Good Friday’s Mental Exercise

A couple thousand years ago a man suggested that it might be a nice idea if we tried being pleasant to one another. He was duly executed in brutal fashion. This isn’t a post about him (a Mr Arthur Fledermaus, in case you were wondering).  Instead, in honour of the recently departed Richard Griffiths, picture a dialogue with Mr Griffiths telling you about the ghastly cash bar in Heaven and why as a result he’s decided to come back as a ghost and haunt public changing rooms.

I think it’s what he would’ve wanted.

Then raise a glass of your local poison and toast him with a quote of your choice.  I’d recommend this gem from Uncle Monty “I mean to have you, boy, even if it must be burglary.”

Richard Griffiths you will be missed.

‘Sleb Power Couple Jam

Bennifer has long since been consigned to Closer magazine’s archives division, but the proud tradition of mashing up the names of romantically entwined heavenly bodies of the celebriverse lives on.  Brangelina, Speidi, Kimye; Simon Cowell.

Sadly, the firmament appears to operate a rigid caste system based on star wattage.  Most mono-monikered star couples seem too cowed or unimaginative to incorporate asymmetries of fame – red dwarf pairs with red dwarf, nova with nova.

A supernova with a white dwarf?  Not only unthinkable but against nature.  You might as well ask Betelgeuse to pursue a tryst with a goat.

This is clearly anomalous in our latter-days-of-the-Roman-Empire culture where anything goes.  In order to upset the balance of the force, then, here are some proposals for new power couples.  Public Relations bods looking for a coup take note.  Should that be ‘Pubic Relations’ given the subject matter?


Interests align for Kung Fu Buddhist Steven Seagal and massive multiplayer online role player World of Warcraft.  A world of pain for orcs, trolls, non-vegetarians and illegal entrants to Arizona, where Seagal is an honorary sheriff.  Innocent bystander dogs may wish to give this couple a wide berth.


Catherine Zeta-Jones and the Rolling Stones.  Existing partners notwithstanding, of course.  There’s nothing to say about this that would not wildly overstep the bounds of taste and decency.


Blonder than blonde London mayor Boris Johnson and Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (of Casablanca fame).  Would have to be entirely manufactured, sorry, speculated on by the gossip rags, mind, given Bergman sadly passed away in 1982.  But if a time machine could be arranged, they’d give some seriously frothy copy.  A boon for any features editor.

Warinona Ryder

Sometime Super Mario Bros antagonist Wario and Winona Ryder.  Were they spotted canoodling over a dastardly plan to steal Princess Peach?  She certainly stole his heart.  One denies any malicious or potentially libellous content in the previous 2 sentences, naturally.  In any case, such events as you may be picturing occurred long ago in the past and as such are utterly irrelevant (although they did make me love her even more).

Friday’s Mental Exercise

Stand in front of a mirror, picture a favoured actor and try to capture their mannerisms and facial tics, for example the Robert De Niro trout mouth, the Christopher Walken head bob or that sharky Jack Nicholson grin that gives the impression that he wants to chew the elastic from your underpants while rifling through your wallet.

For the advanced class: do the above while reciting one of their speeches in your mind in their voice.  Under no circumstances speak out loud.

Because I said so.

The Gods Of Spring

There’s this outraged eye in the sky – an angry orb blazing with a baleful intensity; it must be some capricious god.  I must appease the capricious god.  Where’d I leave my sacrificing knife?  It’s obsidian, real hard to come by – found mine on Ebay.  Let’s see, I had it on Thursday when I had to make a quick sacrifice to impress the gods of tube strike.

Yeah that was me.  You’re welcome, people who didn’t suffer strike-related delays.

I’m sure I would’ve put it away in my kitchen drawer where I keep my rabbit feet and tarot deck.  Oh there it is, behind the crystals I use to predict future lottery numbers.  No luck yet, but then if you can tell the future you don’t really need luck.

Right, now to load up my maps app on my iPad.  Ok, so the best sacrificing stone is up the hill.  I could probably use the exercise.  Then again I don’t have much time – that fiery god in the sky probably doesn’t have much patience.  Hmm.  There’s a non-denominational sacrificing stone near the library.  It’ll do in a pinch – then again it’s municipal so there might be a queue.  And I really need to get my appeasement on.

It’s like a couple of weeks ago I had to sacrifice a goat in a branch of Burger King.  I just about got away with it, even though I had to do it with plastic cutlery purloined from the kebab place a few doors down.  You know the one – their lamb doner is award-winning.

Half the battle was convincing the staff that it wasn’t a health and safety breach.  But that was for a minor pothole god – oh they said call the council; they’re the appropriate highway authority.  Or higher authority – I wasn’t really listening because I was concentrating on my chanting.  Anyway, the pothole’s been fixed – the council took pains to look really visible with the branded hi-viz jackets and plant machinery.  But I know better; I’m privy to the real, secret truth.

I hung out with Odin on his tree, I helped Isis make do with some clay when she had to put her husband back together; I’m the one who convinced Prometheus that petty larceny was the way to go.  Christ taught me how to liven up a party and Krishna showed me how to love.

I know the secret names of Amun Ra and Yahweh and the trick to besting Anansi.

So while you might see the sun, shining slightly more fiercely now that winter’s on the way out, I can see more clearly.  I see an angry god in need of some tender loving care courtesy of a pure-blood sacrifice, or the spring won’t come.

I’m off to the IT department to find me a virgin.



This post seems increasingly ironic as time goes by and the winter refuses to leave gracefully.  Like a drunk at a restaurant.