Saturday 27 May 2017

Week 41 - The Grambler with a bit of Michael Jackson

Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

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. Read on and enjoy


You may have heard the phrase supply and demand. It basically means that if there is a demand for a product or service, somebody, somewhere will supply it. It also seems to mean that, the greater the demand, the higher the price that can be extorted, sorry, charged. Think holidays, for example. Book a holiday for, say, June (that's the month, by the way. I am not suggesting that you should pay the holiday costs of somebody called June.) and the price would be a reasonable one. Not too many people want to go away in June, it would seem. Book the same holiday for a date in July and it is a different story. That's school holiday time, so lots of people want to take their holiday then. It ought to make no difference to the cost. After all, you would be getting the exact same deal. However, because that is when so many people have to take their hols, the travel agents/airlines/hotels bump up their prices. If other businesses behaved in such a way, it would be deemed illegal. You can't go charging exorbitant prices just because something is in demand.

‘Can I have a Mars Bar, please?’

‘There you are; £3.70.’

‘£3.70? For a Mars Bar? They’re usually about 70 pee.’

‘Ah, but there’s been more demand for them today.’

I think you will agree with me that such a notion would be nonsensical, so why should other industries operate in such an unethical manner?

It is absolutely shocking that anyone involved in the tourist industry is allowed to screw the paying public in this way, but it happens. All the time.

Why am I telling you this? I have heard a tale of another industry that charges way above the going rate simply because they can get away with it. It is an industry I (g)rambled about on Week 26 - Happy grambleday Alice Cooper . Good old insurance companies.

A famous footballer ­ who shall remain nameless ­ was due to renew his car insurance. He filled out all the necessary paperwork and put as his occupation 'professional footballer'. Okay so far? Back came a quotation for £2500. A bit steep, you are probably thinking. It did, however, provide cover for three vehicles. He decided to go with it anyway. Before he could actually make the payment, somebody from the insurance company phoned him to say that they had googled his name and found out that he was a 'high profile' player. What difference does that make, he enquired. According to the insurance company spokesperson, it meant that they would have to adjust his premium accordingly. How much were they going to charge, you are, no doubt, eagerly asking. Are you ready for this? £8400. What! That, to me, is just extortion. How can a company more than triple the first premium simply because a player is famous. Not all players are nutters, but to this insurance company, they obviously are. They also seem to think that they are all rich nutters.

I will end this rant with a story from way back. A guy needed to get a new door for his Transit van, so went to a scrap yard.

'How much is a door for a Transit?'

'Eighty quid.'

'The scrappy down the road only charges forty.'

'Well, why didn't you get one there?'

'They hadn't got any in stock.'

'Ours are forty quid when we haven't got any in stock.'

As I said, supply and demand.




Well, East Kilbride came within a whisker, well a couple of penalties actually, of gaining promotion to the Scottish big boys’ league. Unfortunately, although they scored an away goal, they don’t count double as they would in other competitions, so the match went to extra time and then penalties which, sadly, went Cowdenbeath’s way.

East Kilbride Thistle, the town’s other footy team (founded a little earlier - 1968) were also in the news. They gained promotion from the snappily titled West of Scotland Central District Second Division to the West blah blah First Division. Well done to the Jags. [Oh what an original nickname. - Ed.]


Were any famous or notorious people born on the 27th of May? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. James ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok 1837 (Drover, wagon master, soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. Hmm. Seemed to have a restless nature.), Arnold Bennett 1867 (Playwright famous for... erm... an omelette?), Dashiell Hammett 1894 (Creator of Sam Spade and Nick Charles.), John Cockroft 1897 (Nuclear physicist. Switched on a reactor about 200 metres from where I live. Seriously. B******!), Hubert Humphrey 1911 (American presidential candidate who lost to Richard Nixon. Imagine that. Americans voting a crook into the White House. Whatever next?), Vincent Price 1911 (Ectaw in horror films. Here’s an interesting little clip.), Sam Snead 1912 (Golfy bloke.), Harry Webster 1917 (Car engineer. Gave us many Triumphs - Herald, Spitfire and Stag - and a few disasters - Morris Marina.), Bob Godfrey 1920 (Animator.), Christopher Lee 1922 (Ectaw in horror films.... hang on.), Henry Kissinger 1923 (Template for Dr. Strangelove.), Don Williams 1939 (Murcan curntry singer. Want to hear his biggest hit? In Britain, anyway... I Recall a Gypsy Woman.), Cilla Black 1943 (Not-that-good-a-singer who had a lorra lorra luck. Want a clip? No, didn’t think you would. Oh, go on then. Here’s her very first record, a Lennon and McCartney composition entitled Love of the Loved.), Marty Kristian 1947 (A New Seeker. Clip? Go on then. Apparently Mr Kristian - real name Martins Vanags - took lead local on this one Come Softly to Me.), John Conteh 1951 (Boxy bloke.), Neil Finn 1958 (Split Enz or Crowded House? Hmm... Split Enz I think.), Pat Cash 1965 (Strine tinnis blark.), Heston Blumenthal 1966 (Chef/engineer. Eh? Well, you can’t call what he does cooking.), Paul Gascoigne 1967 (Lovable loony.), Rebekah Brooks 1968 (Journalist. Obviously, the basis for the Merida character in Brave.)
Dead ringers?  Rebekah is on the right.  No left.  No ri...

Lee Sharpe 1971 (Footy bloke.), Andre Benjamin 1975 (Who? Oh, Andre 3000. Him off of Outkast. Another clip vicar?  Here is the wonderful Hey Ya. ) and Jamie Oliver 1975 (Chef and Roy Hattersley impressionist.).





Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Well, not too badly. Only three horses of the five selected actually won, but that still gave us a useful return of £4.45. Do you really want to know which horses won? Okay. If you insist...


Newbury - 2.55 - Mucho Applause - 7-2 - Second - Ooh! Close!

Bangor - 3.05 - Too Many Diamonds - 4/6 - Won - Yay!

Thirsk - 3.20 - Edward Lewis - 5-4 - Fourth - Boo!

Newbury - 3.30 - Ribchester - 6-4 - Won - Yay!

Thirsk - 3.55 - Naggers - 9-4 - Won - Yay!

Not too bad a start to The Grambler’s nag betting. Can he/she/it repeat or better that performance this week? [Doubt it. - Ed.]

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Haydock - 5.40 - Chessman - 5/6

Ffos Las - 6.00 - Delface - 11/8

Salisbury - 7.45 - Pow Wow - 5/2

Salisbury - 8.15 - Gunmaker - 11/4

Ffos Las - 8.30 - Get Home Now - 10/3


The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...


Crikey, that’s even more whopping than last week. I shall repeat what I said then... Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!



Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which club has the unwanted distinction of scoring the fewest goals in a Premier League season. The answer is Derby County who, in season 2007-08 scored just 20 goals. They also accumulated fewer points than any other side before or since: eleven. A final unwanted claim to fame is that they also won fewer games than any other team before or since: one.

One for this week? As it is FA Cup Final day, let’s have a teaser related to that competition. What ‘first’ was achieved at the 1901 cup final between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United?




As usual, 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 a Mr R. Godfrey. He was a British animator/director and had a particular style of creating cartoons. He gave us Roobarb, Noah and Nelly, Henry’s Cat and that annoying ad for Trio chocolate biscuits; the one sung to the tune of the Banana Boat Song. All were famous for his ‘wobbly’ technique. If you want to see any of those, they are all easily found on line, so, The Grambler being The Grambler and tending to do things a little differently, here is a little film he directed... Know Your Europeans.


That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at


Happy grambling.


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