Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Yeah I'm Gonna Beat My Kids

It might yet be a while till I’m a father but this discussion still interests me. When it comes to the debate on whether or not to beat your children (and by beat I mean spank) I’ve heard long and drawn out arguments from each side.

- Child abuse
- Discipline
- Lazy parenting
- Necessary parenting

The list goes on and on, and strong arguments are made in this verbal tug-of-war. Occasionally an opinion falls into the flammable cipher and everyone gasps in horror at its simplicity. A point of view so straightforward it surely cannot hold any weight. Can it?

“I’m going to beat my kids because my parents told me to.”


Yes, my parents have both directly and indirectly given me a truck load of reasons to beat my future kids if they step out of line. To suggest that I’ll beat my kids because they told me to sounds more or less spineless and cowardly; I won’t dispute that. So maybe if I break it down for you you’ll let me keep my testicles.

First and foremost, this debate doesn’t hold much weight where I’m from; the capital of Africa, home of the brave 419’ers . . . Beyonce sang our national anthem, that makes her one of us. Jay-Z drew water from our wells . . . but I’m not too keen on him so he can stick to the projects.

In Nigeria its common to beat your children when they step out of line, I’d go as far as saying it’s the number one disciplinary option. I got beats, my bro and sister got beats . . . I went to my cousins’ homes and they got beats . . . I’m certain that if I was raised in Nigeria I would have gone to school and got beats.

This was pretty much the norm in my upbringing. I never liked getting whooped, what kid would? Don’t dislike and discipline go hand in hand?

Would it be fair to say that they beat it into my nature? My culture and environment have imposed several other traits on me after all; I believe that this is another one of them.

I’m not eager to beat my kids; surely that’s when the issue slips into child abuse. But now I appreciate the line that was drawn between me and my parents . . . even though I spent the first half of my life loving but not liking them that much. In that sense I’d say they went too far with the discipline. I never looked at my parents as friends, as buddies, as pals. It was always mum and dad; approach with caution.

Beatings at my expense allowed my parents to maintain the parent child relationship. You could of course argue that other disciplinary forms would have been just as effective at instilling fear and respect. Did my parents know at the time that their disciplinary authority over me was dependant on whether the beatings hurt me or not? Surely they were aware that I’d grow older, that one day they’d dish out a beating and I wouldn’t even flinch, much less cry. They knew right?

Of course they did!

I never got a beating that was unjustified, not one I can remember anyway. And unless caught in the act, I was given the opportunity to plead my case (or think up a good lie). Every beating came with a lecture that usually lasted at least one hour; they sat while I stood. My days, the lectures were honestly more painful than the beatings. The older and smarter I grew, the less beats I received and the longer the lectures lasted. Notice the shift?

To further justify my decision to beat my future children I’ll draw attention to another significant ingredient of my upbringing. That ingredient is religion. Raised as a Christian, I went to church on Sundays, read my Bible, and prayed before I went to bed. I often listened in church with tentative ears, hoping (almost praying) to hear loopholes that would benefit my budding mind. None arose, but several suggested that a Christian lifestyle might better fit the parents.

- Honour thy father and mother
- No sex until you’re married
- Spare the rod, spoil the child

God was on my parents’ side. Another reason to begrudge them . . . and He also had several reasons to be angry with me. Three on one . . . you might even say it was five on one (if your brain has warmed up). Not the kind of odds for a kid to get excited about.

Some relief comes in knowing that when I take the parent role God will be on my side if I have to beat my kids. They won’t like it, but hopefully one day, after I've beaten stupidity and rebelliousness out of them, they’ll see me as more of a friend . . . sort of how I see my parents now.

A to the. . .

Friday, 20 July 2007

The Fake Summer Of 2007 . . . Part Two

The weather is picking up (not today though) slightly and I’m gripping ever so tightly on hope. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to cruise Oxford Street this summer with no intention whatsoever to shop. It really isn’t much of a summer without the sun.

Girls don’t look the same. Their faces exhibit a scowl that says ‘Don’t even think about it.’ They’re all covered up also . . . I don’t mean to sound like a perve, but isn’t that one of the perks of summer? Rear ending drivers because you’re not watching the road; jumping off a bus at random stops to chase a girl down the street for her number; starring at breasts with you shades on while you ask of her age, and where she lives. Then calling her up that same night because you know she has five other guys trying to ‘link’ her . . . got to scrap the three day rule.

The rain is pouring as I type this. Heavy shower . . . perfect conditions for jet skiing, high diving or surfing. It’s a shame I’m into none of the above or I’d be outside now in my trunks having the time of my life . . . don’t worry about the thunder and lightening.

I’m in desperate need of a heat wave! At least one so that I can get a fresh trim, drop two-hundred press-ups, iron a fresh white t-shirt, bring the white on white trainers out the box and stroll aimlessly along the city’s central (Zinger Tower Burger in hand) looking for ways get myself in trouble.

My highlight of this summer is my trip to Texas. What a great way to kick off the summer. Crazy heat, and not a single cloud in the sky for seven days (ok, there was one rain storm). A wedding, two parties, shopping for about four days, more food than I could meet, family times and I made a bunch of buddies.

So I got off the pane at Heathrow on what would now seem like an out of place sunny day. Didn’t want to be back, but the sun came with me, ‘Let’s rock and roll.’

. . . Well you know how that story goes : (

Don’t need the sun to have fun but it helps, and provides a few more options and far less female scowls!

A to the . . .

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Fuel My Imagination

“China will fire rockets at the sky to scatter any rain clouds before next year's Beijing Olympics, according to the China Meteorological Association.”

From David McMahon’s authorblog.

So, the Chinese want to use rockets in an attempt at ensuring better weather at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I can’t see a problem with that . . . But I’m told that they don’t get a lot of rainy weather; it’s quite possible that they simply like blowing things up.

This got me thinking as I swung in my chair at work, pondering on ways to waste time . . .

. . . If rockets can make the Olympics a better event, surely they could improve the quality of my living.

The Chinese want to use rockets to scatter rain clouds; I’d use them to scatter . . .

. . . Dirty dishes when I’m in a rush to go out. And if I’m in no particular rush I’d just leave a hand grenade in the sink . . . BOOM! No more dirty dishes . . . and bye bye kitchen. Two birds, one stone.

. . . Monday morning queues at the train station. This comes with a warning, ‘I need to top up my Oyster card, move over or get blown up. I can’t be late for work again or I’ll have to blow up my boss.’

Rockets will also assist my work and social life immensely.

. . . Nothing yells ‘Ak-Man’s in the house!’ louder than rockets.

. . . Want to empress the shirts at your job interview? Fire a rocket at the meeting door and walk through the dust, debris and smoke clouds in your finest attire. Try to get yourself some background music to add effect. ‘Nice to meet you.’

. . . Want to create a perfect moment to give your date that special first kiss? She’ll remember the fireworks for a long time . . . you might even get invited in for ‘coffee’ . . . sweet premarital coffee.

And I definitely find my way to the 2008 Beijing Olympics!

New world records for the hundred meter sprint and high jump. Yeah I could enter a few more competitions, and smash a few more records, but I hear China is a very nice country. The fastest developing country in world history . . . I want to see the sights and put my feet up. Plus the weather will be nice and I’d get to sport my shades.

What would you do with your rockets?

A to the . . .

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Answers From A Former McDonalds Employee

It should now be common knowledge that I did hard time at McD’s. Shortly after my release I began rehabilitated myself and slowly integrated myself into a modernized society once more. A model citizen, some might say.

A few scars remained however; pictures still vivid in my head. The nightmares used to feel so real; they’d wake me out of my sleep . . .

“Can I get a cheeseburger with no cheese please?”
“A hamburger?”
“Are you deaf? A cheeseburger with no cheese moron.”

So I opened up the forum, and said I’d write up a response to your comments. Here’s what we got . . .

Eugene D. Gibson said...
Aa a former worker of McDonald's here in the Bahamas I understand your plight.I like your content keep it up!

I’m sure you do Eugene. Same company, different parts of the world. And it’s not exactly a glamorous establishment which entices interesting (or even well-mannered) folk. Just hungry people who want cheap, low quality food . . . and they want it now.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...
Ah, I used to work the till at Woolies. I hated it. It was before the days of security tags. My way with getting even with the system was to give three for two on every purchase I put through. Seems I was way ahead of my time..

Ahead in more ways than one Carol. I used to dish out a few bits and bobs . . . not to get back at the company though, my case was pure negligence. And if people complained about not having enough fries I used to go over the top and cram in as many fries as the carton could take.

Bart said...
What exactly IS the secret sauce?
How much food gets nuked as opposed to fresh grilling/heating?
How the f do sesame seeds stick to the buns?

The secret sauce is such a secret that even employees don’t know it. The packets had no info about the ingredients. They used to deliver the boxes in unmarked vehicles.

Surprisingly, not much nuked at all. Only pancakes got the microwave treatment. ZAP! The rest was fried, grilled or toasted.

Sesame seeds on buns? They are holding on for their lives. What purpose do they have except being eaten? Either that or end up getting flicked off a table. I’d cling too.

Xymyl said...
I never had the McJoy of getting McPaid. I never even bothered to apply at my local McDonalds. Everybody there had 4 year degrees, and I was a high school drop out. I knew I would never be accepted as part of that elite group.
I wish they had Indian McDonalds in the U.S. They probably wouldn’t have hired me either because I most certainly would have been in a lower McCast.
I could really go for a McAloo Tikki right now.

You’ve got me thinking about the possibility of a Nigerian McDonald’s (not a McDonald’s in Nigeria).

Fried McChicken with McJollof and of course, the nation’s favorite beverage, Supermalt. It’s bedtime after that inexpensive, belly bulging meal deal.

Deborah Gamble said...
In the United States they have strict rules like the Happy Meal paper bag must be folded twice down at one inch creases. Same for the UK?

I used to just scrunch the top of the bag and hand it over with a compensating smile. I have no time for company policy. “Next”

If there was a rule about Happy Meals I didn’t obey it.

Shareen said...
McDonalds!!!!!!!!! Dont it bring back memories? I actually liked working there for a while as well, but only when i was doing kids parties, until i realised they were taking the mick out of my life! Il neva regret working there still :)

I don’t regret working their either. I regret staying as long as I did though. Four years later and I still get grub from there, and see people I used to work with. I wonder if they’ll ever be released. Some were there before me.

Doug said...
Hey ak-man,
The horror,the horror.
I too worked in fast food longer
than I wish to remember.
Nothing like coming home with
a layer of grease on your body.
I'm returning to my blog two
days a week so come by and say

I used to come home stinking of fast food. I also used to bring some home on many occasions. I ate way too much of that trash and never got sick of it. I made my own custom burger; it was called the Ak-Mac (I really did this). It was a heavy duty burger; I was only allowed to make it when certain managers were on shift. Quarter buns, two slabs quarter meat, lettuce, Mac sauce, and some other ingredients that weren’t what they appeared. Hmmmm . . . tasty.

I could do with a McChicken Premiere right now actually. Make it a large meal with a still Fanta and an apple pie.

A to the . . .

Friday, 13 July 2007

Papyrus Crack

I have to keep my buzz going, don’t like coming down from it, it makes me nervous and jittery. I get snappy, easily agitated and become unstable. Pathetic and desperate, those two words best fit. It’s not quite a site to behold, so I purchase three books at a time from Waterstone’s to keep my high. It’s ok though, buy two and get the third one free . . . a financially friendly addiction.

Imagine if they did crazy deals like this for crack rocks or weed bags? Becoming a drug addict would have financial benefits. You could get wasted and save money at the same time. You’d in fact be stupid not to take advantage of it . . . come on, everyone else is doing it. And we all love a good deal right? I just wish I had a good use for books after I finished them . . . it’s the used syringe predicament all over again.

My latest fix is provided by the effort of James Robertson. I’m five chapters into ‘The Testament Of Gideon Mack’ and I’ve started showing addictive symptoms once again.

- Almost missing my stop on the train
- Vigilantly reading a page or two at work
- Isolating my self in my bedroom for long stretches
- Having company in the toilet
- “Just one more chapter”

Finding a good book to read is no easy task, there are several to choose from and you can’t judge them by their cover, neither by their blurb. At least a bad movie only last a few hours if that. Your best bet is to hope for a good recommendation, or like me you can jot down a few titles that look interesting and then check out their reviews when you get home. I don’t want to pick up another ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ . . . that was like finding out you’d been sold flour and not cocaine . . . Pillsbury nose.

I really shouldn’t praise or snub books until I’ve actually finished reading them . . . but then it wouldn’t be A Darker Shade Of Black would it? You don’t have to eat the whole burger to know if you like it . . . yeah there could be a fly or a hair hanging out of the other end but we’ll cross that bridge if we get to it . . . or bite around it.

The Testament Of Gideon Mack, this is my kind of book. It’s certainly funny, in a ‘nobody understands me’ kind of way. I like the fact that the main character (Gideon Mack) doesn’t seek approval or comfort for his eccentricities. He just wants his story to be heard, he leaves perception up to you.

By the way, everyone thinks he’s crazy because he claims to have met the Devil . . . and he’s also a minister of God. So you’d probably prepare yourself for a battle between good and evil . . . nope, this book challenges the thin line between sanity and insanity (he says as if he's read the whole thing).

Robertson has an engaging writing style; you feel an urge to flip the page even when he breaks down some of the most mundane topics. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m writing this whilst staring at the book and wanting to pick it up and read more.

I’m yet to reach the depth of the woods; I’m hoping that the novel becomes even more absorbing. Robertson is still setting the scene and familiarising me with this Gideon fellow who doesn’t seem to have any friends, just acquaintances who think he’s insane. Religion holds a lot of weight in this novel; I’m expecting more references, history lessons, theories and possibly some controversial content.

Is Gideon insane? Quite possibly, I’ll have a better idea once I finish the book.

A to the . . .

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Ak-Man’s Guide To Blind Dating . . . Part One

Through some of my rants and bickers you may have got the impression that I am a grumpy old man; this is not the case. I’m a strapping young lad . . . quite the pessimist no doubt, but still young and vibrant. I don’t spend all of my time looking through cynical turd coloured shades, if that was the case I wouldn’t constantly have people trying to hook me up with their associates.

I’ve decided to write up a little guide to blind dating . . . you ask why? Well because it’s highly probable that I’ve been on more blind dates than anyone I know. Everyone and their mother have tried to set me up . . . as if I can’t set myself up.

My track record for blind dates is quite abysmal, but this says more about the people who tried to set me up. They clearly don’t know me at all. For all those interested my ideal woman is Kelly Rowland (Marry Me) . . . yes I have raised my bar that high.

I’ll be breaking it down into two parts:

- Before the date
- During the date

After the date you’ll likely go home with no urge to ever see the person again so I don’t need to write a post about the aftermath do I? Of course there is a chance that you might actually get along and be attracted to each other, but it’s a slim one if that. So the first rule of blind dating is . . .

Don’t get your hopes up . . .
When someone tells you that they want to set you up, don’t get excited. Chill out for a second yeah? Hear them out, nod and agree so you can see what’s up. Let them throw you their best pitch with icing and a cherry on top . . . flogging a friend is like selling a used car. They’ll highlight the good points and act as if there are no bad ones; this is to be expected.

Don’t ask about appearances . . .
You’ll be curious and that’s normal. But if they don’t have a picture to show you then don’t even bother asking. If the blind date has it going on in the looks department your so called friend will bring this up before you even think to enquire. It’ll be like a USP (Unique Selling Point) but keep in mind that attraction isn’t universal so you really do have to meet them if you want to know what’s up.

Try and avoid calling your date before the date . . .
Yes, that includes the most confident and charismatic of us. Remember I’m experienced in this department. Your pal might suggest that the two of you switch numbers before the ‘big day’. Reject the offer and sternly tell them not to give your number to the other party.

If like myself you have an ambiguous personality this move is a RED ALERT. You’ll either generate an adhesive bond or free up space in your calendar. It doesn’t seem like a dumb move at all . . . not until the date is over and you regret using all of your free air time on her . . . Ak-Man knows best.

The right questions to ask . . .
You’re going to want to know if the blind date meets up to your requirements . . . unless you don’t get out much and are desperate. I’m assuming it’s neither so here are some questions that are smarter to ask than ‘What does she look like?’

How do you know him/her?
Please don’t put it past your friends to try and set you up with someone they’ve only known for a New York minute. They might even be trying to set you up with a friend of a friend . . . not a good move if you ask me. In a world full of weirdoes you really have to be extra cautious about how you spend your evenings.

What do they do?
Are they mentally stable enough to hold a good job or acquire some educational certificates? Don’t inquire too much into the individual, you'll want to leave some mystery for the date . . . or have a few questions at the ready for those awkward silences. But once again, if you aren’t desperate try not to end up on a date with Eddie before he Traded Places or America’s Next Top Gold Digger.

Why don’t you go out with them?
If your friend is single and of the same gender as you . . . then . . . well it makes sense to question why they would want to send you on a date with ‘such a nice person’ while they sit at home watching back-to-back episodes of South Park.

Do your stretches and cardiovascular workouts, push for a double date then you’re good to go. You’ve played it hard but fair so far, well done, that was the easy part. . . . Part Two is up next. What to do on the date.

A to the . . .

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Fake Summer Of 2007

The poor weather has slashed the number of sickies taken by workers by nearly a fifth. Last summer, employees called in sick to bask in blazing temperatures. But during the wettest June on record, the number of sickies fell by 17 per cent and many workers even put in extra hours, said absence management company FirstCare, which carried out the research.Metro, Friday, July 6, 2007

What kind of foolishness . . .

I was only joking when I said that this ‘summer’ would be recorded in the history books. Now tales will be handed down for generations regarding The Fake Summer Of 2007 . . . a joke at the time, but now it’s the case.

I never saw this coming; never even had a clue. I was actually running my mouth in the early stages of spring claiming that this would be the hottest summer in quite some time. I got back on my 8 min abs routine and started over doing the press-ups again. Even bought some new clothes and a hot pair of sunshades . . . I was up for it; ready to rock and roll . . . then it started raining and it hasn’t stopped since.

People are strolling around with their winter jackets on and their umbrellas at the ready. Unless you go to a nightclub it’s pretty damn hard to find scantly clad women. The lager louts are keeping their shirts on and kids are yet to burn the field behind my house. Is there any advantage to this fake summer? I can only imagine the agricultural industries benefiting from these downpours . . . and of course environmentalist who would have us believe that we are suffering because we have neglected our ecosystem.

If you don’t live in the UK then you might not think that this is a big deal . . . please believe me, this is bigger than a big deal!

In the UK we’re use to crappy summers, but we like knowing that we’ll usually get a few heat waves here and there. We like knowing that it might not always be a sunny day, but it’ll always be frustratingly hot. We love the fact that our bosses know we’re not sick but allow us the day off regardless knowing that they’ll skip a couple of days the following week.

What’s in store for us this summer? Err . . . more rain and wind. We’ve had floods and hailstones already, so snow in July isn’t that far fetched (seriously people, it’s that bad).

I’ll find something to do . . . already been getting myself into little dramas here and there. Fortunately this isn’t a ‘Dear Diary’ style blog so that’s all I’ll say about that.

Hopefully we’ll get a nice day where I can sport my killer shades and stroll aimlessly along Oxford Street checking out London’s finest ladies.

A to the . . .

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

I Should Have Been In Shrek The Third

OK, OK . . . I know I made bunch of noise for not being considered for a role in the blockbuster 300 (I Should Have Been In 300) , but this surely a greater travesty!

Shrek The Third? Great film, I won’t dispute that at all, they had me cracking up throughout . . . the ending was a bit cheesy but that’s to be expected right? The humour was varied and at times surprisingly intelligent. I knew a few jokes were only for potential MENSA applicants when I was the only person in the cinema laughing.

So what’s my problem with Shrek The Third?

I’ll blooming tell you!

A bunch of washed up and faded bad guys! That was the problem. I hope I’m not the only person who thinks that Shrek got off a little easy? Trust me, if I was Prince Charming I would have put together a stronger brigade of bad ass villains! And what’s the deal with Captain Hook . . . he’s from Never Never Land right? Not Far Far Away . . . disgusting, but we won’t get into that.

I should have played Prince Charmin . . . I can relate to his anguish. Let us not forget that Prince Charmin, like my self used to be a good guy. But sadly everything was taken from him and he ended up at the bottom of the pile . . . a laughing stock (not me, Prince Charmin) . . . it’s a cold world kid. And didn’t his mother die is Shrek 2? He had good reasons to flip over to the dark side. If I was him, it would be serious beef! Forget the fairy tale villains; I’ll be bringing out the big guns! You want washed up bad guys? . . . And wholesome family fun?

Presenting to you first Mumrah . . .

This guy along could probably wipe the floor with the whole of Far Far Away. Sworn enemy to the ThunderCats, Mumrah was always ‘oh so close’. I’m not sure of what exactly it was he wanted to achieve (most likely world domination) but those ThunderCats frustrated the hell out of him. He’ll be my right hand man . . . he can do crazy stuff with lightning, that’ll come in handy. He sleeps a hell of a lot though, that might be a problem.

Next in line is Shredder . . .

Highly skilled in hand to hand combat and also used to taking orders. Shredder is what I’d call an advanced foot soldier; he likes to roll up his sleeves and get involved with the dirty work. And give him some credit people; he had to work alongside those two morons Bebop and Rocksteady. The turtles should be ashamed, they occasionally scuffed him four and one and he came out looking pretty good most days.

OK, maybe I’m making this a little unfair on Shrek but next up is Skeletor . . .

Oh, you thought He-Man (no relation) was a tough guy? Skeletor made sure He-Man had no days off. He commanded his own army and was an excellent swordsman . . . it was more like a long perilous stick that he wielded but swordsman sounds more impressive on a CV. He was in great shape for a ‘man’ who many thought was made of bones (his name and face does give that impression), check out the triceps; you have to do specific workouts to get those.

I don’t think we are in need of anymore man power so last and probably least is Eric Cartman . . .

His heartless and self-centred characteristics make him the South Park front man. You can see him in the picture above liking tears of off Scott Tenorman's face; why would he do that? Well Cartman had the kids parents killed, swiped their bodies and made a chilli out of them . . . he then tricked Scott into eating his own parents. Cartman will head the torture and interrogations departments. He’ll also be my constant supply of wisecracks; the other guys don’t really look like a fun bunch.

I’m not actually sure if this will remain as a comedic family film. I don’t even think the good guys will win! Who’s going to step to us? Puss In Boots and Donkey? They’ll most likely be the ingredients to our celebratory meal. Can anyone say chilli?

You know I should have been in Shrek The Third!

A to the . . .

Sunday, 1 July 2007

One Step Ahead

In your face b*tch!!!

On the 1st of July 2007 (22:00) Channel 4 aired a show titled ‘Memoirs of a Cigarette’. This was the same day in which the UK enforced its smoking ban.

Channel 4 decided to document the history of smoking in the media . . . how original channel 4, I expected so much more from you. I kind of did this already you b*tches! My three part self documentation called ‘The Autobiography Of A Non-Smoker Who Kind Of Smoked’ . . . ring any bells?

So Channel 4 pretty much stole my innovative dichotomy and reworked it with achieved clips and celebrity appearances. I couldn’t (be bothered to) go through all of that effort when just like Channel 4 I wasn’t really making a solid point . . . I was also just telling a few stories. I guess I could have run a few searches on YouTube and pulled up the funniest clips though; maybe next time.

So finally, as apposed to realising that all my ideas have been done already, I come to find that for once I can claim that someone else has copied me.

And my effort never had lame quotes like:

“John Travolta is a fantastic smoker. When he smokes he just looks so cool” – Some Travolta groupie . . . didn’t catch his name.

A to the . . .