A Tall Tail

(Posted by Fi)

One of the recurring non-sexual fantasies that plagues my life, along with what I would do were I taken back in time to certain eras, is what would human life be like if we had tails?

It’s not a new idea to me. As a child I wanted to grow up to be a cat, they have it easy; you feed them regularly, stroke them a few minutes a day and they’re loyal loving pets. This future career choice was forgotten as soon as it became my chore to empty the kitty-litter box. From that point on cats were just as smelly as humans were, except that humans have better waste-reprocessing facilities.

I’m not talking about dog-tails that are more like wire coat hangers dipped in a Hoover-bag, but prehensile muscular tails that rival limbs. Tails you could dangle from trees with. Tails you could carry that extra bag of shopping with when your fingers are going numb and breaking out in blisters. That’s the sort of tail I’m after, but what sort of consequences would it involve? For a start, as with every new invention or discovery, the sex industry would find a way of exploiting it. Cat suits would have greater appeal for one thing. Hardcore would involve a new appendage to be inserted into any available orifice. The height of kink would be a shaven tail with a pierced tip dangling provocatively between the male star’s legs. However, it wouldn’t be an exclusively male addition. Women performers would have them too, solo performances would be totally different, and a 69 would become an 88.

Would this lead to a ban of tails being shown on television at anything higher than a 45-degree angle? Would a new type of condom be invented to avoid rug-burn from the fur? Once the adult entertainment industry had exploited every possible use for tails, the more day-to-day uses would become apparent. Opening doors with both hands full wouldn’t be so difficult anymore. Dusting while hovering would be a cinch. Scratching that bit in the middle of your back you can never quite reach would be as easy as pie and having to slap guys who pat you on the rump would become a thing of the past with the new whiplash backlash technique.

According to Darwin, humans once had tails. So where did they go? Did we evolve to the point where eating from trees was no longer necessary? Did each generation’s tail get shorter or did they all fall off one fine day and the creatures turned and looked at their asses and collectively said “Aw hell, what do we do now?” before bludgeoning a cow to death with a large obsidian monolith?

If you’re more inclined to believe the Adam in the Garden of Eden theory of origin then reach round and feel the base of your spine, just at the coccyx. Isn’t that the perfect place to put a tail? Human thinking would change too. Instead of being confined to bipedal walking around in two-dimensions, a third dimension would be more accessible to us. Not as easily as if humans developed wings, but then that’s silly, we’re not descendant from birds. However, being able to climb up and over pipes would change everything.

Department stores could fill up all that extra space, replacing the floor with giant mattresses for those of us too inept to stay aloft. You would thread your way up and through giant jungle gyms to the stall or desk of your choice, making bumping into people even rarer as you can get there at different altitudes. Hanging onto a pipe with your tail you converse with the sales clerk as she hands you various samples to try, you hold one as you try the other, ten metres up. Office cubicles could be stacked on top of each other for extra productivity per cubic meter. Apartments with high ceilings would be the home of the elite or those with big families.

It’s not all roses though. A serious re-thinking of things as simple as clothes and chairs would be required. Creatures with tails either rest on their stomachs or hunkered up. I can’t imagine that this would be very comfortable for humans, so would chairs be forgotten altogether in favour of the “Human-o-frame”©? A metal construct like a kiddie swing but without the swing part, from which you can swing happily whilst watching television or typing? Nobody would want the seats on buses, instead we’d fight for the handholds and the over-head bars, and buses would go past with people swinging like carcasses on meat hooks.

Clothes would need redesigned, obviously not the top half or anything below the knee, but would pockets within clothes be designed to store our tails in, or would new holes be required so we could retain the use of our tails while out and about?

None of my skirts would look good with a tail swinging about underneath. G-strings would need to be totally done away with altogether. Seams and stitching would need to work around this new hole at the back of underwear and outerwear and you’d never be able to put slacks on the wrong way round without exposing a little too much.

How would criminals be restrained? A third cuff would be required to restrain roaming appendages. Would barred cells become a luxury and be discarded in favour of vertically walled pits? Would the military create special ordnance for this new body-part; clip-on night-vision binoculars, tail-mounted grenade launchers, and camouflaged blades for close-quarters engagements? Would everyone have access to clip-on accessories like blender-attachments, the new improved tail-held whisk, the tail-controlled electric carving knife, and the specifically tailored for the tail mobile phone? Hands-free everyone, its the way forward.

Tail design and accessories could become big business, with companies competing for the most aesthetically designed tails. Would we want hair-covered monkey-style tails? Leather-skinned, dragon-like demonic tails? Bare pink skin tails like arms without hands attached or sectioned chitinous tails as though we had giant millipedes protruding from our behinds?

At any rate, my cats don’t complain about their tails, but then they can’t talk and I can only be thankful of that. Maybe I wouldn’t dream about this so often if I’d had mine stepped on as often as they have.

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The science of knowing

(Posted by Mark)

Nosce te ipsum. Know thyself. While Francis Bacon has been attributed with that stalwart of business training session slogans “Knowledge is power”, I vastly prefer Oscar Wilde’s opinion on the subject of knowing: “There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating – people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing”. And so, perhaps to counteract the art of guessing, we have the science of knowing.

Knowing trivia
My name is Mark, and it’s been two days since I last played a quiz machine. I just couldn’t help it; I saw the bright, flashing lights, the sounds of coins dropping and electronic twangs and bumps and I was drawn towards the touchscreen. I know it’s a problem, but with the group’s help, I know I can fight it. Actually, I know no such thing. There is something wonderful and at the same time slightly shameful about quiz machines. I think it’s because after years in primary, secondary and higher education, I now use my knowledge not to find a cure for cancer, nor to broker a peace settlement in Northern Ireland, nor to write a Nobel Prize-winning piece of literature, but rather to remember how many goals Peter Beardsley scored for Newcastle United or when Ramsay MacDonald was Prime Minister.

The way that my (and it’s not just me, it’s also other people’s) eyes light up when they see a Cluedo, Trivial Pursuits or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? machine in the corner of the pub is, I realise, a sign that my social life may need some form of enhancement product. I would defend quiz machines simply by stating that they are, in fact, intensely social. When three or four are gathered around the machine desperately trying to put car models in the order in which they were produced, it promotes team work and friendship. The occasional shouting across the room to the guy who you are positive will know Pele’s first name manages to draw other people into your circle as well as make them feel good about themselves because they are regarded as an ‘expert’. It’s a feelgood thing. Being able to draw disparate friends with different spheres of knowledge together in the noble pursuit of getting rich quick is certainly a talent, and while I might not be saving the world in style, I am doing my own little bit for society. Well, society in our pub, anyway.

Knowing the score
Akin to knowing how the land lies, knowing the score is all about being up-to-date, to the minute, with the times, with one’s finger on the pulse, being au courant with the latest trends and news. What I am doing writing about this is therefore something of a mystery as I can rarely be said to know the score; indeed often I don’t even know that the match is being played. Knowing the score originates from the Middle Ages when “the score” was a term for the amount owed by one person to another, or the balance of a business account, so by knowing the score you would be aware of exactly how much you owed. As the language has evolved and filtered through the centuries, it now simply means that you know what’s hep, hip and with it, daddy-o.

Of course, if you were to take the term “knowing the score” more literally, you would be able to have the perfect entrée into the average male conversation. “What was the score?” “Oh, 2-1”. Naturally, we will actually need to know what the result of the football, rugby, cricket or other sporting event was in order to participate properly in this, but assuming that you are aware of the tally after the final whistle, you now have a quick way to get acceptance. You should try and back this up with a few other key phrases:

  • “Shocking defence” (football)

 

  • “It’s all down to the slips” (cricket)

 

  • “You’ve got to convert them, though” (rugby)

 

  • “Magic arrows” (darts)

 

  • “It’s about temperament” (all sports)

After a few careful minutes gauging the reactions and team allegiances of your newfound friends, you will be able to discuss all manner of sporting events with them, free from the fear of being regarded as ignorant or, even worse, uninterested.

Knowing too much
No-one likes a smart aleck, or so the saying goes. I beg to differ. I think that a lot of us really do like the smart aleck mainly because without the person who knows too much, most detective stories or thriller films would not exist. It’s the classic scene and you can pretty much cast and write it yourself. Edward G Robinson is the gangland boss who is attempting to pull off the heist of the century. Alan Ladd is the good guy in the wrong place and the wrong time who has stumbled into the dastardly plot. Peter Lorre is the henchman entrusted with making sure that Ladd is silenced. All you need is a half-decent score, the RKO logo and a gangster’s moll and there’s a sure-fire film noir hit for you.

Too much is generally a bad thing to know, however, for that particular person. As a form of criticism, it is a strange one. Are we not supposed to like someone because they are intelligent? Are we not supposed to like them because they worked hard at school or they educated themselves to a high standard? It’s not really clear, but I think the main reason we’re not supposed to like them is because we’re not supposed to display the fact that we know things. Like Tennyson, we are supposed to be “wearing … learning lightly, like a flower”. It is bad form to be constantly showing off (like quoting Tennyson, Wilde and Bacon in one post, for example; oops) that one has done such heinous things as, well, read books or paid attention. Perhaps it’s better to know too little, but then we return to the cult of the gentleman amateur and, as my mind constantly does, we turn to Sherlock Holmes whose knowledge of literature, astronomy and philosophy may have been nil, but whom no-one would accuse of knowing too little.

If, as is often said, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then I will end the science of knowing here, hoping that while it may not be comprehensive, it may at least be said to have a little thrill about it.

 

Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum

(posted by Fi)

I only just managed to log in. This editing window is far too complicated for me so I’m just going to write a bunch of stuff and push the “post & publish” button when I’m done. Trust me, its better for you and me both if I don’t try and mess with these settings. User Interfaces are not my strong point.

Maybe a bit about myself to start with, since everyone else seems to have settled in already and I’m the one showing up in a tizzy at lunchtime when Mike specifically requested that we sign in at 9 a.m. on the dot (he’s such a taskmaster).

I write. Lots. When I have a spare moment I write more. I write database manuals for a living and articles for websites on the side. The technical work balances out the diverse and ecclectic mix of subjects I am commissioned to write which pay less but prevent me from pushing my manager’s nose through his brain-stem.

I live with my partner and two cats in None-of-your-business and I’m here to write. You don’t have to read, you can skip them if you like, but I’ll try and entertain you along with these beautiful people.

Welcome to My Wonderland (Girl Stuff, of which there’s bound to be a lot, this week)

(posted by Zena)

Gee, those other guestbloggers get up early. So here I am. Thanks for letting me type in your space, Mike.

Here’s what I’m interested in: men, women, the “disconnect” as I once heard some very annoying relationship coach describe it as, and how women’s bodies play a part in all of that.

I’ve recently lost some weight. Quite a lot of weight, actually. Nearly four stone. I tend not to tell people how much, because then I become the sort of person who previously needed to lose four stone. And then some: I have a way further to go, but I prefer not to get into that.

I look different – to most people. I feel different – to me. And boy, do men – I’m straight – treat me different. So that’s some of what I’m going to explore this week. But first, chocolate digestive biscuits. Get coffee, come back, we’ll talk.

Hello and Good Morning Troubled Diva Readers…

…and fellow guestees.

(posted by Buni)

Thanks Mike for the intro. x

Cripes, this is all a bit daunting isn’t it, a little like being put on stage at Wembley with an overly bright spotlight shining in your eyes and the crowd just staring, waiting for you to deliver something amazing.

I was kind of expecting this and so considering I also have a 9 – 5, college tonight and tomorrow, and of course, my hectic social life as the Doyenne of Nottingham Café Society to attend to, I gave Mike the opportunity to ask me 7 questions which I would do a write up on over the 7 days. I will be posting in between though and of course, there is always MY SITE. Oops, too loud?

Mike saw it another way, and proceeded to ask me 7 song titles as questions. So without further ado, as I know you all have jobs to go to, I give you ………….>

7 Titles in 7 Days.

1. Do You Know Where You’re Going To? (Diana Ross)

This is actually a good place to start the week as it’s a subject that has been on my mind of late. I’ve always been quite a restless person; I get very bored very easily. As a child I was always out and about with friends, constantly doing things, we were very dynamic. I get very irritated by laziness. We are dead longer than we are alive, grasp the nettle. Take risks. Live life to its full potential and embrace it. Not to do so, I believe, breeds regret. I don’t want to have any regrets when I grow older. I want to be able look back and say what a bloody good time I’ve had and think about all the great people I’ve met along the way.

My outlook on life is to think about where I’d like to be and try to find a way to get there. Being this restless person, it is inevitable that I would have a ballpark idea about where I’d like to go to or a place where I’d like to be. However, they are just that, ideals. I’ve always been this sort of person who thinks ahead, anally breaking the years up into three or four year segments and thinking about what each segment would contain, I would compartmentalise my life into challenges. I am currently at the end of a three year period and, as my friends will testify, I’m becoming restless with semi-structured thoughts about what my plans are.

To understand where you are going to, it’s terribly important to be able to understand where you’ve come from and where you are at present. I’ve come from what could be called a dysfunctional family, my mother having married five times, it was a highly insecure state and marred by family arguments and fights. We moved about a lot, even to other countries, and my sister and I got used to not staying friends with people for too long in case we moved again (and I might add, not getting too used to our step-fathers). It’s only now that I’ve lived in Civvie Street in Nottingham for nearly a decade that I’m not worried about losing friends and can now establish long term friendships. As such, my social life is excellent.

One of my primary thoughts as a young man was to get away from home as soon as possible; I tried at the tender age of 15, running away from Portugal (where we were living at the time) to Manchester and I called my mother the following Wednesday to tell her where I was; I tried a little later at 17, with my parents consent this time, to go and live in London. That didn’t work out and I ended up homeless for 3 months; then after returning from a European Interrail holiday, I tried later on when I was about 19, when I joined the Navy. That is the pivotal moment in my life, where everything changed.

I have to admit, joining the Navy was totally against my belief system. I was a pacifist, against the establishment, war and everything it entails. I was a kind of hippy kid with long hair and a desire to spend most of my days getting stoned. When I said where I was going to, all my friends said that I was mad as I wouldn’t be able to handle the discipline. I had no choice, I had to get away. Also, being the sort of kid who had ‘flights of fancy’ about certain things and never stuck to them, my Mother just asked if I thought it was the right thing to do.

There I was, 19 years old, no qualifications with a stable job and a new ‘home’ at the base. This carried on for about 3 years when I was asked if I wanted to take redundancy. This was a really tough decision as the Navy had been my back-bone and ‘aunt’ for the whole time and I never really considered life outside of the gates. It was ‘us’ and ‘them’. In the end I took the money and ran, to Nottingham to go to university here. University isn’t all that much different from the Navy; you get the social life and the binge drinking; people from all walks of life joining together; and once you’ve got your work done , your time is your own. I graduated in 2000.

That’s really what the last decade has been, through my 20’s; building a foundation to work on through my 30’s. At present I’m really quite free. I no longer have the hassles I had as a child, I have no baggage to validate it either. I also now have the security that was lacking as a child. I’d like the next decade or so to be one of personal growth; experiencing things, travelling and meeting new and wonderful people. There is such a big wide world out there that I can’t possibly imagine only seeing it for two weeks every year and the rest of the time spent in Nottingham. Moreover, I’d like to meet someone who has the same desire that I have. It would mean so much more if I could experience these new and wonderful things with someone.

From reading this, I suppose the first thought that comes into my mind is that where I want to go to isn’t tangible. It’s not a place like Barcelona or some other destination; it’s a place in the mind that you get to when you know you’ve done pretty much all there is to do. I don’t mean making pots of money or anything remotely similar, I’ve had that in Portugal and believe me, money doesn’t bring happiness; you just don’t worry about bills. Happiness in my eyes is from knowing you’ve given it the best that you’ve got, your best shot.

Does that answer your question? I’m going to seek happiness, experience and self-fulfilment and to share that with someone.

Good Morning Britain, Here I come!

Posted by Melodrama

Hello England, or is it Great Britain? First of all, I thank Mike for inviting me as a guest blogger. I stumbled on to Troubled Diva, while I was checking out British blogs and have enjoyed reading his blogs very much. As for your queries Mike, I think there would be plenty of job opportunities for you and I’m emailing a long list of Ayurvedic retreats to you by tomorrow. Now that we have dealt with the stereotypes on to the posts. By the way, the number of referrals you got from my blog is testimony to the fact that India is soon overtaking China in matters like umm… headcount aka population. Alas! We are a many and curious people!

This is my first umm… international exposure, so to speak of and to be honest, apart from the kicks I get from er… reaching out to a global audience and everything, is mostly designed to er… increase the hits on my own humble blogs. Nah! I’m joking, its a pleasure to be here and to do what I enjoy doing the most on my blogs, wax lyrical (mostly about nothing in particular) and have interesting feedback about the waxings. So, here I come, all you Brits. I can assure you, like it or not, I will post often and certainly more than just five times!

They’re changing the guests at Troubled Diva Palace…

Time once again to pipe out the old and ring in the new, as Guest Week Three prepares to launch.

First of all, who could forget my dear, big-hearted, irrepressible, jam-tastic Auntie Cyn, over yonder in Liechtenstein? I regret to say that disturbing news has reached me this week, from well placed sources on the Liechtenstein Mail & Herald, that Cynthia’s days in the kingdom may soon be numbered. Something about export shipments of Auntie Cyn’s Special Herbal Preserve, Made To A Unique Recipe And Guaranteed To Cure A Wide Range Of Ailments & Maladies, and a team of over-zealous sniffer dogs. This is clearly a terrible misunderstanding. However, it does rather explain Cyn’s somewhat hastily announced “Big European Jolly” (see below). Auntie dearest – wherever you are – your loving nephew sends you his heartfelt gratitude for being such splendid company over the past week.

Thanks also to Mac, whose virtual acquaintance I have enjoyed making. What with all my pop-culture Anglicisms, I don’t always do a terribly good job at nurturing an overseas readership, so it’s good to form bridges across the water. I’m equally grateful to Quarsan for waxing lyrical about one of my favourite periods in music – the post-punk era – and for maintaining some directly music-related content on this site.

And then there was John, who I’m sure has endeared himself to us all over the past week. I’m not sure which part of “you should be prepared to make a minimum of five posts, spread reasonably evenly over the week” he failed to grasp, but never mind. I blame the falling standards in our educational institutes, obviously. “I’m just like Jack from Will & Grace, only hotter“, he claims. Clearly no twink, then! Hope you enjoyed having your URL at the top of the page all week, and all that FABULOUS extra traffic, John!

On to next week’s guests, then. They are, in alphabetical order:

Buni, loyal old mucker, confidante, partner in crime, and my stalwart companion on the podium at NG1 on Wednesday nights, when the R&B section kicks in. Many of you have asked me how to pronounce his name: does it rhyme with Bugs Bunny, or George Clooney? The answer is, of course, neither. It’s pronounced Boo-NAY.

Fiona is a twenty-something database administrator for a global internet company, who can still remember the wet paint smell of the Web from the early Nineties. She has written for various sites in various guises, and under too many pseudonyms to list, without ever settling down to blog in one place.

London Mark should need no introduction. Founder member (and indeed sole member) of the self-appointed Blogging Z-List – as he will remind you at every conceivable opportunity – Mark is perhaps best known for his exemplary “The Art Of…” series. For a master-class in The Art Of Guest Blogging, keep ’em locked on Mark’s postings over the next seven days. (I haven’t over-sold him, have I?)

Melodrama is a web mistress and self-confessed drama queen, currently living in Calcutta. Judging by the number of referrals which came my way following her endorsement of this site on her blog – the most referrals I have ever received from a single weblog – she is quite a force to be reckoned with.

Hello India, with your thriving and constantly expanding IT industry! Got any vacancies for a washed up mainframe systems developer? Also, could you tell me more about those Ayurvedic Spas of yours? It’s just that K likes the sound of them, and is considering coming over for a week in November to avail himself of their delights.

Zena is an international woman of mystery, currently residing in London. That’s all she wants you to know for now. Yes, that makes five guests this week. Yougottaproblemwiththat?

Guest Week Three starts….NOW.