Police Artist

Posted May 23, 2016 by theroyalist
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In this digital age we must spare a thought for the poor, forgotten Police Artist. This Constable of the Force has been replaced in the facial composite stakes department by a Photofit computer program that can pinpoint a pimple on an individual face. Sharp and precise though the modern day Wanted Posters may be, they lack the charm and ambiguity of the old less-realistic graphic art representations.

The specialised Police artist was a law unto himself. The great responsibility that was solely his in capturing villains had its advantages. Imagine going to work and playing Guess Who? every day. Delightful.

Witnesses would bombard the penciller with details of the suspect. No beard, he had glasses, bits of black hair at the side. The Whodunnit would soon be portrayed not by the flipping down of tiles but by a charcoal drawing of the perp. That’s narrowed the search down a bit, don’t you think? The cops will be after every Tom, Dick and Harry. Personally, I think it was Tom. (click on photo for a bigger picture)

The Police Artist is now a down on the beat cop. His skilful hands are now only used for collaring and not colouring. Only in his off duty time can he keep his eye in. For all the Police Whistler’s out there, we salute you.


The Police Artist

Bobby was a painter

One of the select few

He could capture any expression

On the faces of the people he drew


Bounty hunters loved him

Because Bobby’s work was so good

Picking up a fugitive was easy

Using the lifelike portrait of the hood


Private commissions flew his way

But he cared for them not a jot

He was only interested in drawing baddies

And his detective artwork caught a lot


One day they brought in a computer

And Bobby was put on the beat

No more would his pencils sketch a  Kingpin

He was now patrolling the streets


A big break-in at a wealthy house

The perimeter was full of Police tape and signs

Bobby was ordered to keep out the prying eyes

And was told to draw the blinds


Bigjohn 4

Posted May 8, 2016 by theroyalist
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The Daily Asteroid columnist, Bigjohn, has kindly syndicated more of his articles for publication. Don’t say we’re not good to you.

The Tip Tax

The government’s new austerity measures have forced them into implementing a new tax. Bigjohn states, it was bound to happen. Think about it. You tip a taxi driver but don’t tip a bus driver. You tip a waiter but don’t tip a walker. You tip rubbish but never a syndicated writer. Therefore, the haves are getting their tips taxed. The Tip Tax has caused controversy.

Junior barbers have gone on strike. We can’t live without our tips, they say. This is cutting our standard of living, they also say. The standard of junior barbers’ cutting is questionable. Bigjohn says some of them are more like junior butchers than barbers.

This is one strike Bigjohn is glad of. It means his long locks will be trimmed by a professional senior barber. Bigjohn hummed Bring Me Sunshine as he sashayed to the barber’s chair. Just the usual.

News came over the radio that the government had backed down and the Tip Tax was being scrapped. The have-nots like Bigjohn sighed. He looked in the mirror and saw that the professional had taken a back seat. On the case was a junior barber, out of practice, and back on the job. That’s not clippers,  Bigjohn thought, the junior barber is holding a chainsaw and muttering something about crossing a picket line.


Celebrity Watch

Bigjohn was at a C-listers party where conversation was dull and monotony was the only game in town. Proceedings livened up when the beautiful Nicole Kidman made an entrance. Nicole’s features could have been sculpted by  Alexandros of Antioch with the only change being she still had her arms.

The crowds parted before her like the Red Sea. Truly, Bigjohn was staring at a goddess. Bigjohn is not slow in coming forward and he was going to approach the star but this time he didn’t need to. She was approaching him…(Take My Breath Away was playing in the background)

She was nearing Bigjohn and he was trying hard to contain his excitement. Now, just a few feet away Bigjohn prepared to embrace Nicole Kidman. He cuddled fresh air.

She walked past him and started kissing a small man that was behind Bigjohn. Is Kidman kidding me? The object of her affection was some bloke called Sergei the Meerkat.

A Diet of Worms

Bigjohn’s agent had got him a lucrative gig. With flagging audience figures the producers of I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of Here wanted bigger profile stars in their production. The original Bigjohn was just what the nation of aborigines needed. Bigjohn slapped his agent on the back knocking his falsies out. What a gig!

A free holiday in Australia, all meals provided and a shedload of appearance money to boot. Bigjohn would also like it on his CV that he was the King of the Jungle. Doing the trials and eating bushtucker meat would be a piece of cake. Bigjohn couldn’t wait to tuck into a kangaroo burger and Didgeridoo steaks.

The agent said “They’ll probably get Bigjohn to eat cheesy worms.” Alarm bells rang, Dingo, Dingo, Dingo ! This isn’t the gig Bigjohn is looking for. He slapped his agent again; this time in the ribs. The producers were told that syndicated writers were too busy writing copy to participate. Bigjohn slithered back to his desk.




Toreros good and bad

Posted May 6, 2016 by theroyalist
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Back in the swinging seventies when package holidays abroad abounded my aunt bought me a special present from Spain. This was a poster of a bullfighter, El Cordobes. At the time I didn’t know that Senor Cordobes was the most famous matador in the world. My bullfighting knowledge was nada. This exotic gift rifled my imagination. Bullfighters, that is a cool gig.  The poster made it onto my wall, shoving itself between football and rock star poseurs.

The great “El Cordobes” still lives and is another fight. This time with a fellow bullfighter, his son. Manuel Diaz Gonzalez, the famous bullfighter who was born in Arganda El Rey (Madrid) in 1968, has won his 40-year-old battle to be recognized as the son of Manuel Benitez Perez, another torero who became famous in the 1960s and 1970s under the name of “El Cordobes”.  It was reading about the paternity suit that rekindled my memories of the poster.

The Cordovan on the wall wasn’t no Dorian Gray, like most posters it started to age. The edges began to curl and the corners were heavily pockmarked with tack holes. What’s the story with tacks? Do these guys deliberately tear paper? Isn’t their job to keep it in place not rip it to shreds? Of course, maybe they wanted to get revenge for the bulls by slicing Cordobes’ photograph. Eventually, almost massacred, it had to go. Having no bullfighting replacement a Debbie Harry masterpiece made an appearance on the bedroom wall. And I thought “Wow”. All thoughts of the bullring evaporated. This is what you call class.

Picture this scene, I chased that poster all over the four walls. Those infernal tacks were moving with the image; I knew they were alive. Snorting with fury, I attacked the tacks. The poster was always one step ahead. The spirit of the El Cordobes poster had permeated itself onto the Debbie Harry pose. I am positive it kept saying “ole” every time I narrowly missed it. As you might have guessed, like most hot blooded males, Blondie is a like a red rag to me.


Turner wins a Prize

Posted April 23, 2016 by theroyalist
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Joseph Mallard William Turner, an English Romanticist landscape painter who was born in 1775 and died in 1851, has been chosen by the Bank of England to be the next character on its £20 note. A magnificent choice as Turner was one of the all-time great painters. He will replace the current £20 quid avatar of Scottish economist, Adam Smith. The new note should be circulated by 2020.

Each country’s currency is unique and while the office was having a game of monopoly during a liquid lunch break (where we got liquidated in two different ways) we discussed the more unusual banknotes that have brightened up our days.

50 Kaneek – Belarus

Belarus love their wildlife. The Belarussian 50 Kanneek (circa 1992) features a red squirrel. how nuts is that? Other notes printed at the time included images of beavers, bears and wolves. It makes you wonder if the saying, name a famous Belgian should have been name a famous Belarusian instead. I expect a Belarusian wolf at the door any day now.

Punched out Mobutu Banknotes (Zaire)

Dictators always get their comeuppance, one way or another. In 1997 when the new government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo found itself short of notes it used used 20,000 Zaire (DR Congo’s name at the time) notes and punched out the face of the old dictator, Joseph Mobutu, creating a polo mint currency. This was a Rumble in the Jungle that Ali and Foreman would have been proud of.

10 Dollars – Cook Islands

From the wretched to the beautiful. And what could be more beautiful than the Cook Islands’ ten dollar bill? Although the region primarily uses the New Zealand dollar, the Cook Islands still issue their own distinctive currency – including this one-of-a-kind note featuring a topless woman riding a shark. Strangely, no other bank in the world will exchange this currency. It must be something to do with Jaws. Sharks don’t half get a bad press.

Now you may laugh or marvel at these outlandish offerings but I tell you what, seeing as I’ve not got any Turner originals on my wall or stashed away in the cupboard I’d love to have just one of those notes. Just one of them in my hand would cure my money problems. You see, I rolled the dice and it didn’t come up trumps. I’ve landed on the Sub-Editor’s Mayfair box and he’s got a hotel on it.

Cheddar is for the shredder

Posted April 10, 2016 by theroyalist
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Ordinarily, I am not one to worry but worryingly, the symptoms had been occurring for over two weeks. For once, I was starting to look on the dark side. One area of general knowledge I am ignorant of is medical matters. I never consult a medical tome. What you don’t know won’t harm you. Still, it was over two weeks thus invoking the Balzac quote “our greatest fear lies in anticipation” I pulled from the shelf a book on illnesses.

The stomach pain while not being overly painful was irritating. It came and went at intervals. There could be many reasons for this ache. An ulcer or worse was noted. I prayed it was just indigestion. Thankfully, this was the case.

Dyspepsia is one name for this condition. It comes from the Greek. Dys is the prefix for bad and peptos is Greek for digested.  Now we know that anything with dys at the beginning is bad: Dystopia, Dyslexia, Dysfunction, Dyswebsite.

Clearly, there was something wrong with my diet and something had to go. I listed my dietary behaviour to find the Rogue One. There was no way that McEwans Export, Coca-Cola or chocolate was to blame for my plight. These guys would never harm me. We practically grew up together. These juices wouldn’t do a Judas on me. They were staying. Harummphh, as if chocolate digestives could give you indigestion. Ridiculous.

There’s a lot of savouries flung down my throat: pies, stake bakes, sausage rolls. There’s a question mark about their digestive properties. Could the fabled, protractor shaped  bridie be sent to Forfar?

Then it dairied on me that I do a lot of cheese. You know, I put cheese on everything. Cheese on toast, cheese toasties, baked potato with cheese, cheese burgers, chips and cheese, cornflakes and cheese, cheesy blogs. By cutting out cheese altogether I could determine if that was the culprit.

It was. So cheese no more. The mozzarella has had its last dance. It’s spicy chicken pizza from here on in. My stomach can handle that.


Copper futures and old Police

Posted April 10, 2016 by theroyalist
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2016 was meant to be the year of copper yet as the graph below shows the metal is on course to be named year of the cropper. Early gains at the back end of last year, a weak economy and weak growth in developed markets is stunting the copper price.

The future of copper is not bright. This is a shame as it is one of the most under rated of metals. It is not as esteemed as its close cousins: Gold and Silver. Indeed, one of the alloys of copper is bronze which is normally associated with third prize in athletics events. The more well-off cousins are first and second. Not fair, I’d love to buy a bronze ring.

Unlike the mighty Iron, copper does not get rusty. A sub-mariner at heart, it is immune to water and when it reacts with atmospheric oxygen it forms a layer of copper oxide that protects the copper from further erosion. It’s as if it’s wearing a coat out in the cold. Wrapping up warm, good for you, copper.

Those Americans got it all wrong when naming their currency. A five cent coin is called a Nickel. Yet the mint is composed of 25% nickel and 75% copper! It should be called a copper. At least here in the UK, we say about our minor loose change- I’ve got some coppers in my pocket.

Coppers is also the nickelname for policepersons. Various answers are cited for why cops are cops. Eventually, after 200 words or so of drivel or cheese, I’ve got to the point of the blog. The long arm of the law. A Police record.


There’s not a team like the Glasgow Rangers

Posted April 10, 2016 by theroyalist
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Follow, Following on from winning the Scottish Championship in midweek, Glasgow Rangers added the Petrofac Training Cup to their honours list at Hampden Park today. Well played, Rangers.

Quintessentially British, Rangers are more than a club, they are an institution. My grandfather supported Rangers, my old man supported Rangers, I support Rangers and my sons support Rangers. You don’t need to ask who the unborn grandweans will support. It’s a Rangers family thing. And there’s hundreds of thousands of Rangers families like that.

History. We’re Rangers, we’ve got plenty of that.