Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Thought for the Day


Justin here, and as much as I would have liked to finish off the Old Year on a positive note, I’m afraid a couple of things have got me jolly, jolly cross.

As you all know, I have publicly castigated those wicked Pay Day Loan parasites to little effect, I must admit. I will be reviewing my strategy in this area early in the New Year. However, I note that Wonga have abandoned the crass puppetry of old and invested some of their ill-gotten gains on a computer-generated advertisement wherein “Earl” [a pathetic Wonga character] plays complex guitar duets with a real guitarist, cunningly deflecting the innocent viewer’s attention away from Wonga’s disgraceful interest rates.

My plans to combat this sneaky campaign will call upon modern technology too in the form of a local Christian first film studio called, WWJHS (What Would Jesus Have Shot). Neat, eh? But more of that anon.

My greatest sorrow, and I readily accept, unbridled fury (I threw one of my lady wife’s scones across the room. It dinged the ornamental bedwarmer) was caused by an interview conducted by an ineffective, non-assertive person called Gawp with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and George Osborne – published the other day IN THESE VERY PAGES!

These three independently wealthy political leaders posited that their great wealth provided significant hurdles on their respective routes to the top. This is arrant, unadulterated nonsense! All three have never known real need. Not one of them has ever had a REAL job. Their ideas, beliefs even, showed a terrifying ignorance. Perhaps I might have forgiven that, but then ALL THREE of them referred to the general population as “OIKS”. Repeatedly. I think the young man with the wire in his ear was as shocked as I. I heard him mutter something I dare not repeat here, but which rhymes with “weeding bankers”. He then vouched safe that he “wouldn’t stop a round for any of those tossers”.

And yet, and yet, Hope springs eternal, and perhaps, in the marches of the night, Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Osborne might see the error of their ways.

In a happier vein, you may have noticed that my “Man of the Year” is the new, no-nonsense Pope who seems more than willing to substitute good sense and Christian virtue for the idolatrous flummery of the Roman Church. Good for him. I wonder if Mr Cameron regards the Holy Father as a Holy Oik?

So, all that remains is for me and my lady wife and the young man with the wire in his ear to wish you all, oik or toff, a Happy New Year.

Sunday, 29 December 2013


In a frank interview with Pangolin Home Affairs correspondent Tim Gawp, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and George Osborne look back on their harrowingly privileged lives and say, “Being a Rich Toff Didn’t Stop Me Getting to the Top.”

Tim G:  So, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor, I’d like to ask all three of you about the country’s painfully slow emergence from recession. Mr Cameron?
Dave [for it is he]: Now look. Let me make this perfectly clear. I’m not going to answer your question….
Nick: Sorry to interrupt, but neither am I because….
Georgie: Ooops, sorry Cleggie, but I absolutely must back the PM here. I won’t rise to the bait on that one either, especially when we all know that halfway through you’re going to hit us with the old privilege/wealth conker.
Tim G: Well, no, I….
Dave: You’re absolutely right Georgie, so let’s head that one off at the pass right now. And I’ll start by stating categorically that my vast unearned wealth and the even more vast unearned wealth of my lady wife has not stopped me from living the dream. Sure, there have been slings and arrows along the way. In a country brought to its knees by namby-pamby notions of equality, we’ve been called many things. Why even our respective childhoods have been besmirched by stories of devoted nannies and teatime crumpets. Our schooldays have been picked over by deluded lefties….
Nick: Oh absolutely! I think….
Dave: Shut up Nick.
Nick: Sorry PM.
Dave: As I was saying, even the hard work we did in the Bullingham Club has been rubbished by the very people we strove to keep in line. Oiks! Now, Nick, you were saying?
Nick: Wow, thanks PM, well like you, I’ve known the hard grind of unearned wealth. But even when I was very young something in me KNEW there was a better way. All through the painful process of growing up – the villas in the Antibes, polo, forcing myself to dine with the Great and the Good, I knew, I just KNEW that all of this class warfare was and is being caused by, as the PM so accurately puts it, oiks. People have very short memories. It's not that long ago that this England, this sceptred Isle, this realm of kings, this home of international banking, was governed by Socialists and as everybody knows, Socialists are oiks! 
Georgie: Well said Cleggo. Damned Socialists. For a whole country to be ruled by them with their inadequate diets, inadequate schools, payday loans and uninspiring ambitions and bad skin is simply illogical.
Tim G: Yes, er, I wonder if we could….
Dave: No we couldn’t. These are very important points. What people like you – and I strongly suspect Socialism somewhere in your background – don’t realise is how hard its been for the likes of us to pull ourselves down; to deign to stoop to conquer; to tell people exactly where they are in the social scale.
Nick: Absolutely PM, Nail on the Head. After all, we and those like us went to the best schools, are naturally very intelligent, have lovely diction, and are born leaders.
Georgie [claps hands]: Yes, yes, yes! We are, we are! Born leaders! And that’s what oiks need – leading! And I mean, we can’t do what our forefathers did and start a good old World War to get rid of loads of oiks at a stroke. It's simply not done these days, although the PM’s tried his damnedest in the Middle East.
Dave: Thanks Georgie. Yes, I did try, but you can’t win ‘em all, I suppose. But I did keep us on the right side of that Obama fellow and lest we forget, he’s got the biggest guns!
Nick: Absolutely. Leadership. Biggest guns. On the other hand, as a Liberal Democrat [audible groans] I am conscious of criticism on that point, but I will not let it sway me from supporting this government’s vigorous mission to keep the oiks in their place whilst clinging to what little power my party has had for the last 100 years.
Dave: Amen to that Nick.
Tim G: Well thank you gentlemen. That was a real eye-opener. I ….
Dave: Hush! We haven’t finished yet. Georgie?
Georgie: Thank you Prime Minister. It falls to me to scotch all the current Socialist criticisms; to demonstrate once and for all this administration’s determination to give the majority of this country’s population – most of whom are oiks – something to marvel at; something to take their collective breath away; something to make them feel proud to be British. Well, English at any rate.

I refer, of course to the very wonderful High Speed Train. Sleek, pointy and sexy, it will go “Whoooosh!” throughout the land, transporting rich and influential people hither and thither at a thousand miles an hour. Millions of oiks will crowd lineside fences waiting for a glimpse of the future. True, one or two oiks’ hovels will have to be demolished to make way for HS2, but that’s a small price to pay to be part of this epic undertaking.
Dave: Excellent Georgie, excellent! And so, in the future, when the foreigner–filled countries of the European Union come bragging about growth in their economies, we can smile and say. “Ah, but you haven’t got a pointy train, have you?” 

Well Tim – it is Tim, isn’t it? That about wraps it up. Oh, he appears to have gone.
Nick: How rude!

Georgie: Bloody oik!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Fecking. The Facts. (from Practical Fecker, February 1957)

Much has been seen in the press, on televisory devices, and heard on The Light Programme recently about our beloved craft. Most people are ignorant of the disciplines fecking places upon the practitioner ; the long years of trial and error; the endless Theory study and the ability a seasoned fecker must demonstrate in recognizing a fake feck.

Public ignorance extends to the majority of the population being unable to name any of the fecker’s tools or safety equipment. Many suggested that fecking was a type of wood-turning activity, or was connected in some way to chickens.

Fecking’s recent poor publicity is due almost entirely to upper class people discovering the word and repeating it, in public, over and over. The appearance of small buttonhole badges in the lapels and mink stoles of aristocrats exiting Claridges or the Casino at Monte Carlo saying "We’re all Feckers!" does not help the situation. The present Number One hit record by the Beverly Sisters – "We Love Fecking Muffin the Mule" is more proof positive that the ancient and honorable craft of fecking is regarded as little more than a music hall joke, polluting our noble language a la smutty double entendre. Only last week, the comedian Arthur "Ooh, Aye. That’s a Biggun" Crate opened his act at the Glossop Empire with a song entitled "I Can Feck With Mey Het Orn".

So I plead with qualified professional feckers to feck in private, or if that is not possible, to refrain from fecking until present hysteria subsides.

Thus far, I have been unable to identify the source of the leak. Exactly how the Hooray Henrys discovered fecking remains a mystery. More puzzling is the fact that registered feckers must also be Masons, individuals sworn, on threat of death by fecking to secrecy. The investigation continues….

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Pangolin Christmas Gifts - Exclusive!!!

What to buy the Man Who Has Everything? THE eternal problem.  Not any more! Designed by the same gormless team which wants to spend billions on HS2, the Thing on Wheels with Lots of Tubes solves the problem.  Like HS2 it doesn't really do anything useful but costs loads (£934.99 plus VAT). Your bloke will sit for hours trying to work out what TWLT is actually FOR before falling into a dreamless sleep. (Batteries, 769 x A2s not included).

Hooterclag begone!  Clean noses for all the family! With the all-new, scientifically tested KLEENCONK bathroom accessory you can rest assured that all your loved ones' noses are clean on the inside as well as the outside. Comes with four nozzles and full instructions.

(Caution: KLEENCONK suction is very strong. Should the user's brains become dislodged, push gently back into place through the ear, with pencil or similar.)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

On This Day...

Two Years Ago

A Product Recall notice was issued for Christmas crackers in packs of ten, made in China, marketed under the name of 'Santa's Specail Bangies' and selling for £49.99. Owing to an error in packing, these were found to contain real gifts (worth up to £4 each) destined for the 'DeLuxe Creckar Pack' of ten (retailing at £99.99) instead of the small plastic replicas intended for this product. Customers who had bought this item were asked to return it to the place of purchase in order to avoid disappointment at Christmas.

Five Years Ago

Three people were arrested on charges of causing an affray and five more taken in for further questioning at an address in Gloucestershire after discussion at a Book Club Reading Circle came to blows over the contents of 'Fifty Ways to Bake a Sponge'.

Ten Years Ago

A large audience filled the Technology Centre in London for the finals of the Young Plumber of the Year Competition. The winner was Keith Harbottle of Crawley, who left with a large cheque, along with the coveted Drain of Britain trophy. Two of the four finalists failed to appear and the third was lengthily delayed, having had to attend another event on his way over.

Twenty-Five Years Ago

A year-long survey carried out by the research organisation Worldwide Opinion Trends, Factoids & Undiscovered Knowledge (WOTFUK) revealed that in Britain 38% of the population put milk in the teacup first, 34% afterwards and 28% were Don't Knows. This showed a percentile shrinkage of differential on the figures for the previous year within statistically normative parameters of error.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Now follows our eagerly-awaited traditional, never published before PANGOLIN CHRISTMAS WISH LIST!!

1) That the Tories and the Lib Dems REALLY fall out – publicly via a brawl in Downing Street with shouts of 'PLEBS! PLEBS!' Shaving cream, and knuckle dusters, will feature prominently.

2) HS2 gets cancelled. Part of the savings to be spent on creating engineering apprenticeships and jobs and a little bit on making Boris (compulsory resident) King of Rockall Minus WIFI. Or phone. Or carrier pigeon.

3) That the NHS remains free and this awful government stops knocking lumps off it. That tier of management which currently do nothing but go to meetings where they create policies about writing policies will be detailed to clean up the mess in Downing Street. And they'll never be let out. Ever.

4) That the slow slide to internet anarchy for cartoons and cartooning stops and that UK publishing realises what it's killing.

5) That UK publishing houses start to be managed by editors again, not by accountants. Same goes for the NHS, but with medical staff rather than editors.

6) That someone with Common Sense oversees – with the power to instantly delete – television advertising of beauty aids, banning digital enhancement and skeletal women.

7) That glass ceilings everywhere get smashed.

8) That people are only allowed to be famous if they've done something worthwhile.

9) That people who would have spent a small fortune on a personalised car number plate aren't allowed to do so, and are required to spend the money instead on something worthwhile.

10) Everybody (even Boris, out there on Rockall) has a bearable Christmas and an outstandingly brilliant 2014.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Thought for the Day, from Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here! And oh, how my spirits soar at this exciting, holy and festive time of year with the Palace ringing with Christmas music and my lady wife and I looking forward to the wonderful Yuletide story coming to innocent life before our very eyes.

I refer of course to our Nativity play. This year we invited the pupils of St Brenda Without Infants to give us their version of the Birth of Jesus, and what an enlightening experience it has been. St Brenda’s is, of course, a Catholic school. I thought I’d nip in the bud moans from the cross-denominational brigade, although I do believe that because of an unfortunate dose of tonsillitis, the Ass, at very short notice and thanks to Paige Turnbull (5), is Anglican. How fitting, some might say.

I was most impressed with the patience of the teachers from St Brenda’s. Their tiny charges were lively in the extreme. The young man with the wire in his ear did not take to them. He called them “little bleeders” when his concealed firearm went missing for the third time. Thereafter, he made himself scarce, leaving myself (christened “the geezer in the frock”) by winsome, blue-eyed Winona Crate (6) and my lady wife helping to alter the script somewhat so that the manger might include a trampoline.What would Jesus have done?

I feel sure that by Christmas Eve all the little snags, such as the rap version of “Away in a Manger” will have been ironed out. And looking at the intense creativity at work during the production process, I am even more convinced that Mr Gove is wrong, wrong, wrong. Why, without the sparks of young imaginations, our Nativity Play would be sans the Ox arriving via a trampoline.
Then, of course, when the tinies have charmed us all and helped us to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, it will be the turn of the adults and teenagers of the Palace Choir. Their rehearsal was at once professional and and personal, bringing first a feeling of holy confidence in a well-trained body of singers, and then one of deep sympathy for my lady wife. She has always been, as they say, a sucker for “In the Bleak Midwinter”. The emotional charge of that mournful entreaty coupled with the 23 sherries downed whilst grappling with the problem of rap and Nativity and reasoning with Wayne Tucket (5) and Ayeesha Plume (6) rendered her, for want of a better term, all of a heap. I’m afraid she was forced to retire early with a large packet of Co-codamol.

Nevertheless, I feel sure that all will be fine on the night, and I am left with a feeling of closeness with the directness of children, with echoes of “Oi! You in the frock. All the KitKats have gone!”

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Thought for the Day from The Young Man With a Wire in His Ear

‘Morning. Old Archie calls me The Young Man With a Wire in His Ear. I do have a name, but if I told you what it is, I’d have to kill you. Only joking. Sort of. Anyway, I said to Archie, I said, look Archie, I know your schedule backwards; I go everywhere with you (apart from the bog, but there’s a P56 minicam in there) and even though I think you’re a bit wet and posh, I have to admit you’ve got guts and your heart’s in the right place. That’s why I let you think I don’t know how you smuggle your TftDs out of the Palace. And I like the fact that you had a pop at those little bleeders at Wonga although all that guff about “What would Jesus have done?” doesn’t cut it with me. The odd inexplicable house fire and some very explicit stuff in Inboxes (untraceable, natch), and dead rats turning up in tumble dryers would have floated my boat.
But I suppose the Arch of Cant can’t really waltz about the place roughing up the bad guys. I’ve always found that a good going over, a pre-emptive smack in the gob, so to speak, works wonders in the mind-changing department. You’re a bit on the puny side though, aren’t you? So you’ve got to do it your way. And I’ll do it mine. But I’ll be doing it for you and yours, Archie. I’m part of the great Unseen. I alter stuff. Look at those money-lending leeches who are about to appear before a Parliamentary Sub-Committee. They don’t HAVE to be there. But after a visit from myself and Brenda (PGRU - Pain Gets Results Unit), Wonga and the other greasy little creeps decided that they should. Don’t worry, the marks won’t show.
What I’m trying to say, Archie is – I’m on your side. You’re one of the good guys. So when it's all looking a tad hopeless; when your patience and understanding are getting you absolutely zilch then suddenly main planks of the opposition (a lot of them ARE planks) have heart attacks in Spanish Jacuzzis, or peg out after a spot of skinny-dipping in Coniston Water, that’ll be the Young Man With a Wire in His Ear doing what Jesus probably wouldn’t have done.

See ya!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

On This Day...

Five Years Ago

It was an expensive round in the clubhouse for golfer Geoff Slewitt, who for the third time in a week landed a hole in one at Piddinghoe. As before, the feat was slightly marred by misdirection, the ball having been sliced each time off the 4th tee to land in the nearby hole of the 3rd green alongside.

Ten Years Ago

'Into The Void: New Perspectives on the Nihilistic Trope in Visual Perception' was the arresting title of the degree show put on at Bootle College of Art by final year student Troy Biles. Visitors to the Private View found an empty space, devoid of content, but warmly praised for its boldness by department lecturers, London critics and collectors from around the country. There was also interest shown by potential buyers from across the Atlantic. Respecting the key principles underpinning the exhibition, Biles chose not to attend in person.

Thirty Years Ago

Armed police equipped with tranquilliser darts surrounded a Cumbrian Mint Cake Factory believed to have been broken into by Minnie the Missing Marmot, absent for twelve days from the nearby High Hills Wildlife Park and Rainforest Visitor Centre. A Press blackout was put in force by senior police officers, keen to avoid a stand-off situation between man and marmot.

Fifty Years Ago

Hoots of disbelief and derision greeted the keynote speech delivered to the Annual Conference of Town Planners meeting in Harrogate. Visionary architect and radical thinker Ernst Scheidtweiler asked a packed hall to imagine a Britain in the 21st century with town centres where butcher and baker, greengrocer and draper were no longer to be found, their spaces filled instead with coffee shops, nail bars, tattoo parlours and hairdressing salons, with the odd betting-shop, charity outlet or discount store thrown in for good measure. Quizzed on the likelihood of shoppers then all travelling between home and town centre by jetpack, the Swiss guru described instead a vision of town centres criss-crossed by people on planks with small wheels. This drew further laughter.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Pangolin Obituaries

Sept 1919 - Dec 2013

Inventor of the ever-so-slightly ginger hairpiece beloved of balding men the world over, Carl-Gustav was also famous for keeping a bowl of whelks inside his jacket.

Peacefully at home.

Major Anton de Ferette, MC, DSO, KGB, RSPCA, GCSE.
Aug 1921 - Nov 2013

Much decorated liar and scoundrel, de Ferrette was the darling of London society during the inter-war years. Much has been written about his exploits as a double agent and bounder.

He is remembered by Dougal McTeeth, Scots curling cheat as 'That one-eyed bastard who still owes me fifteen and sixpence'.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Season of Good Will Wossnames

Well! Nice, fuzzy, touchie-feelie, funny Boris has morphed into what he really is; a rich Tory baron who honestly believes that he is one of the Princes of the Universe. 

Greed is good. High IQ is good, and if you're not rich it's because you're STUPID. If his speech didn’t bear directly on to this government’s policies it would be funny; Pythonesque in its veneration of privilege. Boris pointed out that some people in the UK have an IQ of 80. Well of course they have, you Old Etonian duffer! The average IQ is 100. 80 provides one of the figures required to arrive at an average, DOPE! 
Then this silver spoon-fed toff (IQ at least 267) went on to outline a society which in part exists already, where the rich (greedy intelligent people) get richer and the poor (those, according to Boris’s thinking, with an IQ of 100 or less) either stay poor or get poorer. That is happening even as I type. 

This has caused some consternation among Pangolin staff. Despite all appearances to the contrary, some of the crew have an IQ well in excess of the 130 points required to join the Boris Band of the élite, and are wondering what's been happening to their pocket money. Uncle Tarquin was sufficiently exercised to be seen walking up and down on the hearth rug in his carpet slippers, muttering something about having met a rich person once: "Boring, talentless git. Hadn't even made a forest with mashed potato and broccoli florets when eating his (public) school dinner..."

Murgatroyd (who, you will recall, is a particularly fine example of manis pholidota) scratched his nose with the tip of his tail and pondered. "So the top 2% IQ-wise are the richest? Is this stupid apology for a yard brush really trying to tell us that the Beckhams have brain cells? Doubt they could scrape together 130 points between 'em!"
What of compassion, Boris? What of the little old ladies who find that the £200 heating allowance –  probably no more than you and your privileged cronies would spend on a half-way decent bottle of wine – isn’t enough to keep them warm?
Anyway, let’s hope that Boris’s speech helps put an end to the Tories’ disgraceful feudal rule. Our lovely Miasma - who admits to having a bit of a crush on Boris - said "I just wish he'd shut up. He's just such an adorable little weebly-bum when he keeps his trap shut. And he's just such a totally unadorable little fascist eugenicist whenever he opens it. But he looks so adorable when he carries a yard brush...."
Elsewhere in Pangolinland we’re wondering about Scots independence and as with the ongoing stupidity with HS2, failing to see how that will work financially. Maybe England should push for independence from Scotland.
Happily, Old Bill (senior citizen who helps around the office) got his battered little Alfa 147 back from the menders after it was smashed up by a street-orc [IQ unknown] and it looks wonderful and can now resume its runabout duties whilst the big beast Jag remains in the garage, only growling forth for longer journeys.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dear Lady Violet

Dear Lady Violet,

My fiancée keeps sending nude pictures of herself to other men. I wouldn't mind, but a couple of these guys have got in touch with me and explained that they've tried to get her to stop, and can I do something about it. One of them got quite shirty about it, and raised doubts as to the state of my manhood - which I felt was most uncalled-for - and called me some quite unprintable names.

Here is a picture of my fiancée: 
I'd kind of assumed that someone like this would be a faithful wife, but now I'm not so sure.  My friends keep telling me I could do better, but what do you think?  What should I do?

Yours sincerely,

Boak Bumtrinket, OBE

Lady V:
Dear Mr Bumtrinket,
True love and devotion do not necessarily rest with good looks. And yours most certainly does not. Seldom have I seen a more repellent fiancée. Of course, her sending of pictures of herself might be down to any number of psychological conditions, including insanity, and behaviour of this sort is very difficult to change. Professional medical help is needed here, I think – and for the unfortunate recipients of such loathsome images. Beyond that, I can only suggest a dart-administered horse tranquilliser.

Dear Lady Violet,

My fiancé doesn't seem interested in me any more. I've been doing everything I can think of to try and provoke some reaction from him - including sending nude photos of myself to other men to make him jealous. But I often get the impression I could dance naked in the garden and he wouldn't notice. He's been getting angry because the other men point and laugh at him, but so far I haven't been unfaithful. He often makes me feel unloved and unattractive and I tell you that's a bit of a laugh because he looks like this: 

(I think that may be a bit of my tummy in the background, but I'm not sure). What should I do? Should we be getting married, or do you think I could do better for myself?


Fanny Wagstaff xx

Dear Lady V:
Dear Miss Wagstaff,

It is rare that I receive such coincidental letters. I have been in recent touch with a Mr Bumtrinket of your ken. Like yourself, he is very upset and at a loss in terms of your mutual heartache. I enclose a copy of my letter to Mr Bumtrinket. It contains some hard truths. In the interim, a new, drastic solution has occurred to me. I note from the Glossop postmark on both letters that you and Mr Bumtrinket are resident in that area. Confidential sources inform me that since the closure of Glossop’s Pangolin Centre, Glue Works and Obscene Video Studios, unemployed, radical-thinking Glossopians are hiring themselves out as hit-men/women. Need I say more?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

On This Day...

Two Years Ago

Protest groups in the picturesque small Hertfordshire village of Potters Clackett were said to be shattered in disbelief at the news that planning permission had been granted for the building of 1850 new homes on green belt land around their village, as proposed and applied for by City developers Snoad Fadgett. 'This country faces a housing crisis of overwhelming proportions,' said Company spokesperson Trevor Weeble, 'and it is our duty to step up to the mark when help is needed.' At this point a small duck egg was thrown at Mr Weeble.

Three Years Ago

Twinning arrangements between the town of Clinker-le-Hole in the north-east and the Mediterranean resort of Sablon Plage were put unexpectedly on hold following the mystery disappearance of Lady Mayoress Marjorie Gawfish along with the head of the French delegation, Etienne Le Bougleur.

Five Years Ago

At Grand Convocation in Stevenage Bros Weeble, Fadgett and Snoad were admitted to First Order of Moose Calf without accessory, undergoing full initiation notwithstanding. Two items were raised under Any Other Business but ruled out of order by Acting Fetlar Bro Sneezleby. Prebendary Fard read the Third Law.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here. And let me say at the outset that I am utterly devastated by the news from the Co-operative Bank. Whilst my lady wife and I do not bank with the Co-operative - our dosh is safe in HRBC (High Ranking Bishops and Clerics) I am at a loss to understand why an hitherto responsible and morally correct organisation could have employed that dreadful Flowers person in any capacity, let alone as boss.
To make matters worse, Flowers is a man of the cloth – not in a major branch of Christianity granted, but ordained, dog-collared – the works – as they say! Also, there have been uncomfortable rumours of dalliance with female persons and the taking of certain substances, quite apart from extortionate expenses claims.
I count myself fortunate indeed that I will not have to pass judgement upon this person. I could, of course, insist on – as modern parlance puts it – getting a slice of the action, perhaps in the form of excommunication, or scourging (Yea, even to twenty wands of birch. Mark 10 – 13) and even a bit of exorcism. And yet I shall stay my hand. I shall allow the civil authorities to do their various duties in their own good time.
Depressingly, there seem to be quite a lot of people who have recently  occupied positions of trust and power answering to the courts at the moment. Our ever vigilant Prime Minister chided the devil-may-care leader of the opposition the other day that Mr Flowers was elevated to seniority during the Labour Party’s watch, whilst doubtless mindful of his own involvement with a certain Mr Coulson.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I give fair warning to all my parishes, bishops and priests that today I launch my own under cover operation. I shall be touring the country, in disguise (the young man with the wire in his ear tells me that he can make me look normal), dropping in unannounced on every parish in the land, searching out wrongdoing, whether it be financial or a bit on the side. If and when I find any – and sadly, I think I might, I shall in terms of suitable retribution ask myself “What would Jesus have done?” Whilst the exact term may not appear in the Scriptures, I think that “bloody good hiding” could well feature.



Saturday, 9 November 2013

Episode 9: Bloatmingle and the lazy-eyed Swede

Previously on Bloatmingle of the Yard... Detective Inspector Bloatmingle had been in worse predicaments. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember any since his memory had been rendered momentarily useless, possibly due to the biting cold, equally possibly by his standing without his trousers on the edge of the Clifton Suspension Bridge with the nose of a single-barrel shotgun pointing at his groin.

So, Inspector,’ said the small Swede with the lazy eye. ‘It looks like our game has come to an end.’

You won’t get away with this,’ promised Bloatmingle, his temper frayed by the bitter northerly cutting in up the Avon Gorge and whipping through his silk shorts and tickling him on the side he normally dressed with his Webley revolver. He wished he had Old Harriot with him now so he could show this swine a thing or two…

On the contrary,’ returned the Swede. ‘You failed to liberate Lady’s Poundland’s emerald which we now have lubricated and in the safe keeping of Cavity Charlie, the world’s most successful smuggler and the man of a thousand hiding places. Your customs people will never find it!’That’s where you’re wrong, Torg Fllapstang!’ said Bloatmingle, playing his trump card. ‘We knew all about your arrangement with Charlie and that’s why yesterday I called Edinburgh Airport and asked that they send Duncan McTickle to London immediately with his biggest jar of KY jelly.’

Not Fingers McTickle!’

The very same! When Cavity Charlie arrives at Heathrow, he’ll be met by the customs official with the longest digits in the business!’

Damn your meddling, Bloatmingle!’ cursed the Swede, prodding the shotgun hard through the fly of Bloatmingle’s boxers. The Inspector winced but inwardly he smiled.

Every super villain he’d ever caught had eventually made at least one fatal mistake. The Swede had made his first by showing the Inspector the paper-wrapped shells he’d loaded into his shotgun. The second mistake was the prod. Bloatmingle was now thankful for the cold wind whistling around his privates. He knew that he’d won the moment he felt his chilled manhood slip effortlessly into the end of the shotgun’s barrel. Now all he had to do was relax.

Except relaxing was not easy… Not because of the cold, the gun, the height, of the thought of his imminent death. Bloatmingle could never go when somebody was watching and although the Swede was now looking up the road waiting for the arrival of the convoy, his lazy eye remained fixed on the Inspector.

When they get here, our plans will be complete!’ boasted the Swede, his fingers lingering on the detonator to the explosives planted beneath the bridge. ‘Your stupid Scotland Yard will be a laughing stock across the world like your pitiful country lamenting the loss of an outmoded ideal… How do you say: you’ll be like Queen Victoria. History, Bloatmingle! History!’

Perhaps they’ll put up statues of me,’ said the Inspector, trying to think about river and streams, raindrops and waterfalls, a leaking tap and… Ah, the leaking tap! Never underestimate the power of the leaking tap! This time it was going to save an Empire!

But tell me,’ sighed Bloatmingle, as he felt his warm waters run. ‘You had this planned all along?’

We couldn’t let you stick your nose where’s it not wanted,’ replied the Swede.Perhaps more than just my nose,’ said Bloatmingle, blessing his third pint of Snorgwall’s Gutter Swill he’d drank earlier that evening.

The Swede’s eyes narrowed and looked at Bloatmingle. ‘Why can I smell asparagus?’

Possibly my aftershave,’ said Bloatmingle thinking quickly. ‘Mrs Boatmingle makes it herself once she’s finished distilling her gin.’

The Swede’s eyes narrowed to slits and Boatmingle damned his stubborn loyalty to Mrs Wangle’s fish and asparagus pie which she served every Friday in the Yard’s cafeteria.

You better not try anything funny,’ said the small man.

Bloatmingle was about to assure him that nothing funny was going to happen when there was suddenly a funny noise, like a slide whistle or the sound you get when you’re filling a milk bottle and you’re about to reach the top. The Swede looked down at the shotgun and noticed a thin stream of liquid running down the barrel. Bloatmingle didn’t hesitate and swung one arm in an attempt to knock the gun to the side. Only the Swede was quicker and squeezed the trigger. The hammer fell onto the now damp shell which took a fraction of a moment longer than usual before it detonated. It was just enough time for Bloatmingle to jump out of the line of fire.

Monday, 4 November 2013

View From The Civic Hall by Councillor Barry Prunefield

‘A triumph of moulded plastic!’ The Star
‘The best recycling scheme in the history of the potato peeling!’ The Chronicle
‘A masterpiece of civic planning and waste teabag management!’ The Observer
These are just three of the nearly seven rave reviews received by your council, hallowed be our name, in praise of our new recycling scheme. And what a month it has been since I launched the scheme with a press of the button that set off the firework display above the luxury cruise liner moored off the Greek island of Kefalonia. By now you should have received your waste metal bin, glass satchel, paper bucket, cardboard crate, peeling pal, nappy sack, two sealable tubs to separate your caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee grounds, tea bag wagon, grass cutting backpack, and a mini skip in which we expect you to put all your old egg shells. Next month you can look forward to taking delivery of your hair bag, meat purse, and the long anticipated ‘caddy of sundry condiments’ so we can begin to recycle your unwanted sauces (brown, tomato, horseradish) the proper environmental way (pigs).

Naturally, there have been complaints from the usual sources (no pun intended) about the amount of time and effort it now takes to carry all twenty seven bins out to the pavement but you only have to look at the opposition to the HS2 rail link to realise that all great schemes have their critics.

As council leader I only have your best interests at heart. Seventeen trips from garden to gate seems quite reasonable when you consider the bigger picture, especially if the bigger picture includes China which is a good deal bigger than seventeen trips from garden to gate. Be thankful you’re not Chinese, is what I say to you!1 And if you do find it difficult being ‘green’, we’ll be providing miniature tractors in the New Year to help ferry the bins for the old, infirm, and habitually lazy.
Again, critics will critique but I must emphases that we’re not in the business of making friends and what little money the council does generate is being put straight back into local facilities.
In unrelated news, the council’s brand new ‘Sauna and Massage Parlour for Friends of the Council’ opened last Monday and will help us in our long-time commitment to making friends. The sixteen floor facility will allow council members (and their friends) to unwind after working long hard five hour days, three days a week. I have personally overseen the construction of the building and arranged work visas for the 128 Thai masseurs who will on call 24/7 to provide therapy and loofah duties. As an added benefit for all members, the masseurs will work in teams of twenty seven to carry member’s bins from garden to gate and back again. As I’m sure you’ll agree: this is joined up council thinking and money well spent.

Of course, my opponents have complained that it’s another waste of resources at a time of national2 austerity but I’m happy to say that after touring the facilities they have agreed to support the council policy on the basis of a yearly automatically renewed membership card and twice weekly soaping down.

1 However, from December the first, the population of the East Napton ward will become Chinese as part of a cultural exchange programme organised by the council. The slight downturn in wages experiences by residents will be more than offset by the additional employment opportunities found at the new Wi Shun / Prunefield Miniature Tractor factory.

2 Mainly non-conservative councils in the North.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Seagull

Been very stormy here of late. Promised we'd have 36' high waves but they were only boasting. Couldn't even harrass the mussels because the tides were too high. Decided to go to France instead, accomplished by just hanging around in the air with my arms wide open.

As my cuz Jonathan-Livingston-I-Presume put it: “He was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all”.


Ended up in Rye instead, along with a load of zombies. Nicked chips off one of them and poohed on another. Not that you could tell.

All in all, a good day out.

Friday, 1 November 2013

"Well - they're going to regret this. He's got terrible wind, has my Ken."

Thursday, 31 October 2013

On This Day...

Three Years Ago

Traffic in Leighton Buzzard was brought to a standstill when an elderly shopper on a mobility buggy inadvertently hooked up to a line of more than eighty shopping trolleys gathered up in a supermarket car-park for return to base. The driver of the buggy, who asked not to be named, left the parking area unaware of the extra payload behind, though he did detect a certain sluggishness on acceleration.

At a sharp right-hand turn several hundred yards on, the trolleys swung wide, taking out two shop-fronts. The buggy continued east for a further mile, coming to a halt as it attempted to circle a small roundabout, only to find itself stuck in a queue of stationary shopping trolleys. 

According to Darren Pook, aged 39, Head of Customer Experiences, 'Shopping trolley theft is something we take very seriously, with prosecutions leading to fines of £75 per trolley.'

Five Years Ago

Renewed efforts were made to track down and withdraw from sale a potentially lethal Christmas toy shipped in from the Far East and widely available from market stalls and retail outlets across the country. The Joly Satna Kiddi Fnu Pak had been found to contain a reindeer & robin-patterned boomerang in moulded plastic with inside edge sharp enough to decapitate a small child looking the wrong way. According to Health & Safety officers, a month-long campaign of product recall had failed to see the return of a single boomerang.

Ten Years Ago

Trading Standards officers in Cheshire were successful in their prosecution of a breakfast foods company which sold a packet of Hawaiian Surprise Fruity Oat n' Raisin Mix that was found to contain just one raisin. 'When the picture on the box shows bunches of grapes, you don't expect to be chasing round the cereal bowl in search of one raisin,' said regular Fruity buyer Maureen Snickelthwaite, aged 47, of 14, The Willows nr Runcorn. A spokesperson for the company apologised for the imbalance, saying the manufacturers had been let down by their dried fruits supplier.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Episode 8: Bloatmingle is outwitted yet again, and yet another cliff-hanger...

Previously on Bloatmingle of the Yard... Bloatmingle has just come face to face with his Moriarty, the evil Dr Peasmold. Not just Peasmold, but Tommy No-nose - who in those days was still equipped with a nasal extremity. Not for long, though, as Hercules Peasmold deftly removed said proboscis by means of a shooting stick. Rounding on Bloatmingle, Peasmold fired the question: "How on earth did you find me?"

‘I knew that only a truly sick and deviant mind could even conceive of a plan to poison lady’s corsets,’ Bloatmingle explained. ‘I therefore decided to profile our suspect and I deduced that I was looking for a man called Bill who raises chickens. Alternatively, we were looking for a man with a secret passion for bagpipe music and who wears rubber tips on his goat-chewed fingers. When you booked yourself into the Mayfair Hotel as Moll Dynmar, I knew who and where you were. “Moll” is the Catalan for “wharf”, “dyn marw” means “dead man” in Welsh. There are very few master criminals as proud of their Catalan-Welsh ancestry as you or who boast about their 37 inch inside leg. No 37 Dead Man’s Wharf seemed the obvious place to look.’

There was a sudden noise from the back of the room as PC Fittock appeared with Spiggot trailing behind him leading the kidnapped goats of Kidderminster which, if you cast your minds back, is where this whole complicated case had started.

‘You’ve been clever,’ said Peasmold, ‘but I’m afraid I have again outwitted you again. Haven’t I constable?’

‘That’s right,’ said PC Fittock turning his gun on Bloatmingle. ‘You were far too trusting to believe that I was really PC 214 Fittock, the son of PC 675 Fittock! I am actually PC 483 Humplock!’

‘Not PC 483 Humplock, the disgraced son of disgraced police constable Humplock whose number I don’t recall?’

‘No, he was my uncle. I’m the son of WPC 029 Mavis Humplock who you once cruelly humiliated in the station canteen by remarking on the size of her ankles.’

‘Curses!’ said Bloatmingle, surrendering his Webley by throwing it to the floor.

‘So, it looks like I triumph again,’ said Peasmold.

‘You have indeed,’ nodded Bloatmingle. ‘And all because I didn’t spot that the constable suffers from the same water on the ankles as his poor mother.’

‘I do not suffer from water on the ankles!’ cried PC Humplock lowering his gun to hitch up his trousers by half an inch.

‘No, you fool!’ cried Peasmold.

But it was too late. In the fraction of a second it took the PC to inspect his own ankles, Bloatmingle had acted. He dived forward, grabbed his Webley between his teeth whilst removing his pipe from one pocket and a pinch of tobacco from the other. Falling into a forward roll, he pulled the gun from his teeth, lit his pipe, inhaled a lungful of Beryl’s Old Shag which immediately calmed his nerves so he could fire off the single round towards the disappearing figure of Doctor Hercules Peasmold.

‘Should I chase him, sir?’ asked Spiggot who had eventually acted and was now sitting on PC Humplock’s satisfyingly plump and comfortable ankles.

‘No need,’ said Bloatmingle. ‘I took a chunk out of the good Doctor’s right ear and that will be enough to make him list slightly to the left. If my calculations are correct, he’ll run in a circle and will be back here within the hour.’

As they waited, Bloatmingle savoured the flavour of Beryl’s Old Shag and wondered how many times the blessed leaf had saved his life. He had counted into the low three hundreds by the time he eventually heard the sound of webbed feet approach.

‘Now,’ said Bloatmingle, coldly. ‘Before we take him in for questioning, I want some answers from the good Doctor and I’ve been wondering what else those goats might like to chew…’

Detective Inspector Bloatmingle had been in worse predicaments. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember any since his memory had been rendered momentarily useless, possibly due to the biting cold, equally possibly by his standing without his trousers on the edge of the Clifton Suspension Bridge with the nose of a single-barrel shotgun pointing at his groin.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Tesco Health and Safety Advice 28/10/13. To all employees.

Please note SRGs (Shoppers’ Routes Diagrams) in (1) and (2): Route (1) is more liable to be taken by Elbow Steerers, Massive 2 Trolleyers and Dopes, whilst Route (2) is favoured by Irritables and Quickies.

Type Descriptions:
  • Elbow Steerers. Tend to be female, elderly and bad-mannered. Elbow Steerers lean heavily on trolley because of bad back/hips/knees.Will push in.Tend to use ROUTE ONE.
  • Dopes. Can come in family groups. Are stupid. Gossip with other Dopes. Mouth breathers. Will bang their car doors against cars they’ve parked too close to. Leave trolleys parked across aisles whilst gossiping. Exclusively ROUTE ONE.
  • Irritables. Young mothers with screaming babies. Hated by everybody.Would like to use ROUTE ONE, but screaming baby forces use of ROUTE TWO.
    • Quickies. Invariably male. Approximately ten times faster than all other categories. Tend to forget to purchase 50% of what they were sent to buy. Exclusively ROUTE TWO.
    • Massive 2 Trolleyers. A real hazard. Tend to block out all light in narrower aisles. Two trolleys because they tend to buy in double-double-bulk. Exclusively ROUTE ONE. Occasional two hour delay whilst emergency services free them from the tight turn next to Reduced Items.

    Saturday, 26 October 2013

    I shouldn't bother him just now. Nobody's monitored his phone. Again.

    From your transport correspondent, Jeremy Klaxon

    Agh! Traffic cones! Dontcha hate 'em? Bloody miles and miles of perfectly hazard-free motorway cut down to one  50mph lane because of thousands of cones placed there in the dead of night by mystery workmen in ski masks. You’ve all seen the signs 'Caution, maintenance personnel (workmen) in carriageway'. They don’t tell you what these phantoms are doing, do they? Well, they’re waiting for the wee small hours when a lorry full of cones arrives and begins crawling along a 25 mile stretch of motorway like a great wheeled hen, laying thousands of cones in an exercise specifically designed to get on my tits.

    Anyway, one day whilst crawling along behind a retired assistant librarian in one of those dreadful Suzuki R Wagons at 48.3mph, and hemmed in by serried ranks of bloody cones, I spied an official-looking  car parked inside the coned area – you know, the ones you think are police cars because they have the same self-important decals all over them. So I pulled in, got out, strode over to the vehicle, leaned down to the open window and said to the pointy-head behind the wheel, “WHAT ARE ALL THESE CONES FOR?” His answer astounded me.

    Apparently, traffic cone production in the UK is government subsidised. It was one of the last Labour government’s wheezes to boost employment. As I type we have 1000% more traffic cones than we will ever need. And they keep coming because the present government daren’t shut down cone factories for fear of what that would do to the unemployment figures. So, as Mr Pointy-head in his fake cop car said, “We’ve got all these cones and nowhere to put them. So we dump four or five million every day on motorways up and down the country . We don’t actually DO anything in those areas – just dump cones. I mean, everything’s got to be somewhere, right?”

    I was speechless. Bloody speechless. But did have the last laugh because as I rejoined the 50mph crawl, I took out at least 150 cones and watched happily in the mirror as they bounced about the carriageway. I was told later by a contact that this causes untold confusion in Coneland because whilst there are highly trained crews who put the cones out and highly trained crews who remove them, there are NO highly trained crews to stand them up if somebody inadvertently knocks them over. Felt a bit better then. But I am thinking of asking James Maynot to design a sort of trawl net you could scoop up a dozen cones with and then fling them up, over your car, at speed, into motorway service areas.

    Thursday, 24 October 2013

    Test your General Nollidge with The Pangolin!


    That research proves that Leonardo da Vinci invented the Dyson vacuum cleaner 600 years before James Dyson did. The Duke of Sforza was Leonardo’s first customer. However, the Duke thought it was a helicopter and tried for many years to go to work in it.


    That the rain in Spain falls mainly all over the place.


    That at official gatherings H M the Queen never enquires about the identity of sneak farters.


    That the overall surface area of all the man-made islands off Dubai is nowhere near as big as Wales.


    Lemmings, gerbils and hamsters have a third eye located quite close to their bottoms (like Tax Inspectors)


    Wednesday, 23 October 2013

    Thought for the Day, from Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

    Justin here. What a week it has been! And ‘tis only Tuesday, as my dear mother was wont to say, sometimes when it was in fact, Monday. Oh my! The young man with the wire in his ear has just pointed out that I said exactly that in my last Thought to you. 

    I do apologise. But as I say, I am terribly, terribly busy and today will be a blur of religious duties starting with the Christening of that nice young couples’ baby. Barring accidents – child dropped into font, child throwing up etc., etc., that shouldn’t take long although there will be a certain amount of walking about in a regal fashion and much photography afterwards.

    Then I’m off to chair a meeting at No 10 – yes, you’ve got it – No 10 – all about these dreadful Facebook people who have decided that its alright for them to show acts of depraved violence, for all to see. I am indeed honoured that Mr Cameron has entrusted this responsibility to me, although the young man with the wire in his ear is of the opinion that the PM has passed the buck and that when the shit hits the fan, I’ll be the one covered in it. His words, not mine. But let us not shy away from contemporary parlance, for it often paints an honest picture. And the shit may verily hit the fan. Impressionable youngsters, seeing adults beheading each other on Facebook may well take it upon themselves to wander the streets at night decapitating their chums. And why? Why would they do this? The young man with the wire in his ear suggests that it is because they are “bleedin’ dickheads”, but I suspect that there’s more to it than that.

    Incidentally, Mr Cameron also asked me if I could come up with a few ideas about how to put a more Christian gloss on his administration. Of course, bringing immediately to mind what Jesus would have said, I recommended the immediate ditching of that silly high-speed train, a U turn on the bedroom tax, sacking that odious Gove fellow, increasing income tax on the very rich which would include most of his cabinet, and vaccinating badgers instead of employing myopic marksmen. Well, the effect was immediate, and our Prime Minister had to be helped to his car in tears of uncontrollable laughter. 

    Pip, pip,

    'What d'you want to do? Go down the bus shelter and drink cider, or watch a few blokes
    having their heads hacked off?'

    Sunday, 20 October 2013

    Ask Lady Violet

    Dear Lady Violet,

    I've recently started my own very posh marketing company - it's called TWUNT, which I'm sure you'll agree is an eye-catching, alluring name, redolent of class and style.

    I had paid a fortune to produce all my publicity - letterhead, business cards, souvenir mugs, pens, and even a promotional calendar with pictures of golf clubs on it.  Then - what do you know? There's been a rather disconcerting epidemic of Tubrous, Warty, Unsightly, Nasty Threadworms (or TWUNT for short) which has been widely publicised in the press, and I feel that this has had a detrimental effect on the image of my company.

    What should I do with all that stationery and the souvenir mugs? Should I start up another company called SARS?


    Phineas Wubbs

    Lady V: Mr Wubbs,
    Doubtless, you will note the omission of the customary “Dear”. This is because that appellation implies some small level of affection or respect. You will forgive my frankness, but I feel neither of these things for you. How could I?
    What you have done is stupid in the extreme. First, you do not enlighten me as to what TWUNT stood for in the first place, and secondly, you can hardly blame the press for appropriating “TWUNT” as discreet shorthand for something utterly unspeakable.
    Your only recourse might be to fiddle with the lettering on your stationary etc so that TWUNT becomes BOMP (British Overseas Military Police) and see if that organisation might take the lot off your singularly inept hands.

    Dear Lady Violet,

    I am somewhat inexperienced in matters of a fornicatory nature, and often struggle to find conversational topics which will interest the opposite sex. For example, I am unable to give what I believe is colloquially known as a 'toss' (whatever that may mean) about football, motorbikes or strong lager - all subjects on which I have heard the male of the species exchange views.

    However, I was talking to two young men in the refectory of a College of Higher Education yesterday, and I mentioned that I have problems getting underwear which fits properly, my 'vital statistics' being 48-23-36, and had resorted to using cling film instead. I reflected that sometimes the cling film causes me to sweat, and I am obliged to remove it and find a particularly wet mud patch in which to roll, preferably in the company of like-minded females so that we can apply the slurry to each others' nude bodies. I commented that though my interest in sport was minimal, I found 'muff-diving' to be a diverting occupation.

    Before the two young men departed, they made a comment that they'd need a 'cold shower' now. I feel my social ineptitude has really come to the fore here. Did the mention of all that mud make them want to cleanse themselves at the very thought of it? I fear I may have offended them.

    Dear Lady Violet - please could you give me any conversational tips which would serve me well should I meet any more young men in the future?  I would SO like to converse with one!


    Beatrice Foxx-Bumbler, B.A. (Hons)

    Lady V: Dear Ms Foxx-Bumbler,
    The experiences you describe are still very common especially in parts of the country able to boast young women with impressive chests and a higher-than-average rainfall. Whilst modern substances like cling-film have supplanted cellophane these day, the essentials of muff-diving remain the same. I have to work on my instincts here, so I must ask – why on earth would you want to TALK to a young man when you could roll about in the mud with one, indulging in all manner of Ugandan practices? Count yourself lucky, my gel. Enjoy!

    Saturday, 19 October 2013

    Your Wildlife – SPECIAL EDITION !

    Hi! Its Josh and Willow here, and long time no see, Willow!
    Yes indeed Josh. It's so good to be back up here on the fells amongst the wild life we love so much!
    You’re right there Willow, and might I say how windswept and sexy you look today, with those skin-tight jeans showing off your pert little b… CUT! CUT!

    OK let’s go again please, and Josh, stop fiddling with yourself… OK, CAMERA. Action!

    So, Josh, what brings us up here today? The arrival of Blebbie’s Crested Thrippit all the way from Reyjkavik? The annual shrew huddle? Or more boring shite about how important bees are?

    Well, no Willow. Its something much more serious than that.
    Oh no Josh! Its not the …
    Yes Willow, it’s the BADGER CULL! And here’s someone who knows all about culls. Why its Kill Bill Baxendale!
    Hello Bill! Great to see you again!
    And who’s that I can see lurking in the heather?
    I think its… yes… its that master of wild life, Ivan Lentil!
    Ja. Ve ‘ere to ‘elp cull de cullers. I track. ‘E shoot.
    But Ivan, its been clinically proved that badgers pass TB to cows and the cull is to rid the countryside of infected badgers.
    Iss how you say, bulwarks. No more proof off dat dan dis psycho tink fenceposts spread TB. Besides, badgers iss varm and cuddly and funny. Cullers are not.
    Oh dear, well, it looks like we have a situation here, and as I speak… Josh, is that a 4x4 approaching, up the hill, full of cullers?

    Ivan, what..? Ooh, where’s he gone?
    Well, Willow, he and Kill Bill appear to have melted into the landscape like the skilled wilderness experts they are….
    Ah, now, that’s interesting, the 4x4 appears to have had a puncture. I wonder if…
    Ooh Josh, another puncture!
    Yes Willow, that’s almost unheard of, with those Tundragrip 17x220s the 4x4 has fitted!
    Wow, Willow – that’s three! And what’s that I can hear?
    It’s a Police helicopter Josh – look!
    Oh Willow, I love it – the way your slim-fitting cagoul strains against your breasts when you point upward…
    CUT,CUT,CUT! OK everybody – hands on heads like the officer says. BOTH hands Josh. And just stay where you are…
    Oh no Willow. Somebody’s shot the end off the helicopter! The sticky-out bit with the little windmill thing on it.
    You’re right Josh and I bet the policemen are going to be pretty mad about that.
    Yes Willow, they’re all crowding around their wounded helicopter now. Some are crying. And the cullers are rushing to their aid with tissues…

    Erm Josh..?
    Yes Willow?
    They seem to have forgotten about us… what say we sort of slip away...?
    Or we could stay here, lying down together behind this gorse bush and…
    Ooooh, Josh! Are the cameras still rolling?
    Yes, I think they are.
    Oh all right then…

    Further up the hill…

    Bill, iss dat a bare ass I ken see down dere?
    Could you hit it from ‘ere?


    Thursday, 17 October 2013

    Wind Chill

    Something Else We Never Had When I Was A Kid

    No, not Ant and Dec, although we did have Mick and Montmorency who did daft things with planks on BBC Children's Hour TV. And no, not mobile phones, although Mrs Bracewell, the only householder in our street with a telephone did let neighbours use her device in emergencies – childbirth, imminent death, or a Pools claim. (This last just once from a Mr Earnshaw who lodged at No. 47 and won £507.17/6. Bought a second hand Ford Pop and a new trilby and was never seen again).

    Ah, dear dead days beyond recall when becoming snowed in was common and yard-long icicles hung from every gable end. It could get really cold over there in east Lancashire in the lee of Pendle Hill which loomed over all like an albino whale. We DID have weather forecasts on t’ wireless, delivered by a chap with a completely dispassionate plummy voice… "And in The North, temperatures are expected to fall to 127 below and the public are warned that they will probably freeze to death…" Then the posh bloke on the wireless moved on to the ever-fascinating Shipping Forecast and told us of strange lands called Dogger or German Bight and what Portland Bill had been up to.

    What he never mentioned was “Wind chill factor”, a confusing term beloved of modern forecasters… "Temperatures today won’t get much higher than nine or ten, but its going to feel much colder than that with the wind chill factor making it feel more like minus 34…."

    Come on! So what IS the temperature? Nine or ten, or minus 34? The wind-chill factor isn’t disinformation, its naffinformation.The temperature is what you actually FEEL, isn’t it? The way weathery things are presented today is a bit like saying, "Mr Gerard Fortinbras (51) of 13 Trampoline Road was, at 11.25am today, in moderately good health. At 11.26am however, he was not, due to the Heavy Goods Vehicle Factor".

    Tuesday, 15 October 2013

    Your pad or mine?

    Can anyone imagine legendary chancer George Frogsborne (see pic, below) as anything other than a bit of a pooper at a party?  Well, think again as his former mistress, Bertha Payne, prepares to unleash her revelations...

    Bertha - who also uses the name Bertha Pang - has been pictured with Frogsborne in the same room as a pile of white powder. He swears blind it is icing sugar, and when questioned more closely about coke, repudiated all allegations. "Of course I don't use coke. I tried it once and it made me burp - and with a vocal chamber the size of mine you can imagine the repercussions two counties away."

    Ms Payne claims that Frogsborne has "been on all fours before me, taking massive amounts of drugs as I whip him senseless."

    Frogsborne claims never to have met her before, and totally repudiates the claim made by some left-wing newspapers that his ritual humiliation gave him the inspiration for the swingeing cuts and other types of pain he has inflicted on the rest of us.