28 June 2007
Writer, broadcaster, and politician.
That doesn't even start to describe him
He used to have a food column in the Observer magazine (I think) in the early 1970s and one stuck out.
It was an instruction manual reflecting the specific nutritional requirements of his children.
Pork crackling, for example.
Not a pork roast with crackling. Just the crackling. (Surprising, considering his jewish heritage, so I might have this completely wrong. But anyway)
The crunchy bits around the outside of a rice pudding.
And - best of all - psychedelic spaghetti, the recipe for which still resides in my cranium under "Essential stuff"
Cook the spaghetti until al dente, strain and then throw in a liberal quantity of hundreds and thousands and mix vigourously.
And then, of course, there's the £20 note joke.
Best one ever, IMHO, although it might have something to do with the fact that it's the only one I can ever remember....
26 June 2007
And good on him, too.
If you're one of the head honchos of a big company, you certainly deserve it.
I've never really placed much value on vehicles as a status symbol.
I ran around in a variety of Fiat Unos and Hondas for a long time and when someone once said "I'm surprised that someone in your position would drive a car like that", I thought "You prick"
But I accept that - in certain circumstances - it's important.
After I started a fairly senior sales job a few years back, we were planning the logistics around a presentation for an overseas customer (fairly biggish airline) and I was picking up their VP Cargo from his hotel. and someone else was picking up their local manager from his office and so on.
And then my boss asked "What sort of cars are we driving tomorrow?"
Audi, Mercedes, my Saab 9.3. All meet approval.
Then he told the story.
Another presentation a while back and one of the techies had offered to pick up the customer from the airport.
Turned up safe and sound and we're doing the usual "How's the hotel, how was the flight, was the pick-up OK?" sort of bullshit conversation, when the customer - an American, built like an NFL line backer. 6'5", 130kg - says
"That was an interesting car that Hans picked me up in. I think it used to be a refrigerator"
Quite ironic for an American, which impressed me no end, but it turned out that Hans had a white and rust Fiat Panda, tinny little engine that sounds like a motor mower and a back seat full of kids toys and safety seats, no boot (sorry...trunk) to speak of and reeking of dead nappies and stale kiddy chunder.
Took about 10 minutes to fold this giant into the front seat and stow his luggage and about the same time to extract him at the end of the journey. (Which must have seemed like an eternity
I think he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the Mercedes at the end of the day....
22 June 2007
21 June 2007
Don't misconstrue this as political incorrectness (hidden meaning: this is going to be very un-PC), but I'm having considerable difficulty staying on an even keel at the moment.
They're not related to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, by any chance, are they? Wouldn't surprise me.
They came into the summit, demanding that the rules be changed to achieve a "fairer" voting system in running the EU.
In other words: not based on population, but on a formula that skews the population-based representation to - surprise, surprise - give Poland more votes.
Today, they went one further. They're saying that "if Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million".
In other words, give us more voting rights.
So if you've got an indigenous population that feels hard done by, I'd do my best to keep news of this tactic away from them.
Otherwise they'll be going back to the the 18th or 19th century and extrapolating forward, factoring in genocide plus the lack of access to health care, education and what have you until they come up with a number that'll give them a majority in Parliament.
Don't say I didn't warn you...
20 June 2007
This a good one.Stephen Dubner, one of the authors of "Freakonomics" (great book, although I prefer Tim Harford's "The Underground Economist") was on a domestic Northwest flight in Business. .
Didn't want the meal for a variety of reasons that sound very familiar - had to keep working, just had something to eat (because you know that the food's going to be crap), food' crap - but asked the flight attendant if he could instead have a snack that they were selling for $2 in Economy.He could - for $2.
There's been quite a verbal stoush about this, both at Freakonomics and at Consumerist, and it brings to the surface the lunatic fringe with all their envy and class hatred that you're not supposed to acknowledge exists.
And a lack of common sense.
But it does remind me of flying Air India from Delhi to Mumbai a while back.
Flight came from Katmandu in Nepal, so we were a mixture of domestic and international passengers.
On Air India, there are rules.
The rules are that international passengers don't get a meal on the domestic leg, because they've already been fed on the first leg, but they get alcoholic beverages (because it's an international flight.)
Domestic passengers get a meal, because it's that time of day. But no drinks, (because it's a domestic flight)
So I get a meal, but what I'd really like is a beer.
The guy next to me is glancing covetously at my veg curry and he's just ordered a beer.
Time for a secondary market to go into action. He orders another beer, we do a quick swap and everyone's very happy.
Not the flight attendant.
Confiscates my beer, puts the (untouched) meal back in front of me with instructions to EAT IT and gives us both a ticking-off and a lecture about rules and what-have-you.
We look suitably chastened and wait for her to disappear. Meal tray gets shoved surreptitiously over to my new mate, who digs in and shoves it back in front of me when she reappears, while we sit there with butter-wouldn't melt-in-our-mouths smiles on our faces.Until she's gone and we're off again.
And in the meantime, my mate's mate has ordered another beer for himself. Or for me....
A pub with no beer.mp3 has rarely been more appropriate
Take an iconic poet, get some of the country's top contemporary artists to put the lyrics to music and you've got "Tuwhare", a collection curated by Charlotte Yates and quite a wonderful work of art.
Add a video of the man himself - now 85 - being introduced to the work and you'll got the recipe for magic
O Africa - Goldenhorse from Tuwhare [Listen]
Rain - Don McGlashan fromTuwhare [Listen]
Mad - Charlotte Yates from Tuwhare [Listen]
Speak To Me, Brother - Te Kupu from Tuwhare [Listen]
Friend - Graham Brazier from Tuwhare [Listen]
Rain - Hone Tuwhare from Classic New Zealand Poets In Performance [Listen]
No Ordinary Sun - Hone Tuwhare from Classic New Zealand Poets In Performance [Listen]
And you'll find the words of "No ordinary sun" inscribed in the Wellington's Peace Garden, with a flame donated by the people of Hiroshima in recognition of New Zealand's anti-nuclear stance.
All in all, pretty bloody special.
Tree let your arms fall:
raise them not sharply in supplication
to the bright enhaloed cloud.
Let your arms lack toughness and
resilience for this is no mere axe
to blunt nor fire to smother.
Your sap shall not rise again
to the moon’s pull.
No more incline a deferential head
to the wind’s talk, or stir
to the tickle of coursing rain.
Your former shagginess shall not be
wreathed with the delightful flight
of birds nor shield
nor cool the ardour of unheeding
lovers from the monstrous sun.
Tree let your naked arms fall
nor extend vain entreaties to the radiant ball.
This is no gallant monsoon’s flash,
no dashing trade wind’s blast.
The fading green of your magic
emanations shall not make pure again
these polluted skies . . . for this
is no ordinary sun.
in the shadowless mountains
the white plains and
the drab sea floor
your end at last is written.
It flags a wide range of shady, devious and downright illegal practices that seem more prevalent in the US than elsewhere and provides a forum for people a) to let off steam and b) get massive publicity for their cause.
(They do, of course, also provide a platform to the lunatic fringe, which frequently appears to be too cerebrally-challenged to understand what's going on and rants away wildly and at great length into thin air. But that's another story....)
They got this one wrong, though.
"Consumerist" looked at AirTran's "System-wide Summer Sale". looked at historical data and decided that they hadn't cut prices at all.
Which isn't true.
Historical prices are just that - historical. Pertaining to the past. Look towards yesterday and keep going.
AirTran had a lowest fare of $158 from Atlanta to Chicago in the month prior to today.
The lowest fare from July through October is $79.
The retraction was swift.
Almost self-flagellatory, in fact.
18 June 2007
15 June 2007
Dad was an Army man.
Royal Scots regiment on the Northwest Frontier in India during World War 2 where he taught soldiers how to shoot straight and blow things up. Went back to the UK after the war to his old job as manager of a tailor's shop and - a few years later - saw an advert in one of the dailies from the New Zealand Army. Munitions and explosives specialists wanted. Apply here.
Pretty soon, he's on the MV Mataroa to Auckland.
Oliver Prouse was a Navy man.
Served on the HMS Achilles in the Battle of the River Plate, switched to the Army after the war. Also learned how to blow things up. He and Dad bumped into each other (and hit it off) pretty much straight away. Both sergeants, both good leaders of men, both approached at the same time to attend Officers' Selection boards, both offered commissions.
Dad saw a life of moving from Ngaruawahia to Waiouru to Trentham to Burnham - hellholes all - for the rest of his military career and stayed put at the Army Proof Office in Mt Eden.
The Colonial Ammunition Company (CAC) in Normanby Road made ammunition for the Army and the Proof Office was there for quality control. Plus doing ballistics on crime weapons, defusing and destroying artillery shells that were past their "Best by" date, testing pyrotechnics for battlefield exercises. Stuff like that.
Snow went for it and moved from Ngaruawahia to Waiouro to Trentham to Burnham and then back to Auckland as senior officer at the Proof Office where their paths crossed again.
You couldn't imagine two more unlike people.
It took me years of provocation to finally squeeze a "bloody" out of Dad.
Snow used to carve through Auckland traffic in the Army Landrover yelling " Get out of the way, yer nipple-arsed bastards".
Dad drank shandy.
Snow used to turn up and drink whisky all night until Mum would drop the BIG HINT by setting the table for breakfast while he was taking a leak.
But it was always " What do you reckon, Arthur?" and "How would you do it, Arthur?" and Dad'd be going like "Well, sir. (Talking to Snow as a commissioned officer) I don't think it's a very good idea" and then "Listen Snow,(talking to him as a a mate) this is so stupid, only you could think of it"
He'd turn up in the Landrover (we didn't have a phone until I was 16 or so) and yell "Come on, Arthur, we've got a bomb to blow up" after the police got called by some veteran along the lines of "I've had this hand grenade on the mantelpiece since Tobruk and it's started leaking oily stuff".
So off they'd go and have a look at it, put it in the bomb container and blow it up somewhere safe.
Then for fun, they'd go and chop down trees with a forerunner of Semtex. (Dad used to set up cordite fuses all through the garden down to a pile of stuff that went "poof". I would have preferred "Bang", but anyway.)
So it's some big event in Auckland - possibly the 125th celebration of Auckland Anniversary Day, I'm not sure of the date and there's no-one left to ask - and the idea is to simulate the eruption of Rangitoto - a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf - with fireworks as the highlight of the big hoolie.
This ends up on the Army's (and ultimately) Snow's desk and he and Dad are away.
Absolutely in their element.
The brief was pretty straightforward - make sure that it can be seen from the CBD and the beaches and Yorks Fireworks out in Henderson are going to donate the pyrotechnics. (Yorks used to provide the Army with Thunderflashes for exercises. Think the most powerful commercially available firecracker. Times 20. Or 50. Frightening stuff.)
Snow and Dad look at this and think "This is too tame. No-one'll see anything. We need something with real grunt."
Like all the expired artillery ammunition we can get hold of. Flares. Barrels of diesel and petrol. All the stuff that Yorks can give us. Aluminium powder. Anything that burns well (and quickly. Millisecond quickly). Stack it around the crater and set it all off at once.
So off they went. Organised all this stuff, put in a requisition for a barge to ship it over. a couple of trucks to haul it up to the summit, troops to stack the stuff.
And then someone cottoned on to the fact that they were going to create a massive seismic shock on the largest and youngest - around 600 years old - volcano of around 50 that are sprinkled around Auckland.
The usual "Well, we should have bloody known that Snow Prouse would think of something like this, but Arthur's normally pretty sensible" and then someone else got the job.
But apart from all the expired artillery ammunition they could get hold of, flares, barrels of diesel and petrol, aluminium powder and anything that burns well (and quickly. Millisecond quickly), they stuck to the plan.
Which was pyrotechnics from Yorks.
The evening arrived, waterfronts and beaches are lined with people waiting for this massive eruption and - poof.
A couple of flashes, a cloud of smoke. That was it.
The press had a field day. Minhinnick, the Herald's cartoonist, was at his most acerbic and there were editorials seriously questioning the Army's competence.
Which was doubtful anyway, having decided at some stage that armies have to have tanks which were then bought (cheap ones....), but needed to be transported to the exercise area by a commercial carrier (not enough money for tank transporters...) and a temporary bridge had to be built to get them there.
"Temporary" as in "dismantle-it-when-you-re-finished-with-it", leaving the tanks to exercise frantically on the North Island plateau with no hope of getting anywhere where they might be needed.
The coast, for example.
When the Chinese invade.
And Snow turned to Dad and said "The nipple-arsed bastards. If they'd let us do, it would have been REALLY good. What do you reckon, Arthur?"
And he told us of his life in the land of submarines.[Listen]
13 June 2007
"Simon turned up in the seventies. He had a bus with "We've come to take your daughters" written on the front.
I was 9, or so.
I found this alarming.
Simon seemed the impersonation of a mythical Sixties. He always said he had been to Woodstock, though we didn't believe him. He introduced my curious family to The Band, Little Feat, Southern Comfort and irony.
He had a way of raising his eyebrow while making deadpan fun of rule followers or hypocrites. That gravelly voice! He called the police PIGS. He orchestrated the smoko snail races at my great uncles plant nursery, where we all worked one rainy school holidays. He had an unusual, reedy, seemingly educated elegance: a Balliol dandy in a corrugated iron shed.
Partly this effect was due to wit, vocabulary and timing; partly to his habit of "a cigarette and a look around" for breakfast."
I knew he liked The Mutton Birds and Don McGlashan (and I hope he got to WOMAD this year to see him)
But I didn't know he was a Feat man.
Or a Band man.
So there's a fair chance he'll like this bunch:
Kicks off with Feat (Lowell by hisself with a little Japanese metronome machine, actually)
Two Trains (Lowell Demo) [Listen]- Little Feat from Hotcakes & Outtakes
and then drifts along to Robert Palmer with Feat
Sneaking Sally Through The Alley [Listen]- Robert Palmer from Best Of The Test
who really rocked with Elkie Brooks back in the early 70s
So long - Vinegar Joe [Listen]from 45s
Feat as a session band again (This one thanks to Evi Seibert and a belated happy birthday, my dear)
You're not the rule (You're the exception)[Listen] - Helen Watson from Blue Slipper
A Stone's Throw Away [Listen]- Valerie Carter from Just A Stone's Throw Away
The Meters, who played on Valerie Carter's album
Cissy Strut [Listen]- The Meters from Funkify Your Life: The Meters Anthology
and who are forever linked with Allan Toussaint
Two Trains [Listen]- Allen Toussaint and Leo Nocentelli from Rock And Roll Doctor - A Tribute To Lowell George
who wrote this for Bonnie Raitt
What do you want the boy to do? [Listen]- Bonnie Raitt from Home Plate
who sang harmony with Warren
Join Me in L.A. [Listen]- Warren Zevon from Warren Zevon
who was discovered by Jackson Browne
Missing persons [Listen]- Jackson Browne from Hold out
who wouldn't been have as good as he is is without Dave
You Done Me Wrong [Listen]- Rakoto Frah from A World Out Of Time, Vol. 2: Henry Kaiser & David Lindley in Madagascar
who can also do Cajun
Petit Fleur [Listen]- David Lindley from El Rayo-X
as can Dr John
Tipitina [Listen]- Dr. John from Dr. John's Gumbo
who played in The Last Waltz with The Band
It Makes No Difference [Listen]- The Band from The Band: The King Biscuit Flour Hour
and Rick Danko
New Mexicoe [Listen]- Rick Danko from Rick Danko
and Ronnie Hawkins was there
Who Do You Love? [Listen]- The Band from The Last Waltz
dressed like a cowboy which is a bit of a stretch to a band from just up the road in Hamilton
Giddy Up [Listen]- Katchafire from Revival
and then it's coasting along with
Envy of Angels [Listen]- Mutton Birds from Envy of Angels
and Don McGlashan
I Will Not Let You Down [Listen]- Don McGlashan from Warm Hand
Rain [Listen]- Hone Tuwhare from Classic New Zealand Poets In Performance
on Tuwhare and Graham Brazier did
Friend [Listen]- Graham Brazier from Tuwhare
on the same album and they haven't done an album of Denis Glover's poetry yet
Threnody [Listen]- Denis Glover from Classic New Zealand Poets In Performance
but it's only a matter of time until Charlotte Yates gets around to it.
So here's one for the road
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer [Listen]- George Thorogood & The Destroyers from George Thorogood And The Destroyers
and Rod Stewart's Scottish
Every Picture Tells A Story [Listen]- Rod Stewart from Every Picture Tells A Story
so we can squeeze that in
And the Eddystone Light isn't Scottish, but I can just imagine him singing this [Listen]
"Captain Doddery's wee tune as he opened up the throttle."
My father was the keeper of the Eddystone light
And he slept with a mermaid one fine night
Out of this union there came three
A porpoise and a porgy and the other was me!
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!
One night, as I was a-trimming the glim
Singing a verse from the evening hymn
I head a voice cry out an "Ahoy!"
And there was my mother, sitting on a buoy.
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!
"Oh, what has become of my children three?"
My mother then inquired of me.
One's on exhibit as a talking fish
The other was served in a chafing dish.
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!
Then the phosphorus flashed in her seaweed hair.
I looked again, and my mother wasn't there
But her voice came angrily out of the night
"To Hell with the keeper of the Eddystone Light!"
Yo ho ho, the wind blows free,
Oh for the life on the rolling sea!
07 June 2007
Not that I have any idea about this stuff of course, but this confused me even more than usual....
We had the usual extended "I-haven't-got-anything-to-wear fashion show before going out the other day, which included a garment with the price tag still on, so it can't have been more than a couple of years old.
Carbon dating might help determine the true age, but it ALSO had this label attached to it.
You're meant to make something MORE CRINKLED than it was before?
What happened to IRONING things to make them look decent?
06 June 2007
Mix and Match #10
[Disclaimer #1: The mixes and the majority of the tracks from all of these mixtapes are the original C90s from the late 70's/early mid 80's. Vinyl to tape. Play a couple of hundred times. Tape to mp3. Snap, crackle, pop and hums are free of charge]
Occurred to me that some folks might want to do some mixing and matching of their own. So it's individual tracks from here on.
And there are loads of stories in this one.
Skip the first five tracks - grabbed them from a "Best of" album I bought for my goddaughter for Xmas.
Spence at On the Trail of the Great did a great Idiots Guide to Nik Kershaw a while back. You're too late to grab the tracks, but here's the classic "chucka-chucka" guitar kickoff and the horns solo. Kicked off by the "chucka-chucka" guitar, of course.
Get hold of Nick Bollinger's excellent book "How to listen to pop music" and check out what he has to to say about Allen Toussaint and Feat. Mirrors my experience almost to a t. (If you donated to Bloggers for a cause, you're already in the draw for 3 copies that Nick - fine fellow that he is - tossed in the pot)
Twenty-odd years ago, Christine McVie did a couple of halfway decent solo albums ("You mean a REAL album?" said my mate The Professor on Sunday " Like, vinyl?") and packed them full of great sidesmen. Clapton plays lead on this one. This is delicacy personified.
Segues into "The shape you're in". A niece - probably 3 or 4 at the time - turned up while the album was propped up against the bookshelf, looked at the cover, looked at me, looked back and said" Uncle John...?" Shit, didn't we look young in those days.
The rest is pure eclecticism. Aka a bit of a jumble.
Except "Elected". Song of choice for singing on the way to the White Bear in Hounslow to watch the Jug Band (featuring on occasion Ray Dorset the singer from Mungo Jerry, who used to drink with us at the Rising Sun next to Heathrow.) Got so successful that the neighbours complained, fuzz came, closed the place down. Bastards.
Forgot what we sang on the way home.
Probably "Dinah, Dinah, show us your leg"...
It's my life [listen] - Talk Talk from It's my life
Hold me now [listen] - Thomson Twins from The Greatest Hits
Love Is A Battlefield [listen] - Pat Benatar from 80's
What is love [listen] - Howard Jones from Human's Lib
I'm so excited [listen] - Pointer Sisters from Break out
Time after time [listen] - Cindy Lauper from She's so unusual
Wouldn't it be good [listen] - Nik Kershaw from Human racing
Still in the game [listen] - Steve Winwood from Talking Back To The Night
Last train [listen] - Allen Toussaint from Southern nights
Two Trains [listen] - Little Feat from Best Of The Test
Tattler [listen] - Ry Cooder from Paradise and lunch
Love letters [listen] - Joe Walsh from You Bought It You Name It
She's still a mystery [listen] - Lovin' Spoonful from The Lovin' Spoonful
Suite Judy Blue Eyes [listen] - Crosby, Stills and Nash from Crosby, Stills and Nash
The challenge [listen] - Christine McVie from Christine McVie
The shape you're in [listen] - Eric Clapton from Money and cigarettes
Elected [listen] - Alice Cooper from Alice Cooper's greatest hits
My best friend's girl [listen] - Cars from Greatest Hits
I wonder [listen] - Asleep at the wheel from The Wheel
Gravity [listen] - Ricky Lee Jones from The Magazine
Even now [listen] - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band from The distance
Don't let go [listen] - Commander Cody from Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen
Souls [listen] - Rick Springfield from Living in Oz
Lovin' cup [listen] - Steve Miller Band from The Joker
04 June 2007
I found this in the comments on Rest Area 300m,the blog of the late (great) Simon Lindsay who passed away last week.
It gave me the shivers.
At about the time he died, I was putting the final touches on a post for Mainz Daily Photo, lamenting the relegation of our local team to the Second Division.
Same biblical style. Not nearly as good as his.
I think we probably both nicked it from here.
I'd have him down as a "Punch" reader
Simon's Lament (after he had to fill some cracks in the road on Mt Messenger)
And it was the feast of St. Patrick and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.
At the fourth hour the Prophet Burnard ran from his tent and cried, "A voice has called unto me from on high, The Mount of the Messenger has been rent in two, and will swallow all the things of the earth."
And great was the lamentation and weeping.
And the people saith unto the Prophet Burnard, "Tell us this is not true, for surely we will all be swallowed up.
And he sayeth, "Truly the words have come down from on high, from the Wise Ones, The Mountain is split asunder.
And he bade his disciple Simon to take up the sacred tar pot, and some of the finest sand, and he said, "Have Faith, Take thee to the mountain and heal the rent, that all may be saved.
And Simon took up the sacred tar pot and some of the finest sand and mounting his Isuzu he hastened to the Mountain.
And he travelled swiftly though his mount was of great age and had travelled to all corners of the kingdom many times.
And he poured the tar pot into the rent, and sprinkled sand and made the sacred incantations.
And his wife, who was returning from afar, saw him, and stopped, and mocked him, saying "Thou Fool, what art thou doing in this deluge with sand and a filthy black pot, for thy friends are feasting and making merry,
But Simon had faith and poured the holy tar pot, and lo the rent was healed, and the Mountain was joined as one.
And being of great thirst, he hastened to the Inn, and gave thanks and there after spoke in tongues, and layeth in the gutter.
And his wife said, "Truly thou art a great and aged fool, For thou drinketh the foul black stuff, and thou sprinkleth black stuff on the highway with sand and glowing orbs, and vestments of orange, and I have slaughtered and readied the fatted sausage in your honour, and you eateth not, but have fallen in with all manner of people in drunkenness.
And the keeper of the Inn spake, saying thus, "This man hath held the sacred lollypop and knoweth the signs and portents that litter this land, he hath smoothed the afflicted highways, and eased the lot of wayfarers, he feedeth my till, and dribbleth not, unlike the Prophet Burnard.
Let him sleep in thy bed and curseth not, for when the time cometh, and he is called, the heavenly gates may need oiling and the divine pot holes filling and he shall have a golden tar pot and sit at the CEO`s right hand."
Most Britons still believe in the concept of sin Most Britons and nearly a third believe in hell and the devil according to the biggest survey of public opinion ever carried out in the West.
Britons have a stricter moral code than their fellow Europeans on serious sexual, criminal and social matters, but they are more permissive about minor infringements, such as failing to report accidental damage to a parked vehicle"
And it does link in so nicely with The Economist's article this week on the opening of the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
The museum says that, if Noah took two of every animal on his ark, he must have had dinosaurs. Could dinosaurs have fitted into a boat only 300 cubits (about 135m) long? “It is likely that God brought young adults. Being smaller, they would be easier to care for.”
From Genesis 3 et seq.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid,
and I hid myself amongst the trees of the garden, because I was
naked; and I was in fear lest thou shouldst ask of me whether I had
eaten of the tree of knowledge.
11 And the LORD God spake unto him, saying: never mind eating of
the tree of knowledge, thou hast walked on the grass of knowledge,
for a start.
12 And the man said, I thought it was alright to walk upon the
grass of knowledge, I did not know that that was any big deal.
13 Whereat the LORD God waxed exceeding wrath, crying: There are
signs up everywhere. As to thy being naked, thou art not naked at
all, they LORD thy God hath eyes in his head, thou and the woman
that I made for thee haved picked leaves to be a covering, what
dost thou think thou art playing at, picking at things, it'll be
the daffs next.
14 And the man replied in thus wise, saying, The woman whom thou
gavest to be with me, she hath done this. I was happy in my
nakedness, it was not draughty, but the woman insisted, and I
plucked off the tree two leaves, contrary to sub-section eight of
the by-laws, para fourteen.
15 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou
hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, saying it
would be fashionable, a smart leaf.
16 And the LORD God grew great in his anger, crying, It will be
riding bloody bicycles on the footpath next, It will be failing to
put sweet wrappers in the receptacles provided; and he turned then
to the man, saying, Hast thou a license for this snake?
17 And the man fell upon his knees in that place, shouting:
license, what license, it is not a dog, it hath no legs, it doth
not bark, wherefore is it that I should have a license?
18 But the LORD God would not be assuaged, saying, I know it is
not a dog, I the LORD God made it, it is not an elephant or a
plaice, either, do not get clever with me, the fact is that it is a
dangerous animal within the meaning of the Act, they can kill you,
snakes, I speak as one that knoweth, and as such they require a
license obtainable at any post office that I have made.
19 And the man hung his head, saying, I did not realize.
20 But the LORD God exculpated him not, saying, Ignorance of the
law is no excuse, it is not even on a lead, it could foul the
footpath, they are no joke, snake droppings. This is the garden of
Eden, not an adventure playground.
21 Therefore the LORD God sent them forth from the garden; and he
placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, in caps and
armbands, and a flaming signboard with all the by-laws writ large
upon it, to keep the way of the tree of life.
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain,
and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2 Whereat the LORD God spake unto them, saying, I trust that thou
hast registered this child, also that thou hast registered him once
only, I do not want any maternity grant fiddles, I do not want him
coming back unto me when he is unemployed claiming two lots of
social security, I give thee fair warning. That could well be a
matter for thunderbolts.
3 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of
sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of
time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground
an offering unto the LORD.
4 But the LORD God was greatly displeased in that place where he
was, saying, Call that a tomato? It is more like a red pea, hast
thou no thought for the Weights & Measures Act that I have made,
dost thou turn thy back on my Office of Fair Trading, what is it
that thou are trying to put over on the unfortunate public?
5 And Cain replied in thus wise, saying, Public, what public,
there is only we and thou in this place where we are, unfortunate
6 And the LORD God gathered up the clouds and spake to him in
thunder, crying, Do not take that tone with me, I am the LORD thy
legally constitued local authority, a thing is not a tomato unless
I say it is a tomato.
7 And Cain went away in anger from that place, saying, It tasted
all right, what difference doth it make if it is a bit undersized,
how can you make a living in this business if you do not bend the
rules a bit. And lo, he came upon his brother Abel in a field, and
Abel had with him where he was a sheep that had found favour with
the LORD in that it had complied with all regulations concerning
weight, quality, vaccination, smell, and all the rest, and Abel
said unto his brother Cain, How dist thou get on with that titchy
8 And Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel, thy brother? And he
said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And the LORD replied in thus wise, saying, thou art his next-
of-kin and it is therefore thy legal obligation to report his
demise to the Authorities, especially in view of the fact that it
is thou that hath demised him.
11 And Cain said, He got up my nose.
12 And the LORD God replied, saying, That is no excuse for failing
to report his death. Coming on top of thy dreadful infringement of
the tomato regulations, this is too much. And the LORD set a mark
upon Cain, reminding him of the severe penalties involved should he
receive two further marks in a period of three years, under the
13 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in
the land on Nod, on the east of Eden.
14 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and
he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name
of his son, Enoch.
15 And the LORD God waxed furious, crying, didst thou get planning
permission for a city? Look at it, it hath no proper drains, it
hath high-rise blocks stuck up all over the place, it doth not have
a decent road from one end to the other, it is an eyesore and an
16 And Cain answered the LORD in some heat, shouting, This is not
Green Belt, this is bloody NOD, it is thou that stuckest me here in
this place where I am to be a developer on account of not being
allowed to follow chosen profession, to wit, tiller of ground, how
am I to earn an honest bob, all right, fairly honest?
17 But the LORD would not countenance his appeal, and knocked the
city down, that it be a lesson and a guide to all men.
18 And Enoch, the son not the city, begat Irad; and Irad begat
Mehujael; and Mehujael begat Methusael; and Methusael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was
Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah.
20 And the LORD God waxed really spare this time, what with the
multiplicity of spouses and the serious begetting explosion, for
the infringements were beyond number, and the LORD God was up to
here with paperwork. And of the myriad thousands that now teemed
the Earth, the vast majority did not make full and complete tax
returns, nor did they come home from work without paperclips and
rubbers that they had taken, saying, Who is it that will notice?
Also, they lived together in council accomodation when they were
not legally married, and they did not observe the yellow lines that
the LORD their God had laid down for them, nay, not even the double
yellow lines; and they smoked in those places where there were
signs clearly exhorting them not so to do, and built on room-
extensions in cedar wood and in sandalwood without informing the
Rating Authority; and they sang in those places which did not have a
license for singing.
1 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only
2 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from
the face of the Earth; for it repenteth me that I have made them,
they cannot be left for a minute, I am losing a thousand gas-meters
a day, never mind forged Cup Final tickets.
3 But Noah found grace in the yes of the LORD.
4 And GOD said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me;
and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of
gopher wood. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of:
The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, and the
height of it shall be thirty cubits.
5 Thus Noah and his sons fashioned them an ark; and it was done.
6 But when the LORD God looked upon it where it was, he waxed
practically out of his mind, crying, Is that the gopher wood that I
7 And Noah answered in this wise, saying, Not exactly, it is more
your actual chipboard, I was very lucky, it fell off the back of a
cart, also no VAT, nudge-nudge, catch my drift?
8 And GOD caught his drift, saying, Nor is it the three hundred
cubits in length, that I bespoke unto thee.
9 And Noah replied unto him, saying, Right, right, there are no
flies on thee, O LORD, it is about, what, two hundred cubits, give
or take, it was a pretty small cart if thou knowest what I mean, it
looks like bad news for the dinosaurs and the unicorns, one way and
10 And the LORD God retreated into the cloud, and wept. And the
tears became rain.