Thursday, 11 March 2010

Mouse Helplines, Hypoallergenic Cats and Delicious Babelfish

Since I am unable to post tomorrow, here's tomorrow's blog post early. Have a lovely weekend.

Douglas Lindsay, author of the excellent Barney Thomson series (if you haven't read them, do yourself a favour) got in touch today. I'd linked to his Barney Thomson and The Westminster Christmas Massacre - a violent yet strangely heartwarming Christmas story featuring "a deranged MP" (aren't they all?) who goes on a "bloody rampage through the Houses of Parliament." Well, Douglas sent me a link to the Hansard report for the House of Lords for March 3rd. Hansard, for anyone who isn't aware, is an "edited verbatim" (not quite sure how that works Mr Parliament, but there you go) report of proceedings in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

The first item of business was mice. Very greedy mice. Lots of mice (although, apparently, it's rather difficult to tell them apart so it might just be one mouse). My favourite part is this from the Chairman of the Committee "As I speak here this afternoon, the Bishops' Bar and the Guest Room are being hoovered, so we can get rid of the food scraps from lunch. If you were a mouse, you would rather eat the crumbs of a smoked salmon sandwich than the bait." I am so glad that the House of Lords has posh mice. I am also happy to learn that the tax that I hand over very grudgingly every month is going to such a good cause. A mouse helpline. Sadly, this appears to be a hotline that distraught Lords and Ladies can call if a mouse has the cheek to nick one of their salmon sandwiches, rather than a hotline that distraught mice can call should they feel the need "There I was, just coming out of my hole in the skirting board for a cheeky wee bit of Stilton, when what did I see but Lady Tweedy of Frumpington and Baron Snortworthy of Balderdash in flagrante delicto over the snooker table in the Bishop's Bar. That's not going to do the green baize any good, is it?"

And after that fun, I now get to use Babelfish again. Most excellent. This on Ian Rankin from SerieNegra. Babelfish tells me "We knew little Scotland, all the Scottish heroes had face of Mel Gibson, and we knew that sometimes special they put picture skirt, socks until the knee and touched the bagpipe, literally" Any Scottish men reading this post? Have you ever "touched the bagpipe, literally"? And Babelfish goes on to say nice things about the seemingly multiple- personalitied (sorry - Babelfish has wreaked its havoc on me) Rebus "We like John Rebus. We like their cynicism, that she is more than a bloodhound, who is a dog of fight with iron jaws. No matter how much it bleeds, by much pain that denotes their eyes and their soul, if the life bites does not loosen the prey, although in it goes to him." And later "It will be always implied personally in the cases. And before being police, between years 68 and 70, when the month of May was French, and Pepe Carvalho one became of the company, it was in the Army, Northern Ireland, the Special Forces. It is not necessary to explain much more." Um, well, actually, I think it is necessary... And we also learn something about Fife: "the mining county of Fife, hard and something slow, where “if you threw hand to the blouse of a girl immediately you had to its father persiguiĆ©ndote with the belt”" Russel? Have you ever 'threw hand to the blouse of a girl'? Did you have to do something weird to her father with a belt? And Ian - I think your CV needs some work - "Mr. Rankin you have been caretaker of pigs, poll of youthful, tax collecting blood level of alcohol of taxes, vendimiador in France, publisher of a musical magazine."

And now, I am off to my day job "Hello, Mouse Helpline, Minnie speaking, please squeak after the tone..."


  1. Hahaha! What was this when it was normal? PersiguiƩndote suggests Spanish? Just wondering.

    (I could send you a few sentences that you could kill with babelfish!)

  2. LOL Bookwitch - when it was normal it was, indeed, Spanish.