About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.


Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

When you are all counting down the hours, minutes, then finally the seconds as you await the death of 2011 and the birth of 2012, think of me!

As the alcohol trickle becomes a torrent; as the jovial party mood turns to gut-spewing, raucous and arrest-warranting behaviour; as the globe spins and each time-zone belches out good wishes for the future; as fireworks  around the world scare the shit out of everyone's cats and dogs ...

... I will be working!!!

Well, actually, I will be in bed ...if I'm lucky.

If I'm unlucky, I will be dealing with tantrums of a client who just can't understand what all the fuss is about.

The 'unlucky' scenario is the more likely of the two.

Anyway,

Happy New Year!

My next post will be in 2012.  I hope you can survive the year without me!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Just Another Day

I thought my day of gloom and despondency was behind me.  I really did.

Then I turned the TV on and was confronted with Jack Black having a crack at being Gulliver (he of the Travels).

Ok, so he's made the odd film or two that were worth watching but, I mean Gulliver's Travels?  Come on!

I managed eighteen minutes, give or take, and most of that was spent eating a hearty bowl of Sugar Puffs and reading yesterday's newspaper. I just had to change channels.

A few minutes spent channel zapping revealed (once again) that, despite the number of available channel being in excess of two hundred, there was nothing worthwhile watching.

I therefore entertained myself for an hour or so by racing through a book of Sudoku puzzles.

Yes, I know.  I have very exciting days off, don't I!

By 11am my brain was in overdrive and, being fully awake and ready for action, I decided to tackle something that was of far more importance than watching TV or completing puzzles.

I opened the cupboard and pulled out the vacuum cleaner.

Yes,  yes!  Vacuuming is woman's work but, hey!  If I want to maintain a fully functional body ... no breaks, no black eyes ... then it's best to do as 'she who must be obeyed' has ordained, right?

I'm sure that if I look hard enough there will be a list of other jobs that need doing.

I'm not going to look!

Not today.

I'll just hide when she get's home!

Oh, God!

I'm so bored!

Where's that list?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Never Let It Be Said

Never let it be said that I, a survivor of many a military campaign, would ever shirk his duties or baulk in the face of a challenge.

Never let it be said that I, a wordsmith of limited capability but unparalleled enthusiasm, would ever lower myself to allow four letter words of a certain nature to creep into my blog.

And never let it be said that I, a man with an unrivalled humour of a nine year old, would ever abandon my jovial spirits in favour of gloom and despondency.

That said, I just cannot be arsed to write anything today, so you can all go to hell on a hand-cart and leave me alone in my own little cloud of despair.







No, wait!

Come back!

I was only joking.

Oh, bugger!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

How To Dump Yourself Into A Whole Heap Of Trouble

It's simple!

You ask a question.

There was a note on the table when I eventually dragged my backside downstairs.  I read it as I tried to wake myself up with a strong coffee.

The Mrs. had gone to work and, as I was having an unexpected day off, she had left a note.  A short one which was, in actual fact, just a list of things that I was meant to have finished by the time she got home.
  • Vacuum.
  • Tidy away all the Christmas presents that I'd received and left lying on any flat surface.
  • Put away the spare chairs that we had to pull out to seat everyone around the table on Christmas day (which I said I would do after the Christmas meal and conveniently forgot).
  • and a few other little things
Not much really.  But there was also the regular stuff that I do as a matter of course.
  • Taking the dogs to the park
  • Prepare the evening meal 
  • Walk the dogs in the evening
I'm sure there's other stuff  too, but I'll be blowed if I can remember what they are, but I'm sure they're very important jobs.

Anyway, she came home and that's where the question comes in.

Any man feeling hard done by would probably ask the same question.

I met her when she came through the front door I immediately reeled  off the list of jobs, each item punctuated with a sharp "Done"!

As she removed her coat and hung it on the hook behind the door she said "Well done"!

Then I asked it!

"So" I said.  "Remind me. What is it you actually do around here"?

The silence was deafening, the room suddenly frosty.

Her stare nailed me firmly to the wall and held me there. She uttered no sound, she just slowly turned and walked passed me and up the hallway towards the kitchen.

We haven't talked for over an hour, but I think she's softening.  

Well, she's stopped throwing plates, cups and saucers at me anyway.

I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to apologise in another hour or two without sustaining any life threatening injuries.

Pray for me!




* This is all made up because I would never have the nerve to ask her that question in the first place, but now you know what  would happen if I ever did.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Doldrums

So it's over!

The BIG day came and went with barely any mention of what it was really all about.

No, we didn't mention it either, but I did wish Jesus a 'Happy Birthday'.

Now though, we find ourselves enjoying Recovery Day No.1.

There are five Recovery Day's.  Five day's where time stands still, at incredible speed, as we wait for New Years Eve and a new reason to over indulge.  Whereas Christmas is a time of food in extravagant excess, New Years Eve is a time of alcohol, vomit and mystery (such as 'How did that traffic cone end up in my bed and who is that man buried head-first in my garden?').

But these five days, which we now find ourselves at the doorstep of, are the doldrums. A wind-still place (with the exception of bottom-burping) where nothing other than the continued digestion of our Christmas
over-indulgences.

It is a time of waiting; a time of re-runs on TV; a time of turkey sandwiches.

It is a time for being bored and wondering 'where the hell did the year go?'

I know where my year went to. Do you remember what happened to yours?

It's only 7 am on Boxing Day (Recovery Day No1) and already I'm wondering what colour socks I'll get for Christmas next year.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Another Day, Another Bus!

Today I would like to sing the praises of the bus drivers of South Wales, as dedicated and daring a bunch (insert the correct group noun for bus drivers if you know it) of rapscallions you could ever have the pleasure of crossing paths with.

Let me take you through today's journey.

The bus arrived at five past ten this morning.  A full five minutes early!  We boarded, flashing our bus passes as we did so, then proceeded to sit on the bus for ten minutes whilst the driver ate a sandwich and poured tea from a flask. At a quarter past ten he drove on. Now we were running a full five minutes late!

Almost immediately the bus was directed towards the narrow streets of Tonypandy where he jinked and jived that bus this way and that to a chorus of Whoa's and Phew's from the passengers.

To his credit, and he would no doubt argue it was due to his great skill, no wing mirror's were clipped and no pedestrians were squished on our way to the main bus stop of the town.

Now the towns of the welsh valleys date back to a time when a persons only means of transport were his/her feet or pony and trap.  They were never planned and built without thought for modern forms of mass transport and therefore you will quite often find the front doors of the terraced houses are very near to the road. As almost every family now has a car the parking in those towns is strictly limited and, in quite a few places, illegal so, as you can imagine, driving a bus through them is not an easy affair.

There were numerous stops along the route but the one that sticks in my mind was in the town of Porth, where   we parked up in the bus depot and our driver left us.  For approximately ten minutes we sat there with nothing to do but idly peruse the occupants of the bus next to us and was in a similar, driver-less predicament.

I tried hard not to let my eyes linger too long on the red hot blonde beauty on the other bus but, to my shame,I did check her out several times. Two seats in front of this beauty I saw a child of perhaps 5 or six doing his best to keep the bus he was on tidy and clean by slowly licking the inside of the window. He stopped occasionally to poke his tongue out at me.

When our new driver arrived he immediately, and much to our annoyance, refrained from boarding and joined a group of his colleagues to express hearty and manly greetings and exchange pleasantries of, I presume, bus driver-ly nature.

When he finally did take his place behind the wheel and started the engine we were, by my watch, running fifteen minutes late and passenger tempers were beginning to fray.

This is when a bus drivers wicked sense of humour comes into play.  You see, in order to get himself, his bus and indeed us, back on schedule we were treated to not one, but two, demonstrations of bus driver mean bastard-ness of the highest order.

This is what happened:


  • He deliberately pulled up at a stop at the wrong end of the bus shelter
  • Realising this, the passengers troop to the back of the shelter in order to board
  • On seeing that the would-be passengers were almost at the door of the bus, the driver pulled forward to the correct boarding point.
  • The would-be passengers turn, complaining, and troop back to the front of the shelter.
  • The bus driver, seeing no one at the correct boarding point pulls out and back into traffic, leaving a gaggle of irate would-be's waving there arms and throwing umbrella's after the bus.
This happened, as I said, twice thus shaving at least ten minutes from our journey time.

Later, just before we reached our destination (Pontypridd), there was another incident which raised eyebrows and infuriated would-be passengers.  At a bus stop stood six or seven people, several of whom stuck out their arms to alert our driver to their presence.

Did he stop at the right place?

No!

He drove at least twenty metres passed the stop and parked beside three men in florescent jackets. The men were obviously fellow bus drivers, and colleagues of our driver, exercising their right to free bus travel.

Once again a stream of would-be passengers jogged, waddled and hobbled towards the doors of the bus but our bus driver, who seemed totally devoid of any kind of Christmas spirit, had other ideas and pulled back onto the road.

We got off the bus at the next stop, but I couldn't help wondering if our driver would continue on his one man mission to selflessly piss-off any and all passengers during the rest of his trip to his final destination of Caerphilly.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

One Glass Too Many

So I was gonna say shomethin portant ... shomethin verr portant ... maybe,  or not, poshibly.

It woulda been aweshome, shurr's I shit here.

But a lil'ol' glash of wiksy got wotsit ... in the way.

'coursh, I dunno was'all'bout. Alohol'n me not friendsh y'shee.  Oil'n wet stuff ... water. Dun'mix, hmmmm!

Where's off butt'n fing on thish taplop?

Ahhhh! There that butt'n ........  

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Beware The Hint-Dropping Wife

You have to be careful around this time of year.

Correction:  Men have to be careful!

It is the time when hints and names are dropped; when detours are made to pass that certain boutique or store; when magazines are left inadvertently open at a page featuring a certain product.

It is the time when the man of the house puts himself in serious danger of withdrawal of 'certain privileges', or quite possibly, bodily harm, if any or all of the afore mentioned are ignored.

Now I know that you guys out there have, as I have, the ability to fully function during a conversation with your 'other half', answering any and all questions, maintaining the continuity and flow without, and this is the key point,  actually listening or fully understanding what has been said.

How many times has 'She' come home and started an conversation (argument) with the words "Why haven't you ... " or "Didn't you say that you would ... "?

Take my advice ... for I have suffered in the past and have have been through many a silent Christmas ... take heed of the mutterings of 'She who must be obeyed'!  Turn of that game on TV. Put down that beer. Stop reading that car magazine.

Take up your notebook and pencil and be prepared for at this time of year, she will certainly be casting out bait in a multitude of directions, which you must catch and swallow, in order to get that Christmas gift that she (maybe not you) thinks she deserves.

Tread carefully my friends!

I would hate to have read that you went through one of those dreadful Christmas silences or of you having to have conversations via the kids:  "Ask your mother ... ", "Tell prune-face that ... ", "Ask the old cow if ... "

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pismronunciation

The 'monologue' below was written, and I believe also performed by one of my comic heroes, the late, great Ronnie Barker.
I hope you like it.




"Good evening. I am the president of the Loyal Society for the Relief of Suffers from Pismronunciation, for the relief of people who can't say their worms correctly, or who use the wrong worms entirely, so that other people cannot underhand a bird they are spraying. It's just that you open your mouse, and the worms come turbling out in wuck a say that you dick not what you're thugging to be, and it's very distressing.

"I'm always looing it, and it makes one feel umbumftorcacle, especially when one is going about one's diddly tasks. Slopping at the Sloopermarket, for instance. Only last wonk, I approached the chuckout point, and I shooed the ghoul behind the crash desk the contents of my trilly, and she said 'All right, granddad, shout 'em out.' Well, of course, that's fine for the ordinary man in the stoat who has no dribble with his wolds. For someone like myself, it's worse than a kick in the jackstrop.

"Sometimes, you get stuck on one letter, such as wubbleyou. And I said, 'Well, I've got a tin of woup, a woucumber, two packets of wheese and a walliflower'. She tried to make fun of me and said, 'That will be woo pounds, wifty-wee pence.' So I just said 'Wobblers!' and walked out.

"So you see how dickyfelt it is. But help is at hand. A new society has been formed by our mumblers to help each other in times of excream ices. It is balled Pismronouncers Unanimous, and anyone can ball them up on the smellyphone any time of the day or note, twenty-four flowers a spray, seven stays a creek, and they will come 'round and get drunk with you.

"For foreigners, there will be inperpetwitters, who will all speak many sandwiches, such as Swedish, Turkish, Burkish, Jewish, Gibberish and Rubbish. Membranes will be able to attend tight stool, for heaving classes, to learn how to grope with the many complinkities of the daily loaf.

"Which brings me to the drain reason for squeaking to you tonight. The society's first function as a body was a grand garden freight, and we hope for many more bodily functions in the future. The garden plate was held in the grounds of Blennham Paleyass, Woodstick, and the guest of horror was the great American pip singer, Manny Barrellow. The fete was opened by the bleeder of the opposition, Mister Dale Pinnock ... Pillock, who gave us a few well-frozen worms in praise of the society's jerk. He said that 'In the creeks and stunts that lie ahead, we must do out nut roast to ensure that it sucks weeds.' "And everyone visited the various stores and abrusements, the rudeabouts, thing boats and the dodgers, and of course, all the old favorites such as Srty your Length, guessing the weight of the cook and tinning the pale on the wonky. The occasion was great fun, and I think it can safely be said that all the men present and thoroughly good women were had all the time.

"So, please join out society. Write to me, Doctor Small Pith, The Spanner, Poke Moses, and I will send you some brieflets to browse through and a brass badge to wear in your loophole."



Monday, 12 December 2011

Silence

The dogs have been out for their first pee of the day (6 am).

They have also been fed (7 am).

They have gone back to sleep (7.15 am).

I don't have to work until 4 pm, yet here I sit, laptop frying my nuts, typing to a sleeping (if they have any sense) world.  And as I sit here (still frying my nuts) typing,  yet again I am faced with the dilemma of what to write.  The ideas that prompted me to switch on my laptop have, as they tend to do, evaporated and left me with a vacuum that, lets face it, is difficult to fill at this time in the morning.

So I will call this post 'Silence' and refrain from further writings.


Enjoy the white-space and, for those that read aloud, the silence.



















Wasn't that fun?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Day


It's Christmas time,
a time of cheer, 
for presents and food
and dad drinkin' beer.

Broken new toys,
wrapping paper still on the floor,
a visit from those neighbours,
the ones you don't like anymore. 

Mum in the kitchen,
strugglin' with the lunch,
trying to prepare food,
for the whole bleedin' bunch. 

Dad's on the bog,
with a can of Newkie Brown,
lukkin at his Sun calender,
n he don't mind that it's upside down. 

The 'outlaws' arrive,
around about two,
and all they can do,
is complain about you. 

At the table it's said,
the turkey is dry,
the sprouts are too soft,
and you just want to cry. 

Then back to the telly,
to see the Queen,
cos she speaks the bestest
English what's ever been. 

Around about six,
there's more food on the table,
and we all start eating
as much as we're able. 

later on,
lunch time sprouts play their part,
as adults sip wine
and secretly fart. 

Over at last,
you sip your brandy
n tell your ol' man
forget bein' randy! 

Off to bed,
straight to sleep,
all that hard work,
and not one 'thank you' peep.


Bog = Toilet

Newkie Brown = Newcastle Brown Ale

Sun Calendar = The Sun newspaper's annual topless model calendar


Outlaws = The In-laws            

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Bus Ride

Ok.  Where to start?

With the driver I suppose ... no, wait!  Let's talk about the weather first.

I was windy, cold and it was raining. I was at times very nearly blown off my feet and I was very cold.  So cold, in fact, that if I had needed to go for a leek, a search and rescue unit would have had to be called in order to find my todger (hold your thumb and forefinger approximately half and inch apart. That'll tell you how cold I was)!

And it rained! Although just saying 'it rained' makes me feel as if I am doing it an injustice! I mean, I could not see more than 30 or 40 feet through the driving rain and it came down so damned hard that it bounced back up and under my coat soaking my trousers all the way up to my backside. Anyway, it rained!

Right, let's get back to the driver.

He looked thin and haggard and had a Dracula-like V of hair that seemed to creep down his forehead each time he blinked. In my mind I named him Bela (after Bela Lugosi).  After several minutes of our journey, I renamed him Pothole Charlie due to the fact that he successfully navigated his was from stop to stop via every pothole on the road!  And there were many on that thirty-five minute bus ride.

Passengers of note, and there were a lot of them getting on and off, were Mr. Steroid, Granny Gymnast and Goth Girl XXL.

Let me start with Goth Girl XXL.  She wore, as you would expect, those ridiculous boots covered in chrome studs and the clothes in the traditional Goth colour of  black.  Her coat was an old army greatcoat inexpertly dyed ... black, believe it or not. Goth Girl was HUGE ... it is quite possible that there was another X in there somewhere ... so there was little chance of her ever buttoning her coat up against the cold. Beneath her coat she was clad in black T-shirt and black jeans, both seemed to be straining as if desperate to hold her bulk in some sort of shape other than that of a gelatinous blob.
After she purchased her ticket she began to struggle down the narrow aisle to find a seat. Sadly she never made it to a seat as, try as she might, she could not squeeze her bulk through, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers and to her annoyance.  For the remainder of her trip she remained standing, grumbling continuously at the poor standards of our buses.

Next there was Mr. Steroid, or Man-Mountain if you prefer, who sat near the front of the bus occupying two seats with his muscle bound body. Despite the weather, he wore nothing but tracksuit bottoms, a sleeveless muscle shirt and a small (too small for his size) denim jacket that was full of 'designer' holes.  Above the collar of his jacket a huge triangular muscle rose up, eliminating any prospect of a neck, to the base of his skull giving a good indication of what lay beneath his clothes.  Actually, now I think of it, even his ears had muscles!

And last, but not least, there was Granny Gymnast.  She was a small, dinky woman. Frail looking and unsteady on her feet as boarded the bus using a zimmer-frame.  I clearly heard her speak to the Pothole Charlie as she flashed her bus pass.
"Will you wait until I get seated before you drive off?" she asked.
I couldn't hear Charlie's answer, but judging by Grannies smile, it seemed to be the one she was hoping for, so  she proceeded to try and find a seat.
She had hardly managed two tottering steps up the aisle when the bus jerked forward and moved back into traffic.
Grannies zimmer-frame slammed onto the floor at the same time as her feet left it and continued to rise as her head went forwards and down.  She was half way into a perfect handstand on her zimmer-frame when, at a speed you wouldn't expect from a chunk of beef of that size, Mr. Steroid was up and diving towards her,
He caught hold of her with one muscular arm around her almost horizontal waist and pulled her to him.
Goth Girl laughed and shouted "Nice one!" as Mr. Steroid righted granny and assisted her to a seat. He then went and remonstrated with the driver.
Granny composed herself and said "Well that's one that'll  amuse the grand kids when I tell 'em".

At the next stop I had to get off and was thus destined to miss the rest (if any) of the on-board entertainment.

Had I known that bus journeys could be so much fun, I would have never bought a car!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mr. Atherton's Cat

Buster was a strange animal!

Approximately seven years old, he was a silver and black cat with a red collar on which hung a brass name tag and a bell.

Oh yes, he had attitude too.

Sharp teeth, sharp claws and attitude!  Definitely attitude.

No one touched Buster but Mr. A.  Limbs could be lost by anyone not in the know.

But he was strange in other ways too.He would, for example, accompany his owner Mr. Atherton* to the local pub on a regular basis. Back in 1976, they were a well known pair that were often seen together in The Coble pub in my home town of Newbiggin by the Sea.

I was told by Mr. A. himself that Buster had just turned up one day on his doorstep shortly after the death of his wife ... Mr. A's, not Buster's ...and as no one had claimed him, he moved in and became a household fixture.

Between 1976 and 1982, the year Mr. A passed away, I often sat with them in the pub and shared a pint, ever hopeful of a time when I could stroke him without forfeit of an extremity.

But, after Mr. A passed away, Buster disappeared.  No one ever found out where he went.

Some years later, about 1989 or 90, I passed the house where Mr. A. used to live.  I knew that a young couple had moved in a few wears earlier, but had never met them.

As I walked by, I looked towards the front door and there,on the step sat a silver and black cat. It wore red collar on which hung ... yes you've guessed it! ... a brass name tag and a bell.

I was curious, or nosey (whichever you prefer), so I went to door and knocked.  The cat just stared at me.
A woman in her thirties answered and I proceeded to enquire as to the name of her cat and where he came from.

She said he was approximately seven years old and they had found him on their windowsill one day and he had never left. His name was ...

"Buster!" I blurted.

She seemed surprised.  So I told her the story of Mr. A.

"Now that's really odd" she said.  "Our Buster follows my husband to the pub too".

We chatted for a few more minutes before I said my goodbyes and headed off on my way.

It must have been the same cat I thought.  Maybe the Buster I knew was a lot younger than we'd thought.

Over time, the story of Buster slipped my mind, just as many things have before and since.

In 2005 when I once again returned to my home town for short visit to family, I found myself in need of a cold beverage and, being near The Coble, I popped in for a quick drink.

I could not believe what I saw.  In the corner sat a man, perhaps in his seventies, and under the table at which he sat, lapping at a saucer of water, was a silver and black cat wearing a red collar on which hung ... sing along now ... a brass name tag and a bell.

"Buster?" I said.

The cat left the saucer and sauntered across the hideous red carpet and began rubbing himself against my leg.

I bent down and went to stroke his head but that beautiful little kitty transformed himself into a hissing ball of fur, teeth and claws.  I barely managed to pull my hand back in time.

Yep!  That was Buster!

But how?  He would be well over thirty years old!

He should have been a long dead kitty.

The barman said "You've not met Buster before then. We all know how dangerous he can be".

I told them the story that I have just told to you.

Everyone just stared at Buster!

There were, if my memory serves, quite a few mutterings of "It can't be!" and "Impossible!"

All I know is that this cat was ... and I mean really was ... just as I remembered the Buster I first met in 1976.


* This tale, with the exception of the name Atherton (as I can't for the life of me recall his true name), the fact that my dates may be a little out (but not much) and maybe it was another one of Newbiggin's pubs and not The Coble they frequented, is absolutely true.  I kid you not!  But I will leave it to your own good selves to decide if such a story, by any stretch of the imagination, could be true or not.

Friday, 2 December 2011

I Could Have Been Concussed! I Could've! Honest!

I am getting old!

You can tell when age catches up to you because you start recalling happier times ... the days of your youth ... on a more regular basis.

Well, when I say 'happier times', I really just mean earlier times! They weren't all happy or without pain.

Yesterday, after my wife took a little bruise inflicting tumble, unbidden came the memory of a fall of my own.
Whereas I should have been giving her some sort of comfort, I was in fact recalling an incident from my Army days which involved stairs, a full backpack and some slow motion body surfing.

It was one of those occasions where our leaders decided to test our reaction time to an emergency. 

It was, as it always seemed to be, about 2 am and sirens were blaring across the barracks and indeed across the whole town.

The German population must have really loved us!

Now,  when you hear those sirens, you are meant to leap from your bed, don you combat clothing and all your kit and go to a designated point within the barracks where a roll is called before we draw weapons and prepare to move out into the field.

What actually happens is this:

The sirens blare so you turn over in bed and pull a pillow over your head.
You wait until there is a banging on your door that you can ignore until it becomes a violent kicking action accompanied be manic shouting and swearing.
You eventually get out of bed and wander around the corridor asking other bewildered, would-be sleepers, if it really is a 'call out' or was it a fire alarm.
After some clarification, which still isn't clear,  you clamber into your combat clothing and boots, grab your gear and head off to the assembly point.  This can take quite some time due to the fact that you have to return to your room several times to retrieve those forgotten, but necessary, items of combat gear that you meant to have packed some months ago but never actually got around to. 

Anyway, this time, as the wailing of the sirens finally faded, I was already on my feet, dressed and fully equipped.  I was ready to go to war!

Woe betide those bad guys!

At this point I should mention red lead paint!

It's what the army uses to paint flooring and sometimes walls.  It's easy to clean and difficult to scuff.  And it was all over the floors of the armoury building.

It was raining that morning and I was one of the first to respond. Some others were sent to chase up late comers and I was told go to the armoury, draw my weapon and then return to the parade square and begin marshalling vehicles into position ready to move out.

There were steps in the armoury building leading down to the heavy steel armoury door. It was open and one or two men were already grabbing rifles.

Did I mention the red lead floors and the fact that it was raining?

As I reached the top of the stairs I slipped. My feet shot out from under me and I hastily grabbed the hand rail for support.  As I did so, my heavy backpack began to drag me down backwards.  I pulled hard on the hand rail and tried to jerk myself forward and upright again.

I over did it!  Gravity took control!

And I began to slowly topple forward towards the flight of stairs!

In my panic, and in a desperate attempt to minimise the pain and damage that was sure to follow, I dropped to my knees but my forward momentum and the weight of my backpack carried me over, head first onto the stairs.

I landed chest first with a groan and a gasp as the air was knocked out of my lungs.

Then I began a slow motion descent of the stairs on my stomach. All the way to the bottom.
Twenty rib bruising steps later my head, thankfully still steel helmeted, hit the edge of the open armoury door.

I was stunned.

And I couldn't get up!

The kit on my back was just too heavy.

I was lucky though!  I really was ... in more ways than one.

Not only were my injuries limited to bruises ... mostly to my pride. But, as a precaution, my CO refused to let me take part in the call-out drill.

Whilst the rest of my unit were all vehicled-up and moving towards an unknown woodland location to begin manoeuvres, I was safely tucked up in a bed in the camp infirmary ... for observation, you understand.

I could have had delayed concussion.

Hmmmm!  I might still have it!

You never know.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Don't Panic!

... but it is nearly Christmas!

So have you got everything under control?

Are your cards all written and ready to go?  Have you done all of your Christmas shopping?

What about that big feast you where thinking of?  Have you planned it yet?

Nah!  Neither have I!

To be absolutely frank ... to be 'slap-inna-face' honest, as I always am ... I don't like Christmas!

All the work that goes into a good family Christmas; all the effort and racing around to get everything you need; all that ... that ... that unappreciated sweat!

Then before you know it, it's all over.

All you are left with is a heap of wrapping paper, a kitchen full of dirty pots and pans, a lounge full of over-fed and snoring zombies and a bout indigestion that could drop a horse.

So why do we go through it year after year?

Well, for my part, I do it purely for the satisfaction of having it done and dusted ... and behind me ... so I can concentrate on being normal again!

For me, the word 'Humbug!', is a totally inadequate way of expressing my displeasure with the commercial torture which we know as Christmas!

Bah!  I am so tempted to go back through this text and replace all the capital C'c in Christmas with little c's!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Welcome Slovenia!

I'm afraid that I don't speak, and certainly can't write, your language, but nevertheless, I would like to thank you for stopping by.

I am accustomed to the occasional visit from eastern Europe but never before have I had so many hits in such a short period of time. It makes my heart (and head) swell with pride to know that so many of you (apparently) appreciate my blog. At least I hope you do.

There were over 50 hits on Those Who Fell between the hours of 5.50am and 6.00am, which is quite amazing really (It has been read over 2000 times since I posted it November 2010) as I am not the most prolific of bloggers.

According to an English-Slovenian translator that I found on-line 'Thank you' in Slovenian is, believe it or not, Thank you!

So....

Thank you (that's the Slovenian one, not the English one) to everyone who popped in to read my blog.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Thanksgiving!

So what is it really about?

I've heard the story, of course, about that infamous meal of turkey and corn that the settlers shared with the indigenous population and I only have one question ... How do the Indians celebrate Thanksgiving.

When you think about it, they really have no reason to celebrate, as that meal was, as far as their future a free people ... with lands and rights.

I don't mean to have a dig at Americans here ... I'm just curious. What do they do at Thanksgiving? 

I think I would have spent the whole day sticking pins in dolls, but that's just me.

Anyway, I hope you all had a nice day and are looking forward to a few days taking care of the leftovers.

I still haven't forgiven you guys for what you did to our tea.

Can you tell?

  

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hitler Caused It All!

I'm short on time today so let's press on, shall we?

This guy, let's call him Donald, whom I bumped into in a cafe, stunned me yesterday by telling me all about how Adolf Hitler started the Korean War by invading Japan ... which is in Mongolia, apparently!

No, no, no!  I know what you are thinking, but you are wrong!  Donald was not, and has never been,a client of mine.  He was, more than likely,a client of someone though.

For a second ... but only for a second ... I thought of correcting him but then the inquisitive side of me took over and decided to see exactly where this conversation would end.

"It was all Hitler's fault" he said. "He sank the Titanic you know!"

He went from this revelation straight into a tirade about the local town council and how they could improve  public transport by simply giving everyone a car!

"And it all started when Archduke wosshisname let himself get assassassass ... killed!"

"That was World War 1" I ventured.

"Nah!  That was Hitler as well" he replied. "He did that because of all that time he had to spend writing a book about Karl Marx or something."

Thankfully at this moment his sausage, egg and chips arrived.

I drained the dregs of my coffee and said "I'm off, before Hitler invades this joint looking for a sandwich!"

But I had already been forgotten as Donald tucked into his meal.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Another American Encounter

There is no doubt in my mind that blogging is addictive!

If your brain isn't buzzing with ideas that may, or may not, make a decent article to share with your public, then you are constantly wondering 'how did that last post do'?

I blog in rather an irregular fashion. People never know what I'm going to post next.  I have no system or pattern to my posts.

I have no running themes on any particular day and I don't do any of that rather boring plugging of products or publication that some others seem to do.  If I ever hit the big time then, maybe, I'll change my opinion on that, but it's certainly not an issue which takes up more than a few milliseconds of thought at the moment.

I like to try and raise a chuckle or two and, if I'm lucky, get a response that isn't just another nut or bot filling my comments with obscenities or junk.

How am I doing?  (Michelle need not respond to that one)

Anyway, today I was thinking that I'd have another crack at the yanks!


Yeah, you lot!  Here we go...

It was summer and I was still in the army.

We were near a small German town of Butzbach and we were involved in a little spot of military training.
I can recall that on this particular day we were due to go off on a long march, with full kit and weapons, to a location where we would 'assault' an American held position.  I was not looking forward to it, so when the boss asked for a volunteer to assist our American cousins with a little 'families carnival' in the local American barracks, I jumped at it!

"Get yourself smartened up" I was told (we were in combat clothing most of the time, but we'd brought smart stuff just for visiting the yanks).

So there I was ... highly polished boot, clean and pressed parade dress and a smart looking side-cap ... when an American vehicle turned up at our camp site.

It was one of those big beefy pick-up trucks and as I climbed in, I asked the driver "Any idea what they want me to do?"

"Can't help ya there ol' buddy.  Only bin tol' t'get yer scrawny ass there in one piece".  He had a smirk on his face which made me nervous.

His driving style didn't do much to convince me of the truth of his previous statement either!

But we got there and, as we drove though the camp gates, there was the usual silly looking snappy hand signals from the guards that are meant to let you know you can proceed.

"Stoopid asshole!" mumbled my driver, who obviously knew the guy at the gate.

After a few moments we came to what looked like a baseball field covered in tents and stall of varying sizes.
"This is you!" he said as he pulled up.

I got out and without any sort of explanation from my driver, he drove off.

I stood there for a moment and as I was wondering what I should be doing and where I should go, I heard a voice from behind me saying "You the poor bastard they sent, huh?"

I turned and saw coming towards me two yanks dressed in fatigues.

"I'm Cap'n Hall.  This is Sargeant Major Brown".

I saluted and introduced myself.

"They tell ya what ya'll be doin'?" asked the Sargeant Major.

"No sir!" I said. "They only said you needed some help".

They looked at each other and ... yes ... there was that smirk!  Just like the one on the chops of the guy that drove me there.

They told me that would be helping them of on of their stalls ... but that didn't make me feel any more confident or make me think that my immediate future was not going to pleasant!

After a quick guided tour of the stalls, booths and tents, people started to turn up.

"Time to get started, I reckon" said Captain Hall,and he ushered me to the one 'attraction' that had been covered by a huge tarpaulin.  "This is where you'll be doin' your thing!" he said.
I watched as several guys started to remove the tarpaulin.  I caught a glimpse of the sign ... "Dunk the ...".

Then there was a water tank with a seat above it and a small circular target.  Then the tarp fell away.

The sign read ...

Dunk The Limey!  

"You're taking the piss!" I hissed, ignoring the rank of the guy I was talking to. "I'm in parade uniform!  Smart!
And all you want to do is get me piss-wet through!"

Well, despite my reservations and anger at being suckered, I did have a good day!

And, although baseball is an American national sport, did find out that very few of the 'throwers' were natural baseball players!  I was hit (and a baseball is damned hard) more often than the target.

Four hours I was there and I was soaked again and again and again!

But it was all for charity and on our stall we managed to raise over $400 ... and a good few bruises.

I was well looked after by everyone there.  I was well fed and plied with beer throughout the afternoon and when it came time to call it a day, my soaking uniform, which they kindly replaced with a full set of US fatigues and boots, was taken away to be dry-cleaned.

Before I left that evening, they were all back!  Uniform cleaned, pressed and neatly folded and my boots dry and, once again, highly polished.

It was a great day and I must admit, my hosts were more than generous and really did look after me.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Dog Day Afternoon!

Dog's.

Yes, dog's again.  What? Have I not mentioned that I have three dog's?

Oh, come on!  I must've done.

Look!  I did, a'right!!!

Anyway, whether I have or haven't is irrelevant, because I have ... got three dog's. 

Oh bum!  Ya see?  All that prevaricating (you, not me) has made me forget my subject for today.

It doesn't matter. I'll tell you a joke instead.


An old was taking her dead cat to the pet cemetery. 
As she boarded the bus, she whispered to the driver "I have a dead pussy".

The driver pointed to the woman in the seat behind him and said, "Sit with my wife. You two have a lot in common".

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

When I Was A Tart!

It has been some years since I last wore a dress ... 1978 to be exact ... and I still fume whenever I think of it!

GOD DAMN IT!

I should have won the fancy dress competition!

This is the story of that occasion.

It was the only one that I have EVER entered and, I tell ya, I really put the boat out to try and win it!

There was this guy in the base fire brigade that knew a man that had a friend who's sister's best friend worked in the local theatre. He instigated a chain telephone call that resulted in me receiving an invitation to the theatre for a fitting (wait for it).

In the mean time, before my appointment, I was offered some additional assistance with the compilation of my wardrobe from some army wives (not mine, I hasten to add).  They fitted me out with shoes, stockings and suspenders, make-up, jewellery and a slinky black evening dress.

Of course, I couldn't quite fill that cleavage demanding dress, hence the need for a fitting in the local theatre.

They enlarged my chest using a very realistic, state of the art, 44 DD set of fake boobies!

Then came the big day!

My small army of army wives fussed and swooned over me.  They painted my face! They decorated me with jewellery! They helped me into my boobs! They squeezed me into the evening dress then planted a long, black wig onto my head. I carried the size seven stilettos until I needed them (and to prevent me from breaking my neck). 

I have to tell you, I looked fantastic!  I thought I would walk away with first prize. No problem!

Later that evening came the judging.

The camp Padre, my commanding officer and his good lady were the judges.

After all that preparation, I was not surprised to reach to the last three!

It was between me (the Tart), Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley.  I ask you, where was the competition there?  They had no chance!

Elvis was voted into third place and I was devastated ... I mean, like totally shocked ... when the announced that Charlie bloody Chaplin had won first place!

Of course, I smiled and congratulated the dozy cow that had won, but after so much effort I was really pissed-off that I hadn't won.

I was comforted by my entourage of army wives, but they all said that losing had been my own fault.

"You were robbed!" they chorused. "But if you'd shaved your moustache off, you would have won!"

The Euro And The Fall Of Rome

Have you heard?

The Euro is in crisis!

Yes, it's true.  Greece has a huge economic crisis and Italy, one of Europe's biggest economies, is following suit.

Whereas the Greek government has pushed (or tried to, if their politicians are to be believed) measures that will save their economy from total collapse and are receiving a huge bailout from the their Euro cousins, the Italians are just starting to feel the bite and are in dire need of a rescue themselves.

Why?

Simply put, they have borrowed to the limits of their ability to repay the loan.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong ... and I often am, but if you are in danger of losing the money that you have lent someone, the last thing you should be doing is raising the interest on that loan to record levels, thereby making it harder for the borrower to make repayments.  What are they at now?  6.9% interest?  Amazing!

I personally would be safeguarding my investment by making it easier to for the borrower to pay me back.

But there you go!  That's just me and voicing my opinion is a would be very like farting in a hurricane.  No  one would notice!

But no! The money lenders have other plans for Italy. Perhaps even for the entire future of the Euro!

At the end of the day  though, I live in the UK and I don't really care about Italy's economy, but in our current economic climate,  perhaps I should.  It may well turn around and bite me in the backside, or worse still ...  in my wallet!

Just for the record, I am, and always was, against a single currency for Europe.
---

I know this subject isn't what you might have come to expect from me. Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you are that I wrote.

Where are all those fairies when you need them, eh?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Good Fairies And Bad Fairies*

There is ... and this is only an assumption ...somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind, an adult me desperately trying to get out.

So far unsuccessfully!

The Bad Fairy that haunts my waking hours and prevents me from winning the lottery has sealed that part of my mind up to the realities of life.

But there is a good side because The Good Fairy is working hard to save me ... the adult me ... and release all those sensible thoughts that I should be having.

Back in the day, The Good Fairy used to give me money when my teeth fell out. She would tuck it under my pillow in the middle of the night. But The Bad Fairy would always make spend it the next day on more sweets to rot my teeth.

Not that they are rotten.  I can assure you that I do visit the dentist every so often as the need arises.

But am I ready to grow up?

D'ya know ... at times I still get those funny feelings in my stomach ... the butterfly ones ... and I have spontaneous giggly fits! And I'm mumble-mumble years old!

Is that the behaviour of a grown up?

Do I want to be a grown up? Do I have to be a grown up?

Maybe The Bad Fairy has done me a favour! Maybe The Bad Fairy has inadvertently made me a happier person!

OK, so the lottery remains a far off dream, but who cares?

I reckon I'm still happy with my lot in life.

I know no one out there believes in Fairies.  But that is your loss.  You have all ... bar a few ... grown up!

For those of you who still enjoy their elongated childhood and wish to continue to do so, simply say

'Stuff you, Bad Fairy'!


*  A recent horoscope told me to be polite to the good fairy that watches over me and to be wary of the bad fairy that is trying to make my life a misery.  It was a load of tosh really, written by a grown up! Well, what d'ya expect from grown up's?

Friday, 11 November 2011

11th Hour Of The 11th Day Of The 11th Month

For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;


As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

(Laurence Robert Binyon, 1869-1943)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Monkey Walk II

Try this!

The Monkey Walk

Get your kids to video it and post it on your blogs or send it to me.

I would do it but my video camera has died and my mobile phone camera is useless ...

... and I'd rather you made idiots of yourselves first!


PUH-Leeeeeeeeeeeeese!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Monkey Walk

It has just occurred to me that I haven't done the monkey walk for a long, long time.

What is it?

Well, it's something I used to do to amuse the kids (and myself) when they were younger.

Bend the knees.

Lean slightly backwards.

Take over-long steps.

Swing your arms.

Try  it!

But don't forget to post you videos of your efforts on your blogs!

I guarantee you'll put a smile on your kids faces, have fun and feel stupid all at the same time!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Heart-stopping Question

There is a question asked by children that can strike fear into the heart of some parents or grandparents.

I would, if pushed, hazard a guess that the dad's out there will fear this question more than the mum's.

D'ya wanna know what it is?

Yes, you've guessed it! It's "Where do babies come from?"

Anyway, that's the question, but that isn't what I wanted to discuss today.
Listen up and I'll tell you why I brought it up.

So, there we were ... waiting for a green light ... at a pedestrian crossing.
A young woman with baby in a pushchair had just pushed the button an was waiting to cross.
My client, a  young man with learning difficulties, had up to this point, had been silent.  He's not a talker and, when spoken to, produces little more than one word answers.   As we waited for the woman and child to cross and the lights to turn back in our favour, I noticed him begin to grin. He was about to give me one of those "Where do babies come from" moments.

"I know how she got her baby" he said as the woman crossed the road.

Oh-oh! I thought.  What's he going to come out with now?

I was somewhat shocked and taken aback by his statement and before I could respond I ran through all the possible permutations of how this dialogue would progress. Had he been watching dirty movies? Reading dirty books?

I tried to ignore the question and concentrated on the lights.  Change, please change I thought.

As the lights changed and I drove on, I still had not replied as I feared that the only place this conversation would go was down hill and into the gutter. But after a few minutes, just when I thought he'd forgotten all about it and I had relaxed, he said again "I know how she got her baby".

This time, before I could engage my brain and attempt to change the subject,  I asked "How?"

I feared the worst and tried to think of excuses that I could tell my boss in case she ever found out that I had a discussion with a client about sex.

With trepidation and butterflies fluttering around my stomach I feared the worst as he tried formulated his answer.

It took a while but, when it came, I breathed out hard and the butterflies in my stomach flew off to pasture new.

I hastily and readily agreed to what he said and steered the conversation to safer ground by asking him "Are we there yet?"

Now I can hear you all asking "What did he say? What did he say?"

Well, for those that haven't worked it out for themselves, this is what he said ...

"Jesus gave it to her!"

Friday, 28 October 2011

Dilemma Averted

Last night ... as I was eating some chocolate ... Oh, the pain!

I somehow contrived to bend my right thumb backwards or something.  My God! It hurt!

The pain was severe and my whimpering brought my wife rushing to my side.

"What have you done?" she asked.

I told her.

"Do you want to strap it up?  Go to A&E? What?" she said.

I um'd and ah'd.

"Well?" she asked,her impatience growing. "What are you going to do?"

It was an easy choice in the end.

"I'll have to eat my chocolate using my left hand, won't I!"

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Remember That £25 Fine?

I paid it yesterday!

I went all the way to Pontypridd and paid it in person.

And it was the biggest mistake I've made, well ... since the last big mistake that I made.

As I walked back to my car after leaving some of my hard-earned cash behind, I was spotted by load of seagulls.

And I do mean 'SPOTTED'!

Now I ask  you, can my luck get any worse?

Monday, 24 October 2011

And The World Turns

So, as the title says, the World turns.

And the bad things just keep on coming.

I have never been what you might call 'well off'.  Money and I do not make good bed fellows!
As soon as it comes, the World contrives to make it go away again.

Take, for instance, my car ... someone, please take it!!!

Last week not one ... not two ... but ALL FOUR spark plugs decided to foul up causing my car to complain bitterly and roll to a stop uttering phutt-phutt noises, which I am sure is car-speak for "Not another inch you bastard"!  OK, so it was fixable, but it cost me quite a bit of money.


Some weeks prior, for some inexplicable reason, most of my clients decided to cancel their calls for a two week period. This left me with a mere 19 hours a week of work. As I am paid by the hour, you can guess how much that dented my wallet.


On Saturday the glass fell out of the right-hand wing mirror of my car.  No, it didn't break! I managed to catch it! NO mean feat when you are travelling at 70 MPH.  With the aid of some (fortunately) handy sticky tape, I was able to secure it again.

That same day, I learned just how deceitful my fellow man could be.  I picked up a client who I was to take to a rugby match (Pontypridd vs Bedwas).  When I arrived on the car park opposite the stadium, I made for the ticket machine (so I could park legally) and was told by a number of people that parking on match days was free.  So, like and idiot, I believed them only to return to my car after the match and find a £50 parking fine stuck to my windscreen.

Bummer, right?

But the hammer came when the vet confirmed that my boy Sym's cancer has returned.

Yes, the World just keeps on turning ... and shit happens!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Still Alive

Last week I painted a woman in the the nude ... I almost froze to death!
I ended up with a headache and the only drug store open was in Vegas.  So I went in and asked for aspirin. The guy behind the counter said "I'll toss you for it, Double or nothing!"
I left with two headaches!
Now I'm recovering from a cold and I'm so full of drugs that if I sneeze, I'll cure someone!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Wart

(This article was prompted by Perlchen's wart post and is really only the reply I made to it.)

I used to love my wart!

I really did.

But then one day the top fell off it! My finger hurt like hell (pinky, right hand).

Two days later, my wart began to restore itself to it's former glory by rising and crusting.

But it didn't stop growing! I soon ended up with a wart that not only scared me but, on those rare occasions I dared venture outside with it, appeared on satellite images.

I tried every known wart cure to no avail. Doctors would VISIT ME just to look at it and say "Hmmmmmmm?"

But no one could help and my wart grew and grew.

After a year of having a continent sized growth on my finger I took a very drastic step.

I cooked my finger!

Yes, Perlchen, I turned on the hotplate of the cooker and (after a short prayer and a swift slug of the hard stuff) I pressed my wart onto the hotplate for just a second.

And yes, I did make some un-heroic screechy-type noises and there was a slight moistening of the eyes, but after a mere one week of pain, my wart had been defeated!

To this day, my pinky is wart-less!

I strongly suggest that no one tries this method of wart removal at home unless, of course, you are as brave (insert stupid if you wish) as I am.

Monday, 10 October 2011

A New Week ... New Luck!

Here we go again!

A new week, for which I wish each and every one of you ... Good Luck & Good Health!

May your week be jolly and fun-filled and all your experiences positive.

And should anyone unexpectedly happen to become stinking rich ... don't forget that it was ME that wished you luck (for which there is a small charge [10% of windfall] should it come to fruition).

I have to go!

Bottoms to clean!  You know how it is.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Daftest Question In The World

In my line of work, I am in and out of peoples houses  doing everything from bottom cleaning to skimming over carpets with a vacuum cleaner.  I have assisted them to shower, shave and, in some cases, even to take a dump.  I have escorted clients on shopping expeditions or to pub's for a pint.  I've taken them on visits to places of interest that, to me anyway, lost their interest during one of the many previous visits ... well, let's just say that I have to be prepared to do whatever it takes and whatever is needed.

I believe me, I have surprised myself on numerous occasions by doing just that.

Being constantly on a very tight schedule, I have be quick at each port of call. In ... do the biz ... out!

But usually ... just as I have to go; just as I have to dash to the next client; just as I realise how late I am for my next call ... that's when I utter the daftest question that someone in my profession can ever ask 

   Is there anything else I can do for you before I go?

And there always is!  There always is! 

So why is it that I can never say 'No' ?


Friday, 7 October 2011

Homer: A Bad Day

Homer sat at a table in dark corner of Sickly Jim's bar.

Hunched over a multitude of empty beer and whiskey glasses, a small glass of dark liquid in his hand, he sobbed uncontrollably.

At the bar Ted McFlunkel, trucker and all round bad-ass, addressed the barman.

"Excuse me, good sir.  I can't help noticing that that gentleman in yonder corner is somewhat distressed. Have you an inkling as to his troubles?"

"Eh?" replied the barman.

"I merely enquired as ... Dammit! I should never have taken elocution lessons. What's with the dude in da corner?"

"That's Homer. Been here all day.  I reckon he's had some bad news."

McFunkel drained his glass.  "Well if he's gonna just sit there cryin' then I reckon that drink in his hand should go to someone who deserves it more."

He stomped across the sawdust covered floor, kicked over the spittoon [Yes, it was that kind of bar], and snatched the glass from Homer's hand. He downed the contents in one go and flung the glass at the wall.  He had hoped it would shatter spectacularly, adding some gravitas to his actions.

It bounced!

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaah-ah-ahah-aaaaaaaa" wailed Homer.  He flung himself over the table, scattering the empty glasses. "You bastard! You [insert expletive {it's not that kind of blog} ] bastard!" he cried.

McFunkel, realising that he may have gone a little too far, said "Whoa there partner!  You wanna tell me what yer troubles are?  Might help to talk".

Through intermittent sobbing Homer said "I lost my job this morning! The cleared my desk and threw me out".

"That ain't the end of the world" said McFunkel.

"That's not all" blubbed Homer.  "I went out to the parking lot and found some guys repossessing my car.  I had to get a bus home,but I got on the wrong bus and went up-town, not down. Then I realised I had no money left so I went to an ATM, but the damned machine kept my card saying I was overdrawn."

"Damn!" sighed McFunkel.  "You've had a rough day."

"There's more" said Homer.  "I had to walk home and on the way I got a call on my cell to tell me that my kids had run away from school, stolen a car and had smashed it into a bridge support.  They're all in critical condition in hospital."

"Damn!"

"When I got home I found my ex-bosses car was parked in my driveway.  When I went into the house I found him in bed with Marge, my wife.  She told me it was all over and I should pack my bags and leave".

"Oh my God! What a day!" gasped McFunkel.

"And now, after all that, I just wanted it all to end but then some brainless idiot comes and drinks my poison!
Can my day get any worse?"

"G-g-g-guh!" said McFunkel, clutching his throat as he hit the floor.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

IT

I like words.

Big ones.  One's that people seldom hear or see.

The bigger and more difficult to say the word is, the better I like it.

But there is one word that I hate.

I despise it with every fibre of my body.

The word is "it".

I haven't always hated this word. In fact I only began to hate it a few days ago when I saw it written in the middle of a sentence of a note that I was reading.

For nearly a minute I blanked.  I could not for the life of me work out what "it" was supposed to mean.

To me, it just looked like a ridiculous combinations of letters.

I really do not like "it"!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Semi-Perfect!

You may have read, or maybe someone read it to you, that we (the British) are basking in a mini-heatwave hitherto unknown at this time of year in this land of wind and rain (which, to be fair, ain't much but it's all we have).

As I sit here with the sun ticking my naked upper torso (almost the same shape it used to be), I type my usual drivel with but one thought in my mind;  what a wonderful morning!

Of course I had to be proved wrong by the neighbours!

Are they loud or what?

I think they're having a breakfast BBQ ... for dogs!

I can smell the charcoal; the burning burgers; the god-damn awful smell of spirits used to get the BBQ going.

And I can hear the non-stop yapping of their dogs, the competitive barks of their neighbours dogs and the distant replies of all the uninvited dogs throughout the village.

On the table next to me I have a mint flavoured hot chocolate and a chocolate biscuit (well, it's a biscuit in a puddle of melted chocolate).

All is well with my world (with the exception of the neighbours and their BBQ) at this moment.
It is (very nearly) a perfect moment.  

The only thing I need now to make my day complete would be something interesting to write about.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Cold Sthriketh Again!

                            that                                               given
It would theem               my cold hath although                     me a limp!



                                sthrange!
Now ithn't that                           It makth me feel like a thilly old thod!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I Have A Cold ...

... and it'th given me a lithp!

Sthupid, I know, but it'th thomething that alwayth happenth to me.

You'd be thurprithed at how many folkth come to our houth when I have a cold jutht to athk me to thay 'Mithithippi'.

My wife, ath uthual, ith withing me a thpeedy recovery becauth theth really thick of me thpitting out my wordth!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

It's Coming!!!

My head already hurts.

The talk, in the circle I frequent, is already turning towards Christmas.

I haven't recovered from the stress and cost of the last one and already people are pushing the unavoidable prospect of another one under my nose.

I really should speak to my therapist about this!

Shopping expeditions are no longer the strategically designed 'in and out' exercises they once were, as I am now 'ordered' to keep my eyes open for suitable presents - "... but cheap ones, mind you! We don't want people thinking we like them!"

Like the surfer that has just found a ripple that is destined to become the perfect wave, I feel compelled to ride it to shores of  Christmas and beyond.

I just wish Christmas wasn't so commercialised and that we could return to the uncomplicated Christmases of old, where the Christmas spirit started to flow at the end of November and not a moment sooner.

I wish the media would wait until the smell of an on-rushing frost was in the air before peppering us with ad after ad.  

I wish my parents were still around so that they could take charge of the present buying and I could sit back and just relax until the big day.

I wish ...

Bug'rit!

Everyone's getting handkerchiefs again this year.

Now if only I could remember which colours they had?

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sunday...

... used to be such a relaxing day.

It used to be, as I remember from my childhood days, a slow, quiet and boring day that ding-donged it'sway through the morning, siesta'd it's way through the afternoon.  The only excitement of the day was when Song Of Praise was on TV in the evening and granny would say "Oooh!  Harry Secombe! He as a Goon, ya know".

Granny didn't often spoke of her past, other than the occasional "In my day we ... " rebuke, but when Harry Secombe appeared on Songs Of Praise the the flood gates would open and she would recount tales of how she and the family would gather around the Bakelite encased radio and listen to the Goon show.

"He's fallen in the water!" she would always say, in a poor impersonation of  Bluebottle.

"Peter Sellers was Bluebottle." my dad would always counter. "Secombe played Neddy Seagoon!"

Mentally, granny was as sharp as knife, but she did have that little black hole in her memory when it came to who-played-who in the Goon Show.

Anyway, as I grew up I must have heard that little exchange at least a few hundred times.  I was interested in Harry Secombe. As far as this school boy could see, he was just an old man talking and singing (hymns!  Yawn!) so I paid him no heed.

But I must admit that grannies tales of the Goon Show got me interested and when they started re-running the shows on Sunday afternoons, I became hooked.  It didn't matter what I was doing, I would always make sure that at 11.30 on Sunday's that I would be listening to the show.

The Man Who Won The War (Seagoon MCC) is currently on the BBC iPlayer, if you are interested.
(you'll have scroll forward to about 2 minutes 40 seconds)

Now, what was it I was going to tell you?

Erm ... I know I was going to tell you something important.

Maybe it'll come back to me.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bubbles

Intelligence, per se, is a fine thing.  Everyone should have some!

But there are some ... geniuses we call them ... that are somewhat over endowed in the little gray cell department. They hover constantly at dizzying intellectual heights conjugating and theorising; contemplating and postulating; designing and extemporising. Yet they are prone, as in deed we all are, to the effects of bubbles.

Little  bubbles!

And each one of those little bubbles has the ability to lower, even though it's just for a moment, the IQ of the most intellectually gifted of us an leave us (yes, I think I'm gifted!) looking pretty stupid.

Of course I'm talking about those little moments that occur just before we cringe and utter those immortal words "Oh my God! Did I really do that?"

Like the time I said to a man twice my size and with more muscle between his ears than brain "C'mon then pal!  If you think you're hard enough!"

I won't tell  you the outcome of that little tete a tete other than to say that I lost a tooth.

But it was one of those moments where I walked into one of those bubbles and lost all sense of common sense and my intelligence let me down.

In the cold light of day (and in the absence of stupidity bubbles) it would never have occurred to me to do something like that.

I must have stumbled into a fair few of those little buggers in my time.

How many have you bumped into?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Youthful Mind, Ancient Body!

Trekkies everywhere will  understand what I mean when I say I am currently suffering from temporal disturbances.

My 17 year old brain is at odds with my 52 year old body!

Whereas my brain is still screaming "Yeah" Go for it!", my body seems increasingly less willing and able to grab the metaphorical skateboard and head off down the hill.

My head tells me that standing on one foot, for example, for a few seconds is easy-peasy, but my body sends out contradictory panic signals which leads the rest of me to believe that 'Timberrrrrrrrrrr!' is the word of the moment.

I feel as if I'm still the seventeen year old that enlisted in the Army all those years ago (at least when I'm sitting down). But when I am 'on the go', out and about, the aches and the pains of age catch up to me very quickly and my mind turns the things that, as I recall, gave my parents succour in their later years when trying to cope with myself and my siblings ... a soft chair, a cup of tea and a nice sticky bun!

I envy all those that can tap their hidden energy reserves in later life and I envy all those of my age that can still squeeze into their tight lycra cycling shorts or their running gear and exert themselves to the max.  I envy everyone with enough drive to get up and chase their youth through physical exercise.

But I also admire them and hate them in equal measure.

Phew!

You'll have to excuse me for now. All this typing has worn me out.

If I only had the energy to reach the kettle, I'd make a cup of tea.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Dog Pampering

Since Sym he has been ill, he has developed a few funny routines which we have to play along with.

Feeding, for example.

Yes, feeding.  You would think that a dog would immediately and instinctively eat.
Not so with Sym.  He will stand in front of his bowl ... look at it ... look at me ... and complain ("Hrowowow" he'll say).

He won't touch his food until he has had a calming, pre-meal hug.

Yes, we have to give him a hug before he'll eat his food.  No hug ... no eat!

Bedtime is another of his strange rituals.

Usually it's me that puts them out for their last bladder emptying exercise of the day before I lock up and go to bed.  They usually wander around the garden for 15 minutes or so then, as one, they all troop back to the house and head for their beds ... except Sym!

Clover and Sox know what's coming (a 'good night' sausage or piece of cheese) and jump straight into their beds.  Sym, on the other hand, will stand in front of his bed and wait.  When he first started doing this I was a little confused.  I had no idea why he would just stand there and 'Hrowowow' at me.  I tried the comforting hug but it didn't work. He just took his sausage and lay on the floor.

It was purely by chance one evening that I had to straighten his bedding (I think he'd humped it!) and, to my surprise, he jumped straight, settled down and waited for his sausage.

Now, every evening, I have to make his bed before he'll get into it.  Not even a sausage will get him into bed (he's not that easy) if his bed isn't made.

Anyone else got fussy pets?