Archive for December 2009

The ad’s have it, the ad’s have it

December 27, 2009

Recently I have been bombarded with advertisers wanting to promote their products on this page. Blogger has a facility in its software to enable Adsense. This monetary function has captured the hearts of many bloggers and their page is cluttered up with branded wares.

So far I have rejected out of hand this easy way to make money because I have got scruples (sounds like something contagious, doesn’t it?) and abhor product placement in TV shows, films etc. One more thing that is off-putting is I would have no control over these adverts. Heaven knows what could appear. If on the other hand I had a say on what is being endorsed I might be persuaded to sponsor an ad or two but Blogspot rejected my idea. Apparently Rangers and Queen are not high on their list of hits and I don’t suppose many would click on a Nacho Novo link.

Another problem with adverts is that they would be more interesting than the blog itself. I mean let’s face it, if a photo of George Clooney with a Savile Row suit was at the side of this page you wouldn’t be reading this babble. But like the good old BBC I have declined the overtures of the commercial market.

Some TV adverts are brilliantly made and are a kind of art. I always liked the Milk Tray adventure. A James Bond type guy would run a gauntlet of dangerous missions to deliver the chocolate to a beautiful woman while the tagline read all because the Lady loves Milk Tray. When I was young I imagined I was the guy and believe it or not I grew up to be that man; my dreams came true.
Let me explain.
This was a poem I published originally on My Telegraph. A tale of my wife’s gnawing hunger for chocolate. I don’t like repeating (unlike the good old BBC) but this might be new to some. Milk Tray Man, eat your heart out.

AND…SHE…WANTED…CHOCOLATE

So I’m leaping down the stairs
Four at a time
Pushing neighbours out of the way
Only one thing on my mind
Out on the road I run
Linford without the lunchbox
Grunting like a Sharapova forehand
As I hare it down the block
Turn the corner, the local shop is closed
In my tracks I froze
Gotta get a bus!

The bus is full and I don’t get a seat
I’m out of breath and have sore feet
My spirit is diminished
Will this mission be accomplished?
I get off at the high street stop
Run again to the candy shop

At the shop there’s a huge queue
This ordeal is hurting me thru and thru
Then I forget what she wanted
My mind’s a blank; I’m haunted
Was it Snickers or Milky Way?
Was it Galaxy or Milk Tray?
Was it Black Magic or Bounty?
I can’t think for the life of me
Was it a Mars Bar or a Star Bar?
Was it Rolo or Aero?
Crunchie or Munchies?
Toblerone, Kit Kat or Yorkie?
How can I get out of this quandary?
If I take her back a Toffee Crisp
She will give me a Glasgow kiss

I’ve got it! This will make her day
You can’t go wrong with Ferrero Rocher

As a wise man once said “Chocolate is chocolate is chocolate” and all’s well that ends well. I was thinking of ending with a George Clooney photo but here’s something far more fulfilling.

Break out the bubbly and choccies if that’s your poison. As for me, I will be having a few drams to go with my beers. Happy New Year to everyone when it comes. I hope in 2010 all your dreams come true.

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From Alba to Ahab

December 24, 2009

He laughed out loud. Luxuriating in the soapy bath his big feet dangled over the taps and had suds of froth on the toes, he laughed again. The perfumed aroma of his bubble bath was instilling feelings of pure bliss. Cleanliness as well as being next to Godliness is also next to happiness.

With thoughts of delight pouring through his mind, an image of Jessica Alba surfaced in his brain. Alba, now there’s a name. In Gaelic it means Scotland and in Latin it means white. In Southern Mediterranean countries it is a place name. A good bath does get you thinking but the trivia was abandoned and lusty visions of Miss Alba in Sin City submerged into his consciousness.

Lost in this desirable daydream he drifted below the waterline and into the depths. Far down the water was clear and swimming towards him was a gargantuan Sea Serpent. This creature from Scandinavian mythology began to encircle his neck and he grabbed it with both hands. The serpentine monster was very strong and pulsed with excited energy. The more he struggled with the snake and the tighter he squeezed it the more pain he felt.

Almost out of breath but strangely close to pleasure he broke free from the Leviathan and crashed through the bubbling waves. Taking in large gulps of air he felt his intelligent self again. Still his feet protruded at the bottom of the bath lathered in cream and he laughed. Well you know what they say about men with big feet…or is it big hands…or is it a big nose or is it…? Ad infinitum.

Bechstein Debauchery

December 19, 2009

The large tree was annoying all his neighbours by overhanging onto their gardens so Barlow agreed to cut it down. Looking up at its lofty height reaching skywards and seeing as it was one fine day Barlow fancied climbing the woody plant. He was making steady progress but the sun on his back and the endless ascent were taking their toll on Barlow’s willpower.

Squinting through the dense foliage Barlow was sure this tree was unlike any other in the arboreal Kingdom. Clambering through the branches he came across land; terra firma in the sky. Barlow was dumbstruck. Had he found Heaven, Asgard, Olympus, Atlantis, El Dorado, Jurassic Park? A Giant Goliath of a man plucked Barlow up in its fist and carried him away. Jotunheim. I was well off, thought Barlow.

The behemoth and its captive entered a castle, a huge castle, and Barlow was plunked on a Grand piano. Every muscle in Barlow’s body was in agony and he was relieved when the giant left the room. Slowly he began to recover his strength as the giant re-appeared wearing a morning suit with tails, top-hat and a white tie. Addressing an imaginary audience the giant bowed and swished his tail as he sat down. The draught from his suit blew Barrow into the opening of the piano and plummeting to his doom he managed to grab onto a piano wire.

Swinging his legs to and fro Barlow caught one leg at the top of the wire. Manoeuvring in pain after spiking his other foot with the tightly strung piece of barbed wire at the edge of the inside of the piano he avoided a dangerous fall and stood erect on the thick piano wires. Visions of a rolling ball accosted Barlow’s thoughts but he breathed a sigh of relief. Wrong film, nothing like that happens to Tony Curtis in Trapeze. Then the giant hit a key.

A string moved not far from Barlow then another and another. The giant was a fluent player and Barlow’s lidded prison was filled with the sounds of the second movement of Mozart’s 21st piano concerto. Trying to remember the sequence of notes Barlow jumped back and forth along the strings dodging the vibrating ones. Dancing with the verve of Nureyev and taking it all in his stride he had forgotten about the triplet figuration and pulsating wires were everywhere as he leapfrogged for his life. The giant sneezed but carried on playing.

By now the andante inferno was blistering Barlow’s feet when a massive ream of paper which the giant had blown off the stand with his sneeze tumbled down on Barlow. This was today’s set list. And Barlow saw that the next song in the concert was Flight of the Bumblebee. He’d really be rushing about to that one and had to plan an exit stage left. The paper floated featherly under the strings and Barlow sensing a great escape jumped after the giant manuscript.   

The blanket the neighbours had stretched out caught Barlow and the refreshing and life enhancing miracle that is water was poured down his throat. Too much sun and a spot of vertigo was the considered opinion of the concerned gathering. Barlow’s delirium would not go away and the last thing anyone heard from him as the psychiatrists led him down the garden path was a snippet of the folksong immortalized by Black Lace, the Germanic cabaret classic , The Music Man. “Pi-a, Pi-a, Piano, Piano, Piano. Pi-a- Pi-a-Piano”

Later at the bottom of the large tree, long after Barlow was committed to Arkham, was found a torn off piece of paper with the word Bumblebee on it.

Hair on my Chess

December 17, 2009

My hair was starting to resemble an untidy hedge that was enticing excited feathered birds; therefore it was time for a trim. For a change I decided to change from my usual barber and what the hell I thought, I’ll ask for the whole lot to be shaved off.

Fed up with walking through the tried and trusted streets I took the road less travelled by. This could make a difference and I wasn’t wrong. Frost was on the ground, daylight disappeared and birds of prey swooped in the air above me. Fearing for my safety I found sanctuary in this dark wilderness as I espied a red and white pole which beckoned me inside to a barber’s shop.

There were seven white men sitting on seats getting their heads shaved by seven hair stylists. An eighth coiffeur invited me to sit on an empty chair that was numbered D2. When I was sat in said chair the trimmer went to work at my hair with his bladed hands.

I must have dozed off because when I woke sitting directly in front of me in the mirror were eight black men completely bald. Startled and afraid suddenly I found myself being pushed into the mirror toward the black men. A hairless black man also moved forward so that he was diagonally opposite me at my right side. I could feel his breath on my face.

Then I heard a scraping shuffling noise and the man who was sitting on chair E2 had entered the mirror and looked menacingly at the black man. Strangely his chair now signalled E4 but inside I felt better and thanked my comrade for his help. What a Musketeer he was! All for one and all that.

But my relief was short lived. Angrily the black man on chair E5 lunged at me with a brutal attack and next thing I knew I was back on Elm Street, one of my trusty streets. My first thought was…Englund gambit and I was the pawn that was sacrificed. The wind was biting into my baldy head and so were Nightmares about Freddy Krueger.

Something wicked this way comes

December 15, 2009

It was damp and downcast on the outside but the interior of the car was blasting out the sounds of the Metal Chainsaw Show on radio 666 FM. The playlist was a veritable bloodlust of Satan’s finest fret players at their most frenzied. The trinity of evil music recently played were-

Slayer- Raining Blood

Megadeth- Gears of War

Pantera- Domination

The long haired male driver of the vehicle was smoking a cigarette and slugging straight Jameson’s while veering the car disjointedly on the motorway. Out of his head he was too drunk to rock let alone drive. Conditions had taken a turn for the worse and the drizzly rain was transmogrifying into a torrential downpour.

Setting the windscreen wipers to full speed and with the noise of Mastodon screaming from the speakers the wayward road hog put his foot to the floor. Soon the motorway was alive with the juxtaposition of grinding mechanical parts, wails of banshee guitars and sonic sprays of natural thunderstorms.

“Damn!” the driver cursed.

He remembered there was a leak somewhere in his lights and water had intruded into the machine causing a faulty earth connection. His Mickey Hazard lights had a mind of their own as they flashed a Morse code warning of imminent death. For safety reasons he chooses to leave the motorway at the upcoming exit.

Suddenly a ghost rider on a horse drawn hearse overtakes and cuts in front of the inebriated motorist. Offended by this flagrant disregard for driving etiquette the drunkard presses his horn and klaxons at the coffin. The casket slowly opens and a skeletal hand appears with a bony middle finger raised in the air.

Another Rhapsodic Christmas

December 9, 2009

The reality pop star TV programme, X-Factor, is favourite with the bookmakers to land its fifth UK Christmas number one in a row, even though the winner of the competition itself has yet to be decided. Record Companies, in common with other retailers, make a healthy profit at this time of year and the seasonal chart topper attracts significant media coverage.

Poor Cliff Richard, although he’s probably a millionaire, has only a few weeks to reach the top spot and keep his record of having a number one record in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and maybe noughties. It doesn’t look likely but the bachelor boy can be consoled of the fact of having three Christmas crackers at the apex.

The dearth of novelty and actual Christmas related songs dwindles year by year. The halcyon days of Mud and Slade slugging it out in a Santa Wars are long gone. Oh for a genuine Christmas carol to knock the smug Simon Cowell infested wannabee pop idols off the top of the tree would give me Christmas cheer.

And now we come to the greatest song ever written: Bohemian Rhapsody. Twice this magnum opus has been a festive best seller although it has no Christmas theme what it does have is the best male vocal performance ever, the best guitar riff ever, an a cappella opening and mock opera for the masses; truly Mozart was never as good as this.

The composer of this piece of genius, Freddie Mercury, a man with a great sense of humour, would love the tribute taking YouTube by storm. The lovable Muppets have made a parody of the song and world famous video. This deserves the number one top spot. Queen meets Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem band. Brilliant!

A phantom spammer e-mail is doing the rounds telling the recipients to buy ten copies of the song and pass the message on to fifteen friends or else. This flagrant attempt to get the Muppets (and Queen) the Christmas number one is a shady business practise too far for some.
Ahem, the E-mail originated in Glasgow. I’m saying nothing else.