Thursday, December 20, 2007


Ham Shanks Exceptionally late Post

Hello Folks

Apologies once again for the dreadful service, it's quite odd having a 'real' excuse for a change!

The Back is better but I'm not as yet 'healed'

However you know me and 'Stoic' is my middle name, so I have managed to pen a few words through the agony (laying it on too thick yet?) It's taken a while but it was worth it just to think of the smiles on all your faces (taken it too far havent I)


Anyway it's all yer getting till am able to walk aboot without looking like ah've jist filled ma punders wi a big jobby and I'm trying to gingerly get to the toilet afore it runs oot the bottom of ma troosers

So on that happy note - Merry Chrimbo and a Happy New Year folks, hope 2008 is a fab year fer ye all



To A Spine.

It’s right behind ye, tucked oot of sight,

It huds ye up, it gives ye height,

It lets ye bend and touch yer toes,

It lets ye flex tae raise yer nose.

It gies a place tae rest yer skull,

Tae fix yer ribs and clavicles,

In fact it hosts near aw yer bones,

this central towering knobbly home.

Dinnay forget yer muscles noo,

they need somewhere tae hud on too,

ligaments need tae bind the pair,

without a spine they’ve just thin air.

Yer poor auld back, it toils so hard,

A dreary job with scant reward,

Nae a ‘glamorous’ body part,

With top place billing like the heart.

Ye cannay ‘lose’ it to another,

It wont profess to be a lover,

It disnay drum a steady beat ,

But by God it keeps ye on yer feet.

It keeps ye straight, protects yer nerves,

Fer far less praise than it deserves,

A place to hang that heavy pack,

The unsung hero is yer back.

So why the homage to the spine?

I’ll tell ye why in double time,

Ma back is gubbed! It’s goosed! It’s knacked!

And noo am scunnered, lying flat.

Ma toes are noo but distant friends,

Ah doot ah’ll no see them again,

My socks hing limply in ma hands,

Useless woolen stripy bands.

Bendings but a tearful fancy,

Fer this greeting faced, baldy Nancy,

Laid oot rigid on his bed,

Oor bubbling bairn wishes he wis dead

He called the Surgery to plead his case,

They took his call with little grace,

But surely he could struggle through?

They didn’t seem to have a clue

‘Ah cant stand up, ah’ve shat myself’

‘Does that sound like I’m in rude health?

With wounded pride she did conceed

That maybe I really was in need.

The Doc came oot and had a look,

A poke, a prod; then stood aloof,

‘I’d take it easy for the next few days’

He spouted forth with listless gaze

‘Oh really Doc’ I replied with scorn,

‘I’d planned to run a race the morn’

‘How long did it take tae ye tae learn aw that?

Ah micht as well have asked the cat!

Yer supposed to try and diagnose,

A reason for my anguished pose,

Perhaps a pill to ease the pain?

To save you coming back again?

His face grew red with bluff and bluster,

But puff was all the boy could muster,

Go on, F*CK OFF! ye useless quack,

Yer smeg all use for my sair back.

So please dear friends, heed my advice,

As I lie here prone, applying ice,

Treat yer back like treasured gold,

Ye’ll need it till yer very old

Dinnay slouch and slump in chairs,

Forgoe the lift and take those stairs,

Keep that spine moving freely,

Don’t be like me; tired and weary

This tower of strange shaped vertebrae,

Designed to hold yer shape all day,

In truth they are yer ‘real’ best friend,

Ye need them all tae twist and bend

So to prevent repeats of this sad farce,

And let ye kick the Doctors @rse!

To pull yer socks upon yer toes,

to say goodbye to bending woes

Revere the back and worship gaily,

Do your stretching three times daily,

Cod liver oil will reduce your woes

and help you reach those distant toes

ps Remember a backs not just for Christmas ….

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Hams Back

Hams Back!

Have you been away? Is probably your retort to my two word opening. No, I haven't. I am in fact referring to my spine.

'What about it' you enquire with feigned interest

It's gubbed! I say gubbed when of course I mean fucking agony. Every time I sit down a small dwarf sneaks up behind me and starts inserting needles into the small of my back. By the time I've stood up the wee bastard is gone! To be fair standing up is such a gradual process, it might not be a dwarf; that's only a guess seeing as a tortoise could have legged it in the time it takes me to get erect ......... hmmm I could have phrased that slightly better

One the plus side once I'm up; I'm fine! ...... again more thought could have gone into that sentence. What I'm trying to say is movement is good, mobility is my friend, walking eases my aching back and I almost forget about it - until I sit down again. If I remain sedentary for more than a couple of minutes then the dwarf returns.

Anyhoo it does mean that I'm not overly keen on sitting in front of my laptop for four hours tonight to write more 'truths' for you. I'd like to, really I would. But instead I will be walking around my house guzzling ibuprofen, paracetamol, crack, smack, windolene, fecking ANYTHING that might take the nippiness out of my vertebrae.

Tried Ice - Didn't work

Tried heat - Didn't work

Tried Heat, then Ice - Pissed masel and it still didnt work

So you will have to excuse me yet again while I go for another wee stroll to change my underwear. I do apologise for the dreadful service but it is due to circumstances outwith my control. And if you dont like it feel free to kiss my hairy fucking arse you prissy c-

Sorry sorry sorry - I am prone to slight 'tetchiness' at the moment, I think it might be the drain cleaner I had earlier.

Fondest Regards


Sunday, December 02, 2007


Ham Shanks Secret Diary - The Home of the Truth!

Dearest Readers

Last weeks diary seems to have hit a nerve with certain readers, it also elicited a number of 'replies to all' which contained a series of 'untruths'

So I would like to set the record straight on three things

1) My elder brother is a dirty filthy liar
2) The van was Blue not white
3) The chickens were all consenting

I trust that clears that up. I hope you enjoy this weeks effort

Kindest Regards


Ham Shanks Secret Diary w/e 2nd December 07 – The Case for the Prosecution

Those of you on the e-mail distribution of this weekly(ish) rambling may have been unfortunate enough to receive a rebuttal from my elder brother regarding last weeks diary. It began ‘Dear fellow readers of lies’ and then just descended into a sad and bitter verbal tirade. To summarize his response for those of you following via the blog or the other distribution list; my brother was most insistent that I had in some way misrepresented the situation with regard to the shoddy condition of his long list of previous motor vehicles? He seemed intent on discrediting my claims that a unicycle without a seat would provide more reliable and comfortable vehicular transport.

One can only imagine this denial was part of his plan to plead temporary insanity at later court proceedings. After all if you were an insect and you were covered in yellow and black stripes, had a stinger attached to your rear end and lived in a paper house there would be little point in protesting that you’re not a wasp unless you were mad ‘what me?’, ‘noooo I’m a butterfly mate’, ‘this?’, ‘eeer that’s a love wand’ …….

Having now been publicly challenged as to the factual content of my diary I am forced to substantiate my original assertions in order to clear my good name. Because if anybody is going to sully Ham Shanks name it’s bloody well going to be me!

Cue wibbly wobbly special effect and follow me as we head back in time ….

It’s the late nineteen eighties; Ham has hair; think Dolf Lundgren from Rocky IV then subtract about five inches in height and lose the rippling muscles. So basically the same haircut (bleached flat top) and a similarly poor grasp of English. It was the one and only hairstyle of my life; I was young and foolish. Probably explains why I took my elder brother at his word when he ‘introduced’ me to the latest driving experience he had to offer me - A fiat 126.

Being young and naïve I had yet to learn to ask what was wrong with the vehicle prior to embarking on any journey. However Mr Daley was also in his youth and clearly still had a smidgeon of conscience left because he felt compelled to warn me about the brakes before I set off in the yellow death trap ‘Oh aye the brakes arnay too hot by the way, ye need to give them three or four pumps to get the best out of them’, ‘alright bruv cheers for that’ I was so young and trusting I even thanked him.

Now the problem with having brakes that require to be ‘primed’ before use is that you don’t always know when you might need them. Emergency stops spring instantly to mind? You tend not to get much warning with those; otherwise it’s not really an emergency stop is it? It’s just a stop. What he also failed to mention was the direct correlation between increasing speed and decreasing brake function i.e. when you needed the brakes most you didn’t fecking have any.

It was fine approaching junctions in town, three or four quick stabs at the brake pedal and hey presto you had a better than 50:50 chance of stopping. However on the open road to get anything out of the brakes would have required divine intervention. Given my well documented belief that all deities are fictional characters I was on my own (as we all are anyway, but hey lets not get into that old chestnut again)

As we lived on the outskirts of a village I’d managed to negotiate my way out on to the open road with minimal braking requirements. Bolstered by the fact that the radio and the windows seemed to work I was singing along to Bonnie Tyler who was holding out for a hero. Thirty seconds later I could have done with a lycra clad superhero of my very own.

Crossroads ahead, not the televisual variety with woollen hatted village idiot, no this was the road version with looming give way sign. I applied the brakes; nothing happened. Remembering my instructions I quickly pumped the brake pedal a few times and reapplied; again nothing happened. Actually that’s not 100% true, I did start to weep. The junction was approaching as speed, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d managed to coax 45mph out of my rusting Italian steed but this lowly pace seemed that it might be a terminal velocity in every sense of the word.

Reasoning that perhaps I hadn’t ‘primed’ my brakes enough I started stabbing feverishly at the brake pedal. Woodpeckers couldn’t have knocked out as many beats per minute, but still there was an absence of deceleration, if anything I seemed to be gaining speed. This was when I clocked the slight gradient I was heading down, not an encouraging development I think you would agree. Having totally fatigued my right leg I started jabbing with my left, again to no avail. Time to switch the waterworks to DEFCON 1 and prepare the cockpit for an emergency crash landing.

In theory you should be as ‘relaxed’ as possible at the point of impact, helps reduce severity of any potential injuries. So given the fact that both my legs were ramrod straight and jammed on the footbrake and my teeth were shattering as I gritted them tightly together I think it’s safe to assume I was going to be badly injured, if I survived at all. Ten metres to go and at least my sphincter relaxed, so there was the silver lining; it wasn’t going to be injured. Not that it had anything left to hold in by that point anyway, it was out of a job regardless.

I sailed across the junction narrowly missing an old biddy in a Morris Minor who seemed oblivious to the whole event. The world blissfully grey through her thick cataracts and milk bottle glasses. To say I was envious of her outlook would be an understatement. Several hundred yards down the road I was fortunate enough to coast to a stop in a handy hedge. Stumbling out of the vehicle, my bleached flat top now limp and unkempt, I took the opportunity to loose my lunch.

When I eventually returned home, a long journey when you don’t get out of first gear it has to be said, Mr Daley was less than sympathetic ‘what the f*ck have ye done to ma car’ he screamed as he examined the deep scars left on the paintwork from my altercation with the hedge. Ignoring his whining I tottered off inside, anxious for a restorative cuppa and a shower. I could hear him opening the front door ‘Aaw for fuuuuucksakes man it’s full of shi-‘

‘Dear fellow readers of lies’ HAH! This is just ONE of many true stories I could recount, but I’m saving the rest for the court case. I’m taking him to the cleaners, mental anguish and dry cleaning bills, I am going to be f*cking minted!

Ps feel free to come back to the ‘00’s now. Oh and many apologies for planting a Bonnie Tyler song in your heads ….. ‘He’s gotta be stong and he’s ‘ .. ‘la la la laaaa’

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