Off the rails – the truth about trains

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!



Cab packed with parakeets and other exotic creatures.

“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.


Life of Si

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.


old banger


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.

Restaurant où les porcs ne voulait pas manger

Restaurant  où les porcs ne voulait pas manger

Ah bienvenue a la Restaurant où les porcs ne voulait pas manger. Nous sommes delighte to bienvenue de le restaurant, quand le residents d’Biffordshire aime tout suite. Notre menu est superb et il est tout de bon things to mange. Ouevre pour le petit-dejeuner and le grand dejeuner et les repas in between de la Huit heures Am until la evening time. Plus Tard by arrangements. Voici la menu en Anglais pour vous, vous anglais idiots et bastads. Tres bon!

Les entrees

  • Pig insecurities pan fried in a special Jonathan Ross sauce. Served with oak smoked bat chips and a sympathy of garden vegetables
  • Grandad’s war medals crushed in front of him, drizzled with Maroon 5 jus and spun around the block in Gustav’s Citroen 2CV. Served with a shouting of dead wildebeest horn, shaved and erected to your liking
  • Chicken chop sticks straightened with an aubergine ruler and splashed with nocturnal liquids. Hand badgered until medium rare and presented on an anxious nine year-old’s duvet cover.

Les main

  • HAND reared Les Dennis, matured over balsa wood for extra tenderness. Served with a medley of David Hockney examined vegetables and a view of the Norfolk Broads, binoculars optional
  • MUSICAL Youth style jerk off beef. Pan fried until screaming in a David Blunkett flavoured butter sauce. Served with a blanket and a three day old bus ticket stopping at Whump, Feeble and Cock-on-the-Mold
  • LAMB shanks, startled to your taste and infused with a suppository puree. Choose from baked potatoes or a three year call of duty service in Northern Belize
  • MONKEY Lungs – forced up against a wall against their will. Strenuously denied in front of a live TV audience and drizzled in a Blankety Blank sauce. Served with un peu de stink of creamed back hair and a month long XBOX live pass.

Et pour les desserts

  • WRANGLED cream, shot at close range with the chief’s butter gun. Ransomed gently over a low flame and beaten to make it look like an accident. Dripped with fresh fruit puree instilled with disappointment
  • PAPAL turnover – traditional Vatican dessert, stripped and oiled to your liking. Cooked aggressively over a high heat before being gently neutered in the larger of our two fridges. Served with a panacotta of goat complaints and a David Dimbelby jus
  • LES Chats est non importante – enjoy a taste of Spain with our speciality. Cats are not important pudding is secreted from live ginger toms before being worked into a light and frothy muffin. Delicious served with broken toast and a bag of forgotten aspirations
  • ARTHUR C CLARKE – exhumed lovingly by our resident chef de partie and served with warm custard and flavoured oxygen

Life of Si

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.


Some Twiglets


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.


Well, it's a cushion.


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.


Tiny pint


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…

Life of Si


Cocktails. Simon says -Not always a warning. Sometimes just a cry for help.

Simon Thrombosis, MonkeyBroth’s guru of both ‘life’ and ‘style’ and part-time chiropodist, is back to solve those daily lifestyle concerns. You know the style of them – the life ones? Yes those.


Donny Callforward of Spongy Marsh writes – Dear Si, I’ve been having trouble in the bedroom recently. I don’t think my wife is attracted to me since I lost my job at the fishmongers. I’m worried that she no longer respects me now that I’m out of work. What can I do to improve things as I feel so impotent?

SI writes – Speaking as a hot bloodied man, I pity you Donny. Best thing? Go out down the scummiest local boozer you can find and have a fling with some skanky piece of tail. Make sure you are clearly seen or, if possible, get caught in the act by your wife.

Make her feel as small as you feel Donny. Yesssss….that’s the way.

Either that or get another job or something.


Matthew Handcream of Lower Spatch writes – Si, I hope you can help as I don’t know who else to turn to. I’m worried that my son has never had a girlfriend and doesn’t hang out with the other local lads. He doesn’t like football, rugby or beer and spends most of his time watching old videos of Strictly Come Dancing or Friends whilst sipping cocktails and wearing a purple silk gown. He’s 20 years old and I just can’t talk to him any more.

Si writes: Clearly Matthew, your son is just confused about female lady parts and just needs a good poke in the right direction. Buy him a call-girl as a fatherly gift and get him sowing his manly oats.

Failing that, it could be that he just prefers men’s bottoms to ladies.


Barty Alkaline of Steffi on the Graf writes – I really need some advice Si. I’m stuck on the last Gollum Master boss in Call of Wizards – The Meeting 2. I’ve levelled my Wizard, Xylion the Brash, up to 2000XP and have the wind waffle power-up equipped, but he keeps breaking my defence with his Mighty Spank Batton of Kaxel. Would the Cantilever Uttering of Zook be a better magic attack or do I need to tackle his minions of Flark before turning my attention to his weak-spot?

Si writes – Barty, I have no idea what you’re on about. Go and get yourself laid.


Is it over? Good! Right… off to the damage limitation meeting we go.

Life of Si

crying child

Teach them young, says Si.

MonkeyBroth’s male lifestyle guru and part time midwife, Simon Thrombosis, helps you achieve….uh….stuff with your life. Probably the impossible. 


Martin Xylophone from Lower Stain writes – “Dear Si, I feel inadequate when mixing with my peers. How can I feel more Alpha-male in their company?”

Si – Martin my little friend, it is very simple. Make sure you have the biggest income, the fastest car and the shiniest wife. A huge schlong can certainly help, but unless you are going to invest in a pair of glass-fronted slacks or Lycra shorts, the money, car and a brassy wife are certainly easier ways to win bragging rights to the title of group silverback.

Other factors to help you mug off your mates;

  • Being hirsute
  • Being well dressed
  • The maximum diving depth of your watch
  • Having an unusual way of opening beer bottles
  • Being a braying idiot

These are my tips Martin. Use them well.


Shamus Hotpocket from Dampcrotch writes –Hi Si, I’m tired of helping to build up the business for my employers. They are mean and sometimes laugh at me in the canteen. What advice can you give me to move on in life?”

Si – I’ll tell you what Shamus, first you need to exercise some serious pay-back to the ones laughing at you.

Set fire to them Shamus. Make sure they know it was you. Tell them to suck it up and that if you hear any more, their family and friends will be next. Your following move is not to build up your own business. Take theirs by extreme force if necessary. TAKE IT! Suckers will wish they hadn’t set eyes on you.

They’ll never laugh at you again Shamus. Never.


Frank Hexagons from Girth writes – ‘”Si, please help. Just recently, I’ve been thinking about returning to education but I find learning terrifying. I dropped out of school quite young but since the birth of my first son, I feel he’s owed a dad who he can be proud of. How can I get over my fear of learning?”

Si – I’ll be Frank with you Frank. You owe your Son nothing.

What right has he got coming into this world unexpectedly and demanding things of you eh Frank? Teach the snivelling little tyke that he’ll get what he’s given in life. Teach him that he’ll have his thicko dad and like it!

Nowadays, kids think they are all entitled to a new-age caring, sharing earth-father that will do their flipping homework for them, pay for their endless requirement for new shoes and provide them with life lessons.

One life lesson you need to give him Frank, GROW UP!


Is this stuff even legal? …well…. more life-changing advice from Simon soon chaps, unless he takes over the office by force.

Home maintenance with Keith Dynosheet

Many of you will remember Keith from such genre-leading TV shows as ‘How long is your guttering?’ and ‘Changing rooms changed’. A pioneer in the development of the self-leveling-level and the automatic gate mangle, Keith has been at the sharp end of home DIY for at least 6 months. An enviable CV indeed! Here, Keith takes you through some seasonal ‘must dos’ for every home tinkerer.

Hello everyone! Keith Dynosheet here with some top tips to keep you busy on those long and sultry summer days.

cold pint

Nice cold pint? Waste of time! Get in the loft instead!

When the sun is shining bright, the living’s good and the temperature is nudging the high 80’s, there’s nothing I like more than insulating the loft. Many consider this task to be madness at this time of year but ask yourself this – where would you rather be? Having a cold cider in a beautiful country pub garden or up in the loft wearing protective clothing and laying thick glass-fibre between your joists? Quite! Get up that loft ladder! It is important to utilise your full face mask to protect your eyes and your lungs from the hazardous material. It also helps to have a nice thick pair of trousers (a sturdy cavalry twill or jumbo cord for preference), a long-sleeved fleece to protect the forearms and a thick pair of gloves. I find that it’s best to lay your insulation at around midday although I don’t know why.

Another fantastic job during this fair season is cleaning the inside of the greenhouse windows. Remember that, because of the extreme temperatures, the glass will streak very badly meaning you need to take your time to achieve that sparkling finish. Set aside a minimum 3 hours without breaks to truly do this job justice and remember the full complement of thick, heavy protective clothing when working with glass.

My final top DIY job for a balmy July day is putting down Lino in the cellar. ‘But it’s cold down there Keith!’ I hear you cry! But worry not as you’ll be wearing the full complement of heavy, think and stiff protective clothing including the most important garments – the safety scarf and luminous mittens. Also, your Lino will need to be kept warm to make it lay properly, so a large space-heater set on full power will be a necessity. A hairdryer on the hottest possible setting is also recommended for precision laying. Remember not to bring any cold drinks or refreshments into the cellar with you during this task as you may spill some on your lovely brand-new floor. Allow between 4-6 hours to complete this depending on the area you’re covering. A great time-saving tip for this is to not have any fluids for 24 hours beforehand thus saving trips to the toilet.

Until next time everyone, stay safe and most of all, stay safe!


Wonderful advice there to avoid wasting those precious summer days! Keith will be back in the future to explain why roofing is best done during lightning storms. You can also purchase Keith’s new book -‘Building a swimming pool during a drought’ at all good booksellers.