Gen Y Reasoning: Quit your job, (attempt to) join the army

cropped-yes.jpgAfter a hell of a long hiatus from my much-loved, much-revered, highly intellectual and life affirming blog (haha…ha), I’m back! Possibly only for one more entry, but HEY am I better than EVER! Wait no, that’s a massive exaggeration. I’m actually a lot rustier than ever having left my job as a writer nearly 6 months ago before starting another one that mainly consisted of chatting a significant amount of rubbish in countless under-prepared meetings (my bad)  in cooly-lit offices in East London and hoping nobody noticed, and finally then sacking all that office-based malarky in to join the army and wait tables in the process. Sound logic right? Right.

After much self-reflection (probably about an hour sat in an over-priced cafe somewhere ignoring my military history revision*) I’ve decided my recent career-path rejig-ment (definitely not a word) isn’t PURELY, 100% down to the quick, snappy and excitement-seeking decisions stereotypical to my generation. But Jesus, it probably counts for a lot more than I’ll let myself accept. I’ve already written far too much on this subject than you’ll care to care about, but it turns out that most of that bullshit written by Guardian-approved journalists about our desire to make bolder, brasher, braver moves in the workplace might just be about spot on.

Ahhh the 20-somethings of today. We’re hasty to make decisions; we get bored; we don’t want to do what our parents do; we’re broke all the time (and I mean ALL the time); we’re obsessed with the 90s and are already getting way further behind technology than we’d care to admit; we can barely get our heads around what we’re doing next week let alone next year and we are the least satisfied, most spoilt generation around. We’re the brats everyone wants to market their shit to whilst also being the most clued-up lot who can spot a marketing ploy in a heartbeat. We are the Gen X/Y/Millennial supergroup that everyone (including me, right this second) loves to generalise and we don’t want to grow up.

Or we do. But just somewhere different and challenging instead… like, say, the army. Or that other company you’ve always wanted to work for that won’t treat you like an office slave, that offers free cake, free drinks and a multitude of new friends. Whatever the next step for any of us, I’m thankful to have grown up a part of this exciting, brash, slightly confused generation who thinks for themselves and doesn’t accept the old norms.

So wish me luck and I’ll wish I was you next time I’m dragging myself to the gym before a double shift at work (violins, plz). Go forth and realise your dreams fellow Milennials, just make sure they involve less sweating than mine cause hot damn it really ain’t that pleasant every day.

 

*JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING official army people – I’ve thought about this since I was a teeny tiny babe and have always wanted to be a part of the services. Promise.

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Twat, and even twattier

Can we just talk about the casual sexism on Big Brother for a second?

Though the Big Brother producers and British media may have once been justifiably harsh on those who’ve used offensive language on the reality TV show in the past, they seem to be inexplicably skirting over the issue when it comes to the incredibly sexist and homophobic comments made by the current ‘stars’ of the series.  On three – one, two, LET’S ALL SLUT SHAAAAMMEEEEEEEEE!!!

Twat, and even twattier

These two need to star in an asshole-off.

I mean sure, I might not usually be the first to admit I watch Big Brother most evenings (it’s basically the equivalent to telling people you sometimes go on the DailyMail’s celebrity section when you need to give your brain a massive rest at work) but screw it. It’s raining, I’m cold, and sometimes a girl just wants to watch a C-list 90s popstar get it on with an actress who once punched Lindsay Lohan in the face. You know what they say , all’s fair in wintertime in England.

It's fudging freezing, alright?

It’s fudging freezing, alright?

Anyway, suffice to say, a week or so in and I’m UNASHAMEDLY hooked. Which is why I may have got even more pissed off than those who don’t watch the show when I saw Saturday nights episode, which showed N’Dubz’s Dappy finally open his PR-deathtrap of a mouth to lay into Luisa for supporting sexual equality and challenging out-dated ideas regarding different expectations of men and women.

I think you shouldn’t say that a man can sleep with 5 women and he’s cool, and a woman can sleep with five men and she’s a slut,” business owner and runner up of The Apprentice, Luisa Zissman, comments.

That’s true though!” Dappy exclaims, before bizarrely going on to argue that “this is 2013 babe” - which it’s not, you cretin- and backing up his original comments: “If a woman sleeps with 5 men in one night… she’s disgusting!”

Proceeding to follow her around the house, slut-shaming like a mother-freaking pro and demanding to know her ‘number’, Dappy shouts that Luisa’s daughter should be ashamed of her for what he judges to be her sexual promiscuity. Using her well-known liberated sexual attitude as a loaded weapon against her, Dappy resolutely went on the attack, labelling Luisa ‘loose’ and ‘stuck-up’ for standing up for herself.

How on earth a man who once attempted to rock this look can proceed to judge anyone is far beyond me, friends

How on earth a man who once attempted to rock this look can proceed to judge anyone is far beyond me, friends.

But hey, why only stop at Dappy when we can go to other men; older, just as wise (?) media figures who have helped pass these kind of ideas down the sexist history, one boring and offensive joke at a time? That’s right folks, along with some Dappy time, the team at Channel 5 has also been kind enough to give us a daily dose of the sexist, homophobic and racist asshat that happens to be Jim Davidson!

I've included this photo incase you weren't grossed out by him before...

I’ve included this photo incase you weren’t grossed out by Davidson before. You’re welcome.

After being axed from previous reality shows for other offensive comments (Jesus, money must be tight), Davidson has also predictably joined the tirade against Zissman, who herself argued in Monday’s episode that Davidson disliked her purely because he was frightened of powerful, strong-minded and independent women who can hold their own.

A-fucking-men, sister.

Bitch would run a mile if he ever met The Queen.

What I just don’t get is this – flippant and horribly racist comments that have been made by contestants on shows like this are quite-rightly universally attacked by the world’s media, whereas constant misogyny  is labelled and treated as a mere ‘difference of opinion’ between two contestants by producers (see the YouTube description of the argument). Where is the backlash against Dappy? Where is his comeuppance? All people give a shit about is watching him humanised in a damn nappy.

I wish I was the horse than kicked this cretin

I wish I was the horse that kicked this fool.

(Though the whole ‘Dappy is Happy in a Nappy’ thing was pretty inspired, slow-clap to y’all in the creative department, Channel 5!)

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The American Psycho applauds you, media big wigs.

As well as that, when Evander Holyfield (the one missing a chunk of his ear that was spat out during a fight with Mike Tyson, making him cool amongst roughly 92% of the world) commented early on in the show that being a homosexual was something one could ‘choose’, he got a mere slap on the wrist.

Holyfield told bisexual Luisa: “If you were born and your leg was turned this way – what would you do? You go to the doctor and get it fixed back, right?” Before going on to say “It is a choice… Come on, how can you not say you ain’t gay unless you’re sleeping with the opposite sex?” 

I meaaaaaaaaan. Sure. Right. Yeah. NO. How was Holyfield not criticised more for these incredibly casual and flippant comments, which slipped out in what appeared to be a very comfortable fashion? A few articles were written about the comments, and producers warned him about his language, which he has now apologised for, but by christ, the man left the house to an overwhelmingly positive chorus of cheers from the British public, who liked him again because he grooved to a Will Smith song a couple of days after his homophobic slurs.

I want that t-shirt

I do like that t-shirt though.

But whatever, his comments still make him an asshole homophobe who is now for some reason adored by the British public.

What Big Brother and the media’s resounding lack of criticism about these male contestants comments are basically trying to teach the British public is that one form of bigotry is less important than another. Oh, and that women are sluts. Duh!

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What sucks (to a lesser extent than worldwide sexism) is that Luisa probably will be voted out of the house before Davidson, purely because she is loud, argumentative and ultimately can rub people up the wrong way, whatever their gender.

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Mike Tyson who?

One day I hope we can learn to embrace, rather than get annoyed by, strong, powerful and open-minded women who couldn’t give  a shit what people think of them, and didn’t champion homophobes, sexists and grumpy men instead.

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The morning of January 2nd: destroyer of dreams, ruiner of lives

nopeIs there anything worse than going back to work after seven+ days spent doing sweet f-all, smothered in cheese in the privacy of your childhood room whilst you pass in and out of consciousness, cuddling a dust ridden, 20-year old toy that has lost both an arm, eye and tail in its time? On this day, in this current state and mood and in this workplace, I argue that no, there is most certainly not.

A supporter and sufferer of the increasingly popular state of being (I want to say disease but I’m pretty sure that’s something I can’t back up) that is the dreaded ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, aka the time in your life you suddenly, with minimal-to-no preparation, are spat out in the the world as a fully-fledged adult, cold, naked, alone (maybe not the last three) and realise quite how drastically limited your options as a grad in the ‘real world‘ are, I have probably written on this quite frankly self-centered topic far too much already, but fuck it, it’s a new year, which means I have a clean slate again. HIGH FIVE ME AT WILL.

So, what did your first mornings back at work look like? Mine roughly translated as so:

12am: Eye’s open, stretched wide in horror at the realisation that tomorrow’s events will actually be happening. No more home cooked, piping-hot meals, no more waking up at 3pm, no more free cheese. No. More. Daytime. Christmas. Movies.

At least no one was man-handling me, I guess

Realisation is a terrible thing

1am: Panic has only served to increase in the past 60 minutes – can’t get images of melted brie and the fact I’ve been going to bed at 4.30am every day of the Christmas holidays out of my head. Escape reality with an episode of Dawson’s Creek – created solely to stop young people from ever thinking again.

My hair looks like this at the moment actually - trying to grow my fringe out, you know how it is.

My hair looks like this at the moment actually – trying to grow my fringe out, you know how it is

1.43am: Better luck next time Dawson – my body is still stiff with fear at thoughts of the underground during rush hour – put on second episode of Dawson.

Pacey Witter; the owner of my heart (and probably yours too, if you watched it)

Pacey Witter – the owner of my heart and saviour of Joey’s world. Sigh

2.30am: Feeling more calm, yet strangely energetic. Realise slice of old pizza and 16 chunks of dairy milk wasn’t probably the best idea at 11 in the evening. Find marshmallows in the cupboard; consume til packet is finished.

I ate a few more than this

I ate a few more than this

3 – 5am: Regret marshmallows.

Such strong regret I turned into a male sculpture made of stone. Let that be a lesson to you

Such strong regret I turned into a male sculpture made of stone. Let that be a lesson to you

7.30am: AWAKEN with pain in both body and mind, and also soul. Croak at housemate, who can only mutter “what are we doing with our lives?” whilst wearing an expressionless expression. Silently agree.

8.20am: Shoe falls off whilst on the walk to the underground; promptly step into muddy puddle of evil, which main contain shite. Man laughs at me, whilst another asks ‘how I’m doing sexy’. Not well, kind sir, not well at all.

9am: At work. Cry internally for 9 hours.

I did get to have cheese at lunch though, so at least one of my fears wasn’t actualised.

President? President of my HEART

President? President of my HEART

Hope your days were just as selfishly tragic. If they weren’t and you are actually happy to be back at work, I am flabbergasted and congratulate you for having a mindset I fear I will never achieve. Happy New Year!

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Why Russell Brand is right, despite his lack of a plan

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Most of you may have probably caught the 10 minute Newsnight interview that has gone viral recently, featured Britain’s most beloved expert shagger and speaker, Russell Brand, and a rather unkept Jeremy Paxman, whose beard wasn’t pulled off with quite so much bravado.

Just short enough to retain our waning attention, the video featured the two debating the state of our political system, which Brand described as only being in place to serve a minute section of people, as he called for the country to instead pursue alternate infrastructure or ideals as a result of this disparity. The interview is passionate, powerful, and should be seen as a positive thing for those left-wingers whose own Marxist or socialist beliefs continue to be laughed off by the masses, the wrong shape for the current political mould.

The increasing apathy felt by young people in this country with regards to politics and the voting systems is a worrying fact, but perhaps again highlights the necessity of the kind of change championed by Brand, who recently took over the latest edition of the New Statesman to discuss various ideas of revolution in all parts of society and culture. The 2013 local elections saw an estimated 32% of 18- to 24-year-olds vote, with the 2010 general election seeing a mere 44% of 18-to-24-year-olds rock up to have their say on the next political heads of our state.

Some are calling for young people to be forced to vote in the next elections, with many ignorantly believing those who simply can’t be arsed shouldn’t have an opinion either way, such is their insufferable laziness. What bullshit. Yes, voting is important, but isn’t in a sign of how fed up people are with the current system that they’d rather get a few more hours snooze time than wake up and contribute a vote that they give not two shits about?

cba

Brand is right; young people are bored. We’re bored of your voting systems and we’re bored of your boring bloody waxwork candidates. Sometimes it’s not even the fault of the individual politicians; once in a while, it seems like a good’un comes along, who can speak of change, talk of hope, and rally up young people like never before, but all too often they disappoint. This is because they simple cannot wiggle out of the political system they have enshrined themselves within without committing political suicide; they must either bend to the will of others and disappoint, or fight and ultimately be led to the exit door.

Some may say those with my attitude are defeatist, pointing to the young politically-savvy kids out there right now, trying to bash down doors of the political system in a bid to ‘make a difference’. I admire their spirit and passion, but unless they’ve got a truck load of cash, an insane amount of spare time and the ability to rebuild Westminster two-handed, I sincerely doubt they will be able to make but an insignificant dent in the powerfully resilient political machine currently in place.

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As Generation whatever-you-want-to-label-us-now, we face sky-high rent, the probability of not owning a house until we’re knocking on death’s-door, jobs that take the happiest hours of our youth, and such an overwhelming slug of information delivered to our sleepy eyes every single day that we’re almost unshockable. The Occupy movement did show that there was life left in us yet, but our general apathy continues.

Brand may be the man without a plan, but even his half-baked, romantic ideas of some kind (ANY kind) of revolution and true change to this old, battered, should-be-retired system full of red tape and bureaucracy reminds me of the first time I read Marx and thought: “well, why bloody not?”

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Hair today, angry and red a few minutes later post cream-removal

The other day, I turned to my only other female housemate in a bid to gather her support for the latest realisation I’d had, one I thought was deep, life-changing, and potentially something that would be Tweetable.

“I have come to the decision,” I said, waving my arms around to highlight my philosophical nature and high-thoughts while she looked on, dubiously, “That the worst thing about being a woman is hair removal, and all the horrors than come before, mid and post-hair removing activities.”

Now, you must understand that my housemate is very intelligent person, who is interested more in museums and art gallerys than, say, watching the latest episode of The Valleys with us, so she immediately knew I was talking crap, and proved this by very quickly coming up with a lot of other things that are objectively much, much worse than hair-removal. Her speech included examples along the lines of gender inequality, the glass door, the horrific treatment of women during wars, and so on.

“Yes, yes, I know all of this.” I said, brushing her correct argument away in the air with the philosophical hands I was still using, “But really, my God. Sometimes I use hair-removal cream, and I honestly cannot wear anything other than girl boxers for a whole week.”

GIRL BOXERS, you know the ones; those awful pants sported by faux-emo’s circa 2004, to be worn only just above the line of jeans so their slogan (just the very simple: Girl Boxer) would be seen by all parents and potential boy-lovers in a bid to show that we were post-feminist, Buffy-watching girls who could show their very comfortable and large pants and be quite fine with it because we are wearing these on purpose thanks very much. Post emo-phase, we now use them only during a certain time of month, because they are seriously damn comfortable.

On normal people, these don't look sexy.

On normal people, these don’t look sexy.

Anyway, honestly, as a woman who has not yet experienced the what I hear is overwhelming pain of childbirth, what my fellow lady-friends and I have to go through every summer without fail just so as not to freak out people at the pool is horrific. (Though the kind lady who got to work with me the other week did tell me I was very brave. Very brave indeed.)

But this hair issue does not plague us only below the waist. No, we should be so lucky. It plagues us everywhere. Including on our faces. Our FACES. An area that should be hair free unless you sport a penis or have taken a few too many hormone-replacement pills during your older-lady years.

Once, during a maths class when I was about 15, my maths teacher Mr Bright (I have changed his name, lest The Services – whoever they are – read this, cry about how horribly such an innocent girl got treated, and hunt him down) got so sick of me talking, yelling, laughing and being a general a-hole while he was trying to teach, that he decided to put white tape over my mouth which bore the words ‘I MUST NOT TALK’ on it. I thought it was hilarious, because I was getting special treatment thus was to be admired by all other adolescents, but it also gave me an excuse to actually start working because mother of christ I was behind.

At the end of the lesson, Mr Bright triumphantly ripped off the white tape, and said “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it Lucie?”

I was stunned. I tried to laugh, tried to smile, tried to move my mouth in some way or other, but found that I couldn’t because he had literally just RIPPED OFF ALL THE SKIN FROM ABOVE MY TOP LIP.

And so a tache was born.

This damn tache is the plight of my life every month about once a month, and earlier as I was chatting to my boyfriend and thinking I was being very adorable, he informed me that it was in fact back with a vengeance, and I should probably do something about it. Sound advice, though not something I really wanted to hear at that exact moment.

Anyway, 2 minutes after  slathering weird-smelling, thick cream across my top lip and almost passing over from the fumes, I took off the disgusting stuff to discover that my lip had in fact been eroded away. Like rocks by the sea, but so much worse and so much faster.

I spent the next hour firmly holding wrapped-up ice on my lips and have since been having to cover the atrocious beaming strip with an inch-thick layer of concealer, which really is quite a bad disguise, because all attention is immediately drawn to its gooey-orange hue. It looks odd and I am slightly nervous about work tomorrow.

I seek solace in the fact that I am not alone, because I remember the same thing happening to a German girl at my school called Sammy. She spent a full 3 days of school in the sickbay, and afterwards would always walk around with her head down, in a bid to plead her fringe to grow long enough to cover her whole face.

This is why hair is bad and it makes women sad. I would say you should embrace it, like every other feminist does… but have you ever seen a hairy under-arm? I hate that shit on men and women alike. At least we have winter. Sweet, sweet winter, where everyone’s too cold, grumpy and tired to give a shit about meaningless things like hair.

I for one can’t wait for it.

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Every day I get a little angrier that I’m not powerful nor important

I was going to entitle this ‘Everyday I’m angry I’m not a powerful dictator’ but I thought it might come back to bite me in the ass career-wise one day, so I went with this slightly more mellow post.

Anyway, I came here to say that the most exciting thing I did today was buy a Pedagog, or Ped-Egg, or shave-your-feet-you-disgusting-excuse-for-a-female thingy, or whatever they call it. One of those cheese-grater things for your feet that are so utterly disgusting and wonderful at the same time, you know the ones. I showed my yellowing soles to my work friend today and she swiftly sent me in the direction of the foot-care aisle of Boots. I owe her, these hooves are a sight for painful eyes. The second best thing I did today was consume 19823864 calories of sugar at work (Treats Wednesday’s, you never fail us), and the worst thing I did today was step on a woman’s foot as I desperately fled from work, taking her poor sandal off in my hurry, and pissing her off no end.

Whatever, the point is: I’m bored of my current state of being. I’m cross. I’m listening to Satisfaction and agreeing with it, at a non-sexual level. Also, a point about that song, weren’t all girls born around the late 1990′s so proud we knew all the lyrics to that and could impress our dads twofold in our early teens because they think we were into good music, when actually we just know all the lyrics because our beloved Britney? I loved her angry phase.

She's probably got a little satisfaction now she's a multi-millionaire, surely?

She’s probably got a little satisfaction now she’s a multi-millionaire, surely?

SO WHY DON’T YOU CHANGE IT, moaning myrtle you little fool? You may demand. Well. Good point, I may answer. My best friend once told me we should only ever pursue a career in life that we would think was cool when we were about 7, and that’s annoyingly stuck with me every since. It kind of fuels my anger every time I do utterly pointless things at work, like retweet for unknown companies on Twitter, or file pointless documents into forgotten-about filing cabinets in a dusty room. Our 7 year old selves wanted so much more for us, look how we’ve let them down so.

Our 7 year old selves wouldn’t even know what a computer was, they’d think Twitter was a sound birds made, and they’d push for us to be more adventurous, more outrageous with our lives. My 7 year-old self was determined to be a dictator; someone all powerful, but all lovely, who would hand out presents and chocolate to her adoring subjects like an Anti-Joffrey, pro-Margaery type, with less voluptuous cleavage display (or maybe MORE! Boy, tits were out of the question that long ago).

But alas, here I am, buying a grater for my cheese feet and smoking out of boredom, watching all my friends in jobs I would despise doing rake in almost double what I earn a year. Maybe I should’ve just stuck with recruitment after all? Those damn savvy salesmen and women might have had a point.

Anyway, on we go guys. Climbing that (in my case) almost non-existent career ladder, too tired and sick of computer screens after work to trail through the countless job ads which demand, in capital letters, for ‘MONEY HUNGRY GRADS WILLING TO WORK 12-HOUR DAYS’.

Le sigh, we’ll get there in the end, eh. Keep me posted on the dictatorship ads, would you?

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An ode to the drunk friend

We’ve all been that person, we’ve all held that persons hair back from their face mid-vom, and we’ve all simultaneously hated and loved that person on a reg throughout a night out. Let us pay homage to that guy, that girl, who’s got you in trouble with the sober people and who you will love to the death because of it.

A recent Friday night out I shared with a hilarious wine-guzzling friend of mine resulted in near-chaos, as we both almost got my boyfriend sacked from his job after a night out with his work colleagues and clients. It all started with my being let out of work early on a Friday, never a good idea, as it added a whole extra hour onto vodka-consumption time, aka pre-lashing, aka chaos-inducing evening drinks.

It all started off so well. Off we went, into the night, dropping our possessions across the road as we searched in vain for our taxi man, a guy my friend, Wales born and bred, then dubbed ‘Drive’ after we finally came across his blinkers. I mean, not even Driver, or Mr taxi-man (my own usual patronising name I offer the poor people who have to cart my friends and I across London whilst being subjected to our none-too-subtle attempts to hide the cranberry-voddie mixture), but Drive. Whatever, he seemed to like it. On we drove.

After skipping the ridiculously long queue of substance sniffers that waited outside in the rain of the club, we threw ourselves forward and hugged every bouncer who came into our sorry contact. Suddenly, we saw my boyfriend! Screaming, crying, vodka flowing freely in our veins, I saw the panic in his eyes as we jumped him like mad women who had discovered a marathon line after a sweat-producing last sprint. He then proceeded to usher us into a room, another room, and finally… into the room filled only by the main headlining DJ that night, and his sober entourage. Suffice to say, already my boyfriends job was in jeopardy. We leapt upon all, hugging, embracing and dribbling on these music professionals who had only one thing on their mind: get rid of the drunken girls. The Russian DJ my friend was yelling at to ‘COME CARDIFF, COME DJ IN CARDIFF MATE’ looked positively stricken, as he hurriedly posed for photos with us before the others practically picked us up and expelled us into another VIP room. Worst move ever; there was way more vodka to choose from in the next rooms.

Suffice to say, whilst I was meeting the pole dancers and talking to them about power relations (I like to think I was talking about this, I probably just poked their boobs and said ‘WHOA, MEGA JEL’ or something as highly intelligent as that), my friend was well and truly getting on it. We whirled around the place, meeting gay Spanish dancers, new-found best friend-bouncers, and club music loving teens, having a great old time of it, really. My boyfriend briefly tried to take my friend aside, ‘for a chat’, but you try reasoning with a Welsh girl full of booze and joy, she wasn’t having any of it. And I love her for that.

‘Telling off’ your friends is the worst thing, and having people look down on them and you is even more horrible. When you’re at a club, full of boozers and music-enthusiasts, the only way to get into it, is to get on it. I’m proud of my friend and I for ignoring the stuck-up glares (when we noticed them through our blurry vision) and although I’m not condoning excessive drinking, or drinking at all really, we had a great time that night. Sober or not, making the most out of a situation is always the best thing to do, even if your hangover disagrees with you the next day. Plus, we had the balls to ask for pictures with the DJ, and the sour-faced sober crouts didn’t. So who’s the winner really, eh?

 

Ab Fab endorses us

Ab Fab endorses us

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