Thursday 30 April 2015

Week 39 - Grambling the dream

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 is 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.


He began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery.  He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter.  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 Bamber,

It was such a delight to listen to your links last week; especially Going Up the ‘Pool by Jethro Tull.  I was a big fan of the band in their early days and used to have all of their albums.  One of them, I remember, featured a jazzed up version of a Bach piece.  The track was called Bouree, but I can’t for the life of me remember the title of the album.  Can you help?

Yours truly,

Stan Dupp.




Picture the scene...
It is the final of
Britain's got talent/X Factor/The Voice.  On stage is a girl singer belting out a song as loud as her lungs will allow.  However, there is no sound coming out.  As she sings, Ant and Dec come running onto the stage.  Dec is chasing Ant who is actually an ant; a six foot tall ant.  Dec is dressed as a big game hunter in khaki shirt and shorts and wearing a pith helmet.  He carries an outsized butterfly net to ‘trap’ Ant.  Next, the audience begin throwing tomatoes at the singer; these hit her with the force of a rock.  She is being hit every few seconds and is reeling from side to side as if drunk, but she continues her soundless singing.  The song eventually ends and the girl takes her bow.  We then see the panel of judges.  At the end of the line there is a pile of what appear to be intestines.  This is Simon Bowel.  Will I Am (or William as Stewart always called him) sits next.  Although dressed remarkably like Will I Am, it obviously isn’t really him.  Instead, it is Mrs Williams, a teacher that the girl singer had at primary school.  Next is Mel B.  She is wearing a collarless shirt, braces and a flat cap.  On the desk in front of her sits a pet whippet.  Finally, there is Louis Walsh who begins to speak.  As he opens his mouth he changes instantaneously into Father Jack and shouts 'drink!'  Everybody in the building is suddenly drunk, except the girl standing on the stage.  The girl screams a silent scream as they all begin singing ‘Nellie Dean’.
[Nurse, I think it’s time to increase his medication. – Ed.]
No, no.  There is an explanation.  Britain Lacks Talent is back on our screens.  Groan.  Have you ever watched these 'talent' shows?  What is the first thing anyone on there says after winning a round?  'I'm fulfilling my dream'. I'm right, aren't I?  Well that introduction is what really ought to be what we see, then.  Fulfilling your dream, my old boots!  It might be your hope or what you wished for, but it's not a dream.  Dreams, like the introduction to this, are weird and don't make sense.  Nobody wants to see them re-enacted on a television programme.
Although, it might be possible to compare one of these talent shows to a very bad dream; one of those horrible dreams which won't stop recurring throughout the night.  Don't agree?  Well how come if I ever watch one of these shows I have to suffer some female doing vocal gymnastics in the style of Mariah Carey.  Then the next female singer, and I use that word in its loosest sense, sounds like she's trying to out-Mariah Carey the previous one.  Then another comes on doing the same.  Then another. And another... Aaagh!  Why do all the current crop of singers think that they should sing in the style of Archbishop Carey, Sea lion Dion and the late Pratt and Whitney Houston?  Sing a song with all the right notes, sung at the correct speed without any screaming.  Please. I beg of you.  Following your dream?  Causing us nightmares, I think you mean.
Why am I (g)rambling on about dreams?  Well most dreams, try as you might, you can't remember once you wake up. True?  Well, recently, I had a dream which I remember quite vividly and I shall recount it now.
It takes place in a theatre and I am in the audience.  I am listening to a piano recital.  On stage is a grand piano being played impeccably by the late Jack Milroy.  Yes that Jack Milroy otherwise known as Francie, one half of the
Glasgow comedy partnership Francie and Josie.  I have no idea whether he could actually play a piano, but he can in my dream.  He is wearing his wig and his bright red suit.  There is no sign of his comedy partner Rikki Fulton (Josie).  Sorry Rikki, you're not in this dream.  At the end of the recital Milroy leaves the stage to rapturous applause. He reappears and asks the audience for jokes that he can now tell.  Yes I know it's all a bit weird.  It's a dream, remember?  Any road up, I send my joke to him and he reads it out.  I can't recall if the gag was well received.  Perhaps I woke up at that point.  What I can recall, though, is the joke.  Now, that is weird.  And I will tell it now...
'I have just started my own business, putting in windows.  Customer feedback hasn't been good.  And I keep running out of bricks.'
As Stewart would have said, boom, and indeed, tish!
Come on, be honest. It's not bad for a gag that came to me in a dream.

No doubt some analyst would take a read at that and suggest some sort of therapy for me; such as locking me up and throwing away the key.




Any birthdays of note this week?  Yes indeedy.  Catherine the Great 1729 (Inventor of the fireplace), Jerome Klapka Jerome 1859 (Inventor of a slang term for syphilis), Tyrone Power Sr. 1869 (Alternative form of energy), Hedda Hopper 1885 (Head lice), Manfred von Richthofen 1892 (Snoopy’s nemesis), Lorenz Hart 1895 (Mickey Rooney lookalike – see ), Dr Benjamin Spock 1903 (Leonard Nimoy’s dad), Peggy Mount 1915 (Foghorn), Ray Barrett 1927 (Inventor of licorice allsorts), Link Wray 1929 (To what?), Engelbert Humperdinck 1936 (Did he really?  Sounds painful.), Lorenzo Music 1937 (This is Carlton, your doorman), Lesley Gore 1946 (Slasher movie actress), David Suchet 1946 (Inventor of small sealed sugar/salt wrapper), Jay Osmond 1955 (One of the singing troupe. There were so many of them that, by the time he came along, his parents had taken to naming them alphabetically.), Donatella Versace 1955 (One of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Brian Lara 1969 (Crickety bloke), Dwayne Johnson 1972 (Nicknamed ‘The Rock’ in reference to his acting abilities), David Beckham 1975 (Underwear salesman) and Lily Allen 1985 (Famous singer whose parents are both in showbiz.  I’m just saying.).


Rather than gramblerising a toon for you this week, I wanna tell you a story.  Engeldump Bertlestink had a big hit in 1967 with Release Me.  The B-side was a rather cheesy effort called Ten Guitars.  It was the sort of song that deserved to never get played.  Unfortunately, it became a bit of a favourite with Engelstump’s fans (mainly women).  It was also a song that many club entertainers were asked to sing.  One such was John Murphy, a Scottish singer/songwriter who specialised in producing parodies of hit songs.  He wrote one to the tune of Dominique, a song made famous by Jeanne Deckers aka The Singing Nun or Soeur Sourire.  Murphy’s version celebrated a popular ‘fortified wine’ of the day called Lanliq.  Anyway, back to the plot.  The song Ten Guitars became one of those songs that got requested so often that John felt compelled to give it the parody treatment.  Billy Connolly  added it to his act (with a bit of improvisation) and brought it to a completely different audience.  Click on his name to hear this example of Connolly when he first hit the big time back in the 70s.



Let’s move onto grambling matters, shall we?  How did we get on last week?  We won.  Yay!  Only three out of five predictions were correct, mind you.  Boo!  But we got more than our stake money back.  Yay!  In fact, we got a return of £2.74.  Yay!  That means we won the grand total of…

54 pees

As Peter Green once said – Oh well.  What happened?  Read on…


Wigan vs Wolves – Prediction Away win

Result – Wigan 0 Wolves 1


Wolves took the lead when Benik Afobe met Bakary Sako's 25th-minute free-kick to fire home from close range.

Wigan fought back in the second half and almost found an equaliser but Kim Bo-kyung was adjudged to be offside.

James McClean was then sent off late on for Wigan for a second yellow card.


Yeovil vs Port Vale – Prediction Draw

Result – Yeovil 1 Port Vale 2


Tom ‘His Holiness the’ Pope thought he had given the visitors the lead but his header was ruled out for a foul on Liam Shephard.

But Pope was on hand minutes later to link up with Ben Williamson before scoring his 12th goal of the season.

Gozie Ugwu (Cracking name of the week, I think you will agree) levelled on 80 minutes to give The Grambler some hope of another correct prediction, but Vale's Michael Brown spoiled things two minutes later when he scored the winner from a Michael O'Connor free-kick.


Oxford United vs Cambridge – Prediction Home win

Result – Oxford 2 Cambridge 0


Kemar Roofe put the hosts ahead when he cut in from the left to fire in an unstoppable right-footed effort.

Sully Kaikai came close to equalising for Cambridge, but his shot was deflected just wide.  What a silly Sully.

Danny Hylton headed in ‘Broadway’ Danny Rose's corner on the stroke of half-time before the game petered out after the break.


Wycombe vs Morecambe – Prediction Home win

Result – Wycombe 0 Morecambe 1


A late Paul Mullin goal gave Morecambe their first ever victory over Wycombe.

Substitute Mullin continued his good run of form in front of goal with a close-range header four minutes from time to spoil Wycombe’s hopes of sealing an automatic promotion spot.


Montrose vs Clyde – Prediction Away win

Result – Montrose 0 Clyde 1


David Marsh's second-half strike earned Clyde a deserved victory over bottom club Montrose.

The midfielder finished into the bottom corner for his second goal in two games after a Jamie Pollock cross found him free inside the area.

The visitors had had the better of the first half, and Hugh Murray went close.


Right that was last week.  Can The Grambler give us a profit two weeks running [Doubt it. – Ed.]?  Only 32 games for The Grambler to select from this week as teams from both the English and Scottish Championship divisions are playing their last game of the season and all matches are kicking off earlier than 3pm.  However, as I said, there are 32 games taking place at 3pm on Saturday the 2nd of May, so what has The Grambler randomly selected for us?


Game – Result – Odds

Aston Villa vs Everton – Prediction Away win – 13/8

Liverpool vs QPR – Prediction Home win – 1/3

Sunderland vs Southampton – Prediction Away win – 10/11

Morton vs Peterhead – Prediction Home win – 4/11

Arbroath vs Berwick – Prediction Home win – 11/10

There you have it my little grambling chums, the bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if all bets go as predicted by The Grambler the Bobby Moore Fund will be receiving…


Hmm… Now, why is that figure familiar?




Okay.  Teaser time.  Last week I asked which is the only club that Liverpool have failed to beat in the history of the Premiership?  It should have been an easy one for you to get right given the main subject matter of last week’s blog.  The answer was none other than Blackpool.

Right, howzabout one for this week?  Let’s do a Celtic vs Rangers question.  Since the first league competition back in 1890-91, both teams have rarely been out of the top five finishing positions, so here is a simple ‘one or the other’ question: which team has finished outside the top five in the Scottish top division the fewest times?




For the last few weeks I have finished with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer.  I’m going to do it yet again, but with a slight difference. 

Mrs G has been reading a magazine called Woman’s Own and in it there is an article about a 35 year old woman who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 32.  The subheading to the story is ‘My GP wouldn’t believe me’.  So familiar.  The text contains these words:

‘…after I had my son James in 2010, the bleeding returned.  My husband Tom and I were both worried and begged my doctor for help.  It was only after my daughter Holly was born in 2011, during a routine check-up, that I found myself having a full-on row with my GP.  Despite accusing me of wasting NHS money, she reluctantly agreed to send me for a colonoscopy.’

Once again, the doctor involved believed the myth that bowel cancer does not affect young people.  If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration.  Just point your doctor in the direction of .




And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr R. Jessel for a song that suits this week’s topic as it shows his appearance on the US version of The X Factor.  Take it away Ray .


Happy grambling.


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