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…
Happy new footy season! Yes, the new football season starts this weekend and with a huzzah we can say farewell to our lacklustre donkey bets and look forward to a highly successful season of predictions from The Grambler to secure a veritable fortune for the Bobby Moore Fund.
Of course, every season begins with the same optimistic outburst and every season ends with us losing rather than winning but, hey, why shouldn’t this season be the one to finally buck the trend? [Can I make a statement? It just won’t. All right? - Ed.]
Yeah. All right.
"Didn't see you there. I'm just reading the news... What on earth is going on? First we've got tsunamis sinking just about every ship in the world. Then all the submarines developing faults. Now there's someone going about sabotaging all the ships that are left.
As the head of the world's largest cruise line I'm left with one ship and a lot of very angry customers... You're not a customer, are you?"
"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Noah and I am here as instructed by God himself to purchase that last ship."
"Yeah okay grandad. On your way. I'm too busy to deal with cranks. Like the beard, by the way."
"Thanks. No. Gen up. God has asked me to get hold of an ark into which I will cram a few examples of every creature known to man...
You don't believe me do you?"
You don't believe me do you?"
"I'll prove it. God sent me an email."
"God sent you an email? You are joking, of course... Okay grandad... Why not Facebook or Twitter?"
"God doesn't do social media... Obviously. Here have a read."
How are you keeping? Actually, I didn't need to ask that, I already know. I am God, after all.
We are all okay up here. My lad, Jesus sends his best.
Any road up, I've got a job for you. It's similar to the one I gave an ancestor of yours a few millennia back.
People are making a right old pig's ear of the world, especially Donald, Vladimir, Kim and Boris - aka the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - so it's time to start afresh. A bit of vengeful punishment is required. I'm going to flood the Earth again. Only, this time, none of this forty days and forty nights lark; forty months more like.
Here's the plan. Rather than waste your time building an ark from scratch like the original Noah did, I am giving you an unlimited amount of money to buy the only ship left in the world. I've made people too greedy; some folk will do anything for money, even though there will be nowhere to spend it soon.
Incidentally, I will leave it up to you how you go about ensuring that there is only one ship left in the world. It should be fairly easy for you to find a few willing helpers to do a bit of sabotaging given the amount of money you have at your disposal. That greed thing again.
It might be a good idea to deal with those nuclear submarines as well.
Obviously, I can't expect you to take care of everything, so I'll create a tsunami or two to get rid of most of the world's shipping.
When you have your vessel, I want you to fill it with every creature known to man (see attached list).
Make sure you get examples of each sex so that, once the waters subside, they can procreate. We don't want the unicorn scenario again. Lol. You would have thought old Noah would have realised they were both mares. Sorry to speak ill of your ancestor but, what a barmy pillock.
Of course there will be a bit of procreating going on while you are floating about. Suggest you use some of the excess rabbits to feed the carnivores such as lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.
Best of luck.
"Cheers, God? Do you think I button up the back?"
"How much would it take to buy your ship off you? Here... have a look in this suitcase... It's crammed full of used twenty pound notes. And there is plenty more where that came from."
"You're serious, aren't you?"
"Yup. So how much?"
"Well, the cost of the ship is in the region of three quarters of a billion, then I've got to pay off all those irate holiday makers...."
"Would two billion cover it?"
"...And then... Pardon?"
"Two billion. Enough?"
"Erm. Yes... You're having a laugh, aren't you?"
"Absolutely not. You read the email. Check the date it was sent. Tsunamis. Ships. Submarines. It all happened after that date, didn't it?"
"You're right... so are we all doomed?"
"Is there nothing I can do to get on the... 'ark'? Surely, I could pay you. I'll have all that money; you can have it all."
"Sorry mate. Money isn't much use to me. No civilisation left where I can spend it, see."
"Ah... in that case, why are you offering me money now?"
"Well exactly. I was just assuming you'd be a greedy bas... so and so that would do anything for money. All right then, why don't you just give me your ship for nothing and that'll be the end of it?"
"Can't you give me a place on the ship? You'll need someone who knows how to sail it."
"Why? It won't be going anywhere. It's just got to float around for a while."
"But the email said every creature known to man. You'll need someone to keep the human race going."
"Ah. Yes. I was coming to that. You see God doesn't really want us around any more. Mankind. It's the one species not on the list. Sorry."
Hang on, you've only got one of each
species in there.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 13th of July? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Hilaire Belloc 1870 (Writer), Geoffrey de Havilland 1882 (Founder of an aircraft company. [Really? Which one? - Ed.]), Francis Xavier Aloysius James Jeremiah Keenan Wynn 1916 (Actor... Not surprisingly, he known by a simpler name. [Really? Which one? - Ed.]), Adolfo Celi 1922 (Attore.), Henry Patterson 1929 (Orfer. Better known by his pen name of Jack Higgins.), Baroness Williams of Cosby 1930 (Better known as Shirley Williams... Her from off of politics.), Jerry Van Dyke 1931 (Actor. Dick’s little bro.), Anna Dawson 1937 (Ectress.), Don Galloway 1937 (Actor. Ironside’s sidekick. That was him.), Bobby Gentry 1944 (Singer. Had a couple of hits, including this.), Simon Jones 1950 (Ectaw. Arthur Dent. That was him.), Greg Pead 1953 (Who? Oh, Yahoo Serious, the Aussie actor. Not to be confused with the Yahoo search engine... according to the findings of a lawsuit in 2000.), Mark Stanway 1953 (Ivory tickler with Magnum. A clip? Why not... This is called Rockin' Chair.), Allan Border 1955 (Cricketty bloke.), Christopher Dean 1958 (Skatey bloke.), Jo Durie 1960 (Tennissy bloke.), Jonty Rhodes 1969 (Cricketty bloke.), Jonathan Rhys Meyers 1977 (Actor.), Max Power 1993 (Footy bloke. Isn’t that a brilliant name?) and Jordan Spieth 1993 (Golfy bloke.).
And now... August the 3rd. Were any famous... etc. Joseph Paxton 1803 (Gardener and founder of Crystal Palace F.C. [Surely, some mistake. - Ed.]), Stanley Baldwin 1867 (The well-known prime minister.), Rupert Brooke 1887 (Poety bloke.), Louis Chiron 1899 (Racey car bloke.), David Buttolph 1902 (Composer. Wrote music for over 300 films and TV shows including this one. Good lyrics.), Dolores del Río 1905 (Actriz.), Alex McCrindle 1911 (Actor.), Norman Dewis 1920 (Test driver for Jaguar Cars.), Phyllis James 1920 (Orfer. Better known by her pen name of P.D. James.), Jean Hagen 1923 (Actress. Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain.), Leon Uris 1924 (Orfer. Wrote Exodus. [I thought Bob Marley wrote Exodus. - Ed.]), Rona Anderson 1926 (Actress. Mrs Gordon Jackson.), Tony Bennett 1926 (Singer who just refuses to retire. A clip? What song is he best known for? Probably, not this one... his number one hit.), Steven Berkoff 1937 (author and playwright.), Terry Wogan 1938 (Radio broadcaster par excellence.), Martin Sheen 1940 (Actor.), Jack Straw 1946 (Him off of politics.), Syreeta Wright 1946 (Singer. Known as Syreeta. Have a toon and you can sing along too.), John Landis 1950 (Director.), Osvaldo Ardiles 1952 (Futbolista.), Kirk Brandon 1956 (The sharp bit from Spear of Destiny. A clip, perchance? Why not. You won’t take him alive, though.), James Hetfield 1963 (A bit of Metallica. Here’s a toon you should recognise.) and Gina Gardiner 1970 (Singer known as Gina G. Sang the UK’s Eurovision song back in 1996. It didn’t win, but it has the distinction of being the last British entry to reach number one. And here it is. Ooh Aah...).
Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened with the last bet we had? It was a complete and utter waste of time. Did it lose? Yep. Not a single pee back.
Thank goodness that’s the last gee gee bet. Yes indeedy. It’s back to footy bets from here on in. No more dismally disappointing donkeys. Yay! What has The Grambler predicted?
Game - Result - Odds
Blackburn vs Charlton - Prediction Home win - 8/11
Brentford vs Birmingham - Prediction Home win - 3/4
Stoke vs QPR - Prediction Home win - 4/5
Doncaster vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Lincoln vs Accrington - Prediction Home win - 17/20
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...
Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you which player has been the most used substitute in the Premier League. The answer is Peter Crouch with 157 games started from the bench. He beat Shola Ameobi’s tally of 142 back in November 2017. Incidentally, Crouch’s goal-scoring percentage was better as a sub than when he played complete games.
One for this week? As I write this, news is breaking that Manchester United have smashed the transfer fee record between British clubs by paying Leicester City £85 million for defender Harry Maguire. So, your teaser for this week? What was the previous transfer record between two UK clubs? Who was transferred and which clubs were involved in the deal? A good un to start the season, I reckon.
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
Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. T. Wogan who was well-known for his acerbic (That’s a good word. I must look it up.) wit. He would have been celebrating his 81st birthday today. I called him a radio performer par excellence and I meant it. Nobody before or since, in my opinion, has come close to his warmth and humour... he always came across as being a dashed nice bloke. So, let us end this week’s edition with a few of his amusing quotes.
On Finland's turn as Eurovision host
Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually I do, I've seen the rehearsals.
On announcing his plans to retire
I wanted to make my own way to the exit before somebody led me there.
If the present Mrs Wogan has a fault - and I must tread carefully here - this gem in the diadem of womanhood is a hoarder. She never throws anything out. Which may explain the longevity of our marriage.
On his loyal listeners
Gratuitously hurtful folk declare that I'm very popular in hospitals because the listeners abed there are too weak to reach out and switch me off.
The price of fame? Who in their right mind would want to pay it?
On superfluous verbiage
When somebody says to you, "I hope you don't mind me saying this", you know you are in for it. Why do we feel we have to dress it up when we tell someone off? There's no point softening the blow before you hit somebody.
On his wife
If the present Mrs Wogan has a fault – and I must tread carefully here – if she has a fault, this gem in the diadem of womanhood is a hoarder. She never throws anything out. Which may explain the longevity of our marriage.
Could it be that behind every great man, there's a woman working him with her foot?
My dear Auntie May once gave me a present of a Meccano set for my birthday. It was the worst present I have ever had in my life. You see, I am not interested in "how things work". Inanimate objects fight me. They are not susceptible to persuasion or cajolery.
My simple philosophy of just lying there while the rest of the world exhausts itself… (was) entirely vindicated recently by two German doctors who said that all exercise was good for was wearing the body out… Take it easy, life's short enough as it is without rushing it.
Go out and face the world secure in the knowledge that everybody else thinks they are better looking than they are as well.
What is it that makes us hold on to things that have long outlived their usefulness? Nostalgia? Memories? There are not many memories in a drawer-full of sunglasses.
"Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"… Tosh, mon brave. If there was any truth in that load of old frog spawn would the present Mrs Wogan have spent a fortune doing the bedroom?
On modern life
Thirty years ago who would have predicted that gardening would become the opium of the people? And the garden centre the hub of the community?
Why do men think they know how to cook outside when they haven't the smallest idea how to go about it indoors?
Age, they say, is only important if you're cheese. or a wine. They also say, if you are stuck behind one on a golf course, that a tree is 90 per cent air. How come, then, that you invariably send your ball crashing into the remaining 10 per cent?
The only physical adornments that grow bigger with passing years are the nose and ears. The rest, regrettably, diminshes.
I forget as many faces as I do names these days. I think I may have forgotten my own, because the face that looks out at me from the bathroom mirror doesn't look like the me I remember. It's more like my father's.
It (retirement) is coming to all of us, and as my accountant said to me lately: "You'd better think of taking your pension soon – otherwise it won't be worth your while…"
Wogan's Golden Rule of Broadcasting
Get on your toes, keep your wits about you, say goodnight politely when it's over, go home and enjoy your dinner.
The ancient motto of the Wogans
Time flies like an arrow – but fruit flies like a banana.
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