Libraries gave us power Then work came and made us free But what price now for a shallow piece of dignity

A typically happy little song there from the Manic Street Preachers, as suggested by L frae Troon, and the truth is…it was a bargain. A £5 box set from the ol’ Fopp shop and that gave me 42 audio tracks and 16 videos. Son Brian, it’s an investment just as safe as my shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland.

And bytheway, L, I note that All American Rejects are playing The Garage, Tuesday, 27th. Anything happening, let me know…anything at all.

But first to world affairs and my disappointment with Barack’s first decision. No. Not that one. Indeed I’m happy that it’s not just Gone Tomorrow Bay he’s closing but all the other rendition and waterboarding centres in places like Syria and Jordan, America’s favourite allies.

No. What really bothered me was his decision to go to all those balls wearing a white tie but without tails!! Caitlin, the man’s a walking fashion disaster area. He needs a personal shopper, or two. Seriously. I had to avert my butler’s eyes I was so shocked. 

And I’m not going to get involved in the debate as to whether he is the first black, or first Afro-American, President.

According to some historians he is, in fact, the seventh black President. This goes back to the time (kinda KKK rules) when any American with just one drop of African blood was black. My favourite, therefore, must be Andrew Jackson who had a black dad and an Irish mum. Plenty of reason.

He was the President who invited all his supporters to a party in The White House to celebrate his victory. They came, they drank his whisky and they trashed The White House and all this was before Facebook or Bebo existed.

I tried it once, but after all the peeps had drunk my whisky, they took a look at the wallpaper and assumed it had already been trashed. (Since then it has been changed. If you’re ever passing….)

So keeping to matters of international import, I couldn’t help but notice that Alex Salmond is planning a duet between himself and Sandi Thom. Goodness. I’m appalled. I mean there must be about thirty years between them. It’s, it’s ……hang on, it’s the phone. (Yes….Good point….What? Me?….I suppose so….particularly this last year…..Okay…..Ta) Yes. It’s a really good example of the generation gap being crossed in a simple, effective and platonic way. So far, so good, eh?

And I’d like to say something nice about Homecoming Scotland. I’d like to, but I can’t think of anything nice to say. Why can’t we celebrate modern day Scottish icons like A.L. Kennedy, The View, Jackie Bird (?), Gary Harkins, Grand Theft Auto and the beer garden(?) of the Salutation Inn, Dumfries? Actually I’m not sure about that last one but I’d a brilliant view of a wickerman type statue of a man on a horse on a barge on the Nith from there today. It had to be explained to me it was Tam O’Shanter so maybe I’m not best qualified to talk on the matter.

I had travelled to Dumfries with Erik the Floodstalker, a man with a very strange mission in life. His motto? Never leave home without your dongle. I’d a follow up line there but I realised I was  going to sound like a young Larry Grayson.

(Younger listeners, ask older members of your family to tell you if they ever laughed at Larry’s joke about his friend Everard entering the ring and not coming back out again, and if so, why. Trust me, they’ll never complain about Russell Brand ever again.)

Anyway, it was in this pub in Dumfries I realised I sometimes get frustrated ‘cos I no longer drink alcohol. The others had travelled down by train and had a superb tasting of Spanish wines on the way down. It sounded such good fun. I was envious. Just sometimes… just in case.

I use to be a member of The Rioja Society, y’know. Apparently. I must have been a good customer because they keep inviting me to buy yet another case of the stuff. Every year I get invited to their annual dinner. It’s in Sheffield, or somewhere equally as exotic. I’ve never been. Wonder what happened to the Rioja, and did I enjoy it?

“But as the kids say, it’s my bad”. What exactly did Jonathan Ross mean by that? How patronising was that? There is nothing more embarrassing than an older man pretending to be in touch with the youth of today when he is so obviously not!

Anyway, I was watching Skins the other night and I think Pandora will get off with J J dead soon. And the sisters are real wicked. And what’s that Effy like?

For those who don’t know it, it’s a variation on the High School (not of Glasgow, obviously) theme of boy meets girl, set in an F.E. College with a lot of sex, drugs, more sex and disillusioned F.E. lecturers, so not like any F.E. College I’ve ever taught in then. Honest, Janis.

I like the writing, innit. No. No reason. My fave scene was the one in the Health and Beauty classroom where the blonde wannabe WAGs were being shown how to file a client’s nails with rhythm and then, once that was mastered, they moved onto the cuticles. Eat your heart out Lark Rise to Candleford. Clr, it’s the costume drama language I don’t like. It’s inexplicable.

Skins watchers will remember the rest of that particular dialogue.

But still quiet on the cancer front, so myself and a friend were talking to a guy whom we’ll call Al, cos that’s his name, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, aggressive like mine was, and can’t make his mind up as to whether to go for radiotherapy or surgery.

I explained that the reason I had gone for radiotherapy was a true story told to me by my gd frnd Clr which had reduced me and the sandblasting consultant to stitches but had left the surgery man looking blank and without stitches (maybe it was in the telling, C) and my friend told Al that the effects of the erectile dysfunction were only temporary but that he had been given Viagra in the short term, but it had to be broken into four pieces for some strange reason.

Al left bemused, uncertain but with a smile on his face. At least we’d kept it fun. That’s important. The street should always stay open… both directions.

Can I say “Seriously Well Done” to former Met student, Emma J for the Lady Ga Ga exclusive and the byline was soooo cool? Even Erik the Floodstalker was impressed and he’s a top sports freelance. Quality. Sundays. In fact. 

And finally, in the coming week. there’s some serious business meetings ahead as various parts of the project reach important moments in time. A few sleepless nights, a few big decisions ahead. But, without saying too much, top of my bill is a meet with some really good looking West of Scotland ladies. Gorgeouser than Rihanna, Beyonce, Paris H and the Pussycat Dolls. That’s all I’m saying. And that dear listener is all I will ever be saying.


Johnt850….sometimes I just get so locked on.


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