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C&G 131 Oct 2006
#131 Oct 2006 - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 12/01/2007


» #131 Oct 2006

Issue No. 131                     12th October 2006
E-mail <> with UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of your message. If you are using multiple or forwarded e-mail addresses, please specify the e-mail address which you originally used when subscribing, otherwise we may not be able to remove you from the mailing list.
E-mail <> requesting transfer to the E-mail mailing list.
Newsletter enquiries:
General enquiries:
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 413
Croydon VIC 3136, AUSTRALIA
- Brett Allender <>
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Linda Kay
- Helen Randle, Robert Simpson, Peter Wearden, Daniel Bowen, minimatt, Fiona Mikiel
1. QUIZ & QUOTE - Goodies brainteasers for you and you and you
2. BOFFO IDEAS – The latest club news and happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
4. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
5. GOODIES MUSIC REVIEW #25 – Ride My Pony
7. BOOK REVIEW – "The Toilet Book"
(by "Magnus Magnesium")
QUOTE: "Three men wanted to share houseboat with three raving Dolly models. Interested swingers ring 7..."
(a) Which Goodie says this quote?
(b) Whose horrified response is "That is NOT what we're after!"
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the episode: "Punky Business"
(d) What name do the Goodies initially call their new rock band?
(e) What do the punk grannies throw at them during their "Shiny Shoes" routine?
(f) What does Bill want to change the name of the band to?
(g) Which magazine does Caroline Kook work for?
(h) What sort of creature is Tim's new friend, Buttons?
The answers are listed at the end of this newsletter.
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
We're having a problem with the main Forum page on the site. zaphod, our webmaster, has come up with a temporary workaround – a sidebox (located under the poll, on the right side of the page) that you can use to navigate to the individual forums.   The individual forums are fine; it's just the main forum page that's a problem.
Apologies for the temporary inconvenience.
 (by Lisa Manekofsky)
It'll soon be the time of year when we start thinking about buying Christmas and holiday gifts. Of course, a Goodies Rule – OK! t-shirt (available from ) is always a great choice for the Goodies fan on your shopping list… (okay, sorry for the blatant plug but we've got to cover the club expenses somehow! ;)    There are a number of other Goodies goodies (such as DVDs, a greatest hits CD, etc.) that are also sure to be welcome gifts. As a service to our members, and with their assistance, I'd like to compile a list of recommended vendors of these goods for the November issue of the C&G.
Factors to consider in recommending a vendor are consistently good prices, reliability, good customer service, and reasonable shipping rates. Bear in mind that it'll be most helpful to recommend national chains or internet retailers rather than independent local shops that will only be accessible to a handful of our readers. A number of digital retailers (such as Audible and iTunes) now offer digital downloads of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" and other Goodies-related titles; let us know if you'd recommend any of these vendors.
Please send your suggestions (including the retailer's name, URL if available, and items they carry) to by November 1st. 
David Dimblemblm has kindly stopped scoffing his banquet for long enough to announce the results of the September GROK website poll as part of Election Night Special:
* Here's a Brighton-related question (in honor of the Goodies' live show playing there next month). In the "Charity Bounce" episode the Goodies rode spacehoppers to Brighton. What form of Goodies inspired transport do you prefer?
- a cart drawn by a herd of Rolf Harrises  
                                                  80 votes   (32.5%)
- a trandem                                 71 votes   (28.9%)
- the Good Ship Saucy Gibbon   53 votes   (21.5%)
- a souped-up mobile office        23 votes   (9.3%)
- a spacehopper                            8 votes   (3.3%)
- a plane piloted by the Dodo        6 votes   (2.4%)
- riding Frankenfido                      5 votes   (2.0%)
Total                                        246 votes
So Rolf wins yet again, mainly because the vote for the Silly Party was split (oops wrong show, sorry. Yours sincerely, Tarquin Fin Tim Lim Bim Lim Bus Stop Ftang Ftang Ole Biscuit Barrel!)
Anyway let's see if we can put Rolf back in his box (with his tube of lager and Richie Benaud's autobiography) this month. The poll question on the GROK homepage is:
* October starts with the Goodies show in Brighton (on Oct 5th) and ends with Halloween. What Goodies inspired costume will you choose?
- a grand master of Ecky Thump
- the Masked Scout
- shiny shoes & anything with a union jack
- a suit with purple flares
- an ensemble made entirely of string
- a giant toothpaste tube on a spacehopper
- Black and White Beauty
- a megalomaniac
- Rolf Harris
- other
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, e-mail <>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! the Goodies this month:
 (from information by Robert Simpson and Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 16th Sep)
(Robert:) According to the BBC news website, former Tomorrow's World presenter, and Goodies gueststar, Raymond Baxter has died at the age of 84.
(Lisa:) How sad. Though it sounds like he lived a very full life. He obviously had a good sense of humor, to send up his serious presenter persona by appearing in the Goodies in somewhat undignified garb.
(For fans who haven't seen the episode "It Might As Well Be String", Raymond Baxter appeared as the host of "Tomorrow's World" wearing just a t-shirt and underpants which were both made of string – Ed.)
 (from information by Peter Wearden and Daniel Bowen – Goodies-l – 18th Sep)
(Peter:) EzyDVD (at least here in Australia) are selling the Goodies Tasty Box set in a "collectable tin"
Apart from the tin, I can't see any difference to the original box set.
(Daniel:) EzyDVD have done lots of these exclusive tins, as a way of getting people to buy from them. I assume they have access to a manufacturer who is able to do the designs fairly easily/cheaply.
They do ship outside Australia, though I note they charge an additional A$18.00 on the Goodies tin set.
 (Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 20th Sep & 4th Oct)
Thanks to minimatt for posting the news in the club forums that UKTV (Austar/Foxtel) will be playing episodes of The Goodies on Sundays from 12pm-2.30pm.
It appears the Goodies repeats will begin on October 29th, not September 29th as previously announced. At present UKTV's schedule ( ) shows that they will be airing series 1 episode 1, "The Tower of London", at 2:00pm on Oct 29th. 
 (Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
Tues, 10 Oct - "Sun and Moon", which includes a clip from "The Goodies" on BBC 2 from 23:20 to 23:50
 (Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
I stumbled across a page showing that the Goodies DVD which was released in the US a few years ago is available for rent from Netflix. The following link might work:
Here's the DVD's description from that page:
They'll do anything, anywhere and they've got the bike to prove it! Yes, it's the Goodies - alias Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, in three of their funniest episodes!
"Kitten Kong" (1972) - The Goodies Animal Clinic is open for business.
"Scatty Safari" (1975) - Welcome to the Goodies Safari Park, which is proving to be quite a financial success.
"Scoutrageous" (1977) - So that's where Tim's been sneaking off to every Thursday night.
Starring: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie ...
Director: Bob Spiers
Genre: Comedy
Format: Full Screen ...
Language: English
Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
 (from information provided by Lisa Manekofsky)
Robert Ross's book, "The Goodies Rule OK", is now available in shops in the UK and is scheduled to be released in Australia (on ABC Books) in November.
The website  shows a Nov 2nd release date, while  just shows a release date of Nov 2006
4. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays. Those of you seeking radio & tv alerts between issues of the C&G should consider signing up for the Goodies-L mailing list (more details available on the club website), as our crack (cracked?!) team of reporters attempt to post alerts as the information becomes available.
* Mondays - Thursdays, Oct 2-12 - BBC 2 will be airing the new series of "Autumnwatch" from 20:00 to 21:00, four nights a week. The show is hosted by Bill Oddie, Kate Humble and Simon King.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Tuesdays - BBC 2W (Digital) is showing "Bill Oddie's How to Watch Wildlife
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Nightly - "Bill Oddie's Animal House" on The Baby Channel (Sky channel 285) nightly at 8pm (thanks for Fiona Mikiel for this info)
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Various - UKTV Style Gardens is showing "Bill Oddie Goes Wild" and "Springwatch with Bill Oddie". Check your local listings for dates and times.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Various - UKTV Documentary and UKTV Documentary Plus 1 are showing "Birding With Bill Oddie". Check your local listings for dates and times.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* From
Stars come out for charity auction
27 September 2006 
STARS received the red carpet treatment as Islington turned into a mini-Tinseltown for the evening.
Maureen Lipman, Prunella Scales, Timothy West and Anita Dobson were among those spotted at a charity auction at the King's Head Theatre in Upper Street, Islington.
The charity sell-off - with Jeffrey Archer as auctioneer - included some unique prizes.
One lucky bidder paid £2,000 to be serenaded by Bill Oddie - who pulled out his guitar and played Wild Thing there and then. An evening with Tory MP Boris Johnson went for £550.
The auction and £100-a-ticket ball helped to raise more than £22,000 for the country's first ever pub theatre.
King's Head development manager George Ritchie said: "It's great that we raised so much money. It was like the Oscars came to Islington.
The cash will be used on refurbishment, the Christmas panto Peter Pan and the Access for All project, which will offer workshops to disadvantaged youths.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 28th Sep)
* According to an article at , "BBC2's Autumnwatch with Bill Oddie, managed 3.8 million viewers and a 17% share." I believe this was for yesterday (Tuesday)'s edition.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 5th Oct)
* Mon, 16 Oct & Tues, 17 Oct - "The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs" will be repeated on UKTV Documentary and UKTV Documentary Plus at various times; check your local listings
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
* Mon, 16 Oct - "Wogan: Now and Then" includes an appearance by Bill. The show airs on UKTV Documentary at 12:00-13:00 and then on UKTV Documentary Plus 1 an hour later.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
* Tues, 17 Oct & Weds, 18 Oct - The "Who Do You Think You Are?" about Bill will be repeated at various times on UKTV History and UKTV History Plus 1.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
* Thurs, 28 Sept - Graeme's first appearance on "Have I Got News For You" will be repeated on "Have I Got 2002 For You" on UKTV Documentary from 22:40 to 23:20 and then on UKTV Documentary Plus 1 from 23:40 to 00:20 
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Sundays starting 8 Oct - "There'll Never Be Another" gets another airing in BBC 7. Graeme Garden presents this series about classic British comedians (the subject of the 1st episode is Max Miller). Each episode will be broadcast several times during the day Sundays and will then be available via Listen Again for six days after broadcast. The shows can be heard worldwide via the internet from .
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Thurs, 19 Oct - "The Unbelievable Truth" on BBC Radio 4 from 18:30 to 19:00. The pilot episode of a new panel game starring Graeme Garden & Jeremy Hardy. Here's a listing - "David Mitchell hosts a new game in which panelists are encouraged to tell lies and compete against one another to see how many items of truth they are able to smuggle past their opponents. Starring: Jeremy Hardy, Andy Hamilton, Neil Mullarkey, Graeme Garden
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
* The episode of "QI" with Graeme is scheduled to air on December 1st. 
Also, a new show called "One" will start on BBC Radio 4 Thursday, Nov 16th at 11:00pm. It will feature a series of monologues, including contributions from Graeme, Bill, and others. I'll pass along further information as it becomes available.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 12th Oct)
* A couple of programmes I've spotted that are coming up soon -
*Godlessness and Dirt: 60 Years of the Edinburgh Festival*
A look at the long-standing rivalry between the 'official' Edinburgh Festival and its unruly sibling, the Fringe. With rare footage and contributions from festival veterans.
BBC Four, Sun 17 Sep, 21:00-22:00
One of the contributors is Tim.
*Never Mind the Full Stops*
Julian Fellowes is joined by Nina Wadia, John Sergeant, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Rod Liddle to discuss, dissect and delight in the English language.
BBC Four, Wed 20 Sep, 23:20-23:50
As this seems to be a repeat of the first series presumably the episode with Graeme should be sometime soon.
(Helen Randle – Goodies-l – 14th Sep)
* Comedy Playhouse 11.00pm - 11.30pm Mon, 2 Oct & Mon, 9 Oct
Tim Brooke-Taylor presents a short series looking back at the BBC's Comedy Playhouse, the proving ground and launch point for some of the best-loved
sitcoms of all time. He features the final eight seasons of Playhouse pilots which gave a platform to new writers and introduced such classics as The Liver Birds, Are You Being Served? and the longest running situation comedy of all time, Last of the Summer Wine. With contributions from Carla Lane, Frank Thornton and Peter Sallis.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 8th Oct)
* Thurs, 28 Sept - The final episode in the current series of "Hamish and Dougal: You'll Have Had Your Tea" on BBC Radio 4 at 23:00. The show can be heard live and also via Listen Again for six days after the broadcast at .
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Sundays - ABC Radio National is broadcasting "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" (with Tim and Graeme) on Sunday mornings at 5.30am.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* Mondays - BBC 7 airs old episodes of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" (with Tim and Graeme) and "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" (with all three Goodies). They are available via Listen Again for six days after broadcast. The shows can be heard worldwide via the internet from .
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 25th Sep)
* According to the most recent BBC 7 Newsletter, the tribute to Linda Smith, which was recorded on June 4th, is scheduled to be broadcast on November 3rd. Participants in the tribute included the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue team and Jeremy Hardy.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 4th Oct)
Hi there pop pickers and welcome to another Goodies Music Review.
Emperor Caligula (aka Brett Allender) and Peaches Stilletto (aka Linda Kay) were still merrily doing the bounce for Britain until it sprang to their attention that they needed to leave the country quickly – Peaches to escape the repressive puppet government (particularly Sooty and his infernal xylophone playing) and the Emperor to escape the barrage of rotten fruit after his infamous "bad Czechs bouncing" pun! So they set off bouncing around the globe in opposite directions aboard their ambiguously anatomied spacehoppers, and they were homeward bound until they both reached beautiful Sarth Effriker at the same time and had to pass each other at a zebra crossing. Peaches hopped on the white lines and the Emperor was supposed to bounce on the black ones but somehow they crashed in the middle, knocking each other senseless (it was a very minor collision!) and now we've got no idea where they have hopped off to. The Emperor was last seen being cooked up as human clear soup by the Bu-boom tribe in Sevenoaks (lucky they're not fussy!) while Peaches was sighted in Nepal being bombed by a giant goose ... or was she being goosed by a bombed giant?! Who could tell with Eddie Waring commentating?! Anyway like all Goodies episodes (very much!) it doesn't really matter what horrible fate befalls our heroes at the end of an episode because they're always back again in mint condition for the start of the next one, so it's over to Tally Ho Towers and your dismounted DJs for their review of "RIDE MY PONY" by The Goodies.
"Ride My Pony" can be heard on the 1970's album "The Goodies Sing Songs From The Goodies" (later re-released as "The World Of The Goodies") and in the episode "Hunting Pink"
Lyrics:sung by Bill
I've worked the whole week in the city, with a pencil in my hand
And a rolled-up umbrella and a big black bowler hat
But when I get out at the weekend, I slip a horse between my legs
And when I jump into the saddle, well I feel like I'm a superman
Ride ride ride, ride my pony
Ride ride ride, to run over you
Ride ride ride, ride my pony
There ain't nothing that you can do
Oh when you see me come a-hunting, you better hide yourself away
I'm gonna flatten your flowers, gonna wreck your nice white fence
Lock your garden, hide your children, I'm a big bad hunting man
And I havent got a worry, and I haven't got a lick of sense
Ride, ride, ride (REPEAT x3)
Ride, ride, ride (REPEAT x8)
Life's kind of dull when you're stuck in the big smoke all week, with a pencil and umbrella in your hand rather than something infinitely more interesting like an ill-disciplined penknife, a tomato sauce squirter or a black pudding that you can wreak havoc with. And if you're the horsey type, your only weekday pleasures come from watching reruns of 'Rock Fillies' or 'Ponyrama' with Dobbin Day in the evening, providing that the Royal Family have conveniently taken over the BBC programming department for you. So when the weekend finally comes along, it's time to ditch the suit and bowler hat in favour of the "six foot scarlet lavatory brush" look, head off to see your Uncle Butcher (than most) at Tally Ho Towers, jump aboard a horse, cow or army tank and set off destroying the countryside in the name of hunting to relieve the pressures of city life. Bagging a fox or a rabbit is simply a bonus, as everything is fair game for destruction: fences, vegie gardens, kids ... anything that's within range basically. And even if you miss what you're aiming for, you can sing along with this tune until you feel a little hoarse (though you can get locked up for that, y'know!) while if you happen to snuff it from the sheer ecstasy of actually hitting your target, you'll at least be carried back to Tally Ho Towers and promptly mounted (preferably by the wardrobe-clad Honourable Lady Amanda Barrington Phipps Ponsonby Ponsonby etc ... the one known to her friends as Big Knockers!)
(Peaches Stilletto):
I'll try to rein in the horsing around in this review and get right to the point, yes sire! This little filly . . . uh, I mean ditty . . . follows the story of a businessman who longs to escape the confines of his stuffy city cubicle and go riding on the weekends. A euphemism for other kinds of horse play perhaps? Get your minds out of the manure, people! You may balk, but whatever activity this gentleman is partaking in he is clearly a rogue. The retribution he must wind up paying innocent country-folk for their broken fences, gardens and whatever else he deems to destroy upon his cantering quadruped must be more than just a few bucks. It just goes to show (or place) how much stress he is saddled with in his weekly work week to make all that hay worthwhile. But maybe this rider should try a new tack? It's a cinch! Instead of making the non-city residents cry foal, he should bring his little horse to work instead. He can pommel his co-workers and boss at the mane office with his irrational riding a bit. Turn about is mare play, after all! Nothing like a bit of dam mucking about to keep the blues at bay!
(Emperor Caligula):
Without wanting to nag too much, it's all very well having stable employment, but being (fet)locked up in a city office all week in a bowler hat and a suit that isn't tweed is just right ruddy boring. So to escape his rough trot, this not-so-gentle man has decided that whinny gets his weekends free, it makes perfect (horse) sense to gallop off to the countryside and stirrup a pile of trouble, no matter what the neigh-bours might think. He's big, he's bad, he's mad and he's not going to bother jockeying for position either – he and his horse are simply going to (steeple) chase and flatten anything small enough and silly enough to get in their way by the (photo) finish of this suitably inspiring tune. The only mystery is why he bothers waiting until the weekends to slip a horse between his legs before hoofing around the place. Instead he could buy a hulking 4WD vehicle and charge around the city streets with that exact same attitude every day of the week like (hay) stacks of other urban cowboys do, but I suppose that he knows his oats. Time to get off my hobby horse though, and onto a real one instead – saddle do the trick!
Using the Black Pudding Rating System:
III Goody Goody Yum Yum (Peaches Stiletto)
III Goody Goody Yum Yum (Emperor Caligula)
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially amazing.
III   - Goody goody yum yum.
II    - Fair-y punkmother.
I     - Tripe on t' pikelets.
Next Music Review: December edition –
"Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me"
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
September 4th saw the release of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Live", the latest CD from the popular and award winning BBC Radio panel. Information about the previous eleven ISIHAC releases can be found in the Goodies Illustrated Guide at
For the "Live" release series producer Jon Naismith introduced a new concept – an attempt to give listeners a sense of what's it's like to attend an actual ISIHAC recording. Thus the 2 CDs include unbroadcast outtakes, bits of the banter between the cast (and sometimes the audience) before and after the shows, Chair Humphrey Lyttelton having to do a retake at the end of a recording, etc.
Each CD starts with a brief introduction from Jon, who explains why these particular recordings were chosen for inclusion in this set. He also gives a bit of context setting, to explain some topical references that crop up in the shows. (And yes, these intros are on their own tracks so you can skip over them if you wish during repeat listenings).
This set includes four episodes, two from each of the recording sessions on 11 November 1995 in Harrogate and 21 October 1996 in Liverpool. I was initially surprised to learn that the first recording didn't include series regular Tim Brooke-Taylor. Instead we have the debut appearance of Jeremy Hardy, who has become a frequent and extremely popular guest panelist.   As Clue fans know, Jeremy is renowned for his, well, let's call it his unique singing style; it's even become a running joke in the ISIHAC spin-off "Hamish & Dougal: You'll Have Had Your Tea". These days anytime it's Jeremy's turn to take part in a singing round Humph only has to say, "and now, Jeremy…" to cause the audience to burst into laughter and cheers. It's particularly fun to hear how the 1995 audience reacts to their first exposure to Jeremy's singing. They initially think his inability to find the tune is a joke; as realization grows so does the laughter. Tim and the rest of the regulars are all present for the second recording session.
Between the four shows we have a variety of favorite rounds (such as New Definitions, One Song to the Tune of Another, Missed Hits, Sound Charades, Cheddar Gorge, Swanee Kazoo and, of course, Mornington Crescent). The bulk of the material is new to CD. A small amount did appear in some of the early ISIHAC compilations, but even that has been expanded upon with previously unreleased jokes or outtakes.
Obviously no recording can ever truly duplicate the experience of attending a live show. However, I think this set comes as close as possible for this format. The outtakes, gaffes, retakes, remarks to the audience, etc. add so much fun to an already fun show. Jon mentions, during his introductory remarks on the first CD, that this is the first of a series, presumably meaning there will be future ISIHAC Live releases if this one sells well. After listening to this set I wholeheartedly hope that will be the case.
"I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Live" and other ISIHAC CDs & cassettes are available from many retailers of the BBC Audiobooks line in the UK; they should also be available from the ABC Shop and elsewhere in Australia. Those without a local BBC Audiobooks retailer may be interested to learn that the releases are available for purchase as a download from many digital retailers such as Audible, Audioville, Audio-Read, Overdrive, Mediabay, iTunes, 7 Digital, Simply Audiobooks, Spoken Network, TuneTribe and Plays on the Net.
(by Brett Allender)
by Bill Oddie & Laura Beaumont
A fortnight ago while hosting a couple of friends visiting from Western Australia (Vanessa and Tony, who incidentally are keen Goodies fans – the best kind of friends!) I decided to take them on a "package tour" to Maldon; a small scenic tourist town in central Victoria. The very first place that we ventured to in town was an antique shop, which had two trays of second-hand books outside its front door. Upon glancing in one of the trays before entering the shop, I was startled to see the cartoon face of a certain very familiar grotty hairy frustrated little pop star looking up at me, and even more startled to realise that I had stumbled across a copy of "The Toilet Book"; a 1984 publication by Bill Oddie and his wife Laura Beaumont.
From recently updating my C&G index, I remembered that "The Toilet Book" had only been briefly mentioned in one of the very first newsletters more than ten years ago, then it had disappeared from the C&G quicker than a roll of loo paper after curry night at the local pub. I'm not sure how rare the book actually is or how many of my fellow Goodies fans own a copy of it, but I certainly hadn't come across it before and was hardly expecting to find it at an antique shop in Maldon, so it was obviously meant to be. I just had to spend a mere 400 pennies (diddly squat, really) and then I was flushed with success!
I know what you're thinking: he's only doing this crappy review to squeeze in as much potty-mouthed toilet humour and stinkers of puns as he can possibly can, right?. Well that's where you s(c)eptics are pong ... er, wrong, because I've already told a "wee wee story" with my previous music review of "Blowing Off", so I won't drive you around the s-bend by recycling stuff that's already on the nose. So rather than getting bogged down and plunging further into strife, I'll just get down to business while I'm on a roll and allow Bill and his book to e-loo-cidate (just as long as he cleans it up himself!)
There are two features which immediately command your attention when you first set eyes on "The Toilet Book", regardless of whether it's in a second-hand book bin, your local library or actually in somebody's outhouse where it's supposed to be. The first of these is the eye-catching cover which features a cartoon of Bill laughing uproariously as he is seated on his loo, pants around his ankles (but thankfully no rude bits showing!), holding this book in his right hand and pulling the chain with his left hand. There is a column of yellow and orange flames blasting out of the pipes at the base of the toilet as Bill is propelled high into the starry sky, much to the pop-eyed, open-mouthed shock of a little girl with her head poking out the window of a passing Concorde. This virtual Bill must have had quite a hearty feed of baked beans and then lit up a cigarette while in the bog, as there wasn't a single UFO in sight to take the blame for abducting him under "poetic licence"!
The other initial impression is that of surprise at how thick the paperback is – 96 pages, plus a blank one at the back marked "For Emergency Use Only"! Not exactly the sort of book that you can quickly flick through in one sitting, unless you're planning on spending a prolonged session in t'meditation room after indulging in black pudding, chip butties, tripe and a piece of parkin for afters at your Ecky Thump master class. However after Bill advises you to purchase "about twenty-five copies" to cover all bases in the introduction, he comes up with the scientifically proven revelation that if you're an average healthy person, you spend 11 1/2 minutes per day going to the toilet (so that's what that bloke in the white lab coat with a clipboard and stopwatch was doing in my bathroom!). Over your lifetime this adds up to several months of your precious life being "TOTALLY WASTED" so Bill's book is an attempt to turn the hotseat into a "temple of knowledge" by being able to learn new skills and fascinating facts while being otherwise occupied.
After the initial introduction explaining what's in the book, how to use it and diagrams of a typical loo (where Bill helpfully explains that "if you have difficulty in recognising your toilet from this angle, go into the room above, knock a hole through the floor and look down."), there is a list of contents which is divided into two main sections: (1) self-improvement in the toilet and (2) other people's toilets.
Self improvement while powdering one's nose includes learning "running on the pot" and other basic gymnastics exercises for use in the cramped confines of the thunderbox, including a charming diagram of the "five easy yoga positions" – the lotus, boat, wishbone, post office tower and the bridge, where a black rectangle that is "not a house brick" carefully covers up the rude bits.
For the sports-minded, there are tips on how to improve your golf, darts, table tennis, boxing and cricket while at a standstill, and playing board games such as chess and Monopoly. There is a whole chapter on how to become a ventriloquist, with the help of props like Lotty the loo brush, Baggy, Roly Poly the loo roll and the great Plungo. It's also a wonderful opportunity to improve your word power by learning the real meaning of words like "voluble" – who'd have thought that it really means "spoken with great fluency" and not "a game played by nudists (that's 'volley ball') nor the worth of a Ming vase (that's 'valuable')" You too can sound "more eloquent than Malcolm Muggeridge" by the time you've finished dousing the duke!
The peace and tranquility of the toilet, coupled with a (hopefully) plentiful supply of paper makes it the ideal place to learn the ancient art of origami, with instructions of how to make items as diverse as the spectacular butterfly, Mother Hubbard's dog, the Taj Mahal and the snake (presumably not the terrifying trouser variety though!). Other items like the toilet rolls, cotton wool and soap also come in handy for making elaborate models of flower vases, sheep and a doomsday scenario, all expertly illustrated in sketches.
There are plenty of useful tips for improving your memory, with phonetic systems for numbers, the alphabet and days of the week provided for just such a purpose, although the end result is probably even more confusing than just trying to remember the word or number in the first place. Here's an example, courtesy of Bill, which only makes marginally more sense with the book in front of you: "So if you wanted to remember your car registration number which happened to be GQA 036J, the story would be: 'A gargoyle, the queen and an anteater went to Bristol Rovers where they met three little maids from school picking up sticks with a jockstrap'" Ah, the price to pay for having a bad memory!
Tap dancing in the toot takes a bit of talent, so there are tips on how to construct tap shoes out of toothpaste tubes and dental floss, and diagrams of the five basic tap dancing moves, all with a significant degree of difficulty in a rather confined space. And if you're a real show-off, you can even try some of the "all-round entertainer" routines such as Charlie Chaplin impressions, balancing, plate spinning and juggling, the last one coming with a warning to be "careful which balls you throw in the air"!
As well as learning things that take talent, Bill details that you can also use your toilet time to hone various useless skills like wiggling your ears, going cross-eyed and touching your nose with your tongue, which all sound rather like standard entry procedures for playing in a rock band.
The first part of the book ends at this point with an elaborate diagram of an "ideal toilet" and the 38 essential items that it should contain, including heated loo seat, sports equipment, keyboard, cheese grater and naturally enough, a copy of this book. 
Section Two deals with other people's toilets, starting with an instant troubleshooting guide to various problems and emergencies, such as no lock (use one of the four basic 'leg up' procedures described or one of the many excuses listed if you get "caught in the act"), problems with the seat (carry sandpaper and polyfilla with you at all times to iron out any splinters), covering the noise (play music, run a tap or if worst comes to worst, blame your guide dog!), no paper (bath mats and pot plant leaves are fair game!) and not being able to flush (carry a bucket of water with you and pretend that you're a window cleaner by trade) or heaven forbid, the loo that won't stop flushing, in which case Bill's advice is "We have no advice to give. All you can do is slam the lid down, sit on it, and pray ..."
The final few pages deal with personal appearance upon leaving the lavatory, ways of covering up the evidence if you've had a "little accident" and a detailed list of equipment for the "complete toilet goer" which includes items as diverse as a kilt, truss, dog, empty milk bottle, sandpaper and a monkey wrench, the purposes for which I'll leave up to your imagination!
The only appendix (apart from the blank "emergency use" page) is a list of euphemisms for people who are either too embarrassed to ask "Please, I want to use the toilet" or for their unfortunate hosts who need to decipher what their anxious guests are prattling on about. So next time someone says to you "Please where is the Khazi, I need to syphon the python, I may even need to go for a pony and trap, Whoops, sorry, I've just done a botty burp", you'll know exactly what they want and you'll be able to ring the funny farm immediately!
So, is Bill's "Toilet Book" just a flash in the pan which eventually bottomed out in appeal? Not at all. When it's all said and dunny, the book is a very amusing and tongue-in-cheek look at ways to better utilise our time-in-loo than just sitting there letting off steam, or as the cover says: "11 1/2 minutes a day ... and how not to waste them". Perhaps the best endorsement of this book is that the emergency page is still intact, along with the other 96 pages, so its previous owner must have always reached for the Radio Times first in desperate situations!
One of the funniest things written in the book isn't even from Bill or Laura; it's the publisher's fine print on the back cover stating that "The Toilet Book" is classified as "non-fiction". I reckon they've been sold a bum steer myself, as although the book offers lots of supposed advice, I could rapidly see me doing an Old King Cole and falling straight down the hole if I tried out most of the manoeuvres so expertly detailed in the diagrams.
So in an effluent society like ours, we all should strive to improve our lifestyles and a read of Bill's book would certainly help the 11 1/2 minutes to fly by a lot quicker and more enjoyably. "The Toilet Book" – every "Temple of Beelzebub" should have one!
(a) Graeme
(b) Tim
(c) Cecily
(d) The Little Laddies
(e) Fairy cakes
(f) Willie Snot and the Bogies
(g) The Melody Maker
(h) A fly
8    Goodies fan supreme
7    Mastermind of the year
5-6 Clever clogs
3-4 Reasonably Goodie
1-2 Thick as old boots
0    Rolf Harris!
- #132: 15th November 2006.
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