December 2012



The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Daniel Nest is a blogger of Ukrainian origin who explains succinctly

I do humour posts and am very affordable.

He wrote recently about the weird search terms used to access his Nest Expressed blog. Inspired by this I checked the strange searches that led some readers to the HelpGov blog. I have tried to understand what ten of these benighted souls might be looking for…

Upside down wheelie bin

Who would want information about an upside down wheelie bin? It’s easy. Bin upside down, waste on ground. End of story.

Business card showing degree example

Ah, business cards with qualifications on. How I hate them. Joseph Soap, M.B.E., H.N.D., B.Sc. (Hons.), M.A., M.Phil., FBACS, MOPIE, ABUM. What’s all that about then? Insecurity I think. The weirdest I saw was the leader of a council I worked for who had no academic qualifications. No shame in that. But as he reached the end of his career he received two honorary Ph.D.s, one from each of the two local universities. So on official correspondence he went within a short time from Cllr. Bob Middleton to Cllr. Dr. Robert Middleton Ph.D. (true story).

Waste-2-value swine

I am completely bemused by the meaning of this phrase. Anyone able to help? The best I can guess is that it’s the inaccurate translation of some deadly insult in a foreign language – ‘You waster-value swine.’ Or maybe it’s a genetically modified pig that produces less waste than the traditional porker so that even the ‘oink’ can be used.

Twitter logo

Why would anyone visit the HelpGov blog to find the Twitter logo? Why not attempt the enormously complex task of visiting Twitter, or even more daring, Google Images?

Pictures of bad teeths not being brushed for weeks

I can assure readers that no matter how hard they look they will not find pictures of bad teeths on this site, although for anyone willing to search there is a middling-to-old story of waste in the NHS involving free but inappropriate toothbrushes for young children. No disgusting pictures of poor oral hygiene though.

Snow happy people

A.k.a. children. Everyone else longs for the warmth of summer.

Solicitores full size

It is well known that solicitores come in small, medium and full sizes, the same as barristeres and lawyeres, but not on this site.

Desain taman kota

Seseorang searchin di Indonesion untuk ‘desain Taman kota’ datang di situs HelpGov. Saya terkesan. Aku tidak tahu mengapa, tapi aku terkesan. Thank you Google Translate

“Meaning of” tressangle

There is no meaning of tressangle unless it’s the angle my daughter’s hair assumes after she subjects it to its regular dose of TRESemmé

Happy birthday in filipino language

Masaya kaarawan – easy!

That’s all. Happy Christmas or as they say in the States to cover all possibilities and none, Happy Holidays.


001Trump advert 2

Evening Express 14 December 2012

Yesterday’s Aberdeen Evening Express carried this full page advertisement (apologies for the quality of the scan).

Yes, your man Trump’s at it again. The world-class intellect and tourism giant who challenged Barack Obama to produce his full birth certificate and prove he was born in the USA now sharpens the focus of his attention on terrorist-loving first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond – the man  who’s going to cover – yes, I mean cover – Scotland in wind turbines and eight-lane highways.

You can tell he’s a man up to no good –  the receding hair line, the curled lip, the cruel expression, the dodgy hand gesture. Oops, sorry, wrong guy…

Donald Trump


Apparently as the result of a spoof phone call by two Australian disc jockeys to a hospital in London a nurse has died, assumed as I write to have committed suicide, ashamed at having inadvertently allowed the disc jockeys to talk to a colleague about the health of a member of the British Royal family.

A Google search just now for ‘2day fm royal prank’ returns 261,000 results, #royalprank seems to be the Twitter hashtag to use, and there’s very little that can be said about the specifics of the case that hasn’t already.

But the use of the word ‘prank’ in the circumstances is interesting.

2Day FM and its owners have made various statements over the last few days.

On Saturday, before he became more remorseful under the pressure of both listeners and advertisers withdrawing their support, Rhys Holleran, the chief executive of Southern Cross Austereo, 2Day FM’s owners, was quoted as saying

As a craft in radio, [prank calls] have been going for decades and decades…They’re not just part of one radio station or one network or one country, they’re done worldwide.

As usual, the Oxford English Dictionary is enlightening

‘prank.’A malicious trick; a wicked deed; a deception or scheme intended to harm, a hoax. In later use chiefly… A practical joke; a lark; a capriciously foolish act … usu. with modifying word indicating the negative connotations.

Got it? ‘Malicious…wicked…deception…intended to harm…capriciously foolish…negative connotations.’

The use of the word ‘craft’ for prank calls sticks in my gullet, but on one thing Holleran is right.

These calls are widespread, mostly on the more inane sort of shows hosted by the more inane sort of disc jockeys on radio stations similarly inclined. On the occasions I’ve heard them they are usually perpetrated to the accompaniment of exaggerated smug laughter of the ‘How clever I am’ variety.

A prank always has at least a tinge of cruelty about it and is designed to hurt and humiliate, maybe but not always through what passes for humour.

I’m up for actions that speak truth to power and its pomposity but as far as pranks go, count me out.