Valentine’s can be a lonely day for the best of us, myself included. Yet despite my wife’s absence I was still able to enjoy a hot date that evening, snuggled up in bed with a Netflix marathon and a microwavable stuffed dinosaur.

“I’m sorry, did you just say that you sleep with a teddy bear?” My wife probed during a brief video chat.

“Um, it’s a dinosaur, Shannon, and I put it in the microwave to keep me warm during the night. I think you’re overlooking the facts,”

“But, it is a teddy bear?” She pressed the point, being met with an arduous silence.

“Granted, I suppose that one could assume from it’s particular aesthetics…”

“It’s a teddy bear?”

“Yeah, it’s a teddy bear.” I admitted, cracking under the pressure.

“I can’t believe that you cuddle a teddy bear to sleep but never your wife!”

“No,” I assured her “I cuddle it until I’m ready to sleep, then I kick it to the end of the bed,”

“Wow, I’ve literally been replaced.”

Welcome back!

For two months I have put myself through a complete social media detox, blog included, cutting all non-essential ties with the online community in an attempt to better enjoy the world around me. To briefly summarise the experience; 60 days without a single GIF will do things to a man. This wasn’t an idea of my own, but one that I was inspired to try after reading a post from (blog) about the things we can do to smile more. Her blog is brimming with useful tips and advice for everyday self improvement. Not only are there words of wisdom aplenty, it’s also the very first blog that I began to follow, and it’s my belief that I’m much the better for it. Check it out.

So, what happened?

President Trump entered the second month of his four year term, and after wasting no time in redecorating the oval office, leaked reports in the DC area have claimed a staggering surge in the sales of indoor swing sets. During President Trump’s first White House press conference we also learned the dangers of Uranium. You know what Uranium is, right? It’s this thing called Nuclear weapons and other things, like, lots of things are done with Uranium, including some bad things.

It really helped me to put a lot of things into context, like how my geography teacher must have felt during my rivers presentation the day that I discovered Wikipedia. The entire conference was really like a sketch for SNL, which did little to ease the general sense of anxiety towards the new leader of the free world, which I’d describe as tethering between the defusing of a ticking bomb and trimming one’s plums with a trembling hand a pair of kitchen shears.

All in all it’s been a busy month for the president, who even had time to tweet his disbelief over the shocking events that shook Sweden. Yes, Sweden, before launching a Twitter offensive at the fake news media, which is to irony what Mentos are to Diet Coke. Thankfully no terrible event had occurred on Swedish soil, and unless Trump was getting his Intel directly from the future… all will be well. In alternative news, Nicolas Cage was named president of the Nicolas Cage fan club, while Harry Potter is keen to remind people that he’s starred in other movies.

What have we been up to?

No doubt those who have returned this month have been eagerly anticipating the news surrounding my overdue trip to the dentist, which incidentally evolved into a two part saga. Overcoming my irrational fear of receptionists paved the way for my first appointment in three years, as I was finally willing to accept the inevitable regarding a broken wisdom tooth. I can’t help but feel slightly resentful, that after two years of pain during my early twenties, one of the culprits was only now being marked for extraction. The waiting room décor was a fifty shades of beige as it crossed my mind that I could think of far better ways to inflict pain for money, before I was led to a room and shown to a chair wrapped in plastic and death. Where some people find the cleanliness in the air a comfort, I find it somewhat disconcerting, like I’ve walked into a recently sterilised crime scene.

I would spend the following ten minutes apologising for everything my dentist threw at me during their verbal onslaught, and while I’d have to be referred for the tooth extraction, I was lucky enough to be treated to 3 fillings then and there. The process was long and uncomfortable and I tried to ignore the commotion around me as best I could. At one point I opened my eyes to discover five young women standing over me with their various tools at the ready. Without putting my finger on it, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d seen something fairly similar on the Internet that morning.

So, what have we been watching?

Since deciding to add a run down of the latest shows on my radar, Netflix has consumed my soul much like Drew Barrymore consumes flesh in the superbly funny Santa Clarita Diet. A title that draws you in like a DFS summer sale. It’s easy to binge watch the ten 30 minute episodes, with each new chapter offering another layer to the story. The ever charismatic Timothy Olyphant is wonderful to watch as a father and husband on the brink of a mid-life crisis, with his early struggles over a new toaster oven providing an almost complete narrative to my life.

We also saw the return of Ibiza Weekender, which follows a group of “holiday reps” as they provide an experience of booze, sex, sun, booze, sex and more sex to a small group of youthful men and women from different corners of the UK. It makes for hugely addictive viewing, resulting in side effects such as severe shame and self loathing. The sophisticated dialogue between the reps is the main draw to the show, with the likes of Deano reminding me of a lovable Labrador. Perhaps short on brains, but that’s okay, because all I want to do is stroke his hair and tickle his belly as I feed him biscuits in the Mediterranean sun. Jordan, on the other hand, may come across as the resident ladies man, I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s the type of guy who masturbates to a full length mirror. My wife refused to let me watch the previous season. I think I get it.

This has been Randall’s Review, laughing through one day at a time. 

Coming next month: We’ll conclude with Part II of my dental saga, briefly discuss the triggering of article 50, before jumping into the world of Dirk Gently’s holistic detective agency.