Thursday, March 11, 2004

To those driving my stats wild, the Belleville stuff is in the 5th March and 27th December postings. But mainly the former.


The only tolerable use of the blink tag. And I wonder what subset of people would find that funny - they'd have to know about an HTML tag that's been defunct for years, about odd little scientific experiments (well hypothetical ones at least), and they'd have to have a sense of humour.

Random search [that leads here] of the day: significance of the fishing pole in to kill a mocking bird. The fishing pole is obviously a phallic symbol, illustrating Scout's homoeroticisation of Boo Radley. Hence the whole "posting" the "notes" into a "tree" thing. The entire book is riddled with lustful actions, although they are usually only implicit through the imagery. Even the name itself is overtly sexual on so many levels: we have fishing as a verb, meaning to lure, trap, snare, catch, and capture, reflecting the sexual acquisition and conquest process. Fishing is based on hooking: hard, narrow objects piercing softer flesh, which can be taken to mean both physical sexual acts, and the process of falling prey to both love and lust. And then, of course, are fish themselves, with a smell that frequently invoked in reference to certain bodily fluids.

Of course I could have just made all of that up, as I don't even remember there being a "fishing pole" the book.

[via Casino Avenue] Speaking of which, there's definitely something fishy in the water [Click downloads, then hold your mouse over the woman]. Well, maybe not so much fishy.... Does spunk mean something different to Americans? But I thought it was tap water, so it should be clean. Except of course if it's Eau de la dame morte. But that was near Walton wasn't it, and Coke-water is from deep in the Kent countryside...well Sidcup actually.

The BBC do know they've got a licence fee reassessment coming up, don't they? Because they've just put out this. It's that perennial easy column filler: understanding slang.

Woohoo, I think they just called off the tube strike. Which given I've got be god knows where[1] in London tomorrow, sounds pretty pleasing.

[1] Well I know where it is, because it says so on the letter, it's just that I've never been there before, and don't even recognise anything on the same page of the A-Z. So the thought of trying to get a bus there, when I don't do buses[2], doesn't exactly thrill me.

[2] Well, for a start it's hard enough trying to find the right bus stop (just look at how many are around Waterloo station). Then you have the joy of either not knowing if the bus that is approaching is the right one, or whether it's going to stop. So either you stick your arm out, and get odd looks from all about you, or you don't. Either way, if it is the right bus, it usually sails straight past, for no apparent reason.

When a bus that appears to be the right one stops, you get on (though now they've brought in the added complication of paying before boarding, but only for some buses). Usually to have the driver argue about whether you can use a travelcard on that service or not. Then you have to decide if you wish to risk the withering sneers of the driver by asking if he can tell you when you get to wherever you want to go (which given various driver will swear blind they don't go to A, when it's on their route, simply because they're pissed off that you asked if they go to A, isn't a good idea).

So you go and sit down, with your legs sticking out into the aisle, as they don't fit between the seats. This means every time anyone moves you have to as well. The bus trundles off, giving the passengers stunning views of the cyclists the bus has nearly killed, and the cars whose bumpers just got clouted. A few stops later and the bus is always more crowded, and more misted-up. This means you can't see out the window to know where you are (which given you would never know most of the time, just makes the whole thing even more confusing).

Eventually the bus gets to where you want to be. It may or may not stop. If it does, the driver may or may not tell the people on the bus where it is (including those who asked him earlier if he could). If he doesn't, it may or may not be possible to find out that this is the right stop to alight at. This information may or may not be gleaned from the side of the bus shelter (if you can see it, which requires sitting in the right part of the bus, in broad daylight, on warm, dry day, on an uncrowded bus), the batty old woman across the aisle, or the driver.

If you do manage to find out that this is the right stop, you may or may not be able to get of the bus, due to the crowding, and detritus of the young and old [pushchairs, walking frames, shopping, travelling round the world rucksacks]. Bus drivers often have immaculate timing, and so, just as you've just pushed you way to the front of the bus, they close the doors and start off (usually to stop 5m down the road at a red light). The driver will then take great pleasure in informing the trapped passenger that they can't help it if said passenger wasn't paying attention, and the passenger will have to wait for the next stop now, as they're not allowed to let people off outside bus-stops.

So if you do manage to get a bus, and get off it again in the right place, then you're quite lucky. And this isn't even mentioning the joys of standing the rain waiting for buses, the fact they alternate leaving early with leaving late, so you can never adapt to cope with it, and then they take bloody ages to get anywhere.

So the thought of trying to get one tomorrow morning, when everyone else will be trying to get them, and getting off at the right [unrecognisable] place, by a set time, is not high on my list of enjoyable activities.

Plus when I was busy getting stabbed on Tuesday[3], I found I started navigating my way round Oxford Circus station, and the underground in general, to avoid severe delays on the Bakerloo, and delays on the Victoria, instinctively without having to look at a map. Ok, so my avoidance technique involved sitting on the Northern line for ages (feeling my nostrils blacken), as it trundles, pauses, and trundles a bit more, underground.

Just as well I'm not doing it now - as the Northern line southbound is closed beyond Stockwell [hmm, my brother's going to have fun getting home], which blocks off using the London Park and Ride (well a car park near Morden Station, which is cheaper than getting the train, if there's more than one of you). See for yourself here. Hang there's now a fire alert at both Balham, and Clapham South Stations - before it was only Balham.

[3] Not in that sense. I was getting vaccinations at the BA (yes, as in the airline) travel clinic in Piccadilly. Because I'm about to disappear for a while, and the doctor's could only give me an appointment the day before I leave, and the local private one could only give me an appointment two days before that. So we went to the expensive (but not all that much more the NHS administered jabs) drop-in option. Which was surprisingly quick and efficient[4]. Sometimes capitalism rocks (though there is the inherent guilt to deal with).

[4] They don't take three goes to get the needle in. They also care about which arm you write with, though this may just because they don't want to make it harder for you to sign to card-slip.

Hmm, anti-bus rants and private health care - can you tell I grew up when Thatcher was in power?

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?