Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

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.