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the thinking man’s man’s man’s guide to being a man

Tom Selleck

If, like the author, you are incredibly rugged and manly but just choose to express it in more non-conventional ways like having a real soft spot for peonies or not being afraid of a scented candle every once in a while then this guide has been specially designed to help you blend in with basically all the other men you will ever come in to contact with. And when I say ‘contact’ I don’t mean that in any kind of a gay way before you all start.

I have the soft supple hands of a man who in all honesty is more comfortable applying a rejuvenating face mask than sanding down a wall. I can’t grow a beard to save my life, the only real shaving I do is shavings of pecorino on my bucatini all’amatriciana.

‘Oh but pecorino is just a cheap alternative to parmesan’ I hear you luddites cry. Go fuck yourselves.

This is exactly the sort of behaviour that is met with scorn and derision by ‘real men’ like for example my dad who is fond of saying things like, ‘Richard’s never done a proper day’s work in his life.’ Well de-pilling all of my cashmere and merino jumpers wasn’t exactly a fucking walk in the park old man let me tell you.

My brother is certainly more manly than I am. When we were kids he got kicked out of his rugby team for beating the shit out of a bigger boy on his own team and has been my old man’s favourite ever since then. I was busy practicing my one man show, experimenting with using Sun-In on my side parting and wrestling with the typical dilemmas of any young man such as ‘does the colour purple really suit me or am I just lying to myself?’ I’m still undecided.

Inevitably, when I first got a girlfriend my dad made the typical dad quip, ‘well we were worried he was gay for a while.’ Only I don’t think he was actually joking, in any way.

So if any of this rings a bell (not in a gay way, you understand) and you need to learn how to successfully integrate with real men and when I say ‘integrate’ oh fuck it here’s the list…

#1 KNOW YOUR MOTORWAYS

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This is a really useful tip, you should now commit this image to memory because whenever you drive anywhere there is always likely to be a real man at the end of your trip, your new girlfriend’s dad for example who will immediately ask you what route you took.

I struggle to navigate my way out of my own house and just obey what my Sat Nav tells me to do without question. I’m not even very good at doing what it tells me and I certainly have no idea what any of the roads are actually called. This is not the manly way to go. Real men do not need a Sat Nav, they know every possible route to every possible destination off by heart and they will ask you about it, straight away.

‘Which way did you come? M6, M40, M5?’

‘Yeah.’ Best to just agree, but there’s always a chance it could be a trap…

‘Come off at junction 9?’

‘That’s right, junction 9.’

‘There is no junction 9, I just made it up. Get the fuck out of my house.’

If you’re feeling like you want to play in the big leagues then what you should do is study your route beforehand and pick an obscure road to follow to your destination, make sure it’s real though or you’ll be found out but you’ll get awesome man points when you drop it in to your first conversation.

‘Actually I came off at junction 15 and took the B9000 via Chichester. Saved us about 17 minutes.’

‘Welcome to my family, you ever need anything you come to me.’

So simple, only requires years to perfect and completely pointless due to modern technology but so, so worth it for man points. Next….

#2 BEER. YOU WANT A BEER

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Remember, if you’re in the company of real men and someone asks you what you want to drink, you want a pint of non-specific beer. If you are asked to further elaborate on this you should have some stock answers to hand such as ‘Stella’ (real men call it ‘Wife Beater’), ‘Carling’ or ‘Fosters’ actually I think that last one might even be slightly frowned upon. You definitely can’t go wrong with a pint of wife beater though so stick to that. I think Peroni might be OK but it’s not on tap everywhere so there’s always the danger that they don’t have it and then you’ve singled yourself out as the effeminate metrosexual who wanted a Peroni because he can’t drink Stella. Then if you’re ever in the company of these extended family members/work colleagues/girlfriend’s friends boyfriends again they’ll always ask you if you want a Peroni and laugh at the hilarious time you made a tit out of yourself by requesting a Peroni, you fucking nonce.

Just don’t draw attention to yourself, go with the herd. Whatever you do don’t order a dry martini (not dry as a bone dry, but dry) and then change your mind when you find out they’ve got no grapefruits for the twist. And don’t then order a glass of Pinot Grigio but send it back because it’s not cold enough and just say to the bewildered waitress, ‘Just bring me a glass of the coldest white wine you have, as long as it’s not Chardonnay.’

I didn’t do both of those things at once by the way, I’m not that bad. It was two separate incidents.

#3 DON’T URINATE, EVER.

Not really sure why but real men retain water like fucking camels. And when I say water I of course mean Stella. They’ll down 8 pints in the airport and make it all the way to the hotel in Benidorm without even a twinge in the bladder.

Train yourself, God knows how, you figure it out.

#4 DON’T ASK QUESTIONS WHEN ORDERING FOOD

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Steak. Medium. That’s what you want. You’re not this fucking clown off the telly so don’t start trying to show off.

Regular readers will know that this is a particularly problematic area for the author. I just can’t help being a dick in these situations anyway but with a group of proper lads it is never going to end well. If you’re with a group of real men then just order the exact same steak as the guy next to you, which he wanted medium, no doubt. If you must have a sauce then peppercorn is acceptable but you’re better off just asking for some ketchup. Don’t start faffing around asking if the gnocchi is homemade on the premises that day or if the chef leaves the roe on the scallop. Don’t be that guy. And don’t, for the love of God start trying to change bits and bobs off the menu, giving it all;

‘Yeah can I have that with linguine instead of rigatoni, I just feel like I’m in more of a twirley mood?’

The only questions you should ask are pervy, creepy ones like ‘What time do you knock off love, we’re hitting Vodka Rev’s later?’ or better yet don’t ask questions at all as these could illicit a stinging erudite response. Just stick to vaguely offensive comments like, ‘pop your phone number on the bill darling.’ or ‘I bet you enjoy a nice healthy portion don’t you sweetheart?’ Then just eat your dull overcooked steak in absolute silence, occasionally looking up and shouting ‘Oi. Pal. Ketchup’ at that fucking poof of a waiter and that’s pretty much dining out all covered.

You can always go back the following week on your own if needs be so that you can finally enjoy those gnocchi that were described as ‘little heavenly pillows’ on Trip Advisor, man they sounded good. Nice Chablis Grand Cru to wash it down, good lad.

#5 GET YOURSELF SOME TOOLS

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Any proper man’s man knows how to handle a big tool (not in a gay way). You will need to invest in at least a basic set. If you move in with your sweet lady and need some minor repairs doing around the house then the inevitable moment will arrive when she invites her dad over to carry out the job and the first thing he’ll say is, ‘I bet you haven’t even got a spanner have you lad?’ with a condescending laugh. ‘No but I’ve got a pasta rolling machine and a fucking potato ricer so whether you want tortellini or gnocchi I’ve got us well covered you old fuck’ is not a suitable comeback.

Just out tool the old prick. Get a fucking angle grinder out to chop down that dodgy shower rail. Put up that generic Ikea print using a pneumatic drill, it doesn’t really matter seeing as no one really knows how to use tools anyway it’s all just posturing and everything can be solved by giving it a good whack on the end with a hammer (totally not gay). Plus, the older man will always take responsibility for any DIY jobs, that’s just hard-wired in to real men so as long as you have some tools you’ll probably never be called upon to use them, until you get old and have to condescend to some poor young fool as if that was never you to begin with. That’s the circle of life my good friends, Hakuna Matata.

Cheers

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Crappy Unsigned Band Reviews #1

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I get a lot of CUB’s following me on Twitter, most of whom I’m assuming have never looked at my page but just saw me amongst the followers of some other bands and thought that their crappy music is similar and that I might follow them back. Now I’m sure you’re going, “Rick that can’t be true, you’re so funny and handsome and I’m sure these bands are just fans of yours” and you may be right but I think the majority of them just want to up their numbers, well not on my time do you hear? If you want endorsement from me then you’re going to have to earn it the hard way sunshine! (That probably sounds a bit creepy, I just mean I’ll review your band on BadTripe.com).

I posted a tweet recently saying that any CUBs who follow me will get a free review on here which may be seen by anywhere up to 5 people a day who accidentally visit my site, great exposure I’m sure for any young kids with a dream of making it in music. Plus it’s only fair, if you expect me to support your band then you should be prepared for my honest feedback.

Now before you all start banging on about art and criticism and “hey c’mon man who are you to criticise our music what have you ever done?” Well let me tell you my band signed a record deal and released an album, albeit only in the great nation of Japan but it’s still a record deal you bunch of pricks and our album is available on Amazon for £18 or roughly 2500 Yen and it has a 5 star review (from me – I tried to change my name on Amazon to Nick Dwight but it didn’t work). So there you have it, I’m better than you, my opinion is worth more now let’s do this!

 

Rogues Gallery

First up @roguesgalleryca  from Rosemead California who describe their sound as ‘quirky’, well my friends quirky as in how my old R.E teacher used to wear purple tights with orange shoes or quirky as in deliberately trapping your genitals betwixt the pages of your Nigella Lawson cookbook for sexual gratification? Let’s find out….

BadTripe Verdict: Hippy Yank Indie straight out the 90’s. I’m listening to ‘No Way Home’ and I’m hearing bits of Nada Surf and The Dead Milkmen which is no bad thing but the track lacks a major hook. I Imagine these guys like riding longboards, smoking a bowl and communicate with each other using only the word ‘dude’. More quirkiness required in my opinion and get a fucking haircut you bunch of stoner bruhs…

Tardigrades in Space

Next, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne we have what appears to be one person going by the name of Tardigrades in Space @spacetards and with a Twitter bio that reads, “Anonymous mega-twat shitting out music in a bedroom nearer to you than you’d find comfortable” I’m definitely interested.

BadTripe Verdict: Fucking ace! Within about 3 seconds of listening to ‘Infanticide’ I knew it was for me. There’s this awesome post punk/lo-fi vibe which reminds me a bit of early Cloud Nothings, the vocals have some creepy weird effect on them which I love and the guitars skip between intricate and happy sounding riffs one minute to nice and sludgy power chords the next. The track never stops moving, a really fun listen. This is certainly Nigella level quirky and you sir have got yourself a follow and a fan.

**A quick aside – as I’ve been sat here writing this I’ve been followed by ‘Mellor Golf Club’ and I was really hoping that was a band as it’s a good name but alas it is just a golf club. Not too sure what they want with me.**

The State of How

@TheStateofHow from Orlando, Florida seem to be a very professional outfit, which won’t do them any favours around here. Professional pictures, fancy-schmancy website and an album on iTunes although I can’t tell if this is self released or through a label so are they even officially a CUB? Not sure…

BadTripe Verdict: Very well produced and strong songs, reminiscent of The Postal Service or Panic at the Disco but for me it’s just all far too polished. A harsh criticism given how tough it must be to break through, especially in the states. On paper I should like this band but they sound like quite a lot of other people would like them and that makes me not like them, you see? This sort of unpredictable, fickle attitude must be maddening for bands which is why I chose to give up music and work in Telecoms, where you can be 100% certain that everyone hates you for the reasons they have stated clearly.

Time for one more?

Ring Hollow

With a name that sounds like a bad case of dysentery, Southern California’s @RingHollow do look rather serious in their moody black and white Twitter photo. Every tweet is for a ‘new single which has just dropped’. The fact that there seems to be one a month points clearly to CUB territory.

BadTripe Verdict: Generic metal yawnathon. This kind of metal has been done to death, just a bloke shouting over some arbitrary Ibanez guitar and a shuddering double bass drum. I like a bit of metal but there’s got to be something to distinguish it from everything else. Not for me I’m afraid chaps, maybe just lighten up a bit? It’s all so angsty why not write a song about the pleasant feeling of using a hair dryer on your balls on a chilly winter’s morning or the satisfaction one derives from knowing one’s spice cupboard is really well stocked. Just some ideas.

Well that wraps it up for this week. Hopefully I’ll get some more bands to review soon and make this a regular thing. Until then good luck to all you Crappy Unsigned Bands out there! It’s really hard but whatever happens it’s a fucksight more fun than having an actual job and responsibility and shit so think yourselves lucky and just enjoy it while you can.

Much love! x

 

 

 

 

 

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let’s get started

Sometimes you’re sitting at your work desk, openly playing chess on your company iPad with an email about a potential new job opportunity open on your desktop screen for all to see and you realise that you could be spending your time doing something more productive. So I’ve decided to start my own blog, it’ll give me something to do and some of you people out there may enjoy reading it, which in turn will give me a warm sense of accomplishment. That’s all for now, I need to think of some weighty subjects to tackle….