Category Archives: rants

moaning, complaints, invective and wild jabbering

A bit of a slip

After a nightmare weekend of snow and ice, following more than 120 people admitted to A&E in Worthing after falling on ungritted pavements, this poem is dedicated to the local council – who fell flat on their faces ….

Slip sliding away
sang Paul Simon
Who was not, as it happens,
talking about snow
and ice and slush
and how local councils
take our money
and then don’t grit
the pavements.

He was, however,
lyrical and precise
and harmonious
like weather that chimes
so much with the
season it seems
custom designed.

Skating away
on the thin ice of a new day
sang Jethro Tull,
although as Ian Anderson
said from the stage
the lyric has turned out
in retrospect
to be complete cobblers

Based as it was on the
theory that we were about
to enter the next ice age.
Mind you, if local councils
believed that
we might at least
get enough grit
to stay upright.
And certain councillors
would be worth
their salt.

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The car won’t start

It might as well be a horse and cart
I’m stuck in limbo
The car won’t start

It’s all in good order – except for one part
I’m motion-less
The car won’t start

The heroes in yellow, they’re on their way
The AA are coming … sometime today
I daresay there’ll be a sharp intake of breath
I need a mechanical miracle: life brought from death

It might as well be a horse and cart
I’m stuck in limbo
The car won’t start

Oh for the days when a prod with a stick
Would make my Fiat’s motor tick
It sounded like a hairdryer on wheels
But it got me there all right.

There’s a lot to be said for a horse and cart.

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Floral displays on busy roundabouts

Whose bright idea was it to sponsor floral displays on roundabouts?

What ARE they for?

I haven’t seen large numbers of pedestrians strolling out to examine the abundance of colour at their local traffic blackspot. “Derek, why don’t we take a walk down to the A37 intersection with the B3104 and check out their pansies?”

And don’t try telling me they’re for motorists … there you are, trying to make sure you’re in the right lane, attempting to spot the right turn-off and avoid being mown down by Porsche-driving wide boys with their headlights on in broad daylight and “-oh look, there’s a pleasing display of bedding plants brought to you courtesy of Winthrop and Pollock, Solicitors and Commissioners for Oaths, how thoughtful”.

I don’t remember the Highway Code advising: “Check mirror, signal, manouevre, pull up at dotted white lines and appreciate herbivorous borders …”

Make ’em flat, make ’em green, that’s what I say.

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Pens on chains in banks

I have a thing about pens on chains in banks.

I’m going into a bank to pay in some money, or take out some money, or harangue them in some way for doing stupid things with my money and then charging me more money to tell me about the stupid things they’re doing with my money.

I’m not going in to steal a pen.

If I was going to steal a pen I’m likely to go to a stationery store that sells decent pens, not blotchy, dribbling, scratchy useless ones like they have in banks. Why would I want to steal one of those? You’d steal it and then throw it away.

But no, banks clearly have a problem with people stealing their pens, so they chain them up. Like criminals. Perhaps it’s where bad pens go to serve their time. “‘Ere at Bic we ‘ave created ze perfect ballpoint, and you come along wiz your ink dribbles and blotches zat go right against all our principles. We are sending you far away from here and your freedom will be curtailed. You will be chained to a desk and made to serve 15 years at HSBC. And let zat be a lesson to you.”

Or maybe it’s a kind of reverse psychology designed to deter actual bank robbers:

“Think you can crack our vaults, eh? Think you can hold up our cashiers and make your way out with bundles of swag, EH? You’ve already mentally  bought your villa on the Costa Del Sol, a half-share in a Division 2 football club and the complete back catalogue of Michael Buble, haven’t you? Well think again, matey – WE’VE EVEN GOT THE PENS CHAINED UP!!

“And if even those pathetic excuses for writing implements are chained up, how do you think we’ll have protected the money?! With a bicycle lock? With a couple of elastic bands, in a shoebox, under the manager’s desk?!! Dream on, sucker, we have the latest hi-tech, infra-red, GPS, dna-fused, heat-sensitive, plonker detectors this side of Gatwick Airport and they’re all trained on YOU!! You’re on more cameras than Britney Spears. Spend a bit longer here and your half-hearted wide boy capering will be a series on UK Living and out on DVD by Christmas!!!”

But if you’re a student and open a new account by the end of the month, we’ll give you a free download from iTunes and our easy guide to getting into debt, mainly through exhorbitant bank charges.

Just don’t take our pens, alright?


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Ban all new product, I can’t keep up

Right, there are now officially too many entertainment items released for public consumption. I am a member of the public, I can no longer consume any more and so I’m now announcing this, officially.

I propose that for the next year, we basically ban any new albums, books, films, musicals, TV programmes and websites. The people concerned can have a holiday, or catch up on a little reading. You know, all those books you bought because you thought you’d get round to reading them. And you didn’t.

The rest of us can also do a little catching up – on all the CDs we barely listen to, the films we always meant to get around to watching, the programmes we never watched etc

Bands can practise their old stuff a little more, comedians can dig out jokes they haven’t told for a while and we can all stop clogging the world up with more and more product. That’s my view and I’ll be sticking to it for the next 12 months.

Unless I have a fantastic idea for a novel.

Or a poem. Or song.

Or joke.

OK, it was a bad idea after all …

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