion of CU events just to remind us they’re there. Or maybe they’re just being nice. I don’t know. I’ve just never been explained why-

*computer crashes* (autosave, I love you)

Aaaargh! Please God no! OK, OK, I’m sorry, I take it all back, they’re doing a great job, ok? I’m just saying that tea would definitely upgrade it to awesome. That’s all. Please don’t smite my computer. Pretty please. Thankyou. Amen.

Because tea is awesome. And truly versatile, seriously, think about it. Not only does it constitute a 6th food group for the student population. If the Queen and Prime Minister happened to pop in one afternoon – what would you serve them? Meanwhile, outside, there are four builders working on your kitchen extension – what do you give them? Amazing I think you’ll agree. Not many items have such a broad range of usefulness.

Plus scientific experiments have shown that some hot drinks do boost the immune system but 50% of the beneficial effects are achieved just through holding the hot mug itself. And as for the stuff in your mug, It’s about 2 calories (for those poor souls actually counting) and has plenty of good points: High in iron; Very high in manganese; Very high in magnesium; High in phosphorus; Very high in potassium; Very high in riboflavin; High in zinc. The bad points are that it has a lot of sodium and caffeine (but only 47mg whereas the same volume of filter coffee has 95mg) so not too bad really.

Having a bad day? Have some tea. I promise it’ll be like a hug in a mug. The addition of biscuits is also recommended. In extreme cases I am sometimes available at short notice with tea and biscuits, hugs too if necessary.

Anyway, I must go, stuff to do. Hope you enjoyed this more lovely post. Have a nicer day, have tea. It gets a 5* from me.

M xxx


March 06, 2005

Happy Bunnies

So, which happy bunny am I?

Good grief i'm so tired I almost drank from the candle on my desk instead of the glass of water.

Ugh…

But back to the quiz which promises to be amazingly relevant. These quizes really are soul gratingly annoying, but also incredible tools for intensive procrastination purely because you are tricked into thinking that:
a) you're doing something important (ie lots of active clicking involved) and
b) it my bear some relevance and insight to your life

Unfortunately both of which seldom occur unless you happen to be a rabbit doing a degree in time wastage. Nevermind.

Let's see… the oracle decrees that my bunny is:

You are the cute but psycho happy bunny, You adorable, but a little out there. It's alright, you might not have it all, but there are worse

There are worse what? Maybe it's just too late for my brain to function rationally but goddamn I'm irritated. I assume they meant "you're adorable" as well. So cute but psycho, hmmm.... They're so close. I'm almost cute and almost psycho, although this quiz makes me teeter on the edge a bit. I think this is a bad blog to write at stupid-o'clock in the morning (speaking as a midnight-6am bitch) because there are so many ways i want to rip this quiz to teeny bits.

Any quiz that allows you to answer the question "Life is…" with both "FUCK YOU" and "Great, I am luckier than most" at the same time is either investigating the complex emotional balance between the open and masked feelings felt by individuals at all points in their lives or it is retarded. Not helping its case is the fact that there are 4 questions used to catagorise people. Maybe they didn't do more because they lost count, maybe they've managed, over many attempts to narrow it down to the bare bones of personality analysis, the essence of character. If so, i could probably go one better with a single analytical question;

"Did you write the happy bunny quiz? Y/N", Y = You are intensely hated by me, N = There is every chance you are actually human.

Succinct and accurate.

Wow this person is actually being such a bitch, I think that was really unfair of her, and really judgemental, and… and… oh my god she's reading my mind and writing the thoughts onto the screen! Aargh! Stop it you witch!

OK, I'll say something nice about it. It has bunnies. And bright colours. And although it makes me want to claw out my brain with a rusty spoon, it doesn't make me feel homicidal, so that's a good thing surely?

Soooooo, a rating... hmmm I give this quiz 3.5/5 dead bunnies (bunnies seem appropriate) it would be less but there were only 4Qs and they were crap.

Still intrigued? "Yes, I want to take this stupid test !


March 05, 2005

Every time you miss a post…

Aaargh!, it has happened as i knew it would…

I have finally become a slave to the small lines in the corner of the screen. Damn them! I want the lines, I need the lines, all of them. Somewhere there is a small line of computer code dictating their position and I am its little posting whore.

Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind is that little voice saying;

You want to post don’t you? You’ll get a lovely, lovely line for it. Go on, you like the lines don’t you, you’ll do anything for the lines won’t you. Look at them lying there, with their bright sparkly sexy little pixels. You wouldn’t want today to go without would you?! All the other days will make fun of it and call it stupid, and it will grow up sad and alone and one day it will turn on them and kill them all. All of them with a tiny pixellated knife, or maybe an axe. And when you find all days dead, bleeding over your precious lines, their teeny little screams ringing in your ears, then you will know pain. Pain and guilt. You could have saved them Mia, just by posting, but now it’s too late. Too laaate… mmmuuurrdeerrerr…

And so you post, just to make the voices go away. It’s like an addiction. And the quality of your posts goes down the drain. And people are giving you funny looks in the street. And you haven’t seen your friends in a while. And your cat hasn’t moved in three days. In fact, when was the last time you ate anything either?

But it’s ok

We have our lines, they’ll take care of us won’t they preciousss…

———————————————————-

Remember kids:

So blog! Please! Think of the kittens!

M xxx


March 04, 2005

Note to self.


Mia, this is your conscience speaking, Please remember that:

Lectures are only optional in theory!

Thankyou

Now get a move on, you've only got 5 minutes to leave the house!

Aaaargh!


March 03, 2005

The hazards of raising a young blog.

Follow-up to Virgin Blogs, no, seriously, what is the point? from Something Random

Or maybe "Be Controversial – Dare to Blog"

“Mummy, where do baby blogs come from?”
“Well, when a blogger and their computer love each other very much…”

Yes, cradled and protected since conception you watch them grow day by day slowly covering a wider breadth of subjects than those encountered in your everyday life. Then suddenly they begin to actually communicate back with you! And though you secretly can’t wait, you still fear the day they become fully fledged, well rounded adult blogs. For once in the wide open blogosphere they become easy targets for criticism as well as praise, so it’s vital that from a young age you feel they can represent you accurately and make you proud.

Freedom of speech is all good and well as long as you are able to convey exactly what it was you wanted to say, But imagine the horror felt when you come to collect your little blogette at the end of the day, and the teacher gestures you over to them for a “little talk”.

She said what?! Infront of the whole class?! Surely thare’s been some kind of a misunderstanding, a misinterpretation? I’ve never maintained any beliefs of that kind. Good grief, yes I’ll make sure I say something as soon as I get her signed in. But yes, thank you for telling me…

So yes, maybe there are a few things that need to be cleared up before any more 3am logic is unleashed on the world and I start to irritate people.

1. I think that empty blogs are a waste.

And I will stand by that comment. They are no use to those who find them nor to those who own them. I’m not talking about those people who store images in them, I’m not talking about people who haven’t yet found the time to put more than a couple of entries up, I’m talking about spaces opened months and months ago that are sitting around redundantly doing nothing. I personally don’t think that “useful” is a term that I could happily stretch to cover them.

2. I know starting a blog is a pretty daunting prospect for newcomers.

It’s almost impossible to leap in with all eight pistons pumping, and it’s ok not to. Try just one piston, or wait until you’ve found the right kind of hill to give you a bit of a rolling start. Even a bicycle will do. Anyone attempting to start their blog on a tricycle however will automatically earn my respect especially if pictures are posted. Unicycles are even better.

But seriously anyone who has owned a blog for, say, 3 months or more and left it uncultivated through fear of criticism has serious issues and ought to talk to someone with the appropriate qualifications to counsel them. Join forces with a friend as a joint administrator and do it that way maybe.

3. I accept this is always going to be an issue. It doesn’t mean it stops annoying me like an unscratchable itch.

With 1075 empty accounts at the current count I guess some changes are in order;

  • To make the "Virgin bloggers hall of shametm" list to put them all in. Yeah, that’s not going to work, too many people, would take too much time and I am as lazy as I am irritable if not more.
  • To fill said list with offenders (a task that appears to be all too easy). See above
  • To promote blog usage. Woo, can do!
  • To eventually remove offenders from the list as they become rehabilitated into the blogging community. No list... oh well less work for me
  • To drink tea and eat chocolate hobnobs at appropriate intervals in the proceedings. As if I would ever stop :)

Wow I guess that’s quite a persuasive manifesto, well, at least from my point of view it is.
1. do nothing
2. promote blogs
3. drink tea and eat biscuits
I think you’ll all find I can keep to that with ease. It’s tough work eating biscuits but someone’s got to do it.

4. Don’t put jam in a toaster

Yes, I still wholeheartedly agree with this statement. And mayonnaise is a pretty bad idea too while we’re on the subject; unless, that is, you have an IQ of 46 and are what some might call “mentally retarded”.

5. Now, on being “psychologically Fascist-minded”...

Possibly the most worrying comment I never expected to receive. I’m not, and I don't mean to offend. You, yeah, you with the torch and pitchfork – please let me explain.

…As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation… source
  • Ok, magnetic personality – Possibly, if repulsion is a valid magnetic property.
  • Showy uniform. – Well I almost joined warwick cheerleaders (I’m still ashamed, and the mental scars heal slowly) a lucky escape but I never got the showy uniform (or the pom-poms dammit.).
  • Mass parades – Hmm, don’t worry, I won’t be bringing my soap box on Friday
  • Nationalism? – Yes, pro-blog posts will always appeal to bloggers, as will most blogs and most posts, seeing as mainly bloggers will read them – what’s wrong with that?
  • Promoting suspicion and hatred of foreigners and “the impure” – presumably to be interpreted in this case as “promoting suspicion and hatred of non-bloggers and the bloggers with “virgin blogs”. Yeah I do hate it. I really really hate it, because dead links are the plague of the internet and that’s essentially what these dead blogs are. But I hate the links not the people, I’m not trying to exclude people and never would promote such a thing. I just think more active blogs and less dead ones can only be a good thing for not only easier blog surfing, but better broader representation of the Warwick community. Now if that’s a fascist statement then yeah, you got me – Shall I bring my own noose?

Just to double check I did the political compass and it's ok folks, I came up somewhere between Gandhi and Nelson Mandela – Phew!

——————————————————


How scary. My blog is already a troublesome tot and I wasn’t even trying to be controversial. Is it even possible to offend nobody at all? Unless maybe I blog the build-up of dust on the shelf next to my computer – and even then I’m insulting people’s intelligence. Lets face it something that’s inoffensive to everybody is pleasing to nobody. Oh Jeezie-Chreezie I’ve just done it again! I can hear the mob beating down my door already. Aargh! And I blasphemed too!

So maybe the only way for me to be completely inoffensive is to blog nothing at all and let my blog become the thing I hate the most. Maybe that’s why a third of warwick blogs are empty, it’s the only way to remain perfectly politically correct and incite no reaction whatsoever. Was I somehow mistaken in my judgements, and is this, the silent majority the cream of the blog crop?

Maybe I’m taking a huge risk but I’m going to chose the path less travelled, the overgrown tricky one that apparently 60% of us fear to tread, I’m going to blog. I’m not about to incite a revolution or try to reinstate the death penalty or go out to egg your residences. I am going to draw, I am going to praise stuff I like and bitch about stuff I don’t, simply because I want to and I feel like it and I can.

Sincerest apologies,

Mxxx

EDIT: whoa, this post didn't look as long in my mind...


Virgin Blogs, no, seriously, what is the point?

Outraged, that's how I feel. Outraged and sad inside…

You know that feeling, i've been blogging for only a couple of weeks now and it already annoys me.

The VIRGIN BLOG.

That most useless of links, the waste of valuble seconds of your life while what promises to be an insightful snippet of the warwick blogosphere actually reveals itself as a hollow pit of nothing. The more blog territory I explore the more I encounter it and the sadder I feel. Who are these people? Do they only wish to let us know they exist in the most passively annoying way ever? If not what's their motive?

"Oooh I have something interesting to say, I'll blog it"
*creates blog*
"Oh wait, actually it's not that interesting. Nevermind."

And so the blog universe becomes littered with big chunks of blog dark matter, that just consume space whilst simultaneously offering no visually appreciable attributes to the world. Some may argue that dark matter is essential to account for the huge mass of the universe as we know it - these people are stretching the metaphor too far, ignore them.

The more astute of you will have noticed the existance of the "Virgin Blogs SHAME ON YOU ALL!" list under the "favourite blogs" folder. I wouldn't bother clicking (unless you want to know who these people are), Because these are the most useless blogs in the system. The only way for them to escape the hall of shame is to blog (or close the account - but that's not what i want to promote) . Because big is better, big is beautiful. More active blogs = more active bloggers. More active bloggers are able to give a better more rounded opinion of events.

Just one example of this that I noticed the other day was concerning the law ball. Now, I went and it was ok but I did wonder what other people thought. Searching the blogs ony one entry out of 3002 blogs is about the 05 ball (or at least this was the case when i made this entry). I realise this example is not perfect and essentially hypocritical as i myself did not blog about the ball (I have my reasons) but for an event that big to go by almost completely unremarked upon by 3001 people is quite scary.

So that's my logic.

If you've gone far enough to open a blog, why not fill it? Surely every individual has something to offer? humour, insight, opinion? Good grief, if this guy can fill a blog anyone can!

And my plan of action?

  • To make the "Virgin bloggers hall of shametm" list to put them all in.
  • To fill said list with offenders (a task that appears to be all too easy).
  • To promote blog usage.
  • To eventually remove offenders from the list as they become rehabilitated into the blogging community.
  • To drink tea and eat chocolate hobnobs at appropriate intervals in the proceedings.

And what of the current blogging community?

  • Do give me warwick blogs to add to the list.
  • Do encourage the malefactors to blog if you know them, if they refuse – why the hell did they open it in the first place?!
  • Don't be nasty to the poor ickle rookies, they know not what they do.
  • Do remember that you were once in their shoes, the first blog is something that everyone must face.
  • Do send a kind encouraging email containing no forms of verbal abuse.
  • Don't put jam in a toaster.

Most importantly remember that these people are still human and have feelings and thoughts too. Even if they themselves deem them too mediocre to unleash on the world.

As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated,

Let the persecution *ahem* education begin!

M xxx


March 02, 2005

Missing Blockquotes

Warwick Blogs, where is my beautiful box?

Call me pedantic and fussy but i loved those boxes! Why have they been replaced by these —> goddamn sumo-quotation-marks?

Grrr…

M xxx


Technophiles Anonymous, Meeting No. 167

It all starts with admiting you have a problem…

*stands up*
“Hello. Um. My name is Mia and I have a confession to make.”
“Welcome Mia, now, what did you want to share with the group?”
"It’s actually been quite a while since I last came to one of these group things, I guess the last time was the infamous Wacom tablet incident; But I was told he did heal up nicely once they were able to remove the stylus, and the last I heard, the doctors said he was responding well to the group therapy sessions. And he dropped the lawsuit, so that’s promising.
Hmmm…
So…
I guess the real reason I’m here today is I’m feeling a little fragile right now, I don’t know how to explain it. And I think music is taking over my life. It started with the radio, then a couple of DC++ downloaded tracks, then entire albums and back catalogues. I managed to kick the habit at the beginning of year 2 but was introduced to eMule by a kind friend who knew nothing of my ailment. I have less than a GB of free memory on one hard drive and barely 5 on the other, the rest is music. If WMP isn’t running in the background I get tense and fidgety. I listen to music on the way to and from lectures. If there isn’t music playing I start humming and dancing.
This morning my MP3 player broke as I was leaving the house. I missed all my lectures. I’ve sellotaped it but it’s only a temporary solution. As if this weren’t bad enough, it’s the third one I’ve broken in 6 months. Oh God I think they’re going to call me in on claims of abuse! It’s all lies! I’ve done nothing but love them and cherish them every hour I cradled their small fragile bodies lovingly in my hands and now they're all gone. I don’t know what to do. I feel hollow inside. What if they never let me have another one?! Is there something wrong with me? I’m pretty sure that 1player/2months isn’t normal, and to compound things the first two were gifts and the third is my dads…
Oh shit…
I can’t seem to find any way to interpret this in a positive way. Every train of thought seems to lead to the same conclusion; That I am eternally cursed to break every technological thing I love through no fault of my own.
*sigh* Thankyou, I feel a bit better now.

Don’t I get a group hug?”
“Er, no, It might be contagious...”
“Oh. OK. I’ll just go sit in the corner rocking slightly then shall I?”
“Yeah, whatever just don’t touch anything.”

Gaaaarrrgh! Why must I be such a technological leper! It’s like all I have to do is look at an MP3 player and bits start falling off. It’s just so unfair. I don’t go jogging or biking with it, I don’t let it get wet, I don’t put crappy music on it that could corrode it from the inside, I’m not violent and I don’t throw it about (except that one time but that was after it broke so it doesn’t count). I’m computer literate enough to do most tasks and everything else seems to survive. Only the MP3 players seem to have the lifespan smaller than your average tamagotchi. WTF is with that eh?!

I don't think that even the power of tea and hobnobs combined can mend this broken heart. All I'm asking for is a little consideration. Don't go around singing loudly, shaking your funky thang, flaunting your healthy, sellotape free electronics unless you want to get to know them at a very intimate level.

I could snap any minute.

You have all been warned.

M xxx


March 01, 2005

The Fifth task of Hercules

A.k.a. the cleaning of the Augean Fridge.

Or the case of the fridge that smells like it is inhabited by small 1ft high invisible martian horses that spend their days rolling in a mixture of manure and half decomposed corpses. At least that is the general consensus expressed by those who have smelt it. The theory of a "Farmyard Fresh Hint of Manure" air freshener has also been put forward, but discarded based on the facts that no-one can recall buying it, and anyway, a theory with invisible martian horses sounds a hell of a lot cooler.

So to say that we are currently having issues with our fridge would be something of an understatement; unless your definition of "issues" happens to include mutant microorganisms immune to most kinds of household cleaner and that thrive in bleach. But understand, these are not in the cavity of the fridge like your everyday, run-of-the-mill germs, these seem to have sought refuge in the drip-tray at the back of the fridge, a masterpiece of engineering that I was blissfully unwaware of until a few days ago.

Here comes the "interactive" and "educational" part of the blog; I would like to invite you, the reader, to:

  1. Open fridge.
  2. Insert head. (may I specify your own head and still attached, in the interest of avoiding lawsuits.)
  3. NB owners of student fridges may wish to hold breath at this point.
  4. Observe the small hole in the bottom at the back (above the vegetable drawer).

Congratulations, if you saw it give yourself a pat on the back and have a biscuit. If you're too stupid to see it then give a bark and pat a biscuit. If your fridge doesn't have a hole then it's obvously too advanced to be owned by a student, immediately exchange for one made of twigs, old socks and bits of string, powered by a badger on a treadmill and that sounds like a field of beehives – a guaranteed original talking point at houseparties I think you'll find.

"But what's the point of this hole? I must know now before my spleen ruptures from suspense!" – I hear you demand silently. Basically it's where the condensation runs down into.

In a normal fridge that is.

In a student fridge the condensation is accompanied by half a carton of single cream that fell over at the back, some coke from the can that exploded the other day, drippings from raw meat (invariably left uncovered by considerate housemates), slime from old mushrooms that have reverted to liquid form, bits of broccoli, and so on and so on…

This all accumulates and pools in a small pot at the back, lovely eh? But here comes the good bit, it is fixed to the fridge. i.e. cannot be removed. (at least that's the case with the manifestation in our kitchen, a Hotpoint-tastic "Larder 8109-o-tron" or something)

Pure, undiluted, award-winning engineering genius.

I would have loved to be in the Hotpoint workshop when they designed this intricate piece of equipment.

"OK Jeff, so you've designed a mechanism that allows the fridge to self-clean itself from pesky water droplets and the such?"
"Yes I have Frank, I think you'll find it's an engineering masterpiece that will make us millions."
"So what are you calling it?"
"A Holetm."
"Brilliant! And all the crap it removes, where does that go?"
"Well Frank, it falls into a pot firmly fixed to the back underside of the fridge, the top of which can only be reached by slight tipping and creative use of a spoon."
"But Jeff, you did remember to place it above the motor element so that it is heated to a habitable temperature for bacteria didn't you?!"
"Of course."
"Good work lad, I think I can see a promotion for you in the not too distant future…"

It's reached a point where we fear for adding bleach lest we inadvertantly feed it, 'cos basically that stuff's been evolving ever since the goddamn thing was bought and i think it's reached a point where it's amassed enough resources to take over the kitchen, next step the world!

Short of nuking the bastards, no appropriate course of action seems to be presenting itself. Comments with tactics for attack would be very appreciated or, failing that, suggestions for what we should call our pestilent Fifth housemate. Hell, if there are more than a couple of good suggestions a winner will be chosen by democratic vote. Should it start to show signs of intelligence, and in the case of a draw, the winner will be the name that suffers the least corrosion when placed in its presence.

Wow. "Name our super-evolved growth" now that's a competition I never thought I would be hosting. So come on, get posting.


March 2005

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