Saturday 6 December 2014

Week 18 - The Grambler on nuisance calls

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 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…


Dear Mr Grimble,

I see that you have raised a lot of money for the Bobby Moore Fund, a very worthy cause.  A really great defender he was.  I recall him being the captain of the side which won some sort of trophy back in 1966, but I cannot for the life of me recall which club he played for at the time.  Can you help?

Yours sincerely,

Wes Tamm


Do you get those annoying sales-pitch phone calls where you live?  They might be pre-recorded or from a call-centre in a far-off land.  Whatever; they are always annoying.  The annoying part is that they usually come at a time when I have settled down to my evening meal.  The phone rings.  ‘That’ll be one of those sales calls,’ says Mrs G.  ‘Mmm,’ says I, savouring a mouthful of whatever that evening’s meal is.  ‘Might not be though,’ says Mrs G.  ‘Mm,’ says I, realising that this is my cue to raise myself up onto my hind legs and answer the damned thing…

‘Hi, are you aware of the double glazing scrappage scheme?’ begins a pre-recorded voice, or…

‘Hi, are you aware of the government’s gas boiler replacement scheme?’ or there is one that just launches into a list of bank names…

‘Natwest, Barclays, Royal Bank, Halifax…’ I’ve never let it go any further, but I would love the next words to be ‘Everybody talk about mmpop music.’

The only thing I can do in any of these cases is to hang up the receiver and return to my meal.  Worse are those calls that are not pre-recorded, but the caller is not ready when you answer the phone…

Me: ‘Hello.’  Wait a few seconds; then repeat ‘Hello?’  After a few more seconds the caller has spotted that some idiot has actually answered the phone… ‘Hello?’ says the caller.  Silence from me.  ‘Hello?’… ‘Hello?’  Click.  I actually enjoy doing that.  I am easily amused, even though my meal is getting cold.

Obviously, there are other calls where someone does speak…double-glazing sales, gas boiler sales, etc.  I am never rude to these people; I have the perfect riposte… ‘Double-glazing?  Sorry mate, you’re six months too late; we’ve just had it done.’  ‘New kitchen?  Sorry mate, you’re six months too late, we’ve just had it done.’  Etc.  And you can never be caught out…

‘Hi, this is John from C. R. Smythe (Do you see what I did there?) and I was wondering if you are thinking about new double glazing…’

‘Sorry mate, you’re six months too late; we’ve just had it done.’

‘That’s what you told me six months ago…’

‘So why are you calling me again if you already know that it was replaced only a year ago?’  Touche.

The calls that really annoy me are from those ‘companies’ who I have never heard of.  The caller just wants to ask me a few questions.  Have I got a few minutes to spare?  It depends on my mood how I respond to these…

‘Hello, I am from BSA and I wonder if you have a few moments to spare to answer some questions.’

‘Do you know me?’ I ask.


‘Then why are you calling me?  I only phone people I know.  I wouldn’t dream of phoning a random number in a phone book.  It isn’t something I would do.  I can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing…’

The line has usually gone dead by this point.  Another way is…

‘Hello, I am from BSA and I wonder if you have a few moments to spare to answer some questions.’

‘No problem.  What is the name of your company?’


‘And what does that stand for?’

‘British Surveys Alliance.’

‘Can you hold on while I get a pen? (long pause) Got one.  What was that name again?’

‘British Surveys Alliance.’

‘(as if writing) B..rit…ish  Sur… Hang on this pen isn’t working very well.  I’ll need to find another.  Don’t go away. (even longer pause)  Are you still there?’

Usually, by this point, the caller has had enough and has hung up the receiver.  However, some are more persistent, so I continue…

‘Got another…Yes, this one works.  Right.  B...rit…ish Sur…veys Ass…o…ci…ated…’


‘I’m sorry?’

‘British Surveys Alliance.’

‘Oh, I do beg your pardon.  B…ri…tish Sur…veys Al…lian…ce.’

‘Yes, would you be able…’

‘…and where are you based?’


‘Where are you based?’



‘Yes, I just wondered if…’

‘…and what is your name?’


‘J…ohn.  John what?...Hello…Hello?’  Job done.

You should try it.  It’s great fun.


Any birthdays of note this week?  Why, yes indeedly doody.  Will Hay 1888 (will hay what?), Ira Gershwin 1896 (lyricist, not popular in N. Ireland), Dave Brubeck 1920 (inventor of raising one’s hand and saying ‘gimme five’), Wally Cox 1924 (medical condition), Mike Smith 1943 (not the drummer, or the tv presenter, or the actor, or the American football coach.  Not even the saxophonist, or the decathlete, or the baseball player, or the guitarist, or the ice hockey player.  Blimey, that is one common name.  It’s not even my cousin of that name.  This Mike Smith was keyboard player and singer with the Dave Clark Five), J*n*th*n K*ng 1944 (sixties singer now erased from any music compilation programmes for the same reason as J*mmy S*v*ll*, G*ry Gl*tt*r and R*lf H*rr*s), Peter Willey 1949 (cricketer who prompted the best ever commentary fnarr fnarr moment when he was bowling to West Indies’ Michael Holding – ‘The batsman’s Holding, the bowler’s Willey.’) Gerry Francis 1951 (footballer, inventor of the mullet), Rick Buckler 1955 (drummer with the Jam, or was it Marmalade?), Steven Wright 1955 (Is it weird in here, or is it just me?), Peter Buck 1956 (rhyming slang as in ‘I couldn’t give a Peter’), Nick Park 1958 (plasticene bloke), Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff  1977 (cricket bloke), Tim Cahill 1979 (football bloke) and Steve Lovell 1980 (another football bloke).

Anyone in there with hits worth gramblerising?  Why, yes.  I think the late, great, Mr Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five can provide us with something…


Here they come again, mmmm-mm-mm
Gramble if you can, mmmm-mm-mm
Time to get a move on, mmmm-mm-mm
We’ll gramble with all of our might

Gramble if you can
Gramble if you can
Gramble if you can
Gramble if you can etc. etc


The DC5 had eight top ten hits (in the UK) between 1963 and 1970.  They had a heavily drum-based sound (probably due to Dave Clark himself being the drummer) and were banned from a good few venues thanks to the way the band would stomp their feet to emphasise the beat.  In those days the band appeared in dance halls and the audience would stop dancing and copy this stomping at the appropriate time.  It was also the time when female fans wore stiletto-heeled shoes and the banging of these damaged a great many expensive dance-floors.  Yeah!  Rock and roll!

Can I just take a little trip down memory lane here? [Hovis time! – Ed.]  I remember one of their early songs being called Glad All Over.  Now in those days there happened to be a famous lady called Mrs Mills who played a tinny honky tonk piano and had a few hits.  She seemed quite elderly to me at the time and I do remember her being rather large; obese even.  Her first name was Gladys and she always shortened it to Glad.  I remember as a smutty little 7 year old, finding the line ‘I’m feeling glad all over’ amusing and delightfully rude.

Right on to grambling matters.  Did we win last week?  No.  That’s all you need to know.  Will we win this week?  Doubt it.

So how many games has The Grambler got at his/her/its disposal this week?  Only 36, as it is FA Cup 2nd Round weekend.  No matter; I am sure he/she/it can screw up five selections for us…

Game – Result – Odds

Stoke vs Arsenal – Prediction Away win – Evens

Blackpool vs Birmingham – Prediction Away win – 6/4

Cardiff vs Rotherham – Prediction Home win – 10/11

Hearts vs Queen of the South – Prediction Home win – 4/9

Stirling vs Peterhead – Prediction Away win – 4/5


There we have it my fellow gramblerinis.  The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pees doubles plus 1 x 20 pees accumulator).  If they all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund stands (or sits if it prefers) to gain…


You must be thinking – Wow!  Oh, you’re not.  You’re thinking what?  Oh.  Couldn’t give a Peter, eh?

Let’s move on to teaser time.  Last week I asked who had made the most appearances in Champions League.  Well, at the moment the honour is shared between Ryan Giggs and Xavi Hernandez who have both been involved in 151 Champions League games (Not the same ones, you understand).  Incidentally, each has achieved this feat with only one club – Giggs with Manchester United and Xavi with Barcelona.  It is a pity I didn’t make this next week’s teaser because Barca play PSG on Wednesday and, if Xavi is involved, the record will be his alone.

A teaser for this week?  What was ‘odd’ about the English First Division in 1987/88?  Quite an easy one for you there.


And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, mention was made of the cricket commentator Brian Johnston making a slight faux pas, so here is a little clip of another of his 'moments' .


Happy grambling.

No comments:

Post a Comment