Sunday, October 22, 2006


I cant believe it's not Ham Shanks

I’m afraid there wont be a diary this week folks. I did write one but I lost it, well I say ‘lost’, when in fact it was ‘stolen’ (dum dum dum dum duuuuuuum)

I know who did it, I’m on there tracks. I’m currently looking for it under the bed you know! Hee hee Why it’s not there! That’s because ‘the pixies’ have it of course, oooh hoo hoo haa heee the l’ill magic pixies who keep ME SANE!!! Heehee hee wubbleknfghhh’aaaaah

You cant fight them! …. Oh nononono that would be a craaaaaaaazy thing to do and I’m not crazy gnfrrgg pipple..gnfff BUT I CAN SEE THEM!!! Ha HAAAAA!

Oh hmmmgnnf heeheehaha ooooh it’s so dark under here, hee hee, nice and dark and quite, shhhhhhh don’t make a sound hee hee haaaaa oh there’s no PC here it’s great, no computer, no coding, no testing, no work mmmmmm nice and dark and quiet ……. Oh look! Half a chocolate bonbon with some fluff on it mmunchmuchmmmm … I love it here

On the off chance I do less that a 65hr week this week (and the magic pixies free me) ye might get a diary but dinnay hold you breath …….

Kind Regards


Ps Sorry ma heids minced

Monday, October 16, 2006


Ham Shanks Excuses Plc

I'd like to apologise for the lack of diary once again. I've been up tae ma mince pies in work and my creative juices have run dry (were they ever moist I hear you mumble)

All I can say is 'I tried' ....... but ....... Ah cannay take it nae mair! Ah just cannay .........uhuu huuu huu huuuu ... I tried, I really really tried but I j.j.j.uuust cant take anymore uhuuu huuu huuuu (I'm banging my head on the table now)

Why are you making me feel so bad? (imagine my pleading red rimmed eyes looking at you as I grovel at your feet) .... it's not lll.l.l.ike I.I.I wwww.w.anted to let you d.d.d.own (I'm breathing erratically now, like I'm having an asthma attack)

Uhuuuu huuu huuuuu (now I'm slapping my head with my free hand as I bubble uncontrollably) Uhuuuu huuuu huuuuuu ..... to fade

Now I know 'you' didnt fall for any of that old sop but the question is 'will my boss?' when I break the bad news about my lack of work progress?

I realise this might be an extreme reaction, but hey, if it's faking a nervous breakdown and having the whole office stare at you in jaw dropping disbelief OR own up and get a bad annual review then bring on the straight jacket everytime!

A miraculous recovery just before I'm actually sectioned and Robert will indeed be your mothers brother!

Aye ok I'll just gerrit done .... ye might get a diary this week, only time will tell

Sorry Folks

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 104

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 8th October 2006

‘What about now?’, ‘it’s better but there’s still a dip over there’, ‘where?’, ‘just there by your left foot’ he continued, wagging a finger in a random direction. Carefully I moved to my right and then gently raked a few more stones into the dip recently vacated by my foot. ‘And now?’ Scotty was grimacing, nodding his head from side to side in a see saw fashion. He had also started sucking air nosily between his teeth (never a good sign) ‘Weeeeeell it’s a wee bit high across to your left’ I looked downwards from where I had just moved ‘so exactly where I just raked the fecking stones to then?’, ‘no no no it’s slightly further left’ he retorted in a slightly hurt voice ‘Oh yeah and it looks like there is a hump in the middle too’ piped up Sam from the back of the garden ……. too many cooks

After last weeks aborted solo effort to prepare my front garden for concreting I decided that I needed some assistance. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. It was one of those light bulb moments that can come to you when your boarding up a large picture window ‘Spread the blame Ham’ I said to myself as I hammered in the last nail.

I managed to enlist the help of a couple of friends from work for this weekend. Despite a lack of real progress the previous week I had at least established that I would definitely need a skip to dispose of all the waste. My initial plan to fill the boot of my car with earth and let it trickle out a hole in the bottom as I drove around town just wasn’t going to work. The second hole wasn’t big enough and the first had been in the petrol tank so the less said about that one the better.

I had phoned every skip hire company within a fifty mile radius and it was going to cost at least a hundred quid. It was no use crying (although I did try) I was going to have to bite the bullet. To make matters worse I could only get my skip for half a day as the hire company finished at lunchtime on a Saturday and I didn’t have a permit to leave it on the street overnight. Obviously I’d secured my colleagues agreement before I told them we were actually starting at 8 am on Saturday morning. Even with the promise of a free breakfast Sam didn’t take it particularly well ‘When? oh for fuuucksakesmaaaan

Saturday morning broke brightly. There was a chill in the air but at least it was dry. I’d asked Scotty to pick Sam up on the way to the house, not trusting him to get out of his bed without some external encouragement. Humming quietly I watched the bacon crisp up nicely under the grill. I’d just placed the rolls in the oven when a loud clattering noise caught my attention. It was coming from the end of the street and getting louder by the second.

I stepped outside and strolled to the side of the road. I could see a car driving swiftly towards me. It appeared to have a large metal bedstead in tow and it was this that had been making all the racket. With only one castor left the front legs were now ploughing a large pair of ‘dreels’ down the centre of the road. The vehicle came to a sudden stop in front of me and the driver’s window wound down ‘Were here!’ shouted Scotty as the errant bedstead collapsed into pieces at the rear of his car.

There was no one else in the car. ‘We?’ I enquired. Scotty jerked his thumb in the direction of the bed. It was at this point I realised that it was in fact still inhabited. An extremely white faced Mr Turner was stumbling off what was left of his divan. He tottered unsteadily towards me, pointing a shaking finger he mumbled ‘’re a c.c.c.cccomplete cuuu…’ before collapsing face first into the garden.

I glared at Scotty. He held his hands out in front of him in an open gesture, shrugged his shoulders and gave me a quizzical look ‘You said to get him here by eight, you said’ Shaking my head I slung the prone Mr Turner over my shoulder and headed back inside ‘C’mon ye fanny I better get our breakfast oot afore it burns’.

A bacon roll wafted under Sam’s nose revived him quite quickly. He’s not really a morning person on the best of days so he was easily convinced by our story that it had all been a nasty dream and not to be so silly. Towed in a bed, as if! Tossing the dirty plates in the sink I attempted to cajole the troops into action.

‘C’mon then gents you’ve had yer breakfast and as John Wayne would say were burning dayligh-‘, ‘get off your horse and drink your milk?’ interrupted Scotty ‘nooo-‘, ‘out here due process is a bullet?’, ‘no-‘, ‘frankly my dear I don’t give a dam?’, ‘that was Clark Gable in gone with the wind wasn’t it?’ interjected Mr Turner. I was starting to lose the rag ‘oh, so what did he say?’, ‘who?’ I barked ‘John Bain?’, ‘you mean John Wayne I think’ corrected Sam aye him’ Thrusting a spade in Scotty’s hand I snarled ‘he said get digging ye annoying bawbag!’, ‘what film was that in?’, ‘JUST DOOOOO IT!!’ I screamed.

Digging in stony silence we managed to clear the entire area in just under an hour Good teamwork is clearly built on a foundation of ill feeling and tetchiness. Fair play to them though the boys fairly grafted. In fact we had finished before the ton of hardcore arrived. Time for a cup of tea and a bicker, sorry, biscuit.

Half an hour after the aggregate arrived we had barrowed it all in. Just a quick level and we were done. It had been a long day and sometimes more than one pair of eyes can be a hindrance. ‘I think it needs to be thicker over there ‘where?’, ‘where Scotty’s standing’, ‘if he’s there it’s bound to be thick enough already’ I mumbled under my breath as we spread the hardcore ‘what’s that?’, ‘nothing’ I replied innocently, realising my mumble had been quite loud ‘I’ve had about enough of you Shanks’ Scotty retorted. Striding across so we were toe to toe ‘Aye well I’m sick of the sight of your ugly mug too Ferguson!’, ‘OH OH-

Sam shook his head and wheeled the last barrow of rubbish to the skip. We’d managed to keep him away from it all day as the remains of his bed were buried under the rubble. ‘Almost’ buried would have been nearer the mark. ‘Aye well you cannay dig for toffee Shanks ye lazy fat bast-‘, ‘Ha-‘, ‘HEY! My beds in here!’, ‘You LIED to me!’ We could see Mr Turner approaching. He was slapping a fractured piece of bed frame into the palm of his hand. He didn’t look happy. Glancing at each other we rapidly reached the same conclusion …… ‘LEEEEEEEEGIT!!’


Sunday, October 01, 2006


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 103

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary – w/e 1st October 2006

Thud thud thud … ‘oohyafecker’ thud thud cachuuung! ‘feck’ thud thud thud cach- ‘Uungggff c’mon ya baaas’, ‘gnnnffmmm -uuung!’, ‘aaaaah’ struggling to my feet I rounded on the tree root ‘oh oh oh! So that’s how ye want to play it!’ I roared whilst sliding sideways in the wet mud ‘Ye want tae be difficult do ye? Well that’s fiiiiiine’, ‘just fine’ the tree root remained firmly impassive as I theatrically rolled up the sleeves of my boiler suit and picked up the spade .......

All I’d wanted to do was tidy up the front garden. It had always been a bit of an eyesore. Nothing more than a patch of moss ridden grass surrounded by wild herbaceous borders. The only things that seemed to grow properly were the crisp packets. It was a real eye opener to find out that crisp packets actually ‘breed’. Here was me foolishly thinking they were made in plastics factories when all along they are actually a self replicating species. Certainly it didn’t matter how many I harvested from the garden there were always a dozen more the next day.

Fed up with tending my field of snack wrappers I’d decided to concrete over the lot. Decorative concrete mind you, not your boring old grey stuff. This was going to be coloured and patterned! (ooooh faaancy I hear you cry) After preliminary discussions with my concreting ‘professional’ I was dismayed to find that he couldn’t just pour three tons of quick drying concrete on top of my garden. There was going to have to be some ‘preparatory work’ done. However if I wanted to save a lot of money I could take this work on myself. Ever the tight Jock I plumped for this option. I was not best pleased when I found out I had to dig up the whole fecking garden.

I was even less amused when I started digging and found that there was a network of tree roots just under the surface of the grass. I don’t even have a tree in my front garden! The nearest one is about 10 metres away. Clearly it had been sneakily spreading itself underground in the kind of underhand invidious way I’d expect from a deciduous hardwood – bastards! The entire garden was riddled with tendrils of tree roots. All of them within the top five inches of soil (which I was now required to remove) The prospect left me with a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle.

As it happened the smaller roots weren’t actually too difficult to eradicate. A firm chopping action with a good spade was sufficient to despatch them to the big compost heap in the sky. I was getting into a rhythm and things were looking up. A few hours and the job would be complete. Unfortunately I was being lulled into a false sense of security. The roots were getting progressively thicker all the time and the ‘big boys’ proved a tad more troublesome.

Imagine armour plated hosepipes and you’re getting there. Totally resistant to my best slashing efforts with the spade. Frenzied chopping simply resulted in erratic rubbery ‘rebounds’. A sharp spade flying dangerously about your head does tend to focus your attention and after two or three dives to the muddy ground in order to avoid self decapitation my patience was wearing thin. Time for plan B …..

A quick rummage in the shed failed to uncover a box of dynamite. Disappointed at the lack of powerful explosives I plumped for the large pick axe which was propped against the back wall. A brute of a tool it must have weighed ten kilos. Now I know what the nutters in the NRA must feel like when they pick up an armalite rifle. This goliath of an axe had a reassuring feel of weight and power about it. This wasn’t for girls, this was for men! (yes it is sad isn’t it)

Whistling cheerfully I marched round to the front garden and set the beast down next to a particularly thick and troublesome root ‘getting worried are ye?’ I smirked at the trembling object ‘aye ye’ll no be absorbing any more free nutrients oot of my garden ye thieving bastard’ if it was possible to cower this root was cowering ‘aye say goodbye tae yer pals laddy, you’re about to become firewood’ with an evil grin I spat on my hands ….

‘Uuurggghhh’, ‘why do they do that in films’ I whined, quickly wiping my hands on my boiler suit ‘uuuh hu huhuuu it was warm and everything’ I wailed in disgust. Despite the calm conditions the leaves on the tree seemed to be shaking, as if it were sniggering. Angry and indignant I grabbed at the pickaxe ‘let’s see if yer so jolly in a minute pal’ with great effort I heaved the mighty brute above my head. Resisting the urge to shout ‘by the power of greyskull’ I swung it down hard and fast…. Cruuuunch!

It didn’t so much ‘cut’ as shatter the root ‘ha ha haaaa’ I screamed as shards of wood flew all around ‘get some change oot of that ya baaas’ I yelled heaving the axe upwards in preparation for a second blow …. It never came …. What did come was a sickening sound …… the sound of breaking glass.

Everything seemed to be in slow motion after that. My arms dropped gradually in front of my face. I remember staring in jaw dropping horror as the each portion of the long handle came slowly into view. It didn’t matter how much I wished; I had three feet of solid hickory topped with absolutely fuck all.

At this point the denuded pickaxe handle was still clutched tightly in my saliva coated hands. If we were searching for a silver lining we could say that spitting on your hands does give you a firm grip – shame I didn’t gob on the top of the axe too. But it was too soon for retrospection. The useless handle fell from my now limp fingers and with tears building I turned slowly round …….’Mmmmwwffffgnn’

Before the growing state of dreadfulness shut my senses down altogether, I noted with interest that the two small windows had escaped unscathed (hurray) Shame about the enormous picture window which was now lying in a million and one pieces. The 24 inch widescreen television hadn’t fared too well either. A 20 pound lump of metal embedded in the centre of your flat screen tends to put a crimp on televisual enjoyment!

Still I saved a hundred quid on the concreting …….


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