Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Upon Arriving

Place time in a box. Seal. Wrap the box in shiny, brightly-coloured paper. Leave.
            Get on with life. Gradually forget all about the box. Forge a career; raise a family. Look forward. Look forward. Look forward. Resolve. Determine. Succeed. Wave farewell to the family, one by one by one. Realize the career is at an end.
            Notice the silence.
            Stand still for the first time in decades.
            Discover a box wrapped in shiny, brightly-coloured paper; all covered in dust. Slowly and carefully unwrap the shiny, brightly-coloured paper. Open the box.
            Find the time which you had saved for yourself. Wonder at the smallness of the box.


Monday, 29 August 2011

The Five Minute Interview: A Homeopath Answers Your Questions

In a new series of “Five Minute Interviews”, we give a platform to people who are sometimes misunderstood. This week… Homeopaths.

Interviewer: In one word, could you explain how homeopathy works?

Homeopath: Quackery.

I: Does homeopathy actually work?

H: Quack. Quacks quackest quacked.

I: Potentization; is it really that simple?

H: Quackers quacky quack quack, quacked quacks quacking.

I: What does it mean to say that water has memory?

H: Quack quack quackety-quack quack quack. Quack? Quack quacking quackery quacks quacked.

I: How do you interpret the results of double-blind testing on the efficacy or otherwise of homeopathy?

H: Quackest! Quackerization quack quacky quack quack quack quacking quack.

I: In our “Five Minute Interviews”, the last word always goes to our interviewee. So, if there’s anything you feel we haven’t given you an opportunity to explain about homeopathy, here’s your chance. Take it away!

H: Quack quack quack quack  quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack…

fergusthepoet was interviewing the ghost of Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy.

Next week, he interviews the unrepentant mullet-fan, Bono, who defends his decision to sport a mullet at “Live Aid”, and how the embarrassment and shame of doing so sent him into hiding for two years. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Excerpts from “The Dictionary of the Meaning of Randomly-Generated Computer Verification Codes”

For St Splendiferata of Clubland, Patron Saint of Exceptional Spectacles

It is a widely held misconception that randomly-generated computer verification codes are simply randomly-generated computer verification codes. The truth, however, lies in that all-important word code. As my grandfather, who worked in Bletchley Park as part of the Enigma Code-breaking team in the Second World War (until he was sent to Archangel for trying to send an uncensored letter to my grandmother), would have said: “Every code has a translation.”

Here, then, as a taster from the book, are the translations of the top fourteen verification codes:

ausibidzhou – hendiadys

ephisiatrefults – inyanga

dtdm – chape

ovceputhe – bagnio

common imishe – macaronic kniphofia

chaptergsumst – draff

drewmockst – stridulate

slippermanadminat – plication

syllaickinkee – oedema

readantiexactness – homoousian

aduamabridge – lyddite

rationitursed – frumenty

dlincitdry – bedel

servicesatescb – ambuscade

So – now when these oft-used randomly-generated computer codes appear on your screen, you’ll know exactly what they mean! 

If you want a fully comprehensive list of translations, then why not buy “The Dictionary of the Meaning of Randomly-Generated Computer Verification Codes”? (Publisher: The Man Whose Head Was Turning Into A Beard Books)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Blog 101

1.       Pandas (obviously).
2.      Teaspoons.
3.      Plans.
4.      Mozart.
5.      Lethal kitchen knives from Asda.
6.      42 candles on a cake.
7.      Karol Rimsky-Korsakov Rachmaninov Tchaikovsky.
8.      The Book Which Will Provide You with Wisdom.
9.      Politicians.
10.   Shoes.
11.    Pet Nazis.
12.   Mittens knitted from the wool of the lost sheep.
13.   Audrey Basket.
14.   Paths.
15.   Nominal Determinism.
16.   Rattlesnake Scarves.
17.   Gravitas.
18.   Punctuation Telepathy.
19.   The Cold War Comeback Tour.
20.  Jumper Cakes.
21.   Dinosaur Tables.
22.  E minor.
23.  Nasties.
24.  Nasty Jefferson Face.
25.  Xonxy-xanxies.
26.  A Particulated Grabbled Hooks’natchh.
27.  The sound of a whale being taught French by a Polynesian hat manufacturer.
28. All Work and No Play.
29. Quite a Large Mountain.
30. The Man Who Heard Voices for a Living.
31.  Get Lost Peter.
32. Tarquin.
33. The Elephant in the Room.
34. Dogerils.
35.  The Klingondom of Gob.
36. An Impatient Fireplace.
37.  Porcelain Hands.
38.  Sharkie-Naughties.
39.  Metastasis.
40. Dysfunctional Venetian Blinds.
41.   Cups of Tea.
42.  No. 42.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Final Blog Entry

The first few people who comment on this blog entry (on Facebook or in the sparsely populated 'comments' section) will be shown the meaning of life and then elevated to the status of Sainthood within the Church of the Latter Day Saints of Kenneth "Chinook-Helicopter" Christ, where you will receive a special name (NB Names and sainthoods cannot be exchanged for cash).

As I opened up my fergusthepoet email box today to find a telegram hand-written (in orange crayon; life’s full of surprises) from the Queen, it dawned on me that this is the 100th Blog.
            So, to all my 14 “Followers” (I am, after all, trying to start a religion, for which I gather that 12 is the minimum – so thumbs up to that idea) – HAPPY BLOGDAY! And to the countless several others who sporadically or even religiously (to whom: you may want to join up just as soon as I’ve thought of an eye-catching symbol and a few Commandments) read this blog… thank you all for allowing these pages to grace your screen.
            My original plan had been to write 100 blogs, publish them as “The Kenneth Chinook-Helicopter Songbook, Vol. 1: The A-sides”, ascend to heaven in a winged Citroen C1 and then return when all the complicated business of establishing the Church of Kenneth Christ had been finished. The task completed, I would then return so that I could reveal “The Kenneth Chinook-Helicopter Songbook, Vol. 2: B-sides and Rarities” to a confused illiterate person, before ascending once again, this time on a Supermagic Celestial Jetski, piloted by Dipsomania Bonanza, in order to spend the rest of eternity listening to Johnny Marr explaining how he played the guitar part to “Suffer Little Children” while I knowingly stirred a cup of tea with a magic teaspoon.
            But now that I come to think of it, it’s a rather flawed plan, and besides, I can’t be arsed.

Blog 101 will therefore take place soon, despite its rather portentous title. Thus, although the title of this entry is "The Final Blog Entry" it is not, in fact, the final blog entry despite actually being "The Final Blog Entry". 

Monday, 22 August 2011


Armed with only a sawn-off double-barrelled surname, Intelligentsia Love-Removal-Machine  marvelled at her dyscalculia.
            “Stand and deliverance!” she yelled at a Baptist Minister. “Give me all your money for nothing in this life is free to do as we tell you were made for me… or Kenneth’s teaspoons will be unleashed!”
            Intelligentsia found her role as Kenneth Chinook-Helicopter’s stunt girlfriend somewhat tedious. “This one’s for Johnny Marr!” she shouted, in a joke which only one person would get, as she hurled a Tiger Mother on the fire to see what colour she was when she burned. Stupidity, with a hint of orange. So it goes.
            Elsewhere a giant four-poster panda was arguing with his fate.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Interpreting Your Dreams

Interpreting your dreams is now accepted as the most reliable method for dealing with everything. In the first of a one-part series, Dr. Chakra Charlatan comments on some of the commonest dreams and offers his scientifically-proven interpretations.

  1. I keep on dreaming that I can fly. What does this mean?

Interpretation: You can fly; we all can – just believe in yourself (NB Try and get a good run up first).

  1. I keep on dreaming that my teeth are falling out. What does this mean?

Interpretation: You need to change your car.

  1. I dreamt that I was in a car crash. What does this mean?

Interpretation: Your teeth have all fallen out.

  1. I dreamt that I died. I have heard it said many times that if you die in your dreams that you die in real life. What does this mean?

Interpretation: You are now a zombie.

  1. I keep dreaming that I am back at school sitting my A’Levels but I can’t remember the answers as it’s twenty-four years since I sat them. What does this mean?

Interpretation: You are 42 and your name is Nautilus Beanfeast (unless it isn’t).

  1. I keep dreaming that I’m going to win “Britain’s Got Talent”. I have heard that if I can dream it, I can do it. How do I make this dream come true?

Interpretation: Become Scottish.

  1. I dreamed a dream in times gone by. What does this mean?

Interpretation: You are Susan Boyle. You’ve already won Britain’s Got Talent, proving once again that it hasn’t.

  1. I dreamt about you last night, and I fell out of bed twice. What does this mean?

Interpretation: Johnny Marr’s magic teaspoon.

  1. I dreamt that I wrote a letter to a blog asking a fake guru to interpret my dreams. What does this mean?

Interpretation: Get a life.

  1. I dreamt that someone I know owned a rollercoaster. What does this mean?

Interpretation: Such a person is clearly only after your £10 notes.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Malfeasance of The Rt. Hon. Lady Micturata de Rigeur

Deciduous alopecia was a familial problem which strategically struck the female members of the de Rigeurs, and the youthful Lady Micturata fell prey to it on the journey to her debutante’s ball in Hanover Square. A mere eighteen-years-old, her lustrous auburn hair began to take on the appearance of a New England forest in the Fall: all golds, oranges, reds and yellows. Very picturesque in a New England forest in the Fall; less so on the head of a hopeful debutante. A deliberately highlighted autumnal hairstyle is all very amusing when framing the gormless fizzog of Ms. Hoi Polloi from the lower orders, but is too, too infra dignitatem for the occasion of a serious Deb on her coming out into society.
            Lady Micturata had been warned by her mater that this might happen; her grandmother, so it had been explained to her, had suffered the same fate just prior to her coming out, and Lady Micturata’s mama had been struck on the morning of her wedding day.
            By the time Lady Micturata’s journey had reached its half-way point, her deciduous hair had started to fall out; all very wistful and poignant for a New England forest; less attractive in a girl of eighteen. Coinciding with a pause at the traffic lights, Lady Micturata considered the actions taken by her grandmother some forty-two years previously: stop the cab outside No. 42, Sloane Square, rush in, expertly purloin a wig from one of the shop window dummies, and carry on as normal. What had been a simple operation for Granny de Rigeur was slightly more problematical for Lady Micturata, for No. 42, Sloane Square had kept its doors resolutely bolted since one of their shop-window dummies had developed its own, mysterious case of alopecia some 42 years previously.
            “Wait here,” instructed Lady Micturata, as she alighted onto the pavement, armed with a rear-seat fire extinguisher and shedding deciduous hair like a New England horse chestnut tree in a gale.
            Without any thought for the consequences, Lady Micturata hurled the makeshift red missile towards the glass frontage of No. 42, Sloane Square, ran in, grabbed an auburn wig, and leapt back rowards her waiting stretch limo.
            But disaster! Lady Micturata felt a burly hand on the shoulder of her fur coat.
            “And where do you think you’re going with that, young lady?”

                                    *                      *                      *

Several financial transactions later, and Lady Micturata was in the clear. However, he acute embarrassment and shame of having been apprehended by the law was as nothing compared to the potential damage the incident could do to the future political career of Lady Micturata, for once she had graduated from Oxford and served a few years at Uncle Bertram’s PR firm in the City, Lady Micturata had set her heart on a seat in the House of Commons (renouncing her title had been considered and even accepted); and now this future, in one reckless action, was turned to ashes.
            There was only one course of action to take.

                                    *                      *                      *

Two years later than expected, Lady Micturata de Rigeur went up to take her place at Oxford, but under a new guise; with a new alias; a new identity. A new sex.
            And thus it was that a fresh-faced, be-wigged and slightly shiny foreheaded figure entered through the hallowed portal of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.

His friends would eventually come to know him as: “Dave”.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Physio-Therapist was Tess of the D’Urbevilles

In a surprise which even I couldn’t have foreseen (I had read the daily horoscope and so was pretty mush prepared for anything, even a riot), my son’s physio-therapist, so it transpired, was Tess of the D’Urbevilles. I sat in mute amazement (a common feature of my life), as Miss D’Urbevilles, or, actually, Durbeyfield, put him through his paces to alleviate his acute tendonitis. “Do you have any questions?” she asked at the end of the forty-five minute session.
            “Didn’t they hang you?” I asked.
            “It was alluded to,” she muttered. “But I think you’ll find that the grisly details were left to the reader’s imagination.”
            I thought about this for a second. Although I had studied the book at both A’Level and university (what? That book again? Noooo!), and had thus learned to loathe it with a passion normally reserved for the likes of Bon Jovi, the last thing which I remembered about the book, now that I came to think about it, was something to do with Salisbury and Stonehenge and Tess having been reunited with the dreadful Angel Claire (sp?), waiting to be apprehended by the rozzers, rather than running off to the new world (again, in Angel’s case); so I felt that Tess was perhaps right about this ending. (I can’t be sure and am unable to check the reference for you as I threw my dog-eared, much annotated and despised copy away in about 1993.)
            The obvious question, of course, was what the bloody hell was the fictional character of Tess of the D’Urbevilles doing working as a physio-therapist at the health centre in Kidderminster?
            “But you’re not real,” I said, “so how come you are?”
            “If enough people believe in you, you become real,” she explained.
            “That’s rubbish,” I said, rather rudely
            “No, I read it in a Terry Pratchett novel,” she countered.
            “Yes, but that’s just a weak device he uses to explain the existence of Gods; it doesn’t carry much weight in the real world. Jean-Paul Sartre believed that he was being followed around Paris by a giant lobster and used to drag Simone de Beauvoir around café after café in an attempt to avoid being caught by it; just because he believed there was a lobster didn’t make the lobster materialize.”
            “But that was only one person believing; if lots of people believe it, then it can, in a sense, become real.”
            “You’re very profound for a milk-maid turned physio-therapist.”
            “I’ve had a lot of time to think about it.”
            “How long, exactly?” I asked.
            “It all really kicked off with the film adaptation starring Julie Christie.”
            “That was Far From the Madding Crowd,” I interjected. Bloody Thomas Hardy; I’d had to study him at AO’Level as well.
            Tess blushed, and it was at that moment, as I almost felt a twinge of sympathy for the dastardly Alec D’Urbevilles and resisted the urge to light a cigar or offer her a strawberry (I had neither to hand), that my bored ten-year-old son asked if we could leave.

Next week, The Man Who Came to Fit the Blinds was Tom Gradgrind

Thursday, 11 August 2011

To Mr Dave Cameron!

The Charred House,
Chifflesley Wibblet,
WY0 0Y0Y

11th August 2011

10, Drowning Street,

Dear Honourable Mr Dave/-id Cameron,

Your brave, indignant and honourable stand against the menace of pre-pubescent criminals who inhabit this benighted isle of ours has been an inspiration to almost everyone I’ve met since I accidentally caught the tail-end of your stirring words on the midday news bulletin on Talk Sport Radio yesterday, when I was down at “The Rioting Teacher’s Assistant” (formerly, “The Lamb and Flag”). We all know that you’ve only managed to be a weak and ineffectual Prime Minister so far, but the odds are against you, so hats off to you and your new-found honourable righteousness.
            I’m all for a bit of honourable youth discipline, and who better to deliver it than you? Your mildly adenoidal but posh voice, so redolent of an annoyed and particularly ineffectual Geography teacher, strikes just the sort of mildly chastising tone which our fearsome enemy, Ms. Disaffected Youth and her boyfriend and father of her child-to-be, Master Hoodie, would listen to with great seriousness. Even the best child needs a gently firm but guiding hand during their troubling adolescent years, and thankfully for the twelve-year-old looters of this country, that hand is yours.
            A less polite and tactful person than I might have drawn parallels between the ‘sick’ youth of today and your own wanton vandalism as a former leading acolyte of The Bullingdon Club, when you used to trash the odd restaurant ‘for a laugh’. Of course, such parallels are spurious; you always paid for the damage afterwards (or, at least, the money from your father’s generous allowance did). However, I would never mention such a thing! I know my place (unlike certain individuals; I think you know who I mean).
            I have always been of the opinion that the fight against the evil criminality so endemic in our twelve-year-olds should not be the sole burden of such giants of the political and intellectual arena such as yourself and your worthy and honourable cabinet (apart from George Osborne; I’d check the date on his Birth Certificate if I were you) and to that end, here’s a generous £4.87 which you may spend as you see fit. I would have sent more, but in these straightened times, that’s all I could muster from a whip round at the local. I think it reflects the depth of feeling inspired by your words.

Show ‘em what you're made of!

Don’t forget the water cannons!

Yours in Patriotic Rage,


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

This Week’s Horrorscope

Leo: Nothing ever lasts forever, even goods which come with a three-year guarantee to break after three years. There may be a beginning or an ending and people who are powerful make decisions. Firm buttocks never won fair maiden. You will take part in a riot.

Virgo: Even when things get tough, some things are easy. All the world loves and hat-stand and Wednesday’s will be no different, especially if spelt without one wrong letter. Jesus left my bag in San Francisco. You will take part in a riot.

Libra: Walking is often good for you, unless you’re in a minefield or next to the edge of a cliff. Change occurs in the most unexpected of places and last week’s boxing match was no exception. Show them who’s boss even if it isn’t you. All this way for a free milk-free milkshake. You will take part in a riot.

Scorpio: Most people believe in fairies and that you should never punch a policeman unless there’s one of him and about seven of you and your mates. Jam comes in a variety of sizes. Hello, goodbye. You will take part in a riot.

Sagittarius: It is cloudy and clear, like lemonade or lemonade. That’s life, as your mother used to say; and Churchill. There is comfort in the safety of a budgerigar. Left-wing politics infuriate former socialists. You will take part in a riot.

Capricorn: Some people are Nazis, others are witch doctors; some people make soup for a living and other people set fire to carpet stores when the batteries run out on their gameboy. Relax. Don’t eat wasps. Free haircuts for every fish. You will take part in a riot.

Aquarius: What did you dream of last night? A woman enters a museum in Germany and discovers that everyone has to wear an extra pair of underpants in order to be admitted. The vegetable stock market grazes its knee. Dandelions grew in my back yard, which was a forty-acre estate. You will take part in a riot.

Pisces: What sort of pet did you order? The holiday of a lifetime appears to you in a vision sent by St Paul of the Immaculate Manbag. It doesn’t often happen to people wearing a safety harness. Inimitable wave sounds emanate from the back of beyond. Toothpaste decays. You will take part in a riot.

Aries: It would seem that nothing is ever perfect, but have you seen a picture of Harry and Kate’s wedding cake? It is a bad idea, but not always, as you well know from past lack of experience. Teaspoons come at a hefty price. You find divisions divisive, especially if divided by diverse diving divers. You will take part in a riot.

Taurus: Irritation, anger, frustration, annoyance, nausea, bankability, destruction, irrelevance, yellow, horse-and-cart, Mrs Simpson, cataracts, shiboleths, behemoths, mannequins, womannequins, laughter, impulsivity. Lists of words. You will take part in a riot.

Gemini: Important things are important and sometimes imported, like rice or lentils. You don’t always swim in the sea, if you catch my drift. Weak puns alert an alert mind to a weak intellect. Avoid Tuesdays. Lever-arch files make lousy motorway flyovers. You will take part in a riot.

Cancer: Don’t you sometimes? We all do, if we’re honest, and Saturday will be no exception when you are shot in the head by a catalyst. Give up smoking. Wear too much make-up. Admit that you are wrong, even about George Clooney. Wallpaper your car in a different direction. You will take part in a riot.

(from this week’s guest publication, “The Tottenham Advertiser”)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I am 42! Count my Numbers, Oh, Ye Worthless, and Despair!

for the incomparably marvellous Lord Nautilus of 42

…there are 42 vowels in the Eritrean alpahabet…
…there are 42 weeks in an argumentative year…
…at any given time, there will always be 42 condemned men in a Texan jail…
…there used to be 42 different ways to tie a cravat…
…there will be 42 endangered species left to go, “Aaah,” about in 42 years’ time…
…a rotting vegetable exudes 42 different smells in the nose of a dog…
…there are 42 ways to leave your lover, not 50 (Paul Simon – great songwriter, lousy mathematician)…
…Level 42. Why?...
…42 biscuits…
…anything with 42 calories will make you thinner by 42% over a 42-day period...
…there will always be 42 spelling mistakes in each copy of the Guardian newspaper…
…according the Guinness Book of Records, there are 42 flavours of ice-cream…
…the A-grade boundary in A’Level Media Studies is 42%...
…inside every 42 there is a free wagon wheel…
…it takes 42 compressions of a bicycle pump before you start to wish you’d bought the expensive model…
…42 miles is the furthest distance a person has ever walked before thinking, “Why the hell am I doing this?”…
…42 is the square-root of 42 squared…
…if T = radiator (magic attack) – blue rinse/minotaur; then ostrich (yesterday x music) + offending plate = indifferent wallet. Thus: 42! (and that’s the magic of pure maths)...
…42 is the world’s only aloof number…
…you need to waste 42 plastic bags before feeling guilty about the environment…
 …on any given Tuesday, there are 42 slightly whimsical and sad people wanting to marry Morrissey…
…it is illegal in 7 states of America to allow the bill in a restaurant to come to $42…
…catharthiscatharthiscatharthiscatharthiscathars – is 42 letters…
…breath in and out 42 times whilst thinking the word “happy” to become a really annoying person…
…42 trees is officially a wood…
…until 1873, the number 42 was considered by the Catholic Church to be satanic…
…if you eat 42 doughnuts within a 24-hour period, you will die from “Doughnut Shock Syndrome”…
…42 teeth? Too many…
…there are 42 reasons why you should vote Lawnmower…
…42 is an anagram of 24…
 …“to” is the 42nd word in the Hamlet Act III Scene I soliloquy…
…it takes 42 celebrities 42 interviews to make one half-intelligent observation about reality tv…
…there are 42 parallel universes for every man, woman and ferret living in Newport Pagnell…
…every 42nd person born has an invisible halo which vibrates whenever anyone says the phrase “badger intolerance”…
…the 42nd president of the USA had 42 letters in his name…
…if you have 42 pairs of shoes, then you either need to go out more often or less frequently…
…there are 42 athletes in the Belgian Olympic Squad, 42% of whom are related to Hercule Poirot…
…an orgy which has 42 naked people in it is officially a “mass” orgy…
…between 1980 and 1989, there were 42 “memorable” songs in the charts (try it)…
…it would take a total of 42 years to travel to the moon if you were travelling on a Number 19 bus (surely Number 42 bus?!)…
…there are 42 items in this entirely factually accurate list…
…HRH King Nautilus is 42 years old today; Merry Christmas Your Royal Highness…

Friday, 5 August 2011

How to be Unable to Make Custard

With profound, sincere and regrettable apologies to HC

As an expert Incompetent, I’m often asked, “How can I be unable to make …?” and the question is invariably followed by something seemingly simple like “…a cup of tea?” or “…Heinz spaghetti?” or even “…a sandwich?” Well, before we come over all smug and superior about our own supposed areas of incompetence, it would be well to remember that to be properly incompetent takes real thoughtlessness and carelessness.

I was recently asked, “How can I be unable to make custard?” and I suppose that one might think it really simple to be unable to make custard; but far from it. Custard can be bought from most supermarkets in a tin or a carton. Once home, one can simply use a tin opener or a pair of scissors to open the container and then pour the custard out. So, you see – to be unable to make this type of custard takes an unusually high degree of incompetence. One could try opening the tin with the scissors, or the carton with the tin opener, but you’ll still have custard; in order to be unable to make this sort of custard, one would have to be perhaps incompetently clumsy, and drop it on the floor; or put it in a saucepan which already contained something else (like Heinz spaghetti; or a sandwich; or a cup of tea).

To be unable to make custard from a packet requires less incompetence, and one must simply follow the golden rule for being unable to do something from a packet: never read the instructions. So, instead of adding milk, one might add water, or absent-mindedly pour in some Worcestershire sauce; if it says “Just add a pint of milk” in giant letters on the side, then incompetently add a litre. Have a go. Use your imagination and in not time at all, you will find that, with a bit of practice, you will be unable to make “powdered” custard.

For the connoisseur, though, why not use the raw ingredients for custard, as I always do? To demonstrate a high level of culinary idiocy, like all things, requires just a simple bit of knowledge and a whopping helping of ignorance, and here’s the secret to being unable to make custard: custard contains something like eggs, sugar and milk. That’s the knowledge part. And now for the ignorance: but in what quantities and how to combine them? Therein lies the key to being unable to make custard. Now, armed with both knowledge and ignorance, you can experiment with different amounts, assembling them in a different order and even different heats, etc. I once made a fantastically unsuccessful custard by failing to turn the heat on. Why? I was making cold custard, like you get from a carton/tin.

So, there you have it. The answer to the question: “How Can I Be Unable to Make Custard”

In next week’s column, I shall be considering how to answer the age old question, “Do you know the way to Redditch from here?” 


And yea verily, did the Lord thy God Almighty Racket chooseth unto himself an race of people to be an Chosen People more chosen than all the other people who would not be chosen at all and therefore not chosen unlike the Chosen People. And thus, thoughteth Thy God, of all the peoples of the world, whomso shall I chooseth? For the Lord of the Dance Gorblimey Guv’nor was an indecisive God and Indecision was his name, as well as God. And all the other names what he had choseneth for hisself, like Yahweh. And Gob. Yea, and God. And other names. And thus did God/Gob/Yahweh/other names list all of the races of the Earth which he had so far created. And this is what he saw. And he saw this. He saw the Hittites with their many chart successes; and also Canaanites, with their fetish for mild S and M; and with them also the Socialites, Stalactites, Stalagmites, Satellites and Suburbanites. And the Lawn thy Mod sayeth, “Blimey – ain’t there be any races what don’t begin with the letter ‘s’?” and he smote all of the races who baganneth with the letter “s” for they displeased him; even unto their family pets, yea, even unto their family pets’ pets, and their family pets’ pets’ pets, and their family pets’ pets’ pets’ pets, up to the twenty-fifth generation. For the Bored thy Sod is an lisping God and was displeased by their cheekiness, yea, even their pisstaking, even though they did not know they had done wrong. And thus did God smote all day long, for he was an smoting Got and he smoted as you and I breathe. And thus did he smote all the races of the Earth: even the Dynamites and the Transvestites; also the Parasites and the Hermaphrodites; and there was no exscaping for the Marmites and Frostbites, nor the Appetites or Kryptonites; the Backbites, Luddites and Meteorites cameth unto an cropper also; and the whites and the Non-whites; the Pre-requisites and the Pre-Raphaelites; the Websites, Theodolites and the yea, even the Typewrites; and, ironically, the Smites, for the Lord thy Trod is an ironic Gotcha. And he had quite forgetted whatsoever was he doing? And then the Lord thy Gone to lunch retraceth his steps and remembereth that he was not supposed to be annihilating the races of the Earth. Just yet. He was supposed to be choosing an Chosen Peoples. And thus he saw that there were only one race lefteth on the face of the Earth: the Impolites, and He choseth them, for the Lawks-a-Lordy thine Groat is an random Sod. And thus it came to pass. And it was all true because it has been written.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Act III, Scene I

To be on time, or not to be the best you can: that is the question of sport: 
Whether 'tiswas nobler in the mind of a madman to suffer fools gladly
The slings and arrows of outrageous slur on my character fortune favours the brave lads, every one of them, 
Or to take the piss arms trade against a sea of there may be troubles ahead, 
And by opposing teams end this madness now them? To die casting: to sleep like a log; 
No more, no less; and by-your-leave a sleep like a baby to say that again we end of the line 
The no more heart-ache and the one-in-a-thousand natural childbirth shocks 
That naked flesh is heir to the throne to, 'tis a consummation (Oh, Matron!)
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die like a true hero, to sleep on the sofa for the third night in a row; 
To sleep with your secretary: perchance to dream on: ay, there's the rub the lamp; 
For in that sleep of death comes to us all what dreams may come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough,
When we have shuffled this pack of cards off this mortal combat contraceptive coil, 
Must give all you can us pause the DVD: there's the respect me in the morning
That makes it okay, does  it? calamity of so long life battery; 
For who would bear the whips, chains and leather mini-skirts and scorns of time, gentlemen, please 
The oppressor's I know it’s wrong but I just can’t help myself, the proud man's contumely, 
The pangs of despised all you need is love, the law's delay due to leaves on the line, 
The insolence of my office, now, and the spurns 
That patient needs an enema merit of the unworthy piss-takes, 
When he himself might is right his quietus make peace with your creator
With a bare cheek bodkin? who would say no to an offer like that? fardels bear, 
To grunt and sweat like scene from a clichéd porn flick under a weary life means life, 
But that the dread of something for nothing after death he rose again on the third day, 
The undiscover'd pleasures country house from whose bourn identity 
No weary traveller returns counter, lateral thinking puzzles the will he won’t he?
And makes it all worthwhile us I’d rather not, if you don’t mind, bear those ills we have 
Than fly me to the moon to others that we know what you did last summer not of? 
Thus conscience does make Noel cowards of us all along the watchtower; 
And thus the native wit hue of high-resolution 
Is sicklied o'er with the pale as a ghost cast your net far and wide of thought not, 
And USS enterprises of great Scot! pith and wait a moment 
With this ring, I thee wed, regard their currents will the last person to leave please turn out the lights awry, 
And lose the name of the game action man.--Soft southern pansy you now! 
The fair enough Ophelia! Nymph-omaniac, in thy orisons 
Be all my mortal sins of the father remember'd. 

Monday, 1 August 2011

Literally No Thinking Puzzles

Fans of the idiotic love a good “Literally No Thinking Puzzle” (OED definition: a brain-teaser for people with no brain). Here, then, is a selection which I have spent many, many minutes collecting and which I guarantee will keep you amused, entertained and bored to indifference for literally seconds.

  1. A man walks into a bar. What happens next?

Clue: Ah, but does it?

I love this one, don’t you?

  1. Two goldfish. Or maybe three. What are they called?

Clue: *sharp intake of breath* Not sure you’ll need one for this… !

The simple ones are the best, don’t you think?!!

  1. A policeman walks into the library with a sabre-toothed tiger tattooed onto the inside of his left eye-lid (life-sized). When the librarian asks for his library card, he laughs and leaves. Why?

Clue: Give up now.

Aren’t we having fun?!!!

  1. A cowboy rides into town on Friday, spends one day there and leaves on Sunday. His horse is called Friday. How hard would you like to punch the twatting imbecile who considered that this was an entertaining puzzle and not simply a bland and facile pun?

Clue: Mike Tyson.

You just can’t be bored with these?!!?

  1. An Abyssinian monk gives up injecting himself with camomile tea for Lent. The next thing he knows – he’s in a lateral thinking puzzle. What colour?

Clue: Rainbow-shaped martian armchair.

Bacon not slurred!!!

  1. A Jew, an Irishman and a Sikh are working on a building site discussing various aspects of their faith. Which one was the most racist about Chinese restaurants?

Clue: Think about how they were sitting…

This one’s loads of fun!!!?

  1. The President of the USA accidentally presses the big red button. There is only one thing he can say which will prevent the nuclear annihilation of the human race. What is it?

Clue: No there isn’t.

Sometimes they’re very serious. Hmmm *scratches chin meaningfully*.

  1. A quantum physicist and an aeroplane designer are sitting on a beach holding hands. How do you know which one is gay?

Clue: Ask one of them for a shag?!!?

No comment.

  1. A bowl of pot pourri is lying on the floor, scattered. Next to the delicately fragranced petals is a note from a clown. What key is the note in: A minor or Bb Major?

Clue: Arpeggios.


  1. A dwarf cannot reach the lift button for his top floor apartment and he has to take the stairs unless it’s raining and he can use his umbrella. If you thought this was clever, are you?

Clue: No.

This one’s SO clever, isn’t it?!

  1. Seven-and-a-half penguins outwit one giant panda. If there had been only six-and-five-eighths penguins, the giant panda would have outwitted the penguins. What season was it?

Clue: Well, der!!??

See? Endless fun.

  1. The King of Dixieland proclaims that the number 13 is unlucky and outlaws it. Within days, everything has become “slightly 13” around the edges. Why is it that only the fire-brigade can solve this problem?

Clue: Rapid Vienna.

Drums fingers on table impatiently whilst pretending to be impressed.

  1. And finally, a man with a stupid name claims that he has “invented” lateral thinking (look it up). His name is Edward de Bono. People with the word “Bono” in their name are monumentally arrogant – the question is: surely bonobo?

Clue: Mullet hair “style” at Live Aid and he thought he could ever be cool?!!!?