Yesterday - had he not have been struck down by a severe and permanent case of death - would have been Spike Milligan's 90th birthday. Poet. Musician. Ecologist. Author. World-famous spelling mistake. Funniest man on the planet.
Having a father who encouraged me to listen to The Goon Show at every opportunity, it is hardly surprising that Milligna's influence has rubbed off on me and onto these pages. I've stolen some of his best gags, and happily, he is no longer in a position to complain.
Quite possibly the funniest man of the last century, Milligoon was much more than The Bloke Who Wrote The Goon Show, and despite being plagued with mental illness, always, always had his feet firmly planted in reality:
"When I look back, the fondest memory I have is not really of the Goons. It is of a girl called Julia with enormous breasts."A philosophy, I think you will agree, that all men should strive for.
For those of you new to Millington's work, I would thoroughly recommend searching out his war memoirs (starting with the seminal Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall) and any collection of Goon Show recordings.
Never one to bow to political correctness, Spine Milligun delighted and exasperated right up to his final days, and some of his greatest work thoroughly deserves a repeat viewing.
I met him once.
"What do you want?"
"Can I have your autograph? Please?"
"No. Bugger off."
"But... But... this is a book signing."
On not being particularly bothered with the democratic process
I can't be bothered to hold a Thursday vote-o this week, what with all that car-crash stressy bollocks making me pleased that I write these pages at least two weeks in advance.
Instead, I have a cunning plan for choosing the Friday Tale of Mirth and Woe. The last person to comment on this blog entry when I log in tomorrow morning gets to pick the story.
Choose, then from the following, and may the last man / woman / none of the above win:
Shandy --- Top Gun --- Wem-ber-ley --- Turkish Delight
Democracy's totally over-rated. At least I'm open about cheating, Robert Mugabe take note.