Monday, October 30, 2006


The Paul Young/Gary Numan cross sits opposite me on my commuter train. He is speaking loudly into his mobile phone to whom I presume to be a work colleague.


he shouts.


I am so glad he feels more comfortable here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another Boring Post About Asda

The fire alarm went off in Asda on Friday evening. Not that I am one to point fingers, but there were some very suspicious teenagers hanging around before, most probably hiding fireworks under their tops.

It took a good minute of constant alarm noise before we were asked to leave by the car park exit and to leave our shopping in the aisles.

The green-topped staff walked up the escalator to their gathering point and us shoppers were left to wait just outside the exit doors. The fire brigade arrived after about ten minutes.

"Oooh, I've gone all weak," I said to Betty. "What I would give to be carried off by one of them."

We then ticked off all the firemen we have known in our lifetime. None of them could be described as particularly good looking or even that hunky.

Then, all of a sudden, it was over. The green-topped staff jogged down the escalator like a football team coming onto the pitch after half-time. I thought we ought to give them a round of applause, cheer them to their checkouts. A couple of them looked too young to work, probably stock room workers, coughing amongst the soap powders as I used to do all those years ago. Except the Co-op then was like a Sunday pub team.

Asda is Premiership.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Better Buzzcocks

"You're a bum, you're a punk..."

Bailey's team don't know the next line.

"You're an old slut on junk" is the next line.

"Who would write a line like that?" says Alesha**, now solo artist, formerly of pop group Mis-Teeq.

"The Pogues," says Jupitus with utter disdain.

Jupitus, looking like a fat Truman Capote with those wanky little glasses is one of the old guard who thinks that Joe Strummer and Ian Dury and Shane MacGowan are gods. He's got his own show on BBC radio because he's a shite comedian, and of course shite comedians like him and Lamarr know all about music, don't they?

Jupitus likes The Ordinary Boys.

But a young black woman not knowing the masterful words of the drunk master wordsmith Shane MacGowan? It's part of British culture, darling, don't you ever listen to words? You must have heard Fairytale Of New York thousands of times.

Yes, haven't we fucking all.

Still, at least that tosser Lamarr's gone, replaced by my favourite young television personality, Simon Amstell.

All we need now is Miquita Oliver and get rid of Jupitus and wacky-weirdy-beardy Bailey and we might have a decent show.

** by a strange coincidence, Alesha has a very similar laugh to that of Shane MacGowan. A sort of a "sheesh sheesh sheesh sheesh".

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pretty Girls Make Graves

I now acknowledge that a mixture of Patrick Swayze's rippling, thrusting torso and a laughable Warnes/Medley caterwaul had even more of an impact on the sexual awakenings of the heterosexual women of this nation. The vast majority of women of all ages just can't get enough of it.

Just look at the audience for the opening night of Dirty Dancing, The Musical. Babs Windsor, Judes Dench, Abs Tittimouse. No, it's not just ordinary working women and ex-students, it's real stars, too.

But what about us heterosexual men? What about me? Which screen images with which musical accompaniment hit a nerve with me?

I am currently reading Alan Bennett's Untold Stories, specifically the part where he visits his mother in an old people's home in Weston-super-Mare...

" a world where so much must seem strange, to be wearing a familiar frock may be a comfort...As time goes on, though, this argument carries less weight. When she can't recognise her own children and doesn't even know what children are, how can she recall 'the little coatee I got at Richard Shops' all those years ago?"

It's tearjerking, but the nerve is hit. Not by Alan's mother's coatee, but by a television advert for Richard Shops which hit our screens sometime in the mid seventies. Lovely legs in lovely stockings. Lovely older women (early twenties) who could teach me so much in their lovely fragrant way.

And the song...

Richard Shops are filled with all the pretty things
The soft and lovely pretty things
To wear
Hey, there pretty things
Make the world a prettier place
Come prettier
Come buy your clothes
At Richard Shops

I think it was "Come prettier", though "Come pretty-up" would sound more logical. "Come and pretty yourself up, pretty lady."

"Pretty things" were both the clothes and the wearers. Richard Shops were filled with them, pretty clothes and pretty ladies. We never had a local Richard Shops and I'm glad because I'm sure the dream would have been shattered. Imagine walking into a branch of Fosters around the same time and seeing a shop full of male model types, admiring themselves in the full-length mirrors. The dream and the reality never really hit it off.


But dream and reality did come together for me just 15 minutes ago. There I was, coming back from Tesco, egg & cress sandwich in my hand, when who should I see but dreamboat and love-machine, the British Patrick Swayze, Mr Peter Stringfellow himself. He is shorter than I expected (unlike Robbie Williams who is a giant), has lovely long flowing blond hair, and wears his camouflage trousers with a certain panache. He was available, ladies, as he did not have a young piece of crumpet on his arm. He was talking into his mobile phone but I'm sure he noticed me. Was that a jealous grimace he gave me? "Who is that handsome young man with an egg & cress sandwich?" he was thinking to himself. "That's why I opened my nightclubs, to keep sexy young men with egg & cress sandwiches out. The chicks would be flocking at his feet if I let him in with his egg & cress sandwich. He wouldn't get any further than the hat check girl before he was ravished on the spot."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Owe It All To You

It is a depressing statistic, but 99.9% of women of my generation just LOVE the film Dirty Dancing.

It is a fact, therefore, that I didn't find love in the eighties.

Over 200,000 tickets have been sold for the musical version of Dirty Dancing. The show opens at the Aldwych Theatre tonight.

By a stunning coincidence, Patrick Swayze is in town, performing in the musical Guys & Dolls. Just in case you don't know, let me tell you that Patrick, the very individual-looking, leather-faced hunk was the star of the original film version of Dirty Dancing. He was also the star of Ghost, in which he moulded a ceramic version of his cock. I'm sure he'll be in the audience at the Aldwych at some point, so I hope you're lucky, girls.

Heart 106.2 are celebrating this major cultural event by playing (I've had) The Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Surprisingly, I've only heard it once today.

So far.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Immortality Awaits

I've done it. I've sent the following to that One Day In History thing. Nobody will read it of course.......

Apart from the incident with the carpet fitter slicing through the cable which connects us to the internet, today is just as nondescript as any other working day. It is so boring, I have decided I may as well read the contents of last Saturday’s shopping list.

So here it is, a typical weekend list for a typical married middle aged couple with no children:-


'BGTY' is Sainsbury's low fat 'Be Good To Yourself' range. Tesco have 'Healthy Eating', ASDA have 'Good For You!' In 2006 we believe that if we have a diet low in fat, we will live longer. Why we want to live longer, I don't know. An extra ten infirm years on a meagre pension is not particularly inviting. Trans fats are currently in vogue as THE KILLER FATS. Sainsbury's hope to rid all their own brand products of trans fats sometime next year.

No. 2 is a chicken, mayonnaise and salad sandwich, by the way.

4. CHICKEN WRAP 2 @ £2.10 £4.20

These are three more sandwiches to go with the BGTY one. All four together constitute our daytime meals.

5. * C/F DT/COKE 2L 2 @ £1.36 £2.72 ***MULTIBUY*** -£0.42

This is two 2-litre bottles of caffeine-free diet coke. Although I'm not so sure you'll be eating cottage cheese in the 22nd century, I am sure you'll be drinking Coca Cola until a few madmen decide to blow up humankind.

6. BROWN RICE £0.89

Brown rice is thought to make you healthy. It also helps you stay regular.

9. ALOO SAAG £1.56

Food which has its roots in the Indian sub-continent is the most popular food in Britain. Fish and Chips had their day some time ago now. JLFZI is short for Jalfrezi.

Although white British people are happy to eat curry, don't be fooled into thinking we are an intergrated society. Ignorance and prejudice is still rife.


The Guardian is the most radical of the readable national newspapers. It is extremely middle class and comfortable, like a boring old pair of fleece-lined slippers. We get it every Saturday, almost exclusively for the television listings.

11. THINK 21 Cashier Confirmed Over 16 *PARACETAMOL X16 2 @ £0.47 £0.94

I think this means the cashier has confirmed that I look over 16, therefore I am able to buy headache pills. Whether she thinks I'm 21, I'm not so sure. I do look a lot younger than my 44 years, however. I need these pills for my hangover.

I do hope the above has been informative to you and that it hasn't taken up too much of your time as you lie on your back reading this on those tiny little monitors on your 3-d glasses, sipping organic champagne and listening to Sting's classic Lute Classics 4 album from 2010. You've really never had it so good, you know.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Me, Next Door, And A Cow

If you want short, stilted conversations which stop with an awkward silence, I'm your perfect neighbour.

Our noisy neighbour left a few months ago. Whether it was under a cloud, I don't know, but I'm more than happy he didn't make good on his promise to let me try out his rusty old Mini which he was going to soup up. The Mini disappeared then he did.

So in move a nice quiet couple - the woman keeps herself to herself which is how I like it. The man, however, is more sociable and attempts to bond with me.

So here I am, performing the annual vacuum of the inside of the car, and he appears from behind me and says would I mind if he puts in a flower border between our two miniature lawns. Of course I don't mind.

We ask each other how we're getting on. I ask him whether he hears much noise from us. He says "no". He asks me if we hear much noise from them. I say "no".

He says, "Because I like my music."

I spot a chance to make more than idle chit chat. Music is an interest we have in common. Experience tells me I shouldn't ask the next question but I jump in with both feet.

"What sort of music do you like, then?"

I HATE it when people ask me that question. Because I always know we'll have nothing in common. So why am I being a prick and asking him the same question?

"I like all sorts. I like Pink Floyd."

He is a young looking sixty, or "I'm sixty but I don't look it, do I?" as he told us the first time we met him. And if he's sixty, he must like the Floyd from way back.

"Do you like the stuff with Syd Barrett?"

Shit. The name doesn't register. I don't think he's ever heard of Syd Barrett.

"I bought one of Pink Floyd's CDs the other day. What was it called? Had a cow on the front."

Shit, I don't remember either. I've got the CD myself. Which one is it?

"Animals?" I say.

"No, that's the one I wanted. This one's disappointing. It's really miserable....I like newer stuff as well. I like Stone Roses."

Well at least he's trying to connect. But I can't tell him I think Stone Roses are the most overrated band of all time. Why the fuck doesn't he just say "THE QUO" and get it over and done with?

"I like Coldplay too."

Bollocks, this is desperate. I can't tell him I think Coldplay are the biggest load of wank-masquerading-as-deep going. If he thinks the Floyd album with the cow on it is miserable then what the fuck are Coldplay?

"I've just bought an album they're on. It's called Festival."

This draws a complete blank with me. I presume it's an album of bands who play festivals. Oh Jesus, I'm lost. I should be the sixty year old. He should be the forty-four year old.

We're on my favourite subject, popular music, and once again I have nothing in common with anybody in the whole world.

Oh. Thank Christ. Here come a couple of lads giving out leaflets. 'CAR VALETING SERVICE'. Quick, change the subject.

"Typical. Here I am cleaning out the car, and what do I get?"

So this week I am listening to Atom Heart Mother, the Pink Floyd album with the cow.

It is a lovely album.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh Henry

This week we reached a milestone (or "millstone" as Alan Pardew might say).

It was "Goodbye" to the bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner and "Hello" to a brand new Henry.

Ordinary people on the internet review site were more than happy with their Henry. I know the Dyson is a design classic and all that but Henry sounds like a robust little beast with incredible suction power for his size.

And what do you think of this?

With every new Henry, they're giving away a Henry shopping bag.

Here's Betty modelling it after a visit to the town centre.

As I carried our new Henry shopping bag into Sainsbury's, HMV, Superdrug, and Sussex Stationers, people stopped me and said how much it pleased them to see that cheeky smiling face. Teenagers pointed at me and laughed. Shop assistants said how cute he was.

Now could be the time for me to get into local politics. The Man With The Henry Bag Party. Who could resist me? I could give rides to babies and small dogs, me roller skating up and down the precinct with a baby in my bag. Maybe more than one baby, maybe twins, as you can see there's plenty of room in a Henry bag.

Councillor Geoff has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

Friday, October 13, 2006


I haven't worn pyjamas for a very long time. I see Wyndham wears them and that's the right thing to do when you have a child. My dad just wore a vest which he tucked under his bollocks and walked with his thighs together to prevent us poor kids from seeing The Thing. When I started having wet dreams I threw away my pyjamas and imitated him.

As my father knew, an encrusted bed sheet can be hidden. An encrusted pair of pyjama bottoms cannot.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Season's Greetings

GMTV saw me off to work with a report on a Manchester family who have decorated the outside of their house with Christmas lights and decorations. The illuminations cost "a lot".

The family think it's worth sacrificing a "continental" holiday in order to put smiles on people's faces.

Looking at the family, I can't imagine them ever going abroad. They are a very old fashioned looking family. I really don't believe they are sacrificing anything. Maybe they did once go abroad and just didn't like it. The continent is not for everyone, after all.

But maybe if they had the money to spend, they would possibly be tempted to shell out on a two week break in Bulgaria. Which of course they would be disappointed by and would only be able to think of the waste of not only money but precious time, too.

No, the family have simple tastes. Christmas decorations and a week in Anglesey keep them happy. This is not a sacrificial act in order to cheer up the local populace, not an altruistic gesture for the local kiddies. The mummy and daddy are grown up kids and they want to see the pretty lights and they want to get on the telly. Both of which they've now done.

While I'm on the subject of Christmas, I wonder if the bloke I saw in a documentary last year is still eating a Christmas dinner every day of the year?

What a prat he was.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Moment ABBA Decided On Their Band Name


BENNY: Oh, yes, yes, yes. That is so good.

BJORN: Do you want some more, Benny?

BENNY: Just one more...Oh, Bjorn! That is so good!

BJORN: That seems to be the last of the coal, anyway.

BENNY: Did you get to speak to Stig last night, Bjorn?

BJORN: I did. And Stig has some big ideas for our next gig.

BENNY: I don't dig Stig's big ideas. Remember when he wanted us all to wear hot pants?

BJORN: Stig's no prig. Neither am I, Benny.

BENNY: You've got a good figure, Bjorn. But do you really think the world is ready for my big ass?

BJORN: I suppose not. But three out of four isn't bad.

BENNY: OK, then. Hit me with Stig's marvellous brainwave.

BJORN: He says at our next gig...We'll have our initials in lights behind us on stage. The first letters of all our first names will be the new name of the band! 'BABA'!



BENNY: Oh great idea, Stig. And we can call the first album '40 Thieves'.

BJORN: Great minds think alike, Benny.

BENNY: Calm down, Bjorn. Sit down and cover your modesty. You and I have some talking to do.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Heart Of The Country

Once Upon A Time In The Midlands is probably Shane Meadows' least interesting film. But it's still got something that a Mike Leigh film will never have.

Real characters. Actors acting like real people.

That's why I wouldn't cry at a Mike Leigh film or laugh at a Peter Kay or Paul Abbott tv comedy. And Abbott used to write for Corrie - what happened there?

Once Upon A Time In The Midlands isn't that good, but it did make me laugh and cry. Shane's better films don't have the Robert Carlisles and the Kathy Burkes and the Ricky Tomlinsons.

God, don't you hate people who speak of actors as if there's more than one of them?

They do tend to feature thinking women's crumpet and best British actor of his generation Paddy Considine, though.

Paddy and Shane met at Burton College.

That's Burton College, Burton.
Not Burton College, Oxford.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


It's bloody England again this afternoon.

Do I really have to watch it?

After the high-living Swede and his lover boy Becks, we get Steve McClaren the plain-talking Yorkshireman who is only a few months older than me but looks and sounds like he's from a completely different era. Just looking at him makes me think of ham sandwiches with little bits of bone in.

Croatia coach and ex West Ham idol Slaven Bilic has the following to say about England:

"England were shit at the World Cup. I really can't understand why they played so defensively. But they were the same recently against Macedonia."

He's right. But it's always been that way. Ron Greenwood developed attractive footballing teams at West Ham but bloody boring England ones. El Tel and Sven got a couple of cracking performances out of England but they didn't last.

What chance Macca and El Tel? The dour boy and the wide boy?



England 0, Macedonia 0


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where Do You Fit In?

I can tell by the response to my and Betty's recent posts that British bloggers are happier slagging off so-called "chavs" for being "chavs" than the middle classes for being obnoxious cunts. Understandable, as British society is extremely divided and we all know where we feel most comfortable.

I know British bloggers are viewed from the outside as almost exclusively white middle class Green Wing watchers, but how do we, the bloggers ourselves, see ourselves?

The following is a list of class categories drawn up by Professor Adrian Plum of the University of Life, East Grinstead, West Sussex. Where do you fit in?

1. Upper class toff
2. Upper class scum
3. Middle class professional
4. Middle class snob
5. Middle class wanker
6. Middle class scum
7. Working class hero
8. Working class diamond
9. Working class scrubber
10. Working class scum
11. Chav scum

I see myself as a former working class hero. However, like John Lennon I have risen from the ranks of the hard-working working classes to become a pithy commentator on society. A middle class wanker, in other words.

Furthermore, I have learnt this week that as I work in the field of accountancy, often having to deal with some very pleasant people who happen to be accountants, I am even more of a wanker than I thought I was.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Check Me Out

On the other side of the coin to our local ASDA, is the Tesco Metro near where I work.

In Tesco Metro, you get a much nicer class of customer, of course. Nicely brought up, with nice accents.

But nice people can have slightly annoying habits, too. Such as:-

1. Not saying "thank you" to the cashier.

2. Speaking on their mobile phone throughout the transaction, not even looking in the cashier's direction.

3. Saying "Give me..." or "Get me..." when they should be saying "Can I have..." when asking for something.

4. Not saying "please" at the end of a sentence asking for something.

5. Saying "Excuse me, I was next," when they're in another fucking queue, accusing ME of queue jumping when there are TWO queues for TWO tills, not one queue. It's not the fucking Post Office or your bank, it is a superfuckingmarket with ONE queue per till. If you choose the wrong fucking queue, it's your own fucking fault. OK? **

**Being well brought up, too, I capitulated and still beat the tosser out of the door.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brenda and Tom: A Touching Real-Life Story From Our Correspondent In Spain

It's not what it used to be, this little part of the Costa Del Sol. It's not what it was this time last year.

It's all too much now. Too many buildings both built and being built, too many holidaymakers spoiling what used to be a peaceful little holiday resort. The recent influx of Spanish holidaymakers is particularly noisy. Unlike the English, they talk at such a volume. Constantly.

That's not to say the English tourists and the ex-pats don't enjoy themselves to a degree. The weather's still lovely, you can still see the sun rise from the comfort of your bed in the morning, and there is still a thriving local entertainment scene.

At the hub of this scene is a young Welshman whom I shall call "Tom". Tom was a plumber back in Wales, but he wants to be a star. He's moved his young family to Spain to build an audience, doing what he loves doing: singing for women of his mother's age.

Women like "Brenda".

Brenda is Tom's biggest fan. She follows him everywhere. She giggles when she asks him to sign an autograph. To every woman over a certain age she meets she says, "You really must see Tom." She wants to spread the word.

Seeing Tom live is an experience. We go down some steep steps into what feels like a cave. Once downstairs, though, it's like a dingy northern working men's club of the 1970s.

Tom works his audience. He sweats buckets. He wipes the sweat with a clean handkerchief. When the handkerchief is sopping wet, he asks the audience for something dry to wipe himself with.

Brenda volunteers with a tea towel. The tea towel has illustrations of sheep on it to remind Tom of back home in Wales. He wipes himself down with the tea towel, teasing the women of his mother's age. He loves this job and he has a belief that one day he will be famous. He doesn't want to go back to being a plumber.

Brenda says she can't believe Tom hasn't got anywhere. All he needs is that one break. I ask her if he's thought of going on X-Factor. She says he did, but Simon Cowell was rude to him. Said he had one of those "typically loud Welsh voices". Simon Cowell is an ignorant pig.

Tom will make it. He's got too much talent for it to go to waste.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Remember the post I did back at the beginning of August concerning the death of the Betty/Geoff blog Search Me? Well, we couldn't let it lie. We had to go back and revive the dying beast.

It's bigger and better than before (only because Betty is the only one who has done any posts recently). Don't worry, I'll be along soon to balls it all up.

And talk about nepotism! I'm now going to order you over to a couple of our friends' blogs just in case you didn't go there last time we mentioned them.

There's Fears Forever, Glenda's shrine to the wonder that is Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabal. This week Glenda's found true love so I think we all ought to be immensely happy for her.

And there's Farmer Giles' Cock Blog, a weekly interactive haven for bird lovers to revel in the delights of nature.

That is the last I will mention of any of those three blogs as they've got to stand on their own six legs from now on.


As a special Sunday treat, one of my dear friends has agreed to appear sporadically on this blog. Nigel Coupling was one of the original Liverpool Beat Poets and a good friend of Cilla Black until he gave it all up to be a psychiatric nurse. He's recently retired from the profession and he is tentatively dipping his toes back into the water of verse.

Today Nigel would like to present to you all his poem, Doris:-


Doris Spokes, the cycling psychic
pedalled to the shops one day.
When slowed down by PC Mike Dick,
said, "I know what you will say."

"You're going to say you want to pick
the brains of your dead Uncle Ron."
"No," he said, "you're fucking nicked,
for cycling with no knickers on."

Nigel says, "eat your heart out, Roger McGough." (They don't get on).