Tuesday 31 October 2017

The Urban Goose

I've been visiting my family in Louisiana and Texas and I noticed that my family have a propensity to give things multiple names.

My niece has a dog named Sausages but because of his amazing ability to silently follow you around and then go to sleep at your feet he gets called "Trip Hazard". I also heard her lovingly call the dog "The Sausage Man" and assumed she was quoting from a nonsense song I keep hearing on the radio, she wasn't, and thought I was crazy when I called him "The Shadow Licker".

She keeps a horse named Beignet (a type of New Orleans breakfast doughnut) but when she enters competitions she calls him Topless so that the man with the mic will have to announce her like "Next into the arena we have H----- B---------- who will be riding topless."

I have long suspected that parents deliberately make situations more awkward and embarrassing when they're meeting their children's boyfriends/girlfriends. I was honoured to be present when my niece brought her boyfriend to meet her father and stepmother for the first time. To try to confuse and embarrass the young man we adopted unlikely and inappropriate nicknames and practiced using them for 24 hours: Babycakes, Cuddles, Snookums and Fuckstick.

The man took it in his stride, but my family also unwittingly adopted the character of borderline-alcoholic sports enthusiasts. We were drinking strong beer to pass the time and then taking shots of whiskey whenever the Houston Astros got a run or the LSU Tigers scored a touchdown. The new boyfriend doesn't have a well-honed alcohol tolerance and had to go to bed at 9:30 – he missed Drunken Over-Appreciation of Music Club.

I wasn't present later in the week when my niece met her beau's parents for the first time, but his father asked the waitress for "An Old Fashioned". To people who grew up in Aberdeen that’s slang for a hand job.

Richard "I only drink socially, and to keep the shakes under control" B

Thursday 19 October 2017

But a Bitch Ain't One

I'm on holiday in the Southern united States.

First World Problems:
  • All my 50's are stuck together
  • My diamond shoes are really high and we've got to walk more than two blocks
  • I left my car keys in the plane I just landed.

South Louisiana Problems:
  • The grocery store had free samples of whisky and shopping and driving home became a bewildering ordeal
  • They only had a half gallon tub of Guidry's
  • There's no alligator sausage
  • "Here's some Brèfiolle" What the fuck is brèfiolle? "Here is some bread for you all"

Richard "Crawfish Pot Pie" B

Wednesday 18 October 2017


My trip to New Orleans has been characterised by mis-translations and sexually suggestive cocktails.

In the states "cricket jumper" is meaningless, it would suggest a piece of equipment for making an electrical connection between insects, in the UK it's white knitwear.

My niece, who has gone native over here, honestly thought that the last line from the chorus from the famous Credence Clearwater Revival song was "There's a bathroom on the right".

Don't ask "Where are the lavvies?". You're wasting your time.

"Central reservation" isn't understood and has to be translated as "median strip".

When my niece was growing up (in Scotland) and Old Fashioned meant a hand job. I think all over the UK a "posh wank" is where one masturbates while wearing a condom.

We had dinner in a very fancy restaurant that is famed for its cocktails. We started off with "French 75s" which is a deluxe version of the standard Champagne cocktail, then her boyfriend ordered an "Old Fashioned". They actually served their own signature "creole" version of the drink. Our waiter was almost mute, although you could pick out a few words amongst the croaking and gasping noises he made. We never managed to find out what makes a Posh Old Fashioned, but it was clear to my niece that it would have to involve giving someone a hand-job while he's wearing a condom.

A good bartender will use a muddler to mix and break down and fruits and herbs when he's making a cocktail, it's just a long booze-pestle. We were drinking in a fancy-ish bar and watched the bar tender make a mojito. He put fresh mint and lime into a tall glass and put his hand over the glass. He then made a hole between his thumb and first finger and made sweet tender love to it with a length of dowling. To watch this procedure was somewhere between hilarious, pornographic and unappetizing.

Richard "I might just have a beer" B

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Thanks but no thanks

Bolingblog is on holiday in the Southern United States so updates will be sporadic.

To answer all your questions about my blind date: It was easy to find her - I knew what car she would be driving. She was beautiful and charming.

It would be ungallant to talk too much about what happened, but I shall leave you with some of the comments my friends made:

"Too old. Yes. Too old to begin the training" - Yoda.
"Did you driver her back to the care home afterwards?"
"Are you going to help her with her winter fuel bill"
"You could get her tennis balls to put on the feet of her walking frame"

Richard "Age Concern" B

Tuesday 10 October 2017


I'm almost relieved that my life is back to bewildering social situations and only I have to navigate.

On Saturday night I asked a woman if I could have her phone number and she said yes. The problem is that I had been drinking heavily and I had a bus to catch so I completely neglected to spend any time talking to her.

This is what I know about her for sure:
She has at least one friend,
Her name,
Her mobile telephone number,
That she's single – she actually said "very single" whatever that means,
That we're meeting for a quick drink on Wednesday.
That she finishes work at 1900 on Wednesday.

In her texts she uses the 24 hour clock without punctuation which implies a pleasing precision in her thinking and makes me wonder if she's (ex) military.
One of her texts contained a space before a question mark which either implies either sloppy typing, or that she had carefully reworded the text to tailor the impression it would make.
She's prepared to meet me 90 minutes after she finishes work so she's either: very keen to meet me, very keen to give me the brush off, without a long getting-ready routine, or brutally efficient.

The weirdest thing is that I don't know what she looks like. I don't have a good memory for faces at the best of times. I was on my seventh pint when I talked to her and everything about her has slipped my memory. I know for sure that I found her very attractive. I'm fairly confident of her hair colour. I've got a vague recollection that she's the sort of shape I find most appealing, and that's all I know. I don't know how I'm going to actually meet her.

Richard "wish me luck" B

Tuesday 3 October 2017


I've had a few complaints that there are too many automotive articles in this blog, so I'm going to take an ill-advised swing at politics.

The modern Labour party chose as its leader an unelectable Marxist and then underwent a surge of popularity. I'm furious with these new supporters.

At the last election we were offered more bank holidays, more money, better healthcare and a pony. Nobody asked what the price would be, but that wasn't what annoyed me.

The shadow chancellor now talks openly about overt monetary financing of government spending, of re-nationalising industry and of expropriation of private investments. Nobody has put their hand up and asked "what about hyperinflation, capital flight, the rule of law?" Again I'm happy to let them enjoy their speeches and their conferences even if it looks crazy to me.

What has got my goat is the fucking chanting. Since the summer I have seen news articles mention crowds chanting "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" but nobody bothered to write down what the tune was. This weekend I found out, and to a man these newly politically engaged youngsters has a tin ear. The tune is supposed to be the first two bars of the bass part of The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army". But there's a note missing. The tune has seven notes, the lyric six syllables. It is truly painful to hear. Melisma lets you spread a syllable over multiple notes, but they have to be different tones, otherwise you've just forgotten to sing one of the notes. They have slurred the first two notes (a dotted crotchet and a quaver both on A) over the word "Oh". It's horrible.

I'd like to think that an undercover team of elite Tory musicologists engineered the chant, so that everybody with any sense of rhythm has to sing "Uh-Oh! Jeremy Corbyn" which puts a completely different complexion on it.

Richard "And I-eee-eye will always love you" B