Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BLUNT AND TO THE POINT

Hey everybody! I just got an email from everybody's favourite army-officer-turned-singer James Blunt! Let's see what he's got to say....

Subj: I'd like you to be the first to hear my new single...
 

Dear Alistair,
 
So… Just for you… Here's the first single from my new album…! It's called 'Bonfire Heart', and the first time it will be broadcast on the airwaves will be on BBC Radio 2 at around 11am (GMT) this morning and later today in mainland Europe… So it's all yours till then!

The song is about love, life, fear and hope… and more than anything, you… and me…

I hope you're well, and best Wishes,

James


A little bit of sick just came up. Followed by huge, streaming torrents of rich brown vomit, until I puked up my own pelvis. Then I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, and puked some more.

Apart from that, it's great*

* I didn't even listen to it

Monday, July 29, 2013

DOG POO GOLF

video
I've just invented Dog Poo Golf.

I'm hoping to get Tiger Woods, Sky Sports and the Crufts people on board because this could go HUGE. The demonstration of one's ability to throw small bags of faeces over short distances is one sadly lacking from the public discourse, and this will go some small way to rectify the balance.

The aim of dog poo golf is to get your canine's bag of dog poo into the bin by the park gates in as few throws as possible. Play the shit where it lies, and under no circumstances should you play with somebody else's poo. The sport brings FUN to age old problem of dog mess in public places, and a hole in one may be rewarded with a free pair of latex gloves, while bag splittage incurs a two stroke penalty.

Also: Crazy Dog Poo Golf - the same, only with a windmill in the way. Get that wrong and the shit really hits the fan.

I am not mad

Saturday, July 27, 2013

BREAKING NEWS from the world of literature

Martyn Spotted this in a Croydon newsagents, and - naturally - I had to follow it up.

And tell the truth, since George lost the beard, the old playwright's not looking bad for a 157-year-old.

Friday, July 26, 2013

BANK STROKE PIRATES

To the bank, where I am undertaking an overly complex financial transaction.

"How would you like your money?" asks the teller.

I look at her name badge. It reads "Phyllis Blackbeard".

I dare not say anything. She has obviously heard every pirate related gag before, and then some. Do not say a thing. Just be sensible for once in your life.

"How would you like your money?" asked Mrs Blackbeard, the scourge of the overdrawn.

"Dubloons."

"Heard it."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Coldplay Confessional

So I went into a charity shop and ended up buying a Coldplay CD. Parachutes, if you're interested.

Yes, I know, I know, I'll be punished for my crimes, but hear me out.

I was just pottering about after having a haircut, and decided to give the books and CDs a quick peruse. I hadn't been there a minute before Angry Doctors' Receptionist Woman walked in, looking angry.

Angry Doctors' Receptionist Woman is a one-woman reign of terror, guarding the portal to Dr Spaceman's consulting room with the kind of fury that makes grown men weep.

I tried to flee, but felt I should at least make some sort of purchase lest I appear rude, and grabbed two likely CDs. The Verve's Urban Hymns, and - God help me - Parachutes.

I think of it less of an ill-advised purchase, more of a charitable donation.

So why did I listen to it then?

Trouble: The theme tune to a million heartbreaking TV adverts for charities that are shown during Countdown. Now it's a drinks mat.

Monday, July 22, 2013

HOW WE DEAL WITH HECKLERS IN FLEET

Fleet Services: Gateway to the South
To north Hampshire's premier night out - the monthly comedy club at Fleet's Harlington centre, famous for its top notch acts and chicken in a basket meals.

And for the first time in the year-and-a-bit we've been going, there was a nasty heckler stage right.

Fleet is so middle class nobody dare look down in case they notice they've got genitals, so heckling at Fleet Comedy Club is usual of a polite and polished standard ("I say, good sir! We heard that joke about Fleet Services last month! Do try to come up with something orginal, old bean!"). This particular lady came from outside the town, seemed determined to cause trouble, and made some of the audience so cross we nearly said something.

Alas, after the first interval, she was horribly, horribly rude to the compere, was asked to leave, stood her ground, and things got a bit tense from there. People might call it bullying, but it was the bully who got taken to pieces, and to say she got crucified was an understatement.

Luckily, the front of house staff looted the nearby hardware store and were on hand with wood, hammers, nails and a ladder, everything to help us in our drink-fuelled bloodlust, helping us all get back in time for the headliner. And they're right, crucifixion's not so bad if you all pull together as a team - even the victim took time out from her cries for mercy to offer personal insults on people's weight and appearance.

But - boy - we knew we were all going to regret it in the morning. It's nowhere near Easter, and the local rector's got the sole concession on the execution of outsiders and undesirables round here.

Still, after a couple of years living in Fleet, it's nice to know that I finally belong to this town, even if it's through the medium of hammering a witch to a tree next to the skate park.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weekend Video: David Bowie - Valentine's Day

Another single from the stellar The Next Day album - a straight Bowie song with a straightforward video. Love this track.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Alf

Here's Alf. He's the dog of Jane's best friend Sophie.

The picture didn't come out so well, so they fixed it.

With some eyes cut out of a magazine.

Then they framed it.

A masterpiece.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Daily Mail Spitfire Madness


The Daily Mail, knowing where the hearts of their readership lie (somewhere in the early 1940s), is offering readers the chance to win a Spitfire flypast over their home.
 
All well and good, but...

But what if you win a German newspaper's "Win an ME-109 flypast over your home" at the same time? The consequences could be awful.
 
THEY HAVEN'T THOUGHT THIS THROUGH

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now here's a how-d'you-do

About five years ago, somebody asked my why I was blogging every single day, when I should be out there writing for a living. He was right, of course, but I kept blogging every single day.

Five years later, I'm wondering why I'm still feeding this machine when I could be out there writing for a living. And, after 11 years of continuous input, I want to write another book. It's a great book, it's just stuck in my head at the moment, and I'd much rather it was on actual paper. It's got North Koreans and exploding cows and other exploding things, and I dare say North Koreans will explode and I might get rid of the cows, because I really, really want to call it "The Way of the Exploding Fish".

THE WAY OF THE EXPLODING FISH - to be serialised ...err... here.

So. I'm just not going to blog every day.

Instead, I'm going to do what normal people do: Write something awesome whenever they feel the need. I just won't update every single day.

This is not a "hiatus", or a "blog break" or a "shut the thing down and leave it for the wolves and the spammers", because people pay me for adverts, and I like blogging. But I want to write a book.

It's about priorities, and at the moment it's avoiding dropping dead through overwork.

Tomorrow: A load of poo and fart gags

If you really can't get by without me, I also do the funny HERE every now and then.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Faded Seaside Glamour

A trip to the seaside! YAY!

It's Great Yarmouth! BOO!

If there's one thing you can say about Great Yarmouth is that it makes run-down resorts I could mention look amazing. This, for example, is the view you get on the seafront:

You may sneer, but the crazy golf will be entirely safe if there's an invasion.

Then, this for sale in a nearby tat shop:

...which just goes to show that's it's the areas that get the most money from the EU Regional Fund show their gratitude for all those extra jobs and and mega-pound projects by voting UKIP.

Then it's a sit down in a beach hut...

And a stroll around the world famous Winter Gardens.

Oh.

Great Yarmouth: Faded seaside glamour writ large.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Weekend Video: Monty Python - Self Defence Class

Oh yes, it's all very well you sitting there laughing. But what happens if somebody sneaks up behind you with a melon and strawberry fruit medley, eh?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Crossing the line

One of the advantages of having a stomach ulcer - apart from the constant minor pain and the never-ending feeling that you've swallowed a golf ball - is the Shit-Yourself-Thin Diet that goes with it.

Over the last three months or so, I've shed two stone (or if you're a colonial: 28 pounds, 13 kilos) and it has got to the point where I've twice had to punch new holes in my belt.

To top that off, I've had to go out and buy 34-inch waist trousers, fitting into a smaller size for the first time in over a decade of porkiness. Yes, this is now costing me money.

But the most important thing to me is this: I've officially crossed the line. At one stage, I was on the Body Mass Index graph as "Obese". Now, thanks to years of abusing painkillers for my dodgy foot, I am now merely "Overweight".

I'M OVERWEIGHT! GO ME!

Still no point being too smug about it. I'm a borderline type II diabetic, and my cholesterol level is so high, I crap butter. I've even had to more-or-less give up the crack cocaine.

But let's look on the bright side. Lose another two stone, and I'm back to the weight I was when I was 19-years-old and running marathons.

But I could murder a bacon and egg muffin.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fire training course

For those of you about to go on the workplace fire training course, here are the answers:

1. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

2. The public bar at The White Horse

3. 0118 999 881 999 119 725.... 3

4. A fifty gallon drum of industrial chemicals

5. FALSE. The TV series Fireman Sam is NOT an instructional video

6. Take the rest of the day off

And the trick question:

7. While the police call them "Blues and Twos", the fire service will always switch on their "NEE-NAWS"

Glad to have been of service

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Air Freshener Woe

If you have a dog and a car, sooner or later they will come together and your car will smell of dog.

As a matter of fact, it is more than likely, you will one day have to put a damp dog in your car on a rainy day, and your vehicle will hold that smell forever and a day.

So, sick of my car stinking of dog, I spent 59p on a Mighty Oak cardboard-and-elastic-band air freshener and hung it from my rear view mirror.

It made my eyes water. Then it made my eyeballs itch.

Within 24 hours, my car, the dog, me, all my clothes, all my possessions, our house, everything I own, and everything within a half mile radius reeked of 59p Mighty Oak air freshener.

And damp dog.

Even the heat death of the universe will smell of damp dog and air freshener. I think I might have unleashed something evil upon the world.

Sorry.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

On teaching your neighbours not to steal your post

A Facebook pal has suffered the indignity of having a number of packages delivered by courier to a neighbour's address, who subsequently and shamelessly trousered the goods.

Now there's no point is wondering what to do about it. Once you've ensured that the guilty parties at the courier company have been properly dealt with (for eg, being assigned to the North Korea Prison Camp delivery round for the next two decades), it is time to turn your attention on your thieving neighbours.

I know. We once had a courier-delivered vacuum cleaner stolen from our front door step by neighbours, and they got dirty looks from me FOR AGES. However, there's a time for knowing glances, and a time for action, so we recommend these laugh-a-minute ideas:

Tempt your neighbours by sending them a box of cat poo "If undelivered, return to International Diamond Traders plc"

In the middle of the night, screw a big sign to their house saying "NICK GRIFFIN LIVES HERE", and they'll get all of Nick Griffin's mail (for eg, loads of cat poo)

Send a package to your neighbours marked "IMPORTANT and URGENT - Your new mobile phone is here! SHAKE WELL BEFORE OPENING". Sit back and laugh as they discover it's killer bees!!!

Spray their house in gravy and have it moved to the middle of a wildlife park in the middle of the night. When they wake up - LIONS EVERYWHERE!

Tape a message on the inside of the lid of their bin the night before collection day saying "All bin men are peados".

Subscribe them to The International Journal of Donkey Genitals, and insist that their delivery is NOT in a plain package

There. That'll learn them.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Yet another one for my no-longer short list of people who'll be up against the wall come the revolution

Yet another one for my no-longer short list of people who'll be up against the wall come the revolution:

People who drive cars with vanity number plates that don't *quite* spell their names, so they have their name printed on the number plate in tiny writing

You know who you are, you bunch of AR53OLS

(ARSEHOLES)

Friday, July 05, 2013

Duck (innocent victim) vs Morrisons (evil corporation)

WARNING: This post contains scenes of excessive self-righteous whining

SUMMARY: It's not about the principle, it's about the money

You'd have thought that if a major company - say- breaks your car, they'd offer a sincere apology and pay you for the damage. Right?

To which I reply: A ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HAAAAAAARGH!!!!!

Let me take you back to March this year.

~~~~~ WAVY LINES ~~~~~

Snow was on the ground as I drove into the petrol station at Morrisons in Fleet on a Friday afternoon.

SPANG! Went my car as I drove over a broken drain cover, and PSSSSSST! went my tyre as all the air escaped out of a bloody great puncture.

I took some pictures of the site to back up my claim, at which the manager came running out to see what was going on.

"Yes," he said looking at the drain, "That's all our fault - should have been fixed weeks ago. Send us an invoice and we'll pay you back in full."

So I sent in an invoice for £60 - the price of the second cheapest new tyre at a well-known tyre emporium whose fitters you can't get kwiker - and waited. And waited.

"So, what about my sixty quid?" I asked several weeks later.

"Oh, that," said another manager, "We seem to have lost your letter. In any case, you should have sent it to head office."

So, I sent another invoice to head office. And waited. And waited.

"So, what about my sixty quid?" I asked several weeks later.

"Oh, that," said a phone centre drone, "We've passed it to our insurance team. You need to speak to them."

"Oh, that," said the insurance team as we wave goodbye to May and welcomed the frozen snows of June, "Could you send your invoice again? Oh, and the receipt for the original tyre."

Alarm bells. I knew where this was heading - they wanted to palm me off with less than I paid to repair my car and only pay me for a damaged *part worn* tyre.

"Oh no you don't," I say, "Sixty quid, and by rights a bit on top for the months I've been left out of pocket."

"We'll see what we can do."

~~~~~ END OF WAVY LINES ~~~~~

And June turns to July. Snow is still on the ground as a cheque finally plops onto my doormat. Forty pounds. Forty chuffin' pounds.

The accompanying letter whines on about "indemnity" and a policy of not paying "new for old".

This is - of course - utter bollocks. There's policy, and there's reality.

It's my policy to insist on being chased around Fleet Library by hot librarians. The reality is that this is never going to happen.

Morrisons broke my car because they left a big lump of metal sticking out of the road (and indeed didn't fix the drain until 20 May), and then tried to palm me off with only two-thirds of my car repair.

Not having that, and told them as such. I might, in the heat of the moment, have bragged about 3,487 followers on Twitter

As curator of Angry People In Local Newspapers, I am well aware of the irony of my position. Should I stand pointing wanly at the Fleet branch of Morrisons for the Fleet News and Mail, clutching my unwanted cheque for forty quid? Damn right I'm going to.

Better still, I'm going to tell the internet.

Internet: Consider yourself told.

And after all that anger, here's a picture of a laughing dog.


He's having a jolly good laugh at you, Morrisons. You and your insurance team.

Don't get me wrong. I like our Morrisons. They're local, they're good value and they're convenient. But the loss adjusters in their head office are acting like a bunch of arses and that's wrong.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Biscuit scandal

It is a cold day in Hell that I criticise my employers, but I could barely control my outrage after buying a packet of three biscuits in the canteen to go with a nice cup of tea.

The reason for my fury: 35p. Thirty-five new pence.  

THIRTY! FIVE! PENCE!
 
Putting some feelers out on the old social media, I find that - perhaps - my fury is exaggerrated with reports of two for 50p, and some poor sap being charged a pound for the Jaffa Cakes. Good Lord, you could buy a whole packet for that, and still have change enough to fling at a hapless mendicant on the way home.

I believe that I have discovered the tip of a very large iceberg. While 35p for three biscuits probably isn't terrible in the grand scheme of things, there are clearly financial officers at other office-based workplaces who are holidaying on the proceeds of their biscuit price-gouging scam.

There should be a riot over this. 

Or at the very least and extended tea break. Take THAT, The Man!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Tony Blair: THE TRUTH AT LAST*

Checking through my blog stats the other morning, I come across a rash of referrals from the David Icke forum.

Uh-oh. What do the tin-foil hatters want from me? Have they linked to my recent demolition piece on chemtrail conspiracy theories and want revenge?

No. They do not.

Somebody has found a ten-year-old gag I wrote before while Jimmy Savile was still alive and ergo not outed as a paedo. And I quote:

A youthful Tony Blair once appeared on cult TV show “Jim’ll Fix It” where Jimmy Saville (sic) fixed it for the young Anthony to be Prime Minister for a day. However, once the cameras packed up and went home, nobody told the boy to stop, and he’s been in the job to this day. Saville, you’re a bastard.

At the end, the Icke forum member asks: "Is that a joke or for real?" (Click pic to embiggen)

Yes. YES. A billion times Yes. IT IS REAL**.

Glad to have been of assistance


* NOT TRUE AT ALL

** SHIT NO, IT'S NOT REAL

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Great Movie Questions of Our Time

Great Movie Questions of Our Time No.1: If Darth Vader was such a master of The Force, how did he not recognise HIS OWN BLOODY DAUGHTER?

Over to you, George Lucas

Also:


Some people just won't SHUT UP about that Alderaan business. 

Any other business: In case you didn't know, I occasionally write a blog for these charming people. Click through to "Journal" for a whole new world of strangeness.

Monday, July 01, 2013

On in-store music, again

To The Range, the lo-fi warehouse shopping experience for people nostalgic for Woolworths.

Alas, our ears were assaulted by the combination of middle-of-the-road pop hits over a tinny speaker system, rattling air conditioning, and JML promotional TV screens at the end of virtually every aisle.

I have clearly crossed the line into old fartness, but the din was so great we were unable to hold a conversation, something that is often a necessity for a two-person shopping experience.

So cross was I that I nearly said something.

While there was no indication on the doors of Aldershot's finest tat emporium of the din inside, there are now shops willing to advertise the lack of taste in store for customers.

One such shop is in Reading, where, just as I was about to enter, I read the sign:

OPEN! We listen to Heart FM!

I bloody well don't, because it is the aural equivalent of a frontal lobotomy.

Thanking the shop owners for their manners, I made a quick U-turn and left.

If only more retail businesses would do the same