Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Run Tiddler Run

The Great Manchester Run is now just over 2 weeks away. Cancer Relief have sent me a running vest, a plastic warm up top and some tattoos for the occasion. The running is going ok again, although my knee is a bit twingy today. I suspect it has a lot to do with me jumping up and down like a mad eejit, when Paul Scholes found the net last night.

He scores goals galore,
he scores goals.
Paul Scholes,
he scores goals.

The Good News - I have a ticket for Moscow

The Bad News - I can't go due to work commitments. Not kidding.

Tiddler's football training has moved back outside for the summer. He's coming along nicely as a defender and occasional keeper. The only problem is that he can't run. He does this skippy-dancy thing on tiptoes that makes him look like Michael Flatley, preparing to break into Riverdance at any moment.

This has to be sorted out if my pension plan is to bear fruit.

I hatched a plan to resolve this, by entering him and JP in the Great Manchester Mini Run, a one mile race for 3000 tiddlers, the day before the main event on the 18th*

We have been out training - the full one mile. This currently requires at least one rest stop and major league complaining by Tiddler; whereas running with JP is like having Motty with you - constant commentary, no substance.

I now know why I run alone, with just my iPod for company.

They have just been sent special T-shirts, running numbers and sponsor forms to raise money for the local children's hospital. JP has already taken £5 from his piggybank for the fund. It is starting to dawn on them that this is a big deal, and they are feeling proud.

As am I.

*BBC 5pm if you want to catch a glimpse of me collapsing over the finish line. They will also be showing highlights from the mini run.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bodies and Bacteria

It being our Friday off, Yummy Mummy and I decided to lunch out. We were due for a treat so we went to a LittlePoshPlace in SomewherePosh.

Chocolate leather, marble tables and an unctious, slightly strange owner. It's a beard thing. It was too perfect, too trimmed, too softly-spoken-yet-utterly-mad-scientist-plotting-to-take-over-the-world.

From the black-clad waitress, Yummy ordered tap water, and I ordered sparkling, as I really know how to live.

We were tucking into scallops and calves' livers respectively, when we became aware that the wallpapered panels behind us were in fact collages of photographs of naked men.

I paused on my offal to look more closely. Yes - definitely buttocks and chests and hints of hairy crotches - albeit tastefully captured in sepia.

We chewed on in silence for a while.

Until Madbeard started a discourse on bacteria, when the couple at the next table ordered a bottle of still mineral water.

According to him, the bacterial levels in sparkling mineral water are only surpassed by the levels present in the still version. In drinking such poison, not only do you not cleanse your palate, but you coat it in bacteria, preventing you from the full enjoyment of food and more particularly wine. Tap water, by all accounts isn't very much better, due to chemicals. As he detailed one particularly vicious bacterium, I stole fearful glances at the bottle of Lowland Glen beside me.

Suddenly, the risotto breseola with parmesan crust seemed less appetising.

The couple trying to order still water nodded politely and hurried to the wine list.

'I always wash my mouth out with wine before I drink wine' - announced Madbeard.

I looked up, sharply. Had he really tossed that one in the air? Just put it up there to be shot down?

'So if you always drink wine to wash your mouth out before you drink wine, what do you drink to wash your mouth out, before you drink the wine to wash your mouth out before you drink wine? If it's wine, do you drink wine before you drink the wine, before you drink the wine to wash your mouth out before you drink wine?' - I enquired.

He charged me £5 for the sparkling water.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Littering with Intent

Warning. Look away now if you are of a sensitive disposition.

Our local residential estates are linked by a network of ginnels, so you can reach school, park and friends without taking the car or using the main road. Going green in the suburbs! Yay.

I was heading up our ginnel to a PTA fundraiser at school, when some litter caught my eye. Propped up against a dandelion was a vacuum pack for a Finger Rabbit.

'What an unfortunate name for a child's toy', I thought - particularly after this misunderstanding.

Then I spotted the 'Ann Summers' label at the top.

Two yards on - discarded packaging for a Sex Pistol - and not a Johnny Rotten action figure*.

I carried on walking, only to encounter an empty package for Jumbo Jelly Thai Beads**.

After checking for hidden cameras to ensure I hadn't been set up, I set off once more for school. Without marigolds, and with no wombles in sight to admonish me, I was not a good citizen and could not bring myself to pick up the litter. (Although, on reflection, arriving at school carrying the items, greeting the committee with a cheery 'Everyone had a good weekend?', might have been worth it.)

Is it a little weird that I was secretly rather more impressed than shocked, as I reflected on the level of intent and preparation for the tryst en plein air that clearly had taken place?

Yes, you can pant 'Oh Good Thinking', as a condom is produced at the appropriate moment, when passions overtake reason and it's right here, right now, and hurry up about it!

But is a round of applause at minimum, or some judges' scorecards with 10 printed in bold in order, when the object of your desire produces not one, but three thoughtful gifts for your public-private party?***

Update - March 2009

Keith over at notKeith has done a brilliant cartoon to illustrate the post: Thank you Keith

* Spits and swears with a choice of nose rings.
** If you're thinking 'wtf' as I was, please don't google it. Trust me, let it lie. You'll thank me later.
*** No sign of condom detritus - perhaps they were the edible kind?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Star Struck

I have been lucky enough through work to meet some of my personal heroes over the years, but I still get star struck when confronted with a familar face off the TV, and god forbid I encounter United players, when I just become impossibly giggly and girly; or stand boggle-eyed and open-mouthed like a fish staring into the gaping maws of a deep fat fryer.

I came across Ian Botham on one of his charity runs once, pounding out the miles in pouring rain in Shropshire; just a single car following, no crowds or cameras. Bearing in mind that he has been a hero and heartthrob of mine since my early teens, I stopped the car ahead of him and waited to make a donation. My heart was thumping, as I held out my hand with some money and he ran up to me. He smiled, said thanks and ran on.

And then it happened, I just couldn't stop myself. 'I love you' - I shouted after him.

He didn't turn around.

Some old git pushed past me at Old Trafford the other week in the programme queue. I turned crossly to confront him, when I spotted that it was Bernard Hill. I couldn’t risk the headbutt or the assault with the Sword of Rohan that might have ensued, so I let it go and swung back round, only to accidentally punch Marlon from Emmerdale, who was following behind him.

I'm so the opposite of cool, there isn't even a word for it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Meat and Two Veg

I have unearthed a new reason for not shopping and in particular for avoiding supermarkets.

I took the Little Ducks to the Local Pub for lunch - armed with our usual kit of A4 paper, washable felt tip pens, Dinky cars and Top Trumps.

We're working our way through the Top Gear Top Trumps, which basically involves handing JP all the cards as he systematically recalls the winning values for every card and also the order in which they are trumped, as you progress through the pack.

'594? - that's the bhp on the Zonda, which you won last round, so that means you've got the DB9 next, so I'll go 0-60 as your answer will be 4.9 seconds and I can beat that with 3.2'.

The only pack I have some chance on is the Star Wars Starfighters, which are mine and in which he has shown little interest thus far. When I find a way to harness this extraordinary talent and beat the casinos I'll let you all know by postcard from Monte Carlo.

Anyway, I'm down to about 6 cards, when the fact that the three old ladies sitting at the next table are talking about sex filters through to my brain. And once there, is impossible to ignore. They are mid 60's to 70's, stereotypical garish rinses in their thinning hair, eating fried fish and drinking double gins.

The Little Ducks are oblivious - 'price - £668,995'

The debate seems to centre on whether Morrisons offers a better supply of potential sex partners than ASDA. There seems to be absolute consensus on the men needing to be younger than them, with the words stamina and better sex drive being greeted with nods of agreement and approval.

'Top Speed - 245mph'

I try desperately to tune out when their voices get lower and they start to use mime and nudging to get their points across.

'Cool rating - 9'

On all levels I try to see this as a good thing. That sexually-active septuagenarians cruising the produce aisles, hungry for toy boys is a natural and beautiful part of growing old disgracefully.

Instead, all I can picture is three hags squeezing the melons and checking out the plums with lascivious smiles, stinking of gin and fish as they eye up the shelf stackers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

B'Dum Tsh

I am utterly rubbish at jokes. I am usually the last person to get them and I am even worse when it comes to April Fools. The word gullible could have been invented just for me. In fact, I think I'll edit the Wikipedia entry so it just reads

'Gullible (adj.) - See Duck'.

When I was about 17, April Fools' Day fell on the last day of term before Easter. In assembly, the headmaster advised the school that there would be a section of the school grounds cordoned off during the holidays, as botanists would be studying a rare strain of blue grass which had been found there.

I remember thinking 'how interesting', then thought no more about it.

Until 23 years later when an old school friend reminisced about the blue grass April Fool on Friends Reunited, scoffing at the Head for a pathetic attempt which hadn't fooled anyone. I didn't come clean. Perhaps I should contact the McWhirters? Surely this must be the Guinness world record for the longest running April Fool?

My record hasn't improved much over the years and I was caught out by Virgin Radio this year.

I spent the entire day outraged at the plan by Brussels to phase out pint glasses by the end of 2008 and introduce plastic half glasses with slogans in their stead, as a measure to curb binge drinking. I applauded the breakfast DJ who gave the Welsh Euro MP on the line a really hard time about it, although I was a little uncomfortable at how rude he was about him personally. But as I don't read the Daily Mail, I let it go with a few sad head shakes and barely audible tuts. Two days later I heard the DJ mocking all the listeners who'd bombarded the station with emails and texts protesting the ban. I took small comfort in not being alone in my naivete.

There are 3 jokes* which I totally get, so I stick to them when called upon to produce gems of humour.

The zebra, the horse in the bar and the newt joke. That's 3 jokes, not one joke about all 3. That wasn't an attempt at a joke either, the explanation about the 3 jokes not 1.

*I do know a really long one about a jockey and a boiled chicken, but I totally fail to deliver it without dissolving into premature giggles about halfway, frustrating the audience and slightly wetting myself on occasions.

Oh, and I went running yesterday for the first time since I hurt my knee back in February. Knee held up really well, so I'm back into training for the Great Manchester Run next month. I'm thinking of laying off the black stuff in preparation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy To Oblige

Dear Customer,

Welcome to Picture of a Duck.

Thank you for searching Google for 'Mr. Duck Sex Toy'*

Your order will be dispatched as soon as the Plaster of Paris dries.

We are pleased to accept all major credit cards and Paypal.

Best wishes


*I kid you not. Full stop and everything.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Do Not Disturb

They are all ganging up on me.

Midnight - return from Local Pub. Look forward to good night's sleep. No work tomorrow.

Late O'Clock: 'Mummy, I've got a nosebleed'

Stupid O'Clock: creak thud thud thud, bang trickle trickle trickle bang, thud thud thud creak*

Really Stupid O'Clock: creak thud thud thud, bang trickle gush trickle drip cough cough bang, thud thud thud creak **

Ridiculously Early O'Clock: 'Mummy I've got another nosebleed'

What Passes for Morningtime in Tiddlerworld O'Clock: creak thud thud thud, bang trickle trickle trickle fart bang, thud thud thud, very loud creak, sniff ***


1. 'You know that thing over the window' - 'The Curtain Pole?' - 'Yes. How does it work?'

2. 'Mummy. How did Daniel die? - 'Which Daniel?' - 'The baby off Emmerdale'

3. 'Mummy. When there's a derby game, do United and City get half the Derby players each?'

4. 'Mummy. My Spywatch is on Rio de Janerio time. Can you reset it?'

5. 'Mummy. Did you know carrots are good for you. They make you glow in the dark.'

6. 'Mummy, I ate some pineapple at school' - 'Really? (in disbelief. Tiddler doesn't do fruit and veg. or indeed, any food that isn't brown) - What colour was it?' - 'The same as all the other pineapples'.

7. 'Mummy, where do Toppenham Hopspurs play?

8. And Fulham?

9. And Barcelona?'

10. 'Mummy?' - 'Yes, Tiddler?' - 'Is it Morningtime?'

* JP
** Mr Duck
*** Tiddler

Friday, April 04, 2008

At The Third Stroke

I love it when we hit British Summertime.

It means the clock in my car will be telling the right time.

Until October.

That is.

I finally got my hands on the object of my desire the other day and I was not disappointed. He was as sexy in real life as in his pictures and when I stroked his face for the first time I knew he was the one for me.

Unfortunately, he belongs to someone else, and I reluctantly gave him up after one last caress.

But one day...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Glorious Mud

Sunday being a day of sunshine and inspired by Mister Ronaldo's sublime backheel, Tiddler and I took to the park for some 1 on 1 action.

'That Boy Ronaldo...'

Anyway, I digress.

To say it was muddy after Saturday's downpour is an understatement. The magnitude of which is in the order of applauding politely and saying 'Nice Shot, Cristiano', when screaming with joy and being lifted bodily into the air and swung round by the fireman standing next to you is much more appropriate.

JP and Tiddler are incapable of playing outdoors without getting completely caked in mud, and occasionally, in Tiddler's case, dogshit. So I was resigned to stripping him off on the doorstep and commiting his entire ensemble to the washing machine with a big dose of ACE after the game, before we had even left the house.

I hadn't banked on him recruiting another Tiddler in the park for our game, nor on him slide-tackling, pushing and generally kicking him until he was as filthy as Tiddler.

I also hadn't banked on Second Tiddler's chainsmoking, rottweiler of a frizzy-permed grandmother suddenly spotting his state of cleanliness, or rather lack of it.

She marched over.

I braced myself to bring my Dimac skills to my defence. I think it's perfectly reasonable to get your own Little Ducks dirty, but in hindsight, making other people's kids look like a 'before' shot in a Daz advert isn't so clever.

'Will you be here next week?' she asked.

I nodded slowly, wondering if she was planning to return with reinforcements from the cast of Shameless.

'L's had a brilliant time playing football with you and Tiddler. Can he play with you again?'