P&J Column for 14.10.13

This week, a bit of the roof fell off the Toon’s Hoose. Was anyone else surprised to hear it wasn’t the wheels?

Ron Cluny, Council Spokesman

The usual collection of trouble-makers and besmirchers have been enjoying themselves this week following the news that a piece of metal fell from the Town House roof, narrowly missing a pedestrian.  Had the slates been damaged by all the hot air constantly flying up into its rafters, one wag asked.  Had Barney Crockett resorted to stealing the lead off our own roof in order to balance the budget?  Oh, do stop it.  Stop it, for the sake of my aching sides.

The simple truth of the matter is that such unfortunate incidents, while obviously concerning, could happen to any respectable proprietor, regardless of how well they have maintained their property.  Those who would seek to mock this authority by making light of this misfortune insult the intelligence of the electorate and succeed only in demeaning themselves.  We take a responsible and serious view of such matters, and as Council spokesman, I am happy to confirm that we have written to the unfortunate lady who suffered the near miss.  In that letter we have blamed the whole unfortunate incident on Alex Salmond.  I do not see how we could have been expected to do more.

Tim Bee, the conscientious objector

If there’s one thing I object to above all others, it is change for change’s sake.  Yet again the good people of the North-East are being subjected to discrimination by the bullying powers that be – this time through our telephone area code.  All around the nation people can dial local numbers without the misery and inconvenience of being required to tap out the area code, but as of next October, we in Aberdeen are to be stripped of that inaliable right.  Incredibly, we are to be forced to waste precious time adding “01224” every time we so much as want to order a pizza or phone the doctors about that strange and worrying rash. Well I object.  Just like I objected when they added the extra ‘1’ in 1983. 

My objection is not based solely on the point of principle that is at stake here, nor the considerable personal inconvenience I will suffer. Think of the thousands of phone calls made by those working in the oil industry in the ghettoised ‘01224’ area.  Each and every one of these phone calls will now take, by my calculations, 3.2 Seconds longer than they currently do which, one assumes, can only result in a massive drop in productivity. 

I may have objected to these oil companies drilling in the North Sea.  I may have objected to each and every one of their office developments.  But I fundamentally object to them delivering anything less than ruthless efficiency. 

As for me, I do not have the time to dial an extra 5 digits every time I make a phone call.  This unnecessary pfaffing about will eat into my busy, busy schedule of complaining about things.  In fact, I’ve worked out that the delay will cost me as much as 14 complaints per week!  Cynics will no doubt wonder what all the fuss is about and suggest we make use of our “speed dial” function.  It may surprise you to learn that I object to the use of speed dial too.  Shortcuts like that are the reason for the country’s obesity crisis!

Davinia Smythe-Barrat, Ordinary Mum

It has been a tough week in the Smythe-Barrat household.  Our Aberdeen one, that is – our Chateau in the Loire Valley looks divine at this time of year!  Things got rough when the wind got up on Wednesday.  One of the neighbours’ gastly trampolines was poorly anchored at best and took off during a particularly violent gust.  As any ordinary Mum would, I take great pride in the finely manicured topiary that adorns our Griselinia littoralis border Hedge, especially the life-size effigies of Germaine Greer and Nelson Mandela! We had Mellors the groundskeeper, attend a month long course at Kew Gardens to hone his skills with the secateurs.  Then the whole lot was ruined by a garish concoction of metal, springs and polypropylene.  Naturally I rang 999, but those fascists at Police Scotland chastened ME for wasting their time?!  Not an emergency? Then I’d like to know what is.

That was bad enough, but it was nothing compared to the devastating news that our favourite little famly-run tea room, the Marcliffe at Pitfodels, is set to close next year!  This put me in a black mood, one that even my weekly yoga nidra session couldn’t shift.  I’m not sure what the reasons are behind the decision but I was very disappointed by local media coverage.  They were focussing on the impact the closure would have on the staff!  What about me and all the other ordinary mums who pop in for a weekly coffee, catch-up and spa treatment?  The loss of local amenities like this puts strain on all normal, hardworking families, who are forced to travel increasingly far and wide to find equivalent facilities. As of next year my chums and I will have no option but to make regular trips to Stobo Castle!