Saturday, 16 June 2018

Week 43 - The Grambler at the World Cup


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

 

 

The World Cup has started! Huzzah! You know what that means, don’t you...

HAMISH:              Dougal!

DOUGAL:             Hamish!

HAMISH:              You’ll have had your tea?

DOUGAL:             Aye. My cullen skink.

HAMISH:              In that case, you should wear a lighter sporran.

DOUGAL:             Eh? Oh here, I see you’re reading a book...

HAMISH:              Oh ho, nothing gets by you.

DOUGAL:             Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha
                               Christie? Never heard of her.

HAMISH:              You’ve never heard of her? What about Hercule
                               Poirot?

DOUGAL:             What about her cool parrot?

HAMISH:              No no no. It’s a famous character in her books. I
                               can’t believe you’ve never heard of her.

DOUGAL:             She didn’t manage that shop, did she?

HAMISH:              Manage a shop? No of course she didn’t
                               manage a... Which shop?

DOUGAL:             That Portuguese one with the name that was
                               almost, but not quite, the same as a famous low
                               cost supermarket.

HAMISH:              Why on earth do you think that was her?

DOUGAL:             Well, the only Christie I know ran Aldo.
 
 
 
.....oooOooo.....

 

I see that President Fart has had a meeting with Kim Young ‘un. No doubt the old gag got wheeled out again. You know the one. It would be a picture of Donald Fart with Kim Young ‘un and the caption would go along the lines of... One of these is a crazy, war-mongering dictator, the other is Kim Jong-un. Oh, how we laughed. 
I wonder what they discussed... The following conversation most definitely took place... probably... maybe.

DON:         You can't beat us. We'll put millions into our defence
                   budget.

KIM:          Yeah?

DON:         Yeah.

KIM:          Well, so will we. In fact, we'll put billions into our
                   budget.

DON:         Yeah?

KIM:          Yeah.

DON:         You can't threaten us... We'll put trillions into ours.

KIM:          Well, we'll put... erm... zillions!

DON:         Is that all? We'll put gazillions. That's way more than
                   zillions.

KIM:          You've just made that up.

DON:         No I haven't. Erm... We'll hit you with a big stick.

KIM:          We'll hit you with a bigger stick.

DON:         That's what you think. We've got bigger sticks than you.

KIM:          No you haven't. Whatever size of stick you've got, we
                   can match it.

DON:         No you can't... Our sticks are as big as tree trunks.

KIM:          And who's going to be able to lift it? Ha!

DON:         Superman. That's who. He's American...

KIM:          We’ll bribe him... We’ll pay him millions.

DON:         We’ll pay him billions.

KIM:          We’ll pay him.......

Etc. Etc. Ad infinitum.

Okay, maybe I dreamt all that, but it seems to sum up world politics of the moment. That is the level of rhetoric we seem to get from world leaders at the moment. As long as it remains just rhetoric, we're okay. I hope.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 16th of June? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Adam Smith 1723 (Philosopher and economist. An enlightened sort of chap.), Geronimo 1829 (The one who yawns.), Stan Laurel 1890 (Actor and comedian.), Jack Albertson 1907 (Actor. Granpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.), Enoch Powell 1912 (Politician with a less than generous view on immigration.), Tom Graveney 1927 (Crickety bloke.), Eileen Atkins 1934 (Ectress. Co-created Upstairs Downstairs and The House of Elliot.), Erich Segal 1937 (Orfer. Wrote Love Story. Time for a clip.), Lamont Dozier 1941 (Hit-writing machine. One third of Edith Wayne. [Sorry pardon excuse me? - Ed.] Apparently, as he and his writing partners were contracted to Tamla Motown, they came up with the songwriting name of Edith Wayne in order to continue writing after they left Motown in acrimonious circumstances with lawsuits being filed left, right and centre. Any road up, this was his first composition to reach number one in the UK. What the hell is that on Diana Ross’s head?), Tommy Horton 1941 (Golfy bloke.), Giacomo Agostini 1942 (Motorbike racey bloke.), Eddie Levert 1942 (An O’Jay. Let’s have another clip. All together... People all over the world, join hands...), Iain Matthews 1946 (Musician.  Remember his big hit?), Simon Williams 1946 (Ectaw, dontchaknow. James Bellamy in Upstairs Downstairs. Erm... that’s it.), Garry Roberts 1950 (A Boomtown Rat. A clip? Here’s M-M-M-Mary of the fourth form. Sorry about the scary man at the end.), Ian Mosley 1953 (A bit of Marillion. Another clip, vicar?  Hey yeah hey ee yeah...), Jurgen Klopp 1967 (Fußball-manager.), Phil Mickelson 1970 (Golfy bloke.), Tupac Shakur 1971 (Rapper. You want a clip? Tough.) and Steven Whittaker 1984 (Footy bloke.).

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Gabbler,

It was interesting that you included Baby Love in this week’s list of clips, citing it as Lamont Dozier’s first UK number one. We would be interested to know what was the second UK number one composed by Dozier.

Yours with kindest regards,

Ray Chout, Albie Thare.
 
 

.....oooOooo.....
 

DOUGAL:        Hamish!

HAMISH:         Dougal!

DOUGAL:        Come away in man. You'll have had your tea?

HAMISH:         Yes, but I see you're still having yours... that looks
                          a lovely wee bit of cheese.

DOUGAL:         Aye it is.

HAMISH:          It looks really nice.

DOUGAL:         It is. Very nice.

HAMISH:          I love a nice bit of cheese, I do.

DOUGAL:         Erm... I don't suppose... you would like... to try
                           some?

HAMISH:         I thought you'd never ask. I wouldn't mind a
                          smidgen.

DOUGAL:        Well, it's at the top of the stairs where it's always
                          been.

HAMISH:         No no. I mean I wouldn't mind a wee piece of
                          cheese.

DOUGAL:        Oh I see. There you go.

HAMISH:         I didn't mean that wee. Oh my. That really is tasty.
                          That is a lovely piece of English cheddar. I must
                          buy some. Where do you get it?

DOUGAL:        In the supermarket. They've got a delicatessen
                          counter as soon as you go in. It's in the first aisle.

HAMISH:         Aisle one?

DOUGAL:        No. It's all alphabetical, so it's A.

HAMISH:         The delicatessen, you say?

DOUGAL:        Aye. Deli, aisle A.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? Once again, it was a bit mince. 89 pees back from our £2.40 stake. Oh dear. Oh well, at least we can have a wee flutter on the footy this week. Yay! Unfortunately, because the World Cup is spread over a month, it isn’t possible to have bets on five games taking place at a given time. So, in a break with The Grambler’s admittedly flexible rules, this week’s bet covers games being played over the coming week. So what has the great and glorious Grambler randomly predicted?

 

Game - Time - Prediction - Odds

Croatia vs Nigeria - Sat 20.00 - Croatia to win - 4/5

Costa Rica vs Serbia - Sun 13.00 - Serbia to win - 19/20

Sweden vs South Korea - Mon 13.00 - Sweden to win - 21/20

Colombia vs Japan - Tues 13.00 - Colombia to win - 8/11

Portugal vs Morocco - Wed 13.00 - Portugal to win - 3/5

 

The selections have been made. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Let’s see how much we could win in the extremely unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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...

 

£10.62

 

Hmm... fairly whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

HAMISH:          Dougal!

DOUGAL:         Hamish!

HAMISH:          You'll have had your tea?

DOUGAL:         I just had some lovely potted hough... Oh I'm sorry
                           I'll wipe that up.

HAMISH:          I love potted hough... Would you mind wiping that
                           up while you're about it. What brings you here?

DOUGAL:         Well, I was thinking of booking a holiday and I
                           know you can look things up by roaming the
                           internet.

HAMISH:          You mean searching the internet.

DOUGAL:         Do I? Och, you know me. Always getting my
                           words mixed up. Anyway, you've got one of those
                           computer things, I wondered if you would let me
                           have a wee roam... search. Erm... you won't charge
                           me, will you?

HAMISH:          Of course not. Right. I'll just let you fire up my
                           laptop.

DOUGAL:         I thought you said you wouldn't charge me.

HAMISH:          No no no, you daft gowk. I mean switch it on.

DOUGAL:         Oh, I see. Phew. Okay. Oh. It's asking for a
                           password. Do you have one?

HAMISH:          Auchtermuchty. [Pause] Auchtermuchty. That's
                           my password.

DOUGAL:         Oh I thought you were clearing your throat.

HAMISH:          So what kind of holiday are you looking for?

DOUGAL:         I fancy going on a boat down the Rhine. You
                           know, in Germany.

HAMISH:          That'll be nice, but you mean a cruise.

DOUGAL:         There you go... wrong word again. Oh dear. I'm
                           not very good at this. Perhaps you should do it.

HAMISH:          Okay. What am I looking for?

DOUGAL:         Would you roam boating?

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what Glossop North End, Carlisle United, Swindon Town, Northampton Town, Leyton Orient and Barnsley all had in common. The answer is that they have all spent just one season in the top flight of English football.

One for this week? Did you watch the Portugal vs Spain game last night. What a terrific three all draw it was. Ronaldo (or Ran Aldo if you prefer) joined an elite group when he became only the third Portuguese player ever to score a hat trick at a World Cup finals. Can you name the other two? Easy peasy.
 
I've scored a hat trick... This is how big my head is now.

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

HAMISH:          Dougal!

DOUGAL:        Hamish!

HAMISH:         I heard about your accident. What happened, man?

DOUGAL:        Well, you know that tree in my garden; the
                          mountain ash?

HAMISH:         Och, yes. The one you got from Belgium.

DOUGAL:        That's the one. Well, I thought it was getting too
                          big. I decided it was time to get my chopper out.

HAMISH:         I hope Mrs Nauchty didn’t see you.

DOUGAL:       Anyway, I was chopping it down and, before
                         I knew it, it came down on top of me. The next
                         thing I knew, I was waking up in Accident and
                         Emergency at the hospital.

HAMISH:         Away, man.

DOUGAL:       Aye. That's how it happened... My rowan fell...
                         A an' E.

.....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. S. Laurel whose name appears in this week’s birthday honours. Stan Laurel was one half of, arguably, the most famous comedy duo of all time: Laurel and Hardy. They were one of the few comedy acts that managed the transition between silent films and the new-fangled ‘talkies’.  Their golden period was undoubtedly between the years 1927 and 1939; they appeared in 106 films together from 1921 to 1951, but 92 of those films were made in that productive 12 year period.

Often their films were little more than a few sketches strung together with little or no cohesion. Nevertheless, their mixture of slapstick and verbal humour made them popular around the world. In fact, most countries had their own name for them. Here is just a few... In Germany they were Dick und Doof; in Denmark - Gøg og Gokke; in Poland - Flip i Flap; in The Netherlands - De Dikke en de Dunne; in Romania - Stan and Bran; in Hungary - Stan es Pan and in Italy they were Crik and Crok. Lovely names, one and all.

So, what can we finish with? Some slapstick? Well, there is a little bit in the clip I have chosen. I think we have to finish with the only song they ever sang in one of their films. Here is a colourised version of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. All together now... Eena the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia...

 

 

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, 9 June 2018

Week 42 - The Grambler sees things differently


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'm getting to that difficult age... Well, more difficult than normal... Yes I have to concede that I am now approaching middle age [Approaching? From which direction? - Ed.] and am having to consider the things associated with the older gentleman.

No, I am not at the stage where I require Velcro shoes or jogging bottoms [Sounds disgusting. - Ed.]. Although, now I think about it... trousers without zips or buttons? What's not to like? No no. Perish the thought. Please.

No, the thing that I have had to consider is... I'm almost too ashamed to admit it... varifocal lenses. There, I've said it. Can you believe it?

I've resisted for years and have managed (with the aid of a magnifying glass) to read most of the cooking instructions on the side of ready meals. Yes, Marks and Spencer, I'm talking to you. Why does it have to be such tiny print? And another thing, why do you put the instructions underneath the container? Don't get me started.

Any road up, back to varifocal lenses. I was advised by the optician that varifocal lenses were what I required. They would be marvellous, I was informed. Just think, no more swapping glasses to read small print. Just one pair would suit all my needs.

Of course I fell for it. Cost?

'Well, a pair of standard specs can be yours for 59 quids and you get a second pair free.'

Brilliant, thinks I.

'Ah, but there is an extra cost for special lenses.'

Of course there is.

Kerching!

'And you'll be wanting reactolite lenses too.'

'Will I?'

'Oh yes. That way you won't need sunglasses because these will alter to suit whatever the light conditions are.'

'Erm... all right.'

Kerching!

'Anti glare?'

'I'm sorry?'

'You'll want anti glare lenses for, say, driving at night.'

'Yes, okay.'

Kerching!

'Okay. I'll just calculate that. That will be £272.'

'Gulp. Oh well. I suppose so. What about my second pair free?'

'No, you don't get them. It's because you've gone for special lenses'

Oh well, I thought, it's only five times the original estimate... same as any other business, I reckon.

Having started to wear them, I have realised that they are a bit different to what I have been used to. For example, walking up stairs is a little bit odd because the section of glass that I am looking through is the reading part. Thus, my feet are just a blur unless I tilt my head forward as if I am holding a pen under my chin.

I have also been told that I won't be able to play snooker with them on. I have no problem with that as I can't play snooker anyway.

I reckon they can also induce motion sickness. How so, I hear you ask. If I am sitting at a table and look from side to side, I see the table rocking. It is a bit disconcerting. I feel as if I should be holding on to something. The answer to that one is simple... Don't look from side to side.

The oddest thing about wearing them is that flat things appear convex. So as I look at this screen to type, I am seeing the centre of the screen raised up compared to the outer edges. It's a weird sensation.

However, this has answered a question that has always puzzled me. I had never been able to work out why television manufacturers thought it a good idea to change from flat screen televisions to curved screen models. Now I know... It's so that people wearing varifocal specs see a flat screen.

Of course. It all make sense now.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 9th of June? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Peter the Great 1672 (The well-known emperor. Talk about full of himself...), George Stephenson 1781 (The well-known engineer.), Carl Nielsen 1865 (The well-known composer. Have some cult'yer.), Cole Porter 1891 (The more well-known composer. Here he is performing his own song Anything Goes.  Hmm... The original singer/songwriter?), Les Paul 1915 (The well-known geetarist. A clip? Prepare to be mesmerised.), Jackie Mason 1931 (The well-known father of Krusty the Clown.), Jackie Wilson 1934 (The well-known singer. A clip? Yes indeedy. Here is Jackie’s final performance of Higher and Higher.), Giles Havergal 1938 (The well-known artistic director of the Citizens Theatre.), Jon Lord 1941 (The well-known musician. A clip? Why, soitenly. Here he is with full orchestra performing Gigue.), Charles Saatchi 1943 (The well-known ad man.), Patricia Cornwell 1956 (The well-known orfer.), Michael J. Fox 1961 (The well-known Marty McFly.), Johnny Depp 1963 (The well-known pirate of the Caribbean.), Miroslav Klose 1978 (Der bekannte Fußballer.) and Wesley Sneijder 1984 (De bekende voetballer.).

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Dangler,

We are great fans of the late, great Jackie Wilson. He had a posthumous number one with a reissue of Reet Petite, but there was another top ten hit after that, can you remember what it was?

Kindest regards,

Aggie de Sui, Tess Phelan.
 
Jackie Wilson
[Some mistake, surely. - Ed]
Don't call me Shirley.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? In a word... rubbish. 86 pees back from our £2.40 stake. Oh dear. Let’s hope The Grambler does better with his/her/its predictions this week. [Don’t talk wet. - Ed.] What has he/she/it come up with?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Musselburgh - 1.55 - Reverend Jacobs - 8/11

Beverley - 3.50 - Extra Mile - 11/10

Curragh - 3.55 - Mustajeer - 6/5

Newmarket - 4.15 - Aim of Artemis - 4/6

Stratford - 7.35 - Poker School - 6/4

 

The selections have been made. All races take place on Saturday the 9th of June. Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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

 

£15.91

 

Uh oh. Like last week, a bit too whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what were the unusual circumstances that led to Queen’s Park lifting the Scottish Cup in 1884. The answer is that the opposition, Vale of Leven, didn’t turn up. However, the Queen’s Park team, match officials and spectators were at Cathkin Park for the game. A friendly match between Queen’s Park and Third Lanark was hastily arranged, after which the Queen’s Park players were presented with the cup and their winners’ medals. Apparently, Vale of Leven had asked for a postponement due to a number of players being unwell or injured, but the SFA decided that these were not sufficient grounds for a postponement. What a bunch of absolute...

One for this week? Here’s an interesting one for you. What have the following clubs got in common? Glossop North End, Carlisle United, Swindon Town, Northampton Town, Leyton Orient and Barnsley. Hmm... One to start a discussion down the pub, don’t you think?

 

…..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. J. Mason, who celebrates his 87th birthday this Saturday. He is a very popular Jewish comedian. I know he is funny. A lot of people like him. Unfortunately, he talks with such a thick Brooklyn accent, I can’t understand a word he says. Thank goodness, then, that many of his best lines have been written down so that I, and others like me, can appreciate his humour. Ladeez and gennulum, let us end with the wit and wisdom of Jackie Mason...

Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money.

Did you know that the Jews invented sushi? That's right - two Jews bought a restaurant with no kitchen.

'What is the meaning of life?' is a stupid question. Life just exists. You say to yourself, 'I can't accept that I mean nothing so I have to find the meaning of life so that I shouldn't mean as little as I know I do.' Subconsciously you know you're full of shit. I see life as a dance. Does a dance have to have a meaning? You're dancing because you enjoy it.

I talk to myself because I like dealing with a better class of people.

It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like.

Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.

My grandfather always said, "Don't watch your money, watch your health." So one day while I was watching my health, someone stole my money. It was my grandfather.

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life unless I buy something.

Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can't please everyone. Take my girlfriend - I think she's the most remarkable woman in the world... That's me... But to my wife...

I was so self-conscious, every time football players went into a huddle, I thought they were talking about me.

Prostitutes go to jail. Their customers go home and read the New York Times. In this country you're allowed to buy anything. If you need a shirt, you have a right to buy it. If you need sex, you don't. What's more important, sex or a shirt?

I’m still suffering from shock from the last war. I was almost drafted! Luckily I was wounded while taking the physical. When I reached the psychiatrist, I said, “Give me a gun, I’ll wipe out the whole German Army in five minutes. He said, “You’re crazy!” I said, “Write it down!”

Jews are the best dressers in the world. They buy the best clothes, the best homes, the best cars. The best of everything. The only thing is, they get it for less.

And finally...

A Jew never laughs without looking at his wife for approval.

 

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, 2 June 2018

Week 41 - Grambleday wishes to Sergio Aguero


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

 

Anyone who has been a regular reader of this blog will know what my favourite drink is. Yes, you at the back? No, not whisky. Although that’s a close second. Anyone? That's right. Coffee. I love a decent cup of coffee. So you can imagine my delight when I was recently presented with a £30 card for Barstucks. I was, to put it mildly, highly chuffed.

Now, on this card was a small sticker which instructed me to register my card by going to said coffee shop's web site and logging in my details. No problem, thinks I. I've had Barstucks cards in the past so it would just be a case of signing in and adding the new card's number. Wouldn't it? No it wouldn't.

The first problem occurred when I tried to log in. For some strange reason my password wasn't recognised. Why not? No reason was given.

I then went through the rigmarole of having to put in a new password. This I did. Or at least, I thought I had. Wrong. Apparently, my password wasn't secure enough. Sorry pardon excuse me? I am trying to register a card so that I can buy a cup of coffee; I am not logging into on-line banking... I just want a cup of fn coffee. So I had to come up with a stronger password. Eventually, I came up with something that would baffle Alan Turing himself and it was accepted. Blimey! What a palava!

Right, that done, all I had to do was enter my new card's details. Wrong. When I tried to enter a new card, the Barstucks Fort Knox security came into play once again and took me right back to the beginning of the login process and wanted me to start all over again as a new customer.

Arrrggghhh!

Luckily, the tablet I was using while attempting to break into the Barstucks security system has a fairly substantial protective case, otherwise it might have suffered serious damage when it landed having been hurled from one end of my living room to the other. I only want a cup of coffee for fu... goodness’ sake!

Tomorrow, I intend taking my gift to my local Barstucks and very politely asking them to... f***ing well sort it out!

Watch this space.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 2nd of June? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Marquis de Sade 1740 (French nobleman whose name has been used to describe some right old peculiar goings on), Thomas Hardy 1840 (Orfer. Wrote some famous books, he did... Far from the Maddening Crowd, The Mayor of Castor Oil, Judy Hob Skewer, Tess of the Dobermans... loads of them.), Edward Elgar 1857 (Composer. Here’s this week’s first clip, the beautiful 'Nimrod'.), Johnny Weissmuller 1904 (Swimmer turned actor. Played Tarzan. Erm... That’s it.), Johnny Speight 1920 (Comedy scriptwriter. Created the brilliant Till Death Us Do Part as well as the dreadful Curry & Chips.), Carmen Silvera 1922 (Ectress.), Milo O’Shea 1926 (Oirish actor. Played Duran Duran, you know. [So did I; I’ve got all their records. - Ed.]), Sally Kellerman 1937 (Actress. Hot Lips Houlihan that was her), Jimmy Jones 1937 (Singer/songwriter. Another clip? Here’s Handy Man.  What shocking miming. Nice car though), Constantine II of Greece 1940 (The well-known king.), Stacy Keach 1941 (Actor. Howard K. Duff VIII.), Charlie Watts 1941 (A rolling stone. A clip is required, methinks. Here’s Jack Flash jumping about. One to appeal to drumming afficianados [What? The pears? - Ed.]), Marvin Hamlisch 1944 (Composer. Another clip? He wrote many film scores in a long career, but this was his first success, a hit for Lesley Gore.), Heather Couper 1949 (Astronomer.), Arnold Muhren 1951 (Voetballer.), Craig Stadler 1953 (Golfy bloke.), Dana Carvey 1955 (Comedian. Played Garth in Wayne’s World. Erm... That’s it.), Michael Steele 1955 (A Bangle. Another clip? Here’s Following. Unusually, it features Steele on lead vocal duty.), Jan Lammers 1956 (Racey car drivery bloke.), Mark Lawrenson 1957 (Footy bloke.), Tony Hadley 1960 (A bit of Spandau Ballet. Time for just one more clip? Why not. Here’s a toon that was reworked for Louis Moult when he scored for the ’Well... Gold.), Mark and Steve Waugh 1965 (Strine Creekuddy tweens.) and Sergio Aguero 1988 (Futbolista).

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Scumbag,

We have always been great fans of Spandau Ballet and recall all their big hits; songs like To Cut a Long Story Short, Muscle Bound, Instinction and True. Here’s a teaser for you... What was their last top ten single?

Yours with felicitations,

Trudi, Barry Kades.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? Better than the week before, that’s for sure. At least we got some dosh back. £2.64. Woo hoo! An actual profit of 24 pees. Hang on, I hear you say, I thought the bet cost £2.20. How come there is only 24 pee profit? Ah, I answer, that’s because I put on an each way bet as well, so that accounted for 70 pees of the winnings. Worth doing, then. Okay Grambler, what have you got for us this week?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Doncaster - 1.55 - New Winds - Evens

Worcester - 3.30 - Black Kalanisi - Evens

Epsom Downs - 4.30 - Saxon Warrior - 5/6

Musselburgh - 5.30 - Bal de Rio - 13/8

Chepstow - 7.00 - Shaybani - 8/11

 

The selections have been made. All races take place on Saturday the 2nd of June. Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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

 

£15.72
 

Uh oh. A bit too whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the most successful manager (after Alex Ferguson) to have won all the domestic trophies. There may have been a few arguments over this one. If you total up all trophies won, the Special One, Jose Mourhino is the next most successful with eight titles - three league titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups. Kenny Dalglish is third with seven titles - four league wins, two FA Cups and one League Cup. However, if you think the League Cup is just a piddling little trophy and isn’t worth considering, then King Kenny is number two, pop pickers. Not arf!

Incidentally, only four other managers in the history of the beautiful game have won all three titles - George Graham (2 leagues, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cups), Bill Nicholson (3-1-2), Don Revie (2-1-1) and Joe Mercer (1-1-2).

One for this week? Let’s have a real oldie. 1884, in fact. Queen’s Park were one of the great teams in those days. Not only did they win the Scottish Cup that year, but they were finalists in the FA Cup. This week’s question? What were the unusual circumstances that led to them lifting the Scottish Cup that year? A cracking teaser there, Gromit lad.

 

…..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. J. Speight, the creator of one of the greatest characters in British comedy, Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part, whose right-wing views were supposed to lampoon the typical conservative-voting, little Englander of that period. Unfortunately, many such people lauded Alf as a man who expressed their own ‘sensible’ views and believed that Speight was speaking up for those that believed left-wing politics, immigration and imported goods were dragging their once proud nation downwards, failing to understand that the programme was supposed to be a satire on that very attitude.
 
I was going to end this week with a whole episode of Till Death Us Do Part, but realised that in these politically correct times, the colourful language used by Alf Garnett would not be appropriate.

So, let us finish with a bit of less inappropriate dialogue between Alf and his good lady, Else, which suggests how Alf might have voted on Brexit...

Alf: Well, I mean, see if we go into Europe...

Else: I thought we was in Europe. I mean, I thought we always have been.

Alf: I know that, yer silly moo. I'm not talking about that aspect am I? I'm talking about the Common Market aspect of the going into Europe.

Old Enoch's against it, in't 'e, eh? He don't want no more bloody foreigners over here. We got enough bloody foreigners here as it is. Bloody country's swarming with Eities and Krauts and Froggies and Spagnollies and Brussel Sprouts. All coming over here and taking our jobs off of us, aren't they?

Else: Well, we can go over there and take the jobs off of them.

Alf: I don't want to go over there, do I?

Else: Wish you would.

 
'Stands to reason, dunnit?'
 

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, 26 May 2018

Week 40 - Dodgy gramblings


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

 

This week I have done something I have never done before. [Sounds worrying. - Ed.] I have deleted an entire edition of this blog. Why, I hear you ask. Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ee...

The average readership of thegrambler.com is usually something over 300 per week. Not a particularly high readership level, but it is gratifying that so many of you read and enjoy the world’s greatest ill-informed blog. Sometimes the figure is considerably higher; sometimes considerably lower. It seems to fluctuate depending on whatever title the week’s edition is given. For example, the week that Bruce Springsteen was mentioned in the title there were 600 views; the week Adele was highlighted? 64. Poor Adele. Even Bruce Forsyth managed 70 hits. Surprisingly, the Queen only reached 79 readers.

What has all this got to do with me wanting to delete that blog? The blog in question had been viewed 7380 times. More than ten times as many hits as the next most viewed blog. Hmm. If you ask me, there is something very fishy going on. This very day, before I gave it the chop, it had already had nine views. Why? It was a blog written in December 2015; its subject was Claudio Ranieri, the ex Leicester City manager whose team was halfway through the campaign which saw them run out as the Premiershit Champions.

It is a topic that is no longer relevant. I could be big-headed and say that it was viewed so many times because it was so well-written and obviously will be seen to be a modern literary classic. But I’m not, it isn’t and it won’t be. So just what is going on?

I suspect my ill-informed blog is being used for some criminal activity. Is it being used to send secret messages? It is all very intriguing.

The statistics available to me do not allow me to pinpoint who is reading what and where, but I find it very odd that thegrambler.com’s third and fourth highest readerships are the Ukraine and Russia respectively. Why on earth would someone out there be interested in my little blog? The highest readership? The good ol’ U. S. of A. Maybe secrets were being passed from east to west and back again via that Claudio Ranieri blog.

So, with the click of a key, the blog has been deleted; never to be seen again. No, I hear you protest. Please don’t deny us the chance to read this piece of literature which has received such a following. Oh, you didn’t say that. Well, to placate those of you who might have protested, here is the main text from that week’s article... If you don’t want to read it, just scroll down to this week’s birthday honours and click on some links.

Incidentally, it will be interesting to see if another edition of the blog suddenly starts getting high volumes of traffic. I’ll keep you posted.

They are still up there. Who? What? I hear you ask. Leicester city are still up there at the top of the English Premiershit. It is great to see a team that was expected to fail spectacularly doing so well. Of course, they have some very talented players. Jamie Vardy has been mentioned before in this blog, but the whole team works so hard and well together. I particularly like the old-school defender, centre back Robert Huth. Someone who is willing to chase and stop, by whatever means, any opposition player. It's not pretty, but it's effective. Goalie Kasper Schmeichel is a great player to have in the team. He's learned well from his dad, that well known loony, Peter.

However, the person who deserves most praise, in my opinion, is manager Claudio Ranieri. What a great job that man is doing. I don't know if gloating is in his nature, but he must have been feeling pretty good on Monday night after his Leicester side beat the club he used to manage, Chelsea. I do hope there is an Italian equivalent of 'get it up you' because, if I were Ranieri, I couldn't resist using it. Why? Because Chelsea owner, Harry Enfieldski, did the dirty on him years back.

Ranieri was doing a good job at Chelsea at the time. He had managed to get them second in the league, the club's best finish for many a year. If he had worked for a club like Arsenal or Man United, he would have been given an improved contract as thanks for his good work. That didn't happen at Chelsea though. The following season it was common knowledge that another 'special' manager would be taking his place. Meanwhile, Ranieri had to carry on managing the team knowing that he soon wouldn't have a job.

That special manager, José Moreaboutmeno, duly arrived and won prizes for the club. Who is to say that Ranieri wouldn't have done the same if he had been given the same support given to his successor?

How nice to see Ranieri now rubbing his successor's metaphorical nose in the sh*t. Moreaboutmeno has managed to get Chelsea where they are today - two points away from the relegation zone. Well done you.

No surprise, then, that later in the week the special one received his jotters. How ironic that having ousted Ranieri from his job 11 years ago, the tables are turned and it is Ranieri that has provided the excuse to sack the special one. I am sure Mouraboutmeno will find another club willing to take a gamble on his management skills; Manchester United has been mentioned. Meanwhile, let's all speculate on who will take over the vacant Chelsea post. It won't happen, but I would love to see Ranieri offered the job, just so that he could tell them to sticka theira job wherea the sun donna shine.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Well it is that time of year again. Happy Gramblemas everyone. I hope Father Gramblemas brings you some nice pressies.

There is something very strange happens to people at this time of year. The capability for rational thought seems to desert them. If I were buying a present for somebody, I would consider what they would like. I would ask myself what hobbies they pursued or what clothes they liked and give them a suitable present based on those things. Thus, any present from me is, in a word, money. Lazy b******, I hear you exclaim! Yes and no. Mrs G loves shopping, whereas I can't stand it. I give Mrs a present that allows her to indulge in a pastime she loves. Simple.Lots of people do go Gramblemas shopping, though. What could be better than shopping for presents at this time of year? Well, basically, anything. Tis the season to be jolly? Don't think so.

How can anyone derive pleasure from traipsing around shops? Especially at this time of year when everyone and his dog are doing the same thing.

This, I believe, is why the rational thought process goes out the window right now. Most people in those shops are doing the same thing; they are shopping for presents for friends and family. It is not a pleasant experience for even the most seasoned shopper. Everywhere is just so busy. So what happens? Instead of buying presents, they end up buying gifts. Hang on a mo, isn't that the same thing, you ask. To some, yes. To me, no. There is a distinction. A present would be, say, a nice new shirt; plain; sensible; a gift would be a shirt with a picture of Santa's feet sticking out of a chimney. A present would be a book related to the recipient's interests; a gift would be a book containing pictures of cats wearing pirate costumes. A present would be a bar of chocolate; a gift would be a bag of misshaped chocolate pieces called reindeer droppings. Do you get the picture? People who are normally quite sane and spend their money wisely, suddenly, at this time of gift giving, think nothing of splashing out a lot of their hard earned dosh on absolute tat. A hat with antlers? Ho ho. I'll take three. They'll do as pressies for somebody or other. A jumper with a snowman on it and some crude joke about snowballs? Ha ha. Gimme gimme. Uncle Harry would love that. Garish socks that play jingle bells? Hee hee. Just right for cousin Joe.

Listen. These things are not funny. Admit it. They're not. They brought a smile to your face, maybe, but they really aren't funny. Before you buy this christmassy sh*te, ask yourself if you would like to receive this as a gift from someone. I would guarantee, that nobody could answer yes to that one.

Now then. Consider the gift I give. Money. Ask yourself, would I like to receive money. Who is going to answer no to that one. Lazy? Maybe. Sensible? Definitely. Appreciated by the recipient? Absolutely no doubt about it.

Speaking of gift giving, please consider a gift to a particular charity at this time of year. You know the one. You do. I don’t say give a huge amount. You can donate as little as two quids. Not a lot at all. Considerably cheaper than that garish jumper with Rudolph complete with flashing nose that you were considering buying. Go on. You know you want to. Just click on https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 26th of May? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Mary of Teck 1867 (The Queen’s granny.), Al Jolson 1886 (Non PC singer. A clip? Why not. Here he is in a 90 year old piece of film. He was one of the world’s top entertainers at that time. Ye gods and little fishes!), Norma Talmadge 1894 (Actress.), Paul Lukas 1894 (Actor.), Dorothea Lange 1895 (Photographer. See pic below.), George Formby 1904 (Singer. Another clip? Here you go; another bit of film, this one's only 77 years old. He was Britain’s highest paid entertainer. Ye gods and little fishes!), John Wayne 1907 (Actor, it says here.), Robert Morley 1908 (Ectaw.), Matt Busby 1909 (Footy bloke. He was manager of Manchester United for 24 years.), Jay Silverheels 1912 (Actor. Tonto: that was him.), Peter Cushing 1912 (Ectaw.), Peggy Lee 1920 (Singer. You would like another clip? Go on, then.  All together now... Never know how much I love you...), James Arness 1923 (Actor. Played Marshall Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke for 20 years.), Roy Dotrice 1923 (Ectaw. Karen and Michelle’s dad.), Alec McCowen 1925 (Ectaw.), Miles Davis 1926 (Musician. A clip? Have some jehhhzzz.  So what.), Cliff Drysdale 1941 (tennisy bloke.), Mick Ronson 1946 (Musician. Time for another clip, methinks. Here he is performing the Shadows’ FBI followed by Richard Rodgers’ haunting Slaughter on 10th Avenue.), Stevie Nicks 1948 (Singer/songwriter. A bit of Fleetwood Mac. Here’s Dreams.), Jeremy Corbyn 1949 (Politician.), Michael Portillo 1953 (Ex-politician. Now spends a lot of his time on trains.), Colin Vearncombe aka Black 1962 (Musician. Had one enormous hit and here it is.), Mary Nightingale 1963 (TV presenter.), Lenny Kravitz 1964 (Musician. Let’s have another clip. Did you realise this was a religious song?), Hazel Irvine 1965 (TV presenter.), Helena Bonham Carter 1965 (Ectress. Mother Squirrel.), Lauryn Hill 1975 (A Fugee. Here’s an early hit.), Paul Collingwood 1976 (Crickety bloke.) and Jason Manford 1981 (Comedian.).
Probably Dorothea Lange's most
famous photograph.  This was taken
in 1936 and shows a mother with two
of her seven children.  She was
aged just 32.
 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Gumboil,

We are absolutely disgusted that you included a clip in your disgusting little blog of that disgusting little man, George Formby. All his songs were disgusting. My little stick of Blackpool rock? Disgusting! I like to have a nibble at it now and again! Absolute filth! We know exactly what he means. Mind you, it’s a good trick if you can do it.

There was just one song he did that wasn’t rude in any way. It was his signature tune, but neither of us can remember what it was called. Can you help?

Yours disgustedly,

Leigh Ningon, Al Amposed.

PS. And his grills are rubbish.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? Badly. How much did it win? Zero. Zilch and other such words that mean nothing. Oh well, let’s have another try. Grambler... do your worst.

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Curragh - 3.00 - Van Beethoven - Evens

Curragh - 4.45 - Hydrangea - 4/9

Goodwood - 3.45 - Mirage Dancer - 10/11

Haydock - 4.00 - Battaash - 5/6

Cartmel - 3.50 - Jeannot De Nonant - 1/2

 

The selections have been made. Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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

 

£9.63

 

Ah, we’re back in normal, barely whopping territory after last week’s off the wall predictions.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the manager of Livingston when the club won the League Cup against Hibs. The answer was former Celtic and Chelsea midfielder (and former Motherwell manager), Davie Hay. Incidentally, before we move on to this week’s teaser, I would like to congratulate Livingston on their return to the Scottish top division after winning the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Now, one for this week. Alex Ferguson is rightfully acknowledged to be the most successful manager there has ever been in English football having won all three domestic competitions - 13 league titles, five FA Cups and 4 League Cups, but who is the next most successful manager to have won all the domestic trophies? One to try out down the pub.

 

…..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. R. Webb whose antics ended the blog that was deleted. It really is a rather good parody of Flashhdance and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on the chance to see it. So, Ladeez and gennulum, in an unprecedented (That's a good word; must look it up.) move, The Grambler suffers from a repeat of What a Feeling.

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.