Saturday 24 January 2015

Week 25 - The Grambler and acting daft

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 Gimlet,

You think you’re so brilliant with your little teasy questions!  Well here’s one for you, you bighead.  In fact it’s a double teaser for you, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr Cleverpants.  If you’re so clever, answer us this - In 1892 Everton left its home ground and moved to Goodison Park.  What was the name of the ground they left and what was the name of the club that was formed that year and plays there still?  Bet you don’t know, smart****!

Yours with kindest regards,

Anne Field and Lee Verpuhl.


It’s started.  The time when those vagabonds and wasters we call ectaws start telling each other how ‘ebsolutely wunnnnderful you are dwahling’ is upon us.  Yes it’s awards season.  The Golden Ball awards or something took place last week and all the luvvies were out in force telling anyone who would listen how ‘wunnnnderful’ it all was.  The award for the best pretending went to Eddie Redmayne who pretended to be Stephen Hawking in some flick called The Theory of Everything.

I predicted as much as soon as the film was released; I just knew that the guy pretending to be Stephen Hawking would win.  Why was I so sure?  Because it always happens.  Anyone pretending to be someone with a disability always wins.  It’s true.  John Mills in Brian’s Daughter played someone with learning difficulties – Ker-ching! – Oscar.  Derek Jacobi as the stuttering Clavdivs in I, Clavdivs – Ker-ching! – BAFTA.  Peter Sellers as the simple Chancer in Being There – Ker-ching! – Golden Globe.  Daniel Day Lewis as Christy Brown in My Left Toe – Ker-ching! – Oscar.  Dustbin Hoffman in It’s Raining, Man – Ker-ching! – Oscar.  Tom Hanks in that godawful film Forrest Chump – Ker-ching! – Oscar.

Now I’m going to write something really contentious here.  They shouldn’t have won.  Any of them.  I mean, it’s not exactly good acting, is it?  Firstly, they hardly have any lines to learn and secondly, all they have to do is act a bit daft.  Blimey, Daniel Day Lewis just had to be able to wiggle his big toe [I think there was a bit more to it than that. – Ed.].

It’s all down to the movie people pretending they have some sort of conscience; a conscience that falls short of actually casting disabled actors in starring roles.  So to assuage (That’s a good word, must look it up) their collective guilt, the luvvies all say how ‘wunnnnderful’ and ‘mwarvellous’ some ectaw is at pretending to be disabled.  Patronising b******s!

Talking of patronising bs, do you remember Christopher Reeve?  He played the man of steel in the four superman films of the late 70s early 80s.  His career was effectively ended by a riding accident when a fall from his horse left him paralysed from the neck down.  Obviously, after that, his chance of any acting roles was pretty well non existent.  However, a TV remake of Hitchcock’s Rear Window gave him a role that could have been tailor-made.  He plays a tetraplegic who can do virtually nothing so relieves the boredom by indulging in a bit of voyeurism and witnesses a neighbour being attacked by her husband.  He reports it to the police who question the husband who is then released.  Reeve’s character then hears a bloodcurdling scream and the wife disappears…etc. etc.  Why am I bothering telling you all this?  Because Reeve won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance.  As I said, patronising bs.

Changing the subject slightly, do you recall a film called The Bone Collector?  The plot revolves around a forensics expert trying to find a serial killer whose ‘calling card’ was to remove a shard of bone from each of his victims.  Reviews were scathing, calling it formulaic tosh.  The main character, played by Denzel Washington, had a severe disability; he was tetraplegic.  Paralysed from the neck down, he had to rely on machines and a nurse.  Why am I mentioning this?  Is it because it bucked the trend and its portrayal of disability didn’t win any awards?  No.  It is because the story goes that the role was written especially for Christopher Reeve.  It made sense as a vehicle for Reeve; there are very few roles available for an actor who is so severely disabled.  Why was he not given the role?  Perhaps he turned it down realising just what a clunker of a film it would turn out to be.  However, if he had taken on the role, you can bet that he would have been showered with awards from the patronising luvvies in Hollywood.

The theatrical business doesn’t like disability, of course.  Ten per cent of the population is disabled in some way.  How many disabled actors are employed in Hollywood?  Less than one, probably.  The exception was Christopher Reeve, but he was there because that riding accident had caused his disability.  Would Tinseltown have been interested in him if he had always been disabled?  Of course not. 

Have you heard of actress/comedienne Francesca Martinez?  You would probably say that the world is full of two types of people – able-bodied and disabled.  Or if you are a Hollywood exec – able-bodied and able-bodied playing the role of disabled.  Francesca Martinez sees it differently, and more correctly, when she says, ‘The world is full of two types of people – the disabled and the not-yet-disabled.’  Spot on.

Right, time for some birthday people.  Anyone famous born on January the 24th?  Of course there were… Hadrian 76 (brickie), Frederick II 1712 (fireplace maker – known as ‘The Grate’), Ernest Borgnine 1917 (robot number 9), Desmond Morris 1928 (zoologist who discovered the combover), Bernard Matthews 1930 (he’s bootiful), Ray Stevens 1939 (streaker), Aaron Neville 1940 (Phil’s brother), Neil Diamond 1941 (geezer), John Belushi 1949 (blue brother), Adrian Edmondson 1957 (not so young one), Jules Holland 1958 (groovy f***er), Nastassja Kinski 1961 (bless you) and Shaun Maloney 1983 (hobbit).

Well, I’m afraid nobody in there can provide us with a toon to gramble.  Sorry Jools.  However, a sad event took place on this date.  We lost one of the greats from the musicals (you know, those things I hate).  Yes, it seemed that if you wanted a decent chanter in your film musical in the 1950s, your man of choice was Gordon Macrae who died on January 24th 1986.  From 1949 to 1956 he starred in Look for the Silver Lining, Tea for Tea, The West Point Story, On Moonlight Bay, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, The Desert Song, Three Sailors and a Girl, Oklahoma!, Carousel and The Best Things in Life Are Free.  After that; nothing.  He continued to do stage work, but his film career just seemed to dry up.  I think we should celebrate old Gordon, with a gramblerised version of one of his songs.  But, which one?  I think the title song to one of his many films fits the bill nicely and there is even the chance to insert a bowel-related lyric…

We were grambling along

Itchy poo, itchy poo

on Moonlight Bay

Itchy poo, itchy poo

We could hear the voices grambling

They seemed to say,

"You have grambled her heart

Itchy poo, itchy poo

Now don't go 'way"

Itchy poo, itchy poo

As we grambled love's sweet song on Moonlight Bay

Onner moona lighta bayyyy…

Ahh, they don’t write ‘em like that any more. [Thank goodness for that. – Ed.]

Let’s get down to the serious matter of grambling, shall we?

What happened last week?  We won.  Yay!  Again.  Yay!  We still didn’t win the big one. Oh.  But we did win.  Yay!  So you said.  Four out of five of The Grambler’s predictions came up.  Yay!  Give over, will you?  And the fifth game was that close.  That close.  Read on my little grambling chums…

Tottenham vs Sunderland – Prediction Home win

Result – Tottenham 2 Sunderland 1


Spurs took a third-minute lead through defender Jan Vertonghen, whose deflected shot beat Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

Although Jermain Defoe failed to score on his Sunderland debut, the former Spurs man won the free-kick which led to Sebastian Larsson’s equaliser.

However, Tottenham secured a 2-1 win which thanks to Christian Eriksen’s 88th-minute winner.

Middlesbrough vs Huddersfield – Prediction Home win

Result – Middlesbrough 2 Huddersfield 0

Woo hoo!

Lee ‘Lily’ Tomlin put Boro ahead early in the second half with a superb shot from outside the area.

Town pressed for an equaliser, but when keeper Alex Smithies came up for a corner, Tomlin broke to wrap it up.

Lee Tomlin complains that he doesn’t earn enough

to get both arms totally plastered in tattoos.


Watford vs Charlton – Prediction Home win

Result – Watford 5 (yes 5) Charlton 0

Whoop de doo!

Craig Cathcart fired the hosts ahead before Troy Deeney doubled their advantage with a cool finish after Gabriele Angella's high through ball.

Odion Ighalo slotted in from close range just before half-time and later headed in Daniel 'Useless' Tozser's corner.

Tozser himself added a late fifth with a curling, 25-yard free-kick to complete a torrid day for the visitors.

Aberdeen vs Dundee – Prediction Home win

Result – Aberdeen 3 Dundee 3

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

David Goodwillie [Another unfortunate name. – Ed.] fired the Dons into the lead after seven minutes.

Dundee had rarely threatened until thumping finishes from Gary Irvine and Greg Stewart, then Gary Harkins after the break, shook the home side.

But Jonny Hayes' penalty gave the Dons hope and Ryan Jack stabbed home a late equaliser in a furious finish.

Can you believe it?  Aberdeen struggled to get a draw.  It was one of the predictions that I agreed with; I thought it was a certainty.  Scuppered our chances that one did.

Peterhead vs Stirling – Prediction Home win

Result – Peterhead 2 Stirling 1

Yay, I suppose.

Albion took an early lead when Craig Wedderburn scored on the rebound after Chris Smith's header had struck the post.

Rory McAllister equalised from the penalty spot following Ross McGeachie's foul on David Cox.

James Stevenson's low, left-foot finish gave the hosts all three points.


That’s it my little gramblerinis; at least we made a slight profit.  99 pees.  Any road up, let’s get on with this week’s predictions, shall we?

It’s FA Cup weekend again.  I believe FA means something different to its stated meaning; I think it means there are FA games for The Grambler to select from.  We are up to the fourth round now so it doesn’t interfere quite as much with fixtures as the previous round did.  Thus we have 40 games in the Scottish and English senior leagues taking place this Saturday the 24th of January at 3pm.  Which five has The Grambler selected for us?

Game – Result – Odds

Wolverhampton vs Charlton – Prediction Home win – 13/20

Fleetwood Town vs Crawley – Prediction Home win – 3/4

Shrewsbury vs Stevenage – Prediction Home win – 3/4

Hearts vs Falkirk – Prediction Home win – 4/9

Clyde vs Arbroath – Prediction Away win – 4/6

Right, the bets have been placed (10 x 20 pees doubles and 1 x 20 pees accumulator) and if all go as predicted by The Grambler the Bobby Moore Fund stands to gain…


…Not really worth standing for, is it?

And now… It’s teaser time.  Last week I asked you who was the only Premiershit player whose surname was made of letters that correspond to Roman numerals.  The answer was Nemanja V(5) I(1) D(500) I(1 again) C(100).  Did you like that?  Well, whether you did or not, here’s another…

What English player won his first four England caps, playing with a different league club at each of those national call ups?  Or should that be calls up?  Anyway, ask your mates at work if they know the answer to that one.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to the Huffington Post for this poster for a film that was mentioned earlier…



Happy grambling.

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