Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cut and thrust in a gastro-pub in London

"Two halves of Star please."
"You from The Cock?"
"Yeah" smiles
"Chef there aint'cha?"
"Wanna leave?"
"We sacked our chef last night..."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Welcome to England, have a nice day (II)

Tall guy; big, wide, tall guy. Stack of snow-white hair. Belly lunges precariously over his trousers. Shambolic English academic. Looks like his pieces - head, arms, hair - were tossed in the shed and, over time, rusted together in a more-or-less human shape. Stands stock-still. Rummages in a shoulder bag (fabric, stuffed full of papers, may contain a laptop).

As I pass he mutters, sotto voce, "Gis' a kiss darlin'"

Hampstead Heath

Welcome to England, have a nice day (I)

Large, white rooms. Wide, long, low ceilings. The wide width and long length intimidate the human occupant. He suffers a creepy, creeping feeling. Not noticeable at first. The subject is crushed by the low ceiling. Without knowing, he is at his most vulnerable.

The low hum of machinery. An shrill warning siren. Old people ferried by a buggy: the kind you'd find in the lair of a down-on-his-luck Bond villain. Driver: glum, overweight, older than his mid-fifties deserve. Beard: muddy white. Eyes: disfigured by glasses. A Santa hat clings to his skull like a popped balloon.

Gatwick Airport

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Blind fury

At Madrid airport, boarding calls are not announced over the PA system; instead passengers must check the information screens regulalarly. Roughly every ten minutes, this policy is announced over the PA system. There are fewer furious blind people than might be expected.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bush, Blair declare war on explosions

Following the explosion which rocked Luton early Sunday morning George W. Bush and Tony W Blair have openly declared war on explosions, the "scourge of the modern age" as one commentator put it.

Mr Blair took the opportunity of a pre-arranged speech to the Scarborough Women's Institute to emphasise the solid stance of America and Britain in the war against explosionists.

"We are bound together as never before. And this coming together provides us with unprecedented opportunity but also makes us uniquely vulnerable," he said to a packed audience.

"And the threat comes because in another part of our globe there is shadow and darkness, where not all the world is free, where many millions suffer under brutal bangs, and where a fanatical strain of religious explosionism has arisen. We have to tackle this at every level."

In a bold speech to Congress earlier today, Mr Bush declared, "America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against explosions. Our war on explosions begins with Luton, but it does not end there. It will not end until every explosion-doer has been found, stopped and defeated."

The Pentagon today began distributing Top Trumps cards of the world's biggest explosions to help win the hearts and minds of the man on the street in the new campaign. An interactive list of the biggest explosions in the world compiled by our team of keen-as-mustard, eighteen-year-old experts in the proliferation of world explosionism can be found here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

As Jesus is my butcher

1 - a young man at the counter

"No not that bit, can you cut it from another piece?"
Jesus: "What are you talking about?"
"That bit's too fatty, can you find me a piece with less fat"
Jesus: "The fat's good for you."
"I don't want it"
Jesus: "...gives it flavour"
"Just cut it from another piece."
Jesus: Sighs

2 - a mother shops for her family

"Whoah, stop there,"
Jesus: "What?"
"Stop there, that's fine."
Jesus: "What?"
"That's fine, we'll never eat all that"
Jesus: "You will"
"We won't"
Jesus: "You will"
[warning tone] "Jesus..."
Jesus[shakes head]: "O-kay"

These were two conversations overheard at my butcher's, who is called Jesus. This is not so odd in Spain (in fact, I once met a man called Jesus Maria El Salvador - "the saviour" - who'd been born on 25 December).

The vegetable shop round the corner is called Hermanos Polla, which means "Cock Brothers". It's one thing to be called Mr Cock: quite another to go into business with your brother and use the family name.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Saddam: hanging's too good for him

What a blighter! Fancy turning up to court without a tie! They're better off without a slob like that. No wonder he won't show his face today; embarrassed no doubt.

Probably the kind of yahoo that would light a cigar before coffee.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Romantic gift

Not sure what to give that special lady in your life?

Buy her a false eye and when you give it to her say, "In case someone steals the diamonds in your eye and...like...y'know...you wouldn't be able to see so...er...I got yer...geddit?"

Putty in your hands, my brothers.