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…
How about a joke from George to start us off? Take it away, George.
Knock knock... I’m pretending to be someone at the door.
Knock knock... I’m pretending to be someone at the door.
Ha ha ha... I don’t get it.
No, that isn’t the joke. I say knock knock...
Isn’t the bell working?
... No. I say knock knock and you say who’s there.
Ahh. Got you. Okay, off you go...
Come in... Hang on, that’s not it...
No! You say who’s there!!
But I know it’s you... I don’t need to ask.
JUST... Just do it. Knock knock.
Ahem... Who is it... there. Who’s there?
I haven’t phoned for an appointment. I’m not even ill... apart from the excrutiating pain... You should be visiting someone who isn’t well enough to get to the surgery. Wasting NHS resources like that... You should be ashamed of yourself...
Look... It’s a joke!
Too right it’s a joke. Can’t get an appointment for love nor money, normally... and you just turn up on someone’s doorstep nilly willy... There ought to be a law against it.
LOOK... Look... I’m not a real doctor.
What? You’re impersonating a doctor? That’s even worse. You can be arrested for impersonating a doctor. Hang on... That’s police, isn’t it? You can be had up for pretending to be a copper.
I’m only trying to tell a joke. That is all. I say knock knock. You say who’s there. Then I say Doctor and you say Doctor who...
Doctor Who? That’s that telly programme isn’t it? The one with those giant shuttlecocks going around threatening to excommunicate everyone. They’ll not do much excommunicating armed with a sink plunger and an egg whisk. Ooh, I never liked that programme. Gave me the willies it did. Is it still that Worzel Gummidge bloke that plays him? Drove around in a daft looking yellow car. I reckon he borrowed it off Noddy. What do you think George? George? Oh dear, he’s gone again.
Church fetes are great aren't they? I was recently at one and there were bargains galore to be picked up. Where else can you get half a dozen books, three dvds and a horrible 1980s style standard lamp and still have change from a quid? Sadly, it is also the perfect place to pick up something else... food poisoning. Sorry pardon excuse me?
All church events such as the one where I picked up my bargains (I was only kidding about the standard lamp...nobody wanted that monstrosity), offer another very much appreciated attraction... The tearoom, with the offer of a watery cup of tea (or weak coffee of you prefer) and lots of ‘home’ baking. Some of the cakes on offer are pretty dull. Some, such as carrot cake on this occasion, are just fantastic.
However, consider all those home-baked cakes that are on offer at church fetes and coffee mornings. Who knows their origins? They could be coming from the mankiest kitchen known to man before they end up on the doillied (I think I might have just made that word up.) plates in church halls up and down this land.
So thank goodness for health and safety regulations where it is stipulated that anyone preparing and handling food is required to attend a course which covers the importance of hygiene in such matters.
Thus, anyone that makes any food to be consumed at a venue such as a church knows that it must be baked, not in someone’s home but, on those premises with fresh ingredients. It also follows that the food, once prepared, must not be touched by anyone's hand. Food must be served using tongs or, at the very least, a hand covered by a (food quality) glove.
Hopefully, everyone abides by these very sensible rules.
Any road up, back to the fete I attended. Having purchased my bargains I sat myself down in the makeshift tearoom and it was nice to see my selection of cakes being placed on my tea plate with cake tongs.
Now, it so happened that I was quite late in heading for the tearoom; it was almost closing time, so those goodies that were left were being put into bags for people to take away... for a small donation, of course.
I took a pound or two out of my pocket ready to purchase a few examples of home baking... well, a few examples of that carrot cake. Whoever made it ought to be told that she makes the best carrot cake known to man... this man, anyway. It really is absolutely... oh dear, I've just dribbled on my keyboard... delicious.
There was only one lady packing up cakes and she was struggling to keep up with demand. So another lady offered to lend her a hand and suggested that she sort out the different types of cake into different containers. It certainly did speed things up.
Unfortunately, the helpful lady had neither bothered to wash her hands nor had she donned the gloves for handling food. She just picked everything up with her uncovered fingers. And the first cakes she put into containers? Carrot cake. I was almost ready to forgive her this dreadful sin... it really is terrific carrot cake... until she got some cream icing on her fingers. What did she do? She licked her fingers clean and continued to sort out the cakes. Needless to say, I changed my mind about buying any cakes.
Is that it, I hear you ask. Not quite, I respond. A week or so later, Mrs G brought some pancakes home from a coffee morning (held at the same church). Of course, me being a greedy so and so, I devoured a couple there and then.
That night I had to visit the loo several times. I blamed the pancakes. It was the only item of food which I had eaten that Mrs G hadn't and she remained as right as rain while I was hot-footing it to the toilet... well, as hot as my feet will work.
The next morning I told Mrs G of my suspicions. I asked who had made those dodgy pancakes... You're way ahead of me aren't you? Yep, it was none other than the finger licker, herself.
Remind me to steer clear of pancakes next time I go to a church fete.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 22nd of June? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. James Beaumont Neilson 1792 (Engineer.), John Dillinger 1903 (Bad guy.), Billy Wilder 1906 (Film producer and director), Mike Todd 1909 (Another film producer. Mr Elizabeth Taylor number 3), Anne Ziegler 1910 (Singer. Here she is with Webster Booth gathering lilacs.), Doreen Mantle 1926 (Ectress. Mrs Warboys, that’s her.), Ralph Waite 1928 (Actor, John Walton Sr., that’s him.), Bruce Kent 1929 (Ban the bomber.), Prunella Scales 1932 (Ectress and bargee. Sybil Fawlty, that’s her.), Kris Kristofferson 1936 (Curntry en Wyustern sanger, Clip coming up. Why Me. [Why not you? - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Chris Blackwell 1937 (Record producer. Co-founded Island Records.), Esther Rantzen 1940 (... And finally, Cyril?), Peter Asher 1944 (Record producer and singer. Half of Peter and Gordon. [Which one was he? - Ed.] A clip? That was a clip from Crackjack. CRACKERJACK!), Howard Kaylan 1947 (A Turtle and Eddie from Flo and Eddie. They seemed happy together.), Todd Rundgren 1948 (Musician. A clip? Hello It's Me. [I know it’s you. - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Alan Osmond 1949 (A member of the toothsome singing siblings. A clip? Al’s the one on the left pretending to play guitar.), Meryl Streep 1949 (Actress... You might have heard of her.), Lindsay Wagner 1949 (Actress. The bionic woman, that’s her.), Sharon Maughan 1950 (Ectress. Likes Gold Blend coffee, apparently.), Cyndi Lauper 1953 (Singer. A clip? Girls Just Want to Have Fun. [They do, don’t they? - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Freddie Prinze 1954 (Comedian.), Green Gartside 1955 (Scritti Politti front man. Have a clip. Wood Beez. [Would bees what? - Ed.] No that’s what it’s called.), Danny Baker 1957 (Radio presenter who wasn’t aware that Prince Harry’s missus had had a wean.), Garry Gary Beers 1957 (Bassist with INXS. Have a clip.), Kevin Bond 1957 (Footy bloke.), Erin Brockovich 1960 (Environmentalist.), Jimmy Somerville 1961 (A Communard. Here’s a clip. You Are My World. [Thank you. I like you too. - Ed.] Sigh... It’s what it’s called.), Bobby Gillespie 1962 (Musician. Singer with Primal Scream. A clip? Here’s Movin' on Up.), Dan Brown 1964 (Inexplicably successful author.), Ľubomír ‘Lubo’ Moravčík 1965 (Futbalový chlap.) and Jo Cox 1974 (Politician.).
Were any famous or slightly well-known people born on the 29th of June? Of course there were; here are some even I have heard of. George Washington Goethals 1858 (Engineer who co-designed the Panama Canal.), Nelson Eddie 1901 (Singer. A clip? All together now... Hawhen hI'ma calleenga you... hoo hoo hoo... hoo hoo hoo.), Leroy Anderson 1908 (Composer. He wrote this... Just pretend it's Christmas.), Frank Loesser 1910 (Another composer. Another clip.), Bernard Herrmann 1911 (Blibbing flip! Yet another composer. Yet another clip.), Slim Pickens 1919 (Actor.), Ray Harryhausen 1920 (Animator in the days before cgi. Here’s a famous example of his work.), Jean Kent 1921 (Ectress, don’t cha know.), Ian Bannen 1928 (Actor, Aye laddie.), Charlotte Bingham 1942 (Writer.), Little Eva 1943 (Babysitter for Carole King and Gerry Goffin... Well, their baby... Not them... That would be silly. Had one hit. This.), Garry Busey 1944 (Actor.), Ian Paice 1948 (Drummy bloke from Deep Purple. Here’s an early performance.), Colin Hay 1953 (A man at work. A clip? It's a Mistake. [Is it? - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Amanda Donohoe 1962 (Actress.), Anne-Sophie Mutter 1963 (Fiddler. Time for a wee bit cultyer.), Stedman Pearson 1964 (Another bit of Five Star. Have a clip. His input seems to be just dancing in that video.) and Kim Little 1990 (Footy bloke.)
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Grim-Reaper,
We are so happy that you saw fit to include a clip from Scritti Politti, a much underrated band from the nineteen eighties. We have a teaser for you... Wood Beez was indeed their biggest hit, but their very first record to chart only reached number 64. It entered the top forty (just) when Madness recorded the song five years later. Can you remember what the song was?
Des Wheat, Esther Gurl.
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened with the last bet we had? Nothing. Sorry pardon excuse me? It lost. Big style. Not a penny back. Oh dear.
Let’s try again, shall we? What has The Grambler come up with this week? What randomly selected predictions are we going to get? Let us see...
Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds
Newmarket - 2.05 - Summer Romance - 5/4
Curragh - 3.30 - Addeybb - 4/5
Newmarket - 4.25 - Manorah - 4/6
Doncaster - 5.55 - Little Bird - 6/4
Lingfield - 7.15 - Inspired Thought - 10/11
The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator plus 20 pee each way cop out bet) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...
Uh oh... a bit too whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I gave you some anagrams to work out. How did you get on? The answers were...
Aide index - Dixie Dean
Amethyst set lawn - Stanley Matthews
Jeer comer - Joe Mercer
My lawn motto - Tommy Lawton
Final minnow - Wilf Mannion
Ornament nests - Stan Mortensen
Not so hateful - Nat Lofthouse
Nifty omen - Tom Finney
I did warn you that they were from way back.
One for this week? Here’s one about Arsenal manager Bertie Mee. Bertie took over as Arsenal’s manager in 1966 aged just 34, but what position did he hold at the club prior to prior to that appointment? Hmm... very interesting.
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 L. Lindley Jr, better known as Slim Pickens (Geddit?) who provides us with our finishing clip. Mr Pickens was an actor who specialised in rather one-dimensional not-very-bright cowboy roles where his utterances usually ended with the expletive ‘shoot’ followed by a spit. His most famous roles were in Blazing Saddles (as a cowboy) and Dr. Strangelove (Full title Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.) where he played a major in the U.S. Airforce... as a cowboy. Incidentally, here’s a factoid for you. Peter Sellers, already playing three roles in the film, was supposed to play the role of Major ‘King’ Kong (Pickens’ role) as well, but couldn’t come up with the right accent. Any road up, his loss was Pickens’ (and our) gain. Here is, arguably, the most famous moment from the film... Awoooo! Wahoooo!
Another factoid: Prior to becoming an actor, Slim Pickens
was a real rodeo performer. Here he puts his skills
to good use.
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