Idle Eye 152 : The Angry Birds

It’s hard not to get incensed by all the stupid things people do. Whether they’ve voted wrong, or looked at you funny, or gone shopping with a ridiculous hipster hairdo or put their feet on the seats, it’s enough to have you frothing at the gills most days, right? To be honest, it’s exhausting. A quick spleen vent at work or down the pub doesn’t help much either, because there you’ll just find even more stuff to get livid about. It’s an infinite cycle of bile. A human centipede of perpetual fury. And once you’re in it, there’s no getting out. Without lithium. Or chocolate.

So where can like-minded hotheads meet and bleat when the going gets excruciating? Which crucible is robust enough to contain the white heat of contemporary rage? Yes, you guessed it, it’s our old chum the Twitter. That stalwart portal, which gives with one hand and destroys with the other, is the paradoxical Shiva of the internet. But here it is not enough just to rock up and pitch in, oh no! To be considered a player, you must have followers. Like Jesus. Or Charles Manson. When you finally get a few, you’ll be needing a few more. And then more still. Until eventually, the very notion that these followers are actual people, as opposed to numerical online manifestations of your rampant unfettered ego, evaporates like a springtime morning mist.

Anyway, I was checking my feed this morning at 5.17am (I was up early, sick with worry that I’d forgotten to charge my phone), and noticed that I had been unfollowed. Only by one, but I felt the ricochet and was smarting from it. Having that extra bit of time on my hands, I spent the next few hours trawling through recent hard drive back-ups in order to expose and humiliate my perpetrator. Unfollow me, I thought? I’ll learn ya. But this one was good. Very good. Using what they call a cloaking address, xoigirl.vikki264 had manipulated my good nature into accepting her into the fold and giving her that most rare of opportunities to shine. Which, for reasons best known to herself, she had chosen to spurn.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can handle rejection. It has been the fabric of my very existence since I told Helena Bonham-Carter’s sister I had all my own teeth and hair in an introductory email. However, I’m super-sagacious these days. I had deliberately chosen to ignore her rather pneumatic avatar in favour of what I considered a more mature approach to online platonic relationships. That somehow, in the vein of Pretty Woman, she could have been persuaded to take the straight and narrow path. But it was not to be. To say nothing of any potential misinterpretation of my intentions. So now I find myself with a mere 33 followers and yes, I’m bloody spewing. Although ViaFlowers11 is looking promising, despite the cost of the visa.

Idle Eye 19 : The Rug Rethink

Now, the very few of you that have ever met me in the flesh will know that I have been sporting a rather fetching slickback hairdo of late. At least, I thought it was rather fetching until a recent confab with her indoors which brought it rudely to my attention that, instead of a real-life incarnation of Ralph Feinnes from The English Patient, I actually resembled a grizzly Tory MP who has spent way too long in the Club’s Smoking Room. To paraphrase:

Ursula : You look like a bag of spanners. Get it cut.

Me : Ok.

So I’m in Willie Smarts with my new favourite barnet builder Simon, and we’re discussing the power of advertising, as you do. How just a seemingly inconsequential spruce-up can make a seismic difference to one’s self-confidence and, perhaps more significantly, how others then perceive you. And as we’re chatting, I have my OMG moment: (For those over 40 I should point out that OMG is yoofspeak for Oh My God. And for those over 60, yoofspeak is what you used to do when you wore shorts). Because it so turns out that as you read this, Urs and myself will have completed a fancy new Idle Hour Barnes design that will be with the signwriter this week and, hopefully, swinging majestically outside the pub before too long. You see, although we all know and love that insect-ridden behemoth, we all felt that it was kindest to ‘let it go’ and replace it with a dynamic, all-singing, all-dancing younger model. Like Kennedy would have done if he’d relocated, given up politics and tried his hand at SW13 hostelry. Oh, and hadn’t been shot.

Anyway, using my forthcoming rug rethink as a metaphor, I asked Simon how he felt about saving me from the Green Room of irrelevance. And then we laughed, oh, how we laughed! Because, despite my heartfelt plea that he paid special attention to my ‘thin patch’, he insisted I had a magnificent head of hair and proceeded to prove it with precision Samurai slashes to my nurtured loved ones. It hurt, but it was for the best. And he was right. Because now I resemble a David Niven understudy from A Matter of Life and Death (if I was just that tiny bit posher and in black and white). It’s the Shiva Effect. Slash and Burn. Out with the old etc.. What could be more appropriate for a sartorial Idle Hour blogger who has just done exactly that with the logo? Sometimes life just ties itself up in a bow, no? And that’s why we keep on going.

Some say that God is in the detail. Others say the Devil’s in there. Personally, I don’t give a monkeys who’s doing what and to whom as long as the end result is justified. When you first clap eyes on the little beauty you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And the sign’s not bad either…