THE GOAT’S WERE A MOTLEY CREW – A piece of ‘silly’ verse!



In backwaters far away,

From the bustling city now,

Matilda found some peace and quiet,

Even bought herself a cow,


A goat, a dog and chickens,

And a rooster too,

And geese of course, although she found,

The goats a motley crew.


She planted up the brussel sprouts,

Sweet corn and runner beans,

Her backyard small holding,

Was like nothing ever seen,


Before upon the planet,

‘How so?’ The doubters ask,

Well Matilda forgot the fences,

An obvious neglected task.


Her animals did scatter,

Except the dog of course,

They wandered far and wide you know,

Yet maybe it could be worse.


You see Matilda really did,

Like what see did see,

When her livestock all rushed home to her,

Because they knew she’d feed them tea.


“Crikey, what a result,

I need no longer feel so tense,

But tomorrow, yes tomorrow,

I’ll go and buy a fence.”

HE EVEN IRONED HIS OWN SOCKS – A plain ‘silly’ piece of verse!



The man she fell in love with,

Ticked most every box,

Erudite and caring,

He even ironed his own socks.


He whisked her off to Paris,

To Rome and to Madrid,

Yet that day in Bethnal Green with her,

He borrowed 200 quid.


That was, she thought, the turning point,

For he did not pay her back,

So one Friday evening,

She gave him the sack.


She pondered the point over,

And not wishing to be rude,

That Nigel’s bottom line was,

Sex, more sex and food.


“What is wrong with that?” he’d cried,

It’s what I’m designed for,

“And since you raised the subject,

Don’t you lay down the law.”


Stereotypical male he was,

She could read him like a book,

Each move he’d made predictable,

Shame though, he could cook,


Cook most gorgeous curries,

Cuisine she would die for,

And bake cakes fit for a princess,

Yet she’d shown him the door.


Yes he had his attributes,

Yes he’d kept her warm,

Yet in the end she was pleased,

He’d sampled a woman’s scorn.





YOUNG ROSE REFUSES TO BE BULLIED BY PENGUINS – A caption to a randomly selected picture!



“Here Simon we’ve been following this kid around for days now.  Nothing’s happened yet.”

“Yeah, I know Mark old boy. Every time her Mum sends her down to the corner shop I keep thinking this time; this time it’ll happen. Nothing though.”

“Lionel, what do you make of it mate.  Three days into any project it’s generally worked by now.”

“Haven’t got a clue mate.  I’m not getting any vibes and the body language is giving nothing away.”

“Eric, have you got any ideas what to do next?”

“Can’t get in the zone mate. I’m just following you lot today.  My minds a blank.”

Young Rose, a stern little girl at the best of times, finally fed up with being trailed by penguins everywhere she goes, turns round and says to the flightless collective, “Look if you lot are trying to give me Spheniscidaeaphobia which I suspect you are, you’re barking up the wrong tree!  I’ve explored Antarctica on Google Earth and know there’s nothing to be scared of. Kindly desist or else I’ll set my pet, Brian the Leopard Seal on to you.”

“Crikey lad’s time we made haste and waddled south methinks.”




I have been contemplating the vagaries of Facebook.  As with WordPress, I’ve only been using it a few weeks yet even in that short time ‘strange’ things have happened.  For example, right now, if say, I had a fetish for 95 year old so called glamorous grannies from the Highlands of Scotland then I certainly would have found my Utopia!  For a small fee I would be able to have my wicked way with any number of them.  How so?


Well, I am guessing that when I set up my profile with Facebook it plainly didn’t help my present plight to reveal my date of birth as the 1st. January 1905 (making me 108 presently); nor adding that I emanate from Dull (a town in Kinross) and that I presently live in Twatt (a place on the Shetlands).  I don’t think the additional information that I studied at The University of Cabbage is relevant to what is happening though.

Anyway, since posting that profile and on the right hand side of my screen loads of ‘adverts’ for really aged Scottish grannies hawking their wares (so to speak) are constantly scrolling down!  Given that I am 108 I’m not getting requests to ‘date’ your average granny.  No, the ones popping up on my screen look to me to be on the cusp of flat-lining; have cleavages down to their toes (that is the ones who can still stand up) or have had, I suspect, one too many facelifts as no one has two perfectly parallel ‘beauty spots’ on their cheekbones that I’ve ever seen before.  Generally though I am talking Zimmer frame central here!

Also, it is not just on Facebook that this is happening.  Now every time I go onto Google to say, check emails or follow the progress of my beloved Arsenal the same bloody ‘ads’ appear.  Presumably my profile has got into the ether somehow prompting this barrage of grannies (have I just invented new collective noun?).  If that is the case surely it is not beyond the wit of marketing sorts to come up with a more imaginative assortment of marketing material for this centurion?  I’m thinking maybe extra strength Viagra perhaps, or maybe cheap flights to Switzerland’s finest clinic or, indeed a variety of organ transplants?

Right now I’m thinking of dropping my age by 80 or so years to see what happens in the right hand side of my screen.  I suppose the locations might have to change as well because being a 28 year old active adult male in the Highlands may well give rise to a galaxy of dating agencies whose business is focused on ‘sheep’ trying to catch my eye.  Strange!

Regardless, and changing the subject, I am off to Canterbury this afternoon I think.  I was discussing this proposed visit with Shirley who, with the weather being passable, suggested I take the camera.  With that thought in mind she reminded me of a previous visit to that most lovely of cities.  Then, I was walking the old High Street and noticed three Japanese girls, all inevitably armed with cameras, along with another girl who was not, I suspect from the Orient, yet who was plainly their friend.  I say this as this girl was dressed in the full burka – head to toe, just little slits in the cloth about her eyes to see through.  As I approached I saw that one of the three Japanese girls had passed her camera to burka girl who was now in the process of taking shots of her chums posing on the bridge over the river there.  Duty done, the young lady in the burka took up position where her friends had been and beckoned to the others to take a photo of her which they duly did.  The thing is, watching the event unfold before me the thought struck me, ‘Why?’  ‘What’s the point?’ Dressed as she was it’s not as if anyone will ever be saying, “You look nice in that picture.”  In truth you couldn’t say 100% that she was even a female.  Worse still, in years to come, when reviewing her albums (online or otherwise) I’ll take a bet that most people would say, “Who’s that?” rather than, “That’s you isn’t it?”

PS – As I write this I have noticed on Facebook that a new ‘ad’ has scrolled down that is not, thankfully about having sex with grannies, no this one is offering me car insurance especially for people who live on the Shetland Islands – don’t they know it’s not safe to drive when you’re 108?  Am I going mad or are the people at Facebook telepathic?




Babylon, Pre 2nd millennium BC: It is early evening outside the Tower of Babel. Cain has been busking there most of the day. He has been performing his repertoire of Kris Kristofferson songs. ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night,’ as ever had tugged at his heartstrings. Dishevelled, his hair in dreadlocks; his attire a mix of cheesecloth and denim. A string a sharks teeth adorns his neckline. He has earned himself a few shekels this day. Not as much as he would have wished for in ‘high season’ yet with a recession on the tourists are not as generous as they once might have been.  He takes solace in the fact that Tracey aka ‘The Whore of Babylon’ has recently taken a shine to him. Some say she has, ‘The blood of the martyrs on her harlot hands,’ yet Cain believes her to be an absolute diamond of a girl. Tracey doesn’t charge Cain for the comfort she offers him. Maybe she’ll call round to see him a little later although it being a Bank Holiday he guesses she might be busy this night.  Regardless, he returns to the little shack he rents near The Hanging Gardens, rests his old guitar aside his mattress and lights up his hash pipe. It’s nice to be settled here for a while he thinks to himself – especially so since he has been wandering pretty aimlessly for far too many years now. In fact ever since that unfortunate incident with his brother Abel nothing has been the same – never will be; never can be. As he drifts off into a drug induced stupor (for it is a mighty fine Nepalese Temple hash he scored off a bloke heading up a camel train out in the desert) his thoughts, as ever, return to the day it all went so horribly, horribly wrong. 

The banks of the River Gihon just outside of Eden, Not long after the beginning of time: God has cast Adam and Eve out of The Garden of Eden as punishment for screwing up his plans of an eternal paradise. As a result they have set up home with their two grown-up sons Cain and Abel a little way away. It’s not the same, but hey, nothing can be the same as paradise. With their parents now getting on a bit Cain has taken to arable farming and Abel to shepherding – that way they are all kept well nourished.  As tradition has it every autumn at harvest time the boys offer up succour to God as a way of expressing their thanks for yet another bountiful year.  Cain has offered up baskets of exotic fruit and his finest grains; Abel has sacrificed some of his very best animal stock. Out of the blue Cain, who has his IPhone on vibrate gets a call from God. 

God: “Look son, your offerings were frankly crap. What’s all that grain about?” 

Cain: “To make bread God. This year’s yield makes a particularly fine wholemeal loaf and a pizza base to die for.” 

God: “Don’t give me that old tosh. Let’s get one thing clear.  We don’t have any up ovens here. You might as well send your bloody grain down to that fallen angel bloke – he’s got ovens to bloody spare in that hellhole of his.  What’s more you can stuff your Kiwi fruit, don’t you know I’m allergic?  And if I see another blood orange I’ll probably throw up. Don’t like bananas either – they give me terrible stomach cramps causing me to be stranded on the bog all morning. Has a detrimental effect on my creative juices.” 

Cain: “Sorry God. Was Abel’s stuff OK?” 

God: “Bloody handsome.  Magnifique.   That boy knows how to roast a goat I can tell you.  The lamb chops made me mouth water just looking at them.  Tell Abel I am most pleased.  As for you matey boy it’s back to the drawing board.  Next year I’ll be watching out for you. Twat.”

Abel: “Say bro, who was that on the dog and bone?” 

Cain: “Stuff me that was God. He’s got the right monotheistic hump with me. He says my offerings were rubbish but yours were top shekel. I’m buggered if I’ll stand for that. All you had to do was despatch a couple of manky old beasts of the field and barbeque the bastards and it’s, ‘Abel this; Abel that; what a great bloke you are.’ And there’s me, worked my bloody bollocks off and all the thanks I get is Him calling me a Twat.” 

Abel: “Are you going to ‘unfriend’ God on Facebook then?” 

Cain: “What do you think?” 

Abel does a little dance of victory – a couple of twirls and such like – in front of Cain. 

Abel: “Loser. Sucker. God thinks you’re a twat, God thinks you’re a T Wat.” 

Cain: “Do what I’ll not take that from you, you cocky little twerp.” 

Abel: “Go stuff yourself with a plantain.” 

Cain: “Right that’s it – I’ve had enough.  Say that again and I’ll lamp you one.” 

Abel: “God thinks you’re a T Wat; God thinks you’re a T Wat.” 

Cain gives Abel a right good seeing to leaving his brother dead in the field. Cain stands over the corpse, red mist now abating a bit. 

Cain (essentially talking to himself): “Bollocks, I didn’t mean to kill you,” and adding for some unfathomable reason, “I’m not my brother’s keeper.” 

All of a sudden Cain feels his IPhone vibrate once more. 

God: “Look mate I saw that. That was so out of order. You couldn’t just leave it alone. Oh no, look what you’ve gone and done.  You’ve slaughtered him. How am I going to fill up my freezer next year?  Abel is the only butcher on the bloody planet. What were you playing at?” 

Cain: “Sorry God.” 

God: “Sorry. I should say you’re sorry.  Bugger off.  I’d say get out of my sight if that were possible. Go wander the Earth as a tramp for the rest of your days – you my son a not welcome here.  Piss off.” 

Cain: “God please see reason. If I should leave this here there will be no place left for me to worship you.” 

God: “You think I care.  On your bike.” 

Cain: “What about Mum and Dad?” 

God: “Your problem.” 

Cain slips in the family home unnoticed; packs a ruck sack with a few clothes and provisions and his IPod Classic, grabs his guitar and leaves home forever without so much as a backwards glance. 

Babylon, Pre 2nd millennium BC: Cain stirs from his slumber at the sound of Tracey, The Whore of Babylon letting herself in.  “Hi Trace, you alright,” he asks.  “I’m just fine Cain. You look a bit the worse for wear though. Need a cuddle?” Cain nods an affirmative. “OK then Cain – you don’t mind a standing up cuddle though do you? The thing is I’ve been on me back most of the night what with the punters and all that. Sure it’s OK?”  Cain, with a little difficulty gets to his feet, “No problem Babe.”

BERT’S PHOBIAS – A caption to a randomly chosen picture!



“Long time no see Bert.  How’s it going?”

“Oh you know, good days bad days Charlie.”

“Don’t talk to me about it mate. I haven’t had a good day since the old King died.  Still got that chair on your head then I see Bert?”

“Yeah, the old Cathisophobia plays me up most days. That’s why I feel compelled to carry mine on my head.  What I’d give to be able to sit down every once in a while.”

“Sorry to hear that Bert.”

“Too true mate. It’s a bastard when I have to tie me shoelaces up.”

“That why you’re wearing slip ons these days?”

“Yes mate. Worse thing is the Parcopresis has now come back to haunt me.”

“What’s that then Bertie boy?”

“Oh you know that old chestnut of mine – the fear of toilet seats.”

“Blimey how the hell do you manage?”

“Low fibre diet mate, that’s how.”

“I thought you had a passion for prunes?”

“Still do – I’ve even had to give those up in case I have an accident.”

“Well how do you manage then?”

“Not very well mate. Must be getting along.  I feel a bout of Stasibasiphobia coming on, so I can’t hang around.”

“See you then Bert.”

“Bye then Charlie.”




Somewhere in the Middle East; Quite a long time ago BC: God has the raving hump that his Adam & Eve experiment hasn’t worked out as planned. In short it’s all gone horribly wrong as just about everyone is evil nowadays.  God, being omnipotent searches through His hard drive to see if He can find just one good fellow to implement the cunning plan He has come up with. He discovers that a bloke called Noah and his family are right good sorts.  We join the story as Noah is sitting on a bar stool keeping his own company in The Oxen & Pomegranate Ale House, somewhere in the Middle East enjoying a beverage or two. 

God: “Noah, don’t jump up and look shocked or anything. This is God talking to you inside your head. I need an urgent word with you.” 

Noah, his pint at his lips and primed for a gulp stops in his tracks. He puts his glass down ever so carefully thinking to himself that he really must be pissed earlier than he’d planned to be. 

God: “Look Noah, what I want you and the missus, Emzara, your boys Shem, Ham & Japeth, plus their birds of course, to do a little something for me.  If you are up for it scratch your left ear with your right forefinger so as not to draw attention to yourself – this task I want you to undertake must be kept top secret.” 

Noah obeys the word of the Lord. 

God: “Right, I’ll give it to you straight mate. I am sick and tired of the human race I created.  Freeloading bastards the lot of them. What I’m going to do is cause there to be great floods that will drown the lot save for you and yours my friend.  What you are going to do is build a massive great ship and pack your family plus two each (male and female of course) of every creature there is in it. You will then sail around aimlessly for 40 forty days – I reckon 40 days should be long enough – until the flood waters die down.  After that you can all breed to your hearts content and re-populate the Earth with good folk like yourself plus a load of freshly squeezed animals. Do that thing again if you agree (please bear in mind that I might just smite you if you don’t by the way). 

Noah obeys the word of the Lord in said manner prescribed. 

God: “Well that’s settled then! Nice one. Oh, and remember you’ll need provisions for 40 days – can’t have you all starving can we. Fill your boots son.” 

Noah rushes to the gents with only one thought in his mind. He needs a quick spoken word with God and plainly doesn’t want anyone in the bar to pick up on him talking out loud to himself as they might think him a nutter. 

Noah: “Look God, I’m cool with all this but you didn’t make mention of my daughter Noahella. She’s a lovely girl and a bit of a celebrity cook in these parts. I couldn’t bear it if you had her drowned or anything. Is it ok if she comes along? 

God: “Oh that was very remiss of me.  Whatever, I’m fine with that.” 

Noah: “Cheers mate.” 

We now re-join the story after the great floods and with the ship Noah built 3 weeks out at sea and loaded with his family and with a male and female of all animal species save for fish who are doing very nicely thank you presently. 

Ham: “Those bloody orangutans escaped again last night. The thieving bastards have nicked all our bananas.” 

Shem: “Worse still, the lions got out and raided the freezer of all the bloody meat we had stock piled. What we going to do Dad? We’ll bloody starve to death the way things are going.” 

Japeth: “I’ve lost my IPad! I need to check out where we are on Google Earth.” 

Noah: “Shut it Japeth I couldn’t give a toss about your IPad.  Now we need a bit of a contingency plan here lads; sort of a plan B if you know what I mean.” 

Noahella: “Since I’ve been doing all the cooking anyway may I make a suggestion?” 

Noah: “Spit it out girl.” 

Noahella: “Well given the sheer magnitude of God’s request of us I don’t think He’ll mind too much if – how shall I put it – we dipped into the livestock we have on board.  That way I can rustle up some tasty delicacies to keep us all tickety-boo.” 

Noah: “Nice one – but leave the sheep, goats, cattle and poultry alone as I’ve got a feeling that they may be the staple diet of human kind one of these days.” 

Noahella: “Of course father.  Now chaps hurry along I need you to slaughter a few beasts for me.” 

Noah: “And you Japeth you lazy sod.  Do what your sister tells you.” 

Later that same day as the sun is going down; the sea a perfect azure millpond, Noah and his extended family are sat around a large trestle table on deck awaiting their evening meal. Enter Noahella and her brother Japeth (who is the reluctant waiter and still concerned over the loss of his IPad). 

Noah: “Well then young lady what culinary delights have you created with your usual flair and passion for experimental dishes?” 

Noahella: “Well I really do have some special treats for you all.  For starters I thought I’d run with smoked dragon tongue.  Thereafter I have made the most nutritional unicorn sausages and mash to be followed up with ear lobes of Neanderthal. How do you all feel about that?” 

Noah: “Bloody handsome fare my girl – bloody handsome.” 

Emzara: “Shame we had to slaughter the Neanderthal’s I quite liked them. I used to have such a lovely chat with Mrs Neanderthal.  Such a nice girl.  I know they looked a bit off putting walking about all naked and hairy yet I liked them well enough.  Mind you her old man wouldn’t give you so much as a grunt when the mood took him.” 

Noah: “What are you going on about?  They were a right pain in the arse. Disgusting what they used to get up to after hours.  I hope you froze what you didn’t use Noahella.  Don’t want any waste do we girl.” 

Japeth: “Any one seen my IPad I still can’t find it?” 

Noah: “For crying out loud, mention that again and I’ll have you slaughtered for the Sunday roast.” 

Emzara: “I think I saw the goat eat it – your IPad that is.  You should learn to take care of your stuff you know Japeth, your 37 now after all!” 

Silence ensues as the family tuck in. 

Noah: “That young lady was a joy to eat. Those unicorn bangers were something else weren’t they? I really don’t know how you do it. Good on you girl. A meal fit for a king no less.” 

Japeth: “So I see your lovely dumplings weren’t on show tonight Noahella! I was really looking forward to getting my teeth into them.” 

Noah: “Don’t you say such things to your sister you sick, sick child.” 

And there we have it.  As Noah licks his lips to savour up the last vestige of the flavour of unicorn sausage we now know why the Dragons, the Unicorns and the Neanderthal’s became extinct!

THE SUICIDE OF HAROLD NOBODY – A truly dreadful tale!



Dover, November 2013: Following a call from a concerned neighbour, WPC Rosalind ‘Roz’ Zer & PC Peter ‘P’ Lodd have attended at Flat 69, Lesser Heights, Dover a dilapidated hovel wherein lies the naked corpse of Harold Nobody a 56 year old rather well built (or as Roz noted, a ‘fat bastard’) soaking in a bathtub of his own blood.  It appears to be the case that Harold has committed suicide.  There is a handwritten note tucked into the back pocket of a pair of hideous, dubiously stained tartan slacks piled along with the rest of the grubby clothes he obviously shed prior to opening the veins of his wrists. A kitchen knife lies beside the tub. Taking pride of place and perched upon a wooden stool aside the bath a framed picture of a scantily clad young petite dark haired girl (or as Peter noted, a ‘bit of a looker’). The attending officers figure that it would most probably have been the very last thing Harold looked at prior to passing over. Plainly it is a ‘cut & dried’ case.  The two constables await the arrival of the coroner before they can take their leave of the scene.  The suicide note reads;

Dear Svetlana,

This past month has been the happiest of my life and it has been all down to you my love.

It had been 30 years since my first wife Marjorie had left me for, as she put it, for ‘A man with a soul; not an arsehole.’ I have often wondered if she ever found her ‘man without an arsehole’ as I imagine they are few and far between – save perhaps the odd chap using a colostomy bag and who had had is anus sewn up, yet I am guessing even they are in short supply and wouldn’t fit the bill 100% anyway.  Regardless, I digress.

Even now at the end of it all I still treasure the memory of the first time – just 31 days, 9 hours, 4 minutes and 37 seconds ago – our eyes met.  There was me sat in Molly’s Café on the quayside enjoying a bacon butty (lashed up with brown sauce) and studying the form on page 3 of The Sun newspaper when you made your entrance. A little puffed out you were. With nothing other than the rather tasty, tight fitting patent leather outfit you stood up in you announced, “I av entered your, ow you say, country as an illegal immigrant from my ome in Romania. I av been in iding all the way ear in the back of a Ginster’s Pasty lorry (so I av not starved) and will av rampant sex wiv any man here if e were to take me to is ome and marry me. Any takers?” Well given that there was only Molly and deaf Brian the chef in the place I, of course, put my hand up (as it were).  And that was it; love at first sight no less.

For the next 21 days, 7 hours, 15 minutes and 17 seconds life was as good as it gets. In truth I don’t know how I kept it up (in both terms of stamina and libido and without the aid of Viagra I might add) yet it was carnal pleasures of any and all sorts day after day; night after night. I found myself becoming as fit as a butcher’s dog.

Do you remember how happy you were when I told you I had booked the Registry Office for our wedding vows just 7 days, 8 hours, 24 minutes and 37 seconds ago?  You positively tore my clothes off on hearing the news and made mad passionate love for the rest of that afternoon. And you, just 23 years old, me on the cusp of my dotage. You put a spring in my step Svetlana (and not just the slight limp I’ve had since that unfortunate moment as a choir boy all those years ago that I don’t like talking of), do you know that?

I am guessing you don’t or you would have stayed in my arms for eternity.  But what did you say just 9 seconds after we were formally wed? Can’t remember? Well let me remind you. You said, ‘You r ugly fat man and you repel me, I ate the very ground you stand upon.’ That bruised me Svetlana; that cut me to the quick.  For the next 7 days, 8 hours, 24 minutes and 41 seconds it was as if you were paralysed from the waist down. Is that what marriage is? Is that how a woman treats a man after courtship is over?

Still I forgive you Svetlana for I love you still.  It is just that since 3 hours, 51 minutes and 3 seconds ago when you left me for that rather muscular young chap you drove off with I can take no more. What particularly irked was when you told me, ‘I vant to be with a man more orse than stallion’ – or was it the other way round? It hardly matters now anyway.

So I say to both you and my God, “You can’t fire me – I quit.”

Yours sincerely,

Harold Nobody

“Fuck me he was a stickler for time,” says Roz.

Enter Norbert Calcutta the coroner. “Let me take a quick gander at the suicide note if you would PC Lodd.”

“I have it here Sir – I think you’ll find it confirms the suicide. We have checked about the place and there are no signs of forced entry or anything like that.”

The Coroner reads the letter and ponders upon its contents for a bit. All is quiet until he observes, “Either of you two any good at maths? The thing is I’m absolutely crap. So that I can write up my report you couldn’t work out from the clues in the suicide note exactly when the couple met, when they married and the exact time of death could you? Look I’m just popping out to large it at the KFC up the road. Do have those times ready for when I get back – playing golf this pm you see; need a quick getaway!”

PC Lodd interjects swiftly so as to catch the Coroner before he leaves. “Sir in order to be able to collate the times you ask of us we need to know the exact time of death. We can work backwards from that.  Any idea?”

“Bollocks, hadn’t thought of that, silly me,” replies Coroner.


IN TIMES BEFORE THE EURO – A caption to a randomly chosen picture!




“Now sonny boy, give my shoes a fine polish and I’ll give you one franc.”

“My names not Frank and I wouldn’t touch you with a barge pole with a boxing glove on the end, Madame.”


“Now sonny boy, give my shoes a fine polish and I’ll give you one penny.”

“Isn’t obvious to the naked eye that my name couldn’t possibly be Penny – are you a weirdo or something?”


“Now sonny boy, give my shoes a fine polish and I’ll give you one mark.”

“Leave it out Fräulein, my names not Mark and look I’m a kid and you’re a sick old lady who’s going to get nicked if she’s not careful.”



Editorial Note: Yes I am aware that in London we still – regrettably in my opinion – use the £ sterling. 




As a very brief preamble: Picture if you will an extremely shy, unworldly, only child 16 year old school boy starting out to take his ‘A’ Level’s at the local ‘boys only’ grammar school where, on a good day he is ignored within his peer group; on a bad day is openly despised for committing the crime of being ‘common.’  That boy – me – thought things couldn’t get much worse………..READ ON.


Brilliant!” the bus is not nearly as full as usual.  I get to take the bench seat right at the front of the top deck.  I’ve got it all to myself.  Me in my posh Shene Grammar School blazer and tie; me with my brand new faux leather briefcase!   Mum’s spent a small fortune on all this stuff.   Where I catch the bus each morning, at a stop just outside Richmond town centre on the Sheen Road opposite a block of council flats called Pelham Court it is invariably standing room only at this time of day.   It is a September morning, about 8.30am a long time ago.   I have only attended Shene Grammar this past couple of weeks.  It’s all new to me.  The school is a couple of miles away.  My stop is the one after Sheen Lane about three miles on. 

At the next stop however, loads of people are queuing – mostly girls, also in uniform, and on their way to their school in Roehampton.  The one with the ever so long raven hair whose black tights always seem to have tear holes is there again.  She is really pretty and her skirt is much shorter than her friends.  I am surprised her school allows her to wear it.   Part of me wants her to sit next to me.  The other part is scared shitless that she might.  She doesn’t anyway.  I go back to thinking about whether or not George Cohen will be back from injury to play for Fulham this Saturday.  It’s a home match at Craven Cottage and I intend to get to see it somehow.   The bus pulls away. 

As we get closer to my stop the usual problem comes back to haunt me once more.  It has cursed me previously. The problem is an erection.  As usual I was not even thinking about girls or sex or anything.  It just happened when I least expected it to.  Normally I can ‘think’ it back down by trying not to ‘think’ about it at all.  Only today it is not responding to my tantric thoughts in reverse.  Today not even George Cohen is helping me.  If anything it is firming up to the consistency of tempered steel.  Today we are at the stop after my stop once more and the bloody thing still subsists.  I am too embarrassed to get out of my seat.  Even holding my briefcase in front of me I am still worried that my protrusion might show.  Especially so as the girls school is still a good 4 or 5 stops further on.  This means that the bus remains full of girls.  We pass the next stop along, then the next, and I still can’t get the bloody thing to go away.  A girl sat behind me, a bit spotty but quite nice taps me on the shoulder and says, “Haven’t you missed your stop?”  She sniggers after she has spoken.  I wonder if the ‘snigger’ means that she has worked out my predicament.  “Bollocks.”  I take small comfort in the fact that at least a girl has spoken to me. 

We get all the way to the stop where the girls get off at Roehampton Lane, right next to where Rosslyn Park plays rugby.  I can hear them all whispering to each other.  I turn around to look at them and see that they’ve all got their hands over their mouths and that they are looking my way.  I catch the eye of one of them.  Her cheeks are like over inflated balloons as she suppresses the desire to laugh.  Once out of sight, on the stairs she goes into paroxysms of laughter.  ‘Fuck it, they know!’    I wonder how I am ever going to get on this bus, any bus again.  I think I might just get up early and walk in tomorrow.  Anyway, once the female contingent departs, normal service is restored.    My appendage shrinks back down to its usual unpretentious state.  Even though I didn’t think I was thinking about girls I guess my subconscious was in overdrive.  I wonder how I am ever going to get this problem under control.   Talking of problems, I am now a good mile from my own school and with just 10 minutes left before I have to report in late.  Should I wait for a bus back or just run?   Worried that the same problem may afflict me once more I opt to run.   Run like fuck actually.  Panting and sweating I just make it in time.  My engine has overheated and I collapse in a heap in assembly that morning.  The rather formidable and somewhat butch school nurse drags me away as Stone Age man might drag a potential mate back to his lair.  When I come round my chin is sore.  I check it out in the mirror in the bogs.  I’ve got a bright red burn mark where I ran my chin down the back of the bloke in front’s blazer when I fainted.  I think I look like a prat. 

Maybe if my mum didn’t insist on me wearing ‘drip-dry’ 100% nylon shirts I might have not suffered the indignity of fainting like that.  The thing is mum has a thing about these nylon shirts.  This relatively new ‘man made’ fabric suits her just fine as they involve no ironing – which she hates doing. Mother sees nylon shirts as practical, the very pinnacle of modern fashion, combining convenience and practicality and not, in her eyes, the least bit, ‘common’.  Well, they may well be ‘drip dry’, and never need the caress of an iron, yet to the poor bastard wearing them they are an embryonic form of sweat suit.   Within minutes of putting on a 100% nylon shirt my torso is awash with sweat, the shirt like the sail of an overturned yacht floating aimlessly on a sea of the saline emissions of mankind – only the collar stays in place, it being the rigging to the leaky human vessel.   I don’t think it possible to put on weight wearing a nylon shirt.  You could eat 10,000 calories a day – summer and winter alike – and sweat the lot off in half an hour without doing any exercise at all.  They are really disgusting things to wear, and I’ve got loads of the bloody things to my name!   I look like an impoverished, nit ridden peasant, now re-clothed for school by some dubious Christian missionaries; wearing my sweaty nylon shirts with trousers that stop just short of my ankles. I look a right twat – there really is no other word for it.  What with the erection issue and these bloody awful shirts I think I might open a vein. 


Of course, that was all a very long time ago!  As an aside, writing of Roehampton took me back to perhaps the sickest, yet in some ways funniest piece of graffiti I have ever seen.  Just a few years on from the ‘erection’ incident I spotted, written upon the wall of the Roehampton Limb Fitting Centre, ‘Arms for Biafra.’  Mind you, running that a very close second and at around the same period of time wise I noted in the gents of the Bricklayer’s Arms near Putney Bridge, ‘This is where Napoleon pulled his bone apart.’  Goodnight Vienna!