My Head Does Not Hurt

My back, on the other hand, is a bitch this morning. Never pick up artillery shells without bending your knees.

Or, in my case, a cardboard box, a magazine, or a handful of feathers. It could have been any one of these that did the harm…or reaching up for a box of cornflakes on a high shelf. When it comes to backs, nothing is safe.

There are remedies, of course. Braces, Voltaren, hammering carpet tacks down the spine. All equally good. You can often alleviate the symptoms by dousing the affected part with rye whiskey from the inside. The back thing prevents you from changing the oil on your Volvo tractor, gardening, or sitting in hard church pews for 4 hours straight. But then normal good sense does this as well, and you aren’t curled up like a caterpillar for a week.

It is a passing complaint, and I’ll let it pass without afflicting it on too many others. The level of sympathy generally hovers between minuscule and zero and sometimes dips into the negative zone if the family think they can laugh at me unpunished. I don’t get upset at this – I just write it all down on my Revenge List and wait until they bend over and pick up a heavy laundry basket and let out that little yelp…

Fidel Gastro

This is an idea so cool that it needs to go viral. Or at least bacterial. Howzabout a pre-mixed pressure can of germs that can be purchased over the counter in any convenience store or chemist shop? With a fold-out nozzle like you get on a WD-40 can. Then you could spray a room or just one sandwich by merely flipping out the little red plastic tube.

We’re not talking plague here – or anthrax, smallpox, or Canadian politicians. This is just good old-fashioned gastro of the sit-on-the-pot-and-groan variety. Something you could pick up on public transport or at the library. Only instead of being a random occurrence, the BGA Butt Blaster Bug Bomb makes sure that the people who deserve to be ill are the ones who get to be.

Of course you’ll have to be responsible about its use. We make you sign a waiver at the counter stating that the BGA BBBB  will not be used on babies or the elderly. We’re not monsters, you know. But everyone else is fair game, particularly if they have a sense of humour. Or not, as the case may be. You’ll find out pretty soon.

If the product proves popular, we are thinking of introducing a commercial size suitable for fast food restaurants and large private schools.

At The Start Of The New Calendar Year

I wish to address my readership; friends, acquaintances, clients, and others who have been following my columns over the years. We have just survived a holiday period and entered into a new decade – the 2020’s – and I’d like to set matters straight at the beginning.

Firstly – if there is anyone who has been offended by anything I have written in the past decade – either here or in the commercial column I write – could they please contact me with details of the piece that caused the problem. Whatever it was – outrage, grief, melancholy, or  a vague sense of unease – just give me a brief analysis of the thing.

It is very valuable to know when a raw point has been touched – a nerve pinched or a powder magazine exploded. It allows for repeated and accurate targeting and really efficient destruction. Rest assured that any information is kept in the strictest confidence until it has been on-sold and a receipt given. The BGA is nothing if not professional.

Likewise, there are going to be topics which the users of this column long to read about. We’re not going to provide the winners of the 3:40 from Kempton, obviously. But we may do so for a cut of the profits. And it will be just the same with other things – if you want to read about something, just let me know. Any information will be gratefully received. If there is any story you wish me to suppress, just see appendix A. for the price list. Silence is golden, but misleading statements and rumours can be had for silver and copper.

Finally, some politicians have been concerned that they have been represented in a bad light throughout the last decade – made to look foolish or criminal or tawdry. They feel that their reputations have been tarnished here in the column by the inference that they  are vile.

Rest assured that is not the case – they are vile because of their behaviour and their reputations are non-existent. If anything, we’ve made them look better…refuting that old adage about not being able to polish a turd. You can indeed do it, but it’s still hard to find buyers…

Was That A Distant Boom…?

I am bemused to discover that I can now be sneered at for being born in 1948.* Apparently the term ” boomer ” attaches to me – based upon the fact that I appeared during the late 40’s. That I was conceived and born out of the love of my parents, nurtured and sustained by them all their lives, and have arrived at a pleasant retired age is not the point. As I am 71 I’m judged responsible for the ills of the world.

My accusers are people younger than myself who are angry at the state of their lives ( as the young have always been ) and frightened at their own inabilities ( again a trait of the young ). What makes them unique is they think themselves unique ( as the young always have ). And they willingly give themselves into the hands of the powerful – once this would have been as kanonenfutter…now it is as rent-a-mobsters.

I hasten to add that I have not yet had any face-to-face unpleasantry using the term ” boomer ” but that may be because I rarely go amongst prospective culprits. Just as well for them – being face-to-face is well within hearing. If you do not wish to hear insults returned, children, do not start speaking them.

The interesting thing is that this sort of name-calling is sometimes sanctioned by the parents of the young. Would they permit their offspring to use insulting words for a person’s race, religion, ethnicity, or appearance? Would they allow sex insults? Jeers at physical deformity or distress? Indulge in national insults?

I fear some would, and shun them accordingly. But others who have decided that there can be a double standard in respect – as long as their children get to do the insults with no come-back – are in for an unpleasant shock if their puppy nips and the old dog bites back.

* Normally the complaints centre around odour or in appropriate behaviour…

The Dating Site

I do not concern myself with dating sites. I am married and have been for 47 years. And 47 years’ll date you, I can tell you now…

But I am acquainted with people who have participated in this sort of electronic crown and anchor wheel. They are the equivalent of optimistic gamblers, right up to the point when they get thrown out into the car park. They bring much the same attitude to the dating site.

Of course this sort of thing is not new – mail order brides and husbands have existed ever since people learned to write lying letters. And in the old days, the process was dead serious. Both parties knew that the business of acquaintance, courtship, love, and marriage was likely to be written in a Sears catalogue – not a romantic novel. They both invested everything they had in whatever they got.

Now it seems a lot lighter in tone – and a lot more automated. I am told there are dating apps for your mobile phone and you peruse a menu or a womenu and take your pick. At the same time, the pick is looking at your picture and trying to see around the Instagram filter to find out if you have both ears on one side of your head. You are allowed to swipe right or left. Presumably the thing is not so advanced that you put coins in and the loved one drops out of a slot on the phone, but designers are always at work…

Is it romantic? In a way, yes…because the amount of footling and distortion that goes on with internet images means that anything you see is about 146% fantasy. You are mooning over pixels.

Is it practical? Possibly…if you advertise the desire for a stinker of a mate, I’ll bet you’ll get one. Can’t complain about the service there.

Is it safe? No. If you wanted safety you could sit at home and read a book about it.

Is it fun? I don’t know. Fun may have changed somewhat in 47 years and I might be using a very old operating system. Don’t ask me to update it.

What Does A Popular Culture Icon Do On Holiday?*

For that matter, what do they do when they are finally clasted…as every icon eventually is. Milli Vanilli went down in flames after they only pretended to sing badly. Had they lip-synched to the ” Horst Wessel Lied ” it might have been a fair cop, but as it was, the outrage over their pop antics was a little silly. However, it was effective – they rarely perform on the stage anymore…

Currently we have no end of entertainment icons floating about. Some, who may have been connected to dodgy politicians or procurers, are paddling as fast as they can for the horizon in hopes that the furore will die down behind them before they are dragged back.

Some icons are up there in the limelight right now; virtuous, visible, and vociferous – still rising and trying for the crowning halo of television publicity. I suspect that many of them are hoping the negatives have been burnt, the files deleted, and the receipt books thrown into the harbour. Some, like Einstein, may become beloved memories. Some, Teller and Oppenheimer may not be so beloved. And some may not leave a memory at all.

That’s known as getting away with it.

*  Practise her scowl.

Whitening A Reputation

No character is so bad that it cannot be made worse – and frequently this can be accomplished by praising the person in the hearing of others.

Really awful individuals know themselves to be so. They may start out thinking about justification for their sins but eventually have to admit to themselves that they are rotten. Then they either reform and become moral monitors for the community or become proud and arrogant in their waywardness. They boast to others and believe their own words.

They become bad-asses. Generally without realising that this means that they are still asses, but not very good at it…

Here is where you step in and whitewash them. Do it in the hearing of others and you may be thought a lickspittle, but do it to the face of the miscreant and you will become their worst nightmare; the person who lets their air out. The fact that it is bad air is beside the point – a balloon deflates no matter what you let out of the valve.

If you are kindly, sweet, pleasant, and polite, no-one else will suspect a thing.

BTW, I have always admired you…