Saturday, September 16, 2006

We're living la Dolce Rita


DEPRESSED at the news that the manufacturer of Airfix models had gone bust (no grandson of mine will now ever enjoy the vicarious thrill of filling a plastic Messerschmitt BF 109E with petrol, setting fire to it and throwing it out of the attic window while shouting "Gott in Himmell!"), I cleared off to Italy for a week to recuperate.

Perched in a very nice villa on top of a mountain I decided that a period of abstinence was necessary to prepare me for the trials and tribulations of the last days of the Blah Empire, so I was determined to avoid any news from home. No foreign copies of the Daily Mail, no flicking through the satellite channels in search of Sky News (although searching for programmes featuring stripping housewives was allowed) and no mobile phone. And it worked - to a point.

You see, news is now such an international language that it’s hard to escape its all-embracing grip. It started with the dogs. I should explain: the soundtrack of the Ligurian mountains is a chorus of chainsaws, scooters and dogs. At any time of the night or day you can always hear one of them in action.

The dogs work as a team. One will start barking far down the valley and gradually others join in. By the time the rabid hound in the villa next door has started hurling itself against the chain-link fence, the noise has grown into a constant howl. And it was through this medium that I started to receive messages from home. Don’t ask me how it works; it just did.

“The Sikh servant on the Camp coffee label has been allowed to sit down alongside his master,” howled the dogs. “Fred Elliot drops dead on his Coronation Street wedding day. “And you forgot to record the new series of The Sopranos, you numbskull.”

Occasionally a donkey would join in, usually with news of Gordon Brown.

I tried to explain this phenomenon to the wife, but only received a strange look and a comment about how badly I’d needed the break. Listen, if it’s a good enough way of rescuing missing Dalmatian puppies, it’s good enough for me.

SO THIS villa shared a pool with the house next door and there I was the other morning, doing a few lazy laps, when this Italian bloke came out and stood watching me. He was slim, muscular and had his hair seriously Brylcreemed (or hair-gelled for you younger readers). He was the colour of Ron Atkinson’s missus and was wearing a pair of those Speedo things. And a sneer … a real snidey sneer.

I suppose you can’t really blame him. He sees this flabby, fifty-something, pasty-faced English bloke in greying boxers, trying to keep his fag dry while doing the breast stroke, and immediately sees himself as superior in every way. Except I was of sterner stock; the grandson of a Monte Cassino veteran.

So I flicked my ash in the pool, gave this fella the Hard Look and watched him just melt away. Back in the house, still searching for the stripping housewives, I came across a documentary marking the fact that it was 63 years to the day since the Italians surrendered in the Second World War…

THE Ligurian coast is where Dante wrote much of his masterpiece The Divine Comedy, the epic poem that is regarded to be the first major work of the Renaissance, in which he detailed at length the nine Circles of Hell.

Having experienced the nightmare that is the car hire desk at Pisa airport, I can quite understand this. One hour, 50 minutes to fly from England; two and a half hours to get the keys to the pre-booked, pre-paid Fiat Punto. There were hundreds of Tuscan tourists, rapidly falling out of love with the Italy that they’d been lauding at dinner parties for the past 50 weeks. The Tenth Circle, if ever there was one. And that was without the men wearing those appalling three-quarter length trousers and sandals with socks.

DID I tell you that I’d been on holiday? One thing the Italians get right is food, and I was delighted to find that a local speciality was Ravioli di lardo di Colonnata. That’s ravioli (not from a tin) stuffed with … wait for it … lard. Yes, lard. Not the vile Polish stuff that you get down your local Aldi, but real proper lard, cut from the back of an acorn-fed pig and so revered that they throw the meat away and just keep the fat.

We’ll not even mention the kilo block of top quality Parmesan smuggled back in the hand baggage (£4) or the fantastic fennel bulbs (90p) that put the domestic version to shame.

SO THERE
we are at the ridiculously overcrowded airport on the way home. Over a thousand white, middle-aged, middle class English couples, waiting for their cheapo flights home. And one, solitary, 20-year-old Moroccan lad, who chose to come and sit next to me. Not only that, he then began muttering to himself, quietly wailing, holding his head in his hands and obsessively tying and retying his shoelaces.

Every single liberal eye in the terminal was turned upon us, suspicion as naked as it comes. So what do you do? I engaged him in schoolboy French and asked him where he was flying to. It turned out to be Rome, and his plane had been delayed by a “technical fault”.

End of story. He wasn’t on my flight, so I didn’t give a toss if he was wearing dynamite shoes or not.

THE HEALTH
and Safety Nazis have had a stormer, with the city council in Bristol deciding to ban doormats in tower blocks because they pose a “tripping risk” in the event of a fire. Consequently, anyone not remove these lethal items from their doorsteps by Monday face immediate confiscation action from the Doormat Police.

Have you been to Bristol? Trust me. You’re more likely to be shot dead by a crack-dealing Yardie than you are to trip over an errant doormat. Good to know that someone, somewhere, has got their priorities right.

THIS MAY seem harsh, but if you’re living in Manchester’s Moss Side on a road known as Wild Western Street because of the incidence of shootings, you could do better than call your son Jesse James.

I am also bound to ask what this poor 15-year-old lad, whose brother is currently doing time for firearms offences, was doing out on his bike at 2.40am. An early paper round, perhaps?

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone not rejoicing at the news that Bovril has returned to using beef stock again, of anyone who can understand why a blind driver (and we're talking no eyes at all here) has been ordered by a court to take a driving test as part of his sentence, or of anyone who thinks that fining cyclists £2,000 for not having a bell on their bikes is unreasonable. Let's face it, if the bastards weren't riding on pavements, there'd be no need, would there?

18 Comments:

Anonymous Black Dog said...

Welcome back, Bazza. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Italy. You know, I was rather hoping that you'd tell us that Italy was some last bastion of common sense, as opposed to the lunatic asylum the UK has become.

Anyone read the news that (fat) women were taking orders for lunchtime meals from their (probably) fat kids so they wouldn't have to eat the healthy stuff served up at school? Admittedly, this was Rotherham, but still.

I remember my childhood. Just. I think what stood out most was not what we ate (although we did tend to eat better in that most of it was home cooked, though it wouldn't conform to the ciabatta and chorizo munching class's standards of "healthy"), but rather how much more exercise we got. Near where I live there is a pretty large piece of woodland. Despite going there just about every day with my dog, I've never seen children there. The place would have been a magnet to kids when I were a lad.

Much of it is down to the feminising of British culture. Everyone knows that yer average woman is a paranoid creature who sees danger everywhere. Boys at schools are having any sense of masculinity taken away from them. No competitive games, no boisterous behaviour, even football games take place with a soft foam ball, (yes, foam. Like the one you'd wash your car with). Boys these days seem to prefer sitting inside a classroom, even when it's no pissing it down. How times have changed, but no wonder they're so lardy. They'd end up that way even if you fed them a wartime diet.

It's time for us to wrest control of this damned country back from the legions of jobsworths and gravy train travellers. Let's face it: if you work in an "industry" which is set to tackle, say, obesity in kids, you'd have a vested interest in making sure that you DON'T fix the problem too well, wouldn't you?

6:23 AM  
Anonymous sammy the sailor said...

Welcome home, we've missed you, you're a STAR!

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'll will normally be a cold day in hell for me to feel sorry for the old witch but read this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5353174.stm

How the f*ck are the officials from the Child Protection in Sport Unit? Why does the NSPCC have a tax free income of £83 million? Isn't it time charities were put under greater scrutiny? It's just one big gravy train looking for non-exsistent problems to solve.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Just read it before coming here and thought the same. Fucking ridiculous even the boy's (if you can call him that at 17)mother said "what had happened between Mrs Blair and her son was a light-hearted exchange.
She said: "I have absolutely no idea why it all blew up. It just seems totally bizarre.
We couldn't believe it when the police got involved. I don't know who complained."

12:07 AM  
Blogger tony b.liar said...

Nice to read that the tone of comments has improved dramatically since the return of good old Black Dog. Dare I say that his remarks are rather more "intellectual" than some of late...

The general tenor seems to be that the UK has become a refuge for the Health & Safety Nazis, jobsworths,gravy train merchants and our dear Mr Blah's Turkey Army. Dead right, but why?

Look no further than our best friends and staunch Allies against turrur - the dear old Septics. Our current lunatic PC state of the UK is by and large the result of us slavishly adopting the madness of ambulance-chasing layers and litigants that the US has become. And of course, it doesn't stop there, whether you dislike and bemoan MacDonalds and Starbucks, the sad thing is that they are over here in a big way. Like them or loathe them, the French have got it right: they champion their own culture, food, arts and way of life, and basically tell the US to sod off. I wish we would do more of that here, but with Bliar in Bush's pocket, fat chance.

You were perhaps too late to catch the latest bout of Islamopopophobia, Bazza. In my view the Pope told it like it is - Islam is an inherently violent religion and has always been so.

Last but not least, Bazza, you missed the story about the [straight]Firemen in Glasgow who declined to promote the City's
"Gay Pride" parade and were promptly disciplined [and in one case suffer a big pay cut] for having "homophobic attitudes" and ordered to attend "diversity training". Lunacy, what lunacy???

4:56 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Well Tony I certainly agree with you on the firemen issue - I have had a few arguments on different forums and local websites. It is P.C. gone mad.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not diversity training... it's brainwashing... pure and simple!

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam a violent religion ? Surely some mistake...In Indonesia and Iran muslims called for a 'day of anger' and in Somalia muslims shot dead an Austrian nun...that ought to dispel any doubt

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer to all this "unpleasantness" with Muslims is very simple. If we want the violence to stop, then we must convert. I've heard a number of Muslim spokesmen say this. So there you have it. You silly westerners could call a halt to it all tomorrow. All you have to do is subjugate your women, ban alcohol, put a muzzle of free speech, suspend elections, live in poverty and do as you're told. Then Bob's your proverbial uncle. Sounds fair to me.

3:37 AM  
Blogger sky_dog said...

Bazza you old sod ! Haven't missed you for a moment ... mainly because I was offski for a fortnight too, attending the wedding of my niece to a Turkish lad (they've been married two years already but decided to have the 'official' do when I was available to be milked, can't fault the buggers really) Try getting a block of lard in a Dalaman supermarket mate, it's rarer that pork pies at Jewish weddings ... and a bacon sarnie? Forget it. Arrived home this morning clutching my DF fags and booze and immediately headed for Tescos high cholesterol cooler......... drooling like Homer.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

The answer to all this "unpleasantness" with Muslims is very simple - go to war!
After all we are taught to be diplomatic and that fighting is wrong right up to the point where governments find that the talks have been exhausted and there is no other option but to get involved in a good old scrap.
Let's see how the bastards compete when it is one-to-one instead of sneaking about flying planes into building.
Gung Ho Gung Ho!
(This unofficial motto of the US Marine Corps is an abbreviation for the Mandarin Gongye Hezhoushe, or industrial cooperative. The term was used in China, starting in 1938, to refer to small, industrial operations that were being established in rural China to replace the industrial centers that had been captured by the Japanese. The phrase was clipped to the initial characters of the two words, gung ho (or gung he, as it would be transliterated today), which means "work together." This clipping became a slogan for the industrial cooperative movement.

Enter Lt. Col. Evans Carlson, US Marine Corps. Carlson was a military attache in the US embassy to China in the late-30s. In China, Carlson reported on both the operations of the Chinese army in the field as well as the country's industrial capacity and was favorably impressed by the industrial cooperatives. When he returned to the States and the US entered WWII, Carlson was appointed commander of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. Recalling his time in China, Carlson chose gung ho as the motto for his elite battalion and by late 1942 was widely adopted throughout the Marine Corps as an expression of spirit and "can do" attitude. Just in case you did not know)

10:56 PM  
Anonymous sammy the sailor said...

A very good US friend of ours, a former USMC Colonel was on holiday with us. I asked him about the Gung Ho! expression which we have all heard of. He looked totally blank and had no clue at all. He had never heard it and certainly didn't know it was coupled with his 'organisation?'.

Says something, but I'm not sure what.

Thanks for the lesson Jim.

1:00 AM  
Blogger kris said...

Barry said: "I am also bound to ask what this poor 15-year-old lad, whose brother is currently doing time for firearms offences, was doing out on his bike at 2.40am. An early paper round, perhaps?"

Gee mom, do you think it's tempting fate that your son might die in a shootout if you name him Jessee James?

Bazza, I see, despite your holiday, you remain a cynic.


A poem for you:

http://anotherbloodygrumpycopper.blogspot.com/2006/09/slough.html

9:43 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Kris all I get is:
Not Found

The requested URL was not found on this server. Please visit the Blogger homepage or the Blogger Knowledge Base for further assistance.

11:49 PM  
Blogger pykesmullet said...

Hi good to read you again.
Have you anything to do with www.derekpyephotography.com as there is a comedic likeness.
On the muslin corner. There is only a problem If we allow there to be one. As a society built on tolerence and understanding, with these good people invading, haveing no tolerence of anything outside of their beliefs, may I venture giving them what they seek? If they do not like what or how we do things here, then bugger off. Who cares If they believe they go to heavan and have eighteen virgins, they would be bloke virgins anyway, and I do`nt see the attraction. Although I dare say our Elton would. Is he a muslin ?
Door matts are leathal. My ex wife said she was one and she made my house dissapear.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Pykesmullet me old mucker you need to lay off the cooking sherry before posting.
Have you ever noticed that two men shopping (together) at any major supermarket always look like fucking poofs?

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Diz Lexxie said...

These muslins are a strain on our society *titter*

3:55 AM  
Blogger kris said...

Jimmy

The poem is called "Slough" and appropo this discussion

http://anotherbloodygrumpycopper.blogspot.com

PC Bitseach just started this blog so Slough is near the top.

6:44 AM  

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