That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I was in two minds whether to tell you all this or not.

a) because it’s boring
a) it’s none of your beeswax.

But it’s a slow day in blade hell so…

A couple of months back, three in fact, I went up for a panel for promotion. It was a big promotion, like massive innit, so big in fact, that I might occasionally have been seen on the TV and everything, like HE who went before, and we’re talking national TV, not North Tonight or crap like that, and Kim Ayres would have been watching the news about some new plane or some boat being launched or something and nibbling on a scone perhaps, and I’d come on wearing a silly hardhat and saying something meaningless but clever and a bit pompous (OH yes folks, I’d got as far as working all this out), and Ayres would choke and shout on his wife, ”Quick! Quick! Come and see. Look it’s Doctor Maroon on the TV! That guy I met off the internet, it’s really him! Maroon!” and Kim’s wife would come through to see what the hell all the fuss was about, but by that time, they’d have moved on to tomorrow’s weather or a baby polar bear stuck in a lift or something and she’d be a bit annoyed with Ayres and she’d tell him to “stay off that bloody computer for 24 hours for the love of God!” and poor Kim would wonder if he’d dreamt it after all and then he’d know what solipsism felt like, but anyway, as it happens I didn’t get it, like, I bombed man, like, into the mountainside at mach 2, there were no survivors, the wreckage was strewn for eighty nautical miles in all directions, the black box was not recovered. It was a three day event, you know the thing, it’s an observation process, keeping your tie out the soup at lunch, semi formal gatherings at night with influential nobodies from the Outside World, it’s very tiring, being watched, but I think I did THAT bit well, maybe not, who knows, who gives a good godam, they could have bored for Britain anyway, that lot, talk about dull? and fascists to a man, actually they were ok, but the worst of it was when I went into the actual board room on day three to give my spiel and I suddenly realised I had a buzzing bogey! You know the ones I mean, one of those dry rattlers that clings tenaciously up your nose and flaps about, you don’t know if it’s showing or if it will come flying out onto the chairman’s wristwatch, or go skiting across the magnificent polished table in full view of everyone, you don’t know how big it is, you just know it’s up your nose like a trapped bee, so it was quick handshakes all round while keeping my big Pinocchio nose pointed to the floor so they couldn’t see up it, then a half turn away, and FULL blast into emergency hankie no1 (kept in right trouser pocket) but to no avail, Lord Jesus why me? Try second broadside, still no, but worse, I might have loosened it catastrophically. Was it even now, as I stuttered and mumbled my introductions, emerging out my nose like an evil hermit crab? Smile, casual turn / scan of room, while working genteel third blow into emergency hankie no 2 (inside jacket pocket left), got the bastard! Hooray! We’re home dry and soon to be rich, now why won’t my stick go in the USB socket on their shitty lousy laptop? Oh Christ, is it USB2? But isn’t USB2 just the same socket as USB1 anyway? Will I go and get MY laptop wherever the hell it is and plug their shitty lousy projector into it instead? Is this all some pisspoor test to see how I handle stress? Do they think this is stress? What chinless wonders! They wouldn’t know stress if it punched them in the godam eye. I don’t even want their shitty job. Bloody public schoolboy twats, no wait, I see what it is! It won’t go in, because THAT is the fucking phone socket, that’s why, fool, the USB socket is the next one along, Aha! There we go, everything is still fine, they haven’t noticed a thing, wing it man, smile, BREATH, give me the money, I mean job, I want a Bentley just like you guys…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

’Allo du Perthshire mes enfants !
Zoot Alors mes ami, je am cream crackered; totalement !
Je am plum tuckered être.

Feels like ça fait une éternité que j’absent.

Je acheter un pair of trousers in France but je had to renvoyer them.
Oh oui? Were they…too loose or too long?
Non, je just didn’t aimer le couleur.

My wife’s gone to the West Indies.
No, the WEST Indies
Yes I made her go.

Toi et moi nous allons parler Franglaise avec le Docteur.
C’est bon pour la santé.

Dick asked me if there was any way in which the design or manufacture of a turbine blade could cause both engines on an aircraft to suddenly run out of power, simultaneously, perhaps, for the sake of argument, on final approach to 27 Left at Heathrow Airport.

I was so cross with him that I said yes, I could think of several circumstances whereby sloppy salesmanship would cause just such a fault, and that I was surprised it didn’t happen more often.
His face was a picture and he didn’t speak to me for hours.
Le twat.

Une bonne nuit de sommeil and I’ll be right as pluie.

Might have a little vin and pain and a couple of Gitanes and le grand verre du Pernod et noir.
Scrub that. I shall have a plain cup of Typhoo thé and a sandwich de jambon avec brown sauce.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Act two (part one)

In which Mr Ayres and Mr Bananas hold that office party…

Christmas in my household had come and gone in a dreadful blur, to me at least. I had contracted an appalling malady of the head, no doubt from some foreigner. On that subject, my good lady wife had invited Stanislav “The Pole” to dine with us on Christmas day in an act of English charity; he being so far from the bosom of his own kind. However, I was by then, unfortunately abed, suffering the most abysmal brain fever and delirium; had it not been for Perkin’s Gentlemen’s Energizer, well, I shouldn’t like to wonder, so it fell to Mrs Maroon to keep the young lad entertained. I felt most guilty at this abrogation of my duties as host, but judging by the whoops of mirth that reached me from the parlour, she managed to pull it off.

By the 31st ult., the date fixed for the great beano and last day of 1888, I felt well enough to cross the threshold and re-enter the society of my good friends in Baker Street. Mrs Maroon was indisposed with a headache so had decided to forgo the party and rather stay home and play cards. To this end she had sent for Stanislav to bring a special herbal remedy of his, and for her close friend Tabbie Litmus to attend, in order to make a threesome.

By the time I arrived at Baker Street, the soiree had begun and I was immediately cheered by its gaiety. All the guests were in costume, greatly adding to my excitement and interest. All that is, except the Great Detective himself, who had rather shockingly disrobed and was cavorting round the room naked, making jungle noises and stealing food from plates like a common baboon. It shamed me to see my friend like this and I cursed Ayres for his lack of fraternal vigilance. As I stood dumbfounded, that most remarkable intellect was now hopping from foot to foot in an obscene parody, picking fruit from the headgear of one of the lady guests. I’d seen enough. ‘In vino veritas’ I swore, and took a step forward to intervene, whereupon I was halted by a familiar hand on my shoulder:

“Maroon! How are you, old fellow: enjoying yourself?”
“Blistering barnacles! G.B. it’s you!”

Sure enough, there was the greatest of detectives before me, and fully clad in the manner of the most splendid pirate, complete with mynah bird on his shoulder dressed as a parrot.

“I cannot say how pleased I am, Bananas,” I all but cried in my joy, “to see you here,-dressed like this.”
“As a pirate?”
“Yes indeed, as a pirate!”
“And what of you, Maroon?”
“I haven’t changed yet.”
“No, I meant…oh never mind. Here, have a drink.”
“I say Bananas, who’s the chap making a damn fool of himself? Is he family? They always let you down don’t they? Relatives! They come up for the hols, you give them room and board and first chance they get, they get drunk and they sick up over the vicar. Damn bad show. Is he a nephew? They’re the worst. What has he done with his clothes, the oaf?”

In answer, the Finest Brain of the Age put down his glass carefully and reached out a long arm, arresting the progress of his intoxicated kin by grasping the pelt on his excited juvenile head.

“Nowyerforrit!” squawked the mynah bird, staying in character.
“Look out G.B.!” I remonstrated “I’m sure the young fellow means no harm.”

But the marvellous ape ignored my entreaties and with his great strength, heaved at that hairy cranium, at which point the whole head parted from the dancing body beneath with a ‘gloop’…

…I came round to see Ayres smirking over me with a bottle of smelling salts in his hand. Beside him stood the whey faced butler, Mr Eater, dressed from the neck down, in a suit of fur, calculated to represent, in a ridiculous, hateful, approximation, the appearance of a gorilla. An infant would have been insulted by such a poor disguise.

“I might have known,” I spluttered. “only you Eater, would be so utterly tasteless, so louche, as to attempt such perfidy. And you can stop wafting that bottle under my nose Ayres; what is it anyway?
“It’s my own compound. I call it ‘amyl nitrate’.”

Friday, January 04, 2008

Ask anyone at work how they brought in the New Year and they will pause as if remembering and say; “quietly”.

This could be:
a) a barefaced lie.
b) a mark of the modern decline of social interaction.
c) an illustration of the gap between perception and reality.

For example let’s take Hogmanay chez Maroon, aux famille.
In my mind, it was a soft focus, Val Doonican-at-home triumph of hospitable good cheer. If only the Whole World could find such pleasant repose in family, friends and shortbread…

The réalité, remembered in a series of cruel flashbacks, is something quite different.

And I don’t care to dwell on it; I don’t have the time; I must get on; thank you for asking; look to your own affairs you nosey bastard.

Act two

Mrs Hudson was telling my friends of her preparations in the kitchen. “I’ve two geese ready for roasting the noo. They’re free range, fattened for two years instead o’ one. My Dr Watson prefers a big plump breasted…”
“And an older bird takes more stuffing.” I ventured.
“Whatever do you mean Dr Maroon?” asked the kindly Scotch housekeeper, adjusting the bib of her apron.
“Well, only that an older

Gotta go, can’t explain