Archives for March 2009

The postman never rings twice

I don’t know about you but the arrival of the post can be something of a trauma. Not only because I don’t welcome most of my post which consists mainly of bills, but it’s the times when the posty has to knock on your door to deliver a large or bulky item or one requiring a signature.

I know I’m not the only one who’s realised that the post person will only wait for a nano-second before depositing a little red ‘I was here, you weren’t quick enough, I’ve now gone’ card through the door. They then magically disappear into thin air, like a genie in a lamp, in the 5 seconds it takes you to get to the door.

As I’m mainly working upstairs when the knock on the door does come, I experience a heart pounding, cardiac arrest inducing, scrambling around looking for the front door key, dash to get there in time only to find it has all been for nothing.
Little red rooster is lying on the hallway mat.

What do you do? I try and up my game a bit by going into training. Limbering up in the morning and practicing fast starts to try and increase my speed. All to no avail.

Inevitably I have to endure a five mile trip into town to the ‘local’ (local?) sorting office to queue up to collect my stuff, along with most of my neighbourhood. Trouble is the sorting office is only open for a few hours per day and that includes Saturdays.

So I end up stuck in a huge log jam tailback with no available car parking because everyone has arrived together.

I remember once seeing a huge notice pinned to someone’s front door. So being ever curious I went to investigate. On it was written in huge capitals something like,

“To the postman.
Please wait!!
I am in.
I’ve been in all week
but you won’t wait
2 minutes for me
to get to the door!”

I’ve now taken to hanging out of my front bedroom window and shouting, “Hang on. I’ll be down in a second (or two.)”

This amuses me as they look wildly around in all directions trying to work out where this dis-embodied voice is coming from before looking up and seeing me.
But I’m sure I detect a slightly crestfallen look on their faces as they are usually in the process of filling in their calling card which they then have to abandon.

Never mind. They’ll be delivering it very soon I guess.

Right Said Fred

Right Said Fred

Right said Fred it’s time to put me skates on
Pack my bags and catch n’ early flight,
But as I tried to shift it, couldn’t even lift it,
I was gettin’ nowhere at all,
So I had a cuppa mo.

Well right said Fred of course I know the reason
It was pure and simple, the bags was full o’ cash,
‘Cos I don’t trust a transfer, I’m an ex-banker,
But I’m goin’ nowhere at all,
So I had a cuppa mo.

Right said Fred I know you’ve all been saying
It’s a bad thing I ought to give it back,
But it’s my bonus and the flippin’ onus,
They’re gettin’ nuthin’ at all.

And I’m not a ruddy poet,
So I had a cuppa moet,
And unplugged the ‘phone.

(Sung to the tune of the fantastic song ‘Right said Fred ‘ released by Bernard Cribbins in 1962.
Original lyrics by Myles Rudge, Music by Ted Dicks. With apologies.)

University Challenging

I really enjoyed watching ‘University Challenge’ this year. This comes as something of a shock to me because in the past I’ve loathed the programme with a vengeance.

I only needed to hear the theme music and like Pavlov’s dogs I would react; knuckles going white, snarl coming from lips, vein throbbing in forehead. You get the picture.

So when I happened to fall upon the programme by chance, halfway through the present series, I didn’t expect too much but lo’ and behold I found myself hooked. I’d spend a happy half hour vainly making attempts at providing answers but mostly I spent my time just trying to understand the questions.

The final was great, far more worthy than any sporting event, so imagine the disappointment when I discovered today that the winning team had been disqualified.

And the reason?

‘… students taking part must be registered at their university or college for the duration of the recording of the series.’

Apparently Corpus Christie College, Oxford had a team member who when the final was filmed was not a student anymore but working for PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers.)


I’m not the sharpest tool in the box but I can read a set of rules. A team consisting of some of the finest young minds in the country hadn’t noticed that one of their fellows was now working (surely they must have missed him at the student union bar) and that fact might cause a bit of a problem.

It’s strangely, reassuringly comforting that these people whose bedtime reading probably consists of Advanced Nuclear Physics or Ancient Latin Verbs and Conjugations had failed to cast a little eye on the rules as they steamrollered their way through the heats and semi-finals.

So in the great tradition of U.C. your starter for 10.

“Has anyone read the rules?”



Sources: The Guardian;      BBC

Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

                Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things