12 Things You Really Don’t Want to Hear at a Dinner Party

1. “I could have sworn I had 10 fingers this morning. ‘Sausage Surprise’ anyone?” 

Oh drat. I’m all full-up from the Bloody Mary soup.

2. “You need to bite off the wichetty grub’s head first. Then you just suck out its insides”.

When you say “need” – is participation mandatory? 

3. “I might have mistaken washing powder for sugar. You may wish to give the trifle a miss”.

I think I’ll brave it. I’ve been looking for brilliant cleaning and long-lasting freshness for some time.

4. “Of course it’s vegetarian. Chicken is vegetarian, right?”

Don’t be an idiot. Fish however is fine.

5. “I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I appear to have misplaced my pet caterpillar Dilbert. Who’s for side-salad?”

That’s terrible. What kind of name is Dilbert? 

6. “You’ll be fine, so long as you eat around the highly poisonous parts of your long-spine porcupinefish”. I’m experiencing shooting pains down both sides and have just gone blind in one eye. Is that a bad sign?

7. “Is this how they cook food where you’re from?”

I spat in your starter.

8. “I’m a fruitarian. I only eat what naturally falls from the tree. Steak and marshmallows grow on trees, right? ”

Do me a favour – pass me your steak and let me beat you with it.

9. “I hope you don’t mind, but I couldn’t find a babysitter – so I brought along Candice, Chardonnay, Tia-Maria, Rocky and Tyson”.

Curious names. Are you familiar with the term ‘child abuse’?

10. “Is this triple chocolate caramel fudge cheesecake non-dairy and non-fat?”

Oh absolutely. Haven’t you heard? All food eaten on a Thursday is fat and dairy-free.

11. “Party games? I know LOTS of party games! Let’s start by throwing our keys into a bowl…”

Let’s start by showing you the door.

12. “Just updating Facebook. Does nauseating have one ‘S’ or two?”

Allow me to demonstrate by a show of fingers.

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The 10 Commandments of Facebook

1. Thou Shalt Not Document Thy Every Move.

“Just got out of bed. Dreamt about being a pufferfish”. [0 Comments].

“Breakfast”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“On bus”. [0 Comments].

“At work. Photocopier broken”. [0 Comments].

“Lunch”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Work update: Photocopier fixed”. [0 Comments].

“On bus again. Old man sitting next to me smells of socks”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Walking from bus to my house”. [0 Comments].

“I wonder what I should have for tea”. [1 Comment: “Cyanide” (32 Likes)].

“Chicken nuggets, chips and peas. Yum yum”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Jam roly-poly for dessert”. *Includes photo*. [0 Comments].

“Off to bed. Night night homies”. [0 Comments].

2. Thou Shalt Not Use Stupid Apps and then Invite Others to Use Said Apps.

I will throw an actual sheep at the next person who invites me to join FarmVille

Don’t think I’m joking.

3. Thou Shalt Not ‘Friend’ Thy Mother or Thy Boss.

Pictures of you dressed as Hitler will not impress them.

Status updates like “Dude, last night was so funked* up. Did anyone return the llama?” are also unlikely to put you in line for promotion. 

Also, if you really don’t want your mother to see the dodgy tattoo on your left buttock, then it is probably wise not to moon your best friend when he’s armed with a camera.

4. Thou Shalt Not Create a Group, Then Send Thirty-Two Thousand Frickin’ Messages.

“Hi guys,

I thought I’d message you again, just to say – there’s still no update. Once I have an update, I’ll let you know, but if I don’t hear anything then I’ll get back to you within 30 minutes”.

5. Thou Shalt Not ‘Friend’ People Thou Dost Not Know.

Nobody has 36,792 friends. Not even the cast of Friends.

6. Thou Shalt Not Air Thy Dirty Laundry in Public.

“You think you know someone, give them everything, then they funk* you over. Trust no one”.

There’s a time and a place for this sort of thing. You have 2 choices:

  1. In a quiet bar, with close friends.
  2. On national television with Jeremy Kyle.

*Censored for the women and children.

7. Thou Shalt Not Tag Friends in Incriminating Photos. Unless Thou Wanteth No Friends.

Your real concern however should be the ammunition your friends have against you.

Hot-pink leotards don’t look good on anyone – particularly 12 year old boys. Dancing to Madonna. With 7 girls. On stage. At Brownies.

8. Thou Shalt Not Divulge Too Much Information.

I am delighted that your baby made it here safely. Name, birth weight and “mother and baby doing well” will suffice. Details of the labour, how many centimetres dilated and reports that “it got a bit messy” are superfluous to requirements. I’m quite happy to maintain my belief that you found him or her in a cabbage patch. Thank you.

9. Thou Shalt Not Rant Chronically.

“I can’t believe the price of stamps have gone up by 10%! 10%!”

“God it’s hot. I hate this”.

“Freezing cold. Come back sun”.

In the words of Chandler BingMy wallet’s too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight”.

10. Thou Shalt Not Contact Anyone Whilst Intoxicated. 

Never EVER declare your undying love or burning hatred to someone whilst inebriated.

Your spelling and grammar will be atrocious.

The Top 8 Pitfalls of Being a Superhero

Being unemployed does crazy things to a person. The longer I’m a jobless hobo, the more I find myself considering professions that would otherwise have gone overlooked. Such as, though not exclusive to:

  • Pole Dancer.
  • Forklift Truck Driver.
  • Brain Surgeon.
  • Life Model.
  • Superhero.

Fear not – I would never be a Life Model. Being a Superhero however does appeal. Just imagine – I could use my superpowers to rid the world of evil, hatred and Justin Bieber.

Being a caped crusader is not without its drawbacks though. Who knew?

THE TOP 8 PITFALLS OF BEING A SUPERHERO

The Moral Code. Goddam’ it. ’Willingness to risk one’s own safety for others, without expectation of reward’. No reward you say? None at all? Not even Jaffa Cakes?

Your Highly Questionable Outfit. Nobody looks good in Spandex. Not even David Beckham.

Chafing. Trust me – no amount of Vaseline can protect you.

Everyone Knows Your Achilles Heel. Most mere mortals can hide their flaws with some camouflage make-up and good lighting. Your faults make the front page.

You’re On-Call 24/7. Even during The Apprentice.

You Can Never Find a Phone Booth When You Need One. Like when you only have a nanosecond to get changed into your leotard. (I blame mobile phones).

Your Archenemy. One mega-villain trying to take over the world. Again. It’s exhausting.

There’s No Room in Your Utility Belt for Hair Straighteners. How can they expect you to be photo-ready at a moment’s notice if you can’t address the state of your tresses?

Upon reflection, I have decided that superheroism is not for me. I think I’ll give brain surgery a go instead.

Any volunteers?

Dearest Spammer, What Can I Say?

Dearest Spammer,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the mass-produced unsolicited marketing material you so thoughtfully sent to me and half a million others today.

And yesterday.

And every day for the last six and half years.

So good of you to think of me for your latest herbal supplement weight-loss campaign. You shouldn’t have. I feel that I owe you something in return; so please consider this letter my gift to you. No need to thank me…

There were several reasons I needed to decline your generous offer to test drive a Honda:

  1. I heard about the recent product recall over dodgy airbags and did not wish to risk breaking my face.
  2. As a jobless hobo I am currently unable to afford a paper aeroplane, let alone a shiny new car.
  3. They don’t make them in purple.
  4. I cannot drive.

How considerate of you to address the emotive topic of death whilst trying to sell me life insurance via email. Most people just can’t find the right words, but you nailed it.

Thank you so much for drawing my attention on 5th April to the imminent festive season. Season’s Greetings to you too!

I have decided to spend every penny of my one thousand pounds on Christmas decorations to adorn the roof of my home. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, after all.

Moving on – thank you so much for the MBNA reminder. I would have happily provided all of my personal banking information, including sort code, account number and Pin, if it wasn’t for the fact I don’t have an MBNA account.

So I input my husband’s details instead.

Despite having no need whatsoever for Viagra tablets, your ‘professional packaging’ intrigues me. I’ll take seven batches.

While we’re on the topic, I also have no requirement for a cure to male pattern baldness, nor do I need to enhance my ‘member’.

Feel free to send me free chocolate though, to accompany the herbal weight-loss supplements.

Yours,

Jessseeker

I Just Found a Chicken Bone in My Cheesecake… Is that Bad?

Having founded his own internet solutions company, run the New York marathon and purchased his first sports car, my brother Oliver decided recently that 2012 would be the year he finally learnt to boil an egg. Cooking has never been a priority to him, with culinary talents at the age of thirty-something on par with my neighbour’s cat.

So to address this glaring oversight, Oli set himself a challenge to cook a different meal every day for thirty days, in the hope he would magically metamorphose into a slim, follicly-challenged Jamie Oliver. Once a week, he held a ‘Come Dine with Me’ style dinner party where each guest rated his cooking and general hosting skills.

I was fortunate enough to be invited along with my mother and youngest brother Mike for Sunday lunch at the end of this process, once Oli had mastered the basics.

Oli's attempt at a pancake didn't exactly fill me with confidence

There was still a moderate risk of food poisoning, but having taken advantage our mother’s cooking for over thirty years, we were all in agreement that it was about time Oli returned the favour. I should have noticed the warning signs though:

1. The roast chicken was the size of an albatross and had only been cooking for an hour and twenty-five minutes.

2. The carrots made a bid for freedom by jumping off the kitchen worktop.

3. Oli referred to his colander as coriander.

But the food was surprisingly yummy. Had it not been for the fact the chef needed to nuke the undercooked albatross in the microwave three times after it first came out of the oven, we may have eaten within an hour and a half of schedule.

Dessert was also delightful – a fabulous boozy cheesecake, laced with glacé cherries. The biscuity base was quite crumbly though, due to Oli neglecting to purchase butter at the supermarket. Praying alone was insufficient to bind the biscuit crumbs together. Mike however loved it. I think… 

Oli took the liberty of documenting the event for prosperity. See if you can notice the subliminal jessseeker plug. It’s really quite subtle:

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the camera adds ten pounds – and there were at least six cameras on me at the time.

And The Bride Wore Monkey

I finally learnt all of the words to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1993. This would have been the highlight of my year – had it not been for a crazy girl named Carrie asking me to be her friend. We hit it off immediately and during our years together at secondary school, developed a mutual understanding:

1. The back of the class was always the best place to hide.

2. Boys liked girls in short skirts, but thick black tights were imperative. (We were classy young ladies after all).

3. Carrie would pick me for her team in PE every week, so long as I pretended not to notice when she fell backwards off her chair in Maths class (for the third time that day).

Nineteen years on and now a fully fledged teacher – Carrie spends far more time at the front of the class than the back. She continues to fall backwards off chairs on an almost daily basis, but in line with the school dress code, her skirts are much longer than they used to be.

It was only ever a matter of time before a man fell head over heels in love with her. Having spent years fashioning faux veils out of toilet tissue, next month Carrie finally gets to wear the real thing, when she marries the love of her life James.

To mark her forthcoming nuptials, this weekend, I joined nineteen of Carrie’s closest friends for a nice quiet, tasteful and sophisticated hen do celebration, complete with willy straws, a large inflatable banana and a phallic shaped cake.

As a bit of a getting to know each other exercise, the party was split into two teams, each given ten minutes to make a demure wedding gown fit for a Queen. I know ten minutes doesn’t sound like very long, but there was no need to panic as we had all the materials we could possibly need: Half a dozen rolls of toilet paper, some white bin liners, masking tape and fifteen metres of tin foil. Having made a valiant contribution to this task, by crafting a crown and several long stemmed roses from foil, I am now considering a new career in costume design. I’m sure you’ll agree, they both look ravishing:

The only information the bride-to-be knew in advance of the hen do, was when it was taking place. Everything else was clouded in mystery. As a result, understandably it took several weeks for Carrie to organise suitable attire for the occasion. With hindsight, she need not have bothered – as an outfit had already been picked out on her behalf. One that she would wear throughout, whether she liked it or not. Yes, that’s right, the bride wore Monkey: 

Having downed several Strawberry Daiquiris and French Martinis, we played a game of Mr and Mrs, where Carrie tried (and failed) to convince us she dated James for two whole months before they first kissed and then went on to justify why she once put her hands down the pants of a complete stranger. 

At around two o’clock in the morning on the first night, Carrie leapt into her bed, without realising it was two twins shoved together – rather than a double. It takes style to wedge yourself between two beds. Style, poise, elegance and several strong cocktails. 

The weekend was surprisingly educational. We all learnt how to screw in light bulbs and throw chicken feed the following morning during Bollywood dancing lessons. 

I think we all aspired to choreograph a visual spectacle comparable to Slumdog Millionaire’s Jai Ho fame, but sadly, I let the team down. This photo sums it up pretty well. Yes, that’s right; I’m the one in the middle, getting it all wrong. 

Had it not been for the fact that I am unable to follow simple instructions, have no rhythm and can’t tell left from right, then I’m pretty sure we’d have had it in the bag.

We went for a group photo shoot in the evening – during which, Carrie was allowed a brief hiatus from the monkey suit. We’re kind like that. Then, adorned with tiaras, hen party badges and glow bracelets, we went into town for drinks. Whilst there, we bumped into some gents who looked strangely familiar – the entire cast of Super Mario: 

No, we have absolutely no idea what Batman was doing with them either. He obviously didn’t get the memo.

We went on to a brilliant comedy club, where one comedian performed an impromptu Haka and another made some very naughty jokes about willies and nookie. Loved every minute.

The club laid on a DJ in the evening and we all busted some moves to classic tunes with funky beats until the early hours of the morning, courtesy of Aerosmith, The Killers, 5ive, Steps, S-Club 7 and (believe it or not) the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My funky chicken was of particular note.

We also bumped into our new friends Mario and Luigi et al. They nicked Carrie’s inflatable banana, so we took their mushroom. I don’t think anyone noticed; we were very discreet.

Several hours later, once most of the group had lost all feeling in their toes – we called it a night.  Everyone woke on Sunday morning feeling like they’d licked a cat. A thoroughly encouraging sign methinks that good fun was had by all.

I Was Young and Needed the Money

I once spent four and a half hours cleaning my father’s car, only for him to run his index finger along the bonnet and tell me it wasn’t spotless enough.

Admittedly, I hadn’t really removed any of the dirt, merely repositioned it. Considering the fact I had worked my way through a thousand gallons of water, two giant sponges, six bottles of washing-up liquid and 32 rolls of kitchen towel – this was something of a disappointment.

My parents were very keen to teach my brothers and I the value of money at a young age, and it is fair to say – they succeeded. Having persevered with the car for a further two hours, I was dutifully rewarded for my hard work, determination, blood, sweat and tears (so many tears) with what my father considered to be the going rate: fifty pence. I also caught a cold from being sopping wet all day, developed a rash from the industrial cleaning products and lost all feeling in my fingertips for three days.

Needless to say – that was the last time I ever worked for 7.6 pence an hour. It also marked the end of my short-lived car valeting career.

I was made redundant today, a scary prospect to say the least. To mark the occasion (aside from the obligatory job hunting) I thought I’d take stock of what I’ve learnt so far in my fourteen years of employment. Please remember, I was young and needed the money:

AS A WAITRESS – ONCE YOU’VE TAKEN A FOOD ORDER – MAKE SURE YOU PASS IT ON TO THE KITCHEN STAFF. They’ll cook it so much quicker that way.

CUSTOMERS DON’T TEND TO LIKE IT WHEN YOU SPILL HOT COFFEE DOWN THEM.

WHEN CARRYING 72 EMPTY PINT GLASSES STACKED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER, BE CAREFUL NOT TO TRIP OVER YOUR OWN FEET.

IF AN INTOXICATED CUSTOMER LOOKS LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO THROW TWO BEER BOTTLES AT YOUR HEAD – IT’S BECAUSE HE IS ABOUT TO THROW TWO BEER BOTTLES AT YOUR HEAD. That’s your cue to move.

DON’T BE A DOORMAT. If your obsequious boss frequently guilt-trips you into coming in early (unpaid), finishing late (also unpaid), cancelling your social life and mopping the floor with your tongue: leave.     

NEVER DATE THE BOSS. Especially when he looks like Phil Mitchell.

WHEN YOU EVENTUALLY GET A PROPER GROWNUP JOB – ALWAYS CHECK YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE FOR WORK. You can just about get away with odd socks, but wearing your top inside out in the boardroom will start rumours.

IF YOU FALL ASLEEP AT YOUR DESK/CRY IN THE LADIES TOILETS/VOMIT IN THE WASTEPAPER BASKET, JUST ONCE – DON’T EXPECT YOUR COLLEAGUES TO FORGET IT. EVER. 

ANNOY PEOPLE LESS AND THEREFORE AVOID GETTING STABBED WITH A BIRO.

MINIMISE THE WEB BROWSER WHEN YOUR BOSS COMES OVER. Not everyone shares your appreciation of David Beckham in his underpants. (I am yet to establish why).

THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW IS NOT THE TIME TO EXPERIMENT WITH FAKE TAN.

BEWARE: “REPLY ALL”.

FOR SOME LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT – REPLACE YOUR BOSS’ MOTIVATIONAL POSTER “PLAN, PREPARE, PERFORM” WITH ONE FAR MORE CONSTRUCTIVE, LIKE “PLAN, PREPARE, POTATO”. I give it 3 weeks before he notices.

DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY.

HAVE A PLAN E! This is mine.