Absinthe Friends


trevor Roberts Beer

Pictured during the Sharp Single’s 4th Anniversary Celebrations, held at the Huhne & Gove Wine Bar, Sidcup. Mr P de Paris drinks from a glass-blown replica of the legendary ‘Nose of  Heckler’.  Interpol are distributing a description of the jacket to all schools, hospitals and border agencies. Photo—Bing Indisheaves.

 

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The 1992 Committee


Ed Miliband’s getting a little full of himself for his own good. Buoyed by the local election results and the turmoil within the Tory Party, you can imagine Ed leaning across the dispatch box in the House of Commons and asking Dave Cameron “Surely you’re not the best politician to lead your party?”
“Maybe not,” DC might reply “but at least I’m the best politician in my family” (copyright Paul Collingwood).
A weak man is a short time in politics, so who can blame Mr Ed for crowing while he can? For a good few months the press and his party has been on his back, accusing him of being dull, uninspiring, distant and not his brother, but following the recent council polls, he and his adenoids feel vindicated in irritating a nation for the past couple of years. If it wasn’t for Bonking Boris, last week would have been a true disaster for the Tories, spurring on the bank-benchers to launch an immediate revolt. As it is, the win for the incumbent London Mayor merely highlights just how much more popular he is than the resident PM…er…sparking an immediate revolt among Tory back-benchers.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching the British GOP knock shite out of each other, fighting like cats in a sack in attempt to gain the high ground. A wave of nostalgia washed over me this morning as the late, great John Redwood took the the airwaves of T’BBC to launch version #738 of the Tory Right’s plan to get back into power (under its own steam). In re-hashing and re-launching the old battle cries of “Europe Out/Lords In/Wogs Out/Cronies In“, the former forgetful Minister for Wales reminded all listening of just why the Conservative Party hasn’t won an election in this country since 1992.

You know when you’re in trouble when chinless twerps like Nadine Dorries and Amanda Platell are calling you out of touch and if there’s a better blood sport to watch than the Tories fighting like a bunch of pissed wedding guests, then I’d like to see it. The Posh Boys’ honeymoon is over and they have painted themselves into a corner (easy on the metaphors, Harry). On one side they need to remain faithful to Sir Bufton Tufton of Tunbridge Wells – shooting, flogging and hanging anything that moves, but on the other thy need to give their coalition partners a good luvvie-cuddle as they try to convince the Liberals that they really are a new, warm green version of the old Right. It’s as convincing as watching Tom Cruise walking out with Katie Holmes.

As if things weren’t bad enough for Dave and Gid, then Frank goes and wins in France. A socialist hasn’t been in elected in France since Johnny Hallyday turned 80 (1981) yet the people of France have decided they no longer want the Poisoned Dwarf anymore and will try Francois Hollande for a while, especially as he’s promised to stand up against big bad Angela from Allemagne. Rather him than me.

The French people have spoken and ousted the little git. Across The Channel, however, no matter how awful Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown were for the UK, and however long Labour were in power, enough people still couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Cameron for PM. It doesn’t look good for him. I mean, I fancy myself up against Miliband. AT ANYTHING. And I’m sure you do too. But, even with the wholehearted support of The Mail, The Sun and Fox Skinning Gazette this charmless berk can still not rally enough support to attempt to lead the country out of recession without the shameless toadying support of the former Liberal Party. When you have to look to Simon Hughes, Chris Huhne and Beaker (whatever his real name is) to be electable and to get your policies through, times are indeed tough.

The Liberals appalling showing at the elections have led the wonderful Lembit Opik to call for Nick Clegg to resign. Jesus, no wonder Ed Miliband’s happy. In a few months he could be fighting a coalition of parties led by Boris Johnson and Limpet Optic. And if that doesn’t spell another 20 years of socialist government, I dunno what does.

Buy, Buy, Bye, Bye.


I think I must have put them all in a box which is now in the loft. I remember separating them, dividing them by type, each having their own little baggie. When we moved all my stuff out of Railway Cuttings down to The Potting Shed I’m pretty sure that they were in a box which ended up in the loft. Or the garage. Or under the stairs. Wherever it is, I want to find that box because I’m gonna need it. With the Euro’s future likely to be confined to Pathe News, episodes of QI or International Baccalaureate history exams, I’m gonna need something to spend on my next trip.

There was a bag containing Marks, one which had about thirty quid worth of Francs therein, and another with a collection of Pesetas, Drachmas, Italian lira and and Dutch Guilder. In total I reckon there’s at least 60 quid’s worth of old foreign currency,nearly enough to buy me a cup of coffee on Rue de Rivoli. How glad am I that at the time I couldn’t be bothered to hand over all my loose European change to those charities who, back in 2002, were asking for the coins “we wouldn’t need again”? At last my inertia and apathy towards helping others is paying off. Well that’s my guess anyway.

Now I know I’m only guessing, and my glass is typically half empty, but guesswork is all I’m left with as I’m no economist. No, really I’m not. I know I’m a world authority on cricket, lemons, modern art and movies, but I fall just short when it comes to economic nouse.

Not that the supposed experts know what’s gonna happen either: Tony Blair said that the collapse of the Euro would be “catastrophic” for the UK and urged all of us to get behind it. I don’t actually know how to get behind a euro, but on the other hand Tony once told me that I had 45 minutes to put on my tin hat and get to the air raid shelter before the nasty beardy-wierdies attacked. Well, as Tony’s mate George Bush once said “Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me … You can’t get fooled again.” So I think it’s fair to say I won’t be heeding what Blair says. Let’s look farther afield for help:

Chancellor Merkel has indicated that Germany either receives Britain’s support for invading Belg…sorry, for economic treaty changes or Germany will go it alone, drawing a new map of Europe with Germany at it’s fore. Where does she get her ideas from ? The German Chancellor can’t stand the French President Sarkozy, which doesn’t make her a member of a particularly exclusive club, but both countries hate Britain more, and this antagonistic feeling is only second to their disgust at Greece for dropping us all in the mire, so they have common enemies: David Cameron and this week’s Greek PM, [subs: please fill in name here].

Events in Italy seem to have muddied the waters even further. Berlusconi’s finally gone, just not that very far. He’s made it clear he still intends to make a comeback (this man has the Blair-like gift of being unshakeable and unshameable), and anyway, Super Mario Monti looks like he’s in Silvio’s pocket. No measures or acts will get through the Italian Parliament without the former Milanese Media Mogul’s nod. He’s still the leader of the biggest political party in the chamber, and we have learned from past events, he’s never out of the limelight for long. Once he gets a firm grip on either power or a woman’s gusset, he’s a bugger to shake off.

If you believe (and why the hell would you?) the analysts queuing up to talk to reporters, France looks like the next in line to go tits-up. The Euro economy domino theory goes thus: If Greece goes, Italy goes. If Italy goes, France goes. If France , Britain goes, (always bearing in mind that love grows where my Rosemary goes, and nobody knows like me).

No wonder Sarkozy, David Cameron and his attack-poodle George Osborne are looking nervous and sounding unusually vicious, even by their standards. Every one is blaming everyone else for the big pile of doo-doo we find ourselves in. But of course, still no-one is attacking the banks. Small businesses being refused bank loans, poor people being given huge mortgages which they could never have afforded to repay; mass redundancies and huge unemployment causing the collapse of the highs street: all these factors seem to have been forgotten.

The Brit govt blames the public sector workforce for striking in an attempt to save their pensions and pay.; the French blame Greek bin men and schoolteachers for not paying tax; the media blame the Italian citizen for voting for Berlusconi in the first place. UK finance minister Osborne has been blaming the referendum on Scottish devolution for the state of finances north of the border. Sarkozy accused Uraguay of being a tax-haven. Rare indeed for a French politician to consider tax havens as a bad thing. They’ll be coming out against extra-marital affairs next. Merkel, of course, is blaming everyone within spitting distance.

The shites are coming out, all over Europe.

Set for Life


I was watching an old episode of Frasier the other day. I happened across it by chance, luckily catching one of the 48 episodes which my cable channel broadcasts every day. Frasier is the I Love Lucy of the modern age. Wherever you are in the world, some channel somewhere is broadcasting either Frasier or Only Fools and Horses. Bloody good that they both are, I’m beginning to sync-quote them as I was apt to do with Fawlty Towers. And there are only 12 episodes in total of Basil F.  It’s bleedin’ obvious.

Anywhoo, there I was watching Dr Crane and Dr Crane argue about the younger one’s heart-bypass operation, and how he had been, quite frankly, a pain in the arse to all and sundry after the operation, telling any and all that would listen about his new perspective on life, having experienced being “clinically dead” for several seconds. His elder brother was of the opinion he was becoming a boring tit about it.

“That rings a bell”, thought I, and immediately pledged to the surrounded and listening world (just me, in reality) that I’d snap out of this feeling-sorry-for-myself bollocks, grab the bull by the balls and jolly well get on with it. Whatever “it” may turn out to be.

Then, just as I was girding my loins, stiffening my lip and pulling my massive self together, the postman dropped a bombshell through the letterbox, thankfully in a nice way – not a french satirical magazine way. I’m hoping above hope that the ABC Rowan Williams doesn’t throw anything nasty though my window just because earlier in the week I lampooned Mr Yeatman and ‘is Reverence. I’m all in favour of poking fun but the followers of Islam are not known for their humour, nor their tolerance. My flag-waving, liberal rabble-rousing and calling-to-arms suddenly hides under the table in the face of loonies with petrol bombs. I love my free speech. But you have to pick your targets, I reckon. As Frank Spencer once said: “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old,bold pilots.”**
Ditto satirical magazine editors, I reckon.

Anyway, back to my own bombshell. On opening the one letter the  postman had delivered that morning I pulled out a long piece of folded card. It was a luncheon menu from a cruise liner.

Seared scallops, poached pears, cod, lamb…the menu went on and on. It made me feel quite peckish:- well it was 10.30 in the morning and I’d only had 2 breakfasts, thus far. I started to tremble, but not because of the hunger (though that can’t have helped). No, I was trembling because I turned over the menu and there, running the length of the menu was a get well message from a legend.

Abraham Lincoln’s first draft of the Gettysburg Address was first scribbled down on a lunch napkin. There are apparently many John Lennon artworks and poems milling around which he hastily wrote down on the back of beer mats, menus or fag packets. There’s a Warhol sketch of some butterflies which is worth in the region of $30,000 and yet he knocked it out on a tissue (steady), in a couple of seconds between courses over lunch.

But all that pales into insignificance compared to what I held in my hands:

“To Mike

Get much better soon !

With Love

Bonnie Langford

It was too good to be true. In an instant I knew all my worries were over. Forget being out of work. Forget what little remains in my pension fund. Ignore the equity which Tories and the recession are audibly eroding. Let the Greeks do what they want. Have a referendum, don’t have one. I could not one tiny fuck give any more. Double-dip recession ? Pah!

A pal of mine who occasionally works on the boats had risked life and limb, camped outside Bonnie’s cabin for days, then related the plight of his old fat mate, Mike, in order to secure the most sought-after autographs in show-business (not counting that of Dustin Gee.)

When the time comes and I’m down to my my last Bobby Tambling jockstrap and quilted smoking jacket, which on their own will not pay the bills, I shall march up to Sothebys with The Langford Menu under one arm and my signed copy of The Very Best of Chas n Dave under the other, put them both up for sale and my money worries will be a thing of the past.

It is rare that one, let alone two prized items come up under the hammer and I expect intense media interest, similar to that created by Monet’s Water Lillies,   Katie Price’s autobiography I Did it All Wiv Me Tits Out, and Amy Winehouse’s yet-to-be-unearthed-by-her-father fourth album Three Large Doubles (and One for Yourself).

So I’m now thinking of stringing this illness-thingy out a little longer. If I could lay my hands on signed well-wishes from, say, Billie Piper or even Colleen Rooney then the sky is the limit.  So, ooh-err, missus, I’m having another one of me funny turns. Quick nurse! The Screens: it’s happened again.

**Purists will recognise this quote from the Some Mother’s Do Ave Em episode: Oooh Betty! Here come the Mad Mullahs

Goodbye-eee


According to the BBC, when I was born I was the 3,290,008,752nd person alive on earth. I dunno how they know this, but they know this. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one to be born on that particular day in history, so I don’t know how they are sure which of us is the 3,290,008,752nd, which the 3,290,008,753rd or which the 3,290,008,751st. But maybe I’m reading too much into this. Not sure. Probably not.

Anyway, by some time this morning there will be 7 billion people on the planet. It would have been a couple of hours earlier but daylight saving had to be factored in. Oh, and Jimmy Savile popped his gold lamé clogs. So every cloud.

Now, 7 billion is a big number. People are getting rather het up about it. But if you think you’re worried about it, can you imaging being John Terry knowing that the planet was becoming overrun by billions of f**cking bl**k c**ts ? Of course, when Chelsea captain John says “f**cking bl**k c**t” he means nothing by it. He’s not racist, you know ! He even led out a white and a black child mascot onto the pitch on saturday. Even touched the black kiddie. See ! Not racist in any way at all. In a modern world of 7 billion people, if you can’t call a f**cking bl**k c**t a “f**cking bl**k c**t” then what can a brain-dead, womanizing, nasty piece of sh*t, drug-dealing-family-member, thick c*nt like John supposed to do? (by the way, please don’t take that last sentence out of context. I meant nothing by it.) It’s not as if he was captain of England and supposed to set an example or anything, is it ?

Anyway, there may be a few less of “them” for John to worry about, and a few more of anyone really, if this Euro-zone business doesn’t sort itself out. Warning that unless Europe agreed with her about the Euro, German leader Angel Merkel recently said “No one should think that a further half century of peace and prosperity is assured.” Nothing warms the cockles quite like a German Chancellor predicting a European war. Sarkozy’s already told Cameron to shut up, while stating that it was a bad idea to admit Greece into the fold in the first place. This British PM won’t be waving a piece of paper around Croydon Airport this evening, predicting “peace in our time”.

Cameron and his mate Gideon Osborne, who clearly enjoy being outside the tent, pissing in, have announced they won’t be contributing to any further Euro bailouts. Yeah ! that’s right, chaps: Fuck Johnny Foreigner, and fuck him good, greasy little franco/woppo/dago/krauto wanker. We don’t need him or his mates. Apart from their holiday homes…and their yachts. Oh! and their trade…

So battles lines are being drawn up early. I’m glad that Sarko hasn’t lost sight of the fact it was all those Greek bin-men and teachers who got us into the shit in the first place. Bastards ! They don’t even pay tax on their €20,000-a-year job, d’you know ? What we need is to strengthen those poor banks. Don’t want them failing again, bless em.

Or should I say, “Bless ’em All”

Di Day, 1st of June


The following article is dedicated to the sad old drunk who accosted me on a train yesterday…

Lady Diana Spencer, Diana Princess of Wales, The People’s Princess and all those other terms that come up in search engines would have been 50 today, June 1st. The fact that she never got to blow out the 50 candles on her birthday battenberg was due in part, we’re told, to some pissed-up Egyptian cabbie doing a Nico Rosberg into slab of concrete somewhere under Paris. I always thought the powers-at-be, to in some way hide their embarrassment of their small contribution to her demise,  may have declared her birthday a national holiday. Di Day ? Di and Dodi Day ? Di and Dodi Died Day ? I dunno, something fitting and duly respectful like that.

Anyway, it was just a thought.

Diana will be up there be kicking herself that she missed the last 14 years of Paul Scholes’ marvelous football career, though she’ll be happy to know that she also missed a long line of knee-high, studs-up lunges with his lethal hobnails. His stats speak for themselves:

  Apps       goals           legal tackles

Man Utd                                    466         102                    1*

England                                        66            14                    0

(*  U14 training. Apologised after)

He has also received 90 yellow cards during his premiership career and  was cautioned 32 times during European campaigns, making Ratko Mladic look like Trevor Brooking.

The no-longer fragrant Diana would doubtless be surprised that it’s taken 16 years to capture Mladic. “The Butcher of Bosnia”, as he is known,  is finally on his way to an International Criminal Court near you and will doubtless feel the wrath of the law when he’s up in front of the beak on killing-everyone charges in The Hague on Friday.

He shouldn’t worry himself too much. Last time he stood in front of a bunch of Dutchmen they rolled over in front of him like a Sri Lankan batting order in Cardiff. I trust there will be some suitably red-faced Dutch UN officials, burying their shamed heads in their Amstel when the Srebrenica story is re-told in it’s full gory detail. Short of supplying him with barrels of Grolsch wheels of mild cheese and the daily use of their enormous sisters there seems little more the Orange peacekeepers could have done to facilitate him.

Yes Diana would raise an eyebrow to what’s changed and what hasn’t while she’s been in that great Harrods Food Court in the sky. Her Father-in-law is still around (although surely not for much longer??),  Charlton Athletic are still in the third division (ditto), Sepp Blatter “The Taxidermist of Zurich” is still a crook (allegedly and forever and ever, amen) and STILL in charge of FIFA. Yes, honestly he is. No, I don’t believe it either.

Col Gaddafi is still an international pariah, although since you’ve been away, Di, he’s been our best mate for a while. Don’t ask me. Something to do with your old mate Tony and oil or something. Now he’s resumed to the status of Chief International Awkward Fucker but we can’t find him to blow him up. Send for Kate Adie, that’s what I always say (and always will).

If I was in charge of the hunt, I’d pop down to the local ATM cos I reckon he’ll need to draw some cash out soon. Gaddafi is skint. Potless. Broke. We’re told he invested in both The Royal Bank of Scotland and BP Oil and lost a fortune on Libya’s behalf in doing so. What a prat. Not since I spent my ill-earned cash on Lastminute.com shares has such an ill-advised investment been recorded (I’m still waiting for my first divvie).

Oh, apart from that time I bid for London Olympic 2012 tickets and got sod all back. Nothing. Not even the fucking egg-and-spoon race. Not a sorry, not even a thanks for trying. Not EVEN a “fuck off, peasant these are going to our corporate mates”. Which they most certainly are.

Where’re my bleedin tickets ?? I only wanted a couple to watch to the 1 yard air rifle and the beach pole vault. I wasn’t bidding for the whole fucking games? I spent all month ensuring there was enough cash in my account and then when yesterday’s deadline arrived : NOTHING. Nothing immediately happened. Nothing was immediately and swiftly taken from my bank. I’ve been robbed by someone not taking money from me. Apparently I’m up for some in the second ballot. SECOND BALLOT ?? What is this? fucking AV all of a sudden ? If I wanted a second ballot I would have voted for Nick Clegg (“The Scheister of Westminster”), which I most certainly didn’t.

So, you’re better off out of it Diana, I reckon.  Who’d want to be 50 in this miserable sodding world anyway? I’m looking down the wrong end of a half century and am in constant danger of losing my happy-go-luck demeanour.

Mind you, I suspect if you’d been around you might have sneaked a ticket or two for the Olympic 100 yards dash. I reckon you could have afforded it if there wasn’t room in the Harrods box. The Fuggin Fayed would have lent you the dosh I’m sure.