Manx SciFi news

When you see the line:

The Dalek was built by Robin Burchill, 18, from Bride, and was being operated by his girlfriend Nina.

in a news story, you just have to delve deeper.

And not do any obvious women driver jokes.

Basically, it’s the story of a bloke who builds Daleks in his spare time, whose most recent Dalek:


broke when it hit a pothole on (FTTH-free zone) Ramsey Promenade in the Isle of Man.

[sad trombone]

This isn’t “news”. I’m pretty sure this sort of thing happens worldwide on a daily basis.

Says Robin:

Upon completing my Dalek, I decided to take it for a test run on Ramsey Promenade. We decided to take it from the promenade over to Mooragh Park as there were a few more people over there, when crossing the road towards the park’s car park driveway, the Dalek fell into a pothole.

A test run for what? Are you planning some sort of invasion, Robin? Why go towards the people, Robin? People are scared of Daleks. I’ve seen Doctor Who – those wheelie bins with laser guns are dangerous. Were you putting some sort of evil plan into practice here?

Unfortunately, when the Dalek hit the hole, it caused significant damage, its head came off, its eye was smashed and the dome suffered a nasty gouge. Robin said both of these were quite large and fairly costly repair jobs.

Both three of them? Right.
But wait for it, folks…

He said that he had contacted Ramsey Commissioners to inquire about compensation, as the road had remained in a state of disrepair for a while.

Worth a try, I suppose. I wonder if they took the claim seriously?

Robin said: “I have to this day received no response. I imagine they did not take my claims seriously.”

Ah. Right.

Ramsey Commissioners told the Manx Independent that they had not heard about an incident involving a Dalek.

And it’s really the sort of thing you’d probably remember, isn’t it?

Robin says that he is more concerned about the possibility of an elderly resident crossing the road on a mobility scooter and fears they could be injured.

Of course you are, mate.
And you were going to put your compo towards that, weren’t you? Not towards building another bloody Dalek or anything.

Ain’t no compassion like faux compassion.

More local paper sausage roll anguish

Who could forget the sorry tale of Linda and Tony Gilkes and their pie-related FURY at Morrison’s supermarket on Teeside?

Nope. Me neither.

But irritation involving savoury pastries is not a particularly common occurrence, and I – quite reasonably – thought that we were probably done with it for this year.

How wrong I was.

Because suddenly, there was this:

Here’s the first bit of the story:

A PENSIONER who eats ten sausage rolls a day was horrified to find that his packet only had nine.

Horrified, readers. HORRIFIED. (Just like you were when you found out that he eats ten sausage rolls a day.)

Please meet our 74-year old protagonist Tony Francis, described thus:

a regular purchaser of the snacks from his Aldi supermarket at Boundary Road in Portslade

As you’d need to be if you were stuffing ten of the bastards down seven times a week.

He might be from the opposite end of the country from the Gilkes’, but he is equally pissed off at his local supermarket because when he took his 9 sausage rolls, he found that they were full of METAL!

(Except they weren’t.)

Mr Francis said: “I was gobsmacked.”

Gobsmacked, readers. GOBSMACKED!

Gobsmacked enough to get in touch with his local paper and tell them all about his non-story. What follows is that story in the words of Mr Tony Francis.

I was in Aldi and usually buy the pack of 10 sausage rolls. When I got them home I found out there was only nine. So I tried to get in touch with the supplier, but ended up going through to Aldi itself. That’s when I found out that the rolls I had been buying every day had been taken off the shelves because metal was found in them.

On the plus side, Mr Francis is now magnetic and hasn’t misplaced his keys in weeks.

I’m joking, of course. The batch that he’d been eating had no metal in them at all, and weren’t the ones involved in the recall, as confirmed by an Aldi spokesbeagle:

The packet Mr Francis bought was not affected by the recall in June.

See? So all’s well that ends well, right? Not quite:

Mr Francis said the supermarket should have done more to warn him about the danger:
He said: “I’ve decided not to eat them. Surely they should have said it was not safe. I know it is not good PR. As a business, I would try to keep it quiet and move them off the shelves.”

Ah yes – the old hush-hush approach.

Like… er… this?

Aldi says product recall notices were displayed in prominent places such as the store entrance for six weeks. It includes a picture, product name, and reason for the recall.

Six weeks is forty-two days. That’s four hundred and twenty sausage rolls in Tony Francis’ world. You’d think he might have noticed that (what we presume must be) his favourite snack had disappeared off the shelves and was featured in big posters at the door of the store each time he entered. Or perhaps he missed the signs because he was so intent on foraging for his delicious flaky pasty-coated addiction in the discount superstore.

There’s a lesson in there for us all. Mine probably involves Castle Milk Stout.

There is good news for 6000 miles… at the end of all this though, thanks to a suitably bizarre inclusion in this wholly bizarre tale.
Here’s Mr Francis one last time:

But as a customer, I live on my own and this is a regular purchase for me. I’m not very IT friendly, and when I learned about it, I thought ‘crikey, how bad could it have been?’

It could have been really bad, Tony. Really bad. But your prowess in this new-fangled online world is of limited relevance here. Even if you were Bill Gates and you were eating ten metal-infused sausage rolls a day, it could still have been really bad.
The only positive about your lack of IT gumption is that you’ll likely never see this blog post taking the piss out of your allegedly traumatic experience at the hands of Aldi and their plutonium sausage roll manufacturer.

But we wish you well, and hope that you have found a less metallic, better counted replacement snack for your eating needs.

Maybe try to cut down a bit on the numbers though, ok?

When I get older…

…losing my hair
(many years from now)

I hope that I can avoid writing letters in to the local press about my perceptions of the state of things today, and how they are affecting my dreams.

I’ll try to not write stuff like:

a young friend of mine who was studying at university, once said to me, you are the most cynical person I know. I replied I’m not a cynic, I’m a realist, to which he responded that’s what all the cynics say. Which just goes to show you the utter futility of engaging a 20-year- old ‘know-it-all’ student in debate.

Or if I do, I’ll add speech marks so that it makes some sort of sense.

Although, that’s what all the bloggers say, isn’t it?

I may rage against the dying of the light and lament upon just how much glue toilet paper manufacturers put at the beginning of each roll of their product:

one of my pet hates currently is the toilet paper makers habit of putting excessive amounts of glue at the start of a roll of toilet paper which results in shredded strips of paper instead of the anticipated sheets, it drives me mad.

but I certainly won’t share that anger publicly.

I won’t be happy about the fashions of the day, but I’ll keep it to myself:

despite the fact they do like to display their grubby pants to all and sundry by wearing their jeans at half mast.

And it won’t just be the clothing: hairstyles will bewilder me as well:

it’s the older people who, for some unfathomable reason adorn heads with pony tails, they gather together every available wisp of hair from their sparsely thatched craniums and fashion the most rudimentary pony tail, which they then secure with a fragment of ribbon, possibly from a box of chocolates. Perhaps they like to imagine they are 17th century seafaring men.

‘A fragment of ribbon, possibly from a box of chocolates.’

Yes, possibly. But I’ll keep shtum. And about their shorts.
I’ll say nothing.

Their penchant for wearing the clothing of 11-year-old Boy Scouts of some 40 or 50-odd years ago, especially the baggy khaki shorts so hated by the Scouts at the time


And then there is facial hair, disgusting and unhygienic. How on earth can anyone consume anything through a layer of wiry hair.

However, if I should end up sending a postcard, dropping a line
Stating point of view, then I hope despite all my cantankerous thoughts and complaints, I hope I have the decency and pride not to try to legitimise all my ideas by attempting to tie them all into one horrendous final shared paragraph:

I’ve been having nightmares lately. I’m sitting on the embankment when a hideous old man appears from nowhere, spindly pony tail dangling from his head, his bewhiskered chin dripping globules of cold porridge down his front and shredded toilet paper dangling from the leg of his oversized shorts.

I’ll never do that. Never.

But I bet that’s what John McHale of Carey Road, Dartmouth thought when he was my age, too.

More great life advice on Twitter

Social Media is not the place to go if you want good advice on how to live your life. Generally, at least.
There are exceptions: remember last week (or was it the week before?) when I shared this tweet?

“Just be nice to people” isn’t something you should need to be told to do. It should simply be something that you want to do. Still, that’s not always what happens, and so it was good to see this straightforward instruction put into words.

And here – suddenly, like a London bus – is another: same same but different.

Again, you’d think that this was fairly obvious.
Again, you’d think that people wouldn’t need to be told.
And again, you’d be wrong.

This falls neatly into the RILAP folder:

Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one. It’s fine to be proud of it. But please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around. And please don’t try to stick down other people’s throats.

So yeah, eat what you want, but don’t insist that I must eat that way too.
And stop telling me that scientific evidence supports your choice when actually all you’ve done is read a cheap tweet by a cookbook author or his faithful imbongi.

As the lady above suggests: don’t be a dick.

I’m sorry I had to spell that out for you.

Mobile phones then, Fracking now

As the ridiculous hysterical protests against fracking in the UK intensify toward an inconceivable hyperbole, I found this article from The Telegraph,  from 15 years ago:

It’s worth noting that the same scaremongering Luddites who were pulling down phone masts in 2003, are likely contentedly using their cellphones to arrange anti-fracking protests in 2018.

Who knows what they’ll be ill-advisedly protesting against in 2031…?