It’s sobering in these times of austerity that a consultant is currently offering his services to the NHS for an hourly rate of £666. One of the skills listed on his CV? Cost savings and reward management. Nice work if you can get it.

 

It’s often a mistake to revisit the bands of your youth but I had no regrets going to see the mighty Killing Joke who’ve just released their 13th album.

It’s been a long time since I first saw them as a teenager in London but they can still out-drone the best of them.

A maniacal front man with a penchant for face paint, boiler suits and the apocalypse, another band member who ended up in a psychiatric ward, flirtations with the occult, accusations of fascism and temporarily decamping to Iceland to avoid the end of the world have provided plenty of entertainment along the way.

They’ve also had an entertainingly fractious relationship with the music press over the years including one unfortunate who had a box of maggots tipped over his desk after a falling out.

The songs aren’t all tap dancing and sunshine but they’ve plowed a unique furrow through three decades of music. Bing Crosby always wanted to be like this.

 

It is a rite of passage among young male members of Tribe Britannia that has bemused Indian restaurant staff for decades: the goggle eyed ritual of ordering the hottest possible curry on the menu.

After all, what could be more appetising than tipping a plate full of red hot food into a stomach flooded with strong lager?

My brother was a shining example of the practice in his younger days when he would regularly order a Vindaloo after a night on the lash.

He would trowel it down as fast as possible before his brain registered what was happening to his body and spend the rest of the meal lightly poaching in his own sweat.

The waiter would hover in the background nonplussed knowing that what was being eaten would no doubt be served up down the front of the diner’s shirt before they got home.

However, Vindaloo is a mere fifth in the ‘hot to trot’ rankings behind the Pathia, Madras and Tindaloo curries.

Top spot goes to the mighty Phall. I don’t think anyone knows what it tastes like because it is so hot.

Another friend insisted on having a Phall whenever we ended up in a restaurant and likened the sensation to every orifice simultaneously opening and shutting like a fish gasping for air on a boat deck.

This is shortly followed by an implosion of the five senses as they evaporated in the all consuming fires of the Phall.

There are a whole selection of Phall eaters on u-tube if you’d like to see its effect on the unsuspecting palate.

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