Tuesday, October 06, 2015


I just realised this photo of Wilson doing a footplant is a meme in the making. So I memed it up. Memed it up good.

You're welcome.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Friday, October 02, 2015

Harry Potter Facts!

I bloody love Harry Potter. He's ace. But did you know...?

At one point during his Hogwarts career, Potter was nothing but a badly-drawn floating head, the result of a prank by noted dickheads, the Weasley Twins

The Sorting Hat is not magical at all, and is simply Dumbledore throwing his voice. The tell-tale signs are the fact that it's actually "Bryffindor", and one first year found himself assigned to "Gottle of Geer" house.

The original challenges in the Tri-Wizard Tournament were:
  • Cancelling a LinkedIn account
  • Running through a council estate in Middlesbrough in full wizard costume shouting "I do believe in fairies, I do, I do"
  • Kicking Professor Snape up the arse

The unpublished last page of book seven reveals Harry still living under the stairs at the Dursleys at 4 Privet Drive, making up the adventures in his head to dampen the fear of Uncle Vernon's nightly visits. [It's not what you think - Uncle Vernon just wants Harry to fix his laptop because it's running so slowly with Windows 95 these days, and hardly connects to the internet and somebody obviously hacked those photos Mrs Dursley found]
Here's next year's Defence Against The Dark Arts master

The correct pronunciation of Hermione is HER-MEE-OWN. JK Rowling says she will "personally shit up" people who insist on calling her HER-MY-ONNY. "I just wish I had called her Jo," says JK, "It's so much easier to type. Like Ron."

Butter Beer is dead people. Additionally, you can fight off Death Eaters by offering them a Happy Meal

Mention Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross station and the kiddiewinks love it. But tell them about the magical place in the third cubicle down in the gents' toilets at Paddington, and you get an ASBO

The popular Nimbus 2000 broomstick has been grounded after it emerged that Nimbus falsified the diesel emissions test over a period of 20 years. The Firebolt has also lost its flight certification due to a poor safety record, leaving many wizards with no choice but to walk

Noted dickheads the Weasley Twins think Dapper Laughs is "a ledge"

Dumbledore once magicked a Hufflepuff inside out "for shits and giggles" one night in a drunken bet with Professor McGongall. They never speak of it.

SPOILER! Everybody knows that He Who Cannot Be Named used the anagram "Tom Marvolo Riddle" to disguise his true identity of "I am Lord Voldemort". However, an original name for the character was Uesless Tawt, for which there are no known anagrams

Owls are actually really shit at delivering post, especially if you run a mail order small rodent business, as noted dickheads the Weasley Twins found out to their cost

A defeated Draco Malfoy gave up magic altogether, and is now personally in charge of all UK Job Centres. Noted dickheads the Weasley Twins are his assistants

Despite his heroics that sprang from his years at Hogwarts (still a 'failing' school in its latest OFSTED report due to all the hideously twisted and painful deaths in Dark Arts classes) Harry still says his greatest feat was being winked at by a naked lady in one of the paintings in the staff lounge
In the Harry Potter universe, salt and vinegar crisps come in a yellow packet, which is a blasphemy unto all right-thinking people

Let's hear it for Harry Potter!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Hazel at 21

Me first-born is 21-years-old today, and - contrary to what you might think - it's not my style to put up embarrassing photos of the former Scaryduckling as a toddler.

So here's one of her as a grown-up.

She's currently going up and down skyscrapers in New York (a parental birthday present), so I can get away with not sending a card for a couple of days. Despite my parental input, she's turned into an intelligent and caring young person, and I'm terribly proud of her. In fact, the same goes for Adam as well.

Happy birthday, young lady.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The stupidest YouTube video I have ever seen, and by God I've seen a few

The Huffington Post prods me towards this video, in which a self-styled Malawian 'prophet' proves he has the God-given ability to walk on air.

Let's see how well his claim stands up, shall we?


Because nobody's hiding behind the sofa, nor did anybody sneak in through the double doors which are suspiciously ajar at the end of the sequence. That's just the holy spirit hurrying off to perform his next miracle.

Of course, there's one thing these men of God need to learn: HOLD THE CAMERA IN LANDSCAPE, for the love of ...err... God.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Some pictures from a Florence + The Machine Concert

I went to a Florence + The Machine concert last week, and it was all rather enjoyable. In fact, that's such a solid quote, you can have that as a call-out quote on your next long-player, Flo.

"All rather enjoyable" --- The internet's Alistair Coleman

I took some pictures. They're on iPhone, so your mileage may vary. We start with the most important piece of kit at any concert:

The sound man has a kettle. I repeat: The sound man used a kettle to make himself a nice cup of tea.
She's in there, honest.
Fuck this person in particular
"They haven't aged a day. Einstein was right." ... "Einstein was probably one of them"
New York, London, Paris, Munich // Everybody talk about...
OK, I was miles back
Meanwhile, my daughter Hazel was at the very front and got this photo. This is what happens when you get to a gig six hours before the doors open.

Ooh, pretty
The messy aftermath. Also, I've found Wally
Pop music, eh? That was the third best gig I've ever been to. Up your game, Florence.

[Outisde, I was offered hooky merchandise, a prostitute and balloons of nitrous oxide within twenty yards of leaving the venue. London is aces. Weird and aces.]

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Perfect Lunch Box and A Mailshot to the Heart

To the Science Museum in London, where among the trains, boats, planes and spaceships comes this - the perfect lunchbox.

I think you will agree that this is SCIENCE at the cutting edge of human knowledge. Lunch comes out, poo goes in, poo gets taken home to generate electricity to cook tomorrow's lunch. Just be careful to eat out of the right side of the lunchbox, that's all.

Then home to find this hideous mailshot to my heart waiting for me on the doormat.

"Plan for your retirement NOW!" it implores me, urging me to visit their newly-built facility in Fleet town centre. I am forty-something years old, the cheeky bastard.

But - what-ho! - what is this on the front?

Aside from the silver-haired temptress on the front cover of their glossy brochure (they really do know their way to a man's groin heart) comes the promise of a £10 M&S voucher just for turning up.

Ten pounds from M&S is nothing to be sneezed at - that's nearly two pairs of socks these days, or slightly over one pair of pants. Exactly what the new boy in Fleet's finest retirement complex should be wearing while schmoozing round the day room, and I immediately resolve: "Yep, I'm having some of that".

I bet there's a catch.

"M&S voucher offer open to over-60s only."


Friday, September 18, 2015

Root Beer: A Warning From History

Just say "NO", kids
For years - and I really do mean years - my son has expressed a desire to try out root beer. I suppose it's the name - it sounds "cool" and it has the word "beer" in it and it's a part of American culture that just hasn't taken root over here, pun not intended.

He's now 19, and when I saw it on the international shelf in Tesco last week, I parted with far too much money to buy a bottle, direct from the bottom of a swamp somewhere in the continental USA.

So, on a recent dad-and-son evening, we slapped on a film [Interstellar. SPOILER: It's very very long, mainly because you're watching from outside of the black hole], and popped the cap on the bottle and tried root beer for the first time.

SPOILER: Don't bother waiting over ten years to try root beer. Buy a bottle of Listerine, put it through and sodastream, then drink. Then enjoy the rest of the day with minty-fresh breath, knowing that you've experienced the worst that it can actually get.

America, you're a disgrace. Root beer? Shit beer, more like.

Today's task: Soaking cardboard in toilet water and comparing the results in a direct taste test with Hershey Bars. We fully expect the cardboard to be the winner.

UPDATE: "I actually kind of liked it," says Adam. Gulp.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn versus the National Anthem

New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn can't get a break from the more rabid sections of the press, and this time it's because he didn't sing along to the National Anthem at a Battle of Britain memorial event.

Some say he lacks respect for the war veterans - which is fair enough but besides the point as he actually turned up to the event in the first place - but I says why should an atheist republican sing a song about an invisible sky fairy prolonging the hereditary monarchy? If he truly disrespected the monarchy, he'd be doing Nescafe Handshakes throughout.

This whole non-story would be a complete non-story if we went down the Spanish route and had a national anthem that had no words whatsoever. Then Jeremy - and the whole country - can keep their mouths shut and nobody can ever use the excuse that they don't know the words to all five verses.

But what tune to choose? Billy Connolly always thought that the theme tune to The Archers was a good idea, because it's quite jolly, epitomises middle England, and anyone who doesn't join in for the "rum-te-tum-te-tum-te-tum" bit in the middle is a traitor.

That's all well and good, but The Archers is a bit - you know - posh, and our culture has moved on since Billy came up with the idea.

So here are a few suggestions of my own:

  • The theme from Countdown - And anyone who doesn't do the duhduh-duhdudh-duddly-duh-POOO! at the end is a traitor

  • The theme from Grandstand - And anyone who doesn't do the BOOOOONG! in the middle is a traitor

  • The theme from Dr Who (classic 1970s version) - And anyone who doesn't go "Oooo-eee ooooh!" is a traitor

  • The theme from EastEnders - And anyone who doesn't do the Doof Doofs is a traitor

While these suggestions are all TV theme-heavy (a great way to connect with our television-obsessed population), they are also very useful as a means of rooting out traitors who refuse to say "BOOOOONG!" at the appropriate part.

They also help footballers, such as Wayne Rooney who appears to have problems with the current anthem, where most of the words are "God" and "Save" and "the" and "Queen".

Queen: "I'm going to shit you up, Corbyn. Shit. You. Up."
 Let's face it, the Queen and God - after 63 years - have probably got the message on the whole saving thing by now.

You'd better watch out, Corbyn. Watching you.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crap cars: Walter White's terrible Pontiac Aztek

Several years ago, I made a list of crap cars to decide which was the worst one ever. I have no memory of what came out bottom, but I'd be very disappointed if it wasn't the Chrysler PT Cruiser, a vehicle which screams "The owner of this car is a terrible wanker!" at passers-by*. I've never seen a passenger in a PT Cruiser that is anything less than faintly embarrassed to be in a car that should only be driven by commercial radio DJs.

But that's until I started catching up with Breaking Bad recently and clapped eyes on Walter White's 2004 Pontiac Aztek. Now, there's the pinnacle of dreadful car making, from a country that really knows how to churn out dreadful cars.

The Aztek can only be the result of design by committee, the committee comprising five-year-olds tasked with drawing pictures of cars until a nice one came out. Or one that just had a wheel on each corner and looked a bit like a jelly mould.

I'm hardly one to talk, as I drive a Nissan Micra K.11, but that back end looks like they ran out of ideas on a sunny Friday afternoon, and decided to knock off early. I would too, if I'm going to be perfectly honest.

It's such a crushingly awful motor, it even turns up in American Dad.

So, beige or grey. Other colours were available, but as the old saying goes: You can't polish a turd.

I am aware that there are many other dreadful cars on our roads, but the Pontiac Aztek - which (thankfully) never made it across the Atlantic in the way the PT Cruiser did - is a clear winner.

The search for the crappest car never ends.One of my neighbours drives what seems to be a canary yellow Smart Car knock-off that looks and sounds like a sewing machine that just about manages 25mph up the very, very slight incline past our house. Once I have established what kind of new horror is roving the streets of Fleet (I doubt if it would manage to go much further), I shall report back.

*Except for people who are my friends who own one, because my rules.