Friday 14 March 2014

Week 28 - Another young life lost

Another tragic story to start us off this week.  The death of another young person from bowel cancer; the usual diagnosis problems because too many doctors still don’t associate the disease with young people and therefore do not initiate the various scans and tests for it.  30 years old.  What a waste.  Please read and learn from this sad event -


I haven’t spoken about the Gramblerplan diet of late.  You are perhaps wondering if I am still on the diet.  Indeed I am and I am feeling pretty chuffed.  At the last weigh-in, I had shed 4 pounds.  That makes up for putting on that pound at the previous weigh-in.  In all I have now lost over half a stone (that always sounds good when you are talking about weight loss doesn’t it).  Okay, the weight drop may be slow, but I don’t ever feel hungry.  I just follow the Gramblerplan rules – Eat less, exercise more – and it works.

Now, losing weight can also cause the odd problem.  People who lose a lot of weight often have loose folds of skin to contend with.  Think ‘bingo wings’.  Hopefully that won’t happen to you or me.  But it has got me thinking.  Not only must we follow the Gramblerplan diet, we must consider toning up those muscles that lie beneath the flab.  Can anyone remember Charles Atlas?  Not personally, of course; he died over 40 years ago. However, he used to advertise his brilliant method of improving muscles.  He called it dynamic tension.  I am guessing Charles Atlas wasn’t his real name (His real name was Angelo Sicilliano.  Wonder where he came from.).  Otherwise he might have ended up as a cartographer (person who draws maps).  Geddit?  Atlas?  Map?  Forget it.  Apparently, it often happens that people follow a profession associated with their name.  Thomas Crapper is one who springs to mind.  He was a manufacturer of toilets and is credited with inventing the ballcock.  You see ‘Crapper’ – one who craps.  Never mind.  Did you know that Carry On star Kenneth Williams* started his working career as a cartographer?  Yes.  And did you know his real name was Mapp?  Stupid of Mr and Mrs Williams to call their son Mapp, but there you are.

Anyway.  Dynamic tension.  The story goes that the young Angelo was a 97 pound weakling and when he was on the beach somewhere in Italy, a bully kicked sand in his face.  Humiliated, the budding Charles Atlas decided to build up his body and tried various regimes, none of which worked.  It was on a visit to a zoo he was watching a lion stretch and realised that animals don’t use any barbells or weights for muscle gain; it was simply a case of pitting muscle against muscle.  The rest, as they say, is history.

So, dynamic tension is the pitting of muscles against each other.  How do we do this, I hear you ask.  Well, here’s a for instance – While sitting (or standing or even lying on your back; it’s up to you) expel all the air from your stomach and, while doing so, draw your stomach back as far as you can.  Hold this position for 6 to 10 seconds and then breathe in and relax.  Repeat every 30 seconds or so for, say, 10 minutes.  The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere whether you are sitting or standing.  One problem is that people might think you are having a seizure as you perform the exercise!  You can do a similar exercise when driving – not when you are on the move of course but certainly when you are stopped at lights.  Again, expel the air from your stomach and holding the steering wheel at the 3 and 9 o’clock position try to squash the steering wheel.  Hold for 6 to 10 seconds and breathing in, relax.  Fellow motorists will look at you as if you are a lunatic, but f*** em.

*Kenneth Williams was never called Mapp.  His full name was always Kenneth Charles Williams.

Any birthdays this week?  Neil Sedaka.  Yes this week old Neil reaches the ripe old age of 75 and he’s still performing.  Wowing pensioners the world over.  No doubt he is still singing his classic Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen.  Have you ever analysed the lyrics to that song?  No?  Here’s a small sample...


Tonight's the night I've waited for
Because you're not a baby anymore
You've turned into the prettiest girl I've ever seen
Happy birthday sweet sixteen


That is a bit bloody suspect, isn’t it?  What the singer appears to be is some old perv who has been waiting to have his way with an underage girl.  The inference is that he is being a gentleman by waiting until her 16th birthday.  ‘Grooming’ I think is the word they use nowadays.


Okay, let’s not dwell on that.  It’s time to get down to the serious business of gramblerising one of Neil’s songs.  Which one?  Could it be anything other than Grambler Girl?  You don’t know it?  You will recognise it, I am sure.


I love, I love, I love my grambler girl
Yeah, sweet grambler girl,
I love, I love, I love my grambler girl
Each and every day of the year


Ooh, he sounds an right blibbing one that nearly darker bloke.  He sounds as if he’s one of them…What are they called again?  Something to do with computers.  PDF files!  That’s it.  He sounds like one of them.  He wrote that Armadillo song for Tony Crispy, you know.  He wrote lots of songs for lots of people to sing.  He used to write them in that Brillo Building.  He wrote that Stupid Cun…No, that’s not it.  Stupid Cupid.  That’s what I meant.  He wrote that one for that woman fellow…What was her name again?  Connie someone.  What was that Irish airline?  Aer Lingus.  That’s it, Connie Li…  No, that can’t be right.  Ooh, I’m getting mixed up with that film.  The one with Nicolarse Cake in it.  Connie Air.  Hang on, that’s not her name.  she’s got the same name as the Pope bloke.  Alexander!  No that doesn’t sound right…etc. etc.  ad infinitum.


Ahem.  Grambling time, I think.  So did The Grambler give us a return on our bet this week?  Did he/she/it fu… No, he/she/it didn’t.  What went wrong, I hear you ask.  I don’t really hear you; that would be weird.  Hearing voices.  No I don’t hear voices.

Don’t you?

Of course I don’t.

Here’s what happened.


Game 1 – Blackpool vs Bournemouth – Prediction Draw – Nope!

Blackpool 0 Bournemouth 1

Poor old Blackpool, eh.  Eighteen games without a win.  That is shocking by any club’s standards. Their awful run has seen them slip to 19th in the table, only six points clear of the relegation zone, and caretaker-manager Barry Ferguson remains without a win.

And Bournemouth?  Let manager Eddie Howe have his say.

The last two games for us have been huge and we knew this was going to be a tough game.

“We were under no illusions, despite their long wait for a win we knew they would give everything to turn their season around and I think it made it a cagey affair.

“We defended for our lives, we defended our box really well, we defended direct play really well.”

We defended for our lives?  A bit dramatic, mate.  It is a ‘game’ of football and it is ‘played’ by two teams of eleven.  Just thought I would point that out.

Game 2 – Leeds vs Bolton – Prediction Draw – Nope again

Leeds 1 Bolton 5 (That’s five folks)

Manager Brian McDermott witnessed the heaviest home defeat of his Leeds reign and then brushed aside questioning about his future. Bolton's 5-1 victory left Leeds' play-off hopes hanging by the thinnest of threads.  It was Leeds' first home game since McDermott thought he had been sacked by the potential owner Massimo  Cellino on 1 February, only to be rapidly reinstated.  If that had happened to me I reckon my thinking would be that my coat was definitely on a shoogly nail. 

Bolton's win was their third in succession, while Leeds have won only two of their past 14 matches.

Let’s have a few words from Mr McDermott, shall we.

“Obviously I am bitterly disappointed. During the first half there was nothing in the game.

“They scored just before half-time, which was a blow. We got done quickly by two set-plays, lost our shape and that was it. You could tell the players were nervous in the first half.

“It is a bad day for us. We've had a couple like that, it's not acceptable and we have to analyse the reasons.”

Top cliché-ing, Brian.

Game 3 – Gillingham vs Crawley – Prediction Away – Nope yet again

Gillingham 1 Crawley 0

Wrong again.  The visitors, who were unbeaten in seven league games, had the best of the early chances, but Billy Clarke missed the target twice when well placed. Pillock!

Joe Walsh [Not the Joe Walsh, surely – Ed], hit a post for Crawley, while Cody McDonald saw his effort for the hosts well saved by Paul Jones [Not the Paul Jones, surely – Ed].

But Charlie Lee Lee Lee slotted home the winner from close range with 88 minutes on the clock.

Thus, Gillingham ended their run of three successive defeats and climbed to 14th, six points clear of the relegation zone, while Crawley dropped to 16th, just four points away from the drop zone.

Game 4 – Accrington Stanley vs Chesterfield – Prediction Away – Nope but we don’t care cos the Stanley won!

Accrington 3 Chesterfield 1

Lee Molyneux hit a first-half hat-trick for 10-man Accrington Stanley to consign table-topping Chesterfield to a surprise defeat.

Molyneux scored with a low free-kick before following in when Danny Webber's penalty was saved by Tommy Lee [Not the Tommy Lee, surely – Ed].

Peter Murphy was sent off for a bad challenge on Spireites midfielder Dan Gardner before Molyneux wrapped up the win after poor defending.

The visitors pulled one back when Ian Evatt slotted in from close range.

Despite the defeat, the Spireites remained top of League Two, one point clear of Scunthorpe, who were held at home by Northampton.

Victory for James Beattie's side moved them six points clear of the League Two relegation zone.   All together now…

Everybody Stanley

Keep it in the family

They can do the Stanley too

They’ll like it.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther…

Game 5 – Dunfermline vs Stenhousemuir – Prediction Home – One more time – Nope!

Dunfermline 0 Stenhousemuir 0

Lawrence Shankland should have put Dunfermline ahead as early as nine minutes but he fluffed his lines (To be or not to be, that is the gzorganblatt) when clean through in what was to be a frustrating afternoon for Jim Jefferies' team.
Shankland continued to knock on the door in the second-half but somehow his effort stayed out after Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Chris Smith dropped a corner at his feet before Jonathan Page and Allan Smith both went agonisingly close for the hosts.


So, my fellow gramblerados, The Grambler scored null points this week.  Not one right.  Rubbish.

Never mind.  We might win this week eh?  Yeah?  Maybe?  Perhaps?  No.  I can’t even convince myself.

Any road up, what about this week’s predictions, I hear you ask.  Well, this Saturday, the 15th of March in the year of our Lord 2014 when the clock do striketh 3 - Ooer, I’m getting all mediaeval – there are 50 matches for The Grambler to randomly select from…..

And I have the 5 predictions before me now.  All from the English leagues this week and not 1, but 2, from the Premiership [Whoop de f***ing doo – Ed].

Game – Result – Odds

Everton vs Cardiff City – Home win – 4/11

Our first game this week takes us to Goodison Park where the Toffees play host to the Blue/Redbirds.  The Grambler has predicted that this will end with the points going the way of the Toffees.  I have no argument with that.  Everton have lost only one game at home this season; Cardiff have not won a single game away from home all season.  Do I need to go on?  No.

Sunderland vs Crystal Palace – Away win – 14/5

Game number two and we head to the north east man.  That’s how they talk up there man.  They say man at the end of every sentence man.  All right when talking to blokes, not so good talking to women – ‘Eee, Mary man’.  Any road up, the Black Cats play host to the Glaziers at the Stadium of Light man.  For this one The Grambler predicts an away win man.  Both clubs are struggling down at the bottom of the table and, although they have lost their past 2 games, have the better recent record man.  Crystal Palace have won only 2 away games all season man.  Sunderland have fared a little better in their home games; 3 won in the league man.  In the cup competitions, they have actually won 8 home games man!  In the teams’ only other meeting of recent times Crystal Palace took the points, but that was a home fixture man.  Hmm man.

Millwall vs Charlton Athletic – Home win – 13/10

For game number three we head to the Den where the Lions (ROAR!!) play host to the Red Robins (tweet!).  The Grambler predicts that Millwall will take all the points from this one.  Millwall have the better record in recent meetings between the two having won two and drawn one of the last three encounters.  However, they don’t have a great home record having won only 5 home games all season.  Charlton have an even worse record in away matches having won only 2 league games on the road.  Has The Grambler predicted correctly?  We will find out at 5 o’clock on Saturday.

Queens Park Rangers vs Yeovil Town – Home win – 1/2

For our penultimate (That’s a good word.  Must look it up.) game we head to Loftus Road where the ‘Oops play host to the Glovers.  Once again The Grambler predicts a home win.  Not so sure about that, Grambler.  QPR have lost 4 of their last 6 games whereas Yeovil have lost only one over the same period.  Methinks a draw would be the least Yeovil can expect.

Southend United vs Bury – Draw – 21/10

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther (Ever had a feeling of déjà vu?) we head to Roots Hall where the Shrimpers play host to the Shakers.  For this encounter The Grambler is staying firmly on the fence by predicting a draw.  Southend have won only 4 home games in the league this season.  Hardly a great record.  It is the same number as Bury have won on the road.  A draw is looking like a possibility.  Their last four encounters have ended in draws.  Hmm.  Not so sure now.  Five in a row?  Hmm.

Well, that’s it for another week my little gramblerados.  Five predictions made.  The bets are on (the usual 10 doubles and a five game accumulator) and, if [If…If…If! – Ed.] it comes up, the Bobby Moore Fund (via )will benefit by… fanfare please…


Pretty good, eh.  If it comes up, that is.  Mmm.  If it comes up.  Mmm.  Aye.  Well.

Hey, let’s finish on a fun note.  A Benny Hill joke, no less.  Remember the Charles Atlas stuff?  This gag is based on the long-running advertising campaign used by Charlie boy.

[Sad] “I used to be a nine stone weakling and 13 stone thugs used to kick sand in my face. [Happy] Now, I’m a 14 stone he-man [Sad] and 17 stone thugs kick sand in my face.” 

Speaking of which...

Before we go, I have to mention a wee sad note.  My favourite politician died this week.  Tony Benn.  He was a staunch socialist when the Labour Party moved ever towards the right (as in political right).  He always fought for the rights (as in civil liberties) of the individual.  I loved the comment he made when he retired from parliament in 2001; he said he wanted to "spend more time on politics".  Brilliant.


Thank you and goodnight.

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