The Good, the Bad and the Fugly! (Warning: Very Childish … but not suitable for children!)
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the inaugral TIGNOGs ceremony, The Idiot Gardener’s Night Of Gongs, arranged to celebrate one full year of utter drivel in this blog. There will be winners and losers, and some of the losers will be winners, just as some of the winners will be losers! Trust me, it all goes downhill from here! I hope you’re all wearing clean underwear, just in case you have an accident.
Why do Mothers always tell you that: put on clean underwear in case you have an accident? Trust me, if I have an accident that leads to hospitilisation, my underwear won’t be very clean for long. And another thing … oh hang on, where were we?
Oh yes, I hope you’re all wearing clean underwear, and have a charged glass ready to toast the winners. What? You haven’t got a glass? Then go and get one. I don’t care if it’s 7am, you either do this properly or you go elsewhere!
So, without further ado, let’s give a great big gardening blogging thing welcome to tonight’s Master of Ceremonies, the one, the only, the utterly pointless and somewhat suspect Paddy O’Furniture.
Good evening, one and all, and welcome to the 2010 TIGNOGs, the only gardening awards that no-one cares about. They’re worthless, shambolic, and represent the views of one Idiot, so if you’ve better things to do, we can just call it a night right now. No? Oh well, let’s get going then!
I must advise those amongst you who witnessed my set at the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this year that tonight’s material is all original. Okay, when I say original I mean that it’s not the same jokes from back then. Of course, none of it is original, otherwise I’d be a real comedian earning real money, rather than a pretend one earning chuff all!
Tonight, I feel that everyone is a winner, apart from the losers, who are actually losers, but let’s try to make those who failed feel a little better about themselves.
I hope you all enjoy the awards. I won’t; I’ve been out of sorts for the last month, because my wife went missing. The other night the police came round and told me that I’d better prepare myself for the worst, so the next morning I nipped down to the allotment and took her clothes back off the scarecrow.
I miss the wife since she disappeared. Well, when I say I miss her, I mean I spend a lot of time at a brothel. The other evening one of the whores realised that I had visited 25 nights in a row, and told me it was a new record. To celebrate she told me she would do anything I wanted, anything at all, for just £25, but I had to name it in just three words. I handed over the cash, and said, “Dig my allotment”.
If you look around tonight, you won’t spot many celebrities. Alan Titchmarsh isn’t here, which is a shame as I have some unfinished business with him. I saw him on the telly the other night, and he said an onion was the only vegetable that could make you cry. I just wanted to see if he stood by what he said when I hit him in the bollocks with a pumpkin.
Anyway, enough frivolity for the moment. Let’s start with the TIGNOG for the best gardening book. Initially, Tender by Nigel Slater sprung to mind, because that was the book that started the Idiot off down this vegetable growing lark. To be honest, it’s not a great gardening book, and the inspiration of one fool doesn’t mean it will inspire others.
The next thought was Dr Hessayon’s The Vegetable and Herb Expert. The only negative with an otherwise good book is that it relies on drawings. The result was that sun scorch was interpreted as blight, nitrogen deficiency was interpreted as blight, and underwatering was interpreted as blight. When blight finally did arrive, it was interpreted as blossom end rot. Nice one, Doc.
Ultimately, the TIGNOG for the best gardening book goes to a book not about gardening. It does, however, get more use than any gardening book. Not only that, it is printed on recycled paper with vegetable inks, but we’ll forgive the bloody boring hippy for that. It is a veritable encyclopedia of how store your crop, with instructions on all manner of ways to turn a glut into a long-term food-bank. Yes, the TIGNOG for best gardening book goes to How To Store Your Garden produce by Piers Warren.
Piers can’t be here tonight to collect his TIGNOG because he’s a hippy, and won’t upset his carbon balance to drive here. Plus this is the interweb so there’s no ‘here’. Plus he doesn’t know anything about this pointless drivel. But do buy the book, or get it from the library, or steal a copy, or get one person to buy it and then all photocopy it. I don’t care, I don’t make a penny out of giving it an award.
Next up comes the TIGNOG for best customer service with regard to gardening stuff. I’d love to talk about all those who might have won this, but thus far there has only been one bit of good customer service in the past 12 months. Very early in the Idiot’s gardening career, he managed the unmanageable by bending a Neverbend fork. A quick complaint letter resulted in the delivery of a brand new item. It is for this reason that the TIGNOG for best customer service with regard to gardening stuff goes to Spear and Jackson!
Now, Spear and Jackson can’t be here tonight, as both of them are probably dead. If they are, then rest in peace lads. If they’re not, it won’t be long now, eh boys?
Talking of death, after my Dad died he went up to heaven. After a few days of hanging around, he met Jesus. Jesus asked how he liked heaven, and my Dad said, “It’s okay, but a bit boring. I’d like to do a bit of gardening.” So Jesus took him by the hand and led him into a walled garden.
It was magnificent, every fruit and vegetable growing in abundance, healthy and disease free. In one corner was a empty patch. Jesus pointed towards it and told my Dad that’s where they were planting the leeks. Dad set to work, first trimming the roots, then trimming the stalk, before making a hole, dropping in the seedling and gently watering it in.
Next, Jesus picked up a seedling. He held it aloft and a dove swooped down, nipping off the overlength roots with its beak. Another joined it, and nipped off the gangly leaves. Then Jesus pointed to the soil, and a small tornado appeared, sinking into the earth to make a hole. A butterfly fluttered up, took the seedling and dropped it into the hole, before a small cloud drifted past, raining over the hole to water the seedling in.
My Dad turned to Jesus and asked, “Are you going to help, or are just here to fuck around?”
Next up comes the TIGNOG for worst customer service in relation to gardening stuff. Now, this award could have gone to Sarah Raven Seeds, who upon sending out the wrong seeds demanded that they were returned at the expense of the Idiot before the right seeds could be sent out. Apparently telling them where to put their seeds, accompanied by a bit of legal banter, solved the problem.
The award could also have gone to Scotplantsdirect, who supplied the iffy Jiffy pellets involved in Jiffygate, then got snotty when the Idiot asked about the mould, before offering a full refund but never delivering it (an act commonly known as telling lies to a customer and breaching retail law).
However, even Scotplantsdirect’s dispicable customer service was trumped by Jiffy group, who win the TIGNOG for worst customer service when they displayed complete and utter contempt for their customers during Jiffygate, when the Jiffy pellets went mouldy before the Idiot had time to say “Jiffy pellets are shit”.
No one from Jiffy Group can be here to collect their TIGNOG, because they’re a bunch of right horrible bastards.
A quick joke to lighten the mood. What’s the difference between a Jiffy pellet and a dog turd? One is a lump of shit, and the other is the excrement of a canine beast.
Now it’s time for the TIGNOG for the best seed supplier. Obviously, by best I mean the supplier with the highest germination rates at competitive prices. Much science went into this process, followed by much eating of the stuff that germinated. Nicky’s Nursery could have won, as they offer a good range of unusual stuff at decent prices, with a good turnaround time. Sadly, their germination rates let them down.
Ironically, it wasn’t some seed loving green local co-operative that came out on top, but the one and only Mr Fothergill, one of the major commercial seed merchants. The seeds were plentiful, low cost, but best of all they had very high germination rates. Sutton did perform better, but their range isn’t as good, and they don’t have a cartoon of some old tosser on the packet. So it’s decided, the TIGNOG is his.
Naturally, Mr Fothergill isn’t here, because he’s a bloody cartoon character. It comes to something when a cartoon bloke with a gay Bob moustache beats the crap out of Sarah “make mine a pint” Raven, a real world celebrity with over-priced seeds that deliver shockingly bad germination rates (the Idiot should have listened to the Chinese woman after the Raven lecture, who told him the germination rates were piss-poor).
We move on swiftly to the TIGNOG for the best bit of gardening kit. The first thought was the Sankey Plantmaster. PLANTMASTER! Go on, strip naked and run around your house (and garden) at 3am screaming “PLANTMASTER!” at the top of your voice. It’s liberating, and will win you friends and influence people. No, I’m not bailing you out.
It could have even been the Gardman potato planters. They work, they really do, and they’re big enough to take three plants. And yes, it is the same Gardman that make pellets that don’t go mouldy, unlike the shitty Jiffy ones!
The winner of the TIGNOG for best bit of gardening kit, believe it or not, is the home-made riddle, made by the Idiot himself. Four bits of wood, a few screws and a bit of wire mesh. However, when fitted over a barrow it allowed Hill 49 to be turned from stoney ground to fine tilth in the twinkling of an eye.
PLANTMASTER! Sorry, I just can’t help myself.
The TIGNOG for the crappiest bit of gardening shit – let’s not waste our time here; it goes to Jiffy pellets. Jiffy Group, to a man, you can all piss off. I know, it’s not a shock, no more than finding Sister Imelda doing press-ups in the Convent marrow patch. Again.
Talking of shocks, I was down the allotment the other evening, when a snarling dog came charging in, frothing at the mouth and snapping like a mentalist. I headed up the apple tree, my mate headed up the pear tree, and we left Doris alone to face the beast. As it charged towards her she calmly lifted her skirt and pulled down her knickers.
The dog, on seeing her bristly bush, slumped to the ground, and with its eyes fixed up her skirt it crawled forward until it was licking her feet and ankles, still looking up, transfixed.
My mate shouted from the pear tree, “Oi, Paddy, I bet you couldn’t do that!”
I shouted back, “I could, and I will … as soon as that dog fucks off!”
The TIGNOG for the nicest people met through gardening is next. The Idiot met some lovely folks at the garden centre, and a few down the pub, but the TIGNOG goes to you lot, all of you. There’s only one so you’ll have to share it. Actually, there isn’t one at all, but just find an old vase lying around in your house and pretend that’s it. You can do a speech, but do it later, when we don’t have to hear it.
In all seriousness, there has never been been a single word of criticism, smart-arsedness, arrogance or pomposity from any of you. You’re all truly lovely people.
Well, the Irish ones are a bit of trouble, and the Americans could give it a rest occasionally. As for the Americans who pretend to be Canadian, well they’re as bad as the Hungarians posing as English ladies, and don’t get me started on the Scots. Both of you. Or the bloody Northeners or people in Salisbury bloody Plain. Or the French and those that cavort with the French. Or the bloody ex-pats in eastern Europe (sorry Edith, I wasn’t doing you twice, it was someone else with rats). Or men with big bushy moustaches. Or men with bloody Hosta collections. Or men with big bushy moustaches and Hosta collections. Or widows. Or bloody people with dogs. And chickens. And Mexican goats. And goats of any description. Or people who pickle stuff. Or the elderly (got interweb yet, Granny?). Or bloody Australians. Or that bloke with a limp in Zimbabwe. Or the greenies. Or the feel-good hippies, even if they do post good recipes or say Namaste. Or Deb with her Lady Garden (an English moment of humour). Or that one that has a header with the dog sniffing a flower. Or twats in hats, regardless of colour. Or bastards with new farms that like to rub in how much space they have. Or people that build good stuff, including grow boxes and tea houses. Or that bloody American that supports Tottenham. Or the Alaskan mafia. Or you.
No, fuck all them lot, but the rest of you; you’re okay!
The TIGNOG for the biggest prick ever encountered through gardening? That goes to Jeremy Howarth, UK Sales Manager of Jiffy Group. He’s the one that denied that Jiffy pellets ever went mouldy, and then when confronted with facts screamed (like a girl) that they only went mouldy because you lot (and me) – amateur gardeners – were retards. He did eventually promise a refund, but never delivered. Another lying twat, then!
So that leaves the last TIGNOG of 2010. Vegetable of the Year.
It could have been the chard. It has consistently produced for 9 months. It could have been the fartichokes; so easy to grow. It could have been the parsnips, sweet and tender. However, one vegetable has stood out from the crowd. The taste was, quite frankly, unbelievable. Easy to grow, and so different from shop-bought shit, the final TIGNOG, and the most important TIGNOG, goes to… THE FUCKING CARROT!
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, brings this long and dreary post to a close. I hope you’ve enjoyed the TIGNOGs, and I hope you’ve laughed, a little at least. Remember that when you feel down, when you feel despondent, when life is passing you by, you can always take off all your clothes, run down the street, and scream “PLANTMASTER!” at passers-by.
I’ll leave you with a tender tale about the Idiot and his dear wife, Mrs IG. Just the other night they were enjoying the last of the bean crop, and the Idiot became nostalgic. He spoke tenderly to Mrs IG (something of a strange event in itself).
“Mrs IG, when I decided to enter the world of gardening, you were there, beside me. When I drilled through my thumb building raised beds, you were there to mop up the blood. When I hit myself in the face with the hammer, you applied ice to my split lip. When I fell down the hole I’d dug, you helped me to stand again. When my cucumbers got neck rot, you helped clear the debris away. When my curcubits died, you helped me carry them to the compost. When my potatoes froze, you were the there to help cut away the dead stalks. When the radishes choked the salsify, there you were helping me cut away the leaves. When the blight hit, you helped me strip the plants of their mouldering fruit. When my Christmas spuds got snowed on, you helped me lay the fleece. All year, you’ve been beside me, and now I realise … that you’re a fucking jinx!”
I’ve been Paddy O’Furniture; you lot can all fuck off home!
I thank you.