Friday Sunglasses

I suggested on Twitter that people might send me pictures of their sunglasses, it being unseasonably warm. People did.


I like all of the pictures so in a way they are all winners. But in another way there can only be one winner. And that is the way in which I look at things, so sorry all those who did not win.

@Omnibusologist’s picture of a dog’s bottom was very good, but my eagle eye spotted that they were not really his sunglasses, so he does not win.

There were several pictures of adult sunglasses on the faces of children. All those children are smashing; well done, parents, your efforts in the marital bed have not gone unrewarded.

There were several pictures of adult sunglasses on the faces of soft toys. All those soft toys are smashing; well done, owners of soft toys, your efforts NOT TO BLOODY GROW UP AND NOT HAVE SOFT TOYS have not gone unrewarded. I particularly liked @Ooopsydaisy’s Flat Eric pose.

But the winner is @KetherBound, whose sunglasses, accompanied by his many facial piercings, made him look like some sort of steampunk character drawn by Kev O’Neill.


Well done, @KetherBound. I will furnish you with some prize or other.

They call me Mister Hissable

I lost my first job as a reporter when the small weekly newspaper I worked on folded. I was 23 and about six weeks away from getting married. Try to contain your tears.

I wrote to every media organisation in the region asking for work, or work experience to prove my ability in advance of any jobs coming up. This was necessary because I was professionally unqualified. My former bosses were due to pay for my NCTJ certificate course the following September.

Regular readers of my Liverpool Daily Post column will be unsurprised by my timing.

But I included in my quest BBC Radio Merseyside. This took some gumption, because I have always had a lisp. Yes, glasses and a lisp – I had a great time in school, let me tell you. I couldn’t see how I would get on in radio, sounding, as I did, like Freddie “Parrot Face” Davies, but maybe I could work behind the scenes, as a researcher or producer. And, anyway, I was assured by various loved ones that my lisp was hardly perceptible.

About 30 seconds into my interview with the station editor, she stopped me dead and said: “You’re never going to get on in radio with that lisp.”

“Oh,” I said. “Not even researching? I could…”

“No, you’d have to do some broadcasting at some point.”

“Oh,” I said.

Since then, I have declined every request – admittedly not very many – to speak on radio, reluctant, as I am, to make people think their speakers have too much hiss. I have avoided public speaking for much the same reason.

Also, when I become aware of my lisp, it gets worse, in some sort of horrible lispy feedback loop. Essentially, Old Snakey Voicebox has held me back socially and professionally. I am embarrassed by my lisp and I hate it and the fact that I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue is of little consolation.

One of my New Year resolutions was to just get over myself. I did a few – mostly disastrous – stand-up gigs to get over the “standing up in public and talking thing.”

And about two months ago, I swallowed hard and started to record my Liverpool Daily Post columns on Audioboo. This was huge for me – HUGE. I cannot adequately express how huge this was, so imagine the biggest thing you can imagine. See that? That huge.

And some nice people who I already knew on Twitter said it was all right, and, honestly, you can’t hear the lisp.

But I could.

And then I thought you know what? Stuff it. That’s what I sound like. It is my voice – possibly a bit deeper than my everyday voice, but my voice nonetheless. So I’ve carried on, broadcasting to a small, if incredibly intelligent and sexy, audience.

And today, Audioboo put my column on its front page and told me it was both “new” and “interesting” – not my words of hyperbole, chums, their words. It is a reflection of my pathetically low self-esteem that I am both delighted by this and telling you about it.

Anyway, if, after all this, you are desperate to hear a man in his late thirties pretending to be on the radio, you can find me at But I am not worried if you listen or not.

Because I don’t think I care about my lisp any more.

For the attention of the man off of the radio

This was a “news in brief” in the Liverpool Echo in 2000.

A BAKERY has come up with the ultimate in unhealthy eating – the chip pie. The slimmer’s nightmare claims to be a whole meal in one go. In a break from pie tradition, the pastry case is filled with home-made chips and served without a lid. Its creator Duncan Edwards, of Edwards Bakery in Wigan, said: “We’ll have to wait and see if they sell out. I’m hoping they might become as popular as our meat pies.”

Heyyy, it’s the Zonf!

What follows below is a post from July 2008 from my old Graham Bandage blog, which I have unearthed following the announcement of Henry Winkler’s OBE…


I’m delighted to see that Henry Winkler, the Fonz from the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, has beentalking to children in schools about dyslexia.

That’s a winner, I think you’ll agree. Catchphrases like “Heyyyy” and “No way, Mr C” are all the rage on the playgrounds and schoolyards. Certainly that was my experience when I was a child.

It would be tremendous if Paul Michael Glaser, or Starsky off Starsky & Hutch, could be persuaded to give a talk on bullying. Perhaps Anna Karen, better known as Olive off On The Buses, could talk to them about teenage pregnancy.

I would shy away from any stranger danger talks by Gary Glitter, though.

I wonder if my many readers could suggest any other eye-catching 1970s celebs/PSHE combinations. By all means use the comment facility below.

Friday Swears

I was in a situation in which I was unable to do any swears. Several people on Twitter took advantage of my inability to cuss like a sailor by posting various un-swears.

Inspired by @TimWallington’s “Nubbin! Furtle!” I asked the people who follow me on Twitter to tell me which words they use when unable to swear.

I discovered that the word “bobbins” is quite common. The word “fudge” crops up quite a bit too.

I had to disqualify two groups of people. Those in blue submitted non-swears used by other people. These were good, but, sadly ineligible.

Those in red are people who, when they feel unable to swear, either combine milder swearwords, employ spoonerisms or homonyms, or just, basically, cry out the word “bugger!”


@Ita99 Pooheads

@lefeufollet Nerts.

@adjgreenhalgh bobbins

@titianred Lawks a mussy

@MagentaTP four fishcakes and an iced bun!

@DarrellKMorris Flipping Henry

@Sigyn fruit cake

@dinnerintatura Buggeration!

@Lise_79 faderullan

@Badger5000 knickersknackersknockers

@glamlovinkitty rollicking flumps

@jamestuomey Kunstler!

@stephjl Shostakovich!

@Mcfarlmo Twunt Poop Snark

@magmiffycent Numpty

@MrBoffly Plop

@jacrats JINGS!

@OmHeartMother crappy-poos!

@jimbobwoof Fart Knickers in Your Mess

@gerrymulvenna YIKES BODYKES!

@Annabel_Giles Lawks!

@katbrown82 “sugar” (said by mother)

@nick241274 Cunnybajango (said by old boss)

@teflongrl fiddlesticks!

@Ooopsydaisy OUTSPAN!!

@CorporateTurtle Pants

@stevencox2 Clegg


@arprice “Lawks-a-mussy, guv’nor!”

@talktoteens blimey

@kitschyanna pillock

@scaryduck ITV Player

@padster Oh, bumpers! (said by daughter, four)

@Paper_Polly buttocks

@miss_glor for faux sake

@Aitch_ess Scheisse mcflurrybum

@JimTheSG Jeezone

@LeanneBennett Frickety frickin’ frick!

@Jacquie27 Arsene Wenger

@duncanrpowell fish-hooks (said by mother)

@Underbundle Kinnell

@Shequeen Sueperkins

@BenedictFarse Womble batter

@Jon2T2 Flatubollygripstick

@beanobundle FIRKIT MIBBIX

@unthinkable27 he is a useless can’t

@Vivienneclore merkin codpiece

@Cornettofairy Fudgejanglingsquarkmonkeys

@Underted boight the boight?

@1755Dictionary Bumguts

@BertieBarber sugaration

@SimonSaunders77 BOBBINS

@Catherinelm fiddlesticks

@MadeUpDreamer oh bugger

@nickorton_ what the blinking flip!?

@possumpot Bumwinkle

@RobGilroy Jeebus Cripes

@TheMichaelMoran cocksocket

@RolandSparling Shog Off thou Custard Faced Loon

@Tokenpom God’s teeth!

@liese2711 fudge-mitten!

@twixtcupandlip Betty Swollocks

@mrpetermore Horlicks!

@Donut_Child Nurdles

@tweetwalia Bar Steward

@matriches Shirtbuttons

@fazeypie fudgewit

@richardkirke Swine Dog Pig Elephant Wombat

@QcattQ ballcocks

@Trancendance cucking funt

@oneeyednick jeepers creepers

@SlightlyCross Shine a light

@doonakebab Pants the size of Sussex with holes the size of Berkshire

@DribblingSidney Fargging Iceholes

@2wildniks oh poopy (used by sister)

@_amusebouche_ God’s HOLY TROUSERS (used by husband)

@titianred hells bells

@eskimummamosie tough noogins

@AndrewDipper Tinker

@Ukulesley monkey-fighting

@Mullies Bindlestiff

@TweetCashmore Fish Sticks!

@BazJitsu Fox ache

@alisongow Giddy Hump

@Mowgzilla bastroid

@marcpaterson Hillocks

@Orange_Monkey Sugar Puffs

@jo_the_hat He’s a wuckfit

@vivmondo Bumbags

@mtrh Ship ahoy!

@lydiajo Scrouth

@ScubeyToo Cheese ‘n Rice



The winner is @Jon2T2, whose “Flatubollygripstick!”, fulfils the criteria of not being a swear word, while having the fricatives and plosives of a satisfying swear. It also has enough syllables to cover a period of clutching one’s thumb after hitting it with a hammer.

Prize to be advised.


Friday Mugs Or Cups

I asked people on Twitter to post pictures of the mugs or cups they were using on Friday, September 2, 2011. Several people did, using the hashtag #fridaymugsorcups.

I have learnt a number of things as a result:

1) People are embarrassed by corporate mugs.

2) Some people do not know the difference between a mug and a glass.

3) Lockerz is the worst image-hosting site in the universe.

4) Do not ask people to post pictures of their mugs, because they will.



The mugs in the galleries above were sent in by: @_TomMcLaughlin, @Aerodynamix, @albiondumsday, @alparina, @andromedababe, @Andromz, @anfo_, @AnnOConnorITV, @arprice, @Badger5000, @benlarder, @Biltawulf, @carolinesweetie, @ClaraHara, @cork_head, @Cornettofairy, @cripesonfriday.


And @davverplatt, @DebsFurness, @DinosharkVsDom, @Donna_Gallers,@Donna_Tilling, @EddieRobson, @elbows_selbo, @ellaboheme, @emmyl00, @eskimummamosie, @EveVan100, @Finny23, @fluteman100, @frinster, @frizzychick, @gerryhayes, @gerrymulvenna, @GintyCarmichael.

And @hillyfoz, @JBBoardman, @JimtheSG, @jo_the_hat, @jokelly, @JTLovell1979, @KatyShuroo, @Kel2708, @KiddoLadyF, @lcdavis, @liese2711, @Lise_79, @littlemammy, @lola_spankcheek, @LordLard, @MadeUpDreamer, @maisiemaisie, @mandibles57, @Mark_Thomas, @mattfishwick, @mightytonka, @mike_rawlins, @moreMargot_more, @MuddledMama, @Mullies.

And @NickMB, @notthebad, @OldHallStrip, @Ooopsydaisy, @Orange_Monkey, @peacockpete, @PhilDaley, @philthD, @pixielation, @princessoinka, @RolandSparling, @sarahinrainbows, @sbl76, @scampinineteen, @serialfrenchies, @SharonMcG1971, @Shinybiscuit, @SHM5, @Sigyn, @snapperlane.

And @talktoteens, @teflongrl, @The_Trellis, @theglorymill, @TheMichaelMoran, @tilsit, @titianred, @TOther_Simon, @TreNightingale and @zanPHEE.