More Scam Stuff

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Today I received a suggested post on my Facebook page. I have included a photo of the post as I didn’t want my mouse to go anywhere near it. To me, as a grizzled old scam-outer and grumpy old chap with time on his hands, it had SCAM written all over it. So powerful was the warning that I could feel myself getting angry before my down-scrolling had actually reached it.

Rather than join in the rants of the disillusioned commenters, I decided to send a private message to ‘Food Lover’ who had provided the Gateway to the scam. Here is an excerpt of the aforementioned…

Dear Food Lover,

May I first congratulate you on your choice of Facebook name. A lovely harmless and enticing title. However, the suggested post with which you have dirtied my own Facebook page, smelled more than a little fishy to me. A £500 Morrisons voucher for the over 50s? How nostalgic. This type of scam was one of the first scams to annoy Facebook 10 years ago. What’s up? Can’t think of anything new?

All scammers are the lowest of the low. But somehow, targeting the over 50s makes you a pond life arse ferret. Scammers are evolving, making some scams extremely difficult to spot. Your effort is rubbish. Did you ever listen at scamming school? Or did you fall for the online scamming course? Which in itself is probably a scam. Were you annoyed at being scammed? Is that what it is? Were you cross that you forked out £200 for twat all?

Your feeble attempt at scammery is so fraught with tell-tale signs, it makes me wonder if you are 12 and have never seen one before. Perhaps you would like me to point out some of your obvious errors. Tough, you’ll get no tips from me.

And on and on it went. Anyway, if you were wondering what gave it away, I’ll list 10 points to alert you. To be honest, it’s not rocket science so in the unlikely event that Food Lover gets to see this, it’s unlikely that he will learn much.

1) £500? Who the hell gives away £500 vouchers? You may get 10% off a tin off kidney beans but that’s about it.

2) Only for the over 50s? A tad discriminatory isn’t it?

3) Read through any comments from the dumbasses who have fallen for it. ‘It wont accept my phone number’. ‘The survey took me half an hour’. ‘Well, did I win?’. ‘I’ve developed a virus’. ‘My willy hurts’. ‘Ever since I did this, I keep getting phone calls from Insurance people’. ‘Morrisons only sell halal meat’ (bit off topic but there you are). Anyway, as a whole, these always give you a clue that something is amiss.

4) Google ‘Morrisons vouchers’ and you will soon find out that Morrisons are aware of the scam and denying any involvement (which I believe).

5) The link features what looks like an application protocol of http://gruponn.co.uk. This means nothing, leads nowhere and is obviously designed to confuse buggered old eyes into thinking it’s something to do with Groupon – that well known and trusted source of cheap wine (and apparently some other things).

6) The Facebook page for Food Lover is less than a month old. Facebook scammer’s pages rarely are. They nip on, try to scam and disappear again.

7) The profile picture is that of an awfully manky looking fry up.

8) The cover photo is, for some reason, that of the Mason’s Arms in Branscombe. I’m sure they would like to hear that their establishment has a connection to skulduggery. Nah can’t be bothered.

9) Maybe there were only 8 points.

10) Yep, there were 8.

Stay safe out there guys x

Meatloaf

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Dreams can be pretty mad things at the best of times. Last night my subconscious brain decided to create an alter ego for Meatloaf. His brash, over dramatic style needed to be tempered and the man to do it? May I introduce Nut Roast who found himself in the same tricky situations as Meatloaf but found far more believable ways of dealing with them.

Meatloaf…

The sirens are screaming, and the fires are howling
Way down in the valley tonight
There’s a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye
And a blade shining oh so bright
There’s evil in the air and there’s thunder in the sky,
And a killer’s on the bloodshot streets
And down in the tunnels where the deadly are rising
Oh, I swear I saw a young boy down in the gutter
He was starting to foam in the heat.

Nut Roast…

The chavs are screaming, and a dog is howling,
Way down on the prom tonight.
There’s a man in the shadows with some grit in his eye
And a torch shining oh so bright.
There’s pollen in the air and there’s clouds in the sky
And a vendor selling steaming meats
And down in the tunnels where graffiti is rampant
Oh, I swear I saw a young boy eating some butter
He was starting to barf on a seat.

Far more believable. And then of course, the chorus.

Meatloaf….

Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes
When the night is over, like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone, gone, gone
Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes
But when the day is done
And the sun goes down
And the moonlight’s shining through
Then like a sinner before the gates of Heaven
I’ll come crawling on back to you

Nut Roast…

I’ll be phoning a cab, I’ll be gone when the morning comes
When the night is over, I’ll be phoning a cab, I’ll be gone, gone, gone
I’ll be phoning a cab, I’ll be gone when the morning comes
But when the day is done
And the sun goes down
And the moonlight’s shining through
Then like a fathead who’s bought skimmed milk in error
I’ll come crawling on back to you.

Just calm down a bit Mr Meatloaf, no need to go nuts.

Anyway now that that’s sorted, try this, it’s amazing Hot or cold meatloaf

Spectaclier

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So this budget thing. This is my 60th budget and as far as I can remember, there has never been anything in any of them to affect me enough to cause any concern, or to cause any interest. I mean, the biggest news to come out of this year’s budget is 60p a week increase in NI tax for the self employed. I don’t mean to sound complacent about money but if Jim Pipe the plumber finds it difficult to find an extra 60p a week, then he needs a new accountant.

Anyway, my point is, last week, the right arm fell off my glasses. I saw it happen and managed to find the micro screw. I couldn’t re-attach the screw because when my glasses were in my hand, I couldn’t see well enough to perform the operation. Ironic don’t you think?

I just have the one pair of varifocals and thought it about time I had some backup in case of emergencies so I looked up the latest deals on Glasses Direct. I was delighted to learn that they are still doing the magnificent ‘2 pairs for £19’ deal. I’ve used them in the past. Twice. I now have reading glasses in my bike bag, car and bedroom. And a pair of driving glasses in the car. Sorted.

I soon found out that if you’re after varifocals, the prices start to rise startlingly and with all the extras, I ended up ordering 2 pairs of varifocals (one pair tinted) for just over £100. 2 more pairs from Sproston and Bowden on the High Street would’ve cost me in excess of £1000. Within hours of placing my order (with prescription), the very nice Julia was on the phone saying that she needed my Pupil Distance Measurement (PDM), which would not be on my paper prescription but I could get it from my optician. So off I went to Sproston and Bowden (S&B) to get re-screwed and to get my PDM.

S&B [delivered with a sour face as if I’d just unleashed a nasty smell] Tsk, well, Diane will be free in 30 minutes. She’ll be able to replace the screw but they’re reluctant to give out information to enable you to buy cheap spectacles off the internet. We’re very pro High Street preservation.

Me Do you shop at Tesco?

S&B Yes.

Me Do you use Argos, Amazon and eBay?

S&B Sometimes yes.

Me Then you’re no more pro High Street preservation than the next person. You’re pro Sproston and Bowden preservation but sod the rest of the High Street. I’ll see you in 30 minutes.

30 minutes later…

S&B Ah hello David. Diane has replaced your screw and I have your PDM.

Me Ah do thank Diane for her trouble. How much do I owe you?

S&B Oh that’s ok. Nothing for the screw.

Me Well here’s a tenner for your trouble as you’re so hard up and you can keep the PDM.

S&B Eh? Are you sure?

Me Yep. I can see that divulging that information is causing you pain. I’m only the customer after all. Goodbye.

HANDBAGS!!!!

I’d been mulling the situation over for 30 minutes and wound myself up a bit. My decade’s business with Sproston and Bowden is now history. When they remind me that my next eye test is due, I shall be going elsewhere.

So anyway, I rang the lovely Julia at Glasses Direct (GD) and explained the situation. She wasn’t surprised as many High Street opticians refuse to give this information out apparently.

GD Not to worry. We have a workaround. In order to obtain an accurate pupil distance so we can centre the lenses in your glasses correctly please take a photo of yourself at arm’s length (around 3 feet) without glasses on, and with a credit/store card placed centred on your forehead, close to your eyebrows. You will need to be in a well lit area and looking straight at the camera (think passport photo).

Me Ha very good. How many people have fallen for that? I bet you have a noticeboard full of these photos.

GD No seriously. We can calculate the PDM as we know the dimensions of credit cards.

Me Oh OK. A credit card sized card would do I guess as I don’t think I fancy emailing you a picture of my credit card.

GD That’ll be fine.

So I took the photo and Julia rang again.

Me That wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. I was getting cross after the 50th attempt. Is it good enough to get my PDM?

GD Yes it’s fine. You look a bit rosy cheeked. I guess that was you being cross.

Me Actually I was fresh out the shower after cycling to Wareham. That would account for my distressed state. The hair was still wet to keep it from obscuring my eyes and the card.

GD You did notice that the instructions did not say that you had to take the photo without a shirt?

Me Yes but I also noticed that it didn’t stipulate that I had to wear a shirt.

GD I trust you had some trousers on.

Me Maybe.

Quick reminder of my damning thoughts on the High Street – https://davesimba.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/town/

Juries

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judge

For the second time in her life, my law abiding sister (pictured) was summonsed for jury duty. This meant that she had to fight through the peak time traffic from Yeovil to Taunton every morning for an unspecified amount of time. Even then it was uncertain on any day whether or not she would have been utilised. What a sad state of affairs.

The need to form a jury has always been a mystery to me. 12 random unqualified people called together to decide the fate of a possible miscreant? How could that ever possibly work? There is a claim that most jurors don’t listen to the case as they have already made their minds up as soon as they clap eyes on the accused. ‘He had dirty finger nails and a scar. He must be guilty.’ I hope that’s not true but I can’t help but see that it might be.

I recall that there was a girl at work who was called to jury service. She lacked the capacity to decide whether or not she wanted tea or coffee so how was she supposed to determine whether Mrs Miggins stole the buns or not? There was a woman on a daytime quiz show the other day who thought that Buzz Lightyear was on the Apollo 11 space mission. How could we trust her to decide whether Mr Throgmorton had fashioned some rather clever tax avoidance or committed illegal tax evasion?

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It’s like asking a nurse to put out a fire. Or a plasterer to rewire a house. Or me to give a church sermon.

Though having said all that, the whole law thing is wrong to me. How can a guilty party be allowed to employ a law man to try to pull the wool over the eyes of the truth and get the guilty person off? Surely once the defendant’s lawyer is certain of his guilt then that should be the end of it – straight to sentencing. If you ask me – which you aren’t but if you were – it’s just a ploy by the Law Society to drag things out and make their members large bags of money. My divorce for example. It took years and cost me a fortune – but it was completely uncontested. Very suspicious.

It’s like Human Resources. When I started work in 1974. There was Gerry, who smoked a lot. When I retired, HR was one of the largest departments in Local Government*. But why? What do they do except pay an awful lot of people an awful lot of money for attending meetings about what? What on earth do they do?.

Anyway, my sister’s second stint has now come to a conclusion. Typically she tried to brighten up proceedings by buying cupcakes for one of the jurors when she discovered that it was his birthday. As the birthday boy arrived, she sparked up a perky verse of ‘Happy Birthday To You’ blissfully unaware that the judge was next door pronouncing sentence on another case. She was cordially invited to shut her trap. Even offering to make the judge a cake of her own didn’t seem to lighten the situation.

Which raises the question. When you start your stint as a juror, not knowing whether or not you will be tied up with the case for a few days or for many months to come, would it be worth considering dropping your trousers in front of the judge when she/he first walks in? You may end up having to shower with other men for a few days but you’ll probably be out long before you would have been freed from your jury stint.

Just sayin.

* no idea if that is true.

The Royal Train

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royal-train

Whoops. I was just eyeballing the Royal Train as it stopped at my back gate. A curtained window was pulled down and a large chap with a moustache appeared, grinned and waved. It was Gus!!! My long time chum.

I laughed histrionically and shouted ‘WTF are you doing on there?’, only to see his grin disappear. And the window shut. It wasn’t Gus. Just a guy trying to be friendly.

In what universe would Gus be on the Royal Train? FFS man, sober up.

Dammit. I’m leaving the country.

Halloween

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In the grim days before the delights of Netflix, people lived grimly from one grim ‘raison d’être’ to another. They started on the first day of the year by celebrating The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ. This mainly consisted of gathering in church halls and passing round bowls of canapes based mainly on cocktail sausages of dubious origin. The idea of the celebration was that this was the first time that the blood of Christ was shed, therefore beginning the process of the redemption of man.

Nope. I’ve no idea what that means either. You just couldn’t make it up. How could anyone condone – let alone celebrate – the removal of any part of the body other than for health and hygiene? It’s just perverted. Anyway, that’s not my point today.

The grim January days trudged on with various other minor celebrations until February brought excitement of Candlemas for those who survived the harsh wintry conditions. This was originally celebrated by the sacrifice of a lamb (or a couple of bewildered passing turtle doves if you were poor). Yeah real mature behaviour guys. Good work.

More recently, our insane friends from the US have largely replaced the celebration of Candlemas with Groundhog Day where for one day of the year, they ignore the prophecies of Carol Kirkwood and put their trust in a rather startled rodent who apparently knows when Spring will start.

Anyway, you get the idea with that. Many celebrations, pretty much all based on nutty people’s ideas of religion and started by characters such as Cyril of Jerusalem and Gregory the Theologian back as far as the 4th Century.

Halloween seems to be the ‘scraping the barrel’ celebration of them all. It’s as if somebody thought that the approaching winter needed an injection of merriment. But under what guise? People were already celebrating penis shortening, mystic rodents, pancakes, ploughs, mothers, lesbians, and pretty much everything else. I know, let’s celebrate dead people – said somebody.

The horrendously worrying present day trend for random young council house tenants to bang on the doors of the elderly threatening to daub their windows with poo unless they give them sweets or money is commonly known as ‘trick or treating’. This originated from poor people bothering the slightly better off for ‘soul cakes’ (a very basic foodstuff made from leftover shizz in kitchen drawers) to feed the souls of the newly departed who haven’t reached heaven yet. You can see the trick here can’t you? As souls don’t actually exist – and certainly don’t possess mouths and a digestive system – the poor people ate the cakes on their behalf. Thinly disguised thuggery if you ask me.

The thing is, virtually all these celebrations can be attributed to writings supposedly attributed to scribes and thinkers from so long ago that it’s hardly worth thinking about. These guys were very very dour and had little to stimulate their literary styles so blew minor occurrences way out of proportion. Like one day when a bush caught fire, or a guy called Lazarus awoke from an horrendous hangover.

Just think how wonderful life would be today if today’s religions were not based on the writings and thoughts of these dangerous, murderous, racist pigs. What if people discovered the early cavewoman musings of J K Rowling? What if there was the Gospel According to Roald Dahl? The Acts of Dawn French, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Clarkson, Keith Lemon, Lee Evans? What a wonderful world we would live in.

Pentatonix

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pentatonix

You know when someone posts a YouTube clip and you watch it and then you watch associated clips and before you know it you’ve spent 5 hours watching music videos – your tea’s burnt to a crisp, your wife’s left you and you’re sat in a puddle of wee? Well that’s just happened to me – except my tea’s not on, I’ve no wife and I’m dry.

My elder niece posted a clip of Jolene performed by Dolly Parton and the a cappella group known as Pentatonix. Hardly an attractive proposition for me as a Radio 6 Music freak favouring the more edgy Fill My Gums With Blood by Gengahr and Breaking Into Aldi by Fat White Family so why would I be the slightest bit interested in some sad old C&W shizz?

When Jolene first came out, I had shed my acne, discovered the joys of best bitter and realised that I didn’t have to wait till bedtime to take off my trousers. So when Dolly trilled out some old nonsense about a bint with a strange name, I paid it no heed. Since then I have heard that the song was written when she was newly married and a bank clerk (who she referred to as Jolene) used to flirt with her new husband.

I listened to the song with renewed knowledge and the words meant more to me and as for Dolly, well the girl can really sing. I know she is a top rated star in the world of Country & Western but so was Conway Twitty. This newish version with Pentatonix is quite remarkable. At the age of 70, Dolly still has the magical voice even though she has tried to keep her face looking young and has ended up looking like a melting Barbie doll from Toy Story.

Anyway, I know you could look it up for yourself but I’ll stick some links on the bottom of this blog in case you want a look for yourself. I looked around at other Pentatonix clips and they are quite fab. They have surpassed a total of 1.5 BILLION views!!! I know that musical tastes are very personal and to be perfectly honest, Kirstin Maldonado (the girl of the five) could stand on stage and fart the National Anthem and she would still melt my spleen so I could be guilty of bias, but I would urge you to at least take a look.

Dolly   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYCoyUxY2HY

Evolution of Music   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lExW80sXsHs

Evolution of Jacko   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJmFrLkc4Y8

Little Drummer Boy   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_MGWio-vc