Wooly Bully


Is anyone in the slightest bit surprised that, with the couple of years that Gordon Brown (texture like sun) has spent at No.10, he loses his rag every so often? Just look at the numpties who surround him: Miliband (twice) Ainsworth, Harperson, Darling, the Cheeky Girls: Ben and Peter. (I suspect they like a bit of the rough stuff, naughty boys!)
No wonder he rants and raves. I bet he can hardly believe what’s happened to him. But a bully? Nah, surely not. And even if he is, does it really, truly matter any more? I suspect not.

"Where there is fire, let us bring petrol"

"Where there is fire, let us bring petrol"

Chances are, come May 7th we’ll be waking up to our first day of many many long years of a Tory Government. I remember back in the dark days of 1979 going into school on the morning after the general election to come face-to-face with my labour-voting English master, slumped over his desk.
“So the Tories got in then, Sir” I said to him.
“Yes, Bealing” he sighed. “And we’ll never get rid them. It’ll take years for people to trust Labour again”.

He was nearly right. We did eventually get rid of Maggie, then Major, but it did take forever and a day. I fear we are in a similar situation now. A large proportion of the voting public have forgotten what a Tory Government is like. If this current opposition were any where near attractive or believable to the electorate we would be witnessing a landslide in May, a rout of Gordon’s rabble. As it is, the public seem to be reeling at the thought of handing power to Dave, Osborne and all those other chinless berks in blue.

Extraordinarily, some commentators are actually predicting a hung parliament! That this administration, useless, hapless and hopeless as it is, is STILL in with a shout in the election, only goes to show what a loathesome, incompetent bunch this current crop of Tories are. What does Gordon have to do to lose this vote? Considering he’s been blamed for floods, plagues, pestilence,global financial colapse, a corrupt parliament, a dishonest police force (I said nothing, honest) and now bullying within Downing Street, I think 7 points behind the Tories in the polls is a remarkable acheivement.

Personally, I can’t see anything past a Tory victory, as much as it hurts to admit it. However, just in case you, like me, quite fancy another 5 years of Gordo Gaffs, or even the fun of a hung parliament, why not click on this link, print out one of these posters and stick it up in the office/in your front window? At the very least it’ll keep Tory canvassers away from your door.

And if you don’t I’ll send round Peter to give you a damn good thrashing.

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Unfair Dinkum


How very dare they!! You travel all the way Down Under to represent HRH Nanny and this is what you’re welcomed with.

What must have Prince William, The Heir to the Throne thought when he arrived at Sydney today? Big, Butch, Bonking, Billy Windsor doesn’t deserve that sort of treatment. Methinks they have him confused with someone else.

Wrong Royal, mate!

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It Is Written


Predictions.

When crap journalists can think of nothing else to write about, and editors have nothing sexy with which to fill their pages, we are left with long and exhausting lists of predictions for the coming year. Here at The Sharp Single things are no different. So read this and you need not read another til, ooh, next week I should imagine.

2010 and all that.

In January David Tennant becomes Dir Gen of the BBC, narrowly edging out the twin-bid from Mathew Horne and James Corden. It’s believed that the board said they didn’t want too much hilarity during important meetings, and yet they still plump for Tennant. Peter Andre marries himself. Katie Price explodes. Her life has gone tits-up.

The recession ends in February. Then it starts again a week later for those of us under £150,000-a-year when the government raises income tax to pay for a Champagne and Crayfish bar at the 2012 Olympic Equestrian stadium.
Following another attempted rectum-launched terrorist attack on an airliner, all passengers are now asked to remove their underpants through customs. John Prescott and Amy Winehouse are exempt. In the third week of February, due to an administrative error there is no sale on at DFS. Early march sees Hazel Blears join the Tory Party, and Peter Mandelson join the Brownies. Boris will say nothing sensible or vaguely relevant all year.
I lose 20 lbs by the end of March, in preparation to put on 25 by late June. In an astonishing turn of events, Jude Law continues to receive offers of work. In April, a virulent strain of Gnu Flu sweeps through Fleet Street and Sky News studios. Some people are almost likely to very probably have a tickly throat. The epidemic is expected to last until a proper news story breaks.

A Briton wins the first seven races in the F1 Championship. Meanwhile, in sport, Chelsea win the Premiere League by one point from Arsenal when, in the Blues last game three late deflected off-side penalties are allowed by the ref, a Mr S.Wonder, apparently. (By the end of the year, each match will be officiated by 7 refs, 2 linesmen, a sheepdog and The Met Police.) Alex Ferguson is finally pickled and displayed in the Man Utd museum for all eternity. United appoint Victoria Beckham as their new coach.

Gordon Brown loses the election and takes his seat in the upper chamber as Lord Thankgoditsallover. Fox hunting is re-legalised by the new Tory Government, as is hanging, public masturbation and child chimney-sweeps. Charlton Athletic make the play-offs only to lose to Millwall, 3 fan deaths to 1 (Duckworth/Lewis method).
In late May, the newly-appointed Minister for War, Mr Liam Fox, announces the Government’s new big push in Afghanistan. Plans are made to enlist every first-born child from labour-voting households (that’ll teach ’em). June 16th, fifty-three women in Florida, California and St Andrews simultaneously give birth to babies of mixed-race and a smashing set of choppers. The women, all blonde, rather soiled-looking, hotel cloakroom attendants immediately sign contracts with The Mail on Sunday. Gillette sales plummet. Or soar. July 21st, a string bag full of lemons is seen being delivered to The Crown public house, Blackheath. But no ice.
By the beginning of August, after a summer of riots and general discontent, Police officers are allowed to carry machetes while on crowd-control duties. All fingerprints and DNA of police officers are removed from the system, to be replaced by those of mortgage-defaulters and lollipop ladies.
Brazil win the World Cup. By now, England have already been roasted by the West Germans, Capello is poached by Portugal and grilled by the press. Then he goes and gets smashed.
Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is seen urinating up against the Grace Gates at Lords after a particularly convivial lunch during the One Day International vrs Australia. The press dub it ‘Gategate’.
In late September after a ‘leaked’ press release it is widely reported that this year’s must-have toy for Christmas will be Mattel’s Stoat Family Fortunes (David Tennant Edition). A week later all stocks are sold out. Individual members of the Stoat family change hands on eBay for up to £300, except the very popular ‘Piper Stoat’ which you can’t get for love nor money.

In October I turn 40 years old for the seventh time running. Later that month armed police from the crack ‘Arrest Innocent People Squad’ raid a flat believed to be the HQ of a sleeper cell of Al Qaeda, responsible for the alleged underpants plot earlier in the year. Yet again, their information is found to be shoddy: Having forced their way into the premises, all they find is a derelict, uninhabited shit-hole, of no use or interest to man nor beast. And that’s not this years’ only connection with Wales: After a particularly wet autumn at Celtic Manor Golf Club, play is suspended during the foursomes on the opening day of The Ryder Cup when US player Stewart Cink’s caddy is tragically drowned while replacing a divot. Organisers pledge never to attempt to hold the event in Wales again, at any time of the year.
November 2nd and the Google Street View van finally visits my street, when it catches me stealing my next door neighbour’s wheelie bin, to replace mine which was stolen the week before
Thursday Nov 25th, Brisbane: Australia finish the first day of the first Ashes test on 431-1 (Ponting 230no, Katich 125no. Swann 1-250). Ian Botham arrested pending inquiries into an alleged incident in the bar afterwards which leaves 6 members of the Aussie press corps needing treatment. Four (empty) cases of Shiraz and a cricket stump are bagged and sent to forenics.

December: Keith Harris and Orville win Strictly Come Dancing, beating Clare Balding in the final, watched by 48 million catatonic viewers. On a visit by my children, mid-month, I resume the mantle of ‘Best Dad in the World’ – the first time I’ve held the title in 12 months. Their Christmas lists are then handed to me.
On Dec 23rd, a new supply of Piper Stoats arrive on the docks in Liverpool. Massive queues form and14 people are crushed in the ensuing riot when it’s announced sales are limited to one buyer each. Dec 29th: Mattel recall all sets of Stoat Family Fortunes due to a massive, dangerous design fault. Hundreds have been maimed by Piper’s sharp protruding teeth. Richard Branson makes an aggressive takeover bid for the company. Awaiting details of the photocall.

Happy 2011 to both of you

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While Shepherds Watched the Doc by Night


Like many insomniacs, I switch on the early morning news on Christmas Day merely to check out which celebrity has snuffed it, or which natural disaster has wiped out which part of South East Asia this time. Is it weird that something notable always happens on the little baby Jesus’s birthday, or is it just that we remember them more because it’s Christmas? Horrid and strange things happen all year-round, but for some reason the holiday period ones always seem to focus the mind. He does, indeed move in mysterious ways.

He comes but once a year.

Or at least he has been this year. Take events over at the Vatican overnight. In what is gradually becoming an epidemic of Roman nutters (see previous posts), a woman leapt the worshiper-control barrier and lunged at the Pope who was on his way to give his Christmas message, pulling him to the ground and badly grazing his knee. Apparently the same woman attempted the same move last year, but fell at the last hurdle. A scuffle ensued as security guards, Il Papa’s aids and assorted devil-dodgers bundled this serial Pope-Wrestler to the floor in a scrummage of cassocks, arms and legs not seen in the St Peter’s Basilica since the swimwear section of the Vatican Choirboys beauty contest last spring.

No word has come from the attacker to say why she keeps lunging at the Holy Father, but promises she’ll be back next year when she hopes to at least draw blood. Well done the security services.

Elsewhere in God’s beautiful world, the Archbishop of Canterbury will announce this afternoon that children are being forced to grow up too quickly. The ABC will go on to highlight the exploitation of children in “the meaningless and savage civil wars in places like Congo and Sri Lanka – children who are abducted, brutalised, turned into killers, used as sex slaves”, which will come as great succour to all those children abused in orphanages, care homes and boys clubs looked after by priests and pederasts wherever the Catholic Church set up shop. But I’m sure all the other denominations are completely blameless. Definitely.

In a completely unrelated story, two Irish Bishops will resign in the wake of the sex scandal which has been ‘uncovered’ in Ireland. Thank The Lord that’s all over with. God is everywhere. All-seeing, all-knowing. He must have sent us padre paedophile for a good reason, mustn’t he? Many small boys would rather not wait for the second coming to find out why.

He's Everywhere!!!!!

Talking of Omnipotence, is there any way of escaping David Tennant this Yule Tide? He was in Buzzcocks, on QI, he’s on every BBC link between programs, and appears as Hamlet this weekend. Yesterday morning he was on again, albeit in cartoon form as The Time Lord, and or course he will be there in the flesh this evening,at prime time viewing, as the Doctor for the much over-hyped last time, apparently.

Does the BBC think everyone loves Dr Who? Do they? Well I don’t ( that surprised you, didn’t it), and I never have AND I resent the inference that we are all supposed to be swept up by this tsunami of pseudo-trekiness where we all gleefully get swept along with Dungeons and Daleks, writhing in orgasmic pleasure every time the jocular Jock raises that eyebrow at the camera. They’ve built him up to be some sort of overnight national treasure! HE AIN’T!! He’s the vaguely charming star of a children’s sci-fi series, let’s leave it at that please. He’ll be the face of the Test Card next (one for my older readers). In between BBCTennant we’re subjected to trailers Britain’s worst comedy duo in a sitcom about welsh people. Fuckin hell.

I’m off now to play my new PS3 game, FIFA Football (Doctor Who Edition). I could do with my own TARDIS to take me to January 2nd when it’ll be all over for another few weeks until the “hunt” starts for “the new Doctor” and Gavin and Stacey announce comeback series. As Bob Cratchit‘s TIny Tim might have said “God save us, every one. Just keep those filthy Father’s off me crutch.”

No new or funny jokes were used during the making of this program

Oh yes, Merry Christmas to you too.

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Dealing with Tragedy


Can you imagine what the funeral will be like? The world’s weirdest and worst-dressed family queuing up to see who’s the most upset. Sales of dark glasses will rocket in Beverly Hills. The pallbearers, jacket sleeves rolled-up, moonwalk backwards down the aisle, MJ’s silver glove (god alone knows where that’s been) atop of the casket. The vicar screeches woo-hoo at the top of his voice, spins, grabs his crotch and leads the congregation in a rousing chorus of We Are the World (Where Are Your Children?).
As the hearse drives slowly along Paedophile Boulevard, the weeping masses toss monkey nuts onto the bonnet, in respect to Bubbles, the one small mammal who didn’t have to be paid not to reveal what his mate had done to him during those long winter evenings by the fire. Liz Taylor, looking like an extra from Thriller says a few words of thanks, and Diana Ross collapses. No-one is sure if it’s the emotion that gets to her, or merely a sudden puff of wind that catches her off-balance. Liza Minnelli helps the 40 pound diva to her feet then announces a comeback tour and that she’s to stand-in for Michael at the O2. That’ll be a real treat for all concerned. Dame Reginald Dwight accompanies her on keyboard in a rather inappropriate rendition of Johnny Cash’s Jackson. Paul McCartney mutters a few words, something about a woman called Linda and and bloke called John, then flashes several Victory signs to the cameras. The service is concluded by Lisa Marie Presley’s un-plugged version of her dad’s Old Shep. Not a dry leg in the house.

President Obama, who thankfully is still the same colour as when he was born, announces a national day of yawning, three Jacko impersonators are arrested for trying to string up a series of Hollywood Doctors from lamposts by their goolies, Ben reaches No1 in every pop chart in the world, and schools cancel all exams to spare grief-sticken children the terrible ordeal of getting on with their lives. June 25th is named MJ Day, when masks will be worn and babies hung over balconies in celebration of the great man’s life. On that day buggery will be made legal in 36 states. Compulsory in California.

Elsewhere the bodies of young men and women are returned from Afghanistan and Iraq to be buried in simple services by their loved ones. Innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire of war, or by suicide bombers are buried in paupers’ graves. Millions are laid-off as recession bites, nuclear weapons are built by madmen and pointed at their neighbours, floods and earthquakes hit the poorest nations in the world, tens of thousands die. People have their operations delayed or canceled because they’re not on the right medical insurance scheme, and the National Health Service hasn’t the money nor capacity to carry out procedures for cancers, heart defects or the like.

Just as long as we keep it all in perspective.

baqubah

If I Were a Betting Man…


They were taking bets on what colour hat The Queen would wear to the Derby today. Bookmakers Paddy Power had lilac as odds-on favourite. Yellow, light blue and white all had interest from the punters, but her Maj—a dark horse herself— turned up in the paddock wearing some sort of pink bush-hat and the bookies had a field day. I’ve lost count how many times someone in my office (it’s usually a bloke from the post-room) has come to me with inside info from a trainer, a coach, a stable-boy, an insider (though rarely a milliner) telling me that a certain horse/dog/hat is a dead-cert, then I stick a crafty fiver on it and imagine the riches of the Indus coming my way via the Turf Accountant. A few hours later the race is run, the match is over or the hat donned and I’m left counting my losses, vowing never again to listen to any more ‘tips’ from that berk who delivers the Evening Standard. Jeffery Bernard once said “One way to stop a runaway horse is to bet on him” and I am living proof that the fine old bugger was, as on so many things, absolutely right.

Five Pounds to win on "The Bastard Sarkozy" please

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It’s a mug’s game, betting, unless your surname happens to be Coral, Power or Hill, yet the vast majority of us have been guilty of handing over our hard-earned readies at the drop of a (pink) hat, a nudge from a tipster or purely because the name of the horse makes us laugh. Anyone who uses the phrase “if I were a betting man…” usually is just that. Indeed I treat those who don’t bet with the same suspicion as I do vegans, teetotallers, and policemen—not to be trusted. (By extension, my mate Trev is possibly the most trustworthy person I know—just don’t bet on the same horse he’s on.)

If I were a betting man I would have walked down to the bookies and had a shilling on Susan Boyle to win BGT, Alastair Darling to lose his job as Chancellor and England to stuff Holland at cricket. Except I wouldn’t. As we know from our reading and viewing, betting on England is for the deluded or the clinically optimistic. You may as well put your money on Andrew Symons turning up for training as expect any return for your bet on our national teams prevailing over minor opposition. A mate at work (an Australian) said on Friday morning ” England vrs The Netherlands??? What’s the point in you lot playing minnows like that?” He hasn’t been over here long, young, naive, boy.

No-hopers and also-rans. But better than us.

No-hopers and also-rans. But better than us.

Remember when San Marino scored within seconds of the kick-off? Or how about those “nailed-on” victories which were never to be against the Jocks at Murrayfield and Twickenham, when we only have to turn up to win the Championship ? Or when Eddo Brandes, a Zimbabwean chicken farmer, took us to the cleaners in a One Day International ? We’ve always been crap against crap opposition. Yeah yeah yeah, the Dutch played well, blah blah blah, the lesser nations are catching us up blah blah blah, 2020’s a great leveller, blah blah blah, THEY’RE DUTCH, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!!!! Clogs? yes. Spliffs? yes. Tulips? yes. Gay policeman? almost certainly. But CRICKET???? DO ME A FAVOUR!!!

Yes, they deserve to celebrate and deserved the win, mainly because they scored more runs than us, but FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. Why don’t we just admit we can’t play this sodding game? I don’t know why I get so upset about it because it isn’t proper cricket and should mean nowt. But it just does. The bowlers were hapless, the fielding hopeless and the batting order made as much sense as a Gordon Brown cabinet reshuffle. Rob Key coming in at six? Jesus! Open with him and make him skipper. Is it any consolation that the West Indies are, as I write this, making the Aussies look like a pub team? Well of course it is. But fuck knows what the Paks will do to us tomorrow night. We’ll be lucky to lose. Oh for a Botham, a Flintoff or even a Symons (born in Birmingham) to save us. Even if all three of them had been out on it for a fortnight (as is their wont) and were swimming in claret, they’d surely have fielded and bowled better that shower did last night.

Middle stump and bottle of chablis please, Umpire

Middle stump and bottle of chablis please, Umpire

Still, we have the certainty of our national football team doing us proud against Kazakhstan in somewhere called Almaty. Christ Almaty, what’s the point in playing minnows like that? I’ll wager ten of your English pounds we’ll put 6 past them, if I were a betting man…

“Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher – can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!”
Norwegian TV commentator Bjorge Lillelien after Norway beat England 2-1 in Oslo in a World Cup qualifier in Sept 1981

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Dan Dan the Lavatory Man


urinals

One night last week a bloke talked to me in the pub toilet. Yes, exactly, that’s what I thought. He actually tried to hold a conversation with me while I was going about my business. Yes. He did.

Most of you reading this will fully understand the distress this caused me, but in case a woman has accidentally logged in, I shall explain: Blokes don’t talk to each other in the loo. Never. Never, ever, ever. It’s just not done. I could be standing there at the urinals with my best mate to my left, my dad to my right and my long-lost brother washing his hands at the sink behind me and no words would be exchanged until we left the Gents. Protocol is to have one hand (or in my case two hands) on your willy and stare straight ahead reading the graffiti or the very amusing adverts for online poker on the wall in front of you. But whatever happens KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF AND YOUR EYES FRONT !!!

A public lavatory is a place where we men feel at our most vulnerable. We’re not the greatest communicators at the best of times, so the chances of indulging in idle persiflage fly out of the window the minute we get our winkles out. Surely, ladies, you recognise that in your man? I put it to you (if you’ll excuse the image) that if he gets his thingy out in your presence he’s unlikely to want to talk to you about last night’s footy results, or the queue at Tescos. I hear tell that, while in the Ladies, the fairer sex do indeed partake in friendly chat and banter (of what nature, I know not) and they seem to get along just fine in there. Maybe it’s a little sanctuary, free from those arseholes outside, where girl can speak to girl without being interrupted or patronised by boy? Bless her pretty little head. No such conversation does, or rather should take place in a blokes’ khazi.

roll

So this bloke—let’s, for the sake of looking for another joke, call him Dan— so this bloke Dan spoke to me in the Gents. I have no idea what he said, I was in shock. All I know is that it wasn’t “Alright, mate?” or “Ooooooooh, that’s better”. No, it was in the form of an opening line of a conversation. I just heard noise, my brain couldn’t process the information. Virtually all of my body froze, though part of it went limp and shriveled. I zipped up, nodded politely (I’m British, after all) and left immediately and quickly, and what I had started in the urinal was left to dribble down the inside of my trouser leg as I fled.

So what was I afraid of? That the man was a homosexual? That he was about to “lend me a hand”? That he was the Barrymore of Blackheath and I’d end up emotionally and internally scarred for life? Don’t talk so much Tommy Rot! I have no leanings in that direction. I’ve always been a big hairy hetro (whatever I look like to you) and have no wish to catch the other bus. I don’t even know if this bloke IS gay. My Gaydar doesn’t work. He may just be very friendly, though a tad inappropriate. Having said that, I’ve never either been worried by or about gay men or women. I have several openly gay friends (yes, I know they all say that, but I actually do) and have never felt threatened by them or had the inkling that they were gonna goose me at any minute (their loss, actually). I like to think I view them with the same contempt as I do all my friends. It’s still your round at the bar, mate, even if you ARE a bit light on your loafers. You’re all the same in my eyes, as long as you do your bit in the office, laugh at my jokes and understand the lbw laws. It’s not as if you’re Welsh or anything.
0052787b

But maybe this is all a front? Maybe, deep down, I’m scared? A long time ago I spent the night round a mate’s flat after we’d gotten a bit squiffy that evening. I was woken up in the spare room the following morning by my pal delivering a cup of tea. Having placed the cup by the bed, he left the room saying, “There you go mate” says he “I’ll just go get myself sorted, then I’ll give you a shower”
“WHAT!!!!!!”— I’d sat bolt upright in the bed, my head thumping, back in spasm, legs shaking like leaves, willy recoiling into my body. Fortunately I’d misheard him. What he’d actually said was “I’ll give you a shout”. Phew! He’s a big bloke and could have quite easily showered me against my will.

It annoys me, my reaction to these situations. I’ve always considered myself a good Socialist, with a capital ‘S’ and a liberal with a small ‘l’, inside this beer-swilling, rugby-loving, pickled-egg eating oaf, there’s a kind, sensitive, modern man screaming to get out and mince about a bit. I remember getting severe stick from my city mates when I wore a red ribbon pin badge for world AIDS day, and got accused of being either a “faggot” or a “poof-lover”. Well, what would you expect from that lot? But I’m surely above that, aren’t I? I sure am. Perhaps it was just that on the two occasions above I was taken by surprise ? Or maybe it is just what we’ve discussed: that no man feels safe with his penis al fresco? I’ve been mulling over this all week, about how stupid my immediate reaction was, and how I shall make every effort to change.
347px_World_Aids_Day_Ribbon

Dan was in the pub last night again (hiding behind three Mancunians). I didn’t spot him until he was standing right next next to me, when I turned to be almost nose-to-nose with him. “Hello mate, alright?” he asked.
I blushed “Yes mate…great… thanks”. I left for another pub. I have a new friend and I’m being an arse about it. What a wanker.

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