Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Have any of my readers noticed the uncanny similarity between Indonesian radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and has-been paedophile glam-rocker Gary Glitter?



I wonder if they might be related?

Monday, 16 November 2009

A phone call I didn't really want to have to make

I don't feel like even trying to be funny today.

When I got home from work yesterday, my wife greeted me with the news that my aunt - the second wife of my dad's little brother, and a much loved stabilising presence in his life and the wider family - had died on Saturday night of a heart attack. My dad phoned up to tell us while I was at work, having got the call from his brother at half past midnight and spent the rest of the night sitting up unable to sleep, nursing his shock and dismay with an unspecified number of whiskies and soda.

We knew she was unwell, having recently had a hip replacement and not having recovered according to plan. But on Saturday night my uncle noticed she was looking a bit grey in the face and called an ambulance. She collapsed and was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced dead an hour or so later. None of us were expecting anything quite that dramatic.

I dread phoning or writing to people in these circumstances, never knowing quite what to say, but I plucked up the courage to call my uncle. I wish I could report that I found inspired words of solace, but I didn't. I think I started with "I heard the sad news. I really don't know what to say..." In the circumstances, that was probably as good as anything and certainly better than not calling at all. I told him how fond we were of her (especially Djangolina, who always got on splendidly with her - she was wonderful with children) and how if there was anything we could do etc etc - all the normal cliches. But what else can you say in these situations? I meant every word, however hackneyed the phrases I used. Anyway, the hard bit's done. I'm now waiting for a funeral date.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Boyo - Les cahiers de conversation, trois

At the sight of Mr Big Big Bossy Big Boss making an inspection tour of a nearby area, I slip away from my desk in pursuit of a cup of tea, fearing the impact on the organization should someone important make the mistake of asking me a question. Along the way I meet Boyo, who is similarly pursuing tea but without ready cash about his person, and is lurking with the intent of prising a cuppa out of some misguided but well-intentioned soul like me.

On our way back, he asks me what Djangolina is up to.
"She's off for a week on a school trip to a place on the Isle of Wight called 'Little Canada'," I respond, truthfully.

"I can imagine what they do there - eat donuts, play ice hockey, learn to discuss lesbianism. In French. 'I'm from Saskatchewan, eh?'..." He is getting into his stride by now.

At this point, we reach a door. Approaching from the other side is a strikingly attractive South Asian lady whom neither of us have seen before. I stand aside chivalrously to let her through. Boyo - his head twisted through 90 degrees to continue holding forth to me, fails to register her presence walks past her saying, in a high-pitched mock-Djangolina voice "Daddy - all the men here are called Mr MacKenzie!"

I smile wanly at the woman as she flees for her life, clearly having come to the snap decision that the place is a madhouse.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A new love

I have recently gone through a life-changing experience. This has not been easy for a middle-aged, respectably married man; but there is a new object of passion in my life.

I saw her in the street, and was captivated by her beauty. Her body has the most seductive curves I have ever seen. I should have admired from afar and left it at that, but I searched out more about her on the internet, and my desire grew, and became a consuming passion; I fantasized about running my hands over her lovely body, to possess her, to be - I blush to say it - inside her.

I had to have her.

I summoned up the courage to tell my wife.

"I'm sorry, but I cannot live without her. I don't want our marriage to end over this; what I would like ideally is for her to come and live with us and us all to try and get on together. And I think Guthlac will love her..."

She looked me right in the eye, remaining calm and poised.

"If you insist, then yes she can come and live here. But on one condition."

I felt my heart pounding.

"And your condition is?"

"That you put me down on the insurance as a named driver."

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

"Daddy, what's your favourite action film?"

"I like the one about the young maverick palaeontologist who crashes his Micra into what turns out to be the mineralized remains of a basal male bovid."
"Is there such a film?"
"Yes Djangolina - it's called Nissan in Fossil Bull."

[Note to self - it was a mistake getting Djangolina her own Samurai sword. Must lay hands on a needle and thread...]