NoshBar's Dumping Ground

You tell someone something and they start laughing.

What a great feeling. Either your story is amusing, or something you said made them laugh… you’re funny.
You’ve managed to find something that touches this person, you’re in, you’re awesome, they will come to you again because of who you are.

Then you feel your face collapse as if you were having a stroke as they try to break their laughter so they can tell you how it reminded them of this one time, this other person, really funny…

You’re not funny, you’re a catalyst or proxy of funny.
You must be so dull that while you were telling something you thought was hilarious, they zoned out at the beginning, hearing only enough to remind them of someone else who is funny.

That crushing feeling, “Yay, I did good! Wait… no… no no no! ME!”, as you politely listen to their story, while trying to decide which of your knees will have the pleasure of finding out if their face has a seam down the middle from the manufacturing process.

But, it’s not always about you.
Following your belief in fairness, it should rarely be about you, everyone deserves their equal time-slice.

Conversations work through exchange of stories, and only some people will find me funny, I get it, that’s how the world works. But being so willingly outcastish is tough sometimes, you’re finally in a moment where you’re out of your element, you can shine, this is your moment… except, it’s not.

Too easily wound up?

Memo to self: listen to people again, fully, focused. No thinking of “funny” retorts or “me” stories.

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I get the bus (The DiseaseMobile!) to and from work every weekday, and have done so for the past 8 years.
As you can imagine (… is that assuming too much? Was that too condescending sweety?) I have many stories I could tell about my journeys, but today I’ll focus on just two aspects: shock at the obvious, and blame.

From a young age, I was taught a song that went something like “the wheels on the bus go round and round”… this was in South Africa, where you’d only catch a bus if you were testing out suits of armour, but I’ve heard people singing it here in the UK too.
It seems to be a simple concept, and you’d guess that it implies that the bus is capable of motion, yet -despite all this conditioning from youth- people are absolutely gobsmacked when the bus moves.

Whenever people are getting ready to depart (“get off”, uh huh huh) the bus, they push the button and slowly make their way to the front of the bus, clinging on to the railings as they go, because the bus is not a stable platform.

So why, WHY OH WHY do they let go when the bus comes to a temporary stop, at a traffic light or something?
Just because the bus isn’t moving right now, doesn’t mean it’s not going to. In fact, you’re pretty much relying on it moving again, annoyed if it didn’t.

Sure, it might be your first time on a bus, but you’ve just been riding on it, it was bloody shaking all over the place…
And it’s NOT the first time on the bus for most of you, I should know, I stalk just about every single one of you.
And and… the elderly! You barely made it onto the bus in the first place, despite it dipping so low down to the curb that gangsta’s came past and went “yeeaah boyee”… why stand at the front and let go?

All of this builds up to the moment that just makes my rage develop an ulcer… the shock.
Quick! Grab onto one of the many rails provided there in the first place to remind you to hold the hell on!

You’re so frail already, or you’re so laden with packages filled with expensive goods, or your child is already missing a tooth… why?

But yes, shock. A face of absolute horror, the day you almost died.
Just like yesterday.

But is it your fault?
Is it helling heck?

The bus driver doesn’t know how to drive, he pulls off too quickly (except for those times that you’re in a rush, and he’s just being so damn slow).
The buses are so rubbish, they should cater for this kind of thing (I’m definitely seeing padded walls of some kind).

Roads. Designed to cater for moving vehicles. Vehicles capable of causing injury whether you’re in them, or in front of them.
Yes, the world does revolve around you, but even your world is filled with people less intelligent and smart and pretty as you, so they make mistakes.
Mistakes like driving a vehicle. On a road. When they’re allowed to.
Sometimes even having the nerve to hoot at you as you’ve just started walking into the road without looking again.

Again, the look of shock and disgust… A BUS? ON A ROAD? WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

It doesn’t matter if it’s just a tiny side-road… that still implies that a vehicle needed to go through there, so a path was made… for the vehicle.

Again, the blame lies with the big bad bus and the driver. Hands are thrown up in disgust, words are thrown like the tar-coated balls of ignorance and self-defense they are.

Sure, I get it. You made a mistake, you’re feeling kinda dumb about it… but that’s because you were kinda dumb about it, don’t make that someone else’s problem.
Just be a little bit more aware… think.
For the love of your pretty little god, think.

That’s that, I’ll go back to being perfect in every way and leave you alone now.

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Bathrooms. Oh my.

Bathrooms are awesome. Not one is the same, even if they’re cloned in a factory, after just one day of use, they’re a unique snowflake (containing the same decaying matter as the others).

Much like next-to-a-dustbin being the safest place to stand to be free of cigarette smoke, the inside of a toilet bowl must be the furthest place away from urine in public bathrooms.
If it’s not acting as lubricant on the perhaps-present seat cover, it’s all over the floor making sure it’s free of insects and snakes (and who doesn’t like stomping in puddles and splashing stuff at people, giggling with glee?).

While the water in the toilet might be urine-free, you can almost be guaranteed that it will be filled with a squirrel-sized poo, warmly snuggled in its entire-forest toilet-paper nest, waiting for the eggs to hatch. Sometimes you may even be lucky enough to spot one of the parents sitting on the maybe-there toilet seat, keeping watch, defending the hive (which is essential, as screw-holes in the stall walls remain as the only hint that locks, or entire doors themselves, once lived there).

Mostly they’re still sitting there staring back at you because the toilet no longer flushes, through malfunction or fear of having to touch the creations in the bowl. But mostly there are those that constantly flush, sending the squirrel-family into a frenzied tumbling, as if they were squirrel-alligators wrestling for territory, in the midst of a death-roll fight. And being continuously emptied, those toilets never have the pressure behind them to send the fight outside, and reunite the squirrel family deep under the sea (if only flushing handles weren’t made of lead).

Like the toilets, the taps seem to be plumbed into the same supply of water in PlentyLand. This however, is a good thing, as the last thing you want to do is touch the oddly-non-reflective chrome handles.

The soap-dispenser handles are safe though, as no one uses soap, they just run water so that it looks like they’re washing their hands, because no one wants to look like they’re a pig, and using soap is basically like coming out to your parents. However, sometimes a piggy must get angry that the soap is judging them, resulting in a battered, drooping hanging piece of pity that remains where the dispenser once was, bleeding down over and past the sink, mixing with the pee on the floor, screaming “whyyy?” the whole way down.

The hand-dryers always state that they’re the hygenic method of drying your hands, which not only sounds like some sort of government conspiracy, but it’s not eco-friendly, all that electricity usage, and you really care about the environment, so you use the paper towels.
They also make great little balls that you can use to practice shooting hoop with, every time a reminder of why you’re not in a team somewhere.

Man, people are awesome.

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I was originally going to write a short entry about how people are so ready to apologise for things that aren’t really their fault, but never do for things that directly are.

I initially thought about how someone would apologise for elbowing someone as a result of a sneeze, but not for saying something mean.
I thought that it was difficult for people to apologise when it is actually their fault, admitting they were wrong, and formulated some super intelligent random theory about humans, which I was going to take time to step down off the horse on my pedestal to share with you puny lesserlings.

It was when I first thought about writing this in a different way, that made me realise my arseness, originally brain-written as:
“People will apologise for something that is the result of an accident, but not for something that is a result of who they are.”

And well, there you have it. It’s who they are, why should they apologise?
Sure, you want the apology, you’d like someone to be sorry that they hurt you… but they don’t owe you, love them for who they are, or go somewhere else.

I’m such a douche.

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The Uncharted trilogy is a fantastic series of games, 1 and 2 being amongst my favourite games.

I’ve finally started playing Uncharted 3 and can’t help but notice how it’s not so much holding my hand, as holding my head on the sides and rubbing my nose in the answers to puzzles screaming “GOOD BOY, GOOD BOY!”

A lot of talk has been going on about how the new Mario on 3DS is condescending, in that it will basically finish a level for you if you look the other way for too long.
Also, Dark/Demon Souls and Super Meat Boy are heralded as a return to proper hardcore gaming, made intentionally difficult to do anything in (which is condescending in itself, isn’t it? “Oh, the games are too easy for you? Shame, here, try THIS on for size.”)

So, what is my problem with Uncharted? Well, it’s mostly a crapload of shooting, with some puzzle and exploring bits in between.
Puzzle bits. Puzzle. As in, “something to figure out”, or as Wikipedia puts it: ”A puzzle is a problem or enigma that tests the ingenuity of the solver”.

The thing is, I never get a chance to be tested in Uncharted 3.
It “hints” things to me before I get a chance to explore the room (A graphic comes on the screen telling me “HINT” and to push “up” to see it… and won’t go away until I do).
Added to that, I have a hint-book on me in-game at all times, with pretty much everything I could ever need to know in (that the game constantly reminds me about).
But that’s not enough, no, the characters in the game go “DRAKE! DRAKE! I found something! It looks like what we need! I bet if we pushed this EXACT tile then it would open the secret door hidden behind this obviously non-matching textured stone in the wall! Sully want treat, TREAT!”… and walking anywhere within 10 meters of said discoloured-tile brings up an icon telling me to push the green triangle button to make it happen.

So not only do I get told where to look and told to read what to do, I have characters that ruin it for me as I’m exploring the beautiful level design.

The worst part is that sometimes I know exactly what I should do, so I start doing it, and halfway though the puzzle, the characters decide to start warbling on about how I should maybe start doing what I started doing about 5 minutes before.

You know what guys? Why don’t you shut the hell up and get shot or something?
You’re ruining it for me, seriously. I no longer have a desire to search around, to figure anything out, because you interfering bastards are just going to treat me like a moron anyway.

And… AND! I get treated like the stupid one, but Drake seems more than happy to casually look at the hint area while being shot at, no reaction at all.
Not only that, he will gladly dive into some water from a height one time, but another time he’ll fall 1 meter maximum, and seemingly be struck by Zeus himself as he hits the water, letting out a scream and dying like he was made of scream-capable tissue paper.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a game that gets it right. You might argue that it isn’t as complex as Uncharted, but the game turns you into several different vehicles along the way, with completely different handling, and all it gives you is a simple icon hinting how to move it around, the rest is up to you to play around with and discover.

So, puzzles are solved for me, gunfights are insane, there is little need to explore anything… why, if I wasn’t having so much fun shooting South Africans, I’d stop playing.

Fortunately, all this fuels me to want to make the most condescending game ever… because spare time was invented so that it could be used to ignore people you care about, right?

P.S. I just played Tintin on the iPad, and the first thing it does is tell you to touch glowing objects. Really? I thought gates just normally glowed with a circle on them. Not only that, while seeing how the onscreen d-pad worked, I happened to walk past a hole in the wall, blocked up by planks. I tapped them as an obvious way to get past the wall, but no, first I have to walk to the gate, try tapping on it, find out it’s locked, THEN I can go to the planks, which are now glowing with a circle on too.

Gah dammit guys.

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