Saturday, 25 May 2019

Week 38/39 - The Grambler and that milk-shake


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

 

How about a joke from resident comic, George, before we begin this week’s (g)ramble? Take it away, George...

 

A horse walks into a bar and orders a pint...

 

How?

 

Pardon?

 

How does a horse manage to walk into a bar? I mean, for a start, it is very unlikely that a horse would be anywhere near a bar... Unless it was a bar in the countryside and the horse had escaped from its field. Even then, it would be an impossibility for a horse to simply walk into a bar without causing quite a commotion. I would imagine that it would be stopped long before it reached the vicinity of the public house in question.

Let us assume, though, that this bulky equus had somehow managed to get through the low, narrow doorway of a pub... although how it would manipulate a door handle with its hoof, I don’t know... you then suggest that it simply heads to the bar and orders itself a drink. How on earth does he convey that message? It’s a horse, for goodness’ sake. What does he ask for? A pint of Heineighken? Absolute nonsense, the whole idea.

Anyway, you were saying, George? Oh dear... You don’t look very happy. Why the long face?

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

This week Mrs G and I spent an afternoon in the hottest, sunniest part of the country... Portabello. That sounds rather exotic, doesn't it? Hardly; it is Edinburgh's nearest seaside resort.

For a midweek day at the end of May, it was unusual to see such a crowded beach in Scotland. Normally, the only people brave enough to head to the beach are dog walkers and joggers.

This day, the world and his dog (complete with walker) seemed to have headed to this particular stretch of sandy beach. Who could blame them? There wasn't a cloud on the sky and the temperature was into the low twenties... That is just about tropical to Scots.

Folk were in the sea swimming, others were simply sitting on the beach sunbathing.

One kid, aged about eight or nine, was busy doing what children of that age always do... digging a hole in the sand so that he could sit in it. I wonder why that is. I'm sure I did the same when I were a nipper. I know my own kids did it and the grand kids do it. Odd that sand can have such an effect on generations of children.

Anyway, I digress. This particular kid was repeatedly running between his sandy den and the sea; basically, he was having a rare old time.

His mum sat close by, watching and occasionally joining in. Meanwhile, sat on a bench on the promenade, filming the scene for posterity, was granddad.

How nice. At least, I thought so until 'granddad' put his camera in its case and left without acknowledging his family.

Now then (now then, now then), the whole scene took on a more sinister hue. Who was this man? Was he related to the family on the beach? Why was he filming a small child playing in the sand? All a bit worrying.

Was he perhaps a modern day equivalent of the old bloke this song is about?

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Well, it’s been a busy old week news-wise, and the biggest story? Theresa May (be time to do a runner) resigning? As if. Britain coming a humiliating last in the Eurovision song contest and then having that embarrassment compounded by having five points deducted? I should cocoa. No, the biggest, and downright funniest, news story of the week was Miguel Garage having a milk-shake thrown all over him. This, according to news reporters, raised some serious questions. About security, I hear you ask. No, more important than that. Questions need to be answered about why anyone would waste a milk-shake by chucking it over a tw*t like Norbert Farmage. And also, what flavour was it? Hope it was chocolate; he’d have hated that.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? A bit of confusion last time out, methinks. What happened to the birthday honours for May the 11th? Fear not, dear reader, here they are...

Were any famous or notorious individuals born on May 11th? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Irving Berlin 1888 (Songwriter. Let’s have a clip. Here is his first major hit. All together now... Come on and hear. Come on and hear...), Paul Nash 1889 (Penter.), William Grant Still 1895 (Composer. Here is part of his first major symphony. And you thought Gershwin was the first American to compose serious music.), Phil Silvers 1911 (The King of Chutzpah.), Richard Feynman 1918 (Physicist.), Eric Burdon 1941 (An Animal. Have another clip. Here Eric fears being misunderstood.), Ian Redpath 1941 (Strine crickuddy blike.), Jeremy Paxman 1950 (Answer the question!), John Gregory 1954 (Footy bloke. Has been manager of... deep breath... Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Wycombe Wanderers, Aston Villa, Derby County, QPR, Maccabi Ahi Nazareth, FC Ashdod, FC Kairat, Crawley Town and currently manages Chennaiyin FC. Gets around a bit, doesn’t he?), Jason Queally 1970 (Bike racey bloke.), Holly Valance 1983 (Ictress en chenter. Here’s her biggest hit to date. Give us a kiss... kiss.), Andrés Iniesta 1984 (Tipo de fútbol.), Abou Diaby 1986 (Footballeur.) and Thibaut Courtois 1992 (Footballeur and General de Gaulle lookalike.).

Now, let’s have birthday honours for May 18th. Omar Khayyam 1048 (Mathemetician and sometime poet.), Nicholas II of Russia 1868 (The well-known Tsar. Known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer [Ooer missus. - Ed.] or Nicholas the Bloody or Vile Nicholas... depending on your standpoint.), Bertrand Russell 1872 (Clever bloke.), Walter Gropius 1883 (Archtect.), Frank Capra 1897 (Film director famous for schmaltzy films that he dubbed Capra-corn.), Meredith Willson 1902 (The Music Man, which is apt as he wrote that very show. A clip? Here is the only song from a musical that the Beatles ever covered.), Fred Perry 1909 (Tennisy bloke.), ‘Big Joe’ Turner 1911 (Blues singer/shouter. He’s the originator of this.), Pierino ‘Perry’ Como 1912 (Singer. Have another clip. All together now... Magic moments... An early Burt Bacharach success there.), Margot Fonteyn 1919 (Hoofer.), John Paul II 1920 (The well-known pope with a tarmac fetish.), Pernell Roberts 1928 (Actor. Adam Cartwright in Bonanza. That was him.), Norman St John-Stevas 1929 (Politician don’t-cha-know.), Don Martin 1931 (Mad’s maddest artist.), Don Whillans 1933 (Mountaineer.), Miriam Margolyes 1941 (Ectress.), Nobby Stiles 1942 (Footy bloke.), Albert Hammond 1944 (Musician. Another clip? All together now... My father is a doctor; he's a family man...), Rick Wakeman 1949 (keyboardist, songwriter, producer, television and radio presenter, author and all round good egg.  Have a clip. Brilliant or what.), Paul Da Vinci 1951 (Singer/musician. He was the voice behind the Rubettes, but here is his solo hit.), Wreckless Eric... not his real name... 1954 (Singer, it says here. Have a clip. Here’s Whole Wide World. ), Toyah Willcox 1958 (Singer, it says here. Here’s another clip... It's A Mystery this was ever a hit.), Graham Dilley 1959 (Crickety bloke. Famous for that ‘Lillee bowled Dilley, caught Willey’ moment.), Yannick Noah 1960 (Mec de tennis.), Heinz-Harald Frentzen 1967 (Rennfahrer.), Martika 1969 (Singer with a kitchen.), Billy Howerdel 1970 (Musician. A bit of A Perfect Circle... An arc, perhaps? Here’s a later example of their work and they seem a bit disillusioned.), Brad Freidel 1971 (Soccer guy.), John Higgins 1975 (Snookery bloke... The Wizard of Wishaw.), Lee Hendrie 1977 (Footy bloke.), Danny Mills 1977 (Footy bloke.) and Julian Speroni 1979 (Tipo de fútbol y Jimmy Carr parecido.).

Finally, let’s hear it for the birthday celebrants of 25th of May. Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 (Poet and philosopher.), Max Aitken 1879 (Publisher. He was the Rupert Murdoch of his day. Without the charm, of course.), Miles Malleson 1888 (Ectaw.), Igor Sikorsky 1889 (Aircraft manufacturer.), Gene Tunney 1897 (Boxy bloke.), U Nu 1907 (Prime minister of Burma. [Sorry, pardon, excuse me? You Knew U Nu? - Ed.] Yes, he made a state visit to Polomint City back in the early 1960s.), Richard Dimbleby 1913 (TV presenter. Davie and Jonny’s dad.), Steve Cochran 1917 (Actor.), Hal David 1921 (Lyricist for Burt Bacharach. See above.), Kitty Kallen 1921 (Chanter. Time for a clip. When did we last have one? It’s been a long long time.), Claude Akins 1926 (Actor. Mainly in westerns. Yee hah!), Robert Ludlum 1927 (Orfer. The Jason Bourne bloke.), Norman Petty 1927 (Producer for Buddy Holly and often cited as being ultimately to blame for Holly’s death by forcing him to tour.), Tom T. Hall 1936 (Singer/songwriter. He wrote this.), Margaret Forster 1938 (Orfer. Georgy Girl. She wrote that.), Ian McKellen 1939 (A thespian, no less. One of the best pretenders out there.), John ‘Poli’ Palmer 1943 (A bit of Family. Here he is on the vibraphone. [Ooer, missus. - Ed.]), Frank Oz 1944 (Actor/puppeteer. Miss Piggy. That’s him.), David Jenkins 1952 (Runner... of tracks and drugs.), Alastair Campbell 1957 (Political... erm... aide?), Paul Weller 1958 (Musician. a bit of Jam.  Let's have a clip.), Julian Clary 1959 (Comedian. Aka Gillian Pieface aka The Joan Collins Fanclub.), Anthea Turner 1960 (Former Blue Peter presenter, more recently a presenter of unsubtle adverts.), Mike Myers 1963 (Comedian, it says here.), Robert Croft 1970 (Cricketty bloke.), Stefan Holm 1976 (Höjdhoppare.), Jonny Wilkinson 1979 (Ruggery bloke.), Ezekiel Kemboi 1982 (Steeplechasy bloke.) and Geraint Thomas 1986 (Rasiwr beicio.).

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grimbewlah,

It was so nice of you to play a song by that fine performer and charming personality, Mr Perry Como. We are both great fans and recall he had another hit record around the same time as Magic Moments, but neither of us can remember the title. Can you help?

Yours with fondest good wishes,

Katya Fall, Ian Starr.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened the last time we had a bet? We won... ish. 82 pees back from an outlay of £2.20 isn’t very clever, is it?

Oh well, onwards and upwards. Since the footy has now ended for the summer break, we will have to shift our gambling to that other well-known way of losing money, betting on the nags. So can you remember the form? No? Well, I’ll remind you. The Grambler will select five random races from Saturday’s racecard and bets of 20 pees will be placed on each of the favourites from those races. There will also be a five race accumulator bet of 20 pees each way. The each way part of the bet is a way to improve our chances of winning the accumulator because, if any of the gee gees that The Grambler has selected come second, our bet will continue onto the next race. Does that make sense to you? No? Nor me.

Anyway, that’s how the bets will go for the next few weeks until the footy season starts up again. So what has The Grambler randomly selected for this week’s flutter?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Cartmel - 2.05 - Young Wolf - 8/15

Goodwood - 3.10 - Silent Wave - 5/6

Goodwood - 5.30 - Neon Sea - 5/6

Haydock - 4.00 - Baltaash - 11/10

Chester - 4.05 - Raffle Prize - 8/13

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

 

£10.44

 

Hardly whopping at all.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I told you about the only times two English teams had contested a European competition final and asked you to name the competitions, the teams and the years in which the finals took place. The answers are that Tottenham Hotspur played Wolverhampton Wanderers in the two-leg final of the UEFA Cup in 1972. Spurs won that 3-2 on aggregate. The other English final occured in the Champions League final of 2008 when Manchester United played Chelsea. Man U won that one on penalties (6-5) when the game finished 1-1 after extra time.

One for this week? Sticking with European competitions, there used to be a competition called the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. [Really, how interesting. - Ed.] It only ran between the years 1956 and 1971, but two English sides won it twice each. (Does that make sense?) Can you name them, without resorting to Googly, that is? [No. I win. - Ed.]

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you 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 P. Silvers, a Vaudeville comedian who starred in his own very famous comedy series between 1955 and 1959 during which time 143 episodes were shown. It was named simply The Phil Silvers Show, but everyone remembers it as Bilko, the name of the scheming, but workshy character he played. The programme was so popular that animators Hanna and Barbera made a cartoon version of it featuring some of the characters as alley cats. The main character, Top Cat or TC, was a straight copy of Bilko. To finish, here is the first Phil Silvers Show to be transmitted.  I do hope you enjoy it.

 
All right, all right, all right!
 
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.

 

Friday, 10 May 2019

Week 35-37 - Integrated grambling solutions


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

 

Let’s start with a joke from our favourite comedian, George. Take it away George.

Paul McCartney is walking down the road when he almost steps on a beetle. ‘Oy, watch it!’ shouts the beetle. ‘Wow! A talking beetle! That’s amazing!’ says Paul. ‘Did you know, I once named a band after you?’ And the beetle replies...

Can I just stop you there? First of all, it is very unlikely that Paul McCartney would ever be just walking down a street; he would be mobbed by fans. Then there is this notion of a talking beetle; palpable nonsense! My final gripe with this story is that Paul McCartney did not name his band after the insect known as a beetle; he named his group The Beatles as a homage to the great Buddy Holly whose band was The Crickets, named after the insect, not the game. Obviously. They don’t play cricket in the US. They play baseball. Or rounders as we call it in Britain. Anyway, that was the reason for the name The Beatles, with the spelling altered to reflect the then use of the word beat, often used in reference to popular music of the day and its followers. The bands might be known as beat groups and the adherents of the music were often described as the beat generation. Thus, the way the name of Paul McCartney’s band came about had little or nothing to do with an insect, per se.

Anyway, now that has been sorted out, carry on with your story, George. George? George? I’m very sorry about this, but he seems to have gone. How very rude.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I sometimes look at the changes that take place around me and wonder why. Take the use of words, for example.

I've mentioned in a previous edition that the word nostalgia has altered its meaning. Then there are words such as wicked meaning something really good and gay no longer meaning bright and happy.

There are other changes taking place. When did a chiropodist become a podiatrist and why was such a change deemed to be necessary?

If you don't mind me getting a little bit earthy, when and why did venereal disease become sexually transmitted disease?

PMT begat PMS. Why?

One that has been bandied about a lot of late is sepsis. For yonks blood poisoning had been called septicemia... I'll check that spelling for you... Yes, that's right. And that, to me sums up the reasons for many such changes.

Spelling and the dumbing down of the English language. Is it the case that we are thicker than we used to be and unable to spell or indeed say those bigger words?

Perhaps, but that doesn't always seem to be the case.

A lot of businesses are heading the opposite way and big high-faluting words are taking over from standard terms. The problem is that such words don't always help matters. Remember the days when a lorry might have words such as 'Fred Jones transport' or 'Fred Jones haulage' printed in bright lettering on its side? [Who is this Fred Jones? - Ed.] When did this logistics lark come into being? Nowadays any lorry carrying anything has that word, logistics, emblazoned on its side. Why? To me, logistics simply relates to a way of doing something. Anything. It was never associated with transportation of goods as such. And yet, somebody has taken this word out of the English language and decided that it relates to the transportation of anything. No it doesn't. You are still transporting goods, that is all.

Solutions. That's another word that gets used a lot. Taking the lorry theme again, you might see said vehicle with the words 'Fred Jones [He's There again! - Ed.] pipework solutions'. Bollocks! You're a plumber, Fred. Stop this pretentious claptrap. If I have a leaky pipe I know what the solution is. I've already worked that bit out. The solution is to stop the leak. I just need a plumber to fix the fn thing!

I saw another vehicle with the words 'Access Solutions' printed on its side. There was nothing else other than a phone number. Call me Mr thicky, but aren't they simply saying that they will show us how to open a door? Or am I missing something? That van was certainly missing something... a blibbing explanation as to what its owner did for a living.

Integration is another word that has been picked up by various artisans. What is that all about? [Integration? Isn't that what police do to suspects? Hang on, that's interrogation... just ignore me. - Ed.] Ahem... Integration, a far as I am aware, means fitting in with something else. I saw a van the other day; On its side was printed the name of the company [Fred Jones by any chance? - Ed] followed by the word integration. That was it. No details of what the company did. What use is that to anyone? Does anyone ever think, 'Hmm, I need to do a bit of integrating, I wonder if there are any companies out there who I could contact.' No, because the word is meaningless drivel. It means precisely nothing.

It all suggests that somebody in a fairly mundane line of work has ideas above their station and thinks that by using big words, he is going to impress people. You're not. You are simply confusing them.

I've decided to go into business and I have already decided on the company name...

'Integrated Logistics Solutions'

Oh. Wait a sec. That one's been taken.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? As there have been no editions of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog for a few weeks, let’s catch up on those missing dates...

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 20th of April? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Adolf Hitler 1889 (Possibly the most evil leader in modern history.), Harold Lloyd 1893 (Film comedian.), Joan Miró 1893 (Artist.), Bruce Cabot 1904 (Actor.), Lionel Hampton 1908 (Musician. A clip? Here he is flying home.), Leslie Philips 1924 (Hello...), Phil Hill 1927 (Racey car driver.), Antony Jay 1930 (Writer. Co-wrote Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.), George Takei 1937 (Actor. Mr Sulu, that was him.), Betty Cuthbert 1938 (Runny bloke.), Peter Snow 1938 (TV presenter who famously waves his arms about a lot at election time.), Johnny Tillotson 1939 (Singer. He had a hit, you know. And here it is.  Poetry in Motion.  Apologies for the rather non-pc video.), Ryan O’Neal 1941 (Ectaw. Not a real rhino.), John Eliot Gardiner 1943 (Conductor. Guess what... No clip.), Michael Brandon 1945 (Ectaw. Dempsey in Dempsey and Makepeace. That was him.), David Leland 1947 (Ectaw. Majikthise in The Hitch-Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. That was him.), Jessica Lange 1949 (Ectress. King Kong’s bird.), Louise Jameson 1951 (Ectress. Leela in Doctor Who. That was her.), Luther Vandross 1951 (Chanter. Have a clip. Here’s Never Too Much.), Eric Pickles 1952 (Politician.), Sebastian Faulks 1953 (Orfer.), Nicholas Lyndhurst 1961 (Ectaw. Rodney in Only Fools and Horses. That was him.), Andy Serkis 1964 (Ectaw. Gollum. That’s him.), Carmen Electra 1972 (Ectress, allegedly.), Stephen Marley 1972 (Musician. Son of Bob.), Julie Fernandez 1974 (Ectress. Brenda in The Office. That was her.) and Shay Given 1976 (Footy bloke.).

 

Now, let’s see if anyone famous was born on the 27th of April. Well, of course there were some... Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 (Feminist philosopher.), Samuel Morse 1791 (Co-inventor of the code that bore his name.), Ulysses S. Grant 1822 (The well-known president.), Sergei Prokofiev 1891 (Composer. Have a clip. You will recognise this, I am certain.), Walter Lantz 1899 (Animator. Created Woody Woodpecker.), Cecil Day-Lewis 1904 (Poet. Dan’s dad.), Chiang Ching-kuo 1910 (The well-known president.), Jack Klugman 1922 (Ectaw. Quincy. That was him.), Sheila Scott 1922 (Flighty woman.), Derek Chinnery 1925 (BBC Radio 1 controller. Yeah, not so famous. Just someone that I remember.), Anouk Aimée 1932 (Actrice.), Casey Kasem 1932 (DJ who wore some lovely jumpers.), Sandy Dennis 1937 (Ectress. Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. That was her.), Judy Carne 1939 (Ectress. Sock it to me.), Michael Fish 1944 (Weatherman.), Cuba Gooding Sr. 1944 (A bit of the Main Ingredient. They just don't want to be lonely.), Martin Chivers 1945 (Footy bloke.), Pete Ham 1947 (Ivory tickler with Badfinger. Here’s their first biggie, Come and Get It.), Ann Peebles 1947 (Singer who doesn't like the rain.), Frank Abagnale 1948 (Catch him if you can.), Katie Pearson 1948 (A B-52. A clip? Here’s Rock Lobster.), Ari Vatanen 1952 (Rally driver and now MEP.), Sheena Easton 1959 (Singer. A clip? Here’s 9 to 5.  Do you see that any Americans out there? 9 to 5. Not Morning Train. 9 to 5.), Marco Pirroni 1959 (An Ant. Have a clip. Here’s Antmusic.), Russell T Davies 1963 (Screenwriter.), Anna Chancellor 1965 (Ectress.), Willem-Alexander 1967 (The well-known king.), Darcey Bussell 1969 (Rerr dancer.), Sally Hawkins 1976 (Ectress.) and Jenna Coleman 1986 (Ectress. Queen Victoria. Her.).

Now, let’s get up to date... Were any famous folk born on the 4th of May. Well, of course there were. Eric Sykes 1923 (Writer, comedian, actor and director.), Maynard Ferguson 1928 (Musician. How about a clip? Let’s have some jehhhzzz. Here’s Birdland.), Audrey Hepburn 1929 (Ectress. Eliza Doolittle. That was her. Marnie Nixon provided Eliza’s singing voice in My Fair Lady, but this is definitely Audrey. Hmm... Now we know why Marnie got the gig.), Manuel Benítez Pérez aka El Cordobés 1936 (Bullfighter.), Dick Dale 1937 (Geetarist. Here’s his best known piece, Misirlou. Not the most animated bunch.), Tyrone Davis 1938 (Singer. Let’s have some soul.), John Watson 1946 (Racey car drivery bloke.), Colin Bass 1951 (A bit of Camel. Another clip? Why not? Here’s Sasquatch. Bass is on bass.), Sigmund ‘Jackie’ Jackson 1951 (A Jackson. Not sure if I should be including a clip featuring you-know-who, but here is I Want You Back.), Pia Zadora 1953 (Actress, it says here. She was not considered the most talented in her field. The story goes that when she was giving a particularly hammy performance as Anne Frank, there came the scene when the Nazis came to search the house for her. At this point an audience member had clearly had enough and helped them out by shouting, ‘She’s in the attic.’), Randy Travis 1959 (Curntry n Wyustern sanger. Another clip? Shoot! Why not?), Jay Aston 1961 (A bit of Bucks Fizz. Let’s have another clip... and not the one you think. Here's an honest camera.), Kate Garroway 1967 (TV and radio presenter.), Eric Djemba-Djemba 1981 (Footy homme.), Fernandinho 1985 (Cara de futebol.), Cesc Fàbregas 1987 (Tipo de fútbol.), Jorge Lorenzo 1987 (Piloto de motos.) and Rory McIlroy 1989 (Golfy bloke.).

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grumbleboots,

We are both great fans of Adam and the Ants. Thank you for giving us a link to an early hit. Antmusic almost made it to number one, but can you recall which song provided them with their first chart topper?

Yours with lots of love,

Stan Dandy, Lee Vurr.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened the last time we had a flutter? Can you remember that far back. I can’t. Hold on a mo... I’ll just check Bat653 to see how much we won or lost. £3.34! Hey, we actually won something! A profit of £1.14. Brill! I won’t bore you with details... mainly because it was so long ago all the info I would normally include is no longer available on line. So let’s just see what we can have a gramble on this week. For some strange reason, all Premier League games take place this Sunday at 3pm, so let’s have a bet on five of those.
 
 

Game - Result - Odds

Burnley vs Arsenal - Prediction Away win - 6/5

Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Southampton vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win - 4/9

Tottenham vs Everton - Prediction Home win - 11/10

Watford vs West Ham - Prediction Home win - 5/4

 
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...

 

£13.24

 

Oh dear. That’s far too whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you to name all the teams that have won the Premier League since its inception. How did you get on? There are six in all. Manchester United has won the title 13 times, followed by Chelsea on five, then Arsenal and Manchester City with three apiece with Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City winning it once each.

One for this week? The semi-finals of both the Champions League and the Europa League have recently taken place and for the first time in the existence of the competitions all four teams in the finals come from the same country. Liverpool face Spurs in the Champions League and Arsenal are up against Chelsea in the Europa League. It must surely also be the first time that one city has provided three of the four teams. Any road up, how about a question relating to these events? Sort of.

On only two previous occasions have two English teams contested the final of a Europewide competition - European Cup, Cup-winners Cup, UEFA Cup (and its predecessor the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup), Champions League and Europa Cup. Can you name the competitions, the teams and the years in which the finals took place?

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you 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 E. Sykes who provides us with our finishing link. Eric Sykes was a popular comedian who first achieved success as a comedy writer often collaborating on the Goon Show with Spike Milligan. In the 1960s he came to prominance as a performer and much of his work was pretty visual. Indeed, he so enjoyed visual comedy that he produced the short film which was perhaps the most famous ‘silent’ film of its time. It’s a bit non-pc and some of the gags are a bit laboured, but things were different back in 1967. So, ladeez and genullum, please enjoy The Plank. Incidentally, if you are a fan of classic British cars, it will be right up your street.
 
Not Pia Zadora

 

 

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.

 

Friday, 12 April 2019

Week 34 - None shall pass


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

 

Before you read this week’s rant, please take a moment to watch a short news item. Once again, doctors decided that somebody couldn’t possibly have bowel cancer because they were too young. This is why thegrambler.com continues week in, week out. Hopefully, you will enjoy the daft articles, the clips or the predictions, but always, always, consider the serious message behind the blog... Bowel cancer can hit anyone, no matter how young or old; it is a horrible disease and, if it isn’t treated early enough, a killer. It is the third most commonly occurring cancer in Scotland, accounting for nearly 12% of cancer cases. One eighth of all cancers found; that is a huge proportion. And yet, it is still overlooked by doctors unaware that it is not restricted to the over fifties. If you ever feel that you have symptoms which might be bowel cancer, demand, yes, demand to be checked out.

Right. Lecture over. Now let’s get on with the usual mince.

 

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I've mentioned certain jobsworths in this blog before. You know, those people who will not deviate from any rule or regulation no matter how sensible it might be to do so. I have just met another one and it won't come as much of a surprise when I tell you that she is, that most jobsworthy of jobsworths, a doctor's receptionist.

I needed to make an appointment to see a doctor. I had already been through that ritual of phoning the surgery at one second past half past eight on the morning to find that every line was engaged. By the time I actually got through, some 87 redials (seriously) later, every appointment for the day had been allocated.

I tried a different approach. First thing in the morning, I visited the surgery. My thinking was that, if I couldn't get through on the phone, I couldn't be ignored if I was standing in front of the receptionist. Wrong. Several people were busy answering phone calls while I waited. And waited. And waited. I felt like Peter Brady (ask your dad).

Eventually, after about ten minutes of being ignored, somebody put down the phone and addressed me,

'Can I help you?'

'I'd like to make an appointment.'

'You'll have to phone at half past eight in the morning.'

'I've tried that and couldn't get through. Can't you give me an appointment here and now?'

'I'm not allowed to.'

'Why not?'

'It's how our system works.'

'But it obviously isn't working. Can't you make an exception?'

'I can't.'

'Why not?'

'If I did that for you, I'd have to do it for everyone.'

'No you wouldn't. I'm the only one here asking you to make an exception.'

'Sorry I can't do that. Our system doesn't allow it.'

'Of course it would. I won't tell anybody.'

'I'm sorry. I can't do that. The system...'

'...I know. Doesn't allow it.'

'And besides, all the appointments are full.'

'I might have known. Have you got appointments available tomorrow?'

'Oh yes.'

'Well, I'll have one of those then.'

'I'm sorry. I can't do that. You'll have to phone for an appointment at half past eight tomorrow morning.'

'But, I'm here now. Pretend I am making a phone call and you give me an appointment.'

'I can't do that. The system doesn't allow it.'

You may have heard my scream of anguish at that point.

Okay, they have a system in place. That's great. It means that those who need urgent attention can be seen. However, they ought to be able to allow a few appointment slots for non-urgent cases.

The receptionist told me there was a system. She told me how it works. She told me how to use it. What she didn't explain was why it was so important that it had to be adhered to no matter what.

My own take on the matter is that it needn't be so strictly adhered to. Having encountered this particular lady on numerous occasions, I know just how jobsworthy she can be...

'There is an item on my repeat prescription list that hasn't been updated correctly; can I get a prescription from you?'

'You have to phone the automated prescription line.'

'I have done. It doesn't allow for any changes.'

'I'm sorry, but that is the way the system works. I can't change it.'

'Surely, there is some way of me getting the correct medication.'

'I'll do it for you this time, but I can't do it again. And don't call me Shirley.'

Okay, she didn't say that last bit... more than her jobs worth to inject some humour into proceedings.

That is how the woman works. It is her little bit of power. She always likes to put obstacles in the way of everything. Then, she pretends that she is doing you some sort of favour by acceding to your request.

The next time I had a similar problem, a different person answered the phone and made the change without any suggestion that it was problematic.

I would suggest that Mrs Jobsworth, by being so inflexible, is not a benefit to the practice but an actual hindrance. By putting barriers up when anyone asks for something, she is probably carrying out only half the tasks her fellow workers do.

I think a wee link to finish might be a good idea. Here is the blueprint for a typical doctor's receptionist... None shall pass. Those who don’t like a bit of good old black comedy, look away now. .

 
 

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Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious people born on the 13th of April? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Guy Fawkes 1570 (Please come back. We need you.), Thomas Jefferson 1743 (The well-known president. Invented the airplane, or was it starship?), Richard Trevithick 1771 (Steam locomotive pioneer.), Alexander Mitchell 1780 (Invented the screw-pile lighthouse [Sounds painful... Oh, I didn’t see the word lighthouse. - Ed.], Josephine Butler 1828 (Feminist and social reformer. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, the right of women to better education, the abolition of child prostitution and an end to human trafficking of young women and children into European prostitution. Well, thank goodness we’ve come so far and over 150 years after her campaigns such barbaric practices no longer exis... hang on.), Frank Winfield Woolworth 1852 (Shopkeeper.), Robert Parker 1866 (Who? Better known as Butch Cassidy. Looked nothing like Paul Newman.), Arthur Harris 1892 (Head of RAF Bomber Command during WWII. Known as ‘Bomber’ to the press and ‘Butcher’ within the RAF.), Robert Watson-Watt 1892 (Radar pioneer.), Alfred Butts 1899 (Inventor of Scrabble. His middle name was M3O1S1H4E1R1.), Philippe de Rothschild 1902 (Racey car drivery type bloke, screenwriter and playwright, theatrical producer, film producer, poet, and one of the most successful wine growers in the world. If you are expecting me to call him a right old smarty boots, I’m not going to. He came from a wealthy family; he did the sort of things coming from a wealthy family allows you to do. I wonder if he was any of those things... apart from the wine part.), Samuel Beckett 1906 (Wroiter.), Lawrence ‘Bud’ Freeman 1906 (Musician. Here’s your first clip of the week... a bit of a slippery customer.), Howard Keel 1919 (Ectaw and chanter. Another clip? All together now... Bless your beautiful hahd...), John Braine 1922 (Orfer and angry young man.), Julius Nyerere 1922 (The well-known president.), Don Adams 1923 (Ectaw. Maxwell Smart. That was him.), Stanley Donen 1924 (Jigger.), Alan Clark 1928 (Car-mad politician.), Dan Gurney 1931 (Racey car drivery bloke that could pull horrible faces.), Edward Fox 1937 (Ectaw. Dave the jackal. That was him.), Seamus Heaney 1939 (Wroiter.), Philip Norman 1943 (Orfer.), Jack Casady 1944 (A bit of Jefferson Airplane. Another clip? Here’s somebody to love.), Lowell George 1945 (A little foot. Here’s another clip. Time for the rock and roll doctor.), Al Green 1946 (Singer who’s tired of being alone.), Mike Chapman 1947 (Half of the songwriting machine known as ‘Chinnichap’. Here’s some girls. [Here are some girls, I think that should read. - Ed.]), Christopher Hitchins 1949 (Orfer.), Ron Perlman 1950 (Ectaw. Hellboy. That was him.), Peabu Bryson 1951 (Chanter. If ever you’re in his arms again, you’ll be able to sing this in Portuguese.), Peter Davison 1951 (Ectaw. The fifth... no, sixth... no, definitely fifth Doctor Who.), Jonjo O’Neill 1952 (Horse racey bloke.), Stephen Byers 1953 (Politician.), Jimmy Destri 1954 (A bit of Blondie. Here’s a video of Atomic... Jimmy’s the one pretending to push keys on the synthesizer.), Louis Johnson 1955 (Bassist for Brothers Johnson. Known as ‘Thunder Thumbs’. Let’s have a Stomp!), Rudi Völler 1960 (Fußballer. Known as Aunt Käthe.), Hillel Slovak 1962 (The original geetarist with Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Let’s funk... I said funk... Red Hot! Chileeee! Peperzzzz!), Garry Kasparov 1963 (Chess player... erm... that’s it.), Davis Love 1964 (Golfy bloke.), John Swinney 1964 (Politician.), Ricky Schroder 1970 (Ectaw. Dolly Parton’s dad.), Lou Bega 1975 (Singer. Here’s his hit. You know this one.), Carles Puyol 1978 (Futbolista.) and Jason Maguire 1980 (Horse racey bloke.).

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Ewekdobbelaar,

I was surprised that you played the earliest hit that Jefferson Airplane had rather than the more famous Alice in Wonderland song. It was all about drugs and things like that. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title... Perhaps it’s the drugs.

Yours something or otherly,

Y. Trabbet.

 

 

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Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened a week ago? A total of only 72 pees back from our £2.20 stake money. Rubbish or what? What happened? Read on...

 

Fleetwood Town vs Southend - Prediction Home win

Result - Fleetwood Town 2 Southend United 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Fleetwood Town twice fought back from behind to deny Southend victory.

Southend opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Harry Bunn capitalised on a defensive error.

Fleetwood came out fighting in the second half with substitutes Ash Hunter and Ashley Nadesan making an impact.

Paddy Madden was thwarted by the toe of Shrimpers keeper Nathan Bishop and Hunter's corner crashed onto the bar.

Town got their goal minutes later as Nadesan's delightful ball split open Southend's defence to send Ched Evans clear and he finished well.

Southend's Luke Hyam gave the Shrimpers the lead again in the 81st minute when Fleetwood failed to clear a free-kick.

However, Evans scored from the spot after Madden was ruled to have been fouled by Harry Lennon in the box.

 

Luton vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win

Result - Luton Town 2 Blackpool 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

In the first half, Town took the lead after six minutes when Kazenga LuaLua's low cross was swept home by James Collins.

Blackpool levelled on the half-hour when Nya Kirby volleyed home from 20 yards.

After the break, Hatters goalkeeper James Shea made an excellent save from Armand Gnanduillet's header.

Luton were dealt a huge blow when Collins was sent off on the hour after picking up two yellows in two minutes, the second a lunging challenge on Matty Virtue.

Blackpool took immediate advantage with Virtue hammering home from a corner just 60 seconds later.

Shea saved crucially from Gnanduillet, before substitute Jason Cummings ensured Luton picked up a draw, while fellow sub George Moncur almost won it at the death.

 

Peterborough vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterborough United 2 Gillingham 0

Yay!

Marcus Maddison's penalty after 57 minutes was a rare note of goalmouth action in a match lacking quality, with goalkeeper Tomas Holy sent the wrong way from 12 yards after Siriki Dembele was adjudged to have been fouled by Max Ehmer.

The Gills goalkeeper had been alert earlier in the match to save with his legs from Ivan Toney, while - just before half-time - the visitors' top scorer Tom Eaves had a header tipped round the post by Aaron Chapman.

Matt Godden sealed the win with five minutes remaining, flicking the ball onto Maddison who squared it back to the striker for a simple finish.

 

Rochdale vs Sunderland - Prediction Away win

Result - Rochdale 1 Sunderland 2

Yay!

The Black Cats had to come from behind to secure the three points, Charlie Wyke having cancelled out Ian Henderson's first-half opener for the home side.

Sunderland started the stronger of the teams and it took a superb save from home goalkeeper Josh Lillis to keep out a Will Grigg effort.

But Dale took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute when Henderson collected Joe Bunney's centre and fired past Jon McLaughlin.

Lillis produced yet another fine save four minutes before the break when Max Power's curling effort threatened to sneak into the top corner of his goal.

However, the visitors levelled 10 minutes into the second half when Wyke turned Jim McNulty and slotted home.

And the Black Cats' turnaround was complete in the 88th minute when Bryan Oviedo's persistence on the right paid off, his delivery into the six-yard area turned home by substitute George Honeyman.

 

Shrewsbury vs Scunthorpe - Prediction Home win

Result - Shrewsbury 1 Scunthorpe 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Shrewsbury's Greg Docherty had an early chance when his shot was well kept out by the feet of Scunthorpe goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.

The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute as Tony McMahon's cross from the right was headed home by Kyle Wootton.

James Bolton then headed wide for the hosts and Omar Beckles was denied by a goal-line clearance from James Perch.

Lee Novak came close to doubling Scunthorpe's lead in the second half when his header was tipped over by goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell.

Shrewsbury kept pushing forward in search of an equaliser and it came in the 84th minute as Shaun Whalley's inviting low cross from the right went in off Adam Hammill.

 

How unlucky is that? Three ’It the bars. Let’s see if The Grambler can improve on that this week. What has he/she/it predicted for us?

Game - Prediction - Odds

Burnley vs Cardiff - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Aston Villa vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Middlesbrough vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Sheffield Utd vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 8/13

West Brom vs Preston - Prediction Home win - 10/11

 

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...

 

£10.98

 

A smidgen more whopping than last week.

 

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Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you to work out some football teams’ nicknames. How did you get on?

West Bromwich Albion - The Baggies (or The Throstles, or Albion)

Sheffield United - The Blades (or Red and White Wizards)

Fleetwood Town - The Fishermen (or The Trawlermen)

Scunthorpe United - The Iron

York City - The Minstermen

Derby County - The Rams

Reading - The Royals

Bury - The Shakers

Blackpool - The Seasiders (or The ‘Pool, or The Tangerines)

Burnley - The Clarets

Too easy? What about one for this week? Name all the teams that have won the Premier League since its inception. Another easy one, I reckon.

 

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As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you 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. L. Johnson and his brother who provide us with an interesting image to end this week’s edition. It’s a while since we had a dodgy album cover; does this count?

 
Unusual album cover from George aka 'Lightnin' Licks'
and Louis aka 'Thunder Thumbs'.
Hmm... Discuss.


 

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.