Archive for January, 2014

Here we go again.

Last post I was breathing a sigh of relief that the 9 days of no work were over and I was back to full time work. I had to have the weekend off by law, then nothing all week. It’s now Sunday, 9 days with no work again.

Monday and Tuesday I didn’t mind, to be honest. I had taken the car in for it’s MOT and it’s been raining every day so I didn’t fancy riding in. (8.6 miles, just looked it up on Google maps. Nearer than I thought.) After that though, all bills and no work so no money I was getting worried.

The MOT was a bit grim. My poor little Polo has been run into the ground. It’s an ‘05 plate VW diesel, so in theory should be good forever. As I say, the previous owner just ran it into the ground though.Nothing has been repaired, loads just botched. When I tried to change the oil filter I saw that the cover underneath the engine had screws missing and was secured by cable ties. It’s that level of bodging that I’m having to overcome.

Anyway, I needed a new arm for something or other, a new suspension coil, bushes, and a several small things. I told him (in light of the ‘managed decline’ ethos of the former owner) to give it a full service. All the filters, oil, etc. That was £180! I figured do it once, know that it’s done, then just do the basic service myself in future. The worst thing was he said the headlight beams were off alignment because the clips that hold them in place were missing. But they are not a part you can buy separately, so for the sake of a few pence clip you need to buy two new headlights. He said he’d try to bodge that for me, and he did, thankfully.

Then when he had it stripped he noticed the brake cylinders were dripping onto my rear brake pads. So new cylinders and pads as well.

All in, it cost me £599.09! (+ £54 for a tyre I got myself.) Then £110 for tax for the year.

With the £3,466 tax bill supposed to be paid by the end of the month. (You don’t have to, you can pay it by the end of February, with tiny interest.)

All in all, I am more than usually focused on getting some work.

 

My Tory tax dodge thing has come through. I’ve just signed the paperwork and am now a managing director of Buck the Truck Ltd. I think.  Fat lot of use that is if I’ve got no work.

It’s such a bummer because this is an ideal job for me, especially when they move to the site 1.3 miles from my doorstep. But I have bills to pay. So tomorrow I’m applying for the agency that recruits for Walkers Crisps. The online forums say I’m in for a grilling. It’s supposed to be a 6 hour, mad intense, induction. With a driving assessment stricter than the driving test. Health and Safety mad (a tale of one driver getting a warning for walking across the car park too fast) and it’s nights. Less than ideal then, but even if you believe the online stuff (best to take it as a hint of what it’s like and make up your own mind) they all agree it’s very good money for an easy job. Right now that’s what I need. Who knows, give it a year, make loads of dosh, then see if I can transfer to days. I’ve done nights for ages before. It’s not bad, just inconvenient. But if you’re looking at the best part of £16 an hour it’s dead right for me right now.

We’ll see. I’m not counting my chickens on that one. Every driver will be trying for that. Anyway, that’s my first choice, but there are lots of jobs advertised. All agency. My agency is advertising my job at the moment and there is no work, so just because there are adverts doesn’t mean there are jobs.

 

My ‘phone contract ran out this month so I got to upgrade. Luke recommended the Nexus 5, the all singing-all-dancing Android ‘phone. A Twitter nerd chum said it was a ‘solid choice’ and  ‘Android as Google intended it’. So I ordered that. The bonus being it is a pound a month less than my old Galaxy W. It is groovy. I had a few set up hiccoughs. I was waiting, as it said on one of the notes, for the sim card to activate. All day. In the end I re-read it and it said ‘or activate it yourself at ….’ Balls. That did it. Then I texted all my contacts with my new number and set to learning it. I had the old ‘phone 2 years and never learned the number. Then Luke pointed out that it *is* my old number. Bugger. That’ll explain the landline recognising me as ‘Buck’. I thought it was Google techo-voodoo.

Anyway, once I’d got it set up it’s a great ‘phone. And the camera has a pinch to zoom feature. Probably old hat, but my old ‘phone didn’t have it and I’m mightily impressed.

 

Wendy went for her scan results on Thursday. They had to check that none of the gallstones had migrated. This can lead to blockages and damage to vital organs. If they had, as we were dreading, she’d have had to have waited for an appointment to have an endoscopy to try to dislodge them, them wait for another MRI, then wait for results, then, if clear proceed. It could have been another 6 months. As it is she was clear. Yay! This means now she has to wait for an appointment for Pre-op (where they weigh you to work out anaesthetic needed and such) then pretty quick after that she gets chopped up. So that’s all good.

 

I’ve gone and picked up another injury. I tried to run through it yesterday after a long, slow warm up. It wasn’t having it. There’s no point in pushing on if it’s going to lay me up for weeks or months. So I’m now resting until it’s well again. Hate this bit.

 

Now on to the point of this blog, ie stealing other people’s wit.

The wonderful world of Twitter.

 

In Politics/ Tory scum we had:

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10 Promises David Cameron once made that Tories have now #deleted from their website.

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Welcome to Davos: tree huggers and hippies will be shot on site – no questions asked.

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Just reminded of the Tory election slogan 1964 "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour." They’ve always been scum.

A Labour government would restore 50p tax rate for those earning over £150,000, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says http://bbc.in/1f0ETDc

Crowd on Brighton beach greatly exceeds number of people earning £150,000 per year who can’t afford to

pay more tax.

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50p tax rate will send "business" abroad? There’s a roster of volunteers to drive them to the airport: http://www.wewilldrivethemtotheairport.co.uk

"Milliband 50p tax stokes fury." Errr, where? Amongst the 1% and newspaper owners? *world smallest violin*

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LORD RENNARD, LORD RENNARD, RIDICULE IS NOTHING TO BE SCARED OF.

Thunderbirds seems the logical conclusion of Tory policy, with rescue services sold off to a nepotistic billionaire on an offshore tax haven

George Osborne awarded a boss on, say £800,000 a year, a tax cut of £40,000 in 2013, 2014, 2015 etc. Retweet if you disagree with this.

UKIP went more than usually off the rails this week, claiming that the recent floods were god’s punishment for allowing gay marriage.

@MetroUK: Ukip councillor blames bad weather on gay marriage http://ow.ly/2D3oLo "…..hahahahahahahaha

Après gay, le déluge. #UKIP

DESERT COUNTRIES. Solve drought problems by simply legalising gay marriage.

The Ukip shipping forecast by @NicholasPegg is sheer genius. You MUST listen to it now http://tinyurl.com/odvxj2j

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If the weather would stay like this, all bright and dry, I would start cycling my 24 mile commute again. Damn the @ukip gays!

Dear @UKIP I quite fancy some snow this winter. Which particular bit of gay do I need to do? I’m pretty much up for anything.

This spawned the sublime @UKIPWeather:

A lingering look between 2 men at a gym in York has sparked concerns from residents living near the River Ouse

If you live in Maidstone, grab an umbrella! A man has become flustered after stalling his car at traffic lights

The clouds that formed as 2 men exchanged glances in a public toilet will clear following a discussion about Man Utd’s defensive frailties

Relief for residents near the River Wye as a man in Hereford offers his colleagues a Fisherman’s Friend without any attempt at gay innuendo

 

And last, everyone’s favest of faves, General:

Thing about training terrorist camps no one mentions is they are one of the more affordable options for people after a bit of winter sun.

I tell you what, Legally Blonde is currently teaching me a thing or two about the perils of judging a book by its cover.

Impress friends with your Bohemian lifestyle by only speaking Czech and insisting that the Austro-Hungarian Empire still continues.

There’s one musketeer who is dead but has been declared fit for work. His name is Atos.

A sweaty, saggy-trousered workman is in the office. His arse-crack is like the Mona Lisa – it seems to be watching you all round the room.

Ending an email with "Thanks" as a warning that you’re perilously close to losing your temper

Think before you pick a domain name:

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"In the media, white people debate whether race matters, rich people debate whether poverty matters, and men debate whether gender matters."

Tibetan mastiff:

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(As one of my chums noted, it looks like Bungle fucked a lion)

Justin Beiber, the pop darling of pre-teen girls, was arrested for drag racing his sports car while pissed.

Here’s an exclusive photo of Justin Bieber being arrested

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In light of this morning’s events, here are some Justin Bieber Facts

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Portugal decriminalized all drugs eleven years ago and the number of addicts in the country has decreased

by 50%.

 

How to guarantee a seat on the tube.

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If you wake up next to a dinosaur but can still get WiFi, then it’s the DINOSAUR who time travelled, not you.

(Marmite was banned in Canada) Anyone looking to score some Marmite in Canada, it is now known by the street name "Satan’s Marmalade".

(Some fool flooded an exchange with fast drying concrete) The current situation at Victoria..

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Look at them. Look at their puny satisfaction at having kept Him down with their liquid stone. Look how pleased they are. Pathetic.

Their liquid stone will not hold Him. It can only delay His inevitable rise. He is still weak from millennia of sleep. Soon He will feast.

He! The Stygian lord! He! Who will reap a harvest of souls! He! Ruler of signal failures! His time approaches.

 

Current mood…

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Gmail is down, but on the bright side, so is Google+

This is what happened when your Gmail was down.

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Is Your Bee Depressed?

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Gay marriage is legal in 6 states. Having sex with a horse is legal in 23! Good going America.

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It’s only ever class warfare if you ask the rich to pay more.

From Private Eye. This guy is the hero we deserve.

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Are you Eminem?

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And finally, cat.

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Later,

Buck.

Work means freedom.

After my last post, worrying about not getting any work, it’s been all hands to the pumps.

I went in New Year’s day then they texted me the next day asking could I make it in ASAP, I did and that was that, non-bloody-stop since. I had one day off last week after 5 days, then worked 6 days this week. Not very many hours per shift unfortunately, but at least by being available at the drop of a hat I’m getting the shifts. I was talking to one driver and he said he’d only got 2 shifts in the week, they’d cancelled him on all the others. It might be a coincidence but after I couldn’t make it in that Sunday (‘cos they hadn’t asked me and I was in the middle of a 22 mile run) I didn’t get any work for 9 days. I did them a favour and I’m in every day the law allows. Which reminds me, there’s a manager at work who is a complete tool. One of those who has to be at the centre of everything. I asked the drivers if I have on day off in week (reduced weekly rest) can I then work 6 shifts before taking the requisite compensatory rest. They were debating it when he butts in “5 shifts, two 11 hour rests. End of!”

This is utter bollocks. The law says weekly rest is 45 consecutive hours, or reduced rest of at least 24 hours, once in a fortnight, to be made up in full the next week. 11 hours is the full rest on a standard day (can be reduced to 9 hours, 3 times a week.) Then when I was filling in my duty sheet he pulled me over my breaks. Told me just to put that I’d had 45 minutes, not the 1 hour 20 I’d been waiting. Work stop you half an hour a day for breaks, the rest is for your Working Time Directive. By the WTD law you can only work 60 hours maximum in a week, 48 hours average. The way driving firms get around it is by using Period Of Availability and breaks, neither of which count as ‘work’. So I can only drive for 9 hours a day (10 on two days) but if I’m sat around waiting to be loaded I can be at work for 15 hours a day. But only ‘work’ for, on average, for say 10.30. This is all driver crap that is of no interest to anyone else, none to the driver either, truth be told. I only mention it to explain when he told me to alter my break (“we prefer you to use ‘break’ because POA cuts into your WTD hours.” Wrong.) he was limiting the amount of hours I could work. Work must be using the WTD bit on the sheet to keep a track of how many hours you do that count as ‘work’. By altering it I’m going to be able to do less hours, therefore earn less pay.

As I say, it’s of no interest and I’m sorry to bang on about it, but I’m just showing what a dick this manager is. And how it could affect me. Balls.

On the bright side this gig is really improving my driving. At Ceva I was just practising two reverses a day, here I’ve got loads. And the yard is so tiny that there are only two ways to reverse your trailer in; right or crash. This was bad at first but I’ve sussed the technique now.

I was thinking about it the other day, 6 months ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to do half the stuff I now can. The sent me to do a trailer swap in Manchester last week. The bay was at the end of a tiny side street. I had to pull up on the street running across it then reverse into the street at 90 degrees. With cars parked on either side of the street I was reversing into. And an utter arse parked in a van on the corner.

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Then I had to try and reverse onto the bay with this much room (looking down from my cab window):

 

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As I said, it’s doing wonders for my driving. The other thing I’ve found out about work is the drivers all say ‘’”They lie”. Apparently everyone wants to get onto a morning start. I suppose I should have expected that.

 

 

Anyway,it’s dropped well for me this week as I have to have the weekend off by law and I have my first race of the year on Sunday. It’s only a half marathon, but it’s about how quickly I can do it.

The bad thing is I thought I was catching the ‘flu on Thursday. I had a bad headache all day, sinus problems, and I was aching. It cleared up the next day, though I still feel like I’ve got a lot of crap on my chest.

I’ve not run as I was saving my legs until Sunday. Now I’m not sure of my level of fitness. I’ll find out tomorrow.

 

This is the season of stress for me. The tax year runs from April to April, so I was caught out again when I got a begging letter off the taxman saying I had to have my self assessment tax return in by the end of January. *PANIC*  I managed to find myself a decent accountant this year, but because it’s a full year (and my tax is over £1k) that automatically triggers a tax thing whereby you pay towards next year’s as well. £2k tax bill, pay £3.4K. Balls. And another £1.5K in July!  Next year will be cheap, as I’m paying for 8 months tax and I’ll be £2.9K in credit, but this year is going to sting.

And it’s time for the car to be MOT’ed and taxed (in for test on Monday).  It’s never just the £30 for the test though, is it? I saw a nice car to cut down on my bills, this new VW hybrid. It’s good for 263mpg! I was all over that shit, where do I sign?

Expected price: £100k.

I’ll probably stick with the Polo.

 

I’m going to have to go Tory with my wages. There’s this company of charlatan snake-oil accountants who’ll set you up as a limited company, whereby the company BuckTheTruck Ltd pays me, it’s employee, £151 a week for tax purposes, then pays me, the CEO of the company, dividends, the tax from which is offset by a loan I, the employee, am taking out from BuckTheTruck Ltd.  Or something. Basically they legally cook the books so I pay bugger all tax. They do all the book keeping, end of year returns, etc. Hermes pay an extra pound or two an hour for self employed drivers, so I’ll be looking at about £90- £140 better off each week. And no future end of year tax bills. One of the drivers recommended the firm. His relative is a tax inspector and said it’s all legal. Just shameful. My only defence is; if you could get petrol/ diesel for 20p a litre, fags for 20p a packet, whisky for a pound per bottle would you say ‘No thank you! Tax me!”

No you wouldn’t, stop being awkward.

*hangs head in Socialist shame*

 

The other thing is I’m back on a diet. And it sucks bottom, but large. If I am serious about getting my sub 3 hour marathon (for starters) not carrying half a sack of spuds for 26.2 miles has to be an advantage. Well, for that I’d have to get down to 9 stone. I’d like to but Wendy keeps saying that as you get older it’s physically impossible to get down to teen weight. I’m going to look godawful but that’s not the goal. 

Talking of whom, she has *another* hospital appointment. 4 months she’s been having agonizing pains and she’s still not even on the waiting list for surgery. She’s seeing the consultant on Thursday about her MRI results. If they are clear he can then put her on the waiting list. Why does he need to see her to do that? As soon as it’s clear she should have automatically been put on.

Gail, Wendy’s high-flying nurse sister (relative, not rank) said when she was last hands-on it was a 9 week turn around. Under the Tories it’s 4 months so far.

 

I can’t wait to get this run out of the way tomorrow so I can get back to some proper training.

Anywho, enough of my wittering, let’s get to the Twittering.

 

The DMreporter starts us off:

NHS TOURISM: Patients with a skin-colour darker than Pantone shade 71-4c WILL pay for medical attention, say government.

2013: Daily Mail Traitors of the Year… • Doctor Who • Scotland • Tom Daley • Medhi Hasan • Alan Bennett • Angela Lansbury

2013: Daily Mail Hotties of the Year… • Any woman over 18 who ‘flaunted her curves…’ • Any girl under 18 who looked ‘all grown up…’

2013: Daily Mail Hunks of the Year… • Don’t be so gay.

2013: Daily Mail Villains of the Year… • Anyone • Everyone • Everybody • Anybody

2013: Daily Mail Villains of the Year… • Russell Brand • Matthew Perry • Ralph Miliband • All Romanians • All Muslims • All women

SCIENCE: Gene for claiming benefits ‘found in Romanian migrants DNA’ confirm experts.

TRUTH: Millions of Romanians HAVE moved to Britain to take jobs and claim benefits. Who are you going to be believe? Us, or your lying eyes?

CAMERON: "The state pension is safe with me. I promise. I guess you can say there will be no top down reorganisation of the state pension."

CAMERON: "A grassroots campaign of relentless, unapologetic, aggressive violence COULD convince migrants to go home of their own accord."

EXPOSED: How a tiny minority of benefit scroungers were receiving a bit more than others in accordance with their circumstances and the law.

LOOPYHOLE: Fury as it’s revealed immigrants with schizophrenia CAN claim benefits per multiple personality.

COURT: Another blow for Nigella as Charles Saatchi claims her recipes are full of kittens.

HEALTH: Woman incorrectly diagnosed with tennis elbow two years ago dies in car crash. We ask, when will the NHS admit responsibility?

 

 

Then it’s Politics/ Tory scum (I KNOW, OK?)

Don’t believe us. The Tories said it. ‘The NHS will not exist within 5 years of Conservative victory’ – Oliver Letwin http://tinyurl.com/czpcfh5

A paper whose executive editor is an advisor to George Osborne names him Briton of the Year. Ladies and Gentlemen, the British Establishment

Nobody gave us NHS, Social Security or Legal Aid. We paid for it & built it over decades.It’s not for any government to sell or profit from.

George Osborne says more cuts on way in ‘year of hard truths’ http://gu.com/p/3yty3/tw via @guardian Strangely only for the poor

For those of you who don’t understand why barristers are walking out this am, this gives an idea:

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Osborne fights EU bankers bonus cap while trying to stop minimum wage rising by just 50p! #AllinThisTogether

One of the things that has convinced me we need to stay in EU is Tory desperation to leave. Clearly EU must protect poor in someway.

 

 

And lastly the lovely General:

Typical sight on the streets of the states.

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No one want to hear about your fucking diet. Shut up, eat your lettuce, and be sad like a normal person

(James Blunt added the foreword to this tweet)  Nope, you’re on your own. RT @chickenoriental: I must be 1 of only 2 who genuinely likes every @jamesblunt song. The other person being him.

@Queen_UK put: Open the sodding gate, for Christ’s sake

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Goldfish do nothing all day and have a castle so, technically, they’re doing better than you.

(To which I replied) Kind of like the monarchy. #deposethegoldfish #vivelarevolution

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Adopt a lion. Fuck that! If I was living somewhere with animals that could kill me I’d be machine-gunning the mofos.

I can’t even imagine the self control required to work at a bubble wrap factory.

Johnny Depp is set to play Helena Bonham Carter’s role in Tim Burton’s sex tape.

Please be aware that discarded party food can be a hazard for motorists

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Yay! 2014! In the Chinese calendar I think it’s the year of the fat grumpy trucker.

One Romanian arrived at Luton looking for work this morning says @SkyNews. One.

Subsection, YouHadOneJob:

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Electrician you had one job

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Kid you had one job.

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Disney you had one job

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‘Oh, I dunno. Just make them look French…’

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Who thought that was a good idea.

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Pet shop customer I’m not sure that’s what they meant

 

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Which one of you lot was it? #forshort

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I bet young Hashtag is glad he hasn’t got these for parents.

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Health and safety gone mad. #youhadonejob

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Ken from Oxford reports that he was sacked from his job to make way for a Romanian, not because he emailed a photo of his genitals to a temp

My New Year resolution is to stop over-sharing on social networks. Even at times like this, when I’m depressed & in the middle of my period.

Me: "Hello" Mechanic: Your car is ready for pickup Me: Great! What was wrong with it? M: It’s a piece of shit. Get a new one.

Cameron vows to get tough on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants by visiting all 5 of them individually.

I have no idea why I was thrown out of the Pedant’s Society…

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Reality TV pitch: 20 z list slebs dropped into African game reserve, naked and smothered in BBQ sauce. I’d watch that.

Gary from Crewe reports that the A&E department at his local hospital is full of immigrants! One bandaged his arm and another took an X-ray

What do we want?! WATCHES! When do we want them?! CRAP!

FUCK THE POLICE, FUCK THE SYSTEM

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What you trying to say Walmart? #racism

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AAAAAGH! A BABY!

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We all have caller ID, cretin MT @JeremyClarkson: There are 1 billion people in India so why do BT not have enough people to answer my call?

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I do love the internet.

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That split second moment when you realise you’ve slept through your alarm

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Trick people into thinking you work for the CIA by answering evey question with "Classified" and telling them you work for the CIA.

IF POT GETS LEGALIZED WHAT’S TO STOP SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO SMOKE A HORSE

Mark Duggan was murdered by corrupt cops, covered up by the #IPCC. If that’s not the official verdict, Theresa May probably bribed someone.

The reality: Mark #Duggan has ‘very, very minor criminal record’, later conceded by senior officer, with only 2 fines (FINES!) to his name.

Some Muppet on my t/l saying "Duggan, what about Lee Rigby?" Why can’t they both be despicable murders? #fuckwit

Silly me,not supporting the police murdering black people is pearl-clutching leftie-ism. It’s only white people dying that’s murder.

For your own safety, please ensure that both hands are in the air & fully visible when leaving a mini-cab.

The only known civilian to witness the shooting of Mark #Duggan say he was "executed" http://bbc.in/1a1qjvN

41 unarmed people shot by police; no officer convicted. 2001 story http://tinyurl.com/pm6o9ux #Duggan

The police officer who shot and killed Mark Duggan has been cleared to return to armed duties

Full version of the ‘stone faced’ picture used by the media to vilify Mark Duggan. He was by his daughter’s grave…

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Nativity scene, or two T-Rexes fighting over a watermelon?

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"Benefits Street" is not a production of the Children’s Television Workshop,and has been brought to you by the letters D-I-V-I-D-E & R-U-L-E

next episode of benefit street

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Shocking new image of the immigrants of #benefitsstreet

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At least the #benefitsstreet warning message on 4OD is being honest

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Omg! On radio, chap knocked off Harley by bus. Complains to bus company. Their reply? Sent him a hi-viz vest! *rage*

When people ask me what I do, I say I’m a micro-blogger.

It usually leads to sex.

William Harley and Arthur Davidson, 1914

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3yo: Want a sweetie daddy? Me: Thank you. May I have another? 3yo: No I only dropped one on the floor.

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How dinosaurs went extinct

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I don’t know who put ‘likes wanking’ in my CV or how long it’s been there but effectively, you’ve ruined my entire life.

I don’t think people who say "Technically, pterodactyls aren’t dinosaurs" would say that to a pterodactyl’s ferocious dinosaur face.

There’s a noisy wood pigeon outside my window. There aren’t supposed to be birds around this time of year. It looks Bulgarian to me.

DISABLED parking spaces are the ideal place to park if you’re crippled with selfishness.

Are you the French polisher? Oui. Sorry I asked.

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Scientists have developed a DNA test to tell identical twins apart. I can do that already. Jedward have spiky hair, the Cheeky Girls don’t.

 

Favourite death bed scene Priest; "Are you ready now to reject Satan?" Voltaire; "Now is not the time to be making new enemies."

90% of ‘vampire’ sightings turn out to be staple removers wearing capes.

When road signs need punctuation…

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Sometimes it’s easier to just walk that extra minute

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I couldn’t remember where I’d put my pet dolphin, and then it clicked

"I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence." – Doug McLeod

If global warming is real, there couldn’t possibly be all that cold, cold ice in Donald Trump’s heart.

And finally, a Pug in a bunny suit. Because internet.

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Later,

Buck.