Things I hate #2

People looking for loopholes so that they can get out of paying for something, but who at the same time strenuously pitch themselves as crusading fighters for liberty, freedom and justice. Case in point: Neil Herron, from Sunderland. Neil is the public face of whinging campaign group Parking Appeals and has been courting the media this last week due to his attempts to have parking law scrutinized and tickets rescinded at the High Court in London. Neil’s had the rule book out. He’s going to Australia and he’s going to bowl fucking Bodyline.

‘If you’re a minute late back from a meeting you get a £120 fine. If you’re an inch over a white bay, you get a £120 fine,’ Neil whines.

Now Neil, like Richard the Lionheart before the gates of Jerusalem, is absolutely convinced that he is right. You can see it in his complacent, gloating fat face. You can hear it in the strident tones of his voice. Essentially, Neil’s unhappy that councils don’t back up the thick, luminescent bright, high-visibility lines on roads indicating parking restrictions with street signs pointing down to the tarmac saying ‘PARK HERE AND THA’LL GET FINED, YOU DAFT BASTARD!!!’, and that – like oil and water; cross-ply and radial; grape and grain – red lines (zones) and yellow lines (restrictions) shouldn’t be mixed. OK. But reading between the lines (boom boom) this seems like a campaign group on behalf of egocentric twats who think they’ve got a right to stick their cars wherever they want. Right on, man. ‘They used the wrong shade of yellow,’ Tony from Doncaster complains, getting behind the campaign. ‘It should have been Naples Yellow and they slapped down Winsor Lemon. School Boy error.’ He remembers to add, raising an obese fist into the air: ‘We’re just doing this for the people! Can I have my money back?’

Don Bradman retires from the field with his top teeth in his pocket.

I picture Neil driving a Lexus. Metallic gold. Leather pack. Pork pie in one hand, mobile ‘phone in the other, nudging pedestrians aside to curb his IS500. Another skin touching session with Dave from the Corby branch. An ego to match his bonus target. He’s five minutes late after stopping off for a cappuccino fix in the Little Chef at Newport Pagnell. Sod it, here’ll do, he thinks. Stuff everyone else. This could clinch that vital maxi-pack order. Neil chubs off to get eye balls on with Dave over a powerpoint presentation, a few obligatory clips thrown in, some Costa Rican gold and a squint at the secretary’s arse as she sways through the open plan office.

Five minutes later, the parking enforcement officer – Colleen, 47, thick ankles and a huge loan with Bright House to pay for – totters up. Eagle-eyed she spots the Lexus straddling the double-yellows. Colleen, another tick towards satisfying her daily target, slaps a ticket on the Lexus. Job done, away she goes.

Neil comes out. Blood pressure through the fucking roof. A ticket! A fucking bastard ticket! I cannae fookin’ believe it! Here he is, keeping the country’s economy going, backbone of Britain and he gets a fucking ticket. Thin end of the wedge. Tip of the bloody iceberg. Why does he fucking bother? He is incensed on behalf of every right-thinking motorist in the land. Bring me my bow of burning gold, bring me my arrows of desire… Bring me my spear! Oh, clouds unfold! Bring me my hundred and twenty quid!

If barrel-chested, broad-shouldered Neil wins his court case the judgement will see councils having to refund wads of money to motorists, leaving a massive hole in the council finances. Now, I’m not a whole-hearted lover of councils. However, this seems to me nothing more than peevish individuals wanting to get their own way for the sake of it. And the upshot? The resulting council deficit will mean that my bins will be even more maggoty than they are now and there’ll be even more chance of getting mugged as the council switches off the street lamps.

There’s a similar story from Sheffield, from back in the summer, where Alan Bangert complained about Sheffield City Council’s lack of marking on a particular junction (signs but no lines – the reverse of Neil’s concerns). Alan was caught out not once, not twice, but three times by the same junction controlling movement over tram lanes. So apparently this wasn’t a mistake by Alan, unless he’s totally fucking stupid. No, it seems he was making a conscious decision to disobey the traffic directions. Because he wanted to. The rebel. He says: ‘It’s a traffic management system that was operating illegally. It needed addressing.’

Another martyr to his own wallet.

Most motorists don’t like Traffic Cops. Understandably on occasion. Stereotyped – not necessarily unfairly – as Nazis with sweet tooths, lingering around the donut shops, who spend all day on their knees checking tyre pressures while tutting self-righteously, and then sensuously indulging themselves with Swiss Rolls in concealed lay-byes as they hypocritically pick off speeders and nudge their waistlines closer to the steering wheel. Neither do they like parking enforcement. But both are a necessary curb. Motoring is indicative of the state of society. Anti-social, impatient, egocentric, selfish, careless. And whining fuckers like Neil and Alan typify a way of thinking and acting.

Well bowled, Harold.

The war of Jenkin’s shank

Spencer Lodge

Thursday 25th September 2008. Standing on the first tee in the bronzed light. 10AM. Silkstone golf course, resting on one elbow, reclined decadently before me, a smile on her full lips, an elusive promise between her grassy contours. Like a huge, expansive 18th Century playground. Flambeau lit and damp. A woman of pleasure. Capability Brown, arms folded, lips curled in a shrug, stands in the light rough, watching with reserved approval. That bunker on the 5th is something of an unnecessary eyesore.

I line up my shot. A blue print drawn in my mind. Red line arcing out into the sky, a thick, elongated arrow cresting downwards. Swing. Booshta! A clean connection on the club face, a sense of satisfaction filling my body as I hold the follow through and feel the ball extend out into the landscape, a broad, solid ribbon unfurling in its wake. Like a medieval siege attack on some stubborn walled city. The graphite shafted trebuchet launching the flaming Titelist Pro-V comet full tilt.

‘Nice shot,’ Aetheling says between gritted, plaque coated teeth, as he mounts the raised rectangle of clipped grass. Chewing nicotine gum in another attempt to quit smoking. Stakes his ball between the two yellow markers.

This, I think to myself, re-bagging my club, a swig of still cold Lucozade, is not exactly as it appears. The clubmanship and friendliness. I recall Niccolò’s words: The only sound, sure and enduring methods of defence are those based on your own actions and prowess.

The standard nervous twitch, the superstitious rituals. As Aethling starts his down-stroke I cough.

And so it begins.

Things I hate #1

People who go on ‘I want to change my life by becoming a wine tredder in Tuscany’ programmes who we hear as the credits roll are still living in Luton ‘but exploring the possibility of a move in the future.’

Do you know the programmes I mean? Afternoon fodder for the unemployed, pensioners and shift workers. A place in the sun, New life in the country, Laos or bust!

Phil and Lynn spend a week traipsing about some mediaeval Slovakian hillside, shown ‘round by a shifty-looking bloke who is patently one of Arkan’s Tigers on the run, when it dawns on them that they’re not going to be able to get Sky Movies 1 or a decent cup of café latte with the obligatory blueberry muffin. ‘Well,’ says Lynn, ‘it looked so nice when I saw Judith Chalmers visiting the country on TV.’ Did it, Lynn, really? And that was the sum total of your research, was it? Watching Judith Chalmers in shorts, legs like two over-cooked chipolatas, bounce around in some taverna and you though, ‘Ey up, that’s the place for me!’

Brenda says about Australia, after having a barbecued wombat for breakfast: ‘It’s a bit warm, isn’t it?’ Australia? Warm? You’re shitting me. Who’d have thought it? I bet that came as a shock. It always looks so tepid on Neighbours or Home and Away, doesn’t it, Brenda? You half-witted fucker. Husband Mick, badly sunburnt and pining for a pint of John Smiths, says: ‘And I haven’t seen a kangaroo yet,’ as he checks his mobile ‘phone to see how Aston Villa have got on away from home. Chuckles all ‘round. No kangaroo, Mick? But I bet you’d eat one between a big bap, wouldn’t you? You free-loading twat.

There was a couple on from Sheffield yesterday afternoon. I could quite easily have killed the entire family and not felt like I’d done anything wrong. Mum, Dad and two whining, obese kids. All expenses paid to Canada. Shown a number of properties, job interviews arranged, schools sorted out, foot massage and a complimentary Mountie thrown in. Then, at the end of the thirty minutes, they head back to Hillsborough because they realize they can’t buy decent fish and chips in Toronto. I tell you, if I was the producer they’d be fucking walking it back.

In every episode of each programme, regardless of whether it’s New start in North Korea or Life Swap Siberia, there’s always a moment of crisis. Some fat kid starts crying because they had to eat a starfish, Mum can’t cope because she’s four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and won’t be able to be online for the big Gala Bingo link up, Dad can’t grow tomatoes in the slightly acidic, loamy soil that blankets this particular area of Rhodes. In other words, stuff they should have considered before they even filled the application form in.

Will the Brooks family be returning to Bristol, or will they be starting a new life in Morocco…

Cue the commercial break and the nice people from Picture telling me how easy it is to borrow twenty-five grand if I’m a householder.

I think we all know the answer to the question posed by the well-tanned, big-titted presenter, don’t we? The Brooks family will be back to the semi in Temple Meads before you can say ‘all expenses paid’.

What a waste of time and money. None of the bleeders ever go. It should be like joining the army. Once they sign up with Yorkshire Television, Wild Rhino Productions or whatever then they’re in. No turning back.

Rita and Terry from Rawmarsh – you’re going to live in Ethiopia whether you like it or not, you set of time-wasting bastards. Now that I’d like. I’d watch those programmes gleefully. First fifteen minutes like the present format. The moment of crisis arrives. Rita: ‘Ooh, Terry, I’m not sure this new life is for us…’ Bobby Davro appears from behind a parasol festooned Margarita. ‘Sorry, love, read the small print, you’re stopping.’

We go to the ad break on Terry clutching his chest, Rita with her mouth open and the kids crying.

I’d be skipping through into the kitchen to fire up the kettle. Back on the sofa with a steaming coffee and a plate of Hobnobs to watch Rita complain about her dysentery, Terry trying to source parts for the family’s 1972 Vauxhall Station Wagon and the kids in tears endlessly about being bullied by crackhead gang bangers and being unable to get a signal on O2 Tanganyika. All the time knowing the fuckers are there for five years.

That’d serve the time-wasting bastards right.

Crack open bourbons.

Fingers crossed…

Dear Baby Cow Productions,

Having been a big fan of Saxondale (third series?) and Gavin & Stacey I’ve got an idea for a sitcom I’d like to run past you. I envisage a six episode thirty minute format run. It’s about Brian and Tony two gay dentists living and working in Rotherham, South Yorkshire called THE TOOTH FAIRIES. Timothy Biggins (hot on the heels of his jungle celebrity win) would be ideal for Tony with perhaps Ross Kemp going against stereotype in the role of Brian.

Here’s a dialogue taster for you:






Let me know what you think. Having been clouted ’round the back of the head with inspiration I’m banging out the first full episode this afternoon. Working title: ‘DRILLING FOR ROOT’.

I think we’ve got a winner on our hands.

Best wishes.

Liberalism Inc.

Friday 4th June 2004

Yet again scenes of carnage and loss in Iraq are splashed across our TV screens. As I watch I feel disgusted by the cynical attitude and opportunism of charities and so-called humanitarian groups. Many of the wounded civilians are drummed up by outfits like Amn*sty, who basically would not exist without suffering to manipulate the consciences of what one Rolex-wearing ground worker for an ostensibly libertarian charity called ‘bleeding heart liberals’. One representative for M******* Sans Frontier actually walked up to one young lad outside a school in Basra and poked him in the eye with a stick, then bundled him into the back of an ambulance claiming he’d been caught by shrapnel. This image on the TV earned that charity five million euros in donations. It is not unheard of for L*berty to aim low and shoot civilians when they know that a film crew is in the area. And workers for the R*d Crescent are notorious for taking pot shots into crowded market places with mortars and then ‘blue-lighting’ to the incidents they have created, thus swelling their coffers when the event is broadcast into homes around the world.

And so-called ‘terrorist’ attacks on ex-pats working in the Gulf being blamed on Islamic fundamentalists. How many of these terrorists have faced trial and been truly identified? Is it simply coincidence that Amn*sty are known to have bulk purchased 360° sun beds and tea towels? I think not.

In October 2003 UN advisors began secret investigations into the activities of ostensibly charitable/humanitarian organizations in Iraq following complaints from the family of a man from Baghdad who had been photographed scrabbling in the dirt searching for his false teeth and lost dignity. The images had been taken by a Swedish freelance photographer and were subsequently used by Amn*sty in an ad Australian campaign. An American soldier who was assisting the man was seen stood by with his rifle seemingly trained on the Iraqi’s head. The image where the Squaddie discovered the teeth and was handing them to a now smiling – albeit gummily – Iraqi was not used.

UN investigator Jean Pierre Gatin reported back to the UN in March 2004 that, ‘exploitation by libertarian organizations of Iraqi civilians for political and financial ends [was] widespread.’ Gatin furthermore cited a Western news source who admitted that collusion between the media and humanitarian charities was now on a professional basis. The source (Tom Fischer), who has since been transferred from overseas events coverage and now reads the regional news in Minnesota, said that the two worked hand in hand, and ‘manipulation of events to achieve a desired moral and political bias was policy’. Gatin concluded: ‘Liberal and humanitarian agencies are taking an opportunistic approach to events, and in some instances even fuelling discontent for their own ends.’

Since the start of the war profits – sorry, donations – of/to libertarian organizations have risen by 253% (cf. European Union). However, this upsurge in morally motivated financial masochism is slightly distorted as it also coincides with the release of a Billy Bragg retrospective box set.

Originally posted on Rum & Monkey


Lady Macca: Paul made me dress up like Ringo

Thursday 26th October 2006

The latest bizarre twist in the McCartney marriage rupture broke upon a shocked press last night as Lady Heather Mills-McCartney revealed that estranged husband Paul used to make her dress like former Beatles drummer and voice of Thomas the Tank Engine Ringo Starr during kinky love-making sessions.

‘It was degrading,’ former model and charity campaigner, Lady Heather sobbed. ‘But I did it out of love. That’s all Paul said we needed.’

Pervy Paul would insist that sexy Lady Heather don a black 1963 Beatles wig and tap out the 4/4 beat to ‘She Loves You’ across the erstwhile mop-top’s withered buttocks with drumsticks. ‘Then grabbing hold of me, he would scream, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” at the crucial moment,’ Lady Heather confided tearfully.

‘He had a stash of the wigs,’ a plucky Lady Heather said, ‘stockpiled from the 60s. He always said that they’d be worth a bob or two on eBay. He had some ‘Fab Four’ lunch boxes and some autographed pictures by John, George and Ringo as well. He kept them in the garage.’

Broadminded mono-ped Heather, 38, who starred in a series of soft porn teen masturbation-fodder movies in her 20s, claims that Sir Paul, knighted in 1997, who following his time in the Beatles went on to enjoy success in the 1970s with super-group Wings, gave her a satin military suit for their first wedding anniversary – an exact replica of the one worn by Starr on the iconic Sgt. Pepper album cover. ‘He even had a stick on Zapata moustache that he’d had fashioned from stray locks of Ringo’s hair that he’d sometimes insist that I wear even though he knew it made me sneeze. What should have been the loving, passionate embraces of a husband and wife were turned into a grotesque parody. It was like a weird orgy at a Beatles convention.’

The McCartneys, who first met in 1999, were married in 2002 at a lavish celebrity wedding at Castle Leslie in Ireland where best man, gay crooner Elton John, was seen to finger Paul’s ring nervously before the ceremony.

Lady Heather
Kitted up for action. Mills-McCartney … an artist’s impression of Mills as former Beatles sticksman Ringo Starr

Picture: Clive Tregarron