Musings From The Padded Cell


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Albert Einstein

One Hundred Years Ago

As the war continued to grind on a novel suggestion for local golf courses here.

The committee recommended that the whole of the links be grazed by cattle, the number of such cattle to be directed by the committee; that the greens should be allowed to be mown; and that if the fairways of the courses were not properly grazed by the cattle, the clubs should be allowed to mow the fairways after consultation with the committee.

Tales From The Scruffy

Buoyed by the first hint of spring, with my senses aroused by the touch of cool and fertile soil, it had been a productive day on the allotment. A reward was due to celebrate the good life.

Big Al had sent a text earlier – “U in 4 da footie results?” – which interpreted went “My name is Alan and I am an alcoholic”.

I replied – “Not sure” – which could also have been interpreted as – “My name is Steve and unless I pick some new friends I will be too.”

Big Al circa 1997 still hoping to get into Tears For Fears.

Save for the The Scruffy blowing up before the teleprinter whirled into action, we would be there. As would the local desperadoes, keen to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, crammed into ‘Nob ‘Ed Korna.

JCB, a man downbeat enough to place on Death Row and not be out of place, had been shopping. He was obviously of the opinion that he could reinvent the Oasis look or was trying to dress like his son.

Border Control

Resplendent in new trainers and tracksuit top, Fat Lad remarked that this would be the last time any of us would see the new gear looking this good.

“A walk down the village, kick the bandit in The Swan, spill your Korma down your front and the usual pissed search for home on all fours through the graveyard!” as the genial ruddy faced wise one caressed his glass.

Fat Lad

Fat Lad had been working in London which had done nothing for his balance of payments deficit.

“Five pound ten a pint!” he wailed “I felt like recycling it!”

Big Al listened intently having drunk Big Brother’s recommended weekly allowance and more only the day before. Remarkably he looked no rougher than usual.

Luckless Linda could be content to know that London would never steal her man; bankruptcy and liver failure would get him before them.

Greenfingers came in puffing away on his battery assisted pleasure. Recent local drugs busts and the escalating electricity bill at the Con Club adjacent to the allotments seemed not to faze him.

He was carefree about the growing queues of Audis and Golfs at his greenhouse door and insistent the Con Club get into the modern day multi-cultural thing.

Our local estate agent, Red Bricks, sauntered in, another deal closed, more Wonga. The youthful face and slick shiny shoes of the Korna, son of The Guvnor, the Korna will pass in time. For now he is content to hold court with the lower orders.

Talk turned to business as JCB was assaulting a beer mat, convinced he had just had a make your million moment.

“I’m going to invent a beer mat that doesn’t stick to a glass!” as he dribbled ale down the smart Adidas label and wiped his salty fingers over the iconic three stripes.

Good God we mused, first penicillin, then Aids and now this; truly man is impressive.

“I’ll go on that Dragon’s Den, they’ll be desperate to give me some brass!”

“They won’t let you near dressed like that!” offered Fat Lad somewhat unkindly. “They’ll think your pitching the Big Issue.”

Our Jackie

“I think it’s a great idea” said a voice behind a cloud of vapour. Our Jackie was mixing her new Get Fatter Faster drink of cocoa and two lumps of Dairy Milk.

As JCB continued to bad mouth innocent beer mats, we comforted ourselves that none of us had ever been as desperate as several so-called celebrities currently humiliating themselves on the latest shit game show from Brussels Broadcasting Corporation.

Happy Days rejoices at the prospect of a new kitchen.

Happy Days was still unusually solemn and confided to me “off the record” in the place all gents do.

This is considered neutral ground at The Scruffy where occasionally asylum is sought.

A cheery local inhabitant guards No Man’s Land.

We faced the wall, kept a splash-free distance and confessional began.

“It’s the wife!” he began as I shuddered at the prospect of having to offer this blog’s first relationship page whilst holding Percy. “She wants a new kitchen. It’s only eighteen years old.”

As our loved ones tend to get irrationally excited over soft closing doors and shiny taps, I advised that this was understandable. If the price for the maintenance of relations was a new kitchen every eighteen years then so be it.

“I see where you’re coming from but it’s not as if I can change her every eighteen years” he winked, already resigned to a big cheque. “But you won’t print that will you?”

As if the afternoon could not get any better in came local celebrity male model Gary Tipper with his latest Eastern European beauty in tow. We engaged in the usual manner as she looked me coldly up and down.

“Vot are ze saying my little Gaz?” she cooed, frosting her glass in the process.

“They want to know if Top Man still sell this type of jacket” he offered wearily knowing he should have stayed down the village where they appreciate the eighties.

“Come on you sexy little man, ve have dancing to do!”

As our local centrefold was whisked off with his Cuban heels barely able to feel the sticky carpet, talk inevitably turned to cricket as a new season approached for ever ageing bodies.

Captain Macca was hosting a meeting of the Hepworth Idle CC 4th team with opening bats Blind Phil and Geriatric Glen. Conditioning Coach Budweiser Medley was going through training routines with opening bowler Peg Leg Pedders to see who could open and down a Bud without hands.

Macca, a high flyer in the business world, could sense there would be no high flying this summer for this motley bunch. Tactics were abandoned for another day with cheesey Wotsits used for field placings devoured.

Four pints is hounded by Camouflage.

It was time to go but regulars know how this goes as in walked Four Pints for his usual late cameo. In days of old the lure of Take Me Out would have been enough.

The Sky+ box has got a lot to answer for.


All references to living or dead knobheads above are entirely factual. Please come and see for yourself; admittance is free but close the door when you leave.

Get My Blog Posts Straight To Your Inbox

  • Grass roots sport.
  • My weekly thoughts on the topics in the news.
  • My take on various aspects of life.

What are you waiting for?

About Steve

Follow me @idlelord, and make sure you get a copy of A Critic's Corner on Kindle.

Speak Your Mind