A testing afternoon

11/30/2008 07:11:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

So now, I went to Oxford today to take a Mensa test. An interesting but mildly unpleasant afternoon when all was said and done. The test itself was fairly painless and although it was about two hours long it seemed to whiz by and allowed me to return home in time to see Robin Van Persie stick a couple of goals past Chelsea as I prophesied awesomely earlier. I had £7.40 left in my Skybet account at 8/1 giving me a return of £66.60. I mentioned how Arsene Wenger needed the assistance of the footballing gods, but I appear to have summoned the devil with this wager woo hoo.. anyway, I digress.

So I arrive at the test centre which was in a hotel conference room and a woman from Mensa was dishing out bits of paper. She was essentially a fifty year old version of Alyson Hannigan's character in American Pie, just with a gammy leg to add to her creepy nerdiness and ginger hair. While we waiting for the last few people to arrive she asked us all why we were interested in taking this test and joining Mensa and what we thought Mensa people did. Most people just seemed to be there curious to find out what their IQ was, but none of us had any real idea what people did once they became members of Mensa or what it might entitle us to. Or perhaps we were all just reluctant to engage this woman in conversation.

For someone representing Mensa she didn't do a very good job selling the £45 membership fee to us. "Most people think it's good to have on a CV, it isn't at all," she warned us. "Most employers won't hire someone with Mensa on their C.V. and socially it's not very impressive either as people think you're arrogant or eccentric or they think you mean MENCAP!" I doubted any of this and almost laughed out loud when she mentioned MENCAP...that was proof if any were needed that she was basing this on her own experiences. I wanted to tell her that if employers had found her an unattractive candidate and people in general had just found her unattractive, it had nothing to do with her Mensa membership.

Me thinks this was her life story laid bare. Clearly she had been subjected to a life time of ridicule for being ginger and ugly and being a nerd and later in life a gammy legged freak to boot and Mensa was the last bastion of hope for her self respect. "Mensa is basically a social club," she told us. "A society where you can meet like minded people who won't judge you for being a bit odd, or too arrogant or weird and the test can give you some much needed self confidence and we have get togethers," she continued. "Usually in pubs and they're really good fun. We have a Mensa singles club if you're looking to meet someone. I was a Mensa single until I met my husband at one of the gatherings."

I felt a bit uneasy with these disclosures. This woman really was a mess and god only knows what her husband must look like. He must have driven her to this thing today, as I had seen her earlier climbing out of the back seat of a Renault Clio, but he wasn't present though so I assumed he was tied up outside somewhere. I was half wincing now as she drew breath for what I thought would be an anecdote from the Mensa social scene. I was expecting her to tell us all how one time at Mensa camp she had stuck a set square up her pussy, but to my relief she picked up her timer and told us it was time to get started. Phew!

About 250 multiple choice questions and two hours later it was all over and there was a stampede for the exits. The Mensa woman seemed keen to discuss the test with us, but we all wanted out of there. I was elbowed in the kidney by a ten year girl as we struggled through the door, but I got away without having to talk to the limping monstrosity gathering up the papers. I also stole the Mensa pencil she gave me ...ha ha in your face Mensa!

Two weeks until I get the results, but one thing is already clear, if I am invited to join Mensa and cough up the £45 annual membership fee to become a part of their collective, I shall decline and if they pursue the matter I shall have no choice but to bash my own brains out on my door step and hope this doesn't make me an even more attractive potential member to them.


Chelsea v Arsenal

11/30/2008 12:04:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I'm not saying today's game is a foregone conclusion, but considering the last few weeks Arsenal have endured in the Premiership, there are other teams I'd have preferred to play today than Chelsea at their converted dog track. Arsene Wenger has a right to feel a little persecuted by the footballing Gods.

Historically Chelsea have lost more points and conceded more goals against Arsenal than any other team - we live in the now though don't we people and when one weighs up the form of this season, even a life long Gooner such as myself, who finds Chelsea only just a fraction less abhorrent than Tottenham, can't help but feel the 4/1 being offered around sounds about right.

The argument that Arsenal aren't 4/1 against anyone is fair enough, but a little flattering in the current climate. Arsenal it's true have beaten AC Milan in the San Siro and Real Madrid in the Bernabéu in recent seasons and ought to see off the mighty Burnley next Tuesday in the Carling Cup. We appear, however, to have forgotten how to win and apparently none of our players like each other.

But though but, Arsenal are at their best when they're playing the other three members of the 'top four' and I don't mean Aston Villa who are just keeping our spot warm for us at the moment. Chelsea also have a lot of injuries - Drogba and Cole the most notable and they struggled against Newcastle and were poor in the Champions League this week. Nichola Anelka has a rat's face too and that can't help. Finally, it's pissing down today and that always makes for an unpredictable afternoon.

I fancy Chelsea may be a lay at 8/11. Even if I was allowed to back Arsenal I'm not sure I'd take the 4/1 though if I had my sensible objectionable head on rather than my died in the wool Gooner head on.

I also fancy Robin Van Persie to score today, he's due a goal. I might be making this up, but I'm quite sure we've taken the lead against Chelsea pretty often in this fixture in recent years only to squander it when we get tired later on in the game - bless us we're only little. So Van Persie to score first at 8/1 might be worth a shilling or two. Oh and a red card...there used to be a red card every twenty minutes in this fixture, but there hasn't been for a while - bound to be Gallas though unfortunately for punching one of his own players.

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Free lunches always leave a bad taste in the mouth

11/30/2008 02:06:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I was going to paraphrase this article by Tim Harford, but it's late and what would be the point? He can say all this stuff better than I can. This article was written after a worker was killed in a freeeeakin' stampede in a Wal-Mart in New York State.

It may seem easy to give things away, but it is not. The more attractive the gift, the more damage people will do to themselves, and each other, trying to get hold of it. If that idea seems counterintuitive, it is nevertheless true, as the managers of Ikea, the furniture giant, can testify.

They opened a new London store recently, offering opening night discounts of nearly 90 per cent on a limited number of leather sofas. The store closed 40 minutes later after 6,000 people tried to force their way through the doors; several had to be taken to hospital.

The press immediately blamed either the boorish stupidity of the British public or the hypnotic influence of the wily Swedes. But the ill-tempered scenes are not unique to Britain: at the grand opening of Jeddah’s Ikea last summer, two people died in the crowds queuing to get hold of $150 vouchers. Nor are these incidents the result of some quasi-religious shopping frenzy. The curse of the free lunch is at work.

If I were to announce that next Tuesday I would stand in Times Square handing out $100 notes, the result would be pure social waste, even if New Yorkers inexplicably decided to form an orderly queue. That queue would get longer and longer until latecomers decided that it was not worth camping out all night to get $100.

The man at the back of the queue would be spending $99 worth of his time to get hold of $100. In other words, it would cost me $100 to give this man a net gain of $1 - and on top of that I would have to worry about potential casualties. If instead I were to hand out $200 to each expectant New Yorker instead, the problem would get worse, not better.

This scenario may seem far-fetched, but the world is full of attempts to give money away. For obvious reasons, the generous donors are usually not companies such as Ikea, but governments.
Many of us are involved in a situation analogous to the queue in Times Square twice a day, when we commute.

Almost everywhere, governments have decided that roads should be free or heavily subsidised - much like a leather sofa on opening night at Ikea. Since everybody gets to use a valuable product for free, the resulting congestion and road rage should hardly come as a surprise. The “free” roads of the big cities of every developed country in the world are choked with cars, and bumper-to-bumper traffic is already a problem in many cities in the developing world.

London is a partial exception, after Transport for London, the government agency in charge, decided to stop the free lunches. With rather more wisdom than the management of Ikea, it levied a “congestion charge” of £5 on any driver wishing to cross central London. In doing so, TfL demonstrated the inefficiency of road use up to that point: although traffic levels only fell by 15 per cent, delays caused by congestion decreased by nearly one-third.

Motorists are not the only ones suffering from the curse of the free lunch. It also torments parents trying to place their children in the limited number of high-quality “free” schools. They pay for the right to attend those particular schools not by having to queue, but through the housing market: the better the local school, the higher the property values.

At least these payments, unlike the cost of queues or traffic congestion, are transfers from buyer to seller rather than pure waste. Yet it would be more sensible if the money were spent on better schools instead.

Government policies to subsidise important services such as roads and education usually make no more sense than Ikea inadvertently organising an opening-night riot. Sometimes the benefits are dispersed by overcrowding, as happens in the case of the roads. In other cases, as with education, the benefits are simply misdirected, going not to poor parents but to homeowners selling property close to good schools.

This is not to say that subsidies must be abolished. With real political leadership, it is possible to direct them fairly accurately at the poor. In many instances, the right way to do this would be for the government to let competing companies charge what the market will bear, and give cash or vouchers only to those who cannot afford the fees.

Such schemes are transparent and trust the poor to make their own decisions; political elites therefore view them with suspicion. The free lunch remains popular, partly because it can be aimed at favoured constituencies, and partly because queues are simply seen as a sign that we need more subsidies for more roads and more schools, not fewer. It is time we started paying our own bills.

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Enough is enough BBC

11/28/2008 07:26:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

The BBC really are getting my dander up. I issued them with a thorough reprimanding just a few days ago for getting involved in journalistic sensationalism and competing for ratings and I've just now seen they've bally well offered up a perfect example of what I'm talking about by moving Countryfile from Sunday morning to peak-time Sunday evening and ditching their middle aged female presenters in the process because they feel they won't appeal to the shows new audience.

This is a show to be fair I've never seen because of it's on in the morning and I've no idea who three of the four female presenters in question are. I do however know one of those presenters is Michaela Strachan and that's just outrageous behaviour because she is on my all time awesome female TVist list with Felicity Kendall, Jenny Agutter and Carol Smilie.

Alright fair enough she doesn't look particularly glamourous in this picture, but neither would you if you had just been noshed out by an Elephant. There can be no doubting though Michaela Strachan is a candidate for a life time award for being a fanciable TV presenter.

She's been arousing viewers and animals of various ages and backgrounds on a number of channels on a wide variety of shows for at least twenty years. She still looks like someone you'd want to take a piece of wet celery to on an evening. She looks great even if she is 40...I only hope that elephant didn't finger her too or she'll have a chuff like a wellington boot.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is for fucks sake the BBC, you're one more stunt away from me cancelling my TV license if I'm still paying it. I'm sick of this bullshit. Do you hear me?

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Richie P.I.

11/28/2008 02:43:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Before I begin I'd just like to say to Woolworths if it's reading this, you're the worst shop ever, so do everyone a favour and bugger orf. You only survived this long because people shopped at Woolies out of nostalgia. You can't expect to continue business as a going concern without being at all concerned about what kind of a shop you're meant to be. In one corner of your shop you sell toddlers clothing, in another corner you're selling frying pans and in another you're selling stationary. What the fuck are you man?

Your unique selling point is that your shop is bizarre and shit and people only come in just to see how weird and bizarre it all still is. Sod all this death of the High Street hysteria. The sooner the fucking High Street dies the better we'll all be. It's a traumatic battle to walk down a High Street, running the Gauntlet of single mothers with prams that could level out asphalt and divorcees with hips that today's pavements are not wide enough to accommodate. I'm telling you, the sooner we all come to our senses and do our shopping on t'internets, the better. I've said me piece, I'll bid you good day.

Oh no wait, I haven't even told you what I came on here for. When I win the Euro lottery thing tonight one of my first purchases will be a Ferrari 308 GTS or Magnum's car if you will. I've never really been enthusiastic about cars, but that baby has always appealed to me ever since I first saw Magnum. You can get them now for about £15,000. I could buy hundreds of them. It may look a bit dated inside and it's probably got a cassette player, but it's still the coolest car ever. I fancy myself as a P.I. too if P.I. stands for Predominantly Indoors. Imagine how awesome I will look though driving around Carterton in a Magnum Ferrari sporting the tash I'll grow to compliment it? I know, fucking amazing. I can hardly wait until tonight.


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Monkey business

11/28/2008 12:34:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

In parts of India they consider Monkeys and rats sacred. Despite these bloody awful creatures keeping the local communities perpetually infested with diseases that kill hundreds of people a year they continue to believe that they're some sort of representation of their various Gods or some stupid shit like that. Fucking grow up India.

They compound their baffling beliefs with a glaring contradiction in the form of squads of dudes who patrol the streets with even bigger monkey's and their job is to scare the hundreds of monkeys away from any particular street because they're inconveniencing the locals. They don't kill them though, they just move them on to another street, and when too many of them have gathered in that street, they use the bigger monkey's again to scare them off to another street and so on and so on forever. Meanwhile the monkey's are mating and their population exploding and slowly but surely over-running the place.

They never solve the problem, which is too many monkey's, because their beliefs deny them the power to slaughter the whole bally lot of them and have done with the issue once and for all and finally give themselves a community free from rabies and the plague and whatever the hell else they're all riddled with. All because they're so fucking stubborn and insecure they can't let their ridiculous beliefs go. They're letting their cities become swamped with these most hideous creatures and will continue to do so until everyone has rotted away from horrific skin diseases.

This is a pretty accurate metaphor for Gordon Brown's answer to this economic crisis that he let Alistair Darling present to the public last week. All they're doing is moving debts from one year to another with the help of even bigger borrowing. Each year it grows and grows until finally they can't borrow anymore cause even a Government can run out of credit and the debt is too big to finance and we become a bankrupt nation. All because Gordon Brown is too fucking stupid and stubborn to admit his belief that you can borrow your way out of a recession isn't based on a premise of absolutely horse shit economic theory.

What I'd like to see is a real qualified economist tell Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling to fuck off. Why do news channels interview George Osbourne for his opinion instead of someone with actual economic expertise? What do they expect the shadow chancellor to say, it's a fucking awesome plan we love it? They're playing football with our financial future and the news dudes are letting them. I don't want to know what George Osbourne thinks, he's not an Economist.

I don't want to hear what some random member of the Labour Party thinks either. I want Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown to have to sit down live on TV for two hours with a panel of Nobel Prize winning economists to explain why they think reducing VAT by 2.5% is going to save our financial bacon and if that panel isn't satisfied I want them to not be able to fucking do it.

In five years time we'll have no money. We'll have no police force, no fire dudes, no bin men, the hospitals will be all dark and manky and full of people with leprosy like India. It'll be anarchy. This is what blind faith does to the world. No facts, no evidence, no science, just blind faith, close your eyes and roll the dice. It's religious economics.

New Labour's Geneses in 1997 has led us to the brink of an apocalypse in just over a decade with their book of economic Revelations. I've started learning Polish. I'll have moved east way before the four horseman come cantering into view. I hope they'll let me in after the way we treated them when they came over here. It's no wonder they all fucked off back there once they got a good look at this place.

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National Lampoon's Blackpool Vacation

11/27/2008 04:11:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Murphy's Law; "If anything can go wrong, it will."

There's been a few things occurred I should like to discuss with you all. I had a few things I wanted to say about various affairs occurring round the world currently, but we'll get to that all in due course. For now, I need a moment. This blog will serve as a catharsis for the surreal past few days I have just spent in Blackpool. I'm not even sure where to start or even if it's appropriate for me to even divulge this stuff, but I need to get it off my chest if I'm to have any chance of enjoying a normal life again.

I hadn't been to Blackpool for over twenty years. If I ever go back it'll be too soon. My reason for this trip was to attend the funeral of my Grandmother. For one reason or another I hadn't seen her for approximately 15 years and my Granddad for over 20, so it was important that I made the trip to Blackpool to say my last goodbyes and I was looking forward to seeing my Granddad again after all those years.

I arrived on Tuesday. The trip up there was fairly uneventful and as I headed across the M55 to Blackpool I was reminded of the journey's along this motorway I made with my parents as a child every summer. As we got closer to Blackpool we would have a competition to see who could spot the tower first. I was always too previous, mistaking every single electricity pylon for it, either that or even at that tender age I was just a cheat.

I spotted the tower and awarded myself a prize of a few beers later that night. As I approached my hotel I couldn't help but notice how run down the area seemed and cursed my luck for booking a hotel in the shittiest part of the city. In retrospect it wouldn't have mattered where I stayed. The whole community is a neglected heap, but to be fair to the people, they may live in depressing northern ruins and on a diet of chips and gravy with dripping, but they're still chipper and incredibly pleasant. If you ask someone for directions they'll do their very best to help you as I would find out on many occasions on Wednesday. If you ask for directions in Cowley you'll almost certainly die.

My plan was to meet Paul on Tuesday night at the G-Casino. They must have heard I was coming cause the place was deserted. Fourteen runners for the £30 freeze-out and despite not a single black jack table being occupied, the tournament was still self-dealt. It was a pleasant enough game though, and I was making progress on what appeared to be a relatively soft table, but about an hour into it I looked down at pocket Kings and from here on in my trip began a rapid decent into a despairing surreal nightmare.

Never before have I been involved in an Aces v Kings confrontation so I suppose I was due. Five years is quite a long time to avoid such a cold decked confrontation. It was a double chance tournament though and for no reason in particular I had decided not to take my second stack of chips at the beginning, so at least the Aces didn't bust me. Unfortunately that hand served as some sort of temporal rift. I'd entered a new completely surreal reality I wasn't able to escape from until I was officially in the south again two days later.

This tournament had the most bizarre structure of any I have every played in before. The first two levels were 45 minutes. After the break it was a 20 minute level, then a 30 minute level, then back down to 20. What the hayell!! After the break, with the chips most of the players had, it was immediately rendered a total crap shoot. I was out some time during the fourth level, but my chances of cashing were effectively done for after the Kings v Aces incident.

While Paul flew the Witney inc. Carterton Mob flag (eventually finishing 3rd wp, gg etc) I got involved in a cash game that was as bizarre as the blind structure of the tournament. In fact, as the first hand was dealt I sat back in my chair and wondered if I was actually asleep at the wheel of my car somewhere in the M6 and hadn't even arrived in Blackpool yet. Was I in fact about to plough my car into the central reservation? I pinched myself and eventually convinced I was indeed awake, began playing. I gave my lager a sniff too though just in case but that seemed OK.

The cash game with blinds of £1 and £1 was a minimum £20 buy-in. I bought in for £100 which I assumed everyone else would too. But to my surprise the four other players had only bought in for £20 each! What the hayell! Self dealt again, the player who had volunteered to deal was a Colombian guy called Jose who every one called Chico. How the fuck does a Colombian end up in Blackpool. I was reminded of something a political commentator said about John McCain choosing Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential pick - "It's like finding a tortoise on top of a fence post - you wonder how the hell it ended up there and how it's gonna get away from there."

Chico man

The two lads to my left were friends. Or at least they said they were. They were the most drunk guys I'd seen in recent years and had no idea how to play. They may have even been lovers the way they squabbled with each other. I busted one of them twice and the other one once. Pissed guy v.01 then got involved in a hand with Chico which became slightly controversial and considering the guy was from Colombia I assumed pissed guy v.01 would soon reside under the South Pier.

Chico held pocket kings on a queen high board. Both of their £20 stacks went in on the flop, but as this was a cash game the hands were not shown until the river. The turn and river cards put four clubs on board and unfortunately for Chico, who actually was a very nice mild mannered guy, he did not hold the king of clubs and pissed guy v.01 took the pot as the queen in his queen-9 hand was indeed the queen of clubs. The players had not spotted this however. Chico was about to rake in the pot, when the floor man who just happened to be watching at that point, announced the flush was the winner much to the amusement of pissed guy v.o1.

Pissed guy v.02 inexplicably took the opportunity now to tell the floor man that whatever was on the board was none of his fucking business! The floor man diplomatically tried to argue that as this card room was his, it was very much his business. Pissed guy v.02 was not persuaded though. He was however persuaded to leave when a security guard arrived and asked him indirectly whether or not he'd like his head panned in.

The game was over and I trooped off to the cashiers with the easiest £80 I'd ever made and had another sniff of my lager. I was in bed about an hour later. I woke up on Wednesday feeling a bit rough and looked out at a rainy cold November morning - a perfect metaphor for the most despairing twelve hours of my life I was about to endure since I was in a jail in Paris in 1993.

* * *

For someone with my personality a funeral is a very tricky proposition. The opportunity for social faux pas is huge. An inappropriate or insensitive comment can launch itself from my mouth at any time and there's nothing I can do about it. My plan to prevent this was to sit in silence for as long as possible and since it's a somber atmosphere and small talk is even more awkward than usual for everyone, I felt I couldn't be accused of being unsociable.

I was managing well. As members of my family arrived, most of whom I had either not seen for decades or never met at all, I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable, but was keeping myself out of conversations and had yet to offend anyone. Eventually the under takers arrived and after seeing my Granddad and mother into their limousine I sat in my car with my Dad and one of my cousins waiting to follow the procession of cars to the crematorium.

I'd managed three hours without upsetting anyone or making any knob gags and I felt I was home and dry now as the reception would be in a pub where everyone would be more relaxed and I'd be able to be myself again and at the service itself I'd have my head down and not mutter a word so unless I farted I'd be fine. Or at least, I would have been had I actually made it to the service.

A funeral procession travels how fast? Ten miles an hour? How do you lose a funeral procession? Ten fucking cars. Not sure but I did. We were at the back you see and some how two random cars had gotten between me and the last car of our funeral party. Then some traffic lights separated us. As the lights finally changed to green we rounded a corner only to find to our horror a fucking roundabout. Which way did they go? None of us had any idea where the damned crematorium was. Fuck!!

We went right. They obviously went left. It was 2.35, the service was at 3.00pm. Plenty of time. We knew it was only 4 miles away. It was close to chucking out time for the schools so the streets were littered with lollipop ladies. The first one gave us directions which all three of us forgot immediately after thanking her and setting off. We then asked an old guy walking his dog who happened to be a minister. Phew, he'll know. He gave us directions, but had we followed them explicitly I think we'd have ended up in Burnley.

Our second lollipop lady was great and after repeating the directions back to her this time so we could be sure, we were on our way. It was now 2.45, but we still had time. After ten minutes we rounded a corner only to drive right past the first lollipop lady we had consulted and end up right back where we started. Panic set in at this point. We considered asking Mr Whippy the ice cream man but he was busy with a queue of school children and our ordeal was starting to resemble a sick joke about a funeral, a minister, three lollipop ladies and an ice cream man.

At about 3.05 we'd driven about now randomly for about 30 minutes until a fourth lollipop lady came into view and to our relief and surprise informed us we were two minutes away from the place and after 30 seconds ,to our utter relief, we saw a sign for the crematorium. Next left. Phew...still time to catch the end of the service. We'll slip in the back as if we were there the whole time. As we turned left the gates of the level crossing in our way were lowered. You're having a fucking laugh. A fucking level crossing! Fuck my life.

After a minute or two the train whizzed past and I shoved my gear stick into first and pressed down on the accelerator. The gates were not rising. The gates were NOT rising. There's two fucking trains isn't there!? I put it back in neutral and my head slammed against my steering wheel in frustration. A minute later the second train whizzed past and finally we were allowed to continue. We pulled into the car park at 3.30. A four mile trip had taken us an hour and 18 miles. We tip-toed into the place slowly and opened the door. It was empty. The service was over, we'd missed it. I'd not seen my Grandmother since I was about 17 and now I'd missed her funeral too.

A glance at a side door and we saw everyone had congregated outside and were consoling each other and generally looking reflective and upset while we remained in the corner feeling like Del Boy and Rodney in that episode of Only Fools and Horses where they show up to a wake dressed as Batman and Robin.

Technically, this was not my fault, but in hindsight it might have been a prudent measure had one of us secured directions to the place before the off. I'd been so pre-occupied with not talking and making any insensitive remarks or any kind of faux-pas at the house that I hadn't given any thought to the latter stages of the day and to further potential for disaster. No one seemed particularly angry at us, and my Granddad who I was most concerned about obviously had other things on his mind, but I'm sure this hasn't endured me to all those family members who haven't seen me for so long. They all seemed to remember me as a naughty cheeky little child, now they must think I grew up to become the adult equivalent which is an inconsiderate little southern gob shite.

After the reception I spent a little time back at my Granddad's house with my parents before heading back to my hotel. Granddad seemed pleased at how the day had gone which is all that matters really and I was pleased he seemed content. I headed back still feeling guilty and weird and shit though, but it was over and I consoled myself with the thought that my Grandmother had a pretty good sense of humour and had she been watching us blasting our way round the streets of Fleetwood trying to find the place to say our final goodbyes to her, she almost certainly would have been pissing herself. If you're reading this Grandma, I'm fucking sorry. I mean I'm really sorry. D'oh.

The plan later that evening was to return to the G-Casino and have a crack at their £2,000 guaranteed £25 freeze-out which seemed incredibly good value considering only 14 people had shown up the night before. I left my Granddad's house at 6.30 and made the 6 mile journey back to the hotel in just under one and half hours!! Fuck my life.

I don't even know how to explain this part of my nightmare. Obviously I got lost again. In the dark. I also backed my car into a lamp-post. Had I been stuck in the maze of Blackpool's residential streets for ten minutes longer I would almost certainly have succumbed to the level of lunacy reached by Jack Nicholson's character in the Shining.

Most of the time was wasted because I failed to realise the cross street I needed to turn onto was actually above me. The street I was looking for should have been after Pudding Lane, but I'd go past Pudding Lane, then under a bridge and then into a wilderness. Three or four times I doubled back on myself before I finally realised the road I needed was on that fucking bridge. My Google maps was not clear about this. When I finally did make it back to my hotel I zoomed in as far as it would go...only then did I realise my mistake.

In total I should have driven 18 miles that day and it should have taken me about 50 minutes when you take into account the speed limits and the fact that we were a funeral procession. I actually drove about 42 miles and it took me about two hours 30 minutes and with a dented bumper thrown in for good measure.

I didn't make it out to the casino. Paul couldn't make it and well, I just didn't feel lucky for some reason. I just didn't feel like it was going to be my night. I sat in the restaurant ordered myself a beer and something to eat; meatball pasta. I'd had it the night before and it was lovely. I was starving too having not eaten anything all day but a few chips at the reception. I sank half of my beer and cut into one of the meatballs and shoved it in my gob. It was fucking cold.

I'm back home now. I Mario Andretti'ed myself away from Blackpool this morning and never looked back. The journey home was swift and nothing even remotely bizarre occurred. As I turned off the A40 at the Carterton exit I saw the RAF base in the distance and Fox FM started playing "When you're gone," by Bryan Adams and Mel C. No shit, I almost shed a tear. The lyrics summed up my trip completely. That was the first time I can honestly say I've missed Carterton. I was elated to be home. Emotion was flooding from me. I started singing along with Bryan and Mel and I dedicated it to my home town. I'm sorry for everything I ever said about you Carterton, let's never leave each other again.

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Back Soon

11/25/2008 02:43:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I think this picture sums my mood up

11/23/2008 07:05:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (1)

Thank fuck for that. It's a sorry state of affairs when you need a female golfer to winch you out of a wagering hole. Thanks to Alan for the tip. I shall now go and disgrace myself at the Pigeons.

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Only bet on the horses

11/23/2008 04:47:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (1)

In medical parlance a zebra is the diagnosis of some really obscure disease when in fact it's far more likely the patient just has a common illness with uncommon symptoms. This boxing tripe tonight could well have been the wagering equivalent.

On paper everything pointed to an easy win for Ricky Hatton tonight. In fact, no matter what material the form book was written on, it was an easy win for Hatton. But an un-Hatton like year coupled with a loud mouth Italian who at least looked sort of like he knew what he was doing and throw in a desire to see Hatton lose and I'm suddenly declaring the most unlikely outcomes.

Malignaggi was simply overwhelmed tonight, completely pointless him being there. I knew it, I even frookin blogged about it, but I still almost went with my obscure diagnosis of a Malignaggi victory. Thank fuck I'd already done my cods on his brothers fight so I wasn't involved. I might have looked really foolish. I'm calling it as I see it from here on in people, know what I'm saying? From now on people, if I hear hoof beats, I'm thinking horsey, not zebra.


Hattons flattened

11/22/2008 05:17:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I still haven't decided whether or not to have a punt on Paulie Malignaggi. I have had a rather large wager on Ben Tackie though to beat Ricky Hatton's brother up in one of the earlier fights.

I don't generally enjoy wagering the amount of monies I've had on this fight especially when I'm relying on someone else's knowledge, but from what I've been able to ascertain, Matthew Hatton would never be able to get near a fight like this if his brother wasn't the main attraction.

Matthew Hatton may be able to hold his own in the car park of the Kings Head on Moss side, but Ben Tackie in Vegas is a different proposition. I hope. If Tackie can give Ricky Hatton a decent fight this ought to be fairly comfortable. **

Both Hattons to lose might be a cheeky wager. Possibly paying about 4/1 by the time the average drunken Brit has come home from the pub and patriotically lumped on both Hatton brother's only to fall asleep with their head in a kebab and miss the fights.

Ricky Hatton struggled to make the weight yesterday which must have consequences later in the fight. His stamina was already in question, but if all he's had to eat in 24 hours is a bowl of lentil soup he may just do us a favour and pass out somewhere around round 9 or 10.

**Update: Fuck my life.

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You absolute Danish cunt

11/22/2008 04:32:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Seriously, is Nicklas Bendtner trying to get himself killed? Arsenal are having a shit time of it at the moment, even Spurs are having a giggle at us and they're in the relagation places, yet he strolls onto the pitch today in a pair of pink fucking football boots! If Manchester City's defenders don't have him in an Ambulance on his way to A&E before half-time, his own team mates or fans ought to. Who the fuck does he think he is? Not even Maradona could wear boots like that, the only players really who could get away with wearing pink football boots are those so mentally unhinged you'd be too scared to say anything to them.

This reminds me of a story my cousin told me about when he was in the Army. Playing a five aside tournament in Cyprus or somewhere, his team of typical British Army lads walked onto the pitch in trainers each holder a can of Stella and a pork pie, and on the other team was some 17 year old kid bouncing about warming up in silver football boots. At the kick off one of my cousins mates looked down at his feet and said to him in a gravelly Geordie accent, "you better be fucking good mate." He lasted forty seconds I think in that game. He did walk again they said, but it's a lesson to us all.

We're 2-0 down as I write this. If Bendtner isn't sold in January I'm filing for a divorce from Arsenal. I can't fucking stand it any more. Danish bastard.

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NFL Fantasy League

11/21/2008 08:10:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Football isn't a game you play it's a game you feel" -- Tim N. B. Dim, Greenhill Finance


Breaking News

11/21/2008 04:56:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Journalistic sensationalism. Two words that irritate me even more than Tottenham Hotspur. I get that newspapers and TV news media have to pay the bills and sales of newspapers and TV ratings are where the money comes from, but I'm sure that life is sensational enough to attract the public's attention without having to make stuff up. I'm just asking for a bit of context, just a teaspoon full of perspective once in a while to keep us informed rather than using language that has us all perpetually terrified.

Politicians I expect to play this game. It's their job to make the other side look as bad as possible by massaging the facts and spinning the figures, but it ought to be the journalists who offer the context the politicians ignore. Unfortunately, because the news dudes are all competing with each other for newspaper sales and viewer ratings they play the same games as the politicians, leaving us all to work out what's going on for ourselves or, if we don't have time or are too thick, leaving us scared to death that the world is about to end very shortly. Bastards. All of them. Box office people do this too. Every year a film breaks all box office records, but they never take inflation into account. No one adjusts for the fact that cinema tickets are more expensive from year to year.

When Gordon Brown's astronomic borrowing figures are displayed in big red letters no one ever compares them with the actual size of the economy. Inflation is never taken into account either. It's just, the national debt in 1946 was £24billion, today it's £640billion!! accompanying these shocking revalations are a few alarming looking graphs and pictures of people surrounded by bills and the streets are suddenly filled with people running around shouting WE'RE DOOOOOMED.

What they don't mention is that they're ignoring the fact that our GDP is now about 140 times bigger than in 1946. As a percentage of GDP our national debt has been much much worse than it is today, but that's not sensational enough to report so it's much better to ignore all context and give us the impression we're in a hole 25 times deeper than the one our grandparents were in after the second world war. The headline 'record levels of debts' could apply to something like 45 of the past 60 years. It's a record as such, but it's not like Bob Beamon's long jump record.

This is the main reason I hope the BBC directors and head boffins all burn in hell. The BBC gets their money regardless of ratings. They're not in a ratings war with anyone. They ought to be the ones presenting clear and unbiased facts in their news programmes and current affairs shows regardless of how unremarkable they may be and with context. They don't though. They're ever bit as guilty as the commercial channels for sensationalism and silly bollocks. It's no wonder most of the country is hooked on valium.

Sky Sports News of course are the epitome of exaggerated journalism. They have a 24 hour channel but only approximately 2 hours of real news per day to report. I pay them £50 a month to fill the other 22 hours with anti-Arsenal shite. Over the years they've manufactured all sorts of stories out of nothing. Whoever's in charge over there must be a huge fan of Blue Peter and Tottenham. The shite that's given air time on that channel is the journalistic equivilant of making toy robots out of cereal boxes and sticky backed plastic. Just gather up whatever crap you hear on an afternoon then botch it all together somehow to make a story. If it involves Arsenal, some sort of anti-English flavour and maybe a fight then all's the better.

It's been William Gallas' turn again today. His fairly innocuous comments have been the cereal box and Sky's sensational breaking news story of him possibly losing his captaincy because of said remarks are the toy robot. All he said as far as I can tell is that Arsenal have been shit recently, some of the players don't get on, there was a bit of a to-do between some of the players after the Tottenham capitulation and one of the players is a bad influence in the dressing room. No shit, you don't say, fucking hell!

To anyone who watches football regularly all of those things are obvious. Except maybe who the player might be who's being a bad influence in the dressing room, but that is also obvious to anyone who follows Arsenal. Gallas is not doing Arsenal's dirty laundry in public. They lost to Hull and Stoke, we have been shit, no one is disputing that. Emanual Adabeyor and Nicklas Bendtner had a fight on the pitch a few months ago for fucks sake, it's no great betrayal of trust on Gallas' part to reveal these players don't get along and had the players not been fighting with each other after the Tottenham game I'd be alarmed. That was an unforgivable display. I'd be far more concerned had they all just trooped out of the stadium and gone for a curry together. And the player with the disruptive influence, well it's Nicklas Bendtner. Everyone who follows Arsenal knows that. He's been an arrogant twat ever since he arrived.

I like William Gallas. I like the fact that he appears to give a shit enough to make these comments. I'm pretty sure there's nothing happening at Arsenal that isn't happening in every other football club everywhere. It's not the soap opera Sky Sports make it out to be. They'll continue to report it as such though. The only time all six of the 'breaking news' tickers on Sky Sports News are all flashing related stories is when it involves Arsenal.

Ah, now then....as we speak their most serious ticker, the yellow and black one is reporting breaking news that Gallas is no longer our captain and isn't in the squad for tomorrow's game. "Sensational reports coming out of the Emirates," says the presenter. OK that's a story. I'm running so bad at the moment, I spend an hour slagging them off for manufacturing stories and they luck box their way into an actual one. Bastards. When it comes to breaking things, I share Caligula's frustrations at times like these, "I wish these people had only one neck."

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Hatton v Malignaggi

11/21/2008 12:09:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I've been researching this Ricky Hatton fight. I've been searching for evidence to justify my instinctive feeling that he will lose. It's been hard work though, like trying to find some rabbit poo in a mince pie. Evidently Malignaggi's right hand is made of china and his left hand earned him the epithet "float like a butterfly, sting like a butterfly." I think it's fair to say a knock-out can be ruled out.

Why do I want Ricky Hatton to lose? Why why? Well, I don't know. I'm not much of a boxing fan any more and Ricky Hatton hasn't done anything to offend me other than being perhaps a bit cocky before that Mayweather fight, but I think the beating he took that night addressed those cockiness issues. I want him to lose I think because I just like to take sides in any sporting contest I plan on watching and I've found that I'm viewing this one as a New York v Manchester confrontation rather than England v the Mercans. It goes without saying I will always have New York's back in these cases. No disrespect, all due respect, forgeddaboudit.

" Oooh fuckin' hell thar 'urt"

So now...it seems Malignaggi despite having no punching power and despite being a bit of a typical Italian pretty boy who probably still lives with his Mamma, is indeed a tough little fucker. His fight with Manuel Catto was a brutal affair, at the end of which he looked like Iain Dowie. He broke his jaw in that fight and still fought on. Catto was huge too coming down in weight. Had Malignaggi fought at Catto's weight of 147lbs he may still look like Iain Dowie today.

"Miliganaggi's horrendous facial injuries during the Catto fight"

On a more positive note, what he lacks in punching power he makes up for in hand speed. Adopting the Hitman Hearns approach with the hands down type style that few boxers can really adopt with any success, but he ought to cause Hatton a lot of trouble if the referee can prevent Hatton from employing his spoiling wrestling tactics. Las Vegas judges ought to find Paulies attacking approach to the fight appealing too. Vegas judges seem to exist in a parallel universe to everyone else. The fight those people see is often very very different to the fight everyone else witnesses, which can only work in my man's favour. Speaking of the judges, they were really not impressed by the Hatton fans booing of the Mercan national anthem and if they do it again it they're bound to punish Hatton for it. They may just stubbornly decide to gift the early rounds to Paulie if Hatton's fans can't help them selves and boo the anthem again.

On paper this a points win for Hatton who ought to be too strong for Paulie. Hatton just looks much bigger and if he still is hungry he must overwhelm ickle Paulie. But since I'm searching for reasons to back Malignaggi we must wonder how much of an affect that Mayweather fight had on him. He looked disinterested in his last fight and is now the wrong side of thirty. With all the Guinness and undigested black pudding in his bowels his physical age must be closer to 35. This is a very good time to meet Ricky Hatton. Also, he appears to have one eye on fighting Oscar De La Hoya and if he's not 100% focused on beating Paulie he won't ever see that fght. Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis both lost to far inferior opponents because they were looking into the future instead of at the hulking angry bastards staring them in the face from one foot away.

What might happen here though is Malignaggi just out boxes a slow lethargic Hatton and the judges score the bout unanimously in Paulie's favour. That fight with Mayweather really must have an affect on Hatton and with Mayweather's Dad now training him, it may be a case of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks. The language barrier must also be a factor. Almost certainly they've had problems finding someone who can speak jive and Mancunian.

There's an outside chance Hatton gets stopped because he's bleeding to death too. He's had problems with cuts in the past and he's bound to get tagged a lot in this fight. Knock downs are highly improbable from either fighter. Malignaggi has an awesome chin and doesn't possess the power himself to trouble our Ricky.

I haven't seen the same enthusiasm and passion from Hatton in the pre-fight press conferences. He hasn't once referred to Paulie as a fucking cunt or anything. To me he looks like he's lost his edge, conversely Malignaggi looks desperate to win. I'm gonna call it for Malignaggi. I've convinced myself. A controversial points win it is then after Paulie survives an early onslaught from Hatton but eventually out classes him when Ricky's stamina deserts him in the latter rounds -- the judges score cards inexplicably give Paulie some the first couple of rounds too even though he clearly lost them, this is attributed to their being pissed off at the Hatton fans disrespectful booing of the US national anthem again. I can't be any more specific than that.

Most likely wager: Malignaggi to win on points 2/1


A rum situation

11/19/2008 05:25:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

This oil tanker that's been had away by pirates, have we heard what their demands are yet? I assume any ransom will involve a substantial quantity of rum and as many wenches as their sleeping quarters can accommodate? The oil in that ship is worth $100m so I think I'd ask for $40m plus 100 barrels of Rice Pudding with a couple of hundred jars of strawberry jam. I love rice pudding at the moment. I loves it.

I have very little sympathy for oil companies losing their shipments to pirates, but I find it intriguing that NATO and the US Navy seem to be unconcerned also. They're of the opinion that it's up to the oil companies to protect their own ships, which is quite right, but but but...every time one of these ships goes missing the oil dudes will surely use it as an excuse to bump up the price of oil no? They use any excuse to raise the prices. Petrol went up 1p over night once because it snowed in Saudi Arabia.

One would think it in everyone's interest to give these pirates what for, so a military intervention would appear to me to be the way to go. Is it possible the only reason that NATO in particular has not intervened is because they're fucking useless and have nothing to intervene with? Miliband was making noises about attacking Russia a few weeks ago during that limited skirmish in Georgia but it would seem in reality we don't have the military clout to put a few pirates in their place.

We need International Rescue. The Thunderbirds would have this sorted in one episode easy. The plan is simple; Thunderbird Two puts the whole ship to sleep with some sort of sleeping gas, then Thunderbird One winches all the hostages to safety, then Thunderbird 4 armed with torpedoes sinks the big fucker while the pirates are still asleep and then they all watch from the sky as they drown in their slumber.

I love Thunderbirds. I love how politically incorrect it is. All the Tracy brothers smoke. The only time I've ever seen a black puppet in an episode it was a thief robbing a museam and although you never actually see anything, the sexual tension between Lady Penelope and cockney Chauffer Parker is undeniable. Those two characters were the inspiration for the Jackie Collins novel the Bitch. Not that I've read Jackie Collins, some one just told me is all.

Yes me lady


I won't shake Maradona's hand

11/18/2008 04:25:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Terry Butcher really is a prat and almost certainly psychologically imbalanced. I'm sure he can't wait for the day the Argies have another pop at the Falklands so he can join the Parachute Regiment and pay them back for Maradona's hand ball goal in the 1986 Mexico world cup and probably his second goal too where he dribbled the ball around all of England.

Despite insisting he does not need psychological help after he claimed he won't be shaking Maradon'a hand when the Jocks play Argentina, that blow to the head he suffered against Sweden in 1988 where some of his brains fell out of his head ought to have seen him locked away in a mentalist institution for the rest of his life.

Instead he's allowed out without supervision and still able to coach football teams. I'm sure he loves those pictures of him looking all bloody and macho. Apparently before all the England games he played in he used to go up to each of his team mates and push them in the chest and shout CAGED LIONS at them! What they hayell!!? I wonder how Gary Linekar reacted to that. CAGED LIONS GARY, CAGED LIONS. Indeed.

No doubt he still has that shirt all caked in claret and wears it each evening while reenacting the game. I assume too he likes to wear it while making love to his wife, while fearing for her life, she lies back thinking of anything but England. CAGED LIONS LOVE, CAGED LIONS grooowl!

"I don't need psychological help." I beg to differ.

Terry you weird old nutter, it's very sweet you're so patriotic that you're still haunted by that goal, but get over it and to be fair there's a glaring contradiction in your protestations anyway. If we're talking about betrayals is it not the height of footballing treason for such a died in the wool Englishman to be coaching Scotland? Shake his hand, it'll be the closest you've ever got to him, then seek some treatment.

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Traveling without moving

11/18/2008 01:38:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I dreamt last night that someone came up with a cool idea to solve all the congestion on our motorways. The plan was to convert a fleet of Zambonis to lay asphalt instead of ice and over the course of a few weeks they'd travel up and down the motorways laying an extra lane in minutes.

It's so simple, and all it takes for this plan to work is for us all to be asleep and dream it. I'm sure the Government has the chemicals available to induce a nation wide catatonic state. No wait, if they could do that it wouldn't matter what we dreamt. No, never mind.

I eased my way back into poker last night with a third placed finish in the gentle £25 freeze-out. It's difficult to assess ones performance. Given the cards I was dealt I would have despaired had I not made the monies. Aces twice, Kings twice, Queens, Ace-King twice and King-Jack with an accompanying flop of J-K-K and someone shoving all their chips in for me.

I was card dead for the first hour. Did not win a single pot and was wondering why I bothered playing, then it all turned around. To be fair, with only five days until the Pigeons game I have to be honest - I'm not ready. It may have served me better had I not been dealt such good cards and had to hack and thrash my way through the tournament. I needed a Charge of Light Brigade type battle, instead I was armed to the teeth fighting an enemy who had only rotten fruit.

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Don't be daft

11/17/2008 06:24:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Pirates have seized an oil tanker off the coast of Kenya. Pirates? What century is this? How the fuck can a gang of pirates seize an oil tanker? You're telling me the US Navy wasn't able to stop a bunch of Somali's in shorts and sandals and eye patches from capturing an oil tanker the size of the Isle of Wight.

What are they gonna do with it now? Somali's don't have the technology to make toast let alone process crude oil. What amused me most about this story, which I read on the BBC website, was the "have your say" section at the bottom where is asks if "are you affected by the issues in this story" and "what are your experiences":

I don't know about you but I'm constantly being inconvenienced by pirates. They're the fucking bane of my existence. I can't even buy a pint of milk these days from the Spar without a run in with the one legged, one eyed, rummed up bastards.


Pink slips

11/16/2008 04:10:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (2)

Is Pink a full blown lesbian? I found myself undeniably sexually aroused by her this afternoon. Granted I'd had some mint sauce, but I won't lie to you, she's provoked similar groinal stirrings within me before. Half an hour with me and I'd straighten her out, eh lads...eh...eh lads...gertcha. Cough..that was a half hearted expression of my virility wasn't it. I convinced no one. I think I'll just be quiet and have an apple.

So anyway let's move on....this weekend has been disappointing from a sporting point of view I don't mind telling you. Slips by both Arsenal and the Blackhawks, beaten by inferior opposition from grubby cities. The Redskins have an opportunity to make amends by giving the Cowboys a damn good thrashing. Historically, statistically the Redskins have the edge at Fed-ex Field, but trying to make good predictions in this NFL season is impossible. I fancy a fairly comfortable win for the Redskins, but I won't be placing any wagers on this game, I have made a tee-pee though in my living room and I should think I'll be sporting war paint too as the game approaches.

** I've decided after having a quick goosey at the handicaps to have a wager just to keep me interested in the nights proceedings while I'm waiting for the Redskins to begin. A £10 accumulator just for fun..

Atlanta -6.5
NY Giants -7
Chicago +3.5
Pittsburgh -4.5

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Mormons are go

11/15/2008 11:54:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I noticed today when I was watching Thunderbirds on the Sci-Fi channel that the Mormons have started an advertising drive here. How odd. I thought it was only crazies from Utah who bought into that stuff. No surprise they chose the Sci-Fi channel to make their introductions. That's definitely the place to start if you want an audience capable of believing almost anything.

Apparently the Mormons had the most influence in voting in that proposition 8 that banned gay marriage in various places. Slightly hypocritical when one considers they were given their own state cause of their weird ideas about marriage. Apparently it's OK to marry six or seven times as long as it's never to someone with the same bits as you.

Nothing else of any significance happened today at all.


Where were you when Tony scored

11/14/2008 08:16:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Random picture here, nothing to do with my loathing of Neil Ruddock or anything.

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Charles in charge

11/14/2008 07:44:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Apparently when Prince Charles finally becomes King he wants to be known as King William V instead of Charles III because he doesn't want to associate himself with the two previous Charles'. Charles I was obviously beheaded by Oliver Cromwell, and his son spent most of time shagging. One can see the awkward irony here given that Prince Charles' first wife insatiable lust for random cock. I very much doubt the two previous Charles' wish to be associated with Prince Charles who coludn't even keep a Primary School teacher happy in bed. La-who-zer.

Before he dies I want paternity tests carried out on William and Harry. I've never been convinced either one of them have a single strand of Charles' DNA in them. Once the current Monarch pops her Royal clogs I'd like to see them all done away with to be honest. I think Britain could do with the same sort of hierarchy they have at McDonalds. Something like that, I don't know. I feel a bit funny now. My vindaloo is infusing. Must lie down.

Dinner update

11/14/2008 07:15:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I had it delivered in the end. It was very nice too. I was sweating profusely at one stage and also feared one of my ears had started bleeding, but fortunately it was a false alarm. We'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings now.

I bought some prawn things to make up the cost. I'm scared to taste them though. They've shown signs of basic intelligence.


Dinner dilemma

11/14/2008 05:48:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I really fancy a Vindaloo tonight. I'm not usually a fan of the really hot Indian efforts, but tonight I think it could really hit the spot. I've got the creams too to deal with any physical problems tomorrow.

My dilemma is this; if I have it delivered I'll have order a bunch of stuff I don't want to make the order up to £10. Or, I could put some casual wear on and go and get it myself saving about £4. I don't really want to do this as it's cold outside and almost certainly raining. £4 is £4 though. What would YOU do?


Stay off the moores

11/14/2008 03:05:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I'm quite sure this weekend will be the last time I go anywhere near a shop for at least 8-10 weeks. Christmas is still six weeks away but even buying a sandwich at the Spar has become a traumatising experience. There's people everywhere. I went to the Pharmacy to buy some creams and even that place was packed. Who gives medications for Christmas presents? I'm not even sure if the meatball sandwich I bought made the whole trip worth it. It was good to be fair to it, but I can't honestly say I'd do it all again if I had the chance.

I also had to go to the bank. I wanted to change all my coppers I've collected this year into real monies. I don't enjoy doing this as it makes me feel poor. One of my bags of pennies only had 99p in it. I've been a loyal customer of Lloyds-TSB for about 30 years. Not once have I robbed them nor nothing and they can't let me off the 1p. A woman canceling a direct debit at the next window had to loan me the penny. The last time I felt that low I had just woken up in a ditch with sick all over my sleeve.

England were shit at cricket today for a change. English cricket is a microcosm of England the nation. It's shit and we're shit because Peter Moores and people of his ilk are in charge of everything. It used to be only politicians that spoke in that irritating non-speak language that sounds authoritive and informed, but when you analyse it, it's nothing but verbal guff. Platforms need to be built, positives need to be taken, hard work will put things right and so on.

These people are public relations officers only, they're meant to be the mouth pieces of the dudes who have the actual knowledge but not the social skills to deal with the meeja, but somehow they've replaced the people with the actual knowledge and now every Ministerial department, organisation and public service in the country and all of our national sports have a Peter Moores entrusted with its future constantly looking at positives and working hard to put things right. Consequently, we're fucked.

Finally a cool picture:

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Cheese, tomato and mushroom omelette recipe

11/13/2008 12:29:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (1)


3 or 4 eggs, depending on how hungry you is
3/4 of a cup of milk
1 tablespoon of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tomato
1/2 an onion
A handful of mushrooms
Salt and pepper
Cooking oil (or more butter depending on your lifestyle)
Couple frying pans - small and large
One saucepan


Crack eggs into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of milk for every egg. Add too much milk and your omelette will burn.

Start chopping up your tomato, onion and mushrooms. Grate your cheese too.

Turn on your elements and lube up your frying pans. Add a tablespoon of butter to your saucepan for your mushroom sauce mix. Your large frying pan only needs to be warm so that your omelette won't burn.

Stick your onions and mushrooms into the small frying pan and add your tablespoon of flour and 1/2 cup of milk to the saucepan. Mix well, and MAKE SHOOWA THE FLOUR DISSOLVES. There's nothing worse than biting into a lump of flour, apart from maybe eating a hairy boiled sweet. You can add salt and pepper at this point too, but don't go mental with it.

Beat your eggs and milk and pour the mixture into a large frying pan. Then get a lid on top of it sharpish.

Keep stirring your other two pans. Your butter, milk and flour should now be forming a cream.

Once your mushrooms and onions have cooked, chuck them into your sauce.

Hopefully your omelette is nicely cooked now. Chuck your tomato and cheese on one side and fold the other side over them so it can all heat up.

Once your cheese has melted, get that omelette onto a plate somehow. After that, you can unfold your omelette. Nice and colorful now, isn't it?!

Add your sauce and fold it all up again. Quickly sit down and yum it all up.


That was the week that was

11/12/2008 08:06:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Good evening. It's been a few days and for that I apologise. I've been unwell bless me. I was concerned a few weeks ago that I had turned into a wetter version of Ghandi. I needn't have worried. There's nothing more likely to reverse the direction of ones liberal political compass than a few weeks of being under the weather. Thank fuck Hitler was healthy.

Patience, tolerance, empathy and compassion all require energy and are quickly jettisoned by the immune system as a matter of self preservation. More convenient defensive emotions are required and all of those are generally negative.

Over the past two weeks I've become less and less liberal. Once Barack Obama had safely been elected a release valve seemed to open within me and I suddenly wanted a lot of people dead, I had no sympathy for the gayests (I'm calling them gayests at the moment) who were denied the right to marry in some states in the US after the same people who voted for Barack Obama also voted for Proposition 8 and I desperately wanted to wave my fist at a kid who kicked his ball against my window, but I couldn't find the energy to get out of bed...I just loudly called him a little cunt instead, which made me cough...so I called him a cunt again. Twenty minutes that vicious circle lasted.

* * *

I ought not to have watched Arsenal on Saturday. Had they lost I would have torn the world a new one. Incidentally, I think that game exposed one of the most ridiculous myths in football; that Manchester United have a deep squad. Have they 'eck as fuck. Their first eleven had five players in it I could not have recognised had I bumped into them in Waitrose. And, and...while our second team was duffing up Premier League side Wigan in the Cola-Pop Cup, Man Utd's were struggling to beat QPR.

* * *

I was awake in time to watch PMQ's today. I banned myself from watching that a while ago. I should have switched off. It is fair to say the adulation Barack Obama is receiving from the whole world has become a border line cult and a bit worrying, but at least he's a comparatively sincere man for a politician and does actually seem to care about the state of his nation and the world.

The collection of £4,000 suits in our House of Commons don't have an drop of humanity or sincerity between them. Fuck knows what they're like when they're ill. They got really angry with each other today. Really waving their bits of paper at each other they were. Gordon Brown accused Cameron of playing party politics with the death of "Baby P" - a poor little 17 month old baby who was beaten to death by his parents.

Outraged Cameron was. Outraged. Gordon Brown is of course a dick and should not have said this. But he's a political robot without any emotion. He knows no better. Cameron on the other hand is a shifty fucker, and although he possibly had cause to feel outraged, Gordon Brown was probably right and if bumped into him in Waitrose as well as those Man Utd players I couldn't recognise, and I asked him about this case again, I doubt he'd be able to discuss the details with me unless he had his notes with him.

* * *

I think I'll make my Ali like return to the ring next Monday at the Fox. A gentle £25 freeze-out to ease me back into the game. These last few weeks I've been sneakily sitting behind the players that confuse me the most so I can see what cards they play. Eventually I got too frightened and couldn't make sense of it all, so decided just to get back playing and hope I guess right when I'm up against any of them.


And now for something completely different

11/06/2008 04:50:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (4)

My predictions for the US election were awesome. I think the only state I got wrong was Missouri and they still have called it cause there's only a four thousand votes separating them. Now it's all over in the US and a General Election here is about 16 months away I've run out of things to talk about so I thought I'd post a nice recipe for Quiche Lorraine until something else pops into my head worth discussing.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) quiche. Feeds two normal sized people or one fat bastard.


* 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
* 8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 4 green onions, chopped
* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
* 6 large eggs
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Bake at 400° for 7 minutes; remove from oven.

Cook bacon pieces in a large skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels, and crumble. Sprinkle bacon, green onions, and 1 cup cheese into prepared crust.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients; pour mixture into crust, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and nutmeg.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes.

11/05/2008 05:41:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

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Election night stuff and waffle.

11/04/2008 05:39:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I made the mistake of drinking Red Bull and eating spicy food when I got home tonight so I'm a little bit wired and need to babble on about stuff for a while to calm me the fuck down. So let's discuss how I believe things will go tomorrow....obviously everything written from this point on assumes that no massive voter fraud on a Zimbabwean level occurs.

For betting in-running purposes the chronology of the election ought to look something like this:

6pm - Indiana and Kentucky polls close. Within the hour Kentucky will be called for McCain, Indiana will be too close to call (we're being pessimistic here..Indiana may just be called for Obama)

7pm - McCain will be up 8-0 on Obama in Electoral College votes.

7pm - Polls close in: Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.

Vermont ought to be called for Obama pretty soon. South Carolina & New Hampshire will be too early to call and Virginia and Georgia will be too close to call. This puts McCain at 8, Obama at 4 in Electoral College votes.

7:30pm - Polls close in Ohio, West Virginia.

Ohio will be too close to call, West Virginia too early to call. Some time before 8pm the news dudes will probably call South Carolina for McCain and New Hampshire for Obama. That puts McCain at 16, Obama at 7 EC votes. Virginia, Georgia and Ohio will be too close to call.

8pm - Polls close: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee

This here is where things get interesting and CNN pundits really start going to town on their huge plasma touch-screen TV's and gadgets and toys. Some of them may pass out with all the excitment. Almost certainly the guy on CNN will climax.

McCain will be projected to win the following states: Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee - Mississippi will be too early to call because they cain't count too good down theyaaah.

Obama will be projected to win states: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania will be too early to call (only cause it's quite big), Florida too close to call (pessimism here again, only cause of the trouble this state usually causes the good guys).

That puts the race now at 99-43 for Obama at about 8:15pm Eastern Time.

At 8:30pm - McCain will be projected the winner in West Virginia & Mississippi. And the Plasma screen guy will have regained consciousness and downed a sugary drink.

So the following states will be too close or too early to call if they count slow and we're being pessimisitc: Indiana, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania.

At 8:29pm, right before Arkansas and North Carolina polls close, Obama will be at 99 electoral votes, McCain at 54.

8:30pm - Those polls close: Arkansas is called for McCain, North Carolina is too close to call (pessimism again). Obama stays at 99, McCain is at 60.

8:45-ish - Pennsylvania is awarded to Obama and Georgia called for McCain. Obama is now at 120, McCain at 75.

Too close to call states now currently; Indiana, Virginia, Ohio and Florida.

Shortly before 9 Eastern Time, Virginia is called for Obama. Obama now stands at 133, McCain at 75.

9pm - Loads of polls close in loads of states.

McCain is projected the winner in the following dumb incest riddled farming states:


Obama is projected the winner in the following intelligent clever people states and Wisonsin:

New York
Rhode Island

South Dakota & New Mexico are too early to call, Arizona and Colorado are too close to call. At this point the experts start to discuss whether McCain can lose his own State of Arizona. There is fist shaking and finger wagging. Meanwhile, Obama's lead in the electoral college balloons to 188-132.

9:30-ish pm - New Mexico is called for Obama, South Dakota for McCain. That puts Obama at 193, McCain at 135.

Indiana is then projected for Barack Obama!! People gasp and a woman faints. Talk now turns to how America is on the brink of making history by electing an African American President. Someone mentions Rosa Parks. Obama leads 204-135.

The states yet to be called:

North Carolina

Right before polls close in the western half of the country, the news dudes will project Obama as the victor in Colorado. Obama now leads 213-135.

Polls then close in 5 states. McCain is projected the winner in the following:

Utah a place populated by people who think Jesus came from outta space.

Obama is projected the winner in the following:

Iowa, where I think Radar was from in MASH.

Montana, Nevada and North Dakota are too close or too early to call.

Obama now leads 220-140. McCain is rumoured to have gone missing having not returned from the bathroom...McCain staff members over hear him saying he's going out for a walk and maybe sometime. Obama camp announce their man will speak once California's votes come in or when he's finished his jig-saw.

At this point, three hours after polls closed, Ohio is called for Obama. Joe the Plumber escapes to Canada. Two and a half hours after polls closed in Florida, it is called for Obama as well. Thousands of the States elderely Jewish populace are seen attempting an exodus to Cuba on inner-tubes. With both states won, Barack Obama now sits at 267 electoral votes, three away from 270.

Right before 10pm, McCain is projected the winner in North Dakota and Montana. Obama is then declared the winner in Nevada, putting him over 270 electoral votes at roughly 9:50pm Eastern Time.

A huge gust of wind blows over the country extinguishing the fires in California and freshening up the horrible stench from George W. Bush's 8 years in the White House as the entire globe breaths a sigh of relief.

The cable news networks flash up graphics announcing Obama as the 44th President of the United States except at Fox news where they pull out the power cables and exit via a tunnel to make their escape to Venezuela.

10pm - Polls then close in 5 states.

McCain is projected in:


Obama is projected in:


Arizona is also finally called for McCain.

And at 10:15 EST, Obama has 349 electoral votes, McCain 160.

Around 10:30, North Carolina is called for Obama. And around 11:00 Eastern Time, Obama is projected the winner in Missouri, not that it matters.

Alaska, an hour later, is declared for McCain.

Obama wins 375-163.

McCain finally returns to his head quarters explaining he was out looking for his dog Mr Puddles and asks if anything has happened while he was gone. He is given gas and air on his way to the Emergency Room after Cindy McCain explains how things have progressed. He regains consciousness again several hours later only to lose consciousness immediately after asking the same question about the election's progress. Eventually he is relocated to a secure unit where he will be spoon fed and only given soft crayons to write with.

Obama then gives a speech that is replayed around the world for the next few days and we all begin the process of forgiving the United States for the last eight years and collectively working at unraveling the Gordian Knot George Bush tied the globe in.


As I explained earlier, I actually think Obama will win Georgia and even John McCain's home state of Arizona which are currently being offered up at something like 3.9 and 4.5 respectively on Betfair. McCain made the mistake of not campaigning in these places or any "red-states" assuming they were safe. They were far from safe and it's too late now to do anything about it.

Obama to win Georgia 3.9 - NAP
Obama to win Arizona 4.5
Electoral College votes won - 351 or greater 1.81

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