Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Recovering Compulsive Gambler Writes: On why every town needs to build a casino

They're building a new casino in Reading.

This will almost certainly mean nothing to you, but as a recovering compulsive gambler it's been interesting to drive past every morning on my way to work and see a former furniture store being turned into gambling den.

In fact, every time I've driven past, they've actually managed to make it a little more tasteless than the time before. I particularly enjoyed the installation of huge neon signs advertising the vices on offer: "POKER", "SLOTS,", "ROULETTE", and - of course - "GAMES OF CHANCE SLIGHTLY WEIGHTED IN FAVOUR OF THE HOUSE DESIGNED TO RELIEVE YOU OF YOUR MONEY OVER A PERIOD OF SEVERAL HOURS". That last one went twice round the building.

My favourite bad taste addition was the large poster advertising the place's imminent opening. This included a moody picture of the kind of person they're expecting through the door. No red-nosed fifty-something overweight gamblers looking for a poker table from which they are not yet banned; but instead smoothly-dressed, smiling twenty-somethings, led by a besuited devil with a couple of days' worth of stubble, bow-tie undone like that bloke from the VW Golf advert, a couple of young ladies on each arm. All smiling like loons, all drinking expensive looking cocktails. You know: Twats.

The message is clear: NO LOSERS HERE


Many people were against another casino in the town, but I disagree. The place has acted as a Bad Taste Vacuum, sucking all the bad taste from the area, and packaging it into one small, chrome-plated package behind the velvet rope of the Bad Taste Event Horizon. Once the place opens, I'm pretty sure it will double up as a Twat Vacuum, sucking in all the local twats and making Reading a bearable place to go in the evenings.

It also makes me 100% sure that I will never set foot in one of these places as long as I live (except, perhaps, in the event of a zombie apocalypse when poker chips become our new currency).

More of this kind of thing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


One of the rules of journalism is that if a question is posed in a headline, then the answer is always "no".

This can be illustrated with this marvellous tale from the newspaper that was formerly known as the Reading Evening Post :

Is there a crocodile in the River Thames in Reading?

You will be unsurprised to learn that the answer is no, and that the man who spotted said mythical beast was certainly not in his cups at the time.

This story led me to the writings of Independent columnist John Rentoul, who regularly features stories from around the world in his QTWTAIN feature.

QTWTAIN, if you haven't worked it out, means Questions To Which The Answer Is No.

Is George Osborne a Zxillon from the planet Tharg?

Will the world end on 21st December?

Are ducks about to stage a military coup?

All classic QTWTAIN questions, except possibly the first one.

As Mr Rentoul did so much to promote my works, it is high time to return the favour. Dip in here for the never to be forgotten 'Is Spongebob Squarepants the new Che Guevara?'


The answer is no.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In which I finally reveal my political stripe

I might as well come lean about my political allegiances. Despite being warned to stay politically neutral on my social media footprint, I might as well come clean: Monster Raving Loony Party.

They're the political lunatics that it's OK to like, far better than the swivel-eyed loons that stand for certain fringe parties. You know: The BNP, UKIP, the Conservatives, the Lib Dems. Oh yes, Labour as well. We've got a Loony councillor in Fleet – party leader Alan 'Howling Laud' Hope, no less, and the place still hasn't burned down.

The thing about the Loonies, apart from the fact that they seem to try too hard to display their loony credentials (perhaps they need a New Loony makeover without the big hats and enforced jollity), is that their policies, given enough time to mature, often become reality. Pet passports, for one. And frankly, when elected, they fare much better in office than some parties who can't be bothered to show up for meetings *cough* BNP *cough*.

So, you ask, have you go any policy ideas?

Yes. Yes I have.

1. IMMIGRATION: Certain swivel-eyed parties have suggested a total ban on immigration. This is because they are pillocks. Instead of barring people from this country, we should be welcoming them, but based on their shoe size only. That way we can address the crippling circus clown shortage with those of massive shoe size, while easing the over-supply of ballerinas. Stick that in yer pipe, Farage and Griffin

2. CULTURE and DEFENCE: I propose a Comprehensive Eurovision Treaty with our former Soviet foes. Simply, I am certain an agreement can be reached that Russia and the small roped-off areas it used to rule vote for the UK in Eurovision - despite how badly our song stinks up the airwaves, in return for a blind eye being turned on certain human rights issues and the massing of armed forces in sensitive border areas. I am positive that the benefits will outweigh a 300% rise in winter gas tariffs.

3. GAY MARRIAGE: I'm all for it. All for it to such an extent that despite being straight, I want one because it sounds fabulous. Hitler was straight and married (for all of five minutes) and he was TERRIBLE. QED.

VOTE LOONY. I'll be the one in the sharp suit, carrying an iPad and looking businesslike. With a duck on my head

Monday, February 25, 2013

On Feeling One's Own Mortality

I attended the funeral of a very fine man he other week. He had died far too young, and the non-religious service was heaving with friends and former colleagues celebrating his life.

So full, in fact, that I was forced to park in Reading Crematorium's overflow facility, a hefty walk from the main building. Now, this may seem a trivial problem to you in the face of other people who were having a far worse day than I, but bear with me*.

It being my 47th birthday, the event made me ponder my own mortality and my own inevitable encounter with Death's icy grip.

This pondering was not helped by the shortcut I took from chapel to car park across the not-so-tenderly mown lawns of the graveyard, where tombstones told me the aged of the deceased.

Aged 47... Aged 48... Aged 39... Aged 51... Aged 47... Oh God - Does nobody in this town grow old? It was only as I staggered through a flock of 80-somethings that I began to feel better.

Then, I saw these words - actually carved on an actual gravestone as an actual epitaph to an actual adult, the sum total of one man's life in five actual words and three kisses - that I felt Death's icy grip etc etc etc:

"Night night mate, see ya xxx"

In the somewhat paraphrased words of Mr Neil Gaiman: Death - It's the high cost of living.

And, as usual, it takes a funeral to remind you how alive you are.

* No, really, there's a bear and it's hungry and send help for the love of God aaaaaaaaaaargh

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Other Weekend Video: Russian Dashboard Cams

Last week, I wrote this little number for the BBC on Russian Dashboard Cams.

Our tame video producer turned it round, found some pictures and made this:

Well played, Mike. Well played.

More BBCM stuff here

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekend Video: Bingo Players & Far East Movement - Get Up (Rattle)

I have reached the age where I have no idea about modern chart music, but I understand these up-and-coming Dutch johnnies recently took this little number to the top of the hit parade.

No idea who this popular beat combo might be, but it's all about the killer ducks.

The most dreadful noise, I am sure you will agree, but let's hear it for KILLER DUCKS!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Run for your Wife - At last a British comedy that's worse than Maybe Baby

The news that The Worst Film Ever Made - the Danny Dyer vehicle Run For Your Wife - made a mere £602 on its opening weekend fills me with despair at the state of British film making. Somebody, somewhere thought this film a good idea and stumped the cash to make it. And then made it shit.

That means, out of a nation of 60m people, only about 60 of them thought "Hey! Danny Dyer's got a new one out! Sounds too good to miss." I'm presuming that some of these might be close family members, otherwise care in the community has failed again.

Here's the trailer. Watch, if you dare:

The fact that only nine cinemas chose to show it at least demonstrates a modicum of good sense from cinema managers. However, news reports are saying that it will be opening at another 62 Odeon screens this week.

If you're a pensioner, that is. Poor pensioners - what have they done to deserve this punishment?

And how do I know this? I found a cinema that's actually showing it! One screening only, 11am on a Tuesday, "Senior Screening", £3 to get in, free tea and biscuits, over 60s only.

"Over 60s only?" says Adam, "It must be REALLY violent"

Yes, nobody should see a man getting hit in the face after standing on a rake. Poor, dead Richard Briers. That his last ever role should be in this turkey.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Which I Offer Money-Saving Advice To Anybody Looking To Start A Porny TV Channel

One of the things I'm paid cash money to do is write media news. News about the media. And as such, I take great pleasure from reading the two-weekly list of taste and decency adjudications from our broadcast regulator Ofcom.

For the most part, it's a blow-by-blow account of inappropriate content on the box or the radio, product placement, and swearing in front of the kiddiewinks. Because if there's one reason Ofcom exists it's to think about the kiddiewinks.

You do feel sorry for the people who have to do these adjudications, because once the complaint's in, they actually have to sit through the X Factor to check whether there are too many ladyparts on view, and whether kiddiewinks may be upset by this (Answer: No).

However, my favourite Ofcom adjudication remains this: The fining of an adult TV channel of £100,000 for accidentally airing actual sexytime to its viewers, rather than fake sexy time.

So far, so dull, until you learn that the actual measured subscription audience for this late-night outrage was 91 people, one of whom complained to the broadcast regulator that his scud was too real for his liking. That works out at £1098.90 per viewer. Ouch.

That being the case, I offer the following advice to anybody thinking of setting up a porny TV channel: DON'T BOTHER. Instead, buy a couple of mopeds, employ two actors, and get them to perform the fake Acts of Venus on the front lawn of any subscriber willing to stump the cash money. It would be cheaper, and provided somebody has thought of the kiddiewinks and locked them in a small room out of the way, the law need not get involved.

If the TV channel in question had done this it would have saved them a lot of trouble, and would have provided steady work for two actors for at least three months. And in these straitened times, that can never be a bad thing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Top Five Kims

1. Jong-Il
2. Jong-Un
3. Mel and ___
4. ___berley Walsh
5. I promise I won't ___ in your mouth

Top Five Als

1. Qaeda
2. Bania
3. The Beatles White __bum
4. __Paca (The top Als of the llama world)
5. An__ (Wordplay!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Plastic Thing

This one's from the B3ta Question of the Week - The Naughty Step:

My parents had a reasonably old-fashioned approach to punishments. If we were naughty, we'd be told off or sent to our rooms. But if we were REALLY naughty, it would be The Plastic Thing.

The Plastic Thing was the detachable handle from a Tupperware cake box. It was about 30 inches in length, made a satisfying (for those of us not experiencing its wrath) swoosh as it was swung through the air at a repentant child, and it hurt like hell. 

I soon learned not to be an evil bastard, essentially because I didn't like The Plastic Thing above half. Take my word for it – people say that corporal punishment doesn't work, but that's because their parents didn't have Tupperware parties.

Here, thanks to those crafty types at Etsy is a Plastic Thing almost (but not quite) like my arch nemesis.

It also left its mark. For hours after, the culprit would walk around with the word "OOOO ЗЯAWЯЗqqUT" on their leg.

The Plastic Thing mysteriously disappeared one day. I cannot – and will not – say what happened to it.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I repeat: Death upon people who throw cigarette butts out of car windows. If I were not an atheist who didn't believe in that sort of rubbish, there'd be a special circle of Hell for you. A special circle of Hell, sandwiched between people who do more than one transaction at cash machines, and dog owners who pick up turds in plastic bags which they then leave hanging from trees.

There is nothing worse* than driving behind somebody, especially at night, and being distracted by the flying and still-lit cigarette butt, sparks going all over the shop. You've got an ash tray in your car next to the cigarette lighter, you twat. Use it.

I am not speaking from a position of ignorance. I tried cigarettes for about a week once, before giving away half a packet of Marlboros to an ungrateful tramp ("Where's the rest of them, you bastard?") and that included an unsuccessful experiment with in-car smoking.

I don't know if it's because I'm left-handed (smoking in-car seems to be all the easier if you hold the cancer stick on the window side for easier ash-tipping and butt-ejection), but I was all over the place and getting better acquainted with - variously - road-side bushes and oncoming traffic. If you're distracted talking on a mobile or farting about with your MP3 player when driving, the smoking is AT LEAST a million times as bad.

And, frankly, if you can't manage the commute to work without a smoke, you're in a bad, bad way. Give it a rest, you planks. 

* Usual disclaimer applies. There's always something worse, for eg having your legs eaten by a shark

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend Video: OMD - Metroland

...and it's a marvellous seven-and-a-half minutes of electronic pop. Good thing too, I've already paid for the new album

Friday, February 15, 2013

Operation Apples For Armstrong

Lance Armstrong - from one of the greatest sportsmen of the 20th Century to a dirty, druggy cheaty cheat. All those titles stripped. All that sponsor money withdrawn. All that prize money demanded back, not to mention a cool million that The Times wants returned after he successfully took them for libel when they called him out as a dirty, druggy cheaty cheat a few years ago.

To be honest, I'm disappointed and angry. Everybody clung on to the hope that he might be clean, but how wrong we were, and it was a hard thing to believe. Angry at the damage he's done to his Livestrong cancer charity. There's jobs and patients on the line, and that is what displeases me the most.

I shall not be asking for my money back for his autobiography (now filed under 'fiction) "It's Not About The Bike", for it contains one wonderful story by which he will be damned.

When he won onwe of his Tours de France, he taunted the other riders at the end-of-race banquet with plates of apples and a quote from the film Good Will Hunting: "How do you like them apples?" The apples quote came to represent Armstrong's standard response to anybody who doubted his ability, or accused him of being a dirty, druggy cheaty cheat.

So, Lance, now you've been found out: "How do you like them apples?"

And here is my plan:

Everybody send him an apple to see how he likes them, with a note "How do you like them apples?"

Everybody send an apple to Lance Armstrong, Texas, USA, and he'll have millions of apples which he will HAVE to like.

Perhaps - and this is my recommendation - not wanting to waste therse truckloads of apples, he will turn them into cider and spend several decades as a drunken unshaven derelict, asking strangers for the price of a cup of tea, and reflecting through a raging hangover on the glory days and how he bought them by being a dirty, druggy cheaty cheat.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


"Things that make you realise you're old", I wrote on that there Twitter, "Realising that my favourite album (Boo Radleys - Giant Steps) is 20 years old."

"What?" you ask, "aren't they those Wake Up Boo! people?"

Why, yes, that is the Boo Radley pension plan, but Giant Steps was the previous album, released at a time when the crueller writers in the UK music press were referring to the group as "The Do Badleys"*. Oh, japes. They had flickered the year before with Everything's Alright Forever, (and here's the lovely Memory Babe) but they needed something epic, and may the non-specific deity of your choice bless Creation Records for letting them do just that.

So, the band climbed inside a guitar amplifier, and emerged during 1993 - just as everybody else was enjoying the helter-skelter ride of the Shoegaze phenomenon - with lots of loud noises, some quieter noises, trumpets, keyboards, singing and the words "Faye Dunaway" all arranged in the right order, that being the secret of being really, really good at music.

Mr Vain by Culture Beat was the number one single, while some formulaic arse by UB40 was busy going double platinum at the top of the album charts. Britain - as a country - has never been that good at spotting a decent song when it hits them between the eyes.

I'm biased, because even after twenty years, I consider the play-out to 'Barney and Me' to be the finest piece of popular music every recorded to tape, disc or electronic format; and I'm still floored by the tidal wave of noise that takes over on 'Leaves and Sand'. And just when most albums are beginning to flag, there's the horn-driven shock-and-awe of 'Lazarus'. But then, I am biased.

NME and poor, dead Select magazine both named Giant Steps their album of the year, but you wouldn't understand the sheer magnificence of the piece from looking at the record's scandalously short Wikipedia page. As one commentator put it: For 68 minutes, they were the finest band on the planet. The cloth-eared bastard, they lasted much longer than that.

In 1995, Wake Up! came along. Everybody went mad for the title track. Which was fair enough. I bothered listening to it all the way through, grabbed Stuck on Amber and took it to my heart.

Let's hear it for the Boo Radleys! Even when they missed the target *cough* C'Mon Kids *cough*, they were still better than most of the other crap that was in the charts. Dammit, I even loved the break-up album.

Boo Radleys on Amazon HERE

* The excellent Mr Martin Carr tells me this morning that  the "Do Badleys" thing was something he said in an interview as a joke, an interview that has now become myth. Happy to put the record straight.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Help me out here.

I've been @scaryduck on that there Twitter since I signed up back in 2006. However... Following the trend toward 'real name' tweeting, I've a yearning to be @alistaircoleman

  • I'll be @alistaircoleman

  • @alistaircoleman 16 characters against 10 for @scaryduck, which is life-or-death in a character limited environment
  • Potential loss of 'identity' by parking @scaryduck

Degree of difficulty:
  • I own both accounts, it's just a matter of shuffling things around and leaving a message for the stragglers

Genuinely interested in knowing what you think. VOTE ME UP

survey software

Or, if you've switched off javascript (and I don't blame you), click through to here


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Kraftwerk! They're the German band that's sweeping the nation!

But did you know there are a number of fake Kraftwerks doing the rounds? DO NOT BE TAKEN IN BY THESE CHARLATANS*.

Spotter's Notes: Can't hold a tune, and there's only three of them

Spotter's Notes: Although German and like the real thing haven't changed for decades, too many of them, and some members are even raising a smile AND WILL HAVE TO BE SHOT

Spotter's Notes: American Kraftwerk. They're good, perhaps too good.

Spotter's Notes: Cold War Kraftwerk. They had electronic synthesisers from a factory in Minsk. Unfortunately, the black keys came from a separate factory in Leningrad, who were three years behind quota

Spotter's Notes: North Korea getting it horribly wrong as usual. ROY ORBISON IS NOT IN KRAFTWERK

Let's hear it for Kraftwerk, everybody! Klik-wirr-wirr-wirr-noodle-autobahn.

*The Charlatans being another band altogether. Do not be taken in by these baggy Manc Charlatans either.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Brief Encounter with Dodgy Geezers In A Pub

So, Jane and I went to check out the country pub where we want to have our wedding reception.

While Jane was off with the manager inspecting the facilities, I sat at the bar, where I heard the following conversation between two large, middle-aged balding dodgy geezers:

Dodgy Geezer 1: Don't get me wrong, I like him, he's funny an' that. But he's just got too aggressive.

Dodgy Geezer 2: You're gonna need to put him back in his box, ain't'cha

Dodgy Geezer1: Yeah, gonna slap him about a bit. If you don't mind, like

Dodgy Geezer 2: Be my guest, mate, be my guest. When you gonna do the deed? I'll make sure a blind eye is turned if you know whay I mean

Dodgy Geezer 1: Tuesday. Tuesday lunch.

Dodgy Geezer 2: Sorted

Dodgy Geezer 1: Cheers, boss

Then they made a fuss of the dog, and left.

I am assuming this pair were simply posh London script-writers trying out a scene for their forthcoming action film 'The Geezers', the wedding reception is booked. Otherwise, if you've upset a pair of hard-looking Cockney's recently, Tuesday's going to be really bad for you.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Weekend Video: Dodgy North Korean Propaganda Clip

And.... what you're seeing here is Pyongyang's official YouTube channel and a clip that show's a man dreaming of being North Korea'sfirst astronaut, flying over a world where the Koreas are united and the US has been destroyed.

I'm told that some of the footage has been lifted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Copyright theft at its finest, and thanks to Liveleaks rather liberal interpretation of the law, it's still here after YouTube took it down.

Just make sure that you've got your speakers up. Speakers up LOUD. That tune's going to be in your head until Doomsday.

Friday, February 08, 2013

The truth about pop music and shops. That's pop music and shops

Sad to see Jacksons Corner, Reading's ancient department store that looks straight out of 'Are You Being Served?' will be closing this year. Still, the writing was on the wall for the old place after the death of Michael Jackson, The King Of Pop And Old Department Stores.

However, Wackson Jackson wasn't the only pop star to dabble in the world of retail business. You may already have raised an eyebrow at the sight of Paul Simon curtain shops, and equally the steak houses owned by his old big-haired pal Garfunkel.

But there's more. Britain's favourite catalogue shop only exists on the back of the boyband boom of the 80s.

Out of Bros came the Goss brothers, and their successful store "Our Goss", known to you and me as "Argos". Yeah. Rock'n'Roll.

And the hits keep on coming:

  • Lloyds Bank and the Commotions
  • Burger King Kurt
  • Right Said Bet Fred
  • Miami "Everthing's a Pound" Machine
  • Pri-Mark Morrison (Where you can take your coat if you want to "Return of the Mac")

Then there's this place in the New Forest

...which is where Michael Hutchence went after he faked his death. It's true, it's on the internet (you're reading it now).

Thursday, February 07, 2013

On losing Kings of England in car parks

Now that they've found the remains of Richard III under a car park in Leicester, I trust somebody is addressing the obvious scandal of what can befall a man who simply lost his ticket.

Richard III is certainly not the first monarch to be buried under a car park, and he certainly won't be the last. For instance, I once saw Prince William wondering the facilities at Asda in Weymouth after buying a large quantity of beer with his army chums. I haven't seen much of him in the last six years, so I suspect like his long-dead ancestor, he's still there.

Having spent most of my life in Reading, one of the town's claims to fame it that King Henry I is buried in Reading Abbey. Or rather, he would be, except for the fact that they've lost him, and the considered opinion is that he's probably under the staff car park at next door's Reading Prison or beneath a nearby Catholic School.

While Oscar Wilde was sitting there in Reading Gaol, writing his famous slab of doggerel about a man condemned to die, he was not many yards away from the forgotten grave of the son of William the Conqueror. One of the town's more embarrassing tales that they don't like to talk about.

However, there is a further connection with poor, dead Richard III. Now that they've announced the line-up for Reading Festival, now is the best time of year to sort out your accommodation for the weekend camping when it's at its cheapest:

Yes - drumroll - Now is the winter of our discount tents

I'll get me coat

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


On this, the 11th birthday of this blog, what fitting way to mark the anniversary than with a post about bottoms.

The whole world and his dog has sent me this news story for my Dull News blog, but I think it deserves a wider audience, and I shall quote in full:

This is Grimsby: Noisy Flatluence interrupts court session

THE quiet dignity of a court session was abruptly disturbed when someone loudly broke wind in the public gallery.

Nobody apologised for the noisy interruption – and there were anxious looks from people nearby who feared they might get the blame. Grimsby magistrates pretended they had not heard a thing, and in a seemingly unrelated incident a few minutes later, all the lights went out for a few seconds before flickering back on again.

Of course, in a court with a judge, the beak would immediately invoke the 1926 Rex vs Fartparts ruling:

"He who smelt it, dealt it. How do you plead?"

"Not guilty."

"Not guilty, eh? Surely you have heard: He who denied it, supplied it."

"If I may be so bold, m'lud: He who said the rhyme, did the crime."

"Bollocks. Five years, contempt of court."

And so the scales of justice carry on their endless something something fight against crime something.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Hate Racism, Love Disco

Something good is happening on the electric internets, where there is a movement to knock the knuckle-dragging trogs of the English Defence League off the top of Google for the search term EDL.

Instead of hate and violence, we're boogying on down with the English Disco Lovers (Welsh, Scottish, Irish and disco lovers of other nationalities are catered for), who are strutting their peaceful stuff round the electronic dancefloor, or something. Sho'nuff.

"Our aims are very clear - we want to accumulate more likes than the English Defence League on Facebook as well as outranking them on Google. By doing this in a light-hearted way we aim to show them for what they really are - racist, outdated and the type you wouldn't invite to your disco.

Unus Mundas, Una Gens, Unus Disco (One World, One Race, One Disco)!"

Website: EDL

Also: EDL on Facebook

And while we're here, have some disco* (note Top Gear's James May on keyboards at 30secs in)

There's still work to be done. Who's for kicking off the BNP: The British NewRom Party? Say no to Spandau Prison, say yes to Spandau Ballet

*The pedants among you might argue that this is electro-pop. SHUT UP

Monday, February 04, 2013

Another letter to South West Trains

I've just realised that it has been seven months now since I wrote to South West Trains, complaining that their staff had hurried not to help me in any way whatsoever when I fell ill on one of their train services.

After a holding reply to my lavishly illustrated complaint ("We will investigate this matter and will reply within 28 days")' I got nothing at all. Time to up the ante on the non-letter-replying shirkers.

Dear South West Trains

I refer to my lavishly illustrated complaint of 28 June, to which you have not replied.

May I ask why you haven't replied to my genuine complaint? Were you so impressed by my lavish illustrations that you forgot to reply? Did you - despite my identikit picture - even try to identify the staff member who tried to bung me into a taxi and make me somebody else's problem?

Or could you - and I suspect this to be the case - not be bothered and filed my complaint in the bin?

This being the case, I'd like to complain about the lack of complaints procedure in handling my complaint. In fact, my complaint appeared not to have gone through the complaints procedure at all, and therein lies my complaint. Here is a picture of a sad train to illustrate my unhappiness.

Sort it out, you Premier League Muppets

Your pal etc (although I'm beginning to think the relationship is a bit one-way)

Albert O'Balsam

And if that doesn't get me a free trip to the pie shop, nothing will.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Weekend Video: Claudia Brücken - Everyone Says "Hi"

Former Propaganda singer covers David Bowie on her current album. Clever bastards will note Glenn Gregory out of Heaven 17 making an appearance around the two minute mark.

And, if you're into that kind of thing, here's the original.

Any excuse for a bit of Bowie.

Weekend Video: Tears for Fears - Sowing the Seeds of Love

The 'Seeds of Love' album took four years and cost £1m to record. The band will obviously be delighted to learn that I picked up a copy yesterday for 1p.

Friday, February 01, 2013

How to smuggle a wild animal into the country

You know how it goes. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, you're at customs control in Calais with a lion in the passenger seat of your car. What, at first glance, may appear to be a bizarre set of circumstances is more common than you think, so take heed

"We are a travelling theatrical troupe performing the Wizard of Oz. You'll find a scarecrow, a tin man and a couple of flying monkeys in the minibus behind"

"Straighten your shawl, Aunt Hilda, you're scaring the nice man"

"How dare you! This is legendary footballer Carlos Valderrama and he NEVER cuts his hair. Nor talks to petty officials. Nor carries a valid passport"

"We are noted sexual deviants. Please, put on this antelope costume and apply this lubricant"

"Smile! You're on Candid Camera!"*

"Haven't you got anything better to do, like arresting bear smugglers?"**

"Oh sweet Jesus, I buy an animal skin rug and it goes zombie on me. Third time this week"

Those of you attempting to smuggle a cougar into the country may wish to try for some Cougar/MILF misdirection. Your mileage may very, as might your prison term.

* This one might conceivably have worked in 1968, and if all concerned had the IQ of a goldfish

** See also: "Haven't you got anything better to do, like arresting melon smugglers?", melon smuggling being particularly rife through the Channel Tunnel***

*** As are very large breasts