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The Kings and I

A festive gripe about Cornelius’s lovely ‘Three Kings‘ – and the solo I have never got to sing in it.

For The Oldie


For use during military manoeuvres the Kaiser has a portable house, made of asbestos.

The Nelson Evening Mail, June 22 1909

A six-year-old has become a multimillionaire, reviewing toys on YouTube.

The US has the world’s 2nd highest prison population, with 693 prisoners per 100,000.

Icelandic sea cucumbers fetch £438 per kilogram.

‘Word up’ means ‘I comprehend what you are saying and verify that your statement is true, my good brother.’

Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.

Ms Reeva Steenkamp has never been a stripper or a ho.

The hearsomeness of the burger felicitates the whole of the polis.

Gary Ross Dahl invented the pet rock in 1975.

Necrophilia is legal if you don’t know it’s a corpse.

The Worshipful Company of Poulters host an annual inter-livery pancake race.

Matt ‘Toast’ Berry really does do voiceover work, for Absolute Radio.

Everyone is going to paint a portrait of Peter Hitchens, until he likes one.

We need to talk about the real problem with ‘unlikeable’ women.

Summoning Pearl Harbor

A commemoration of Pearl Harbor, through Alexander Nemerov’s ekphrastic explorations.

For The Oldie


One-fiftieth of the inhabitants of Spain are nobles.

The Nelson Evening Mail, October 4 1906

The beheading of the sperm whale is a scientific anatomical feat, upon which experienced whale surgeons very much pride themselves.

Great lips take hydration and balls.

Pease pudding has been flagged up by airport security on more than one occasion.

There is a place in China called Asbestos County.

At 35, 139, Labour MP Diane Abbott’s majority in 2017 was greater than the total number of General Election votes Nigel Farage has received in his entire career.

Zmas rushes towards us like a slavering one-eyed hell-hound.

A suspected thief in Mumbai has been fed 36 bananas in an attempt to recover stolen property.

The Celler can rock. Yes.

House, M.D. is the most popular TV show worldwide.

A young man from Torbay has, on a long boat trip to the Far East, found himself the object of the amorous intentions of a gorilla.

Richard II was a Free Brother.

The Swedish have no verb for ‘to bowl a cricket ball’.

Bognor’s ‘wrong Theresa May’ is awaiting an apology from Donald Trump.

This Is Just To [CIA]



In the United Kingdom 200 out of every million persons are employed as writers or editors.

The Nelson Evening Mail, April 2 1907

No-one has been found in a major search along the Torridge.

‘Pog mahone’ means ‘kiss my arse’, in Gaelic.

Some people do not like to read instructions.

In South Africa there is a town called Nilstrom, where Afrikaners thought that they had found the Nile.

Hitler was not indifferent to meals.

Embracing one’s girlfriend under lampposts is a bourgeois activity.

A grasshopper has been stuck in a painting by Van Gogh for 128 years.

Every minute, somewhere in the world, a man is taking his own life.

Hastings Banda was once a GP in Kilburn.

Ships of the Royal Navy carried slavery manuals until the 1970s.

For just £299 you can look 20 per cent younger.

The Pacific island of Peleliu cost the 1st Marine Division 6,500 casualties to secure in 1944. No further use was made of it in WW2.

Mediocrity is the one true demonic force.


More than 6000 editions of the “Imitation of Christ”, ascribed to Thomas a Kempis, have been issued in the past 400 years.

The Nelson Evening Mail, January 21 1907

The record for the fastest hole in golf is 32.7 seconds.

Acres of quiet farmland set a peaceful scene.

‘Bert’ is like a maniac’s name.

Nurses in American hospitals read magazine articles on anal foreplay.

In Covent Garden there is a chocolate elephant that costs £900.

Not all Sinhalese people beat up Muslims.

Smooth Radio has a playlist of approximately eight songs.

The commander of the SAS unit in the 1980 Iranian embassy hostage crisis was called Hector.

Only 5% of reality is explained.

There are people who watch WWE wrestling and believe that it is real.

A 40-year-old woman has set off metal detectors in Athens airport, by wearing a chastity belt.

Tarjei Vesaas was nominated for a Nobel Prize thirty times.

It is unforgivable to be good only at your subject.


Throughout Denmark there is not one person over 10 years of age who cannot read or write.

The Nelson Evening Mail, September 4 1906

There is a whale whose voice is too low to communicate with other whales.

Seatbelts do not statistically improve your chances of surviving a car accident.

London’s Mithraic temple is buried deep beneath the new European headquarters of Bloomberg, the financial information company.

Aeneas and Euclid are both in limbo.

The name Lezard is not a Basque name.

One human male ejaculation contains enough sperm to impregnate every fertile female in the Western world.

All traditions must start somewhere.

Bell’s whisky doesn’t make you want to drink Bell’s whisky

Daniel O’Donnell will go live on Facebook from his show in Branson, MO, today.

We have no choice but to believe in free will.

The administration of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi has charged dozens of Burmese civil-society activists under a law that restricts criticism of the government.

The nation is divided over the John Lewis Christmas ad.

Clichés are piss.

Mortality 101 – or; Catullus at the graveside

The Oldie runs my poem for the Armistice commemorations.

For The Oldie

I ink, therefore I am

On the choice and acquisition of my one and only tattoo.

For The Oldie