Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Scamming Slimming World And/Or Weightwatchers

Slimmers! Flummox your Slimming World cult leader by sending progressively smaller lookalikes each week, clearing up on the valuable Slimmer of the Week award.

Once you've cleared up on all the prizes (fruit, mostly) open a market stall.

This time next year Rodders, we'll be millionaires

Monday, April 29, 2013


They've closed off one end of our road for a month to install a new gas main.

Come with me, dear reader, on a walk down our street to see how many times drivers need to be warned that our residential street is now a 'no through road' before they come roaring back, knuckles white against the steering wheel, bellowing "WHY WASN'T I TOLD?!"

Answer: Loads. And as I write this, there's a supermarket delivery lorry pulling a complicated u-turn outside our house, the driver's knuckles white against the steering wheel, bellowing "WHY WASN'T I TOLD?!"

And here's your reward: A neighbour's hedge that looks like a rabbit.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I'm against troture and violence in all their forms. However, it's time to draw a line in the sand: PEOPLE WHO PUT EYELASHES ON CARS

Only one fit punishment: Force them to watch 'An Evening With Jim Davidson' on a loop until they eat their own head, dip their bodies in wax and use them as candles on street corners as a warning to others.

And thinking about it, I'm probably being too lenient

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Introducing Wilson


New Dog's name is Wilson.

Full name: Wilson Blue Rabbit.

Chosen for a number of reasons, but mostly because he's a smaller version of Wilson the dog from Friday Night Dinner.

And Sgt Wilson from Dad's Army.

And not Wilson the volleyball from that Tom Hanks movie.

Let's hear it for Wilson!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How I celebrated Easter Sunday

Easter! The Lord has risen, and Christians the world over celebrate their deliverance from sin through the medium of chocolate egg. I, as a deity-curious atheist, just settled for the egg, and the chocolate.

Directly aboce the Coleman-Baker household lives a young family with otherwise angelic children aged two and eight. I say "otherwise", because although they are polite and courteous, they have the feet of elephants, which they demonstrate form 6.30 in the morning until late at night.

Easter Sunday was no different, although it became clear at a very early stage that the younglings has been introduced to large quantities of chocolate and other delights before any sane person had even considered getting out of bed.

Boom - boom - boom - boom - boom - boom - boom - boom went the feet

Boom - boom - boom - boom, followed by the unmistakable sound of primary school-aged boy jumping off the furniture and bouncing off walls.

Boom - boom - boom - boom

Boom - boom - boom - boom

A pause.

A parental cry of "Oh God, NO!"

Followed by the sound of a carpet being scrubbed, for an hour.

And that was Easter Sunday

Monday, April 22, 2013

On meeting other bloggers

"I'm near Fleet," said Paul, "Want to meet up?"

Yes. Yes I did, and Paul came round for a cup of tea.

He's better known as @ukcameraman on Twitter and for his excellent Media Attention blog on the fortunes and misfortunes of a freelance TV cameraman, and we were over the moon to meet at last.

We drank tea, chatted a couple of hours, and I promised a link on my blog for a fellow media worker.

AAAAAAAAA+++++++ Blogger, would meet again.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weekend Video: Public Image Limited - Disappointed

Not aimed at anybody in particular.

In other news, today would have been my 22nd wedding anniversary. But it's not.

And a message to YouTube and EMI Music: I'm watching a PiL video - why do you think I give a flying shit about Justin Bieber?

These are the number of flying shits I give: No flying shits.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gnu-stroke-Gun Photobomb

Never mind the devilry with the four-barrelled gun, Mr Amusingly-Waistcoasted Beefeater

What about that Wildebeest that's charging up behind you? It could be the first of an entire herd, and then you'd be in trouble. 

Have you not seen the Lion King?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The benefits of having a stomach ulcer

...are very few and far between, so I am grasping at any coming my way. Mixed with enormous stress, it adds up to a night in Frimley Park Hospital, so anything that doesn't point to an impending meeting with the Grim Reaper is more than welcome.

And it is this: I fit into 34 inch waist trousers for the first time in a decade.

Bear with me* on this: Smaller appetite, plus doneing a poo at least five times a days means the weight has fallen off me, and I find myself having to pull up my trousers every five minutes and put another hole in my belt.

Before long, I'll be posting one of those Slimmer of the Year photos where the former bloater is standing in front of a "before" cut-out, while wearing a voluminous pair of trousers in a literal demonstration of their titanic weight loss.

This isn't going anywhere, I just want to be smug.

Smugness, being one of the few benefits of a month of hideous agony. I've earned this smugness.

* no, really. There's a bear with me aaaaaaaaargh

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dogs And Sausages, Together At Last

Tell you what, I think I'll have sausages for breakfast. Wait... what... AAARGH!

We found these in the pet food aisle, which means they are sausages for puppies, and not sausages made out of puppies.

But then we noticed they were in the bit of the pet food aisle for people who keep lions as pets. So now we don't know what to think.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In which your author is unable to purchase a pair of wellington boots

In this, the coldest, wettest spring for many a year, I thought it high time I equipped myself with a pair of wellie boots to fully equip myself for soggy walks up the Bummy Woods with New Dog. So, we stride into Go Outdoors, the UK's premier purveyor of outdoor clothing and equipment and stride a bit more into the footwear department.

"Excuse me," I say to the Justin Bieber lookalike walking the floor, "I'm after a pair of size nine wellies, and you appear to be a bit short of stock. Are you expecting a delivery?"

Bieber looks me up and down, and answers thussly: "No."

I am agog.

"No? Whyever not?"

"Head Office says it's summer, and we don't stock wellies in summer. In summary: Summer."

"Yet you still have enormous quantities of snow shovels," I riposte, pointing out a display containing enormous quantities of snow shovels.

Bieber shrugs. "Sorry, sir. When Head Office says it's summer, it's summer and there's nothing we can do."

I ask him to speak up, for the sound of hail hammering on the store's roof drowns out our conversation, but my protests are for nought. In the face of a global shortage, where stocks are presumably diverted to the southern hemisphere, there are no boots.

I eventually track down the final pair in the known universe, and walks to the Bummy Woods can go ahead as planned.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Drama in the lav at Starbucks

So, the sign said: Please only put toilet tissue down the toilet

Always one to obey orders to the letter,  I stuffed the bowl to the brim and crapped in the corner*.

Pleased to have been of assistance.

You may remember that this is the branch with this notice on the Fire Door:

 Our home town being a hotbed of caffeine-addicted zombies.

*May actually be a lie

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Weekend Video: OMD - Night Cafe

From the new album English Electric, this has now become the anthem of our local eaterie. For the word "Night", replace the word "Ham".

Ham Cafe.

Friday, April 12, 2013

In which a not-enraged-at-all author writes about getting a single bad book review

I've just had my first terrible review for my comedy novel WTF on Amazon, and I'm overjoyed.

My book is - according to my new pal 16mm-uk - "Smug, irritating, poorly written E-Junk"

And I quote...

"Judging by this ghastly effort the author knows a lot about how much he loves himself... Within a few short paragraphs the author sets out his stall; in fact scrub that - there is no stall, just a self-adoring hack who probably owns a wardrobe full of wacky-slogan t-shirts and some comedy headwear.

"This book is not funny, not even faintly amusing unless you wrote it."

I believe I have a right to reply, so here goes:

Hi there 16mm-UK!

I hope you're well! I value every sale, every review and the money they bring, but let's get a few things straight.

1. I own no comedy headwear and one (ONE) 'Bazinga!' T-shirt which I barely wear because of its antique status

2. Just ask and I'll give you your two quid back. TWO POUNDS. I'll even write you a cheque so you can have my autograph

3. I hope the experience hasn't put you off books

Your new smug best pal,


That's all the bases covered in the most contructive manner possible, I believe.

If you're a fan of smug, poorly written e-junk for the outrageous sum of two quid a pop, you can GET IT HERE

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On not dying of a heart attack

So, I arrived home on the evening of my rabbit-in-the-headlights TV appearance with a pain in my chest. I'm recovering from a stomach ulcer (an ideal way to lose weight really quickly) and thought nothing of it.

By 10.30 it was all the way down my left arm, and the alarm bells began to ring. I called the NHS 111 number, and they dragged me off to Frimley Park Hospital in an ambulance staffed by a ridiculously good looking pair of paramedics straight out of the 0118 999 881 999 119 725...3 sketch.

There, the stuck things on me, in me, and up me and left me in a cubicle for two hours with the ping of the heart monitor for company.


A game! Every time somebody walked past, play dead. That game did not last long.

A game of skill! Try to get your heart rate to read 69 on the monitor. When it hits 69, shout "69, dude!"  That game lasted an hour and a half.

Eventually, a doctor arrived to tell me that I was not dying of a heart attack. But if I didn't get my stress levels down (for eg, by doing live TV all the time), I bally well might be a candidate for one.

Signed off for two weeks. Kim Jong Un's going to (not) have his war without me.

(Also, I now know how I'm going to die --- writing a blog post about it)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On the glamour, smoke and mirrors of live television

As you can see from this photo, I made my live television debut yesterday, speaking as official rabbit-in-the-headlights and expert on North Korea.

For some reason, I'm increasingly in demand on radio, TV and live speaking, and I was delighted to read a Twitter response to my recent Radio 4 interview where I was described as "the baying jackal of the BBC". That's going on my CV.

Live television – as you'd expect – is every bit as glamorous as you'd expect it to be and might involve the following:

- Wearing a shirt and tie to work. My usual work wear is the Joy Division T-shirt and hoodie combination, so this is A Big Step In Being A Grown Up. There is no make-up person, so that is indeed my natural under-a-pair-of-studio-lights-in-an-enclosed-space rosy glow

- Having to change the BBC South backdrop for the BBC Monitoring one. Sounds easy, but they're all heavy heavy wood and fragile fragile plastic which means you need a cast of thousands in a confined space to move them

- The studio is a cupboard under the stairs, which began life as a cupboard under the stairs, and still exists as storage for anything unwanted, as long as it remains out of shot. Windowless, airless, once the door is closed, you sit there expecting someone to pump all the air out

- As with all of television, everything is held together by duct tape. The chair, the desk, the microphone, the studio lights. Except the studio clock, which is held in place, by chewing gum and an open defiance of gravity.

Then you go live and there follows two minutes of terror hoping the presenter (who you cannot see) doesn't go too-far off piste with the questions, and you're free. Except for: "Can you do another one at four this afternoon?"

And you're pleased because you came through without breaking the golden rule: Don't swear, and don't set the studio on fire

In summary: Held together by string and sellotape, terrifying, hot.


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Rubbish Bingo Calls

Went to the bingo the other day*, where the caller had undoubtedly been on the Very Hard Drugs and/or having some sort of breakdown. Shan't be going back.

"Dudley Moore auditioning for Tarzan – number 1"

"Fred West's House – number 25"

"69, dudes!"

"Last time Spurs won the football league – 61"

"Jeremy Clarkson's waist measurement – 44"

"Chicken chow mein with house special fried rice – 53"

"Nine – 11"

"Number of followers you've got on Twitter – 17"

"One fat lady who fell out with her equally overweight friend over her £25,000 national bingo win she said she'd share but didn't – 8"

"Heaven – 17"

"UB – 40"

"Bingo caller's penis, in inches ... no, actually, centimetres – 12"
"Number of times I've cracked one out in next door's shed – 37"

At that point, the old biddies invaded the stage, and he was last seen rocking back and forth in a corner. Made my excuses and left.

(You know what I'd like to see? Somebody getting it into the EDL's head that Mecca Bingo is changing its name so as not to offend the Muslamics. Because that would rule)

* No I didn't, but just roll with it, right?

Monday, April 08, 2013

Help Us Choose a Name for New Dog

This is New Dog.

New Dog has an actual name, and that name is Sooty.

As Jane and I are both terrible lefty Guardian readers with a mortal fear that we might be called racists whilst tramping around the woods shouting out the word "Sooty!" at random, we think it might be kinder to give him a new name.

Some names have already come to mind, such as "Klaxon", which came from this here tweet; and "Fiver", short for the worst thing that we could possibly shout out in public with a dog, for eg "Fiver To See My Bumhole".

Also, "Sonny" and "Scooter" and "Titch", which are all too sensible.

surveys & polls

We're open to ideas, so help us out in the comments.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Weekend Video: Cocteau Twins - Domino

True to my word, I am mostly listening to the Cocteau Twins this week.

You may also make an attempt to listen to me on the BBC Newsday programme. I have no plans to do so myself. If I hear that script that took half an hour to record ever again it will be too soon...

Friday, April 05, 2013

Comic Sans Criminals of the Day

And you wonder why estate agents get a bad press.

In their (flimsy) defence, this company is one of the largest estate and letting agencies in the south, and I have received glowing reports of their professionalism.

However: The Font of Champions

Thursday, April 04, 2013

On dealing with my stress levels

I've got too much stress in my life. Much of it is self-inflicted, but money and work and divorce and dying dogs and worrying about being stressed all contribute and I'm well aware I could drop dead at any minute*.

So, I've decided that instead of letting the world wind me up, I'm going to point and laugh instead. This means taking one or two practical steps to get my stress levels down and my life expectancy up. I'm possibly the most time-poor person on the planet, but that's probably because I never take a break from anything

- No clicking through Daily Mail links, no matter how outrageous the story

- No getting wound up in traffic jams. Every other melon farmer on the road can get annoyed. I'll be in my car, listening to the Cocteau Twins and everything's peachy

- Laugh more. Watch more comedy on TV and in the flesh. But don't laugh so hard that it hurts

- Stop responding to texts from certain people. They know who they are

- Take some time off

- Try not to die

I'm going to call this Operation Try Not To Die. I shall keep you informed, regularly, by not dying.

* I'm not going to drop dead at any minu-aaaaarghhh**

** Only joking

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

On registering my offence at International Steak and Blowjobs Day

So, International Steak and Blowjobs Day came and went, and I registered my offence to this steaming pile of sexist crap on That Twitter.

Most people agreed, but I fell into an argument with somebody over what the hell was wrong with a) steak (nothing) and b) blowjobs (nothing). It's just together, with a 'special' day, just to celebrate blokish dominance that got me angry.

Having thrashed out our differences, I decided what was needed is this:

International Getting Offended By Stuff On Twitter Day

Then I remembered that - thanks to successful trolling by the Daily Mail - this was every day, so I gave up.

Also: Ed Balls

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Google Pub View

There's nothing more embarrassing* than going into a pub or bar and not knowing where the toilets are, where to find the best seats, or if there are a number of twee agricultural implements wired to the wall which may be used as weapons later in the evening.

That's no longer a problem, because I've just invented Google Pub View.

Google Pub View maps out the inside of your local, and tells you if there's a machine in the gents', what ales are on tap, or if it looks the kind of place that's full of screaming kids and/or wankers.

Google Pub View also lets you know where the pub bore** sits, so you can sit somewhere else, preferably in a decent pub up to 100 miles away.

The only downside of Google Pub View is that Google have to drive a Vauxhall Astra through the Lounge Bar, something which many landlords and breweries frown upon.

That'll be a million billion pounds please, Mr Google.

* Unless you count calling your junior school teacher "mummy", having met her in Waitrose last Saturday

** In fact, Google Pub View was invented during a long, long evening stuck with a Pub Bore. I barely got six words in all evening: "Hello", "Goodbye", and (under my breath) "Shut up, you twat".

Monday, April 01, 2013

If you're looking for today's blog post...

...yeah, I forgot because we were off looking at Potential New Dog.

This is Potential New Dog.

In summary: Potential New Dog Has Potential.