Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Hullo, Justin here...
I write now that the clocks have decreed that our daylight hours shall be shorter and minds turn towards the delights and challenges of Winter. For my next sermon, I had in mind the immortal words of Monsignor GuntherTeaspoon, writer, Esperanto poet, philosopher and 1934 World Vatican Yo-Yo champion. He said, "Though I feel a bit chilly, I must remember the chillier". Wise words indeed.
However, my musings have been interrupted somewhat by what I shall call a vigorous debate about Palace Christmas arrangements which has broken out between my lady wife – aided and abetted by the young man with the wire in his ear, Mrs Wellbeloved, our head cleaner and part-time cook, Mr Alberto Hassan, one of my 27 ethnic advisers, and the sadly ailing Harold Crumbling, the Palace’s longest serving handyman. Most of these good people have in years gone by been responsible for creating Palace Christmas decorations.
It seems that for decades - well before my time in fact, the Palace has favoured what could be called a traditional theme in Christmas decorations. Indeed, last year’s Nativity scene and array of bells, candles and cotton wool snow seemed to bear witness to this being the way to go again this year. Not so – and hearing raised voices in the Lower Kitchen, I entered and found myself in the middle of a fierce argument, fragments of which I report here.
My lady wife; “The cattle are lowing, the baby awoke. Its there, in the words of the carol for goodness sake!”
Young man with the wire in his ear; “Can’t argue with that, matey”
Mr Hassan: “Oh yes I can. It’s a typical white, middle class, Christian, Dickensian load of hokum!”
At this point I intervened to point out that Christmas is, in fact, a Christian festival. And was told to shut up and put the kettle on. Meanwhile, Mrs Wellbeloved and Mr Crumbling stridently suggested that the inhabitants of our Nativity diorama were past their best. Said Mr Crumbling; “The cow needs repainting and Joseph’s got no nose. AND I’m gettin’ too old to be lugging all that stuff about with my back.”
My lady wife seemed close to tears saying, “But it's traditional. Its what Christmas is all about!” As I sought to intervene once more, Mr Hassan banged the table and shouted, “Traditional for who, exactly? What about all the Jews and Arabs, Rastafarians, Druids, Hindus, Muslims and Inuits? What about them, eh?” This time, I did make myself heard. “But God loves everyone”, I said. At that point, Mr Hassan actually threw one of Mrs Wellbeloved’s notorious rock buns at me.
The young man with the wire in his ear swiftly bundled me from the room.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
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Tuesday, 10 November 2015
He was a celebrity. OK, he was very tiny and wore a dreadful wig, but he could sing, dance a bit and hung about with gangsters which doubtless helped with the celebrity thing in that it discouraged yobs from shouting, “Oi, wiggy, do I Done it My Way!”
Attilla the Hun had a fair old following too. You were either for or against him. If you were against him, he killed you. Certainly got him known about the place.
And Marilyn Monroe – whoa – now there was a celebrity! So it wasn’t her real name, which was Norma Postule or something, but who cared? That lady dazzled.
I could bang off an almost endless list of real celebrities... Ella Fitzgerald, Alma Cogan, Rasputin, Petula Clark, John Wayne, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Sooty, The Queen Mother, Willie Nelson… so could you.
But why were they celebrities? I will tell you. Its because they actually DID something really well. (scrub The Queen Mother although she had a hell of a wave on her). These days we’re awash with thousands, nay, millions, of alleged celebrities who haven’t really done anything. Or if they have, only a little bit of it. Or badly, or both. Why should this be?
Well its all to do with the internet, smart phones and millions of sad young bastards who haven’t got lives. The media panders to these saddoes by producing so-called newspapers which advertise “ALL THE GOSS” - that being snippets of inconsequential tittle-tattle about “Big Bro love-rat nipple ring bust-up” featuring young people you’ve never heard of who don’t actually do anything but get themselves on telly because they’re massively insecure and don’t want to be who they actually are. TV adverts help the whole thing along too with shedloads of deeply irritating, grinning fools pushing toothpaste, or in one UBER-irritating ad, a cool young man taking everything in his stride whilst DRINKING WEETABIX!! Honest. I’d fire the arrogant poser pdq.
Can anything be done about it? Probably not, but eventually Justin Bieber will be fifty and by then he will have stopped being fashionable and irritating. His place will have been taken long before that by another celeb. We can’t even SAY the word properly these days in an age which favours textspeak and WALOS means What a Load of Shite. That certainly works for me. (TCWFM)
Saturday, 3 October 2015
Hullo, Justin here.
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosomed friend of the maturing sun... Ah, Autumn... Almost upon us and even here in our sleepless city, the signs are there... falling leaves, thoughts of a still distant Christmas, and more immediately the Rugby Union World Cup. Presently, this clash of the Titans dominates our little household. My lady wife and the young man with the wire in his ear are both terribly keen on this competition, and so I am free to indulge one or two minor passions of my own.
I recently unearthed a few brass rubbings I made in my student days. One – of Sir Gilbert de Ponce and his wife Lady Edith taken from their tomb in the nave of Glossop Cathedral reminds me always that Man makes plans and God smiles. Research tells us that the ambitious Sir Gilbert and his new wife journeyed from France early in the 12th century to join the court of King William. En route from Dover to Winchester they were set upon by what appear to have been ne'er-do-wells and hobbledehoys, robbed of all their worldly goods and left naked and bruised by the roadside. I mention this by way of making the connection between circumstance and solution. Far from being discouraged, the de Ponces girded their loins with leaves, lay in wait for the next French emigrés to appear and repeated the procedure, eventually reaching King William’s court, late but unbowed, ending their days as Master and Mistress of the King’s Commode. Were theirs Christian actions ? Well, in the words of the Bard, “Needs must when the Devil’s made off with yer kecks.”
Sadly, I am tugged back to reality by shouts of “Ref! REF! – FORWARD PASS!” as Tongans jump on French heads, and try hard to weave something rugby-ish into Sunday’s sermon.