Tuesday 24 February 2009

Trimble Trouble

So, here's the deal. I've decided to not say anything about Britain's new cleverest person in all history™ Gail Trimble. Partially because she's clever enough to think me under the table and put a fie on my knackers. Or hoof them. But also because I don't understand all the clamour, all the snarkiness and all the farrago. It strikes me as a little unfair to give the same sort of coverage normally reserved for Jade Goody, Kerry Katona or Jordan, to a woman with enough brainpower to potentially succumb to a confused existentialist fug instead.

Personally, I think such a stellar intellectual performance should, if anything, be hushed up. If word gets out, they'll be wanting the VOTE next.

Thursday 19 February 2009

The burgeoning TV career of Piers Morgan

Like many Britons, I have managed to keep my enthusiasm for Piers Morgan in check for many, many years. However, he's become somewhat ubiquitous on telly now, with ITV1 deciding he's the ideal frontman for their most intellectually stimulating programmes, i.e. those ones with adverbs in. With his latest offering - Piers Morgan Interviews D-List Celebrities and Makes Them Cry - beginning this weekend, I thought I would take the opportunity to offer my ideas for his subsequent project.

The Road to Wigan Piers
Piers Morgan attempts to find the Greater Manchester town by driving a classic car down six British thoroughfares, meeting fascinating people on the way, before eventually finding out that the road to Wigan is the A49, off junction 25 of the M6.

Blackpool Has Three Piers
Piers Morgan spends the summer in a horse-drawn caravan in the Lancashire resort, finding things which Blackpool has no more or less than three of. Excitement ensues in episode 2 (of three) when Piers thinks he's found three food processing factories but one of them turns out to be just in Fleetwood.

Earn The Respect of Your Piers
Piers Morgan takes on the Alan Sugar role, as he judges the efforts of 12 budding national newspaper editors. Over 10 action-packed weeks, Piers guides the hopefuls through a series of weekly challenges such as: printing a ludicrously anachronistic piece of petty jingoism on the front page, and publishing a waspishly judgemental criticism of British army personnel in Iraq based on photographs which turn out to be a hoax, all in the mistaken impression that your newspaper is a weighty and substantial political player on account of the fact it doesn't print topless women on page three. Then printing a grovelling apology. Then being sacked.

Victorian Piers
Following on from the success of the BBC's Three Men in a Boat strand, Piers Morgan, along with two mates called Victor and Ian, go on a canal barge holiday around the UK proving that they are all one of the lads by lighting their farts.

Pea Ears Piers
Piers Morgan sticks a load of peas in his ears...

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Historical revisionism?

I was reading a very sad yet very fascinating story on the BBC news site this lunchtime when I was interrupted by a bloody chugger, tap tap tapping at my chamber door, no less. Have the streets run out of people to persecute, forcing these wretched examples of humanity to go door-to-door? Could they not try the homeless first? "For just a small percentage of your lager money/Big Issue pay packet, you could help save deaf children from being bullied at school". "Well, as a man who has lived on the streets for five years, I'd like to first say that such a thought is deeply concerning". This is something of a digression, but still: chuggers can just bugger off.

Anyway, the BBC informed me of two things I did not know. Firstly, that at the weekend, when I was out being sophisticated and eating food, hero of our times Max Clifford revealed that the prognosis for Jade Goody's cancer is now extremely bleak, with Goody being given just months to live. Secondly, I discovered that Gordon Brown found this fact out before me, and commented on it at his regular press briefing. Jade Goody looks set, if her doctors are right, to spend her last few months as an extremely visible presence in the UK's life.

The basic fact is that this story is very sad. Goody is only 27 years old and has two young children. To her credit, she seems set to use her swansong for a massive media event marriage and other 21st Century trappings, exploiting the fact that she can command massive fees for doing so, so as to try and secure as comfortable a future as possible for her family. She should be commended for her actions.

Jade has, for better or worse depending on your opinion, very much entered the British public consciousness. It's difficult, then, to not feel sorry for her, living in one of the most unenviable situations imaginable whilst also being one of the other most unenviable situations - tabloid fame. It would be just as wrong, however, to lose sight of the fact that the root of this fame came from being swelteringly common, stupid and unpopular after her appearance on Big Brother. Subsequently embellished with a spell of being swelteringly common, stupid, unpopular and racist on Celebrity Big Brother. Since then she's been a fitness guru, a model, an A-lister, an F-lister, paparazzi fodder, a magazine columnist and a fashion icon. If we are living in the Big Brother era, where fame is seemingly handed out to the most bewildering recipient in the United Kingdom on an annual basis, Jade Goody is its flag-bearer. I predict that a state funeral will be granted any time now.

It has given me cause to reflect on the legacy of human beings, particularly those in the public eye. People who choose to remember Princess Diana's marital infidelities over the fact she was the sainted princess of all our very hearts are regularly burned in the streets. Fans of Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross beheaded at Traitor's Gate. The polarised view of the world troubles me slightly. It's rather un-British in the way it caters to a black-or-white mindset, an extremist view of the world. A return to anything resembling balance would be very nice. People do stupid things, thoughtless things, good things, smelly things, funny things, appalling things, because they are people. I personally manage to tick the majority of those boxes every single day. But it's OK, because I'm a person. People all realise that, too, even, I like to believe, the people who fill the newsstands with screaming, judgemental hyperbole every day. I just hope that when I go, I'm not remembered purely for the best thing I ever did, the worst thing I ever did or the last thing I ever did*.

* unless it involves a jet pack

Tuesday 17 February 2009


In the relentless quest towards personal gain cunningly disguised as an attempt to revive the flagging world economy, you're always bound to forget something. The above picture is also for sale, and should have been included in yesterday's post. I've now revised that post to include its details.

In general round-up news, my friend managed to guess who the killer was in ITV1's excellent three-part scary drama Whitechapel from a one line utterance - and perhaps its intonation, let's be generous - in episode two. Whereas I, long-time Ripper case enthusiast, merely sat there pooing in my pants and sleeping with the light on. I was a combination of hugely impressed at her analytical skill and massively disappointed at my own lack of one. Anyway, despite what some knuckle-dragging TV critics might have said (although, to be honest, I have no idea as I don't read them) or any assumptions you may have made (let's face it, it's a drama, it's on ITV...), Whitechapel was excellent, I thought. If you're in the UK, you can watch it all here for the next 26 days.

Also, those of you of an entymological bent may be able to assist with a bug puzzler from last night. Upon going to bed, I removed a beetle from the carpet and ushered it out the window into the streets where the likes of him belong. I carefully trapped him twixt a jar and a piece of paper. Upon putting everything back, the whole world smelt of apples. It was actually quite a pleasant smell. If the beetle was trying to scare me off with it, it didn't work. I actually went back to see if I could find it to put it to work as an air freshener, but alas it was gone. Probably to find a big enough jar to get revenge on me.

The beetle in question was about half an inch long, clearly segmented, dark brown and with highly-distinguished flattened segments on its rearmost legs. A cursory glance at the interwebs seemed to suggest it might be a Conifer Seed Beetle, a recent immigrant to Europe from the Americas and first spotted in Britain last year in Hastings. I live about 40 miles down the coast from Hastings to the west. Could the beetle have bought a car? Or could it have been another, more commonplace, insect which also has a delicious, appley, distress fart? Help me, science!

Sunday 15 February 2009

TV schedulers take note

There are countless channels on Freeview which, for people who for baffling reasons don't live in the UK, is our digital terrestrial TV service. I probably could count them, on a technicality. But I don't want to. I even tried to start for the sake of accuracy in this post but got bored. So, suffice to say, then, that Freeview provides enough TV channels.

Words alone cannot express the sense of moral desolation and anger I feel, therefore, when I turn on the TV and find that there is absolutely nothing worth watching. At all. Come on, people. There can't possibly be an excuse for that, surely?

If it weren't for iPlayer and its perky ITV and Channel 4 equivalents, I think I'd probably revert to a feral state and have to be talked down out of a tree by Ray Mears. If the people who run television can deal with that on their conscience, so be it.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Good news for society

Heartening news from America, as the woman who held the world record for the longest fingernails lost them following a motor accident. The nails are, it seems, beyond repair (why would you want to repair a fingernail?) but the manky woman they are attached to will seemingly make a complete recovery.

The fingernails were older than me, it seems, having been last cut in 1979. All of this pales rather against the sheer, unmitigated, mankiness of the whole thing. Aside from the fact the mere sight of a photo of them gives me the heeby-jeebies, I find their mere existence offensive to my way of life. World records are important to me. I'm a statistics-obsessed lunatic. I honestly feel that the whole concept is sullied by someone deliberately deciding to break one by the simple expedient of neglecting personal hygeine. I could, should I wish, stop wiping my bottom from my next poo onwards and break the world record for the filthiest rear end. I choose not to, on account of the fact we're trying to have a society here. This is before we even get to the thorny issue of how she went about wiping her bumhole herself.

Fingernails (and their cousins, the toenails) perplex me. Principally because I don't know how our ancestors went about cutting them. All I know is that they must have cut them. Because not cutting them makes you a manky titwitch. Further more, the Renaissance couldn't have happened if Leonardo da Vinci had 4-foot long nails. But mainly the manky titwitch thing.

Just to stress again, anyone with really long fingernails, cut your fingernails. We live in an enlightened age with wonderful tools. You manky titwitches.

Thursday 12 February 2009


I love mints. They are my favourite sweets. The other day I tried to imagine a world without mints and it was not a pleasant thought. I love mints so much I even buy the overpriced ones from WH Smiths at Brighton Station. The only mints I don't really like are Murray Mints. My favourite of all are Trebor Mint Imperials.

However, I particularly like Trebor Spearmint flavour Softmints at the moment. I've never fully understood why spearmint is represented as blue in confectionary circles, because spearmint is in fact green. Green and leafy. Spearmint softmints, though, come in a white and blue packet and the sweets are a lurid blue colour. I was disappointed that Trebor didn't also make the peppermint flavour softmints - which come in a predominantly green packet - bright green. I bought both, you see. For research purposes. Minty research.

That's really all I have to say on the subject, to be honest.

Monday 2 February 2009

On reactions to snow

It hath snowed. As I tip-tap-type this drivel, there is 2 (two) inches (eeenches) of the white flumpy stuff laying on the ground. Which is, of course, its preferred place to lay. Oh, and yes, I did measure it specially.

Reaction to snow number 1:

Our subject here is a 10-month old female Selkirk Rex pedigree cat. This subject had never seen snow before. The reaction was a blend of wide-eyed wonderment coupled with terror. It was very cute. I would give it an 8 (eight) on the cuteness scale. And I am a tough critic.

Reaction to snow number 2:

Our subject here is a 2-year old human female. She was very excited. Dizzily so, considering that there was but a centimetre or so dusting the ground. I anticipate that she is, at this stage, going completely mental.

Reaction to snow number 3:

Our subject, a 14-year old male moggie cat, black from head to toe and, as such, with the tendency to see snow as the very antithesis of his being, looked out the window at 3.30 a.m. and thought "Oh, fuck". Never before has a domestic feline managed to convey a thought so clearly. It made me laugh, despite the fact he had woken me up at 3.30 a.m. The subject subsequently woke me up at 4.30 a.m. to reiterate his displeasure. This hardly made me laugh at all.

Reaction to snow number 4:

Our subject this time is a 29-year old human female. It must be noted that this subject originates from a part of the world where snow is more commonplace than it is in the coastal area of Sussex. Which could be a description of Egypt, but in this case it is not. Also for consideration is the fact that I had informed the subject that her chances of being snowed-in today were laughably minimal. The subject displayed pleasure at the snow in a text message at about 8.20 a.m. this morning. The other knowledge gained - that I know three-fifths of bugger all - may well have been filed away for later reference.

Reaction to snow number 5:

Our subject, a 28-year old human male, was seen making plans to run about in the snow like a simpleton with a big grin on his massive, massive face. However, he had to write a blog post first.


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