I decided when I started blogging I would avoid being topical. But how can you avoid being so when we see examples of Grumpy's alternative world are all around us.
Take ageism for instance. Henry Allington has officially become the world's oldest man. (Taking over from Tomoji Tanabe who died in his sleep in Japan, aged 113.) He, Henry, not Tomoji has retained his sense of humour, attributing his longevity to 'cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women.' Seemingly neither humour, compassion or common sense for that matter are evident in Rogerstone Community Council, South Wales. They wanted to evict an eighty nine year old lady for growing only flowers on the allotment she had tended for thirty years. Though they did eventually back down; I wonder why. (Eddy Shah, former newspaper owner has offered to let people grow vegetables on his land in return for 60 per cent of the produce. My reaction, 'Steady Eddie') I've far more admiration for Phyllis Self, aged one hundred and one and still running a garden centre in Wiltshire, putting in a thirty six hour week. Plus Florence Lane who recently died aged ninety four, the licencee of the Sun Inn at Leinwardine, reputed to be one of the best public houses in Britain. (A lifelong teetotaler, when asked her age, she always replied 'plenty.') Finally concerning ageism, Olivia de Haviland, the last survivor of the principal cast of Gone With the Wind was ninety three this month.
Its not as if its geriatrics that are the only daft ones around. A Boeing 757 nearly collided in fog with a workman driving a ride on lawnmower at Dublin Airport. Evidently he was unaware of the plane until it flew over him. Good heavens, someone should have told him what airports are for! Get Ryanair to sort it. Evidently they are in talks with Boeing concerning planes with standing areas instead of seats. I kid you not. What next, outside toilets?
I'm all for enterprise but there are limits. The policeman in a village near Port Talbot who sold bootleg recordings of his hero, Bruce Springstein had his £22,000 profit confiscated. Earl Walker had the amazing job of separating counterfeit or damaged notes from good ones for the Bank of England. Only the idea was not supposed to be keeping the good notes for himself. No wonder he had a £34,000 Mercedes. But what a way to earn your living! (Not the pocketing bit.) Nearly as good as Thomas Parkin of New York who dressed as his deceased mother (died in 2003) to collect her pension for the next six years. You have to laugh, as did Dr Jonathan Chahal who giggled his way round the children's A &E ward at Ormskirk District General Hospital, trying out gas canisters of the anaesthetic Entonox as he went. He told the nurses it was 'fun'. I'll bet it was!
I see the European Commission has abolished the rule banning bent cucumbers and forked carrots. (Though misshapen apples and pears must be labelled as for cooking rather than for eating fresh.) Its taken twenty years to see sense. Mind you, governments and councils still like to interfere. Hilaire Purbrick has lived in a cave on his allotment for sixteen years. (Seems quite a month for allotment stories.) Now Brighton and Hove Council has evicted him because it has no fire exit. Sixteen years to come up with that, I ask you! And Sir Cliff Richard has got to pull down his £30,000 conservatory for building it without permission. Both are appealing. (No, not attractive, appealing. Oh, please yourself) I'll view both Hilary and Cliff's cases with close interest in the coming months.
Governments are certainly busy little bees. As indicated in the proposed study of 'The White Van Man' phenomenon on the road. 'There is a real lack of knowledge about this sector, which is often unloved by motorists, pedestrians and regulators.' The government's words, not mine. There's definitely a quango there, methinks. There is a world record for running the longest distance whilst on fire. (Honest!) Recently won by Keith Malcolm in a charity event at Waterlooville, new record 259 feet. Lets nominate all our useless male MP's for this record. Anyone wish to help? Notice how I'm not cruel to our lady leaders. Instead I'd nominate them for the vacancy at Wookey Hole Somerset for a resident witch, salary £50,000 pro rata. (Mind you, it is in fact open to men, women and transsexuals to comply with sexual discrimination laws.) Any nominations, anyone?
The more I see in the world, the more I think everyone is on something except me. They must be, the Duchess of Cornwall recently got caught short and used a pub toilet in East Sussex. (Even Royalty has the same problems as you and me. I've often heard people talk of the Royal 'Wee.')
The aforesaid pub toilet seat was auctioned for £87. You can have mine for £11. 25p. What a bargain if I ever become famous. Until then, please excuse me, I'm just going for a lie down in a darkened room.