Friday, March 11, 2005

God save me......

Blimey O’Reilly. Is it 30 all, deuce, advantage to them or set point to me? It’s been going on so long, I’ve lost count. I just feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall. Maybe I should start praying to St Jude - the patron saint for lost causes.

Alfie the little terrier is almost as sick as a parrot as he struggles to get any official answer from the blue blazer brigade at The Football Association. Whenever he tries to get them to talk – he gets blanked. They say sweet FA about anything.

When did the footy vendetta start?

About three years ago actually. A well meaning, but utterly ignorant TV commentator fanned Alfie’s glowing embers of irritation. Yes, Ron Cliché, ace TV anchor and interviewer of all things vegetable, summed up the scene. Becksy, StevieGeezie, Colesy, Scholesee, Riozee and the rest of the England footy team are all lined up on a corner of a far off foreign field. The opposition are belting out their own National Anthem, they are full of pride. Great gobs of glottal, are supersonically expressed to atmosphere as the high notes are hit – and the pride gets passionate.

Ron Cliché, chimes in. "Well, looks like the England boys are really going to show what real passion is all about as they proudly sing ‘God Save the Queen’ – the English National Anthem"…..

The cat got kicked.

The dinner got chucked.

The computer got plugged in.

I bang off an email to ron.cliché…
I’m half way through, and then - I bin it. It’s not really Ron’s fault is it?
As far as he’s concerned, ‘God Save the Queen’ is the English National Anthem, because it’s always played before an English team event of virtually any sport you care to mention.

But why? It’s not England’s national anthem – it’s Great Britain’s. England doesn’t have one - but it should.
I felt a new cause coming on.

Better to target the blue blazers of the FA – to start off with.

My first email to FA HQ was fairly polite. So was the second.
By the time the sixth one was banged off, Alfie was losing his mind/marbles/mental faculties. All ignored. Consigned to the virtual bin labelled ‘Pain in the Bum, Barmpot’…..

Since then, every now and then, I have another go, renew the campaign to get the GStheQ CD chucked in the bin. A few weeks ago I thought, ‘bugger it, time to be a pain in the arse again’. Alfie is no longer playing with a straight bat. Alfie’s going to start diving in the area at the slightest of touches and writhing around like he’s just been shot with a sniper’s rifle. Alfie has declared war on the FA.

I log onto

Oooooooohhh. The FA has gone all ‘customer luvee’. It’s all down to customer focus, in a customer-is-kingy kind of way. They’ve even got a hotline straight though to the grandly titled Customer Relations Unit on 0845 458 1966. I ring. Customer luvee interactivity hits the rocks. Because I’m not asking about David Beckham’s latest hair style, they cannot help me – but promise to get someone to email me…. No one does.

I trawl through the web site. The slick graphics seduce and mesmerise. David Beckham smiles at me from his virtual footy field, with his virtually footy foot resting on a virtual footy ball …… Is he saying "Look Alfie, don’t rock the boat, get behind the boys, none of them know the words anyway….. God Save the Queen – good. Fat old grumpy sod – bad, innit".

Becks gets deleted, I’ve no time for someone who names his kids Brooklyn, Romeo and Crud…….. I mean, isn’t Colin, Trevor and Cyril good enough then?…….

The current campaign is now a month old. It’s a two pronged attack, an email/phone strategy, every single day.
I’ve (rather helpfully I think) suggested some ready made English National Anthems that could be used. ‘I vow to thee my Country’, Jerusalem, etc, etc …… I’ve even volunteered to nip down to HMV to buy a few new cds as I understand the FA are a bit strapped for cash at the moment.

The trouble is that Jason, Steph, Tina and all the other luvees down at the ‘Customer Relations Unit’ do not want to know……

Just a warning to you, The FA.
Don’t think you can get away with it…..After all, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings (something else)….

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A new word for my lexicon…..

And that word is ‘Astrakhan’…
That’s a nice word.
Sounds good.
Interesting – in a mysterious kind of way.
Sort of ‘exotic far eastern’
But what could ‘Astrakhan’ mean?

Well, for all you fashionistas out there,
Astrakhan is a type of highly prized pelt,
It’s very fine, very smooth – like crushed velvet.
It’s worn by slinky 7 foot tall, pencil thin models.

Gurus of the fashion world, with their balding heads,
Tied back greying pony tails, fawning underlings, thick black dark glasses and kissy-kissy greetings, insist that Astrakhan is a must have for their clients.

Victoria Beckham, Madonna, J-Lo, Colleen McCollough and every other new money chav will surely rejoice.
The Silver Fox and Coyote skin-mix body warmers were looking just a bit passé, just a bit ‘last week’, just a bit worn in…..

And anyway, Astrakhan goes a lot better with neon yellow chav jump suits, and Rabbit-skin moon boots.
It sets off designer shopping bags a treat.
And is worn by people who know the price of stuff,
But not the cost.

So just what is this wonder stuff called Astrakhan?
How is it so soft to the touch – so fine, so smooth?
Well Astrakhan is a sort of brand name for ‘Lambs foetus skin’
Astrakhan farmers, cut the throats of pregnant sheep, slit open their wombs and pull out the soon-to-be born living lamb.
And skin it.
Voila – Astrakhan!

Astrakhan – Farmed by butchers, fashioned by cretins, worn by morons, funded by a craven celeb’ culture.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It’s an age thing…..

I’ve started writing ‘it’

‘The list’…..

Everyone in my age group starts one.
It goes with the mid life territory –
Stop worrying about the testicles – start worrying about the prostate. Stop worrying about the pension – it’s too late now anyway. Realise some equity in the house and get a buy-to-let property. Start ironing your jeans, so you get a really sharp crease down each leg…..

And -

Compile the list of 100 things to do before you die.
(Well, 50 things just ain’t enough is it?)

I was sort of inspired to make one whilst having a pleasant evening meal with a couple of pals recently. They’re married, he’s retired, she’s coming up to it and they’ve already on the second page of their listo-rama.

"Great, you’ve started your list, what’s number one then?"

They look ‘knowingly’ at each other. They’re smug. They know something that I don’t – but I want to find out. And they know it.

They couldn’t possibly tell me.

I go a bit teutonic. "Vot isss ze secret? You vill tell me vot your number von isssss

Gestapo 1 – Pensioner 0. He cracks. He folds. He blabs. He’s singing like Dame Nellie Melba competing on ‘Popstars, The Rivals’….

"Go to an auction"…..

Blimey, living fast and dangerous there then.
Not very Rock and Roll is it? –
More Val Doonican in a nice cardy, on a finely honed rocking chair…

Driving back home, I resolve to start my list – and to be just a little more radical than ‘going to an auction’.

I muse.
OK, my number 1 would have to be pretty damn memorable. Something amazing. Something I’ve always wanted to do. Something so damn good that everyone I tell will think "God, I wish I’d thought of that"….

I look for some inspiration. If he were still alive, what would Sid Vicious have on his list? Regrets-a, he’d have a fer-yew, but then againa, too fer-yew ta mention-er…..


I’ve got to be practical.

The list – will be my very own Magna Carta.
My declaration of independence to greater fulfilment.
My very own rights of passage to a more action packed life - before I pop me clogs.

I’ll need to display it in a really conspicuous place, so all my friends can read it and drool. The kitchen, I think, will be a good place to display my huge list – maybe on the fridge?

Got it! My number 1 resolution on the list ….. Buy a really strong fridge magnet and some radically stout paper.