SHEDNOTES 113: For the Filofacts – add Quotes



In the course of site reorganisation, The Shed needs to refile the following …


“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”

American columnist Bill Vaughan, quoted in The Week, 7.1.2012.


the late gavin lyall, quoted by his wife, katharine whitehorn:

If you hit anything, call it the target.

Also the observation:

Red wine goes with meat but only white wine goes with carpets.


Maybe, just once, someone will call me Sir without adding: You’re making a scene. 


Will Hutton, Gdn 17.4.07:

Lord Palmerston once said of the Schleswig-Holstein question that only three people ever understood it. One was dead, one was mad and one was himself – and he had forgotten it.


According to Bibi van der Zee in Guardian Mag, April 05:

George Bernard Shaw once said that love consists of overestimating the difference between one woman and another.


After 9.9 2001, the columnist writing as Smallweed in the Guardian quoted Walter Savage Landor, a writer who lived through the turmoil led by Napoleon:

All the cities of earth should rise up against the man who ruins one.


To add to the list of definitions of an English gent:

He would prefer a silver salt cellar that didn’t pour to a plastic one that did.


Dylan Moran is reported having said that in long-term relationships, foreplay is pared down to:

I have this – are you interested?


Mark Manning, formerly Zodiac Mindwarp, founder and lead performer of self-spoofing 1980s metal band Love Reaction, has given some entertaining interviews about how he slid downhill to rock bottom and then found a sort of salvation as an author of porn.

The Shed has rediscovered a report by Matthew Sweet, headlined An Animal Writes, in an Independent supplement in June 2000. You can get at it through an online library at although you need to sign up for a free trial membership.

We thought it was the source of our favourite Mindwarp quote:

“I never had any difficulty opening the doors of perception. It was getting the buggers closed again which was the trouble.”

But it’s not obviously there. We did, however, find Manning on …

Being a stadium god: “Sixty thousand people all wanting to suck you off.”

Marriage and kids: “I’ve tried three times to get a life together and I can’t cut it. If I knew why it always goes wrong it wouldn’t go wrong.”

The rock and roll life: “If you take heroin every day and drink until you throw up blood, you know that you’re soon going to shuffle off this mortal coil.”

Get a taste of the band’s style at:

You might also want to track down the autobiographical memoir Fucked By Rock: The Unspeakable Confessions of Zodiac Mindwarp.


Look up Pays Perdu, by French author, suggesting that the three Gods of village life were Alcohol, Shit and Solitude.


J P O’Rourke: “Giving money and power to governments is like giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys.”


Margaret Cook, some time after her split from Robin Cook, recalled:

“Whenever he met a woman prepared to indulge in a little flirtation, his body language was so explicit … I think he would have gone with anyone who was sufficiently compliant and presentable.”


Boyd Tonkin, in Independent, getting fed up with Nick Hornby imitations he summed up as a generic book called Dad’s The Comedian:

Hornby-gauge bloke grows up, sires a sprog or two, gets in touch with his feelings and mooches wryly around the DIY superstore in between serious talks with the Sensible Partner. Lots of stuff about old records, old girlfriends, and facing up to the challenge of Baby Poo.


From somewhere in the early 2000s we have a note of John Prescott having talked of “traditional values in a modern setting” and a merchant navy man writing in to say it reminded him of the mess-room phrase “same old shit, different sauce”. 


On the Yorkshire Post they used to tell the story of a visitor from Fleet Street who insisted on going to a Leeds caff for a full fry-up, then asked for cheese and biscuits and got a Dairylea and two Penguins.


Peter Ustinov in Dear Me: “I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best. They are merely the people who got there first.”


Cheeky Girl Monica, interviewed about her sister Gabriela’s relationship with Lembit Opik, Sun. Tel. July 07, said: “I wouldn’t go for a politician because then the Cheeky Girls would be all about politics and people would forget about our music.”


Homer gives Bart three lines for getting through life …

Cover for me.

Ooo, good idea boss.

It was like that when I got here.

Homer to Bart on learning guitar:

“If it’s hard, it’s not worth doing. Put the guitar in the cupboard with your lacrosse stick and your karaoke suit, son, and we’ll go in and watch some tv.”

Bart: “What’s on?”

Homer: “It doesn’t matter, son.”

There are whole sites dedicated to the punishment lines Bart is seen writing on his class blackboard. We liked a list selected by Tom Templeton in Observer Mag of 22.1.06, which we cannot now find online …

I will not hide behind the Fifth Amendment.

I will not pledge allegiance to Bart.

“Bagman” is not a legitimate career choice.

I will not yell “She’s Dead” during roll call.

I will not expose the ignorance of the faculty.

I do not have power of attorney over first graders.

I will not charge admission to the bathroom.

I do not have diplomatic immunity.

I will not fake seizures.

I will not eat things for money.

A burp is not an answer.

I will not carve gods.

I will not grease the monkey bars.

On religion …

Homer Simpson to Apu, a local store owner who has a shrine featuring an elephant-god: “No offence Apu but when they were handing out religions, you must have been taking a wizz.”


from Don Paterson, author of Book of Shadows

Falling and flying are near-identical sensations, in all but one final detail. We should remember this when we see those men and women seemingly in love with their own decline.

Traditionally, the defining moment in a man’s life arrives when he looks in his shaving glass and finds his father staring back; but there is a day so much more terrible we rarely speak of it – when he catches himself naked in a full-length mirror and sees his mother …

Everything in nature we don’t understand, we once called miraculous.

Almost everything in the room will survive you. To the room, you are already a ghost, a pathetic soft thing, coming and going.

There is no fury more righteous than that of a sinner accused of the wrong sin.


George Galloway, in speech that got him chucked out of the Commons in July 07, said being accused of improper behaviour by this government (Blair’s) was “like being accused of slouching by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

In Seven mag of Sun. Tel. 2.9.07, Paul Morley said of Norah Jones:

“She takes the swing out of jazz, the fire out of gospel, the pain out of country, the mood out of torch, the guts out of soul, the ache out of blues, the sting out of rock and the heart out of pop, leaving merely the pleasant in pleasant and the comfort in melody. A tourist in other people’s adventure, she interprets Tom Waits by meticulously removing all traces of creep, kick and kink, and her sterilised version of Arcade Fire’s Ocean Of Noise recalls the days when Val Doonican sang Bob Dylan.”


More good putdowns at



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