The Lobby: Off-topic discussion

Hello and welcome to The Lobby! Your place to discuss subjects that just don’t fit in our other conversations. Make yourself at home!

This Lobby is closed to new comments

Do you want to discuss an issue but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals? Well, you’ve come to the right place…

As with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so on some of our posts because of the precisely defined nature of each subject.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we created this off-topic discussion area – The Lobby.

Any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could generate new posts for debate and discussion on Which? Conversation, so you – our community members – are able to help shape the direction of our community.

What happened to the original Lobby?

Why do we have two Lobbies? Well, like all good franchises, we wanted to experiment with a sequel. But seriously, the original Lobby was so popular (with almost 13,000 comments), it was becoming hard to load the page.

So we’re starting fresh with what we’re affectionately calling “The Lobby 2”.

No comments from first Lobby have been deleted, and you can still link to comments, but you won’t be able to add new comments.


To ensure The Lobby remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings all of our Community Guidelines apply, with the exception of one:

You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby.  🙂

Looking for other areas to talk?

• Website feedback: Let us know about any technical issues, and share your ideas on the future of Which? Conversation closure: A discussion about the closure of

Which? Members: Discuss issues related to our organisation, including governance

Welcome to the Lobby!

So without further ado… welcome! What are you waiting for!?


Welcome to Independence From Meat Day, the day in 1934 when Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard patented the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb
and the day in 2017 North Korea tested its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile.

I called the hospital but the line was dead.

I guess you called the mortuary.

Why do you look so sad?”
“I wanted to drown my worries but my wife didn’t want to go swimming.”

“Mummy, can we play with grandpa?”
“No, just push him to the side of your plates.”

With many pubs reopening today, I will raise a glass to all our regulars, Which? staff and anyone else who is staying in for a drink rather than heading out for one. Cheers. 🍺 🍷 🍸

Here Here!

I’m at home half way through a large g+t, about to watch The Young Montelbano. However, from what I have heard there was no great deluge on the pubs and most were responsible – owners and patrons. Was that general? Unlike the beaches and the illegal street parties where the irresponsibility and aggression of a section of the public was on display.

Cheers, everybody!

I am not planning on going into a pub or even sitting outside one for a long time yet. Our saloon bar is well stocked with everything except draught beer so enjoying a drink at home in safety is the best option.

Ditto and a belated cheers although at this time of the morning it is with a cup of coffee. ☕️

They showed the people in Soho last night on the news. Rather depressing how many selfish people were crammed together and not a face mask in sight. Most of them would have had to use public transport to get there. It is the police, and all those working in the public sector you really have to feel for.

It is going to be a long time before we go to a pub again.

It’s frightening. Young people may have done a risk assessment and decided that there is an acceptably small chance of a serious infection but they are putting others at risk, including NHS staff who would have to deal with those who became ill. It’s very easy just to think of ourselves.

It’s difficult for the government because the alternative to allowing pubs to open might have been an increasing number of illegal gatherings and house parties. I suppose we should be grateful that those of us who have health issues or are just old are likely to stay at home.

I have been analysing why I like visiting pubs. It’s enjoyable to meet up with one or more people I know but it’s also interesting to have a chat with complete strangers, and quite often I have introduced topics we have been discussing on Convo. Of course there are other venues where we can have discussions but like others I am not comfortable with starting a conversation with strangers on a train, for example.

I assume these are the same type of people who invade the beaches, have illegal mass parties and care nothing for others. However, from what I understand this was far from typical of the country as a whole.

News tends to focus on the bad things in life. I feel sorry for the police who have to deal with these situations and risk their own health.

People seem to have some strange belief that the police are not susceptible to illness or are somehow immune from contagion, don’t feel any pain, and can be expected to put up with anything.

Thankfully, the stupid behaviour was not typical of the country as a whole but it was prevalent in the drinking districts of most big cities which is not fair on the people who live there.

I did raise a glass to you all last night but this evening I will be staying in and meeting up online with a group of three friends from my university days. Two I have kept in regular contact with, but apart from meeting up briefly fifteen years ago I have just exchanged Christmas cards with the third over nearly 40 years. Being able to see who you are speaking adds an extra dimension.

Welcome to Mechanical Pencil Day, the day in 1994 when was founded in Washington and the day in 2004 of the first Indonesian presidential election by the people.

As a child I was disappointed to learn that a propelling pencil did not have a propellor. That must be a missed opportunity since in marketing they refer to ideas that will fly.

Famous last words of a postman: “Nice doggie…”

Just remember that dogs are not vegetarians.

The other side of the fence

It’s cleaning day today. I’ve already polished off a whole chocolate bar.

Twixt a Yorkie and a Bounty, which did you select? Or perhaps an Aero or a Snickers with a KitKat on the side. I expect you wanted something from the Galaxy and explored the Milky Way, then settled on a chewy bar from Mars.

Me? I’m a Bournville Fruit & Nut case.

A yes, the Galaxy. Maybe that’s why they call them candy bar phones.

Snickers quietly . . .😋

I reckon John must have a sweet tooth.

Hopefully more than one. Otherwise he’ll have to fall back on fruit gums.

Malcolm – With my teef, it’s hard to say fwute gums, but fanks for the fought.

Don’t trust joggers; they’re usually the ones to find the bodies.

Do I need to worry about my bottle of full bodied red wine?

Only if it’s from Hungary – it is so realistic it upsets the forensic scientists.

It can’t be much fun to be the head of a government body.

Welcome to International Kissing Day, the day in 1885 Louis Pasteur successfully give an anti-rabies vaccine to 9-year-old Joseph Meister, saving his life and the day in 1699 Scots Pirate Captain William Kidd, the only pirate known to have actually buried his treasure, was captured in Boston

I have a clean conscience. I haven’t used it once.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Eighteen stone here on Earth is six stones on Mercury. Fat? No. I’m just not on the right planet.

On a warm day on Mercury, the fat just melts away.

You can’t fire me. Slaves can only be sold…

Our morning jokes were later than usual, so I looked elsewhere and fount this one that might be worth a mention:

My neighbour texted me, “I just made synonym buns!”
I texted back, “You mean like grammar use to make?” I haven’t heard from her since.

I like malapropisms. I was out in the garden a few minutes ago before it started raining just admiring the way the anomalies have shot up this year. The hardy future is in full bloom too. The hysteria also put on a good show throughout Spring.

Very good, John. I thought that a malapropism was when the pole supporting the washing line had not been placed correctly and fell down.

That would be a propendiculous situation.

Friends who live nearby are keen gardeners but can get carried away and the the front of their house is covered in vegetation. I call it mass Wisteria.

On of this morning’s jokes has been withheld for moderation. I’m certain it’s because it uses another of the ‘reserved’ words. I’ll try to reproduce it here:

You can’t fire me. S 1 a v e s can only be sold…

Thanks Ian, I thought we were missing one.

My one joke was not intended as a replacement, just to keep us going. I certainly did not report the one that went missing, which was there this morning.

If that was indeed, the reserved word, then the puritanical state of censorship in this place has now crossed the line from silly to absurd. The elimination of yet another, frequently used term in engineering and other contexts, does make me question whether those setting policy for W?Cs actually want reasoned, intelligent debate or merely gratuitous approbation for every golden nugget they choose to dispense to the eager supplicants.

To argue that ‘nothing will change because that’s the way it is’ is indicative of a severely conditioned mindset, more akin to religious intolerance than a modern consumer association. It has to change.

I entirely agree with you, Ian.

I recall the subject of subservient clocks came up recently in a perfectly proper context.

My mind was drawn to this stirring anthem that’s now probably on a banned list:

When Britain first, at heaven’s command
Arose from out the azure main
Arose, arose, arose from out the a-azure main
This was the charter, the charter of the land
And guardian angels sang this strain:

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be . . . whooops! Nearly!

I cannot remember any moderation in the discussion about the statues of Colston etc, but there was certainly no support for what happened in the past.

I suppose that anyone with a mortgage to pay is a wageslave.

What do we know, Wavechange? We are all but mere hirelings, vassalls and serfs, subjected to the whims of imagined opinion and dubious sentiment.

Yes, and the pay is miserable. I call it self-exploitation answering all these problems that consumers manage to get themselves into.

Just how many jokes should be expunged along with old films and sitcoms? Frankly, focussing as some seem to on, for example, Black Lives Matter ( and of course they do), seems to ignore the wider picture of discrimination, throughout the world, of all colours and religious (or not) beliefs.

Some old tv programmes being shown again begin with a warning that the content reflects attitudes at the time which may not accord with some people’s current views, but they are still shown uncensored.

What do we do about the green Italian’s March of the Hebrew S……..s?

“we felt a joke being made about human slavery could cause offence and wasn’t appropriate for a public forum about consumer issues, so it was moderated.”

Sorry, JS-C? Did you read the joke? It had nothing whatsoever to do with “human slavery”, it wasn’t even a joke about slavery. It was a reference to how people satirically describe their own living and working conditions all the time. Oh yes; it was a joke about how people refer to themselves.

I find it offensive that you should even consider the possibility that I would ever contemplate the possibility of writing a joke “about human slavery”. On that basis, according to your own community guidelines, you should remove your comment above and reinstate the joke as it was.

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.”

What is Which?Speak for “modern day slavery”?

Twenty years hence there will be other taboos. One of my favourite (there appears to be an American spell check going on here, I typed favourite and I want favourite please.) bed time stories as an infant ended something like this. “And the tigers ran round and round in circles so fast until all that was left was a pool of melted butter. ” I often think when I buy something really smart that “I’m the grandest tiger in the jungle.” Yet, no one would dare to read that story today. Didn’t someone get sacked for playing the tune “The Sun Has Got His Hat On” on air? Noel Coward was not particularly P.C. when he wrote “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” but it’s a clever piece of writing. Then there was those pots of marmalade and cuddly toys. Were we all rampant racists back then? Did we behave differently to our ethnically different neighbours (American spell check at it again) ? Do we now, when we moderate our language, carefully avoiding difficult vocabulary, change our behaviour (USA spell checker at work.) too? There are those in society who have been, and always will be, racist. They chant at football matches and join niche groups of like minded people. Most of us are racially tolerant yet we all seem to be expected to be on alert for anything remotely disrespectful to other communities. We all matter don’t we?

Vynor – If favourite is shown as wrong, this will be because your computer is set to US rather than UK (or international English) spelling. Mine is fine. Microsoft Word used to annoy me because it would often switch back to the US dictionary. My browser does underline Vynor in red. You would have thought it might have learned by now.

But it doesn’t do it in “Word”!

Word has its own language settings, so can be set to spell check in UK English even if the general PC locale is set to another country.

Which? has been demonstrating how easy it is to place fake ads on Google and Facebook:

Welcome to Global Forgiveness Day, the day in 2005 when coordinated terrorist bomb blasts hit London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour killing fifty two and the day in 1981 on which the solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, successfully completed a 163 mile flight across the English Channel

I’m sceptical of anyone who tells me they do yoga every day. That’s a bit of a stretch.

A stretch in time saves nine.

I look at the statistics of yoga-related injuries and have decided it’s not for me.

Many sports – football, rugby, running, for example – put excessive regular load on joints, so while it may keep you “fit” temporarily your body degenerates more quickly, and much earlier than that of a lazy person like me. I wonder how many people who suffer early in their later life would have pursued these activities if they had known the likely consequences? Probably most of them.

I now have a footballer player living next door. Maybe I should warn him. At least he does not kick balls into my garden, unlike the son of my previous neighbour.

Joints will cease up and soon become arthritic if not used.

Excessive use, can cause premature degenerative wear and tear, even at a young age. Professional tennis players often have to take time out for hip, knee and elbow surgery as we have seen recently with Andy Murray, Nadal and Djokovic.

Spot the deliberate mistake ….joints will seize up hopefully before they cease up 🙂

I have a lot of growing up to do. I realised that the other day when I was playing in my fort.