Tuesday, 26 July 2016

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

Hullo, Justin here...
                                           
Whilst I am aware that I often begin my thoughts for the day with cricket musings, giving rise often to Mr Hassan (especially) saying, “Oh no. Not bloody cricket AGAIN!”, I think the England team’s current performance in the second test against Pakistan certainly bears mention. Having been soundly beaten in the first test, the England batters responded brilliantly in searing heat to post a magnificent total, then went on to remove Pakistani batsmen willy-nilly. Mr Hassan made light of the oppressive heat, pointing out that a great- uncle of his actually melted in the Great Drought of 1910 just outside Nagpur. His point evaded me.
                                          
My lady wife and I did manage to get away for a few days gentle brass-rubbing, driving ourselves believe it or not in our Archdiocese-approved Mini with the young man with the wire in his ear following closely behind in his huge 4x4. We headed first to Clittery Ambo, deep in the Gloucestershire countryside, there to seek the church of St Mabel the Marginal with its famed twin tombs of Sir Clovis Clitter and his lady wife Clementine. Disappointingly, we found the village overrun with young people clutching Smartphones, playing something called Pokemon Go. After a distinctly moderate cream tea at the Jam ‘n ‘ Stuff cafe, we moved on and not ten miles further stumbled across St Alan’s in the Midden parish church, a delightful 15th century pile. Sadly, it was closed, but the ever-resourceful young man with the wire in his ear called a colleague, the vicarage was located and soon I was knocking on its door. Unfortunately, the vicar, a Miss Eugenie Bone, did not recognise me and refused to believe I was who I said I was. Then she called the Police. You might imagine the confusion this caused. What WOULD Jesus have done? However, the attending officer did recognise me, called The Rev Bone a cloth-eared silly old bat, saluted the young man with the wire in his ear, after sneaking a look at his Glock, and bade us be on our way.
                                            
So, I look forward to our Autumn break, and some better-researched brass rubbing ventures although my lady wife has expressed a preference for somewhere called Ibiza – or is it Ibitha – which sounds distinctly foreign. We shall see.

Pip, pip,


Justin.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

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

Hullo.

Justin here,
                                     
It goes without saying that I was, and still am elated by the performance of the England Cricket team, sparkling as it did with individual achievement of the highest order. Of course, detractors abound, sadly my lady wife amongst them, preferring as she does the relative violence and bloodshed of rugby. My Mr Hassan was also unimpressed, citing the difference in population numbers between England and Sri Lanka. The latter, he supposed only has “a couple of hundred folk in it”, adding, “and most of them is like, yer hunter-gatherers” Previous experience has taught me not to pursue debates with Mr Hassan. Nevertheless, I cherish the memory of Alistair Cook’s 10,000 runs and the lethal smoothness of Jimmy Anderson’s run up, culminating as it so often does in bails and stumps parting company.
                                     
But I digress. Like the rest of the country, the big talking point here at The Palace is the European referendum. Personally, I pray for an outcome which will make everybody happy and content, but my experience in business tells me that will not be so. There are deep differences between those who wish to remain part of Europe and those who wish to go it alone – ferociously so if Mrs Clench, one of our elderly Sunday School volunteers is to be believed. She is approaching 90, and Mrs Clench’s family was bombed out during WW2 and she has strong opinions about Germans. Like Mr Hassan, Mrs Clench does not listen to reason and believes that Adolf Hitler is in fact frozen, cryogenically preserved, somewhere in Argentina – ready, at the push of a button to spring back to life and “take over from that tubby woman what runs the place now”.
                                     
The young man with the wire in his ear takes a more realistic view. His first thoughts were that if you seek public opinion, those opinions will be rubbish. His second was that if the US administration  thinks the UK should stay in Europe, then that’s what we should do because the US has bigger guns than us. I did point out that President Obama’s (I’ve shared Shredded Wheat with him) time was coming to an end and asked what on earth would the dreadful Donald Trump’s position on Europe be. The young man with the wire in his ear laughed and said, “Even stupid Americans wouldn’t vote that clown into the White House”. I confess that as he walked away, I thought I saw the glitter of doubt in his eye.

Pip, pip,

Justin

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Pangolin Newsflash!

Glossop Secretary sent home with No Supper for refusing to wear Bondage Gear at work

Legal secretary Gertrude Peng (78) has been sent home with no pay from her £8,500 per annum job with Greebo, Perv and Leer Solicitors of Glossop. It has emerged that the directors of this legal firm made it a requirement that their staff should be 'appropriately dressed', and Eggbert Greebo (142) told The Pangolin that it was important the clients should realise that high standards of discipline and restraint were paramount in this company. Of course, being a legal firm, they have totally failed to issue any contracts of employment and have since denied that they'd ever seen Ms Peng.
© Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

"It was awful", Ms Peng told The Pangolin. "How was I supposed to do my nails and stare out of the window dressed like that?"

Unfortunately, her troubles have not ended there. Her sorry tale of working as a receptionist at Cadaver, Necro and Cadaver Funeral Parlour of Wincy Street, Bletchington, will be covered (or uncovered) in a future article.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

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

Hullo, Justin here…
                                   
What a week it has been! First and foremost on my To Do list was finalising arrangements for our Spring Fayre, including the first public appearance of a local beat combo called “God is Dead”. I must admit that I found their name something of a problem, but happily, after a swift private conversation with Mr Hassan and the young man with the wire in his ear, they agreed to appear on the programme as “God is Quite Possibly Not Dead”, which for me at least was something of a relief. 
When I later enquired of Mr Hassan how so swift a solution had been found, he replied somewhat archly, that he had threatened to cut their amp jacks off. Whatever that might mean. 

My lady wife’s organizing of the Lambeth Speed-knitting teams was faultless. It was a close-run thing with Palace Purls just edging out late entries Westminster Cast-Offs with an utterly splendid 37 metres of Fairisle scarf. 

The following morning I woke early, to be briefed by the young man with the wire in his ear about our breakfast guest – none other than President Barak Obama! The young man with the wire in his ear was terribly excited. After insisting that I wore an anti-stab vest, he, my lady wife and I stood and watched The President and The First Lady and their entourage enter. The young man with the wire in his ear kept nudging me whilst surreptitiously pointing at various members of Mr Obama’s group, and whispering things like, “Glock 19, Smith and Wesson 44, Browning Hi-power". I am pleased to say that no weapons of any sort were seen during our simple repast. Mr Obama put us all at our ease and even cracked jokes, likening the offered Shredded Wheat to roof insulation.
   
Then, of course, he and Mrs Obama had to leave the Palace and travel to another royal residence, there to congratulate our Queen upon her 90th birthday. I am of course sworn to secrecy with regard to what happened during that momentous coming together although I can confirm that whilst a dog bite was suffered by the bearer of the Glock 19, no animals were shot. Apparently, he missed. So, in the words of The Bard – all’s well that ends well!

Pip! Pip!

Justin.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

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

Hullo,
         
Justin here.
                           
Oh my goodness – where to start? Just as I was coming to terms with my need to deliver sermons with rather more vim and vigour than hitherto, I am confronted with depressing world issues which demand responses.
                          
Let me begin with Mr Donald Trump, the American would-be president so apparently beloved by an alarming number of his fellow countrypersons. I have listened attentively to his policy speeches and sadly, can only assume that he is conducting a rather long-winded practical joke, or indeed, that he is a narrow-minded super-rich bigot. My Mr Hassan and the young man with the wire in his ear have both offered their opinions but I simply cannot publish them here.
                       
And I do feel for the poor Port Talbot steel workers and their families. It is indeed ironic that the owner’s name, Tata, is a diminutive of “goodbye”. I do hope not.
                      
But as my lady wife will attest, I have been plunged into the slough of despond by England’s cricketing loss to the West Indies. Frankly, I am not a fan of the limited 20 over version of the game with its rather brutal hit and hope philosophy. For me at least, a game between two teams of professional cricketers should last three days. It should be interrupted at least twice by rain and/or bad light. Batsmen should score thoughtfully, glancing the ball delicately, unencumbered by body armour and high-impact helmets, whilst the crowd should be large enough to be heard occasionally , never indulge in coarse shouting and never rejoice in names like “The Barmy Army”. But those days are dear, dead and beyond recall. Nevertheless, I do feel for honest toilers like Ben Stokes – so reminiscent of the fast-bowling village blacksmith of days gone by and who was clouted for six four times in his final over.
   
What would Jesus have done? Well he would probably have stoically accepted the result and moved on. Which is exactly what I shall do. There is much to arrange here at the Palace especially with regard to the imminent Palace Spring Fayre. I shall need all my diplomatic skills to avoid the inclusion of events like The Archdiocese Wet Tee-shirt Contest and a performance by a local pop-group called, apparently, “God is Dead”

Pray for me.

Pip, pip,


Justin

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

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

Hullo,
          
Justin here. Last Saturday, joy was boundless in our home thanks to the Herculean efforts of the English Rugby Union team. I say boundless although our Mr Hassan seemed unimpressed, calling the game “an imperialist power struggle”. Whilst I don’t quite see it that way, I must confess to relying upon my lady wife and the young man with the wire in his ear to explain the finer points to me. I, of course am a devotee of leather ‘pon willow.
         
Nevertheless, the English victory and the passions aroused thereby served to remind me that I had resolved to inject my Sunday sermon with, for want of a better term, a bit more vim.
       
Now, I am ever mindful that our God is a forgiving God. What would Jesus have done, I wondered. However, like Our Lord when faced with moneylenders in the Temple, I decided not to mince my words. I roundly condemned political double-speak, the reduction of disability allowances, badger culling, soccer players’ salaries, the fox hunting lobby, pornography, paedophilia, the cost of HS2, and people traffickers, pausing occasionally to strike the lectern in front of me.
      
The effect was stunning. I saw with my own eyes transfixed parishioners, several biting their hassocks. The service concluded with “Onward, Christian Soldiers!” and my hand was shaken so often that as I type, I wear an elastic support. I confess that afterwards I lay in a darkened room for a while. Forgiveness is far less exhausting than hell and damnation.

Pip, Pip,

Justin