A Midweek Miscellany.

The news is too far gone to parody when it declares that heart attacks give you cancer. What will they do now? Ban heart attacks? This one needs a really big bag of popcorn, with added salt and lashings of real butter. In the meantime, prepare yourself for a feast of random thoughts ansd musical interludes with no apparent connection between them. Is there one? I have no idea. I’m just letting my brain freewheel to get it ready for a Ripper-style short story that’s hacking its way out of my imagination.

My bent keyboard is still taking some getting used to. It typed ‘poopcorn’ above, which is an entirely different thing from popcorn as anyone who has eaten corn and later produced poopcorn will be aware.

Tonight I am not drinking. Ran out of whisky. I will remedy this terrible situation tomorrow. In the meantime, I have a grape-based beverage which is good for me. This one is called Vina Arana Rioja 2005, and at 13.5% it’s basically a shandy. Nice, though, and I have two more of these in the stash.

Best be careful – now it seems that alcohol causes skin cancer. Look, if it’s getting all over your skin, you might want to stop until your hand-to-mouth co-ordination is back to normal. As for this –

Exactly how alcohol consumption increases chances of developing melanoma is not fully understood, but the researchers believe that the way that ethanol is converted into a chemical compound called acetaldehyde soon after it is drunk could play role.

Acetaldehyde? Ooo, scary name. Also a normal part of metabolism. If the drones fall for this one, NAD will be a doddle. The breakdown of alcohol happens in the liver. I don’t know about you but I’m nowhere near thin and transparent enough for my liver to be risking sunburn. A more likely mechanism would, I think, involve pasty-skinned Brits getting pissed up in Marbella and falling asleep on the beach. But that wouldn’t have any scary biology in it, and wouldn’t attract further funding.

It’s tax time again. Well, not for me. I did mine last April because I knew they owed me money. Already received the small refund and spent it on booze. I wasted none. I’ll do mine in April again this year because they might owe me again. I’m not sure this time. Maybe I’ll owe them but if I do it won’t be much, and I’ll have until next January to find it.

The Spine had one of those fake tax refund emails that looks really professional. Unfortunately the spammers forgot that we in the UK used to have a delightfully eccentric system of weights and measures that trained the brains of many a child into a high degree of alertness. In the spirit of this evening’s randomness, I offer a song for the Spine. It’s more than the measly just-over-half-a-ton offered by the spammers, anyway.

I get loads of spam emails. Many years ago, even before I was given a load of money to go away by my last employer, I set up a series of domains for work purposes. The emails attached to those are pretty much unusable now. I can receive on them but don’t send on them any more. They have been so misused by spammers they are ruined. Lately I have been getting seven or eight a day, in quick succession, telling me that there have been transfers out of my Barclays account and inviting me to view the details in an attachment loaded with a virus. Barclays can transfer all they want. I don’t have an account there. There isn’t even a branch of that bank in town.

While on the subject of email, it’s not just the uneducated who can be a bit dense sometimes. There was a time I met up with an ex-student at a meeting in Scarborough. She was a damn good student, we used to present at least three papers when we went to any meeting and she turned out a well deserved PhD thesis too. Still, when we met up, she was puzzled about the subject line of the email I had sent a few weeks earlier. It said ‘Parsley sage, rosemary and thyme?’ and even with weeks to think about it she still didn’t get it. Not even though she was there.

That student was the basis for Elaine in Samuel’s Girl, the level-headed intelligent one who tries to keep Romulus from the worst of his social gaffes and his blunt and often cruel comments. Which explains a lot, including why I wondered if the immense woman in Local Shop today would have a smaller woman intoning ‘Vehicle reversing’ if she walked backwards. That student is the one to thank for my ability to not always say these things aloud.

Did you know that some MPs want to follow the BBC to Manchester? I wonder what they are expecting to happen to London? If you live there, consider moving, but not to Manchester. The ones who messed up London will all be there.

The Champions of the Poor, the Socialists, are already there in the shape of the BBC. No doubt they are, like all socialists, indulging in the clearance of the undesirables from their immediate vicinity. Socialists don’t want the poor people around them.

Finallyish (yes, you can start to relax now) we find that antismokers equate dog-ends with what comes out of the ends of dogs. Well, they aren’t bright enough to grasp the difference between a burning leaf and Electrofag so we really shouldn’t be surprised. Which brings us to almost the final musical interlude of the post.

Tomorrow I might have a coherent argument to present but I am not a politician so will not promise that which I have no real intention of even trying to deliver.

In parting for the evenng, I leave you with a bit of important info if you live under the tyranny of the English NHS and suggest that if they want your medical history, sing them a little song.




17 thoughts on “A Midweek Miscellany.

      • I get these spams as well. Big clue!

        I have never had an account with “Johanesburg banking corparation,” or “The National bank of Burma” or whatever it is called. So “FUCK you!”

        Any one who falls for that deserves to loose every penny they have.


    • “NEWS FLASH!! Atheletes foot causes Dandruff!!”

      Or was it the other way around…? Na who cares, Daily snail could not give a shit (caused by dodgy knee joints), about accuracy any way. Why should we?

      AND!!! Why we are about it, or in the general area, I was at the doctors last night (EVENING I believe it is called between the non vampyres amongst us).

      WHY when talking about smoking, do they ALWAYS sound like the last kid in the school to believe in such, trying to convince the class that Father Christmas really DOES exist?

      They are almost hysterical in their convictions.

      And “Convictions” is what they need!


  1. A more likely mechanism would, I think, involve pasty-skinned Brits getting pissed up in Marbella and falling asleep on the beach.

    Now see, that’s what I would have guessed. Although I’d have been reluctant to label a guess as semi-scientific. That also raises this point…People like myself are, according to modern thinking, doomed, Doomed, I say DOOMED to die of skin cancer. Why?

    I grew up in the American South about a half-century ago. Typical summer outfit was an old pair of Levis cut off to make shorts and an old pair of sneakers. More formal occasions meant the addition of a tee shirt. By the time autumn rolled around, most all of us were several shades darker than we were at the end of spring. Sun screen meant a straw hat, at most.

    Ah, well. Since I am doomed anyway, might as well soldier on as best as I can.

    Damned shame that both of my parents have gone to see the Great Mystery, since I now have no one to sue, and blame for any potential future misfortune.


  2. Pingback: A Society of Manners? | The Spine

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