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…
This week, let’s take a look at the big news story. No, not President T. Rump upsetting anyone and everyone with his ill-considered diplomacy. No, the big story of the week is The Grambler’s favourite footballer winning the greatest competition it is possible to win. Yes, Andy Robertson has won the Champions League (with a little help from ten other Liverpool players).
Forget the Jamie Vardy story. Forget Roy of the Rovers. Andy’s career has been one terrific journey. From being cast aside by Celtic for being ‘too small’, he has proved himself to be, possibly, the greatest left back in Europe.
All I can say is, well done Andy of the Reds.
I have been watching a programme on television. [Really. How very interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] Actually, it is a series of programmes that was shown on the Beeb Beeb Ceeb last year, but I did that catch up thing where it is possible to ‘binge watch’ a complete series of programmes one after the other. What is this programme, I hear you ask. Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema, I answer. It's all about various film genres (That's a good word; must look it up.) and, as suggested by its name, it is presented by Mark Commode.
Now, Mr Portaloo is a very knowledgeable guy when it comes to film. I get the feeling he has seen each and every film ever made such is his expertise on the subject. Okay, he comes across as a bit up his own ar... humourless, but he certainly knows his stuff. I'm sure if I were going to a pub quiz where there was a round relating to films, he would be a stick-on for my team. Mind you, he probably knows ’kall about sport, so maybe not.
One aspect of his presenting does bug me though. He is so in awe of film makers in general that he thinks that if somebody is what I would call ripping off a famous film, they are doing so simply to pay homage (pronounced as in French cheese... fromage) to the earlier film.
No, Mr Portable-Toilet, it is not homage, or in the case of comedy films, parody. It is, purely and simply, plagiarism (There’s another good word. Wonder what it means.).
Yes, the similarities make you think of the earlier film but, surely that is not paying homage so much as being lazy. The film makers can't come up with an original idea, so they just copy something they have already seen.
Mr Portapotty only credits film makers of some repute as paying homage, incidentally. If it were a film by some unknown, I am sure he would agree with me on the matter and say that they were simply copying another, earlier film... Unless, of course, the film in question goes on to be itself considered a masterpiece.
How can I make such a claim, I hear you ask. Well, back in 2011 there was a film made which scooped loads of awards. It was called The Artist. It was made in black and white and was silent... spoiler alert... except for the last scene. It was lauded for being original. Sorry pardon excuse me? Original? It copies a style of filmmaking which was washed up eighty years before it was made; how can that be original? Oh no. I'm forgetting. It was paying homage to all those silent black and white films of the early twentieth century.
Okay, maybe the screenplay was original and totally different to anything that had gone before. Perhaps that was the reason for all the plaudits. The story was basically about the transition of films from silent movies to talkies [Okay... with you so far. - Ed]. One actor (the ‘artist’ of the title) was struggling with the transition [Yehhhsss... - Ed.] whereas others made the move effortlessly. [Hang on a mo! That's the plot of Singing in the Rain! What a ripoff! - Ed.]
No. Not a ripoff. Remember it is paying homahhhhjj.
[So all those jokes you use are not ripoffs or plagiarism... you are paying homage. - Ed.]
Well, exactly. And then again, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
[It is indeed. - Ed.]
He's walked off with my wine gums! If you can't trust a blood donor, who can you trust?
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 1st of June? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Brigham Young 1801 (Second president of the Mormon movement.), Mikhail Glinka 1804 (Composer. Have a clip. It's a lark, this one.), John Masefield 1878 (Poet. Laugh and be merry, he told us. Wise words there, mate.), Clive Brook 1887 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Frank Morgan 1890 (Actor... We’re off to see the Wizard.), Robert Newton 1905 (Oy be an actor, I be. Aaaarh, Jim, led. An over-actor, more like. Responsible for what has become accepted as pirate-speak based solely on his portrayal of Long John Silver in Disney’s Treasure Island, aahaaar!), Frank Whittle 1907 (Inventor of the jet engine.), Bill Deedes 1913 (Journalist.), Nelson Riddle 1921 (Composer and bandleader. Worked with the Hoodlum from Hoboken. Have a clip. Here’s the theme from Route 66.), Andy Griffith 1926 (Actor.), Marilyn Monroe 1926 (Actress and singer, it says here. Here's a clip. What’s with the nets over their faces?), Bob Monkhouse 1928 (Comedian, it says here.), Edward Woodward 1930 (Ectaw.), Pat Boone 1934 (Singer. Have a clip. Ye gods and little fishes!), Norman Foster 1935 (Architect. The gherkin, that’s one of his.), Gerald Scarfe 1936 (Illustrator and animator. Here’s a terrific example of his work. That is brilliant.), Morgan Freeman 1937 (Actor. Keeps bees, you know.), Cleavon Little 1939 (Actor. Sheriff Bart.), Robert Powell 1944 (Actor. Jesus of Nazareth.), Brian Cox 1946 (Actor. Not the bloke who looks wistfully up at the stars.), Jonathan Pryce 1947 (Actor, isn’t it.), Ronnie Wood 1947 (Geetarist. Here he is taking on vocal duties with The Faces and Ooh la la.), Powers Boothe 1948 (Actor.), Charlene 1950 (Singer who’s never been to me... I think it's in Wales.), Martin Brundle 1959 (Racey car bloke.), Nigel Short 1965 (Chess player.), Jason Donovan 1968 (Ector en seenger. Here’s his first solo number one.), Heidi Klum 1973 (Clothes horse.), Alanis Morrisette 1974 (Musician. How ironic.), Justine Henin 1982 (Tennisy bloke.) and Tom Holland 1996 (Ectaw.).
Ahaaarrrr! Oi reckons Oi'll get an Oscar for
moi restrained performance in this here film. Ahaaarrr!
Now, let’s move on to June the 8th and see if anyone famous entered the world on that day. Tomaso Albinoni 1671 (Composer. Have a clip. Beautiful.), John Smeaton 1724 (Civil engineer. Very polite, indeed.), Robert Schumann 1810 (Composer. Have another clip. Here’s Traumerei.), John Everett Millais 1829 (Penter.), Francis Crick 1916 (Scientist.), Robert Preston 1918 (Actor. His most famous role was as The Music Man. A clip? Why, soitenly.), Barbara Bush 1925 (Wife of George H.W. and mother of Dubya.), Dana Wynter 1931 (Ectress.), Ray Illingworth 1932 (Crickety bloke.), Joan Rivers 1933 (Comedian.), Millicent Martin 1934 (Singer.), Nancy Sinatra 1940 (Singer. A clip? What was her most famous song? Not this one; a rather unusual song with Lee Hazlewood.), Doug Mountjoy 1942 (Chwaraewr snwcer.), Colin Baker 1943 (Ectaw. The 49th Doctor Who.), Boz Scaggs 1944 (Musician. A clip? Let’s go for a swim. What? It’s nothing to do with an outdoor swimming pool?), Derek Underwood 1945 (Crickety bloke.), Annie Haslam 1947 (Singer. Here’s her biggest hit with Renaissance - Northern Lights.), Bonnie Tyler 1951 (Singer, it says here. A clip? Let’s have her biggest hit.), Tim Berners-Lee 1955 (Inventor of the Worldwide Web. Notice that? Worldwide. One word. Where did this www come from? Catchier, I suppose. Still wrong, though.), Mick Hucknall 1960 (Simply Simply Red. A clip? Did the Earth move for you, Nancy?), Nick Rhodes aka The Controller 1962 (A bit of Duran Duran. Another clip? Here’s a lovely toon.), Butch Reynolds 1964 (Runny bloke.), Rob Pilatus 1965 (A bit of Milli Vanilli. Here is their hit. He is dancing, though, it turned out, not singing.), Doris Pearson 1966 (Who? Oh, a bit of Five Star. Have a clip. Systematic... erm... Sister Maddick ...erm...), Shilpa Shetty 1974 (Actress who won Celebrity Big Brother.), Lindsay Davenport 1976 (Tennisy bloke.), Kanye West 1977 (Rapper. Have a clip. Here he is with a lot of help from Daft Punk.), Cisoln Mith 1982 (The world’s greatest - or should that be ‘only’ - Van Halen fan. Let's Rawwwkkk!), Kim Clijsters 1983 (Tennisy bloke.) and Javier Mascherano 1984 (Jugador de fútbol.).
I’ve received a letter.
Dear Graham Blur,
It was interesting that the Duran Duran track you played wasn’t one of their number ones. Save a Prayer only reached number two. It was a surprise to me that they only actually had two number one records in the UK considering they were one of the biggest acts of the eighties. One was ‘Is There Something I Should Know’, but I can’t remember the name of the other. Can you help?
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened the last time we had a bet? We won. We really did. £4.36 back from an outlay of £2.40. Yay.
What has The Grambler come up with this week? What randomly selected predictions are we going to get? Let’s see, shall we...
Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds
Haydock - 2.25 - True Self - 8/13
Navan - 2.50 - United Front - 8/11
Newmarket - 3.20 - Ottoman Court - 6/4
Newmarket - 4.30 - Nonchalance - 11/10
Chelmsford City - 4.50 - Neon Sea - 8/13
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...
Two quids more whopping than our last bet.
Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you which two English clubs had won the old Inter Cities Fairs Cup on two occasions. Were you confused? Well, I must have been, because only one club won it twice. I think I was including the UEFA Cup which followed on from the Fairs Cup. Any road up. Sorry for the confusion. What? Who was it? Oh yes. Leeds United in 1968 and again in 1971.
Let’s have one for this week. [With the correct information, if you please. - Ed.] Which football club had the nickname ‘The Biscuitmen’ until the 1980s due to the town’s association with Huntley and Palmers? A good one there, methinks.
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 Ms J. Rivers who features in this week’s birthday honours. Joan Rivers was a comedian known for her self-deprecating style as well her ascerbic barbs aimed at celebrities. She was also known for the ridiculous amounts of cosmetic surgery she underwent; the last procedure actually finishing her off, as she died during the op.
She didn’t really tell jokes as such; her style was very much the use of that typical American/Jewish comedic tool - the wisecrack. Let’s finish this week’s edition of the world’s greatest blog with a few examples of her caustic wit.
People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.
I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.
The fun of working on the road means stealing from hotels. I’ve been doing it for so long, I have a set of towels from the Ark.
I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.
Thank God we’re living in a country where the sky’s the limit, the stores are open late and you can shop in bed thanks to television.
I was born in 1962 … and the room next to me was 1963.
I’m no cook. When I want lemon on chicken, I spray it with Pledge.
I am definitely going to watch the Emmys this year! My makeup team is nominated for “Best Special Effects.”
At my age an affair of the heart is a bypass!
A child can be taught not to do certain things, such as touch a hot stove, pull lamps off of tables, and wake Mommy before noon.
My love life is like a piece of Swiss cheese; most of it’s missing, and what’s there stinks.
You know you’re getting old when you buy a sexy sheer nightgown and don’t know anyone who can see through it.
Looking fifty is great - if you’re sixty.
You know you’ve reached middle age when you’re cautioned to slow down by your doctor, instead of by the police.
The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.
There’s no one to call up and have the same memory bank. … Nobody wants to hear that you met Harry Truman. … I met Harry Truman. … But you know what I mean? Nobody’s interested. They want to know you met Rihanna.
I must admit I am nervous about getting Alzheimer’s. Once it hits, I might tell my best joke and never know it.
At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents.
When a man has a birthday, he takes a day off. When a woman has a birthday, she takes at least three years off.
I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again.
Love may be a many-splendoured thing, but hate makes the world go round. If you think I’m kidding, just watch the six o’clock news. The first twenty-nine minutes are all about dictators and murderers and terrorists and maniacs and, worst of all, real housewives.
Half of all marriages end in divorce - and then there are the really unhappy ones.
A study says owning a dog makes you 10 years younger. My first thought was to rescue two more, but I don’t want to go through menopause again.
There are many self-help books by Ph.D.s, but I hold a different degree: an I.B.T.I.A. - I’ve Been Through It All. This degree comes not on parchment but gauze, and it entitles me to tell you that there is a way to get through any misfortune.
You know you’re getting old when work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work.
The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are ‘age appropriate.’ For me that would be a shroud.
Had a friend who is going through menopause come by for lunch today. Her hot flush was so bad, it steam-cleaned my carpet.
The funniest [writer] in person but rather boring on the page is, hands down, Leo Tolstoy. If I hear one more time: ‘How many czars does it take to change a light bulb? None; they didn’t have them in those days,’ I think I’ll scream!
The book I wish I’d never written is Joan Rivers’s Pop-Up Guide to Gynecology.
We all mourn in our own way. I mourn with a great steak.
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler (usually) every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com