Diary Of An ADI

A Driving Instructor's Blog

TickWell done Alberto, who passed first time today with 5 driver faults.

He was very nervous, and to make matters worse, he’s also been under a lot of pressure due to a serious family situation. I’d already suggested that he might want to postpone his test if this was likely to affect his concentration, but in the end we decided to go ahead. It turned out to be a good decision.

I’ve not had many tests this year as most of my pupils are new, so it is nice to be up-and-running again with two low-fault passes in quick succession.

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TickWell done Michael, who passed last week with just 2 driver faults.

We had a bit of a scare when I picked him up – he’d been cleaning his glasses and had broken them in the process. As I arrived he was just about to run across to the hardware shop to try and get some superglue. I told him some nice white duct tape would be better, and we seriously considered stopping off to get something because he was worried the lenses would fall out. In the end, we didn’t risk it in case we made things worse (superglue isn’t “super” because it sticks anything. It’s “super” because the things it does stick – usually those you don’t want to – stick hard. In the case of glasses, you may find you can’t take them off again!)

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Original story published 7 January 2015, updated October 2015. Updated again as a result of Evans’ successful appeal as of April 2016.

I’ve been trying to steer clear of this, but I can’t. Before I start let me make one thing absolutely clear: RAPE IS WRONG.

For anyone who’s been living in a cave, Ched Evans is a footballer who used to play for Sheffield United. A couple of years ago he was convicted of rape and sent to prison for five years. He’s served about half of that sentence and is now out on probation. He is trying to rebuild his career. Initially, it looked like Sheffield Utd would take him back, but there was an outcry and they backed down. A Maltese club wanted to sign him, but the Ministry of Justice said he couldn’t play abroad. Currently, Oldham Athletic are in talks about whether or not to sign him, but they are under intense pressure not to.

Evans still maintains his innocence, even though he was convicted. He is preparing an appeal.

The reason I have decided to comment on this very sensitive issue is down to this article I saw today on the BBC website. Of course, the first thing I did was locate the Jean Hatchet blog mentioned in that article – it’s here, if anyone wants a look.

What immediately struck me about the blog – and in all honesty, I just wanted to see a selection of Jean Hatchet’s writings to find out what sort of things she wrote about – was that in spite of the BBC’s label describing her as “a blogger” she has, at the time of writing, only actually published five articles. The first was produced in November last year – less than three months ago, which hardly makes Hatchet the fount of all blogging knowledge the BBC story implies. All five posts are essentially foul-mouthed rants, and all but one of them is specifically to do with Ched Evans, with the other one certainly being along related lines. Jean Hatchet’s main claim to fame (other than being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist”), and the main reason the BBC sought her out (though being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist” was undoubtedly part of the equation), is that she is the one who started the online petition that is trying to force Oldham not to sign Evans. I have no doubt that she would start any number of additional petitions if any other football club showed an inclination to sign the player.

On her blog, Hatchet makes the following statement:

It is evident that Mr Evans, and men like him, do not understand the notion of consent.

This is the crux of Evans’ conviction. The girl he is said to have raped was allegedly out of her skull on drink. She had already gone with one of Evans’ friends – presumably while she was still capable of thinking and walking – and was having sex with him when Evans turned up and joined in. The friend was acquitted, but Evans wasn’t. The girl says she couldn’t remember any of what happened. The whole situation is far from being black or white, except in terms of the Law and Evans’ subsequent conviction.

The issue with “consent” is far more complex than Hatchet seems capable of realising. You see, it is absolutely possible for a woman to consent to sex with a man, then to have regrets the following day and make allegations concerning non-consensual intercourse (possibly throwing in a few comments about being drunk). Intercourse may not even have taken place for such claims to be made, and the motive may well be financial gain or some sort of retribution, but it will immediately be labelled as “rape”. The man’s name will automatically be published in every newspaper in the land, whereas the woman will automatically be granted full anonymity. Even in cases where the woman is proved to be lying – and it happens quite often – her anonymity often remains in force, yet the man’s life is in ruins. But what makes this even more frightening is that Hatchet (and, increasingly, the Law) actually seem to believe that that rape of some sort has still taken place… if not in actuality, very nearly so.

At this point I will say again: RAPE IS WRONG. If a man forces himself on a woman, he should rot in prison for a long time. But should that still be the case if there is any doubt at all over consent?

The girl involved in the Ched Evans case is no exception as far as official anonymity goes (she’s even been given a new identity). However, it isn’t difficult to find her name (it actually appears in Hatchet’s blog in several of the comments). Assuming that what I have read has even a grain of truth in it, the woman in question appears to have a previous (failed) history for attempting to blackmail sportsmen. At the very least, she went willingly with Evans’ friend and was not quite so comatose when the friend picked her up in the chip shop or wherever it was. Much is being made of the fact that she was possibly – not definitely – around two and a half times over the drink drive limit, but that doesn’t automatically mean you are unconscious. It also appears that the girl in question tweeted that she was “going to win big” on the run up to the trial, and made various promises to friends about how she would spend the money on them. If you Google it you can dig all this up – including the tweets that the girl had apparently attempted to delete (and it is worrying that the new identity she has been given is perhaps partly an attempt to side-step this Twitter history without actually considering any of it). I’m not aware that any of this was brought up in court. Interestingly, Welsh police arrested 23 people for naming the victim, and to date nine have been convicted. The full case is described on Wikipedia, though you can see numerous side stories in the media.

None of this proves that the judgement against Evans was wrong, of course, but it does make you wonder. Well, maybe not those like Jean Hatchet, but certainly normal people. The girl who was apparently raped certainly didn’t seem to have had her life damaged the way rape victims’ lives usually are judging by her tweets, and that doesn’t make any sense. The point is that this wasn’t a case of a man kidnapping a woman in the street, dragging her into an alley, and forcibly raping her. It’s much greyer, and as I say it all hinges on the issue of consent and the court’s interpretation of that in this particular case. Evans’ guilt appears to have been as marginal as his innocence would have been.

Irrespective of this very important background information, the big question to me is: should Ched Evans be allowed to have any sort of career?

There is one sensible argument that says he should wait for the outcome of his appeal before trying to play professional football again. However, no matter what the outcome of that appeal, Evans will be hounded by the feminists until the day he dies. You see, the big grey area of the Law that deals with the matter of consent has a bottomless chasm on one side (i.e. you’re totally guilty). Unfortunately, on the other side there isn’t the expected “totally innocent”. Instead, there’s another chasm almost as deep as the first which merely says “you’re nearly guilty, but not quite”. Feminists like Jean Hatchet make sure it stays like that with their foul-mouthed tirades.

At the present time, Evans is being prevented from working by people like Hatchet and the British Legal system. Even Ed Miliband has stuck his nose in – all I can say there is that Miliband is bloody lucky that my support of Labour goes deeper than him. Effectively, people would rather Evans die on the street than rebuild his life. Oh, I’m sure that people like Jean Hatchet would argue in favour of the rebuilding that his victim has got to do – and I’d agree… if only the unused evidence didn’t suggest something more.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know Evans personally, though everything points to the usual problems of a young man acquiring fame and money, and having it go to his head. Even without the issue of rape coming into it, footballers getting involved in sexual activities that are bordering on the realms of pornography are not uncommon. But it takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and young females are increasingly drawn willingly into the same world.

Yesterday (7 January 2015), Oldham had all but signed Evans in the full knowledge that some sponsors would pull out. Today, they have withdrawn the offer due to threats to staff and their families. They cite the sponsors, but the threats are the main reason. The people who made those threats are scum. The worst kind of scum. And the type of scum that is far lower down the evolutionary chain than Evans could ever be.

I see that Ched Evans’ case is going to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal (as of 5 October 2015).

As of 21 April 2016, Ched Evan’s appeal has been successful and his earlier conviction for rape has been quashed.

Reporting restrictions are still in place because he is now back to being “the accused” and will have to be re-tried on the original allegation – but this time, with important and relevant evidence being heard which had been deliberately ignored the last time.

It goes without saying that Jean Hatchet still openly considers him to be guilty. Indeed, in Hatchet’s mind, any man who ever has sex with a woman is guilty of something. In fact, people like Hatchet just need an accusation for guilt to be proven.

Hatchet should maybe try to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty. Even if they are men. The quashing of Evans’ previous conviction means that – at the moment – he is not a convicted rapist, which is more or less the only thing Hatchet ever has to say.

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This article on the BBC website reports on how 123-reg – a web hosting company – has accidentally deleted the websites of an undisclosed number of its customers. To make matters worse, it seems that it didn’t have backups of at least some of them.123-reg logo

Some years ago, I was with a company called UKHosts. I ran several websites for myself and other people from their servers. They were not particularly good on the customer service front in the first place, but the final straw came when I found out that they’d been hacked and not told anyone – it was one of my clients who reported that their site was down, and when I checked that’s when I found out they all were. UKHosts didn’t have any backups – or if they did, they were not very quick reinstating their servers from those backups. Oh, and they also reckoned they’d tried to contact people!

I switched hosts immediately, and I’ve been with 1&1 ever since. But the UKHosts hacking affair (there were apparently several more after I left them) appears to have nailed their coffin shut and they were taken over by Media Marmot shortly after.

Times have changed in the ten years or so since then, and many companies run their websites on the servers of these smaller hosting outfits like 123-reg. As one of them is quoted in the BBC article:

This will wreck my business and plenty of others…

It makes you wonder if 123-reg can survive something like this. Having something go wrong is one thing, but not being able to recover from it properly is a different matter entirely.

Any decent business should have its own backup – many of them use WordPress as their content management system like this blog, and I have an automatic backup made every night. However, the hosting company really should also have complete backups of all their servers. If not nightly ones, weekly ones at least.

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There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle in Nottingham recently following the placement of new posters such as this one:Begging poster in Nottingham

A true story. Some years ago, I was on my way home from a squash match. I used to use public transport so I could have a few beers afterwards, and this naturally led to the ceremonial purchase of a kebab close to the bus stop where I’d catch my bus. One night a beggar approached me and said “have you got 50p for a cup of tea?”

I’d always been told not to, but for whatever reason I gave him £1 – and I have never seen anyone run off so fast and into a pub about 200 metres away.

Since that day I refuse point-blank to hand over money to anyone. They can dress up as pathetically as they like – dirty blanket, another for the ubiquitous dog, woolly hat, the lot – but they’re not getting a penny. If they can afford to keep a dog and chain smoke roll-ups, then they should not be begging. Even the ones who are genuinely homeless are frequently – and I mean “frequently” – after money to fuel habits, be it Special Brew, roll-ups, or something stronger and which doesn’t go in via their digestive or respiratory systems.

At the London Road roundabout there is a hostel for the homeless. Like most hostels, it has a no-alcohol policy. Yet those waiting for it to open are usually to be seen standing nearby with their cans of Special Brew or Strongbow, and these can be seen strewn around during the day. The police also seem to be in attendance a lot of the time. Any money you handed over directly to these people would go to fuel their drink or disciplinary issues, and don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise.

Anyway, the aforementioned kerfuffle is to do with the claim that these posters “demonise” beggars. To me, that’s a bit like saying rain is wet, and then being accused of saying bad things about rain.

All these posters do is state plain facts. Money given to beggars will usually end up going on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Sure, there might be some genuine beggars who live clean lives, but you have to walk around with your eyes shut not to see the way the majority of them are. I don’t see how stating the plain truth is in any way “demonising” anyone.

Money should be given to charities – which is what this campaign is all about. But the problem with that is that the beggars then only get what they need – not what they want.

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I’m sick to death of the invented word “brexit”. It’s been leapt upon by the ignorant nationalists in this country who haven’t got a clue what leaving he EU would do to Britain. This comment at the bottom of a BBC article is a perfect example:

1960. Posted by Gary Thompson

on 9 minutes ago

The UK the the WORLDS 5th Largest economy.
I think we can stand on our own two feet thank you Dave…

This guy is clearly unable to even consider a likely explanation as to WHY the UK is the world’s 5th largest economy, and how that position has been built during the UK’s membership of the EU these last 40-odd years. Nor does he mention that the same source he no doubt got his information from puts the EU as the largest (or second largest, depending on source figures) economy in the world. Him and his kind want us to withdraw from the largest economy in the world and try to go it alone? Another ignorant individual comments:

Its easier to make up your mind if you look at things from the other direction…if we were not in the EU…would we now join?….not a chance !

Again, he is incapable of asking himself if we would be where we are now if we hadn’t joined the EU. And this one sums everything up to a tee:

(Remember) KEEP BRITAIN BRITISH (as the old adage once said), and lock out the terrorists and illegals – Vote out and lets all try to get back to our proud Empire past.

This is what brexit is really all about. And they’re all idiots.

These flag-waving fossils cannot understand that economic downturns – and especially the one we experienced recently – affected everyone. They were global phenomena, and were not down to our membership of the EU. Nor can they understand that non-membership will not sort out the refugee situation – not unless we start shooting immigrants at the borders, and although some of these cretins might like the sound of that, it just isn’t going to happen.

Leaving the EU would be the biggest mistake in this country’s history. It would push the current biggest – Cameron’s pre-election pledge to allow a referendum on it just so he could get into power – into second place.

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I’ve been seeing these interminable references to “the celebrity” who has managed to get an injunction, gagging the British media from reporting details of him and his partner’s private lives. Initially, I didn’t give a damn. But when I read that Scottish and American – no, wait, everywhere except England, actually – media had reported it I became inquisitive.Rainbow over European village

It turned out to be bloody easy to find out who it was about, and when it eventually breaks – which is inevitable, given that the injunction looks like it is going to be lifted anyway – you’ll see what a disgusting, seedy mess it is.

At present, only the initials PJS and YMA can be used to identify the main people involved. Neither set of initials is real. However, other people ARE involved. And when you find out who the story is about, that’s when you’ll realise how tragic this whole thing really is.

Celebrities have every right to be left alone. Unfortunately, just by being a celebrity means that unless you live a squeaky clean life, you’re not going to be left alone. The gutter press will hound you over every crack in the pavement you step on. And when something which is as awkward as this one is – with its many implications concerning those involved (and other subjects) – there is no way it isn’t going to go public.

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I saw this story on the BBC website. Apparently, a BA Airbus A320 flying to London from Geneva collided with what was believed to be a drone as it was coming in to land.A drone

Apparently, it is the first such collision, though there have been numerous close calls.

…pilots have also called for the DoT to fund tests into what would happen if a drone got sucked into an engine or crashed into a plane’s windscreen.

I’m not quite sure what they think this will prove. All I do know is that if I was on a plane, I would much rather it landed without incident instead of having one of these things get sucked into the turbines. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist – or an aviation expert – to realise that the risk of a catastrophic incident goes up, not down, if something gets pulled into an engine, and quite frankly I wouldn’t give a damn about the results of such tests.

One thing that is clear is that people who operate drones are predominately twats. It’s already illegal to fly them near airports, with up to five years in jail being up for grabs, and yet between September and November 2015 there were six reported near misses in the UK near London airports alone. Leeds and Bradford airports have also had near misses, though this is less of a surprise when you consider the general mentality of people who live near those. There were another six incidents recorded in the 12 months up to July 2015. It’s anyone’s guess how many go unreported.

Drones have the potential to be great fun to play with – I have been tempted to get one myself – but the rules surrounding them are understandably restrictive. Apart from what they could do to a jet engine, there are also the documented effects of what they do to people if they hit them. Consequently, if your desire for fun knows no bounds then you have to break the Law. And that’s when you start to understand why Leeds, Bradford, and London have such a problem.

It’s ironic that for something which hasn’t yet been banned, you can’t fly them far away from you (where they might hit planes), you can’t fly them near large groups of people (where they might injure them), and obviously flying them close to you puts you and anyone near you in danger. So, pretty much anywhere – which significantly detracts from their “fun” value.

Drones are not toys. Unfortunately, apart from professional operators, the people who use them use them EXACTLY as toys. It’s what I’d do if I had one – I have no actual need for one – which is the precise reason why I haven’t bothered to get one.

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Another recent forum discussion referred to unreasonable demands for lesson refunds by pupils.Refunds

I mentioned in my recently updated article on becoming an ADI that there are some very strange people out there. Imagining slights where none exist is definitely one manifestation of their strangeness, and for some it’s only natural that this will stretch far enough for them to attempt to make money out of it. Such an approach is most likely when someone desperately wants to pass their test, but has issues with driving which mean that passing inside 12 months is optimistic. So, when they decide that they “don’t think they are making progress”, they automatically blame their instructor. It would appear that an unfortunate ADI has recently fallen foul of this type of comedian, with a pupil stopping lessons – and then demanding a refund, including the money for those already taken! Naturally, this was then followed with threats to “take it to the small claims court”, even though the instructor in question seems to have been readily prepared to refund all outstanding monies.

The first thing most other instructors do when they read this sort of nonsense is immediately run with the assumption that a small claims court would even entertain the matter. Let’s just be clear on something, here. Unless an instructor was refusing to refund for unused lessons, a pupil demanding money back for lessons they’ve already taken wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. They’d need to demonstrate conclusively that their instructor spent whole lessons disembowelling squirrels or something instead of teaching them to drive. Small claims courts are not going to start poking into whether or not driving lessons were up to an acceptable standard – only whether they were given or not.

Speaking personally, I want as quiet a life as possible so that I can concentrate of teaching people to drive. If someone triggers my late-cancellation clause, they get a lecture and one or two more chances. In the absence of any mitigating circumstances, if they do it again after that, they’re history. There’s no point trying to hold on to them, because once they’ve shown their true colours they’re just going to cost you more and more money. And if you actually try to claim the cost of the lesson the majority of them will just stick two fingers up at you and go elsewhere. I’m not prepared to give them the satisfaction, and I think I’ve claimed for missed lessons maybe six times since I became an ADI (that’s out of many thousands of hours). All of those occurred after agreeing to it with the bill payer (at least three times, at their insistence). In almost all cases it was because the pupil was hungover or comatose following a late night.

As unpleasant as it might be to hear it, many instructors get themselves into a mess over these issues because they’re either too desperate or too greedy (often both) to deal with it logically or professionally, and end up trying to claim for lessons where discretion is needed (pupils with learning or mental health issues, bereavements, and so on). That drives pupils away and sets up a refund situation, the amount of the refund being complicated by the “claimed” hours. Even more worrying is the fact that far too many ADIs these days take block booking payments, spend the money immediately (or it gets sucked into the black hole that passes as their bank balance), and then effectively go AWOL when the pupil tries to book those prepaid lessons. This happens because once the money is spent, they are effectively working for nothing, and they would rather give lessons to those who are paying on the day. Thus, they become un-contactable via phone, text, or email – or they become unreliable and cancel lessons so they can take on paying pupils.

If you take block bookings, it is essential that you put the money away and only dip into it as each lesson is taken. If you don’t, any refund will have to come out of your own pocket – and not being able to cover that is another reason why ADIs go AWOL when pupils attempt to contact them. The pupils’ money doesn’t belong to you until they’ve taken the lessons, and you’ve got to be able to refund it immediately if they request it.

Another mistake instructors make is rooted in their desire to maximise their income and minimise their perceived losses at all costs. A pupil who sees an offer for a 10x block of lessons costing £200 is automatically going to conclude that lessons cost £20 per hour, even if the instructor’s single hourly rate is clearly stated as £25. This holds true no matter what complex wording is hidden away in the Ts&Cs (“refunds are calculated based on φ > Ω, but only when ϕ is less than 3, and not otherwise”). The thing is, if you are offering block booking discounts of £5 per hour in the first place, you are already “losing” £50 against your single-lesson rate. You have to face the fact that your hourly rate is £20 – not £25 – for those who block book, and it’s no wonder that a pupil who takes two hours of lessons out of such a block booking, and who then asks for a refund, becomes angry when you return £150 instead of £160. They’ll immediately start telling everyone that they’re being “ripped-off” which, while not being absolutely true, is definitely an understandable comment.

I offer block booking discounts which drop my current single-hourly rate of £24 down to £21.81 (if they book 10 hours) or £20.87 (if they book 20). I do this by giving them a free hour when they pay for 10, or three hours if they pay for 20 – but I make it clear that the free hour(s) are a gift, have no monetary value, and are taken at the end of a block only after the paid lessons have been taken. They all happily agree to that, and it has never been an issue. Quite frankly, if anyone ever turned it into one, it’d be me sticking two fingers up at them! I certainly wouldn’t be worried about any threats to “take it to small claims”.

As a bit of an aside, being able to take card payments has an unquantifiable but very positive effect on pupil satisfaction. Almost everyone – and especially those who have had lessons elsewhere – expresses surprise at the fact I can take such payments. This week alone, at least two of my regular pupils have said for the umpteenth time that “this device is incredible” when I’ve given them my card machine to slot their card into. The fact that they can have a receipt via email or SMS amazes them, as does the fact that those buying single hours can just wave their card at the machine and complete a contactless payment. All of this has a strange knock-on effect among those who can’t afford block bookings, and they seem much happier being able to pay without physical money changing hands. Yes, there is a 2.75% transaction fee (just under £1.30 on a two hour lesson) but, as I have said before, the amount I save by not going to the bank anymore to pay in cheques offsets that somewhat, as does the fact that I have put my prices up by £1 and fuel prices have fallen by so much. And you can’t really really put a price on the convenience of it all.

Occasionally, you will get someone who wants to barter over price when they enquire about lessons. In those cases I simply point out that I am running a business and cannot cut my prices any lower, and that I already offer discounts. I also point out that anyone offering lower prices compared to me will be making less profit with similar overheads, and will therefore be looking for ways to reduce their expenditure – which usually means less driving and more lessons needed to reach test standard. And I also emphasise that I take card payments, so they don’t have to keep going to the cash machine to withdraw money. If they don’t call back after that I consider that I am well rid of them.

A good instructor should have to refund pupils to the extent that over a typical year the amount of income lost is negligible. I usually only need to do it if someone moves away, and I provide any refund immediately by bank transfer, PayPal, cash, or (as a last resort) postal orders since I don’t use personal cheques anymore. On the rare occasions when someone just isn’t happy – yes, it does happen, and the feeling is often mutual when it does – I don’t want them hanging around like a bad smell. Taking a small (and theoretical) financial hit to get rid of them is actually a sound investment.

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I’ve noticed that the newspapers are increasingly relying on “selfie” photos when they’re reporting on various stories. It must save them a fortune being able to harvest pictures from social media pages operated by the people they’re writing about instead of having to send a reporter out and take an actual photograph.A selection of Googled selfies

What bugs me about selfies is that they always involve an identical pose by the immature and socially inept female being written about. It occurred to me that there might be a market for a selfie kit, consisting of some oversized plastic lips and a pair of clip-on doe eyes. The image above is a collection of the first photos which come up when you Google the word “selfies” (just out of interest, you have to scroll quite a way down to find any male selfies).

I don’t use Facebook much (or Twitter – and I don’t use any of the other social networking sites at all), but the fact that I have an account means that I get almost daily spam alerting to me to people “who I might know”. It’s quite spooky that a lot of the time I actually DO know them. And all of the females have their albums plastered with these bloody pictures – every single one of them conforming to the same contrived pose. And none of the ones I know look anything like they do in their selfies.

It was while I was looking for pictures of fake plastic lips pictures and clip-on doe eyes that I discovered someone got in there before me, albeit in a different way – and this might easily explain why so many of these pictures look the same. It turns out you can buy suction devices which are designed to make bigger pouts! One listing on eBay contains no fewer than 20 photos showing such a device, how to use it, and the results you apparently get – including a load of selfies.Lip pout developer

It says that you might suffer bruising, which isn’t surprising. Basically, it’s the equivalent of a love bite (or hickey). And you look a complete prat while you’re using it.The lip sucker in use

It suddenly reminded me of something that happened when I was about six. You used to be able to buy a cough sweet called Zubes which, if my memory is correct, were strange grey-coloured lozenges with black centres (like a sugar pill which had then been sugar coated). I have mixed memories of them tasting bloody horrible, since they contained Aniseed (which I hate), but with an animated TV advert featuring a horse, I think, and the strap line “go suck a Zube”. It seems you can still get them, but they come in a bag now. But back in those days they came in a sturdy round metal tin. One day, and in typical six-year old fashion, I was playing with an empty tin and I remember putting it over my mouth and sucking so that it stuck to my face. Also in typical six-year old fashion, I kept it there for some time.  When I eventually released the vacuum I almost shit myself when I saw that my lips were about four times bigger than before. They stayed like that for an hour or two, though I was firmly convinced I was going to look like Mick Jagger forever.The original Zubes tin

Back then, a selfie – if anyone had been inclined to waste the limited number of potential shots on their roll of film – would have required a trip to the chemists with a Kodak cartridge, and the certain knowledge that 80% of your pictures wouldn’t “come out” when you went to pick them up a week later, because the Instamatic you’d used could only focus on objects between 2 metres and ∞, and those that did would show pretty much everything except your face (blurred thumbs, trees, next door’s cat, and so on).

It’s also worth noting that the standard selfie is taken from a slightly elevated perspective in order to also take in an exaggerated cleavage. There are plenty of well-documented ways of enhancing that part of the body already, so we only need to focus on the lips and eyes part. I am convinced that many selfie poses have been Photoshopped to make the person’s eyes look bigger. It’s so easy to do.Embiggening the eyes and lips

And it’s even easier when you consider that there are dozens of apps out there which are specifically designed to enlarge the eyes in selfie images! Better still, there are apps to enlarge the lips, too. That was something else I discovered while I was writing this.

In a nutshell, it seems that the reason all those selfies look the same is that the idiots posting them actually HAVE taken steps to enlarge their lips and their eyes.

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