Monday, 27 February 2006

Don't you hate it when you buy a nice bunch of tulips, and then one of them turns rogue?

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

Liminal advertising.

I really like old adverts, the sort that tell you to buy Higginson's Coal Wax, because your coal needs waxing, and Higginson's coal wax is the best coal wax with which to wax your coal, so just buy some, ok? These ads often contain cartoon men frowning at their dirty, unwaxed coal; and then beaming at their shiny, waxed coal, twinkling with that unmistakable Higginson's gleam. I didn't think you could find adverts like that around any more, but this week Marianne and I were in Dublin, and came upon the following masterpiece in neon. It's an exciting tale in three parts.

Questions of baldness and hairiness have no meaning for me, for I have no top to my head. Nor do I have a mouth. Possibly these conditions are related, possibly not. Either way, going bald is the least of my problems.

That's better, I have a mouth... but it's a mouth set into a vexed pout of disappointment, because, would you believe it, I've gone bald! In fact, it would appear I've polished the top of my head so hard my skull's showing through. Botheration!

Hooray! Those good people at Universal have fitted me with a wig cleverly matched to be as red as my face, and I'm cheerful again! Especially as my wig is giving off rays of illumination, like the sun. That's got to be a good thing. Or possibly it's just fitted with seven spikes to stop pigeons landing on it. Either way, I'm on top of the world... and it's all thanks to Universal! Why don't YOU go and buy a wig now, Baldie?

Sunday, 12 February 2006

If the post sparks a major diplomatic incident, my apologies.

You'll be delighted to learn that I had a very good dinner last night. It was a massive pie. And there are few things in this world I love more than a massive pie. Hosts, should you read this: thank you again. Thank you for the massive pie.

After the massive pie had been demolished (It really was a massive pie), we sat round with our wine glasses propped on our pie-filled stomaches, and played Articulate. (You know the one - describe the word on the card so your team-mate can guess it.)

This was my second-favourite moment:

Word on the card is 'Nut'

Describer: Pistachio is a type of...?
Guesser: Ice cream!

Of course, you can't fault her for accuracy. It is. Whereas the sentiment behind my favourite moment of the night is, um, a little more subjective.

Word on the card is 'War Office'

Describer: Ok, so a huge global conflict is a?
Guesser: War?
Describer: Yes! Now, where might one of those be planned?
Guesser: Palestine?

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

See a penny, pick it up...

...and all that day you'll have good luck. And, of course, boost your purchasing power to the tune of a hundreth of a pound. And certainly when I was a boy, I wouldn't dream of not picking up a penny. A penny, after all, could be traded for a blackjack or a spongy pink sweet in the shape of a prawn at Candy Chocs, the sweetshop in Broadstone Broadway with what I now realise was a very odd name. Come to that, when I was a little boy, and they were still around, I would happily stoop for a ha'penny. One fortieth of your weekly income is surely worth a stoop.

I don't remember when I made the policy decision that I had, if anything, too many coppers, and I would no longer stoop for pennies, or even tuppences. But it's been a while, and as I still seem to end up with jangly pockets of coppers, but have largely gone off spongy pink prawn-shaped sweets, I have never regretted it. However. Today, for the first time, I saw a 5p piece... and I let it lie. No stoopage occurred. I didn't even break my stride.

I'm not sure how I feel about this momentous rite of passage. I suppose it depends where the tipping point comes on an imaginary 3D graph representing 1) Inflation 2) My modestly increasing income and c) My slowly decreasing fitness. Or to put it another way, I hope the reason I didn't pick it up was that I'm so hugely successful and rich these days, and not because I'm so hugely lazy and fat. I also hope I'm not in for five days of bad luck.

To help me decide how to feel, let's have a survey. What's the least amount of money for which you're prepared to stoop? Honestly, now.

Monday, 6 February 2006

Necessity is the mother of invention. Boyo.

I've never really felt I could do a Welsh accent.

Then, this Saturday, I found myself at a bus stop in the centre of Cardiff, two hours after England had beaten Wales at rugby 47-13, with five very big, very drunk men in red rugby shirts, one of whom (the one wearing a Welsh flag over his shoulders like a cape) shouted at me 'D'you see the fucken game, then?'

Turns out I can do quite a good one.

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

Es is nicht groB und es is nicht gescheit.

Look, I'm really not the sort of person who looks for things like this. Honest. But I spent yesterday in a library, working opposite a floor to ceiling bookshelf containing a thirty volume German Encyclopedia. And I couldn't help but notice that right at the start, four consecutive volumes were labelled:


Which raises two questions. Firstly, why did the editors of this German encyclopedia leave the task of deciding the volume divisions to an English 10 year old boy? And secondly... what's rude about 'BER'?

(P.S. The child contained himself for the rest of the volumes, none of which are naughty at all. Until the end, when he broke out with an exuberent valedictory 'WEE')