Thieving Romanian bastards

(absolutely nothing to do with cricket alert)

I had a missed call from an 0845 number after work yesterday, and a voicemail. When I listened, it was from my bank, NatWest, who asked me to call back on a special number. So I did, confirmed my date of birth and other stuff and was told by an automated machine that some thieving git in Romania had tried to withdraw £205. And failed!

The whole affair took about 15 minutes to sort out. The money’s still in my account, the card’s been automatically stopped and a new one is on its way. Best of all, the thieving Romanian bastard is not nearly as rich today as he expected he would be.

Not often I have need to praise a bank…

Pommy bashing gets the green light

The political correctness sheep haven’t yet grazed cricket’s many pastures of weird idioms and phrases. Not yet. And before I go on – is that the most bizarre metaphor I’ve ever written? Yup.

In English, what I meant to say was Cricket Australia have given the term “pom” (and its derivatives) the all clear, in the wake of yesterday’s clamping down on racism by the thumb-twiddlers in Dubai. It’s terrific news allround. I personally don’t give a hoot if an Aussie calls me a pom; quite the contrary. I’m sure every England cricketer is proud to be a “pommy bastard” and a “dirty little pommy scumbag” or whatever else the Australians will bleat at them this winter. In this age where even the trusty manhole cover is cowering in fear from the political correctness giant (New Labour: new words), it is terrific that cricket is just about escaping his all encompassing snare.

On similar lines, my Mum’s old boss – a terrific person, the lead in her field (rheumatology) and a remarkably resilient character – reminded me of society’s pathetic pandering to equality. I got to know her really well, and ended up working with her at the NHS for a while; although a senior consultant, revered by everyone and frightening medical students due to her authority, we got on like a house on fire. But even she, when I cheerily asked “So then Miss Chairman, how was the meeting?”, retorted furiously with “It’s ChairPERSON, Will”. I put my hands up (without coming to the party) – a fair point, and I respected her too much to disagree. But nevertheless, how pathetic it is that these words and phrases are taken so bloody seriously these days. I’m seeing it from a bloke’s angle, and I’m sure most girls don’t squirm when they drive over a manhole cover, not a womanhole cover or personhole cover.

Anyway, back to the poms. The term pom is permissible but only if it’s not preceded or followed by something which would be considered obscene. In short, pommy bastard could yet be made extinct – not to mention the more colourful variations (remember Katich?).

But for now, let’s just enjoy the insults.

Scotland’s poor smokers

Yes it kills you. Yep, it’s bloody expensive and lulls you into a fall sense of unbridled satisfaction. It smells, it lingers, it stains. But it’s our/their/your right. Pity Scotland and her happy smokers, for today marks the beginning of the end.

I know it’s wrong. In fact, me and a mate were accosted by an elderly drunked in the pub the on Friday who had, after 50 years of puffing, finally given up. Well done that man. I usually resent the preaching of recently-quit smokers, but his insistence was too pressing. Much of his ramblings were incomprehensible, no doubt fuelled by another equally wonderful poison, but he did make one useful observation: smoking is the biggest con around. It is. And we’re all the more pathetic for it. However ridiculous as it sounds – and I tell my brother this on an almost weekly basis – we enjoy it!

As I lit up another one, and supped on my beer in a remarkably cheap pub which does beer for £2.80, it got me thinking. 2006 will be the year I quit – it will – but nevertheless, I despise the nanny state and dictatorship we live in. Maybe the government are covering their arses for the eventual influx of law suits (“no one told me it would kill me!”) from society’s gluttonous creatures. Nevertheless, it makes me angry that someone in government can tell us – law-abiding, polite, hard-working tax-payers – not to smoke.

Oh, and by the way, the bars housed on the Thames in Parliament are exempt from the upcoming ban on smoking; those very same minions will happily puff on their cigarettes while the rest of us suffer in the stupifaction of better health and a nicotineless existence.

Yes it’s bad, but it’s also our choice. Meanwhile, Jacques Kallis has just hit his 24th hundred (vain attempt to make this rant related to cricket, which it clearly aint)

Apologies, shan’t rant about non-cricket matters here again.

The murder of Lauren Pilkington-Smith

Only a tenuous link to cricket – the murder of this poor girl, who had been playing cricket in the summer. We live in a sickeningly awful world, don’t we?