3 March 2006


Whilst blogging, I have sometimes encountered the term "rant"/"ranting"/ "having a rant" etc.. It's not a term I meet often outside the blogosphere. Anyway, now I grasp what it means, I'm going to open cupboards in my brain and enjoy a good old Friday rant of my own - supplementary to the enervating rant I had recently about mobile phones/cell phones. Although this ranting could easily cover a hundred topics, I'm just going for four:-
1. LITTER This stuff is everywhere. Strangely, you rarely see anyone in the act of dropping litter. It happens so quickly. Hand on heart, I can honestly say that I have never dropped a single piece of litter in my life so at times if feels like I'm living on an alien planet. I hate to see cigarette ends on the pavement or smoking butts tossed from cars but a particular type of litter that really gets my goat is chewing gum. It takes so long to degrade. Pavements are spattered with the stuff - especially outside places like fast food outlets. What's wrong with these people? One day there'll be a civil war between the litter louts and the urban environmentalists. I'd love to beat some sense into those who carelessly toss away their waste, spoiling the look of the world we all have to share.
2. SPEED CAMERAS They have sprouted like mushrooms around the United Kingdom and you'd be hard-pressed to find a driver who hasn't been caught by one of the damned things. You can't argue with a camera but the truth of the matter is that the necessity for slower speeds will vary throughout the day or the week. They don't even indicate the speed limit on the actual cameras because the real truth about these things is that they are there to raise revenue. With my team of urban guerillas, I'm planning to obscure each lens cover with a film of sticky backed plastic or perhaps produce cans of spray mud to obliterate licence plate details.
3. BEING BUMPED Is it just me who experiences this? People are always carelessly bumping into me. I might be in a supermarket looking at the cat food, the aisle might be two metres wide and then someone comes along with a trolley and yep - surprise, surprise - they bump into me. Frequently, there's no apology. The same happens in pubs. I look around at the gap that could have taken a small car and the moron who bumped into me is on his way to the bar or the lavatory with not so much as a sorry. In contrast, I glide around very aware of the need to respect other people's personal space. If I do nudge someone accidentally as I squeeze to get past them, the word "sorry" blurts out of me quite instinctively.
4. SUPERMARKETS. In the UK, the big supermarkets like Tesco and Asda sometimes seem more powerful and influential than the elected government. They expand like space monsters into every area of life - from car insurance to funeral direction. They pretend that they care for their customers and the environment whilst accruing obscene profits. It's like a cartel. They underpay their staff and squeeze farmers around the world with remorseless cruelty. Another thing I dislike about them is the vast range of goods on offer. Life shouldn't be that complicated. We don't need so much choice. I prefer to do our family grocery shopping at the Danish budget supermarket - "Netto" which has limited choice and undercuts the giant supermarkets by miles. In England, many people are snobbish about where they shop. Perhaps I'm an inverted snob but I'm always glad to sing the praises of "Netto", "Aldi" and "Lidl". We have saved loads of money shopping in these stores - money that we can then spend on holidays or treats like meals out.


  1. Regarding bumping into other people:

    Some time ago, I went with my mom to a new-agey type of conference (kicking and screaming, but also a bit curious), and participated in what I can only describe as a movement seminar. We practiced walking in the spaces that weren't occupied by other people, and gradually, we got adept enough that we could "dance." (I put "dance" in quotes because I was way too self-conscious and almost embarrassed that these older people were dancing to throbbing drumbeats. Of course, now I AM one of those older people...)

    The room was filled with people. And yet, none of us bumped into each other. We had learned to move in the empty spaces. Except for when I was pregnant and everything was off-kilter, I'm fairly comfortable with moving in the "empty" spaces. Maybe we don't all need to go to a movement seminar, but something of that ilk would be great for people in general. Some things are innate, and other things we need to learn.

  2. Anonymous7:28 pm

    Hello Mr. Pudding,
    Speaking of variety, I totally agree. I'm in Canada (born in Swansea tho.) and while we have quite a choice in the shops here I am amazed when I walk into a grocery store in the US. ( I live in a border town ) Not only product variety but at least three sizes of every variety too.
    The stores are so large that some come with a map.

    I come to you from Crabcakes BTW.

  3. Anonymous12:36 am

    This bumping and running phenomenon is so frustrating. At first I thought it was a generational thing until I saw that people older than myself (yes, they do exist) were bumping and never offering an "excuse me".

    Rudeness is spreading throughout society. Seems people are too busy to be polite and thoughtful anymore.

    Here in Canada I find that the smaller grocery shops cannot compete with the "big box stores" and the prices are usually higher in the small shops. When one must count pennies sometimes the lure of cheaper prices can be too much to ignore.

    Personally I do not much like the bigger stores. They are impersonal. I would not mind paying a little more for my shopping items if some good customer service came with it. Unfortunately that can be very difficult to find anymore.

  4. Regarding the bumping, I tend to find that people here in Vancouver are far more aware of the need to actually watch where they're going. Especially in Grocery Stores. On the odd occasion that I have been bumped into, the person has always apologized.

    And on the subject of Grocery Stores, I too always did my shopping at Netto's in the UK. We did a Monthly shop for myself and my partner and three children, and you could guarantee the bill never came to more than 60 GBP. Here in Canada, myself and my partner shop for the week and it usually comes to about $80. That's shopping at the Cheapest place we could find!

  5. Admit it, YP, my husband is handsome, not a "malformed lump!" Here are just a few pictures, which don't do justice to his visage.

    Don't worry, I'm not peeved at you. I just want you to admit how handsome he is.

  6. Okay Alkelda, I admit your husband WAS handsome on your wedding day!

  7. Chewing gum should be banned. It is all over the ground EVERYWHERE.
    Hate it,hate it, hate it.

  8. I've actually spanked my daughters (when they were littler...LOTS) for dropping gum on the ground. Ever noticed that the only time you actually step in it is when you're either in new shoes or barefoot?

    Bumpers...I'm a bumper. But ONLY when sufficiently antagonized. Like, when a small group of people decide that it is necessary to congregate in the middle of an aisle, leaving no room for anyone else to go around. I bump, then. To people who cut into the grocery line on the preface they only have 4 or 5 items, but then run back and grab 4 or 5 more things while the rest of us wait for them to overcome their idiocy. I bump then. Of course I apologize, profusely. Generally that's after I try to read their expression and determine just which curse word might offend them the most. I'm really not a very nice person, sometimes. hehehe


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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