This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Book of St Richard, Chapter 2

Continued from Chapter 1

1.Thus it came to pass that in the eighth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when Macmillan was governor of Westminster, a youth by the name of Richard Dawkins went to Oxford to study zoology.

2. And he learned the ways of the ferret, yeah and the ways of the terrapin. The ways of the donkey and the vole studied he also, and for many days he studied the ways of the earwig. And... (Get on with it. God.)

3. But the way of the marsh-wiggle studied he not, nor the ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal. Neither did he study the way of the snark.

4. Nor indeed did he study the ways of the cookie monster. For the learned professors in their wisdom said unto Richard, "These animals are a snare and a delusion, and not real animals at all."

cookie monster

A snare and a delusion

5. And Richard was troubled in his heart and said, "Surely this proves that God is also a delusion?" For logic was not his strong point.

6. Thus after three years of study, in which he learned the ways of the possum, yeah and the ways of the whelk... (I said, get on with it. God.)

7. It came to pass that Richard said to himself, "I am as clever as anyone else round here, and I shall write a thesis on animal behaviour."

8. And the learned doctors they said, "Richard, thou whose mind is as the icebergs of the north, vast but frozen, go thou forth and write a thesis on models of animal decision-making."

9. And Richard said, "Yea, I shall tell the world how chickens make decisions. How doth the little chicken know when to say 'cheep' and when to remain silent? How doth a wise chicken weigh up the evidence and decide that there is no God? Why doth the foolish chicken sing 'cluck' to the Lord?"

decisive chicken

A decisive chicken

10. Thus three years passed, and Richard wrote his mighty thesis. And the men of Oxford said, "Richard, you are too brainy for us. Go thou to Berkeley."

11. And Richard took unto himself a wife, the first of three comely wenches to be fascinated by his charm and animal magnetism, and he made his way to California, the land of the fanatical, the deranged, and the exhibitionist. Strangely, he felt at home there.

12. And it came to pass after three more years, that Richard decided that the time had come to grow into manhood, for he was twenty-nine years of age and people were starting to say, "Surely this limey kook is the oldest hippie on campus?"

13. And so Richard returned to Oxford, there to take up the post of lecturer in zoology.

14. And he spake unto the people, telling them the ways of the hedgehog, and the emu, and... (I warned you. God.)

Richard Dawkins

An Oxford zoologist

Continued in Chapter 3.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dr Damian's problem page

I am a strong dominating woman, Chancellor of a financially stable Western nation with a long and proud tradition of helping other countries run themselves (especially in 1914-18 and 1939-45). All I want to do is to make sure that the Euro is a success, but I am having trouble with my partners in a certain Mediterranean country. Whereas in Ger.... it is normal to get to the office at 3 a.m. and not go home again until midnight, those Gr.... don't have the same work ethic. Indeed when I telephoned their Government, they said that the country was closed for the next 2 months for a holiday. As a result, I am losing patience with my European partners. Can you help?
Angela M. of Berlin.

Angela Merkel

A strong leader

Dr Damian replies:  We see here several examples of addiction, which I discuss in my best-selling book, The Fix, only £12 from all good bookshops. You, Angela, are addicted to work, and also, perhaps, to stomping around in jackboots telling people what to do. The Greeks, on the other hand, are addicted to olives, ouzo, sunbathing, and (historically at least) playing practical jokes on their friends by leaving wooden horses outside their houses. When you understand this, the solution is clear, and is explained in Chapter 94 of my book, Is Addiction leading to World War III?

I am a senior Tibetan costume holy man, who obtained his position in a rather curious way, by being "discovered" when I was a small child. I really don't enjoy my job, not just because I can't go into Chinese restaurants without a fight breaking out, but also because people insist on saying odd things to me such as "Make me one with everything," and "Hello, Dalai, well hello, Dalai," and then giggling, which I don't really understand. And the problem is that when I am dead I am going to be reincarnated, and will have to go through the whole business all over again. Oh, I would have been much happier on stage - I've got a very good yak-impersonation routine, for example. I've also tried calling myself Mr Gyatso, but then people blame me for inventing speed cameras, which I don't remember doing.
Dalai L. of No Fixed Abode.


Impersonating a yak

Dr Damian replies:  My new book, The Fix, is currently on offer at only £5, and  you will find that it describes some of the addictions which are the cause of your present worries. Telling silly jokes to religious leaders is one that I used to suffer from myself, and the only remedy is to drop religious affairs completely, as I have done. Your problem with reincarnation is a trickier one, although I do touch on it briefly in Chapter 55 of my book, Addiction beyond the grave.

Hey, I'm just a regular kind of guy, who simply wants to get rich and be loved by everyone. I'm also extremely talented when it comes to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict, building a stable economy, winning elections, etc. But now I no longer dare appear in public without people throwing fruit and vegetables at me, shouting "War criminal!" and "Poodle!" at me, and generally disrupting my humble attempts to earn a few million bucks here and there.
Tony B. of Blair Castle, Blair Mansions, Château Blair, Schloss Blair, Ze Beeg 'ouse zat ze reech Señor El-Blairo lives in, Big Chief Lying Blair's Wigwam, and the Blairovski Dachas.

The fruits of the Spirit

A well-thrown tomato

Dr Damian replies: Addiction to food is a dangerous thing, leading to obesity, indigestion and sleepiness. As described in my new book, The Fix (now only £2 and with a free copy of Mary Riddell's Beauty Secrets thrown in), many people overcome these addictions by throwing away their food, often in the direction of some particularly hated politician. However, you have problems of your own, and you may find Chapter 84 of my book helpful, Are you addicted to telling lies?

Infidel Thompson dog, your stupid book has been of no use to me whatsoever. I am a simple Muslim cleric with a Sunni disposition, and a fondness for war, jihads and things that go BOOM. Nonetheless, the British authorities refuse to accept that I am merely the victim of an uncontrollable addiction to violence, and that I need specialised help - preferably a rest cure in a luxury hotel, with lots of handmaidens to look after my every need, know what I mean? War be upon you.
Abu H.of Belmarsh.

Abu Hamza

My heart goes boom bang-a-bang

Dr Damian replies: Of course, an addiction to violence is nothing new, and is well-described in my new book, The Fix (autographed copies for 20p, with a free blood-crazed ferret thrown in). You may find that Chapter 36, How I gave up assaulting bishops, which is my own personal story, will be of help to you.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Bad hymns 3

 Today's entry for the Eccles Bad Hymn Award is the Pentecost hymn Enemy of Apathy by John L. Bell and Graham Maule. As usual, we invited the authors to come along and explain themselves.

E: Welcome, the two of you. Since your hymn isn't as well-known as some of the others we have been discussing, perhaps you could sing the first verse to us?

JLB and GM: She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters, 
Hovering on the chaos of the world's first day; 
She sighs and she sings, mothering creation, 
Waiting to give birth to all the Word will say.

E: Thank you. So who is "she" in this context? In the office we were betting that it was either Mary Magdalene or possibly an Old Testament figure such as Eve, Sarah or Ruth. Not the Blessed Virgin Mary, given that you are being so rude about her?

JLB: Rude?

E: "She sits like a bird." Now, birds sit in lots of different ways. Do you mean she sits like a chicken? A penguin? A duck?


Sitting like a duck.

GM: Well, "she" is the Holy Spirit, so I suppose we should have said "She sits like a dove."

E: The Holy Spirit? Well, if you want to say the Holy Spirit is female, then I suppose we can't stop you, even if there's no real Biblical authority for this idea.You're not Wiccans, are you? Mother Earth Goddess stuff? No?

JLB: No. Well, yes. But not really.

E: Now, we were wondering  about the next line. "Hovering on the chaos of the world's first day." Very fine, but how does a bird sit and hover at the same time?

GM: You're going to ask us next how a dove sighs and sings at the same time, too, aren't you?

E: Well, I was wondering. Actually, the song reminds me a little of Gilbert and Sullivan. Some of your clunkier phrases later on, such as "Nourishing potential hidden to our eyes" or "Enemy of apathy and heavenly dove" could be taken straight out of The Mikado, couldn't they?

JLB: No.

GM: Did you like "She dances in fire, startling her spectators"? I wrote that bit. That's real poetry, that is.

E: Of course, spectators would be startled to see anyone dancing in fire. Do birds dance though? I think you've got a bit of a metaphor overload problem there.

She dances in fire.

GM: He's not taking this seriously, is he, John?

JLB: No. (Exeunt.)

E: John L. Bell and Graham Maule, thank you for coming along to explain your song.

Anti Moly in a care home

Well, Damain Thopmson has alreddy hinted as much on his blogg, but we has had to have Anti Moly taken into care. As you may have heard, althuogh he keeps very quiet about it, Damain has got a new book out, called "De Fix," which is all abuot poeple gettin addicted to strange fings (like cupcakes, cannapeas and de paino playin of Mrs Mills). I helped him a lot wiv writin bits of it, but he didn't give me a complementary copy, so I ordered one from Amazzon.


De probblem started when de postman came to Castle Thopmson to delivver my copy of de book, and Anti Moly jumped out and bit him in de leg. She saw de uniform and mistook him for a Cathlic preist, she reely needs to stop drinkin dat hair-restorrer, it causes dellusoins. In fact we has had a lot of trubble wiv her lately, as Damain went to Mass and she insisted on comin along, just so dat she cuold sit in the front row goin "Woeful. ROFL. I aint a belleiver," and trying to interrupt poeple worshippin.

Moly in church

So for Anti Moly's own good we has had her put in a care home, where dey doesnt let you drink hair-restorrer, and tries to keep you calm. She is still allowed to use a lapptop, so dont worry, you wont miss out on her inimicable commentin on bloggs.

Now, as Damain was sayin on his blogg, we got George Cloony to come and visit as part of his charitabble work. Anti Moly was reely looking forward to this, as she says she watched one of his early flims, Return of the Killer Tomatoes! seven times. It's all about a tomato transsformation chamber by which dey can turn ordinary tomatoes into humans, and Anti Moly says dat dis was de theme of one Richard Dakwins's powerful books disprovin de existence of God. She also says dat me, Eccles, is de evidence dat such transformatoins can take place, dat's not nice, Anti.

killer tomatoes

Dat Cloony (wot is addicted to bad coffee, but dats annuver story) spent ten minutes talking to Anti Moly, and den got up and said, "On second fuoghts, I is gonna do somefink else for charrity. Give me a third-world pigsty to clean out instead. With my bare hands if necessary. Just get me out of here!"

Damain is incensed by dis, and has written a hard-hitting articcle about it, but I fink dat Mr Cloony may have a point, after all. We saved poeple is used to analysin deep moral questoins like dis one.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Pentecost readings

burning the Fix

Burning copies of "The Fix"

As the hype over The Fix reaches a climax, and the team of relay runners escorting it round the UK says with one voice "We've had enough of that flaming book," the CBCEW has agreed to adopt new readings for this Pentecost Sunday, from the book of St Damian.

Vin and Dame

Vincent Nichols confesses to an addiction

As St Luke records in The Fix of the Apostles, when the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, the disciples were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house. Then there appeared tongues as of fire, which came to rest on them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues.

Now we see here several examples of addiction, and I have observed many such incidents in my researches for this book. Some people are addicted to strong winds; for example St Peter is recorded as once having taken his boat out onto the Sea of Galilee in a storm, evidently to feed his addiction to wind, which the other Apostles vainly tried to cover up. If he had not had this problem, he would probably have stayed indoors, become a journalist, and maybe written a blog. Some say that Prince Charles, who recently moonlighted as a weatherman on television, is also addicted to extreme meteorological phenomena.

Tongues of fire are another addiction I have seen on my travels. Sometimes this is merely a variation on cigarette-smoking, where the addict lights the wrong end of the cigarette in his confusion (my friend Cristina Odone often makes this mistake). Another way of setting one's tongue on fire is by fire-eating, which nobody would do unless they were seriously disturbed.

Cristina Odone smoking

Unholy smoke from Cristina Odone

Could it have been the case that St Peter was addicted to fire-eating, as well as heavy winds? St Luke is strangely silent on the question.

Then again we come to another addiction mentioned in this passage, the speaking in different tongues. In modern society people with this problem can find useful employment as interpreters and translators, but sometimes we find charismatic sects whose members simply sound off with random garbage like "Molybdenite Holy Smoke ROFL Damian Fix Judy Bogan Pottymouth LOL," as a way of obtaining relief. No doubt St Peter was a sufferer from this condition as well.

Fairy cake from Soho

fairy cake cupcake, as seen at Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory, Soho

As St Paul, notorious for plugging his own Epistles, once pointed out, the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, a good haircut, a clean shirt, and a real Ph.D. degree, whereas the works of the flesh are obvious: trolling on blogs, addiction to cupcakes, drinking my supplies of gin and hair-restorer, reading the Guardian and the Huffington post, and trying to ordain women as priests.

Alas, on my own blog, where many of the contributors are intelligent traditional Catholics with good haircuts and clean shirts, I have seen several more sordid people, with various addictions. Often they come from primitive places such as Australia and South America, pretending to have a scientific background, but really just invading my blog in order to feed their sordid compulsions (which are too disgusting to name in a sacred document such as this one).

In spite of the weaknesses of St Peter that I mentioned earlier, the reason that Christ gave him the keys of Heaven must surely be that he didn't eat cupcakes, only drank hair-restorer on special occasions, and would never have turned up smelling of llama.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Book of St Richard, Chapter 1

1. Now there was abiding in the town of Nai-rob-i a woman, named Jean Mary Vyvyan Dawkins, whom some called "Selfish Jean," wedded to a man, named Clinton John Dawkins.

2. This man was an an agricultural civil servant, and drank many cups of tea in the service of the King.

3. And he was a man of great power and might, who controlled the supply of animal manure to the peoples of the land of Ken-ya. And their crops grew in abundance.


4. Now it came to pass that an angel of the Lord came down to visit Jean, and said, "Congratulations, you shall give birth to an atheist."

5. "And you shall call him 'Clinton Richard,' after his father; and he will be known as 'Richard,' or, to his enemies as 'Dr Bonkers.'" However, he shall not drink many cups of tea in the service of the King."

6. "Still, you must train him well, so that, like his father, he may devote his skills to seeing that the people lack not a goodly supply of manure, that which is called s'hit."

more manure

More manure.

7. And so Jean gave birth to her son, and laid him in a manger, for she had hopes that the family's pet lion cub might consume such a repulsive child.

8. But the Lord watched over young Richard, and he was not consumed. And Jean wept, saying that a curse was come upon her family.

9. Now it came to pass, when Richard was eight years of age, that he went with his parents to a far-off land called England, which is to say, "The land of the heroic but sometimes rather gullible."

10. And he studied amongst the doctors and sages in a place called Ound-le, which is to say "An academy for the sons of gentlefolk, or at least rich folk."

11. And Richard was told of the ways of the Lord, and he learnt of many wondrous things, such as the fact that Salathiel begot Zorobabel, and Zorobabel begot Abiud. However, some say that he rather missed the point of St Matthew's Gospel there.

hen and chickens

12. He also learned from the Book of Matthew that the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, a piece of wisdom that he retained in his heart. 

13. For later he was to write a scholarly thesis on the subject of chickens, that all men might say "Truly this is indeed a learned doctor, for he knoweth the way of the chicken."


14. But one day, when Richard was still a child, the Devil entered into his heart, and he said "ROFL."

15. Which meaneth, "I have considered all the arguments for the existence of God, and chosen to ignore them. Let us dance the dance that is known as Yakety-Sax."

16. And thus he made his way to Ox-ford, the land of the doctors and wise men. Although some say that there were wiser men at Cam-bridge.

Continued in Chapter 2.

Happy Holy Days

Costume Holy Men

Costume holy men

As Catholics in England and Wales celebrate Ascension Day today, three days later than the Pope does, we sent our reporter (Ecclesiastes, the secretary of Eccles) to interview Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

Eccles: Happy Ascension Day, your Grace. Now why exactly did you decide to celebrate it today?

Vincent Nichols: We were going by the guidance given in the Acts of the Apostles, To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty-three days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God.

E: Sure that it wasn't forty days? Admit it, you wanted to stay in and watch television on Thursday night.

VN: Well, there was a very good programme on. Britain's Got Heresy, you know. 

E: I think I saw that one. Was that the one where Diarmaid MacCulloch and Tina Beattie were wrestling in a vat of custard, Anglicans versus Catholics?


A wrestling champion

VN: Yes, that's the one. But let's be serious now, Eccles. You can't expect faithful Catholics to go to church on any day except Sunday. That's why, from 2013, we shall be reorganizing Holy Week.

E: So Good Friday will not longer fall on a Friday?

VN: No, in the interests of efficiency, and getting "bums on seats," we shall have Maundy Sunday, Good Sunday and Easter Sunday on the same day, 42 days after Ash Sunday. After all, the date of Easter is a bit arbitrary, anyway, and our Eastern Orthodox Brethren tend to celebrate it a week or two later.

E: Won't Maundy-Good-Easter Sunday be rather busy?

VN: Perhaps a litte. We haven't yet decided whether to recommend three services or one big one. Probably, the latter, so that the Sabbath is kept fairly free for traditional devotions. IKEA, for example. As a gesture of generosity to the Ordinariate, I am going out later to buy them a flat-pack altar. Don't let anyone tell you that we're not making exceptional provision for these newcomers to the Church.

Altar from IKEA

A gift for the Ordinariate

E: Thank you very much, Vincent Nichols. At least you won't have any trouble with Whitsun, eh?

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Four out of ten old ladies drink hair-restorer

A geust blogg from Damain Thopmson


Up to 40% of old ladies drink hair-restorer, according to recent research undertaken by the University of Adelaide. My own informal observations bear this out, as Patient M, a ridiculously old lady who is also currently my guest in Castle Thompson - as is her great-nephew, a charming man called Eccles - has turned out to be a consumer of many unusual products.

My butler, Will Heaven, reports that Anti Moly, as Eccles calls her, began by drinking my supplies of gin and whisky, but, when he started to lock these up, she turned to other substances.


Did I mention that I have written a book on addiction, called The Fix? Do buy a copy. I am hoping that Eccles will agree to serialize excerpts on his lovely blog. Anyway, in my book I treat all sorts of addictions and obsessions: for example, there is a biologist in South America who is addicted to stories of clerical child abuse, having a whole laboratory wall decorated with stories from the Puffington Post and the New Yawn Times. Another strange addiction I write about is cinnabons, a sticky cake much loved by Yorkshire bishops.

Returning to Patient M, once she had run out of conventional alcoholic drinks, she drank a bottle of my Geoffrey Lean hair-restorer; then she went to the garage and drank my supply of Delinpol anti-freeze (much to the annoyance of Hannan my chauffeur). Finally, getting desperate, she drank a bottle of her own Possumgon, a product she uses to protect the roof of her Australian home from enthusiastic marsupials.

Her drinking is irregular, but when she decides to have a "binge" or "meltdown," she is often seen on the internet, posting insults on blogs (including my own). For some reasons she particularly hates Catholics, especially serious ones.

Patient M seems to be immune to poison, according to her nephew Eccles. The old photograph below shows M and her friend informing a visitor that they had added some arsenic to his drink, "To give it some bite."

Arsenic and Old Lace

Well, it's difficult to know what to do in such cases, but if enough people buy my book The Fix, I will be able to do some more in-depth research (Tenerife looks like a promising place to start).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Telegraphies

The Telegraphies

Who can resist the jolly antics of the Telegraphies - Molly, Micky, Marky and Pau? With their silly catch-phrases and their crazy games, they have become an instant hit on the Telegraph blogs.

* We giggle as Molly, the senile one, thinks up more revolting insults than ever before. We chuckle as she tells us about her tolerance for all religions except orthodox Catholicism. We fall asleep as she tells us anecdotes about her "rels". Molly's the one who drinks all the hair-restorer.

* We smile as little Micky, the one who may be male or female (or something in between), pastes dozens of links to anti-Catholic articles on dodgy websites and says "ROFL" whenever challenged to debate an issue seriously. Weep with Micky when she (or perhaps he) tells you how dreadfully unfair life is. Micky's the one whose only friend is a llama.

* Then there's Marky, the intellectual of the group, who has read Dawkins and Einstein, and thinks they are theologians. However, Marky really prefers to curl up with a good story about child abuse.

* Finally there's creepy old Pau, the "gay icon," who trawls the internet, looking for information about his victims. Pau likes religion, but not the serious bits.

And now Damian Thompson says "Bye-bye."

Damian Thompson

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bad hymns 2

Today we have an interview with the great Graham Kendrick, writer of a popular "Christian song."

E: Well, Mr Kendrick, your hymn, "Shine, Jesus, Shine," which is extremely popular with the under-9 age group, but which drives all adults crazy, has been nominated for the prestigious Eccles Bad Hymn Award. We recently interviewed one of your rivals, Sydney Carter, and now we come to you.

GK: It's great to be here, Eccles.

E: First the meaning of the song, then. Does the photograph below give some idea of your intentions when you refer to "Shine"? Romans 10:15? How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace?



GK: No, I don't think you have fully grasped the meaning of my song, Eccles. It is more to do with the idea of Jesus, the Light of the World, shining in the darkness.

E: I see. Well, of course that is stressed very well in the first verse, where you use the word "Shine" or "Shining" no less than five times (out of a total of 15 in the entire song, I think). Let's move on a bit, skipping over the embarrassing bit where you try to rhyme "presence" and "radiance," making the latter just two syllables, "Ray-jence."

GK:  Yes, many people have told me that the song doesn't really scan. If you clap your hands or bang your head against the wall at various points, it makes it go past a bit more smoothly.

E: Now, what's all this "Flow, river flow, Flood the nations with grace and mercy" stuff? Is that not a little insensitive these days, when we see many people threatened with flood water? Which river would that be, anyway?

flood the nations

Flood the nations.

GK: I'm afraid I didn't have any particular river in mind. The verse refers to "Jesus," then "Spirit," so I thought I'd add a cunning twist by not mentioning the "Father" but using "River" instead. If it makes people think of  the Big Guy in the Sky as "Old Man River," then that's all to the good, surely?

E: Is it? Oh, right. Could you settle one other point that I find difficult? "Blaze, Spirit blaze, Set our hearts on fire?" Why is it a good thing to have one's heart on fire? A quick check of the Bible suggests that it is quite a painful and distressing thing to endure. See Jeremiah 20:9:  There came in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was wearied, not being able to bear it.

There came in my heart as a burning fire.

GK: Think of it as poetry, Eccles. It doesn't mean anything, but it sounds good. So good that you have to sing the chorus three times before you are allowed to leave the church.

E: Mr Kendrick, thank you very much. Can I go now?

Hillary Mental not for respectable people

Our literary editor (who is not a saved pusson) writes:


Catholic leaders today claimed that the Booker prize-winning novelist Hillary Mental was "not for respectable people." Although given every advantage in life, including a Catholic upbringing, she had turned to the dark side, and was a deeply sinister person.

In 2010, Mrs Mental said that girls were ready to have babies at 14. "Having sex and having babies is what young women are about, and their instincts are suppressed in the interests of society's timetable," she said (yes, really). Catholic leaders have seized on this as being the sort of scandalous comment which leads to child abuse.

Asked if he would call for Hillary Mental on his deathbed, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said, "Certainly not. What a stupid idea."

Sister Muriel, one of the nuns who ran the Catholic school at which Mrs Mental was educated, said, "She was always a troublesome child, scribbling rude words on bits of paper when she should have been listening to her teachers. No wonder she's turned out badly."

Hillary Mental is the author of Wolf Hall, of which Susan Bassnett in the Times Higher Education Supplement said:  "I have yet to meet anyone outside the Booker panel who managed to get to the end of this tedious tome," placing her work on a par with the immortal The Da Vinci Code.

Cardinal Sean Brady has offered protection to Mrs Mental, in case she feels threatened by outraged Catholics, although, he said, "She really is not a respectable person."

Sunday, 13 May 2012

A guest blogg from Prince Chalres

weather man

Good evening, some of you will have seen me on television recently, reading the weather forecast: indeed, I told the nation that the Queen was facing a lot of "heir pressure" right now, but she had said she was still "long to rain over us." Being a great fan of the Goons, one is delighted to help out Mr Eccles Cake while he is suffering from a writer's block thingie, although one realises that he is only a pale imitation of the intellectual giant created by the late Spike Milligan.

Well, as Defender of All Faiths, one is of course anxious to encourage all faiths, and besides achieving Karma and earning the 72 virgins that one is promised in Paradise, one does indeed wish to be a saved person like Mr Eccles. So, er, "One has been saved, yeah."

weather girl

Crikey, how did that picture of Mater get there? Eccles, could you remove it, please? Oh, it's your Auntie Moly, is it? What a startling resemblance she bears to the old Monarch, eh?

Of course, there is a limit to this "Defender of all Faiths" business, and it would not do to be seen endorsing the Catholic faith - not if one is looking for a spot of promotion in a few years time, perhaps to a job with a crown of one's own as part of the benefits package.

Damian Thompson, the UK's leading Catholic, is a close friend of mine, and he shares many of my passionate interests. When I attended his party in Castle Thompson last week, we had a lively discussion about the prayer book, the use of organic bread and wine at Mass, and of course, the weather.

weather blog

Thompson was also telling me about the "Gay Mafia" which is so influential in Catholic circles these days. Alas, we don't really have any "gay" members of the Royal Family apart from my cousin Prince Hemd-Heber of Lustigstadt, so one cannot really advise him there.

Well, one was rather hoping to get some sort of message across in this blog - after all, one's subjects do rather expect a few words of wisdom - so let's tackle a subject dear to the heart of Damian Thompson: the correct naming of people. Obviously, it is a solecism to refer to "Lord Peter Mandelson" when his real title is "The Dark Lord of Gehenna," but not many people know that Damian's blog should really be published under his formal title "His Grace The Honourable Doctor Damian Thompson of that ilk." Standards are indeed slipping.

Damian has asked me to mention his new book, "The Fix," which is the tragic story of the decline and fall of a Catholic journalist into secularism and mediocrity. Will that do?


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Just another Minute

Now that Nicholas Parsons has been given some much-needed counselling, we resume our panel game "Just a Minute" with Moly Badnite, Damian Thompson, Ken Livingstone and Richard Dawkins. Recall that panelists must speak for one minute without (a) being rude about anyone, (b) rolling on the floor laughing, or (c) talking about their boring family.

NP: Right, Richard Dawkins, you have one minute on the subject of "World War II."

RD: The role of the Catholic church in World War II was truly shameful. It was Pope Pius XII who gave Hitler the idea of persecuting the Jews, you know. Pius instructed young Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to found the Hitler Youth - he liked parading in funny costumes, still does. Having heard that, how can anyone pretend that God exists? ROFL.  BZZZ.

Dawkins ROFL

NP: A challenge from Ken Livingstone there. Yes, Richard lost control and started ROFLing.  Is there a doctor in the house? Ken, 45 seconds left on the subject of World War II.

KL: Hitler didn't like the Jews because they were all too rich to vote for him, and I have the same problem. My father warned me, you know. "Ken," he said, "Muslims good, Jews bad. IRA good, Tories bad. When in doubt make friends with the ones with the bombs. Got that?" BZZZ.

Livingstone and friend

NP: Well Damian Thompson was the first to spot the gratuitous reference to a boring family-member. Damian, 32 seconds on "World War II."

DT: For all his faults, Josef Goebbels did obtain a Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in 1921, and he was a successful journalist in his younger days, sometimes known as Das Blut-verrückten Frettchen. He wrote a best-selling book Gegenwissen, which he followed up with Der Fix. You wouldn't see a thicko like Richard Chartres... BZZZ.

NP: A challenge from Ken Livingstone there. Yes, Richard lost control and started ROFLing. Is there a doctor in the house? Ken, 45 seconds left on the subject of World War II.

MB: Er... Well... Um... Can I mention the woefully shameful way I was treated by Hermann Goering? I still remember those balmy nights in Berlin, when we danced romantically together by the light of the moon.  My father said we made a lovely couple. I've got a photo here.

Moly and Goering

MB (continues): In those days many of my "rels" were Catholic. BZZZ Shut up, will you? Not fanatical rude obsessed sock-puppet Catholics like James MacMillan. BZZZ BZZZ. SHUT UP! Devout saintly non-believing Catholics, the best kind. ROFFAM. BZZZ BZZZ BZZZ.

NP: What's ROFFAM? Oh yes, "rolls on floor foaming at mouth." Well, Moly got through to the final buzzer, but her nephew Eccles has just come on with a wheel-barrow to take her home. So it's goodbye from me. I'll be back when Hell freezes over, but not much sooner.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Just a Minute


Nicholas Parsons (for it is he). Welcome to this week's edition of "Just a Minute," the show where contestants have to talk for one minute on a given subject without (a) being rude about anyone, (b) rolling on the floor laughing, or (c) talking about their boring family.

Tonight's guests are Moly Badnite, also known as the Great Australian Blight; Damian Thompson, who asked me to mention his new book; Ken Livingstone, politician and clown; and lastly Richard Dawkins, founder of the Dawkinsology cult. And we start with Moly, who has to speak for just a minute on the subject of Beethoven.


MB: Of course I had a very good musical education in Australia, and was I able to play all the Beethoven piano sonatas by the time I was 3 years old. I know them all, the Pathetic, the Woeful, the Hammersockenpuppet, etc., thanks to my father who was a personal friend of Beethoven and... BZZZ.

NP: Yes, and a challenge from Damian there. She's been mentioning her boring family again, hasn't she? You have one point and the subject with 49 seconds to go.

DT: It's really shocking that kids these days don't know their opus numbers off by heart. Why even my friend James MacMillan hesitated for 10 seconds when I asked him to name three 19th century Finnish composers each of whose opus 94 was in the key of G major, and James is the greatest composer since Beethoven. BZZZ

MB: ROFL. He's a traddy fanatical Catholic. I told him once to stick to composing.

RD: Catholics??? Did you know that the Pope killed Polly Toynbee, made a pie out of her body, and served it up in an old people's home? Well, he would if he could. Darwin predicted it, you know.

MB: Toynbees? There's a plague of them in Pottymouth. Huge creatures. Not like the pathetic pommy bees you get in England. Such is life, eh? BZZZ. Aargh, there's another one!

Town bee

NP: SHUT UP. Sorry, slightly incorrect challenges from Moly and Richard there, so Damian continues with 39 seconds left.

MB: Why is the rude idiotic Nicholas Parsons troll allowed to continue here?

NP: It's my show, actually. Now, Damian?

DT: I own 45,000 CDs of Beethoven's music, which is probably a record. I really must get a CD player one of these days. Of course, late Beethoven is the best - say, anything he wrote after 11 p.m. BZZZ.

NP: Ken? Did you have a challenge?

KL: Waaaaaahhhh! I lost! How could people vote for Boris? He tells lies. He has extremist views. He makes friends with terrorists. He keeps newts. He hates Jews. Or was that someone else?

NP: Another point to Damian for an incorrect challenge, I'm afraid. But I've had enough of this stupid game. It was so much more dignified when Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo were on the show.


Concluded here.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Electoin night party

Our host Damain Thopmson held an electoin night party to which he invited all his best freinds like Joanne Hairy and Vanilla Redgrave, wot he writes about in his luvvly blogg. Of course, de staff at Castle Thopmson excelled demselves in makin de preparatoins.

Luckily, Will Heaven de butler fuond dat Damain had been hoardin hair-restorrer in his garrage in case of a shortage, so my Anti Moly's grate thirst was taken care of (in fact, as she has reportted on Damain's blogg for all her many admirin readers, she was stung by a bee in a most embarassin place, and was feelin a little woeful). Here is my Anti, unable to sit down, but revivin herself wiv a glass of Damain's hair-restorrer.

Moly Badnite

Muvver Odone de cook had prepared some exottic Itallian delickacies wot you cant git in Enggland, such as macaronni and pizza. Old Lean de gardener had got Damain's grounds nice and tidy; in fact he aint very good wiv growin plants: since he installed crabon doixide filters in the greenhuoses in order to save de plannet, all de plants is wiltin away. And I aint sure dat de plannet is saved, niether. We also had Hannan de chuaffeur on dutty to ferry de guests home when dey had drunk too much - dis man's gotta part time job in Brussels as well, but he says it is badly paid and he has to take on extra jobs to make ends meet.

De guests of honour was of course Borris and Ken, who is grate pals of Damain's. Here we see Ken wiv an uniddentified freind, weepin his eyes out cos I told him dat he aint saved.


De church was well-represented, and Vincent Nicholas and Rowan Willaims came along for a snifter. Vincent Nicholas was full of fun - here you see him sneekily doin de rabit ears trick where you puts your hands behind someone's head so dat dey looks like dey got rabit ears, and so aint saved. Unfortunately he aint very good at it yet.

rabbit ears

I said to de costume holly man, don't try doin dat trick to de Pop, buster, or you aint never gonna git dat red hat. Remember de sad storry of Barrack Obamma, who was rude to de Queen and is now personna non gratta (dat's traddy langwidge for "in de dog huose").

Diplomatic incident

Actaully de Queen was at Damain's party too, and she was anggry cos she had just read dat Obamma liked eatin dogs. Dis might explane why after his last visit Winston de corgi was nowhere to be fuond - so perhaps Obamma had been literally in de dog huose. Dis is what we calls a diplomattic incident.

Well dis blogg is gettin a bit long, but it was an all-night party and a lot happened. Dere was one more geust I should mentoin, a charmin preist called Farver Pau, wot is a libberal Cathlic. He said "You looks like a handsome young lad, has you ever been to Exxeter?" I fink dat my spiritaul juorney is gonna take me to some interrestin places.

Farver Pau

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Brady refuses to resign

A bad-taste special from the Daily Telegraph

Damian Thompson, the celebrated blood-crazed ferret and television critic, today repeated his call for the resignation of the man known to millions as "that bloody swine Brady". There have been repeated allegations that Brady bears the direct responsibility for destroying the lives of a large number of children.


Oh dear. We apologise for incorrectly publishing the above picture of a saintly costume holy man, widely tipped to be the next Pope. Shall we try again? Probably, this is the chap we were talking about.


From his prison cell, the disgraced Cardinal Archbishop of Saddleworth repeated that he had no intention of resigning. "I don't care how much damage my incompetence, wickedness and general power-crazed ambition does to the reputation of the Catholic Church," he said. "After all, I am the Messiah."

Meanwhile, the "Atheist Messiah," Richard Dawkins, issued a statement from his padded cell in Oxford. "All Catholics are perverts, criminals, and nutcases. Why don't they join MY church? All they have to do is to bow down and worship me, and I will give them the kingdoms of the world."

Dawkins tempting Christ