Friday, 10 May 2019

Week 35-37 - Integrated grambling solutions


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

 

Let’s start with a joke from our favourite comedian, George. Take it away George.

Paul McCartney is walking down the road when he almost steps on a beetle. ‘Oy, watch it!’ shouts the beetle. ‘Wow! A talking beetle! That’s amazing!’ says Paul. ‘Did you know, I once named a band after you?’ And the beetle replies...

Can I just stop you there? First of all, it is very unlikely that Paul McCartney would ever be just walking down a street; he would be mobbed by fans. Then there is this notion of a talking beetle; palpable nonsense! My final gripe with this story is that Paul McCartney did not name his band after the insect known as a beetle; he named his group The Beatles as a homage to the great Buddy Holly whose band was The Crickets, named after the insect, not the game. Obviously. They don’t play cricket in the US. They play baseball. Or rounders as we call it in Britain. Anyway, that was the reason for the name The Beatles, with the spelling altered to reflect the then use of the word beat, often used in reference to popular music of the day and its followers. The bands might be known as beat groups and the adherents of the music were often described as the beat generation. Thus, the way the name of Paul McCartney’s band came about had little or nothing to do with an insect, per se.

Anyway, now that has been sorted out, carry on with your story, George. George? George? I’m very sorry about this, but he seems to have gone. How very rude.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I sometimes look at the changes that take place around me and wonder why. Take the use of words, for example.

I've mentioned in a previous edition that the word nostalgia has altered its meaning. Then there are words such as wicked meaning something really good and gay no longer meaning bright and happy.

There are other changes taking place. When did a chiropodist become a podiatrist and why was such a change deemed to be necessary?

If you don't mind me getting a little bit earthy, when and why did venereal disease become sexually transmitted disease?

PMT begat PMS. Why?

One that has been bandied about a lot of late is sepsis. For yonks blood poisoning had been called septicemia... I'll check that spelling for you... Yes, that's right. And that, to me sums up the reasons for many such changes.

Spelling and the dumbing down of the English language. Is it the case that we are thicker than we used to be and unable to spell or indeed say those bigger words?

Perhaps, but that doesn't always seem to be the case.

A lot of businesses are heading the opposite way and big high-faluting words are taking over from standard terms. The problem is that such words don't always help matters. Remember the days when a lorry might have words such as 'Fred Jones transport' or 'Fred Jones haulage' printed in bright lettering on its side? [Who is this Fred Jones? - Ed.] When did this logistics lark come into being? Nowadays any lorry carrying anything has that word, logistics, emblazoned on its side. Why? To me, logistics simply relates to a way of doing something. Anything. It was never associated with transportation of goods as such. And yet, somebody has taken this word out of the English language and decided that it relates to the transportation of anything. No it doesn't. You are still transporting goods, that is all.

Solutions. That's another word that gets used a lot. Taking the lorry theme again, you might see said vehicle with the words 'Fred Jones [He's There again! - Ed.] pipework solutions'. Bollocks! You're a plumber, Fred. Stop this pretentious claptrap. If I have a leaky pipe I know what the solution is. I've already worked that bit out. The solution is to stop the leak. I just need a plumber to fix the fn thing!

I saw another vehicle with the words 'Access Solutions' printed on its side. There was nothing else other than a phone number. Call me Mr thicky, but aren't they simply saying that they will show us how to open a door? Or am I missing something? That van was certainly missing something... a blibbing explanation as to what its owner did for a living.

Integration is another word that has been picked up by various artisans. What is that all about? [Integration? Isn't that what police do to suspects? Hang on, that's interrogation... just ignore me. - Ed.] Ahem... Integration, a far as I am aware, means fitting in with something else. I saw a van the other day; On its side was printed the name of the company [Fred Jones by any chance? - Ed] followed by the word integration. That was it. No details of what the company did. What use is that to anyone? Does anyone ever think, 'Hmm, I need to do a bit of integrating, I wonder if there are any companies out there who I could contact.' No, because the word is meaningless drivel. It means precisely nothing.

It all suggests that somebody in a fairly mundane line of work has ideas above their station and thinks that by using big words, he is going to impress people. You're not. You are simply confusing them.

I've decided to go into business and I have already decided on the company name...

'Integrated Logistics Solutions'

Oh. Wait a sec. That one's been taken.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? As there have been no editions of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog for a few weeks, let’s catch up on those missing dates...

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 20th of April? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Adolf Hitler 1889 (Possibly the most evil leader in modern history.), Harold Lloyd 1893 (Film comedian.), Joan Miró 1893 (Artist.), Bruce Cabot 1904 (Actor.), Lionel Hampton 1908 (Musician. A clip? Here he is flying home.), Leslie Philips 1924 (Hello...), Phil Hill 1927 (Racey car driver.), Antony Jay 1930 (Writer. Co-wrote Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.), George Takei 1937 (Actor. Mr Sulu, that was him.), Betty Cuthbert 1938 (Runny bloke.), Peter Snow 1938 (TV presenter who famously waves his arms about a lot at election time.), Johnny Tillotson 1939 (Singer. He had a hit, you know. And here it is.  Poetry in Motion.  Apologies for the rather non-pc video.), Ryan O’Neal 1941 (Ectaw. Not a real rhino.), John Eliot Gardiner 1943 (Conductor. Guess what... No clip.), Michael Brandon 1945 (Ectaw. Dempsey in Dempsey and Makepeace. That was him.), David Leland 1947 (Ectaw. Majikthise in The Hitch-Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. That was him.), Jessica Lange 1949 (Ectress. King Kong’s bird.), Louise Jameson 1951 (Ectress. Leela in Doctor Who. That was her.), Luther Vandross 1951 (Chanter. Have a clip. Here’s Never Too Much.), Eric Pickles 1952 (Politician.), Sebastian Faulks 1953 (Orfer.), Nicholas Lyndhurst 1961 (Ectaw. Rodney in Only Fools and Horses. That was him.), Andy Serkis 1964 (Ectaw. Gollum. That’s him.), Carmen Electra 1972 (Ectress, allegedly.), Stephen Marley 1972 (Musician. Son of Bob.), Julie Fernandez 1974 (Ectress. Brenda in The Office. That was her.) and Shay Given 1976 (Footy bloke.).

 

Now, let’s see if anyone famous was born on the 27th of April. Well, of course there were some... Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 (Feminist philosopher.), Samuel Morse 1791 (Co-inventor of the code that bore his name.), Ulysses S. Grant 1822 (The well-known president.), Sergei Prokofiev 1891 (Composer. Have a clip. You will recognise this, I am certain.), Walter Lantz 1899 (Animator. Created Woody Woodpecker.), Cecil Day-Lewis 1904 (Poet. Dan’s dad.), Chiang Ching-kuo 1910 (The well-known president.), Jack Klugman 1922 (Ectaw. Quincy. That was him.), Sheila Scott 1922 (Flighty woman.), Derek Chinnery 1925 (BBC Radio 1 controller. Yeah, not so famous. Just someone that I remember.), Anouk Aimée 1932 (Actrice.), Casey Kasem 1932 (DJ who wore some lovely jumpers.), Sandy Dennis 1937 (Ectress. Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. That was her.), Judy Carne 1939 (Ectress. Sock it to me.), Michael Fish 1944 (Weatherman.), Cuba Gooding Sr. 1944 (A bit of the Main Ingredient. They just don't want to be lonely.), Martin Chivers 1945 (Footy bloke.), Pete Ham 1947 (Ivory tickler with Badfinger. Here’s their first biggie, Come and Get It.), Ann Peebles 1947 (Singer who doesn't like the rain.), Frank Abagnale 1948 (Catch him if you can.), Katie Pearson 1948 (A B-52. A clip? Here’s Rock Lobster.), Ari Vatanen 1952 (Rally driver and now MEP.), Sheena Easton 1959 (Singer. A clip? Here’s 9 to 5.  Do you see that any Americans out there? 9 to 5. Not Morning Train. 9 to 5.), Marco Pirroni 1959 (An Ant. Have a clip. Here’s Antmusic.), Russell T Davies 1963 (Screenwriter.), Anna Chancellor 1965 (Ectress.), Willem-Alexander 1967 (The well-known king.), Darcey Bussell 1969 (Rerr dancer.), Sally Hawkins 1976 (Ectress.) and Jenna Coleman 1986 (Ectress. Queen Victoria. Her.).

Now, let’s get up to date... Were any famous folk born on the 4th of May. Well, of course there were. Eric Sykes 1923 (Writer, comedian, actor and director.), Maynard Ferguson 1928 (Musician. How about a clip? Let’s have some jehhhzzz. Here’s Birdland.), Audrey Hepburn 1929 (Ectress. Eliza Doolittle. That was her. Marnie Nixon provided Eliza’s singing voice in My Fair Lady, but this is definitely Audrey. Hmm... Now we know why Marnie got the gig.), Manuel Benítez Pérez aka El Cordobés 1936 (Bullfighter.), Dick Dale 1937 (Geetarist. Here’s his best known piece, Misirlou. Not the most animated bunch.), Tyrone Davis 1938 (Singer. Let’s have some soul.), John Watson 1946 (Racey car drivery bloke.), Colin Bass 1951 (A bit of Camel. Another clip? Why not? Here’s Sasquatch. Bass is on bass.), Sigmund ‘Jackie’ Jackson 1951 (A Jackson. Not sure if I should be including a clip featuring you-know-who, but here is I Want You Back.), Pia Zadora 1953 (Actress, it says here. She was not considered the most talented in her field. The story goes that when she was giving a particularly hammy performance as Anne Frank, there came the scene when the Nazis came to search the house for her. At this point an audience member had clearly had enough and helped them out by shouting, ‘She’s in the attic.’), Randy Travis 1959 (Curntry n Wyustern sanger. Another clip? Shoot! Why not?), Jay Aston 1961 (A bit of Bucks Fizz. Let’s have another clip... and not the one you think. Here's an honest camera.), Kate Garroway 1967 (TV and radio presenter.), Eric Djemba-Djemba 1981 (Footy homme.), Fernandinho 1985 (Cara de futebol.), Cesc Fàbregas 1987 (Tipo de fútbol.), Jorge Lorenzo 1987 (Piloto de motos.) and Rory McIlroy 1989 (Golfy bloke.).

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grumbleboots,

We are both great fans of Adam and the Ants. Thank you for giving us a link to an early hit. Antmusic almost made it to number one, but can you recall which song provided them with their first chart topper?

Yours with lots of love,

Stan Dandy, Lee Vurr.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened the last time we had a flutter? Can you remember that far back. I can’t. Hold on a mo... I’ll just check Bat653 to see how much we won or lost. £3.34! Hey, we actually won something! A profit of £1.14. Brill! I won’t bore you with details... mainly because it was so long ago all the info I would normally include is no longer available on line. So let’s just see what we can have a gramble on this week. For some strange reason, all Premier League games take place this Sunday at 3pm, so let’s have a bet on five of those.
 
 

Game - Result - Odds

Burnley vs Arsenal - Prediction Away win - 6/5

Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Southampton vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win - 4/9

Tottenham vs Everton - Prediction Home win - 11/10

Watford vs West Ham - Prediction Home win - 5/4

 
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...

 

£13.24

 

Oh dear. That’s far too whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you to name all the teams that have won the Premier League since its inception. How did you get on? There are six in all. Manchester United has won the title 13 times, followed by Chelsea on five, then Arsenal and Manchester City with three apiece with Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City winning it once each.

One for this week? The semi-finals of both the Champions League and the Europa League have recently taken place and for the first time in the existence of the competitions all four teams in the finals come from the same country. Liverpool face Spurs in the Champions League and Arsenal are up against Chelsea in the Europa League. It must surely also be the first time that one city has provided three of the four teams. Any road up, how about a question relating to these events? Sort of.

On only two previous occasions have two English teams contested the final of a Europewide competition - European Cup, Cup-winners Cup, UEFA Cup (and its predecessor the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup), Champions League and Europa Cup. Can you name the competitions, the teams and the years in which the finals took place?

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), 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 E. Sykes who provides us with our finishing link. Eric Sykes was a popular comedian who first achieved success as a comedy writer often collaborating on the Goon Show with Spike Milligan. In the 1960s he came to prominance as a performer and much of his work was pretty visual. Indeed, he so enjoyed visual comedy that he produced the short film which was perhaps the most famous ‘silent’ film of its time. It’s a bit non-pc and some of the gags are a bit laboured, but things were different back in 1967. So, ladeez and genullum, please enjoy The Plank. Incidentally, if you are a fan of classic British cars, it will be right up your street.
 
Not Pia Zadora

 

 

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.

 

Friday, 12 April 2019

Week 34 - None shall pass


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

 

Before you read this week’s rant, please take a moment to watch a short news item. Once again, doctors decided that somebody couldn’t possibly have bowel cancer because they were too young. This is why thegrambler.com continues week in, week out. Hopefully, you will enjoy the daft articles, the clips or the predictions, but always, always, consider the serious message behind the blog... Bowel cancer can hit anyone, no matter how young or old; it is a horrible disease and, if it isn’t treated early enough, a killer. It is the third most commonly occurring cancer in Scotland, accounting for nearly 12% of cancer cases. One eighth of all cancers found; that is a huge proportion. And yet, it is still overlooked by doctors unaware that it is not restricted to the over fifties. If you ever feel that you have symptoms which might be bowel cancer, demand, yes, demand to be checked out.

Right. Lecture over. Now let’s get on with the usual mince.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

I've mentioned certain jobsworths in this blog before. You know, those people who will not deviate from any rule or regulation no matter how sensible it might be to do so. I have just met another one and it won't come as much of a surprise when I tell you that she is, that most jobsworthy of jobsworths, a doctor's receptionist.

I needed to make an appointment to see a doctor. I had already been through that ritual of phoning the surgery at one second past half past eight on the morning to find that every line was engaged. By the time I actually got through, some 87 redials (seriously) later, every appointment for the day had been allocated.

I tried a different approach. First thing in the morning, I visited the surgery. My thinking was that, if I couldn't get through on the phone, I couldn't be ignored if I was standing in front of the receptionist. Wrong. Several people were busy answering phone calls while I waited. And waited. And waited. I felt like Peter Brady (ask your dad).

Eventually, after about ten minutes of being ignored, somebody put down the phone and addressed me,

'Can I help you?'

'I'd like to make an appointment.'

'You'll have to phone at half past eight in the morning.'

'I've tried that and couldn't get through. Can't you give me an appointment here and now?'

'I'm not allowed to.'

'Why not?'

'It's how our system works.'

'But it obviously isn't working. Can't you make an exception?'

'I can't.'

'Why not?'

'If I did that for you, I'd have to do it for everyone.'

'No you wouldn't. I'm the only one here asking you to make an exception.'

'Sorry I can't do that. Our system doesn't allow it.'

'Of course it would. I won't tell anybody.'

'I'm sorry. I can't do that. The system...'

'...I know. Doesn't allow it.'

'And besides, all the appointments are full.'

'I might have known. Have you got appointments available tomorrow?'

'Oh yes.'

'Well, I'll have one of those then.'

'I'm sorry. I can't do that. You'll have to phone for an appointment at half past eight tomorrow morning.'

'But, I'm here now. Pretend I am making a phone call and you give me an appointment.'

'I can't do that. The system doesn't allow it.'

You may have heard my scream of anguish at that point.

Okay, they have a system in place. That's great. It means that those who need urgent attention can be seen. However, they ought to be able to allow a few appointment slots for non-urgent cases.

The receptionist told me there was a system. She told me how it works. She told me how to use it. What she didn't explain was why it was so important that it had to be adhered to no matter what.

My own take on the matter is that it needn't be so strictly adhered to. Having encountered this particular lady on numerous occasions, I know just how jobsworthy she can be...

'There is an item on my repeat prescription list that hasn't been updated correctly; can I get a prescription from you?'

'You have to phone the automated prescription line.'

'I have done. It doesn't allow for any changes.'

'I'm sorry, but that is the way the system works. I can't change it.'

'Surely, there is some way of me getting the correct medication.'

'I'll do it for you this time, but I can't do it again. And don't call me Shirley.'

Okay, she didn't say that last bit... more than her jobs worth to inject some humour into proceedings.

That is how the woman works. It is her little bit of power. She always likes to put obstacles in the way of everything. Then, she pretends that she is doing you some sort of favour by acceding to your request.

The next time I had a similar problem, a different person answered the phone and made the change without any suggestion that it was problematic.

I would suggest that Mrs Jobsworth, by being so inflexible, is not a benefit to the practice but an actual hindrance. By putting barriers up when anyone asks for something, she is probably carrying out only half the tasks her fellow workers do.

I think a wee link to finish might be a good idea. Here is the blueprint for a typical doctor's receptionist... None shall pass. Those who don’t like a bit of good old black comedy, look away now. .

 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious people born on the 13th of April? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Guy Fawkes 1570 (Please come back. We need you.), Thomas Jefferson 1743 (The well-known president. Invented the airplane, or was it starship?), Richard Trevithick 1771 (Steam locomotive pioneer.), Alexander Mitchell 1780 (Invented the screw-pile lighthouse [Sounds painful... Oh, I didn’t see the word lighthouse. - Ed.], Josephine Butler 1828 (Feminist and social reformer. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, the right of women to better education, the abolition of child prostitution and an end to human trafficking of young women and children into European prostitution. Well, thank goodness we’ve come so far and over 150 years after her campaigns such barbaric practices no longer exis... hang on.), Frank Winfield Woolworth 1852 (Shopkeeper.), Robert Parker 1866 (Who? Better known as Butch Cassidy. Looked nothing like Paul Newman.), Arthur Harris 1892 (Head of RAF Bomber Command during WWII. Known as ‘Bomber’ to the press and ‘Butcher’ within the RAF.), Robert Watson-Watt 1892 (Radar pioneer.), Alfred Butts 1899 (Inventor of Scrabble. His middle name was M3O1S1H4E1R1.), Philippe de Rothschild 1902 (Racey car drivery type bloke, screenwriter and playwright, theatrical producer, film producer, poet, and one of the most successful wine growers in the world. If you are expecting me to call him a right old smarty boots, I’m not going to. He came from a wealthy family; he did the sort of things coming from a wealthy family allows you to do. I wonder if he was any of those things... apart from the wine part.), Samuel Beckett 1906 (Wroiter.), Lawrence ‘Bud’ Freeman 1906 (Musician. Here’s your first clip of the week... a bit of a slippery customer.), Howard Keel 1919 (Ectaw and chanter. Another clip? All together now... Bless your beautiful hahd...), John Braine 1922 (Orfer and angry young man.), Julius Nyerere 1922 (The well-known president.), Don Adams 1923 (Ectaw. Maxwell Smart. That was him.), Stanley Donen 1924 (Jigger.), Alan Clark 1928 (Car-mad politician.), Dan Gurney 1931 (Racey car drivery bloke that could pull horrible faces.), Edward Fox 1937 (Ectaw. Dave the jackal. That was him.), Seamus Heaney 1939 (Wroiter.), Philip Norman 1943 (Orfer.), Jack Casady 1944 (A bit of Jefferson Airplane. Another clip? Here’s somebody to love.), Lowell George 1945 (A little foot. Here’s another clip. Time for the rock and roll doctor.), Al Green 1946 (Singer who’s tired of being alone.), Mike Chapman 1947 (Half of the songwriting machine known as ‘Chinnichap’. Here’s some girls. [Here are some girls, I think that should read. - Ed.]), Christopher Hitchins 1949 (Orfer.), Ron Perlman 1950 (Ectaw. Hellboy. That was him.), Peabu Bryson 1951 (Chanter. If ever you’re in his arms again, you’ll be able to sing this in Portuguese.), Peter Davison 1951 (Ectaw. The fifth... no, sixth... no, definitely fifth Doctor Who.), Jonjo O’Neill 1952 (Horse racey bloke.), Stephen Byers 1953 (Politician.), Jimmy Destri 1954 (A bit of Blondie. Here’s a video of Atomic... Jimmy’s the one pretending to push keys on the synthesizer.), Louis Johnson 1955 (Bassist for Brothers Johnson. Known as ‘Thunder Thumbs’. Let’s have a Stomp!), Rudi Völler 1960 (Fußballer. Known as Aunt Käthe.), Hillel Slovak 1962 (The original geetarist with Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Let’s funk... I said funk... Red Hot! Chileeee! Peperzzzz!), Garry Kasparov 1963 (Chess player... erm... that’s it.), Davis Love 1964 (Golfy bloke.), John Swinney 1964 (Politician.), Ricky Schroder 1970 (Ectaw. Dolly Parton’s dad.), Lou Bega 1975 (Singer. Here’s his hit. You know this one.), Carles Puyol 1978 (Futbolista.) and Jason Maguire 1980 (Horse racey bloke.).

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Ewekdobbelaar,

I was surprised that you played the earliest hit that Jefferson Airplane had rather than the more famous Alice in Wonderland song. It was all about drugs and things like that. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title... Perhaps it’s the drugs.

Yours something or otherly,

Y. Trabbet.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened a week ago? A total of only 72 pees back from our £2.20 stake money. Rubbish or what? What happened? Read on...

 

Fleetwood Town vs Southend - Prediction Home win

Result - Fleetwood Town 2 Southend United 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Fleetwood Town twice fought back from behind to deny Southend victory.

Southend opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Harry Bunn capitalised on a defensive error.

Fleetwood came out fighting in the second half with substitutes Ash Hunter and Ashley Nadesan making an impact.

Paddy Madden was thwarted by the toe of Shrimpers keeper Nathan Bishop and Hunter's corner crashed onto the bar.

Town got their goal minutes later as Nadesan's delightful ball split open Southend's defence to send Ched Evans clear and he finished well.

Southend's Luke Hyam gave the Shrimpers the lead again in the 81st minute when Fleetwood failed to clear a free-kick.

However, Evans scored from the spot after Madden was ruled to have been fouled by Harry Lennon in the box.

 

Luton vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win

Result - Luton Town 2 Blackpool 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

In the first half, Town took the lead after six minutes when Kazenga LuaLua's low cross was swept home by James Collins.

Blackpool levelled on the half-hour when Nya Kirby volleyed home from 20 yards.

After the break, Hatters goalkeeper James Shea made an excellent save from Armand Gnanduillet's header.

Luton were dealt a huge blow when Collins was sent off on the hour after picking up two yellows in two minutes, the second a lunging challenge on Matty Virtue.

Blackpool took immediate advantage with Virtue hammering home from a corner just 60 seconds later.

Shea saved crucially from Gnanduillet, before substitute Jason Cummings ensured Luton picked up a draw, while fellow sub George Moncur almost won it at the death.

 

Peterborough vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterborough United 2 Gillingham 0

Yay!

Marcus Maddison's penalty after 57 minutes was a rare note of goalmouth action in a match lacking quality, with goalkeeper Tomas Holy sent the wrong way from 12 yards after Siriki Dembele was adjudged to have been fouled by Max Ehmer.

The Gills goalkeeper had been alert earlier in the match to save with his legs from Ivan Toney, while - just before half-time - the visitors' top scorer Tom Eaves had a header tipped round the post by Aaron Chapman.

Matt Godden sealed the win with five minutes remaining, flicking the ball onto Maddison who squared it back to the striker for a simple finish.

 

Rochdale vs Sunderland - Prediction Away win

Result - Rochdale 1 Sunderland 2

Yay!

The Black Cats had to come from behind to secure the three points, Charlie Wyke having cancelled out Ian Henderson's first-half opener for the home side.

Sunderland started the stronger of the teams and it took a superb save from home goalkeeper Josh Lillis to keep out a Will Grigg effort.

But Dale took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute when Henderson collected Joe Bunney's centre and fired past Jon McLaughlin.

Lillis produced yet another fine save four minutes before the break when Max Power's curling effort threatened to sneak into the top corner of his goal.

However, the visitors levelled 10 minutes into the second half when Wyke turned Jim McNulty and slotted home.

And the Black Cats' turnaround was complete in the 88th minute when Bryan Oviedo's persistence on the right paid off, his delivery into the six-yard area turned home by substitute George Honeyman.

 

Shrewsbury vs Scunthorpe - Prediction Home win

Result - Shrewsbury 1 Scunthorpe 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Shrewsbury's Greg Docherty had an early chance when his shot was well kept out by the feet of Scunthorpe goalkeeper Jak Alnwick.

The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute as Tony McMahon's cross from the right was headed home by Kyle Wootton.

James Bolton then headed wide for the hosts and Omar Beckles was denied by a goal-line clearance from James Perch.

Lee Novak came close to doubling Scunthorpe's lead in the second half when his header was tipped over by goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell.

Shrewsbury kept pushing forward in search of an equaliser and it came in the 84th minute as Shaun Whalley's inviting low cross from the right went in off Adam Hammill.

 

How unlucky is that? Three ’It the bars. Let’s see if The Grambler can improve on that this week. What has he/she/it predicted for us?

Game - Prediction - Odds

Burnley vs Cardiff - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Aston Villa vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Middlesbrough vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Sheffield Utd vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 8/13

West Brom vs Preston - Prediction Home win - 10/11

 

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...

 

£10.98

 

A smidgen more whopping than last week.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you to work out some football teams’ nicknames. How did you get on?

West Bromwich Albion - The Baggies (or The Throstles, or Albion)

Sheffield United - The Blades (or Red and White Wizards)

Fleetwood Town - The Fishermen (or The Trawlermen)

Scunthorpe United - The Iron

York City - The Minstermen

Derby County - The Rams

Reading - The Royals

Bury - The Shakers

Blackpool - The Seasiders (or The ‘Pool, or The Tangerines)

Burnley - The Clarets

Too easy? What about one for this week? Name all the teams that have won the Premier League since its inception. Another easy one, I reckon.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), 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. L. Johnson and his brother who provide us with an interesting image to end this week’s edition. It’s a while since we had a dodgy album cover; does this count?

 
Unusual album cover from George aka 'Lightnin' Licks'
and Louis aka 'Thunder Thumbs'.
Hmm... Discuss.


 

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.

 

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Week 32/33 - A grambling good quiz night


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

 

 

Did you miss The Grambler's rant last week? Who said no? Come on. Own up.

Anyway, there was a very good reason for there being no edition of your favourite blog last week. Last Friday was the sixth annual Kick Cancer's Backside Pub Quiz run in Stewart's memory by his friends.

Stewart, the founder of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog, had he lived, would have been 34 years old this week. It is, then, rather apt that his life was celebrated this very week.

It was rather a busy time for Mrs G and myself together with many others who were preparing everything to ensure that the evening went without a hitch.

This year we 'supersized' by holding the quiz in a venue that held 180 people instead of previous years' venues which held between 100 and 150. It shouldn't have presented any problems, after five quizzes, those involved knew the ropes, so to speak.

The venue was our local British Legion social club. That reminds me of a joke... Did you hear about the bloke who ran away from home to join the British Legion?

No, I don't believe I harve.

Hello Arthur. You don't believe you have what?

Heard about the charp who ran away to join the British Legion. What about him?

No no, it's a joke. He ran away from home to join the British Legion. Instead of the Foreign Legion. He was daft. That's the joke.

Well it doesn't sound very armusing to me. The poor fellow must harve been an trifle confusled.

No. It's only a joke. You know how people used to run away from home to join the French foreign legion... or the army or navy for that matter.

Ah, he was in the army. An ex sarvicemarn. Ooh well, he wasn't making an mistake. He was perfectly entitled.

To what?

To join the British Legion; a socianal club where ex sarvicemen carn meet up with old colleagues to chart about their time in the sarvices.

He isn't real. He didn't do it. It's only a joke.

It may be an joke to you but it's very important to any old soldier... or sailor... or royal airforce... erm... whatever it is they're called... to meet with old friends.

Look! It's a joke. I wish I hadn't told it now.

I wish you hadn't, and all. It's not ars if it's even funny.

I think I should move on quickly.

Yes the venue was the local British Legion... shut up Arthur... which was new to us.

One area where we always seemed to have problems was with the sound systems in previous venues. I don't have the strongest of voices as quizmaster so a good sound system is a must.

No problem, we were assured, this place has got a terrific sound system.
All the organisers got there nice and early and put out all the nibbles on the tables, pictures of Stewart on the wall, food for the buffet on tables in a cool part of the hall. Raffle prizes were placed near the stage so that everyone could see what they wouldn't win.

Everything was all set for the start of the biggest quiz yet.

I started my spiel with a joke... Fred Flintstone went to a party in the Middle East - it was an Abu Dhabi do.

Not that funny, but I thought it might get a laugh.

Unfortunately, it came out as Fred.... tone....twap.... in.... least....san... bidoo.

The ghost of Norman Collier was abroad. (Ask your dad.) The allegedly terrific sound system was playing silly beggars.

We muddled through for a while with this very frustrating set-up until the music round when, right in the middle of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, the system just packed in. [In the middle of Wake Me Up Before You Go go? Who could blame it? - Ed.]

Thus, less than halfway through the quiz, we had no mike and it was a big hall; people had been struggling to hear me when I was using the microphone, now, they couldn't hear a thing. And to compound the problem, a party was kicking off in an adjacent room with music loud enough to force Manuel Noriega to surrender (Ask your dad.).

Things were looking bleak.

Who could help to sort out this shambles? Enter superhero Andy. He told us that they had a speaker and microphone at his church and that he could go and get it...

'They have a speaker and microphone at my church; I could go and get it.'

So Andy hotfooted it to his church in search of the said gear.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we had to do something to prevent the mob from getting angry. Food. That was the answer. Time to unwrap the buffet. Phew. Just what we needed.

By the time Andy returned with the mike and amp, the mob were suitably subdued thanks to the food and the copious amounts of booze consumed during this unscheduled interval.

The second half of the quiz was certainly an improvement on the first, although those seated close to the adjacent venue still had difficulty hearing me above the racket from next door.

The event turned from being something of a disaster into a not quite resounding success.

What was a success, however, was the amount raised for the Bobby Moore fund...

£2432

raised on the night. Not bad in the circumstances. Stewart would have been proud to see that his friends were working so hard to raise money for the charity which was so close to his heart... and bowels.

People's reactions to this year’s quiz? Mixed, I think...

‘The long breaks gave us a chance to have a wee chat with each other rather than having to concentrate totally on the quiz. Best one yet. Save us tickets for next year.’

That was nice. Then there was...

‘We were totally put off by the interruptions; we couldn't concentrate on the quiz. The worst one ever. We won't be back.’

Geez! You can't fn win.
 
Te..ing, ...ting, ....ing
 

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? And, as there was no edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog last week, you are treated to two weeks of birthday honours... again.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 30th of March? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Francisco Goya 1746 (Painter... very reasonable rates.), Robert Bunsen 1811 (Chemist... Guess what he invented.), Anna Sewell 1820 (Orfer. Factoid - Only had one book published in her lifetime and died before benefitting from its success. That book was Black Beauty.), Vincent van Gogh 1853 (Another painter. Cue dreadful joke - ‘Hey up Vince; want a pint?’ ‘No thanks, I’ve got one ‘ere.’), Seán O’Casey 1880 (Another orfer.), Sergey Ilyushin 1894 (Plane maker.), Ted Heath 1902 (Bandleader and prime minister... hang on, that can’t be right. Have a clip Here’s Sucu Sucu. [Ooer missus. - Ed.] It's pronounced sookoo sookoo and not what you were thinking. [Oh. - Ed.]), Albert Pierrepoint 1905 (Executioner.), Frankie Laine 1913 (Chanter who seemed to corner the market in ‘cowboy’ theme toons. Here’s an example. All together now... Rolling, rolling, rolling...), Sonny Boy Williamson 1914 (Singer/songwriter. Here’s a song which was later recorded by the Yardbirds... Not too sure about those lyrics.), Tom Sharpe 1928 (Yet another orfer.), John Astin 1930 (Ectaw. Gomez Addams. That was him.), R*lf H*rr*s 1930 (Nonce.), Warren Beatty 1937 (Ectaw. The man with the golden globes, apparently.), Norman Gifford 1940 (Crickety bloke.), Graeme Edge 1941 (A Moody Blue. Here he is In Dreams), Eric Clapton 1945 (A geetarist, apparently. [Apparently?!! Apparently?!! He’s God, is Eric Clapton! God! - Ed.] Calm down... I gather you’re a fan. You’d better have a clip, then. Here’s Layla. Who’s the baldy bloke on drums?), Eddie Jordan 1948 (Racey car bloke.), Mervyn King 1948 (Ex-Bank of England boss and darts player... hang on, that can’t be right.), Jim ‘Dandy’ Mangrum 1948 (A bit of Black Oak Arkansas.  Hey Y'All.), Dana Gillespie 1949 (Singer, it says here. Have a clip. Here’s Andy Warhol.), Robbie Coltrane 1950 (Danny McGlone.), Randy Vanwarmer 1955 (Musician. Had one big hit. He got it just when he needed it most. Is that Pan’s People?), Martina Cole 1959 (Orfer.), Stanley Burrell 1962 (Who? Better known as MC Hammer. A clip?  Hammer time...), Tracy Chapman 1964 (Musician. Here’s her fast car.), Piers Morgan 1965 (Complete and utter cu... [Enough! - Ed.] I was going to say colourful individual.), Celine Dion 1968 (Chanter. Another clip? I suppose it has to be this one.), Karel Poborský 1972 (Fotbalista.), Jan Koller 1973 (Další fotbalista.), Norah Jones 1979 (Musician. Have another clip. It’s Sunrise.), Sergio Ramos 1986 (Matón.) and Calum Elliot 1987 (Ex-Motherwell footballer.).
And now, April 6th...
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino 1483 (Who? Oh, Raphael... the painter.), René Lalique 1860 (Glazier.), John Parry-Thomas 1884 (Racey car bloke. He was the first driver to be killed in pursuit of the land speed record.), Anthony Fokker 1890 (Aircraft manufacturer. Began building planes when he was just 20.), Erwin Komenda 1904 (Car designer.), Ian Paisley 1926 (Shouty man.), Willis Hall 1929 (Orfer.), André Previn 1929 (Musician.), Merle Haggard 1937 (Curntry sanger. Time for a clip. Here’s Working Man Blues. Could do with some sub-titles, there.), Billy Dee Williams 1937 (Ectaw. Lando Calrissian. Guess what the Dee stands for. December. That’s his real middle name.), Paul Daniels 1938 (Entertainer. I liked him... not a lot.), Gheorghe Zamfir 1941 (Panpiper. Here’s a lonely shepherd.), Anita Pallenberg 1942 (Girlfriend of various members of the Rolling Stones. This was purportedly written about her.), M*x Cl*ff*rd 1943 (Nonce.), Roger Cook 1943 (Journo.), John Ratzenberger 1947 (Ectaw. The voice of Hamm.), Patrick Hernandez 1949 (Chanteur. Here’s his hit, Born to be Alive. [Erm... Isn't that generally how life works, or am I missing something? -Ed.]), Pascal Rogé 1951 (Ivory tickler. Have a bit of Debussy.), Christopher Franke 1953 (Musician. Have some prog.  Here's Purple Waves.), Dilip Vengsarkar 1956 (Crickety bloke.), Rory Bremner 1961 (Impressionist.), Jonathan Firth 1967 (Ectaw.), Zach Braff 1975 (Ectaw. A scrubber.), Georg ‘Goggi’ Hólm 1976 (A bit of Sigur Rós. Time for another clip. Here’s the rather beautiful Hoppípolla.) and Robert Earnshaw 1981 (Pêl-droediwr.).
 
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Slučakockar,
Thank you for the clip from my very favourite singer, Frankie Laine. He was a big star in the nineteen-fifties when I was a gel. He had a few number one discs I well remember. One of them was also recorded many years later by that fine Scottish songstress, Barbara Dickson. However, the memory is fading a bit these days and I can’t remember which. Can you help?
Yours sincerely,
Anne Surmy.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened a fortnight (and a week) ago? A total of only £5.80 back from our £4.40 stake money. Yay! A profit. I won’t bore you with details. Instead, let’s see this week’s predictions. Remember all matches kick off at 3pm on Saturday the 6th of April.
 
 
Game - Result - Odds
Fleetwood Town vs Southend - Prediction Home win - 5/6
Luton vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win - 11/20
Peterborough vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Rochdale vs Sunderland - Prediction Away win - 4/5
Shrewsbury vs Scunthorpe - Prediction Home win - 10/11
 
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...
 

£10.32

 

I’ve seen more whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week... sorry two weeks ago... I asked you to work out some anagrams. How did you get on?
Craves Clement - Steve McClaren
Lay Frames - Alf Ramsey
Oven Ride - Don Revie
A Huge Ghost Treat - Gareth Southgate
Goody Horns - Roy Hodgson
Clams Already - Sam Allardyce
Enters Bravely - Terry Venables
Capable Folio - Fabio Capello
One Wrongdoer - Ron Greenwood
 
One for this week? Here’s another list type teaser for you. What are the nicknames of the following clubs?
West Bromwich Albion
Sheffield United
Fleetwood Town
Scunthorpe United
York City
Derby County
Reading
Bury
Blackpool
Burnley
Try that without resorting to Googly.

 

.....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 A. Previn for this week’s closing item. Andre Previn died just over a month ago aged 89 and as this extract from Wikipedia attests, he was respected musician...
 
André George Previn, born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929 February 28, 2019) was a German-American pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor.
His career was three-pronged. Starting by arranging and composing Hollywood film scores for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Previn was involved in the music for over 50 films over his entire career. He won four academy awards for his film work and ten Grammy awards for his recordings (and one more for his lifetime achievement). He was also the music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Oslo Philharmonic, as well as the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In jazz, Previn was a pianist-interpreter and arranger of songs from the ‘Great American Songbook’, was piano-accompanist to singers of jazz standards, and was a trio pianist. All along the way, his efforts were recorded; much of the way, they garnered acclaim and awards.
 
Quite a career, I am sure you would agree. His personal life was no less colourful having been married five times. He famously fathered twins to third wife Mia Farrow while she was still married to Frank Sinatra (Brave man messing with ‘the hoodlum from Hoboken’.).
And yet his most celebrated moment of all was in 1971 when he became Mr Andrew Preview  for the night.
Unfortunately, that sketch is not available on-line in its entirety. Hopefully, that short tribute gives you a taste of the moment when Andre Previn became a comedy legend.
 
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.