Tinder Surprise

So after nearly 6 months of living the single life, and under the severe duress of my sister, I have recently joined Tinder.  For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Tinder is possibly the shallowest, most addictive way to attempt to get laid I have ever experienced.  It’s a dating app that works by linking info from your Facebook page therefore eliminating the need to write a profile or barely even type.  Once logged in you are immediately presented with pictures of people who live within your specified radius and it’s up to you to decide if their face is something you wouldn’t mind sitting on.  If you’d rather sit on a rusty chainsaw, you swipe left, but if they give you yoghurt pants, you swipe right.  It’s basically ‘Hot or Not’ but with a lot more interactivity and a lot less nineties tank-tops and mahogany lip-liner.

The beauty of this app is that it is completely risk-free.  If you like the look of someone and right-swipe them they will never know unless they right-swipe you back, meaning that rejection (at least on a physical level) is near impossible. Only when matched are you able to message each other, a process which is horrendously awkward until you get the hang of it.

It sounds pretty straight forward right?  To the point where you might think that I’m knee-deep in cock and candlelight dinners every night of the week.  Not so, my friends.  You see Tinder is so jam-packed full of douchebag-yolo-swaggers that I have repetitive strain injury in my thumb from swiping left so much.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these hairless lumps of muscly skin are lovely guys who appeal to millions of women but they’re just not my type.  Unfortunately, it seems that most of my type are too busy growing beards and playing video games to be on Tinder……which, ironically, is exactly why they’re my type.

Other than the blatant focus on aesthetics that this app encourages, the other thing that surprised me was just how many profiles are near identical.  Obviously guys don’t swipe other guys so they never get to see each other’s pictures but seriously, if you’re a man thinking about joining Tinder and you don’t want to look like a generic, vacuous advertisement for what’s wrong with modern society I’m going to give you a few pointers so you know what to avoid.  A public service, if you will.

1. Tigers. First and for the love of fuck, don’t be stroking a tiger.  I thought they were supposed to be endangered?  Since I started this caper I’ve come to the conclusion that there are more tigers in the world than Chinese people.  I won’t be sponsoring one any time soon I’ll tell you that for free.  Also, tigers don’t like to be stroked, they like to kill shit, it’s science.  They don’t look happy in your picture, which in turn makes me unhappy, which in turn makes me not want to right-swipe you.

2. Muscles. If your pecs are bigger than my tits, I assume one of the following things:

You either suffer from permanent roid-rage and will probably beat me to within an inch of my life on our second date if I step out of line – Or – that you spend so much time in the gym obsessing over your appearance that you have very little time left for developing any sort of personality.

Put it away

Put it away

I am aware that this is a sweeping generalisation (this whole article is tbh) and not everyone who looks after themselves should be negatively judged so if you’re a mentally stable guy with a substantially fitter than average body then you should probably include a pic that makes you look like you have some sort of banter.  Stealth bum something or motor-boat a doner kebab and you won’t come across as so terrifying.

3. Neon Ray-Bans and/or a low V T-shirt.  It’s not that I don’t believe men have a place in fashion, and just because I think you look ridiculous doesn’t mean that all women do, it’s just that there are too many of you.  After seeing different guys in same attire for the 30th picture in a row, you all just become one giant, faceless mass of man-cleavage and it’s kind of gross.  Change it up.  Wear some double-denim and a cowboy hat, at least then I’ll know that you are capable of laughing at yourself.

4. Snowboarding.  This one is probably the most popular pic, more popular than the tiger-stroking even.  Again, I have no problem with snowboarding, it’s pretty cool but I cannot see your face or body in that get-up.  You might be able to “get good air with the pow” or whatever shit the kids say nowadays, but if your face looks like a melted welly I’m not going to want it anywhere near my genitals.

Another thing I noticed about these pics is that they actually make me feel slightly intimidated.  I mean, I can’t snowboard for shit and although I have the potential to be physically capable of climbing a mountain or running a marathon, it’s not something I would do on a regular basis.  Filling your profile full of high-energy pics makes you look like you’re in a tampon advert and I automatically feel that I will look like a fat, lazy, Bargain-Bucket-munching slag-heap in comparison.  One pic of your outdoor activities will suffice.  Just one.

Hey asshole!  I can't fucking see you, I'm over here.

Hey asshole! I can’t fucking see you, I’m over here.

5. Don’t hold a fish.  This one should really be self-explanatory.

6. Music Festivals.  “Look at me in my designer wellies, neon Ray-Bans and low V, standing in a field covered in strategically placed mud.  Look how alternative I am.  I love music.  Music is my life!”

Then I look in the background and who’s on stage?  Rihanna.  Fuck off.  You are not at a festival, you’re at an outdoor pop concert, that place will be absolutely crawling with kids waiting to get into the soft-play area that is conveniently just out of shot. Do you think I came up the Clyde on a banana boat? If you can show me a backstage picture of you sucking off Lemmy from Motorhead then we’ll talk.

This guy reeks of Nickelback

This guy reeks of Nickelback

7. Tribal tattoos.  I am aware that these were fashionable back in the day and a lot of people fell into the trap.  I’m a huge fan of tattoos so I appreciate the pain you went through to get that sleeve but it’s the guys who have a tribal tattoo and don’t look like they regret it that concern me.  It’s probably better if you don’t wear a vest.  Ever again.

This guy makes me feel clammy, but in a bad way.

I feel clammy, but in a bad way.

8. Holding the Olympic torch.  This is kind of similar to the tiger thing in that I thought people rarely got to touch it.  Nope.  If Tinder is anything to go by everyone in the entire country apart from me got to hold the thing.  Where the fuck was I, in a coma?  It’s been touched more times than a BBC intern, so putting that pic up will not make you stand out, it will just make you look routinely basic.

9. Gym selfies.  Selfies in general are dodgy ground for me, sometimes they are necessary and I’ve been guilty of a few myself, but pouty phone-selfies in a mirror?  You look ridiculous.  Selfies in a gym mirror with all weights behind you and your trousers hanging so low that I can see the base of your penis-shaft?  No thanks, I already ate.

Nah mate.

Mubz.  Nah mate.

10. Drinking Grey Goose or champagne/Leaning against a fancy car.  You are trying to tell people how rich and gangster you are.  You are going to attract retards.  This may be what you want and good luck to you, there are a lot of retards out there so you are guaranteed to at least get your hole out of this approach, but personally I feel there is too much financial peacockage on Tinder and it makes my thumb hurt.

It’s possible that I’m getting too old for this or that I’m a lesbian and I just don’t know it yet but whatever my reasons I can only be honest about my experience with this app and there is little variety here. I feel like I will get tired of it sooner rather than later.  The only problem is that sometimes I forget this app is not a game like Angry Birds but that these are real people I’m swiping, that’s how addictive it is.  There’s no denying it gives you a nice ego boost but it has the potential to turn even the most self-loathing of people into narcissistic monsters.

So let’s be (semi) serious here for a minute.  I’m sitting here slagging off the guys on Tinder but if I’m really honest with myself, I feel that I’m the problem here.  I think it would be stupidly self-sabotaging to deny myself the chance to meet someone I really like, maybe even enjoy myself a little bit, but the thing is I’m not sure I particularly want to be in a full-on serious relationship just yet. I’m going to Thailand in 8 weeks to tear shit up, I’ve got a school reunion in Malta to attend this summer so I can disappoint everyone with my lack of husband/family/social-development-since-1998. I’ve got shit to do this year that I worry would be hindered by having to be answerable to anyone other than myself.

Then again at the other end of the scale, and this may shock you, I’m not a natural slut either.  I can’t do one night stands without hating myself no matter how much I tell myself it’s the 21st century and liberating and empowering and blah, blah, blah. So if I’m not actively hunting for a boyfriend but I also don’t want an anonymous penis for one night, what the fuck am I doing on Tinder?  Maybe I should stop judging other people for not being what I don’t even want.  Maybe I’m fucked anyway because there’s a link to this blog on my Tinder profile (*ahem* hi guys) and I’ll never get right-swiped again.  Or maybe I should put my phone down, buy a weapons rack full of vibrators and just crack on.

Tomorrow.

Once I’ve checked out my newest Tinder match and swiped a couple more times.

In the meantime, have a look at these beauts…

yoloing

gofuckyourself

Screenshot_2014-01-04-11-21-58

Screenshot_2014-01-17-08-24-20

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For the ladies out there, don’t worry I haven’t left you out.  While writing this article I became curious as to what the Tinder experience was like from a man’s point of view; Are we as equally annoying as them or do they just right-swipe the shit out of anything with a full set of limbs?  To answer these questions I have enlisted the help of a friend of mine who is also on Tinder.  He has written an article about his experiences with the app and I have supplied a few excerpts below for your reading pleasure.

Tinder the Relationship Finder

William Morris

“My Tinder experience started in Autumn last year. Actually I can be more specific: my first match occurred with a girl named Charlene on 10th September and 12.45pm was when we started chatting, 12.55 would have been when the conversation ran dry. Alas Charlene and I were never to be. Fuck it, onto the next. This is the main thing about Tinder is that it’s not that real. It’s not real at all until you finally meet each other. But some sort of etiquette should still be followed and on both sides too because saying that the dialogue occurring prior to a personal meeting isn’t real is all fine but abusing it by acting rude, obnoxious and uncouth is not likely to be tolerated. I found that out after asking a few girls if they wanted to see a picture of my cock. That wasn’t true I’m afraid. I didn’t dare because I started out with good intentions on Tinder, or so I thought.

My reason for going on there was to help get rid of any unwanted thoughts about the ex-girlfriend. Nothing suppresses the feeling of wanting to bury the axe into one’s skull better than the beginnings of a new relationship right? Err, yeah right. It turned out I wasn’t the only one though. Through my encounters there are a lot of girls who have recently been put back onto the market looking to either forget their significant other, or to play jealousy games. There are other reasons for going on Tinder.

  • One girl that I began chatting to had recently moved to England and was a bit nervous about meeting new people. She was hoping to find a city guide. That’s fine, I suppose. Why she chose to use the bikini shots down the beach or shots in a mini skirt looking provocative was a little beyond me. She would have found the right sort of person I’m sure.
  • Another girl was canvassing for language students she could teach Cantonese. £50 a lesson. The conversation was cut short.
  • Instagram likes. A few girls want more followers on Instagram so they pasted their username into the tagline. Now we can all go and like the willow shading they used for the pic of their roast dinner. They must have a creative side.
  • One girl was open about being in a relationship already. I didn’t feel as though this could go any further for me. I’ve been through that experience before and three is definitely a crowd.
  • A few profiles I matched up with were very receptive and wanted me to go to the copied URL they messaged me. Oh, sex chat. Classy girl, Daddy would be proud. What’s that, you want to show me what you can do with a wine bottle? Put my credit card number in. No thank you, I’m a nice boy.

I’ve noticed a sensitivity in some girls on Tinder and I was curious. Consequently my tagline changed from a song lyric, very cliché I must admit, to a bolder and more brutal statement about myself.

“FYI I’m taller than average, I’m not looking for an easy lay and don’t need to be reminded. I haven’t been skiing or snowboarding and haven’t stroked any lions or tigers. But, swipe right if you don’t give a fuck too :)”

It finishes with a smiley face, I know.

intercourseI got fed up of the same questions that some of the girls would start with, or even what is written on their tagline. If I see something like “Not on here for a hook up” that slightly annoys me. If I read a variation of that line with “I’m not looking for an easy lay. You’re going to have to try hard to impress me. I don’t make the first move” that irritates me to fucking distraction. Egotistical fucktards like that make me grind my teeth in my sleep. You would only get a worse reaction out of me by playing Rihanna music. It gets worse if they completely undermine their tagline with the obligatory down-the-top cleavage selfies and massive D&G sunglasses donned duck face.  anus

My tagline was to prevent another girl from asking me how tall I was because she’s 5,9” and likes to wear stilt-walking style stilettos. I’m still taller. The tagline also was to highlight my lack of off-piste prowess and that it mattered less to me than planking or Movember. And that I have categorically never stroked a member of the big cat family. It’s not on the bucket list. Did I miss that lesson at School on how to lead a good life? Pet a tiger because they fucking love that. In writing that tagline I thought it would help me actually isolate a better group of possible matches. It didn’t, it opened the floodgate to girls all starting with “Funny tagline lol. You’re so funny” I imagine them saying it like Janice from Friends. Ooh stop it with the fingernails down the blackboard, my poor brain.

After all is said and done I’m still on Tinder but, now that I’m a seasoned pro, I use it to amuse myself. It’s a Hot or Not game. Can I be bothered by the resulting inevitable text exchange? Very rarely. Playing the Tinder game is addictive though. It helps the mojo and strengthens the confidence somewhat making you feel just that little bit more prepared for a real chat with someone after a flirtatious smile. There’ll still be the odd times when my interests are piqued such as when the girl is holding a saxophone or sporting a blog link for a tagline but for the rest  “IT’S A MATCH! Would you like to continue playing?” Yeah sure, just don’t take it too seriously.”

Dearest London

Since I last posted there have been some pretty major developments in the mess that I call my life.  For a start I am single now, something that I know every 33-year-old female aspires to.  Saying that, in between the deep whistling noise coming from my cavernous wind-tunnel of a fruitless womb and the deafening tick of a suspiciously absent clock I can just about make out the unmistakable sound of adventure.  It sounds like pint glasses clinking, traffic in still air, the quiet roar of a distant aeroplane and fear, shit loads of sweaty, choking, all-encompassing fear.  Aberdeen has been good to me, I will miss it and everyone that I loved during my fourteen years there, but it is time to move on and where better to start a new chapter than in the coolest knife-crime hotspot in Europe…..Landaann baby!!

Although I have not long arrived here, my sister has been living here for quite a few years now so, visiting her regularly, I have come to get to know the city a little bit.  Now, you all know that I am possibly the least judgemental human ever to have walked the Earth, less judgemental than Jesus even because I don’t have an issue with the gay or the Jew*, but even I have made some observations that I think need to be addressed.  I have put my thoughts into an open letter to the city because I like to pretend that things are people.

Dear London,

  • What if I don’t want spinach or halloumi cheese in my food?  What then?  Do I just starve to death?  I don’t even know what halloumi cheese is but I know I don’t fucking want it.
  • Untie that pastel v-neck sweater from around your shoulders and stop judging me.  If I can’t stand upright long enough to successfully light a cigarette that I don’t even want to smoke outside one of your generic nightclubs then that is my problem, not yours.  You will only ever dream of putting your dick in my mouth.  Also, your shoes are really terrible.
  • Keep telling me how much you love my accent and exotic eye-shape.  A bitch never gets tired of hearing that shit.
  • Stop giving me things to put in my handbag.  I’m getting pretty fucking tired of having to clean it out every single day.  Tube tickets, train tickets, bus tickets, enough receipts to start a Belfast bonfire, plastic bags, chewing gum wrappers, empty bottles of water, flyers that I said I didn’t want but you still gave me, another bit of paper asking me to come to church and be saved or burn in hell for all eternity, wooden Starbucks coffee stirrers (I don’t even like Starbucks…..or coffee for that matter),  bobby pins, loose change, £5 notes, business cards for taxi companies, free pens, pictures of starving African children.  Please get a hold of yourself, I can’t take any more.

    The contents of my bag today after I left the house for two.  TWO. HOURS.

    The contents of my bag today after I left the house for two hours. TWO. HOURS.

  • Stop selling everything I’ve ever wanted within a mile of my house.  I spent £700 in my first two days here.  Okay, you don’t have to stop doing that if you don’t want to.  I love things.
  • Consider slowly introducing uglier women into your gene pool.  I feel it’s only fair that the population of London is a true representation of the population of the rest of the country.  We can’t all wear 6 inch Louboutins and crop tops on a bare Tuesday afternoon you know, if I want to go to the bank looking like a hobo then that is my prerogative.
  • Please continue to serve Timothy Taylor Landlord in the pub next door.  It’s the only thing keeping me alive here, I’m sure of it.  Well, it’s definitely not the spinach anyway.

    Timothy Taylor: The best thing to come out of Yorkshire since Sean Bean.

    Timothy Taylor: The best thing to come out of Yorkshire since Sean Bean.

  • Stop presenting me with an array of your most handsome men and then making them all Italian.  It’s disappointing.
  • Enough with the sirens.  If all these people you are saving have to die so I can read a book about Medieval England in peace then so be it.
  • Stop jogging on a Sunday morning, you make me sick.  Also, there is such a thing as too many yoga studios.
  • I am more than happy for you to continue to host what seems like a conveyor-belt of gigs by my heroes.
  • Oh, and keep looking like this.  You looked nice today.

    I Love Putney :)

    Putney from our window this afternoon.  I Love Putney :)

Kindest Regards,

Your newest parasite, Jillian xxx

*Disclaimer: Before people get all up in my grill saying things like “Jesus loved the gays and he was Jewish!” – I don’t care.  I know nothing about religion, I just make stuff up.  If it’s not based on fact then I’m doing it right.  My blog.

Eurovision Extremism – A Radical Party Guide

eurovision logo

As those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know from the onslaught of photos I have subjected you to recently, I had a Eurovision party last weekend.  Eurovision really is one of the highlights of my year. I have loved it’s overly made-up, shiny, happy, disturbing little face ever since I moved to Malta in the early 1990’s.  Over there it is kind of a big deal.  I remember being in a nightclub around 1996 when they turned the music off so everyone could hear the results – that’s right Usher, pipe the fuck down, it’s is Gina G’s time to shine.  On top of all this a good family friend of ours, Mike Spiteri, was Malta’s Eurovision entry for 1995.  Yeah you heard me, I actually know someone who has actually sang in the actual Eurovision Song Contest. You might say I am weaved into the very fabric of the establishment, buried so deep I think my balls may have just slipped in.

Mike Spiteri’s Eurovision Performance, 1995 (I have no idea who the man at the very beginning of this clip is, but I want him on me).

Unfortunately, when I am even the slightest bit vocal about my favourite event, I am usually met with one of the following reactions:

  • “But it’s shit.”
  • “But, no one can sing and the songs are shit.”
  • “But it’s so tacky and shit.”
  • “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so shit.”
  • “It shitter than the actual shit I just took, and that was really shit.”

Or the classic:

  • “I stopped watching it when we stopped winning.  It’s so political now, it’s not about the music anymore……and it’s also pretty shit.”

“It’s not about the music anymore”??  What has music got to do with any of this?  See, the problem here is that people are thinking about the Eurovision like it is some sort of song contest or something.  It’s not a song contest.  With the obvious exception of Mike Spiteri of course, the songs are generally terrible, often tacky, commonly cheesy and almost always ten years behind regular music.  The key to enjoying the experience is letting go of the musical concept.  Let it go.  Just accept the fact that you will be hearing nothing but shite for three hours straight and I promise you you’ll start to enjoy it for what it is: Essentially The European Championship for girls.

It is about the excitement of watching all of our continental neighbours coming together to compete in a light-hearted and slightly bewildering atmosphere.  It is having the opportunity to wave fuck-loads of flags around and pretend to be patriotic.  It is the provision of an entertaining environment in which to rip the shit out of any country whose border isn’t in direct contact with ours (i.e. all of them).  Do you know how many Nazi jokes were thrown around my living-room the other weekend when Germany came on?  Fucking hundreds.

Look at his massive face.  The man does not want to be here.

Look at his massive face. The man does not want to be here. I think he even said in a backstage interview that he was having a shit time.

If that’s not entertaining enough for you, then the occasional inappropriate performance should keep you interested. This year, for example, the Ukranian entry consisted of a visibly uncomfortable man suffering from severe gigantism standing awkwardly on stage dressed as the giant from Jack & the Beanstalk. Little bit racist. There was also a lesbian kiss at the end of Finland’s performance, but they weren’t even real lesbians! What’s wrong with hiring lesbians? If you’ve got a lesbiany job to do then it’s only fair to hire some lesbians. They’ve got bills to pay too, you know. In fact, half of the shit that goes on on that stage should not even be allowed. This year alone they violated about fifteen separate human rights laws, how anyone cannot enjoy watching that is beyond me.

And in answer to those who say it is all “political”, I say this:

Denmark won this year.  Famously a real heavyweight in the political arena.  The problem you have is not with the political nature of the voting, you’re just annoyed that Britain isn’t winning anymore.  There’s nothing we can do about that.  Like powdered mashed potato and soda-streams, the UK was incredibly popular in the 70’s and 80’s but after a couple of illegal wars we are no longer the top dog.  What was once the most powerful and desirable cheerleader in the High School of Europe is now a fat, abusive, self-harming single mum with a drinking problem. It’s time for other countries to have their turn in the spotlight – and if they all want to vote for each other instead of us, that is totally fine by me. I don’t really blame them – and anyway, although the scoreboard may look slightly suspicious in places, the best song does generally always win in the end.

So, as a radical Eurovision extremist, I feel it is my duty to convert the Wogan-denying infidels of the UK.  In order to do this, I have been hosting Eurovision Parties most years since 2004.  I want to rid the world of its Euro-cynicism one social gathering at a time and it’s working.  It’s slow, I mean I think in the last nine years I’ve converted about three people, two of them children, but any progress is good progress.  If you’re sitting there thinking that you would like to help the cause by hosting your own Eurovision Party then you, my friend, are in luck because I’m about to get all Pippa Middleton on your ass…

I think you will find the similarities in our party etiquette uncanny, yah?

I think you will find the similarities in our party etiquette uncanny, yah?

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A Handy Eurovision Party Guide

By Jillian Dingwall

You will need:

  • Friends
  • Eurovision Scorecards, Sweepstake and Poster (pictured below, download them here)
  • Pictures of Terry Wogan
  • A Word document containing the flags of all the participating countries
  • Party Bags
  • Half the contents of your nearest Pound Shop
  • A Crown from Burger King
  • A packet of Wagon Wheels
  • Sausage Rolls
  • A shit-ton of alcohol

(Preparation time = 3 days)

DAY 1

T minus 2 days until the party

Today you will have two jobs to do: Sort out the prizes and buy all the drink.

Head to your nearest pound shop where you will find not only your prize bags, but everything you will ever need to put in them.  You can award any amount of prizes you want but I usually award them for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  Buy literally the most shit things you can find, making sure to include a few items with Union Jacks on them – it looks more professional if you stick to a vague Eurovision theme.  This year my prize bags included a Fray Bentos Steak & Kidney Pie for one, a Buck’s Fizz CD, a Justin Bieber watch, a British flag tea-towel and a Union Jack themed cake-decorating kit.  Once you have sorted out the main prizes, buy some small party bags, a packet of Wagon Wheels and a couple of large bags of sweets.  These will be divided up equally and handed out to each guest to take home at the end of the night.  If you’re waiting for an explanation for the necessity of Wagon Wheels then, please.  Kill yourself.

Next, head to the supermarket to get booze, stopping at Burger King on the way to steal one of their cardboard crowns.  Buy as much beer as you can fit in your car, remembering to make use of the glove-compartment space and gaps underneath the seats.  In terms of things that aren’t beer, it’s nice to have a focal point at a party and ours is usually some sort of sangria-punch concoction created by Billy, however this year my friend Alison made Eurovision cocktails which were way better.  Finally, do not forget the Jegermeister.  When you get home, sit at the dining-room table and prepare all of your party bags whilst listening to your other half tell you how much of a fucking weirdo you are.  Make sure to hide the bags in a cupboard so the guests do not find them before the official “reveal”.

If you've got time, why not go and get your nails did?  I got mine done here: GelUs

If you’ve got time, why not go and get your nails did? I got mine did here: GelUs Nails

Day 2

T minus one day until the party

I’m not going to sugar-coat this, today will be the most stressful day of your life.  Today, not only must you buy all the food, you will also have to do all the printing and decorating.

When you are buying food it is best to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Make sure there are sausage rolls.   If I turn up at a party and there are no sausage rolls, that party is dead to me.   Don’t be a dick, give the people what they want.
  • Any food you buy has to be penetratable and strong enough to hold a toothpick. i.e. no weird pasta or salads.
  • Buy toothpicks

It is now time to get down to the business of printing all of our Eurovision paraphernalia.  The reason we must leave this job until the last minute is because of the stupid semi-finals (which I would not recommend you watch by the way, it can ruin the surprise).  You won’t know which country is participating in the finals until today and the BBC do not update their scorecards until the late afternoon because, you know it’s not like we want a professional, instantaneous service for our fucking license fees or anything.

Word document layout

Word document layout

When the BBC have finally got their act together, print off the following documents IN COLOUR:

  • A scorecard for each guest.
  • One sweepstake.
  • A few posters.
  • 3 – 4 copies of your Word document with all of the finalists flags on them (the flags must all be the same size in a 2 x 5 format like in the picture on the left).
  • Some nice pictures of Terry Wogan – I prefer to use pictures of him smiling and generally enjoying life, however the one of him on Points of View with the tight trousers and detailed penis outline is equally acceptable.

Take one set of flags and cut them all out, google the shit out of each one to make sure that you know 100% which flag corresponds to which country and then write the country’s name neatly on the back.  Set these to one side for now.  Cut out another set of flags and, along with your British Entry posters, use them to decorate your living room.  Cut out the remaining flags and cellotape them to toothpicks, these will be used to stick into your sausage rolls and mini Cornish pasties, etc.  Finally, take all of the photo-frames you have in your living room, remove the boring pictures of your children and replace them with pictures of Terry Wogan.  He may not be our commentator anymore but in British Eurovision culture it is seen as a mark of respect to acknowledge him in some small way.

Day 3

Party Day

Get up and clean the absolute asshole out of your house.  Leave a few things casually lying around, a towel over a radiator or an off-centre cushion on the sofa to present the illusion that you have given your house a quick, casual tidy-up as opposed to spending five hours cleaning the bastard thing.  Now get yourself in a shower because you stink and your guests will be arriving at any minute.

Once everyone has turned up and they have been given a drink (or in my case, have poured themselves their own drink because I am a pretty basic hostess), place all of the flags with the country’s names written on them into a hat and pass it around.  Depending on how many guests you have, get them to pull out two or three flags each.  Write the names of each person and the countries they have drawn into the sweepstake.  Put this somewhere where you can’t spill drink on it.

As well as cocktails, a Eurovision Encyclopedia was provided for research purposes.

As well as cocktails, a Eurovision Encyclopedia is provided for research purposes.

By this time the contest should be just about to start.  Make up your Eurovision cocktails and hand them out before explaining how the scoring system works.  It’s pretty straight forward really, they must score each country out of 12 depending on how good they think they are.  They can go back and change their scores right up until the first results are read out.  There is literally no purpose to this, it’s just a way of encouraging debate and people seem to enjoy it.

A promotional B&W shot of me giving out the party bags. I'm going to put it on our propaganda leaflets.

A promotional B&W shot of me giving out the party bags. I’m going to put it on our propaganda leaflets.

Top tip: It is helpful to write little notes next to your scores to serve as a reminder, because by about half way through the competition you will be so drunk you will have forgotten what the first acts were like.  For example, this year I thought the girl who sang for Russia looked a little bit like those lucky trolls from the 90’s, so I wrote “90’s Troll” next to her score.  This really helped me later on when, after my seventh Jegermeister, I was lying face-down in the back garden covered in someone else’s vomit.

After the last performance is over, put the food out while you are waiting for the final scores to be revealed (for the love of God, don’t forget to put the toothpick flags in).  The results part of the show is a bit on the lengthy side so if you want to mute the TV and stick some tunes on, go ahead.  I prefer to leave it on because the utter nonsense that comes out of each country’s presenter is almost as funny as the performances themselves.  Finally, when the winning order is announced, hand out the prizes to the guests who pulled out the corresponding flags (bestowing the Burger King Crown of Victory upon the head of the person in 1st place).  When the evening is coming to a close, give a Wagon Wheel Party Bag to everyone else as a thank you for not moaning about how shit the Eurovision is.

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So there you have it, a handy guide which if followed correctly, should result in you hosting the greatest Eurovision party ever known to man.  It’s a ‘go hard or go home’ kind of affair and there will be times when you may doubt your abilities as a host or even lose faith in the contest altogether, but if you believe in yourself like you believed in Bonnie then you will reap the rewards. Just remember this simple motto: “If you think you have gone too far, go further” and I guarantee you they will be absolutely fizzing at the slit to do it all again next year.

The best Eurovision Party guests EVER!!

The best Eurovision Party guests EVER!!

Cards Against Humanity

Some of you may have heard of this card game already, some of you may not. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, let me introduce you to the finest example of family entertainment currently available on the market.

Cards Against Humanity – “A Party Game for Horrible People” was created in 2010 by a bunch of Highland Park High School alumni who submitted the idea to Kickstarter. It was so ridiculously amazing that they exceeded their funding goal by almost 300% and the game is now available either to buy from Amazon here, or download for free here.

The rules are as follows:
One person in the group is randomly selected as the Card Czar who deals out 10 white answer cards to each person in the group. The Czar then picks one black question card and reads it out loud. The other players must choose the most fitting/politically incorrect answer available to them and submit it face down on the table. The Card Czar shuffles all of the answers and reads each card combination out loud before picking a winner and awarding them one ‘Awesome Point’.

I first stumbled across this game a few months ago when people were uploading photos of their cards on Twitter. I immediately had to get involved and so bought one for myself and one for Lisa’s boyfriend Dan for Christmas. Having just played the game for the first time, and almost giving myself a hernia from laughing so hard, I feel it would be a crime against humanity not to share the results with you (see what I did there?).

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Here is an example of one of our question cards and the three answers that we submitted. I think the one about the Asians won.

So to conclude, this is the best game in the entire world and an essential purchase for the whole family.  You will learn things about your parents that you probably didn’t need, or ever want, to know and the children will learn a plethora of new vocabulary words.  GET IT BOUGHT BALL-BAGS!!!

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day!!  Not really though!!  I hope all the shallow, materialistic, corporate ass-raping doesn’t cause irreversible bowel damage. xxx

Marriage is for Quitters

Being a 32-year-old, unmarried, childless waste of a human life, I am often asked when I’m going to sort my shit out.  I would like to take this opportunity to tell these people that I do have my shit sorted out, and said shit is divided up as follows:

Billy and I have been together for over 12 years with no intention of getting married.  Like none at all.  I have no interest in wedding dresses, flowers and colour coordinated fabric swatches all crammed into a room full of relatives who don’t particularly like each other.  We already have the mortgage, the dog and the joint bank account, why would I want the piece of paper that gives Billy permission to take a shit with the door open?   Now, this is not to say that we won’t ever get married.  I’m sure once I’ve popped out a few kids and my vagina looks like the blown out remains of a Baghdad government building I will give in and accept my fate, but until then, I would rather spend wedding-money on things like this:

Plus, I quite like being someone’s girlfriend.  It gives the somewhat exciting illusion that it could all come to an end at any minute* (*update: it did) and it also makes me feel like I have loads of time until I have to start breeding* (*update: I still don’t).  We did get engaged about 7 years ago, but that was essentially just so people would stop asking us when we were going to get engaged and also in the hope that they would back the fuck off my uterus and stop making unrealistic demands of it.  I wasn’t ready for kids then and, even though it won’t be long before my ovaries shrivel up and disappear in a little *puff* of dust, I still don’t know if I am.  Not long ago, I was accused by a complete stranger in a bar of being “selfish” for having this attitude towards having kids.  He said, and I quote:

“So you’re 32 and you don’t have any kids yet?  So you’re selfish then?  You’re a woman, it is your responsibility to have children.  Every man does not necessarily have to have a child but, as a woman, you do.  Right now, while you’re sitting here with your pint and your little job, you are depriving a child the right to human life.  How does that make you feel?”

I proceeded to explain that I felt it was more selfish to sit in a 2 bedroom council flat with no job, pumping out 5 kids who will then be brought up in cramped and poverty-striken conditions, but he was too busy staring at his sister’s tits to pay attention to anything I was saying.

When it comes down to it, money is the issue here and I hate myself for even saying that.  For the majority of our relationship, Billy and I have had no money.  At one point we were living off £30 a week between us.  In order to try to make the situation a bit better, we decided that I would go to University and Billy would take on a second job to pay the bills.  I graduated in 2009 and Billy is now free to start his own business, something he has always wanted to do.  It is only in the past year that we have bought a grown-up house and have money left in our bank account at the end of the month.  Do you have any idea how fun that is?  I’m still not over the novelty of being able to buy something I want for the simple reason that I can.  I just bought this teapot.  Don’t even need it:

All I want is a couple of years to enjoy this feeling before I spend all my free time being skint again and going to coffee mornings slightly drunk on wine and completely covered in shit-spew. I want a god-damn video game room before it gets turned into a nursery.  I want to go on a grunge pilgrimage to Seattle.  I like my boobs, my vagina is top-notch and I wouldn’t mind keeping it that way for a little while longer.  On top of this, I love my job and, right now, cannot bear the thought of leaving it.  I appreciate that there are people out there who can’t have kids, and I may live to regret putting it off for so long, but is having kids because other people can’t have them healthy motivation?  Probably not.

Maybe that sheep-raping Yorkshire dickhead in the bar was right.  Maybe I am selfish.  So what do you do when your head is that of a 14-year-old boy but your body is that of a middle-aged female?  I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t start a family and, let’s be honest, what the world needs in these hard times is a Jillian/Billy combo-human (or ‘Billian’, as they will be known).  I am genuinely excited about one day having a baby, just let me buy a few more pieces of Lionel Ritchie crockery first.

Diary of a Rig Bint

Thankfully I have never had to compromise my femininity.

As a rig worker and proud owner of a vagina, I am always asked what it’s like for a female working in a predominantly male environment.  Has spending so much time in this testosterone-fuelled domain ever resulted in the compromise of my femininity?  Have I experienced any damaging discrimination as a result of my gender?  And what does the increasing presence of women on rigs mean for the future of the industry?  The answers to these questions are not important because they are boring as fuck.  However, as a result of all the interest shown in my job, I decided to keep a note of a few of the shenanigans I have experienced over the past few years so that you have some idea of what I have to put up with on a daily basis.

There are three main types of reactions when a girl arrives on a rig:

  • There are those who will just come right out and ask if you are single and willing to get your gash smashed by any old member of the drill crew.  When you say no, they will probably never talk to you again.
  • There are those who will ask you what your name is and if you are single and willing to get your gash smashed by any old member of the drill crew.  When you say no, they will still drink tea with you and have a banter.
  • Finally, there are those who will do literally anything to avoid having to talk to you/walk past you/make eye-contact with you.  They are TERRIFIED of anything with a uterus.  I like to talk to them about my excruciatingly heavy periods.

Luckily, around 80% of the guys fall into the second category and I have made some genuine friends during my time in this job.  Saying that, it is still quite awkward when you first arrive on a new rig, to the point where the only thing I want to do is hide away in the safety of my unit and drink tea. I have learned, however, that all this does is prolong the awkwardness so, instead, I go against every fibre of my being and force myself to talk to everyone at the first opportunity.  I remember doing just that on my very first day in this job and recall a conversation I had with the derrickman that went exactly like this:

ME: “Hi, I’m the new logger.  How’s it going?”

DERRICKMAN: “Oh hey, I’m the derrickman.  Just to warn you, we’re all a bit crazy on here.  Last week one of the roughnecks was doing my head in so I did a big shit on the floor of the pit-room and threw it at him.  Do you want to go to the cinema some time?”

ME: “No.”

Things were not much different three years ago.  On my first ever day offshore, I stepped off the helicopter and into the heli-lounge where I immediately noticed a few posters stuck to the walls.  Upon closer inspection I realised that the posters included a photograph of a turd curled up in the corner of a shower with the following message:

“Whoever is shitting in the communal shower needs to stop.  This is the third time it has happened this year and this behaviour will not be tolerated.  We are currently in the process of eliminating crew members who were on leave at the time of all three shits being discovered.  We will find you and you will face disciplinary action.”

Nice.

Montage!

On that same rig there was a decidedly creepy electrician.  I was a week into my first hitch and still pretty terrified of everything, including him, but unfortunately for me the plug socket in my room broke and I couldn’t use my hairdryer (OMG).  This was a genuine emergency, so I had to go and find him and ask him to fix it for me when I was out on shift.  Later that evening, I entered the galley to have some dinner.  As I sat down at the table, the electrician walked past, winked at me then patted his ass whilst saying “ASDA price”.  At first I had no idea what he was talking about but I soon remembered that I had bought all my offshore underwear from ASDA in one of those cheap packs of 5 things.  The motherfucker had raked through all my underwear!!! And to make matters worse, one pair was distinctly looser fitting when I next put them on.  I refused to put in a complaint against him because I felt this was my first test and crying to the Company Man would equate to failure.  Instead I found the gobbiest, loudest, most annoying member of the crew (the crane operator) and told him everything.  He promised to make the electrician’s life hell and he did. It was wonderful to watch.

Returning to my current land-based job and the ever popular topic of turds, a little while ago I was talking to a Company Man who has been in the industry since the 70’s and so has seen and heard pretty much everything.  He has some seriously impressive stories, but my personal favourite is this peach:

Fig. 1

In 1984, when he was a driller, himself and the drill crew went out one night for a curry and, as men do, decided to indulge in crazy things like Vindaloos and Fals.  The next day on the rig, the derrickman was up the mast hard at work when he suddenly felt a cramp.  You know the cramp, the one that says “I need a shit, and I need it yesterday”.  There was no way he would be able to get down the mast with all his harness gear on and make it to the toilet in time so he decided to lay some sheets of newspaper over the pipe racks and curl one out up there instead.  Bear in mind that the pipe racks are made up of metal bars with big gaps in between which look straight down onto the drill floor (see Fig. 1).

Unfortunately, when he turned around to do a squat, a light breeze caught the paper and, without him noticing, blew it away.  He shit hard and it flew through the gaps, straight down onto the assistant driller’s head.  The assistant driller instantly bent over to protect himself, resulting in his hard-hat falling off revealing a massive curly afro which was now exposed to the still-continuing onslaught of bum-gravy.   The man had shit in his hair, his ears and his eyes, unsurprisingly causing him to throw up – an action immediately repeated by the nearest hungover roughneck (see fig. 2).  The rest of them were hiding behind the pipes crying with laughter.  The driller walked into the doghouse to utter carnage, there was shit and spew all over the levers and equipment and everything.  He said it had the texture of vegetable soup and the smell was out of this world.

Fig. 2

Although things have calmed down considerably since the good old days of literally shitting on each other from a great height, there are still some pretty amusing goings on.  As you can imagine, pranks are pretty common on rigs and I got completely nailed by one not that long ago.  The driller phoned down and asked me to come outside so, thinking it was work related, I hurried over to find him and a few other guys huddled together, whispering to each other.  When they saw me coming they asked if I could hold this giant roll of industrial cling-film for a second.  Being the helpful person I am, I took the cling-film from him and suddenly everyone started taking photos of me with their phones.  I asked what the hell they were doing and they pointed to the mechanic’s motorbike which was completely wrapped in cling-film.  They texted him the photo of me holding the cling-film about half an hour after he discovered his bike.  Cunts!

However, despite being at my expense, I did find this highly amusing and so got a proper picture taken with the bike:

Now, obviously, with all these men being away from home, penetration of some of the local ladies is inevitable, especially when the majority of these women have seen more helmets than Hitler.  I absolutely love when this happens because it almost always results in some form of horrific/embarrassing/hilarious situation.  Take this, for example:

Rig worker A receives a phone call from rig worker B.

RIG WORKER B: “Alright mate?  Just thought I would phone to let you know that I am currently in a bath with two birds.  Here, I think one of them is called Tracy.  Speak to Tracy.”

TRACY: “Hello! You alright?  I’m in the bath with your mate and I just took a massive shit so I am ready for some anal.”

‘Click’

10 minutes later, rig worker A receives another phone call from rig worker B:

RIG WORKER B: “Mate, listen to this…..” followed by muffled noises and the keypad of the phone being randomly pressed. “I just shoved my iPhone up her, she loves it!”

TRACY: “Yeeeeeeehhhaaaaaa!!!!”

‘Click’

An iPhone??  Jesus Christ, that girl must have a fanny like a clown car!!

Wee Carl sewing my jeans :’)

So, to sum it up, how well you deal with being a girl on a rig correlates directly with your tolerance for stories about shitting and disturbing sexual encounters.  Believe it or not, some argue that as a female, you are at an advantage on a rig because you will get help whenever you need it (take Carl here, for example, a monosyllabic roughneck who kindly sewed a rag into my jeans when they got a hole in them), but to them I say: “Fucking right! I have to put up with people getting their arses out and crapping everywhere so the least they can do is help me carry heavy stuff across the yard”. When I’m at work, sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s hard and sometimes you have to ward off advances from creepy old mud engineers, but it beats working in an office any day.  I spend a lot of my time here either laughing hysterically or indulging in my favourite pastime of drawing penises on things, but more importantly, I get to go to work in a giant, quilted baby-grow – and all without judgment.  What’s not to love?

I will leave you with this. This is what we did to the driller’s van the other day. He deserves it, he is from Iceland and he told us he eats shark meat soaked in cow piss. (N.B. Upon entering the van, Mr. Driller did not see the giant penis and so proceeded to drive the 15 miles home with our artwork ‘splashed’ across the side)