A BIT OF THIS AND A BIT OF THAT
Hospitals - places you go to catch something
It was once the case - and I know you'll find this hard to believe -
that hospitals were 'institutions for the treatment of the sick or
injured'. Nowadays it seems to be the case that you go to a hospital
to catch something that will either make you ill, very ill, or kill you. So
prevalent are hospital-acquired infections that the NHS is
considering trialling a traffic light system.
'If the Met Office can have a traffic-light system,' said a
doctor in the hospital canteen
where he had the same clothes that he wore when treating ill folk, 'then why can we not have
The system is expected to work like this:
YELLOW - There is a good chance that you'll pick up some sort of
vomiting bug. All cleaners should deploy the brush.
ORANGE - You are certain to pick up some bug that will eat bits of
you. All cleaners should deploy the Big Brush.
RED - Strong chance of death. It's probably 50/50. All cleaners
should deploy two Big Brushes and one of those nice multi-coloured
I have a hair in my toilet
that curls around and around,
Perhaps it believes it is a rope
tethered to the ground.
It may think it secures a sailing-ship
at the edge of an emerald sea,
So I wouldn't wish to disturb it,
And I'm going to let it be.
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A new system of weather alerts has appeared from somewhere. It
follows on from research that revealed some issues with regard to
weather forecasts on the TV.
'Some people in Scotland,' said a spokesperson, 'were unable to
recognise the cloud image that we use in our daily weather bulletins
that follow the News. Some folk thought it represented a field of sheep.
It was the same with the wind-strength figures. Many viewers thought
they represented the price of apples. To alleviate further problems
we have devised a new system.'
The new system is based around traffic lights, with three basic colours
indicating specified degrees of warning. The colours and warnings are as
This means there will be some weather.
There will be a little more weather than normal.
There will be a significant increase in the amount of
expected weather. HIDE UNDER THE DUVET!
Streets of Shame
Wander through the impoverished back streets of Glasgow on the day
that large items of furniture and other unwanted household waste is
to be picked up, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were
cavorting through streets in a Third World country. In fact, wander
through the impoverished back streets of Glasgow most days of the
week, and you'd probably find the same.
I was making my way through Govan a few weeks ago, and was quite
astonished at the amount of rubbish and discarded household items
that littered the streets of the whole area. I suppose you could
suggest that there were a few mitigating factors, in that it was
probably the day that households were meant to put unwanted stuff
out for uplift by the council. And, there was a strong wind the
night before which probably blew things around. But the truth of the
matter is that most streets in the poorer areas of Glasgow look like
this most of the time. It's, frankly, unbelievable what people think
they have to put up with. No wonder so many folk drink alcohol to
drown their sorrows and blot out the reality of living in what is
nothing but a coup.
There's got to be a better method of dealing with refuse. This
current system is disgraceful. I know that folk sometimes put stuff
out when they shouldn't, and that other folk just dump stuff
anywhere they please, but this system is not working. And the sooner
the Cleansing Department management come up with a more human system
worthy of the Second City of the once great British Empire,
the better for us all.
SCOTRAIL IS TO offer travellers instruction on the correct method of
sliding into a table-seat.
'We felt' said a spokesperson, 'that it was important to fully
prepare our customers for their journey, and slotting yourself into
a table-seat is very much a part of that process. We want travelling
to be an enjoyable experience, and to enhance it we are offering
workshops on Contortionism.
All enquiries should be made to Scotrail's
THE SCOTTISH REFERENDUM ballot paper is now to include extra
'We simply wish to give the Scottish people more choice,' said an
SNP spokesman. 'Which is why we're asking if they prefer Sherbert
Lemons or Kola Cubes, American Cream Soda or Limeade, gravy with
their haggis or not, brushes or flossies, wee dogs or big dogs,
umbrellas or raincoats, grey clouds or white clouds, and if they
think a law should be passed to control teeth-brushing.'
CASH-FOR-CACK - Glasgow City Council is trialling an innovative
method of dealing with the mountains of dog mess that coat the
city's residential streets. They plan to open up a range of shops
all over the city, and will offer members of the public an
opportunity to take part in cleaning up the streets in their own
area. Called 'CASH-FOR-CACK', the shops will give 50p for every
kilogram of dog mess brought into the shops. 'We'll clean up the
streets, one way or another,' said a councillor.
The world of train tickets in Scotland is a green and leafy one that
could probably be rightly termed 'a jungle'. For in that complex
place of offers and discounts and
(what - you didn't know there was a special discount for rail
travellers who wore a flower in their hair?) only the strongest
survive. And it shouldn't be like that. It is discriminating against
folk who might not be totally on the ball with regard to electronic
gadgetry and things that go 'bleep'. Some folk, for example, might
like to just go to a railway station and buy a ticket from a man
behind a sheet of Perspex.
There was a reader's letter in The Herald back in January that told
of the disparity that exists within the system. An off-peak return
ticket (where no flowers in the hair were involved) between
Glasgow's Queen's Park and Perth cost £27.20. And yet if that person
bought two separate tickets, one from Queen's Park to Glasgow and
another from Glasgow to Perth, he would save £9.10. The response
from Scotrail's customer services was to be fobbed off with the old,
'It's your responsibility to check' ruse.
There is no good reason why Scotrail cannot go through all the
ticket prices and destinations in Scotland and get rid of these
pricing inconsistencies. And from what I can see, the only reason
they are not doing so is because they really don't care. Which kinda
makes me wonder if they are fit to operate trains in this country.
The Inconsistencies of Rail Travel
Scotrail - The Last Dinosaur
Forgive me if it appears that I hurl abuse at Scotrail on too many
occasions, but on too many occasions I find this Scottish rail
company to be indescribably and unbelievably inept.
Take, for example, a little jaunt between Hyndland station in
Glasgow and Milngavie recently. It was just a train journey. How
many inept things can one possibly come across on such a short
■ New 'automatic' door at Hyndland ticket office appears to offer a
level of complexity that few travellers can master. One, it doesn't
appear to be greatly automatic as you stand there waving your arms
and waggling your ears to get the thing to open. Two, if you're
standing inside browsing the leaflet stand and the door opens, it
gives you a thick ear.
■ New toilet 'box' on Hyndland platform, an all singing, all dancing
affair whose door just doesn't open. One presumes it is there for
■ On the train... the visual display that tells you what train you
are on and what station you are approaching had us approaching
Bearsden long after we'd left Bearsden and were in fact approaching
■ Toilet locked at Milngavie station. To use it you have to ask for
a key and show your ticket to prove that you are a legitimate
toilet-needing train traveller and not some suspicious toilet-user
who might only pretend to be a traveller so as to pee.
The unfortunate thing about most of these things is that electronic
gadgetry is involved, much of which clearly does not work as well as
it should. The exception is, of course, the final point, where the
barrier was merely a man doing his job and trying to prevent
non-travelling pee'ers and poopers from using his toilet. I have it on good authority that Scotrail is to begin trials of a system that will see rail
travellers who present themselves as needing the toilet X-rayed to
ensure that their bladder is sufficiently expanded to merit the
energy expenditure required for the ticket office person to reach
out his arm and give you the toilet key.
think you are?
Don't make me laugh.
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