Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

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 . . .


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.