Archive Box – Random Writing

Here are some short bit I wrote for a website, back in the olden days.

Random Thoughts- Surveys

The subject on which I wish to address you on this rainy day is that of a plague; one more virulent than the Bubonic and more annoying than the great itchy gusset plague that ravaged the wearers of nylon underwear in the 70s. This plague is not a virus or a bacterium, it’s a group of human beings more tenacious than a summer cold and twice as annoying. They are the people who stand in the street calling to passers by “Excuse me could you spare a few minutes…” They may say more but nobody ever hears, as the response that those words elicit is generally “No I’m busy”. Well not always, I forget the sad and lonely who will stop and talk to anybody. This disturbs me a little, because if these clipboard grasping creatures are collecting details of the tastes and desires of the consuming public and the only members of that public representing those tastes are the anoraked kiddie fiddlers what will we see in shops in a few years? I have listed what I think will be ‘in’ next season.

  1. Tartan Thermos flasks
  2. Tartan shopping trolleys
  3. Anything Tartan
  4. The greasy look anorak
  5. Nylon Y-fronts
  6. Geoff Love and his orchestra play Slipknot
  7. Prozac flavoured Smarties
  8. Trainspotting PDAs
  9. The book of the week: How to get onto local radio phone-in shows
  10. Pre-smellied trousers
  11. Puppies

However, your clip board toting inquisitor has one valuable use – they keep large swathes of pavement free from pedestrians and thus reduce wear and tear. Most of us would rather walk under a bus than go within 15 feet of them. We use old women as shields as we pass them and take massively exaggerated sweeping arcs often taking in the scenery of neighbouring towns. Which brings me onto my next theory – local council conspiracies to increase pavement longevity… Ah but that’s another story.

Random Thoughts- HR

There is a combination of words that is guaranteed to make my blood boil and my capillaries pop. The first of these words is ‘Human’. A nice word. A word that expresses our species on this planet and, by putting us in that context, our frailty and in some ways our nobility. In the same way as ‘Marsupial’ or ‘Canine’, it expresses our place in the natural order. The second word is ‘Resources’, in itself a humble word merely plodding about referring to materials or our personal emotional strength. It is a good word, a word that is useful, in fact a resource in itself.


Put those two words together and you get ‘Human Resources’, which makes me want to vomit. At one time you called a company asking for a job and were put through to their personnel department. I liked that, it expressed what they were and what they were in charge of, and it sounded a bit like personal which I liked. However, call a company today and you will be put in touch with Debbie in HR. Yes my friends, they are so ashamed of the title they shorten it so they can feel better about themselves.

In itself you may feel that ‘Human Resources’ sounds anodyne but the image it conjures up to me is a huge mine where humans are dug out of the soil. Where we are nothing but coal or oil, utterly worthless in our own right, only a commodity to be bought and sold. Well there’s food for thought. It seems strange to me that in these times where the cult of the individual is espoused by every newspaper and magazine; where supermarket shelves groan under the weight of self help books; that we are lumped together in the corporate mind as an amorphous blob. Perhaps that’s why self help books sell so well? They are bought in an attempt to escape the collective in which Debbie from HR has placed us.

In short humans are not a resource we are people with emotions. We love, loath, hurt and are angry , sanguine, or apathetic. We are more than the sum of our parts. We are not computer operators, clerks, analysts or managers, we are people and we demand the same rights as an Elk or Giraffe to be regarded as part of a species. Human but not a resource. So lets get rid of this title and replace it with something new. Something meaningless like ‘personnel’. Yep that’s good.

Random Thoughts- Better

It is part of the human condition. We all suffer from it in one way or another. Some people are inflicted with it in an extreme way and some in a more passing, whimsical way. It is the desire to change; whether it’s to change oneself or one’s environment it dogs us throughout our lives. We are condemned by our natures never to be satisfied, to always be striving for extra. The advertisers know this which is why we’re always getting ‘ten percent extra free’ in our packets of crisps, noodles, washing powder and shampoo. We want our cars faster, our computers more powerful and our sexual partners more sexy and skilled.

It isn’t only our goods and services we want better, we want ourselves better. We want ourselves better educated, better looking and healthier with better teeth, more hair, less hair, bigger hair… A few months ago I read that 80 Percent of men are unhappy with the size of their manhood (poor souls) and approximately the same amount of women are unhappy with their breast size. Why is this I ask myself? Is it the media, as people suggest, or is it this basic need to be better? I find it difficult to blame the media for a bloke being unhappy with his John Thomas, after all how many glossy magazines (other than the obvious) have pictures of blokes tackle out? However women are constantly bombarded with pictures of melons and feel that they need to conform to these pictures. Lets just take a ‘ for instance’ – if there were no media would men still worry about the size of their manhoods and women still crave bigger Bristols? Personally I think it would make little difference; the desire to please our sexual partners will always win out over any media influence and if we think that we can make them happier by being larger and better then we’ll continue to crave extra in those areas.

However there is another side to this – often those who are already what most people aspire to want to be different. One of my friends is beautiful, yet cannot properly see it. In some ways this is good because if they really could see themselves in the way other people did they would be impossible to live with. However they still want to be better – the beautiful golden hair has to be dyed a different colour etc. Frankly if I woke up looking like them I would spend the rest of my life in front of the mirror and as the new Narcissus I’d have myself photographed and copies sent out to every underprivileged area of the country to lift their spirits. I must admit though, if it was me that was beautiful I’d no doubt want to change something, but I can’t think what.

When push comes to shove I have given up fight to be better, after all you can’t polish a turd, but I do want a slightly more powerful computer.

Random Thoughts- Hot!

It’s Hot!
It’s summer in the city of Halifax, it’s also monsoon season by the look of things. Luckily I’m sitting in a comfortable air conditioned office sipping on hot tea (the best thing ever) and typing this while I try and avoid the gaze of my boss.

Every year it gets this hot and every year I hear the same things when it gets a bit hot. They are listed below…

  • Ooh must be global warming.
  • Didn’t used to get this hot.
  • Ooh ozone layer…
  • Did you know that Yorkshire used to have a tropical climate during Roman times?
  • Can’t ever remember it being this hot.

Everybody is utterly convinced that the weather is the hottest it’s ever been in the history of everything. They fail to remember that up to three months of summer is hot; they only ever seem to remember one week of it. Simply because the moment it rains they seem to think that the season has simply disappeared and can’t grasp that it is still summer even if it’s raining and still warm.

Myself I could do without summer. Summer makes the streets smell of urine. It bites, stings and burns. Not only that but if you are cursed with a light pigmentation in your eye colour you end up with splitting headaches. Have researched this and it is true, people with lighter pigmentation are more sensitive to light, I have blue/green eyes which make me susceptible to headaches created by bright light. So this proves categorically that summer sucks. No don’t argue, I’m right…

My suggestion to eliminate the evil that is summer is to push the country further north towards the polar region. Then, my friends, we can enjoy cold winter mornings all year round. There is nothing nicer than getting up to a foggy winter’s morning, so how cool to get up every morning to a chill wind and maybe some snow. Ah heaven!

Random Thoughts- Tea

Today I wish to extol the virtues of a particular kind of beverage. It comes in many flavours and strengths and has many different odours and colours from brick red to light green. It refreshes, helps one relax and is an integral part of my and many other peoples day. I know what you’re thinking: “Ah BB’s talking about beer and booze”, however you would be wrong in that assumption, for the beverage of which I speak is Tea. Yes tea. A drink once so prized and expensive that in households during the 17th Century servants would sometime have half their pay made to them in tea leaves. You have only to walk around any stately home or museum to see a wealth of highly crafted tea caddies showing the importance of this particular leaf. Even tobacco was not shown such high regard and was generally kept in earthenware jars, but tea came in gold and lacquered boxes, lead lined to preserve the moisture and taste of the leaf. The leaves were infused in boiling water in magnificent tea pots and the resulting drink was drunk sparingly – due to the high price – in tiny cups. Later on in it’s evolution, as a drink in England, milk and sugar were added to take away the natural slight bitterness of the leaf and the Great British ‘cuppa’ was born. This is still the way I like to drink most teas. My favourite tea is Earl Grey; when you brew Earl Grey and add milk and sugar, it takes a a very ordinary infusion and turns it into something wonderful. The flavour is intensified and the smell of Bergamot fills the nose as you drink it. Frankly I say Pah! to aromatherapy oil because a cup of EG is all the aromatherapy I need.

However some people dislike adding anything to tea, including sugar, which is fair enough. I myself wouldn’t dream of drinking Chinese tea or any green tea with milk and sugar because that would utterly spoil the flavour, but for Tesco’s own brand and Earl Grey I prefer a spoon of sugar and a dash of milk.

However, whenever I go to meetings in my work I am only ever offered coffee. Why? Coffee gives me headaches, makes me twitchy and frankly makes my bowels go into overdrive. Whereas tea, although it contains caffeine, also acts as a natural diuretic and antioxidant – in other words it’s good for you. So let’s loose the adiction to coffee and all become addicted to tea, it’s much nicer

Random Thoughts- Insomnia

It’s early in the morning and I’ve tried masturbating, warm milk, whisky and thinking of government health policy.

If that sounds familiar to you then you’re probably suffering from insomnia. That annoying condition that strikes most of us during our life. Myself I’ve been suffering now four nights in a row which is very unusual for me as my bed is my favourite piece of furniture, I love it, there’s nothing better than snuggling down under my duvet all warm and toasty and going gently to sleep and dreaming of pubs.

However the past few nights I’ve lay in my toasty bed thinking of such things as why my brain wont switch off and if I bang my head repeatedly against the wall how long it would take to loose consciousness or whether trepanning could be performed with a wiggly cork screw.

Just a sec I’ve had an idea.

Nope that didn’t work I just ran to my housemates room and tried to pick a porn video very fast and run back down, thinking that running and laying my hands on Top! porn would in some way wear me out, sadly being as I am stark naked I twanged the end of my knob on the end of a badly positioned floor fan and now I feel a bit dizzy, think that idea maybe ahead of it’s time and I wont be submitting it to ‘The Little Book of Calm’.

Not that long ago in such situations I would call a friendly person and they would supply me with a soothing preparation to alleviate insomnia, but now I’m a sensible 30 Year old, I do not count such people within my social circle, they were generally smelly people anyway.

So what to do? I’ve drunk the warm milk lake and counted more sheep than a MAFF vet at a barbecue, I’m now wearing tartan winceyette pyjamas to try and fool myself into thinking I’m an old man. The annoying thing about insomnia is that you want to talk to someone anyone, but they’re all asleep and generally don’t take kindly to being called in the middle of the night for a chat.


Have finally thought of an idea that will make my fortune The Insomnia Hotline a premium rate helpline staffed by interesting people who will talk to you all through the night about absolutely anything.

Call them now and make me rich Awahahahahaha! Ooh I think I need some sleep.

Well it’s back to the Open University program on fish stocks.

Goodnight, wake well.


Random Thoughts- A Review of an Art Gallery

Review of the Wanger Art Gallery; Halifax.

On entering the gallery I was struck with the strong sense of foreboding that accompanies the work of so many artists. As I passed the mummified kipper I was thinking about how we humans are rather like kippers, sitting in the fridge waiting to be smeared with butter and eaten, when I was suddenly confronted by Hans Beinricht’s work ‘The Sink’ an installation in the form of a sink which occasionally emitted a tape recorded fart, which I believe the artist recorded from his own anal emissions. It is a humbling work of great importance which reflects the societal need for monetary wealth while at the same time extolling the values of truth and smiling.

Having stared at the Beinricht for some minutes I moved onward to a larger room in which was hung the three huge canvasses of Radlett’s triptych ‘No Booze’ in which the misery of living under a Thatcherite regime is expressed almost polemically through the use of oils and bull semen. Strongly evoking the miners strike and poll tax riots of the nineteen eighties it is to be approached with great care.
At this point in the exhibition I bumped into an old friend and we wept together for some minutes before embracing and continuing onto the third room of this gallery.

Lying in the centre of this room was the wax figure of a naked man, (Dead Naked Man by Phillip Mews) which was incredibly detailed; the only indication that this wasn’t a corpse was the penis; a tiny Hitler. Both I and my friend believed this was a representation of the desire to throw off the shackles of reasoned argument and return to the pugilistic tradition of our forebears.

As I walked away from the gallery, occasionally stopping as cars wound around and past me, I felt renewed, it was as if my soul had been fed with a big bottle of cultural milk. It is an experience I strongly advise you to take. However leave the kids at home, there is a chance of molestation in the ‘We like pink arses’ installation.


Tomorrow I’ll post more of these bits. There are loads.


Martin Wolfenden

Back in the early days of this Century, I made some money by saying the odd funny thing in public. On one of these occasions a fellow funny talker told me that I should write a blog (because that was the sort of thing funny talking people did back then.) Now, I’m not the sort of person who does things the easy way, so I rejected all the ready made blogging platforms and started my own website. Since then it’s become a repository for whatever stuff is bubbling out of my brains and a directory of various podcasts and videos that I’ve made with my friends and is completely unnecessary.

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