Ex Factor

3 Nov

“Did you see X-Factor?!”

“Funnily enough Alice, I was too busy cutting my ears off with a pair of garden shears.”

“I only asked….”

“And scratching my eyes out with a rusty nail.”

“OK Charles I get the point. Anyone else watch X-Factor?”

“I did Alice, but only because my wife had it on.”

Charles snorted “Of course you did Alan, your wife left you 5 years ago…”

“Well, not left Charles, just…….er, not quite as engaged with me as she was. To be honest, she’s started to smell a bit, but she always liked X-Factor, so it’s the least I can do.”

“You’re getting as sick as Charles, Alan”

“No, it’s true, I had Harold Shipman and his patient in the back of my cab once.”


Large Americano will return…….

17 Jun

“Do you know what I hate?”

“Anything, decent, nice and peaceful Charles?”

“No. Well yes. But what I really hate is internet sites that haven’t been updated for months.”

“Actually, I agree,” said Alice. “What do you think Joan?”

“Totally agree.”

“Well it’s your bloody fault for all being so boring and predictable.”

Said the writer of Large Americano.

LARGE AMERICANO WILL RETURN. Like Stuart Hall, but hopefully without all of the bruises and expanded bum hole.

Happy days….

5 Feb

“To be honest, I don’t care what gays do, there’s plenty of other problems in the world to worry about.”

Really Charles? Live and let live? I bet you wouldn’t be happy if a gay couple moved in next door to you.”

“I wouldn’t mind at all, Joan. Well maybe not next door. But a couple of houses away would be fine.”

Joan sniffed. “Ha, ever the liberal Charles.”

“Anyway, why all the concern over gay marriage when there’s more important concerns.”

“Such as?”

“Well Joan, my golf club fees going up for a start. In today’s economic climate there should be a freeze on them.”

“You’re serious aren’t you. I bet that’s one motion that the Tories would support. A freeze on all golf club fees. ‘Morning Alice.”

“Hi. They’ve arrested another man in the Jimmy Savile operation, didn’t say who but they say that he’s 65.”

Toby sat down with his mug of tea and started googling on his iPhone. “OK, 65 year olds. Brian May.”

“He was in a group called Queen.”

“Doesn’t make him a paedo Charles, anyway he’s been with that woman off Eastenders for ages.”

“That would probably drive me gay, but I take your point Joan. Next one Toby.”

“Leslie Grantham.”

“Same applies.”

“Mitt Romney.”

“Probable, but not likely to have been arrested in South London. And I think we’re looking for a some sort of children’s entertainer, not someone with an IQ of a child. Next.”

“Russ Abbot.”

“Sounds plausible, best we’ve got so far.”

“Can we stop this sick game please?”

“Come on Alice, you must be curious.”

“No, I’m not. I think it’s much more interesting that they’ve found the bones of Richard III.”

Alan joined the group. “I think I had Richard III in the back of my cab once. Couldn’t be sure, but I had a hunch it was him.”

“Funny Alan, funny. They reckon he was found buried in a car park.”

“So is our conclusion is that Richard III was murdered by the Krays?”

“You’ve got no sense of wonderment have you Alan?”

“Well Alice, I do wonder at the accuracy of the DNA results. I mean, the scientists that did them had a bit of self interest didn’t they? They were never going to come up with results saying it was Joe Bloggs buried there. They weren’t independent results, not as if they were done proporly like on Jeremy Kyle.”

Alice left, shaking her head.

Toby learns that the Price isn’t right……

8 Feb

“Apparently the death rate in the NHS goes up 20% at weekends, and they reckon it’s due to the lack of consultants and the reliance on junior doctors.” Joan stirred her large Americano aggressively.

“Nothing to do with junior doctors Joan, more to do with weekend TV. Watching a whole episode of Paddy McGuiness and Take Me Out would certainly rob me of the will to live.”

“I must buy you the boxed set then, Charles.”

“Hey, what’s the matter with you this morning Joan, someone stole your thumbscrews?”

“No, if you must know my Mum’s ill. She’s usually just like me, very rarely ill.”

“I’m sorry Joan.”


“No, I’m not sorry she’s ill, only sorry that she’s just like you. Must be hard for her.”

Toby sat down with his cappuccino. “I’ve made a decision,” he announced proudly, ” I’m moving my bank account to the Co-op.”

“So you’ve finally been brainwashed by the anti-capitalist propaganda.”

“I can think for myself thanks Charles. I signed up with Nat West ’cause they gave me a free rail card, but it’s time to make a stand against these fat cat bankers with their massive bonuses.”

“Be careful Toby, what happens when you’ve finished your studies and MacDonald’s want to move you to another branch. May need your rail card then. Morning Alan, good weekend?”

“Not bad thanks, didn’t bother working. Reckon the Olympics will give me enough cash to retire. Tubes will be packed, cabs will be in high demand, and the more foreigners I can persuade that the best route from Islington to Stratford is via St Albans the better.”

“Don’t you have any conscience at all Alan?” Alice had sat down, placing her herbal tea on the table.

“Can’t afford to these days Alice, got to take every advantage you can get. Anyway, you don’t think those Beijing rickshaw drivers played it fair last Olympics do you. I bet English visitors saw more of the Shanghai north circular than they needed to.”

“Well I just think that it gives the wrong impression to our international visitors.”

Charles jumped in. “No you’re right Alice, we should present them with a more typical impression of our great country. Maybe arrange some more riots, stab a few black kids, enter a Polish athlete in the 100 metres.”

“Country’s going to the dogs anyway. We can’t even keep an al-Qaeda terrorist in prison, or even deport him.”

“You mean that Abu Qatada bloke Joan. But surely they can’t send him to Jordan. Who knows what would be waiting for him? That would make us just as bad as him. I shudder at the torture he could be subject to.”

“Toby, you do know that we would be exporting him to Jordan the country, not Katie Price?”

“Of course. Really? Jordan the country?”

With a sigh for the ‘youth of today’, Charles stood up and exited into the London winter.


Charles explains why Felicity Kendal and Lenny Henry are on his list…

5 Oct

It’s fair to say I was a bit pissed off. My large Americano slopped over the end of the mug as I slammed it down on the table.

“So basically as an honest hardworking middle class bloke, I’m having my child benefit taken away, while some council house slags are paid for each of their six kids, just because they’ve only got a cleaning job in MacDonald’s?”

Joan was amused. “That’s right Charles, that’s exactly how George Osborne put it. Remember Charles, you voted for them.”

“As I keep reminding you………”

“You only voted for half of them!” chorused Joan and Alan.

“Yeah well, bloody whingeing liberals.”

“Think it’s you whingeing actually Charles.” Even Alice had joined in. I changed the subject.

“Well at least we won the golf yesterday. Showed the Americans who’s boss – all that whooping and high fives.”

“Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that golf was a good wank spoiled.”

“A good ‘walk’ spoiled, as you well know Joan.”

“I prefer my version.”

“Who was Norman Wisdom?” Toby the student asked a very valid question, Joan answered.

“He was a slapstick comedian from years ago, to be honest I thought he was already dead.”

“Typical, wasn’t even on my dead pool list.”

“Your what Charles?”

“Dead pool list. It’s a game where you predict which celebrity is going to die next. Mind you, he was only worth 25 points, being so old.”

“That’s disgusting Charles.”

“Yeah, I agree Alice. Er…who’s on your list Charles?”

“A couple of very low potential scores in Brucie and Nicholas Parsons. A couple of 500 pointers in Lenny Henry and Felicity Kendal.”

“Felicity Kendal a 500 pointer? She must be over 60.”

“Yes, but you get extra points if you considered someone sexy at the time they died.”

“Not after they died?”

“No Alan, I reckon you’d get points deducted for that, and probably locked up.”

“Lenny Henry?”

“Yeah, wishful thinking really Alice. I got fleas from a Premier Travel Inn last week.”

Charles admires the Pope’s persuasive skills, and aspires not to be Lord Sugar………

4 Oct

We sat down with our drinks of choice and looked around at Costabuck’s new interior. The general consensus was………..that it was exactly the same as the old interior.

“Closed a month for refurbishment and they haven’t changed it at all, and it still took them 10 minutes to make a cappuccino.”

“Maybe it wasn’t refurbishment Joan, maybe it was to cover up a food poisoning incident.”  I’d timed that remark to coincide with Alice taking her initial bite into a rubbery Panini. She gagged accordingly.

“Did you see that the government has scrapped the law forbidding teachers to touch children in schools?”

“Yeah, I don’t know what the Pope said to get David Cameron to agree to that, but it’s certainly a coup for the Catholic church.”

Alan had some memories. “When I was at school they threw bits of chalk and rubbers at you if you misbehaved, didn’t do me any harm.”

“Same here Alan, and some of those rubbers still had spunk in them.” Probably too early in the morning for that one, as Alice once again choked on her Panini.

“He meant blackboard rubbers Alice, don’t let him stop your enjoyment of your breakfast. Did you watch Prince Charles open the Commonwealth Games, quite spectacular.”

“Funnily enough I went for a curry on Friday and asked the waiter if he was proud to have a major sporting event in the place he was born. He said that he was, and that he was indeed looking forward to the Olympics being in Stratford in twenty twelve.”

Joan, as usual, wasn’t impressed. “Very droll, Charles, it is still a bit weird having holding the Commonwealth Games when we haven’t really got a Commonwealth.”

“Bloody hell, don’t tell Prince Charles that Joan, he’s over there trying to round-up black slaves to shine his shoes and carry his polo equipment.”

Toby took a sip from his latte and divulged the most exciting thing that happened to him over the weekend. “I got caught up in that computer problem where the credit card system went down yesterday afternoon. There was complete panic in Sainsburys.”

“Toby, you’re a student, how come you’ve got a credit card?”

“Actually I’ve got three, total credit limit of five grand.”

“That’s an awful lot of Pot Noodles, Toby.”

Joan looked up from her Americano and decided to act the mother figure. Or patronising old nag.  “I do hope that you’re managing your money carefully Toby, it’s easy to get into debt as a student.”

“That’s true Joan, but the banks want to get the business leaders of tomorrow early, I reckon I could get even more credit if I wanted to.”

“Business leaders who end sentences with a preposition? Team leaders in MacDonald’s more like.”

“Don’t be so nasty Charles,” Alice stuck up for the student, “You’re not exactly Alan Sugar are you?”

“You’re so right Alice, I am not. I am not surrounded by whining sycophants, and I do not have a face like a baby monkey’s arse.”

Alan got up. “I need to go, need to get the meter ticking. These tube strikes pay for my winter holiday, especially as no-one knows the geography of London above ground. Victoria to Westminster can take up to forty-five minutes and forty quid, honest guv.”

I wished him good luck and we all went our separate ways, fuelled by fair trade coffee made with beans collected by naked black women somewhere in a distant kingdom of Great Britain.

Charles tells what happens when Blair meets God, and declares the real spirit of the fringe

3 Sep

Joan sat down and asked the question of the day. “Who’s going to buy Tony Blair’s book then?”

“Not a chance Joan, I may get it from a charity shop for a quid in a couple of weeks, but I’m not spending twelve quid on the twat’s memoirs. Who does he think he was, Maggie Thatcher?”

Joan winced, and took a large swig of her black coffee.

“He was nothing but a warmonger Joan, and I won’t support him in any way.”

“Alice, you’re very sweet, but you know nothing about politics.”

“Patronise me all you want Joan, but I’m sticking to my guns.”

Time for me to offer an opinion. “Let me tell you all a story.”

Groans all round.

“Tony Blair dies and meets God in heaven. God greets him politely and Tony’s his usual gushing self, mentions that he’s a Christian, even to the point of promoting the fact on ‘Parkinson’, and asks to be let in. God asks him if there’s anything he wants to get off his chest, a confession of any kind. Tony thinks for a while and can’t come up with anything. God tells him to take his time. Nope, don’t think so, says Tony. God’s a bit pissed off now and asks him about Iraq, illegal war, thousands dead as a result, although God readily admits that they weren’t all Christians. Tony says that he made his decision to invade on solid evidence and that his conscience was clear. He reckons you could ask anyone close to the situation and they’d back his decision. God mentions that he had a coffee with David Kelly and that wasn’t what he said. Tony is appalled that David Kelly is anywhere near heaven as suicide is a sin and no one who kills themselves would be allowed to enter heaven. And God said, “Precisely Tony, precisely…..””

“Ha, nice one Charles.”

“I thought so Alan.”

Joan was less than impressed, “Yeah, very satirical Charles.”

“Anyway, there is no God.” Toby the student has joined us. “I’m following Richard Dawkins on Twitter and he has a very convincing argument. You on Twitter Charles?”

“Oh course, Toby, I am a man of the naughties. I have one hundred followers.”

“That’s not many Charles, I follow celebrities and some have hundreds of thousands. Palomo Faith tweeted yesterday that she had 46,000 followers, and that she wished they all were cash.”

“Or brain cells, I imagine Alice. Or brain cells.”

“How was the Edinburgh fringe Charles?”

“Pretty good thanks Alan. Saw John Bridges and Felix Dexter, but I saw some good comedians as well.”

“What about this Bo Burnham, who won the spirit of the fringe award.”

“Didn’t see him Toby, but as far as I could see the ‘spirit of the fringe’ was a load of comedians going around whining about other comedians winning awards!”

“Big night for you tonight Alan.”

The cab driver stood up, “Yep, England against Bulgaria at Wembley. All of those away supporters needing taking back to their Central London hotels via Reading.”

We went our separate ways, five lost souls released into the London sunshine.


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