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 https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .
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. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997
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…
Those of you who read thegrambler.com on a regular basis will be aware that a favourite topic of mine is motoring. There are many things that catch my ire when it comes to driving.
Today, I am back on the subject of motoring, but it has nothing to do with driving a car; it's more to do with driving the economy (Do you see what I did there?). However do you mean, I hear you ask. Pull up a chair and I'll explain it to ee.
Here in the Yuk there are times in the year when vehicle registration prefixes change. Precisely twice per year, in fact. The registration plate on a new car indicates the year and the time of year that the vehicle was first registered. With me so far? So, on the first of March this year the prefix 18 was introduced. Do you see? 2018 = 18 prefix. I say prefix; there are actually two letters before it and three after it, but I'm too thick to think of a word that suits. No doubt some smartie will pull me up on my stupidity.
Any road up, it is always fun to spot the first new registration plate on or after the first day of that month.
Usually, by the third or fourth day I will stop looking because they are becoming a bit commonplace.
Where is this all leading, you may be wondering. [I certainly am. Yawn. - Ed.] Well, September is the month when a new registration number starts to be used. 68 is the new number. Yeah, I know that makes no sense unless you understand the system. Just believe what I say. The new prefix (which isn't really a prefix) is 68. It just is.
Anyway, what has this got to do with driving the economy? The signs are not good. Here we are in the middle of September and I haven't seen a single new registration plate.
March and September are traditionally the times of the year that most new cars get registered in Britain. It's a vanity thing. It is nice to drive a shiny new car out of the car showroom on the first day of the new plate. I used to do it myself... sadly, I always got caught and they made me take it back. That is meant to be a joke. I didn't really steal cars.
My point is, though, that there is a paucity (That's a good word. Must look it up.) of new cars being registered and that could be an indicator of a failing economy.
What is going on? Are people frightened to spend their money? Perhaps there isn't any money to spend. Is it the Brexit effect? Is everyone sh*tt*ng themselves because they won't have any shoes on their feet? Never mind shoes; what about food to eat?
Well, some good will come of it. At least there won't be so many fat people about.
What? I'm exaggerating? Yes you're probably right. Of course I am. People not buying cars leads to a collapse of the economy? Ha! Ridiculous!
Do you think it’s the beginning of the end of the world?
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 15th of September? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. James Fenimore Cooper 1789 (Orfer. He was the last bloke with a mohican... or something.), William Taft 1857 (The well-known president.), Ettore Bugatti 1881 (Car maker who must be spinning in his grave when he sees what VW engineers have done in his name.), Antonio Ascari 1888 (Car racey bloke.), Robert Benchley 1889 (Writer and actor.), Agatha Christie 1890 (Orfer.), Jean Renoir 1894 (Film maker.), Donald Bailey 1901 (Engineer who designed the bridge that bears both his name and a lot of weight.), Faye Wray 1907 (Actress who got off with King Kong.), Margaret Lockwood 1916 (Ectress. Ooh, she was wicked.), Richard Gordon 1921 (Surgeon turned orfer.), Jackie Cooper 1922 (Actor.), John Julius Norwich 1929 (Rurly posh bloke, yah?), Graham Taylor 1944 (Footy bloke. Do I not like that?), Jessye Norman 1945 (Singer. At last! A clip. All together now... When you walk through a storm...), Tommy Lee Jones 1946 (Actor. He chased after Harrison Ford.), Mike Procter 1946 (Sarf Ifrican creekutty blake.), Oliver Stone 1946 (Film maker.), Johan Neeskens 1951 (Voetbal speler en manager.), Wayne Ferreira 1971 (Sarth Ifrican tinnees plyer.), Jimmy Carr 1972 (Comedian.), Paul Thomson 1976 (Drummer with Franz Ferdinand. Another clip? Here’s their biggest hit to date, Take Me Out.), Sophie Dahl 1977 (Orfer.), Tom Hardy 1977 (Ectaw.) and Harry Windsor 1984 (Rurly, rulry posh benefits scrounger, yah?).
Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? Badly. Rurly rurly badly. 72 pees back from our £2.20 stake. What happened? Read on...
Blackpool vs Bradford - Prediction Home win
Result - Blackpool 3 Bradford 2
Eoin Doyle and Jack Payne gave Bradford the lead, but Jay Spearing scored twice and Curtis Tilt pounced on Richard O'Donnell's error to snatch a late winner.
The game burst into life after 59 minutes when Tilt tripped Kelvin Mellor in the area and Doyle coolly sent Mark Howard the wrong way from the spot.
Payne then doubled the lead five minutes later, finishing low into the corner through a defender's legs.
Spearing pulled one back from the spot with six minutes remaining, firing into the bottom corner after O'Donnell fouled Armand Gnanduillet.
Three minutes later, Ryan McGowan tripped Tilt in the area and, though O'Donnell saved Spearing's initial penalty, the Blackpool captain converted the rebound.
And Tilt then won the game in the 90th minute when O'Donnell spilled a routine cross, pouncing on the loose ball and stabbing in.
Sunderland vs Fleetwood - Prediction Home win
Result - Sunderland 1 Fleetwood 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Fleetwood striker Paddy Madden headed down and beyond Jon McLaughlin from Ashley Hunter's corner and that was the fifth time this season Sunderland have gone behind in League One.
Once again, though, Sunderland found a way back, even if it was not to secure three points, with the result leaving both teams in the play-off places.
Striker Josh Maja found the net for the fifth time this season to flick in George Honeyman's cross with eight minutes remaining of the opening period.
There were good chances for both teams after that, particularly a Fleetwood penalty soon after the restart when Adam Matthews tripped James Husband. McLaughlin was equal to Madden's spot-kick, diving strongly to his left.
In the closing stages Sunderland saw Tom Flanagan and Jerome Sinclair force Alex Cairns into strong saves and then Glenn Loovens headed against the post from the resulting corner.
Bury vs Grimsby - Prediction Home win
Result - Bury 4 Grimsby 0
Danny Mayor scored a brace of well-taken goals as Will Aimson and a Danny Collins own-goal completed a one-sided victory.
A superb individual strike from Mayor handed Bury the lead after the forward danced past two Grimsby defenders before coolly slotting home from 15 yards.
Jordan Cook should have equalised for the visitors, but after racing clear of the Bury defence, he was thwarted by a smart save from goalkeeper Joe Murphy.
Harry Clifton also went close for Grimsby but Bury doubled their advantage before the half-time interval.
Aimson was left unmarked in the penalty area as he comfortably headed home Nicky Adams' corner-kick.
Bury's lead increased further just after the hour-mark as Grimsby defender Danny Collins could only tap into his own goal after Chris Dagnall's shot bounced back out off the post.
Mayor struck again to mark a terrific individual display as he curled home from just outside the box to seal maximum points.
Forest Green vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win
Result - Forest Green 1 Port Vale 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Port Vale picked up their first point away from home as Tom Pope's penalty cancelled out Carl Winchester's goal in a draw at Forest Green Rovers.
Rovers were reduced to ten men when Farrend Rawson was sent off, but they held on to maintain their unbeaten start.
Forest Green took the lead when Joseph Mills' free kick was headed in by Winchester at the back post.
They had a good chance to double their lead when Reuben Reid burst through the middle and released Joseph Mills on the right, but he shot straight at the keeper on his weaker foot.
Vale grew into the game in the second half and equalised when Pope fired a penalty into the roof of the net after Ricky Miller was fouled by Rawson, who was booked.
It got worse for Forest Green when Rawson was shown a straight red card for a nasty challenge on Mitch Clark.
Northampton vs Cheltenham - Prediction Home win
Result - Northampton 1 Cheltenham 3
Will Boyle's close-range goal in the first half was added to by Conor Thomas and Kelsey Mooney after half-time, with Kevin van Veen's penalty in vain for the home side.
Northampton raced out of the blocks as Sam Hoskins steered an early effort off target and then Van Veen ballooned over from an acute angle.
But Cheltenham took the lead when Johnny Mullins found space from a free-kick and knocked the ball down to Boyle, who tapped in.
The Cobblers levelled just past the hour as Hoskins pounced on a short back pass and drew the foul from goalkeeper Scott Flinders, allowing Van Veen to score from the spot.
But Cheltenham won their own spot-kick when Shay Facey felled Jacob Maddox and Thomas converted, squeezing the ball past David Cornell.
And the Robins had their third soon after as a scramble from a corner allowed Mooney to prod in.
Match reports supplied by the Press Association.
Oh dear. Not too good. Can The Grambler up his/her/its game this week? I hope so, but I’m doubtful (as always). What has he/she/it randomly predicted from Saturday the 15th of September’s three o’clock kick offs?
Game - Result - Odds
Newcastle vs Arsenal - Prediction Away win - 10/11
Coventry vs Barnsley - Prediction Away win - 19/20
Macclesfield vs Lincoln - Prediction Away win - 11/10
Brechin vs Raith Rovers - Prediction Away win - 21/20
Berwick vs Elgin - Prediction Away win - 11/10
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...
Oh dear. A bit too whopping... And what’s with all the away wins?
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who managed Carlisle United, Grimsby Town, Workington and Huddersfield Town before moving to the club which would define his career. The answer was Liverpool’s most famous manager, Bill Shankley.
One for this week? Okey dokey. Which club dropped Boscombe from its name in 1972? Too easy for any geography students out there. See if you can work it out before resorting to Googly maps.
As usual, I remind you 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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr J. Carr, famous for his tax avoidance and having the most annoying laugh ever. He is also a very clever and funny comedian. Let’s end this week with some of his jokes which I hope will make you smile. Be warned... some of them are rather near the knuckle.
“I did a sponsored walk once. In the end, I’d managed to raise so much money, I could afford a taxi.”
“When you eat a lot of spicy food, you can lose your taste. When I was in India last summer, I was listening to a lot of Michael Bolton.”
“I had a survey done on my house. Eight out of 10 people said they really rather liked it.”
“My favourite road sign is ‘Falling Rocks’. What exactly am I supposed to do with that information? They may as well have a sign saying, ‘Random accidents ahead’; ‘Life’s a lottery, Be lucky.'”
“I realised I was dyslexic when I went to a toga party dressed as a goat.” “I was out with a friend and he came over with a pair of girls. I said to him, ‘They’re like buses.’ He said, ‘What? Because you wait for ages and then two come along at once.’ I said, ‘No, they are like buses!'
“I’m not being condescending. I’m too busy thinking about far more important things you wouldn’t understand.”
“When I was a kid, I used to have an imaginary friend. I thought he went everywhere with me. I could talk to him and he could hear me, and he could grant me wishes and stuff too. But then I grew up, and stopped going to church.”
“Swimming is good for you, especially if you’re drowning. Not only do you get a cardiovascular workout, but you also don’t die.”
“Recently my girlfriend asked me if I was having sex behind her back and I replied, ‘Yes, who did you think it was?'”
“I saw a charity appeal in The Guardian the other day, and it read, ‘Little Zuki has to walk 13 miles a day just to fetch water.’ And I couldn’t help thinking, ‘she should move.'”
“I used to buy lottery tickets every week until I realised you could watch it on TV for nothing.”
“I like to go into The Body Shop and shout out really loud, ‘I’ve already got one!'”
“Saying that you don’t believe in magic but do believe in God is a bit like saying you don’t have sex with dogs, except Labradors.”
“I did a gig in the US once for the homeless. I said, ‘It’s nice to see so many bums on seats.'”
“Say what you want about the deaf…”
“No matter how much you give a homeless person for tea, you never get that tea.”
“Remember to never answer a phone during sex, even if you hilariously answer with, ‘I can’t talk now, I’m going into a tunnel.'”
“People with Tourette’s… what makes them tick?”
“Viagra has instructions: ‘Keep away from children’ – what kind of man do you think I am?”
“I was walking the streets of Glasgow the other week and I saw this sign, ‘This door is alarmed’. I said to myself, ‘How do you think I feel?'”
“I’m not worried about the Third World War. That’s the Third World’s problem.”
“I have no problems with buying tampons, I am a fairly modern man. But apparently they’re not a ‘proper’ present.”
“There was one time where I failed to perform sexually. My girlfriend said to me, ‘oh, don’t worry, it happens to a lot of guys.’ OK, there are two things wrong with that. First of all who are these other guys? And second of all if it’s happening to more than one of us, don’t you think it could be your fault?”
“The first few weeks of Weight Watchers, you’re just finding your feet.”
“My father always used to say, ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’ Until the accident.”
“In Pizza Express you can get garlic bread with cheese and tomato. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s a pizza.”
“My girlfriend bought a cookbook the other day called Cheap and Easy Vegetarian Cooking. Which is perfect for her, because not only is she vegetarian…”
“I went up to the airport information desk and said ‘How many airports are there in the world?'”
“My girlfriend said she wanted me to tease her, so I said, ‘Alright, fatty.'”
“A big girl once came up to me after a show and said ‘I think you’re fatist’. I said, ‘no, I think you’re fattest.'”
“Throwing acid is wrong. In some people’s eyes.”
“A lady with a clipboard stopped me in the street and said ‘Can you spare a few minutes for cancer research?’ I said, ‘alright, but we’re not going to get much done.'”
“When someone close to you dies, move seats.”
“British scientists have demonstrated that cigarettes can harm your children. Fair enough. Use an ashtray.”
“I live near a remedial school. There’s a sign that says, ‘slow – children’. That can’t be good for their self esteem. But look of course on the positive side… they can’t read it.”
“I saw that show 50 Things To Do Before You Die. I’d have thought the obvious one was, ‘shout for help.'”
“If we are all God’s children, what’s so special about Jesus?”
“The American police have said they will never forget 9/11. Pretty hard to, I would think, considering it’s your phone number.”
“Ten years after the Chernobyl accident, and am I the only one that’s disappointed? Still no superheroes.”
“Boxers don’t have sex before a fight. Do you know why that is? They don’t fancy each other.”
“My Dad’s dying wish was to have his family around him. I can’t help thinking he would have been better off with more oxygen.”
“The reason old men use Viagra is not that they are impotent. It’s that old women are so very ugly.”
“I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but if you took all the money that we in the West spend on food in one week, you could feed the Third World for a year. I’m not sure about you, but I think we’re being overcharged on groceries.”
“I hate those e-mails where they try to sell you penis enhancers. I got ten just the other day. Eight of them from my girlfriend. It’s the two from my Mum that really hurt.”
“I remember what I was doing the first time I told someone I loved them. I was lying to get sex.”
“I said to my girlfriend, you shouldn’t eat before you swim. She said, ‘why not?’ I said, ‘you look fat.'”
“I worry about my Nan. If she’s alone and she falls, does she make a sound?”
“My Mum told me the best time to ask my Dad for anything was during sex. Not the best advice I’d ever been given. I burst in through the bedroom door saying, ‘Can I have a new bike?’ He was very upset. His secretary was surprisingly nice about it. I got the bike.”
Jimmy Carr... aspiring comedian
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 www.thegrambler.com