Thursday, December 29, 2005

29/12/05 Festive Florics

For the first time in my life I had a Xmas meal in a restaurant.
We'd booked a table for 14 at the fairly plush "Orocco Pier" establishment in downtown South Queensferry.
As we sat down to begin our meal, the strains of Live Aid and "Feed The World" were piped loudly through the speakers.
I didn't really feel that this was the most appropriate song to signal the commencement of an extended session of traditional Christmas gluttony.
Could we compare this to playing "Hanging Around" by the Stranglers at an annual Anti-Capital Punishment Society dinner?
...or "Going Underground" by The Jam at a funeral? I could go on...
The food was ok but not great and (as is generally the case for Xmas restaurant fare), horribly over-priced.
I prefer the domestic Xmas dinner, although that's easy for me to say as I've never been forced to cook the big fecking thing myself. Although, it's fair to say I didn't miss my usual prolonged stint on "dishwashing detail". It always had that "painting the Forth Bridge" endlessness about it.
One benefit/disadvantage (you decide) of this change of venue, was that it is not generally looked on favourably in restaurants if you go into the kitchen when you've finished your meal and start helping yourself to extra helpings of turkey, xmas pudding etc
Although, based on what we paid, I think we should have been allowed to do this.
However, I can appreciate that there are various health & safety issues involved in allowing 120 drunk people to wander around a busy, commercial kitchen picking at food.
As a result I didn't need to lie down and undo the top button of my trousers, as is usually the case after a normal classic Xmas binge eating day.
A taxi into town afterwards cost almost as much as the meal. Yo Ho Ho.
The television has been gruesome over the festive period.
I've enjoyed catching up with "Life In The Undergrowth" though. Amazing stuff. The insects are such great performers. I often wonder how many takes they have to do to get things just right.
I expect David Attenborough must have loads of hilarious out-takes of insects falling off twigs, getting their head stuck in tree sap or landing on a "dirty fido" from a joke shop, hilariously mistaking it for the real thing.
There are certain double standards at play though.
We are expected to be in awe of the intelligence behind devious tricks insects use to exploit situations to their advantage.
Like wasps laying an egg on a spiders back.
The larvae then kills the spider and sucks out it's insides, before discarding the carcass. Or the favourite old trick to paralyse other insects, then bury it next to your own eggs and let the babies eat the stricken prey (alive).
This is awful behaviour.
Can you imagine the social stigma attached to attending a dinner party and then sticking one of your eggs on the back of the host before you leave; in the full knowledge that he will soon have his insides sucked out by your lovely new baby, and then be casually discarded in the wheely bin.
This is unacceptable behaviour in anyone's language, so why should we admire, let alone tolerate, this behaviour in insects?
I've a good mind to write to the BBC Head of Programming.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

17/12/05 Robert Hind is 40 Shock!

My "Cockburn St" anecdote raises a few chuckles, as the "Kenneth More" disguise impresses more than a few!

John Eglin has them rolling in the aisles with his "Robert and the Sleeping Bag" story!

Mitch is the MC with the mostest as he keeps things ticking along nicely...

I was down in London this weekend to attend top London photographer Robert Hind's 40th Birthday Bash. He's the younger brother of Nicky Hind, esteemed Comedy Consultant and Web Design Guru.
I felt the immortal words of WH Auden might lend themselves perfectly to this suspicious event...

"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Shout "Robert is 40!" tum teh tum tum

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought he was only 39: I was wrong

There was a 1940s theme, with authentic dress encouraged. I sported a tweed jacket, neckerchief look, based on an acclaimed British actor of this vintage, the one and only "Kenneth More Esq".
Probably his most famous film is "Reach For The Sky", a bio-pic of Sir Douglas Bader, the "Battle of Britain" veteran who lost both legs in a crash, but continued to fly combat missions.
Basing myself at Douglas Carnall's baronnial Hackney residence, I did feel slightly awkward walking through some fairly rough areas of Hackney looking like a posh presenter from "The Antiques Roadshow".
I really got into character ,particularly during "Lindy Hop" dance lessons, giving an authentic impression of having just been fitted with a pair of artificial legs.
A surprise attendee was Mr Gary Keltie, who had travelled from Australia to be at the party. I hadn't seem him in 16 years, and he looked annoyingly unwithered by age. He has obviously been experiencing a very sheltered existence, and has been fighting a losing battle against moisturiser addiction. Tragic.

Robert was looking suitably dapper with an RAF uniform on, although Douglas did later remark that he thought Robert "Bomber" Hind should have "demilitarised" his uniform to a greater extent, as it still had all the relevant badges on it.
I suspect the costume hirers might not have appreciated this happening though.
I have to say that all the girls were looking rather foxy in their 40s dresses.
There was shepherds pie and trifle, and the wine flowed freely.
A few of us had been drafted in to say a few words. It was the remit of John and I to take the mick, which I hope we satisfactorally achieved, by dredging up some hoary old anecdotes about the man himself. It was then left to Steve, Mitch and Will to deliver more fulsome tributes.
I got heckled by Robert! You couldn't make it up! Well, I never!

I had meant to read out a "telegram" sent in by Mr Dave Reilly, but tragically I lost the sheet of paper at some point before my speech...!
But here's the text anyway ;

"Dear Robert,
I don't know if you'll remember me or not. I first encountered you at the fair in South Queensferry in the summer of 1979 when you were but a spotty, 13 year old schoolboy. I'll never forget your first words to me.
"You're going bald" you said.
Today, I'd like to congratulate you on reaching your 40th birthday with the greeting, "What goes around comes around, hopefully".
Happy Birthday, Robert
David Reilly"

Touchin', huh?

btw check this fainting goat link . It's fascinating stuff!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

13/12/05 Is It Safe?

I had to get a wisdom tooth yanked out today. Not the most enjoyable experience in the world, but nevertheless, it's a nice comfy seat and an opportunity not to be at work for an hour or two, so it's not all bad.
"Any problems with the tooth recently?" asked the dentist.
(I'd had bad toothache 6 weeks ago, and I'd taken a course of anti-biotics to clear it up)
"No", I said "it's been fine...".
I could then tell that the dentist was pondering whether he actually really needed to take my tooth out....
It had been on dental "death row" for 6 weeks, but it seemed to be a reformed character, and hadn't caused any further problems to society. In fact, it had talked about its plight to young healthy teeth and had warned them of the dangers inherent in the bag of sherbert lemons.... Surely redemption was not out of the question?
I don't really think extraction is a proper deterrent anyway. It's not the tooths fault that its owner has a chronic addiction to sherbert lemons.
"Did the anti-biotics take effect quite quickly?"
I sensed that if I answered "yes", I could possibly be sent on my way without receiving any of the arranged torture treatment.
However, I answered truthfully , "No, it took about 2 days...and at one point I had to get up in the middle of the night to drive to a 24 hour garage (thankfully it was still open), and buy some painkillers..."
This damning testimony sealed the tooth's fate.
The dentist put a little black hankie on his head and got a big pair of pliers out of the cupboard.
It was actually not too bad. I think it only took about 10 minutes.
The last time I had a wisdom tooth out, it took about an hour, and more or less involved the dentist sticking her knee against the side of my head to get more leverage. That was not relaxing at all. At the end I felt like I'd just done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
I impressed my co-workers by turning up at work immediately after my torture session. It's nothing to do with the fact that being a freelancer I don't get any sick pay.
I just have a very strong work ethic. Always have had. I identify with "Boxer" in the knock-about wacky novel "Animal Farm".

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

05/12/05 It's That Time Of Year Again!

I was walking along the street this morning when I was thrilled to see a large, colourful splash of vomit on the pavement, (aka "a pavement pizza").
I always interpret my first sighting of these lovely forms as an official indicator that the "festive season" is well under way, and that Christmas and all it entails will be here soon. In a way it encapsulates everything I find magical about Christmas!
It's similar to the wonder in nature of witnessing the first flowering snowdrop proclaiming the onset of Spring. It's the passing of the seasons, and a demonstration of the diverse variety of the British calendar. The first sound of a cuckoo...the cherry blossom bloom...
It's something of the reverse of one "swallow" not making the summer. Similarly, one example of projectile vomit doesn't necessarily definitely mean it's the Festive season, but it can be seen as an indicator. A Hors d'oeuvre for the main event.
I think it would be a nice touch to have a vomit advent calendar on the market. It's more in touch with the contemporary celebration of Christmas in our increasingly secular society.
Yessirrr...the office parties are up and running. I even have one to go to myself.
I had a gig at the Stand last night and stupidly/bravely (delete appropriate) decided to do a set of entirely new material. This included "naked charity calendars" and "finding a snail on my ceiling".
It's fair to say that there was more bafflement than laughter. A few people were absolutely pissing themselves, but most, ahem, weren't..!
In spite of this, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the danger of doing new stuff that I had no idea what reaction it would get, and I was glad that I didn't panic or start garbling, when I plainly wasn't getting a good reaction. Never show weakness! Never show weakness!!
I think I got them in the end though, and as I was leaving the stage a really attractive girl tapped me on the shoulder and said "That was really good!"
Well, that'll do for me..I didn't care what anyone else thought...that put a smile on my face...!
I walked home. The sick patch was still there. Perhaps I should get it laminated...!

Monday, December 05, 2005

02/12/05 Evening All!

Amidst nagging doubts that we played a little too long, the audience react badly to the last "Samba Reggae"...

Friday was Stu Whittle's gala leaving do. I sadly got there before anyone else. I asked a waitress where the reserved area for "Stuart Whittle" was. She said she'd check, and then came back in a couple of minutes loudly accusing me of being a wind-up merchant.
She thought I'd said "Stewart Little", and must have been on the receiving end of various wisecracks about there not being any party bookings for fictional mice tonight.
I protested my innocence, but I could tell she had a lingering suspicion about me.
It's not that it would even have been a hugely funny joke anyway...particularly as I stood around waiting for her to come back rather than run away, as is the convention for a misinformation jest of this nature.
I'd thought of phoning Stu to ask him if there was any chance he could get a mouse fancy dress costume at short notice, and then wear it to go to the pub.
That would have been mildly amusing, and may have rescued the situation.
Bizarrely, Stu actually did come along dressed as a guinea pig, however there aren't any famous fictional guinea pigs which spring to mind, so I was unable to find an alternative reference point.
Stu will be best remembered for winning the "Player Most Likely To Hit The Roof" for 2 years in succession in the 5-a-side football annual awards ceremonies.

I took beer then was whisked off to the salubrious confines of "Dalmahoy Country Club" to play a short gig with the Edinburgh Samba School.
We were all dressed as "Santa Claus". It's very much a sweaty, itchy experience wearing these felt costumes. I have to admire those who sit all day wearing this garb and being relentlessly cheery. It's a tough job.
Our audience were a party from the Fife Constabulary on their Xmas night out.
They weren't our most appreciative audience, and looked uncomfortable as we blasted out our 15 minute set for them.
With hindsight,I think 5 minutes would have been plenty.
They were smiley and relaxed on our appearance. (There is after all something endearingly quaint about a samba band staffed exclusively by fully dressed Santas). But after the novelty had worn off they grew restless and grumpy.
In spite of all this, I have to say that I thought I played particularly brilliantly considering I hadn't samba played for approximately 26 years.

Friday, December 02, 2005

30/11/05 St Andrews Day

Giving it Large on St Andrews Night!

Of course he's the Patron Saint of Scotland in case you didn't know...
We don't really mark this day with any wild celebrations or anything. It's a similar tale with Saint George down south...whereas "St Patrick's Day" is a massive celebratory date in Ireland's calendar.
I think we should have a holiday.
Apparently, he was crucified upside down. Now, that is just nasty. As if it isn't just bad enough getting a "regular" crucifixion.
A holiday would allow us to contemplate and remember him. Obviously.
Only 8 people turned up for the show at The Stand on Wednesday. The acts then had a discussion and it was agreed to pull the show.
There wasn't a great deal of evidence of "The show must go on!" mentality.
However, we all still got mustn't grumble.
I did immediately give a dollop of cash back to The Stand by buying Dundee comedian Paul Pirie YET ANOTHER pint...He now owes me 2361 pints and 83455 cigarettes, but hopefully he'll remember me when he's famous and buy me a nice house by the seaside.
It was a shame as The Stand had put in a bit of effort for "St Andrews Day", giving everybody a free whisky at the door in honour of this suspicious occasion.
But, as I said earlier, no-one really gives a shit about this date in Scotland.

Other news ; I was honoured to be selected from thousands of comedian blogs to appear on "The Times" Obituary Writer and top stand-up comic Liam Mullone's web site,
as you can read here.
He does take the opportunity to have a go at the font on my web site ; deeming it worthy of use by a "Vicar".
This is probably fair comment, as the site definitely needs a makeover, as I do myself if truth be told.

Monday, November 28, 2005

26/11/05 All Kinds Of Everything

(remind me of you....)

I've got a gig at The Stand in Edinburgh this Wednesday as you can read here.
However, I almost choked on my Worthers Original, and fell clean out of my bath chair, when I was informed the gig on Wednesday was being billed as an "Old Stars Evening".
I suspect The Stand must be having a bit of an ironic joke by inviting a thrusting, dynamic young comedian like myself to appear in this themed event.
Well, they ARE a comedy club, so I suppose it is only natural for them to make jokes now and again. I shouldn't take it too seriously.
Bruce Morton is headlining. It should be a good night. Get your colostomy bags along there and have a pleasant evening!
It's been so cold today, that I sat at work wearing a woolly cardigan. The "Old Star" label is obviously having an effect. And would it really be a bad idea to bring back National Service? A bit of discipline, naked wrestling and sadistic bullying would do the youth of today the world of good ; and doesn't all this modern music sound the same these days, and don't get me started on television...
I'll "Old Star" them! "Old Star" indeed...If I was a few years younger I'd jolly well give them a good clip round the ear...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

25/11/05 Jim "Chopper" Park

(Concerned friends look on as Dave is taken to hospital by ambulance.)

I've been suffering from the dreaded lurgi of late. 5 days of sore throat, runny nose and splitting headache.
I was supposed to be getting a tooth taken out this week, but had to cancel, as having post-extraction pain in addition to this bug would have been too, too much to bear.
I tried a game of 5s football. Sometimes having a bit of a sweaty workout can help.
Dave Reilly probably now wishes I hadn't played and had remained in the sick bay.
There was a loose ball...myself and Dave both went for was a classic 50/50 situation. Unfortunately, Dave lost his balance in the collison and went over on his ankle. It was broken. He had to spend 5 hours at the Royal Infirmary, shivering in his football gear, before this was confirmed by the doctor.
So it's 6 weeks in plaster for him.
I've had my foot in plaster before and can clearly remember what a pain in the arse it well as being a pain in the foot of course...
The simplest task, like going to the lav, assumes the rigours of a "Bush Tucker Trial" on the "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" TV programme, which you'd never ever catch me watching. No. Not in a million years. Absolute rubbish. I tend to read "Ulysses" by James Joyce when that show is on.
Anyway, going to the lav, showering, dressing, undressing is all a big hassle...and 6 weeks is a long, long time.
The great tragedy of this event is that Dave is such a highly active physical guy. The thought of being forced to stay at home, mucking about on the Internet, creating lists and making compilation CDs is anathema to this supreme athlete and classic "outdoors type". I just hope he gets through it ok!
I have to say that it was a fair tackle, and that Dave bears me no ill will, although I could have sworn someone who looked incredibly similar to him, mounted the pavement in his car yesterday and tried to run me over.
There's loads of people who would have a clear motive to do that, so I can't be sure it was him. It would have been difficult, though not impossible, to drive with a plaster on anyway.
I played golf this weekend at the hallowed links of Muirfield with Crabbie, Beaky and Bilbo.
These are real people, I hasten to add.
I wouldn't like you to think I was losing the plot and playing golf with imaginary "Lord of the Rings" hobbit-type characters.
In line with my recent golfing appearances, I played absolute shit. In fairness, the conditions were very difficult.
In the clubhouse, I had a light lunch of sole goujons, duck spring rolls, roast beef, boiled mutton, mashed potatoes, boiled onions, cawliflower cheese, garden peas, yourkshire pudding, horseradish sauce, baked apple sponge and bread & butter pudding with cream.
Incredibly, that's well under 3000 calories. No chance of any weight gain there. That's for sure.

Monday, November 21, 2005

21/11/05 He's Got The Look

I remember noticing a similar expression on a man's face at the "Ideal Homes Exhibition" at Ingliston, a few years ago...
What was I doing there? Well, I'd won a competition in the "Evening News" and was there to pick up my prize ; a large ball of Edam cheese (obviously).
I noticed a man demonstrating the use of a vegetable chopper to an interested group of people. It seemed very versatile, and he produced an impressive array of salads, chips, grated cheese etc...cut in a startling variety of ways.
But then he cut himself with it. Quite badly in fact.
The main purpose of the demo was to afterwards sell the device to the assembled throng...hopefully like proverbial "hot cakes".
However, his face told it all...he knew he wasn't going to sell any that day. This sooper dooper vegetable cutter had been exposed as an instrument of self-harm and mutilation. In the vegetable cutter world, it's then equivalent boost to your career progression as being labelled a serial paeodophile. Not good. Not good.
The man looked defeated, as the gathering slowly filed away.
Bob Hoskins also looked like that at the end of "The Long Good Friday".
He finds himself being driven away in a car by two IRA men ; one with a handgun trained on him in the backseat. After the initial shock, the realisation creeps into his expression that it's over for him...he's going to die and there's absolutely nothing he can do to prevent the inevitable. An eery calm comes over his face.
These scenarios came to mind as I watched Alex McLeish being interviewed after Rangers got thumped 3-0 by Celtic on Saturday.
He knows it's over for him. He's finished. It's an unpleasing spectacle to behold.
I can only assume he's hanging on in an attempt to make sure the severance terms are maximised, ie he won't resign, he'll wait to be sacked.
He should be put out of his misery as soon as possible though.
Anyway, must go, as I have to organise a "Rangers Supporters End-of-season party", ho ho ho....

Sunday, November 20, 2005

20/11/05 Slightly Frazzled

(Dave and I relax with a drink before "The Stand" show begins)

I spent Thursday and Friday night at The Stand in Edinburgh. Richard Herring was headlining both nights, but Tony and Patrick, my "Park's Circus" co-accused were the support acts on Thursday and Friday respectively.
Tony had a bit of a tough one as he was constantly interrupted by a twat of a heckler who kept shouting "tits!".
Richard Herring came on. He was storming it, but at some point the same heckler piped up. This time it was "magpie tits", (RH was doing an extended monologue on "the magpie reward scheme" based on the song "M-a-a-a-g-p-i-e-e".
What followed was a glorious 20 minute sustained demolition job on the aforementioned heckler...
It was an absolutely beautiful and joyous thing and a true privilege to witness. The heckler didn't know what had hit him.
Later, I made a rather poor attempt at conversation by mentioning that I liked his Blog, to which he replied "thanks", then continued another conversation.
I felt slightly starstruck and also a bit of an arse. I just couldn't think of anything "worthy" enough to say, so made my excuses and left. (I was a bit drunk anyway, so wasn't really capable of producing any stimulating witticisms).
The next night, I attended with David and Anne Reilly. Patrick had a stormer. Andy Askins, a musical act from Middlesborough, also blew the roof off.
Unfortunately RH had a bad night. It just wasn't his kind of audience. They were going for quickfire gags and one-liners rather than extended surreal monologue stuff. It's a sobering thought that such a top comedian and one of my all-time comedy heroes can still have such a tough night at a comedy club.
I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't a heckler, as I would have loved to see a repeat performance of his spontaneous heckler destruction routine.
Another interesting observation of the evening was that I was in the company of Dave Reilly for approximately four and a half hours, and at no point in this time did he buy a CD. I phoned the "News of the World" straight after the show. They were reluctant to believe me and said they'd send a reporter round to check out my story.
(read his blog at to study his CD addiction!)
After the show Patrick, myself, Richard and Chris (The Stand soundman) went to the next door casino and drank till 4.30am. I didn't gamble at all, although it might have been a good idea if I had, as it might have reduced my drinking rate.
I didn't feel very clever the next day, that's for sure.
It was a very enjoyable evening though, with high quality banter in evidence. I did feel a bit of a shameless ligger though...but hey...I got a hangover as a fitting punishment.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

13/11/05 Naked Charity Calendars

As it's coming up to Xmas, we can expect to see a further plethora of Naked Calendars featuring normal members of the public posing in their birthday suits for charity.
I think this trend has now run its course.
I mean, is it just me, or has the sight of a village butcher coyly hiding his cock behind a strategically placed black-pudding lost some, if not all, of its mystique?
Can I suggest that if you are thinking of producing a calendar of this type, that you try to be a bit more outrageous?
There have been so many of the "funny" playful nudey ones, that you really have to up the ante somewhat, (there's a joke there somewhere isn't there?)
If it's the Womens Institute, I'd suggest hiring a couple of long haired male Hungarian porn stars to be photographed in an act of union with a prominent institute lady as she bends over naked, cutting cake shapes in some rolled out pastry.
Perhaps Mrs March could fellate an antelope while stirring a pot of home made lentil soup? Have I taken this too far? Am I losing my audience here?
I just think we have to be a little more outrageous to shock 21st Century Britain.
Perhaps, an alternative charity calendar could involve the models being wrapped up like Egyptian mummies in bandages, but with their gentialia being the only visible parts of their anantomy as they poke through strategic gaps in the bandaging.
That would be slightly different.
I noticed that the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was doing a series of photo shoots for an unusual "Al Quaeda" naked charity calendar earlier in the year...
I'm not sure if it has been commercially released yet though. It could be a winner!

12/11/05 River City

"it's smiles all round as the cast of "River City" relax after a hard days filming!"
 Posted by Picasa

I'm certainly not an expert in acting, as my previous performances in the sphere of amateur drama have amply demonstrated.
For instance, who could ever remember my stunning portrayal of the Greek warrior, King Agamemnon in "Ion"? No-one of course...
People still talk in hushed tones, (in case I overhear them slagging me off) of how I took on 5 (yes, FIVE...count 'em) separate roles on a modern re-working of "The Canterbury Tales", but managed to come across as the same character in all of them, due to my un-chameleon like acting prowess.
Then there was my riveting portayal of Indio, one of the Sharks in "West Side Story" . I still wince and occasionally wake up in a cold sweat when I recall my dancing entrance onto the stage....In my head I was "George Chakiris", but to the audience it was probably more "Charlie Drake".
Anyway, in spite of all this, I feel I have to deliver a damning judgement on the standard of acting in the BBC Scotland soap "River City".
Yesterday, for the first time, I watched a whole episode ...
One of the best tips I ever heard about acting was to consciously "listen" to what the other actors were saying, and react accordingly. This may seem obvious. However, if you go to see a ropey amateur play, you often see people on stage who don't convince simply because they are just standing around waiting for the cue to say their line, and are not acting naturally.
This happens a lot in "River City". You can see them anticipating what's going to happen next, and it often feels like they are reading their lines from an autocue.
There are a few seasoned old pros who rise above this criticism, but some of the younger players are fairly desperate.
not that I'm one to criticise though....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

11/11/05 Council Practical Joke Shock

I definitely need to lose a little weight. I can hardly get into my car these days. Posted by Picasa

I was driving out of town towards the Forth Road Bridge. I saw a sign indicating that the outside lane would be closed in 600 yards due to road works.
You couldn't see exactly where the lane stopped as I was driving uphill and the work was going on over the brow of it.
I then went into "imminent one lane shutdown" mode.
This involves driving too close to the car in front, in order to stop queue-jumpers sneaking in too easily. I also like to scowl aggressively at those who race past in the outside lane intent on keeping there until the lane stops, then barging their way into the inside lane.
This situation is unsurpassed in bringing out the worst instincts in the driving classes. I'm surprised there aren't more "one lane shutdown" murders to report. It maybe gets hushed up by sinister civil servants to prevent countrywide unrest?
Anyway, as the line of traffic ambled slowly over the brow of the hill, it became apparent that there were no roadworks going on at all, and both lanes were open all the way out to Cramond.
All that angst and bad temper was totally unnecessary.
The bad guys who stick to the outside lane as long as humanly possible couldn't have been able to believe their luck, as they just kept going on an on, leaving the conscientious "knights of the road" crawling along for 10 minutes at 3mph.
Was this a joke by the Council roadplanner type people?
Was a scene being filmed for a new series of "Beadle's About"?
I suppose the good thing is that I'm now primed, and am unlikely to fall for another one of the Council's traffic practical jokes.
If for instance I see a sign telling traffic to reduce speed to 0.3 mph for the next 5 miles, or another sign insisting that drivers should have a small liquorice pipe in their mouths before joining the dual carriageway ; then I shall view them with suspicion and won't immediately comply with their request...
You fool me once, shame on you, you fool me again, shame on me...or so they say
"Nothing tastes as good as slim feels", (I heard someone say that on the radio today. It's quite a good mantra I suppose...)

Friday, November 11, 2005

10/11/05 Elected

There was fever pitch excitement around Coates/Murrayfield last night as the Edinburgh Council by-election took place.
There were literally several people hanging around the polling centre as I made my way to vote.
You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.
In fact, somebody did, and it created a strange continual hissing noise in the background as I cast my vote. I found this quite offputting, but carried on anyway.
It was a straight 2-way fight between the Tories and Lib-Dems. I voted Lib-Dem. I actually had one of the Lib-Dem helpers knocking on my door at 8.00pm asking me to vote. It was obviously going to be close.
The Tories won though.
I suspected as much, as the candidate looked a bit full of himself as I earlier passed him outside the polling centre.
On reading the results, I noticed that the UKIP (UK Independence Party) candidate had polled a massive 4 votes.
I was going to make a few cheeky remarks about the candidate, but read his website and found out he had a distinguished military career and has a red beret.
Therefore, I obviously don't want to annoy him too much, thus prompting a visit to my flat to hit me on the back of the head with one of these karate chops that Steed was occasionally fond of administering in "The Avengers", and in the process, killing me dead instantly.
But I have to say 4 votes is a spectacularly bad result.
I presume one of the votes was cast by that cuts it down to 3.
I would be having second-thoughts about embarking on a career in front-line politics. in light of this result.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

07/11/05 Cliffhanger

Jim guffaws in the face of danger as he climbs a treacherous cliff face 600ft above a raging sea WITHOUT ropes. Posted by Picasa

06/11/05 Not Very Good

I had a fairly mediocre gig at The Stand last night. I felt a bit rough before I went on.I'd not slept well the the previous night due to bad toothache, and was feeling a little spaced out. Not that I'm making excuses or anything.
Of course a few people I knew took the opportunity to come along and witness my sub-standard performance.
There was David and his rather odd sidekick Sandy, as well as Alex and Sue. I knew it wasn't that great a show. I didn't "die" as such, but the laughter was rather sparse, and I wasn't mobbed by a crowd of screaming female fans at the end of my set, as is usually the case. It just wasn't happening on that level for me at all.
I always know when aquaintances think I was poor. It's when the first thing they say is "You're really brave...". (that's what Sue said)
My blood runs cold when I hear that. It's the worst thing you can say to me. I'd much rather you just said you thought I was rubbish.
I mean, let's be clear about this. In the great scheme of things, it's NOT "really brave" at all. Maybe the first ever time requires a bit of bottle, but after that the fear evaporates to a large extent. Although, there's always a certain degree of nervousness before you go on, but you probably need that to sharpen up the performance.
I've done about 90 gigs now. The rough stats are ; approximately 15 have been absolutely fantastic, about the same again were devastatingly awful and the other 60 have been good, but not outstanding.
This gig definitely found a place in the bottom section.
You just have to take it on the chin, but it is slightly annoying that the people I knew who came along will retain a fairly jaundiced view of my abilities.
It's an injustice, it is. It's an injustice...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

05/11/05 Chain Reaction

Today, myself and 4 of me old samba muckers took on the "Elie Chain Walk" and lived to tell the tale.
This is a coastal walk in Elie in Fife, whereby you clamber along the crags and cliffs of the coastline using strategically fixed chains to assist your progress.
It's pretty easy, but a fall could still be fairly disastrous as you would likely bounce on your head a couple of times on the jaggy crags before plopping into the sea ; thus cleverly recreating the notorious death of Piggy in William Golding's hilarious, light-hearted romp, "Lord Of The Flies".
I had to get up to 6am on a Saturday morning to participate in this event, which in itself is a feat of wonderment and daring.
I have to say though that the early morning sunrise and light was fantastic, and it really is worth the effort to crawl out of bed that early to experience it. Particularly, at this time of year where we are steadily descending into perpetual darkness.
After completing the course we dined and took beer at the "Ship Inn", sitting in front of a roaring log fire.
I just had a couple of pints, (as well as a half pint of Pimms and lemonade. Apparently this is "the only pub in Scotland with draught Pimms". This surprised me, as I'd always imagined there would be a massive demand for this product in Airdrie)
We then visited a cake shop.
For some reason I asked for a "stick" of Chocolate Orange Cake rather than a "slice".
It was a peculiar dyslexic moment that I could only put down to lack of sleep, the sea air and 2 pints of beer at an unseemly early time in the day.
There was a brief hiatus before everybody started giggling uncontrollably. This went on for about 10 minutes outside, and I was in severe pain from laughing at the end of it. I haven't laughed as hard as that since I inadvertently caught a bit of Status Quo "acting themselves" on Coronation Street.
On the way back I apparently snored like a wild boar in the back seat of the car.
Then I opened a bottle of cider, while the wheels went round. Great.

03/11/05 Danny Boy

I was heading in an easterly direction towards the Traverse bar when I passed a few mature, matronly ladies outside the Usher Hall.
It was 10pm, and the presence of sleeping bags and camp beds led me to the inescapable conclusion that they were intending staying the night at this spot.
My curiosity got the better of me and I strode towards them and asked what the queue was for.
There was an uncomfortable pause in which I was scrutinised by the assembled group.
I got the impression that the sentiment they were conveying was, "If you laugh and/or make a smartass remark about the information we are about to relay to you, vis-a-vis your verbal request, we shall take it upon ourselves to punch your lights out and leave you bleeding and concussed on the Lothian Road pavement"
The spokesman of the group then responded "Daniel O'Donnell".
I managed to keep a straight face, saying "Oh, ok, thank you", and then moved away from the scene.
I did feel a bit sorry for them as they were undoubtedly going to attract cheeky remarks from passing members of the great British public.
They'd obviously miscalculated the demand for tickets, as no more than 6 people had decided that an overnight vigil was necessary to secure precious briefs for Mr O'Donnell's show.
Still, at least they were guaranteed seats in the middle of the front row.
Well, I hope so anyway. There is always a danger of skullduggery involving highly prized tickets. Maybe the box office staff have secretly reserved the front two rows for a batallion of their aunties.
Is this a sign that Daniel's appeal is on the wane? Only 6 people willing to camp overnight for tickets?
Are the glory days over?
He sounds like the type of person I should invite to my next barbecue.
The publicity he gets might re-launch his faltering career, and I might get a support slot on his tour telling stories of cheeky, heartwarming family kerfuffles.

30/10/05 Friends Reunited

Ok, the blog a day thing isn't going to happen any more (sob!).
The trouble is when you're chained to a PC as an IT slave for 12 hours a day; the last thing you want to do is go home, log on and work at a different PC.
It's not as if there is much hilarious banter to be had anyway. It would just be a dreary series of essays on pain, tedium and the unbearable shiteness of being.
On a happier note I had a barbecue today for many of my ancient friends whom I haven't had the pleasure of seeing for many moons.
It was a splendid day, the joint was jumpin', and I "enjoyed" the whole thing so much it so much that I decided to go to bed long before the last guests left.
I was puzzled by this. I mean, it wasn't exactly like I was drinking all day...ah, although actually,come to think of it... I was, ...hmmm...
I suspect this act may be regarded with dismay by afficianados of social etiquette, and "doing the right thing" in any given situation.
However, it has to be said a few of my old friends never replied to my invitation, then didn't show up. I even had a couple of "texts" during the barbecue with a brief note saying they weren't coming.
As I know very well myself, the SMS message is the classic sneaky form of communication which precludes actually having to speak to the recipient. I use it all the time. But you're not allowed to do this to ME. That's different.
This is an outrage.
I didn't get where I am today by not replying to a barbecue invitiation and not turning up.
This is how Nazi germany started in the 1930s.
First of all it's shunning the barbecue, then it's a fiendish plot for global conquest and genocide.
I've now reluctantly decided to look on Ebay for new "old" friends.
Hopefully, I might be able to trade in my existing ones? Although, in reality, I may not get very much for them. Still, no harm in asking.
I'm mainly looking for people that laugh at my jokes and say things like "I've seen the future of comedy, and it's you". (obviously this has to be uttered without a trace of sarcasm, and I will hold "trials" to test potential friends to check their sincerity levels. So don't think I'll get fooled easily)
They'd also have to knock on my door occasionally, and ask if I'd like them to go the shops for me, and things like that.
Other than that, they should be kind to children and animals, be interested in world travel and don't say things like "do you know what I mean?" after every sentence, and not turn up more late to things than I do if we've arranged to meet.
There is a saying "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives".
Now, this is true to a certain extent, but as you get older, you are stuck somewhat with the friends you've accumulated so far in your life journey.
I think I might be viewed with suspicion if I told someone that I didn't currently have any friends as I had traded them all in for new ones, and I hadn't tested the new ones yet.
I'm torn. What should I do?
Is anyone interested in doing a friend swap?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

26/10/05 Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....!

Not a good day.
Getting a sizeable amount of grief at work, and then compounded a crap day by injuring myself at football. I think I've torn a thigh muscle. Darn. I expect I'll be sidelined for a while.
What's strange is that I did it in both legs one after the other.
Another little avenue of pleasure is sealed off. Never mind. Worse things happen at sea.
I'm now walking around like the Tin Man.

25/10/05 Come In Mr McLeish, Your time is up...!

Of course I'm using the "Grim Reaper" in a metaphorical sense for Alex McLeish.
It's just referring to his job prospects as manager of the (once) mighty Rangers.
You know, it's like getting the "death" Tarot card. Doesn't actually mean you're going to "die" ; although a great Aunt of mine was given the card in a reading and died 57 years later, so there are obviously exceptions.
I think I've written that line in a previous entry but can't be bothered to check...
I'm mad I am!
I don't want anything to happen to him other than get slapped across the back of his head with a P45.
He's a nice bloke, but a terrible manager.
I'd like to give Archie Macpherson the job. He's got more experience of watching Scottish football than anyone in the Universe, and he seems to think he knows what he's talking about. he also goes "woof!" periodically, which I've always found very entertaining.
Also, his creative hairstyle could possibly open more sponsorship opportunities, and a MacPherson team could have the "Shredded Wheat" logo on their shirts.
Anything would be an improvement....
It would be much heathier than the current preponderance of alcohol sponsorship, and it would encourage Scottish youth to go prematurely bald and cultivate an extreme "comb-over" hairstyle.
This would be good news for the well being of the country as a whole...Woof Woof!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

24/10/05 Back To The Stand

After the debacle of "The Three Tuns", it was nice to have a gig at The Stand.
It was absolutely packed out ; there was a good varied line up and I'm pleased to say I had a really good gig.
There was also the added bonus of not having a twat sitting in the front row shouting "Fatso!" at me for the whole duration of my set, (in spite of the fact that I'm SO not fat anyway!).
I've forgotten all about that now, and the comedy mojo is back in positive territory again.
If only all gigs were as great as Monday night at The Stand in Edinburgh, the world would be a better place.
Vladimir McTavish introduced me as "a man who recently had a makeover at Harvey Nichols for the "Scotland Today" news programme".
I came on and described my "look" as "Tramp Chic", and said that this look "was going to be massive".
This got quite a hearty laugh, however some bright spark at another gig might see it as an opportunity to shout, "You're massive already!"...
so I'll probably ditch that reference...

23/10/05 Return Of The Cheesemeister

I'm pleased to report the thrilling news that Cheesy McLoughlin, (his memorable nickname is explained here), has returned to Scotland to work at Abbey National and can currently be seen hanging around bars in the Southside of Glasgow.
He came up to Edinburgh during the Fringe and went to see "Park's Circus".
He said it was "better than I thought it was going to be...".
From the mouth of the Cheesemeister, that is the equivalent of a 5 star review in "The Scotsman".
I felt like I'd been awarded a lifetime achievement award for services to comedy. It was all very emotional.
The last time he had seen me before this was on a wet Monday night in Scarborough in October 2004. It was the 5th gig I'd ever done.
I expected to be performing in a small club with not too big an audience. However, I was shocked to discover it was in a big hall with approx 300 people in attendance.
I became exceedingly nervous about the whole thing and had something of a disaster as I hurtled through my set at a ridiculous, unintelligible pace to a bemused Yorkshire audience.
Seeing I was clearly rattled, Cheesy spent the next 2 hours going over my performance in forensic detail ; gleefully highlighting the particularly dreadful and cringeworthy moments of my "performance".
He is a true friend. He obviously thought that in administering a "kicking me senseless while I am down already" critique, it would ultimately prove useful to me in terms of character building, and give me some future resilience to incidents of this nature.
I would strongly refute any suggestion that he took sadistic pleasure in all this. It would be wrong to think that.
I remain vaguely confident that it was done with my best interests at heart.
I actually empathised strongly with Cheesy at the weekend as I shared his crushing disappointment at the goal awarded to West Ham against Middlesboro, when the ball had clearly not crossed the line.
This was a cruel injustice, and any suggestion that I was rolling on the floor laughing and thumping my fist off the carpet, would be well wide of the mark.

22/10/05 Retro Night Out

Just like back in the olden days, I'd arranged to meet some drouthy neebors at the incredibly early kick-off time of 7.30pm.
One of the dangers of going out that this time is the realisation that you are afforded a large window of opportunity for quaffing beer.
And so it proved!
Bert's Bar in William St was the venue. Present were Mark, Lorna and reformed Dundonian ned, Grahame.
Topics covered were ;
An analysis of various conspiracy theories relating to the surprise exit of George Burley the Hearts manager, (could it be dodgy bookmakers blackmailing Burley, as they anxiously pondered having to pay out on Jamie Frain's bet?).
Shock news of Samba Ya Bamba's upcoming appearance on the critically acclaimed "Craig Hill" show this Friday on BBC Scotland.
A discussion of the merits of Jack Vettriano. I argued in favour of the man, even though I don't really like his stuff at all. I suspect this was the Deuchars IPA talking, as I assumed the role of a ventriloquist's dummy for the shaky midnight till 1am slot.
We agreed to do the Elie Chain Walk with Grahame. This involves clambering along rocky cliffs holding on to a chain, occasionally slipping onto the rocks below and getting airlifted to hospital.
It sounds like a good day out indeed.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

21/10/05 One From The Vaults

Whilst sadly, very sadly running a Google search on my own name, I came across a review of one of my embryonic comedy gigs down in sunny Bolton.
This was ages ago and it is quite odd to read it so long after the event.
Anyway, it's vaguely positive...and here it is....

"Jim Park then stepped in front of the crowd, informing us of his confusion about the equestrian events in the athletics, his thoughts on how running should be made more visibly quantifiable by getting a normal person to participate, of his extremely rebellious attitude towards soup, and the pointlessness of Tales of The Unexpected repeats. A touch nervous, he spent a lot of time talking down into the microphone, which resulted in some of the material being lost, but with a bit more gig experience I expect that he will be a fine act to watch."

eh? eh? ...."fine" (well, expectation of anyway)
I suppose I could put "fine act to watch" on posters as a quote?
That should have thousands of people making a beeline to my next performance I would have thought.

20/10/05 Oh dear...

The last time I'd done a gig at "The Three Tuns" was on the 7th July. I rmember this clearly, as it was the day of the tube bombings in London.
At the time I wasn't in the mood, but ironically had a great gig in front of an extremely rough crowd.
That wasn't the case this time.
One pissed idiot shouted at me all through my 15 minute set.
I'd worn a t-shirt which was a bit on the small side for me, and this prompted the pissed man to call me "fatso" repeatedly and at high volume.
This is a ridiculous assertion, as my current regime of cycling to/from work, 3 games of football a week, 3 runs round the Meadows a week, a blanket ban on fast food, and a weekly delivery of organic fruit and veg, have left me sleek and giselle like.
It also helps that I bought a collection of second-hand mirrors from a fairground's "Hall of Mirrors" booth. I look really slim, but unfortunately my head is 4 feet wide.
But it's a worthwhile compromise I think.
I think it must be that being seen on stage puts 10 pounds on you, as is supposed to happen when you appear on TV.
"Fatso" indeed!
This was one of these nights where you wonder to yourself why on earth you are submitting yourself to this very public ritual of torture and humiliation.
If it was one of my first few gigs, I would definitely have sworn never to do it again in the aftermath of this debacle.
However, experience is a wonderful thing, and I realise that this is just an occupational hazard, and is an integral part of this wacky business.
The problem is that this is a "free" gig in a bar.
There is no audience etiquette apparent for acts.
You get some nights when the random crowd in the bar are really up for comedy and are appreciative of the acts.
And then you get nights like tonight where you have people who look like they've been drinking for 3 days continuously, baying aggressively at all the acts, as some form of blood sport.
I won't be back!

19/10/05 New Material

I had the evening earmarked to spend a couple of hours working on new material
for a gig I had the following night at "The Three Tuns".
Instead, i spent 3 hours working out what was recorded on piles of ancient VHS videos which have been lurking for years in my cupboard.
(Interesting voyage of discovery throught the archives though. More on this later)

18/10/05 Johnny Haynes

I was saddened to hear of the death of Johnny Haynes.
He ran a dry cleaning shop at the bottom of my street.
However, he was also the England football captain when England narrowly beat Scotland 9-3 at Wembley in 1961, (he scored a couple of goals himself that day as well)
He was also the face of the Brylcream TV ad in the UK in the 60s.
This was a much vaunted role at the time, and made him the 60s equivalent of a contemporary supermodel like Archie MacPherson.
Does anyone wear Brylcream these days? I seem to remember it having something of a pungent whiff about it. Maybe it's due a comeback?
Or has hair gel triumphed?

17/10/05 Curb Your Enthusiasm

I just finished watching the DVD of the 4th Series.
It is now without a doubt my favourite sitcom of all time.
It's a shame that not more people have seen it.
I know it's very popular with comedy anoraks and people that dabble in the stand-up game. However, it seems to have passed under the radar of the wider UK population at large.
It's written by and starring the great Larry David, one of the co-creators of "Seinfeld."
He made my favourite acceptance speech when he was presented with an Emmy award for
"This is all well and good, but I am still bald..."

Monday, October 17, 2005

16/10/05 The Jambos Mean Business

I was delighted to see Hearts hold Celtic to a draw on Saturday.
Previous Hearts teams would have choked at this stern test of their mettle. However, this lot seem to have an impressive inner steel about them which suggests they could be genuine title contenders.
In the old days Henry Smith in goals would have dropped a few clangers and the team would have behaved like rabbits caught in the redoubtable headlights.
Jamie Frain's thousands of pounds winnings are looking a distinct possibility.
I would have thought that a good idea for him to spend the money would be to book Murrayfield Stadium for the day and put on a big rock concert starring "The Capital Models" supported by (obviously), "The Pure Bears".
I would have to insist that I drummed for the Models rather than Keith Apter, as it was MY idea, and it would seem churlish to exclude me, even allowing for the fact that Keith is a much better drummer than me. That is irrelevant. And besides, I could help Jamie with his legendarily hilarious inter-song banter, although obviously he'd get all the funny lines, and I would just be his feed.
Perhaps Dave could get the "British Beef Foundation" to sponsor the event, and my bass drum could be made to look like a giant beefburger?
Gus could take the opportunity to "mince" around with his electric guitar, and we could run through the old set, including ;
"No Hamburgers In This House"
"Stun Gun Operator"
"Breaking Necks"
"Wall To Wall Offal (Can't Be That Offal really?)"

I think I've gotten a little too parochial here...
oh well, never mind, it made me laugh... :-)

15/10/05 Tyred Out

I had to make the "Walk of Shame" to the bike shop today.
I tried and tried and tried and tried, but I just could not get the fucking new tyre onto my wheel.
So I had to go and ask the man to do it for me...
In fairness he did say it was a tricky one and he had to use his special tool thing to do it..but nevertheless, my masculinity was cruelly undermined.
As he handed me the pink frock and skipping rope, I was crestfallen.
I put the dress on and skipped out the shop with all the dignity I could muster.
He didn't charge me anything, but I felt obliged to buy something and took the opportunity to purchase a rather smart reflective, waistcoat-type thing, as we ready ourselves to be plunged into perpetual darkness when the dreaded "putting the clocks back" event occurs...a week on Sunday I believe? hideous...I hate when that happens...
In my ideal lifestyle, I would choose that moment to travel to my luxury villa in Barbados to spend the duration of the British winter in more convivial surroundings.

14/10/05 Meat Me In St Louis

"A pointless, unfunny pun a day keeps the doctor away", as my late Auntie Trixie was wont to say...
I heard the stunning news today that Dave Reilly has sensationally remounced 16 years of vegetarianism, and has re-embraced the carnivore lifestyle.
Alf Hardcastle, President of the "British Beef Foundation" is quoted as saying,
"This is the biggest boost the meat industry has had in the past 30 years!"...
Industry sources believe that after the ravages of Foot and Mouth, BSE and Dave Reilly giving up meat in 1989, their profitability will now soar.
Plans are already afoot to open a massive new Stakis Steakhouse in Corstorphine to cope with the anticipated increase in demand.
Slaughterhouses are gearing themselves up for a surge in demand equivalent to pre-Xmas turkey sales.
"David Bann's Vegetarian Restaurant" is rumoured to be considering opening a humane in-house organic slaughter chamber for unwell animals, in a desperate attempt to reduce predicted losses.

13/10/05 Y Viva Espana!

I am under the cosh somewhat at work at the moment.
A whole "bunch of things" that I haven't even started worked on yet are required yesterday.
I've noticed that "bunch of things" is an oft used phrase by our American cousins to describe having several items to contend with in a given situation.
We just tend to use bunch as a collective noun for bananas, or when we want people to move closer together and tell them to "bunch up".
I would normally say I have "a shit load" of things to do. This does lack charm and comes across slightly coarse I must confess.
Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm up to my eyes in shite.
The man from the agency took us out for lunch today.
We went to "Tapas Ole".
That has to be the worst, most unimaginative, tackiest name ever given to a restaurant with a Spanish theme specialising in the culinary theme of Tapas.
An equivalent Scottish restaurant in Spain would be "Och Aye The Stew", or something like that, or a bar called "Whisky Whisky!"
Anyway, in spite of the ridiculous name, the food was really, really nice and reasonable priced.
There are a couple of Tapas places in Edinburgh that serve horribly over-priced and poor quality fare, but this is definitely not one of them.
I won't identify the bad ones, as I don't want to be chased down Coates gardens by a Picador on a horse prodding me in the back with his big pointed stick, to pathetically weaken me, in order to make life a little less dangerous for the Matador when he turns up to finish me off.
I've seen it happen, believe me...

12/10/05 "Jimmy Jimmy...ohhhhhh!"

I enjoyed listening to an ancient comedy show, "The Clitheroe Kid", on the stupendously good digital radio channel BBC7 at the weekend.
Jimmy Clitheroe, a person of restricted growth, played a schoolboy, even though he was latterly in his 50s and still donning the cap, (ie the schoolboy head attire, not the female contraceptive device).
He was probably the first "celebrity" I ever saw in real life.
He drove a car past me in Scarborough in the 60s when I was a small boy.
I was awestruck, dumbstruck, but thankfully not struck by the car, (that's a Jimmy Clitheroe tribute joke penned affectionately by me, to give you an inkling of the man's greatness).
My dad told me he had to have a special seat and high pedals fitted to his car as he was only 4ft 10" or something like that, and wouldn't have been able to see over the steering wheel in a normal car.
I was impressed.
I think we went to see him do a show at Scarborough Pier, and I can't remember much about it, but I'm sure he "stormed" it and "adjusted the roof" to describe the events in the modern parlance of stand-up comedy.
He died quite young, but his radio shows will live on forever.
I am assuming that I wasn't the only person in the UK actually listening to the show.
Surely not? There must be a legion of Clitheroe fans out there...
Without Jimmy Clitheroe, there certainly wouldn't have been a Jimmy Krankie, and what a chilling thought that is to ponder.
Sorry if I've upset anyone by even having the temerity to hypothesise on such a desperate ommission from the world of comedy.

11/10/05 Charity Evening

The Scottish Mental Health Charity evening had the misfortune to be on the same evening as the most horrible weather we've had for a long time.
There was a monsoon going down ,and it never eased up all night.
I think this had something of a detrimental (boom boom) effect on the attendance, and it was a rather sparse gathering.
In spite of that, I really enjoyed the evening.
Nothing tastes sweeter than free beer, and I enjoyed all the acts that were on.
There seemed to be an unofficial competition going on, in terms of who could make the most inappropriate un-pc comments with tegards to the evening's theme.
Thankfully everyone took the gags in the spirit they were intended.
My "Ker Plunk" story with old ladies in wheelchairs got the best reaction from my act, resulting in the compere making a jokey disclaimer about the charity not officially endorsing this practice.
First on was a blind lady with her guide dog, and she was very funny. I loved the expression of the dog as it sat on the stage wondering what the hell was going on...
I really liked the organisers. They put a load of energy and enthusiasm into putting on the show, and it was a shame that they didn't get a bigger turnout.
Hopefully, they'll give it another go though.

10/10/05 Hilarious!

What a laugh I had at work today!
I haven't laughed so much for ages. Even just thinking again about the sequence of events has my sides aching with laughter.
What happened was that a bloke sitting next to me at work answered his phone.
He just said "Bla bla, can I help you?", or words to that effect.
Then he said "Hello me!" in a bright jaunty manner.
"That was strange..." I thought to myself.
But then I realised what he'd done...!
The person on the other end must have been a close aquaintance of his and had opened the conversation by saying "Hello, it's me..." ; (obviously making the assumption that their voice would be instantly recognisable, precluding the need for a more formal introduction).
With supreme comic invention and all-round cleverness, my colleague had extrapolated from this exchange that the Christian name of the caller must be "Me", and proceeded to address the caller as such.
This is a great example of the internal logic of a funny routine.
I laughed and laughed and laughed.
You had to be there.
This is a classic example of the great British sense of humour, and illustrates perfectly how our comedic literacy is the envy of the world.

Monday, October 10, 2005

09/10/05 AL Kennedy

I had a good gig at the Stand in Glasgow last night. It was packed out, which is quite unusual for a Sunday night. I tried a few new lines and they all went reasonably well for a first run out.
I was talking to another act, Alison Kennedy, who I thought looked very familar. I later realised that it was the well known author "AL Kennedy".
I didn't realise she did stand-up comedy.
She was pretty funny too. She was on straight after me.
A lot of her material was political in nature and it made a nice contrast to my stuff which is mainly idiotic with no message whatsover.
I have to admit that I've never actually read any of her books, but having talked to her I'm quite curious to find out what kind of stuff she produces.
I know she wrote the screenplay to a film called "Stella Does Tricks".
This film is best rmembered for loveable "Likely Lad" James Bolam's portrayal of a right nasty piece of work.
I've seen the film, but didn't think it was much cop.
Interestingly ace photo man and Stoke-Newington Pearly King, Robert Hind did the stills photos for that film.
Don't worry I'm not using this as a springboard to explore connections, and degrees of separation and all that stuff...

08/10/05 Chimney Endorsement

Angelina Jolie says ; "Jim's new chimneys are goddamn irresistible!"

Sunday, October 09, 2005

07/10/05 Check The Chimney Stacks On That!

Wahey! My new chimney stacks are finished...!
They look fantastic, and well worth £20 000 of anybody's money!
In fact I think it was a real bargain for us. I mean it's not as if there's much else you can do with £20 000 these days, is there?
Might as well spend it on some flash new chimney stacks...that's what I say...
There have already been a succession of supermodels stopping me as I walk down Coates Gardens, and then exclaiming enthusiastically how impressed they are with my dazzling new chimney stacks.
It's just a pity that I'm not actually allowed to have a fire, and actually use the fucking chimneys for the purpose for which they have been built...
But loik da Murphys etc etc

06/10/05 David Davis

Poor old David. He was red hot favourite to win the Tory leadership election, but just gave one of the most disastrously awful, political speeches it has ever been my misfortune to witness.
He made Ian Duncan Smith look like Martin Luther King!
He's finished...the young pretender David Cameron is going to stroll it.
Not much experience, but the Tories think he could their very own Tony Blair prototype.
As for David Davis...well, his parents didn't exactly help with their imaginative choice of Christian name for him.
He could have a future though in co-ordinating these "Printing Initiatives" Powerpoint presentations at my work, as his dull, monotone delivery and absence of wit, lends itself perfectly to this type of job.

05/10/05 Mental Health Week

I'm taking part in a Comedy night organised by Scottish Mental Health on Tuesday October 11th at "Left Bank" on Guthrie St in Edinburgh.
You can check the details here if you're interested in coming along to support this very worthwhile charity.
It promises to be a ripsnortingly hilarious evening of comedy and music, even if I say it myself.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

04/10/05 The Sky At Night apparently clear and bright, deep in the heart of Texas! So there you go...
Actually, I watched the BBC programme of this title the other night.
I'm not a regular viewer, but it generally is quite an interesting show, and usually throws up a few fascinating, mindblowing statistics for my puny brain to attempt to wrestle with.
Patrick Moore is one of those people who I've always assumed will live forever, and has obviously signed some pact with "Old Nick" guaranteeing immortality and a rolling contract from the BBC to present TSAN until the Universe implodes.
I would guess that he is currently about 143 years old.
He hasn't really changed much in all the time I've seen him presenting this show.
A lot of his monologue leaves me slightly bewildered, but I've always liked him...mainly because he has a real infectious passion for his subject and I respect that.
I was a bit perturbed to see that old age does seem to have finally caught up with him though.
That distinctive, rasping delivery isn't quite there any more. There's a degree of slurring in his speech, and physically, he seemed a bit wobbly.
I remember noticing the same about David Coleman's commentary. His voice always had this great immediacy and intensity about it, but he latterly started to warble, and it was all a tad sad, as you felt he'd gone on a little beyond his natural shelf-life as a top commentator.

03/10/05 Biscuits

This is a great web site, and I implore you to vote for your favourite biscuit of all time.
It really is important...
I'm not going to make any personal endorsements as I feel that would be a misuse of the global influence of this Blog, and that individuals should make their own selection without me putting ideas in their head...
although, it's fair to say that "Bandits" were my special biscuit...
Who could forget Conchita and the "You Can Stand It With Bandit" advert of the 80s?
Anyway, that's just my opinion...

02/10/05 Sunday dinner

I made a Sunday dinner for the family. Mushroom soup, Fish pie and Apple Sponge.
It was well received. I am a creative genius in the kitchen, well, not really...I've got a fairly limited repertoire...good comfort food though, I think they call it
I had a gig at The Stand on Sunday night, and thought I should probably not drink, but of course ended up having 3 glasses of wine, and then felt slightly paranoid that I might make a mess of my delivery, (remembering this memorable occasion, when I experimented with the effect of industrial quantities of alcohol on the delivery and comic timing of a performing stand-up comedian, with disastrous results!)
I was going to do some new things, but bottled it, and did the old faithful set.
It all went down really well, and all that, but I need to start taking a few more risks.
I mean I've often considered putting a bit of ginger in the apple sponge, or adding squid and/or red snapper to the haddock in the fish pie.
I just haven't quite been able to have the courage of my convictions and actually go through with it though. It's not easy...not easy at all...

01/10/05 Puzzled

I was amused to hear from my old neebor Martin that he had spent Friday night in, doing Sudokus, ("advanced", I hasten to add), and had drunk a case of 8 cans of lager in the process.
Surprisingly, he was feeling a little shaky the day after.
I think this is great maverick behaviour, and as such should be celebrated, as a demonstration of the rich tapestry of Scottish society.
I was at a work night out in Milnes Bar, and had a chinwag with Bernie, Scott and Rowland Rivron look-a-like whose name I have embarassingly failed to remember. If you read this, whoever you are, please don't take it personally!
Interestingly, Scott had read my Blog,and was also aquainted to musician and "trendy food photographer" Dave Reilly, aka "Cloudland Blue Quartet", and proprietor of the groundbreaking CBQ Blog which you can read here.
After that, why not visit here and cheer yourself up?
Hee I a wag..or am I a wag, or what?? chuckle chuckle...
No such thing as bad publicity though, eh Dave??
Anyway, we had a full and frank discussion on the relative merits of boarding schools (?)
We then drew the meeting to a halt, and I nicked across to The Stand to see a cracking night of comedy...
There was one persistent heckler who objected to some remarks made about the Iraq war, and started shouting "try living in Saudi Arabia" (?)

30/09/05 I was lucky!

I wrote in an earlier Blog entry about my lucky escape in Largs, when I fell into Largs Marina on a cold November night, pissed, strapped to a heavy rucksack and carrying a crate of beer. .
I was never really under much illusion that I was lucky to survive this incident.
However, I was very sad to see this weekend that someone did exactly the same thing at another nearby Marina and unfortunately drowned. Reading this article here made me shudder.
It's kind of convinced me that much as I enjoyed the sailing weekend, I prefer being on dry land. I've definitely used up one of my "sailing lives" in that incident.

29/09/05 Appendix

I thought it would be fair to provide some more facts on the last Blog entry, in order to put things in perspective.
I checked the details with my Dad and it turns out they were down in London for a RAF Reunion Piss-Up.
At the function, they'd met a friendly Irish bloke. He'd insisted on getting all the drinks rounds, assuring my Dad and Barr that he could secure "free drinks".
This went on all evening...
However, later in the evening, my Dad noticed to his horror that the Irish bloke was hanging around the bar pouring all the dregs in discarded glasses he could find, into 3 glasses, and then putting them on a tray and bringing them through to the function room.
He didn't seem to be making any distinction between beers and spirits, and it was all getting mixed in. As long as there was alcohol content, it was deemed suitable for this dubious free cocktail service.
By the time they knew what was happening they were all completely rat-arsed, and the rest of the story should be viewed bearing this in mind!
This is a bit of a Defence Counsel summing up I suppose...
I always admired Barr's uncle's attitude to the ensuing events.
I think it's a case of, if you've lived through a world war in london and grew accustomed to getting bombed every night, then someone shitting all over your conservatory isn't really the end of the world.
Would this attitude prevail in contemporary London.
I'll maybe put it to the test...I was thinking of having a weekend down in London in November anyway.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

28/09/05 Dad & Barr Larging It!

I recalled a funny anecdote concerning my Dad's pal Barr who died recently.
As young men in Scotland in the 1950s, they had a weekend away down in London and were staying at one of Barr's uncle and auntie's.
They were quite a posh couple staying in a leafy suburb of London.
Being Scottish, the two young men chose to mark the Saturday night by getting completely smashed on the local ale, coming back then drunkenly managed to find their room in the dark house in the middle of the night.
Barr later had a crisis in that he urgently needed to take a shit, but couldn't remember where the toilet was.
He didn't want to switch on the lights or go into the wrong room and wake people up.
However, he had to go, and in an act of total desperation, opened the window, stuck his bum out and summarily evacuated his bowels.
In the morning, nursing "category 5" hangovers, they gingerly came down the stairs to see Barr's uncle hosing down the glass roof of the conservatory.
Barr had inadvertently shit all over it from his chosen vantage point.
What I love about this story was that Barr's uncle was incredibly laid-back and understanding about the whole thing...
"Heavy night lads?" was his only comment.
The matter was then closed.

27/09/05 Evacuating Rita

I felt a bit guilty at the weekend at being slightly disappointed that Hurricane Rita didn't quite turn out to be quite as catastrophic as the media would have had us believe. Obviously, I didn't want to see anybody get killed, but thought that we would be privvy to witness a stunning example of the incredible forces of nature at work...
Of course, it's ultimately a good thing that this didn't completely materialise, and now that I've come to my senses, I'm happy about it too.
It's all the fault of "Sky News". They love a good, huge impending disaster and like to give it the big build-up.
It's like being in the audience for a big wrestling match as the promoter launches into an extended hyperbole to introduce the contestants.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, and in the blue corner,she's 400 miles wide, she's an unstoppable force of nature, she can lift buses high into the air, shes one b-a-a-a-a-d-a-s-s-s mama....will you give it up for "Hurrrrrrrr-icane Riiiiiii-tttt---aaaa!!!"
They did all this for "Hurricane Rita", but when the time came for the stunning entrance, the metaphorical "wrestler" was a 9 stone weakling dressed in a pink leotard and wearing national health glasses. What a let down. 165mph winds my arse! (only if I've been living off home-made scotch broth which this week I have, ironically enough)
I expect that the Bush Administration were keen to talk up the threat level of the Hurricane to make it look like they'd dealt with the crisis professionally and effectively, even if it wasn't all that bad in the end. They definitely
needed some decent PR after the Hurricane Katrina debacle.
I was quite shocked to see that ITV poll programme which was trying to establish the Top 50 News Shots since ITV began.
They'd got down to the last 10, and they were encouraging viewers to phone a premium rate number and vote on what they thought was the most memorable story.
It was basically a case of voting for your "favourite disaster".
You could have had the Tsunami, the Ethiopian Famine, 9/11, the JFK Assassination, England's 1966 World Cup Win etc It all seemed a bit weird to me...I didn't hang around to see what the "winner" was...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

26/09/05 Flu (again)

Still got flu...
still got nothing interesting to say, other than that I don't like having flu...
got some new gigs though in case anyone is interested in seeing me do my hilarious "flu" routine...

9/10/05 "The Stand", Glasgow
24/10/05 "The Stand", Edinburgh
06/11/05 "The Stand", Edinburgh

Hopefully, I'll be well by then...
I just saw Tony Blair come on stage to the old Sham 69 hit "If The Kids Are United".
I found that more than a little weird.
I laughd in a similar way when supermodel Kate Moss was exposed by tabloid reporters as having been guilty of cocaine useage.
Now that is just so funny on so many different levels...

Anyway, back to my flu....

25/09/05 Flu

I am ill...
and therefore have nothing interesting to say about anything...
no change there then?
ha ha

24/09/05 Jam Tarts

My old mate Jamie has a bet on Hearts to win the SPL title for 2005/06. I think he put on £25 at the start of the season at odds of 250/1, (the odds are now 7/4 for Hearts to win the league)
Even though I am a Rangers supporter, I was pleased to see Hearts beat Rangers today, as I would love it, love it if they won the league (he said doing a Kevin Keegan impersonation).
Jamie has promised to hire a pub for the day and have a free bar if/when the Jambos triumph. I think it'd be also good to hire some hilarious comedians for the day, and I personally would be willing to donate 5% of my fee to the "Hearts' Supporters Welfare Fund" to get involved in the spirit of the occasion.
It would be a great way to erase the trauma of 1986 when Hearts lost the league calamitously on the last day of the season, and fittingly it would be the 20th anniversary of this event.
I remember it very clearly as I lived near Tynecastle stadium at that time. There was so much optimism in the community. Shopkeepers had their radios on listening to the match ; they were cheery and whistling and talked about bottles of champagne in the fridge and a "big night" ahead.
Then it all went wrong. It was Gorgie's 9/11. It was awful. Despair. Tears. Terrible. And Celtic had won the league, to make it even worse.
Anyway, sorry for dragging all that up...
I hope this season is going to end up differently.
My only other thought is how Jamie's sphincter will cope as the season builds to its conclusion.
I suspect that it has started slowly vibrating after todays win against Rangers, but is probably still relatively under control.
Should Hearts beat Celtic at Parkhead in the next Jambo crunch game, then I suspect the "slow vibration" of Jamie's sphincter will evolve into something more akin to a humming bird in full flight.
Of course, he could now lay off his bet, ie put £3000 on Celtic at even money to win the title, thus guaranteeing a profit of £3000 whether Celtic or Hearts win the league. (of course this is based on the assumption that Rangers are out of the race. I think they're too far behind now,11 points off th pace, and that McLeish has lost the plot. In fact he never really found the plot as far as I was concerned.)

23/09/05 Oh Dear

A "Category 5" hangover...
Cycled in to work but still felt completely pissed.
Managed 4 hours "work", then got the bus home, feeling physically incapable of cycling up the big hill.
tsk tsk tsk...
I should have known better...
I'll never drink again today

22/09/05 Cheryl's Birthday

I met up with Cheryl and her band of merry friends at the Blue Parrot in Stockbridge for a birthday meal.
It's a really nice, relaxed little place with excellent simple, mexican fare. I always enjoy it there.
We tend to favour the litre jugs of Margheritas on occasions such as this, and saw no reason to deviate from this established tradition.
It's always difficult to establish how much you're drinking though, as the glass never gets a chance to get to the "empty" setting as there is a continual topping up thing going on.
It's the most jugs I've seen on display since I was at a "Festival Of Toby Jugs" in Scarborough in 1983.
They just kept coming. It was reminiscent of the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene from Walt Disney's "Fantasia" where Mickey Mouse magicks the broomsticks to start fetching buckets of water, and he chops them up to try and stop, but they form new broomsticks and keep bringing more and more...ahem..."jugs of margherita" to the table...and so on...
We didn't have an elderly sorcerer to put things to right and stop all this mayhem though, (where is Paul Daniels when you need him?), so we just kept on drinking them, secretly hoping that the restaurant would eventually run out of them.
It was a simply marvellous evening though and a good time was had by all.

21/09/05 Anthem

I was just wondering. When the queen dies, do we immediately have to start singing "God Save The King", or is there a Royal protocole to cover this situation, in which "God Save The Queen" is maintained for a respectable length of time.
It seems a bit harsh to immediately revert asking God to save the King, although the saying "the King is dead, long live the King" suggests that it kind of goes with the territory.
However, just because the Queen is dead doesn't mean to say that she is no longer in need to be saved by God. I suppose you could interpret being "saved" as being guided safely through to the next level, after having shuffled off the old mortal coil.
So maybe singing "God Save The Queen" for a month or two after her death would seem quite a nice gesture?
Anyway, does Charles become King immediately, or is it only when the Archbishop of Canterbury plonks the crown on his napper at the coronation ceremony?
This would take a while to organise...mainly due to the fact that it's been so long since they did the last one.
Maybe there's a period when we don't sing the song at all, as there is an offical limbo time between the monarchs, (perhaps the odd chorus of "Ding Dong The Queen Is Dead" instead?)
I always thought that "God Save The Queen" was a bit of strange request. It implies that she's in imminent danger, and that is slighlty discomforting.
Why not swap "save" with "help" for the new monarch? That way, it's more of a request for the deity to assist our monarch, and is less likely to cause unnecessary anxiety. Just a thought anyway.

20/09/05 An Appeal

Writing a Blog can start out as a harmless bit of fun. A therapeutic exercise to distil thoughts and activities into an "entertaining" insight into the Blogger's daily existence.
I write a Blog myself and am aware of the pros and cons of such an activity.
You can often be accused of pompous self-indulgence. It has been compared to "vanity publishing". Yeah, yeah, yeah...but the bottom line is no-one generally gets hurt and it's not doing anybody any harm.
But like anything else Blogging can become addictive and its use can spiral out of control if not sensibly monitored.
At this point I feel I must draw attention to the plight of my friend Dave who has fallen victim to "Bloggers' Syndrome".
(See Link at end of this Blog entry to access Dave's Blog.)
This is the most acute case of this phenomenum which I have ever seen on the Internet.
To make matters worse a Digital Camera is also involved. (sharp intake of breath)
It started off with photos of CDs, then there photos of the interior of an Edinburgh Corporation Bus, the odd photo of his garden slabs...nothing too alarming there, but we are now at the level of seeing a collection of photos of Dave's weekly groceries, (see Blog entry for 25/09/05)
It is of great concern to myself and Dave's many close friends that this descent into madness seems to be gathering momentum.
I worry that I will soon see him outside Marks and Spencers jumping up and down in his underpants, taking pictures of people's sandwiches and making ear piercing squawking sounds as he takes each snap, then shouting "One for The Blog, One for the Blog!".
This is the next stage.
However, if you send me cash donations, I will set up a clinic where Dave, and others who suffer from this Internet based condition, can be treated...
I'm hoping to get one of these spots after "Scotland Today", where people talk in black and white about a worthy cause.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

19/09/05 Small Change

Since I discovered that I have approximately 800 squillion pounds worth of loose change in my flat, I've used this ridiculous surplus to initiate a clever new training regime.
On a daily basis, I fill a rucksack full of change, (in proper little bank bags), and then proceed to cycle (rather unsteadily) to work.
If I was to get knocked off my bike, (as nearly happened this morning), I would hit the ground with a great thud carrying all the extra weight on my back. In all likelihood the bag would burst and thousands of coins would cascade all over the road. I'd be suspected of being a suicide bomber, using the coins for shrapnel.
At lunchtime, I walk up the entire length of Dundas St to the bank.(It's a steep continuous hill, reminiscent of the south-west face of the Eiger, in case you didn't know...)
By the time I get to the bank I am puffing and sweating like a racehorse. I usually make it to the bank just before midday and manage to avoid the busy lunchtime queues.
As I waited in the queue yesterday carrying my bumper load of change, the bank suddenly became very busy with about 15 people waiting behind me.
One teller was occupied in an intractable debate with an Italian female who was trying to organise some complicated transaction involving a large number of ravelling cheques.
There was a clearly audible groan from the queue as I strode up to the teller and began to load a multitude of loose change bags onto the counter.
There was nothing I could do to improve my popularity in this difiicult situation.
I sure as hell wasn't going to carry all the change back down to the office again. I'd no choice. I felt like turning round and explaining this to the rest of the queue, (possibly through the medium of song?)...
However, I didn't do this. It seemed a risky strategy. I was comforted by the realisation that the majority of people in the queue were obviously "fresher" students opening new bank accounts. If they weren't waiting in the queue, they'd just be sitting in cafes, smoking cigarettes and talking animatedly about "pop" music and computer games.
I was relieved to feel that I wasn't causing serious problems to the economy by my selfish change conversion practice.

Monday, September 19, 2005

18/09/05 Another Scotland Triumph!

Scotland became the recipient of another dubious honour at the weekend when it was categorised "most violent country in the developed world". This can be added to our existing portfolio of market leader in Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Strokes and Alcoholism.
We're also apparently improving our obesity rating as well. By that I mean we're getting fatter, not getting slimmer.
I've made my own personal contribution to this trend over the past few weeks. (So much for my spectacular loss of a stone through using the revolutionary "Fringe Comedy Show" diet. It's all gone back on. Been coming back late from work and lapsing into the murky world of junk food. It's a slippery slope...(mainly due to all the grease)
I think Scotland's main problem definitely is our diet . We smoke a lot and drink a lot. But so do the French and the Japanese, and their life expectancy is miles better than ours. They eat lots of fresh fruit & veg & fish, whereas we exist on smoked sausage suppers, Irn Bru, Scotch Pies, Crisps, tinned macaroni, dairylea cheese slices ("they're Dairlylea mad, them kids...!"), turkey twizzlers, square sausages (the sum of the squares of 2 sides of a square sausage is equal to the sum of the squares of the other 2 sides...that's something we get taught at an early age in Scottish Primary Schools during "Home Economics" lessons) , fish fingers, pork pies, greasy chips, white bread and "ready meals" saturated with additives and hydrogenated fat. And that's just for breakfast...
Not that I'm one to talk. I'm constantly starting new "diet regimes" which last a couple of weeks, but inevitably lapse into a visit to a "Deep Fried Theme Park" for a few days...
My latest attempt to establish a healthy eating regime is to order a weekly box of fruit and veg from an organic farm. This will cost me £30, which is quite lot I suppose. However, this will be a lot cheaper than eating junk all the time, and should encourage me to create healthy, wholesome fare .
Or will it turn into a weekly "Jim's Festival of Vegetable Decomposition" event in my kitchen. The world holds its breath!
Four people died yesterday doing "The Great North Run". It's supposed to be a "fun run"! I always did find that expression something of a contradiction in terms. It's over 13 miles! Fun? Are you crazy? I suspect it's dangerous doing these events without enough training, and feeling the weight of friends' expectations and being pressurised into finishing the race to secure the sponsorship cash, even though your body is screaming at you to stop. Four dead is a lot.
Couldn't we have a "Great Pie Eating Challenge" instead where the object is to sit in a pub and eat as many pies as you can in an 8 hour period. It would be a great way of generating funds for "eating disorder" charities, as well as a viable means of raising general awareness of the problem.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

17/09/05 The Aristocrats

Saw this film tonight. It is very funny. I like a good helping of complete filth occasionally. There's something vaguely joyous about it.
It reminds me of how I pissed myself laughing uncontrollably as a teenager when Kenny Melrose played me a "Derek and Clive" LP for the first time. I could hardly stand up.
Just a couple of reservations. Most of the participating comedians are American, and a large percentage of them are unknown to British audiences. Most are very funny, but a few suffer from an annoying "amn't I the FUNNY one!" smugness which grates after a while.
Billy Connolly's contributions are consistently funny, yet they omit to show him actually telling the bleedin' joke! Why oh why oh why?
My other observation, was that towards the end of the film, an "older" comedian is filmed in a jacuzzi with an attractive young lady, who appears to have no clothes on, (although only her shoulders are exposed above the waterline).
In one scene, the comedian lunges at her in an attempted embrace and sets up a wave motion in the jacuzzi, with the resultant water displacement causing the young lady's left breast to be exposed.
However, the breast is pixellated to prevent her embarassment.
I find this a peculiar illustration of America's attitude to nudity.
I cite the hullaballoo surrounding Janet jackson at the Superbowl as another example.
This is bizarre in that for the preceding hour, we have listened to a large number of comedians discussing members of a family fucking each other "up the ass", felching, shitting on faces, shitting in mouths, bestiality, paedophilia, slithering about in shit and cum on stage...etc etc you name it, they talked about it... it was the largest compendium of uncensored filth exploring the extreme outer limits of sexual taboos ever filmed.
That passed the censors ok.
But a lady's bare breast! Pixellate it...! Pixellate it...!
That's obviously taking things just that little too far...

16/09/05 Let's Have A Look At The Old Scoreboard

I worked out how to check the stats from the Web Host today for the usage of
At the start of this year I was just getting an average of 150 hits a month.
However, since the Blog began, the numbers have soared, and for the past 4 months I've averaged 5700 hits a month.
I don't know whether they are all unique hit ids (probably not), but it's still fairly heavy traffic and a lot more than I imagined.
All in all, there have been 38 862 hits on the web site since it was created.
I feel a bit self-conscious now!
I watched a bit of that "Art School" thing this week.
It's nice sometimes to have your prejudices confirmed, ie that John Humphries is a pompous, self-important, irritating, self-obsessed arsehole of the first degree.
Sometimes I felt as though my views on him were maybe a little harsh and over the top. Turns out they weren't. He's even worse than I imagined.