Friday 21 August 2015

Week 3 - The Grambler on number plates 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 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.

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.

Stewart 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…

Last week’s (g)ramble could have had the title ‘What’s in a name’.  So, too, could this week’s…
May I refer you to an earlier edition of which highlights the ludicrous cost of private number plates for cars?  Occasionally, the DVLA holds an auction to flog off numbers that might be considered ‘desirable’.  It’s a plate with some letters and numbers – What’s desirable about that?  Any road up, I told you about the highest amount paid for a registration (£7 million!!!), but the DVLA auction rarely reaches anything above a few grand.  However, recently the auction record was broken big time.  A number had a reserve price of £4,000.  How much did it go for?  £518,480, or almost 130 times the reserve price.  What should this tell us?  That someone who fixes reserve prices isn’t very good at their job?  That someone has more money than sense?  Actually, no.  Not in this case.  The number is 25 O.  That is 25 oh, not 250 the number.  But, it does look like 250 and there used to be a Ferrari called the 250 GTO.  Only 33 of these cars were built and if one ever comes up for sale, a price of something north of £35 million is the norm.  That suggests that one 50 year-old car is worth 5838 brand new Dacia Sanderos.  Hm.  Probably, right.  Anyway, the registration number was bought by the owner of a Ferrari dealership who presumably will put the plate on one of these expensive beasties – the Ferrari, not the Dacia – thus assuring that its price will be well over that £35 million.  So in this case, the buyer was a very shrewd businessman who will probably make a killing.
That is the tale of a registration number being personalised to suit the car rather than the owner.  A lot of people like the idea of having a personalised number on their car.  The trouble is that a registration plate has a combination of letters and numbers in a specific order so it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a registration number which actually reads as a name.  I think all the suitable combinations beginning B16, which is supposed to be read as BIG, have been snapped up.  It is a similar story for W33, which is supposed to be read as WEE.  Yes I know they look nothing like BIG and WEE; if you squint your eyes a bit it might help.  Thus we had B16 MAG, GEO, MAN, etc.  Similarly W33 MAG, GEO, MAN, etc.  If you happen to be of medium height and build, tough.
So with the diminishing availability of actual names, people are coming up with all sorts of combinations to look a little bit like their names.  BR14 MNC is probably owned by somebody called Brian who has a surname beginning with Mc or Mac.  Hmm.  Nice try, but it really isn’t anything like your name, Brian, is it?
Another point to consider when adopting a personalised plate is that to transfer it from one car to another costs money.  80 quid, no less.  That is on top of whatever this exhibition of personal vanity cost in the first place.  £80 to change a number on a car!  Blimey, you can change your own name for less!  Considerably less.  Only 15 quid, apparently…
Then it occurred to me.  Why waste money buying a personalised number for your car and then pay another 80 smackers to transfer it.  The answer is simple and gets you a personalised number for only £15.  How, I hear you ask.  Easy.  Just call me Esseff O’Seven Geebeetee.
Continuing with the topic of putting expensive personalised registrations onto cars, I have just seen the very epitome (That’s a good word.  I must look it up.) of cool.  Today, I saw a brand new, top of the range, Bentley.  Cool, you ask.  What is so cool about that?  This: it didn’t have a personalised plate.  Whoever owns this car does not say, ‘I’m rich and I’ve got a huge ego that needs massaging.  Look who I am.’  No, they are saying, ‘Yeah, okay, I may be rich enough to drive this big fancy car, but I am happy to remain anonymous, thank you very much and, besides, why would I waste money on something so utterly useless?’  That, to me, is coolness personified (Another good word.).  Take heed Mr Sugar…

Sir Am Strad


Any birthdays to celebrate this week?  Which famous folk came into this world on the 22nd of August?  Claude Debussy 1862 (Gary’s dad), Dorothy Parker 1893 (Inventor of free-running), Leni Riefenstahl 1902 (Odd film director woman.  She married a man 42 years younger than herself.  On her 101st birthday!), Deng Xiaoping 1904 (Trans – Finished buying stuff), Hugh Paddick 1915 (Nice to varda your dolly old eek. One for Round the Horne fans there), John Slater 1916 (Straight man to two piggy puppets), John Lee Hooker 1917 (Rugby player), Ray Bradbury 1920 (The books have nothing to say), Honor Blackman 1925 (I musht be dreaming), Valerie Harper 1939 (Hello, this is Carlton, your doorman), Rob Buckman 1948 (Nodrog’s syrup of figs.  One for Pink Medicine Show fans there), Steve ‘Interesting’ Davis 1957 (Snookerist), Roland Orzabal 1961 (Roll and horse’s b… no, prefer cheese, me), Tori Amos 1963 (Poor imitation of Kate Bush) and Mats Wilander 1964 (Sounds like a trio.  Who’s ‘her’?).
Anyone in amongst that lot able to give us a toon worth gramblerising?   You would think Roland Orzabal or Tori Amos, but instead I will allow the honour of this week’s toon to go to Nick Ashford who died on the 22nd of August 2011.  Who, I hear you ask.  Yes, Nick Ashford who, with wife Valerie Simpson, wrote and performed some pretty memorable songs of the sixties and seventies.  Ain’t no Mountain High Enough, that was one of theirs.  Ain’t Nothing like the Real Thing, that was another.  I never said grammar was his strong point.  He also penned this week’s gramblerised toon which was a huge hit for Chaka Khan Chaka Khan Chaka Khan…
I'm every grambler, it's all in me
Anything you want done, baby
I'll do it naturally
I'm every grambler, it's all in me
I can read your thoughts right now
Every one from A to Z
Hang on a minute.  That doesn’t blibbing rhyme.  Or at least it shouldn’t.  Every one from Ay to Zee?  It’s blibbing Ay to Zed?  See?  Doesn’t rhyme.  Blibbing Americarn pronuncipation.  They know nothing.  What’s that other one?  You say potato and I say potato.  Hang on, that looks all right when it’s written down.  You say po-tay-to and I say po-tah-to.  Who the blibbing flip says po-tah-to.  Nobody.  Stupid song.  D’you know the one that really annoys me?  That one from May Fair Lady.  That On the street where you live.  The bit about lilac trees.  Yes, I know that lilac is written that way, but who the flip pronounces it Ly-lack?  Nobody.  Except Arndy Williarms and him what makes the yogurt, Vic Danone…
Have you quite finished?
Yes, tharnk you.
Good.  Let’s move onto grambling matters…

How did The Grambler’s predicting skills fare last week?  Not a penny back.  Nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Rockall.  Oh well.  So, what happened?

Sunderland vs Norwich – Prediction Home win
Result – Sunderland 1 Norwich 3
Russell Martin opened the scoring fortuitously, inadvertently turning the ball home after Costel Pantilimon (Cracking name of the week, do you think?) parried a Robbie Brady shot.
Steven Whittaker slammed home a second after a one-two with Wes ‘Hotlips’ Hoolahan, who also assisted in the Canaries' third from Nathan Redmond after the break.
Duncan Watmore then scored a late consolation on his Sunderland debut.
Fulham vs Brighton – Prediction Home win
Result - Fulham 1 Brighton 2
Tomer Hemed's stoppage-time penalty put Brighton top of the early Championship table with two wins from two games after a closely-fought game at Fulham.
Sam Baldock tapped the visitors in front from Bruno's cross on the half hour, before Tom Cairney thumped the hosts back on level terms.
After Kazenga LuaLua was brought down, Hemed stepped up to net the winner.
Bury vs Swindon – Prediction Home win
Result – Bury 2 Swindon 2
Ooh! ‘It the bar!
Anton ‘Inspector Purbright’ Rodgers' free-kick earned Swindon a point against Bury after the Robins came back from a two-goal deficit.
Joe Riley's cross found the head of Tom ‘His Holiness’ Pope to put the Shakers 1-0 up, before Leon Clarke won and missed a penalty.
Danny Mayor's shot from the edge of the box curled into the corner to double Bury's lead shortly after the break.
Swindon clawed a goal back through Fabien Robert before Rodgers' thunderous free-kick found the top right-hand corner to level the score.
Yeovil vs Bristol Rovers – Prediction Home win
Result – Yeovil 0 Bristol Rovers 1
Yeovil's Matty Dolan, who had earlier forced a good save from Aaron Chapman, was sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence.
The visitors had the best chances and finally broke the deadlock with two minutes remaining when Ellis Harrison powered home his second goal in as many games.
Clyde vs Queen’s Park – Prediction Home win
Result – Clyde 0 Queen’s Park 2
Chris Smith missed an early header for the hosts before team-mate Sean Higgins pulled a good chance wide.
Higgins and Archie Campbell both fired over the bar from close range as the home side failed to take their chances.
Jamie McKernon's 25-yard volley for his first senior goal broke the deadlock before Paul Woods fired past John Gibson.
What can I say?  The Grambler managed to get it completely and utterly wrong.  I hope he/she/it calls it a bit better this week, Saturday the 22nd of August.  There are 56 senior games in the English and Scottish leagues kicking off at 3pm.  So without any more delay, here are the Grambler predictions for this week…

Game – Result  – Odds
Brighton vs Blackburn – Prediction Home win - Evens
Walsall vs Coventry – Prediction Home win – 13/10
Exeter vs York – Prediction Home win – 11/8
Peterhead vs Dunfermline – Prediction Away win – 8/13
Stirling vs Berwick – Prediction Home win – 4/5

…and if the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of… fanfare please…
That’s more like it.  No ridiculous long odds this week.  Maybe.  Who knows? 


It’s Teaser time.  Yay!  Last week I asked you why season 1994-95 is unique in the Premiershit.  I gave you a clue that it concerned the final placings that season.  The answer is that it was the only season when no London club featured in the top five positions.
How about one for this week?  Let’s stay with the Premiershit, shall we?  This week’s teaser concerns the colour green.  How many current Premiershit clubs have green in their badges and can you name them?

Once again, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer.  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 the late Mr R Buckman for this snippet from a gem of a programme called the Pink Medicine Show .  Very little of this series of only six is available on line so enjoy this rare and somewhat suggestive (extremely suggestive in 1978 when it was first broadcast) item.

Happy grambling.

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