'funny, and not a little bit strange' - the guardian; 'an offbeat treat' - web user
Friday, January 31, 2003
Papyrus man in seabird coup
Steve Garrett, 72-year-old managing director of Papyrus Graphical Deception, is the clear winner of the ‘Why the hell is it called The Audi Olympics?’ Competition. His answer was rubbish, but I can think of no man more deserving of a blank piece of paper and a decomposing seabird. I’ll even throw in two pieces of charcoal, some headed notepaper from the Langlands Nursing Home, a toy chicken, a photograph of a grenadier guardsman’s leg, a section of the Glenrothes bus terminus, and a brake pad off a Ford Escort. Many congratulations, Steve.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Fantastic new seabird competition!
Yes, get a load of this. You can win a great new Audi Blogbond (see TAO, 25/1) for the knockdown price of £5.82 - plus half a cormorant. All you have to do is tell me, in under 11 words*, how this ludicrous weblog gets its name.
Olympics links total rises to seven
Thanks to Mrs Irise-Flatz, the number of links for The Audi Olympics has now risen to seven. This world-recognition is nice, but some hard cash would be infinitely better. Many thanks, though, Beelzebub. You have a nice one, too.
*Gregory Daly ineligible.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Come and have a go
Chief of Police
I note with admiration the Police's new policy of punishing 'have-a-go heros' with a hefty fine and forcing them to pay compensation to the muggers and burglars whom they injure. However, while you rightly disapprove of these miscreant civilians, you will be impressed to learn that, on Saturday 25th, while proceeding in a westerly direction down the High Street, I threw myself in front of a speeding motorist. I'm sure you would be proud of me; after all, some of these thoughtless bastards can reach speeds of around 35mph.
Plan to fail
I imagine that, if you park your car at the Royal Audiville Hospital, then enter the hospital, then realise that you don't have the £1 necessary to get your vehicle out of the car park, then walk a mile or two to find a cashpoint, that you'd then be about half an hour late for your appointment.
Nurse: Half an hour late, Mr Graber?
Me: Fancy a new job?
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
How to give the impression of being a village idiot
When the MD has given a Team Dynamics presentation on the staggering performance of the company and everyone has been wowed by the awesome stats and profit margins, when the raucous applause and whooping have died down and he asks for questions, don't ever say, "Why does the letter W not bold-up on your PowerPoint slides?" A remark like that can seriously spoil a decent atmosphere.
Monday, January 27, 2003
Conversations at Audi Towers
Sarah: So you managed to stay up until 5am watching the tennis?
Me: Er, yeah.
Sarah: Was it good?
Me: It was great.
Sarah: Who won?
Me: I have no idea.
Hannah: Daddy, can I have a sleepover for my birthday?
Me: Of course you can. Whose house do you want to stay at?
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Redressing the balance
Bashing Britain has become all-too fashionable recently. You can’t open a newspaper without reading about how we’re sheltering extremist hate-merchants from Middle-Eastern countries, how we’re platforming the toxic propaganda pumped out by dangerous Muslim clerics, how we’re becoming the world headquarters of Islamic fundamentalism, and how we’re permitting mass illegal immigration because of a PR stunt gone hideously wrong.
Then we read about the appalling weather, the crumbling hospitals, the abysmal state of our education system, the overcrowding in our cities, the overtaxation of the middle classes, the creation of a classless, immoral, know-nothing Britain, dulled by drugs and unrestrained sex - one that can be sliced up and fed easily into the Euro-blender.
Well, I , for one, think it’s time to redress the balance.
If you head for Skipton in North Yorkshire, come off the main town square near the castle, pop down Gillibrand Street and turn left into Meredith Square, there’s a little shop that sells really sticky, tasty fudge. My wife and I have been going there for years.
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Audi Blogbonds – a great reader offer
It’s time to reward my loyal readers. Yes, there’s a fabulous new way of subscribing to The Audi Olympics. We will send you a great new Audi Blogbond beautifully presented on blank A4 cartridge paper – for a one-off payment of only £5.74. Yes, that’s £5.74 for a lifetime's reading, sent to me, on top of your normal ISP subscription charge. Simply tick the appropriate bullet point below:
- Yes! I know an opportunity when I see one, and this one has me mesmerised. Please rush me 8 Audi Blogbonds by the end of July
- Yes, I may be interested, but can’t work out how to tear off the bottom of my monitor
- No, I feel that this offer is flawed, if only I could work out why, and that you are a silly man.
Friday, January 24, 2003
Best regards to Lagos
The Oil Plantation
Dear Mrs Mbanga Omorodion
Thank you for allowing me to make a huge banking transaction on your behalf. I am sorry to hear about the sad deficiencies of Nigerian banks. I also regret the passing of your husband, tribal chief Joseph, and thank you very much indeed for the promise of $2m, which will clear some of my debts and help fund a bloody revolution the like of which the world has not witnessed since 1789. I’m sure the money will arrive soon.
I note with surprise that I was the only person on the entire planet to call you, and can only assume that they all thought it was some horrible scam. More fool them, eh? Oh, just one more thing. It would be smashing if you could just release my wife and children. And I’d love to see my life savings again, too. Anyway, many thanks and best regards to all in Lagos.
Cambridge don is latest Olympics link
Holly-Ann d'Ivy, a Cambridge don providing much-needed intellectual gravitas and some nifty leg-waxing techniques, is Link Number 6 for The Audi Olympics.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
More things it’s best not to do
When you’ve been for a four-mile run at lunchtime, enter the foyer at work covered in mud and horse shit, wiping green gozz from your nose with your sleeve and sweating like an ox, just as the MD is greeting influential Japanese clients.
When taking an experimental new route to work, take a wrong turning and end up in North Wales.
Sit on the toilet at work having appalling diarrhoea just as the MD enters with same influential Japanese clients.
Get spotted by influential clients trying to impress office girls with your impersonation of an 11th-century Samurai warrior catching a bus.
Single-handedly scupper a key business deal with influential Japanese clients.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Jabs girl joins the revolution
Nurse: Hello, Mr Graber. I’m giving you your immunotherapy jab today.
Me: Oh. Where’s Dr Pheromone? (see TAO 15/1)
Nurse: Off sick since last Wednesday. Stress. High blood pressure.
Me: Ah. I was wondering…
Me: If you’re happy working here.
Nurse: Very, why?
Me: (lowers voice) It’s just that, I’m part of a sort of, er, organisation. It’s quite a, er, radical venture, with, ah, big ideas. And we could use a professional like you. Someone with access to dangerous drugs. Tell me, have you ever given a lethal injection? I’m talking bus queues, Waterloo Bridge, umbrella tips in buttocks, maybe risin, 30ml of strychnine, concrete boots, late flights to Rio, Copa Cabana Beach, insurrection, new beginnings, new dynasties, London’s burning, take no prisoners, hush-hush, mum’s the word, you know the score.
Nurse: Mr Graber, I will have no more of this ridiculous talk in my surgery! (whispers) Suburban Guerillas? Audi Olympics? Count me in, bud – here’s my number.
Audiville small ads
Embarrassed silence, to hire, suit dinner party, office cocktails, small fault, slight throat-clearing, three-year guarantee to destroy your social life.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Snacks critic stocks up on Snack-a-Jacks
A Lancashire man who asked the Royal Air Force to blow a snacks factory off the face of the earth has had a remarkable change of heart. Back in April 2002, Nigel Graber took a single bite from a cheesy Snack-a-Jack and threw up. He then gave his nearest RAF base the precise location of the Quaker factory.
But now, the bald, feisty, Audiville-based editor has sampled the caramel version of the savoury, Middlesex-produced snack and declared them "really quite palatable". However, the revolutionary, tennis-playing wordsmith still considers the cheesy version to be a weapon of mass destruction, and supplies are reportedly on order for the three dozen or so illegal immigrants living with full Government consent in his summerhouse.
New feature: Blog laugh of the week
Blog: A fish out of water.
Laugh: 'Do I think that women are oppressed? Certainly. Do I believe that women are just as smart, capable, talented, and deserving as their male counterparts? Undoubtably.'
Monday, January 20, 2003
Mad Irish ranter baffles Audiville editor
An Irish former mental patient* and chicken-fancier has got an Audiville editor baffled with the success of a weblog that defies universal logic. Nigel Graber is beginning to question his sanity over Gregory Daly’s site. Gregorianranting, whose author has published several hammer-horror novels based loosely on the efficacy of Carthaginian sewerage systems, conforms to none of the accepted tenets of good writing, and yet achieves over one million hits a day.
Graber is now questioning other universally accepted truths. So far, he has had no success with the Law of Aberration. Trying to exceed the speed of light with a crude ballistic missile made from an old sideboard soaked in methylated spirit, he was unable to achieve the level of warp required to overtake the Andromeda Galaxy and outstrip the speed of star clusters relative to the earth. He was also unsuccessful with Dulong-Petit’s Law. For four hours, Graber sat in a lit gas oven trying to disprove the resident molar heat capacity. He did, however, blow his bottom off and reduce the kitchen at Audi Towers to splintered matchwood.
Graber was similarly unable to disprove that the famous Grandfather Paradox violates the causality of time travel. Getting his grandad to build a time machine, Graber shot back in time and met his grandad before he had had children. Classically, though, an argument broke out over a burned muffin, and Graber beheaded his grandad, thus arguing the bald, Audiville-based editor out of existence.
*this bit not true
Sunday, January 19, 2003
WWF stars to diversify into wildlife preservation
Professor Cumulus Gripspeed
Your Enhanced Cumulusness
So, we meet again, my arch-nemesis. You can run, but you can't hide.
Thank you for your invitation to sponsor a Bengal tiger. I will, however, have to turn your offer down, as they are savage bastards that would tear you to shreds as soon as look at you. I would rather go train-surfing naked in Rio. I suggest you check out any printed wildlife guide or textbook for confirmation of the alarming viciousness of these animals. This is something you would know about if you had ever wrestled one - a proposition close to the heart of your foundation. I know I should care... but I don't.
While I have your attention, could I just ask why some species are more sacrosanct than others? I never seem to get any offers to sponsor goats or cows, despite their obvious sexual allure, and the world makes no effort to protect them, and every effort to eat them and wear them.
I'm confused. Oh, and a more-convincing reply than the one I received last time would be appreciated. 'The web server was on holiday in Ecuador for the weekend and my PA had two broken arms' will obviously not suffice, this time.
Friday, January 17, 2003
Tony, please pop back
Tony Blair (Which Project?)
Please pop back to Britain, as it’s got a bit messy during your campaign to become Lord Sovereign Protector of Europe, although I appreciate this role is crucial to the UK. Particularly as we have so much in common with the French, who eat grubs out of the garden, the Germans, who we’ve been at war with twice, the Spanish, who spend their entire lives in a deep, deep sleep, and the Italians, whose men would shag a goat if it put on a basque.
Let me bring you up to date. A name scrawled in lipstick on a Rizla cigarette paper is now acceptable immigration ID, and over half our population comprises violent illegal immigrants.
I’m all for hospitality, but offering illegally imported terrorists a BMW, an executive house, Sky TV, a gun, £3,000 in deadly-nerve-gas vouchers, and a Toffs football shirt of their own choice, is a little overfriendly. Particularly when, if they bob back over to France, they can come back and claim another car, another house and a Toffs ‘away’ shirt. While this is terrific for refugees, for terrorism in general, and for Toffs – and amusing for the French – I find it a little disheartening.
Burglars will not now be jailed for a first offence, under the Government’s First Offence Free scheme. And Tony Martin, who defended his property with a gun, has been kept on in prison for a further six months because he is ‘a danger to burglars’. Don't get me wrong - I love burglars, too. And I am fully behind your prisoner/civilian exchange scheme, in which you keep nasty thugs on the streets, and decent, hardworking people incarcerated - but three months might have been fairer.
Thursday, January 16, 2003
Don’t buy white vans. I’ve noticed their indicators rarely work.
People on buses never smile.
Today’s conundrum: how do you prevent computer-game freaks from becoming air-traffic controllers?
And finally, if you were born in the UK on, say, 21 January 1903, but die in Australia in the early hours of 21 January 2003 (Aussie time), would you get your message from the Queen?
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Half a day off work each week
Doc: Hello, Mr Graber. My name’s Dr Pheromone. I’ll be handling your immunotherapy today. Did you have a nice journey here?
Me: Well, I got lost in the hospital – signage would be helpful - and the card you sent didn’t say which department to go to. Probably, if you were to employ an Internal Communications Officer on, say, £45k plus a decent set of wheels, someone local, about my height, who knows how to communicate with customers, that could be a good thing. Anyway, I ended up in the mortuary and they were just about to do an autopsy on me when I remembered I was here for a hay-fever jab. Oh, and Preston’s a nightmare. Don’t go there. Oh, you work here, don’t you? I think they can forget about the Olympic bid.
Doc: What Olympic bid?
Doc: Anyway, what can you tell me about the immunotherapy treatment?
Me: Why, don’t you know? You’ve not got the hang of this, have you? You’re the doctor, I’m the patient.
Doc: No, it’s for the consent form. I need to ask.
Me: Well, it’s seven weeks. Half a day off work each week, a chance to read the paper in peace…
Doc: There is a risk of anaphylactic shock, coma or death.
Me: Why, are you not doing it right?
Doc: Repeat after me…‘I realise that participation in this therapy may cause serious injury or death’.
Me: 'Repeat after me’… it’s just like getting married. So romantic.
Doc: Please sign this form immediately! Thank you. This is a matter of life or death.
Me: You’re a refugee, aren’t you?
Doc: Mr Graber, are you a demented idiot?
Me: I don’t know. You tell me. You’re the doctor.
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Audiville Parish Community Centre
Weekly activities, week beginning 20 January 2003
8.00pm 7th Audiville Brownies
9.00pm Batik and macrame
7.00pm 12th Audiville Cub Scouts
8.00pm Whist drive
7.00pm 8th Audiville Girl Guides
8.00pm Ladies’ aerobics
9.00pm Becoming a vicar – Rev. Bamford
7.00pm Armed-assault training, how to kill a man, military manoeuvres (in Badgers Wood), drill instruction, using nerve gases to maim and kill, mobilising a field force, beginners’ espionage, operating a tank, getting the most from your Uzi, hand-grenade training, command and control, advanced military strategy – the Suburban Guerillas; get the bastards before they get you – contact N Graber for further details
7.00pm Ladies’ Circle beetle drive
8.00pm Ballet, tap and modern
9.00pm Classics group - Beethoven night.
Monday, January 13, 2003
Nothing like a good night’s sleep
When, during your quiet, recreational Sunday, you’ve run five miles, done 500 leg curls in the gym, painted and decorated for four hours, then played three sets of tennis, you'd think that you’d be tired when you get to bed. That’s what you’d think. But, then, I’m not conventionally organic like other people. I am, in fact, a Formica worktop made entirely from quite an attractive granite compound. And my children are chopping-boards.
Anyone got any tips on how to sleep undetected in the workplace?
Saturday, January 11, 2003
Film reviews: easy on the cheese
Film: Pearl Harbor
Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale
Cost: Relatively free, Sky MovieMax
During the course of this extraordinarily long movie, my children grew up, left home and had children of their own, Sam, in particular, excelling himself with a successful legal practice aimed at weeding out fraudulent accident claims. Hannah became a respected journalist on a national paper, and mad Tibbie opened a small shop selling... selling ...purple loin cloths, probably. I grew old and bitter, drank more and more, and counted at least four other films glued badly into the plot, including Top Gun, Under Siege and Titanic.
Before we began watching, Sarah and I prepared a plateful of biscuits, but the accompanying dollops of cheese turned out not to be required. If you can't predict exactly what will happen in the last 30 minutes, you have never been to the movies or are clinically dead.
Friday, January 10, 2003
Great novelists of the 19th century: Dougal McDougal
Dougal McDougal was one of the great Wessex novelists of the late 1800s, despite his mother's claims that he was born in Yorkshire in 1957. McDougal’s career was blighted by accusations that he plagiarised Thomas Hardy, and the public were not slow to voice their disapproval when, in 1954, he published Dave the Obscure, although Hardy himself described it as ‘gripping stuff’. McDougal was forced into a court of law, where a judge sentenced him to eight years of daily commuting between Audiville and Macclesfield, with strict instructions not to avoid the Thelwall Viaduct.
An intense man, McDougal was troubled by a dwindling religious faith, a condition relieved only by laxatives and poorly written self-help manuals. For 40 years, he studied Anselm, Aquinas, Charles Darwin and Tommy Steele, eventually concluding on his deathbed that the force controlling the universe was Don Revie, manager of the wonderfully violent Leeds side of the mid-70s.
McDougal’s downfall was in believing his characters were real. When Hermione Thuggery, in his masterwork, A Mighty Fine Bladder, loses her hard-won virginity to the Dorchester Rugby Club second team, Dougal McDougal is plagued by guilt. An awkward attempt to save Hermione by physically forcing himself into the story post-publication, fails on a legal technicality, and he dies of confusion while trying to impregnate an unconvincing plasticine model of his sweetheart.
More stuff to bear in mind
When you have a cold, try to ensure that you keep fresh tissue paper handy at all times, as sneezing violently into a colleague’s European Journal of Diabetes manuscript, while they’re holding it, is unlikely to be well-received.
Thursday, January 09, 2003
New series: ludicrous-but-true stories
In my last job, a really stupid colleague went for an interview elsewhere. On his CV, he'd put 'watching football' under the Outside Interests bit. Thinking this was a bit thin, he added - off the top of his head - 'birdwatching'. On the big day, remarkably, all was going well. Then, the interviewer inevitably asked, "I see you're an ornithologist. I'm a bit of a twitcher myself. What do you think of Martin Mere?"
"Martin Mere? I've read all his books. He's great."
Dates, most of April, May, June, August still available, also late September, 5th October, Thanksgiving, available individually or in lucky bag, enclose s.a.e and large cheque to cover administration.
Marathon blogger links to Olympics
Olympics linked yet again! Mr Gregorianranting, the king of long-distance blogging, has become Link Number 5. He has also been linked by Interpol with serious crimes against brevity, with yesterday’s post coming in at an amazing 3,877 words. If I’m ever on Death Row, I promise to read every single one of them, Greg. Seriously, mate, your life is fascinating - if I was living it, I would never run short of material.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
More Audiville small ads
Goodmans karaoke machine, unwanted children's Christmas present, used over and over again, huge dent, slight bloodstaining and evidence of brain matter, otherwise fine.
Broken wings, take, learn to fly again, learn to live so free.
Reebok Stadium, Premiership-quality football ground, bargain £46m, private sale, phone Nigel Graber, on no account make contact with stadium staff or football club representatives.
Man, in wicker, amazing pet carrier, absolutely terrifying, must go today, really very scary, be very quick, also Edward Woodward.
Japan, large, technologically switched-on nation, grab this great Far-Eastern memorabilia, contact Nigel Graber, can deliver, £44.
Snow, suit cold climate, be quick, going very fast.
Small ad, to fit this space, perfect size, bought in error.
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Yet more things to bear in mind
When you’re late for work for the first time ever, try not to bump into your boss in reception. This would give the impression that you are almost-supernaturally unlucky.
When you run a multimillion-pound supermarket, it’s attention to detail that really wins the day. So please try to replace the paper in the toilet cubicles. Otherwise, your customers might have to use the second half of the Daily Mail's property supplement and part of the financial section.
When you’re a top BBC sports reporter called Gary Richardson, please try to familiarise yourself with the leading cricketers of the day. Interviewing a drunken Australian supporter in the belief that he is Alec Stewart could be construed as gross and unforgivable stupidity.
When the aforementioned boss sends you an e-mail entitled 'Promotion notice', on no account should you infer that it involves you. You certainly should not whoop and holler your way around the office. A person can appear very foolish in these circumstances.
Sunday, January 05, 2003
Things to bear in mind when editing the Daily Mail
In a UK-wide newspaper, using a sentence like this on your front page tells me that you truly believe that your entire audience lives in the South of England:
'To add to the gloom, weathermen say the snow hitting Scotland, North Wales and Northern England will spread rapidly south.'
Saturday, January 04, 2003
Teddy bears can't swim
Me: I'd like to cancel my daughters' swimming lessons, please.
Leisure Centre Attendant: Er, OK. Why?
Me: Why?! Because they've been coming here every Saturday for two-and-a-half years and they can't bloody well swim.
LCA: Well, they're making progress.
Me: Making progress? I know iron girders with a better breaststroke; I can think of buildings that float better than my children. Do you actually know what swimming is? Here, I have a dictionary. It says...let's see...'to move along in water by means of movements of the body or parts of the body, especially the arms and legs'. Or do you have some other definition here that I'm not aware of? 'To take £52 off customers every ten weeks while we watch their children thrash about gasping for air on the bottom of the pool', perhaps?
LCA: Shhhh. OK, OK, Mr Graber, I can see you're upset...
Me: Upset? Upset? I've barely begun. You know, when Tibbie got that first distance certificate, I should have known...a Teddy Bear 1. Teddy Bears don't swim! Just a hint: think dolphins, fish, sharks. Not bloody teddy bears! Oh, and another hint: certificates are normally presented for horizontal distance, not vertical.
Friday, January 03, 2003
Deputy Assistant Trainee Director of International Relations (Acting)
Audiville Borough Council
You will be aware of Audiville’s relatively low level of literacy. Local folk – pleasant, affable, bighearted, insensible people – have trouble with their own names, and their IQs tend to begin with a decimal point. So, why, in its wisdom, did the tourism committee decide to twin Audiville with a place called Székesfehérvár? This move has regressed Anglo-Hungarian relations by at least 75 years.
The council should be aware that enunciating this name has become a pub sport, alongside bar billiards, pool, darts, bear-baiting, dominos and international cricket. Unofficial local champion is Teddy Fragments, an 88-year-old, thrifty, workshy chicken-sifter who managed to pronounce 11 of the 47 consonants within the allotted 13-hour timeframe, though not in the correct order, and not without horrific bloodshed. Teddy’s record is also subject to an inquiry following possible dental irregularities.
Thursday, January 02, 2003
A tip at Christmas
Professor J. Carnoustie Sprottles
Head of Environmental Regeneration
Audiville Borough Council
I see you were disappointed that the public were reluctant to offer tips to your Public Waste Environmental-Regeneration Facilitation Officers (bin men) over the holidays. The thing is, I might be more sympathetic to your men (OK, and women, dwarves, new-world assimilators etc.) had I not, on Christmas Day (traditionally a jolly time spent with my family), gone down with bubonic plague. My neighbours were equally dismayed when they perished from acute myeloid leukaemia, a result of the local rat population swelling to mediaeval levels. The fact is that Christmas, when the huge pile of garbage outside my home is surely too daunting a target for Al-Qaeda, is just a really bad time for bin men to take two weeks off.
So, here is my Christmas tip: turn up and collect the rubbish, you lazy bastards.
Wednesday, January 01, 2003
New Year’s Resolutions
‘To reappraise human rights issues in Zimbabwe through international diplomacy’, ‘To forge a permanent alliance between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland’, and ‘To raise the racial consciousness of my nation’ were all considered.
In the end, though, I plumped for ‘To feed the cat more often’.