Steve Anderson

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

March 2010

For an ‘Old dog’ I had a new experience the other day, we went to see Avatar, a film which is best viewed in 3D format with the supplied Joe 90 glasses. I was amazed by the effect that this was able to provide the humble viewer. If you do go to see this film, and I recommend that you do, don’t go to the bar before hand as it is a 3 hour film and the effects are so good you will hold on to the bitter end before making an Olympian dash to the facilities. There is a moment in the film where I found my self ducking an incoming missile, not a  experience unique to me I have subsequently found out, but one which was calculated to disarm any 3D sceptics. My Scepticism was suitably shot down. So, with my new found enthusiasm I am proposing a sequel to the fabulous Mama Mia which will be made in 3D and which will feature many audience bound missiles. I have been racking my brain for a Bafta winning title, and to cut a long story short, I would like to unveil “ABBAtoir”. Mama Mia for the Avatar generation! It will be a missile rich family favourite with some very jaunty music from the seventies and eighties, and plenty of  blood and gore. I bet you can’t wait!

I have been not drinking for February and it has brought on a number of enlightenments, firstly, there is a world outside the pub, but it is tempered with orange juice and therefore predictable and slightly sticky. Secondly, the human body gets all driven to do things in the morning when not hampered with a hangover, and finally, a modest beer habit is an expensive mistress. The solution to all of this is seemingly quite simple, moderation and homebrew, actually if the quality of home brew is as it was in my youth, then moderation will be an inevitable outcome. February was the chosen month partially because of its lack of the usual day count, and partially because most of us go into a sort of involuntary hibernation, a state of torpor derived from the complete lack of daylight hours, good weather, and anything likely to enthuse for the full 28 days.

Talking as the title does of old dogs, am I the only one who has noticed that dogs heads have a similarity with bicycle saddles. On the face of it that last statement sounds somewhat obscure, and without explanation could lead to incarceration in a Victorian sanatorium for an indefinite period of time, but lets think about it. The shape of a slow and comfortable dogs head say for example a St Bernard is wide and well padded, it is mirrored in its design by a similarly slow and comfortable bike saddle of the “old school” leather and spring variety. In the midrange you might consider a retriever or possibly a pointer, this would equate to a bicycle saddle which displays some qualities of comfort but hints to the occasional burst of speed, can you see where this is going? Now to confirm the concept one only has to look at the shape of a whippets head or that of a greyhound, they mirror the  fiercely pointed and singularly uncomfortable saddles preferred by the road racing type of cyclists, for whom pain is a large part of the experience.


He that lieth down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas. (Benjamin Franklin)

See what I mean!