22 December 2017

How to Look After Your Cement Mixer

So, you're getting yourself a cement mixer next Tuesday and you want to know the best way to look after it?

Cement mixer

A cement mixer is a great addition to any home and will thrive in most environments. They are equally comfortable in a conservatory or bedroom, make a great talking point when displayed prominently in your living room and will cheer up the cupboard under the stairs no end. But they can also be a bit of a handful, especially if you're unlucky enough to get a stroppy one. What would be useful is some sort of handy guide on how to make the most of this magical new addition to your family. Here we go then...

As we just mentioned in that bit you were just reading, a cement mixer will be quite content wherever you put it... almost. There are one or two exceptions. For example, never keep a cement mixer in your bathroom because it will inevitably make a mess in the sink and use up all your clean towels. Just as important is to keep your cement mixer out of the kitchen as it will intimidate your toaster and strike up an unhealthy relationship with the fridge.

Cement mixer

We're often asked what you should feed to your cement mixer. Well, chips, obviously. But apart from chips they enjoy an eclectic diet of washing up liquid, old spanners, rubble and rusks, VHS tapes (not Betamax), cheese and bubble wrap. In fact, you can throw pretty much anything down their necks but you'd be wise to avoid soiled clothing. They love it, of course, but it's likely to make your washing machine insanely jealous.

Cement mixers, as you probably already know, are pack animals and in the wild will hunt in groups of forty or fifty. Naturally they can be fairly boisterous and require a great deal of exercise. The National Centre for Cement Mixer Welfare recommends at least four six-mile walks a week for the average 3-10-year-old. Clearly this is unreasonable, so I wouldn't bother if I were you.

One thing that cement mixers simply adore is ballet. You wouldn't have thought it was possible for a dirty great cement mixer to leap nimbly from point to point, trip daintily across your living room carpet or perform spellbinding pirouettes, and indeed they can't. Obviously, that would be nuts. But they do love watching ballet, which is a pity since most of the more upmarket theatres refuse to admit them, so it might be a good idea to invest in a few DVDs.

Cement mixer

In fact, you may find that there are many places where your cement mixer is not welcome and you should get used to being turned away from restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. In this day and age it is shameful that so many boarding houses display 'No Cement Mixers' notices in their windows, and some leisure centres still ban cement mixers from their swimming pools because of the risk of contagion. This is an extremely ignorant attitude as it is extremely rare for cement mixers to carry disease, especially as ever since 1958 it has been compulsory to vaccinate your cement mixer against drum rot, rim fever and crusted mortar syndrome.

One reason why cement mixers are so often refused admittance to many places is because of the amount of noise they make. This is perhaps understandable. They can be extremely noisy, especially when they are revolving at full whack. What makes it worse it they tend to do this at night - every bleeding night, in fact. It's enough to drive you nuts. Honestly, many is the evening that I wanted to put a pickaxe through its bloody switchbox. That's why I had to get rid of mine in the end - it was doing my head in. If you want my opinion I'd seriously think twice before committing yourself to getting a cement mixer. They're a pain in the arse. Anyway, it's your call.

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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21 December 2017

Evening Classes at The University of the Bleeding Obvious

University

Part-time and evening courses at our adult learning centre

If you've got nothing better to do and you're interested in getting a cheaply printed certificate in a made up discipline which will be of no earthly use to you, then you've come to the right place. We offer a full range of pseudo-academic subjects and frivolous arts and crafts courses.

Enrolling couldn't be simpler - seriously, we've tried to make it simpler, but we were getting nowhere. So take a look at the courses we have starting this term and then give us a call to receive our 48-page application manual.

Dog Bothering

This 12-week course is suitable for beginners looking to embark on a career in annoying small animals as well as those who have some experience but are looking for a formal qualification. Students begin by learning how to aggravate a terrier before moving on to frustrating a whippet, vexing a Labrador and finally learning how to satisfactorily enrage of borzoi.

Home Dentistry

Learn how to treat the majority of dental issues for a fraction of the cost of professional treatment, using everyday materials found in the home. This course demystifies basic orthodontic techniques, giving you the confidence to perform extractions, fillings and advanced root canal work on your family and friends using tools, adhesives and implements that can be found in any kitchen, shed or garage.

Build Your Own Horse

Over 16 weeks you'll learn how to assemble a fully working horse from its constituent parts. Begin by assembling the limbs, chassis and basic musculature before progressing to plumbing in major organs and wiring complex neurological connections. Students are advised to equip themselves with rubber gloves and a sturdy pair of boots.

Flour Arranging

Master the art of creating beautiful and innovative displays using a variety of plain, self-raising and wholemeal flours.

Sports Science

Study the psychology and application of performance-related systems formulated to enhance physical achievement in a wide range of sporting endeavours on this fully accredited course. Sports Science isn't actually a thing, but you will still get a certificate at the end of it.

Intermediate Hospitality

At the end of this 12-week course you will have learnt to be moderately hospitable to a reasonable number of people. Certainly, you'll be more cordial than you would have been had you plumped for the beginner's course, but obviously not anywhere near as welcoming as you would if you had completed the Advanced Hospitality course.

Doing Impressions of Sir Michael Caine

Ever wanted to do impressions of Sir Michael Caine to a professional standard? This 18-week course has been designed especially to teach people who want to do impressions of Sir Michael Caine to do impressions of Sir Michael Caine and is taught by people who do high quality impressions of Sir Michael Caine on a semi-professional basis.

Second Degree Fun

Suitable for students who have already completed their First Degree Fun, this course is intended to take Fun to the next level and is a primer for Advanced Fun, in which the Fun never ends.

Practical Swearing

Learn how to swear like a *!@*ing trooper in a range of %!*#ing situations. This 6-week #@**ing course is taught by one of the country's biggest *@!!, who will show you how to @!*#!!, **!@# and @#*!ing well !!!! like a %#*!@ !!@*#*% @%**#. No @!#*ing refunds, you !#*@.

Advanced Fax

Suitable for language students who already have a working knowledge of Fax, this course aims to equip learners with the ability to converse fluently with a wide selection of Fax machines of various makes and models, from the simple Duo-Tone Medium-Resolution Easy-Send to the CyberFax Hyperfibre Multi-channel Auto Deskpod, and possibly some others we've made up as well.

Creative Hoovering

Develop your creative hoovering skills in a series of workshops designed to explore your inner cleaner and help you to express yourself via vacuuming. The course is delivered by the celebrated Guy Parker, recognised by the art world as one of the top hooverers of his generation, having cleaned, amongst other places, the Scottish National Gallery, the Tate Gallery and the Yorkshire Sculpture park (alternate Saturdays).

Awareness

This course will teach you the basic techniques of awareness and is a foundation course for advanced appreciation.

Excuseology

Learn how to come up with the perfect excuse. The course is divided into three modules. Module 1: I didn't do it; Module 2: Somebody else did it; Module 3: Somebody else is doing it so it's ok if I do it.

Pasta Weaving

Learn how to use a variety of different pastas to create beautiful furniture and homeware. This ancient and ingenious art form is rarely practised outside the Italian province of Brescia and the artefacts you will create are sure to become a talking point with family and friends. Seriously, who else can boast that they've got a sideboard made out of spaghetti?

Advanced Cloning

Create multiple clones of yourself to carry out routine and mundane everyday tasks. Students are advised that a separate registration fee will be due for each iteration of themselves that they create and that costs are therefore likely to rise exponentially over the course of the programme.

Anti-Cooking

Learn how to disassemble a Battenberg, reduce a soufflé to its component parts and reverse-engineer a lasagne. Bring your own spoon.

If you would like more information call 78411654 464654654 and ask about enrolling on our 'Getting More Information' course.

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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20 December 2017

A Ding-Dong over Duvets

14 July 2015

Dear Professor Reynaud

We were most delighted to receive your recent request to fund your proposed research into the origins, management and future development of the duvet. As one of the largest manufacturers of duvets in Europe, we understand the importance of the duvet in modern life and we are keenly aware that, as yet, very little effort has been made to understand this vital pillar of Western civilisation.

I'm sure you can imagine how pleased we were at the prospect that this situation should finally be redressed, and our joy in being able to play a part in this exciting and necessary project. I am happy to tell you that the directors have approved your request. We shall be advancing the requested funds to you presently and look forward to receiving reports of your work.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

23 January 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

I hope this letter finds you well and that your important duvet work is progressing on schedule. We had hoped that we might have heard something from you by now, as it is six months since this fascinating project started. We are acutely aware that we lack experience of the academic world and that we are unfamiliar with the pace at which such work is expected to progress. It might be useful, therefore, if you could provide us with a brief update on the project and give us some idea of when you are likely to publish your preliminary findings.

I am sorry if this letter makes us seem a little impatient. We do appreciate that you must be very busy but we are all really excited here and I hope you will forgive our over-enthusiasm.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

2 February 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

Thank you for your brief note in which you informed us that 'everything is going ok'. Our board of directors had hoped for something a little more detailed, but I did explain to them that it would be premature to say more at this early stage.

We were also pleased to receive your application for further funding and appreciate that the recruitment of two full-time research assistants would advance the project significantly. After a long and somewhat tense meeting, the details of which will be of no concern to you, I have the great pleasure of informing you that your request has been granted and that you can go ahead and engage the former underwear model Miss Berverley Trubshaw and Mr Jacob Phillips, whom you describe as your 'brother-in-law'.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

16 July 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

Hi, it's us again. Sorry to be troublesome but there seems to have been a slight misunderstanding which I'm hoping you may be able to clear up. One of our senior managers recently paid a visit to Durham University, where we believed you were based and to where we have been sending all our correspondence. The visit, I hasten to add, was not sanctioned by the company and we would not presume to intrude upon your work at this delicate stage. Our man was in the area and did not think that there would be any harm in dropping in unannounced.

Curiously, however, our representative was unable to locate you. According to his account of the visit, no one he spoke to seemed to have heard of a 'Professor Reynaud' and when he asked where he could find the Duvet Department he was told that the university did not have one, that it had never had one and he was instead directed to a nearby department store.

I am certain that there is a very simple explanation for this and if you could provide some clarification it would be most helpful in resolving some of the anxieties that are being felt at our end.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

18 July 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

Many thanks for responding so promptly to my previous enquiry and I am indeed grateful that you were able to so satisfactorily clear up our confusion. It never occurred to us that Durham has two universities, but now of course it all makes perfect sense. I must admit that none of us here had realised that 'Durham University' and 'The University of Durham' were two separate entities and I suppose it's reasonable that our man would have visited the larger, more well-known establishment rather than the smaller, specialised facility at which you're based.

Our senior manager was keen to rectify his error when next he visits the area, and felt sure he could have found the right address, but I note your request not to be unexpectedly disturbed and have managed to dissuade him. He was disappointed, of course, but excited, as we all are, by the news that you are about to make an important announcement. I am sure that next time I write, it will be to congratulate you on a breakthrough.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

28 July 2016

Dear Professor Reynaud

We are all absolutely over the moon at your recent announcement regarding your new mathematical formula describing the optimum method for putting on a duvet cover. We are not sure that we properly understand it, and certainly can't comment on it from a scientific point of view, but everyone here is ecstatic that your press release was picked up by no fewer than three national newspapers and the BBC!

In light of this extraordinary success the board has no hesitation in acceding to your request for further funding to investigate the use of duvets in the Maldives and surrounding area, and we look forward to many more fascinating discoveries to come.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

14 March 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

Just a brief note to say that we're all still very excited here about your duvet cover formula, even though it was eight months ago. We're sure you must have settled in to your new base in the Maldives by now and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

3 August 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

The board are getting a little concerned that we've not received any word from you in the last year. I feel sure that you must be on the verge of some important discovery and I've asked them to be patient, but if you could send us an update, that would be great.

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

20 September 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

Come on mate, help me out here. The directors are going crazy and who do you think is getting the blame? Exactly, yours truly - how about you drop me a line, give me a call, send me a postcard even? Please, something, anything...

Yours Sincerely

Gordon Potter

Comfytog Duvets

 

6 November 2017

Dear Professor Reynaud

Or should I say 'Martin Wingerworth'? Remember me, Martin? I was senior manager at Carter's Quality Curtains when you tried to pull this same 'research project' stunt with them. Well, Gordon Potter's gone and you're dealing with me now. And guess what? The gravy train has pulled into the station and you're not getting one penny more. So you enjoy yourself out there while you can, because when the money runs out you'll have to come home. And when you do, I'll be waiting Martin. Oh yes, I'll be waiting.

Yours Sincerely

Michelle Strand

Comfytog Duvets

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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19 December 2017
Staff Handbook: Some Useful Information

Welcome to Frisbee Digitally Tracked Logistical Interface Solutions, one of the largest digitally tracked logistical interface companies in Europe. We hope you enjoy your time working here and we look forward to you becoming a valuable and productive member of the team.

This booklet is designed to acquaint you with some of our rules and regulations and answer any questions you may have. Just like every other employer that you've ever worked for, here at Frisbee we believe that we are not like everybody else. A 'Frisbee Person' is motivated, dedicated and gullible and is always prepared to go the extra mile. That's why we firmly believe that our staff are our greatest asset.

The Frisbee Way

Working for Frisbee Digitally Tracked Logistical Interface Solutions is not like working for any other company and you may find it a little difficult at first to adjust to the Frisbee ethos. To help you, here is a guide to some of the words and phrases that you may hear being used by your colleagues throughout your working day.

 

 

Adjust: Commit an act of fraud. As in 'we've had to adjust some of the yearly results to avoid missing the threshold'.

Annual leave: Period in which you are allowed to work from home, as long as you continue to answer calls, respond to emails and keep on top of your workload.

Appraisal and supervision: Box ticking.

Asset disposal: Helping yourself to the contents of the stationery cupboard.

Backdating: Committing an act of fraud. As in 'we're going to have to develop and backdate a sickness absence policy ahead of a forthcoming tribunal, so that it looks like we've had one in place all along'.

Cod of conduct: A really well behaved fish.

Code of conduct: Series of unwritten rules that can be instantaneously summoned into being whenever somebody does something we don't like. Not to be confused with a cod of conduct.

Compassionate leadership: Paying lip service to some vague concept that no one really understands, whilst in reality carrying on in exactly the same way that we always did.

Equality and diversity: Box ticking.

Ethical purchasing: Buying recycled toilet paper.

Extended sick leave: State of semi-employment, usually a precursor to resignation or dismissal.

Focus group: Panel of individuals from various backgrounds who have been carefully chosen to give the right responses to questions to which we already know the answers.

Fudge: Commit an act of fraud. As in 'we've fudged the outcomes data for this quarter so that they meet the target'.

Gantt chart: Pretty picture.

Go the extra mile: Working unpaid overtime.

Harassment, bullying and discrimination: Management (right kids?)

Health and Safety training: Being shown how not to fall off a ladder.

Innovative Solutions: Unworkable solutions dreamt up to address problems which don't exist.

Letter of resignation: Passive-aggressive diatribe on the failings of a soon-to-be ex-employer.

Meeting: Occasion on which a number of people gather around a table, eat biscuits, chat about stuff and entirely fail to reach a decision about anything.

Probationary period: Variable period of time with no real world significance which is nevertheless effective in intimidating and cajoling new staff.

Progress report: List of excuses thinly held together with bar charts and made up numbers.

Project management: Drawing pretty pictures. See Gantt chart.

Re-evaluate: Commit an act of fraud. As in 'we've had to re-evaluate some of the qualifying criteria for outcomes to enable us to incorporate specific results into our running totals'.

Risk assessment: Purely academic exercise in evaluating fictitious hazards in an imaginary environment.

Satisfaction survey: Carefully compiled series of questions designed to trick respondents into telling us how great we are.

Staff involvement: The art of giving staff the illusion that they are involved.

Staff secondment: Being removed from your everyday duties and deposited in some strange netherworld, whence no one returns. As in:

Whatever happened to Kevin?
Kevin?
Yeah, Kevin.
Oh Kevin. Yeah, he went on secondment for six months. That was eight years ago...

Strategy Meeting: Occasion on which a number of really important people gather around a table, eat really expensive biscuits and entirely fail to reach a decision about anything.

Team player: Someone who blindly believes everything we tell them. As in 'see Tom over there - we told him that if he's not prepared to come in early and work for free on Thursday then he's not a team player'.

Tender: A work of fiction. A tender will outline inflated costings associated with delivering a project or service. In practice only a small percentage of the projected costs will actually be spent and the surplus will be diverted elsewhere.

Time off in lieu: An amount of time owing to a member of staff, which the member of staff will never get the opportunity to take.

Tweak: Commit an act of fraud. As in 'we've had to slightly tweak our monthly report in order to qualify for a payment'.

 

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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18 December 2017
Baxter's Salt

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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Blog Index

Archive 1

February 2001
- July 2003

Mathew Sandblaster_Trogg

"...not stopped bouncing since 1972..."

Typists of the Kalahari

"The elephant can type at speeds in excess of 120 words per minute..."


Fats Porker - Blues Whinger

"The sad loss of Fats Porker..."

Nuclear Garden

"We can't sleep at night and it frightens the dog..."

more...

 

 

Pirates

"Could you support a helpless pirate?"


Celebrity Pizza Therapy

"The latest craze for the high-flying and self-important elite..."

Detective Inspector Barker Harris

"You can call me Snuggles..."

The Detangulator

"Unlock the hidden power of tangled wires..."

more...

The Bubble Bloke

"He coughs up something unpleasant..."

Skippy's Opera

The sound of fury

Darrens on the Decline in Essex

Garys are taking over.

Herman Logins

Aberdeen man is venue for Olympics

Cold Fusion Sandwiches

A breakthrough in lunch technology.

Auras by Post

Spring clean your chakras

  Fields of Gold

Fergus farms financiers

Echo... Echo

Meanwhile in Yorkshire

Munchy Burger

Application Form Part B

Factor88

Reverse the 412 signs of aging

More...
Professional Scarer
Sandals
Jehovahs Cleaners
more
Kicking and Screaming

Prologue: Peanuts

You Don't Have to be Mad to Work Here...

Machiavelli Management Solutions

The Bleeding Obvious

Exploding Dogs

Baby's First Swear

Scrufty's Magic Juju Shop

Pigmongering

Empire of the Flowers

Scumm

Mrs Wilberforce and the River

Epilogue: Persons Unknown

The Hedgehog King Board Meeting Goldilocks and the Free Bears Death Doom and Disaster Tall Story in a Short Glass Venus by Catapult Barry Buys a Broom
The History of Rock
Standard British NunsTeaching Carrots to FlyStandard British NunsExtreme Dinosaurs
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All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2017, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of the author. All characters, companies and organisations are fictitious, and any similarity to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


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Death by appliance.

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Quick Rod Stewart and Enya...

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Young Waiter of the Year

A gobful of abuse from young Paul certainly strikes home.

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The Museum of Found Noises

Parp Clang Twang Wubble-Wubble-Wubble-Wubble.

 

Extreme DinosaursTeaching Carrots to FlyStandard British NunsExtreme Dinosaurs

 

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