Saturday, 21 January 2017

More undesirables

Way back in 2011, I listed a few things I thought the world could do without, things that are pointless, annoying or ridiculous. Well, I realised there are plenty more of those. So I thought I'd spring a few more on you. How about:

High heels. An absurd invention. They prevent women from walking or running properly. They're painful and they damage your body. And if they're so sexy, who aren't men wearing them?

Breast implants. What's wrong with natural breasts? Why do they have to be surgically altered? Why the self-hatred? They're just a nice little earner for plastic surgeons.

Aphrodisiacs. Either you're feeling sexy or you're not. I can't believe all those weird aphrodisiacs with rhino horn or cobra blood or baboon urine actually work. Love, laughter and wine usually do the trick.

Nibbles. What's with all the little bowls of nuts, olives and crisps? They just spoil your appetite for the actual meal. And leave crumbs all over the carpet and down the back of the sofa.

Stag nights. Just an excuse for binge-drinking, sexist jokes and general debauchery. And most of those present are squirming and wishing they were a hundred miles away.

Wedding cakes. Supposedly the multi-tiered cake started as a status symbol. The more tiers and the higher the cake, the more prosperous you were. A handy cash-cow for the local bakery.

Twitter. Now synonymous with hate-filled trolls who persecute anyone with unorthodox opinions. People usually too cowardly to reveal their real identities. An anti-social menace.

Miniature dogs. What's the attraction of grotesquely tiny dogs? I gather they're mostly artificial breeds prone to unpleasant ailments due to their small size. Normal-size dogs, please.

Celebrity gossip. I'm sick of the endless obsession with the minutiae of celebrity lives. I enjoy their art or music or films, but I'm indifferent to their marital spats or their diet tips.

Boxer shorts. Totally impractical garments. Not remotely sexy or enticing. Completely unsuited to the male anatomy, which requires something tighter and snugger.

Do add your own bĂȘtes noires if you so wish.

See also the original list


  1. Facebook - which now trawls through my address book and browsing history and cannot be stopped from regularly trawling through my old posts to remind me of "my memories." I think the only option is to close my account, which is a pity because it is quite nice to see what everyone else is up to.
    I don't agree about wedding cakes, they are often a lot of fun and bakeries have to keep going somehow.

  2. Jenny: Facebook is good for keeping in touch with people, picking up interesting information, and humorous stuff. But I agree the unwanted ads, the old memories and all that gratuitous rubbish is very annoying.

    I knew wedding cakes would be a controversial one!

  3. Olives and nuts are exceedingly healthy. If eating them lessens the amount of less healthy stuff you'd eat at dinner, that seems to the good.

    High heels are a thing because they accentuate butts and calves. However, they are indeed uncomfortable and I wear them only rarely. Totally on board about breast implants and other vanity surgeries. They alter what we view as normal and just serve to make women feel like they aren't good enough on their own.

    I'm personally a fan of boxer briefs for men. More practical than boxers but way more attractive than briefs (which look a little silly to me).

  4. Why are you so annoyed over the inconsequential, superficial and unimportant? Surely, at your age there are more weighty things to contemplate than breast implants.

    If you don't want to read celebrity gossip, don't read celebrity gossip.

    Whatever underwear you prefer keep it between you and your drawer.

    Considering that people celebrate big occasions with food let them eat cake.

    Why even mention twitter? You could have chosen from hundreds of follies. Not least apps to facilitate your life.

    What is it to you if some New Yorker carries a miniature dog in her handbag? It's between her, her handbag and the dog.

    What else? Stag nights. If people want to make asses of themselves let them get on with it. Don't gawp at them as if they were a pile up on the M25.

    I do agree with you that nibbles are questionable. Not for the reason you mention. Oh, no. Stop gaps are good. But because everyone digs into the communal bowl of nibbles with their finger tips. If ever there was anything less hygienic ... Never mind. Bon appetit.

    High Heels. A bit of a sore subject with me. Not because I agree with all you say about them. Take it from a life long wearer, if you don't skimp on quality, get the right fitting, not least the width across your foot's span, they are heaven on a stiletto. If you looked at my feet (and I'll let you should the occasion arise) they are a thing of beauty, no malformation. So, please don't tell me that they are an abomination.

    What is more of an abomination, or rather regrettable, that you so contradict yourself. You ask what high heels, breast implants and god knows what else may enhance both looks and performance are for, to only then wax lyrical on the lure of some type of boxers/briefs or as as John would say "bunny snugglers" hold. See the irony?


  5. I like olives, but the rest of your list doesn't apply to me. Perfectly happy without them.

  6. Agent: Oh, I agree, nuts and olives are very healthy. But possibly a meal-spoiler. Exactly, breast implants can make women without them feel inadequate.

    Not keen on boxer briefs either, except the girlie ones! And certainly not if they have Calvin Klein in huge letters along the waistband.

  7. Ursula: Good grief, an essay! Well, this is just my personal opinion and your own may be (and obviously is) very different. And believe me, if I was banging on about weighty issues like President Trump and Brexit, I suspect my readers would vanish in droves. There's wall-to-wall coverage of all that in the media anyway.

    Why so coy about underwear? I wasn't exactly waxing lyrical about one type or another, I was just saying which ones I don't care for. And there's a big difference between an everyday garment and (a) painful footwear and (b) surgical implants.

    I gather the secret of comfortable high heels is for your weight to be evenly distributed along the shoe. Otherwise agony is thoroughly predictable.

    Yes, that's the other thing about nibbles - the awful practice of double-dipping.

  8. Jean: Ah, a woman after my own heart! I like olives too. And nuts and crisps. But they strike me as excessive if you're just going to have a proper meal.

  9. I remember the days when men wore string vests....sincerely hope that those days are gone.
    Still, I suppose they were an improvement on coms...

  10. LOL!
    but see... olives and nuts and crisps are very often my dinner.
    of course I'm in my own home so the unhealthy double dipping isn't a problem. just the unhealthy lack of nutrients I suppose!
    one of my own personal pet peeves...
    the rubber neckers at a wreck on the highway. everybody slows down to a crawl just to gawk at the poor people's predicament.

  11. I enjoy a good list, Nick! You are certainly allowed an opinion on undesirables!

    Personally, I LOVE a huge wedding cake. It was really the only thing that mattered to me at my wedding (besides the groom, of course!) These days, cakes seem a lot smaller, or are substituted with other things. Sad! (Stealing that from Trump! Ha!)

    I could do without the ridiculous gas guzzlers I see on the road.

  12. I agree with most of those - others bother me less so, but it's all very personal.
    Social media apps have their uses, but the down sides can easily outweigh the benefits.
    I'm firmly against breast enhancement surgery. I love boobs but I don't care what size they are as long as they're natural. Obviously there has to be an exception for reconstructive surgery, and I can understand reduction in cases where a particularly large breasted woman is suffering back pain etc because of them.
    No time for celebrity nonsense, never been to a stag do, and I actually enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with wearing boxers unless I'm cycling in which case something that prevents a bollock getting trapped between the saddle and a thigh is essential.

  13. I recently read about a group of women who are declining breast implants after mastectomies. The reasons being that even without breasts they are still women and the reconstructive surgery poses more risk to a group whose health is already compromised

    1. All power to them. I guess the reason many elect for reconstruction is that they feel self conscious, perhaps more so if one side is gone. It's a personal choice and must be heartbreaking either way.
      I'm not a fan of tattoos on women, but I've seen many cases where women have had artwork tattooed on their chest to cover the scars, and if done well this often looks better than surgically reconstructed breasts.
      Terrible thing to go through for any woman, however she chooses to deal with the aftermath.

  14. Helen: I remember wearing string vests. Hideous things. I gave up wearing any kind of vest a long time ago.

    Tammy: I agree about the rubber neckers. Slowing down all the traffic and risking another accident just in the hope of seeing something gruesome. Pathetic.

  15. Bijoux: I remember when newly-weds would send pieces of wedding cake to all those folks who couldn't be at the wedding. Nowadays, if you aren't there, too bad!

    I agree about the gas guzzlers. I have a 1000cc turbo charged Renault Clio which is fine for my modest driving needs. But parents roll up to the local schools in massive people-carriers that must really burn up fuel.

    1. In UK and Europe at least, modern people carriers and SUVs are now available with very fuel efficient engines. Even something like a BMW X5 can average well over 40mpg. In the US however there doesn't appear to be much rush to follow suit because fuel is so cheap.

  16. Dave: Women are bombarded with ads and articles about breast size. No wonder they succumb to unnecessary surgery. I knew a woman who had breast reduction surgery but later regretted it and wished she'd left them as they were.

    Ouch! That sounds like a cycling predicament to be avoided at all costs.

  17. Kylie: Good for them. Absolutely right, they're still women, with or without breasts. And yes, implants not only carry medical risks but have to be regularly "corrected" or replaced.

    Dave: Fair enough if some women can't bear the thought of a flat chest and go for reconstruction. As you say, it's a personal choice. I agree, tattoos around the scars can look fabulous.

  18. Dave: Is that right? That's good news. With Trump so keen on fossil fuels, I imagine Americans will be even less interested in fuel efficiency.

    1. Ha! Thought you weren't going to mention the 'T' word...

  19. Dave: Mea culpa! It just slipped out....

  20. Why are all these things bother you ? It's free choice. I had a giant wedding cake and it has nothing to do about being prosperous. Sometimes the things you point out are really without any importance.You forget blogging cause normally people should favorise direct contact to others and not via an uncontrolled media...
    Mia More

  21. Mia: I'm not particularly bothered by them, I just think the world could do without them. And I'm not saying wedding cakes are always about prosperity, I'm just saying that's how they were seen in the past. Yes, my themes may be unimportant in the global scheme of things, but they're just things I feel like writing about.

    Sorry, but I can't understand your last sentence.

  22. There is a business decision behind almost all the items listed by you. Without the so called progress / development model that the world is now saddled with constant growth will have to keep coming up with useless but attractive products and services to stay in the same place in the free market capitalist system. I can come up with many more items, but all that will be wishful thinking. Better, not to indulge and let the suckers spend money on such wasteful products and services.

  23. Yes, the annoyances of lives. Some mine, some others. I now have a fifteen year old granddaughter who thinks high heels are in her birth certificate. Unless she can carry her head high, shoulders back and step heel, toe, heel toe, she must select another pair to go to the dance.

  24. Ramana: I hadn't thought of that, all these items are essentially unnecessary items that keep the business profits flowing. Very true. We could all have very enjoyable lives without any of them.

    Joanne: We absorb the message from a very early age that women should wear high heels to look more attractive, but men don't wear them because they would just look silly (ditto various other "female" garments).

  25. Just a great stand alone list Nick :)

  26. Thanks, Sub. I can't see you welcoming any of those things. Though maybe you succumbed to high heels at your wedding?

  27. Agreed except for boxers which i like on a man
    ( prefer tgem off) fanar fanarrrrrr!

  28. John: You naughty man, you. I did note the other day that you didn't think you would impress anybody in a pair of budgie smugglers.

  29. The original list had the colour orange!! Now there is an orange man running the US!! And because of that we need crisps more than ever.

  30. Scarlet: Indeed. And olives and nuts to distract us from the ideological carnage.

  31. I like small and varied portions of food and find that restaurants put their best cooking efforts into appetizers. So I'll order an appetizer or two and a salad and maybe a dessert when eating out.
    Twitter has its uses. Depends on who you follow. It needs some curating. No matter what you do, Facebook is a mess. Take as it is or leave it alone.

  32. Hattie: An interesting approach to restaurant fare. I must say I've had some disappointing main courses in my time.

    I like Facebook. As I said to Jenny, it's good for keeping in touch with people, getting information that doesn't surface in the regular media, and jokey stuff.