Google+ A Tangled Rope: 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Something More


She looked for reasons within those moments that seemed to contain within themselves something more than the usual, something more than the mundane. She longed to find a moment she could hold in her hand and find so much more inside it, like some kind of crystal ball.

Now the days pass and she lives automatically. She gets up feeling so weary and goes through all the necessary motions of the working world. Back at home in the evenings she feels too worn out to cook even the simplest of meals. She sits slumped in front of the TV picking listlessly at a bland microwaved ready-meal.

Afterwards she sits in the flickering blue glow of the screen sipping at a glass, or two, of white wine. She stays there until she feels she can take no more of the world that lives inside the television. A world that seems far distant and so alien compared to her own reality. She sighs and goes to bed hoping for a dream that will take her to a new life in a new world.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Front-Line Public Service

Gladioli Permeablemembranes was just an ordinary local government Gravity-Awareness Co-Ordinator, working hard to make sure that no-one in her local area ever forgot the importance of gravity in their lives, especially those officially designated as gravity-poor and/or of a sexually, religiously, ethnically, or some other officially-sanctioned ‘minority’ grouping.

Of course, it is quite common for people going about their busy normal day-to-day lives to occasionally forget the vital role that gravity often plays in their lives, and Permeablemembranes say it as her – almost sacred – duty to make sure that people were aware of gravity and how it could affect them as much as was possible.

She had already leafleted every household in her area of responsibility about the 10 Most Important Effects Of Gravity, and had employed a team of 50 special Gravity Inspectors to go from door to door in her local area to ask everyone they met how gravity affected their lives and what the local council could do to help them cope with the – sometimes – unfortunate effects – of gravity on their lives.

Permeablemembranes hoped that the data from her extensive survey would produce some eye-catching graphs that she could use to show just how gravity affected the lives of everyone in the local area, and in some cases made the poor unfortunates with what she called Excess-Gravity Syndrome unable to get up off their couches to even go to the fridge to get more essential life-sustaining pies to help them cope with what seemed like a huge excess of gravity in their lives.

Unfortunately though, Permeablemembranes was unable to ever fulfil her dream of everyone in the UK having a fair and equitable amount of gravity in their lives, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, hairiness of knee or any other such socially-disadvantageous grouping they could be classed as belonging to, because the Evil Tory government cut her funding completely before she could even begin.

Thursday Poem: Twelve Small Dreams


Twelve Small Dreams

Twelve small dreams take hold and take you down to the sea.
Floating over the dunes like soft summer breezes
That caresses every blade of grass. You are free,
Dancing out across the sand to seek what pleases,

Twelve bright shells to take back home for all your dreaming.
Each small dream will hold its bright shell as it dances
All around the possibilities, all streaming
From the worlds all held within your lost romances.

You’ve had twelve small dreams, each a jewel bright centre
Taking you on journeys out across dream landscapes
Seeking that particular one place to enter,
needing a home amongst all these shifting dark shapes.

While you twist and turn on all your dreaming travels
Journeys far across the sweat-damp sheets of restless
Turning night, knowing each dream as it unravels,
Dancing through your night while you lie lost and helpless.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lingerie: Its Role In History

Dampcourse Electronvolt first came to prominence as the leading TV academic specialising in the history of ladies underwear, specifically its important role in some of the most significant  periods and events in the history of the world, and the UK in particular.

As every school-age learning-enabled junior consumption unit knows, it was the taunting of the Normans by the Saxons at Hastings, specifically the much-held Saxon belief that the Normans all wore ladies underwear under their chain mail, that so enraged William the Bastard and his men that led to the successful charge up Senlac hill that lead to the defeat of Harold and brought about the subsequent successful Norman conquest of England.

Ironically, however, recent archaeological research at the site of the battle has proved conclusively that the Battle of Hastings was the first battle in recorded history where the conquering army were all - indeed - wearing French knickers and camisole tops under their armour.

Later on, during the Renaissance it was – of course – that prolific inventor and proto-scientist Leonardo Da Vinci himself, in some of his sketches and drawings, who first came up with the concept of the peep-hole bra and split crotch panties.

Electronvolt maintains that there is some evidence that can attribute the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa down to her, in fact, wearing some prototype erotic lingerie invented by Da Vinci during her sittings for the picture.

Everyone, of course, knows that the Duke of Wellington’s famous victory at the Battle of Waterloo train station was down to his personal use of fetish footwear, but few seem to realise what a disastrous choice Napoleon made on the morning of the battle when he opted for a corset instead of the traditional French army regulation basque, which many scholars maintain lost him the battle.

Electronvolt also maintains that the rapid expansion of the British Empire was mainly due to the British army adopting stockings and suspenders for the battlefield, which did help create a tactical advantage, especially for the Highland regiments, in their battles with the natives in both Africa and India.

Consequently, Electronvolt’s new 23.5-part BBC2 series on Lingerie and Its Role In History looks as though it could go down as one of the classics in what is already an illustrious genre, and should be required viewing for all with an interest in history and/or underwear.

Crowd Scenes

Think about all those people who walk through our lives, all the bit-players and walk-on parts, all the extras in the crowd scenes. There are so many of them, each one unique, each an entire individual self.

However, to us, as we walk through them, they are the crowd. They are just the background noise on the soundtrack of our lives, almost a part of the scenery.

Occasionally, though, one face in the crowd stands out and you turn to look at her.

If you are lucky you may get a smile or some sort of recognition. Mostly though, she will just walk on oblivious or feigning oblivion. But you will always remember her, remember her as the one who stepped out of the crowd and reminded you that each and every one in that faceless crowd is someone real.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This New Kingdom


I will walk these paths through the trees and down to the stream where you wait for me. I know you will be there, as you are always there and always willing to wait for me to come walking out of the trees and into this shady place we have made our own.

We have created a small country of our own, a state bordered by these trees and this stream where we can live the lives of freedom denied to us both once we step out back along our secret path that leads to this place and go back onto the public paths that will lead us along separate ways back to our own lives.

Here, though, and, now, though, we are in control of our domain, and here we do what we want and we do what we need.

Here we want each other and we need each other. There is no kingdom here without its king and its queen. Here, without us, there is no kingdom, no small new country, just another small clearing in the woods bordered by some trees and a stream.

Here, we could become more than just mere king and queen; here we could become the first people of so many myths, creating the human out of these fallen leaves, this stream and its damp clay. We could start a new tribe, a new race, here in the ever narrowing space between us as we come together under a sky that seems created just for us.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Poem: Spring



These are the bad days.
Cold and dark, they perch
On the chest, pushing down
And the only hiding
Is to hide inside and wait
For green spring to take you
By the hand, ready
To be a shoot again.
To be held between two hands
And be told stories
Of how to grow again.
To use spring to begin again
Like a tightly coiled seed
Ready to spring,
Eager to break out
Of the protecting shell.


[First published: Poetry Nottingham International Vol 54 No. 1 Spring 2000]

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Sanctuary


Ex-1980s socialite and former topless raincoat model Tepid Malodourant now runs the UK’s first Politician’s Sanctuary. A safe place, deep in the wild Luton countryside far from any signs of civilisation, where politicians who have been abused, scorned and vilified by the press, public, and even – if they have been caught out and their malfeasance made public – by the rest of their political pack, eager to distance themselves from their wounded former ally, can find sanctuary.

As Malodourant herself says:

It can be a lonely life for a politician who suddenly finds itself thrown out of the pack for whatever reason, it can be something as trivial as finding a string of secret lovers, a slightly unusual but tabloid-friendly sexual deviation, the mere swindling of the tax payer of a measly few hundred thousand pounds in ‘expenses’, or even some minor political peccadillo like treason against the country, the slight murder of a political rival, right up to the very serious offence of saying something disparaging about one’s party or – even, perish the thought – something as bad as saying you disagree with your party leader about some relatively minor aspect of party policy.

Whatever it is that the politician has done, we here – at the sanctuary - do not judge, we just adjust our fees accordingly and offer them a safe refuge whilst they go about rebuilding their shattered lives, hiring a publicist and writing their memoirs.

For the political it can be hard to adjust. Often they lose everything, going from having a wife, family and several mistresses and/or gay lovers, a job they hardly ever actually have to do and expenses that can pay for everything they can think of, right down to having to rely on ‘Exclusive Article’ fees from a tabloid newspaper, before then having to eke out a living appearing as a guest on satirical news programmes that believe it is ‘edgy’ and ‘witty’ to have on their show someone who - were they not a (former) politician - would either still be in prison, or sleeping on a park bench in a newspaper-stuffed overcoat, drinking meths.

However, such is the compassion that Malodourant and others of her ilk feel for these poor unfortunate creatures, that now it is possible for the disgraced politicians to end their political days in dignity, safety and a relatively comfy bed-sit where they can recover at their own pace before they are released back out into the wilds of the political and media jungle once again.



We would go together, walking down to the shore. We never spoke much on those early morning walks. Words seemed unnecessary, an intrusion on the sounds of the island just being itself. It did not need a commentary, or even any comment, and to talk of other things seemed sacrilegious somehow.

We often stood at the water's edge, where the waves would trickle over our bare feet, staring out at the bare horizon. It seemed important somehow - that line - that edge to our world. We had lost the desire to go beyond it.

At first, when we saw a ship we made fevered attempts to attract their attention. I even went as far as building a signal fire up on the headland. But, it was never lit, and over time, it collapsed into a mere pile of wood.

We had fresh water, we had food and, most of all, we had each other. For the time being, that seemed to be enough.

One day we knew we would have to go back, return to the world, but we didn't want to, not yet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Poem: The Shells And Stones


The Shells And Stones


The waves will wash the shells and stones
As flotsam tumbles over shores
And leaves the bodies and the bones

Of creatures water now disowns.
Despite the secret hordes it stores
The waves will wash the shells and stones

Ashore, and then the wave’s soft groans
And sighs before the wave withdraws
And leaves the bodies and the bones

To sky and air, while wind intones
A song of death across seashores.
The waves will wash the shells and stones

Across the beaches no-one owns
And cleans the sand the tide restores
And leaves the bodies and the bones.

The tossing sea will give no homes
Discarding those it now abhors
The waves will wash the shells and stones
And leaves the bodies and the bones.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When That Day Comes


When the day comes she knows she will be here waiting for it, as she has been waiting for it all her life. Her life just seems to have happened to her, often seemingly without her ever having any say in it, but she knows that when that day comes it will all be different.

She used to expect some tall dark handsome stranger to appear in her life and whisk her off to some new place; some new land even, somewhere exotic where dark-eyed women would watch her and her handsome stranger from behind veils and diaphanous curtains, all wishing that they could be her.

Instead, her husband fell into her life out of the chaos and bewilderment of drunken nights out and parties held in darkened houses throbbing with the bass-lines of songs she never learnt the words for.

Soon, somehow, she ended up a wife and mother, doing all the wife and mother things as though she was some understudy for some other woman whose role had been left for her to temporarily fill.

Sometimes, she would look at her husband, and her children, and recognise them as hers and see the shapes in their lives that she made all around them. Mostly, though, they seemed like strangers, people she was sharing this Waiting Room Life with, while she was waiting for her day to come.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Passes For Peace


We could take our time, hold on to it and keep it safe here, far from the rest of the world. We could take our time and hide it here under these blankets where we huddle together against the cold world that storms against our windows.

We have tried walking those human streets where empty-eyed bodies jostle and throng, each searching for what those eyes cannot see. We have taken ourselves out into the promise-haunted night seeking someone who will recognise us across some crowded room and come take us by the hand away from here.

Here, now and together, we have found at least some short time away from all that. We have found what passes for peace in these stormy times, a still centre at the eye of our lives. A place where we can feel the touch of skin under our searching hands. We have arrived at a place where we can feel the beating of another heart in the silence that we crave.

All of this though will only last for a while, we know that it will be over as soon as the storm clears and we can leave the safety of these sheets, throwing them back as though discarding the memories of this time and stepping back out into separate lives once more, each of us closing ourselves down ready to face the faceless crowds as we wander lonely back to our own thin lives.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cheese Disorganisation and Social Disorder


Porkchop Dailygrind was just an ordinary run-of-the-mill Cheese Arrangement Officer in her local council Cheese Reconciliation Unit, who never expected to become so famous, especially for what she regarded as a routine part of her job. On what seemed to her like an ordinary Tuesday morning, she was on duty at the local council Emergency Cheese Incident Desk when an emergency call came in from a local resident, claiming that a cheese disorganising gang had moved into her street on a local housing estate. The caller seemed almost hysterical, claiming that: ‘There is brie everywhere! This used to be such a respectable neighbourhood too….’

With no fear for her own safety, despite the fearsome reputation of cheese disorganising gangs for callous and wanton violence and a callous disregard for the integrity of the Double Gloucester, after pausing only to pick up her trusty 12-bore, Dailygrind set off for the housing estate.

As we all know from perusing the more lurid headlines in some of the more… excitable tabloids, cheese disorganising rackets have now become the greatest threat to law and order, and western civilisation, at least since the last such threat our ever-vigilant and noble tabloids helpfully last waxed hysterically about. According to these reports, cheese disorganising gangs are now causing panic and consternation throughout the country, terrifying all the normal law-abiding people of this land. This, in turn, is forcing politicians to proclaim their concern and make promises to introduce some wonderfully counter-productive knee-jerk legislation.

Cheese disorganising gangs manage to worm their way into people’s lives and cause severe and criminal disorganisation of the various cheeses in people’s lives, often through blackmail, intimidation and severe violence, especially at specialist delicatessens. Some people have had their Caerphilly held to ransom, and one family in Ludlow haven’t seen their Sage Derby for several months and are now beginning to fear the worst, especially after local police found a tell-tale pile of cracker crumbs at a notorious cheese disorganising gang’s former hideout.

Anyway, Dailygrind arrived on the housing estate just as the cheese disorganising gang were manhandling a fridge out into the street fully intending to cause severe distress to a wedge of Edam and perhaps engage in some illegal acts with a small portion of Cheshire cheese.

Immediately, with no thought for her own safety, and her only concern for the integrity of the various cheeses already suffering considerable distress in the manhandled fridge, Dailygrind let the gang leader, already with tell-tale Red Leicester stain on his elbows, have both barrels from her shotgun at point blank range, before calmly reloading and suggesting the rest of the gang move away from the fridge and await the arrival of the police.

Once the police had arrived, taken the gang into custody and wiped up what remained of the gang leader, Dailygrind cut then - at last – open the fridge and carefully, and with very practiced hands, make sure the full integrity of the cheese was restored before handing the fridge back to its distraught owners, mount up on her moped and with the cries of thanks from the local residents ringing in her ears, and ride off into the sunset, satisfied at another job well done.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Half A Life


What more is there beyond these times, beyond these moments? Both the past and the future lie out of reach, so all we have is the here and the now.

However, no moment means anything taken out of the stream of time and held in isolation. Each moment needs the past and the future to shape it, just as it shapes how we look back at the past and how we look towards the future with temptation or desire, or so many different wants, needs hopes, fears dreads and doubts.

The uncertainties of the future haunt us just as much as the unchangeable solidity of the past can make us cringe when we look back to see all our foolish mistakes littering the landscapes of our histories. To look back without regret is just as bad as to look forward without at least some trepidation.

To be unaware of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune is to live half a life, just as it is to cower behind your defences against those slings and arrows instead of advancing towards them and taking them on.

We should at least try to be heroes on the battlefield of life. It is after all easier to deal with our failures of heroism than to deal with all the mistakes made through our own cowardice.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Poem: Mists



The days will pass in misty silences
As we go walking through these landscapes made
So suddenly into substantial dreams,
Where anything that looms abruptly out
Of mists, becomes a portent and a sign.
Our actions are decided only by
The things we see because there is no rhyme
Or reason in this spreading silence now
Enclosed by these deep dense surrounding mists.

No language tongues could ever turn to sound,  
Describing all we see or hear, could tell
All what we need to know. There will be time,
There will always be time, while time surrounds
And swallows all of us. To now begin
To turn in silence, taking all the steps
Our rituals make necessary now
To take us on towards a world that grows
Out from these mists that shroud our dawns and hide
The possibilities of sunshine days.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Playing The Game

Sometimes it is like the world is waiting for something from you, as though it waits for you to make your move in some elaborate game it has concocted around you, without you really being made aware of the rules or the strategy of the game it is playing with you.

You feel it watching you as though it sits across the board, the table, from you patiently analysing every movement you make, every twitch of your face, for those subtle signs that betray what you are thinking.

But you don’t know what to think; don’t even know what would construe a move in this elaborate game you have been pressed into. All that you know is that as soon as you do something, the world, the universe, will hit back with some move of its own – often completely out of the blue – that leaves you sitting there dumbfounded at how the world, the universe, seems to know so well what will leave you unable to move, stalemated by its sheer audacity.

Sometimes though, there is some slip, some alteration in reality, which allows you to see what you think is one of the rules of, some structure to, this game the universe is playing with you.

So you make one move, two moves, perhaps even a whole series of moves that makes you feel that – at last – you are getting somewhere, that now you understand it all and how it is played. Only to find, a few moves into this streak, that it was some elaborate strategic blunder, and the universe knew it had you beat all along.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Summer Of Vegetables


‘C’mon baby, get on down and pickle my cabbage’ with those words from the legendary number one single by Stan Dibber and the Allotment Lean-Tos, Britain’s Summer Of Vegetables began. Not since the mid 1960s had the media been able to hype a teen sensation like this. Yes, there had been punk, acid, knitwear, and all those other far too short-lived fads for the media, especially the sub-section of it that likes to consider itself hip and happening with its collective finger on the pulse, to make significant increases in the audience share they were able to deliver to their advertisers.

Of course, social commentators had been bringing out articles and TV documentaries, seemingly by the score, about the increasing amount of asparagus seen at this country’s leading nightspots, but it had, until Stan Dibber came along, only been sporadic and mainly asparagus-based.

As for the actual pickling of vegetables, there were rumours of such things going in the dark backrooms of some of more hip and happening top clubs, where it was alleged several A list celebrities and major catwalk artists indulged in onion pickling parties, but nothing had ever been confirmed. This was despite several tabloid newspapers almost openly touting for any incriminating photographs of say a major TV antiques show presenter dabbling with piccalilli in the company of a pair of glamorous local government clerical assistants.

However, like all such modern day fads, the Summer of Vegetables was short-lived. Soon there was talk of some of the bright young things getting involved with sprouts and sordid tales of several young rock stars overdosing on pickled gherkins.

Then, just as the government was to launch a £50 million campaign to warn the nation’s youth about the danger of mixing cabbage and peas, along with a hard-hitting and graphic advertising campaign cautioning of the dangers of pickled beetroot, it was all over as the fickle attention of the nation’s youth turned to the seedy, exotic and disturbingly erotic delights of political blogging instead.

Monday Poem: Wreckage

[The Shipwreck – J.M.W Turner]
 Your storms churned
Tossed the ship of my life
To lie wrecked
On the rocks of your reef.

Your island, distant
Bare and unfriendly
Unredeemed by human habitation
Just the sea-teased flotsam.

Your waves rolled
And threw me down
To claw at the deserted sands
On your beach of abandoned hope.

[First published: STAND Volume 5(2) September 2003]

Friday, July 09, 2010

Gove In More List Errors


Following the debacle over his school closures list errors, last night the embattled Education Secretary, Michael Gove, was in more trouble over a list error when he arrived home late, carrying just a lettuce and a tin of anchovies.

In response to the incident, Mr Gove’s wife issued a statement saying:

Yesterday I rang Michael at work and asked him to pick up a few things from the supermarket on the way home. Namely: a bottle of milk, some fish fingers for the kids, a nice bottle of red and some of that lovely cheese I like that I can never remember the name of. He promised me that he’d written it all down and would definitely call in to the shop on the way home.

After apologising profusely to his wife for his error, and promising that systems would be put in place for checking any future shopping lists for mistakes, misunderstandings and omissions, Michael Gove issued the following, by way of mitigation.

I was on the way home from the Education Department with the shopping list in my hand, when I met the deputy Prime Minister wandering up and down the corridors of the department, checking through each desk in all the offices. Of course, I asked him what he was doing, and he replied that the Prime Minister himself had given Mr Clegg the vital sole responsibility for counting all the pencils currently being used in all government departments, to see if any significant savings could be made in stationery costs.

Actually, Nick looked a bit lonely and lost. I think he is realising that being in government isn’t all he thought it would be. So I stopped for a chat.

After he’d started telling me about number 29 and the tricks she could do with a unicycle, a sou’wester and a courgette, I suddenly realised the time and told him I had to go home.

I suppose I must have left the shopping list on the desk when Nick followed me down the corridor, asking if I wanted him to post any letter or anything, or if I had the odd bit of filing he could do.

Anyway, by the time I got to the supermarket, all I could think about was what Nick Clegg had said about number 13 and her hot twin sister. I suppose that is why I ended up with just the lettuce and the tin of anchovies.

However, despite the Education Secretary’s fulsome apology for his latest gaffe, sources close to Mrs Gove insisted that it will still be some time before Mr Gove will be allowed to bring out his Private Member’s Bill for consideration on the floor of her house.

Police Fugitive Hunt Continues


[Have you seen this man?]

Police in the north of the UK are today continuing their hunt for a fugitive who they describe as ‘a very dangerous man’ who they want to question in connection with the UK’s massive debt crisis and continued failure to emerge from recession.

The fugitive, known as Gordon Brown, a one-time self-styled Prime Minister, has not often been seen in public since fleeing the scene of his crime – Downing Street in London – several weeks ago.

Acting on a tip-off, the police have traced the fugitive’s presumed whereabouts to somewhere in Scotland, where they believe he is hiding out, planning to release some sort of statement attempting to absolve himself of any role whatsoever in all the crimes that have been put at his door, from selling off the UK’s gold far too cheaply, destroying pensions, creating a massive benefits-led client state and all its apparatus, building an overwhelming state machine that intrudes into people’s private lives and many other crimes committed by him, and his one-time criminal accomplice Tony ‘The Grin’ Blair, during the former Labour government’s long reign of terror.

It is believed that there are several people in the Labour party also searching for him too because of the way his rampage through the UK’s political scene murdered their careers as MPs, forcing many of them to fall fatally from the gravy train, often with little or no chance of ever getting such a cushy number ever again.

Police have warned the public that in the unlikely event that they do see this man, not to approach him under any circumstances as they believe he is armed with several Nokias and is not afraid to use them, they also warn that there is also the clear and present danger that the fugitive could describe anyone he meets as ’a bigot’, once he believes he is out of their hearing.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Balaclava Stropweasel is – surprisingly - nowadays not quite as well-known as his exploits in the SAS* during WWII merit. For it was Stropweasel who led some of the most spectacular undercover behind-enemy-lines auditing raids of both the Desert and the Normandy campaigns which did much to help Britain win the war against the Nazis, all of which came in under budget with very few unforeseen expenses claimed.

It was assumed, early in the war, that the German army had some of the best battlefield accounting tactics in the world, especially in their use of the Blitzkrieg Auditzensplazten, which could identify, down to the last bullet and plate of battlefield-ready sauerkraut, just how much any single military action would cost.

However, it took someone with Stropweasel’s inherent military accountancy genius to realise just how damaging it would be for a small Allied unit to infiltrate behind the German military lines and intercept, alter, or even destroy the vital lines of receipts, invoices and petty cash books of the German army. For, such was the extremely disciplined nature of Wehrmacht accounting techniques that - as Stropweasel discovered, through a German Enigma signal decoded at Bletchley Park – once an entire German Armoured division was rendered immobile through the loss of one mid-ranking officer’s overnight billeting expenses claim.

However, it was the actions of Stropweasel’s squad during the early morning hours of D-Day that military historians credit for the successful Allied landings later that morning. Parachuted behind the enemy lines manning the Normandy coastline, Stropweasel’s six-man squad made their way – under cover of darkness to each of the defensive concrete bunkers on the beach known by its D-Day code name of Sword Beach.

Once at a bunker, Stropweasel himself – covered by the rest of his squad – would crawl on his hands and knees into the bunker and steal all the pencils he found in there, before making his escape undetected. These pencils were vital for the German defensive effort, because they were used to fill in the requisition forms used to keep a precise tally of every bullet, grenade and shell the German troops were issued from the storerooms and arsenals. Without such a suitably-completed requisition form the troops could only use the ammunition they already had been issued.

Consequently, this brave and daring action by Stropweasel’s squad meant that the Germans soon ran out of ammunition - and were unable to requisition any more - as the Allies landed, and were thus then easily overrun. For his bravery on that day Stropweasel won the Victoria Cross and – in a special ceremony – was also awarded the King’s Award for Accountancy.

*SAS – the Secret Accountancy Service.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Minding Other People’s Business Squad

Pingpong Spendthrift was just walking down the street one day when suddenly something happened which would change the whole course of her life. Normally, Spendthrift was employed as a local council Minder of Other People’s Business, which involved her interfering in the lives of ordinary people in a way that would have even a few decades ago be regarded as unthinkable.

Not only did she – quite piously – inform them of how much alcohol they should drink, that they should not even consider being in any enclosed space with anyone who had the audacity to smoke in the presence of others, how many vegetables and pieces of fruit they should eat per day, the frequency of their sexual activity and who they had it with, what kind of jokes they were allowed to make and on what officially-approved subjects, she could also take it in her head to issue decrees and directives based on whatever piece of government-approved spurious research took her fancy that week.

Anyway she was out that morning, a fine summer morning just after the election which had brought about the end of the Labour government that had put into place the superstructure that gave Spendthrift her very well-remunerated career, when she saw someone blatantly considering thinking about entering a fast food emporium, instead of the greengrocer just two doors down the street.

Immediately, Spendthrift strode up to the potential miscreant, flashed her official Minding Other People’s Business warrant card and began to hector her suspect about the dangers of over-indulgence in fast food, especially that produced by American corporations, the evils of capitalism which enabled people to choose what they wanted instead of having the government – in all its infinite wisdom – make such choices for them, and Spendthrift’s suspicion that the alleged miscreant was not standing there being hectored in a suitably respectful non-gender-specific and ethnically diverse manner, which to Spendthrift’s mind could easily be regarded as an attempted bulling of a government-decreed busybody going about her lawful interference in other people’s business.

However, the potential suspect, on being read his rights by Spendthrift, instead of holding out his hands to be handcuffed so that Spendthrift could arrange to have him transported to the local Government citizen re-education unit, turned on his heels and blatantly entered the fast food premises, saying:
Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a shit! Now, fuck off and leave me alone.
And then, with her suspect’s refusal to be cowed, the only sound Spendthrift could hear, as he strode away from her, was the sound of her entire world falling to pieces around her.

National Drought Warning

Due to the un-seasonal shortage of one of its key ingredients - some substance apparently known as 'water' - the UK authorities have announced that there could be a severe alcohol drought over the summer, especially in the 'very thirsty' regions of the North and North-east.

A spokesman for the Alcohol Authorities, Hugh Mibestmate, slurred:
At the moment we are not contemplating rationing, but we are going to introduce a ban on certain uses of alcohol, mainly those uses that do not help people to fall over and/or giggle uncontrollably.
 Asked to clarify, Mr Mibestmate continued:
We are banning such things as the utter waste of precious alcohol by Formula One racing drivers pointlessly squirting each other with vast bottles of Champagne. The alcohol wasted in such activities could keep a Glaswegian family of moderate to heavy drinkers slightly sozzled for several hours.
 The alcohol industry has also introduced plans for the recycling of alcohol where the contents of pub slop trays will be recycled as fancy bottled lagers for trendy southern softies to pose with.

There will also be an outright ban on beer shampoo and other such non-essential uses of alcohol.

The current mayor of London has promised to look again at plans, opposed by his predecessor, to build a plant on the banks of the Thames to turn unused fruit flavourings into vital Alco pops to help ease the capital's severe sobriety problem, hopefully just in time for the next Mayoral election.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Britain’s Newest Sporting Superstar

Nobby Elbowlicker is a name not too well known outside of the sometimes rather insular world of semi-professional extreme underwater knee-fondling. Although, yet to take off with the general public like those other sporting activities with which it has so much in common – ballroom dancing and wife-swapping – its devotees predict that it soon will become one of the UK’s most popular sports.

Although it doesn’t involve quite so many sequins as ballroom dancing and is less onerous on the lower back than wife-swapping and other such aspects of the ‘swinging’ lifestyle, semi-professional knee-fondling does have a glamour all of its own, especially in the more intense aspects of the sport such as extreme underwater knee-fondling, which – as most people know – has a professional league of its own and now features regularly on one of those dedicated cable sports channels that needs something, anything, to fill up the gaps between its adverts.

Nobby Elbowlicker has – as many sports fans will – undoubtedly, soon know - as he is destined to become a household name – been made the underwater knee-fondling Premier League player of the year for the last 3 years running and is – it seems all set to win the award again this season, especially as his team, the Luton Sticklebacks seems set to do the League and Cup double again this year, that is if they can win their semi-final match against Middlesbrough Damp Patch Academicals this weekend.

Elbowlicker is also set to become the first ever team captain of the brand new England extreme underwater knee-fondling team in readiness for the first European Nations Extreme Underwater Knee-Fondling Cup. Despite being English, Elbowlicker and his team-mates are expected to do quite well in the cup, with some pundits predicting a England V Netherlands final.

However, the Netherlands are strong favourites as the Dutch – with a large part their nation below sea-level – quite well-trained in underwater activities and are well used to getting moist in team events, as any glance – or in-depth closer look (for research purposes only, obviously) - at their burgeoning porn industry will attest.

However, Elbowlicker and the rest of the team are abut o set off on a pre-tournament tour of some of Great Britain’s least shopping-trolley festooned canals in order to get themselves in peak match fitness for the tournament and we can only wish them well for the upcoming first group match against Italy and their superstar leading penalty-fondler from Venice, Gnocchi Tagliatelle.

She Was Far More


She was, and this was too. She knew that. There is no way out of this. There is no escape. This is not what we need or what we want. She knew that too.

She understood the world. She was it all as it revolved. She revolved with it. She could see - so easily - that it did not revolve around her. She wondered why so many people seemed to think - even needed to believe - it revolved around them.

The world is always turning, and sometimes it turned a new face towards her. Sometimes she was ready, willing, for something new. At other times, she wanted nothing to change.

She was not scared of change, nor did she crave it. She was not one of those people who feel they need to fit into a category. She found it hard to find the right answer, the correct box for her to tick in those pathetic questionnaires that seem to blight our modern lives. She was not this and she was not that. She was both and she was neither.

She was far more.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Monday Poem: Rain


The rain will fall, we will forget
The sun and all its burning light,
Forget these long days of regret.

The too hot nights are unpaid debts
Against our time spent there, so slight.
The rain will fall, we will forget.

Ignoring morning’s alphabet
And hiding under sheets held tight,
Forget these long days of regret.

And now we sing our last duet
About our sun that shone so bright.
The rain will fall, we will forget

How days are jewels in sunsets,
Recalling hours and how we might
Forget these long days of regret.

Then, leaving all our dreams upset
By darkest winter’s longest nights
The rain will fall, we will forget,
Forget these long days of regret.

The Most Pressing Problem In Contemporary Physics

One of the most pressing outstanding problems in modern-day physics, both at a theoretical and at a practical level, is what has become known as the Cheese Uncertainty Principle. Despite his well-known antipathy to Quantum Theory, it was Einstein himself who first began to outline the theoretical work that lead to the formulation of The Cheese Uncertainty Principle.
Put simply The Cheese Uncertainty Principle states that the precise amount of cheese left in any fridge can only be known when the fridge door is opened, and furthermore the precise quantity of cheese in the fridge depends entirely on the state of the observer opening the fridge door. Normally the more a particular foodstuff from the fridge a person opening the door needs or wants the less there will be, usually there will never be quite enough, especially the closer the fridge experimenter is to the Shopping Event Horizon.
However, as Einstein himself noticed, this general principle seems to break down when it comes to cheese. The amount of cheese available in any fridge seems to bear no relationship at all to how much cheese is bought in the first place and – problematically for theoretical cheese physicists – absolutely no relationship seems to exist between how much cheese has been used and how much still remains within the fridge.
Everyone has had practical experience of the Cheese Uncertainty Principle. We have all been to the fridge after a week of heavy cheese use: say a week of home-made pizza, cauliflower cheese, cheese soup, cheese scones or something like that, only to discover that there still seems to be plenty of cheese still left in the fridge. However, at other times, it is possible on opening the fridge, when you can only remember having one sandwich with very thinly-sliced cheese, to find there is hardly any cheese left at all.
Yet, counter to all common sense views of how the physical world works, it is possible only a day later to find the whole situation has reversed itself. For example, a day after the fridge seemed full of nothing but cheese, on opening it all you can find is a small lump of dried hard and cracked cheddar, whilst on other days after the fridge seemed almost devoid of cheese it seems to be full of cheese, in many varieties, including ones you have no memory of ever buying in your entire life.
Cheese physicists now hope that the new device at the European Cheese Agency headquarters in Switzerland, the Large Emmental Collider, will be able to answer these perplexing questions, once it is set up and running properly, and the current problem with it running out of crackers at the vital moment of the high-speed cheese collisions has been solved.
It is hoped that once these cheese collisions take place, then physicists will be able to discover traces of the theoretical cheese particle known as the Cheddar boson, that most theories of cheese credit with the spontaneous quantum fluctuations that result in the creation or destruction of cheese when there is a piece of cheese in a state of rest within the fridge.
Only time will tell if the various theories of cheese can be confirmed experimentally, and we could see the first ever signs of cheese being created in the laboratory.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Eroticism and the Intellectuals


Alabaster Kneetrembler first came to the attention of the general public in the late 1980s when the concept of fully-consensual mixed naked chin-stroking first became acceptable in polite society. It first started out amongst certain liberally-minded left-wing intellectuals as a reaction against wheat they saw as the rampant consumerism prevalent at the time, mixed with the – inevitably, during that era – finer principals of feminism, whilst still allowing people to get their clothes off and fiddle around with each other’s interesting bits, albeit – of course – with an intellectual pretension that distinguished their undertakings from the - to their eyes – rather suburban swinging scene. This was because the adherents of naked chin-stroking (as it came to be called) were usually fervent espousers of the concept of public transport, and – therefore - often had no car keys to lob into the dish at such events. They also had their doubts about how ethically-sourced and produced were the drinks, snacks, intimate lubricants and other optional devices and items of fetish apparel available at that sort of party too.

Firstly, however, the nascent practice of fully-consensual mixed naked chin-stroking needed to acquire a theoretical intellectual base in order to bring it in line with all the other such practices those of the Left indulged in at the time.

In short, it needed a book to provide the necessary cod-justification for those of the Left to get naked with each other in a politically-correct, sexually-equal and ethnically-diverse way, welded to the sort of intellectually pretentious twaddle they seemed to enjoy gorging themselves on in between protest marches and fermenting industrial unrest in the public sector. This is where Alabaster Kneetrembler came in. Already famous for instigating a sit-in amongst the students at Essex university in the late 1970s as a protest against the use of non-sustainable wood in the pencils provided by the university for the use of students, as well as the hegemonic quasi-imperialism inherent in the university assuming that the students would wish to write things down at some point during their education at the university.

By that time it was commonly accepted by the Left that normal sexual relations between the sexes was inherently sexist and prejudiced against the bodily-integrity and orgasmical self-determination of women. Consequently, everybody on the Left – males included – were encouraged to become lesbians.

However, Kneetrembler, shocked and outraged the establishment by going further than what was already regarded as dangerously subversive by those not of the Left, by calling for a repeal of the 1782 law which banned naked chin-stroking even between consenting adults, with the Daily Mail screaming outrage in an editorial that predicted the total collapse of British society, and a massive fall in house prices, should women be encouraged to stroke their chins in public whilst fully-dressed, let alone as naked as Kneetrembler insisted they should be.

However, when film stars, leading literary and artistic figures, celebrities, TV stars and – even - minor members of the Royal Family came out and admitted that they had stroked their own chins whilst naked, and – shockingly enough to the Daily Mail – Princess Margaret admitted she had stroked the chin of another man who was not her husband, people began to realise that times had changed.

Consequently, these days it is not unusual for people - whether naked or dressed - to freely stroke their own, or someone else’s, chin with scant regard for how shocking such an act would have seemed barely a quarter of a century ago.