Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Column that's like the Robert Neville of Sanity fighting the Vampires of Craziness (or maybe its the other way round?)'s Rob's Random 5!

1. BBQ: I have a secret to admit to you. I don't like barbecues. Well, I like the idea of them, just as I like the idea of a low fat and delicious cheesecake, but as with that cheesecake, when it comes to the execution it just doesn't pay off. Enjoying the company of friends and family in the sunshine as you sip on an icy beer or crisp white wine is fantastic (last 4th of July I was doing just that and it was a truly magnificent day - one of the best I've ever had), and you can do that without all the smoke and hassle of getting food to cook on a grill that has an exponential smoke/heat ratio (wait, was there a BBQ there last year? I think there was... And that was good. Oh no my whole argument has fallen apart!). Y'see I love socialising outdoors, it's just the barbecueing bit I can do without. And even supposing you manage to cook thoroughly, you then have to scrape of its charred and blackened exterior as you sit, squinting in the sun, fending off every insect in the Animal Kingdom as it attempts to feast on your sausage. Of course, by thise time you'd eat anything as it's already taken half a day - and the fuel reserves of a small nation - to heat up the barbie.
Sorry if I sound jaded, it's just I think there are plenty of good reasons to meet up with friends outside - for a kite flight or a game of frisbee or just a simple drink on carefully laid out blankets - and the thrill of burned meat is not one of them. The lure of cake however, is always a good reason.

2. Pencil Toppers: Whatever happened to pencil toppers? Does anyone even own/use them anymore? They used to be all the rage in the early 90s - you couldn't open a box of cereal without finding one. The they all vanished. Now you don't see them anywhere. I'm not sure whether I'm sad about that. I mean, they were one of the top ten most useless things created by Humankind (some of the others being the Soda Stream, those erasers that supposedly erase ink, anything ever featured on the QVC shopping channel, Lady Gaga, and those edible silver balls you can use to decorate cakes). But I suppose they did jazz up a boring old pencil, and they did prevent pencils from getting mixed up - but was that ever a big problem to begin with? If you have a pencil topper, or know of one's existence, then let me know. Right now I'm beginning to think there's a conspiracy to hide them from us all...

3. Lady Gaga: I do not like that woman.

4. Agent Under (Book)Cover: While browsing in my local bookshop the other day I realised I'd never read an Ian Fleming 'James Bond' book, despite being a big Bond fan. I started to rectify this immediately by picking one out at random - 'Goldfinger' - and starting to read it to see if it was something I'd buy. I was engrossed from page one. I'd read five pages before I even realised it. It wasn't the case that I was bowled over by the first line (anyone who's been book shopping with me knows I judge a book first by its title and second by its first line), but the prose was straightforward and gripping. I loved it. Even the description of Bond sitting at a Miami Airport bar sinking double bourbons and thinking about the man he had just killed had me hooked. And the actual description of the killing was brutal yet eerily poetic.
So now I own a copy and am loving every word. It's definitely a read to recommend. I'm not sure if all the Bond books are as strong as 'Goldfinger' (although I've heard 'From Russia With Love', President Kennedy's favourite book, is), but I'm more than willing to give them a try based on 'Goldfinger' Anyone else read a Bond book and got a recommendation? And are there 'classic' or 'well-loved' books out there that you haven't managed to read but want to?

5. Stuck in the Riddle with You: Last week I posted some fiendishly riddlesome riddles and promised not to post the answers, but as I've had quite a few people asking me what the answers are I thought I'd post them. So here they are in order:
-A Towel
-A Glove
-The Letter 'M'

Until next time, take care, and if you find unattended porridge you'd be wise not to eat it. It might belong to a bear.


Cassandra said...

There was that little foil thing that seemed to do little more than scorch the poor grass. Good thing we pre-cooked those kebabs, eh? See, no need to BBQ! Pre-cook and cool on the walk to the park :)

And you're also right about that being a truly magnificent day. It really was one of the best.

Christopher said...

Funny you should mention pencil toppers, I was just talking about them the other day... specifically, troll pencil toppers with massive purple hair!

On a side note, I'm beginning to wonder whether anyone has hated anything more than you seem to hate Lady Gaga... :D

Rob said...

That Lady Gaga! Grrr... she's like the anti-Anne Hathaway! And I will not stand for it! ;)