Dear Webponce,

A recent tip I have been given to remove oil from skin may be helpful with your coffee and glitter removal problem.

If you combine washing up powder with washing up liquid and use this to wash all exposed areas you should find that they will become clean.

Failing that if you shave your body and chemically strip your skin, and burn everything you where wearing after said exposer to glitter and/or coffee grounds you should be ok.

If this more drastic approach does not work, it may be possible that you actually have got glitter and/or coffee into your eyes. If this is the case you may need to pluck them out with a spoon.

Leading to my final question:

“What should I do if I have accidentally plucked my eyes out with a spoon while trying to remove glitter from my person?”



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Editors note: during the course of matthew’s research, to work out if gouging one’s own eyes with a spoon affects one’s performance, he failed to realise he’d not be able to see the keyboard. although his touch-typing skills are fairly good, he’s a little off center – we apologise to anyone who desperatly needed an answer to this question, but hopefully, after an eye replacement from a rabbit, webponce’s service will resume as soon as possible

Why is every can or tin you ever buy equipped with one of those handy ring-pulls, until the *day* you move into your new flat where you don’t have a tin opener, when you manage to buy perhaps the only ringpull-less tin of tomatoes in the entire supermarket, meaning a 15 minute wrestle with one of those dodgy hook things on a swiss army knife that doubles as an attachment for pulling stones out of horse’s hooves?

Oh, my other question is:

Why do swiss army knives have attachments for pulling stones out of horse’s hooves?

Simon Kirk, aged 26 1/4

Simon, thank you for your question.

First of all, a little history of the ring pull. Designed in 1964 by Desmond Garrison, a butchers son from Ealing. His father had lost many finger through careless meat cleaving, and as a result – found the use of the can opener difficult. Desmond’s mother, his father wife, had died some years earlier on a tragic accident involving a small elephant and a packet of chocolate buttons, and was not able to help her long suffering husband to open cans of beans, dog food or picked walnuts.

The ring pull was not employed widely until around 1976, when an EU legislation years ahead of its time (in both the fact of the non-existance of the EU, and it being written in a yet to be invented language) stated that all cans and tins must by the year 2006 have ‘flikneyars’ attached – this being a hebrew word roughly translating to ‘that which shall be pulled back’. Early experiments with attaching curtains, tides and foreskins to tin cans failed miserably, until Garrison, then a train guard for the now defunct British Rail, took his ideas to a local supermarket chain – who quickly began producing tins with these easily removable lids. It was in 1982, however, that the flikneyar trade was severly rattled by the discovery of a local bylaw relating to window taxes. Window taxes, although repealed by government many years ago, and replaced with Council Tax, are still enforcable by law should a local council wish to do so, but only on “non-transparent objects” to make the law seem less objectional. Local counsellors and law enforcers from the mid 80s onwards started taking tax from houseowners and renters for non-transparent objects such as donkeys, pot pourii and kitchen utensils. This enraged the masses, and unrest grew throughout the country, leading to the creation of rebel forces using the power of music to explain their cause. The popular beat combo A-Ha lent their words to the fight, their song ‘Take On Me’, set in a comic book cafe, is an obvious message regarding the tax on opaque reading materials – the visual metaphor, of ‘seeing through’ the comic as some way of saying paper should be see through to avoid tax. By 1988, the rebel forces had grown strong, and ensure the councils of the land could not tax NTOs (non-transparent objects), would break into houses and steal anything not see through.

By the mid 90s the rebel forces had mainly been crushed by anti-terrorist groups and their inane fear of daytime television, but still today, as a tradition to remember the heros which died in the NTO wars (often pronounced NATO), upon moving house or flat with windows, various utensils will be removed from the house during midnight raids by NATO haters. The statistically most common stolen utensil is the can opener and as a form of hilarious jape, NATO haters would also steal any flikneyar cans or tins to heighten the victims awareness to the situation.

In short, you did have a can opener, but it was stolen by someone who doesn’t like NATO.

Your question about swiss army knives having attachments for random tasks such as destoning horse hooves?

Well, simply – the swiss are odd aren’t they. They’re main weapon of choice is a pocket saw with a compass.

i’m not sure if this is a universal – however, glitter, when i was at university and college, used to get *everywhere*. when i’d go out with people wearing it, it would invetably end up on me, on my clothes, on my face, probably in my drink and food, ergo in my poo. You’d then find it again (the glitter, not the poo) weeks later on a completely different pair jeans or tshirt – sometimes even an item you’d purchased after the event and hadn’t worn yet. Glitter is a magical phenomenon. It travels the world like this too. A party I went to at the Museam of Contemporary Arts in Sydney quickly turned in to a debauched drinking session, and when the social boundaries of ettiquette broke down, people had taken to stealing glitter covered letters from the walls and a) hitting other people with them or simply b) taking them home. As a result, the following morning, i was covered in glitter, and so was the bed i had slept in. Weeks later, upon my return to England – some 10,000 miles away, the glitter was still engrained in most of my clothes. The same happens for people i’ve not seen for weeks – my ex-housemates at university often wore glitter, and after visting, even weeks afterwards, i would find some small piece of magpie attracting dust on my face or jumper.

Of course, i’m now 23 (pushing 48), and my contact with glitter is quite considerably reduced – i’ve not used glitter personally since adrian’s wedding gift, and since i was about 12 before that – but there is an adult glitter. Coffee grounds.

Upon washing up a cafetiere, you will find that the little black bits of coffee cling on to your skin for dear life, almost as if they were to lose hold, the world would fall apart. It gets everywhere. Some how, i just had some on my face. How? for the love of god how? There are so many unanswered questions in the world – and I’ve decided to devote my life to answering them. So please, if you have a situation you don’t understand – mail me. I shall endevour to find out, and post the results back here.

ER: the greatest show on earth

Ee-by-ahh – set in a yorkshire emergency ward

ee-ooh-arr – set in a somerset hospital’s a&e department

RE - dyslexia specialising emergency ward

there-you-R – in a wing of a lunatic asylum set aside for people who think they’re austin powers

FR – emergency department on the seine

neen-R – a radio version that consists of just an hour of ambulance sound effects

DR – doctors in it, innit

Eze-R-goode – special guest appearance by the shamen

nee-R: the closest emergency ward to your home

pee-R: doctors and nurses on posters

wE-R-family – featuring songs by sister sledge

TR – doctors sitting around on rows of tables ;)

ee-gar – someone who really wants it to start now..

VR: electronic doctors swan around as holograms fixing dead computers

© 2002 matt and slim

10 things i wish i had right now:

(in no real order of desire)

1. Better fillings for my slices of bread than cheese and ham. I’d kill for some tuna right now.

2. An office which doesn’t occasionally make noises leading to minor cardiac arrests

3. Some thing other than coffee and cocacola which is caffinated

4. More time

5. A giant bowl of carbonara

6. A monorail that takes me to my flat

7. Three more things for this list.

for some reason when i came into work this morning, i somehow expected my files to be finished, almost as if by magic elves, working through the night to help me on my way to completion, nirvana no less. however, i think i thwarted them by being here. as we all know elves must not be seen by human (or geek) eye or else they shall vanish in a puff of logic.

hence, today, i have brought in a blindfold.

i’ve never bought from a wedding list before – and i’m facing all the dilemmas that it provides. If i buy them a cushion, am i implying they are couch potatoes, and need to get out more? If i buy them a bin, am i saying they have lots of crap in their house? if i buy them towels, am i hinting their personal hygene isn’t what it should be? i could truly ruin a friendship here by buying a set of steak knives.

and then there is the cost issue.. does the amount in pounds exactly relate to how much you value the couple as friends? how does it work?

�15 – colleague?

�30 – good friend?

�60 – you fancy the bride?

�100 – you just got paid?

�250 – you just got dividends?

�350 – you just got that pad in mayfair?

�500 – how have the police not caught you yet?

�750 and upwards – Professional Footballer / Movie Star / MP ?

i just don’t know. maybe i should make them a present, like we did at school, get out my glitter and pasta and glue – surely they’d appreciate the effort, even if my macaroni mona lisa looks more like last night’s carbonara.

you see, i’m a wedding virgin, sure i’ve been to weddings before, but always with my parents – never been invited to one before. I’ve been to a few receptions and aftershow parties, but the whole sitting in the church, getting asked if *i* am a friend of the gride or broom.

i think i need guidance from a marriage counsellor – they do support guests as well as couples right?

however, all that being said.. i can’t wait! :D

(postscript for the groom: don’t worry dooder.. i’m good with pasta, glue and glitter, you’ll love it ;)

“It seems several people have devised a means to defeat the copyright protection on CD’s by carefully drawing over the layer of the CD that contains the copy protection technology with a felt tip pen, thus keeping it from causing a computer to crash upon reading it.

The funniest part of this whole ordeal is that under the rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, technically felt tip pens should now be made illegal as they contribute to the break down of this copyright protection technology.

In a blatant attempt to show some of the absurdity of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) many members of the on-line community are now actually pushing to make felt tip pen’s illegal to prove their point. ”

ho ho ho :)

its saturday – less than a week until smirnoff needs to go live – and ho ho ho its sooo not ready. so am i working my ass off in preperation?

nope. i have coders block – and as a result, and just eating lots of sandwiches. which is nice.

are you watching me?

paranoia is truly starting to get the better of me in my old age.

i walked home last night at around 2am, and for the first time in over 12 months, i couldn’t wear my headphones. i was constantly checking over my shoulder, every movement, whether it be a plastic bag dancing in the wind (the most beautiful thing i’ve ever seen.. or maybe not), my own shadow, or just someone threatening me with knife – i was getting freaked out by everything. i was even doing it in the office before i left. maybe i’ve lost the youthful blissful ignorance to the dangers that surround me. maybe i’ve had too much caffeine.

with rumours that my gym is to close pending the new tube line for hackney, i’ve started reducing the amount of times i’m going as some way of helping me wean off the fix it gives me – no, no really, that is the reason i’m not going as often.. it is i tell you.

however, should the gym close and i have to find a new pool, geniuii (plural of genius??) in the good old united states of americana, have come up with, what i think, is the greatest invention since bottle openers – the Endless Pool. you dont need much room, just this amazing contraption, and away you go, swimming against a constant current of water… like wow! a running machine with water.

what will they think of next, burgers you don’t have to eat? just inject the chloesterol? i can’t wait!