At the End of the Day

It’s going to be what Americans call ‘a grab bag’ tonight: a mixture of the eclectic, the canine and the esoteric*: not much discipline, hopefully some laughs.

*We had a client at Bates Advertising once who used to pronounce this word ‘e-zottrick’, as if it might be the digital form of a game otherwise known as Zottrick. You may also have noticed that most young persons (ie, under 40) pronounce the word digital as d’jtoo. This is in the same vein as characters in Eastenders, who pronounce ‘Phil’ (as in Phil Mitchell) ‘Foo’. If Phil’s wife – and Foo’s had quite a few – is being ‘a silly cow’, then received Eastenders pronunciation is “Foo’s missuziza silly car”. As Phil also has/had a car repair business under the local railway arches, you never know in this soap whether he is repairing a car or taking a spanner to his wife. We must all be thankful it isn’t  a radio programme.

Talking of wives, I’m juicing a lot of fresh fruit and veg for Mrs Slog at the moment, as part of a bid to rebuild her mysteriously attacked immune system. I went to various websites for advice about juicing oranges, and as is often the way with health Nazis, all such sites said one had to absolutely double-dog on pain of death juice the oranges with the peel still on otherwise one loses 75% of the Vitamin C.

What they don’t tell you is that orange juice including the peel tastes like a bowl of hangover urine mixed with sulphuric acid. Anyway, the resultant residue is sitting in the fridge at the moment. I keep returning to it, hoping it might become palateable. If anything, it tastes more foul each time I go there.

I’ve started hand-stripping our youngest Norfolk terrier Coco. Before people run away with the idea that I’m some kind of bestial sex freak, I should explain that this means pulling out black puppy-hairs one by one. If you know what you’re doing it shouldn’t hurt the animal at all, but I don’t – so I’d imagine it’s causing Coco a fair amount of trauma. The other clue as to her feelings on the matter is that, as of three days ago, she runs off whenever I get within three yards of her. The only exception to this general rule is when I say “Walk”, “Breakfast”, or “Supper”.

But that’s the way it is with terriers. And the other way with terriers is that there is no honour among thieves. Because our eldest Dog Foxie eats with a venomous greed (and speed) she often can’t finish the bowl, and then wanders off somewhere close by to vomit. Our middle dog Tiggy thus creeps over to her bowl, wolfs the rest of her food, and then stands guard by Foxie, waiting for the throwing up thing. Then she eats that too. Waste not want not, and all that.

Take away the anthropomorphic nonsense, and dogs emerge as pretty awful creatures. But their behaviour offers a lesson for us all. Like us, they are pack animals existing on cooperation to bring down prey, followed by competition as to who gets the most and the best bits. It is an immutable law of nature, and no species – no matter how clever it thinks itself – can meddle with it and survive.

Since my wife’s illness, I’ve been rethinking some of the philosophy behind the concept of individual will. I have never bought into the idea that social environment and alienation alone can lead to criminal and/or abusive behaviour. To be precise, I did think that way when I was about seventeen, and everything was the Tories’ fault (always pronounced Toe-rees these days I note) but it came as something of a relief as I matured to realise that most ‘successful’ politicians are to blame for pretty much everything, be they LibDems, Communists or whatever George Galloway is this week.

Funnily enough, I can remember exactly when I dropped my commitment to social conditioning as the sole explanation of anything. I was having my daily political rowaged about sixteen with Dad , and he said that in his slum-street, one kid had gone on to be hanged, two were drunks, three were in and out of jail, one was a doctor, and him – a cloth merchant. All of them had loving mothers, all of them were poor – but some went bad, and others didn’t.

His point was that there is such a thing as individual will, and we are all ultimately responsible for what happens. I do believe that he was largely right, although I also think that paternal example and inspiring teachers can make a huge difference – as can the right priest or the right religious influence.

But what this latest episode has made me realise is that we are all at the mercy of chemicals. If they change without warning, if one is born with the wiring to spark a deadly potion, if your head gets smashed in as a result of some accident or attack, or if you get hit by an inexplicable virus, there isn’t a whole helluva lot you can do about it. It is pointless saying to a clinically depressed person, “Cheer up”. And it is equally pointless saying to a psychopath, “Be good from now on”. Personality change following accidental or medical trauma gives the lie to the idea that we all have control over our own actions all of the time.

What both intrigues and frightens me is that, in the brave new world which is now without question well on its way here, it is going to become a routine matter at the foetus stage to screen out anti-social, life-threatening, psychopathic and inherited genetic faults. Once this is achieved, there will then be no excuse at all for crime, abusive behaviour, and setting fire to the local department store. Except that what might well also happen is that all rebellious baby-genes get thrown out with the sociopathic bathwater. Then what you have is a world full of unthinking, obedient drones. Somewhere in the deep recesses of Newscorp, or perhaps a Chinese weapons development facility, or maybe even in the back-room lab of a hard-Left back bencher and neurology geek, somebody right now is thinking about, and experimenting to find out, how this might be achieved.

And quarter-finally, it’s half-time in England’s euros game against Italy. For me, this is by far England’s best performance to date….but the team could very easily be 4-0 down by now. In terms of attacking creativity and technical skill, the Italians are in a different class…with the exception (as always) of Rooney.

Perhaps all the Roy Hodgson fans should pay attention to this, the observation of an old bloke still able to tell mediocrity from media stardom. Trust me, it’s worth more than all the drivel being spouted by the half-time ‘gurus’ on the Beeb, one of whom who just observed, “Wull, the problem see is when we get the ball and then lose it”. He could be onto something there. (Jurgen Klinsmann, by the way, spoke more eloquently and with more commonsense insight when interviewed at the touchline. His English grammar was also far better).

G’night and G’bless. There’s an action-packed edition coming up tomorrow. Don’t miss it.

23 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. “Then what you have is a world full of unthinking, obedient drones”… too late, the method is Autism and the means is neurologically damaging chemicals in our food and water… vaccinations, pesticides, heavy metals, etc.


  2. Juicing oranges is best done with a cheap orange juicer such as can be bought even here in hi-tech Portugal; looks a bit like something from one of the scenes in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, an inverted cone with ribs. You then simply have to cut the orange in half and grind it over the juicer with a circular motion. Then sieve the resultant juice according to Mrs Slog’s requirements. Saves getting whatever the locals put on the rind – either wax or aphid killer, which being a nerve poison would be unhelpful.
    The one puzzle I have is that when we store the juice in the fridge it settles out into a cloudy layer of orange juice at the bottom and a clear yellow fluid on top; no, seriously. So how come processed orange juice as bought in tetra-briks from shops always looks as if it is freshly stirred?


  3. Sorry to hear about your wife a little story and seems so long ago now when it was so real.

    I went to the doctor, body was being ravaged by a neurological virus. The only hope offered was doctors was kind of you might be dead in two weeks. Went my own path and I do hope not all the doom and gloom.

    Did a little reading and worked out this mechanism was a good a place to start as any. “A body fit for the fight and I needed to feed it but what?”

    Ingredients required to build the volume of cells not irregular, deformed etc.

    B12, Folic Acid, Iron, Protein and Intrinsic Factor. Shortage in any can lead to aneamia and when ill you may start depleting any or all and require a timely boost. (A pharmaceutical can’t get rich off these, not patentable hence will never be suggested as the magic pill).

    Could say more but then it becomes philosophical and to sum that the best healer for anybody is themselves as you are the cure if your immune system is to play any part.

    Best wishes and keep hope.


  4. Pingback: Before It's News

  5. almedinaapartment,
    Perhaps they added a touch of caragheen or xanthan gum to thicken it slightly and keep the bits in suspension.
    Mr. Slog,
    I too hope that Mrs. Slog is recovering. Doubtless she is touched by your solicitude – even if the juice is pretty horrid. We used to believe that medicine had to taste vile to do you any good.

    Avoiding the skins might not be a bad idea. I heard of a chap years ago who went to see how the Spanish grew tomatoes. He was in a greenhouse and reached for a tasty looking fruit and aimed it towards his mouth. One of the workers knocked it out of his hand and shook his head vigorously. It had first to be cleaned of whatever had been sprayed on it. Oranges and lemons have more absorbent skins and pith. My wife will only buy unwaxed lemons.

    With regard to language, it is just as funny at the higher end.
    The Prince of Wales says things like “abite the hice” for about the house.

    When I was employing less than academic young men, one of the brighter ones came and asked me for a “keckle” . Because it was to do with their tea break, I soon realised he meant “kettle” . Eleven years of schooling hadn’t cured him of baby talk and very few of them could pronounce “th”
    for the same reason. So a thrush might have “forty fowsend fevvers on its fwoat”.

    I have a vivid memory of a great aunt correcting me at an early age because I had pronounced my first name as “Wobert”. She showed me how to say it properly. She had been a primary school teacher in a very tough inner city area in the Twenties and Thirties and I bet she gave similar instruction to all her pupils. They would not have emerged talking like babies.


  6. Cuddles, reading her an old favourite book – but I’m sure you already know that. Here’s wishing her a sparkling recovery & a July of warm balmy twilights.


  7. Please ask your wife to have a vitamin D3 test if she has not already had one. This will exclude low serum levels of D3 as a cause and it can be easily fixed with supplements. Please make sure you get the level in writing as doctors tend to say it is a bit low and give you Dcal which does no good at all. There is an epidemic of insufficiency and older people need around 5000 IU a day not 400!


  8. Sounds like you are doing are marvellous job. The only thing to add to all the above suggestions (agree def no citrus skins!) is that potato skins have a lot of vit C too, so eat organic spuds unpeeled.

    And you might try zinc tablets, if you can get them, zinc is said to be a co-factor for immune boost against viruses. But if in doubt check with a naturopath who can advise on dose etc.

    Sincere best wishes to you both and lots of warm evenings.


  9. England’s best game so far???John they had 34% possession.
    I watch the games on Swedish TV with BBC radio five live commentary. You cannot have been watching the same game. Apart from 9 mins in the first half England played like an apology for a team. If Italy could have converted half the open goals England presented them with it would have been 6 or 7 nil. And we know their form with penalties.
    England have two serious problems.
    1. They have far too few skills. Total absence of passing ability and the consequent lack of possession is the most glaringly obvious problem. Rarely did they string more than 3 passes together tonight. And Rooney is the arch-demon in this respect. Not just tonight but every game I’ve seen him play this season for club or country. Tonight I counted – he lost possession / miss-passed 11 times out of 13. And who the f**k compared him with Pelé???
    2. Belief is the second. In Terry and Gerard we have two all time ‘losers’. They’re actually excellent defenders but they haven’t got winning mentalities. You only have to listen to Gerard and look at his body language to know that his greatest expectation is third place in a two horse race.
    And as for old uncle Roy. C’mon!! We are the world’s laughing stock. We cannot be serious.


  10. Have to disagree about Rooney. He shouldn’t have been on the pitch. Too many fags and pies make him a has been. Don’t get me started on his control.


  11. Dunc
    Not sure how you’re disagreeing with me here. A fair final score would’ve been 17-3 to Italy. But they won (deservedly) on penalties.
    I’ll give you 5-1 however that tomorrow the UK press will say we LOST on penalties.


  12. My husband had violent headaches, double vision and other symptoms.
    Finally diagnosed with Miller Fisher, a variant of Guillain Barre syndrome and has regular had brain scans for over eight years.
    Since moving to Costa Rica where his doctors have him on folic acid and B12 and where, following the neighbours’ advice he takes Graviola and Noni, the lesions show no sign of the deterioration which was evident in earlier years.
    Climate helps too….

    Best wishes for a full recovery for your wife.


  13. Leave it aht, Phil Mitchell is Fiw not Foo.

    As regards the footie, or foo’ie, Spain are going to win because they play like a (very good) team. We don’t even play like a team and if we did it would be a crap one. Stevie G is a pearl among swine but even he can’t make a silk purse out of Rooney’s thick ear. If Jordan Henderson is the best we can do, God help England (and Liverpool) because he’s young and we may be lumbered with him for yonks. (Or until Roy falls on his sword).


  14. With regard to the immutable law of nature, Kipling wrote an excellent poem about that,(The Law of the Jungle). I do hope that your wife will soon recover her health, hopefully a bit of sunshine will help…..


  15. ‘In terms of attacking creativity and technical skill, the Italians are in a different class…with the exception (as always) of Rooney.’ Is that Wayne Rooney? The leaden lump with the malevolent demeanour and small market garden where his hair should be? Wardy, I think you had Red-tinted specs on. He played dreadfully.


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