Friday 27 June 2014

Week 43 - The Grambler on Facebook

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 .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which recently 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.


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…


What has the Grambler got to moan about this week? Social media. You know bacefook and twatter or whatever they are called. Now I know what you are thinking [That sounds a bit creepy. - Ed.].  You're thinking, 'hold on a minute, doesn't the Grambler embrace social media and post on it regularly'. All right, perhaps you're not thinking that. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Why am I reading this drivel.’  That reminds me of all those old films where two people are looking at the same thing and one says to the other, 'are you thinking what I'm thinking?' The other invariably answers with a nod of the head or a simple yes. I would just love the next line to be, 'You filthy bugger! You want locking up!'

Back to the plot.  Yes, I do use social networking to promote this wonderful blog and it has helped to double the readership in just a couple of months. What annoys me though are the people who put a message on telling the world what they had for breakfast/dinner/tea (delete as applicable). Why would anyone be interested in that? It so happens that I have just finished a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea. Could you give a f***? No, of course you couldn't. The thing is, somebody then ticks 'like'. Are they taking the piss, or what?  And another thing, there is an option to like something, but no option to dislike something. Stewart used to post updates about his deteriorating health. It saved him expending energy on having to contact people individually. He would post information about a particularly traumatic procedure that he had had to endure and people, instead of writing a message, would simply reply by selecting 'like'. Not appropriate.  What is really required is a simple acknowledgment option.

Other messages on bacefook might show a heart-rending picture of an emaciated child/dog/old person (delete as applicable) with an instruction to share this post if you agree that said whatever shouldn't be left to starve. What? Why? Does some maily dail reader see that and think, 'No I don't agree. It is probably an asylum seeker or an asylum seeker's child/dog. It serves them right!'?  Of course not, but why is it even there?  It's a question that doesn't need to be asked.  Nobody wants anybody to starve. What kind of sick minded person would even think to ask such a question?  Others of the same ilk... Ilk?  Isn't that the same as a moose?... Include 'Share if you agree that children should be taught how to respect others', 'Share if you agree that grandparents should see their grandchildren' (seriously) and 'Share if you agree that people with comb overs should be forced to have their heads shaved.' Actually I may have imagined that last one. But I am sure you understand the point I am making. These statements are just stating what everyone knows to be right (especially the comb over one).  Why do you even think such a thing, let alone post it on line for the world to see?  That leads me to another point.  The world and his brother can indeed see what you are posting, so why do people have, what ought to be, private conversations (correspondence?) on bacefook?  'I am just getting in the car. Will be home in half an hour.'  'Right, I will get dinner made for you coming in.'  'What are we having tonight?'  'Roast beef.'  'My favourite. Yorkshire puddings too?' etc. etc.

Worse are the ones where people post their intimate feelings for their husband/wife/partner (delete as applicable). Again I ask, why? These are, or should be, your own private thoughts. Do you know what? Instead of putting it on line, why don't you actually say it to you your husband/wife/partner (delete as applicable)?  You know, as in talking.

There are some useful things that social media can be used for. If you are part of a local 'group', it is very handy for checking local news, road conditions etc.  It is also useful for asking about local matters.  At first, when somebody asked if anyone knows of a good electrician/plumber/barber to shave my comb over (delete as applicable) I thought, how lazy.  Can't you just check Yellow Pages?  Then I realised, social media is far more sensible than checking some listing.  Why?  Because people will point you in the direction of a good artisan; someone who has done work for them and with whom they are satisfied.
There is a downside to these groups, though.  Nutters.  Yep.  They get everywhere, don't they?  One of the groups I am in is supposed to be about the history of the town I live in.  You might be having a nice little discussion with some people about the colour the local railings used to be painted (I never said it was exciting) and before you know it some nut job will start effing and blinding.  He is obviously trying to annoy folk and, sadly, rather than ignore said nutter, someone invariably rises to the bait and what was an innocent chat becomes quite vicious and sinks to abusive comments relating to someone's parentage/appearance/comb over (delete as applicable).

Then, we have the grammar.  Or should I say lack of grammar. Some of the worst writing ever gets posted on line unchecked [You said it. - Ed.].  There are loads of examples of poor grammar.  My least favourite is 'should of' instead of 'should have'.  People write 'I should of went to the shop' instead of 'I should have went to the shop'.  Do you see what I did there?  I deliberately left in another grammatical error popular with Scots and Geordies; the word 'went' instead of 'gone'.  Don't get me started on to, too and two; or there, their and they're.  Rarely is the correct one picked.  As for proof reading.  Ha!  Non-existent. Everything just gets thrown out unchecked, or at best checked only with a spill chucker.

Actually, moving away from social media for a moment, the malaise (That's a good word. Must look it up.) has spread to newspapers.  Below is a picture I took off a page in the raily decord, a Scottish newspaper of some repute (bad?).  Shocking, I call it.

Devasted indeed!  What was the journo thinking?  ‘Oh dear, I’ve got too many letters for this headline… I know, I’ll just take a few out.  Who’s going to notice?’  Oh, there’s another one that annoys me…people not knowing the difference between who’s and whose!

Any road up, back to the social media gripe. There is one thing above all others that annoys me more than poor grammar, trivialities, nutters, or any of the other things I have already moaned about.  What is it that has got me so angry, and it does make me incredibly angry.  Will whoever is doing it, please stop inviting me to play Candy fn Crush Saga!!!

And here we have a first for , a little World Cup interlude from Hamish and Dougal (with apologies to messrs. Garden and Cryer).

HAMISH :           Dougal!

DOUGAL :         Hamish!

HAMISH :           You’ll have had your tea.

DOUGAL :         Aye.  I had wee drop of cockaleekie.

HAMISH :           Oh, I am sorry.  Must be your age.  Why, what’s that scruffy looking animal you have in that cage?

DOUGAL :         Scruffy looking animal?  Why, I’ll have you know that this is the most celebrated large cat in the whole of Argentina.  And I’ve got him.

HAMISH :           Argentina you say?  But it’s so tatty.  Look at its coat.  And its mane shouldn’t be mangy like that.

DOUGAL :         Excuse me.  It’s my pet and I think he’s fine.

HAMISH :           But why, man?  He’s supposed to be the king of the jungle.  Strong.  Proud.  Not moth-eaten and flea-bitten.

DOUGAL :         Moth-eaten and flea-bitten?  By the beard of Moira Anderson, I’ll not hear it.  I like him just the way he is, thank you very much.

HAMISH :           You don’t mean…

DOUGAL :         Aye, I do.  I happen like my lion all messy.


Any birthdays of note this week?  Yep on the 24th of June Jeff Beck (Remember him?) reached the grand old age of 70.  Known as the ‘guitarist’s guitarist’ Jeff is ranked number 5 in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 guitarists list.  He is a well-respected guy and has played on many top artists’ albums, plus producing many (mainly instrumental) recordings of his own.  It is ironic, then, that he is best remembered for this (gramblerised) ditty that can only be described as a piece of inconsequential tosh…

You're everywhere and nowhere, grambler,
That's where you're at,
Grambling down a bumpy hillside,
In your grambly hat.
Grambling out across the country
And getting fat
Grambling everything is groovy
When your gramble’s flat
And it's hi ho silver grambler
And away you go now grambler
I see your sun is grambling
But I wont make a fuss
Grambling's obvious.

You know my views on popstars trying, and failing, to appear younger than they are by dyeing their hair etc., well here’s a recent picture of Mr Beck…

Somehow, he seems to get away with it.  Probably because he was never the best-looking bloke there ever was.  Do you think he’s got a picture of himself in his attic?

On to footbally matters.  I see Luis Suarez has got himself into trouble again.  As usual, he was feeling a little bit peckish during a match and, as he is particularly fond of Italian food, took a chomp out of  Giorgio Chiellini.  Who can blame him for being confused?  He obviously thought Chiellini was, like liguine, or tortellini, a type of pasta.  Stewart gave us the answer to Suarez’ problems…

Either that, or make sure he gets a good feed before going onto the pitch.

Well, how did The Grambler’s predictions fare this week?  In a word – rubbish.  The gee gee bet only won us £1.60 and, as I write this, the footie bet seemed doomed to failure from the very first match, so not a bean won there.  Not our best week of grambling, it has to be said. [Why does it have to be said? – Ed.]  Anyway, let’s forget about that blip and see what The Grambler has to offer us this week.

Before we do that, let’s hear from Hamish and Dougal again…

HAMISH :           Dougal!

DOUGAL :         Hamish!

HAMISH :           I see you’ve got a bird box.

DOUGAL :         Oh ho, nothing gets past you.  It is, as you rightly say, a bird box.

HAMISH :           And have you had any success?

DOUGAL :         No.  None whatsoever.  That’s why I thought I’d get a bird box.

HAMISH :           No no no, ye daft gowk.  I mean have you had any wee visitors to the bird box?

DOUGAL :         Oh, I see.  Birds.  Indeed I have.  One little fellow has made his home here.  A feisty little thing too.  I think he comes from Holland.

HAMISH :           Holland?  Why so?

DOUGAL :         Well, normally this type of bird has a red breast.  Instead of that, this little chap has an orange breast.

HAMISH :           An orange breast?  Why, that’s very interesting.

DOUGAL :         Would you like to see him?

HAMISH :           Would I like to…Of course I’d like to see him.

DOUGAL :         I’ll just check if he’s in the box [TAP TAP TAP] Are ye in, robin?

Okay, back to grambling matters.  Shall we have a look at the footie bet first?  [Must we? – Ed.]    

Date – Time – Game – Result – Odds

28/6  17.00         Brazil vs Chile                      Brazil         4/7

29/6  17.00         Netherlands vs Mexico        Nether.      11/10

29/6  21.00         Costa Rica vs Greece          C. Rica      29/20

30/6  17.00         France vs Nigeria                France      1/2

30/6  21.00         Germany vs Algeria             Germany   3/10

Righty ho, the bet is on.  The usual 10 x 20 pees on doubles and a single 20 pees accumulator.  The odds are not great, so if all the bets come off, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit by less than a tenner.  In fact…


…to be precise.  Not a great total, and I don’t have high expectations of this bet.  We are at the last 16 stage of the tourney and, at this stage, games often go to extra time or even penalties.  The bookies, very cleverly, give you odds over 90 minutes only which means if a match does go into extra time, the bet is fu… lost.  Ne’er mind, eh.

Before we move onto our gee gee bet, let’s hear from Hamish and Dougal once more.


HAMISH :           Ah Dougal!

DOUGAL :         Oh…er…um…Hamish!

HAMISH :           What on earth are you doing to that scrawny little sheep?

DOUGAL :         I can explain…

HAMISH :           I think you better had.

DOUGAL :         This is no ordinary scrawny little sheep.  This German sheep…

HAMISH :           German, you say.

DOUGAL :         Aye, German.  This scrawny little sheep, as you call it, will one day provide me with food for the table.  I am feeding him as much, and as quickly, as I can.

HAMISH :           But, the funnel and the tube…It’s barbaric.

DOUGAL :         Not at all!  It is a very quick method.  A very quick way, indeed, to fill up lamb.

Okay, on to the horsey bet.

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds


Doncaster           14.30                   Hawkesbury                8/11

Yarmouth           14.20                   Intermedium                3/10

Yarmouth           17.05                   Pink Lips                      13/8

Newcastle           18.40                   Free Rein                     10/11

Newmarket        20.10                   Hoodna                        Evens

There you have it, my little gramblerados; one gee gee bet.  Or rather 11 gee gee bets – 10 x 20 pees doubles and a single 20 pees accumulator.  How much does the Bobby Moore Fund make if they all come up?


Hmm.  Not a bad amount.  We’ll have to wait til tonight to see if it comes off.


Now then, what about last week’s teaser?  I asked you what Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, England, New Zealand and Scotland had in common.  The answer was that they all left a World Cup Finals competition without actually getting beaten.

Scotland              1974          1 win, 2 draws

Brazil                   1978          4 wins, 3 draws

England               1982          3 wins, 2 draws

Cameroon           1982          3 draws

Belgium              1998          3 draws

New Zealand       2010          3 draws

You could argue that Brazil and England shouldn’t be in the list as the matches which put them out of the competition were lost on penalties so, technically, they did lose.

To this week’s teaser, then.  What first befell South Africa in the 2010 World Cup Finals?

Easy peasy.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally, Esther a World Cup quote from way back from  the great (foot in mouth expert) Kevin Keegan…


“Batistuta is very good at pulling off defenders"


Happy grambling.

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