Jeanneke Pis Manneken Pis
WIND AND PISS
Poet on a Hill
To Begin at the Beginning…
New posts will be displayed here. Then, as other items get published, they will be moved to a position underneath Times Square, below.
To all the regular folk...
A Merry Christmas
To all the Atheists...
A Merry Nothingthere
A winter’s morn; the earth is
still. Leaves and grass gleam virgin
white as vapours shroud the distant
hill. Birds forage in field and
wood where the pond is steel. The
sharpened air, a whetted knife,
reveals to me my lover’s
breath. God – I see her very
life! We spread our pence beneath
the tree; but love is all the
gift we need, and love is free.
Charlie Gregory: Christmas
Dear anyone happening along.
The Chinese think this is a year of the snake, but I disagree. This is the year of the anus. I know that, from personal experience. A few weeks ago, I had this sciatic pain in my leg. So, mainly because it was a damn nuisance, I eventually went to the surgery and took potluck on seeing a doctor... A young lady doc eventually called me in. “What’s your problem?” she wants to know. “It’s my leg,” I tell her. So, OK, when we finish with the leg she says, “We don’t often see you in here.” And I say, “That’s ‘cos there’s nothing wrong.” And she says, “I think it’s about time you had an MoT. How are your waterworks?”
“Seen better days,” I say, “but I get by.”
“Do you want me to check your prostrate?” she wants to know.
The next thing is, I’m lay on the bed, trousers round my ankles, with an attractive young lady standing beside me with her finger rammed firmly up by backside. OK, so it makes your eyes water, but you have to count your blessings. As we speak, there’s many a shifty-eyed bloke trawling the internet, credit card in hand, hoping to get anything approaching that experience for less than a three-figure sum...
Going back to the MoT, well this thing covers every intimate aspect of your being, from blood to spittoons, from your heart to your bowels – and all nooks and crannies in-between. It’s all good fun, put the pièce de résistance is Sigmoidoscopy. Your mother doesn’t tell you about such things, so let me enlighten you.
You end up on a bed again, with a giggle of women around you and your trousers round your ankles – all on the NHS. At first, you think it’s going to be as much fun as the prostrate exam, but they soon put paid to that. You can’t see what’s going on, but a sudden searing pain tells you that one of these madwomen has leapt on a forklift truck that has a camera tied to a boom, and she has driven at you at full speed and rammed the lot up your backside...
Over the years, I have heard many a woman shooting a line about the terrors of childbirth. They assure you that birthing pains are the ultimate torture. And, as a man, you can’t argue. Then, as if to drive the point home, the posh actresses who, in real life, always opt for sedated caesareans, build on the myth by issuing end-of-life screams as they give birth to a doll in the comfort of a soap opera studio.
Well, let me tell you, Sigmoidoscopy is like having the world’s biggest baby rammed the wrong way up your private parts, without the aid of a water bag. Then, to prove the point, it traps a room-full of air in your guts, which turns into the devil’s own excruciating form of agony. So, in the end, you’ve not only experienced a reverse dry childbirth, but you’ve also got the equivalent of galloping labour pains, from which there will never be any relief until you manage to force a zeppelin’s worth of air through the tattered remnants of your rectum. It’s significant to me that smirking females performed both these internal examinations.
I had a nightmare the night after the examination. In it, I saw two witches, Sigmoid and Oscopy, talking wicked...
“Have you come up with any more evil spells recently?” croaks Oscopy, “because I’m fed up with all this cat’s eyes and skinned babies nonsense.”
“Yep,” squawks Sigmoid, “dreamed of a lovely one, last night.”
“Aaah, tell me about it,” croaks Oscopy, rubbing her arthritic claws together in glee.
“Tee hee,” squawks Sigmoid, “in my dream I saw this innocent man. ‘Ahha,’ I said to myself, ‘the perfect victim.’ So I leapt on me broomstick and began to circle him. Then I started going faster and faster and ever faster in ever decreasing circles. Until, at last, I put on a mighty spurt and rammed the thick end of me broomstick up his arse!”
“Wonderful,” screamed Oscopy, “let that be our new evil spell for the 21st century. And, even better, let’s tie a camera on the end, so we can see...” That’s when I woke up, leapt out of bed, fled to the kitchen, and rammed a bunch of garlic down my pyjamas.
Talking of hospitals and things, reminds me. The world gets ever madder. Everyone is talking in numbers these days. These things sneak up, without you realising. But looking back, I can see that it all started with the Chinese. When their junks first sailed up the Mersey, no one thought much about it. Then they all swarmed ashore and opened duck and noodle restaurants. But we didn’t know what it was all about because they were all yodelling at each other, and writing in hieroglyphics and stuff. Being in a Chinese restaurant was like being in a Mumbai call-centre. Nobody knew what anybody was saying. When the first Chinese takeaway opened in Liverpool, a man and a woman ran it. He did the cooking while she served. But she only knew a couple of words of English. The Scousers called her, “Effin Else,” because, after every transaction, she always said, “effin else?” That’s what started the numbers game. Customers wanted to know what was in everything. And she either didn’t know or wouldn’t say. In the end, to shut people up, she put numbers against the names of the meals. I don’t blame her, “I’ll have a number sixty-three,” sounds far more appetising than, “Fried rice and a boiled dog’s thingamajig.”
I can see the point in the number-language of course. In a country where we have over 50 lingos on the go at any one time, you can’t show favouritism by saying that one tongue is more important than the others. That’s racist. So it makes sense to invent a new idiom unrelated to any of the other languages. And what better than numbers? Numbers are international. After all, a number two is a... But, the trouble is, people like me have a problem.
You see, I’m mathematically challenged. I failed the 11+. It runs in the family. I remember the last time that we took my dad to A&E. He was lying on a bed, writhing in agony with terminal bowel cancer. When up comes this nurse, armed with a tick sheet. “On a scale of 1 to 10,” says she, “how bad is your pain?” Need she ask? I wondered.
“Agony,” gasps my dad.
“Where would it be on a scale of 1 to 10,” says she.
“Aaahh...” groans my dad, beads of sweat bursting out of his brow.
“But what is that on a scale of 1 to 10?” she insists.
“Agony,” he moans...
And so it goes on, until a porter comes up and wheels the old man behind a curtain, where a doctor, blessed with a smattering of English, takes over.
That was over ten years ago. Number-speak was in its infancy then. But numbers are now the lingua franca of that same hospital. Even the doctors are into it. They all carry clipboards for use when they give
patients the third degree. If you go into the knee clinic and score 20+ correct answers, you get a new knee; 15-20 and you come out with a Zimmer frame; 10-15 is a walking stick... and under 10, “You’re wasting my time – hop-off home.”
It’s just as bad in the psychiatry shop; 20+ on the Richter scale and they put you in a straight jacket; 15-20 and you’re in a padded cell; 10-15 is Care in the Community, and under 10... “You’re just thick. Live with it.”
Going back to my labour pains. When I doubled up with a spasm, a fully-baked nurse asked me, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?” How does a mathematical dummy like me answer a question like that? “I’m only trained in English,” I told him. “I don’t do numbers. But every time the pain hits, it doubles me up.”
Then, when I got the next wave of cramps, he was at it again. “Where was that on a scale of 1 to 10?” he wanted to know. I wouldn’t mind, but this guy could actually speak English. He was Scottish. But he kept on with the mathematical interrogation until a Filipino nurse came up and rammed a fistful of ginger-biscuits in my hand. “Get those down you,” said the Filipino. “They’ll make you fart.”
I’m getting old now. So, eventually, I will have to accept the fact that I will be spending more time in institutions. Being aware of the pitfalls, I have now embarked on a teach-yourself numbers project, so that I can talk on equal terms with mathematical nurses.
You need a reference point for such a project, and it has to be something that you are sure about. So I thought that the best place to start was 10 = Dry Reverse Childbirth – as being the most painful thing in the world. But, almost immediately, the voices in my head challenged me. “Is that more painful than being boiled alive?” said the first voice... “Or eaten by a lion?” said the second voice... “Or mangled by machinery?” asked a third. “Or hung drawn and quartered?” challenged a fourth. “Burnt at the stake?” whined another. Hmmm... In comparison to these more mature forms of suffering, having a baby backwards sounds like... well... child’s play – even if you are doing it dry. So it’s back to the drawing board. Effin Else has a lot to answer for.
We’ve not been travelling this year, what with one thing and
another. But we did nip up to Sheffield a few months back, to see granddaughter Katie in a fencing tournament. We stayed in Chesterfield for a change. It’s a great little place, in Derbyshire, just over the border from Yorkshire. This is real Robin Hood country and well worth a visit. It was good to be back in a north-country town. Good atmosphere, friendly and... well... northern. I knew I was on home territory when the dinner waitress asked if we wanted a bread-roll. “They’re mad ‘ot,” she says. “Just out o’t’ th’oven.” I visualised this girl in a stone floored farm kitchen on a Peakland hillside. But I won’t go into my fantasies here... At half-eight the next morning we walked along a street with the market in full swing, and the local worthies already on the go.
That’s Liz and Jacqui strolling along; with David, in the road, striding manfully ahead.
In the local Weatherspoons, where they do an excellent tailor-made breakfast at a fair price, it was lovely to see the dear old ladies, in town for a bit of shopping, sitting there gossiping and drinking pints of real ale for breakfast. Ye Olde England still exists, if you know where to look. I love it. Mind you, it looks as if the bloke who put the spire on the parish church had spent a bit too long in Weatherspoons.
Everything is fine with Liz and me. We are still plodding on with our weekly routine. The Wednesday shopping expedition usually takes up the best part of a day. Then we either go out for a meal, or take in a film and pizza, down in Cardiff bay. My knee has put paid to all my walking and jogging escapades, but Liz is walking big time. She walks with the WI and they have been having a monthly hike of between 5 and 7 miles. The plan being, that if you went on all the planned routes, you would end up walking 90 miles within the year – which is the Glamorgan Area’s 90th year in existence. On every second Monday, Liz has another kind of Marathon. She goes to a sewing group in the morning, skittles in the afternoon and WI in the evening. On the top of that, she is on the Parish Council and reads lessons in church. As if that isn’t enough, she baby-minds Jon and Sylvia’s two year old daughter Saga every Tuesday, which includes a swimming lesson in the afternoon. Until now, she has also child-minded Diz’s two children, Charlie and Isobel, for two half days a week. So, all in all, she gathers little moss. My social life is down to the pub twice a week, one evening with Liz and Sunday evening with my mates. I get my fresh air in the garden and do some exercises plus a good gallop on the exercise bike 4 times a week, so I’m reasonably fit.
David is still in the navy after 28 years. He’s still the Chief PO Engineer on HMS Scott, a survey ship. This is his second draft on that ship. He did a three year stint once before. This ship’s got some advantages for him. He has his own decent sized cabin and works 2
months on and 1 month off. His wife, Penny, is still working in a hospice, and daughter, Katie, is at university. Katie is also in the naval reserve, which supplements her income. Time will tell if she intends to go into the navy proper.
Diz has just given up her job as head of child psychology in Gwent because her husband, Dan, has accepted a move to Toronto. So that part of our family will be moving oversees in January. Charlie and Isobel are not too keen because they have loads of friends in Cardiff and have an incredible amount of activities, which includes brownies and scouts, music lessons and drama school. They have both been in loads of performances in front of paying audiences. And, at the moment, they are appearing in a professional production of Aladdin. As well as all that, Charlie got about 5 accolades for achievement in various fields of endeavour in the junior school that he left in the summer. And now they have named him as the star pupil in his year, after one term at Cardiff High School. So you can see why the kids are not keen to move.
Jon and Sylvia are still running their music producing business up at the top end of Cwm Rhondda. They are having a lot of success in Norway, writing and producing the scores for a series of nature films, which the Norwegian and other Scandinavian television companies then screen. They still love life in the valleys. It’s seems to be a lot freer than it is in the cities. And the place full of characters, like the bloke who takes his goat for a walk on a lead, as if it was a dog. Their little girl, Saga, is two now and has started to attend a Welsh nursery. It’s funny to hear her. She holds conversations with her mother in Norwegian, and with her father in English, and now she is breaking into Welsh. When she is at our house for a babysitting session, she sometimes comes out with a Norwegian expression that we can’t make head nor tale of, and she can’t translate. I think she thinks we’re a bit thick.
Well, that’s the letter from Cardiff.
All I can say now, is that we wish all who pass by
A Merry Christmas
and a Peaceful and Contented New Year.
Let us start by having a laugh.
Click on ‘enter’ below, and come into the shop.
Why not pause for thought?
Just click on SNAP below and come and
meet some of my friends and visit the places
I’ve been… Have an interesting time.
Like I say, just Click SNAP
Idiots in Vietnam is now displayed below The Way it Was, further down the page.
Er... Thanks for the birthday gift – but don’t give me a Christmas present.
My wife’s Birthday present from the Marks&Sparks Premium Club was a “free” afternoon tea for two, valid until the 20th December. When she redeemed it this afternoon, she was charged 60p. “But it’s free,” said my wife. “Computer says – 60p,” says the cashier. “How is that possible?” asked my wife. “It must have gone up,” says the cashier. “How can a free gift go up?” says my wife. “Dunno, but it has,” says the cashier.
I’ve spent the entire evening with a slide rule and abacus trying to work out the percentage inflation of 60/0. I failed. But if all M&S stock goes up at the same rate, we’ll have to buy our mince pies from Aldi.
Memories of an old army friend, recently called to the Last Post
Gary and Me
There’s marching and shouting and crunching of boots,
with men slapping rifles and cursing recruits;
we’re running and drilling from morning ‘til night,
go like a mad goat and get fit for the fight.
Now down to the pub for a laugh and a shout,
for a lark with your mates is what it’s about.
We soldier together, do Gary and me.
They teach us to shoot and to eavesdrop and spy,
and then send us abroad to give it a try.
They shut us in camp for long months at a time,
attempts at escape are a locking-up crime.
We crawl through the wire in the black of the night,
and leg into town for the Turkish delight.
We buck it together, do Gary and me.
Now, sleepless and angry, the boss does his rounds.
A voice in his head tells him, “Two out of bounds!”
But we’ve shuffled our beds with some of the crew...
He sees someone there but he doesn’t know who.
Come fire or come water, we both find a way
of having a laugh at the end of the day.
Always one-step ahead, that’s Gary and me.
EOKA and Suez drift in with the tide,
but Gary and me take it all in our stride.
For I-corps and Signals and GCHQ,
we track Arab kings and the Gypo aircrew;
get a grunt from the boss and, “Thank you,” from Ike,
who waves a big stick from an invalid trike.
We work hard and play hard, do Gary and me.
No matter how precious, all stories must end,
but the gift in the theme is finding a friend.
Now Gary’s moved on to the misty Last Post
I’ll bring up the rear while he’s clearing the coast.
Then, heads put together, we’ll suss the place out;
if we don’t like the vibes, then be in no doubt,
we’ll just crawl through the wire, will Gary and me.
Units for You Nits
I see that the panel of “experts” who invented units of alcohol, and then told us what quantities of their invention it is safe for men and women to consume, have now come clean and admitted that they picked the figures “out of the air” based on no scientific basis. What’s more, it turns out that every country has its own “safety limit” and no two “limits” are the same. Smell a rat?
For example, in Saudi, the limit is zero-blank all round. You can’t even get a packet of bacon-flavoured crisps in an Arab pub. “Ganja flavour? Yes pliz mister,” but, “Bacon flavour? Oh no, mister. And pliz removing shoes!”
I’m 79 and I’ve been a happy drinker since I was 17 – beer, whisky and, for the last 15 years, wine as well: and I am reasonably fit; no prescription drugs whatsoever – zilch! I don’t have a beer gut either. I’ve got piles and a bad knee, and that’s enough to be going on with. The doc says that the knee is not alcohol related. But he’s not sure about the piles, because larger drinkers spend a lot of time on the thunder-box. I didn’t mention that, for the last 60 years, I’ve spent most weekends bouncing off my knees on the way home from the pub.
I’m no alcoholic though, oh no, not me. I may be an ageing piss artist, but I‘m no alcy. How do I know? Well, one of the symptoms of being an alcoholic is that you keep denying it... and hiding the evidence. Is that one symptom, or two? I have difficulty focussing at this time of night. But I’m not alcoholic, oh no, definitely not. And anyone who says I am an alcy is lying. I hardly drink really. All that stuff I keep among the gardening tools in the shed keeps disappearing. So does that stuff behind the paint tins in the garage. That’s why I keep renewing it. Every time I go back, it’s just empty bottles. So I can’t be alcy... there’s nothing there... nothing... I think the wife’s drinking it. Shhhh...
How can I be sure that my hobby isn’t eating away at my insides, and that my liver doesn’t look like a sponge that’s been festering in a sewer for the last 10 years? Well... at my age, it wouldn’t matter anyway. But the fact is that my liver is not disintegrating. I know that, because I’ve been for a voluntary medical look-see...
...Which brings to mind another medical I had about 10 years ago. It was one of those things that was on a half price offer, like smelly fish. So I went for it. A nurse checked me from head to tail, and then, while we waited for the results, a doctor interrogated me about my vices.
“Do you drink?” he wanted to know.
“Of course,” I replied.
“How many units do you drink in a week?” he wanted to know.
“None,” I told him.
“But you said-:“
“I said, I drink; but I don’t drink units; just pints of beer and litres of spirits and wine.”
“OK,” he conceded, “how many pints and litres would you consume in a week?”
I rattled off some figures. It was easy. I’m a creature of habit.
“My God,” he croaked, scribbling on a note pad, “that’s nearly ninety units.”
“They don’t do units where I live,” I told him, “only pints and litres.”
“Nevertheless,” he said, “we’ll have to have a close look at your liver result, and then move forward from there.”
Needless to say, my liver was tickety-boo, as was my cholesterol and sugar, blood pressure and any other result you can think of. Funny thing is, that doctor looked at my bottom too, but he didn’t spot my hemma... haemi... emmaroy... piles – even though they were hanging down like a bunch of grapes. Wonder what he was looking for down there.
It’s over a decade later, and nothing has changed much. Maybe I don’t drink as much as I did. You slow down as you get older. But, all the same, I drink a full bottle of red wine every weekday evening. Then, over the weekend, I’ll clear a reasonable amount of beer and about a third of a bottle of whisky. So why don’t I put on weight? Well, alcohol is liquid. You pee it out. Yes it’s calories. But so is food. And food contains fat. Fat clings. So when I go on a diet, I keep my alcohol supply steady and cut down on food, either carbs or fat, sometimes both. And it works. I take a modicum of exercise too. I burn about 500 calories on the exercise bike, four times a week, plus plenty of stretching. I used to hike for miles and run and jog for a hobby, but the knee put paid to that. Mind you, piles can be a menace on a bike... They keep getting tangled in the moving parts.
So what is all this unit nonsense about? It’s about control, that’s what it’s about. They use units of alcohol and the 5 vegetables a day dogma as steps towards controlling your leisure activities. Then the PC doctrine kicks in to control your thoughts, speech and behaviour. The commies and Nazis have done it all before. Granny covered all that by giving us a healthy diet and teaching us to be well mannered and to accept people for what they are – like, “Do onto others as you would have them do on to you.” To my mind, that covers about everything. Mind you, Granny didn’t have to contend with all these foreign weirdos we have today.
It’ the same story with the immigration freaks...
“Mass immigration’s good for the economy,” they told me.
“Whose economy? Because it ain’t mine,” I answered.
“Racist!” they snapped – another control word, like units and portions – “it’ll be a different story when you need a plumber.”
“I don’t need a plumber I told them. At least, not a CORGI. I want a stomach plumber to fix my hernia.”
“You’ll be grateful when you meet all those nice foreign nurses in hospital,” they told me.
“Hospital?” I echoed. “What hospital? I’ve been waiting 12 months on a 6-month waiting list.”
“Ah, you just wait ‘til 2014 when the Romanians and Bulgarians get the go-ahead. There will be over a million brilliant surgeons on the boat from Calais – all armed with scalpels of one sort or another,” they assured me.
“Hope they’re as well qualified as the Roma cash-machine technicians who photographed my bank card,” I replied.
“Racist!” they screamed.
“Shurrup. I’m going for a hike,” I told them, tucking in my hernia and folding my piles into a nosebag, before limping towards Windturbinewoods, singing “There’ll always be an England” – quietly to myself, lest I upset my neighbours who gabble in strange tongues.
No names, no pack drill; but we’ve always used Company-A to insure our household utilities. They are probably the biggest player on the field, so everybody knows them. Liz always maintained they were too expensive, and didn’t give value for money. But, being a logic-master, I explained that we were purchasing cover, not a commodity, and you can’t see a cover, it’s just there when you need it. Mind, I had to agree that at £549 a year, £45.75 a month, they didn’t come cheap.
I don’t know how this guy from Company-B contacted me on the phone, because I don’t answer cold-callers. In fact, I don’t answer warm friends unless my conscience tells me it’s time to do penance. But he did get hold of me and offered 15 months cover for £300. OK, his offer wasn’t as comprehensive as company-A. But it was far better value, so I took him up on it.
Now I went back to Company-A to cancel my insurance, and spoke to Wee Willy or someone. “I want to cancel my cover,” I told him. “Why?” he asked. “I’ve found someone cheaper,” I said. “I can give you a £60 discount if you stay with us,” he offered... Cheeky sod, I thought, why didn’t you offer me that before I threatened to leave...? “Peanuts,” I told him. “OK, I’ll make that £100,” he said. “You’d have to up your game by £250,” I said. “Give me a moment,” he told me, pretending to do a calculation, “OK,” he said finally, “I can drop your monthly payments to £21, if you stay.”
Do you get that? When I said I was leaving the company they were willing to cut my payment by more than a half. That means that they have been ripping us off for years. “No thanks,” I said. “Why not?” he asked. “When it’s time to renew, you’ll rob me again,” I told him. “We’ll negotiate,” he said. “You bet,” I told him. “Goodbye!”
This Happy Land
Brits are always moaning. If it’s not the weather, it’s the government, immigration, royalty or the Daily Mail. But, come on, be joyful, this place is brilliant. Like the bard nearly said, “We’re all players in the pantomime.” Take the last few days: An Al Qaeda terrorist, wearing an electronic tag, walked through an MI5 cordon disguised as a mobile tent, while the Prime Minister was playing at being a Diwali... or should I say doolally... Indian: Paxman, the BBC’s political Rottweiler, says he can’t find anyone to vote for: A council in Derbyshire towed away the wood for the November bonfire and accused the villagers of fly-tipping: Two policemen took time off from the war on crime to interrogate a 12 year old boy about flicking an elastic band at another boy in the school playground: A woman who was sacked from work is claiming £5M compensation: And, thank goodness, the UK has plummeted to 23rd in the world education league: Which guarantees us plenty more comedians in the pipeline. Bring on the clowns and follow Maggie Thatcher’s advice. “Rejoice! Rejoice!”
Last of the Brits
We tend to leave home around about ten in the morning when the world is having its second mug of tea. The travellers haven’t hit the road yet and every-where is quiet. We’re on our way to town today. We don’t go there all that often, maybe once a month, but it’s always worth the trip. No need to spend a fortune on foreign travel anymore; the circus has come to town.
Take this trip, for example. We’re cruising along, half-chatting, half-listening to Ken Bruce on Radio-2, when a Chinese woman zooms past on a motorbike with a toddler sprawling on the petrol tank. There is nothing holding the kid in place, and neither of them is wearing a helmet. “My God,” I tell Liz, “That poor woman’s taken a wrong turn coming out of Manky Pooh and ended up in South Wales. She’s probably trying to find her way back home, but the signposts are in gobbledegook. Poor girl; she’s doomed to wander the valleys forever.”
“How do you know she’s from Manky Pooh?” Liz demands cynically. She challenges all my deepest revelations.
“It doesn’t matter,” I snap. “The implications are horrendous. There are umpteen zillion motorcyclists in China. If they all make the same mistake and come zooming through the Channel Tunnel like a plague of locusts, they’ll end up choking our motorways and roads like so much sludge in a gutter, to say nothing of the towns and villages. Before we know it, everywhere will be knee deep in noodles and fried rice, and we won’t be able to move.” As a responsible citizen, I take these things seriously. “Something has to be done, and quickly,” I tell her. That’s when I was inspired to start my online petition to have the Channel Tunnel bricked-up at Folkestone.
“In the meantime,” I tell Liz, “we should get everyone to lobby their MP to have all road-signs displayed in English and Chinese, in the hope of helping these lost souls to find their way back to Yingyang County. Get the WI onto it.”
By now we are moving through the inner city. Bearded men in white nightshirts walk paces ahead of black shrouds that glide over pavements, silent and unswerving in hypnotic obedience. The ghosts of the night being led back to their daytime hidey-holes, I deduce. “Hold on,” I whisper, and step on the juice.
In town, we mosey up High Street on the way to the market. Along the way we pass a gypsy woman. She’s been standing there ever since Romania boarded the EU gravy train, pumping furiously on a tuneless accordion, like a desperate blacksmith aiming bellows at the last spark. I’ve mentioned this girl before, not a note in her head, poor soul. I’m no virtuoso myself, but this critter has been practising for months and getting nowhere. “I hope she’s saving up for lessons,” I mutter.
In a department store, I need to powder my nose and head for the toilet. A gathering of Muslim women is blocking the foyer. They’ve kicked off their shoes and are having a prayer session, facing Mecca via the urinals. I navigate through them and point Percy at the wall. If I felt the need to pray while I was in this place, I muse; I would head for the Lingerie Department and meditate among those shapely dummies in flimsy knickers...
Outside, we encounter the last of the Brits; teenage girls with glazed eyes and heads full of din, lugholes bunged-up with earpieces. They could be robots; electronic cigarettes sticking out of their mouths like teats. Further along, a posse of women gather at a bus stop, singing protest songs... They carry placards that announce, “Every woman has a right to abortion.” I avert my eyes. I don’t know the rights and wrongs, but I am scared of madwomen.
A young bum sprawls in a doorway, unshaven, unwashed and unkempt, begging for, “Any loose change.” The Asian shopkeeper comes out and moves him on. “I hate this place,” growls the bum, as he stands in the rain wondering where to waste his life next, a derelict on a sea of hopelessness. The guy needs a job. He should link up with that gypsy woman. They’d make a great team. He could take over the accordion and attract attention with the cacophony. She could squat beside him, carving pegs out of twigs and hissing curses at anyone who won’t buy. Find your niche... that’s the road to success.
On the way home, we see that a main police station has closed-down and the building is up for sale. Nearer home, the police station has gone on part time. The law has capitulated and I’m reaching for the whisky bottle.
Honour the Alter Ego
I see there were plans to erect a 6 foot statue of a football referee in a park in Cambridge. That’s where they drew up the rules of Association Football in 1863. But the PC Diversity Equality Squad said the statue was too male and too white, so it was called off. Seeing that all Association Football referees from 1863 to 2013 have been male and white, the statue of a white bloke seemed to hit the nail on the head. But maybe not. People are more complex than they appear.
Let’s face it, some of those early referees must have had kinky thoughts. So why don’t we erect statues of their alter egos? Instead of a six foot, white, hairy arsed macho man in referee’s kit, why not have a little mini skirted black girl with the caption, “Big Jock blows the Final Whistle.”
Better still, you could apply a nice diversity touch to all our statues. We could have Jolly Jack Nelson in drag, preening himself in Lady Hamilton’s cast-offs, complete with bustle and a balloon coming out of his mouth saying, “Kiss me Hardy!” Then there would be Prince Albert in a harlot costume, trying on the crown, with an angry Victoria in her old bloomers, screaming, “We are not amused.”
As well as pleasing our PC friends, these updated statues would be a fantastic tourist attraction. We would have armies of Jap happy-snappers scrambling over each other to get pictures of a troupe of Beatles skipping across a zebra crossing, handbags swinging and skirts billowing in the breeze. Others would jostle to be pictured alongside Churchill, done up as a butcher, brandishing a cleaver, shouting, “Some chicken...” at a schoolgirl Hitler, cowering in the ladies toilets, knees together, protective hands over his privates and knickers round his ankles.
Poky dingy café;
workmen shout and curse;
she floats among the tables,
tending like a nurse.
She pauses when she sees me;
breaks into a smile;
skips behind the counter,
lingers for a while.
chatting while she's serving,
shedding all her pain …
I am leaving,
a nurse again.
Week’s Best Headline: “GUN PC CAUGHT IN TRYST WITH HIS TROUSERS ROUND HIS ANKLES... HE COULD STILL REACH HIS WEAPON, SAYS TRIBUNAL” Say no more.
If it’s good when house prices rise, then, logically, it must be good when other possessions cost more, cars etc... Funny old world.
Oxymoron? Arguing in favour of multiculturalism and a United Kingdom at the same time.
Funny way to run a country: Kick out a decent hard working Indian because his visa expires. Open the door for East European child killers.
Dear diary, went shopping with the wife today: Anything worth buying was German. Everything else was Chinese, PS. Bought a pint of British milk.
Green Windfarms? We’re gonna lay a £500M cable, to buy French nuclear energy when the breeze don’t blow. “Whistle for a wind, Jim lad!”
Advert in todays post: ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR PROSTRATE AND STARVING YOUR PENIS? ...Hmm I thought the crumbs I put in my Y-fronts fed both.
Girl Guides, run by PC madwomen, now serve “self” and insular “community” instead of God and country. Another step in splintering the UK.
Like I say... I’m the fall guy.
I said I would like a splash of colour outside the French windows, so Liz brought home these exotic plants from the garden centre. They were beautiful, red patterns on a bright yellow background, “Hand-painted by God,” I thought.
The label said they were “Gazanias.”
“Dodgy,” I thought, “Gazania’s a country. Went there on safari once. Full of lions and mambas and things that give you the squits. So what do the flowers get up to?”
Anyway, nothing ventured nothing gained. I put them in the ground and rewarded myself with a whisky-beer chaser, like you do. The next time I squinted out of the window, all these Gazania things were slouching, shoulders hunched, petals over their heads, sulking like Friday night girls when it rains on the queue at the Club Kids.
Now I read the label. It says, “Must be in full sun.” Full sun...? We live in Cardiff, the wettest place outside Dogger Bank. We don’t do full sun. So that’s another thirty quid down the plughole.
Like I say... I’m the fall guy.
Headline:” The elderly are draining the NHS.” Hang on... I paid the insurance all my working life. Mass immigration is draining the NHS.
Is it an age thing?
I dunno why, but my logic seems to have been twisted along the way. Some things that appear normal to the rest of humanity, seem out of kilter to me. Take our local surgery – again... One day a couple of weeks ago, Liz was feeling poorly. In fact, she felt she needed a word with a doctor.
So, at 0830. she starts dialling the surgery to make an appointment, like you do. As usual, all she got was the engaged tone until 0825. Then she got through to reception, who told her that, “All the appointments have been taken, so you don’t get to see a doctor today.” That’s not good when you feel ill, but you can’t fault the logic.
Anyway, a week later it was my turn. I had a weird pain, so I thought that I had better get some medical advice. But now, this is my logic, I knew that there was no point in joining the 0830 scramble, only to be told that, “You can’t see a doctor today.” So I waited until the rush was over, then I dialled and asked to make an appointment for the following day, which was Thursday. Clever?
A woman with a mechanical voice, who sounded as if she had swallowed a computer, answered me. She said, “Appointments for the day are released in the morning.”
“I don’t want an appointment today,” I told her, “I want if for tomorrow.”
“Appointments for the day are released in the morning,” she told me, “call tomorrow.”
“But it takes half an hour to get through,” I told her, “and by then all the appointments are taken.”
“Appointments for the day are released in the morning,” the computerised person replied, “call tomorrow.”
“Friday?” I ventured.
“Appointments for the day are released in the morning,” she repeated mechanically.
“Say I want to see Dr X?” I wondered.
“Dr X has an appointment vacant next Wednesday,” said the mechanical one...
Now this is where my logic falls down. If they only release appointments on the day in question – so you can’t book them one or two days in advance – how come you can book them a week in advance, like next Wednesday. See what I mean? I’m out of kilter.
Says here: “Two lesbians went to a fire station for help - handcuffed together for SM and lost the key.” Lucky they weren’t top’n’tail...
Scaremongers are at it again. Now they tell us that summer causes the hot weather.
Brilliant cartoon. Caption says: “Fracking, the plus side.” Picture of cracks in the earth with the tops of wind turbines sticking out.
Daily Mail quote: “gay Stephen Twigg snatched the seat from Michael Portillo in the 1997 Blair landslide.” If the earth moves, just grab.
Froggy Hollande has a hissy fit when he hears that the CIA spies on the EU. What does he think spooks do?
When I was a kid they made me pray. There was a war on at the
time, so the main bargaining point in any prayer-deal was that
if I was goo... not as bad... God must let our side win. Which,
fair doos to the bloke, he did. However, another part of the deal
fell down badly, because I asked him to, “Bless all our
soldiers, sailors and airmen and keep them safe.” This last
bit didn’t come off. I knew that because, every day, our local
rag sported a list of the latest hometown war-dead. So,
for me, God fell at the first post and I matured into a
As time went by I developed a cynicism for the very idea
of prayer. “It’s ridiculous,” I thought, “for me, a grown man,
to expect another grown man, i.e. – God, to sit there, up
in the sky, and hear and understand every prayer in
every language that comes bellowing out of his loudspeaker
from every quarter of the globe. “Even madder,” I thought, “is
to expect this guy to attempt to fix everyones’ problems at the
same time.” With those words, I closed the book and became
a fully-fledged doubter.
But hang about. Here’s me, today, wandering around my
personal neck of the woods, and asking my satnav, in my
language, to, “Guide me,” to some obscure alleyway in
some one-horse town that even my neighbours haven’t
heard of – and it does. And, I presume that, at the same
time, millions of other people are, in their own language,
asking similar questions about their space in their part of
the world, and getting... “Guidance.”
Now, as an agnostic, my argument has always been, “I’ll
believe it if you prove it.” So, true to my beliefs, I think
God’s a satellite.
Sitting here on the patio in the cool of an evening, sipping whisky. Lone birds, wending home across the heavens; fleecy cirrus,
pink-tinted by the setting sun, drifting in from the sou’west, like
exotic fish in my vast aquarium of deepening blue sky. Bedtime
rooks shout from the copse beyond the roofs, last of the birds
chirping in the trees; flowers closing for the night, cool air
drifting in with a damp night-smell of nearby fields where a
crow coughs and scours for supper, cat slinks by with wicked
eyes, on the prowl for a vole or mouse... I open a beer and
thank God that my love is by my side.
Wife of Bank of England guv says teabags waste paper and wreck
the planet. Maybe Basildon Bond eats a bit of rain forest, but
Wick Marine Radio Station, Caithness, Scotland, GKR
While you’re passing why not pop inside and see the actual staff demonstrating
how they react when they intercept a distress call from a ship.
The film was made in the 1960s, the era of my two true stories Fated and Sailing with Hunters.
I’m the guy who talks to the French ship. Grab a glass of something and come inside by clicking HERE
Time to get back to the present day rat race.
TIMES SQUARE NEW YORK
Click HERE to join the fun.