Friday, October 17, 2003

The ‘X’ files………

I’m not always ‘Alfie the OK.’ I have another persona – occasionally I am ‘Alfie the politician worrier.’

I write reams to them – I like to think they are pithy, witty, punchy letters that unfortunate politicians read with trepidation and awe. Once read, they immediately change Government policy as a consequence.

"Oh my God, it’s pithily witty Alfie – again showing us the error of our ways….. Thank goodness for Alfie and his wise words of waffle. If only he could be PM…."

The reality is that they are stamped ‘sod off you sad Meldrew git’ then shoved straight into the recycling bin. The old girl (Old mother Alfie) has been warning me – "I’m warning you, you’ll have ‘em-fifteen’ building a file on you."

"Em-eye-five" I wearily gesticulate. "It’s M-I-5…."

"AND they’ll be buggering your ‘phone"

Now I’d like to see that trick…..

Two weeks later, middle son rings me…. Apparently, there is a BT engineer fiddling with our wall box. Apparently, he says that there is a ‘fault’ on the line. Apparently, no one has reported it, but "there just is"

How’s that for efficiency? Bloody suspicious I think.
I rush home. It’s only 5 minutes from our office and knowing the inefficiency of BT, I reckoned he wouldn’t even have got his coat off and enquired about our tea stocks by the time I got there.

I get home fully expecting to see a man buggering a ‘phone but shadowy engineering dude has already gone. Tyre tracks are all that’s left of the BT Bug-mobile…

I rush in – "Was he a ‘smoking man’?"

"No, he wasn’t even a tea drinking man"

The box has been tampered with alright.
He’s disconnected our upstairs extension and has been fiddling around within.

"What are you looking for?"

"Bugs – I’m looking for bugs"

"What’s a bug look like Dad?"

I don’t know…….. I just don’t know what the bloody hell I’m looking for. Within the box is a passable impression of 3 plates of tangled up spaghetti – then there is some little boxy things with spikes sticking out. By this time, all 3 of the younger kids are standing in a line looking at me desperately fumbling about.

"Has a spy been here Dad?"

In desperation, I grab a bit of scratty earthing wire – attached to nothing in the bottom of the box.

"Ahhhh. Got it!"
I triumphantly hold aloft my very, very tightly closed fist.

"Well let’s see it then – the bug, let’s see the bug"

With that, I rush upstairs…

"Sorry, too dangerous – much, much too dangerous – must neutralise with bog water"

Upstairs to toilet, shut door, flush toilet, slip wire into pocket.
Emerge hero…

Hurrah, Big Brother foiled again!!

The power of advertising, so time to conduct an experiment …...

Call me ‘Thicky McTavish’ from the village ‘Densegit’ or whatever, but I’ve just noticed something. Sometimes the little blue adverts on the top of blogspot pages have a definite link with stuff that has been written a few days previously on the blog. So if you’re banging on about games and pastimes – a couple of days later you get ads for snooker tables and chess sets etc.

The server thingee must scan the blog for key words that link to its ad’ pool and bingo! – ‘warm’ advertising……

Anyway, have you been watching the Rugby? That DIRTY Aussie HOOKER, what a disgrace. And what about the motorways – traffic jams all the way! I travelled South the other day, there I was, tootling along in my Ford ESCORT, going nowhere fast….. I eventually turned up in MiddleSEX.

‘ Thinking of going to AMSTERDAM for a short break. I do LOVE going away. It’s going to be a coach TOUR. Must go now, a man is delivering our new SHAG pile carpet.

Subtle, it aint ….

Thursday, October 16, 2003

In Space, no one can hear you scleam…

So the Chinese have thought of a new word for their ‘star sailors’. The Yanks have ‘Astronaut’ the Russians, ‘Cosmonaut’ – and the Chinese now have ‘taikonaut’ – (after ‘taikong,’ the Chinese word for space).

It’s got me thinking – what would we name our own explorers of space? Imagine the scene, plucky Tommy Atkins is blasted off into space aboard the lottery-funded, coal-fired, built from recycled bits of the Millennium dome – GB1 Rocket.

Raymond Baxter could do the commentary, "The blue touch paper has been lit ….. and there she goes, orf to the stars – GB 1. This great symbol of British ingenuity climbs majestically into the sky, speeding to its escape velocity of 68 miles per hour. Aboard is squadron leader ‘plucky’ Tommy Atkins. We salute you plucky Tommy, and no doubt you’ll be back in time to have kippers for breakfast".

So what could we call him? After all, GB 1 has been built in Britain by British workers using the very latest cutting edge steam driven technology. Backed by our dynamic Prime Minister & his competent Cabinet and funded by a leading edge, focused, Government backed scientific agency…….

Well we have to call him a ‘Fearnaut’ – obviously.

You never see these two in the same place…….

Hands up all those who think that the prodigiously talented footy wunderkind, Wayne Rooney and the three legged potato headed Coca Cola striker in the trailer for ITV’s ‘The Premiership’ are one and the same person…..

Stating the bleeding obvious.....

This is a really real ad' in our local red top.
(Thanks to Mrs Alfie - (Alfreda) for pointing this one out to me).

15-35 hours per week,
Ormskirk area,

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Job Advert......

Wanted, Woman with twin set, to work in a vibrant, 'hair free' office environment. Must be able to compile copious amounts of Christmas card lists - in alphabetical order. Must have moist tongue (for licking stamps) and a merry Yuletide disposition for writing the greetings within.

Other duties, organising Bazaars, Jumble Sales and Summer Fairs.

The successful applicant will be required to have an HNC in 'pencil sharpening' and a focused and relentless pursuit of maximising sales of 'Bring and Buy' tickets to friends and relations.

Idiots need not apply, we don't want a Patsy - or even a Betsy.

Salary: !5k p.a.
Perks: Use of a black limo' and unlimited supplies of blue hair dye.
Hours: Possibly, but not essential.
Holidays: One long one.

Boring, boring Clint.....

Did anyone see Clint Eastwood being interviewed by Parky last Saturday? Boring or what - especially as Ben Elton and Jennifer Saunders were the other previous guests.

Parky would ask a question, monotone Clint would drone back some banal answer. Parky would then retort his standard code response for 'Christ, this is boring' .... "Ohh really? How extraordinary."

Pretty soon, I was ruminating "Go on Clint, make my day - GIVE US A REASON TO CARRY ON LIVING!"

"I know what you're thinking, have I shot five questions at you, or have I shot six?" "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well do ya?

You're damn right I do Clint baby, I've just found the Remote!

Monday, October 13, 2003

Grey matters....... but green matters more .....

09068 444444 ….. "Thanks for calling ‘Who wants to be a millionaire….." So starts the Chris Tarrant auto phone response for the TV show, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ (Well, I do, obviously)

I’ve rung that number so many times my index digit can do it on air ‘phone. Ever since the very first trailer came on our screens I’ve been obsessed with the power and glory that the show promises – oh, and the cash ….. always the cash.

It got to such a pitch, I even used to practice my ‘I’ve won a million quid celebration’, now to do a grass splash dive – or maybe a ‘strongman pointing to the sky’ pose……. Or even sticking my shirt over my head and revealing the message on my vest – ‘I hate you Tarrant, you smug tosser – now gizz the cash".

I reckon that over the years, I must have ‘phoned to get on the show at least 500 times – probably nearer to 800. That’s a hell of a lot of Tarrant to listen to. I’ve tried answering the phone prompt questions and registering my details in various regional and ethnic accents to try to take advantage of any positive discrimination policy they may have. I’ve also done posh, common, spivvy, divvy and jaunty. All to no avail, the ‘Tarrantino’ has never rung me back.

I know a couple of people that have got on the show "Ohh yes Alfie, I just rang a few times, they rang back, I got the qualifying question correct and ‘bingo’, I was on." Then I ask them why didn’t they ask me to be one of their ‘phone a friend,’ friends?

"Sorry, never thought"

"But I knew the 4 grand question you went out on. I knew that the first British woman to climb ‘Everest’ was Rachel Stevens……. I bloody well knew it. I could have got you up to 8 grand at least …… TOSSER!"

"A tosser with 4 grand in my pocket!"……

I don’t ring quite so much now, not since I was perusing the printout on my ‘phone bill a few months ago. "Geez, what the bloody hell is all this then? There must be 80 quids worth of premium number call fees here". As any dutiful, pissed off father would, I lined my kids up and asked them which one had been making the calls. Everyone swore their innocence. "Paaa!" I scoffed, scoffily…

"I scoff at your pathetic efforts at any feeble minded attempt at weedling out from your guilt. Someone has made those calls – and I intend to find out EXACTLY who it is. Then I will deduct it from your pocket money. Do you think I was born yesterday? Do you think you could get away with it? …….. I am going to ring the number – and if the voice at the end of the line is giving out advice on computer game cheats, how to get girls or advice about pimples – there will be hell to pay"…..

And so I tap, theatrically tapping the number out on the hand set – funny but it does seem vaguely familiar……

I wait for the connection, the tension is barely bearable ……. "Thanks for calling Who wants to"…. I ring off.

"Right, this time, THIS TIME I will let you off"….

"Well, who was it?"

"Never mind, it doesn’t matter – just sod off, all of you"

I thought I had got away with it, unfortunately, my youngest son knows all about the redial facility on the handset ……