A Torrent of Abuse

“The problem’s in your intranet”, he said to me
“And breaking in is easy if you read the RFC
I’d like to help your data in its yearning to be free
There must be 50 ways to hack your password”

He said “it’s really not my habit to intrude,
But keeping passwords to yourself is really rather rude
And all your data is belong to us, ‘cause, dude,
There must be 50 ways to hack your password.”

Just slip out the hack, Jack
Send off a phish, Trish
Guess at a PIN, Jim
Just take it from me.
Hook into the bus, Gus
You don’t need to fuss much
Just parse the key, Lee
And let yourself in.

He said, “it makes me laugh to see you so confused
And the obviousness of passwords that you have re-used
Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, there’s nowhere I’ve been refused,
There must be 50 sites with that same password.”

He said “I’ve just posted all your passwords to the net,
In protest at the outing of some kidz you never met
And it’s your fault if you find your bank account has nothing left
‘Cause there were lots of ways to hack your password.

Make it too short, Mort
Name it after your pet, Chet
Use your address, Tess,
Or your account name.
Just use “password”, Bert
You can even use QWERT(YUIOP), Gert
Don’t use the shift key, Dee
Make it easy for me.

Convoy II

Or, just when you thought it was safe to order another pint of gold top…

Even if you remember the 1970s song by W.C. McCall [actually, that’s C.W. McCall: possibly a Freudian slip there…] or the Sam Peckinpah movie, you may not be aware of the projected follow-up movie, where the action was to be moved to a milk round in West London. If you don’t remember the song, the movie or milk floats, this won’t mean a lot to you.

It was half-past five: I was half alive
And wishing I was back in bed
I’d got 600 up of Silver Top
And a ton and a half of Red.
We were nose-to-tail down Hewer Street
Clear down to Ladbroke Grove,
When Tel came down and checked us off:
He said ‘Let those Gold Tops roll…’

By the time I hit the Westway lights
My wheels began to drag:
By Shepherds Bush I knew the score
So I dropped for tea and a fag.
Halfway round Sulgrave
I had to hit that horn:
I said ‘Big D, this is Catwurzle:
Me flaming float’s broke down…’

He said ‘Hold it son, I’m having tea:
Call the engineers…’
So I did, and they assured me
They’d be out before next year.
I’d pushed her halfway round Brook Green
When I heard a klaxon blow:
It was Charlie in a Morrison,
With another float in tow.

Well, mercy’s sake, good buddy,
Looks like we got us a convoy…

We hit the Broadway well past 12
And swung off down King’s Mall;
Doubled up Ashcroft three floors each
In 15 minutes flat.
By the time we left Riverside
We’d four more floats in hand
Plus three from Express, four from U.D.
And Ted in a Commer van.

“Catwurzle, there’s a 266 bus trying to cut across to Butterwick, come on back.”
“Tell him to get in line, we need all the help we can get…”

We hit Wood Lane three abreast
And those Bears began to snarl,
But they let us through since we had along
Three ambulances from St. Charles.
We crawled up Barlby 90 strong,
And still we picked up more:
two bread vans, three taxis,
12 Hell’s Angels and a van from the GPO.
Tel passed us by St. Marks and screamed
‘You’ll all be on the dole!’
But we carved him up and headed home:
I said ‘let those yoghurts roll – ten four…’

Make Mine A Snowball

What would Christmas be without The Snowman?


For years this was just a single verse stranded in the first draft of a novel I’ll probably never finish now, and then a few years ago it demanded to be finished. Its first public appearance was after the funeral of my friend Graham Bell. That might seem less strange if I tell you that the funeral finished with the Ying Tong Song. Graham was always urging me to play more jazz, but I think he would have approved of this anyway. Apologies to both Howard Blake and Raymond Briggs, who might not approve.

I did once sing it at one of Vic Cracknell’s open mike evenings in tandem with a vaguely jazzy instrumental version of White Christmas which probably proved conclusively that I was not born to compete with Wes Montgomery or Barney Kessel.

I’m snoring in my chair
I think I’ve had too much to eat
And even if I tried
I couldn’t leave my seat.

I’m getting very tight:
I didn’t need those last two beers
And now that last mince pie
Has dribbled down my tie.

Somebody offered me another cup of tea
Turkey sandwich, more plum pudding, woe is me…

I’m sprawling on the stairs
I haven’t got the strength to rise
And dear old Auntie Jill
Is in the bathroom still.

I’ve turned off the TV
The Queen’s speech was keeping me awake
And one more Singing Nun
Is more than I can take

Uncle Dick is feeling sick, he’s running for the loo
Heaving like a mighty monster from the zoo

I’m surfing in my lair
Looking for some online deals
To spend next Christmas Day
On a cruise ship far away…