Category Archives: self help

Getting a dog – One man’s journey


Please sir…spare some treats for a poor orphan?

The author has recently become the owner of a small dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Harry. Most of my friends only have human children so can’t really understand the unique bond that I have with my furry little pal and the depth of love that I feel for him. Harry has truly warmed my icy black heart and I plan to quit my job in order to become a full time carer to him but before that I thought I’d share my experiences of becoming a dog owner with you, dear reader.


thorough research – important

It was entirely my wife’s idea


evil genius having lunch

For a long time I refused to get a dog. It’s not that I’m a dog hater, even though I know some pretty annoying dogs, I’m not that much of an arsehole you understand. I just didn’t really want the responsibility that owning a dog entails. My wife really, really, really wanted a dog though and that had been abundantly clear for quite a long time.

So – to begin with, a quick note to all you WAG’s out there. You’re probably thinking yes Rick! I want a cute furry little mate too but I can’t be arsed with all of the walking and the getting up early and the picking up poo in bags that goes on for well in excess of a decade so I need to convince my husband that it’s his idea to get one and then I can force him to take all of the responsibility. Well let me just stop you there sweetheart! As a woman, you simply do not have the subtlety required to pull off an operation of this kind.

Now you’re going, Oh how little you know me Rick –  I play these mind games on my dopey fuckstick of a husband week in week out and the poor simpleton never twigs what I’m doing and I always end up getting my own way. Let me just stop you there love. What actually happens is your husband, your poor tired husband sees you coming a mile off and just decides to skip to the end and give you what you want. It’s quicker, it’s easier and he even lets you believe that you’ve bamboozled him in to giving you what you want because he knows you enjoy the sport and he likes to see the cute little smile on your evil little face. Sometimes though, on major issues he may decide to dig his heels in.

Therefore, if you’re a woman and you want a dog then you’re better off with either of these options;

  1. Sell the benefits of getting a dog to your husband. Take him to the pub and bribe him with alcohol. Explain to him that “this pub is dog friendly and if we had a dog then we could sit here with him and drink all day in front of this nice cozy fire and you could even watch the football, for a bit, without me complaining constantly because you will have given me the greatest gift of all – a dog.” This nearly worked on the author – a soppy, easily manipulated drunken fool at the best of times. I sobered up eventually though and stood my ground.
  2. Just go full nuclear. Guide your husband to the realisation that owning a dog for the next 10 -20 years and all of the ball ache that goes with it will actually be far less annoying than having to listen to you bang on about it constantly for every minute of every day until the end of time. He’ll crack eventually, as a woman you definitely have the stamina required to pull this off.

And so that’s what happened. By the time my wife said, “I’ve found a breeder and they make this type of dog can we go and cuddle one?” I was already broken and bloodied on the canvas. I simply couldn’t get up for the next round and even though I knew I was making the fatal, fatal mistake of going to actually see some puppies, I found myself agreeing…


just two handsome guys hanging out

This was the first time I met Harry. As you can see from his expression he was a little bit like, “Who in the name of all Holy Christ are you and what exactly do you want?”

At this stage I was still thinking to myself, we’re just going to meet the breeder and ask a few questions, that doesn’t mean we’re actually going to get the dog. Then of course, as soon as I met the little bugger I immediately imprinted on him and that was me done. He sniffed and licked my face, I did likewise, and just like that I had agreed to arrange my entire life around him for the foreseeable future. Well played wife.

We did agonise over the decision for a day and a night. You don’t get long to decide if you want to take the puppy because they’ve got people queueing up for them. In the end we thought about how we would feel if we called the breeders back and we were too late and he’d gone off to live with someone else. No way were we ever going to be having that. He was ours.

It’s impossible to really “train” a dog

I had long since held the view that dogs are basically every bit as bad as cats, but because they are more affectionate they just get away with it and that has turned out to be pretty much completely true.

The first thing you need to understand is that all dogs, all animals in fact, are naturally just  badly behaved, incredibly selfish bastards. You’ll never really be able to train them in the traditional sense. Rather, it is your job to trick, manipulate and bribe them in to doing what you want. It’s all about trying to outsmart your puppy in every scenario. Get them to wee on a puppy pad, then move the puppy pad closer and closer to the door until eventually it’s outside and then the dog suddenly finds itself weeing outside thinking how the fuck did I get out here? That’s it. People like to make out that dogs are clever enough to train but really they’re just stupid enough to manipulate. Most of the time.

We take Harry to a puppy class every Wednesday which has been basically no help and serves only to undo much of my good work by getting him overstimulated and sending him batshit crazy on puppy treats.

The puppy teacher did say one thing which struck a chord though and it was about learning the command to get your dog to “give” or “leave it.”

She said that you need to train them to associate your hand with treats and good stuff in case you ever have to take away an item which is “high value to them.” That pretty much sums it up, it is just a never ending negotiation as such;

“Harry! Give me back that sock.”

“No. This is high value to me. I am only prepared to relinquish it in exchange for another item of equally high value such as kibble or the oven glove or my favourite toy Mr. Fox who you have so cruelly hidden from me.”

“Well that’s because last time you had Mr. Fox you were getting a little bit too friendly with him, weren’t you?”

“As I explained, that wasn’t what it looked like. I tripped.”


“I am prepared to accept two items of medium value. Medium value items include kibble, anything made of plastic, anything made of cardboard, anything made of wicker, sticks, kibble, full and unfettered access to the dishwasher and it’s contents for twelve hours, kibble, or your face for me to lick – including ears AND mouth.”

“You can have some kibble and access to the dishwasher for three minutes.”

“Five hours.”

“Two minutes.”


And that is basically how you train a puppy.


Wall Street 2 – Kibble Never Sleeps


Puppies can be quite bitey – remember this AT ALL TIMES

This is important information. Puppies, while usually very sleepy and cuddly, sometimes do turn in to little feral bitey monsters and you will do well to remember this. You don’t want to rush downstairs of a morn, wearing nought but a pair of loose fitting boxer shorts, let your excitable puppy out of his sleeping crate and then squat down in order to greet the little fellow. This isn’t a hypothetical situation, of course, this is something that I actually did.

Harry was super excited as he always is first thing in the morning and was nipping at my fingers and toes and then, suddenly – something else.

Yes it would seem that little Rick had been making an appearance out of the leg of my boxer shorts and as I bent down the dog must’ve thought he was having sausage for breakfast. I felt a very sharp nip, and a slight tug which kind of took my breath away in the manner in which one might reasonably expect a puncture wound to the penis to do.

I looked down and saw a thick globule of very dark blood on my leg. As it slowly began to trickle it’s way down I looked up to see my wife entering the kitchen. White as a sheet and in a state of panic I said to her;

“Something terrible has happened.”

“Oh my God! What’s happened to the dog?”

“Nothing, the dog is fine but I think I am going to require either a trip to A&E or a Prince Albert.”

True story. The little guy had bitten me right on the very southern-most point of the old chap, right on the tip. Made a full recovery though since you ask. Was a bit of a bleeder though.


puppies – sometimes bitey

So there you have it. That’s basically the full story to date of how we got a dog. Harry is settling in really well and I’m amazed at how quickly he has taken over our lives, in a good way. He loves going for a walk and running through leaves, he’s pretty speedy so we’ll be taking him to agility classes in the near future. He definitely chews at at least a 16 week level even though he’s only 14 weeks, probably due to putting in a minimum of 2 hours chewing practice per day, we’re all very proud of him. He’s particularly fond of going to the pub and sitting on the sofa watching telly with mummy and daddy. He loves kibble.

To date he has bitten my wife’s nose a few times but thankfully my genitals remain fully intact. Never change Harry, never change.


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BadTripe Health Check


Nowadays it’s considered desirable, fashionable even, to live past the age of 40 without dying of an obesity related illness. Celebrities like Gary Lucy, Abs from 5 and Cristiano Ronaldo have made men more conscious than ever about their physical appearance and fitness and there is now more pressure than ever for men to be able to withstand ever more virulent strains of deadly bacteria without succumbing to death like some sort of pathetic girl.

The author is (apparently) not getting any younger. Although I am often complimented on my youthful good looks so perhaps I have at least succeeded in temporarily arresting the ageing process. Either way there is definitely a picture of me in an attic somewhere which looks absolutely fucking horrendous.*

*That’s what we in the trade call a ‘literary reference’. Look it up luddites.

Anyway, due it being 2016 and all and the author being a man who could reasonably be described as ‘metrosexual’ (by my own father-in-law) I have decided to keep an eye on my health, fitness and general wellbeing and I thought I would share my experiences with my vast readership just in case any of you are considering going on living, for at least a few more years…

Going to the Doctors


Doctors, generally speaking, are perverts. I don’t think there’s any great deal of confusion as to why men are reluctant to visit them. It doesn’t really matter what is wrong with you, they’ll find some way of getting all creepy about it and then interfering with you. I myself have been interfered with by many doctors, for a variety of reasons and I’ve never really thought to question it at the time, like;

‘Why are you doing this to me?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘What is the purpose of this rectal exam you’re giving me?’

‘I’m sorry I don’t quite understand the question. This is a doctors’ surgery, sir and we will proceed with you as we see fit. If you are seeking medical advice then might I suggest the internet? Now kindly stop wasting my time and let’s get on with this.’

It’s all they ever do. Then they just tell you that they don’t know what’s wrong with you (why would they?) but just advise you to take a cocktail of drugs and see if it helps.

Recently though I felt I had an issue which couldn’t be ignored any more. It was causing me a fair bit of pain and discomfort and I needed to get it seen to so I begrudgingly booked an appointment, three and half months hence, to see my GP.

I had a sore wrist.

Not a glamorous, or even an interesting malady but it had been giving me shit for some time so I decided to get it checked out and the conversation went roughly like this;

‘I see Mr White so it’s a bad wrist is that correct?’

‘That’s right doctor.’

‘Indeed. On your dominant hand?’


‘Been troubling you for a while has it?’

‘Comes and goes.’

‘May I ask your profession?’

‘Sales. Telecommunications, smashed my targets last 3 quarters.’

(at this point I probably did a gun firing gesture with my strong hand)

‘Is that your company Audi parked downstairs in reception?’

‘Well yes. I didn’t see a parking man so I just drove straight in.’

‘What’s in that bag you’re carrying?’

‘An artisanal grapefruit and a bottle of small batch gin for my afternoon Martini. Where is all this leading may I ask? Just what exactly are you driving at? This is a serious medical issue.’

‘It’s Wanker’s Cramp.’

‘How dare you. I can assure you sir that I have never in my life resorted to onanism, I’m not some sort of depraved chimpanzee.’

‘Don’t worry Mr White this is a doctors’ surgery we see this sort of thing all the time, very common in men such as you.’

‘Now you look here buster. I came here for some tests. Now I want you to pick up your little bag of tools and drain me of every one of my bodily fluids before I….wait, wait that came out wrong. Just give me a fucking blood test. I demand it.’

‘Very well, just bend over. I mean roll up your sleeve.’

And lo and behold, after a fair bit of faffing around I was diagnosed with Haemochromatosis. Now I know what you’re thinking – that would be amazing in Scrabble and you’d be absolutely correct. Not great in life though, as we all know the longer the word, the worse the disease. That’s why children learn that song in school, to help them remember this simple rule. It was certainly one of the first things I learned as a child;

‘Good in Scrabble equals bad in life, 

If your disease has more than 9 letters then you’re probably going to die.’

There are a couple of notable exceptions to this but it’s like ‘I before E except after C’ or that really annoying rhyme about the days of the months where they had to crowbar in a really awkward line about February having 28 days all square, except in every leap yair. So the full song actually goes;

‘Good in Scrabble equals bad in life, 

If your disease has more than 9 letters then you’re probably going to die.

Cancer in Scrabble? Well that’s still alright,

Even in life you can still survive,

But AIDS is absolutely shite.’

Everyone knows that one right?

The Haemochromatosis was completely unrelated to my bad wrist and is in fact an excess of iron in the blood. The doctor had warned me that this was a possibility but I was like, ‘Nah that won’t be it. I’ll check the internet.’ Unfortunately when you Google ‘too much iron in blood’ there is literally only one option which comes up.

The treatment is simple; get a pint of blood drained out of you once a week in order to dilute the iron until your levels return to normal. You make new blood quickly so the iron levels go down. It takes longer to get your haemoglobin levels back up though so you will be walking around like an anaemic zombie for quite a while. Once your iron is back to normal then you just simply keep getting a pint of blood drained out of you but on a less frequent basis, for the rest of your life. Pretty simple really.

There are many symptoms of the disease but they don’t generally present until you’re about 50 years old, by which time the excess iron in your blood has started to deposit itself in various organs, causing irreparable damage. It’s ok if it’s caught early though so it was a good save. BY ME! I demanded the blood tests and diagnosed myself. When I asked my doctor for some advice about the condition, including the possible symptoms the conversation went like this;

‘What are the symptoms?’

‘There are many symptoms but off the top of my head…erectile dysfunction.’

‘How dare you sir! I have never in my life had any trouble, well maybe once or twice, but I will not tolerate…stand up. Stand Up! I will bum you right where you stand, right now as God is my witness so help me.’

‘Please Mr White calm down, there’s every chance you’ll never experience any symptoms as long as it’s kept under control.’

‘Oh right. And I suppose this is where you tell me you can perform a simple test to see if I am capable of achieving an erection and that you’re happy to do it for free am I right?’

‘Well I mean I could.’

‘Good day sir.’

And so there you go. One fucking visit to the doctors got me diagnosed with Wanker’s Cramp and Erectile Dysfunction all in the space of a week. Never, ever, ever again. I’ll just die.

The really annoying thing is that when you look up Haemochromatosis, E.D is like the second fucking thing on the list which is why I generally avoid mentioning it except on this blog which no one reads.

There is a Haemochromatosis Society so I will definitely be running for President of that just as long as I don’t get made in to the face of Erectile Dysfunction. I can do without that thanks very much.

Getting in to Shape


Now. The author has a physique which could probably be described as ‘Skinny Chubby’ basically skinny in the arms and legs with a slight paunch around the middle and a massive penis. I’ve always felt that I could just about live with it.

Trouble is that once you go past 30 you do start to notice yourself getting progressively chubbier. You can almost see the pounds begin to pile on as you sit on your nice comfy John Lewis sofa eating Kettle Chips out of a bowl with Moroccan hummus and throwing glass after glass of delicious Pinot Noir down your neck.You realise that something has to be done in order to balance things out. Quite literally.

Men’s Health Magazines all seem to convey the message that health, fitness and an improved physique are easily within our grasp. All of the covers are plastered with seductive promises of a quick fix, something we men all love because no one can really be fucked with doing exercise. They all say; ‘Get the arms you want in just 15 minutes’ or ‘Seven Day Abs; The Secret’. Trouble is that the secret is you have to work out, really hard, for seven hours, seven days a week for at least seven years and then continuously after that, forever.

Like so many poor misguided fools I joined a gym just after Christmas. On my first visit they made me fill in a form and took my bank details. On my second visit they showed me round. Third visit a young, healthy whipper-snapper full of youthful vitality got me in a room and asked me what my goals were. I told him my goals were to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without having a coronary and to not die before I reach the age of 33. He asked me how my self esteem was to which I replied that my wife said I had love handles so how the fuck did he think it was?

He then laughed nervously, told me he was ‘freaking out’ about turning 20 and then asked if I would like to get undressed and let him take pictures of me, to which I politely declined.

Then on my fourth visit I actually used some of the equipment in the gym, I think that was in March.

Having watched all 4 of the proper Rocky films and the car crash of number 5 and 6 and even the latest spin off I was given to understand that my path to fitness would happen quickly. I’d pictured it as a well cut montage sequence set to 80’s music interspersed with some light stretching but it turns out that isn’t necessarily true. I’d got up early to go to the gym for crying out loud! I swam ten lengths of the pool and then had a sauna so why wasn’t I ripped and good at boxing yet? It just didn’t make any sense.

At a party, whilst drunk (FYI – wasn’t my fault, someone spiked me with 19 beers) I started talking to my friend Ian about this dilemma because I know that he does Thai Boxing and I told him that it looked easy and I should be able to do it and that I’d fight him. Besides the fact I am highly capable of losing a fight against a small child or even an inanimate object, I couldn’t even hit anyone properly anyway on account of my misdiagnosed Wanker’s Cramp. My wrist is still fucked with no explanation.

Ian suggested that I go to see his personal trainer Mike and this is where the real pain and suffering began. The first time I went I made it through about 10 minutes before collapsing in a cold sweat and having to go outside to be sick. Second time I put my back out attempting to swing a sledgehammer at a tractor tyre. Third time, nearly sick but just about made it to the end.

Mike, to his eternal credit is in fact teaching me to box and you know if you’ve ever had a dream where you’re trying to fight someone but your punches have no effect whatsoever? That is basically me at boxing but I swear I’m getting better and one day soon I am going to march in to my GP’s office and knock him the fuck out.


At the end of each session Mike very kindly stretches my muscles out for me which basically involves me, on my back with another man pinning both of my legs behind my head after which I can’t walk properly for about a week.

Just like a visit to the fucking doctor’s then!!!

Boom Boom.




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I’m sorry for being a dick


My New Year’s resolution for what it’s worth is simply to stop being a complete and total dick, in all manner of situations, towards people who are only doing their jobs. Sounds reasonably simple but for some reason I do keep getting myself in to these awkward situations and finding that I’m unable to stop myself from being a dick. It’s almost like I’m looking down on myself, seeing the scenario unfold, behaving like a total and utter pompous arsehole but being unable to stop myself from doing it. It’s like some sort of weird, Pavlovian response mechanism like I’ve been somehow pre-conditioned to behave in this way, which begs the question of Nature vs. Nurture. Am I just inherently a total dick or am I in fact just a product of my environment? This is what we’re going to explore but first here’s a brief example of the sort of thing I’m talking about :-

#1 – Buying coffee from a service station


I order a medium latte and a bottle of water. I know it’s going to be expensive but nothing prepares me for the violent insult of being charged £5.41 for these two meagre beverages. WHERE DOES THE FUCKING 1 COME FROM?? WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT!!!??? I check the change in my pocket as I cling to the belief that if you’re spending the change from a previous cash withdrawal rather than starting a new transaction then you’re effectively not spending any extra money. The change in my pocket totals exactly £5.40. I already know that this will not be accepted and I’m not willing to lower myself to the rank of common beggar. It’s like a perfect storm at this point, I am apoplectic with rage but just managing to maintain the thin veneer of social acceptability as I hand over my card as if it’s my anal virginity. Then the woman on the till asks :-

“Can you just check that the amount is correct?”

It’s at this point that the change occurs. I’ve exited this mortal plain and I’m just floating on a cloud of ethereal indignation and I reply :-

“Yes, unbelievably that is the correct amount.”

Now the woman behind the counter has interpreted my dickish, sarcastic comment in the wrong way. I meant, “Yes. Although that is a preposterous amount of money to charge for a coffee and a water, it is in fact the correct amount as displayed on your tariff.” She thinks I mean, “You typed it in to the machine, why would it be wrong? Are you in fact a moron?”

To her eternal credit she maintains her professionalism and simply replies courteously, “I’m just required to check that the amount is correct.”

Then I start cranking it up to dick level 9 by attempting to actually explain my “joke” to this poor woman.

“No, no” I stammer. “I realise that. I’m just saying that although it is technically correct, it’s still a ridiculous amount to pay for one coffee and one water.”

There’s a queue forming behind me. She now thinks I might be haggling or refusing to pay. I can see the mild panic setting in, the kind associated with the unpredictable knobhead in public. She doesn’t reply, what could she possibly say? What am I looking for anyway? An apology? Do I want this perfectly polite lady, who is simply doing her job, to apologise on behalf of Costa fucking coffee for charging the sort of prices one might associate with a hyper-inflated, Zimbabwe-esque economic meltdown?

I put my card in the machine, pay and get the fuck out of there with my lukewarm, bitter, raw sewage tasting coffee and replay the situation in my head to assess where it was I could’ve done things slightly differently.


So there you have it. This is the sort of thing I just can’t help doing. It’s somewhat ironic that my job largely involves being castigated by small minded, petty individuals who think that I am solely responsible for every single action carried out by the organisation which I represent so you’d think I would’ve learned to be less of a dick in these situations. Well I am trying (sort of) so go fuck yourselves. Anyway I digress, it’s not just me who is affected by my dickish behaviour, my wife, bless her, has to put up with numerous scenes of this nature as I try to ruin happy occasions thus…

#2 Ordering dinner


Always a potential minefield for the perpetual dick. I tend to ask a lot of unnecessary questions and tend to get quite dickish when the poor waiting staff don’t know the answer. I got put in my place quite brilliantly once in Wales though, they don’t take any nonsense from out-of-towners as this conversation illustrates :-

“What ales do you have on today?”

“We’ve got one bitter I think.”

“Uh-huh, what’s it like?”



Anyway one classic example occurred while my wife and I were honeymooning in Venice this year. I know right?? Honeymooning! You’d think I could’ve managed to reign it in slightly for our honeymoon wouldn’t you but no way! I’m a constant dick, no downtime. Fully committed.

We were having dinner at a lovely little restaurant right on the grand canal and my wife wants to order the gnocchi with scallops, thyme and lime zest. Quite an unusual combination and I immediately become concerned that she might not like it, and then I’ll be sat there, enjoying my lamb ragu and feeling guilty while she politely chokes down her raw uncooked scallops and we both won’t enjoy ourselves. Now, you’re all reasonable people and you’re probably reading this going; “For fuck’s sake Rick your wife’s a grown woman and knows her own mind just butt out you total dick.” BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I’m that much of a dick that I have to second guess my wife at every opportunity and I will always assume that I know better than she does what she will or will not like. So the inevitable happens and I start trying to converse with the Italian waiter who doesn’t really speak English….

“How are the scallops cooked?”

“The scallops?”

“Yes are they fried in a pan? Pan fried?” I’m mime-frying scallops in a pan at this point, looking like an absolute dick.

“It is err…like a small fish.”

“No, no I understand that thank you but in what manner is the scallop prepared?”


I then decide to launch in to the internationally recognised language of the travelling dick; talking excessively loudly, in words of one syllable where possible.


I’m sweating, people are looking over and my wife is on the verge of quite rightly getting up and leaving the restaurant but manages to stop me in my tracks with a look that only she is capable of and I finally stop embarrassing myself and just let the poor waiter get on with taking my poor wife’s order. As I slowly begin to regain my composure and my semi-rational view of the world restores itself I realise what a dick I’ve been. Could I have stopped myself? We’ll never know. To my wife’s eternal credit she is still married to me despite the fact that I’ve repeated this scenario at least once and engaged in the following horrendous display of dickery at my own birthday which she’d organised :-


I’d ordered a ribeye steak and what arrived, to my absolute horror, was a rump steak. Or at least it may have been, who the fuck knows? I certainly don’t (I definitely do) but anyway I couldn’t just sit there and accept it so as not to spoil the evening could I? Nope. I had to start some weird kind of upstairs/downstairs thing off with the poor unsuspecting waitress. Apparently it went a bit like this :-

“Excuse me. Just come and have a look at this please.”

“How can I help you kind sir?”

“What does this look like to you?”

“I’m sorry I don’t quite understand…”

“I ordered a ribeye steak. Does this unholy abomination look like a ribeye steak to you? Do you even know what a ribeye steak looks like?”

“I’m awful sorry kind mister I just brings the steaks up from the kitchen like they tells me to…”

I’ve dicked us right back to the 1850’s here and the poor kitchen wench is looking over to her manager to help save her from this insufferable steak dick but I don’t stop there and I ram her face in to the offensive slab of meat to teach her a lesson…


I’m informed that that is basically how it went down but I can’t quite recall it accurately although that does sound a lot like a normal evening out with me. I’m a dick you see.

And finally….

#3 Getting a parking ticket


Been in this situation a few times but one particular occasion stands out in the mind. I’d just nipped out to do a bit of shopping with the wife and I’d parked in a side street in what I thought was a 1 hour free parking zone. Upon arriving back at the car I saw a parking warden, a lady one no less, hovering around my car. Knowing that I was well within the 1 hour time limit I smiled smugly and shouted “Shoo! Buzz off you, get outta here!”I failed to notice that her smile was just slightly more smug than mine as she sashayed away down the street and then I noticed the ticket on my windscreen.

I was 100% convinced that I was in the right so I shouted “OI!!” and proceeded to chase the parking warden down the street.

“OI! What the fuck is this?”

“You were parked illegally.”

“No I fucking wasn’t love, it’s 1 hour!”

“On one side of the road it is but on that side it’s resident permit holders only.” The smug bitch.

Now I know at this point you’re thinking “Rick, stop being so hard on yourself, you were well within your rights, everyone hates parking wardens.” And you’re absolutely right but that’s not the bad bit.

It was during the ensuing tirade of abuse that I was hurling at the traffic warden that an old lady came hobbling past with a stick and screeched, “Leave her alone she’s only doing her job.”

I became distracted from berating the traffic warden and immediately rounded on the old lady and shouted “OH SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” Straight in to the wizened old crone’s face. By this point my wife had just walked off, people had stopped in the street to observe and I realised I’d crossed over the fine line between righteously aggrieved citizen and total, complete and utter dick.

old woman

old women = fucking nosy

I’m not apologising for this one though. I fucking hate traffic wardens (even though they are only doing their jobs they’ve chosen a shit job spreading misery wherever they go) and old women have no business sticking their hooked witch’s beaks in to my personal affairs.

I will continue to boo traffic wardens (and old people) in the street.




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The Bad Tripe guide to the seven stages of life


If, like me, you’ve never actually died then you will probably have found yourself in the unfortunate predicament of getting older with every passing year. This can be a tad depressing sometimes as the long never-ending conveyor belt of life transports you steadily and methodically towards the swinging industrial scythe at the end of it all. It doesn’t matter how health conscious  you are, how many marathons you run or how many acai berry and spirulina smoothies you force down your neck without retching, you are going to die eventually, maybe a lot sooner than you think so you better make the most of it. Of course this is a rather morose way of looking at it, life after all is to be lived. We live in a wonderful world full of good stuff to savour and enjoy; good friends, family and all of the experiences and events that enrich our lives and help us to develop as human beings and acquire deeper knowledge as we grow older. We’re also lucky to live in the developed world, everything might be ridiculously expensive and a bit of a ballache but if you’ve ever contracted dysentery from drinking the poisonous water that you had to walk 10 miles in the blazing sun to get then you probably wouldn’t be moaning about the state of public transport or the price of a pint of Stella, it’s all relative after all.

The problem with getting older, and with life in general is that we all fall in to the trap of comparing ourselves to other people all the time. I think it was the Dalai Lama who said, “Don’t compare yourselves to all those cunts on Facebook cos those cunts probably aren’t having as great a time as they constantly make out.” That’s not the exact quote.

It’s not just social media though. We all have idols, people who we admire and look up to, people who have achieved things in life which we ourselves would like to emulate. When you’re young, all of these people are older than you so you can almost convince yourself that you could follow in their footsteps. As you get older though you slowly start passing all of these people by and realising that you’re never going to do what they’ve done, you’ve missed that window, so you start looking at people older than you and thinking well they’re five years older than me, there’s still time! Or, hell if I look like that when I’m fifty-five I’ll be pretty happy, just need to get a personal trainer and a nutritionist and stop smoking and eating domino’s pizza in bed and save up to get liposuction and a facelift and a hefty amount of cosmetic dental work and I should be fine. Thank God!

Anyway, I thought I’d have a look at people from different generations who I look up to just to try and come to terms with what I’ve missed and what I still have to aim for, maybe we can all take some comfort from what’s about to happen, here are the seven ages of man.

Below 20

business man shrug

I literally cannot even think of a single person below the age of twenty. Hermione Grainger? Fuck knows. I think this proves that I am now old. If I, at the age of 31 feel completely out of touch with the youth of today then God knows what it must be like for parents with teenage children trying to understand the vacuous little fuckers. I do know that there’s a new breed of famous young people called Vloggers and that quite frankly, this phenomenon is too terrifying to delve in to fully. Just do a quick Google search and you’ll undoubtedly be just as horrified as me by what you see. These little fuckers basically film themselves talking absolute shite about girls or makeup or just any rubbish that comes in to their minds that they think is funny, they put it up on YouTube and they get a million likes and then they get advertising revenue as a result and someone hands them a book deal and their own TV show. It makes me physically sick. At my school this kind of behaviour would quite rightly have earned you a vicious changing room beating and guaranteed that whatever video you filmed of yourself would be replayed over and over again as a source of ridicule, these days it’s lauded as creative and innovative and people give them money! The selfie is bad enough, when slags first started putting pictures that they’d taken of themselves all over Facebook I used to think, “How do you think this is ok?” Then it became perfectly normal and acceptable. Now it’s gone a step further and it’s perfectly fine to film yourself talking about nothing or editing together videos of yourself doing some ridiculous “comedy” skit alone in your room!! And this is supposed to be ok? Well it’s not, it’s appalling and I for one am glad that I am nowhere near the age where people think this is cool. Teenagers should just stick to drinking cider, fingering each other and playing sega megadrive and inhaling cans of lynx deodorant through a sock, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

20 – 30 


Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, age 29. Born and raised in the grease mines of Northern Portugal, Ronnie refused to talk until he was 17 years old and instead communicated using only his feet and the shame of his vanquished enemies. Some say he was raised by a family of Unicorns and that his hair has magical healing powers. As a youth he perfected his skills by swimming underwater for huge distances and diving to alarming depths, while he was submerged under the waves he would kick sea turtles right out of their shells, that’s how he got so good at free kicks. Ronnie came to Manchester at age 17 and was trained by an insane Scottish maniac in the fine art of staying on his feet, something which was always tricky in the grease mines and not required underwater or whilst gliding across the plains on a Unicorn. Once he’d mastered this new technique, Ronnie became the perfect physical specimen and the best football player the world has ever seen. Apparently only eight teams in Europe have scored more goals than Ronnie this season which basically means he could just start his own team with only him in it and he’d still probably win. I’ve watched him grow and destroy all in his path, and I know that he’s achieved more in the physical world than I ever will but there’s a sadness here. Ronnie has achieved all his dreams by a very young age and his career as a footballer will actually soon be over. What will he do then? It’s said that Alexander the Great once looked across his empire and wept as there were no more worlds left to conquer, I wonder if that’s how Ronnie feels when he’s bathing in Mazola and burning his money? Probably not. Still I won’t lose too much sleep that I’m never going to be as rich or as good at football as Ronnie.

Fun fact; I once sent a tweet to Ronnie when I was drunk which read, “Come back to Manchester Ronnie, everyone loves you we saw you at the airport and tries to finger you.” I only saw it a few days later and still have no idea what it meant, I’ve never seen him at an airport.


Ryan Jarman, formerly of the Cribs and now of Exclamation Pony

Ryan James Jarman, age 33. I absolutely love Ryan Jarman. The Cribs are one of my favourite bands and the one band I’ve seen live more than any other. 30 – 40 is my age range now and this is where it starts to get a bit tricky. You start desperately looking around for people who are older than you but are still cool. Once you’re past the age of 30 your physical condition starts to deteriorate, that’s just a fact of life, you’re past your physical peak, if you were a footballer you’d most probably have retired by the time you get to Ryan’s age which is a scary thought. By this age, youth and vitality is no longer your key attribute but you can still be cool I think. I know I’ll never be as cool as Ryan but I do believe that 30 is more like the new 20 these days (I have to believe that!) and that actually you can be at your coolest in your 30’s which is a comforting thought. As long as Ryan Jarman is still cool and older than me I’ll be quite comfortable with being in my early 30’s I think. Ryan is in a band which effectively grants anyone the gift of eternal youth. He can wear ripped jeans, converse and a vintage leather jacket for ever and ever and still look great as long as he’s got a guitar and still makes great songs. I work for an IT & Telecoms company specialising in cloud ready networks designed for growth. Slightly less cool and if I turned up to work wearing jeans and a ramones t-shirt instead of a navy blue suit and a tasteful overcoat and scarf combo I’d probably be fired but I can still try and be cool in my own time. Nowhere near as cool as Ryan Jarman but slightly edgier than Prince William. I’ll take that thanks.

40 – 50

john niven

John Niven, age 46. John Niven is my favourite writer, go and check out his books. Like me, John used to be in a band when he was younger, then (unlike me) he went on to become an A&R man and apparently turned down the chance to sign Muse and Coldplay before sacking it all off to become a novelist. Once you get to the age of 40 you really have entered a new stage of your life. You’re well past your physical best, some people will cling to youth and well being by sticking to a constant diet and cycling ridiculous distances week in week out but let’s face it what is the point? You’re never going to be that cool either unfortunately. You can no longer go around dressed as a scruffy drug addict and expect to look cool and edgy because you’ll actually just look like a sad old tramp (unless you’re in a band – remember band trumps age every time). Being poor is no longer romantic or funny, you’re expected to wear nice shoes and be able to pay for nice dinners and holidays and even children, you’re expected to be a man. So you’re not cool, you’re not fit, you’re a bit of a moody old Scottish bastard with a bit of a paunch, what can you do? Use your brain, that’s what. And work bloody hard to try and achieve something. You don’t have to be skinny and in a band to be creative and make interesting stuff, you can use your brain, or what’s left of it to really try and do something which matters to you, whatever that may be because this is make or break time really. Many people float through their twenties completely oblivious to everything and still clinging on to dreams that are never that likely to happen. Making it as backing dancer or a DJ or a footballer or a hand model or a visual artist, the list is endless and it ain’t going to happen for most of us! So we drift in to a career that does nothing for us except pay the bills and then we get pigeon holed in to doing that same thing forever. At some point you need to try and break that cycle and the only way to do this is to use your brain and do some work, that’s what the youth of today will never understand, your brain just can’t handle the concept until you get to at least 30, probably 35 I reckon.

50 – 60


Brad Pitt is 50, thank fuck for that! He looks great, he’s totally awesome in every way and that makes me not have to worry because I’m way off being 50! I’ll have to live two thirds of my life again before I get to Brad Pitt’s age, it’s so far off I needn’t worry about it. Except for the one fact that every year seems to go by that little bit quicker until I imagine you get to the point where each year seems to go by in the equivalent of about a week in your twenties. I wonder how old Brad Pitt was when he couldn’t imagine himself being 50, bet it seems like not that long ago to him now. Fuck.

60 – 70

The Rolling Stones and Martin Scorsese at 'Shine the Light' Movie Premiere

Keith Richards, age 70. Rock ‘n’ Roll’s very own zombie grandfather Keith Richards is obviously completely big time. Keith is actually 90% tar and survives by sleeping for only two hours, once a week in a vat of pickled gherkins. He keeps his youthful complexion by plastering the cracks in his face with crab paste and by keeping his heart rate down to only one beat every three minutes. Just look at Keith! Do you think Keith ever worries about his cholesterol? His internal organs? Dying? Does he fuck. Do you think Keith ever eats a superfood salad for lunch and goes for a walk with a goji berry and wheatgrass protein shake? Fuck off does he. He eats heroin for breakfast and smokes cigarettes in only one drag. He laughs at the youth of today with their M-Kat and their cocaine made from 95% washing powder and their skinny jeans and stupid haircuts and their atrocious identikit tattoos. He sits in an old leather wingback armchair all day with a telecaster and a pint of the finest scotch like a creepy stinking old wizard.

I’ve skipped a whole generation really by going from Pitt (50) to Keef (70), there’s a whole 20 years in there where all sorts of stuff is possible and that is where you should be kicking back and starting to really enjoy everything you’ve acheived in your life, maybe you’ve banked some cash, maybe you’ve had some kids, maybe you’ve made a decision to move to a different part of the world. Whatever it is, this is the time of life where you should just enjoy yourself and hopefully not have to struggle too much. We’re all given three score years and ten so technically Keith has had his time but if you can make it to this age then you’ve done well and might as well just continue to do whatever the fuck you want. I hope I can be like Keith when I’m 70 years old, I’d sooner trade places with him than some dickhead Vlogger any day of the week.

80 – 90


Barry Humphries, age 80. Fuck it, you’re old. Just do whatever makes you happy. This will probably be me aged 80!

So there you go. I don’t think getting older is that bad as long as you enjoy it as much as you can. I think the trick is to just keep doing stuff. As soon as you start doing nothing then that’s when you’ve become old. Of course I don’t consider myself to be old at all, hopefully I’ll have lots of experiences to come both good and bad but most importantly I hope they’ll be interesting and help me to learn more stuff. I never realised until very recently that working hard on something is actually a good thing and I’ve only just let go of the belief I held for much of my life which was that the world owes me a massive favour, it does not. I’ve already been granted that favour by being born, I may get run over by an elephant or crushed by a falling piano tomorrow or any of the days to come but until that happens (and that is how I’d like to go) I’ll continue to try and enjoy life even with all of it’s ball breaking drudgery and criminally over-priced pints of Stella.


prom ibiza wedding

Getting older = Not that bad

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