Friday, 18 September 2009


I couldn't resist having another go at these, as they are just too good to pass by:

On a church notice board: "Prepare to meet thy God" to which someone had added "evening dress optional"

"Racial prejudice is a pigment of the imagination"

"Roget's Thesaurus dominates, regulates, rules, OK, alright, adequately"

"Blow your mind - smoke dynamite!"

"Celibacy is not an inherited characteristic"

"Sudden prayers make God jump"

Outside a farmer's gate "FREE ACCESS" with a little note underneath "Until the Bull charges"

On a car park pay & display board "God isn't dead - He just couldn't find anywhere to park"

Condom machines seem to provide the best ones, such as ...
"Not for sale during French postal strike"
"The worst chewing gum I ever tasted"
"Subject to VAT if used on the premises"
"Buy me and stop one"
"Buy two - get one jump ahead"

To the question "Is there any intelligent life on earth?" someone had written "No. I'm only visiting"

Outside London's Smithfield Livestock Market "DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS" with the small print "They're all dead"

"Education kills by degrees"

"Don't let the goverment stop hire education"

"BILL STICKERS WILL BE PROSECUTED" .... "Bill Stickers is innocent"

On a University notice board "LECTURE THIS EVENING ON SCHIZOPHRENIA" to which a student had added "I've half a mind to go" before another added "I'm in two minds myself"

"THE FUTURE IS FEMALE" "Unreliable, full of broken promises, pretty to look at, but horrible to face"

Written at the very top of a urinal wall "If you can aim this far, you should be in the Fire Brigade"


"I'm a fairy. My name is Nuff. Fairy Nuff"

On the wall of a Datsun dealership "Buy Blitish"

"I thought clap was a form of applause until I discovered Smirnoff"

"It's no good looking for a joke. There's one in your hand" on the inside wall of Gents toilet

And on another one "Christine. If you're reading this. We're through"

"Last Tuesday's meeting of the Apathy committee has just been canceled"

"Be alert" "Your country needs lerts"

And last, but not least, my favourite sickie ... "Texans are living proof that Indians screwed Buffaloes".

I've got to stop here, otherwise I'll be going all night!

PS: Click on the photo at the top of this post, to see an enlarged view. It's really quite a clever one (painted on 'the wall' in Palestine by a Bristol based Graffiti Artist called Banksy. It's really worth just typing his name into Google Images to get an idea of what he does. His work comes in different shades of thought provoking, political, outrageous, very funny and downright wicked. It's also a lot cheaper than buying one of his books!

Friday, 11 September 2009

My 5th Sentence.

And, no. I am not referring to the 2yrs suspended sentence that I received for trying to help smuggle Mad Aunt Bernard out of Worthing Nick, dressed as a rutting mountain goat (she, not me). And sorry Mum - I didn't tell you about the other 4!

I am (of course) referring to Titus's invitation (that is Titus - The Dog that Blogs) that we should turn to page 161 of a book of our choice, and simply record on our blogs the content of the 5th sentence on that page.

So ... My 5th sentence reads "I will not". Well? That was good, wasn't it?

The book is The Commodore by Patrick O'Brian (one of my favourite authors of all time) and the 17th in his series charting the life and times of Captain Jack Aubrey and his 'particular friend' and ship's surgeon Dr. Stephen Maturin. At page 161 in the story, Dr. Maturin has just joined Captain (now Commodore) Aubrey for dinner in his cabin, and is declining an additional helping of roast duck, for fear of dulling his senses in preparation for a tricky operation in which he must remove bladder stones from an afflicted crew member.

The book sees Aubrey's finances and career reach exalting heights, only for his marriage to hit the rocks when he is accused of infidelity, though (on this occasion, at least) innocent in deed, if not in thought, but unable to persuade his long-suffering wife otherwise. This is a direct contrast to the flow of other titles in the series, when the Captain has been dealt repeatedly bitter blows to his finances and career prospects, only to find comfort in the arms of his dear lady wife - not to mention other men's wives on a couple of occasions (including his admiral's!).

This is my second journey through the series and never before have I been more grateful for having a brain like a colander, as I can re-read all of my favourite books again and again with the joy never diminishing.

One of my greatest disappointments, however, was in the resulting film 'Master & Commander - Far side of the world' which was supposedly based upon Mr O'Brian's novels and characters. Although Russell Crowe's portrayal of Jack Aubrey was superbly in line with the novels, as far as the script would let him; Stephen Maturin's characterisation was dreadful. The casting was superb and even as I read the books again, I can envisage Paul Bettany's wonderful little quirks and eccentricities as the good Doctor. But whoever was responsible for portraying Dr Maturin simply as a slightly dippy ship's doctor, and part-time naturalist, should be shot. In O'Brian's novels, Dr Maturin's role as ship's Surgeon is more frequently a cover for his more important role as a British Intelligence Agent - something that was completely ignored in the film, very much to it's cost. The play-offs and witticisms between the books' two main characters are, in my view, unparalleled. Also completely ignored was Maturin's personal background as the Catholic bastard son of an Irish Cavalry Officer and a Spanish Lady of high birth, giving him the wealth of connections across the world that would later prove invaluable in his intelligence work. His character provides a wonderful contrast between his endearing innocence/ignorance of all things naval (rarely able to board any vessel without falling in), and his sometimes shocking capacity to deal with lethal encounters in his intelligence work, all interspersed with his charming Irish wit (usually going straight over the more bluff Aubrey's head) and genteel forcefulness required in his various roles. No-one could blame Paul Bettany for weeping if he ever read any of O'Brians novels, as he really could (I believe) have delivered it all, if only given the chance.

Clearly, you don't have to be a member of the Boys Own Gung-ho Club to enjoy bloody good writing - whatever it's genre. I hope you might be inspired to pick up one next time you're out. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

NOTE: by purest and sweetest coincidence: Billy Boyd, who played Aubrey's coxswain (Barrett Bonden) in the film, also played Pippin in Lord Of The Rings. As a struggling actor, Boyd worked for 7 years as a book binder. One of the books he helped create was - yes - you guessed - Lord Of The Rings!

Friday, 4 September 2009


The previous post that took this place
Was reconsidered a disgrace
Its style and content made quite clear
To all of those who hold me dear
That dear Mama must stay off gin
And not sit down to type agin
Unless she had recovered first
From shrieking hormonal outburst.
It may well be cleansing to write
But publishing it ain't quite right!

Thursday, 3 September 2009


In trawling through a pile of old paperback books that I recently bought at a Car Boot Sale, I uncovered a little gem of a book called Graffiti Lives OK, compiled by Nigel Rees (the author of Quote, Unquote). Intrigued, I just had to have a peek inside and found I couldn't put it down. Compiled in 1979 and published by Unwin, it reflects that even the 'vandals' and 'hooligans' of that age had a better sense of humour (and, often, decorum) than we are subjected to on television today. Here are just a few of my favourites.

"I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous"

Onto a "NO ACCESS" sign, some wit had added the words "Use Barclaycard"

"Give masochists a fair crack of the whip"

"Tolkein is hobbit-forming"

"French dockers rule, au quai"

"Peals of laughter, squeals of joy. I was here before Kilroy" To which the answer was added: "Shut your mouth, shut your face, Kilroy built the bloody place".

"Alas poor Yorlik, I knew him backwards"

"Saliva drools, OK"

On a signpost in Lincolnshire identifying the road "TO MAVIS ENDERBY and OLD BOLINGBROKE" were added the words "The gift of a son".

On the back of a dirty vehicle, someone had written "Don't clean me - Plant something!"

"And the meek shall inherit the earth - if that's alright with you"

"God was a woman, until she changed her mind"

The words "Cuts out oven doubt" were found written on a contraceptive vending machine.

And on another "My Dad says these don't work".

Yet another contraceptive machine professed to be "Made in Britain" and it's product "Absolutely safe and reliable", to which someone had written "Yeah? So was the Titanic!"

While in a park somewhere, someone had written "Save Trees - Eat Beavers!"

But the worst of all was "I like sadism, necrophilia and bestiality. Am I flogging a dead horse?"

I could go on - and on and on - but would love to hear if anyone else has seen or heard of any particularly witty ones.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

BABBO - The true(ish) and somewhat sobering story of how the Camel really got his humps.

There was, a long, long time ago,
A little camel called Babbo.

Now in those days, odd it may seem,

A camel's back was smooth as cream.

Though fair to say they looked like chumps -

This tale tells how they got their humps ...

In Babbo's day there lived a King
Who, so it seemed, owned everything.
Kind Randor, it was true, had never
Worked a single hour - not ever!
So slothful that he would no longer
Even tally up his wonga.
Now the Royal Lazy Toad
Sought further to reduce his load ...

"I know!" he cried "I'll give a prize
To any man who'll guess the size
Of all of my enormous wealth ...
This way's much better for my health ...
WELL!!? Come on up!! Each man - two tries.
Come! See if you can win the prize ..."
He'd put his servants to the test,
Though they were clearly not impressed.
Sheik Ahlegg, Keeper of the Rod,
Had simply muttered "Silly sod!"

He sent his servants far and wide
And out into the countryside
They spread the message everywhere ...
"ROLL UP! ROLL UP, SIRS (if you dare)
Guess how much gold the King had got
And WIN the silver in this pot!!"

Of course, nobody could resist
An opportunity like this.
The silver pot was such a size
They scarcely could believe their eyes.
They came from miles to have a go
To see if they could win the dough.

'T'was at this time young Babbo came
Tied to a Merchant's camel train.
The market place was well a-wash
With talk of Old King Randor's dosh.
Babbo stood close with pricked up ears,
That silver would feed him for years!
One guess was all he'd need to take ...
It really was a piece of cake!
So, off he trotted 'cross the yard
Toward King Randor's Palace guard ...

Two burly guards barked "YOU! This way!"
Poor Babbo dared not disobey.
Outside the throneroom he could hear
The sound of voices, hushed in fear.
All but for one voice - loud and shrill
(Enough to make an ice-cube chill)
King Randor sounded cold and cruel
As he screeched "Bring out the next fool!"

"Must be a hundred quid or more ..."
Said one, but he was 'shown the door'.
"There's Fifteen Thousand and Forty-Two ...
... AND fourpence ... give or take a few ..."
King Randor had this daft old clot
Beheaded, right there, one the spot.

The King, after what seemed like weeks
Of pouting lips and puffing cheeks,
Exclaimed "That's IT!! I've had ENOUGH!!!
I'm FED UP with this guessing stuff.
Fed up with fools all day and night ..."
He whined "Will NO-ONE get it right?"

"We have one more, Sire. Never fear!"
"Yes, Majesty. He's just in here".
Again, Randor began to shout
"Well don't just stand there ... BRING HIM OUT!!!"
The guards rushed in and grabbed Babbo
And dragged him out to have his go.

Well, there he stood, in finest dress,
Before the King, to take his guess.
Poor Babbo all but froze in fright
(His collar now felt very tight).
"Oi! Randor! What's with the Giraffe?!"
The Courtiers began to laugh.
"But ... I'm a Camel" he lamented
"I don't fink G'raffes have been invented".

He stared up at the throne in awe -
He'd never seen a King before.
Randor's impatient fingers drummed
As Babbo "Ooh"ed and "Aah"ed and "Umm"ed.
No mortal messed with such as he
"WELL!!? Come on man! What will it be?"

Babbo now shook from head to toe
His poor knees knocked like billy-ho,
He, stammering and turning red,
Just yelled the first thing in his head.
The courtiers shrieked with delight
At last!! Someone had got it right!!

HOWEVER ... there's just one more thing
That you should know about the King,
He was exceptionally mean
And rarely parted with a bean
If he could find some way to flout
And save himself from paying out.
The joyous courtiers had erupted,
'Til the vile King interrupted ....

"Yes, well done, laddie" Randor said
"But don't let this go to your head ...
Before the silver gets you hooked ...
There's one small point you've overlooked ...
I said that I would give the prize
To any MAN that guessed the size
Of all that's in my treasury ...
That's MAN not CAMEL, Do you see?..."

Even the servants boo'ed and jeered
While from the angry throng, there peered
One little camel, quite bemused
At why on earth he'd been so used.
Poor Babbo cried "This just can't be!
Kings don't behave like this, you see...
Kings are noble, fair and kind ..."
(And don't look like a hog's behind)
"... They're dashing, handsome, lean and trim ..."
(Not like the OAF in front of him)
"Kings shouldn't cheat and sneer and shout ..."
BAA-DUMPHH!! Too Late! They'd chucked him out.

With shoulders stooped and head hung low
(And pockets empty) trudged Babbo.
So badly did he get the hump
That on his back appeared a lump!
Astonished people stopped to stare,
But Babbo was beyond all care.
For shame, the worst was yet to come,
For this was only Number One!

Blinking back his tears in vain
He headed for the Camel train,
Bout found each step became more bold
As thoughts of sweet revenge took hold.

How often have you heard folks say
That "Every dog must have his day".
The stingey monarch should have noted
How this proverb's been misquoted -
If you look back, I'm sure you'll find
It once said "camel" - not canine.

A jaunty camel now retraced
His steps back to the market place.
He'd had this wizardly idea
And deftly whispered in the ear
Of every man he came across -
Though some were clearly at a loss -
Do you know what he told the men?
You don't?! Well sit and think again!
Randor had said he'd give the prize
To any man who guessed the size
Of all the valuables he'd got -
So Babbo told the bloomin' LOT!!

Oh BOY! Did Randor get a shock
When, shortly after five o'clock,
Six HUNDRED men - both rich and poor -
Came crashing through the Palace door,
Each screaming out the correct sum.
He had to pay them - every one!

'T'was fair to say the King was cross -
You bet your cotton socks he was!
'Cross' is a wee bit optimistic ...
The man went totally BALLISTIC!!
Veins standing purple on his brow
He screamed "BRING ME THAT CAMEL NOW!!!"

Babbo had hardly gone ten yards
When he was knobbled by the guards.
Out-numbered more than 10 to 1,
He simply had nowhere to run.
Then, just to broadcast his defeat,
The hung the beast up by his feet.
He truly looked a sorry soul,
Suspended from that wooden pole.

The guards did not dare hesitate -
No mere man caused the King to wait -
They banged and jostled through the door
And dumped the poor beast on the floor.
(Babbo bruised far more than his pride ...
It was a very bumpy ride!)

The King looked worse from upside down
Biting huge chunks from his gold crown
"You treacherous scurvy little crow!
I ought to slice you head to toe!!
And disembowel you - just for fun
Right here - in front of everyone!"

The camel gave a nervous cough.
He didn't want his bonce chopped off!
Or split in two, nor - even more -
His gizzards strewn out on the floor!

"Here!! Take your money!! Take your prize!!
Begone foul beast ... and Damn your eyes!!!"
The King, now screaming fit to pop,
Stood up and hurled the silver pot.
It Babbo with such a CRACK!
It left a huge bump on his back.

Then Randor leaned to grab his stick,
So Babbo legged it, pretty quick.
"There goes he who aspired to sting
ME! Randor! His most gracious King!"

When out the gates young Babbo ventured
(A lot more quickly than he'd entered)
His gait, to say the least, was spritely -
Relief at having got off lightly.
He made his way (despite the pain)
Back down towards the camel train.

Alas, the traders laughed and jeered,
"Oi! Push off, Hump-frey!" One had sneered.
('T'was odd to name him thus, mind you -
You see, he only had the TWO)
"Now where're we gonna put yer pack
Wiv those two fingeys on yer back?
You'd only have ter give a cough
An' ev'ryfin'd just drop off!!
Nah! Sorry, mate. But, no can do!
I mean ... look at the state of you!"

Babbo trudged sadly down the road
Oh what a silly little toad
He'd been. To go and throw away
His job ... His life! And what for, eh?
There is, of course, a moral here,
A wiser one you've yet to hear.

I hope that each of you has learned
A lesson with each page you've turned.
If you're inclined to court despair
By buidling castles in the air,
Just stop next time, when things go wrong,
Don't let your face hang quite so long.
Take care when things don't go your way.
Don't get the hump ....
It just might stay!!