In this blogposting...
*Things You didn’t Know You Didn’t Know
Now, read on, Macduff...
I have been informed - by a source I generally consider to be impeccable - that the World Pie Eating Championships were held at Wigan (where else?) in December. Unfortunately, my source (whose name I am concealing to protect the innocent) is refusing to tell me who won and - perhaps most importantly - how many pies he/she managed to consume to achieve the victory.
The event (should its existence prove to be a reality rather then the result of my friend’s fevered truckshuntery) has also inspired me to get the old grey cells a-moving. How whacko! would it be for us to sponsor a logic-defying world championshiop of our very own. Custard pie throwing. Poetry reading. Swimming through treacle. Trainspotting.
I’d better stop and take a tablet.
Over to you.
As everybody must know by now - and as you can see from the picture above (courtesy of Vivienne and murphyanddorastravels.blogspot.com) - AGM XII took place at the Centre for Life in Newcastle on Saturday 23 January. The absence of a couple of hardcore truckshunters was more than made up for by the attendance of no fewer than three AGM virgins.
The formidable - and previously mysterious - Ellie journeyed all the way in from Seaton Delaval to make sure that her year can only get better from hereon in. It was great to be able to put a face to the name and to have her seated where she truly belongs - at the head of the table. Thanks for your lovely comment to blog 188, Ellie. Come back soon. And all our truckshunting love to your cats!
My friend Sue was visiting me from Hereford for a few days and decided to tag along to the AGM as well. I am glad to say that I’ve received a bulletin from the Hereford and District Home for the Suddenly Bewildered that - apart from occasional nightmares - Sue is recovering steadily and should be out if hospital within a few months, provided a suitably caring and sympathetic environment can be found for her.
Perhaps the most surprising visitor of all was the redoubtable Michael Poulter. Apart from the flawed genius that is Paul Wappat, Michael is the first of my ex-colleagues to pluck up the idiocy to attend an AGM and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the last. His attendance was worth its weight in solid platinum, if only because I got to find out that the overnight show on BBC Radio Newcastle - which has been non-stop music since I left a year ago - now has more listeners than it had when I was at the helm.
Talk about crestfallen. Any more news like that and I think I might join Sue in the Hereford and District Home for the Suddenly Bewildered. All that work - for nothing!
Vivienne, Hildie, Maureen and Lawrence made up the disparate group of truckshunters who enjoyed themselves immensely - as usual. My thanks to them - and everyone else - for taking my troubled mind off the audience figures. I haven’t slept since. I’ve been forcing myself to listen to the overnight programme on BBC Radio Newcastle, thus increasing its audience even more. How’s that for irony? (Or should that be ‘paradox’? What’s the difference?)
The next truckshunter mustering will take place at 1100 on Friday 19 February at the cafe in the new Central Library in Newcastle. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
TELEMARKETERS: ADVICE FROM MAUREEN
Maureen has forwarded a genius email to me called Revenge on the Telemarketer. In case you haven’t seen it....
REVENGE ON THE TELEMARKETER
Three Little Words That Work!!
The three little words: 'Hold On, Please...' Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.
Then when you eventually hear BT's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset....you have efficiently completed your task.
These three little words could help eliminate telephone soliciting.
Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is then used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' salesperson to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering: If you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!!!
When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.
Most of these come with postage-prepaid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular postage IF and when they are returned. It costs them nothing if you throw them away!
In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-prepaid return envelopes. Send an advert for your local chimney sweeper to American Express... they might need one! Send a pizza coupon to HSBC... in case their canteen packs up. You get the idea.
If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them back their blank application form.... after all, it is their form! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you return.
You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them, and it is their envelope after all… you are just returning it!!!!
The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the post, but folks....we need to OVERWHELM them, in order to stop them.
Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!
Let's help keep Royal Mail busy. Since the Royal Mail is saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, let's help them so they will not need to increase postage costs again.
You get the idea! If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- maybe you'll get very little junk mail anymore.
I’ve put this into practise already. The feeling of smug self-satisfaction is incredible. Try it.
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU DIDN’T KNOW
*There is a general for every 415 men in the Army
*Every Scot drinks the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka each year
*2 houses in every 1,000 in the UK still depend on an outside toilet
*20% of British children think that bacon comes from sheep
*8 out of 10 of the dirtiest hotels in Europe are in England
*The dinosaur sinosauropteryx was ginger-coloured
*The world’s oldest bible - now in a Florentine museum - was written by the scribes of Jarrow and Wearmouth
*Henry Travers - the wonderful actor who played Clarence the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life - was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
In the everyday hurlyburly of your exciting truckshunting lives, please spare a thought for Pernell Roberts, who has died aged 81. He played the part of Adam Cartwright in Bonanza.
And don’t forget Bobby Charles, who has died aged 71. He wrote See You Later, Alligator.
And finally, our thoughts should fly to Edwina, Britain’s oldest duck, who has died aged 22.
When I started this blog half a lifetime ago, I never for a moment imagined that I would end up commemorating the death of a duck.
...the last time I looked, this blog had 15 followers. It now has 14. Which rat has deserted this particular sinking ship?
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