Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Pearl Necklaces and Other Gems...

I went to the hairdresser yesterday for a wee trim as my hair was starting to resemble a hedgehog which had mated with a Brillo pad. Sam, my hairdresser, knows me pretty well, and as my hair is still rather short, knows she can slot me in quickly in between lengthier appointments. Therefore, I didn't mind a short wait and decided to lower my IQ by flicking through the magazine, Closer.

In between scanning Jordan and Peter's latest scandal, and Kerry's weight gain due to her excessive vodka binges, I happened upon an article which displayed a picture of a grossly obese woman slathering what looked like flour and water on her face. Contained within the palm of her hand was a puddle of the stuff.

Intrigued, I read on further...

From a young age, the woman had been encouraged by her mother to look after her complexion, and subjected her skin to all manner of facials, unguents and treatments in order to have the perfect face (pity about the arrangement of it, I must admit). In her quest for the ultimate epidermis, she sought out labs in the United States and came across a company called CMEN*** (say it out loud).

Yup. That was no flour and water concoction adorning her rosy cheeks, but sperm: jiz; spunk; man it what you will.

She didn't have a boyfriend to ask for a few of his samples and 'didn't feel comfortable asking [her] male friends' (hardly surprising, I guess - 'Scuse me Steve, will you just jerk off in my face, please?'...) and so she spends a small fortune each month for a vial (or 'vile', depending on which way you look at it) of STD-screened sperm which comes with a bottle of lavender oil (to take away the pong) and a spatula for mixing. She puts this lavender-jiz mix on her face morning and night. The routine is to allow it to become crusty and then wash it off. She was amazed by the results! Within a few days, a dry patch of skin on her chin had vanished!! (Nothing to do with the healing properties of lavender oil, obviously, despite this being very well documented in alternative medicine journals). She has since spent £6000 on sperm, and although she felt somewhat uncomfortable at first, she pulled herself together and told herself it was 'just another skin treatment'.

Although she hasn't got a fella at the moment (and it's hardly surprising considering she's massive, not on the attractive side, and slathers her face in spunk), she claims she would NEVER give up her beauty secret if she did land some poor, unsuspecting sap. If he didn't like another man's jiz on her face, he wasn't the bloke for her...

I couldn't wait to tell Mr P, but I promptly forgot until this morning when I kindly brought him a cup of tea in bed. He was half asleep, had a go at me for snoring through the night, proceeded to snore himself and so I decided shock tactics might wake him up. I relayed the story to him in gory detail and suddenly his eyes opened.

'Wha? She puts sperm on her face?'

'Oh yes. And there was a photo of all this spermy gloop smeared into her cheeks.' I explained with glee.

'Oh God. That's disgusting. A stranger's sperm?'

'Yep! Probably sperm donor rejects...'

'Is it good for the skin, then?'

'I've told you many a time that it is. Why do you think I ask you to *&%$^££%%...?'

'Oh God. Oh God...'

'Don't think I'd fancy another bloke's man juice on me, I must admit. Anyway, the daft cow is paying a small fortune for the benefits of lavender oil, I'm pretty sure of that...'

I couldn't wait to tell #2 daughter, now that I had remembered the story. #2 loves to be revolted, so I collared her in the kitchen and started to tell my tale again.

'I was reading Closer in the hairdressers yesterday and there was this article about a really enormous woman, with long ginger hair...'

'Aw...bless,' #2 interjected.

'...who slathers strange men's sperm on her face as a skin treatment...'

'URGH! I'm gonna be sick! You mean SPERM? Proper SPERM?'

'Yes. She buys it from a lab called CMEN and has it posted to her every month. She's spent six grand on spunk now!'

'Oh My God, Mum! The dirty cow! Did you see it?'

'Yes. There was a puddle of spunk in her hand and she was slathering it into her face. It was quite putrid, to be honest with you...'

'Urgh. Doesn't it dry all crusty-like?' (I'm not sure how she has discovered the properties of sperm, and I must make a note to myself to interrogate her on this tonight when she returns from the ex's house)

'Yes. And that's the point at which she must wash it off. She reckons it has done wonders for her skin.'

#2 was speechless (which is a rare event) and cogitated this information for all of five minutes before continuing to bombard me with questions, the most modal being 'what did it look like?'.

And so, there you have it. Discard your Clarins, Clinique, Mac, Nivea, Oil of Olay and purchase some Oil of Ollie. If you have a man in your life, I feel certain he will oblige you and if not, don't be a wimp like this woman, just march up to the next man in the street and proposition him. It's cheaper than using CMEN. I feel certain that the erupting spot on my top lip will be gone by tomorrow now that I have this knowledge...

*** Please do not confuse CMEN with CMEN. I don't think it would 'go down' very well...

Monday, 27 April 2009

Flavour of the Month (Not)...

I have no idea about the rest of you in the world, but here in the UK, there is a brand of crisps called Walkers which currently has a marketing campaign to introduce a new flavour onto the unsuspecting British public.

The new flavours were submitted by people who obviously thought for all of ten seconds about the weirdest tastes imaginable and which were then 'developed' by infamous British chef, Heston Blumenthal, who appears to be two butties short of a picnic on the best of occasions (the guy makes porridge out of snails, for heaven's sake). Mr Blumenthal goes off with his chemist buddy, dickies around with all sorts of preservatives, E-numbers, carcinogens and MSG derivatives and comes up with the following:

Cajun Squirrel
Chilli & Chocolate
Builder's Breakfast
Onion Bhaji
Fish & Chips
Crispy Duck & Hoisin

So, in the interests of research, Mr P and I decided to try out each of these flavours for our other reader so that you don't have to (and believe me, you really don't want to...)

Cajun Squirrel

OK. The blurb reads that 'no squirrels were harmed in the development of this flavour'. Instantly, I am on my guard. If it says 'squirrel', I want to be sure I am eating squirrel. If no squirrels were harmed, how does Heston know what they taste like? Did he wait for some road kill or something? Did he ask a fox what squirrel tastes like? How many native Louisianans eat squirrel? 
Verdict: Tastes like chicken which has been rolled around in orange dust.

Chilli & Chocolate

This to me, defeats the object of a savoury snack. Why put chocolate into it? If I want chocolate, I'll go and buy a bar of Galaxy, not buy chocolate-flavoured spuds. That's just bollocks. Yes, I know that it is fashionable to sling a few pieces of dark chocolate into your Mexican banquet these days since some bright spark discovered that the Aztecs used to do it, whilst worshipping their God, Costalotl, but it doesn't make sense to me. 
Verdict: Tastes like spicy chicken with a sickly after-taste of something resembling saccharine.

Builder's Breakfast

Ostensibly, the Full Monty fry-up: bacon, eggs, mushrooms, black pudding, fried bread. What a mish-mash of flavours. When the packet is opened, there is an overwhelming smell of bad farts. It is reminiscent of the egg butties I make for #2 daughter who complains bitterly about the way she is ostracised on the school bus when her bag is accidentally kicked and an eggy pong seeps its way to the gobbiest kid's nose who then loudly asks, WHO'S FARTED?
Verdict: Tastes like the smell of rotten eggs with a smokey piquancy. Weird. Much to be avoided if you want to keep your friends and acquaintances close to you.

Onion Bhaji

I love onion bhajis. In fact, I love Indian food, full-stop. It has to be that cuisine dearest to my stomach lining. I decided to have a prawn vindaloo last week and suffered for 48 hours afterwards. I have never before eaten a curry which tastes of hot. I am glad I put the toilet roll into the freezer ready for the morning after the night before. But, I digress. These do not taste even remotely like onion bhajis.
Verdict: Taste like manky beef casserole.

Fish & Chips

Another bizarre combination for a bag of crisps. I mean to say, chips taste like crisps, don't they? So, is this not a bit of a con? I am paying extra money to have spud-flavoured crisps...which are made from spuds. Chuck in a bit of oyster sauce for a malodourous fish input and Heston reckons we can be kidded into tucking into a bag of fish & chips. Nooooo! You cannot bastardise fish & chips. It is illegal.
Verdict: Tastes like really bad prawn cocktail.

Crispy Duck & Hoisin Sauce

I'm not a great lover of Chinese food, particularly not the variety which has been devised for the 11.30pm chucked-out-of-the-pub-I'm-starving-let's-get-a-Chinese type. And Crispy Duck falls into this category as far as I am concerned. It's sweet gloop which has been created for those whose palates have seared off through the night after drinking ten pints of Carlsberg lager.
Verdict: Tastes like chicken. With chocolate.

Basically, Heston has revamped chicken, prawn cocktail, egg and beef flavoured crisps. And probably got yet another TV series on how to make castles of lard, black pudding and cress. So, there you have it. Which would you vote for? I wouldn't be bothered for any of them, personally. The winner will be as popular as hedgehog flavoured crisps were in the 70s.

Give me marmite rice cakes, any day.

Monstrous Memes

Linda. You are no longer my friend. Awards I like (rewards are even better), but memes, I despise. And I don't think I could encounter a worse meme than to list five sexy things about myself.

Mr P, #2 and I went out for lunch yesterday. The meme was weighing heavily on my mind. I consulted #2 daughter and asked her to list five sexy things about herself. She looked at me blankly, blurted "Wha'?" and so I gave her the remit in more detail.

"I like my eyes, hair and I think my shoulders are really nice. Dunno why, but I really like my shoulders..."

"OK. That's three things; anything else?"

"Such as?"

"Well, your artistic ability; your handicrafts."

"This is just daft," she replied. "All you're asking me is what do I like about myself."

I sighed, turned to Mr P and asked him to list five sexy things about himself.

"Nothing," he replied.

"What, not even your bum, or your calves, or your photography skills."

"Nope. I am not remotely sexy."

(I personally think he is, but that's by-the-by)

So, I have wracked my brains long and hard, and come up with the definitive 5-point list for why I am sexy and the points are as follows:

1. I am sexy because, when I dance, I can gyrate my pelvis as well as Madonna any day of the week and if I do some serious shimmying, my knees only lock in position around 15% of the time.

2. I am sexy because I can still wrap my feet behind the back of my neck, or bite my toenails off and not suffer for it the next day with muscle spasms.

3. I am sexy because, as I am a heavy smoker, my voice is quite 'come-to-bed' at times. Particularly if I am also suffering with a heavy cold. If you don't look at my watering eyes and streaming nose and squint a bit, with a bit of imagination, you could almost believe you were listening to Kathleen Turner as Jessica Rabbit.

4. I am sexy because I wear 6" heels most of the time and thus hit 6' in height. I will wear the dirtiest shoes known to man, even though they cripple me, because they make me feel superior. The cast of our pantomimes in Oman always knew when they were in for a pasting from me depending on which pair of shoes I was wearing that night. The higher the heel, the worse trouble they were going to be in. Shoes are my passion. All my shoes scream, 'F*ck me'. Apart from my slippers. And I pinched those from our honeymoon hotel. And I don't admit to anyone that I actually wear them. They have to catch me in the act.

5. I am sexy because I can put my whole fist into my mouth. Not many women can do that. Don't you think that is sexy? Or does it just mean I have a big mouth?

So, there we have it. That is the PG-rated five point list of why I am sexy. I could have given you the X-rated version, but this is a family blog, and anyway, it's none of your business. I don't kiss and tell unless there are vast sums of money involved. But just in case, drop me an email and I can provide you with my bank account details forthwith for all the dirt on Mr Parsnip and his penchant for me wearing my gardening gloves...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Working Wonders

Cor! It's been a long, long time, hasn't it? Agnes Mildew-Parsnip has almost forgotten what it is like to write a blog. There was I saying to my buddy, Keli, at Counterfeit Humans, that I was giving it all up for good. No more; no more blogging: Hasta La Vista Blogger...and then the urge bit me on the bum this morning.

And it all started due to an abortive journey to work!

I guess the story starts a little earlier than that, though...

Around August last year, I decided I was going to try domesticity, and attempted to become a Retro Housewife. To this end, I twirled around in dirndl skirts with my hair in a French pleat; indelible red lipstick; stockings...and wellies for planting spuds out in the newly dug-over veg plot. For months, the house gleamed; the freezer was stocked full of home-made fish-cakes, casseroles, pasties, pies, name it, it was in there: Charles Parsnip gained a stone in weight, and #2 daughter lost a stone (hating everything bar Subway and chicken nuggets). I redecorated the kitchen, lounge, and three bedrooms; sowed spuds, carrots, peas, onions, leeks, tomatoes and bedding plants (the leeks, though, now belong to Mr P, as he planted them outside...).

Around six weeks ago, I became so bored, I got destructive, drank heavily, graffiti-ed the wallpaper, abused old ladies on mobility aids, took to jogging (for two days), watched daytime TV and suddenly realised, in a moment of epiphany, that Housewifery, if Mr Parsnip is not going to impregnate me, is NOT for me. (And let me hasten to add, Mr P has NO chance of impregnating me at the moment, the way I feel about kids!)

So, it was time to re-apply for weeerk. What could I do? Could I go back to my old job-type-of-thing, of online marketing? On the back of sorting out the water pressure on our boiler, and stopping the leaking radiators in the house, should I retrain as a plumber? Or a joiner, having always enjoyed wood-working and carpentry from my schooldays and my father's influence? Or what about Interior Design? I mean to say, that lettering in the bedroom looks bloody good! How many of you can say you wrote "Amore Vincit Omnia" with a steady hand after consuming half a bottle of Shiraz? In Calligraphic lettering?!

I re-applied for what I do best (I think) and that is online marketing, being a bit of a techy freaky-geek, deep down. I didn't go mad, really, being rather selective about what appealled. Mr Parsnip, being the magnanimous chappy he is (and having an ultradian memory...) informed me that I should go for a job which 'ticked every box'.

So, imagine my surprise (I have always wanted to write that à la Sunday Supplement Sensationalist Columnists) when I was phoned, out of the blue, by a company who were offering a role for which I had not applied, in a county to which I would not consider commuting...I informed them, immediately, that the type of commute they were expecting was out of my remit, and Thank You, but No, Thank You.

How about working from home, though?



You might be able to work from home if you show your face once a week?

*Ahem* Well, but of course. We can discuss this, can't we? We're all adults here! When shall I come over?

What about tomorrow?

*thinks* Bugger! I wanted to drunkenly write 'Noli Perturbare' on my bedroom door tomorrow in Italic Garamond script...

*brightly* OK! Send me the address, I shall SatNav it, and see you at 3pm, as I have a 1pm meeting.

The address came, with warnings that it was very easy to get lost. I cancelled my 1pm, called the interviewer, asked if I could come early and arrived at exactly the same time, had I not rescheduled...

The drive was horrendous. 52 miles away, into Black Pudding Land (Deepest, Darkest Lancashire) and I got horrifically lost as the SatNav refused, point blank, to recognise any of the roads, streets, postcodes, POIs, that I input. I sat outside the Renault garage (not the Mercedes garage, about which I had been informed) and thanked God for mobile phones. The chirpy boss answered and informed me that if I did find my way, unaided, to his business park, the job was mine, anyway. 

Spurred on by this, I found it, by hook or by crook, and almost shook his hand as I walked in, to exclaim, Where's the contract, then?

He was lovely, as was his partner. Next day, they offered me the job and I nearly bit their hands off. Although an agency had usurped them, by sending them my CV an hour after they had found mine on Monster I visited with them further to sort out the more 'sensitive' details.

And I got lost...


For some, very odd reason, I read, COME OFF AT JUNCTION 6 as, COME OFF AT JUNCTION 4.

I came off at J4, followed all the RH Lane, LH Lane, 2nd T @ R/A shorthand I had written, and kept thinking, Bloody Hell! I don't recall any of these places. I went across the same roundabout over the A666 (no joke! It really is the A666!) three times. Eventually, I was almost in tears, had rung the company and spoken to a telesales oik to pass a message on, and pulled into a burger bar lay-by.

The chap serving had 'football eyes': one home; one away and teeth that only an orthodontist could care about. But he was very amenable, looked at my directions, looked at me in pity, as though I was some escaped retard and explained that this was junction 4.

"Oh Shit!" I exclaimed, most indecently, and staggered across the potholes in the carpark, after having thanked him profusely, hobbling in my 5" heels and tight work skirt. I was hooted by a number of wagon drivers, who served to make me jump out of my skin and make me appear to be suffering from St. Vitus' Dance.

I eventually proceeded to the office, wherein my boss exclaimed that I was 'rubbish' and allowed me to go home early.

I was rescheduled to return in four days. Mr Parsnip informed me that time would fly so quickly, I would no sooner get there, than it would be time to come home. He was more correct than he has ever been in his the time I reached the office, having travelled for 1.25 hours, I parked up and checked my text messages. There were two: one was from Mr P wishing me a lovely day; the other from the director asking me not to pitch up that day due to other commitments. I turned the car around and drove home...

Next time I went up, I didn't get home until 8pm, which wasn't much fun, particularly as the weather was decidedly awful on the M6 and then Mr P and I decided to have one of our bizarre rows where neither of us really knows why it happens but it just does...

And so I am back up there tomorrow. I have not slept properly for three nights, now, and am hoping that I will get some rest tonight. Mr P is already tucked up safely in bed, having had a jolly nice back rub from me. He has a day off tomorrow, but I am hoping against hope that he mows the lawn, hoovers the upstairs and makes me a jolly nice dinner for my return, but I am not holding my breath, knowing how blokes get side-tracked by DIY sites, techy sites, gaming sites, and porn.

So, I am just about to set my alarm for 6.30am. Thankfully, I now wear my hair very short, so a quick splash of water makes it seem OK rather than the previous 30 minutes GHD straightening, and, since the weather is so glorious now, I can happily squirt my face with fake-tan and look OK with a bit of mascara and lippy.

Roll on 7pm...