Saturday 19 January 2019

Week 22 - Happy grambleday Dolly Parton

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


I've just been away for a couple of nights... Hang on, that sounds like I've been in prison. No, Mrs G and I have just spent a weekend in good old Blackpool. Yay! I do enjoy the occasional visit... very occasional, you understand.
Any road up, we stayed in a rather posh hotel [In Blackpool? Are you sure? - Ed.]. The room was really nice; it was clean, had a comfortable bed, a large telly, teamaking facilities... everything was just right for a nice stay.

We had a shower room which was huge; perfect for old wobbly pins here. Towels were clean and plentiful and there was a good supply of shower gel, shampoo, loo paper and... 'YEUCHH! What is that? [What? - Ed.] That is horrible! [What? What? Tell me. Tell me. - Ed.] That. On the door frame. It looks like... human excrement. It is! There's poo stuck on the frame. I'm not putting up with that. I'll demand my money back. I will. In fact, I'll be looking for compensation. That is just not acceptable. I'm going to take a picture of that. I'm going to post that on antisocial media. I am and all.'

So I hot footed (Well, as hot as my feet will go.) it to the reception to lodge a complaint...

'Yes sir. How can I help you?' said the rather attractive young receptionist.

'I want to make a complaint... Well I want to report something. Look,' I said while showing her the picture I had taken.

'Oh dear. That's not acceptable.'

With that she telephoned housekeeping and explained the situation and within seconds the matter was being sorted.

'Is there anything else I can help you with?'

'...Er, no. Thanks.'

That's how to deal with an unhappy customer.

I have a question. How did human sh... poo end up half way up a door frame in the first place? The door was at least five feet away from the toilet pan. It reminds me of an old joke. Like so many old jokes, it centres around a bar...

A man is standing at the bar of a pub having a drink when he realises he needs to visit the loo. He addresses the barman.

‘Excuse me, would it be okay for me to use the disabled toilet?’

‘Sure. No problem.’

‘You see, I take these salts.’

‘No need to explain. Go ahead.’

So the chap goes to the toilet and later returns to the bar to continue drinking. After a while a member of staff whispers to the barman and they both head to the disabled toilet. The barman is shocked at the state of the place. The floor, the walls and even the ceiling are plastered with sh... human excrement. He heads straight to the guy who is still drinking at the bar.

‘What the hell happened in the toilet?’

‘I told you. I take salts.’

‘Salts? What kind of salts result in that mess?’


Boom and, as ’twere, tish.




As I am writing this article, the main news of the day seems to be all about some old codger who crashed his car. He’s 97. 97! Silly old duffer! What’s a 97 year old doing even driving a car? Should have had his licence taken off him years ago. And why does he need to be driving? He should be using his bus pass.




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 19th of January? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. James Watt 1736 (Engineer and world lightweight boxing champion [Some mistake, surely. - Ed.]), Robert E. Lee 1807 (General and inventor of the macaroon bar.), Edgar Allan Poe 1809 (Orfer and inventor of the chanty.), Henry Bessemer 1813 (Engineer.), Paul C├ęzanne 1839 (Post impressionist... Not the most exciting thing to impersonate.), Matthew Webb 1848 (Illegal immigrant.), Herbert Chapman 1878 (Footy bloke. Famously managed Arsenal to make them a dominant force in English football. I liked the advert Arsenal placed for a manager before he joined them...

Arsenal Football Club is open to receive applications for the position of TEAM MANAGER. He must be experienced and possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exhorbitant transfer fees need not apply.

So nothing’s changed in the 90 odd years since.), Briggs Cunningham 1907 (Car manufacturer and racer.), Ish Kabibble 1908 (Comedian and trumpeter.), Patricia Highsmith 1921 (Orfer.), Jean Stapleton 1923 (Actress. Edith Bunker. That was her.), Tippi Hedren 1930 (Actress and inventor of the collider.), Richard Lester 1932 (Film director.), Phil Everly 1939 (A brother. Here’s the brothers’ first chart topper, Wake Up Little Susie.  Is it just me, or does that sound a bit risque for 1957? What were they up to that made them so tired that they fell asleep?), Mike Reid 1940 (Comedian, it says here.), Michael Crawford 1942 (Actor and singer. He had a chart hit, you know. Do you want a link? Go on.  Here's The Music of The Night.), Janis Joplin 1943 (Singer, it says here... All right, all right, I’ll give you a clip.  Here's one about a well-known make of car.  Hmm...), Julian Barnes 1946 (Orfer.), Dolly Parton 1946 (Singer. Have another clip. Here’s Jolene.  [It looked like Dolly Parton, to me. - Ed.]), Robert Palmer 1949 (Chanter. Do you want a clip? It had to be this one, if only for the sexist video.   Here's Addicted To Love.  There is even a version of it doing the rounds where it is only the backing ensemble that is seen.), Dewey Bunnell 1952 (Musician. A bit of America. Have another clip. Here’s Ventura Highway.), Desi Arnaz Jr. 1953 (Son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Erm... that’s it.), Wayne Hemingway 1961 (Needle pusher [Steady on. - Ed.] as in, he makes dresses.), Martin Bashir 1963 (Journo. Not a favourite of Sarah Palin.), John Bercow 1963 (He can speak.), Stefan Edberg 1966 (Tennisspelare.), Steve Staunton 1969 (Footy bloke bejabers.) and Jensen Button 1980 (Racey car bloke.).



I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Mumbai,

Dolly Parton! What a wonderful singer. You played her early hit, Jolene, which we really enjoyed. She had another song out a year or two later that was a biggish hit, but we can’t remember its name. Can you help?

Yours with best wishes,

D. Barg, N. Storr.
A young Dolly Parton
Her hair's so big they couldn't
get it all in the photograph




Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Oh dear. You don’t want to know. Oh, you do. Okay, we didn’t get a penny back. What happened? Read on...



Leicester vs Southampton - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 1 Southampton 2


James Ward-Prowse gave Southampton an early lead from the penalty spot after Shane Long was bundled over in the area by Nampalys Mendy.

Saints defender Yan Valery was then shown a second yellow card for a foul on Marc Albrighton before Long doubled their lead shortly before the break.

Wilfred Ndidi scrambled home Ricardo Pereira's cross to bring Leicester back into the game at the start of the second half, but Southampton held on for a priceless victory.


Burton vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Burton 2 Gillingham 3


Lucas Akins and Jamie Allen both fired wide for the hosts early on whilst Ben Fox saw Luke O'Neill clear his curling effort off the line.

An Akins shot was then blocked and within seconds Elliott List was bursting through at the other end with Burton exposed at the back and, after beating John Brayford on the outside, the forward calmly stroked home past Bradley Collins.

Albion continued to enjoy the better chances but it all unravelled on the stroke of half-time.

O'Neill's free-kick was adjudged by referee Peter Wright to have been handled in the wall and Callum Reilly stepped up to smash home the spot-kick against his former side.

Scott Fraser's quickfire double after the break got Albion back on level terms, though.

He found the back of the net off the inside of the post for his first in the 52nd minute and then, eight minutes later, thrashed the equaliser past Tomas Holy at his near post.

Albion looked more likely to grab a winner but Josh Rees fired home after List battled inside the box to set him up from Brendan Hanlan's cross.


Portsmouth vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win

Result - Portsmouth 0 Blackpool 1


The sides played out a desperately uneventful first half with Callum Guy having the first attempt on goal after 11 minutes, shooting wide from the edge of the area.

Chris Long gave the Seasiders the lead 15 minutes from time, neatly bringing the ball down in the area before drilling a low shot past goalkeeper Craig MacGillivary.

Club captain Brett Pitman squandered Pompey's best chance of an equaliser by heading straight at goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi from six yards.

And two minutes later centre-back Matt Clarke's volley forced a good save from Mafoumbi as Blackpool held firm.


Exeter vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win

Result - Exeter 0 Morecambe 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

The hosts were the more dominant team throughout the 90 minutes, but there were very few clear-cut chances for either side.

Midfielder (and ex-Motherwell man) Nicky Law headed the best of those wide form 12 yards, from Pierce Sweeney's cross, while Morecambe's Steven Old almost put through his own goal when he sliced a Craig Woodman cross the wrong way.

Pierce Sweeney struck the top of the crossbar for Exeter, which was the closest either side came to scoring, while Morecambe's best chance came when Kevin Ellison headed narrowly wide from 10 yards.

Rhys Oates smashed a shot just too high with a rare Morecambe counter-attack, while Andrew Tutte brought a fine save out of Christy Pym with a well-hit free kick.


Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home win

Result - Partick Thistle 1 Falkrk 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Zak Rudden's late strike earned Falkirk a draw against Partick Thistle.

Rudden followed up after Mark Waddington's effort was saved.

Blair Spittal had put Thistle in front just after the hour, but then Gary Harkins was sent off.


Oh dear. Not one correct prediction. Mince or what. Let’s see if The Grambler can redeem him/her/it self this week. What has he/she/it conjured up for us?

Game - Result - Odds

Newcastle vs Cardiff - Prediction Home win - Evens

Aston Villa vs Hull - Prediction Home win - Evens

Middlesbrough vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Rotherham vs Brentford - Prediction Away win - Evens

Bristol Rovers vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win - Evens


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...




Did anything interesting happen in the year 1394? Why, yes. Apparently, the Venetians took over possession of Argos. I didn’t realise Argos had been going that long. Of course, it’s part of Sainsburys nowadays.




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which Englishman has managed Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Hull City in the Premier League. The answer is Iain Dowie. Too easy? Perhaps. As a player, Dowie was fairly late to professional football (23) having gained an engineering degree at the University of Hertfordshire. He then worked for British Aerospace for a time. Not your average footy manager, then.

What about one for this week? Which English team play at the Bloomfield Road stadium? Easy peasy.


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




And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr P. Everly for guiding me towards this week’s finishing link. I want to go to Sheffield. I do. I've never been. I want to see if t'oyl int rowad is still there.

What the blinking flip are you on about, I hear you ask.

I know nothing about the fine city of Sheffield other than having some cousins living thereabouts (Hi A and J), but I have never been into the centre. So why am I bleating on about it and what is t'oyl int rowad?

I have recently become acquainted with the work of a Sheffield ukulele band called the Everly Pregnant Brothers [Oh how we laughed. - Ed.]. Now you have read enough rants from me over the years to know that I can't abide novelty songs or parodies of songs... Yes, I'm talking about you 'Weird' Al Yankovic... So it is odd that I actually find EPB funny. Perhaps it's the subject matter; everything they sing of is just ordinary or mundane. T'oyl int rowad translates as the hole in the road and it was simply an underpass in Sheffield city centre. They sing about it to the tune of the waterboys' Whole of the Moon.

As well as taking off the waterboys, they are obviously fans of REM and have changed the lyrics to one of their songs which now becomes Losing My Best Pigeon [Stop. My sides are aching. - Ed.]. Kings of Leon get a look in too. What about My Chip Pan's On Fire? [These are not getting any better. - Ed.] I'm guessing they really like Bob Marley because they sing No Oven No Pie [Ye gods! - Ed.] and the one I am including as this week's concluding clip. Ladeez and genullum I give you Buggered Up Shoulder [Groan. - Ed.]


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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