At the End of the Day

It has just occurred to me that if you’re caught getting legless in Saudi, you might wind up in that state permanently. If you steal something, you may be forced to throw your hand in. And if you convert from Islam to Christianity, it is very important to keep your head, and keep quiet about it. Because if you want to get ahead, it’s important not to lose your head. You can’t keep calm and carry on with no head. (Am I the only person on the planet who’s now so fed up of that wartime phrase, I want to throw a biscuit tin through the window and not be calm at all?)

In our wonky, unbalanced pc world, each of those feeble gags represents a heinous crime in terrible taste, but I’m very keen that they should set the tone this evening. I remember very well the first time I saw the retail brand name PC World, and wondered both what they sold, and what the staff were like. I had a vision of prim, thin-lipped anal retentives showing me how to work a Rape Detector. But they turned out to be loud-mouthed twerps talking bollocks. Life is an eternal disappointment for those with expectations of something better.

Today the Joseph Rowntree Foundation tweeted to tell me that “Those living with dementia can run social and community projects”. I had three reactions, in this order. First, I’d always assumed that those living with dementia do run social and community projects. Second, those who run them well while suffering from dementia have clearly been misdiagnosed. And third, whyTF was anyone wanting people with dementia to run such things?

I’m in the very early stages of dementia myself, and I’m being dead straight when I say I wouldn’t trust myself to run a bath without forgetting to turn the bloody taps off. I find ageism the least legally recognised of all the isms, but I’m not about to kick up a fuss because I haven’t been chosen for the forthcoming NASA mission to Mars. It wouldn’t be pleasant for the other astronauts to spend 99% of the journey coexisting with a stiff following my death from a heart-attack during the launch phase.

Some years back, there was talk in the music press of a special nostalgia concert for Diana Ross and the Supremes, but they were a Supreme short and so applications were invited for the job. Now I’m in the right age-group, but the wrong gender and the wrong colour. Today, however, is the JRF suggesting I’d be right to apply…and be dubbed a victim of prejudice if turned down? You see, one couldn’t air the Cook & Moore one-legged Tarzan sketch in 2015, because it would be deemed offensive. All I can tell you is that I watched the sketch on the night of its original airing with my Auntie Molly, who had but the one leg. She pissed herself laughing from start to finish….as indeed did we all.

Just as Gilbert & Sullivan wrote that the punishment should fit the crime, so in life we must look to choose a horse for a course. If the going is heavy and it’s teeming with rain, best not to choose a camel that’s never raced before in its life. That’s how we got David Cameldung.

If people have a disability, the last thing one should do is set them up to fail….or even worse, tell them they’ve succeeded when they haven’t. It is part of the innate cruelty of ‘quota equality’ thinking that it assumes one should give an unfair advantage to the disadvantaged. Wrong: one should look for another dimension to that person. It is merely an addition to the general nature of teaching: bring out the talent in everyone, and then inspire them to mine that seam. Don’t just tick the box by sending him or her to Aston to read Media Studies.

Because New Labour was so infuriatingly middle class, they looked down on people whose real destiny was to be plumbers, cabinet makers, builders, electricians and plasterers. I don’t. I’m in awe of such people. For I am the infamous Captain Slapdash, the DIY fiend who knows not his watts from his fluid column pressure.

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A Dutch lady I met in a bar yesterday informed me that Sir Francis Drake had been playing with his bowels when he should’ve been dealing with the Spanish Armada. I was shocked to learn this, along with her insistence that Sir Walter Raleigh had sung King Philip of Spain’s beard. I asked her whether she was by any chance a devotee of surrealism, and she asked me who this Sir Raul Issem was. After all, she said with a high degree of confidence, wasn’t everyone famous in British history ‘Sir’ something or other? Was he a foreigner like Sir Benjamin Disraeli?

I hastened to contradict the lady, pointing out such key figures as Watt Tyler, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Eric Morecambe and Sid Vicious. I then dug myself a deeper hole by explaining how to play bowls, singe somebody’s facial hair, and tell jokes about two old men sitting in deckchairs. I was on a hiding to nothing.

The fact that foreigners get English so totally wrong much of the time is why most UK citizens still find foreigners objects of fun. This is of course staggering arrogance on our part, given that our approach to learning foreign languages is to shout in English at those who speak them. It’s particularly galling when one considers how many Estuary Brits can’t even master their own tongue without uttering unintentionally hilarious malapropisms. Over time, I have overheard some belters.

“The bird on the phone, roit,” said a bloke I was next to in a pub, “Said there was always an excellent ambulance in the restaurant”.

His mate replied, “Why der they need an ambulance then?”

“Wull,” said the first bloke, “I s’pose the food’s likely to give yer Delhi belly an’ that, so they need a really good one ter get yer to the ‘ospital when yer start chuckin’ up”.

He mentioned the name of the restaurant – “No ferkin’ way I’m goin’ there” he added – and so I looked up the website. The sub-head declared, “Always an excellent ambience”.

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Earlier at The Slog: Greek talks collapse in Swiss clinic spin drama

19 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Following the theme mentioned in John’s second paragraph, may I bring to Sloggers’ attention the tale of two followers of the Religion of Peace who were walking along the road when one noticed the stitch marks around the other’s right wrist, “I see you won your appeal then”, he remarked.

    Taxi for Caratacus …

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  2. The bird on the phone wouldn’t be a Dutch drake phoning the wash looking amongst the moss ads for a one legged parrot in a pub in Morecombe,rallying behind long john silvers Mars bar

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  3. Dear John,

    I haven’t wanted to write to you in any personal sense before, but if you are – as you suggest – in the very early stages of dementia, you seem to me to be too valuable a voice to simply let go into the good night. I am an academic specializing in the relationship between dietary elements, chronic inflammation and the pathogenesis of degenerative diseases (such as dementia). There are totally new vistas opening up in the quasi-dietary management of such conditions which are inexpensive and totally no-toxic, and there is a very good chance that they will stabilize your condition. If you are interested I would be more than happy to share this information with you.

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  4. Speaking of Saudi Arabia, this gave me a laugh and I think it will do similarly for other Sloggers.

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  5. I grew up with Drake’s bowels, my old dad used to amuse himself by telling us about the fellow pupil who made that very gaffe in a history essay; well, as they say, no one’s inflammable.

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  6. JW, , at 0111 and posting, I am pissed. as usual, at this time, but more than that I am ANGRY. And have been for about 2 years. More, Do you recall me telling you I see my Guardian Angel? Dozens of times a day. A speck of energy. etc. etc. Still see it. What the fu*ck it is, I no longer know. Could be programmed into the Matrix. I hope so. Because God/Allah can only be a twisted pervert that likes to watch children starve to death. Worse, IT, like to watch children get fuc*ked up the arse! RC’s have been doing that 2000 yrs! I think GOD jacks off when he sees a donkey fu#ck a child up the rectum. Disgusting.

    I nominate you for Sensible One. Replace the perverted Creator!

    I gave a similar mouthful at ‘GOD’S’ website. .

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  7. Sorry, that should have been John Ward’s pacifism :) I wasn’t responding the comment from Here’s mud in your eye!

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  8. “Some years back, there was talk in the music press of a special nostalgia concert for Diana Ross and the Supremes, but they were a Supreme short and so applications were invited for the job”

    Could they not invite a chicken to do the job? Then it might be a Chicken Supreme.

    Sorry.

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  9. I lived out in Dhahran in my late 30s mapping biotopes of the Arabian Gulf. Because Dhahran was an airbase for Gulf War I there was a huge British Aerospace presence there. The bachelor compounds were full of secret bars and even a nightclub. Almost every ex-RAF bloke knows about Al Gosaibi compound or “Algo” where periodically they’d shut it down when one of the stills blew up. Those lads lived on 24 hour passports plus generous salaries and the company would get them over the Bahrain Causeway if anything went proverbial as it often did. You’d go out 11pm and not get home till 6am. Them was days.

    I gave it all up however and lived teetotal 3 years out there preferring to wander the deserts in my tiny Lada Niva 1600.

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  10. Oh and on the dementia front, twice a week I help out my “Open All Hours” Bavarian lady greengrocer out by taking all her cardboard and plastic to the recycling place – she has it tough with a man – I think he built up the business in the past – who has dementia. He wanders the streets in a daze while I pack the trailer full of old cardboard. how anyone can be heartless to say people like this can be doing something “community” (a nauseating word under NuLab) is beyond me.

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  11. ‘A Dutch lady I met…..’ I had good Danish friend who once when walking through Leicester Square pronounced ‘I had my best crap in London in that restaurant over there!’ (Mispronouncing crepe arf arf)

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