Friday, January 23, 2004


Grey days. Damp 'n dark, in a Dylan Thomas, bible black sort of way – and wet? As wet as John Major in a power-shower …… Mid January, I bloody hate it. Where is the light? Where is the warmth? Where is the sodding Sun?

Answer? On his flippin’ holibobs, down under by the looks of it. I’ve just been watching some tennis (what a volley!) from the Australian Open in Melbourne. It’s 35 degrees in the shade for God's sake – and you could cut metal with the sharpness of the shadows. Sweaty, sticky tennis players, constantly mopping their leaking brows. You can almost smell the body odour, you can almost feel the glowing, shimmering heat… almost, but not quite.

We couldn’t get out of the house this morning. There is so much damp in the air, the front door had swollen up and jammed us in. I then tried to open the garage door and get out that way. That's when I remembered parking the car right outside the garage the night before to stop any would be burglar breaking in.

Back to the front door. It finally gave up it's resistance with the help of a few smacks with a mallet and chisel...

The garden looks like the Somme, except when it is under water, then it just looks like the Atlantic. And apparently there is a billion tonnes of snow on the way…. Time to dig out a few ‘Smiths’ albums. "Heaven knows I’m miserable nowowwwww…"

The ‘Typhoon’, over-budget, overdue, over sexed up – but not overhead….

The ‘Eurofighter’ or ‘Typhoon’ as it is now known – in a rather sexed up way, is in a right load of trouble.

KABOOOMMM – Marvel, as it smashes through the 2 Billion quid overspend barrier.

WHOOOSH – Cringe, as the British Aerospace Boffins scratch their heads, as it dawns on them that the really big elastic band attached to the propeller isn’t enough to get it airborne – no matter how many times they turn it.

"I know, let’s try using two elastic bands!"….

"But won’t that really chafe our fingers as we wind it up?"

SCREEEECCCHHH – To a halt. Unfortunately, the ‘Typhoon’ can’t. The brakes don’t work, so if you have a house near the end of the runway – sell it, quick. Boffins are reported to be studying the movie ‘The Flintstones’ to glean tips on bringing aircraft to a halt. Pilots are rumoured to be toughening their feet so they can thrust them through the specially cut foot shaped orifices in the plane’s floor.

EEEEEEOWWW – Boffins at British Aerospace announce a breakthrough at the development of an in-built ‘Doppler-effect sound machine for the ‘Typhoon’.

A spokesman said "Quite, quite brilliant, even when the ‘Typhoon’ is travelling at 15 miles an hour – or ‘micro-mach’ as we like to call it, the Doppler kicks in and makes the wave pattern sound like it’s going 1,500 miles per hour"

GAAAASP – at the ineptitude of Minister of Defence, ‘Buff’ Hoon and his assertion that it’s not his fault. "It’s not my fault …… I blame David Kelly for this – or possibly Saddam Hussein" says Geoff….

PHHHEEWWW – Feel safe and secure as Prime Minister Blair asserts that the ‘Typhoon’ can deal with any ‘45 minute threat’.

"Did I say 45 minutes? What I meant to say was 45 months. So to reiterate, I tell you most sincerely that the ‘Typhoon’ can deal with any 45 year threat…….. possibly".

HHHORRRROR – As little Jimmy Atkins from Bolton brings down a mighty ‘Typhoon’ with a deadly strike from a 10 bob Brocks ‘AstroDoom’ Rocket. "I just stuck it in a bottle, lit the blue touch paper and stood well back. It wasn’t my fault, I blame David Kelly" whined Jimmy…

REVEALED – The MoD has released the unsuccessful list of names for the ‘Eurofighter’ – now known as the sexed up ‘Typhoon’

List of unsuccessful names as follows:

‘Stationary White Elephant’

‘Big Pointy, Pointy Thing’

‘Big Pointy, Noisy Thing’

‘Big Wheely Bin’

‘Fast as a Speeding Bullshit’

‘JetSki’ (Russian version)

‘JetWhoosh’ (USA version)

JetJoke (UK version)

SAAD (Sexy as a dossier)

I hope the MoD haven’t yet decommissioned their squadrons of ‘Sopwith Camels’ – otherwise we really will be in trouble….

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Perks of the job…….

Sunday was cleaning the car out day. Gosh, I thought, is it that time of the year again? Anyway, amongst the old sandwich wrappers, empy water bottles, dog hairs and sticky parking tickets I was struck by the amount of office detritus dug out of various cockpit nooks and crannies within.

There it was, my ill-gotten booty lined up for all to see. Staples, staplers, pens, pads, selloptape, white out pens, etc, etc and even more etc… A veritable cornucopia of office stuff… a sort of ‘stationery on the move’….

So this was my pile of perks. My perkdom nest-egg, my nice little earner. God knows why I felt this triumphal -especially as I am a joint owner of the business where I work. Must be something to do with hunter gathering….. "Look, post-it notes, by the hundred. Eat, good"……

I’ve done it previously of course, always been a bit of a hamster, storing away useful bits and bobs "Well, that’s what the bosses expect isn’t it?" They build costs in to compensate for the stuff they lose through ‘wastage’ - you'd bee a fool not to take what's rightfully yours.....

During my student vacations, I worked at a very large biscuit factory. Due to legal reasons I cannot divulge the name of this establishment, but I’ll give it a pseudonym ‘Wacobs Chrome Knackers’.

As a job it was good at the Chrome Knacker factory, very tiring though, in fact most days I got home completely chrome knackered….but the perks were fantastic. I was luckily put on their flagship production line. Due to legal reasons I cannot divulge the name of this flagship product, but I’ll give it a pseudonym Glub Friskets. I was in chocolate overload heaven, but I couldn’t eat them all could I?

Pretty soon, Hammy the Hamster became Sammy the Squirrel. I was hiding away caches of ‘Glubs’ all over the place. Boxes and boxes of them. But how do I get them out? After all a gross box of ‘Glubs’ cannot be easily hidden – and I had about 20 boxes of them. That’s nearly 3,000 bars of ‘Glubs’. Wow, if this consignment ever hits the streets then watch out for hyper active sugar o-dees.

"Yeah, tragic, just tragic, the kid never stood a chance, he’s hit a whole bar of the purest ‘Glub’ I ever saw….. fried his brain, rotted his teeth. If I could just get my hands on the dirty scumbag Glub-pusher"…..

Should I stick it down my pants? Would I get odd looks from the ‘girls on the line’? "Ay luv, are you glad to see me or have you got a gross of ‘Glubs’ in your trousers?"

Needles to say Sammy the Squirrel became Bobby the Bottler – 30 years later and I bet they’re still there.

My cousin, Ian used to work in a cake factory. His big idea was to become a chef and he thought, get a job in the food industry and work his way up. Ian - svelte when he started, worked on the strawberry tarts supervising the final dollop of cream at the end of the process. He then did a Q.C. check on them, any that didn’t fit the bill got scrapped.

Svelte Ian developed a habit of digging a digit into a passing tartlet, whilst at the same time saying "That’s not up to standard". – Then shoved the damaged strawberry, cream pastry amalgamation into his gob. Pretty soon, svelteshness gave way (as did his trousers) to lardyness.

Ian left the cake line and got a job as assistant Chef in an unremarkable restaurant but carried on nibbling the mangetout and the hoovers doovers… He got the push.

Someone I knew used to bring home, every day a small bit of off-cut Copper from his work. Every night, when he got home he would, oh so carefully unwrap the hidden bit of metal from his lunchbox and place it under the stairs. This went on for ages, years and years. His wife never went ‘under the stairs’ - that was hubby’s domain.

The cupboard became full. A sort of scale model of Fort Knox - but without the gold or the reinforced floor. This man, whose original aim was to sell the metal to a dealer, became a bit of connoisseur of Copper. Eventually, the floorboards started to creak, Copper overload kicked in and went South, towards China. He used the extra space created to collect even more of the precious metal……

He’s still collecting. After all, you can’t have too much loose Copper can you?