Once the plaything of the Victorians, the Radar Mouse – Biffordshire’s acoustically over-endowed small mammal – had one of the most obscure of all the roads towards endangerment.
Initially, they thrilled our ancestors with the discovery that, by forcing air through the mouse, a tune could be played. However, after the inventing of the mechanical mouse pipe, the fad of blowing small mammals quickly died out.
Looking like a cross between a common mouse and the ear trumpet used by Madame Fanny in the BBC comedy, Allo Allo!, the Radar Mouse had long cut a curious dash amongst the woodlands of our fair shire.
The few that remain live a life typical to a common mouse but have evolved a curious survival technique. When threatened, they can reverse their talents and emit a loud noise similar to a Chinook gaining altitude. This shocks the approaching predator into thinking that they are about to be sucked into a whirling vortex of rotor blades, giving the mouse ample time to beat a hasty retreat.
Common belief holds that the decline of the Radar Mouse was due to an epidemic of Pirate Radio stations that cropped up in Biffordshire in the early 90’s. The Mouse, with its complicated attenuation was thought to have been able to pick up these off-piste shows over 30 miles away from their source.
Driven mad by the harmonics of Drum ‘n Bass ruff cuts, over 90 per cent of this native species were lost when a stampeding pack of Radar Mice threw themselves in to Buttercludge gorge.
Frank Leyspeaking, president of the Biffordshire Association of Failed Creatures, recalls the scene…
“It were horrible I tell you. They were cuing up to jump!
“It fair makes me shiver to think of those poor little mites, falling to their demise with nothing but the soundtrack of ‘Bump up da eeezee rider caaaaammmm down!!!’ playing in their little heads.
“All those tiny bodies…… Still, I had me wife knock up this lovely set of gloves with the remains. Look! She even kept their little noses on!”
Happily, the Radar Mouse is a creature very much on the bounce. Since the culling of the Pirate DJs back in 2010, the remaining mouse population (believed to have survived by corking their ear trumpets) has been on the rise with sightings cropping up regularly across Biffordshire.
We can only hope that the happy parping of these tiny creatures continues to become more common-place.
MonkeyBroth interviewed a group of ex-British rail employees about how the trains are really run. If you ride the rails, you NEED to read this!
“I was a train driver on the east coast main line for over 150 years, and one of the things that people don’t understand is what my role in the whole thing really was. To most, I was the chap that drove the train, but in reality, once we left the station I was actually in charge of breeding Japanese Fighting Fish in the cab. Back then, British Rail needed the revenue so all drivers were charged with growing or breeding high value items. I know for a fact that the signal master made the company millions by growing rare orchids and training Bonsai trees.”
“I was a British Rail engineer back in the 80’s and you wouldn’t believe the bodges we did to get locomotives up and running after a break down. One particularly memorable day, one of the Intercity 125s cracked a wheel. We had no spares in stock so we used the only thing we had which was a couple of custard pie dishes. We welded two together and slapped them on to the axle with some Cowgum. As far as I know, it was still on there when it was decommissioned. You couldn’t make it up!!”
“One thing people don’t know is that the trains don’t really need the tracks to operate, they are there simply to make sure that the drivers don’t get lost. When things were quiet, we used to borrow the trains to nip off down the ‘offy for a pack of Dunhill and a Razzle mag. I can vividly recall one occasion where a number of the drivers staged an illegal road race around Dorking town centre. Seriously, it was just like one of those Fast and the Furious films! Only with trains.”
“I was a trolley dolly back in my prime. You’d be shocked just how poor the hygiene was for the catering. You know those huge urns of hot water for tea and coffee? Those were never cleaned out. Once we found one wasn’t dispensing water so we removed the lid. Imagine our surprise when we found a nest of genetically altered spider-bats blocking up the bottom! Another was found to contain an entire collection of lost Doctor Who episodes”.
“Not a lot of people know that the voice that says ‘Mind the gap’ on the London underground actually belongs to Leo Sayer.”
“Once when approaching a station, I found that some wag back at the depot had replaced the brakes on my train with Penguin biscuits. I got him back though by blowing up his Cortina while he was still in it. We had a laugh back then!”
“When you see a train just race through a station without stopping, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he wasn’t scheduled to stop. It is most likely that he’s missing a repeat of Cash in the Attic.”
“You can tell if a train coming into a station has been hijacked just by looking at it. If the train driver is being held at knife-point by a man in a balaclava, then that is the universal signal to the station master that the train is in trouble.”
“Those toilets you use can be opened from the outside even if you’ve locked the door. In every train, there is an extra-dimensional portal in the cab that comes out in the toilet stall. And yes, we do peek!”
“The scene in the film “Ghost” with the guy on the train is based on a real life spirit that lived on the 8.15 from Manchester. The real spectre didn’t knock people’s newspapers out of their hands or anything like that, but he seemed to delight in hiding whenever anyone tried to prove he was there.”
“I was a safety officer for British Rail back in the day and my job was to come up with the horns that train drivers sound when approaching a crossing or workers on the line. I’d toyed with a few different sounds from an air-raid warning to La Cucaracha but none of them portrayed the vibe I were going for. In the end, I found inspiration when visiting the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary during a pleasant summer holiday. We simply reversed a sample of a donkey braying to avoid copyright!”
MonkeyBroth has published the full version of this transcript under the title of ‘Confessions of a British Rail employee’ with foreword by Robin Askwith. Available in all branches of Rumbelows.
Day of the triploids – By Henrietta B Pencil
It’s grapes I’ve never trusted,
Though I’ve often tried,
The old ones bitter and crusted,
The young with furtive lies
Now I come to think of it,
Satsumas are such yobs,
Spouting pith as they see fit,
The orange underdogs
The humble apple boasts some form,
Not a stranger to a tiff,
For signed CDs of PM Dawn,
It would sell its Granny Smith,
Rhubarb’s known for starting fights,
And stealing motorbikes,
I hope that they get banged to rights,
The TWOKing little tykes
‘We’re good for you’ you’ll hear them say,
Just show them to the door,
They may be one of five a day,
But they’re rotten to the core
Lifesyle guru, agony uncle and part time Maritime histologist, Simon Thrombosis helps you through the stress and anguish of the proper British Christmas.*
Nathen Cookworks from Scunge writes – Dear Si, Every year I dread Christmas. My partner tends to get drunk in the kitchen where she claims to be cooking the Christmas Feast, but she is in fact draining the festive stock of alcohol. She doesn’t drink at all for the rest of the year but is uncontrollable on the 25th. Last year it was so bad, she got totally confused, serving us dinner consisting of a packet of fig roles stuffed in a tramp’s vest. Just what can I do?
Si writes – I think you’re being a little unreasonable Nathen. Christmas day is all about guilt-free morning alcohol consumption, peaking at around 11.30am and quaffing just enough booze to keep you in a slightly fuzzy festive fug until you fall asleep in front of an animated children’s film at 3pm. Your partner is simply not used to acknowledging the peak and is instead, tipping ‘over the abyss’.
Maybe you can try keeping her off of the bucks-fizz for the morning, thus allowing her to complete the Turkey before she goes ‘past the post’.
Either that or you could stop being critical and cook it yourself.
Mavis Loaf from Buttercludge Ho writes – Maybe you can advise Si? My sister has a habit of buying inappropriate gifts for people. For example, our cousin, Bertie, has a terrible swede allergy, but last year, my sister bought him an elderly second hand SAAB. Another year, she bought a subscription to the Daily Mail for her friend who suffers from hypertension. I won’t go into her gift for the local Vicar, but I will say he’ll never look at a pair of mittens in the same way ever again. My sister seems entirely unaware of the Christmas carnage that she unleashes and she is a sensitive soul. How can I broach the subject to her?
Si writes – Mavis, I have seen this behaviour before. One client I counselled had paid to have an air rifle adapted to fire peanuts for his best friend who suffered an extreme allergy to them. Another had commissioned a local sculptor to create a nine foot statue of the devil for his staunchly God-fearing Aunt.
Indeed, I believe it to be a form of consumerist Tourette’s where the present buyer compulsively purchases the most offensive item regardless of the price. Sadly, I have yet to encounter an effective cure.
Warn everyone beforehand and expect the worse.
Jacqui Holepunch from Clevis-on-the-Pin writes – Festive greetings to you Si! I am a naturally happy go lucky gal who loves a good old laugh and is rarely even slightly vexed. But my problem is that I get cheeky little mood-swings whenever I encounter someone who is negative towards my positivity. Indeed, I put a man in hospital when he asked why I was so cheerful. He never came out again. So my teeny weeny problem could probably do with some of your lovely advice if you’d be a fine fellow? No pressure, but I do know where you live (love what you’ve done with the place)!
Si writes – Hey Jacqui!!!! Gosh, I can’t believe that people could be down on you for being cheerful!!!! LOL!!! Don’t change a thing eh? It’s all them and not you at all. Goodness no!
Hope everything’s well and goodwill to all men I say!!
Si will be back after the Holidays and when he’s had all of his locks replaced.
*Disclaimer – advice may not be either accurate or in any way useful. MonkeyBroth accepts no responsibility with the use or misuse of Simon’s comments.
Jingle da bells, jungle bellz, jingle da bellz. Stop. Swine-rewind!!!! Ya know it! It’s da pig coming at ya like a Lidl Stollen!
I bin getting the monies in ready fo Christmas coz I want to treat ma nan to a fierce foot spa dey got on special down at Boots. She totally worth it bruv!
Disco pig been working in one of those Christmas seasonal shops init. And man he be getting bored of Christmas songs on da shop stereo! Serious, if I hear Mariah Carey singin’ about what she want fo Christmas one more time, dere’ll be a crime. Nah, but serious, dere will…
Anyz, ‘ere’s da latest festive stampin’ tunez all wrapped up just fo youz.
Biff Clitchard – Time to buy a new calendar
Bradford Moped Group – Stop! Carry on.
Ashes Misery – I put five on it
Neonicotinoid Pesticides – Brian’s off to Lowestoft again
Megaquake – The thrill of cheese
Barry Goblin (ft. Frankie Ankles) – Shambolic log flume
Hemplegrunt Mupderspinch – Tra-la-la-la-la-faraldo-gadzooks-euro
Mincing Pies – Fabulously stuffed
Grumpy Dad – You can open them after dinner
High street Robbery – Seasonal price rise (saw ya comin’ reprise mix)
The Geordie Sores – Herod as a toad
Spatch! – No honestly Claire, I’ve always wanted a slanket. Lovely.
Unauthorised Entry – Stuck up your chimney
Coming to Spatchcock 20 December
Roll up! Roll up! (or walk) to what has been called the 3,568,543rd wonder of Biffordshire!
Back by occasional demand, Mungo Frimpley’s fantastical circus returns to Spatchcock! Laugh at a creepy clown on a trampoline, Marvel at the lax health and safety! Gasp at the price of candy floss!
- Mavis Bramley’s dancing girls! – Est. 1937 and still dancing!
- The deaf-defying mumbling man!
- The stripy horses with feathers on their heads!
- Bruce Force – The only strong man/midget combo in England!
- The Damian unt Frott show – Taming lions in white leatherette!
- Nevill Freeply and the world’s strongest grape!
- Bernadette and Bernard – The amputee trapeze artists!
- Nigel Curry and his ring of fire!
- Disco Monkeys – Yes they are actual monkeys! They dance!!!
- Bendy Brenda – The human contortionist!
- Things like pigs but massive and grey with really long noses!
- Bump & Grind – Mungo’s house clowns ft. Gary the exploding horse!
- Frank Hollers – He’s louder than Brian Blessed in a lift!
- Waffle shoving on ice and laser show!
.…and little more!
Venue: Behind the recreational ground in Grattles field. Follow the smell of faded grandeur.
Tickets available from Budgens in the High Street. Curtain opens at 11pm. No flash photography, normal everyday photography only. Show may contain disappointment, feelings of mild discomfort and peanuts.
Flan was bought – by Wendy Bendy
I haven’t seen him,
Said the man,
That bought flan,
Not for weeks,
Said he who speaks,
Tried the gym?
Not like him
Flan was bought,
Bought by man
Flan with jam,
Made by Stan,
I don’t like the man-bought flan,
I will not eat it Stan flan man
Our resident lifestyle guru, Agony Uncle and part time Tosher, Simon Thrombosis, returns to help you with life’s little problems. Not that little rash though, that’s your fault for eating strawberries. We told you not to.
Calvin Horsewhip of Lower Grunting writes – Dear Si, I’ve recently taken up weightlifting but I’ve found that my lovely wife seems to have lost interest in me recently. I have noticed that she has been catching the eye of the lad at the fishmongers who is built like a Twiglet. Why is this happening when I’m getting increasingly buff and bulked up?
Si Writes – Oh dear Cal, I’m going to guess that your wife is massive. At the end of the day, biffers go for their weight-opposite in a futile attempt for cosmic balance. Many believe that this is due to a built-in primeval belief that, in the event of spawning offspring, the resulting child will be genetically pre-programmed as a mean average of the parent’s weight. Personally I think it just ends up with fat kids. The fat gene is clearly dominant. Either you need to skinny-up or she does – either of these will balance the seesaw.
Terry Tuppence of Hairy Mole writes – Hope you can help Si. My partner is driving me mad with his obsession for scatter cushions. Seriously, we are drowning in them and he keeps bringing more home! Our sitting room has over 2,000 of them lying around and the couch collapsed last week from the soft-furnishing onslaught. I think he has a problem. Please help – I’ve just found more in our Fiesta!!
Si Writes – Terry, sadly this type of obsessive behaviour is increasingly common. Just last week, I was called to the house of a farmer who had an almost unshakable addiction to lace doilies. When the fire-crew finally dragged him out of his cottage he was still desperately browsing the Selfridges website trying to buy more. Very sad. The best way forward is to try and displace the obsession with something less material. Some of the best recoveries have been made by transferring the victims on to another fad that has no physical presence such as imaginary friends. It’s an ideal scenario for all as they don’t take up any space and are easy to collect. Best of luck Terry.
Amanda Tubes of Weighsaton writes – Si, last week the current Mr. Tubes asked me where we are going on holiday. I’ve been hiding the fact that I spent our holiday funds on Laura Ashley print dresses and Airfix Messerschmitts (my own personal vice). I’m not sure what to tell him to be honest, as there is only £80 left in the kitty and I can’t see that going far in Cephalonia. What can I do?
SI writes – Frankly, I’d be surprised if your husband doesn’t know already as I imagine the smell of drying Humbrol paints is a giveaway. This reminds me of a startlingly similar situation with a former client of mine. He spent the electricity money on model tanks. He didn’t know what to tell his wife so he covered himself in the camouflage decals for the tanks and hid down the garden in amongst the Pyracantha. Eventually, I managed to coax the badly wounded chap out and off to hospital. In your case, I would sit down and explain to your husband that you’re going to make a den under the dinner table using an old blanket and you are both going have a holiday in your own house using your imaginations. Hey Amanda, it might actually be fun!
More of Si’s unqualified (as we’ve found out) advice soon folks…
Whoooooo…. WhoooOOOOooooo…. WhhhoooooooooOOOO! Nah, is not a ghost! Is me, Disco pig coming atcha like spooky pair a dungarees! Totally!
Disco pig, he loves Halloween coz he gets to do some of that Trick or Treatin’. Last year, some geezer on da posh estate, he bin tellin’ us that we not getting no treat, so we came back later and we treat us to his car keys! He be handin’ out da Haribo like a good boi dis year me think!
Disco pig also be playin’ up at the community centre lataz at the annual Monster Mosh, and here are some of da hauntin’ hoof hammerers me be playin!
The Decapitation Brothers – Don’t lose your head (down the back of the sofa)
Fright Train – Hell soulless sister
The Multifunctional Vampires – The JML bloodlust jamboree
The Clanking Chains – Comin’ off the sprocket
Day-Zee ft. Mad Fitt – Bryony, the Zombies are back again. I’ll tell them to try the Patterson’s next door
Schrilllllooricxxxx – Even monsters had mums once
Spectral Bookies – All bats are off
The Curse of Miss Malaprop – Prick or feet
The Jason Voorhees Ensemble – Why can’t I just meet a nice lady and settle down?
Pendulous – Calor gas night terrors
The Gangrenous Toads – Hubble double trouble
The Michael Jackson Puppetry Theatre – Thriller 2013 (strung-up mix)