Tuesday, 19 July 2011

From Scotland Yard to the farmyard, there's a certain whiff

1. rank: a position within a fixed heirarchy. For example, in the Metropolitan Police.
2. rank: having a foul smell. For example, in the Metropolitan Police.

Hello! Hello! Hello! said the MP to the MP to the MP

The Member of Parliament to the Murdoch Press to the Metropolitan Police.
The permutations are endless.
Three in a bed is never healthy. You don't know where to turn.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Eats shoots and leaves

Or maybe that should read 'Eats shoots and departs' as has happened to a number of diners at Lübeck's Kartoffelkeller.
The new strain of E.coli that has done for 22 of their guests so far is second only in virulence to the rumours that abound as to its precise source.
Having originally pointed the finger at Spanish cucumbers, it now seems that it might well have emanated from Germany's own homegrown bean sprouts.
All of which leads me to think that the best health food of all is the mighty chip where such unwelcome bacteria are incinerated into oblivion.
God forbid that Germany ever starts another world war.
With bean sprouts as part of their newly found armoury, when it comes to winning wars, at long last blighty might well have had its chips.

Friday, 3 June 2011

His own personal FifaDom

Bloater (noun) def. : A herring partially dried in smoke.
Note: not to be confused with a Blatter although there is certainly something very fishy about both.
Etymology of Blatter: from the state of being bloated. Puffed up through over-indulgence. Tendency to gormandize as in "FIFA-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman".
Look out English FA. You've been warned. Maybe even slightly warmed.
Do I smell toast?

Monday, 23 May 2011

The embattled Minister and his embittered ex-wife

Had Chris Huhne been better versed in the classics, he would have done well to remember that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
As Essex police sit up and take notice of Huhne's Machiavellian efforts to offload his speeding points onto the licence of his former wife, it seems that they are not paying her any attention at all.
Was she not also complicit in trying to pervert the course of justice?
Either the police begin to show her some interest or they too could end up having to indulge in the taming of the shrew.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Let him who is without sin...

...Stoneham.

Three cheers for Lord Stoneham and a further three cheers for parliamentary privilege.
This week in the House of Lords, Lord Stoneham exposed Sir Fred Goodwin as a contemptible cad.
I think we are even allowed to refer to him again as a banker even although his track record would make that difficult to substantiate.
Rhyming slang excepted.
Amid revelations that the erstwhile head of RBS was having an extra-marital affair with a former colleague, there is a growing number of calls for an enquiry into the affair.
And why not?
At the risk of being accused of massively understating things, Sir Fred Goodwin enjoys a comfortable life at our expense.
It is now incumbent on us to make that life somewhat more uncomfortable.
Not because of jealousy but more because of the need to provide a better 'balance sheet' - something that Sir Fred failed to do at the RBS which resulted in a £45.5 billion pay-out from the taxpayer.
I now learn that the female in question (yes, female - Frederick Anderson Goodwin's initials had wrong-footed me) was promoted twice while under Sir Fred.
Maybe that was her reward for talent.
But let's get serious.
If Sir Fred's career was anything to go buy, the principle of 'talent and reward' had no place at the RBS.
The principle of 'shafting' others in order to get on, however, seemed to reign supreme.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Backs to the wall in the world of finance...and in Rikers Prison

There lurks a scintilla of irony that there is no more valuable a 'currency' in the world today than stories about the sexual exploits of the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
If we were to believe even half of them, at the very least he ought to be commended for his boundless energy.
He stands accused - yes it's amazing, he is still standing - of 'targeting young students', 'behaving like a gorilla' and 'indulging in flings with those too numerous to mention'.
And that's only a randy sample. Sorry, a random sample.
From now on, when we refer to the sexual mores of the French, I think we should consider precisely which definition and pronunciation of 'mores' we are referring to.
As Dominique Strauss-Kahn languishes in a New York prison cell awaiting his next court appearance, I am not suggesting for one moment that he should be categorised as a dangerous criminal.
What I would suggest, however, is that there might well be a stiff penalty for any Prison Guard who dares to turn his back on him.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

What price the Statute of Liberty?

I suspect that if you were to Google the phrase "how the mighty have fallen" an image of Dominique Strauss-Kahn might well appear.
He is the head of the International Monetary Fund who has also appeared this week in a Manhattan criminal court charged with a serious sexual assault on a chambermaid at the hotel where he was staying.
So instead of hobnobbing with the great and the good in Europe where I imagine he would have been consuming Ferrero Rocher rather than mere HobNobs, he is struggling to find a few crumbs of comfort in an isolated New York prison cell.
Before we can sit in judgement on his guilt or otherwise, what I find particularly gauling - well he is French - is that it won't have cost him one cent more to stay in the Sofitel New York's $3000-a-night suite near Times Square than he will need to pay to stay in the notorious Rikers Island prison.
For once, however, the mighty might yet - and I stress might - have an even bigger price to pay.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

True to form...but nothing else

As the football season draws to a close, it would be well-nigh impossible to exaggerate the difference that three points can make.
Just ask Chris Huhne, the Government's Energy Secretary.
Having been caught speeding, it is alleged that Huhne tried to offload his three points on to the licence of A.N. Other.
In a world of politics where freeloading has become almost de rigueur, I would have thought that a little offloading ought to be commended.
But patently not.
At least, not when you lie about it.
As befits his position, he has recently been expending endless energy in trying to persuade a witness not to blab.
Huhne warned the witness that the "last thing" he would want is a "half-baked" story in the Press.
I would translate that to: the first first thing that Chris Huhne would want is to avoid being skewered and roasted by the Press as he bloody well deserves to be.
Commenting on this latest story to besmirch one of our fine upstanding representatives, his former wife claims that he often "drove like a maniac". Had she accused him of "going like a train", then his stock might have risen.
Instead it has fallen.....or is about to.
Not to the sub's bench but to the back benches.
Like a previous MP who valiantly tried to claim expenses for his moat, here we have yet another who is about to be de-moated.
And a good thing too.

Friday, 13 May 2011

I went to the market to buy ceps

I ended up with mussels.

One law for the bitch, another for the whore

Okay, it's a dreadful pun, I admit, but the principle is just the same.
David Laws, the disgraced - and disgraceful - former Cabinet Minister illegally used £100,000 of taxpayers' money to pay his boyfriend rent.
Now I'm not suggesting for one moment that any of this makes either of them a rent boy, but there is certainly a descent into some sort of moral cesspit.
Surprisingly, in a move that is symbolic of standing on a dog turd while it is still steaming, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are both standing by David Laws and would like to welcome him back into the fold immediately.
One can't help thinking of how some poor wretch who might have fiddled his social security would have been treated.
I suspect, as I alluded to in the above headline, there is one law for the rich.....
However, when his career is eventually done and dusted, one question will remain.
Was David Laws more embarrassed by:
a) Cheating the taxpayer out of £100,000?
b) Being outed in such a public way?
c) Getting into bed with the Tories?
David Laws might well have been outed but the jury is still out.

I was educated at the School of Hard Knox

That's pre-Reformation.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Oh what a tangled web we weave.....

One needn't delve too deeply into any daily newspaper to learn just how easily people screw up their lives.
The first story that hit me today concerned a Tory councillor and sex - at times the two seem inextricable.
Maybe that's the reason why they are known as the 'blue' party.
Mark Sykes, a married man, a Conservative and true blue, turned up at midnight at the house of a fellow councillor with whom he was conducting an affair.
I'm already getting bored relating this story suffice to say that he was upset to discover that she was also cheating on him.
Why he was surprised, I don't know, but an argument ensued, a cup of tea was thrown and Councillor Sykes ended up in court charged with assault.
Nothing remarkable about any of that.
But that's not the point of my story. My issue relates to the fact that I paid good money to scale the new Daily Telegraph paywall on my iPad.
If the Telegraph wants to attract subscribers they had better subscribe to the following:
either they improve the standard of their journalism or next time they have a sex story to tell, it will need to be a lot more lurid than slap, tickle and a cup of tea.
Otherwise, its readers, however sagacious or salacious, will end up as confused as a dung beetle.
Caught between two stools.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The mother of all oxymorons?

Pakistani Intelligence.
It might well have been that Osama bin Laden was hiding behind a super-injunction, but it beggars belief that Pakistan were truly unaware of exactly where the world's most wanted terrorist was holed up.
In a neighbourhood that includes the country's top Military Academy, it would be reasonable to assume that they would at least use the excuse of borrowing a cup of sugar just to acquaint themselves with whoever might be living next door.
The fact that bin Laden's compound comprised the largest dwelling in the area with extraordinary levels of security should also have added to their curiosity.
Maybe it's time for Pakistan to consider scrapping their Intelligence Service and replacing it with a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Any old granny with her twitching net curtains would have sniffed bin Laden out years ago.
And another thing. Where are Wikileaks when you need them?
Or was this little nugget part of Julian Assange's plea bargain?
Now there's a conspiracy.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The News of the World may Roo the day

So Wayne Rooney's phone has been hacked.
Low and behold.
I daren't even fantasize as to what pearls his conversations must have contained and please, don't anyone tell me. I am still recovering from reading the transcript of Prince Charles' confab with Camilla where gruesome things were imagined.
All of which illustrates a very interesting point.
On the day when Kate ceased to be a commoner by virtue of marrying Prince William, it hammers home the fact that we are all the same whichever part of the so-called social divide we come from.
This morning, Kate woke up as a commoner. Tonight she will go to bed as a Royal.....and with a Royal. Is she really any different? I think not.
But anyway, that wasn't the point of my blog. I've meandered.
It transpires that documents belonging to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire - who was jailed in 2007 following the original phone hacking investigation - contained phone numbers that allegedly belonged to Wayne Rooney.
Once it was established that they were indeed Wayne's phone numbers and not the numbers on his pay slip, legal action was considered.
But rather than allow phone hacking to distract him from hacking opponents and displaying occasional glimpses of genius, Wayne has put the matter in the hands of sharper brains. For all I know, that might even include Rio Ferdinand.
It has been well documented that Wayne has pursued a somewhat colourful private life but most of those stories are 'old'.
Commenting on the phone hacking issue, Wayne's wife Coleen described it as both "desperate and disgusting".
I wonder just how often she has had occasion to use those terms?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

With a fair wind, I knew I'd make the dictionary

http://bestwhispers.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/fartillery/

AM for PM?

A super-injunction sounds to me like a grammatical term and maybe that’s where I should leave it. Anyway, I prefer the term ‘gagging order’. It is more germane in that it is invariably used to hide the fact that someone, at some time, in some place and with someone else, was gagging for it.
But Andrew Marr – I ask you?
And an even bigger question I ask you – with whom?
For years, I have watched Andrew Marr get ripped in to politicians.
He has accused them of deceitfulness, duplicity and all those other words that begin with ‘d’, not least of which is dallying.
And all the time he was hiding behind a gagging order.
In his defence, he claims he was trying to protect his wife and family.
Maybe he ought to have considered them before he sowed his wild oats, the results of which he is now reaping.
Having being exposed as a cad and a bounder, I now propose a new career in politics.
He certainly has the prerequisite qualities to make him the consummate politician.
From the lustings to the hustings.
I say AM for PM!
Who’s with me on that one?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Would someone please shoot the ascending lark

Classic FM, the radio station that has helped to bring classical music to the hoi polloi (how elitist is that?) has announced Britain's favourite piece of classical music.
And the winner is.....Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2.
Thank bloody goodness for that.
Not just because it is an awesome concerto but, year on year, I'm fed up hearing that Ralph Vaughan Williams' Lark has ascended to the top of the poll yet again.
The Lark Ascending might be an evocative piece but does it really deserve to secure top perch above Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, to name but three? You can choose almost any piece from their respective oeuvres and I'm sure that piece would get my vote.
But who am I to judge?
Well, I'm not English and I just wonder how much nationalism influences the poll.
What makes it worse is that the three composers I mention above are all German.
Alright, I concede, that is a petty, small-minded view, but if you've ever watched the Eurovision Song Contest, you will be aware of just how many petty, small-minded people there are.
And they're not all English.
Phew!

I've just read a book that was a real potboiler

Quite literally. A potboiler.
Cover to cover. From pap to pulp.
Gas mark 4.

Monday, 25 April 2011

'Wave' goodbye to your money

Even I would struggle to come up with a blog that has a more prosaic start than this.
The whole world is in debt and no doubt you are sick fed up hearing about it.
But rather than consider the awesome scale of how much we are in hock to the future, I'm wondering if the debt really means anything at all.
After all, it is implicit in the word 'debt' that one day a score will be settled.
Not this time it ain't.
It's just too darned big.
Yet it's still out there and it manifests itself in a poorer standard of living than we would otherwise have.
But I have a scenario that might make things even worse.
Imagine, if you can, that each country's debt is akin to a financial tectonic plate.
Britain's debt is nudged up against American debt which is suffering major friction as it comes up against Japanese debt.
And so on around the world.
It is widely known that the major financial markets are already under great strain.
Something has to give and it could result in a financial tsunami that would make previous disasters seem like ripples.
So what should you do?
Spend!
Okay, it may precipitate the tsunami but if you sit back and simply wait for it to happen, you risk 'waving' goodbye to your money as it is devalued into oblivion.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Answer me this

In my arithmetic exam, I got full marks because I knew 10/10 = 1.
In English, my essay was marked 10/10.
Does that mean I got top marks or did I score only 1?
Now in my logic exam...

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Guilty by proxy

It is not because it's Easter that I suggest we spare a thought for those less well off than ourselves around the world.
But, among other countries, I suggest we spare a thought for the ensuing humanitarian crisis in Libya.
After all, we've played our part.
I'm sick fed up listening to detractors in the West berating our leaders for supplying arms to these brutal regimes in the first place.
As voters in our great democratic system, are we not responsible for charging them with that very task?
We are all guilty by proxy.
Then again, maybe it's because it is Easter that I suggest that the blood on our hands is now relevant to believers and non-believers alike.

The story of the Songs of the Thrush and the Blackbird

It was the day before Easter and five in the morning when I rose from the dead.
An unearthly hour to get up, I admit, but there is nothing that sharpens my senses quite like an early morning walk.
And so, before I had second thoughts, my training shoes were on and I was on my way.
I can't imagine what Easter must be like in the Southern Hemisphere. Spring seems such a natural time for a celebration of hope.
The sights, sounds and scents of an early morning more than make up for my loss of sleep.
Yet none compares to the beauty of the songs of the thrush and the blackbird.
The song thrush perches atop the highest point, breast proudly preened, singing its little heart out. And a beautiful song it is too.
The blackbird, just as mellifluous, is more normally found a few feet below the tip of a tree.
In life, don't make the mistake of believing that those who like to be seen as well as heard are necessarily the most gifted.
You might be a blackbird and worth listening to every bit as much.

Friday, 22 April 2011

All promises are the same when they are broken

They say that there are two subjects to avoid if you want to avoid falling out with friends.
Religion and politics.
Both play a huge part in my life.
And while I like to think that religion also plays a huge part in the way that I lead my life, I hate to think, whether I like it or not, that so does politics.
So for the purpose of this blog, I'd like to put my religion to one side except for the following analogy.
Not long after Easter Sunday, we will all have a cross to bear at the ballot box.
Do you listen to politicians? Do you listen to your conscience? Or do you listen to me?
I've lost count of the number of times I've voted and pinned my hopes on politicians when it might have been better to pin a tail on a donkey. I've even sold my soul to the Devil on the promise of a better life. Oops! There's my religion sneaking back in.
But remember this, whenever a politician promises you the earth, you can be sure of one thing. You're future has already been soiled.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

It's not news. The Sun has been bugging us for years.

The moment a hand of cruelty is lifted against a poor defenceless creature, animal activists everywhere appear from nowhere.
And a good thing too.
As the so-called superior race, we ought to know better.
So I ask you, where are all the dissenting voices when a camera is stuck on the back of a penguin as is the case in a recent study?
There can scarcely be a more clear-cut case of invasion of privacy.
The reason I bring it to your attention is to draw an analogy between this heinous practice and the phone hacking scandal that continues to bedevil The Sun.
Surely such precedents leave an open door for Rupert Murdoch’s defence team?
After all, the courts are there to deal with miscreants who offend against either man or beast.
How would Lord Prescott feel, for example, if we were to strap a camera to his carcase rather than merely tapping his phone line?
Let's not even dwell on what that would throw up.
And why is it okay to poke a camera lens into a bird’s nest to see how many eggs it has laid and yet refrain from probing inside Peter Stringfellow’s love nest to see precisely what he’s laid?
There has to be consistency.
If not, before you know it, we’ll be peeping at Toms, eavesdropping bats and bugging bugs.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Daddy of all SI Units

The International System of Units, more commonly abbreviated to SI, is devised around seven base units.
But none is more base than the newly introduced eighth.
Self-Interest (SI).
Unlike other SI units which have the convenience of the number ten, this one has the inconvenience of being linked to politicians.
The inconvenience is theirs.
As the world’s most widely used system of measurement, it recognises the fact that, whether from the Outer Hebrides or Outer Mongolia, all politicians are slimeballs.
Ask your local MP what his SI value is.
If yours is lower, you're a banker.
And for once, that is not rhyming slang.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

President Trump to save the Newspaper Industry

The headlines are already out there. Donald Trump has designs on the White House.
At this stage, like me, you might be tempted to ask "why doesn't he just buy the whole bloody lot?" Then I remembered that's how every President gets in, so it's back to a level playing field.
Or is it?
Name another candidate.
You can't!
Donald Trump is not only a man of the media, he is media-savvy.
He stands head and shoulders above all others. (He doesn't really, but his hair gets him there.) For a man who made billions from iconic buildings such as Trump Towers where the storeys reach to the sky, it seems somewhat fitting that Donald sticks with his two-storey hairdo.
The problem for Donald, however, is that the hairdo doesn't always stick with him.
But despair not.
From such adversity, great leaders are forged.
Would Napoleon have been the same with the use of both eyes?
Or would Admiral Nelson have regarded two arms as a handicap?
How would Hitler have juggled with two balls?
With two storeys, President Trump might not be in control of his hairline, but he certainly makes a good headline.
Look out Gaddafi. You're about to be trumped by two-storey Donald.

Monday, 18 April 2011

All in the best possible taste

Today’s Daily Mail has a story to die for about the latest innovation from America.
It’s a drive-thru mortuary.
You know it makes sense.
The Robert L. Adams Mortuary in California is offering the opportunity to have your dead relative exhibited in an open casket behind a drive-thru window display.
That way, you can pay your last respects without having to pay for parking.
And maybe the idea is not as bizarre as you may think. After all, every time you go to a drive-thru McDonald's, there's very little on display other than dead meat.
At the mortuary, however, there are no French fries and maybe that’s not a bad thing either. Do you really want to hear the Grim Reaper telling you that “You’ve had your chips”?
But I’ve an idea that I think goes one better.
Motorised coffins.
At a difficult time when you might prefer to stay at home, your dead relative can be placed in a glass-sided, motorised coffin. With modern technology cloned from cruise missiles and sat navs, the coffin can then be set off on a tour of family and friends.
Details of its journey can be sent out in advance so that those wishing to say goodbye don’t even need to leave the comfort of their own living room.
And there’s more.
Mortuaries can be smaller as, at any one time, half the corpses could be touring the country.
Car journeys to the mortuary will be reduced, thus helping to save the planet.
Traffic congestion will be eased - as well as the attendant risk of death on the roads. Ironically, by putting death on the road!
And any corpses that are starting to smell will surely benefit from being out in the open air.
Finally, if a coffin is involved in a smash, for at least for one party, there will be no risk of death or injury.
Trial runs are scheduled to begin soon.
So if you see one passing through your neighbourhood, doff your cap, be grateful that it's not you and let RIP with those immortal words:
"It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in."

I went to Cliché for my holidays

At the end of the day, it was just another meaningless place.

What do you do if Google doesn't know the answer?

Search me.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Defecate no more. It's time to defect.

I ask you.
What kind of crazy world are we living in?
On the one hand, we hound Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, like the mad dog that he is.
On the other hand, we let Moussa Koussa slip in and out of Britain in the most slimy manner possible.
For years, Moussa Koussa was a cohort of that original Mad Dog, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
He was part of the regime that sat (I've left the 'h' out deliberately) on its poor subjugated people.
It is the same regime that is implicated in the cold-blooded murder of WPc Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London.
Again, it's the regime that is fingered as being behind the blowing up of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie and the murder of another 270 innocent people.
You get the picture.
Libya was getting a bit too hot for Moussa Koussa.
So he fled to Britain.
So why did we let him go?
Well, he had 'secret knowledge'.
Is that not what Julian Assange had?
Yes.
And the moral of my story?
Knowledge alone is not power. It's how you use it.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

If you don't want to know the score, look away now

Not you Gomes, you bloody oaf!

(Goalkeeper pays price for not paying attention.)

A short sharp sentence. Or two.

You do four years at Uni, study hard and make new friends.
You graduate, come out in debt but can't find a job.
You grow bitter.

You do four years inside, learn a thing or or two and meet a few interesting characters.
You get parole, come out debt-free then do a few 'jobs'.
You grow rich.

I rest my case.
Dammit! Has anyone seen my case?

I am useless with money

I am useless without money.
Solution: Use less.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I am an ex-voter. Not an 'x' voter.

It is well-nigh possible to open a newspaper these days without reading one headline or another about AV - the alternative vote.
As readers of my blogs are doubtless aware, when it comes to matters of great import, no-one has their finger on the pulse quite as firmly as I do. So it may surprise you to learn that, for me, this particular pulse has gone dead.
In fact, I wonder if it has ever been alive.
I have always maintained that my right NOT to vote is a vote in itself.
This may not enlighten the psephologists as to which candidate I would back, but it is my contention that voting doesn't necessarily convey that either. Were I to exercise my vote, it might just as easily be interpreted to mean that I decided my chosen candidate was only marginally less of a tosspot than the next one.
After all, let's suppose your ballot paper gave you the choice between Hitler, Hussein and Blair.
Who would you vote for?
What has eventually pushed me over the edge with regard to AV is the plethora of celebrity endorsements from nonentities like Peter Stringfellow and Tony Hadley.
Do I really want to know what they think when I can listen to the eloquent and cogent arguments put forward by Lord Prescott, for example?
Okay Jordan. Tell me what you think.
I'm ready to listen as well as look.

I only asked my dentist for a single new denture

He gave me a mouthful.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The difference between Heaven and Hell

You are 21 or 22 years old, give or take a little fluff on your chin.
You wake up in Paradise, also known as Augusta, Georgia.
You pinch yourself.
Yes, you really are there.
Well almost.
Today you are going to take a 4-stroke lead into the final round of The US Masters.

Before you begin, you indulge yourself for breakfast with an exceedingly good cake from that chap who wrote exceedingly good poetry and you remember his percipient words:
"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs."

Rory McIlroy was that young boy. Today he wakes up a man.
Having so miserably lost the Championship, he never once lost his head.
The interview that he gave in the immediate aftermath of his defeat should reassure everyone that he is well enough placed to cope with such adversity.

Then I cast my mind to the hellish conditions his contemporaries experience in places like Afghanistan where losing limbs is more likely to impact on their lives than losing a golf competition.
Yes, I take my hat off to Rory McIlroy. But I take my freedom from the selfless acts of our real heroes in the less attractive parts of the world.

Punctuality and punctuation are one and the same

But only when you arrive on the dot.

I am a writer. I write.

Aye right.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

ONE FORMULA THAT I'LL NEVER UNDERSTAND

Formula One.
For all my brilliance, I'm stumped. I've tried and I've failed.
Formula One has passed me by.
Admittedly, at great speed. But pass me by it did.
And yet, for others, it's like a religion.
Religion? Sport? Business?
Whatever the attraction, its following is massive.
So massive, in fact, I hesitate to criticise it.
But stuff it!
He who hesitates is toast.
As a spectator sport, I find it wrist-gnawingly boring. So boring, I sometimes wonder whether the cars that pass across your screen with such metronomic regularity are slowly hypnotising you into subservient submission.
"Love me. Love my logos".
The mantra can be clearly heard above the deafening din.
Yes, it's business and it's big business that drives the cars.
Everyone else falls into place.
Me? I simply fall asleep.
I hope I've not been hypnotised.

Friday, 8 April 2011

And the noble prize goes to.....Lord Rees of Ludlow

Lord Rees of Ludlow, Astronomer Royal, is an atheist, so I believe.
So it came as a shock to fellow scientists when he accepted the Templeton Prize in London for contributions to life's spiritual dimension.
Not only were they shocked, they cried boo-hoo. Had they cried boo-hoo-hoo, they would have had the same number of 0's in their woeful whimpers as Lord Rees received in his accompanying £1 million cheque.
What must be reassuring for lesser mortals than me is that such eminent scientists are prone to throwing their toys out of their prams.
In particular, I refer to Professor Sir Harry Kroto and Sir Richard Roberts, both Fellows of the Royal Society.
Lord Rees' decision to accept the prize can be interpreted in several different ways. That these two scientists' minds are not open to those possibilities, regardless of what they consider to be the probability, suggests to me that they would never be worthy winners of the prize themselves.
Maybe that's what has got their goat.
Personally, I'm prepared to entertain other theories, such is the receptive nature of my mind.
As they say, like a parachute, it works best when open.
Having come back down to earth with one almighty thump (I assume that the Almighty still controls gravity) Kroto and Roberts have now gone public with their spat.
They don't like the fact that there is another viewpoint that might test their theories that little bit further.
Maybe Lord Rees agrees with them but believes the money could be used to great effect in countering those opposing views.
Maybe he has a distant relative in Outer Mongolia who needs life-saving surgery.
Maybe he decided that the future welfare of his family matters most and who can argue with that?
Whatever his reasons, as Astronomer Royal investigating phenomena such as dark matter, I don't doubt that Lord Rees has enough grey matter to rise above the scurrilous remarks that are swilling around in this cosmic soup.
Meanwhile, for all their pre-eminence and pomposity, Kroto and Roberts have most emphatically been laid low by Lord Rees of Ludlow.

I'm taking a year out to bite a rook

It's a homophonic spoonerism. A tough old bird.

The Eighth Wonder of the World. The Viagra Falls.

It's a water fountain.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

This little PIG went to market

The PIG I allude to is Portugal, Ireland and Greece.
The market? Well, that’s the one that had started off as the eminently sensible Common Market and evolved into the uncontrollable monster that we know today as the European Union.
But it is still a market - a money market where member states, bankrupt and bereft of morals, go for hand-outs.
Big ones.
It’s where Dick Turpin and turpitude come together.
Portugal, we now learn, would like their hard working, economically prudent neighbours around Europe to dig deep. Deep enough to find 80 billion euros to patch up their profligacy.
It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s not on.
Except that it is….on, I mean.
But why?
Well, that’s easy.
Our unelected representatives collect prodigious sums of money from member states.
They then skim off the cream to cover their salaries, pensions and expense accounts. And when I say expense accounts, I really mean the pâté de foie gravitas of expense accounts.
It’s serious stuff.
From what is left, they then exercise vicarious munificence in doling out our dosh.
It is in their interest to keep the show on the road, the train on the track and their snouts in the trough.
Pigs all.
So what’s the solution?
Instead of hand-outs, let’s offer secured loans.
In return, the Portuguese might offer the Algarve, the French their vineyards, the Italians their art treasures and the Germans their sausage industry.
Fortunately, Britain didn’t subscribe to the Euro. But if we had, what could we have offered that Europe would possibly want?
Well, probably nothing of any real value except the desperate promise that one day we would take back Neil and Glenys Kinnock.
Poor Europe has suffered for long enough.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Okay, not a fag. But what about a cigar?

So Silvio Berlusconi goes on trial yet again and this time it concerns nothing so mundane as previous defences against fraud and corruption.

No. This one involves having sex with an underage prostitute whom he believed to be the daughter of a former Egyptian leader. Maybe that last sentence isn’t imbued with pinpoint accuracy but who cares? It adds to the intrigue.

If only he could follow the example of that fine upstanding ex-President Bill Clinton and enjoy the occasional cigar.

It would certainly help to improve the bad smell that is forever surrounding his leadership.

I am useless at my work

Bloody space bar!
I amuse less at my work.

I went to The Wattle and Daub last night

...and got plastered.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

At last! I've managed to get my poetry to scan.

Rooney's foul language charge a charade

Poor Wayne Rooney. It seems the whole world is on his case.
There, there, there.
One minute he turns up in an old folks home partaking in some old-time favourites like charades, next minute he turns out for Man U.
Before he even has a chance to get his brain in gear - remember, it's a slow gear change - he pops up at the far corner of the pitch.
An overexcited fan screams "CROSS!". Thinking he was still playing charades, Wayne gives the nearest camera his full range, thus doubling Fabio Capello's vocabulary into the bargain.
"And so Your Honour, my client's case should be dismissed."
Well done Mr Loophole.
Not even Wayne could lace your boots.

BREAKING NEWS: Gaddafi defects

Flat feet
Bad breath
Trapped wind

With so many defects, maybe we should exchange him?

Monday, 4 April 2011

Fire and brimstone. Without the brimstone.

Without getting too bogged down in science lessons, among other things, free radicals are known to play an important part in combustion.
Perhaps it is this inflammatory aspect that is the catalyst behind that other type of free radical, Terry Jones.
You may remember, he is the pastor from Florida who threatened to burn the Koran in protest against...well, radicals.
For a while I wondered what the hell he was thinking about.
Then I thought, I wonder if he is thinking about hell?
Eventually I came to the conclusion that he just wasn't thinking.
Not unless he was trying to create his own version of a heat seeking missal.
And here was me thinking he was an idiot.

George Osborne has an inflated opinion of himself. And...

...it's index-linked.

I can't cope with homophonic experiences

So I'm going into my herb garden to take time out.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Politics enters the soft cell

Not unlike a couple of skunks jostling for position in the queue at the John Lewis perfume counter, there is a conspiracy afoot as political parties joust with each other for renewed popularity in prison.
But we all know that they will always smell.
It is no surprise that this coincides with prisoners insisting on the right to vote. A captive market if ever there was one.
Today, yet another politician was jailed. Ex-Labour MP Jim Devine was sentenced to 16 months in prison for expenses fraud. A selfless act simply to get nearer to his voters.
One might suspect it was utter folly to jeopardise a promising career - a career built on promises that he never kept.
What he did keep, however, was taxpayers’ money. And lots of it. Money that was earmarked for more worthy causes than lining his own pockets.
In his defence, and in order to save his own backside, Jim Devine blamed everyone except his own mother.
His counsel might well have advised him to save his backside for prison where I believe his voters are the ones who swing to the left.
“Put your ‘x’ in the box” is about to take on a ‘hole’ new meaning and it’s certainly not going to be Devine.
Lucky Jim!

Bowdler had his work cut out

As a result, so did Shakespeare.

You’ll find him in the dugout. Under stand?

Let’s not get too heavy on Fabio Capello, the England football manager.
His contention that he requires only 100 words to communicate with his players is probably not too far from the truth.
One needs to remember, not that regular readers of my blogs need any reminding, is that the English language is the natural bedfellow for the double entendre. The fact that we attribute a French term to describe this genre (oh, there’s another French term) is out of respect for the multifaceted nature of the French personality. Put another way, they are, at the very least, two-faced.
But I digress.
And so, with only 100 words, it is sometimes necessary to use the same phrase to mean two different things.
For example, the referee may drop the coin when deciding who kicks off.
Capello might well interject “You useless tosser!”
That same phrase could easily be applied to any of a number of England players during the course of a game.
He may choose to single out one of these players with the threat that he is about to be substituted.
The phrase “I’ll pull you off at half time” would be enough to convey that thought.
It can, however, also be an implicit promise of a half-time reward for any player who might be playing a blinder of a game.
“Go for the tackle!” needs little explanation.
Vinny Jones understood this perfectly, much to Paul Gascoigne’s chagrin. The true value of that portmanteau word - coming from ‘shag’ and ‘grin’ – will be lost on most players.
“My granny can run faster than that.”
Strictly speaking, this is not a double entendre but it has great benefit in letting Wayne Rooney know what pace he has to achieve if he is to score, if you know what I mean.
After their latest match, we asked Capello to comment on his critics.
“I no like cricket. No understand it. Understand?”
Yes. Fully. 100 words, not out.



Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Press. Release.

The two words in the above headline might well be found on the launch pad for the Cruise Missiles that we are punting into Libya.
They might also be attributed to Obama's speech last night regarding this latest tawdry affair. The tone of what he said certainly had 'press release' written all over it.
For all the intelligence behind the smart bombs that are deployed in modern warfare, there seems to be a breathtaking lack of strategy.
Would America and the West honestly be happy to leave Gaddafi in power, albeit emasculated?
It wasn't so long ago that he was fingered as the evil murdering thug behind the blowing up of Pan Am 103.
I fear it won't be long before we experience another black day looking for yet another black box.
And if it's found, it won't reveal anything that we don't already know.
If you give someone like Gaddafi a bloody nose, one bloody knows what to expect in return.

I told my Bank Manager not to jump to conclusions

Oh well!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Professor Brian Cox. Star geezer or stargazer?

Both actually.

His latest series, Wonders of the Universe, is what the BBC is all about.
Or is it?
I would like to produce my own series. A series of analogies in which we address fundamental issues such as:

·         the astronomical salary of Mark Thompson, their Director General
·         the moonshine he spoke in that famed interview with Baroness PD James (follow link below)
·         the paranoia that their executives suffer lest mere licence payers discover their pull of gravity on our pool of money

Maybe they should stop awhile and ask themselves:

“Is there anybody out there?”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/6920354/How-PD-James-skewered-the-BBCs-Mark-Thompson.html

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Empathy. Sympathy. Can someone please ignite my apathy?

Don’t get me wrong. I am as livid as the next person when it comes to cuts in public spending.
I understand your pain.
(That last sentence sounded so much like Tony Blair, please remind me to remove it from my final draft.)
But to march in protest against the cuts is akin to remonstrating with a doctor who is treating a knife wound inflicted by some crazy madman.
Just as the doctor’s treatment is necessary to stanch the flow of blood, the cuts are essential to avert the stench of a rotting economy.
We are attacking the wrong people.
By all means go after the knifeman. Use all means to go after the bankers.
But never forget, whether you march or not, we are all in this together.
Like thump we are.
There are certain bankers who are both sunning themselves and mooning at us at the same time.
Indeed, it is no coincidence that tax havens are invariably found in the most beautiful parts of the world.
Where better to visit your money?

But however much you may resent the predicament we now find ourselves in, to resort to violence is playing straight back into the hands of the very people whom we protest against.
Why, for example, should a large corporation not do its damnedest to avoid paying tax when so much of it is used to fund the lives of those knuckleheads who form the gristle of these rent-a-mobs?

Good people of the march I beseech you. Let's have a march within a march and strike out (metaphorically) against those who are determined to ruin your march.

Well, that's the march dealt with.

Thank goodness it's nearly April.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Wrong. Wrong. And wrong again.

I can get my mind around most things but often struggle when it comes to getting it around the minds of others.
Take the present dilemma in North Africa.
There are many people  – maybe you are among them – who believe that because we didn’t do anything about Zimbabwe, we ought to keep our noses out of Libya.
By implication – and they are right – we should be taking action to stop Mugabe. But because we have been wrong not to, they would prefer us to be wrong again.
Never mind the fact that Gaddafi is gunning down his own people.
Just let him get on with it and let him get off with it.
If you can get your mind around that one, then yours is a better mind than mine.

If Beethoven were alive today, what would his ringtone be?

Vibrate, I imagine.

I can take a disaster zone, a war zone and even The Twilight Zone

At a push, I can take oxyphenbutazone. But, no matter what they tell
us, I can't take Boyzone.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Anti-Aircraft Artillery. Triple-A.

Now needed in Tripoli.

How the West was one

There seems to be a general consensus among our fine upstanding leaders in the West that Col Muammar Gaddafi's evil ways must end.
And so say all of us.
To let him off the hook would send the wrong message to dictators everywhere.
Can't argue with that one.
But hold fire.
No, I'm not only talking to Gaddafi. I'm also addressing Cameron, Obama and their hypocritical cohorts.
What kind of messages have we sent Mugabe for all his atrocities?
Atrociously, none. At least none that has carried little more than a veiled threat.
But then, Zimbabwe has no oil.
Ironically, what has proved to be Mugabe's good fortune has also turned out to be his impoverished people's misfortune. The West are just not interested.
The only weaponry that we have ever rained on Zimbabwe are a few sanctimonious soundbites.
It's what I call fartillery*.
Yes, it might be full of wind but so far it has failed to put the wind up Mugabe.
Libya is different.
Not only do they have oil, they are in a volatile region that lubricates the entire western economy.
But my argument is not against stopping Gaddafi. Quite emphatically, he needs to be stopped in his tracks.
My contention is that we should also stop Mugabe.
There is a just cause for both, but different reasons.
Just let's be honest about it, there is even conflict in conflict.
http://bestwhispers.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/fartillery/

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Creatives. Are your thumbnails bitten?

Never work for someone you have designs on.
When told that you've got the wrong idea, you've no idea what they mean.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

No express espresso served here

The slow food movement in Italy that has been on the go for a number of years was set up as an antidote to all the fast food that pervades our lives.
The fact that the concept has not exactly spread like wildfire is probably because it would be in stark contrast to everything that the movement stands for. Or, perhaps more pertinently, sits around for.
But at long last, I can reveal where it has its roots.
Pop in to your local Caffè Nero.
You know, they're the people who purport to make the 'best espresso this side of Milan'.
Let's not even discuss that claim.
Instead, let's address the issue of what happens to time when you enter Caffè Nero.
It stands still.
And so do their customers.
Making  coffee is not rocket science even although the finished product can at times be made to taste like rocket fuel.
But I'm not standing for it any longer.
Whenever I feel like a coffee, I now head for Milan.
Not only is it quicker, it's the best espresso that side of Broughty Ferry.

There is not a scientific theory yet expounded that I can't follow

Usually with one humungous question mark.


Example:

e = mc2

Explanation(e) equals(=) many(m) times(x) confused(c)

I can't follow Stephen Hawking's theories

But I'm really just being peevish because he doesn't follow my tweets.

Miss Herd?

"I must apologise. My hearing aid is broken."
"You can say that again."
"What? Yours too?"

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Choose your words Caerphilly

While I have never been known to mince my words, I have been known to talk mince.
All that is about to change and all because of a former mayor of Caerphilly in South Wales.
Having become the first person in Britain to be successfully sued for a libellous tweet, he has spoilt the fun for us all.
But rather than be churlish and vent my spleen in his direction, I'm keeping my own counsel.
Ironically, by maligning a rival who was contesting his seat, he too was trying to keep his own council.
If only he had tweeted in Welsh, then nobody would have understood what the hell he was saying.
I would like to apologise to the Welsh nation for that last statement.
It was a sheep comment. Sorry, cheap.
Oh dear.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bob the Diamond Geezer

For the first time in over one hundred years, scientists have discovered a new creature living right in the centre of London.
It is not thought to share its DNA with any other species. In fact, it shares nothing.
It does, however, display a number of characteristics more normally associated with other animals.
While plainly not a bird, this creature does have a habit of shitting on people from a great height.
In the manner of a sloth, it sits around for most of its life while ant-like creatures, showing great industry, bring lots of deposits. It is not clear what these deposits constitute but they certainly serve to sustain and nourish this hitherto unknown animal. So much so that the pile it sits on grows higher and higher pushing it to the very top.
More thick-skinned than your average pachyderm, our new 'friend' seems impervious to all that goes on around it.
By all accounts, yes accounts, it seems to be a lifestyle that bears fruit - and lots of it.
Indeed, the pile even bears its own fruit tempting the creature to help itself while undoubtedly thinking "That's a bonus".

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Monday, 21 February 2011

Watt makes a good copywriter

What makes a good copywriter? It's a vexed question.
Whatever your job, attention to detail is paramount.
As such, you may have been drawn by the potential slip-up in the above headline.
It would certainly have been possible to read it as a question. It has that certain 'sound'.
But rather than asking a question, I was merely stating a fact. Or, at the very least, an opinion.
Sound is important when it comes to language.
Bernie Watt, an erstwhile colleague, is a very good copywriter.
He is also a great musician.
When he writes, he instils rhythm.
It makes his work easier to read.
Of course, there are many other rules that go towards writing good copy.
Some are cast in stone, others cast aside.
But unless you make whatever you write easy to read, chances are it won't be read.
The fact that you've read this far must say something about my writing, if not my musical ability.
Maybe that explains why so much of what I write is crotchety.

Take time out in life before time takes you out

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Straitened circumstances. Screwed-up thinking.

It often brings a wry smile to my face when I see people whose occupations seem to have been pre-determined by the names that they were given at birth.
As an example, I've just had my hair cut by a chap called Jim Barbour.
And so it was, with slightly less amusement, that I read about the UK's highest paid official in either central or local government.
His name is Phil Dolan and it seems to me that the poor council taxpayers in South Somerset district council have been 'doling' out their money by the barrowload.
I suspect that having opted for a salary, pension and severance package of £569,000, Phil decided he has had his 'fill'.
To add salt to the wounds, two of his underlings will each have to get by on a smidgeon over £300,000 for a similar sort of package.
Suffice to say, while neither of them will go short, the payments are nothing short of scandalous.
To get clean away with all that filthy lucre from a district that has only 162,000 residents is impossible to justify.
Across the country, services are being cut by local councils in the name of efficiencies.
Libraries are living on borrowed time. Hospitals are in intensive care. And boy, do they need it. Even schools are having to re-learn the three R's.
Rationalisation and Redundancy.
Yes, even education has suffered - that was only two.
Okay, so let's add R-ithmetic.
As pensioners grow older and colder, fat cats are getting fatter and fatter.
But there is one bright spot.
For the time being, we should be able to suspend all cold weather payments for the elderly.
Their blood must surely be boiling.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Lawyers on the payroll. Prisoners on parole.

There is scarcely a week that passes in which the term Human Rights isn't dragged ever deeper into the gutter.
This past week was a case in point.
And just in case the points escaped you, one related to prisoners' rights to vote while the other was to do with paedophiles who rail against their inclusion on the sex register.
Maybe if we were to tell them that the sex register is a place where you can register for sex, they would happily form a disorderly queue.
So what's going on?
Well, let's not just blame the vile wretches who perpetrate these crimes.
Let's also implicate the Human Rights Lawyers who perpetuate this 'I've been wronged' culture.
Are these lawyers really too lazy to carry on chasing ambulances or was banking too honourable a profession that they opted for a career change?
As decent humans, we demand the right to protect ourselves and our children by locking up dangerous criminals.
And as dangerous criminals, the flagrant disregard that they showed for the law of the land in the first place, ought to preclude them from having a say in who makes these laws.
In fact, I'm even beginning to wonder whether lawyers themselves should have the right to vote.

Monday, 14 February 2011

ST VALENTINE. WAS IT CUPID OR ST UPID?

St Valentine lived as a priest in Rome. He also died there.
In fact, he was murdered.
So 'whodunnit'?
Rome is a city of romance. Even the name suggests that much.
The first two letters of romance are RO which is a homophone of arrow.
We all know about Cupid's arrow.
And Cupid, as we also know, is the Roman God of Desire.
Has the story come full circle?
Was it Cupid that killed St Valentine?
What might have been his motive or was he simply trying to instil some desire and his mischief 'misfired'?
Far-fetched?
Maybe so.
But then, who are the mugs that are fetching, flowers, chocolates and alcohol every February 14th?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I've been a wily Rover for many a year

Why do you think my kennel is next to that cute little bitch?
Woof! Woof!

Saint Valentine's Day Massacre

Noses are red
though mine was once blew
Grammar is dead
And if this rhyme is anything to go by
Poetry is too

The death of punctuation?

For anyone who believes that punctuation is not important, try explaining the difference between the following:

MAN'S LAUGHTER and MANSLAUGHTER

You're not laughing now.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Press caught Prescott

THE PHONE HACKING SCANDAL

A typical conversation?

Prescott calls Dorneywood.

"Hello, is that the butler?"

"Yes, can I help Sir?"

"Hello Rab. It's John here. I'll be at Dorneywood this weekend. I'd like some croquettes on the lawn."

"Very good, Sir. And would Sir like the the newspapers delivered to his room?"

"Yes please. But make sure they are yesterday's."

"Yesterday's Sir?"

"Yes, I find they normally include a fish supper."

"Very good Sir."

"Oh and one final thing."

"Yes Sir?"

"Please don't use 'Sir' all the time."

"Mr Prescott?"

"No, try practising 'Lord'. I'm getting used to living like one."

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Shh!

I'm scared of dying but not of death
I live my life with every breath

For me the dentist holds no fears
I haven't had my teeth for years

To catch a cold is not an issue
If I can find myself a tissue ATISHOO!

The dark will never cause me fright
As long as I can reach a light

And cabbage ain't my favourite food
Though it can't be bad if it does you good

But there is one thing that freaks me out
I'll need to whisper....IT'S KIDS THAT SHOUT!

If someone is 'dead on time', why are they subsequently described as 'The Late......'?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Football is not a matter of profit and loss

It's far more important than that.
Well, that's what you'd glean if you asked fans of the clubs that occupy the upper echelons of the English Premiership. (As long as you refrain from using words like 'echelons'.)
While lesser teams make do with pumping high balls into the opposition's penalty box, the more fashionable clubs benefit from wealthy benefactors pumping high finance into their coffers.
More money pays higher wages which attracts better players which, in turn, draws bigger crowds.
There seems to be the vestige of some logic in this economic model.
But there isn't. At least, not on the scale that money is being paid to modern day footballers.
Last week signalled the closure of the transfer window.
Before it shut, Andy Carroll, who had only played half a season of Premiership football, moved from Newcastle to Liverpool for something approaching £40 million. He replaced FernandoTorres who had been shipped out for £50 million to Chelsea.
There's not another business like it and the owners could not have made their fortunes had they conducted their core businesses in that way. So what's their game?
Is it a tax loss? Is it ego? Or is it simply men and boys and the size and value of their toys?
This week we witnessed an even more significant event.
A pub landlady from Portsmouth fought for her right to beam in top UK games via Greece.
If Sky cannot dictate where we buy their viewing packages from, revenues will fall and so too will the money that they inject into the game.
Were the bubble to burst, the rich owners are wealthy enough to walk away. The fear is, by then, many fans will have walked away too.
For the future of football to be worth a punt, we need to start thinking more about the punters.
Today and tomorrow.
Otherwise, you won't need to be a prophet to forecast a loss.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Stuff his contributions. Let's have retribution.

If any alien beings had spent yesterday observing planet earth's social networks, they might well have wondered what the hell was going on.
Activity was frantic.
It was merely a reflection of the goings-on in the English Premiership transfer market.
Had they paid more attention to what was going on in the Bank of England, they would have been even more perplexed. That's because yesterday was the day that the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street chose to put an extra £1.4 million into the pension pot of its Governor, Mervyn King.
Coincidence or clever timing?
So when he retires in 2013, Mervyn King will collect a pension equivalent to £198,200 in today's money.
In his defence, the figure is also based on his own contributions.
I wonder if that includes his contribution towards making Britain the busted flush that it has now become.

I was laughing all the way to the bank

It was a different matter when I got there.
Thieving bastards.

Monday, 31 January 2011

There has to be merit in a meritocracy

Have you ever asked yourself, if you were to enter Mastermind, what would be your specialist subject?
Mine would be fuse boxes.
But whatever you go for, there is a degree of fatuity about so many of the subjects that contestants choose.
How can I be impressed by someone who has devoted their entire recent life to learning every available fact about paving stones, for example?
Far more impressive is a credible performance in the general knowledge section where you are liable to be asked anything from aardvarks to zebras, astronomy to Zoroastrianism or from AA Gill to Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Scrabble competitions are no different.
Contestants study seemingly endless lists of words with the sole aim of scoring more points.
Personally, I just don't get the point.
To encourage education, wouldn't it be far better in Scrabble if you could challenge your opponent's knowledge of the word they've just played? If they don't know its definition, then instead of accruing points, they get deducted.
And therein lies a metaphor for life in Britain today.
Too many people are rewarded for being thick. They should be punished.
Except where it comes naturally.
Me? Why fuse boxes?
As a kid, I spent many a lesson in the school corridor.
How thick is that?
Thick of me. Thick of my teachers.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sexism? Let's have some realism.

Before I do anything else, I'd like to put my cards on the table.
My first card is of the 'get well' variety.
Britain is sick. Parts of our society have become morally debased and for too long now we have failed to respond to ever-increasing doses of political correctness.
The next card I'd like to put on the table is a picture of Jimmy Johnstone, the ex-Celtic winger and Lisbon Lion.
I collected it as a boy. I was once a Celtic fan and remain an ardent football fan.
Sadly, football is where so much of our moral turpitude manifests itself.
And while there are many decent people who attend football matches, if I were a recruiting sergeant for boors, I can't think of a better place to go.
The next card is my driving licence.
I would personally like to chauffeur Andy Gray from the Sky studios should he need to return to collect a few personal effects. Just so long as he doesn't collect any more of his obscene £1.7 million salary.
And that's where the realism should come in.
As good as he might have been at his job, I fail to see how Sky could justify paying him even half that amount.
Never mind the salary cheque, I think Sky should take a reality check.
Yes, Andy Gray is a boor who escaped the terraces for the comfort of the studio and the even greater comfort that his salary provides.
Yes, the comments he made were crass in the extreme. But the reaction - which is yet another overdose of political correctness - was out of proportion almost on the same scale as his salary.
And yes, things will be a lot brighter without a Gray Sky.
But I still think we have missed an open goal.
Wouldn't it have been far better to fine him £150,000 (not much more than a month's salary) and donate that money to the people who are fighting sexism where it really exists?
As a centre forward, Andy Gray was undoubtedly great with the head. Maybe he should start using it again.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Thursday, 6 January 2011

I've stopped digging

When the time does come
All said and done
And six feet below I lie,
I hope it's asked
Not why I lived
But why I had to die.