Monthly Archives: July 2014

Bad Tripe clinical study – Is my cat a psychopath?

Cat

The author, with cat.

 

 

This is my cat, George or to give her her full title, Georgia Elizabeth Katzenberg-White. She is five years old (I’m pretty sure) and she was born in Sheffield. Although I think she may have just come in to existence via some dreadful portal of pure evil. When I first got her I thought she was a boy, hence the name which just stuck. Maybe she’s always known deep down that I wanted a boy, I have told her this on many occasions so it is possible and maybe this has lead to her hatred of the human race in general. Looking back though I think her general misanthropy stems back to when she was just a young cat, barely more than a kitten really and a team of vets tried to give her an injection and failed, she wasn’t having that, no siree, she fought like Gerard Butler in that film. I’d love to tell you George fought the good fight and the vets left her alone, I wish I could tell you that, but the vets is no fairy-tale place, plus I’d paid for the operation I wasn’t just going to let the stupid bee-yatch run around and get pregnant, I’m a responsible fucking pet owner thank you very much. And so the vets gassed her out, in an actual gas chamber and then ripped out her ovaries. George woke up with a cone on her head and with half her body shaved and stitched up I mean I reckon it’d piss anyone off really. After that she gained a shit load of weight, I’m told it’s the hormones and I’ve had her on a diet ever since although up until very recently she’s always been a house cat so a lack of exercise didn’t help, at her heaviest she weighed just over seven kilos which I’m told is the size of two cats. Despite her weight (which is actually improving thank Christ) the vet assures me that she is in perfect health, which backs up my theory that she is pure malevolent evil and will never die. George is lazy, massively disobedient, prone to spontaneous and unprovoked outbursts of violence, spiteful, unhygienic, devious, annoying, distrustful and aggressive towards strangers (and people she knows), greedy, mean and homophobic (probably). She is probably the worst behaved cat in the world and she seems to do it deliberately but is she actually a psychopath? Let’s find out using the Hare Test to determine Psychopathy (as it applies to our furry feline friends).

There are 20 different elements on the Hare Test which are used to characterise Psychopathic tendencies in individuals, starting with :-

  1. Glibness/Superficial Charm

According to the Hare Test, all Psychopaths are ostensibly charming individuals when you first meet them, this is how they are able to manipulate others successfully, George actually scores well on this one. Like all cats she can appear to be friendly, she’ll come up to you and rub her face on your leg and purr and when I’m sat on the sofa she’ll come and sit on me and she actually seems quite friendly but SHE JUST WANTS FOOD! That’s all that motivates her, once she realises you’re not going to feed her she will become angry and aggressive and often bitey. She’s not really clever enough to really appear friendly, her displays of affection usually just come off as creepy and weird but she probably is capable of fooling an amateur in to giving her some tuna so I’ll give her a tick for this one.

2.  Grandiose sense of self worth

Tick. She is a cat after all so was always going to score highly here.

3.  Pathological lying

Absolutely. She plays my girlfriend and I off against each other in order to get extra meals. Mrs Bad-Tripe will come home early and feed George, George knows that I know that Mrs BT doesn’t always feed her when she comes home so when I come home she will come up to me frantically meowing like she hasn’t been fed in weeks so that I feed her again! To be fair this has worked on numerous occasions so well done George but there is no doubt that she is incapable of honest behaviour, big tick for this one.

4.  Cunning/Manipulative

See above. Tick. Another example would be meowing at 4am to try and convince me that it’s time to get up and feed her, this has also worked on a few occasions.

5.  Lack of remorse or guilt

Interestingly George, like all cats, cannot be trained but she also does not respond to punitive measures. I have one of those little water sprayers that people use to give their plants a spritzing and when George is nagging me for food or meowing at 4am or scratching my sofa to bits I give her a little spray to let her know that this is naughty. All that’s happened is that she’s managed to train herself to not fear water, she knows it won’t hurt her, and although she certainly doesn’t like it, she now will not show even a flicker of emotion when I spray her and she will never let the threat of a dowsing stop her from going about her evil business, so yes a tick for this one.

george2

I’m going to kill you one day

6.  Emotionally shallow

Definitely. George’s emotional range is basically just; hungry-sleepy-hateful.

7.  Callous/Lack of empathy

If I died, she would probably wait about 10 seconds before feasting gleefully on my corpse, so yeah, tick for this one.

8.  Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

She once pounced on my girlfriend while she was crossing the living room with a well steeped bowl of muesli. George swiped at Mrs BT’s foot, eliciting a scream and a stumble which sent the semi-firm, cement like cereal mixture flying all over the sofa and the wall. If you’ve ever tried to clean a full bowl of milk and congealed muesli off a fabric sofa you will know it’s no easy task. George just flounced off with a look that said, “Bitch should learn how to handle her bowl properly.”  The Prosecution rests.

9.  Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

Interesting one this. I do try to play with George all the time, she particularly likes fighting and to be fair she is actually really good at catching, that’s her one skill. I flick her cuddly bunny toy with my foot and she can catch it from a surprising range of angles and distances. This doesn’t hold her interest for very long though because if I’m the one initiating the game then she just thinks it’s some sort of trick or that I’m subversively mocking her and then she disengages. George’s need for stimulation seems to manifest itself in obnoxious, attention seeking behaviour. If her requests for food have been repeatedly rebuked then she will go and start scratching the sofa or flinging her cat litter all over the room just to get a reaction. Basically she thrives on drama and she gains much more satisfaction from causing trouble and pissing me off rather than just mutually enjoyable frolics, so yeah, tick.

10.  Parasitic lifestyle

Contributes absolutely nothing to the household so yes.

george3

This owl belongs to me now

11.  Lack of realistic long term goals

She plans to get food, but that is obviously short term. I’ve no idea what her long term goals may be but if she has any I’ll bet they’re not in the least bit realistic. Probably something along the lines of “Kill my oppressive overlords and start my own dictatorship where all my subjects must pay daily homage to me with offerings of roast chicken which is of course my favourite food.” So basically she’s living in a dream world.

12.  Impulsivity

She knows that if she attacks my girlfriend that she is in for an absolute rollicking but she literally cannot stop herself from doing it. The missus was walking with a drink once and I could actually see the cogs moving in George’s brain as she lay in wait on the rug thinking, “She’s got bare feet and she’s carrying a drink I have to swipe at her foot, I have to, but they might drown me in the shower like they’ve previously threatened, I need to swipe her foot, she’ll spill the drink, she might catch me, oh fuck I’ve done it.” Then she tried to run away but had actually moved on to the laminate wood flooring which is slippery and so as fast as her legs tried to move, she went nowhere. Then the wife threw a clothes airer at her for some reason?

13.  Irresponsibility

Yes, she’s completely irresponsible with no respect for anyone.

14.  Poor behavioural controls

Don’t think this needs any further clarification.

15.  Early behavioural problems

When I first got George, I got her from a bit of a dodgy area of Sheffield. The author is not a snob but there are certain parts of the city where it’s generally best not to venture alone but I wanted a cat so I went. I picked George because of all the cats that were there she actually seemed the most docile. When I got her home she slept for like two days and was really chilled out. Then it dawned on me that the cat sellers had been openly smoking weed in the living room when I went round so actually George was just stoned. When she eventually came round she must’ve been craving some monster munch and a cheese and onion pasty and when these weren’t forthcoming she definitely became way more of a handful. In all honesty though I think George’s early behaviour was just pretty standard kitten behaviour so I may have to let her off this one. She’s always been quite weird though.

george

hey you! go to the 24 hour petrol station and get me some food and rizla

16.  Juvenile Delinquency

She’s always been a bit of a delinquent and it was definitely her early teens (in cat years) where she really started to hit her stride and test the boundaries of common decency and my patience so I think this definitely applies.

17.  Revocation of conditional release

Erm…..kind of. I used to live in a top floor flat so George has always been a house cat. When I first got her I did live in a house and tried to make her go outside but she seemed to show no interest whatsoever and would just cling to the sofa like a drowninig victim on a piece of driftwood so I sacked it off. Recently I moved in to a ground floor flat and decided to let her go outside and she took to it quite well. I couldn’t believe that George was going outside and having adventures like a real cat, or so I thought. I was chatting to my neighbour who owns the basement flat downstairs (the brilliantly named, Ekow) and I said keep an eye out for my cat, to which he replied “Oh George and I are already well acquainted.” It turns out that on her first trip out she’d managed to get downstairs (squeezing through a very tight fence in the process which you wouldn’t have said was physically possible if you saw it) and entered the basement flat via the French doors. Ekow received a phonecall from his girlfriend who said she thought there was an animal in the flat. Ekow got home, looked around and couldn’t find anything so he sat down on the bed in consternation. Then, all of a sudden the bed covers moved and made a noise, lo and behold it was George!! All she’d done instead of going out and exploring the great wide world was to infiltrate the nearest bed she could find. A stand-off ensued with George having claimed the bed as her own and Ekow was unable to get her to move. Eventually he managed to get her out somehow but not without “A lot of hissing and growling.” Naturally I was mortified as, if anything is guaranteed to give your new neighbours a bad impression of you, it’s George. So I very nearly revoked her conditional release but not quite ‘cos I need her out the house.

george4

Supervised exercise time

18.  Criminal Versatility

She’s the size of a fucking rugby ball and managed to squeeze herself through a fence gap no bigger than an iPhone, she can also leap like a salmon to get up on the kitchen counter to eat my leftover curry so yeah I’d say she is pretty versatile in her criminality. Kudos George.

19.  Many short term marital relationships

As far as I know George has never been married.

20.  Promiscuous sexual behaviour

I absolutely shudder to think.

So there you go. I think we can categorically conclude that George is indeed a certifiable psychopath and should probably be locked up in a secure institution somewhere. However, I feel that this clinical study raises more questions than it answers. Are animals aware of their own behaviour? Do they have the ability to draw distinction between right and wrong or are they operating purely on instinct? At what point does the need for survival give way to greed or self indulgent behaviour? Are all psychopaths a product of their environment or are they hardwired to behave in a certain way? Who the fuck knows. These existential dilemmas will keep for another day.

I should tell you all that I would not change George for the world, she’s the funniest animal ever and I love her dearly and do my best to care for her properly and responsibly despite never getting even so much as a crumb of gratitude from the beastly little swine. She may be a psychopath, but she’s my psychopath.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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Bad Tripe Album Review – Joyce Manor ‘Never Hungover Again’

joycemanor

Now, let me start by saying that this isn’t really a review as such, it’s not a critical essay and it’s certainly not objective. It’s hard to be that objective about a band that you ABSOLUTELY FUCKING LOVE!!! There’s no point denying it, I’ve just been listening to this at work and even through the tinny speakers of my shitty laptop which render even the most perfectly produced pieces of music basically unlistenable this still sounds immense. I don’t know what any of the tracks are called just yet and I haven’t had much of a chance to catch the lyrics properly but they’re very good, really simple but brilliantly put together, quite poignant at times actually. I also can’t really draw lots of comparisons with other bands, nor would I want to because that’s how YouTube arguments frequently start and what’s the point anyway? I read an Amazon review of the new Cloud Nothings album where this fucking asshole just compared them at great length to Interpol and their first album. I suspect that the cretinous fool had only ever bought two albums in his life and for him they represented the complete pantheon of available music so it was only right that they be inextricably linked, but anyway I digress….

I bought the first album and loved it, second album is a little more tricky to get in to but still brilliant, this one is off the chain. I don’t know whether the title refers to the fact that they’ve all gone sober and more focussed and I couldn’t care less as long as they keep making this awesome music. They’ve signed to Epitaph and obviously decided to just fucking go for it with some of the catchiest songs Bad Tripe has ever heard. Really amazing melodies which literally grip you by the scrotum for about two minutes, and then release it, and then grab it again. Amazing. I’m not the first person to say that there’s a strong Pop-Punk Smiths-like quality to the songs on this album which I’ve certainly never picked up on before, I think it’s some of the lyrics, Barry Johnson’s vocals, and also the picking melodies of the guitars which do sound quite like Johnny Marr. Listen to ‘In the Army Now’ where I think this is most present. **Hey turns out I do know the names of the songs and I’ve gone back on my promise to not compare to other bands, what a douche I hear myself cry**

Here’s why I like Joyce Manor. They convey real emotion without sounding generically emo. They have also mastered the genre of pop punk, managing to be as catchy as 90’s Blink 182 without sounding in the least bit cheesy. They have that ‘we’re not really trying that hard’ vibe without just sounding lame, perfectly disaffected and yet straight from the heart at the same time. This is immediately my favourite album as I knew it would be. I’ve never got bored of their first two albums and, at only 19 minutes long I will definitely be listening to this about 75 times a day.

I don’t know if they’ve got a UK tour planned but I look forward to getting balls deep in to them (metaphorically of course) when they do decide to come over.

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Magaluf @ 19 vs Ibiza @ 30

So I have just come back from my first holiday to Ibiza, a place I never really thought about visiting until one of my best friends said that he was getting married on the White Isle. When I was younger, about 16-17 years old I was really in to clubbing and would frequently go out dressed up like a futuristic rent boy and take loads of class A’s and flap my jaw wildly at strangers whilst telling them that I loved them before being sick in a bin. I used to go to trance and hard house nights all the time and saw most of the popular DJ’s at the time so it was quite surprising that I’d never actually considered a holiday to Ibiza, the main reason was of course, money, I had none. In order to fund my weekend adventures I used to work part time at a double glazing company doing telesales and basically conning lonely old people in to having a ‘free no obligation quote’, which involved sending some polyester clad, escort driving wannabe corporate schlong round to pester these people in their own homes for hours until they’d signed away their life savings for some shoddy-at-best UPVC windows and doors and for this I was paid the princely sum of £10 per appointment plus £5 per hour which was more than enough to facilitate a full weekend of gurning one’s face off but never enough to pay the extortionate prices that a week’s worth of raving in Ibiza would’ve cost.

So my friends and I looked at different, cheaper options. We did Faliraki at 16, Zante at 17,18 and Magaluf at 19 and this was where it all ended for me. Faliraki and Greece were brilliant but for some reason this one holiday to Magaluf just seemed to expose a horror that I’d previously either been a part of, or just hadn’t noticed due to the madness of crowds or something like that. I just couldn’t get in to it at all. We got so unbelievably wrecked over the course of the first two days that I literally could not get out of bed for the rest of the first week, just sweating and twitching like some sort of prisoner of war in Burma or some shit, it was awful. There were about 10 lads to every girl, and I do mean LADS!!! I hated the music, the people, I was always tired, I couldn’t get a tan and the all-inclusive booze was so watered down that it’s only effect was to add to the ever present nausea and heartburn. We were forcibly befriended by the sort of people I thought only existed in movies starring Paddy Considine, I’m really talking about the dregs of an evil society here, pure Jeremy Kyle fodder. It was hideous and the worst thing was that I had to pretend to enjoy it, to be part of it. I’d paid for it after all and you just don’t want to feel left out at that age, you want to be in the moment, in the gang, whatever it takes.

Now if Magaluf @ 19 made me feel like a vacuous, depressed shell of a human being then Ibiza @ 30 filled my whole being up with love and hope, exactly as it should do. My girlfriend and I had booked an all-inclusive hotel in Es Cana, right next to the beach and close to the wedding. On the plane there were a couple of stag do’s and a lot of LADS!!! I cannot describe the sweet feeling of relief when we exited the airport and they went one way and we boarded a bus full of people at least twenty years older than us sitting in peaceful tranquillity, thank the absolute lord! Part of the reason for this was that we were joined by my friend Nick, his wife Caroline and their daughter Brooke. Now, taking a two year old to Ibiza might not be at the top of everyone’s dream holiday list but herein lies the beauty of other people’s kids; they’re really funny and at the end of the day, they’re not yours! Brooke is a really funny kid who is totally used to being around lots of people and loves to play with everyone she meets. I’ve often thought that toddlers are just like tiny, drunk people which makes them hilarious and also ideal holiday companions. We spent the first day drinking free Cruz Campo by the pool whilst helping Brooke go up and down the pirate ship slide about 1,978,999 times. Fantastic entertainment and a great day.

#airportselfie

Friday was the day of the stag. Most of our mates had arrived on the island and were staying in the immediate vicinity so we’d decided to head over to Bora Bora on the other side of the island. We all found it difficult to tear ourselves away from drinking beer on the beach and helping Brooke fetch water to fill up her inflatable lobster pool, as we all agreed that this was the kind of holiday we all wanted, and in fact needed, being as we are, encumbered by much more taxing occupations than simply fleecing pensioners for windows. However, this was the stag and that needed to be respected so we headed off in to the Ibizan sunset to party it up at Bora Bora. To be fair it’s pretty good, you can look out on the sunset and feel the bass rattling your ribs. As expected it was basically us and the cast of Geordie Shore in attendance. Ripped, mahogany coloured LADS!!! sporting the obligatory Jesus and clouds tattoos down one side of their body and wearing only a pair of Y-fronts which seems to be what the kids are in to these days, compared to us, a bunch of thirty somethings, white, pasty, skinny/chubby and shuffling a bit awkwardly to the thumping beats. We got in to the spirit and got thoroughly fucking mangled although I did notice that we’d gravitated towards a table out the back which was about as far away from the music and the actual people as it was possible to get. We’d gone to a party, but not quite. Still we had a great time and woke up feeling like lukewarm death but glad that we’d experienced a small snippet of the party end of Ibiza.

I think the difference when you’re in your 30’s as opposed to your teens is that you lose that need to be at the heart of a scene. As a teenager going clubbing I wanted to make people very aware of the fact that I did this regularly, this was not new to me, I come here all the time and I know the DJ so don’t talk to me about clubbing cos you don’t really know about it, not like I do, I’m cool you know. Now I know that absolutely no one thinks I’m cool at all so you don’t actually feel self-conscious, you’re able to actually let go and really enjoy things for what they are, no matter how ridiculous, loud or tiring they may be.

So that’s what I learnt from Ibiza, don’t take yourselves seriously and just enjoy things the way you want to. There’s no reason why you can’t have a good time with kids as well, you can have a grown up holiday that will be more fun than any you had in your awkward teens. Best holiday ever in my opinion. The wedding was a beautiful day and night, in a huge villa looking out over the sea, amazing vibes, great speeches, awesome food and wine (also very important once you get past a certain age) and just a great time for everyone involved.

We spent the last day visiting the Hippy Market (highly recommended) in the day and taking Brooke to the kids disco in the evening. I’ll take that over sweating it up like a turking baghead in the hepatitis-ridden hell trap of Magaluf any day.

the author, and girlfriend

Cheers

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