Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Nuts In May

Nuts in May

I never want to put my nuts in May.
No darling buds of rank decay.
I’m roasted, toasted, ballot-posted,
sex-it, exit, gratuity Brexit.
White cliffs, shite cliffs, pleasant land,
Pox doctored politicians on remand.
I don’t never want to put my nuts in May.

I never want to put my nuts in May,
Nor use my pole, it’s not cachet.
Not true, blue and high on glue,
snooper’s charter aimed at you.
Vicars, knickers, hymn book sniffers,
nasty parties, dole queue biffers.
I don’t never want to put my nuts in May.

Nuts in May? I’d sooner squeal,
unmask protesters, for solid newsreel.
Breezers, Theresas, solid geezers,
a few bad apples and lemon squeezers.
Policemen, greasemen and broken teeth,
use a student, wear a sheath.
I don’t never want to put my nuts in May.

I never want to put my nuts in May,
and contract zero hours, minimum pay.
Boris, porridge, zip wired prat,
Leadsome, wed some, high on khat.
Decapitation dodger, last hope finisher,
sister sinister, fit prime minister.

I don’t never want to put my nuts in May.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Strike A Light! It's Comedy Gold!

Strike A Light!

In these days of lazy, good for nothing striking teachers, doctors and French air traffic controllers, most of us believe we are in a world gone militant mad!

But don’t believe everything you read. Strikes are not always bad.

Much good can come from militant behaviour! Without strikers and their confrontational union leaders, there would be virtually no 70s television or classic film comedy for culturally starved modern British people to enjoy on You Tube.

Writers were positively inspired by the bad behaviour of the unions.

Just check out some of these classic lines from your very own legendary British Heritage situation comedies, and keep a straight face, if you dare!

Major: Strike, strike, strike, why do we bother, eh, Fawlty?
Basil: Shut up you rancid, elderly, fascist bastard. Oh, my word, a kipper. (Pratfalls)

Smithy: Power to the people!
Tucker: But Smiffy, the miners are on strike and there is no power at all!
Smithy: Well, strike a light…
Tucker: Exactly, Smiffy. Doner kebab? Or shall we steal a tank?

Beryl: Oh-ey, Sand, the biscuit factory’s on strike again! Couldn’t get nuttin!
Sandra: Pickets?
Beryl: Oh –ey, no! There were no biscuits!
Sandra: No garibaldi?
Beryl: No – I had an accident at the ‘airdressers, didn’t I?

CJ: Morning Reggie, sit down.
Reggie: Morning, CJ (Chair makes a farting noise). Sorry, CJ, I think it’s the chair.
CJ: Yes, most embarrassing, I must complain to the manufacturers, cigar?
Reggie: Thank you, CJ. (CJ traps Reggie’s fingers in cigar tin)
CJ: Reggie! Would it surprise you to know that production is down by 98%?
Reggie: Not really, CJ, the factory’s gone on strike.
Tony: Great!
David: Super!
CJ: Strike, eh? I didn’t get where I am today by going on strike! It’s not the British way! Neither Mrs CJ or I have ever humped a placard on a picket line!
Reggie: I imagine not, CJ. (Reggie daydreams a fantasy where he and Joan are licking coal lumps in slow motion whilst CJ rapidly humps a striking miner until the candle on his helmet is extinguished in ecstasy)

But surely, the absolute slag on the top of the heap is the 1985 entry to the ever popular ‘Carry On’ series: ‘Carry on Shafting’ an affectionate look at the trials and tribulations of some comedy miners, poking gentle fun at the then current state of affairs in the mining industry at the hight of Thatcher's Britain.

This fictional fun filled and frolicsome strike was organised and led by Arthur Biscuit, boss of the not very tough Coal Union of National Toilers, played by evergreen Kenneth Williams.

It was set in the fictional grimy northern mining town of Dumpborough, in Turveyshire. Here’s an excerpt from the shooting script that captures the sheer hilarity of it all. It’s a dirty job but they’ll ‘Carry On’ doing it!

Arthur: (strolling over to a pit) Oo-er! Look at that hole! It’s ever so inviting!
Sid Pottle: (running, out of breath) Arfur! Arfur! Timmy’s trapped up the shaft!
Arthur: Ooooo! Get away! How did he get up your shaft?
Sid Pottle: We’ll need a big rod to prize open a hole!
Arthur: Ooooo! I’ve seen your big rod, Sid Pottle, and it’s won prizes!

In the meantime we cut to a nurse walking in high heels across the slag heap. Cue comedy music with brass band to signify being ‘Up North’. POV shot from Sid Pottle and then zoom into enormous bouncing assets of actress. (Note: possibly Barbara, if available)

Sid Pottle: Phwoooooooaaaaarrr!
Arthur: Oh yes, look at that slag!
Sid Pottle: Now that’s not right gentlemanly, Arfur!
Arthur: No, I meant that slag. The pile of clinker! The mountains!
Sid Pottle: Yes I’d like to get me hands on them mountains alright. Yakyakyak!

Camera pans slowly across a grim landscape. Stock footage of collieries – insert. At this point musical director to insert ‘that tune from the Hovis bread advert’, signifying ‘northern grimness’ but remember to delete voiceover from same advertisement during post production. Crash-zoom into window where large, horrendously ugly woman is polishing some jugs. (Note possibly Hattie, if not recording season 12 of ‘Sykes’)

Nora Pottle: (screeching loudly) I can see you, Sydney Pottle! You’re dirty, that’s what you are, dirty! Not like these jugs I’m polishing!
Sid Pottle: I wouldn’t mind polishing her jugs. Yakyakyakyak!

Camera cuts to two little birds tweeting and playing on the slag heap – use stock footage from some Attenborough wildlife programme or other.

Arthur: Look at the tits on that slag heap, playing with each other!
Sid Pottle: I wouldn’t mind playing with the tits on that slag, and that’s no lie! Yakyakyakyak!

So there you have it. Strikes are not always bad. And if you find yourself queuing in Operation Stack on the M20 while trying to get into France this summer, do yourself a favour and look up these clips and more on I Player to pass those long hours!

That’s if the BBC aren’t on strike, of course!

Thursday, 21 July 2016



“All right, cock? I like a bit of Chinese nosh, so when I saw your sign I came right away.”

“Oh, aye.”

The sun beat the beach like a boxer and tourists’ baking shoulders, boobs and backsides were red from punishment, sweaty in surrender and out for the count. A long line of panting sun-lotioners snarkled in the shaded direction, towards iced fizz and iced creams. Opposite, in the red corner:

A tatty flag, advertising ‘Jock Turpin’s Oriental Banquet’, failed to flutter in the missing breeze.  Beside green skips that overflowed their filth on to the sand and next to the pissed on concrete of the beach toilets, a furnace burned hot and hearty. Behind a trestle table made of driftwood plank, a clammy, red faced chef glared through the heat haze.

“Oy, cock! You do Chinese nosh, do you?”

“You want to nosh on mah cock, do you?” The chef, behind the kiln, brandished his spatula. Spittles of fat spattered his bare chest and singed hair.

“No, mate!” Ray took a step backwards. He stared at the threadbare kilt the chef was wearing, hiding thick, hairy thighs.

“That’s OK, but it’ll cost you a wee bit extra. Give us a tick then follow me behind the shit-house.”

“No! I came for some Chinese takeaway. I’m starving, mate.”

“Oh, takeaway is it? No worries. Wait there. I’ll just put mah tackle back in mah kecks.” The chef turned his back and did some sub-kilt adjustment, then wiped his fingers on his chest before grabbing his spatula. “What d’ye fancy?”

“Got a menu, mate?”

“Aye.” The chef stared at the sand. He paused, then looked back at the bloke “No. No, I havnae. That was a wee joke.”


“Aye. Not very funny, though.”

“Well what’s on offer, mate? Sweet and sour? Ribs? Chow Mein?” Ray was starting to burn from the sun and the inferno in front of the chef.

“No. We’ve got seaweed. Special offer. Buy one lump, get more free. I calls it mah ‘free weed’. It’s very tasty. A Chinese speciality cooked here for you, while you wait. How much d’ye want? A wee bit or a lot?”

“None. Fuck’s sake, mate, seaweed? I knew I should’ve gone for an ice lolly and some chips. I said to Bill, ‘Oh look, a Chinese takeaway on the beach, that’s my most favourite food.’ He told me straight, ‘Piss off, Ray,’ he said, ‘who puts a bloody Chinese in the middle of a beach? Only a nutter, that’s who.’ He was right.”

Ray was torn between going back to his mates and waiting for an outcome. He surveyed the queue of sweating bodies snaking towards the shop, away across the sand. “I mean, Not much of a banquet, is it? Seaweed?”

“Aye. That was a joke as well. Ray, is it? Wait a minute, Ray.” The chef picked up a battered metal cone megaphone from behind one of the skips and bellowed through it. “Hernandez! Hernandez! Get yersel’ here, yah bastard!”

The tatty flag fluttered a little and Ray read it. Then his eyes moved over the kilt. “Jock Turpin. Are you Scottish, then?”

“No, no, no. I come frae Belgium. Mah father was a highwayman.” Turpin screamed again. “Hernandez!” Then he turned back to Ray. “He’s an immigrant, the lazy wee twat.”

“Oh, I see, mate, one of them, eh? I voted Brexit.”

“Aye, ye did, did you? Well, his ma and dad were born in Andover, so they were. I’ll kick his arse if he disnae get here soon.”

A small man, with dark, sallow features, panted hard as he approached them, scoring the sand with the filthy sack he dragged behind him. He made the trestle table and tipped the contents at the feet of the chef.

Out tumbled a tangle of damp, stinking bladderwrack. It festered between Ray and the flames. Several creatures scurried from within the heap and made towards shade, but as they did, Hernandez picked up a shovel and smashed them repeatedly with an air of sadness. “The seaweed I have, master,” he hissed, “these creatures, good eating, you want?”

“Fuck off, yah bastard, we’re not shite-hawks. Here, Ray? How much weed d’ye want?”


“Oh, no. Dinnae say that. Hernandez has gone to all this trouble for you. I’ll give you some for a couple of pound. In any case, if you don’t eat some, I’ll have to lash Hernandez twenty times about the scrotum. That’s the law now we’re out of Europe.” Jock Turpin shovelled a large amount of damp weed on top of the flames and thick grey smoke billowed skywards. “D’ye want limpets with it?”

“No thanks, mate. I’ll just have it as it comes.”

“It comes with limpets.”

“Is that a joke, too?” Ray looked hopeful.

“No. They’re a bastard to pick out. They stick to the rocks.”

The bladderwrack flamed, crisped and blackened. The chef reached for a polystyrene tray, a wooden chip fork and shovelled a generous portion inside. “Two pounds.”

“I don’t want it. It’s got pebbles in it.”

Jock Turpin blinked thoughtfully. He reached for a salt shaker and some vinegar and applied the contents liberally to the smouldering tray. “There yah go. Two pounds and seventy five.”

“No. I’ve changed me mind, mate.”

“Hernandez! Get behind that shit-house, bend over and prepare yerself for the scrotum crop!”

Hernandez’ walnut face blinked and his lips quivered. “No, master. I beg of you. I bring good seaweed. Chinese delicacy. Just as the gentleman wishes. Plenty good nutrition. Plenty good limpets.”

Ray had heard enough. “All right, all right, pass it here, for Gawd’s sake.” He glowered at the weeping Hernandez and passed some loose change across the table, taking the carton and fork. Gingerly he raised it to his mouth and shovelled some in. His scowl changed to a look of interest, then surprise as he chewed. “Hmm. It’s all right this, though, isn’t it?”

“Wait!” shouted Turpin. “I’ve not put the brown powder on it. You cannae eat seaweed without the brown powder!” Turpin grabbed a different shaker with wider holes and shook some gritty dust over the top of the weed.

“Jesus Christ! Is that sand?” Ray spat his third mouthful out in disgust. “Bloody hell!’ His face contorted in pain as he gnawed grit.

“Aye, so it was. A Beijing delicacy. Hernandez!”

“Yes, master?”

“Bring the customer some napkins, quick. Ah think he’s going to chuck.”

Hernandez scurried into the concrete block and returned with a well used roll of tanned toilet paper, “Here, master!”

But Ray was not to be consoled. He clutched his belly. His face contorted; he doubled at the waist, wailing, ‘Oh my God, my bladder! My bladder! You’ve brought on my irritable bowel syndrome!” Writhing in agony, he grabbed the paper and headed for the concrete interior of the toilet block.

There was an echoing scream. A loud splash. Silence.

The two men looked at each other for a moment. It might have been astonishment, it might have been conspiracy. Finally, Turpin spoke. “How much money did we make today, Hernandez, yah wee shite?”

“Four pounds, thirty two pence and two euros, master!”

“Quick, let’s leg it!”

“No. wait, master. We must cover up hole. Put planks back in shit-house. Police, they notice plenty good. They see into pit of turds and piss. They know much.”

“Aye, you’re right, Hernandez, yah cannae be too careful. Good thinking.”

“Thank you, master. Advise we use seaweed to conceal secret of pit?” Hernandez gestured at the remaining bladderwrack, knotted on the sand. Turpin nodded in agreement.

The sun still beat upon the sand, glaring at two men who hurried into the piss coloured white of the concrete block, laden with weed and dragging driftwood planks into the dark interior. It still watched as a bare chested, kilted figure and his diminutive companion scurried down the beach, away from the snaking ice cream queue and towards the bus stop chuckling. Perhaps it caught their words as they boarded.

“Four more pounds. Soon, Hernandez, we will have enough to return home. Brexit this shit-hole, that’s for sure.”

“Yes, master. I long for the Andover.”

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Train Of Thought

Train of Thought

I remember Adlestrop and all the birds in Gloucestershire.

Some birds they were.

In France, you know, they write ‘Fumer Tue’ on the packets of cigarettes and cigars.
You could add ‘S’ and smoke every Tuesday, if you felt like it.

Banner stamped across discarded fingernail slashed-open fag packets. You’d push past fuming French locals and corner le buraliste in the Tabac with a cheery ‘vingt fumer tue s’il vous plait’ for maximum impact. Made us chuckle.

Platform starts. Shhhh. Sign, sign, sign, sign, sign, sigh.  Platform ends.

The stations slide past. How long now? Only an empty chair opposite; impossible to get a time check. The train speeds but the hours drag. No flirt material, nobody to cannon off, nobody to eye up momentarily in the reflective glass every time the locomotive needles a cutting, breasts a bridge or bores through tunnelled earth.

Oh well.

Flick through the paper; uninteresting news at best. The economy. Brink of disaster; banks are an all time low as the Somerset levels drown in a vat of  home made cider, no haycocks dry; Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and all those birds drowning. Wading back is as tedious as turning over. Flick. Flick. Station. Flick. Flick.

We’re flying now. Flying? Join the mile high club, form an orderly queue, enter and exit, reeking of detergent. Adjust your flies, check your zip.

Sex on a train, why not? Pitch, roll and yaw; sway your hips to avoid the snapdragon toilet seat from guillotining your manhood. And at the very moment of climax, the rap at the door: ‘Tickets please. Going all the way?’ Well it would have been nice.

Here he comes with his clippie, snippy, metal stampy. Weaving his way; interlacing the seats. Adenoidal announcement: ‘All passengers from Dunchurch, next stop, Adlestrop’. Bolt for the toilets, mate! Scarper, quick! Pretend to be sick! Have a cheeky Fumer Tue, arses clenched, holding the door, fumbled fingers, until the danger has passed.

But it is past.

So instead I shrug the valid ticket over for its third inspection and scan the crossword for ironic clues, bereft of forgotten chuckles in the loos. 

This time he waits, though, perhaps for the first time clocking two scarves bannering down from the rack. He frowns a scowl at the contrary empty seat and mutters: ‘Wolverhampton. The game is it?’

Yes - always Wolverhampton.