Friday, November 05, 2004

And the prize for most nauseating speech of the year goes to…..

Tony Blair. Who else but good ol’ Tone, our fundamentally flawed fundamentalist leader.
He won it last year, he’ll win it next.
He’s completely cornered the market in gutless, no guilt, holier than God, watery puppy-dogged-eyed, verbola.

To watch his watery eyed ‘tribute speech’ to the three fallen Black Watch soldiers was as consummate a piece of acting as I’ve ever seen - or heard.

The word spaces, the hand gestures, the tilted head, the furrowed brow, the anxious manipulation of his wedding ring in a fingered fandango of tortured angst was just the pits. The pits of insensitivity – and an affront to those three young lads, blown to pieces on a desert road in the middle of nowhere.

Blair, you should be bleeding well ashamed of yourself.
I believe you are a psychopath – you are mad, bad and dangerous to know.
You should be sectioned forever.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Pedometers, a walk on the wild side….

In a bid to keep the European fat mountain safely ensconced within his reinforced ’mid life crisis’ Levi’s. Alfie Corp has decided to invest in a few ‘pedometers’ and thus aid his single-minded efforts to be able to see his toes again without bending double. Yes, it's the start of the 'TOE-VIEW-2004' campaign..
(The 'WILLY-VIEW' campaign will have to wait until 2005....... or possibly 2006)

We actually bought them in early Summer – but it’s taken 4 months for us to get them out of the brown paper bag and onto our belts.

The leaflet recommends we walk 10,000 steps a day to ensure a healthy cardio vascular workout. Well, that doesn’t seem to be too difficult does it? I mean, how hard is that then – it’s only walking for God’s sake! And anyway, I reckon I’ll probably do around 15, 000 a day – just to ‘put something back’ into the column marked ‘sedentary bastard’… Yep, it must be said, the bit of Alfie’s body under the most duress has been his bum plateau. 8 hours a day of unrelenting bum-on-chair pressure just cannot be good for you can it?

But that’s all in the past, thanks to my pedometer – and last Monday morning was ‘p-day’.

8:00 am. Strap this little baby of super pedometric dynamics to my belt. Set the controls for the start of my run …. (Walk).

9:00 am. My first check on just how many steps I’ve done in the first hour. What do you reckon? 800…1,500, … 2,000? Unfortunately, I’ve put my pedometer on my belt, right under my relaxed stomach muscles. After much huffing and puffing, I manage to heave the living blob that is Alfie’s one-man tribute to the brewing industry, to one side and view the screen. It registers a bland, almost deceased 87 steps. That’s just under one and a half steps per minute. A slow, almost stationary start, I think.

I resolve to walk to the local Spar to get a paper - and bag a scintillating 240 steps. I know that, because I’ve counted them out – and I’ve counted them in…. Back in the office, warm, slightly sweating from the after glow of honest toil, I recover from my workout. I check with my ‘Pedo-Mate’… It’s only registered 150 steps for God’s sake. Obviously, there is a fault. Obviously, I’m not receiving my true step balance quota.
I road test.
Different types of walking.
‘Bouncy’ is good.
‘Swaggering’ is best. But I’m walking like a Liam Gallagher – without having access to his women, money or swearing vocabulary.
I swagger, virtually every step registers… sorted.

By 12 noon, in spite of my most earnest ‘walkaboutalot’ efforts, and suppressing the desire to smack any passing paparazzi, my tally is only up to 658….. Just 9,342 steps to go.

The rest of the day doesn’t really do it, by the time 6pm comes around, I’m 9,000 steps short.

It’s at times like these, inspiration tends to strike the moribund. I decide to do a ‘power-walk’ to ‘who knows where’ and get that steps total to a more impressive level…

8.30pm: Alfie starts ‘power-walking’

9.30pm: Alfie stops ‘power-walking’

9.31pm: Alfie buys his first, well deserved pint of Pendle Witch.

9.32pm: Alfie starts ‘power-drinking’

11.20pm: Alfie blags a lift home through his gift of ‘power-cadging’…….

Tally for day one – 6,500 steps and two strained thighs.
Walking is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Vote, vote, vote!

Unless you’ve been holidaying on Saturn for the past 3 months, you’ll no doubt be aware that an incredibly important peoples vote is imminent.

A vote, that if it goes the wrong way will have far reaching ramifications for this Country – and the way it is perceived by the rest of the world.

Kerry or Bush? No, much more important than them.

I’m talking about the North East Regional Referendum – as concocted by John Prescott and his Ministry of the Absurd. If a vote ‘for’ the proposition is carried then the area from Darlington up to Berwick will become one big ‘Super County’ – and yet another talking shop for Politicians coming in at the ‘talent’ equivalent of the Beazer Homes Footy League, Division 2.

Cue expense accounts, cue gold plated pensions, cue life peerages….. Oh, and cue a brand new spanking Regional Assembly Building with regulation ‘thinking pods’, mermaids in Koi pools and Busby Berkeley Musicals staged every lunch hour for the entertainment of the one Regional Assembly Member that bothers to turn up.

Prescott has helpfully deemed it ‘OK’ that the good folk of the North East should pay for this pumped up Parish Council through their Community Charge. If this proposition is passed, these no power non-entities will only have control for about 3% of the total budget as already allocated to the North East through Central Government.

Celebrities, wheeled in to bolster the flagging and increasingly desperate Government ‘Yes’ Campaign previously known as ‘Geordies’ or ‘Maccams’ are now telling us that they’ve always been proud to call themselves ‘North Easterners’…… Well, ‘always’ since about a week ago….

Don’t get me wrong, I too want political reform in this Country. I see Westminster and its enormous amount of freeloaders as being less and less relevant to me. The only answer is to have an English Parliament – with at least the same levels of power as has the Scottish Parliament… Mind you, if that did happen, what do you think the Westminster crowd would do? Probably fill in even more expense forms…..

I’m fairly confident, the latest attempt to break up England into bite sized Euro bits is doomed to failure. I expect and fervently hope for a ‘NO’ vote – and that Prescott will be defeated and possibly sacked….
Why am I confident? The people of the North East are far too intelligent to be fooled by a Jag’-driving bloater.

Talking about intelligent electorates – did anyone see that depressing programme on Channel 4 last night, about the targeting of American voters by the two Presidential candidates and their clacks.

The watchwords were ‘simple messaging’ and ‘rubbishing’ by each camp. Because they are both after similarly thick and impressionable people the TV ads amount to nothing more that playground insults …. ‘In 1983, John Kerry farted in public – and blamed it on an old blind lady in a wheel chair with a kitten on her lap and a Bible in her hand.. What you have to ask yourself is 'Can you really trust this man to run the Country?"

"George W Bush is a cretinous asshole - period... "

To illustrate how cerebrally challenged these people were, our intrepid man from Blighty whipped out a world map, randomly stopped people on a city street and asked them were different Continents and Countries were…..

Well now I know, ‘Africa’ is now where Asia is. Afghanistan is where Russia used to be, the Middle East is in central Africa, ‘Eyerack’ is over by North Korea……. And Great Britain? Well, Great Britain is a mixture of blank stares and somewhere near Capetown, South Africa apparently…..
Our man didn't bother to ask them where the North East of England was......

Maybe the land of the free, should become the land of reading the geography book - and possibly realise that they are not the only people in this world.

You just couldn’t make it up….

Monday, November 01, 2004

Middle of the road...

God Almighty, first she's trying to get me to go and watch 'Starlight Express' .... and now I've found out Alfreda's been trying to win a competition currently running on a local radio station. If she wins, she wants me to accompany her on the big night.

First prize? 2 tickets to see Will Young in concert plus a couple of back stage passes.
I wonder if second prize is '4 tickets'?.......

'Alfie the lifelong Zep' /Floyd fan' is mortified - and is even now trying on suitable brown paper bags in a bid to keep cred' and anonymity intact if the unthinkable happens and she actually wins. Listening to Will Young singing 'schlop' is not his idea of a good night out - just a very, very bad one. He wants everyone to pray and pray that we do not win this prize and that it goes to someone more deserving. Possibly Cherie Blair or Vanessa Feltz for example....

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Oh dear, oh dear, the Musical.

Alfreda has seen an advert for that mechanical stage musical, ‘Starlight Express’ in the local rag. It’s doing a run in Manchester. She wants me to go and see it with her.

Apparently, it’s an everyday story of how a tribe of trains, dressed as extras for a recycling ad’ take over a theatre to practice their roller skating skills - they also sing, plus lots and lots more singing. And then more singing still. Seems fair enough, singing trains. The plot’s a bit thin though – but that’s more than made up for by the singing.

We’ve been married for 24 years – so you’d think she’d know by now I’d rather rub me bare bum with a couple of hedgehogs named ‘Spikey’ and ‘Pointy’ than go and see a musical. I just find it difficult to do the suspension of belief bit…… Oh, and the crappy songs don’t help either.

I’ve only ever been to a few stage musicals in my whole life. ‘Alfie the New York Times Theee-ater Critic’ gives his in-depth verdict on two of the more well known ones he has been dragged along to …

The first musical I ever went to see was ‘Hair’- the musical. The reason I went to see it? Tits and Bum research.

Verdict – Too many songs and not enough tits and bums. And not enough lighting - so a fog of darkness negated any tits and bums that might have been on show. Alfie also fails to see the relevance of the big, wobbly ‘happening’ curtain at the end of the show. This especially obscured the ensemble of tits and bums encompassed therein.

Advice – If it’s ever on again, be sure to take one of those million candle power torches with you.

The last stage musical I’ve seen was ‘Grease’ at the Manchester Opera House and starred Shane Ritchie as fifties greasy-haired, duck’s arse Teddy boy, Danny Zucho.

Shane brilliantly portrays Zucho, the bad boy leader of the T-Birds gang, as a tortured cockney soul who can’t sing, can’t dance and can’t act.

Verdict - That night, Alfie’s theatrical pen and pad used up the entire year’s supply of words from the lexicon marked ‘Banal’, sub-section ‘crap’.

Advice - If Shane Ritchie ever gets another lead in a musical, avoid it like the plague. In fact, go and catch the plague, thus ensuring you are too ill to be tempted to go and see it.

Musicals on film aren’t much better are they? I mean ‘West Side Story’ – a modern New York gangland take on Romeo and Juliet was superb up to the point where the Sharks and Jets start doing combative ‘pas de deux’ down the main street. – About 30 seconds after the film started.

"When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day"…… (Unless, of course you join ballet school).

You can almost hear the leader of the Sharks saying "Jeeez, dat tough guy from the Jets means business – don’t go near him, he pirouettes"….

Anyway, Alfreda will no doubt be going to see the everyday tale of railway engines at Manchester. I, on the other hand will be doing a night school class on ‘how to watch paint dry’…

Hmmmm, could be an idea there. ‘Watching Paint Dry – the Musical’…….. Hey, Lloyd-Webber, nick my idea, and I’ll nut yer, you ugly twat.