Thursday, September 24, 2009

*Insert your own title here*

Some of my readers may, I am sure, already have strong opinions on this, but I think I am pretty certain, in my own mind, of the singular most pointless example of the application of SCIENCE to a non-existent problem. These.

Leaf blowers. Why? What, in all that is good in creation, is their use? Somebody tell me because I can't for the life of me think of one. I cannot even begin to imagine what bizarre event inspired the twisted mind that invented these machines. The end of the Crystal Maze, perhaps? I don't know. I drove down Victoria Avenue yesterday afternoon. As you may guess, Victoria Avenue consists of two lines of trees, one on each side of a road. It is also a busy main road, a vital artery into and out of the throbbing hub of Crewe's town centre. A middle-aged man was busy using one on the area of pavement directly in front of his house. The area of pavement in front of his house was completely clear of leaves. It looked very neat. It looked even neater because of the contrast of the clear grey pavement with the two deep areas of russet-coloured leaves on either side and in the road in front. What's more, he looked as if he was going about his work in a slightly furtive manner; presumably he didn't want to be seen increasing his neighbours' leaf load. Of course, his satisfaction can only be guaranteed for the minute or so it takes for him to disappear through his front door when either a light breeze, natural or the product of a passing bicycle, or his neighbour wielding his own pointless tool, redistributes the decaying foliage. Square one.

I just don't understand why would anyone want to blow leaves around in the first place. Not only is it a spectacular waste of energy but when it comes to redistributing bits of nature, wind, in its myriad forms, is known more for its destructive lack of discrimination rather than its accuracy. Heaven forbid the tree on his property should deign to shed a few more leaves overnight or on the next breeze. What on earth's wrong with a sodding broom or a spring-tine rake? Then pick them up with two bits of cardboard and put them in the bin your council has just thoughtfully provided you for free, you lazy bastard. You deserve to have your council tax doubled. Having said that, our local council employs men to pointlessly blow things around so maybe that's not the most efficient use of funds.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Some suggestions were made in the comments at the end of the previous post as to the possibility of my beatification. Been done already and look, I've also got my own sign. Shame the local icon makers got their words a bit mixed up.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gratefully Dead.

You may have heard on the wireless, or any other currently available media format, the exciting news that a few bits of the mortal remains of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux are visiting this country on their never-ending world tour. A bit like Bob Dylan in other words. Look, Leicester and next month, presumably in an effort to do a Johnny Cash, she's playing the Scrubs. Please do try and stay focused, I'll try and not excite you too much.

Now, my copious research (listening to Jezza Vine while making scrambled eggs earlier), has revealed that she's a dead woman who, while she was alive, was a big fan of God and his son and heir, Baby Jebus. I haven't really looked deeply into her background but according to Jezza, whose researchers obviously did their jobs properly so I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of his reportage, she was canonised largely on the basis that "she smiled at people she disliked, ate things she hated and took the blame for things she hadn't done" a philosophy she called her "little way".

I don't wish to sound picky or anything but she was, after all, a Roman Catholic nun and presumably not completely up with the ways of the world. Her "little way" has been practised by every single man who's ever been married. I cannot ever recall being referred to as a saint.

Carry on.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Gipsy tart makes you fart

I am not unnaturally quite perturbed by this. I fear the mentalists in Flintshire, not a million miles away from here, have very very little to do. Boys will be boys, and so will men. I think I will apply for a job with them but I will make it quite clear that if they don't employ me, I will assume it will be on the grounds that my name will cause general ribaldry to the point of distraction. Nonetheless, I have had 40 odd years of being used to it and nobody has come up with anything remotely original for at least 20 years (I actually quite liked Mr Seeds - everyone in a cricket team has a nickname) so I think litigation would be justified. What makes me laugh more than anything is the quite parochial nature of the complaint: renaming it "Spotted Richard" is quite laughable to anyone with a passing knowledge of rhyming slang.*

On a similar note, here in Cheshire garages and car dealerships with high values of customer service/satisfaction etc (ie doing what you'd expect them to do) are awarded the "Golden Spanner". Quite. Employ the services of the excellent to understand why I won't be using them.

*If you really don't know, Richard the Thirds. Work it out.

Monday, September 07, 2009

And the moral is...

As I was walking out the door last night on my weekly trip to take advantage of Mr Wetherspoon's crunch-buster special offer of all the low alcohol content beer you can drink for a quid (now all you can drink for £1.20, the recession's over, haven't you noticed?) my gaze was ambushed by the sight of an impending conflict of a sinister and ghoulish nature. I stood for several minutes transfixed by the drama that was about to, and indeed did, unfold.

My hallway contains a small alcove, the top corners of which are about 4' apart. In each of these corners for the past few weeks there has been living a small spider. Although I have more than a mild aversion to spiders I decided to leave them alone, they weren't going to bother me, I wouldn't bother them. Perhaps things had come to a head between them. Maybe they hadn't been getting on and the final straw had been loaded onto the camel's back. I do know the feeling; my own neighbour has some annoying habits, not least the one she has for filling my dustbin with her unsorted rubbish and filthy take-away cartons, the lazy cow. And for driving a huge 4 x 4 at warp speed to the end of the road 50 yards away. I'm not sure I'm up to making the same response though.

The smaller spider (when I say 'smaller' it's actually a matter of a few millimetres - the bigger one has a span about the size of a penny, we're not talking Bolivian red-legged cow-eating spider sized animals here) had gone to complain and was now only about 2 inches away from the larger one. It was at this point I considered an alternative scenario: as they bore a resemblance to each other I wondered whether I was going to witness something else and would the legend prove true - do male spiders only get to do it once and would it be worth it? The larger one stood its ground, the other moved slowly forward. Half an inch apart now and the small one puts up what could be either an act of defiant braggadocio or a sign of panic - it waves its two long front legs around in the air rapidly. It doesn't look to be a come-on. The larger one does the same but you sense an air of menace in its movements. They close rapidly, the larger's legs fully embracing the smaller whose legs stop their protestations as the coup de grace is delivered. It is over and I leave for the pub.

Traditionally this is the point at which some well-meaning homily is delivered by a smooth voiced Irish cleric (and indeed, I had just switched off Brian D'Arcy and Sunday Half Hour); "You know, in a way, I often think Jesus was like that at the crucifixion...". And yes, I was quite moved by the smaller spider's stoic acceptance of its inevitable fate regardless of whether it was bravado or lust that drove it on and yes, there are certainly lessons to be learned. Buggered if I'm going to tell you though.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wit and wisdom.

There has been an outbreak of the most pernicious and damaging disease known to mankind - Management Consultancy.

I tell you, if it wasn't for those sick buggers, we'd be laughing. Here's some free advice: stop paying management consultants. If they could actually manage, they'd be doing it.


We've all been there haven't we. Couple too many, fall asleep, wake up on a different planet. Most of us make it back. Obviously some don't.

Japanese first lady abducted by aliens