Euro 2021 - the games
Russia 0 Belgium 3
A woman I know said that Russia lost this game so badly because of their deep collective sense of social, ethical and political guilt. She also pointed out that Belgium brought on Eddie Izzard in the second half. I told her to get on with the ironing.
Denmark 0 Finland 1
A match lost and a life saved. Not a bad bargain, in the end.
Wales 1 Switzerland 1
Go on, admit it - when Switzerland scored you thought "that's it" and left the house. You made your way to the garden shed, where you spent some time sharpening the blades of your electric hedge cutter with a nail file. When you returned and saw Wales equalise, you said something like "I knew they'd do it - you can never write Wales off," all of which means that you, sir, are both a poor workman and a cowardly hypocrite. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
Turkey 0 Italy 3
Turkey must learn that their plan of defending grittily and hoping for a breakaway goal that never came was never going to work once they conceded three goals. Just as BBC commentator Guy Mowbray must learn to stop striving for diamond encrusted smartarsisms every time he opens his mouth, and co-commentator Jermaine Jenas should stop trying to top everything Mowbray says. What should have been a co-operative effort felt more like a power struggle.
A guide to Euro 2021
What is a Euro 2021?
It is really another name for Euro 2020, the European Nations League/Cup/Championship which was originally played in 2020 but got overshadowed by the pandemic. Now there is no pandemic, they can play it again, properly this time.
Where is it being played?
All over the bloody place, from Baku to Dublin and all stations in between, presumably to maximise Covid transmission rates in the shortest possible time.
How is it organised?
All you need to know is that the final will be played at Wembley, if anybody's left alive by then.
Who will win it?
The Sun is going all out for an England win. They know "the lads" will suffer setbacks along the way, but "We'll have your back when things go wrong," they say. We'll remember they said that.
What is the first match?
Turkey v Italy in Rome. Friday June 11th, 8 pm. It's on BBC. Alternative viewing is probably Midsomer Murders or some film you're only watching because you paid for it. Or something about bailiffs or sewage.
Forest transfers exist only in the mind of God
Our football correspondent Julia Chimney reports that Nottingham Forest fans are beginning to reach the "He's just the kind of player we need ... I understand CH rates him ... He's gone to Huddersfield ... They're welcome to him ... Never rated him ... Forest were never in for him anyway" stage of the transfer window. This is the stage known as "The Eddie Nobody Option", where fans begin to suspect that their club may be steering them towards a serious lack of recruitment, and the club's response to questions about transfer activity goes something like "We continue to do maintenance work on the fabric of existence."
The tenth circle of Euro hell
It has long been thought that Dante's Inferno described nine concentric circles of hell. Recent research, however, has unearthed a manuscript which appears to describe a tenth. In this tenth circle, the poet Virgil leads us into an arena where a small army of men are writhing in pain. "They are raising their arms and calling out to some hidden authority for justice," explains Doctor Alice Tilde of the Advanced Studies Institute in Richmond. When asked who or what these men represent, Doctor Tilde has her doubts. "There has been some speculation that they are the army of lost souls who have been conned by Jack Greaselick's dives, but as I have no knowledge of Jack Greaselick or his iniquities, I cannot possibly comment."
Eyes down for two fat ducks or whatever
Bingo's back! And down at the Variant Bingo Palace in Richmond, Betty Boot says the return of her favourite pastime is like a dream come true. "I couldn't wait until 6pm when the doors opened, even though the bingo doesn't start until 8pm,"
she says. "I've missed the people and the gossip of course, but more than that I've missed the fact that
a random process is a sequence of random variables whose outcomes do not follow a deterministic pattern, but rather an evolution described by probability distributions. These and other constructs are extremely useful in probability theory, the various applications of randomness and, of course, winning bingo games."
Snack of the year
This year's winner of the RSA Snack of the Year award, sponsored by Richmond Small Arms and Targeting Systems, has gone to the perennial favourite Frazzles. In second place came the cheesy snack Wotsits, with Chipsticks a distant third, even though they may no longer exist. "Frazzles is very much the everyman of snacks," says RSA promotions officer George Cordite. "You can keep your Pringles and Doritos and all that overpacked bourgeois excrescence, give me the cornpaste equivalent of Bradford City's home kit every time."
England 1 Austria 0
A man has complained about England's "dull and disappointing" performance in their friendly match against Austria which he watched on ITV. "I didn't pay my licence fee to watch garbage like this," complained Stuart Polyp from Richmond. "Jack Greaselick doing sod all but manufacture free kicks, Lee Dixon urging players to "come and spin in the hole", Mark Pougatch shouting like a bloody horse. I mean for God's sake Austria would have beaten us if they'd scored and we hadn't. Pougatch is an odd name, isn't it? Apparently it's the correct word for a swivelling toilet lock."
Dumb and dumber
The twice weekly quiz show, Dumb As Soup, has been withdrawn from ITV's schedules despite its increasing popularity with the viewing public. The idea of the quiz is for contestants to give any wrong answer to a particular question to progress. So, for example, a question on last week's show was "What number immediately follows 3?" to which eventual winner Betty Cork answered "Seventeen". When asked why she came up with that particular answer, Betty responded, "It was just a lucky guess really." Head of Programming Dave Surname explained that the show was being dropped because they had quite simply run out of questions and anyway life was too short.
Iggle Piggle trumps Line of Duty's "manipulative drivel"
The Cavendish Drama Award sponsored by Cavendish Weapons Systems has gone to CBeebies favourite In The Night Garden, starring Iggle Piggle. BBC drama Line of Duty, expected by many to scoop the top prize, came a distant second. A judge explained: "We found the characterisation and narrative drive of In The Night Garden quite mesmerizing, while Line of Duty was little more than an endless stream of overhyped manipulative drivel. I mean, everybody remembers Makka Pakka and his stones, but nobody can truly engage with infantile made-up stuff about corrupt police officers or some baddy called H."
Bentfor'd's number is up
The football authorities are unlikely to confirm the promotion of Bentfor'd to the Premier League despite their Championship play off final win against Swansea. A spokesman for the EPL suggested that Bentfor'd's claims to be a football club were fraudulent. "Their progress has been based entirely on data analytics," he says, "which may very well be illegal but in any case has absolutely nothing to do with football. Their fanbase is so small it may well be fictional, their owner is a smartarse and their manager looks like an eighteenth century composer." The London club were asked for their reaction to this development, but no human being was available for comment.
Five things grandparents shouldn't do on holiday
Running after the grandchildren may make you feel forty years younger, right up until the point your hips disintegrate or your lungs call it a day.
Eat a Chinese
Just because your son and daughter-in-law live off the stuff doesn't mean you have to risk life threatening indigestion simply to appear cool.
Overstimulate the grandchildren
One of the biggest holiday no-nos is to get one of your grandkids so excited they run into a door.
Blame the satnav
Entering a misheard destination into your satnav may cause you to miss the "most amazing tea rooms" where the family has gathered and drive half way up a one way track where your car's proximity alarm gives you a nervous breakdown.
Mow the lawn when you get home
The solution to the problem of all those pesky buttercups you spot on your arrival home is not to spend the next hour hauling half a ton of petrol mower around your lawn. Anyway, it probably won't start. Plug trouble, probably. Or no fuel. Something technical.
Films to avoid this summer
With cinemas reopening about nowish, you might be tempted to book tickets for the films on delayed release. Boffington Post film critic Ishmael Hands alerts you to a few you shouldn't bother with:
Cruella - Emma Stone stars as a woman who grows to dislike spotty dogs in this misguided remake of BBC children's favourite The Woodentops.
Sound of Metal - Somebody you probably don't know stars in this story of a heavy metal drummer who goes deaf, almost certainly because he's a heavy metal drummer.
Peter Rabbit 2 - James Corden tries hard to bring Beatrix Potter's vision to the big screen by reprising his role as the irritating bastard of a rodent everybody hated in Peter Rabbit 1.
Black Widow - It doesn't actually matter what rubbish Marvel Studios churn out, if Scarlett Johansson is in it, it's good enough for me. Mmm.
Lester 1 Chertsey 0
The 140th FA cup final may have been a dog end of a football match, but it threw up some interesting statistics:
The expressions "fairy tale" and "remarkable journey" were used on twenty three occasions, wheras not one mention was made of Mason Mount flicking his quiff, nor of Thomas Tookle's left ear.
The amount of pre-match garbage the BBC expected its audience to sit through produced record viewing figures for Talking Pictures TV.
This match was the 187th top flight match this season to be ruined by VAR.
This was the only final in living memory in which the strikers of both sides presented no threat to anything except their reputations.
The Tealy Man's winning goal was an exact replica of Sir Bobby Charlton's cracker against Mexico in the 1966 World Cup finals. Except that Sir Bobby Charlton's was better, because the ball was at least five pounds heavier and flew as straight as a cannonball, unlike the modern rubbish which has the aerodynamic qualities of a plastic bag full of other plastic bags.
Man sues after motoring "hell"
A man is to sue the Nissan Motor Company after claiming that his car's sensor warning system caused him "severe psychological
damage". Joe "Jozza" Biggs said his experiences with his brand new Nissan Joke had amounted to nothing short of persecution. "At first it was just the usual stuff," said Mr Biggs, "you know, the odd beep when you got too close to something, or a warning about tyre pressure, that kind of thing. But then it started getting personal. It said that my pedal pressure was inconsistent, or that my hands were clammy on the steering wheel. It even advised me to see a doctor about my ear infection. And not so long ago I was driving down the M1 when it told me that I would never satisfy a woman sexually. I mean, that's not on, is it?"
Bozza claims voter fraud rife in pork pie factory
Prime Minister Boris "Bozza" Johnson is determined to press ahead with plans to deny the vote to people without Photo ID. "It's got to happen," said "Bozza" during a visit to a Lincolnshire pork pie factory. "It's got to happen because what we have here is dangerous, it's a dangerous situation, this voter fraud. The people I talk to, they're good people, they say voter fraud is everywhere, they're clever people, they know what they're talking about, they say voter fraud is a threat to our democracy. Look at Georgia. Look at Pennsylvania."
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
to the last syllable of recorded time;
and all our yesterdays have lighted fools
the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
and then is heard no more. It is a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury