Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bandwagons on the run…..

Labour Central Office, in a mistaken and ultimately futile attempt to retain my loyalty (and my vote) has been bombarding me with emails. The latest arrived yesterday.

Weighty, passionate, analytical? Nah – it’s just another instalment in the ’Howard is a bogey-man’ campaign. It’s just pathetic, who the hell thinks up this drivel? Don’t quote me but I reckon it looks like young snotty Alan Milburn from 2nd year remedial has been sucking on the end of his pencil again.

It’s not quite as bad as Milburn’s original idea though – the catchy jingle, ‘Don’t vote for Michael Howard, coz he’s a spazzy mong’ was run up a few flagpoles before being consigned to the bin (possibly).

It’s no wonder the public think all politicians are tossers is it?
The premise of the latest email is that Michael Howard is an unprincipled politician – always on the lookout for the next opportunistic cause he can nail his right wing colours to, gain a whopping big set of red top headlines – then move on to the next big thing… They call it the ‘Michael Howard Bandwagon Watch’….

Well slap my thighs with a well-oiled kipper. A politician going for cheap headlines and bandwagon causes?….. What a shock, they’ll be admitting they’re all failed lawyers and power mad egomaniacs next.

Anyway, back to the email. Labour Central Office have helpfully given a top ten of Howard’s bandwagon causes. I’ll spare you the whole list, because honestly they’re as funny as a house brick in the nether regions ……. But not quite as funny as Jim Davison getting two house bricks in the nether regions…..

2. Howard to ban hosepipe bans.

4. Howard says Premiership abuse of referees has grown under Labour, and promises a new ‘Graham Poll’ Bill.

9. Howard pledges new bill to force pop stars to sing lyrics clearly.

Informative? Do my a favour.
Witty? Errrrr no.
Juvenile? Pathetically so…..

I reckon Milburn wrote this stuff during a dull Geoggers lesson or maybe he sagged off from Double Maths to tap them out on Uncle Tone’s big computery thing….

I tapped out a reply. I thanked them for their email – but pointed out that the Grand Master of Bandwagonery puts Michael Howard in Reception Class.

No finer example of the dark art of the Bandwagoneer can be better illustrated by Tony Blair jumping aboard Dubbya’s bullet-proofed Cadillac Bandwagon Sedan on the road to Iraq, could it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The blue and yellow mist descends once again…….

Sort of a clue there, then.

It’s a recipe for a heart attack, or Viking GBH or even Scandinavian Genocide – and goes something like this…

Ingredients –
One phone.
One Broadband connected p.c.
One grumpy old man.
One goosed and dripping mixer tap – made in Sweden.
Eight million Swedish sadists.
A dollop of fast-evaporating patience.
One big lump hammer.

Method –
Dial number of your local IKEA furniture store.
Wait for automated instructions.
Press button 1
Press button 3
Press button 1
Press button 2
Press button 1
Vait for operator.
Explain that your ‘Stockvik’ mixer tap is dribbling –and that you need a new tap washer.
Operator suggests you bring the mixer tap into the store for inspection.
Sprinkle liberal amounts of expletives throughout as you explain it is attached to 15 miles of copper plumbing in your house.
Carefully, ever so carefully take a firm hold of handset and smash it into hundreds and thousands of pieces courtesy of the big lump hammer..

Try p.c.
Log onto
Select oxymoronic ‘IKEA Help Centre’ tab from menu
Startlingly scary pop-up of scarily animated ‘Anna’ the virtual vonder viking pops up…
Oh God -
She's here to help me.
The first question from Anna zips onto the screen.
"Hello, can I help you?"
Well that is and easy one to start with....
'Of course you can't - you're IKEA'
I type 'Seals' into box
Anna replies "I know people love animals, but I'm here just to talk about IKEA. "
(She really does, honest! - try it yourself)
Type more expansive version of problem into box.
Anna the techno-vonderkind from Svaden cannot help.
She advises that IKEA don’t do washers.
"Vee don’t haff any vashers…. Zee mixer unit ‘Stockvik’ cannot be taken apart – you vill haff to zrow it avay…
Maybe you cut try buying und new mixer tap at Bee und Kuuuw?

So there you have it, instead of spending 4 pence on a new rubber washer, Alfie is about to invest around £45 in a new mixer tap. Why? Because my favourite Swedish export insist there is no ‘eff’ in washers – and definitely none in IKEA.

Thanks Anna, thanks very, very much…..

UPDATE, UPDATE: What am I talking about?
Just got back from B'ndQ ..... Slightly underestimated budget for mixer taps..... £45 should in fact read £95 - and rising..... Good bloody grief.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Saturday - A day of whines and poseurs….

Saturday dawned bright, warm and sunny – and it’s only mid March!

Is that normal? Surely not…..

I’m standing in the garden, resplendent in my Hawaiian shirt and shorts ensemble, bathing in the warm reflected glory of the big guy in the sky. Fantastic. One part of me – Mr Cerebral, is worried about the future, tut-tutting at yet more evidence of Global warming and potential environmental catastrophe. The other half of me – Mr Neanderthal with a liking for bacon butties, beer, lads mags, footy and more beer says "Sunny hot days in March? Bring it on baby – and while you’re bringing it on, get us a few ice cool beers…..

The thing is – which ‘Mr’ is out today? I look down to my podgy digits. They’re fastened round my breakfast, is it cerebral and croissants? Nah – it’s a big, thick bacon butty and a dollop of HP sauce. Mr Neanderthal is taking the air.

A suitably manual project for the day is sought out. I’m not thinking today – just doing. Block paving in the front garden fits the bill.

I mix cement, I mop my brow, I lay a course. I notice something. Every other car that roars past the front of Alfie Towers is an open top. Saturday is the first day of the year for chav-croozin’. "Hey, look at me, I’m cool, I’m so sexy, I’m driving a Cabreeeolay baby". Gangsta rap and Hip-hop is blastin’ outta the 120 watt boom boxes, pressure waves bounce off the crumbling ruin that is the Alfie pile. My brain is vibrating outta my ears as Doppler effect and 50 cent combine to give a performance to forget… Until the next opened topped boy racing tosser cruises into view.

I catch the eye of my next door neighbour. He’s in his front garden doing a bit of touch up work to the edifice that is ‘Immaculato Palace’.

We’ve never really indulged in any social intercourse. Mr Perfecto, the guy next door is everything I’m not. He always wears immaculate sporty gear. He always seems to be in his early thirties. He doesn’t walk, he sort of skippy-jigs around – like a boxer, on the balls of his feet. He always seems so damn happy for God’s sake. His eldest son, now aged about 8 has already been signed up by Manchester United. My 2 middle sons sign up every 2 weeks at the dole office…. The front of our house looks like a bag of spanners. His looks like something from Home and Garden… Just bloody perfect.

I ice-break… "Nice day eh"

He looks up. Mr Happy-Skip-Lightly doesn't look too pleased.
"Too bloody hot, if you ask me mate…. It’s too bloody hot – and there’s too many bugs about….. and don’t get me started on the weeds beginning to grow all over the place… bla, bla, bla"……

I couldn’t hear what else he was moaning about – possibly something about the Sun casting a rather sharp shadow on his drive or something…. Fortunately another geezer playing 50 cent cruised into earshot – so I guess I’ll never know…..