Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dentyl Mental

I've recently become a big fan of Dentyl mouthwash. Its first big tick is that it comes as this weird dual layer liquid, reminiscent of something you'd find in a child's chemistry set; something probably marked "Corrosive, Do Not Swallow Under Any Circumstances Whatsoever". Wantonly swilling it round your mouth smacks of a sort of a devil-may-care attitude, a manly bravado that says: "You think I won't drink it? Just watch me, you squares!" ("Egad! I do believe he's actually drinking it Cuthbert!").

Of course, it's once you've spat it down the sink that the real fun begins. Dentyl's main innovation is that it claims to "reveal the causes of bad breath", right there, in the sink, as little globules of pink stuff. Yes, that's right, you can actually see your own diseased flob. This is obviously very satisfying, as you can imagine. It's very much akin to looking down to see you've made a really massive, perfectly shaped poo (actually, I've got into the habit of "looking down" far too much recently - curse you Gillian McKeith, you fake doctory poo-fiend).

I particularly like the TV advert for Dentyl - a couple are standing by the sink in their bathroom, and the woman - who's been using Dentyl - covers her male companion's eyes to stop him seeing her diseased flob. Of course, the idea of seeing diseased flob, especially his own, very much appeals to the man, and the advert ends with him excitedly picking up the bottle, before presumably using it and spending a good five minutes proudly analysing the muck he's produced in the sink.

That's the trouble with blokes - we're far too proud of the disgusting things we produce out of our bodies. I'm actually disappointed now when my daily Dentyl swill doesn't produce the usual amount of globby pink stuff. Really I should be pleased that my mouth isn't quite as rotten as the day before, but somehow I feel like I've failed in my duty as a man.

Who'd have thought mouthwash could be so fascinating?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bristol Shenanigans

Adele, Tom and Flick by the river in Bath, where we took a day trip whilst visiting Bristol.

Hello again. Apologies yet once more for the yawning gulf between posts - I'm still trying to find work, and every second I spend not trawling through job sites and ringing up employers feels like time wasted. My hands are trembling with guilt even as I type this; just think of all the job opportunities I might be missing! The horror!

Despite the ongoing unemployment crisis, I managed to find the time last weekend to head off to Bristol with Flick to visit our old Japan friends Adele and Tom. We last saw them just before they left Fukui in 2005, so it was great to finally meet up with them again. It was pretty cheap to get there too - we took the Megabus, which was only 15 quid for a return, although there did seem to be something of a lucky dip when it came to bus quality. On the way there we were in a draughty, knackered old double decker, but on the way back we had a rather plush, modern coach - does this mean that Bristolians demand a higher level of comfort when they leave town? Who knows.

The university building was almost black with soot last time I saw it - nice to see it's had a bit of a clean.

Anyway, we had a cracking 2 days - a mixture of late night drinking and edifying walks through the country; the perfect weekend really. Bristol was surprisingly nice - on my last visit there about five years ago I remember it having some brilliantly quirky shopping and bars near the university, but a rather drab, concrete shopping centre in the middle. The shopping centre is (thankfully) gone now, and it seems the town planners have gone on something of a redevelopment frenzy, creating new squares, buildings and recreation areas left, right and centre, which are, on the whole, pretty successful.

The highlight was definitely one of the old attractions though - the Clifton Suspension Bridge. I've seen it in pictures many times before, most memorably when the protest group "Fathers 4 Justice" scaled it in the guise of "Superhero's Fighting For Their Childrens Rights" (I think their children could teach them a thing or two about using an apostrophe).

It really is a mightily impressive bridge, spanning a surprisingly deep gorge, and I'd highly recommend a visit to anyone who's passing Bristol. At sunset it looked just superb.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, specially for all you bridge fans.

Of course, there was a downside to Bristol, which mostly came in the form of young ladies and gentlemen chugging bottles of neon blue "WKD", whilst simultaneously being sick all over their shoes. Yes, that's right, it's just like Watford, but much, much bigger. There came a point on Saturday evening, at aroundabout midnight, when the delightful cocktail bar we'd ensconsed ourselves in was due to close. We reluctantly finished our caipirinhas and headed out to find an establishment where we could order one or two more drinks before heading home for bed, but we quickly realised our only options were a drum 'n bass club, or Lloyds Bar. We chose Lloyds Bar.

I can only describe the experience as being somewhat akin to attending a cockfight in Victorian London. After spending five minutes trying to find a table which wasn't awash with alcopops and spent cigarettes we sat down, only to be treated to some sort of ritualistic mating display/wrestling match, involving an inebriated man and a young woman in an alarmingly short mini-skirt. As they rolled around on the beer-soaked carpet, presumably in some sort of drunken courstship display, I dearly wished that there was some sort of late-night drinking establishment where one didn't have to watch teenagers rutting whilst listening to "Build Me Up Buttercup" played at 120 decibels.

Oh yes, and we saw a women on her hen night urinate on a busy intersection in the middle of the city centre. My monocle almost popped out with astonishment.

Bristol: Amazing bridges, venerable university, eclectic shopping, urinating women. It really has it all.

We spotted a Hello Kitty guitar in a music shop in Bath - is there no product the shadow of Kitty-chan has yet to fall on?

Yoshi's Story

This was an interesting turn up for the books. It turns out that a guy called Nick who works as a sports writer for The Independent used to be the editor of JETfuel about ten years ago. He was writing an article on the popularity of the Premiership around the world, so got in touch with Colin, the Fukui JET President, who put him in touch with legendary clothing tycoon and raconteur Yoshi, resulting in the above snippet from last week's paper. I particularly like Yoshi's system of choosing a football team to support based on accent - by this reasoning, and by looking at football fan club sizes, we come to the surprising conclusion that Mancunians have one of the best accents in the world.

It's encouraging to see that an ex-JETfuel editor has ended up with such a desirable post on a quality broadsheet - kind of bodes well for my journalistic aspirations, don't you think? I wonder what happened to all the other JETfuel editors over the years... If anyone knows what they're doing now, please leave a comment below. Maybe we could have a JETfuel reunion or something. With balloons. And cake. Mmmmm, cake.