Thursday, February 13, 2014

I love you all

For all of you who will be celebrating the death of a quasi-fictional, god-bothering soppy bastard tomorrow, may I remind you that February 14th is also the anniversary of the death of P G Wodehouse, a man who could bring more joy in a few words than a warehouse full of crap verses hawked by the avaricious to the gullible.

So don't waste your money on rip-off meals and chemical laden flora, perambulate merrily in the general direction of your library and pick up an improving novel.

"He was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say 'when!'"

Friday, January 17, 2014

Alfred the Grave

I am sure that you will all be delighted to read in the Torygraph that some interminable busybody has been poking around among the dead, and claims to have found the bones of king Alfred in a box in Winchester. It is a little late to return them to him, but I am sure he is grateful for the attention.

Most of you will be familiar with Alf, although very few will have attended his funeral. I wish they would leave him in peace, along with future corpses in North Hampshire, amongst whom I may well number sometime in the next 50 years.

The Torygraph reports that the bones may be those of Alf’s son, Edward the Elder. Alf showed great perspicacity in bestowing this sobriquet onto his son. Many of our modern royals resemble shrubs, in appearance, intelligence and, one would like to think, in their contribution to the welfare of us all. Ted’s daughter married an illegal immigrant, one Sitric Caech (Norwegian for Citrus Cake), and thus the purity of the genetic line was ensured.

Alfred is portrayed as a great hero among the British. I am sure Michael Gove has a photograph of him on his desk. He was not, however, a great liberal reformer, and somewhat cruelly named one of his sons Ethel Weird.

When I get home, I shall have a rummage round in the loft to see if there is any trace of Vortigern, king of the Britons. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Thank you. I am happy, and quite together, man.

This week, I did something that I have not done for a long time. But I don’t want to write about that, this is a family-friendly forum.

This week, I did something that I have not done for a long time. I bought a book and instead of putting it somewhere near the bottom of the pile of books awaiting my attention, I read it. The queue-jumping tome to which I allude is entitled “Shell Shocked”, and is the autobiography of Howard Kaylan. (Who he? Ed.)

One of my favourite songs of the 1960s was (and still is) “She’d Rather Be With Me”. I loved it the first time I heard it, and remember seeing the Turtles on Top of the Pops, in a film (that I cannot now find on the electric internet) that was full of joy and happiness. It is a really simple song, as most of the best pop music is. They had had an earlier hit in the UK – “Happy Together”, but “She Rather” did better in the UK, whereas “Happy Together” was their biggest hit in the USA.

Mark and Howard were first rate singers, and later appeared with Frank Zappa, and sang on lots of tracks by all sorts of rock bands. If you want to appreciate just how good Howard was, watch and listen to this, where the instrumental 
sound track has been stripped. (Go on, watch it)

I went with some friends to see them with the Mothers of Invention in Liverpool in 1970. I can recall little of it, I suspect I may have been an unwitting victim, and inhaled the smoke from narcotic substances that may have been in use among certain less respectable members of the audience. Howard remembers my being there, because he was kind enough to reply to a message I sent him some time ago, and when I mentioned that I was the one with long hair and under the influence of drugs he confessed to having had a clear recollection of that.

Before I discuss the book specifically, I need to give it some context from my perspective. I seldom read biographies or autobiographies; my preference is for fiction. I have an iconoclastic view of most of those performers of the music that makes up my record collection. I am not overly interested in their lives and deeds, much less their opinions. I occasionally watch some programme or other on the electric television where the survivors of the music scene of my youth talk about, and usually overhype their fellow travellers, and such chat normally descends into reminiscences of people who were “really amazing”, of whom no one else has ever heard. On the whole, I am glad that I remained undiscovered. I was not, contrary to rumour, invited to replace Mick Taylor when he left the Stones. I did not shag Janis Joplin, nor appear on the cover of Sgt Pepper. From here, I don’t think anything other than the anonymous hippy scene that I found myself part of would have suited me. I had a really good time, and I am pleased with the path of my existence since then.

Anyway, the book begins with a stonking introduction by Penn Jillette, and Howard’s narrative begins with the sentence “I was snorting coke on Abraham Lincoln’s desk in the White House”.

‘Shell shocked’ follows a fairly standard plan. It is largely chronological, with much of the story concentrating on the period with the Turtles and the Mothers. It is not laden with deep insights, and that is clearly not the intention. It is free from malice, and captures some of the feeling of that time. There is little psychoanalysis and it is largely unjudgemental. If he is hard on anyone, it is on himself. It is full of anecdotes with plenty of reference to sex and drugs without any unnecessary embellishment.

So far it seems as if I am unenthusiastic, but I liked it immensely. In reading it the character of those guys who I first saw over 45 years ago having such a great time singing their song shines through to the end. I think what is so cool about it is that I get no sense of hype. There is a story to be told, and those who were there will want to read it, and those of us who weren’t there but observed it will probably rejoice in seeing the protagonist survive all of the adventures and remain the same guy that started off, just wanting to play music, have a good time and be a drug crazed hippy. I feel as though I have read a story written by a friend – I think to have produced a story like that is quite an achievement.

I hope some of you read the book and, if you do, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Love and peace.

You can buy it here:

(and other places)

Friday, November 29, 2013

You have been advised.

In case you are in need of a reminder, here is a list of “festivals”* I will not be celebrating this year or any other year:

  • Thanksgiving**
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas***
  • New Year ****
  • Eid
  • Diwali
  • Vaisakhi
  • Navnatri
  • Easter
  • Whitsuntide
  • Trooping the Colour
  • Cup Final Day
  • The excoriation of St Oswald the Perverse
  • Hallowe’en
  • Garifuna Settlement Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • The birthday of the poet Keats
  • Vientianne boat race day
  • (that's enough festivals. Ed.)

Here is a list of festivals I will be doing my best to celebrate (and I am doing quite well at the moment in this venture, thank you very much for asking):

  • Every day, and its ability to be filled with love, joy and laughter. 

Love and peace.

* i.e. Bloody silly traditions
** Am I thankful? You bet your butt.
*** It is almost December and I haven’t started work on my card yet, so am in a state of abject panic.
**** Yes, there is only one of them, you silly Americans.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dirty Protest

I was surprised to find an email this morning from someone who, as far as I can recall, I have never met. These are the contents:

If you are married and file a joint tax return, you can contribute to an IRA for your spouse in addition to your own IRA. Contributions may be permitted to either a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA regardless of whether your spouse earns any income or is eligible to participate in an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k).
Generally, individuals who are unemployed are not allowed to contribute to retirement accounts such as IRAs because they do not have eligible compensation. However, there is an exception for individuals with spouses that are employed and meet certain requirements. The employed spouse is allowed to make an IRA contribution on behalf of a non-working spouse or a spouse who has little income. These contributions are referred to as "spousal IRA contributions". Here we review the eligibility requirements for making spousal IRA contributions.

Eligibility Requirements To make a spousal IRA contribution, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You must be married.
  • You must file a joint income-tax return.
  • You must have compensation or earned income of at least the amount you contribute to your IRAs.
I replied thus:

Thank you, whoever you are, for your rather surprising invitation for me to contribute to the Irish Republic(an) Army.
While I sympathise with some of their aims, and share their disdain of colonial oppression, I am loathe to finance terrorism or violence in any form.
I am surprised you have singled me out for this attention - perhaps you are an undercover CIA operative testing to see whether my lefty tree-hugging credentials are valid. I must confirm that my position is that of pacifism compounded by abject cowardice.
Again, I am obliged for the invitation, but instead I will be investing available funds in a splendid vegetarian meal when I visit Leicester this weekend.
May I reciprocate your unsolicited invitation with some unsolicited advice? 
1) Be circumspect in your choice of political affiliation - eschew nationalists, conservatives, separatists and other loonies - it will all end badly.
2) Check email addresses before you send messages.
love and peace

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Talke Pits Development Company - AGM 2013

It is important to report the processes that underlie the success of major international organisations.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Countdown to the Royal Divorce part 27

You can imagine the sort of day that I have had.

It is no fun, I can tell you, being woken by Camilla at 5:30. At least it only happens by means of the electric telephone, I feel sorry for Charles sometimes, being woken from his dreams of Liz’s abdication by a mixture of a hacking cough, a laugh that could set concrete and flatulence that could solve the world’s energy crisis. (I refuse to visit Highgrove any more, other than for a couple of hours, the noises that one hears in the night there are nothing but echoes of what those imprisoned in the Tower must have heard in the 14th century.)

“Old grinning chops has gone into labour, darling!” She shrieked in my unprepared ear. “Just my sodding luck. We were due to go to Bridlington tomorrow, I suppose that will be cancelled now.”

“What’s so bloody special about Bridlington, you daft mare?” I asked, perplexedly.

“It’s the nearest I get to the seaside these days, darling. Fish and chips, a stroll along the prom, and with a bit of luck something hilarious like Chaz falling off a fucking donkey. I always like Yorkshire anyway, they are surprisingly deferential, ever since I told them I was related to Fred Trueman. I expect now it will be 4 hours sitting in some ghastly waiting room, while Big Ears drools over his grandchild.”

“Any clues as to whether it is male or female? I could do with nipping down to Ladbrokes to earn a couple of grand to tide me over to the weekend.”

“Dunno and don’t care, honestly darling all this fuss over a bloody baby. It’s not as if these people have anything else to do but breed. You’ve spent time at Sandringham – sod all to do apart from gawking at the locals,” (I diplomatically made no reference to in-breeding) “even Mark Phillips got a hole in one on a couple of occasions – although I think they had to put some crème-de-menthe in his Tizer and tell him he was actually riding in the 3:45 at Newmarket. Now that daft bint Zara has decided to join in too. I am so depressed – got any good stories?”

I embellished some gossip I had heard about young Armstrong-Jones and a sherry trifle, which cheered her up a bit and she rang off.

“Have you come far?” - Liz still thinks that is funny.

“Yes, all the way downstairs, you vile old bag, I’d just nodded off again after talking to Cams – it took me over 40 minutes to dispel the image of Mark Phillips and coitus from my mind”.

“They can’t think of a name you know”

“Well as they aren’t letting on whether it has dangly bits or not, then it is not surprising. I suggest they pick something androgynous, like Michael.” (I knew this would throw her off her stride.)

“She wanted to marry at the Abbey, you know, and have us all sing the Horst Wessel Lied.” It’s been 35 years, and she still isn’t over it – and I’ve heard the story from her more times than Phil has offended a foreigner.

“Well, you know what these Germans are like”, I said, and I got away with it.

“It’s going to be a boy. I insisted.” (She is starting to have delusions, poor old cow, Phil has to get up early in the morning to get his gaffs in first these days. Fortunately,  she still has this ability to make people believe that she couldn’t have possibly just said that.

“I’ll flip through Wisden and find something suitable, sweety” I assured her, although I doubt whether they are quite ready for Prince Verinder Sachin Aggers just yet.

I made my excuses, and tried to get back to bed.

“I’m at St. Mary’s!”

“Good for you, Bill, you soft bastard,” I said, trying to muster up some enthusiasm, I have little patience for his constant total lack of awareness. 
“have they found you a brain donor at last?”

“No, it’s Kate – she’s having the baby today!”

“What are you doing there then, Bill? They don’t need to take bits out of you as well, you know.”

“No, no, things are different these days, I’m going to be there all day and see the birth”

“You know what that involves, don’t you? Remember how you fainted when Alex Gloucester grazed his knee at Balmoral? It’ll be worse than that, and quite a bit of cussing I don’t doubt.”

“No, granddad won’t be there”.

“Not him, you dozy git, Kate – doesn’t matter how much paracetamol they give her, childbirth still stings a bit”

“Stop pulling my leg – I’m not young and stupid any more. Fancy coming for a pint tonight, just a few of the lads”.

“Yes, I’ll be there, Bill. You get the first 10 rounds in”. Who does he think I am?

I could tell you more, but I am a martyr to discretion. I can tell you that Phil isn’t allowed near a working telephone any more, since he got through to a Tandoori takeaway in Paddington and we had to send the Indian ambassador back to New Delhi jaldi jaldi to prevent the first nuclear war.

I did make one call – Sarah Chatto likes a bit of a laugh. I told her that the prince should marry someone with the surname “Thefootofourstairs”, and then the family name would be “Saxe Coburg Gotha Thefootofourstairs”, but she didn’t get it. I am wasted on that lot.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blows against the Empire

I have written to the Daily Telegraph. They never publish my letters, so you will have to read it. 

My dear sir

I was delighted to read recently that you planned to introduce a subscription scheme for your on-line offerings.

I wish you great success in this venture. Please let me know when it will be introduced. 

I have enjoyed your sports coverage over the years, and have taken advantage from time to time of being able to keep abreast of current thinking in the narrow-minded nonagenarian class. 

I have to confess that, of late, I find myself increasingly less able to tolerate not only the content - the latest gibberish emanating from our lamentable government - but also the despicable bias with which you present it.

I frequently find myself regretting starting or ending the day by digesting your miserable outpourings, and you would be doing me the greatest favour by charging me for this service. Even tuppence a week would be sufficient incentive to prevent my viewing your product and thereby risking disturbing my equilibrium.

yours in fondness
love and peace


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Qui labia Isaiae Prophetae calculo mundasti ignito

I was excited to discover a link, this evening, to the outgoing pontiff, Ratty 1st. There have been times since he shot to top of the popes that I have not felt much empathy with him. As a rule my closest friends come from the general populace and are not distinguished other than by their mild eccentricity. Those seeking to thrust themselves into the public arena are not normally those with whom I choose to associate.

But I am not one to shun other humans on the basis of some circumstance or prejudice, and therefore I was gladdened to see the headline on the BBC news site that proclaimed that Benny “recalled Joy and ‘Choppy’ Waters”. I was immediately taken back to 1977, and the somewhat overcast spring day when Joy Chippendale as was, married Graham ‘Choppy’ Waters, in the registry office in Bristol.

What a wonderful couple they were, him with his ready wit, remarkable birthmark across the whole of his forehead, the slightly suspicious leer that he gave whenever pronouncing the letter ‘t’, his uncanny ability to identify any make of vacuum cleaner by its sound alone and his strange predilection that caused him to spend 3 months at HM’s pleasure that time. I will not waste your time by a detailed description of how he acquired his unusual sobriquet – you will already have deduced that, probably correctly.

Many thought them an odd couple, and could not work out what they saw in each other.

It was generally felt that Joy was one of nature’s spinsters. She had a slightly unworldly air and being cross eyed one was seldom ever sure to whom she was addressing her unique observations on the nature of existence. Before the illness that caused her to quadruple in size she had been one of the country’s leading gymnasts. After she gained weight the strange way in which her breasts were uneven became even more apparent; despite spending hours of their lives captivated by the phenomenon, I never encountered a male friend of hers who could describe exactly what it was about them that was odd.

I believe they had a happy and loving marriage, until the accident, of course. They produced a batch of strange looking offspring, I have no idea what became of them apart from Giles who emigrated to Laos. As so often happens even with dear friends we lost touch, and I miss my strolls around the park with old Choppy. I am grateful to him for some of the wisdom he imparted.
“Choppy, old guillemot,” I ventured on one occasion, “I have been thinking about life quite a bit lately”. “Scurra”, was his reply, “I think you will find that life is mainly hexagonal”. I have never forgotten that.

I do not know at which point their existence intersected with that of the Pope, not even whether it was before or after I knew them best. I find it difficult to imagine him, for example, fitting in with their friends at the time they occupied the terraced house in Salisbury, or listening to Joy’s xylophone recitals on the beach in St Tropez. But, like all of us, his life will have been enriched by knowing them. I may call in on him when all the fuss has died down and exchange stories.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A brief history of bullshit

I am obliged to my friends at BBC science for this exciting article:

It quotes Dr Joseph “Chykken” Lykken, who claims that the sky is falling. Or in more complex terms, suggests that because of the latest data derived from the ‘discovery’ of the Higgs Boson, it may be that the creation of the universe is not a one-off big bang, but a cyclical process, whereby a bubble is created in a vacuum, this bubble expands at the speed of light, somehow destroying the current universe and creating a new one. He, and his fellow hell-bound scientific friends, call this a quantum fluctuation. Those of a religious disposition (i.e. the ones who think that they are the only ones not going to hell) call this a God Fart.

All of this is no news to my dear old friends the Hindus, who have been touting this theory for years. They reckon that every 100 years of Brahma (that is quite a long time – enough time, say, for a member of the Tory party to show symptoms of compassion, or for the composition of an entertaining musical by Lloyd Webfoot),  Shiva does his dance, and the whole universe contracts to nothing and expands again.

Joe tells us not to worry about it, as the earth and the sun will be long gone by then. I wonder, what exactly, constitutes a cause for concern Chez Lykken,  if the end of the entire universe can be so lightly dismissed. Perhaps he has run out of marmalade.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Away towards Salisbury! while we reason here, A Joe Royle battle might be won and lost

It has been brought to my attention by a dear friend (a Mrs Trellis of South East London) that Richard III has been discovered playing left back for Everton.

Richard III

Leighton Baines

Interviewed by John Motson, Mr Baines, as he is known in his sporting role, discussing his most recent match, said “And thus I clothe my naked villainy with odd, old ends stol'n out of holy writ, and seem a saint, when most I play the devil. I just kicked it, and Fellaini nodded into the net, obviously. We’re up against the Tudors next – hopefully we will do good. They’ve got de Vere in midfield, who might be a bit of a handful, but we’ve got Tim Howard, Duke of  Norfolk, in goal, and he’s world class, innit?”

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ho ho mofo ho

There are those among you who seem to suggest that I am not fully immersed in the christmas spirit. To disprove this wicked and without foundation allegation, when the young lady purporting to be from Microsoft (telling me she needed to speak to me about my computer) telephoned this evening, instead of telling her "Fuck off, bastard", which is my normal choice of opening gambit, I engaged her in conversation. 

After several minutes, despite my best efforts to be friendly she said "Fuck off, bastard" and disconnected. 

I am sure that my kindness to her will brighten her day. Of course, we were both winners, as I saved a couple of quid by not having to telephone the nice lady in Oswestry who charges 75p per minute to 'talk dirty'.

Can any of you elicit foul language from hoaxers? It is a first for me. I will keep you informed. 

I hope the young lady was not really Mrs Gates - I am sure Bill could afford to do better than getting hitched to some potty-mouth from the sub-continent.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Democracy in action

Liz always managed to get people to bow to her by telling them that their flies were undone.

As she viewed the exhibits, each one more hideous than the last, Liz reflected that she had not had this much fun since Queen Juliana of the Netherlands stepped in a pile of corgi crap at Sandringham.

Despite her advanced years, Liz had never lost a game of musical chairs. 

Nick pleaded with Dave to take Liz into the next room, before George got his cock out again.

"There's nothing in here, ma'am", said Dave apologetically, "but it is much preferable to what you have just missed."

Liz waited patiently for the cards to be dealt, wondering what would happen when this bunch of asswits realised that contract bridge was a game for only four players. She was buggered if she was going to play rummy.

Dave explained patiently that Bill always talked like that, and that there was nothing congenitally wrong with him, other than being from Yorkshire.

Dave was adamant  that he wasn't drunk, and proved it by holding his hand steady for fifteen seconds. He allowed that he was educated at Eton, and that explained some of the fatuous comments. 

Merriment ensued as Wackford peed down Dave's back. Liz maintained a stoical neutral demeanour, remembering that complaining was not an option; some of these twats had witnessed Phil's antics first hand.

"Pull my finger!"

Liz explained to the man with the funny voice that she did not want to be escorted across the fucking road - and if he thought that she was amenable to listening to his twaddle about Antarctica for more than three minutes then he had some very serious bloody recalculation to do.

Liz could not remember a day, and she had had many days, when she had had to listen to such total shite.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I've throttled your parakeet

As regular readers (aMToNW) will be aware, I have never been one to cower in the face of the more important issues of the day. The more astute among you (who he? Ed.) will already have steeled themselves to be confronted by one of the major questions of the day.

This concern was raised last week. I was disappointed to see that it was not one of the questions in the recent elections in the USA, but I guess not everyone has the ammunition to tackle the more weighty dilemmas. I diligently watched Fox News so as not to miss being best informed, but at no point was the issue raised. The voters of Ohio failed to reach a consensus, let alone a unanimity.

Last week, after nibbling one of my comestibles, my dear nephew announced via the medium of facebook, that hobnobs are better than digestives, at least that was my inference based on my translation of the arcane hieroglyphics favoured by these young people. You may consider this to be somewhat rash, and redolent of the impetuosity of the young. The argument is not without merit, although he completely failed to introduce any data to the audience. I am therefore under some compunction to expand upon this, and to define parameters which were so clearly lacking in his cryptic statement.

The central issue is this: which is the best biscuit in the world. There are, clearly, only two contenders – McVitie’s dark chocolate hobnobs, and McVitie’s dark chocolate digestives. I am beginning a journey to establish, if possible, which is better and, by logical extension, the best.

There may be those among you, of a frivolous disposition, who might claim that some other type of biscuit is better than these two. If you fall into this category, you are clearly deluded. Let me be firm about this; this is no forum in which to promote the merits of the custard cream or the all butter shortbread. We will not be at home to pointless discussion of the experience of the fig roll or the bourbon. I am not, after all, Mussolini, and will concede that these are all tasty and creditable substances which have had a positive impact on civilisation, but I must draw you back to the central concern – digestive or hobnob.

I am not a bigot. I recognise that it may be beyond the frontiers of human capability to ever reach a definitive conclusion on this topic. This is no excuse, however, for our not attempting it. We must adopt the resolve that has given birth to the great breakthroughs in human achievement, and not flinch from the difficulty.

I will not be drawing any conclusions until all have had a chance to share their wisdom. Please be circumspect in your decision making on this vital issue.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

One more thing to try before taking to the streets with weapons

I sent this email to all of the LibDem MPs.

I hope that you take time to read this letter, I am sending it to all Liberal Democrat MPs. I am not your constituent, nor will I ever vote for your party, but I am obliged to do something, however feeble and pointless to stop the excesses of this current evil government, and its path of destruction.

Your complicity in supporting this dreadful regime should haunt you. Your part in forging this dreadful government of robbing the poor to pay the rich, destruction of the environment, dismantling and privatisation of the NHS, materialism and anti-humanity  should keep you awake at night and make it impossible to have any pride in your contribution to public life. Without your support, this vile collection of misanthropes would have been unable to inflict their repugnant ideas and policies on us.

But you know that already, don’t you? Perhaps you recall the times that the Liberal party was respected, if not voted for, by the rest of the country. There was a time that it had principles – middle of the road, and somewhat ill-defined they may have been - but most of us recognised that you opposed the worst excesses of the free-market philosophy and could be relied upon to side with freedom. You have murdered that heritage in as callous a fashion as Blair and Mandelson slaughtered the traditions and morality of the Labour Party.

Who among you cannot see that not only are Osborne’s economics those of feudalism but also completely ineffective? Is there anyone there who thinks that future generations will thank Gove for his regimentation of our schools and his lack of regard for the welfare of children? Do you think that Hunt’s policy of rewarding the 1% with giving them extra income from the health service to the detriment of the sick is anything other than criminal? Do you not see that Cameron is better suited to the stocks than the despatch box?

Strangely, I was not moved to write this letter by yet another moronic policy from Slimy Dave, but rather his appointment of George Young to the cabinet. He has replaced one idiot who thinks that policemen are plebs with another who thinks that the homeless are what you step over when you leave the opera. Congratulations on your choice of bedfellow.

If you think that some of what I might have said above is offensive, you should hear what I say when my sentiments are not curtailed by my awareness of the laws of libel.

End this coalition now. Vote against these people. Try to find some morality and love for humanity and pursue justice rather than the lust for power. If you do, for what it is worth, I will try to forgive you.

Love and peace         

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tied up or tied down?

Mr Romney's latest little catch phrase seems to be spreading all over the internet. I am not impressed. I have often (I hope you were paying attention) complained about units of measurement that give no idea about the size or volume.

One often hears such guff as “an area the size of seven football fields”, as though all football fields are the same size. Or multiples of the height of Nelson’s column, as if any of us actually has a clue as to its height; or fucking care, for that matter.

Now we have the next leader of the free world (pause while you laugh at that phrase), a man whose IQ is in the same ballpark (how big is a ballpark?) as that of Dubya, measuring women by “binders-full”.

I am aware that I am not the only one who will be deconstructing this phrase, but you chose to come here, it ain’t my fault.

How big is a binder? All the references I can find on-line indicate that none of the women I have ever met would be small enough to fit into one of them, and, as a rule of thumb,  I prefer women to be whole rather than chopped up (apart from Thatcher).

How big is a woman? Unless my eyesight is much worse than I feared, my observations lead me to believe that the size of the human female varies considerably. I will say no more, as I do not wish to cause offence (since when? Ed.).

What is the need to put women in binders? The whole concept is steeped in sexism. You may call me radical, but I believe that ladies should be allowed as much freedom as men, at least up to the point that they start to post pictures of cats on facebook.

No, Mitt, you have presented a useless and sexist, possibly misogynist, analogy. You appear to have all the credentials to take over running the USA and continuing to help its downward plummet in the opinion of the rest of the world.


Comments about binding women will be subject to deletion, unless they are very funny indeed.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I have been encouraged by a young gentleman, who, in order to protect the innocent, I shall merely refer to as Steve Lovering, to write to a chap who has recently been under the spotlight from our intolerant press.

I was pleased to compose this message to Andrew Mitchell, the government chief whip.


I read in good old Bill Deedes's Telegraph about your current tribulations with the fuzz. 

When I was a lad, somewhat younger than you are now (I am guessing - unless the massive responsibility you carry as a member of Her Majesty's government has aged you 30 years), I, too, was falsely accused and spent several hours in the company of some uppity young whippersnappers at Crewe nick. 

Their manners and general demeanour was somewhat short of that displayed by good old George Dixon, who was still appearing weekly on the electric television at that time.

Fearful for my safety, I played dumb, and adopted the air of one for whom the modern world was completely baffling, and before midnight they let me out (although they didn't give me a lift home).

My advice would be to do the same in dealings with them. If you are not sure how to "act dumb", then at the next cabinet meeting observe messrs Gove or Hunt and follow their lead.

I have never had any altercations with the Met, who I believe are somewhat suspect, despite the efforts of dear old Bob Mark the Goodyear tyre salesman. I applaud your efforts to put them in their place. These people are public servants after all. I am disappointed to learn that they did not offer you a lift in a Z car.

Stick to your guns, there's a good chap.

I shall be very upset, however, to hear that you have broken a bone or two falling down the stairs at Bow Street.

Yours for good old fashioned decency and keeping the commoners in their place,


Thursday, September 06, 2012


Someone has been using my email address again. This time I find I am on the mailing list of some estate agents from Lexington, North Carolina.

Here is my reply:

Thank you for that, I am touched by your kindness.

Lexington certainly seems like a funky place to dwell.

My first concern about moving there is my commute time to work. Google maps won't give me directions, but one website indicates that the distance is just over 3900 miles. What time do you think I would have to leave my new home in the morning in order to reach work by 9:00 a.m. (British Summer Time)? Are there any direct buses. Unless Mr Liddle, (my geography teacher in case you didn't know) was lying to me, I believe that in between the two locations there is something called the Atlantic Ocean, the most notable characteristic of which is the dampness. Are the buses of the Lexington public transport system fully amphibious? Do they have a good wifi connection? 

Of Lexington itself, I know little. I have friends in North Carolina, however. Dear Mountaine is currently building a new house there, so it must have some good qualities, and my young friend Adam likes it so much that he has taken a job in Alaska. Perhaps I can enter into a carpool arrangement with him.

You mention in your nice message that "there are real human beings" behind the website. You may have meant this to be reassuring, but I confess to being mildly disquieted. I infer that there may be some human beings in the vicinity who are not real, and can only guess as to what this might mean. Are these beings benign or dangerous in your view? Is there an easy way to discriminate? I am beginning to think that whoever used my email address to sign up to your mailing list may have been more than a little rash. If you find out who it was, please advise them to stay where they are. I will think over the whole project and get back to you.

love and peace

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Customer services

I felt obliged to contribute the following comment to the facebook page of novelist Harlan Coben. Please do not make my mistake of following this sordid path of addiction. 

Mr Coben. You may well feel self-satisfied each day as you study your bank statement or stare out across the vast acres of your estate, but I think it is time to draw attention that your success is accumulated by exploiting the health of those, such as me, who lose sleep reading your works. Last night I was kept awake until 1 a.m. finishing one of your books. How am I meant to function today? I had planned to watch a rugby international, and a full day's cricket. I doubt whether I will be able to stay awake through it all. As you recline on your couch, stuffed with 20 dollar bills, and have your entourage of young assistants massage away the stress of worrying what you are going to buy next, spare a thought for those of us, elderly, sleep deprived addicts who make your exuberant life style possible. Consider, if you will, the novelist Ms Cornwell. She manages to make a tidy living without ever disturbing her readers. They know from the outset, that in the climax to the book, her heroine is going to be tracked down by the villain, almost killed, and only saved by some arbitrary intervention. There is no need at, say, 10:30 p.m. to think "I wonder what happens next?" because it is the same in all the rest of her books. You, on the other hand, seem to think it necessary to combine wordcraft, humour and originality in your tales. It really won't do.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adipose and happy to remain so

Like most sensible people I will be staying well away from London during sports week.

It appears that you can't even have your picture taken without some corporate fascist or other imposing their fearful publicity on you, and inflicting you with the company of some self-promoting half wit.

Please do not view this link if you are of a nervous temperament. One poor boy is reduced to tears by the ordeal. I was bereft. Something should be done.

Friday, July 20, 2012

On your Marx

It has been very difficult to avoid making cynical comments about the Olympic Games, and falling in with the expectation to be negative about what could be a great sporting event. However, the title "Olympic Games" should not be confused with the games that were conducted every four years some time ago, where athletic prowess was recognised and applauded. 

The greatest damage done to the Olympian ideal was not the various forms of cheating, principally narcotic related, but by the complete dominance of the corporate sector, in some of its ugliest forms. Usain Bolt's records will never be beaten, because by the next Olympic Games, there will be an enforced half-way break in track events, where the competitors have to consume the produce of the sponsors and sing the McDonald's national anthem.

The London games would be much more of a spectacle if we could be guaranteed not to see the festering corporeal mass of Bozza sticking his gnarled proboscis in at every opportunity.

This little essay gives some idea of just how rancid this obscene circus has become.

I have made reference to what I would like to see as an opening ceremony elsewhere. For the closing ceremony, can I suggest that arsewit Coe should be seen putting on some trainers (adidas, of course) and then set off running, with instructions to keep running in a straight line, and not stop. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy and glorious

My attention was drawn to an article in the Torygraph this week, reporting that Liz refused to confer the knighthood on Mick Jagger, and got some other parasite to do it. She apparently disapproved of his anti-establishment views (later exemplified by his note of congratulation to Bozza on winning the mayoral election).

This is the woman who, a couple of months ago, entertained members of the “royal” family from Saudi and Swaziland. While, therefore, we might applaud her disapproval of a prancing, self-absorbed, overblown performer who has produced on average one decent song a decade these forty years, we might also question her choice of dinner guests. (Although anyone who has dined with Phil the fascist over the last 60 something years on a regular basis might be considered to have already scraped the bottom of the barrel in question.)

What planet is she on? That is not a rhetorical question, as I can provide the answer: the wrong fucking one. If, on the other hand, the cost of transporting her and her cohorts to Neptune proves to be excessive then what should have happened is that the recent ridiculous display of stupidity on the Thames should have started at Putney, and gone down river, turned left in the North Sea and continued to their new home at Svalbard. I would even be satisfied with her being allowed to buy a bijou bungalow at Bexhill on Sea – “Dunwavin” -  together with whichever of her family she could bear the sight of – Phil, Ann, Pippa Middleton and her arse, Kate Middleton and her arse (William).

I can already hear sounds of dismay and outrage from the brigade of soppy, silly sods who pressed their smelly bodies up against each other to cheer the spectacle of a deranged octogenarian and her throwback kin standing in a boat. “What would we do without her? What about the tourists and the income they bring?” I can hear them asking. These questioners are probably the same dim bunch who read the Daily Mail each morning and are incensed by the vast numbers (7) of illegal immigrants. Can they not see that inviting folk who are dim enough to spend their annual leave gormlessly gawping at a load of old buildings are hardly prize captures? Is the gene pool not already so shallow that the risk of any of these meandering morons breeding while they are over here is not worth taking?

Of course all of this frenzied celebration is beauteous to Slimy Dave and his mates. Heaven only knows what new ways he will find to shaft the underprivileged while they are distracted by the jubilee and the bloody Olympics. Bloody Olympics. I have an idea for the opening ceremony – let’s set up a table in the middle of the athletics arena and have Bozza and Bollocky Coe dine on McDonald’s and Coca Cola until they fucking burst. I would watch that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rest in peace

My very clever friends at Science Daily (much too frequent in my view) report that they have found bones under a floor in Bulgaria that may belong to John the Baptist.

They do not mention who or what he was baptising under a floor in Bulgaria, but that is not the only flaw (geddit?) in their preposterous argument. They say that the bones are from the period in which he would have lived.  According to calculations there were about a hundred and fifty million living at that time, so quite how they have narrowed down the odds to it being Johnny the water fetishist we are left to speculate.

This is the problem that I found myself faced with. I am firmly on the side of the fence of those who are fairly convinced that evolution is a proven fact. I don’t really care too much about it, but have no problem in accepting evidence as evidence. On this side of the fence live most of the scientific community. There are large proportions of the scientific community who decry the views of those who believe that God created the earth about 6000 years ago. They view these people as silly or deluded. They are entitled to that view, but hardly enhance their reputation or credentials by conjecturing as to the identity of some poor bastard having a quiet kip near the Black Sea, and saying that there is a chance that these may be the remains of someone, let alone someone whose existence is in question.

In short, which side of this pointless argument contains the larger proportion of silly buggers?

Now, if these people were really smart they would do a DNA comparison to determine the identity of JtB. I can help them here. I have in my loft the incisors of his brother Eric, and somewhere in the vicinity a tupperware container holding the pickled spleen of his dear old gran.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In loco parentis

This evening I was in receipt of an invitation to attend a “catering meeting” from a group of people who appear to be governors of a primary or infant school. I, of course, felt obliged to decline – one can only give so much – but am now feeling a little sad.

In mitigation, regular readers (a Mrs Trellis of North Wembley) will be aware that I scarcely have time to eat, what with constant demands for my participation in one project or another. This summer has, of course, had more than the usual degree of lunacy associated with the correspondence. I think that Camilla has been on the telephone five nights out of every six since October, each call with a more preposterous idea. Somersaulting down the aisle at the service (6th November), doing a duet with Grace Jones (January 17th), spiking Philip’s Wincarnis with drain cleaner (January 23rd) (she obviously found some other poor sod to do that). It culminated with her (May 5th) trying to enlist me, Gary Lineker, Shakin’ Stevens and Oliver Letwin to dress up as Somalian pirates and attempt to capsize the barge. She is quite good fun most of the time, but when you’ve missed four episodes of Emmerdale in a week, while she guffaws down the electric telephone sounding much like a pregnant rhino with laryngitis, it does become a bit tiresome.

Then it was some unctuous cove from the Football Association, name of Bernstein or some such (and I only entertained his calls because I assumed he was one of Leonard’s family and wanted me to conduct Candide again). Could I travel with the team to Eastern Europe and give some of my inspiring talks, he wanted to know. “I could, old egg, of course I could. But I won’t” (He didn’t like this). “Tell you what,” I conceded, “You teach them the alphabet, and I will teach them tactics”. I haven’t heard since.

The biggest sodding nuisance of all, and this, I fear, is why I have been sometimes curt in my correspondence with others, has been that irritating little tit Coe and his floppy haired pillock of a mate, Bozza. Will I give out the prizes, will I sing the anthem, and will I act as host to various world leaders and other VIPs. Will I buggery, I told him. That is the edited version. What I suggested he do to Boris, and with what equipment, would result in an event that would make the Olympics worth watching. I doubt, however, whether it will come to pass.

So, members of the school catering committee, I apologise for my brevity, but hope you will be able to sympathise with my plight. I am hoping that the kind people who are my closest associates on this heavenly little corner of the electric internet will leave some comments here that will inspire you to excel in the field of juvenile catering. So, come on, gang. What suggestions do you have for satisfying the discerning palates of the youngest generation?