OK, so, something happened to my brain. Not entirely sure what, but it just won’t function properly. Everything I try to type is just gilded shit. I even watched a few episode of My Name is Earl to try and give it a bit of a kick start, but nothing doing.


But, never fear, for there are contigency plans for everything.


Rather than leave you with nothing to read, I’ve cut and paste an old newsletter I used to write into this column so that, if nothing else, you can see that, once upon a time, I was actually not too bad at this sort of thing.


Next week, I promise, I’ll be on top form. Oh, and this is about 5 years old. The bit about the burglary is old news.



Afternoon Victims

 I have a plethora of topics to ramble pointlessly on about today that range in intensity from “Gosh isn’t that annoying” to “If I see one more of those I’m going to dig out the spleen of the nearest person with a dessert spoon in a burning, fiery rage!” (what I mean is I will use a dessert spoon to dig out someone’s spleen, not dig out the spleen of the nearest person who happens to be holding a desert spoon at the time. Imagine the mess if I happened to be in some cafĂ©!)

First off, though, I would like to send out a short message to the person that burgled our house on Saturday and wish him a slow, torturous death, equalled in violence and blood spillage only by the dark images thrown up by the areas of my mind that even I’m scared to visit; the ones I keep chained to a lead block in the back of my brain.

Right, that’s the community message out of the way for today, so let’s get straight down to business.

This will sound slightly bizarre (well, maybe not ‘bizarre’, it’s not like I’m about to say “ I have an estate agent growing out of my eye-socket” or “On Saturdays I put on my wife’s underwear and dance to the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack” (It’s actually the Dirty Dancing soundtrack). In fact, compared to much of the stuff that I usually spew in these newsletters, it’s actually very mundane and boring) but could someone please explain the point of a hat to me (and if anyone dares say something like “well, the point of a hat is the bit that sticks up at the top” they’ll be very, very sorry. I’m dangerous when provoked, it’s all nails and teeth. You’ve been warned).

See, I understand certain types of hats. Many are part of a uniform (chef’s hats, the green berets of the green berets, security guards hats), some are used for safety (hardhats, policemen’s hats, riding hats) and others are simply to indicate that the people wearing them are buffoons or ludicrously stupid people (paper party hats, jesters pointy hats, traffic-warden’s hats, anything worn by the clergy).

But there are other’s that don’t make sense to me.

Why, for instance, did gangsters wear hats? See, if

Hollywood is to be believed (and I see no reason for them to lie…what do you mean they always lie?! Stop it! Take it back! Nooo! All my dreams shattered! I’ll carry on in a second, I’ve just got to have a quick panic attack under the table) then gangsters like Al Capone wore hats. Why? It didn’t really make them stand out as bad men, did it? Did people really look at them and go “Ooh fuckin’ hell, he’s wearing a hat, must be a gangster. Back away quickly, don’t look him in the eye. Shit it’s got a feather in it, he must be a real hard bastard!”

And they didn’t need hats to make them look hard. They had those violin cases full of high velocity hot lead delivery systems to give them that “don’t mess with me punk” image.

So why the hats?

To finish off the suit? Did each group of gangsters have their own style guru who looked them over, tape measure over shoulder and hand on chin going “Hmm, something’s missing. Big shoulder pads, pin stripes, overly shiny brogues, overcoat worn only on the shoulders…what else, what else? Ah-ha! Try this. Perfect, Mr Venucci, it brings out the colour in your eyes, and stops the darkness of the suit leeching all the colour from your face. Marvellous! You go out there and knock ‘em dead…OK, shoot ‘em dead, whatever.”

Or maybe it was to keep them warm. “I’m not having this conversation with you again, Fingers, or you Murdering Joe, I’m not letting you out of this speakeasy until you put a hat on. It’s minus 3 outside, you’ll catch your death. Now put your hats on and don’t say another word about it. And if I find out that you’ve been mixing with that Capone boy, there’ll be hell to pay! And don’t get blood on your shirt, I’ve just washed it!”

And, even today, hats are still pointless.

Why do old men wear hats when they drive? What’s the point of a flat-cap, other than to draw attention to your whippets, and indicate that you’re on your way to your allotment? Why do lads wear baseball caps? All they do is signify a desire to stick pointless pieces of fibreglass onto a Renault 5 and make it sound like a ride-on lawnmower.

And don’t get me started on baseball caps under the hood of a hoodie, that’s just funny. Why dress like you’re about to mug an old lady, then whine that the police are always picking on you?

Hats I don’t get. Woolly hats are to keep you warm, hard hats are to keep you safe, funny hats are to indicate your position as head of the church. But what about the panama, the trilby, the flat-cap or deerstalker. Why a straw boater? Why did business men in the 40’s, 50’s 60’s wear a bowler? Did they not realise they looked like tits?

Why do women feel the compulsion to stick a planter full of peacock feathers on their head when they attend
Ascot? What possible reason did the designer of the fez have for its pointless existence?

Maybe I’m missing something.

And, like a motorist travelling at 75mph on the motorway who accidentally changes from 4th to 1st, thereby making his engine leap through his bonnet and pull rude faces at him, let’s segue smoothly into the next area of focus; theme parks. Or, rather, A theme park; AltonTowers.

The theme park is a very American idea.

Take Disneyland for instance (and when I say ‘take’, I REALLY mean take, as in, please take this thing away from me and set fire to it), it’s a sprawling fun-filled vista with rides and shops and attractions that all have a common theme; Disney (or maybe capitalism,

I’m never quite sure).

America is full of them; Disneyland, Universal Studios, Seaworld etc. each with it’s own individual theme, and there are some, in other parts of the world, where the theme is even more obvious, like Legoland, which is obviously a park based on the construction of Milton Keynes.

Britain, however, appears to have a problem with the ‘theme’ part.

We have a few; Camelot, American Adventure (although this one should really be called Wild West Adventure, as it’s all based on cowboys and stuff. If it really wanted to give an impression of what an adventure it was like to live in America they should have rides like; ‘Central Dark’ “Experience all the fun and excitement of walking through Central Park in the middle of the night. Can you make it out alive!?” or ‘The Tunnel’; “Can you ride the subway for 10mins without getting mugged or shot?”), that have a ‘theme’, but these are the secondary parks, the ones you go to on schools trips, or with your grandparents.

Alton Towers causes me a few problems. It has no theme.

Before you say “the theme, silly (yet, oddly alluring) boy, is the Towers themselves”, think about it for the minute. This park has rides called Oblivion, Nemesis, The Black Hole; so we’re suggesting that the Towers are dark, terrifying places that will kill you? Not exactly the makings of a family atmosphere. Then we continue with The Log Flume, the Rapids, The Runaway train, Ripsaw, Air, Rita: Queen of Speed (how did they come up with that!? They may not share a common theme, but at least the others have coolish sounding names. Who the buggery-nut-monkey decided that Rita was a good name for a ride? “Coming soon to

AltonTowers; ‘Mavis – Trolley Rage’ She’s old, none of the wheels point in the same direction, you’re going to die!”). What is the common theme? Are we, mere plebs, to assume that all stately homes have this sort of stuff in their back garden?

Someone suggested the other day, that the theme was fun. OK, but isn’t that the point of every park? Swings, slides, roundabouts, climbing frames; they’re all designed to be fun for kids to play on and for drunks to throw up under. So if every park is supposed to be fun, can they all be called theme parks? Makes sense to me.

Although I don’t want to be the one who tells the kids that they’re going to a theme park, minutes before you pull up outside some manky square of grass with 40yr old swings and a slide with “I Love Mazza. IDET” written in lipstick on the side. There might be a bit of disappointment and resentment after that.

OK, I’m not going to even try and slide effortlessly from theme parks to my next topic, I’m just going to jam it in and hope that the sticky out jagged bits don’t hurt too much.

Why do some people feel superior, if they’ve paid more for a pint of lager than you did?

Don’t understand? I’ll try and explain.

In Lincoln we have many warm and friendly bars (we also have many spit and sawdust ratholes), where the cost of a pint varies depending on the time of night, and the amount you’ve had to drink beforehand. These places are fun, loud and, for the price of a few ill chosen words to the wrong persons girlfriend, you can have your teeth removed in a quick and violent operation for which the alcohol has served as anaesthetic.

However, there is one place where the pretension can be cut with a knife (obviously it would have to be a gilded knife, with a DKNY cloth covered handle and a blade designed by Jimmy Chu (I understand that he does shoes, he was just a designer I chose at random. Bog off)). It’s full of designer label clad wannabees who strut around with a “I paid much more for my Stella than you did” look on their faces. And to me, this makes no sense. If you have the money to pay the extra £45 for a pint in this place, then why not go elsewhere, where you’ll be able to get more alcohol for your money?

Although, I suppose creating a bar like this is a stroke of genius. If you can get every Evisu wearing retard to pay more for something that can be purchased for almost half the price elsewhere, then you’ve got to be onto a winner.

I’ll take it back. I love this place. If people are stupid enough to pay shitloads of cash to purchase clothes that every other person in the world is wearing, yet still assume that they’re being individual, then getting ripped of for alcohol is deserved.

Ooh, got a bit narky at the end there.

Well, my children, that’s the end. It’s been a long, tiring journey but we go there in the end. I’ve been your host, and I’ll see you all, bright and early in the next instalment of WimD


Vice-Chairman of the WillowRosenberg Appreciation Society