Monday 29 October 2012

As Kenny used to say, 'All in The Best Parssible Taste'

Been a funny week and not 'funny ha ha'. My wife was diagnosed with glaucoma for a start, unwelcome news and something of a shock. Any reader who can tell me anything positive about such news would cheer things up around here. Dark nights, getting old, feeling fragile, good fun this getting old milarky. Stomach bugs doing the rounds, Jimmy Savile in the news EVERY single day, energy prices going up and up, I need a smile: so this post is not the one I intended.
Do you remember an early post when I related the gaffe when I mistook the contraceptive machine in a gents toilet for a hand drier. The look on the face of the young chap in the men's room was well worth the visit. Probably the first time I realised I might be definitely losing it. And wandering round a toilet in a garden centre Blackpool way taking photographs was not exactly a sensible thing to do. But they were magnificent urinals, definitely worthy of a wider audience.
I visited a rather posh pub in the Peak District in the summer. It was not doing too well and bit by bit it dawned on my wife and I that we were almost certainly the only couple who were 'legit', 'married', 'official'. You can always tell; they were speaking for a start! 'canoodling'. They were definitely not with their own wives! The clincher was when I visited the 'gents'. On the wall of this obscure, up market village pub was a machine offering tablets that presumably enhanced ones 'performance' if you know what I mean. And if you lead a sheltered existence and don't, as the television programme used to say, 'phone a friend'.
Times are indeed hard, it must be difficult  for village pub landlords to make a living.
I was relating these 'tales' to a younger, more sophisticated friend. (Come to think of it, everyone's more sophisticated than ''Grumpy'. He directed me to a piece of YouTube that sums it all up. (For those of a sensitive nature please ignore this directive!) Frequently in life I'm back to my favourite saying' by my old friend Bob. 'Times they are a'changing.' Indeed they are.
All very lavatorial but it all amused me. I'm seventy three next week and somewhat past caring. I immediately felt more cheerful. Forgive my vulgarity but hope it amuses. I must admit I feel better already!                                                          .  


Tuesday 23 October 2012

Animals Galore, Can't Ask for More.

The last two blogs concerning men and women ignored in the main; Grumpy's going to the dogs ! Talking of dogs, perhaps a bit of animal magic might bring out the beast in us all.
    How about  the amazing dog who travelled 11 miles firmly stuck in the grill of a car on Rhode Island when a car failed to avoid him and the driver was unaware where the dog had gone. The dog, was, like Elvis 'all shook up' but okay otherwise. Or Frankie the  strange Jack Russell  who travelled from Gravesend to London, by train, unaccompanied, cost his owner £58 to travel up to London to fetch him back. The loyal little Lhasa Apso, Toby  ran to fetch help when his master, aged 81 got stuck in mud at Borth in Wales. He ran to security guards a quarter of a  mile away and led them to the rescue. Mind you, Bruno, the chaps other dog, a Staffie cross simply walked away from it all; Toby, you're class, Bruno, just crass!  
     Dogs are, well, just dogs when all's said and done. If dogs are sometimes strange its usually human beings who are the problem. Dogs at a Diva Dog Day at Stapleford Abbotts in Essex wore police uniforms, tutus, suits and superhero costumes. Could only happen in Essex. (Is The Only Way is Essex a true representation of the place??)  My home town of Derby is turning out Royal Crown Derby fine  china dog bowls at £1,500 each. Some pooches are indeed pampered; Nikka, the sniffer dog in Vaughan, New Mexico deserves to be. He became the only qualified member of the force when the police chief and the only other officer on the force were both forced to resign. Mind you Nikka cost £6,000 and has yet to sniff out a single drug. Doggedly difficult it would seem! It's not only dogs that make the news. 
    A pair of Galapagos Giant Toitoises in the Reptile Zoo in Klagenfurt, Austria called Bibi and Poldi have fell out, reason unknown, after 115 years together. It is thought to be the world's longest relationship. Oh well, nothing lasts for ever. Including parrots, Tarbu, an African Grey, thought to be one of the oldest parrots in captivity died recently in Exeter aged fifty five. Also mourned was Meow, a 39lb cat at an animal shelter in America. He was on a diet but I guess it was a little late. Talking of putting on weight, a hedgehog in a rescue centre in Somerset has been put on a diet. Its so fat it can't roll into a ball in order to defend itself!
    No lightweight either, Lucky Larry, a three foot long, 16lb lobster in  the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth is indeed a lucky boy. Two seamen saw him on a fishmonger's stall and took pity on him, bought him (£100) and presented him to the aquarium. (By the way, how do you 'sex' a lobster?)
Just a few examples as to how the animal kingdom makes our stressed lives more interesting. And two final stories that made me think. A chap in Bideford uses a bow-tied duck to help collect for charity. So what happens. A row has broken out between various charities about using ducks, such enterprise thought of as an unfair advantage. Trust human beings to find problems in such an innocuous activity. Whilst a boy in Innsbruck has bonded with a marmot, not an animal normally inclined to human friendship. 
    So much so that the eight year old boy visits the natural habitat of the marmot annually and is recognised and acknowledged by his furry friend. Mankind is a very clever animal, and he is after all only an animal but he could learn much at times from his less sophisticated cousins.  

Monday 15 October 2012

And What About the Men.

     As promised a post about the male of the species. Remember, I merely collect articles over a period of time, no order, no particular subject bias. Then I analyse them, tongue in cheek, Grumpy style.
I reckon the first thing that caught my eye was how 'macho' men are; perhaps more accurately, how 'macho' men try to be. The 'extreme anglers' for instance near Bempton in East Yorkshire. the cliffs are huge, but fishing from the top, far too tame for 'real' men. So they descend the cliffs using harnesses and ropes, and at the last section, seven aluminium ladders bolted to the cliff face. Certainly not for the faint hearted. And certainly not for German Alexander Donninger. When his seven year old twins wished to fish whilst on holiday in Austria he bought a filleted trout in Lidl and, by extreme slight of hand, reeled it in at a nearby lake. Only he was seen, reported and the authorities don't believe him. (the evidence has been eaten.) Who to believe; you tell me!
    I suspect that much of man's behaviour is designed to impress; its what they think is expected.
President Putin is always charging around, Rambo style on a horse. (Is the man, like me, below average height by any chance?) And when he's standing still he's showing us one of his collection of watches.
he's got at least six, value £435,000 plus. (income supposedly less than one fifth of this figure.)
    Talking of Rambo, there is a possibility that a new Rambo film might be made, Rambo versus the
Mexican drug dealers evidently. Mind you, they had better do it soon, Sylvester Stallone is sixty five years of age; good luck old fella!
    Most of us, male or female are just happy being 'me' if you know what I mean.
But some, for whatever reason try that little bit harder to be noticed, to be different. The chap in Wales for instance, father of six, divorced who lives as an Apache. He gets a mention from me; mind you, only one line. And the man in court in Cannock who, sent out for wearing shorts, returned wearing a woman's skirt amused me but affronts my idea of basic decorum.
    Some are plain sad, like the town crier in Skipton who, sacked for drinking on duty, insists on carrying on as an independent 'crier'. Talk about liking the sound of your own voice, that certainly takes the proverbial biscuit.
    I smiled at the case of the man in New Zealand who threw an egg at his wife (Ladies, I know I shouldn't) when her pet pig ran amok and damaged his power saw; what a pair. But it wasn't really funny, especially as the egg was an ostrich egg!
    Not funny was the driver, Dutch, who was filming out of his lorry window with his iphone on the M20 in Kent because he liked the 'nice countryside.'
    But certainly daft the burglars who raided a bar at Solway Holiday Village in Silloth. They took the cash machine, emptied it of £615 in pound coins, took them to a local Asda at 5.25 in the morning and tried to change them. 
    There's no 'best' I suppose concerning male and female, just different. though I profoundly disagree with the treatment often meted out to females in some countries in the name of religion. My posts are seldom serious but ignorance never makes anything right. Which in my opinion makes Cecil Chao as daft as they come. Mr Chao is a Hong Kong billionaire playboy with a lesbian daughter in a civil partnership. He claims to have slept with 10,000 women but is not happy concerning his daughter's relationship. 
So much so that he has offered £40 million for any man who will woo his openly gay daughter away from her partner. (Mr Chao has never married but has fathered three children by three different partners.) Not exactly a good advert for the male section of the human race I would have thought.
     I would have also thought Arthur Reid aged ninety of Warmley is more to my taste. He has visited the same pub for seventy two years since turning eighteen. He was a council worker who left school at fourteen and never married. He has drunk an estimated 30,000 pints and has been honoured with a plaque and his own chair. He sounds more contented than Mr Chao!
    So there you have it; just one final thought. According to a Norwegian study, 'Equality in the home' couples who SHARE housework equally have a divorce rate 50% higher than those where the women do most of the work. Perhaps, just perhaps we are put on the earth for different purposes. (Only joking!)

Monday 8 October 2012

One For The Ladies.

    I used to do a regular post concerning the month's alternative news.
I enjoyed doing them and they seemed to be popular but they were very time consuming and blogging is only part of a full geriatric life! But I've missed them and seem to have enough material to do something similar.
So here goes, Post One for the ladies, God Bless 'Em!
    We men have always known you ladies are stronger than us in so many ways. We're not renouned for being brave when we're ill, 'man flu' comes to mind. Plus you seem to be more resilient.
Joyce Pugh, aged 81 of Shrewsbury puts many of us to shame. She has been officially named the world's oldest papergirl. She has been delivering the Shropshire Star for 41 years and has never had a day off! And Dorothy Peel who lives in a care home in Hull celebrated her 110th birthday with a sherry and a whisky. Mind you, she gave up smoking when she was 104 and doesn't drink until 7pm.
    I was amazed to read the story of 86 year old Hilda Pearce who was found in a hedge in East Bridgford, Nottingham' reasonably well three days after going missing; what a constitution! Plus it wasn't funny for the lady in her eighties who failed to be dropped off at her sheltered accommodation in Luton after time at a day care centre. The bus was parked at up at 5.30pm; the lady, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease was discovered at 7am the next day. The council are investigating; it didn't say whether the driver was male or female.
    I've always suspected pregnancy and childbirth is not as bad as the ladies make out. (only joking, honest!) But I do wonder when I read of the soldier who, unaware she was pregnant, gave birth at thirty four weeks to a healthy bouncing baby whilst serving as a gunner with the Royal Artillery at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. Plus her training included running with a pack of over thirty pounds on her back; mother and baby are doing well!
Just in case someone thinks I put ALL women on a pedestal. It's not funny that Katherine Kirstwell, head of Kent County Council left her job after eighteen months, pocketed £420,000 and immediately became director general in the Cabinet Office at £142,000. Greedy, probably but I suppose you could blame the system. 
     Sheron Mancini was greedy or just plain stupid.  She tried to come through customs from Belgium with two gold bars in her bra. (one bar weighs 1kg.) Was she walking with a stoop I wonder?)
    A woman from Stroud was greedy and stupid. she shaved her son's head and eyebrows and claimed he was having chemotherapy for cancer. She netted £50,000 fraudulently before she was caught.
    How would you catagorize Alison Whelan who stole the passenger ferry at Dartmouth. when high on drink and drugs whilst shouting 'I'm Jack Sparrow, I'm a pirate.' She's evidently an alcoholic; now there's a surprise!
    Talking of sailors, Leading Hand Claire Butler from Middlesborough is a proper sailor and has just become the first member of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Mind you, its not expected to be deployed until 2020. What exactly do the sailors do everyday until then?
    It would be interesting to ask which people think are the most generous, men or women. 
Sarah Finch, a McDonald's worker has just got the sack for putting too much topping on a colleague's 99p McFlurry ice cream dessert. Serious enough to go to tribunal; the mind boggles.
    Finally, do the ladies normally go in for DIY; more important, are they any good at it? (I loathe it, perhaps because I'm so naff at it.)
    The elderly lady in Borja, northeastern
Spain was only trying to help when she tried to restore a mural of 
Christ on the church wall. Only her efforts made Christ look somewhat monkeyish to everyone's embarrassment. But amazingly the ladies 'artwork' has become a tourist attraction. So much so that the church now charges visiters to view. (Four days brought in 2,000 euros.) So all's well that ends well. Except that the old lady has now demanded royalties for her work. Lawyers are sorting it out!
All very interesting; perhaps we'll  next look at the male contribution to the news in the recent past. Any help from my female readers welcome.