Saturday, 22 December 2018

Week 18 - A Christmas cracker from The Grambler


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

 

And so this is Christmas,

And what have we done?

Another year over,

And a new one just begun...

 

Oh, there’s nothing like an jolly Christmarse song to start off an grarmble. Arnd that was serpently nothing like arn jolly Christmarse song. A dismarlly dull dirge if you arsk me. His calendar’s an bit mixted up as well. New year is the week arfter Christmarse, so it harsn’t begun yet. Mind you, he couldn’t really sing ‘Another year over... next week... arnd an new one will begin... erm... next week.’ That would be darft.

That was an song by that Neil Lennon, bloke. Ooh, I never rated him, me. He wrote some right dispressing songs, he did. That one about the raspberry... no... strawberry picking. Miserarble. And it doesn’t even make sense... the strawberry season only lasts an couple of months... you carn’t pick them forever like what he says. What about the one where he’s an farmer selling his eggs? What’s arn blibbing walrus got to do with the price of fish... they eat fish, though.

How’s it gaun, bud?

Why it’s my old alcoholic acquaintance, Dougie (the local inebriate). How the blibbing flip are you?

Kin brilliant, by the way. Kin mad wi it. Full of kin Christmas spirits, so ahm ur.

You mean Christmarse spirit, surely?

I kin know what I mean. How’s yoursel?

I’m not too bard, tharnk you for arsking... I like the crutch. Very Christmarsy. Nice tinsel. Erm... why does it never touch the ground?

That’s cus it’s a kin special crutch.

What? It hovers?

Naw naw naw. See they wee kin holes fur making it longer or shorter?

Yes... No. No I don’t.

That’s cus they’re no kin there. Ah’ve hud them filled in.

Oh, I see... No, I don’t see. Why?

Kin tube.

There’s no need for larnguage like thart just because I don’t understarnd.

Naw naw naw. It’s a kin tube. And you know what you can put in a tube?

Erm... enlighten me.

Kin voddie, that’s whit.

Oh, I see. No I don’t. What the blibbing flip hars that got to do with it not touching the ground?

See that kin rubber bit at the bottom?

Yarse.

That’s the kin tap.

The bottom is the top?

S’right.

No... You’ve lost me.

See, it’s full of voddie an’ that’s the screw tap. Wouldnae want that getting damaged; I’d lose aw my bevvy. Here, talking of bevvy... Fancy a wee salvy?

Ah... a Savlondor Dalai Lama ... rhyming slarng for drink; I thought you’d never arsk. It is Christmarse, arfter all. (Slurp) Oh, I say, That’s an bit... erm... interarsting.

Kin brilliant, intit?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that.

Here, huv another wee swally.

Ooh, my word. I’m getting a burning senstation.

Whereaboots?

In my testincoles. Oh, my goodnarse me. Mind you, it’s becoming more palastable, the more I drink. What the flip is it.

It’s a kin cocktail I’ve made up up for Christmas. See aw these kin prosecco cocktails ye get?

Prostecco? Yarse.

Well, me an ma buds cannae afford them, cus of this minimum pricing shite for alcohol. I’m telling ye, it’s kin discrimination, so it is.

Discrimpination? Against who... whom?

Us! Me and ma buds! It’s discriminating against drunken bastards who sit on their arses aw day getting kin blootered!

I suspose you harve an point... an strupid one, but definartely an point.

Onywey, I’m come up wi ma ain kin cocktail fur Christmas. It’s a mixture of Buckfast and cider.

Harve you given it an name?

Oh aye... Buckie’s Fizz. Cheers!

Cheers!

Yes... well. Thank you for that Christmas cheer, Arthur and Dougie.

Before I begin a short (g)ramble, I have to make an apology. Last week’s teaser seemed a good one to me. It must have been, because I used the same question in Week 11 - The Grambler congratulates Rod Stewart.  My only excuse is that it happened over two years ago and the memory isn’t what it once was. [Two excuses, I think you’ll find - Ed.]

Anyway, on with the (g)ramble. It is Christmas, as Arthur and Dougie (the local inebriate) reminded us, and it is a time that many people use to take a holiday abroad. Instead of spending a bit of time celebrating the most significant celebration we have each year, they decide to bog off out of it... miserable cu [Steady on. - Ed.].

Well, the main lunchtime news item of today was that Gatwick airport had been closed since 9 o’clock last night resulting in hundreds of flights having to be cancelled and leaving thousands of people stranded in the airport building.

What was the cause of the closure? Baggage handlers on a go slow? As if. Air crew refusing to fly? I should cocoa. French air traffic controllers on strike? Not this time. No, the reason for the complete shutdown of England’s second busiest airport was that two drones were spotted in the vicinity.

The whole escapade has led to a discussion in the House of Lords, no less, that there should be a strengthening of the sentences meted out to those idiots that choose to fly their clever little toys in airspace around an airport. Currently, there is a drone no fly zone around all airports and if anyone breaches that space they are liable for an unlimited fine or up to five years imprisonment. You would think those laws are already strict enough to dissuade anyone from being stupid enough to break the rule.

My view on the subject, in typical Grambler fashion, is there is a simple solution which nobody has mentioned.

How much do these droney things cost? A thousand? Two thousand? I have no idea, but I imagine they are not cheap, especially if equipped with cameras. My solution? Blast the f*****s out of the sky with a shotgun. Cost? A bung of a few quid to the nearest farmer. Job done.

I would wager that losing their fancy gadget would be enough to stop anyone troubling the airport authorities again.

No no, I don’t ask for reward; just look on it as my Christmas gift to you all.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 22nd of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Giacomo Puccini 1858 (Composer. Have a link. Here’s One Fine Day from Madame Butterfly.), J. Arthur Rank 1888 (Film maker and rhyming slang), Peggy Ashcroft 1907 (Ectress. Worked for Old Vic. I’ve no idea who he is.), Patricia Hayes 1909 (Comedy actress.), Lady Bird Johnson 1912 (Wife of Lyndon B. Not a real ladybird.), Peregrine Worsthorne 1923 (Journalist. Not a real peregrine.), James Burke 1936 (TV presenter of science type programmes. Here is an extract from his Wikipedia page... In 1973, Burke predicted the widespread use of computers for business decisions, the creation of metadata banks of personal information, and changes in human behaviour, such as greater willingness to reveal personal information to strangers. Hmm.), Dick Parry 1942 (Who? He’s a saxophonist... They can’t touch you for it. You might recognise this piece of music.), Rick Nielsen 1948 (Geetarist with Cheap Trick. Have a clip. Here’s their early hit.), Chris Old 1948 (Crickety bloke.), Maurice and Robin Gibb 1949 (The late Bee Gees. I think another clip is in order... But which one?), Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960 (Artist.), Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes 1962 (Ectaw dear leddie.), Dan Petrescu 1967 (Fotbalistul.), Richey Edwards 1967 (The Manic Street Preacher who disappeared in 1995. Here’s an early one.), Vanessa Paradis 1972 (Singer and actress. Here’s a nice toon.) and Meghan Trainor 1993 (Singer/songwriter. Have a clip. This is her hit.).

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grambleu,

My good friend Mr. Hugh Wynn-Agenn wrote to you some time ago thanking you for including a Bee Gees song in among the links. I am also a big fan of the Isle of Man’s most famous musicians. I have a question for you. What was the last song that was a hit for the three of them?

Many thanks,

Al Owen.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Nothing. Obviously. There was no bet. Time to remedy that. What has The Grambler randomly predicted for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Ipswich vs Sheffield Utd. - Prediction Away win - 5/6

Reading vs Middlesbrough - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Rotherham vs West Brom - Prediction Away win - 5/6

Stevenage vs Mansfield - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Hamilton vs Kilmarnock - Prediction Away win - 8/11

 

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...

 

£11.00

 

Well, it’s a nice round figure, and moderately whopping I suppose.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I told you that the Second Division match between QPR and Luton Town played at Loftus Road on 1st September 1981 was a first in League history and I asked you what that first was. Well, those of you who have been paying attention will have spotted my foxes paw immediately. Imagine asking you the same question I asked on the 13th of October 2016. I feel such a fool. [Only now? - Ed.] Anyway, it was the first match in the leagues to be played on an artificial pitch.

One for this week? Which Premiershit club has the smallest capacity at only 11,329? Blimey, that’s even less than Motherwell (13,677). Mind you, I dare say the English club has every seat occupied... unlike Motherwell. Anyway, one to get you thinking, there.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. Ian Dependent who recently conducted a poll to find this year’s best (worst?) Christmas cracker jokes which I include for your entertainment.

Did you know that Christmas crackers were invented by Tom Smith in 1847? No? Well, they were. They weren’t called crackers originally. Apparently, they were called cossacks. No, I don’t understand that either. Maybe it is just a wind up on Wikipedia.

Any road up, here are the 15 winners of the cracker joke poll...

 

1. What does Donald Trump do after he pulls a cracker?

Pays her off

2. Why is Theresa May encouraging board games at Christmas?

Because she’s trying to bring back Chequers

3. Why has Debenhams been forced to cancel its Christmas nativity play?

No prophet

4. What does Philip Green buy former employees for Christmas?

Their silence

5. When do sheep practice their new dance?

While shepherds watched them floss by night

6. What’s the difference between the Love Island villa and the stable where Jesus was born?

The stable had some wise men in it

7. Why does Kim Kardashian hate Christmas so much?

She’s always the butt of the Christmas cracker jokes

8. What is Meghan buying Harry, William and Charles for Christmas?

Suits

9. Why was everyone hungover after Roxanne Pallett’s Christmas Party?

She misjudged the strength of the punch

10. Why did Donald Trump invite Kanye West round to help with his Christmas presents?

Because Kanye is Trump’s favourite wrapper

11. What’s the biggest complaint about Network Rail’s Christmas seasoning?

They keep changing the thyme

12. Why has Boris Johnson bought mistletoe this year?

Because he’s tired of being in the single market

13. What’s the only thing that goes on longer than Christmas?

Harry and Meghan’s wedding preacher

14. What did Banksy serve with his Christmas turkey?

Shred sauce

15. Who won the North Pole Love Island?

Dani Deer

Oh deer... I think you will agree with me that they were, without exception, truly awful.
 
He's pulled
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

May I add an extra few words to end this blog in the week leading up to Christmas? It is, in the words of Andy Williams, the most wonderful time of the year. It can, however, be the saddest time of the year for many. I am thinking of those who have lost someone close. Christmas seems to be the time when they are most missed.

That certainly is the way Christmas affects us. Stewart (the founder of this wonderful blog) loved Christmas; it really was his favourite time. There are so many things we see and do that remind us of him. We remember how so many of our little family ‘traditions’ delighted him and how he began his own Christmas rituals like going to the Glasgow Film Theatre every year to watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

It may be over five years ago that he left us, but our memories of him don’t diminish and, especially at this time of year, we think of him a lot. We do try to concentrate our thoughts on the happier times rather than the dark days of his awful illness, but it is hard to forget his last Christmas at home which was such a terrible time for him.

Hopefully, those of you who are in a similar position will also be able to focus on the good times rather than the bad and will be able to smile as you recall them.

I wish you well, especially as you deal with the festive period.
 
 

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

 

Happy grambling.

 

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