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The inner workings of nun manufacture
Teaching carrots to fly
Records what we made up
Scientists attempting to recreate a woolly mammoth have hit a snag. "We started at the feet," says Dr Susan Bones, "We made them out of papier mâché and chicken wire, but then we got stuck at the knees. We just don't seem to be able to get the knobbly bits right."
But Dr Bones' team is not the only one trying to resurrect a long-lost prehistoric creature, and her competitors have been less than complimentary. "These people haven't got a clue about basic animal biology and in my opinion they ought to leave this kind of thing to the experts," said Professor Gary Raptor, who made himself a stegosaurus out of Plasticine only last week.
Good evening, and if you're not having a good evening, what are you going to do about it? If the weather's not quite right, or your dinner's gone cold, or there's nothing on the television, or if the noise of the neighbours enjoying themselves is annoying you, then until now you've just had to lump it.
I say 'until now' since from the beginning of this month, people across the country have been able to submit their trifling, inconsequential whinges to us here at the Petty Complaints Ombudsman Service, where we will treat them with the respect they deserve.
Take this example from Gordon Bovary. Gordon is from Kidderminster, so he has a lot to complain about, but his current gripe reads like this:
Well, that one's going straight in the shredder. But not all of our complaints are about parking. Most of them are, but not all. Take this email from Jenny_Catlover45552, for example.
We've got people trying to decipher that one at the moment and will reply in due course - although it's highly likely that our response will be along the same lines as the one the police gave her.
One thing we find is that many of our correspondents are highly knowledgeable legal experts, and obviously this makes our job a whole lot easier. For instance, we have experts on consumer affairs:
And on health and safety:
It's easy to form the opinion that the authors of complaints such as these are spoilt time-wasters with zero sense of perspective and far too much time on their hands. But such an outlook would be doing them a disservice and putting me out of a job. Here at the Petty Complaints Ombudsman Service we realise that everyone has a right to an opinion, however worthless it may be, and by inviting these whinging gasbags to send their ridiculous grievances our way we are at least sparing everyone else the pain of having to deal with them.
If you have a petty and frivolous complaint, and you're looking for someone to pretend to take you seriously, please submit it below and it will be ignored in due course.
If, like me, you appreciate a satisfying retail experience, then you might find that visiting your local petrol station can be a bleak and dispiriting affair. However, I'm happy to say that in my case those days are now gone, ever since I discovered Pooley's Service Station and Convenience Store on the A39, just outside Barnstaple.
Oh certainly they have the full quota of available fuels, including LPG, and their confectionery range, situated within easy reach beside the cash register, is exemplary - I can confirm that they stock Twixes in both standard and deluxe sizes. But they can also boast something else - quality service.
All too often these days the purchase of fuel and associated motoring paraphernalia is accompanied by a surly disregard for the comfort and wellbeing of the purchaser, usually delivered by some callow and pimpled youth with little understanding of the value of a really good de-icer or a superior screen wash. That's not the case at Pooley's, where the staff are fully trained in as wide a range of motoring products as you'll find anywhere this side of Taunton Deane. And I do mean fully trained. Want to know which air freshener will best complement the slightly worn leather interior of a 2013 Mk V Ford Mondeo? These are the guys to ask.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking to owner Mike Pooley, an easy-going chap with some refreshing ideas about non-standard headlight modifications. He told me that quality customer service has always formed the bedrock of his operations. "If customers don't drive off our forecourt happier and more fulfilled than when they arrived," he told me, "then we very much feel that we've failed in our duty." And it is a duty. A very real one.
Mike was also very keen for me to mention the special two-for-one offer that they are currently running on Turtle Wax, and with top deals like that it's hard to see how they could possibly fail to provide satisfaction. But don't imagine that their attention to detail is limited to the motorist's trusty steed (car); they also provide fodder enough for the rider. What I'm trying to say is that they also do a full range of snacks and pies. In fact, they have just about everything you could possibly imagine to assist the weary traveller on his way. Their sandwich range is extensive, encompassing old favourites such as cheese and ham as well as more exotic fare such as egg and cress or chicken tikka, all of which are within their sell-by date. Their range of cold drinks, likewise, leaves little to be desired: they stock both Coke and Pepsi, as well as a more reasonably priced budget alternative.
But if it's something more substantial that you're looking for, then fear not - there is a microwave free for the use of any customers who purchase a qualifying product, plus a hot drinks machine. So why not treat yourself to a warming cup of hot chocolate as you peruse the impressive magazine display, or flick though the eclectic selection of mid-priced CDs at the counter?
Whatever your preference, Pooley's Service Station has something to make your journey a little easier. I can heartily recommend it, and although I'm not local and don't own a car, I can say without hesitation that I am happy to travel upwards of 140 miles out of my way for the sake of a cup of coffee and a Ginsters pasty served at just the right temperature.
This blog post was sponsored by Pooley's Service Station and Convenience Store. Call now for great deals on antifreeze.
We sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas and wish you all a happy New Year. For your information there now follows a brief list of names which will feature prominently on The University of the Bleeding Obvious in 2017.
Dame Jerimiah Treacle
Mr Bellicose Cheesebiscuit
Shirley Twirly from Purley
Ron and Nellie Butterprompter
Lord Sidewinder of Kintyre (Tuesdays only)
The Right Reverend Dennis Cake
As yet, no biographical data is available for these persons. We regret that Dorian Spanners will not be available for the foreseeable future. Thank you.
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