“And another thing…….” by Vince Nolan


The Thoroughbred Dog and Pass the Parcel   


Dear Electorate, it may have escaped your notice but the General Election is upon us in a matter of weeks.  Now politics is a thorny area and most of us have differing views but be that as it may, I have been amused at the hollow promises politicians dust off and run-up-the-flagpole at this special time.  In the good old days politicians had careers away from politics, (or was it carers) and did not depend upon being re-elected to make a living. Now we have politicians who know little else other than politics which hardly makes for a fully-rounded individual, although coincidentally, many of them are rotund.  My point is this:  The word democracy is taken from the Greek meaning “Let the People Rule”, oh please.  How many of you think you are ruling?  Strangely the Greeks are certainly not.  The American poet Richard Armour put it beautifully when he wrote:


“Politics, it seems to me, for years or all too long

Has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong”.


Brilliant stuff I think you will agree.  He then followed it up with this little nugget:


“Shake and shake the ketchup bottle.
None’ll come and then a lot’ll”.


I don’t know about you but what is going on with parcel deliveries in our lives?  I think the current practice of paying for something in advance, without seeing it and then being told, not asked, told when it will delivered, seems to have crept into our world by some kind of osmosis.  Here’s what happens online:  “You can track your parcel and your driver will be called Eric.  He will be with you next Wednesday from 12-3 so please make sure you are in”.  Where do I start?


  • If I pay for something I want it delivered now or soon, not next week.
  • I don’t give a toss what the drivers’ name is.
  • Why should I stay in when I should be out at work like Eric?
  • Who makes an appointment between 12 and 3?  Imagine going to the airport and being told your flight was due to depart “Between 12 and 3”.
  • And if you have the temerity to be out when Eric arrives, he posts a barely legible card through your door which says that he either left your parcel with your lunatic and serial thief of a neighbour who you never talk to, or alternatively, has returned it to the depot, which guess what, is open between 12 and 3!


We’re all being conned my friends and it’s time we fought back so here are a few tips:


  • Order stuff you don’t want so that you have to return it, be reimbursed and arrange for Eric to pick it up between 12 and 3, preferably on a Sunday or at any other time which is inconvenient for the carrier.
  • Make sure you’re out when they call.
  • When they call back again leave them a note telling them that the package is with your next door neighbour, but don’t say which neighbour.
  • If they are not on schedule as per their electronic tracking device don’t open the door.
  • If you are in, demand to see their ID as they could be anybody.  Plenty of Eric impersonators out there.
  • Return their package to the depot and leave a note for them to that effect.
  • Go down the pub and calm down.


That should slow down the system a bit and start to put the customer higher up the food chain.


We are witnessing a great moment in history as the remains of HRH Richard III are about to be replanted from his car park grave in Leicester City Centre where he has rested for more than 500 years to a spot in Leicester Cathedral.  I too have been waiting many years to share this joke with you and it was only the recent discovery of his bones which enabled me to bring it to you today:


Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Noah who?
Noah’s the winter of our discontent.


Anyway, in other news I read with great interest in a local newspaper that some lady in Bristol had set up her own “Stinger Spikes” which deflated a number of police-car tyres.  Bad enough in itself you might think.  However, when questioned about her motives she said that she was protesting at the death of a black teenager in the US and at police brutality in Greece.  Maybe it’s me but I am struggling to see any connection between these two events and Avon and Somerset Police?


I just bought the Leader of the Opposition some daffodils from Tesco.  My generosity is of course legendary but my eye was drawn to the warning label.  First of all, why would you need a warning label on a bunch of flowers and secondly why did it say ”Do not eat” on it?  Presumably there must be a caseload of incidents involving accidental daffodil poisoning.


Finally, She and I were away at our favourite country hotel just outside Bideford last weekend and encountered numerous hounds since it was a dog-friendly hotel.  A delightful young and lively gun dog was leaping about the bar when another couple and their four-legged fiend (not a typo) graced us with their presence.  Nice lady with the young dog said to the other couple.  “Nice dog, there’s a bit of a Border Collie in him isn’t there?”  Well, if she did, she was told in no uncertain terms that the dog in question was a “pure thoroughbred of some 8 years standing”, or by the look of him, 8 years lying down. I know nothing about dogs and indeed am allergic to them but I thought that horses were thoroughbreds and dogs were pedigree or mongrel.  The proud owners of the snob dog went on to say that “there was no point in the other dog trying to play with theirs as theirs did not have that kind of personality and was never excitable”.  You know what they say about dogs and their owners or vice versa.  A nicer pair of “thoroughbreds” you couldn’t wish to meet!


See you next time.