At The End of the Day

icebeer Although (like most blokes) I can only enjoy Krono lager ice cold, like most blokes over 65 I can only enjoy Krono lager ice cold if I remember to take it out of the freezer. I often write that there is no such thing as settled science, but I think the freezing point of carbonated, fermented wheat beer is more reliably set in its ways than most things in the Universe.

None of this near-inevitability, however, stops me from discovering a screwtop pushed up on an ice-column of foam about once a week. In the average male, brain cells stop renewing at the age of around 30. From roughly 45, they stop messing about: they just up and die. If you drink as much beer as I do, mass murder begins at 50. When it comes to synapses cleansing, I think by now I must be a war criminal deserving of an 8-year trial in the Hague.

We all make choices in life. My genes are (on both sides of our profoundly eccentric family) riddled with early-onset dementia. 45 years ago I owned a house in Brixton that had both rising damp and rampant woodworm. My strategy (being penniless at the time) was to pray that the damp would drown the worms. I’m hoping for the same thing when it comes to beer and genes, but not too deep down I know it doesn’t work like that.


Who said this in an Easter message today?

“Values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion and pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities. These are values we treasure. When we see Christians today in 2016 being persecuted for their beliefs in other parts of the world – we must speak out and stand with those who bravely practice their faith.”

The Pope? Kate Hoey? Anne Widdecombe? The Archbishop of Canterbury?

Nope. But I bet you can guess. Yes, it was indeed David Cameron.

I find it odd that, although George Osborne rightly changed his name from Gideon (a pious judge of the Israelites who won decisive victories against overwhelming odds) to George (a mad King) our Prime Minister has kept the name David (the shepherd boy who smote Goliath) when it is obvious he should’ve changed it to Dorian.

For David Cameron is Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray down to the last of his finely manicured fingernails. Irresponsible, sloppy, uncharitable, uncaring, dismissive of the common good, unwilling to recognise any community obligations, only Dorian Gray could be all those things, and yet drivel on about “Values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion and pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities”.

Poor CallmeDave. He really does think we like him. He truly cannot grasp that he’s been found out. That he is, regardless of social class, just one more creepy-crawly who doesn’t know how to behave….with a finger in every feigned piety, but zero awareness of the pulse of the Citizenry.


Tonight brings the news that Ant & Dec are to be offered a £30m deal to stay with ITV for another three years. Perhaps the time has come to crowd-source an alternative deal whereby Ant & Dec are offered £300m to stay off our television screens forever.

This should not be taken as snobbery on my part: I’ve always been a huge fan of Geordie Comic Bobby Thompson ‘tha littul weeasta’, and Ross Noble remains one of the best standups on the circuit. But Ant & Dec are the personification of contemporary idolisation of the ordinary.

Fine, they’re slick. But they observe nothing, they dissect nothing, they offer no insights, and they simply aren’t funny. I accept that Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are an acquired taste, but their inventive surrealism has, over the years, been a credit to Geordie comic culture. Ant & Dec are the ultimate debit card,  emptying the bank account.

antdec (Actual size)