The Inevitability of Self Loathing

Sometimes, through no plan or decision or design, you end up – against your better judgement – sitting in a Starbucks. I should know, I’m in one now, surrounded by screaming children and prententious knobs sipping tall, skinny, gingerbread lattes.

I didn’t plan to be here and I certainly don’t want to stay, but sometimes circumstances conspire against you, and the best course of action is to roll with the punches.

Unfortunately, Starbucks is one of the few places where you can deal with a screaming, hungry child who may have also just shat herself. It’s a testament to what SB employees must have to put up with, but for some reason, the staff don’t bat an eyelid as a haggard-looking, new mother, with a breast hanging out and a smear of baby shit on her jumper, wipes vomit off the furniture while a 15 year-old employee (who someday hopes to rise from cleaner to barrista) gently rocks the baby that made this whole scene possible.

Of course, you know when you leave the house that there’s always a chance you’ll wind up elbow-deep in vanilla latte and breast milk, but you tell yourself “this won’t happen to me” because you want to maintain some illusion of being in control. Unfortunately hoping for the best means that you’re often not prepared for the worst, and it’s for precisely this reason that I’m currently standing in the line at a Starbucks about to ask for some paper towel to clean up the cocktail of body fluid that my daughter has expelled onto one of the armchairs.

That and a tall, skinny, gingerbread, latte… with extra self-loathing.

Asbestos for Breakfast

The brand of porridge that I eat for breakfast everyday, bears an uncanny resemblance to everyone’s favourite, carcinogenic, flame retardant from the 50s, but for some reason I still eat it. Just.

And while I was not surprised to learn that:

I must admit that I was a little concerned with:

Given seriousness of this state of affairs, something must change; but since I like nothing more and rolled oats and banana for breakfast, it will probably just be the brand.

– Kent

Ramen-lama-ding-dong

I’m mad for Ramen at the moment. In fact, any noodle soup that doesn’t obviously contain testicles, hearts or boiled egg (covert balls are ok) is floating my boat, but Ramen is the current soup de jour.

I love its simplicity: water, noodles and various, tiny pieces of unidentifiable, tasty shit; like someone has crushed a circuit board over a bowl of steaming beige wires. Yummy-tronic.

So with this simplicity in mind, I thought that it would be a cinch to make some ramen at home, in the few minutes I have at lunchtime between writing jokes and trying to keep my daughter Florence from swallowing her own fist.

ingredients of ramen
The Ingredients of Ramen (by weight)

Of course, as five minutes on the inter-tubes would reveal, there’s nothing simple about ramen at all. True to form, the Japanese have taken something which has more parts that a full-size death star built entirely out of lego and just made it look like a bowl of soup.

In hindsight, I was an idiot to think that it would be easy. The Japanese don’t believe in easy; they just believe in making things that look easy. Things that lure in arrogant interlopers with the promise of simplicity, but then reveal themselves to be as unfathomable as the bastard child of UK tax law and the off-side rule.

Unfortunately, the “She’ll be right” attitude hard-coded into my Australia genes told me to make the ramen anyway, and so with ingredients blindly purchased from a Japanese supermarket where I was too embarrassed to talk to the staff, I made what I thought was, but turned out not to be, ramen. It’s hard to describe what I actually produced, but let’s just say that “she wasn’t right”. She, was pretty far from alright. I might have gone in with the best of intentions, but I came out with something that looked cholera-infested, sump water and tasted like old socks and wet cardboard.

You know that you’ve really buggered up in the kitchen when someone who doesn’t even understand the concept of sensory perception, screws their nose up at the smell of what you’ve just created. So when Florence vomited in response to smelling my pseudo-ramen, I stopped trying to convince myself that it tasted of anything other than balls and tipped it down the sink.

So as of 4pm this afternoon the scoreline stands: JAPAN 1 – KENT 0 and I’ve learned yet another lesson about the hidden intricacies of something that looks like a piece of piss, but invariably tastes better when made by someone who knows what they’re doing.

– Kent

Out With The Oldenburg, In With The Newton

Sorry, I know it’s a little early in the day for 17th Century, European, scientific-community jokes, but I really couldn’t help myself. It was certainly better than the Gary Oldman pun that I was considering.

What this post is really about, is a new website.

As much as I liked hand-coding my site with HTML from 1999, it was getting embarrassing being the only comedian on the internet still using the <- blink - > tag, so I’ve just gone and put the whole thing on WordPress.

This will now be the default location for all comedy related things that I do, see or recommend so stay posted.

Squirrel #1

Modern Warfare 2, Super Mario Penises and many more things that probably shouldn’t be broached by two men in their 30s.

[podcast format=”video”]http://www.kentvalentine.com/podcasts/Squirrel-on-a-stick_Episode_1.m4a[/podcast]

The podcast appears here as a video but it’s just a regular audio file which you can download here: http://www.kentvalentine.com/podcasts/Squirrel-on-a-stick_Episode_1.m4a

or alternatively you can subscribe to on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/squirrel-on-a-stick/id343659513