Monday, February 02, 2009


Hams Back (once more)

Hey Hey Hey!

Hams not deid

Aye ok so I have reached new levels of poor service. I can make no apologies but in my defence I was sucked into a rent in space and time which took me to a foreign part of the galaxy and I had to construct a space vessel to take me home using only the contents of my pockets. I was hampered by lack of a viable form of interstellar propulsion and any discernible talent or ability.

On the plus side this was all a rather vivid dream and in fact I’ve just been a complete slack b@stard for the last four months (well when it comes to these scribblings) elsewhere I have been rather busy


Hopefully the next one will be around before Halleys comet returns

Kind regards


The Certainty Principle

It’s the end of January and payday has finally arrived. The longest month of the year is nearly at an end and Ham is going out to celebrate. Christmas, Hogmanay and the credit crunch have left Hammy a wee bit on the short side and made this January as much fun as a baw kicking party; so he’s going to celebrate the first flush of pay and get well rubbered tonight. The weather has also taken a turn for the worse so our baldy hero is forgoing his normal healthy walk and is getting a bus into town ……

Peering out the window I see the rain is coming down in sheets; I check my watch. 15 minutes to get to the bus stop; it’s going to be a sprint in this weather. Several deep breaths to charge the lungs ‘Ok Ham, no probs, plenty of time’ one more quick gulp and I jump out the front door into a wall of water ‘bloodyhell’ I fumble to lock the door ‘for fuuucksakes’ I wail as the errant key tries to wriggle out of my already soaking hand ‘lock ya baaaastard lock’ with a dull thud I finally hear the chamber fall into place; and I’m off like a whippet (albeit quite a chunky slow whippet)

Long galloping strides carry me quickly through the many deep puddles and I make it to the bus stop in world record time, I curse my luck that Norris McWhirter isn’t here to validate my record; then remember he pegged it 5 years ago ‘Damm you Norris’ I mumble whilst surveying my sodden jeans and leaky shoes. I take solace it the fact I am now under cover.

However it didn’t take me long to twig that despite the cover the precipitation did not appear to have stopped? If anything it was even wetter inside. Call me picky but the words ‘Bus shelter’ surely imply some protection from the elements? I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation from something that boasts the word ‘shelter’ in its title. Unfortunately this particular refuge appeared to be a ‘rain collector’ the prevailing weather conditions rendering it an impromptu ‘whirlwind spa’

The bus company had also helpfully put the timetable outside the ‘shelter’ so I popped back out into the teeth of the hurricane to check when the next bus was actually due. Stirling doesn’t have any of these fancy electronic signs which tell you when the next bus is coming. Its old school paper timetables for us. Hanging onto the lamppost as my feet were blown horizontal I scanned the rain soaked sign ‘Oookay there’s one in 8 minutes’ I mumbled glancing at my watch ‘and another half an hour after that’ another 8 minutes of dampness was bearable; after all it would take four times longer to walk into town. I let go and was blown back into my icy spa.

Huddling in the corner of the leaky bivouac I noticed the sepia orange street lights starting to flicker ‘what the?‘ suddenly I was bathed in very strong bright lights. They cycled from yellow to red to white and then to green. I had to shield my eyes from their fierce glare. My first instinct of extra terrestrial invasion was ruled out by the absence of any little green aliens wanting to take me to their spaceship for rectal probing. This suggested there may be a more mundane and earthy explanation for these powerful lights. Gazing across the road I found the answer….

KEBAB, PIZZA, CHIPS and FREE HOME DELIVERY all shone out at me in varying colours of vivid neon. The entire front of the shop was taken up by this behemoth of a sign which the proprietor had just switched on.

How the council ever gave planning permission for this energy sapping Jurassic beast I’ll never know. ‘For pities sake’ Not only was I now cold and hungry but even when I closed my eyes I could still see the glowing words as they were now burnt indelibly onto my retina; I was cursed to think of kebabs and chips for all eternity. I pulled my donor card out of my wallet to score out the section for bequeathing eyes ‘No point in giving these to anyone now’ I mumbled.

It also dawned on me that the bus hadn’t yet arrived? It was now more than 5 minutes past the allotted arrival time and there was nary a vehicle to be seen of any kind. My celebratory beers seemed more distant than ever. Braving the pelting rain I checked the timetable again. Using the remaining unburnt retinal tissue between the E and B of kebab I noticed there was a number you could text which would tell me when the next bus was due. All I had to do was text my bus stops ‘unique’ 16 digit reference number and they would reply with the time the next bus would arrive.

You can imagine the feelings of joy and happiness when the reply I received stated ‘unknown location please check your reference’ Three more times I braved the elements to triple check the fecking number and IT WAS as printed on the timetable. Twice more I received a reply stating I was a f@nny and couldn’t input the number correctly. This may not be the actual text of the reply but it was what they were implying. The vein on my forehead was throbbing angrily now and tetchiness levels were reaching a critical threshold. This seemed a good point to call their helpline.

My good humour was further improved by having to press nine numbers to allegedly route me to the most inept, sorry appropriate operator at which point I was cut off anyway. Feelings of anger and resentment were not dissipating; I tried again.

‘Hello how can I help you sir?’, ‘Ah yes I wonder if you can tell me if you own any buses?’, ‘pardon?’, ‘Buses, do you have any?’ there was a pause on the other end of the line ‘I’m not sure I understand sir?’, ‘well the thing is I’ve been waiting at this bus stop, for an hour, in the clearly faint hope that a bus might arrive’, ‘yes I-‘, ‘your timetable clearly indicates that two buses should have arrived by now’, ‘yes sir but the timetable is just a guide’, ‘a guide’ I replied quietly ‘yes sir’, ‘so what your telling me is your buses are subject to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle’, ‘sorry sir?’ clearly my operator was not the recipient of a high school education. Sesame street was probably more his standard. I felt I should educate him.

‘The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that the values of certain pairs of conjugate variables (position and momentum, for instance) cannot both be known with arbitrary precision’, ‘That is, the more precisely one variable is known, the less precisely the other is known’, ‘although this usually refers to quantum physics rather than public transport’, ‘but I don’t want to blind you with science so let’s put it in simpler terms’, ‘what I really mean is YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOUR FUUUUCKINGBUSES ARE DO YOU!!’

It was at this point I was drenched to the skin as two buses came thundering past at 60 miles an hour showering me with the contents of a large brown puddle. If my hand had been out to stop them I would have lost it. Sighing heavily I trudged wetly across the street ‘large donner please mate, sauce salad everything’ ….

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