John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 18

by on Feb.24, 2010, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In an unprecedented eighteenth episode of Rum Doings we don’t discuss what we will do on Earth about potholes. However, we do quite brilliantly demonstrate how to drink. And then immediately return to our favourite topic of recent times: ketchup. Via some quite astonishing observation comedy, of course. But we promise the ketchup talk is confined to only the beginning.

Then there’s happy stories of service experiences, which leads us to what will be remembered by history as the greatest series of “time” themed puns mankind has ever heard. And welcome to the new job title: the shorekeeper. Then there’s Nick’s racist t-shirt and his mule child.

Then it’s time for part two of The Rules, which those who didn’t want us to do any more will be pleased to learn completes the collection. Where we learn that all our listeners should all embrace death, because they can’t be bothered to promote us or write to us.

There’s a few things we ask for in return for this present. Could you retweet about it, or find a way to tell new people to listen? And writing a review on iTunes helps us a great deal. We’d appreciate it.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.


35 Comments for this entry

  • Arthur Barnhouse

    1. It’s very easy to spread butter, you take it out and warm it before your toast is finished.

    2. It is my understanding that in the US deep south people used to put petroleum jelly on toast.

  • Flameberge

    Facebook status-ed it, proclaimed it to all my friends, rang everyone I know, sprayed some grafiti about it around Nottingham, etched the logo into the moon with my Rum Doings laser and ran around the streets naked with Rum Doings tattooed on my buttocks.

    Job’s a good ‘un.

  • Nick Mailer

    Flameberge: I see no confirmation that you etched it into the human genome. You have failed.

  • Arthur Barnhouse

    I really have to start listening to the full podcast before commenting. Also, primetime in the US does not interrupt commercials, but shows being used as filler on cable channels tend to interrupt their commercials. The worst offender is TBS, as they will run the commercials for the previous show in the lower part of the screen and the opening of the show that is starting in the upper part of the screen.

  • Flameberge

    Fine, I’ll put it on top of my to-do list for this evening.

  • Colthor

    I don’t have a tweeter or a blog. I don’t use I-tunes or Facebook. I’ve already endorsed it on the only forum I’m a regular on, last time podcasts were brought up.


    Here, this is all I can do:

  • Flameberge

    @ Colthor

    I don’t think you mentioned Rum Doings enough mate.

  • Nick Mailer

    John, who are these cheeky ingrates? Have Lord Jesu smite them. Or his Dad.

  • Seraphim2150

    set my parent’s car’s FM transmister to Radio 1’s frequency when I went out driving and played this

    Am I a bad person?

  • Seraphim2150

    Just to clarify, its an FM transmitter on my iPod

  • Colthor

    Masking Radio 1 could probably be considered public service broadcasting.

  • Skusey

    Surely Ketchup Doings would be a better alternate name. Rum Ketchup sounds awful.

  • Rosti

    Does this (rapidly ageing) podcat mean that John has never enjoyed hot buttered toast? Crikey.

  • Flameberge

    @ Skusey

    Why not “Rum – with Ketchup on the side, in a litte porcelain rammekin – Doings”?

  • James

    Oh my God. Margarine? There should be a rule against that.

  • EthZee

    I actually went the other way: I killed all the people I had originally told about Rum Doings with a hammer.

    But wait! The ensuing police investigation and enquiries, along with the sordid details emerging via tabloids and Sky News, should provide plenty of publicity for you. So, net plus!

    Also, hold this hammer for a second, would you?

  • Gassalasca

    Regarding gerunds and posssessives, Nick:

  • Nick Mailer

    Hello Cassalsaca: I am aware that there is an annoying ambiguity surrounding the function of the gerund in English. Indeed, without the possessive, it is difficult to know what case it’s trying to be – it’s not the accusative, and yet it seems to want to be.

    Your link gives this example:

    I object to this being called a loophole.
    I object to this’s being called a loophole

    What this example tells me is that the gerund, in either form, is inelegant. I would refactor the sentence as:

    I object that you call this a loophole.


    I object that anyone call this a loophole (subjunctive).

  • jsutcliffe

    Dear Nick,

    My wife is an editor of academic journals, and that’s exactly what her approach would be too. There’s just no need to get hung up on finicky grammar that people are likely too dim to understand when there’s a clearer way to present the information.

  • Gassalasca

    Hello, Nick. Yes, I agree with what you’ve said there, more or less. But it’s not a question of inelegance, it’s a question of correctness. In the podcast you basically said that John’s ‘just him shouting’ and later on ‘you stomping’ is incorrect, and that ‘his shouting’ and ‘your stomping’ is correct. It’s not. They’re both fine, neither is inherently better. Now, a person may find one variant more elegant or stylistically appealing, but that’s no reason to go around correcting other people’s speech.

  • Nick Mailer

    Gassalasca: the great debate between descriptive grammar and prescriptive grammar will rage on so long as we have language; you claim that something is “right” or “wrong”. In a sense, nothing in language is, as every rule has the potential to evolve according to fickle mores.

    The problem with gerunds is that they are like a quantum superposition of a verb and a noun. They always have about them this slight ambiguity. Sometimes they collapse into easy eigenstates. At other times, this doesn’t happen. At such times, I would refactor the utterance, as I said above.

    In the examples you give, I would posit that “his shouting” is more elegant than “him shouting” because of orthogonal consistency. The gerund there collapses fairly easily into its noun for. As such, the possessive form provides a predictable and appropriate linguistic slot. One would happily say “the dog of him (and not someone else) = his dog”, and so one should just as happily say “the shouting of him (and not someone else) = his shouting”. I am uncomfortable about saying “him shouting was deplorable” there just as I would be uncomfortable in saying “him dog was deplorable”.

  • Futurecast

    Did JW refer to one of the Hitchens as “extremely left-wing”? I would, humbly, very much disagree (notice no use of imho).

    ‘Christopher’ Hitchens describes himself as a neo-conversative (see those jolly and twee eight years of neo-conservativetism humanity had under Bush) and is one of the most strident defenders of the war on terror. Even if he is, as R. Seymour would probably describe him, a ‘liberal imperialist’ that still qualifies him very much as right-wing. Peter Hitchens is of course a Daily Mail, small c-conservative.

    May be of interest:

    And just to balance it out, I can barely taste the difference between margarine or butter and why does it matter? Butter is moist, yellow, fat produced from “churning” the post-pregnant-juice of a moo-cow (or something).

    I now begin my journey into central London dressed as the twitterbird, shouting “RumDoings” and “TWEET” loudly and obnoxiously at as many people as possible.

  • Gassalasca

    I can see that, but is still doesn’t justify you (sic!) calling the alternative (which is older and more or less as widespread) ‘incorrect’.

    Now, I must, somewhat ashamedly, admit that I’ve only just now finished listening to the whole podcast. So, John, an interesting debate, again on Language Log, regarding the whole nomenclature thing. It’s languages rather than countries:
    (the final parahraph of the post and subsequent comments)

    Also, I agree with Nick wholeheartedly when it comes to margarine. :shudder:
    As my gran used to say, there’s little in life more comforting than a piece of warm white bread and some butter.

  • Nick Mailer

    I even demonstrated to John how placing a slice of butter on the toast, and then placing the other slice above it melts the butter into the toast within 30 seconds, making its spreading a trivial task.

    But even this caesura was too painful for Walker. His gratification must not be delayed. I imagine he would have failed the Mischel Marshmallow test. Which explains things.

  • James

    But there is no gratification to be found in margarine. It’s not even one marshmallow. It is, as you rightly suggested, two marshmallows later, or a teaspoon of strychnine now.

  • John Walker

    Yes, me and my silly old predilection for eating toast before it goes cold!

  • Pope Gregory IX

    No, Nick has it right on phone messages, especially if said message consists solely of, “Hey, it’s Mike. Call me back.” I wasted four key presses for that? You robbed me of precious seconds to tell me you want to speak to me? I got that from, “2 Missed Calls from Mike”. What else would you ring me for? A companionable silence? Oh look, just text me, OK?

    On retweeting, I originally assumed everyone who follows me already follows you, but that’s changed a bit since. So. Um. Mumble. Still, it’s a bit of cheek expecting gratitude for the unpaid hours you’ve put in entertaining us. Pfft.

  • jsutcliffe

    There is no worse way to eat toast than cold.

  • James

    It doesn’t go cold. Goodness me! Toast melts butter instantly. I could understand if you were having butter on toast, and then using margarine for, say, a sandwich, made of bread. I’d still think you were wrong, but I could understand. There’s simply no excuse for using margarine on toast.

  • Nick Mailer

    If you wish to use butter on bread, it’s very easy – simply keep the button in a ceramic butter dish out of the fridge, in a relatively cool part of the kitchen. The butter remains at spreading temperature and keeps perfectly well (note: the latter is particularly true if you use salted butter, which I don’t, so I still tend to keep it in the fridge and simply warm a chunk for 10 seconds in the microwave before spreading it in the rare circumstance I want bread rather than toast.

    I do have a related confession, though: as much as I like good mayonnaise on most else, I prefer salad creme on a sliced-egg-and-tomato sandwich.

  • James Campbell

    Margarine instead of butter?
    Salad cream instead of mayonnaise?

    At least it wasn’t low-fat mayonnaise which is truly the most detestable food mutations but, nonetheless, you two live utterly repugnant lifestyles…

  • Nick Mailer

    > Futurecast

    I would contend that Hitchens is left wing, in the same way that Orwell was left wing. It’s just the left wing who seem to have turned into fascist sympathisers and appeasers.

    If you think that left-wing means never intervening in other people’s wars or societies, then perhaps you missed the Spanish Civil War.

  • Nick Mailer

    > Futurecast

    Furthermore, if you quote the antisemitic nutcase Richard Seymour as your reference, then I suggest all is lost.

  • James

    I asked for a butter dish for Christmas a few years ago. My grandmother gave me a metal one.

  • Jambe

    Why aren’t you utilizing That domain is listed as the podcast website on iTunes but there’s no content there. At least redirect to the Rum Doings tag on or post an image of a cream tea.

    My grandparents always had fresh salted butter sitting out in a glass dish. Oh, to spread that on a just-baked crust of bread; nearly orgasmic. The joys of a dairy-farming lineage are few, but that was certainly one of them (that and delicious beef). Nothing’s as good as meat you’ve sawed and portioned yourself.

    I use unsalted butter for baking and have a stick of salted out at room temperature for spreading. If butter’s bad for you then salted butter is perhaps doubly so, but it’s also doubly delicious. It definitely tastes butterier. I dislike toast.

    John lost much of my respect when he mentioned his margarine consumption. I LOVED YOU JOHN. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, YOUR MOST LOYAL FAN?

    I would review the podcast but iTunes = Beelzebub. I would retweet it but the mere thought of Twitter gets my dander up. I don’t often participate in social networking websites. I’ve mentioned Rum Doings to friends who now regularly partake.