Archive for November, 2007

The Western Plot

November 29th, 2007

A British teacher in Sudan has been arrested and charged with “insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs”, according to an article on the BBC News website. It seems she allowed her students to name a toy bear “Mohammed”.

The article goes on to say that Sudanese clerics have said her actions are part of a “Western plot against Islam”.

Let’s look at that again… the West (I guess that’s me and probably you) is trying to bring Islam crashing to the ground by sending middle-aged women over to Sudan to name toys inappropriately.

I imagine the West’s Annual General Meeting…

Chairman of the West:
So for our plan to bring down Islam, we have 307,000,000 votes for carpet bombing key Islamic cities and 541,000,000 votes for using the USA’s Gay Bomb. But the clear winner with 729,000,000 votes is sending middle-aged women to Islamic countries to name all the teddy bears “Mohammed”.  There was one absention.

Honorary Secretary of the West:
Unleash the middle aged women!


It’s clear that Islam is actually profoundly embarrassed by this situation and the Muslim Council of Great Britain has issued a statement condemning the arrest.

It must be a very frightening experience for Gillian Gibbons but my basic advice would be not to go working in countries run by genocidal nutters.


November 22nd, 2007

Earlier this year, I got a letter from my bank warning me about identity theft and listing some points I should be aware of. This was in the wake of a bank employee’s losing a laptop with thousands of customer account details in it. That’s right, the bank lost many of its customers’ details then had the cheek to write to them telling them to be more careful with their personal details.

The UK government is always warning people about identity theft too, but what have they just done? They’ve only gone and lost two CDs with the personal details (including bank details) of 25 million people. Apparently, some gibbering gibbous in Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs sent the discs to another office without recording or registering the delivery. The discs never arrived.

This is the same government that wants to enforce ID cards that contain all sorts of personal data. They have clearly proved that they are incapable of putting in place the infrastructure and procedures to keep their citizens’ private information private, but then they have never been that concerned about personal privacy.

What’s the word I’m looking for?

Oh, yes…


Dear God…

November 19th, 2007

The whole burning in Hell for all eternity thing… it’s a bit unforgiving, isn’t it? I mean, considering You are God, and all.

Answers via e-mail or burning bush, please.

Smells and tastes I remember from my childhood

November 19th, 2007

In no particular order and not an exhaustive list:

  • My father’s fishing tackle box
  • Jackfruit
  • The Boston Bakery on Dorset Street
  • Shoe polish
  • A turf fire
  • Honey
  • My mother’s curry
  • The Atlantic Ocean blowing on the wind in Connemara
  • Pink medicine
  • Gripe water
  • Kittens
  • Puppies
  • Toffee apples
  • The inside of a Halloween mask
  • Bladder wrack
  • Freshly caught fish
  • My brother’s paisley print pyjamas burning on the two-bar electric fire in my Nanna’s house*
  • Roast chicken
  • My Nanna’s paraffin heater
  • Sparklers
  • Barm brack

* No, he wasn’t wearing them at the time.

Tiny, tiny cheese

November 17th, 2007

So I was in a Mexican restuarant the other day and I saw one menu item that contained Chihuahua cheese. Now I’ve heard of cow cheese, goat cheese and sheep cheese. I’ve even hear of Venezuelan beaver cheese. But I’ve never heard of Chihuahua cheese.

 How many of those things would you have to milk just to make one portion of cheese? How would you do it anyway? Who has small enough fingers? Is there an underground industry in Mexico where they use child labour?

Usually, when milking an animal, the milker has to sit on a stool, with chihuahuas, they have to put the animal on a stool.

By the way, I didn’t try the cheese.


November 15th, 2007

The previous post has inspired November’s new word:

Bicyxual: (adj) of, relating to, or characterised by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward bicycles

Fly, child of mine! Be free!

On yer bike!

November 15th, 2007

OK, I didn’t rise to the bait when I saw the news article about the guy who had been arrested for having sex with his bicycle. That’s right, I said “having sex with his bicycle.”

At first I thought, fair enough, if someone is stupid or deranged enough to be out in public trying to stick his knob into… I’ve no idea where… then he should be detained, for medical examination at least.

He was convicted, as it turns out, and sentenced to three years’ probation. But that’s not the full story. According to the BBC, there were two aspects to the charge of “sexually aggravated breach of the peace”.

Firstly, there was “conducting himself in a disorderly manner”. Fair enough you might think, until you discover that he was doing it in his hostel bedroom. Well, OK, perhaps he was moaning very loudly and constantly ringing the bicycle’s bell, thus disturbing other guests. Nope. He was so quiet in fact that the housekeepers entered the room thinking it was empty. So in other words, he was actually doing what he was doing (whatever the hell it was) in private.

The second part of the charge was “simulating sex”. That’s right. Simulating sex. I didn’t realise that was illegal in the UK. If that’s the case, then pretty much every teenage boy is guilty and most married couples would have their spouse arrested.

 So this poor bastard has been found guilty of simulating sex in private, when his only crime was forgetting to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

The worst part about it was that he was put on the Sex Offenders Register. Why? Was the bicycle under-age?

So in the UK, a dwarf can stick his cock into a vacuum cleaner in front of a viewing audience and that’s fine, but a man can’t rub his langer against a bicycle in private without ending up a convicted criminal. I’m amazed this case even came to the attention of the police, never mind resulting in a conviction. Clearly the judiciary in the UK has nothing better to do.

I don’t know why the poor bastard’s lawyer didn’t offer the ideal defence: “My client was rehearsing for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, M’lud.”

Drought in Atlanta

November 14th, 2007

So I’ve just arrived back in Atlanta. While I was here in October, there was constant news about the water shortage here. When I landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this afternoon I realised things were pretty bad when security confiscated the small bottle of water I had bought in Madrid.

Either they really are desperate or they thought here was a risk that I might just freak out and use my 300 cl of mineral water to try and drown some of the locals.

Why don’t you shut up?

November 11th, 2007

I applauded when I saw on the Spanish news last light the clip of King Juan Carlos of Spain telling Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to shut up.

Chávez had been insulting former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, calling him a fascist* and current Spanish PM Zapatero was defending Mr. Aznar in his usual firm but courteous manner. At one point the king tried to address Chávez, but Mr. Zapatero politely asked him to stay out of it by saying “Un momentito”. But Chávez would not shut up, despite Mr. Zapatero’s appeals for respect, so JC leaned forward and told him to (clip on YouTube here). The king didn’t even use the polite, formal structure: “¿Por qué no se calla?“, using instead the informal (and therefore rude, in a diplomatic context): “¿Por qué no te callas?” (BBC article here). George Bush is probably kicking his advisors saying: “Dang! Why didn’t you guys thunk o’ that?”

It was brilliant. Spain should change the old Borbon motto on its coat of arms from “Plus Ultra” to “¿Por qué no te callas?”.

I wonder what other heads of state would say in similar circumstances, if they allowed themselves to relax and speak as ordinary people?

The President of Ireland: “Why don’t you shut your hole?”

The Queen of England: “Shut it, you slag!”

Any other suggestions?

* By the way, Chávez’s calling Aznar a fascist… this is the same Chávez who plans to change his country’s constitution to effectively enable him to remain President for life… the same Chávez who wants to increase Presidential control over the Venezuelan Central Bank… the same Chávez who wants to introduce detainment without charge… the same Chávez who shut down TV stations who were critical of him. Yeah, that one.

Writers’ Strike in the USA

November 11th, 2007

Screenwriters in Hollywood have gone on strike because they want the studios to pay them higher residuals from DVD and internet sales.

I for one respect their claims and as a show of support will not be submitting any movie scripts to Hollywood until the issue is settled.

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