S & M Files, Part VII

Distribution Permission

This version of S & M Files is freely distributable provided that the copyright notice remains intact. All material in the Annals, unless otherwise stipulated, is copyrighted (1999-2006) to Michelle A. Hoyle & Stephen B. Dodd.

"Painted with Anti Climb Paint"

A local house is identified by this sign outside. I never had the urge until now. I can hardly wait for my rock climbing shoes to arrive.

Fork Up

In Britain, by law, you must pay more to eat in some place nice.

A patron at a local Grease & Chips shop had to fork out more dough between mouthfuls. He apparently sat in the "nice" seats, where he had access to amenities like cutlery, padded seats and a table at the right height. If he were clever, he would have perched against the wall on the stools up front with the rest of the lepers and common scum. I know I would have. Not good enough for us lepers, hmm?

Small Cars Get Smaller

We saw a local contraption that was more motor than car. It was literally an engine with a seat behind it and three wheels thrown on for good measure. The entire contraption was about the height and weight of my cat and went like snot. (What an odd expression. I better buy some more man-sized Kleenex.)

Surge Tide Warning

Our friends in London phoned us up to bring news of extreme tides scheduled for our area. "DANGER! DANGER!" said the news. We live but half a block from the sea in a property that is mostly sunken compared to our neighbors. "Oh boy!" I thought, picturing mounting rental discounts as we perch in our upstairs room. Actually, our six-page tenancy agreement makes us responsible for most things including floods, pestilence, and famine.

I was rather disappointed when the sea didn't even touch the hundred-foot wall guarding the roadway.

The winds did come up quite spectacularly, whisking away garbage and unanchored locals. That night a clatter arose from the roof

<BUMP!>... <Bump>... <bump> ... < b i n g >

I hope that wasn't Santa Claus.

More likely it was the expensive-looking satellite dish on the roof going for a wee walkabout. Now we'll be in trouble for not huddling on the roof through the storm, bracing the dish. (Or more likely clinging to the dish with feet flying.)


We saw End of Days in London for $22.50 a person. Good thing we picked the cheap seats. Got popcorn and a drink too for considerably less than a down payment on a Volkswagen. End of Days is fine if you shift your brain into neutral and learn to enjoy Arnie's acting.

They gave us our money's worth by treating us to an extra 25 minutes of pre-movie commercials. Most of it bizarre enough to my proper Canadian mind as too quickly slip through the tender net of memory. One commercial did stand out though:

Audio: Man and a woman in bed giggling and laughing.
Visual: Bedroom, side of bed barely in camera.
The man grunts with effort and a pair of men's socks in tossed into view.
Shirt... <giggle> belt... <giggle, giggle> trousers... and finally with a grunt and sigh his briefs drop into view.
He sounds pleased and expectant.
"And THAT too!" she chides
<Sigh> <Grumble>... and on the dresser is placed a large Australian beer.
Voiceover: "Beer too good to put down."


Being loosely affiliated with the advertising industry (or is that afflicted), I find it disconcerting to be, um, disconcerted by British ads.

Figure 1
Today's paper features a full-colour, double half-page spread for Marlboro. A forest is burning in front of a black, swampy river filled with brutish crocodiles. "Welcome to Marlboro country." I guess we know what happened to the Marlboro man. He didn't die of lung cancer. He was an amateur rural pyromaniac before succumbing to guilt and stumbling into the turgid river to become crocodile-smoked beef jerky.

Figure 2
A series of huge bus shelter adverts designed apparently to humanize the perception of the disabled:
2a - Picture: man in wheelchair. Caption: "I spent my paycheque at the pub." Oh, I feel so much better about him now. He's a drunken git like me.

2b - Picture: Woman in wheelchair with friend. Head: "She's such an embarrassment". Subcaption: "Her laugh is so dirty." Ah, another person like me. An embarrassment.

I must be getting old. Subtle reverse meta-humour is offending my political correctness.

More Financial Fun

We had lunch at the Smuggler's Pub. (Formerly headquarters for a successful cross-channel smuggling gang until their leader was taken away on trumped up sheep stealing charges. I suspect it has undergone a name change.) Michelle had a nice little sandwich with fries and a pop. I had some french bread with cheese, raw onion salad, and a Coke. Being a Stilton cheese virgin, I had to take it on faith, when my plate arrived, that visible pustules of mold were in fact intentional and not a result of cost-cutting. It tasted like extra, extra sharp Mozzarella, vintage 1987. The pustules were not a result of cost-cutting. Total cost $28.75

The Euro just fell to 1.004 against the U.S. dollar, down 15% since inception. Hmm.

PS - We're having fun. Really we are. All these files should be taken with a smile and a smirk. Tomorrow we get to party like it's 1999. And eight hours ahead of all you Millennium laggard Canadians. :) Happy New Year!

PPS - It would be interesting should the millions that head into London by rail to party discover that Y2K has stopped the trains at midnight. At least the party hats will keep their heads warm. :)

[Michelle's Mind]

S & M Files
Ep. 1 (I) | Ep. 2 (II) | Ep. 3 (III) | Ep. 4 (IV) | Ep. 5 (V) | Ep. 6 (VI) | Ep. 7 (VII) |
Ep. 8 (VIII) | Ep. 9 (IX) | Ep. 10 (X) | Ep. 11 (XI) | Ep. 12 (XII) | Ep. 13 (XIII) | Ep. 14 (XIV) |
Ep. 15 (XIV) | Ep. 16 (XIV)