Thursday, November 13, 2003

Snow, cool stuff…..

Snow, I love snow. And as I’m sitting here, looking out on a clammy grey damp day, sartorially dressed in my Hawaiian shirt, baggy shorts and plimsolls I’m wondering if I’ll ever see another flake of the wafty, white floaty stuff again.

My kids find it real hard to believe but when I was at school, winter mornings used to, quite often consist of traipsing through snow so deep it went over the top of your wellies and down into your socks.

Even 20 years ago, I can remember working in a converted office building – it was so cold at night, the pipes exploded. No plumber, obviously – so in order to ‘flush’ the toilet we would nip out, get a bucket of virginal white snow and chuck it down the pan. Due to its unique absorption properties, the snow suddenly acquired the look of a big, distressed orange flavoured ‘jubbly’ sticking out of the bog.

January, ten years ago – and joy of joys we got a sudden and unexpected heaven sent snow dump. Not much, but just enough for me to get out there and build the kids a snowman. Well not really a snowman – more a snowhobbit. It was very small and had big feet.

"Snow! – Great! – C’mon kids – let’s get out there and get building!" After a bit of negotiation, it’s agreed. I’ll go out into the zero-degreed tempest – and the kids will stay inside, in the warmth, and watch me through the double glazing …… seems reasonable.

As I build it, I get so short of white stuff material – it wasn’t so much ‘deep and crisp’ more ‘thin and soggy’. I dispense with his arms. – And the head reflects a certain minimalist look – rather like a Henry Moore sculpture.

"Where’s his arms? And why is his head so small"

"His arms are folded behind his back – and his head is small, because he hasn’t been very well"

Coal – for buttons, teeth and eyes? Sorry kids, we’ve only got gas central heating, we’ll use wine gums instead. One of the kids throws me a scarf – when I tie it around Snowy’s neck, it completely obscures his head. I change it for one of my natty, stripey ties……. Stylish!

No carrots, so I use a rather kitsch twirly, tapered red candle for his nose, I don’t bother with a hat, I can’t find one small enough. It’s finished.

I stand back and survey the scene. One snowperson (small), one garden (ruined), ten digits (dropping off). I turn in triumph to the window – no kids, they’re all watching telly. It’s dark and frost flakes are beginning to fall. I go in and get acquainted with a Famous Grouse.

Next morning, I go out into glaring sunny warmth. All that’s left of ‘Snowy’ is a kitsch candle, a stripey tie and some wine gummed coloured blobs of snow that haven’t yet melted. My unique snowhobbit has gone.

He was no ‘fair-weather’ friend………

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Absolute Power – Absobloodylutely

Anyone see ‘Absolute Power’ last night on BBC2. It’s a slick comedy about the P.R. game and stars Stephen Fry & John Bird as a couple of utter, utter bastards.

They both treat their clients, friends, employees with utmost contempt – lying, cheating, money grabbing – and that’s just their positive attributes.

Working in the creative field, Alfie once came across a P.R. chap that would put Stephen Fry’s character into kindergarten. This man was so ruthless, I reckon he must have been related to Genghis Khan. He was a legend. An absolute bastard – absolutely.

This is the most audacious scam he ever did.
He had this regular client…. He did loads of work for this guy over many, many years. The two knew each other socially and met regularly with their wives for meals – and even went on holiday together.

Unfortunately, one day, the client had a fatal heart attack. The P.R. man was beside himself with grief, his closest friend had died. No, sod that, his biggest cash cow, his number one client had slipped off the mortal coil. What was he going to do now?

Simple, get into accounts, quick like and invent some ficticious really big, really juicy P.R. jobs – then translate them into a series of very handsome fees + expenses. Address them with the deceased moniker on the top and bang them off to his business office with some nice big red messages all over them. Something along the lines of OVERDUE ACCOUNT - PLEASE SETTLE IMMEDIATELY

Result: The P.R. man got £25k for doing precisely bugger all…

I wouldn’t like to be married to …..

I wouldn’t like to be married to a porn star.

Obviously she would look dead, dead sexy.

Obviously, she would wear skimpy, sexy suzzy type stuff at all times – even when doing the ironing.

And when she speaks she would go into double-entendre overdrive.

But how would I cope when she comes home from work and tells me she’s had a really hard day….. Or she’s had as much as she can take……. Or she’s been disciplined at work?……

Monday, November 10, 2003

A week is a long time in Anglo-American relations…..

Today, exactly one week after he first rang me, ‘Rick’ from some crappy U.S. investment Company (supposedly based on Wall Street in Nooooooo York City) eeeeed me with a red-hot investment tip. Because I am the sort of guy I am, Alfie the Blabbergob is going to let everyone who wants to be, in on the deal…..

And I quote……

‘BREAKING NEWS - TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arizona Aircraft Spares, Inc.

Arizona Aircraft Spares' market potential is measured in billions of dollars. The company works directly with the U.S. Government and other international world governments. The proposed U.S. military budget alone is 399.1 billion-dollars, of which twenty-five percent is allocated for spare parts and ground support systems’……. And lots, lots more bull.

So there you go, get your shirt on it - Arizona Aircraft Spares, Inc. Or ‘AARSI’ for short.

Feeling confident, Rick followed up his email with a one to one interactive chat with me.

I picked the ‘phone up.

"Hiiiiiyyyyyyaaaaa, Rick here Sir, from Nooooooooooo York City. Hello, Sir – are you there?

"Velly solly, this Chinese Lestaurant – me no understand. Good day."

I think I got away with that……. Yeah, easy, peasy.

A week’s a long time in the Alfie party…..

Today, through the post, I received my very own copy of The House of Lords induction pack. Superb!!

A complete pack, giving anyone who wants it all the goss’ and up to date info’ on yer actual Lordly duties. They have helpfully included a little leaflet on what would be expected of a newly inducted Lord, plus other useful stuff - you know…. where to park the roller, where I can get my cucumber sandwiches tailored and tips on how to snore silently. There was also some other lightweight bits and bobs on democracy……

Anyway, I will fill all the forms in, and hopefully, hopefully get selected to the best club in the World. Who knows, this blog could shortly be ‘By Appointment’.