I Got You Babe (Ruth)

“Who’s this on the radio?”

“I think it’s Cher.”

“It sounds like a man.”

“Yes, I think it’s Cher.”

A match made in Hogwarts

“So did you read about this Ron and Hermione thing?” said Emily.
“I did, although I don’t see why it merits inclusion on News at Ten,” I replied. “And my friends are all discussing it. For heaven’s sake, it’s a book.”
“It’s wrong anyway.”
“Of course it is! The Harry / Hermione romance would have worked for a time, but Hermione is at her best when she can take charge.”
“Exactly,” said Emily. “Ron’s basically useless.”
“Hermione is ‘the clever one’, and even if she were with Harry she’d still be ‘the clever one’, but Ron’s completely incompetent. As a result, she can maintain the control she needs, and he can devote himself to adoring her, and she can just outshine him.”
“Hey!” she said. “It’s like me and you.”
“…Yes, I suppose it is.”
“Because, you know, I’m the clever one, and you’re the crap one.”
“All right, fine.”
“And I outshine you.”
“I want a divorce.”
“Will you die your hair ginger?”
“Don’t push your luck, sweetie.”

Someone’s killed Mr Brown

Friday evening, this happened.

Brown sauce

Then I put it on Facebook, and all hell broke loose. Here’s a summary:


John: I know you’ll find the sauce of this atrocity.

Thomas: The perp had a lot of bottle to carry out such a crime.

John: I hope you ketchup with them quickly.

Thomas: Do them for assault.

John: Interrogate them and squeeze the confession out.

Me: I haven’t got the bottle for that kind of investigation.

Me: Says he, not noticing that one’s already been done.

Thomas: Well, if you’d mustard the energy to hit “F5″…

Stuart: I have questioned all of the witnesses and there are 57 varieties of the truth. I think the Coleman is chief suspect though.

Thomas: I think your Mamite have some extra information.

Me: No, Daddy’s usually got the answers.

Stuart: There are two lines in the pub and the Bar A Queue don’t seem to know anything…therefore….

Thomas: Had you paid for it, or was it on HP?

Me: What a waste of a fresh bottle. I feel like I’ve been conned. Immense feelings of guilt.

Stuart: There was some confusion when I interviewed Diane – I thought she meant a cone was involved but it turned out it was a con-di-meant. This status stream is peppered with inaccuracies.

Thomas: Oil be off-line for a while. Play nice.

Me: We’re way past that. The chips are down.

Stuart: It appears that the sauces have dried up…

Thomas: I think you’ve got yourself into a bit of a pickle with that one. In fact, I think you killed the joke. I’ll pick a lily and throw it onto the coffin.

Stuart: I relish the chance for the joke to be reborn.

Thomas: If we’re going to preserve this punfest, we’re going to have to spread ourselves.

The next time I drop a bottle of sauce, I will clean up the mess and throw it in the bin. I WILL NOT SHARE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA.

Funny, but not helpful

Me: Darling? I’m sorry for disturbing the solitude and sanctity of your bathing house, but the first load of washing’s finished and I’m just changing over. Can you tell me what I need to put in the machine?

Emily [very slowly and deliberately]: DIR…TY….LAUN…DRY.

What a fantastic pair of knockers

“Right, I’ve done the back. How are you getting on with your knobs?”
“They’re knobs.”
“I’m just going by the instructions. it says to affix the handles to the drawers using the bolts.”
“They’re not handles, and those aren’t bolts. They’re screws.”
“Fine, but the instructions say handles and bolts.”
“OK. well, anyway. Are you getting on all right?”
“It’s a bit tricky because you have to hold with one hand and then push the bolt through with the other, while keeping it steady.”
“D’you want me to hold your knob for you while you start screwing?”
“And you wonder why they changed it.”


You can type this stuff, but you can’t say it


Emily starts.

“Look at that sign! Britain’s tidiest town, 2010!”
“For Cleobury Mortimer? Fair enough.”
“What did you just say?”
“Cleobury Mortimer.”
“No, it’s CLEE-bury Mortimer.”
“But you spell it C-L-E-O.”
“So what? Lots of places are spelled one way and pronounced another.”
“Yes, but Clee Hill is just up the road, and that’s spelled differently. So I always assumed Cleobury was pronounced ‘Cleo’ as in ‘Cleopatra’. ”
“I have told you before, though.”
“Have you?”
“Definitely. More than once, when we’ve been driving through it.”
“Maybe I just forgot.”
“Look at your surname. How often do you get annoyed when people pronounce it incorrectly?”
“It’s not that I object to the initial mispronunciation, Em. That’s a different kettle of fish. It’s just I get annoyed when I’ve already told them how to say it and they keep getting it wrong.”
“Maybe they just forgot.”
“…All right, you win.”


Yes, but it was such an obvious punch line

Me: Do you want a hot cross bun in bed?

Emily: Maybe. I do have to get up soon. Will they be long?

Me: No, th-

Emily: Don’t even think about it.


Creole Lady Marmalade (part 2)

Following on from yesterday’s image of a marmalade jar, repeated below for posterity…


Anyway. When I stuck this on Facebook little did I realise the storm of pedantry I’d be unleashing. I count seven shares. By my standards, that’s practically viral. (It’s no George Takei, but you take what you can get.)

Here are some of the comments that followed.

Andy:  They’re not whole oranges, so “less” is perfectly OK. (One could argue…)

Emily: By the same token one could argue that “How much oranges does it take to make one jar of marmalade?” is also valid, presumably?

Peter: Does each jar really contain integer oranges? That’s a remarkably precise bottling process if so.

Thomas: It’s not a matter of mathematics, it’s a matter of grammar (unlike almost all the other things on here which claim to be about grammar): “orange” is a count noun. Its real-world referent is irrelevant. (nb: I am not necessarily defending the enforcement of the less / fewer distinction, just saying that it’s not incoherent in this case.)

Peter: On the other hand, had they put “Less orange, still Seville”, I’m sure the reply would have been a Pantone chart.

Thomas: I’m sure someone would have done so, yes. That doesn’t mean that Emily’s adjustment was unreasonable within the terms of the less / fewer distinction.

Peter: I agree, I’m just seeing if we can find an even better formulation. Arguably, the elephant in the room (or the jar) is the claim that it contains Seville.

Thomas: “Fine cut Seville” should be the name of a hairdresser there. Wait, isn’t there an opera about that?

Peter: Prokofiev, The Love for Three Oranges Or Fewer.

Thomas: I was amused to see a Trinity punt called “Love of an Orange”.

Ben: If there’s going to be this much argy-bargy about it, it’s just as well they’re not the only fruit.

The little things you do together (ii)

Conversation over lunch. (Lunch!)
Emily [to Joshua, who is off school]:It’s a mystery, though. You only seem to be sick in the middle of the night.Me [singing to Alma Cogan]: He’s only sick in the middle of the night / He’s only sick in the middle of the night…

Joshua: I don’t know why.

Emily: Maybe your sick is nocturnal.

Joshua: What do you mean?Emily: It only comes out at night.

Me: Nice carrot soup, by the way.

Emily: At least it’s not diced carrot. Anyway, let’s stop all this talking about sick while we’re eating.

Me: You brought it up.

This is a normal day in our house.

The Linney House factor

Here’s the thing.

OK, he burned a poppy. Yes, it is a freedom of speech issue. Yes, there is a growing intolerance towards offensive material on social media. Yes, this fixation on being offended is unhealthy. Yes, an arrest probably was a little over the top.

He’s still a twat, though. Partly because of what he did, partly because he used his real name to make a protest that was always going to cause trouble. I know that Facebook is Facebook and that your profile is only seen by a select number of people (unless you’ve just not bothered with the security settings), but that doesn’t matter one bit – unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years it’s impossible not to be aware of all the horror stories of the private posts that went public.

 “No, look,” I was saying to Emily last night. “The rule I have is ‘never put anything on social media that you wouldn’t want theoretically plastered over the front page of a tabloid’.”
Emily said “I shall take some photos of your arse and put them on.”
“I don’t think they’d last very long. Don’t they have a filter? Some sort of arse recognition software? I know they block anything that looks like a tit.”
“Surprising you ever managed to post any photos of yourself.”
“Oh, you can fold your own sheets.”
This is what happens when you air your clean laundry in public…
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