Monday, June 04, 2007

Nice Things (3)

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue is back on Radio 4. (If that link doesn't lead to the current episode, then you can usually find an old one here.)

Can you believe that Humphrey Lyttleton is 86? (I believe that, if you care about such things, which I admit I don't, he pretty much functions as a walking history of jazz.) I realize that we long ago came to accept Desert Island Discs without Roy Plumley and we have even come around to the idea of world without Alistair Cooke, but I fear that sooner or later Humph is going to...retire....whereapon the ravens will fly away from the Tower of London, the licence fee will be abolished, and England like Numenor will sink beneath the waves.

Blah blah blah, improvisational comedy; blah, blah, blah, last vestige of music hall tradition; blah, blah, blah, both precursor and descendant of Monty Python and The Goodies; blah blah blah, very rude jokes.

I used to know the technical word for the grammatical construction where you say "precursor and descendant of" where strictly one ought to say "precursor to and descendant of". I want it to be "sylepsis", but that's believing you are the only person in the whole world. It's not a useful word, I admit, but I was pleased when I discovered it existed, and now I have lost it, like Pooh and his honey and the cheese. I digress.

Very rude jokes.

Define "Countryside".
"The act of killing Piers Morgan."

But mostly very silly jokes.

Complete the following well known phrase or expression:

"It takes two to..."
" be the Archbishop of Cape Town". "

As mad as a March..."
"....on Baghdad."

From time to time, Gordon starts to worry about what it means to be English. If he listened to Clue, he would know the answer. (Which raises the question: if he doesn't listen to Clue, what business does he have running the country? Neil Kinnock was a big fan.)

There is a blue plaque to Willie Rushton on Mornington Crescent tube station.


James Wallis said...

Radio 4 is the soul of Britain, I realised on Sunday. Listen to The Archers followed by Desert Island Discs and I defy you not to reach the conclusion that no matter what those bastards in Whitehall may be doing, everything's basically all right.

Did I ever force a copy of "W G Grace's Last Case", Willie Rushton's steampunk novel, on you? It opens at Lords where Grace is facing the bowling of Pollux Vilebastard (pronounced Villibart, and naturally there is a Castor Vilebastard too). Pollux collapses at the crease with an Apache arrow between his shoulderblades. Two doctors run onto the pitch and introduce themselves as Doctor Watson and Doctor Jekyll. Grace lets them get on with it, leans on his bat and gazes over to Primrose Hill, where stands the rusting shape of a giant Tripod, relic of the recent unpleasantness with Mars a few years before. And it gets better from there.

Louise H said...

How can you listen to the Archers and then conclude that everything is basically all right? It has one of the most depressing and disturbing storylines ever at the moment. And the cricket.

I listened to the second half of "I'm Sorry" yesterday and completely failed to pick up on the fact that Mr Fry was present, which is odd because my Stephen radar is usually more acute than that.

And today I've been listening to Woman's Hour and contemplating ways of murdering Ann Winterton MP, slowly. I think it's time I got back to work- too much R4 is not good for me.

Andrew Rilstone said...

I think that it is a (genuinely) interesting psychological thingy that when they play the "one-word-each" games, the personality of the two participants disappears and is replaced by a new, yet strangely...

clarrie said...

Ah, Radio 4.
The highlight of last week's Mitchell and Webb sound was a slightly cruel (but painfully well observed) parody of an afternoon play. I'm the only one here at St Leonard's who listens to anything but the half six comedy, so my tears of laughter got slightly odd looks.

We have a copy of 'W.G Grace's Last Case', here too. I suspect we'll be pressing it on you when you leave tomorrow.

Gareth Rees said...


John H said...

That "countryside" joke is glorious. Now I just need to find someone I can tell it to without their doubting my salvation as a result...

John H said...

NB: I think "believing you are the only person in the world" is "solipsism". "Syllepsis" is the grammatical error in the phrase, "She arrived in a flood of tears and a sedan chair".

I've no idea what "precursor and descendant of" is, though.