Spent the better part of the weekend camping with a group of people most of whom I’ve barely seen since university; and for some reason, on a rather drunken Saturday night, I considered it was appropriate to regale them for several hours with falsetto versions of Kate Bush classics. So I’m in an ’80s kind of mood… hence the latest poll. A very profound question with existential overtones, I’m sure you’ll agree.
They say you learn something new every day, so here’s two things I learned last weekend. (Both on Saturday, as it goes; I’ll get back to you in a couple of days if I manage to figure out what I learned on Sunday.)
1) So-called “induction” hobs are a massive scam (probably something to do with the Tories, I reckon. Or immigrants.) Anyway, I was staying at the penthouse suite chez Technical Monkey (who was away learning how to fly a helicopter as part of his ongoing plans for world domination), and was feeling a little peckish around tea time, so decided to cook some lovely hand-made mushroom tortellini which I had purchased, along with a red pesto* sauce. Could I get his so-called “induction” hob to work? Could I bollocks. Fifteen minutes’ fruitless faffing, some choice expletives and even a fairly lengthy internet search on the mechanical properties and technical specifications of the induction process couldn’t persuade the bloody thing to do anything other than beep at me. So I scuttled downstairs to the nearest Tesco, came back with a massively-reduced and slightly soggy Tesco’s brie and grape sandwich, and sulked for the rest of the evening. Bloody so-called “induction” hobs.
2) I’m now in the habit of makings “old man noises” whenever I sit down / stretch or bend to get something / pick something up / do anything too far outside my preferred state of slobbering recumbency. I’m grateful to my sister for pointing this out to me; I hadn’t previously realised, but now, listening to myself, I’m fully conscious of making a “NNNGggg!” / “EeeUUUhhhh!”-style noise every time I undertake even a minor physical effort. It’s not that I’m particularly creaky; I think it’s just become part of the ritual, as when Maria Sharapova and Michelle Larcher de Brito “grunt” (i.e. scream like banshees) whilst hitting a tennis shot, or when Technical Monkey chooses to eschew the “atch-OO!” (try saying that after 6 pints…) conventional form of sneezing in favour of a totally unnecessary “atch-EEEOOOWWWWBWLWBLWLWBLWLWLBLWLWLWLAAAARRRRGGHHH!!!!” five-second high-decibel ursine roar.
Both indispensable life-lessons, I’m sure you’ll agree….
(* – whilst we’re on the subject -
Q – Which BBC correspondent is green, garlicky and usually overpriced?
A – Robert Pesto)
A fairly amusing piece of spam has been doing the rounds for a few months; ostensibly from an irate eBay purchaser, it’s designed to make thickos like me click on the enclosed link and give away our passwords / usernames. It reads as follows -
Ich mochte Sie wissen lassen, dass ich die Zahlung von 175 euro abgeschlossen am vergangenen Freitag durch PayPal und i didn `t empfangen das Produkt und auch Sie didn` t schickte mir jede E-Mail. Stimmt etwas nicht? Don `t make me starten ein Drama.
Artikel URL: http;//cgi.ebay.de./ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=430261985496
Obviously it’s in faux-German, written so that the gist is understandable to any non-German speaker, but whenever I read it, I can’t help thinking of the aunt of a friend of mine who, on a trip to Germany, thought that she could miraculously communicate with the locals by (basically) articulating English phrases in a “schlagen fargen bargen” stylee… or perhaps Peter O’Hanraha-Hanrahan’s legendary early ’90s interview with German finance minister Reinhardt…
There’s also an Italian version which I’ll dig out at some point, but which goes something along the lines of “Eh! Stronzo! Non ho ricevuto il mio eBay item; io penso che you haven’t-a sent-a it. Se non arriva, vengo da te e ti lascio un horse’s head in your bed. Ti promesso che se non rispondi subito, domani sarai sleeping with the fishes”.
(And by “lengthy outage” I’m not implying anything similar to the ongoing speculation about Simon Cowell’s sexuality.)
Blimey! What happened to April, May, June and July? Well, for a start, we have a new Pope, for seconds I’m now forty, thirdly, the proud status of these islands as greatest empire in the world has been ensured for all time by the birth of the scion of the noble house of Windsor, and fourthly, we’re all eating lab-grown burgers and voting UKIP.
That’s about it – not a lot of news, really, which explains my protracted silence. And surely, in the same way that it’s always better to keep quiet than to say something nasty, it’s likewise better to not write a single blog post for four months out of sheer bone-idleness and then try to explain it away with a couple of inconsequential waffling paragraphs like this than to… erm… well, I’ll leave that one with you.
Anyway… back we are, and I’ve re-re-started things off with a new poll about lovely, kind-hearted Godfrey Bloom – the racist’s Victor Meldrew, if you will. More shortly. I promise!
Q – Which thickness of hosiery is resistant to both laddering and scientific evidence?
A – Global warming denier
Francis, eh? Bit of a girl’s name, isn’t it? Still, at least Assisi to remember…
… seems to be a surprisingly easy and much-overused word; nonetheless, I’ll readily proffer a fairly meaningless but pathetically grovelling apology for my near-fortnightly silence. Excuse-wise, I’ll happily wheel out that nasty cold (first mentioned, retrospectively, on 19/2) once more; additionally, I’m quite busy thinking vaguely about renovating my flat, plus I have a nasty cut on the middle finger of my right hand which is making typing slightly awkward.
So what’s been happening in the meantime (and by “in the meantime”, I mean “in the last two days” because that’s about the limit of my booze-raddled recall)? Well, in a shocking slight to his millions of fans, Justin Beiber (sp?) was slightly late for a concert, resulting in literally thousands of journalists desperately scrambling to pen articles questioning whether he’s still worthy of journalistic attention. As for your humble editor, I reckon the incident proves that Beieber must be the most atrocious human being who has ever lived – and that opinion has NOTHING to do with trying to drive traffic to the site by saying something deliberately controversial about someone who has hysterically protective fans.
In other news, Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan leader and anti-American firebrand, has died aged 58. His legacy remains, though, and is enshrined by the “chav” movement which he founded here in the UK. Katie Price, Kerry Katona and the cast of “The Only Way is Essex” are currently deep in mourning, and as a tribute to their fallen leader are planning to nationalise local supplies of fake tan and distribute the profits to the poor.
(Given the quality of that post, please accept another meaningless but pathetically-grovelling apology – sorry!)
Q – What does Sophie Dahl exclaim to her husband when finding that her herbaceous border is infested with badgers?
A – Jamie, Cullum!
Q – What does Jamie Cullum say to his wife when she’s asking him which lentil side dish he wants with his Indian take-out?
A – Sophie, Dahl!
And there we have two grade-A, high-octane, taste-the-difference gags about jazz midget Jamie Cullum and his lovely wife, pretend chef Sophie Dahl. But which one is best? And can you do any better? Evidently it’s time for the first poll of the Sandwich’s new incarnation (on the homepage, on your right). Call ‘um as you see ‘um, folks…
For your entertainment and edification, we at the Sandwich would like to present a little photo-montage of what a single bloke in his late ’40s of around my general height and build might get up to on 14th February – namely a booze cruise with P&O* to Calais. When booking it, I hadn’t even clocked the date – such is the extent of my freedom from the tyranny of the evil St. Valentine – but either way, it was great to spend the day lavishing money and attention on something I love so dearly.
Anyway, I set off from Folkestone, arriving in the grand old port of Dover at about 9am to find the famous white cliffs resplendent in an azure firmament…
I made my way straight onto P&O’s proud new cross-channel flagship, the Spirit of France, along with my fellow-passengers. Soon the boat was a hive of social activity, as a wonderfully cosmopolitan, immaculately-dressed and fascinating mix of people from all walks of life met, talked, laughed, danced…..
The passengers gathered on the bow, enjoying the fresh breeze and balmy sunshine, and waving tearfully at friends and relatives who had come to see them off…
We all waited eagerly for the captain to give the signal to set sail, scarcely able to disguise our excitement…
… and then we were off! The great ship steamed off towards our destination into the foam-flecked sea, which was shining turquoise with the reflected glory of the heavens above. I may have imagined it, but I’m sure I saw a playful pod of dolphins accompanying us on the crossing…
… and then suddenly, we were docking at Calais. Ah, Calais! Brightest of jewels in the crown of the Cote D’Opale! A buzzing hive of international trade, a sight-seer’s paradise with stunning maritime architecture and beautiful scenery both inland and on the coast – truly a name to send shivers of excitement down the spine of even the most seasoned traveller!
My stay was unfortunately brief, but nonetheless packed with enjoyment. Firstly, a wonderfully tasty repast consisting of the choicest fruits of the toil of Britain and France’s finest chefs…
… and then it was onto the main business of my visit; purchasing fine wines. The traditional vintners’ outlets of Calais are all small and charm-filled boutiques, hidden away down cobbled streets in magical medieval corners of the town…
… and after a few hours perusing their wares, haggling with wily shopkeepers and discussing the merits of various vintages, I had what I’d come for; a cornucopia of rich Burgundies, mellow Clarets and the finest Champagnes.
Sadly, it was now time to leave Calais and the continent’s exotic charms behind. I made my way back to the port, and found myself on the Spirit of France’s sister ship, the Spirit of Britain which, if anything, was even grander than its sibling. The ship’s wonderful entertainments and tasteful-yet-stylish decor were redolent of the famous “blue riband” liners of the early 20th Century…
After a short delay due to a berthing problem, we were off again; the ship may have been delayed in its arrival back at Dover by about 90 minutes, but this didn’t detract in the slightest from the pure pleasure and excitement of what had been a truly wonderful and memorable day… THE END.
(I apologise for the fact that this is only being published nearly a week after the event. P&O, Calais, St. Valentine or any combination of the three exacted revenge-in-advance on me for my snarkiness by gifting me a fairly horrible cold during my trip, from which I’m only just beginning to recover.)
(* – first Sandwich points under the new regime for anyone who can tell me, without the aid of any internet-aided searching facility widget, what’s actually abbreviated in the letters “P&O”. Clue – it’s doesn’t, as a former transport colleague of mine used to insist, stand for “Piss & Off”.)
Pedagogue – Jimmy Savile, extremely surprised.
Axiomatic – a chainsaw.
Prolix – in favour of over-affectionate pets.
Antipathy – an off-road enthusiast.
(Incidentally, in a GCSE English exam, if you get the question “Use the word “Axiomatic” in a sentence”, what’s to stop you just writing “Today, I used the word “Axiomatic” in a sentence.”?)