Trigger’s Broom

 Down at the “Slug and Philosopher’ we had gotten through the first couple of quick pints and were working our way through the later, slower ones.

“You know, I don’t even remember my first Guinness,” said Old Ted, wiping some froth from his top lip.
“It was a long time ago, Ted,” I replied, “probably about fifty years”. 

 “You weren’t even the same person then,” said Wayne, “not one cell in your body has survived since those days.  They’ve all been replaced several times over.”
“So I’m like a different version of myself, then?”
“Yeah, like Trigger’s broom in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ on the TV.”
“Whaddya mean?”
“The joke is that Trigger claimed that he had his road sweeper’s broom for twenty years, but then he adds that the broom has had seventeen new heads and fourteen new handles.”

“Yeah, but I can remember other things, like my first pushbike when I was seven and that was before my first Guinness,” said Ted, “so it’s not like my brain has been wiped clean.”

“What ‘appens,” said Wayne, “is that each version of Ted passes the more ingrained memories on to the next version of Ted.  Imagine a whole string of Teds passing a bowl of spaghetti.  Each Ted adds a bit more spaghetti to the bowl but it can only carry so much and some of it gets pushed out.  Some of it remains from the original Ted and each of the Teds will be responsible for at least part of it.”

We all sipped on our beers and imagined a whole string of Teds of increasing age struggling with bowls of spaghetti.

“Of course, that’s the situation if you’re using the classic Time Is a Straight Line scenario that we’re all familiar with.”  Wayne persevered.  “If you imagine the broader picture, that Time is like a ball of water, then all the Teds exist as a single numerical object and all their memories exist instantaneously.  It’s only Ted’s brain that carves up the memories like slices of bread along the Time line that’s his life.”

“So let me get this straight; I’m not the same Ted as the one who you bought a pint for five minutes ago?”
“That’s correct,” replied Wayne.
“In that case I won’t be buying the next round, it’s that past Ted who owes you a drink and he’s gone,” said Ted triumphantly.

“Listen pal,” said Wayne menacingly, “I’m going to the loo now and if I come back and find that the current Ted hasn’t found his way up to the bar to repay the past Ted’s debt there won’t be no future Teds!”

Lucy the barmaid was collecting the empties.
“If you lot drink much more tonight you’ll not remember any of your yesterdays tomorrow and then where will you be?”

“If she starts talking about brooms, I’m out of here,” said Ted.    

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Smells like Xmas spirit

For Robert Schoff, this Christmas stank.

That’s because the 77-year-old spent a large part of his Christmas Eve stuck upside down in the opening of his septic tank.  Schoff, of Des Moines, Iowa, reached into the tank Monday in an effort to find a clog, but he lost his balance and got wedged into the opening.

‘Once the sensors inside my nose became seared and useless things weren’t so bad,’ said Schoff. ‘I once worked in a fast food restaurant so I have experienced similar smells before.  Also, I knew my wife would be watching ‘American Idol’ and it couldn’t be worse than sitting through that.’

‘I just saw his little legs waving,’ said his wife, Toni, ‘and as soon as I had finished hoovering the carpet and fed the cat I rushed to get him help.’

‘Unfortunately, the odour has permeated into his skin,’ she continued from behind the locked door of the Schoff’s suburban home, ‘the budgie fainted when Bob first came home from the hospital and we haven’t seen the cat since.  I daren’t let him back in the house in case he bleaches the wall paper.’

‘Despite everything, it’s still better than last Christmas when her mother came to stay,’ smiled Schoff.

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Down on the farm

You will see that supermarket giant and champion of healthy produce Tesco are sourcing  many of their goods from British farms. Amongst their suppliers they now have Rosedene farm for fruit, Redmere farm for vegetables, Willows farm for poultry and Animal farm for meat.  After conducting absolutely no research, I can tell you that all these farms exist on Shire Park Estate in sleepy, self satisfied Hertfordshire.

Several thousand workers travel in every day to Shire Park from the neighbouring villages in a sluggish river of shiny Audi Q3s to pick apples, pluck chickens and vacuum pump cows. The Shire Park Estate has a gymnasium, a social club and all the other facilities needed by today’s busy farmhands , even a canteen or Human Dietary Fulfilment Area as they like to call it.

My first job was on Recombinant Farm in the laboratory or ‘dairy’ as we were asked to call it, where intense academics frowned over the formulae and recipes for Tesco’s milk based products. Management scum, as we were asked to call them, popped in occasionally to check on the progress of our milk scum or ‘resultant test product’ which nobody asked us to call it. Like all the other Assistant Scum Operatives I was given a white coat to prevent the dangerous milk scum from damaging my clothing and making me sterile or terribly fecund, depending on that week’s blend.

One day I asked my Farm Labourer Group Team Shepherd why everything had to be dressed up and labelled as something more than it really was.  Why couldn’t we just put a decent bit of poultry in a recyclable plain packet with the text ‘British reared chicken’?

Mrs Shepherd looked angry for a moment but then she said, “Because we don’t want to scare people. We want our customers to believe that their food comes from beautiful serene farms where natural products are untouched by filthy foreigners. There is no dirt and shit, no pain or blood on our farms. The plants and animals throw themselves happily into the choppers and blenders because they only exist so that one day our customers can scrape them off their overloaded plates into black plastic bins (landfill only, every other Tuesday)”.

I realised at that moment that Redmere farm and all those other idyllic, sun washed farms don’t really exist. They were invented to deceive us, to hide the us from an unpalatable truth.  Like Soylent Green and God and the Champion’s League.

Farm

 

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The harder they fall

It’s Man United versus West Ham and the Hammers are putting up a damn good fight.  United’s manager, Sir Alex, is becoming apoplectic in the dugout.

Over on the wing, Ron, that foreign chap who plays for United, is doing some of his clever stuff with the ball.  He rolls it around with his foot, flicks it into the air and catches it between his shoulder blades.  The crowd cheer, but in a distracted way – they’ve seen it all before.

Spector, the West Ham defender, is bemused but he’s not bothering to try and tackle him, he’s trying to remember if he left the grill on after he made toast this morning.
Ron does a step over, and another one.  Spector spots his mum in the crowd and waves.  Ron does another step over.

In the goal mouth Green, the goalkeeper, is chatting with that little Man United attacker who looks like the Tasmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny.
“So have you settled in ok?” asks Green.
“Eez okay,” says the Tasmanian Devil, “ze money is good but za climate is bleak.”
“You’ll find a way to cope, most British people take drugs.”
“I may try that.  Thank you for the advice.  Ron might cross the ball in a minute so I better go, but it’s been lovely to meet you.”
“Come and chat again, I’m usually hanging around here, in front of this net thing.”
 

Spector’s mum is shouting from the crowd.
“I thought I saw a fire engine down your street earlier, is everything ok love?”
Ron does another step over.  Spector stops to talk to his mum.
Seeing his opportunity, Ron kicks the ball into the penalty area and runs after it,  but Uptight, another Hammers defender, spots him and takes a swing at the ball.
He misses ball and player but Ron pretends he’s taken a knock and throws himself onto the ground.  He rolls, flicks and bounces like a car crash in a Hollywood film.

“Are you okay, son?” the Ref asks Ron, who is rolling about in a muddy puddle.
“Yeah, he didn’t touch me but I think that’s one of the best dives you’re going to see on Match of the Day this week,” says Ron.
“Yeah, you’re right, I don’t think anyone will beat that. You can have a penalty.”

 Ron places the ball to take the penalty.  If he gets this United will go into the lead and retain their position at the top of the table.  The crowd are hushed, except for Spector’s mum who is on her mobile to the fire-brigade.
Ron does a step over.  The ref blows his whistle to start the penalty bit of the game.
Ron runs up and kicks the ball, Green dives into the mud.  The ball bobbles past the post, missing the goal and bouncing into the stands.  Ron’s only gone and missed completely!  The crowd laugh, cheer, boo and throw pies.

The ref talks to Ron.  “Do you want to take that one again, son?”
“No, that’s ok, the games nearly over now, if we get on with it I might have time to practise my newest step over.”

Sir Alex is shouting something from the sidelines.
“I think he’s saying you can’t,” says the ref.

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Crime Seen

The film team from ‘Street Drink Crime UK Cops Wars’ are following our local constabulary as they go about policing the streets on Christmas Eve.  Constable Happening is sitting in his patrol car in the High Street when he receives an ‘Officer Requires Assistance’ call on his radio.  He addresses the camera with a serious face;
“When we get a call for help from another officer, we stop what we are doing and get there as fast as we can.” 

He takes a sip on his coffee, “One day it might be us making that call.  As soon as Plenty finishes over there, we’re off.”

PC Plenty is in a shop doorway chatting with a skinny girl who is dressed in a short, black satin skirt, a transparent blouse and a fake leopard skin jacket.
“Is he going to have to let that prostitute go now?” whispers the film director.
“What prostitute?”
“The one he’s sharing the doughnuts with.”
“That’s not a prossie, that’s Dave from the ‘Booze Britain Undercover’ film crew, they’re making a docu-reality film series, just like you guys.”

Once Plenty is in the car they speed off to the Bombay Oyster, an Indian Restaurant where everything has just kicked off.  The microphone picks up the sounds of breaking crockery and furniture and the sounds of men fighting coming from inside the building.
“What’s the problem here, sir?” PC Happening addresses the owner who is cowering in the car park.

“The ‘Nigella Bites’ team were booked to film in my restaurant this evening and then the ‘Ready Steady Cook’ team turned up a week early!  There was a mild disagreement over the best way to serve stilton and then everything just kicked off!”
The owner is close to tears, especially once he spots the camera.

A Kenwood food mixer smashes through the window and fells a passing punter.

“Come on Mike,” Happening helps Plenty out of the car, “an Officer is in that Hell Hole and we’re the guys who have to get him out!”
They leave their doughnuts with the film crew and charge into the restaurant.
The sounds of violence increase for a minute, then stop.
There’s an ear piercing scream and the noise of fighting resumes.
Constables Happening and Plenty stagger out from the front door.
“Did you rescue the officer requiring assistance?” asks the director.
“Not bloody likely!” snorts Happening.
“Why not?”
“It was Officer Strident from the ‘Road Wars’ team, they’re our main rivals in the TV ratings battle.”
“So you’re not going to help him because he’s in a different TV series?”  The director is incredulous.
“A more urgent ‘Officer Requires Assistance’ has arisen,” Plenty says nodding towards his colleague.
Happening is nursing some tooth marks on his neck.
“Now I know why they call it ‘Nigella Bites’,” he says pitifully.pict2743_e.jpg

 

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Swine

French police have riddled a wild boar with bullets after it got into a clothes shop in the city of Poitiers, forcing customers to flee.

The boar, weighing 90kg (198lb), was shot after it began charging at police, the French news agency AFP reported.  Fifteen people were evacuated and the shop reopened two hours later. Two other boars were seen in the area.

Local police said the officers who opened fire were not used to dealing with such incidents.

“It was just a normal shopping day for us, until the pigs arrived,” said one of the surviving boars.  “We were just trying on some of the new Calvin Swine and Porko Barocco when they came blundering in and started shooting the place up.  Wild? I was bloody furious.”

“It eez true,” said a stereotypical French shopkeeper, “ze rozzers, zey wos shooting ‘ere zair and everywhere!  Zose boar, zey are good customers of zis shop but the police treat them like animals!”

“Look, let’s be realistic about this,” said Inspector Boulangerie, “my men are more used to dealing with shoplifters and drug pushers. Nobody complains if we shoot them.  For some reason the locals are very protective of the wild boar.”

“It eez true, we are most fond of the delectable porkers,” said a spokesman for the twenty three local butchers.

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