Friday, 27 April 2018

Rod Hull and Emu at the BBC



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

The most watched video on my Youtube channel at the moment is Boy George on Larry Grayson.

It must be the way I worded it.

But the second best most watched is this, one of the first packages I produced for TV...

It's a montage of Rod Hull and Emu's time at the BBC for a long-forgotten BBC One programme called Aunties TV Favourites with Steve Wright.
(I left out the infamous Michael Parkinson clip, that was played in separately for the show but to me he just comes off as a miserable so and so anyway.)



I went through every show he appeared in and managed to get in his first British TV appearance on Lulu, Ronnie Corbett, Peter Powell, Sing A Song of Emu, Michael Aspel on Ask Aspel, Larry Grayson and the Generation Game, the dogs and presenters Lesley Judd, John Noakes, Peter Purves and Shep, EBC 1 (Emu's Broadcasting Company, Ahhhh!) and Norman Wisdom. I added some more clips which weren't used at 0:58.

Enjoy!

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I am a shareholder. How can I be more ruthless? #WeAreTheProblem


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Thursday, 26 April 2018

I am a shareholder. How can I be more ruthless? #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

I am a shareholder. How can I be more ruthless?

I have 71 shares in a national chain of supermarkets.

I am a fat cat shareholder.

This year, that supermarket chain will stop their staff from having paid breaks.

To make more money for their shareholders.

Which is me.

I could sell the shares.

But that's weak.
I don’t think they’re doing enough.


Not paying the staff for their breaks is a great idea.

It’s not as if they’re doing anything useful.

They’re just resting from making money for me.

How's that going to make more money for me?


Why aren’t we charging them for their uniforms, heat and light and falling below a certain speed?

Why am I even writing this?

We should make the staff come up with more ideas for making money from them.


And charge them banking fees on their wages.

No, pay the staff into the supermarket’s own bank, and then charge banking fees on that.

I know I got the shares when I was working there as staff, but they stopped that scheme to make it more profitable for shareholders - and I want more.

No good work is ever done on an in-breath.
Micropayments only on everyone's out-breaths.


I am an awesome shareholder.

I am so ruthless - I see your ruthlessness.

And I am gonna find even more ruth to lose.


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What if I try and get my kid off video games? #WeAreTheProblem


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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

What if I try and get my kid off video games? #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I try and get my kid off video games?

I know video games are really bad for my young son's development.
But they keep him so quiet.

His little eyes flickering away involuntarily.
It's too cute.

He also loves it when I playfully yank out the cable and bark at him to do something creative instead.
"Why don't you write a list of things I do that annoys you?"
"Okay"
And here is that list, presented without comment.

1 Take the PS3 away.
I know I said I wouldn't comment but I think this is just a warm up beat.

2 Force me to do things.
Okay it's just a little encouragement to express himself. And there it is. I'm so proud.

3 Play GT5
At least Gran Tourismo 5 has a 2-player mode. Not like Need For Speed completely hogging the family telly and-- I mean this is a breakthrough.
A bonding moment with my boy.
With excellent penmanship.
I think I just levelled up.

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What if I am now a dash cam director? #WeAreTheProblem


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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

What if I am now a dash cam director? #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if a dash cam doesn't help us?

It happened. We ended up with a dash cam in our car.
And I cannot be happier.

I need more cameras in my life filming us from more angles.
So that insurance companies can trust us even more than they do.

I am now backing up my backing up.

The picture quality is so good you can see the whites of the cats eyes.

I am the Quentin Tarrantino of dash cam directing.

And every day is a sequel.

Instead of indicating, I scream “Come on, we’re losing the light!”


Dad got it for us, which was incredibly kind.
He’s a London Taxi Driver and wants to live vicariously through our footage.

I will give it to him as a box set.
Something between Doctors and The Chase.

He said it’s to help protect his grandchildren.
But I’m not sure how videoing the collisions keeps them safe.

It’s basically a recorder for all our car conversations.
Like the ultimate judge in family court.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t say that.
I have the videographic evidence right here.
In HD.”

I’m not sure what we’ll do with the footage.
There will be no more Pixar movies until every file is watched.

My kids can use it to learn how to drive with confidence.
And swear with vocabulary.

Every journey now ends with a wrap party.


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What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh? 1 BORIS BIKE CRASH #WeAreTheProblem


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Monday, 23 April 2018

What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh? 1 BORIS BIKE CRASH #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh?

5. Racing Sammy up the council estate slide.
4. Canal boat crush.
3. Bedroom light switch.
2. Lake Tahoe police shootout.
1. Boris Bike crash.

#1 BORIS BIKE CRASH


I came off my Boris Bike at 6pm
, but only found out about it 3 hours later.
This is my number 1 best near death experience because I don’t remember a thing.
All near death experiences should be like this.

I think I was rushed to hospital.
Which was a complete waste of time because I wouldn't have noticed anything until around 11.

I was treated there by the maxillofacial department.
It’s called maxillofacial because when your face is smashed up and you're undergoing maxillofacial treatment, the one word you can’t say is maxillofacial.

I know my head injury was bad, because my biggest worry was “did somebody get the bike docked?”

City of London Police didn't just get it back within the hour.
They even found an empty docking station.
They are tidy.

I love that the City Of London has its own police force.
Because you know, the capital's just that little bit too big for the Metropolitan Police.
“We cannot cope with a single extra square mile.”

That’s why we have different police forces, so they can’t take over the UK.

Maybe a police state isn’t so bad.

I’d like to see their take on running our schools.

They could invite teachers to come in and give talks at assembly.

See how they like it.

And we would still have a Prime Minister.

But they’d make them stand outside all day at Number 10 on the doorstep

What did I learn?
Don't put your heavy bag in the handlebars basket to keep it safe.
Try to ride the bike from there instead.


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What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh? 2 LAKE TAHOE POLICE SHOOTOUT #WeAreTheProblem


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Sunday, 22 April 2018

What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh? 2 LAKE TAHOE POLICE SHOOTOUT #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh?

5. Racing Sammy up the council estate slide.
4. Canal boat crush.
3. Bedroom light switch.
2. Lake Tahoe police shootout.
1. Boris Bike crash.

#2 LAKE TAHOE POLICE SHOOTOUT


All the near death experiences so far involved my family.

This one was all by myself.

I don’t know what was going through my head.

Apart from some high velocity trajectiles.
Possibly nearly.

I was giddy, and British, and just arrived in California.

Our first day - our first afternoon - in Lake Tahoe.

Even better - I went out with some mates who were up for a best animation Oscar.

(I know it was 1998 because we hadn’t seen Titanic and when James Cameron screamed “I’m the king of the world!!” we thought he was cocky.)

Anyway, back to my disaster.
Our first lunch in town. In a restaurant and everything.

But outside there was a commotion.
A hubub.
And some crackle.

Like a good Brit, I knew exactly what to do.

So I dash to the window with my camera...

“Oooh look. Armed police! Right in front of us. Wow. Just like TJ Hooker.”

I’m framing this up - badly.
And snap the photo below.

(It wasn’t until 1999 that they invented focus).

Um, my American friend coughed.
I think we should maybe back off.

But they're pointing away from us.
Yes. And that means...
Oh, right.

It was such a moment of wisdom that I ignored it and got another picture.
An even worse one.




What did I learn?
I didn’t win for best camerawork.


Tomorrow's final near death experience, Boris Bike crash.

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What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh? 3 BEDROOM LIGHT SWITCH #WeAreTheProblem


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Saturday, 21 April 2018

What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh? 3 Bedroom light switch #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I list my top 5 near death experiences for a laugh?

5. Racing Sammy up the council estate slide.
4. Canal boat crush.
3. Bedroom light switch.
2. Lake Tahoe police shootout.
1. Boris Bike crash.

#3 BEDROOM LIGHT SWITCH


My teenage bedroom was decorated and I can't remember how but I think Mum had taken off the main light switch to paint around it.

It was off the wall for a few days, and I know she told me not to touch the bare wires.

I also knew I was way too old to know that already.

By the way this is Mum who told me at midnight when I went downstairs moaning
"Mum, I don't know why but I'm really itchy?"
"Oh yeah, I tried making a padded headboard for your bed for free."
"What... with that insulation from the Housing Association for our roof?"
"Yes."
"It's glass fibre!"
"I know. It didn't work out very well."

Anyway, you know when you go into a room for 10 years and without thinking about it reach for the wall?

I did and BOOM!

Near death experience number 3.

What have I learned?
Mum is where I got all my creativity.
We were close.
Like Kato and Clouseau.


Tomorrow's near death experience, Lake Tahoe police shootout.

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What if my top 5 Near Death Experiences make a good list? #4 CANAL BOAT CRUSH #WeAreTheProblem


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Friday, 20 April 2018

What if my top 5 Near Death Experiences make a good list? #4 CANAL BOAT CRUSH #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if my top 5 Near Death Experiences make a good list?

5. Racing Sammy up the council estate slide.
4. Canal boat crush.
3. Bedroom light switch.
2. Lake Tahoe police shootout.
1. Boris Bike crash.

#4 CANAL BOAT CRUSH


I was 14 and on a canal boat with my family.
It was a sunny day and I was bored.
I was always bored.

This time I was at the front of the long narrowboat and bored.

I was so bored, I put my head back on the roof of the canal boat to look at an approaching iron footbridge from a different angle.

That's the best I came up with.
Even with all the time I had on my hands.

But we were going at 3mph, so this was taking way too long and I sat down on the front bench instead.
Because I was bored.

I looked up and watched the bridge clear the roof by about 3 inches.

I stopped being bored.

What did I learn?

Canal boat life is not for me.
Canal boat death isn't either.
Boredom is good.
3mph is breakneck.


Tomorrow's near death experience, bedroom light switch.

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What if my top 5 best near death experiences teach me nothing? #5 CONCRETE SLIDE #WeAreTheProblem


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Thursday, 19 April 2018

What if my top 5 best near death experiences teach me nothing? #5 CONCRETE SLIDE #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if my top 5 best near death experiences teach me nothing?

#5 CONCRETE SLIDE


My Top 5 Best Near-Death Experiences

"5. RACING SAMMY UP THE COUNCIL ESTATE CONCRETE SLIDE."

Camden Council built our Estate in 1966.
They also made a kids playground.
Entirely out of concrete.

The slide was a cast iron main sewer pipe embedded in a mini tower of brutalism.

I know. Just like Cinderella's Castle.

Around 1978, I raced my mate Sammy to the top and then woke up in our 10th Floor flat.

For research, I asked my Dad about this and he remembers it was definitely a Sunday.

Because he came home from the pub and I was on the sofa with a bag of peas on my head.

Also, when I went to school next day they said it's probably best I went to hospital.

What have I learned?
Don't chase mates up concrete slides, and something something something something.

Next time, Canal Boat Crush.

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What if Im just not built to be an Alpha Male? #WeAreTheProblem


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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What if Im just not built to be an Alpha Male? #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I'm just not built to be an Alpha Male?

All men want to be Alpha Males.
But they don’t say it out loud.
Because as soon as you say “I am the winner. I am the Leader. I am Number 1”
Everyone wants to hack you down.
Only a true Alpha Male is stupid enough to not get that.

So I am a proud Beta Male.
With my limited resources, and second best chances at everything.
It’s the perfect place to watch Alphas running things.
Into the ground.
For their benefit.
Because they say so.

I want to be the best Beta Male.
Which I know sounds a little bit Alpha.
But that means I’m already failing at it.
Which is completely Beta.
I’m thwarted. We're good.

I don’t know which Beta Male quality I like best.
Being indecisive or not picking a choice.

They’re called Alphas because they gave themselves the first letter of the Greek Alphabet.
It’s also the Greek letter that looks the most like a male virile seed.
It’s like a big head with a strong tail.
That thing is gonna impregnate anything.

And the Greek Letter Beta, is the flabby blob trailing behind it.
And, Alphabet?
Alphabet-a?
No. Alphabet. They couldn't even be bothered to squeeze in our whole name.

And this is how low we are:
If you type “Beta Male” into Wikipedia, it redirects you to “Alpha Male”.
We haven’t even got our own page.


A friend came into my work for a coffee, and we bumped into an Alpha Male he used to work for.
After, Alpha asks me for the guy’s contact details, to boss him around some more I guess.
“Sure.” I pull out my phone to get the number.
“No. Just email it to me.”
"I've got it right here."
"I'll get it by email."

If I don’t give it, it’s a battle, that someone’s got to “win”.
And if I do give it, I'm now working for this douche.

Since then he married Britain's biggest Alpha Female and got loads of beautiful kids in a stunning mansion.
But... is he happy?

Also, if I spent less time on her Instagram would I achieve more?
Probably, but that’s not the point.

Women moan a lot about Alpha Male behaviour.
To Beta Males.
That’s our job in Nature.
We are masters of the Friend Zone.

But then the Alphas still get the best breeding opportunities.

If only Beta Males were more assertive, maybe they'd say something like:
“I promise you, I can fix the World in an instant.
Can you just stop doing Alphas for five minutes?”
But we won’t.
And they won’t.

On the upside, I am totally owning it over the Omegas.

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What if I am incapable of looking after my own personal data? #WeAreTheProblem


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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

What if I am incapable of looking after my own personal data? #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if I am incapable of looking after my own personal data?

I am completely incapable of looking after my own personal data.
I have given away so much.
I sing like a canary.
I don’t know who has what or why.

I love being data-mined: The electricity company wanted to know my first born’s name and date of birth.
“That's great! Are you going to make him a birthday cake?”
They said “Only if the oven’s electric.”
They’ve got an answer for everything.

They said that in an emergency, they know where all the vulnerable people are.
Yep. They used those words.
Like a serial killer. With the highest tariffs and a 20 minute switchboard hold.
And what emergency?
For what I’m paying, I want them there with a bedtime story and batteries for the DS.

They keep telling us: “You’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide.”
I’ve got loads to hide.
Doesn’t everyone?
That is a lot of fear.

So, I figured that if I get all of this stuff online for free... with the data I’ve got.
Maybe I could give them even more data to get even more stuff for free.

But now I can’t remember what data I’ve given to what company.

Every time I login I forget my fake details, so I register with them again.
And my details are getting faker and faker.

My bank asked me a really simple question:
“What is your name?”
So I told them.
“Er... uhm. Jehengir. I think. That’s I-t-h-i-n-k.”
“Date of birth?”
“Easy. Bottom of the menu. 1918.”
“And your place of birth?”
“In the woods.
Yes.
And my mother’s maiden name is AwwwwoooooOOO!”

I have created so many other people online...
And they are all doing way better than me.
I hope they get hacked.

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What if no caravan can contain this? #WeAreTheProblem


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Monday, 16 April 2018

What if no caravan can contain this? #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

What if no caravan can contain this?

I’ve taken my family on Caravan Park Holidays 5 times now because I clearly earn too much money and love my life.

The caravan has wheels but it’s static.
Which means you can’t move it to say, somewhere like, a better place to have a holiday.

My wife already knows every single worst aspect about me.
But now she gets to be locked in a plastic container with it.
For a whole week.

My kids, of course, argued the whole time.
Mainly about which facility they thought will kill them the first.

So we went on long walks.
Sadly the bad weather meant I never made it home.

It was so good, we stayed up all night.
Because the caravan’s curtains couldn't.

And the food is all-you-can-cook.
With the kitchen’s generous none-of-the-utensils.

On the first day I made soup.
It started out as bacon, mushrooms, beans and egg.
But with only one pot, it always came out as soup.
We had soup for every dinner.

And I am totally grateful.
Eating slop on a couch that reeks of dog anus.
It’s the perfect TV dinner.
57 channels and not one fresh vegetable.

The swimming pool was opened by Duncan Goodhew in 1987.
And it will be great when it is finished.

I think it's in his biography, under: “My Gift Of Hell To The Future.”

The water was just the right temperature, for a dead torso with no limbs.
Which is exactly what we thought would be bobbing along right next to us.

In the evenings, it has its own entertainment complex.
And it’s very complex.

For the adults, a bar.
And for the kids, unlimited cash gambling.
Rows and rows of coin pushers, prize grabbers and slot machines.

I tried to cheer the kids up by telling them it’s some kind of theme park.

Where the theme is profanity.

So now the kids are shovelling as much of my cash into these slots as quick as they can.

It was easier for me to lie upside down and jiggle my pockets.
Which ironically is exactly how they were conceived.

If you win a game, the machines pump out tickets.

The tickets are currency you can cash in for a wide choice of prizes:
Candy Canes, Cola Cables or Type 2 Diabetes.

They’re worth about a penny in bulk, and cost me a fiver.
An exchange rate so bad that it makes Brexit jealous.

We went for a break. And now I’m broke.


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What if they just teach on the inset days instead? And #PowerDaydream 197-203


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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

What if they just teach on the inset days instead? And #PowerDaydream 197-203



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place

My Power Daydreams this week.

Monday 2 April
"Daddy, you know Inset Days where they teach the teachers what they're meant to be teaching us?
What if they just teach us on the Inset Days instead?"

Tuesday 3 April
What if I am so lazy my best education for the kids is turning off Google's Restricted Mode.

Wednesday 4 April
What if I'm starting the decluttering with my bank account.

Thursday 5 April
What if my train of thought is more like a rail replacement bus service.
But I'm in First Class.

Friday 6 April
I’m the only able bodied man in this coffee shop, while all proper men are at work earning for their families.
What if I feel like a conscientious-objector.
And get a white feather instead of a flat white.

Saturday 7 April
What if men hide today’s newspaper in their DIY, because we know it will slow down that easily distracted future guy taking it all apart.

Sunday 8 April
What if I thought a Dad's job is to keep them alive.
But actually it's only ever about killing all of their time.


And if you're affected by any of the issues raised in this list,
All 365 PowerDaydreams from this year are here

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Why you can never delete your Amazon self-published printed-on-demand book. #WeAreTheProblem


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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Why you can never delete your Amazon self-published printed-on-demand book. #WeAreTheProblem



I overthink everything to make the world a happier place.

What if you can never delete your Amazon self-published printed-on-demand book?
aka Does Amazon have fake second-hand book sellers?


I wrote a book on Kindle.
Took me ages to get the pen off the screen.

But this was weird -- I self-published a book properly on Amazon instead.

It was an experiment - President Donald Trump tweets: What if I change all exclamations into question marks? (And 9 other major improvements for happiness)

And then I panicked.

In my head one night (at 1am) Donald Trump’s lawyers were going to come after me to sue me.

Right, I know!
Even though I’d just made every one of his 2017 tweets so much better.

But - I reasoned - if I am going to get done, I’d at least want it to be for something even closer to my heart.

It was self-published on Amazon's KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform, and the paperbacks are printed on demand.

So, I thought, I’d just go into the dashboard and un-publish it.

It’s easy, an option on a pull down menu.
But you get a warning.

“We’ll stop printing copies of your paperback to fulfil customer orders.
Third parties may still sell copies of your paperback on Amazon.
That means your paperback’s detail page will stay live on the website”


Well, I’m fine with that - the joke for me was that 4 were only ever printed.

The KDP dashboard tells me the exact number sold.
Ever.
And know where all of them are.

So this is the weird thing:
When I unpublished the book, the Amazon US listing shows that you can buy a copy “new” for $14.56
But I’ve got all the copies.

This feels ominous.



“Langton Distribution” says it has 1 copy left in stock.
Even though I have every single copy ever printed.

And it was only ever printed-on-demand.

Here’s what I’ve learnt.

You can never unpublish a book.

It will always be buyable - at a massive markup, possibly to Amazon.

But now my neuroticism means I’m a Beta Male who doesn't know to fear Amazon’s lawyers or Donald Trump’s lawyers.

On a book that sold 4 copies.

So the answer to the question (if you are searching for this on Google):
Can you unpublish or delete a book you have self-published on Amazon KDP?

The answer is no.

But Amazon doesn’t seem to want to be seen to be keeping it in print, even though (for a hefty price, to you) it is.

By the way, leave a comment or subscribe to my mailing list, and I'll send you a PDF copy of the book for free.


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What if I write a book of lists that I use for story ideas? List of 10 Negative Character Emotions


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