July 2008


Hard as it is to believe, football season 2008/09 is almost upon us. Was it really three months ago when the Mighty Wasps were a mere 30 minutes away from promotion, only to cave into the influence of an overweight ex-Rangers player in the shape of Gary McSwegan in a Clyde strip? Well, yes. Yes, it was.

Parted with £140 for the season ticket today (price not changed in 3 years) and while the home games are rarely missed, it’s the matches on the alternate Saturdays that whet the appetite.

So at this time of year, I try to plan the away trips. Here’s what I’m aiming for and we’ll see by way of the “Didn’t We Have A Luvverly Time” posts through the season, just how well I’ve done:

13 Sept — Stirling Albion Dead cert. It’s 7 miles away and I always make it to the derby games. Seldom have a luvvery time, however, but bigger hopes this year what with the filthy Binos being relegated last year. Ha ha.

6 Dec — East Fife The new boys in Division 2 and they’re expected to hump most teams this term thanks to buckets of cash. Gretna, here they come. Never been to Methyl to see Alloa play, so this would be one to tick off the list, which is what it’s all about, really.

3 Jan — Stirling Albion Binos in the Ne’er Day game. Should be a cracker.

17 Jan — Peterhead This is a big one to plan for. 300 mile round trip and another new venue. Hoping the December pay will hold out long enough to fund this jolly, but being honest, it’s the one most likely to be bumped.

28 Feb — Stranraer Another long trip. 118 miles there and another 118 miles to get back. Maybe 119 if I go to the chippy. Never been to Stranraer, to see football or otherwise, so this will hopefully be the third new venue clocked up this year.

2 May — Ayr United Might as well be optimistic. If we’re still playing for promotion on this, the second last Saturday of the season, I’ll be making the relatively short 67 mile hop to the west coast. Maybe Casillis would be kind enough to buy me a pie when I get there.

So there we have it. Who wants to bet that I just make it to Stirling (once) and Kirkcaldy (again)?

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There’s an advert for Sky+ that’s doing the rounds just now. Much as I don’t want to have three sequential posts pointing to YouTube, here’s the YouTube video of it:

Now, for those of you who fall asleep the instant Ms Brook attempts to act, here’s the transcript of the ad.

There’s a series button that you can … if you wanna watch, like, the whole first series of Sex And The City that’s kind of rerunning on some channel, then, you can just kind of press that and it’ll record the whole lot for you so you’ve got that stored. You don’t have to be in anymore you can just go out and do what you want and eat when you want and … yeah … revelation. I love Sky+ more than I thought. It makes my life so much easier.

Am I alone? Are there other people in the world who hear her say all that and the first thing that comes to mind is, you’re a fucking liar, Kelly Brook. You’ve never sat in on a Friday night, waiting for the next episode of Sex And The City to come on before you could pry yourself away from the TV to heat up a Findus Chicken Lasagne. You’ve never thought to yourself, you know, I’d love to go to The Dark Knight première and shag that Billy Zane dude, but Ab Fab’s coming on in twenty minutes so I’d better give it a miss. You’ve never screamed until your lungs bled because the one thing missing from your life was a Hard Disk TV Recording System. In what way was your privileged life incomplete without Sky+? And if you don’t have to be in anymore — if Sky+ has undone your shackles and you can now spend all your time out — when exactly are you, kind of, supposed to watch, like, the whole first series of Sex And The Bloody City?

All that said … still more convincing than she was in The Big Breakfast.

I’m at least four months behind everyone else, it seems, so if you’re already au fait with the whole Matt Damon / Sarah Silverman / Jimmy Kimmel triangle, apologies.  If not, watch these YouTube videos in order and let me know if you have a new found respect for everyone’s favourite Team America puppet.

Matt Damon finally gets on Jimmy Kimmel Live … but they’re a little pushed for time:

Sarah Silverman has some news for her boyfriend, Jimmy Kimmel:

Matt Damon interviewed by ITN:

Jimmy’s revenge:

And this has absolutely nothing to do with anything:

Been thinking a lot recently about my heroes. Here’s one of them. Mr Black Francis, he of Pixies fame, busking in Glasgow as part of The Culture Show’s equivalent of Star In A Reasonably Priced Car. The man’s a legend. No one knows who he is.

I’m trying to remember what it was like to switch on TV and not see Russell Howard.

Don’t get me wrong. Please, don’t. I insist. I mean, I quite like Mr Howard’s work. He’s quite amusing in a real life Gareth from The Office type way but whether he likes it or not, he’s becoming something of a Jimmy Carr for the mid-to-late-noughties.

Where Jimmy fronted every List show Channel 4 could pull from its creative rectum — or every fucking List show, as I liked to call it — Russell has made the Panel Show his speciality.

Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Mock The Week, Would I Lie To You, Have I Got News For You; you name it, he’s on it. In fact, you don’t need to name it. I’ve done that for you.

It makes me wonder if Russell’s life is just one big Panel Show. I mean, this photo might look like a screenshot from Mock The Week, but it is in fact Russell’s kitchen. His wife has just asked him if he wants Cornflakes or Porridge for breakfast and he’s about to give five minutes worth of improvised comedy answers before settling for the flakes, gathering the points and a brief but polite round of applause from his gathered family members. Or “team”.

Waiting at the bus stop, he’s compelled to identify which of his co-passengers was the lead singer in Voice of the Beehive.

When someone hums the intro to a song as they wander round Tesco, he has to name it, or pass it over to the opposing team.

Phil Jupitus is now never any more than 50 yards away from Mr Howard.

So while I enjoy his gentle Bristol ways, If he ends up on Dragon’s Den, presenting Top Gear or, God forbid, following Jeremy Fucking Spake around on Airport, I may have to complain. Plus, Dave will have to change its name.

Just heard that one of my short stories, A Documentary About Sharks, has been snapped up (well, it’s a far more exciting verb than bought) by the good people at Bound Off. Once published, this will be the third time my dodgy accent has appeared on iTunes under the Bound Off banner. Considering I’ve had a few rejections recently and a few others are really dragging their heels before presumably rejecting me and England are rubbish at cricket AND I’m equally rubbish at gambling … considering all that, I’m punch-like in my chuffedness.

***STOP PRESS***

Within five minutes of posting this, I received a rejection from one of my heel draggers.

I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Take a tenner, and short of any monetary alchemy, turn that tenner into a thousand pounds. Doing this, will require the gift of gambling. Not ideal, I know, but as my dear old mum says, Ye kin only pish wi the coak yeve goat.

I started my slow quest yesterday by depositing £10 into my BetFair account. The rules are self-imposed and simple. Bet the lot on something. Stop when I get to a thousand pounds.

So yesterday, I stuck a tenner on Mario getting his tanned ass kicked out of Big Brother. It happened. I now have £13.20.

Now, rather than taking my time and plotting my next flurry carefully, I’ve gone and stuck the lot on England to win the cricket against South Africa. It’s at three to one-ish, which are attractive Sweeneys but in all likelihood, the game is heading for a draw. So my first chain may well end at one successful bet. And that’s not even a chain.

The long and short of this ill-guided wager is that I’m now settling down to watch the game on Sky, praying that England can bowl them all out cheaply today, force them to follow-through and then choke their chickens or something tomorrow. I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Either way, win or lose, I’ve gone and ruined my own weekend. I wonder what the odds were on that happening.

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