• If life gives you cucumbers…

    Cucumber in a plastic wrapper
    (Photo by Charles)

    …write a blog about cucumbers.

    Sometimes life descends into pure farce. On a wet January evening in a shopping mall on the outskirts of Malmö. Or anywhere. It goes from the mundane to slapstick silly. 

    So I was in my local supermarket. I had my large-volume backpack on (I cycle my groceries home) and I was standing in front of the organic cucumbers. But why did I feel wetness just above my left hip?

    It was definitely wet

    I was wearing a heavy winter coat. It wasn’t raining outside. I took off the backpack and looked at it. The bottom left corner was dripping wet, as if it had been dunked in a puddle. Strange. I hadn’t put it down once. 

    I opened it. Empty. I’d come shopping. Of course it was empty. It was going to be filled. Perplexed, I put it back on and chose an organic cucumber from among the sad specimens, reflecting on how quickly my wife had eaten the last one. 

    Is that a cucumber in your backpack, or are you just…?

    I walked away into the avocado aisle. Once more, I felt the wetness on my skin. Dammit! What is this? I whipped the backpack off again and glared at it. Why? Where was this water coming from? 

    Then I clicked. The side pocket. The long, thin side pocket. I unzipped it, thrust my hand in, and slowly drew out… what? 

    A long, thin plastic codpiece, containing the remains of an organic cucumber bought at this same supermarket the week before. It was now half liquid, and the top half was a phallus without gusto. 

    I held the dripping member in my hand and stared around the shop wild-eyed.


    I saw the headlines already.

    I scurried to the organic cucumber section and flung it on the pile. Then thought, Noooooo! What am I doing? That’s disgusting. I picked it up again and ran with it dangling in my hand. 

    Finally, God placed a wastepaper bin at the foot of the kumquats. I was saved. I slam-dunked it. I straightened up. I looked hastily around. Act casual: Oh, two paw paws for only 20 kroner. A surprisingly good deal…

    If you enjoyed that, try Talking To A Three-Year-Old

  • Blackadder goes Brexit

    Advert from Heathrow Airport
    An un-ironic advert seen at London’s Heathrow Airport

    In moments of national self-implosion, we must cling fast to those wisest and most foundational of texts. At these moments we need the guidance of our national bards, and for me, nothing gets close to Blackadder. 

    In terms of national self-implosion, nothing in my lifetime has got close to Brexit, either. The breathtaking chaos, tinge with tragedy, is almost Greco-Roman in its scope: 

    “We’re in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun”

    Only a few men can do it justice. 


    There’s the obvious: 

    “That’s the spirit, Blackadder! If all else fails, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.”

    And while General Melchett is doing his best Jacob Rees-Mogg impression, there is of course:

    “You look surprised, Blackadder.”
    “I certainly am, sir. I didn’t realise we had any battle plans.”
    “Well of course we have! How else do you think our battles are directed?”
    “Our battles are directed, sir?”
    “Well of course they are, Blackadder. Directed according to the Grand Plan.”
    “Would that be the plan to continue with total slaughter until everyone is dead apart from Field Marshal Haig, Lady Haig and their tortoise, Alan?”
    “Great Scott, even you know it!”

    Then there are those lines that reflect my own steady ennui with the entire business of the national self-implosion:

    “You a bit cheesed off, sir?
    “George, the day this war began I was cheesed off. Within ten minutes of you turning up, I’d finished the cheese and moved on to the coffee and cigars, and at this late stage I am in a cab with two lady companions on my way to the Pink Pussycat in Lower Regent Street.”

    And then, in light of Donald Tusk’s brilliant “special place in hell” musings on the fate that should await Brexiteer politicians, there’s the wonderful:

    “I’m not a religious man, as you know, but henceforth I shall nightly pray to the God who killed Cain and squashed Samson that he comes out of retirement and gets back into practice on the pair of you.”
    A telephone rings
    “Captain Blackadder speaking. Ah, Captain Darling… You want two volunteers for a mission into no man’s land? Codename: Operation Certain Death? Yes, I think I’ve got just the fellows.” 
    Turning to George and Baldrick
    “God is very quick these days…”

    Feel free to comment and share all the beauties I’ve missed out…