Monday, 28 May 2012

Beans On Toast (or Midnight With The Queen)

I sometimes wonder about the Queen
Does she live her life in constant dreams
Of fresh painted buildings and high iced teas
Or is she like a ghost

Do the servants heave a heavy sigh
The kitchen’s a mess and they don’t know why
In the depth of night all the eggs got fried
And served on toast

Are there corgi hairs in the gravy boat
Does she come downstairs in her ermine dressing coat
Does she make some beans whilst Philip gloats
Or does she check her post?

I’d like to think she helps herself
To the Palace kitchens like a sneaky elf
And she doesn’t worry about her health
As she makes her midnight roast

When she makes a meal does she share a joke
With the kitchen maids, or a visiting bloke
Or does she step outside for a sneaky smoke
Whilst making Beans on toast

Monday, 14 May 2012

Blokes In Pubs Talk Nonsense (Pass The Douchie)

Sid: (responding to a tune playing on the tannoy): Gawd, you remember this one 'arry?

Harry: Yeah, blimey: takes me back that does 'n no mistake

Sid: Course, I jammed with Bob Marley once.

Harry: Yeah?

Sid: Yeah, at his London gig.  Tought him everything he knew.  Coulda been a reggae music meself: I did sing in UB40 briefly after Ali Campbell left

Harry: I never knew that (listens to the song for a minute): course, they were all on drugs you know.  The song was about taking drugs as well

Sid: Nah, can't a bin, it were on Blue Peter.  You don't get kids singing about taking drugs on Blue Peter

Harry: (pause) Well...there were that Grange Hill song...just say no or something

Sid: Oh yeah.  Guess you must be right then.  (pause) Whatever happened to this lot anyway?  Bit of a one hit wonder, right?

Harry: Probably on the come-back tour as we speak, with Rick Ghastly, New Kids On The Block and that lot.

Sid: Anyway, I think you're getting confused - weren't they singing about A pot, not BEING ON pot?

Harry: (with a knowing nod) well...that's what they always claimed...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mr Angry

Do you know that not once during the ill fated Apollo 13 mission did Mission Controller Gene Kranz lose his temper, raise his voice or show any other sign of stress?

Despite what that chap that used to hang around with Fonzie might have shown you to the contrary in is otherwise excellent movie: nor did anyone else involved, be it on Earth or in the heavens.

Let's face it: most of the decisions that most of us make in our day to day jobs are hardly life threatening: unless, of course, you are a practising Neurosurgeon or happen to work in a life or death role.  Even there, with people that you would expect to be jumping around the place shouting "stat" a lot - the reality is that those that are really, really good at what they do barely ever raise their blood pressure above room temperature.

If Gene, Jim Lovell, Mr Brainsurgeon or the others were to lose their tempers and let their frustration shown it would be seen as a signal that they were losing control: they would lose faith from those around them and more importantly: they would lose respect.

So why is it that in so many work places we continue to allow Mr Angry to be seen as a good role model?  Why is shouting at people allowed as a tool of getting them to work more productively.  Why is using swear words as punctuation seen as a sign of strength and power, as opposed to stupidity?

I'm sure that there are professions where constantly being shouted at is a necessary part of training: for instance in the Army one probably doesn't have much time to think, so honing an instinct to act immediately is a vital part of survival.

But most of us don't work in the army, or in any situation where we are likely to receive any worse injury than the occasional paper cut (and in the increasingly paperless offices of today...).

If something goes wrong with your job today: what's the worst that's going to happen?  OK: so there may be financial penalties somewhere if you miss a target, yeah: so your customers might be inconvenienced if your website goes down.  But unless you are the chap in charge of the lazer that is pointed at the impending meteorite it is unlikely that any of this will cause major catastrophe or death.

So why shout?  Why ruin someone's day and make them miserable at work?  Sure: we all lose it from time to time, but when your only tool of gaining respect is to induce fear then I'm afraid that you've already failed in my book.

NB: Having said all the above about not shouting - i've just seen that Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys has died aged 47

Although I'm not a big fan of hip-hop I think it's worth a shout out to someone who professionally shouted at the end of each RHYME and bought the world such classics as "Sabotage" and the below - which contains one of my all time favourite amusing lyrics....I'll stir-fry you in my wok/like a pinch to the neck from Mr Spock....genius.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Nothing Worse Than A Mash-Up

Isn't that what they're calling it these days?

In years gone by it was a medley, then it was a mexa-mix and now it's a mash-up - but call it what you will: there's nothing worse.

Clearly: this is an exaggeration.  Murder, War, Famine, Jazz - these are all heinous Things That Must Be Stopped, but when it comes to music it doesn't get much worse (once you've ruled out the aforementioned J word)

There you are happily listening to a bit of Elvis and some DJ, out to prove him/herself, comes along and scratches that ole vinyl (or however you get that sound now that vinyl has gone the way of the Dinosaur) - and all of a sudden a whole generation of children grow up thinking that The King had a stutter.

And then just when you are singing along it jumps into some other piece of song, which you get a snippet of and then it's off either into a third or back to the first.

Many bands who have been around for a long time use Medleys as a way of covering their extensive back-catalogue: because let's face it even Genesis fans, accustomed as they are to interminable drum solos, can only take so much and once you've got through the whole of "Supper's Ready" (which goes on for 23 minutes) it doesn't leave room for much else in a 2 hour set.

But if I ever came to power then high up on my initial list of commandments to the world would be the banning of all medley's, mega-mixes and a severe frowning upon would be issued to mash-ups on the grounds that only people desperately trying to fool themselves that they are still "down with da kids" would ever use such a term.

Because, and let's face it, if a song is worth playing in the first place - then it's worth playing all the way through, right?  And if it isn't - then why bother playing it in the first place?

Or is it just the case that in our bite-sized information worlds our attention spans are simply no longer sufficient to cope with doing one thing for any length of time?

(Confession time here guys: I don't like medleys - but I do quite like a bit of Genesis.  Sorry)