Monday, 16 March 2015

Pangolin Obituaries

The death is announced of Lord Tangerine of Plinth at the age of 162. 

A spokesman for the family said, “Lord Tangerine will be sadly missed by his family and friends. Always unconventional and adventurous, the then Aubrey St John Twatter, roamed the Empire working eventually as a string measurer in India for some time where he gained the trust and admiration of local nabobs. 

When he left India for Krakatoa he held the title of Kumquat of Mysore. The explosion of Krakatoa rendered the soon to be Lord dazed and confused and his return to England was marked by several brushes with the law. 

Our picture was used in court proceedings against him when answering a charge of standing like a ponce in a public place".

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Thought for the day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant


Justin here,
I speak to you today in a quite exhausted condition after Tuesday’s Inter-religious Reconciliation reception here at the Palace. Were it not for the good offices of the young man with the wire in his ear and his 47 colleagues, the whole event may have descended into an unseemly brawl. 
I did notice, whilst rehearsing my speech, that said young man was in fact wearing his shoulder holster. I questioned him about this. He said, “Archie, you can’t be too careful at dos like this. Any one of them religious types could kick off at any time, know what I mean? And they’ll all be bringing their own minders too. Which is why I’ve drafted a few of the lads in.”
My lady wife had worked tirelessly with the caterers [Godfood R Us] to provide a wonderful array of things on sticks and pastries to be offered to our guests at the end of my welcoming speech – which, incidentally, went well despite the presence of Father Brendan McGhastlie, a notoriously argumentative Scots cleric.
Also present was a Mr Eric Pickles, the government minister responsible for Communities etc.Sadly, it was around this substantial gentleman that some sort of inter-religious scrum broke out during my closing remarks.

As the photograph shows, I had met Mr Pickles before my speech and had found him to be a most pleasant and accommodating fellow.
However, no sooner had I finished speaking, than the cry of “Who ate all the pies?” went up (in several languages) near the buffet area. Respectfully forcing my way through a press of Buddhists, Quakers, Muslims and at least three Primitive Baptists, I found Mr Pickles being wrestled to the ground by several young men with wires in their ears. With “Who ate all the pies?” ringing in my ears, whilst thinking, “What would Jesus have done?” I helped these watchful young men usher Mr Pickles into an ante room, where, to my horror, we found at least two dozen savoury pastries hidden about Mr Pickle’s person. Most were squashed beyond recognition.

Mr Pickles’s car was ordered forthwith and he departed, claiming that the pies had been planted on him by his political enemies.

There will have to be an official enquiry, apparently. But that is for another day. Presently, I am thankful and relieved that my lady wife forestalled any further upsets by sending waiters around the excited throng with large jugfuls of her special water and soon inter-religious bonhomie ruled, interspersed with snatches of, “There was a vicar, a priest and a rabbi…..” followed by gales of inter-religious laughter. So all’s well that ends well….

Pip, pip,


Friday, 27 February 2015

Thought for the Day, with Justin Webly, more or less Arch of Cant

Justin here.
As you may have read in the newspapers or seen on television recently, the Church of England is presently embroiled in controversies about how much it pays its employees. Apparently, the Church barely meets the basic living wage in many instances. Quite frankly, I was shocked that, for example, that the cheerful little fellow who opens the Long Car door for me when I attend official functions only receives £6.70p per hour. I confided these concerns to my constant companion, the young man with the wire in his ear. He seemed unmoved and said, “Well, he only opens a door every now and then. How hard can that be? Besides, what does he do when he’s not opening doors? Probably lolls about the place eating free cake”. I confess that I had given little thought to the possibility of Palace multi-tasking. I resolved to find out.
First, I arranged a meeting with my chief accountant, a Mrs Evadne Flint, known, according to my lady wife as “Ice Eyes”.
Mrs Flint was indeed rather off-putting. I must admit to being wary of people who never blink. However, she was able to confirm that not only was my Long Car Door Opener paid a pittance, but that thousands of other Church of England employees, nationwide, were in the same boat. I was staggered and asked Mrs Flint if she thought that was ethical. For the only time during that frosty exchange did Mrs Flint’s tone and demeanor change very slightly. She blinked-just once- and said,“Ethical? What does that mean?” All deeply depressing.
But worse was to come. You may remember that some time ago, I resolved to rescue the poor and needy from the leech-like grip of Wonga, a money-lending company. Well, scanning the various papers prepared for me by Mrs Flint, I discovered that my Church has significant investments in that company!

What would Jesus have done? We all know the answer to that. So, as of next week, I shall personally instruct my financial people to sever all connections with Wonga. Further, I shall recommend in the strongest terms that anyone in the Church’s employ receiving more that £30,000 per annum should donate the difference to what I shall call The Long Car Door Opener Fund, so as to properly reward those so long overlooked and undervalued by my Church. I ran this idea past the young man with the wire in his ear, in the back of the Long Car on our way to The House of Lords the other day. Alarmingly, he choked on the Mars bar he was eating and I was obliged to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on him. Later, back at the Palace, I outlined my plan to my lady wife. She laughed heartily and then began an entirely irrelevant conversation about the early signs of dementia. We shall see, and in the modern parlance, watch this space.