Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It’s a good job bees don’t suffer from hayfever. If they did, spring and summer days would be punctuated by a cacophony of insect sneezes and subsequent pollen explosions within the flowers. Even if, by some Herculean effort, the afflicted bee were able to transport his pollen back to the hive, he wouldn’t be in any condition to turn it into decent honey. Indeed, because of the discharge from runny apian noses, jars of Gales Honey would probably consist of 90 per cent bee snot. You wouldn’t be able to spread the stuff on your toast; it would soak straight through.

Another thing to bear in mind is that bees assist in plant reproduction by transferring pollen from the stamen of the male plants to the pistillate cones of the females. But, of course, if they were allergic to the pollen and came over all sneezy and runny-eyed, they wouldn’t be able to do this any more and all plant life on earth would eventually die out. And without plants, there would be no means to convert carbon dioxide into breathable air so, in time, humanity would die of suffocation.

It therefore behoves us to listen carefully to bee hives. If we hear a single sneeze from within, we should leave a packet of Benadryl outside, just to be on the safe side.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Policing the Streets

Whenever I go to Selfridges (once a week, usually) I always walk there via Grosvenor Square and the US Embassy. This is because it affords me a certain amount of sport with the armed SO16 police division patrolling the area. I take every opportunity to shout at them such things as "I fucked your mother last night. She wasn't much good. Tonight I'll try you sister - your father tells me she's a much better shag. So do all her clients." And so forth.

They sometimes get the odd shot off at me, but without much effect. One problem (apart from their lousy aim and general ineptness) is that their weapons, ostensibly automatics, have been modified so that they can only shoot single rounds. So while they're trying to get another bullet into the breach, I've usually darted into the shelter of a nearby Italian restaurant or sandwich shop. Sometimes, I'll even dart into the US Embassy itself. The commotion often brings out a Marine division, who then engage the police in a brief, but lethal firefight, usually wiping them all out. Of course, the Government always imposes a D-Notice on all of this in furtherance of "the special relationship", so you'll never have read about it.

How different things were a few years ago. Think back, for example, to Dixon of Dock Green. OK, not a hard man in the conventional sense. Nevertheless, back in 1950, he was shot and killed by Dirk Bogarde. But did this stop him? No – he fuckingwell rose from the dead, thereafter to star in a long-running television series. Then, of course, there were Regan and Carter in the 1970s. They seem to have gone around permanently armed, and weren't averse to shooting someone just for the fun of it. And they always hit what they were shooting at. And in the 1970s, also, there was Harry Callaghan, aka “Dirty Harry”, who'd shoot people left, right, centre, and from below, too. Again, not someone to mess with.

But what do we have today? Wankers in protective helmets, poncing around behind riot shields, and running off, crying, to Health & Safety if they get even as little as a splinter in their fingers. And as for their kill rate, forget it. Note the G20 demonstrations on the first of this month. Thousands of fucking tree huggers and unwashed anarchists within an easily containable "kill zone", but they only managed to eliminate one person, and he was just a Big Issue vendor. Little wonder, then, that there's a crime epidemic and that the forces of Law and Order are so scoffed at. Little wonder that we are no longer safe in our own homes.

I therefore propose that dead policemen from the glorious past be dug up and their DNA extracted. Then we can clone The Greats and have them patrol our streets and make them safe again. Indeed, we could gene-splice them to create the best of the best. A bobby on a bicycle, for example, who bids people "Evening all" and "Mind how you go, sir", before cutting them in half with an automatic weapon. Or a traffic officer who, while assisting a child across the road, asks "Are you feeling lucky, punk?" before delivering him into the path of a speeding articulated lorry.

Only in this way with Britain be Great again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Plate Tectonics

As everyone is no doubt aware, earthquakes are caused by drifting tectonic plates slowly pressing up against one another. Eventually, the pressure becomes so great that one of the plates slips and judders violently. The result is a shaking of the earth immediately above, with associated property damage, casualties, and an influx of Christian Aid workers.

This need not be the case, however.

In my opinion, all major fault lines in the world should have giant Vaseline factories erected above them. By pumping vast quantities of Vaseline between the tectonic plates, you could minimise any friction. Therefore instead of violently shaking, the plates would move smoothly, like greased axles.

Of course, this would speed up the migration of land masses, too. Normally, it takes several millions of years for continents to detach themselves from one another and cross oceans. But a Vaseline coated one could probably do the same trip in a couple of hours. So, for example, residents of San Francisco might wake up as citizens of the United States, but find themselves part of Bangladesh come dinner time. And a fortnight later, they could end up in the Arctic.

Fortunately, all this would help bolster international relations and promote world peace. What head of state would ever again advocate turning a faraway country into a radioactive desert or infecting its population with a plague if there's a distinct possibility that, in a week's time, it's going be the neighbouring postal district? On the other hand, it could fuck up the airline industry totally. Who’s going to pay £4,000 for a First Class return trip to, say, Australia, when all you need do is stand on the beach for a while and wait until Australia to come to you?

Delays will, of course, be inevitable due to the contrary nature of plate tectonics. You might, for instance, spend three quarter’s of an hour waiting for a continent to arrive, and then three of them will turn up at once.

Friday, April 24, 2009


An acquaintance of mine is going on a so-called “sponsored walk” and wants me to pledge some cash. I’m frankly a bit bothered by the whole enterprise, particularly as it’s something of a misnomer. This is because it’s not the walking itself that accrues the money, but how far she walks. In other words, I’ve got to pay her more if she manages, say, 20 miles rather than just two. So it should properly be called a “sponsored distance.”

Given this, I’m now a bit pissed off with another acquaintance. She’s going on a sponsored parachute jump. But, unlike the walker, who earns per mile, this one expects to get the same whether she drops ten feet or 10,000. Either way, as soon as she leaves the plane, I’m stung for the full amount. I can’t even renege on it if her parachute fails to open because, technically speaking, she’ll still have done the jump and covered the full distance to the ground. Whereas, at least with the walker, there’s a chance that she’ll twist her ankle, break her leg, or get run over before she finishes, so I won’t be as out-of-pocket.

In all honesty, however, I can’t think of anything to suggest to the jumper that might help reduce my exposure. I suppose I could insist that she jumps out of the plane over a highly-forested area or above high-voltage pylons, then there’s a least a chance she’ll get stuck in a tree or electrocuted. Then again, even if she does, she could point to the contract (or, in the electrocution case, her Estate could) and hold me to my pledge, pointing out that it’s the jump I was sponsoring, not how far she got, and the fact she didn’t manage the last 20 feet or so is neither here nor there. The cunt.

I’m just glad I don’t live in New Testament times, though. Back then, if you sponsored Jesus or the Virgin Mary on a sponsored jump, they no doubt would have insisted that you paid for, not just the jump, but the distance covered. This is because, just before they hit the ground, an angel would come forth and raise them back up into the Heavens, thus allowing them to perform another descent. And another. And another. So you’d be out millions of denarii, having rendered both to Caesar and to God.

Little wonder the Church is now so fucking rich.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Diplomatic Status

In my opinion, Greek, Indian, Thai, and other ethnic restaurants based in the United Kingdom shouldn't be allowed to get away with calling themselves such. For a start, invariably, their owners hold British passports. Secondly, unless the food has actually been air-freighted in, it remains essentially English, albeit tarted up with exotic ingredients. Therefore, more properly, these places should advertise themselves as Greek style and Indian style eateries.

A possible way round this, however, is to give them diplomatic status. Then a Greek restaurant could indeed be accurately described as such, because it really would be Greek territory, subject to the usual border regulations and immigration controls. Likewise all the others.

Some problems might, of course, arise from this. For example, where two adjoining restaurants - Greek and Turkish, for instance - shared a common parking area or a back yard, territorial disputes could ensue, possibly leading to wars. And if they got out of hand, the wars could quickly spread from the restaurants to the countries themselves. Or a Persian restaurant might try to develop nuclear or biological weapons capability. As we know, punitive sanctions are rarely effective in these cases. Consequently, it would be necessary to bomb the offending restaurant back to the Stone Age, regardless of any potential collateral damage to its “human shield” diners.

On the plus side, though, existing embassies and legations would probably feel obliged to upgrade themselves to restaurant status in solidarity. Which could only be a good thing. At the moment, if I ring up the Chinese ambassador in London and ask for two spring rolls and Peking duck with pancakes, he rarely obliges. But as a culinary diplomatic entity, he'd be forced to, if only to ensure international goodwill. And I'd get the meal in a specially insulated diplomatic bag.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fly on the Wall

You often hear people say, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall.” This usually means that they’d like to surreptitiously witness some stimulating event or other without letting the people involved actually know that they’re being observed. A good-looking couple shagging, for example, would be a case in point. Or me undressing, displaying my Daniel Craig-lookalike physique.

Whatever, the expression has now given rise to the so-called “fly on the wall documentary”, wherein the subjects go about their everyday business, apparently oblivious of the cameras. In other words, the cameraman and production team are effectively unnoticed, their presence, to all intents and purposes, like that of a fly on the wall.

When you think the expression through, however, you realize how ridiculous it really is. As you can clearly observe from this photograph, if you were a fly on the wall, all you would actually see would be the wall, and nothing else. The fly would have to turn round in order to get a view of what’s behind him, and if he did, he’d fall off, as it’s only his feet that are sticky, not his back or wings.

A better expression, therefore, would be “an owl on the wall.” This is because an owl (assuming he could find some sort of perch, such as a picture frame or a light fitting) can turn his head round 360 degrees to see what’s going on behind him.

On the other hand, I suppose you might notice if, mid coitus, there were an owl on your wall, especially if he hooted (unless the sex session was especially noisy). And if you did notice him, I suppose he'd be easier to swat with a rolled up newspaper. That's the plus side.

On the distaff side, if owls managed to avoid being swatted and went on to displace flies on our walls, spiders would have to get a bit more proactive in terms of catching their prey, as I don’t imagine a conventional spider’s web would last long if an owl got caught in it. So they’d evolve to be giant hunter-killers, like that one in the film “Tarantula” with Leo G. Carroll. Which, in turn, would force governments to use the nuclear option to deal with the problem.

This could put people off sex completely. Who’d want to risk a Pershing Cruise Missile coming through their window at the moment of climax?

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Cadmore End, Buckinghamshire.

According to official-looking signs displayed on lampposts hereabouts, if you allow your dog to crap in public and don’t then immediately pick up the resultant turd, you could be liable for a £1,000 fine and/or three months imprisonment. As I’m currently cat-sitting in deepest, rural Buckinghamshire and therefore don’t have the dogs with me, this isn’t an issue. What is and issue, however, is what the signs don’t say.

Having now examined the small print thoroughly, it seems that the law is aimed at dogs, and dogs only. Should I, myself, for example, wish to suddenly lower my pants and deposit a load on the pavement, they can’t touch me for it. Leastways, there's nothing on the signs to say they can. Likewise if I allow my horse to liberally defecate (and, judging by the mounds of horse shit that pile up round here every day, hundreds of people do). As for the result of the local farmer marching his cows from the field to the nearby milking sheds, the less said the better.

So why target dog shit in particular? Granted, it isn’t a pleasant experience accidentally stepping in the stuff. But it’s even less agreeable, surely, sinking up to your knees in a cow-pat or being on a bicycle immediately behind a shire horse when he lets one drop. Yet, in these instances, the local council seem totally impotent.

This morning, just for research purposes, I went on a shit hunt. I wasn’t disappointed. Within 30 seconds walk from this house I must have counted at least 20 horse turds and three cow-pats. If the council applied the same rules to these animals as they do to dogs, they’d already be up £23K on the deal. So why don’t they?

I suppose official attitudes to the matter may date from the days when all transport was horse or bullock-based. Back in the medieval era, for example, while I don’t expect people were exactly overjoyed at having to deal with the aftermath of 1000 mounted men at arms riding through their village, they wouldn’t have thought it wise to complain too loudly, either. Shouting, “Oi, wanker! Your fucking horse has just shat on my front drive, you tin-plated tosser!” to a knight equipped with a long lance and a broadsword maybe wasn’t a good idea. Similarly, putting up signs saying “500 groat fine and/or beheading if your horse shits here” could have financially crippled any royal army marching through. Possibly this explains Richard the Lionheart’s failure to recapture Jerusalem during the Crusades: his army had been previously decimated by having to pay out all those horse-fouling fines. Today, therefore, mindful of this, and not wanting to be decapitated (and, equally, not wanting the Holy Land to fall back into the hands of the Heathen), council officials are still overly lenient with horse owners.

It seems to me, then, that the only way to accord dogs equal status in the pooing stakes is to involve them in the transportation system, too. Mine are a bit small, but could, I suppose, at a pinch, give a ride to Austin Powers actor, Verne Troyer. And, of course, I could harness all three of them together into a team and possibly get them to pull me in a little cart. But in the meantime, if they do take a crap and someone from the council complains, I’ll say it was me, not them. As I said, there’s nothing on the sign prohibiting me from dumping in public.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Knock Off

Time was, an expensive hand-crafted watch was a status symbol, denoting great wealth and refinement. Ownership of, say, a Patek Philippe or a Rolex enhanced one's position in society. Beggars would happily line up to be kicked by such watch wearers, while women from all classes willingly dropped their knickers at the sight of the horological perfection of the timepiece's centre sweep second hand.

Sadly, however, this is no longer the case. Why? It is solely down to the malign influence of the Internet.

Every day, my e-mail inbox is full of Spam adverts promoting the virtues of replica watches which, it's claimed, are perfect in every detail, albeit at a fraction of the price of the genuine article. I've seen a few of these things fake Rolexes, Omegas, and so forth - and they are, aesthetically speaking, very, very good. Indeed, in many cases, unless you actually take the watch apart, it's impossible to tell the difference. As a result, the social cachet of owning the genuine article has been debased or negated entirely. These days, people won't even bother mugging you for one, assuming that your expensive watch is merely a cheap knock-off. In fact, I'm told that the Sultan of Brunei who, 20 years ago, purchased a diamond-studded Omega for about ten million pounds, now regularly has people coming up to him saying, "I'll give you five quid for that, mate." How annoying this must be.

But there could be worse to come. Having effectively rendered expensive watches apparently valueless, the Internet could soon do the same for sexual super-studs. I refer, of course, to all those "Give yourself an extra six inches" and "Make the bitch howl in orgasm all night" e-mails. If what they declare is truthful (and, given that the watch ads are, why shouldn't these be, too?), anyone can now effectively become an insatiable sex-machine. And if anyone can, how are women now to distinguish the genuine article from a cheap knock-off?

Gone, I suppose, are the days when, over dinner at an up-market restaurant, one could casually mention to a woman that one had a 12 inch dick and could go at it all night like an industrial-strength sewing machine, thus guaranteeing a shag. Today, she'd most likely say, "So what? Can't everyone?" (You can't even impress her with your degree certificates, either, because, nowadays you can get those over the Internet, too.) I suspect that, just as with watches, the only way to tell the difference between the fake and the genuine article is to take it apart. But I don't relish the idea of allowing a woman to take a scalpel to my penis merely in order to satisfy herself as to my bona fides. Yet, this may soon have to be incorporated as a regular feature of the sexual act.

I just thank the Lord that, if all else fails, I am still able to impress women with the quality of my cooking. But how long will it be before the junk e-mailers cotton on to this, as well, and start, and start promoting "Fantastic Replica Slavko Evening Meals" over the Internet?

I have seen the future, and it droops.

A typical replica Cartier

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday evening I was reading a newspaper feature that likened young children to sponges, in that they’re supposed to passively soak up information and influences from around them. So, for example, if you leave a toddler in a room full of Frenchmen, at the end of the day, he’ll come out speaking a certain amount of French. Or if left alone with a bunch of astrophysicists, he’ll emerge with a passable (if incomplete) theory for the formation of the Universe.

Anyhow, I decided to test this. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a child to hand. I did, however, have a sponge. (Which, according to The Daily Telegraph, amounts to much the same thing.) I therefore read it the opening chapter of “The English Patient.” The results were amazing.

When I’d finished, I squeezed the sponge. Out came: “She stands up in the garden where she has been working and looks into the distance.” And so on, unto the end of the chapter - all word perfect. But there was more. I gave it another squeeze. “Personally, I find this a very trite, overrated book,” said the sponge. “Why Ondaatje couldn’t have just gone for a standard linear narrative I do not know. You’ve really got to be one of those Guardian-reading ponces who lives in Islington to divine any artistic merit whatsoever from crap like this.”

Next, I played the sponge the CD of Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” from beginning to end. Then I squeezed it. Out came the opera, virtually note-perfect. It wasn’t in stereo, admittedly, but for a monaural sponge, the sound quality was pretty good, nonetheless.

But then disaster struck.

I played the DVD of “Reservoir Dogs”, forgetting that the sponge was still in the room. The next thing I knew, it had teamed up with a couple of J-Cloths and a scourer, escaped from the house, and attempted to rob the HSBC Bank on Fore Street. In the ensuing mêlée, the impressionable sponge and its colleagues were all shot dead by Police marksmen.

Given all this, therefore, it behoves us to take extreme care with the sort of material to which we expose the nation’s youngsters.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I like bags. I like the entire concept behind them. Take shopping bags, for example. If they didn't exist, you'd have carry all your shopping in your arms. Or try, anyway. Even a limited number of items (nine or fewer) would probably start falling out all over the place, and then you'd be chased by dogs as your string of sausages unravelled when you walked down the street. But, fortunately, a shopping bag stops this from happening. They are therefore to be commended.

Sleeping bags perform a similar function: When you zip yourself up inside one, it stops your limbs and extremities unravelling in the night. As a result, you wake up next morning in one piece, safe in the knowledge that your errant dick hasn't rolled away and been swallowed, whole, by a wild animal during the hours of darkness. So, given that bags do offer these sorts of levels of security, I have decided to go beyond the concept of the shopping bag. Beyond that, even, of the sleeping bag:

I have created an "awake bag."

An awake bag looks much like a sleeping bag, but, as its name suggests, is for use only during daylight hours. It doesn't zip up all the way to your neck, of course. Instead, it zips up to your chest. This allows you to function fully 9-5. To move forwards, backwards, or sideways, you simply grasp the outer edges of the bag and bounce, as in a sack race. And, if bits fall of you while you're doing so, they're contained securely within the bag, and so won't get lost.

I suppose if you work for the Foreign Office, you could multi-task with one of these things. You'd of course rename your awake bag a "diplomatic bag." In addition to allowing you to bounce through foreign embassies and consulates, you could also park on double yellow lines and shop-lift with impunity. Indeed, the awake/diplomatic bag could also act as a shopping bag. You'd be able to hop through the aisles of a supermarket, tucking items into the bag as you did so, and then hop on past the checkout without paying a penny, or even trying to. If Security attempted to stop you, you'd simply point to your bag and claim diplomatic immunity. This could be a great help during the present credit crunch.

You would have to make sure that your combined diplomatic/shopping bag wasn't one of those biodegradable types that supermarkets are currently pushing, though. This is because there's a risk that, mid-way through your telling a foreign policeman or autocratic head of government that he's a cunt, the bag might spontaneously perform to spec and degenerate into dust, thus stripping you of your immunity and leaving you open to subsequent arrest and imprisonment. Just like those diplomats in the American Embassy in Tehran back in 1979, I imagine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Car Wash

I notice that people who drive cars often make use of a garage facility called an “automatic car wash”. (Obviously, they're too poor to afford to personally employ someone to carry out this function for them. But that's by the bye.) Here, cars line up and drive, one at a time, through a set of mechanical scrubbing brushes. Finally, the equivalent of a giant Pifco hairdryer comes down and attempts, as best it can, to eliminate the moisture.

Why have I highlighted the phrase “one at a time”? Because I think it's extremely wasteful, both of time and resources, that these machines can only process a single car while all the others have to wait in line. It's the equivalent of going to a launderette with a full laundry basket, feeding in your coins, and then only washing one sock, before repeating the process for each subsequent sock, shirt, pair of underpants, and so on.

In my opinion, an automatic car wash should be designed more like an automatic washer-dryer. Here, the cars would drive into a massive drum, 20 at a time, and then the door would be closed behind them. Thereupon a garage employee would pour in the appropriate amount of powder and water softener and start up the machine. Of course, he would have to great care to ensure no white cars drove in with the rest. These would have to be washed separately, lest the colours ran.

Anyhow, once fired up, the machine would go through its various wash and spin cycles and get the vehicles really clean. Indeed, during the rinse cycle, there should be a facility for adding conditioner. This would give the cars extra body and guard against them sticking together or coming out with funny smells. Finally, a decent spin-dry, followed by a hot air tumble-dry, would eliminate any lingering dampness. Naturally, in order to survive this process, the drivers would have to be specially trained beforehand on one of those NASA centrifuges.

So much for cheap cars. The more expensive cars, like Morgans, Aston Martins, and Ferrari Testarossas would have to be professionally dry-cleaned, in case of shrinkage. In fact, I believe that many so-called Dinky Toys are actually the result of their owners misreading the care labels that are usually affixed to the interior of the bonnets. It must be real bummer when that happens, as I doubt the insurance will cover the damage.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Surrexit Christus Hodie

Today, Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Some two thousand years ago, His followers (accounts vary as to who was actually there, depending on whose Gospel you trust) went to Jesus' tomb in order to marinade Him in unguents, or whatever, as one apparently did with Jewish dead bodies back then. Unfortunately, it was pretty much a wasted journey, as they arrived to find that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb's entrance and Jesus had pissed off. Or, as an angel who happened to be around at the time rather unhelpfully put it, "He is not here. He has risen."

All well and good. But was He risen enough, I wonder?

The reason I ponder this question is because, when Jesus was resurrected, it was clearly something of a half-arsed job. That's to say, although He was up and about, as you'd expect of someone restored to life, He still had bloody great holes in His hands, feet, and side from the crucifixion, as later witnessed by Apostle, Thomas, who put his finger through one. So to my mind, Jesus was, to use a cookery terminology, "underdone." Perhaps, then, He ought to have been left in the tomb a bit longer. I don't think three days were enough.

The thing is, if you microwave food, it says on the back of the packet exactly how long it should be left in. Timings depend on such variables as the weight of the item and the power setting of the microwave oven itself. Presumably, resurrecting someone in a Jerusalem tomb works on much the same principle. But the problem with Jesus is that He didn't have a message tattooed on his arse to the effect, "For 750 Watt tombs, inter for 72 hours. Check Saviour is piping hot before exhuming." Or maybe He once did have one, but it had been scourged off by the Romans a few days previously. Whatever, this meant that the angels (or whoever did the job) pretty much had to guess. And the procedure was made even more problematical because, in those days, tombs had no power rating, and the stones rolled across their entrances didn't have digital LEDs on them, either, to give an accurate timing. Therefore, I imagine that the angels kept rolling the stone back and forth, having exchanges along the lines of "Is He done yet?" - "No, I'd give Him another five minutes if I were you", and so on and so forth, unto ultimate resurrection. Or, as previously stated, given that they did have to guess at it, a semi-resurrection, leastways.

That said, it's possible, I suppose, that the holes in Jesus were actually there for a good, practical reason. Going back to the microwave oven analogy again, when you use one of those, you have to prick holes in the plastic packaging of things like lasagnes and currys before they're irradiated. If you don't, they often explode mid-way through the cooking process. So perhaps Jesus might have exploded, too, if those holes hadn't been left in Him. Then the angels would have had to have scraped Him off the tomb walls before they could let Him outside. If so, He'd probably have looked like one of those chicken and prawn biriani dishes that you often see puked up on pavements after closing time on Friday evenings. Hardly the sort of image to inspire a Piero della Francesca Renaissance painting. And certainly not a new religion.

That's how I hope it all panned out, anyway. Because, if it didn't and Jesus was underdone, anyone receiving a Communion Host today at Mass - a "Body of Christ" - could well risk getting a dose of botulism or e-Coli from it, too. Then they'd be the ones hoping to be resurrected in three days' time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


As we all know, just under 2,000 years ago, Jesus, Our Saviour, transformed mere bread such that it actually became His own body.

This miraculous process, which is now repeated in churches throughout the world, is known as the Transubstantiation. How fortunate we are, though, that it doesn't work in reverse. If it did, and the Messiah were able to change His body into bread, He might be mistaken for the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Or worse, the Pillsbury Dough Boy might be mistaken for Jesus.

Some would say, of course, that such a development would be a marketing triumph for Pillsbury. The company could claim that all their dough products had divine sanction, thus boosting sales. But it's likely that if they did, rivals such as Rank-Hovis-McDougall and Homepride would convene a bakery equivalent of the Council of Nicaea. There, they would declare that in fact their bakery products, and theirs alone, were the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As a result, supermarkets would be riven by schism. Bloody religious wars would flare up, with Morrisons set against Sainsburys, Netto against Kwik Save, and Somerfield against Aldi. The loss of life would be horrendous.

Basically, then, we should be grateful that Transubstantiation is actually irreversible, like poaching an egg. On the other hand, if Jesus had transformed himself into dough, He'd have been virtually impossible to crucify. It would have been like trying to nail a blancmange to the ceiling.

Then again, when you think about it, the whole concept of Transubstantiation is a bit fucking far-fetched, isn’t it? It’s certainly nothing that you’d want to spring on your dinner party guests, unexpectedly. If you’re having one of these formal functions and, à propos of nothing at all, your host suddenly hands you a bread roll or its equivalent and says, “Take this all of you and eat it, for this is my body”, you’re going to be a bit sceptical, to say the least.

Actually, I’ll bet that the disciples must have thought, as one, “What a twat! He's claiming affinity with a piece of bread!” In the main, though, they just shuffled their feet and tried to humour Jesus, as you do on these occasions. Only Judas had the courage to say, “What the fuck? You're a stupid cunt, mate. I'm going to tell the authorities.” And indeed, off he went, returning a few hours later with a delegation from the local Sanhedrin.

I'm sure we’re all aware of how the tale subsequently unfolded. Neither the religious authorities nor the representatives of the Occupying Power were very pleased to have in their midst someone who identified so closely with a loaf. And is it surprising? It could, of course, have given risen to a series of copycat incidents wherein people claimed to be dates, castor oil plants, or various kinds of exotic fruit (“Leave your homes and families and follow me, for I am a kumquat sent by the Lord to bring you Salvation.”). Therefore to nip this in the bud, Jesus was executed. Various embellishments were then added to the story, but that's basically it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Screw Jesus

Good Friday again, no less, and, to celebrate the occasion, I’ve been re-reading Christ’s Passions, Our Passions, by Margaret Bullit-Jonas, while preparing my world-beating muesli breakfast. It’s thought-provoking stuff. The book isn’t bad, either.

In my opinion, however – and this is where I take issue with many theologians, including Bullit-Jonas herself - Jesus shouldn’t have been nailed to the cross; He should have been screwed to it. Then it would have been a lot easier to get Him off afterwards. But because they used nails, the Roman soldiers most likely had to employ some sort of claw hammer to prise those nails out, no doubt with some difficulty. All of this risked damaging the wood, possibly so seriously that the cross couldn’t be used again.

If, on the other hand, Pilate had authorised the use of a Philips screwdriver and just three heavy-duty screws, Jesus could have been secured quickly and easily, with minimum risk of His coming loose and dropping off mid-way through the crucifixion. And, of course, at the end, it would have been possible to remove Him in seconds, and re-use both the cross and the screws.

Similarly, if the soldiers had made a balls-up and accidentally put Jesus on upside down, they could have simply unscrewed Him, turned Him the right way up, and re-secured Him. Likewise, if, having screwed Him on, they’d stepped back and seen that He wasn’t quite level, it would then have been a simple matter of unscrewing one arm, inching it up slightly, and then re-screwing it. Whereas, if they'd nailed Him up and He wasn’t level, there wasn’t a Hell of a lot they could do about it. Except live with the fact, I suppose, and hope that the spectators and Gospel writers didn’t laugh too much

Anyway, the Romans obviously weren’t very economy minded when it came to basic woodwork, which goes some way towards explaining the ultimate decline and fall of their empire.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

My Evening Meal

Behold My Evening Meal: A delight for all occasions called Slavko's Caribbean Chicken. Herein is its unrivalled Perfection:


1 lb of chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 small can of pineapple chunks
2 small green chillis, chopped
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 inch or so of ginger, grated
1 can of coconut milk
Juice of one lime
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp brown sugar
Olive oil


Brown the chicken fillets in a heavy-based skillet in olive oil and then remove to one side. Next, fry the onion, peppers, garlic, and chillis for about five minutes. This done, add the the ginger and fry for another minute or so. Next, add the coconut milk, the lime juice, the tomatoes, the tomato puree, the sugar, and the curry powder and stir. Once you have, add the chicken. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 25 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Five minutes before the end, toss in the pineapple chunks. Season if necessary. Finally, serve with plain boiled rice.


The sort of meal that God would cook if He only possessed my culinary skills. Truly, my genius in the kitchen is yet again confirmed.

Vegetable Vengeance

You often hear of people suffering brain damage and then going into what’s termed a “persistent vegetative state.” Or, as some would more crudely say, these unfortunates become “a dumb vegetable”. Totally unresponsive to outside stimuli, they can only be kept alive (albeit in a purely mechanical sense) via a life-support machine. Pull the plug and the body dies.

This, of course, can lead to all sorts of ethical dilemmas. If no brain function is recorded, should the hospital staff call it a day, turn the machine off, and then harvest the internal organs for use in transplants? Or should we abide by Catholic doctrine which maintains that it would be a sin to do this as “where there’s life, there’s hope”? The controversial Terri Schiavo case in the United States a couple of years ago exemplifies the entrenched positions.

The “don’t pull the plug” brigade usually point to instances (albeit a mere handful) where a patient who’s been proclaimed brain-dead by specialists subsequently awakes and goes on to make a full recovery. Interestingly, the use of music is often a common factor in these cases. That’s to say, friends or members of the family play a recording of some tune or song that was especially significant to the currently-comatose patient, at which point his eyelids flicker and he recovers consciousness.

I’m, of course, delighted when this happens. But is it worth the associated risks, I wonder? If a human whose in an accidental persistent vegetative state can be restored in this way, what would happen if something that’s in a natural persistent vegetative state is exposed to the same music? Suppose there’s a carrot or a cucumber in the room with him, for example? Obviously, there’s a danger that this vegetable could go into a persistent sentient state.

But, as anyone whose ever walked down a city high-street on a Friday evening will know, there’s sentience and then there’s sentience.

If a previously brain-dead “hoodie”, for instance, is restored to (for want of a better word) sentience by playing, say, Eminem, 50 Cent, or James Blunt, or whatever his favourite brand of down-market screeching is, then no-one’s going to notice much difference between the vegetative state and the wakeful one, anyway. So, similarly, a carrot made newly sentient by the same music will have an equal IQ, and can still therefore be peeled , diced, and boiled with relative impunity. But, conversely, if you play it the sort of music that a supremely intelligent, cultured person enjoys - Man of La Mancha and My Fair Lady are two examples I pluck from thin air – then it follows that the carrot, too, will acquire a corresponding level of sentience.

And if the carrot is suddenly made aware that humans have previously puréed its brothers and sisters or mashed them up with turnips, what is its reaction likely to be?

I imagine that it will try to exact vengeance. It will communicate with other examples of edible plant life and go into alliance with them against us. Consequently, bunches of coconuts, previously mere fairground targets for humans, will transform themselves into deadly projectiles, heaving their hairy, now unlovely forms through our windows. Fruit trees will uproot themselves and go hunting in packs, plucking sleeping men and women from their beds and ingesting them as they sleep. And can it be long before currants and raisins emerge from our muesli and consume us at our breakfast tables, like marauding armies of soldier ants?

To guard against this, we should ensure that all vegetables are henceforth blind and deaf, as well as dumb. Let us start by brutally gouging the eyes out of potatoes and hacking off ears of corn. Only then will we sleep soundly in our beds.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Red Flag

Until 1896, British drivers weren't allowed to exceed 4 miles per hour. Furthermore, when they did drive, they were obliged to have a man running in front of the car, carrying a red flag, in order to warn people who couldn't manage 4 miles per hour to get the fuck out of the way. Although driving must have been fun in those days, it was also a ruinously expensive hobby. Not so much when the car broke down (which happened often enough), but when the man did.

The thing is, when a car breaks down, it's relatively easy to put right. Indeed, if you know what you're doing and have the proper materials, even a total write-off can eventually be resurrected, from either spare parts, or cannibalization of used parts from another car, or both. Granted, technically speaking, what you end up with isn't the original, inasmuch as there's usually a replacement clutch from one vehicle, a gasket from another, and so forth, but the combination works well enough. So much so that you usually can't tell the difference between the restored car and those fresh from the dealer. People don't usually flee in terror at the sight of it, anyway. This wasn't always the case with the restored man, however.

Films such as "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein", both of which I watched last night, show us that, in the 19th century, when your man broke down or expired totally, restoring him to any semblance of working order was a somewhat more problematic affair. Sourcing the replacement parts, especially. You couldn't go into a shop and say "Can I have a lung, please?" or "Have your got any reconditioned brains that will fit an 1857-vintage male?" No, instead, you had to go to graveyards, charnel houses, and medical research facilities and nick the bits you required, which wasn't entirely legal, even if their owners had finished using them. So reconstructing the red flag-waving counterpart to, say, a vintage Daimler, was rather long-winded and, usually, not entirely successful. But it was when you had your reconditioned man run in front of your car with his red flag that problems really started.

Even if your intention was to drive from, for example, London to Brighton, more often than not, your reanimant would lumber off in his own direction. Invariably, he'd take you to middle European destinations called Vassaria and Ingoldstadt, where he'd trash entire villages and really get up people's noses. Legally, though, you had to follow him, and at the regulation distance of 100 feet. So it must have been quite embarrassing, especially when people came up to you and said, "Oi, mate! Is that yours? He's just tossed my fucking daughter in a lake and drowned her!" or "Are you the cunt who's red flag man has shacked up in my blind uncle's forest cabin and nicked his cigars?" What could you reply? You couldn't deny it, because there he was with his red flag, and there you were with your car, driving immediately behind, so people would inevitably put 2 and 2 together. Then, before you knew it, you'd have hundreds of angry villagers descending on your house, bearing flaming torches and shouting something about witchcraft. Wouldn't you feel like a total arsehole?

It's a good job then, that, in 1896, the legal requirement to have red flag man running in front of your car was repealed. Now, if your reanimant rampages through Europe and murders people, willy-nilly, you can drive in the opposite direction, and people will never know he's yours.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Why, I wonder, is the penis the only major human organ that expands and lengthens to any noticeable degree when we get excited? Surely, for example, when we're stimulated by the smells of cooking, our tongues ought to similarly lengthen and expand. Then we could flick them out and grab the food, lizard-like, from a distance.

Then again, I suppose, such an ability might have its downside, too. Lingual impotence is one condition that could arise. If, say, you were overly worried about how the food was going to taste, or whether you were going to be able to chew it properly, you might not be able get your tongue to expand at all. Then, I suppose the only satisfaction you'd be able to get would be by just thinking about food, while simultaneously rubbing your tongue along the roof of your mouth.

Maybe people - young people, especially - who dreamed a lot about food would wake up in the middle of the night with their tongues stuck to the ceiling. And, no doubt, first-time eaters, and those who'd been without food for a long time, though they would be able to get their tongues to expand, wouldn't be able to maintain that expansion for more than a couple of seconds. Thus they'd only be able to eat one tiny morsel.

I suppose, given such a scenario, the world would divide into two groups. Predominant amongst them would be good, morally upright carnelinguals - those who ate meat. But there'd also be an alternative lifestyle sub-group called vegelinguals. They'd no doubt frequent salad bars in Old Compton Street, dress in distinctive leather outfits, and attempt to promote their perversion as being in some way "natural." And wives of apparent carnelinguals might discover that their husbands were actually bilingual and therefore swung both ways.

How humiliating for the poor women.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Fiscally Responsible

Whenever you apply for a loan - it doesn’t matter for how much - the bank or financial institution concerned will always ask what you want the money for. And rightly so. This is to ensure that you’re fiscally responsible and won’t, in their view, "piss it up the wall", thus requiring them to send people round to break your legs if and when you default.

Accordingly, a person who replies that he needs the capital for, say, household improvements or a new car will, generally speaking, be approved. But if he says he wants to finance a string of sleazy massage parlours or purchase a couple of kilos of high-grade, uncut cocaine, normally he’ll be turned down. No matter that he might be able to provide documented evidence of his ability to import a bevvy of willing girls, cheaply, from eastern Europe, or that he’s taking over an already highly-profitable drugs distribution network – the majority of lenders (maybe even Ocean Finance and Purple Loans, too) will usually say no.

All well and good. But why confine this to loans? If you’re obliged to prove that you’re responsible enough to borrow money, surely you should have to show that you’re also responsible enough to spend it. In my opinion, therefore, in addition to asking you how much you want to take out, cashpoint machines should, as well, demand to know what you intend to use it for. This would be easy enough to implement, even with present-day IA technology.

Having entered your PIN and specified how much you required, you’d be presented with an on-screen message to the effect: “Please state the nature of your intended purchase(s).” Whereupon a fiscally responsible person would enter, via the ATM’s keyboard, “I’m going to buy groceries for the week and perhaps a good book. Something by Isabel Allende, maybe.” Then (subject to sufficient funds being available in the account) the ATM would cough up the requested amount. However, if you were to say, “I’m going to spend it all on one of those whores that operates in an upper room just off Dean Street, then I’m planning on getting totally fucking pissed in The John Snow”, the machine would simply respond, “Your bank has refused to authorize this transaction”, so saving you from yourself.

Of course, some fraudulent individuals, although they fully intended to hire a whore and get pissed in The John Snow afterwards, would undoubtedly type, “I’m heavily into early 20th century Russian literature at the moment, so I’m going to use the money to buy a couple of novels by Mikhail Bulgakov. One of them being The Master and Margarita, obviously.” At this point, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the machine would have no option but to take him at his word and dispense the cash. But it would store the client data to its memory for later retrieval. So the next time this particular individual tried to male a withdrawal, the machine would first ask, “What was it like, then?”

Thereupon, I imagine the exchange would proceed along the following lines:

“What was what like?”
“The Master and Margarita, of course.”
“Oh, it was great. I loved it.”
“You feel that Bulgakov was more incisive in his use of satire than, say, Vonnegut is?”
“What intelligent person couldn’t come to that conclusion?”
“So what do you reckon to Woland’s magic show at the Variety Theatre? What’s that passage expressing, exactly?”
“Err …. Well, that worked for me on so many levels, it’s hard to explain in mere words.”
“But you felt, for example, that Woland provided a suitable foil to the character of Satan?”
“Of course.”
“You CUNT. Woland was Satan. You haven’t read the book, have you? You spent your money of fripperies instead.”

Whereupon, members of the Fraud Squad, ejected from a slot in the ATM, would instantly arrest the miscreant and put him in chains. Thereafter, even hanging would be too good for him.

In this way we’d all be encouraged to spend our money somewhat more wisely. Or, if not, then it might convince us to at least get a lot better at lying about what we actually did with it. Which would serve us well for future encounters with the Inland Revenue and for those occasions when we genuinely did need to borrow money from the bank for massage parlours and high-grade, uncut cocaine.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

My Evening Meal

There are two ways to cook turkey escalopes. There is the wrong way and there is My Way. Here is My Way.


2 turkey escalopes
4 tbsp seasoned flour
2 eggs, beaten
½ lb of seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 red chillis, diced
½ lb chestnut mushrooms, diced
½ pint of chicken stock
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp medium dry sherry
3 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped parsley (or not, depending on whether you want a garnish)


Coat the turkey in the seasoned flour, dunk in the egg mix, and coat on both sides with the breadcrumbs. Next, in a heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil and fry the escalopes on both sides until browned. Then remove to somewhere hot. Meanwhile, fry the garlic, onions and chillis until soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another four minutes or so. Add the chicken stock and the soy sauce and heat until reduced. When it is, pour in the sherry and the crème fraîche. Put the escalopes on a plate and pour on the sauce. Serve with boiled rice and asparagus. And, if you wish, use the parsley garnish.


If you’re unable to have sex, tasting this will produce a similar sort of orgasm.

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, when we commemorate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, mounted on a donkey that a couple of His disciples had previously nicked from some bloke living in Bethphage, just up the road from the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:2).

According to The New Testament version of events, when Jesus went through the city gate, the population called out, as one, "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." And so on and so forth, as you do. Simultaneously, they threw down palm fronds on the road before Him.

What the Bible doesn't tell us, however, is if they already had the palm fronds to hand, or whether they had to cut them down especially for the occasion.

The fact of the matter is, Succot aside, palm fronds are basically fuck all use for anything else except chucking down at the feet of Messiahs. Consequently, they're not the sorts of things you're going to keep in your store cupboard just on the off-chance that one is going to turn up. Usually, therefore, they have to be cut down, fresh, as and when required. And, as it would be uneconomic to keep professional palm frond harvesters on 24-hour Messiah Watch, you'd probably need to go out and do the job yourself as soon as any sort of Lamb of God made His presence known.

I imagine that, on the day, this would have caused quite a few logistical problems. Given that His donkey was stolen, Jesus must have been travelling at a fair lick in order to put as much distance between Himself and Bethphage as possible. So, people wanting to put palm fronds down before Him wouldn't have had the time to travel very far in order to gather the things. Rather, they'd have had to go for the ones immediately to hand, most likely those right outside the Eastern gates of the city.

The thing is, though, as I recall from the time when I lived there, while Jerusalem does indeed have palm trees outside its Eastern wall, there aren't that many of them (they'd probably undermine the foundations if there were). So on the first Palm Sunday, several thousand people shinning up and plucking, at most, a dozen and a half palm trees must have done a shitload of damage. I'd think that, by the time they'd harvested sufficient fronds to cover the distance between the Golden Gate and Jesus' ultimate destination, the Temple, there'd be fuck all left of the trees except for their trunks and maybe a few withered coconuts or palm olives.

Coconuts and palm olives are inherently dangerous. I'll bet that by exposing them in this way, it encouraged Jerusalemites to chuck rocks at them in order to bring them down and then sing stupid songs about having lovely bunches of the things. Which, given the inherent sexual innuendo elements of such songs, can't have gone down too well with either the Roman or Jewish authorities. Almost as dangerous are palm olives. The oil you get from them is extremely high in saturated fats. But the Jerusalemites of the time didn't know this. Doubtless they harvested them, turned them into what they believed were healthy spreads, and then died shortly afterwards from congestive heart failure. And all because of Jesus.

It's therefore not surprising that Jesus, rather than Barabbas, got crucified, is it? What is surprising is that it took them as long as a whole fucking after Palm Sunday week to get round to doing it.

Not good for palm trees

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Through a certain misapprehension on my part, I have inadvertently come upon a solution to world food shortages. I shall explain.

Until two days ago, I believed that the fruit of bonsai trees, when planted, would result in another bonsai tree. But apparently this is not so. If you plant, say, a bonsai acorn, you eventually get a fucking big oak tree. This might, or might not be, what you're after. If not, the only way to turn it into a miniature oak is to trim its roots while it's still at the sapling stage, before it sprouts upwards and knocks your roof off. This goes for all other trees, too.

Indeed, plants, it seems, are also susceptible to this treatment. Hence my idea.

In my opinion, we should create bonsai vegetables and cereals. A bonsai carrot, for example, would probably contain exactly the same nutrients as its larger counterpart. Yet we'd be able to grow a few hundred of them in the same space normally occupied by one conventional carrot. Likewise, bonsai wheat fields would fit into a window box. We could harvest the wheat with a pair of nail scissors and a saucer, grind up the grain with a pestle and mortar, and produce bonsai sliced loaves.

Of course, after a while, standard evolutionary forces would come into play. That's to say, normal-sized animals that feed on normal-sized vegetables and cereals would have to reduce themselves accordingly to cope with the new dimensions of their fodder. So eventually we'd end up with bonsai sheep and cattle. In fact, it isn't inconceivable that humans themselves might miniaturize in response to their foodstuffs. In 200 years from now, the average man might be bonsai himself, no more than six inches high.

All of which bodes well for the future. In the meantime, though, I’m going to re-pot my own bonsai tree and stick it somewhere more secure. I don’t want midget dogs pissing against it. And I especially don't want to risk attracting the attention of itinerant midget lumberjacks. They might deforest my entire plant collection, leading to localised soil erosion and in-house global warming. Having the polar ice caps suddenly melt into my living room is just too much of a risk, especially since the new wooden flooring has been put down.

Friday, April 03, 2009


You know what really pisses me off about bubble baths? I’ll tell you: That they're nothing of the kind, that’s what. In fact, they should actually be called, not bubble baths, but bubbles baths. Yes, plural. Because there’s always more than one of the fucking things, isn't there? Which can be a right pain in the arse, especially afterwards, when you have to rinse the bubbly dregs away down the plughole or individually pop each one with a pin.

When you think about it properly, a bubble bath should be exactly that. In other words, it should consist simply of one, large bubble, covering the whole of the bathtub. This would be far more efficient and manageable than the aforementioned multiple bubble option. At the end of the wash, you'd just pop the thing with your finger to get rid of it.

Of course, initially, you'd have to sit in the bath with the tap running and allow the bubble to gradually form around you. If you left it until the bubble reached full size before you entered the tub, you'd burst it, thus rendering the whole exercise a waste of time. (I suppose you could always attempt to circumvent the bubble by squeezing in through the overflow, although that would probably be more hassle than it was worth.)

Naturally, you'd have to take great pains not to fart while in the middle of such a bubble bath. If you did, and you let off a particularly big, stinky one, its lighter-than-air methane composition could well render the bubble equally so, making it airborne. Combine this with a sudden, light breeze and an open window, and you could find yourself drifting, naked, up into the sky, trapped within the bubble; an object of derision for the neighbours. And men with pathetically small cocks would probably be dive-bombed by birds, mistaking their minuscule members for worms. In doing so, the birds’ beaks would most likely pop the bubble, causing its occupant to plunge hundreds of feet to an ignominious death below. There'd be no hope of a respectful obituary in The Daily Telegraph any more. Instead, newspaper headlines would simply read "Naked Man with Small Cock in Sparrow Attack Death Plunge." Or similar.

All in all, it's probably far safer just to take a shower.