Friday, 29 January 2016

Tennis Integrity Unit

Four combat tours and a slew of black ops with the Navy Seal Spetsnaz Rangers. Left the Service and passed some time watching the world go by through the bottom of a Jack Daniels bottle.

An old buddy picked me up off a bar floor somewhere out west of nowhere. Come on in, fella, we need a good man like you.

Didn't tell me he was walking me into the Tennis Integrity Unit.


Don' you go an be no foo'
Get dat bad ass in da TIU.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Why The British Will Never Be Successfully Civilised

Put nice trays and stubbing plates on top of bins to encourage the good Citizen to put out his or her cigarette there

and the dog-ends start to collect on bins that have so such Amenity

and on pretty much anything that sticks out of the pavement.

Which is, if you ask me, a Good Thing.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

A Merry Christmas To All My Reader

and whatever the New Year may bring  l'très saint Hollande et tous les politiciens preserve you from the terrors of the Gloooobal Warning!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Hyperbole 'more dangerous than fat birds' claims Chief Sanity Officer

"The Four Horsemen and the Fat Bird of the Apocalypse are a piffling threat when hyperbole will kill nearly everybody in Britain by next Wednesday," claimed Britain's Chief Sanity Officer today, or is expected to claim if he can be arsed now that the Press Release has gone out and earned the required airtime on the Today Programme.

"The real threat to the ship of state comes from the tophamper of timeservers and passengers making wildly overstated claims to display their Importance and advertise their Damehoods, creating life-threatening torrents of futile turbulence among the stupid and politicians."

In other news:  "We're dangerous too, just you wait," claims Chief Fat Blokes Officer.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

She's a Peach

Eight peach stones from the late Pliocene, two-and-a-half million years old, have been
found in Kunming. The previous oldest definitely old definitely peaches go back only eight thousand years.

Good excuse, that, to post some slightly dated Anthropocene totty:

Gift Suggestion

Some kind fellow sent me this Botanical Ginvent Calendar which on inspection proved to hold 24 miniatures of gin spiked with various different herbs ("erbs" as the pretentious like to say), spices or fruits: caraway seed; orange peel; rosemary; orris root and the like.

I speedily tried the first 5 to catch up (as it is now the 5th) and I must say the other 19 hit the spot as well, leaving me feeling like an old-fashioned Chymist's Shoppe in a floaty sort of way. Then back to a good belt or few at the Famous Grouse to kill off the pharmaceutical miasma before it overwhelmed me.

It struck me that my three crates of 9 litres Famous each is around 24 with a bit left over for deceleration minus the ones I've emptied and the 5 I had better hurry up with. You could put, say, a different-coloured pair of socks on each bottle and end up with a fine Advent and Christmas Present idea combined.

I don't think I have that many socks immediately to hand. I find I am wearing one which is a start but I can't see the other one and I don't know where any more are. "Look in the airing cupboard" my old Mother used to say but I don't have an airing cupboard so that advice is no longer pertinent, however well-intentioned.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Alas Poor Todger

So many have written to me asking after "Roving Cocksman" Ron Todger and shared their warm memories of him: a younger Ron's way of slapping his muscular belly and exclaiming "Marine body!"; of his starting an evening getting the pints in, summoning the barman with a suave "I say, Bar Stuard!" - a gentleman of the old, the Errol Flynn, school. "In like Flynn!"

Alas, decrepitude comes to us all and Ron passed two years ago after a long and debilitating battle with a veritable encyclopaedia of sexually transmitted diseases. He was a gamecock to the last, as the epithet of his declining years, "The Rohypnol King of Catford", attests.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian

Six hundred years ago today a crew of Englishmen (as they then were) gave a crew of Frenchman (as they then were) a shoeing. 

This was a temporary best foot forward in a 116-year war which eventually saw the English get thoroughly leathered (see map below and this excellent website).
Who do you think you are kidding Mister Dolphin?

Faced with this the English started the Wars of the Roses instead: they could hardly lose as long as they were giving each other a kicking.

Saint Crispin is the Patron Saint of cobblers.

Monday, 19 October 2015

That Chinese State Visit in Full

Jazz in the Key of Blue

He builds a U-shaped bower of sticks on the forest floor into which he hopes to lure a female, but brown twigs on a brown floor aren't very eye-catching so he jazzes up the scene with an array of objects, from berries and bottle-tops to clothes pegs and even ballpoint pens. All have one thing in common: they are blue. This penchant for blue objects develops as the birds mature. Younger males will include other colours in their displays.

The male dances around his bower to attract the greenish females, often holding something blue to impress her. As he poses he calls enticingly to advertise his prowess. Researchers have found that young female Satin Bowerbirds are more likely to be impressed by bowers whereas a more experienced female tends to choose the best dancer.

Radio 4 "Tweet of the Day" Ptilonorhynchus violaceus the Satin Bowerbird.

This is where I am going wrong. "Woss all them twigs for. Scritched me ankle they done." Thus many a lady on entering my - ahem - bower, as 'twere. I need to strew around some blue things, but also a few red or green ones so she won't think I'm positively ancient.

Dancing; my elastic went a quarter of a century ago, so it will have to be the young beginner, la giovin principiante, that I attempt to lure. Mostly.

The chap up top has also a ten-dollar bill to display, in all circumstances a winning strategy. "Never mind the chit-chat, flash 'em the wedge" as my old mentor "Roving Cocksman" Ron Todger used to say. His surname was often an élément clé de la conversation, as indeed was his todger. But I digress.

Could be Ron himself at work here and, yes, the females always did look a little greenish after one or three of his Sex Up Yer Bum, a gin cocktail of his own devising. Here's another entry for the old catalogo quesco.