Sunday, 20 March 2011

Radio 2 Bingo

In my current workplace we are allowed to listen to the radio, unfortunately it is always tuned to either Radio 2 or cricket. Both still beat listening to the same 14 songs on a loop during my stints in retail. You have to wonder what the higher management are thinking when they enforce rules such as that. “How best can we motivate our workers Bill?” “Gosh Tim, what say we aurally drown them in the crooning of Will Young and Dido? For 7.5 hours a day?” “Amazing idea, I’ll ask Louis Walsh’s Mum to devise the playlist!”

By listening to the same radio station from 9am to 5pm, you’re bound to hear a few tracks repeated. But I’m pretty sure Radio 2’s DJ’s have decided the nation needs a dose of Eliza Doolittle’s Mr Medicine administered once daily. And it’s been ‘Hollywood Tonight’ for Michael Jackson every day (confusingly) since Christmas. A fact of which I’m pretty sure he’s oblivious, much like most Radio 2 listeners are about what ‘going Hollywood’ means these days.

I wondered how this growing resentfulness towards certain tracks, previously enjoyed by myself and my colleagues – an enjoyment worn thin through repetition – could be turned on its head. So much so that we even pray for the songs to be played. I suggested we all pick a few songs and the person who has all their tracks played first shouts “BINGO!”. The imaginatively entitled ‘Radio 2 Bingo’ was born and has evolved into a musical monster, the prize being the much sought-after ‘kudos’. In case anyone out there wants to play along (what with the Come Dine With Me Drinking Game not lending itself well to an office environment) I’ve taken the trouble to list the rules below.

Jeremy Vine aka ‘Jeremy Whine’: may he rest in peace.

Radio 2 Bingo: The Rules

  • Tracks are randomly distributed to players from the official Radio 2 Playlist. A separate pot will contain artists most favoured by Radio 2 DJs such as Phil Collins, ABBA and The Carpenters. We have three singles and three artists per player; other potential teams can bend this to their will.

  • The scoring of points can only be counted during work hours. Sucks to be you if one of your chosen tunes plays at 8.58am. Serves you right for being early, you brown-nosing tosspot.

  • 3 points scored for a single being played.

  • 5 points scored for any of the artist’s records being played.

  • Double points awarded if Steve Wright-in-the-Afternoon sings along during or after any of your songs.

  • Double points awarded if any two songs/artists are played in succession.

  • Doris was thrilled to hear Duran Duran and Jessie J being played back to back.

  • All points accumulated that day are deducted if Jeremy Vine verbally indicates that he either likes the song or artist that has been played.

  • On days specified as ‘cricket days’, play will be suspended until the next available day.
  • I personally do not agree with this rule. But then, rather that than listen to 50+ hours of Chris Moyles.

  • If all six of the player’s songs have been aired in one day a bonus of 10 points will be awarded.

So there you have it. The product of my most creative idea in the workplace since suggesting to the manager of the charity shop where I worked that customers might prefer to choose their clothes by size rather than by colour (“Oh but people are attracted to colours.” “When they’re looking at rainbows maybe. When they’re clothes shopping, they want something that fucking fits.”)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Street Party Hard

Well, it must be ‘that time of the month’, because here’s an update. It may be the last one for a while, seeing as my computer is currently howling like a constipated ghost and it is usually 15-20 seconds between typing a sentence and seeing it appear on screen. Ah well.

Last week, in a rare excursion from cursing at cursors and maiming my mouse, I attended a meeting at the local to discuss the forthcoming street party my neighbours plan to hold in commemoration of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go draped in the Union Jack flag, reciting the national anthem. It seems the neighbours are of the same mindset as me; we don’t especially care who’s getting married, we care that we’ve got a day off and we’re going to use it to throw a kickass party and introduce ourselves.

On the subject of the Royals, I also read recently in the Kemptown Rag (yup, my neighbourhood even has its own magazine) that Prince Harry doesn’t wash his hair. He uses water, but not shampoo. Check out his pate compared to that belonging to Prince William. I think it’s further evidence that H2O is the only real beauty product we need. (To clarify, I don’t think Prince Harry is beautiful).

The street party meeting was further evidence for me of how savvy Brightonians are. Everyone seems to work in web design, events, the media, events in the media. I was expecting the chance to meet a few of the residents and fully expected the assembly to descend into drunken debauchery, given the setting. But no, there was an actual agenda, further reading, forms to help allocate tasks to volunteers and a minute-taker. I felt a flush of pride to be involved and wish I could’ve contributed more (like the couple who offered to bring a gazebo and staging) than my feeble offer to help put up bunting.

What the street partiers envisage.

What the Council predicts.

Eerily, when I checked my Twitter feed the next day, a couple of the Guardian columnists (Sali Hughes and Alexis Petridis) I follow were talking about going to the same pub for G&Ts. It makes me wonder about all the celeb-spotting I’m missing mere metres away. I wonder who else goes there. Maybe Mark Kermode goes there to let off some steam about Johnny Depp’s latest incarnation as psychotic writer/pirate/ninja/zombie. Perhaps Simon Price, when not hosting most of Brighton’s club nights and writing books on the Manic Street Preachers, likes to unwind with a vodka orange. Well, anyway, I hope to see them all at the party next month.