Thursday, 21 May 2009

Thursday 21/05/09

Scientists hail stunning fossil. The beautifully preserved remains of a 47-million-year-old, lemur-like creature have been unveiled. The fossil, nicknamed Ida, is claimed to be the "missing link" between monkeys and ex House of Commons Speaker, Michael Martin. Given the kink to Martin, there are doubts as to its authenticity, as it’s thought there’s a high possibility of a discrepancy between what it’s ‘claiming’ and the truth.

A 21 year-old American rapper by the name of Dolla has been shot dead outside a Los Angeles shopping mall. It would seem that death is an occupational hazard for rappers. The way some court it, it’s almost as if death is the pinnacle of achievement for them and you’re a has-been if you live beyond the age of 30. All of the following rap artists are dead:

  • Tupac
  • Biggie
  • Eazy-E
  • Mac Dre
  • Soulja Slim
  • DJ Screw
  • Big L
  • Big Pun
  • Yaki Kadafi (Of the Outlawz)
  • Proof (Of D12)
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard (ODB)
  • Jam Master J
  • Pimp C
  • Big Moe

There’s a lot of ‘Bigs’ in there, so one assumes these chaps were on the planetary scale of obesity and died from simply exploding – innit?

Scientists say they have located the brain areas that may determine how sociable a person is. Warm, sentimental people tend to have more brain tissue in the outer strip of the brain just above the eyes and in a structure deep in the brain's centre. Lead researcher Dr Graham Murray, who lacks this feature said: "Piss off.”

Expenses scandal hit MPs keep trotting out these excuses of administrative errors on claiming interest on non-existent mortgages. How on earth can it be an admin error to claim for something you don’t actually have, the payments for which are not inconsequential and usually comprise the average person’s largest single financial outgoing? For people who we, the electorate, put in charge of running the country, MPs seem prone to a scale of administrative errors that dwarf those of the average person by many hundred percent. Admin errors on this scale within one’s tax return are illegal and land you in jail and I wonder whether the same percentage of administrative errors occur in MPs’ tax returns. I somehow suspect not.

Back to Twatter: Stephen Fry, probably the most famous and followed Twitterer in the UK, keeps going on about his ‘tummy’. Here’s a link he provided last night about the power of Twitter. There was a rumour going around earlier this week that Patrick Swayze had died – yet again. The rumour was started on Twitter.

I went for my usual lunchtime peregrination yesterday (for once it wasn’t hammering down with rain) and started to ponder the imponderables of living life in the fast lane. Unlike swimming, where you have to stay focused and concentrate on your breathing and target point, walking allows the mind to wander and you can stop breathing for hours, wandering in front of traffic with the abandon of an MP on an expenses binge. Here are some of yesterday’s thoughts while exercising.

Why is it that old people always look the same? Old people in the 60s looked exactly like old people do today – same shapeless clothes; same cardigans; same flat caps on the men; same clumpy shoes on the women. It’s as if once people reach old-hood they enter a time-warp and regress to fashions that were unfashionable even when they were young. You could hoik many an old age pensioner straight out of the 60s and he or she would not look out of place today.

Saw a few people engaging in that rare sport – house viewing. Along with car buying, house viewing is something that hasn’t been done for six months or more. Suddenly they’re all out, traipsing into houses led by another rarity – the greater rapacious estate agent. None of them looked as if they had the slightest intention of buying; more like the nosey buggers you initially get when putting your house on the market.

I normally walk at a reasonably fast pace in one direction for half an hour and then return, covering something like 3.5 to 4 miles. With the possible exception of bin day (garbage day to my New World readers), the smells along the route are pretty homogeneous. However, as I approach one particular house on the route my sense of smell is – I cannot say ‘assaulted’ – let’s say ‘caressed’ by the heady and exotic aroma of Indian food. Why is it that British homes rarely exude food smells, or if they do, why is it invariably nothing more exotic than thrice boiled cabbage? Are ALL the women at work? Is it perhaps because the smells can’t escape the plastic / cling-film of the pre-prepared meals and microwaves tend to dampen aroma? Is it because food prepared in the average British kitchen is simply tasteless and completely odourless?

Had a chuckle at a few of the shops along my route. Most shop owners have less marketing nous than the Chernobyl Tourism Board and Hindenburg Aviation put together, choosing wildly inappropriate names or tag lines for their emporia. Here’s a sample from my route:

Not a bad name for a chippy, but I wonder who voted it number one from the 5,000 or so chip shops in Bristol. The owner perhaps? This claim cannot possibly be substantiated in any meaningful way and should be referred to the Advertising Standards Authority for adjudication.

With an exterior like that (and the photo makes it look better than it actually is), I would hope to hell that the interior is better. A lick of paint wouldn’t go amiss.

That’s better – it sells what it says on the tin. No frills…… However, it could be confused with a service for the world famous Bristol trawler industry. PS - see what I mean about the pensioner?

Wines from Uganda, Ghana, India and Hong Kong? Well, there’s no accounting for taste – or lack of it!

It’s anyone’s guess what this outfit does. Obviously they must rely on word of mouth, ‘cos the shop front sure as hell doesn’t give an indication.

Best of all this, which will be interpreted by my American readers as a beauty parlour specialising in waxing, or a high street gynecologist.

Today, Hay and I have been together for three years. Not a cross word has passed our lips. Well, not a cross word has passed my lips.


  1. Yes - it was me who clicked the scary button. Christ. I turn my back for two minutes and you are hanging around the wrong side of town and following twats like Stephen Fry. Thank God I'm back to keep you in check.

  2. I rest my case.
    In your obvious excitement at my return, I noticed that you forgot to put an 'e' on the end of my name. Plese note I am more of an adjective than a ring-a-ling.

  3. Belle: I was presenting you with a gong.

  4. You might like Beaver Maintenance Ltd. best, but I like the Bristol Nets shop. I didn't realize that there was still a market for net curtains! I'm puzzling over the conundrum of why all 60ish English people look the same and none of their houses smell of much. (Not enough ghee?) Most of the people I know are getting on to 50, and I don't think they are going to be adopting the dress code, but maybe something quite strange happens in that decade . . .

  5. Bee: You have to be joking! Filton in Bristol is prime net curtain territory. The dirtier the better. All kinds of weird 60s patterns too.

  6. Thank you Chairman Bill, but I really don't want to see your gong.

  7. Belle: Not even the Belle end?

  8. Only if I can peep at it through your net curtains.

  9. Well, I was going to say something about breaststroke but I feel that your exchange with Belle is enough ambiguity for today.

  10. Kapgaf: I'm in the mood for a double entendre. Absolutely famished.

  11. I'm like a one-eyed cat, peeping in a sea food store...

    ...Will that do, ma cherie?!

  12. I suppose if you were a time traveller then disguising yourself as an old person would be a good idea? Cos you'd fit in anywhere and wouldn't look odd.
    What's this about Beaver maintenance....