Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The tale of Chicken Licken...

is also a parable of avian hubris. One day Chicken Licken whilst travelling to the woods is struck on the head by an acorn not much larger than his pea sized brain. Chicken Licken deduces from this that the sky has fallen in and therefore he must warn the King. Had the acorn fallen on any head other than Chicken Lickens the official record might have been kinder. However, this normally unremarkable happening set forth a train of events leading directly to Chicken Licken, Hen Len, Cock Lock, Duck Luck, Goose Loose, Gander Dander, Drake Lake and Turkey Lurkey being eaten by Fox Lox and his children in a wild flurry of feather, blood and crunching bone.

Many theories have been advanced to explain the strange belief that led to the fall of Chicken Licken and his friends. Dazzled by the dappled green wood Chicken Licken not only lost his way, some think, he also lost his mind.  So convincing was Chicken Licken that seven friends blinded by group think also lost their bearings. Whatever the speculation there was general agreement that by the afternoon’s end it wasn’t just Chicken Licken’s mind that had gone but so had the rest of him.

A board of enquiry found Chicken Licken's original deduction was in error and to conclude from one acorn that the sky was falling in showed a cavalier disregard for reality. The board was equally critical of Hen Len, Cock Lock and the others for sheepishly following Chicken Licken given his reputation as delusional. On the high attrition rate the board drew attention to the group's composition noting that eight such strikingly dim creatures joining in this manner was simply bad luck and could not have been foreseen.

Should fear of the sky falling in strike again, the board observes drily, look up. The enquiry also recommends upward looking as a solution to other problems like falling anvils or objects swinging by at head height. Had this advice been in place it is thought the death toll might have been smaller.

Yesterday, Nasa reported that in two weeks an asteroid of football pitch proportions will pass within 17,500 miles of the earth. Upward vigilance, watchwords for us all, methinks.    


Sunday, January 27, 2013


Observer newspaper observes the human body would fit "into a cube less than 1/500th of a centimetre on each side" if all the space between the atoms was compressed out. What remained would be incredibly dense in a fashion similar to neutron stars. I too would become incredibly dense and very minute should all my space suddenly decide to vacate. Now, there's a sobering thought to mull with the morning's toast. The article fails to explore what the cubed me might think if this occurrence came to pass. Not a lot, I suspect. However, should my contracting consciousness manage a final utterance it will contain the phrase "Fuck me!"

The theme of human shrinkage is explored somewhat in The Fly from 1958 where the protagonist comes to a very sticky end by having his brains bashed in with a huge boulder. Well, it was either that or be eaten alive by a big spider. As a life outcome not much can comfort the getting tinier especially if bashed in brains or becoming spider food are the alternatives. I am drawn, therefore, to the unarguable conclusion that losing all ones space is best avoided and at all costs too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Horse's head found...

in burger. The astonished horse, pictured, told the BBC "It came as much a shock to me as the kid whose bun I fell out of. Broke both his arms poor little bleeder. I think he was expecting the healthy option."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bits of John Bosco...

are currently touring the UK sealed in a glass coffin and attached to a life-size wax figurine. With no hint of irony the Catholic Herald claims this event fulfils the saint's wish to visit Britain. That JB is dead and beyond fulfilment appears an issue they've magnificently avoided. I think it's fair to observe that some 150 years ago when the blessed JB expressed a hope of reaching these shores he assumed it would be in one piece. I'm confident a saintly eye brow might have been more than raised had the suggestion been put to him that, yes, he would come here but not quite in the fashion expected. And how might one have explained to the venerable John that this same sainted eyebrow, lifted here in puzzlement, would indeed visit the UK but not with the rest of him. The eyebrow of course is pure speculation because it's not clear from the publicity which part, or parts, of John are here. It is unclear how much of John actually remains. I've seen a hand mentioned but is it left or right? Does it matter? It no longer matters to John that's for sure and here dear reader, lies the rub. As John's reputation for saintliness has grown then so his remains have shrunk. Those legs that once carried this hardy Christian soul are now lost in the mists of time along with his trunk, shoulders, head, both arms and the other hand. Who needs such trivia when you've a bedrock of four casters supporting a good trolley? Not the Catholic Church and certainly not their long departed priest. As the hallowed remnants of our desiccated deacon are dragged up and down these martyred byways can we really declare the opportunity for digital mischief will not multiply? After all, even a relic needs a rest from the razzmatazz. Getting that hand through customs on the way out might yet turn into a nightmare.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Asteroid Apophis...

will miss earth by the considerable margin of 36,000 kilometres in 2036. And here was me worrying.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Yesterday a large doe eyed spider...

not dissimilar to our friend on the right became trapped in my bath. Well, it seemed doe eyed to me and most probably because I too was doe-eyed from the previous night's excess of beer. The spider tried repeatedly to climb the bath's steep and pristine sides but being unable to find a purchase it slipped back. Over the edge I draped a line of loo roll to act as a ramp. My arachnid friend was gone this morning. It left no note.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

IBM supercomputer...

cannot speak slang, shock. Watson, named after Sherlock's sidekick presumably, is good at quizzes but not good at expletives. Good at answering questions on general knowledge not good at telling people to bugger off. The fluidity of language and meaning is beyond our chippy friend. Ask it to name the third highest Himalayan peak and quick as a flash it replies Kanchenjunga. Ask who won the 1958 US Masters and before you've time to inhale it shouts Arnold Palmer. Indeed, if asked to name the father of quantum mechanics, Watson, and no doubt with a sigh due to the question's insignificance will whisper, Max Planck. But ask Watson which of its human colleagues is the biggest tosser and no answer will come. Whilst idly polishing Watson's magnificent chrome should one mention that at last night's post programming party Billy from accounts made a right arse of himself the poor machine will not nod in sage agreement. Nor will Watson acknowledge that Billy's friend Moira, also half cut on cheap white wine, was right when she called him a prick for accidentally tipping into her bag a bowl of pistachio shells. For Watson there remains much that is puzzling about language and the way meanings are made. So, the clever old thing might know the answer to almost everything but at parties? Completely out of it's depth. Mind you, that's what comes when ones life is spent bolted to a floor.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Day 6...

of 2013 and I've spent most of it prone in the company of an unwelcome cough. Only ASDA's astonishingly cheaper version of lem-sips have kept my boiler alight, so to speak. A hacking cough precedes me to such an extent I've become known as Chesty Dan on Saggy Aggy Street where I live. When I leave the house children flee. Pensioners cross themselves and turn away. Small dogs look up, alert, like they're in danger though the only danger they face from me is the possibility of being gobbed on. Jeeze? Wheeze more like. I'm so congested my voice sounds like an empty crisp packet unfolding slowly.

Tomorrow I'm going to work. Be churlish to keep this thing to myself. Hurr, hurr, hurr...

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Ancient Egyptians believed gods...

were made of gold. With so much time having passed are Egyptian gods worth less now? The current gold price would suggest not. A recent news item caused me to ponder: how much is God worth? And what of polyathiesm or a god for every ocassion?  Lets not leave out demi-gods, sub-gods, part time gods, temporary gods, half time gods, job share gods. What of gods on temporary contracts? Does this bring down the cost? Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods posits that gods exist because people believe in them but as belief wanes then so do the gods. I like this notion. Recently my fridge started creaking and groaning. I said "Oh God, don't break". It broke completely. I bought a new fridge. The journey with the old fridge to the local dump was enlivened by a tiny wild haired fridge god complaining that no one ever listened.

I said "That's rich. You didn't listen to me".
It said, "You were whining."
I said, "It was a simple prayer. 'Oh God don't break.'"
It said, "You were exhorting. Where was the liturgy? Where was the style?"
"Liturgy? Style? It's a fridge." I said.
"It might be a fridge to you but it's nirvana to me." It said.
"Look." I said
"What." It said
 "The light went, the pump went, the thing flooded."
It said "So."
I said "You take no responsibility?"
It said "I'm a god not a mechanic. Take a left here."

Arriving at the dump I made to back my car towards the fridge compound in which were fridges as far as the eye could see. Some large, some small, silver fridges, white fridges, chest freezers, side by side fridges, top freezer bottom fridge, bottom freezer top fridge, tiny fridges for cooling beer, medium fridges for galley kitchens. A bothersome of fridge gods jostled to see what was going on.

The fridge god said. "I'll guide you in."
I said, "Okay."
It shouted. "Back, back, back, back, back. Keep on coming. Back, back, back, back. Back, back, back, a little further. Back, back, back, back. Not far now. Back, back. Just a little more. Back, back, back, back."
"Your doing a crossword. I stopped ages ago."
The little god jumped."Fucking hell. Creeping up like that. Made me jump."
"Help me get the fridge out of the car." I said.
"Can't do that." It said.
"Why not." I said.
"After the Jesus debacle we won a 'no carrying of heavy items on final day' clause. It's here under 'Backs' on page 32." It waived a sheaf of papers.
"What about your friends." I nodded to the other gods.
"Ah, you'll notice some of them are a bit faded. No longer up to the job. Been forgotten too long."
"Suppose I'll have to shift it myself then." I said.
"Before you begin I've a question for you." It said.
"Ask away." I said.
"One word, seven letters and means to 'go abruptly'."
"Fuck off." I said.
"That's two words." It said.

Leaving the dump I could hear the fridge god calling to the crowd. "Three down. Nine letters. Begins with S. Means deliverance. C'mon. C'mon."

My new silver fridge arrived the following day and was duly plugged in. The motor hummed, the pump pumped, the door opened, the light came on and a voice said. "12 across. Renewed existence. Seven letters begins with 'R'. C'mon. C'mon."

Who needs gold eh?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hello 2013...


Take a seat. Make yourself at home. A drink maybe? Perhaps a gin at tonic? Ah, you've work to do. No time to sit and chat. Yes, I can see that. Best not keep you then. 2012? Oh, it left a minute ago. Was a grumpy bugger. To be honest we're all glad to be shot of it. Right, best foot forward then. That tune your humming? Carol King isn't it? "Will you still love me tomorrow?" Go on with you 2013, of course we'll still love you tomorrow. Make no claims for the day after though. Yes, I know your an optimist, so am I but life is fickle. Okay, got your flask? Sandwiches? Good. Feel free to call in anytime. Bye, bye. Missing you already. Now, where did I put that gin?