TWENTY CONVERSATIONS - Number 3

By Two Legs Good

"Just for security..."

You know as soon as you hear those words that whoever it is saying them now wants to know yet another of the increasing PIN numbers, passwords, and associated security gubbins we're expected to memorise and be able to recall instantly when challenged.

(And yes we know that "PIN number" is incorrect, that it translates to "Personal Identification Number number", but have you ever tried talking to people about their "PI number"? Sometimes we have to realise that there's a tide of eejits out there that we could never stem.)

There's a common problem with most of these in that they're only one way. Of the 6 or 7 banks, 6 communications companies, 4 or 5 hospitals and doctors surgeries, and about 20 or so retailers The Blog With Two Legs deals with, only one - that's 1 - of them actually supplies a way for the customer to verify that they're genuinely dealing with the right people and not a spoof website or phoney phoneline. (Well done, Alliance & Leicester!)

Why is it one-way? Well, that way it protects the bankers, retailers, etc. When anything goes wrong with your account, like some money going missing or getting stolen, they can fall back on the old chestnut "you must have given someone your password or PIN". Then they're off the hook - after all, how can you possibly prove that you never told someone a number?

When it used to be a physical key, like an actual key, or even a signature, the emphasis was on the likes of banks to detect fraud, to weed out the fake signatures on fake cheques. Now, they can just point at you, make YOU the criminal, whether the problem is a crime or even their mistake.

Did you notice what they did? That's right - they made YOU their unpaid security for YOUR money while it's in THEIR bank! And YOU get the blame when THEY lose it or give it away to the wrong people!

Of course, where there's such a gaping security hole, naughty people will take advantage. "Social Engineering" is a nice euphemism for "con tricks", but whichever way it's put you should beware of anyone phoning out of the blue and asking for your security details unless you can actually verify they really are who they say they are.

Yes, that means that a lot of bank staff are going to get annoyed. That's OK, they get paid for it. Remember, WE are the customers, not their unpaid employees. If enough of us do, if this idea can snowball, we can eventually cause enough disruption to their businesses that they'll be forced to give us - and our money - some REAL security.



* RING *


"Hello?"

"Hello, is that Mr William Smith?"

(Now, straight away you know it's NOT a call you really want to be taking - calls where people want to formally identify you before you even know who's calling never are. It's a rule. Admit nothing!)

"Who should I say is calling?"

"This is GRAB International - is that Mr William Smith?"

"Yes, how can I help you?"

"Just for security, can you tell me the second and fifth letters of your password?"

"Yes, I can. Can you?"


{ PAUSE }


"Umm, I'm sorry, but we have to check security before we talk about the account, so just for security, can you tell me the second and fifth letters of your password?"

"Yes, as I just said, yes I can - but you haven't told me if YOU can."

"I'm sorry sir, as I explained we cannot talk about the account until security is checked."

"I'm not wanting to talk about the account, I want you to tell me the second and fifth letters of my password BEFORE we talk about my account."

"I'm sorry, sir, we're not allowed to do that."

"Oh? Why not?"

"Well, sir... you could be anybody."

"EXACTLY - SO COULD YOU!"


{ PAUSE }


"No, sir, this is GRAB International, and before we talk about this account we need to verify that you are Mr William Smith."

"Well, at the moment I only have your word for that! Before I start revealing ANY of my password to YOU, I need to verify that YOU are a bona-fide bank employee. That's fair, isn't it? After all, YOU called ME, so you know my name and number, whereas I don't know anything about you. So - what are the second and fifth letters of my password?"

"I'm sorry sir, we can't reveal that."

"Fine - well, if you can't answer my security check password questions, I'm not going to reveal any of my secret password to you. You could just be someone calling to get clues to my password - a couple of letters this week, a couple next week, and you might guess the password!"

"Uh? Ummm.. we just need to talk to you about some offers we have available at the moment..."

"Well, if it's just to try to sell something to me, you don't really need to know my password, do you?"

"Well, we can't talk about the account until we check who you are"

"We're going round in circles then, because I won't tell you any secret password information until you can prove who YOU are."


{ PAUSE }



"I'm sorry sir, I don't know how I can prove who I am..."


"That's quite worrying. I mean, if YOU can't prove who YOU are, how do YOU know you're not actually somebody else?"

"Umm..."

"You know, I don't think I want ANY services from a bank that employs people that don't know who they are. In fact, you've just convinced me to close my account with GRAB. Just so I can tell the whoever it is I speak to when I call to close the account, what do you THINK your name is at the moment?"


* click *


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DICKING ABOUT

By Two Legs Good

According to statistics published by the UK Government, the number of crimes committed in Yorkshire and the Humber area is way above average in loads of areas.

They're above average for vandalism. They're above average for burglary. They're above average for vehicle thefts. Above average for personal crimes. Above average for violent crimes, for theft offences, and on and on and on and on and on... just look at the tables below.


If you lived in Yorkshire - and weren't a criminal, something that apparently is less likely than average - you'd hope that your tax money was being spent on solving current crimes and preventing future crimes. You'd think that the police would have their heads down, cracking on with solving crimes and reducing the crime rate, wouldn't you?

Wouldn't you?

Hmmmm.

You'd be wrong.

Apparently North Yorkshire police have been busy working from an 18th century description of a dead criminal - the infamous Dick Turpin - creating this e-fit picture for a 'Wanted' poster.


That's right - they're dicking about making pictures of someone they hung nearly 300 years ago!

That'll get the crime rate down, eh?

Still, maybe it'll get some tourists (a.k.a. 'fresh victims') to visit.

Have another look at the tables above. Not much going on these days in terms of 'highway robbery', 'footpadding' or 'rustling', is there? You wouldn't think these were high priority crimes, what with the guy being dead for 270 years.

The Blog With Two Legs can't figure out which idea is more stupid - the idea of cops glorifying a local criminal, or cops wasting their time playing at making imaginary 'wanted' posters while their crime rates are so high.

If you're from Yorkshire, and you aren't busy registering a crime and you haven't had your computer nicked, maybe you can tell us which you think it is...


P.S. - AND they're not even accurate - EVERYONE knows THIS is what Dick Turpin looked like!


P.P.S. - And after all the pictures of Dick Turpin, here's a picture of Dick Turnip:




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NAME AND SHAME - Part 3

By Two Legs Good


If we have to explain it, there's no point explaining it...


(Thanks, Denis!)


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Rest In Peace

By Two Legs Good


Mollie Sugden


1922-2009





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THANKFULLY, IAN HUNTLEY CAN'T SING OR DANCE

By Two Legs Good


Hello... Hello...
It's good to be back, it's good to be back!
Hello... Hello...
It's good to be back, it's good to be back!
Hello... Hello... Hello...

...GOODNESS GRACIOUS!


What?

WHAT?

Really?

...unless it's by Michael Jackson, eh?

!




P.S. - More Michael Jackson posts HERE!



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MICHAEL JACKSON COMMEMORATIVE SNUFF PLATE

By Two Legs Good

Crafted in China to fairly precise standards, this fine Michael Jackson Commemorative Snuff Plate is offered to the discerning collector and completist fan by MMTS Offers.


It was miraculous how, only minutes after he heard of the Blessed Michael's passing, the Managing Director of MMTS Offers, Patrick Dough, launched this project. Patrick is a long-time business acquaintance of Michael's, and issued this statement:

"Michael was unique, you never knew what he'd do next. You know he gave everyone a nickname, right? Because my name is Patrick, and he couldn't pronounce Patrick, he called me "P". I loved it! "P"! Just "P"! Ha! And I was constantly amazed by his collections - funfair rides, animals, all sorts of memorabilia. He collected everything! Even all of our business transactions, he documented and kept every scrap of paper, every note, in meticulous, immaculate files. Oh yes, often after I'd been at his house for a meeting with him, I'd find him afterwards absorbed in his P Dough file affairs."

Yurin Smeller, Jackson's pet psychobabblist and pseudo-psychic sidekick said:

"The Mystical Manufacture of this fine genuine antique-style porcelainite plate can weave a web of Jackson-Smeller Magic. Just hold it in your hands and concentrate. Put one fingertip on the edge of the plate, close your eyes and relax. Just keep pushing your fingertip firmly on the rim and remember the magic of Michael. It's what he would have wanted!"

In accordance with Michael's life, small children have been involved at every stage in the production of this plate, from the mining of the raw materials through to the final packing. It's what he would have wanted.

Never before has such a sumptuous plate depicting Michael been offered to the general public. This will be a strictly limited edition with numbers set depending on public response.

If YOU want to register interest in purchasing such a plate, please send your name, address, date of birth and full bank details to mmts@theblogwithtwolegs.co.uk

If you only buy one Michael Jackson Commemorative Snuff Plate to celebrate the death of the King of Pap, make sure it's the BEST Michael Jackson Commemorative Snuff Plate - the MMTS Michael Jackson Commemorative Snuff Plate!




P.S. - More Michael Jackson posts HERE!


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MICHAEL JACKSON COMMEMORATION

By Two Legs Good

Rumour has it that Marks & Spencers, owners of the 'St Michael' brand name, are to commemorate the passing of Michael Jackson.



Children's skirts, shorts and underwear are to be down all next week.



P.S. - More Michael Jackson posts HERE!



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MICHAEL JACKSON - POST MORTEM RESULTS

By Two Legs Good

Rumour has it that the Post-Mortem report will reveal that the mystery doctor on hand last night was Jackson's latest cosmetic surgeon.

He'd left Jackson with a surgery catalogue, and the instruction to "pick his nose".

Unfortunately Jackson took him literally, and his head caved in.




P.S. - More Michael Jackson posts HERE!


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SO MICHAEL JACKSON GOES TO HEAVEN...

By Two Legs Good


Jesus knows what you did... and he's NOT HAPPY!



P.S. - More Michael Jackson posts HERE!



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MICHAEL JACKSON - DEAD OR ALIVE?

By Two Legs Good

Reports are reaching The Blog With Two Legs that renowned kiddie-dangler Michael Jackson has died. As a mark of respect, we dedicate this wreath of black noses to him:

click to enlarge


Over 300 noses were hand-picked for freshness to make this.

It's what he would have wanted. God knows he tried often enough.



Mind you, it is a bit suspicious, isn't it?


He's just been selling tickets for a comeback show, so there's a lot of cash sloshing about in his name at the moment.

For a lot of the last few years has been living out in the likes of Bahrain where they're used to loads of weirdly-sculpted artificial things - just look at all the bizarre islands they build out there.

Hmmmm...

Now, if I wanted to live a quiet but opulent life out of the way for the rest of my years, I'd probably want to raise a bunch of cash and buy a made-to-measure private island.

Hmmmm...

You could always put a dummy in the coffin. After all, even if someone comes up, taps the face and says "Hey! It's plastic!" - who'd be surprised?

Hmmmm...

I'm just saying...

A man with a plastic face.



P.S. - OI! URI! You didn't predict THAT one, did you?



P.P.S. - More Michael Jackson posts HERE!



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SWINE FLU UPDATE - GP HEALTH RISK

By Two Legs Good

You know that The Blog With Two Legs always has your best interests at heart, so with that in mind we bring you - and in particular the people of Croydon - this little nugget of medical nonsense.

If you're in the UK you'll know how the UK Government has spent a fortune telling us to be particularly hygienic at the moment with Swine Flu knocking about. Coincidentally, local hospitals (such as Croydon's Mayday) have been criticised for lack of hygiene.

So with all that in mind, we'd like to show you something The Blog With Two Legs can't see as anything other than bonkers - completely, unhygienically bonkers! Just for comparison, we'll look at the supposedly unhygienic Mayday too.



MAYDAY HOSPITAL


A CROYDON GP SURGERY

  • A major point of contact for sick and infected people.



  • A major point of contact for sick and infected people.







  • At the hospital and ward entrances?
    HANDWASHING FACILITIES.



  • At the surgery entrance?
    A TOUCH-SCREEN BOOK-IN SYSTEM.


  • Everyone entering the hospital, or any ward, is asked to use the handwash to clean their hands before they touch anything else.



  • Everyone entering the surgery is asked to touch the screen that dozens, if not hundreds, of other sick people have also just been touching.


  • Helps kill germs other people might be carrying.



  • Helps spread other people's germs to you.


  • Helps kill germs you might be carrying.



  • Helps spread your germs to other people.


  • Less infection likely.



  • More infection likely.


  • Benefits - less infected people, so less suffering, less risk of disease and death, and less work for the medical staff.



  • Benefit - people book themselves in so the doctors know they're there, so less work for the receptionists, and errr... ummm... well, that's about it.



With that sort of thinking you'd be tempted to think that the local GPs have a vested interest in having more patients getting ill - after all, despite government warnings, they're pretty much encouraging us to spread and share our germs around!


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INSIDE INFORMATION

By Two Legs Good

The human subconscious is an astounding thing. Capable of insights we never realise, of blocking thoughts and memories, of ascribing motives and excuses for our behaviour, even raising psychosomatic symptoms that seem like real illnesses caused by external factors. Frankly, you just never know what it'll get up to next.

Sometimes our subconscious alters our reality a little, sends us messages if you like. That vague feeling of unease when we're talking to a colleague (because they remind our subconscious of the school bully), an irrational fear of spiders (because they killed 'our' Doctor Who when we were 10 years old), and so on.

With anxiety, with stress, our subconscious can even induce palpitations, sweats, nausea, and panic attacks. And now The Blog With Two legs has just met a man who reckons his subconscious is sending him messages - by Morse Code!

If you look at the picture on the left you can see that there's a series of dents or pits, all a regular 5mm apart. The oldest one at the top of the nail is broad and slim, whereas the other three are smaller and round.

Dash, dot, dot, dot:


So what is the message?

Well, nails grow at about 0.1mm a day, so even a short message like "You left the oven on" (or "-.-- --- ..- | .-.. . ..-. - | - .... . | --- ...- . -. | --- -." in Morse) could take over 6 years!


We'll keep you posted...


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TACTFUL, GOOGLE... VERY TACTFUL

By Two Legs Good

Now, The Blog With Two Legs is advertising-free. We like it that way, it means we don't have to kowtow to The Man, we can write what we want, offend who we like, and generally not give a stuff. Great!

We also know that there are businesses out there that rely on advertising to pay the bills, and that's fine too.

Surely to goodness though, sometimes... sometimes it's just not appropriate to add advertising, is it?

Especially when the advert isn't placed thoughtfully and carefully by a real live advertising 'executive', but pooped out automatically by some witless brainless soulless web-integrated robot that only cares about how many eyeballs scan their admucktising copy.

(OK, OK, that's an infinitesmally tiny distinction that might not actually exist in real life, but let's just run with it for now, yes?)

Anyway, first nominee for the The Blog With Two Legs 2009 Tact In Advertising Award is GOOGLE, for these two beauties:




(Thanks, Andy!)


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SWAMP MONSTER CAPTURED ON FILM

By Two Legs Good

Exciting news for cryptozoologists on Thursday as a real live swamp monster was spotted rising from the depths! The shaggy-furred beast was caught on film sploshing about in the depths of the River Pool, in Lewisham, England:



Luckily BBC reporters were on hand to film the clumsy and strangely-haired being, who has been nicknamed "BoJo".


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THE RETURN OF JADE GOODY

By Two Legs Good

Well, you can't say we didn't warn you!

Last month we told you it wouldn't be long before Jade Goody was reaching out from beyond the grave - and yes, according to an article by David Balls of the wonderful Digital Spy, it's started!

Apparently Jade has been appearing as an apparition to her Mum, and leaving messages on her mirror. Well, you would, wouldn't you?

We've said it before and we'll say it again - sometimes this stuff just writes itself!


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HOW TO ACHIEVE PEACE WITH NORTH KOREA PART 2

By Two Legs Good

So Great Uncle Bulgaria and The Wombles.. sorry, Great Leader Kim Jong-il and the North Koreans are at it again, setting off firecrackers in the middle of a Bank Holiday Sunday night and annoying the neighbours.

Gordon Brown should serve Kim Jong-il with an ASBO. After all, they're really good at stopping anti-social behaviour, aren't they? Just to make sure Kim gets the message he could dispatch the tap-dancing Hazel Blears to deliver it. Might as well use someone that'll see eye-to-eye with him...


Meantime, it's down to the rest of us to save the day. As you may know, we already have a plan for HOW TO ACHIEVE PEACE WITH NORTH KOREA by sending Kim Jong-il millions of kittens. Now we've upgraded it, so whichever way it goes, we'll sort it out.


We should all still send Kim Jong-il a kitten immediately - but with special training from the SAS we could also make sure that these kittens have been infiltrated by Deadly Assassin Killer Kittens, trained and ready to eliminate the Dear Leader given a chance.



Obviously, they'd have to be trained firearms and close-combat experts:


As well as armed and unarmed combat, we'll need to train them in infiltration skills... and should the worst come to the worst and they're captured, they should be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the secrecy of the plan:


Oh, and Kim... in case you think we're not serious, just look at the havoc one single British Deadly Ninja Assassin Egg on a training mission caused to Kirk Broadfoot a few weeks ago.


Don't say we didn't warn you!


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THE HUM

By Two Legs Good

The Blog With Two Legs is awfully tolerant to a point, but some folks clearly exist for no reason other than to test our patience and annoy us. It was only after I realised I was actually physically grinding my teeth that I noticed that Jim was transforming, changing from 'Jim, the Bloke it's OK to share an office with' to 'Jim, the bloke they found bound and gagged inside a crate marked 'DRUG SMUGGLER, SAMPLES INSIDE, HANDLE WITH CARE' addressed to the Turkish Chief of Police'.

Why?

Well, hear for yourself. It's taken the Blog With Two Legs nearly 5 weeks to get this, but on Wednesday we managed to sneak our little mp3 player/recorder on his desk while he was reading a report, and finally got a clean recording with no interruptions:





Folks last week were on the BBC complaining about some nightmarish low-level tuneless hum they hear, perpetually blighting their lives.

We know how they feel.

Just imagine the torture as we sit opposite this musical abomination, day after day after day, forced to listen to this musicrime for hours on end, as he sits and reads reports, oblivious in the Land of Ipod.

However, some good could come of this. If you'd like to share that ummm... unique rendition of ELO's 'Mr Blue Sky' with others, the version below has 20 seconds of silence tacked on to the front of it. Why not stick your speakers on low, press the key to play this version, and leave the room... that should give your co-workers some fun!






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MISUNDERSTOOD ARTISTS #1 - Salvador Dalek

By Two Legs Good




First of an occasional series...


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A NICE BIT OF STONE-CLADDING ©™ - Part 3

By Two Legs Good

Double-bubble!

Yes, the latest instalment of A NICE BIT OF STONE-CLADDING ©™ isn't just one house, it's TWO, right next door to each other. They may be similar, but they're different colours, meaning they've probably been done at different times or by different people.

You do realise what this means?

Yes, that's right, it's more serious than we thought...

IT'S INFECTIOUS!





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HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

By Two Legs Good


"HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED? Finding out is quick and easy!"

Above is a snap of a genuine banner advert for a (harumph!) "accident advice helpline" that's running at the moment.


How stupid do they think we are? Do they really think we'd have been injured recently and NOT noticed it? How does that go?

"Hmmm... let me see, have I been injured? Tricky one this. Bit of a poser. Now, how would I know that? Let me see, let me see... Oh, hold on, wait a minute! That's right! By Jove! Yes - "see"! "SEE"! That's it! I can't see properly since I fell due to a slippery damp patch by the magazine rack in the local newsagents and sliced my left eyeball in half with a free CD from the Daily Mail! That newsvendor must PAY!"

If that ad is a success, The Blog With Two Legs reckons it won't be long before we see more like this:









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TWENTY CONVERSATIONS - Number 2

By Two Legs Good

Lots of places these days have signs that say something along the lines of:

"VIOLENCE, VERBAL ABUSE OR THREATENING BEHAVIOUR
TOWARDS OUR STAFF WILL NOT BE TOLERATED."


You see these signs in doctor's surgeries, in hospitals, in banks, in Post Offices, in Job Centres, and so on.

Now, in general, what they're stating is reasonable. Obviously people have a right to work without worrying if they're going to be harrangued unneccessarily, or worse, assaulted. We have laws against that sort of thing, by Jove, and most people are sensible and reasonable enough that they wouldn't behave like that anyway.

However, The Blog With Two Legs has noticed a distinct similarity in most of the places that show these signs. They're mainly in places that we, the general public, don't have much choice about. If we want to get a medical problem fixed, in general most of us need to go to a surgery or a hospital. If we want to post a letter or parcel, in general most of us need to go to a Post Office, and so on.

That gives the staff in these places a great deal of power - they know we don't have much option other than to use them if we want our service. Unfortunately, that also means that they don't have any competition, and so have no real incentive towards providing decent customer service. After all, where else can we go?

If we went to a restaurant or a pub and the waiter was slow, inefficient and rude, we'd never go back a second time. We might even walk out and take our custom elsewhere straight away. That's not really much of an option if you're in pain. That's not an option when there's something wrong with your benefits payment.

So we're trapped - and what happens when someone that's trapped gets provoked? What happens when they're pushed too far by the stupidity or ignorance or rudeness of the staff? We get upset. Voices get raised.

And then the finger points at the sign...

The problem with a sign like that is that it's only directed in one way - it doesn't take into account that the staff can actually provoke such bad behaviour with rampant stupidity or downright aggressive rudeness.

It's like the little brat that would annoy the other kids, knowing that if any of them finally had enough and said or did anything back he could call on his big brothers to come and sort them out. It's a licence to bully - and worse than that, it's a licence to bully us, the public!

I have a suggestion, a challenge to any and every place in the UK that has such a sign. GET RID OF THEM!

Replace them with proper, good, old-fashioned customer service. Make sure your staff are bright, polite and knowledgeable. Make sure they understand the language they use to talk with us, and don't expect us to understand your jargon. Don't have them stick to scripts, make them use their brains, and if they don't have any, get some staff that do!

It's not rocket science. Just treat us with some courtesy and politeness and be helpful, and maybe, just maybe, you'll find that you don't need the signs any more. You didn't used to, after all.


Now here's a conversation The Blog With Two Legs could have done without...


Number 2: Mayday University Hospital Outpatients Reception


"Hi, my name's Bill Smith, and I have an appointment at 10:00 to see Dr Jones. Here's the appointment letter."


* hands letter to receptionist *


"And you are....?"

"Pardon?"

"And you are....?"

"And I am...what?"

"What is your name?"

"Bill Smith - I just told you, and it's on the letter I just handed you."

"And can you confirm your correct address?"

"Yes, certainly."



{ PAUSE }



"I asked if you could confirm your correct address."

"And I said 'yes'. Of course I can."



{ PAUSE }



"Will you confirm your correct address please?"

"Of course I will. Fire away."



{ PAUSE }



"You need to tell me your address!"

"Oh... but you were asking ME to CONFIRM my address. I can't confirm my address is correct if you don't tell me what you think it is. If I tell you my address that'll be YOU confirming my address. So which is it that you want, YOU to confirm my address or ME to confirm my address?"

"I need you to confirm your address."

"Well that's what I thought! OK then, fire away!"

"So what is your address?"

"I thought you wanted ME to confirm it?"

"I need to check we have your address"

"Well, of course you have my address - you sent me the letter I just handed to you, didn't you?"

"So what is your address?"

"That's it there at the top of the letter you're holding."

"And what is that?"

"What is what?"



* points at letter *



"What is that?"

"That? That's my appointment letter. I just told you that."



* stabs finger angrily at address on letter *



"And what is that?"

"That? That's my address. I just told you that as well."

"And what is that?"



* leans over and takes letter from receptionist *



"It says: 42 Lemon Street, Croydon."



* hands letter back to receptionist *



"And is that your address?"

"Obviously."

"And can you confirm your doctor to me?"

"Are you SURE that's what you really want to do?"

"Can you confirm your doctor to me please?"

"Well, OK, sure."



{ PAUSE }



"Who is your doctor?"



* points at letter *



"Dr Jones. It says so in the letter you have in your hands. I mentioned that when I came in, too."

"No, not here - your GP!"

"You want to know who my GP is now, as well?"

"YES!"

"Oh, my GP is Dr Singh."

"We have here that it's The Addingscombe Road Practice."

"No, my GP is definitely Dr Singh."



* typing *
{ PAUSE }



"And what's his address?"

"It's not 'his address', it's 'her address', and I don't know offhand - just send it care of The Addingscombe Road Practice, I presume you have their address since you just mentioned them."

"I thought you said your doctor was Dr Singh?"

"No, I said my GP was Dr Singh."

"So not The Addingscombe Road Practice?"

"No - how can a practice be my GP? A GP's a person, not a practice! You asked who my GP is, and my GP is Dr Singh."

"So what is Dr Singh's address?"

"Care of The Addingscombe Road Practice."

"But you said your GP was Dr Singh!"

"My GP IS Dr Singh!"

"Then why is The Addingscombe Road Practice involved?"

"Because you want to know her address! You asked for it!"

"So Dr Singh is The Addingscombe Road Practice?"

"No - Dr Singh is Dr Singh! She's a member of The Addingscombe Road Practice, but she is not The Addingscombe Road Practice. Sort of like all salmon are fish, but not all fish are salmon. There are other GPs in The Addingscombe Road Practice."



* typing *
{ PAUSE }



"Now can you confirm your Date of Birth?"



* sigh *



"Here we go again..."


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NAME AND SHAME - Part 2

By Two Legs Good

Those of you that remember the NAME AND SHAME article from a few weeks ago might also remember that we said:

"...Just think how they'll see their names for the rest of their lives, just you read these aloud:

Mr A Ness
Mr P Ness..."

The Blog With Two Legs thought at the time that was just about as silly as you could get... until we received this article from Australia concerning another Mr P Ness.

That's Mr P Ness that works for the Cox Group.

Sometimes this stuff does just write itself...


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BROADFOOT FOWLED IN EGGSTRA TIME

By Two Legs Good

Glasgow Rangers' full-back Kirk Broadfoot is in the news after being injured... by a poached egg!

The hard-man defender was apparently caught by surprise when a Deadly Ninja Assassin Egg, probably laid by a cunning Glasgow Celtic-supporting evil mastermind chicken, spat some hot water on his cheek.

After several minutes writhing in agony Broadfoot realised that there was no referee to award him a free kick or book the egg. With no medic to run on and give him a wee rub and a drink from the magic water-bottle, Kirk showed what a man he was and dealt with the crisis by phoning his Mummy.

Despite the no doubt horrific nature of his injuries Broadfoot left the hospital that day, and is expected to make a full physical recovery. But who knows the extent of the psychological scarring left by this incident?

How will he deal with opposing strikers when they try to poach a goal? Will he crack under the strain? Will his insurers shell out for the damage caused? Or will he throw off this psychological yolk of oppression? Whatever happens, he's likely to ovoid eggs for a while!



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DON'T MENTION THE WAR

By Two Legs Good


Looks like the Pope's chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, will need to be popping to confession soon! As has been widely reported, he can't seem stick to the facts about the Pope's admitted membership of the Hitler Youth.

Father Lombardi claimed that "...the Pope was never in the Hitler Youth, never, never, never!" in a Jerusalem press conference.

Now, your man the Pope doesn't actually deny being in the Hitler Youth - far from it:

You'd think that such a high-ranking Catholic chappie such as Father Lombardi would know that, wouldn't you? You'd think he'd at least have read his boss's biography! After all, it's not like it's such a big secret that it's hidden away in the Vatican's Secret Archives.

(And just how secret ARE those Secret Vatican Archives if they're advertised on the front page of the Vatican website?)

The Blog With Two Legs gives it 5 days before Dan Brown announces he's turned all this into another spectacular waste of trees...


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TILSIO TOSO TIBWITTLE

By Two Legs Good

It's not a law firm from the City of London.

It's not a debilitating disease of the inner ear.


It's not the new Audi advertising slogan.

Now, any budding etymologists (and other cunning linguists) out there will be starting to try to pull them apart. "Tilsio"...sounds a bit earthy, agricultural, maybe? "Toso", dynamic and strong, almost bullish. "Tibwittle", quaintly English. So, agricultural, bullish English... ahhhh, maybe we shouldn't go there.


Tilsio, toso, tibwittle...


It's how we think you should say TLSIOTOSOTBWTL, a 14-Letter-Acronym. (And yes, it may well be the first acronym that needs an acronym of it's own!)


Tilsio, toso, tibwittle.


What it REALLY is, what it stands for, is The Literal Sonic Interpretation Of The Oblique Strategies Of The Blog With Two Legs, a new project by The Blog With Two Legs.


So what's that?


Those of you that come to the site for a daily Oblique Strategy (and there seem to be quite a few) may have noted that there is a related page, previous oblique strategies, recording the sequence of oblique strategies that have appeared here. Obviously you can open the page yourself, and it'll mainly consist of a panel that looks like this:



While editing it recently something struck us about the form of the data on the page:



It rather reminded us of the way in which a recorded sound is often represented graphically in audio software - here is that same data, recoloured, and rotated by 90°. Alongside it for comparison is the representation of an audio recording of Phil Spector's Latest Hit:



This what gave us the idea for generating a piece - or several pieces - of music using the randomly selected Oblique Strategies here on The Blog With Two Legs. We're currently working on the details, but in the first iteration of the idea we're considering:


* using the graphical pattern of the phrases to modulate the volume and /or other aspects of the recordings

* using the words of the strategies as 'lyrical' content


* using individual strategies as musical instructions (eg, 'be dirty' - choose to use distortion in the next section, or 'abandon normal instruments' - change the instrumentation line up at that point)


We've no idea whether this will work, or whether the result will be of any interest or value to anyone else, but we can see no reason not to make the attempt. Somehow, to us, it seems a very apt thing to do with a chain of Oblique Strategies.


We welcome constructive suggestions and criticisms.


Tilsio, toso, tibwittle!


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GOLDEN SHOWERS

By Two Legs Good

The Blog With Two Legs is puzzled. Mystified. Confused, even.

Why is UK mainstream broadcaster ITV broadcasting this bizarre little clip before their TV programmes?







What message are they trying to get across to us? That we'd better stay in and watch ITV because if we go outside we'll get doused in showers of fluorescent golden urine erupting from our streets as the sewers burst?

Bizarre, ITV, truly bizarre! You must be taking the...


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A NICE BIT OF STONE-CLADDING ©™ - Part 2

By Two Legs Good

Out and about in The Blog With Two Legs' jalopibus the other day, and as usual we couldn't help but notice several examples of A Nice Bit Of Stone-Cladding! ©™.

Now, houses with A Nice Bit Of Stone-Cladding! ©™ are special. Very special. But some are more special than others, and this one is VERY special indeed. We can just imagine the argument that led to it...




So yes... stone-cladding AND wood-cladding on the one house. Actually, we're not sure that's really what it is - it looks more like a bizarre mix of crazy-paving and painted floorboards. (And just what is going on with that garden wall?)

As Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder never sang:

"Wood-cladding and stone-cladding,
live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on the front of some house,
Oh lord, why don't we?"

Well, Stevie, maybe you'd have an excuse, but surely Paul, surely the man that wrote 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Hey Jude' AND 'Rupert And The Frog Song', could find the words to describe it you? In the meantime, to answer the question "why don't we?", well...




...THAT's why not!



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IDENTIFY YOUR FLU

By Two Legs Good


Thanks, Wifey!


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SWINE FLU LOGIC AS RARE AS FLYING PIG IN EGYPT

By Two Legs Good

So here's the thing - The Blog With Two Legs has read that despite experts saying that there's 'no scientific rationale' behind it, AND despite the fact that they've got absolutely NO reported cases of infection, over in Egypt they've started slaughtering 300,000 pigs as a precaution against Swine Flu.

It rather begs the question - how did they deal with the Spanish Flu, Asian Flu and the Hong Kong Flu?


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COLDPLAY FREE CD

By Two Legs Good

According to the BBC:

"Coldplay to give away free album - Coldplay are to give away a free CD at every remaining live show in 2009 - excluding festival gigs, the band announce."

Any idea whose album they'll give away?

If it's by someone worthwhile it might make up for having to go to the gig just because your girlfriend wants to go.

Think about it - they've pretty much signalled that themselves by excluding the festival gigs. After all, since there'll be other bands on they know there's a fair bet you'll get to see someone decent, so they don't need to buy you a CD to make up for having to hang around during the Coldplay bit. (In the UK you can call The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.)

Well, at least we should give them credit for apologising.



(Oh, and don't worry... they'll make it back in the merchandising.)


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NAME AND SHAME

By Two Legs Good

The Blog With Two Legs doesn't normally advocate violence - we're firm believers that the pen IS mightier than the sword, and that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Plus we don't like pain, and unless Wilkinsons have invented a pain-free sword we'd rather say a great big 'NO!' to having one stuck into us. Of course, by living in South Londonshire that choice has, to a great extent, been taken away from us.

However, there are occasions when some violence is obviously and completely justified, and an obvious and completely justified slapping is due to a great big bunch of people called 'Parents'.

Now, obviously we're not talking about all parents. We aren't bigots. No. We had some parents ourselves and they were lovely people. So we'll qualify the target group a little. See if you can figure it out from this:



Now, let's make it clear, this guy is not a figure of fun. He should not be a target for ridicule. He's a genuine, bona fide hero. And yet, can you imagine what it's like to have to go through life as Dick Head? We hope he gets promoted soon if only so that he won't be 'Major Dick Head' - although the danger still exists that one day he'll be known as 'General Dick Head'. (Do we really need to mention he was 'Private Dick Head' at some point? No? Thought not.)

We blame the parents. What were they thinking? Were they REALLY so naive as to not realise what they were lumbering their son with? Frankly, we can only be thankful that the Major is a disciplined and honourable man; a lesser man might have found a target or two closer, oh so very, very much closer to home.

Now this isn't just a random occurence, a one-off coincidence. When The Wifey went to school she became friends with some brothers with the surname Ness. Andrew and Peter. So far, so innocent, you might think in your cotton-wooly baa-lamb way. But let me crack open the mint sauce for you, my dear little lambikins. Just think how they'll see their names for the rest of their lives, just you read these aloud:

Mr A Ness

Mr P Ness

To misquote Ian Fleming, "Once is coincidence, twice is a good hard slapping". Really.

Actually, that quote should really be "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action".

Three times is enemy action, eh?

So let's look at our third set of parents, Heath and Deborah Campbell. Heath and Deborah made the news recently when they tried to get a birthday cake made for their three year old son. All they wanted was it to say "Happy Birthday" followed by his name, and that's when the store refused. Why? Well, the shop's representative said "We believe the request to inscribe a birthday wish to Adolf Hitler is inappropriate."

Yep, that's right. Adolf Hitler.

They named their son Adolf Hitler.

We'll give you a second to rub your eyes and close your mouth again.

That's a whole new, super-improved, beats-the-rest kind of stupid there, isn't it? You kind of get the impression that if this pair of parents put their heads close either side of yours you'd hear the ocean. In stereo.

Now, we're not the kind of folks that thinks that because someone looks like someone that was evil or happens to have the same name as someone evil, that therefore they too must be evil, and we're not for a minute suggesting that young Adolf Hitler IS in any way evil, dangerous or disturbed...

...but in 20 years time if you heard he'd shot his parents, well... you wouldn't really be surprised, would you?


Oh, by the way, he has two sisters - Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie and Joyce Lynn Aryan Nation. Again, yes, seriously.

Their oh-so-brave father, Heath Campbell - that's HEATH CAMPBELL without a hint of Nazism in his name - said "I think people need to take their heads out of the cloud they've been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past. There's a new president and he says it's time for a change; well, then it's time for a change, they need to accept a name. A name's a name. The kid isn't going to grow up and do what (Hitler) did."

Yeah, you hope. You didn't exactly steer him away from it though, did you Heath?

So Heath reckons he's making a political point - but why make it with his kid's name? Why not stand up for that ideal yourself, HEATH? Why not change YOUR name, HEATH? Why give your child years of hassle and abuse while he's not even old enough to understand what you're doing? If you're so convinced you're in the right, HEATH, why not go change your own name legally? Eh, HEATH?

Or were you too worried you might get some of the hassle your little boy might get?


Phshaw.

Parents!


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FREE SWINE FLU TEST

By Two Legs Good

As noted by the World Health Authority in their press release last night, several of the mutated versions are now capable of infecting PCs. If your PC is connected to the Internet (and if you're reading this, it is), please make sure your anti-virus software is up to date and enabled.

As a public service, The Blog With Two Legs has embedded a Swine Flu test in this article. Please wait 20 seconds for the results.






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TWENTY CONVERSATIONS - Number 1

By Two Legs Good

There are times when The Blog With Two Legs has a conversation that makes us pray for someone to invent a button on your phone that you can press to administer a good hard slap or three to whoever you're talking to.

It's not just that whoever-it-is is head-achingly stupid, it's that they draw you into their own weird world of stupidity with them.

Don't try this at home.


Number 1: People That Don't Believe They've Got The Wrong Number.


* RING *

"Hello?"

"Hi, can I speak to Steve?"

"Sorry, no - there's nobody called Steve here. You must have the wrong number."

"You're not Steve?"

"No, I'm not Steve, there's no Steve here, you've got the wrong number."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm VERY sure I'm not Steve.”

“Oh, you're not Steve?”

“That's right, I'm NOT Steve, and I don't know Steve. You've got the wrong number, OK? Bye."

"Uh, hold on, what number is that?"

"Well, you should know, you dialled it!"

"Is that 02702 8455629?"

"No"

"Are you sure?"

"YES!"

"So what number is it?"

"NOT THE ONE YOU WANTED - YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG NUMBER!"

"Do you know what number I can get hold of Steve on?"

* CLICK *



{ PAUSE }



* RING *

"Hello?"

"Hi, can I speak to Steve?"

"No, you STILL have the wrong number. OK?"

"Isn't that 02702 8455629 this time?"

"NO! YOU HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER! DON'T JUST HIT REDIAL!"

* CLICK! *



{ PAUSE }



* RING *

"YES?"

"Oh"

* click *


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SOMETIMES YOU CAN BE JUST TOO MOIST

By Two Legs Good

The Blog With Two Legs is sure that you recall your Bible studies with ease; how some of the Cities of the Plains, Sodom and Gomorrah, were destroyed by the ever-tetchy Old Testament God because of their wickedness. Mind you, it probably serves them right for hanging about in Genesis.

According to the reports there's been a huge downpouring of rain in one specific area of the West Country last night, leading to a flood. If the BBC is right, maybe God's up to his old tricks again:



Perhaps some locals down there can help The Blog With Two Legs out with this - is Randy St Ives a Cornish porn star, or their new slogan to attract tourists?


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CHINESE PRIORITIES

By Two Legs Good

The Blog With Two Legs can't help but wonder... if our Chinese Chums put as much effort into spelling as they do to oppressing Tibet, maybe things like this wouldn't happen:




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PHIL SPECTOR'S LATEST HIT

By Two Legs Good

The Blog With Two Legs is ever so ever so proud to present a

WORLD EXCLUSIVE!:

PHIL SPECTOR'S LATEST HIT!





We're sure it's going to shoot straight to the top of the charts.


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LIVING TV'S HIT

By Two Legs Good

Ahhhh, Living TV... the most ironically-named television channel ever, given that huge chunks of it are given over to supposedly contacting the dead.

(And no, we're not being sarcastic about the audience here - they're not technically dead given that they're still breathing and grazing.)

No, Ouija TV - sorry, Living TV - relies on the unquiet dead to fill their schedules and attract the dead-from-the-neck-up. Have a look at just some of their programmes:

* Living With The Dead
* Most Haunted
* Most Haunted Live
* Ghost Hunters
* Ghost Hunters International
* Ghost Whisperer
* 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry
* The Psychic Detective
* John Edward: Cross Country
* Paranormal State
* Haunting Evidence

There's a bit of a trend going on there, we're sure you'll agree. There is another trend that perhaps you might notice with Living TV though:

* What Jade Did Next
* Jade's Salon
* Just Jade
* Jade's PA
* Living with Jade Goody
* Jade
* Jade's Cancer Battle

The Blog With Two Legs would like to go on record here and now - we think we have the ultimate programme for Living TV, merging what seems to be their two favourite themes, and we welcome their contact to open negotiations over the rights to:

JADE GOODY - BACK FROM THE GRAVE!



Perhaps we could start with a seance in Jade's (Haunted) Mansion... well let's face it, she can't exactly do a comeback tour or anything, and Jack Tweedy won't be around for the next few weeks either.

This has got 'WINNER' written all over it!
(Michael Winner, that is - Ken Russell wouldn't touch her with someone else's bargepole.)


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