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» Political Correctness Gone Mad

Leave it to Ronnie Barker...
... and his classic sketch. Remember him in the half-suit-half-dress outfit?

(Seriously, would this be acceptable today? Even as satire?)


Good Evening.
I'm from the Ministry of Sex Equality. I'm here tonight to explain the situation man-to-man. Or as we have to say now, person-to-person. My name is Mr-Stroke-Mrs Barker. But I don't advise any of you to try it. Stroking Mrs Barker.

Due to this new law, no-one is allowed to be called male or female, man or woman. This has already caused a great deal of argument in Parliament, so they're all going for a parliamentary conference at Manchester, or as it's now called, Personchester. They will all stay in nudist colony and air their differences. Members only, of course.

But how does this affect you? Is it easy to become de-sexed? Well, it can be, and I represent the proof. At least, one half of me does. The other half represents the poof.

The first thing we have to realise is that for too long, women have been beneath men. Not only in the home, but in the office as well. There are many ways we can change that: vertical desktops, for instance.

Now, the main area of change, of course, will be in the language. The 'man in the street' will become the 'person in the street'; whoever you are, man or woman, you will be the 'person in the street'. Incidently when I was in the street the other day, I nearly fell down a personhole, so be careful.

Now, certain professions will have their names changed, from the chairperson of a large company down to the humble dustperson. Not to be confused, of course, with the famous film star Dustin Hoffperson.

Speaking of films, there will be special feature films made showing the equality of the sexes: already in production, a new musical called "Seven Persons For Seven Other Persons", starring Paul Newperson with choreography by Robert Helperson. Music by Person Divani and his orchestra.

Now, dress. Dress, of course, you won't be expected to dress like this *indicates himself*, this sort of costume is much too expensive. Half a nicker certainly doesn't cover it. Each person can, of course, choose what to wear as long as it includes the customary shirt, bra, underpants and handbag. Shoes can be black or brown, according to individual taste; I myself find black shoes taste rather better than brown ones.

Jobs too will be entirely sexless, with one or two obvious exceptions. 'What are they?' you may ask? You may ask, but I'm not going to tell you on this program. Here is a clue: They have jam on them and appear at tea-time. Now, a job must be open to either a whatsit or a whosit, that is, a member of either sex. For instance, certain advertisements will not be allowed. Now, I have one here, in the local paper, and it says, if I can find it, ah, yes:

"Bar staff required for western country pub, male or female, must have big boobs."

Of course, that won't be passed by the Ministry at all, what he should have said was:

"Bar staff required, male or female, must be attractive, in the Bristol area."

That would have got passed.

A recent idea by the Ministry to avoid confusion is to call a man a "Doings" and a woman a "Thingie". This offends noone, and makes conversation clearer. Thus we instantly recognise the book called 'Little Thingies', or the musical called 'My Fair Thingie', or the play by George Bernard Shaw called 'Doings and Superdoings'.

There are times, however, when it sounds better to stick to the word 'person', the "person in the street" is still better than the "doings in the street". That's something to look out for and steer clear of.

Finally, don't let this new law alter your life, after all, what's in a name? As the great John Fatpimble once remarked: "I know, whatever we're called, my dear thingie and myself will carry on as usual, wearing each others clothes, and that, however we, the people, are thought of by the Ministry, tonight, all over Britain, all those thingies and doings will be together in front of the fire, as usual."

Good night!
(Fri 23rd Nov 2007, 11:51, More)

» Terrible Parenting

Me, I'm afraid
You know how babies love being thrown in the air and caught? Brings them out in little squeals of laughter.

They love it even more if you're walking along as you do it ... unless you're walking through a door.

Mind the doorframe. It's lower than you think.
(Fri 17th Aug 2007, 12:53, More)

» Well, that taught 'em

It's a library not a pub
So many school stories .... clearly there is much repressed anger out there!

Anyway, our suffering at the local grammar school was mainly caused by a jumped-up piggy-faced little twerp of an English teacher. Returning in your 60s to teach at the school you attended as a teenager clearly says something about you, and in his case it says that he was a smug little git who thought he was God's gift to the English teaching profession.

This being a grammar school, the library was open at lunchtime and we used to use it. For it's proper purpose, sometimes. The only fly in the ointment (oinkment?) was this teacher, who was responsible for the library and therefore had a disconcerting habit of actually going there at lunch and strutting around generally puffing himself up.

Anyway, at the end of lunch he would announce "Time, Gentlemen, Please" (yes, t'was a boy's grammar school) in some form of highly witty and grandiose impression of a barman. Which we all thought was terribly funny and completely un-pretentious. Not.

So, one day, a young lad by the name of Bateman is in the library and fails to respond to the calling of time quickly enough to satisfy the little egomaniac. So what does he shout? At full volume? In a library?


Cue 100 or so lads falling about laughing and much loss of face.

(Anyway, he also lost my essay once, blamed it on me, and nearly made me fail an O level as a result, so 21 years later I wrote up his embarassment on b3ta to get my own back)
(Mon 30th Apr 2007, 15:48, More)

» Council Cunts

Bristol City Council .... home of the Mk 1 lazy council git
I used to believe that police officers were there to protect the law-abiding and arrest criminals, and that council staff were honest dedicated people whose vocation in life was to help the citizens of the local area.

OK, let's deal with council staff first. In 1991, I moved to a shared house in Bristol. After a while, the register of voters form arrived, so I filled in my details and left it out for the others to fill in. It soon vanished, so I assumed it had been sent off.

In April 1992, it was announced that there would be a General Election. I was a little suspicious that the form might not have been sent off, so I wandered off to the Council office to check. I was sent to a little serviing hatch which opening into the room where the dealt with the register of voters. It transpired that there were no voters registered at my address. Oh dear, says I.

"No problem" she says, "You can fill in this form to register". So I do, and I give her the form. "You won't be able to vote in the General Election, though", she adds.

"Oh? Why not?".

So she explains that you need to be registered as a voter for a full 6 weeks prior to an election, in order to avoid fraud. "But, its err, umm... [counts on fingers]... 8 weeks until the election??"

Ah hah .... but there is further cunning in her plan. You see, they allow us to put the form in whenever we want, but they keep them in a little box until they process them. Once a month. And they did it last week, so they won't be doing it again for another three weeks. Which will leave me with only 5 weeks to go. She showed me the box - it had about 4 forms in it, including mine.

"Why can't you just do an extra inputting session 6 weeks before the General Election??" Ah ... it seems that would be an extra effort and they can't stretch to that.

Too much effort ... this is four forms, once every four years. And it's not as if there is any extra work - they would just be doing it earlier than normal, not as well as other stuff.

She explained that they were really busy. As I mentioned, the hatch opened into the room ... allowing a view of the many people lazing around doing sod all. Hmmm... this is obviously the alternative definition of "really busy".

"Why can't you date the entry onto the Register from today?" Ah, that would be fraud apparently. "Why would it??" Because it would so there. She gave a look which said "This is a Council Office; kindly stop trying to think".

So one lazy git of a council worker refused me my democratic birthright because she couldn't be arsed to type my details into her computer within 2 weeks of me giving her the form.

And the police? Shall we just say that (a) I drive a car, (b) members of my family have been burgled, and (c) I have perceived a slight difference in the vigour with which plod has dealt with drivers vs burglars. Nuff said?

So, of my childhood beliefs there is only Father Christmas. I'd be grateful if you could break that one gently, please.

Length? About three weeks, apparently.
(Thu 26th Jul 2007, 14:53, More)

» Unexpected Good Fortune

Ahhh ... exam luck
Reminds me of my Geography O level. (Oh dear, that ages me... yes, I sat O levels not GCSEs...)

You know that air of stress and fear that hangs over an exam hall like a suffocating dull grey blanket? We all filed in, sat down, and were told to start. We all took one look at the map that we had to interpret, and in a flash, the blanket vanished. 100 sixteen-year-old faces lit up with optimism. Which few square miles of the UK had the exam board chosen? Yes, it was the small section of OS map centred on our school's coach house in Wales.

The same coach house that we had all stayed at several times. The same section of map that had therefore been used to illustrate every single bl00dy mind-numbing Geography lesson that we had had to suffer all those years. The one map extract that we could all draw with our eyes shut. Result.

Still only got a B, though.
(Wed 20th Sep 2006, 10:15, More)
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