Friday, March 26, 2004

Friday time warp……...

I’m 8 years old and I’m just about to invent a whole new game.
I’m in our back garden, with my best pal, Alan. We are mooching around in the borders – they are awash with bugs, creepies and crawlies. We start to turn over some old bricks scattered about. Under one of them, resided the biggest, blackest slug we had ever seen.

We pick him up, put him on the patio and wait for Sluggy’ to do something.

He does nothing.

We chant "Do something, do something, do something, Sluggy"

We invite sluggy to join our game – as if he had a choice. Alan gets the bumper pack of ‘Saxa Salt’ from the kitchen. Sluggy looks petrified. It's like he's frozen with fear, rooted to the spot as we start to draw lines of salt all around him.

The lines join up to form a brilliant maze, with Sluggy right in the middle of it. We invite our little quiet pal to try and find his way out. He seems reluctant to try, so we get some ‘slug prodding’ utensils from the kitchen, to help him on his way and give him a bit of 'incentive'. (Forks from the cutlery drawer, if I remember it right).

We prod. Doink, doink, doink.

Maybe we’ve underestimated his intelligence. Maybe we’ve underestimated his problem solving capacity. Maybe he couldn’t move very fast because he didn’t have any legs …. Or maybe the reason he wasn't doing much, was to increase the dramatic effect. Who knows? Sluggy seems transfixed with something or other. It seems he just cannot grasp the gist of the game. It’s like he doesn’t get it.

Hardly surprising really. Our maze wasn’t that good. Traditional mazes have a way of getting in and out – they have lots of blind alleys, but the basic premise is that eventually a way out can be found. That’s where our maze differed. It had no way in - and definitely no way out. Just concentric squares of salt, the smallest being just big enough to make Sluggy immobile.

Bored with the inactivity, we meander to our supper – and in the days before video games, a bit of telly then bed.

The next day, we come across what’s left of our forgotten playmate. What was once a slug is now a withered dried up shmuck of wrinkled black skin. During the night Sluggy obviously tried to make a break for it. He nobly tried to break free of those saline bonds. He must have taken a bit of a running jump at it though, because he travelled about half an inch before capitulating in a salty heap.

Sluggy, we salute you. We gave our little salt encrusted pal a full state funeral by chucking him over into next door’s garden.

Note: No slugs were actually harmed in this story. A very talented ‘stunt slug’ was employed. He wore a complete, all in one, salt proof body suit at all times….. (obviously).

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thursday’s helpful suggestion ……

In order that the Olympic Stadium in Athens be finished in time – (well, at least in time for the closing ceremony), may I suggest some extra athletic events. This way, the competitors can actually do the topping off, thus avoiding cringing embarrassment for the Greek Government.

1) Speed Bricklaying.
2) Time and Motion Marathon.
3) Bureaucratic Hurdles.
4) Scaffold-pole Vaulting.
5) Builders Bum Jump.
6) Hod Hump.
7) Pray like you’ve never prayed before sprint.
8) Get it finished or you’re for the high jump.

Or maybe they should postpone it for another year.
Cue ‘Chariot’s of Fire’ music….
Cue Anneka Rice and her ‘challenge’ to get it finished…..
Cue Jimmy Saville and will Jim fix it?….
Cue someone to invent a ‘slowing down time’, time machine….
Cue ‘Bob the Builder’ and a million of his mates…
Cue the 'Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’ crew….
Cue a bleeding miracle from the boy Zeus…..

Failing that, they could always transfer it to our local school playing fields…..

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Wednesday Conundrum……

Question: When does an International leader of State sponsored terrorism, suddenly become a really decent chap?

Answer: When Dubbya tells his European puppet, sorry ‘partner’ to "Get over to Libeeya and offer the hand of friendship to nice guy Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and seecure those oilfields for deemocrasee"

So that’s all right then.

The Wednesday Confessional……

OK, I’m not a Brain Surgeon, but I did, once have double helpings of soup with added croutons in a hospital. I fell for the old, "Do you want another dollop of soup love?" routine from the soup doling nurse…… Thick or what?

Perhaps my greatest food crime, whilst in hospital was to fill in the next day menu selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner…. Just as I was about to leave the ward having recovered from my illness.

The guy occupying my bed the next day would have:

BREAKFAST: Porridge (large portion). Dry toast.

LUNCH: Liver and Onions. Pink blancmange.

DINNER: Potatoes, butter beans, cauliflower cheese and streaky pork belly. Spotted dick.

Possibly - there's a lot of it about, but I don't know what was wrong with him.

May I rot in Hell’s kitchen….

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Tuesday is 'trousering cash' day....

Inspired by the runaway success of the ‘Belle de Jour’ book deal (yawn), Alfie the plagiarist has decided to cash in on the ‘sex memoirs’ market.

Soon to be launched, ‘Alfie le rent boy’ will be a gritty, no holds barred account of a good looking, clear complexioned, slim hipped, slightly effeminate chap, making house to house calls in order to make a few quid.

I’m musing on a few gambits to open up with. It’ll need to be controversial - and I'll especially have to show how utterly contemptuous I am of all my clients. I’ll have to ‘paint the scene' through super duper descripto’ stuff, you know, like what those proper novella writers do …….

First posting (draft) …..
‘Allo, I am Alfie le rent boy’ and I’m about to see my first client of the day…. I am cruising down a notorious rent boy haunt in central London. A middle-aged businessman in blushing pinstripe approaches me. His vice like grip on his brief case is as tight as a vice in a vice like grip. Before he can say a word, I scream at him "You cannot afford me, oaf".

Crestfallen, the businessman stumbles away muttering "I only wanted to know the time".

I scorn him. "Consider yourself scorned" … And he was.

Soon 73b Notorious Road comes into view. The brightly painted front door from an age gone by gleams in the morning Sun. The big lion headed knocker, brassed off from being rubbed too much, catches my eye.

I knock.

And knock again.

The door creaks open like a wreaking creaking thing.

There, standing in the hallway is a seedy looking man of Mediterranean appearance and indeterminate age. Grime welcomes him like an old friend. Grease is the word and the time ... and the place is his hair. It’s Mazzola central in those follicles. He wears a vest, a cotton/synthetic mix that has seen 56 too many TV and curry suppers. His name is ‘Victor’.

Victor eyes me thoughtfully, he notices my God given Grecian good looks, chiselled chin and 6 pack stomach rippling through my skin tight shirt. My blonde, curly locks toss, tossily like a well tossed salad, caressed by a wafty wind originating from the scorched sand clad plains of Mauritania. Tiny beads of sweat form on my upper lip. My pecks are as taught as a Buckingham Palace Guardsman on special taught duty. Tension crackles through the air like a crackly tensioned torsioned piece of air. He doesn’t look pleased to see me.

"I’m Alfie le rent boy"

Victor says "I don’t have any money – so shove your rent book up your jacksy"

"You’ll have to pay double next week… And if you don’t pay, the landlord will chuck you out."


With that, Victor slams the door – shut.

On second thoughts, best not give up my day job then…….

Monday, March 22, 2004

Monday shorts...

Diff’rent Strokes…..
Blackburn bathing pool have banned the backstroke at busy times because "It’s too dangerous"…… Thank goodness, they haven’t outlawed my favourite swimming style – ‘The arse-in-the-air-thrash-the-water-into-submission-and-move-with-the-grace-of-a-fat-drowning-jaffa, stroke’.

Well, at least not yet

Windy days …..

On Tuesday, the Sun was shining, the birds tweeting and sap was rising – all around. My thoughts turned to gardening … "It’s about time I visited the Garden Centre"…

On Wednesday, as a special treat, Alfreda bought me a neat little mobile seed propagator for the garden. It’s a tower of about 6 feet tall by 3 feet square, it’s got wire mesh shelving, sturdy tubular frame and a clear plastic, zip up skin. It’s just ideal for ‘bringing on’ delicate seedlings where garden space is too tight to allow a proper green house to be built.

On Thursday, I planted all my Summer seeds in my seed trays and carefully placed them into my brand new propagator.

On Friday, with the wind freshening I check that all is well with my new propagator and its precious cargo of germinating seeds – and yes, all is well. Solid as a rock.

On Saturday, sometime in the early morning, my propagator grew wings and split my garden scene. ‘Solid as a rock’ became ‘Flaccid as a lemon meringue’. All that was left was the base, smashed and twisted, a couple of non sturdy struts from the tubular frame and the carefully placed compost/seed mixture from 10 seed trays now dumped unceremoniously on the deck in a maniacally random way.

That’s put an end to the gardening fad then.

Marketing opportunity….

Idea: Front view mirrors for Blackburn’s backstroke swimmers.

Method: Simply rip off a car wing mirror and super-glue it to your face. Tilt it to an angle of 45 degrees. Thereby, you will be able to navigate your way ahead, carefully picking your route around bloated wobbly people, inconsiderate ‘wallowers’ and arsey posers as they try to impress the girls.

Extras: To effortlessly clear a path in the pool, whilst backstroking and really enhance your water presence why not purchase a two tone Maseratti horn and get it fitted to your trunks. Tune available: the ‘Jaws’ theme.