Thursday, April 22, 2004


A startling self-revelation last week as I donned my none-more-sensible Marks and Sparks raincoat to leave work for home via the dubious delights of South West Trains.

I suddenly realised this: I'm wearing an anorak, generic non-brand trainers and jeans from Matalan. I am carrying my belongings - a nice packed tea, a thermos flask and a notepad - in a Tesco's 10p bag-for-life sad-bag. I am heading for the railway station where I shall undoubtedly check the name of the trains in which I shall travel, as is my habit ("Wright Brothers" and "Mum in a Million - Doreen Scanlon" as it happens). I have even seriously considered getting one of them folding bikes.

Jesus Bungee-Jumping Christ, help me! I'm Dwayne Dibley, the Duke of Dork! I'm a geek! A nerd! A dweeb! I even know what 3d6 means. My life is over.

Arse, bunch of.

The luscious, pouting (so I'm told) one-time Rear-of-the-Year Charlotte Church appears on the front cover of this week's Radio Times. As one of my charming colleagues said to me on receiving their free copy of the UK's premier TV listings magazines (don't knock it - it's our one and only perk): "Marks out of ten? I'd give her one."

And that's the trouble of having the hots for Charlotte Church. Despite the figure, the Voice of An Angel and the shedloads of cash, there will always, always be the knowledge in the back of your mind that she is Welsh. I, for one, couldn't handle it and have thus banished all thoughts of Churchiness from my mind. You'd be hammering away, and at the last minute you'll think of Neil Kinnock. A dead loss.

Commercial Break

New from Stannah: The "Scream if you want to go faster" Stairlift - as used by Dame Thora Hird on her fateful final flight. The ideal accompaniment to the "Schumacher" electric wheelchair. No worries, no hassles, no saleman will call. Just keep up the payments, or we'll have your children put you in a home.

And while we're on the subject of rubbish celebrity endorsed adverts for the elderly - what is it about those shonky insurance policies that deliver so-called "peace of mind" from "those final expenses"?

All well and good - no-one wants to be buried in a cardboard box, or end up carted away in a windowless white van to the Soylent Green factory, but it's the fake sincerity that gets on my tits. That, and Carol bloody Vorderman.

"Send us your money now, you old gits!" Frank Windsor and June Whitfield ought to be screaming, making a grab for the unguarded pension book, "You don't want to leave anything to your kids - leave it to us! US!"

But no - it's all well-furnished drawing rooms, catering-sized sacks of Werthers Originals and a pointless free gift for signing up to the Over-90s "We'll take anybody" Plan. And it's a clock. A bloody clock. You've taken out an insurance policy to pay for your funeral, and what do the bastards give you? "A stylish quartz movement carriage clock" so you can sit there, too scared to leave your barren council flat, counting down the seconds until the Grim Reaper comes to call.

Why can't they give the olds something useful for crying out loud? A nice pair of those zip-up furry boots, a shopping trolley with spiked wheels, or, if you're really looking to save on those "final expenses", a lovely new shovel to dig a six foot hole in the back garden.

Alternatively, you could just use it to beat Carol Vorderman over the head.

Terrible Pun Alert

My mate Kenn (mate = "layabout who happens to share the same office space as your humble author") tells me that it is a mere 12 days to international Star Wars Day.

"May the 4th be with you."

I have already smote him to save you the job.

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