Friday 29 November 2019

Weeks 16 to 18 - The Grambler brushes his/her/its teeth

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

A tube of toothpaste

Interesting picture to start this week's (g)ramble don't you think? No? Well, it interested me. At least, the reference to baking soda caught my eye. Why? Because it is the only mention of baking soda on the tube. Obviously, we, the gullible public, are meant to assume that this tube of ordinary toothpaste contains this useful ingredient. But does it? Nowhere does it tell you that there is actually any of the stuff in the tube. It simply points out that baking soda is useful for whitening teeth. Good. I'm pleased about that. But why are they telling us this? I even checked the list of ingredients. No. Nothing there. If that is the case, and baking soda is indeed useful for whitening teeth, why are we buying this toothpaste at all? Baking soda would appear to be better according to the maker of this product.
Worse is another tube of what I assumed to be the same toothpaste. But it isn't. Oh no. Maximum cavity protection it proudly announces. Wow! That's quite a claim. Then they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like [I love you? - Ed.] Ahem... something stupid like liquid calcium. Really? Doubt it very much. The melting point of calcium is 842° centigrade. Very unlikely that you would brush your teeth with something that hot.
It is just so typical of products like these. All toothpastes are, basically, the same thing: a paste or gel to clean teeth. Each probably does as good a job of it as the next. Getting the brushing action right is more important than the choice of paste. So, to make a particular product stand out, manufacturers have to come up with something special. Toothpaste with stripes anybody? Wow, that's clever. I'll have some of that, says the average punter. Hang on, say the makers of non stripey toothpaste, how do we compete with that? I know, let's make some really wild claims about how brilliant our product is.

However, there are organisations called advertising standards agencies which won't allow businesses to make wild, unsubstantiated (That's a good word. Must look it up) claims. Our toothpaste maker will have to tread carefully to avoid incurring their wrath.
This is why these silly non-committal statements are stuck on the side of toothpaste tubes. If anybody should complain that the baking soda in their toothpaste isn't making a blind bit of difference to their gnashers, the maker can simply ask, 'What baking soda? We never said it contained baking soda.' And they would be in the clear.
Similarly, the liquid calcium statement can be quickly dismissed. Nowhere is there any suggestion that the tube contains liquid calcium. There are simply two words placed side by side - liquid and calcium. They are meaningless. There is absolutely no possibility that this toothpaste could contain such a thing.
The example I have shown is an actual tube I have bought, as is the liquid calcium one. Apart from those words on the side of the packaging, they are identical. I decided that if two seemingly identical tubes could have two completely different 'odd' statements, perhaps there were others out there. And there are. Oh yes. Here are some belters...
Calci-lock? What the fu... what does that mean?
With Mini Bright Strips? Ditto.
Family Action? Sorry pardon excuse me? That sounds very suspect.
Baking Soda and Peroxide? Peroxide? Bleach? In toothpaste? I hope not.
Icy Blast Whitening? Again... What?
Plus Shine? Same.
Expert White? Uh huh.
The craziest aspect of all these silly statements, many of which are trademarks incidentally, is that they are all on the various products of just one company. The products... plural... are all toothpaste... singular. It would not surprise me in the least if it were proved that these tubes all contain identical paste. How would the company explain that one? Mark my words; it could happen. It could blow up into a real scandal. And you know what that means, don’t you? Yes, sticking a word on the end of whatever the scandal is about. You know what I mean. You do. Watch out for Colgate-gate.




Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorius individuals born on the 16th of November? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. Tiberius 42BC (The well-known emperor.), W.C. Handy 1873 (Trumpeter and composer. Called himself the Father of the Blues [What? Chelsea? - Ed.] Ahem. Have a clip.  Here's St. Louis Blues.), Tazio Nuvolari 1892 (Pilota da corsa.), Paul Hindemith 1895 (Violinist, composer and conductor. Have a clip. Fast and gay, apparently.), Oswald Mosley 1896 (The well-known fascist b*st*rd.), Eddie Condon 1905 (Geetarist. Have a clip. ), Burgess Meredith 1907 (Actor. The Penguin, that was him.), Eddie Chapman 1914 (The well-known spy. Agent Zigzag.), Daws Butler 1916 (Voice actor who was smarter than the average bear... That’s a clue to his most famous character.), Clu Gulager 1928 (Actor.), Michael Billington 1939 (Theatre critic.), Gerry Marshall 1941 (Racey car bloke.), Willie Carson 1942 (Little tiny jockey bloke.), Griff Rhys Jones 1953 (Comedian.), Frank Bruno 1961 (Boxy bloke know what I mean, Harry.), Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield 1962 (A Stone Rose and a bit of Primal Scream. Have a clip. Let's move on up.), Alexander Popov 1971 (пловец.), Waqar Younis 1971 (کرکٹر.), Paul Scholes 1974 (Footy bloke.) and Gary Naysmith 1978 (Footy bloke.).
And now... the 23rd of November. Manuel de Falla 1876 (Composer. Have a clip ), William Pratt 1887 (Who? Actor better known as Boris Karloff.), Arthur Marx 1888 (Who? Comedian and musician better known as Harpo Marx.), Romain de Tirtoff 1892 (Who? Artist better known as Erté), Nigel Tranter 1909 (Author.), Michael Gough 1916 (Actor.), Johnny Mandel 1925 (Composer. Have a clip. You'll recognise this.), John Cole 1927 (Journalist with very Northern-Irish accent... He often reported from the Argentine capital ‘Burnis Airs’.), Lew Hoad 1934 (Tennisy bloke.), Betty Everett 1939 (Singer and pianist. Have a clip.), Alan Mullery 1941 (Footy bloke. [Mullery? A bit like muller. - Ed.]), Francesco Sparanero 1941 (Actor better known as Franco Nero.), Sue Nicholls 1943 (Ectress. Audrey Roberts in Corry. She had a hit record once, you know.  Have a listen.), Tony Pond 1945 (Racey car bloke.), Diana Quick 1946 (Ectress.), Frank Worthington 1948 (Footy bloke.), Sandra Stephens 1949 (A bit of Brotherhood of Man.), Bruce Hornsby 1954 (Musician famous for his Range. Have a clip.), Shane Gould 1956 (Swimmy bloke.), Maxwell Caulfield 1959 (Actor. Factoid: He once worked as an exotic dancer at the Windmill Theatre... acording to Wikipedia.), Merv Hughes 1961 (Crickety bloke.), Kevin Gallacher 1966 (Footy bloke.), Zoe Ball 1970 (Presenter.), Kelly Brook 1979 (Clothes horse. [Kelly? A bit like kell. - Ed.]), Kevin Clancy 1983 (Footy ref. Clancy? A bit like clance. - Ed.]) and Miley Cyrus 1992 (Singer. [Miley? A bit like mile. - Ed.] Will you give over! Have a clip. She can't stop, apparently. ).
And let’s not forget the 30th of November. Jonathan Swift 1667 (Satirist and essayist. Aka Dean Swift.), Samuel Langhorne Clemens 1835 (Better known as author Mark Twain.), Winston Churchill 1874 (Famous chap.), Efrem Zimbalist Jr 1918 (Actor.), Virginia Mayo 1920 (Salad dressing.), Allan Sherman 1924 (Comedian famous for humorous tunes. Remember this one? Hello muddah...), Richard Crenna 1926 (Actor.), Robert Guillaume 1927 (Actor. Voiced Rafiki in The Lion King.), Frank Ifield 1937 (Singer. Remember him?  He remembers you.), Ridley Scott 1937 (Drunken Glaswegian.), George Graham 1944 (Footy bloke.), Roger Glover 1945 (Led Zep Bassist. Have a clip. Don't have nightmares. ), David Mamet 1947 (Playwright.), Mandy Patinkin 1952 (Actor.), June Pointer 1953 (A sister. Another clip? This’ll get you excited. She's excited, anyway.), Kevin Conroy 1955 (Voice actor. Batman in the animated series.), Andy Gray 1955 (sexist footy bloke.), Billy Idol 1955 (Sneering singer. Have another clip. Nice day for it.), John Ashton 1957 (A Psychedelic Fur. Here’s Heartbreak Beat.), Richard Barbieri 1957 (A bit of Japan and Porcupine Tree. Here’s Canton.), Lorraine Kelly 1959 (TV presenter.), Gary Lineker 1960 (Crisp mongering footy bloke.), Ben Stiller 1965 (Comedian, it says here.), John Bishop 1966 (Comedian, it says here.), Desiree Weekes aka Des’ree 1968 (Singer. You want another clip? Aye, go on then. Here’s Life.), Phil Babb 1970 (Footy bloke.), Abel Xavier 1972 (jogador de futebol com cabelo incomum.), Alan Hutton 1984 (Footy bloke.) and Dougie Poynter 1987 (McFly guy. Here is the group’s best-selling toon. This is all about you... and a few celebs.).
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr. Congler,
We are fans of Miley Cyrus and have followed her progress since her first hits back in 2007. 12 years on, she is still having hits. Her last hit, sung with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Ray, was the theme song from Charlie’s Angels, but neither of us can remember the title; can you help?
Yours twerkingly,
Don Colmie, N. Jell.


Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? It won. Yay! Well, we won a bit. Not in profit, though. £2.06 from our £2.20 bet. Rubbish or what. What happened? Read on.
Ross County vs Aberdeen - Prediction Away win
Result - Ross County 1 Aberdeen 3
Josh Mullin had scored an early penalty for Ross County.
But Niall McGinn and Ryan Hedges both netted free-kicks, before Andrew Considine scored a fine third goal from the edge of the box.
Alloa vs Dunfermline - Prediction Away win
Result - Alloa 2 Dunfermline 1
Both teams scored from penalties in the first half; Alan Trouten for Alloa, while Kevin Nisbet equalised for Dunfermline.
Lee Ashcroft headed against the bar but instead it was Alloa who re-took the lead when Kevin Cawley headed in Iain Flannigan's cross at the far post.
Greg Kiltie shot over for Dunfermline, and Cawley's shot cleared the crossbar as Alloa missed a late chance.
Partick vs Morton - Prediction Home win
Result - Partick 2 Morton 1
Substitute Shea Gordon scored twice for 10-man Partick Thistle as they beat Morton.
The midfielder had only been on the pitch 30 seconds when he struck low into the corner.
The lead lasted two minutes as Jack Baird levelled, but Gordon slid in the winner five minutes later.
Montrose vs Forfar - Prediction Home win
Result - Montrose 3 Forfar 0
No match report. Boo.
Edinburgh City vs Elgin - Prediction Home win
Result - Edinburgh 1 Elgin 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
No match report. Boo.
Well, we’ve missed a few weeks of relying on The Grambler’s predictions. Let’s see what he/she/it has to offer this week...
Game - Result - Odds
Macclesfield vs Bradford - Prediction Away win - 10/11
Alloa vs Inverness - Prediction Away win - 8/11
Morton vs Dundee Utd. - Prediction Away win - 11/20
Montrose vs Raith - Prediction Away win - 19/20
Brechin vs Stenhousemuir - Prediction Away win - Evens
Uh oh, The Grambler’s picked all away wins... This could end in tears.
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 Predictions, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping....



Particularly unwhopping.



Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you which footballer first gained media attention when his youth team won a game 23-0; a game in which he scored every single goal. It was Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, better known as Ronaldinho. Admittedly, he was only 13 when he achieved his feat. Not a bad way to get noticed, though.
One for this week? It’s a question relating to the F.A. Cup and royalty. Who was the first reigning monarch to attend an F.A. Cup Final?





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


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, it has been a sad week as the entertainment world lost two of its cleverest and wittiest TV people.
Doctor Jonathan Miller has been called a polymath. His career spanned comedy, art, medicine, directing both plays and opera... His talents seemed endless. He was the sort of person I could have enjoyed listening to no matter what topic he was talking about. Others were not so kind and saw him as something of a know-all. I recall a comedy panel show on which a comedian was asked what Jonathan Miller would never, ever say and he came up with ‘I couldn’t possibly comment; it’s a topic about which I know very little.’ Ouch. 
Clive James was one of my favourite TV folk. His programmes were always watchable. I first took notice when he took over the ITV programme called Cinema. His predecessors had been informative but humourless. He added humour to the programme in spades. I think I tried to watch everything he subsequently made.
Perhaps this isn’t the best recognition of the genius of these two TV giants, but I thought it apt as here is Clive James interviewing Jonathan Miller on Saturday Night Clive.
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler (almost) every week by going to the blog at
Happy grambling.

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