Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things That Make Me Want To Yell

No 2 in a series of indeterminate length

Teenage mothers with twins in double pushchairs who stand outside the entrance to ASDA, smoking and scream conversations down their mobiles at Andy

Obviously I have a headache or something, I am not in a particularly charitable mood and no, it has nothing to do with the football result. It's only a game. If only Piqué had been more charitable to his old club and allowed Park a bit more of a stab at the rebound then it may have been a different matter of course, but no it's nothing to do with the football.

No, I have never, since the advent of the mobile telephone, ever heard anyone conduct such a loud and one-sided conversation. She made Dom Joly sound like Bob Harris. Poor Andy. He hadn't done anything, this was just a yobette who loved the sound of her own voice and who wanted everyone to know her business. I didn't hang around to catch the gist, she was, as is these idiots' wont, standing at a pinch point on the pavement so I squeezed past, muttering remonstrations at a level that would have, save for the audio barrage, been quite audible.

I pity anyone called Andy living with strident mothers of twins.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Things That Make Me Want To Yell

No 1 in a series of indeterminate length.

People who go to the library solely to fill in the crosswords in the newspapers.

Being dole scum, I can't afford a newspaper every day so sometimes I like to go to the library to have a quick read of one. Like today for instance, when I wanted to check what time the football kicks off this evening. I have invited myself round to Sharon's to watch it on her new telly - the one I tried to pick up for her yesterday but which Argos wouldn't let me walk off with because I wasn't her. It will be the only football match I've wanted to see all season, being as it is what us old people used to call the European Cup Final. I did wonder whether I could get through a whole season without watching a single game but there are exceptions. It will be Ryan Giggs' 7243rd game for Man Utd for a start and there are few more dignified players in the British game. He deserves another medal. I shall also be watching through my fingers every time Paul Scholes (his 5476th game - how many other clubs can boast players of this dedication, eh? Eh? Arsenal?) attempts to disguise a clumsy two-footed tackle on Lionel Messi. So, yes it's unmissable. Isn't it. I eventually found a newspaper not being selfishly scrawled over. The Guardian. First time I've looked at that all year as well.

As for the crossword hogs, I will be taking pictures of you and forwarding them to that nice Mr Griffin to use in his next set of brochures.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Missing link

Palaeontologists have unearthed a 47 million year old fossil primate in Germany. They believe it to be a possible missing link in our evolution but perhaps one where the branch evolved no further.
I've got news for them, they did evolve, but not much. The bastards have been knocking on my door while I've been out, the cowards. If I catch one, I'll make sure it has no opportunity to evolve any further.

Some Nazi Scum

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My two penn'orth*

Gordo announces the formation of a "body" to look into the calamity surrounding members' expenses. Idiot. He needs Reg and Bill.

The phrase that I am finding particularly offensive when used by these disgraceful and increasingly indefensible and useless tossers is "It was all done within the rules/guidelines". No. Excuse my potty-mouth here, I don't do this very often so you'll have to forgive me as I am upset, who the fuck do you think you are trying to kid? You want us to elect you yet you're now crediting us with no intelligence whatsoever. We've all filed expenses claims at one time or another pal, we know the dodges. Most of our expenses weren't coming out of the public purse though. You therefore deserve all the opprobrium you're getting. Squirm, it's fun. What they really meant to say was "I've looked at the rules and this is what I think they let me get away with". What that actually means is "I really have no sort of conscience whatsoever, am completely devoid of altruism or a moral streak and despite the fact that as a minister I earn over £100,000 per year - that's £2000 per week, 33 times a week more than you, dole scum - I want some more. Where's the trough?" Even more offensive are the bastards bleating about whether any parliamentary rules have been broken by this story being published. What planet do you think we've just arrived from? I am not a violent man but I am wondering whether there is a form of violence that is theoretically defensible in law but would allow me to "legally" cause actual bodily harm to one or several of these oxygen thieves and get away with it.

Back in the very early 80s I worked with a young man called Tim who previously had worked in the office in the House of Commons responsible for paying expenses (The Fees Office). There was never any talk of abuse, so maybe this very public greed is a modern phenomenon. In fact the only observation I can ever remember him making was that whenever Ian Paisley turned up to collect his, he was very polite and there was a visible bulge under his jacket. Tim and I worked for an engineering company in Tottenham Court Road. If we ever had to do anything that incurred expenses, which in my case was quite often, we had to fill out a chit and take it up to Reg to be approved. Every company used to have a Reg, responsible for signing chits. Ours was Reg Austin. Underneath, Reg was actually a very decent chap. He was a cricket fanatic, something I managed to use in my favour a couple of times. His prime function though was to reduce grown men to quivering tearful wrecks. The first few times I ever went up to his office with a chit were fine. We discussed cricket and stuff and I thought I'd softened him up. No, it takes years to soften up a Reg. Reg was also in charge of pencils, rubbers (for the colonials, that's erasers. This was London, not Amsterdam) and Pentel leads (we had a very large drawing office). One day he wasn't in his office but his door was open so I waited. I waited until I could no longer wait so I helped myself from the cabinet. I wasn't thieving, I was going to leave a note on his desk. He came back in before I had a chance, my hand most definitely in the till - or so it seemed. I got the treatment, what they call at Manchester United when you've upset Sir Alex "the hairdryer". I felt like a 5 year-old being told off by his dad and to be honest, I was so upset that I don't know how I managed to keep it together. I hadn't done anything wrong, my intentions were honest and sound but I'd bent the rules to my own needs. Needless to say, I didn't do it again. The strange upshot was that my contrition earned Reg's respect and we were OK after that.

Bill, on the other hand, was even worse, Bill was a smiling assassin. If Andy's reading this, he'll know who I mean. I worked at the world's greatest tolled river crossing in Dartford for 6 years. Although most of the operators there were beyond reproach, it wasn't entirely unknown for the odd unscrupulous chancer to slip through the net and try one on. It was pointless. You knew something was up when you saw Bill walking around with a printout under his arm, grinning inanely and telling excruciatingly bad jokes. Next day, someone's house had been turned over by the Kent Constabulary and there was one less on the payroll. Although he'd never been an operator Bill had worked out the possible scams in advance. He didn't need to set traps, if you conformed to a set pattern, you were probably on the make. Catch him in the mess room in his zip up cardy and glasses and he was about as unassuming a cove as you could get but he was diamond-edged sharp and once he was on the scent there was no escape.

*I'm claiming this for the electricity used while posting this.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


A notebook of formulae thought to contain the original recipe for Dr. Pepper, the well known soft "drink" of United of States origin has been unearthed in Waco, Texas. Where else.

I have only ever drunk this stuff twice in my whole life. The first in 1980 from McDonalds in The Strand following a visit to the National Gallery while at art college. I thought there'd been some kind of mistake with the pipes. The second time was a couple of years ago. One sip was enough to convince me that I had been wrong in my initial assumption. It must be one of the vilest concoctions foist upon mankind.

An examination of the original recite is quite illuminating. There was a note attached:

"Doc, Billy's horse had an accident at the store but I think we've got something. I've been using this on my beans and they've really come on"


Cabbage water - 50 gals
Mud - 5lbs
Old saddle. Must be at least 2 years old and well used
Molasses - 30lb
1 turnip.


Allow saddle to seep in cabbage water for one month. Remove. Add mud, molasses and turnip. Boil. Allow to cool. Strain. Serve. Use woman's side saddle for less potent version. (I think this is now the diet option).

Monday, May 04, 2009

A bit late but I'm sorry

4th May 1979, one of "those" days. I was already well over 18 and was about to participate in history. I shot off on my extremely rural paper round at 6.30am (so? I had a burgeoning beer and fag habit to sustain. £2.40 a week off Norman saw to that) and on the way back, at just gone 7, I stopped in at the polling station, a pair of wooden booths erected on Des' farm shop front lawn to exercise my democratic right for the very first time. I was one of the first voters on that pleasant Thursday morning. I'm sorry, I did all I could.

My constituency was Ashford, Kent. Solidly Conservative, with one of the biggest majorities in the country so, with the best will in the world, my efforts were going to be completely in vain. The incumbent MP was Keith Speed, his predecessor Bill Deeds(h); "Dear" Bill. How apt. (The current representative - and I wonder why it never gets mentioned in the national press because he's hardly been out of it for the past 6 months - is Damian Green. Watch that space, it could be interesting as Ashford's largest minority by a long way, is Gurkha and Damian Green is the Tory immigration spokesman and Ashford, on the whole, loves the Gurkhas).

I'm digressing. You will of course have guessed by now that I'm referring to the darkest day in the recent history of this fair land; the day Margaret Hilda Thatcher began ruining it. There was, of course, a certain frisson of excitement about that day: we were almost certainly going to get a woman Prime Minister. We weren't going to be the first, Mrs Bandaranaika, Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir, among others, had already been there and done it so the only novelty factor was that she was British - a "Superpower" leader. Blimey, what fun.

I heard some woman on Friday's Jezza Vine show on Radio 2 say that she was a hero, that she encouraged a work ethic so people could better themselves. No. You brain dead harpie, you must have been living on a different planet. She encouraged lazy bastards to make money by giving them shares in things they already owned, which they then flogged ASAP. No work involved except putting something in an envelope. The hardest work some people have had to do as a result of that bitch being in power is to decide which champagne bar they were going to visit and then call the wrecker out after they'd smashed the Porsche up running into a group of proles waiting for a bus along the A13. Somebody else on the programme even had the audacity to say that greed really was good, that it drove the economy forward. No. It produces a society of selfish creeps for whom the pursuit of wealth is the be all and end all. It glorifies peer pressure among children. God help your kids if you haven't got plenty of money. Her legacy is vile and this pathetic government has just carried it on. The sooner the evil woman is 6 foot under the better. I will be the first to dance on her grave.

When folk mention what they mistakenly think are positive things to say about Thatcher they ought perhaps to bear the following in mind: incredibly stupid people who really shouldn't be allowed out to breathe the same air as thinking people invariably say the following about Hitler: "Say what you like about him, he built the motorways and made the trains run on time." The reason he did those things was in order to move the army and SS around more efficiently so he could indulge his hobbies; death, weapons production and genocide, those kind of things. Think PFI. Plenty of material there to be going with I think.