blog*spot
audi olympics
'funny, and not a little bit strange' - the guardian; 'an offbeat treat' - web user
Thursday, April 01, 2004
 
Goodbye

Guess this is a formal sign-off. Thought I could carry on posting ad-hoc, but that's just pussyfooting around, isn't it?

My freelance writing is going well, and blogging would have been a major distraction. It's one thing to do it on an employer's time; quite another to do it on your own.

I'll keep the archives up, as much for my interest as anything else. Thanks for reading, and, to many of you, thanks for providing such excellent material in return.

Oh, and if anyone knows any major publishers with six-figure deals burning a hole in their pockets...
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
 
Notworking

When you become self-employed, you will find yourself spending hundreds of pounds joining business networking groups. However, your gullible nature will take over, you won't sell a bean, and you will buy a pension, a partially completed house extension for next door, a rectal-irrigation kit, a pick-up truck made entirely from sugar and a velvet rabbit.
Monday, March 15, 2004
 
The inner game

Since you started reading Timothy Gallwey’s Inner Game of Tennis, with its postulate of Self 1, the deliverer of critical judgement, and Self 2, the natural flow of physical function, you will begin to understand how conflict between the two - the id and the alterego - can impair mental focus and physical delivery. However, you will go on to discover a Self 3, who can’t be arsed with it all and has a desperate need for a kilo of Cadbury’s shortcake-biscuit Dairy Milk chocolate.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
 
Smoking and driving: incident 3 of 3

When you had a spell in your life when, for some reason, you smoked small cigars, you should not smoke and drive. What will happen is that you will decide to drive from Slough to Dundee for a job interview, a distance of 475 miles, all in one go. Somewhere on the M6 near Lancaster, you will begin to nod off. Aware of the rejuvenating properties of Hamlet cigars, you will reach for your five-pack, which you have stupidly placed on the passenger side of the dash.

If you are squeamish, look away now. Why not? I did. Whilst you are scrabbling around in the passenger footwell, you will feel the road become a little bumpy. When you look up, you will notice that you are travelling at 82mph on the rough grass strip separating the outside lane of the M6 from the metal barrier on the central reservation.

In later years, you will recall this as being better than drugs, better than sex, maybe even better than Nintendo. Your car will strike the central reservation. It will go into a lethal four-wheel spin. You will cross three lanes of the motorway.

Observing the whites of oncoming drivers' eyes as you carousel across Britain's busiest motorway, you will feel faintly embarrassed, and you will sort of smile and wave a bit. Your vehicle will then hit the barrier on the hard shoulder and rebound onto the inside lane, with your driver's door facing the oncoming traffic. At this point, you will decide that selecting reverse gear is probably the best option. Shortly after this incident, you will stop smoking.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
 
Smoking and driving: incident 2 of 3

When you had a spell in your life when, for some reason, you smoked small cigars, you should not smoke and drive. What will happen is that you will finish your cigar, you will wind down your window and eject the small stub (I know, I know - I wouldn't do this now). You will then become curious at the strange hand signals and frantic motioning of other roadusers, but you will nevertheless return their cheery waves. Ten minutes later, you will be stopped by a traffic rozzer. You will wind down your window and he will say, "Excuse me, Sir, are you aware that the rear portion of your vehicle is entirely consumed by fire?"
Monday, February 23, 2004
 
Smoking and driving: incident 1 of 3

When you had a spell in your life when, for some reason, you smoked small cigars, you should not smoke and drive. What will happen is that, one day, you will place your pack of cigars beyond the steering wheel, in front of the speedo. What will then happen is that, when you turn a corner, you will reach for your cigars through your spoked steering wheel. When the road straightens up, you will need to turn the wheel back again. You will then be faced with a spectacular choice: a) avoid an accident, but snap off your hand cleanly at the wrist, or b) accept that you can't straighten the wheel, and plough into a shedload of innocent pedestrians, maiming or killing them all instantly.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
 
World's most stupid mammal competition

When you decide to put up two coat hooks on a small alcove wall just inside your infant son's bedroom, parallel to the door, unimaginable mayhem will result. You will decide that the best way of securing the hooks is No-nails glue. You will then try to ensure that the glue fixes OK by applying some compression. For this exercise, you will choose a large slab of wood, which you rest against the hooks on one end and against a small chair, placed between the wall and the door.

Everything would probably have been fine, had you told your wife about this arrangement. What will then inevitably occur is that she will attempt to enter the room, there will be a crashing sound like the shifting of the tectonic plates, and the wood will become wedged between the wall and the door. Meanwhile, your baby son is in bed crying and you have no obvious way of entering the room.

As you begin to frantically shoulder-charge the upper part of the bedroom door, you will become dimly aware of phrases hissed through clenched teeth, such as 'This is the final straw' and 'It's like living with Frank f@@##/g Spencer'. Not for the first time, you will wish fervently that you were someone else, anyone else, somewhere else, anywhere else, probably in a different time zone, or a far-removed era of human history.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
 
Posthumous linkage

Am proud to have been linked, posthumously (on both sides, I think), by the world-acclaimed Troubled Diva.
Saturday, February 07, 2004
 
New links

The following people have kindly blogrolled me, bringing the grand total to just one short of about 112:

Trusty Skunk from Tittybiscuit.
Minky Twiplet from Room 101.
Yunka Flagg from Tokyo Times.
Odin Thorg from Hello Yvetty.
And, finally, the Spode sisters: Nunka and Diane Modahl.

There were one or two others, but they got bored with my lack of blogging. But I won't say who they are.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
 
Hear and there

When you are invited to a briefing by a new client in Walsall, boarding an aeroplane bound for Poland might suggest that your hearing is suboptimal.
Monday, February 02, 2004
 
Blind faith

When you are invited to a Christening by some people you barely know, your immense joy at the salvation of the newborn child, at the unconditional love of the baptism, and at the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, as ordained by the Book of Common Prayer, will remain undiluted by the sudden realisation that you are in completely the wrong church.
Saturday, January 31, 2004
 
Tea

Me: [points to wife's mug of tea on coffee table]: See that? It's not my cup of tea.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
 
Audi Man is still having a break from blogging.

However...


Your faith in the brilliance of the local Business Link advice service will be shaken when the small, bespectacled advisor with the dramatic facial tic asks "...the World Wide what?"
Monday, January 05, 2004
 
Audi Man is having a break from blogging.

However…

When you are gripped by a sort of paranormal hyperterror at the prospect of your forthcoming vasectomy, your fears will not be allayed when a letter arrives from the hospital explaining that ‘an appointment has been arranged for you with our consultant, Miss Blades’.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
 
Repeats: Rooftop fire heroes

22/08/03

Reward for rooftop fire heroes

Shy heroes who watched intently as a young boy with smoke-filled trousers leapt to his death from a rooftop have said it was bloody lucky that nobody got more seriously hurt.

Wool engineers Rob Chog and Denny Rubbings were today being hailed as heroes for their selfless observational skills. They saw 11-year-old Ritchie Sambuca hurl himself from a 40-foot roof ledge as smoke billowed from his shorts.

Says Rob: “Ritchie’s shorts were well ablaze by the time we arrived, but we were much too timid to get involved. It was a miracle he didn’t frazzle to death, or worse. It was also lucky that he was athletic enough to jump from the roof, otherwise we would have had to use the extending ladders off our van.”

After their heroic observations, Rob and Denny correctly assumed that no one else was in the now-burning building, and wandered off in search of a bite to eat.

Rob and Denny’s achievement was recognised today when Audiville Mayor Tennyson Futtock presented them with Cilla Black. A spokesman for the UK fire department, who were on a team-building exercise in Benny’s nightclub at the time, said, “We believe that Ritchie’s shorts were built from an experimental pyrotechnic-display material that has now been partially discontinued.”

Ritchie’s mum has disposed of 17 more pairs of the blazing shorts, but retained one or two for sentimental reasons and for special occasions. Meanwhile, a large consignment of the combustible shorts intended for the Queen is being casually inspected at Dover.

Link number 105
Oh, and Bob Nogg has also blogrolled me.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
 
Five-way tie for 100th link

The much-hyped 100th-blogroller comp for this site has left me clinically confused. Too many contenders emerged at once. It is, therefore, my pleasure to announce that the following five, very worthy, blogs will all share the honour and the first prize, which is half a bar mitzvah:

Driffard Prunt (Brittle Lemon)
Chebley Nuttock (Straight from the Horse's Mouth)
Crowbar Naggins (Friendly Stranger)
Windy Manners (Freshly Sharpened Pencil)
Nunty Chug (The Final Broadcast).

Many congratulations to all. Your prize is in the post.
Monday, December 29, 2003
 
More repeats: Gregorianranting

20/01/03.

Mad Irish ranter baffles Audiville editor

An Irish former mental patient* and chicken-fancier has got an Audiville editor baffled with the success of a weblog that defies universal logic. Nigel Graber is beginning to question his sanity over Gregory Daly’s site. Gregorianranting, whose author has published several hammer-horror novels based loosely on the efficacy of Carthaginian sewerage systems, conforms to none of the accepted tenets of good writing, and yet achieves over one million hits a day.

Graber is now questioning other universally accepted truths. So far, he has had no success with the Law of Aberration. Trying to exceed the speed of light with a crude ballistic missile made from an old sideboard soaked in methylated spirit, he was unable to achieve the level of warp required to overtake the Andromeda Galaxy and outstrip the speed of star clusters relative to the earth. He was also unsuccessful with Dulong-Petit’s Law. For four hours, Graber sat in a lit gas oven trying to disprove the resident molar heat capacity. He did, however, blow his bottom off and reduce the kitchen at Audi Towers to splintered matchwood.

Graber was similarly unable to disprove that the famous Grandfather Paradox violates the causality of time travel. Getting his grandad to build a time machine, Graber shot back in time and met his grandad before he had had children. Classically, though, an argument broke out over a burned muffin, and Graber beheaded his grandad, thus arguing the bald, Audiville-based editor out of existence.

*this bit not true
Sunday, December 28, 2003
 
More repeats

28/08/03, this one.

Taxing new laws for taxi drivers

A controversial Audiville councillor has denied that new rules governing entry to taxi-driving in the town are too tough. Existing drivers, who, from Monday, will have to speak six European languages and have graduated cum laude from the Sorbonne University, have been given only nine days to gain the relevant qualifications or risk state-controlled epilepsy.

New drivers, says councillor Rags Martell, will need to have a firm grasp of virtual-reality polyhedra, of differential and integral inequalities and differential equations. A sound knowledge of the theory and applications of higher-dimensional dynamic systems, of multivariate analysis and of fuzzy systems will also be required.

Martell has slammed the age-old taxi-driver test, The Knowledge, as being “fit only for midgets”. He intends to replace it with a series of three-hour exams posing questions such as: The Virgo cluster contains about 2,000 galaxies, has an effective radius of 2 Mpc, and is at a distance of 16 Mpc. The peak photon energy occurs at 10 keV and the total X-ray luminosity is 1045 ergs/sec. Assume Ho=70 km per second, per second. What is the total thermal energy of the x-ray gas?

Martell, who is Harvard’s leading postdoctoral research fellow in astrophysics and has a double-first in languages and computational physics, adds that drivers will also need to have green eyes and a semi-inflatable mother named Truffles.

Martell is due to sit before the Monopolies Commission on Monday.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
 
More Xmas classics from Audi Man

Little-known medical conditions: shared-bowel syndrome

First published 04/03/03.

Your questions answered

What is shared-bowel syndrome (SBS)?
Shared-bowel syndrome is characterised by two people sharing one set of bowels.

How do I know if someone is sharing my bowels?
Try turning round quickly, or shouting “Is that you, Gwendoline?” Try to come to some kind of freehold arrangement and extract a reasonable monthly rental for the size of the bowel and the level of interior furnishing provided.

How common is SBS?
SBS is rare. To date, there have been no cases of SBS recorded anywhere in the world.

Sensitive discussion bit
If you suffer from mild abdominal discomfort, bloating or uncomfortable wind, or you suspect there is someone physically attached to your innards, speak to your doctor, a reputable plumber or a qualified tree surgeon. You should see your doctor, usually with your SBS partner, and discuss your symptoms openly, though it may be uncomfortable to do so, particularly if the chairs are small. Tell your doctor about your symptoms and how they are affecting your daily life, your ability to land one job that pays two salaries, and the fights you are having over the TV remote. Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor will either laugh openly or perfom a ‘TUBE’ (Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination). Don’t worry: SBS can be beaten, with a carefully prepared, individually tailored management programme, with aromatherapy, or with a hacksaw.
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
 
More Audi classics

These posts from 27 and 28/02/03.

True tales of Audiville Lotto winners

Alan Jazzmags
A few days after Alan Jazzmags, 62, and his wife checked their selections, married them up with the official winning numbers, and then received a confirmatory phone call, Alan had an eerie, almost inexplicable feeling that he'd won the Audiville Lotto.

The Jazzmags’ immediate family, their families, their in-laws, some distant cousins and some people they once met at a glazing convention all travelled to Audiville to help them celebrate their £64.3m prize.

Alan and Maureen, a former lime welder, insist they won’t be changing anything. ‘The kids will still go hungry and cold, and work all hours for us,’ they said from their beachfront apartment in Waikiki.

Johnny Luftwaffe
You just never know which numbers are going to come up in the Audiville Lotto. But, if you're like Johnny Luftwaffe, 72, of Strategy Avenue, you don't take any chances. Johnny covered every base, spending over £11.65m on tickets that nailed every possible numerical combination. ‘Except one,’ said Johnny, from the psychiatric wing of Audiville General Hospital.

Jimmy Boyband
Jimmy Boyband, 82, who wishes to be known only as Jimmy Boyband, scooped last week’s £54m jackpot. Jimmy says the money won’t change his life. ‘No, I won’t be retiring, but I’ll sure as hell be taking it a lot easier behind my monitor,’ said Jimmy, who works as an air-traffic controller.

Jimmy was nearly disqualified under the rule that says you have to present an unlikely tale of outrageous fortune to claim a lottery prize. With this in mind, he deliberately picked an argument with his fishmonger. ‘I told the guy that charging £10 for trout was too much,' said Jimmy. 'I told him I would pay him £9, and then I went to the store and used my pound to buy a Lotto ticket.'

Jimmy is a great believer in charity, and hopes to donate the first half of his winnings to the Audiville Lotto Commission. ‘I’ll be keeping the zeros,’ said a confused Jimmy, from his deckchair.

Emily Felony
Emily Felony, 59, has won £172.8m. Emily says her next step will be to help her much-loved father-in-law. He has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and medical bills alone will come to over £14,000. 'I suppose this means I’ll have to chip in towards the cost of his treatment now, said Emily, from her speedboat.

Adds Emily: ‘My husband and I will be celebrating with a trip for two to Disneyland. We have 26 grandchildren, 14 great nieces and nephews and seven great granchildren. It’s just such a shame our trip clashes with term-time,’ said a delighted Emily from the back seat of her limo.

‘I've always believed that raising children with strong Christian values, a powerful work ethic and a sense of community was the most important thing in life,’ says Emily. ‘But I know that’s all bollocks now.’

Emily also intends to buy Tom Jones and a share in a dolphin.
Monday, December 22, 2003
 
Repeats! A great new feature

Christmas is a time for holly, buns... and repeats! So that's what I'm doing for the next few days. Sorry. This one from 16/12/02.

Some advice for the neighbours immediately opposite

When you have spectacular chaser lights constantly zipping around your property, a flashing, pot-bellied, skating penguin on the front of your house, a stroboscopic angel of death in your bedroom window and an 85-foot solartechnic snowman continuously singing Santa Claus is coming to town in your front garden, switching off the electricity when you go to bed at night could be seen as the sociable thing to do. Particularly as the ludicrous number of lights around the estate is beginning to confuse the pilots coming in to Ringway.
Friday, December 19, 2003
 
Blogmeat

Me: Sarah, it’s minus eight out here at night. My knackers are frozen. Please let me back in. I don’t even know what I’ve done wrong. I was only arranging a blogmeet.
Sarah: Only a blogmeet?
Me: Yeah, with that nice lady from the Guardian competition.
Sarah: Yes, only a bloody blogmeet, at 3 bloody am with Belle de bloody Jour. Just indicate precisely when they've dropped off and I might let you back in.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
 
Freelance inevitabilities

When you get made redundant, you will decide to go freelance, you will become desperate for cash, but you will finally get a small break when the local authority asks you to write a piece for their newspaper on a local 90-year-old artist. However, the day before you’re due to interview him, the old bastard will drop dead.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
 
Adjust settings accordingly

Wensley Behemoth
Chubley File-Cleansing Services


Dear Sir

I write to you following an instruction on your file-cleansing software that I received in 1998. It read ‘Adjust these settings accordingly. When you are happy, click OK’. Five years on, I am still generally unhappy, but desperate to click OK and move on with my life. I would add that, while sitting at my PC during this time, I have missed much of my children’s childhood, am unaware of the current Premiership standings and have German measles inside my bottom.

Yours etc.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
 
How typos could have radically changed our nation

Number 3
E-mail, re: G7 World Peace Summit, Birmingham. 'Janice, I’m leaving it to you to organise the name badgers. Thank you.'

Best-ever Olympics prize imminent
Magnus O'Chimpery is the 97th blogger to blogroll me, while Nugent B Gooseshifter is the 98th. Robinson Funt comes in at number 99. I have been worrying over the prize for the 100th linker, but have now settled on half a bar mitzvah.
Monday, December 15, 2003
 
How typos could have radically changed our nation

Number 2
We at Barratt Homes are proud to reintroduce a traditional feature of British kitchen design: the futility room.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
 
How typos could have radically changed our nation

A new series on the Olympics.

Number 1
Cub Scousers.
Friday, December 12, 2003
 
Self-reinventionism inevitabilities

When you are suddenly self-employed and, in desperation, you join an online networking organisation and find yourself besieged by Life Coaches, you will find that these people are, without exception, certified freaks who subscribe to bizarre business sects like Meleleuca and Gei, or Word of the Mind, and that they are, quite possibly, 'strengthsfinders' and 'relators', too, and, obviously, 'self-reinventionists', 'change agents' and 'solution architects'. Ultimately, you will find yourself replying to their e-mails with ‘Hello, the work-life balance thing has hit me hard. I need to get some balance back in my life. I really need some f~~king work to balance out all this f~~king leisure. Hope you can help.’
Thursday, December 11, 2003
 
Goldfish observations

The first, and last, in a very small new series in which we list things you can safely and legally say to a goldfish. You should know that goldfish have an immensely primitive nervous system.

Number 1
You’ve got a nerve'.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
 
Audi pub guide

When you walk into a pub in an unfamiliar area, it can be hard to gauge the status of the establishment. However, a clue that warm hospitality may be in short supply could be the taped-off area featuring a chalk outline on the floor of a man in a defensive, foetal position.

Minus four
The 96th blogger to stick me up his blogroll is Fredley B Kwod. For the 100th linker, there will be a prize. Probably an adverb. Or a horse.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
 
Things it's best not to do

When you name your first three children Sam, Hannah and Isobel, you should be careful what you call the fourth one. The immense dignity of the meticulously prepared, 350-year-old family tree will be completely dismembered when you settle on Timothy, a name that creates an appalling acronym.

Troubled past
Best to skim-read this, skip straight to the last paragraph, or, better still, skip it altogether. You’ll save hours.
Monday, December 08, 2003
 
Name in lights

The lady hit by a firework before last weekend’s Wolves v Newcastle Premiership game has spoken for the first time of her astonishment that a firework in a stadium of over 27,000 people could somehow manage to find her. “That firework had my name on it,” said Mrs Angela Howling-Powerbomb.

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