I snapped tonight. No, I’ve not been doing yoga again, this was on the commute home. If you’re a regular reader you will know this has been coming for some time, my journey to the Tube an ordeal because of inconsiderate brolly owners and religious zealots, and my journey on the Tube a constant source of fury because of selfish twat commuters. Well, tonight I fought back.
I’m very rarely deliberately offensive to women. Sure, I engage in playful banter that to an eavesdropper might sound bad but it’s all in good fun, and of course there are also the many times when I have completely inadvertently said the wrong thing to the ladies. But generally I worship these dainty little creatures and show them respect and love. Mostly unrequited love to be honest but anyway. Sometimes, though, something just has to be said in a situation, and sometimes you know that in order to show someone that they are being unreasonable, you have to be upfront, blunt, honest, open and savagely insulting.
I left work about 6.30 (or if my boss asks, quarter to midnight), and headed in to Oxford Circus station through the gates and towards the escalator down. It was very busy, as usual. I was conscious of the fact my rucksack was more full than usual (more on that later) and was sticking out quite a bit from my back. I took care as I was moving to ensure I didn’t bash anyone with it, because I’m not one of those many millions of pricks in this city who walk around swinging golf bags, handbags, shopping, umbrellas, children etc around the place as if they’re the only fucking person in London.
As I got to the escalator I was being jostled quite roughly from behind, and heard some tutting. Yes, my bag was pretty full, but it was on my back and shouldn’t have been much inconvenience unless someone wanted to get way closer than a safe stopping distance from me. Now, I always get on the left side of the escalator and walk. Some people choose to stand on the right, that’s fine. Just as I was getting on the escalator, I felt my bag get shunted onto the right side, and this woman barged the rest of me the same way. I was now on the wrong side; I turned to see my attacker and this mountain of a woman was stomping past me, having basically crushed me in her path.
I gave her a right dirty look. I couldn’t tell whether she gave me a dirty look back or if that was just her normal face, and she grunted at me “Do you have to have that massive bag on your back! It’s very busy here, we’re all trying to get home!”
With barely a thought, I replied calmly “Even with this bag on I’m still taking up less space than you, you fat bitch. If you want to see a really massive bag, look in the mirror.”
It was the perfect public confrontation because by the time I finished she was about 5 steps further away from me down the escalator as she was on the walking side and it was busy. The people around me looked awkward like they were pretending they didn’t hear or see anything, and I heard one solitary “HA!” from a young straggly-haired student-type lad a few steps down.
I’ve got nothing against larger ladies but how dare she have a go at me for “taking up too much space”. She was so big she had her own Royal Mail sorting office; why is my backpack any less valid an accessory than her enormous planet-colliding arse, shapeless water-balloon tits or her loosely-folded gut.
But what was particularly ironic about this encounter was the fact my rucksack was so stuffed because it was … literally … full of pies.
M&S advertised this to me a few days ago on Facebook, it was possibly targeted at me because my profile lists me as Scottish. What a beauty. This, where I come from, is proper M&S food porn. I work next door to a large M&S, and as luck would have it I had an hour and a half to kill while a guy from IT installed one fucking piece of software on my PC.
I ventured next door, assuming they wouldn’t have it, maybe it’s only sold up north, and if they did stock it, they’d be sold out completely right? I was amazed they were even advertising these things, there was probably a pre-order scheme, countless pies ending up on eBay on release day for a quick profit, these pies would not have lasted on shelves.
I eventually found them, they were smaller than I’d expected, but to be fair I think I had unrealistic expectations and the pie I imagined would have been unfinishable. Bargain alert, they were on 3 for 2. Introductory offer. I started doing my three times table in my head while also trying to calculate how many I could physically carry to the checkout. But it was all academic, there were only five left.
I picked up three, you know one just to check if I like it, then one to double-check, then one to celebrate my decision.
Getting to the checkout with my stack of pies, I noticed a girl from work buying birthday cakes; I avoided her in case she got some weird ideas about how we celebrate birthdays in my department.
Back at my desk the pies were met with a mixture of bewilderment, curiosity, disgust and envy. But the one thing everyone was interested in was the nutritional information. So we looked on the box, and sure enough, there in a red box was the calorie count (I think it’s red to highlight you’re getting maximum value, and the green numbers mean it’s bad for you but good for the environment).
So it read “THIS PIE = 820 CALORIES”.
Ha ha ha, no I’m just kidding it didn’t say that, because when have you EVER seen the calorie count on a thing actually tell you how many calories are in the fucking thing outright. Never. What it actually said was “HALF A PIE = 410 CALORIES”. Funnily enough, no-one had asked me “Hey Alan, that pie looks mighty, how many calories would be in each section if we sliced it into two equal parts?” No, they said “How many calories in that pie.”
This has been annoying me for many years. Why can’t these figures just be clear. Here’s a box containing pie. This box of pie = this. There. Why do they introduce completely arbitrary divisions into it?
“ONE THIRD OF TWO SERVINGS OF 100G = 740 CALORIES” – does running for a calculator count as exercise? I bought a cake once, “ONE SIXTH OF THIS CAKE=” Are we working things out now in sixths? “ONE THIRD OF THIS PIZZA” Who mentioned eating a third of it? How many of you have ever invited mates round for dinner and shared an 8-inch pizza three ways.
“Shit, guys guys I ate an extra slice, I think I’ve had 40% of the pizza, how many calories is this?”
“Easy take the big number on the box, multiply it by three then divide it by ten and multiply it by four.” We can do the maths, but WHY!? Not only do you have to look at the amount of calories, that actually tells you nothing, you’ve then got to find out what relation that number bears to what’s in the package. And this, THIS often involves hunting for how many grams or centilitres the whole thing is, then working it all out from there.
And worse still they’re trying to tell us what a “serving” is. Cereal for example, 30g is a serving. Do you know how little 30g of cereal is, no-one eats that! “Hey fatso, put the fourteenth cornflake back you’re pushing 35g there.” Soup! “HALF A TIN=” Who eats half a tin of soup!? Who’s that meant to feed, two fucking seahorses? Two midgets who’ve already had a big lunch?
Just tell us how many calories or how much fat or whatever is in the THING. If I want to divide it up, fine, I can work it out. If I want half a cake, fine it’s half that number, not half of six times the other number, or three times the other number if I’m trying to be clever. And if my girlfriend has just dumped me by text message, I don’t want to read on a cake or a pie that it “serves two”. No. Serves one, me, now fuck off.
Anyway… so after the encounter with Bounding Bertha on the escalator I got home, and threw the pie, and some chips in the oven. I didn’t really fancy chips but I figured it was mandatory. I was so impatient I pondered turning the oven up twice as hot to see if it cooked twice as fast. I didn’t in the end.
The pie was yummy (of course) and as I sit here finishing this post at 11.30pm and am about to go and watch the Question Time I recorded so I could finish this (how I suffer for my art) I am actually considering putting another in the oven, perfectly aware that two pies means quadruple the calories. I’d recommend you try the pie, if you are in principle in favour of the contents, and you can get it from your nearest M&S, priced £3.49.
They missed a trick there though because as we all know, the best price for pie is £3.14.