Kingswinford Alterantive Guide
Kingswinford Ralphs Surf Shack


Over the years, Kingswinford's Captain Lazonby Threpwell III has been providing invaluable advice for the lost and bewildered folk of Kingswinford. Please select a topic from the left to read the Captain's comments.

The Sun Never Sweats

Dear Captain

Do you think, like I do, that aliens designed the round building in Townsend Place?

Respectfully yours,

Humphrey Kino

I'd like to begin by saying that nobody thinks like I do. But isn't it true that nobody thinks the same as anyone else? Don't think about that too much, or you, I promise you, will go mad. Nothing wrong with that of course, but when you wake up in Bungalow 6 of Ridge Hill, or 'Happy Valley' as I like to call it, covered in your own excrement whilst being forced to watch the pilot episode of Diagnosis Murder featuring Dick Van Dyck on eternal repeat - well, it's no bloody picnic I can tell you.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your emails, letters and messages of concern. For some reason, people think I have died, disappeared or somehow tired of writing. Nothing could be further from the truth, but many thanks for your thoughts - I'm sure some of you have been scouring the Express and Star for my obituary, next to small ads in which people are trying to sell Action Man ski goggles, but I have to tell you, courtesy of the words of Lee Perry, that 'he who lives, shall never die'.

I don't normally do this, but I thought I'd do a quick fire set of answers to some of your questions, just to satisfy your hunger for the truth:

Q. What is the best Bond Film?
A. Live and Let Die of course - pimp chic 007.

Q. Who invented Blu-Tac?
A. Geezer Butler

Q. What is your Christian name?
A. " "

Q. What is your favourite drink?
A. Batham's Invisible Mind Limiter

I veer off the subject. The round building in the precinct is an iconic symbol of Kingswinford and deserves a far dignified use than being a retail outlet run by the gang of hoop-earringed, chain-smoking, dog-haired covered gypsy fridge-pushers that currently occupy the property.

Despite its modern appearance, the building is actually over one hundred and fifty years old, a fact that Dudley Archives have consistently refuted despite my donation of the original, fully annotated designs. These are the same imbeciles who continually refuse to become involved in restoring my collection of Moroccan monkey pornography, citing that it is 'utterly obscene, not in the public interest and in any case, we haven't got any Betamax or Philips 2000 video players'.

My great aunt, Harriet Lazonby-Threpwell, designed the building in question. A pioneering artist, architect, textile designer and hopeless drunk, Harriet was the toast of London society by the age of ten, having massed a large fortune from the sale of the world's first patented horse toilet. Following this early success, she apparently descended into a world of puppetry, soothsaying all-dayers and heavy bouts of absinthe imbibement. I'm told that she was also fond of dressing like a medieval jester and could often be found screaming obscenities and speaking in tongues in local churchyards. During funerals.

I have in my possession a wealth of material that points to her undoubted genius as both an inventor and architect. For example, in one of her sketchbooks there is a design for a steam driven network of pipes that are intended to cover the entire surface of the earth. Each pipe is interconnected, the theory being that books, letters or hand-tinted photographs of naked milkmaids could be transported at great speed between countries across the globe.

Small megaphones were to be mounted in public houses, private houses and institutions, allowing individuals, communities and the entire world to communicate in a robust, shouting manner, rather like Brian Blessed does in Flash Gordon. Given that this fantastical design was committed to paper in 1864, it is clear that these spaghetti-like doodles and the indecipherable, rambling notes that accompany them are none-other than the original plans for the Internet.

I must say, however, that my attempt to have my aunt credited with the invention of the World Wide Web was thrown out by the US Supreme Court in 1998. The vast legal expense of this unsuccessful class action meant that I was declared bankrupt for the tenth time. Worse still, I had to suffer the humiliating comments dealt out by Judge Charles Mingus:

"This is the most utterly futile case in US legal history and there is clear evidence that Captain Lazonby-Threpwell is either mentally unstable, a heavy drinker or is suffering from a complex series of personality disorders. Despite employing the services of several professional archivists based at Dudley, England, there is not one shred of evidence that anyone called Harriet Lazonby-Threpwell ever existed. In terms of these so-called plans, lab reports prove that the paper used dates from 1985, a fact confirmed by the presence of a logo reading 'Bulldog Motor Spares, Brierley Hill'.

My Aunt also left a series of sketches that clearly feature the round 'capital building'. Intriguingly, it appears that what we see in Kingswinford is merely the most visible part of a larger construction, the majority of which is underground. I recently tried to gain access to this network of catacombs via a simple enquiry at the trade counter in the building. A bored, teenaged tinker girl was on duty and evidently took exception to my enquiry about "looking around the back for a hole".

Within three minutes of my good-natured enquiry, a large transit van arrived, which I suspect didn't have any road tax or insurance. Three large men with faces like knuckles emerged from the rear and proceeded to hit me around the head and body with short lengths of washing machine hose.

They then took me on a terrifying midnight ride to Highgate Common whilst playing a mixture of opera and Italian Death Metal at me, presumably to disorientate me. Of course, I've been through far worse than anything these dirty Micks could hand out - I escaped from Stalag Saft 15 in Budapest.

Needless to say, I drew a blank with my enquiries, but I am convinced that this subterranean network exists. Why were these unwashed thieving itinerant inbred bogtrotters so aggressive? Why are large packages being delivered to the site during working hours? Who exactly is 'Zanussi' the Greek character that seems to be the brains of the operation?

My research continues. . . .

Keep it Kingswinford orientated




Fairies Wear Boots

I would appreciate your opinion on the concept of "amplified heat" and the impact it would have on global warming.

Apparently the patent, which was invented by an ex Kingswinford resident named Horendo Revolver, has been taken up by I.C.O.C [International Coal and Oil Company]. Initial trials in Alaska have shown that a town the size of Pensnett, can be heated for a 24 hr period, with an amount of fuel equal to 1 litre of paraffin!

For the uninitiated the concept works as follows. Fuel is warmed using incandescent heat. Then just as the paraffin is about to ignite a 2k rig is used to apply amplified sound to the fuel, thus causing an escape of energy equal to a 1 mega-ton nuclear bomb. Early trials show that Def Leppard and Led Zeppelin work best, however some pleasing results have been gained by using Busted and McFly.

Your deliberations would be most welcome.


Charles [Buster] Burgess

For a moment there I thought I'd fallen asleep and woke up in the middle of a lecture from the insanely enthusiastic scientist Magnus Pike. However, as with all but the most puerile questions that are put to me (e.g. have you been to the pencil museum in Keswick?), I have given it the attention that your efforts deserve.

I have had various dealings with Horendo in the past and I'm sorry to say that he is perhaps the most unreliable Mexican gardener I have ever had on my books. He also happens to be a drunk, an inveterate gambler, a 'love-rat' and a serial fantasist. Nothing wrong with any of those qualities of course, but I don't happen to like people who steal my magical WD-40 from me. My father always told me that WD-40 was the most valuable resource available to man and used to beat me with an iron poker until I concurred with his view.

On his estate he converted a disused stable into a garage for his fleet of luxury cars, including rare examples of the Bugatti Futura and the Austin Maxi David Niven Edition. Whilst he had an obvious affection for motoring and mechanics, I often felt that his love for WD-40 was a dangerous, all consuming obsession. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that as a child I had to sleep in an attic with nothing but a stuffed antelope for company. Items such as bedding, clothing and basic toiletries were denied me, as was a roof. Despite the fact I was being forced to endure Gulag-like conditions, my father spent an incredible 35 guineas a month on a climate controlled, glass fronted storage unit for his collection of 1800 individual cans of WD-40. This was lit with by a row of diamond tipped display bulbs at night and each can was not to be touched under any circumstances.

He also employed an Oxford educated Russo-French scientist called Pierre Litbarski in a position that he called 'Keeper of the Cans'.I'd often pull back the binliner off my head during the night, only to see my father carousing across the lawn towards the garage, normally with yet another Beatties shopgirl draped all over him. He would spend hours, drunk out of his mind, talking to the display unit whilst laughing to himself. On other occasions he would host dinner parties in the inspection pit and regale his guests with tales of WD-40's 'most excellent water-displacement qualities' and the fact that 'a bus driver in Surinam once used WD-40 to remove a python snake which had coiled itself around the undercarriage of his bus'. He normally accompanied these rambling, incoherent and entirely fictitious monologues with an illustrative slide show (featuring my father at Niagara Falls with a can of WD, skiing in Gstaad with the director of WD-40 Europe etc).

Whilst I myself never succumbed to my father's dark obsession with this handy lubricant, but I must admit that I do panic rather if I can't lay my hands on a can at short notice at any time of the day or night. The WD-40 brand looms over my life like a sinister Japanese robot-ghost that is doomed to stalk my waking hours for eternity.

I've gone off the point again slightly I think, but at least now you will understand my extreme reaction when I spotted Herando attempting to leave my property with a half-empty can of my personal WD-40 secreted in his overalls. When I employed him to mow my roof terrace, I told him that although I had served time for conspiracy to rob, I had little time for sneak- thieves. I also outlined my policy of subjecting my staff to violent, random and sustained strip-searches at any time of the day, performed by a Russian criminal gang that were staying as my personal guests at the time. He could, therefore, have no complaint when he was caught red-handed with my precious, special WD. I won't go into the full detail of how I exacted my revenge, but suffice to say, he ended up in the 'Viewing Room' for quite a while.

This is an underground cell located on the edge of my estate. Entirely soundproofed, the room is completely lined with TV monitors. The torture process that Herendo was subjected to lasted 32 hours and he was left alone in the room for further week. With his eyelids removed, he was forced to look whilst the monitors played back detailed images of each slice, gouge, punch and burn on my wonderfully detailed plasma screens. From my editing suite in my study I was able to choreograph this cinematic theatre of pain, whilst I relaxed with a fine Burgundy.

With regard to the 'Amplified Heat' concept, I am fascinated by the theory but dubious about some of the suggested catalysts that have been put forward by Mr Revolver. To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised he's still alive. I'm speculating here, but I like to think that the punishment I meted out may have led him to avoid oil and concentrate on developing this exciting alternative fuel. Led Zeppelin seem to be an ideal soundsource for this experimental project, but I'm not sure how much heat would be generated by the horribly asinine 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' by Def Leppard (an honourable mention must go to their drummer who continues to play in a Sheffield-based-soft-metal-poodle-epic-hair-stadium-band despite losing both ears in a dodgem accident at Barnsley Fair. It goes to show that there is truth in the saying 'never trust a gyppo').

I have only a rudimentary knowledge of this technology, but I suggest that a track such as 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana would heat up most of South Wales for a month. However, if we really want to push this technology to it's limits, I estimate that side one of the album 'Paranoid' by Black Sabbath would solve the world's energy crisis for 15 years.

I hope I have helped in some small way,




Black Secret Technology

How does one qualify to become a member of "The Broad Street Yacht Club" or is it by Birthright alone?

Humbly yours,

Horatio.Horatio P. Winstanley-Jones

You may be interested to hear that your question appeared as an entry under 'Any other business' at the recent Yacht Club AGM. It provoked a rather heated debate, fuelled in part by the fact that most of delegates had been sampling a range of dangerously experimental pharmaceuticals supplied by one of younger members, whom I gather has a successful practice in Harley Street. Most members reported visions of demented clowns for some reason.

The Broad Street Yacht Club was established as a private Gentlemen's club in 1903. Despite the fact that Broad Street is not a particularly long street (nor Broad for that matter), no-one has ever managed to unveil the exact location of the club premises. And they never will.

I am, of course, an intensely private man, so I will state here and now that I will never reveal the location of my beloved retreat. I am prepared, however, to expose you to an orgy of mindless speculation that surrounds this esteemed establishment.

Some believe that the Yacht Club it is located in an underground antechamber with a secret entrance. Others that it actually housed on a yacht, which is utter tosh as everyone knows that Kingswinford is located in the most landlocked region in the country. Some have speculated that the club has an exterior that looks exactly like a traditional Victorian house, complete with a wizened old woman who answers the door and mumbles things about the weather and black people. Yet behind this apparently archetypal domestic Vim and Ajax holocaust lays a veritable Aladdin's cave of boundless opulence.

As you are unlikely to ever step inside the club, I am prepared to give you some specifics about the interior. As you will expect, an enormous blazing fire, maintained even during the hottest summer months, heats each room. We at the Yacht Club have a strong appreciation of the need for routine, being as we are ex-forces men and veterans of the Diplomatic corps. Each fire is maintained by an extraordinary mechanical device invented in 1876 by a Finnish engineer named Mixu Paatelainen.

At regular half hourly intervals, a jewel encrusted golden Rhesus Monkey descends from an opening in the ceiling and launches a barrage of coal into the hearth, rather like its real-life counterparts who throw their own fetid excrement at family cars at the West Midlands Safari Park. It then emits a sudden stream of fuel-piss directly onto the flames, which in actuality is an oil/turpentine composite designed for maximum combustion. It is a truly magnificent spectacle, of which I never tire. Most rooms are lined with ornate Moroccan wood panels, depicting scenes of dancing, hunting, fishing and disgustingly elaborate sexual perversions involving candles shaped like fish. These were kindly liberated/stolen from the French embassy in Tangier by one of our members. Located above these scenes is a collection of 53 shrunken heads.

You are probably thinking that these were stolen from a Peruvian tribe who were then put to the pistol by a pioneering explorer. In fact, these were actually found in the understairs cupboard of a semi-detached house in Baggeridge and are believed to be the heads of hapless Jehovah's witnesses who tried to hide a copy of Watchtower inside a trendy looking magazine in an attempt to start conversation with the householder (who was clearly a maniac, who nevertheless could afford a conservatory from De Rosa Glass).

The main Club Room, centre of meetings, drunken debates and the occasional girl-on-girl dancing art demonstration courtesy of the Peppermint Hippo club, is a book-lined circular room of immense size. The books cover a myriad of subjects, but I must admit that following a few Daiquiri Goatblower cocktails, I can generally be found in the section that houses the Reverend J. Chospington-Smythe's collection of private, hand-tinted Victorian pornography.Perhaps the most popular room, other than the member's bar, is the quirkily titled 'Vulcan Tomb'.

One of our most esteemed members, a certain Mr Bicester, had a controlling interest in the Dudley Rubber Goods Company (later subsumed by Goodyear, Wolverhampton). The great wealth that this business generated allowed him the time to live the most languid and debased existence imaginable and he dedicated much of his time to exploring the outer reaches of man's perversity. His crowning glory at the end of his filth-strewn quest for animal gratification was this room, lined throughout in vulcanised rubber and entirely furnished with rubber furniture. On Mr Bicester's orders, the company's research laboratory had long given up new developments in car and bicycle tyres and devoted their considerable expertise to developing increasingly dangerous and experimental 'Amorous Technology'.

In 1956 the company secured a worldwide patent on a product known simply as 'The Dominator'. As this site section of this site is occasionally viewed in schools as part of the National Curriculum for English, I will have to limit the details of this horribly pleasurable device. Consisting of a black rubber helmet, the user is rendered entirely blind, deaf and breathless. The surface of the Dominator is covered in sharp metal spikes, of about three inches in length, dangerously sharp and designed to inflict intense physical pain on any sexual partner.The interior of the helmet is lined with random electronic shock nodes, which deliver intense pulses of white-light pain (strong enough to stun a horse, for an hour) as soon as intercourse enters the rampant stages.

Housed on the front of the Dominator is a rubber clad, iron penetrating rod with interchangeable 'clubbers' of various forms. The dark pain produced by this exquisite contraption is balanced by a series of 'Pleasure Needles', which are located on the rear of the headset. The user only has to lean backwards to engage the needles and experience a light tickling, rather like a small rabbit crawling over your face - for all eternity. The Vulcan room contains a Dominator for each Yacht Club member and many have opted for extreme add-ons and increasingly bizarre customisations. I'll stop here as I fear I may have given too much away about the Yacht Club already... and I am still to answer your question.

Membership of the club is by two possible routes. Firstly, you can be invited to a formal interview, normally held at Midnight on Halloween at a pre-determined venue that you have to guess, such as the Paris Hilton or Kinver caves. Here you will be asked a series of convoluted and meaningless questions before being asked to perform an impossible task. We never ask anyone to join by this route.

Alternatively, anyone is welcome to join the Yacht Club via the direct entry route, which has only ever been achieved once. This involves finding the correct house in Broad Street and talking your way past the old lady.

Yours on the waves,


PS. Broad Street Yacht Club produces a range of promotional placemats, mug holders, mobile telephone covers, t-shirts, limited edition Ford Fiestas and hair products. We've only got stickers left. Please feel free to email me with a request for free samples.



Master and Servant

Whatever became of your trusted man-servant, Edward?

James the Cat

Dear James,

Regular readers of this intellectually sophisticated website will have noticed that I have made no reference to Edward for some time, not even in passing.

I am afraid that due to a terrible series of events, I had vowed to myself that I would never comment on my 'trusted' manservant again. However, as you are obviously a veteran of this site, I will give you the respect you deserve. But be warned, it's a sad, dark tale.

Although his name suggests a classic subservient English butler, Edward was in fact an Indian street thief that I took under my wing over 40 years ago. I was stationed in a small village called Prenehi, fifteen miles form the Pakistan border. Although I can't reveal the exact nature of my work there, let's just say it that it may have involved locating, ridiculing, humiliating, torturing then disposing of exiled members of the SS. Filthy Bosch. I've gone off the point.

One balmy summer's evening I was relaxing in the usual way, namely getting completely lost in a mindless opium fog. My tranquil velvet dreamscape was sadly jolted out of kilter by the sight of my diamond silver Bentley Continental being driven erratically across the Embassy lawn by an unshaven, half-human, bearded Indian coolie. Despite the fact that I was still eight miles high (I believe that's the expression), I immediately took aim with my heavy dragoon pistol and opened a large hole in the old girl's radiator. The Bentley slowly ground to a halt and I challenged the filthy beggar.

Normally at this point I would have let him beg for mercy for a few minutes before 'popping a cap' into his brain cavity. However, something about this fellow stopped me in my tracks. Normally I would relish seeing someone lying in chalk, but call it a feeling, a hunch, but a strange mood came over me, one of mercy. Perhaps it was the look of fear in his eyes - similar to the pupils of a fish when its innards have been removed. Plus I needed a few fences painting and under Indian law, if you spare a man's life, he instantly becomes your personal property. Well, that's how I chose to interpret it.I returned to Kingswinford that very year and arranged for the beggar to be sent to England via airmail. The funny thing was, I didn't think that he'd actually survive the journey, given that he had no food, clothing or money. Pilots in those days tended to drop off a few excess bodies over the Himalayas to save weight you see.

To my utter surprise, when I eventually arrived home, the thief was resident in a disused outbuilding on my estate.There was nothing for it. If this man was to work like an absolute dog under my roof, he had to bloody well dress, talk and act like an Englishman. The money I spent educating, clothing and preening the man I now called Edward was worth it. He proved to be a trusted, ultra-efficient servant.For years he showed me nothing but blind loyalty, even serving a four-year prison sentence on my behalf (I swear to this day that I only simulated that act). The years passed and although I wouldn't call him a friend, I became used to having him around the place, much as one has a pet rabbit. Albeit a rabbit that mixed cocktails and prepared my hunting gear.One thing I made blindingly clear from the start was that if anyone asked my name, enquired about where I lived or asked about my background, Edward was on no account to give any details. As you all know, I am insanely secretive, as are all my associates.

The only time I really socialise is at Broad Street Yacht Club, mainly because I own it.Imagine my disgust then, when it came to my attention that Edward had been in conversation with reporters from a regional newspaper about my life. Apparently, hacks from the filthy rag had been scouring the village, enquiring about my whereabouts and were planning some kind of exclusive. Edward had been offered a bribe to talk, in the form of a free meal from Romino's Pizza, just off the ring road in Stourbridge.

As you may have guessed, I was apoplectic with fury and immediately took action against the cowardly, thieving, backstabbing colonial that I had took under my wing and was proud to call my servant. Stage one involved an old tradition called 'beasting'. This basically involved letting Edward run naked across my estate whilst various inbred farmhands that I employ chased him whilst screaming arcane obscenities. They were wearing handmade papier-mache animal heads at the time.

Once they had seized him, I gave them carte blanche to perform any form of horribly depraved sexual acts upon him that they saw fit. I'm open minded, but I must admit, the positions and various types of tools they used on him forced me to look away - at times.Stage two involved a soft and deadly approach. Edward's exhausted, bruised form was taken into my study where he was comforted and given warm cocoa by a Scandinavian nurse that I keep around the place. When he was suitably comfortable, I arranged for my good friend Dr. Dukovski to pay a visit. An expert in eyepeeling and nail drilling, the good doctor reduced Edward to an absolute jabbering wreck.

Thankfully, my study is lead-lined so I was able to hold my regular card game in the adjoining room.The crying, pleading and primal moans that Edward was now emitting soon began to grate upon my nerves, so I'm afraid the last act was rather lazy. I phoned up some Irish fellows that I know of who took Edward away in the back of an ex-council transit van. I told them I didn't wish to hear from the pathetic wretch again and that was that. He is probably immortalised in a tarmac sculpture somewhere.I sometimes wonder whether Edward may one day return to my estate.

Then I remember his absolute treachery and my mouth fills with acid bile that only a stiff whisky can neutralise.

Good luck Sir!



All Along the Watertower

Can you tell us more about The Spleens please, kind Sir?

I have heard a small rumour that they were first formed in The Cottage a few years ago and made up of several young 'Boy Band' members. But from the latest flyer it looks as though they have taken on a Led Zep twist.

Rock on Baaaaaby!

Philanderer Sole

Your source of information appears to have a grasp of some core facts regarding the group, but I'm afraid that the evolution of this wildly experimental band has a far more extraordinary history.

As readers of this page may know, I have a long line of 'specialist' business interests, many in former overseas colonies and in less salubrious areas of Europe such as Bregenz, Ostend and Kosovo. However, I have never agreed to put my Svengali-like promotional expertise behind a popular music act before. The Spleens are quite simply the most stunningly original hard-funk jazz trance unit to come out of the creative hotbed that is the High Acres Delta.

I have no shame in admitting that I agreed to represent these wild-eyed mavericks without listening to a note of what they have termed 'electronic space-funk'. Rather, I based this outrageous risk on the fact that on our first meeting the lead singer was sporting a fabulous pair of Arabian slippers - replete with curly, gold-leaf effect pointed toe adornments.The fact that the band hails from vastly contrasting backgrounds is perhaps the very essence of its future potential. Although they have yet to commit any music to tape (or indeed write any music as such), the sheer fluid dynamics of the band are enough to make the blind go partially deaf.

We are talking about re-writing rock history, right here in the village of the damned itself.The band are a shifty four piece who rely on a potent cocktail of Banks's Barley Wine, Gold Label and Humbrol oil paint as the white-light catalyst for their creative muse. Rehearsing only at night, normally in a disused grit lorry in Lye, the band has forced themselves to become virtuosos on every conceivable instrument they have shoplifted from Donavan's of Amblecote. Including a Steinway Grand Piano with random fuzz pedal unit.On lead vocals and Argos children's guitar we have Pedo Walter, the gelled up son of a Quarry Bank horse trader. Taking his name from a minor character in the little-known Dickens novel 'Mavis Dobberfield', this smooth talking jive-monkey is a wound up fireball of resentment on stage - he hates the world as much as he hates his own mind.

On perspex electric-wind chimes we have the boy-child known only as Groober. As small as he is deformed, the kid knows no musical limits or conventions - he continuously chain smokes Park Drive menthols as he lays down a mindless cacophony of funk using his baby-sized hands. When his failed career as a jockey on the Shetland Pony circuit petered out because he was too small, dwarf horse racing's loss was ambient folks gain.

Keyboards are the sole domain of the blackest white man in west Dudley, the orange boy himself - Gootboy Lawyer Jnr. Possessed with an outrageously poor sense of fashion, this slicked-up sunbed funkster transforms himself on stage each night. Holding down a tawdry day job as a solicitor's teaboy, his existential rage is expressed through his only friend in this world - a pink Bontempi organ that he ominously calls 'The Reducer'. Formerly a body double for Andrew Ridgeley on the Italian light entertainment programme 'Si Poppi', he is currently on loan to Newell's Old Boys.Finally, on kettledrums, side bongos and moon oscillator we have Tariq Ballesteros, bedrock and founder member of the group. The oldest and certainly the ugliest Spleen, it is a blessing that the huge drum kit he plays hides his obscenely broken face from younger members of the bands blindly loyal audience.

Dragged up in a thieving gypsy ghetto near Ridge Hill, this virtuoso, self-styled 'Chosp-Rocker' models his stage uniform on a faded photograph of Seve Ballesteros, whom he believes to be an icon of true style. He currently works on cruiseliners as the asian Chris de Burgh. I hope this brief introduction give a flavour of the exquisite, boundless talent of the band. Whilst the The Spleens long awaited debut album 'Double-Dipped Penguin' has built up unprecedented levels of expectation throughout the UK and Turkey, I am sadly unable to give a firm date for its release. On a recent visit to their secret recording studio in lower Kingswinford, I was alarmed to discover that every item of digital equipment that I have personally provided them with was missing. In its place were numerous carrier bags bearing the name 'Cash Convertors', that appeared to be filled with ex-rental videos of titles such as 'Over The Top', 'Marked For Death' and 'Ninja Holocaust'.

The legend of The Spleens can only grow from here.

Yours truly,




Curious Chronology

Dear Sir,

What are your thoughts on the latest proposal of moving the town clock from it's second home that has now been turned in to yet another charity shop?

The clock belongs to the people of Kingswinford, bought and paid for by our forefathers and mothers! Do you think we should be asked if WE the owners would like our property to be moved to Broadfield House Museum?

Jack Hare

I'm not sure who exactly is proposing to move the town clock, but they will face a difficult time of things (no pun intended) once the village folk get to hear about it I can tell you.

As far as my history serves me, the clock in question was bought by the people of Kingswinford in 1897, to celebrate the fact that Queen Victoria had been torturing, exploiting and maiming people across the world in the name of the Empire for over 60 years.

These were proud times and the good village folk must have had a tear in their eye when they forced Sri Lankan peasant children to work back-to-back 36-hour days to provide the raw material for this wonderfully crafted baroque timepiece.It is a little known fact that the clock now on display in the village today is only a fraction of its original size. The clock we see today originally took the form of an ebony spider monkey, perched on a life-size sculpture of an Arabian horse crafted from solid ivory. This in turn was stood on the back of a jewel-encrusted, double-sized rendering of a blue whale caught by Sir Walter Cedric-Smythe, a native of Manor Park and a crew member on Scott's first Antarctic exploration. The whale, nicknamed Derek, was shipped back to a foundry in Lye in pieces and a bronze cast was made of its rotting, putrid form. Sadly, no known photographs exist of what became known locally as the 'Hoss an' Fish', which was originally sited on The Cross and was sadly destroyed by a tramp in 1906.

However, in 1975 I bought several beautiful watercolour renderings of the clock from the musician Keith Moon. He was down on his luck at the time and needed money fast - he had ordered a gold-plated hovercraft and couldn't make the payments. Although my archive is closed to all visitors, including myself, it may be possible to view these charming sketches by consulting my solicitor.In terms of the proposed move, I think it only proper that each resident of Kingswinford, from the age of 12 months upward, is interviewed about any possible move for one hour. This may tie up the whole of Dudley Council's workforce for four years, but I'll think you'll agree that fairness is vital in such matters.I have two practical suggestions for the clock's future, however. To ensure the clock is owned fairly by all residents, I propose that it be burnt immediately. Its remains should then be ground up into a fine powder and distributed to Kingswinford residents in sealed plastic bags. I know of a company in Belgium that has handled similar tasks for me in the past, although in that case they were processing human remains.

Secondly, the clock could be placed in a secure, lead-lined box, which could be set in concrete in the Shopping Precinct. Although people would not be allowed to hold, see or hear the clock chime ever again, a small slot could be incorporated into the design to allow the villagers to fondle the timepiece in their hour of need.

I hope this practical advice is of help,




Going Underground

Dear Captain

I have been looking at the 'What's on in Kingswinford page' and am saddened by the lack of community events that would serve to bring some zest and local culture into our village (I refuse to call it a town).

Could you offer some suggestions on what could be done to bring Kingswinford to life?

Kind regards

Sir, Dorethea Winchester

On the surface of things Kingswinford is relatively sedate, a grey place where people eat, sleep and watch mindless reality television in the uneasy comfort of unremarkable homes owned outright by banks and building societies.

To many, the biggest excitement in the year comes when there is a three-car pile at the traffic lights at the cross or when someone is caught by the Police selling helium-filled, animal shaped balloons in the village without a licence.

However, to those in the know, the sterile facade that the town presents to the wider world is merely a smokescreen that masks a secret underground of wife-selling, pig-painting, goblin-worshipping, hidden child-gambling casinos and a hardcore bell-ringing sisterhood.It also hosts the largest angling-sex ring in Western Europe. Presumably these activities have yet to register in your consciousness, but without wishing to make you paranoid, I am confident that even your closest neighbours and friends are members of one of 'The Five', a secretive collection of ruling societies that govern every aspect of Kingswinford life. They will of course deny any knowledge when challenged, but it is a fact that no-one can live in Kingswinford without aligning themselves with one of the five strands of the underground ruling elite.

I am on dangerous ground here, but am willing to state that my allegiance is with that most ancient of the illuminati that control village life - yes, I am talking here of Broad Street Yacht Club. I really can't divulge any more details at this point, as even I have my enemies, but look around - the signs are there. The Five are everywhere.In terms of more traditional ideas to brighten up daytime activities in the village, it has long been my aim to open a cafe bar with a distinct identity. Funded by myself but run entirely by local Pagan devotees in full-length smocks, tired shoppers will be able to purchase refreshing food and drink with an Ancient-British twist. All items on the menu will have extremely strong hallucinatory qualities and will be drawn from woodland plants that have been eaten by mind-explorers for centuries. A counsellor and full medical team will be on call during opening hours.

This new Kingswinford eatery will be called The Cone of Power.



What are you Proposing

Hello Captain,

"Status anxiety" - the latest disease for the masses?

Are we all being lulled into debt by the likes of DIY SOS?


Initially I thought you were asking me about the popular Beat Combo 'Status Quo' but my eyes are a bit tired today - too much Courvoisier in the allotment shed old chap.

Were you to ask me about that coke-fiend Porsche-crashing triple heart bypass wildman Rick Parfitt and his longhaired old gypsy woman-looking crony Francis Rossi, I'd give you a quick precis of their career. From Psychedelic Hippies to tight-jeaned poodle rock - they've seen it all. 'In the Army Now' was a shoddy mess of course, but 'Deeper and Down' was blessed by touches of sublime genius.

Much like these has-been, no-nonsense head-down riffers, Status Anxiety has been around forever. In my opinion it has simply been repackaged by pseudo-intellectual social commentators of the moment. I see it as a re-branding of the feudal system or a more glamorous offshoot of neighbourly envy myself.

As the saying goes: 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours Hayter Heritage small domestic use ride-on mower with integral grass collector'.

As ever though, the faceless machines of consumerism have taken over. In all walks of life we are being subtly manipulated by extreme marketing techniques - including the use of mind rubbers - aimed at persuading us that we need to buy more, get fitter, drive bigger cars, eat different food, have exotic women on our arms and travel the world.

I say balderdash to the bloody lot of it.

All this cynical marketing of impossible dream-lives and wonder products places the average person in an endless limbo of needy grabbing for a social status that will never come to pass. Even if you like your current situation, one look at a glossy magazine will warp your mind enough to make you believe that surely you could do better with yourself.

I personally stopped caring a fig about where I am in society a long time ago. Admittedly, being a Captain gives me carte blanche to join as many golf clubs, Rotary clubs, whist drives and bridge circles as I please. I also find that attracting high-class lady friends is never a chore and Prestige-marque garages give me access to their new cars whenever I need them. However, this is all illusory stuff and nonsense.

My advice on those worried about status is to sit down, look in the mirror and relax. What stares back at you is the basic raw material that you have got to work with I'm afraid. Your mind is the most important thing - the pilot of the flesh transport system that is your body.

Be thankful for what you've got. You live in Kingswinford, the finest town in the world. You can presumably breathe, see and can tune into the World Service and the shipping news whenever you wish. You have no need to travel or experience anything first hand - a visit to Library in the village will teach you all you need to know about the wider world. Plus they lend out Compact Discs.

Finally, if you are really upset with your standing in this world, just take a slow drive around Gornal. The twisted, horribly disfigured excuses for humanity that you will witness will soon snap you out of your self-pitiful dirge.

With regards,


Captain Lazonby-Threpwell will be lecturing at Broad Street Yacht Club at 7pm this Friday.

Tickets are priced at £1000 with all proceeds going towards the renovation of the Captain's Caravan/Private Club. SOLD OUT.



Stick Art

Dear Captain,

Can you tell me where I can get hold of some of your fabulous stickers that I have seen all around the village?

Keep up the good work Sir!

The Slicer

Sir, Firstly, may I say many thanks for your kind words. Fabulous is an underused word nowadays in my opinion, as are words such as dangler, noseybonk, quisby and nong.

You may be surprised to know that I support the widespread distribution of these beautifully executed stickers, despite the fact that they break several local bye-laws and have a vaguely threatening air about them. I am basically a supporter of the notion of freedom of expression in all its forms, particularly in the visual arts.

Although I am a forces man myself, I spent three years at the Sorbonne in Paris, under the tutelage of the maverick Constructivist sculptor Anton Tarkovski. Although he was a raging alcoholic, a sexual pervert of the worst kind and a helpless morphine fiend, Tarkovski taught me to learn that the visual arts are of equal importance to the written word. He also taught me how to steal from libraries, how to milk a cat and where to find the finest Arabian call-girls in all of Western Europe. But these are stories for another time….

Graffiti is just one of the many ways that human animals express their tortured, twisted, yet also beautiful soul-cries. Words are sometimes inadequate to express the utter rage and futility that we all feel inside, so man has to resort to the visual dimension. Just as cavemen used their own blood to make rudimentary marks on cave walls in near darkness, the modern graffiti artist is using the urban environment to have his say.I don't normally like to go off the point like this, but I'm going to anyway.

Those bloody surrendering cowards the French seem to think they have discovered the oldest cave paintings in the world, in the Lascaux cave complex. It makes my blood boil to think they are making such a noise about this, but they went very quiet when the Hun came knocking didn't they? I put it to them that their caves are an utter fabrication and that Kinver Caves have a better claim than their faked-up, hollow charade of an exhibit.

In terms of the stickers, these were made in collaboration with a group of young graffiti artists I got talking to recently. Whilst sketching Herons over in the King George VI Park one evening, these fine young men took an interest in my charcoal rendering of a bird pecking at the raw guts of a slaughtered cat. In turn, this talented group known only as 'The Lost Boys', showed me some of their detailed sketch books and plans.

I did a freehand self-portrait of myself and the Lost Boys mounted them on stickable paper - the rest is visual history. If any of you would like samples of the stickers, simply send an electronic telegram to my address: captainlazonbythrep@hotmail.com.

The Lost Boys will arrange postage and packing,

Yours CLT



Supermarket Minesweep

Dear Sir,

What do you think about these people that squeeze loaves of bread before they purchase?

I stood in Somerfield on Friday morning watching all these fools, do they not realise that all the bread is baked from one batch? They insist on squeezing the loaves on the front of the shelf and putting the loaf from the back in their basket! What they didn't know is that I moved the loaves from the front to the back of the shelf, so now they were buying the loaves that everybody else had crushed to the size of a matchbox! Ha ha ha! Do you agree these people should be taken out the back of the store and used as speed ramps?

B. Baker

Sir,I'm not entirely sure that you are correct in saying that all loaves of bread are baked in the same batch, but I empathise with your general point.

Squeezing bread to assess its freshness is akin to asking a tin of sardines when they were caught. Utterly futile. As you may already have established, I have an aversion to most things developed by those damned colonials across the Atlantic, but Supermarkets are extremely high on my list of targets for contempt. These Americanised cathedrals of mindless consumerism are one large experiment in psychological brainwash mass marketing. Packed to the rafters with over processed, semi-edible, freeze-dried remnants of vegetable and animal matter, these places claim to be providing a service, but if you have an ounce of intelligence you will see them for what they really are - battery food farms for lazy human slaves.

Alcoholics and drug users generally get a bad press, but I would put the average shopper on the same level. They too are utterly compelled by their addiction to shopping, normally on a daily basis, their sordid addiction driven by the huge marketing budgets wielded by the major British supermarkets and multi-national companies that market toilet cream under nonsensical names across mainland Europe.

The day that Jif became re-branded as Cif was a black day for us all. This was Johnny Foreigner telling us proud Brits to abide by his rules and ideas. I don't care if the word 'Jif' means 'anal probe' in Italy. It bloody well means cream cleaner in Blighty and that's how it should stay - forever. The same goes with the Yanks and their ridiculous insistence on changing the name 'Marathon' to 'Snickers'. Now, I know that a bar of chocolate bears little relation to a long distance running event, but at least it might provide a quick energy boost for a hollow-eyed, emaciated Kenyan. The word 'Snicker', however, means 'to smother a laugh, to snigger'. What possible relevance does this have to a sickly combination of peanuts, caramel and chocolate?

During one of my regular research visits to Kingswinford, I have witnessed the physical and mental wrecks that roam around supermarkets and recoiled in horror. I'm speaking of families buying vast quantities of culinary filth, normally with a bloated, ungrateful child in tow. Elderly women who enter the shop on a daily basis, buying marmalade and bleach on each visit, but are really there in an attempt to give some kind of structure to their desperate, increasingly bleak existence. I've witnessed bored teenage minimum wage shopworkers with questionable hygiene practices, who presumably took the job as stopgap before attending college but are likely to be stuck there for eternity, forever staring at trolleys rusting in the rain. Then there are the wine-soaked housewives, appearing to studiously read the blurb on the rear of French Cabernet Sauvignon, when secretly they are only interested in a short-cut to the alcoholic oblivion that will help them forget their unrealised dreams. I could go on.

Basically Mr Baker, I wholeheartedly agree with your bread related mind-games, but would encourage you to avoid supermarkets completely. I would seek out small, independent shops run by ruddy-faced men and kind-faced old ladies.

Admittedly, nowadays this would probably mean a drive to the Outer Hebrides, but at least you won't have to encounter the plastic retail brainwash holocaust offered by Sainsbury's, Somerfield and the like.

Personally, I only buy my provisions from suppliers that have been granted a Royal Warrant, such as Fortnum and Masons of Piccadily.




Liar on Fire

Captain, how does one tell if an elderly relative is suffering from Munchausen's syndrome or is just a bloody big fibber? Some tales just seem very far fetched and hard to believe.

Many thanks in advance,

Barholomew Winchester, DFC

Dear Bartie,

This kind of question is right up my street old chap. In fact, I have written extensively on the matter in the past (although in fairness, the British Medical Journal rejected my test paper immediately).

I personally feel that psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacologists and all these other head-shrinking, new age, tanned, Californian band of charlatans have a hell of a lot to answer for here. In my opinion, any condition with the phrase 'syndrome' added on the end is just a fancy name made up by these confidence tricksters to make clients feel better about the fact they are completely losing their grip on reality. As long as they can continue to suck money out of their client's bank accounts in proportion to the rate that they snort uncut cocaine off mirrored coffee tables in their open-plan Malibu apartments, they will continue to invent new terminology to make people feel better about their insecurities. Why haven't they got the bloody guts to call them looneys like the rest of us would?

In my army days there was none of this pussyfooting around the issue. If a chap talked to himself in his sleep, parted his hair on the wrong side or was caught reading a book of French poetry, we'd immediately label him an absolute basket case and be done with it. Some of the lads in the mess would take it further and try to beat the poor man sane - it rarely worked. I myself have nothing against madness in all its forms. Don't we all, in some small way, seek to connect with a state of mind that makes us feel utterly lost and helpless- embroiled in a rootless turmoil of confusion, yet somehow cocooned in a mumsy, womblike place?

Yes, I'm talking here about the use of mood altering substances such as coffee, alcohol, Moroccan hashish, tippex thinners, Humbrol oil paint, thick marker pens, pig tranquillisers, wood glue and varnish. I could go on. I myself tend to stick to brandy nowadays, but the point I am trying to make here is that people pay to alter their minds on a regular basis, whereas the insane don't even have to shell out for any raw materials. It's an unhappy balance however, as a hangover tends to wear off but as far as I know there is no 'hair of the dog' treatment for paranoid schizophrenia.

I feel I may have gone off on a slight tangent there but we'll get there. Munchausen's is the worst kind of all the syndromes as it has got a Germanic ring to it and is basically a layabout's dream. If you don't feel like working for a living or contributing to our society in general, why not make up a string of illnesses? Not only will you get handouts willy-nilly, you get to spend time in warm hospitals and are fed courtesy of the hardworking British public. And when you finally get found out as a serial liar, the Mind Doctors will excuse you by saying you've got Munchausen's Syndrome and sign you off for a couple of years.

Winchester old boy, I think you know what to do. Next time you visit your lying elderly relative, simply wear a white coat and tell them you are there to help. Ask them about their latest ailment and nod at the right moments. When they moan about something trivial like angina, tell them you have heard that the best treatment for it is to be utterly consumed by fire and that you have brought the petrol. I'm sure that when they are faced with the prospect of total immolation they'll soon snap out of it.

Best Regards,




Naked Display Rider

Sir, What's your opinion on all this streaking carry on in the village?

Dave Spankie

Dear David,

Streaking is a fine British tradition and will always gain my approval Sir. In my opinion, all Association Football fixtures, Test Matches, Lawn Tennis tournaments and Crown Green Bowling events should incorporate a mandatory streaking element.

These should ideally be introduced during a particularly dull segment of the sporting content of the occasion.Whilst the BBC is obviously a cornerstone of this sceptred isle, their refusal to give any airtime to the brave streaker or mass punch-up in the crowd is utterly pathetic.

I have to say that I boil with fury when Barry Davies informs us, in a tone reminiscent of a sheltered spinster, that 'Oh dear, we won't be showing you pictures of this idiot, it's has nothing to do with sport'. That is both wildly inaccurate and utterly contemptable. Does he not know that sport, in all its myriad forms, had always had an element of spectator intrusion? From the medieval joust to the excitement of the Victorian cock and dog fight, members of the Great British public have always exercised their right to direct intrusion into any sporting event.

Look at the example of the Wall Game, first played at Eton College in 1766 and long considered to be a precursor to modern football. The action was regularly interrupted by lusty local farm wenches entering the field of play, proudly displaying their eggs and one veg to the young floppy haired future rulers of England. Other countries are proud when a fight breaks out in the crowd or an overweight, balding mound of flesh intrudes onto the pitch. In fact, Spain's El Sporta television station has had it's own dedicated streaker pundit for over twenty years. Viewers can settle down to a nights entertainment, safe in the knowledge that should a naked, wild-eyed, heavily moustachioed Ultra run on to the pitch with a red flare protruding from his backslit, it will be viewed from a myriad of angles with a running commentary from Pipi 'Paco' DelBossa Gonzalez. However, I digress slightly.

One has to admire the raw guts displayed by the Kingswinford streaker, a one-man motorcycle display team as God intended him to be. I also applaud his attention to safety considerations by his use of a helmet.

As with most things, however, there is room for improvement. I recall the Moss Grove streaker of a few years ago. He was seen to stroll along the street, approaching the village in a nonchalant manner, his only safety equipment being a pair of Dunlop slippers covered in a fetching tartan fabric. Admittedly he was later sectioned under the Mental Health Act (1983), but you have to admire his bravado, however unhinged.

Yours in brotherhood,




Kike-Mick Beast

Captain, I know you've never been one to sit on the fence about points that could offend. So, what's your views on inter-racial relationships? and could you tell me what kind of hybrid creature would come from a part English, part Jew, part Irish, part penguin mixture of Genes. Perhaps even with a touch of Gornal?


This is a somewhat pointed question and it suggests you have some form of axe to grind with somebody, but I'll give it my attention nonetheless. You may be surprised to know that I have absolutely no problem with inter-racial relationships. My reasons are complex but I think I'm right, and if you don't agree with me then damn your eyes and go to blazes.

Firstly, the Germans hated the idea of the mixing of races, which is a ludicrous idea if there ever was one. To stop a man rogering a woman he has taken a fancy to is like telling a dog not to lick it's own bollocksack. And of course, I always take the opposite view to anything cooked up by that schiesspot Hitler and his sausage-eating Hun hordes.

Secondly, I have occasionally dabbled with other races myself. I remember a particularly sweet girl in Malaysia, but that is another tale… I have to say, the scenario you describe is truly alarming. The mix of genes you outline are utterly distasteful. I presume this person has the large nose associated with a greedy, hand-rubbing beady-eyed Jewish shopkeeper? Cross that with the traits displayed by your average lazy Irish roadworking navvy and you have a workshy, money grabbing fool spouting thinkgs like 'Oi vay' and offering to 'tarmac yur drive sir?'. A Yiddish-Boghopper if you will.

The penguin part presumably relates to an engorged, wobbling body and an inability to walk properly? But perhaps the most awful aspect of this deformed, semi-mythical sounding beast is the Gornal dimension. The Black Country is obviously the greatest region in Britain, which makes it the best in the world. However, even God's Country has to have it's slum areas, and Gornal is the apotheosis of filth. Simply saying the name of the town out loud makes one sound uneducated.

I have occasionally had the misfortune to drive through Gornal and I find it is home to thieves, dole-bludgers, gypsies, footpads, beggars, lobcocks, sneak-burglars, guffoons, squabs, fadgers, corner-men, pram-pushing slapfaces, alley rats, muck-snipes, prowlers, danglers and scab-faced cup-rattlers. I could go on but even the concept, the thought of the place makes me violently ill.

To conclude, the horrific, this character- the freakish wraith-spectre penguin Jew-Paddy hobbling around the slums of Gornal - sounds like it has been lifted directly from the pages of an Edgar Allan Poe novel. And it should revolt us all.

Fare you well



Old Fashion

Do you condone the high number of charity shops that have appeared in Kingswinford over the past 10 years or so? Do you think more bespoke gentlemen's outfitters would eradicate the growing number of sad lonely men in the locality?

Our Regards Sir Mr

Firstly, I must say that your name is very unusual. In fact, I've never come across the surname before. How big should the space be? It's almost as impressive as being known as Mr X. However, I digress.

Charity shops are a mixed blessing in my opinion. A poisoned chalice. Whilst I don't generally frequent them, and certainly don't endorse them, it is obvious that they mean a lot to different kinds of people.

For example, the gentleman of the road or the economic migrant (otherwise known as the thieving gypsy and the Bosnian thief) would be utterly lost for places to dress themselves without the humble charity shop. As would large areas of South Wales.Personally speaking, I would not wish to be seen alive in a place filled with the belongings of the dead.The only time I have lowered my guard in the past is to consult the second-hand gramophone records section in Tenovus or the Spastics Society. In my defence, I have a record player in my allotment shed and like to listen to music whilst I write my memoirs and letters of complaint.Amongst the general tosh such as recordings by Scottish marching bands and that bearded bog-trotter James Last are some real gems, all at bargain prices. Lately I have been listening to some unusual music, including a beat combo called Throbbing Gristle and a solo performer called DJ Death form Rotterdam.Sartorially speaking, I don't think you can ever have enough bespoke tailors in a town. However, they are thin on the ground in Kingswinford as you rightly identify. I myself choose to shop in Saville Row and at various specialised hunting and fishing suppliers in The Highlands. They know my style instinctively. I have bought the odd close-weaved pastel coloured Italian leisure sweater from Jon Charles in the precinct, but this was a one off following a small fire at my home.So where so the old men go to shop? I'm afraid the options are limited and they all inevitably end up wearing a kind of Unofficial Uniform of the Elderly, made up of drab, earthy colours supplied by British Home Stores. A misnomer if I ever heard one - most of their polyester-based nylon tat is made by blind, fingerless children in Bangladesh who are paid in polluted glasses of water.I do agree with you that on the surface these men look washed-up, half alive and probably smell of urine. It would be wrong, however, to assume that all old men are sad and lonely. Despite their gigantic earlobes, hoarse voices, sprouting nasal hair and faces that resemble broken concrete, they probably have a lot more going for them than the youngsters I see around Kingswinford and surrounding villages.These old men are probably grateful to have outlived their wives or, even better, to have avoided the slow, agonising death that is marriage altogether. They are free to drink gravy coloured beer at all hours of the day and stand in smoke-filed betting shops when they want. They can spit mucus-heavy gobs of phlegm on the open street without fear of rebuke. They are free to traffic in counterfeit DVDs and cigarettes to supplement their pension. And if you delve deeper, you'll uncover a geriatric underground of illegal cribbage parties, silent cinema peep-shows, lady-passing and badger baiting banquets. The bowling club is the new rave-up party and has a ten-year waiting list.Younger men think that because they have poured half a pound of styling lard onto their hair and dress like a Moroccan rent boy they are immune to the fact that they are doomed to spend the best part of their lives working for a pittance in a soulless box for people who won't care if they die tomorrow. I hope that clears things up. Best Regards Sir!



Problem Neighbours

Whats the secret to getting on well with ya neighbours? My lot am always fightin' over rights of way and parkin privilages, there's no stoppin the jumped up snetters! Also gettin money back of elusive school friends?

Dr. Chin

Getting on with your neighbours is a challenge to say the least and is fraught with problems. One minute they are engaging you in mindless tittle-tattle about the weather, the next they are asking for access to your fully-catalogued range of illegal and highly specialised pornography.

I'll nip this in the bud early - don't talk to them or make friends with them under any circumstances. It will only lead to a false relationship in which they pretend to be interested in you/your house/your new vehicles/your latest holiday, whilst all the time they besmirch and badmouth you to their friends, unskilled shop workers and any other barnyard savage that will listen to the droning collection of words emanating from the largest hole in their face.

I recommend that you feign deafness when they bellow their insincere morning greetings, consign all forms of seasonal greeting cards to the waste basket and generally maintain a staunch level of aloofness. A futher touch would be to plant japanese bind weed in your garden - the bugger spreads like wildfire and your neighbours will soon have to purchase a gallon of napalm to remove it from their ornametal pond. Legally they can't touch you.I could go on. My stance is this - they have bought a house next to you, not a licence to the contents of your mind.In terms of parking issues, I assume you live in an area where parking is at a premium and arguments abound.

I suggest you invest in a Cromwell Medium Tank. Well armed and armoured, it is agile enough to negotiate even the smallest streets of slum areas such as Gornal. Should your neighbour choose to steal your allocated space, simply park over the top of his Korean-built tin-foil biscuit tin on wheels. If he gets violent, unleash a hail of gunfire from the Cromwell's close-support Howitzer until he retreats into his hovel/cave.

Finally, if your school friend won't pay up, you could either engage the Cromwell again or I can put you in touch with my solicitor who specialises in ruthless law. He will hound your so-called friend to the ends of the earth and will bleed his ungrateful hide. And he will make him forget his happiness forever.

Best of order Sir.



Woman Trouble

How does one go about obtaining a lady friend? I have tried various bars, agencies and that new-fangled speed dating, but to no avail. Jeez, I've even tried getting the bus. Please help me...


This is an eternal problem that has always faced man, from the days of Shakespeare to those coloured chappies who droned on about waking up in the morning to find their woman had gone. I can understand your plight.

You are hardly likely to meet anyone of merit in a public bar, and dating agencies are a home to the desperate, operated for profit by blood-sucking parasites that prey on human misery. As for the bus - only the poor and the mentally challenged use public transport, so forget that as a hunting ground.

In terms of rectifying the situation, I would recommend a vist to a gentleman's outfitters, such as Gieves and Hawkes of Saville Row (or failing that, Charles of Kingswinford).

Care with personal grooming is another must, as is the maintainance of an insanely rigorous excercise regime (this has to include dragging railway sleepers through the woods at 6am). However, a simple short cut is this: Simply select a pretty, yet intellectually inferior girl and make her laugh. We had a saying in the Dragoons: 'Make a girl smile and they are halfway down'.

I'll stand by that.

Good luck Sir.



Book Question

How do you go about writing a book?


Dear Leggy

In my opinion, the most essential thing is to have lived. Otherwise you are at a disadvantage from the start.


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