Cucumber Campaign

From the vinceunlimited Blog dated 6 Feb 2011

At first all the cucumber aficionados reading this will be salivating at the thought that there is to be a Cucumber campaign.  No doubt the thought of selfless promotion of their favourite green cylindrical vegetable will drive them wild with excitement.  But this campaign is to reduce their use.  I hate the things and I am fed up with them turning up uninvited in my sandwich rolls.

For the last few years we have been constantly droned on at to eat more healthily and my relatively recent contribution is to engage full on with the salad world.  Well, when I say full on I don’t mean the whole banana.  I don’t relish radishes, crave cress or press for peppers but I have taught myself the art of enjoying a little bit of lettuce, providing it’s not masquerading as that rocket/garden weed nonsense.  And I have always liked tomato and egg so with a bit of proper food [i.e. meat] I can handle a salad sandwich from time to time.

The trouble is the purveyors of such delicatessen insist on chucking as much ingredients into their wares as possible and this usually includes an obligatory slice of Cucumis Sativus.  No doubt using two thin slices of this cheap creeping vine pod appeals to their sense of value but for me it’s strong flavour just stains the rest of the sandwich and puts me off purchase.  And don’t go telling me that they hardly taste of anything as they are 90% water because if that is the case don’t bother adding them in the first place.

My main issue is that nobody really likes these things.  My misses claims to like cucumber but not once have I seen her purchase one for snack consumption.  Despite the easy natural packaging no one eats a cucumber in the street, such as happens with apples and bananas for instance.

You may think why pick on the cucumber?  After all in a similar way the tomato is not universally appreciated yet this is added to salad rolls for presumably the same reason and people don’t eat them in the street.  The answer is in the design of the tomato.  It may have the same convenient outer packaging as a cucumber but it packs a surprise squish inside rendering it impossible to eat anywhere except leaning over a sink.  So totally unsuitable for street snacking.  And to reinforce the positives of a tomato it adds a new and exciting colour to a salad sandwich.  Cucumber’s just ape the green of the lettuce that’s already there.  Plus I like tomatoes.

So lets ditch the cucumber.  The most pointless addition to a sandwich ever.

Apart from sweetcorn of course.  That nasty little cancer gets everywhere.  Try buying a salad or pasta snack in your local supermarket and there it is.  Little yellow bits of stinking pus-pebbles ruining every dish and impossible to remove without tweezers and a sieve.  Tastes even stronger and twice as sickly than crappy cucumber.  And for some reason always added to otherwise delicious tuna offerings.  What is this stupid fish/corn-cob relationship based on?  As far as I know nothing in the natural world that David Attenborough has ever enlightened us about despite an almost obsessive annual BBC series on the subject.  I adore tuna.  Tuna is good for me.  Sweetcorn makes me puke.  Why stop at Tunacorn?  Why not just go the whole hog and pointlessly insist on adding dandelion leaves to every smoked salmon slice?

Or better still why not make things simpler?  Sandwiches, rolls, baps, tacos, submarines and pittas should only contain one ingredient.  An obvious main ingredient, such as the meat, or for those vaginatarians say an egg.  Then also on display at the same point should be the personal add ons, such as lettuce, tomato and [if you really insist] cucumber, sweetcorn and dandelion.  The user could add these extras at will and build a sarnie to their precise taste and health requirements.

Yes, I am aware that the Subway sandwich chain already take this approach but why not our local supermarket, corner shop or garage forecourt?

Lettuce start the Cucumber Campaign today.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Opinions section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 29 Aug 2018
First published within the Blog on 6 Feb 2011

Looking Through Gary Gilmore’s Eyelashes

Face On

[Originally written in 2005]

The History

During mid September 2005 a surgical team made an announcement that they were to become the first to carry out a human face transplant and it unleashed a whole raft of press comment about the morals of such a procedure.

Too many commentators have taken the weak journalistic option of trying to stir up outdated, backward and religious prejudices by suggesting that there will be a moral outcry.  As usual this counters the brilliant scientific advancements heralded in these new procedures.

The additional twist this time is identity and the allegedly dubious grounds that taking someone’s face will mean adopting their identity and perhaps personality.  This is despite the surgeon’s assurances that the face is shaped by the bones, not the skin.

However, this does not deter those who think that the procedures could lead to cosmetic demands.

My personal belief is that if it did so what?  If someone is prepared to fund research through vanity then let them carry on.

And so what if it changes the way someone looks or raises questions about identity?  What rule says that identity has to be fixed?  If they bring out such a law I’ll grow a beard.  And so will my wife.

Famous Faces

Taking the arguments about altering identity a little further I note that one interesting thought that hasn’t yet been raised until now is the spectre that one day a celebrity may offer their face after their demise.  Think about the consequences for a while.

Currently playing on some sub-standard channel on my Freeview box is a programme called ‘I Want a Famous Face’.  This is the latest in the current trend of titillating, voyeuristic cosmetic surgery programmes that follows desperate wannabes sadly seeking to look like a celebrity because their own self-esteem is too low.

A natural extension to this idea is having the actual face they so desire.  And bidding wars could send the value of deceased celebrity faces sky high.  After all their fiscal worth in life is elevated, why not in death?

Been There Done That

These concepts are not particularly new.  ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ was a song was released following the real life transplantation of a dead killer’s donated eyes.

This spawned a fictionalised Hollywood film called ‘The Eyes of Laura Mars’ suggesting that the transplanted eyes held secrets about how Laura met her demise.

‘Face Off’ was a grand Hollywood blockbuster featuring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta who as goodies and baddies respectively routinely swapped identities during the movie to maintain a high level of thriller element and not a small amount of confusion.

Even before that, in the grand old days when everyone was in black and white a film was released called ‘The Hands Of Orlac’ which featured a talented concert pianist who having lost his hands in an accident had a pair transplanted from a deceased killer.  The twist this time was that the hands were more concerned with stabbing than tinkering with the ivories.

The Future

So what of the future?

I predict that this will become commonplace.

I’ll further suggest that there will be routine face swapping.  Maybe a business face for the day and a party face for the evening.  Presently women change their hair colour, length and shape and tint their eyes with contact lenses so changing faces is a logical extension.

Maybe friends will have fun swapping faces to confuse their parents.

Of course, society will gradually learn to distrust external features and we will eventually be judged on who we are and not what we look like.

And me personally?  I have never wanted to alter my face, my desire is technically easier but way more complex.  I don’t want to look like Brad Pitt, I want everyone to think that my look is as good as Brad’s.

Oh, and I’m thinking about putting in a bid for Jennifer Aniston’s face.

Not that I want to wear it – just sit on it.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Opinions section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 1 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 in Sep 2005
The world’s first partial face transplant with parts from a stranger was claimed to be carried out on Isabelle Dinoire in Sep 2005 who had her face mauled by her dog.  The work was carried out by Dr Bernard Devauchelle, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Benoit Lengelé, a Belgian plastic surgeon, and Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France.  The operation was successful but her immune system’s response was difficult and she eventually died in 2016 following a long illness
An earlier transplant was reported by The Guardian on a 9 year old Indian boy, Sandeep Kaur, who had his face ripped off by a thresher machine in 1994.  His mother’s quick reactions allowed reconstruction of his own face by Dr Abraham Thomas, one of India’s top microsurgeons.  This is recognised as the first face transplant.  The Guardian reported that in 2004 Sandeep was training to be a nurse
‘I Want A Famous Face’ is an American documentary reality TV programme first shown on MTV which originally ran between 2004 and 2005
Gary Gilmore was an American double murderer who was successfully prosecuted and eventually executed in Utah in 1977.  Within hours two people had received transplants of his corneas
‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ by songwriter T.V. Smith is a single performed by punk band The Adverts produced in 1977
‘The Eyes of Laura Mars’ is a 1978 film written by John Carpenter and David Zelag Goodman
‘Face Off’ is a 1997 film written by Mike Webb and Michael Colleary
‘The Hands of Orlac’ is a 1924 film written by Maurice Renard
Jennifer Aniston is lovely

Water Opinion

I don’t want to appear to be a bit of a wet fortnight but don’t you just hate the privatisation of essential services such as power, gas, telecommunications, water and hamburger joints.

Well perhaps the last one would be a good idea but that is an entirely new subject for a rant.  Here I want to bemoan the hypocrisy of privatised water companies.

Since privatisation the water companies have been taking the p1ss in more ways than they were obliged to do.

Why have we been subject to increasing restrictions, poorer supply and inflated bills?

Why, for instance, in our green and pleasant land [read wet] do we suffer hosepipe bans as soon as there are three sunny days in a row?

And why is the water mains pressure so weak you can no longer take a shower standing up?

The answer is ‘fat-cat’ profits.

Consider for a moment that you are that fat-cat executive on the board of one of the water companies.

What do you think the biggest priority is? – Fuelling your customers.

Nah, bleeding them dry is a much better business proposition and doing it is easy.

Firstly, you create an image that water is more precious than gold.  Just wash over the fact that the product you sell for profit actually falls free from the sky.

Feed stories about drought and waste then try adding a bit of guilt about the environment for good measure and soon everyone will start to use less.

It would also be wise to shift blame firmly onto your customers claiming that their desire to live in cities makes it difficult to serve them.  Gloss over the fact that when packed together it is cheaper to serve their collective needs, or the fact that most cities are built on rivers.

This all saves the cost of new reservoirs you see.  In fact you may be able to sell off some existing ones for prime building plot charges.

And whatever you do don’t invest too much in desalination plant technology, that will just remind your customers that the damn stuff floats all around their country in huge quantities.

Of course a few will try to persuade you that it is your leaky old network that wastes the most and you may consider doing something about that.  Or you could reduce pressure to the absolute minimum – as set by your colleagues in the watchdog that your own industry set up.  That should delay expenditure for a few more years whilst your valuable stocks and shares mature.

You might even suggest ‘fun’ items like sharing a bath, or play on your customer’s basic laziness by suggesting it is good not washing the car or tending to the five-hundred pounds worth of shrubs in their garden.

You could even encourage the manufacturing industry that sells loos that only partly flushing is a good idea and that to add a brick in the cistern is a sensible measure.  That should make the customers use less of your liquid gold.

Finally up the ante so much that government, or as you see it your old mates who got you the job in the first place, raise legislation to put a water meter in every property.

Obviously, the metered supply will have to reflect, on average, the non-metered rates, but as no one but you know how much the average is you can easily charge more than the average for everyone, no matter how frugal they are.

The downside may be disease and pestilence but it won’t affect you, unless the proletariat happen to brush up against you in Harrods.

Another small problem will be that occasionally you will have to flush some water down the drains just to free them up as the network was designed with actual use in mind.

Then, as a piece-de-resistance, you could drop the quality of processing – just enough to not kill or poison too many but persuade the rest to buy bottled water instead of the ‘free’ stuff from the tap.  If you are really good you could even bottle the stuff yourself and make even more cash.  After all the fool in the street is happy to pay more for water than petrol and water doesn’t even have the excuse of 85% tax.

Mind you the most surprising thing about all this is why you ‘fat-cats’ are involved at all.  I always thought cats hated water.

Author: Vince Poynter

From the Opinions section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 6 Mar 2018 but first published in the website in Mar 2005.
The image is of the author as a young boy swimming into the distance off The Isle Of Wight and was originally added in Version 3 of the website in Mar 2010.  This amount of water still exists today, 20 years later.  OK, forty years.

Favourite TV and Films

Celluloid Choices

Given the amount of time that I dedicate to watching TV (don’t we all) I found it very difficult to put together a list worthy of assembling into a top ten.  In fact only a few series stand out and no individual programmes.

It’s not that I’m particularly difficult to please.  Most nights there is ample entertainment or education on offer but very little remains in the mind for years afterwards.

However, this page would be pointless without making an attempt so check out my choices below.

Films are a much easier subject to schedule.  Good films do leave an impression and I’m spoilt for choice and our cupboards are full of reminders in the shape of DVDs lest we forget.

So scroll down to see what lit my rocket on the big screen.

Television

Thunderbirds

Vince playing with Thunderbird 2
My fascination with Thunderbird 2 goes back to the sixties

My first choice is from my childhood and shares nothing in common with the big screen version.  At least that’s my opinion judging by the shape of Thunderbird 2 on the movie posters.  Although I must admit that, as at the time of writing I haven’t seen the film version.  My memories go back to the puppetry of Gerry Andersson.

I suppose Mr. Andersson only got away with it because it was the sixties and we all thought we’d be in rockets by 2004.  The rockets were fantastic and Thunderbird 2 (the real original version) is still my aeroplane of choice but the characters were abysmal.

Even at five years old I saw that.  Those lips.  Still, it’s nice that Alan Hanson got another job afterward leaving the show.

Of all the heroic characters I most associated with Brains, not because he was clever but because he looked like a dork.

And I’d still love to drive FAB 1.  Yes, the Rolls not the 2004 pink Ford (groan) Thunderbird.

Just one criticism of the programme.  Why does everyone say FAB?  I never recalled this as a catchphrase, and still do not know what it means.

Blue Peter

My second choice is also from my childhood, it just isn’t the same now.

My era was the John Noakes, Valerie Singleton and Peter Purves years.  I recall Blue Peter being the first programme for me to call my own.  I knew what time it was on and always made an effort to watch it.  Other members of my family used to have their programmes and I had mine.  It seemed a lot more interesting than my Dad’s stuffy Panorama.

I particularly recall an episode in which John Noakes went deep into the Amazon forest and met the locals who got him razzled on their local version of snake-bite and coke and tried to persuade him to jump from a tree attached to a fixed twine.  This was their idea of a manly initiation and in the spirit of these sort of things the bravest were commended by the tribe, although the best appreciation was saved for those that actually broke their neck.  I can’t recall if John Noakes did the jump, or if Shep did it tied to his lead, but this stuck in my mind as it pre-dated bungee jumping by years.

The decline of Blue Peter started when Valerie Singleton was replaced, sorry Leslie Judd but you just weren’t Valerie.  A big disappointment for a growing lad.

Of course, all of my favourite presenters have now moved on.  Valerie announced that she was a lesbian and started making serious programmes about money (presumably for my Dad, lucky man), Peter Purves got a part time job as a dog show presenter, which presumably kept the wolves from the door once his starring roles in Wacky Races had dried up and John Noakes, as far as I can tell sailed up the Orinoco in a coracle never to be seen again.

However, I may be a bit out on these facts.

24

Quite a leap from the heady days of 1960’s British TV to this modern all action American series.  Just goes to show what a load of crumbs that I’ve watched over the years.  But when I tried to think of any influential programmes in the past this frenetic thriller leapt out.

I’m talking about the first series mainly, although the second kept up the quality, it just wasn’t so fresh and new.

As for the third series it got swallowed up by (spit) Sky TV so I haven’t yet had the pleasure.

For those who are not familiar with this adrenalin rush of a programme imaging watching three TV’s at once whilst reading a book and setting your hair on fire and you’ll be somewhere there.

Keifer Sutherland was always an also-ran jobbing actor until this series and I now look upon him as my first choice in a crisis.

The supporting cast was equally excellent, even, and I’m going to be slated by the fans for this, Jack’s daughter.

Particularly outstanding was the presidential portrayal of the President (how else would he be portrayed?) by Dennis Haysbert although his whining wife was a pain.

The West Wing

Vince by The White House
Not sure which way was west

I love words.  You may have gathered this from this page alone.  And The West Wing is full of them delivered at such a cracking pace.

There have been other intellectual dramas but this one, more than any I can recall, does not wait for the audience to keep up.  If you miss a bit, tough, you just ain’t got what it takes to be in the White House with the team.

My favourite character is C.J. played sexily and intelligently by Allison Janney.  And she should be proud to take such an accolade from this fine group.  Clearly a demonstration of how quality is contagious.

However the true star of the show must be the creator and main writer, Aaron Sorkin.  Aaron, you are a writing genius.

So, am I West Wing White House material?  No way – I have a life.

The Green Wing

When looking for a comedy to include in my list I initially thought I was spoilt for choice.

Classics such as Some Mothers Do ‘ave Em, Fawlty Towers and the Blackadder series were strong contenders and programmes I’ll watch time and again but true timeless classics – I don’t think so.  They do not rise significantly above others such as Red Dwarf, The Young Ones or even The Good Life (mainly watched time and again for Felicity Kendal).  An excess of choice perhaps, or just that the standard is so high.

So I have chosen, somewhat illogically, my latest favourite instead.  After all, new comedy is really the best flavour.

The Green Wing shares little in common with the West variety above but does break genuine new ground.  Although set in a hospital, a venue that is hardly in short supply on British TV, and without much of a narrative the programme still seems fresh and exciting, as well as hilariously funny at times.

The edited pace changes suit the format of a comedy where some things need relishing in detail and others can be sped up to get to the next comedy moment.

It helps that most of the actors are relative unknowns so you don’t get the tedious David Jason’s in it factor, each actor can be seen as the character rather than the personality.

If you haven’t seen it catch it soon.  It will be repeated several times I’m sure and like Fawlty Towers that is a good thing.

Favourite TV Programme

So what is my favourite of all time?  My vote goes to The West Wing.

Nothing on TV comes close.  Nor anything in real life by the look of it.

Gutter TV

And finally, the worst TV programme I can think of.

My first thoughts are the modern ‘gentle’ comedies.  By gentle read not funny.  These are the modern day Sunday night lightweight dramas, usually starring Alan Davies, a quite funny man when he does stand-up.

Or if they are even more ‘gentle’ then starring Sarah Lancashire.

But none of this vacuous TV wallpaper can top the condescending John Craven’s Newsround.  I’m starting to yawn now.

Films

The mark of a great film is the enjoyment when watching it over and over again.  Repeated showings engrain the movie into the psyche and thus it becomes a classic.

This is a difficult task for the films that are story driven as familiarity destroys any surprise that had such an impact when the film was first shown.  That is why there are so many action films in my list.

And so few comedies.

Airplane

It is a true credit to the makers of Airplane that it features at all in this list.  But the litmus test of a film being accepted on repeat performances stacks up as there always seems to be something else to note when this film is played.

Quite possibly the funniest of all films.

Bridget Jones’ Diary

On pure comedy this film would not have featured.  The laughs are not clever enough to sustain repeated performances so the credit for this film’s inclusion is in the performances of the characters, both central and supporting.

It is a feel good movie and I can’t fault something that makes me feel good time and time again.

Con Air

Some critics have argued that this movie is nothing more than an adrenaline rush with no depth and poorly constructed two-dimensional characters.  Even if it is – so what.  I’ve never regretted watching it.

I’m quite happy to leave my brain switched off if the rest of my aural and visual senses are so well rewarded.

James Bond

Vince stood in Tuxedo 1
The name’s Blond.  James Blond

I thought carefully about including one of the Bond action films in my list and realised that individually some are very good, if not great but as a series it is up there with the best.

My favourite is usually the latest and unlike most commentators my favourite Bond is Timothy Dalton.  Sean and Roger are just so yesterday and Pierce’s version has no edge.

However, one nagging doubt remains.  Arnold Schwartzeneggar’s True Lies ‘Bond’ film is more watchable.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park, for me, was the beginning of modern epic cinema.

As a child I loved the rubber dinosaurs of Ray Harryhausen but it took a theatre’s leap of faith to really believe in the effects.

Even modern efforts such as the re-make of King Kong left me wondering at the animatronics rather than the gorilla.

Jurassic Park was one of the first films I could really immerse myself into and believe that the monsters were real.  And I do like to feel that sense of fantasy.

A first in effects, lifetime memorable scenes all coupled to a fascinating subject just about makes up for the ‘oh, look the cute kids are in danger’ slushiness of the script.

Life of Brian

Another amusing film worth repeated viewings, this time set against the biggest myth of modern times.

I don’t take religion seriously at all so a parody should fall flat on its face.  The fact that it doesn’t is testament to the inspired writings of the Monty Python team.

I was just too young to appreciate their TV shows (I had to go to bed at nine, or I’d be a very, very naughty boy!) so there wasn’t even a comfort and familiarity to ease me into the film but I got it all the same.

Now, if only they could do the same for the writings of the Koran.

Midnight Express

For a long time I used to class this film as my favourite of all time.  I loved the realism and haunting Ennio Morriconi score.  Now there have been so many better movies that I don’t make this claim but its previous position should earn it a place in this list.

Midnight Express is probably the least know film in this list and if you haven’t seen it yet get hold of a copy, you will not be disappointed.

Mind you, it was on the TV recently and I watched Big Brother instead.  Oops.

Reservoir Dogs

The only thing that could improve Quentin Tarantino’s blood fest Reservoir Dogs would be a menu option on the DVD to allow the viewer to see the film time-sequenced.

I am not a fan of flashback concepts and the Dog’s is riddled with time discontinuity.

I would just like to know if it would still have as much impact as the director’s cut.

Or even Michael Madsen’s cut.

Ronin

Ronin has the best car chase scene ever.  Better than The Driver, or Bullit.  Do I need to state another reason to keep it in this list?

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects is one of those rare films that having seen it you would like to watch it through again immediately. the clever script is wonderfully played out by a talented team of actors, engaging the viewer’s attention.

The only downside being Benicio del Toro’s unintelligible accent.  Method acting too far I feel.

Top Gun

Tomcat
Tom’s cat?

Possibly the best film ever and I include ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in that assumption.

Wonderful Life had no aerial jet dogfights for one thing.

One of the most quotable movies, filled with the phrases that became the cliches.

Tight story-line plotting, economy of language, foot tapping music and stunning visuals.

Top Gun is so good I still look out for films by the same producers.  And that is rare, usually I judge a film by itself not it’s actor, director or key-grip.

Favourite Film

So what is my favourite of all time?  My vote goes to Top Gun.

Cheesy perhaps, but I like the taste of cheese.

Author: Vince Poynter

From the about section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 11 Feb 2018
First Published: Version 1.03 in Feb 2005, with photos added in 2018
The first photo shows the author in 1966 playing with his new 5th birthday present, a plastic model of Thunderbird 2
The second photo shows the author stood outside the barriers fencing off The White House, in Washington, North America in May 2015
The third photo shows the author dressed in a Tuxedo whilst stood in a cabin on board the QE2 in October 2005
The final photo show an US Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat, designation AE 212 in flight and was taken around 1975

Public Announcements

“‘Hum’. ‘Crack’.  This is a public announcement.  Will all those ‘pop’ who are ‘crackle’ please ‘fizz’ so that ‘silence’, ‘pop’ and ‘fizz’ to ‘crackle’.  Thankyou.”

In these days of modern communication, where you can speak to your friend in Coventry or Kuala Lumpa without distortion (baring the midlands accent, that is) why can’t a local public speaker be understood?  They are only connected by wire. Hardly, cutting edge technology.

However, this article isn’t really about the poor quality of sound, but the poor quality of words.  All the quotes below are real world examples and the culprits are named and shamed.

Message on South West Trains on nearing Clapham Junction, that applies to most station platforms that are shorter than the actual train.  “Would customers alighting at Clapham Junction, please use the first five carriages…”  Doh! Should that be ‘…one of the first five’?

The British Government’s latest ‘Kill your speed’ campaign.  What on earth is that all about?  How on earth do you kill speed?  It doesn’t possess life so how can it be killed?  And the roadsign that accompanies the message.  It depicts a hand lowering onto a speed limit.  So how does that work then?  How does putting a hand down kill speed?  Lifting a foot would be more appropriate.  The only vehicles that have hand throttles are motorbikes.  And putting the hand down is more akin to the method of speeding up!  I suppose some cars adapted for disability use may have hand throttles.  Perhaps the Government is really targeting these arch criminals!

Finally, I recently noticed an advertising slogan proudly plastered in huge lettering in Marks and Spencer.  ‘Our bread is baked from authentic recipes from around the globe.’  As opposed to what?  Does a non-authentic recipe exist?  Is anything baked somewhere that isn’t around the globe?  The copywriters really earned their crust on this one!

Author: Vince Poynter
From the opinions sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 4 Jan 2018, but first published in version 1.02 in Jan 2004.

Lottery

A personal view of the British Lottery system

I’m a big fan of the National Lottery.

Where else could such a simple act as shelling out a pound bring such substantial life altering consequences?

And I do not fall under the category of ‘it won’t change my life’.  The hell it will. Big time.

Not that I have such a bad life, it is just that I do have an imagination and too much of my precious time is spent doing what I must, not what I would like.  So winning would be a truly selfish act.  Yes. Bring it on.

I will not try to convince you that I play the game for good causes.  I have a strong belief that we should not need charity because need should be properly addressed through taxation. I have no issue with the government taking a percentage of the lottery cost for extra special causes as long as it stays that way.  The causes should remain special, not need based.  The organisers already make a tidy profit and the winnings seem to be sufficiently generous to tempt me.

The only downside I see is lack of integrity.

Virtually every week one, two or more people are made very wealthy.  Camelot boast of the hundreds of millionaires made.  But there is very little evidence.

Bentley Motors shares are not going through the roof and I, nor anyone I know, is personally aware of any big time winners, except the tiny minority of reprobates featured in the red top rags.

And don’t tell me that mostly they want to keep their identities quiet or that they are all wrinklies who stuff it all under a mattress.  If I won a jackpot everyone would know.  The smile alone would give it away.

So, what stops the organiser saying there are four jackpot winners when there is only one?  I am sure that the system is correctly monitored but the ease in which this could occur stirs the conspiracy side of my mind.

Camelot you need to demonstrate your propriety better.

Finally, a lottery tip.

Buy two sets of numbers.

The second set (providing they are a different set, numbski) will double your chances of winning.  You could not improve on that.

Shelling out another quid will only increase your new chances by a third, a fourth will only increase your chance by another quarter, etc.

And don’t play on Wednesday, you’ll just bugger up my chances of a rollover from Saturday if you win.

P.S. Calling it Lotto doesn’t fool anyone.  It makes it sound cheap.  Which, I guess is the idea.  Trouble is, it is still a pound.  And I, for one, do not want a ‘cheap’ win.

What I couldn’t do with twenty million?  Well, a better website for a start.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the opinions section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk web site Version 5.028 dated 30 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
This article was written when Camelot owned the rights to the British lottery. It has since been sold to some teachers in Canada [seriously, look it up] and because teachers are not well paid it now costs two quid a go. So now I cannot afford it.
The image depicts the author pretending to be a lottery winner stood next to a Bentley Arnage in 2000 and was added in Version 5.028 30 Nov 2017.