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Charlie's Readers' Letters

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

It’s the Thought that Counts

My friend drowned in the lake so I went to his funeral yesterday.

I got a lot of abuse because my floral tribute was in the shape of a lifejacket.

But, like I said, “That’s what he would have wanted.”

Monday, 31 October 2011

Who was a Pretty Boy then

The old lady from across the road told me her budgie had broken its leg. So I made a splint out of a match and strapped it to the little fellah. When it found that it could walk again, its little face lit up.

I’d forgotten to remove the sandpaper off the bottom of the cage.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Stray thought

Sometimes I wish I was a tomcat and didn’t give a shit.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Little Hodiaki


The American teacher said, ‘Let's begin by reviewing some American history. Who said “Give me Liberty, or give me Death?”’

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Little Hodiaki a bright foreign exchange student from Japan, who had his hand up: ‘Patrick Henry, 1775,’ he said.

'Very good! Who said, “Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth?”’

Again, no response except from Little Hodiaki, 'Abraham Lincoln, 1863.'

'Excellent!', said the teacher continuing, 'let's try one a bit more difficult. Who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?”’

Once again, Hodiaki's was the only hand in the air and he said: 'John F. Kennedy, 1961'.

The teacher snapped at the class, 'Class, you should be ashamed of yourselves, Little Hodiaki isn't from this country and he knows more about our history than you do.'

She heard a loud whisper: 'Fuck the Japs.'

'Who said that? I want to know right now!' she angrily demanded.

Little Hodiaki put his hand up, 'General MacArthur, 1945.'

At that point, a student in the back said, 'I'm gonna puke.'

The teacher glared around and asks, 'All right! Now! Who said that!?'

Again, Little Hodiaki said, 'George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991.'

Now furious, another student yelled, 'Oh yeah? Suck this!'

Little Hodiaki jumped out of his chair waving his hand and shouted to the teacher, 'Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!'

Now with almost mob hysteria someone said, 'You little shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you.'

Little Hodiaki frantically yelled at the top of his voice, "Michael Jackson to the child witness testifying against him, 2004.'

The teacher fainted.

As the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, 'Oh shit, We're screwed!'

Little Hodiaki whispered, ‘The Scottish rugby team, 2011


Monday, 12 September 2011

Health Matters


Fitness tip: If it’s a muscle, exercise it. If it’s a joint, stretch it. If it’s neither, play with it.


A researcher in Cardiff has found that cockles and mussels never develop arthritis of the hip and knee. He advises sufferers to switch to a plankton diet.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

My Hols 2011


                                           My Hols 2011

I get up early and have a quick coffee. That’s breakfast, nothing more. We’re off down the motorway in a couple of hours and I don’t want to keep skidding into service areas for a toilet-emergency. Ever since I changed to drinking wine and whisky my bladder’s lost its elasticity. It used have a couple of gallon capacity when I was a beer guzzler. You go downhill if you don’t practice.

It’s hot today, hot and dry, one of those spring heat waves we get every second millennium. I’ve dumped the cases in the boot and I’m pacing up and down the hall, waiting for Liz. I told her we should leave at noon and she’s working to that. She’s a trooper, Liz. Tell her noon and noon it is. Not a minute late. Not a minute early; emphasis on the latter.

The trouble is, the rules have changed over the last couple of days. I didn’t arrange this holiday so I’m not in on the nitty-gritty. The thing is, we’re going off to a narrow boat on the River Wey. That’s Godalming way. There will be eight of us on the boat. Eight people, that is, and two dogs. Big dogs, like an Old English Sheep Dog that thinks it’s still on the farm and keeps herding everything that moves into one confined space then guarding the escape route, growling like a lion and displaying a set of choppers the size of elephant’s tusks. The other hound is bigger still, a designer breed, Labradoodle, with a head the size of Birkenhead and a mouth like a Great White, lovingly blessed with a voracious appetite. This one’s friendly enough, but could accidently demolish a house or sink a ship with its massive crocodile tail which forever shoots back and fore like a Flying Shuttle. The eight other sardines, selected for the tin, are six adults and two kids, Charlie, nine, and Isobel, six.

When I say the rules have changed I mean the ‘feedback to me’ has changed. The actual rules have stayed the same, but I didn’t know them till yesterday. Originally, they told me the boat was available from 2.30pm onwards. Good. In my little dream that meant that Diz, Dan and the kids would arrive in one car, with Dougle, the Labradoodle. And Jon and Sylvia would arrive in another car, along with Ulf, the OESD. As one, they would sign for the boat, memorise the rules and get things ship-shape. Then, in the fullness of time, Liz and I, both in our dotage, would turn up, and the boat would glide gracefully down-river like a swan at sunset.
Then, yesterday, Jon informed me that we all have to be there at 2.30 on the dot for the briefing and handover. It transpires that we all have to tick all the boxes for Health and Safety and all that jazz. So now we need to leave home around 10.30 so… ‘Come on Liz!’

We’ve arrived at the river-berth on time, 2.30. Diz and Dan are already aboard. Sylvia and Jon are unpacking their car and humping stuff along the path. The boat’s called the Snow Goose. She’s the longest vessel on the Wey with only inches to spare as she goes through the locks, all 16 of them. But she’s narrow. Looking down from a bridge she looks like a piece of coloured rope.

God, I’m thirsty. I’ve not had a drink since 7.30am. And it’s hot out here in the sun, waiting for the man to come and give us a briefing. I’m dehydrating so I’ll nip into that café and grab a coffee. ‘Damn!’ I can’t. The man’s arrived and he’s going to start the lecture. He’s telling us all about it now, rattling on about pumps… toilets… water… locks… gates… fire hydrants… oil… and on… and on. I hope the others know what he’s saying ‘cos I’m still pondering the first pump. The memory’s not what it was and my concentration span is in the goldfish league, and I’m hot and I need a drink.

At last, he seems to have finished. Good. I’ll nip into the café. But no. Now he wants to give us a demonstration on the water. So, ‘Let go for’ard!’ as they say in the Sea Cadets.

The tuition’s finished now but there’s still no coffee. The boys are off to Sainsbury’s to get the supplies and the ladies are busy unpacking and I can’t find any stuff. Maybe a cup will appear at some stage. But it doesn’t. They’re itching to get down the water. So we’re all busy sorting stuff out and getting ship-shape.

Dan and Jon are back with the rations, which turn out to be beer, Becks, to be more accurate. I’m not a Becks drinker myself. But I am mad-thirsty so, ‘Down the hatch,’ and other nautical expressions.

We’re sailing merrily down the river now, Becks beer coming out of my ear holes. Now we tie up by a meadow in the middle of nowhere and settle down to the evening meal, lovingly prepared by the ladies and washed down with Becks beer.

Now they reveal the sleeping arrangements. The children will be in the two single beds in the stern, with Diz and Dan in the ensuite berth beside them. Jon and Sylvia, who is expecting, will be in the midships ensuite berth. Liz and I have drawn the short-straw, the kitchen, which converts into a bedroom when everyone else has departed, and which is not ensuit.

“Whoa!” I protest. “My bladder’s shrunk and I’m full of beer. I need to sleep near a toilet.”
     “Pee in the river,” Jon says helpfully.

We sit in the kitchen now, chatting and drinking Becks. Then somewhere around 2300 hours a minor miracle occurs, Katie, our granddaughter, arrives onboard with her boyfriend. That’s quite something when you think about it. Katie lives in Plymouth. Her boyfriend lives in Ascot. And we have got the boat tied to a riverbank in the middle of a huge meadow in deepest Surrey in the middle of the night. But come they have. Then, in the wee small hours, they go. Now everyone goes to their ensuite berths while Liz and I set about constructing our bed, with countless mistakes and much cursing by me.

I’m in bed now, and beer’s seeping down the plumbing. I need a pee. I swing my legs to the deck and head for the door in the dark. “It’s bloody cold!” I go outside. It’s even colder, cold enough for frost. I clamber up and stand on the side of the boat. Now I’m peeing in the river. It’s moonlight, a white frost-mist lying over the meadow, owls hooting, I’m shivering, my legs are full of goose pimples, my feet are blocks of ice, and I’m peeing and peeing and peeing. It goes on forever, I can’t stop; tins of Becks multiplying in my bladder…
     I get back in bed. ”At last! Thank God… Yaaaaah!” I’ve got cramp. I leap out of bed and dance and kick my legs in the six inch space between the bed and the bulkhead. I’m in agony, and cold, freezing cold.
At last, frozen and exhausted, I collapse back into bed and pull the blanket over my head. “Thank God for that! Oh no… *@<*+!” The cold has gone for me. I need another pee. I get out of the bed, stagger into the foggy dew, clamber on the rail, owls hooting, and pee and pee and pee…
     Back into bed, “Yaaaaah...!” cramp… up and dance... back into bed… up and pee… bed, cramp, dance, bed, pee, bed, cramp, dance, bed… all bloody night.
     As dawn breaks I pray to lose consciousness. Then comes this almighty banging. Bang! Bang! Bang! starting at the far end of the boat and getting ever nearer and louder, accompanied by a God-awful rattling as Dougle decides to make his way down the boat to say “good morning” to Ulf; his tail lashing everything in sight and his massive head battering doors until they give way.

The next night, Jon and Sylvia take pity on me and offer to swap beds. I’m no gentleman. I accept. Nay… I snatch at the offer. “Yippee!” I cry, diving under the luxury duvet and down into my double-bedded ensuite heaven. “Yippee!”

I sleep sounder than a corpse in a morgue. It’s wonderful; even at dawn when Dougle crashes along the boat on his way to greet Ulf, his great tail delivering a near knockout blow as he goes past. I don’t care. I feel fine.
     But it’s not fine. There are complaints. The others can’t sleep because of my snoring. Another night comes. I crawl guiltily under the blanket. It isn’t bed anymore. It’s the naughty-step. “Lie on your side,” Elizabeth orders.
     “I can’t sleep on my side,” I protest.
     “I don’t care. Lie on your side.”
     “I don’t know where to put my arms,” I protest.
     “I don’t care. Lie on your side.”
     I lie on my side. I can’t sleep. I toss and I turn. The night drags. I drift off.
     Elizabeth pokes me. “You’re snoring,” she accuses, “get back on your side.”
     All bloody night.

And so the days and nights glide happily by as we meander through the English countryside, moseying in and out of locks and mooring to stakes on the riverbank at night. Jon at the helm, assisted by Sylvia, the Viking, who is more at home on water than she is on terra firma. Dan and I are on rope and lock duty, assisted by Charlie and Isobel who take to the life like ducks to water. The dogs too are amazing, good as gold onboard and leaping ashore for a pee and a poo at the locks. Diz and Liz are on galley duty as we lock into the Thames and make our way up to Windsor, picnicking and barbequing as we go.

We are back in the River Wey now. Homeward bound. Dan and I are leaving today. It’s by prior arrangement. We’re not chickening out.
     Now the red light comes on in one of the toilets. The tank is full. We all use the second toilet. Then its red light comes on. This is an emergency, eight people aboard and no toilet. It’s all crossed legs and watering eyes from now on. Jon consults the brochure. There’s a marina, two locks up the river. You can clean out the toilet tanks there. So… full speed ahead.
At this stage Dan and I bail out. As we leave the Snow Goose and stride along the bank, Dan punches the air “Yes!” he cries.
     The others beat up river, toilets and bowels full to overflowing, work the locks and pray to the Lord as they make for the lifesaving marina. They head straight for the pump by the sceptic tank, leap ashore and read the notice.
     “Closed on Tuesdays,” it tells them.
     “Shit! This is Tuesday!”


A couple of months later, Liz and I are off on another boat. This one’s a Cunarder, the Queen Victoria, bound for the Baltic.

On the first morning we go to the Lido for breakfast. The Lido’s up-top on deck nine. It’s a good place to eat because it’s bright and informal with picture windows and tables close enough to be matey yet distant enough to be private. It’s buffet service. I don’t usually like buffet service; all those people poking at the sausages and honking over the ash browns. I always end up at with a reject egg and cold bacon. But it’s different in Cunard. The food comes straight out of the pan onto your plate. White Star service. And these posh people turn away to sneeze. Breeding.

The drawback with the Lido is that you have 2,000 people wanting food and a seat at the same time. On the other hand, when you eventually find a place to sit, its good fun to watch everyone else wandering about like lost souls, looking for a parking place, with their White Star breakfast degenerating before their eyes.

We turn out to be sitting next to an American couple, Norman and his wife. He’s a little tough guy, very broad, thickset and muscular. I like him. We get on fine. We both see our respective countries as having deteriorated in almost identical ways. That’s growing old for you.
     Norman brings it home to me. Ever since I left school I’ve been rubbing shoulders with people from every quarter of the globe. I find that, at grass roots level, we’re all pretty much the same. Our main concerns are health, food, shelter and a good place for our kids and their kids to live.
     So who’s causing the trouble out there?

Evening comes round, 2030, dinnertime, black tie and all that jazz. We chose to sit at a table for six. If it was just a table for two, which is what I would have opted for, Elizabeth would have felt out-of-it. She likes people. I’ve got reservations. If we were at a table for four and we didn’t get on with the other two... nightmare. So we settled for six. That gives me a one in five chance of finding someone I get on with.
     In this case we are lucky, the six of us get on fine. The others turn out to be Mr and Mrs Scouse from Liverpool and Mr and Mrs Taff from somewhere full of double-f’s, d’s and ll’s in West Wales, so mealtimes are convivial. As we settle down for our first meal, we introduce ourselves and start feeling our way into a pleasant relationship.
     In mid conversation, my companions disappear as an open menu drifts slowly down in front of my face, like a descending fire curtain, missing my nose by a whisker. Conversation pauses as our ageing Portuguese waiter repeats the operation on each of my fellow diners, until, job done, the debate resumes. We’re chatting away merrily now, when,
     “Whit wid you laike, sir?” a voice like a mating corncrake grates in my ear from behind, hot breath on the back of my neck.
     “Verry naiss,” the waiter assures me when I squeal a startled reply.
     “And you liedee, whit would you laike?” he whispers seductively in my wife’s shell-like before moving round the rest of his flock, repeating himself over and over,
     ”‘Whit would you laik liedee? Verry naiss...”

I had noticed earlier, in the bar, that the price of a pint of beer was the same as in a posh hotel and, rubbing salt in the wound, there was an additional 15% service charge. I bring this up now. “That’s steep,” I complain. “I was trained to give a 10% tip, not 15.” They all agree.
     “You don’t get...” Mrs Taff disappears behind a bowl of steaming soup, cut off in mid flow. “...15, or even 10% interest in the bank,” she continues when she reappears.
     “I thought we would get cheap…” I say, as a soup plate descends slowly down in front of my  face, “...drinks,” I continue, when my companions come back into view. “After all...” I pause. Mrs Scouse’s head is disappearing before my very eyes, replaced by a plate of something steamy and the face of a Portuguese waiter. “...It’s all duty free on the high-seas.”
     “Did you know you are all paying...” Mrs Taff is saying.
     “Yes, laidee,” the waiter interrupts, sliding something in front of her face.
     She waits patiently. “Eleven dollars a day, each, just for entering this room.”
     “Yes…” Mrs Scouse wants to join in, but a plate hovers in front of her face.
     “It’s in the small print,” her husband springs to her rescue.
     “...Extra service charge,” Mrs Scouse has rejoined us.
     “‘What?!” We explode in unison.
     “Bon appetite,” the waiter tells us.

An alcohol-based hand-gel dispenser, like those on hospital wards, guards every entrance to every dining area. Hawk eyes make sure you comply with the compulsory hand wash. I frown at first but, fair enough, bugs can whip through these tour-boats like a Nebraska twister through a cattle ranch. You can’t be too careful.
     When I go to the toilet, realisation dawns. If I ever thought the alcohol dispenser was a bit over the top, I change my mind now. This bog paper is gossamer thin; deadly dangerous. These rolls should come with a finger bowl attached. They might be OK for the constipated masses and genteel ladies from the shires, but they are of little use to a hairy-assed larger shifter like myself. I visualise a lavatorial crisis and implore the room-steward to leave me ample reserves of paper.

We’ve got class here, big-time. Even the stewards and menials are posh. There’s no riffraff anywhere. All the men have dicky bows tucked away somewhere. And all those women come with trunks full of evening gowns and jewellery.
     But top of the class are the Grill Passengers. I call them the Grillers. They live on deck eleven, close to heaven. You never see them. Nay. You never know you’ve seen them. They’re like Freemasons, invisible to the naked eye. I suspect that they’re those strange people who sit in the boxes in the theatre and squint at the stage sideways, pretending not to be interested.
      I did come across a Griller once. The ship had docked in Tallin or some such place. The gangway for going ashore was on deck A, which is below deck 1 and about as near to sea level as you can get without wearing a snorkel. So we gets in the lift on deck 8 and presses the button for deck A, like you do. But the lift stops at deck 5 and people get it. They press the button for deck A, like you do. But the lift stops at deck 4 and more people get in. They press the button for deck A, like you do. But the lift stops at deck 3 and more people get in. They press the button for deck A, like you do. Now the lift stops at deck 1. Yippee! This is only one deck above deck A. We’re nearly there.
     One woman gets in. We don’t know it, but she’s a Griller. She produces a card, slips it in a slot, and whoosh... the lift shoots back to deck 11, next to heaven, and she gets out without so much as a, “drop dead.”
      We press the button for deck A, like you do.

I travel light. Which means that, apart from underpants and socks, which I trample underfoot in the shower, I rely heavily on the services of the local dhobi wallah.
     Elizabeth will have none of this. She can sniff out a washing machine at five miles. If there is a launderette in the land she will load me with a pile of grubby castoffs and drag me to it, like a Romanian peasant’s donkey. This routine happens again on the Victoria where every passenger-deck has its dedicated launderette.
     So, one Baltic afternoon I find myself, like Mr Woo, in a den full of washerwomen who have gathered to gossip and discuss the optimum temperature for fumigating knickers.
     It’s here, in the washing den, that I see her again, the apparition who haunts every launderette in the world.
     The door flings open and she barges in; a big fat woman; solid; super-heavyweight; aggressive; Tyson scowl. As always, she’s hugging that massive basket, piled incredibly high with an impossible amount of festering unmentionables.
    I first heard about this phenomena when my parents were alive and living in sheltered housing. They shared a washroom, like this on the Victoria, with the rest of their neighbours. There was a rota for using the machines, but that went up in smoke when this apparition appeared, like Beelzebub, wielding a loaded basket.
     In my parents’ place, the residents concluded it was the spirit of an aggressive neighbour who had died and was doing the washing for the corpses in the cemetery. But I’ve seen the same vision, many times since, in launderettes as far apart as Australia and the Arctic Circle. So I know better.
     It’s the Devil’s washerwoman.
     This day on the Victoria, in she comes, ignores the queue, and marches straight to a dryer and drags everything out. Then she opens a washing machine, snatches out the wet clothes and stuffs them into the dryer she’s just emptied. Now she tips her basket of putrid rags into the newly vacant washing machine, slams it shut, turns on her heels and marches out, all in a single movement. Not a word spoken. In and out in a flash then back to hell.
     I know about this. She does it all day, every day, in every launderette in the world; seen it with my own eyes.
     The rest of us stand, like sheep in an abattoir, hoping to slip one of our smellies into a cleansing-machine before the return of the demon.

I lean on the rail, gazing over the Skagerrak at the coast of Denmark; flat sea; flat land.
     “Flat earth?” I wonder, but, “No,” I decide. I’ve seen the photographs from outer space. “It’s a bladder of blue cheese.”

Talking of flat earth, reminds me. My dad used to work with a bloke who was in the Flat Earth Society. Mad as a goat. The scary bit is that MI5 put him under surveillance then took him in for questioning. Things like that help me sleep sound at night.

They’ve peppered these flat Baltic lands with wind turbines; uncannily Quixotic in this day and age: Windmills vs Climate Change. May the strongest force win.

It’s evening now. We sit in the open-plan Chartroom Bar having a pre-dinner drink. The Chartroom is on deck two, next to the dining room at the aft end of the ship. That dining room is big, real big; second only in impressiveness to the city-sized theatre situated in the bow. They feed 2,000 people in two sittings in that canteen. If my arithmetic’s correct that’s 1,000 souls per sitting. And they all have to drift past this lounge to get there.
     It’s probably the most fascinating time of any day, to sit in this nautically themed bar, picture windows overlooking the sea, and watch that passageway over there. First, an odd couple drift by, then two’s and threes, then groups. Then a continuous stream of people in dinner suit and evening gown. They all go floating past while you watch; not one hundred, but hundreds and hundreds of them, first in one direction then the other; first to dine, then, topped-up with three courses of bloating calories, back to the ballroom or theatre. None of them are under 70. Some have been dead for years.
     It’s like they are not real. Like they are phantoms, ghosts from the past re-living an age that has gone. Maybe I’m seeing spirits, fresh from their watery staterooms, drifting over the decks of long gone Atlantic liners.
     And look, there’s breakfast Norman. Hey! He’s wearing an army officer’s dress-uniform, more medals than Idi Amin. My God, maybe he’s Storming Norman of Desert Storm. But no... I don’t believe it, that uniform is identical to the one they wore in the American Civil War. I’ve seen them in films.
     So maybe none of this is real, just ghosts from the past reliving the first – and best – four days on the Titanic...
     Our ancient steward in the restaurant, oblivious of people, going through the motions of the years, serving and clearing, serving and clearing, like he did at that last dinner on that fatal day in mid Atlantic...
     Norman in his cavalry outfit, on vacation from killing Confederates...
     The Devil’s Hag, haunting the launderette…
     The Queen Victoria, like the Flying Dutchman, a ship with no cargo, going nowhere in particular; drifting round the flatlands of Scandinavia where Don Quixotes tilt windmills at Continental Drift…

“I’ve seen enough. Beam me up.”


Thursday, 11 August 2011


A police station in Huddersfield got broken into last night. All the satnavs were stolen. The police are now looking for Leeds.

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Jeanekke Pis - Brussels Mannekin Pis -  Brussels

Jeanneke Pis


Mannekin Pis



Wind and Piss

Friday, 22 July 2011



I woke up this morning with trapped wind, griping pains.

It explains why this blow-up doll looks so damn miserable.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Mastermi … er Card

                                          MASTERMI … ER CARD

A friend of ours, who is an Egghead victor, is now a contestant in the BBC Mastermind 2011 competition. She gave Liz and I tickets to see the production which is in Media City, Manchester. That’s how I ended up trying to book us into a Travelodge on the Internet.
     I go through to the TL website and punch in the required dates. “Go to, ’Continue,’” the machine tells me. The next page says that, if I’m an “old customer,” I just need to tap in my e-mail address and password and the booking will be done for me automatically.
     I am an old customer. I’ve stayed at this very lodge several times. Liz and I were there 3 months ago. Mind, I didn’t know that they knew my PW, but OK, I give them what they ask for, address and PW.
They’ve never heard of me. I thought as much. Who has?
     I go back to the original page and put in all that guff about names, addresses, phones, card details … and so on and so on. Now they say they will charge me £2 for the honour of using my MasterCard; so, OK, I use my Visa Debit instead.
“Go to, ‘Continue,’” it tells me. I do, and get a warning to be patient, “don’t dare touch any keys until we give permission.” Nothing else happens so I wait, and wait, and … I’ve waited long enough. I scrutinize the screen. A little remark in red has manifested. It tells me I didn’t tick the “terms and conditions box.”
     “OK, if you insist.” I tick the box then, “Continue.” Now I get the warning to be patient, “blah blah blah …” Nothing else happens, so I wait … and wait … and … Still nothing … “Sod it.” I scrutinize the screen. Another little red note has appeared from nowhere. It says that I’ve put an incorrect card number in. “No I haven’t.” I check, just to be sure. The buggers have only gone and erased my card number, then blamed me for it. I re-type the number. Now I scrutinize every inch of the screen. No more remarks. I go to, “Continue,” and get a warning to be pat-
     At last, I‟m on the next page. I’m a simple soul really. I don’t ask much from life. I just want to stand in the garden and count the clouds. I just need a confirmation and a receipt from Travelodge and my life will be complete. But they won’t give me a receipt. Instead, they tell me that, “for my peace of mind,” they’ve introduced a new security system for Visa cards; and what I need to do now is to type in my e-mail address and … you’ve guessed it … my PW, which they don’t know.
     But, just a minute, there’s a bit here that says that, if I don’t have a password I can tick this box and get one. So I tick the box, and that gives me another page that demands my e-mail address. So I give it to them – again. Now they want my date of birth, “Eh?!” I give it to them.
     Now they want the “Member number,” of my Visa card. I’m not a member of anything so I ignore it and go to, “Continue.” Now I get a box that says I forgot to enter my “Member Number.” The next thing I know is that they’ve zoomed me right back to square one and I have to do everything over again … as a punishment I presume.
     So, if you go back to the top of the page and re-read everything you’ve just read, if you did read it, you’ll get the gist of what I’m saying.
     I did just that. I went through it all again and pressed, “Continue …” and got a page that said my, “Time has expired. This WebPage is no longer available.”
     That’s when I decided to kill myself.
     Anyway, like she does, Elizabeth made me a cup of coffee and told me it could be worse, I could be young and have to spend another 60 years working with computers. Then she suggested that I make the booking by telephone. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?‟
     So I phoned the Travelodge number and got a computerised woman. She gave me a lecture on terms and conditions and all kinds of junk then ordered me to, “Listen Carefully to the following instructions.” Cheeky bitch! She then gave me a string of numbers, one of which would put me through to a carer who would help me to book my hotel. So I pressed the number and it rang, and rang, and rang … Then it cut me off.
     That’s when Elizabeth led me upstairs and told me to lie on the bed.
     Five minutes later she’s back in the bedroom. She dialled the same number; got a human being; booked the hotel; “and the receipt’s on its way.”
     “I’m going outside. I may be some time.”



Friday, 1 July 2011

Life’s Not Fair

A woman down our street hasn’t had sex with a man for years, because she’s scared of getting a disease.
Last week she caught e-coli off a cucumber.


Monday, 4 February 2008

Dear Charlie

There’s a lot of hooey going on these days about the causes of so-called Global Warming. Lot of damn nonsense if you ask me. Everyone’s getting in on the act; Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth; all that sort of barmy beggar; load o’ damn Liberals; lot of ‘em. And they’re all lookin’ for someone to blame. It’s everybody but themselves; blame the decent people with four wheel drives; innocent people doing the “school run;” all that sort of person; salt of the earth. Damn witch hunt; that’s what I call it.

Now the RSPB have got in on the act, along with a load of other wildlife cranks. And they all follow the same line, backing up their inane arguments by pointing to the decline in the numbers of sparrows; skylarks; otters; corncrakes and a load of other uninteresting good-for-nothing species.

There is suspiciously little mention of the mysterious decline in the numbers of the 'Twitching Knickersniffers' in many parts of the world.

This shy and elusive creature is only ever seen in the dead of night as it hovers by the door of a ladies bedroom - or glimpsed through the keyhole of a bathroom door as it rummages through a laundry basket.

My research, based on figures available on the internet, shows that, in any one country, the decline in the 'Knickersniffer' population is directly proportional to the sale of the dreaded panty-liner.

I suspect that I have stumbled on some kind of collusion here. The Panty-liner Manufacturers are giving the environmentalists a backhander to keep quiet about the damage that they are doing to the worlds wild-life

I therefore propose that all the pressure, that is currently being brought to bear on the motor and chemical industries, should be immediately switched to those who manufacture and sell these obscene little objects.

Professor Pube
Public Relations Department
Association of the Motor and Chemical Industries.

Dear Charlie

How I welcome the letter from Professor Pube
This page, last month.

I have been observing a 'Twitching Knickersniffer'
for some time now, and have noticed a remarkable
change in its habits over the last few years.

At one stage I lost all track of the fascinating creature,
and feared that it had fallen foul of the panty-liner scourge.
But mercifully - no. I finally relocated it through the window of
a terraced house - while using my most powerful telescope,
which is rigged in my observatory in the top foliage of a copse
in the grounds of our local Ladies Preparatory School.

In this new sighting, the Knickersniffer was observed to have a
flasher's raincoat over its head as it inhaled from a brew of
panty-liners, which were stewing in a pressure cooker.

It is my ambition to be recorded in the history-books
for making some great discovery. And I would like to
nominate myself as the person who finally confirmed
the theory of evolution by observing how the
Knickersniffer miraculously adapted itself to the near
environmental catastrophe caused by the panty-liner.

I. N. Hale

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Charlie's Readers' Tips

Charlie’s Readers’ Letters'n'Tips

Dear Charlie

Here’s a tip for the British Government.

During a recent business trip to England I was amused by your government’s undercover campaign to con motorists into driving at lower speeds by placing warnings of stray deer beside the motorways.

The British public are not fools and will not fall for such fanciful ploys. People know damn well that there are no wild deer within hundreds of miles of the English motorway system - so there is no danger of colliding with one. Even if a rutting stag did wander down from the Scottish Highlands in the hope of finding a mate on the M25, it would be too agile to be hit by a car.

I suggest that a more practical animal should be used for the campaign. Obliterate the silhouettes of deer from the red triangles beside the motorways and replace them with pictures of elephants. Elephants are cumbersome and cannot leap out of the way of oncoming traffic. Drivers will therefore be forced to pay attention because a high speed collision with an elephant means certain death.

Cynics may argue that elephants are nearly as rare as deer in the English countryside. Dispel these doubts by spreading large quantities of elephant shit over the surface of the motorways.

To get the operation off the ground I can supply ship-loads of elephant turds at competitive prices.

Bungi Tin
Elephant and Bullshit Merchant

Dear Charlie

A little tip for the motoring front.

Motorists can now avoid the problems arising from blowbacks when they gob out of their car windows while doing high speeds on the motorway.

There’s a little plastic container gadget coming on the market. (Patent applied for). You simply hang it round your neck on a piece of string. Gobbing into this will banish those unsightly icicles that festoon the door around driver's window. You will also be rid of the shiny patches that the blowbacks leave on your clothes. When the container is full it can be emptied into the litter bins in service areas.

The money saved on car washes and dry cleaning bills will pay for the contraption in no time.

Major U. C. Snot (VD and Scar)
2nd Foot and Mouth

Dear Charlie

Here’s a tip for gardeners.

Collect dock, chick and bindweed seeds from nearby waste ground and scatter them over the walls onto your neighbours' gardens. As the weeds take hold, your own garden will look comparatively well kept with the minimum of effort.

Donna Givvashit

Dear Charlie

Reference the gobbing contraption invented by Major Snot (Patent applied for) (Charlie’s Readers’ Tips, this month).

Similar containers can be hooked on to the back of the driver and front passenger seats and used as spittoons by the people travelling in the rear of the car.

The front seat passenger can use the thingy that's hanging from the driver's neck.

Prof. U. C. Snot(Jnr).

Dear Charlie

Here’s a tip for secretaries.

Does the boss get on top of you? If so - try wearing Snack-Knix - the edible underwear.

Munch those boring interludes away.

I. Lay

Dear Charlie

With regard to the gobbing contraption invented by Major Snot (Patent applied for). (Charlie’s Readers’ Tips, this month).

The containers can be wiped dry with toilet paper in the service areas and filled with sandwiches and snacks for consumption on the next leg of the journey. Once the food has been eaten, the containers can be re-used for their original purpose.

If a passenger wants to gob before his or her container is empty, the food can be removed and placed in the glove compartment.

Mrs U. C. Snot
Married Pads
2nd Foot and Mouth.

Dear Charlie

Daddy recently bought me a new Porsche. Imagine my absolute horror when I discovered that it was not fitted with spittoons. I mean... In this day and age... Am I supposed to gob out of the window or something?

In response to my protests the dealer supplied me with gobbing boxes which had been designed by a genius called Major Snot (Patent applied for).

If everybody made a stand, the manufacturers would be forced to listen and make gobbing receptacles a standard fitting in every car. This would make a well deserved fortune for Major Snot who could pass the benefits on to his family.

Eva Snot
Freshers' Flats

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Dear Charlie

I want to report a big miracle!

I was driving along the motorway in torrential rain the other day – with visibility nearly zero - when I suddenly saw GOD!

I just caught a glimpse of Him in the headlights - disguised as a motorcyclist - wearing a helmet, goggles, boots and gauntlets… all covered in sharp studs.

But I recognised Him straight away - by His beard!

But that's not the big miracle. No. The big miracle came when I skidded to a halt, leapt from the car, and prostrated myself in the filthy wet of the fast lane.

That simple act of faith saved my life.

Because I alone was spared from the pile-up as thirty cars slammed into the back of my vehicle - killing all the occupants in the ensuing fire.

Do you think I should write to the Pope?

Peter Pimple


Dear Charlie

Reference the letter from Peter Pimple, (Charlie's Readers' page, this week).

My advice is - keep quiet.

The Virgin Mary appeared to me last year, in a pub in Wallasy - disguised as a barmaid.

So I wrote to the Pope. And he made me a saint.

Now I'm banned from every cinema in the Wirral Peninsular because I'm walking round all day with this bright light on my head.

St. Sid-Brown-of-Birkenhead

Monday, 3 September 2007

Dear Charlie

My boyfriend writes me love poems, using a ball point pen tied to his cock. Have any
other readers got romantic partners?

Fanny Pubic
Bum's Bush


Dear Charlie

I can prove that people are talking nonsense when they say that Essex girls are promiscuous.

My bride-to-be is an Essex girl. She is twenty five years of age and was rogered for the very first time last week.

In fact she assures me that she would still be a virgin if I hadn't agreed to pay her thirty quid for that shag we had on the back seat of my Porsche.

Peter Pratt
Cock's End


Dear Charlie

If a tomcat had discovered America and brought back cigarettes, by now, half the tom-cats in Europe would be smoking and suffering from lung cancer.

They would try to find a cure by chaining human beings up in laboratories and forcing them to chain smoke.

Thank God that Christopher Columbus wasn't a tomcat. That's what we say.

Mr and Mrs Dogsbollocks

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Dear Charlie

I have calculated that if David Cameron said he would put 100% VAT on every single item - including food, houses and cars – the Tory Party could promise to abolish income tax altogether.

This would be the equivalent of giving every Conservative voter a pay rise of 40% or more. Even labour voters and other menials would immediately have 25% extra in their pay packets, so they would obviously start voting Tory too.

That means that the Conservative Party would get back in power and stay there for ever. This would enable me to become Prime Minister and put all my other good ideas into practice.

Percy Prick
Prospective Conservative Candidate
Barking Mad


Dear Charlie

They say that barmaids are continually being shagged by all the regulars in their pub.

I'm a barmaid and I can assure you that these stories are not true. One old wanker has
been coming into our pub for nearly a fortnight and he hasn't shagged me at all yet.

Miss Nancy Lykes
The Old Cock Inn

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Charlie's Readers' Letters

Dear Charlie

The government says that smoking can damage your health. My Uncle Fred smoked a hundred a day for thirty years and it never did him any harm. He was killed by a bus while having a coughing fit in the middle of the main road. Nobody has said we should ban buses.

Taffy Twollop


Dear Charlie

Talk about buying a pig in a poke. For nearly a year, I went out with a beautiful girl who vowed she loved me. She had creamy skin and her shoulder length hair was the colour of honey. Her eyes shone like stars and her teeth glistened like pearls. She was chic and slim and smelt like the flowers of spring...

We got married last week. It was only then that I discovered that she sweats while doing aerobics and goes for a shit every morning. I’ve banned her from the house of course, and instructed my solicitor to start divorce proceedings. Have any other readers been lured into marriage by deceitful women?



Dear Charlie

Charles is the Prince of Wales. On his birthday - nothing happened. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. We celebrated his birthday by having an office party, getting pissed and shagging the girls from the typing pool. I think the Royal Family should be scrapped and replaced by Christmas trees.

Willy Wanx
Taff’s Well


Dear Charlie

My grandfather, who was of Spanish origin, told me that he used to play the Kattaphone in his village band. Can any of your readers tell me what a Kattaphone is and where can I buy one please?
Joey Dickhead


Dear Charlie

With regard to the letter from Joey Dickhead of Hamster, enquiring about the Kattaphone (Charlie’s Readers’ Page, this week). This beautiful musical instrument was once played all over Europe. Now, alas, it is only heard in a few villages in the mountains of Andalucia.

It consists of a piece of knicker elastic stretched taut across a tom cat’s arsehole. The musician grips the animal firmly with its head trapped under his armpit and its hind legs straddling his neck. The instrument is played by plucking the elastic rhythmically with the teeth and twanging it on the cat’s anus.

The music is reminiscent of Irish bagpipes.
Professor Willie Kuntkopf

URU (Useless Research Unit)


Dear Charlie

Do any of your readers know who made the amazing discovery that olive oil softens ear wax?

Tilli Turts
Sewage on Sea


Dear Charlie

In reply to Tilli Turts’ query about olive oil and ear wax (Charlie’s Readers’ Letters, this week). I can supply the answer.

The discovery was made by accident by a member of the bearded MacSnatch Clan which once inhabited the remote island of Muckle Spittle in the Outer Hebrides.

This remote windswept rock could not support any vegetation. So the clan lived entirely on boiled jelly fish and home made whisky, distilled from crab’s piss and fermenting seaweed. As there were no shops on the island, they chewed ear wax as a substitute for chewing gum and tobacco. In winter, the wax used to harden and cause jaw fatigue – which accounts for the clan's unintelligible dialect.

Then, one foggy, day an olive oil bottle - with a few dregs left in the bottom – was washed up on the beach. One of the drunken islanders found it and, thinking it was whisky, went to take a swig but, missing his mouth, accidentally poured it into his left ear-hole.

The next day, when he poked his dagger in his ear to carve off a ‘chew’ of wax he found it was ‘wondrrrous soft.’ He summoned a meeting of the elders and, shortly afterwards, the discovery was announced to the medical world. But the patent was stolen by a pox doctor from Liverpool and the islanders spiralled into poverty and finally became extinct.

Professor Willie Kunttkopf