Best Of Boggart Blog (8)
A Seasonal Miracle?
South African Mr. (got that, Mr.) Charles Sibindana has been fined ZA$140 for making a fraudulent claim for sick pay.
Mr. Sibindana submitted a certificate from his wife's gynaecologist to back up his claim that he took a week's sick leave because he was pregnant.
Now in my book that beats virgin birth by a distance.
A Couple of Smiles Before It Gets Even More Painful
Almost at the end of a month of bad and sad news; Iraq, Afghanistan, the Financial Markets, the environment and the death of Desert Orchid being just a few topics, its nice to hear something jolly.
So I enjoyed the story of the Surrey lady who while visiting the North East went into a hairdressers in Newcastle and asked "Could you do me a perm please."
"Why aye pet," came the reply, "I wandered lernley as a clerd..."
All in all its like the story of the northerner who took holy orders and was appointed vicar of an Anglican parish in Surrey.
When he arrived at his church the verger said "I'm sorry about the state of the place, we have a problem with the myrrh."
"The myrrh?" said the new vicar, "I didn't know you were high church."
"We're not," the verger said, "but what has that to do with cutting the grass?"
Comedy Main Menu
Killjoy's Christmas Decorations
Following on from last weeks revelations in Machiavelli blog about the Health and Safety Executive's plan to make sure all trees with the potential to fall over in high winds are properly managed with public safety the foremost consideration we bring you more news of Health and Safety fascism from the uber - jobsworths of Tower Hamlets Borough Council.
Last year these halfwit bureaucrats earned ridicule for banning all Merry Christmas type messages lest they offend the delicate sensibilities on non - Christians.
This year, with the complicity of Health and Safety Inspectors they have banned all wall and ceiling mounted decorations in all council premises because staff could be seriously injured while putting them up.
Authoritarian Box Ticking
Health And Safety Halloween
"Jesus Is Not The Messiah"
The problem with protesters in other countries is they do not have a British sense of humour (to be fair neither do the police in other countries - and they tend to be a tad trigger happy into the bargain)
On last night's news I saw a shot of a protest against the visit of Pope Benedict to Turkey.
A woman in traditional muslim dress which made her look for all the world like Terry Jones in a famous scene in "The Life of Brian" brandished a placard that read "Jesus is not The Messiah, he is a Prophet of Islam."
"Oh why aren't you English dear," I thought. Had she been she might have had the wit to replace "he is a Prophet of Islam" with the words "he's a very naughty boy."
SCENE FROM LIFE OF BRIAN:
CROWD (in chorus) we want to see Brian, he is the Messiah.
T. Jones (as a woman): He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy.
I include that for the benefit of the very young or those who have led sheltered lives and have not yet seen the funniest film ever made.
Baby Bible Basher
Blair's Faith Foundation
They Prayed Him Straight
Who Put That Gobshite On Television?
There's a wonderful scene in an episode of Father Ted where Dougal appears on T.V.
This arouses Father Jack from his drunken stupor. "Who put that gobshite on television?" he roars, hurling an empty whiskey bottle at the TV.
I have a similar moment every week when a certain contestant in X - Factor appears on screen. Its the one who is getting the "Granny" vote. Guess who (and I meant that most sincerely, friends.)
Meanwhile as Simon Cowell eliminated the most talented (the only talented?) contestant again I say GO PROCLAIMERS TRIBUTE BAND!
Oh I would vote five hundred times
if the voting lines were free,
yes I would vote five hundred times
to see Simon Cowell's misery...
X Factor Ship Of Dead Dreams
X Factor - The Bird Is The Word
We Need Another Crackdown - suggestions please
Are Wee Johnny Reid's leadership ambitions distracting him from doing his job as Home Secretary? It must be all of a week since he announced a crackdown.
It is not so long ago the tartan terrier was announcing a dozen new crackdowns a day. There were crackdowns on anti social behaviour, binge drinking, illegal immigrants, truancy, exploding orange juice, obesity, beards, staying up late, harmless nutters, bullies, Clare Short, paedophiles, silly hats and the wrong kind of shite.
Then suddenly silence.
There are only two possibilities, that Dr. Reid is preoccupied with more important business or he has run out of things to crack down on.
Either way, to get wee Johnny back on the rails may we suggest crackdowns on the the following:
Farting in lifts,
Christmas special offers
Delusional folk who go off to the jungle thinking they are celebrities,
Delusional folk who come back still unaware that everybody hates them,
Panto Boy on the X - factor,
Any suggestions you wish to add to the list will be forwarded to The Home Office.
Comedy and Humour Menu
Politics and Economy Menu
The Politics Of Fear And Panic
Oo-er Missis, its the Tree Hugging Cannibals
In last night's episode of Torchwood (yes, I like Torchwood, after a dodgy first episode it has me suspending disbelief with great enthusiasm) the story was set around a remote farm in the Brecon Beacons. The tree - hugging locals had a very quaint tradition. Every ten years they would round up strangers in the area and eat them (shades if I'm the only cannibal in the village there I thought.) When the Torchwood statutory pretty girl asked the chief cannibal why they did this he replied "because it makes me happy." A chilling reminder there that among all the humandroids, shapeshifters, pan dimensional fart creatures and orgasm - eating aliens that pass through Cardiff's rip in the time - space continuum, good old human evil still has a lot to answer for.
Well that was how I saw it last night...
In this morning's paper I read that the nation's most famous tree hugger, Prince Charles, has just bought a run down farm in the Brecon Beacons.
Oo-er missis, is that coincidence or are sinister forces at work here?
Alien Life In California
Life On Mars
Turd Nine From Outer Space
More Life On Mars
Alien In My Bed (MP3 audio)
Comedy, Humour Menu
Blair's Super Nanny State
In an article for the Currant Bun Tony Blair announced the launch of The Super Nanny State.
As part of a crackdown on anti social behaviour teams of Super Nanny State Stormtroopers will swoop on areas where "poor parenting" is rife. "Poor parenting", according to Blair, is the cause of anti social behaviour and does incalculable harm to children.
People found guilty of "poor parenting" will be sent on parenting courses, to be run we guess by Ruth Kelly and a newly appointed parenting Csar rumoured to be Cilla from Coronation Street.
But, you might well ask, is the problem "poor parenting" or simply parenting? Boggart Blog thinks people with children should forget about parenting and go back to being Mums and Dads.
Dolphins Don't Drink
You learn something every day. Yesterday, tucked up in bed with my cold and daytime TV I learned that Dolphins don't drink. Not "don't drink" in the sense of avoiding alcohol but don't drink full stop.
There are various theories as to why. Some zoologists say it is because aquatic mammals get their fluids from what they eat while others contend that as their kidneys cannot process sea water evolution has adapted them to get by without taking in water.
While high on industrial strength lem-sips I have one of those moments of insight we get when our brains are addled. Dolphins don't drink because flippers are useless for holding a cup, glass or bottle.
Government Warning - Trees Can Damage Your Health
URGENT HEALTH WARNING FROM H.M. GOVERNMENT - Standing under or near tress can seriously damage your health and lead may kill.
Our old friends at the Health and Safety Executive featured in our last blog (BTW apologies to readers who were expecting this post yesterday, there's a nasty bug going round the nether world and your favourite Boggart needed to take a sickie) when we highlighted Bozza Johnson's rantings at the ludicrous nannying of this bunch of hard - hatted, toetector - wearing fascists who seem intent on eliminating any kind of risk from our lives by making us prisoners of rules and regulations.
Now Boggart Blog pick up the standard itself and leads the resistance against the mindless bureaucracy of the clipboard wielding killjoys.
Two years ago in Dunham Massey Park, Cheshire, a family were enjoying a winter outing in woodland of the 250 year old plantation when a freak gust of wind caused a Beech to fall. In falling the tree brought down its neighbour which, tragically, killed an eight year old boy.
It was an accident and nobody tried to pretend otherwise. Al least until The Health and Safety Executive got wind of it. As far as the Hard - Hatted, toetector wearing clipboard wielding box tickers are concerned there is no such thing as an act of God, there are only failures of management. If enough boxes had been ticked that freak gust of wind could have been managed.
The HSE Inspectorate demanded that the police arrest the park manager for criminal negligence.
A year later the police dropped the case due to lack of evidence. Presumably all the witnesses, being trees, declined to be interviewed. But the clipboard wielders could not accept a healthy tree simply falling down as healthy trees do from time to time.
The hard - hatted toetector wearers (who, we imagine, all have those anally retentive moustaches that are never allowed to grow more than a quarter of an inch long) were determined that in order to prevent any future tree - related incidents they would ensure procedures were put in place to identify any trees posing a danger to public safety because of their likelihood of falling over in high winds. Also the HSE are determined that the owners of potentially unstable trees are aware of their duty to manage woodland properly.
Whether this results in the National Trust having to cut down all the millions of trees under their management or in those tracts of ancient woodland the weirdie beardies have fought so long and hard to protect from building firms being destroyed because of public safety issues remains to be seen.
If this all seems a bit over the top to you, remember the motto of the HSE is "You Can't Be Too Paranoid.
Here is a facsimilie of a leaflet you will shortly be receiving through the post which details the HSE's advice for tree safety.
Never go near trees when it is windy or it may become windy while you are there.
Do not let your dog worry trees, remember a frightened tree is a dangerous tree.
Do not try to feed trees, they may bite.
Do not catch trees or encourage them to follow you home, they make very bad domestic pets.
Always view trees from a safe distance, they can fall surprisingly quickly.
Do not consume fruit or nuts near trees. Seeing their offspring being eaten alive can upset them.
Always be wary of leaving the safety of your home to look for fun. Fun is dangerous and should be left to properly trained experts with adequate safety equipment.
Safety first second and third, fun nowhere,
The Health and Safety Executive.
Saving Lives Is A Risky Business say Heath and Safety Executive
Bozza's Tree Crusade
I was snooping around the Blog of Bozza (or Boris Johnson M.P or Bo - Jo to his fans) the other day. You might think this strange behaviour for an unrepentant old Liberal like me, but I always find Bozza good value). On that occasion I enjoyed his fulminations against the Health and Safety Executive (H.S.E.)
"There are now 3621 pages of Health and Safety legislation, that's 76* times the length of War and Peace" the Blonde One thundered, ending with the question that mustn't be on everyone's lips "is this good for the country?"
Well it is certainly not good for trees. Which is perhaps why the arboreal population of this sceptred isle is coming in for some attention from the HSE which is worried about the safety risks posed by uncontrolled trees.
But we will be returning to that issue tomorrow.
*probably an exaggeration. If it was my blog it would be for comic effect but as its Bozza we're talking about, who knows?
Pissed as a Moose
I am always interested to get news from Sweden, having worked in that delighgtful country for a while. The trouble is Sweden is too nice, no terrorists want to blow things up, there is no religious right tarring and feathering people for having fun and even the corporations display a praiseworthy degree os social responsibility. In other words there just isn't enough news in Sweden. Which makes little gems like this more enjoyable.
The Goteborgs - Posten newspaper has been reporting stoeies concerning a moose that is terrorising the city's children. The local police chief blames apples. It turns out the moose is eating windfall apples which have fermented naturally to produce an alcoholic subsatance similar to the Scrumpy Cider know to all who have visited the English West Country (and particularly those who frequent jazz festivals in that part of the world.)
"We are dealing with an ELK - o - holic here," a spokesperson for the police department said (allegedly.)
Drunken Elk In The Orchard
Cornish Pasty Wars
There be grumblings down in the west country, ooh - arrr. They ig'rant Dev'ners is trying to say they'm inventing t' Corrrrnish Pasty an' Corrrrnwall stoleded it of'n un."
The controversy arises from a discovery made in the audit book of a 16th century Devonian housekeeper who had written on one of the pages her recipe for pasties.
The first written record of a Cornish pasty dates from 1746.
The important word here is "written." As Terry Pratchett says, "never take any notice of things written down on paper. A thing cannot be of the least importance if somebody had time to write it down." Quite. Empirical evidence is needed and over in Cornwall they claim the recipe for pasties has been handed down through the oral tradition since 8000 B.C.
Nobody knows the true origins of pastry of course and therefore we can be certain of nothing, but I am with Cornwall on this one. And furthermore I am willing to testify that in Motorway services restaurants on many occasions I have eaten 10,000 year old pasties.
I Just Met A Girl Named Maria
. by ianrthorpe
From time to time something happens that makes me feel I am once more young and attractive to the opposite sex. I have the internet to thank for this. Such an instance was the e-mail I received this week from Maria. She wrote:
"Hello Mr. Torp. I am dark hair Russian, age 26, attractive professional lady and working in marketing structure selling cosmetic (ooh that accent sends chills up and down my spine.).I read your details on world wide web and find you interesting, attractive man (Isn't she wonderful?) I am intelligent, mature woman who is ready for creating family with good man. (ah - erm, creating family? As in making babies? She obviously didn't read the bit about the vasectomy...) Even if this is not your searching for in the future it would be fine if we can meet and do friendship (friendship, bugger! I thought I'd scored) or maybe do more than just friendship (I have scored!)
yours with love and many kisses, (now hang on girl, we haven't been properly introduced)
Needless to say I'm all of a flutter wondering does she have green eyes and those classic Russian cheekbones, is her accent really that cute and will the overdraft stretch to an hour of her time or just a quickie?
The Wages Of Sin
British Christian Fundamentalist minister George Hargreaves is known for his hard - line position on most issues concerning sex and drugs and rock & roll. His views on abortion, contraception (the only acceptable method it seems is the one where the woman holds a pocket bible between her knees) , stem cell research and same - sex partnerships are pretty much what you would expect from a founder member of an organisation called Christian Voice.
And George is a very active campaigner on all these issues.
But it has not always been so. In the 1980s George wrote a song that was a world wide hit for Sinitta and has since become a gay anthem in clubs on every continent. Here is a sample of the lyric:
he's gotta be so macho,
gotta be big and strong,
enough to turn me on.
Well I suppose its OK to dance to the song so long as you don't act on its advice.
Nice though to see the wages of sin, estimated at Ł10,000 a year, providing us with such a wonderful iron.
Now I have a link to a searchable Bible somewhere, let's see what it says about hypocrisy.
And I though it was just my wife
British women aged over 40 own an average of 19 pairs of shooes but it is not uncommon to have more than 100. Woman and Home polled more than 1,500 women over 40 on their attitudes and found that handbags are also popular, with 11 being the average. Some women said they owned more than 200 and a third said they lied about the cost of their shopping sprees.
Stupid Crtminal Of The Week: Shrink wrapped criminal
A Bosnian burglar escaped from jail in Austria by having himself shrink-wrapped in plastic and taken out with parts for street lamps hade by inmates. The lorry driver noticed a rip in one of his pallets soon after leaving the jail, but Muradif H, 36, show was serving a seven-year term in Graz, had fled. He remains at large.
I hope he didn't need a wee while he was in the wrapping. The only way I can ever get stuff out of shrink wrapping is by stabbing the stuff with a knife or screwdriver.
The Buzz About The X Factor by ianrthorpe
On last saturday's X - Factor show Sharon Osbourne criticised the prettiest and most talented girl singer remaining, saying the sound of her vibrato had ruined her performance.
I had to agree with La Donna O. Back when I was staging rock concerts I always used to remind female performers to switch their vibratos off before they wen't onstage. The Microphones can pick up the buzz.
Who Makes All The Pies?
During environment question time yesterday, amid all the weighty queries about global warming, deforestation, drought, famine etc. Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, demanded that the Minister congratulate a butcher in her constituency for willing the Large Pork Pie category at the Great Yorkshire Pie Show as this, apparently, is the world cup of pie making.
Nice to see they have their pieorities (sorry, couldn't resist) sorted in Yorkshire
Proud To Be Pissed - A New Year Message for readers. by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-31 – 17:03:32
Boggart Blog's New Year Message to our readers is "be proud of your heritage, get bladdered."
Despite repeated Government warnings of the health hazards of binge drinking which suggest it is a recent phemonnonomonxxx phnemnioxxxxx pfemonionxxxxx trend (sorry we've had a couple in the editorial office)binge drinking is a longstanding British tradition.
Hazel Blears who is minister for saying very silly things issued a statement to the effect that the British are not ready to adopt continental drinking patterns.
Too Bloody Right we're not. We enjoy getting rat - arsed. The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in the first century AD said, "The Britons have a tendency when feasting to drink ale or wine until they fall into a stupor." Julius Caesar had first noted the trend a hundred years earlier. "They are formidable fighters but unreliable due to their habit of drinking heavily before battle," he noted.
So forget the shame attached to drunkenness, that is just an invention of the nanny state. Let's welcome the New Year by proclaiming to the world that we the British people are Proud To Be Pissed.
Its Just Criminal by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-29 – 16:49:09
There's bugger all happens between Christmas and New Year so its time to dig out the old Armitasge Shanks joke book (in my days as an occasional stand up I was Armitage Shanks, The Man Who Puts The BIZ in Showbiz,) and try to raise a smile.
Over the holiday theives broke into a greenhouse at Kew Gardens and stole many rare trees and shubs. Earlier today police arrested two men who were driving in a truck loaded with exotic vegitation.
A the men denied involvement in the theft and said the evidence was planted.
A Bizarre Story From Derby by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-28 – 17:20:11
Derbyshire County Council have ordered their webmasters to use content filtering to prevent the Ramblers' Association Derby Dales Group web page being accessed from library internet cafes in the county.
The Derby ramblers' web content falls within the county councils' definition of a sex website the press release reveals.
No surprise then that Derby ramblers "love to go a - wandering along the mountain track" then but just what the hell does rambling involve in the Derby Dales we wonder?
I must ask Mike St. Mark if he has experienced any interesting variations from the norm while walking in the Peak district.
Christmas is Bollocks by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-27 – 17:54:06
Its over! What a relief!
Don't you hate Christmas? Oh come on, be honest. Don't call me Scrooge. Christmas is bollocks. Christmas things are bollocks. Christmas specials on tele are bollocks. Christmas food is bollocks. Everything about the whole over-hyped, over commercialised, overadvertised, overcelebrated mess of modern excess is bollocks.
Food. Nuts? Why do we buy nuts in their shells at Christmas? The rest of the year we (those of us who like to eat healthy anyway) get nice convenient ...
CLICK HERE To read all Christmas Is Bollocks
Belated Greetings by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-26 – 16:52:09
Boggart Blog took unscheduled downtime a couple of days before the offiocial break started. This was due to (1) visitors, (2) server problems and (3) a totally silly wild adventure in Christmas shopping...
"oh yeah love, I'll be fine walking the half mile back to the car through this hilly town, you just whack the shopping in my wheelchair." (well I couldn't let Teri do the trip twice.
Now half a mile is a tad over my limit even on level ground. I made the trip but with several large back muscles totally wrecked and needing a few days.
Still, if you can't do something idiotic at this time of year when can you do something idiotic?
Belated seasons greetings to all regular readers and visitors.
A blog post about sweeet FA by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-22 – 17:29:41
Nice to see the Freedom Association* getting involved in the London mayoral election campaign with an attack on Ken Livingstone's anti - semitism. The appearance of a new political body promotiong libertarian values is always welcome.
Unfortunately their chance of winning any seats on the London Assembly are as described on their logo.
*I am assuming this F.A. is nothing to do with the 1970s F.A. a group of Express, Mail and Telegraph readers that campaigned for freedoms such as the right to enslave unmarried mothers and the right to put black babies in casseroles.
A quick roundup by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-21 – 18:26:38
Boggart Blog has always prided itself on bringing you the news that is not worth reading from around the world: here is a roundup of the last few days...
Starting In Sweden
After enduring years of ridicule, the inhabitants of the Swedish village of Fjuckby have handed in an application to Swedish authorities to have the
hamlet's name changed to Fjukeby.
Meanwhile in the USA
Border patrol officers found a four foot long alligator in a suitcase during a routine traffic stop in south-west Arizona. Lloyd Easterling, a
spokesman, said it was discovered when agents detained a driver in Yuma after drug sniffing dogs singled out the car where the case was. Marijuana
was also found.
...its the art of it that matters in France...
Pierre Herme, the so-called 'Picasso of patisserie' won the annual award presented by the newspaper Le Figaro for the best croissant in Paris. He said the test of a perfect croissant should be more than how it tasted, looked or smelt.
"The noise of the croissant is also very important," he said. "I can almost hear them shout when people tear them apart."
The Durex List by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-20 – 17:29:21
Every year the makers of Durex condoms conduct a worldwide survey of sexual behaviour in adults. One of the facts this reveals is the average number of partners per person by nationality.
Out of idle curiosity I looked at the list and.... (blushes) I've been a very naughty boy.
Here are a selection of national scores:
Turkey - 14.5
Australia - 13.3
Italy - 11.8
Switzerland - 11.1
U.S.A. - 10.7 (Not top? that will shut them right up!)
Japan - 10.2
U.K. - 9.8
Austria - 9.7
France - 8.1
Singapore - 7.2
Surprisingly China and India are way down the list with 3.1 and 3.0 respectively. Makes you wonder how there are so many of them.
Posh Spice becoming an Alien? Strange but possibly true. by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-19 – 19:58:11
If you have seen recent pictures of Victoria Beckham nee Posh Spice you may have thought there was something not quite human about them.
Well you could be right. The whisper over at Salon.com is that with the help of the ArchThetan Tom Cruise (4'6"), Professional celebrity Posh is to become an alien bride.
Well that should give us more entertainment than her singing ever has.
Read it for yourself here
Pissed As A Camel by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-17 – 18:07:58
Staff at an Irish riding school had to postpone a Christmas party after Gus the camel chomped his way through 200 mince pies and several cans of
Guinness meant for their festivities. Gus, starring in the riding school's Santa's Magical Animal Kingdon show, filled up while staff were changing for their party.
Camels store liquids in their humps of course.
Which means there is a camel with a hump full of guinness on the loose in Ireland.
I don't give much for his chances of making it through the next two weeks.
AIDS Message Rammed Home by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-16 – 17:20:19
Now it is very naughty and not at all politically correct to make fun of serious subjects. But has that ever stopped Boggart Blog before?
So it would be remiss of us not to comment on the World Health Organisation's report on the spread of AIDS in Africa. Now the WHO is a very serious body that does not deal in puns, double entendres and smutty jokes.
So when the report of findings that male circumcision reduces the chances of contracting HIV infection by 50%, a document of considerable gravitas, who the hell decided the launch presentation would be given by Mr. Kevin de Cock.
Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy... #1 by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-15 – 17:20:55
Those whom the gods would destroy they first make ridiculous. Dare we hope then that the forces of natural justice have something spectacularly nasty planned for the Labour politicians who have surpassed in arrogance the last days of John Major's tory government. Because events atre certainly making the dark lords of the New Labour project look a right bunch of twats.
Let us all rejoice then at the news that in this season of merriment an official Labour Party DVD containing Blair's last speech to conference as leader and a film record of
Labour's years in office titled Labour Achievement Film (interesting acronym there BTW) has been reduced to Ł5 per copy to clear stocks.
Golden Globes by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-14 – 17:20:49
A headline on teletext informed me Helen Mirren is nominated for "three globes."
Now I can't see why she needs three, I remember from when she was an up and coming young actress the two very attractive ones she grew herself.
Boggart Abroad by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-13 – 17:54:49
Read this at Huffington Post yesterday.
Not surprisingly, the Bush administration is already backing away from most of the 79 proposals put forth by the Iraq Study Group. But while Bush isn't ready to follow the group's recommendations, he's ready to adopt its slogan, "New Way Forward." The president may not be into things like facts, truth, or reality, but he loves a good slogan. Of course, that's been the problem during this entire fiasco -- the substitution of rhetoric for policy -- the belief, even at this late date, that reality can be changed simply by changing the language used to describe it. Bush makes a big show of his religious faith, but what's truly impressive is his incredible faith in the power of PR, and, accordingly, his lack of faith in the American people.
I think the slogan is a missed opportunity. As we know Bush and Blair are desperately seeking a way to get out without losing face could we suggest the new slogan be amended to read Backwards is the new way forward.
While we're on American military matters we also read while blogging abroad yeaterday that an independant watchdog has revealed senior US officers are coercing soldiers into converting fundamentalist christianity.
People who refuse to be "born again" are left in no doubt their careers will hit a dead end.
This is good news for the anti war movement. The fubnies are so paranoid that all the Afghans and Iraqis will have to do is dress in halloween costumes and the Americans will think the Devil has come to get them and run away.
Farewell Augusto - you inspired so many by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-12 – 17:32:27
New Labour Blogger Bob Piper
yesterday made a jibe at the "warm tributes" being paid to Pinochet and recalled that the Blessed Maggie's was best buddies with the dead dictator.
Our best buddy Little Nicky Machiavelli commented:
Yeah, Thatcher being best buddies with a murdering tyrant was a terrible disgrace to this country. A bit like Blair being best buddies with the tyrant, torturer and war criminal Bush, the tyrant Gaddafi and the limb amputating vagina mutilators of the Saudi Royal House
A Very Boggart Christmas. by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-11 – 17:26:29
Working for Jenny Greenteeth has its perks. Boggarts such as Jenny live outside the normal time / space continuum and can move events around at random. So yesterday we celebrated our family Christmas.
The reason for this eccentric behaviour is that Darling Daughter is off to France to work as a sports masseur & physiotherapist through the not skiing season (no snow in France this year it seems)
It has been a hectic few days since Gabby twice arrived on the saner side of the Pennines bringing all her stuff from the apartment she has just vacated.
David is also in residence having rendered himself homeless. Disregarding parental warnings he took up a tenancy in which rent books and contracts did not figure - and naturally landed back in the parental home several months ago.
Now I neither know nor want to know what kind of altered consciousness my offspring inhabit but they both seem unaware that it is six years since we moved from the TARDIS-like Thorpe Towers (an elegant old terrace with attic and cellar) to a bijou and compact three bedroomed bungalow. Things are a bit cramped to say the least.
But its amazing what good dining stools David's professional speakers make.
And that is why we took a Christmas break early. You see he's booked solid over the holiday and we would have nowhere to sit
The New Redneck Sport - Animal Throwing by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-09 – 18:28:57
You may not have heard of the sport of pig throwing yet but I predict it is going to be the next big thing, surpassing pie - eating, dwarf - bowling and even cesspit snorkelling in popularity.
In West Point Mississippi a man named Kevin Pugh has become the first to be convicted of pig throwing. Pugh was fined $249 for throwing a pig at a hotel receptionist. Its a strange amount to be fined but I suppose it was the maximum $150 for assaulting the receptionist but only $124 for throwing a pig as the creature only weighed 60 pounds.
It is not clear why Pugh threw a pig at the victim. Hotel receptionists are usually polite and helpful but occasional mutants have been mistaken for members of genus Jobsworth due to their infuriating refusal to listen to reason.
Any fault on the part of the receptionist involved in the case seems unlikely however as the Pugh pig-throw was one of a spate of check-shirt-wearing-pickup-truck-driving-lard-arse related animal throwing incidents in the West Point area that night.
A police spokesman said, "It must be some new redneck thing because no similar incidents have ever been reported before.
Pugh has pleaded not guilty to a further charge of throwing a possum at fast food restaurant counter hand.
On grounds of diminished responsibility we assume.
The psychiatric report will make interesting reading.
Bono GetsThe Clap by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-08 – 17:53:04
Don't we all love it when the most pompous celebrities get their come uppance.
I heard a wonderful story yesterday, it happened a whiole ago so maybe some of you already know of it.
During a gig in Glasgow Saint Bono stood frontstage, held up his hands for silence and then started clapping slowly.
"Do you realise," he said, "every time I clap my hands a child dies in Africa.
And from the audience a Glaswegian voice called out "well stop fucking clapping Jimmy."
Farts of Mass Destruction by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-07 – 16:05:22
A story picked up from Yahoo News yesterday makes us wonder if the Turrrists and People of Evelyn Tent are getting more subtle and cunning or if the security forces are getting more stupid and paranoid.
An Aircraft bound for Dallas on a U,S. internal flight was forced to land in Nashville when passengers complained of the smell of burning sulphur. The authorities immediately went on teror alert
Later a woman admitted to FBI agents she had struck several matches to conceal the stink of her rancid farts.
Were this a serious blog we might well ask how, when it is impossible to get a bottle of springwater on a 'plane Mrs Fartybottom managed to sneak matches past airport security.
Instead we will simply promise never ever to use the phrase "about as dangerous as a smelly fart" in an ironic way again.
Reality Withdrawal by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-04 – 17:23:59
Now that Celebrity-Strictly-Come-Dancing-Out-Of-The-Jungle-To-Love-Island is almost finished its increasingly surreal - yes, surreal; think Peter Schmichel dancing the Tango, Robbie from East Enders actually being popular, Jan Leeming deluding herself she is a sex bomb and Smiley Smiley Carol Smillie almost looking sexy (not to mention Myleen's boobies) - and the altered state of Christmas still three weeks away how will we ever cope.
Blair Style Apology by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-03 – 16:58:51
I want to say I'm very very sorry, not for slavery or the Irish Potato Famine, Blair has already done them; not even for The Dissolution of the Monatries or for Santa Claus The Movie even, although all of these were terrible crimes against humanity. No, I have to apologise for something much worse.
Last week, in commenting on The X - Factor I said The MacDonald Bros. were a Proclaimers Tribute Band.
Well to prove me wrong last night they showed their versatility by covering Shang - A - Lang by the Bay City Rollers, complete with a tartan-scarf-waving section in the audience.
I have to say it wasn't half bad (not 'arf - farewell Fluff, thanks for all the music.) If fact its sounded just like...
it would if The Proclaimers sang it.
Jelly Fish dish takes the biscuit. by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-02 – 18:24:37
Japan is beseiged by two metre wide, four hundred pound alien jelly fish (OK, I lied about the alien bit.)
But in a twist worthy of Tim Burton's sci - fi spoof movie Mars Attacks in which the seemingly indestructibe aliens explode when Slim Whitman's record of Indian Love Call is played, the fearless and brilliant students of Obama Fisheries High School in Fukui Province (sorry, no pronunciation guide available) have developed a technique for making the giant invertibrates into biscuits (or cookies if you are American.)
A Japanese food writer comments "the biscuits have a superbly textured sweetness nicely complemented by the bitter, salty taste normally associated with jellyfish.
I think I'll stick with my Hob Nobs
The Man With The Pollonium Gun by ianrthorpe @ 2006-12-01 – 17:37:20
The murdered Russian Spy story rumbles on and the trail of suspicion which has pointed to a London Hotel, a Sushi bar, The Kremlin and Muswell Hill now shifts once more. A new figure has emerged in the form of Professor Scaramella of Naples.
Professor who? Somebody is having a laugh. Was this new twist by any chance reported by a correspondent named Ffion Lemming?
And is the Professor a bald, weasel faced man who carries a Persian cat everywhere and rides round in a nuclear powered wheelchair that shoots jets of scalding hot minestrone soup at enemies.
I think the only way this case will ever be solved is if, for information leading to the capture of the criminals a substantial reward is offered.
ONE MILLION DOLLARS ought to do the trick
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Updated : Tue, 28 Aug 2012 09:53:42 +0000
Roger and Val Have Just Got In returned to our screens on Wednesday 8th February. Beth Kilcoyne co-wrote the show with her sister Emma, and stopped by to talk to us series two:
Beginning to write a second series of Roger & Val was like trying to get a swing-boat started: hard, which is why the man on the swing-boats gives you a push and you catch the rhythm with the rope. But there was no one outside: just me & Emma, not swinging, with 2 ropes. We began. It's a series about distraction: what do you do to get through? We decided to look at Roger being at home all day and focus his neurosis on the washing: "Val? I've got that stain out of your purple blouse" one unmemorable line I remember, as the Tribunal was pointedly ignored. We wrote and wrote, hour after hour, and got to the end, where the stain had come out of the blouse, but, hanging up to dry like a headless person, it gave Val a shock.
It was awful. Dreary. Dull. The characters didn't even sound like Roger & Val; they sounded like people doing an imitation of Roger & Val. I tried to be hopeful it had "just come out wrong", excusing myself with the fact that you can't CUT in R&V, and I'd forgotten the difficulty. But the next draft was even worse; they were now sounding labored, eg. Roger droning on that mozzarella cheese in a packet feels like a ganglion. Over-thought, turgid, flat-footed drivel, leading up to Val's decision to actually apply for the Deputy Headship and Roger opening his Tribunal mail. I couldn't understand why all of a sudden the show said nothing, apart from Roger thought the dirty clothes is an ideal environment for growing mushrooms.
At about this time my house got infested with mice; I saw one in the bathroom, which next day got caught in a trap, so I was hopeful it had been acting alone. No one would believe this if you put it in a script, but the day we handed in the first draft about the washing, I opened my own washer. There was a... thing on the rubber rim. All its fur had been hideously washed off but the tail was still on, grey, shiny, dead but for once clean, tufts of black fur skidded round it and no doubt in among my clothes, which I couldn't throw out because they were all my best ones. Aaaurrgh - visceral - on me. I didn't dare look for its eyes. I retched, and started hopping from foot to foot, stating the obvious but in a weird chant: "There is a mouse in the washer, mouse in the washer, a MOUSE!" to which my partner unwisely replied, "What's the matter? It's dead."
We really now had taken far too much time on this now-laboured Episode 1. On its final night I went to get fish & chips, in panic. When I sat down to eat, there was an alive mouse at the bottom of the stairs. It didn't even bother to run away and I didn't bother to react, because I knew what it had come to tell me: the script was awful. I just sat there, fish and chips slopping out of my exhausted, not-screaming mouth: rock bottom.
We started Episode 2 the next day, when Dave the fantastic Mouseman called to say he had solved the problem. This script wrote like a dream - zinging out from all over the place, free and alive, both characters wholly themselves, ideas toppling over each other to get in, and Val got shortlisted for the interview. Plus we introduced the over-arching story. "What a pity this can't be Episode 1 instead of that boring one about the washing" said my Mum. Of course, it was Episode 1; we had been writing Episode 0 - the characters before we got them going again. So I am grateful to that awful script now, dreadful as it was, because it was the push outside the swing-boat for Series 2. And I never saw a mouse again.
Publ.Date : Tue, 14 Feb 2012 13:30:00 +0000
Last month YouTube celebrated its 7th birthday. Hulu, the largest legal TV streaming service in the US, will be 5 in August (It's four months older than iPlayer). There's been much talk in the US recently about online video "growing up". Google's decision to foster partnerships with content producers, starting with its YouTube Partner Program, has now seen the launch of premium video channels. At a presentation to advertisers in May, US comedian Chris Hardwick, who runs YouTube's popular Nerdist channel, summed up Google's intentions best: "The web will be to cable TV what cable TV was to broadcast".
Google though is not an isolated case, and other online platforms are taking it further. Both Hulu & Netflix have commissioned exclusive web series including political sitcom "Battleground", a new reality show from Morgan Spurlock, and a series of documentaries from the acclaimed director Richard Linklater. US online video services are for a wide variety of reasons evolving, but what's still unknown, and so exciting, is what effect the continual growth of this video market will have on Television.
This is contextually interesting, and relevant to the BBC, because today we published seven brand new comedy shows online. Of course that happens regularly on the iPlayer, but these shows have never been on television; they were commissioned for bbc.co.uk. Promoted by BBC Three as Feed My Funny Exclusives, and championed by controller Zai Bennett as a chance to find "the next Gavin and Stacey or Little Britain", they throw up exciting possibilities for comedy, a genre where traditionally you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the next Prince or Princess, like Mrs Brown.
New talent, new formats and new scripts can be developed at relatively low cost in relation to TV production and put in front of an audience. Architecturally, the Feed My Funny Exclusives, use the same templates as TV shows, working within bbc.co.uk/programmes, utilising iBroadcast, and they can appear in IPlayer. But the differences are what makes this so exciting going forward. These shows don't need to be 28 minutes long, they cost less to make than most TV comedy and they are at that intersection between technology and storytelling Ralph Rivera described a few months ago.
How many of this year's Feed My Funny Exclusives will go to full TV series remains to be seen. What we do know is that when more are commissioned later this year, we can ask some interesting questions. For example, what would data driven comedy look like? After all, Yahoo, who now commission web series, make programming choices driven by data. After tracking the torrent of clicks that news stories about wedding engagements routinely get they commissioned a reality web show "The Ultimate Proposal".
Could we create a personalised comedy akin to the Tipp-Ex Bear on YouTube using bbc programme pages? Or create live comedy driven entirely from social media feeds? Technology is changing what we can do with comedy but all that really matters is how funny the end product is. So I will leave you to judge and comment on what's been produced for the first series of Feed My Funny exclusives, but I would like to point out that without this project we would never have been able to unveil the latest revolution in equine technology. It keeps you up to date with news for horses, surf websites for horses, and connect with friends, who are horses.
Feed My Funny Exclusives
Will Saunders is an executive producer within BBC Comedy.
Publ.Date : Mon, 02 Jul 2012 19:00:00 +0000
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle has been commissioned for another two series. The show is set be broadcast on BBC Two in 2014/15.
Since the first series aired in 2009, the programme has built up a fiercely loyal audience, and Stewart will once again be taking the opportunity to ruffle a few feathers. Produced by Richard Webb and directed by Tim Kirkby, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle is a mixture of stand-up and sketches, performed by Stewart and special guest.
BBC Comedy is thrilled with the commission, with the Head of In-house Comedy, Mark Freeland commenting: "How brilliant that BBC Two has given Stewart Lee two more series. It's reward for a unique, perfectionist, hardworking, bit scary comedy master and the wonderful team behind him. I'm standing by with my compliance forms".
Stewart Lee is also excited at the prospect of two more series: "It will be amazing to be able to move forward and experiment in this unprecedentedly secure position. Thanks to everyone out there who watched the series, wrote about them, or lobbied for their return. I will make you proud. Peace! I'm outta here! You shoulda killed me last year!".
Publ.Date : Fri, 23 Mar 2012 14:18:53 +0000
Jocelyn Jee Esien as Beauty Olonga
Radio 4's comedy, Beauty of Britain, is about a woman called Beauty Olonga, who works as a carer and sees herself as an inspiration to other young African women in Britain. Here she tells us more about her show.
"One of the people in charge at Radio 4 asked me to tell you about my new series. She said she would do it herself only she's not very good at 'writing-ey type stuff' and she's got a wedding to go to.
"I could tell she was important because she had a little fold-up bicycle and she only goes into the office two days a week. Since coming to this country to work as a carer, I have learnt to recognise how much power someone has by how small their bike is, how long their holidays are and how much extra work they ask you to do for nothing.
"The British also expect you to compliment them on their sense of humour - like when those elderly gentlemen sang about 'My generation' on TV the other night. But I've noticed that although they like to laugh they don't want to make eye contact. I think that's why Radio 4 is such an important part of their culture.
"A lot of the elderly people I look after have a machine on the bedside table that suddenly starts playing Radio 4 at 6.15 in the morning while, at the same time, squirting them with steam and boiling tea - that fantastic sense of humour again!
"Radio 4 normally starts the day with three hours of high-status men shouting at each other. Sometimes you can hear the velcro tearing on their cycling anklets when they get really worked up. Most of my clients like to shout back at the radio, especially when a man called Gary Richardson is on. The elderly women I look after tend to get very annoyed when Kirsty Young starts talking. Personally I can't see anything to complain about with Kirsty - okay, she lost her professionalism when Morrissey was her guest but I've seen a photo of her in Asda Shopper magazine and she is the only Radio 4 presenter who takes the trouble to do her highlights properly.
"If you are an African girl working as a carer you will pick up plenty of top tips from my new series; from how to upstyle your tabard to slow-cooking carrots overnight to getting your clients seen by NHS professionals who are so young they can't write out a prescription without sticking their tongues out and moving their lips. I'd been living here for nearly two years before I learned the key to dealing with registrars is patience and understanding. Young doctors are very overworked so it doesn't help to criticise them for not knowing how to dress for their shape and for only visiting the barbers once every six months.
"But I hope there will be something useful for everyone who listens to my show. And let's face it that means all of you because how many Radio 4 listeners actually go in to work on a Friday? Exactly."
Beauty of Britain goes out on Radio 4 Friday mornings at 11.30am.
Dictated from the vintage section of the PDSA shop to Christopher Douglas and Nicola Sanderson
Publ.Date : Tue, 28 Aug 2012 09:53:42 +0000
BBC One has commissioned a pilot of Father Figure, a new sitcom created, written by and starring the stand-up comedian Jason Byrne, to go into production early next year.
Jason Byrne plays married father Tom. He tries to be the best dad he can to his two sons, but bad luck and his extended family are always upsetting his plans. Jason will be accompanied by Pauline McLynn (Father Ted), Michael Smiley (Luther) and Dermot Crowley (Bleak House).
Jason said "It's been a big dream of mine and I'd never have thought I would get the chance to join the ranks of the television sitcom world. The characters all come from real life and the outrageous situations Tom gets into have, more often than not, actually happened to me. The people in my life will never realise that it's them I'm writing about, unless my wife and two sons, mother, father and best mate ever watch it."
Publ.Date : Thu, 09 Aug 2012 07:00:00 +0000
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Updated : Thu, 23 May 2013 12:01:22 +0000
FORMER Premier League players have joined forces to fight crime in exotic locations.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 May 2013 08:12:12 +0000
BRITAIN'S gay men and women have defied angry Tories by taking their gayness to a new and hotter level.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 May 2013 09:32:20 +0000
GRAND Designs presenter Kevin McCloud lives on an estate called The Glades, it has emerged.
Publ.Date : Mon, 20 May 2013 10:25:50 +0000
APPLE'S diehard fans are queuing outside the company's stores eager to snap-up the latest beautifully designed way of avoiding tax.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 May 2013 09:11:18 +0000
GAY marriage could force Britain to read about a newly married lesbian queen opening a hospital, it has emerged.
Publ.Date : Tue, 21 May 2013 10:52:54 +0000
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