Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dear Lady Violet,

I think I may be on the verge of finding true love and romance. I met this studmuffin in a colonic irrigation parlour and he bought me a cappucino with sprinkles. In a coffee shop, not the colonic irrigation parlour. He wants me to get his name tattooed on my arm as a token of my love for him. His name is Bonky Chinkakronk McWhirter-Faradaddles (or so he says). I'm worried that I may not be able to fit it in between the names of my other lovers, the names of my pet sheep and the tattoo of a guinea pig.  Should I do it?


The Rt Hon Kylie Bimblethorpe, MA (Cantab)

Lady V:

My Dear, dear, dear Kylie!

Can this be you? Oh hush, ravaged heart! My fruit of a different orange! Where have you been? Yes, yes, colonic irrigation, cappucino, sprinkles, (SO yesterday’s fodder, btw) But where? After that dreadful scene with my enraged father (it took two plumbers and an orthopaedic surgeon to free him) you took the invalid buggy and lit out, dude, I mean lit out!
Me? I is jus hangin’, tryin’ to chill, innit, aksin everybody and I mean simply everybody darling have they seen you.

And here you are, dropping as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.

I know Bonky Faradaddles. All that double-barrelled stuff is pish-tush. The Faradaddles have always been scum and this one is no exception. Come to me mine own, at the address provided. I’ll have my teeth power-washed!

Your own darling Vi

Dear Lady Violet,

I don't know if I am being controlled by my much older boyfriend. Every day he makes me count my cornflakes, and any over 250 have to go back in the packet.  He doesn't like me going out on my own, and he took all the wheels off my car and threw them in next door's pond.  He doesn't like other men drooling over me, so when we do go out (every three years or so) he makes me wear one of those mud facepacks with cucumber slices over my eyes.

Ooh, better go now, he's looking in my direction with a beckoning finger...

Lady V:

Dear Cucumber Victim,
Oh, I do so like a simple problem from time to time. This is what you must do. First, start eating Weetabix. Second, always go out with a friend. Third, buy a sledge. Fourth, always carry a can of Drool-Be-Gone (readily available at Help the Aged). Fifth, take the mudpack prior to deployment and the cucumber pre slicing and shove both smartly up your boyfriend’s hooter. This usually cures finger beckoning.

Ever yours,

Lady V.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Jobs of Yesteryear (2). The Bumblelure

Often the only employment for people of limited intellectual ability in times gone by, traditional bumblelurists are currently in demand because of the drop in bee numbers.

Coated in jam, the bumblelurist stands stock still whilst a skilled beeist - in this case the Right Honourable James Montefiore-Ping - scoops up netfuls of bees and takes them home to make them better.

The bumblelurist pictured here is pain enthusiast Alan Blartfast, author of "How to Get Stung on Your Willy Lots of Times and Live".

Sunday, 19 May 2013

On This Day

Three Years Ago

Lawyers were appointed to represent both sides in the long-running dispute between the parish councils of Belvoir Inferior and Belvoir Superior over the correct alignment of wheelie-bins on collection day. According to leading counsel Jeremy Snyde QC (of the law firm Snyde, Snyde, Smoothe & Snyde), this was a classic case of Aliquod hic in driveia bargitate, hoc in gutteram bargetote.

Six Years Ago

Residents of a district of Stevenage recorded a 73% drop in reported crime (burglary, vandalism and public nuisance offences) in their area in the 12 months following their adoption of a Neighbourhood Witch scheme.

Eight Years Ago

The narrow streets of Clodby, Northants were thronged with crowds come to enjoy the traditional festivities in the village taking place on Dead Sock Monday. The annual procession attracted a record turnout of locals bearing lone socks and mystery items from the sock drawer. Two happy couples were re-united and possible partners found for three others. Gladys Gumthorpe of Listeria Cottage was crowned Sock Queen and, for the third year running, the Athlete's Foot Competition was won by local swimming instructor Clint Ploshing. There was face painting for the children.

Friday, 17 May 2013

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

On Monday last, I accompanied my lady wife to Scrimpton – an old  parish of mine - to open the village’s Spring Fayre. I was Vicar of Scrimpton for three or four days at the beginning of my meteoric rise my present position. Nevertheless, Jocasta, my publicity person, says that it is important to be seen to be keeping in touch with one’s roots and whilst I do not approve of the widespread use of quasi-olde English to describe this sort of community event, the time we spent with these delightful people reminded me that in a world dominated by electronic devices, it is still possible to amuse oneself with simple pastimes. Despite the torrential rain, I could just about make out an enthusiastic throng enjoying “Stone the Housebreaker”, whilst further down the field a round of “Spot the Pregnant Teenager” gave rise to merry shouts of, “No she ain’t. She’s just chubby”, and “Ooh, there’s one in the oven there, darlin’!”

Jocasta suggested that I should talk to some of these ordinary folk as it would be good for publicity and indeed, the Rev Prendergast, who helps Jocasta by photographing me in a good light, took some lovely snaps.

Sadly, after sheltering with a score or more villagers under an awning, the young man with a wire in his left ear and bulge in his jacket, and who follows me everywhere suggested that we should leave. I must admit that it was something of a squash under that awning and I could feel people fiddling with the heavy gold crucifix I wear on these occasions. And so we made a dash through the rain to our waiting cars followed by merry shouts of “Oi, mate. You gorra gun under yer coat ?” and, “Come on – show us yer weapon!” Oh how we laughed with my lady wife joining in by intoning, “I wouldn’t mind a look at his weapon too". She has such an impish sense of humour.

And so back to the Palace for Evensong, then toasted crumpets, a mug of steaming Horlicks and up the wooden hill to the Land of Nod. 

Yours affectionately,


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How to be an NHS Manager (Director In Charge of Kicking - DICK, for short)

Firstly, you must remember that to be a proper manager, everything must be clean and tidy.  Don't worry about actually doing a hand's turn yourself;  your job is to make sure that everyone else is UP TO THE MARK.

It will improve morale if you make your staff cut the grass on the lawn outside using a pair of (blunt) nail scissors. (Don't forget Health & Safety.  There are several policies about policies for that). Ensure they use a short ruler to ensure a uniform approach.  

Documentary evidence should be kept of slovenly, shiftless behaviour.  You may find yourself with staff rebellious enough to drink tea or coffee, or attend the lavatory during working hours.  This should be stamped out immediately.  Take photographs of any coffee rings, dirty spoons or other detritus, enlarge them to poster size and create an exhibition of them.  Don't be afraid to name and shame the culprits.  If you can't find any, bring some three-week-old unwashed mugs from home and photograph them instead.

Visits to the privy can be cut to the minimum simply by installing recording equipment in each closet;  any sounds can then be amplified and broadcast to the reception area.  You can't have your ladies rummaging around in their handbags, either, especially if they seem to want to do it in private.  Any lady caught taking a bag to the little girls' room should be stopped and searched.

Tidiness in the office is of primordial important.  Actually, this policy has recently been revised to:  'Being seen to be enforcing tidiness in the office'.  It is perfectly acceptable to create a huge mess on an otherwise empty desk, as long as it consists of notes telling the occupant what a disgrace their work station is.  Post-it notes, chip wrappers, fag packets and used tissues are all handy for this purpose.  Photograph the pile and put it in their CPD file.

You may sometimes find that your staff phone in pretending to be sick.  Don't be fooled!  They enjoy going out drinking, whoring, taking illicit drugs and gambling whilst being on their death beds.  Make sure you put it down as the holiday it undoubtedly is.  If a member of staff dies, this is further evidence of a workshy nature and they should face disciplinary procedures immediately.

With a bit of luck you will soon find your staff have all left or died.  Collect a six-figure bonus in recognition of your effectiveness in cutting costs and giving the tax payer value for money.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Jobs of Yesteryear. (1) The Woodgummer

A happy-go-lucky 18th century band of wandering wooden gum-makers supplying barbers with something to put dead people's teeth in.  Still practised in certain parts of Birkenhead.

(See Wikipedia)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Another letter from one of our faithful fan base...

Dear Pangolin,
My fiancée and I recently motored north to Goole in search of the relocated Glossop Pangolin Sanctuary. As children in Bangdup End, just outside Glossop, we can both recall being taken to the Sanctuary (where we almost saw a pangolin. Twice) as a Sunday treat.
You can imagine our disappointment when we could find no reference to the sanctuary in Goole’s Visitors’ Guide. It was only when we were having a cup of tea in the Aaaaahh Teashop, next door to The Goole Mud Museum, and  whilst in conversation with Ingrid, that  I mentioned the name “Ted Thump”. An unfortunately wall-eyed old lady at the next table told me that Mr Thump, the bluff head keeper at the pangolin sanctuary might be found “next door”.
The King’s Legs turned out to be rather a rough place, but Mr Thump was in fact in situ by the bar. He has obviously not been well and kept falling over. It was during one of his brief periods of standing unassisted that Mr Thump increased our distress even further. “Ee lad. Are you soft or what ?” he bellowed . “There were never a b***dy pangolin sanctuary ! It were all made up to fool b***dy dimwits like you two. Now either get me another pint or **** off !”
As you might imagine, our journey home was virtually silent save for Ingrid’s disconsolate snivelling. We feel cheated of our childhood and look to your magazine to investigate further. I did report this matter to our local beat police officer, but she told me to “**** off!” as well.

Yours sincerely

Trevor H Bandage

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Another in the Gerard Whyman Classical Studies Series

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

As has often been observed by many wiser than I, life can seem rather like a football match, with its expectations, disappointments and occasional victories. And if life IS like a football match, is God the referee? Or the club owner? Who knows? 

What I am pretty certain of is the Almighty’s displeasure at the recent conduct of a Liverpool player who, when not allowed to have a kick by a rather peevish eastern European fellow, bit him on the arm. This is disgraceful behaviour, although quite how a bite on the arm causes one to fall over, I’m not sure. Leg, perhaps, but arm? Actually, if memory serves there used to be a Leeds player called Norman “Bite Yer Legs” Hunter who ran about the pitch gnawing regularly on opponents’ calves. So, in a way, this recent isolated incident shows how far the Beautiful Game has come. Mr Hunter’s behaviour simply would not be tolerated these days.
To be honest, and I must be, its in the job description – I’m uneasy with the term “Beautiful Game”. Much of it is exceptionally skilful, but if you watch very carefully, some of the more boorish players spit regularly and, Heaven forfend, wipe their noses on their sleeves. Neither of these activities is even remotely beautiful. I am even more concerned about a certain Spanish manager who is known as “The Chosen One”. He said this weekend past that he would like to come home to where the people love him. What would Jesus have thought?
No, to my mind, cricket is the Beautiful Game – the version which features white shirts and trousers, a fine leg, a demon fast bowler, and batsmen who play up, play up and play the game. NOT, I hasten to add the dreadful 20/20 hybrid which in India features dancing girls between overs. What WOULD Jesus have thought about THAT?

Yours affectionately,


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Letter to Mr Pangolin

The Reverend and Mrs J P Ghastlie
Purgatory Lodge
Doom Lane
Lostock Green

Dear Sir or Madam,
Further to my recent communication highlighting the beauty and ultimate pageantry of even the most humble funeral, something my lady wife and I are very keen on, I am compelled to contact you again with reference to a most scandalous decision made by our County Council. “Memoria”, the company seeking to build a crematorium in the village has been refused permission to do so by said Council.
It would appear that the disrespectful antics of certain villagers persuaded the Council that Memoria’s shiny new crematorium would be "inappropriate".  INAPPROPRIATE!? How can this be? Aided and abetted by the left wing BBC who sent a film crew to record their indecent campaign, the villagers – many of whom have three thumbs and hardly any O levels -  celebrated, blindly ignoring the fact that the solemn passage of Death past their hovels on a daily basis will now never take place.
I have commiserated personally with Mr Howard Hodgson, CEO of Memoria, a most respectful and sober man – and, incidentally, author of “How to Become Dead Rich” (still available on Amazon @ 99p) – who is deeply upset at the Council’s short-sighted decision.
In conclusion, I can only speculate on the Council’s motives. How can so professional a body of highly intelligent and skilled people be influenced by mere stupid villagers who in times now sadly passed would have looked to highly educated and spiritual people like myself and Mr Hodgson for guidance. Not so now. It appears that these days, those in power, like County Councils, actually listen to others who might best be described as “ordinary”, or even “downright ordinary.”

Yours in regret

Friday, 3 May 2013

Black Widows Dancing - a selection of recordings of invertebrates in Europe, 1919 - 1942.

Presented by Bertie Tumbleweed, FRSA.  Reviewed by R T Faherty, Art Critic.

It's rare that one encounters a fellow human being who has made a career of rescuing records which have had teapots stood on them, but Tumbleweed can hold his head high.  His lecture was billed as a seamless rendition, a feast for the senses of any lover of lower life forms.  Well, thought I, I do know several of these arty types, don't I?

All agog, I bagged a seat right at the very front and availed myself of a catering sack of hula hoops which I lifted from behind the counter before the staff had had a chance of putting them out into those namby-pamby bowl things that cissies use.  (Half-inched a wine box too - arf arf!) I then proceeded to crunch, munch, rustle and slurp my way through the presentation of the recordings - not forgetting to fold the packets neatly into long strips before tying them in knots.  There were 47 in all.  I found it was easier to take the bag OUT of the wine box and squirt it into my mouth as I went along.

I created some wonderful harmonies with the sounds on offer.  The first recording was created from a fragment of a 78rpm record which had been retrieved from the bottom of a well.  It was of a snail crawling through sycamore leaves, Savernake Forest, 1923.  Tumbleweed then followed it by a subtly different one of a snail crawling through oak leaves, Hanbury Woods, 1927.  Each recording lasted approximately 15 minutes and I greeted them enthusiastically.

He then moved on to the use of the death watch beetle as a means of creating a pleasing background rhythm in the days before houses had radios or anything like that.  Apparently people used to harvest them and take them down the pub so that they could play mating rituals at each other.  This part of the talk lasted approximately three hours; it was not illustrated, as it were, with any recordings, because early attempts to capture the enchanting sounds were foiled by the building falling down.

There was another five hours of this challenging yet strangely haunting material.

However, to hard-core types like myself, brought up on the sounds of 4'33" of Silence, this presented no challenge at all.  I had another squirt.  So to speak.

The final recording was an intriguing one;  it actually departed from the theme of the lecture somewhat in that the subject was undeniably vertebrate.  It was of a member of the public who had attended his previous lecture, who for some reason had acquired a tea chest, got inside, nailed down the lid and sent it to an unspecified destination.  Never to return.

And - you know what?  At the end of the lecture I turned round... and there was almost nobody left.

Apart from my old mate, Bogg.  I'd recognise that flatulent aroma anywhere.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pangolin Obituaries

Thomas Xerxes Gobwit Sept 1930 – April 2013

The death is announced of Tommy Gobwit, native of Glossop (Derbs) and generally acknowledged to be the most unsuccessful novelist of all time. Mr Gobwit wrote at least 1,400 novels all of which are described by a Harper Collins spokesperson as “unutterably dreadful”.

He is seen here threatening to stuff “I Love Brenda Hargreaves” down said spokesperson’s throat outside Harper Collins’ London offices.

Neighbours said of Mr Gobwit, “Well, it’ll be more peaceful around here with him gone. He was a bloody loony.”

Gladys Maud Dent August 1929 – April 2013

Known locally as "The Gas Lady", Gladys Maud Dent was a familiar sight to Glossop shoppers as she scurried back home to El Alamien Terrace to make sure she’d turned it off. Our picture captures her in a moment of indecision. A council official commented, "El Alamien Terrace went all–electric in 1988"