Saturday 10 March 2018

Week 30 - Grambling with another bit of Red Dwarf

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


Here is a telephone response to an MOD official from an air base commander which definitely, absolutely, unequivocally (That’s a good word; must look it up) took place...

‘What’s that? There’s an airborne invasion heading our way? You want us to get all combat aircraft in the air now? (sharp intake of breath) Sorry mate. In this weather? No chance. I’ve got to think of my lads. There’s no possibility they can fly until the snow clears. Health and safety and all that. Tell you what; see if you can get whoever it is to attack us when the weather warms up a bit.’

All right, maybe I did make that up, but in a way it sums up Britain’s way of dealing with a heavy snowfall. Basically, the country just grinds to a halt.

And so it was, three days into the bad weather of last week, fuel stations had run out of diesel, supermarkets had run out of bread and milk and, worst of all, the Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Big Fat Backside Quiz of the Year had to be postponed until a later date.

We had everything planned to ‘the nth degree’ as buzzworders like to put it.

Venue booked? Check. Tickets sold? Check. Raffle prizes scrounged off anyone and everyone? Check. Seriously difficult quiz questions prepared? Check. Decent sound system obtained? Check. Huge quantities of bread acquired from a very generous local bakery to provide a buffet for all the hungry quizzers? Check. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything us organisers had no control over, that’s what.

The rotten weather put paid to the whole shebang.

The day before the quiz was due to take place, I had a telephone call from somebody at the venue. The first problem was that the barstaff wouldn’t be able to reach the venue because the roads were blocked and they were snowed in. Come on... What kind of an excuse is that? Haven’t they got shovels to dig themselves out? Can’t drive on the road? Surely they could fashion some snowshoes out of a couple of tennis rackets and walk. I don’t know, some people just won’t make the effort these days.

The next problem was that the car park at the venue was solid ice and pretty treacherous; someone might fall. And? Your point is? You mean to tell me that the threat of a few broken limbs is a serious enough reason to cancel? Do me a favour.

The third problem was that the booze hadn’t been delivered and wasn’t going to be until at least two days after the quiz... Wait a minute, a quiz without booze? I tell you what; why don’t we postpone it?

Okay, I didn’t really behave like that. It was a shame that our fundraising highlight of the year had to be put off till another time, but these things happen. We will hopefully reschedule the event for a time when the weather is less unpredictable. [When is that? You live in Scotland. Weather doesn’t do predictable. - Ed.]

Of course, having to cancel did present us with another dilemma... What do we do with enough loaves of bread to fill a skip?




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 10th of March? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Barry Fitzgerald 1888 (Oirish actor. Broth of a boy.), Sam Jaffe 1891 (Jobbing actor.), Arthur Honegger 1892 (Composer. How about a little clip? Here is his short piece ‘Pacific 231’ together with a short film which will appeal to anyone out there with a passion for steam locomotives.), Bix Beiderbecke 1903 (Cornet player. The original Young Man with a Horn. [I beg your pardon? - Ed.] Have another clip; here’s Davenport Blues.), Marion Hutton 1919 (Chanter with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Here is another clip... Happy in Love.), Marcia Falkender 1932 (Harold Wilson’s secretary. Nuff said.), Sepp Blatter 1936 (Teflon footy bloke.), Chuck Norris 1940 (Actor, it says here.), Robert Llewelyn 1956 (Kryten. Smeeeee...), Osama bin Laden 1957 (Bad guy.), Garth Crooks 1958 (Footy bloke.), Sharon Stone 1958 (Actress who refuses to pay M & S prices for underwear.), Neneh Cherry 1964 (Chanter. Another clip? Here is Woman.), Edward 1964 (Benefits scrounger.), Edie Brickell 1966 (Chanter. Here’s a toon you might remember... What I Am.), Chris Sutton 1973 (Footy bloke.), Robin Thicke 1977 (Singer. Do you want a clip. Here’s his biggest hit Blurred Lines. Hands up everyone who was hoping to see the video that went with that toon. Tough. This is a family blog.), Neil Alexander 1978 (Footy bloke.), Samuel Eto’o 1981 (Footy bloke.) and Rafe Spall 1983 (Ectaw.).

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Sampler,

I was pleased that you gave us a link to the wonderful Glenn Miller Orchestra; one of my all time faves. Here is a question for you. What was the tune that Miller made famous but it was used as the signature tune of the British bandleader, Joe Loss?

Yours with felicitations,

Ena Mood.




Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? It won. Sort of. 65 pees back from a stake of £2.20 isn’t great, is it? What happened? Read on...



Leicester vs Bournemouth - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 1 Bournemouth 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Riyad Mahrez's sensational stoppage-time equaliser snatched a Premier League draw for Leicester City against Bournemouth.

Mahrez curled home a 25-yard free-kick deep into injury time to cancel out Joshua King's first-half penalty.

Apologies to everyone for typing Burnley instead of Bournemouth last week. Hope it didn’t confuse anyone too much.


Southampton vs Stoke - Prediction Home win

Result - Southampton 0 Stoke 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Here are some lines from the Daily Telepharg...

There was a moment midway through the second half which gave perfect summary of the level of this match. Southampton’s Nathan Redmond spun past two players and passed to Mario Lemina, well placed just outside the Stoke box. His shot missed the target by several yards.

From Stoke’s ensuing goal-kick, the ball headed quickly forward to Maxim Choupo-Moting, who suddenly found himself clear in front of the Southampton goal. To ironic cheers from the home support, his shot disappeared into the empty seats behind the net.

Nuff said.


Bristol City vs Sheffield Wed - Prediction Home win

Result - Bristol City 4 Sheffield Wednesday 0

An emphatic Yay!

Bobby Reid scored the first hat-trick of his career as Bristol City swept aside Sheffield Wednesday. City were three up before half time; Reid twice produced fine low finishes, the first after a one-two with Josh Brownhill, who made it 3-0 himself following Jamie Paterson's backheel.

Reid netted his 19th of the season from the spot after Marlon Pack was fouled.

Wednesday did create a couple of good chances - with Atdhe Nuhiu blazing their best opportunity over the bar when the score was 1-0.


Millwall vs Sunderland - Prediction Home win

Result - Millwall 1 Sunderland 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Sunderland led when Bryan Oviedo played a neat one-two with Aiden McGeady before firing home past Millwall keeper Jordan Archer from outside the box.

The hosts were level after the Black Cats failed to clear a goalmouth scramble and Shaun Hutchinson poked in. [I say! Steady on. - Ed.]


Nottingham Forest vs Birmingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Nottingham Forest 2 Birmingham 1


Joe Lolley put Forest ahead on five minutes with a low strike after a slick move.

Blues had chances to level, notably through Maikel Kieftenbeld, who blazed an effort over from 15 yards.

Matty Cash's low second-half strike ensured a victory which was in question after Michael Morrison's late header for Birmingham.


Three ’It the bars! Would you Adam and Eve it! The Grambler was so close to getting all five spot on there. Can he/she/it improve on things this week? Let’s see the predictions...

Game - Result - Odds

Blackburn vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Bristol Rovers vs Northampton - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Portsmouth vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Rotherham vs Rochdale - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Shrewsbury vs Walsall - Prediction Home win - 17/20


Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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...



A bit more whopping than last week. So instead of not winning £9.55, we won’t win £10.73.





Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who is the only player to have scored in four different FA Cup Finals. The answer was a Mr D. Drogba of Chelsea. Old Didier scored in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Chelsea won all four, in case you were interested. [Yawn. We’re not. - Ed.]

What about one for this week? Let’s have a question relating to Portuguese players in the Premiershit. Only seven Portuguese players have won Premier League medals. Three have won on a solitary occasion, three have won three times and one has won four times. Who is that man? Too easy?




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. Llewellyn, one of this week’s birthday celebrants. Perhaps you don’t know the name, but you might recognise his most famous role...

The character of Kryten was originally seen just once in series 2 of the science fiction comedy [Unusual to see those terms linked. Science fiction and nerdy geek are more usually seen together. - Ed.] Red Dwarf.  The 'mechanoid' was portrayed as a butler who was still helpfully serving his 'owners' on a spacecraft even though the entire crew was dead.  The character was obviously based on the J.M. Barrie play 'The Admirable Crichton', hence the name.  For series 3 Kryten was introduced as a permanent character and was portrayed by a different actor (Llewellyn).  His inclusion added a new dimension to the comedy so let’s end with a few Kryten lines from Red Dwarf...


Kryten: Mr Lister sir can't you see that your behaviour is totally irrational?

Rimmer: In which case we can relieve him of duty as per Space Corp Directive 196156.

Kryten: 196156? Any officer caught sniffing the saddle of the exercise bicycle in the women's gym will be discharged without trial. Hmm, I'm sorry sir but that doesn't quite get to the nub of the matter for me.


Rimmer: That's it I'm invoking Space Corp Directive 68250.

Kryten: 68250? But sir surely that's impossible without at least one live chicken and a rabbi?


Rimmer: I've no idea who you are but boarding this vessel is an act of war. Ergo we surrender, and as prisoners of war I invoke the all nations agreement article 39436175880932-B.

Kryten: 39436175880932-B? All nations attending the conference are only allocated one car parking space?

Rimmer: Can't you let just ONE go? I was talking about the right of POW's to non-violent constraint.

Kryten: But that's 75880932-C sir.


Rimmer: May I remind you all of Space Corp Directive 34124.

Kryten: 34124? No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity.


Rimmer: Kryten you're forgetting Space Corp Directive 1742.

Kryten: 1742? No member of the Corp should report for duty in a ginger toupee.


Kryten: Well Space Corp Directive 195 clearly states that in an emergency power situation, a hologrammatic crewmember must give up his life in order that the living crewmembers might survive.

Rimmer: Yes but Rimmer Directive 271 states just as clearly: 'no chance you metal bastard'.


Kryten: What about the Space Corp Directive which states that it is our primary overriding duty to contact other life forms, exchange information and wherever possible bring them home?

Rimmer: What about the Rimmer Directive which states never tangle with anything which has more teeth than the entire Osmond family?


[Starbug is threatened by a giant rogue asteroid that could be a mere illusion.]
Kryten: Suggest we maintain course. That asteroid does not exist.
Rimmer: Suppose you're wrong?
Kryten: Sir, I'll stake my reputation on it.
Rimmer: Kryten, you haven't got a reputation.
Kryten: No, sir, but I'm hoping to acquire one from this escapade.


Kryten: I’m up and down more often than a pair of kangaroos in the mating season!


Rimmer: We can’t afford to take any chances. Jump up to red alert.
Kryten: Are you sure, sir? It does mean changing the bulb.


Kryten: My goodness, I do believe I’m drunk. I suddenly feel the need to strut my funky stuff!


Lister: “To the lease holder of Kryten 2X4B 523P.” That’s your full name?
Kryten: Yes, but personally I don’t much like the 2X4B. I think it’s a jerky middle name. Still, it could be worse. I once knew an android whose middle name was 2Q4B. Poor sucker!


Lister: Kryten! Are you okay, man?

Kryten: I have a medium-sized fire axe buried in my spinal column. That sort of thing can really put a crimp on your day.


Kryten: An excellent and inventive suggestion, sir, with just two tiny drawbacks: a) We don't have any jet-powered rocket pants; and b) there's no such thing as jet-powered rocket pants outside the fictional serial "Robbie Rocket Pants".


Kryten: Oh, screw down my diodes and call me Frank!


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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