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Tuesday 21st October 2008

I was given a George Forman grill for Christmas a couple of years ago. I use it mainly for cooking fish fingers. It doesn't really help in the fat reduction that George Forman had intended when he invented this machine (of course he invented it - it's got his name on), but it cooks them quick and efficiently. I don't have to explain myself to you!
Anyway on Sunday before I headed off to Manchester I had a light lunch of soup followed by fish fingers and then headed out the door to catch my train, loaded down with all the stuff I needed for the next couple of days, including all my show programmes.
When I got to Shepherd's Bush Market station (the new name for SB on the Hammersmith and Shitty line). When I got up the stairs to the platform a little voice in my head started chiming up -"Did you turn off the George Forman grill?" it asked. I couldn't be entirely sure that I had, though I reasoned it would be highly unusual if I hadn't automatically done that once I'd retrieved my fish fingers. And that little voice in my head does not have a good track record. It is forever saying things to me like "Did you turn off the gas on the hob when you were cooking?" and "Did you lock the front door?" and "Did you leave the window open?" It's this little paranoid voice, which usually does its job, sends me scurrying back to the house only to find out that of course the gas is off, the door is not wide open and the windows are firmly locked. I hate that stupid voice. It's always playing on my fears and tricking me into unnecessary trips home. It's the voice that cried wolf.
Plus I had a train to catch and couldn't face lugging all my stuff back home only to find that of course I had turned the grill off, like I always do, and then having to lug all my stuff back to the tube and risk being late to Euston. So I left it. That would teach the voice. Maybe it would only warn me of real emergencies from now on.
But of course at the back of my mind I worried slightly that if I had left it on then I would come home to a burned down house and some angry neighbours. The voice chimed up a couple of times when I was in Manchester, but I forgot about it by today.
Until I got home today, went into my kitchen, heard a click coming from the worktop and realised that my George Forman grill was indeed still on. Despite having been plugged in for about 48 hours it had not burst into flames, though I have to say the few breadcrumbs left on it from the fish fingers were rather thoroughly cooked to a delightful charcoal. For once the voice had been telling the truth. And I hadn't listened. But I was thankful to George Forman for creating such a hardy piece of equipment, that it could be on for that long and not malfunction and destroy my home. I felt pretty lucky. But would advise other owners of fat reducing grilling machines not to leave them on all the time. It might mean you can grill anything you want at a moment's notice, but it is not good for the environment to waste electricity like that.
May I draw your attention to the atheist bus campaign, which is asking for donations of £5 to put up adverts on London buses saying that there might not be a God, as an antidote to the religious ads that you sometimes see on our transport system. It's already raised ten times more than the organisers were hoping for, but I am sure they will use the money to promote rational thought, so make a donation if you are so inclined. Sensible religious people will see it as a way to prompt debate, whilst stupid ones may encourage vandalism. But either way, it's cool to see the endeavour is going so well.

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