Thursday, December 18, 2014

Insulting The Dignity Of The Supreme Leader Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea (Again)

In retrospect, Kim's visit to the Pyongyang Children's Foodstuff Factory could have gone better for all concerned.

"Sweet mother of Kim Il-Sung, haven't you got any Haribo?"
"Look, I just want a packet of sweet, sweet Haribo, and now you're causing a queue"
"I don't care if Haribo is dead people, I'm the Supreme Leader and I want Haribo"
"I will personally kill the next person and enslave three generations of their family who says I can't have Haribo"
"Worst lucky dip ever"
"There, that wasn't so bad, was it?"
Next stop, a return visit to the lube factory.

"Yay lube!"
Boring reality of the factory visit here, if you're interested.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Oh Lordy, Not The Rainbow Bridge Again

I was saddened recently when an internet chum recently lost an elderly pet cat, a beloved pet of many years standing who will - I'm sure - be sorely missed. The loss of a pet is an emotional stab in the heart that non-pet people cannot understand, and those who are well down the road of pet ownership develop defence mechansisms in the face of death's icy grip.

That is why my internet pal stressed NO RAINBOW BRIDGE OR FUR BABY RUBBISH on her timeline, and for good reason.

Regular readers will know that I have problems with the Rainbow Bridge poem, and my previous critiques of the World's Worst Poem have earned me stern rebukes from people who really ought to know better.

I've been told by an actual Christian that my dismissal of the entirely-made-up Rainbow Bridge is going to send me to HELL, which is fine by me as one fictional place is very much like another. Meanwhile, another tells me that my non-belief in said Rainbow Bridge shows I don't care about my two (then) recently deceased dogs, and I shouldn't be allowed to keep animals. Twats, the lot of them.

But enough for the h8ers, cos h8ers gonna h8, whatever than means, for I sat bolt upright the other night, head bursting with questions about the practicalities of there being a bridge where pets wait for you when they die. Because, frankly, such a place would be a fucking madhouse.

  • Is there a passage of time at the Rainbow Bridge? I'm pretty sure that childhood pets who be getting pretty bloody bored waiting for you to die peacefully in your sleep at the age of ninety. The place must be bursting at the seams. Is anybody in charge of - you know - scooping?
  • What if your animal was a family pet? Does he cross the bridge with the first of your clan to die, or wait for his favourite? In some families, that's going to cause a fall-out worse than the time Auntie Vera said something at Brian's surprise party...
  • What are the rules for adopted pets that have had more than one owner? First to die, last to own him, or wait for the favourite? Fight to the death?
  • I've had fish, birds, cats and dogs in my lifetime. All natural enemies. Am I going to arrive at the bridge to just one, very fat smug-looking dog?
  • I once adopted a leopard in a zoo, along with several other people. What are the rules? Timeshare, or fight to the death?
  • Bee-keepers. Discuss.
  • Do pets that have been neutered in their lifetime get their sexy parts back, and are they making up for lost time? You won't be able to cross the bridge for dogs clamping themselves onto your leg.
  • Do fish wait on the bridge itself or under it? Or perhaps in a plastic bag in a wheelie bin on the bridge? Do goldfish even remember who you are?
  • What happens if you live on a farm and have a pet pig, then eat the pig for bacon? That's hardly going to be a happy reunion, is it? I suspect Porky's going to be waiting by the bridge to completely shit you up.

So many questions, so much angry bacon. I put it to "Author Unknown" that you haven't actually thought the whole thing through, and you are unknown for a very good reason (for eg: savaged to death by angry bees).

Down with this sort of thing (again).

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Classic Turner: 80% wig, 100% talent
One of my favourite sights in the low pantheon of tribute acts in a white Tina Turner who entertains crowds on the south coast of England. Apart from the fact that she's clearly a fraction of the original star's age, she's Turner from head-to-toe, from the fright wig to the frighteningly short dresses; from the over-emoting of every single word, to the bandy legs through which you can drive a bus. To easily-pleased seaside audiences, it's like you're in the same room as Ms Turner, especially when it's a pub-full of drunks helping her along with a boozy rendition of Simply The Best.

The thing is, no matter how over-the-top your Tina Turner impression, no matter how drunk your audience, your dresses will never be short enough, the fright wig will never be frightening enough, the thigh gap too narrow, and you'll never be able to say "Why, he's just a raggedy man" in quite the same way as Real Tina.

At the risk of coming over all Patrick Bateman/American Psycho, there's much to admire in the example of Ms Turner's re-emergence as a star in the 1980s - a recognition that it's never to late to get what you want in the face of advancing years --- just as long as you've got a killer tune, huge shoulder pads, and Heaven 17 twiddling the knobs on your comeback disc.

The reason I mention this is real and pressing: I've had her 1989 hit Steamy Windows stuck in my head as an ear worm for three weeks now, and it's driving me mental.

Let's put this tune into perspective: Sixty-year-old Tina Turner is making out with a gentleman friend in the back seat of an automobile to the point that their combined body heat makes it impossible to see out. Fair play to her for finding herself in this position, I never knew Tuesday nights down the Gala Bingo were such a hotbed of passions, and this deserves future scientific investigation in the name of SCIENCE.

Now, as any fool knows, you leave one window open, if only to stick one leg out in the moment of the capital act. Also, it leaves the from windscreen clear in case you have to make a quick getaway.

Like any Tina Turner tune of any repute, it's best sung in the Vic Reeves club-singer style, and it is this that has been stuck inside my brain for most of the month of December so far: "Shhhhteamy winaaaaaaahs! Caused ba bod-ah heat a-wallah wallah wallah".

Alas, I have since discovered that Shhhhteamy winaaaaaaahs can now be added as a coda to virtually any song in existence, making them exactly 962% worse. Last night's viewing of the Bond epic Skyfall - for example - was dragged down to the level of farce as Adele's passionate theme tune ended with "caused ba bod-ah heat a-wallah wallah wallah", rendering [SPOILERS] Bond's presumed death a sideshow, and [MORE SPOILERS] poor, actual dead M's gift of a Tina Turner box set on a London roof-top in the closing scenes all the more moving.

Think about it: You're Dame Judi Dench, and you've been [EVEN MORE SPOILERS] trapped in an ancient car with steam-up windows all the way from central London to the Highlands of Scotland with that miserable bastard 007 - presumably for days - the first thing you're going to buy at the services on the M6 is a Tina Turner box set just to make him shut up. But you couldn't quite find the right moment to give it to him, not while he's busy killing people. And by the end of the third reel it's too late [LAST SPOILER, HONEST] because you're dead.

"It's got all the early stuff, too"
Tina Turner: You and your big hair and you big voice and your stupid steamy windows are wrecking my sanity.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


A grinning nerk in a fez wants to part you from your money
This Christmas, I shall be mostly supporting the tremendous charity Send A Cow. It's not just because they sent me this truly special Christmas jumper, which I shall treasure, but because they do important work in sustaining lives while everybody's attention has been drawn away to the cause du jour, that being the Ebola crisis in the west of Africa.

Also, I wear a fez now, because fezzes are cool.

Ebola is serious, and the cause deserves everybody's support, but it's not the whole story of  a massive continent of 54 countries and 1.1 billion people. For many in farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa, it's still very much a life-on-a-razor's-edge existence, and that's why help from the First World is still needed.

Now, I work with a lot of people from Africa, I've worked in Africa, and I've had my head pummeled by a nasty chap wielding a rifle butt in a certain country to which I have no wish to return, so I know to talk about "Africa" and "Africa's problems" can be patronising in the extreme. This especially when parts of it are doing very well, thank you very much, and they DO know it's Christmas. (Especially since Calendar Club is near enough universal these days).

But there are still developing areas that still need a nudge in the right direction, and Send A Cow - like Water Aid, another cause close to my heart, are doing the right thing for the right people. They're making lives better, and helping families become self-sufficient in food and facilities.

So. Send a farming family a donkey, a goat, a cow, or even a sofa (because, frankly, why not?) for Christmas, not because you've been guilt tripped or to make yourself feel smug about yourself, but because it's the right thing to do.

You don't need a grinning nerk in a fez and a truly special jumper to tell you that. Foreign aid matters - from governments, NGOs and individuals - because it's not about politics, it's about humanity.

Give to Send A Cow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


 So, back from Frimley Park Hospital covered in bandages. Funny how the threat of a catheter up your willy gets you discharged in double quick time and back home in the comfort of your own bed.

I'm lighter by a shaved-off bit of foot bone and a lump of Flappy Cartiliage (the name of Npalm Death's album of B-sides and out-takes, fake fact fans), and they've filled the problem area with micro-fractures in the hope that it all fixes in the right direction.

And the crutches. I didn't realise crutches would be such hard work. Just going to the loo in the middle of the night is a major logistical operation that requires major household turmoil. I'll have the upper physique of The Rock by the end of these six weeks hobbling around; and my Amazon order history now has a piss bottle, a pair of weight lifting gloves and a copy of Cards Against Humanity against my name. I'm only a side order of a Michael Bolton CD away from them tipping off the police.

Fiinal observation: The NHS is awesome. Let's keep it that way.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Smug, middle-class tweeting

So, what happens when you fill your Twitter timeline with hugely exaggerated and sometimes not-true-at-all #FirstWorldProblems and #MiddleClassProblems tweets with the sole aim of getting them picked up by lazily-compiled listicles on news websites?

Answer: They get picked up by lazily-compiled listicles on news websites.

That's The Times. The Times of London. The Thunderer. The world's newspaper of record.

The Times. Calling me a smug, middle-class tweeter.


Saturday, December 06, 2014


Give me your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.

Move over, Schwarzenegger, that Terminator gig is mine.

Thanks to Dave Skinner for the photoshop job on an already awesome selfie.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

YouTube Comment Reconstructions are BACK BACK BACK

Warning: Contains enough sweary language to bring down modern civilisation

"I've had loads of anacondas. It's like an aircraft hangar down there"

And crapping nora! There's another one!

Monday, December 01, 2014

My first general anaesthetic

Next week, I shall take myself to Frimley Park Hospital, where I shall be rendered unconscious and a nice man will hit my foot very hard until it is broken.

Then I will wake up, and hobble around for a couple of months before - hurrah! - my gammy ankle will be fixed. Either that, or it will fail miserably and I go on the list for a foot transplant FROM A DEAD PERSON.

It is not - however - the first time I've had a general anaesthetic, for I got the benefit of being laid out sparko when I was a teenager so that surgeons could fix my hideously deformed British smile.

I can't say it was a terrific experience. In fact, my mother said it was the funniest thing she ever saw, and she had a long and fulfilling career working in hospitals and saw much strangeness involving partial and (one presumes) total nudity.

But I suppose seeing your own son, completely off his face on pre-meds, attempting to go to the toilet whilst wearing only an open-at-the-back hospital gown and bearing my arse to the entire ward, ranks right up there.

Later that same day, my face full of surgery and plastic, I got my revenge by puking stale blood all over the inside of the car on the way home, and up the stair carpet once we got there.

Not hoping to repeat the performance.