Friday 29 May 2009

Sagtrouser's economics lesson...


Mr Elias Sagtrouser confided the following ‘off the record’ information with me in The Bells the other day, while I was deciding which MP to report to the Revenue as part of my new appointment with The Telegraph.

He had been working behind the counter in his Builder’s Merchants, taking orders, making calls, shouting at thick storemen and generally being a damn good egg in his business.

A local Builder/Developer, Quentin ffoxley-Cabbage, sauntered in and casually mentioned that he was interested in taking the whole load (several thousand) of reclaimed clay tiles stacked in the yard, for a fixed price to be negotiated. ‘Q’ is a respected man, known to be generous to a fault when it comes to buying everyone several pints of bitter of a Friday after work, and so Mr Elias Sagtrouser happily agreed to let him reserve the stock for a few hours, while ‘Q’ took a sample tile to compare with the roof on the mansion he was restoring.

For consideration, Elias asked ‘Q’ if he could leave a couple of fifty pound notes on the counter as a returnable deposit, and Mr ff-C immediately peeled off a couple of notes from a collection the size of an Izal bum roll.

Mr Sagtrouser is a fair man, but like most business people struggling to pay for their MP’s expensive lifestyles, the sight of a couple of large notes going spare for a couple of hours gave him an idea.

He quickly called Jabez Moxie, a well known local brick manufacturer, and offered to pay his account in cash, as long as Jabez called round for the money immediately. This deal was gladly accepted, and a screech of brakes from an elderly Ford Transit was heard in the yard as the phone reached it's cradle.

Mr Moxie’s wife, Barbarella, needed several quid to settle up with her manicurist, where she had rashly employed Toniatellene Nuggett for three hours to make her nails look rather like the talons of a wishful nobody in ‘Hello’ magazine.

Toniatellene has a bit of a reputation for ‘services rendered’, and there’d been quite a lot of ‘rendering’ going on of late in various households. She was also struggling under her usual premise of being unsure which baked bean in the tin had made her fart, and needed a sum of cash to make sure that it didn’t happen again, for a few weeks at any rate.

So she paid Nurse Atom Heart (not her real name you understand), the two notes to get something more ‘stable’. Nursie had just relaid her bedroom flooring under the close supervision of Mr Elias Sagtrouser’s son, Meccano, and he’d unfortunately made his father a bit of a laughing stock by having to take the whole lot up when the family cat went missing, only to be discovered disguised as a bulge under the bed…

So, the two fifties finally ended up back on Mr Sagtrouser’s counter after only ninety minutes, and just as they were about to be scooped up and placed in the back pocket for safe keeping, in walked Quentin ffoxley-Cabbage as large as life and reclaimed them as the colour of the tiles was unsuitable for his job!


Everyone in the chain was now out of debt, and also breathing huge sighs of relief from the continual financial burden they were facing, and all because of ‘Q’ and his correct business-like attitude.

Politicians take note!

Tuesday 26 May 2009

For Lils and Elecs...

Before I 'really' met Mrs S, I used to join a lovely group of people at every leisure moment in our local, and afterwards, we met at various homes where we would carry on singing, laughing and usually having a few more glasses, but funnily enough, never the 'recreational' stuff...

This was the flip side of Albatross and I immediately loved the crisp guitar and simple, pounding rhythm.

So I dedicate this to two friends, here!

Saturday 23 May 2009

Chelsea concrete show...

They just don't get it do they!

Chelsea's all about growing things in gardens. This year's sponsors, Marshalls, have been making good concrete products for years. When I flogged concrete in the seventies, they were my biggest competitor, and while I recognised and noted their business, I beat them time and time again - especially when the M25 was being built, because I won most of that!

I also spent several years appearing on their main competitor's stand at Chelsea. Our stand had some paving, but it was almost covered with shrubs, colour, fountains and of course, 'men' like me and all the lovely ladies who turned up every day. We all had a marvellous time, and as I was able to smoke in those days it was paradise...

We won a Silver Gilt, or a Bronze Sod-all most years, and all sorts of silly prizes to denote some sort of skill, like 'Best Old Fart's Seat'. or 'Most Colouful Outside Commode', but the best day was the Friday, when we all got pissed/went mad and bought up all the stock on offer to the highest bidder.

Mrs S and I eventually stocked a whole garden with shrubs and cuttings from Chelsea, and we've still got (we think), some growing in the current Scroblene Towers today, or at least a few of their children.

Now, on the TV coverage, we see uniform, angular, slabulate, airport runway-emulate, council estate - admirate, apologies for a winner.

Absolutely unbelievable.

I cannot see why such a 'garden' is making any occupant sit and wonder at nature. All there is to see in these 'gardens', is a few sharp lines and a couple of greenish things lurking in the distance.

Our garden has a bend everywhere, no straight lines, vegetables planted in with the roses, cucumbers fighting the raspberries as an experiment, a runner bean (William), up the clematis by the front door, logs from a downed cherry tree in the churchyard behind in strategic spots (glass holders for emergency sips), in the bark bed, and I'm thinking of putting a few tomatoes in a hanging basket - just for kicks...

So, up yours Chelsea, you've given me a few years of fun, but the prats who exhibit, (not the professional growers - they have business acumen legs), can go jump in the ornamental-green enthused-antieverything-softoption-luvvieLondonpatio lake...sorry 'external liquid featurette.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Sad song...

Just allow a late middle aged old fart a small indulgence if you please...

In 1975, I was working for a firm based in West Bromwich, but most of my work was in London. It was a strange job, with people from a previous age being revered for their strength and fortitude in finishing their working lives after being in the action in WW2, and sprogs like me, newly married, trying to get somewhere before they got us!

This clip was actually in the charts, and as West Bromwich was full of places and buildings like the song, it was a bit of an eye-opener for me; being a Southerner...

The lyrics are somewhere on the net, and I've lost them, so I'll stay up all night looking for them for you!

But the last few words really get me just here.

UPDATE - found the bastards at last...

(Sammy King)

Arthur Edward Pickersgill
Workin' 'ard at mill
Sorting out the bales
The ones to empty and to fill
It's Sat'day night, he's rushing home
To check his football pools
While Chelsea won and let him down
And so did Hartlepool...

So off at dawn on Monday morn
Working for his rent
Money's hard to come by
And half's already spent
'Cause Billy wants a pair of shoes
And Tilly wants a dress
And Freda wants some curling pins
She says her hair's a mess...

And so, where do you go from here
Where in life do you belong
You've worked so hard throughout your life
To make your country great
And now it runs away from you
Leaving you behind and out of date...

Every week your Sunday joint's
No bigger than your thumb
With eight of us to share it
And that's not including Mum.
But first you've got to find it
And the kids are lookin' out
It's there, Dad, in the processed peas
Behind that brussels sprout...

And Freda's getting married soon
You'll 'ave to pay for t'do,
Invitin' all the folks we know
Will cost a bob or two
And after all the toastin'
And the speeches and the gags
It's back to working overtime
And rolling your own fags...

And so, where do you go from here
Where in life do you belong
You fought for King and Country
And your comrades in the war
And is it any different now
You're fighting to exist, just like before...

And so, where do you go from here
Life's inclined to hurry by
Your clogs went out with ration books
But still you carry on, forever if you can
'Cause you're the kind of man who
Can't afford to die...

Saturday 16 May 2009

'Jokes' at MP's expense(s)...

What goes In-Out, In-Out when The Daily Telegraph rings?

646 backsides!

Nice to see some more fear in the rictus smirk of My Little Flipmunk and the rest of them no doubt...

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Tuesday semantics...


I'm an old romantic of course.

Well, I was brought up in an age when respect for one's elders was the norm, and if anyone in public life behaved as badly as our politicians do today, they were frowned on in a serious voice and never seen or heard of again.

So I am pleased to report the honesty of this poor man who genuinely misunderstood the meaning of his ever loving wife, and has placed his hand on his heart and shown chivalry, honesty and bewilderment in his predicament...

Thursday 7 May 2009

Tusk tusk...


In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.

The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

This is for everyone who sends me those heart-warming bullshit stories, and no, I'm not going to send it on to anyone else!

Monday 4 May 2009

Happy 50th Birthday Mini...



This piece made me stare into the middle distance for a few moments...

We've had three Minis over the years; Mrs S, (before she became Mrs S) had one too, and our favourite Clubman had to be sold during another recession in the seventies. I bought another one years later for £350, and actually got the cash out on my Access card! I also had a Mini van as my first firm's car somewhere down the line...

I learned to drive in a Mini van, because I first started work as a trainee in an Estate Agents in Ashford, and one of the menial tasks, after cleaning the coffee machine, was to collect the rents on Monday mornings. There were about thirty houses to call on and the firm needed a lad who could drive, so they paid for all my driving lessons! (For what it's worth, one old Dear in South Ashford paid 14 bob (70p) a week for her cottage, and she used to make beef pudding for her son...)

And yes, you did open the door with a cable stretched below the window, the windows slid back and were totally insecure, and the heater was either blazing on or freezing off. I think it cost about £350 too...