Saturday, 30 April 2011

Up, Up and Awayyyyyy.......

Superman is thinking of giving up his American citizenship! According to a report on the BBC website, the cartoon superhero has become disenchanted with the American Way. "I'm tired of having my actions construed as instruments of US policy", said The Man of Steel during a candid interview with the Daily Planet's Lois Lane.


                                              Fings aint wot they used to be.....


If Superman is feeling the heat, what chance for the rest of us? Who can we turn to in times of trouble? There's always Batman, but he's never been the same since the Health and Safety people banned his utility belt, and Robin ran off to join the Scientologists. If The Joker had only known that all he had to do was complain to his local authority about Batman's sharp stick thingy nearly taking his eye out, he could have saved himself a lot of of trouble! Not to mention a lot of black eyes. BIFF!! SPLATTTT!!!!!! KERPOWWWW!!!!!!!!




                                  Behold, the British version. Oh, wait........


                                                  That's better! Or is it?


We don't really do superheroes in this country. I suppose there's always Mr Muscle, but I don't think he quite hits the spot, although he's definitely understated; a very British take on the American model. Or how about Noddy and Big Ears - although maybe not; after all we now know the truth about THAT relationship! Besides, how can you take anyone called Big Ears seriously? These days you can't refer to a person by the size of their lugholes, it would be like calling someone 'four eyes' or 'ginger nut'. 



                                              Mmmmmm, maybe not......

                                        
Isn't it sad when even cartoons turn out to have feet of clay........

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wedding? What wedding......

So, I expect you've noticed that there's a wedding at the end of this week. I'm afraid that I'm unable to summon up the required enthusiasm for the forthcoming nuptials; as people I wish them nothing but the best, but as royals I really wish they didn't exist at all. For me, this country will never grow up until we rid ourselves of this ridiculous anachronism. A couple of days ago, I heard a radio report that mentioned that a majority of Australians were against a republic. You'd think that Aussies would have more self confidence, after all they have the brass neck to beat us at cricket most of the time! Still, as the 'grumpies' amongst the population have to put up with blanket coverage of the event, and wall to wall pictures of grinning royals, I've decided to jump on the bandwagon. I can now attach the words 'royal wedding' to this post, and maybe gain a few extra views! So, consider this my shameless attempt to cash in. Power to the people!


                                       Who are you? What am I doing here?


Apparently, the Middleton family have now had a coat of arms designed for them. It must be huge relief to Her Majesty and the rest of The Firm, that Will is marrying someone made from The Right Stuff, and not a miserable oik like what I is. Having a coat of arms should elevate one to a different level above the swirling masses surely? Except that it appears that almost anybody can have one, dependant on having the right qualities. Which seems to mean lots of the folding stuff! So dear reader, assuming that you had the need for one, (and possessed the spondulicks), what would you like to have on your family's coat of arms?


                                                  You get the idea...........

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Every Good Boy Deserves Fish.........

Last week, I was asked if I wanted to join a choir! A friend of mine has recently joined, and is really enjoying himself. He's done two or three performances already (he calls them gigs - *rock and roll*), and they are looking for new recruits.

Dear reader, I have what may be called a chequered singing career. I started in the school choir when I was fourteen, and stayed until I left school at seventeen. We sang a lot of church music (I attended a large Catholic comprehensive), although once a year at Christmas, we would put on a Gilbert and Sullivan production for family and friends, and whoever else wanted something to do on a winter's evening. Before anybody gets any ideas, we used to perform in school uniform.

                                    I have never, ever dressed like this. Ever.


I remember singing a piece from 'Carmina Burana' at the school prize giving one year. For some reason, the girls were stood one side of the stage, and the boys on the other. The longer the piece went on, the more out of time we became with each other! I can still see the look of panic on our conductor's face, but thanks to a miracle we all finished at the same time; as far as I know, nobody noticed!

The Gilbert and Sullivan productions were a lot of fun. Dressing up and playing the fool; what's not to like? When we put on 'The Pirates of Penzance' I got to be a pirate........

  
            I looked just like this. Well, almost. Jack Sparrow, eat your heart out......


I'm sure you're all familiar with the story. After many twists and turns, everybody pairs off, and all live happily ever after. As a pirate, I 'married' one of Major General Stanley's daughters, in this case a girl called Frances. Now luckily, Frances and I got along fairly well, (I always think that if you're going to spend your evenings manhandling someone, it's just as well if you don't hate each other)! The plot requires the pirates to surprise the maidens in a forest clearing, and to seize them, intending marriage (they didn't mess about in those days). Now it wouldn't have done to wrestle the girls to the ground, (I've a feeling the boys would have come off second best anyway), so we just put our hands on their waist, they would scream and wriggle a bit to make it look good. Job done.


All went well until the opening night. Either Frances struggled more than usual, or I didn't have a tight enough grip. Consequently, she broke free, and after taking a couple of steps backward to balance herself, ended up standing (on her own) slap bang in the middle of the stage! Dear reader, should you ever feel the need to experience extreme embarrassment, making a fool of yourself, on stage, in front of a couple of hundred people, should do the trick nicely. I can well remember the feeling as my heart sank into my boots, and my mouth turned dry in a nanosecond. Not to mention the look of horror on poor Frances' face! Luckily for us both, she had the presence of mind to leave a trailing arm, I grabbed it and reeled her in with as much piratical swagger as I could manage!


Afterwards, when the director asked us what happened, he listened to our breathless explanations, and said that it looked quite good from where he was, and we could keep it in. So we pretended to the rest of the cast that it was all deliberate. Not sure anybody was fooled though........


About this time, I went for an audition for the local amateur operatic group, run by a Doctor of Music. I was absolutely terrified, and was unable to sing a note. I was told to go back when I left school if I was still interested, (get lost, in other words). However, a couple of years later, the Doctor of Music disappeared overnight, leaving a trail of debts. It was soon discovered that his qualifications were all in his imagination. And to think I thought I was the fraud, when I was standing in front of him!












Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Undesirable Alien? Or just undesirable......

I had an interesting experience at work today. Apparently, I have to prove that I have the right to work in this country! Now believe it or not, I'm no spring chicken, and I've been working full time since I was seventeen. Which is *ahem* thirty-four years now. The mentally agile among you will have worked out that I'm fifty-one, (that looks soooooo old written down), and unfortunately I cannot deny this. Of course, this also means that I've been paying tax for thirty-four years. Don't you think somebody should have bothered to find out who I was before they started taking money off me?

This is all due to recent legislation, according to my manager (nothing to do with us you understand), and he was just the lackey having to carry out the instructions given to him. Now he hasn't worked there very long, and a few months ago he had to ask us all for permission to check our driving licences. I like to think I'm a reasonable man, and I fully accept that our lot have the right to check that we are legally allowed to drive, before they turn us loose with several thousand pounds worth of Transit and a fuel card; (it costs about £110 to fill the tank)! The old system involved us taking our licences in twice a year, and everybody was happy. This, apparently, is No Longer Good Enough. We now have to sign a piece of paper that gives the company the right to check directly with the DVLA. I'm ashamed to say that I gave them the run-around for quite a while over this!

So you can see how much He Who Must Be Obeyed was looking forward to telling me about this latest initiative, can't you.......

So, in order to prove I exist, Dennis - my manager, (apologies, I should have introduced you before), asked me if I could take my passport in. A copy would be placed in my personnel file in case it was ever needed. I gleefully replied that I don't have a passport, but (rather helpfully I thought) reminded him that I do have a driving licence, and if he'd like to cast his mind back a few months, he would remember seeing it. A look of panic came over his face, as he explained that a driving licence isn't good enough, and that something more substantial would be required. Did I have a National Insurance card? Nope, long lost in the mists of time, I replied. I was starting to enjoy this; after all there's no point in getting older, if you can't get grumpy at the same time!

So, dear reader, we have settled on my birth certificate. I have just dug it out, and to be truthful it's seen better days; after all, it's only three days younger than me! It's faded, creased and unless I'm very careful (not my strong point), it'll disintegrate long before it gets anywhere near the photocopier. But this ancient document is, apparently, more trustworthy than a modern photo driving licence!

If I turn out to be some sort of undesirable alien, do you think they'll want to know who they've been paying all these years? And will they want it all back.......... 



                           This is an alpaca. Milkman like alpacas as they don't bite. 'Nuff said!



                                   This just a cheerful picture. Winter on the retreat. Hooray!!







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