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FeaturesAlex Farnham's Soapbox

Alex Farnham’s Soapbox

In the last month, I’ve been thinking about three things that have the word MICRO in them. And no, before you ask, one of them isn’t ‘micro-penis’. Yes, apparently that’s a thing. The things I’ve been thinking about range from nostalgic to newly-found, from old to new, and one of them is just something I have issues with but I can’t for the life of me work out why.

I guess the best course of action will be for me to list my top three ‘MICROs’ and just talk you through my thought process, but be warned – we might get lost, as I’m not very intelligent and to be completely honest my train of thought is more of a milk float of thought. (that’s right, I’m still relying on self-deprecation as my main comedic output… I don’t feel like I’ve fully tapped out the barrel yet… I have a lot of flaws so there’s still scraping out to do.)

Right, without any further word-count increasing meandering, let’s begin…

Yes, this is the one that annoys me. I don’t know why, but something bugs me about the idea that normal pigs just aren’t cute enough. Why does something have to be smaller to be cuter? I could easily make another penis joke here, but I feel I may have exhausted that resource (not literally), and if I make too many obscene jokes I might get the sack! Anyway, first of all, as a meat eater and animal lover, I always feel guilty when chowing down on a burger or bacon sarnie or whatever, because it was obviously once a cute little creature. I just don’t have it in me to give up the good stuff. I’m ashamed to say it, but it’s true. The best compromise I can come up with is in my refusal to connect emotionally with farmyard animals – some people will raise a pig from birth but then eat it when it’s big enough. Nope. Not for me. I’m not saying people eat micropigs, but it just feels like we’ve had to justify thinking an edible animal is cute by breeding a tiny version of it. Just buy a Guinea pig or GTFO.

This is a new word I’ve learned this year. I don’t quite know what it means, but I think it’s something to do with your face. With work we get free vouchers to use each month at a beauty salon, and I usually just get a back massage. I don’t think microdermabrasion is really a ‘man’ thing. That being said, I’m not a sexist and we’re lucky enough to live in a world where men and women alike can get beauty treatments without fear of being called a ‘girl’s blouse’, so perhaps I’ll give it a try? I never liked the term ‘girl’s blouse’ anyway – what’s insulting about an item of clothing? It’s like calling someone a skinny jean or a purple v neck – both of which sound like experimental sex positions.

Micro Machines
Remember these!? They were wicked. Something about small metal cars roughly the size of a child’s oesophagus doesn’t seem too safe, but I certainly never choked on one… and to be honest, if you try to eat a small piece of metal maybe that’s nature’s way of trying to… you know, drop a hint!

Obviously children choking is a bad thing, but on the subject of child misfortune and Micro Machines – did you know the tiny toys made an appearance in the 1990 film Home Alone? You know, the film about how a neglected child from a family who’d apparently never heard of contraception decided to take revenge on his troubled upbringing by trying to murder a couple of home invaders? That childhood classic! Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin lays these toys at the bottom of a flight of the stairs in an attempt to maim his bumbling nemeses. Micro Machines have a wealth of nostalgia surrounding them, at least, for me they do. I remember waking up really early when I was a boy, and playing with this really cool carrier thing that was shaped like a big Micro Machine, which in hindsight seems a bit futile… It’d be like calling pigs ‘giant micro-pigs’. I have such vivid memories of playing with these toys, and they’re one of many childhood memories I hope to impart unto my children one day, children who I promise never to leave behind when I go on holiday, unless supervised by a responsible adult.

I have no real reason for writing about the things I’ve written about. I suppose that’s usually the case, but this time I feel like there’s no real relevance to anything topical… perhaps, in many ways this article could be seen as a microcosm for the futility, instability and helplessness we see in the news every day? What do you think?

Nah, I agree… too tenuous, but there’s your fourth micro! If I had time for a fifth, I’d probably mention my broken microwave, but I think I’ve just proven how boring a story it is by telling it in about 10 words. It’s coincidental that I happened to be thinking about the theme of this month’s issue even before I was even told about it, but I think it’s fair to say that sometimes cool things happen. I guess that’s just how all of life works.

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