The Torment of Time Travel

September 20, 2018 1:36am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 10 Comments

Heathrow shuttle bus advert

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday! 

A terrible and wicked thing happened.

Whimsy got kidnapped. 

I know. But don’t worry, I managed to save it at the eleventh hour as is my normal policy. 

To my worthy readers – forgive me.  I know that without this humorous little piece of penmanship that life just hasn’t been the same and your Wednesdays have been utterly dreadful. 

To my other blogger friends- I will catch up with you and restore my inappropriate responses to your worthy work. 

What can I say?  You can’t miss me if I’m here all the time. 

The Time Traveller

The thing is, whimsy got stuck in a time travelling portal.  This is what happens when you cross over so many time zones that you don’t know what bloody day of the week it is, whether it’s breakfast or dinner time and what language is being spoken.  

WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S WEDNESDAY?!!!

I have been on so many aeroplanes I think I have club foot, a newly found allergy to British Airways chicken curry, a curious type of dementia caused by too many airport radioactive scanning machines and I’m quite certain I picked up someone else’s luggage because I have clothes I’ve never seen before.  

How To Combat Jet Lag

Rhodes island, Greece

Try and confuse it by over travelling and  violent nausea will way surpass the lack of sleep issue. 

Let me give you a valuable piece of advice: Consider your impetuous behaviour with care.  Whilst flying from Texas back to England for just a couple of days, ‘going on a bender every night to catch up with your friends and then immediately getting on another plane to a Greek island because, It’ll be alright – travelling around is fun’ might seem like a rather jaunty way to live, it’s actually bordering on life -threatening. 

By the time I got to Greece I didn’t know my arse from my elbow but as luck would have it, this time I’d managed to book myself into a beautiful resort with simplistic stunning scenery that would blow anyone’s mind.  Except for mine because it had already crashed and burned. 

Talking of Scenery…

Sunprime Miramare, Rhodes

Fortune shines on the brave and the, err, deranged, and not only did I have the beautiful Aegean sea to gaze at morning, noon and night but my hotel complex happened to have a team of about 30 Swedish athletes arrive on the very same week.  It was like watching a continuous movie of Thor in 30 different versions as bronzed Vikings pranced around all day and all night.  Unfortunately, because whimsy had been lost in a vortex,  I was in no fit state to make myself acquainted and despite my valiant efforts at thinking I could talk Swedish after 3.5 Ouzo’s I could barely master an Abba song.  

In hindsight it’s probably a blessing because I might now be holidaying in a Stockholm sanitarium and evidence may strongly suggest that I already have this syndrome with my British Airways captors.  As delightful as the Vikings were to look at, I got pretty irritated with the constant fitness activity when I was trying to catch up with sleep on my sun lounger.  People who exercise on holiday should be deported. 

Talking of leaving…

And after a much needed peaceful holiday, despite the Swedes running amok with their zumbathonian-water-aerobic-circuit training, the best way to totally destroy that inner zen that Thomas Cook made you pay a years wages for, is to think it’s a good idea to return back to America just three short days after returning from Greece to England. 

Because, let’s be honest, a three hour drive to Heathrow at 5 am in the morning followed by a ten and a half hour flight squished between a miserable cow with a personality disorder (didn’t have one) and a foul-smelling Frenchman( akin to garlic soaked old slippers) and a two -hour wait in Houston’s security line is just the ticket for a feel -good experience. 

Why hasn’t anybody told me how ridiculous I am?

And Just When You Thought I Might Have Matured…

I’m just three days into my overextended jet lag euphoria and I have to get on another bloody plane tomorrow to Chicago.  

I can feel your sympathy.  But when I break the time travelling phenomenon you’ll all be thankful. 

You’re welcome.

Girl from the future-past-present- once known as Jules….

All Roads Lead To Mattress

August 22, 2018 6:32pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 17 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

I am concretely towned out. From my concrete balcony of my concrete building I sit and watch the cars travelling along the concrete highway and feel frazzled. I think I should go camping in the countryside to even out the balance.  Or glamping.  I need a nice pillow in order to wake up civil. 

Talking of Road Trips…

Everywhere I go in Texas they are building another road. I don’t know how many roads are needed in America but it seems to be somewhat excessive. I’m baffled as an English person on how roads work over here: You have a highway. Next to that you have a frontage road. Both are going in the same direction because American infrastructure is built in squares. Then you have a flyover, which, just as luck would have it, is also going in the same direction. One might consider taking the road less travelled but there doesn’t seem to be one. I am totally confused. 

The Holy Grail of Endless Retail

I have come to accept that everything in America is in a strip mall which we in England call retail parks. You have tons of these and we have few. Generally, in the UK, everything is huddled in one place in the town and you walk around getting what you want from clothes to shoes to pubs to restaurants, etcetera. In America, you have to find the correct retail park and there is one after another after another. 

“I want to go to Pinto Ranch.”

“It’s in the strip mall”

“We’ve just passed 75 of them…”

“It’s in the 80th.”

“Oh..”

Strip malls, I have found, have no rhyme or reason to them. You can have a cafe, a reclining chair shop, a place to get a nice smile, a clothes shop, a fat reducing clinic and so on.  It’s pot luck on what you’re going to find apart from one major mainstay. 

The ubiquitous Mattress shop.

Seriously.

Every single strip mall has one. 

Why?

No Sleep For Leaf Blowers

Is leaf blowing a disease?  I think it is. Never in all my days have I seen so many leaf blowers in my life than I have in America. Since I usually come to the States in Spring or Autumn I have accepted that blowing leaves away was somewhat justified given the time of year even if I did find it a little over the top.  However, here I am in the height of summer where every single leaf is stuck to a tree and yet they are out in force.

I marvel at this madness as guys come out daily in competition with their thundering machines, sometimes two in each hand, blowing God knows what away into the abyss. 

I have noticed that the most aggressive blowers seem to be very short Mexicans. They can’t seem to stop.  Maybe we have a Napoleon complex going on here and the rip-roaring growl of the phallic leaf machine gives Mr. Shorty a sense of manly prowess. 

FAIL.

Really? Go and buy a muscle car, mate. Drive it hard and fast along the endless highway and go and treat yourself to a nice mattress. Feel free to take your leaf blower to bed with you, do us all a favour, and knock yourself out. 

Talking of Mind-Numbing Activity…

In pursuit of calming therapy I visited the nail salon for a pedicure and manicure. The first time I went to one of these in Austin, TX, I got raped by the mechanical chair.  Most unfortunately, Fortunately, this didn’t happen again.  The massage chair stopped at my coccyx then took a fast run up my spine like a dodgy rollercoaster to the back of my head and began to beat the crap out of my frazzled brain.

“Errr…can we turn this off before I have an aneurysm?”

“Sure lady, you relax – relax.  Putting feet in water!’

“OW! Water very boiling!”

All nail salons are peculiarly run by Koreans or Chinese and I find myself stupidly adopting the accent when in situ and I don’t know why this is. 

I also sit there listening to them talk to each other and find myself mouthing the words without realising.

“Lady, you say something?”

“Oh! Err… no! haha!  Just errr…practising my face exercises!”

“Where you from? Australia?”

“No, England.”

“Australia very niyyyyce!”

“I’m sure it is.”

“You lika the kangawooo?”

“Yep. Goes great with Yorkshire pudding.”

Don’t you just love peoples listening skills?

“What colour you want?”

“Red”  This is me now being deliberately pedantic because nail salons have at least 456 variations of red.

“Maybe you wanna try somethin’ differennnt.  Maybe the green or sexxxxy blue.”

“I have an aversion to gangrenesque phalanges.  I’ll stick to my Australian class.”

“You very funny. You wanna drink?”

“Sure, what ya got?”

“Sprite (obvs) water, wine – red or white.”

The Brit in me is unable to pass up on free alcohol so I asked for a red wine.  I should have known that this was a mistake because a nail salon is not going to be offering a nice glass of Elvivo Cogno Barolo, but I was tragically exhausted and not thinking straight.

Out she came with a white wine.

“I bring you very special white wine, lady.”

How pleasantly surprised I was to be given something I didn’t want. Not to be rude I took a sip and instantly regretted it. How I inwardly curse my English manners sometimes. Warm, cloying cheap-as-chips wine that wouldn’t even pass a dehydrated urine test. Yum.

“It’s good, yeahhhhh?”

You are a psychopath,  Name me a good Asian wine if you would, missy,  I absolutely frikkin’ hate it and you for giving it to me, Where can I spit this out where it won’t blind anyone? 

“Delicious.”

Talking of Whimsy…

I have recently been informed that this here blog has been listed in the top ten of Best UK Satire Blogs on the planet.  

Sadly there wasn’t any cash prize, trip to Bora Bora or golden trophy but it’s very nice to be acknowledged after ten years of bleeding snark out onto a keyboard and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me over that time.

I’m only saying that because I now have nice red nails, my teeth are bleached beautifully white from the acid wash at the nail salon and the resident leaf blower is off sick which has put me in a good mood. Count your blessings. 

A Taste of Texas Without The Fries

August 15, 2018 9:11pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 17 Comments

Abstract photo of fast food retail

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

Why Texas?  

Many people ask me what it is about this state that keeps me coming back and I’ve never been able to put my finger on exactly what it is. It somehow maintains a frontier spirit, even amidst the corporate faux towns that could be a snapshot of any American city.  It has its own kind of heat that is oppressive and unyielding; if you can live here you’re tough enough to stay. It feels independent. It breathes attitude. It smells like freedom. The sky calls you to keep travelling into its vastness and hours later, you’re still in Texas.  When the sun goes down the humidity rages along with the rattling insects and mysterious chirps as life fights on.  

But most of all, it’s the Dalek.

Williams Tower Houston

People here call this a tower but I call him the Houston Dalek – He who protects inhabitants from evil whilst they slumber.  

I Clearly Need Saving From Myself

And then there are the old-fashioned southern manners that take me back to an old Western movie.  Being respected and treated like a lady wherever I go has turned me into an old-school western heroine that needs saving and protecting. Doors held open, lift doors braced as you leave or enter, always allowed to go first, collected from vehicles, standing up when you excuse yourself  from a situation and being spoken to like a queen. I love it. It encourages me to embrace my sexuality and feel like a proper woman. I want to wear my high heels more and my girlie lipstick.  I want to brush my hair, wear pretty dresses and smile sweetly.  

I cannot fathom why any woman abhors this kind of behaviour from a red-blooded male. 

It makes me sick when I go home and it stops. I stand at doors sulking like a petulant narcissist.  

The only problem is I have now lost all upper body strength and if I had to open the emergency door to a plane I’m not the person you wanna be relying on.  

I went to the gym in my apartment complex the other day and couldn’t move the chest press.  Three times I moved the weight down. Nada. 

It must be broken. 

I eventually moved it to the lowest weight which I believe was “5” ounces and broke out in a sweat after two pushes. Total embarrassment. 

I even failed to open the door to the bar! A valet had to rush and help me as I railed against it to get to my lemon drop martini. 

“There you go, ma’am,” he said as he opened the door easily with just a forefinger.

Don’t bat your eyes at anyone when you’re wearing roller lash super curling and lifting mascara.  It makes your eyes stick together. 

Talking of Eyes Forward…

Once I got inside the bar, just underneath the Dalek, I sat watching how well people interacted with each other. 

Male at bar looking at phone

Not. 

Everybody bar me and a chap to my left sat staring at their phones blissfully unaware of what was going on around them.  I find it infuriating. It makes me want to do something obnoxious to see if anyone notices. Which is so unlike me. 

The only virtually addicted people I would like to meet are the ones on my Wi-Fi list below. 

Anyway, the chap next to me asked for a drink in an English accent which distracted me. It’s so easily noticeable over here because it sounds really odd and stuck up. 

“What are you doing in Texas?”  I asked a little fiercely like the state belonged to me.

“It speaks to my spiritual soul.” 

There’s always one smart arse that can sum up what you want to say in one sentence and you can bet your life it’s going to be English.  But hey, that’s not the way I party with words.

Talking of Rock and Roll…

I got taken out. Yes, believe it or not, people are brave enough to do this over here. I like this hardcore spirit.  I was asked if I’d like to watch a country and western singer out in a place called Crockett. Music to my ears in more ways than one because I love visiting these little old Texan towns. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. 

Crockett, Texas music hall

It took two hours to get to this awesome place. That’s four hours travelling. I could be in the furthest Greek island from England in that time.  It totally blows me away how far Americans are prepared to travel to go out and why they need great big growling trucks to do so.

On the way back I was asked if I wanted a Sonic.  

My normal reaction is to say yes to everything but I’ve learnt that Americans can have a mean streak.

Example:

“Jules, you ever had catfish?”

“No.”

“Here, try this. You’ll love it!”

“Ok!”

“Why has it got a big bone in the middle? That’s not a fish bone.”

“Because it’s a toads leg! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

“Your card is marked, pal.”

Not knowing what a Sonic was, I refused. It could have been a hedgehog.

“But you have to! It’s an American tradition!”

“Yeah, so is eating grits. Nuff said.”

Turns out that it’s a fast food joint so I said to get me whatever the tradition was expecting a burger like normal people would eat.

No.

Fries and a chocolate milkshake.

“You have to dip your fries in the milkshake.”

“Do I look stupid?”

*crickets*

“It’s tradition.”

“No, It’s mental.”

I tried it. Never again.  Whatever possessed someone to make this a tradition or delicacy is beyond me.  A country full of the finest of foods where starving is impossible and you dip your fries in a milkshake? 

Talking of Mission Impossible…

Drive in movie sign

I went to my first Drive-In Movie. This has been on my American bucket list for ages. I was so excited and felt like I should dress up like Olivia Newton-John or something.

Drive in movie screen

However, skin-tight trousers might prove difficult if you want to nip to the loo.  Did they even have loos?  Who knows?  Maybe you have to pee in the field like you do at deer hunting camp? 

“What time does it start?” I asked.

“Dusk.” 

What is this, ranch speak? 

I can only describe the experience as like going camping but with a big telly.

There are people with chairs and blankets and cool boxes.  There are burgers and candy floss and popcorn.  There’s beer in my handbag.  

My only criticism is that you can’t keep the air con on so I was sweating more than Tom Cruise mid mad stunt. Other than that, I absolutely loved it and want to go again!  Naked. 

Talking of Raw Meat…

The best place I’ve had it is at “The Taste of Texas”  

I had to be taken out back where they cunningly had a little butchers shop (first one I’ve ever seen in America) to pick my meat.

“How do you like your meat, Ma’am?”

“Full blooded, firm and mouth wateringly orgasmic.”

“Would you like to feel this package?”

“Oh yes, don’t mind if I do.”

“I think the veins running through this are lean and strong. Would you like me to mark it as yours?”

steak in American restaurant

“Have it unwrapped and bring it to my table, sir!”

“Yes, Ma’am!” 

Steak on a plate in texas

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout, Merrica!  I’ve steaked my claim! 

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