Farty's Fortunes

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Farty's Ecksmas Quiz 2011

Let's have an Ecksmas Quiz!

1. Easy one to start with. Name that choon.

2. Pick the odd one out.
a) The Great Scottish Haggis Hunt.
b) Loch Ness Monster sightings.
c) The Edinburgh Trams.
d) UFOs over Bonnybridge.

Sorry, I got distracted by shiny. Continuing...

3. What famous quote from Independence Day was appropriated by Disney's Tangled? (Clue: You won't find it in IMDB, I just checked.)

4. At what age is it appropriate to ask someone if they still believe in Jesus?

5. What nationality is Andy Murray...
(a) When he wins?
(b) When he loses?

6. What is wrong with this picture? (click to embiggen)
Proving Atheists Wrong With Science #1

7. Better question: What's right with it?

To be continued. Maybe.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Bear With Me

This seems to be International Bear Week or something. First, poor Sir David Attenborough gets slated for using zoo pictures of baby polar bears in his Frozen Planet series. Shocking stuff. Did Professor Brian Cox film his Wonders of the Solar System while in orbit around Jupiter? No? Now I feel cheated.

Then Jenny the Bloggess posts a link to a French film producer who looks a bit on the hairy side.

And now there are rumours that Edinburgh's very own Panda Bears may not be all they're cracked up to be. Where will it all end?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Doctor Who Pass Notes (contains spoilers)

Name: The Doctor

Age: Circa 1100 years, although he existed at the birth of the Earth and the end of time.

Appearance: Old/young/middle-aged/young again/truly ancient/young white male. Long/short dark/white/fair hair. Prefers to wear long coats, hats and scarves.

Background: Born on Gallifrey, fairly normal upbringing, then got a bit rebellious and stole borrowed rescued a decommissioned type 40 TARDIS from a scrapyard to explore the universe. Currently has arrest warrants out on ~5000 planets for interfering with causality.

TARDIS? Time And Relative Dimension In Space. A time machine, if you will. Also spaceship. Looks like a 1960s London police call box.

Is he a real doctor? He is a qualified medical practitioner, but has also carried out extensive studies in philosophy, language, physics, mathematics, chemistry, intergalactic law, robotics, vulcanology and cricket. Likes to consider himself a good all-rounder, but still has trouble with basic navigation. Rarely lands the TARDIS on target.

Any friends? Usually has one or more companions, generally human or humanoid but has also been known to carry a tin dog on board. Most companions end up dead or lost in a parallel universe.

Tin dog? K9. A talking mechanical dog, carrying basic armaments and possessing limited intelligence. Almost as lovable as Jar-Jar Binks.

And enemies? Cybermen, Shansheeth, Slitheen, Silence, Gelth, Nestene, Daleks -

Daleks? Giant pepper-pots with a single eye on a stalk. Lacking any depth perception, they tend to bump into things a lot. Perpetually cross as a result.

How does the Doctor deal with his enemies? The Doctor always attempts to talk his way out of trouble by way of peaceful negotiations. When that fails, he usually resorts to genocide. He has utterly destroyed the Daleks on at least four separate occasions, one of which destroyed his own homeworld. Worst. Pest controller. Ever.

What weapons does the Doctor carry? None, although he does own a sonic screwdriver. This is quite handy for turning sonic screws and not much else.

So the Doctor is the last of his kind? The Doctor's home planet was sealed off from the rest of the universe in the Time War with the Daleks. Although his own race, the Time Lords, are essentially extinct, he has a daughter, at least one wife and has dealt with other time-travellers.

He appears human. Only on the outside. On the inside, Time Lords have two hearts. Also, on the frequent occasions on which he gets killed, he is reincarnated or "regenerated" on the spot. Technically, this makes the Doctor a zombie.

Why does the TARDIS resemble a police box? The TARDIS has a chameleon circuit to allow it to blend in with its environment. When we first saw it, it was in 1960s London, so this camouflage worked perfectly. Then the chameleon circuit broke.

Isn't it a bit poky? Like the wardrobe in Narnia and the travelling luggage in Discworld, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside. Be sure to check out the swimming pool, the library, the spiral staircase, the alternate control room and the laundry room.

How does the Doctor communicate with aliens? He just speaks normally. The TARDIS is telepathic and performs automatic translation between all known languages and most unknown ones.

Not to be confused with: Harry Potter.

Do say: "Dock-torrrr!"

Don't say: "Pleased to meet you, Doctor Who!"

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put A Ring (Or Five) On It


Aw, bless! Seb Coe wants to promote the London 2012 Olympics by hammering a set of giant Olympic rings to the front of that auld monstrosity, Edinburgh Castle.

If the organisers get their way, the 26ft high x 60ft wide brightly-coloured rings, rendered in tasteful aluminium, will, for nine months, almost totally obscure the massive eyesore that has blighted the city skyline for the past several centuries.

A spokesperson for London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said Edinburgh Castle had been identified as the “right place” to erect the Olympic emblem. "If that doesn't drive the tourists away from Scotland and down to London in their droves, I don't know what will."

If nothing else, at least they'll deflect attention away from the continued non-appearance of any trams down in Princes Street.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Robot, Fix Thyself!

According to JotZoom, material scientists at AkzoNobel have developed a self-mending plastic. This wondrous substance can repair damage to itself without the aid of glue, tape or any other stickum.

Supra B (catchy name, huh?) can be used in toys, spectacles, automobiles, computers or other devices. So if you sit on your specs, no need to buy a new pair, just hold the broken parts together and hey, presto! They're as good as new.

The boffins reckon Supra B would be ideal for putting scratch-proof coatings on laptops and that, but I can't help wondering if it couldn't be incorporated into a self-repairing robot. I bet nobody's ever thought of that before. Oh.

Well, what could possibly go wrong?


Friday, 19 August 2011

When Aliens Attack

According to that bastion for accurate reporting, Fox News, top NASA scientists have predicted an imminent alien attack on mankind. These aliens, who inhabit the planet Algoria, have decided that humans have done enough damage to our own planet via Anthropic Global Warming (AGW) and should be stopped before we melt all the comets in the Oort Cloud or something [sub - please check].

The only way to prevent such an onslaught is for engineers to construct a Humungous Orbital Geostationary Wide Autonomous Shield for Humanity (HOGWASH) to make the Earth appear invisible to outside observers, say these boffins. They estimate that if Congress approves an immediate grant for one billion dollars, that should be enough to fund a proposal to investigate a feasibility study into whether such a shield could be built in time to fend off the attack which could happen ANY DAY NOW!!!

When pressed for details, team leader Professor Huge Grant licked his finger, stuck in the air and announced that it would cost on the order of one trillion dollars per year to keep the shield operational, but on the plus side it would appear completely transparent from Earth. It would also need a constant supply of hookers and blow, for reasons which the team are still working out the details. Oh, yes it will.

Harry Potter was unavailable for comment.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Thoughts of Mary Jane

This was going to be a post about Amy Winehouse and her struggle with drug addiction, but I'd rather write about me. Soz, Amy.

I was first introduced to Mary Jane way back in the summer of, let me think, a while ago. I was still trying to come to terms with my on/off relationship with the girl who broke my heart and if anyone could help me in that respect, Mary Jane was the ideal candidate.

A friend of mine, let's call him Alex since this is still incriminating, had recently quit his job before they could fire him for throwing a fire extinguisher at the boss. To be fair, the boss was quite a wind-up merchant but some things you just don't do even in Embra.

I decided to pay Alex a visit and see how he was getting on. He asked me in, showed me around his poky little flat and asked if I'd like a cup of hash tea. As you do.

I lifted the lid of the teapot and gazed inside. An oily substance swirled invitingly on the surface, coyly tempting me to taste its herbal goodness.

"Yeah, why not?"

Why not indeed? Drug education in those days was only slightly more vague and misinformed than, "Drugs are bad, m'kay?" I'm pretty sure we'd only been told that much because one of my classmates at school had been expelled for admitting to a newspaper reporter that he smoked the occasional reefer.

So we sat and drank some of his funny tea and chatted and drank some more and to be honest? I don't remember whether it had any effect whatsoever. It certainly didn't taste like any tea I'd had before but since that had basically been either Typhoo at home or some abysmal infusion I'd been served while being held virtual prisoner on a school cruise ship, I never had much to compare it with.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my long descent into a drug-addled nightmare of actually quite a lot of fun most of the time.

Shortly after that, Alex moved into his girlfriend's flat across town and I was invited to his moving-in party. There was his half-brother Frank, who I soon discovered had an amazing party trick of throwing up neatly into a pint jug every time he smoked a joint. An empty jug was always kept on hand for these events, which were to become a regular feature of Alex's parties.

Frank was gay, as it turned out, although nobody really gave a toss as long as he didn't try to pick up someone else's boyfriend. Like Andy, for instance. Andy was gay too, but he had a fiancée. Yes, female: it's complicated. I was later to become firm friends with Andy, as regular readers may recall. (Screen turns swirly, fades to The World's End pub etc.)

And then there was Dwarf. I always picture Dwarf striding along in some sort of Ranger outfit from the Lord of the Rings, with an axe slung over his shoulder and an evil smile playing on his lips. Dwarf was six foot four and not to be messed with.

There were others, but these were the main players. One girl I only met at that first party; I forget her name but let's call her Coliary. Once everyone had been introduced and given something to drink, our host called for contributions and those who had any to give, opened up secret pockets and purses and produced what I learned were called Red Leb, Rocky and Afghani Black but could be collectively referred to as Mary Jane. At this point Coliary, who had only a few moments earlier been amiably discussing the latest fashion trends with her companion, leapt up, declared, "I'm not spending one more minute in this Opium Den!" and stormed out.

Sheepishly snuck back in, picked up her coat, drained her glass and flounced out again. Classy.

I, on the other hand, stayed and learned how to roll a joint, how to inhale oh, so slowly, how to hold my breath and then let it out in a miasmic cloud of wonder. Or to put it another way, I choked and coughed particles of burning hash all over the floor. But I got the hang of it eventually.

Over the coming days, weeks and months, I got to grips with the pin: attached by Blu-Tack to a Pink Floyd album cover and covered with an empty tumbler until the morsel of resin within had been consumed in a slow-burning ember, then slide the tumbler to the edge and inhale; the creek-glass chillum; the neat-pipe, hash cookies and of course, the bong.

Ah, the bong. Even though there was and, as far as I know, still is a Head Quarters just behind the National Museum of Scotland, stocked with all sorts of weird paraphernalia, it was much more fun to grow, or in this case, build your own. We made one out of three empty Coke bottles, with a chillum inserted in the neck of the first one and connected with plastic tubing leading the smoke through the second and then bubbling through spring water in the third to arrive, cool and refreshing, on our hungry lips.

And then, suitably smashed out of our skulls, we'd trundle barefoot into central Embra for a climb up the Scott Monument, or nip into Mr Boni's (does that place still exist?) for a Belly-Banger: 30 scoops of ice cream, every one a different flavour. I couldn't taste a thing for three days after that. Or, you know, hunt out the best place to serve Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters. (The World's End - you have been taking notes, right?)

And then there was the time I spent the night alone with Gay Andy. Sorry to disappoint, but all we did was smoke joints, play some Prog Rock - Yes, Genesis, Jon Anderson, um, I don't know, I was stoned - drink some rather nice red wine and talk about these new-fangled things called micro-chips. In the morning, we climbed up into the Pentland Hills behind Andy's house for a spontaneous photo-shoot, with him in the rôle of Highlander years before Mel Gibson. Yeah, Mel probably copied his style from our pictures. Wonder where they are now?

Yep, drugs are very, very bad. Just say no.

Fuck. I could do with a drag right now.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Threipmuir Walk


Threipmuir Walk, a set on Flickr.

So we went on the charidee walk and it was awesome. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen some of these as I posted them from the hilltops. The rest I took with my "proper" camera.

The route we took was from somewhere called Threipmuir in the Pentland Hills, across the Alps and the Himalyas, ending near Flotterstone Inn. But we weren't allowed the luxury of stopping for a pint, as we then had to walk three miles over the Andes to get back to the cars.

Totally worth it.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Charidee Walk

So I've been coerced volunteered into doing a sponsored walk. For charidee. Next weekend. Up a mountain. In Scotchland. I suppose most of you are wondering, "Why do a charity walk up a mountain?" I'm just thinking, "Why me?"

Apparently this particular stretch of inhospitable wilderness pleasant country walking route has a door policy: t-shirts, jeans and trainers are "inappropriate attire" and the bouncers marshalls won't let you in unless you're bedecked with reasonably-priced walking boots, wooly socks, sou'westers, canvas trousers, ice-picks, crampons (or was that tampons?), tents, Primus stoves, and six months' supplies of Kendal mint cake. Can't be too careful, I suppose.

I can't help wondering if it wouldn't have been easier for me to donate the supplies budget to charidee and spend the day loafing on the couch watching Dr Who reruns.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Little Princess

Princess Farty may be a Little Monster, but baby, she was Born This Way.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Pentland Walk

I went for a walk up the Pentlands last week, near Torphin golf course. The next day it went on fire. Wasn't me.

If this thing works, you should see a slideshow of my walk. If not, try this link.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Twitter: Watching William & Kate The Wedding So You Don't Have To

So today the UK's Channel 5 screened William & Kate: The Movie. Sadly, I missed it, but thankfully Twitter came to the rescue and filled me in on all the pertinent details. Which I shall now share with you and, indeed, posterity.

Obligatory Diana reference #solemn

This is like a porn film with no porn.

They should show this to the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay - more effective than waterboarding.

Ooh a london bus on the wrong side of the road

Obligatory Diana reference 2 #insulting

wow...typical student accomodation...just like mine when I was at college...ha

Could they not have got an English English-speaking person to check the damned script?

He's groping her arse! Nice one Wills. That's what I call Royal protocol.

Stephen and I are watching Will and Kate: the Movie. It's like a fairytale - without a fairy. Or a tale.

Obligatory Diana reference 3 #comparisons

Kate, a tip: keep your knees together when getting out of a sports car.

I love how an hour & a half after the film started my auntie just piped up "Is that meant to be Kate?". The power of acting.


She's never cut a cucumber in her life!

I keep waiting for Ben Cross to shout 'I was in Chariots of Fire you know!'

Is this our generation's Mr Darcy moment?

'Assuming, Miss Middleton, that you wear undergarments.'

"I can assure you I wear undergarments."

I don't wear 'undergarments' #justsaying

I love American made shows set in Britain like #williamandkate. Has anyone shouted "wanker" yet?

When is Wikipedia going to be updated with all the new facts we have learned today?

I've just realised the nice couple in this story have the same names as Prince William and Kate Middleton. How odd.

Obligatory Diana reference/flashback #tragic

I know whenever i go camping in africa, i always take my chaise lounge and silverware with me

Best Green Screen EVER


I can't believe Kate went back to her home planet.

and i hear the sequel is being shown next Friday

I can't wait.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Now I Feel Bad

So last week I was in some foreign country and I didn't take my camera most of the places I went because everybody's already taken a zillion photos of their Spanish holiday resort and honestly who wants to see even more of that crap unless they're planning to go there themselves and want to check it out first? But I did take my phone because now the EU's ordered the mobile phone companies to stop gouging their customers with "roaming charges" for taking their phones abroad when it costs the companies themselves a fucking pittance to interoperate? Not that I use the phone all that much for phone calls but I feel lost without Twitter and guess what? They still charge an arm and a leg for data, so I had to top up twice.

Anyway, I used the phone to take some snaps and post them to Twitpic, but of course this phone doesn't upload Twitpic photos because O2|Sony Ericson|Twitpic are assholes. So I had no way of knowing if the photos which I posted at great expense to Twitpic had actually arrived as sent until I sat down tonight at the PC to review them. Oh, fuck.

Someone did post a comment asking if I'd even checked my snap of Steamboat Willow because it was shit and I just blocked him out of force of habit, but it turns out he wasn't just being nasty. Steamboat Willow. Sorry.

As a special treat, here's another picture I took from the apartment.

Also, I tweeted most of what happened while I was away but there's no signal at 30,000 feet, so here's what you missed if you're on Twitter:

No signal? *Hyperventilates*

Reading Mrs F's magazine. Munter, munter, @ThisIsDavina, munter, @RealLorraine, munter, done. Bored now.

So we're five miles up, held aloft by the latest technology...why do the seat rows go 10, 11, 12, 14?

Seven quid for a baguette? What's on it, unicorn or griffin?

Coming over the Spanish coast now. I wonder if I left the gas on?

Everything on this flight costs extra. I hope if we crash, it's on land. Otherwise they'll be trying to sell us life-jackets.

The cabin crew are friendly but dead behind the eyes. They're speaking Spanish right now. I assume they're saying, "I hate my job".

We're coming in to Malaga. Or Mauritius. Or Morocco. Something beginning with "M". I suck at geography.

Then we had a holiday. Which was nice. And then...

Glad we checked in online, only had to queue 45 mins at the "bag drop" (check-in) desk.

Also? Incredible number of morons here with no grasp of the concept of "excess baggage" or "no bottled nitroglycerin".

Some twat has left their bag unattended. Bit wary to report it in case they evacuate the airport.

Yes, we would go back. As soon as they invent Star Trek type transporters.

Friday, 4 March 2011

That Was The Week, Was It?

So I was reading Tired Dad's blog post about his top five most hated television programmes and I was tempted to join in, but my attention was caught by this highly-pertinent but almost throwaway comment:
Several people list that “fuckin 10 O’Clock Show shite” in their top five, and I briefly argue. But even I have to concede that I WANT to like it more than I ACTUALLY do.

And I know exactly what TD means. Every week, I tune in in the hope of watching some cutting-edge biting satire of the sort that hasn't really been seen since That Was The Week That Was, back in Olden Times (pre-Moon Landing). And every week I feel vaguely disappointed that it wasn't longer, that some bases weren't properly covered, that it was all a wee bit "shoddy".

But then, maybe my memories of TW3 have become sepia-tinted with age. After all, I was just a nipper and couldn't possibly have understood most of the jokes. On @10OClockLive it's remarkably similar. Jimmy Carr, for example, will make some hilarious double-entendre, listen to the first wave of laughter and then glance at his watch while the cognoscenti who "got it" right away explain the joke to their less clued-up companions...aaand there goes the second wave.

And a live news show is always going to be shoddy; it's the whole point. Some items are literally thrown in at the last minute, which is every editor's worst nightmare, never mind stand-up comedians.

Still, I do feel that the presenters are letting off lightly the politicians who deign to appear on the show, ready to be cross-examined by some posh bloke from Oxbridge. Sometimes it seems it's David Mitchell who's being hung on the ropes by media-savvy, well-coached, silver-tongued weasel-word merchants. Or perhaps producers are afraid that if he were to really lay into them, the supply may suddenly dry up. Time will tell.

Lauren Laverne makes very pleasant eye-candy, but other than that she seems to be very much the token female. Appearing in just one short prerecorded sketch per week, she spends the rest of the time trying to keep her boys under control long enough to go to an ad break. Maybe Jo Brand could show her how it's done?

Of course the star of the show has to be that lucky bastard who married Konnie Huq. Charlie Brooker has taken to live satire like a duck to bird-flu. All of his own segments appear to be well-rehearsed, coherent and relevant, while he joins in the group discussions with carefully-constructed snippets of wisdom. I want to be him when I grow up.

The show as a whole just doesn't seem to fit into it's ample 65-minute slot. Maybe that's down to the ad breaks, but at least they stop any one item from tying up the whole programme.

Oh well, three months to go. I'm sure it'll all mesh together by the end of the run.

Friday, 25 February 2011

And That's Why I Never Insure With Domestic & General

Earlier this month, I received a letter from Domestic & General Insurance.

"Dear Sir," it began, quoting a reference number, "Further to your recent communication regarding the above agreement."

I thought this was a mite odd, considering that I make a point of not using their services, ever, and certainly hadn't communicated with them recently.

The letter went on to explain why the agreement I don't have with them had been cancelled.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Then I checked the Direct Debit mandate which they had helpfully attached, and all became clear.

Clear as mud, to be honest.

The signature didn't even remotely resemble mine.

Come to think of it, neither did the name, address, bank, sort-code or account number.

Although, on closer inspection, the quoted reference number was only one digit different from the one in the letter.


At that point I picked up the phone and called their customer support number, which only took a couple of button-presses to put me through to their complaints department, where a very articulate young chap answered immediately, listened attentively to my explanation of why I felt his company was in breach of the Data Protection Act, interjected only to say that my reference number was for a make of appliance I haven't even owned in ten years, then apologised profusely and politely suggested that I score through the letter, write "return to sender" across it, attach a note explaining what I'd just told him, pop it in the enclosed envelope and stick it in the post, which I promptly did.

And I thought that was the end of it.


This week, I received another letter from Domestic & General.

Oh, how nice, I thought. They've taken the time to send me a written apology. Yay.

As it turned out, not so much.

"Dear Sir," it began, quoting a reference number, "Further to your recent communication regarding the above agreement."

My heart sank.

It was the same letter.

Had it fallen through a wormhole in the space-time continuum?

Well, no, because it was stapled to my letter to them, their original, scored-through letter to me and the same Direct Debit mandate.


I quite enjoy a game of ping-pong, so I'm sending the entire set of correspondence back to D&G. Only this time I'm sending a copy to the person named on the Direct Debit mandate so that they know why their appliance isn't insured.

And another copy to the Data Protection Registrar.

Because that's how I roll.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Every Time I Sit Down To Write A New Blog Post, I Get Distracted By The Bloggess

Not that this post is about Jenny; it's actually about something I saw in the news today - and I've just remembered what it was.

The UK has a census coming up and in that census, there is precisely one question that's voluntary - "What's your religion"?

The last time around, 390,000 people put "Jedi".

This year, I'm joining them. *You must do the same.

It's not as much of a protest as sitting in Tahrir Square chanting, "Mubarak must go", but it's a start.

What are they going to do - blow up a planet to bring us into line?

Or perhaps they'll offer us a choice between death and something else.

* Old Jedi mind trick.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Do As We Say, Not As We Do, Urges UK Government

So the House of Commons has just voted to flout the law as laid down by the European Court of Human Rights. The vote was 234 to 22 in favour - a 99% majority according to innumerate Tory MP David Davis.

With such fine, upstanding citizens as these telling us that it's ok to pick and choose which laws we can ignore, is it any wonder there are so many prisoners behind bars in the first place?

Now excuse me, I'm just nipping off to burgle my MP's second home while he's down in London - assuming he's not simply fiddling his expenses. Again.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Don't Give Up

When you look up at the top of a stunning waterfall and catch yourself thinking, "That would be a good place to jump from".

When you're slicing bread and you realise how easy it would be to open your wrists.

When you take a walk along the waterfront on a stormy day, with the salty wind whipping your hair while the surf hurls itself against the seawall, and you idly wonder if they'd ever find your body.

When you're terrified to be left alone in the house in case of what you might do to yourself.

Don't be too afraid to ask for help.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

If Anybody's Going To Show Underage Girls With Their Tits Out, It Should Be Us, Rants Murdoch Empire

Rabid Murdoch mouthpiece Fox News was in paroxysms of rage after it transpired that MTV had set itself up in direct competition with Sky Filth by broadcasting a mediocre US remake of the British award-winning E4 series Skins.

The show, which airs after the 9pm watershed, aims to explore the trials and tribulations of a typical group of hot, young, randy teenagers in modern-day USA, featuring such diverse topics as sex, drugs, sex, pop music, sex, drugs and sex (sub - please check, I've never seen it).

Some interfering parents' group which doesn't know what an "off" switch is for has branded Skins as "the most dangerous show for children on television - unless you count that dodgy Icelandic show where the adult male lead gets way too up-close-and-personal with the cute kid. You know the one I mean."

The Dirty Digger's other major organ, The Sun, a national daily "newspaper" which prides itself on its long-running tradition of printing topless pictures of teenage girls, was unavailable for comment, as all of its "investigative journalists" were busy snorting coke off hookers' tits.

Friday, 21 January 2011

What Were They Thinking?

There's a story in today's ParentDish about a head teacher who told his primary school kids that World War III had started, led them to a cellar and simulated a bomb explosion, then acted all surprised when they suffered nightmares about it.

Nobody in their right mind should subject young, impressionable children to that kind of mental torture. It's worse than exposing them to the X-Factor. Arguably. Depends how many weeks he kept them in their improvised bomb shelter. And how many of their classmates they had to eat before he 'fessed up.

I'm shocked, outraged and shocked.


When we lived near the prison back in the '60s, we'd often play out in the street (this was before X-Boxes and Wiis and shit) with our pals, one of whom was four-year-old David. If one of Her Majesty's guests took an unscheduled leave of absence, they'd set off an alarm that sounded remarkably like an air raid siren. We took great delight in telling David that the Germans were coming and we'd have to run for cover. He's probably still in therapy now.


But we were only kids ourselves. A head teacher really should know better.

On the other hand, it's good practice for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Banned from the Co-op – Didn’t like shopping there anyway!

Yesterday I was at my local Co-op buying a large bag Pedigree Chum dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant? So, since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Pedigree Chum Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but that I'd lost 2 stones before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Chum nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's arse and a car hit us both. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

I'm now banned from the Co-op!

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say. Forward this (especially) to all your retired friends - it will be
their laugh for the day...

(Thanks to Jennifer for this tale)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Opposable Thumbs

So I was reading about polydactyl kittens and I got to thinking about what it must have been like when the first ever human baby was born with opposable thumbs. All the other mothers must have been like, "Ew! That's disgusting! You should get those funny-looking fingers removed right away, they make your kid look like some kind of mutant!" And the baby's mum would be all, "I know, right? But I don't know any really good surgeons, first of all because we're in the stone age or whatever and surgery hasn't been invented yet, but more importantly none of them seem to able to wield a scalpel properly and I'm not letting any unqualified half-assed dinosaur butcher anywhere near my kid's hands - OMG! My son could be a doctor! I'm going to enroll him in medical school just as soon as I can figure out how to hold a pen to fill in the form. I'm so proud of little Johnny Two-Thumbs. He won't need to write with his mouth or his toes or whatever we're using right now, he can wrap his thumb right around the pen and hold it in his hand. Get me Fox News, we're gonna be rich!"

I'm pretty sure that's almost exactly how it went. Assuming pens had been invented.