How Much Happiness A Hypothetical Yacht Gives You

Today I’d like to begin with the Earth shattering revelation that I do not own a gigantic yacht. Furthermore I wish to demonstrate that it would be a stupid thing to wish for.


Bear with me while I paint a hypothetical situation. A genie grants you one wish. You wish for a massive yacht. Per terms of the wish you are not allowed to sell the yacht. What you have wished for is a yacht which you are now stuck with. (Yes… The no selling rule is a half baked fix to make the so called humour in the rest of this piece work. I had some vaguely amusing thoughts…..they will follow. However if you can sell the yacht then that makes the yacht useful. All you smart arses would say “well this is all stupid… You can still sell the yacht and be well off…I’m sorry but I can’t find this funny as it has assaulted my willing suspension of disbelief”. So the genie says you can’t sell the yacht. End of )


So now you have this massive yacht. You can’t sell it (remember) so you have to keep your job in Carphone Warehouse or you’ll starve. But let’s say you want to try at happiness with this yacht and you book 2 weeks off work with your hypothetical mate Gary. The first problem is immediate. Hypothetical Gary can’t get the same two weeks off work. And overlaps are no good. You are at sea. He can’t join you half way through. He’d get hypothetically miffed that you’d fucked off without him and his hypothetical friendship would disappear.


After about a year of stress you finally find a mutually free 2 weeks. And you take to sea. Now to avoid arguments you decide to just head towards warmer climates. You are now just within the tropics in the central Atlantic. And suddenly you want a tube of Pringles.

“Can’t” says Gary, “you’re on a fuckin’ yacht”


How about a haircut?


“Can’t” says Gary, “you’re on a fuckin’ yacht”


This yachts looking a bit dull. Let’s go out and get some posters to put up in the cabin.


“Can’t” says Gary, “you’re on a fuckin’ yacht”


You wail loudly.


“You should have wished for a nice new house in Cantebury instead.” says Gary as he fades away (this is what hypothetical mates do)


You sigh dejectedly as you choose whether to die slowly on your stupid fucking yacht or leap into the sea.


It’s still better than being at Carphone Warehouse though.



Sticking Forks In Electric Toasters is a Bloody Good Idea

I’m sure millions of sensible people stick metal forks in toasters plugged into the mains everyday and that they are all absolutely fine. In fact I expect these multitude of fork clutching oblivious daredevils are dressed in business suits and have just woken up from an intellectual dream about the finer points of Dickensian literature. What’s more I’ll bet these same people then instantly burst into tears that their major in English Literature was now only good while they were asleep. They are very sad that they have to wok in marketing for Asda despite this intuitive poetic grasp of the intricacies of the human condition that flows through them. Asda has constructed a multinational tomb for them that cares not about this flow. Fuck Asda.

Still their sadness is not the point of this rambling. It is not their motive. They are not sticking the fork into the toaster because they are sad and hope to erupt in a final spasm of fireworks in their studio flat’s kitchen. No, our besuited protagonists actually want to get the toast out of the toaster. They did it once when hungover and didn’t get electrocuted. So they did it again. Now they are confident they will not explode, the cocky bastards.

In university they discovered that doing a multitude of bloody stupid things would not result in instant death, combustion or decapitation and conversely made them more popular. Their nan said doing those things would be the end of them. Their nan though was not as worldly. Now because of their nan’s over cautious warnings they have lost faith in advice from those older than them.

This morning they are shoving a fork in a toaster. For breakfast they’ll have skittles. For lunch they’ll cross the road without looking both ways. In the board meeting they’ll drop their Hs and Ts… And the world will keep turning.

But then midlife will hit. The cumulative affect of getting away with things their nan told them they aught not to do will become a blueprint on how to plan the midlife crisis. They will draw up a list of how they are going to skydive while tied to a bear, go kayaking with their vessel filled with scorpions, juggle whiskey bottles filled with sulphuric acid, stick an even bigger fork into the PA at a Slipknot concert or enrage a farmer by tempting his favourite cow over an unusually deep cattle grid.

The only possible outcomes to all this are following through and ending up dead or remembering you have kids, telling them not to stick forks in toasters and inflicting the same dreadful life upon them.

Nice one nan.

Methodically Munching Beetles

Note: I have decided to leave in my apparent misspelling of Latin entomowhatsit terms to enrage 1 entomologist friend who didn’t need to look it up on Wikipedia like I did.


The sneakiest arthropods I have yet to encounter were members of a colony of Vietnamese Cigarette Beetles that terrorised me for a full year. It is impressive that they have won this title for two reasons. Firstly I was in Bath, the U.K. at the time and secondly I once had my car stolen by a spidercrab who convinced me that my shoes were untied.

But despite my antipathy for them I never meant to eat them. Every morning. For a week.

Had I been living with anyone at the time this is probably what would have happened:


Normal Dave: Shit Matt the cupboard is full of tiny weevils!

Me: No these are not weevils. Weevils are characterised by a proboscis protruding from their mandible area which sets them apart from other Insecta sharing the order Coleoptera…


At this point a fictional housemate would have bludgeoned me but this is why I lived alone I suppose. However I thought it only fair to create Normal Dave so that you see early on what kind of know all jerk you are bothering to persevere with beyond 140 characters.

Anyway cupboard was full of tiny beetles of the family Animobiidae and I found them and their tiny Animobiidae corpses littering my cupboard and work tops for months.


Not yet having them identified (they were eventually by the Natural History Museum, where I was a volunteer) I spent several months looking through bags of flour yet finding no trace of them. Unusual.

Eventually I located a likely vessel which had deposited them in my kitchen. A bag of dry chillis I had purchased from a specialist food emporium in town. Still, pre identification I just assumed they were show off hard bastards-

Hard Animoiidae 1: Forget your wussy flour. Watch me lads! *chomps chilli* *(arrgh mummy! It burns it burns!)* ha, didn’t hurt a bit!

Hard Animoiidae 2: Anyone can do that! Etc

Nerdy Animoiidae who hangs out with the Hard Animoiidae and makes fun of all the other nerdy Animoiidae much like Richard Hammond’s relationship with Jeremy Clarkson: I’m going to pretend that I support this and point and laugh at anyone who doesn’t join in…..


Anyway, the knock on effect, fashion being as it is we soon have an entire colony of tiny beetles trying to look hard.


I got rid of the chillis and sealed everything else. Yet they returned. I discovered the new source several months later. They had crawled through the holes at the top of a pot of Asda Smart Price pepper. These hard bastards would munch anything to look hard. (By now natural selection would have eliminated the Richard Hammond and politer nerd strain anyway. We are now talking a pepper pot full of Jeremy Clarkson show off wanker beetles. My guilt in committing mass Beetlecide by lobbing the pot in the outside dustbin was now considerably decreased due to the assurance they must now all be utter jerks)


A year past, the leaves fell from the trees and other season changing cliches etc etc. No beetles were seen.

I developed a taste for hot chocolate. My ex had owned the cocoa powder and had left it with me an age ago. I had never opened it.

I hardly ever drank hot chocolate before that. I spent at least an entire week assuming the chewy texture of the drink was perfectly normal.

You can see where this is going. When I finally investigated the jar of cocoa it wasn’t only replete with this offshoot colony’s corpses but also crawling with live ones.

I have no idea how they got into something that I had never opened. But once breeding in this gulag of eternal darkness they clearly had all needed to live a full life and could not escape. Over the whole course of a year I had not seen them once.


I was rather unfazed that I had spent a week methodically munching live beetles. Much like when you discover your favourite burger is made of badger meat in retail scandals that are all too common, I try to be rational. The reaction should not be- “badgers! Ugh!” But- “well what do you know! I must like eating badgers.”

So it seems I at least am happier to have a cup of beetle infused cocoa than I am to have a cous cous salad.