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The GOS gets lots of emails from readers, often with some very cogent points to make. Most are too short to make a whole Grumpy Page, so he has selected a few and put them together ….

From Father Jack …
As a young man in the early sixties I had occasion to fly about in helicopters quite a lot as part of my job. I was told then, that it cost about £1,000 an hour to keep one of these machines in the air. It must be considerably more expensive now.
Then why is it that when there is a "breaking news story" some young floozy journalist with nothing better to do is told "Go grab a helicopter and give us a ten- second piece from a thousand feet above the disaster scene"?
All we see is a shot of the floozy turned round from the front seat to face the cameraman in the back. It adds nothing to the news story except expense. A case in point was the dreaded dead swan in Scotland recently . Not only unnecessary helicopter flights for floozies, but good old George Alagiah standing forlornly on a deserted coastline with not a bird in sight, dead or alive. All the locals were indoors in the warm.

From J*** T*****
You know what really gets up my nose? It's them wot mauls the English Langwidge. Most of them have GCSE grade A in the wretched subject (My dog's got that - GOS) but still insist on suffixing every sentence with "Y'know, like?"
The conjunction 'so' pops up in the most inappropriate context, e.g. " I am so not going to wear that!" - very fashionable lately. Likewise abbreviations, like A.S.A.P. We all know that this means 'as soon as possible'. This (sometimes) useful expression has been simultaneously lengthened and abbreviated to 'as soon as'. As soon as what?
9/11 is a misnomer as the terrorist attack occurred on the 11th September, not 9th.November. Also, might I suggest we expunge '24/7', '0% interest', 'for free', 'in-store', 'pro-active' (I still don't know what that one means), 'faith system' (it used to be called religion), and 'water supply event' (it's a burst water pipe).
As I appear to have the bit between what's left of my teeth, there are a few government ministers I'd like to expunge, berate, admonish, strangle etc., when they pronounce 'comparable' placing the stress on the second syllable, and 'irrevocable' with the stress on the third. A certain schools' minister has committed this heinous crime on numerous occasions. Reference is made to the Metropolitan Pleess and the Home Seckertry.
The GOS says: Then there's George Bush's "nucular weapons". My personal bκte noir is the excessive use of the word "now" in TV advertising. "Buy it NOW!", they yell. "Order yours NOW!" "They're in the shops NOW!" "Yes," I say quietly and patiently to myself, "we all know they're in the shops now. That's why you're telling us about them. If they'd been in the shops three weeks ago, you'd have told us about it then. And if they weren't going to be in the shops until 2008 you wouldn't be going on about it in 2006 ……. unless you were a complete wanker, of course."

From Father Jack
How many times have we seen women asked on TV "What do you hate most about men?" and heard them reply "They never put the toilet seat down when they've finished!"? Who in this insane world gave them the idea that the "proper" position for a toilet seat is the down position?
In my house there is a very fair division of labour - when I wish to use the loo I raise the seat, and when Herself visits the loo she lowers it.
The GOS says: Couldn't agree more. We have a fair division of responsibilities in the Grumpy household, too. Mrs.GOS decides the trivial things like where we live, where and when we should go on holiday, what I should wear and what sort of car we should drive, while I get to decide really important things like whether we should go to war in Iraq, where do flies go in winter and whether there is a God.
A**** L****** offers this solution: The easy solution to this is via statistics. In my house there are two of us (myself and my wife). I have calculated that we both visit the toilet in the ratio of about 5:1 for number 1’s to number 2’s. It is therefore a fair conclusion that ideally the toilet seat should be in the up position 5 out 12 visits or 42% of the time.
I have informed my wife that I will start leaving the toilet seat down 58% of the time when she starts leaving it up 42% of the time.


From P**** V*******
My suggestion for new 'Wanker of the Week' is the Wiltshire Old Bill who failed to act in the case of the young lady who asked for protection. They did nothing, and she was murdered a week later.
The GOS says: Thanks, P****** - good idea. I'd actually missed this item of news (poor girl, she's just a news item now), but I've looked it up and it will certainly be suitable for a future Wanker of the Week. That's after John Prescott, of course, who's probably going to be Wanker of the Decade.
As in the Wiltshire case the murderer was from Portugal and fled there after the killing, it has some bearing on the current row about foreign criminals who aren't being deported. Somehow I think the press are missing the point, though - home-grown criminals can be just as nasty as the foreign ones (vide Mary-Ann Lenaghan's death) and how many of them are roaming free to do it again? Hundreds? Thousands?


From "Press Officer"
You know what I hate? Those annoying charity collectors who press-gang you in the High Street in groups of 10.
Now I've nothing against the tin-rattlers and the rest, just particularly those idiots with the perma-fake smiles and the clipboards looking for your bank details. They come at you one after the other for about 25 metres and you feel like you are running the gauntlet.
A friend was asked by one to hold his umbrella for a minute. Stupidly she did, as it's pretty much an involuntary reaction. The collector said "Got you!" - this is unacceptable harassment.
I propose a ban on this type of charity fundraising. Who's with me?
The GOS says: Me, for one. If our successive governments directed funds where they're needed instead of squandering it all on dubious warlike adventures round the world, there'd be no need for charities at all. A just society, represented by a just government, would accept the responsibility for those who can't look after themselves for one reason and another. "Dream on!" do I hear you say?

From J**** T*****
As a Grumpy Old Sod of 55 years continuous grumping about something or other, I am deeply cynical about Rt.Hon.Tony Blair, Q.C., M.P. and his ridiculous "respect" agenda. I suspect the rot set in with Mrs. Thatcher's 'return to Victorian values' followed by John Major's disastrous 'Back To Basics' (whatever that meant) campaign. "Respect" is merely a coded form of "do what you're told", which means we are not allowed to smoke, drink, criticise or generally debunk the very thing the Prime Minister values most, i.e. himself. In the end it comes down to this: if you are enjoying life, you are probably engaged in some illegal activity. If it isn't illegal and Blair gets to hear about it, you can bet your sorry arse it soon will be.

From M** B*********
Dear GOS, brilliant website! (I know - GOS). I had thought of trying to put something together along theose lines, but yours is so much better.
I find it depressing that although I know many people agree with many of your views, the lunacy continues apace! Surely it ought to be possible to actually change something? When did we all agree that our leaders could behave like complete morons?
Are you really a GOS or is there an organisation there?
The GOS says: Glad you like the site. Sadly, though, I really am a GOS, not an organisation. The site just gives me an opportunity to blow off steam. However, a number of the links on the links page do lead to excellent organisations (Association of British Drivers and No2ID for instance) that may, sooner of later, achieve their goal of injecting a little common-sense into our lunatic society.
Frankly, though, I'm not holding my breath. I know very well that older people in every generation find it hard to accept the things the next generation do. It's certainly been so right through the 20th Century and probably for centuries before that. The difference these days is that the incredible speed and depth of global communication expose us to everyone's lunacy, not just the foibles of our own local government as in days gone by.
I don't really think we will secure any improvement. Wearing a different hat (I'm part of the campaign to improve our local trunk road) I have recently had contact with a lot of district and county councillors, and have even observed at one or two council meetings. Many of these councillors give me the strong impression that they feel just as powerless as the rest of us in the face of budget constraints, the power of their own employed officials, the old-boy network that operates in the background, the fear of litigation in our "must blame somebody for everything" culture, and the general mood of political correctness that governs everything a public body does.
Mrs.GOS and I have been seriously thinking of moving to France. I'm sure things are no better there, but because of our newness and the language barrier (we speak French, but not fluently) we probably wouldn't notice it and could live the rest of our lives in blissful ignorance!
When did we agree.....? Well, we didn't, did we? Our ridiculous first-past-the-post electoral system guarantees that at any time we will be governed by the party most of us voted against. Tony Bliar has been shooting his mouth off recently about not resting until the whole world has accepted the democratic principle of government by the majority. A bit rich from someone who only achieved 33% of the vote!

M** B********* replies: I totally agree that our system of democracy is basically flawed. I believe the electorate becomes a self-selecting minority of do-gooders by something like the following process:
Those people who disagree too much with the manifestos on offer won't vote.
The losing party will then try to change its manifesto to win a larger share of the voters, inevitably becoming more like the last winners.
The incumbents have to be seen to be "doing good", so PC & nannying raise their heads.
Some of the people who voted for them will become disaffected, so the pool gets smaller.
This process continues until there is little difference between the major parties who are fighting for a larger percentage of a diminishing pool of idiot voters.
Eventually, you get Residents' Parking, Water Meters, Road Humps, chicanes, traffic cameras, Red Routes, bus lanes, car pool lanes, Traffic Wardens, Community Support Officers, people being fined for putting the wrong kind of rubbish in a bin etc. etc. etc.
One thought which may provide a tiny bit of consolation: I don't think even Tony Blair is yet in the position where he could order the killing of all the first-born male children .......
The GOS says: Or perhaps he just hasn't thought of it yet.

From A**** W*******
How about this from a Logik LDR1 Digital set-top box instruction manual?
"The set top box gives RGB and CVBS output. If your TV's scart connector has an RGB input then you can switch your digital set-top to RGB mode by toggling TV out menu to RGB mode in configuration menu so you will be able to achieve high performance from your digital set-top box."
The GOS says: In the 1960's there was a deodorant stick called "Odorono". The initial batch had to be withdrawn from sale because the instructions said "to use push up bottom".
If you feel brave enough, look at this. Brilliant. You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat installed, though.


From L***** M*********
old people piss me off!
The GOS says: And young people piss me off. So piss off.

From A*** M*********
Stamp Duty on house purchases - daylight robbery!
It starts at 1% and rises to 4% on, I believe, properties above £500K which buys an awful lot less these days than it did 5 years ago. But has the government taken this into account? No, of course not, this is a very nice little earner for them. And, just in case you are wondering, the percentage applied at each price 'break' is applied to the whole value of the property, not just the amount which is above the price band.
As I said, daylight robbery.
The GOS says: And then there's inheritance tax ……………

From S*** P*******
Tell me, on the quiet, do you support the BNP?
The GOS says: No, for two reasons. (1) I don't live in Barking, and (2) I have a brain.

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