Monday, 8 October 2007

Gin’ll fix it

Normal service has now been resumed. Please, remain calm people.

I started back at big school this week. My first lecture was at 9.30am, and would be a new module for this year – Design Embodiment and Material Selection. So naturally, the best way for me to prepare for this was to stay up late with Matt Who Is Not A Nazi, drinking beer and watching Robocop.

A timeless classic, I’m sure you’ll all agree; it has everything, from drug-addled cop-killing psychopaths to sleazy 80’s businessmen, and of course that most magic of ingredients – big angry robots.

Terminator has them. Transformers has lots of them. Cheaper By The Dozen doesn’t have any; thus proving that for any film to be truly awesome, it must have big angry robots in it (though they may also be substituted for aliens, ninjas, cowboys, barbarians, maverick cops that play by their own rules, explosions, or that guy from Police Academy that does all the sound effects).

Anyway, my first week back at big school has been really good. It’s nice to have some kind of purpose again, and to do something a bit more mentally stimulating and challenging than trying to work out how to most efficiently load the dishwasher.

On Saturday, I got to wear a tie for the first time in about thirteen years when I went to my induction at The Big Gay Department Store. Along with about twenty other smartly dressed boys and girls, I was led into a training room which was polluted by the sounds of M-People singing “What have you done today//To make yourself proud?”…


Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m just far too cynical by nature, but it all seemed a bit patronising. Make that very patronising. Personal highlights for me were;

  1. The obligatory “this is how you must lift a box” demonstration.
  2. The video explaining to us that fire was bad, m’kay? (complete with an explanation of how when lifting, you should keep your back at a 90 degree angle to your pelvis…)
  3. The other video explaining to us that disabled people were just the same as the rest of us, except that they’re disabled; and that we should treat them just the same as other people, and here are some instructions on how to treat people who are different to other people just the same as other people.
  4. The other other video explaining how great it was to work for The Big Gay Department Store, which was essentially a six-minute musical montage of people working at The Big Gay Department Store and pretending it was great.
  5. The till training given to us by a woman that seemed barely able to read.

The day finished with a brief stint on the shop floor, learning just what my new part time job would entail; tolerating the presence of co-workers, whilst speaking to customers in the polite and well-spoken manner usually reserved for foreign dignitaries and grandparents.

Sunday was far better by comparison; after getting up nice and early to watch the Chinese Grand Prix, I bimbled off to watch the last bangers meeting of this year with Mr Dozer. The first corner of the first lap of the first race saw one of the cars get flipped onto its roof; the day pretty much carried on like that, with the grand figure-of-eight destruction derby finale having to be stopped at least twice when cars burst into flames. Good times. We got back just in time for The Inn On The Green pub quiz, where we came in a fairly dismal 13th out of twenty; but there was still lots of drinking to be had, so it was all good.

Less good was the drunken cook-off that took place when we all finally stumbled back, but it would seem that alcohol has thankfully erased that memory.

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