Friday 4 March 2016

Week 31 - The Grambler asks the questions

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


What can I say? People’s generosity astounds me sometimes. Last weekend saw the third annual Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund quiz. It was organised by Stewart’s friends and raised £2815 for the Bobby Moore Fund. Brilliant or what? [For once I agree; definitely brilliant. - Ed.] That means that our fundraising since Stewart’s death has raised over £30,000 for the Bobby Moore Fund - a charity which Stewart used to say was close to his heart; and his bowels.

His mates did a great job of organising the evening. MC Mersh (Please take the time to read his own terrific blog was excellent at holding it all together. Mrs G provided a sumptuous buffet. Geraldine worked hard to keep the scores in order. The quizmaster... Aye, well, mm.

You see, I made a bit of a boo boo. At some point before the quiz took place, I foolishly said that I would be happy to be the quizmaster if they couldn’t get anyone else. Big mistake. You know who the quizmaster was, don’t you?

I have run quizzes before and it didn’t seem that difficult. The difference was that the quizzes I had previously been involved with, had about 20 people at them split into five or six teams. 150 people people split into almost 40 teams was a little bit different. When it comes to marking, five or six teams is easy peasy; tick tick tickety tick - done. 40 teams? A wee bit harder. Between rounds of the quiz there were lots of fun fundraising activities going on. I missed them all, as did Geraldine, because we were feverishly marking all the quiz forms from the previous round. At the end of the evening, we were utterly drained.

Next time (if, indeed, there is a next time) we will know to organise ourselves a bit differently to give us less work. Ah, you are saying, of course there will be a next time; it’s an annual quiz. that may be so, but it doesn’t follow that I will be approached to be quizmaster. I foresee the response the next time I volunteer as being, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’

I wasn’t absolutely terrible [Just a bit terrible, then. - Ed.]. However, there were some moments when I wished that somebody was in my place. Other times, I thought it went fairly well, especially if I elicited a laugh or two...

One of the questions in the TV round was - What did contestants have to hold if they got a question wrong on Crackerjack (All together now - CRACKERJACK!)? The answer was a cabbage. However, as soon as I asked the question, I realised that if someone had a particularly filthy sense of humour [Nearly everyone, surely. - Ed.], there could be some rude answers to that one. And don’t call me Shirley. A team of ladies near me began to giggle uncontrollably and I knew that they had, indeed, spotted the possibility of a filthy answer. I was rather chuffed with my own response... ‘As far as I’m aware, Jimmy Saville was never on Crackerjack.’

Maybe you had to have been there to appreciate that one, but it got a laugh.

One thing I did dread though, was the curse of quizmasters the world over - the possibility that an answer you gave was actually wrong. I’ve seen it happen many times and it is a wee bit embarrassing for the question setter. I recall one years ago where the quizmaster had a whole round dedicated to converting decimal coinage into pounds, shillings and pence. Shouldn’t be a problem for most people, as long as they knew that one new penny (as they were called in the seventies) was equivalent to 2.4 old pennies. Thus, sixpence equalled two and a half new pence, a shilling was five new pence. The problem was that the quizmaster who had set the questions thought that one new penny was one point two of the old variety. Oh dear. Egg on face. A whole round wasted.

Obviously, I checked and rechecked my answers and was sure I had them correct. You know what is coming, don’t you? So, for any Doctor Who fans out there, remember this: Paul McGann played the good doctor; not his brother, Mark. As a certain Mr. H. Simpson might say, Doh!




Any birthdays to celebrate this Saturday, the 5th of March? As Doris once said perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. William Beveridge 1879 (Nothing to do with any form of drink. He was a social reformer whose report of 1942 Social Insurance and Allied Services served as the basis for Britain’s post-war welfare state. There you go. Educational this blog is.) [You’re getting ‘educational’ confused with ‘boring’ - Ed.], Rex Harrison 1908 (Misogynist.), Momofuku Ando 1910 (Who? He was a Japanese inventor. He invented possibly the greatest product in the whole of the 20th century. Wow, that must be something ultra special, you may be saying. It is indeed. He invented the pot noodle. Take that Jems Vacuum-Cleaner! Known for their amusing ads, the current one is worth a watch - Click here), Pier Paulo Pasolini 1922 (I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief.), Jack Cassidy 1927 (David Cassidy’s dad... Erm... That’s it.), Erik Carlsson 1929 (Car racey bloke. Stirling Moss’s brother in law.), Dean Stockwell 1936 (Child ectaw. His dad provided the voice of Prince Charming in Disney’s Snow White.), Canaan Banana 1936 (President of Zimbabwe before Robert Rhubarbi.), Samantha Eggar 1939 (Easter bunny), Hugh Scully 1943 (Dog belonging to someone called Hugh.), Murray Head 1946 (Hangover.), Clodagh Rodgers 1947 (Come back and shake her.), Eddie Grant 1948 (He doesn’t want to dance.), Richard Hickox 1948 (Wild Bill’s lad.), Elaine Paige 1948 (Trivia: Received £260 for her role in the comedy/porn film Confessions of a Plumber’s Mate in 1978.), Penn Jillette 1955 (New product from the razor blade firm.), Mark E. Smith 1957 (Hip priest.), Andy Gibb 1958 (Not a Bee Gee.), Charlie and Craig Reid 1962 (Superfan David Tennant describes their work as ‘the most spectacular, big-hearted, uncynical, passionate songs.’ Can’t disagree with that. Enjoy their most famous song by clicking here) and Matt Lucas 1974 (I mean yeah but no but yeah but no.),





Let’s move on to grambling matters. How good was last week’s bet? We won. And made a profit. Two weeks running. Woo hoo! £1.49. Even better than last week. What happened? All is revealed below, fair reader...



Leicester vs Norwich - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 1 Norwich 0


Substitute Leonardo Ulloa slid in at the far post to convert Marc Albrighton's cross at the end of an otherwise limp Foxes display.

Norwich earlier had the better chances, Cameron Jerome heading wide and Nathan Redmond off target from distance.


Bolton vs Burnley - Prediction Away win

Result - Bolton 1 Burnley 2


After a dour first hour David Jones was caught in possession and substitute Gary Madine's low cross was slotted home from close range by Liam Feeney.

Andre Gray tapped in a leveller after goalkeeper Paul Rachubka had done well to keep out his initial effort.

And the former Brentford man grabbed his 20th of the season with a tremendous strike in the 85th minute, racing on to Fredrik Ulvestad's pass before hitting an unstoppable shot.

It looked like the Clarets were going to leave the Macron empty-handed after Feeney tapped home, but Gray's double in 11 minutes gave them an 18th league win of the season.


Charlton vs Reading - Prediction Away win

Result - Charlton 3 Reading 4


Yann Kermorgant put Reading ahead after heading in Ola John's cross but Sanogo levelled after Marco Motta teed him up.

The Royals led again when Hal Robson-Kanu cut back for Kermorgant to curl in, before John slipped home for 3-1.

Sanogo, on loan from Arsenal, then headed his second before tapping in for his hat-trick, only for Deniss Rakels to win it for Reading in stoppage time.


Crewe vs Barnsley - Prediction Away win

Result - Crewe 1 Barnsley 2


Crewe went in front when defender Jon Guthrie deflected in Marcus Haber's effort.

Barnsley levelled after Sam Winnall fired in from Conor Hourihane's corner.

Alfie Mawson won the game for the Tykes with a 20-yard free-kick after the hour, finding the top corner beyond Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt.


Hartlepool vs Northampton - Prediction Away win

Result - Hartlepool 0 Northampton 0

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

Hartlepool's Luke James fired the game's first chance wide, as they took the fight to the League Two leaders.

Northampton had to rely on committed defending to keep the hosts at bay, with James and Billy Paynter having efforts blocked.

Paynter went close to winning the game when his effort deflected wide but Northampton held on for a point.


So close to a full house there. Can The Grambler do it for a third week on the trot? Make a profit, that is. In the words of Doris, perh... Oh, I’ve done that one. All right then. In the words of a Mr K. Dalgleish... mibbees aye, mibbees naw. There are 51 senior league games kicking off around the country on Saturday, the 5th of November, at 3pm. Which five have been randomly selected by The Grambler?

Game - Result - Odds

Reading vs Fulham - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Crewe vs Burton Albion - Prediction Away win - 13/20

Wigan vs Peterborough - Prediction Home win - 7/10

Stevenage vs Portsmouth - Prediction Away win - 4/5

Brechin vs Ayr - Prediction Away win - 4/6

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…


9.42. An interesting or boring number? Interesting. Yes, it is. Think of time. 18 minutes to 10. Why is it interesting? Every advert used for the iPhone has the gadget set at 9.42. Honestly. The reason given is that this is the very time the device was first launched. Well, whadder you know!




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the last English manager to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League. The answer is Keith Burkinshaw, the manager of Tottenham Hotspur in their 1984 UEFA Cup-winning season.

One for this week? In the week that saw Man City win the Capital One Cup (formerly known as the League Cup), here is an apt question for you. Who was the first manager to win the League Cup twice? Try that one down the pub without resorting to Googlie.




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 Messrs. R. Corbett and R. barker for this week’s finishing item. Many people cite the ‘four candles’ as being the funniest thing the Two Ronnies ever performed. I, however, disagree [You would. - Ed.]. The item I have selected is quite apt given that we had our annual fundraiser quiz this week. Ladeez and genullum, please click here for the Mastermind sketch.

Happy Grambling.


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