Sunday, 15 January 2017

Unexplained Phenomena

Being in a ruminative mood, I'd like to discuss how I'm fascinated by the countless examples of unexplained phenomena encountered in everyday life.

Why, for example, is it not only expected, but absolutely guaranteed, that when we order an Indian takeaway, the following conditions (at least in my house) will always be true:
1 - at least one small part of the kitchen worktop will be stained yellow by the curry, a stain that will be resistant to every cleaning chemical in my house;
2 - I will be wearing a shirt with at least some percentage of white within its design, and;
3 - I will spill some curry down the shirt, making it effectively useless for a work context, except on occasions where the car windows are misted over and I need a rag to wipe them.

In order to examine these phenomena more closely I shall be opening my own university, the University of Minutiae Inc, where PhDs will be available for students to research such irritations of everyday life.  I am already on the lookout for a number of engaged, forward thinking, and most importantly gullible students that can deliver research in the following fields:

  • Parcel Delivery - a keen student is needed to carry out a root cause analysis to establish the reasons why parcels are only delivered when you are not in the house, why the local mail depot, which you must visit to obtain the parcel, is only open between the hours of 3.30 and 3.45 in the morning (and is located approximately forty miles away from the nearest human habitations, only reachable by private transport)
  • Internet Technologies - an easily distracted student is required to research the design of clickbait websites (i.e. "Click here for 15 amazing photos the CIA doesn't want you to see of Taylor Swift telling you how to be a millionaire with a free iPhone!") in order to discover if the websites do, in fact, have a finishing point where you can stop reading them at last, and en route to the finishing point, to see if there is any actual information of photos the CIA doesn't want you to see, Taylor Swift, how to become a millionaire, or how to get a sodding free iPhone.
  • Food - a hungry and imaginative student is required to carry out a inferential analysis of the food within one thousand peoples refrigerators, in particular considering if any of the food in fridges actually went bad by the "Use By" dates on the packaging.  They are also to review the contents of the so called "salad crisper" or "vegetable drawer" to see if, at any point, food is removed from this location to be eaten, rather than just thrown away after going mouldy.

A special UK-only doctorate will be available to someone who wishes to study Argos, an oddity which survives despite combining the worst elements of both internet and high street shopping (you have to go out to the shop to buy what you want, but you don't get to see the item until after you paid for it!)

And of course, there is one very special fellowship available for anyone who can explain why there's such a demand for gym's that are open 24 hours a day.  Who are these people that need to exercise their quad muscles at 2 o clock in the morning, instead of everyone else who is busy being asleep, or possibly drunk and eating a pizza whilst watching reruns of Cagney and Lacey?

We look forward to your interest.


  1. The 24 hour gym phenomenon is crazy. You are correct that I am not going to feel the urge at midnight to go do a spin on the elliptical & then hit the weights. Cagney & Lacey sounds great or Burn Notice. I am with you, Mike!

    1. Whilst I'm no fan of the gym I get the point of 24 hour gyms as a shift worker. Quite a few of my colleagues use them.

  2. The 24-hour gym thing is supremely understandable. Introverts prefer the hours when everybody else only has their blather-trap open to snore.

    1. Fair enough, it's not something that would occur to me as something to do in the middle of the night, but that's just me - to each their own! Thanks for reading :)

  3. I'll add to the parcel delivery phenomenon. Why is it I'm always in to take in neighbours'parcels but they are never in to take mine (as forementioned I'm out when they are delivered). And why are the people in the collection depots SO miserable, it's like they're captives forced to hand out packages.

    1. My wife does get quite a few parcels delivered (materials for her needle minder Etsy shop - and when she isn't in the parcels are hardly ever left with neighbours, 99 times out of 100 they're at the depot at the far side of town with a queue out the door (there used to be 2 or 3 depots in the city but I think the others got closed down to save money)


TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs
Paperblog BlogCatalog