22 Jan 2016
24 Dec 2015
Related to the 'National Treasure' list, these people are awarded 'National Nuisance' status for having irritated us beyond what is reasonable.
1. Brian Blessed
2. Bernie Ecclestone
3. Diane Abbott
5. Gary Lineker
6. Tarby (still)
7. Tony Blair
8. Lenny Henry
9. Dec not Ant (or is it the other way round?)
10. Claire Baldy
11. Andy Murray's mum
12. Mo Farrah
13. Mary Berry
14. Princess Charlotte
15. Sue not Mel (or is it the other way round?)
16. Evan Davis
17. Sara Cox
18. Grayson Perry
19. Dawn French
20. Michael Portillo
Posted by P K Munroe at 18:10
13 Nov 2015
Watch any English movie made before 1940 and set in London, and at some point one of the male characters will start whistling a tune. It could be the milkman on his rounds, the delivery boy on his bicycle, or the shady character loitering on a street corner; but you can guarantee that before long, someone will start to whistle.
Yet now nobody whistles in London. The habit has entirely died out here, although it remains more popular in the English regions. Why should this be? A group of sociologists noticed this phenomenon in the 1970s and decided to investigate. Their theory was that whistling can be seen as an expression of individual public confidence, and its absence showed that Londoners were now more fearful in public places, not wanting to draw attention to themselves.
The newspapers took this up and filled pages with the opinions of commentators and politicians, deploring the lack of social confidence. A ‘bring back whistling’ campaign was started, with famous Londoners, including the writers Will Self and Julian Barnes, deliberately whistling around town in the hope that it would catch on.
However the discovery of a diary kept by a milkman in the East End of London during the second world war threw a quite different light on the matter. During the blitz, when London was bombed every night for three months, he wrote of the ‘nasty whine and whistle’ of the bombs, and of being told to ‘shut up that whistling’ by neighbours as he delivered the milk in the morning. ‘You’ll bring them on’, he was scolded.
So the latest academic theory is that whistling is absent from London for the same superstitious reason that it’s discouraged on board ship: it brings bad luck. It seems that three months of wartime bombing did away with whistling for Londoners, and the habit has never returned.
Visitors of a humorous disposition might like to whistle a tune in public to see what happens. Be ready to receive some strange looks and muttered comments from locals, especially those from the East End, who still carry the folk memory of high explosive bombs whistling down from the night skies.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Extract from my book 'How Not to Be a Tourist in London'
Posted by P K Munroe at 12:01
3 Oct 2015
10 Sep 2015
13 Aug 2015
29 Jul 2015
The real reason we are so upset about this scandal is not that Lord Sewel is a politician - I mean,what do we expect? - but that he is getting on in years. In your sixties it's undignified, right? He should have done all that bad stuff in his youth.
So Lord Swell, if you're reading this, please contact me for a free copy of my book, which will explain how to behave at your fine old age. It's not all boring - you can select a new hobby, go to the pub with your pals, and perhaps even buy a sports car at last.
The Manopause Manual was published this week.
Posted by P K Munroe at 09:51
17 Jun 2015
What is the Manopause?
A new humour book reveals what happens to men when they reach their fifties. It’s not all about being grumpy and dreaming of sports cars – no, that’s only about 60% of it.
‘The Manopause Manual’ takes us into the minds of married men having a midlife moment, who are in danger of thinking too much. The book encourages them to stop with the deep thoughts and get scheming for new ways to enjoy this stage of life:
· Convincing our wives we need a new hobby
· And a lad’s holiday
· And a beard, and possibly a sports car
Humour author PK Munroe (‘The Thursday Night Letters’, ‘You Can Stick It’) explores suitable hobbies, and explains in detail why a shed is now the new sports car. He warns his fellow-men about modern obsessions with health, exercise, food, sport, and philosophy: a brisk examination reveals the latest thinking on all of them to be riddled with contradictions, and best ignored in favour of taking it easy. And he pours scorn on the way that the male talent for identifying important social problems is labelled ‘being grumpy’.
The Manopause Manual is a useful guide to male eccentricity for women, too. Find out what he is he really thinking when casting sidelong glances at motorbikes and electric guitars, and discover why he needs hobbies and regular meet-ups with his pals. The poor chap isn’t made for thinking – he needs to be out there doing, just like his ancestors who went off hunting for days on end (or so they claimed).
PK Munroe’s new release joins his recent books How Not to be a Tourist in London and 50 Ways to Get Amazon to Pay More Tax as an essential slim volume for the loo bookshelf.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted by P K Munroe at 11:12