Musings From The Padded Cell

A Long Weekend At The Scruffy

“Must Get Out More.”

Last week i interviewed candidates for the new position of Motoring Correspondent for The Trumpit currently flying off shelves quicker than the local VW drivers can reach Warp Factor.

Having approached The Sunday Times, Jeremy Clarkson was sadly unavailable so we’d settled for another fat old drunk called Macca.

I met our candidate in The Scruffy of all places at the end of his day as a Sales Director (“Mention the director bit won’t you” he’d asked “the wife loves it, really gets her going!”) of a local printing company.

I began by asking him how he would incorporate this most responsible, if unpaid position, into his working week.

“No problem!” said Macca with a sweep of his arm enabling his pint to simultaneously cascade down his throat. “My customers love me, if it wasn’t for me that company would be bust. God knows how many times I’ve turned down mega offers!”

I asked him how he thought his boss might view this.

“Never see him, always on the Costa or Playa!” said Macca, his pint glass almost drained in a flash. “Anyway everybody knows I’m the Man!”

The conversation moved on to cars, in particular, environmentally friendly cars. Macca was keen to point out his green credentials in this brave new world.

“I walk to the pub” he offered (100 yards in total – Ed) “plus to every home cricket match” (another 200 yards – Ed).

Moving on we discussed his latest car, an electric BMW M3, truly an environmental wonder?

“Bollocks! All about the P11D” said Macca “But don’t quote me!”

For the uninitiated the P11D is a Government tax on company car drivers…like Macca. Surely this electric BMW from our European masters must be a good thing?

“Bollocks!” said Macca, three pints down already and glad the Hepworth Idle Dead Men’s X1 game the following day had fallen victim to the new summer sport of football. “It only does 21 miles a charge but it can do 150mph – don’t quote me – as long as you’ve got petrol!”

I must admit as a recycler of anything from egg-shells to snotty tissue paper I was becoming somewhat disillusioned so asked why this was so. Halfway down pint four came the answer.

“It takes four hours to charge which is longer than the wife’s toys!” said Macca “And I know what lasts longer.” He went on.

“It can only do 300 miles on a full tank – less if I’m at Warp Factor 3 – because there’s no room for petrol as the batteries are like carrying three of me! But it’s great for my P11D!”

So there we have David Cameron’s legacy as he promised way back in 2010 – the greenest Government ever – so long as you can wait around all day whilst plugged in and don’t need to go any further than the supermarket.

Our interview was over and I suggested that we would consider his application in due course though if he wanted to go talk to Idle Talk he should feel free.

“You won’t print this will you?” he asked as we shook hands “Only my boss says he loves reading this…at least when he’s in England.”

I gave him my solemn word that I would not and that Mr Brown would never ever see a word.


Following the publication of The Casey Review in December 2016 local politicians howled in denial and outrage at what was a sensible and plain speaking report on our multi-cultural society.

The background to this is explained here from the Government’s website.

In July 2015, at the request of the then Prime Minister and Home Secretary, Dame Louise Casey was asked to undertake a review into integration and opportunity in our most isolated and deprived communities.

Of course, they covered Bradford.

Almost two years on and predictably those on high seek to cure decades of mounting issues with a liberal dose of public money. Some £7m is to be allocated to Bradford alone so people in non-jobs can feel important, wave a load of cash around and make bugger all difference to everyday life – see here.

Grandly titled the Integrated Communities Innovation Fund, cue the ritual lining of pockets once again.

Blossom Rot

Fellow tomato growers will know all about this and how painful it can be. Spotting the symptoms I sought medical advice immediately and phoned Guru Ken.

“What you need is a dose of the salts” he said gravely “Epsom Salts will do the trick!”

As Herr Aldi was unlikely to stock said item, to Morrisons I went on my weekly shop to locate the salts and fill the cupboards for Microwave Man on his rare departures from the sofa.

Something for your rot Sir?

I found what I was looking for in the bath section; God knows how this would save me from more rot? The packet cost more than my entire crop will yield and promised to “relax tired, aching muscles”. I was sending my tomatoes to a bloody health farm.

I dashed home, banged a few doors as loudly as I could to see if life existed in the spare room and went to work with my kilo of salts. A teaspoon was dispatched; at least if all else fails I can have a nice bath or two.

Big Al And The Great Sun Cream Scandal

No need for suncream here

My third consecutive night in The Scruffy’s beer garden was met by the sight of numerous new picnic benches; surely this would terminate the heatwave in an instant.

By the time Microwave Man had dragged his arse out of his afternoon siesta, we had a full crowd with Patch, Uncle Andy and Four Pints all in shared appreciation of the new furniture. The low loaders would be queuing all the way back to the local estates once word got out.

Big Al had just been away for his first holiday abroad for some time; unfortunately, things had changed in the interim. At customs he was appalled to be told that £26 worth of contraband – sun cream – was being confiscated as it was in his hand luggage.

Somewhat unhelpfully he was rumoured to have asked “Do I look like Osama Bin F*cking Laden?”

As the story unravelled, it was clear that the implications of 9/11 had been lost on Big Al. One “friend” commented on Facebook.

“I can picture him now lathering himself in cream before boarding the plane just to p*ss them off!”

So it was that Big Al and Luckless Linda’s first holiday abroad had begun on a raw note and possibly might end even more raw. With admirable British pluck, Big Al determined that there was no reason a lack of sun cream would spoil his holiday. Who needs sun when a World Cup is on?

Two weeks later, Luckless arrived at Paddy’s Bar to collect her man, as white as the day he was born. She’d had a great time as had he though his memory banks were somewhat more clouded.

“It’s coming home.” she said quietly under her breath.

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