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.
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.
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.
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...
Oh dear. That’s far too whopping.
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?
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
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