Friday, 24 June 2011

Summer Traditions- BBQ

Official the UK is now in the midst of summer, and with the expectant weather (and subsequent weather warnings- drought/flood, delete as applicable) thoughts turn to the ancient art of burning meat on a fire.

Is there any activity more manly than a BBQ? Properly not, only DIY and proper car maintenance come close, and let's face it most of us get our dads to this nowadays.

So onto the BBQ itself. I've broken it down into it's composite parts and without further ado on we do-


It's more than likely a couple of them will be present. Whatever you do, do not let them cook. A BBQ is the domain of man. Luckily most women will you get on with it, they'll even do the salad, but I'll come on to that.


A key component. The more the better. You'll go to some BBQ's with a plethora of different meats and marinades, this isn't necessarily required. Burgers and snags are good enough, the key is the amount of meat.

Whenever you have a BBQ as a man you need to eat an unhealthy amount of red meat. Chicken and fish is optional, but if it's on the BBQ you need to eat it. It is your duty to eat at least one of every meat on offer.


Meat is good. Bread is good. Meat and bread is better. Be careful not to overfill on bread, but otherwise as much 'bunly goodness' as you can handle is required. It's often overlooked but a BBQ needs bread.


'You don't win friends with salad'- this is a fact. Luckily the women I mentioned early will make a huge bowl of this. It will largely remain untouched and slowly wilt in the sun. Still it gives her something to do.

Any gent tucking into the salad is likely to 'throw a light dart'.


Ketchup and mayo are fundamentals here. However a well stocked selection of sauces marks you as a man of distinction. Get the 'BBQ' variations out, and the booze flavoured ones. It's also important to have one sauce that is the spiciest, hottest available. At least one bloke will try this on his burger as a statement of his manliness. After this the sauce will probably remain untouched.


Whether you like it or not you will be judged by the quality of utensils you use.

The chap that just re-purposes standard kitchen equipment is at the lower end of the ladder. The guy that has a stainless steel case, akin to something out of a spy film, holding space aged utensils (many of which will not be used) will be at the top of the ladder.

Go bold, buy big, rarely use them.


Meat and beer go hand in hand. Drink long, drink hard. The chef should also drink hard. Women come in handy again here, as they are very good at ferrying beer from fridge to grill.

A cool box is a handy addition. Also generic beer is fine, but large litre bottles of continental or exotic beer will mark you as someone that is not there to fuck about.


Damn you to hell rain, i will have my bbq!

When you think BBQ, you think glorious sunshine. Well you live in the UK which means you are shit out of luck. On any given day, if you have planned a BBQ it will rain. If you haven't it'll be glorious.

The only way to circumvent this is to go spontaneous, even then it rarely works.

Type of BBQ

It's charcoal or gas rally isn't it? There are two camps, those that believe there is a taste difference and those that don't give a shit. I'm the latter so let's move on.


Not on the BBQ itself, but after the BBQ. This is an optional extra, but some of the best BBQ's end in a spontaneous semi-dangerous inferno.

Enjoy your BBQ, if it isn't raining!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Products that really should exist

Having watched a lot of twaddle over the tenure of my life, and having played far too many games, it's fair to say I've been influenced somewhat. As most people have I've noticed a lot of 'faux' products that are so cool they should probably exist.

You can probably see where this is's my list (not definitive) of some of the best fictional brands and products that really should exist-

Duff/Fudd Beer

The staple beer of Springfield and Shelbyville respectively. They are also each others main rival. The beers have a passionate following but the key selling point is Duffman. A brand sponsor of astronomical proportions. Regardless of the taste, I'd drink it just for this guy. As yet there is no 'Fudd Man'.


Sprunk is the soft drink of choice in the world of Grand Theft Auto. It's a lemon/lime sensation that apparently is 'the essence of life'. The clever connotative word play is enough to convince me that a brand this honest needs to exist. How can we forget the extra large Tango cans-


Who wouldn't want to spend the evening nuking their family members? Get them before they get you.


Mooby is what Disney and McDonald's wished they could be if they combined their mighty forces. It's an example of brand power when an innocent idea is turned into a money churning juggernaut and destroyer of free will. That's a little sanctimonious though. It's also quite a funny idea that a golden calf could become a idol of worship. I'm sure I read about that somewhere else....

Cheesy poofs

There's a lot of good to come from South Park, and Cheesy Poofs is deserved of it's place as one of those things. Although Cartman's blend of homophobia, xenophobia, and anti-semetism may not be traits you'd want in a poster boy, the brand song is a perfect example of simple marketing. If we didn't love cheesy poofs we'd be lame.


Ok, they will probably need some type of licensing for this. It wouldn't take long for some American nut job to spoil it for us all by killing their class mates.

Stay Puft marshmallows

You know what? They now do these! Trouble is you can only get them in the US or Canada. So close, yet so far.


For too long has the skateboard held priority on the pavement. I mean, really, it's the 21st century. We can put a man on the moon, but we can't keep a man 3 inches above the ground for a prolonged period of time? It's time the human race sorted its priorities.

Soul Glo

You is one greasy mother.

Cluckin' Bell

Another from the world of GTA, and again it's the play on words and honesty that gets them inclusion. We all know that KFC is shit, Cluckin' Bell just doesn't deny it!


GTA weighs in again with the kind of honesty that's as refreshing as the beer itself. When your posters are like this-

you know you're onto a winner.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Rocky- the peacemaker

We all know that Rocky IV was the film that ended the cold war. Rocky's ability to humiliate a national champion, in his own backyard, by getting his head smashed about, appeals to the people. As such they backed him and as the great man said,

As usual this got me thinking, if Rocky could end that conflict, what other conflicts could Rocky have ended?

So without further ado-

World War 1- As any A-level history student will tell you the Great War started when the Scottish band Franz Ferdinand were assassinated in Sarajevo by a discontent young man called Gav. Gav belonged to an organisation of assassins called the Black Hand.

The Black Hand was run by, among others, Capt. Dragutin Dimitrijević, a perfect bad guy name if ever I saw one.

How would Rocky resolve this? That's easy. In 1903 the Black Hand were allegedly responsible for the death of King Alexander 1 of Serbia and his consort, Draga. Draga's a bit like Drago and that's enough for Rocky to get involved.

Undoubtedly Rocky would use the Alps as a training base, running up an improbably high mountain and screaming 'Gav' at the top of his voice. Gav being the champion of the Black Hand.

Cue fight time and Rocky simply gets the shit kicked out of him for 14 rounds by Dragutin's steroid inflated champion Gav. Then in the last round Rocky stages and improbable yet totally believable recovery to win the fight.

Rocky's post fight interview would bring the crowd to it's feet and Dragutin, realising the nobility of 'just getting on', would start a slow clap.

And he'd probably not want to assassinate anyone any more.

World War 2- This one started when Adolf got a bit claustrophobic and decided to increase his, and his nations, lebensraum. Nice and easy so far, Adolf's the big man in charge, but who would his champion be? A champion that ultimately will get tired of beating seven shades out of a suspected retarded American, and lose, but in the process win the hearts and minds of a nation.

It's no mean feat. Looking at Hitler's command structure it would have to be without a doubt the bald mechanic that gets into a fight with Indy in Raiders. He's got the build of a fighter and the 'Bavarian tenacity' to take Rocky on. We also know he likes a pagga.

I couldn't find a decent clip on YouTube, but I did find this-

The route Rocky would take is to train in the Bavarian Alps. Probably by running up one of them, and lifting all sorts of farmyard machinery. Once he's ready he'll get to the end of one of his mountain runs, reach the top, and bellow 'German mechanic #1'.

Rocky would then tactically engaged Hitler's champion by soaking up punishment for 14 rounds. In the 15th he'd make a Lazurus-esque comeback and defeat the mechanic.

Seeing this, Hitler would realise that perhaps his ideas of a master race were incorrect. Rocky would have saved the lives of 50+ million people, and the mechanic. Hearts on fire indeed.

The Vietnam War- Rambo covered this one. Take a blow Rocky.

The Cold War- See Rocky IV.

The War on Terror- Unfortunately we'll never know on this one. If only Osama hadn't fired first. Apparently. I'm pretty sure Rocky would have solved this through intense negotiation and diplomatic sanctions.

No doubt he would have located Osama a long time ago whilst running up one of the mountains he was hidden in.

Libyan conflict- Gaddafi is up to a bit of mischief, impishly slaughtering his own people. He's doing this because the Libyan people want a bit of democracy. They'll want the moon on a stick next.

Obviously Rocky knows that democracy is freedom, as this is the American way. This is enough to take on the one and only Bilal El-Masri, Libya's national boxing hope. When I say national boxing hope I mean the only Libyan boxer I could find after several protracted google searches.

Rocky will get up and down the mountain, screaming out Bilal's name at the summit. He'd struggle through 14 rounds of punishment at the hands of the Libyan light welter-weight, and then somehow come back to knock his opponent out.

This dramatic victory will convince Gaddafi to hold democratic elections for his people and bow down gracefully.

Peace doesn't come easy, and Rocky knows this. There is no easy way out.

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