Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Tuesday 10 July 2012



Ever since Richard and Judy (those titans of the boob tube,) retired from morning television, the waking hours of the unemployed archaeologist have become a desolate place bereft of mental and physical stimulation. In the current climate (sans Dick & J,) idle barrow donkeys have been reduced to the sad choice of either (A) informal rhinotillexomania or else (B) unspeakable self-knowledge (a la mode biblique.)
Well fear not if you find yourself having to choose between 'A' or 'B' because today I am offering 'C' : SIMULATED EXCAVATION.
Simulated excavation feigns the full joy of working on an excavation and thereby keeps the filthropologist mentally and physically prepared for (the very unlikely event of) real future employment. . .
To begin you must choose your simulated crew. Don't bother picking qualified 'real' archaeologists, improvise (like many archaeological companies do) using dummies (see fig.1 above) who will work for nothing. To enhance the effect - give the dummies knee-slapping archaeological monikers such as 'Phil O'Clay,' 'Pete Compost,' and 'Sooty McMire.' (Ho! Ho! Stop you're killing me!) Once the crew are assembled 'it's off to work we go,' - it's time to simulate the commute to your daily drudgery. . .

Simulating the work journey is straightforward - Before seating the dummies in your car, firmly instruct  them to keep the seats clean and then emphasize how much this Ford Fiesta is costing you in petrol, tax and insurance. Then drive (fig.2) for sixty miles around the bomb crater (that passes for your town square,) all the while arguing with the mannequins about whether to turn the radio on, off, or instead listen to your Johnny Mathis cassette tape. Fear not if members of the public view you with a quizzical air, forgive them, they are but clueless laggards (with pensionable jobs,) not learned in the great mysteries of the past. However, do be considerate and treat these public simpletons to the occasional wave as you circumnavigate the piazza.
In no time at all you will arrive at the simulated dig. So it's time park the car in front of your tenement and go up to your bathroom where the virtual site awaits.
The night before it is imperative to have filled your bath tub with muck, broken pottery and bone. Climb into the tub and begin half-sectioning your 'pit.' To create an authentic outdoorsy feel turn on the shower while you dig. To make the excavation experience even more bona fide dig through the side of the tub and tell one of the dummies this feature is more complicated than you originally thought. Should a concerned neighbour call to ask about the noise, warmly invite them in and, in your role as ambassador of archaeology, show them your bath, make up some baloney about it, and afterwards request a generous donation towards future research.
Then toss the time wasters out.
Excavation duties should be interspersed with the occasional cup of tea avec les dummies. And don't forget to extoll the virtues of Johnny Mathis while spilling tea on your tweed plus fours.
After eight statutory hours of this unbearable shite it's back into the Ford Fiesta with the dummies.

Thirty miles into your journey around the Stinksville Bomb Plaza have an argument with one of the dummies about Johnny Mathis. Stop the car, throw all the dummies into the crater and tell them they can 'all walk to work tomorrow!'
Thirty miles later you're home. To simulate the 'wear and tear' effect of a commute on your car, empty a bucket of mud into it, slash the seats and tear off a wing mirror.
Have beans for dinner, watch a rerun of 'America's Got Talent,' don't wash and before climbing into bed knock out a tooth. Put the tooth under your pillow and if you have been a good little archaeologist, by morning, that premolar will have transmuted into your car expenses.
Congratulations - your first day is over - and this dig is set to run for the next three years at least. 
Hurrah for a career archaeology!

Now go in peace to love and serve the loam.


  1. Bloody hell McHale, now she calls me a filthropologist for gods sake. Too funny - maybe your best yet.

  2. I love a kind word in me comments box. Me head's bigger than pumpkin now.

  3. Not only jam but the best yet !

  4. Ohh, me head's bigger than a space hopper now.

  5. You know me only TOO well gringo. . .



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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.