Tuesday 25 June 2013


Yesterday evening when I got out of the bath I momentarily forgot that I had a lodger. I opened the door to walk back to my bedroom without having dressed. My lodger had just finished a phonecall and was coming upstairs to see if the bathroom was free. As he heard me opening the door he started to say “That is exquisite timing.”

I don’t know which is funnier: That the timing couldn’t have been less exquisite, and we were both embarrassed by what he saw. Or that he was so surprised that he stopped speaking after the third word. He saw me with my bits on display and only got as far as saying “That is exquisite”.

Richard “flattered” B

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Know your UK crows

Most of the crows are black all over and are named after what they say (sort of).

Jackdaws. They say "chack chack", they hang around in groups, they’re small as crows go, and they're black all over with a dark grey scarf. Collective noun: Clattering.

Crows say "krar". They're black all over, and they're solitary. You sometimes see them in a small family group or a pair, but if you see a big group of crows, they're rooks. Collective noun: Murder.

Rooks say "rark". They’re black all over except their beak which is big and grey. They hang around in big groups, and at the end of the day they all go back to the same couple of trees and spend an hour arguing about who's allowed to sleep where. If you see a rook scavenging by itself it's probably a crow. Collective noun: Parliament

Ravens are big, black all over, and they say "ronk ronk ronk". The word "raven" was imported from some scandinavian language in the middle ages. We're basically calling them "ronkers" but by way of a hundreds of years old loanword. They have a very early breeding season so that mummy raven can go out and kill newborn lambs for her chicks. Collective noun: Unkindness

Choughs say "chough" to rhyme with the town of Slough. Confusingly we say it to rhyme with slough (like what snakes do with their skin). They're rare, they've got a red beak, they live in Cornwall, and they like eating leatherjackets. Collective noun: Clattering.

Magpies. They're easy to recognise, they're black and white (think piebald). They make all sorts of noises, and can be trained to speak after a fashion. I once heard a pair shouting "shark!" at each other but there weren't any sharks nearby.

Jays. They look like magpies that have been playing in their mum's makeup bag. They make a horrible screaming shriek.

Richard "corvids" B

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Personality Test

If you understand this joke you're an internet geek. If you find it funny you have a cruel sense of humour:

The last time I was out with the Oasis tribute, a woman handed me a phone number. I texted the number last week with an invitation to their next show. I signed the text with their website address rather than my name. "Oh that makes sense" said their website administrator "I was looking at the google analytics and somebody did visit the homepage with a screenreader".

Richard "she didn't come to the show" B

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Laminated Menus

I still rue the day that my favourite Indian restaurant and take-away laminated their menus. It went hand in hand with a price increase and a deterioration in service. Within weeks they had spoiled a birthday party, and we never went there again.

Last week the Oasis tribute band that I work with laminated their set-lists. I was nervous about it but not nervous enough. During the show a pint of lemonade spilled and started dripping into a high powered amplifier. I made my way onto stage with a cloth to mop it up. The coefficient of friction between a laminated set-list and the gum rubber sole of my favourite casual shoe, when lubricated with lemonade, is surprisingly close to zero. I stepped over a monitor, onto a set-list and then fell quickly and violently onto my face. On my way down I pulled out a lead and silenced one of the guitars. I ruined my trousers, my knee, my dignity, and the song, but there wasn’t a fire or an electrocution.

Richard "vans classic slip on" B