"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

A Farthingsworth of Tall Tales from Blighty's Fameless Blog
Newsflash from New York (no, not that one!) |  Are the British better drivers? |  The Story of the Telephone Kiosk |  Drinking Nelson's Blood |  Screaming Jelly Babies |  Flying to the UK is very dangerous! |  Brits to drive on the right |  Who hung the monkey? |  Upper class virgins |  Double, double trouble |  What a Lovely Morning for a War

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Fameless Scribe

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse, so they say. If you have enjoyed the verbal high jinx, tall stories, light-hearted slander and muck-throwing here at Blighty's Blog, give a nod - or a wink, if you prefer - to our new home.

All your favourite correspondents such as Elizabeth Scorgis at Buckingham Palace, Ben Bigge in Westminster, Pen Altekik on the sports desk, Skep Tikk on the weather desk, C. Lee-Sossedge and others too numerous to mention are moving with us.

You'll find us all casting aspersions, spewing mendacity, hyperbole and calumny (all in good fun, of course) at our new home on the web: TheFamelessScribe.com. Come on over and enjoy a little satire directed towards the motherland of the Great British Empire from a little snow-covered corner of that empire - in Canada.

Oh, and please turn off the lights when you leave here, there's a good chap.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why Do Spanish Ships Have Glass Bottoms?

Today is St Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate Britain's love for playing the game of naval conkers with our friends from Spain. For it was on St Valentine's day in the year 1797 that a small British fleet met a much larger force from Spain offshore from Cape St Vincent on the coast of Portugal. During the engagement, the Royal Navy deployed a very large number of its best cast iron conkers and convincingly defeated the Spaniards.

The Battle of Cape St Vincent was just a single action in what became a thoroughly comprehensive thumping of the Spanish by the Royal Navy. With British assistance, over the course of a couple of hundred years, the Spanish navy involuntarily redeployed a very large part of its fleet to its "submarine" division.

Spanish submarines of the 18th Century were not entirely dissimilar to its formerly magnificent fleet of surface galleons. The main distinguishing features being the absence of masts and the very large collection of wooden splinters on their decks. 18th Century Spanish submarines were also noted for the ease with which they descended to the sea bottom and their innate incapability of rising to the surface again.

But, nonetheless they were a magnificent sight to behold. Beautiful wood carvings and ornate deck accoutrements. Thus, when the Spanish government realized the need to replenish the fleet, it sought to recoup some small part of its investment in the old fleet with one design modification. Henceforth Spanish ships of the line would be built with glass bottoms - so that Spanish sailors could see the old Spanish fleet.

But, back to our story of the St Valentine's day action at Cape St Vincent. The Spanish fleet was shrouded in fog as the British fleet under Admiral Sir John Jervis on board HMS Victory approached. Lookouts on board the vanguard vessel reported back to the flagship on the strength of the enemy.

"There are eight sail of the line, Sir John"
"Very well sir"

As the fleet drew further into the fog another signal arrived:
"There are twenty sail of the line, Sir John"
"Hmmm, fetch my scarlet waistcoat, they shall not see English blood if I should fall. Sail on!"

Moments later,
"There are twenty seven sail of the line, Sir John"
"Oh, buggah; better fetch my brown trousers too."

On that memorable day a British fleet of 15 ships defeated a Spanish fleet of 27 ships. British losses included 73 dead compared to 1000 killed on the Spanish fleet. Admiral Sir John Jervis was handsomely rewarded in cash and honours. The Spanish admiral, Don Jose de Cordoba was disgraced and discharged from service. Another reason to celebrate St Valentine's Day perhaps - unless you are Spanish that is.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Foreign Blighter Costs Brits a Pretty Penny


Our Westminster correspondent Ben Bigge overheard this conversation in a public hostelry near Westminster:

"The damn insolence of it! Bloody foreigners popping over the pond trying to tell Britain how to take care of the economy! Damn jumped-up Canadian chappie, what's his name? Oh, Carney, that's it. Just who, in the blazes, does he think he is?
And (excuse me one minute while I froth at the mouth), how much did you say we are going to pay him? Whattttt??? How much??? Dammit man, have you taken leave of your senses? Don't you know the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street has a pay freeze policy? We pay old Mervyn (Sir Mervyn King; current governor of the Bank of England) just over £300,000, barely enough to pay a chap's bar bill at the club I know, so why are we going to pay this new colonial chap nearly three times that? And, of course I have to ask, is he the right sort of chap? You know, old school tie and all of that?"

Cost of UK bank bailouts during the financial crisis: £850 billion (CDN$1.4 trillion)
Cost of Canadian bank bailouts during the financial crisis: $0.