Recent Posts

29 January 2010

Application to renew the photo on a driving licence

Be taken of the full head. Be
in sharp focus and clear. Be free
of any reflection
or glare from glasses. Have been taken
in the last month and be a true
likeness of you.
Not have any shadow in it. Be
a colour photo (we
will not accept black and white
photos). Be taken against a light
grey or cream background. Not be
damaged, torn or marked. Be free
from redeye.

Not have anything covering your face.
Not wear a hat or head covering unless
this is for a medical or
religious reason. Be facing for-
ward and looking straight at the camera. Have your
eyes open. Look natural but without expression
(your mouth should be closed, you should not be grinning,
frowning or raising your eyebrows). Not wear
sunglasses, tinted glasses or have your hair
across your eyes. Not wear
glasses if the frames cover your
eyes (we recommend that you remove your


These are the standards for UK driving licence photos according to the application form. The first stanza is: 'Your photo must…', the second: 'You must…'. I have changed the list order but nothing else. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

22 January 2010

"Lima Delta"

November. Zulu Hotel, Quebec.
Oscar tango Juliet, echo foxtrot.
Yankee papa – golf, whiskey.

India sierra. Alfa Romeo.
Uniform xray "Victor" Mike
– kilo charlie.


Spotted the NATO phonetic alphabet pinned to the wall in a call centre yesterday and wondered if I could make a story by rearranging it. NB Lima Delta is a derogatory term in the military. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

15 January 2010


A Shiver of Fear,
The Song of Thunder Where the Quaggy Bends
Beware! Beware! Scribble Boy! A World of Fairy Tales,
Flying Upside Down and Inky Pinky Ponky,
The Sterkarm Handshake and The Subtle Knife
but not The Carpenter or the Lion Adventure or the Hard Way Home

By Bec, reading bookshelves in Homerton College.

13 January 2010


A black glove was found
In one of ground
Floor corridors
This morning.

It’s Woollen,
Large and
With a ‘Thinsulate’ label on.

It’s in reception

Email sent to users of my Computer Lab building. Submitted by Tom Cashman.

08 January 2010

A thousand kim

Police, police, Henry and Frankie.
Oh, oh, dog biscuits and when he
is happy he doesn’t get snappy.

I am a pretty good pretzler.
Winifred. Department of Justice.
I even get it from the department.

Please, I had nothing with him.
He was a cowboy in one
of the seven-days-a-week fight.

There are only ten of us. There ten million
fighting somewhere of you, so get your onions up
and we will throw up the truce flag.

No payrolls, no walls, no coupons.
That would be entirely out.
Oh, sir, get the doll a roofing.

The sidewalk was in trouble and the bears
were in trouble and I broke it up.
A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim.

Please crack down on the Chinaman’s friends
and Hitler’s commander. I am sure and I am going up
and I am going to give you honey if I can.

I am half crazy. They won’t let me get up.
They dyed my shoes. Open those shoes.
Give me something. I am so sick.

I will settle the indictment. Come on,
open the soap duckets. The chimney sweeps.
Talk to the sword. Shut up, you got a big mouth!

Please help me up, Henry. Max, come over
here. French-Canadian bean soup.
I want to pay. Let them leave me alone.

These are the last words of New York gangster Dutch Shultz, delivered as he lay dying from a gunshot wound, according to Futility Closet. I removed only one phrase and clipped one other to uphold the form. The last two stanzas are his final words. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

07 January 2010

Like-minded thoughts

It is clear we share like-minded thoughts
around the opportunity to help
build the right platform in which to further
the dynamic growth of the
Acme brand.

We look forward to building on
the discussion around integrating
the new branding into all the digital
elements of the brand, from the main site,
members area and social network spaces.

Excerpt from an email sent by a design company with whom my company is working. Mutual client name changed of course. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.