Friday, 17 November 2017

Week 15 - Happy grambleday Mickey Mouse - 89 today


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

Have you seen it? That Amazon advert? Ooh, it’s caused a right stink. You see, parents of young kids are complaining about the content. It shows a father of quite young kids coming into his house carrying an armful of Amazon delivered parcels. When he sees one of his kids, he hides quickly so that they don’t see him with the parcels. The complainants have inferred from this advert that the father is trying to prevent his kids seeing their Christmas parcels. Their biggest gripe is that it is wrong to show a father with parcels that should be delivered by Santa Claus. This, they reckon, is putting out the wrong message to our young children. [This is the wrong message? Of course, telling kids that some strange old man entering the house in the middle of the night and going into their bedrooms is a far more sensible message. - Ed.]

Who’s to say the man in the advert isn’t Santa Claus? He’s got a beard. Granted, it is black rather than snowy white. Perhaps, it’s meant to be Saint Nick as a young man. But, you may argue, there are children; Santa doesn’t have children. [What do you expect from someone who only comes once a year? - Ed.] Ahem. How do you know he hasn’t got kids? Maybe old man Santa’s children have simply grown up and moved out. Couldn’t put up with the smell of reindeer poo, I shouldn’t wonder.

My criticism of the advert is more that anybody could possibly suggest that Father Christmas aka Santa Claus aka Saint Nicholas doesn’t bring children’s presents. Regular readers of this august blog know fine well that Santa Claus is alive and well and delivering presents to kids every Christmas eve. How do you know? Evidence. You remember. You do. Last year. I told you. I did. I told you how Santa recorded his voice on a brand new tape recorder. I told you how I attempted to film him delivering presents but ended up with a film of them just magically appearing. I told you how years later my son tried the same experiment with the self same result. how can anyone argue with facts like that?

In case you haven’t got any idea what I am talking about, see Week 20 - The Grambler proves Santa Claus is real .

 

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Were any famous or notorious people born on the 18th of November? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Louis Daguerre 1787 (Photography pioneer.), W. S. Gilbert 1836 (Librettist. They can’t touch you for it.), Wyndham Lewis 1882 (Writer and painter.), Eugene Ormandy 1899 (Violinist and conductor.), George Gallup 1901 (Pollster.), Alec Issigonis 1906 (Designed the Mini. [I thought that was Mary Quant. - Ed.]), Johnny Mercer 1909 (Lyricist. First link of the week coming up.  You'll recognise this.), Hank Ballard 1927 (Singer and songwriter.  He wrote this.), Brenda Vaccaro 1939 (Jobbing actress.), Linda Evans 1942 (Krystle Carrington.), Chris Rainbow 1946 (Musician. Here’s a nice wee toon), Graham Parker 1950 (Singer and songwriter. Here he is with The Rumour), John Parr 1952 (Musician. Another clip vicar? Here is perhaps his most famous song. WARNING: be prepared for some seriously iffy hairstyles.), Alan Moore 1953 (‘The best graphic novel writer in history’. Has also used the pseudonyms Curt Vile, Jill de Ray and Translucia Baboon.), Kim Wilde 1960 (Singer. Here is her first hit.), Steven Moffat 1961 (Doctor Who main man.), Kirk Hammett 1962 (Geeetarist with Metallica. Here is an early toon he was involved in... Enter Sandman.), Peter Schmeichel 1963 (Mad goalie.), Nadia Sawalha 1964 (A loose woman.), Owen Wilson 1968 (Lightning McQueen.), Luke Chadwick 1980 (Footy bloke.) and Michael Dawson 1983 (Footy bloke.).

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Tumble,

How wonderful that you acknowledged the birthday of one of the true geniuses of music. Sir William Schenk Gilbert who, with composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, gave us some of the most memorable operas of the late nineteenth century. We both absolutely love everything they ever did. Here is a teaser for all your readers - What was Gilbert and Sullivan’s first internationally successful opera?

Yours,

H. Emmess, P. Nafour.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 
 

After two weeks of no betting in a blog that was begun with the intention of gambling randomly (hence gramble), I think it is time we had a bit of a flutter (oh yes). What has the great and magnificent Grambler predicted will earn a bit of dosh this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Bristol Rovers vs AFC Wimbledon - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Charlton Athletic vs MK Dons - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Portsmouth vs Southend - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Walsall vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Wigan vs Bradford - Prediction Home win - 8/13

He/she/it’s done it again! Five matches from one division. I reckon there’s a glitch in the random number generating thingummy bob (I know all the technical jargon).

 

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£10.65

 

Hmm... Not particularly whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who scored a hat-trick when Germany beat Poland in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup finals tournament. Since it was referring to a fairly recent tournament, some of you may well have remembered that it was none other than Thomas Müller. His international career did not get off to a particularly memorable start, at least as far as one Argentinian legend was concerned. After debuting in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Argentina, Müller appeared for a post-match press conference at which opposition coach Diego Maradona mistook him for a ballboy. Maradona refused to give his press conference until Müller departed.

What about a wee teaser for this week? Here’s a European Cup/Champions League question for you to ponder. Who are the only club to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than they have won their domestic league title? One to ask down the pub, I reckon.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

As usual, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
 
 
 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr W. Disney who, on this very day 89 years ago, released the first film in which his most famous cartoon character actually spoke... sort of. Made noises, more like. Any road up, it was old Walt himself who did the speaking or noise making; he provided the voice for Mickey Mouse and Mickey’s bit of crumpet, Minnie, in all films until 1946 when Jimmy MacDonald took over. For some odd reason, the first Mickey film with sound, released on the 18th of November 1928, was called Steamboat Willie rather than Steamboat Mickey. I have no idea why. Whatever, it was a huge success and allowed Walt and his House of Mouse to become, possibly, the most successful film company in the good ol’ US of A. Incidentally, although Disney referred to this film as being the ‘birth’ of Mickey Mouse, the character had been seen twice before in the silent cartoons Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho. There you go; a bit of history to finish. What about a link? Indeed. Let’s end with a link to that very first sound cartoon.

He doesn't look 89, does he?

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 
iffy hairstylesnice wee toonnice wee toon

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Week 14 - Grambleday wishes to Leonardo DiCaprio


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

Well, I am disappointed in you lot. Yes you, the readers of this, the greatest ill-informed blog the world has ever known. Yes, both of you. Why? Because last week there was a glaring error in the grambler.com that nobody pulled me up about.

You see, I noticed the error before I published the article. I thought, I’ll just leave it and see if anyone spots it. And nobody did. Or if they did, they just thought, this guy’s an idiot and left it at that.

So what was this mistake? And I admit it was a genuine mistake when I wrote it. The amount of money that would be lost by each individual living in the UK if the sum made by the bookies from gambling machines was divided equally amongst them. What is £1.8 billion divided by 65 million? Yes, you at the back? Exactly. £27.69, not £276.

So, the amount lost per person across the entire population is only 50 pee per week, not five quids. Oh, well that’s all right then. [Do I detect a touch of sarcasm? - Ed.]

Mind you, I still maintain that many of the people who play these ‘crack cocaine’ machines lose thousands rather than hundreds.

The article has now been corrected, you’ll be happy to know. See http://www.thegrambler.com/2017/11/week-13-grehmbling-reeshponsheebly-with.html.

 
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

99 years ago to the day, my grandfather was injured in battle. He sustained a serious head injury... Here’s a little story for you. When he was in hospital receiving treatment, there were two other servicemen in there with similar head injuries. The other two received ‘pioneering surgery’ and had metal plates attached over the damaged area. They died. My grandfather didn’t have this operation and he survived. I think the moral is, if ever a surgeon uses the word pioneering, leg it (if you are able).

Any road up, 99 years ago to the day World War I, the Great War, the war to end all wars came to an end. It came to a close at the symbolic time of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh months. History loves a bit of symbolism. Unfortunately, while all the world leaders and generals knew about the exact time that the war would end, the message hadn’t got through to the actual battlefront and soldiers from opposing sides were still knocking seven bells out of each other up to, and indeed after, the 11 o’clock deadline, hence my granddad’s injury which occurred on the very last day of hostilities.

It is so typical of some of the many mistakes made in World War I. The first mistake was even starting a war... someone falling out with their cousin shouldn’t lead to millions of people being slaughtered.

This weekend sees armistice remembrance day services taking place all over Britain. You may have seen everybody currently on live TV sporting a poppy, the emblem of the Earl Haig Fund set up in 1921 by Earl Haig himself to raise funds to assist ex-servicemen. A worthy cause, you would argue, but hold on there Bald Eagle, wasn’t Earl Haig, formerly known as Field-Marshall Douglas Haig, a senior commander in the Great War of 1914 to 1918? Yes he was. And wasn’t he nicknamed ‘Butcher Haig’ because some of his dreadful tactics resulted in the deaths of some 2,000,000 men? Yes he was. Hmm... a wee guilt trip, perhaps?

Now call me Mr Cynical, but I have a problem with the Earl Haig Fund. I am happy to give to charity and I do actually give to the fund (although I refuse to wear a poppy), but that doesn’t make me any more comfortable with it...

‘What ho chaps! The war’s over and we did jolly well defeating Kaiser Bill, what what?’

‘Absolutely old bean. A few million killed in the process but, that’s war for you, I suppose.’

‘Only problem is, rather a lot of chaps have come back from the front...’

‘Yes, that is a problem.’

‘Yes. They’ll be wanting pensions and things like that.’

‘And a few of them are a bit... how can I put this? Mangled. Unlikely to be able to work.’

‘Mmm. Difficult. Don’t think we’ve got enough in the coffers to keep them for the rest of their natural.’

‘Yes. As you say, difficult.’

‘I say you chaps, I’ve got a spiffing wheeze.’

‘What’s that, Douglas, old chap?’

‘Why don’t we appeal to the public for money to pay these injured ex-soldiers?’

‘Er, how do you mean, old bean?’

‘Well, we make the people who didn’t go to war feel guilty about the people who did go to war.’

‘Still not with you, old sport.’

‘We tell them that all those servicemen who fought in the war did it on their behalf, to fight for their freedom.’

‘But it was us politicians who sent them to war. It should be us that pay for the upkeep of these disabled soldiers, not the general public.’

‘I say, steady on old man. Us? Pay? I know who sent the men to war. You know who sent them to war. But the general public don’t. They’re too stupid to realise it. You’ll see. Once we appeal to their sense of guilt, they’ll give thousands. And we can do it every year. If we have the appeal on armistice day, the old memories and feelings of guilt will come flooding back... Never mind thousands, millions more like.’

‘I see what you mean. Splendid idea. And it won’t cost us a penny. Well done Douglas... Do you know, Earl Haig sounds a lot better, don’t you think?’

Okay, maybe that isn’t quite how it happened but, when it comes to cynicism, I think somebody was there nearly a hundred years before me.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 11th of November? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Fyodor Dostoyevsky 1821 (Russian author. ‘To live without hope is to cease to live.’ Wise words there Fy.), George S. Patton 1885 (The well-known general.), Pat O’Brien 1899 (Actor. Known as Hollywood’s Irishman in residence.), Sam Spiegel 1901 (Film producer. Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia were a couple of his notable films.), Robert Ryan 1909 (Actor. Seemed to appear in a lot of war films.), Bernard Kotzin 1918 (Who? Better known as Stubby Kaye, a comedy actor. Here’s your first clip of the week; Stubby in Guys and Dolls. ), Roy Jenkins 1920 (Labour, SDP and Liberwal Democwat politician. [That is shocking. How dare you make fun of a speech impediment. - Ed.]), Kurt Vonnegut 1922 (Stomach disorder.), June Whitfield 1925 (Comedy actress. Not really married to Terry Scott.), Jonathan Winters 1925 (Comedian. It says here.), Lavern Baker 1929 (Singer. Another clip? Go Jim Dandy.), Vernon Handley 1930 (Conductor. The musical type.), Jack Keller 1936 (Songwriter. Here’s one of his. Venus in Blue Jeans.  Apologies for the somewhat literal video interpretation.), Roy Fredericks 1942 (Crickety bloke and politician.), Chris Dreja 1945 (A Yardbird. A clip? Why not.  All together now... For Your Love...), Daniel Ortega 1945 (President of Nicaragua.), Fuzzy Zoeller 1951 (A golfy bloke. Definitely not a bear.), Andy Partridge 1953 (The main man from XTC Time for another clip. Here's All You Pretty Girls.), Demi Moore 1962 (Became the highest paid actress ever when she received $12.5 million to star in Striptease.), Calista Flockhart 1964 (Ally McBeal.), Leonardo DiCaprio 1974 (Actor. Unfairly described by comedian Stewart Lee as having a face like a sprout.), Philip Lahm 1983 (Deutscher fusballspieler.), Kyle Naughton 1988 (Another footy bloke.), Jamaal Lascelles 1993 (Yet another footy bloke.) and Ellie Simmonds 1994 (Swimmy bloke.).
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Bumbler,

Thank you for giving us a clip from our favourite group XTC. We are a bit mixed up with the order of their hit singles. Making Plans for Nigel was a big hit and there was a minor hit called Towers of London, but wasn’t there another chart hit in between? Can you assist?

Yours with fondest kisses,

Jenny Ralls and May Jaws.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 
Once again, I am sorry to disappoint those of you who like to follow The Grambler’s betting advice but, as happened last week, this is being published a little later than usual, so there are no predictions and no bet this week. I promise normal service will be resumed next week [Why must it? - Ed.].

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the only non-English, non-French player in Arsenal’s FA Cup final side of 2001. The answer was Swedish underwear salesman Freddie Ljungberg.

One for this week? As it is the week in which the playoffs for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers are taking place, how about a World Cup question from the not too distant past? Who scored a hat-trick as Germany thrashed Poland in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup finals tournament? Too easy? Maybe.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

As usual, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to birthday celebrant Ms J. Whitfield for this week’s closing moments. June Whitfield first became known to the Great British public 64 years ago and has remained popular ever since. She has appeared in (among others)... deep breath... Take it from Here, Dixon of Dock Green, The Arthur Askey Show, Faces of Jim, The Benny Hill Show, Steptoe and Son, Frankie Howerd’s show, Hancock, four Carry On films, Beggar My Neighbour, Scott On..., The Goodies, The Dick Emery Show, Bless This House, Happy Ever After, Terry and June, The News Huddlines, Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine. That long list doesn’t include one-off appearances in various comedy shows and all her dramatic roles. Is it any wonder that she has received many honours? These have included being made a DBE in 2017 and the being the even more prestigious inaugural recipient of the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award. Some career. What should we have to finish? Her original notable comedy character was the whiny Eth in a section of the radio show Take it from Here (1953) called ‘The Glums’ (or Les Miserables in French). I think a wee link would make a suitable finish this week. Here’s Ron's Birth CertificateA bit dated, but it should still elicit the occasional smile.

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Week 13 - Grehmbling reeshponsheebly with Bet365


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.                                                        

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

I know you will find this hard to believe, but I sometimes write the articles I use in thegrambler.com weeks in advance of publication. Usually, I reserve such articles for the times that I may be on holiday or away from home. This week’s article was written some time ago and was always planned to be published this week. No problem with that, you would think. Normally, no, but this very week there was a big news story that there could be a big clampdown on the gambling machines/fruit machines/puggies that are to be found in bookmakers shops. Finally, the message is getting through. However, I shall print the article as I composed it some time back. Is it possible that the government got wind of it? Judge for yourselves...

‘Woi gehmbull reeshponsheebly.’

‘When the fun stops, stop.’

If you have seen any TV advertisements for betting companies, you will recognise those payoff lines. The first is spoken by professional cockney, Ray Winstone in the Bet Free seex foiv ad. The second is spoken at the end of many of the others. It was a slogan coined by something known as the Senet Group in an attempt to promote responsible gambling, or reeshponsheebull gehmbleen as old Ray would have it.

There is a reason for such a statement to be made. Gambling can very easily become an addiction. Unlike those other addictions, smoking and alcoholism, it can wreck lives in an instant. Smoking, as you know from previous editions of this blog, is a habit I abhore. I have alluded to it being a very slow and expensive form of suicide. Alcoholism can be described similarly, except in its case, it is not just the user whose life is ruined. Families of alcoholics would attest to that.

Gambling, however, can change lives in a single moment of madness. I recall a comment made on the radio as a joke many years ago... The only reason anyone gambles is to alter their lifestyle. I suggest that the only way to bet is to put a whole year’s salary on a horse. Win or lose, your lifestyle will change. Yes, highly amusing but, sadly, very true and too many people gamble and lose more money than they can afford to waste.

Because I watch quite a lot of footy on TV, I tend to see a lot of adverts for gambling companies. Far too many, in fact. Those in charge of those companies know that footy fans are not averse to the occasional bet. With the constant bombardment of the promise of big winnings, is it any wonder that people become addicted? Similarly, these people are well aware that it is not only men who can become addicted, so during programmes appreciated by the ladies... soap operas, costume dramas, etc... the advertising breaks are crammed full of bingo and slot machine type on-line gambling companies.

The gambling machines found on bookmakers’ premises have been labelled the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’. It is possible to bet £100 every 20 seconds. Last year government ministers ordered a clampdown on such machines citing that they were responsible for addiction, debt and family breakdown. The recommendation was that the maximum single bet should be restricted to £2 instead of £100. A great idea and surely one that anyone with a modicum of sense would agree with. Our esteemed Chancellor Mr P. Hammond does not agree. He claims that the machines make a valuable contribution to the country with £400 million being paid in tax to the treasury each year. The actual amount being made from these machines is £1.8 billion. The bookies are making £1.4 billion! That is profit. It isn’t the amount being put into the machines. Pure profit. Presumably, there is some money paid out in winnings. £1.4 billion. That is obscene. The entire population of Britain is currently approximately 65 million. The amount raked in from these machines amounts to £27.69 per man, woman and child in the whole of the UK.

I never play such machines and I really don’t know anyone who does; I suspect that the average amount lost by the people who actually play them runs into the thousands rather than tens or hundreds of pounds per person.

I recall the days when cigarettes used to be advertised on television. Bear with me; this is relevant. Eventually such ads were banned. Cigarettes can not be advertised anywhere nowadays; it has become the industry which must not be mentioned. So why has gambling, a far more dangerous industry, in my view, been allowed to advertise? In my opinion, it should be treated the same way as the tobacco industry. I also believe that all forms of on-line gambling should be either banned or, at least, restricted to ‘business hours’. I reckon a lot of silly bets get placed when the gambler is tired, bored, or drunk. At least if it is only possible to gamble during the daytime (the way it was before on-line gambling took off) anyone placing bets should be reasonably alert.

I also remember the days when tobacco companies were the main sponsors of sports competitions... John Player was heavily involved in motorsport. Rothmans produced a football yearbook (Now the Sky Sports Football Yearbook) which was revered by anyone wanting to know the minutiae of the game. Alfred Dunhill was a great golf sponsor. Benson and Hedges were similarly financing cricket. Basically, tobacco companies were the biggest sports sponsors and despite spending millions on those sports, it was a cheap way for them to advertise when compared to other means. When tobacco became ‘unmentionable’, beer companies seemed to take over and it was they who used sport sponsorship for advertising purposes. Many big football clubs had the logos of brewing companies plastered all over their shirts. Nowadays, it is the betting companies who are making the big bucks and are using sport sponsorship as a cheap means of advertising. Last season, exactly half the teams in the English Premiershit were sponsored by bookies. Not right, says I.

You may be wondering why I am on my high horse about this. As I stated earlier, lives can be changed in an instant. Smokers and drinkers may be slowly committing suicide by indulging in their habits, but only gamblers actually do take their own lives because they have lost everything to the bookies and ended up in debt. In recent months, I have heard of several deaths attributable to gambling debts. Why are these betting companies allowed to get away with it? Saying, words to the effect of ‘don’t bet too much’ at the end of an advert isn’t going to stop an addict any more than don’t drink too much will stop an alcoholic.

It is time to stop this industry which is already too big and dangerous. I’m not saying gambling should be banned, but I believe the responsibility Bet365 talks of lies at the feet of the businesses, not the punter. Reduce the temptation to bet for starters.

You may think that this has been a very odd rant from somebody who gambles on line, every week. You would be right to think that. However, in the four years of writing the blog and placing my £2.20 per week bet, I have put less than £100 into my Bet365 gambling account. That works out at less than 50 pees per week. You see, I really do gehmbull reeshponsheebly.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 4th of November? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. William III 1650 (The orange bloke. No doubt certain bowler-hatted gents will be drinking a toast to him.), Will Rogers 1879 (Stage and screen actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist and social commentator. At the height of his fame, he was the highest paid Hollywood star.), Harry Ferguson 1884 (Who? One of the most important people in the history of motoring. Designed and developed the small affordable farm tractor. His ‘little grey Fergie’ was built by the thousand after WWII. Indeed, there is even an animated character called... can you guess? That’s right -  'Little grey Fergie' - Hmm...  That is a bit... erm. Yes, definitely.  Harry Ferguson also designed the first four wheel drive racing car and the same system was used for the Jensen FF in 1966.), Gig Young 1913 (A rogue.), Marguerite Patten 1915 (Food writer and broacaster. George C. Scott played her on film.), Walter Cronkite 1916 (‘And that’s the way it is.’), Art Carney 1918 (The Archer. One for fans of the Batman series of the 1960s.), Cameron Mitchell 1918 (Uncle Buck in The High Chaparral.), Martin Balsam 1919 (An angry man.), Loretta Swit 1937 (Hotlips.), Laura Bush 1946 (Mrs Dubya.), Robert Mapplethorpe 1946 (Famous snapper.), Rodney Marsh 1947 (Crickety wickety keepery bloke.), Alexai Ulanov 1947 (Skatey bloke.), Jacques Villeneuve 1953 (Racey car bloke.), Chris Difford 1954 (Musician. A bit of Squeeze. Co-wrote all the hits with Glenn Tilbrook. A clip? Most definitely. Here’s Cool for Ca-a-ats.), James Honeyman-Scott 1956 (A Pretender. Another clip? Here’s Brass in Pocket.  Er... What exactly is Detroit leaning?), Nigel Worthington 1961 (Footy bloke.), Lena Zavaroni 1963 (Troubled singer. A clip? Here’s her most famous song.), Sean Combs 1969 (Rapper. Can’t quite decide on a suitable monicker; he’s been Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy and Diddy. I’m guessing he has never been to Scotland where ‘Diddy’ is not something anyone wants to be called. A clip? Here’s I'll be Missing You.), Gregory Porter 1971 (The cat in the hat. Another clip? Here’s Mona Lisa) and Luis Figo 1972 (Footy bloke.).
 
The real little grey Fergie

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Shambles,
I was a great fan of the group Squeeze when I was a young girl, although some of the lyrics of their songs were a bit risque. I didn’t know what give a dog a bone meant when I first heard Cool for Cats. They did another one about a seaside caravan holiday and I was shocked to realise what the words meant. I can’t remember what the song was called, though. Can you help?
Yours sincerely,
Pauline Mussles.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Well, time to get on with some grambling. How did The Grambler’s predictions for last week fare? Badly. We won. Sort of. If 75 pees back from a stake of £2.20 counts as a win, then we won. What happened? Read on...
 
 
 
Cardiff vs Millwall - Prediction Home win
Result - Cardiff 0 Millwall 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
A scrappy first half saw Jordan Archer in the visitors' goal deny Danny Ward and Junior Hoilett with good saves.
Millwall striker Steve Morison saw his effort saved when through one-on-one with Neil Etheridge.
Charlton vs AFC Wimbledon - Prediction Home win
Result - Charlton 1 AFC Wimbledon 0
Yay!
Tariqe Fosu saw a very half-hearted penalty appeal rightly ignored by the referee in the 24th minute after going to ground in the box very dramatically.
Fosu's strike was charged down by a Wimbledon defender midway through the second half after being picked out by Jay Dasilva's delivery.
Dons substitute Callum Kennedy's 74th-minute free-kick was deflected behind moments before Deji Oshilaja blazed over for the visitors.
But it was Charlton who finally broke the deadlock four minutes later when Holmes won a free-kick inches outside the area on the left.
He stepped up to take the set-piece, drilling his effort into the top corner beyond the reach of Wimbledon goalkeeper George Long.
The Dons were denied what would have been a bizarre leveller when Chris Solly headed an attempted clearance on to his own bar.
 
Wigan vs Blackburn - Prediction Home win
Result - Wigan 0 Blackburn 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Blackburn overcame the second-half sending-off of Elliott Bennett to hang on for a goalless draw at Wigan.
Bennett picked up his second booking after 58 minutes for simulation, but Wigan were unable to take full advantage against 10 men.
The closest they came was when Gavin Massey hit the bar from just outside the penalty area, but the visitors will feel they were good value for their point after defending resolutely.
 
Accrington Stanley vs Barnet - Prediction Home win
Result - Accrington Stanley 4 Barnet 1
Yay!
Stanley dominated the first half and got their deserved goal through Sean McConville, the captain taking the ball inside the box from Billy Kee and smashing it home.
However two minutes later, Barnet were awarded a penalty with Jack Taylor fouled in the area by Jordan Thorniley, but Bees forward Jamal Campbell-Ryce hit the underside of the crossbar with his spot-kick and the ball bounced out to safety.
The game then burst into life with three goals in eight minutes after the break.
Stanley made it two on 51 minutes when Thorniley's ball in found Jordan Clark, who fired it into the bottom corner.
Barnet got one back when Campbell-Ryce made amends for his penalty miss, firing home from a tight angle after a surging run from Jack Taylor.
Kee then got the ball off Clark on 59 minutes and drilled home from 15 yards.
Striker Kayden Jackson then pushed the ball past keeper Craig Ross and finished with an easy tap-in.
All together now ‘Everybody Stanley. Keep it in the family....’
 
Lincoln vs Crawley - Prediction Home win
Result - Lincoln 0 Crawley 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Both sides struggled in poor weather conditions.
The visitors did at least test Lincoln goalkeeper Josh Vickers, but he stopped shots from Panutche Camara on two occasions.
Lincoln’s Matt Rhead thought he should have won a penalty after being brought down by Joe McNerney and Mark Connelly, but play was waved play on.
A Rhead header rattled the Crawley crossbar, however it proved to be the closest either side would come to scoring.
 

.....oooOooo.....
 
 

Sorry to disappoint those of you who like to follow The Grambler’s betting advice [Are you mad? - Ed.] but, thanks to this being published a little later than usual, there are no predictions so there is no bet this week.  A bit ironic given the week's subject matter.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which 17 year old became the youngest scorer of a First Division hat-trick in 1988. The answer was a Mr Alan Shearer in the days when he played for Southampton. Whatever became of him?
One for this week? As it is the weekend when the first round of the FA Cup games are being played, what about an FA Cup question? In the 2001 cup final, Gerard Houlier’s Liverpool beat Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal 2-1. Arsenal’s team on the day included five English players and five French, who was the eleventh non-English, non-French player? Try that down the pub before you resort to Googly for the answer.
 

…..oooOooo…..

 

As usual, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am reminded of the oddest show I ever went to at the Edinburgh Fringe. The artist I went to see was birthday boy Chris Difford. What is so odd about that, you ask. Nothing at all, I answer. The odd thing was that he shared the stage with another artist. Now, who might perform a stage show alongside Chris Difford? Glenn Tilbrook would be the obvious answer but, on this occasion, it wasn’t him. Another musician, then? The answer is once again, no, not on this occasion. Who was it, I hear you ask. Would you believe, Norman Lovett? Who? He was the original ‘Holly’ the computer in Red Dwarf. An unusual double act, I have to say. Standup (or on this occasion, sit down) comedian Lovett has a slow, deadpan delivery which I always find absolutely hilarious. See if you agree. Here is Mr Lovett’s first ever TV appearance from 1983 in our finishing (incredibly tenuous) link. Yes, the youth introducing him is Arthur Smith.
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com
 
Happy grambling.
 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Week 12 - The Grambler remembers Fats Domino


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

Woo hoo! Motherwell are in the final of the BetFred/Scottish League Cup, or whatever it is called these days. Yes, they thumped the Teddy Bears 2 nil at Hampden on Sunday. Yay!

Despite that upbeat start to this week’s (g)ramble, it is a bit of a sad one this week.

I would love to have said I was at the match but I can’t. Because I wasn’t. Why not, I hear you ask.

My big mate thought the same...

‘Whit dae ye mean ye wurnae there? Imagine no going tae see yer team playing in the semi o’ the cup! Whit kind of supporter ur ye?’ He talks like that.

He has a point. My answer was a rather feeble, ‘I don’t like Hampden.’ That is true; I think that its shape is not really suitable for a football stadium. Then I added, ‘I could only have got a seat low behind the goal.’ This is true also... up to a point. If I had sought to get a ticket early enough, I could probably have managed to get a seat in a higher position. I have been to a couple of games where I was sited in a low position behind the goal and definitely wouldn’t want to spend a football match there ever again. I might as well have been elsewhere, anywhere, because it was impossible to see what was happening on the pitch. All it was possible to make out was the fact that the players were either running towards me or running away from me. Sometimes they were going from side to side. Possibly. Occasionally, I got a glimpse of the ball. It was nice to be there to soak up the atmosphere, but it would have been nicer to see a game of football as well.

So, if I could have got a decent seat, why didn’t I go? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ee...

The last time Motherwell played in a semi-final and a final at Hampden was six years ago. 2011. [Yes, we had worked that out. - Ed.] I still have the rather faded mug commemorating the occasion. I went to both of those games. I enjoyed them both, even though Motherwell lost the final which, incidentally, took place on my birthday. It would have been a wonderful present indeed if the ’Well had taken the honours. As it was they got humped 3 nil and I got that mug.

If you enjoyed those matches so much what has changed, I hear you ask. (Don’t worry, I can’t really hear you asking that. CCTV surveillance hasn’t got that far. Yet.)

The person sitting at my side has changed. You see, at those matches of six years back, Stewart (the founder of this great and glorious blog) was beside me. We cheered together. We groaned when the goals went in. We berated the referee. No doubt we drank Bovril at half time together. We drank a pint in the pub before the game. We drowned our sorrows in a pint after the game.

Stewart had not yet been diagnosed as having bowel cancer; that would happen a little over a month later. Although the actual Hampden matches had been happy times and had given me some memories to cherish, the fact that I subsequently found out that the final had been the last game without Stewart knowing of his cancer makes it difficult for me to return there, however. 

There would be very few matches at all for Stewart after that one; the next season he was more often than not too ill to go to games.

I don’t know if I could face going back there without him. My memories of that time, generally, are not happy ones.

You may argue that I still go to Fir Park to watch Motherwell and that there should be no difference. Actually, there is a huge difference. I am surrounded by people who I have known for years. I might not know their names nor they mine, but we see each other at every game and chat to each other. They knew Stewart and are aware of what happened to him. I feel comfortable with them... although I could happily swing for that nutter who sits behind me and starts shouting abuse at the referee and linesmen as soon as the match starts and doesn’t stop til it ends. But, apart from him, I am happy to be with the folk around me.

At Hampden, though you try to get seated near the guys you know, you can end up seated next to complete strangers. I fear that, with my sad memories of Stewart, watching a match there would be a lonely and ultimately depressing experience... and not just because my team might be getting gubbed. I’m just not sure I am yet ready for the Hampden experience.

I may yet change my mind, but I don’t regret missing Sunday’s game. I listened to the commentary on the radio and watched the highlights.

And I thought of my last visits to Hampden with Stewart.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 28th of October? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Robert Liston 1794 (Scottish surgeon. Lost the heavyweight title to Cassius Clay.), Auguste Escoffier 1846 (French chef and author. Ever wondered where the word ‘scoff’ came from? Look no further... than a dictionary.), Edith Head 1897 (Costume designer with unfortunate name.), Elsa Lanchester 1902 (Ectress. Eventually bought over by Daimler. A car buff gag there. Not a very good one, admittedly.), Evelyn Waugh 1903 (Journo and author. Somewhat right-wing politically. Described Abyssinia as '...a savage place which Mussolini was doing well to tame.'), Francis Bacon 1909 (Artist. ‘I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs. These things alter an artist whether for the good or the better or the worse. It must alter him.’ Yeah, right. An artist who talked bollocks.), Pearl Hackney 1916 (Ectress. Later became Pearl Black Cab. No? Please yourselves.), Dame Cleo Laine aka Lady Dankworth 1927 (Jehhhzzz singer. Time for our first clip of the week. Here’s Lady be Good. Husband John is on sax.), Bill Rodgers aka Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank 1928 (Politician. One of the ‘Gang of Four’ defectors from the Labour party who formed the Social Democratic Party.), Joan Plowright 1929 (Ectress. Merried to Lord Lerry Olivier dontchaknow.), Bernie Ecclestone 1930 (Bluebottle’s mate in the Goons.), Manuel Francisco dos Santos aka Garrincha 1933 (One of Brazil’s greatest ever footy blokes.), Graham Bond 1937 (Musician. Enjoy this clip of the Graham Bond Organisation from 1965 playing Hoochie Coochie Man.  Did you recognise the other band members?), Howard Blake 1938 (Composer. I bet you know his most famous composition. You do. Here it is.), David Dimbleby 1938 (Jonathan’s bro.), Brian Rankin aka Hank Marvin 1941 (Influential geetarist. Want a clip? Here are the Shadows from 1960 looking mean and moody.), Jimmy McRae 1943 (Car racey bloke.), Glyn Ellis aka Wayne Fontana 1945 (Original singer with the Mindbenders whose most famous hit was this - The Game of Love.), Wim Jansen 1946 (Footy bloke. Briefly managed Celtic.), Peter Hitchens 1951 (Journo.), Bill Gates 1955 (Who?), Stephen Morris 1957 (Drummer with Joy Division, New Order, The Other Two... Another clip? Here’s True Faith.  I'd forgotten what a brilliant promotional video that was.), William Reid 1958 (Musician with Polomint City’s own Jesus and Mary Chain. Time for another clip. Here’s April Skies.), Julia Roberts 1967 (Ectress. As Arthur would say, her with the mouth.), Joachin Phoenix 1974 (Actor.), Alan Smith 1980 (Footy bloke. Still playing.), Milan Baros 1981 (Footy bloke. So’s he.), Matt Smith 1982 (Ector. The 97th Doctor Who.) and Joe Thomas 1983 (An Inbetweener.).
 
 
Taza, a Chiricahua Apache
 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grarmbuler,

I enjoyed the clip of the ‘mean arnd mardy’ Shardows from their arly days. Ho, I knew all their tunes... Shazarm, Wonderful larnd, Guitar tarngo, Foot Trapper. Then there was that other one about an Red Indiarn bloke... The one parachutists shout out. Germolino. Him. Of course, they became much more farmily friendly as the years parssed. Oh yarss. I believe they (an instrumentular group) represarnted the UK in An Song (as in singing) for Europe. An blibbing odd choice if you arsk me. What the blibbing flip were they doing singing? They’d never done it before. I can’t remember the song, anyway. Couldn’t have been much cop. It probably came second. We always did in those days. Ho yarss, Kennarth the Cellar, Karthy Kerbstone, Clogger Rogger... all of them. Never won. Don’t know why we kept entering the blibbing thing. Oh, I’m forgetting that one about an puppet made of string sung by... something to do with the seaside... her with the feet. That won.

What was that Shardows song called, again? No it’s gone. Carn you help?

Yours sincerefully,

Lemmy B. de Juan.

Something seems strangely familiar about that so-called letter, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Well, time to get on with some grambling. How did The Grambler’s predictions for last week fare? Not too badly. We won. Still made a loss of 21 pees though. What happened? Read on...

 

 

Newcastle vs Crystal Palace - Prediction Home win

Result - Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0

Yay!

Mikel Merino came off the bench to head Newcastle to a 1-0 victory with his first goal in English football.

The Spaniard's bullet header from Matt Ritchie's 85th-minute corner handed the Magpies a win they barely deserved on an afternoon where they were poor for long periods before producing a late flurry.

Palace, who enjoyed the better of much of the game, ultimately paid for not making the most of their chances, the best of which fit-again winger Wilfried Zaha headed wide before the break.

 

Nottingham Forest vs Burton Albion - Prediction Home win

Result - Nottingham Forest 2 Burton Albion 0

Yay!

The Brewers had the best chance of an uneventful first half when Eric Lichaj's superb goal-line block denied Lloyd Dyer.

Forest started the second half much better and led when Stephen Bywater's punched clearance fell to Barrie McKay, who volleyed into the top corner.

Lichaj fired home a close-range second after a neat flick from McKay.

 

Wolves vs Preston - Prediction Home win

Result - Wolves 3 Preston 2

Yay!

Ivan Cavaleiro gave them the lead when he tapped in Barry Douglas' cross, and Leo Bonatini scored from the spot after Josh Harrop fouled Matt Doherty.

Bonatini slotted home his second after Jota's shot was saved by Chris Maxwell but Jordan Hugill headed a goal back and Conor Coady put into his own net.

Preston had Alan Browne sent off for a second yellow late on.

 

Doncaster vs Walsall - Prediction Home win

Result - Doncaster 0 Walsall 3

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

The hosts were punished in the second half. On 62 minutes, Tyler Roberts pinched the ball away from Joe Wright and squared to Erhun Oztumer, who slotted in from close range.

And after 66 minutes the lead was doubled when Joe Edwards found Oztumer in space to fire past Ian Lawlor.

The game was put to bed with 10 minutes remaining when Amadou Bakayoko latched onto a long clearance and slid in a pass for Morris who finished well.

 

Coventry vs Colchester - Prediction Home win

Result - Coventry 0 Colchester 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Both sides had chances but failed to break the deadlock as the side's goalkeepers had barely anything to do all day.

The best chances of the game came right at the death as home defender Ryan Haynes missed two glorious opportunities to grab the points.

First he fired wide with just five minutes left before heading Jorden Shipley's corner over in stoppage time.

 

Ho hum. Pity about that Doncaster result. Other than that one, it was a reasonable week. What has The Grambler randomly selected for this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Cardiff vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Charlton vs AFC Wimbledon - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Wigan vs Blackburn - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Accrington Stanley vs Barnet - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Lincoln vs Crawley - Prediction Home win - 4/6

 

Still no Scottish games. Oh well. The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£10.00

 

That’s a first! A tenner! Spot on! Hope it happens.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what country qualified for the 1982 World Cup having beaten England for the first time, prompting this famous partisan rant from a commentator, ‘Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana - we have beaten them all. Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me?’ The answer was, of course, Norway. The words were spoken by Bjorge Lillelien, a sports journalist and commentator for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. He was a radio, rather than a TV, commentator, but he was so highly regarded that TV viewers used to turn down the volume on their sets and switch on the radio to listen to him. He finished his rant with the now famous words, ‘Your boys took a hell of a beating!’ Brilliant.

Righty ho, let’s have one for this week. Here’s a pre-English Premiershit question. Which 17 year old became the youngest scorer of a First Division hat-trick in 1988? Bonus question - For which club? A good un to ask down the pub, I reckon.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

As usual, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, we have lost another great musician this week. Antoine Domino known as ‘Fats’ passed away on Tuesday. Although his most famous music was produced over 60 years ago, many people, young and old, will know his songs ‘Blueberry Hill’ and ‘Ain’t That a Shame’. He could take an ‘old standard’ and give it a piano-based blues arrangement that made you immediately know it was a Fats Domino song. Apart from being a big star physically, he was a big star as far as sales were concerned. Many of his records sold more than a million copies and from 1955 to 1960 he sold more records than anyone else, other than Elvis Presley. I think a little tribute to finish is in order. I was going to give you Blueberry Hill, but decided on this, slightly later, song instead. Ladeez and gennelum, please appreciate Fats’ version of the Beatles’ classic Lady Madonna.

Sod it, let’s have Blueberry Hill as well.

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.