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EDGE

the ISSUE NO: 157

‘THE CHELMSFORD FANZINE’

NOVEMBER 2009

Digital music has a sleek new body ... and soul. An icon of elegance and innovation, BeoSound 5 is designed to be looked at, listened to and lived with. It brings your digital music out into the open, with a sound quality that’s nothing less than amazing. Visit us in store and experience BeoSound 5 for yourself.

Bang & Olufsen of Chelmsford 16-18 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0SP Tel: 01245 266117 Email: chelmsford@bang-olufsen.co.uk www.bang-olufsen.com/chelmsford

www.theedgemag.co.uk

The Edge, Chelmsford, CM2 6XD.

Telephone 01245 348256

Mobile: 077 646 797 44


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i Centre nano shoots video. Now Showing. Come into i Centre and see the new iPod nano, now with video recording. The superslim, colourful iPod nano features a new finish, larger display, video camera, FM radio and more. Load the 16GB model with up to 4,000 songs, 16 hours of video or some of both.* Then enjoy your music, movies, TV programmes and photos wherever you go. Stop by iCentre and discover why iPod nano is the world’s most popular music player.

iCentre The Meadows Shopping Centre, Chelmsford, CM2 6FD T: 01245 359511 E: team@icentre-chelmsford.com

W: www.icentre-chelmsford.com

*1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less. Music capacity is based on 4 minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding; actual song capacity varies by encoding method and bit rate. Video capacity is based on H.264 1.5-Mbps video at 640-by-480 resolution combined with 128-Kbps audio. Actual capacity varies by content. Available on iTunes. Title availability is subject to change. TM and Š 2009 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.


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mobile throne n. Portable shithouse that everyone avoids at pop festivals

The Edge Editor’s Column Thought I’d get my column written bright and early this month, so I’m sat here penning this article but 48 hours after returning from a week in Montenegro.....and talk about feeling down in the dumps. Mind you, it was hardly the best holiday I’ve ever had (would I recommend you go to Budva? No, I would not. Not when Rovinj is just up the road in Croatia.) Even so, I’ve still got the holiday blues. Just what is it that vacations do to you (or perhaps I should say to some of us, for I know not everyone ‘suffers’ like I seem to)? Is it just experiencing a complete contrast to the life we normally lead for approximately 92.5% of the year? I mean, the resort Mrs Edge and I stayed at was hardly the best. In fact, we had to be shown 5 different rooms before we said we’d poke up with the one we were eventually moved to on day 2. Thing is, we were supposed to be on holiday, yet our first 18 hours were a total bloody nightmare. It even got so bad that I enquired about catching the first flight home to Blighty. Yeah, tell me about it! Yet here I’m sat, not exactly pining for Budva, but

simply yearning for a lifestyle I guess the majority of us only ever get to live out when we’re abroad, or at Clacton, in the summertime. So far as I’m concerned, the climate clearly has a lot to do with how I’m feeling. But it’s more than just that. The wife and I felt positively knackered and I reckon we didn’t feel ‘recovered’ until a good 60 hours into our break. Life in general is just far too ‘full on’. You simply have to do so very much every frigging day. So Budva was intended to be a ‘chill out type holiday’, and in preparation, I’d borrowed Ben Elton’s novel Past Mortem from Edge colonist Em, which proved to be perfect unwinding material. That and copious double G&T’s all day long. Bah! I just don’t seem to get the time to read at home, which is sad when it’s such a pleasurable thing to do. I think that’s what I’ve found so very depressing; the fact that for a week, my mind was absolutely, totally, blissfully empty and there was nothing to think about...unless I particularly wanted to. Yet when I got back to Chelmsford, I swear, within half-an-hour of opening our front door, I was back in the car and out distributing the first 2,000 copies of last months Edge. That’s what I thought: welcome home! Life is far too ‘mouse running around a wheel in a cage’ type stuff. God, and to start having to make your own breakfast and dinner again, and then wash up afterwards. What’s all that about? Fingers and toes all crossed, my next holiday’s going to be at the end of January 2010, and it’s definitely one I’m already really looking forward to, although I won’t mention it now by chance it doesn’t come off (sometimes they don’t, y’know). But my question is: what is there between now and then to look forward to? That’s where my mind is right now. It is just not functioning properly, because it doesn’t see anything remotely to get excited about on the horizon.

Christmas? What on earth is there to get excited about Christmas for? OK, so last year there was, when we buggered off to Thailand for two weeks. Only I can’t abide the way the price dramatically jumps during the festive period when the kids are off school, so sod that this Yule. (Having said that, why should couples without kids be penalised by massive price hikes whenever the bloody schools are closed? That’s not fair, ain’t that.) So tell me, what is there to look forward to? OK, so it’s now Friday lunchtime and in a few hours I’ll (fortunately) be down the pub, so I can poke up with that (I only ever visit the pub on a Friday, if you were strangely thinking otherwise, which is why I always classify it as a treat). Then come tomorrow evening, I’ll be attending a Fancy Dress Doo dressed up as Rod Stewart. But would I rather be lying on a beach, reading a good book, and knocking back a pina bloody colada? You bet your bottom dollar I would. Oh, I’m sure one would get sick of ‘living the life of Riley’. But just give me the time to get sick of it. Don’t just imply I would....let me bleedin’ well discover such for myself. Just gimmi the chance. Ah, but life’s not like that, is it? I guess we get a certain amount of what we want, whilst the rest of the time life’s pretty much what we don’t want, only like our hotel room that very first night in Budva, you have to poke up with it. Anyway, for what it’s worth, that’s where my mind is right at this moment (as you can see, readers, it’s most certainly not in a very good place). But sure, I’m willing to put myself through such misery all over again, because it’s pretty much the pay-back for having a good time. It’s called a hangover, of sorts.

THE EDGE Chelmsford CM2 6XD 01245 348256 shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

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milkman n. He who comes chinking up the garden path, bringing his fresh yoghurt gun with him in the morning.

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GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? www.theedgemag.co.uk Like boxers between fights, movie stars often have a tendency to ‘bloat out’ between films and The Edge is wondering whether this isn’t a ‘fat George Clooney’ offering boat trips to Sveti Stefan from Budva in Montenegro? Get a load of his medallion, will you? Whoa! That is a gong-and-a-half, is that. In the high season, ‘George’ does 4 trips a day at 10 euros per person with a maximum (approx.) 50 tourists on his boat per trip. Way to go, fella....that’s 2000 euros a day! Nice work.

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mile ‘I’ club n. To spin one’s own propeller in an aeroplane lavatory cubicle.

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“A typical Budva babe!” Whenever the wife and I went down to our par- though butter wouldn’t melt in ones mouth. ticular spot on the pebble beach (because you But the thought of this old woman’s pee and always find a spot you like and religiously go the possibility of me drinking some... back to it, don’t you, even though there’s a Well, that’s what goes through your mind, isn’t whole load of other shingle to choose from?), it? we’d bump into this old woman falling out of She took a pair of socks to the shore one day her cossie. and dropped them, one at a time, into the surf I know, I know, you shouldn’t really gawp, before whisking them back up into her hands should you? But I honestly couldn’t help it. The with her stick and washing them with a little bar Edge Editor’s eyes were drawn to her in much of Montenegran soap. the same way as they were drawn to those two Well, I didn’t appreciate that either (after all, I lovely young lasses still in their late teens (see was on me holidays, me). below right). It must be nice for the locals - waiting staff and “Well, you dirty old man, Edge bloke!” I can what have you - to be able to go and lie on the hear you readers say/think/surmise. “Why, beach for a couple of hours during their break you’re old enough to be their father.” periods, don’t you think? To have sand/shingle, My answer to that is, “Yes. But I’m not.” sunshine and sea on tap. With a bit of piss I always wondered, when I was a kid, whether thrown in for good measure. I’d still be looking at attractive girls of whatever I will say that the temperature at the end of age when I got older. September in Montenegro was absolutely love“Well, my son,” (in talking to me way back then ly. It was warm without the need to apply loads as an eight year old, now that I’m a forty-eight of suncream and the Adriatic sea was a beauyear old), “it’s an emphatic yes!” tiful, comforting temperature. So anyway, back to this old Montenegran The old town (which you can see in the diswoman. She’d pitch herself down on a towel tance behind those two lovelies below) is, well, and once, when I was watching her (and the it’s charming, in theory. But these days, it’s just two young girls were sniggering about it too), shop after shop and what’s all that about? one of her tits fell out of her cossie as she was So, like I say, don’t go. dozing and it was, y’know, funny. Go somewhere else instead. Well, what was I supposed to do....walk over, Majorca and Gran Canaria are honestly far betbend down, grab a hold of it (roll it up) and pop ter bets. it back into her bra compartment? (Surely you It’s just that I get curious about places and can get arrested for that sort of thing!) have to go and try them out, then end up wishThen whenever she got a bit too hot, she’d ing I hadn’t. waddle, leaning heavily on her walking stick, You continually live and learn, as they say. the few metres it took her to reach the sea and stand in about six inches of water. After a while, I began to get a bit suspicious and said to the wife, “’Ere, is she doing what I think she’s doing?” “Yes, Shaun,” said told me wearily (oooh, she’s getting ever so tetchy with me of late and is forever telling me that it’s not all about me....whatever that’s supposed to mean?). “Ugh!” said I. “You mean....she’s weeing ....down her leg....into the sea?” Well, we all do it, don’t we, and what a lovely warming sensation it is, emptying ones aching bladder into ones trollies They weren’t all munters in Montenegro, mind! whilst treading water and looking as


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JAMES BRYAN Opticians REAL eyecare from your independent specialist. LARGEST stockist of designer frames in the area.

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mince medallions n. Dangleberries, kling-ons etc.

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Some folk seem to dread Fancy Dress invitations and by the looks of them when they turn up, you wonder why they even bothered. Not D’Arcy and ‘The Butcher’ though. They know how to do Fancy Dress alright (look at D’Arcy....he’s that tall he won’t even fit into the photograph). The best Fancy Dress outfits are always those that’re home-made. Off-the-peg sucks. It shows a complete lack of imagination. For this doo (above), I’d picked up The F*ckwit’s (he might be ‘Bernard the Butcher’, but he’ll always be a f*ckwit in my eyes) from Writtle and Bernard’s wife - ‘The Big Breasted Amazonian Left-Winger’ - looked superb as a vamp, complete with heaving chest, startling blue contacts and bloody fangs (I noticed her outfit in that order, readers). Then, when I got home, Mrs. Edge had changed into her Tina Turner attire and looked bloody brilliant. Only when I went upstairs to put my Rod Stewart outfit on, I looked totally shite, and I wasn’t turning up looking totally shite aside of those three, so I threw my toys out the pram and went in a shirt and a pair of jeans (that’s my APOLOGY, OK?). There was a bloke at the doo in a genuine (which makes you wonder) Luftwaffe outfit, which made the bloke dressed in the off-the-peg ‘Top Gun’ outfit look, well.....you know what I’m saying, right? You’ve got to get Fancy Dress just right, otherwise there’s no point bothering (like I didn’t, although to my credit, I had bought the Rod wig and the leopardskin tights, which are now sat at ‘Edge Towers’ doing nothing if anyone wants to give me £25 for ’em....and that’s cost, mind you? I’m not out to stripe any of you off.). Y’know what though? The sad fact is that the DJ at the doo awarded a bloke dressed up as an elephant as having ‘The Best Outfit of the Night’. Doh! It was off-the-bloody-peg, man. Tut. DJ’s....what do they know? Fortunately I’ve got another Fancy Dress doo coming up pre-Christmas where the theme is ‘School Uniform’, so I am hoping to redeem myself there and turn up as a right saucy female gym instructor. Waddayamean I won’t be able to pull that off? Have you not seen my lovely legs? Just you wait ’til I shave ’em.


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minihughie n. A mouthful of spew that can be discreetly swallowed back down from whence it came.

Carvery House opens its doors in Moulsham St. in November Fed up having to go out of town for a decent carvery dinner? A brand new carvery restaurant is due to arrive. The Carvery House is a restaurant and bar that will be opening its doors this very month. The old Corks Wine Bar in Moulsham Street has been transformed (about time too) into a new casual dining restaurant. The 80-seater restaurant will be open seven days a week, all year round. The bar will be open to diners and non-diners alike and is destined to be the ideal place to meet friends and have a great night out. The Carvery House will offer a choice of three roast joints every evening, with all of the usual trimmings, all cooked and freshly prepared on the premises. What’s more, The Carvery House only uses local suppliers, with daily deliveries of fresh vegetables and the very best quality British meats. Breakfast will also be available from 8:00am seven days a week, while their Breakfast Bunch allows customers to design their very own breakfast with a call and collect option available and take-away service. What better hangover cure could there be than that? Passionate about their food, service, and most of all their customers, The Carvery House aim to offer a memorable dining experience in the perfect dining environment. Looking for a venue to hold a party, whether it be a private party or a networking event, wedding, birthday or anniversary? Then look no further. Please call The Carvery House immediately and they’ll be happy to discuss your requirements. Simply dial Chelmsford 355083.

THANK YOU

This publication would just like to say a massive thank you to both Miller & Carter and The Fox & Raven in Chelmer Village for inviting The Edge along to their taster evenings that ended up being literally two days apart. Though falling in deadline week, neither were to be missed, and it was a lovely surprise to catch up with old friends like Fraser and ‘Dipsy Sarah’ too....who both got hammered!

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flying pastie n. Excrement wrapped in newspaper, thrown into a neighbour’s garden, for whatever reason.

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Tough Love v Spanking These days, most people think that it’s improper to spank a child, so The Edge has come up with another method of kiddie control that you readers might want to implement whenever your offspring are having one of their special 'little moments.' One that’s particularly effective whenever they’re ‘creating’ is simply to take them out for a right refreshing ride in the car. You know, just a bit of you and them time, away from all the distractions of their TV set, computer, PlayStation and what have you (spoilt little brats). Some think it's perhaps the soothing vibration of the car that does it, whilst others say it's simply good for them to get out and see the countryside. Either way, most kids usually tend to calm down and stop misbehaving after a wee little journey in The Edgemobile, whilst plenty of eye-to-eye contact is also recommended with the little cherubs. Here’s a photo (above) of one of The Edge’s most recent sessions with a formerly unruly sprog after it’s Mum dropped it off at our offices in a helluva state - just in case their are any other parents out there who think they’d benefit from implementing The Edge’s ‘understanding techniques’.

Pathways Employment Your route to

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Pick up a copy at Chelmsford libraries, community centres and other outlets For details check the website www.chelmsford.gov.uk/pathways

Need help to locate a copy – call 01245 606568 1

FIGHTING FIT BOXING GYM This is a proper spit and sawdust gym situated just behind The Rising Sun pub in New London Road. Fighting Fit offer to train, manage and promote anyone who’d like to ‘have a go’ at the noble art of boxing. Age, weight and experience are all immaterial - first timers being most welcome. Fighting Fit specialise in white collar/IBA boxing with 16oz gloves and headguards. Run by Andy (fitness/promotions) and Richard, the latter has over 30 years experience and 100 bouts to his name in the ring. For those of you who don’t particularly want to box, but would simply like to get fit, why not just turn up and experience how boxers train? This is the only boxing gym in Chelmsford where you can pay and train without having to sign a monthly contract - although do beware, for only one-in-ten beginners actually stick with the programme. Open Tuesday and Thursday evenings (plus some Saturday daytimes).

For further details contact: Andy 07949 426169 Richard 07702 006657


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Cyclops n. Legendary purple-headed trouser monster with the eye of a hog.

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David Sherman’s

BEVERAGE REPORT! The Gold Delusion - The Final Chapter CHAPTER IX - A GOLDEN FUTURE? The cask-ale industry in Britain is in a mess. This may come as a shock to those of you who witness vast crowds at beer festivals the length and breadth of he country; to those of you who note specialist ale houses thriving when other pubs are closing down all around them; to those who are aware of the increasing number of small cask-only breweries and the variety of products they produce; and to those who read reports on the microbrewing industry in various journals. But, shock or otherwise, the mess exists, and much of what I have written in this series of articles is an examination of its nature. The fact is that the industry appears to have sold its soul. The things that the connoisseur drinker recognises as the defining characteristics of real British beer are being eroded and replaced with a lowest-common-denominator substitute. Distinction and character have been sacrificed to a singularly contradictory experimentalism, which finds its end in a uniformity of outcome. Beers once noted for their subtlety and depth are being ousted from bar tops in favour of products seemingly aimed at children. What's worse, organisations previously dedicated to saving those defining characteristics are now falling over themselves to congratulate brewers for their wanton destruction of them.

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The broad category of 'Golden Ales' does, of course, encompass a variety of products, and some of them are, in fact, rather good. Greene King's 'St Edmunds' has a subtlety and a lack of aggression, making it highly palatable. Adnams Explorer has a genuine British-hop character, rather than an intense, citric monodimensionality. However, these are exceptions to a general rule, and it is in fact their divergence from the style that makes them worthy of attention. Other large breweries' attempts at the style, for example those produced by Everards and Wells & Young's, have tended to be lame and underpowered. In trying to ape the young persons drink from a traditional perspective, they come across like a vicar wearing a leather jacket and calling everyone 'Daddy-o'! The small breweries have made by far a bigger impression with this travesty of beer; such names as Oakham JHB, Hop Back Summer Lightning and Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold will be recognisable to many of you. Perhaps the most appropriately-titled was Decadence, which means 'in decline following a high point of achievement or quality'. A more apt comment on the last twenty years of British brewing history has yet to be penned. Does the new Gold Rush signify the slow passing of what remains of that brewing culture? The end of British brewing as we know it has been foreseen in the past, in such forms as the Temperance Movement, the Vaizey Report, and the large-scale buyouts and closures of the 1960's. But British beer survives and has survived against significant odds. The difference this time is that it seems to be under attack from every single element that should be protecting it. It is possible that this will just be a passing fad, like keg bitter and porter have been at various times, and that like those beers, its market-share will gradually decline to a point where it exists but is not a significant product in the market. Brewers may find it suits them and their drinkers to stop pursuing and encouraging the paedomorphic tastes of a certain element, and instead encourage the appreciation of the depth of flavour and character for which traditional British beer is famous worldwide. But until such time, the British brewing industry lurches aimlessly through a night made yet darker by the lights of a perverted science. Thanks are due to the following people for their help in this project: to Colin Bocking, Richard Dawkins, Chris Pollard and Roger Protz, for inspiration; to Dave Evans, Bob Flowers and Ben Sherman for assistance with research; to the traditional brewers of Britain, for providing materials; to Shaun, for publishing it; and to you, for reading it. And thank Christ and amen for/to that! E.E.


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free the tadpoles v. To liberate the residents of one’s wank tanks.

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E njoy Christmas @

Shirley Valentine Moment How lovely are scenes such as this? In somewhat stark contrast to a freezing English winter when you’re absolutely freezing your nadulars off, ’ey what? And where scenes such as this are concerned, don’t you instinctively know that you’re going to be in for a lovely relaxing meal, with none of that throwing it down malarkey either. Oh yes, readers, some blokes are truly horrible eaters; it’s as though it’s a race to finish their grub. “On your marks, get set...”. And what about all that slopping their chops business, without ever seemingly coming up for air? Honestly, from the moment their meal is placed in front of them, an ‘EYES DOWN, TUCK IN’ mentality seemingly ensues. Where the hell’s the romance in that, all of you lovely ladies out there must surely wonder? Shirley Valentine certainly did. ‘We used to talk over dinner,’ you must muse, ‘whereas these days it’s a job to be heard over the sound of the TV set.’ And if him indoors talks at all over dinner, he’ll no doubt be directing his comments towards the bloody gogglebox, with a mouth full of half-digested food in tow so that he sprays his dinner everywhere. Charming. However, men eating like filthy swine isn’t exactly what I particularly wanted to devote this section to; it’s just an observation of The Edge that men in particular really could do with improving their table manners.

Reader’s Restaurant Reviews So anyway, what I particularly wanted to bring to your attention was the fact that I need you lot out there to get in touch with The Edge about your own local restaurant experiences, be they good, bad, or indifferent. Which local restaurants do you favour, which have exceeded your expectations, which have fallen short, and pray, which would you no longer touch with a bargepole? Seriously folks, The Edge would be sincerely interested to hear your views (as I’m certain would the restaurants concerned, and I will be happy to pass on any comments you may wish to make) because when this mag publishes the results of its very own findings, well, sometimes the establishments concerned aren’t too impressed, even though we’re being completely honest and impartial. However, if you were to send in your views, readers, and they were published instead of our own, well then, The Edge would be (seemingly) in the clear. So far as I am personally concerned, whenever I eat out, I’m usually never 100% for or 100% against any establishment. There’s usually bits I like and bits I don’t, thus The Edge doesn’t particularly tend to favour reviews that are heavily biased either way. Keep it real and be reasonable, yeah? Because if you’re going to send your own reviews in, you certainly need to be fair and impartial, rather than being purely judgmental. Send them to grubup@theedgemag.co.uk Or even mouthful@theedgemag.co.uk Or what about totallystuffed@theedgemag.co.uk (my website geeks assure me that pretty much anything@theedgemag.co.uk WILL get through!) What’s more, let us know how you go about choosing new restaurants at which to dine? Is it usually word-of-mouth, via newspapers and/or magazines, or do you log onto websites such as Dinning Out in Essex on which to have your tastebuds tickled? If you do send in your views, why not include a photograph of your good self to go with the (potentially) published article, either dining out at the restaurant concerned, or stood butt naked by the kitchen sink?

Christmas parties Christmas eve Christmas day New years eve reservations and enquiries 01245 422432 grahams on the green 12-14 the green, writtle, chelmsford cm1 3du www.grahamsonthegreen.com

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extÄÄç età{xÜ XÅ I Do Judge A Book By It’s Cover I am not a fan of truisms, of sayings that smirk and chastise, but the one expression I utterly hate is ‘never judge a book by its cover’, writes Emily Breen. It's such a smug git of a thing to say, implying that we are something more than we appear to be; that one ought not to consider the surface of things, but to look deeper and longer. Balls. I reserve the right to judge everyone and everything exactly as I see fit, particularly my books (so there, pedants!). Yet, just this month, I realised that I have become ashamed of the books I read. I have somehow become self conscious about the gaps in my education and shifty about revealing the true nature of my taste. I received a book survey last month, for a writer's night I regularly attend, and I couldn't complete it because my responses would not have fit in with the other folk. I'd

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wall of death n. Last hot dog in the tin. never heard of half their choices and cessful career. Finally, at thirty somemine would've looked juvenile by com- thing, I am ready to hold my book aloft parison. on the tube with pride, however pink and ridiculous, or bleak and hopeless, By comparison - since when have I the subject matter may be. lived my life with reference to other people? I don't even like other people. E.E. was taking a holiday (yes, yet What fresh madness is this? another) and wanted some light entertainment for his jaunt. Could I recomIt's all about book learning. mend and lend, he wondered. I could, and I knew and owned just the thing. In all honesty, I'm really rather con- I'm good at people, you see - more scious that I never went to University, often than not, I can predict the very never even finished my A-levels for that drug their entertainment brain desires. I matter. For years it precluded me from may not read the Booker nominees, nor writing because I simply didn't think I care to remember who won last year, was allowed. In later life, I realised you but people I can read. There’s a skill in can do whatever you want to do, pretty that, I think, and a joy in choosing a much all of the time, when you're a novel that is just plain good, regardless grown up. The lesson took a while to of its worthiness. I'm enjoying my time sink in. I think I thought my taste in nov- as a literary salon lurker very much, but els reflected (and proclaimed) a lack of I do miss pretension-free fiction. I'd love knowledge, judgement or appreciation. to dig up and reply to that survey and I do judge books by their covers and write Jackie Collins in every box, just more often than not I like the bright for the sheer shock/horror of it all. Or gaudy tacky ones - the pinker or Jane Green, Fiona Walker, Mike Gayle gloomier the better. Much like my taste et al - the bookcase basics of every in shoes, my taste in literature walks a chick lit loving chick. Where is the harm fine line between fabulous and dreadful in reading for readings sake? For the cheese. sheer escapism of sliding into the warm embrace of a frothy romance? Why It took two conversations for me to get does it automatically say something over myself. The first was with The downmarket about you if you are Edge's editor (E.E.) and the second secretly thrilled that the ‘bonkbuster’ is was with a model who has turned her back? hand to writing after a long and suc-

Gym workout

Model and actress Sara Stockbridge is most recognisable as the 1980's muse of designer Vivienne Westwood. She returned to walk Westwood's runway again recently and graced the pages of Vogue once more. For her first novel, Sara chose not the Naomi Campbell route of ghost written tales from a catwalk caricature, but a ghostly tale of the Victorian underworld, in all its grisly glory. She read from Grace Hammer the night I met her and it was a dark and nasty pleasure. I love it when people surprise me - it happens so rarely these days.

BIZAR

Two simple conversations were all it took to help make up my mind. I like pulp fiction and I see no reason to hide my habit any more. So the next time someone asks this author a question to test my lit credentials, I shall answer them thus: "My name is Emily Breen and I read Ben Elton." Grace Hammer is available in bookshops now. And E.E. recently borrowed his second Elton novel! Ben Elton was as cool as cool could be on Saturday Night Live. Why no more? E.E.

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uphill gardener n. He who sows his seeds on a brown allotment.

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Lengthy Boy Visits Marrakech...

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...so The Edge decided to ask him some questions to see whether he’d taken it all in, or not. Q. How do you spell Marrakech? A. M-A-R-R-A-K-E-C-H. !NDY"ROOKS Q. Blimey, well done, lad. I honestly thought you were going to fall on your arse at the first hurdle. 4OLLESBURY2OAD

What colour is the city known by? 4OLLESHUNT$!RCY -ALDON

%SSEX#-5! A. Everything’s terracotta. Everything’s clay coloured. Er, red? 4EL-OB Q. Back of the net. Two out of two. What snow-capped mountains tower above Marrakech? A. Ah. Oooh. Erm. Copacabana? No, that’s a beach, isn’t it. Erm. Dunno. Q. The Atlas Mountains. Did you catch a train to Casablanca whilst you were there, and if not, why not? A. No. We were told we could only get there by bus and the round trip journey time was way too long, so we decided to give it a miss. Q. What is a souk? A. Ah, I think I know this, but whether I really know it is entirely another matter. Is it some sort of a tented building? Q. No. It’s a market. What’s the main square in Marrakech called? A. Erm, well, we just called it the main square. Q. No. It’s called Djemaael Fna. A fully designed, installed and tiled A. Ah, yes. It was on the tip of my tongue. bathroom for £3995 inc vat using quality products with Q. What are the ancient city walls known as? full guarantees. We will beat any genuine quote. A. Can you give me a clue? Ensuites - Cloakrooms - Wetrooms Q. Morris Marina. Special needs - Building work A. THE BRITISH LEYLAND WALLS! Central Heating - Electrics Q. No, you twat. The Medina of Marrakech. Name the song by Crosby Stills & Nash that’s got Marrakech in its title? Come and see the brand new Ideal Standard concept suite. A. ‘My Kind of Town, Chicago Is’? Q. Sweet Jesus. ‘Marrakech Express’. What’s the name of the mosque Exclusive tile ranges - Mirrors just off the main square? Cabinets - Accessories A. Have you been on Wikipedia by any chance? Q. Yes. But I’ll have to hurry you... A. Is the second word Mosque? Q. It’s the Koutoubia Mosque. A. I thought it might be.

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two puppies in a bag n. Large, mobile, unrestrainable breasts.

THE AWARD WINNING

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In Sickness & In Health Two weeks before the wedding day, The Boyfriend had tonsillitis and I had sinusitis, writes Cheryl Norton. It's now a week to go until we get married and I'm typing this with a plaster cast on my right hand. In true cliché style, I broke my wrist on my hen weekend. The weekend itself was marvellous and I do have to say a special thank you to my sister Pippa and best friend Lou who are my bridesmaids and chief organisers.

is the first time I've ever actually broken anything other than my heels or a nail. Initially, I just thought I'd sprained my wrist and carried on dancing until 4:00am. Even the next day I ignored the pain and swelling and was told to get on with it by the girls. It wasn't until I got back home to Essex on Monday afternoon that I thought I'd better get it checked out at A&E at Broomfield Hospital, who told me that I'd

Sixteen of us stayed in a gorgeous house just outside Bath. The weather was fantastic, so we spent a fair amount of time outside in the large garden, chatting and drinking. We arrived Friday night and went straight to the local pub for some homemade country food and plenty to drink. On the Saturday, Pip and Lou organised for us to do a bike ride in a nearby village. Sixteen girls trying to negotiate directions and map reading is quite a challenge and despite getting lost several times, it was well worth it for the beautiful location. We cycled along a canal in the lovely area of Bradfordupon-Avon and the scenery was truly stunning. Then we even had time for a few glasses of champagne back in the garden before heading into Bath for the evening - but not before all the girls appeared wearing a bizarre assortment of Bath caps and insisted on dressing me up in a dressing gown, bath cap and slippers from a charity shop. How pleasant! Norman, our 70 year old driver, didn't know what to make of us, but soon got into the spirit of things by insisting on wearing one of our caps at the wheel. From what I saw of Bath, it looks like a lovely city. We had cocktails in a bar near the river, followed by a wonderful Italian meal. At the time of the dreaded incident, we were actually in a nightclub. Yes, of course I'd had too many glasses of champagne, and yes, I was doing some obscure dance moves at the time, but it still seems a touch unfair. I have been drunk quite a few times in my life, but this

broken it and would need to have it in plaster for six weeks. So they put the biggest, ugliest plaster cast on you’ve ever seen and put my arm in a sling whilst I cried non-stop. I was inconsolable. Not only would I have to walk down the aisle with THIS THING on my arm, but I was distraught at the possibility of having to cancel my honeymoon (apparently, some airlines don't allow you to fly with a cast on, and even if I could go to Mauritius, how could I possibly not swim in the sea?). The Boyfriend didn't quite know what to do with me and in a rare (unique) moment never to be repeated, asked if I wanted to go to my mum and dads. Thankfully, rather than berate me, they gave me dinner, tea and sympathy and said: “We'll get through it, girl.” After two days of feeling sick and cross with myself, I saw a specialist who confirmed that it wasn't such a bad break. She agreed that I could have the plaster cast on for 2 weeks and then be given a splint. Thank God! All my prayers had been answered. So, with but one week left to go, I am ensuring that both The Boyfriend and I take it easy and are careful where we tread. Now I just need to get rid of my sore throat so that I'm all set to do my speech! By the time you read this, I'll be a married woman and a Norton no longer. And I think, it's fair to say, that we will definitely be honouring the vow of ‘in sickness and in health’. Wish me luck! Another one bites the dust! E.E.

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poke the spider’s eye v. To dig at one’s claypit through one’s undercrackers.

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santa fun run

How brilliant is this, readers? It was ‘the dash to raise cash’ last year which raised a cool £47,000 for Farleigh Hospice from over 1,000 runners, and this year they’ll be at it again on Sunday 6th December in Central Park, Chelmsford, and on Sunday 13th December at Maldon Promenade. The Edge happened to be walking through Central Park on a lovely crisp winters day around about the time the race ended last year and it really was a sight to behold, and all in aid of such a very good cause too. The route for this years Chelmsford leg is once again 4km around Central Park and is ideal for both adults and children. Farleigh Hospice provide the adult Santa outfits, so come on, readers, what’re you waiting for? Get yourselves registered as a participant and collect some much needed sponsorship cash. The registration fee is £10 for adults and £5 for children (U16’s) and you must register by Friday 20th November. Contact the events team now on 01245 457408 or register online at:www.farleighhospice.org/santa

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23/10/2009

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gash mark six n. ‘A lady’s hairy oven must be pre-heated to gash mark six before a gentleman slams in the lamb.’

Question: Can beans be turned into a complete meal? The foundations of any business are its finances and controls (bean counting). Even if you have employed the best bean counter in Essex, what are they serving up every month? Whatever your business, you must have accurate financial information to steer your company forward. There's no point waiting for your accountant to produce your accounts months after your financial year-end - it could all be too late by then. The current environment is tough and if you are making losses, you need to know NOW in order to identify the problems and set about fixing them. So turn to your bean counter (you may need to look in a mirror) and ask the following questions: 

Was my business profitable last month? What is the current break-even point of the business?  Do my cash-flow forecasts (both short term and long term) allow the business to operate within it's current funding headroom and is it being actively controlled and managed? 

If your bean counter looks back blankly at you, then guess what? There's no meal on the table and you will have to continue to operate in the financial wilderness, not really knowing whether you’re winning or losing.

To be frank, this is why so many small businesses fail. Often there is no bean counter, or the business owner lacks skills in the financial arena. So rather then face the reality of the numbers, they often continue to fund (more often than not personally) the losses, only to find further down the road that for some reason or other, the situation has not improved. However, with a little guidance, modest investment and training, you really can turn your beans into a banquet. As previously stated, if a business is to succeed and flourish, you must first ensure you have solid financial controls. Once you have management accounts (and you are competent in analysing and interpreting your profit and loss statement) and cash-flow forecasts, your armoury of key business skills will have widened considerably. In the meantime, here's a bit of a steer: 

Turnover (Sales) may look fantastic, but what margin did they generate?  Sales without a profit margin are a recipe for disaster.  If we know our average profit margins, what sales do we need to generate each month to cover all of the business overheads?  How long is it taking you to turn your sales

into cash?  Remember, without any cash your business will starve.  Don't wait for a 'phone call from your bank manager to tell you that your business has run out of financial headroom. You should know what your bank balance will be next week, next month and next year, simply by working to your budgets.

Answer: Yes. Those beans are really a very important business ingredient. Once you are managing your beans properly, they will multiply, convert into cash, pay your wages and allow you to buy a bloody good meal of your choice! Martin Catling Partner Pro-actions LLP Pro-actions is a specialist business improvement company located in Chelmsford. We currently work with local companies of varying sizes and from a wide range of industries providing forward focussed bookkeeping, business mentoring and bespoke marketing support. If you want to learn more, please do not hesitate to call 01245 344263 and speak to one of our team

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horse eating oats sim. Feeding the pony.

What's Wrong with Britain? Thank the Lord next year a General Election is due. At the very latest, in May 2010. Should we care? Even if we do, what difference will it make? Not very interested in the subject? Bored already? Well, perhaps you're right so far as statistics are concerned. The startling fact is that the under 30's appear to be apathetic. Actually, this is a very peripheral interpretation. No, they do not vote in large numbers, but why? The research is pretty conclusive. This particular age bracket are very politically aware, but for the most part choose to shun Party Politics, but not political issues. They have also worked out that 75% of all issues that affect their day to day lives are now decided in Europe. Essentially, what's left is year to year local budgets (mainly DSS and Council spending). Little else....except life changing issues such as Fox Hunting. Compare this with the over 50's and the percentage who vote more than doubles. Little wonder when you come to think about it. King and Country, two World Wars and a group raised on government that did actually take place in Parliament which, clearly, it no longer does. The erosive effect of the EEC, burgeoning councils, unelected quasi government advisers and Downing Street cabals means that actually, very little governing takes place in Parliament at all. The illusion of Parliamentary debate, fuelled by ever more inept Punch & Judy performances from Gordon Brown, is barely more than for the cameras only. Corporate marketing style comminuques, referring to ‘personal tragedies’ (flagrant sexual perversion), ‘mistakes’ (flagrant financial obfuscation) and ‘errors of judgement’ (wholesale fraud) give testimony to the ever rising tide of institutionalised euphemism. Such statements now have little or no substantive meaning and ultimately could mean absolutely anything. The distancing from any ‘old fashioned’ principles, such as accountability and responsibility, could not be more effective. Indeed, one could be forgiven for feeling that these ‘events’ took place in some sort of vacuum and are not at all real in an every day sense.

I shall not bore for England on the MP expenses scandal....except to say, it is thoroughly demonstrative of just how remote MP's have become not only from their constituents, but the nation's values as a whole (assuming these are now even known?). And so to our ‘Broken Nation’. It is. Don't let any snivelling leftie tell you this is some Tory invention. The facts are plain to see. Second and third generations of the same family, unemployed and on benefits, devoid of any sort of role model as regards to a daily routine, nor, heaven forbid, discipline or a work ethic. This is a worrying trend that must be reversed, and soon. With between five and six million such people enfranchised to determine the composition of the next government, this is the same as asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. Given that Britain's constituencies can change hands courtesy of a small hand full of votes, this group is the most powerful, unwitting, unorganised slice of voters we have. Our future in their hands. Arsenic anyone? So the MP's expense saga drones on. Beware, for we may all well feel ‘serves them right’ that they have to pay it back, and in some cases, quite large amounts. But the point to remember here is that the retrospective nature of these levies works both ways: if MP's are made to reimburse money that was at no time either illegal nor contrary to the then prevailing rules, just think what they, as MP's, can do to us, if retrospective legislation becomes the norm? The EEC seem to be adopting this methodology for global personal taxation, so that what was not illegal suddenly becomes so. To me, this is the very thin end of an enormous wedge. Be warned. As I said earlier, it’s but seven months ’til the next General Election. If ever there was an election totally devoid of joy in victory, this one’s got to be it. The medicine this nation of ours needs to take is heinous. If Labour win, they will make some cuts, but in actuality, they’ll continue spending in time honoured tradition as though the consequences were for others to bear. Magically, we will be immunised from the basic precepts

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Notes from the Battlefront by A FAT CAPITALIST PIG in LEAFEY SURREY of economics. A magic Diamond American Express card, issued in the style of a Carlsberg advertisement: pay us back when you feel like it. Never mind that the pound will be worth four-fifths of sweet f *** all. If you think its bad now, it won’t be long before Cleethorpes will once again be England’s most favoured (and prestigious) holiday destination. The paradox is that under a new sanitised Tory Government, it will feel even worse. They've not told us the half of it because most of the country just will not vote for it. You think the average ‘bin dipper’ is going to vote away his generation long benefits? The Tories will cut public spending ruthlessly. They have to. In the past 12 years, the only job growth has been in the public sector, not private industry. That is why unemployment is rising so fast - it’s been mostly jettisoned from medium sized businesses that have been unable to cope with the recession. Discretionary spending has plummeted and with it, so have those companies. The lard laced public sector (can you imagine how much index linked pensions actually cost?) needs to be cut in half before this country has a hope in Hell of balancing its payments and reducing the debt that will cripple at least the next two generations if we do not deal with it right now. Happy? Well then, think about it....and vote. Don't waste the opportunity.

Christm Christmas mas Shopping Days @ The TheHairShop HairShop 20% of off ff All Luxury Luxu ury Hair Care e Pr Products oducts Mondayy & T Tuesday u uesday 2 & 3 16 & 17 No November ovember


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King Kong’s finger n. A turd large enough to flatten a car.

EDGEsnippets

BEAR NECESSITY This bridge is (apparently) on the Old Donner Pass Highway. It has a spectacular view of Donner Lake and Donner Pass on Route 80.

BEAR

This is a nice shot, sent in by the Roberts family of Galleywood of their daughters Emma and Rachel and their pet dog, Bonzo, on the beach at Thorpeness.

A bear was walking across Rainbow Bridge (Old Highway 40 at Donner Summit, Truckee) when two cars also crossing the bridge scared it shitless, so in a panic, it jumped over the side of the bridge.

SLEEPY BEAR

Ah, this looks novel. The ‘Modern Toilet’ restaurant ......obviously NOT available in Chelmsford, but let’s just take a look at what’s on the menu, shall we?

Somehow the bear managed to catch the ledge and pulled itself to safety. But the authorities decided that nothing could be done to help the poor thing that night, so they returned the following morning, only to find it sound asleep on the ledge (ahhhhhh, bless. Who’s a sleepy beary warey then, hmmmm?).

After securing a net under the bridge, the bear was tranquilized and then conveniently fell into the net (so it says here, readers, although The Edge reckons that, failing to lure it off the ledge with biscuits and honey, the rescuers probably had to prod it a bit with a right big stick, otherwise they’d have been hanging around all day long). But all’s well that ends well and the bear was eventually lowered to safety to once again roam free and terrorise the countryside by threatening the lives of hikers and ramblers alike with its gaping jaw sand massive paws and generally doing what bears do best - killing stuff and eating it.

Oh, YUMMEE! Why, it’s a dollop of some freshly imported ‘Bonzo Delight’. I dunno, they give us sushi and we give them a ‘chocolate whirl’. Doesn’t seem fair somehow, does it?

Kindly send your oddest photo’s to The Edge at shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

OH YEAH!


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Kit-Kat v. To stimulate a lady with four fingers at once.

DUBROVNIK

This is the old town (I do like the olde worlde parts of towns, don’t you, readers?) of Dubrovnik and if you ever get the chance to go there, then the best money you’ll spend is £7.50 on a ticket that allows you to walk all the way around the top of its defensive walls. The views are superb, particularly if you’re partial to terracotta roofs, like what I am (no, I am, titter ye not). The wife and I went on a day-trip on a coach with a 6:30am pick-up time from out hotel in Budva, because you’ve kind of got to, haven’t you? It’s like another little notch (though not necessarily on ones bed-post) whereby if Dubrovnik comes up in conversation, you can say, “Oh I, yes, I’ve been to Dubrovnik alright”....and just leave it at that. No-one has to know it was only for four poxy hours, do they? Possibly my biggest cock-up of all time was not visiting Florence when I was staying for a week in a house in Sienna, but then Sienna was that magnificent, I just couldn’t get enough of the place. However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it yet a-bleedin’-gain, nothing (as yet) even comes close to Rovinj (Croatia) as a marvellous old town to simply look at, admire and wander around in. No, not even Venice. Every other building’s a bloody restaurant or is trying to sell you overpriced fresh orange juice in Dubrovnik, whereas in Rovinj, there’s still plenty of what it originally was, and thank heavens for that.

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philosopher’s stone n. A turd that emerges after an hour’s intense concentration.

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YOUR letters

&

e-m@ils

CHELMSTURD

MISSING CURTAIN

Dear Edge, This is a mailshot from the hotel I spent my latest skiing holiday at. I presume they got my address from the guest register I completed on arrival. I had no idea my handwriting was so bad (see attached)! All credit to the Royal Mail for actually delivering it though. Best regards, Jeremy Lager. CHELMSTURD! The Edge absolutely loves it, Jeremy. It’s got such a lovely ‘ring’ to it, don’t you think? I can see the future now....Chelmsturd, twinned with SHITEHAWK in Germany. Vunderbar!

Dear Edge, I wonder if you can help? Someone has nicked one of our curtains. No, not a pair.....just the one. Colour: green. Regards, Pat Hill (on behalf of landlady Anne Martin), Sir Evelyn Wood pub, Widford Road, Chelmsford. Hmmm, looks a bit more turquoisey than green in the photograph you ever so kindly sent in, which I have now, you’ll be keen to learn, placed in the front window of ‘Edge Towers’ (facing outwards onto the street), a bit like one would display a Missing Cat or Pantomime poster to passers-by, by chance the mysterious cloth disappearance saga will be unravelled.

RAILWAY STATION COLLISION

to theedge! ***

CHELMSFORD, CM2 6XD. shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

Dear Editor, I wonder if any of your readers have shared a similar experience to me? At Chelmsford Railway Station, I dropped my daughter off to catch a train before driving through the arch beside The Cutting Station hairdressers towards where the taxis queue. At the time, there was no sign saying GIVE WAY, whilst any road markings were extremely feint and almost impossible to see. Furthermore, a driver’s critical view to the right to observe oncoming traffic is hindered by vehicles which are actually given permits to park and obstruct by National Rail.

EXCELLENT!

Whilst edging forwards at this exact point, an unsighted vehicle approached from the right and collided with my car. The taxi drivers who witnessed this told me that such occurrences happen regularly. Despite this news, National Rail refuse to accept any responsibility, despite numerous correspondence with them. So what I’d like to know is, who else has this happened to? Regards, Martin, Chelmsford. P.S. As you can see from the photograph, parked vehicles obscure the view of oncoming traffic, whilst the new road markings have ‘mysteriously’ appeared since the claim I made to National Rail. Well sir, good luck so far as any response from Edge readers goes. I know the exact point you mean, where you say another vehicle took your front end off, and you do have to be extremely vigilant of any traffic approaching from the right....as you have recently discovered to your cost.

HORRIFIED Dear Sir, Upon checking into a hotel recently, I said to the girl on the desk, “I trust the porn channel in my room is disabled?” I was horrified when she replied, “No, it isn’t. It’s regular porn, you sick bastard.” Regards, Alan Fisher Chelmer Village. Hmmmm, hotel room porn is a tricky one, Alan. It’s always better to carry around a selection of your own ‘sick’ DVDs with you.

WHY WOMEN LIVE LONGER THAN MEN Dear Edge, Here’s why!

Kerry Dale x Yes, Ms Dale, but is he or isn’t he getting the bloody job done?

STREET PARTY Dear Edge, Community spirit is alive and well in Old Moulsham! Yes, the Roseberry Road residents have shown this with their support for ‘The Big Lunch’ on Sunday July 19th. Only a handful of people are not attending (due to prior commitments). These aside, we're expecting up to 100 residents to turn out and all have lunch together and enjoy spending a little time with their neighbours who live in the very same street. You are most welcome to come along for a beer and a burger - in return for getting us a photograph into The Edge so that we can help encourage community spirit right across Chelmsford! McCartney's Estate Agent have kindly donated us the use of their blow-up footy goal for the day and we’ve also organised an adult bouncy castle, which should be fun. Plus two DJ's. Regards, Mark Jones. Do you know what, readers? The Edge thinks street parties are a great idea (providing you get on with your neighbours, that is), but Mark originally sent this email in to the mag way back on 7th July....only I forgot to publish it, or any of his follow-up emails, despite promising to do so! So Mark, you have my sincerest apologies, sir, and you did say that you were also considering having a mince pie and mulled wine street party at some point pre-Christmas, so please let The Edge know how that turns out, if indeed it happens, and I can always publish the results in, ooooooh, the April’10 editions!

ROSEBERRY ROAD STREET PARTY!


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period drama n. Moody and erratic behaviour of women at times of menstruation.

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Knight Meats Ltd. Knight Meats are local suppliers of high quality meat, poultry, game and delicatessen products to the trade. Years of experience, together with well trained, highly motivated staff working in an excellent environment means that you get exactly what you want: consistency.....time after time after time.

kingpin’s hot gentlemAn’s relish Lottie and I live next door to two good friends of ours, and every month or so, we have each other round for dinner and try to outdo the other couple's culinary talents a-la ‘Come Dine With Me’, reports The Kingmeister. It was on one of these occasions that I decided the after dinner cheeseboard should be accompanied by some home made chilli jam, and thus Kingpin's Hot Gentleman's Relish was born. Since then, my chilli jam has enjoyed some modest fame, to the point where people are now asking me to make it to order for them, which, I'm sure you can imagine, is both flattering and a total bloody nuisance. I've even been asked to make it for a charity event and was later informed that it sold like hot cakes, which pleased me no end - until I was reminded that I'd inadvertently helped a charity, and therefore my fellow man.

WOW! look at this bugger What if former Leeds United and England centre-half Jackie ‘the giraffe’ Charlton, brother of Bobby, was fishing naked (he likes fishing, does Jackie) and one of these things got hold of his todger? Just look at the size of it’s mouth! It’s gob is the widest part of its body (hoy, who said, “Just like a woman”? Come on, own up. The Edge won’t be a party to any sexual discrimination within its pages, you can be certain of that). I wish I had the skill to skin this fish, rip it’s guts out, cook it and eat it (OK, thinking about it, I can manage the last part, but that’s about it). That’d certainly show the slippery, spiky-toothed bugger who’s boss. But can I be arsed to take a course in H.E. at nightschool? Can I bollocks.

“where’s my dinner?”

Our illustrious editor is my next customer, which will, of course, be the true litmus test of my jam being half as good as I think it is, as we all know he won't hold back if it ends up giving him the trots, or even worse. In all seriousness, I'm really getting into the whole home-made produce thing and am planning to start making another batch real soon. So maybe, one day, you'll be seeing me with my very own ‘Kingpin's Jams & Chutneys’ stall at the Farmer's Market in Chelmsford on Fridays!

“Knight Meats play an integral part in the success of the restaurant and banqueting facilities within our hotel chain.” David Hart (Group Executive Head Chef, Elizabeth Hotels)

Unit 1, 29a Robjohns Road, Widford Industrial Estate, Chelmsford, CM1 3AG. Telephone: 01245 354167 Fax: 01245 354123 Email: knightmeatsltd@tiscali.co.uk www.knightmeats.com

O

GULSHAN Indian Restaurant & Take-Away

The recipe, which is now closely guarded alongside other state secrets by James Bond's older, harder brother, is actually of Australian origin, but I've tweaked and changed it over time to give it, what must be said, the perfect blend of sweetness and chilli kick. I've even gone so far as to buy my own jam jars and use my own labels, so the whole caboodle actually looks half-professional. Not so professional that I can charge for the bloody stuff, mind you, so I'm always out of pocket after cooking a batch up for friends and colleagues.

Suppliers to: BARDA, BARN BRASSERIE (Great Tey), THE BLUE BRIDGE (Writtle), BLUE STRAWBERRY (Hatfield Peverel), BISTROTHEQUE (London), FLASH (Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens), GRAHAMS ON THE GREEN (Writtle), IVORY ROOMS (Billericay), THE LION (Boreham), MASONS RESTAURANTS etc.

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fanny magnet n. That to which flange is inexplicably attracted, eg. Mick Hucknell.

ONLY JOKING! Car Trouble

A blonde pushes her BMW into a gas station. She tells the mechanic it just died on her. After the fella has worked on it for a few minutes, it is once again idling smoothly. "So, what's the story?" says the blonde. "Just crap in the carburettor," says the mechanic. “Oh,” says the blonde, "that’s a new one on me. How often do I have to do that?"

Birthday Present “The lesbians next door gave me a Rolex for my birthday,” says a happy chappy to his flatmate. “Very nice,” says his mate, “only are you certain they didn’t misunderstand you when you said, ‘I wanna watch’?”

Little Jimmy Little Jimmy was 7 years old and was staying with his Grandma for a few days. He'd been outside playing with the neighbour’s kid when he suddenly burst into the house and said, "Gran, what's it called when two people sleep in the same room together, one on top of the other?" Well, his Grandma was a little taken aback, but decided to explain to her beloved grandson all about the birds and the bees anyway. A few minutes later, little Jimmy rushed back into the house bright red and said angrily, "Grandma, it isn't called sexual intercourse at all. It's called bunk beds. And Jimmy's mum says she wants a word with you."

An Atheist in the Woods An atheist was walking through the woods one sunny day. “What majestic trees!” he said. “What powerful rivers!” “What beautiful animals!” Just then, as he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to find an eight foot grizzly bear rushing towards him, so he ran as fast as he could. When he looked back over his shoulder, to his horror, he saw that the bear was gaining on him and he could hear it growling and snarling.

to strike him. At that instant, the Atheist cried out, “Oh my God!” And time simply stood still. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Then a bright light shone upon the atheist and a voice spoke as if from out of the sky. “You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Yet do you now expect me to help you out of your little predicament?” The Atheist was absolutely stunned. “Well,” said the voice. “Am I now to count you as a believer?” The Atheist looked directly into the light and said, “Ahem, I think it would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian?” “Very well,” said the voice. And with that, the light went out, the sounds of the forest returned and the bear brought both its paws together, bowed its head and said, “For what I am about to receive, may the Lord make me truly thankful.”

Rolex & Timex A girl was visiting her blonde friend who had acquired two new dogs and asked her what their names were. The blonde replied that one was called Rolex and the other was called Timex. Her friend said, "Whoever heard of anyone giving their dogs names like that?" The blonde answered, "HELLLOOOOOOO...... they're watch dogs!"

Punch A man walked into his local surgery and punched the doctor in the face. The doc said, "Hoy, what the hell did you do that for?" The man shouted, "That's for saying my wife’s got a lovely fanny!" "No, no, Mr. Jones," the doctor said. "I think you'll find I told your wife she has acute angina."

Arnold Palmer An overzealous reporter told Arnold Palmer, "You are spectacular. Your name is synonymous with the great game of golf. You really know your way around a course. Tell me, what's your secret?" Palmer replied, "The holes are numbered."

Idle Chit-Chat A sadist, a masochist, a murderer, a necrophile, a zoophile and a pyromaniac were all sitting on a bench in a mental institution, bored out of their tiny minds. "How about having sex with a cat?" asked the zoophile. "Say, let’s have sex with a cat then torture it," said the sadist. "Why not have sex with a cat, torture it, then kill it," chipped in the murderer. "Now way!” said the necrophile. “We should have sex with a cat, torture it, kill it, then have sex with it again.” "OK, so why don’t we have sex with a cat, torture it, kill it, have sex with it again, then burn it," said the pyromaniac. Silence ensued. Everyone turned towards the masochist and said, "So, what's it gonna be?" The masochist went, “Meow!”

Girls’ Night Out Then he tripped and fell clumsily to the ground. He immediately rolled over to pick himself up, but saw that the bear was right upon him, reaching down for him with its left paw, raising its right paw

Two women friends got together for a girls’ night out. Both were faithful and loving wives. However, they’d definitely gotten a little overenthusiastic on the old Bacardi Breezer front.

Walking home incredibly drunk, they decided they needed to pee, so popped into the local graveyard. One of the women had nothing to wipe herself with, so she took off her panties and used them, before folding them carefully and placing them deep into one of her coat pockets. However, her friend was wearing a rather expensive pair of French knickers and didn’t fancy getting them soaked through with piss. But, as luck would have it, she realised she’d squatted down right next to a grave that had a wreath with a ribbon on it. So she removed the ribbon, wadded it together, and then proceeded to wipe herself dry with it. After they’d smoothed down their clothes, they hurried on home and thought no more about it. Next day, the husband of one of the women was concerned that his normally sweet and innocent wife was still lying in bed with a hangover from hell, so he ’phoned the other husband. He said, "These girls nights out are going to have to stop, mate. I'm starting to suspect the worst. My Sarah came home without any panties on last night." The other husband countered, "S’truth, that's nothing, mate. My Angela came home with a card stuck to her bum that said, 'From all the lads at the Fire Station. We'll never forget you.'"

Baby Luke A second grade teacher had been teaching for about fifteen years and liked to have ‘show-andtell’ sessions with her students, simply because she had always enjoyed them so very much when she was a child and was certain it helped kids to get over their shyness. Children would bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures they’d drawn, stuff like that, and she never, ever placed any boundaries or limitations upon them. “If you want to lug it into school and talk about it,” she’d always told them, ”you're most welcome”. One day, a little girl called Erica took her turn and waddled up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed underneath her sweater. She held up a snapshot of an infant and said, “This is Luke, my baby brother, and today I'm going to tell you about the day he first arrived. “First, Mum and Dad made him as a symbol of their love for each other. Dad put a seed in Mum's tummy and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.” The kids were hanging on her every word. “Then, about two weeks ago,” Erica continued, “my Mum starts going, 'Oh, Oh,Oooh!'” (she put her hands behind her back and started groaning). “She walked around the house like this for over an hour (and she did a hysterical ‘duck walk’ and carried on groaning). Dad ended up calling the middle wife who delivers babies, only she didn't have a sign on her car like the Domino's pizza man. But anyway, they got Mum to lie down in bed like this (and she lay down with her back propped against the wall) and pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept inside her in case baby Luke got thirsty, only it blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!” (Erica spread her legs and mimed with her hands as if water was flowing out of her.) “Then the middle wife started saying “push, push, push” and “breathe, breathe, breathe” and started counting, but never got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my baby brother, all covered in yucky stuff they said was from my Mum's playcentre, so there must be a lot of toys inside her. Then the middle wife spanked baby Luke for crawling up there, I guess.” Erica then took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat rather pleased with herself.

All jokes published are supplied by Edge readers. Please send your ‘egg yokes’ to shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


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own goal n. A fart that turns out to be more than just a fart and comes to rest in one’s undercrackers.

Wor kplace Dangers Bit gutted about this one, if truth be told. Well, it’s just not original enough, is it? Clearly those two cheeky orangutans that appeared on this page last month were always going to be a hard act to follow, but when you compare this (in the ‘Workplace Dangers’ series) with the bloke working on the saw wearing a pair of ‘comedy specs’ (July Edge) or the fella cycling about in the meat factory with hooks dangling everywhere (the month prior), well, it’s just far too tame by comparison, isn’t it? My own particular favourite of this series was definitely the first one; the ‘hom’, stood in the doorway with a cup of tea and saucer, watching the sweating plumber attempting to fix the pipe beneath his kitchen sink, showing off his ‘bulider’s bum et al (April Edge). Classic.


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nauticals rhym. slang. Piles. From nautical miles.

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nice Lollipop Lady You know that nice, colourful, lollipop lady who helps the kiddiwinkles across Victoria Road of a Monday morning to Friday afternoon? Well, I’ve just got back from using her services (you don’t have to be 3’ high to get seen safely across the road, y’know) and I kid you not, after she’d escorted all of the pedestrians to the other side of the road from that which they started, our poor Whoopi Goldberg lookalike was left stranded in the middle of the road as a woman driving a (yeah, you guessed it) BMW put her foot down and completely forgot about our poor lollipop lady needing to make her own way back to the safety of the curb. I’d have banned her for three months for that.

joan collins KNOBCOURT

Yeah, that’s precisely what I thought when I saw this court in Dubrovnik....what sort of a bloody game do you play on that bugger? Any ideas, readers? And since when has a court not been the same at both ends? Yep, the grand old game of Cockball has completely got The Edge stumped. In fact, it’s totally ‘bell-end’ our comprehension. Maybe J. K. Rowling is behind it and the court will feature in a brand new Harry Potter movie? If you readers have any ideas, please don’t hesitate to email knackers@theedgemag.co.uk

What a bloody cheek is ITV’s attempt to inform the nation that they need to be dressed by a sad old pompous trout like Joan Collins. The Edge can’t bloody abide that woman and fashion, as well as her total lack of acting ability, have always been low points on her CV.

THE SWAN INN @ HATFIELD PEVEREL The Street, Hatfield Peverel.

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X-FACTOR It’s hard not to know about the X-Factor when you’re married to Mrs Edge, believe me. Yet so far as I’m concerned, there can only be one winner: Danyl Johnson. What a voice. What’s more, the lad’s got confidence (even though he’s seemingly being penalised for having too much). In The Edge’s view, he’s a bit of a ‘good looking Lionel Ritchie’!

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lip reading v. Observing women in tight trousers as they walk towards you.

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ESSEX ‘IMAGE STUDIO’ Weddings from £275 - all areas covered -

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EDGE DVD REVIEW

In The Edge’s view, it’s alright. Yeah, I know.....what sort of a recommendation is that? Well, it simply means that it’s not that memorable a movie so for as this particular mag is concerned, but y’know, it’s certainly not a bad movie...whose full title is actually The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (just to clear matters up). Our Jesse was reckoned to have committed seventeen murders and suffered from chronic insomnia (a bit like The Edge’s Emily Breen, only minus the seventeen murders bit). He was also the most hated man in America (circa 1881). Jesse was the unquestionable leader of The James Gang, who held up trains in the dead of night and stuff, although the steadily mounting price on his head was proving far too tempting, even for his own subordinates, one of whom was Robert Ford, who you’d think, watching this movie, would have been just as happy to slip Jesse a length a la Brokeback Mountain style, just as soon as shoot him in the back of the head. It’s definitely a sombre little tale with not too much to laugh about, although apparently an exceptionally true-tolife account. Personally speaking, The Edge would far rather they’d chucked a few lies and car chases into the plot, just to liven things up a bit, a la Braveheart. However, some folk are calling this movie a classic? Personally speaking, I’ll still stick with me Appaloosa, thank you very much. So far as cowboy movies are concerned tho’, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Open Range with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall, which will hopefully be far more up The Edge’s back alley. All DVDs hired from BLOCKBUSTER in Springfield Road, Chelmsford.

FAULTY CAN-OPENER

Victor Meldrew

Kingpin writes about the stresses and strains of modern day life in his colon over the page this month, but surely there ain’t nothin’ more stressful than trying to open a tin of peach halves with a faulty can-opener? I mean, Jesus, did I swear....off-and-on for about a fortnight as I persevered with the bloody thing, taking about 5 minutes to open every sodding can. Now that’s what The Edge calls stress!

A proper Victor Meldrew I’m turning out to be in my ripe old age. Take meerkats, for instance. If I see another meerkat stood on its hind-quarters on my TV screen, I’ll put a bloody foot through it. And Bono. What a pillock. Why doesn’t he shut his stupid face? Just grow up, Bono, and act your age. Either that or piss off back to Ireland, you whining twat?


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JULF acronym. Jumped Up Little F***er, pushy twat.

BE CAREFUL

Be careful on Guy Fawkes Night, folks. It’s easy to say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re only fireworks,” but it’s gunpowder you’re dealing with, and you’ve surely seen what that can do in cowboy movies (blows open the doors of banks and stuff). I had a rocket explode not too far from my ear once, simply because I was behaving like an irresponsible twat. So honestly, DO TAKE CARE (you’re a long time deaf). Heaven forbid, what if you lost an eye? DON’T realise too late that you’re dealing with f ing explosives!

‘Tom Thumb’ Hotel

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This month I have mainly been learning all about the stresses and strains of modern life, and coming up with the sort of ‘lifestyle plan’ that, if anyone else had suggested it to me, I would probably have given them a well deserved expletive-filled-mouthful. Stress can be a really sneaky little bastard, particularly nowadays when we're all pretty much under its spell. I bet many of you were just like me in figuring that you got stressed every now and then, but a good few pints followed by a decent nights kip pretty much sorted it? Like me, you'd be wrong. And if you're also like me, in so much as you think you’re a manly man's man type of a man who'd rather drop down dead than actually admit when you're feeling ill, particularly if the ‘illness’ could in any way be construed as psychological in nature, then read on. As well as being a sneaky little shit, stress is also an attention whore who won't let you ignore it for long. After a while of you going on your merry way and disregarding that whiny little voice in your head, your stress will finally lose patience and start to give you physical symptoms to deal with as well, in the hope that you'll finally see what it's been shouting at you about all along. Obviously some of these symptoms are well known and relatively easy to diagnose, such as the classic stomach ulcer or high blood pressure. Others, however, can be harder to spot and range from random aches and pains to simply getting ‘a bit of a sweat on’ for no particular reason. In my own particular case, it’s been asthma, or more specifically, stress related asthma. When I finally admitted to myself that for the past 6 months I've been struggling for air (and breathing does come in pretty handy), I turned in my manly man certificate and visited the quacks. A battery of tests showed that my lungs and chest are still in fairly good nick, which is surprising considering the 20 a day habit I've had for the last 18-odd years (and yes, of course, I have taken this to mean that I'm immune to cigarettes). So, seeing as physically I am actually in much better shape than I realistically have a right to be, the sawbones reckoned my shortness of breath was a physical symptom of stress, and there really wasn't much he could do about it. Now, I know it's all psychological in so much as I'd obviously become accomplished at ignoring the symptoms, and after a while they pass and I simply carry on as normal. Sometimes I don't feel affected for a couple of weeks, whereas on other occasions, it's a few

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Johnny Cash n. A burning ring of fire.

THIS MONTH I HAVE MAINLY BEEN...

We're all constantly on call via mobile ’phones and text messaging, or just wankers from call centres ringing us up just as we’re about to put our dinner on the table. We've made life so bloody complicated and busy for ourselves that we never really get the opportunity to switch off anymore.

times every day and there really doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason to it.

Funnily enough, at times when I know I'm under a lot of stress, it rarely bothers me, probably because I'm too busy to think about it, whilst at others, it might hit me when I'm just lying in bed reading, or something.

I'm just as bad, if not worse, than most people for this. I've got about 8 internet discussion forums that I regularly post and debate on (read: argue and call people pricks). I also run an online gaming guild of 50 people from all over Europe which involves a hell of a lot of admin work for new applicants, and just putting out fires when existing members get into slanging matches.

writes Kingpin

While ignoring the symptoms works up to a point, it's not dealing with the root causes, which are namely the stresses I have in my day-to-day life. I'm sure that most of you, just like me, would answer the question: "What causes you the most stress?" with that awful four letter word: "Work." But there really isn't much we can do about stress at work, and for all of their protestations to the contrary, most companies really couldn't give a shit about how much stress they put you under every day of our working lives. But, while I'm sure work is undoubtedly the biggest cause of stress for most of us, we shouldn't let that blind us to the literally dozens of other things in our lives that can truly stress us out. These days, the problem is that most of us are under some form of stress pretty much 24/7, so we tend to think that it's normal and just get on with it. Another thing is that we don't even realise certain things are exacerbating our stress levels, so we make no attempt to cut them out; or even if we do know, we imagine we couldn't get on without such things, as that's just the way modern life is. Human beings aren't really designed to multi-task. We're honestly not that far gone from our only duties in life being: "find food, eat food, build hut, screw cavewoman, eat more food, kill something, have more cavewoman sex" etc. That was pretty much our lives in a nutshell for millions of years, so our brains are still hardwired to work at that level. These days, however, we've got to remember 5 different account numbers, 20 different passwords to various email addresses, online banking or internet forums. We've got information being blasted at us from a hundred different sources. We have to remember to log onto Twitter or Facebook and keep in touch with the 150 ‘friends’ we seem to have accrued over the years.

I'm an absolute information junkie, subscribing to at least half-a-dozen news feeds that stream all the mayhem of the modern world straight to my iPhone. I want to know what's going on all the time, and I want to know right bloody now, thank you very much! All in all, I probably have quite a bit of this self inflicted stress in my life, so I've decided to see if I can cut a lot of it out. So, in the spirit of experimentation, I'm going to be saying ‘bollocks’ to the modern world for a whole month in order to see if I really can wind down a bit more. Whilst I can't do anything about stress at work (and believe me, I’ve tried to argue my case for a whole month off, but that dog was never gonna hunt), from 4.30pm each day I'm going decidedly low-tech for the next 30 days. There'll be no internet, no forums or news feeds, or social bloody networking. My mobile ’phone will also be switched off unless I particularly want to speak to someone, and I'm not even going to look at missed calls or listen to voicemails. So, rather than actively seeking out what self-inflicted calamities the human race has become ensnared in, or who's killed, screwed or robbed who, I'll be turning the news off and ignoring both current affairs and world events, and I'm quite sure humanity will find it easy enough to keep on merrily getting into trouble without me keeping tabs on it all for a while. As well as the internet, I'll be doing my damnedest to ignore all of the traditional sources of news and (dis)information

as well, so there'll be no newspapers or TV either, and that includes regular programmes as well, so I won’t be bombarded with grinning, soulless automatons trying to sell me shit in between. While I'm going as low-tech as possible for a month, certain things will, of course, be allowed, as a month without my iPod or PS3 would definitely be far too stressful, though I do plan to spend more time catching up on my reading and my writing than playing on my PS3. I've also got a program of both regular exercise and specific stress relieving exercises that I plan to do every day. (No, not that sort of stress relief exercise). These include meditation, breathing exercises, and something called total muscle relaxation, and I'm genuinely looking forward to getting into these. I've warned friends and family that I'll be basically incommunicado for a whole month and it'll be interesting to see how other people manage without having me available on text or email 24/7. This isn't to say that they can't live without speaking to me a few times a day, but nowadays we all take it for granted that people are only a few keystrokes away at all times. I'll also be interested to see if trying to de-stress by cutting myself off from my normal day to day routine will actually cause me stress. I'm actually really looking forward to having a complete about face in my life for a month, but I'm apprehensive as well. What calls/messages/texts will I miss? Will it be anything important, and will I miss out on something really good while I'm ensconced in my living-room with a good book? I usually take the view that ‘good news can wait and bad news won't go away’, but this is an easy maxim to live by when you know that your ’phone is on and in your pocket all day long, so maybe it will be a lot different when I know I probably am missing out on whatever's going on in the outside world? Most people I've told about this have immediately said that I won't last a week, but even abject failure in such an experiment will be quite interesting, I feel. So, next month, I'll let you know how it all went, whichever way that was - unless, of course, a total lack of access to Google sends me insane. Who knows? If it works, and going lowtech and under the radar really does make me a calmer, more relaxed person, then maybe I'll actually have a stab at getting my survivalist commune in Montana up and running for medical reasons? So this is Kingpin signing off for a whole month. See you again in December!


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jiggery pokery n. Shenanigans, assorted sexual goings on.

Danger To Public Whilst flipping TV channels, I saw a segment of a programme called ‘Brighton Beach Patrol’. Two police officers were in a multi-story car park dealing with the mess left by homeless drug users sleeping rough each night. One officer said to the other, "We never had this problem when the car park had an attendant. Now we don't have an attendant, we have this problem." The officer then said, "These needles are a real danger to the public; I don't know what could be done to solve this problem." Answers on a postcard to: ‘I haven't a f cking clue, * Brighton Police, etc. etc.

Freedom of Speech At the time of writing, the BBC has invited an MEP to take part in ‘Question Time on the BBC; nothing remarkable about that, except the MEP is Nick Griffin of the BNP. The anti-fascist league plan to blockade the BBC to stop Nick Griffin speaking on this programme. We do not know for sure that the BNP are fascists, even though we strongly suspect it. The anti-fascist league want to stop Nick Griffin from speaking; they do not want us to engage the BNP in conversation and debate. Conversation and debate. That's one of the things that separates a civilised, open and free society from a totalitarian regime. Apparently, only the anti fascist league's views should be heard. So, we have established that the anti fascist league do not believe in freedom of speech (except their own). Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't denying your political opponents the opportunity to express their opinions one of the defining features of a fascist regime? I think it might be. I seem to recall that Hitler was fond of banning all opinions bar his own. So, are the anti-fascist league actually fascists? They seem to tick all the right boxes on the application form. Nick Griffin may be a fascist (allegedly), but he does appear to have at least one good quality; he's not a

thief. He hasn't, to my knowledge, been stealing from us (the tax payers) - sorry, ‘claiming expenses’ - like the dishonest parasites that infest the House of Commons, many of whom also seek to deny him the same rights of free expression that they enjoy. I do not support the BNPs views; however, I do support their right to express them.

Postal Strike The answer is simple - I've said it before and I'll say it again: increase the price of a first class stamp to £1, then the post office will have the funds to deliver the service we both need and deserve. £1 would still be incredible value for money. Think about. No, I mean really think about it. I can post a letter in Chelmsford and it will be in Glasgow the following day. How else am I to get it there? Drive it there in my car? Take it on a train? Stand beside the M25 with a sign saying: ‘If anyone’s going to Glasgow, would you mind pulling over and taking this letter up there for me?’ We need to pay a more realistic price for our postal service.

Frinton I was in Frinton recently for a nice Autumn stroll along the beach. However, the horizon was spoilt by a hideous eyesore - the wind farm. To make matters worse, the f cking ugly thing was not even working, * despite a strong wind. What an absolute waste of time, effort and money these things truly are. The greens claim that they reduce our carbon footprint. Carbon footprint? What's that (apart from an overused and irritating buzzword)? "Look out, you've left dirty footprints all over the kitchen floor." "Oh,sorry, love. I must have trod in some carbon on my way home from work." If the greens had their way, we wouldn't be on our way home from work at all, because, according to them, all travel is evil. Climate change (another overused and irritating buzzword): the climate is changing; the world is warming up, .005 of a degree since 1934 (or whatever figure the greens are using this week).

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“If we're not careful,” they wail, “we'll have a climate like the South of France.” Oh my God. Heaven forbid. A climate like the South of France? We must do all we can to avert the catastrophe. Otherwise we'll suffer the terrible climate those poor devils in Provence have to endure. You know, waking up to blue skies and sunshine every day; long warm evenings etc. It may have escaped the greens notice, but a few million years ago, most of this planet was covered in ice. The earth warmed up, without the help of humans. If it had not, we would all be living like Eskimos. Maybe these arrogant idiots should consider that fact. Anyway, the greens should take a more positive outlook and welcome the climate change they predict; anything to improve the dull grey weather we endure in this country. We could even grow oranges instead of cabbages.

The Grumpy Goose

Shock Horror Local Headline ‘Five year old walks home from school.’ Wow! It's a miracle. A five year old managed to walk ½ a mile along a footpath in a housing estate from his school to his house, along a familiar and well travelled route; in broad daylight and in fine weather. His mother was at home at the time and said, "Imagine if I hadn't been at home? Why, anything could have happened." I've never heard of anything as dangerous and hazardous as a five year old walking along a footpath. Instead, the child should be wrapped up in cotton wool and confined in his bedroom until he is middle aged and no longer of the right mind to be engaging in such reckless behaviour.


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ICBM acronym. Modern day state-of-the-art trouser weaponry; Inter C

tinental Ballistic Missile. **

FIFTY...

...NOT OUT! Egalitarianism

BVSC9Ă&#x20AC;a<][O\cTOQbc`S`

Despite harbouring a fondness for what Pele described as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the beautiful gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, this column has not often dwelt too long on the subject. Although a great many people share Pele's view, there are an equal number - and not all of them female - that can't see the point in grown men chasing a ball. Of course, if they are just chasing the ball, it's a fairly low level of football that's going on, but that's not the point. Incidentally, it's obvious Pele had never watched a Sam Allardyce team, or he might just have been a little bit more reticent about using words like â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;beautifulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the point either.

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What is the point, and it illustrates just how much the game can come to mean to its followers is the reaction to Manchester City's sudden influx of Arab money. The club has been bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Shakey henceforth) who has poured vast amounts of cash into hoovering up all available talent at vastly inflated prices. An exact replication of the modus operandi of Chelsea ten years ago when Abramovich arrived on the scene. Predictably, the spending power has had a huge effect on the profile of Manchester City amongst football fans, but not in a nice way. From being just a mid-table team that nobody took any notice of, they have instantaneously become everyone's favourite hate club. That was Chelsea's undisputed title for a long while, and it has to be said they're still not very lovable even today, but as City are even richer, the West London wide-boys must now play second fiddle. Although naked hatred is a perfectly understandable reaction under the circumstances, if you look a little deeper, there are some interesting socio-political angles to this - and that's probably the first time that 'interesting' and 'socio-political' have been used in the same sentence anywhere, let alone The Edge. To explain that somewhat pompous statementâ&#x20AC;Ś.. Think of the most famous Manchester City fans - the Gallagher brothers. Now think back to Cool Britannia and how Tony Blair invited them to Number 10. When the Gallaghers

were accused of selling out and hobnobbing with the establishment, they made a huge thing of verifying their credibility by saying it wasn't the Prime Minister per se they were patronising, but a LABOUR PM. In other words, despite the vast piles of cash they now possessed, they were still lefties at heart, and wanted everyone to know it. Given that Manchester isn't in Surrey, and that it's still just about true that the vast majority of football fans come from working class roots, it's a reasonable assumption that the voting pattern amongst City supporters would have a fairly socialist leaning. Actually, having mentioned Surrey and Manchester in the same sentence, but not the word United, perhaps that last sentence needs some added explanation. Manchester United are a special case, exempt from all the normal rules that govern football clubs, be that on the pitch or off it. Let's just say that the last time they were at Wembley, the majority of their supporters had Oyster cards and packs of prawn sandwiches. Say no more. But back to the sky blue half of Manchester. What should be the reaction of a right-on Labour voting City fan when Shakey came calling, pushing a â&#x20AC;&#x2122;barrow loaded with cash? Well, what it should have been was creeping discomfort. Having all that money shouldn't sit well with people brought up to think that we're all equal, the rich should help the poor, and society must look after the weakest amongst us. That's what it should have been. What it was, of course, was completely the opposite - unbridled greed. Robinho? Yeah, whatever it costs. Gareth Barry? Yeah, whatever it costs. Tevez? Yeah, whatever it costs. Bring it on, let's have 'em all. Even John Terry, a one club man if ever there was one, was subjected to consistent pressure and outright bribery in an effort to prise him away from Chelsea. Where are your left wing credentials now, Manchester City fans? Gone down the tubes, along with any semblance of dignity, that's where they are. Do you care that Bolton can't afford to buy some Championship players, much less the superstars now sitting on your subâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bench? Hell, of course not. Who wants equality when you can be richer than everyone else, and just maybe win something for the first time since flared trousers were flapping around Liam and Noel's dad's legs? Which kinda reinforces a basic trait of the human being; that we're all for equality until such time as we are more equal than everyone else. At that point, different emotions take over and self-interest becomes the most important thing of all. It's human nature, and no amount of social engineering is ever going to change that. Which is a crying shame, of course, but that's how it is. Which is why all football fans now hate Manchester City.

steveward2000@hotmail.com


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Howard’s Way rhym. slang. Gay. From the shit BBC TV drama.

3JOKE days WITHOUT INTERNET or email CONNECTION Honestly readers, that’s what I’ve just had to endure and I literally felt like topping myself. I just couldn’t cope. So you’re welcome to your sabbatical, Kingpin (see page 30)!

there, i fixed it! Swarfega HEAVY DUTY

Here’s Colin and Chris of C&C Autos (they’ve looked after every Edgemobile for the past 10 years) modelling a brand new tub of lovely Swarfega, and when I saw it, I had that sudden urge to get me ’ands straight in there, even though they were perfectly clean (Swarfega does that to a bloke, folks). But did you know that Swarfega was first registered as a trademark in 1947? The unusual name was simply formulated - ‘swarf’ was the name used in industry for the grimy mix of oil and metal fillings which spoiled hands rotten and which every worker in the land was eager to be rid of. It was the first hand cleaner of its type in the world and motor mechanics (aka grease monkeys....sorry boys) in particular lapped it up (Colin and Chris still do). But the important breakthrough for inventor Audley Bowdler Williamson was that large industrialists, such as the armed forces, National Coal Board, Steelworks, railways, shipbuilders and car manufacturers, all became valued customers ordering huge quantities of the stuff. Swarfega became a ‘winning product’ almost overnight, and how very lucrative that must have been for it’s inventor, the lucky bastard.

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gynaecolumnist n. Female journalist. eBay yet now drives a Ferrari, whereas the other kids, like you and me, grew up and spent the rest of our lives buying crap in the pursuit of happiness. Everyday, 8.5 million people log onto eBay and buy something. That’s a whole lot of junk being traded around the world every single day. An Australian Woman ebayed her entire life and got twenty grand for it. I think I’d have trouble getting twenty quid for mine. Who’d want someone else's dreary life anyway?

DEAL or NO DEAL? I've spent the whole month trying to declutter my life and It's not easy, I tell you. Everywhere I look, every cupboard I open, is full of crap that I’ve bought at some time or other, in the pursuit of happiness. Shoes that have never seen the light of day, clothes and make-up that screamed ‘Buy me! Buy me!’ when I first spotted them, all with the unwritten, unsaid promise that they would somehow transform my life. I lay the blame for our generation having so much needless clutter in our lives firmly at the door of that spiv Noel Edmonds'. He should be dragged out into the streets and flogged for the misery he has heaped upon us all. Noel Edmonds spouting on and on about his cosmic ordering and those orbs of light that supposedly follow him around, when all I've got, thanks to him, is credit card debts following me around. Yes, of course it’s his fault for the financial mess we find ourselves in today. It’s not Gordon Brown's fault; it's that twit Noel Edmonds who’s gotten us into this mess and oh how I’d like to put him into the Gunge Tank. In the 1970s, he wasn't content to sit on Radio One playing music. Oh no, he had to pop up behind the Multicoloured Swap Shop desk with his little trimphone (do you remember them?), from whereupon he set about single handedly brainwashing a whole nation of children into today's eBay addicts, all amassing more and more rubbish the longer they live. These days, no-one’s ever happy to settle for what they’ve got when they can trade-up and swap for something better. I mean, he’s still at it even now with Deal or No Deal, where the player closes their eyes and crosses their fingers in the hope of gaining something better. Do you remember his partner in crime, Cheggers (where’s he now by the way?), who traipsed around the country with his cheerful smile and his outside broadcasting van, only to turn up on some poor kid's doorstep and persuade the little starstruck unfortunate to swap their cherished Raleigh Chopper for a Mastermind game. I bet the poor child gave his parents hell once the cameras had left and he found himself trapped indoors with a game no-one could give a hoot about. No doubt the smug kid who got the bike ended up becoming one of those millionaires who started off selling key rings on

When I was growing up, the closest we got to eBay was the local jumble sale at the church hall to raise money for a new roof. I always used to go with my Nan on a Saturday afternoon. We’d queue for hours to be first in line with a flask of tea and some crisp sandwiches (child abuse, hey?) and as soon as the doors opened, she and the rest of the pensioners would fight tooth and nail to rake over all the rubbish. The pushing and shoving that went with it, and the scuffles that broke out, could give today’s cage fighters a right old run for their money. She’d grab armfuls of stuff and pass it all back to me with all the honed skills of a prop forward, whilst I was expected to hold onto it for dear life until she had time for a good sort out later on. Then she’d haggle with the poor church warden over the price of it all. The poor man used to shake with fear when those pensioners set about him as the most my Nan was ever willing to pay for anything was 5p and she’d call the church wardens thieves and crooks if they tried to charge her any more. My favourite bit was always afterwards when we’d sit at the tea urn and eat all the WI homemade cakes. My Nan would be eyeing up the other OAPs and cursing them rotten if they’d collected any more tut than she had. I once lugged a whole set of encyclopedias and a sideboard home, with my Nan following gamely at the rear pushing a pram laden with other people's cast-offs. When we eventually got home, World War III almost broke out as my Dad broke off from watching Grandstand to scream blue murder at my Nan for showing us up in front of the whole street, whilst my Mum would make a hastily retreat into the garden on the pretext of pruning the roses and spreading the myth to the neighbours on either side of the fence that my Nan was collecting in order to give to some good cause or another. According to my Dad, all the furniture was bound to be riddled with woodworm anyway, which would spread to the floorboards of our house so that we’d end up homeless. I spent many a night staring at the furniture my Nan had acquired, waiting for a worm to appear so’s I could bash it and save our home from rack and ruin. I also vividly remember Harvest Festival time when we’d line boxes with crepe paper and use it as an excuse to get rid of all of the out-of-date food lurking at the back of our cupboards. There’d be tinned peaches, frankfurters in brine, sardines, packet soup, and from out of nowhere a marrow would appear to compliment the box to be donated to some old person or other. No doubt the pensioner receiving it would be thinking ‘no more bloody tinned peaches and marrow, please’. So if you see me shivering at the Boot Fair next weekend in Boreham, trying to offload my junk to some other poor unfortunate, please come and help me out.

Tracie123@aol.com


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