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Showing posts from January, 2007

No more straining

I read the news today, oh boy

I was looking for a copy of the Guardian in a local newsagent today. Could I find one? Well, it was lunchtime and in this particular part of South-West London, Britain's favourite lefty daily sells out quicker than all the other titles. Disappointed, I had one last rummage. Acting on impulse, I turned over a copy of the FT and there - sure enough - was one solitary edition of my number one paper. Elated, I offered my 70p to the lady behind the counter. "Where did you find that?" she enquired. "It was down there, underneath the Financial Times." "You were lucky. Someone was asking for it earlier." One of life's small victories, although tinged with sadness at the the thought of another, less dedicated, shopper deprived of his Polly Toynbee and George Monbiot fix. I headed over to the local caf and sat myself down. I glanced at the Guardian and saw that it was covering the Chelsea v Forest game from Saturday. A little odd, I thought, as we wer

Snow joke in the smoke

On the rare occasions when it now snows in London, there’s one thing you can be sure of. As the crisp white stuff gives way to slush, there are smears of dog s**t all the way down the pavement in places where unfortunate pedestrians previously found it obscured. My kids’ school allowed all the classes out in the playing field for an early morning snowball fight this morning, which I thought was pretty decent of them. In my day, we’d have been beaten for suggesting something like that.

Tasteless telly

Scary media nutritionist Gillian McKeith has now fallen in with the Big Brother school of reality TV. It’s clear that in order to sustain her bizarre shows, she has to ratchet up the level of extremism with every series. Not content with sending people off for colonic irrigation and sniffing their excrement, she’s taken to dramatising their eating habits in ways that are increasingly macabre. You are what you eat (Gillian moves in) is a misnomer, as it’s actually other people who move in to the home of the programme’s mung bean munching host. She has a posh gaff – looks like Islington or somewhere – and unfortunate victims waddle slowly up her stairs to be berated for their eating habits. Last night, one of the Essex girls chosen for the experiment was shown a life-sized coffin decorated to look like a choc ice. Inside was the quantity of ice cream that she supposedly scoffed during the course of a year. To describe this stunt as tasteless would be far kinder to Gillian than s

Chloe, you gotta patch me through to this guy...

One of the alleged would-be bombers of 21/7 was apparently chased down the tube platform by a 72-year-old former soldier. The BBC reported that Arthur Burton-Garbett of Morden, South London, eventually ran out of steam. He said in court that he would have been fitter if it hadn’t been for a recent gall bladder operation. Jack Bauer, eat your heart out, you goddamn son-of-a-b***h.

Sold on seabay

A coastguard spokesman has expressed surprise that parents have been taking young children down to the beaches of South Devon at night and abandoning them on the sand while they scavenge for loot from the wrecked cargo ship. From my observations of the British population over the past 38 years, I have to say that I’m not that surprised. What’s more shocking is the kind of garbage that people have being picking up. I mean, a brand new BMW bike is one thing, but packets of nappies washed up by the tide? That is seriously chavvy.

Interesting career moves down under

Private detectives in Sydney have been paid by authorities to have sex with prostitutes as part of an under-the-cover crackdown on illegal brothels. I’m trying to picture that conversation back at home. “G’day sweetheart!” “G’day, Jimbo, darlin! How’s things goin’ at work?” “Reckon! You know what? I don’t like to bignote meself, but things are really picking up, Marlene. I’ve landed me this great piece of work from the government. Only thing is I’ll have to put in some unusual hours.” “You little ripper! What you gonna be doin’, Jimbo?” “Can’t say, babe. Still got to nut out all the detail. But you may find I’m a little tired when I come home over the next few weeks…”

Illiterate girls in stereo

On the bus today in London. Girl on mobile suddenly announces to her friend: "U on loudspeakah!" I then had to endure both of them jabbering away in patois about boys. One side of the conversation was bad enough, believe me. I hope this isn't a trend.

Technically advanced super-bright five LED multifunction, adjustable headlamp (sic)

An unusual buy-one-get-one-free offer I saw recently. Would the other headlamp be for a friend? Or would you wear it at the back?

It ain't over til it's over...

Every time I look at the posters for the new Rocky movie, I have to pinch myself. I mean, there's comebacks and there's comebacks. Sylvester Stallone is 61 this year. On the other hand, you're not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of age these days. Who's to say that the veteran can't have one last shot at the title? Trailer:

Leesten vay carefully. I shall say zees only wurnce.

Extraordinary story today about the French Prime Minister suggesting a union between his country and the UK back in the 1950s (see,,1990794,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=12 ) The crackpot idea would have involved the Queen becoming the French "ed of stet". Can't see people taking too kindly to the notion on either side of the great divide known as the English Channel. We would never have tolerated our great supermarkets like Asda and Lidl being turned into some kind of exotic farmers' markets. Mais non, monsieur! There would have been a revolution in the UK before we allowed le 'merger' to take place. Our politicians would have had their heads chopped off in Trafalgar Square. Or Waterloo Station. Or somewhere.

Thank you, driver!

At what age do people start thanking bus drivers for taking them to their destination? It was a question I posed to colleagues in an ad agency this week. One suggestion was that the phenomenon had a yokel flavour and that the correct pronunciation was "thank you droiverr", but I've seen it a lot in London too. Mainly from people who were born before 1955. It may be that the practice will die out. On the other hand, it's possible that there's an age when you just naturally start doing it.

Jesus in a pub

I was working up in Goodge Street this week and encountered a number of people handing out leaflets that invited me to a local boozer. The evening's entertainment in the appropriately named Hope pub was "a buffet dinner, a talk from the Bible, and times (sic) for discussion and questions". The buffet cost £3. Imagine if that had been the going rate for loaves and fishes back in Biblical times. Jesus would have cleared £15k on just one miracle.

Interesting spam

Subject header from Lacy Jeremiah, received today: But the area was vast and there was no way of knowing where to start looking, said Superintendent Wessel Geldenhuys. I give that one 9/10.

Fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin' world go round

Radio 2 listeners have voted supergroup Queen their all-time favourite band. I would have thought the 70s rockers were a tad too trendy for a station that features Steve Wright and Terry Wogan as DJs, but it shows just how wrong you can be. Personally, I would have voted for ELO. Now there was a band. I wasn't eligible to participate in the poll because I listen to the all-new Smooth 102.2.