Archive for November, 2008

I’m not that medieval, sometimes I write my thoughts down. I can never remember who I am. Who I am, where I am, what on earth I’m doing here. What on earth I know. No, no. I’m agile and everyone says that you’re so fragile

November 29, 2008

and that applies to, I think, three separate people with lots ahead of them this week, and I just think you’re all a lot stronger than some other people think you are. Pretty uncoded that and I’ll just say, you are all potentially masters of your own destiny but, please, make your own minds up…..just in case. And the band is Idlewild.

Sorry. I was thinking about that on the train back from Stirling after a PT win, but more memorably, after lunchtime in the Albion Bar and the very pleasant company of Sharon and Sharlene who decided to join the five of us, after John-Paul bought them drinks. Why, J-P, why? Still, you’re the one with Sharlene’s phone number. Keep it that way, eh? Of course, they knew Mags Heaney. But three year old Ruby, if you’re reading this, your dad, Steve, looked away the whole time.

And as for the silence in the pub when the cash monitor behind the bar registered “2 tomato juices”? My sexuality has been questioned before, but never in such a deafening manner. I felt as if I’d been named and shamed. We drank elsewhere after the game.

Earlier, Sharon had drunk Alan’s whisky (in a oner), her own rum and coke, and shared twenty two cans of cider the night before. No. I do not know with who, but some temptations I can resist. 

But a good week in which the highlight was the brilliant Kate Adie at Glasgow’s Concert Hall. Every studenty person with hopes and aspirations of being a journo or writer should have been there, and nice to see three of Glasgow Met’s current crop of hopes and aspirations there in the form of Tricia, Rachel and Natalie.

My fave stories were about George Bush’s foodtasting unit, but her tales of the Belfast newsroom, and the run with a camera crew when “The Shout” went, brought back memories. I never had to cover bomb scares, but I was once at the behest of a London Newsroom who thought that Fort William was just north of Glasgow, and there were times I had to run, on command.

The first lesson you learn, and I hope they’re teaching you this kind of thing on Journo courses, is to get a carton of soup on the way out – you might be gone some time – and get lentil or tomato, anything that means you can keep one hand on the steering wheel. Veggie broth requires a spoon and, therefore, driving with your knees.

It frightens people when you do that cos that’s what I was doing when I left my cancer test this week, with an All Clear for the next four months, but there are one or two things we need to keep an eye on. So far, so good and the saved txt was read in the car park before I went in. Ta, C. And I cried in the car park when I came out. Nothing to do with you, C. Honest.

One of these problems has been hinted at previously in the blog, so I discussed it with the Good Dr Fiona, who suggested a natural remedy (eh?), so I went down to a shop on the Great Western Road, spoke, thankfully, to a male assistant who gave me some coloured capsules and said that if I needed “anything stronger”, just to come back. Last time anyone said that to me was when I bought the DVD Zombie Strippers, and I’ve still not seen that movie all the way through to the end.

I’ll keep you posted, although some people may find out in their own time and their own way. But it also means I want to do all those lunches and drinks things and parties I’ve not done in the last two years, and I don’t remember from three years ago. You know who you are, albeit unwittingly, and I know where to find you, as does the ADtrailer man. You know where to find me.

Incidentally those of you who kindly sponsored my gd frnd Clr and the (in)organic materials specialist, Missie K, in the Race For Life earlier this year, you might be interested to know that £300m of your money is to be spent on up to twenty centres for treatment and prevention. To you, and everyone else, seriously ta.

And student journos, whilst doing millions and millions of reading is good, and don’t worry too much about essays when those setting them don’t know what they’re asking, make sure you talk to people, even those you’ve fallen out with, and, as I said to a potential student journo down the ASDA only this morning, do as much writing as you possibly can, for student newspapers, such as the Glw Uny Guardian, or Young Scot (it used to pay and might still do), or the “underground” magazine, The Skinny.

Hang on, he says, reading The Skinny. Here’s a band preview with two forenames I recognise, but no surname. Could it be……? Well, I did listen online and they sounded good, but much too young for the likes of me. (Happy now, Son Brian?)

But moving swiftly on, my own business idea is coming close to fruition, launch date in February (no names confirmed as yet but I do think The Word Process is so important (particularly with capital letters), don’t you?) and one of the things I’m doing is to talk to the Job Centre about earning whilst on benefit, cos the last thing I want to be seen doing is “working and drawing”, which if my clued memory is in any way accurate, is how the Jung Wan seems to spend much of her working day. Or maybe I was just lucky, but I do think I’ve now just been struck off a Christmas card list I was never on anyway.

And I want to say something about the demise of Woolworth’s. I bet the Board of Directors wish they had a pound for everyone who said how much they’d miss it and how much they liked to shop there when they were children. Doh! My own apologies, as well, to Woolies. C’mon, am I the only one to admit to shoplifting from there when younger? Oh. I am. I’ll come quietly.

And I did notice that Barack has even forgiven Hillary, but it’s your call.

And finally, in a week when Met grads were in the news (did I hear the applause here in Summerston but then should I have?) can I do my own preview and say well done to the incredible Katie and look back almost two years (sober and solvent free) to the wonderful world of Ward 8A Gartnavel. Who would have thought, eh? Although I should stress I was a patient, drying out, and Katie a trainee nurse. Happy daze and seriously well done for Glasgow Uny graduation later this week!

Cya, oh, and bytheway, the coloured capsules? Cranberry, and let’s hope they do what they say on the box. 

Johnt850….. are they gone yet, J-P? I think beggars can still be choosers but what do I know?

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And if you go chasing rabbits, And you know you’re going to fall, Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar Has given you the call Recall Alice when she was just small

November 22, 2008

When I first bought that album by Jefferson Airplane, people in Peterhead, where I’m from, thought I was soooooo weird. Not because I bought the album. They just thought I was soooooo weird. 

And then I came across that track, White Rabbit, when I bought the CD soundtrack to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and it has dialogue as well as music! All week, I’ve been driving up and down the Maryhill Road, thinking I’m heading to Vegas and that Frampton’s Social Club has become Caesar’s Palace, I’ve driven though red lights, thinking I’m in Bat Country and as for that U-turn I performed on the Springburn Road, by the garage – y’know the one I mean, Torrance One, – the one with the police car sitting beside it!!! I found the exhaust the next day. It was fine.

I bought it, the CD not the exhaust, in Cancer Research UK and I also bought the DVD of the movie in the ole Fopp shop, both in Byres Road, so it’s been a bit of a Hunter S. Thompson week, all for £8.

All very ironic in seven days, when the major story has been John Sergeant quitting “Strictly Come”, as I believe it’s referred to by its fans, and where one judge was heard to criticise a competitor for having a poor “throbbing hank”. Seriously.

Now I have loads of dictionaries – they’re pivetal (sp) to my line of work – but nowhere could I find a “hank”, let alone a “throbbing” one. Of course, it may be lines like this that have led to this blog apparently being denied to students at an FE College in Glasgow, a basic case of my First Amendment rights being denied, wouldn’t you say, C, author of the ground-breaking “Literary Generations”?

I mean it’s not as if I use bad language here, in a week when, again, broadcast language has been up for discussion. The late, great George Carlin claimed there were seven basic bad words that broadcast bosses worried about (and why should I list them when there’s an excellent stand up routine on that subject by the great man available on YouTube?).

Okay, I may have used one of them in my creato writing class the other night but imagine the teacher person (she’s American, that’s all I’m saying), thinking that Alabama 3 came from the colonies, when they’re from Brixton. Humph.

And I know I used some of them in the inner sanctum of the Jung Wan down on Maggie’s Farm, when I was shown some really interesting pix of drums and biscuit tins. I was so busy worrying about whether it was a queued, cued, or clued memory I couldn’t remember why we’d drawn them.

Maybe it needs another psychologist to explain them. Step forward L from Wishaw, Lanarkshire’s answer to the Jung Wan. Once I’ve watched Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel tonight I’ll have a character’s name for you. The Caledonia Road was really nice and my thanks to G and J for the groovy smoothies. So far, so good.

Interesting that L, frae Troon, and L frae Wishie, have similar sounding names yet they’re spelled/spelt so differently. I wish I could remember the reason. Can someone give me a clue, or is it a cue? Mmmmm

And whilst we’re on the subject of Scottish towns, why is it that Cumbernauld, home of my gd frnd Clr, Missie K  and the Dykeenies, is so often attacked by the media such as top comedian Frankie Boyle in Saturday’s Record, except Frankie, the Love Song dedicated to Cumbernauld was featured in this blog last week, and the idea that C’nauld is a perfect location for films about zombies…..was that not an idea floated by Scottish Screen in February of this year? Just asking.

Apart from the rabbit hutch that is the football ground called Broadwood, I’ve only ever been to C’nauld twice. Once was for an exotic reason which we won’t dwell upon here, and once was dropping someone off after doing some BBC filming in Perth and Stirling, and I got lost. That moment when you’re on a dual carriageway heading out of town and heading in the wrong direction, and you can’t u-turn. If anybody wants to show me round, What’s It Called, then I’d be happy to visit. Sorry, my memory went there. Albeit unwittingly. Seriously. I’m master of my diary, at the moment.

And Son Brian, why is it when I mention good looking women like all those above, you ask their age, and then ask whether or not I’ve ordered a sports car? Your point, please?

And I’m glad you and your mates enjoyed your meal at the Charing Cross Hilton, whose exclusive Executive Lounge I know so well. It was a prize you won in the Oxfam fashion show for which I bought the tickets. Humph. Next year, Oxfam Oonagh, I’m going, okay?

And on my own cancer front…as you know I get my first check up this coming week (I’ve still got that txt, C, ta) and in advance I got my PSA levels checked (only an indication, after all) and I phoned my GP’s surgery for the results, and I got the wee receptionist, y’know her with the long hair, always dresses in black and wears flip flops, and she says, “Nothing to worry about, John, you wee jaikie you, I’ll put you through to the doctor”. Aaaargh (in itself) and it’s Dr Dave, and he says, “nothing to worry about, John, but they’re up but they can always go down again”, a wee bit like the stock market I suppose, except that’s a bad analogy isn’t it at the moment?

Seriously, it’s not bad news…..it’s just not good, but nor is losing ten pounds on a horse that comes in third….Gary. No. I did not back it each way. Ach, there’s always a next time, gulp.

However, it’s a bit of a nuisance when I’m talking to a business adviser about starting up my own business (does the word process worry you? No. No reason.) It shouldn’t muck (with an “f”) things up, should it?…I’d hate to get banned for bad language. No. We keep it fun. And we keep writing the blook. (If the publisher says “Start again”, we start again, don’t we, team, again, just in case)

But can I just say Good Luck to a young lady from Ayrshire who’s got a check up on the same day, and to another young lady who’s got an appointment of her own also coming up soon (you can have that CD if it helps. It’s your call). I would say I’ll think of you both but to be honest, I’m thinking of young ladies all the time. Stuff the PSA levels, and since you ask, Son Brian, it’s an Audi R8 Dream Sports Car, green. That’s mucked (with another “f”) your inheritance, but at least I’m happy.

cya and (recent) old habits do die hard

Johnt850 (who is capable of offering more fun on a movie date than Artur Borac, and I’m not so sure that was just a cigar! Trust me and my memory. I’ve been to Cumbernauld. I’d go back)

Find a cure, Find a cure for my life, Oh, my god, Oh, you think I’m in control, Oh, my god, Oh, you think it’s all for fun, Put a price, Put a price on her soul, Find a cure, Find a cure for my life

November 15, 2008

I’ll explain why I chose Ida Maria in a minute and you’re right, Heather C, I like “good shouty girl guitar pop”. I like that Suzy Quatro on Radio 2, just before Russell Brand…What? Isn’t he? Since when? No. Just joking folks.

Actually, I’m told that the Mail on Sunday journo, Miles Goslett (!), who broke that story was actually listening to the prog that Saturday night whilst cooking a bowl of pasta. What a sad, single bloke’s Saturday night that is. Mmmmm, Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel is good tonight, isn’t it?

Now, last week I promised congrats, and a promise is a promise, but on the usual guarded-name basis…..just in case. To Tam and Claire (No. No relation) from Second Year Journo, well done on your awards. I just wish I’d recognised your quiet, unassuming talents; to fellow PT fan, Noddy, congrats on your Scottish BAFTA award last week, and the new arrival in your family; and Happy Birthday to my ex-wife and son’s mum (same person). All her details available on request. It’s okay. She’ll never know.

But thanks to Tam for his “informal” help with those NQ presentations last year. Who’d have thought a boy from Greenock had so much to learn about Sexually Transmitted Infections? And, to my gd frnd Clr, well done for asking the question that still brings the likes of Parkinson and Norton out in a cold sweat in case they have to ask it…..to two unintroduced political journos at Holyrood last year….”Who are you and why are you here?” So far, so seminal.

And so, to the Winers’ Club Dinner where I showed control and kept it fun (see above lyric). To give you an idea of the Club (It was conceived thirty years ago and I was not present at this conception) can I quote from the constitution;

“The Club shall meet biannually, or if possible, twice a year. Failing this, the Club shall meet at least every six months” Now without being patronising – that means not talking down to you – read it slowly. Get the idea?

As regards the event itself, my lips are sealed. Can I just say, as a recovering alcoholic, the only major problem was the amaretto chocolate trifle for pudding? I left the room at that point. To four of my favourite women, it does not feature in that Phil Vickery book of blessed memory, but if you ever want a treacle toffee pudding re-run, just say the word. Any word. How about “narghile”?

Can I also say thanks to the two brilliant snappers on the night itself? (Did I really look like James Bond in my dinner jacket?) I think that retina burner had been on the developing fluid, bytheway. (Photographic gag). No. It was a good night. Incidentally, BBC Stevie Boy, I walked home with £690 in cash in my pocket, albeit unwittingly, and sober, this time. Will I ever learn?

And a sign of the times within G.U.U. You can buy singles tickets for the World famous Daft Friday Ball. How sad is that? Oh. That sad. Well, Sarah Palin likes Ice Road Truckers and that one about deep sea fishing…for fish…in the deep sea.

I went to six DF Balls (with partner, every time) and I only ever paid for one; the Balls that is, not the partner.

Speaking of which, my new career-planning goes from strength to strength but only time will tell. (Calendar gag). It seems to involve a lot of walking the streets, which is no bad thing. It pays cash. I like the streets. I like the streets of the West End, with the distinctive smell of the hookahs (sp), although I suspect the smell of the pipe I passed recently was being used to mask the smell of something just as exotic, available, as ever, from the Wyndford. Details available on request.

And that, seamlessly, leads us to hookah.com where Carolyn McGoldrick seemingly is unable to answer a question about her gender. Now why mention her? Simply because she launched “Cumbernauld: A Love Song” this week, which contains the line, “I hear the way they say your days of “What’s it called” are numbered, Cumbernauld”. An ambitious line, Carolyn.

She goes on to say, “What is there not to love about the town?” Well, apart from my usual answer extolling the virtues of my gd frnd Clr, Missie K, and the Dykeenies, I think the grant of £2,000 she got from North Lanarkshire to help fund the song, might be part of the answer.

Actually I’m currently reading a biography of the great Hunter S. Thompson and I came across the following quote as he tried to get some government money; “I’m 27, married, one child, broke, holder of many pawn tickets, fighting eviction, etc”. Isn’t that sad. A great New Journo like that, using “etc”. But, hey, what do I know?

But in all seriousness, good luck to Carolyn, as she’s raising money for CLICSargant, a cancer charity for young people. 

And on my own cancergytis front (are you out there Blair?) I have my first check up, in a week or so’s time, since I got the All Clear just four months back. As some of my friends know, I think it’s still there just biding its time but I could have done without Saturday’s Herald Information Bar on prostate cancer. I don’t know where they got their information from, but apparently the best way of hormone reduction (I used the large, eh, what was the word again, Laura F, ah yes, needle) is, gulp, sob, gulp, surgically removing the testicles.

No. Honestly. I only ever paid for one Ball.

It’s enough to bring tears to a Vampire Slayer’s eyes, let alone mine. Actually, Torrance One, I remember the look on your face when I explained what the prostate did. I’ll maybe better move swiftly on.  I’ll keep you posted. Everyone that is, not just……Oh, I give up. Control is slipping, Jung Wan. Good thing, maybe? Anyway, updates’r’good. Keep me posted, folks.

Delighted to hear about the G20 Summit but my part of Maryhill is G23. We need help as well.

And finally, I notice from the tabloids that an American politician was in trouble for urinating from the balcony of a night club. He was quoted as saying, “I’m not going to let this overshadow me.” No, big man, I’m not going to let you overshadow me!

Cya, etc, and so on, and all the usual stuff as Gonzo Thom(p)son might say. It’s your call.

Johnt850, with a long lingering look at the bottle of port as it passes to the left, slowly, ever so slowly, as my hand caresses it fondly, bringing back a simple memory of my second Ball.

I never paid for that one.

What’re you gonna do when the well runs dry? You’re gonna run away and hide. I’m gonna run right by your side. For you pretty baby I’d even die

November 8, 2008

I’m Walking, sung there by Fats Domino off a compilation album, compiled by Radio 2 deejay, Bob Dylan. And the reason for mentioning Dylan? Not only did Barack Obama say nice things about the late, great Studs Terkel, and I hope students did ask tutors about him, but there were some other really nice tributes.

And whilst I remember, there’s some congrats owed to some students this week. I don’t have quite enough detail just yet. It’s as if people don’t talk to me these days. But consider Fats as your reward, Tam.

Anyway, my fave Studs story? He once started off an interview with Bob Dylan by asking, “Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe?” To which Dylan replied; “The beginning was there in Minnesota. But that was the beginning before the beginning.” I’m sorry, but that is now my ambition – to achieve “the beginnning before the beginning”. So far, so good. It might yet get me out of some recent trouble.

So that’s sociology out of the way and now for politics.

Barack Obama being elected US President – could that be an example of “Show. Not Tell”?

Obama being elected US President, thus leaving the country without its only black senator. Now, that is “Show. Not Tell.”

Right enough ill-informed comment. I did watch the US elections on BBC and when David Dimbleby didn’t know where to go (but did go to Gore Vidal), I watched online courtesy of the brillliant blogging website the Huffington Post. Some of their video clips were brilliant, and made a lot of the colour pieces in the papers the next day or so, including some really awful Fox news packages, including the one with a Black Panther.

My fave vid from the Post? A preview of the new Heidi Klum advert for Guitar Hero – World Tour. Come on. It was half past two in the morning. My verdict? Eleven IS louder than ten. Seriously.

But wasn’t it all put into perspective by the Glenrothes by-election, where Gordon Brown’s former headmaster won on a programme of better bus services and better health provision? Now did he know whether he was standing for Holyrood or Westminster? “Show. Not Tell” is pretty universal. 

C, you once suggested changes in the Labour party in Scotland, albeit unwittingly. Change, we need. 

And mentioning one of Cumbernauld’s top exports (along with Missie K), do you guys realise how foul-mouthed the fans of your local team are? Clyde, in case you didn’t know you had one. Abuse is pretty universal as well, it seems.

Still one of our number really scored with his shout of “Away and feed your rabbits”. No. I have no idea what it meant, either, but it had the opposition fans worried. Yeah. We know when to crank it up to eleven! Loud.

Anyway, speaking of people worrying, I’ve definitely decided on Whistling in the Dark for the end of my personal closing ceremony and it turns out I’m not alone in thinking these things. Apparently the most popular, according to a recent survey, is Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust. The fact that Every Breath You Take is also very popular suggests to me that not everyone checks their lyrics as closely as I do. Check them out on Sing365. I do.

However, can I thank the coffee drinkers at the coffee table next to the one I was sitting at earlier, and isn’t it good to be able to ask for a large, black without being glared at, for their suggestion of Seasick Steve‘s “I started out with nothin and I still got most of it left”. Read that Son Brian and then worry about your inheritance.

But you’re right, Mister Rainforest riverman, that strawberry and cream shortbread chat up line needs a lot of work. Was it my failure with it that reminded you that I once dallied with a correspondence course from the Rapid Results College, Tuition House, London? And yes, they are still in existence, so it was obviously my fault I failed, both with that chat up line, and whatever it was I was studying at the time.

No I’m soon going to start a Distance Learning Course in conjunction with my new career, and I have had my first “job”. I can’t say too much for reasons of commercial confidence, but those of you who worried that I was getting my business start-up advice in a flat on the notorious Wyndford Estate, might be interested to know my first job was a pick-up was in Possilpark. That’s all I’m saying, c’est tout.

Actually re-reading that sentence it sounds like I have become a taxi-driver with a Glasgow A-Z in the passenger seat. Maybe that should be a career option.

But before I finish, a quick word to some other former students such as Oonagh….not only is Byres Road Oxfam not the same these days but I enjoyed the Napier University rolling website. I enjoyed reading your stuff. Any other examples, folks, send them on. Comment I will not. Reading I will enjoy. What do I know? (I think I got that last one wrong) 

And finally, on a personally serious note, within the next two weeks I attend a Glasgow University Union Reunion dinner, hosted by the Winers’ Club (pretty uncoded and unambiguous), my first for years, and I also have my first cancer Check-up since, well, the All Clear four months ago.

I’m quite happy to use this public platform to say I’m nervous about both. I mean nobody’s going to slip a vodka unnoticed into my tomato juice (at the Beatson?) or anything like that, but there’s a lot passes through your mind at a time like this. So I’ll keep you posted. Updates’r’good. You’d do the same, wouldn’t you?

However, there are two texts saved in my mobile which get me through any worries on the alcohol and cancer front. All bases are, therefore, covered. I won’t say who they came from cos they’ll only get embarrassed. Ah, the joy of txt.

Oh, and bytheway, for no reason, thanks Son Brian and gd frnd Clr….just in case.

Whistling, whistling, dark, dark, dark. Catchy isn’t it? (They Might Be Giants, if you want to check it out)

cya

johnt850 (a well know situationalist. No. I don’t know what it means either but someone used it to describe Russell Brand. That must make it a good eleven on the volume control, mustn’t it?

I did my best, it wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch. I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come here to fool you And even though it all went wrong I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

November 1, 2008

That’s the Imogen Heap version of the Cohen classic and not Bono‘s, and I wish he’d stop clicking those bloody fingers. The lyric was kinda suggested by Missie K but the boys in the pub tonight came up with some other interesting suggestions. Oh, and Cohen’s in town this week, isn’t he?

Y’see, Son Brian asked the other day if I’d chosen the music for my funeral (No. No reason that I’m aware of) and then he assumed it would all be in the blog. To a certain extent he’s right in that the opening music is in Blog 1 (Alex Harvey) but I can’t make up my mind for the closer between Hallelujah – Missie K will have the disc – or Whistling in the Dark – my gd frnd Clr has that disc….just in case.

The chorus? “Whistling, whistling, dark, dark”, for about five minutes. It’ll pass the time until you get to Maryhill Juniors Social Club with a steak pie purvey and a band please, but nothing too Emo.

Invite them both, my gd frnd Clr and Missie K – it’ll brighten up Maryhill Crem – and we’ll need the Vampire Slayer, obviously, and I’m sure, if you ask her nicely, the Parfery person will bring the incense.

And can I just say ladies, looking so good, so far. University suits.

It’s just I just feel my son should be prepared for anything in the future, like appearing on X Factor.

And so now, I’m sorry, High Horse Level Committee, here’s a Rant, albeit very wittingly.

To all those people who complained about Russell Brand  and Jonathan Russell without listening live, or on BBC iPlayer or on podcast or any other form of multi-platform broadcasting including, possibly, the Zones, at least listen to Andrew Sachs drawing a line under the affair. “Gracious” is the word that comes to mind.

It was a programme produced by an “inexperienced 25 year old”, employed by Russell Brand to make a programme presented by Russell Brand. That’s why the BBC has compliance procedures. They didn’t work on this occasion! That’s all. Some BBC person said it was okay for broadcast when it wasn’t. There, but for the grace of another pair of ears go many of us.

And it was a phone call. It wasn’t thousands of kids dying in yet another African country rescued only by the presence of mind of Orla Guerin which just made the last few minutes of the news. It was a telephone call, (or four), albeit a very stupid and unfunny one.

Have you never made a phone call you regretted? I know I have. Recently.

If only I’d spoken to an answering machine. Aaaargh!

At this point I storm out of the room, leaving only the hapless “inexperienced 25 year old” to put on The Infadels, Trk 2, from the album Universe in Reverse;

“We all make mistakes from time to time, but every moment I’m awake I’m making mine”

That’s better. I’m back. I went across the road to the cemetary (sp). It’s that time of year when they ritually sacrifice the local Vestal Virgin. It’s the same Vestal Virgin every year. I haven’t the heart to tell them where they’re going wrong. She’s called Mad Dog 20/20. Happy daze.

Not that last week’s furore was without humour. I pass over the txt version of correspondence between Jonathan and Gary Glitter which I received, available on application only folks, and I’d like to mention the exchange between Emily Maitlis and Mark Thompson on Newsnight when they discussed the Frankie Boyle gag which begins “The Queen is so old that……” The gag was on Mock the Week, BBC 2, Wed 29th Oct, if you want to watch it on BBC iPlayer, and it was in a programme originally pre-recorded and now shown as a repeat!

You can find the Emily and Mark show on BBC iPlayer as well. It happened the following night.

And whilst I remember, C, I did promise to find you that gag by Lenny Bruce. A promise is a promise and I’m still looking. Oh, and was it worth the wait? I think so, particularly on a Day Like This when Thistle win two – nil.

So how did I relax this week? I watched a video with some of my favourite ladies in it. No, not Zombie Strippers, and I’ll see that through to the end one day. No, some of the ladies from Maggie’s Farm, including Little Mo, attended the premiere of the latest Dan Craig blockbuster with Angus Purden portraying the hero. Hey, James Bond is about suspending disbelief.

Were you there, Jung Wan?

I’m glad I wasn’t invited or I’d have spent the entire evening boring people by telling them that “Quantum of Solace” was a short story written by Ian Fleming and is that moment when you know that a relationship is definitely over. I’m writing my own version based on many such experiences. I’m calling it “Dumped”. It doesn’t have the same ring, does it? Or for many of my listeners, how about “Dizzy at the Boots Corner”? Ask your mums. It wasn’t always me. Okay? Seriously.

And on the subject of Maggie’s Farm, the real high spot of the week was meeting one of my lady friends from the sandblasting days, who had also had chemo. I won’t name you to avoid embarrassing you, but your hair is looking so good. You look brilliant. Nice seeing you.

And, while I’m back in a good mood, my fave TV prog of the week, in an avuncular kind of way, was Britannia High. For me it made Sunday night TV, from the opening titles with the black guy playing basketball, obviously the black guy, through to the closing song and dance scene on top of the roof without Health and Safety saying a word. All that and an apostrophe gag halfway through as well. All it needed was Doris, the pianist from Fame. “Why Doris, how young you look!”

I tell you this, Emma J, it fair made my night before my heading out to Optimo with my glowsticks. Lime green they are, or is that my medication? I can never be sure.

And finally, why am I in this strange mood? Because in the midst of all this nonsense, the World’s greatest interviewer and broadcaster died (in my opinion, that is, but WTF do I know?), almost unremarked by the media. He is called Studs Terkel (note the present tense) and his new book is due out this month.

Students, test your tutors’ knowledge by asking about this man and his Pulitzer Prize (1985). Me? Yes, but I only worked with him once. Check him out.

The wires say “cause of death is not immediately available”. My guess is he died laughing his head off at the BBC’s self-flagellation this week. That’s how I’d like to go, Son Brian, having a good giggle. You can tell the Dumbarton Rock gag.

cya and normal fun service will be resumed next week.

Johnt850, a burlesque star in my own right.