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People can be cruel. Let’s face it. You innocently stumble upon a complete strangers blog, offer a genuinely flavoured racist slur and call them a name when they respond a little too defensively, and before you know it they are calling you “a Troll”. Ow, that hurts, people.

But what if it’s true? What if all these years you have been innocently Trolling on the internet and you just didn’t know? Well as a public service to you, i want to share with you Five Signs to Help you Realise that you Just Might be a Troll.

[1] If you live under a bridge, you may be a Troll. And by “live under a bridge” i mean in your mom’s house, and you’re over thirty-five, and your favourite food is take-away. From last night.

briedge

[2] If you have a difference of opinion with someone and attack them as a person aggressively in response, you may be a Troll. Someone not thinking the same way as you on an issue does not instantly make them an idiot [they may still be, though] and if your instant reaction is to insult or attack them rather than arguing the point, that is often a sign that your argument/belief is not strong enough to be backed and so you try to distract by moving the attention somewhere else.

john

[3] If, when someone refuses to share your link promoting the saving of Orangutans, you rant on about how they are a horrible human being, and then befriend their wife on social media and try to convince her that you are an evil, animal-hating neanderthal [this actually happened], you may be a Troll.

Sometimes someone refusing to share the link you want them to promote, might not even mean they actually hate Orangutans. Or any other animals. Maybe they simply get a hundred requests a day to promote things and they have chosen that your thing is one thing too many. Leave their poor wife alone, lady.

orang

[4] If you choose any labels other than the person’s name you are arguing with to address them as, you may be a Troll. Surprisingly enough, while ‘Dick’ is the acceptable shortened form of the name Richard, it is not, in fact, also the shortened form of the name ‘Brett’, ‘Simon’, ‘Matthew’ or ‘Robert’. If you disagree with someone online and call them names rather than their name, there is a chance that you are it!

sdick

[5] When the name, picture or email address you are using does not correspond directly to your name, face, email address, you might just be a Troll. Let’s face it, if you can’t say the thing you want to say as yourself, then the alarm bells are going off. If you are having to create whole new email addresses and reroute them through the former Soviet Republic so that no-one can track down your ip address, you really might want to consider the probability.

Sometimes, you just have to concede, that maybe, just maybe, the dodgy oke or okess, is actually you. i will leave it to David Mitchell of That Mitchell and Webb look to lead you a little further down the path of self-discovery:

Please SHARE this with your people, if you enjoyed it at all [or maybe recognised some of them]

[You may likely appreciate some of these other FUNNY lists as well, click here]

tup

Meet Marci. Marci has a problem.

10.15am

From the moment she recovers from the second round of playing Snooze on her Nokia 6510i, Marci has one sole focus in mind. “Not to be confused with the Nokia 6510!”, she always responds with a slight giggle when people ask her what model she has, and she mouths those soundless words again as she throws on last nights clothes and heads to the bathroom for a 76 stroke brush. Not 77, not 75, just exactly, precisely 76. Per tooth. It’s the way you are meant to do it.

And while her body is putting itself through the meticulous motions of a mid-morning routine, Marci’s mind is working overtime…

“Can’t be Susan, because I asked her last time. Susan doesn’t like it when she thinks I am nagging. Must at least be another three months before I try her again. Janice is a definite. Janice always comes, even if only to hang out with me. Janice is always the first on the list and in fact I have already invited her so why am I even thinking about Janice? Go away! Mr and Mrs Stevens? Or is it Stephens? I know I got it wrong the last time and then I corrected. But now I can’t remember if my correction is in fact correcting the correction and thus returning it to its former wrongful spellingment. Oh wait, it’s the phone, so it doesn’t even matter. I will let them write their own names on the stickers. If. They. Come. They didn’t come last time. Why didn’t they come last time? Oh yes, dog issues. Stupid dog. It’s always that damn… okay, focus Marci. You overslept, the phone won again and this is not going to happen unless you PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. Why are you shouting at me? It’s me you’re talking to. So more technically why am I shouting at me? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your… my…

By this point Marci is finished in the bathroom and she sweeps by the kitchen counter, grabbing a piece of fruit as she plonks herself down on the couch and notices immediately that the ‘piece of fruit’ she so gracefully snatched in her walk by, is, in fact, her purse. My purse? How the… What is wrong with you? Me. That’s not even close. She sighs as she tosses the purse on the floor and dials the first number…

1.15pm

Marci is busy scrolling furiously down her phone’s address book and continues to talk to herself, half out loud, half with her inside quiet head voice, and she is clearly a little bit stressed. It’s tonight. It IS tonight. Tonight is the time when this thing is meant to happen and so I am really grabbing at straws now. Am I grabbing at straws? Maybe they’ll come. Maybe they’ll show up. There were quite a lot of “Maybe” and “I’ll think about it”s. Bleurgh. Bleurgh. BLEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGGGGGH! Urgh. Stoppit! Pull yourself together. There is still time. You’ve got 4 hours. They will come. If you build it they will come. BUILD IT? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? There is not an IT to build? WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? Why are you shouting about why are you shouting? Seriously Marci, just slow down and think. Think woman! Who else? 

George. But George is a cat and stare at him as she may, she does not offer any form of help whatsoever. “Georgina! It’s Georgina! He’s a she!” she says time and time again every single time someone mistakes her for a him. “But his name is George?” “It’s Georgina, okay? It’s a long stupid name and I have resorted to calling her George and she most definitely is all completely female and please can we just let it go?” Marci snaps to attention. Realises she has been staring at the cat for a full thirty-seven minutes in a complete daze. Only the cat blinked before she did and left more than eleven minutes ago. She is staring at a yellow chair. An ugly yellow plastic chair. Why do I even have that thing in my lounge?” she asks herself, but she is done replying. Panic is leopard-crawling over the horison.

5.15pm

Marci is sitting on the floor of the kitchen building an ugly plastic fort. Her phone is lying, screen down, just under the edge of the fridge, still displaying the message received fifty-five minutes ago from Janice, letting her know that, “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control – Michael!!!!  I won’t be able to make it tonight.” If you were watching her, and no-one is, you would notice that her body is rocking, ever so slightly. Barely noticeable really, but it’s there. Her lips are moving at a furious pace, mostly naming names, and yet no sound escapes from between them. Intermittently, she peers up at the clock on the microwave, which has been purposefully set five minutes fast, and mumbles something to herself. A dazed look betrays little emotion.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Wait, someone is early? That is amazing. No-one is EVER early. This is going to be great. “This. Is. Going to be great.” Marci catches herself saying that a little loud. She jumps to her feet. “I don’t want to seem desperate,” she says, before realising again that that too was out loud. She combs her finger through her hair, does a quick glance into the mirror and walk runs to open the door, which she does with much flamboyance, only to be greeted by…

“Another delivery, Mrs Weare. You know where to sign. Thank-you and all the best for tonight.”

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This has been the last episode of this current Tandem Blog Post series which mean this time 8 bloggers writing from the same topic. PLEASE take a moment to read the other posts in the series as there are some really talented people creating some absolutely stunning work. And as always, if you read something you enjoy please SHARE it with your people so that more eyes can discover them as well:

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[For previous series’ of Tandem Blog Posts, click here]

blood brothers

This is a much longer extract from the book ‘Blood Brothers’ by Elias Chacour, which i do encourage everyone to read. Both as a glimpse into the Israel/Palestine history and situation, but also as a much deeper journey of faith and wrestling with ideas of God and kingdom.

This passage it helps to have read the rest of the book to understand the full story of, but a brief background is that Abu Mouhib is the policeman in the town, that the author is the new church leader in, and has a completely messed up with his three brothers and has for years. He also is not a big fan of the author.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

When I finally reached the home of Abu Mouhib, where the woman had been residing, I was shaking visibly. He hesitated a moment before allowing me to enter. He disliked me, I knew, though he did come to church on rare occasions. This was not the time to express personal dislikes, however, and he showed me to his mother’s sickroom.

Far into the dark morning hours, I sat with the dying woman, whispering a few timid words of comfort. Those years in seminary had failed to prepare me for this. In my sweating palm lay her tremulous, blue-veined hand. It was cold and curled up like an alabaster leaf. Her breathing came in rasps for an hour or so—and then it ceased. With icy fingers, I closed her eyes.

My legs were rubber when I told Abu Mouhib that his mother was dead. Trying the best I could to comfort, I offered to go and tell his three brothers. “They would like to come and see her, I’m sure.”

Abu Mouhib’s grieving features stiffened into a scowl. “No!”he shouted. “My brothers do not set foot in my house. If they dare to come here, you will have five funerals on your hands, because we will kill each other.”

A chill shook me. Even the death of their mother would not draw these brothers together. As I helped wrap the woman’s frail body, I grieved for her—for her sons, and for the whole village.

A gray, faint light lit the streets as I made my way back home. A deadening exhaustion stooped my shoulders. I wanted only to crawl into my Volkswagen and sleep for hours and hours. As I squeezed myself into the backseat, however, I felt a real ache of grief in my chest—grief and anger. Sleep would not come.

I lay there wrestling against the whole world of conflict that sprawled around me. In my head, I lunged at the four brothers in an angry conversation, telling them how disgusted I was at their behavior. Couldn’t they forgive each other now when they needed to honor their own mother?

And they were not the only ones I attacked. The image of the Responsible smirked at me in the half-light, and I flung hard words in his face. I railed at the priest who had stolen from the church; at fellow seminarians who had slandered all Palestinians, calling us “terrorists”; at seminary professors; at the principal who had punished me at the school in Nazareth.

Another image appeared vividly . . . a military policeman towering over a small boy, whipping him with a stick . . . I heard cries . . . my own voice . . . I was picking up a stick, beating, smashing the man’s head until he fell unconscious . . . bleeding. . . . There were tanks on the hills of Biram . . . explosions . . . our homes stood fast while the tanks blew apart . . . and the agonized bodies of soldiers. . . .

Then I knew.

Silent, still, I lay there, aware for the first time that I was capable of vicious, killing hatred. Aware that all men everywhere—despite the thin, polite veneer of society—are capable of hideous violence against other men. Not just the Nazis or the Zionists or the Palestinian commandos—but me. I had covered my hurts with Christian responses, but inside the anger had gnawed. With this sudden, startling view of myself, a familiar inner voice spoke firmly, without compromise: If you hate your brother, you are guilty of murder. Now I understood.

I was aware of other words being spoken. A Man was dying a hideous death at the hands of His captors—a Man of Peace, who suffered unjustly—hung on a cross. Father, forgive them, I repeated. And forgive me, too.

In that moment, forgiveness closed the long-open gap of anger and bitterness inside me. From the time I had been beaten as a small boy, I had denied the violence inside me. Now . . . the taming hand that had taught me compassion on the border of West Germany had finally stilled me enough to see the deep hatred in my own soul.

Physically and emotionally spent, I fell asleep. Later that morning, I woke with a new, clean feeling of calmness. The change that had begun on my visit to the Mount of Beatitudes was complete.

I knew what I must do in Ibillin.

My year and a half of home visits and the sisters’months of ministrations had made a dent—a small dent—in reuniting the believers of Ibillin. Few attended the church regularly, and walls of hostile silence remained firm. However, most of them would not think of missing services during the Christmas and Easter seasons, coming to be comforted by familiar customs, not out of desire for true spiritual renewal. True to the pattern, attendance increased markedly on the first Sunday of Lent, growing each week as Easter approached.

On Palm Sunday, every bench was packed. Nearly the entire congregation had come, plus a few other villagers whom I had invited. The weather that morning was balmy, with a warm, light wind straying through the streets, so I left the doors wide open, hoping that passersby might be attracted by our singing. When I stood up, raising my hands to signal the start of the service, I was jolted by stark, staring faces.

Looks of open hostility greeted me. The Responsible’s faction was clustered on one side of the church, almost challenging me with their icy glares. Indifferently, those whom the Responsible had ostracized sat on the opposite side. I was amazed to see Abu Mouhib, the policeman, perched in the very front row with his wife and children. In each of the other three quadrants of the church, as distant from one another as possible, were his three brothers. The sisters, I could tell, felt the tension, too, for their faces were blanched. I rose and began the first hymn, certain that no one would be attracted by our pathetically dismal singing. I thought, with sadness, of the battle lines that were drawn across the aisles of that sanctuary. And nervously, I hoped that no one would notice the odd lump in the pocket beneath my vestment.

What followed was undoubtedly the stiffest service, the most unimpassioned sermon of my life. The congregation endured me indifferently, fulfilling their holiday obligation to warm the benches. But then, they did not suspect what was coming. At the close of the liturgy, everyone rose for the benediction. I lifted my hand, my stomach fluttering, and paused. It was now or never.

Swiftly, I dropped my hand and strode toward the open doors at the back of the church. Every eye followed me with curiosity. I drew shut the huge double doors, which workmen had rehung for me. From my pocket, I pulled a thick chain, laced it through the handles and fastened it firmly with a padlock.

Returning to the front, I could almost feel the temperature rising. Or was it just me? Turning to face the congregation, I took a deep breath.

“Sitting in this building does not make you a Christian,”I began awkwardly. My voice seemed to echo too loudly in the shocked silence. The sisters’eyes were shut, their lips moving furiously in prayer. “

You are a people divided. You argue and hate each other—gossip and spread malicious lies. What do the Moslems and the unbelievers think when they see you? Surely that your religion is false. If you can’t love your brother that you see, how can you say you love God who is invisible? You have allowed the body of Christ to be disgraced.”

Now the shock had turned to anger. The Responsible trembled and seemed as though he was about to choke. Abu Mouhib tapped his foot angrily and turned red around the collar. In his eyes, though, I thought I detected something besides anger.

Plunging ahead, my voice rose. “For many months, I’ve tried to unite you. I’ve failed, because I’m only a man. But there is someone else who can bring you together in true unity. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives you power to forgive. So now I will be quiet and allow Him to give you that power. If you will not forgive, we will stay locked in here. You can kill each other and I’ll provide your funerals gratis.”

Silence hung. Tight-lipped, fists clenched, everyone glared at me as if carved from stone. I waited. With agonizing slowness, the minutes passed. Three minutes . . . five . . . ten . . . I could hear, outside, a boy coaxing his donkey up the street and the slow clop-clop of its hooves. Still no one flinched. My breathing had become shallow, and I swallowed hard. Surely I’ve finished everything, I chastised myself, undone all these months of hard work with my – Then a sudden movement caught my eye.

Someone was standing. Abu Mouhib rose and faced the congregation, his head bowed, remorse shining in his eyes. With his first words, I could scarcely believe that this was the same hard-bitten policeman who had treated me so brusquely.

“I am sorry,” he faltered. All eyes were on him. “I am the worst one of all. I’ve hated my own brothers. Hated them so much I wanted to kill them. More than any of you, I need forgiveness.”

And then he turned to me. “Can you forgive me, too, Abuna?”

I was amazed! Abuna means “our father,” a term of affection and respect. I had been called other things since arriving in Ibillin, but nothing so warm.

“Come here,” I replied, motioning him to my side. He came, and we greeted each other with the kiss of peace. “Of course I forgive you,” I said. “Now go and greet your brothers.”

Before he was halfway down the aisle, his three brothers had rushed to him. They held each other in a long embrace, each one asking forgiveness of the others.

In an instant, the church was a chaos of embracing and repentance. Cousins who had not spoken to each other in years wept together openly. Women asked forgiveness for malicious gossip. Men confessed to passing damaging lies about each other. People who had ignored the sisters and me in the streets now begged us to come to their homes. Only the Responsible stood quietly apart, accepting only stiffly my embrace. This second church service— a liturgy of love and reconciliation—went on for nearly a full hour.

In the midst of these joyful reunions, I recalled Father’s words when he had told us why we must receive the Jews from Europe into our home. And loudly, I announced: “We’re not going to wait until next week to celebrate the Resurrection. Let’s celebrate it now. We were dead to each other. Now we are alive again.”

I began to sing. This time our voices joined as one, the words binding us together in a song of triumph: “Christ is risen from the dead. By His death He has trampled death and given life to those in the tomb.”

Even then it did not end. The momentum carried us out of the church and into the streets where true Christianity belongs. For the rest of the day and far into the evening, I joined groups of believers as they went from house to house throughout Ibillin. At every door, someone had to ask forgiveness for a certain wrong. Never was forgiveness withheld. Now I knew that inner peace could be passed from man to man and woman to woman.

As I watched, I recalled, too, an image that had come to me as a young boy in Haifa. Before my eyes, I was seeing a ruined church rebuilt at last— not with mortar and rock, but with living stones.

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[Chapter 10, Tough Miracles]

[For more from Blood Brothers, click here]

blood brothers

This short extract from ‘Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel’ really jumped out at me and i think speaks for itself:

It was during our final spring days at Saint Sulpice that my kindly mentor, Father Longère, touched a deeply resonant note, like a voice out of eternity. I had come to value his wisdom, his remarkable way of challenging us, spurring us to deeper thought on any subject in which we were certain of our opinion. During one of his final lectures, I found myself riveted to his words. “If there is a problem somewhere,” he said with his dry chuckle, “this is what happens. Three people will try to do something concrete to settle the issue. Ten people will give a lecture analyzing what the three are doing. One hundred people will commend or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person—only one— will involve himself so deeply in the true solution that he is too busy to listen to any of it.”“Now,” he asked gently, his penetrating eyes meeting each of ours in turn, “which person are you?”

[Chapter 8, Seeds of Hope]

Race and reconciliation issues in South Africa. The Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Education. Poverty. Treatment of Refugees. And so much more…

We can’t all possibly solve, or even make dents in, every one of those areas. But we can choose one. And be the one person.

For me at the moment, one of those issues that i feel strongly about and am trying to figure out how to be so deeply involved in the true solution that i am too busy to listen to any of it, is race and reconciliation in South Africa.

Which person are you? [i would honestly love to hear from you and hear you identify the issue you feel most strongest about and if you’re currently doing something about it or have a deep heart and desire to do so, please leave your mark in the comments section]

[For the Intro and links to other extracts from the book, click here]

PearlsbeforeKilling

As you all know by now, Pearls Before Swine is my favourite comic strip and if you ever have some time to enrich, you can take a look at a whole bunch of the cartoons i have shared over here. And usually he is just random or clever or biting cynically silly fun, but every now and then he draws a strip which makes you stop and go, “Wo!” and maybe even think for a minute.

i had saved this first strip to comment on some time and then he came up with the second one and i thought they worked quite well together so here they are. Appreciate them. Stop for a second and go, “Wo!” But also take a moment to think about your relationship to meat/killing. Because it is probably something that, unless you’re a vegetarian or more, is something you don’t think all that much about.

i have thought about it a lot more over the last couple of years and think our Americaland experience and some of the people we came into contact there definitely impacted my thinking in a number of ways. But here are three that come to mind:

[1] When it comes to people i am pro life, but perhaps not in the traditional way that that phrase is used. i believe that if you’re pro life you have to be pro all of life, so from babies that are still being formed to old people, from those suffering from disease to those who are going to be born with some kind of disability we have to be pro it all.

i do realise this is a tricky, sticky and potentially controversial opinion to hold. And that sometimes there might be an individual case by case scenario where some tough decisions need to be made. There might be a situation where a doctor has to choose between saving the mother and saving the unborn baby and i think probably the doctor in that scenario is going to be the best person to make that decision after consultation with the husband/father. While i disagree with the terminology [at the very least] of ‘assisted death’ i do think there are situations where we perhaps artificially help people ‘to live’ where it is not really living at all and so i do think we probably could rethink some of our artificial life preserving methods and be okay with allowing people to die when it’s their time to do so, although again i imagine these are really difficult decisions and should be taken situation by situation.

But we should hold life preciously, and the idea that someone would consider killing a child [because that is what it is!] because tests show it might be born blind or disabled or down syndrome actually sickens me. i cannot get my mind around that.

i absolutely believe the death penalty is wrong and don’t understand how so many christians are okay with their thinking that it is right. To kill someone to prove to people that killing is wrong just seems like the most ridiculous thing ever. Much more needs to be said about this.

[2] i came home from our time in Americaland with a greater appreciation of life. Now i have no doubt that i have vegetarian and vegan friends and possibly others who think i am way too far away from where i need to be. But i am definitely better than i was and i really like the change in myself. i have no idea what specifically caused it and again it might be simply from being around a lot more people who thought and lived a certain way.

The way i have seen it manifest is particularly with insects or bugs. Not that i think i would have gone out of my way to kill them before we went to Americaland. But i now have a mindset that says, ‘If i can avoid killing a bug or insect, then i will do that.’ i realised the extent of the change in me the other day when i carefully [this is going to blow too many peoples’ minds] removed a cockroach from my house and set it outside in the road as opposed to killing it. Before i wouldn’t have thought twice about killing a spider and now i will do my best – if it needs to be moved – to get it on a piece of newspaper or in a bag or on my hand and move it to a safer place. i will avoid stepping on ants if i see them – again, a really small mindset shift and a massive one as well.

Mosquitoes? Sorry, the change has not extended there. So maybe there is still some work to do. Or maybe that’s just ok.

The change can probably best be described as don’t go out of your way to hurt or kill a living creature. And if you are able to save/protect/rescue one then go for it. In some situations i probably will still kill ants and cockroaches and possibly even spiders, but i am now leaning more strongly towards avoiding it if possible. So that might not seem particularly significant to anyone, but it feels good to me. Small steps.

[3] Bacon. i imagine this one will seem silly to people on all sides of the spectrum, but i’m okay with that. i enjoy bacon as much as the next person and yet somehow i have gotten this reputation of being the number 1 bacon appreciator of the world. i am aware to some extent how i have helped create this impression and so it’s not completely surprising, but i don’t think it’s true. i mean i really do like bacon, just not THAT much. And one way it has been propogated is that any time anyone sees a t-shirt or a meme or a bacon-salad picture they immediately think of me and post it on my Facebook wall and so it helps build up the picture.

But it’s not particularly true. To be absolutely honest i think i could never eat another piece of bacon again for the rest of my life and be totally okay with that. i wouldn’t particularly choose to, cos like i said i do enjoy it. But it doesn’t feel like a need for me.

The weird point i wanted to make about bacon though is this. i’m not sure when or where it started and don’t even know why. And i don’t particularly do it with any other kind of meat although i do try to be grateful and appreciate all the food we have an eat. But particularly with bacon i started in the last couple of years, taking a moment to stop and be grateful and in a sense thank the pig. To some this will be ridiculous, to others maybe hypocritical and maybe it’s just me cashing in my senility chips earlier or something. But i think it might in some ways be linked to tradition of first nation people of celebrating the life of the animal they kill before they eat it. A real sense of gratitude and appreciation. A moment of stopping to give thanks and thank the pig for its sacrifice that was made, giving me an opportunity to eat. Maybe this means absolutely nothing and makes no difference at all, but for me it is an extra moment of gratitude and appreciation and i think that’s a good step in the right direction.

i imagine most meat eaters don’t take any time whatsoever to think much about their eating of meat. Perhaps if we did there would be more vegetarians among us. So maybe take a moment to think about your meat-eating-ness or not. If you’re happy with it, then by all means keep on. But maybe even within that we can find better ways to do it…

pearlsbeforekill

[For a range of other Pearls before Swine strips, click here]

Here is Erik [with a K] reading Sea Fever by John Masefield recommended by Steve Heineman:

What poem would you love to hear Erik [with a K] read next? Leave your reply in the comments and if you enjoyed this, please SHARE it with your people

[For the first ever Erik with a K poem, click here]

More people have cellphones than they do toilets.

A startling fact according to a recent study made by the U.N. is that out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones, while only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets. This is a deeply disturbing fact, although that was back in 2013 and so hopefully we have moved on a lot from then.

What is a far less serious misfortune is that very rarely, but on the odd occasion, you walk into the bathroom, secure yourself behind a locked door, assume the position and as you begin to do “your business” you realise that you left your phone in the other room.

Oh no! What to do, what to do? Facebook will be left unchecked, you can’t attempt another deep-sounding philosophising tweet and that Pinterest Ninja Turtle birthday cupcake recipe will have to wait. But don’t stress, because i have sourced and dreamed up some of the Top Things you can do when you forget to take your phone into the loo and with credit to @cathjenkin for the idea, here they are:

[10] Sudoku. i mean EVERYONE loves a good puzzle, right. But without your phone, how are you going to manage this one? Well, relax in the knowledge that TPWTMTOTH [The People With Too Much Time On Their Hands] have thought of of everything. Everything!

soduku

[9] T’porigami. Oh sure, anyone can come up with reasonably folded flower, heart or bow:

But it’s going to take you a couple of visits of practising before you’re quite at the point of weight-lifting man:

weight

Yes, yes…or weight-lifting woman!

[8] Dress-up. Everyone loves a good costume party and with all those spare toilet paper rolls at your disposal, why do you have to be any different? Oh sure, you can’t Instagram it for posterity cos ‘No Phone!’ but this can be a secret paradise opportunity for you to try out those costumes you never got to wear. In fact, with some good research beforehand, you could soon be an expert like Nina Katchadourian, known for recreating 15th century portraits using only toilet paper in an airplane loo.

nina

[7] Try a new position. Not something you would typically associate with your toilet time, but now with books like Toilet Yoga: Because Sometimes Sh*t Doesn’t Happen and Kama Pootra: 52 Mind-blowing Ways to Poop to help us get our creative juices flowing, you’ll be coming up with your own personalised ones in no time:

From Kama Pootra: 52 Mind-Blowing Ways to Poop

[6] Fingernail Piercing. Cos stylish yeah? But whoever has time for that? [i know i don’t!]

But with a carefully placed candle and a handy needle, you can start creating the hole and dreaming up all manner of things to decorate it with later:

[5] Plan in advance. Why stress over your own ideas when Linda Wright has already taken so much time doing that for you? With this handy book slipped into your bag before an evening of dinner at a friends, you will be crafting the minutes away in no time. [Not quite sure what qualifies for Linda as ‘special occasions’ but i’m sure you’ll figure it out]

book

[4] Make-up. Because of the rush whenever you are having to get ready for an event, who ever has time to experiment with the colour, right? Well here is your perfect opportunity, especially in a toilet facing a mirror, and maybe even more so with the freedom that is added by one that isn’t:

Guys, note that this does NOT exclude you, although you may need to sneak some ‘supplies’ out of your girlfriend’s purse before making your way to the John.

And, of course if you do have that little bit of extra time in there, because of, #cough#, well, you know, then you have the opportunity to really put that little bit of extra effort in:

 [3] Drum. Everyone loves to work a beat and when you’re behind closed doors, no-one is policing you rhythm. If you plan ahead of time you can keep an actual djembe in the chamber, so that you play up a storm. But if you’re not quite there in the planning stage, you can grab a magazine, use the wall or your lap or even go for combination vibes to get bring that African effect to the Nature that is Calling. [This especially works well if you’re in the middle of embarrassingly loud gas bomb expulsions because, hey, “Don’t mind the drummer people!”]

drum

If the djmebe is not quite your vibe, well Derek Watts and the Sunday Blues have this informative clip suggesting some popular alternatives that may work for you.

[2] Christen your poo. We’ve all read the ‘Different Names of Poo’ lists. What? You haven’t?

So most of us will be familiar with such classics as:

WET CHEEKS POOP: The kind that comes out so fast, your butt cheeks get splashed with water.

POP-A VEIN-IN-YOUR-FOREHEAD POOP: The kind where you strain so much to get it out, you practically have a stroke.

CORK POO : ( Also known as a floater.) Even after the third flush, it’s still floating in the bowel. Oh My! How do I get rid of it??

and of course, KING KONG POO : This one is so big that you know it won’t go down the toilet unless you break it into smaller chunks. A wire coat hanger works well. This kind of poo usually happens at someone else’s house.

But what new and inventive monikers can you bring to the world of Crap-Naming?

[1] If all else fails, have a friend over. If it’s good enough for the Sochi Winter Olympics, then it should be good enough for you. This one clearly needs some foresight and planning, but before you know it you’ll be sharing sports stories, gossiping about the hosts awful ‘do and reminiscing about those good old days…

share

How about you? Have any other ideas of how to stay entertained on the porcelain palace when you forget your phone? And which of these Top Ten was your personal favourite?

If you enjoyed this, please do SHARE it around. If you read this while actually sitting on the toilet, take two moments to appreciate the irony and then pass it on to your friends. And if your favourite was ‘number 2′ well that’s just ironical as well…

[For more great lists of LOLment, click here]

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