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."