Monday, 5 October 2009


Some years ago, anticant attended a short introductory course on psychoanalytic method at the arch-temple of Freudianism in Hampstead.

It was a fascinating experience.

The group of trainees, students, or whatever we were assembled in the room shortly before the session was due to begin. On the dot of the hour, the group leader – a staff member – entered the room without greeting us and provided an interpretative running commentary on whatever transpired between the group members during the ensuing hour. On the dot of the finishing time, she rose and stalked out of the room without looking at anyone or saying goodbye, whatever group interaction was in progress.

Her gimmick was never to address any of the group members directly, or to respond to their questions or comments except impersonally and obliquely.

This gave rise to a few hilarious moments. One pugnacious young man did his damnedest to provoke her into a direct exchange, without any success. At last he said: “Are all XXX Institute consultants such a pain in the arse?” Obviously slightly stung, but endeavouring to maintain her aloof composure, Mrs Z looked into the distance and said: “Miss Y (who was at the back of the room) has been in other XXX Institute groups, and can doubtless give her assessment of the relative pain-in-the-arseness of XXX Institute consultants”. Whereupon Miss Y demurely intimated that she wouldn’t dream of presuming to do any such thing.

When the course ended, anticant thought to himself ”Well, I’ll see if I can get her to communicate directly with me”. So he sent her a box of chocolates, with a note saying how interesting he had found the course.

He received a third-hand reply from her secretary, saying “Mrs Z has asked me to thank you for the chocolates”.

At that point even anticant gave up!

Friday, 28 August 2009


Ben found this in the Times (27 August):

Gerry Adams can contain himself no longer. The Sinn Fein leader made this touching declaration at a hunger strike commemoration:

"The Republican struggle was not, and is not, about bums on executive seats - even a bum as delectable as Martin McGuinness's."

Have we been missing something? I had always thought that the Republican struggle was about bombs on non-executive streets.

One lives and learns.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Ben Trovato writes:

A virile middle-aged Italian gentleman named Silvio was relaxing at his favourite bar in Rome when he managed to attract a spectacular young blond woman.

Things progressed to the point where he led her back to his apartment and, after some small talk, they retired to his bedroom where he rattled her senseless. After a pleasant interlude, he asked with a smile, 'So, you finish?'

She paused for a second, frowned, and replied, 'No.'

Surprised, Silvio reached for her and the rattling resumed. This time she thrashed about wildly and there were screams of passion. The sex finally ended and, again, Silvio smiled and asked, 'You finish?'

Again, after a short pause, she returned his smile, cuddled closer to him and softly said, 'No.'

Stunned, but damned if he was going to leave this woman unsatisfied, Silvio reached for the woman yet again. Using the last of his strength, he barely managed it, but they ended together screaming, bucking, clawing and ripping the bed sheets.

Exhausted, Silvio fell onto his back, gasping. Barely able to turn his head, he looked into her eyes, smiled proudly and asked again, 'You finish?'

Barely able to speak, the beautiful blond whispered in his ear, 'No, I Norwegian!'

Saturday, 1 August 2009


Some years ago I had a cleaning lady who lived across the road. Sarah was an elderly widow – so she thought – who wore an obvious wig and had a lugubrious air which was explained when she told me her history.

Some fifteen years earlier her husband had vanished, leaving her with two small children who she had struggled to bring up on her own. All her efforts to trace him had failed, and she believed he must be dead.

Then one day Sarah came over to me shaking with fury. “Do you know what?” she said, “You’d never believe it. That husband of mine has telephoned me bold as brass, saying that he’s visiting London from Australia WITH HIS NEW WIFE and they’d like me to meet them for a drink!! I told him I’d see him in Hades first.”

I sympathised, but that wasn’t the end of Sarah’s woes. Her two children, now aged around 20, were naturally curious to meet their long-lost father, and did so (and his “new wife” too). I sympathised both with them and also with Sarah, who understandably looked upon their fraternising with ‘the enemy’ as treachery.

Relations in that family were quite strained for some time afterwards. It was one of those sad situations where there can’t be an easy or a happy ending.

Friday, 8 May 2009


Forwarded by a friend:

Do you realise that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key .

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

'How old are you?' 'I'm going to be 16!' You could be 13, but hey,
you're going to be 16! And then the greatest day of your life ....

You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21.

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a
day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime.. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a
little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
Let the doctors worry about them. That is what they are paid for

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The miseries pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computers, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain be idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.'
And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away.

Monday, 5 January 2009


“This is Watercliffe Meadow, a place for learning” says Linda Kingdon, the head teacher at this newly-opened Sheffield educational establishment (actually, primary school). “We decided…we didn’t want to use the word ‘school’ [because] it had very negative connotations for many of the parents of the children here. We want this to be a place for family learning, where anyone can come…There are no whistles or bells or locked doors.”

But according to the Telegraph, the Campaign for Plain English, which opposes ‘the use of gobbledygook in public life’, describes the decision as “ridiculous and part of a political correctness agenda”.

Well, we learned – at school – that a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet. And a school, by any other name, will be as good or as bad, as pleasant or as unpleasant, as those administering and attending it choose to make it.

In these verbally degenerate days, however, time-honoured names have to be twisted, and even banned, so as to avoid possible offence or hurt feelings. So lollipop ladies become “crossing patrol officers”, teachers are called “knowledge navigators”, and dinner ladies re-emerge as – wait for it! – “education centre nourishment production assistants”.

What such custodians of the language as Fowler and Sir Ernest Gowers would make of all this beats me. The most likely thing I would want an “education centre nourishment production assistant” to pass me is the sick bag.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008


Peering into the murky depths of looming 2009, Mystic Anticant ventures to predict that the following won’t happen:

World ‘leaders’ start behaving morally and responsibly.

Barak Obama ushers in a New Golden Age.

Gordon Brown saves the universe.

Boom and Bust are officially abolished [again].

Crowds throng the streets chanting “Things Can Only Get Better”.

The Pope makes a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says something sensible.

Osama bin Laden makes a State Visit to Buckingham Palace.

The Taliban sets up a womens’ university.

The Israeli lion lies down with the Palestinian jackall.

The Nanny State admits it doesn’t know best, and dismantles itself.

Zola votes Conservative.

Merkin sobers up.

Wook becomes Mayor of Mankato.

Anticant suffers fools gladly.