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I saw some people on the telly this morning having the acupuncture done. I reckon that’s a big bag of wrong.

If it’s not working, do acupuncturists use bigger and bigger needles, eventually moving up to daggers? There must be a point at which the benefits are outweighed by the harm done.

Now, I know some people who have had acupuncture and they say they feel a lot better after having it. But then I reckon I’d feel a lot better too after somebody took a load of needles out of my back. And also before somebody put a load of needles into my back. But probably not during the period of having a load of needles in my back.

To test this theory, I asked my colleague Fat Brian if I could give him a Chinese burn*. Here are the results.

09.11
FAT BRIAN: “Fine. Bit peckish.”

09.12 Chinese burn applied
FAT BRIAN: “Nnnnnnnnghhh! Oooooo! Aieeee! Ow! Ow! Ow! Is the canteen open? Nnnnnnnnngggghhhh! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!”

09.16 Chinese burn withdrawn.
FAT BRIAN: “Ooh, that’s better. That really is… Right (CLAPS HANDS), bacon!”

Following my experiment, I’ve decided to set myself up as a Chinese burn therapist. I’m going to charge £10 a minute, which is quite a lot pro rata as it works out as £600 an hour, but I don’t think people will generally want the full hour. And also there’s often a bit of jerking about, so occasionally I might be hit.

If you’d like me to give you a Chinese burn, please leave your name in the comments box below.

* I understand that our American cousins refer to the technique as an Indian burn, but I’m not sure whether this refers to people from the Indian subcontinent or Native Americans. Either way, I’m happy to accept that the technique could have developed in both China and India or North America independently. There’s no need for a row about this.

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I am currently working in a bunker. It’s not a real bunker, it’s a metaphorical one.

If you want me to be accurate, I am working on a project in an office on my own so I won’t be disturbed. It’s been about a week now and I’m starting to crave human contact.

It turns out I might even like being disturbed. I even miss Fat Brian a bit.

Possibly it’s the heat. There are certainly a lot of people walking past my window in skimpy clothes. It’s as if they have never heard the expression “Cast ne’er a clout till May be out”.
They’re going to feel like big fools if it starts raining.

In fact, I hope it does rain. That’ll teach them, the outside people, showing off with their “walking, not working.”

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I’m terribly sorry I haven’t updated this blog for a few days, but, in my defence, I have been terribly busy. How busy? I’ll tell you. I’ve been . . .

Busier than a Dewsbury social worker.

Busier than Boris Johnson’s apology speechwriter.

Busier than the bluebird of happiness alighting on Everton supporters this morning.

Busier than the pigeon of woe alighting on Liverpool supporters this morning.

Busier than Teresa in the canteen when Fat Brian’s in work.

Busier than Justin Timberlake as he pops around the world bringing sexy back*.

Busier than the chap in our office who rolls his eyes and says “Cuh! That flipping Myleene Klass is in the blooming paper again” every time Myleene Klass is in the paper.

I shall leave you with a thought. If Liverpool Football Club are serious about winning the Champions League again, they should change their name to “UEFA Champions League FC”, thereby ensuring that their “name is on the cup” every year.

*Surely he must have finished by now. He’s been at it for months.

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I got myself a new pair of trousers. They were lovely, two legs and everything. I’m not an amputee, not yet at least.

Anyway, the right-hand pocket has a sort of split in it, giving the pocket two chambers. I imagine they’re called chambers, but I’ve no idea what they would be called. I bet a decent tailor would be able to enlighten me.

Oh yes, the pocket! So, I slipped my house keys in when I left the house one day and dashed off to work.

I did my work and that, and then I prepared to leave. I put my hand in my pocket to check my keys. And they weren’t there!

There’s not much suspense in this, is there? I think we all know where my keys were.

Everybody had a good look around to help me. Even Fat Brian put his packet of cheese and onion crisps down and shifted his bottom slightly while looking at the floor.

Of course, 12 seconds after I, like Stockhausen, alerted my colleagues to my keyless state I found them in the other chamber. But I was too embarrassed to tell them they were in my pocket all along. I let them carry on looking for about five minutes.

In the end, I ducked under a desk, whipped them out my pocket, then crawled out, holding them above my head. “Got ’em, everyone. Thanks for looking,” I said.

And that’s why I understand the pickle poor Shannon Matthews’ mum, Karen, has apparently got herself into. It’s very easily done.

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I have had a number of comments about what I billed as the funniest cartoon in the world (which appears below, unless you’re reading this a week or two from now, in which case you’ll have to click on “Older Posts”).

A few, but by all means not all, of you said they disagreed with my assertion vis a vis the fact they didn’t get the joke.

So today’s blog entry will explain the joke in such a way that everybody will be able to enjoy the cartoon.

Right, the first thing you have to take into account is that, to human eyes, all sheep look the same. White sheep, that is. Obviously even humans can tell the difference between a white sheep and a black sheep.

So the joke rests on the fact that, to us, the idea that a sheep could tell the difference between two identical other sheep to the extent of fancying one for mating purposes and not fancying the other is ludicrous.

In a way, though, the joke’s on us. Of course, real sheep can tell each other apart, just as we can tell each other apart. Yet if an alien landed on earth, they would find it just as difficult to distinguish between, say, George Clooney and my colleague Fat Brian as we find it to distinguish between two white sheep.

There are other funny elements as well, chiefly the suggestion that sheep can talk, let alone speak colloquial English, and the name Roderick, which is inherently amusing, but these are very much the joke icing on the cartoon cake.

Now, have another look at the cartoon. I think you’ll now agree it IS the funniest cartoon ever.

On an entirely different subject, there’s an amusing amount of comment about the Indians taking over Jaguar, most of it based on A) their funny names, and B) fear of cars smelling a bit of curry. I don’t remember similar jokes when the Americans took it over, but I’m 100% confident that there’s no racism involved as it is now 2008.

That said, Ratan Tata is quite a funny name, though possibly not as funny as Roderick. Perhaps I’ll republish the cartoon, substituting the name Ratan Tata for Roderick, and see if it is any funnier.

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Well, that was a concern.

I’ve just been to Gregg’s for two sausage rolls. I was served by a polite young man, brisk but efficient. And, before I go on, can I just say how nice it was to see a man break through the glass ceiling at Gregg’s and be promoted to the front counter. I’ve seen men at the back before in those white trilby things carrying trays, but it’s rare to see one in the shop proper.

Anyway, he put the sausage rolls in the paper bag, as I was expecting. But then, and this is the killer, he put the paper bag in ANOTHER plastic bag.

Why did he feel it necessary to double the baggage? It’s not like it was pornography (although they do have a similar arousing effect on my corpulent colleague Fat Brian). I wasn’t ashamed of my purchase at the time, although in retrospect I do feel a bit queasy after eating two. I’ll stick to one in future, or a steak slice/Cornish pasty if I’m feeling peckish.

Perhaps it wasn’t for my benefit. Perhaps the health police want sausage rolls hidden away. If that’s the case, how dare they? How bloody dare they?

But maybe that wasn’t the reason. Now, the sausage rolls weren’t very hot. In fact, they were lukewarm. Perhaps the Gregg’s operative was hoping the rolls would retain their heat better in a double-bagging arrangement. But he was wrong. Dead wrong. For a start there was one of those little perfectly round holes which still had the punched-out bit of plastic attached at the bottom of the bag – a bit like Nearly-Headless Nick from the Harry Potter books. I’m never sure what those holes are for, by the way, a safety precaution for any primordial dwarfs who fall into them, perhaps, to stop them from suffocating? In any case, the holes stopped the bag acting as an impromptu vacuum flask.

The third reason, and by far the least likely, is that the Gregg’s chap forgot that he was only dealing with one bag and placed the sausage rolls in a second bag in a reflex action. That would be like the time I bought a meat pie (no chips) from The Lobster Pot chip shop in Liverpool city centre and the nice lady behind the counter, unbidden, covered it in salt and vinegar (I’m not going to go on about this, I’ve visited this before on the Internet). But the likelihood that this would happen to me twice – and both involving pastry products – is so remote as to be almost impossible.

So I am left with three possible explanations, none of which are entirely satisfactory. You can see why I’m so perturbed.

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