Licentius Maximus – a bit of random writing


 Licentius gazed gloomily across the heaving grey sea. He had been genuinely excited by his new position; it was a promotion that offered lots of new challenges. Admittedly the Britons were barbarians and still considered very dangerous, but this just added to the excitement. His enthusiasm had waned during the long journey across Gaul and he was now waiting for the last tortuous sea leg to end. It was taking an eternity.

There were distant shadows that might possibly be the white cliffs of Dubrai. Apparently they were visible from Gaul on a clear day. Today was not a clear day. While these were interesting thoughts, right now he was more concerned about his stomach. It seemed to be travelling in three different directions at the same time, and not in concert with the now plummeting deck.

He stared once more out over the rail.

He vomited.

The captain was doing his best to look concerned. ‘How are you going Licentius?’

‘Just great.’

Licentius vomited again.

‘I think you got more distance with that one.’ There was a jovial air about the captain which was proving to be rather irritating.

‘Just wait until the wind changes direction. You won’t find it so funny then,’ Licentius replied between groans.

The crew all had smiles on their faces. They were enjoying his discomfort. His assistant, Marcus, tried to distract him from his current torment. ‘Do you realise that we’ll be landing at the exact same spot that Giaius Julius Caesar did when he first arrived?’

‘Will we? Will we really? How very interesting.’ Licentius couldn’t keep the sarcasm out of his voice.

‘Well I think it’s quite exciting,’ Marcus commented with a pout.

Licentius vomited by way of response. He thought that this might be a good way to end the conversation. He was wrong.

‘Your stomach must be empty by now, surely!’

‘Don’t bet on it.’

The Dregs of History is finalised

I ran out of ideas, so here is the Dregs of History complete list.

I think it’s time to officially finalise the Dregs of History. In addition to the published book, which contains 55 of these characters there are about another 40 I have written and they are all here. The full list is below with the list together with clickable links to each character at

1. Duplicutas (210 – 147BC)
2. Sercuetas (35 – 75)
3. Tincomorus (105 – 139)
4. Vercingetorix of Verulaneum (124 – c.159)
5. Blodeuedd of Ynys Mon (191 – 226)
6. Mathilda of Eboracum (214 – 269)
7. Eogan mac Bogan ‘the Negotiator’ (315 – 362)
8. Crappogus (347 – 381)
9. Morcant the Frozen (423 – 470)
10. Effluvia of the Rivers (478 – 534)
11. Elfaddw the Agreeable (497 – 536)
12. Athelbald of Wessex (527 – 579)
13. Cynan the Mapmaker (613 – 651)
14. Osric the Distracted (623 – 656)
15. Thuggus (710 – 739)
16. Sister Cynalot (715 – 756)
17. Oshere the Hwicca (733 – 790ish)
18. Gunna Gareth (796 – 821)
19. Justinius the Comedian (814 – 839)
20. Olaf the Consultant (819 – 851)
21. Wurzel of Clutton (952 – 1000)
22. Promising Beatrice (953 – 988)
23. Ivanhoe the Expert (986 – 1029)
24. Eric the Depressor (1005 – 1042)
25. Ethelred the Uneasy (1015 – 1066)
26. Hengist (1047 – 1096)
27. Agatha of Anjou (1132 – 1177)
28. Bartwald the Brain-damaged (1152 – 1184)
29. Eusrace the Convoluted (1163 – 1215)
30. Egbert of the Schoolhouse (1166 – 1217)
31. Simon de Mentle (1170 – 1220)
32. Attila the Enlightened (1213 – 1275)
33. Geoffrey the Sodslopper (1215 – 1245)
34. William McSweeney (1281 – 1334)
35. Colin Almugs (1288 – 1357)
36. Joan of Aarrgghh! (1297 – 1357)
37. Sister Melodius de la Rhium (1307 – 1398)
38. William of Zennor (1327 – 1379)
39. Facility Cropper (1333 – 1369)
40. Suffering Mervyn (1369 – 1415)
41. Lady Josephine Chuntley-Boor (1378 – 1428)
42. Louis de Fishent (1431 – 1497)
43. Arnold Codwallingham (1437 – 1467)
44. Helen of Tintagel (1437 – 1485)
45. Abbot Thorsten Quietly (1446 – 1511)
46. Constance Kunchbrakken (1515 – 1568)
47 Faultless Rufus (1544 1599)
48. Paranoid Boyd (1559 – 1590)
49. Motivating Melissa of St Helier (1569 – 1448)
50. Quivering Edward (1579 – 1611)
51. Arthur Crottingwart (1586 – 1638)
52. Armageddon Shillingford (1587 – 1630)
53. Tapscott ‘Twinge’ Turner (1611 – 1646)
54. Annie Johnson (1628 – 1666)
55. Corporal Ebenezer Scumme (1628 – 1677)
56. Littlecock Larfington Bastard (1673 – 1707)
57. Phillip of Bradfield (1674 – 1741)
58. Cathcart Jones (1679 – 1728)
59. Soporificus Pitt (1679 – 1728)
60. Hampton Y. McCoy (1694 – 1708)
61. Ronald ‘Hopeless’ Terwatt (1704 – 1725)
62. Douglas Douglas (1713 – 1764)
63. Sawbones Fotheringham (1750 – 1818)
64. Vasco d’Zarstir (1757 – 1827)
65. Dai Laffin (1759 – 1809)
66. General Diligence Dumphuk (1769 – 1809)
67. S.F. ‘Shit-faced’ Wilkins (1770 – 1814)
68. Could’ve Been Hawkins (1770 – 1832)
69. Sudo Kamikaze (1780 – 1835)
70. Rumleigh Materson (1792 – 1845)
71. Lawrence of Algiers(1802 – 1880)
72. Padraig O’Reilly of Cork (1809 – 1834)
73. Buckley ‘Nine-Lives’ Cartwright (1815 – 1884)
74. Charlotte Dunne-Knightley (1817 – 1864)
75. Fitzherbert Hobson (1829 – 1861)
76. Algernon Entwhistle (1831 – 1856)
77. Sir Francis de Nighle (1840 – 1914)
78. Urban Petersen (1844 – 1885)
79. Cardinal Slumberus Drone (1859 – 1932)
80. Spooner Read (1844 – 1885)
81. Drake O’Hanlon (1893 – 1933)
82. Albert Scrungel (1908 – 1945)
83. Henri de Floric (1911 – 1979)
84. Double-billing Doris Downsborough (1925 – 1964)
85. Samuel Hackett (1937 – 1998)
86. Fulton Farnsworth Fletcher (1944 – 1989)
87. Ginger Nutjob (1960 – 1985)
88. John Smith (1969 -present)
89. Numbing Jane Thackery (1980 – 2009)

Helpdesk has logged your problem!

Helpdesk Has Logged Your Problem

Helpdesk has logged your problem,
Our experts will know what to do,
When the screen has just frozen, and nothing will work,
And you’d cheerfully break your computer in two.

Helpdesk has logged your problem,
But remember, you are in a queue,
So please be patient and know that your worry
Is just one problem among quite a few.

Helpdesk has logged your problem,
It’ll probably be fixed, well, sometime this week,
We’ll get to it soon, as quick as we can
I’m sure all it will need is small little tweek

Helpdesk has logged your problem,
It’s not our fault that the system is weak
There’s no need to rant and no need to rave,
And make a spectacle in your fit of pique

Helpdesk has logged your problem,
And we acknowledge some weeks have now passed,
But these things take time, and you’re low on our list
And quite frankly, we just can’t be arsed!

The News


The news starts to my delight
so I settle into my chair.
I can’t miss my daily dose
of money, violence and despair.

Each day the news is different,
a con, disaster, or some destruction,
that satisfies my yearning for
more death and suffering and corruption.

I can’t be bothered watching news
That doesn’t strip me bare,
show me war and strife and misery
and more money, violence and despair.

New website

Hi all – just put up my new website More Gravy Please – the Politician’s Manual. Check it out at


The Dregs of History – Facility Cropper (1333 – 1369)

Facility Cropper had many hurdles to overcome during her rather eventful life. The first of these was at her christening. She was unlucky that the priest who was originally going to conduct the ceremony was taken ill and his replacement, a Frenchman who spoke bad English, struggled with her intended name – Felicity. Despite practicing for some hours beforehand he stumbled yet again and Facility was stuck with her name. This was shortened to ‘Cili’ by her friends; consequently her childhood was full of fights and scuffles. This did, however, make her a very resilient character.

As she grew up it became time for ‘Cili’ to find work, and possibly a husband. She put off the latter and concentrated on finding some employment. She came from a farming family, but she soon decided that there were limited agricultural opportunities in her home village of Abbott’s Crotch, just outside Melcombe on the Dorset coast. She decided instead to try to break into the male-dominated profession of village idiocy; the local idiot had recently passed away in the night (after being run over by a coach when asleep on the main road).

There were a number of openings at the time as the Black Death was taking many local idiots to their maker; however, Facility decided to stay in her home village. Being so close to Melcombe, where the Black Death entered England in 1348, Abbott’s Crutch was quickly decimated, but ‘Cili’ remained unscathed. The young 15-year old spent much of that time locked away on her farm studying hard how to be a high quality idiot and so came into contact with very few people.

Despite trying very hard, it took Facility a long time to find her feet in her new profession. She was just that little bit too intelligent to mumble incomprehensible dribble for long periods and had a knack of trying to improve on tried and tested activities such as falling off walls and walking into posts. Her innovative half twist and quarter summersault when falling off a wall left her with a broken arm. Her attempt to walk into a pole with additional vacant left-hand stare resulted in her tripping and careering headfirst into said post. She suffered severe concussion. Most independent observers thought she added much-needed variety to the profession, and would often stand around to see what she would attempt next.

Facility persevered with her chosen profession and eventually married the village idiot from neighbouring Wrash. They lived a comfortable life (excepting the odd broken bone and head injury) and had four children, all of whom grew up to be village idiots. It was generally agreed, among reputable sources, that the four boys’ collective intelligence would be unlikely to match that of the average sheep. Between them they are said to be the source of the phrase ‘to come-a-cropper’ meaning to have an accident and hurt oneself.


This is an extract from The Complete Dregs of History which is available here

Obstructius (Great Government Philosophers – Part 1)

For many thousands of years people have lived with forms of government that varied from feudal systems, totalitarian monarchs and dictators, forms of democracy, or in some cases, total anarchy. During this time, there were some significant thinkers who studied the way the systems worked. They developed advice for those involved. Prior to working in government, it is wise for potential bureaucrats to take time to research these philosophers and think about the environment into which they are going.

While numerous individuals have studied the area, four major philosophers carved out reputations as being at the forefront of this field. These are Obstrucius, Burocrates, Futilius, and Dillayus. The first of these is Obstructius.

Obstrucius – The first and greatest

Not many people have heard of the great government philosopher Obstrucius. He lived from 550 BC to 470BC in a time when China was still fragmented. He is an often forgotten philosopher who had many pearls of wisdom about how governments should be run. The list is extremely lengthy, however I have included a selection of some of the more pertinent quotes that with which the new government employee should become familiar. Successful public servants may want to have some of these motivational sayings pinned somewhere around their workstations.

• By three methods may we run government: First, by obstruction, which is noblest; second, by procrastination, which is easiest; and third by out-sourcing, which is dearest.

• To be able to practice the five paradigms everywhere in government constitutes perfect virtue: delay decisions, cover one’s arse, show no initiative, do not communicate and remain anonymous.

• Look at a public servant’s acts, watch his motives; find out what pleases him: the public servant is then yours to manipulate.

• If one learns but does not think, one is suited to government. If one thinks but does not learn, one’s government career will be imperilled.

• A public servant who commits a mistake and does not correct it should follow government paradigm number two.

In addition to these first five quotes, there were many, many more pearls of wisdom that came from this great man. He delved into the numerous arms of government and spent hours devising appropriate advice. The view that he eventually came to was that every employee within every arm of the bureaucracy could probably use the same advice. Unfortunately his guide for bureaucrats is now lost, but some of his quotes remain. Below are five more that bureaucrats should become familiar with and use to remind themselves of their purpose in life. There is no record of the death of Obstrucius and it is widely rumoured that he is eternal and continues to run governments all over the world.

(This is an extract from You Can’t Polish a Turd (the Civil Servant’s Manual) published in 2010)