Online Archive  
Issue 15 - September 1973
Parrot Post

Hhmmm! So, what we want to know now is this. If people in prison aren't dying of old age, what are they dying of????

Dear Sir

It has come to my notice that certain malevolent persons unknown have taken to the childish practice of putting business reply, postage paid cards (advertising life insurance or clothing agent / dealerships with free catalogue) into the nearest post box. Often with bogus names and addresses written in, thus causing considerable trouble and expense to the big business concerns who have more valuable work to do (such as erecting office blocks, smelting lead, producing DDT etc).

I appeal to your readers through this letter not to indulge in such inefficient practices and if possible to ask their friends not to do likewise.

Yours sincerely,
Lt Col Phuckam-Upp (retd)

Dear Muther Grumble,

Congratulations on your article 'Experiencing childbirth', with its lively account of the arrival of Joby Zipp, but we feel we must correct the impression unwittingly given in the first section, that the aim of the National Childbirth Trust training is to give "an ideal, drugs-free birth". The stated aim of the NCT is "to help you give birth to your baby happily and free from fear".

We are well aware that many women, through age, physical make-up, personal pain threshold etc, will almost certainly need the help of drugs and, as you say, their use is covered in the antenatal sessions.

So, while we'd love to hear from anyone wanting to know more about our aims and methods, please don't think we guarantee a simple, uncomplicated, speedy delivery!

D B Clarke - Chairman
J Lingham - Teacher
(Durham and Lanchester NCT Group)

As grumbling is my favourite occupation, I would now like to make a public grumble about the internal combustion engine, which seems to me to be a bloody nuisance.

Everybody agrees that the effects are bad, i.e. traffic jams, air pollution, road accidents, waste of land on car parks and motorways, juggernaut lorries thundering about getting on everybody's nerves ... and so on.

To me the solution to all these problems (including petrol shortage, I forgot that) is quite simply to abolish all cars and lorries. Easy, isn't it? The railway system could be vastly extended both between towns and within them, with free public transport inside towns. Buses should be abolished but perhaps we could bring back those nice old trolley buses which were clean and quiet, not belching fumes like our present monsters do.

Everybody could buy a bike and also perhaps make the startling discovery that they possess feet; thus helping to solve problems like fatness and stomach ulcers and general decrepitness. People who were really unable to get about under their own steam could have little electric bicycles or invalid carriages. Everybody could try to get jobs and friends near home so as not to waste our energy resources and their own valuable time in all the silly travelling about that goes on at present, with businessmen commuting from Brighton to London every day, and all that shit. It seems to me that just a little grain more sense on the part of everybody concerned, and all would be sweetness and light. Yours till the cows come home.

Karin James