Friday 25 April 2014

Week 34 - Gollum gets the chop

The Grambler is the brainchild of Stewart David Smith, who lost his wonderful life to Colorectal, or Bowel, cancer aged just 28.  He fought a horrendous battle for 2 years and 1 month, defeating septicemia, multi-organ failure, antibiotic-induced hearing loss, kidney failure and countless other complications with a bravery none of us will ever see again. 


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 will be 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 .


Please read this article which was in today’s 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.


His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


I should begin with football’s biggest story of the week.  Yes, Keith Lasley swore on air when Big John Sutton scored for Motherwell  in the dying seconds to share the points with Celtic in a 3 all draw.  What do you mean, that’s not the biggest story?  Oh, and David Moyes got the heave from Man U.  It was not unexpected.  He said so himself.  He accused his Manchester United stars of playing like girls and claimed they were trying to get him the sack.  It worked then.

Any ideas on a replacement?  The Grambler reckons Roberto Martinez should be given the job for the simple reason that he has given Everton fair success this season following Moyes’ departure.  Why shouldn’t he follow him at Man U?

The David Moyes 'Chosen One' banner is apparently being sold on eBay, with the highest bid (of 142!) currently standing at £154,100. It has the description: "One previous owner, well used, highly sought after and will soon be a relic."  However, the owners of the flag have denied that it is up for sale and say that the auction is a spoof….I’ll bet they are thinking about it though.  154,100 quid?  Not to be sneezed at.

I don’t suppose Gollum, sorry, David Moyes will be too bothered about the week’s events.  He received a handsome payoff and is (allegedly) already being courted by clubs such as Spurs and Newcastle.

Are you ready for this week's grumble? Banks. Who likes banks? No one. Especially after the way our money was 'invested' in such a clever way as to virtually bankrupt several large countries. Someone, somewhere, made a lot of money. In any other circumstances the people who had perpetrated such 'investments' would spend quite a long time in pokey as a thank you for their smart investing skills. But did that happen? Did it f... No it didn't. Instead, they get lots more money flung in their direction and told not to let it happen again, there's a good chap. Don't get me started!
Any road up, I was recently driving along in the middle of Argyll [Is that significant? - Ed.] when I passed a van [This had better be going somewhere... Doh! - Ed.] which belonged to the Royal Bank of
Scotland.  Nothing odd about that; it was probably providing a service to some of the remoter parts of Argyll.  So what's my gripe? Its number plate. Sorry, pardon, excuse me? Its number plate. In Britain you can pay lots of money for personalised number plates. You can get something which looks vaguely like your name.... Ooh, let's just say for example your name was Colin, you could pick up a registration number with, say... C17LON for just a few hundred quid (That is the sort of arrangement of letters and numbers that passes for personalised.).  But, equally, you can get a really individual plate and pay thousands. Even millions. The record amount paid for a desirable number plate was... Are you ready for this?...7 million quid! 7 million! For something that is included in the price of a new car anyway!  7 f***ing million!  More money than sense, some people!
Anyway, back to the plot. This bank van... Not a fancy car. Just a van... had the registration plate 1 RBS.  That is one special plate to stick on a van.  Maybe it didn't cost 7 million quid, but it must have cost a fair old bit of dosh. The fact that a bank that nearly bankrupted this country should flaunt how it casually wasted a 'fair old bit of dosh' by displaying this expensive personalised registration tells you something about the lack of guilt felt by the people, or at least the management,  who work for the bank. Surely, any 'assets', no matter how small, should be seized... No not seized, handed over willingly... to help pay off some of the massive debts incurred by these 'financial experts'.
I doubt if they care anyway. In fact they ought to change the bank's logo to more reflect the attitude of the management.  I have devised a new, simplified logo for the bank.  It is just a case of using a quarter of the current logo... Voila! It looks like someone giving the 'middle finger'. Much more apt.



Any birthdays of note this week?  Do you know what?  I’m not going to bother this week [Hooray – Ed.], I’m going to tell you a story instead [Groan – Ed.].  It is a true story which sums up nicely the average British holiday-maker’s attitude to dealing with language when venturing abroad.  The Brits think that by shouting loudly and slowly as if talking to some halfwit it will be sufficient to make themselves understood when they are in a foreign land.  The one concession to the local language is to stick ‘oh’ onto the end of each word.  For example when dealing with reception staff – ‘You-oh give-oh to me-oh my room-oh key-oh’.  You get the picture.  Strangely, it seems to work, but only because the staff at most holiday hotels abroad talk better English than we do.  However, what if the person being addressed has no English?  Here is an example of how not to do it.

This is the story of one individual Brit; even more specifically one single Scot. You will, though, have met his type.
This particular fellow - let's call him Wee Baldy Guy - had travelled all the way from
Glasgow airport to Tenerife. Our story begins with him sitting on the coach which would transfer him from the airport to his hotel.
Now Wee Baldy Guy likes a drink and as he sits at the back of the coach waiting for other passengers to board, he decides to start his holiday with a wee drink; a bottle of beer. The coach driver, who speaks no English to speak of (that's quite good, eh?) Spies what Wee Baldy Guy is doing and storms to the back of the bus shouting things like 'Vamos! Taxi! No drink!'.  Wee Baldy Guy stops drinking, but for the bus driver this isn't enough. Becoming ever more agitated he screams, 'No drink! No drink! Taxi! Taxi! Vamos!' and returns to his seat at the front. Wee Baldy Guy doesn't move so the driver again races to the back screaming similar words as before. No not similar; exactly the same words, though possibly in a different order.
At this Wee Baldy Guy heads to the front of the bus and, taking into account the driver's lack of understanding of the English language, asks of the driver - "Whit's the score, pal?"
What is the score, pal? Excuse me?
This poses a couple of questions. 1) The driver can't speak English; how the f*** is he meant to understand that? 2) Even if he could speak reasonable English; how the f*** is he meant to understand that?

The upshot was that Wee Baldy Guy was unceremoniously bundled off the bus and forced to take a taxi to his hotel.

Unfortunately for him, the driver saw no reason to give him his luggage and drove away from the airport with WBG’s cases still in the hold.

Eventually, the driver reached WBG’s hotel and was met with an incredibly animated WBG who was using the most colourful language possible to convey his, let’s call it, dismay to the driver.  I believe the non-English-speaking driver might actually have worked out the gist of what was being said this time!

Ah, the Brits abroad.  Don’t you just love ‘em.  Nope.

Righto chaps and chapesses, time for a spot of grambling.  How did The Grambler fare last week.  Did he/she/it win that fortune (well, £15.72) for The Grambler’s Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund?  No.

Here’s what happened…

Newcastle United vs Swansea – Prediction Home win - Nope

Newcastle 1 Swansea 2

A Wilfried Bony penalty in stoppage time ensured Swansea crept closer to Premier League safety and increased the pressure on Newcastle.

The Magpies, lacking confidence after four successive defeats, took the lead against the run of play thanks to Shola Ameobi's finish into the bottom corner.

But Bony headed home from a Ben Davies corner to level before the break.

The match seemed to be petering out when Marvin Emnes was felled by Cheick Tiote and Bony struck from the spot.

Newcastle's players had no time to respond, although their fans had ample opportunity to make their displeasure known as they watched Swansea's players and their coach Garry Monk celebrate on the pitch at the final whistle.

Barnsley vs Leeds United – Prediction Away win - Yay

Barnsley 0 Leeds 1

Barnsley's survival hopes suffered a blow as they were beaten by Leeds to leave them three points from safety.

They have three more games to avoid relegation to League One.

Ex Motherwell goal machine Ross McCormack gave the visitors an early lead after Matt Smith's knock-down found him free inside the area and he fired low past Luke Steele for his 29th goal of the season.


Burton Albion vs Hartlepool United – Prediction Home win - Yay

Burton 3 Hartlepool 0

Hartlepool sank deeper into relegation trouble after their sixth-successive defeat at Burton Albion.

The away side should have taken the lead when substitute Marlon Harewood was sent clear, but it was Albion who went in front six minutes later through Billy Kee's six-yard strike.

Jimmy Phillips doubled the hosts' advantage after the break with a curled shot from the edge of the area.

Albion skipper Lee Bell thundered in a 22-yard free-kick to seal Pools' fate.

The result leaves Hartlepool just two points above the relegation zone, while fifth-placed Burton kept alive their hopes of automatic promotion.

Greenock Morton vs Dundee – Prediction Away win - Nope

Morton 1 Dundee 0

What did I say Grambler?  I said Morton might go out with a ‘f*** em’ attitude and win, didn’t I?

Dougie Imrie's 78th-minute strike meant Morton dealt Dundee a huge blow in their bid to win the Championship.

Imrie rifled home Rowan Vine's cutback into the far corner to give Morton only their sixth league win of the season.

Dundee will feel aggrieved given that they dominated the match, winning 13 corners in the first half alone.

Former Morton striker Peter MacDonald and Christian Nade were guilty of missing chances for the visitors.

Paul Hartley's men now drop to second, a point behind Hamilton Accies with two games to play.

Third-placed Falkirk are also still in the mix, just a point behind Dundee.

Stirling Albion vs Elgin City – Prediction Home win - Nope

Stirling 2 Elgin 2

Play-off hopefuls Stirling were twice forced to come from behind to earn a share of the points against Elgin.

Shane Sutherland gave Barry Wilson's side the lead, and Jordan White saw a penalty cannon back off both posts.

But Albion were soon level when White curled the ball into the corner only for Elgin to train the lead shortly after half-time through Craig Gunn.

Craig Comrie equalised to set up a frantic finish, and Daniel Ashe nearly won it for Albion in injury time but shot wide. Pillock.  You could have guaranteed some dosh back for The Grambler there.


So, three nopes and two yays; not enough to bring enough winnings to cover the stake money.  In fact, we were over a pound down.  Ne’er mind, eh?  What about this weekend?

There are 53 senior games in the Scottish and English leagues this Saturday, the 26th of April at 3pm.  Of these, The Grambler will now randomly select 5.  And the winners are...


Game - Result - Odds

Doncaster Rovers vs Reading – Prediction Away win – 5/4

Carlisle United vs Oldham – Prediction Home win – 15/8

Leyton Orient vs Tranmere Rovers – Prediction Home win – 17/20

Exeter vs Scunthorpe – Prediction Away win – 13/10

Aberdeen vs St. Johnstone – Prediction Home win – 3/4


There you have it – 3 homes and 2 aways and 0 write-up.  If all those results go the way The Grambler has predicted, then the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit by…fanfare please…


Not a bad total.  Will this be the week?

Why no write-up?  Because this week I intend putting all my efforts into tweeting.  Yes, I am going to tweet as many individuals, clubs and companies as I can to let them know about the Daily Record article and also to let them know about where to donate.  Of course, you people out there in Gramblerland already know the web pages to visit, but you can help the cause by telling everyone you know about Stewart’s story.  And if you are on Twitter, please tweet directions to this blog and ask that all your Twitter friends retweet.  Happy tweeting.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther the answer to last week’s teaser.  Did everyone realise it was Bert Trautmann?  He was most famously remembered for playing out the last 15 minutes of the 1956 Cup Final with a broken neck.  Couldn’t see Joe Hart playing on if anyone so much as touched his nicely coiffed hair or neatly trimmed eyebrows, let alone playing on with a horrendous injury.

Do you want a teaser this week?  Of course you do. 

What ‘first’ occurred in Scotland in January 1891 and in England in September 1891?

I just want to add a picture in at the end here and ask the question – What the hell happened here?

Yes, it is a wheelchair and yes, it has been dumped in a hedge.


Happy grambling.