Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Thursday 20 December 2012


The year began thus:

And ended thus:
So thus about all folks


Friday 14 December 2012


Hello Boys and Girls, some of you will be receiving the following in card format for Christmas, others will be receiving last years card with 2011 crossed out and 2012 added instead.

gnome (one, largish)
mashed potato (a bucket of)
carrots (a ganseyload)
onions (a clatter)

1. A reputable butcher will be able to aid you in your selection of a suitable gnome. These tasty nuggets of elven meat have become much more affordable since the introduction of battery farming (coupled with rigorous programmes of force feeding.) Choose an older gnome for fuller flavour and look for one with rosy cheeks and a soft, fluffy beard.

2. Once home. Strip gnome (retaining hat,) shave all body hair. Disembowel. Be sure to bury offal under a holly bush (during a full moon) in order to avoid the curse of Monkey Island.

3. Grip gnome firmly by ankle and feed into mincer. Apply considerable pressure to handle to deal with bone.
Fry minced gnome with onion and carrot.
4. Place fried gnome and vegetables in a baking dish. Top with mashed potato. Sculpt potato in cruel parody of how gnomes once looked in happier days - before Papa Noel shifted his sweatshop to China and pushed generations of bearded elves out into the frozen wastes, subjecting them to ecognomic hardship without so much as a sidelong glance and he even had the cheek to appear in the newspapers banging on about how his new business model had provided a vibrant and sustainable future for toy makers and how he had contributed to the fiscal well-being of children worldwide even though he now effectively has one half of them making dolls and plastic guns for the other half. . .
Bake for three hours.
Garnish with hat.

If Christmas guests complain gnome pie has little flavour tell them it’s not half as tasteless as some of the muck you've read on this blog. . .

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! The old chap with the beard will soon be down your chimney!

Thursday 6 December 2012


The Chairman and Guest Speaker (drawn from life.)
Last Tuesday night saw the annual meeting of the Terenure (and District) Garra Rufa Fish Appreciation Society's Advent Party. The turnout was a respectable 3 people - a figure which fell just short of the record 2008 number of 4 (both figures include the guest speaker.) Society chairperson Alan (Herr Uberootrer) Hayden introduced the speaker Mr. John (Shaun Bawn) Barrett who had travelled from Carlow to speak on the topic of 'Rat Infestations - Improving Your Cookery Skills.' The talk proved a great success (despite the lecturer's numerous digressions onto topics as diverse as cardboard and nipples.) The Author gave the vote of thanks and it was seconded by the chairman. Afterwards Mr. Barrett called us both 'miserable bastards' to our faces.
A vote was held on the society's proposed Gunpowder Plot and it was agreed to defer it until next year when gunpowder prices and relationships between the Catholic church and King James I - will (hopefully) have plummeted. The venue was Bradys' of Terenure, a pub made famous by the 1970s Brady Bunch television show.
All those wishing to attend next year's meeting should consult the map below.

See you there next year. - Work commitments in foreign counties mean December will be a month of bizarre and very sparse postings.

Tuesday 27 November 2012


Hello fellow heritage gnomes, I am just returned from my weekly visitation to Aldi and, judging by the marzipan pastries stacked high as a proverbial stilt walker's nipple, methinks Christmas approacheth. The inescapable merriment of said Hannukathon makes one wonder what gifts to scatter in a manure-like fashion 'neath old Piney Tannenbaum. Well, my mirth loving mud-pilots, wonder no more as the latest version of everyone's preferred yuletide board game has been unleashed auf den Markt . . .

Just look at the properties one can acquire!
I must admit I'm infatuated by the redesign of this classic - particularly the playing counters so perfectly reflecting 21st century archaeology. There's a few expected ones, steel toe-cap boot, trowel &c. &c. but I must say the bulldozer is bound to be fought over by middle managers tripping over themselves in search of a pension plan (and who can blame them? Little sweethearts . . .) Then the Sherman tank is a must for those site directors who trundle around in the site hut and fire shit at beleaguered staff from a distance. Oh yes, let's not forget the book counter (shown at bottom), representing university archaeologists - and the book actually opens up!! Inside the cover all is revealed - it's by dear Albert H. Munsell, and surprise, surprise it's a racy revised version of his 'Munsell Soil Colour Chart,' this new edition is called 'Fifty Shades of Brown,' and boy is it filthy!! So dirty I dropped my biscuit in the Horlicks.
The Counters: The trowel always gets stolen from the box.
Now far be it from me to teach my Grandmother to suck eggs (and by Gumbo you should have seen mine get her tongue around one,) but I think the new revised rules do warrant explaining. First, money is distributed evenly among the players (the money in Archaeopoly consists of buttons) then a loaded dice (snake eyes) is thrown over the shoulder of the player last seen growing a beard during the winter solstice.
The players then march in an anti-clockwise direction about the board while saying a decade of the Rosary. Afterwards Professor Plum is accused of being a murdering bastard and (if all goes according to plan) a knock at the door will signal the arrival of MI5.
After you own a few properties why not add one of these?
And now the game really gets interesting! A basin is filled with water and apples are bobbed on the top. MI5 then immerse each players head under the water until they admit to being guilty of the 1972 terrorist attack on the Cuban consulate in Montreal. Whoever snaps first under interrogation shouts 'SNAP!' eats all the apples and then takes a card from the 'Chance deck.'
Pine Needles do have a Point
MI5 then begin random beatings on the contestants before firing bullets into the ceiling and exiting Gangnam Style. All players now shout 'I sunk your battleship!' signaling the game's approach into the final furlong . . .
The Battleship Hope: Time to abandon Hope.
And in the final furlong it's Middle Manager in hot pursuit of Pension Plan, and they're  neck and neck with Underpricing the Job, closing in swiftly is University Closure. It's anybodies race yet as Middle Manager pulls clear into the lead and shows Underpricing the Job a thing or two about underpricing jobs. Pension Plan is beginning to stagger under the sheer weight of funds available - but wait! Who's this? Up from behind and out of nowhere comes Will Work for Peanuts - no industry stands a chance against that monster. The finishing line comes into view and it's Will Work for Peanuts first, then Middle Manager, Underpricing the Job, University Closure, Pension Plan and trotting in behind the lot of them is The Archaeology - that poor old nag never stood a chance . . .
The game ends with the players disagreeing about everything, then the board gets thrown out the window and everyone departs wondering why did they ever get involved in a game as loony as Archaeopoly to begin with.
Good job it's just a game. . . 
The Future Looks Bright
I'll get my people to ring your people. Talk soon.

Tuesday 13 November 2012


1. In the Beginning was The Word.
The word 'Roman' is intimately associated with a body of words used to describe door to door delivery people. To elucidate this point - think of the cheerful milkman (conveying lactose delights in the form of bottled milk) or the giggling gasman (delivering gas via a swollen pig's bladder) and then consider  the Roman pouring gallons of sturgeon roe through your letterbox by means of a collapsable aqueduct. Sadly, much like the Ottoman (deporting his footstool of otters) or the frogman, (lugging his wetsuit of frogs,) the Roman is now an all but forgotten detail of ancient history.
Tempus fugit amicis, tempus fugit.

2. Eddy Gibbon - 'Gibbsie' to his chums.
Edward Gibbon, 18th century author of 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,' (and the later lesser known 'The Decline of Latin Verbs,') had a very peculiar middle name - 'Emily.' It caused his school chums to give him a dreadful ribbing. On one memorable occasion the Duke of Cumberland remarked that Gibbon had a middle name that was 'girly' and a surname derived from a baboon.
'You can't talk,' retorted Gibbon, 'You're named after a G*ddamn sausage!'
This witty retort caused the Marquis de Vajazzle to quietly quit the room.
3. Advertising Feature.
Go to school on an egg.

4. Reflection on Advertsing Feature.
If no.4 had not been used as an advertising slogan it would surely have made an excellent riposte.

5. Roman Nose.
Uncle Bill was one of those
Infants born with a Roman nose.
It cantilevered 'twixt his cheeks
Like a peckish vulture's beak.
Grandma garnered little favour,
On showing him round the neighbours
Incensed she shrieked - Go and stick it!
It's not as if I got to pick it!
          But she meant choose it.

6. Fructophilia.
When I was a boy I was very fond of fruit. Well . . .  allow me the latitude to be frank - my psychiatrist described me as an acute fructophiliac. Apples made me wobbly at the knees, mangos created profound nether stirrings and the mere thought of a cumquat . . . well, I'm sure you can imagine . . .
But I needed harder hits and before I knew it I had moved on to the tart spiciness of dried fruit. Banana chips, dessicated strawberries, moistureless papaya, I was living on the edge and didn't give a damn - until that lamentable incident between myself, the headmistress and the shoebox of prunes . . . It cost my family a fortune to hush that mess up.
My father eventually pulled me feet first out of a sack of dates and said: 'Son, things have gone pear-shaped. Do you think you could try switching to vegetables for a while?'
I showered him with a mouthful of half masticated dates in derision.
'I care not a fig for your request!' Said I.
'I'll give you money,' said he, dangling a carrot on the end of a stick.
'No!' Said I, not biting.
'And why not?' Said he.
'Because,' said I, 'dried fruit is my raisin d'etre!'
Another installment in my continuing illustrated series of 'mad shit.'

7. Blogging.
I was recently told that the most successful blogs are those with an interactive element. Therefore, with that in mind, insert your own jocular, side-splittling Roman factoid here . . . . . . . . .
Oooh! I think I've just outsourced, I feel more successful already.

8. Verbs.
Latin Verb: yodel - 'to call'
conjugates in the active present tense as -
A scene from 'The Roman Empire Strikes Back.'
9. History.
In 'The Agricola' of Tacitus, it is recorded that the mighty generalissimo Agricola (son of Pepsicola) believed he could conquer Ireland with a single legion of troops. Tacitus did not record the later campaign into Ireland, where, on landing at Laytown, Co. Meath, the great general was met by a group of druid-bankers who advised sagely against invasion and instead gave him enough credit to buy the whole island and several parts of Londinium (which he already owned,) and a timeshare in Croatia, lots of expensive 'art', a Russian shopping mall, several helicopters, a Nigerian oil rig, a barrel of distilled bunkum, two turtle doves, three French hens and a non-refundable kick in the arse.
The fall of the Roman Empire had begun.

10. A Farewell Tune.
Time for a tune off Bob Dylan's latest album. Turn up the volume on your 'pooter and press HERE PLEASE! The reason I'm including el-Bobster on this blog is because if something as ancient and decrepit as the the Bard Zimmerman can still continue to arouse interest -there just might be hope for archaeology yet.
It's time to start busking boys and girls . . .

Tuesday 30 October 2012


The 14th of August 1606 is a date which lives in a dark corner of the Irish cultural pschye. On said occasion, a Bermuda Chapter of the Salvation Army Marching Band invaded County Clare wielding tubas, cymbals and a particularly alarming assemblage of French horns. They murdered all tunes before them until they came to the town of Ennis and laid siege to it's sturdy walls. In an extraordinary turn of events the town held fast behind the stalwart tin whistles of three milkmaids (playing 'The Kiltimagh Jig') until reinforcements, (in the form of Dicky Rock and the Chieftains,) leapt out from behind a barrel of lard and sent the Sally bastardos packing.
What any of that has to do with archaeology beats the pants off me but I thought it as good a way as any to introduce my reworked version of a rare ould tune. This nouvelle chanson is a savvy archaeological reworking of the Celtic ballad 'Dan O'Hara.' 
For those of you not steeped in the melody of this particular Gaelic folk tune please listen to no less a minstrel than Mr. Rory Gallagher playing it HERE.
(Poor old Rory, I really think he could have been a success if only he had cut his hair and worn a nice suit - and a spot of Mum deodorant wouldn't have harmed either.)
Ignore that. It's not pertinent.
Now with Rory's tub-thumping melody ringing in yer bonce, get yer backside off that seat, stamp yer shanks, clap yer mitts and sing the fine words below with devotion - Be ye Briton, be ye Bantu, be ye Yankee Doodle Dandy I care not a bent Irish tuppence, let us stand shoulder to shoulder and intone ensemble so that Christendom might hear our mighty anthem ring out across the ages.

But before beginning I think it judicious to explain that the words 'Achusla geal machree' are pronounced 'A-cush-lah gal muh-kree' and translate loosely as: 'folk music gives me a pain in the tit.'


Come listen to my gig,
I am the man who digs,
I do it with esteem and great composure.
I sift the gentle soil
With cautious gentle toil
But mostly I just use a big bulldozer.

Achusla geal machree,
I'm in archaeology,
It once made me fat around the middle.
Qualified? That's me!
Don't I have a Pee-haych-dee!!
But now I'm stacking shelves in f**king Lidl.

In the year of zero four
The Celtic Tiger it did roar,
My vocation felt like it was fuelled with pro-pane
I wiped my bum with loot,
Wore Juicy Couture tracksuits,
And breakfasted on truffles, gin and co-caine.

Achusla geal machree,
I'm in archaeology,
It once made me fat around the middle.
Qualified? That's me!
Don't I have a Pee-haych-dee!!
But now I'm stacking shelves in f**king Lidl.

I used to make big dough,

But little did I know,
I had bought myself a seat on the Ti-tanic.
Then a recession-based iceberg
Saw my career submerged
Jaysus, I'm a total arse-mechanic.

Achusla geal machree,
I'm in archaeology,
It once made me fat around the middle.
Qualified? That's me!
Don't I have a Pee-haych-dee!!
But now I'm stacking shelves in f**king Lidl.

So take warning from my tune
Don't be a fruity loon,
Don't saddle your career upon a trow-el,
Or you'll end up just like me
In the retail industry
Arranging shelves of sanitary tow-els.

Achusla geal machree,
I'm in archaeology,
It once made me fat around the middle.
Qualified? That's me!
Don't I have a Pee-haych-dee!!
But now I'm stacking shelves in f**king Lidl.


Have a KICK-ASS Halloween!! Light a big bonfire, eat apples and nuts to excess and don't be afraid to say boo to goose.

And to finish:

Tuesday 16 October 2012


Hello Hedgehogs! More CPD perhaps? And a biscuit too?

1. The term 'Iron Age' was coined by Hesiod specifically for use on his 601 B.C. poem 'Sewerage.'

The tonnage
Of drainage
In the cleavage
Of Carthage
Has been a hemorrhage
Of mucilage
Since the Ironage

The poem never made it to the publishers because Hesiod became a victim of pilferage by one of Asia Minor's infamous poetry muggers. It was then sold on to a criminal ring specializing in madrigals and eventually fell into the hands of Homer who instantly recognised it's exquisite georgic stylings and burnt it for the insurance (which he had arranged with a brokerage.)

2. The Bronze Age?
Sorry . . . the Bronze Age?
r u kidding me!
It's just SOOOOOO last year. I wouldn't be caught dead in the Bronze Age.
But IRON! IRON is to to DIE for! Iron is like last years black. Super-dressy. It's all sold out in Harvey Nicks. I was there last night trying to buy a few ingots and they were like 'No way darling, all gone.' And I was like, 'But how am I going to forge a decent gladius hispana darling? I mean what am I going to dooooo?' And they were like, 'Not my problem darling, speak to the hand.'
I can't tell you how furious I was . . . 'HELLLOOO!' I said,' I want to see the manager darling!' I said - and I said I'd like wait for him in the cocktail bar.
By the time he arrived I was completely pissed. Gave him a big kiss, told him he was a darling.
Then I went home with the waiter.

3. The tomato was first introduced into Iron Age Europe by King Lurg Mac Babahdbahb. In the modern era we use the simple plural 'Tomatoes' but when they first appeared on the toasted sandwiches of Celtic warlords it came in multiple plural forms (id est) twomatoes, threematoes, fourmatoes (&c. &c.) The multiple plural has largely disappeared from Indo-European language but not without leaving some confusing residual terminology behind - October (obviously enough) should be Tentober and by the same token, (but now in reverse) tentacles should be obstacles (which explains why certain marine cephalopods are all over the shop.)

4. So the other night I'm having a quiet one in and me old china Niall Colfer phones up. And the conversation goes like this:
Niall- I've just discovered something. . . Something remarkable. It happened while I was in the saddle last night. . .
The Author- I never had you down as an equestrian sort old boy. . .
Niall- No not THAT sort of saddle, anyway - there I was, grinding away as hard I could manage. . .
The Author- Sir I am scandalised! Futhermore, I fear this conversation has taken a turn into unspeakable dominions.
Niall- Ehh, yeah. So I'm grinding away, my knees are killing me, and next thing I'm spilling my precious seed everywhere.
The Author- Egad! Stay your tongue! May the good Lord smite your befreckled countenance with brimstone!
Niall- Then it hits me! I realise if I used a smaller rubber I wouldn't be losing my seed down between the floorboards. See, I had been using this enormous rubber that was totally unsuitable.
The Author- Gadzooks I'll see you before the assizes! Your days of loutish muck-mouthing are at an end sir!
Niall- Yes it's all down to the size of rubbing stone you see . . .
The Author - Rubbing stone? Oh I see!! It's that sort of rubber . . . so the seed is obviously einkorn wheat and you were doing a bit of experimental grinding on a saddle quern.
Niall- Precisely so. Why, what did you think I was talking about?
The Author- Contraception.
Niall- Dreadful film. Possibly Christopher Nolan's worst.

5. How do Jacobs get the figs into the fig rolls?

6. Only Smarties have the answer.

7. If you don't have enough vitamin C in your diet you won't be able to absorb iron properly. That fact seems to have strayed from a health food blog but I would like to extend the warm hand of friendship and make it feel welcome. I'm not judgmental. Not  a bit. I'll fill my blog with any old shite.

8. The Iron Age saw the invention of iron nails which Irish natives, in fear of invading Celtic charioteers, drove through planks of kiln dried wood and sprinkled liberally across Ireland as a sort of a poor-man's chevaux de frise. Traces of this defensive feature can still be found on building sites throughout Ireland's green bower, especially those now owned by the Irish State which now function, (in an inventive secondary role,) as a playground for toddlers.

9. I always find this end of the year a real strain, thank God there's only three colander months left . . . (ba-dum-tish.)

10. Usually, during our little CPD sessions, I add a link to a musical video and waffle on about how the recession is almost over. Well tough shit everyone, it's not going to end, therefore, to play us out of today's blog may I PRESENT:

That's right, Muppets begging for scraps - and as a jobbing field archaeologist I know how they feel.

Why do we have to do this?
I guess we'll never know.
It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch this show.

Tuesday 2 October 2012


SITE PHOTOGRAPHY (with an aside salad about the 'Observer Effect.')

We, my brothers and sisters, are truly inhabiting a golden age of archaeological photography, digital formats and bigger lenses are now revealing heritage features heretofore invisible to the naked eye - take for example the Twin Barrows of Middleton - nobody ever dared to believe they would cop eyes on that fabled twosome, but photographic innovation, patience and depravity paid off in abundance. We will all sleep a little more soundly knowing those protected monuments are 100% bona fide (unlike for instance, the Double Hummocks of Davison - clever fakes if ever I saw them.)
Yes, the digital camera has revolutionised archaeological photography. Archaeologists are now free to take more blurry photos of meaningless crap than ever before. Truly these are halcyon days - but let us not throw out the bath-tub with the baby, let us not forget the old ways (the ways of the tinsmith and the alpenhorn) - dated technology still has much to offer us and, as an example of this, let us consider photo-booths when recording the detritus of past societies. 
Fig.1: The Humble Photobooth
The photo-booth method of site photography is reasonably straightforward, once a feature is excavated, cleaned and ready to be photographed (let us say a mid 13th century AD wattle fence perhaps?), the entire structure and the filth on which it resides is shoveled bodily into a bevy of wheelbarrows and transported to the nearest train station or supermarket (wherever the nearest booth is.) The agglomeration of mire is then thrun into the booth, coins slotted and 'bingo' you get four passport sized photos of the offending feature.
This method also obviates the need for a site spoil heap (or it's related expense,) just scarper with your photos and afterwards let the supermarket employees deal with the filth.
If old Henri Cartier-Bresson were not snoring in Abraham's bosom he would surely applaud this endearing innovation!
Huzzah for you! Huzzah for me!
Fig.2: Archaeology Recorded According to Current Market Forces.
The archaeological use of cameras attached to kites to capture aerial photos (KAP- Kite Aerial Photography) has been well documented of late and this use of a child's toy married with cutting edge photographic technology has also led onto a new sub-genre of archaeological site photography known as 'See-Saw Aerial Photocopying' (SSAP.) 
SSAP has been used very successfully on many European Archaeological excavations - it's recent popularity stemming largely from the method's ability to completely negate the Observer Effect (more on this below.)
Fig.3: Removez-vous la lidde de la photoquopier et merci bien!
The process begins by borrowing a photocopier (from someone you don't respect) and removing the lid with a well aimed claw hammer. This completes the primary phase of the exercise. Phase two begins with obtaining a heavy weight of some description (nothing less than 20 stone,) constructing a makeshift seesaw and then assembling all elements as shown in the vignette below (fig.4)
Fig.4. Le Garcon Lardon est tres Politiquement Incorrect
Now allow me to briefly digress and explainthrough use of the principle of surprise SSAP nullifies the problem of the 'Observer Effect' (id est: by examining/recording a phenomenon you cause it to alter/change.) SSAP photographically records through swift unorthodox ambush and documents features before they realise what is happening, thereby not allowing them enough time to metamorphose. Exempli Gratia: a mid 13th century AD wattle fence will not have time to turn into Gary Numan (as they so often do - and I don't mind telling you I've had it up to my twin barrows finding him stretched out butt-naked in the mud before me.)
Alors to return to our methode - the xerox machine is set to approximately one hundred copies and the weight dropped smartly onto the see-saw. See fig.5.
Fig.5: Et Allez-Oop!
The photocopier then whirls into the air in a graceful half-moon trajectory and (if you have marshalled the union of see-saw/xerox/metabolically-challenged-person correctly) the copier should land face down on the unsuspecting feature flashing away merrily.
Et voila! The wattle is briskly mugged, retains it wattological morphology (albeit slightly flattened) and an A4 copy of it wafts shrewdly out to the adulation of dead photographers everywhere!!
As a final note SSAP occasionally can misfire, sending the copier in an unexpected orbit. See Fig. 6 below for a good example.

Fig.6 Mr. J. Demimonde. Site Safety Officer. His hard hat wasn't worth a shit.

Sleep Well My Pretties!

Tuesday 18 September 2012


If it has not already happened during your star spangled career, you can be assured that eventually your phone will ring (making a sound akin to a swan gargling rusty coins) and at the end of the line the silken tones of Sister Mary Reversible (or similar) will warble ominously down the blower.
'I believe you are an archaeologist,' she will opine coyly, like a werewolf who has just devoured a jambalaya of newly ordained priest. 'I was wondering if you would come and visit the children at our convent school and give them a wee lectureen about how jolly things were in the good old beforeyesters and all that historical caveman mumbo jumbo.'
And oh how your heart skips a beat! Nay, it skips not - but instead leaps. You are all of a flutter. Imagine! You have been chosen to inspire the next wave of infantry to fight in the noble war of heritage! The next contingent in the firing line for a career full of low pay and high blood pressure.
And so you you arrive at the school and are placed alone before a lethargic class of children sporting blotchy, scurvaceous skin, with as much interest in your shaggy dog story as in a good beating. And who can blame them?
The Archaeologist's Opening Remarks

And so you begin your 'derrynge do' tale of mudlarking among extinguished folks filth, but unfortunately the munchkins' torpid demeanor proves invulnerable - and in an ill-judged attempt at seizing their attention you wander blithely off topic onto the subject of your lumbago and haemorrhoids . . .Then the bitterness takes hold and you're no longer steering the wagon. . .
The Main Argument is Proposed

The bitterness ends and a scirocco blows across your vocal chords, you feel slightly silly, confused - you have forgotten what it is you do for a living, so you take the last refuge of the damned and throw the floor open to questions . . .

And the questions come thick as a sack of pell-mell:
1. Do you have any cigarettes?
2. Why are you wearing fancy dress?
3. Tell me about dinosaurs.
4. How come your Mummy doesn't give you a bath?
5. You're Mummy's very lazy, is she a drinker?
6. My Daddy's not lazy, he's drives a lorry and he says your type are nothing but commies, pig-rooters and serial protestors.
7. Show us your bullwhip.

Over a cacophony of monkey-hoots you do your best to answer their queries but the situation is rapidly deteriorating so you try changing tack and ask the children a question instead. . .
Question Time
But there is no answer. The little angels are too busy soaking their desks in petrol and stacking them in the middle of the room. Every window is smashed and all electric cabling has been chewed through. (One enterprising child is even laying land mines.) You desperately attempt to intervene but someone 'blows you a kiss'. . .

Closing Remarks
The anklebiters have long departed by the time you bolt from the burning building leaving only Sister Mary Reversible waving cheerfully in the doorway.
'Do come again,' she grunts as the establishment explodes and she shoots skywards to her eternal reward.
That's a score of 1-0 to the atheists.
All in all a minor success!

Mis pantalones tienen un sombrero llamado piano!

(With gracious thanks to the cartoon stylings of George Booth.)

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Something Brief

Here's a druuwing what I doed yonks ago, thought I'd share it with you . . .
A more complete posting to come next week.

Tuesday 4 September 2012


Welcome assorted filth dibbers of the globe to this next installment in our nonpareil attempt at bringing you all closer to a past which is probably better forgotten. Read this posting and I personally guarantee that your archaeological IQ will  skyrocket off the top of your head and roll into a dark corner of your pantry - if you have a pantry that is - if not, you have my sympathies - and I should know because I'm a licensed archaeologist.
1. Suspicions are rife among the archaeological community that the 'Bronze Age' never really existed, recent research has revealed the possibility that the term was coined in 1972 by L. Ron Hubbard as part of a bet with the editor of 'Girlfriends' magazine. A recent article by Professor E. Bourke has claimed Hubbard was in a hot-tub at the time and had to roar his wager over the grinding noise of his Y-fronts being chewed up by the jacuzzi pump. His voice became increasingly falsetto as he babbled on until a ripping noise was heard and his voice dropped two octaves to it's original tone.
So a warm round of applause to jacuzzi pumps everywhere! Oh yes - and a Happy Birthday to Ed Bourke.
Fig.2 A bit of indiscriminate 'mad shit,' and why not?
2. The dawn of the Bronze Age was marked by the arrival of door to door salesmen selling bronze ingots to Neolithic farmers. As soon as the farmers got their mitts on the bronze they cast the stuff into swords and began chopping the bejeezuz out of each other. 'Well it sure beats farming!' They were heard to cheer through a mist of blood.

3. In the Middle Bronze Age Saint Pludmunter of Terenure ascended Mount Bangwidth and there he met the five foolish virgins who had become lost on their way to the wedding feast.
'Whyfore are ye lost?' he demanded of them.
'Because, oh great saint,' wept the foolish virgins, 'we went to the marriage with naught but a dribble of oil in our lamps and the darkness swallowed us and we dawdled askew.'
The saint chided them for their foolishness, directing them in the righteous amount of oil to fill their lamps with and afterwards, in the darkness, he apportioned oil from his own lamp among them.
Then he sent them forth.
And when they returned to the bosom of their families they were no longer foolish.

Or virgins.
Fig.3 This 'mad shit' certainly takes the biscuit.

4. It's well I remember the expression on my parents faces when I said: 'Mummy, Daddy. I want to be an archaeologist!' - It looked extraordinarily like THIS

5. In the early Bronze Age an unknown smith withdrew to a dark cave in the Dolomites and using a particular blend of tin and copper fashioned the very first brazen hussy for himself. When he finally reappeared ten years later he could only walk in a circle.

6. While I'm no expert - I believe the Bronze Age was around about the time when aliens came to earth and taught us how to build pyramids and wear a hats that look like space helmets. Bloody time-wasters.

7. You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.

8. Next time you are visiting your local museum be sure to check out the brass monkey section - a greatly undervalued artefact from the bronze age.
Fig. 4.

9. I remember it was a middling Sunday, maybe three thousand years ago when the old man lifted his eyes off the the Sunday World and whispered: 'Sure, I think we'll go on a bit of a jant . . .'
These words made my mother stare askance from her bacon fat soaked slippers and say - 'I'll make the sandwiches so . . .' and she drifted ineluctably, iceberg-like, towards the serrated knife to cut slabs of soda bread thick enough to swear an oath upon.
'Where are we going,' says I, (but I really didn't give a toss where we were headed so long as it was far away from that damp kitchen,) and the father raised his right hand - Moses style - and says: 'Put the bridles on the horses boy, we're headed West to spread the knowledge of bronze manufacture among those what need it.'
And that day we rode out from the foot of the Steppes with our portable bronze furnaces blazing, pouring a copper alloy blanket across the landscape, a blanket as red as Prince Harry's netherlocks (if recent photographic evidence is to be believed.)
And we ate the sandwiches in Wicklow.

(That last piece was written when I was very drunk - and there's no real difference between that and the sober stuff. . .)

10. Alrighty let's finish off with an oul' song to keep our peckers pecky and remind us that the recession is almost over and good times are just around the corner. And today our very special guest star is none other than Mr. Loudon Wainwright III, check out this happy little TUNE
Fig. 5 was due to be an illustration to a hilarious (trust me on that one) fact about Bill and Ben in their ceramic tank attacking an urnfield cemetery which turns out to be a minefield. Or something like that but I ran out of numbers so you'll have to make it up yourself.


My photo
I am a descended from a long line of conga dancers. I occasionally wear shoes. I gave up going to the toilet twenty years ago - it's a filthy habit. I have a pet bunny called Mucky - he's a filthy rabbit.