Friday, 30 January 2009


"... is the luxury of a gluttonously overindulged society."

- AA Gill

Thursday, 29 January 2009

In Sainsbury's

... I bought:

Tuna, 125g
Semi-skimmed milk, 1pt
'Taste the difference' green beans, 1pkt
Condoms, extra safe, 12
'A balanced diet,' I thought.

'A rapist with a cat,' thought Lordina the check-out girl.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Spam of the day

It simply reads:
Improve the quality of your life
Am unable to establish at this stage if it is an offer, a challenge or a demand.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Books bought... UPDATE

Readers - especially those of the female persuasion expecting to be taken to the movies, bought dinners and/or paid rent - will be delighted to know that I have now read two of these (The Browning Version and Our Country's Good), most of a third (the Gill) and a chunk of a fourth (Gaddis). A fifth (The Philsophy of Christmas) will be featuring in a forthcoming piece on Christmas round-robins.

That is all.


"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and
- Erasmus
[Thanks to Wonder Books and Video ('Recycling millions of books since 1980'), one of "10 great places to buy books", according to USA Today]

The joy(s) of text

On my phone - a Sony Ericsson W850i (for the tech geeks out there) - an attempt to write 'foolproof' manifests as 'foolprone'.

'Rejected' as 'selected'.

Ain't language grand?

Point of Information

Tuborg Green...

... isn't.

Someone call the Trade Descriptions police.

Monday, 26 January 2009

All's at steak

So thank everything you consider holy for AA Gill:

Steak is aspiration. Steak is the promise of better to come. Steak is capitalism on a plate, it's bloody muscle and it tastes of sweat and gore and burnt ambition. There is nothing hidden in a steak...

Friday, 23 January 2009

Science LATEST

Common cold, cancer, etc.: Still no cure.

Bus perched over canyon at end of The Italian Job: Solved!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Employment LATEST

As jobless figures continue to rise, some lucky bastards get to fiddle figures as their jobs.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Loved to pieces

Love in (3) Parts, at the Southwark Playhouse.

Domine labia mea aperies...

"A song about liberals we can't stand"

OK, so our Americans cousins still aren't too hot irony. But if you'd like reassurance that TRB do have SOME discernible sense of humour, check out 'The List' and 'Stop Global Whining'.

Alternatively, this slightly more thoughtful version of 'Bush Was Right'.

Diet of Wurms

Last night, between 11pm and 3am, I ate:

1 Bacon Double Cheese super size meal (fanta)

Sausages (3), mash/champ and kale

Weetabix (3), with cream, raisins and chocolate powder


at least 8 cups of tea.
Anyone know the precise symptoms for tapeworm?


... maketh not the man.

But they tend to help with first impressions.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Overheard in NatWest

"You should get a bonus £80 this winter because it's been minus zero."
And writ slightly smaller in this Socratic banter:

"I'm a little bit naughty with electric lights."
Pensioners, innit. The mind reels.

The Libertarian Paradox

1) Rules are there to be broken.

2) There is an exception to every rule.

"I learned a new word today, Basie...." - 7

prawn, n. "a fit but ugly bird. Good body, but you need to pull the head off."

AA Gill, The Times.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Hollywood Actor Tries to Gyp Death

Wayne's World, 1992

Somewhere, in an attic, there's a poster of Rob Lowe, getting older... autographed by the Devil.

West Wing, 2006*

* The Amnesiac Review also has it on good authority that Lowe has a 'W' fixation.

SPAM du jour

"increase your llove stick"
Courtesy of one Dinkens Hensler.

Sounds Amish.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Rock 'n' Roll

Aerosmith have cancelled a gig in Venezuela after guitarist Joe Perry developed "unforeseen complications" with his replacement knee.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Reviewing the Noughties - 1

According to the people who completely ballsed it up, from a security standpoint, the noughties have been a complete balls-up.

The collapse of General Motors explained

They spent every last cent on one car.

Breaking News

Perhaps taking our publishing handle a tad literally, a dear friend of the Amnesiacs recently confided that he has "an aunty called Mike Hunt."

Now, hands up who thinks the unfortunate moniker - "that's ellision, kids!" - is the weirdest part of that whole revelation...

[Thanks to PC]

You should be reading...

"Do not be alarmed. The man who gave you this note is an air raid warden. Lie down on your back and do what he says."

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Books bought today in a poverty-stricken frenzy

The Rush for Second Place and Other Writings - William Gaddis

Table Talk: Sweet and Sour, Salt and Bitter - A.A. Gill

The Ruin of Kasch - Roberto Calasso (trans. William Weaver and Stephen Sartarelli)

The Xmas Files: the Philosophy of Christmas - Stephen Law

The Browning Version - Terence Rattigan

Our Country's Good - Timberlake Wertenbaker*

The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas

Thin Ice - Alan Ford**

Total: £30

Yes, I have a problem. No, I don't plan to deal with it.

* WHAT a name!
** Yep, Brick Top.

"advanced in age With the fear of God"

I never thought I'd actually get one of these. I'm so chuffed.

Dr. Victor Mensah,
Regional Manager,
Zenith Bank Plc,
No, 1 Ring Rd,
Accra, Ghana.

I got your contact during my search for a reliable, honest and a trust worthy person to entrust this huge transfer project with.My name is Dr. Victor Mensah,I am the Regional manager of the above mentioned Bank In the western region of Republic of Ghana.

I am a Ghanaian married with two kids.I have contacted you so that this transaction can benefit the both of us, knowing you are advanced in age With the fear of God, but if you are not willing to get involved in the Deal, do not REPLY THIS MAIL, as you will never hear from me again.

I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of Us$12,500.000.00.This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit during the last year. I have already submitted an approved end of the year report for the year 2008 to my head office Here in
Ghana and they will never know of this excess. I have since then, Placed this amount of US$12,500.000.00 on a suspense account without a beneficiary.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus; I am compelled to request your assistance to receive this money into your bank account.

I intend to part 40% of this fund to you while 60% shall be for me. I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It is going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need is for you to stand as the original depositor of this fund.

If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response.Note that you are free to come to Ghana for confirmation.

With Regards,
DR. Victor Mensah
'Mensah'? That's neat...

This explains A LOT

Excess coffee linked to hallucinations

Credit Crunch latest

We're all getting pissed.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Aliens will never come in peace

That's rule #1 regarding alien invasions.

But the Ministry of Defence clearly hasn't seen Independence Day, or Mars Attacks, or that 50s movie when Martians disguise themselves as cabbages and take over the world:

Dozens of residents claimed to have seen bright flashing spheres is the skies near Louth, Lincolnshire, where a 290ft turbine was mangled in a mystery collision.

One woman said she saw the an object fly towards the wind farm, while others described the lights as being linked by "tentacles", leading locals to dub it the octopus UFO.

Robert Palmer, chairman of East Lindsey District Council, was among the dozens of people who reported seeing strange lights in the sky in the evening before the incident. Another witness, John Harrison, described looking at the farm out of his window and seeing "a massive ball of light with tentacles going right down to the ground".

The Ministry of Defence said that it did not investigae [sic] UFO sightings unless there was evidence of a potential threat to the UK.
I'm off to Tesco's to stockpile tins of baked beans (add a little cajun spice for a nice kick), which I will then throw at the aliens if they try and launch a land invasion.

My fellow amnesiac is currently embroiled in advanced weapons training at Her Majesty's expense (cue jokes), so I'll leave it to him to die first in a blaze of glory.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


In buying a tweed jacket I was, of course, fully aware of the risk - despite my tender years - of looking like a History teacher.

What I hadn't appreciated was that I'd end up looking like my mother's History teacher.

Mr Byrne, his name was.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

On Rimbaud

"An avenging angel... is much the same thing as a devil."
- Peter Ackroyd

"I learned a new word today, Basie" - 6

hypogonadism, n. technical term for defective plums.

[Thanks to House, series 1, episode 12, 10m58.]

Medical Warning

To all kit men of the golfing persuasion.
Playing with 'ping' clubs can cause tinnitus, according to a new report in the British Medical Journal.
Turns out the King Cobra LD titanium driver emits a report louder than that of a gun. And is for cheats.

So, all in all, it serves you right, really. You flash wankers.

Monday, 5 January 2009


On Saturday, I bought a tweed jacket in my local charity shop.

Fashion-wise, I admit, it's something of a gamble.

But for the undying love of my NIrish mother, it's a steal at 6 quid.

Right up your Avenue.

Avenue Q, at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Confucius, he should have said...

Don't have a garden that needs gardening unless you also have a gardener.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Three things everyone should know about Alistair Cooke

1) At Cambridge, he told James Mason (yes, as in "in this movie the voice of God will be played by...") to stick to Architecture.

2) Charlie Chaplin was supposed to be his Best Man.

3) His family secretly scattered his ashes in Central Park... but not before thieves stole his bones and sold them to a biomedical company.

Citizenship advice

Never renounce your British nationality.

When they knight you, no-one will be allowed to call you "Sir".

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Norodom Sihanouk

The Amnesiacs are grateful to the Idler magazine for bringing to our attention the colourful history of former King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.

In 'Holiday in Cambodia' (Idler 35), Julian Watson - an educationalist (and writer, evidently) based in Phnom Penh - provides some important context:

"The Prime Minister learned that King Norodom Sihanouk had abdicated in favour of his ballet-dancing son, Prince Norodom Sihamoni, by reading a message on the king's own website [see Wikipedia link, above] telling his indifferent people that he found the responsibilities of being head of state too irksome."
He also points out that the newly enthroned King Sihamoni has spent the past thirty-five years living ("dancing") in Paris, but has "promised to come back for Royal Ploughing Day every year."

10 Best Ways for a Man to Impress a Woman

1) You can't. Don't bother trying.
2) ...
3) ...

Still, for those readers keen to wish away the truth here's some really inspiring stuff from The Independent, this nation's paper for big and important issues.

Friday, 2 January 2009

In my father's house are many curmudgeons

Congrats to Tom Townshend, author of 'Worst Songs of the Year - 2008', for bringing the term "earworms" to MSN readers everywhere, and for penning the immortal line "If Dig Out Your Soul were a dog, the RSPCA would encourage you to shoot it in the face."

That said, I can't help but feel he's a little hard on Beyoncé's 'If I Were A Man' (nice use of the conditional there):

"Roll out of bed in the morning / And throw on what I wanted / And go drink beer with the guys... I would turn off my phone / Tell everyone its broken / So they think that I was sleeping alone..."
... is a perfectly reasonable reflection of the male half of the species. Or at least a decent summary of their aspirations.

[Thanks to KJW.

NB I do not read MSN sites...]

Purpose Of Bicycles Discovered!

Classicfm news

Classicfm's chief news reader, Jay Vydelingum, cannot pronounce the names of the Sri Lankan President (Mahinda Rajapakse), or of the Tamil stronghold of Killinochchi.

If you're from South Asia this is wery funny.


Newly-published archival materials reveal that among the 22,000 items Hemingway left behind him at Finca Vigia were several "half-finished bottle of gin and whisky."

Gotta say, the old boy's gone down in my estimation...


To midgets?