Friday, 30 August 2013

Spot The Difference (12): Dobby vs Charles Windsor

Dobby the elf is a character from the 'Harry Potter' series of children's books. Looks a little worried and anxious, eh readers.

Perhaps Dobby has secrets he's afraid will be found out. Is he feeling guilty over some past misdemeanour? Does he live in dread of retribution? Or maybe he's just a sponging ponce, growing ever richer while the rest of us struggle on.

And - oh, look, it's Charles Windsor.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The C Word: Caravans

Know your enemy
Each summer, Satan sends caravanners to torment the good people of Cornwall. Even on the shortest journey I meet lines of terrible white boxes, choking every bypass and lane west of the Tamar.

You’d think caravanners would squirm with embarrassment and guilt at the enormous traffic tailbacks they cause, humbly move aside to let normal road-users pass. But no: every year they appear, torturing us with their snail-like progress.

To tow a caravan, training is not required. You just hitch up your little tin home and lurch off down the road, swaying like a cobra. Caravanners’ towing cars are often dreadful, unsuitably small or old, while the vans have bizarre brand-names: ‘Speedbird’, ‘Carefree’ and stretching things to breaking-point, ‘Popular’.

What sort of people are caravanners? Stony-faced old gits whose driving is best described as cautious; they can’t read maps and sat-navs are modern rubbish, so everywhere they dither. At all times they glare straight ahead, never use their mirrors and hog the middle lane. Or else it’s poor fat families of sweaties, crushed into grimy estates; if only the parents had tried harder at school, today they could afford a holiday ‘abroad’.

I'll just put the kettle on
Caravanners drive 500 miles from their conurbations to ‘the country’, and park in a turd-strewn field one foot from another caravan. They unload trashy garden furniture; little plastic fences are put out to mark their territories, like some incontinent mongrel dog. For two weeks caravanners eat from Tupperware containers, sleep on planks and play cards in the rain.  Full marks for resilience; no wonder they’re serene about causing road misery.

I don’t like Top Gear, a TV programme, but it has the right idea with caravans.  Every week, new ways are shown of ridiculing caravanners and destroying their ‘homes-on-wheels’. Normal people who all detest caravans can watch appreciatively as ‘emmet-bins’ are dropped from great heights onto concrete, or thrown in the sea.

Caravanning: it’s like a tow-along house, except it’s shit.  Come on caravanners, why not give it up and take a decent holiday? Give us all a break.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Bongo Bongo Land: Another UKIP Triumph!

Bloom: up-to-the-minute
Recently, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom addressed party supporters in the Midlands on the subject of Britain’s foreign aid policy. Mr Bloom isn't terribly keen on helping others. 

In a recording leaked to The Guardian, Bloom is heard saying: “How we can give a billion pounds a month to Bongo Bongo Land, when we’re in this sort of debt, is completely beyond me.” 

No matter what you think of foreign aid provided by Britain and the way some recipients spend the money, it’s clear what Bloom implied with his derogatory expression. He’s previously aired other retro views. 

Soon after he was appointed to the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality he declared: “No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age.” 

‘Old-school’ Bloom has also admitted visiting brothels, and has claimed that far from being exploited most prostitutes “do it because they want to.” 

Following his latest exposure Bloomosaurus made an uncompromising apology, saying: “At a public speech in early July, I used a term which I subsequently gather under certain circumstances could be interpreted as pejorative to some individuals and possibly cause offence.” 

UKIP’s leader, lovable eccentric Nigel Farage, emphatically rejected Bloom’s conduct, saying: "We're asking Godfrey if he’d mind not using this phrase again, as it might be considered disparaging by some people from the 21st century." 

It’s good to know UKIP has its finger so firmly on the pulse of contemporary standards of behaviour and language. Where do they think they are, King Solomon’s Mine?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Dave the Friendly Dolphin

Here’s a true story. 

This summer the Devon coastal village of Combe Martin has a new resident. Christened Dave by local people, a playful dolphin has made his home in the village’s bay. He’s often seen performing his aquabatic routines, and likes to zoom around canoeists and kayakers.

Recently Lucy Watkins, 14, was out kayaking with her grandparents, Nina and Mike. She’d been watching the dolphin’s antics for several minutes before he dived down and came up with a huge fish, dropping it next to her.

At first she was reluctant to take it, but the friendly dolphin nudged it towards her, before reappearing with his own dinner: a sea bass. Lucy said: “He definitely wanted me to have his fish. He first dropped it 20ft away but then pushed it to within 5ft of my kayak. Everyone on the beach was watching and we caused quite a stir when we paddled in with the cod.”

Nina added: “If I hadn't seen it myself I'd never have believed it. Perhaps he was lonely and wanted human company. He was with us for about two hours. 

“It seemed rude to refuse him, so we took the fish and had cod and chips for supper. It was massive - I've still got half in the freezer.”

As Lucy said: “To have this wonderful creature give me a fish he would usually have for his own dinner made me feel on top of the world.”