Magnier’s the real cowboy

Howya

Jaysus was I not after telling you that eejit JP Magnier was as much use as a condom on a fish? He had a double handful coming to the last on Rhinestone Cowboy but didn’t make a move until the winner was home and hosed. If the ape had made his move any later it would have been dark. I told Jonjo the boy could ride none and right I was too. If there’s an arseways of riding a nag then that eejit will find it.

Now youse may be thinking I’m a bit biased on account of how I lost a bundle on the Cowboy and youse wouldn’t be entirely wrong. I would gladly have drop-kicked the little gobshite over Cleve Hill if I could have got me boot on him. Jaysus. But there’s no getting away from the fact that he’d never have gotten his arse within farting distance of that horse if his ould fella wasn’t who he is. Little bollocks that he is.

Sure and it was another brutal day. When Moscow Flyer fell I could have sworn the Pope was a Protestant. How could they do that us what with it being St Paddy’s an all? Next time I see Barry Geraghty I’ll be after asking him for the money he owes me on account of him not being able to keep his arse on a horse. That’s one less present the O’Farrell chisellers will be getting this Christmas.

Our Vic? Inglis Drever? Jaysus. This betting malarkey is sure a pain in the jacksie. I can’t bring meself to tell youse how much I was losing before the last. Let’s just say I had a right does of the scutters at the thought of what Mrs F would do to me if she was after finding out. I’m sure it woould be involving a cutty knife and me poor old mickey. Jaysus.

Ah but wait. Total Enjoyment it was at the end of the day. I had even put me dinner money on the beast that’s how bad it was getting. Oh to see the nag come up that hill with every other nag viewing it’s arse. Deadly so it was. The thought of no scran last night was more than a working man should have to bear.

Sure and we had a couple of jars of the black stuff by way of celebration and a toast to St Paddy and Jimmy Culloty. The man’s a proper saint so he is. Mind you if he doesn’t bring Best Mate home in front today then he needn’t bother coming round my house looking for a bed the next time his missus gets the hump.

Last day lads and I’m feeling lucky. I might even go and nibble the ear of that little French dote that looks after Baracouda. Jaysus, if only she didn’t look quite so much like Baracouda. Still first I’m off for a spot of lunch.

Hungry? I could eat a traffic warden’s arse through a parking ticket.

See youse at the track.

School’s A Scandal

The Accused

Messrs. Peter Peacock and Charles Clarke

The Charge

That they wantonly and negligently stand by and do nothing while our Education system lurches from crisis to crisis, leading to a dumbing-down of academic and social standards.

Case for the Prosecution

I have some questions. What has happened to our Education system? Why have examinations become so easy? Why are so many people being admitted to our universities to partake in courses that are unspeakably crass and ill-considered? Why do I increasingly see our educational institutions brimful of thick, badly-behaved little toads brandishing a clutch of unutterably useless, paper qualifications? Standard Grade Foundation Level? Have you ever witnessed this? The foundation level paper for French asks candidates to

– write their name (that’s worth 30%)

– choose the capital city of France from a list including Paris, New York and London (that’s worth 50%)

– and to ask what you would normally do with a baguette (that’s obviously worth the remaining 20%, a fact I mention for the benefit of anyone reading this who is practising for their Higher Mathematics examination and in need of a bit of arithmetical revision)

I know what I would do with it. It would involve the action of insertion, the nether parts of both Charles Clarke and Peter Peacock and swift movement. Clearly the baguette would need to be halved prior to insertion to meet its twin target, roasting notwithstanding, a feat best achieved by slicing the aforementioned baguette into two equal pieces; a fact I mention for the benefit of anyone reading this who is practising for their Higher Mathematics examination and in need of a bit of problem-solving revision with a geometrical slant.

A foundation or general pass standard grade says only one word to me. And that word is ‘loser’. But, I hear you opine, does it not say to you ‘This kid has worked d____d hard and while he may not be the sharpest tool in the shed at least he shows willingness and some kind of dedication so why not give him a chance, your honour?’

No. It does not.

If you are unfortunate enough to have received one of these pieces of paper as reward for your academic efforts and are reading this then I have two things to say to you. Firstly, it is not going to get you a job or prove your worth or persuade anyone that you will ever amount to anything worthwhile. Secondly, do you understand a single word of what I am saying? No. I didn’t think so. I make no apologies for saying it again because it most certainly bears repetition. Loser.

I have completely had this to the back teeth. Life is not easy. A lot of it is about achievement and reaching milestones. It’s about competition. It’s about proving your abilities to yourself and to other people who then make some key decisions about what is going to happen to you. It may be an employer giving you your first job or a bank manager giving you a loan to start a small business. If you are not good enough then you fail. Simple as that.

So why do we so readily shirk from failing these delinquents at school? Failure is as failure does. There would seem to me to be little point in deluding these perpetually under-achieving little ticks by falsely raising their hopes and engendering in their midst any illusion of adequacy by awarding them a meaningless, low-value qualification. Why, there are even awards for turning up! Excuse me? But is it not a legal requirement for a child to attend school? Yet, we feel a need to reward them with a certificate for doing what is required of them by the law! Why not go the whole hog and present them with a certificate for tying their own shoelaces, keeping themselves clean or remembering to breathe out after they have breathed in?

Let us now do what needs to be done. Consign them to the dustbin of academic natural selection at the first opportunity and stop them wasting the time of their fellow students and those poor saps who have taken it upon themselves to try and teach them something. Teach them something! Don’t make me laugh! The majority of our schools are no longer the seat of learning or groves of academe that we may remember from our youth. No more the chewed pencil and the furrowed brow! Our schools have become a haven for vicious little thugs who are given free rein to wield their particular brand of malice against staff and pupils alike, safe in the knowledge that any attempt to properly counter this behaviour will invoke castigation, under the banner of social inclusion, from shrewish, withered, badly-dressed, lentil-eating women who wouldn’t know the touch of a man from a washing machine and would have less chance of bearing a child of their own than Sister Wendy Beckett. At Lent.

Let them leave school unqualified and enter the world of the criminal, the layabout or the tradesperson. Better still, remove them now to a place where they can follow their own muse. An establishment like Guantanamo Bay, perhaps, far removed from the strictures of the Social Worker, the Curriculum Enhancement Officer or the Child Psychologist, has some obvious attractions. Let us allow the more academically-able to flourish and remove from a hard-pressed professional teaching staff the spectre of bullying, aggression and malevolence that invariably accompanies the low-life academic loser throughout his school ‘career’.

It’s not like the country is short of qualified graduates. It is bursting to the gunwhales with 21-year old media studies graduates all trying to get a job with the BBC on the strength of a 3000-word essay on “Alfie Moon: urban zeitgeist”. Yet you try and get hold of a reliable plumber.

There is little point in trying to run a country with only scientists. History shows that the humble hunchback also has his place.

The prosecution rests.

Case for the Defence

Record numbers of students are now applying for university places.

Verdict

Guilty as charged.

Sentence

I hereby decree that Mr Peter Peacock and Mr Charles Clarke should be taken from this court to a place of execution, otherwise known as an inner-city secondary school, and there be subjected to ritual abuse, verbal and physical assault, disrespect, bullying and teachers’ whining until they see some sense. I would also warn them that I would not expect to see them up before me a second time.

St Paddy’s Day. Please!!!

Happy St Paddy’s to youse all but jayus lads, how bad was that yesterday?

The drink link has taken a bigger battering than Lisa Jones gives her gee gees. If Mrs O’Farrell knew how much cash I lost to those thieves on the rails then she’d have me large lad in her handbag and be taking it down the pawn shop.

Sure and it was a grand start too. Brave Inca nosed it and we thought it was going to be black stuff all the way. Me gobshite cousin Donal had been trying to tell me how Garde Champetre couldn’t lose but I’d had the whisper from Timmy Murphy that it hadn’t a baldy so I nipped on the favourite. Course and I could have told Donal but I never liked the ape anyways.

He and his crew had to haul ass out of town on account of being all out of chicken’s hash. After the first! Feckin eejits.

Mind you, maybe I should have joined them. Jaysus there were more outsiders than a loaf of bread. It’s me own fault after Conor O’Dwyer was telling me about a nag the night before but I couldn’t hear him right through the Guinness. Hardly useless I thought he said. Jaysus.

I’d fired a rake of money on good thing after good thing but the bookies satchels just kept getting fuller than McCririck’s knickers. Ah we’ll get it back in the last two I told the lads. Me arse and Katy Barry. Forties and fifties! Jaysus, is this game rigged?

Ah but we’re still fighting lads. I’ve managed to come up with a stake for another little bash at the books today. Rhinestone Cowboy in the Coral and we are flying again. I think I might have been a little fluthered last night on account of how I told Jonjo that he’d be better off with a trained monkey on the Cowboy’s back than that eejit Magnier. Jonjo said how he’d be better off not running it at all than have a fat beggar like me break his back. Cheeky gobshite.

Right lads, up and at em again. It’s St Paddy’s and there’s no way we can lose. I’m just off down the chipper to get me strength up for the day ahead.

Hungry? I could eat a clown’s arse through a circus tent.

Paradise found

Howya

Jaysus it’s bleedin deadly here at Cheltenham, so it is. There’s always something special in the air down here — probably the farts of ten thousand paddies after a night on the black stuff but who’s caring.

Sure and I had the chance to be riding for Jamie Osbourne at Southwell today but what’s the point of having me bleedin arms pulled out trying to stop some beggar from winning when I could be down here with the lads? Told the eejit that I couldn’t make it, said it was something I ate.

Ah and it’s roaring here. The craic is deadly, the Guinness tent is jammers and the drink links are busier than a hoor on St Stephen’s Green on St Paddy’s Day.

But if it’s tips youse are wanting then youse have to realise that I can’t be taking money for them. And don’t bother pretending to be them Arabian shieks an taking me off to Dubai and plying me with hoors either, I’m not as thick as that ape Keiren.

Mind I do hear some of the lads are sweet on Shardam in the Bill Hill and me cousin Donal says it’s full steam ahead on Garde Champetre in the first. Donal says he and the lads will be on the bus home Tuesday night if the Champetre loses. Bus? Shank’s bleedin pony more likely. I tell youse, if our Donal’s missus finds out how much the gobshite stands to lose then he’d be better off doing the Riverdance afore she gets her hands on him.

One of the Cork lads asked me last night if I fancied Beef or Salmon. Jaysus, I said, I’m so hungry I could eat them both.

If it’s a tip you’re wanting then youse could do worse than Rhinestone Cowboy in the Coral. Sure it’s a fine beast and it’ll take the beating but jayus it would be home and hosed if it didn’t have that ape JP Magnier on it. He may be the big man’s boy but he’s about as much use as tits on a bull. Dense as bottled shite too. If I was riding the Rhinestone then they wouldn’t see it’s arse for dust as we roared up that hill.

See, one of the advantages of being a fat beggar like me is that I can pick up the odd ride down here and I’m still hoping to get on something in the Bumper. In fact there’s a couple of stable of stable lasses I’m hoping to get on as well but don’t be going telling Mrs F. Sure the flat’s all very well but you can’t beat a good jump for a change.

Anyways all this talk of food is putting a right mouth on me and I’m off to look for some scran. Hungry? I could eat a teacher’s arse through a blackboard.

See youse on the rails.

Tesco the Oppressor

Brothers and sisters, a great wrong has been done. I discovered today that my local “Big Issue” seller has been repeatedly moved on from his preferred patch outside Tesco by the management of the store.

I’m sure you’ll agree that this sort of harassment in unacceptable. The man is responsible for selling the only reasonably priced periodical left in the country and he is shamelessly abused by the capitalist corporate demon. Is there any harm in asking me politely if I would care to enjoy some popular literature at an affordable price as I leave the store with my lentils and nut cutlets in a reusable bag? Are we to be refused access to this enlightening collection of urban street poetry and world music reviews? I don’t think so either, my friends.

As a company that makes £1.65 billion a day, it is despicable that Tesco should target those who have made “alternative lifestyle choices”. If those include roll-ups and cans of Super Lager, then let him be free to make them.

With this in mind, sisters and brothers, Cautious and I advocate the establishment of a new movement – the Coalition Aimed at Undermining Tesco In Our Neighbourhoods (CAUTION). The time has come to rid our towns of reasonably priced produce for the masses and smash the evil, welcomingly lit, empire.

I know enough people in the collective to borrow some recycled placards and march on Tesco and demand equal rights for this man (or woman, of course). The new group lends itself to some really groovy sloganeering – “Proceed with CAUTION!” and “Down with Tesco – we urge CAUTION!”. We must also take direct action – shop at the cooperative and refuse your “Computers for Schools” vouchers – yet another tactic of the corporate oppressor.

The march will have to wait until I finish my shift on the reference desk, but smiling at idiots for that length of time should put me in a suitably bad mood for the demo. I might even leave the filing until later and leave early. Hell’s Bells! It’s all getting a bit Sheridan here, but rest assured that anyone joining us will be given organic, gluten-free, fair-trade, low-fat, vegetarian friendly snack, I’ve saved enough Clubcard points to get sufficient for both, oops, I mean all of us.

Crazy like a Fox

Howya

Jaysus it’s a terrible time to be a jockey and it’s all the fault of that feckin eejit Fallon. I’ve been telling him for years that he’d get caught eventually but did he listen? Did he feck as like.

That’s the trouble wi these top jocks, they look up at a fat git like me and think I know nowt about riding. Me arse and Katty Barry. How do they think I keep getting rides when I’ve an arse the size of Lansdowne Road? Cos I use me head.

See, when it comes to cheating I’m the puppy’s privates. I might not weigh half a bag of sugar when wet but I sure as feck wouldn’t get a nag a mile in front of the bleedin field when it wasn’t supposed to win. Jaysus, if you are gonna do it, do it right. Give the fecker a wee shot of vodka or a packet of jaffas, twist its feckin bollocks before the off or just hold on to the reins until yer bleeding arms are near popping out. There are more ways of stopping a horse than Fallon’s had trainer’s wives. Learn some of them ya caffler Keiren.

And as for that eejit Sean Fox jumping off his nag at Fontwell, what a header. Dry your arse, Foxie ya dope. I could have fallen off a horse better than that in me sleep when I was a youngfella. By the time I was ten I could do the apache roll, the broken stirrup and the slipped saddle just like me old man taught me. Foxie jumped of that beast like Dettori after seven winners. Look at me, ma, I’m on the telly. Feckin ape.

These mentallers are amateurs and they are getting the rest of us a bad name. I’ve got a horse for Jamie Osbourne tomorrow that will take a bit of stopping if youse gets my meaning and now the Jockey Club will be watching as if it was a bleedin porno. I’ll need to fall back on a trick ould Georgie Duffield tells me just to work bleedin deadly in his younger days, just before the Crimean War. It’s not one you can do in front of the ladies but let’s just say the nag will thank you for it at the time. A quick shuffle or two of the wrist and he’ll be so bleedin shagged out he won’t have a baldy. It’s a savage good bit of cheatin but it doesn’t work so well with fillies.

Sure and I might be needing a rake of new dodges what with Keiren banned for 21 days and all. There will be plenty of spare mounts going and one or two trainers might just be looking for a man who knows how to be terrible unlucky. Sure and I can do it all arseways and look no worse than a thick Paddy who just went for the wrong gap. Yeah, in me brown I did.

Anyways I’ve still got nearly a full pack of diuretics and a session booked for the sauna in the morning. That means I can eat me way through a cod and chips and still be able to wash it down with a rake of cake.

Hungry? I could eat chips fried in Shergar’s pish.

See youse at the track.

Footballers Lives

Hello sweeties

My what a terrible kerfuffle over those beastly football chaps who have been locked up in Spain. The molesters from Leicester as Hotwire Harry my driver called them this morning.

I don’t read the ghastly tabloids myself of course but Harry tells me that the molesters broke into the rooms of some unsuspecting young maidens and forced themselves upon them. Darlings I would not normally condone violent retribution of any sort but I really do think that these chaps should have their tackle banned.

Harry tells me that one of the ruffians is named Dickov and I think that is a very good idea indeed. I am led to believe that a pair of rusty shears does the job splendidly.

Now my lawyer, dear old Mr Brocket, says that I shouldn’t simply assume that they did it and that it’s terribly important I don’t say they are guilty in these little memoirs de moi. Well stopcocks to that I say. If they are like any other football players whose acquaint that I have been unfortunate enough to make then they are as guilty as Michael Jackson in a kindergarten with the curtains closed. (Mr Brocket says I can’t say Jackson is guilty either but paedophile is as paedophile does as Henny always says.)

Hang the shits from the roof of the opera house and don’t spare La Traviata.

One of the most unfortunate consequences of the modern age is that these football johnnies have all suddenly become squillionaires without the necessary background or breeding to know how to carry it off. If their families had spent a generation or two shooting peasants or stealing land from robber barons then they might have the decorum to sup lobster consommé without feeling the urge to fart the theme tune from Flipper.

It means that the likes of myself, to the manor born as it were, has to mix socially with young men whose idea of class is to sniff their charlie off a platinum credit card. Or even worse, wear Versace. Uggh.

Many a time I have attended a superior social soiree only to have it completely ruined by a selection of footballer chaps widdling in the fountain or rogering their way through the attendant posse of television weather girls. Darlings, you didn’t hear it from me but old orange-skinned Sian Lloyd has entertained more footballers than the brass band that plays before the cup final. Oh did I say that out loud?

Not so long back I was speaking to two of those nice young men from Manchester United and admittedly I was ever so slightly spongolled on account of having shipped a raft of Great Uncle Bollinger’s finest shampoo. So when they suggested that I might like a roast I naturally imagined they were inviting me for Sunday lunch. Ulrika! Was a girl ever so misled? Apparently it is quite the done thing among footballers these days but I’d never felt so violated since Richard Whitely dripped sweat over my best Via Spigas.

Now if you ask me it is quite unnatural for these young chaps to want to share a lady in this manner. I realise that they are used to performing in front of a crowd but I do have to wonder if they are not ever so slightly manosexual. Finella Funell’s cousin Jeremy used to overly enjoy team games at Harrow and he’s now singing in the chorus of Les Mis. His poor mother is quite distraught but it doesn’t stop her blagging tickets for West End shows.

So not only are the Leicester molesters guilty (sorry Mr Brocket) but they are almost certainly as gay as Christmas in Elton John’s house. Darlings this of course does not make them bad people, some of my best friends are hairdressers — I say friends, I of course mean retainers. But for them to pretend to be macho football types yet really be longing to bite the bye-line is just too much.

So throw away the key Senor Judgarista and rust up the shears. They won’t be needing their balls in prison.

Toodlepip.

Nescafe No More

Fair trade fortnight is finally here! It’s taken seven years to get off the ground but we’ll finally be able to sink the boot into Nescafe. Gold Blend? That couple would be the first against the wall if I had my way. Evil promoters of third world poverty and they obviously get sex quite often. My trigger finger’s itchy already. Or maybe it’s RSI from the bookstamping.

FFF has the full support of the Library, I can tell you. Dangerous Dave is already talking about turning a blind eye if anybody comes into the library with a coffee as long as it’s Café Direct! ( Sorry I didn’t mean blind, I meant “disabled due to inaccessible library systems resulting in visual impairment“ – sometimes forget the most basic of PC stuff when there’s a campaign on!)

There’s a whisper in the Library that Tesco’s student shelf-stackers are on board too so Gold Blend will be a bit less prominently displayed for the fortnight, shall we say. Or maybe it was that Tesco’s student shelf stackers are all bored, that’s the problem with whispers in the Library they can be hard to make out. Not that we tolerate many whispers in here right enough. Dangerous has started saying “eridan” under his breath after every time he says “Shhh” so things are kept pretty quiet here now I can tell you.

Of course we’ll both be on the Café Direct at tea breaks, and I don’t care how shaky our hands get – I’m having a second cup. Not such good news on the home front I’m afraid. Dangerous’ Mum is refusing to play ball and buy the proper stuff so he’ll have to go back to the Nescafe in the house. And I’ve got nearly a full jar of the stuff so I doubt I’ll run out in the fortnight.

We were going to distribute tons of the leaflets as well, but once we’d done a proper risk assessment we realised that it was quite likely the main entrance would get blocked as people stood to read them. And all that paper’s got to increase the risk of fire. Hell’s bells though, it’s all getting a bit Sheridan in here!

Fer feck’s sake Fallon

Howya

Oh jaysus. Poor Keiren. He’s really gone and done it this time.

The Fallon fella was only doing his job and making sure his nag didn’t win when it wasn’t supposed to so that the one of Jamie Osbourne’s got over the line first. Where was the harm in that?

But the eejit had to go and get that horse of his so far out in front that his arse would have looked like a mouse’s diddy to the rest of them. Then he had to put the anchors on so heavy that you could almost hear the beast screeching to a bleedin halt.

Fair play, the man’s a fine jockey but for a crooked fella he’s damn poor at the cheating. Me, I would have eaten me way through half a cow and weighed the beggar down so much that he didn’t have a baldy.

To make matters even worse, the eejit only had to go and tell a couple of undercover reporters that his nag wasn’t going to win. The fella’s got a gob on him like an overworked hoor. A right bollocks he is.

Now the gits at the Jocket Club are all over him like flies on shite. And that means the feckers will be after the rest of us an all. Jaysus.

Ah sure and the Jockey Club are as much use as a cigarette lighter on a motorbike. I’m sure they don’t know the end that shits from the end that eats but they sure know how to make the working man’s life a bleedin misery.

All this hassle is bad for me digestion I tell youse. Sure and it’s putting a proper appetite on me.

Hungry? I could eat chips from John McCririck’s knickers.

See youse at the track.

Sea Biscuit? See me.

Howya

Was youse watching the Oscars the other night? Blinding it was apart from that diddy bitch-bag Billy Crystal. You ever seen anyone more in need of a good kick in the bollocks? Me neither.

Anyways it minded me of that film Sea Biscuit about that ould horse that won all them races in America. Sound it was.

Mind youse, that little horse was so bleedin diddy that I’d have crushed the beggar. The only way it could have won with me on its back would be if it had a ton of rocket fuel up its jacksie. Actually that’s not as Irish as you might think. Jamie Osbourne has this stuff he calls arse ammo for the ones he wants to win. Bleedin deadly it is.

But even the ould movie nag’s name would have got me thinking of food. Sea Biscuit is it? If I see a biscuit I eat it. Ah custard creams, Kimberlys, bourbons, jammie bleedin dodgers. Lovely.

You can’t beat a pack of biccies for keeping your appetite down. A rake of choccy diggies and I can put off eating dinner for a good hour. At Wolverhampton last week I couldn’t eat lunch on account of having to ride a nag for Mr Lungo that had a bit of a baldy. Hank Marvin I was. So I got meself on the outside of a box of jaffa cakes and that fair did the trick.

Ah fair play, I had to eat. Without food in me I’m as much use as a lighthouse on a bog. Mind you I did get a right dose of the scutters just before the 3.30. A right reddener so it was. Youse can have no idea how skawly the trots can be when you’re wearing riding britches. Like an atom bomb going off in a can of beans so it is.

Still, blinding news. I’m on a winner at Lingfield on Saturday. Mr Channon tells me the only thing that can beat his nag is a bolter being ridden by Kieren. Now what Mr C doesn’t know is I was enjoying a bit of rock ‘n’ roll with a stable lass who tells me that Fallon’s nag is going to run a bit wide at the second bend and then get boxed in before heading for home. Dreadful unlucky that way some of Keiren’s horses.

So that means I’ll be due a right little wedge in a bonus from ould Channon and can get a nice little lift from Victor Swindler as well. Of course I could always tell Mrs O’Farrell about me little windfall. Yeah, in me brown I will.

Anyways I’m off to see a man about a one and one — cod and chips to you. Hungry? I’d eat a farmer’s arse through a blackthorn bush.

See youse at the track.