Saturday 16 June 2018

Week 43 - The Grambler at the World Cup

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



The World Cup has started! Huzzah! You know what that means, don’t you...

HAMISH:              Dougal!

DOUGAL:             Hamish!

HAMISH:              You’ll have had your tea?

DOUGAL:             Aye. My cullen skink.

HAMISH:              In that case, you should wear a lighter sporran.

DOUGAL:             Eh? Oh here, I see you’re reading a book...

HAMISH:              Oh ho, nothing gets by you.

DOUGAL:             Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha
                               Christie? Never heard of her.

HAMISH:              You’ve never heard of her? What about Hercule

DOUGAL:             What about her cool parrot?

HAMISH:              No no no. It’s a famous character in her books. I
                               can’t believe you’ve never heard of her.

DOUGAL:             She didn’t manage that shop, did she?

HAMISH:              Manage a shop? No of course she didn’t
                               manage a... Which shop?

DOUGAL:             That Portuguese one with the name that was
                               almost, but not quite, the same as a famous low
                               cost supermarket.

HAMISH:              Why on earth do you think that was her?

DOUGAL:             Well, the only Christie I know ran Aldo.


I see that President Fart has had a meeting with Kim Young ‘un. No doubt the old gag got wheeled out again. You know the one. It would be a picture of Donald Fart with Kim Young ‘un and the caption would go along the lines of... One of these is a crazy, war-mongering dictator, the other is Kim Jong-un. Oh, how we laughed. 
I wonder what they discussed... The following conversation most definitely took place... probably... maybe.

DON:         You can't beat us. We'll put millions into our defence

KIM:          Yeah?

DON:         Yeah.

KIM:          Well, so will we. In fact, we'll put billions into our

DON:         Yeah?

KIM:          Yeah.

DON:         You can't threaten us... We'll put trillions into ours.

KIM:          Well, we'll put... erm... zillions!

DON:         Is that all? We'll put gazillions. That's way more than

KIM:          You've just made that up.

DON:         No I haven't. Erm... We'll hit you with a big stick.

KIM:          We'll hit you with a bigger stick.

DON:         That's what you think. We've got bigger sticks than you.

KIM:          No you haven't. Whatever size of stick you've got, we
                   can match it.

DON:         No you can't... Our sticks are as big as tree trunks.

KIM:          And who's going to be able to lift it? Ha!

DON:         Superman. That's who. He's American...

KIM:          We’ll bribe him... We’ll pay him millions.

DON:         We’ll pay him billions.

KIM:          We’ll pay him.......

Etc. Etc. Ad infinitum.

Okay, maybe I dreamt all that, but it seems to sum up world politics of the moment. That is the level of rhetoric we seem to get from world leaders at the moment. As long as it remains just rhetoric, we're okay. I hope.




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 16th of June? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Adam Smith 1723 (Philosopher and economist. An enlightened sort of chap.), Geronimo 1829 (The one who yawns.), Stan Laurel 1890 (Actor and comedian.), Jack Albertson 1907 (Actor. Granpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.), Enoch Powell 1912 (Politician with a less than generous view on immigration.), Tom Graveney 1927 (Crickety bloke.), Eileen Atkins 1934 (Ectress. Co-created Upstairs Downstairs and The House of Elliot.), Erich Segal 1937 (Orfer. Wrote Love Story. Time for a clip.), Lamont Dozier 1941 (Hit-writing machine. One third of Edith Wayne. [Sorry pardon excuse me? - Ed.] Apparently, as he and his writing partners were contracted to Tamla Motown, they came up with the songwriting name of Edith Wayne in order to continue writing after they left Motown in acrimonious circumstances with lawsuits being filed left, right and centre. Any road up, this was his first composition to reach number one in the UK. What the hell is that on Diana Ross’s head?), Tommy Horton 1941 (Golfy bloke.), Giacomo Agostini 1942 (Motorbike racey bloke.), Eddie Levert 1942 (An O’Jay. Let’s have another clip. All together... People all over the world, join hands...), Iain Matthews 1946 (Musician.  Remember his big hit?), Simon Williams 1946 (Ectaw, dontchaknow. James Bellamy in Upstairs Downstairs. Erm... that’s it.), Garry Roberts 1950 (A Boomtown Rat. A clip? Here’s M-M-M-Mary of the fourth form. Sorry about the scary man at the end.), Ian Mosley 1953 (A bit of Marillion. Another clip, vicar?  Hey yeah hey ee yeah...), Jurgen Klopp 1967 (Fußball-manager.), Phil Mickelson 1970 (Golfy bloke.), Tupac Shakur 1971 (Rapper. You want a clip? Tough.) and Steven Whittaker 1984 (Footy bloke.).


I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Gabbler,

It was interesting that you included Baby Love in this week’s list of clips, citing it as Lamont Dozier’s first UK number one. We would be interested to know what was the second UK number one composed by Dozier.

Yours with kindest regards,

Ray Chout, Albie Thare.


DOUGAL:        Hamish!

HAMISH:         Dougal!

DOUGAL:        Come away in man. You'll have had your tea?

HAMISH:         Yes, but I see you're still having yours... that looks
                          a lovely wee bit of cheese.

DOUGAL:         Aye it is.

HAMISH:          It looks really nice.

DOUGAL:         It is. Very nice.

HAMISH:          I love a nice bit of cheese, I do.

DOUGAL:         Erm... I don't suppose... you would like... to try

HAMISH:         I thought you'd never ask. I wouldn't mind a

DOUGAL:        Well, it's at the top of the stairs where it's always

HAMISH:         No no. I mean I wouldn't mind a wee piece of

DOUGAL:        Oh I see. There you go.

HAMISH:         I didn't mean that wee. Oh my. That really is tasty.
                          That is a lovely piece of English cheddar. I must
                          buy some. Where do you get it?

DOUGAL:        In the supermarket. They've got a delicatessen
                          counter as soon as you go in. It's in the first aisle.

HAMISH:         Aisle one?

DOUGAL:        No. It's all alphabetical, so it's A.

HAMISH:         The delicatessen, you say?

DOUGAL:        Aye. Deli, aisle A.



Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? Once again, it was a bit mince. 89 pees back from our £2.40 stake. Oh dear. Oh well, at least we can have a wee flutter on the footy this week. Yay! Unfortunately, because the World Cup is spread over a month, it isn’t possible to have bets on five games taking place at a given time. So, in a break with The Grambler’s admittedly flexible rules, this week’s bet covers games being played over the coming week. So what has the great and glorious Grambler randomly predicted?


Game - Time - Prediction - Odds

Croatia vs Nigeria - Sat 20.00 - Croatia to win - 4/5

Costa Rica vs Serbia - Sun 13.00 - Serbia to win - 19/20

Sweden vs South Korea - Mon 13.00 - Sweden to win - 21/20

Colombia vs Japan - Tues 13.00 - Colombia to win - 8/11

Portugal vs Morocco - Wed 13.00 - Portugal to win - 3/5


The selections have been made. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Let’s see how much we could win in the extremely 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...




Hmm... fairly whopping.



HAMISH:          Dougal!

DOUGAL:         Hamish!

HAMISH:          You'll have had your tea?

DOUGAL:         I just had some lovely potted hough... Oh I'm sorry
                           I'll wipe that up.

HAMISH:          I love potted hough... Would you mind wiping that
                           up while you're about it. What brings you here?

DOUGAL:         Well, I was thinking of booking a holiday and I
                           know you can look things up by roaming the

HAMISH:          You mean searching the internet.

DOUGAL:         Do I? Och, you know me. Always getting my
                           words mixed up. Anyway, you've got one of those
                           computer things, I wondered if you would let me
                           have a wee roam... search. Erm... you won't charge
                           me, will you?

HAMISH:          Of course not. Right. I'll just let you fire up my

DOUGAL:         I thought you said you wouldn't charge me.

HAMISH:          No no no, you daft gowk. I mean switch it on.

DOUGAL:         Oh, I see. Phew. Okay. Oh. It's asking for a
                           password. Do you have one?

HAMISH:          Auchtermuchty. [Pause] Auchtermuchty. That's
                           my password.

DOUGAL:         Oh I thought you were clearing your throat.

HAMISH:          So what kind of holiday are you looking for?

DOUGAL:         I fancy going on a boat down the Rhine. You
                           know, in Germany.

HAMISH:          That'll be nice, but you mean a cruise.

DOUGAL:         There you go... wrong word again. Oh dear. I'm
                           not very good at this. Perhaps you should do it.

HAMISH:          Okay. What am I looking for?

DOUGAL:         Would you roam boating?


Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what Glossop North End, Carlisle United, Swindon Town, Northampton Town, Leyton Orient and Barnsley all had in common. The answer is that they have all spent just one season in the top flight of English football.

One for this week? Did you watch the Portugal vs Spain game last night. What a terrific three all draw it was. Ronaldo (or Ran Aldo if you prefer) joined an elite group when he became only the third Portuguese player ever to score a hat trick at a World Cup finals. Can you name the other two? Easy peasy.
I've scored a hat trick... This is how big my head is now.



HAMISH:          Dougal!

DOUGAL:        Hamish!

HAMISH:         I heard about your accident. What happened, man?

DOUGAL:        Well, you know that tree in my garden; the
                          mountain ash?

HAMISH:         Och, yes. The one you got from Belgium.

DOUGAL:        That's the one. Well, I thought it was getting too
                          big. I decided it was time to get my chopper out.

HAMISH:         I hope Mrs Nauchty didn’t see you.

DOUGAL:       Anyway, I was chopping it down and, before
                         I knew it, it came down on top of me. The next
                         thing I knew, I was waking up in Accident and
                         Emergency at the hospital.

HAMISH:         Away, man.

DOUGAL:       Aye. That's how it happened... My rowan fell...
                         A an' E.



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. S. Laurel whose name appears in this week’s birthday honours. Stan Laurel was one half of, arguably, the most famous comedy duo of all time: Laurel and Hardy. They were one of the few comedy acts that managed the transition between silent films and the new-fangled ‘talkies’.  Their golden period was undoubtedly between the years 1927 and 1939; they appeared in 106 films together from 1921 to 1951, but 92 of those films were made in that productive 12 year period.

Often their films were little more than a few sketches strung together with little or no cohesion. Nevertheless, their mixture of slapstick and verbal humour made them popular around the world. In fact, most countries had their own name for them. Here is just a few... In Germany they were Dick und Doof; in Denmark - Gøg og Gokke; in Poland - Flip i Flap; in The Netherlands - De Dikke en de Dunne; in Romania - Stan and Bran; in Hungary - Stan es Pan and in Italy they were Crik and Crok. Lovely names, one and all.

So, what can we finish with? Some slapstick? Well, there is a little bit in the clip I have chosen. I think we have to finish with the only song they ever sang in one of their films. Here is a colourised version of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. All together now... Eena the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia...



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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