Saturday, 12 January 2008

Dane bramage

Happy new year to all of my readers.  I hope that there are still some of you out there after your Major has been missing-in-action for such a long time.  Those people who pay me to be in an office have been taking their pound of flesh - my project should be finished in February though, and I hope that I will be able to get back to posting almost daily.

For my first post of 2008, I thought I would humiliate myself (further) with a story of an embarrassing mishap involving the office.  In my defence, I was very tired and feeling rather ill.  Once you have read what I did, you will not think it much of a defence.

We have revolving doors at the entrance to the office, which work on a swipe card system.  You swipe your card outside, and then the door starts spinning so you have to jump in.  If you get it wrong, the whole thing starts sounding an alarm and reverses to throw you back out.  There is a trick to using it, which I like to think I have now mastered.

On this particular day, I swiped my card as usual.  As I removed it from the swipe unit, it slipped from my fingers and fell down inside the door section.  Before I knew what I was doing I had bent down to pick it up.  Not unreasonable, you might think, but remember the circumstances in which I found myself.

Imagine my embarrassment when a couple of very senior people (who I had been trying to build a good relationship with) walked in on the scene to find the alarm sounding, and my rear half sticking out of the door, as I was bent over with my head trapped in the door.  And it wasn't even 9:15.

Let's just say that my professional judgement has been under greater scrutiny since then.

Blogged with Flock

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Season's greetings

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing much at all recently. The people who pay me to be in an office have not only been making me do some work while I'm there, but they've also insisted on paying me to be in an office that takes 2 hours to get to (and another 2 hours to get back). This has meant that I have limited time to write, even though there is plenty to write about. For 2008, I am likely to be writing every week or so. If you would like to contribute a piece once in a while then I'd love to have more authors - please email me at [authorname] (substituting the first bit for majorgripe of course - I just don't want spambots trawling the website and emailing me about places where I can buy fake degrees or get the little Major lengthened or my man-breasts augmented).

It has been a lot of fun writing this year. I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Anyway, I wanted to wish all of you, my readers a very merry Christmas. I will write again before it is time to wish you a happy new year. In case you haven't seen it yet, here is something to get you feeling in the Christmas mood:

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Copy of an email to Greenwich Council Tax Department

Dear council tax department,

I am writing to you whilst beside myself with rage at the council's complete ineptitude and malevolent collection practices for wrongly taking me to court in my absence and wrongly issuing a county court judgment against me for money that I don't actually owe.

I refer to summons number 1*****4 which you had informed me was cancelled. I will outline here the history of this case and the steps that the council is going to take to rectify it.

Case history

  1. I had a summons from you because when I swapped bank accounts you didn't transfer over my direct debit when my bank sent you the details
  2. As soon as I received it, I called you. I paid the overdue amount and updated the direct debit details. The payment reference for this is CEP0******4 - I paid it on 5th November at 10:39am
  3. I was informed that the £95 costs would not be charged and that the remaining payments would go out on my amended direct debit with the first payment happening at the start of November
  4. I was also told that the court summons would be cancelled with immediate effect and that I needed to take no further action
  5. I requested written confirmation that the council had cancelled the summons, but was told that the council doesn't do that (and that it was unnecessary in any case)
  6. I have just received a Council Tax Liability Order Notification and Bailiff Warning Notice instructing me that on 19th November the court sat anyway and decided that the balance of £404 (i.e. the remaining payments and the non-refunded £95) must be paid within 14 days or Bailiffs would call to recover the debt.
This is absolutely disgusting - due to the council's processes not working I now have a County Court Judgment against me and the threat of Bailiffs. The council has also demanded details of my employer so that it can deduct my 'debt' at source. I will give it no such information.

Here is the action that I demand that the council takes to sort this ridiculous mess out:

  1. Remove the county court judgment straight away.
  2. Cancel the order for Bailiffs with immediate effect.
  3. Refund the £95 'court costs' to my council tax account
  4. Write to me confirming that steps 1-3 have been taken.
  5. Collect the outstanding funds from the direct debit that I have set up. That really is a much more straightforward way of collecting council tax for the council and for me. By using this method, the council get its money quickly and cheaply and I do not get my credit record wrecked by unnecessary and invalid CCJs.

I will be calling the department at 10am tomorrow morning to confirm that someone has received this email. I will call again at 4pm for an update on progress against my case. If there has not been satisfactory resolution then you can expect a personal visit on Thursday.

Yours disgustedly,

Major Gripe


Monday, 26 November 2007

A plague on Gripe Hall

Well, a terrible curse has befallen the Gripe household. Dear readers, you will be dismayed to learn that your Major has been officially diagnosed with... flu.

It may well be terminal, because all I can do is lie about and groan and whine and snivel.

Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Put up your crutches

Hello again everybody. Did you miss me?

I was going to write about so many things this week: first, our government manages to lose all of that data and Alastair Darling still somehow keeps his job. Then I got a letter from Tower Hamlets council rejecting my appeal against a parking ticket and have decided to take the lousy shits to tribunal. Then, Steve McClaren refuses to resign after making his job untenable.

To top it all off, there was going to be something today to follow on from a news item on TV this morning about some people who bought houses on a cliff-top. The cliff is subsiding and their houses are falling into the sea 30 years early, so they want the government to pay to rehouse them. No, no, no, no, no. They had plenty of warnings about this, the first of which came two thousand years ago when Jesus warned of the dangers of building your house on anything but rock. Why can't people pay more attention to the clever things that Jesus said about construction, catering or taxation?

Then, everything changed. Another topic presented itself for your amusement this morning. I got started on, again, in London Bridge station this time. By a disabled man.

I was travelling with Mrs Gripe who he walked behind and trod on. He then shouted at Mrs Gripe that she might like to look where she was going, except he used more floral language than that. I stared at him, and he started to protest. I told him to watch his mouth and he reminded me that he was disabled (he was walking with a crutch). "That doesn't give you the right to shout insults at my wife", I replied. To which he suggested that he would fetch the police. As usual, I suggested that he was welcome to do so, and turned away to say goodbye to Mrs Gripe (for our onward journeys lay apart from then). It was at that point that he issued his coup de grace. "Come back here and fight me, you coward", he shouted - in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the anonymous knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

So there you have it - another anecdote for the Gripe Annual. You can rest assured that whatever is happening in world events, your Major will continue almost getting into ill-advised fights and reporting back to you about it. Have a happy and passive weekend everyone.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

A right dilemma

Something of a teaser presents itself tonight for the racist thugs among England football fans. England's qualification for Euro 2008 is out of our hands: not only do we have to beat Croatia on Wednesday, we also have to hope that Israel beats Russia tonight.

The question is this: will those fans who are also members of the far right and would normally rail against Israel stick to their guns tonight, or will they swallow their convictions and cheer them on? And if so, I wonder how they will feel about it in the morning. The sight of all those skinhead thugs sobbing into their Union Jack pillows is almost too delicious...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Gripe and away

While Mrs Gripe and I share a few days away I thought I would share with you a little theory I have held for a time about how that nice Mr Cameron became leader of the Conservative party and in particular the role of Michael Howard’s leadership of the party in this process. I warn you, we have an essay on our hands.

Let’s take a brief trip down memory lane to reminisce over recent Tory leaders. When it became clear that Iain Duncan Smith was in the penultimate week of his leadership, there was a lot of speculation about who would take over. Oliver Letwin was considered to be the most promising candidate by many, Ken Clarke could never be ruled out, and there were a number of others. One person who was definitely not talking about running was Michael Howard.

At this time, the party was still in turmoil. William Hague as leader had done ok with a job that wasn’t going anywhere for a while. Iain “quiet man” Duncan “quiet man” Smith (sorry, I don’t know where to put that in his silly sequence of names) had managed to plummet it down from a party that no-one liked into being a laughing stock. It still had to sort itself out to have a chance of returning to power at all (let alone making good on its claim to be the ‘natural party of government’). That meant leading with a vision that could unite the party (instead of being divided around key questions such as Europe) and present the public with an alternative.

All the while, Tony Blair was getting off lightly. As Andrew Marvell, the great poet and politician of the 17th century, said: the same arts that did gain a power must it maintain. Getting into power through spin and through fudging compromise with the old left meant continuing those bad habits while in office. No-one in the Tory party was lampooning his fabled ‘third way’ for being Tory-style market-centric policies implemented through old socialist methods. No-one pointed out the flaws in the approach of centralising, controlling, setting targets, taxing, spending, pandering to unions and taking people away from what they do best to put them on paperwork duty. No-one was pointing out that in order to negotiate with business over financing schools and hospitals it was crucial first to have business experience – something that many Tory ministers and few Labour ministers actually have. In other words, the great cracks in the foundations of Tony Blair’s approach were being left to grow rather than the whole edifice being condemned. The Tory party was navel-gazing while Tony Blair was left to find an opposition from within his own party.

The Conservative party needed a leader who was capable of the crucial three things: creating a vision that would inspire the public, leading the party with that vision and proactively destabilising Tony Blair rather than reactively chipping away at him. The trouble was that the grass-roots party was not going to give it such a leader: the best that they could hope to be given by the blue-rinse brigade was a leader who could lead with a vision and destabilize Tony Blair but whose vision would be offensive to the majority of the public who were neither xenophobic enough nor Europhobic enough to be inspired by it.

With this in mind, let’s return to the times in question. Once it was clear that IDS would be getting more time to spend in quiet reflection, the speculation started to mount about who would come forward (as discussed above). When he was finally ousted, not a word came from the parliamentary party. Then, within a short period, all of the expected candidates (apart from Ken Clarke) came out and backed Michael Howard. Howard appeared shocked and humbly declared that he’d better lead the party after all then. Then he set about (mildly) duffing Blair up in parliament before fighting (and losing) the 2005 election on old Tory values. After the defeat, he announced that he would step down but only after he had succeeded in changing the way in which the party elected its leaders. Once he did this, the party had an open leadership election and returned the freshest-seeming candidate – that nice Mr Cameron.

I am not a conspiracy theorist and do not, as a rule, like coming up with theories such as this. But it is not an outlandish leap of logic to conclude from all of this that the parliamentary party got together and decided that if it was ever to regain power it would need to put someone in to prove to the party that it had to change, and then change how leaders were elected so that the most credible candidate, rather than the most right wing one, got returned. Only one of the old guard of Tories could possibly convince the party faithful that change was necessary. In this theory, Michael Howard would have done a rather noble thing in deliberately losing an election with a campaign based on old Tory values in order to give the party a fresher leader who could renew its voice.

If my theory is correct then that is what he did – if so then that nice Mr Cameron owes him a great debt of gratitude because he could never have been elected (and now inflicting Grievous Political Harm on Brown’s government) without him.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Following the recent posts, I have had a lot of questions. Many of them have focused on the same subject area, suggesting that a few clarifications are in order:

  1. I don't always get into fights
  2. I don't actually like fights
  3. The fact that I have been posting less frequently recently is a function of how busy I have been rather than a sign that all I have been doing is fighting
  4. If I had been fighting, I would have told you all about it
  5. Yes, the people who pay me to be in an office during the day from Monday to Friday have been putting more demands on me so I have had less time to write
  6. No, I am not bored of doing this - I hope that you are not bored of me doing this either
  7. No, the reduced frequency of posts has not been because I am reluctant to follow readers' advice and inhale more live insects for your amusement.
  8. Yes, I am reluctant to do that but no it is not the root cause.

I hope that helps. If you too have a bee in your bonnet and would like the opportunity to rant about things occasionally then please let me know by emailing (removing the capital letters obviously) and we can chat about making you an author.

Friday, 2 November 2007

On the game

I promised a match report and here it is. I also need to give you an incident report - you will see from recent posts that I clearly have one of those faces that enrages people and makes them want to attack it and the person that it belongs to. Just such a thing came close to happening (again) at the match.

What a game for the neutral - cup tie, 7 goals, the lead changing 4 times, almost a giant-killing. Proof again from Leicester that if you get right in the face of big teams like Chelsea and then score the first goal then the sky's the limit. The only disappointment was that Leicester put 10 men behind the ball to try to defend their 1-0 lead, which was a massive waste of the opportunity. At a time when their plan started working and they could have sent an even bigger statement to Chelsea, what they did instead was say to them we've scored, we've probably been lucky and we're going to try to hold on to that. It just handed Chelsea back the psychological advantage that Leicester had worked so hard to win. It was great that they came out so positively in the second half though.

I was in a box at the game, and as always in a cup match (and as a neutral) I was rooting for the little guys. When they scored, I and a number of others in our box stood up and cheered. The man behind me grabbed my jumper and tried to pull me back into my seat. I turned around and he was trying to stare me out, so I obliged and then when he threatened to have me chucked out I suggested to him that he might like to have a laugh and enjoy the game. There were a number of other people cheering for Leicester and the guy got really upset at them all. The stewards started to get involved to try to calm him down, and then some other Chelsea fans from behind him tried to get him to calm down. My neighbour and I did our best not to laugh out loud when he turned to the man next to him and said in a wounded voice "what really hurts is I've got me own fans turning on me now". Yeah, nice one. Don't let that be a signal to you that maybe you're being a total twat or anything.

Anyway, at the end of the game he wanted to shake my hand so I obliged. He grabbed my hand and pulled me close and started to lecture me that it was 'culturally unacceptable' to cheer for the opposing team in the Chelsea end. He wasn't convinced by (or made happy by) my risposte that it was fairly culturally unacceptable to grab people's jumpers and pull them down - so dissatisfied was he, in fact, that he started to suggest that we make something of it. That was the point at which the stewards got involved in trying to calm him down and I made my way out.

So, 7 goals and one home fan made angry. All in all, a successful night at Stamford Bridge

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Bridging the gap

Quick message to all of my disGriples: I am in on a residential course in Stamford Bridge all week (somewhat painfully for me as a Spurs fan) so posts will be light (as already seen this week). One of you (Roberto, estoy hablando de ti) is on my list for coming here and not having a beer with me. Amends will need to be made.

Box for the League Cup game tonight against Leicester so there may be a match report Gripe-style at soheme point.

Hope all is well

The Major

Saturday, 27 October 2007


I am lucky to have a very happy and full life. But I've decided that what is missing is a thumpingly good campaign about something. I'm not particularly fussed about campaigning to save the world, as most of the possible ways already seem to be campaigned about. So it's going to be something far more insidious: thieving restaurateurs.

I always make a point, before leaving a tip, of finding out how much (if any) of it gets to the staff. I commonly find that the restaurant dips its filthy digits into the tip pot and steals some (and in some cases all) of the money. Usually, cash tips get to the staff - and may be shared around. But usually card tips don't get to the staff in tact.

On top of the fact that this is bad for their business (by making tips low, their staff will start to resent people who don't tip much rather than appreciate people who do, so service will suffer and hence the restaurant's reputation will suffer), it is also deceptive. I have not found a restaurant yet that says 'we will deduct an admin charge from tips' - they let you think that it is all going to the staff. And what they deduct is huge in some cases. Some take all of it, but many others say, if asked, that they take 7% (Tootsies) or even 8% (Pizza Express). Push further and they will admit that this is not a percentage of the tips, it is a percentage of the total bill and therefore more that half of the tip that you are leaving. So even if you ask, they still try to deceive you into thinking that it is not an unreasonable amount.

Let's not mince words here: this is stealing, and should be punishable as stealing. The restaurant may have to pay the staff, but I pay them for that when I buy my meal and my (generously marked up) drinks from them. As a minimum, I expect that they put some of that money towards paying staff a legal hourly wage (and ideally a fair hourly wage) - after that, the money that I give the staff as a tip is precisely that: money that I have given them to say thank you. If they asked me to contribute some extra money towards the cost of their premises, I would tell them to shove it - so why should I do that with the tips that I leave. For how long will this continue to be legal?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Sitting ugly

What is it with those people on the train who, when sitting in the aisle next to an empty seat, and when you ask to sit down, glare at you and give the slightest movement of their knees to indicate that you should lift your large, heavy bag up high and struggle past them through the short gap to take the seat? Not only does it seem like really bad manners, but surely it would be much easier for them to shuffle across and let you sit by the aisle.

I have taken it upon myself to make it easier for them. I am doing this by turning the moving your knees slightly and glaring approach into the much, much harder (and more painful) approach. It is amazing how my motor skills deteriorate during that struggle past them. Almost uncanny. My bag always seems to knock into their kneecaps and I always seem to stumble and accidentally tread on their feet. Full of apologies, naturally. One wouldn't wish to be ill-mannered.

I calculate that I will have changed the culture on Southeastern Railway by the time I retire, in 30 years.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Did you miss me?

All was quiet here on Saturday because I figured that since half of you were at Gripe Hall anyway I could just talk to you. Then yesterday my head hurt, as I'm sure did most of yours. To the other half of you, I hope you enjoyed those bits of the weekend that didn't involve defeats for British sportspeople.

Mrs Gripe sprang a surprise on me at the weekend: an early birthday present, my very own Wii. I'm not really a games person but I really wanted one. My verdict? Awesome - really great fun. My back hurts a bit today from playing it yesterday, but at least that's better than it would have been if the boxing on Saturday night had been real instead of punching towards the TV.

I tried the fitness age test yesterday and it told me that my fitness age is 70. I like to think that it was more of a feature of not knowing what to do while it was firing tennis balls and baseballs at me, but the irony is that the day afterwards I am actually walking like a 70-year old.

All I can say is: get one.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Silver Cock

Have you noticed how in many cases the service doesn't actually get better in expensive restaurants, it gets worse? It always intrigues me. You go into a very cheap restaurant and aren't surprised if the waiting staff don't have a clue about how to wait, or are not very friendly. There are some honourable exceptions to that, yes, but the point is that it is not a surprise.

Then, you go into a mid-range restaurant and the service is a lot better. It is attentive but not pushy, and the staff are polite and friendly. Again, not always that way but frequently the case.

One could be forgiven for expecting that this quality continues into the most expensive restaurants, but I am struck by how often the opposite is true. The staff, apparently trying to test whether or not you are worth their time first, show none of the good manners and only give attention grudgingly. This was the case today in the Coq d'Argent, a fantastic place but with a really lousy waiter (and not for the first time). One of those places where the staff, if they are coming the opposite direction to you, won't hold back for you to pass but will push forward expecting you to wait for them (and not acknowledge that you've done so either). It always makes me smile inside to wonder what must be going through their obnoxious gallic minds as they sneer and tut.

I am not a vindictive man, but when the waiter has behaved like that, I always take great pleasure in asking them to remove the service charge. Then again, I'm sure he took great pleasure in spitting in my food...

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Auntie loser

The staff cuts in the flagship news team at the BBC could end up being a good thing if it responds in the right way. News on the BBC has gone down in quality massively. Both the content and the standard are not worthy of the tradition that the BBC claims. Much of it is obsessed with celebrity and with advertising its own programs. When they do report a story, a lot of it is no better than the journalism that I posted about some time ago.

For example, they rely heavily on interviewing their own correspondents as if they are the experts. Even if they interview real experts, the effect is the same - once they have an expert opinion that agrees with the story they want, they create that opinion as a fact. This is at best shabby journalism and at worst misinformation. Nothing worthy of how the BBC likes to see itself.

If there are cuts, let's hope that they cut the celebrity bits. Let's hope that the cuts focus the minds of those who are left into reporting less, but higher quality (i.e. better researched and presented) news. This would be more than straightforward if they shifted the focus of the news away from being instant towards being more valid. After all, is it that important for us to about what is going on straight away? For us to have 24-hour presence at the scene of everything?

Studio Hack: Let's go to the incident site. Field Hack - any developments?

Field Hack: Well, nothing since I last updated you 7 minutes ago, Studio Hack. To cover this appalling refusal of life to imitate art, I plan to garner further shallow opinions from yet more passers-by whose ignorance is beneath contempts.

Very simply, no it isn't. We don't need 24-hour news for every single event. Why not reallocate some of those staff to reporting less news with more rigour? That way, fewer staff could be the way for us to get the news that the BBC claims to give us on its flagship programmes.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


An interesting side effect of the smoking ban is the territory battle that has taken place. I never like to waste fine weather, particularly not when winter is around the corner, and definitely not when summer was another winter.

So recently, walking along a row of restaurants and coffee shops, I thought that I would sit outside and read my book in the sunshine - and of course enjoy some coffee. Naturally, outside is the place that people sit to smoke these days, but it seems to have stiffen smokers' resolve - I can't see any fewer people smoking, all I can see is a concentration of smoke outside the front. That means getting to the inside of the establishment that the government has kindly rendered smoke free for me means traversing a pea-souper fog in the doorway. So my clothes, my hair and my lungs are still exposed to the smoke that the government wanted to protect me from.

I can pretty much understand this from a smoker's point of view. If the government told me that drinking inside was hazardous because I might get drunk and spill my drink and create a slip hazard, then I think I would be fairly likely to tell the government where they could slip their hazard. It would only make me want to drink more. So here we are, in a situation where people don't actually seem to be smoking any less - in fact, they may be smoking more. I will await the official figures (and then the accurate, unspun ones) before passing judgement.

The only observation I have is that banishing smokers outside in the warm sunshine and keeping ourselves squashed inside seems rather like sending all of our convicts from dreary Industrial Revolution Britain to sunny Australia such a long time ago. I know that it was no picnic there in the early days, but I sometimes wonder why we didn't all pack up and move down under and leave the convicts behind in England to freeze.

Perhaps we should bear this in mind the next time we try to ban something...

Monday, 15 October 2007

Principles of change

Seth Godin has an interesting analysis of behaviour in relation to the Radiohead album. He discusses the order in which people move to alternatives. First the losers (because they have nothing to lose), then the winners (because they can afford to and want to keep winning, and then everyone else.

This is consistent with the 60:30:10 principle of change that a Project Director I worked once suggested to me. I didn't see it at first, but after observing a few large-scale changes it started to resonate with me.

It says that when confronted with a significant change, as a rule of thumb, 30% will always be against it and 10% will always be for it. The remaining 60% sit on the fence, watching the contest between the other two groups. At a certain point, when it appears that one side is going to win (whether or not they are in fact going to win), the 60% makes its decision. This means that you will either end up with 70% in favour or 90% against. The key thing in effecting any change is to make sure that you are not on the losing side of at any stage.

That wisdom has been very interesting in watching a number of large scale changes recently, and in particular the shift of opinion (and action) in relation to climate change. Bear it in mind the next time you observe any significant change - I hope it proves interesting.

Radiohead review

Now that the Radiohead album has been released, here is my view of things:

There was another, overlooked, reason why Radiohead might have put their album out for download with people choosing how to much to pay. It is rubbish.

There are a couple of songs that the most die-hard fan may like, such as the echoes of the peaks in melancholy and the stressful cacophonies that could both be found filling space on their previous albums. But this is nothing like their previous best - none of the achingly good songs that could be found on Pablo Honey, and none of the sense of journey (and also beltingly good songs) from The Bends or OK Computer.

I am left wondering if they put it out in that way as an experiment because they weren't happy with it as an album. Or perhaps they lost it and descended into a haze, taking Pete Doherty's place now that he is rumoured to have cleaned up.

Economists are very good at discussing how something is going to turn out using economic theories, and then - when they are wrong - admitting it and citing another, overlooked, theory about why that was. The academic equivalent of falling in your sword to protect your subject. In that spirit, I suppose that this is another lesson in economics - the 2001 nobel prize winning theory about pricing in used cars. The theory goes that whatever the car, the possibility of it being a lemon (i.e. a dud) is factored in, but to varying degrees according to the certainty. This will have been the case here. If they do publish the purchasing data for people to study, it will be very interesting to see how much the price goes down afterwards.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

The lowdown

Well I guess it is time to spill the beans on what happened, now that it is over. It is, truly, a very random story. I sometimes wonder if merely having a blog to write is the trigger for bizarre events to happen to me. Perhaps, perhaps not. I'm sure someone has written about it somewhere in the blogosphere if I felt like looking.

Anyway, let's describe the event:

[Major on telephone to Mrs Gripe, entering corridor that leads to toilet (at work)]

Large Man Cleaning Corridor: You can't come in here. GET OUT!

[you will know me well enough by now to know that my response was 'hmm, being barked at. Ok, ignore that command'. Major proceeds to toilet. Large Man follows Major into toilet.]

Large Man, No Longer Cleaning Corridor: I will have security walk you out. I know my rights. I will not let you go to the toilet.

[Major ignores man and proceeds to urinal. Large Man, No Longer Cleaning, grabs Major by the arms and drags him back.]

Large Man, Eyes Flashing: I will not let you go to the toilet. I am going to get security.

Major, Cheeky Scheme In Mind: OK, off you go.

[Large Man leaves, Major's plan works, Major returns to urinal. Large Man, Vanquished returns and pushes Major into corner]

Large Man, Enraged: You are disrespecting me as a cleaner

Major, Perplexed and Dishevelled: Umm, well I'm fine with you being a cleaner. I do disrespect your people skills though.

[Large Man, Desperate now moves in front of urinal and leans back against wall. Major considers, and then decides against, pissing on him, and walks away into the cubicle. Large Man, Desperate follows Major into cubicle]

Large Man, Apparently Fighting Now Not Just For Family But For The Honour Of The Whole Of Nigeria: I WILL NOT LET YOU GO TO THE TOILET

[Large Man, Lost It Long Ago now at the edge of despair, lunges at Major and uses bodyweight to push him to floor. Then grabs Major by torso and drags him out of the toilet.]

Major, ruffled, manages to get out of toilet and gets to Security, who intervene.

Major, somewhat shocked by the surprise events, heads off home to Mrs Gripe.

So there, now you know. Thank you to Animal for his concern. No recovery necessary, though.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Sorry I had to fight at your party

Apologies to anyone who was looking forward to the daily digest of bile yesterday. Your Major was recovering from an unprovoked physical attack by a large man. He is OK now and will be spewing forth more carp again.