Posts Tagged ‘Humor


The Sound of Music – the Nuclear War special edition with lyrics

The first time I watched the Sound of Music, I was seven and genuinely perplexed as to why such a smashing young nun would fetch up with an octogenarian with a whistle fetish.

As I grew older, I realised why. He had a bloody great big house.

Last night, having been strong-armed to watch the Sing-a-Long version of The Sound of Music at the theatre with my daughter, I found the tables had turned. I was  actually LUSTING after Captain Georg Von Trapp and his long, hard whistle. My hills were alive. I wanted him to ford my stream, climb my mountain and add certain of my body parts to his list of favourite things.

Ill blow your whistle, Captain, oh yeah. Ill blow it real nice

I'll blow your whistle, Captain, oh yeah. I'll blow it real nice

Even though – and perhaps because –  his name is pronounced Gay-Org ( for those readers under the age of 25) I had suddenly discovered Captain Von Trapp’s allure. Definitive proof that the portrait ageing on my behalf in the attic affects only my body and not my mind – I may look like a 22-year-old glamour model, but inside I have the mind of a wizened 37-year-old. It’s like that Benjamin Button film in reverse. I think – I haven’t seen it.

While innocently looking for  red hot pictures from the Von Trapp’s honeymoon online, I happened upon the BBC’s plans to maintain public morale in the event of a nuclear disaster which involve none other than Gay-Org himself. Academic Dr Ian Bradley revealed the in-bunker entertainment for the dignitaries, celebrities and brown-nosers stashed underground while the rest of us are burning to death in the streets: “Shortly after the siren sounds, we can expect to see and hear Julie Andrews,” he said. Along with the three other riders of the Apocalpyse, presumably.

On the plus side, commoners like you and I (this is a vast generalisation, apologies to dignitaries, celebrities and brown nosers reading) will not have a place in one of the 20 bunkers around the UK that will be screening The Sound of Music on a continual loop for 100 days. On the minus side, that’s because we’ll probably be dead.

For those of us left above ground, the most sensible thing to do will be to reach for the Government’s Preparing for Emergencies booklet, which advises us not to panic. Not panicking is especially easy if you have been reduced to dust by an atomic firestorm.

If you’ve made it through the initial blast, and are simply waiting to vomit up your liver when gamma rays permeate through the double glazing,  you can always summon up a little of the BBC’s plan to inject the feelgood factor back into your life by singing the songs from The Sound of Music yourself.

I can see it now, the family huddled around grandma, who is still burning brightly, and trying to remember the lyrics to Favourite Things:

“Toxic rain on babies and weeping sores on kittens, bright orange fireballs and radiation-proof mittens, deformities caused by rogue DNA strings…these are a few pesky nuclear war things.

“Incinerated ponies and crisp quick-fried poodles, sirens and screaming and living off Pot Noodles, wild geese that fly with scorch-marks on their wings…these are a few pesky nuclear war things.

“When the bomb hits, when black rain falls, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember Gordon Brown’s underground, and then I don’t feel so bad…”

Really, though, check out the Von Trapp fox, ladies. All aboard the time machine, I’m heading for the hills.


giving barbie heroin to the kids – is it wrong to drug children?

The hangover from Scarlet Fever lurks in the household like a persistent stalker outside the bathroom window.

Headaches abound, and everyone is clamouring for drugs. Everyone apart from me, of course, because I am harder than a diamond and actively enjoy suffering because it reminds me how awesomely brave and stoic I am, like Joan of Arc, but with better hair.

At times like these, I thank all that is holy for Barbie heroin, mother’s little helper, also known as junior paracetamol.

"Mummy says this will have to do until Mr Big scores some of the pink stuff."

Ah, the crimson-hued bringer of peace, the glittering syrup of silence, the strawberry-flavoured elixir that makes hurty tum-tums go bye-byes at bedtime.

It came as somewhat of a blow, therefore, to read a report from the Food Commission revealing that a huge number of junior medicines are jam-packed with a cocktail of synthetic dyes, preservatives and sweeteners, all of which are banned in food and drink made for young children.

Apparently, junior paracetamol isn’t extracted from organic pomegranates, the glitter isn’t fairy dust and when we give them a painkiller, we might as well be injecting them in the eyeballs with amphetamines or passing them a crack pipe (as if! That crack is all mine).

A conspiracy of silence surrounds the administering of infant paracetamol. Parents who would rather gnaw off their own arm than give their children sweets will cheerfully funnel neon pink numbing sparkle juice into their offspring at the merest hint of an injury or an ache.

For all those parents confused about the difference between additive-riddled sweets and additive-riddled junior medicines, I have compiled an at-a-glance guide.

Sweets are:
(a)     The devil’s own work and single-handedly responsible for the rise in childhood obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, gun crime and global warming.
(b)    Bad because they make Tilly hyperactive if she so much as SNIFFS a Starburst.
(c)      Ultimately pointless because in time, Tarquin and Jemima will actually prefer dried kumquats and candied beetroot to a packet of Haribo or a bag of space dust.

Junior medicines, on the other hand, are:
(a)     A bloody Godsend. Put your thumb over the ingredients label and pour a spoonful would you? EastEnders is on in 10 minutes and I can’t hear the telly through the screaming.


National Carrot Day! Celebrate with my vegetable porn!

In these dark times of recession and gloom, we need carrots more than ever (literally, if we are to believe our grandmother’s claim that they help us see in the dark).

Like an orange beacon of hope shining in a sea of misery and mire, the carrot stands for all that is good and honest in the world. I only wish I liked the bloody things, but they turn my stomach every time I force the kids to eat them at gunpoint. Still, in the spirit of bringing light into the darkness, and as it is National Carrot Day today, I thought we could celebrate the world’s second favourite root vegetable together.

Yes, I know they’re not as good as potatoes – let’s get it out there before anyone else does. But answer me this: can potatoes turn your urine orange? No, they cannot. Are potatoes the national vegetable of the Dutch Royal family? No. Did the Anglo-Saxons use potatoes as a medicinal drink to ward off the devil? No (and they wouldn’t have even if they had access to a time machine because potatoes are notoriously redundant in the battle between good and evil).

Below are some of my favourite carrots. One is a picture of a carrot I OWN! There is a carrot-based prize for whoever can identify the Womaninblack’s personal carrot:

1) DID YOU KNOW? The Greek soldiers who hid in the Trojan Horse ate plenty of raw carrots to give themselves constipation.

Go on baby, give me all that lovely Vitamin A

"Oh yeah baby, give me all that lovely Vitamin A, give it to me good."

2) DID YOU KNOW? Scientists are working on bio-fuel made from carrots. It would take 6,000 carrots to drive for a mile – a pack of around 12 carrots costs me about 50p and I generally drive around 10 miles a week, so that makes my weekly fuel budget a wallet-friendly £2,500. Thanks, carrots!

Lauretta Bobbit had thought through her husbands dinner

Lauretta Bobbit had thought through her husband's dinner

3) DID YOU KNOW? Carrot vibrators are actually not made of real carrot, but rather a polymer substance called ‘IntimateSkin’. This version has a light up tip, which is useful AND reflects the natural qualities of a carrot, which are famous for helping you see in the dark.

Tired of raiding the fridge before bed?

Tired of raiding the fridge before bed? Wish your vibrator was also a torch?

4) DID YOU KNOW? Dream dictionaries, recognised by scientists as being 100 per cent factually accurate, state that if you dream of a young woman eating carrots, you will enjoy an early marriage and give birth to lots of children. EVEN IF YOU ARE AN OLD MAN! Fact.

happy carrot

Oh look! It's a root vegetable that looks exactly like a carrot!

5) DID YOU KNOW? The Celts used to refer to carrots as “the honey underground”. This is where the myth began that carrot cake was anything other than a dreadful idea cloaked in cream cheese icing.

Jocasta! Stop crying!

"Jocasta! Stop crying or there'll be no carob for afters!"

6) DID YOU KNOW? More than 139 per cent of British schoolchildren think that carrots grow on trees.

This has never happened to me before...just give me a minute...

"This has never happened to me before...just give me a minute..."

7) DID YOU KNOW? Name dictionaries, which are only three per cent less reliable than dream dictionaries, reveal that if your surname is Carrot, you will find your greatest joy expressing yourself creatively and not being held back by The Man and His Rules.

Carrots are surprisingly political - and good grated into a salad

Carrots are surprisingly political - and equally good grated into a salad

8) DID YOU KNOW? The world’s longest carrot was grown in 2007 and was a veg-tastic 5.839 metres long. It would have powered a bio-fuel car for around 249 metres.

Ok. So you're only interested in octuplet HUMANS, right? Racist.

9) DID YOU KNOW? In the 1870s, Iranian men used to drink carrots stewed in sugar to increase the quality and quantity of their sperm. This may, or may not be behind the legend of the ‘night vision prostitutes’ in Iran at around the same time in history.

In Britain, it is acceptable to dress as a carrot at funerals

In Britain, it is custom to dress as a carrot at every third funeral you attend

So – did you spot my carrot? Do you have a carrot-related story to share? Do tell.



Still looking for the G-Spot? Here’s why you can’t find it

Like Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster, scientists are now telling us that the G-Spot doesn’t exist.

This must come as welcome news to anyone for whom searching for the elusive G-Spot has always been, for want of a better phrase, a wild stab in the dark.

Scientists working at the University of Sheffield have revealed there is no evidence to support the existence of the G-Spot which was ‘discovered’ by German gynaecologist Dr Ernst Grafenberg decades ago. My, that must have been a popular degree course.

I always thought a woman’s ‘seat of pleasure’ was a chair positioned in front of The Wire season three, but according to Dr Grafenberg, it’s actually a tiny, nerve-packed area offering a sexual punch second to none.

The search for the G-Spot has been similar to that for the Holy Grail, Noah’s Ark or the key to the shed which was last seen in 1993 near the broken umbrella in the hall; pointless, time-consuming and ultimately fruitless.

Generally, heterosexual men fall into one of three camps – those who pride themselves on being the embodiment of The Joy of Sex, those who read Cosmopolitan once  and think this qualifies them to know what women want and those who believe pleasuring a woman involves buying her a new vacuum cleaner.

The first group will not let you leave their room of seduction until your G-Spot has been found and pinpointed on an exact map of your body which they have covered in highlighter pen and plastered with Post-It notes. Damn it, you are going to ENJOY this sex. Right now!

Youre not leaving until I find out which one of these is your G-Spot

You're not leaving until I find out which one of these is your G-Spot

In fact, this may be how the myth of the G-Spot emerged in the first place.

Bored into a state of almost catatonic compliance, Dr Ernst’s wife suddenly realised that if she pretended he’d hit the internal jackpot then she might be able to go back downstairs and have a nice cup of tea and a piece of shortbread. Little did she realise that she’d condemned the rest of womankind to a lifetime of fruitless excavation with the sexual allure of a smear test.

Group two are by far the most common of the three – during the honeymoon period of your relationship, the bit where you still find the fact they trim their toenails with their teeth alluring, they might make a couple of attempts to get out the compass and ruler to make a cursory search for your ‘seat of pleasure’. Then, showing great common sense, they will give up.

The third category of men would probably gnaw off their left leg before they did anything other than recreate the sex scenes in the BBC’s Walking With Cavemen series. Foreplay for them involves clubbing women over the head and dragging them back to their pile of skins.

Surely for all those smug couples who claim that on the night they discovered the G-Spot a chorus of angels appeared towing a rainbow over the bed, the news that they’ve been getting worked up over an imaginary erogenous zone must come as a bit of a blow.

Personally, I find it hard to get too upset at the G-Spot’s demise, because you can’t miss what you never had, or that no one ever found, or, indeed, bothered to look for with any degree of enthusiasm.

In my experience, the men I have encountered along life’s highways and byways find it difficult enough to find  a huge pack of nappies in a  supermarket; their chances of finding a minute spot of questionable existence without benefit of large signs, helpful assistants and a tannoy system is negligible at best.

By widening the search to a G-Zone, scientists have offered men a fighting chance of being in the right area. Had they broadened the field to “somewhere below the neck and above the knees” it would have been even better.

So the G-Spot is lost, possibly forever. Although of course, you know what will happen now, you spend forever searching for something and then it just turns up when you’re least expecting it. Probably down the back of the sofa.

* The Woman in Black apologises for her two-day absence. The ‘G-Spot Workshop’ took somewhat longer than she had anticipated.


A talking vibrator – every shade of wrong in the sex toy rainbow

One Valentine’s Day, a friend of mine was given a ‘Talk To Me’ vibrator by a paramour keen to demonstrate his sexual liberation. As all ladies are aware, nothing says: “I love you” like being palmed off with a piece of plastic and then being expected to go away and make it work ourselves. You might as well just give us a dustpan and brush or a washing up brush and be done with it.

The vibrator had a heart-shaped controller with record and play facilities meaning it could be pre-programmed with a message that would play at seminal (so the wrong word) moments to “heighten the excitement”. Or cause you to make an ultimately very shaming phone call to the police, one of the two.

For those without any imagination whatsoever, the vibrator’s manufacturers made the following suggestions for appropriate phrases you could record for your loved one, such as “I love you baby” or “ooh honey, you look so hot”.

More terrifying than childbirth

More terrifying than childbirth

However, as figures reveal that most women buy their own vibrators, there’s more than an outside possibility that the only voice you could persuade to leave racy messages on a sex toy is your own, and when I last checked, leaving yourself dirty voicemail was as socially acceptable as wearing a hollowed-out baby seal as a hat.

I suppose, though, that for authenticity’s sake, you could record yourself saying out loud the things you might be thinking if you were with a flesh and blood partner: “have you put the bins out?” or “did I remember to tell you that your mother called? She’s checked herself into rehab again”.

Or maybe you could record your favourite celebrity from the television. Noel Edmonds on Deal or No Deal, perhaps (cockney rhyming slang joke: “It’s the banker!”) or maybe the music from CrimeWatch to perk yourself up a bit.

You could try and teach yourself a foreign language. Or remind yourself to pick up the dry cleaning – we women are adept at multi-tasking, I see no reason why we can’t make our orgasms really WORK for us.

By the way, the message left for my friend (and yes, it was a friend. Or was it a friend of a friend? Or was it a dream? I must move away from the photocopier) got somewhat lost in translation.

Rather muffled while in use, she thought it said: “I’d love a cup of tea” when in fact it said something about loving her cu…I’ll leave it there. I have young children and every time I curse a fairy dies. Or something.


PE knickers and the newest way to skive school – get so fat you can’t fit under a desk

School children have come up with a cunning new way to skive lessons – they’re becoming too fat to fit under their desks.

According to a policy commission on the future of education, standard school furniture is based on measurements made in the 1960s when children were smaller and thinner. New research suggests that the average height of children has increased at the rate of 1cm a decade, with the majority of growth in the lower leg, and that the prevalence of obesity among pupils has risen from around five per cent in 1985 to 15 per cent in 2008.

Positively anorexic in comparison to schoolchildren in 2009

Positively anorexic in comparison to schoolchildren in 2009

I’m not sure about you, but when I read those figures I’m not worrying about school furniture, I’m worrying about 1,000 years hence, when all our children will have lower legs that are a full metre longer than they are today.

They’ll look like grasshoppers. Finding them a pair of trousers or some wellies that fit will be even more of a nightmare than it is now.

Additionally, if the obesity crisis continues rising at its current pace, those spindly lower legs aren’t going to be of any use whatsoever – the first time children stand up they’ll buckle under their own gigantic weight and need to be wheeled around on giant skateboards for life. Thank God I’ll be dead by then.

According to studies, unless schools start ‘going large’ with their school furniture orders, children’s schoolwork could suffer as back pain distracts their attention and causes absence from school.

We may not have had an over-sized obesity problem at my high school, but we did have more than our fair share of those freakish early-developers who reach puberty at six and look like 45-year-olds by the time they’re 12, and they managed to fit under the desks.

As for myself, I certainly wasn’t overweight at school, although I may have been slightly under-height for my weight.

But even at my lowest height, ahem, I could still fit under a school desk and have room for a copy of Jackie magazine to read during geography, particularly when we were learning about the import and export trade in Nigeria (a subject as relevant to my life then as it is now, ie not at all).

Maintaining a healthy weight in those days meant not being so fat that your thighs persistently rubbed against the chewing gum left on the bottom of the desk by its previous occupant. These days it means being slender enough not to require being washed with a rag on a stick.

Namby-pamby excuses about desks and bad backs would have been met with hollow laughter and a month of lunchtime detentions in the lair of the terrifying bearded maths teacher whose hatred of young people was considered a bonus, rather than an impediment, to his teaching career.

It practically took the production of a death certificate to get you out of PE lessons, let alone ordinary lessons, and even if you had that, you’d still be expected to carry the netball bibs, keep score and apply pressure to wounds when required.

Forget about small desks and chairs causing backache, the PE knickers at my school in the late 1980s caused the kind of injuries to one’s self esteem from which many, including me, never truly recovered.
Even the good-looking twig-legged girls struggled in those monstrosities, so for those of us who had nice personalities and arses so large they had their own gravitational pull and corresponding solar system, the knickers were an appallingly unsubtle form of torture.

Quite why fostering team spirit amongst people that, on the whole, you probably wouldn’t spit on if they were on fire was considered edifying is anyone’s guess.

More to the point, why that fostering had to be done while wearing a huge pair of pants made from  an exotic blend of manmade fibres – one stray spark during hockey practice and the entire school could have been blown sky-high – also remains at issue.

Skiving PE, unless you were a future Oscar winner, was difficult, but avoiding communal showering was attainable with that classic Get Out Of Jail Free card – your period (unless you were a boy, when it was less likely to work unless you were dealing with one of the foreign student teachers).

There were many girls in my class who appeared to defy biology and have their period every single week of the month in order to evade the showers, but it was when it came to  swimming that the menstrual situation got really out of hand.

In the end, we needed a letter from our parents to prove the painters were in – teachers rightly feared a situation where only one student ended up in the pool, the pregnant one from the fourth year who realised the period excuse was out of bounds for at least nine months.

Come to think of it, even she could get behind a school desk. Just how big are kids these days? Should I be saving up for a winch for when my children hit puberty?

I think all this trouble began when they got rid of the nit nurses.


Competition: Give me your tips on how to be utterly and completely miserable and win a prize!

Today is officially the most depressing day of the year – you probably haven’t noticed, because as far as all of us who don’t have birthdays in January are concerned, the entire month is packed with a grim succession of unrelentingly depressing, bleak days during which our only entertainment is limited to wringing out our shirts when they become overly-sodden with bitter tears.

I have long thought that there is a compelling argument for us all to go into hibernation on January 1 and not come out until Pancake Day. And, incidentally, that Pancake Day should be moved to June.

I see no way that today can be my most depressing day of the year – for a start, I’m not at work, secondly I’m not planning to leave the house all day, thirdly I just found £5 in a coat I haven’t worn for months. In fact the most depressing thing about today might well be the realisation that my worst day of the year is yet to come.

It might be tomorrow. It might be the next day. Considering my company is downsizing in March, it might be backdated until Spring.

If only misery could be scheduled into your diary for when you’ve got enough spare time to wallow in self-pity, rather than it biting you on the arse when you’ve got a million and one other things to do. Just what is our preoccupation with being happy all the time, anyway? Surely one cannot truly appreciate the sun without having experienced the rain?

With this cheery, positive thought in mind, I’m thinking of planning a truly terrible day so that when genuinely miserable things do happen, they’ll seem like a walk in the park by comparison.

If you’re keen to follow suit (and why wouldn’t you be? Who doesn’t enjoy a hell of their own making? What do you mean you didn’t spend half your teenage years in a darkened bedroom listening to The Cure and writing poetry?) I’ve compiled a handy, cut-out-and-keep fast-track guide to guaranteed desolation. I know: I spoil you lot.

1) Go into a mobile phone shop and ask for something really simple, like a mobile phone. Set the timer on your watch and observe as an hour of your life drains away while a teenager called Glenn drones on about contracts, talk-time, ‘free’ text messages which you pay through the nose for and then, inexplicably, gives you £15 of your own money back as ‘cashback’ when he could have just deducted £15 off the bill in the first place. Leave with a phone which cost you three times more than you intended to pay.

2) Take your children shopping to the supermarket. Enter into as many pointless rows about what you will and won’t buy as possible.
Try and include the phrase: “I don’t care what (insert name of child’s friend) x’s mother lets them eat” regularly. Leave in a cloud of shame as your offspring sob pitifully – and loudly – at the lack of Dairylea Lunchables and/or 2ft Lindt chocolate Easter bunnies in your trolley.

3) Decide that today is the day that you will get on top of your finances and sort out all that paperwork you’ve been avoiding for months. Read through all your old bank statements, circling all the purchases you made which were an utter waste of money and which brought you only spiritual hollowness and financial penury. Realise that you have spent £514 at Thresher in six weeks. Realise that your car insurance direct debit has mysteriously disappeared and that you have been driving illegally for the past nine months. Realise that your financial future involves queuing up at soup kitchens and carrying your bed in an Asda carrier bag. Spill tea over several vital documents. Go back to Thresher.

4) Clean the oven. Make sure you start less than 30 minutes before you have to go out and that you wear something white.

5) Try and get a cat in a cat basket. You may want to pick your day to be truly miserable on the basis of when you next need to take your cat to the vet. If you don’t have a cat, borrow the least friendly one you can find. For full effect, ensure that you forget to lock the cat flap and that you are wearing something flimsy and sleeveless as you attempt to force a formidably large cat into a formidably small basket.

6) Google all the hobbies, pastimes and vices which make your life worth living and realise that everything you do is killing you, in a really horrific way. Do not allow yourself the luxury of marvelling that you’ve made it to your grand old age without succumbing to heart disease/cancer or a whole host of stress-related illnesses – they’re in the post.

All together now, stop being so bloody chirpy and join me in a mission to reclaim misery for ourselves. And there’s a prize* for whoever comes up with their own top tips for being utterly desolate – put the meths down, wipe away the tears and leave me your comments.

* Terms and conditions apply and will be made up on the spot by me when I find a winner.

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