Tuesday 26 August 2014


Sometimes it's hard not to point and say the name of the animal that you've just seen. A couple of years ago I was walking down the street with my friend when I saw some geese overhead. I pointed and urgently said "GEESE!" as though he’d never seen one before. That very same day one of my colleagues had seen a squirrel in the oak tree outside the office window and had accidentally done an impression of the dog in the Disney film "Up" when he pointed and said "SQUIRREL!"

We talked about saying animal names as a reflex, and one thing led inexorably to another until I was chanting "BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER" in the street. A complete stranger who was walking the other way made room for us to pass and sang, in time and in key, "MUSH-ROOM MUSH-ROOM".

Richard "old meme" B

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Ahoy hoy

About a month ago my oldest friend was visiting Plymouth. That same weekend I had a birthday party to go to, but I didn’t know what time the party would be until I knew where it would be held, and I didn’t know where it would be held until we knew if it would be raining

My friend has spent the last thirty five years honing his skill at making fun of me and he’s now an absolute virtuoso. He asked me what time my video date[1] was, and when I said "I don’t know, it's weather dependent" he said "What the hell is it? Short wave radio?" he then picked up an imaginary microphone, pressed in the switch and said "Breaker breaker, this is Roundhead[2] calling Wonky-eye[3], Roundhead calling Wonky-eye, come in. Over."
[1 My girlfriend lives thousands of miles away]
[2 I had to be circumcised as an adult]
[3 My girlfriend has a lazy eye]

To my shame I used exactly that form of words this weekend in a message to see if she was online. She was. To her credit she didn't seem to be offended or upset, and she came back with more pretend radio traffic chit chat.

Richard "Ionospheric Reflection" B

Tuesday 12 August 2014


Last Sunday night I went to a wedding reception with a band. There were only a few guests and they were the scum of the earth. They were all unpleasantly drunk, and several of them were clearly high on cocaine. One charming woman thought that the way to start a conversation with the band was to stumble up to us and say "I bet you’re really shit singers". Another turned up with a gift bag containing two bottles of wine so that she didn't have to pay at the bar. One of the bottles, and the woman, was half drunk when she arrived.

Drunk common people are drawn to microphones like moths to a flame. One of the women used the mic to berate her fellow guests for stealing her mobile phone. She had actually put it down somewhere. Another man told us that he wanted to use a microphone to propose to his girlfriend. He actually wanted to ramble incoherently for several minutes.

The least charming guest was overly enthusiastic about the band and tried to bully everybody into dancing. He had to be ushered from the stage several times, and he showed us with great pride his football hooligan tattoos and the tracking tag around his ankle (he was on bail and under curfew).

I never expected that hell on earth would have a sprung dancefloor, a proscenium stage, and a buffet.

Richard "snob" B

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Nothing New Under the Sun

I used to love the History Today sketches on the Mary Whitehouse Experience, and I still sometimes find myself saying "that’s you that is". Brilliant though they were, the entire joke was simply a pair of grey haired middle aged men with posh accents swapping playground insults. More than twenty years later the same format has been rediscovered (rebooted?) with a pair of fine actors using Youtube comments for a script.

Richard "Professor F. J. Lewis" B