Friday 11 April 2014

Week 32 - The Grambler on a certain vacuum cleaner

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 .

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…


Hello gramblerati the world over.  Welcome to this week’s article.

I begin this week with news of the Gramblerplan diet – ‘The diet that really works’ – my inverted commas there, admittedly, but the statement is true, nevertheless.  Another 4 pounds shed at the last weigh-in, thanks for asking.  If you head to the above-mentioned fund, you will note that there is a £100 donation from the Gramblerplan dieters.  If you can cast your minds back to January, you may remember that I pledged to put 1 quid into the fund for every pound I lost – a pound for a pound.  Obviously, I have not lost 100 pounds in weight.  There are six of us and since the diet began in January we have lost an average of 10 pounds in weight.  Did I hear you say, well done?  Why thank you.  Hang on a mo, I hear you ask.  Six times 10 pounds is 60 pounds.  A pound for a pound?  It doesn’t add up.  Yes, dear reader, you are right and the reason for this is that not every weigh-in by the six of us was a total success.  On a few occasions someone may have actually gained weight.  It is this that explains the anomally.  If anyone gained weight they had to donate 2 pounds per pound gained to the fund.  It made an excellent incentive to ensure weight loss rather than gain.  Either way, the Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund won.


I’ll bet you are wondering who or what has sparked off my grumbling rant this week.  Oh, you’re not.  Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.

An advert.  One solitary advert on TV.  It is fronted by an incredibly posh bloke who introduces himself thus: ‘Hair lair.  My nem is Jems Vecuum-Cleaner, don’t-cha-know.  What.  Pip pip.  Telly-ho.’  You know the one.  He then tells you about his marvellous new ‘vecuum cleaner’.  It’s dead clever.  Instead of wheels, it’s got a big ball thing which rolls as you push it.  It’s basically a large, upside down roll-on deoderant.  Okay, it’s a bit different from your average cleaner and because it’s a ‘Vecuum-Cleaner’ it is incredibly expensive.  Is that my rant?  No.  What annoys me is the caption that comes up when said posh bloke appears – ‘Jems Vecuum-Cleaner – Inventor’.  What?  Inventor?  What has he fnwell invented?  Vacuum cleaner?  Been done.  Washing machine?  Ditto.  Hand dryer for use in public conveniences?  Once again, it’s been done.  He is certainly no inventor.  He is very good at modifying things so that he can take out loads of patents to prevent others using his ideas without paying him wads of dosh in royalties (or whatever it is called in such circles).  Some of his ideas aren’t so brilliant, though.  A great example was when Jems reinvented the washing machine. After some scientists at Jems’ labs figured out that 15 minutes of hand-washing allowed you to get stuff more clean than an hour of machine-washing, he decided he'd build a machine with two drums instead of one to emulate hand washing.  I know, sounds crazy doesn’t it?  Surely, the sane response would be to abandon using a machine altogether.  But not Jems.  However, two drums cost twice as much as one. So by the time he'd built it, the thing cost £1000 a pop. Result: Jems didn’t sell many.

The one really successful product is the Vecuum-Cleaner vacuum cleaner. It’s supposed to have better suction. Maybe so, but is that enough to price it at about 4 times that of the opposition?  Built and tested to survive a lifetime, they say.  Of what?  A small rodent?  Only Vecuum-Cleaner patented means Vecuum-Cleaner performance, they say.  1900 patents?  Why?  It’s a fn vacuum cleaner, for goodness sake!  There are no begs, sorry, bags or filters to replace so the Vecuum-Cleaner people claim that the product is cheaper in the long run.  Pull the other one, I say.  But people believed the hype and swallowed the technobabble hook, line and sinker.  Mrs Grambler included.

Okay, just how good are these Vecuum-Cleaners?  Yes, they are powerful beasts, but check exactly what happens when you use one.  Some dust is lifted, but a lot seems to get simply blown about meaning that you think you are finished, then the dust settles and you have to begin again.  Go on.  Try it.  And why is the centre of gravity so fn high off the ground?  A few kneecaps must have received a nasty bruise as these monsters fall over.  I know mine have.  What about the suction hose which forms part of the handle?  How stupid is that?  It is so flaming bulky you can’t get it into any small spaces.  So what is the point?  Then there’s the cable.  What about the cable, you ask.  You would think, in this day and age, with all them fn patents, they could at least have put on a cord that didn’t tangle and split!  Do I sound impressed?  No?  I have had to replace the cable on our machine.  And do you know what with?  A lawnmower cable!  Do you know why?  Two reasons.  One: it is cheaper to buy a cheap lawnmower and snip off the cable than purchase the authentic Vecuum-Cleaner replacement.  Two: it doesn’t fn well tangle or split!!! [Calm down a bit please – Ed.]

Ahem, sorry.  Anyway, as Jems himself says in the advertising blurb, ‘Our mission is simple.  We solve the problems others seem to ignore.’  Do you know why that is, Jems?  It’s because the problems aren’t fn there in the first place!  You invented them!!!

Oh.  So, you are an inventor.  Ay dyoo apolojase.

Anyway, rant over.  Any birthdays this week?  Only Cardiff born guitarist and singer Dave Edmunds who hits 70 this week.  His first big hit was with trio Love Sculpture in 1968 doing a speed-crazed version of Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance.
His first solo hit and only number one came in 1970 and provides us with our opportunity to do a bit of gramblerising.  Here goes…

You went away and left me long time ago
And now you're grambling on my door

I hear you grambling
But you can't come in

I hear you grambling
Go back where you've been

Oooh…That teks me back that one does.  I didn’t know he was an Scotsman [He’s not!!! – Ed.].  Tim Jones, he is an Scotsman as well [No he isn’t!!! – Ed.].  And that other bloke…Oooh, what’s his name?  Shirley Bassett.  And that bloke Stevens who wobbles all the time.  Wobbling Stevens…  No not wobbles…Begins with a ‘S’….Twitching Stevens…No that’s an ‘T’ isn’t it?  Where’s that theysawus thingie?  Convulsing Stevens?  Quivering Stevens?  Joggling Stevens?  Vibrating?  Etc. etc. ad infinitum.

Let’s get on with some grambling.  How did we get on last week?  Well, we got some money back, but only £1.50.  So, in effect, we lost 70 pees.  Oh well.  Here’s what happened.

Game 1 - Nottingham Forest vs Millwall – Home win Booo!

Nottingham Forest 1 Millwall 2

Scott Malone put Millwall in front in 19 minutes with a shot from the edge of the area which seemed to take a slight deflection.

Lee Martin cut in from the left and scored with a low curling shot to extend the visiting side's lead on 39 minutes.

After the break Jamie Paterson flicked in a header to pull one back for the home side but the Lions held on.

The win was their first in six Championship games, but was not enough to move them out of the bottom three.

Game 2 - Brentford vs Notts County – Home win Yayyyy!

Brentford 3 Notts County 1

Adam Forshaw put the Bees ahead from the spot after Haydn Hollis was sent off for a foul on Clayton Donaldson.

Winger Alan Judge made it 2-0 just before the break, collecting Alan McCormack's pass and shooting home at the near post.

The winger scored his second from close range just after half-time but Jimmy Spencer scored a consolation when he lobbed David Button late on.

Game 3 - Carlisle vs Swindon – Away win Boooo!

Carlisle 1 Swindon 0

Gary Madine's early header forced a save out of Swindon keeper Wes Foderingham but he struck minutes later, converting Brad Potts's cross.

Swindon nearly equalised from an Alex Smith free-kick but Jordan Pitchford impressed in the Carlisle goal.

James Berrett was then sent off for a second yellow for Carlisle but the home side dug deep to secure a vital win.

It means Carlisle lie 20th in League One, level on points with Crewe below them while Swindon's promotion hopes have taken a blow, with the result leaving them four points adrift of sixth-placed Peterborough United.

Game 4 - Gillingham vs Rotherham – Away win Yayyyy!

Gillingham 3 Rotherham 4

Kieran Agard put the visitors ahead before Adebayo Akinfenwa [Bless you! – Ed.] levelled and Myles Weston put the Gills in front.

Tom Hitchcock then levelled for the Millers but Bradley Dack's late goal looked to have won it for the hosts.

Hitchcock equalised again a minute later and completed his hat-trick in stoppage-time with a curling lob.

Rotherham move up to third in the League One table and are now unbeaten in 16 games while Gillingham stay in 14th place.

Game 5 - Falkirk vs Cowdenbeath – Home win Yayyyyyyy!

Falkirk 5 Cowdenbeath 0

Rory Loy volleyed home from Mark Beck's flick and then made it two, before Blair Alston killed off the contest with a great strike.

Craig Sibbald latched on to Mark Millar's through ball to net the fourth early in the second half.

And Loy completed the scoring after more good work by Beck, with the Bairns now just four points off top spot.

So, that was last week.  What about this week’s predictions?  Now, you all know the rules of grambling – all games take place on Saturday with a kick off time of 3pm.  Well, for some reason or other, all games start at 7 minutes past 3.  Sorry.  Just checked.  It’s symbolic.  Let me explain.  Ahem.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillborough disaster all matches normally scheduled for a 3pm kickoff will begin 6 minutes later (the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest ended at 15.06) plus an extra minute’s silence.  All very symbolic, as I said.  Also very confusing for The Grambler.

Any road up, there are 52 games for The Grambler to select from – 38 in England (starting at 7 minutes past 3) and 14 in Scotland (starting at 3pm...and the selections are in.  So, here we go with week 32 predictions.

 Game – Result – Odds

Sunderland vs Everton – Prediction Away win – 4/5

For our first game this week we head to the Stadium of Light where the Black Cats play host to, yes it’s them again, the Toffees.  The Grambler reckons Everton will take the points on this one.  How can I possibly disagree?  Everton have won their past 6 games and Sunderland haven’t managed a win since the 1st of February and…hold on a minute…Wasn’t it Sunderland who beat Everton at Goodison Park the previous time the two teams met?  Everton’s only home defeat of the season?  Hmm…

Burnley vs Middlesbrough – Prediction Home win – 17/20

For our second game of the week we head to Turf Moor where the Clarets play host to the Boro.  The Grambler has gone for a home win this time.  Going on positions in the table that would appear to be the right call; Burnley are in 2nd place while Middlesbrough are down at 13.  However, Middlesbrough have lost only 1 in the past 8 games.  Admittedly, they have drawn 4 and only won 3, but surely that must count in their favour.  Burnley have only won one of their last 3.  In Burnley’s favour is the fact that they have only been beaten once at home this season, beaten 2-0 by top placed Leicester.  I would have thought a point each would be the more likely outcome here.

Notts County vs Port Vale – Prediction Draw – 13/5

For the middle game of our five, we head to Meadow Lane where the Magpies (Again!) play host to the Vale.  The Grambler has predicted that this game will end in a draw.  Given that Port Vale sit in 9th spot and Notts County are 23rd, do you think that’s wise, Grambler?  At the teams’ last encounter Port Vale took all the points, beating County by 2 goals to 1.  However, in their favour, County’s recent form has been pretty good; they had won their previous 3 games prior to last weekend’s defeat to 2nd placed Brentford.  They are also fighting to stay in this league; a home win is certainly a possibility here.

Walsall vs Bristol City – Prediction Draw – 13/5

For our penultimate game we head to Bescott Stadium where the Saddlers play host to the team that was the basis of some very well-known rhyming slang aka the Robins (tweet).  The Grambler has predicted another draw for this encounter.  Certainly, the teams are pretty close in the league.  Walsall are in 10th spot on 56 points and City are in 15th place on 47 points.  Both teams have drawn a lot of games this season; Bristol leading by 3 on 17.  You could call these 2 the draw ‘specialists’, perhaps.  Maybe a good call, Grambler.

Incidentally, you may be wondering why Walsall are called the Saddlers when their crest features a swift.  You weren’t?  Well, you should be.  The team was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts when Walsall Town FC and Walsall Swifts amalgamated.  That’s very interesting, but why the Saddlers, I hear you ask.  This reflects the fact that Walsall was once the traditional centre of saddle manufacture.  Not a lot of people know that.  [Not a lot of people care. – Ed.]

Would you like to see what Walsall’s mascot, Swifty, a swift not surprisingly, thinks of  the opposition’s fans?


Northampton Town vs Burton Albion – Prediction Away win – 11/8

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther we are transported to Sixfields Stadium where the (load of old) Cobblers play host to the Brewers.  The Grambler in his/her/its wisdom has predicted that this game will end with Burton the victors.  Burton sit 5th in the table and Northampton sit in 23rd spot.  Do you need any more convincing?  Well, actually, yes.  Both teams are performing reasonably well at the mo.  Both have lost only twice in their last 10 games.  Don’t write the Cobblers off; they could perhaps take a point here.

So there we have it my little grambling chums.  The predictions are in and the bet is on (10 x 20 pee doubles and 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if all results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund (or the Bobby Moore fund if you prefer) will benefit by the astonishingly magnificent sum of…fanfare please…


Ha ha ha ha ha!  No chance!  Ha ha ha ha!  Never in a million years…Or could it?  Could this be the week when [Oh shut up! – Ed.].  You might at least let me finish.


Oh well.  I shall end this week with a true story.  Our very good friend Agnes thought it would be nice to send Mrs Grambler and myself some flowers.  Remember that name: Agnes.  She phoned our local flower emporium – not a flower emporium in a country where English is an additional language – to order said bouquet.  Her name is Agnes.  Got that?  She did encounter a slight problem, granted, and that was that she had a problem making herself heard thanks to there being a radio in the shop blaring out.  Agnes.  The girl at the other end asked for the name of the person sending the flowers.  Agnes said, ‘Agnes’.  Not an unusual name.  Agnes.  Pronounced Agg ness.  Easy.  Agnes.  Here is the card which was attached to the bouquet…

Ye Gods and little fishes!

Hope you have enjoyed this week’s ramblings, gramblings and grumblings.  If so, why not follow The Grambler?  Go on.  You know you want to.  And, hey, don’t forget to tell absolutely everybody you know what a totally spiffing read it is.  Toodle pip. [Have you been listening to that Vecuum-Cleaner bloke? – Ed.]

What did I forget?  Yes, the answers to last week's Teasers.  Sorry about that.  Any road up, here they are.  Firstly, the pictures -

Police - Message in a Bottle
Correct - A year has passed since I wrote my note
Misheard - A year has passed since I rowed my boat

Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
Correct - Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
Misheard - Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon

Bee Gees
Correct title - More Than a Woman
Misheard title - Norman's a Woman

Correct title - Walk This Way
Misheard title - Wok This Way

Adam Ant
Correct title - Stand and Deliver
Misheard title - Stand on the Liver

Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Correct - Sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bad intent
Misheard - Sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bat in tent

All very silly, I know.  Hope you enjoyed them though.

And now...the answer to the football teaser - George Best played in four different countries in 10 days: for Fulham against Crystal Palace in England and against Cardiff City in Wales; for Northern Ireland against Iceland in Northern Ireland and in a friendly for Fulham against St Johnstone in Scotland.

How about a teaser for this week?  Okay, here goes...
There are only two football stadiums in Scotland which are listed buildings; name them.

Have a good week.  Happy grambling.

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