Uncle Bogler’s Dog

Uncle Bogler’s Dog

Watson: But the dog did nothing in the nighttime!

Holmes: Au contraire, Watson. The dog farted and snored continually, until I was obliged to lock it in Mrs Hudson’s pantry, where the confounded creature whined and scratched until daybreak.

Watson: Ah, my dear fellow. I had imagined that was you at the violin…


East Enders

New TV crime drama are looking for males of eastern European decent (sic) to play Thugs. You must be male, between 16yrs and 60yrs old, be of Eastern European decent i.e. Polish, Romanian, Russian, Albanian etc, must have easy access to Brighton. £92.00 – catering is provided throughout filming.

-Email alert from ‘Angel Stages’ casting website

The Belle was on time, trundling through the North Downs. Uniformed men fanned out through the rococo dining car, bearing silver salvers. Kippers for breakfast, again… Precisely between 16 and 60, he reflected, 44-year-old Boris Kriminalovitch stared out beyond the sooty window at the dank British countryside unrolling in the middle distance, his pale-blue, Eastern European male eyes giving nothing away. A curious cow stared back. Briefly, the Albanian-born chess grandmaster computed the economics of cattle rustling. Then his mind returned to the script he had been scent that morning. £92 was not a lot of money, better than the minimum-wage job on the building site in Peckham, that he had been doing on the black for a Russian businessman, the bastard; digging out his sub-basement. KGB for sure. Probably a mole… Free catering was a bonus, although the Borshtsch on that last job had been thin and watery, with barely a cabbage stalk in sight. And it was hard to eat while they were continually filming. So much for Austerity Britain, he sighed. You couldn’t even get a descent meal in peace..

“Dobry Outra!” came a familiar voice. Boris started. “Generic! Generic Viagra… well, I’m blowed. Fancy seeing you here! Are you auditioning too?” The Romanian smiled a thin, watery smile, surreptitiously slipping a small blue pill into the silver samovar on the table in front of them. Boris Kriminalovitch slumped in his seat, his male eyes glazing over… “Is that a blackjack in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?” grinned the Romanian, mirthlessly. “You absolute Thug!” Boris tried to speak, but his Eastern European mind was already dreaming of the onion domes and heavy flock wallpaper of the Royal Pavilion, that he would surely now never get to play.

Going virile

Well, here is looking up at you! I have definitely begun to go virile, with now eight (8!) new Comments in my Spam queue, only one of them from the annoying person who keeps writing at inordinate length to advise me how to improve my search-engine rankings, whatever they are, by using more ‘H’s, or something.

I am sure you are only hoping to do your best by it, Sir, but I shall use just as many ‘H’s in my writings as are required for the purposes of conventional orthography, not one more or less. Now go away, you impertinent baboon. Stay off the fermented fruit!

But how to make my little bogl more popular, to cash in on the second dot.com boom? It has been proposed to me by those in the know-how,  that I need to increase the dentistry of my ‘keywords’, to some intolerable proportion. Never mind. As an experiment, I shall now think of a ‘keyword’ and increase its dentistry ad nauseam.

And if I have not been Googled at least half a million times by tomorrow, the idea will be shown up as just another can of Spam, to which little hundsie and I have become quite partial. I especially enjoy twiddling the key! Here it goes, then:








BumBummyBumdiddyBumvv. Oh, yeah, bum. Bumdiddybumdiddybum.yeah.

Did you recognise it? That’s right, it was Tony Bennett! Millions of fans Google this famous Tweeter and his popular song lyrics, they will henceforth be driven to my bogl by my ‘keyword’ offensive and I shall become instantly an overnight virile sensation.

It’s no bummer, mate! as they say down  in Queensland.

Prof. Doktor Ernst P. Bogl (By Appointment)

I’ll take the light

Richard Dawkins on the BBC this morning.

I didn’t read his polemic against religion, The Blind Watchmaker, but I read about it. I thought he was missing the point. Just as Monty Python was meant to be funny but Margaret Thatcher famously didn’t get it, so the whole point of religion is to provide a framework for irrational beliefs, and the Supreme Rationalist, Dawkins wasn’t getting it!

Irrationality, I believe, has played a valuable role in developing intelligence, as without learning to think outside the box, we would never have developed a scientific mind. Questioning comes from a desire to make sense of things, and belief in gods and divine agency usefully fills the gaps in our understanding.

And how big are the gaps? When I read in New Scientist that the first stars didn’t start to shine for half a billion years after Big Bang, then they all came on, it sent a shiver down my spine. ‘In the Beginning, the earth was without form, and void. And darkness was on the face of the deep, and God said, Let there be light…’ Who knew?

Resorting to prayer is understandable, volcanoes and cancer are scary — but ultimately futile. God can’t hear you, it’s you doing it! As a boarder and chorister, I was dragged to church every schoolday for ten years. ‘Worship’ was led by otherwise intelligent men who seemed genuinely to expect us to believe their pathetic, medieval nonsense about babies and virgins and people flying up to Heaven.

Bogus authoritarians taking ruthless advantage of credulous simpletons, over a succession of councils in the 4th century the church came to a power-sharing accommodation with the Roman state that has persisted as a model of governance into recent times.

As the church has diminished as a credible authority in our new secular Britain, so the state has expanded once more to fill the vacuum. Where once the church sought to govern our behaviour through the often murderous imposition of shared social values and ludicrous dogma, now the state seeks through its repressive security apparatus to pry into our every action and thought, to regulate and criminalise normal human behaviour, to impose the brute rationalism of the market on the Heathen.

I’ll take the light over the dark, Richard, anyday. Just depends which you think it is.

The Maine bogl

I have just noticed while ‘taking a dump’ (as our American allies so charmingly put it) that my mud-bespattered blue trousers, that I have been wearing for a couple of months now, bear the legend ‘Maine, New England’ embroidered repeatedly around the waistband.

I continue to scan the trousers anxiously, but they yield no further information. I have never yet come across a pair of trousers that called themselves simply, ‘Y0ur Trousers’. Properly explanatory branding would certainly be more helpful, in the hurly-burly of a busy menswear department, than distracting shoppers with the minutiae of US geography. No, silly, those are River Island! Wouldn’t the discovery of trousers under the bed on a cold winter’s morning be more reassuring, if one could be in no doubt about the provenance of the garment?

I’m afraid I associate the name ‘Maine’ with only one thing. Come to think of it, they are cut in a rather unusual way, being fashionably roomy in the knee. Perhaps the word could attach itself to this particular style, like ‘hipsters’, or ‘jodhpurs’? One imagines young, fashion-conscious Americans eyeing one another critically, before pronouncing: ‘Hey man, cool lobsters!’

But what is one to make of underpants labelled ‘Urban Spirit’? I try leaping off the toilet, parkour-style, and land in a mess.

What goes down

This morning dawns one of those cold, crystal-clear September days we used to get before the banking crisis, the Arab Spring and the examinations grading row arrived to change the climate. The ending of the August doldrums and the return of Parliament almost gives one grounds for optimism.

My personal hopefulness count has further been raised by the arrival in my Spam queue of no fewer than four highly encouraging new messages. My Romanian colleague, Generic Viagra, writes most interestingly on the subject of Estate Agents, and the Law of Reciprocity. A clever way indeed, to suggest that one man’s demolition order is another man’s construction permit; or, what comes down, must go up.

Polish fans, Amedar Consulting thank me for my sweat. It’s my pleasure! Blogging keeps me warm, not to say hot under the collar, and the warm glow I get from such accolades as ‘magnificent site’ more than compensates for the loneliness of my self-appointed task. (I’m assuming they haven’t simply misspelled ‘magnificent shite’…)

Zelma from Albania writes ‘Great site’, and goes on to expatiate on the usefulness of the information herein. Thank you, Zelma. Please convey my regards to my old school chum, King Zog. And here, look, is a second message from Almedar Consulting, wondering how they ended up on my site, but expressing the view that I must be a famous blogger. ‘You may think that, I couldn’t possibly comment’!

If this carries on, experts tell me, I shall soon be keen to introduce a ‘paper-clip’ system that will enable me to sell interesting pop-up adverts to my loyal fanbase. Well done, all of you! Now a key player in the second dot-com boom, I depart for the bank armed with the confidence that recent importunate requests from my creditors can be responded to without quibble.

Recapitalisation is on the cards! Watch this cyberspace!

Stock criticism

Looking back over the months, I see that I have perhaps too frequently criticised DIY behemoth B&Q for being slow to reopen after the Great Extinction Event of Aberystwyth, 2012, which occurred on 9th June, when the nearby river rose and drowned the car park.

I must own up to a purely selfish motive. They had something I needed to buy, that I couldn’t find anywhere else, to finish a job in the garden. Whereas I have needed nothing from Currys/PC World, the other retail titan with a shed on the subaquaeous retail park, that I could not buy for half as much on Amazon, delivered to my door.

Which is just as well, as they have still not reopened after 11 weeks. An unimpressive handwritten note on a tatty cardboard sheet in the window informs us that a new ‘superstore’ will be opening ‘soon’.

Were I a shareholder of Dixons group, I would by now be nervously unloading my stock.


Apres nous, le deluge

On the morning of Saturday, June 9th, after a night of heavy rain, householders on the small estate  across the road from me awoke to find that the river Rheidol, swollen to record level, had managed to work its way around the high railway embankment between them and it, and was flooding their gardens and garages and, soon, their ground floor rooms; to a depth, it must be admitted, of only a few inches. No less alarming for that.

Fire crews had arrived, and were pumping furiously, to little avail. This went on for three days, even after the waters had subsided elsewhere, as the estate had been built, probably corruptly, in a low-lying flood catchment designed for the express purpose of holding the river back to prevent the town itself being inundated in case of a once-in-100-years event like this. It had done its job.

Today is Sunday, September 2nd, and most of the householders have still not returned to their homes. Some may never do so. The fear of disease carried in the muddy water, the mess, the upheaval of sodden chipboard floors, the smell of mouldering soft furnishings, the endless delays of insurance companies — for whatever reason, the people are no longer there, except on days like today, when they straggle back to view the dismally slow progress of restoration being carried out by whistling tradesmen from a seemingly unending armada of white vans, and to pile more useless and unwanted possessions in bags and skips on their front lawns.

It probably took less time to build the houses in the first place.

Quite a few of the people of Cockermouth, in Cumbria, and Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, driven from their homes by far more serious flooding in recent years, are still living in caravans, awaiting salvation. Whether because they were uninsured, or for whatever reason, they are refugees in their own communities, a warning to the rest of us of the impermanence of social institutions and the folly of possessions.

Here endeth the lesson.

Optimizing my organic search… in an aggressive, but controlled, way.

Hello, boglers!

Disappointed by the ‘paper-clip’ optimalism of this site, I’ve been on the Interweb all weekend, munching my way through thickets of recruitment copy. (Is there such a word as ‘jobivore’?) Writing, editing, bogling — anything, really. Needs must, and all that. It’s a difficult business nowadays. I won’t ask you to guess what the following short extract from an advertisement listed on Indeed under Editorial Jobs means, or what job it is describing. Mainly because I haven’t got a clue either. It is paying only £4k a year more than I remember earning as a copywriter in 1989. All that seems to have changed in 23 years is the law of gravity and the Universal Constant.

The ideal candidate will be a confident, analytical self-starter that is able to combine complex data and intuition for aggressive but controlled pay-per-click investments and take responsibility for growing performance. This position will also have a role in providing the team with reporting and insights specific to pre-defined SEO goals and metrics and assisting in the development of annual marketing plans.
Duties and Responsibilities:
*Create original content while including necessary keywords, titles and descriptions to improve the performance of our site.
*Review and analyze our website, identifying areas for improvement and change relative to SEO.
*Develop SEO content to include strategic key phrase placement within compelling copy that maximizes opportunities for indexing, ranking, click-through and conversion.
*Communicate findings and solutions in detailed written SEO strategy reports and in oral presentations to Marketing team….
*Executing keyword mapping strategy…..

And so it bogls on, and on, and on. What did we ever do, to deserve this?

(PS I have been gazing for an hour or two now at this appalling, ungrammatical mishmash of randomly distributed phrases and have at last realised that it is a cry for help! We are to get that the employer’s website is a pile of pants, they have fewer Comments on it than Uncle Bogler, and ‘Marketing team’ is a heap of groaning, hungover baboons who have been at the fermented fruit again. Your job is to move the Directors’ corpses around and arrange them defensively in the embrasures until the relief column arrives. Except there isn’t one. You are it…)