Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, Florida Keys

If I Ruled the World…

Oh, hai 1am on Saturday morning! Long time since I’ve seen you, no? Well, actually, that’s not strictly true, obviously. I mean, I did see you last Saturday morning, but that was by choice, because I’d been out on the tiles, having fun and partying like a rock star and stuff.* This Saturday morning, though, you and I met on account of the near-riot that was apparently happening a couple of streets away.
Fun times, 1am-on-Saturday-morning, fun times…

Yes, folks, the locals have been restless again. This happens every year when the football season starts, and is the main reason, other than those hideous “strips” British men wear all the freakin’ time (as if dressing up as a footballer is a valid outfit choice when you’re actually a 33-year-old accountant called Clive**, who hasn’t been near a football field in years. If ever.) why if I ruled the world, I would ban football, without a second thought. Yes, you heard me right, I would ban it. And yes, I know there are lots of you out there who enjoy watching a bunch of men chase a ball around a field, but that’s too bad, because this is my world-ruling fantasy, and in it I refuse to have my sleep disturbed every weekend because the people who watch football around here tend to want to fight about it afterwards. Seriously.

Actually, on second thoughts, maybe I won’t ban football. Because, as boring as football is to me, I have to concede that there are lots of football fans out there who do not morph into The Army of the Undead every time they watch a match. It’s just unfortunate that a large percentage of the ones that do happen to drink at the Ghetto Pub, which is in the estate behind ours. The Ghetto Pub is far enough way from us that it shouldn’t really bother us at all, but the people who frequent it have other ideas, and every time there’s a football match on (which is more or less EVERY WEEKEND at this time of year), they all come pouring out of it at midnight and start howling at the moon and chanting incantations to the devil, before finally succumbing to houting mindlessly at each other and engaging in running battles. This goes on for about an hour, by which time everyone within a half-mile radius is awake, and I’m fit to be tied.

No, the police don’t care.

The next day, should we try to take a walk around the area, we will find broken bottles, discarded takeaway cartons, and – yes – pools of vomit. Niiiice.

So, OK, football gets a reprieve. The Ghetto Pub is banned, though. Totally. In fact, all pubs on housing estates are banned under my rule. No good can come of them. If people want to get so drunk they stand in the street screaming and vomiting of a Friday night, they can go and do it in the town centres, where there’s a better chance of them being picked up by the police/run over by a bus.  Sorry, people who live in town centres. Sucks to be you, doesn’t it?

Can you tell I’m feeling just a little bit sleep deprived this morning? Yes, indeed I am. Because, not only did I spent part of the night listening to the Lobotomised at Birth yodeling in the street, I was also woken up at around 8:30am this morning by The Dog Who Barks. Who barks incessantly. For hours. On end. Early. Late. All the freaking time. Soon, The Dog Who Barks will be joined by The Man Who Washes His Car With the Radio Cranked Up. And then they will both be joined by The Girl Who Hates Other People’s Noise And Who Is Just Grateful That Guns Are Illegal In This Country Or She Would Totally Be In Jail By Now. (That would be me, just in case you’re wondering.)

* Deep Breath *

Just while I’m here, though, and ruling the world, and all…


Chewing gum
Those stupid “personal”

MP3 player things that have stupid little tinny SPEAKERS on them. THE HELL is that about?
Whistlers. Obviously.
People who walk really slowly in crowded areas.
The phrase “I could care less”. Because it’s “I couldn’t care less” and it’s driving me insane.

Feel free to add to this list, folks. Because I surely will…

* Not strictly true
** No offense to accountants called Clive, obviously. Hi, Clives! Love you!

  • Hey, I followed you here through Twitter! Just wanted to say that I adore your list of things you'd ban, and finally FINALLY someone else realises the correct phrase is "I couldn't care less" – that drives me absolutely mad!

    August 30, 2008
  • I don't want to wish you misfortune, but the more irritated you get, the funnier your blog becomes.

    August 30, 2008
  • Steph


    I can completely empathise on the 'not having enough sleep'front – a very hectic exams schedule meant I crawled into bed at 4AM today, only to be woken at 8 by Man Who Revs His Car For Up To 5 Minutes At A Time Because He Clearly Has An Indescribably Small Penis. Gah!

    I hate people who say 'I could care less' as well – it seems to be a largely American epidemic, but we need to stop it from taking over here as well.

    August 30, 2008
  • Mhairi


    Hey Amber

    Mhairi here. Just leaving comment as scared for our sofa (ask Terry).

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog.

    See you soon

    August 30, 2008
  • I completely agree with your banned items list. Here in Vancouver we have off-their-rockers hockey fans. And hockey is a looooong season, pretty much only halting for a brief, quiet respite during the summer. I live in the centre of town, just in front of one of the most frequented alleyways in fact, which acts as an echoing microphone to all the hooting, hollering, screaming, vomiting, fighting and yodeling hockey fans out there. I feel your pain.

    August 30, 2008
  • "I could care less" really bugs me, too. And when I try to take it at face value, and respond as if the person saying actually meant what they said, I just get met with confused looks.

    August 30, 2008
  • Erik (Sorrento)


    Ha! My city is local to the highest paid football/soccer player in history and nobody in my area cares. Don't feel bad. We've got plenty of other problems to keep us annoyed, scared or angry.

    August 30, 2008
  • Selina


    We used to have problems with our next door neighbours. They had teenage lodgers who had parties every weekend, culminating in the now legendary 'small birthday party for a few close friends that several hundred teenagers from all over Auckland came to'. After hours of not sleeping because of the noise we looked out the window at 2am to see about 20 cops in riot gear chasing drunken teenagers down our street. Needless to say we were rooting for the cops.

    However we eventually solved the problem, we bought the house and now live in it! No more drunken parties in this street, although I think our neighbours wish we'd mow our lawns more often.

    August 31, 2008
  • SOOOO glad you're banning crocs. Can you ban Ugg Boots while you're at it?

    August 31, 2008
  • The incorrect use of the word "literally".

    September 1, 2008
  • how about people that say "irregardless". sick.

    September 1, 2008
  • Anne-Marie


    You are so right to want to ban chewing gum. Disgusting stuff. I would also ban public spitters…..everytime I

    see someone spit in the street I seethe with quiet rage.

    September 1, 2008
  • Agree whole-heartedly (though I'm one of the afore-mentioned who lives in a town centre and gets kept up all night

    almost nightly…) and would like to add:

    People who can't spell definitely. It has "finite" in the middle – how hard can that be to remember?!

    Spitters (as Anne-Marie says above)

    British men who mow their lawns topless at the first sign of summer (usually May bank holiday) thinking they look

    like Brad Pitt (unless they actually look like Brad Pitt – because so many men DO…)

    People who suddenly stop in the middle of the pavement, causing you to walk right into them

    I'm pretty sure I could come up with a dozen more given half an hour or so…

    September 1, 2008
  • I would ban our neighbors who like to scream at the top of their lungs to each other and are always attempting to

    stick their noses in my business. I'm not sure where they would go, but they can't stay here!

    I would also ban Monday mornings.

    September 1, 2008
  • I'd like to third the ban on spitting (disgusting) and second the band on people who randomly stop in a high

    traffic area.

    September 2, 2008
  • Ban football. Ban it I say

    June 5, 2014