Comedy / Satire / Sex / Religion / Politics
Boggart Blog styles itself "probably the funniest blog on the web" and most of its loyal band of followers would say that is an understatement. It is not just the wit of the Boggart Blog team or the style and skill with the written word they bring to their humour but the range. From sharp political satire they will leap to wild, surreal fantasy, dark, almost cruel ironies, incisive parody and ridiculous clowning. Explore these selection covering posts from the beginning of Boggart Blog, you will always find amusement here.
CREATIVE COMMONS: Some rights reserved. Distribution: Non - commercial, attrib, no derivs, All reproductions should be credited to Helga Ross and linked to ""


Do You Know Who You Are

Did You See That?



Proof of Parentage

Lost Weekend

Ascot Follies

Sexual Salvation


Gone To The Moon

Absence Makes The
Heart Grow Fonda

God's Little Careers

ASBOlute Madness

The World's 100
Greatest Ideas

Children From Hell

W.A.N.K (We Are Not Kulpable)

Apocalypse North


Boggart Blog Select #1

Do You Know Who You Are?

Satire on plans for ID cards
Posted 2005-06-29

There can be no justification for making us pay the government good money just to have them tell us who we are. Why would anybody pay to be told who they are? If you don't know who you are, you probably don't care and therefore might be better off not knowing; if you do know then why would you pay somebody to tell you?

Despite the impeccable logic of that argument this Government of ours plans to bill us a hundred pounds (although estimates indicate it could end up being three times that amount) in return for them giving us a little piece of plastic with our personal details on it.

"Just think of the advantages" says that nice Mr. Blair, "if somebody stops you in the street and asks you who you are, you will always be able to tell them because a nice Government Official will have printed it on a piece of plastic for you."

It is quite like something Spike Milligan might have written for the Goon show. In fact it is exactly like something Spike Milligan did write for the Goon Show. To paraphrase;

Stranger :"Excuse me sir, who are you?"

You: "Oh - ho, I know the answer to that. Oh yes, a nice Government Official printed it on a piece of plastic for me."

I have always known who I am and if anybody stops me in the street and asks I tell them it is none of their damned business. Unless of course the inquisitor happens to be female and attractive.

I do not need a piece of plastic to tell me who I am, my parents told me when I was a very small child. I know I only have their word for it, but if they were lying why would they have kept spending money on food and clothes for me. I have known them all my life so I would rather believe them than a faceless bureaucrat (especially that guy at the Inland Revenue who used to tell me I was earning twice as much as I actually was.)

Someone is bound to say "you have nothing to fear from identity cards if you have nothing to hide. Only people who break the law have reason not to want an identity card." That argument misses the point. If I am not breaking the law why should anybody not accept my word regarding who I am. My objection is not to carrying an ID card but to having to pay for it. If the |Government want to know who I am they should be paying me for the information. Otherwise details of my identity will be released on a need to know basis.

Of course the individual must retain control of the information that goes on a card. Name, address OK; Date of Birth - well I don't mind because people still say "are you really, you look great," and of course any medical details that might help paramedics should I collapse in the street. Strangers absolutely do not need to know my credit rating, how many points I have on my driving licence or my inside leg measurement.

Let us all at start up a resistance movement and get everybody in the country involved. After all they can't put us all in prison.

Spike Milligan website


The Goons

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Did you see that?
An excursion into the weird world of Cryptozoology.

Posted 2005-06-27

There, in the sky, how could you miss it? It was only their for a split second but it was enormous; the size of a Jeffery Archer Pork Pie,* an enormous, amorphous thing. But it was a thing - the shadow of a cloud, not a flock of birds. It was something NOT OF THIS WORLD.

You have heard all the UFO stories and the conspiracy theories and you may well be going "Yeah, yeah, yeah, what were you doing last night Ian, a secret shroom festival up in the Ribble Valley was it?" (more on shrooms later in the week.) You are just not convinced that all those shapes in the night sky are anything to do with extra terrestrial activity, that aliens are visiting our planet on a regular basis.

Well you are absolutely right! Aliens my arse. All that nonsense about crashed spacecraft being hoarded in air force bases in the Nevada desert or Norfolk are ludricous. All those stories about people being abducted by aliens down near Stonehenge are the result of one too many nights on the scrumpy. Just the ramblings of lonely, insecure people trying to draw attention to themselves. Sadly these people often end up deluding themselves that the events they fantasised really happened.

Truth is stranger than fiction though and it is time I cut myself free of the Official Secrets law to reveal the reality of UFO sightings. The semi transparent, vaguely Zeppelin shaped objects so many people see in the night sky are not alien at all but very much of this world. They are not of this time though, but are survivors of an older race that inhabited the Earth… well, before there was any earth on Earth. Our planet started out as a gaseous ball and these creatures, beings of pure energy, inhabited the sphere before it had solidified into the mass it is today. They are not complex life forms like Cthulu or any other of H.P.Lovecraft's inventions, more gigantic protozoa. In fact their cryptozoological name is Amoeba Constablea after the paranormal researcher who first photographed them. Their closest relatives are those mysterious orbs of light often captured on film by ghost hunters.

The problem of making a serious study of cryptozoological creatures of course is their evasiveness. While we are bound by our physical mass in the time / space continuum we can hardly chase after beings that are usually invisible to the naked eye. The serious investigator needs to master the trick of disconnecting the senses from the consciusness without the aid of psycho-active drugs. I usually manage it with the aid of my friend Jack - Jack Daniels.

I will keep you posted on my attempts to track down and capture and Amoeba Constablea but must end this first episode now. I have to go and collect some of those little mushrooms that grow on cow pats before it becomes illegal.

The reason for posting material like this which offends some readers who think of themselves as rationalists I know, is to highlight the wide range of weird, whacky and downright surreal ideas people have. Rather than beinmg an offence against "rational scientific thinking" the crazy ideas of some people are part of whar maked being human so much fun. Take a look at this article ( Fillinig the knowledge gap ) by an uptight, joyless little nerd and see how horrible life would be if intellectual fascists had their way. Life will not be better when we all think the same. I wish these people would read Huxley's Brave New World but then they probably have and thought it was a self help book.

*Jeffery Archer - a British politician and writer who served a jail sentence for telling "pork pies" (rhyming slang: lies.)

James Constable

H.P. Lovecraft - weirdmeister

Cthulhu - Lovecraft's weirdest creation

Charles Fort

Fortean Times

An Italian Vampire's Grave Is OpenedThe medieval grave of a suspected vampire opened by archaeologists in Italy revealed something very bizarre.
Not convinced by this article? Take a look atTurd Nine From Outer Space at Boggart Blog The attack of the cosmic turds in the 1980s was a spate of UFO sighting around the world for which there was ample photo, radar and eyewitness evidence and for which the UK Ministry of Defence admitted though it was irrefutable some physical object had been sighted there was no rational explanation as to what they might be.
The Return Of Turd Nine From Outer Space a story on further sightings of the stange brown, turd shaped UFOs along with a LINK to video footage of the latest sightings.
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Some of those old hippies take Lord of the Rings and Spinal Tap a bit too literally

Posted 2005-06-25

Before we get started, I have to say Glastonbury has not been the same this year. All the usual things are going on but since that flash flood made the toilets overflow people just seem to be going through the motions. (that intro was provided bythe Greenteeth Multi Media Corp. Tired old jokes department)

Since the phrase "reality TV was coined the people who make TV programmes seem to have lost their grip of reality, or perhaps they never had much of a grip on reality anyway. Even when the word "celebrity" is left out of the title the content just gets more surreal. Just as an aside I am disappointed that celebrity reality shows have fallen out of favour before anyone got the idea to do Celebrity Stools, a show in which members of the public vote (£1.00 per call) on which celebrity laid any particular one of six turds; the whole thing presided over by Davina McColon - no relation to the person who presents Big Brother of course. (I am just reclaiming that joke as it popped up on a TV show last week after I did it on a very small radio station about two months ago. It is not the first time people on TV have used my material without so much as a "by-your-leave." That Jonathan effing Ross had better watch his back I can tell you.)

Sorry, where was I. Ah yeah, reality. The main reality offering this solstice week was a schlockumentary featuring a project to build a life size replica of Stonehenge using Polystyrene blocks. Polystyrene, how Spinal Tap is that?

To build the original, the ancients moved huge blocks of granite weighing over fifty tons well over a hundred miles, crossing swamps, rivers, the Severn estuary and countless other obstacles. The TV project featured a few weirdie-beardies running around with blocks of extruded plastic weighing a couple of kilos on their heads. It isn't rocket science is it? And really if it was rocket science what would that prove. A rocket is just a bomb with some kind of container sitting on top of it. You would just need a hell of a lot bigger bomb to launch a fifty ton block of granite than to shift a weirdie-beardie and a couple of kilos of plastic.

Leaving aside the question of how the ancients moved those stones quite simply because we do not know, we should ask why? Why stones from that place, why that particular design and not a pyramid and why people thought by mainstream academe to be primitive monkey men who could barely find their arse with both hands would want or need to build a sophisticated stellar observatory that would plot the precession of the equinoxes. Most people think Stonehenge is the work of the Druids, but it predates their era by at least a thousand years. But why would the beaker people, the inhabitants of Britain in the bronze age feel the need to study a cosmic phenomenon that was first recorded only in the nineteen fifties? Possibly it was because life was so boring before TV that the best thing to do of an evening was observe the movement of the constellations through the frame of a trilithorn. Trouble with that idea is the full precession cycle takes 25,900 years to complete. Even Patrick Moore was not around for the turning of the last astrological age. Precessional astrology was known to the Egyptians of the first Kindom, the Sumerians of Mesopotamia (Iraq) and the most ancient civilisations of South America, yet European civilisation was ignorant of it for over 2000 years.

Plenty of material there then to make a great documentary series without a single block of polystyrene in site and all the weirdie - beardies safely enclosed in their university campus environment.

So why is this kind of stuff not being shouted from the rooftops. Simple, the exploration of pre-history has strayed too far into those inconvenient areas in which we find that the cultural foundations on which our world stands are constructed from nonsense and superstition.

A little reality is a dangerous thing.

Precession of the equinoxes.

Stonehenge and other ancient sites in the UK

Summer Solstice pagan religious significance


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Festival come and festivals go but Glasonbury seems to exist outside time and space.

Posted: 2005-06-23

Hair band, check. Joss - sticks, check, purple kaftan with gold moon and stars motif, check. Che T-shirt, check, Joke Prince Charles ears, check. Bog roll, check. Another bog roll, check.

I'll just get the brownies out of the oven, I love the smell of hash brownies in the morning…

Its Glastonbury time again. Even though Glasto has gone corporate it is still a great gig. Three days of sex and drugs and rock and roll. YeaaaaaaaH!

Wonder who will be the surprise last minute addition to the line up this year? Van Morrison, Jimmy Page, Ry Cooder, Bruce Springsteen or Chas and Dave. I'm joking right. No, people are nodding their heads around here. Alongside Basement Jaxx, George Galloway (yes the George Galloway), The Seriously Depressing Fuckers (aka Coldplay) those monsters of Cockneyrock Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock will be taking their place on the main stage.

OKOK, I already admitted Glasto ain't what it used to be. Entry to the site is controlled, the toilets are - well toilets rather than holes in the ground, the food is hygienically prepared and the line-up is anodyne.

Maybe I should give Chas and Dave a chance, they have been redefined you see as groundbreaking rockers who nearly invented gangsta rap. And there was I thinking they were a harmless comedy act. (I did get a bit pissed off when one journo compared them to the great Ian Dury but by and large they're harmless.

Glastonbury is no longer a life changing experience then. Maybe it never truly was, except for that poor sod about seven years ago in the days of when the toilets were still a hole in the ground with some tarps draped round for privacy. Apparently this guy went for a dump while totally off his face and due to drug impaired balance fell off the communal squatting pole. They say he is still getting counselling for post traumatic stress.

What the uptight middle class corporate types who now run Glastonbury do not understand is the same things as made it squalid and tawdry made it good. OK, the toilet facilities were rudimentary. Communal crapping may have been abhorrent to the prissy but a couple of sessions of synchronised straining developed a sense of camaraderie that has stayed with us all. "People who shite together unite together", the sentimental might say. At any rate, having shared the most levelling experience known to humanity we are all less likely to be judgmental about our fellows.

But I wonder, with all of this year's corporate changes, the efforts of managers to impose order on chaos and the dodgy line up, is it really worth the effort. Well…

"I've got my beer in the sideboard here,"

Extract from The Sideboard Song,

copyright (c) 1979 Hoges, Peacock

"But I don't care, I don't care,

I don't care if he comes round here,

I've got my beer in the sideboard here,

Let Mother sort it out if he comes round here.

If he comes round here, I've got my beer,

Let Mother sort it out in the sideboard here,

Got my beer, let Mother sort it out,

I don't care if he comes round here..."

Kate Wellham in the Daily Telegraph gives us a timely heads up in If its not festive season it must be festival season Yes, Festival season will soon be upon us again. Glastonbury Festival More festivals Chas and Dave The key to the songs Mean Fiddler Boggart Blog Daily Keep up with our daily posts of crazy humour and topica satire

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Proof of Parentage?
I don't care what they say, I look nothing like Pope Benedict.

Posted: 2005-06-22 - 19:54:57

My dear friends, I need your help and support. My life has taken on the characteristics of a soap opera storyline and I am in traumatic shock.

After going through nearly 57 years (I'm 39 OK? I had a problem with a time warp some years back,) believing I was the scion of a long line of degenerates, debauchees, boozers, gamblers, womanisers, bookies and newspapermen, oh and an Aunt who did an enormous service for the war effort from 1939 to 45 - she was a tonic for the troops, I have learned from the View From The Vatican blog that I may in fact be the illegitimate son of Pope Benny Ratzo.

So who is my real mother, you might well ask, certainly not the wonderful lady who brought me up, a person of taste and refinement who would not have considered an affair with a young chaplain in the Hitler youth. Who then? Eva Braun would be too dead, Marlene Deitrich too tall. Obviously I would have to dig deeper if I wanted to solve the mystery.

Having spent all yesterday researching my background, following the flimsiest strand in a web of deceit and conspiracy, often chasing shadows and putting myself in danger as I crossed swords with the dark forces that protect the secrets of the Vatican I seemed to have run into a dead end.

Then the wyrd sisters who spin our destiny took a hand. One of their agents, an albino monk broke in through the office window, scattering the books that were stacked on the sill, one of which was The Da Vinci Code. Glancing at the page at which that volume had fallen open I read these words; "sounds like the sun will thread his way to the East End of the church."

Could this be a clue? Had Dan Brown, unable to contact me and warn of my true parentage because he was being shadowed by Opus Dei secret agents, written a coded message in the text of his best selling novel. But what was he trying to tell me? What could those words possibly mean?

It was a puzzle that only I could solve of course. "Sounds like the sun" is obviously a homonym so that is "the son - of the church" the offspring of someone who symbolises a religion. The son of the Pope… well we already know that is me, we are looking for my biological mother. East End could be significant, someone who lives or lived in the east end of London perhaps, but why the capitals? What is a proper noun relating to the east end? An actor, one of the older females in the soap opera East Enders maybe. Pauline Fowler (I'd rather not know) Big Mo Slater, Pat Butcher (please God, no.) although none of them are particularly religious women, not the types to get a crush on a young priest. But then there is the reference to "thread," could that be significant. Silk - a lawyer, which of those has played a lawyer at sometime? Or wool perhaps, linen and OH NO, NO! IT CANNOT POSSIBLY BE. But yes, it is the only logical answer. I am the secret love child of Pope Benedict and Dot Cotton.

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Lost Weekend
The worst encounter you can imagine when seeking solitude

Posted: 2005-06-20

You are in a small hotel in a remote part of Wales. It is Sunday, the pubs are closed, the nearest KFC or Pizza Hut is fifty miles away. There is only one other guest in the place and he looks like the kind of person who would have a freezer full of dead heads in his kitchen. Worse than that, he is wearing those awful lycra shorts favoured by cyclists and a helmet that makes him look like a penguin that walks backwards. Worse still, on his garish lycra top he sports a "meat is murder" badge.

Your companion is that most feared of all creatures, a bike riding vegan.

As there is only one table set for dinner you have no option but to join him. You experience a sense of impending doom as he asks for the vegetarian menu. The waiter, a rather grubby looking girl in fishnet tights, informs him that he can have an omelette.

"An egg is merely and unborn chicken," he admonishes her. And so the nightmare begins.

You have your reasons for being here, alone, out of season, of course and they do not include learning about the shortcomings of your lifestyle from a pompous misanthrope with several mineral deficiencies that make his behaviour extremely unpredictable. Of course you are deeply upset by the acrimonious break-up of your relationship but up to now suicide had not even been on the list of options.

Now readers may be thinking the author is a Jeremy Clarkson clone but would be wrong. Some of my best friends are vegetarians and were my left leg up to the task I would be out on a mountain bike somewhere in the Pennines making the most of this great weather. Vegans are fine. Bikes are fun. Bike riding vegans tend to be self righteous prigs because they live their life in a way they consider is friendly to the planet and they think we should all do the same. There's the rub you see, for the good of the planet. Not for the good of others as people in Buddhist or Christian orders do. For the good of the planet we must all embrace their twisted morality.

"Meat is murder" your companion announces as you order steak. Has he forgotten your offer to drive to Aberystwyth where there is a Pizza Hut and the lecture on the evils of the SUV and the evils of drilling for oil in Alaska that it earned you. You regret not asking what SUVs and Alaska have to do with your Nissan Micra.

The waitress brings your meal, she is preparing to leave and has put on a leather jacket with fur trim.

"Do you know how many mink have to die to make one fur coat?" your companion asks the bemused girl. You ought to ask him how many rabbits, chickens and squirrels were murdered by a fur coat's worth of mink freed by animal rights protesters but unfortunately you will not think of it for a couple of days.

What must be understood about bike riding vegans is that they are just as much attention seekers as showbiz wannabees or the man who walks up and down between Land's End and John O' Groats naked. "Look at me," their words and actions scream, "I am such a morally superior person that mere mortals must bow down before me. I am right so the rest of you must be wrong."

While most bike riders, especially on congested city roads, are just suicide jockeys who cut up rednecks in Range Rovers for fun the bike riding vegan is delivering a message "look at me, I care about life on Earth, I am prepared to ride around breathing toxic fumes to save the planet.

The same applies to diet of course. Readers might wonder, as I do, how a vegan finds the energy to pedal a bike, so deficient in vitamins and minerals is their diet. They will tell you they take supplements. It is possible to argue that many supplements are extracted from animal products. Like doorstep evangelists they have the answer ready, their supplements are synthesised. Try asking "synthesised by whom" because the answer is "by the very companies who are poisoning our kids with chicken nuggets and Rola Cola."

Really the only statement a bike riding vegan is making is "I'm a fool," because if they do not die of malnutrition they will surely get cancer from breathing in the noxious discharges of car exhausts.

OK, so now you do not feel so morally inferior here's how to fight back. As your companion's Linda McCartney Lentil Burger arrives strike up a conversation about the food chain. How much of what we eat has been meat at some time, maybe one or two cycles back in the endless sequence of creation, reproduction and corruption. Birds and small mammals eat worms and insects and fertilise the ground as they go. Large mammals eat small mammals, large mammals die and either decompose back to the earth or are eaten as carrion. Where do you draw the line. Is an egg less alive than a lentil? And come to think of it, if you analyse the food chain, everything we eat has been shit at some time, more recently than we care to consider in the case of organic vegetables.

With luck this may make the bike riding vegan rush off to be sick.

Jeremy Clarkson

Wales - tourism

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Ascot Follies ( horse racing )
Horses know they have no manners and they just don't care.

Posted: 2005-06-16 - 19:43:12

Ascot Follies.

Preparations for the 4:20 race at Royal Ascot (transferred to York) yesterday were disrupted when favourite Eden Rock got his dick out during the pre - race parade. Now we are not talking about some gelding politely getting enough out to enable him to have a waz in comfort, but an excited stallion with a full erection., a good two feet or more of equine schlong was swinging wildly from side to side endangering life and limb as he trotted round the parade ring oblivious to the consternation he was causing. All this of course was going on in close proximity to our dear Queen, God Bless Her.

Just moving aside for a moment, if any human males are feeling inadequate I should point out that a racehorse has about seven times the body mass of an average sized adult male, so work that out and you will see that far from wishing to be "hung like a stallion" we can curl our lip and sneer "puh!"

Back to Ascot (in York.)...

MORE new humour every day from Boggart Blog

BETTING is not confined to horse racing these days. There were always people who would bet on anything and now it seems they can and do if the betting colums of newspapers are anything to go by. But who are these "betting experts" that write such colums and can their advice be relied on? Boggart Blogs explains why you should be wary of their advice in Odds On The Media Is Dumbing Down
Apolcalyptic Times An A Pale Horse's Arse Not a betting tale put another way of throwing money down the drain - Public Art

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Sexual Salvation
Over the pond in America they have some weird ideas about three in a bed sex.

Posted: 2005-06-15 - 19:15:25

An interesting statistic reveals that 44% of American fathers believe another man features in their sex life.

Now most men dream of a threesome at some time and I guess many would be prepared to invite a male friend to join in if they thought it would help persuade their wife to include that cute little blonde barmaid from the local pub to come round for a reciprocal session. Delight at the partner's agreement to a three in a bed session might soon be dimmed when she insists, as most women do, that it is her right to pick the third party and extinguished altogether when she suggests a fitness instructor who is hung like a donkey.

If we are all being honest, very few men do get into three in a bed sessions though many claim to. So how come so many American men believe there is a third person, another male, in bed with them when they are boffing their wives / significant others. Now you, like me, might find it hard to believe that the Son of God did a lot of shagging around. Apart from anything else if Jesus wanted to get into the kinky stuff why would he go to the world's most pious country, the place where he would be most likely to be recognised?

The key to understanding this bizarre statistic lies in the general malaise that afflicts the world's most powerful country. Americans spend far too much time talking to God and not enough on talking to each other. It is a cancer that has been growing for a long time, visiting New York 35 years ago I was invited to dine with a "born again" family. "Is somebody else coming?" I asked innocently on noticing that an extra place had been set at the table.

The head of the house answered very seriously "when we sit down to eat Jesus always sits down with us."

Playing the polite Englishman to perfection I managed to keep a straight face. Almost. I think they assumed my happy expression was because I was delighted to be sharing a meal with such an illustrious person. Many people believe that Jesus, or Allah, or Buddha is with them in spirit at all times. But that was my first experience of people who believed, truly believed that the presence was physical rather than symbolic, a delusion that led to them wasting a lot of good food. (Either Jesus was a most ungracious guest or had a serious eating problem, he never touched a thing.)

Americans have little trouble believing anything they are told of course, many of them actually believe that Michael Jackson is innocent rather than "not guilty" although "innocent" and "not guilty" do not mean the same thing at all. That though is less bizarre than the fact that many Americans still believe that Michael Jackson is or at least was once talented. (Watch this blog for shocking revelations about Bubbles the Chimp.) So perhaps because Jackson believes he is Jesus this explains why so many American guys have been happy to let their kids share his bed. After all, if they aren't bothered about what Jesus is doing with their wives...

In 2003 most Americans were happy to believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq although all the evidence suggested there were none. Now, after being instructed by the God bothering president and his cohorts those same people believe there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq despite the evidence that there are vast numbers of them. All property of the U.S. military.

Another thing I noticed was the unwillingness of middle class Americans to discuss VietNam with me. When I raised this with my girlfriend's Dad, a journalist and former war correspondent he explained American patriotism. Rarely it seems will an American enter a conversation in which a non - American might criticise America because to even answer politely would be interpreted as un - American. He also told me that people were shocked that I would criticise various aspects of British life. "That boy should learn to love his country" people told Joe, as if in loco parentis he would set me straight. They could not understand that I did love my country to such an extent that I did not feel it necessary to convince people that I loved my country. I love England as I love my wife, in spite of its imperfections. Maybe I really love England because of its imperfections.

Across the pond it is different. People need to be seen to love their country as they need to be seen to love their God. What was it Jesus told the disciples…? "everything they do, they do only to be seen doing it." I wonder does that really count for anything.

Such up front displays of religiosity and patriotism as I was witness to are alien to us pagan British of course. But it does explain that statistic. And perhaps there is some truth in it after all. It would be interesting to know how many American women shout "Oh Jesus Christ" at the climactic moment.

Is virginity really worth saving Read the story of the 107 year old Chinese woman who is Saving It Until She Is Married and you might change your mind.
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Some Americans don't like their kids speaking English like wot we do.

Posted: 2005-06-13 - 19:46:08

Some American academics are concerned about the number of British slang words and colloquialisms that are finding their way into the pure and beautiful American language after being picked up from TV shows and films. One particular individual who shall be nameless because he is probably the type of small minded, humourless bastard who would sue, is getting his knickers in a right old twist and throwing hissy fits about it every chance he gets. And what are these colloquialisms he finds so irritatingly un-American? Well his favourites are "gone missing" and "at the end of the day."

When I read this I was like "No Way! That is just so not true. British street slang, gone missing? As if? And it isn't like we are not hearing Americanisms 24/7 is it.

The good professor feels that "gone missing" is a typical example of sloppy British grammar and should never be used instead of that Fine, upright, stars-and-stripes-waving, silver-ring-thinging Americanism "gone astray."

It is a generalisation and very unfair to say that Americans do not get irony, but there is a certain class of American of whom that is true. The "aspirational middle class" not only do not do irony, they do not do humour at all. And so the effect of "gone missing" is lost on them. When something has gone missing it implies an act of will was involved. Things go astray in the mail, people go missing with the funds from the social club. Other than that, gone astray is no more American than Apple Pie (which is actually German, it was brought to Britain by the Saxons.) "Gone astray" is perfectly standard English grammar and to use it where "gone missing" is more appropriate it to condemn us all to that sterile and colourless version of English spoken by corporate managers, the style immortalised in that early Microsoft Grammar checker that would have had us change references to Dick Van Dyke into Penis van Lesbian.


The other phrase singled out for attention is "at the end of the day." Now I can't understand how this was noticed as BBC America does not screen Football Focus, nor even Soccer Focus. "At the end of the day" does not strike me as particularly British, in fact it has the idiom of those American management buzz words and phrases that began to creep into the language in the 1970s. You know, the ones that use ten words when one would do, "at this moment in time" instead of "now", "we have an ongoing situation" instead of "we're clueless," etc.

We are told however that it is mightily offensive to use "at the end of the day" instead of that modest and unpretentious phrase "in the end." Now when have you ever heard an American say "in the end" rather than "in the final analysis." American English loves wordiness, police officers say "I need for you to sand up" instead of just "stand up please," salesmen say "I have to meet with" rather than "I have to meet," blind to the sheer impossibility of meeting yourself.

At the end of the day of course, it is a trivial matter but annoying because it is another example of America's habit of claiming everything as its own, splitting the atom, inventing the computer, Catherine Zeta Jones, apple pie and now the English language.

With respect to our American friends here at it is time we fought back. We should recruit bloggers around the world, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa, India, Pakistan and we should overwhelm American academic institutions with slang, patois, lingua franca and parliari.

American my khyber! They'll soon be on their twos and threes begging for mercy if we start to throw rhyming slang at them. After a few days the guy who started this will be as sick as a parrot.

I will start tomorrow if I can find a window in my diary.

Parliari (Polari) the underground slang - parliari was orignially used by travellers and circus folk. Later it evolved into Polari, the slang of showbusiness people, prostitutes, drug users and homosexuals, people who might not want morally uptight individuals knowing what they were talking about. If you are as irreverent as I am here is the Bible in polari English like what it is spoke - Online slang dictionary Cockney Rhyming Slang more rhyming slang The dictionary of britspeak Boggart Blog Daily Keep up with our daily posts of crazy humour and topica satire

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Everyone's Gone To The Moon

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-11 - 19:08:39

It was probably around forty years ago that a geeky student wandered onto the Top Of The Pops set and warbled a song about the degeneration of Society. Everyone's Gone To The Moon was Jonathan King's first hit record. I the years that followed we all wished he would go to the moon. Or at least fuck off somewhere…anywhere.

Time passed and King did eventually go, not to the moon but the next best place, Wormwood Scrubs Prison, convicted of sexual offences involving minors. Now just in case anyone is thinking "hmm, fading pop star becomes kiddie fiddler - are we looking as parallels with Michael Jackson here?" it should be made clear that Jonathan King was born to look like a pervert; Jackson paid a fortune in order to look that way.

No, it is the song that should interest us because in a week when a sociological report stated that our towns, the hubs of our communities, have no atmosphere the lyrics start to look disturbingly prophetic. We all seem to have gone to the moon in one way or another. Globalisation has made the world more homogenised than ever. The same shops selling the same products fill shopping areas everywhere and there is little difference in going into a Macdonald's or a Starbucks in Bradford or Budapest. Though we may be in a different place we are not in a strange place. This might be comforting to some people but there are those of us who still like to wake up and find ourselves in very strange places (I draw the line at Texas of course.) National and local cultures no longer exist, traditional foods are tweaked to suit the western palate, we hear the same songs in different languages, wear the same clothes, watch the same TV programs albeit years behind the current series and we all bow to the same Gods, profit and trade.

Its almost enough to make me yearn for those brave days when Jonathan King first put himself inside young people's heads. Almost.

NOTE: Before anyone fires off a mail note telling me how wonderful Texas is, I know. A very wonderful person who lives in Dallas tells me so very often. I hope I will be seeing her later in the year. And she knows I'm only teasing.

Janet Caldwell

To Boldly Go - Boggart Blog reports on Captain James T Kirk's latest voyages.
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Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonda
You can have too much of a good thing - but how much Jane Fonda is enough?

Posted: 2005-06-10 - 20:23:41

There has been no getting away from Jane Fonda this week as she flitted around the media promoting her new something or other. One can very quickly have too much of a very ordinary thing of course and another ageing star peddling a cathartic memoir of a dysfunctional childhood is very ordinary these days.

Ms Fonda a pert and lovely sixty something first popped up on Jonathan Ross's talk show, then after giving us a full weekend respite to lull us into a false sense of security she launched a campaign of shock and awe. One day she was on TVAM, then on This Morning. Almost beaten into submission I went out for the afternoon, returning just in time for Richard and Judy. Who was the main guest? None other than Jane effing Fonda.

Now when I was a callow youth Barbarella fantasies were de rigeur and that famous poster helped me get a good nights sleep for many months. That was then and this is now and though I still have a thing about slender women in black second skin PVC I have no wish to know about Hanoi Jane's pelvic floor or her Elektra complex or how she copes with the horrors of ageing.

Fantasies should remain in the surreal dimension where they are untouched by the ravages of time. To me Marianne Faithfull will forever be my Mars Bar girl even though she now insists there was no Mars Bar. Let's go back to my post on philosophers for a moment, to create our own world all we have to do is invert Immanuel Kant's proposition so that it becomes "objects exist in time and space but only a human mind can give them reality. Thus, here in my little reality Mars Bars will always taste of Marianne Faithfull. Or for those readers to young to remember Marianne at her loveliest, of Sardine sandwiches.

Now perhaps people will understand why I would rather remember Jane Fonda as Cat Ballou or any other of those sexy roles she played than hear her views on the meaning of life.

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God's Little Careers Consultant

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-09 - 18:59:40

New guidelines issued by the Greek Orthodox Church bar former gynaecologists, lawyers, actors and magicians from ordination. The detailed list sets out acceptable jobs for candidate clerics, including former carpenters, teachers, nurses, politicians and former officers in the police and military. Other considered unacceptable include tavern owners, money lenders and astrologers.

Now I can see the logic in wanting former carpenters after all there is a connection, but there seem to be a few anomolies here. Why politicians and not actors, surely there is little difference in the two trades. Actors spend all their time pretending to be someone they are not and politicians spend theirs pretending to be something they are not. Neither can I see why teachers will be accepted but not tavern owners. Most of us learn far more in the pub than we ever did at school. And why are astrologers not welcome, to go from astrologer to priest simply involves swapping one kind of unreality for another.

Magicians too seem to be very well qualified. "I want to to put this biscuit in your mouth and then take a little sip of wine as I say Abracadabra, and it will turn into the flesh and blood of the Messiah. Just like that. Lawyers too are ideal.

"I put it to you that on the third of May Mrs Papadopoulos and yourself went to the Corinthian motel and indulged in various lewd acts. Do not deny it Mr. Leandros, there are witnesses. You were seen by the hotel receptionist, the chambermaid and God.

Gynaecologists however is understandable. Who could know better that what most men think is heaven can look pretty unattractive in some circumstances.

There are signs that some atheists are trying to turn science into a God, which is far more faithful toi the origins of religion than they imagine. Read The Faithful Atheists of Genoa and see just how the evangelical unbelievers are promoting their faith.

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Keywords: [ god ] [ religion ] [careers ]
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The World's 100 Greatest Ideas

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-07 - 19:36:22

For the benefit of non Brits, Radio 4 is a rather highbrow radio station (lots of serious discussion - until now - no shock jocks. They will not be employing me after this.)


Maybe it is something to do with the fact that the competitor who comes fourth gets nothing, but media organisations associated with the number 4 seem to have developed an obsession with finding the greatest. Look at all those progs. on Channel 4, The greatest screen villains, the greatest film moment, the greatest love songs etc.etc. Now it seems even dusty old Radio 4 is getting in on the act. What greatest could the radio station associated with the Shipping Forecast and "A Book At Bedtime" be interested in?

It could only be a poll to find the world's greatest philosopher. Last time Radio 4 ventured into this area it was a project to find the nation's 100 favourite poems, so why only one greatest philosopher. Obviously it would be quite a struggle to name more than two philosophers unless you are the kind of person who knows the Monty Python Philosopher Song by heart but surely between us we could muster enough votes for…. say Archiephalos of Paros (what? No, neither had I 'til I just searched the web, but it’s a great name. ) to make it interesting. Now Soren Kierkegaad versus John Stuart Mill is unlikely to arouse the same level of public interest as the current competition going on between Abi Titmuss and Rebecca Loos to be the best slapper on Celebrity Love Island but there is a danger that we will overlook the potential of this unassuming little sideshow. The point is rather than just voting for the person we most fancy in a reality TV show we get the chance to vote on the nature of reality itself.

"Objects exist in reality but only a human mind can surround the with time and space." - Immanuel Kant.

"When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Freidrich Neitsche

"Don't bother about ethics, just do the right thing." - Ozzy Osbourne.

See what I mean? When you get into that kind of stuff who gives a shit if Bohemian Rhapsody is a better Video than Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax. Or perhaps you don't see (Reaching for the stars he forgets the flowers at his feet: - Jeremy Bentham) but it seems to hit the spot for Radio 4 listeners.

But who listens to Radio 4. Well I don't, I would not know about this but for my brother telling me. Listening to the very highbrow talk radio station is one of those secret vices people do not care to admit to, rather like being a poet or voting for the Conservatives.

(I am not a poet, I want to be quite clear about that, so I have written a few poems in my time; I've smoked a few joints in my time too but that doesn't make me a drug addict OK? I am not ashamed of having written poems but I try to discourage young people from doing it. The sixties was a more generous era, there was no stigma attached to eccentricity…..Let's leave it at that eh…..No, I do not need to seek professional help…..No, I don't think group therapy can do me any good. I do a bit of poetry now and again but I can handle it, hell, its only free verse, I'm not shooting up sonnets or anything.)

What kind of people listen to Radio 4 and are therefore going to be choosing our greatest philosopher? Well certainly not the kind of people who choose our greatest soap sex bomb. Let me think.

I guess women who smell of Yardley's English Lavender and wear big knickers even after the second date. Men who smoke pipes and think Jordan is a small middle eastern country - that type. My point is Radio 4 listeners are not cool so can they be trusted with such an important task? Will anybody get any votes?

The kind of people we are talking about are not naturals for getting involved in interactive media projects. They would sooner bash out a witty letter to editor of The Times, or raise matters of national importance with their Member of Parliament. Can you imagine such people having watched Pop Idol clone The X Factor just to see if the Madwoman from Manchester would take a chainsaw to the judges necks as we did in our house?

Radio 4 listeners are from a different planet. Convinced yet? Cast your mind back if you can to the 100 favourite poems thing a few years ago. What won? If. effing If by Rudyard bloody Kipling. Eskimo Nell did not get a look in and neither did I am the Vicar of St. Paul's by Spike Milligan. People who can choose If over either of those are certainly gazing into the abyss.

The bookies have Neitsche as front runner at the moment, with St. Augustine a rather surprising well - fancied contender. QED, we must throw this poll open to tabloid readers and people who watch Big Brother now, otherwise the one philosophical pronouncement that resonates in the consciousness of the entire nation will be overlooked. There is still time, or as they say "at the end of the day John, it’s a game of two halves."

BTW apologies to people who really do listen to Radio 4, it’s a great station. I'm a Guardian readers as well as a closet poet.

And now for something completely different

Monty Python's Philosopher Song

The Philosopher's Song (Monty Python)

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant

Who was very rarely stable.

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar

Who could think you under the table.

David Hume could out-consume

Schopenhauer and Hegel,

And Wittgenstein was a beery swine

Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya

'Bout the raising of the wrist.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,

On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.

Plato, they say, could stick it away

Half a crate of whiskey every day.

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,

Hobbes was fond of his dram,

And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:

"I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;

A lovely little thinker

but a bugger when he's pissed!

Monty Python

Python Songs and more online

BBC Radio 4 Today - see what its all about

Is philosophy more dangerous than religion?

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The Road Charge To Nowhere

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-06 - 19:42:53

Have you just driven through the chaos of rush hour on your way home from the office, or perhaps elbowed your way onto a commuter train for a slow and uncomfortable journey. Whatever your travelling arrangements I expect you have given a few moments thoughts to the Government's latest idea for dealing with the transport crisis, Road Charges.

"Yes," you probably thought, "these bloody roads should be charged with criminal offences. I agree, the M25 deserves an ASBO and that thug of a road, the M6 should be nicked for Actual Bodily Harm. Then of course there is my old friend the A666 (cur "O Fortuna" by Carl Orff) which is guilty of deception because it tempts bikers to think they are on a winding lane that crosses the blasted heath rather than a trunk route. Except that just as they are flattening out a bend they come face to face with a thirty - two ton Mercedes. Another road that falls into the deception class is the A59 which disguises itself as a dual carriageway to tempt innocents into head-ons. The more serious charge of fraud would be appropriate for the pack horse trail from Blackburn to Bolton, which masquerades as a road, acting in criminal conspiracy with the suppliers of tyres, exhausts and shock absorbers.

Bringing a successful prosecution would be more difficult than finding a sane witness in the Michael Jackson trial of course, so let's be sensible. Or, all things being relative, slightly more sensible.

The plan to charge cars £1.30 a mile (or to put it in perspective, £143 for a two hour visit to my mother - something I like to do every month,) is nothing to do with the congestion problem, it is just another tax scam. Credit where it is due though, it is a damned clever scam. We can't win.

At face value road charges are a worthy attempt to persuade John and Mary Punter to leave the gas guzzling SUV at home and use public transport. Very laudable, but as anyone who has tried to use public transport outside London will know, it is impossible to get anywhere by public transport unless one has; unlimited funds, infinite time, the patience of a statue, the brain of Steven Hawking (to understand ticket use regulations) and the demeanour of a Rotweiller with piles. For public transport users in London patience is not so important as the need to have agoraphobia and no sense of smell.

Dig a level deeper and the scam is to introduce a new stealth tax that will hit hardest at the lifestyles of the most needy. Poor people need to go places to, sometimes for regenerative reasons rather than practical ones. We should stick with the practical however. Taking the Austin Maestro down to the supermarket it an unpleasant enough without having to suffer the shock of learning on arrival that you have spent the entire food budget on driving to the place where food is sold. Quick witted Daily Mail readers will have spotted the hidden benefit of road charges of course, if the poor can only afford to go to the job centre and the local thrift store it will mean the resorts, national parks and tourist centres will be free of nasty, scruffy, unwashed people in outfits from Matalan and thus safer and more hygienic for nice middle class people who can afford the £1.30 a mile it costs to get there.

The scam goes deeper still though, I suspect it is the latest variation to exploit the "oh that's not so bad" syndrome that afflicts the Anglo Saxon mindset. This works like so: the government throws up and idea (bleaghhhhooooeeeerrrrggggh - there it is, next to that bit of undigested carrot) Shock, horror! they say, congestion is destroying the fabric of society. The only way we can pay for the cost of solving the problem is by charging you all to use the roads. Spy satellites will monitor your cars and the cost of your road use will be deducted directly from wages.

There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth as people start to calculate that it will cost them more to travel to and from work than they actually earn. Single parent support groups will point out that many parents are already paying out more than they earn in child care costs. After protests, a concert organised by Bob Geldof and mass suicides the Government will announce "actually chaps we have reviewed our costings and find that we only need to slap and extra 25pence a litre on fuel.

And we heave a collective sigh of relief and say "oh, that's not so bad." And we forget that none of this actually involves the government doing a single thing that needs to be done in order to address the problems, like renationalising the railways and bus services.

Am I becoming a bitter and twisted old fart or has anybody else noticed that the people who profit most from the private public transport system are all contributors to Labour, the party of the working people?

Road charges

Department of Transport

O Fortuna (music from The Omen trilogy and a famous ad for After Shave - dowload a midi (very small file)by clicking the link

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Children From Hell

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-03 - 19:37:05

Children are like farts, your own aren't so bad but anyone else's are horrible." How many times has that been said by people in my age group I wonder.

Having reached the brink of old-githood I can now look forward to being able to say "I love children, but only if they are served with Hollandaise sauce." A quip from comedian W.C. Fields of course, the comedian who claimed he had developed a look that could kill a child at 50 paces. Some readers may still be looking forward to spawning your own sprogs and playing happy families for a decade or so. Be warned, the sentimentalisation of children is just a cynical plot devised by the ruling elite to make us all abandon our carefree early adult years and conform. Trust me on this, the time between the two year old deciding that Mr. Ploppy likes to sit in the sugar bowl and the adolescent falling victim to hormone fuelled mood swings is of only a few days duration. Or so it seems for children eat time as they eat everything they can get their hands on (including Mr. Ploppy if they are young enough.)

The ruling elite easily dismiss fears about parenthood. Well they would, being able to afford nannies they need not see their disgusting offspring from immediately after the christening or naming ceremony to the insufferably trendy, until its is time to say "goodbye darling, we have enrolled you in an excellent school." Being able to delegate parental responsibility to the hired help until well after that awkward period when hair starts to sprout in funny places and body piercings start to sprout in the funny places where hair does not grow masks most of the horrors and actually lends parents a certain social cachet.

The incurably sentimental will by now be thinking "how can he be so heartless, children are a gift from God." Can people not see, children are from Hell.

I have always felt that somewhere along the line religion got it horribly wrong. If we accept the standard definition of God then He gave us mortality, guilt, war, disease, religion, the missionary position, Britney effing Spears, piles and children. On the other hand the Devil's works include recreational sex, recreational drugs, recreation, sex, Pamela Anderson, over indulgence and contraceptives. It’s a no brainer isn't it? Just as the world's most religious country keeps electing the wrong President the people who invented religion elected the wrong God. If the other guy had got in women would have deposited a tiny egg in a flower, cocooned it in silk and got on with their lives. Twenty one years later a fully formed adult would have emerged and taken its place in society without ever once having demanded Turkey Twizzlers, an iPod, a hoodie, expensive trainers or vast sums of money.

My anti - child stance can be traced back to the time when old fashioned bringing - up - kids, a process of trial and error that most of us seemed to negotiate without having to resort to nailing the little brats feet to the floor, suddenly morphed into parenting, a skill that had to be learned at great expense from people with degrees in childcare or worse still from self - help books written by Californian fuckwits or worthy but boring British ladies who take themselves far too seriously. Nowadays the parenting industry has grown to such an extent there are even TV shows dedicated to making struggling parents feel inadequate. In these shows Professional Nannies who bear a more than passing resemblance to Bette Davis, Rebecca de Mornay or Glenn Close knock into shape both children and parents by acting like a drill sergeant in the Paratroop regiment. The message is of course you will fail unless you SPEND SPEND SPEND.

So far neither of my offspring have shown the least inclination to make us Grandparents which is good as neither of us fancies smelling of urine, breaking out in hairy warts all over our faces or wearing cardigans. As people live longer and retain youthful attitudes into their seventies cloning starts to seem like a good option.

RELATED POSTS Who's The Daddy, Little Alfie of Damien
We are told that children are maturing younger but when the Redtops were filled with screaming headlines about little Alfie Patten who allegedly fathered a child even though his voice has not broken, his balls have not dropped and he looks no more than eight and his Devil worshipping Dad declares "I'm going to get thousands out of this we wonder who is really the father of the pregnant girl's baby? And if it is little Alfie... (cue Dies Irae chanting from CArl Orff's O Fortuna) .
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W.A.N.K (We Are Not Culpable)

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-02 - 19:18:37

As those nice people have given me lots more blogs I thought I would try a piece of comic verse to see how it goes. If you like it I might invite some friends to join me in an occasional blog.


(it stands of We Are Not Kulpable)

(believe that and you'll believe anything)

Davros the Dalek leader

Had evolved to a very high plane

With no arms legs or hips

And no diddly bits

Nothing at all just a brain

It made him quite misanthropic

And totally deficient in mirth

But if he could only have managed a wank

Would he need to conquer the Earth

The evil villain in Star Wars

Was a slug called Jabba the Hutt

His body was chubby

But his arms were quite stubby

And could not reach past his gut.

The Hutt was a criminal genius

At swindling the galactic bank

But would he have turned out so nasty

If he could have had the odd wank

Vader, warlord of the Dark Side

Was half man and half machine.

If some electronic bodger

Hadn't messed up his todger

Would he have become quite so mean?

If only he could have indulged in

The occasional five fingered shuffle

That might have quelled pent up aggression

And so kept Darth out of trouble.

Do you begin to discern a pattern

That seems to stand out quite plain

To avoid feeling funky

Stay home, slap the monkey

Sexual frustration's a bane

It is true that the leading religions

All declare masturbation a sin

But we do no harm to our fellows

And will all go to hell with a grin

Whereas all the religious nutters

Bush, Blair, Osama, Saddam

And the other fanatics

Who applaud their tactics

Really do not give a damn.

Mullahs, evangelists, ayatollahs

Can love neither human nor beast.

The righteous may rant but bashing your bishop

Will strike a blow for world peace.

Coulld the writer of this poem be in the running for the post of Poet Laureate? Read some of his poems celebrating Royal Occasions - but if you are a fan of the monarchy perhaps you had best ignore this link; Boggart Blogger To Be Poet Laureate? Boggart Blog Daily Keep up with our daily posts of crazy humour and topica satire

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Apocalypse North

by ianrthorpe @ 2005-06-01 - 18:54:40

Apocalypse North

As the film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse penetrates the public consciousness I brace myself for the usual barrage of questions along the lines of "is the north really that scary Ian?" The simple answer is "No…. Its scarier."

People in the more refayned sithe cannot get their heads round northern England at all. Only a decade ago I had to put up with a colleague whose idea of a rural idyll was a shoebox semi-detached somewhere in the giant Bovis homes utopia that lies between Watford and Milton Keynes constantly harping on about Coronation Street and coal in the bath. Eventually I showed him a picture of the view from my front window at the time, looking across the Calder Valley towards Pendle Hill. Then I warned him never to come to Accrington and say "ee bah goom" or "poot kettle on mother," or very bad things would happen.

Now those of you who have read Charlottes tribute to the charms of Harrogate might think I am doing the usual "by 'eck its grim up north tha knoz, but we're all 'ard bastards,"


And forget the big cities like Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. They have gone soft and southerner friendly, their names reek of Body Shop and Chardonnay; some of them even have branches of Harvey Nicks. Beyond those metropolitan Meccas of Upward Mobility lie the towns that time forgot. In such places the real north, land of Royston Vaseyish weirdos. If you want to see the north as nature intended you must gird up your loins and go native, mix with eel swallowers, toad botherers, men with ferrets down their trousers and pigeon molesters. They might be barm pots but they are our barm pots and we will defend them with our last drop of blood.

I was once asked had I ever had sex in a graveyard. Up here anyone who hasn't had sex in a graveyard is a virgin and anyone who hasn't had sex with one of the permanent inhabitants of a graveyard is a wimp. Do you remember those Essex girl jokes, the best of which were about having sex in a Ford Capri. To a northern lass sex in a Ford Capri is an undreamed of luxury, having sex on the back seat of the bus is as good as it gets. We had better jokes about the northern lasses of course: how do you know when a Yorkshire girl has an orgasm - she drops her bag of chips. (if any American readers have found their way here, that's "fries,")

A safe itinerary for newcomers to the north is the trek that follows the River Ribble inland. As you get further from the coast you will notice eyebrows getting bushier and hairlines getting lower until at Blackburn the natives the two merge and the foreheads disappears. A few miles further on and in Accrington we start to see more people with a single, central eye. We cannot follow the Ribble now, it swings northwards to the lands inhabited by Shakespeare's "wild men of Lancashire" and so we head east following the River Calder upstream as it takes us through Nelson and Colne. Here you will see the traditional rows of neat terraced houses, each having a hairless child with bad teeth and a banjo sitting on the doorstep. These unfortunate infants are waiting for the pieman to collect them.

They will be back home in a few days though, each wearing a brand new coat of short crust pastry.

Is the north really as scary as The League of Gentlemen's mythical Royston Vasey you still wonder. I should tell you these effete young actors planned to film in my locality but found the locals frightened them and they relocated to civilised Derbyshire. There are plenty of oddballs in small towns everywhere of course, but we northerners are odd in a much more sinister way. Things have improved in the past century and a half however. Since we exported all our religious nuts to America we no longer burn old women for being ugly and owning cats.

The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse

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