Tag Archives: four candles

You Cannot Be Siri!

I think I must be channelling the spirit of Ronnie Corbett: I keep wanting to make corny jokes.  Incidentally I was very touched by the image of four large candles standing solemnly on the altar at his funeral last year:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-36073888

RC was much loved, perhaps more so than Barker of that ilk who, though more talented, could be a tad pompous.  It was crystal clear to anyone watching Ronnie C in the BBC armchair in his trademark sweater and lacking only a cup of cocoa to resemble a parent going to bed (my parents drank Bournvita which I found disgusting, though I used it once mixed with water to paint my face) that he did not take himself remotely seriously.

But I digress – which, now that I think about it, is further proof that I am channelling the little Ron, since his whole routine was nothing more than a long digression followed by a short punchline.  Lots of foreplay, you might say.  Anyway, somebody on Facebook suggested that I should tap Siri on my i-phone and say ‘I see a little silhouetto of a man’.  I didn’t even know who or what Siri was (I guess it’s a sort of speaking Google) but I did so and it spoke the lyrics of Bo Rap, as Queen fans call it, in a gravelly electronic voice.  Which was amusing.  And which brings me to today’s joke:

What did John McEnroe say to Harry Potter’s grandfather?

You cannot be Sirius!

Kirk out

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Two Ronnies, Four Candles, One Ronnie and an Orange

When your sword fails, you draw your dagger – and so it is, friends, that I find myself here instead of writing my short stories because for some reason my document has frozen.  This reminds me of a most brilliant sketch, the best thing I’ve seen since the Two Ronnies’ ‘Four Candles’ and clearly a modern hommage to it, which was this:

It’s brilliantly written, so if you haven’t yet watched, take a look.  I think it’s easily as good as the classic hardware shop sketch.

Hang on, let’s see if my document’s still frozen or if it’s thawed a bit.  Nope, seems to be a problem with open office.  Back to Word then…

It’s been a day for problems.  This morning I heard a disturbing trickling sound: at first I thought it was just the bath emptying but then I realised that water was coming from the base of a cupboard.  Weird.  It was also trickling through the ceiling.  Something was clearly wrong: I went upstairs to find Mark mopping the bathroom floor with a succession of towels.  It seems that the automatic plug thingy, which had stopped working a while back, had come unscrewed from its moorings.  It appears that this device performed an essential job in draining the bath and was now not performing it, due to lying on its side on the floor.  I got the side of the bath off and tried to screw it in again: however the assembly is broken (which is why it stopped working in the first place) and so I shall have to get a new one.  In the meantime the bath is out of bounds so if you were thinking of coming round to have a soak, you’re out of luck.

Sometimes it seems there’s a theme to your day.  I’m not sure how an overflowing bath, a broken plug and a frozen document all add up but I’m working on it.  Can’t do a thing with the document. Hey, do you remember a time when women supposedly used to say ‘I’ve just washed my hair and I can’t do a thing with it?  What were they were expecting to do with it, I ask myself.  Perhaps my hair can sort out the frozen document and the broken bath plug?

Nope, for the latter I think I’m going to have to go to the hardware store.  I wonder if they sell fork handles?

Kirk out

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It Ain’t Half Hot, Dad!

Many thanks for all the kind comments yesterday on Lizardyoga’s Weblog’s fifth anniversary – the occasion was useful as it gave me the opportunity to take a look back and see how I started off.  And lo!  I find it was on meeting Hanif Kureshi (author of ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’, ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’ and, more recently, ‘My Son the Fanatic’) and on asking his advice as to what aspiring writers should do to succeed.  ‘Start a blog’ was his reply, so the very next day, that is what I did.  I see that originally I didn’t post quite every day, though I didn’t miss many, and that some of my first posts featured dialogues between a couple called Ladimir and Oestrogen, my take on Samuel Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

I’ve never got on with Beckett, not even in French, so I generally prefer ‘Waiting for God’ to ‘Waiting for Godot’ as I am a great fan of sitcom.  I was introduced to a new one last night, called The Wright way.  Written by Ben Elton and starring David Haig, it promised fair – but alas! going from The Thin Blue Line

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thin_Blue_Line_(TV_series)

to The Wright Way

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2649480/

is like going from ‘Dad’s Army’ to ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’.  They both have the same writer – or writers – but the first has its repeated tropes plus subtlety and something genuine, even touching, at its core.  The second just has its repeated tropes.  Ben Elton is a talented writer and has written some excellent comedy – most of it, I have to say, in conjunction with Richard Curtis, but still… he can twist his satirical pen like a knife in the wound and make us laugh till it hurts.  But this… well, it’s not bad sit-com exactly; it’s just a bit… unvaried and unsubtle.  The main character is a less unpleasant version of the CID bloke in ‘Thin Blue Line’ – less unpleasant because he is less powerful – whose conversation is basically one long rant.  The Mayor who works with him is a pompous idiot who speaks in inverted sentences – something which might be a lot funnier if done with more subtlety, but it wasn’t so it isn’t – and the hero’s two teenage daughters were disappointingly anodyne and one-dimensional.

Do I mean one-dimensional?  Can anything really be one-dimensional?  Let’s ask Mark:

‘Mark, can we really call anything one-dimensional?’

‘Yeah, if you want.’

So there you have it.

All this sit-com stuff made useful comparison with last night’s interview (this is the world on i-player, don’t forget) between David Frost (for it was he) and Stephen Fry:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01sg96h/Frost_on_Sketch_Shows/

This was on sketch comedy rather than sit-com, but still… though the comedy clips were well-worn the connections between them remain interesting and I will always take any chance to see the Two Ronnies wrestling with Four Candles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu9MptWyCB8

or the fish-slapping dance, or anything at all by Eric and Ernie.

But now I notice that another episode of ‘I Claudius’ is up, so if you’ll excuse me I must away to ancient Rome.

Kirk out

PS  That sounds like the first line of a poem:

I must away to ancient Rome

eternal city of the mind

goodbye – for all roads take me home

towards that country of the blind.

I’m actually working on that to make it into a sonnet.

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Spam, Brooms and Hungarian Ladders

If you ever feel much too happy and you don’t know how to deal with it, I can thoroughly recommend looking at your spam folder.  The sheer depths to which some people will sink in order to try to get you to part with your money, can make you lose faith in humanity in the time it takes to click a mouse-button.  The worst ones are where they pretend to be charities or voluntary groups who are looking for your support.  These people are on the same rung as Delices et Gourmandises, who I blogged about before, and whose most recent victim is none other than my Mother-in-Law.

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2009/12/so-delices-gourmandises-wheres.html

They seem to have moved on from promising non-existent prizes to delivering vast quantities of cakes that haven’t been ordered and then threatening people when they don’t pay – or worse, taking money out of their account.  Don’t touch them: they target the elderly and vulnerable and they ought to be strung up.  As I have commented before, in my fantasy of hell there is a special circle for these people where they are continually visited by ‘guides’ who offer them a way out of hell in exchange for cash.  Every single one of them is a fraud…

In other news, I met the new neighbours yesterday and partly wished I hadn’t.  They’ve spent the past six months ignoring us but yesterday I actually said hello to one of them, a Hungarian who was sweeping the yard.  He seemed friendly enough and after a short conversation he asked whether I had a broom (he was sweeping the yard).  I lent him one and he promptly broke it.  He then asked if I had nails and wood glue.  I found them and he mended it.  He apologised.  I said not to worry, it was an old broom (which it was).  He then promptly asked if we had a ladder, whereupon I decided to go indoors before he could ask me for four candles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaGpaj2nHIo

I can’t decide if that was a bit mean of me…  I did find out, however, that he was Hungarian and that the household, which I’d thought was entirely Polish, consists of 7 or 8 people, all from various Eastern European countries.  He seemed a pleasant enough bloke but I did start to feel as though I were running a hardware store after a while.  But now I’m having a Charlie-Brown style crisis, thinking that maybe I’ve been a tad mean and judgemental.

*Sigh*
Watched the final episode of The Village yesterday but I shall give you my thoughts on that tomorrow.
Kirk out

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