March 7, 2020
I have taken to pen and parchment to write my latest chocolate Magnum opus, “Covid Dapperfield”.
The story of a young man made good by selling second-hand toilet paper to the poor folk of Blunderstone, Covid stalks the land looking for any opportunity to under-whelm, yet stoke fear and anxiety. Mishearing a message shouted from the pig sties, Covid passes on the words “Barkis is willing”, when in fact later on Peggoty discovers that he was actually “swillin'” as the pigs were hungry and the hordes had emptied the shelves in Micawber’s deli. They marry anyway as they can’t quite work out if they are related. Soon Covid and Betsey Trotwood discover that Micawber’s “Luxury thin sliced Ham” is not what they first thought.
Now read on… (But wash your hands first).
February 11, 2016
Economics essay, 1991.
Adam Smith, noted tight-arse Scottish economist, successfully demonstrated his theory of supply and demand by only serving haggis to his house guests. Fried haggis for breakfast, haggis sandwiches (thin sliced haggis between two thick slices of haggis) for lunch, and a haggis roast at dinner. Every meal was accompanied by a warm, weak haggis drink, and dessert was usually haggis with chantilly haggis.
Soon enough demand for a place at Smith’s table decreased, and his supply of haggis went through the roof.
See me after class.
June 30, 2015
Bloody love the Noakes.
It was a Saturday morning and there was me, on the bed with Grandma and Grandad. Grandma was trying to extract a drinkable cup of tea from the Goblin Teasmaid. It had been on the brew since 5:30am, and it was now 9am.
After examining the dubious cup of intensely brown fluid, and skilfully hiding it under the bed without my Grandma seeing, my Grandad said to me, he said,
“Boy,” he said, “Boy, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
And I thought for not even a second, and I said, “Grandfather,” I said (as I was probably about 5 and had a modicum of respect back then), “Grandfather, I wish to be John Noakes when I grow up”.
“Boy,” said Grandad, “you can’t be John Noakes, as John Noakes is John Noakes.”
“OK, old man,” I said (as my respect was beginning to wash away and this simple chat was getting in the way of my Luke Skywalker figure beating up my Princess Leia figure). “Then I shall be an astronaut.”
My Grandfather was a wise man, and said, “Boy, you will need to be good at maths to be an astronaut, probably best you stick with your plans to be John Noakes.”
The next time I saw my Grandad, he passed me an envelope. “Ah, boy,” he said. “This came for you.”
It was always exciting when post came to the Grandparents’ house, as it was bound to be another brilliant Star Wars figure, or a set of PG Tips tea cards, or a Golliwog from Robinsons jams. This, however, was most disappointing. It was a flat, A4 envelope of the type important, boring letters came in.
“Well?” prompted the Grandma, “Are you going to open it?”
Peeling back the inadequate envelope glue, and picking at the extra selotape that had been used to make the flap stick at least part of the way, I opened the envelope.
Inside was a black and white photograph of a man and a dog that I recognised from the television.
And it was signed, “John Noakes”.
I no longer have my figures of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, but you can bet I’ve still got that precious photograph.
September 17, 2014
User: Hello, I want Uber Expensive Software Package Pro. I need it on my laptop. It’s urgent.
Me: No, you can’t have Uber Expensive Software Package Pro on your laptop. Your laptop isn’t a company laptop, and we have made Uber Expensive Software Package Standard available over the network to people who actually need it. Why do you need it?
User: It’s very urgent that I have Uber Expensive Software Package Pro.
Me: I see. What exactly are you doing with it?
User: It’s very urgent that I have Uber Expensive Software Package Pro because I need to do Very Basic Stuff To Some Files That Can Be Done In A Different Software Package Lite.
Me: Oh, well the funny thing is I’ve written some code for Word that can enable you to do that very easily. It has two buttons, one for Go and one for Stop. Even you should be able to manage that. I’ve added it to your user profile.
User: So I’m not getting Uber Expensive Software Package Pro? ‘Cause I found the install files on the network and I just need the licence key now so it’ll work on my laptop.
Me: Use the code I sent you. I am Software Compliance. I am not easily angered, but you have managed it. And because of this, all of your output files will have the word “client” replaced by the word “penis”. Good day.
September 12, 2014
1 In those days Salmond Augustus issued a decree that a vote should be taken of the entire Scottish world. 2 (This was the first referendum that took place while Cameron was governor of Britain.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to vote.
4 So Jock also went up from the area of Newbank in Glasgow to Edinburgh, the town of Alex, because he needed to get out of the house that belonged to David. 5 He went there to vote with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him, probably, and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them, due to all the press being there.
September 9, 2014
In order for this to work, you will need to do (A).
User: Help, I need my application to work!
Me: Have you followed the instructions?
User: Yes, I’ve done (B) and (C).
Me: Have you followed the instructions and done (A)?
User: Yes, I’ve now done (B) and (C) twice and it’s still not working. I’ll try (D) next.
Me: You just need to do (A).
User: (D) didn’t work, you’re wasting my time.
Me: Can we go back to the initial instructions, please. Read them carefully and follow all the steps detailed there.
User: I’ve asked around and I’ve been told to do (D) again, and then follow it up with (X), (Y), and (Z). Twice.
Me: Perhaps you could try (A)?
User: (D), (X), (Y) and (Z) didn’t work. You know nothing.