Sunday, 25 May 2014

Lungs Suck

Lungs suck. And they blow. And sometimes, if you don’t remain vigilant, they fill up with water and kill you when you least expect it. Apple bobbing has claimed more unwary victims than people realise. Particularly when the class bully holds your head under while the teacher is outside having a crafty smoke.
Lungs don’t even taste good, not unless some sneaky manufacturer hides them inside their pasties, sausages or burgers, disguising their noisome flavour with minced chicken neck and savoury cow’s anus. That’s another Jamie Oliver recipe I won’t be trying again any time soon. The sprinkling of star anise and pinch of saffron didn’t make a bit of difference. As for the squirt of squid ink, bloody waste of time and money that was.
Did you know one human lung spread out flat would cover an entire tennis court? I dare say it would make it a bit slippy, though. Don’t see Wimbledon changing over from grass to lung courts in the near future. Not ‘traditional’ enough for those snobs. I mean, they’ve never budged an inch over the all white kit thing, not even for the girl players when they’ve got the painters in.
“How much! For six effin’ strawberries and a teaspoon of cream? I don't know about Wombles of Wimbledon, highway robbers is what you are."

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Down the Local

Some more of my words turned into a song by Chaz Crane.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Cockney Sparrow

About twenty or more years ago, I was walking over to the local supermarket, when I came across a baby sparrow huddled up against a low wall. The flats that the wall belonged to are forty-plus feet high, so though the little mite had survived the fall, there was no possible way its mother could get it back into the nest and a local cat was bound to stumble across it sooner or later.
Anyway, touched by its plight, I hurried back upstairs, found a small basket with a lid and returned to the chick. As I tried to pick it up, it squawked and shrieked and spread its wings trying to look bigger and more imposing, which was an impressive display for such a youngster given it wasn’t even two inches big and probably weighed an ounce dripping wet.

So I scooped the tiny sparrow up, with it loudly protesting the entire time, put it in my basket, took it back to my flat and fashioned a home for it. First I cut one side out of a cardboard box and covered it with cling film, then cut a flap in the back to act as a door. Finally, I put a number of cotton wool balls into the small basket, turning it into a surrogate nest, all nice and cosy.

At first, the baby sparrow was rightfully wary of me, but when you’re as hungry as growing birds are and someone keeps bringing you food, it’s not long before trust is gained and given. I fed it oats soaked in milk, small bits of bacon fat (remembering how we used to put the rind out for the birds), crushed up nuts and slivers of dried fruit, all supplied by a pair of tweezers. The diet was pretty much guesswork on my part, but it gobbled down what I provided and seemed to thrive.

After just three or four days, I started leaving the box open and all I had to do was walk into the room, tap the food bowl I was carrying and “Birdy” - as I had so imaginatively called my little friend - would fly across the room, land on the rim of the bowl and open its tiny beak demanding to be fed.

Every evening, when my girlfriend of the time, Allison, came home from work, first thing she would unfailingly do was ask how Birdy was and go and check on her. That’s when an amusing idea came to me in the form of one of those sugar coated mini eggs. Sorting through the bag, I found the most convincingly egg-looking one and just before my other half got home, I placed it on the cotton wool in Birdy’s nest.

I was sitting in the living room when Allison got back that night and as usual she asked how Birdy was and went straight into the bedroom to check. A few seconds passed and then she cried in a voice full of surprise and delight “Tony! Tony!”

“Yes,” I responded, trying to sound innocent, but my voice clearly giving away my barely suppressed laughter. There was a brief pause and she called back, “Nothing…”

When she came from the bedroom, I was grinning from ear to ear. “You bastard,” she said. “I really thought for a moment Birdy had laid an egg.”

“Yes,” I laughed. “She’s only a baby and an egg that size would have split her in half, but you still fell for it.” She replied that she would get me back and sometime later, she did, in the form of a large plastic spider placed half behind a pipe in the bathroom. Being a terrible arachnophobe, I was almost sick from fright, so she did indeed get me back. Good and proper.

It was a shame that my suppressed laughter gave me away, because the next part of my plan - expecting to be called in to take a look at the "egg" - was to amble in, pick it up, pop it into my mouth and crunch it up. I think the look on Allison's face would have been priceless. Just the same, all these years on, my prank still makes me smile when I think about it.

Birdy grew fast and within another week, when she started flying around the room, I realised it was time for her to leave the nest. She was clearly ready and cooped up in my bedroom, I was scared she’d bang into a wall and hurt herself.

Next morning, a nice bright warm day, I took Birdy in her box/cage out onto my balcony. She had only been with me a matter of days, but having been a mum to her and having won her trust, I was sad having to let her go, but knew it was the right thing to do. I opened the front of the box and Birdy hopped out onto the wall. She hopped about a bit, looking out towards the big world she was about to enter, then she turned back around, took a good long look at me like she was saying goodbye, then turned again, spread her wings and flew off like a tiny rocket.
I freely admit to shedding a few tears watching her go, but I was also pleased that I'd managed to give Birdy her life back when the little soul I'd found, feisty or not, likely wouldn't have lasted an hour or two out on the street. They say that God looks out for even the smallest fallen sparrow and on this occasion, I guess I was the one sent to do the rescuing.

For many years since then, sparrows had all but disappeared from London. No one seems to know quite why, but they went from a daily part of life, to non-existent. Recently, however, I have started seeing a few about again. I particularly noticed because they have been conspicuous by their absence for so long.

There are actually a breeding pair of sparrows nesting somewhere in the downstairs communal garden. Whenever I see them hopping around foraging, I can’t help but wonder, or even hope, that one or other is a direct descendant from Birdy and that perhaps I had some hand in continuing Birdy's line and in my own small way helped to stop sparrows from vanishing for all time.

Still, a comparatively huge chocolate egg, Allison, really?


Saturday, 17 May 2014

The Itch

Wedding bells
Nappy smells
Filled with poo and pee
Darling dear
Listen here
This really isn't me
Nagging whine
Dinner time
But, and here’s the rub
Darling dear
Listen here
I’m going down the pub
Wanting love
Elbow shove
Asked for marriage right
Darling dear
Listen here
I’m too knackered tonight
Lovely eyes
Silken thighs
Beauty I can’t bear
Darling dear
Listen here
I’m having an affair
Screaming fight
House alight
I think it’s time to go
Darling dear
Listen here
You’ve been so nice to know

Friday, 16 May 2014

Macho Man (Set to music)

Macho man, yet more of my light and cheerful words set to music and performed by my mate Chaz Crane. Light and cheerful - who am I kidding...?

Saturday, 10 May 2014

I Talk to the Trees

Remember the song, I Talk to the Trees, sung by Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Waggon? Well, I was talking to a tree earlier - an old oak tree and very chatty it was - and I asked it what it thought of climate change.
"Son," it said, "I'm four hundred and sixty-two years old and I've seen it all before."
"Really?" I said.
"The climate changes," it shrugged its upper branches. "That's just how it is. In the 1970s and 80s we had nothing but droughts, now it rains all the time and no doubt, in another few years time, we'll be back to hosepipe bans again. The only thing that remains constant is change."
"But," I stammered," a lot of scientists are telling us that man is making the climate warmer, leading to floods and droughts and all sorts of chaos."
The oak barked with laughter. "I have a giant redwood in the family and he tells me his great grandfather told him the climate was much warmer back in his day. That's why the snakes and crocodiles and other cold-blooded reptiles were growing forty or fifty feet long, or more. The extra heat provided them with the energy to grow massive. Why do you think Britain has one snake six inches long and all the hot countries have things ten, twenty and thirty feet long? Even your scientist friends will tell you that. It's all about heat and the energy they get from it. They dug up bones in Columbia from a snake they named 'Titanaboa' that was around 45 feet long, weighed a ton and they reckon some may have grown even larger than that. Imagine how much heat/energy those giants must have needed."
"So man is not to blame for climate change, then?" I asked.
"Of course not!" The oak exclaimed. "They just use it as an excuse to chop down my friends, turn them into paper and use that to send you bills for CO2 reduction. I know you're only a human, but I would have thought even you would have realised that. This is a planet. The climate changes. Get the hell over it. You humans do make a terrible mess of everything, but on this count, not guilty."
Well, that told me. Tomorrow, I am going to strike up a conversation with a patch of nettles. I'm sure I'll get more sense and honesty out of them than I will our lying politicians and assorted other climate change fraudsters.

Friday, 9 May 2014


Another song performed by my mate Charles Crane. In this one, I love the way he has combined verses from three of my offerings. Good job Chaz!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Demon Drink Blues

This was the first of my poems (or lyrics as Chaz calls them) that my friend Charles Crane set to music and performed. Video by another blogging chum, Dioclese.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Pet Puppet

When I was a lad, I had a huge, vicious German Shepherd dog called Sabre as a pet and he used to attack small children and rip out their throats.
Tell a lie. It was a guinea pig called Floppy and he couldn't even rip the throat out of my sister's Barbie.
Floppy died during a play I was performing for my little friends. Apparently using small furry animals as glove puppets isn’t particularly good for them.
After that, I had to change his name to Stiffy and keep him in the freezer.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Flight of Terror

I once flew to Rumania (or Romania, take your pick) on board a plane from their national airline. This was in the days before they kicked their then dictator, Nicoleae Ceaucescu, to death and before they joined the new nazi dictatorship of the european union. You would have thought they’d have know better, but no. Commie airlines, I think they were called.
Well, the hostesses all looked like the werewolf from Carry on Screaming, but hairier – I kid you not. Either that or they were cross-dressing all in wrestlers with two and a half pounds of foundation, rouge and lipstick plastered over their angular faces to disguise their five o’clock shadow. The in flight meal was clearly polystyrene painted to look like food and they grudgingly flung it at us anyway as though we were stealing it from the mouths of their starving children.
There was no sign of any other in flight service, apart from repeated attempts to flog us cartons of Marlborough cigarettes and bottles of perfume. Having, in hungry desperation, eaten the bread roll that accompanied the pretend food, which was so dry it almost choked me, I had little choice but to drink the tasteless gnat’s piss that passed for my free cup of tea and any request for water or other soft drink was greeted by an unfriendly scowl and apparent incomprehension. I didn’t like to press the point, either, in case one of the giant man-women got me in a full nelson and body slammed me onto the gangway floor.
The seats had obviously come from a medieval torture chamber and the pilot was a real loony, bringing us into land with a kamikaze style screaming dive that almost exploded my head – the sudden reduction in cabin pressure bringing me, sweating and groaning, to the edge of unconsciousness and leaving me almost stone deaf for half of my holiday so every conversation sounded like it was coming to me while submerged in a swimming pool, with pains in my ears that felt as if some torturing bastard was jamming meat skewers into my eardrums.
You just can’t pay for service like that.
Course you holiday camps can’t. Don’t talk prison blocks.

I Hear Ya.

Just because you can’t see God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. I can’t see Him either, I just hear His voice in my head. Usually in the wee small hours. He whispers things to me and I go and do them. Why those particular people had to be taken out, I don't know, but mine is not to reason why. I was just following orders.
For some reason the judge wouldn’t take that into account, refused me bail and had me put into a secure psychiatric unit.
Must be an atheist.
I don't much care for this jacket they've got me wearing and typing with your nose is no fun at all.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Kill the Cabbage!

Way back in the 1970s, a scientific study showed that plants react to pain. Wired to an encephalograph, when a plant had its leaf burnt with a lighter, the needles on the graph went haywire. More than that, however, after repeating this process a number of times, when one plant was burned, all the plants nearby “screamed” as well. So not only do plants feel pain, they communicate with each other to boot.

After this experiment had been done over several days (always the same nasty white-coated man doing the burning), the moment the experimenter even entered the room, all of the plants “screamed”, although the needles on the graph showed no reaction to any of the other people in white coats.

Thus, these plants were showing reaction to pain, communication with each other, sympathy with their plant friend’s pain - even those that had never been burned themselves - and the ability to differentiate the man with the lighter from all of the other scientific bods wandering in and out, showing distress or fear before he even commenced torturing any of them.

Finally, these scientists found that all living cells, even the scrapings from the roof of someone’s mouth, showed the same reactions. They concluded, therefore, that all living things are somehow in sympathy with all other living things. These experiments have also been replicated since and have gained the same results, so this was no freak set of data.

The author of the book “Supernature” (where I first read about all this), Lyle Watson, said his research had lead him to the conclusion that the only way to have a clear conscience would be if he only ate cabbages that had died of natural causes. He also said he imagined grass screaming whenever he walked over it.

So, short of becoming a fruitarian and only eating windfall, i.e. fruit that has fallen from the tree naturally (no picking!), it is impossible to keep yourself alive without killing things. Hey, smug vegan, that lettuce you're munching on is screaming its head off (lettuce, head, get it?).

Personally, given that the carrots in my fridge are facing a horrific death by boiling, while the chicken has already met its maker in a slightly less barbaric fashion, it’s chicken and chips for my dinner and no troubled conscience. I will also honour the poor bird’s death by ensuring not one scrap of meat is left before chucking out the stripped carcass. The juicy parson’s nose* will, of course, be the first thing shoved into my gob. It’s the least I can do.

And don’t worry about the chips. They are of the pre-murdered oven variety and beyond feeling any further pain. RIP chips - in my tummy.

(*See "Parson's Nose" elsewhere on this blog, but only if you enjoy laughing).


Friday, 2 May 2014


Whenever an aeroplane full of excited holiday makers flies over my house, I get this horrible feeling that it’s about to explode in mid-air and crash. Then I cross my fingers and pray that the mangled scorched wreckage and its cargo of burning passengers doesn’t smash right through my living room window.
Just finished decorating, see.
Twelve pounds fifty a roll that bloody wallpaper cost me!

...Also, isn't it absolutely staggering how they make aeroplanes fly in the first place. Hundreds of tons of metal, rubber and plastic and somehow they get these huge, wonderful machines, up into the sky and keep them there for hours and hours and hours. Amazing!
It’s even more amazing (not to mention spectacular) when one crashes, putting the kibosh on all the gay cabin staff, the makeup-caked trolley dollies and eight dozen screaming passengers. I bet the pilot doesn’t get a reference after that.
Of course a life jacket under the seat is a waste of bleedin' time! Don’t talk black boxes!
I'll leave you with this tip. When flying anywhere, always sit right at the back of the plane.
Never yet heard of one that "reversed" into a mountain. 

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again. Mainly because the evil swines had galloped back and forth over him several times, trampling his broken shell-like body into the mud to make sure he was properly dead.
And they were laughing.