Tuesday, 28 May 2013


So I was in a restaurant there for a bit of ice cream for the kids as I am a bloody brilliant dad.

We had been to some modern art nonsense with the Sultana and our 11-year-old pointed out it was just crap on a wall and some broken metal bits stuck together. I was so proud and wanted to treat him.

Deconstructed jacket potato - or raw as some call it
The Sultana of Fun was less proud of her offspring.

They brought us the menu. It was big, really big. The two ends were in different post codes. The boys just wanted ice cream, how hard could that be?

The thing was littered with teeth-grindingly bad spelling and grammar errors. 

I will allow some restaurants a bit of a leeway when it comes to the English language, especially if it is not their mother tongue.

I have had no issue with ordering a furry souf Indian gaylic based dish with a maximum amount of onyions that was not for the fent harted before now. But this was murdering the language for the sake of it.  

I had a headache when I had finished but was interested in the idea of a disassembled banoffee pie with deconstructed coulis. My wife once made banoffee pie, it had no bananas in it. It was offee pie and very good it was too, original as well.

But what could this disassembled banoffee pie with deconstructed coulis be?

It arrived. It was a peeled banana with some dried out hypernuked condensed milk sludge sitting alongside it. There was some whipped cream with what was hopefully chocolate running through it, and a couple of Hobnobs to add some class to the dish. In a vague bid to make it Michelin, it was sprinkled with cocoa powder.

And there, sitting embarrassed next to it, huge chunks of fruit frowned, a big fork and angry spoon scowled, and an ugly blob or two of ice cream melted. Well I was stunned.

So, essentially then, I am supposed to put this pie back together, or indeed just together, and then savagely batter the rapidly browning fruit with the cutlery to make my own coulis? So I pay full price to build my own dessert? Is that was this is about? Is it really?

The waitress, I think she was called Jason, stared at me as I looked at the plate with a mounting confusion. 
I said: "Is there any chance you could take it back and ask the chef to undisassemble the pie and redeconstruct the coulis?"
She laughed despite my pleading eyes and walked away.

I was about to say 'no really, look at the bloody state of it' when the Sultana's stare forced me to curb my haul yer ass back here young lady attitude.

It was awful, like eating fruit. I eat the whipped cream and was none the wiser about what the dark chocolatey streaks were. I broke a tooth on the condensed milk and used the melted ice cream as a dip for the Hobnobs.

Will there come a time when I can order deconstructed fish and chips only to find myself being brought out a deep fat fryer by a dishevelled waitress, slapped about the face with a dismembered haddock by a disturbed seal and then bombarded with unpeeled King Edwards by a dysfunctional chef?

It was, I suppose, what it said on the menu. But then it also said Prown Mary Rose was available to I didn't take anything they said that seriously. They took creativity, slapped it about the bit, reheated it and served it to me as gaudy bollocks. 

I left without leaving a tip explaining: "I rehydrated the tip only to find it had become a post modern ironic statement on people who are so clever they become dense so I chose to save you the embarrassment of not understanding it and put it back in my pocket."

I didn't of course as the funfree guardian of etiquette was paying the bill and I was ushered out by three by now ice cream filled children.

I will return to this hole with a deconstructed wallet at some stage. The bill will arrive and I will present a variety of copper and nickel pieces and some naturally occurring plant fibres for the notes. I will wait in my disassembled mood until the disembodied change arrives.

Victory will be mine. 

Monday, 25 February 2013



So there we were, the Sultana and I, busily spending some quality time ignoring each other while not watching a complicated crime drama on the misery box.

She on her iscrewwitheveryaspectofyourlifePad and me playing darts on my work iPhone. It's all it's good for as it can't actually make calls. The primary function being largely ignored by Apple in favour of apps you can play with while the intrusive map finds you a payphone.

She had made a remarkable Banoffie Pie, remarkable in the sense that it had no bananas in it. It was Offie Pie. It was good but definitely not one of your five a day. I had eaten lots in an ironically fruitless hunt for the banana. It was a scene of domestic bliss.

I was truly round and thought I may as well watch the crime show as the iPhone had decided I needed to insert a password I didn't know just to look at it. Presumably, it had come to the conclusion that my decision not to allow the world to know my location at all times was worthy of some kind of punishment.

Someone had been murdered in a sleepy little village for the fifth time this week and everyone was becoming a bit furrowed brow about it frankly.

Why would anyone want to move to this village? It's a death trap, your life expectancy was weeks. It was like a rural dignitas. It would be like looking for happiness in Albert Square.

Having said that, this village had plenty of pretty women and middled aged hunks for us middle aged people to stare at with middle aged eyes while figuring out either our phones, iPish or the plot.

Anyway, one of the characters, a forensic patholigist who had clearly researched where to live, was speaking to another of his number, a much older, wiser and far more sarcastic fella. The first man looked like the type who would wear a safety helmet on an exercise bike. The second looked like if he saw him he would superglue his arse to the seat. My kind of chap.

They spoke in complicated tones about this dead lad's entrails. Then one of them turned to the other and said: "There is strange fluid in his oesophagus. His throat. There is something in his throat."

"Yes, hmm his throat," said the other one, calmly.

Now I know there has to be explanation points throughout the plot for those who struggle to comprehend anything above the level of the Jeremy Kyle show, but this was going too far.

 It was unrealistic to the point of making me want to fight the telly and that is not normal, the Sultana told me.

In real life, this hairy hunk of contemptuous career loathing would use every hated day of his 40 years experience to turn on the young apprentice.

He would stare him deep in the eyes and say: "Listen dickhead, I know what an oesophagus is. I was cutting up bodies when your dad was still looking at your mum as though she was human and your mum looked at your dad as something more than a walking/sitting/eating/breathing red hot poker in the eye.

"If you do that again I will be forced to beat you to death with this curiously placed bat before ragging you around the mortuary by your septum. That's the partition separating your nostrils you bag of gibbering shite."

I have no idea why writers insist on considering their viewing public as dumb, really dense loons who don't have enough general knowledge to switch the telly on without a helpline gobshite talking them in. They write for the man in the adverts who can't figure out which shoe goes on which foot or why his food comes out of the oven hot.

I was awoken from my inner fury by the Sultana who decided it was time to chat. The battery on the iTwat had presumably ran out.

The conversation was about the iTwat and it's ability to do stuff that I would never need unless my brain became as disengaged as my children around housework.

This one sided chat was interrupted by my iPhone ringing for the first time this week. Congratulations caller, you made it through the darkness and reached me, I whispered hoping the phone wouldn't hear me and impose even more sanctions.

It was a wrong number, a woman asked for some Connor fella.

"Hello," she said all cocky and familiar as if I was used to phone conversations, "is that Connor Fella?"

"Yes but he is unable to come to the phone," I responded equally familiar. "He is laying in a pool of plastic bat induced blood and choking on the septum that is stuck in his oesophagus, that's his throat by the way."

Right am bored, someone scratch my arm, I said to the room by way of ending the evening.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


So Valentine's Day then. The day people are told to tell other people whom they love/admire/fancy/pity that they worship the very ground they walk on and cannot contemplate life without them.

It's a terrifying day for stupid men. Men who love to play up to the advertisers' view that women are organised and blokes are dim loons too busy scratching their balls while contemplating pie to function on any level. Hmm pie.

Men who think they are somehow cute for being feckless. Men who want to be told what to do until that conflicts with what they actually want to do. 

Men who are a disgrace to the gender. Fools encouraging pity and succour for invented inadequacies. I despise these men. I know when Valentine's Day is, when my anniversary is, when her birthday is, and they know theirs.

But for most men, Valentine's Day is just a headache. A pointless and frustrating adventure in the manic world of marketing.

I saw them, the sullen, lumbering bewildered and sweating around a city full of love, frayed tempers and knives.

The more grotesque the card, the more emotion and devotion can be attached to it. The grander the gesture, the greater the love is the motto of desperate sales staff eager to offload last year's shite.

Let's face facts. No let's not.

Valentine is also the patron saint of epilepsy, presumably after people started taking fits when they spotted the price of the cards.

All this effort is supposedly in the hope of reminding your loved one that they do indeed matter to you and can I have some sex please? That's the line as that's all men think of apparently, young randy opportunists and tired middle aged dreamers.

The reality is a twee card accompanied by a ghastly flower arrangement, some sugar loaded cheap chocolate and unwanted sexy underwear that trading standards should look at before you do.

This is normally followed by the snarling realisation for married couples that Elvis has more chance of getting his end away than you.

We have three children. The youngest is three. We chase the flirty bubble when the chance arises. Sleep is king. No forward planning for us as any moment is ruined when a three-year-old interrupts to tell you there is a huge spider under his bed breathing fire while eating thunder and his pillow or something.

We don't need told by a marketing man that February 14 is the time to get the kids to bed and woo the bejesus out of each other.

What we need is Sleep Day. A day when you buy your partner a pillow and a duvet and say: "There you go honey, go snooze you crazy tired beauty. I'll get mine and we can snooze the hell out of each other, like we used to. Really go at it. A full on snooze."

I despise Valentine's Day and the aimless guilt it engenders.

This argument didn't hold a lot of water with the Sultana of Fun. Far from it. A card was dutifully passed to me with a question mark in it so I didn't know who it came from. Her passing it to me and the "To my amazing husband" inscription were not clues presumanbly.

This was followed by the "where's mine" eyes.

I explained how it hurts my head to fall for such a manufactured tradition but I was lost.

I went out to the garage in a panic, well it was a Mazda but that's not important. I walked in as the female staff looked at me knowing I what I was there for but not the fight I had put up not to be

but I didn't get to be the renowned lover lover man I am without knowing which buttons to press.

So I arrived back and handed her the Curly Wurly, a Muller Fruit Corner and a good luck card. Other panicky fellas had emptied the shelves. Bingo, that should hit the spot.

This may go some way to explaining why I am writing this from the spare room.

Men, buy them a card and some flowers. Pick your fights. This one is not really worth the effort.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


SO I went paintballing. Now there’s bag of angry crap if ever I saw it.

It is ludicrously expensive, cold and painful. It’s also a place where some surreal conversations take place.

I took the middle botherer there with two of his pals as a Christmas present.

It was very rainy. The type of wet rain you get when you wear a jacket that looks expensive but is actually just a cheap plastic pile of pish. The type of jacket that is a friend to rain, invites it in and offers it dinner.

I was wearing some new boots.
Aldi had vowed they were waterproof and flexible. They are heading back to the shop tomorrow soaked and rigid.

That wasn’t what annoyed me the most. It was the cost. It hurt me far more than the full metal jacket paintballs rebounding of my arse, chins and arms. No one aimed for the protective vest, what’s the point in that?

Anyhow, as I hid sobbing behind a tree, I worked out it was about 8p a bullet. 8p. The sobbing became uncontrollable.

I looked around for the three children in my care as it had been a while since I abandoned them to hide. One was stuck in the mud up to his knees and crying. I wasn’t going to go get him as it was Death Valley out there with folk hell bent on hurting me.

One of the marshals will probably sort him, I thought.

I found the other two as cowardly as me hiding behind a similarly seductive tree. At least my boy was aiming his gun in the general direction of the red team and shooting, which was loosely what the plan was.

The other little bugger was just firing at a neighbouring tree and laughing. I started weeping again. 8p, 16p, 24p, 32, 40p and so on went the mantra in my head until I could take no more and headed over to rip him a new ass as the saying goes when you’re in combat gear.

I was shot eight times. In a fury of agony I was told by a marshal that it was “game over” for me. I was marched off watching the profligate little boy blasting my salary against a tree.

I gave the boys a half time team talk just to pep them up a bit, like a good general should.

I said it’s time to stand up and be counted and they stood up. I counted them, 1, 2, 3, job done. We need to think outside the box, I said. But I don’t have a box said the boy from the mud.

“Look, let’s just start shooting at people eh, that’s what we are here for,” I pleaded.

I decided to get involved in the next game. My plan was to go full loony and charge into the maelstrom shooting anything that moved and shooting anything that didn’t move until it did.

Not a plan Napoleon would have been overly anxious to crow about I grant you, but a better plan than hiding behind a tree or blasting the hell out of another tree. That boy was spoken to.

This is where the problems started.

The red team had won every game. Tactically astute bunch I thought. But no, cheating tossers was what they were.

I was hiding in a “church” and shot one cumbersome lurching fella at least eight times, 64p well spent I thought.

No he didn’t go down or walk off, he just kept shooting. He stared at me through his misty visor. I shot him again, straight between the eyes.


I broke cover to speak to him.

“Are you bloody immortal?”


“How come you don’t die when I shoot you? Are my bullets impotent?”

The little fecker shot me at which point a marshal, officious arse, likely a
referee in his spare time, came over and said you’re out.

“Now hang on a minute. I shot this guy loads of times and he seems to be miraculously alive.”

“He missed me,” the lying toad argued.

“You stand there like a bloody Kandinsky monstrosity, head to toe in 64pence worth of paint and say  I missed. Are you colour blind? Listen to me marshal...”

“Call me Dave.”


“Cos that’s my name.”

“Ok call me Deirdrie,” I said.

“The point here Dave is that this guy is far more dead than I am,” I explained.
“I realise how stupid that sounds but that’s war for you. Is he some kind of medical marvel the MoD has trained up to survive the apocalypse? I realise it’s a game but he’s not playing it. It’s costing me money to shoot someone who doesn’t die. That will not do.”

“It’s his birthday.”

“Then it’s a good day to die. If he doesn’t die right now I’m gonna get a big stick and beat him relentlessly with it. Let’s see how his immortality copes with that.”

“You need to calm down.”

“Why? I’m at war man.”

I shot the cheat in the nuts, rapid fire man completely fubared him man.

I was escorted off the game zone by Dave and passed my boy’s pal busy shooting the floor. I shot him.

“I’m a broke and broken man Dave,” I said as I took my visor off.

“I’m stood here covered in psychedelic pigeon shit and shamed into an early exit by a cheat. I may never play the piano again. War is tough eh? I want to go home.”

“It is Deirdrie. Do you want some tea?”

Victory was his.
I counted them out but couldn’t be bothered to count them back in again.

Friday, 8 February 2013


My wife has been busy being a teacher this week.

The children have learnt many things from her wisdom but it's nothing compared to the shocks in store for me.

We live and learn she said. If I am to continue living then I apparently need to start the learning.

Here is a small selection of the pearls that have been launched at me this week.

1. The remote control is a family object apparently. I am not allowed to decide unilaterally that adverts are pish and therefore I can watch four seconds of every channel until I find something I like. This was news to me as I had always believed it was a right earned from having a dangler.

2. Switching off the toilet light while someone is doing some serious business is not funny the first time and develops into full on irritation the more I do it.

3. It is not babysitting and there are no brownie points if they are your own kids.

4. Grabbing a boob and saying rightho let’s go is not foreplay.

5. Teaching the children to pull faces behind the backs of supermarket staff is not “essential educational development”.

6. It is neither funny nor appropriate if a very fat lady at a dinner party says she used to suffer from anorexia to say "a while ago was it". It cannot be justified by saying she was more self obsessed than Piers Morgan.

7. It is not appropriate behaviour to say "look at the boobs on that" when watching a post mortem on a woman in Silent Witness.

8. Teaching the children to hold onto farts “until you can find a victim” is not an “educational tool to help in the fight against bullying”.

9. Dusting is not an avoidable speed bump on the road to hell.

10. Ironing is not something that is only done in the movies.

11. While honesty is generally the best policy, saying “right, am off for an indeterminate number of pints, will be wholly inappropriate, dance like a fool, spend a fortune and will be unlikely to surface until at least midday” is a step too far. I must return to simply announcing that I am off for couple of pints as at least there is hope in that phrase.

12. Explaining the phrase Fubar to the children using Lulu’s face as an example is neither funny nor “important knowledge to take into school”.

13. I am not a pioneer or survival expert simply because I don't change my underpants every day.

14. The spare room is not my TARDIS.  The empty cans of beer are not vital attachments to the control panel and they can be removed without  ripping a hole in the space-time continuum.

15. Saying "yeah, what's your problem" to posties and any delivery drivers is not acceptable and shouting in a pleading voice "please untie me, it hurts" while my wife is on the phone is not funny.

That's enough, it begins to hurt my soul after a while.
Think on fellas, your wives do not want to change you, they want to own you, to control you, to be in charge, hang on, ssshhh, she's coming in. Got to go.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


I have been away for a while. I would apologise but why should I, hmmm? It's not as if I haven't been out there fighting the good fight for the little man, the wretched and the coward.

No, I have been out there day in and day out being rude and unpleasant so you don't have to. Muttering behind old people in the supermarket and the like.

I had a bereavement and it seemed inappropriate to post my fury. But it's time. The world hasn't changed. It is still piss-poor. I aim to post more regularly but then I aimed to get Kate Winslett into bed with U2 hero Bonio simply because I think they sound like dog food.

What dreams we have, what hopes. Dashed with the crushing knowledge that reality is all around us. Poo is everywhere and the fan is permanently switched on full power in your direction. 

It's good to be back. Read on.


I WAS watching Match of the Day there on account of loving football and hating Gary Lineker, the perfect mix of emotions.
Or I should say, so I’m watching Match of the Day. That way those footballers who can read will be the only people who understand I am talking about the past while suggesting it is still in the present.

All footballers, from the Premier League to Sunday five-a-side drunks, think it is appropriate to get all messed up with tenses and no one corrects them.

Why is it they feel it’s acceptable to the masses for them to be majestic with their feet, or apparently mercurial if they’re occasionally shit, but woefully inadequate with their mouths?

Anyone who reads these missives will know that I am no grammatical guru. But good Lord, enough.

It's like Damon Runyon has written their scripts after a particularly heavy night on the absinthe.

My problem is that I correct them as they are being interviewed on MotD. Sometimes out loud. I can’t help it.

It’s like muttering “fewer” when someone uses less incorrectly or rubbing out rogue apostrophes on signs.

After about half an hour I normally have a headache and my teeth are somehow numb.

So I pictured myself applying to be a sports reporter and becoming the voice that introduces the luminaries.

I could be the one that asks those insightful questions along the lines of, so was that 6-0 win a good result or do you think five of their team unexpectedly being struck down with Black Death after 15 minutes was a turning point?

I pictured myself chatting to Premier League stars and having a whole new strategy that involved some nasty aversion therapy to tense destruction.

“Great goal Crispen, talk me through it as presumably the producer believes no one has been watching the previous highlights and we were hoping your extraordinary descriptive powers could replace the 300 cameras that have gathered footage of it.”

“Errrrrrrrrrrrm, ok. So I’m in the box and...”

I slap him hard across the face.

“No you’re not Crispen. I warned you about this. You’re here in the tunnel being interviewed by me. Try again.”

“What, right ok. So I erm was in the box and Charlie has done a lovely 40 yard pass...”

I kick him in the shins to show my disapproval at the sloppiness of the sentence.

“ So I turn...”


“Turned turned, sorry. And I’m face to face with the ‘keeper...


“You’re face to reddening face with me Crispen.”

It is at this point he starts to cry and says: “I was crying because you keep hitting me.”

I set fire to his hair and walk off to meet the producer who has been shouting in my ear for a while now.

“I am not sure it’s working out Rant,” I imagine he mutters.

“What’s the problem?”

“Well, I’m sitting here watching the interview...”


“No you’re not. You are sitting here firing me.”

And that is how my sports reporting career will likely come to an end.

It’s not difficult to understand tenses really. If it happened before the moment you are in then it’s past, if your doing it right now then it’s the present, and if it’s going to happen later then it’s the future.

It was not that difficult is it?

Oh and players, please stop saying it was a team performance after you scored 5 goals. It wsn't. Some PR arse in the background grinning with corporate smugness at the message being delivered. He or she are on my list.

How about interviewing a team that lost 6-0 and the player saying: "Yeah it was a team performance. We were collectively pish. I think the keeper was a shambles and it got worse the further up the pitch you went. If you're going to blame anyone, blame the players, the manager and the ludicrous structures we have in place here."

There  I am back.