Asurvey carried out by the Beano claims that we northerners are twice as likely to be comedians as our southern counter-parts. And if we’re taller than average, a Gemini, the youngest in the family and city-born, there’s more chance that we’ll be naturally funny. An analysis of fifty of Britain’s top comedians looked at shared characteristics and traits. Northerners who made the list included Sir Ken Dodd, Caroline Aherne, Peter Kay and Ross Noble. Sarah Millican, Richard Ayoade and Noel Fielding are Geminis, said to be naturally funny. Those born under Fire signs – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius – are the least likely to make us chuckle. And youngest children of at least three siblings are twice as likely to be funny than the older kids.
Whenever I mention that I collect teddy bears people look at me with bewilderment. Then they start to think how expensive some bears like Steiff are and think I do it for the money. When I explain that I don’t really collect them so much as save them from being abandoned and homeless, the look of bewilderment returns. When I explain further that most of the Renault bears I have saved have been purchased for around 99p from eBay and I have more than three hundred of them then the look of bewilderment becomes a look of perplexity. I tell them that it started because we took a friend’s bear on holiday with us and he was such a kind, gentle bear that I became hooked on them then people tend to give up on me at that point. Surely, people have much more weird things to collect than teddy bears in general, or Renault bears in particular?
Some of you may have wondered just why I have a daughter called Chimpton. Well it probably won’t come as any surprise if I tell you that is not her real name but simply a nickname. Chimpton has a passion for monkeys. Big or small, cute or fierce she just loves them all. Now if that is not a good enough reason to give her that nickname, then what I am about to tell you definitely is – Chimpton can make a real, impressively loud monkey noise. You know that noise you hear monkeys make that sort of sounds like EEE EEE EEE, well Chimpton can make it better than any monkey I know. Even better, for such a tiny person she can do it at excruciatingly loud volumes, enough to bring the traffic to a stop… or, on this occasion, bring Lord David Owen, the then Chancellor of Liverpool University, to a complete standstill.
One of my youngest childhood memories was when Bimbo and I went into Birkenhead Children’s Hospital to have my tonsils removed. These days, children need to have had many bouts of tonsillitis and courses of antibiotics before they will even consider removing tonsils but back in the day mine were removed for the simple reason that I used to snore. Today the operation is performed on a day patient (you are in and out of hospital in a day) whereas I was in for three days. The plan of action was that you went into hospital in the afternoon of the first day. I have no idea why because nothing happened. Second day they performed the operation and you woke up with a sore throat. Third day you could go home as long as you had eaten a few gallons of ice cream and had been to the toilet!
We don’t normally do politics here on Jammy Toast, unless it is simply poking fun at some random politician. Today, we thought we’d make an exception. The Department for Work and Pensions has been accused of “a cover-up” after destroying reports into suicides linked to benefits being stopped. Around 50 reviews into deaths following the loss of social security payments before 2015 have been shredded, officials have admitted – blaming data protection laws. However, the data watchdog has said there was no requirement to destroy the reports by any particular date and that a “public interest” exemption could have been used.
We survived the 2012 Mayan doomsday prophecy and now it seems Jean Dixon has warned that the world will end this year. Who is Jean Dixon, I hear you all ask. She was formerly an advisor to US Presidents and correctly predicted the assassination of John F Kennedy. She was one of the most famous self-proclaimed psychics and astrologers in America. She wrote seven best-selling books, including an autobiography filled with her predictions and a horoscope novel for dogs. Chillingly, seven years before the death of JFK, who was shot as he travelled in a motorcade through the heart of Dallas, she predicted he would be assassinated.
Last year Razzi wrote his End of Year Address and so this year I thought I would bully my way in and write mine. As the years pass by I do find that I get more and more sentimental. Ask Chimpton, I blubber at anything these days be it films, news or just thoughts jumping around in my head. For some unknown reason I just seem to get sentimental more of the time. I actually got choked up recently when a youth stood up on a bus to give an elderly lady his seat. It was just a basic gesture of kindness and there I was holding back, maybe not the tears, but definitely the feelings and this has been happening so much more frequently recently. When it first happened I thought it was a temporary thing and that my spirits would eventually re-harden returning me to my previous toughened, cynical state. I am still waiting.