More Gravy Please! Now available free through BookFunnel for a limited time

  1. yes indeed, for a short while you can download More Gravy Please! for free right this is a satirical politician’s manual that will have you laughing (or crying). Download it here. Bookfunnel

The Complete Dregs of History – now available as an e-book

Yes – after putting it off for months, maybe even years, the revised and Complete Dregs of History is available as an EBook for your eyes to feast upon – all 90 characters from http://www.dregsofhistory.blogspot.com  are there. – Enjoy it here  Complete Dregs of History

Ron Ronaldson – press announcement

Ron Ronaldson Minister for Recycling Ideas makes the most of tyres

Recycling Minister Ron Ronaldson today announced that there will be a complete ban on the dumping of used tyres into landfill in the United Kingdom.

 The Government announced it would phase out the dumping of loose tyres and significantly boost recycling. Instead of sending tyres to landfill, the Government is now committed to using recycled vehicle tyres to create colourful playground surfaces and footpaths, rubber sex toys, and pointless disposable items that will end up being thrown away within a few months of their purchase.

“There are lots of these bloody tyres floating around and not being properly used all over the country, contributing considerable  tonnage of waste to landfills each year – it’s in the bloody millions,” Mr Ronaldson said.

“This is a big problem; if you laid all these tyres in a line, they would form a barrier that would be at least 700km long. We could in fact use it to stop all these bloody foreigners coming in, but apparently I’m not allowed to say that.” he said.

“This ban will eliminate the majority of people who constantly take up my time by writing letters to me about this subject. Rather than write letters to me you should write to the makers of these tyres to let them know what the problems are. ‘

 Once put back on track Mr Ronaldson added, “We can now use this valuable resource for road surfacing ‘soft-fall’ playground surfaces, golf walkways, synthetic turf, horse walkways, ‘traffic calming’ products such as speed humps, bitumen additives for road paving and other useful products such as rubber sex toys.”

When asked about using the tyres to create false reefs Mr Ronaldson said, “We’re not in Australia you idiot. This is England and the sea is bloody freezing. Get a grip will you! The best method to manage and dispose of tyre waste has been the subject of much discussion and I haven’t got much of a clue about the right answer, but the boffins tell me this new policy will do the trick.”

 “A seven-stage strategy will be implemented by the Environment boffins and then Hey Presto! the problem will be solved. I have every confidence in them.”

 Mr Ronaldson said he had complete confidence that all stakeholders would embrace the new policy. When questioned about the similarity to the previous government’s policy, Mr Ronaldson said, “This is a completely new policy sunshine, I can’t remember them promoting the use of recycled rubber in sex toys.”

“This is a positive step towards reducing the workload in my office and allowing me to spend more time at the Parliamentary Bar,” Mr Ronaldson said.

 

This is an extract from More Gravy Please! The Politician’s Manual available at Amazon & Creatspace.

6 questions for all aspiring politicians

Our politicians often become the brunt of criticism and sometimes have abuse hurled their way. We all like to stick the knife in as they continually make us grind our teeth and shout at the television. Still, there are always people who aspire to these lofty heights, so if you have ever thought about becoming a politician I have some advice for you. It is, to be sure, a fine and worthwhile career choice; however, before you leap into the quagmire of politics you should ask yourself some very serious questions. Think carefully about the environment into which you are heading and the likelihood that you will chewed up and spat out very quickly. I know that you will be feeling a fair degree of uncertainty and so I have devised a few questions that will help you decide whether you are made of the Right Stuff for politics.

Q1 – Have you ever made a mistake?

 It is a well-known fact that very few politicians have ever made a mistake, so if you believe you have made a mistake, no matter how trivial, you are clearly unsuitable for a political career. If you have never made a mistake, ever, then you have the right mental make-up to start thinking about standing at the next election.

Q2 – Have you lost your grip on reality?

 Being remote from reality is essential for a politician – it makes decisions far easier to reach. There is no chance of becoming lost in the myriad of opinions and inconveniences that is the everyday life of the common person. If you know what the average weekly wage is, the cost of a loaf of bread, or how many people are currently suffering from mortgage stress (and what that actually means), then you are already filling your mind with too much information about the real world. You will most likely to reach a state of mental paralysis. How can you possibly come to a decision if you are trying to balance out the needs of all the community?  It is far better to choose a small but influential group of stakeholders and concentrate on keeping them happy. Once you have done this you can make quick and un-researched statements to the media whenever required. If you are a Minister, you may also be able to make quick and un-researched policy decisions. Surrounding yourself with staff similarly removed from the demands of the real world will help, as they will support you by not asking difficult questions.

Q3 – Do you lack moral and ethical substance as a person but have the hide of rhino?

 A good set of morals and ethics are a hindrance for politics as they may cause you to have sleepless nights and start to believe that you need a better grip on reality. You may even begin to think that you need to know more about the underprivileged and the challenges that they face. If you believe that this may occur then do not, I repeat, do not enter politics under any circumstances – you will very quickly be reduced to a burbling and rambling idiot when confronted by skilled politicians. I suggest you go and hug a tree instead –  at least the tree will not stab you in the back at the first opportunity.

Q4 – Do you have some skeletons in the closet?

 No self-respecting politician is without a past that involved something dodgy. If you haven’t been shagging prostitutes, defrauding business partners, assaulting people after a few drinks too many, had, or still have, an addiction of some sort, or been a member of a political organisation that skated on the limits of legality, then you will need to remedy this. You have two options – you can either delay your entry into politics until you have achieved some of the aforementioned, or you can work on them during your first few years in the job.

 Q5 – Can you make bad decisions in the face of overwhelming evidence and common sense?

This is a core capability for all politicians, but becomes more important as you rise through the ranks. The ability to ignore all evidence and fly in the face of common-sense when called upon to make a decision is a valued skill in Parliament. I have included a chapter on this later in the book.

Q6 – Do you have nagging inner voice telling you that you are destined for greater things

If you do, you are probably in the early stages of narcissism and have begun to believe that people actually do want to listen to you when you speak.  You may even believe that people value your judgement on current events.  If this is the case, then being a politician will provide you with the opportunity to test out this theory. You could have an audience of millions of people to talk to and, if you are smart you will surround yourself with numerous spin doctors and assistants who will convince you that the reaction of the masses to your ill-thought-out drivel is positive, no matter what they actually think. When this happens you will no doubt become convinced that your true greatness has finally come to the fore.

If you find that that you have answered yes to the all questions above, then I am pleased to tell you that may well have a long and successful political career ahead of you.

 

This is an extract from my book More Gravy Please! – a politicians manual.

A Fairytale…

Once upon a time, Pragmatism, Process and Common-sense jointly ruled the realm. Pragmatism led, Common-sense gave advice, and Process made sure everything happened once decisions had been made. The people of the realm lived ordered and sensible lives that, while occasionally challenging, gave them a varied and interesting society.

The, one day, Process took control. Nobody saw it happen, there was no sound, no obvious sign, and definitely no blood; in fact for a while nobody knew it had happened, but all of a sudden Pragmatism and Common-sense had vanished, never to be seen again.

The people went looking for it for a while, but soon found themselves forgetting about them as they settled into the familiarity of sameness. It wasn’t long before Pragmatism and Common-sense receded into mists of myth and legend. The comfort of Process was soothing.

However, people soon become regimented, ordered, so much so that they found themselves captive to Process, slaves who were not allowed to divert from ‘the course’, were unable to think for themselves.

They longed for Common-sense and Pragmatism, but these leaders were never seen again. It is rumoured they only exist in the far off kingdom of Imagination, Hope and Regret. Given and inch, Process had taken a mile, took control of everything, made all things uniform, smashed circles so they would fit into square holes, destroyed difference, hammered bumps in the landscape to homogenous flatness and predictability.

Everybody lived miserably-ever-after until they all went numb with boredom and became soul-less vegetables with no awareness of time.

The End.

 

Excerpt from the Novel – Barmia

As a favour to the author, whom I know very well – this is an extra from Barmia – enjoy

 

Gof decided to regain control of the conversation. ‘So we have The Drunk and The Tart. What does that make you?’ he asked Kylie. ‘You’d have to be The Scout, I think.’

Kylie thought about this. Wayne certainly wasn’t any sort of scout and she certainly wasn’t a genius. And being The Scout sounded pretty good to her. She was in the Girl Guides. But that meant… ‘Are you telling me that Wayne’s a Genius?’ She sounded incredulous. She was incredulous.

‘What? Did somebody mention my name?’ Wayne looked up from his latest daydream.

‘You can’t be serious. You’re not are you?’ asked Kylie.

Gof again looked worried. ‘Well, I think we can say who everybody else is. You’re not a tart or a drunk, and you seem to agree that you are The Scout. That only leaves Genius for your brother, although I must admit that it does stretch my imagination a bit. Perhaps he’s got hidden depths.’

‘Very well hidden if you ask me.’ Jemima began laughing.

‘What do you think Kylie,’ Tarquin asked, ‘You know him best. Could he be a genius?’

‘I don’t know about hidden depths,’ she said, racking her brains for something that might indicate latent genius-ness, ‘but he can certainly sink to new depths. He does this everyday in my opinion.’

She burst out laughing. Tarquin smiled.

‘I’m not that dumb,’ Wayne insisted. ‘I even passed an exam last year. Maybe I’m just too smart for school. Maybe they just don’t understand me.’

Jemima started laughing harder. ‘What exam was that?’ she managed to say. ‘Getting your name right?’

Cedric started to laugh as well.

Wayne looked aggrieved. ‘No. I got an A grade in Home Economics. I made the best chocolate cake. Mrs McCusker was so impressed with the taste that she said it was the best cake she’d ever tasted and insisted all the others in the class had a taste. It wasn’t until later that we found out that some bastard had put a packet of laxatives in the mixture when I wasn’t looking. Gave the whole class the shits for the rest of the day. ’

Tarquin started laughing along with Jemima and Cedric. Even Kylie and the two badgers began giggling. Jemima started laughing so hard she had tears coming out of her eyes.

Wayne tried to explain further. ‘I don’t see what’s so funny. Poor old Simon Stevens got hit so suddenly that his pants just exploded in the middle of a French class that afternoon. Paul and Asif were sitting next to him and got splattered by the debris. They had to go for medical tests, just in case. And I don’t think Mrs Carter has got over it yet. She just sat in her chair rocking back and forth saying ‘shitshitshitshitshitshit’ over and over. She had to be carried out of the room. I heard she was in therapy for hours. She might even have post traumatic stress disorder. It’s not really that funny.’

Tarquin laughed so hard that he fell off his chair.

‘Really, this was serious. It’s no laughing matter.’ Wayne insisted. ‘Simon hasn’t had a girl come near him since then. They all call him Sewage Stevens and run away laughing. I reckon he’s got some serious psychological problems as a result of that cake. Apparently, every time his mum makes a chocolate cake he starts crying and runs to the loo to hide. That’s no way for a fifteen year-old boy to be.’

‘Oh stop…please stop,’ Jemima was pleading between her laughs. She slowly collapsed onto the floor and curled up in a ball, holding her sides. ‘I think I’m going to …burst something…or perhaps… wet myself…hahahahahahaha.’

Wayne decided to keep quiet. Nobody seemed to get how serious it had been, or, more importantly, that he’d got A in an exam. The bastards.

They all gradually settled down.

‘I haven’t laughed this much for years.’ said Tarquin.

‘Me neither,’ Kylie agreed, wiping tears from her eyes.

‘Whoa,’ said Gof. ‘I think we all needed that.’

‘I certainly did.’ said Cedric. He had brightened up a bit, although he looked pale. He was thinking about Ruby. If she was with the Vice Queen she could be in real trouble by all accounts. The stories that he’d heard did not sound good; she was probably in a dungeon by now. A hole was beginning to form in his stomach and tears pricked at his eyes once more. He blinked them back. ‘We still need to go and find Ruby. What are we going to do? What does the prophecy say? And what was in that drink?’

They all turned back to Gof. He squirmed in his seat. ‘The drink was a medicinal shot of nurdle. I don’t know any more than what I’ve told you about the prophecy, but I do know someone who might. And she lives on the way to the Vice Queen’s castle. It’s getting late, so I suggest we have some food, get a good night’s sleep, and tomorrow morning we’ll head further into the forest.’

After a simple meal of berries and nuts they all found a dry spot and Elvira provided warm blankets and mattresses. Kylie lay in the dark running over the events of the day in her mind. If time was running at the same rate in both worlds, then their parents would be coming home soon, or maybe they had already had, depending on the time differential between the two worlds – it wasn’t clear. In any case, she doubted that they’d notice that the kids were missing. It wouldn’t surprise her if they decided to stay in London overnight – they were bound to be pissed after going out for dinner. Her mum just loved being in the company of wealth and would do anything to keep it up for as long as possible. Her dad saw Tarquin and Jemima’s dad as an opportunity to get work for wealthy clients, so he’d be like a pig in shit, drinking with them and going along with everything. It might be days before they got back if the stories Kylie had heard about Tarquin and Jemima’s parents were true.

And what about Mrs Dawson? She would probably come back and panic when she couldn’t find them. If they stayed in here too long, perhaps she’d even be charged with their murder, and then there would be another spooky story to add to files of Stalinworth. Kylie giggled and then immediately felt bad. Mrs Dawson didn’t deserve that. Perhaps they should go back and leave a note…but what would it say? Gone to Barmia, back soon.

She drifted off to sleep as the sound of the badgers’ snoring echoed around the room. The complete darkness acted like an anaesthetic. Tomorrow she’d make a decision about what to do.

My slightly warped take on reality TV – Alice Isabor

Alice Isabor was cursed to be baptised on the same day as William Shakespeare, a fact that grew to influence her whole life. Alice was poor and grew up on the south bank of the River Thames, the daughter of a Lady of the Night.  She also went into the family business once she was old enough and was often seen plying her trade on Maiden Lane in the Clink Liberty manor. She was one of many who were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester to operate in the area, free from the restrictions in the City of London. In 1599, after her mother died from a particularly virulent case of syphilis and was buried in Cross Bones, an unconsecrated graveyard for such ladies, Alice became disillusioned with her life and spent a few weeks in deep consideration of her future. That’s what she said, but in reality everybody else said it was a deep alcohol-induced coma – but nobody thought any less of her for it.

It was about this time that she thought she needed to leave her current job and carve out a new future for herself. Having very few talents, other than those relating to her previous profession, Alice decided that she would invite people into her house to watch her live her everyday life. This, she reasoned, would make her famous and open up opportunity. It would surely be more interesting than the dull, middle-of-the-road plays being written by William Shakespeare currently being performed just up the road in the Globe Theatre. It was going to be something new and exciting!

She put an advert on the local Parish noticeboard that read – Watch Alice Isabor. Live viewing – seats available. Much to everybody’s surprise, her plan began to work. People did indeed come to watch her live her life and paid a small charge for the privilege, although many were disappointed when they discovered her change of career.

One of the problems for Alice was that she still shared her house with some of her colleagues who were working as prostitutes. It wasn’t long before her audience discovered that, while watching Alice cook her evening meal was interesting, there was something far more interesting going on elsewhere, judging by the noise percolating down the hall. Alice soon lost her audience. In a desperate attempt to maintain her ratings, she asked her rapidly dwindling audience to vote Naughty Nina out of the house. They voted Alice out instead.

Not willing to let the concept go, Alice tried more and more daring ideas in a bid to draw her audience back. It really irked her that she was still unable to draw people away from that boring Globe Theatre. She put up more notices, one saying –Bored with Shakespeare? Come and watch real life action at my new house in Maiden Lane (Not that sort of action you dirty perverts!).  But the crowds didn’t come. Alice then found herself doing more and more extreme things to get attention. She came to her end when she attempted to juggle sixteen swords in the Southwark town square – ironically this did drag a huge audience, as the prospect of a grisly death usually does.

Some twelve months after Alice died The Globe Theatre burned down when a prop cannon being used caused it to catch fire. The word around Southwark was that the spirit of Alice had caused this as she was still bitter that people preferred Shakespeare to her ‘reality’ show. Most people thought that this was just a load of bollocks.

 

This an extract from The Complete Dregs of History At this site

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