Google sees everything

Amazingly my apology worked and must have been seen by the almighty Google as when I came into work this morning they had sent me a link to their feedback survey.

 

So I took this to mean that my apology was accepted and we could all move on happily, but then I realised that if Google saw everything on the internet then they would also know what I got up to on Friday night. So I would also like to apologise for that, I was very very drunk and didn’t mean a word I said.

 

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I’m very sorry Mr Google

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything, I have been very busy and pretty much forgot all about this. But today something terrible happened and writing here is perhaps the only way I can try to make it right.

Earlier today I called Google to talk to them about Adwords. I spoke to guy for a good fifteen minutes; he was very helpful and made me feel like the Queen of the internet. At the end of the call he asked me to complete a survey about his performance which I said I would. So we said our goodbyes and then out of habit I ended the call without doing the survey.

I felt awful

This is exactly the kind of thing that will weigh on my conscience deep into the night and stop me from sleeping. So I immediately called Google back so I could rectify this situation.

 

Mary: Hi you’re speaking to Mary, how can I help?

Me: Hi I was just speaking with someone and I hung up by mistake, can you put me back through to him please?

Mary: Sure, what was his name?

Me:

[I couldn’t remember his name. Now I felt even worse. We shared a magical fifteen minutes on the phone and I couldn’t even remember his name. I didn’t want Mary to think I was rude so I tried to blag it)

Me: mumble mumble

Mary: Sorry I didn’t catch that, what did you say his name was?

Me: MUMBLE MUMBLE

Mary: I’m sorry, can you spell that?

Me: Look I don’t remember his name. Can you not just see it on your computer?

Mary: I’m afraid I can’t

ME: So you’re telling me Google can tell me where to buy vodka by the gallon, what that rash down there is and why my dog mysteriously has a limp but NOT the name of the guy I just spoke to.

Mary: err…. So maybe I can help instead.

Me: Well I needed to do a survey about that guy but I hung up by mistake

Mary: Oh don’t worry about that, it’s not really important, most people don’t do them.

Me: But I said I would

Mary: Seriously, it’s not a problem.

[She hung up]

So no joy there, but maybe Mary was right, maybe it’s not such a big deal. Then I remembered the guy said he would email me some information. It’s been six hours and he still hasn’t. Clearly he was just as hurt as I suspected.

But with no method of contacting this guy I’m going to have to hope that somehow by working for Google he becomes aware of this. So Google man I am very, very sorry.

————————————

 

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Can Hollywood help save the youth of today?

So yesterday I was without my laptop and instead had to amuse myself while watching some films.

I don’t know why I felt necessary share that, it’s not relevant to this post. Anyway afterwards I decided to amuse myself by watching some films. It got me thinking; a couple of posts ago I argued that rather than producing anti-smoking adverts, the government should just do nothing and hope that people will eventually forget about smoking.

Since then I’ve decided that, whilst this is definitely a great idea, it’s not going to have the sudden impact we need in our quest against smoking.

So what if we go in the opposite direction?

I don’t think that people are influenced enough by adverts, they’re great for putting a suggestion in your head, but they’re not long or immersing enough to make you want to change your life.

You know what really influences people? Big Hollywood productions.

So why not get some movie companies on board to make feature length films that are designed purely to demonstrate how bad smoking is? The kids all want to be Transformers and Pokemons after seeing them in films so surely putting an anti-smoking message in could have a positive impact.

The films would need to be from existing large franchises so that if they put in the same amount of effort and money as they would a normal film, it would make a profit. It’s a risky strategy; but I think that Hollywood owes the movie going public and indeed humanity in general, a huge apology for Norbit and indeed post-2001 Eddie Murphy in general.

Now I can hear you saying: “Surely crow-barring such a strong message into a film without ruining it would be impossible? 

Well I’m glad you asked,  fortunately I’ve come up with five films to show you just how wrong* you are…

*right

Indiana Jones and the Last Cigarette

Synopsis: The Nazis are at the height of their power, sure they’ve done some bad things but also they’ve used their superior science to discover the health problems caused by smoking and have set out to rid the world of cigarettes.

However, hidden away, in a long forgotten temple, is a cigarette which Jesus left un-smoked in an old ashtray at the last supper, the Holy Cigarette.

Can the heroic Nazis find and destroy it before the evil Dr Jones successfully clones it?

Sample Dialogue:

Indiana
Jones: Finally, the Holy Cigarette, if I can just get this back to the lab, we will all be free to smoke once again.

Nazi Officer: Not zo fast Doctor Jones

Indiana Jones:
Nazis. I hate these guys

Nazi Officer: Hand ze zigarette to me, ve can not allow you to undo all of our great vork.

Indiana Jones: People should be free to choose whether or not they wish to smoke, besides you can’t stop me, I’m the hero in this franchise.

The Nazi shoots him

Nazi Officer: Not in zis movie

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Cough

Synopsis: After defeating the evil Lord Voldemort who must not be named, Harry Potter doesn’t have much going on in his life. Depressed, he spends all his time smoking his (magic) pipe and drinking large amounts of (magic) whiskey in his (magic) dorm. Despite finishing school 20 years ago there is always a room for Harry at Hogwarts after the great things he did for the magic community.

Also because he’s a violent drunk who curses anyone who tries to move him.

 

Sample Dialogue:

 Ron: Harry, mate, it’s not normal for you to be spending all your time up here, can you at least open a window or something; I’m really worried about you.

Hermoine: We’re both worried about you Harry, you really need to go see a doctor about that cough, it’s not normal.

Harry: Pish off you two, I’m the speshcial one I can do what I want.

Apparently what he wants to do is collapse, as he immediately falls to the floor and later dies in hospital. We close with a shot of his tombstone:

 

 —

Star Wars – Revenge of the Cig

Synopsis: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away the evil Empire is attempting to get the entire universe to smoke in order to maximise their profits as they have control of the tobacco industry. The emperor is assisted by Darth Vader, a man who has smoked for many years and now can only breathe with the aid of his special suit. Vader is trying to persuade the heroic Luke Skywalker to abandon his anti-tobacco protest group and use his powers for evil.

Sample Dialogue:

Darth Vader: There is no escape, don’t make me destroy you. You do not yet realise your importance, together we can convince the remaining planets to take up smoking.

Luke: I’ll never join you

Darth Vader: Obi Wan never told you the truth about your father, did he?

Luke: He told me that cigarettes killed him

Darth Vader: No I am your father

Luke: No, no that can’t be true, that’s impossible.

Darth Vader: Seriously, I am, here’s a picture of me banging your mum.

He produces the picture

Luke: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 —

Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Lung

 Synopsis: Years of smoking have finally caught up with our hero, Captain Jack Sparrow. He can no longer run like he used to or speak at his trademark speed without coughing and spluttering all the time. He’s gone to see a voodoo priestess to see what can be done to save him.

“He’d have found it easier to quit with a patch”
Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

Sample Dialogue:

Voodoo Priestess: I see great darkness in your future and lungs, you should have quit smoking sooner Jack. I’m afraid that within two cycles of the moon you will be dead.

Captain Jack: Aaar Matey  shiver me (cough) and what not. I’ll just (cough) to the mystical fountain of (couth) and save me (cough)

Voodoo Priestess: The fountain can reverse old age and fix contrived plot points, but it can not cure cancer.

Captain Jack: Ar but the legend of the (cough) says that the (cough) of a mermaid can cure any man’s (cough)

Voodoo Priestess: Aye perhaps, but not cancer, death’s shadow stalks you.

Captain Jack: (cough) well (cough) about the Western Angel? It is said that her (cough) can bring everlasting life.

Voodoo Priestess: Look! I haven’t got all day and that cough is really pissing me off, you are going to die, nothing can save you. Talk about any more magical nonsense and I swear I’ll kill you myself.

She angrily pulls out a pistol

Cough Jack: Aaar (cough) shootme (cough) you may (cough) but I’ll use my (cough) amulet to…

 BANG!

 007 – From Russia with Love(ly tax free cigarettes)

Synopsis – High taxation and an economy in constant recession has meant that cigarettes have become too expensive for anyone in the UK to buy. Even the big wigs at MI6 are struggling to make ends meet, so M despatches her best man, James Bond, to infiltrate Russia and come back with as many cigarettes as he can hide in his suitcase.

 Sample Dialogue:

 Customs Official: So Mr Bond you thought you could get away with all these cigarettes and not pay the tax due to HMRC? Now, we have you trapped like the rat that you are.

Mr Bond: Do you expect me to talk?

Customs Official: No Mr Bond I expect you to die…

…In about 30 years from lung cancer and respiratory complications. if you don’t pack in that filthy habit.

So there you have it, a whole list of movies that probably won’t make children not want to smoke, but may very well help destroy Hollywood and isn’t that what this was all about anyway?

Edit: It wasn’t? oh sorry about that. 

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A Belated Happy Thanksgiving

I was working last night and as usual had the TV on in the background, muted so as to not distract me too much. I noticed on the news, that yesterday, our cousins across the pond seemed to be engaging in a larger than usual amount of flag waving and rallying.

I recalled that Independence Day was back in July so it must have been that other Holiday that we don’t really get over here: Thanksgiving!

So sorry it’s a day late but here’s three reasons I am thankful that I no longer smoke:

1. Late night visits to the shops

I have an incredibly impulsive nature and as such rarely plan ahead. Because of this I would often run out of cigarettes at the most inconvenient of times. Fortunately I live in close proximity to a 24hr petrol station, so there was also somewhere to go and get my fix.

Unfortunately if (as I often did) you arrived after 10pm the doors would be shut and you would have to order through the “Late Night Window” a more appropriate name would be “Window to Insanity.”

“You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it will really help you be able to relate to the condition our customers will leave in.”

Due to the relatively unskilled nature of the job, petrol stations appear to be staffed entirely by recent additions to our wonderfully diverse country. This isn’t a problem when you can go in and pick up and point to the things you want to buy. However; as immigration inspectors only work 9 – 5, once night falls they let out the ones who can sneak past an airport barrier but sadly not a language one.

A typical exchange would go something like:

Me: Hi, I’d like a packet of cigarettes please
Raj: Petrol?
Me: No, cigarettes please
Raj: Petrol?
Me: CI-GAR-RET-TES?
Raj: PET-ROL?
Me: DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?
Raj: Crisps?
Me: ENGLISH! DO YOU SPEAK IT?

Raj would wander off and return with a happy look on his face and an armful of crisps.

Raj: Crisps?
Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

At this point I would pull at my lighter to try and demonstrate what I meant, but this would be met with a scream of “NO FIRE” and alarms sounding.

2. You thieving bastards

I’m sure anyone who has ever smoked can relate to the fact that your lighters will frequently disappear. I recently learnt that there’s a whole group of people who have a fun game of asking to borrow a light and then seeing if they can get away with stealing it.

Have you ever tried to call the police and report the theft of your lighter? I have, it went about as well as you’d expect.

After dialling 999…

Operator: Which service do you require?
Me: The Police please


Ring Ring…

Operator: Police, may I take your name please?
Me: Fenter P Roadwise
Operator: What’s the nature of your call Fenter?
Me: I’d like to report a theft please
Operator: OK is the theft still in progress?
Me: No, I’m afraid they got away
Operator: OK is anyone hurt?
Me: Yes, me
Operator: Do you require an ambulance?
Me: Only if it comes with a qualified psychiatrist, I’m emotionally hurt
Operator: No, that’s not what I meant, is anyone psychically hurt?
Me: No 
Operator: OK, so it wasn’t a violent theft, what was stolen?
Me: My lighter
Operator: …your lighter?
Me: Yes, a man in the pub asked to “borrow” it then promptly left without returning it, do you think I should press charges for fraud as well?
Operator: Sir, Do you think this is a valuable use of the emergency services?
Me: Yes, one of my possessions has been stolen, I demand justice
Operator: People mistakenly take lighters all the time, I don’t think that counts as theft, I mean they cost like a pound, can’t you just buy another one?
Me: Oh so because an item doesn’t have much value it’s not theft? So justice is only for the rich is it? Well I’m taking it back for the black man.
Operator: I…wow…Firstly that’s not what I meant, secondly I’ve just pulled up your police record, you don’t appear to be black.
Me: Tsch What you talkin’ ’bout jive sucker?
Operator: OK I’m hanging up now, please do not call back, wasting police time IS a serious offence.

click

Me: Dang, Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

————————————————————————————-

Besides I’m not talking about these incidents, it’s the times when my lighter has disappeared when I know for a fact I brought it home that bothers me. Would it be paranoid of me to suggest that people were breaking into my house and stealing it? No!

The paranoia usually doesn’t kick in until a good ten minutes after I’ve used the lighter.

3. Other Smokers

About five years ago the smoking ban was introduced, so that it was no longer legal to smoke inside any public building. I didn’t have a problem with this, I would happily go outside to smoke whatever the weather, the problem I had was with the other people.

I smoked about 10 – 15 a day, which would mean 10 – 15 times a day I would have to sit outside with other people. As a rule I keep myself to myself, I hate small talk, it’s pointless and predictable; I’d rather sit in an awkward silence then have to listen to some idiot make the following remarks as if he’s the only person who’s ever thought them:

“Fucking government, why do they have to try and nanny us? Why can’t the landlord decide if he wants his pub to be smoking or non smoking? Then if you don’t like it, don’t go there”

“Religious wars kill more people than cigarettes but churches are still allowed roofs.”

“The atmosphere just isn’t the same in there since they banned smoking, there are kids and everything in there now.”

“My granddad didn’t fight the Nazis so I could smoke outside”
Oh what a zen like pearl of wisdom; just because you have the belly you are not Buddha reincarnated you fat fuck.

So to combat the tedium I prepared a reply to be used should anyone try to engage me in a conversation about the smoking ban. It was designed to subtlety let the other person know that I was not interested in ‘chatting’ with them.

Other Guy: 20 Years I’ve smoked and it’s never done me any harm, now I’ve got to be outside all the time and I’ve got the flu.

Me: FUCK OFF YOU WITLESS CUNT – I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU SAY ONE MORE FUCKING WORD I WILL STAB YOU IN THE EYES WITH THAT CIGARETTE AND THEN WE’LL LET THE CORONER DECIDE HOW MUCH HARM SMOKING HAS DONE TO YOU.

Guess what? People soon stopped talking to me and for that I’ll be eternally thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Stop Stoptober

So as I mentioned yesterday, today I’ll be looking at Stoptober…

For those of you who may not be aware., the government has created an initiative called “Stoptober” As the name suggests this is a large campaign to get people not to smoke during October in the hope that they won’t start up again.

A noble cause? Yes!  A good idea? Hell no, here’s why…

1. A lot of people will smoke more than usual

Does anyone remember No Smoking Day? Furthermore do you remember what you did on No Smoking Day? If you’re anything like me and literally every single other smoker I spoke to on these days, you smoked more than usual, just to stick it to “the man”.

Yay! Happy No Smoking Day!

 

As I mentioned in a previous post, a large number of people started smoking for reasons which essentially boil down to “Because it’s cool.” So now “the man” is telling you not to smoke for a month, what are you gonna do?

If you still smoke you’re gonna pretty much smoke continuously for the whole month.

Fortunately I’ve already quit, but let me assure you if I hadn’t I would make it my aim to smoke an impossible amount of cigarettes. I would have cigarettes coming out of every orifice, I would train my pets to smoke, I would use my persuasive nature to force other people to start smoking. I would sneak into hospital and put lit cigarettes in the mouths of coma patients, I would hide a cigarette in my underwear to get your mother in on the act, I swear to god I would even go undercover in schools to get kids on board.

“Remember kids, smoking is the only way to stop daddy getting cross with you”

 

2. People will take up smoking just to feel involved

As a rule, people don’t like to be left out of things. I’ve noticed that the government has plans to introduce TV ads, radio and print campaigns, Facebooks, Twitters and even apps to promote this “Stoptober”

How do you think the non-smoking section of society is going to feel when you’re all gathered around your Stoptober tree, singing songs about how you’ve quit smoking and exchanging gifts with one another?

All together now (to the tune of silent night)
“Silent Night, Cigarette so white
‘Scuse me mate, Got a light?
I left mine on the table at home
I’d call the wife, but forgot my phone
Please I need a smooo-oke
Please I need a smoke”

They are going to feel hurt and left out, so in the last week of September I fully expect to see a whole bunch of people take up smoking just so they can feel involved with Stoptober.

You may think that this is a point without merit, but we live in a society where earlier this year millions of people were lining the streets to wave a cheap plastic flag at an old lady, then later lined the same streets to wave the same plastic flag at “heroes” who “heroically” practiced running all their lives and then won a running race (heroically)

On a slight tangent: I’ve nothing wrong with patriotism but if you’re only patriotic when a large amount of PR tells you to be, then you’re an idiot. I’m willing to wager that half the people involved in the Jubilee celebrations think that the national anthem is “We Will Rock You” and that the Queen took the throne after defeating St George in a dragon slaying contest. 

Furthermore I think the Olympics are great, but if you think that someone who trained for years to run a race, then went onto win the same race is a hero then you’re also an idiot. That’s called doing your job. I spent the last two years doing a training course on graphics software. Now whenever I finish a leaflet my colleagues don’t start waving a flag at me and parading me around town on an open top bus. (Maybe I’m just bitter)

Dave from accounts had finally finished his annual budget report

My point is; a large part of society will hop on any old bandwagon just to bring some form of excitement into their lives and looking at the effort going into promoting Stoptober, I fully expect cigarette sales to quadruple in the last weeks of September.

3. Doing nothing would be more successful

As I’ve mentioned before, people talking about smoking all the time while you’re trying to quit isn’t helpful. Now I’m a firm believer of “Out of sight, out of mind” – There’s a whole generation of kids who only know about smoking from government campaigns telling them not to smoke. Can anyone guess what most children do when an authority figure tells them not to do something?

Hows that whole “eat healthy” campaign going?

The government banned cigarette advertising, they’ve banned cigarettes from being displayed in shops, so what’s the bloody point in spending millions of pounds putting infomercials showing smoking on our screen? Even if they’re designed to illustrate how bad smoking is, they are still highlighting the fact that smoking is still a thing that people do.

BOMB PLANE ISLAM – Right government, now that I have your attention (assuming of course any of my previous posts didn’t get it), for the love of god stop highlighting the fact that smoking exists.

Raising the price isn’t working, smoking will soon become a status symbol and something people aspire too.

Saying “it’s bad for you” isn’t working, the effects are too long term and people will be hooked before they care.

Making it illegal will result in ordinary, decent people being labelled criminals and will have as much success as criminalising drugs.

Just leave the packets, covered in warning labels, hidden under the counter for the next generation to forget about.

Wow, things got a little serious there for a minute.

Penis

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The Five Stages of Grief – Acceptance

Today we’ll be looking at Acceptance.

You’ve finally accepted that you no longer want or need to smoke. Your cravings should become less frequent and far easier to manage. You will finally believe that you’ve got your smoking addiction under control and that life is going to be much better and smoke free from now on.

WRONG!

Have you not been paying attention so far? Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. For the rest of your life you will be stuck in this acceptance stage, it’s never truly possible to conquer an addiction. Addictions are like horror movie villains, when you think you’ve got it beat BAM! it stabs you in the back.  Then the next time you think you’ve got it beat BAM! it stabs you in the back again, but this time in space.

I’m not sure what this has to do with addictions, I think I got a little carried away with that last metaphor.

So what can be done?

There’s only one thing you can do: DON’T SMOKE! Cravings will fade and vanish over the years but every now and then you will be tempted, all you have to do is not smoke. I really can’t stress enough the importance of not smoking when you are trying to quit.

I guess that’s all I can really say about the acceptance stage of the grieving process, but I’ve got a ton of work to avoid and foruntately for me the word acceptance has multiple meanings. So I’d like to write about one of these instead, specifically the acceptance of awards.

Now I know that this guide is in its infancy, but I can see from it’s steadily increasing readership, coupled with the fact that smoking has been in the national news twice in the past couple of weeks (Smoke free UK by 2032 and Stoptober – more on the latter tomorrow) that I’ve made a huge difference in the fight against smoking.

I’m really not easily motivated, so in order to keep up the good work, I need some form of recognition otherwise I’ll get disheartened and go back to spending all my time online doing far less productive (yet more pleasurable) things.

Not Pictured: Productivity

So with this in mind and a telephone in hand I spent some time yesterday trying to get the recognition that I* deserve:

definitely don’t

——————————————————————————————-

I recall that earlier this year that China’s Health Minister was awarded with a certificate of recognition from the World Health Organisation for his efforts to reduce smoking in China. Presumably he just ordered that they move all the cigarettes to the top shelves in the shops and if they’re willing to give out certificates for that, my guide can’t be too far behind.

Damn China, did no-one tell you to eat all your greens?

—————————————————————————————–

Ring Ring

Sandra: Hello, World Health Organisation, You’re speaking to Sandra, how may I direct your call?

Me: Hi Sandra, I’m calling to nominate myself for a certificate in recognition of my efforts to help reduce smoking on the internet.

Sandra: …OK? There’s not really a department for that, besides we don’t really have jurisdiction over the internet. Also do you not think it’s a bit egotistical to be nominating yourself for awards?

Click.

The call didn’t go as planned, but I’ll be damned if a receptionist is going to stand between me and international recognition. Fortunately I had a cunning plan:

Ring Ring!

Sandra: Hello, World Health Organisation, You’re speaking to Sandra, how may I direct your call?

Me: Ah, hello Sandra. I’d like to nominate someone else for an award. This person has done great work to reduce smoking on the internet. 

Sandra: Didn’t you just call? You sure sound like someone who just rang, also it says here that you’re calling from the same number. 

Me: I don’t know who that could have been. It’s a very big building here, lots of people call out from it. Also that last guy didn’t have this very convincing mustache.

(To emphasise this point I twirled the fake mustache I was wearing)

Sandra: I don’t know, this is a telephone, I can’t see you. I’m hanging up now, please stop calling.

Click 

Pictured: Sandra

Now you don’t get awards without having to go through a few hurdles, so I picked up my mobile phone and dialed again.

Sandra: Hello, World Health Organisation, You’re speaking to Sandra, how may I direct your call?

Me: Ay mon, waguan? Mi ben aksed by da grand council fo Australia to call ye an aks dat dis bredrin be gettin de award for smoking. Peace

Sandra: Australia?

Me: Tsch hear mi now mon dats wat I say

Sandra: …OK? Look firstly I believe you’re actually speaking in what sounds like a terrible Jamaican accent, secondly there’s no “Grand Council of Australia” and finally please stop calling or I will have to involve the police. 

Click

So many hours were wasted  getting into character as an authentic Aussie.

Clearly this Sandra is an intellect of the highest calibre, however I’m as determined as she is smart and surely an organisation with the word “world” in its name must have more than one receptionist…

Ring Ring

Sandra: Hello, World Health Organisation, You’re speaking to Sand..

Me: Damn!

Click

Ring Ring

Jane: Hello, World Health Organisation, You’re speaking to Jane, how may I direct your call?

Me: Ah herro Jane. I Hearth Minister for China, I call you to say I rost my Celtificate, prease can you send me new one. Arso I have moved to Engrand.

Jane: I see Mr Minister, please hold for a minute. 

 HOLD – So it took all my cunning but this time it appears I’m in luck.
I could barely contain my excitement.

A few minutes passed…

Jane: Thanks for holding, sorry to keep you waiting for so long. Now if I can just get your address I’ll be happy to send out a copy of your certificate for you. 

Me: (My address)

Jane: Thanks, obviously since this is very important we’ll have it with you tomorrow, thank you for calling, have a nice day. 

Click 

Success! OK I had to lie a little but I’m (sort of) getting an award…

————————–

I was so excited that I barely slept a wink last night, but when I awoke this morning it had arrived. Hand delivered by two policeman,  I am pleased to announce that I have been awarded with the Restraining Order (of excellence?) and will now happily continue to write this guide.

Sorry about that.

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The Five Stages of Grief – Depression

Today we’re going to look at the depression stage of the grieving process. It’s very important that you pay close attention to the following guide in combating depression else you will fail in your attempt to quit smoking.

During the depression stage you will be thinking things like; “what’s the point in carrying on, how can I possibly ever have fun again without smoking” and “I’m going to die anyway, who cares if I smoke or not” Well hold on to your hats folks, it’s only going to get worse from here on in. 

Now you’re probably thinking, this guy likes to try and be funny on the internet so he’s gonna tell a few jokes to help us get over our depression.

WRONG!

You can’t beat depression with humour; it just doesn’t make sense. We don’t live in some magical world where negativity can be defeated by a healthy dose of its positive counterpart.

For example; sending a calm person to talk to an angry person will only result in 3 counts of GBH and attempted murder and sending a thin person to go talk to an obese one will only result in an even fatter person and a partially digested thin person.

“I don’t see what the problem is, you told me to eat healthy and he looked really healthy to me.”

To further illustrate my point, I’d like to regale you with a true story from a couple of months ago which helped me realise this fact.


My Aunt Betty passed away and her husband Fred for some reason became very depressed. I guess he was more fond of her then I was. So as I have a reputation for being the “funny” one in the family (which I assume is down to my sense of humour and not my tendency to start arguments with pigeons in the town centre) I was sent to cheer him up. 

So I went round to see old Uncle Fred and knocked at his door.

KNOCK KNOCK

He answered the door, he looked like he hadn’t shaven in months and was incredibly thin. His eyes were red raw and he was shaking a lot, he sure looked like shit.

“Boy you sure look like shit Uncle Fred” I said, “guess that’s what happens without a woman around to nag you. Women psssh, am I right?” I held my hand up in preparation for a high five.

“Betty never nags me” he sobbed while beginning to cry.

never nagged you” I corrected him, still holding up my hand for a high five.

For some reason his crying intensified, so I lowered my hand and used it to pat him soothingly on the shoulder. “There, there Uncle Fred…” I forced my way into his house while continuing ” we all make grammatical errors from time to time, it’s really nothing to get all emotional about, I mean you’ve clearly got bigger problems to deal with, for a start your house looks like shit, no wonder Aunt Betty left you.”

He became angry “She didn’t leave me, SHE’S DEAD” he finished before crying some more.

Well of course I know that” I replied, “but my parents clearly told me ‘DON’T mention Aunt Betty’s death’  – oh and now I have, thanks a lot jerk. Wow if you’re always this mean no wonder she left you”

SHE’S DEAD, SHE DIDN’T LEAVE ME” he roared

HA HA Uncle Fred”  I chuckled “I’m not fooling for that one again, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice sh…

Look why are you here?” he interrupted.

Simples” I said  “My parents said you’d become very depressed and that I should come round tell you some jokes to cheer you up, so I guess I’d better get started

I gestured that he should sit down and coughed to clear my throat before beginning:

Soooooo” I said, whilst looking around for inspiration, jokes are best received when the person you’re telling them to can relate to the content, I noticed a lot of wedding photos spread out on the floor and a very untidy kitchen. I knew then that I had the perfect joke to snap old Fred out of his depression. “So is anyone here tonight married?” I asked

This was met with more crying.

Now I’ll admit I’m not the best comic in the world, but crying is not a reaction I’ve experienced before, I was beginning to get annoyed. “wow tough crowd, so errr how do you  tell if your wife’s dead?” more crying “Because the dishes pile up!” The crying yet again intensified. “BECAUSE THE DISHES PILE UP!” I repeated, they say laughter is infectious so I finished with a hearty chuckle.

I awoke a few hours later outside on the porch, we may never know why Fred felt it was necessary to throw me out or what led to his suicide later that evening but I learnt one thing for sure – Humour can not help fight depression

—————–

So how do we fight depression?

By getting even more depressed of course.

I know it sounds crazy but think about it, it’s like digging a hole, eventually if you keep digging you’ll make it out the other side, so with that in mind here’s a couple of things I’ve seen and read about lately that make me really depressed:

Charity Adverts
I’m sure you’ve seen them:

“This is Rasheed, every day he has to walk 100 miles in the hot sun to get water for his family. A donation of just £2 every month will ensure he never has to do this again.” 

Things like this really get me down, I’m lucky to find 5 minutes a week to stretch my legs, the water company is chasing me for an outstanding bill of £150 and I’m stuck in a country where the sun is a myth.  Whereas this arsehole has great weather, plenty of opportunities for exercise, cheap utility bills and still has the audacity to ask me for money. Now that’s depressing.

Fuck you Rasheed, you lucky, lucky bastard.

2. The economy 
The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. People are having to mortgage their grandmothers to put food on the table and 5% of adults are unemployed. 

Hang on! 5% of adults are unemployed? That’s like 2.5 million people, now I’m pretty sure there’s not 2 and a half million homeless people, out on the streets with no food or clothing. So that means these bastards have somewhere to live, food to eat and clothes on their back, that’s like literally all I have except I have to work 50 hours a week to get that. Now that’s depressing.

Look at that slide! I can’t even afford cable TV and these fuckers have got an adventure playground on their front lawn.

So there you go, hopefully that depressed you enough that you’re now smiling, I’ll be back Monday to finish this series off with Acceptance.

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