What would you put in Room 101?by Flash Wilson, July 21st 2004
Click here to hear Flash read this article.
I often wonder, while watching Room 101 on the television, what items I
would send there, nevermore to blight my life. It didn't
take me long to decide. Several months later, these spur
of the moment choices still hold good for me, so I shall
reproduce them here. I've chosen six items which I wouldn't
miss at all...
The White Stripes
They represent a kind of music I hate - music with no meaningful lyrics, and a mundane repetitive tune that doesn't develop or move music forward in any way. Basically they produce music which seems to have no purpose. What's the point of singing "the hardest button to button" over and over?!
It kills people, it changes people, it drains their money... To an outsider it seems awful. I'm also worried that if I ever tried it, I'd like it a little too much - so best to delete it from the world and remove the possibility.
Cycling on the pavement
Usually cyclists on the pavement are lazy, incompetent, or doing something stupid like trying to balance several shopping bags on their handlebars. For example, some people cycle on the pavement right next to a cyclepath (and shamefacedly move to it when I point this out). In another case, I told someone that "this is a pavement" after he nearly ran me over, and he told me "I'm not allowed to cycle on the road. I've been brain damaged since my accident." (A road accident, I wonder?) When he spoke I realised he was indeed someone who appeared to have learning difficulties. Or there is the case of a family group who ALL cycle on the pavement so they can include the youngest member who is still using stabilisers. I don't think this is any excuse! If you have kids who are too young to go on the road, or people who are unable to ride safely on the road due to shopping or mental impairment, then they are a risk. They aren't safe on the road and I'm not happy with them whizzing past me on the pavement either! If you can't cycle safely, don't cycle at all. I don't!
Horrible little things that scream, eat, shit and sleep, and can do nothing for themselves. They need constant supervision (unlike a pet) and can make even sane people start to talk nonsense. At best they are a distraction and a drain. There is a slight snag that if babies go into Room 101, the human race will die out. Perhaps we would quickly invent some kind of robot to bring up the baby, so they aren't seen, for example, screaming in supermarkets - only being allowed into the population at school age, by which time they are also able to contribute to the daily chores, like kids in Africa manage to do with pride and without complaint.
These "diet" doughnuts are an abomination. If you take the fat out of doughnuts, they are no longer doughnuts, they are sugared rubber rings. They are absolutely disgusting. Try one, and it will be a long time before you can face even a normal doughnut again. They have no place here!
"Special" food for vegetarians
Many's the time when I've eaten at a friend's house and I've said "please, just give me what everyone else is having, but without the meat or fish" and instead when we sit down to eat, everyone else has tasty looking food and I will be presented with a giant heap of inedible lentil puree, or something like that. Something "special". This has many problems; firstly, I like normal food, vegetables, pasta, the usual. I don't like wierd shit. Secondly, giving me something "special" usually means it has a strange content, perhaps it's extra high in protein and fibre or something, and I'll be running to the loo before we've even reached the dessert. Thirdly, it's often been cooked from a recipe which serves two, or worse, four, so I've got far too much of the stuff. Even if I manage to eat some, I leave a lot more and whatever I do it looks bad. Fourthly, it makes me feel excluded, and draws attention to the fact that I'm doing something different, so I feel awkward. This can also mean I get lots of questions about why I won't eat animal, the answers to which can put the meat-eaters off their food! And finally because it's been cooked separately as a "special" gesture by the host, I feel guilty that I can't eat it and it's impossible to say "actually, can I have some of the vegetables everyone else has, please?" (If you'd like to know how to feed me, please see this page on catering for vegetarians.)
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