Newspaper Column Excerpts

School's Out


School’s out. Well my old high school is – literally; it’s been closed down after officially being labeled the ‘worst school in England’, and the school, which shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty, won the dubious honour in all categories including – attendance, vandalism, violence and academic achievement.


A fellow survivor of my class year, wrote to inform me that even though the 10 year reunion numbers, were even lower than a normal school day class attendance, surprisingly, the 20 year reunion realised a substantially higher turnout – why? Well, it’s because most of the previous absentees were out. It’s hardly surprising that so many from that fateful year, ended up swapping the ‘school greys’ for the ‘prison greys’. Yes, several of the lads managed to prove our old English teacher wrong, by showing that they were indeed capable of stringing more than one ‘sentence’ together….

The Travel Bug


“We haven’t actually had a ‘holiday’ in five years”, said my wife, as she removed the thermometer from my mouth, revealing a raging fever; yes – it was definitely ‘man flu’. “Well, at least on this trip…” she said, “… I’ve spent some time in our hotel room, rather than visiting you in hospital.” With that, she somewhat selfishly announced, that she was heading ‘down town’ Tokyo. “Take the keys, in case I fall asleep” I groaned, as the door closed behind her.


No more than three minutes later, after dishonoring her vow of ‘till death do us part’, I heard a knock on the door, while minding my own business, as I sat on the only seat in the bathroom. Thinking my wife had forgotten to take the keys, which were sitting beside the wash basin, with trousers binding my ankles, I shuffled, like a geisha in a tight kimono, towards the door. “Stay there!” I shouted, “I’ll hand the keys to you!” I turned the door handle, releasing the latch on the door, which immediately burst open. The cleaning lady’s face turned white and the resultant scream measured a six on the Richter scale, as she fled with trolley clattering, down the corridor.


Nobody came to clean our room the next day. My wife went to see the hotel manager. Eventually she convinced him that her husband was not a pervert – but conceded that he was a ‘very sick man’…

Talking About My Generation


Over the years, as a singer/entertainer, I’ve performed to numbers of anywhere from 20, 000 people, in a large outdoor arena, to 20 people in a retirement home.


It was in one such latter establishment, during my early years in show business, whilst belting out ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, from ‘South Pacific’, that it dawned on me, that one day, the boot could be on the other foot; yes – it could be me sitting, sipping tea, whilst listening to some young, upstart vocalist. It got me thinking and wondering, just what would I and my generation, want to hear?


“Hey mate! Do you know anything from the – ‘Never Mind the Bollocks – We’re the Sex Pistols’ album? And, as for the dancing, it won’t be anything like as cultured as ballroom, there’ll be a whole bunch of 80 year old men, grabbing their crotches, screaming “ooow!” and moon-walking across the dance floor. If you think this sounds ludicrous, what about the current generation? They’ll want ‘Rap’. Mind you, the band might need to re-work the lyrics to suit the aged clientele. Maybe something like:


She said “yo there bro, I’m your ol’ flame,”

I said “I know the face, but I forget the name,”

Then she told me – “hold me, cos I’m still game,”

I said “I can’t let go of my Zimmer frame.”


She said “show no hesitations, don’t want procrastinations,

 I’m prayin’, sayin’, that we can have relations,”

 I reply “we can try, but my body’s on vacation,

The only thing that’s workin’ – is my imagination.”


As for me, well, I’ll be one of those guys moon-walking and grabbing my crotch. At least it’s comforting to know that someone will be grabbing my crotch, when I’m 80…