Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Pirate Sketch from The Million Pound Radio Show

Yes... Finally, I've found it. I've been looking for this sketch for years! You should definitely have a listen to this.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Birthday Bonanza!

I've had a great couple of days, which climaxed in a rollercoaster birthday today. I've bought a camper van from Ebay (again. I know. Shut up.) and it's been rather an adventure.

The van - a mighty 2 litre Bedford CF2 in British racing green - was situated in Dover, so I decided to pay a visit to the mighty Tafkass in Folkestone on the way. Buoyed by my good fortune at finding a coach ticket from Plymouth to Folkestone for the paltry sum of £14, I set off on Tuesday morning in good spirits. And the good spirits continued upon my arrival in Folkestone, as we once again raped Taf's whisky collection.

Following a hearty vegetarian breakfast with the Ladies & Gentlemen of the road in Folkestone's finest Wetherspoons, we made our way to my new van. After an emotional goodbye, Taf dropped me off and I picked up my new purchase - the Baron. (so called as I will paint him red and he's empty inside).

Apart from reverse gear being where 1st gear should be (and therefore crunching the gearbox a few times on the way), my journey in the Baron was uneventful. As I reached the M25, my plan had been to drive straight home to Plymouth - but at the last minute, I suddenly decided to turn right to Ipswich instead, and make a surprise visit to my family.

Today was my birthday and it was great to spend it with my family for the first time in many years. And then finally it was time to head home - so I managed about a mile down the road before I suddenly broke down.

Oh no! The horror! For shame, to break down on my birthday! Fortunately, I'd had the foresight to also buy breakdown insurance (with my record on breaking cars and camper vans, it would be suicidal not to) so I called for help.

After the rozzers had nicely towed me off the dual carriageway (fortunately failing to see that my tax had actually run out in May - ahem), the cavalry arrived. Alas! My van was broken and he could not fix it. So he towed me back to the depot, whereupon he confirmed that I was to be towed back to Plymouth.

Down and deflated, I sat in the waiting room - another broken van. Another silly purchase. Another long journey on the back of a tow truck. Harumph. And off we set, some three hours later after I'd originally set off from my parents.

But all was not lost! The man in the van mentioned casually that my van wasn't actually broken - I'd just run out of petrol! And although we'd stuck a bit more petrol in it, the fuel pipe was just blocked with air. He'd cleared the blockage - and drove it onto the back of the tow truck. There was in fact nothing wrong with the van - he just fancied a trip to Plymouth.

Hurrah! So I saved a fair old whack in petrol home (it is a little thirsty on petrol, more thirsty than I had hoped), got back much quicker than the Baron would have done. And it doesn't need fixing.

As for the Baron - sadly, he's not quite wide enough for me to sleep in sideways, and is also a bit petrol-thirsty. So I have decided to kit him out as a proper camper van, get an MOT on him and sell him (hopefully for a considerable profit) back on Ebay.

So, all in all - I was disappointed to find out that the van wasn't really suitable for me and to break down - but all was well in the end. Let's hope that Friday the 13th is a little bit calmer than Thursday 12.

Monday, November 09, 2009

You can't polish a turd, but you can rub it in Glitter

Yes alright, it's perhaps not a particularly appropriate or fitting headline for a fictional documentary on capital punishment, but I thought 'The Execution of Gary Glitter' was both thought-provoking and very well written. Most of the characters were believable and Hilton McRae was simply excellent as the man himself.

I also think the decision to make it as a documentary was rather inspired - and thought the writers were careful not to take sides. There was no question of it being a vehicle to ram home their own opinions, and neither side was portrayed as right or wrong. The death penalty is without doubt a moral quagmire - and the whole point of the show was to question our own attitudes to it. Indeed, it has put the topic of capital punishment firmly back in the public spotlight for the first time in years.

I think there is no more emotive subject than child rape - and on that basis, it is hard to argue for human rights for anyone that carries out such an abhorrent crime. I don't have children, but I do have nephews - and if that happened to any of them, my initial reaction would certainly be that I want to kill the person who did it. But would I? If it actually came to it? Would I actually take another person's life?

And I have to say, the honest answer is no, I wouldn't. Right at the end - if it really came to it, I wouldn't. Oh don't get me wrong, I would want them to pay for what they'd done. But, at the end of the day, I am not a monster. And I feel that if we play by the same rules as the evil we're trying to fight, then eventually we become what it is we are trying to overcome.

Ghandi once said "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no causes that I am prepared to kill for".

It's not that these monsters deserve to live - it's just that we mustn't descend to their level. You don't fight evil with evil.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Three is the Magic Number

I've finally hit the magic three weeks of not smoking, although it actually feels like three months since I stopped. But three weeks is an important moment in not smoking - it's the time when the madness finally departs, when smoking stops being an integral part of your life and when you start being yourself again.

Oh don't get me wrong, I still have the odd urge - that quiet voice in your ear, the quietest of suggestions... And perhaps that never really leaves you, I don't know. And perhaps accepting and understanding that is what will stop me from falling over again in the future. I truly hope so. But right now, I'm just happy to have my head back and myself back.

It really is quite amazing how nicotine tries to get you to fall over in those first three weeks. It attacks on all fronts and can turn the most grounded and secure individual into a gibbering, fear-driven, clingy bundle of insecurity.

I am well and truly glad to see the back of it. Here's to a smoke-free lifetime. And if I ever end up smoking again, I will cut my own cock off.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Johnson & Nutt Sack: "Unseemly Spat"

David Cameron has called the row between Alan Johnson and the sacked Professor David Nutt an 'unseemly spat'. I haven't got anything to actually say about it - I just had to somehow crowbar in possibly the best headline in history.