Archive for December, 2009

The vagabond who’s rapping at your door Is standing in the clothes you once wore. Strike another match, go start anew, And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

December 26, 2009

I think appropriate words there from Bob Dylan as 2009 comes to an end and my thanks to Missie K for suggesting the works and words of Bob Zimmerman and if people can choose their names why can’t I choose my age? I am 42.

It won’t be a long blog today. After a good Christmas Day (thanks for pressies and stuff and I am already halfway through the history of Factory Records, thanks Katie M) I woke up to a lurgy thing. We (eh?) know it’s not a hangover but it was bad enuff to ensure I didn’t think about going to the football. But I do want to do some thanks and awards.

I also won’t be saying much on the alcohol and cancer front. It’s a tricky time for many and I know my approach to many things is not always welcome, so today I shut up on those and other fronts….just in case. I will be as a child and stay innocent, open-minded and will only speak when spoken to. Plus I have some interesting news, professionally, in that area but it can keep.

Having said that, I’d a good night in the Counting House pub the other night with folk from my screenwriting class. Thanks to them I have discovered how difficult it is to chug a tomato juice with extra tabasco. I realise now, as well, that I was only yards away from Son Brian’s office night out. Wouldn’t it have been fun if………..No. Maybe not.

So before moving onto the annual Blog Personality of the Year, not much in the way of housekeeping, other than to say that Kenny the Shed Pimp is coming over with a view to converting the West Wing into an office complex; a further sub-committee called Louis has been brought into being to ensure I go on an exciting holiday this year; and to all those caught out by the snow, have a look at the non-religious cards you sent this year. Bleeding obvious now, isn’t it? I even had one that said, let it snow. 😦

So, without further ado, (fanfare of strumpets) let’s go for it.

Team of the Year? Quite simply, and without being slushy, the Partick Thistle fans I go to the football with, home and away, many of whom I did not know a year or so ago. They accept me for simply what I am – someone who just doesn’t drink alkohol but buys his round, whose hair is far too long and who has a weird taste in music (do I really have eight (8) Green Day albums?….well, yes)….and yes, they slag me rotten as an alkie. It’s as if I have ginger hair. Or strange photos of Kermit the Frog on my mobile phone. ‘What is a relationship, Kermit, without some trust? I won’t show it to anyone else. Honest.’ 

Lifetime Achievement? I thought about it, long and hard, and then I thought about the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dead simple……Mums. They have played a very significant part in my life this year in so many ways, but they continue to add to their numbers. I mentioned the baby named 7 lbs 1 oz, a few weeks ago. I now know of new babies called Saffia and Stella, the latter arriving on Christmas Eve……in Edinburgh. 😀

My own mum was known simply as ‘a nice wee woman’. She met many of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances and always thought they were really nice people, if a wee bit uncertain of some of their habits. (My dad met some of them under really strange circumstances and looked the other way.) It would have been really nice if she’d met some of the really nice folk who I now call friends, since her death, even if my backstory might perplex her.

No, to mums everywhere, keep up the good work. Serioulsy. To dads? When offspring buy a plasma TV, then you stop contributing to their education. So far, so good.

Naw. Mums are good. I know my son’s quite well. Can’t think why.

So, to The Big Award (drum roll)

In Third place; Doctor Fiona. Not only for all the help I’ve received from you and your colleagues over the last wee while but there’s a kinda apology in there. Y’see I misunderstood a direction I was given at screenwriting class but to you and everyone else……it’s a piece of fiction anyway. You’ll be fine. I know a good doctor. It’s you.

In Second place; bestest friend Caitlin. (Before I say why, can I say sorry to Caitlin cos I was being so careful on the Christmas card front with you and your mum and so on that I forgot your brother. Aaaaaaargh. Sorry. I blame Colin)

No, bestest friend Caitlin stopped me making a fool of myself on several occasions this year. I owe you big time. Thanks.

Can I also say that C epitomises a certain demographic who have played such an important part in my recent life…..good looking women aged 20-25 (ish), with a writing/creative common bond . No jokes, no innuendoes. It’s been an amazing journey with you guys. It’s not a journey for which I have had a role model. I know women with lots of amazing patience where I am concerned, I now realise.

Moving dreamily on.

Mind you, it’s easier where there are agreed rules. Which is why, virtual uncles of Son Brian, namely Jock, Brian and Dennis, you will never hear a true story told to me by the Vampire Slayer with a pay off line ten times better than the Mars Bar gag. 

Which brings me nicely to the Big Award; 2009 Personality of the Year, but it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. Hey, it’s me, jt850; when was anything straightforward? No. Not always my choosing. If I could turn back time (Cher)………Je m’excuse, encore une fois.

The winner is not a person or people but a telephone call. Not that long ago, one Sunday lunchtime, I got a call from two incredibly beautiful women (they’re mentioned above) mentioning, but in an incredibly beautiful manner, that money, which I had promised would be behind a bar in a town in Italy, wasn’t there. In a world of txts, messages and mails which can be soooooooo  misunderstood, this went a long way to reminding me of what my world should about.

Thanks. It meant, and still means, a lot. xx

So, and finally, I can do no more than quote from the Christmas Card I was given by Gran Buses (my son’s other Gran that is)…..It reads ‘All the best for 2012′ (eh?). That’s what she wrote. Honest.

So that’s it. There’s a final lyric after I sign off. Try and find it with music elsewhere. It’s called Come a Long Way and this version is sung by Kate and Anna McGarrigle (1976). No. No reason.

I’m going back to bed. Pass the benylin. No. The bottle’s fine.

cya next year.


We’ve come a long way since we last shook hands, Still got a long way to go, Couldn’t see the flowers when we last shook hands, Couldn’t see the flowers on account of the snow. 😉

Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant, Oh Come Ye, Oh Come Ye To Bethlehem

December 19, 2009

And then all Hell breaks loose. Yes. It’s Twisted Sister’s version of Christmas carols on their album called A Twisted Christmas and if you want to get a good flavour of what the band is about then check out and ask yourself why that demure young lady is kneeling in front of that guitar hero.

Well, blow me down.

So, it’s the Christmas edition of the blog and as tradition calls, it will have cracker jokes, but this year it’s the ones they’ve decided to ban.

Q   What shoes do frogs wear in summer?

A   Open toad sandals.

Ho, ho, ho, let’s go…….(also from Twisted Sister)

So socially a good week. The office lunch took place (me and one other) in Prince’s Square where my favourite line from the table next to us was ‘Both your father and I have had long term relationships….’ I mean, break it to your daughter quietly, why don’t you?

That’s as bad as me telling you, the listener, that my son’s adopted, before I tell him. Except I’ve just done that, haven’t I? Ooooops. I’ll maybe reinstate the allowance. Albeit unwittingly.

And I was also at the excellent House For An Art Lover in Bellahouston Park for lunch on Wednesday.

Q   What’s green and turns red at the flick of a button?

A   A frog in a liquidiser.

And as the nation searches desparately for comic relief with the demise of Watson’s Wind Up (Christmas and New Year specials coming up) can I recommend the Jung Wan? She very kindly suggested that I might be interested in attending a comedy writing workshop at Maggie’s Farm, gave me the time and then phoned me ten minutes after it started to tell me she’d given me the wrong time. Well, I drove like a Bat out of Hell (Meatloaf, and one of my late dad’s favourite songs); arrived at the original, agreed time (but an hour late) and just as they were breaking for coffee. Comic timing? Sheer genius. Serioulsy. 😀

Q   Mum, can I have a dog for Christmas?

A  No, you’ll have turkey like everyone else. 

Incidentally, bestest friend Caitlin, I’ve bought yet another new jacket thing. If I come over at Hogmanay, I’ll wear it. Black. Obvioulsy*. And Vampire Slayer? Your ‘cool’ mum. She’s not Sicilian Mafia is she? I’m treading gently from now on. And Missie K? It all happened in one guy’s bedroom in West Princes Street. (I realise that line is open to misinterpretation. I’m keeping it in) And, L frae Troon, don’t worry about last Tuesday. Every cloud, etc. I met Peggy Sue on the Maryhill train. 🙂 Moving on…..just in case. 😉

* That night of the year, there’s a barrier comes down by the Lidl preventing people from leaving Summerston unless they offer Ferrero Rocher to the guard.

Oh, a propos, c’etait ton appel toujours. C’est dommage, mais merci pour tout. Je sera toujours ici.

And bestest literary line of the week? ‘Lolita, not a book you’d take to a Parent’s Evening.’ And I loved the way Peter Kay destroyed Adrian Chiles the other night. ‘I’m not homophobic. I love my house.’ And next week is the annual Awards ceremony. I have no idea what the categories are.

Q   What did the transvestite do at Christmas?

A   Eat, drink and be Mary.

And to the Great Council and the sub-committee known as TMCB(AK) plus the person I had the office lunch with, I have two extra resolutions;

To make up my own mind more often. What do you think? And, also…. ‘to pull an all-nighter’. I have no idea what it means, but Jon Sopel on BBC News used it so it must be okay. Any thoughts, BBC Al?

Q   What pet makes the most noise?

A  A trum-pet.          (I’m sorry but that is awful) 😦 😦 😦

Incidentally, I have little to say on the Rage Against The Machine Facebook campaign as I’m sure that all those people who signed up know the links between RATM, Simon Cowell and Sony, especially those who work for multi-national, global enterprises with branches everywhere, Capitalist Greedy Grasping Bastards inc. (See me, see Marxism. I am old and unrequited, eh, unreconstructed), but if you do want to make a real difference to the World, please have a look at Kids are steelworkers too.

Q  What do you call a deer with no eyes?

A  No idea.

And I’m staying quiet on the cancerly, alkoholically front this week, other than to say, if you Love Film, Love Charity, have a look at Please. Except to take issue with ageing misogynist Peter Alliss, whose views on Tiger Woods are that  ‘if you declare yourself an addict of something and that you are getting treatment for it… get sympathy.’ Not always from the management people, Peter, but often from the most unexpected sources. But my world knows that.

He also dismissed Tiger’s friends as ‘good looking women, irrespective of whether they were waitresses’. (sic)

Q   What lies in a pram and wobbles?

A   Jelly babies.

And this space had been set aside to chronicle Partick Thistle’s amazing ten goal victory over Ayr United doon the watter this afternoon, but it never happened……the game that is, not the victory……and so presents have been finally wrapped, neighbours’ cards completed (all others in the post and hopefully well received) and the mulled wine kit in the cupboard completely ignored again, so it’s maybe time to reflect a touch.

The blook (of blessed memory and its material will be recycled and serious thanks to all concerned) contained a chapter in which I chronicled the fact that several recent Christmases had been spoiled by death, dependency and disease, and last year, by everyone else’s flu. So three years on from the Sunday that has shaped my life in recent times, I have decide to embark on a spirit of selfishness I have not displayed for a long time. (pauses).

Nup, I can’t do it. There are people out there to whom I owe my very existence. And if some times I have a child-like innocence, then that’s not a bad thing. Regaining innocence? Not a bad wee trick.

So, some doors will never be closed. 

Moving thoughtfully but swiftly on…….Final gag;

Q   What is green and stands in the corner?

A   A naughty frog

My favourite. No. No reason.



So, have I missed anything? Oh, yes, to quote laconic, laid-back comic genius, Phil Differ in his e-mail keeping me posted; ‘Oh, almost forgot, merry christmas and a happy new year.’

Limmy, coming to a screen near you soon.

My pride is dying I think I’m all done lying nobody’s sharing so I stop caring all alone and walking nobody’s talking. Why can’t you be nicer to me?

December 12, 2009

Yes. I know. I promised a Christmas ditty but I realise that the lyrics of Oh Come All You Faithful are exactly the same whether sung on Twisted Sister’s Christmas Album, A Twisted Christmas or by Peterhead Academy Choir when that, and not Sexy Lexy Burke, was the highlight of the fishing community’s festivities.

I wasn’t born in Peterhead but Peter Mullen (star of My Name is Joe…interesting plotline), Tony Robinson (boring fart) and one of the Sutherland Brothers (Sailing and Arms of Mary) all were. I was born in Ellon, where the other Sutherland Brother was born.

So, instead, I give you a nice festive song by the White Stripes.

I feel in festive mood this week ‘cos I’ve now done three years ‘clean and clear’, Son Brian has now fully settled in to his new penthouse suite (and I’ve terminated his allowance with extreme prejudice) and my cancer consultant told me he didn’t expect to see me for fully one year. I loved the receptionist who asked me if ten o’clock in twelve months’ time would be okay. So far, so good. Acceptance, but never closure.

One person I’ve never thanked is the 999 operator who talked me through my emergency call on Cold Turkey Sunday. Not only did she tell me to leave the front door unlocked, to dress warm, to take (with me) whatever drugs I was on and to have money and some form of ID, but to Stay Brave, Stay Cool, altho’ I think she meant calm cool rather than Ginsberg cool. Chillax.

So let’s move on somewhat dewey (sp) eyed, altho’ a Game Plan for 2010 is being drawn up and will be submitted in full to the Great Council. It’s currently with a sub-committee known as Two Men Called Brian (and Katie).

So a quick Well Done to former student, current pop picker and top PR, Heather C, for getting an award. No. I don’t know what for but, hey, the closest I ever got was being nominated. (Sony, since you ask)

And Missie K and I both watched Frankie Boyle on Buzzcocks (separately, I should stress) and honestly, people Carol Vorderman’s age, why don’t they just act sensible and not pretend immaturity? 🙂

And the Vampire Slayer’s on TV on Sunday night, having infiltrated SuBo‘s audience, but the top performance ever of Cry Me A River is by Joe Cocker at Woodstock (check out the female backing singers); Leon Russell was my first ever Rock God (check the hair); I hope Stacey wins X Factor; and I still wonder about Same Difference. Don’t you? No. No reason.

And to people who say they don’t understand the blog, can I just say……It’s as easy to understand as the theory of relativity. Honest. E =MC2 means your uncle is your father’s brother. Simple.

And ‘Hello There’ may not be the World’s greatest catchphrase but I’ll miss Heather the Weather from BBC Scotland screens (If only Gail the Gale would stop dressing like her spinster aunt, ….altho’, having said that, I’ve never met etc, etc………’I refer m’Lord and jt850 to the case of Beggars v Choosers’……VS, I trust your choice. Go for it.)

But that’s enuff about Carol Vorderperson and people acting their age, albeit unwittingly. 😦

X Factor, where the judges have a make up artist each, and the contestants have to share two.

(Note to Epsom Printer. ASDA didn’t have your ink in stock. That’s why I bought theirs. Don’t do this to me. It’s dark out there and I don’t know a 24 hour ink salesperson. Crack cocaine with pipe would probably be easier.)

But this week’s big disappointment? Somebody at the screenwriting class I go to (her mum drinks tomato juice is all I’m saying) listens to Watson’s Wind Up and of course I’m giving it big about being a writer and of course it’s announced the next day that this incredibly popular programme which encourages so many new writers is not being re-commissioned. Oh, and I didn’t have any material used this week, either. I’ll maybe slip in at the back of the class on Monday.

Oh, and next week is the Special Christmas Edition and the week after it’s the Annual Personality of the Year Competition won last year by 3 year old Ruby, who this year is 4 years old, but you can’t win it two years in a row, and you don’t have to be a person. C’est tout que je dis.

Et, puis-je dire, c’est ton appel. Toujours.

So before I finish, I’m torn between telling you about the total annihilation of Airdrie United (Death to the Diamonds) by the plucky Thistle in the fog in front of the notorious Section KKK, or the photo that was there for me in a Christmas card of a young one and a half year old lady to whom I’m related to by divorce or somebody’s re-marriage or something. This, and every week, the wean wins.

And finally, Tiger. I do think he’s entitled to Privacy (it’s the name of his yacht. Serioulsy). In the midst of all the stuff from amateur and pro psychologists (his parents said ‘no’ to most of his friends, he turned his back on his mentor and so on) I think we’re missing something. Here’s a young man who used his fame and fortune simply to enjoy himself. I know I used mine but, hey, I was single. (You still are, points out Jayne)  

I was going to do a gag about one of his lady friends who apparently is into bondage (but that doesn’t make her a bad person) but it involves a well known knot called a sheepshank. I didn’t even bother phoning BBC Al.


Johnt850, sober and solvent free if not sane and sensible

Some of you may have noticed that Tiger’s lawyers have won a case in the London courts which is supposed to prevent the press from not only publishing something but also from saying what they’re not allowed to publish. In short, total silence.

Reuters in Miami have reported that Tiger’s legal team have won an injunction against the publication of any nude photos or any videotape of Woods having sex, although his lawyers say that this ‘is not to be taken as an admission that any such photographs exist’. (Or that a magazine called Playgirl has been offered any.)

As my gd frnd Clr said, when I told her; ‘That’s probably the most expensive Just In Case in history. 😉

Some will win, some will lose Some were born to sing the blues Oh, the movie never ends It goes on and on and on and on, Don’t stop believin’ Hold on to that feelin’ Streetlight people

December 5, 2009

And that’s the version by Journey, seasoned performers as opposed to X Factor karaoke singers. You know it makes sense for Christmas Number One.

But if you have to vote, vote early, vote often for Stacey. No. No reason. (Other than the bleedin’ obvious ) 🙂

Also bleedin’ obvious is Christmas, with special blog editions and annual awards and stuff. Maybe Christmas music next week? I have a festive album. I think I’ll put my tree up this weekend. Anybody got any good Christmas computer wallpaper?

But first, I have to report back on the meeting of the Great Council held in great secrecy (in a basement bar in Bath Street). Even whilst I was thinking about it last week, a convocation was called. It was as if my mind was being read. Ambitious, and risky where the Vampire Slayer is concerned. Hot. Sizzle. Leah Cairns has no chance.

I would love to tell you all that was said, but ground rules are ground rules, but I have a version of the minutes, ‘like, properly, chopped down’ and my quest for a companion will be answered by (fanfare of trumpets)…Harry Poland of Garnethill…(eh?) But I want a woman. Hang on. It’s maybe the first step in the challenge.

I will keep you posted (or will use Match DOT Com….or blind dates considered. Serioulsy.)

And then the next day I was interviewed by a student, whom I know, from Glasgow’s newest university, and difficult it was as well. Now, I’m well used to telling the tale of my cancerly alkoholic time. I’m open about it, in the hopes, for example, that closed minds will give alkies a decent break. I tell it once or twice a week it seems which is why certain things will never leave my life. Good and bad. So far, so good. 😀

I think it’s also the detail, that I did guzzle the equivalent of a bottle to a bottle and half of whisky every day every week for thirteen and half months, and that I was confirmed as alkoholic and having cancer within just eight months. I don’t know if the Guinness World Record people keep that kind of records, but it was detail enough to persuade the young ladies at the next table to ask for their bills and leave.

It was a good interview. I had to address things I’d not thought about for a long time. My eyes moisted over but I don’t think I cried. I am now. I look forward to reading it.

Anyway, it might be appropriate to get the wise words of Lindsay C, the Record’s Top Teen Angst Queen out of the way; ‘Stick with the people you trust. There may not be many but they are all you need.’ Wise words.

(Lindsay’s is one of the mail addresses that were sacrificed to a Virus recently, so can you let her know please? She’s nice but from Airdrie. Talk slow.)

I think it’s been a quiet week after all that, except I helped Son Brian move stuff from his maternal home to his new flat in posh part of posh suburb. Son, I have spoken again with your uncles. I have some news for you.

(I got an old black desk chair as a reward for my efforts. It’s like the Captain’s chair of a Louisiana tug, the greatest boat in the history of the world, as it manoueuvres an oil rig in Peterhead Bay Harbour. I’d forgotten that afternoon. That was, like, serious wow. We almost got pulled over at one stage. I was 21 at the time.)

And I’d like to say thanks to all those who grew moustaches to raise awareness of male cancer…..except you didn’t succeed with everyone. One footballing legend talked of men checking themselves for prostate cancer. Em,….does he know where it is and how you get at it? Leave it to the nurse, I say.

So there’s a certain element of housekeeping this week. Clear the shelves before the Christmas cards flood in….just in case. Em,…..well just one so far. From Canada.

So incredibly big one first. Most listeners know the influence of my gd frnd Clr and the blogmeister in getting this blog going, but there was an incredible amount of help and stuff from another person who, for kinda professional reasons, (you don’t reveal sources) I couldn’t mention at the time. 

But incredibly incredible Suzy is about to move on to pastures new, so before you start your new journey, thanks for all your help with mine (double x with mega-hug). 

So to Ms Siobhan, Happy Birthday and it makes a big difference when you catch the right bus;

to bestest friend Caitlin, I’ve been given yet another date but I’ll keep you posted;

to my website designer, Jack Gringo, congrats on son Dylan;

to journalist legend Joe Quinn, good retirement;

to the Comedy Unit who continue to use work of mine in Watson’s Wind Up, thanks;

a gratuitous mention to Oonagh, whom I’ve not menshed for some time ; 

to the good looking female assistant in a shop just off Byres Road for meeting almost all my Christmas needs;

to Liz and Jaymi for breakfast this morning, well worth your early start;

to the drama students who attended the game to hear the banter, can I just say we have steak pies with creme fraiche every week! 

and to the Daily Record asking for peoples’ memories of the world famous Rogano restaurant, here in Glasgow? One, and she turned down the invite. C’est toujours son appel. (that’s the French fem, isn’t it?) Mais j’ai une autre idee, d’accord?

All the above without a single innuendo, BBC Al. Mind you, I don’t half miss a good slagging, now and again. 😦

Moving swiftly on, and finally…Tiger Woods – a man who makes Jordan seem a paragon of virtue. To Gillette, is that apology the best a man can get?

So I won’t do the Tiger Woods gag about him hitting the fire hydrant and the tree but missing the windmill, the dogleg, but finding the clown’s mouth, in the same way I didn’t do the gag last week linking the town in Cumbria most affected by floods with Monica Lewinsky. What town? Oh, Cockermouth. Why?

cya 😉


oh, and to another good friend of the blog and, indeed, of its author, can I also say well done to e and her husband, ‘the main man’ as opposed to ‘the other man’ (me) for producing their own ‘wee man’ (a wee bit overdue) and his name is, oh shit, ‘I’ve like, properly, chopped down’ these notes as well. His name seems to be 7lbs 1 oz. Nice one. The present’s in the post, btw. It’s a puppy.