'funny, and not a little bit strange' - the guardian; 'an offbeat treat' - web user
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Audi Man is now almost completely on holiday, to a ridiculous degree, in a South-West corner of France sort of way. He wants you to know that he still loves you all, despite the legal complications and the brown goo, and that he will next post on 3rd August.
Things it's best not to do
When you have discovered a barely legal scam, selling brand-new tennis rackets for a large profit on e-bay, under no circumstances whatsoever should you attempt to deliver them to the buyer wrapped up in brown cardboard and sealed with reams of parcel tape bearing your company's name and full postal address. Only dire consequences can result.
More inevitable cliches
When you have explained to your friend that your wife is in hospital with blood pressure of 105 and that she is likely to have a child any minute by emergency caesarean section, and he says to you, 'OK, I guess that means you'll be by her side night and day in hospital', then you reply, 'Well, no, actually, I'm going on holiday to a pretty little place down the French coast for two weeks', he will say, quizzically, 'Just run that one past me one more time'.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Audi audio observation
Auto-reverse tape decks are the invention of Satan's redder, more tridenty, hotter-clime-inhabiting, marginally more evil twin.
Audi man out-surrealed by 57th link
You thought I was bad. This girl could raise an eyebrow at a Duncan Goodhew lookalike convention. Just for the record, my knowledge of the industry surrounding guinea pigs with dislocated hips has lapsed.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
The last resort
Doctor: Mr Graber, your wife is very ill. She has dehydration, dangerously raised protein levels and extremely high blood pressure. The blood supply to the baby could be seriously disrupted. There is no way she can go on holiday on Friday, particularly as she will need round-the-clock care.
Me: Oh my God, that’s awful, but I understand completely. Under the circumstances, two weeks at home is absolutely the best thing. I’ll make the necessary arrangements straight away. [picking up phone] Hello, is that the Yelloh Holiday Resort? Yes, we’re booked in for Saturday. I’m afraid that my wife is very ill… What’s that? Cancel? Hell, no. I want to upgrade from self-catering to all-inclusive. Thanks.
Monday, July 14, 2003
Crystal-blue Italian streams
Radio: So that’s a minor shunt on the M62 westbound at junction 9. You will be delayed, so allow extra time for your journey. Now, we’ve got another caller about an incident in Cheshire…
Me: Is that Century FM radio? Jo Blakeway on the travel reports? Hi, Jo. I’d just like to report a giant, fierce, sabretoothed cat suspended from a hot-air balloon, attacking small vehicles on one of the North Cheshire A-roads, and absolutely everyone should avoid the area.
Jo: On the Wilmslow–Prestury Road? Millionaires' Row?
Me: Ah, so you've seen it too?
Jo: No, no one's seen it. Because there is no fierce, sabretoothed cat, is there, Nigel? Just like last week when there wasn’t really a volcanic injection of micro-particles and gases into the stratosphere that reduced the amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the Earth and kicking off a return to the Ice Age directly outside Harry’s Bar in Lower Alderley. Or the week before when the Mormons hadn’t rounded-up the good people of Tytherington, and torched them in an unlikely primitive ceremony on the A538 non-primary Manchester arterial route. It’s Monday morning, Nigel, the traffic’s bad – live with it.
Friday, July 11, 2003
Transports of delight
Cash-strapped MPs desperate for a solution to Britain’s overcrowded roads have ditched plans to add extra lanes to the country’s motorways, thanks to an idea from an unlikely source. If Lancashire-based editor Nigel Graber’s brilliant suggestion is taken up in Westminster, every motorway in the country will become a spectacular six-lane highway – for only 42p. That's less than half the MPs' £499 billion upgrade estimates.
“It’s simple,” says Nigel. “We make every motorway a one-way street. The only cost would be removal of the central reservation and turning the signs round, and this could be done in an evening by a syndicate of disillusioned midgets.” Transport Secretary Alastair Ego commented, “We have set up an expensive committee to examine these suggestions in detail. Right now, though, I can see no drawbacks, and I commend Mr Graber on his idea.”
Raise a glass to latest link
Full-time professional publican and part-time elk-flatterer Dave Wunk, the 'Master of the House', is only the 56th link for this site. Must try harder.
Anybody got more than 56? Just curious.
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Hairdressing inevitable cliches
The day after the doctors have forbidden your wife from going on the family holiday next week because she is so ill, the hairdresser will say to her, ‘Going anywhere nice this year?’ When your wife tells you this, you will blub like a baby.
People not to trust
When there is a row of three empty toilet cubicles, the bloke who chooses the middle one has been badly advised. He is also probably not the European noughts-and-crosses champion.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Possum’s First Law
Wife: Nigel, what the hell are you doing?
Me: I’m studying Possum’s First Law of Gravitational Dynamics in the Expanding Universe.
Me: Well, I need to know about tidal-stripping and dynamic friction. The Collisionless Boltzmann Equation defines a galaxy as a self-gravitating system of stars and particles of dark matter. By adopting this continuous description, we need not specify masses, positions and velocities for all N particles; instead, and this is crucial, we define a mass distribution and work in a 6N-dimensional phase-space.
Wife: Nigel, what planet are you on?
Me: Ah, well done, you catch on quick – that’s just my point. Earth. The flow of stellar-point masses through phase-space is incompressible; in simple terms, the phase-space density around a stellar phase-point always remains constant. If several species of stars are present, such as giants and dwarfs, then the density of each species must separately satisfy the equation, thus ensuring absolute contact with the falling frog. Do you see?
Wife: I could have sworn you just said ‘falling frog’.
Me: Top marks again. If you remember the kids’ school fair on Saturday, I was humiliated – totally humiliated – in the Bat the Frog game. You know the one – where you use a baseball bat to try to hit a frog dropped through a tube. I’m just making sure it doesn’t happen again next year.
Wife: You don’t take defeat easily, do you?
Lancashire bloggers come out of the kitchen
Stationary-travel consultant and fellow Lancastrian Fimble O’Treg has become the 55th link for the Audi Man.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
New series: standing book reviews
Introducing a new series, in which we review books based on a cursory 2-minute perusal in the classic, furtive ‘standing’ position on the bookshop premises.
Parents were being warned last night not to approach a new bestseller that has had SAS hard man Andy McNab weeping from four completely separate orifices. The latest Health and Safety Executive advice is that exposure to Maria Housden's Hannah’s Gift may be possible, but only under controlled conditions while wearing appropriate specialised protective equipment and in a thermally controlled anaerobic chamber.
Before entry to the bookshop, please ensure you are wearing appropriate face and neck shields, with particle-ground safety glasses. No open-toed shoes or sandals are to be worn and appropriate gloves must be used on contact with the book. Wear tight-fitting clothing - and on no account whatsoever attempt to read the last four pages.
Tomorrow: a new series in which I review Welsh jazz music whilst rolled-up in an asbestos carpet.
Leave a message and move on
After the Beep is link number 54 for the Olympics. Thanks, but 149 minutes in one go reading this nonsense is excessive. Please find a hobby so I can feel less guilty. And no hidden truths here - just broken dreams. Sorry.
Monday, July 07, 2003
Me: I'd like an urgent appointment with the new doctor, Dr Beany, please.
Reception: I'm afraid she's not available until Wednesday, October 15th. I can get you in with Dr Johnson or Dr Marsden for tomorrow?
Me: Hmm, no. I'll take the 15th October slot, thanks.
Rec: Name, please?
Me: Graber. Nigel Graber.
Rec: Ah, Mr Graber. Hmm. I'm afraid I can't give you that appointment, because you already have 37 appointments booked with Dr Beany. And you've had a further 12 in the last eight days – for, let me see, 'having some orangeade smeared around your upper lip', 'having something stuck to the front of your trousers', 'reversing your car over a biscuit’, ‘breaking two chocolate fingers’ and ‘feeling a little bit silly’. Mr Graber, I’m not medically qualified, but…
Rec: …But, ‘wanting to have your soul removed’ is not medically possible.
Me: Hmm, well my brother had his ego out. Without anaesthetic.
Rec: Mr Graber, would these ludicrous appointments have anything to do with Dr Beany's former career in the glamour industry?
Me: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. A bit.
53rd link gatecrashes the Olympics
Despite asking permission and it NOT being granted, comical adviser to the Moscow State Parliament, Melanie McPivots, is the 53rd link for this site. Melanie, please do NOT link me ever again.
Sunday, July 06, 2003
When you have watched Roger Federer for two weeks and become convinced he is either sipping liquid marijuana at the changeovers or he is a practising wizard, this conviction can be reinforced at the end of the Wimbledon final when he casually throws his bandana clear over the Centre Court roof.
Meanwhile, Mark Philippoussis' chances were not helped by his team of advisers who suggested he wear a tight-fitting surgical-rubber shirt for the biggest match of his life.
Things that puzzle me
When you are a blogger and you carry with you a little notebook, and you decide to flick through it one day for inspiration, what the Moses-on-a-moped you had in mind when you jotted down 'Disability Nipple Allowance claim'.
A link for every week
Cardiothoracic surgeon to the spirit world, Offscourings, is the 52nd link for this not a little strange site.
Friday, July 04, 2003
Not at the chiropodist’s
Me: Hmm, quite fancy a glass of wine.
Wife: Oh, and what will tonight’s excuse be?
Me: Er, celebrating you not being at the chiropodist’s?
Wife: Well, nine out of ten for effort. Certainly beats last night’s... what was it? The anniversary of Blondin’s walk across Niagara. And then Tuesday night… let me see, you opened a bottle of red to celebrate ‘safely negotiating the revolving door at the building society’, or was it the anniversary of Joe Louis’s first professional boxing bout? And last Friday’s was good, too: eleven days since we bought new bedding for the hamster. As excuses go, Nigel, that was crap. And what will it be tomorrow?
Me: Well, the debut of the long-running musical-variety program The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC? Or, Casey Kasem hosting radio’s ‘American Top 40’ for the first time on July 5th 1970? Failing that, it's South Ribble Ambulance.
Wife: South Ribble Ambulance?
Me: Yes, they've got a new payroll system. Or possibly I may commemorate President James Garfield being shot in the back at the Baltimore & Potomac train station by a crazed assassin. Did you know that the bullet lodged near his pancreas, and he never recovered and died later that year? Luckily, the assassin, Charles Guiteau, was immediately apprehended at the train station. That’s gotta be worth a double brandy.
Aussie expat is new link
Ros, another kangaroo–Earls Court Aussie expat who knows exactly what a nature strip is, and a distant cousin of Tony, has linked this site. Getting Up 2 is my 51st link.
Thursday, July 03, 2003
Lancashire Life: meet the editor at the Lancashire Show
Old lady: Ooh, you do do a super job on Lancashire Life. I loved your feature on water substitutes in the Anglezarke waterways and the decline of the fish population...
Ed: Yes, yes, I’m pleased you like the magazine. We’ll try to keep up our good work. It’s so nice to know that what we do is so well-received. [aside, worried] Who’s this bloke, Jim? I seem to recognise him.
Dep Ed: Oh, Christ. I remember him. It’s that mad Graber character. Do you want to do a runner while I deal with him?
Ed: The 38-and-a-half-hours man? September 2001 edition? Shit, he’s off his bleedin’ rocker. I’m off…
Me: Not so fast, Mr Skinner! So, at last I am face to face with Mr Anthony Skinner, the famous, famous amateur publisher. Would you care for a cigarette, Mr Skinner? Turkish, of course. Or a dry Martini, shaken not stirred? No? [laughing] But then, you might find it difficult to drink while you are firmly tied to your stall. You realise, of course, that I am going to have to kill you. Believe me, I would rather not. But I have to kill you. Have to. HAVE TO!
[puts fluffy cat down; begins to sweat and shake]
You have caused me a great deal of trouble, Mr Skinner. Thirty-eight-and-a-half hours of my life’s worth of trouble. Hanging comparisons, cliches, inconsistencies, dangling participles, misplaced modifiers, run-on sentences, misspelled names, comma splices, fused sentences, factual inaccuracies, broken page-breaks and skewed syntax. Thirty-eight-and-a-half-hours… 38-and-a-bloody-half hours of my life I spent marking-up and correcting your overpriced rag. The least – the very least – I expected was a reply. But, oh no! You knew better, Mr Skinner. But you will not cause me further trouble. And neither will your lovely friend.
I like you, Mr Skinner, I really do. We are very similar, you and I. Both of us deadly, swift and efficient. Perhaps if things had gone differently, you could have worked for me. But now, Mr Skinner, it is time for you to die, and I will soon be the world’s wealthiest man. Ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
[6 0’clock news]
Newsreader: There was controversy today at the Lancashire Show when the fire-brigade’s hydraulic equipment was required to remove the county’s most-famous publisher from one of Mrs Kirkham’s giant Goosnargh cheeses…
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Troll storm over tennis icon
Tennis icon and former world number one John McEnroe has denied that he is turning into some sort of bizarre, Tolkienesque creature from Lord of the Rings. The prolapsed superhero, currently appearing nightly on the BBC’s Today at Wimbledon programme, has alarmed some viewers with his appearance. The tetchy maestro has been seen with unsightly tufts of hair growing in odd places around his head and with extraordinarily sharp ears.
Tennis observer Nigel Graber, himself living in woodland at the foot of his Chorley garden, said, ‘I’ve noticed John is never seen standing up. This could be because his role at the BBC involves sitting behind a desk. But, more likely, it’s because he has a long tail, bushy hair on the back of his hands and huge hairy claws where his feet used to be.’
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Wife: Our new bed's lovely, isn't it?
Me: The one we got at the weekend? Yes, I'm looking forward to sleeping in it.
Wife: Shame we couldn't afford a headboard.
Me: Ah, I've solved that, with a little something I won on e-bay. I've fitted it, too. Come and look at this, you'll love it. There... what do you reckon to THAT?
Wife: WHAT THE JUMPING JACKSHIT IS THAT?
Me: It's a neon-backlit, artboard-mounted, lifesize poster of Andre Agassi. The shot they took of him saluting the crowd when he won the French Open after coming back from number 141 in the world. And, the best thing is, the kids can't tear it down, because I've bolted it to the masonry.
Me: Sarah, I don't think you understand how chilly it gets out here at night, and there's some really big spiders around.