In this blogposting...
*A Dog Is Not Just For Christmas
Now, take heed and look sharp...
...will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 29 December at Grey’s Monument. For your information, here is the agenda:
*Item 1 - coffee
*Item 2 - more coffee and perhaps a cake or something
*Item 3 - catch-up chat
*Item 4 - another coffee for whoever wants one
*Item 5 - New Year resolutions (if anyone has any)
*Item 6 - taking photos
*Item 7 - Any Other Business
Item 5 may be dropped. It sounds a little too earnest. If it’s dropped, it will be replaced by The Reading of J Arthur Smallpiece’s Birthday Poem to Ian, which doesn’t.
If you have any items for the agenda, please send them to me using the contact details below. Or not, as the case may be.
And remember - none of this will happen if no-one turns up but me. That would be truly awful and highly unseasonal to boot.
A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
Except for the inevitable speedway, courtesy of Lawrence, sport does not figure highly in the truckshunter firmament. It’s far too dull. Even the ongoing pantomime at Newcastle United has become predictable and tedious.
Occasionally, however, a sport-based story puts it head above the otherwise dreary parapets and almost begs to be included in our hallowed blog.
Thus it is with considerable pleasure that I present to you - in my best, BBC-honed journalistic style - the awe-inspiring story of Madron FC (above), a Cornish village team all of whose members deserve honorary admission to the truckshunter club.
Madron FC's start to the season has been, to put it mildly, disappointing.
At the beginning of December they had lost 11 games on the trot, conceded 227 goals (scoring just twice themselves); this means that they have conceded a goal every 4.36 minutes.
The stand-in manager, Alan Davenport, admitted Madron FC are "probably the worst team in Britain" after their "embarrassing" string of results. He did, however, praise his players for at least turning up.
The club (based near Penzance) was delighted to be promoted from Division Two of the Mining League last season. But a mass exodus of players, followed by the manager's departure, left them struggling.
Now the depleted squad, which is made up of people from a local pub and students, struggle to get 11 players out.
Asked to pose for a team photograph recently, only eight of the 11 would do so; the others were simply too embarrassed. Shame on them.
At a recent fixture, they went down 22-0 to St Buryan.
Only seven players (and no officially-recognised goalkeeper) turned up for a game against Illogan RBL Reserves, which they lost 55-0.
I’ll repeat that. 55-0.
Mr Davenport (68) said of that defeat: "It's a struggle when you only have seven players and no goalkeeper. One of the lads went in goal and did his best. I know everybody is probably laughing at us but we will battle on.
"We will definitely keep playing every week and fulfill our fixtures until the end of the season. We have no plans to stop. Some of the players aren't that brilliant so they are just happy to play. They can't get games with anyone else. Fair play to them for turning up really. It would be easy to just give in and let their heads drop but we'll fight on."
There is one unexpectedly bright side to this heart-warming tale of wasted endeavour and cataclysmic failure. Madron FC are not bottom of the league. This is because another team had points deducted for not turning up to one of their matches.
Other teams are sympathetic, up to a point. The manager of Illogan, Mark Waters, said it was impossible to really enjoy a thrashing like the one it gave Madron. "We certainly didn't enjoy it,” he said. “I have nothing but admiration for the seven Madron players, but it does make a mockery of the league."
Madron FC are now the official mascot team of the truckshunter blog.
Which means that, from now on, things can only get better for them. Fingers crossed.
It is, of course, unpleasant to be attacked by sharks, as some unfortunate holiday-makers recently have (and prompted a few unkind commentators to aver that that’s all they deserve for taking their vacation in Sharm-el-Sheikh in the first place).
It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File reported only five fatal shark attacks in the whole of 2009.
Other, sometimes surprising, aspects of our everyday lives can be just as - or even a lot more - risky than invading the natural habitat of a large and lethal predatory fish then being shocked when it attacks.
Over 1,000 people a year, for example, are dispatched to kingdom come by being struck by lightning.
22 people in the UK were accidentally drowned in their own baths in 2008.
Almost 2,500 left-handers a year die from using products designed for right-handed people.
More than 20,000 people die each year by being bitten by snakes - mostly in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
And finally...an average of two people are killed each year in the USA by trying to tilt faulty vending machines.
A DOG IS NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
If you have a dog in the house, you should perhaps be aware of what the website dogs-blog.com considers to be the five most dangerous elements of the upcoming Christmas season for Man’s Best Friend.
Unsurprisingly, chocolate is at Number One. Keep it away from their prying snouts.
And do the same with anti-freeze. It’s even more lethal for canines than it is for the likes of us - and that’s saying something.
Pine needles are next. Along with the shards of broken glass tree-baubles, they get into dog paws and cause extreme discomfort - and expensive vet visits for you.
At Number Five is crowded kitchens - paws being stood on, hot food dropping from above...ghastly for a dog, of course.
Finally....please don’t dress your dog as Santa Claus. It’s humiliating for the dog and, even worse, it makes you a total twonker as well.
In the last blogposting I was mischievous enough to pass on three ‘lateral thinking’ puzzles sent to me by Dave Shannon. Hildie and Sid have answered two of them correctly - well done them.
But that still leaves puzzle number two - the one about the murder suspect.
Have you got the lateral thinking powers to see the answer?
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