Sunday, December 30, 2007

You thought I disliked football? You haven't heard me rant about steam engines!

Just for starters here’s my review of the Thomas Tank Engine book A Cow on the Line by the Rev Awdry. Let’s introduce it with that lovely theme tune from the TV series. Here we go…

♫ ♫ De de de de de de derrrrrrrrrrrrde de de de de de de de de de derrrrrrrrr…♫ ♫
Come on, get into the spirit now!

(Alternatively, put your ear muffs on.)

There, don’t you feel exhilarated. No? Why not? Perhaps it’s because that repetitive tune is enough to drive a woman who has seen every engine shed and pisston in the whole of England to sheer and utter madness. (Me, obviously) In fact when I hear it, I reach for my double barrelled shotgun in order to blow my brains out. Unfortunately, the kids keep holding me back:

“No, no, Mummy you must watch this bit. It’s so funny!"

Yeah, yeah…and Gordon Brown isn't Scottish.

The reasons I've selected A Cow on the Line to review from the many Thomas books are:

a) It doesn't have Thomas in the title and I'm sick of him.

b) It sounded like it could be marginally more absorbing than the others. ( Until I opened it.)

Review: there’s a cow on the line and regrettably it doesn't get run over which would have made the whole storyline a lot more interesting.

Have you noticed that the Thomas stories are a little repetitive? No? Perhaps you were spaced out by the constant choo-chooing and poop pooping. Strangely enough, when I want to know about puffing and panting it's not this kind of book I want to read.

I suppose the kids like the Thomas books but really they’re not that imaginative or particularly well written... and somewhat dated especially as Thomas doesn't transform into an intergalactic engine that flies to the moon and destroys all other steam engines in his path. Shame really.

De de de de de derrrrrrrrrrr, de de de de de....... ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

Right then -you should be getting the idea now that I'm not keen on steam engines. In fact the only thing that could be worse than a steam engine is a steam engine full of football supporters. I equate this to being in purgatory: when the inevitable happens and should I have been too naughty a girl to wing my way to the pearly gates my punishment will be an endless train journey squashed in a tatty seat, surrounded by drunken Luton Town Supporters. (All wearing baggy shorts.)

Yes, I’ve stood on, sat on and admired numerous steam engines. I’ve even risked my life by driving with only one hand on the steering wheel whilst pointing out the window and yelling “Look! There’s a steam engine whoo-whoo!” Yes, when you’re desperate to avoid the kids vomiting or stabbing each other in the back seat of the car it’s amazing how even the most boring things become suddenly so interesting. Yes, I’ve been known to become positively orgasmic at the site of a digger or a crane in full action. Sad, but true.

So what is it about steam engines that men find so exciting? Well obviously steam engines have big round wheels which are a major plus factor. (The male fascination with all things round a subject I have already espoused upon.) They are also disgustingly dirty and greasy, rather like football boots. (Which men also find appealing but as any mother knows must remain that way until 10 minutes before they are next required when hubby will use the best cutlery to prise the dirt off and invariably flick it all over the kitchen worktops.) Steam engines are also very noisy and grate on the nerves, again rather like football supporters, and every now again they emit an irritating whistle that sends shivers down the spine of any women stood on a platform knowing soon she will have to fork out an extortionate amount of money for a short and hideously uncomfortable journey. So to sum up; men like noisy, greasy, dirty things with big round bits which occasionally make high pitched squeaking noises. Sorry I can’t fully explain why…but it is obviously why Jordan is so popular.

Pictured below is Jordan. Britain's premier glamour model. Just as well she didn't want to be swimmer as she might have encountered a few problems. Beach ball might have been a suitable alternative though. Rumour has it that she is involved in scientific experiments to see how far human skin can stretch before it spontaneously combusts - not long to go now obviously.

Implants at their best/worst. Why Jordan is pointing at her breasts I've no idea as even without
my glasses I'm not having difficulty in seeing them.
Anyhow, here are my top tips for ensuring your son doesn’t become one of those old men lovingly stroking some olds nuts or a large rusty pisston;

1.Don’t buy him a train set. Buy him Monopoly instead; with any luck he might become a property magnet and you won’t have to sell your house to pay off his student debts.

2.Don’t buy him a Casey Jones type hat because a) he’ll look pretty stupid and b) he may end up as a cross dresser.

3.Don’t buy any Thomas the Tank Engine Books and if anyone gives them to you burn them along with any copies of Postman Pat. (Sorry, it won’t be smokeless fuel, but it’ll be very satisfying.)

4.Don’t let him watch any Thomas the Tank Engine video or DVD… he might pick up a Liverpool accent (which frankly would be worse than becoming a train driver.)

5.Encourage him to play “chef” in the kitchen and if he can also develop a lisp he could become an overpaid TV chef, producing inedible dishes but being paid heaps of cash which hopefully you will be able to (discreetly) embezzle.

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