Saturday, 22 November 2008

Perpetual Motion Invention

I think I may have accidentally invented a perpetual motion machine.

I was testing the veracity of various rules of Sod's Law, specifically the contentions that cats always land on their feet and that toast always lands buttered side down.

Experiment to test Sod's First and Second Laws of Motion

1 Take a slice of buttered toast.


















2 Take a cat (male or female).

















3 Strap the toast, buttered side up, to the back of the cat.


















4 Drop the cat from a two-metre height.



















The opposing Sod's Law forces suspended the cat and toast one metre from the ground in perpetual rotation.

Now, all I have to do is find a way of harnessing the energy created and I'm quids in. I suspect after they read this, Exxon, BP and Shell will be getting into the cat and toast market. This may push the price of thick-sliced bread and cat food up a bit, but you can't have everything.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Lettuce Spray

Who actually likes lettuce? Who sees lettuce on their plate and thinks, "Ooh, lettuce! ... I'm saving that till last?"

Or "Ooh, I just fancy a bit of lettuce. I haven't had any lettuce for ages?"

Or "I used to love the way my mum did lettuce ... on a plate, on its own. Cold?"

Lettuce is just there to make you feel better when you go to McDonald's. That's all it's for. To make you think you're having a balanced diet. "I'm balancing a quarter-pound of beef, processed cheese, bacon, ketchup and mayonnaise with a bit of lettuce. And a slice of gherkin."

Robert Mugabe is a despot responsible directly and indirectly for the deaths of thousands of people. He balances that with the ability to make a nice cup of tea. That's the sort of balance we're talking about here.

Did you know McDonald's invented the chicken nugget? Well, they also invented lettuce, back in 1956. Look it up on Wikipedia, it's true. You find any book from before then and you'll find no mention of lettuce. After 1956, it's another story.

It's not always tasteless, though. That's because the boffins were sitting in their lab one day, scoffing some smokey bacon crisps, and one of them thought, "I know - flavoured lettuce."

So they tried lots of different flavours - prawn cocktail, Worcestershire sauce, pickled onion... And what did they pick in the end? Earwax.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Dark And Lovely

Do you know, Graham Bandage's Lovely World is so lovely that he seldom manages to post here these days. Personally, I think he's letting down the blogosphere.

But today, he has been stung into action. And here he is, acting. And speaking of himself in the third person, unable to think of a good way to shift into the first person. He'll probably have to talk about himself for the entire post.

Bandage had occasion to buy a newspaper in WH Smith's. "Would you like a bag?" asked the nice lady behind the till.

"No," said Bandage. "I'll be all right."

"Yeah," said the lady, "Save a tree."

Can anybody explain where the flip one can find a plastic bag tree? Bandage thought he saw one once in Greenbank Park, but all that had happened was a discarded plastic bag had been blown up there by a gust of wind. Perhaps the lady in WH Smith's had had a similar experience, but had failed to investigate. We will never know.

On the subject of trees, can anybody tell Bandage what the worst tree is? The answer is below*.

Tree bark, that's nice. And brown. A friend of a friend contends that brown is a horrible colour, but Bandage thinks he's wrong. Lots of nice things are brown. Just because poo is brown, it doesn't mean that brown is bad.


A List of Nice Things That Are Brown


  1. Tree bark

  2. Onion gravy

  3. Chocolate

  4. Conkers

  5. Hair (some varieties)

  6. A polished bookcase

  7. Beyonce Knowles.

Bandage dares say he could come up with many more examples, but they'd probably be much of a muchness.



* Purgatory

Monday, 29 September 2008

Animal Cruelty

"How much is that doggy in the window?/The one with the waggily tail?"

What sort of pet shop puts a dog in the window? The logistics of such an action chill me to the bone.

I bet they put a cat next to it. And a mouse next to that. They probably think, "Ooh, it'll be just like a cartoon."

No, it'll be a bloodbath. Irresponsible idiots. How dare they? I mean, how bloody dare they? They shouldn't be glamorized in song, they should be strung up. Monsters.

I know it's an old song, but it's only just occurred to me.

Goodness me, it's nice to be back.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Browned Off

Gordon Brown must feel a little bit like the lady in this clip from the film Airplane.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Hair Today, Etc

I've got one of those beards like Radovan Karadzic has got. A special magical beard of invisibility.

I've been wearing it for the last couple of weeks while I've been in hiding and I have to say it's certainly done the trick. I've not been mithered by any of the people I've been hiding from.

For proof they work, see this. You'll have to look very hard, but if you concentrate you can see a mass-murdering war criminal hiding in plain sight ON THE TELLY.

I understand Osama Bin Laden gets his beards of invisibility from the same supplier as me.

Perhaps the Portugeuse police are on to this, but it's all gone terribly wrong. Maybe they've been confused because they've been looking for a bearded toddler. That's probably the most likely explanation.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Sandwich Of Doom

So I go into my favourite sandwich shop, for what I now know is the last time. I walk up to the chiller cabinet and pick up a lovely chicken, bacon and sweetcorn sandwich. Then I walk over to the tills. So far, so good.

Now the shop is quite empty, as it's 11.45 and most people are still at work. There are two women on the tills, with an empty till between them. One (on the right) is a gnarled old crone, the other is young, but a biffer.* Neither of them seem particularly attentive, so I walk to a point roughly equidistant from the pair of them and wait to see who cracks first.

The young biffer's reactions are about a second faster, and she picks up a bag in which she will pack my sandwich. But only a second faster. The old crone picks up her bag, but doesn't see Biffergirl pick up hers.

Obviously to me, Biffergirl has won the Bandage prize, so I walk towards her till. But it's not so obvious to Cronewoman.

CRONEWOMAN:
'Ey, what's wrong with me, lad?

BANDAGE:
Whhubble.

CRONEWOMAN:
Going to 'er? Oh, I see. (BROWNED OFF) Going for the young pretty one? Oh, yeah, age before beauty.

BANDAGE:
(BAFFLED BY CRONEWOMAN'S NON-SEQUITUR) Oh, no, no. (ATTEMPTS LAUGH, WHILE HANDING OVER TENNER) I can't win here, can I?

CRONEWOMAN STARES AT BANDAGE.

BANDAGE IS DISCOMFITED. LOOKS AT BIFFERGIRL, THEN BACK TO CRONEWOMAN.

BANDAGE:
(PROTESTING) I don't fancy her at all.

BIFFERGIRL FLINGS SANDWICH INTO BAG, SLAMS DOWN CHANGE AND STALKS OFF.

I wonder, can any of my readers beat this complete lack of ability to interact with the human race? I imagine Captain Mac could give me a run for my money.

*Not sure if 'biffer' is in common parlance outside Liverpool. Perhaps 'moose'?

Monday, 7 July 2008

Hole In Shoe And Reasoning

I have discovered, thanks to today's frankly inclement weather, that, while there is not really a good time to find out one has a hole in one's shoe, some times are markedly worse than others.

On the subject of shoes and that, I had occasion to visit a shoe shop last week. I saw a box of special socks to be used to protect ladies from other people's verrucas when they are trying on shoes. What an excellent idea, but I wonder if it is slightly let down by the marketing.

I can imagine the scene when the chaps at product development were pitching this to their bosses. And here I am, imagining it ...


BOSSES:
So, chaps in product development, what do you have for us today?


CHAP IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT (hereafter known as CPD):
Socks.


BOSSES:
Socks? I think we've done those.

CPD:
Ah, but not these. These are disposable socks.


BOSSES:
Disposable? What, may we ask, is the chuffing point of those? Are we to market these to people with particularly rank feet?


CPD:
No, no, Bosses. These are protection from those with particularly rank feet. To be used in shoe shops.


BOSSES:
Now that is an excellent idea. Well done, Chaps in Product Development. Now, as usual, marketing is the key. You'll have to be careful to distinguish them from ordinary, everyday socks.


CPD:
No problem, Bosses. We've just the name. Something so utterly distinctive that there can be no confusion between the use of these socks and what we will call normal socks.


BOSSES:
Excellent, carry on...



And so was launched ...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Heyyyyy, It's The Zonf

I'm delighted to see that Henry Winkler, the Fonz from the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, has been talking to children in schools about dyslexia.

That's a winner, I think you'll agree. Catchphrases like "Heyyyy" and "No way, Mr C" are all the rage on the playgrounds and schoolyards. Certainly that was my experience when I was a child.

It would be tremendous if Paul Michael Glaser, or Starsky off Starsky & Hutch, could be persuaded to give a talk on bullying. Perhaps Anna Karen, better known as Olive off On The Buses, could talk to them about teenage pregnancy.

I would shy away from any stranger danger talks by Gary Glitter, though.

I wonder if my many readers could suggest any other eye-catching 1970s celebs/PSHE combinations. By all means use the comment facility below.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Sketch Sketch

When I am not posting here, I am posting in the Critique section of the British Sitcom Forums. They're a bit sweary but mostly decent chaps.

In any case, I was inspired to write this by a sketch written by regular poster dannyjb1. As it's a bit similar, I'll just post it here as a Lovely exclusive treat for my many fans.


1. INT. Police station interview room. MRS POTTER sitting at table, with interviewing officer SGT STONE and police artist HIGGINS.

STONE
Now, can you describe your attacker for our artist? Take your time.


MRS POTTER
Ooh, he was very fierce-looking. He had a scar on his cheek.


HIGGINS (drawing on pad)
Which cheek?


MRS POTTER
His right. Er, spiky hair. It was brown. Er, a glass eye . . .


DISSOLVE TO:

2. INT. Police station interview room. Some time later.

MRS POTTER
... and an earring, shaped like a skull and crossbones.


HIGGINS
... skull and crossbones. Right.


HIGGINS finishes with a flourish. Hands pad to STONE.

STONE
Is this him?


STONE reveals pad to MRS POTTER. It is a very childish scrawl, with comically spiky hair and a fierce expression.

CUT TO:

3. INT. Police station. Identity parade. Camera tracks behind the suspects. STONE and younger OFFICER present with MRS POTTER.

STONE
Now, take your time, Mrs Potter.


MRS POTTER walks past several suspects with thoughtful expression on her face. She steps forward and examines one closely then moves on.

Shot on MRS POTTER's face

MRS POTTER
That's him. That's the man who attacked me.


Camera reveals cardboard cutout of stick man with face identical to HIGGINS' scrawl.

OFFICER
Sarge! He's getting away!


CUT TO:

3. EXT. Outside police station. New cutout of stick man in unconvincing running pose on steps. People walk past normally.

END.


Thank you for your attention.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Before Computers Were Invented

I wonder what it was like before IT. I imagine things were very different. And here I am, imagining it . . .

1. INT. Bare office. Three geeky men. Two of them are dressed as ALIEN MONSTERS. The third, KEN, has a water pistol.

The MONSTERS are walking back and forth across the room saying "Beep, Beep" in a rhythmic way, while KEN shoots at them. Every time he shoots he shouts "Pow!"

CAP: Balham, 1963

FX. A phone rings. Old-fashioned bell.

KEN looks round in surprise. Picks up phone

KEN (to phone)
I.T.

A FOURTH MAN, dressed as a FLYING SAUCER, runs from left to right, shouting "wacka-wacka-wacka", behind the aliens.

KEN (to phone)
On my way.

CUT TO:

2. INT. Office. KEN is sitting at desk in front of typewriter. WOMAN stands behind him, playing with her hair, and being a bit rubbish about technology.

KEN
What's wrong with it?

WOMAN
I don't know. It won't work.

KEN
Yes, but what happened?

WOMAN
I was typing a document, and it just locked up.

KEN
Anything else?

WOMAN
Yes. Every time I hit a key, there's a funny squeaking noise.

KEN tuts. Looks carefully at typewriter. Hits a key.

FX. Squeak!

Then a look of triumph on KEN'S face. He picks up the typewriter and kicks it hard. A small creature flies out of it.

KEN
Should be all right now.

WOMAN
What was wrong with it?

KEN
It was your mouse. I just had to boot it.

END.


I bet it was exactly like that.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Ooh, He's A One, Isn't He?

I feel it important to remind my regular readers that this chap does have form in the unauthorised fiddling with ladies' bits arena.

Look at him here, waiting, biding his time. Then, at last, the lady bumps are unleashed, and he pounces . . .



I've checked with my lawyers and they've assured me there's no way this is prejudicial.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Inflationary Pressures

I have pictured a scene. And here I am, picturing it.

1. INT. MORNING. Swish London apartment. Double height windows. Lots of marble and wood and glass and that (think the apartments in that Billie Piper filth-fest).

CHARLES enters main living space (as Kevin McCloud would no doubt call it on Grand Designs). He's exaggeratedly posh, rakish, and expensively dressed (Armani suit, etc) with stubble.

CHARLES
Open.

The curtains automatically open showing stunning vista of London.

CUT TO:

2. INT. Bedroom. Beautifully and tastefully decorated, with massive king-size bed. There's somebody in it, but we can't see who.

CHARLES goes to bedside table and picks up Rolex. Slips it on.

CHARLES
(TO BED) Ah, you're awake. Thank you for a wonderful evening.

PULL BACK to reveal TWO BEAUTIFUL WOMEN in the bed, obviously in the nip (although covered up with those special U-shaped sheets).

WOMEN giggle.

CHARLES picks up some car keys.

CHARLES

I'm sorry I can't run you home. Duty calls, I'm afraid ... (THROWS KEYS TO WOMEN) ... but please take the Porsche ...

BEAUTIFULLY DISHEVELLED THIRD WOMAN (also in nip) crawls out from under sheets at the other end of the bed.

CHARLES
... and the Lamborghini. (THROWS SECOND SET OF KEYS)

CUT TO:

3. INT. Apartment block lobby. Lift doors open. CHARLES strides out through lobby, talking on mobile phone.

CHARLES... God's sake, you're my stockbroker, not my mother. It's only £250k. I pissed half that away last night. Just put it on, it's my risk, not yours ...

CUT TO:

4. EXT. Entrance to apartment block. CHARLES exits building past COMMISSIONAIRE.

CHARLES
... Anyway, see you on the court. I'm at work now. Ciao. (SWITCHES OFF PHONE).

COMMISSIONAIRE
I've brought it round, Sir.

COMMISSIONAIRE hands CHARLES copy of the Daily Star.

CHARLES walks over to dirty Shell petrol tanker with paper under arm. Climbs in to cab. Drives off, beeping horn.

END.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Goodness! Gracious! Great Balls Of Fire

I am terrified. Literally. Terrified. And I'll tell you why.

The petrol pumps have run dry in my neck of the woods because of people panic buying petrol. I'm not even sure how you panic buy petrol. Do you run into the little shop screaming?

Anyway, it's all because the Shell tanker drivers have gone on strike. And why have they gone on strike? Because they want more money.

They want a big pay rise. The bosses say the pay rise they've been offered would take the average salary to £41,000, the unions say the average would move from £32,000 to £36,000.

Either way, that seems a lot of money for just driving around a bit. If I'd known all I had to do to pull in £40k a year was get an HGV driving licence, I wouldn't have bothered with all that work in college, all the extra hours, and all the greasy pole climbing*.

Of course, it's not just driving around a bit. They have extra money for the sheer risk of driving around big lakes of flammable liquid. I don't understand that, either. If you're killed in a massive ball of flames, the extra money won't make a big difference. If you're horribly burnt by flaming petrol, you'll be living on compensation anyway. If you're not killed or maimed, what's the extra money for?

Anyway, let's assume we're happy the drivers get this danger money. The question we then need to ask is this: are we happy that big mobile unexploded bombs are being driven around the country? Is this really the best way to get fuel from one place to another?

And if it is, why don't I get danger money? I'm expected to risk my life and limb driving next to these tankers of death, and I haven't even had proper haz-mat training.

And that is why I'm terrified.

*It's not pleasant, climbing greasy poles, either. The special grease clogs up their moustaches. Mind you, there aren't so many of them around now. They've all made their money and gone back home. It's all greasy Lithuanian climbing in my office now.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

The Cruellest Cut

I am a little disconcerted. And discomfited, as it happens. My barber appears to have closed down his shop.

I'm a man of habits, particularly in the follicular forum. I had the same haircut for 19 years, for goodness' sake, from the age of 15. I scoffed at fashionable opinion, on the grounds that a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the style was bound to come in again at some point. I'm still waiting.

I only change my barber if I have to. I particularly liked this barber as he wasn't very chatty. Chattiness is fine in its place - say, when you're having a chat - but it's surely right that when a hairdressing professional is letting fly with sharp scissors around your ears he should be on the attentive side. Also, I don't know enough about football to sustain more than about a minute's conversation.

I don't know what I'm going to do. It's nearly time for my next haircut. I have flirted with other establishments when I've had to in the past, but it's like Russian roulette. Only with hair, and without the bullet. Or the gun. It's just that I'm too old to carry off an ironic haircut, so if it all goes wrong, I'm stuffed.

I hate my old barber for this.*

*Unless he's dead, in which case I'm very sorry.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Eleven Things I Have Learned Since My Last Post

  1. Nobody looks good in flip-flops.
  2. Wasps are essentially stupid and malevolent. They'd do well on The Apprentice.
  3. Nobody looks good in flip-flops, but men look worse.
  4. Strawberry ice-cream does not count as one of your 'five-a-day'.
  5. There is such a thing as too much sunshine.
  6. Holly bushes are essentially stupid and malevolent. They'd win The Apprentice.
  7. You need to wash your hands twice to get rid of the smell of gardening gloves.
  8. Gulliver's World is a theme park. And the theme is larceny (£3.50 for a digital picture print-out of Bandage looking like a big fool on a log flume).
  9. Brooklyn is considered a suitable name for a child outside the social circle of the Beckhams. How pleased the child I encountered saddled with that name will be in later life that David and Posh did not name their first-born Tracy, or Toenail.
  10. Nobody looks good in flip-flops, but you can make yourself look worse if you are A) male, B) fat, C) wearing those special long shorts, and D) wearing a vest top.
  11. Bus travel is not recreational.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Life Before Mobile Phones

You know, I've recently wondered how we managed before mobile phones. I imagine things were very different. And here I am, imagining it . . .

1. INT. A BUSY BUS.

A WHITE TEENAGE BOY GETS ON. HE'S CARRYING A LUDICROUSLY MASSIVE PILE OF EQUIPMENT. HE STRUGGLES DOWN BUS AND SITS ON BACK SEAT.

CAP: 1982

HE PICKS UP A MEGAPHONE AND SHOUTS ACROSS OTHER PASSENGERS TOWARDS THE WINDOW.

TEENAGE BOY:
It's me. I's on me way now, innit.

PASSENGERS TUT, SHUFFLE.

OUT OF THE WINDOW WE SEE A SECOND TEENAGE BOY WITH MEGAPHONE.

CUT TO:

2. EXT. A STREET CORNER.

THE SECOND TEENAGE BOY IS SHOUTING THROUGH HIS MEGAPHONE

SECOND TEENAGE BOY:
It's Lee. He's on his way now, innit.

WE PULL BACK TO SEE IN THE DISTANCE A THIRD TEENAGE BOY, ALSO SHOUTING THROUGH A MEGAPHONE.

THIRD TEENAGE BOY:
It's Lee. He's on . . .

CUT TO:

3. INT. BUS.

TEENAGE BOY:
(STILL SHOUTING) Yeah. Laters.

HE PUTS DOWN MEGAPHONE. PASSENGERS RELAX. THE BUS STOPS. A SWEATING, OUT-OF BREATH, MIDDLE-AGED MESSENGER JUMPS ONTO BUS. HE RUSHES UP TO TEENAGE BOY WITH A PIECE OF A4 PAPER.

PASSENGERS TUT AGAIN. TEENAGE BOY READS PAPER QUICKLY.

TEENAGE BOY:
Gaylord. (PICKS UP OLD-FASHIONED HEAVY MANUAL TYPEWRITER AND TALKS AS HE'S TYPING) M8 r u having a laff. LOL. i said 2nite "colon P".

HE RIPS THE SHEET FROM THE TYPEWRITER AND HANDS IT TO THE MESSENGER. MESSENGER LEAPS OUT OF EMERGENCY EXIT DOOR.

SFX. SCREAMS AND SCREECHING BRAKES.

TEENAGE BOY PUTS DOWN TYPEWRITER. ALL IS CALM. CAMERA FOCUSES ON ONE PASSENGER RELAXING AGAIN.

LOUD CRACKLY SOUND OF COLE PORTER'S CHEEK TO CHEEK STARTS. PASSENGER ANGRILY TURNS ROUND.

TEENAGE BOY HAS AN OLD WIND-UP GRAMOPHONE. ITS TRUMPET IS PUSHING THE HEAD OF A SECOND PASSENGER AGAINST WINDOW.

TEENAGE BOY:
(TO PASSENGER) What?


I bet that's exactly how it was.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Euthanasia: Be Careful What You Wish For

They've invented a card that allows anyone to refuse treatment in a medical emergency. Here is the BBC banging on about it. Have a little read, by all means, then pop back.

What frankly worries me is that, by signing the card, you might be entering into a written contract. And they are very difficult to get out of.

I can imagine the scene. And here I am, imagining it . . .

EXT: An ambulance arrives at the scene of a road traffic accident. The driver has a nasty cut in his arm and is stuck behind the wheel.

PARAMEDIC 1: Hello, my name's Stephen. What's your name?

DRIVER: Tom.

PARAMEDIC 1: Right, then, Tom. Let's see about getting you out of here. Ooh, bit of a nasty gash there.

DRIVER: Yes, it is a bit tender. (Laughs weakly)

PARAMEDIC 1: I bet. Right, oh, there's a bit of metal stuck in your thigh. Should be okay. Finbar! Tell the fire bobbies we'll need to cut him out.

PARAMEDIC 2 (who has been standing behind): Right you are, Stephen. (Walks off).

PARAMEDIC 1: Right, let's get that arm sorted out (opens medical bag).

PARAMEDIC 2 comes back

PARAMEDIC 2: What are you doing?

PARAMEDIC 1: I'm going to bandage him up, lest he bleed to an untimely death.

PARAMEDIC 2: (Sucks teeth) Have you checked his wallet?

PARAMEDIC 1: Yikes! Nearly forgot. Could have got into serious lumber. (Leans across DRIVER and pulls wallet from pocket).

DRIVER: Oi!

PARAMEDIC 1: (Opens wallet) Just checking. (Pulls out card) Blimey! Cheers, Finbar, that was a close one!

DRIVER: What?

PARAMEDIC 1: You've got one of those Right to Die cards. (He reads) STOP! I want to make an advance decision to refuse treatment. Look, you've signed your name here.

DRIVER: But?

PARAMEDIC 1: (starts putting away bag) There you go. (hands back wallet and card) Well, good luck, Tom.

DRIVER: Hang on. I didn't mean . . . It's only a cut. I meant if I was unconscious.

PARAMEDIC 1: You will be in a minute, if that's any consolation.

DRIVER: Okay, okay, I'm giving you permission now. Treat me.

PARAMEDIC 1: Sorry mate, more than my job's worth. We put so much as a plaster on, and you're straight off to your brief to sue us.

DRIVER: But . . .

PARAMEDIC 2: He's right, mate. You say we've got permission now. But that's not going to stand up in court.

DRIVER: But . . .

PARAMEDIC 1: (Points at watch, clears throat) Finbar, Casualty.

PARAMEDIC 2: Tut, we'll miss the first five minutes. All the best, Tom.

PARAMEDIC 1: Yeah, cheers, Tom.

PARAMEDICS walk back to ambulance. They meet firefighters with cutting equipment and have a short discussion. Then all drive away.

You see, they've opened a can of worms there.

Monday, 19 May 2008

How To Save Newspapers And, By Extension, The Internet

You know, like my good friend Alison Gow, I often ponder the future of the news industry.

It's all very well the likes of me telling you all what I think about Gok Wan and plastic domes, but if it weren't for the plucky efforts of green eye-shaded editors and thrusting reporters with notebooks in their pockets the likes of me would be telling you all about the contents of my pockets, or wondering aloud why the alphabet is in the order it's in.

Now, one of the things about newspapers is that, when you're reading them in public, you are acting as an advert for the publication. You may think you're just sitting there reading, but you're not. Oh, no.

People, other people, are looking at the front page of your paper and thinking "Goodness me, Amy Winehouse looks a bit of a fright" or "Gosh, that's clever, the way they've used a picture of a sandal next to a twig to vividly depict the plight of the endangered Cambodian tiger under the headline In The Name Of All That's Holy . . . WHY?" (if you're reading The Independent).

"Gracious," the next thing they think is. "He/she is getting a top-quality news service from the Mirror/Times/Beanotown Echo. I must buy a copy myself, post haste." Then they pop to the shop and buy a paper and help in a small way to pay for the livelihood of journalists.

Of course, when we're all reading our news on our iPhones or Amazon Kindles or whatever other mad device they're about to dream up, how are the online newspapers going to advertise themselves? They can only coast on past reputation for so long. The hits will dry up, the advertisers will walk away and there'll be no news.

Blogs will be like this.

That would be a catastrophe. What we need is someone to come along and save the news and, by extension, the internet itself. That someone is me.

For a reasonable fee, payable by the world's various news organisations, I will employ a small army of professional Noseybonks (TM).

These ladies and gentlemen will travel on public transport, look over the shoulders of those using internet viewing devices, and shout out things like "This man is reading http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/. It is a story about the trams." or "This lady is reading the Daily Mail. It is a story about how women should look nice and know their place."

"Goodness me," the other passengers would say, "I shall point my browser at that site straightaway." And the problem would be solved.

Now, I can hear the civil liberties lobby*. They're saying "What about civil liberties?" as is their wont. Fair enough, I say. What if somebody's reading http://www.ladiesintheirpants.co.uk/, or the Daily Telegraph? They won't want people shouting about it on the bus or train.

Simple, I will be supplying, for a reasonable fee, high-visibility yellow tabards, bearing the legend "I'm reading some questionable internet content". Then, if they're reading something a bit spicy, they can slip the tabard on and the Noseybonks (TM) will pass them by.

It would definitely work. I think I've been touched by genius.

*I can, too. Ironically I've bugged them.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

We're All Domed

When my future grandchildren sit on my lap, as we shelter in our protective bunker while the hot wind whips the scorched landscape above ground, and they look adoringly into my eyes and say "Grandad, when did it all turn to cack vis-a-vis the human race?" I shall tell them this.

"It all started to go wrong when they brought in plastic domes."

Plastic domes - the proof that the West has become just that bit too decadent to survive.

I'm not talking about plastic domes in general. Some of them are good, although I can't think of any at the moment.

No, I'm talking about the clear plastic domes used to protect the whippy top of certain creamy drinks purchased from the likes of Costa and Starbucks. What sort of namby-pamby bum of a world is this where we manufacture these little domes because somebody who works in an accountant's office A) can't drink their coffee unless there's a dairy homage to Margaret Thatcher* on the top of it, and B) can't bear to see the wind take the top off it?

The ones you get on ice-cream cones in freezer cabinets are even worse. Who decided there was a need for whipped Cornettos? Who thought that Cornettos were too hard?

I hate the human race for this. Not all the human race, mind you, just the ones directly responsible for this and some of those indirectly responsible.

* She invented Mr Whippy ice-cream, you know. True fact. It's probably on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Bare Faced Lies

I'm beginning to smell a rat on the Gok Wan front. I recently suggested he keep his big daft glasses out of the debate on women's body shapes, given that he has no interest in the subject.

But I now firmly believe his nudey show on the television is nothing but a sham and a fake and a sham. Last night's episode featured a young lady who, while a bit chunky in the thigh department, was too shy to wear a swimming costume in a swimming pool AND was an actress, to boot.

So, let me get this straight. A young lady who is too shy to wear a swimming costume in front of a hundred people, who thinks she looks like a pink blancmange, is not too shy to appear in the nip on a television programme watched BY MILLIONS.

And she's an actress. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was given to understand that actors are rarely shy, owing to their having to appear on stage and television in front of lots of people. I would imagine shy people would be more drawn to jobs where they get to stand behind a screen or a pillar or something.

None of this adds up, does it? It's all a bit inconsistent. If I were a cynical man, I'd suggest that How To Look Good Naked is nothing more than an attempt by the filthmongers at Channel Four to get lady bumps and bottoms on television before 9pm.

If they're not trying to kill us, they're trying to corrupt us. They're probably doing it for a bet. I reckon Gok Wan isn't even in the gays.

I reckon if there's another series, they should be forced to get that Lucien Freud to present it. That should sort it all out.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Cabin Fever

I am currently working in a bunker. It's not a real bunker, it's a metaphorical one.

If you want me to be accurate, I am working on a project in an office on my own so I won't be disturbed. It's been about a week now and I'm starting to crave human contact.

It turns out I might even like being disturbed. I even miss Fat Brian a bit.

Possibly it's the heat. There are certainly a lot of people walking past my window in skimpy clothes. It's as if they have never heard the expression "Cast ne'er a clout till May be out".
They're going to feel like big fools if it starts raining.

In fact, I hope it does rain. That'll teach them, the outside people, showing off with their "walking, not working."

Friday, 9 May 2008

The Secret Of Eternal Life

I'm no expert in metaphysics. I think we all can agree that. But I think I've stumbled on a huge cosmic loophole which could lead to eternal life.

The television channel Film4 is running a season of films which, it tells us, one has to see before one dies. The season starts with the Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.

We can use that knowledge to live forever, as far as I can make out. If we do not see these films, we are literally unable to die.

It's a shame really, as some of them are quite good. If only it were films like Joe Versus The Volcano with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. That was rubbish. Although I have seen that, so perhaps it's a good thing it's not on the list.

What does get my goat is the fact that Film4 is irresponsibly showing these films. If the powers that be really cared, they'd just publish a list of the films to avoid. Instead, they are screening them, effectively encouraging suicide.

How dare they? How bloody dare they? I'm not sure about euthanasia, but I certainly don't think that publicly-funded bodies like Channel Four Television should involve themselves in the whole distasteful enterprise. They make me sick.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Busy Again

I'm terribly sorry I haven't updated this blog for a few days, but, in my defence, I have been terribly busy. How busy? I'll tell you. I've been . . .

Busier than a Dewsbury social worker.

Busier than Boris Johnson's apology speechwriter.

Busier than the bluebird of happiness alighting on Everton supporters this morning.

Busier than the pigeon of woe alighting on Liverpool supporters this morning.

Busier than Teresa in the canteen when Fat Brian's in work.

Busier than Justin Timberlake as he pops around the world bringing sexy back*.

Busier than the chap in our office who rolls his eyes and says "Cuh! That flipping Myleene Klass is in the blooming paper again" every time Myleene Klass is in the paper.

I shall leave you with a thought. If Liverpool Football Club are serious about winning the Champions League again, they should change their name to "UEFA Champions League FC", thereby ensuring that their "name is on the cup" every year.

*Surely he must have finished by now. He's been at it for months.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Inaccurate Speech In A Medium-Sized Grocer's

I looked up 'wont' in my dictionary and it means 'custom.' Thankfully, it appears I used it correctly in my last post, so that's a relief.

I was amused to hear a young chap break off from his mobile phone call in the Sainsbury's Local across the road and ask the cashier "Can I get 20 Benson & Hedges?" My understanding is that that request is normally reserved for transactions in coffee shops.

Anyway, the cashier said yes, but then picked up the cigarettes himself, which, strictly and accurately speaking, is not what the young mobile phone chap asked.

The young mobile phone chap was asking if it was physically possible for himself to take a packet of 20 Benson & Hedges from the shelf.

The only honest reply from the cashier should have been "In theory, yes, but it is company policy to discourage customers from walking behind the counter."

Ideally, the customer should have asked, "Please may I have 20 Benson & Hedges?" But I imagine he would not have found that sufficiently cool to impress the person at the other end of his telephone call.

So he had to use a form of words he has probably heard in the TV programme Friends. It probably made him feel a little bit like Chandler Bing, but more sexually successful.

In a way I pity him, but in another way I despise him.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Beware Blind People

I am quite shaken at present as I was assaulted by an elderly blind lady yesterday evening.

I was minding my own business, as is my wont*. I try not to mind other people's businesses, having enough on my own plate, thank you for asking. I'm not even sure how you could mind other people's businesses, unless it was a bit like in EastEnders, where Pete Beale used to ask random cast members to look after the stall while he went off to have a barney with Kathy, Den or Pat, and then call Sharon "Tweacle."

Anyway, I think I've put you in the picture as to my state of mind, if not my location. I was walking along a road, with a pavement of decent width, when the aforementioned little old lady hoved into view, swinging her long white stick.

As a result I went into full blind-person-coming-readiness. Now, as I walked I noticed there was a lamppost ahead, with a car illegally parked with its nearside wheels on the pavement, leaving a very small gap. I've a certain degree of sympathy with the driver as it was a narrow road and I absolve him of blame for the incident which was to occur.

The blind old lady was approaching at, I assumed, normal blind old lady speed, sweeping her cane ahead of her. I was confident that I would reach the lamppost before her and could nip around it, enabling both of us to go on our way. After all, I'm reasonably spry, and, crucially, sighted.

How wrong I was. The little old blind lady was walking at least as fast as me. She reached the lamppost before me, blocking my path with the sweep of her cane and I had to fling myself into the small gap between the parked car and the lamppost, grazing my elbow on the lamppost.

She, of course, was unaware of the distress she had caused and continued on her speedy way, scattering chickens and small children who ventured into her path.

I had no idea that blind people could move so fast. However later last night, I found the film Daredevil on BBC Three, and that answered a lot of my questions.

Apparently, blind people's remaining four senses are so acute they can balance on high wires, beat up an entire bar of hoods and brigands, deflect a hail of bullets with some sort of magnetic field, by the look of things, and make out people's features just by hearing the sound of raindrops falling on their faces. Avoiding a lamppost at speed would be child's play to these people.

So it wasn't an accident. That evil little old moo made me hurt myself on purpose. Damn her to hell. And then beat her. And then damn her to hell again.

*Not sure what a wont is, will look it up later.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Bulimia Is Not Funny

John Prescott has got bulimia. This is not a laughing matter.

Anybody found laughing at jokes about John Prescott's bulimia is frankly beyond the pale.

I mean, anybody who points out that there's a difference between bulimia and eating so much you're sick is not welcome at this blog.

Similarly, anybody who says that we need to tell Prescott that it's not bulimia unless you actually vomit after you gorge yourself is also banned.

Finally, those who say they are looking forward to reading about Ann Widdecombe's sex addiction and Heather Mills's restless legs syndrome in next week's Sunday Times must also go somewhere else for their sick thrills.

I hope I've made myself clear.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Admitting Defeat

Right, I give up.

Where's my Easter egg?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Another Seven Untrue Statements Made In Popular Culture

Things Can Only Get Better (D:Ream)
D:Ream on, you Irish snake-oil merchants. Tell that to the victims of the credit crunch. I think you'll find that the value of stocks and shares can go down as well as up.

I'm Like A Bird (Nelly Furtado)
No, Nelly, you are a bird. The clue's in your name, which is traditionally associated with women. Although there is that rapper.

For Your Eyes Only
Well, I can only speak from experience, but when I saw this James Bond film at the Classic cinema on Allerton Road in Liverpool in 1981, there were loads of people there. And I don't recall hearing anybody saying afterwards, "What was all that about? Couldn't see a thing. What do you think about the new Adam And The Ants single/upcoming Royal Wedding, by the way?"

I Believe I Can Fly (R Kelly)
I'm going to call you out on this, R Kelly. I don't think you really believe that. If you do, you've had your brain addled by all that under-age sex. Either way, you can't.

Ain't Talkin' About Love (Van Halen)
Actually, Mr Van Halen's singer, you go on about not talkin' about love at great length. Now, as far as I'm concerned, if you say constantly you're not talkin' about something, that's the same as talkin' about it.

Batman Forever
No, Val Kilmer. Like George Clooney, your replacement, you only played Batman once.

Boys Don't Cry (The Cure)
When I was eight, I was cycling down my road, which was on a hill. I fell off, skidding down the road on my arm. I still have the scar. Let me tell you, I cried. I'm not ashamed to admit it. And I know I'm not alone in this. Anthony McMahon cried all the time and he was one of the toughest boys in my class.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Chrissie Hynde Has Ruined My Life

I was reading one of those questionnaire things in the Observer Magazine. This week's subject was Chrissie Hynde out of The Pretenders. Now don't get me wrong*, but what she said was frankly disconcerting.

They asked Miss Hynde (impertinently, in my opinion): Is sex important to you?

This was her reply: "I guess it is, but that doesn't mean I have to have it. Sex can be just about the way you walk down the street."

Now that is an eye-opener. I've been round the block. I know things. I've watched documentaries on Five. I thought I was unshockable.

But I did not know that, walking down the street, I could be looking at people walking towards me . . . and they're doing SEX!!! Blatantly!!! Not caring who is watching!!!

I don't know, maybe they do care. Maybe that's part of their sick thrill. I mean, how dare they? How bloody dare they?

Now it all becomes clear. All those people standing there, smoking outside my office. They're having post-coital cigarettes, aren't they?

I don't know. I thought there was enough to worry about in this world, without worrying about walking down the road and accidentally doing sex.

I hate Chrissie Hynde now. There's no way I'm becoming vegetarian after this.

* I am so clever. You see, Don't Get Me Wrong is a Pretenders song. I tried to weave other Pretenders titles in, but it proved too tricky.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Chomsky/Titchmarsh Axis

I had a look on blogsearch.google.co.uk because somebody came to visit me based on a search for Judi Dench. To be honest, I doubt my visitor found what he/she was looking for, as my detail on Dame Judi's current whereabouts/projects was sketchy at best.

Anyway, it turns out that if you put the search term "Noam Chomsky Alan Titchmarsh" into blogsearch.google.co.uk, THIS is the only blog which mentions both of those luminaries in the one post.

I find that frankly astonishing. They're both leaders in their field (or garden, in the case of Titchmarsh, Ha! LOL! ROFFLE! LMAO! LFL!). Why would nobody else speak of them in the same breath? How dare they, how bloody dare they?

So my challenge to you is this. If you are a regular, or irregular, blogger, please give the pairing a mention. Let's give the Titchmarsh/Chomsky axis the kudos it deserves.

Thank you.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Vote Boris (If You're Eligible, Which I'm Not)

I think Boris Johnson should be voted the Mayor of London because he is funny and would be a good laugh.

I don't know if he would be very good at all the day-to-day stuff like making things work and that, but I'm 100 per cent convinced that he would make a decent fist of shambling along a bit later on to say sorry with his blond hair and sheepish grin.

Also, I don't think David Cameron would let him do anything on his own. He'd get that tough Australian man to make all the important decisions and leave Boris to do all the bike riding and scrumping and sex. Which I'm sure would suit Boris.

In fact, the only downside to Boris getting the big job is that he wouldn't be able to do Have I Got News For You so much any more, but maybe that would leave an opening for other guest presenters like Noam Chomsky or Dame Judi Dench or Alan Titchmarsh or one of those.

It's nothing to do with me because I don't live in London, but I'm reminded of when I was a student and there was a big campaign to make Reg Holdsworth off of Coronation Street the new chancellor, even though that wasn't even his real name.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

My Trouser Pickle

I got myself a new pair of trousers. They were lovely, two legs and everything. I'm not an amputee, not yet at least.

Anyway, the right-hand pocket has a sort of split in it, giving the pocket two chambers. I imagine they're called chambers, but I've no idea what they would be called. I bet a decent tailor would be able to enlighten me.

Oh yes, the pocket! So, I slipped my house keys in when I left the house one day and dashed off to work.

I did my work and that, and then I prepared to leave. I put my hand in my pocket to check my keys. And they weren't there!

There's not much suspense in this, is there? I think we all know where my keys were.

Everybody had a good look around to help me. Even Fat Brian put his packet of cheese and onion crisps down and shifted his bottom slightly while looking at the floor.

Of course, 12 seconds after I, like Stockhausen, alerted my colleagues to my keyless state I found them in the other chamber. But I was too embarrassed to tell them they were in my pocket all along. I let them carry on looking for about five minutes.

In the end, I ducked under a desk, whipped them out my pocket, then crawled out, holding them above my head. "Got 'em, everyone. Thanks for looking," I said.

And that's why I understand the pickle poor Shannon Matthews' mum, Karen, has apparently got herself into. It's very easily done.

Friday, 4 April 2008

The Friday Definition: PIN Cushion

I used to like cash. It was great, but it wore out your pocket. And you'd forget, so you'd drop a five-pence piece into your pocket, and feel it go through the hole and roll down your leg like some sort of unholy cold metal wee-wee.

Now I like debit cards. They really are great, because they involve pressing buttons - and everyone enjoys pressing buttons.*

But the thing I like most about debit cards is playing PIN Cushion.

What's PIN Cushion? Well, have you ever noticed there's a small period of time between the message appearing on the keypad saying "Please Enter Your PIN" and the shop assistant saying "Enter your PIN, please?" It's usually only a second or two.

That period of time is called the PIN Cushion, and lends its name to the game. The object of the game is to type your PIN code BEFORE the shop assistant can say "Enter your PIN, please."

You get a point for each digit successfully typed and bonus points if the shop assistant issues her instruction even if you've already typed the whole PIN.

Today I have taken part in three transactions and taken four points, which gives me a PIN Cushion score of 4/3.

Can anybody do better?

* That's why the prime minister hasn't really got a nuclear button. Too tempting. Instead, he has to call somebody on a nuclear submarine and read out some codes, which I imagine is a bit like paying a bill over the phone, boring and costly. Frankly, I'm all in favour of any small obstacles that could slightly put leaders of the free world off launching atomic attacks.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Glad That's All Cleared Up, Then

A poll carried out on this blog has determined that the name Roderick is funnier than the name Ratan Tata.

The number of respondents reached double figures, which I reckon is quite definitive.

Good news for Rodericks everywhere, I think. I always like it when people in sitcoms are called Graham. Imagine how many Rodericks will pitch up in them, now that we've firmly established the comedic value of the name.

In celebration, I am happy to republish The Funniest Cartoon Ever, which sparked off this debate.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Here it is . . .

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Sort It, Now!

Right, you've got one more day to sort out, ONCE AND FOR ALL, which is the funniest name - Roderick or Ratan Tata.

Get voting. NOW!

I did not do an April Fool today, as I was abducted by aliens.

Ha! April Fool! I wasn't really.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Rat

When I was a young Bandage, I lived in a lovely Victorian end-terrace house. There was a park at the end of the road and that, which I frequently visited. This was, of course, in the days before paedophiles were invented.

In the early days, although we had an inside toilet (it being the mid-1970s), we also had an outside toilet, which was rank but occasionally handy. All good things must come to an end, as, indeed, must all bad things, and my parents had the toilet removed.

Unfortunately, we did not use a qualified toilet remover, we employed some bloke with a lump hammer who knocked it down and naffed off, crucially neglecting to stop up the pipe properly.

Flash forward a few years, and the chickens came home to roost. The flagstones in the adjoining alley collapsed into the mulchy horribleness caused by the unblocked pipe. The water board repaired the path, but the damage underground was already done.

Flash forward a couple more years and teenage Bandage went into the utility room just off the kitchen. They say that in the city you're no more than 10 feet away from a rat. On this occasion, I was no more than two feet away from one. It looked me in the eye, I looked back. Then we both ran away squeaking like mice. Girly mice. The rat's underground pad had been washed away by the toilet demolition, and since then he and his extended family had been living under our floorboards.

We called the exterminator, who dropped little red bowls of poison here and there about the house. "Don't let the dog eat it," he warned us. We'd guessed that. "What happens now," we asked. "The poison makes them drowsy, so you can kill them," he replied. We hadn't guessed that. We thought he was the exterminator.

For the next week, the men of the house, aided by our trusty Jack Russell ratter, Patch, went on a killing spree. Slightly drunk rats would stagger out, to be clubbed by the end of a walking stick, or their necks would be broken by the jaws of our runty dog.

Finally there were no more rats left. I felt like George Clooney at the end of From Dusk Till Dawn (which hadn't yet been made, just going to show that Jung was right). Rats are horrible, by the way. Not one redeeming feature.

It was two weeks later that the smell started. A sickly sweet smell whose origin could not be determined. Eventually we traced it to behind the television. We looked, our hearts in our mouths.

There was nothing there. Then I suggested that we check under the floorboards. We lifted the boards and there it was. A rat. A dead rat. A dead rat decomposing with its stomach cavity fizzing with a white substance.

"I'm not picking THAT up," I said.
"I'm not picking THAT up," said my uncle.
"Woof!" said the dog.

Then I remembered THIS. The robot hand toy I had been given years before. At last, a proper use for it. I gripped it and slowly manoeuvered it into position. I squeezed the trigger and CONGRATULATION! I SUCCESS! I lifted the rat by its head. I gently lifted it, ready to drop it into the Kwik Save bag being held open by my uncle, when . . .

SPLUP! The rat broke in two around the stomach and its hind quarters fell back into the hole. I was a bit sick in my mouth, but concentrated on the matter at robot hand. I dropped the head end into the bag, quickly went back for the other end, then emptied a bottle of bleach over the rat's next-to-last resting place. Then I ran upstairs to be sick like a big vomity sicko.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. It was this: never attempt to pick up a decomposing rat with a robot hand toy without the assistance and/or advice of a qualified structural engineer.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Well, really!

The little swines are at it again. I thought it was all sorted out after the last time, but apparently I was wrong.


Damn you, HSBC.

Tread

There's a special section of hell reserved for the people who design the treads on children's trainers. It's right next to the section for the people who let their dogs do little poos in the park.

I'm just saying, that's all.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Which Is Funnier? The Name Ratan Tata Or The Name Roderick?

Here is the cartoon again, as promised, but this time with the name Ratan Tata replacing the name Roderick.

Please click on the vote panel and put the whole Ratan Tata/Roderick question to bed, once and for all.

Thank you.

Sheep: An Explanation

I have had a number of comments about what I billed as the funniest cartoon in the world (which appears below, unless you're reading this a week or two from now, in which case you'll have to click on "Older Posts").

A few, but by all means not all, of you said they disagreed with my assertion vis a vis the fact they didn't get the joke.

So today's blog entry will explain the joke in such a way that everybody will be able to enjoy the cartoon.

Right, the first thing you have to take into account is that, to human eyes, all sheep look the same. White sheep, that is. Obviously even humans can tell the difference between a white sheep and a black sheep.

So the joke rests on the fact that, to us, the idea that a sheep could tell the difference between two identical other sheep to the extent of fancying one for mating purposes and not fancying the other is ludicrous.

In a way, though, the joke's on us. Of course, real sheep can tell each other apart, just as we can tell each other apart. Yet if an alien landed on earth, they would find it just as difficult to distinguish between, say, George Clooney and my colleague Fat Brian as we find it to distinguish between two white sheep.

There are other funny elements as well, chiefly the suggestion that sheep can talk, let alone speak colloquial English, and the name Roderick, which is inherently amusing, but these are very much the joke icing on the cartoon cake.

Now, have another look at the cartoon. I think you'll now agree it IS the funniest cartoon ever.

On an entirely different subject, there's an amusing amount of comment about the Indians taking over Jaguar, most of it based on A) their funny names, and B) fear of cars smelling a bit of curry. I don't remember similar jokes when the Americans took it over, but I'm 100% confident that there's no racism involved as it is now 2008.

That said, Ratan Tata is quite a funny name, though possibly not as funny as Roderick. Perhaps I'll republish the cartoon, substituting the name Ratan Tata for Roderick, and see if it is any funnier.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Baa

I've drawn a picture. I think it might be the funniest cartoon ever.


Monday, 24 March 2008

Under The Counter

That's a rum one, isn't it?

The government is planning to ban cigarette displays in shops. If you want to buy cigarettes you'll have to buy them from under the counter.

Now, in principle, I'm all for it. I don't like the smell of cigarettes and I've read, on more than one occasion, that they're bad for you. So any little obstacles the government can put in place to slightly put people off buying cigarettes is okay in my book.

In fact, why don't they change the name of cigarettes to something difficult to pronounce, like Zxcghrwiralzsczx, and only allow the sale to people who pronounce it correctly? They could even change the name every day, but not tell customers what it is. A bit like Rumpelstiltskin, but with cigarettes.

The only difficulty I can see with the government's proposal is the sheer size of the counters that will be required. There's a vast display of tobacco products behind the counter in most newsagents or supermarkets. If that's got to go under the counter, the counter will be huge. This surely discriminates against the small in stature (not necessarily midgets, or dwarfs, primordial or otherwise) who will no longer be able to see the newsagent's face when they're buying the People's Friend or a lottery ticket. So if the newsagent is making a rude expression, or putting up two fingers, they won't know. He could be making fun of their lack of height AND THEY WOULDN'T KNOW. How dare he, in fact? How bloody dare he?

Anyway I read about this on the BBC website, which directed me to other stories about smoking. Including this one. Have a read and then pop back.

Good to have you back again. Did you read it? I couldn't quite make it out, but apparently they've worked out that people who have smoked are twice as likely to become smokers as those people who never smoke.

So, what they are saying, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that people who have never smoked have never smoked. You can't, apparently, class yourself as a smoker if you have never smoked. It would be an ontological error, in point of fact.

Staggering, I think you'll agree. If it wasn't for this research, paid for by the charity Cancer Research UK, I would be stumbling through life thinking that lifelong non-smokers were smokers and that youngsters who had, in the first place, despite all the medical evidence, succumbed to peer pressure and tried cigarettes, were just as likely to take up smoking as those clean-living kids who wouldn't dream of picking up a cigarette.

With insightful research like this, I think it's a matter of days before we sort out that cancer cure once and for all.

And that's good news for everyone.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Ah . . .

Bugger.

10 Famous People You Imagine Are Dead But Are In Fact Still Alive

1 John Forsythe (Blake Carrington off Dynasty)
2 Alexander Solzhenitsyn
3 Doris Lessing
4 Pete Seeger (not yet in a Little Box)
5 Norman Wisdom
6 Ray Harryhausen
7 Ray Bradbury
8 Mickey Rooney
9 Cyd Charisse
10 Arthur C Clarke

Monday, 17 March 2008

Down The Dip

I saw a Double Dip behind the counter of the newsagent's shop today. Do you remember Double Dips from your childhood? I do - and from today, obviously.

If you don't remember them, or do and are happy to revisit the concept, I shall explain. They are two sachets of fruit-flavour sherbet, packaged with a hard sweet swizzle stick.

The idea is that the consumer, usually a child, sucks on the swizzle stick, then plunges it into the sherbet, which then adheres to the stick. The consumer then sucks or licks the sherbet off the swizzle stick. When the sherbet is finished, the consumer eats the swizzle stick.

I imagine that was quite a difficult one to sell to the chaps at product development. And here I am, imagining it . . .

Chap at Product Development: "Brian, Brian, Brian, mmm, right, okayyyyyy. Could you just take us through the Double Dip concept one more time?"
Brian: "Certainly. The consumer, usually a child, sucks on the the swizzle stick, then plunges it into the sherbet, which then adheres to the stick. The consumer then sucks or licks the sherbet off the swizzle stick. When the sherbet is finished, the consumer eats the swizzle stick."
CPD: "So, the consumer - let's call him Johnny - licks the swizzle stick . . ."
Brian: "That's right, Chap at Product Development . . ."
CPD: ". . . covering it with his own sputum-streaked saliva. Johnny then uses his sputum-streaked saliva-slicked swizzle stick to pick up the sherbet, leaving, presumably, some of that saliva behind inside the bag to soak into the sherbet."
Brian: "I think that's the tenor of my argument, yes."
CPD: "Can I just say, Brian, that that is the single most unpleasant confectionery idea ever presented to the Chaps at Product Development? It knocks that soft fudge Dog Poo bar proposal you came up with into a cocked hat."
Brian: "Did I mention that the sherbet makes children bounce off the walls for three straight hours?"

Incidentally, I made an off-the-cuff reference to Chantelle Houghton off Big Brother the other day and got a single hit from Birmingham, although I'm not sure he found what he was looking for.

I don't know what Charlotte Church would make of it, especially if she was in the nip, but I'm not impressed.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

The Friday List: Seven Statements Made In Popular Culture Which Are Literally Untrue

Diamonds Are Forever
No they're not. Although admittedly durable, they are not indestructible.

You Only Live Twice
With apologies to my many Hindu/Buddhist readers - and even in their theology reincarnation is very unlikely only to occur once.

You'll Never Walk Alone
Yes you will.

Only Fools And Horses Work (from the theme tune to the TV series Only Fools And Horses)
Two words: Stephen Hawking. Demonstrably not a fool, but still works tirelessly despite being a nailed-on candidate for Incapacity Benefit. Also not a horse.

The World Is Just A Great Big Onion (from the Motown classic The Onion Song)
I'm sorry, the late Marvin Gaye and the late Tammi Terrell, but it is very much not, as any geologist could have told you before your sad demises (cf the late David Niven's memoir The Moon's A Balloon)

Never Can Say Goodbye
You've just said it, Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson Five. You said it in the title of the song (cf Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word).

All You Need Is Love
"What's that you say, Mr Bank Manager? I'm overdrawn to the tune of 68 squillion quids? Let me give you a hug, and I'll be on my way." I don't think so. I'm not knocking love. In fact, I think it's very good. But as the Beatles stated earlier in their careers "Your love gives me such a thrill/But your love don't pay my bills". Also, you need food and water.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A Typical Day

Let me tell you about my day. It was all going much as expected until lunchtime. I was on my way to buy a sandwich when I bumped into Alistair Darling. He was distracted, probably thinking about the budget, which, by the way, must not fudge the gap in public finances. Urgent action is needed, but it will be difficult to get it past the PM.

He apologised and went on his way. It was then I saw her - a Sony Vaio VGN-AR61ZU High power Full HD laptop with Blu-ray Disc™ drive (reader/writer) and TV tuner.

"What's a nice Sony Vaio VGN-AR61ZU like you doing in a place like this? She didn't answer as she was waiting for a new Vista driver for her sound card.

I scooped her up in my arms and whisked her back to my place. Stuff work, I thought. I placed her carefully on my bed as I had been warned Sony Vaio VGN-AR61ZUs are not particularly shock-resistant. And then we did sex. Four times.

When we had finished, I saw her to the door. And in the corridor, I spotted TV's Max Beesley borrowing a cup of sugar from my neighbour, Chantelle Houghton off Big Brother.

Close To Tears

I am disturbed, and more than a little disappointed, to discover that this blog is not among The Observer's 50 Most Influential Blogs.

All right, so I've only been writing this for a month or so, but really? I mean, how dare they? How bloody dare they? I've got thousands* of readers hanging on my every word. If I told you all to jump off a cliff, you would, wouldn't you? Yes you would, because I said so.

But, okay, it's their game. So be it. I've got to play by their rules. Now, I've been through the list and the most influential blogs appear to be about politics, technology, showbiz gossip or sex.

Watch this space** . . .

* Admittedly a lot of them are passive readers, in the sense that they are in the same building/city as somebody ACTIVELY reading this blog. But I'm happy to count them. I mean, there's nothing stopping them walking past a screen displaying this blog. That's just as good as reading it.

** Well, not that space. Nothing's going to change there, is it? I suppose I should have said "Watch the space above this blog entry". But then that will only work when I've published a new blog entry. And if I've done that, you'll have already read it.
I wish I hadn't said anything now.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Spare A Copper For A Poor Guerilla Artist?

There's been a terrible kerfuffle in Liverpool over the last few months.

As many of you will be aware, Liverpool is the 2008 European Capital of Culture and, at the same time is a bit of a building site.

So we've all been tidying up before all the visitors come, shoving the newspapers under the cushions and hiding that dirty cup with the mould in that we've been meaning to wash for ages (but to be honest the longer we've left it the worse it's become and maybe we should just throw it away) behind the sofa. We haven't really been doing that. It's a clever metaphor for the way the city has been covering up rank old crumbling buildings with lovely orange and purple billboards advertising Capital of Culture.

And that, I'm afraid, is the cause of the terrible kerfuffle to which I referred right at the top of this post.

You see, the Culture Company decided to cover up the derelict White Horse pub on Berry Street in Chinatown (Liverpool has a Chinatown, but no proper Little Italy) with lovely billboards saying how great art is. But the White Horse is already covered with art created by the guerilla artist Banksy. That's irony, I think. I'm never quite sure what irony is. Anyway, there's obviously been some sort of cock-up.

Why am I writing about this? Well, I'm glad you asked. It seems to me that Banksy has brought a lot of this on himself.

Here's some Banksy work. See how it works. He paints pictures ON THE WALL. The wall! I ask you. And he's a master of metaphor too, just like me (see that bit above about the dirty cup). See it's like children pledging allegiance to a supermarket carrier bag.* I think what he's trying to say is that supermarkets are becoming more and more important and having more and more influence on our lives. It's genius, and I doubt most strongly it's ever been noted before.

Now Banksy's work fetches thousands and thousands of pounds. But as he's an anarchic superhero, I'm 100 per cent confident he gives all his money away.

I think that if Banksy did his painting on canvases, in the conventional 'bourgeois' manner, rather than on walls, he'd be able to A) sell them more easily (it's not like you can buy a wall and take it home with you) and B) move them if ever somebody comes along with big colourful hoardings. Everyone would be happy.

So I propose to set up a small fund - Canvas For Banksy (or CFB for short) - raising money to buy Banksy canvases, just to get him on his feet. Once he's making proper money, I'm sure he'll pay us back, maybe by drawing a picture of George W Bush as Ronald McDonald, or Adolf Hitler, or something, on a pretend dollar bill/five pound note. We could then sell them for literally thousands of pounds.

* It's a bit like a Tesco bag. But it's no Tesco bag I've ever seen, because all the ones I've ever seen have the name Tesco at the bottom and the stripes at the top, whereas this is the other way round. Perhaps he's saying that there's something topsy-turvy about Tesco and/or the world. See! Layers upon layers! I told you he was brilliant.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

More Sandwiches Than Anyone Would Need, Frankly

This is getting ridiculous. Regular Bandage readers will be aware of the Subway franchise which opened in my back garden a month or two ago.

I quote from the estimable Liverpool Confidential website

I was frankly astonished to discover this morning that Subway has opened another shop in my back garden. I drew back the curtains this morning and there it was, open for business and selling big breakfast specials. What worries me, however, even more than the sheer numbers of people trampling my lawn in their haste to buy a foot-long Meatball Marinara, is the effect on my kitchen. I don't think it will be sustainable to run my own gaff if Subway undercuts my toast budget. And even as I type this, a man in Subway green overalls is measuring up the space of the desk next to me in my office, which is currently unoccupied. The buggers are taking over. Soon all of Liverpool's Tesco, Subway and Costa outlets will have to exist in the same space but on different vibrational planes. You mark my words.

Anyway, this morning I popped in for a Philly Cheese-steak and was perturbed (yes, perturbed. I don't think that's too strong a word) to see that a smaller Subway franchise had opened up INSIDE the restaurant.

And through its window, I could see three small men, about the size of Gurkhas, beavering away, with hammers and saws and that, building an even smaller Subway INSIDE that.

The Lord knows what will happen when that's finished, but I'll wager it will involve primordial dwarfs building another Subway INSIDE that in some insane Russian doll-style arrangement, only with sandwich bars.

It's wrong, isn't it? Damn them. And then beat them. And then damn them again.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Not Nina Persson's band

Look here! Look! Look! Then come back here.

Cardigans have made a comeback (not the Swedish band, the garment).

And apparently, it's all thanks to David Beckham.

No balaclava yet, but we can only live in hope.

Keep the faith for the the sake of lovely toasty ears.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Star Man

I was vaguely interested in the news that the British government hired an astrologer because they thought Hitler was getting advice from the stars.

That's a lovely image, isn't it? All the Nazis sitting around in their Evil Nazi HQ office, bored. Then Goebbels picks up his copy of Heat and starts flicking through . . .

Goebbels: "Ooh, I didn't know Marlene Dietrich was a lesbian. Didn't we ban those?"
Himmler: "I hope not. I think it was just the butch ones."
Hitler: "I knew that. I knew she was a lesbian. Leni Riefenstahl told me. I wouldn't leave her alone with my Eva. Or maybe I would, hur, hur. Ooh, let's see. Is that Greta Garbo? Blimey, she looks rough. Huh, mashed Swede."
(laughter)
Goebbels: "Oi, give that back. That's mine."
Hitler: "Who died and made you Fuhrer? Watch it, Herm, or it's the death camps for you."
(laughter, then silence)
Goebbels: "According to this I'm going to meet a dark stranger . . ."
Himmler: ". . . Then kill him. Death to all non-Aryans . . . apart from you, boss."
(laughter)
Hitler: "Cheeky! I am Aryan. Actually, I'm Taurean. What does it say for me?"
Goebbels: "A situation in your personal life is beginning to spiral out of control. In fact, if you are not careful it's going to affect your work soon, Taurus. Decide on a path and take it but don't allow others to dictate to you. Invade Poland."

I bet that's exactly how it happened.

Friday, 29 February 2008

My Name Is Prince

Apparently Prince Harry gave himself the nickname "The Bullet Magnet" while serving in Afghanistan.

I think this is rather self-regarding. Proper nicknames are supposed to be insulting, but Harry's nickname makes him sound like some sort of super-hero, although a rubbish one.

I suspect he does not know his real nickname. I imagine it's Ginger, or James Hewitt's Lad, or Posh Spice, or Clive off Neighbours, or Knobhead. Something like that.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Busy

Goodness, I've been busy. Do you know how busy I've been? I'll tell you, I've been busier than the following COMBINED!!!!
  • A sniffer dog at Creamfields;
  • The man who picks up all the coins from the stage after a Jimmy Carr gig;
  • The bloke who stands in front of Osama Bin Laden holding his coat and umbrella wide open to obscure him from American spy satellites when Osama's got the runs;
  • The chap who Piers Morgan employs to tell him he's a cock every time he acts like a cock;
  • A peanut collector at an all-you-can-eat peanut buffet.

So, as you can see, I've been quite busy. So busy that I've been completely unable to direct you to this website, which collects passive-aggressive notes like the one in my previous post. Thankfully, that's all over now.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Found On A Fridge In Work



Don't take people's chunks. That's what I was told, and that's how things should be.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Lovely Toasty Ears

I was surprised to see Kate O'Mara on my television last night. But not as surprised as she looked. My goodness, that's quite a facelift she's had.


It will have to stop soon lest she find herself in possession of a lustrous and curly beard. Or a little goatee if she's fastidious in the appropriate area.


Anyway, it was rather chilly when I ventured out this lunchtime and my hands soon developed a peculiar numbness, as if they had somehow grown to the proportions of those owned by the Kenny Everett character Brother Lee Love, making it impossible to grip small items like coins, thimbles or Tic Tacs. "Dang!" I thought, "If only I had remembered my gloves."


My ears, too, were cold as a Hitchcock blonde sitting in a freezer in the middle of the Antarctic. In the nip.


Of course, this was not a problem in my younger years, when my gloves were attached to each other by a long string which ran along one arm of my coat, across my shoulders and back down the other arm, and my ears were kept toasty warm by a balaclava. But I'm an adult now, I can't get away with that sort of fashion statement, no matter how sensible.


But maybe I can. Maybe we all can. All we need is one sacrifice. If Kate Moss or David Beckham would just pop a nice woolly balaclava and pair of elasticated mittens on, we'd all be able to wear them without fear of being picked on by bullies.


Perhaps if we all club together we could employ one of them to do the honours for a couple of minutes. Just long enough for them to be papped, and we'd all have nice warm ears.


And Kate O'Mara could pin her skin back with a bulldog clip, and mask it with her own balaclava, saving a fortune on plastic surgery and that.


Everyone's a winner. Send your money to me now.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Evil Mothercare

I had to buy a car seat for Bandage very minor, so Mrs Bandage and I sojourned to our local branch of Mothercare, which provides a wide range of such devices. That's why we went there.

Having chosen our preferred model, we asked the assistant who was serving us if we could see if it would fit in our car. A reasonable request, I think you'll agree.

Thankfully, you, the assistant and I are in full concord, and so she led us from the shop to the car park, carrying the seat herself. That was a relief as I had hurt my back playing Travel Twister (TM) (which I shall be marketing soon, it being a version I have invented of the popular game, designed to be played on long car journeys, like Travel Scrabble or Travel Cluedo).

But she didn't take us straightaway. Oh no. First she donned a high-visibility jacket and only then did she led us from the shop.

Why was she wearing a high-visibility jacket? Was it because she did not want the security guards to think she was stealing the car seat? But she was already wearing a Mothercare uniform. The jacket would only be of use if the security guards were visually impaired. But then, which company would take on blind security guards?

No, it was for her own protection in the car park.

Now I do not wish that assistant, nor any employee of Mothercare, harm. Far from it. But why should she get special protection from the vehicles using the car park? We weren't wearing high-visibility jackets. In a way, she was putting us in danger, while ensuring she alone was fully-protected.

In fact, she was putting us in more danger, as any cars which might have hit her would undoubtedly swerve to avoid her, alerted by her highly visible jacket, and hit me instead. A valued customer. Don't make me laugh. I mean, how dare she? How bloody dare she?

It wasn't her fault, of course. Company rules, she said, company rules that preserve a small clique of Mothercare employees and, effectively, kill their customers.

It's health and safety gone mad. And then evil. Mothercare? Mothermaim, more like.

PS It's all gone quiet on the Marathon front. Perhaps I should write Mars a letter and see if they will bring it back.