What Time is The Midnight Buffet?

In this 35 minute Episode 11, I ask: Does the word ‘Foreign’ in Foreign Office stand for the department of overseas holidays? We catch up with an ex-minister in charge as he tries to repatriate a painting of Her Majesty the Queen from the British Embassy in Kabul and also some dogs. We drop in on President Biden in the White House as he fields a difficult call from the British prime minister. I chat about the morality of the cruise industry and answer the big question: What time is the midnight buffet?

Sadly, the B-word does get mentioned throughout as I summarise where the UK is, in getting Brexit done. Why is it that everywhere in the world is reporting British fuel and food shortages as being a consequence of Brexit, except in the country where they are happening, where the blame is on the pandemic…  Finally, we join a ministry HGV inspector as the world’s worst driver takes his heavy goods vehicle test. Will he pass? You bet but should he be allowed on the roads at all? Why don’t you judge for yourself?

Transcript Updated 11th Oct 2021

Al Morton  0:02  

Hi, I’m Al Morton. Before we get started with this podcast, I wanted to warn listeners that parts of it are going to be a full-blown tantrum-throwing Brexit-bricks-out-of-the-pram rant.

Al Morton  0:19  

So let me make this crystal clear: I’m pro-Britain, pro-British business. I’m pro-Europe, and I stand against Brexit and the damage caused by the Johnson government.

And to my friends in the US, stay with me because we’re going to take a look at the cruise industry, drop in on Biden in the White House, as well as experience the new British HGV driving test. So get ready to meet Britain’s most dangerous secret agent.

Secret Agent  0:54  

The name is Bond, Boris Bond – licensed to kill

Al Morton  1:07  

Okay, let’s get started with this special holiday edition of the ‘We’ll fight them from the beaches’ Takeout. Before I go any further, I just like to remind listeners that a full transcript is available from:  https://almorton.com/takeout. 

We will be examining the role of Dominic Raab, the British ex-foreign secretary, and asking the difficult questions such as: Which factor suntan lotion works best on excessively oily skin? And what are the watersports available to a government minister when ‘the sea is closed’? And finally: Why did British intelligence fail to predict the imminent collapse of Afghanistan’s capital? Could it be that there was an absence of actual intelligence from our Place-in-the-Sun minister in charge of – well, nothing really…

[Greek-style music, beach sounds]

Narrator  2:00  

We will never know the actual details of our foreign secretary’s Greek Odyssey but in my imagined telling of the story, it may have started on a sun lounger near Crete. Our hero has sent a dispatch rider to collect a takeout.

[Mobile phone ringing]

Raab talking on the phone 2:16  

Oh, it’s you again. No, I just want the regular topping. What do you mean they haven’t got any pineapple? I don’t give a monkey’s. Just tell him to find some.

Raab  2:27  

How can you call it a Big Fat Greek Hawaiian Bastard Burger if there’s no ruddy pineapple? Surely it’s the main ingredient! Just get your ass back here ASAP. The ice is melting in my Margarita.

Raab  2:41  

How many times do I have to tell you? You don’t need any euros. Use the credit card.

Raab  2:48  

Of course it’s claimable. The Pritster is always doing it.

Raab  2:53  

You are of course joking! How can eyebrows be more deductible than a working lunch?


Unfortunately, things are about to take a turn for the worse.

[Mobile phone rings again]

Raab  3:04  

What is it this time? 

Caller from Head Office London

It’s number 10, sir; you need to come back immediately. Didn’t you get the emails that we sent you?.. you know, the ones that said: ‘super-incredibly important, urgent, for your eyes only’?

Raab  3:20  

No, I didn’t. I’m afraid the internet’s not too pucker around here. Look, it’s not terribly convenient right now. I haven’t even tried the jacuzzi yet. 

Caller from Head Office London

No, no, no, you need to come back right now. People’s lives are at stake. Someone needs to call Kabul.


Can’t you get Lord what’s-his-name to give them a ring? 

Caller from Head Office London

I don’t think that Lord Goldstein is an actual lord. 


No, it doesn’t matter if he’s not a lord. Just tell him to call the embassy in Kabul and ask if they need anything. I’m going to speak to Bozo about this. I mean the prime minister of course; he will know what to do.

Prime Minister  3:58  

Hello, Raab.

Raab  4:01  

Oh, thank goodness, Maximus Naughtyus – I mean Prime Minister, just the man I was hoping to speak to.

Prime Minister

Your secretary told me that you were up to your neck in it.

Raab  4:12  

Yes, well I would be up to my neck in it but the ruddy sea is closed. Would you believe it? Look, I was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind if I stayed on for a couple more days. Pretty please tied up with those knobs on.

[Small dog barking noises in the background]

Prime Minister  4:27  

Well, you do deserve a well-earned break.

Prime Minister  4:29  

Oh do shut up Dylan!

Raab  4:31


Prime Minister 

No, not you Raab, I was talking to the ruddy dog. Whilst I’ve got you on the line, is it true that the picture of Her Majesty…you know, the one that you promised to remove from our embassy in Kabul, now shows her as sporting a rather prominent **** with graffiti underneath which apparently translates as **** my Johnson? 

Raab  5:00

Yes, well, that’s right Prime Minister but I’ve already apologised for that. And now to the matter in hand: Those weaselly little runts at the F.O.  are saying that I need to come back? 

Prime Minister

Well, as my old housemaster used to say: ‘Id quomodo saxum crustulum’.



Prime Minister

I’m afraid that’s the way the cookie crumbles, old boy! Why don’t you get Lord Goldberg to give them a call? 

Raab (impatiently)

Yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s all fine! I’ve sent a message to Goldstein or Goldberg or Lord Gold-Something anyway. 

Prime Minister

Oh, I haven’t been able to make him a lord just yet as his donation hasn’t cleared. 


No, he’s not a lord. Look, he’s going to get in touch with our man in Kabul, who’s going to get in touch with our man at the Foreign Office and then we’re going to send a plane or something and then we’ll just get everybody out today lickety-split.

Raab  5:47  

And Monday’s alright, is it?  I’ll see you then. Bye.

[sketch ends]

Al Morton  6:00  

By the time you hear this,  Raab may well be gone. As the word on the street is, there’s going to be a cabinet reshuffle. Or to put it another way, the deckchairs on the Titanic are about to be rearranged. 

[Audio extract from vintage Titanic movie]

“Iceberg ahead!!!” 

Al Morton  6:19  

This was a clear threat to any conservative MPs that may have accidentally overnight grown a conscience. If they were to vote against the 20 pounds a week cut in Universal Credit and a tax hike for the poorest workers in the country, they could be bounced off the all-expenses-paid gravy train forever. For those trying to defend Raab’s handling of what by any measure became an ignominious route, I want to lead with a couple of thoughts:  Who, on an 80,000 a year salary would spend half of it on a one-week holiday in Crete? Could it be a gift from a grateful donor? And what deputy prime minister goes on holiday at the same time as the person he is deputising for?.. the actual prime minister.

Unknown Speaker  7:07  

Whilst most people would quickly realise that Raab going AWOL at such a critical time was suspicious, we only need to view the naked Etonian indifference on display as he and Johnson bungled their way around a refugee crisis-management centre. Johnson is seen talking to an uncomfortable-looking operations manager. The version broadcast on the news that night had the sound muted, but on social media, the conversation was embarrassingly clear.

Prime Minister  7:39  

Uhm, hello, jolly good job by the way. Did you get a lot of emails from that doggy bloke? I got one or two of them as well. I think my spam filter must be broken. I hope you got some of them out anyway. You know how much Brits love animals.

Al Morton  7:58  

We were told that this undynamic duo would be moving heaven and earth and straining every sinew to get our people out of Afghanistan. Frankly, it didn’t sound very reassuring. France had got all of their people out months ago. But predictably, the foreign secretary had left the exodus until the last two weeks possible. Even then, allegedly, he managed to screw it up by first repatriating the very people needed to process visa applications. No wonder there were holdups. And where was Priti Patel in all this? That’s right, I kid you not: She’d been appointed the head of Operation Warm Welcome. 

[Sound effect – The Commander of the Imperial Death Star is speaking.]

You see Lord Vader, she can be reasonable. Continue with the operation.  You may fire when ready. 

If she was the queen of ‘Warm Welcome’, I dread to think what operation Cold Shoulder would have been like. But to be fair, Operation Warm Welcome does have a certain ring to it. Let’s face it: Priti Patel is not generally known for great acts of human kindness. How was she going to pull off such a stunt? Would there be an ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ goodie bag? And if so, what would it contain?

[The Goodie Bag contents narrated over game show prize music.]  9:18  

Item 1: a complimentary plastic made-in-China Union Jack flag. 

Item 2: a picture of Johnson lying to The Queen. 

Item 3: a Eurostar timetable and street map of Paris. Perhaps there would be a recipe on the back, something like the Gordon Ramsay guide to cooking with cheese puffs.

[Sound effect – Kitchen Nightmares]  9:42  

Wow. It’s disgusting!

Al Morton  9:49  

In an alternative and more just dimension, the route of Afghanistan would have ended with mass resignations, sackings, and apologetic headlines in the press.

Al Morton  10:00  

But that isn’t even the worst of it. Do you need a blood test or a flu jab?.. because right now, we’re suffering a few ‘supply chain issues’. This is the new three-word catchphrase that replaces ‘get Brexit done’. Are we really going to restock the empty shelves of Brexit Britain with the tears of remainers’ ‘I -told-you-so’s’?  No, not really – nothing. Nothing will change. How can you sack a government minister for failing to take responsibility when you already knew they were a bunch of useless nodding dog idiots when you hired them? Oh, well, I’m just off to McDonald’s for a milkshake and then a Nando’s on my way back to the sanatorium.

Al Morton  10:51  

Right, it’s time for another update from that great repository of cultural wellbeing otherwise known as Twitter.

Al Morton  11:01  

I was going to talk about Twitter’s seemingly endless obsession with empty supermarket shelves, where a battle continues to rage between those that think this is due to Brexit, and those that don’t accept that there are any empty shelves at all. Photos of empty fresh veg and freezer aisles in the Co-op are quickly shouted down as fake or it is because fridges are just out of service. Stop lying you filthy remoaner liars. To be fair, there does seem to be rather a lot of broken fridges lately. I suppose it could be down to global warming.

Al Morton  11:40  

Since I started recording this section on the Secretary for Holidays Abroad McRaab, I couldn’t help but notice that the rumours of a cabinet reshuffle turned out to be right. Raab was removed and his failures rewarded with another ministerial post. I didn’t even bother to find out what it was that he was going to do. However, Twitter was affronted by the new appointment of Nadine Dorries as (and I can hardly believe this myself) Secretary of State for Culture. I always thought her to be a bit of a, well…you know, an attention-seeking sycophant after her appearance in the TV series: I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I believe that her performance involved eating the anus of an ostrich. I mean really, nothing says culture more than being forced to eat Big Bird’s bottom. But let’s find out what the Twittersphere has to say:

Narrator  12:41  

Alison Kate Brown says that the only day you want to be reading this is April the first.

 Alex says, ‘There’s more culture in a pot of yoghurt.’ 

Jake James says, ‘Nadine Dorries and culture in the same sentence? The pantomime season has started really early this year.’

 It’s behind you. 

Dez Ferris reposted that meme of an England football fan with his trousers down and a firework wedge between his buttocks. Well, you can’t get more cultured than that. 

Manversusbaby says, ‘A Tory Cabinet reshuffle is a bit like playing chess with dog turds: You can move the pieces around as much as you like, but you’re still basically playing with… [radio static]

Matthew Anderson tweeted: ‘Germany’s culture minister is a trained art historian. France’s minister wrote a book on Verdi, the new UK culture secretary ate ostrich…’ 

I think we’ve already made that point, Matthew.

The White House / President Biden Sketch  13:43  

Meanwhile, there’s an unwelcome caller trying to get through to The White House.

[Phone ringing]

President’s Secretary  13:53  

Excuse me, Mr President. I have Prime Minister Johnson from the United Kingdom on the line again. Sir, he seems quite insistent. 

President Biden

The United What? Didn’t that state turn republican? 

President’s Secretary

No, sir. It is not a state. It’s a country near Europe. 

President Biden

He’s not from the United Arab Emirates, is he? You do know, we’re done with that. 

President’s Secretary

No, sir. It’s the guy that signed the Northern Ireland protocol and wants to renege on the treaty and thereby screw up our Good Friday Agreement. 

President Biden [angry sounding]

I remember him now. That no-good son-of-a-gun. It’s a real shame that my poor dog Champ went and died when he did.

[Dog growling menacingly sound effect]

President Biden  14:32  

He could have chased that sucker off the White House lawn and bitten his ass. Now that is something I’d like to see on Fox News. You can tell that no-good limey-wannabe Trump clone to call back later, preferably after my nap. 

Presidents Secretary

And how long is your nap going to be this time, sir? 

President Biden

Well, about three days should do it.

[Phone ringing again]

President’s Secretary  14:57  

I’m so sorry, Mr President. He’s got some special message concerning Her Majesty The Queen, something about a portrait that his foreign secretary left behind in the embassy in Kabul. 

President Biden

Ah, God damn it! Put him through anyway.

Al Morton  15:21  

It’s great to see that the Biden-Johnson special relationship is still flourishing.

BBC Breaking News Flash  15:32  

This is not the BBC, Best Before COVID Corporation. We interrupt this podcast to bring you breaking news: The Prime Minister has just announced that the new UK ration books are going to be an exciting shade of blue with a handy metric-to-imperial conversion chart on the back cover. Baroness Dido Harding is also going to be in charge of the App. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has announced that the government intends to reintroduce third-class carriages for the high-speed HS2 rail link. This will now be operated by the New Kingdom-class broad gauge steam locomotives running exclusively on British coal.

Al Morton  16:15  

Well, who doesn’t love steam engines?

Al Morton  16:22  

Now a quick word on behalf of our sponsor COVID Quarantine Cruises:

Sponsor  16:29  

Are you fed up with not being able to travel to exotic countries?

Sponsor  16:35  

We have the ultimate solution: Kiss goodbye to Plague Island and say hello to unsurpassed luxury, as we welcome you on board, HMS Hospital Ship Britannic. 

There will be no need for masks, social distancing, or any of that because we’ve all got it! We will be cruising up and down the English Channel, delivering sunshine and happiness, accompanied by our great friends from Border Force. Dance the night away to our house band The Fabulous Pandemics and dine in style in our Food Bank Restaurant. We even give you your own personalised tin opener. If you’re still hungry after that, why not enjoy a scrumptious feast at our midnight buffet, courtesy of Poor Kids’ Holiday Lunchboxes.

Sponsor  17:27  

COVID Quarantine Cruises, from the people throwing a protective ring around your assets.

Al Morton 17:39  

You are listening to Episode 11 of the Al Morton Takeout.

Al Morton  17:48  

To be honest, I’ve never wanted to go on a cruise. For me, they represent an inverted celebration of inequality. That said, cruises are popular, especially with people of a certain age. One YouTuber rather unkindly commented that he could no longer watch The Walking Dead without mistaking it for a documentary about cruising.

[Zombie sound fx and people screaming]

Al Morton  18:13  

My own observation is that cruises are run to an efficient business model, transporting the already wealthy to where the money isn’t. A good example was given by the Dry Bar comedian John Wesley Austin, who said that cruises are a great way to visit places that weren’t safe enough to stay overnight. The boat sneaks into a harbour in Jamaica at 8 am then rounds everyone up around 5 pm. ‘Oh no, it’s getting dark…time to get the hell out of here!’

Al Morton 18:45  

He’s a seriously funny guy and worth checking out, well funnier than me anyway. I’ll put a link at the end of the transcript. 

Keen observers may notice how cruise ships like to give their boats exotic names, such as: The Oceanic; The Crystal Insignia; or Silvercrest. It is never something like: The Petri Dish of the Waves; The Incontinence of the Seas; or Shark Chum Chardonnay Cruises, or perhaps I’m just being a bit mean.

Al Morton  19:15  

It has been suggested that most cruises carry enough food to end world hunger. And I’ve heard cruise ships referred to as cathedrals for the obese and stupid, basically, just floating Walmarts! Look, it’s okay for me to say this stuff because, well, I’m slightly on the larger side myself. But,after I made a comment on Twitter about how the shelves in Spain were still pretty well stocked really, a rabid Brexiteer had a go at me and said, ‘You could do with eating a bit less yourself,’ and my reply to that was, ‘Well, yes, I suppose I could go on a diet and lose some weight, but looking at you, it wouldn’t make any difference, because you’d always be a deeply unpleasant person.’

Al Morton  20:07  

The popularity of cruises may just be down to a deep-seated desire to be treated like celebrities. We all want to be someone special, even if it’s only for a short break. I suppose on one level, it’s just like a game of let’s pretend, but for grownups. This brings me to another interesting element of the cruise industry: speciality cruises, such as the Atkins diet people (who want to lose weight by eating tons of meat) type cruises. Really, who goes on a cruise to diet?..maybe the ‘type’ who receives an invitation to dine at the captain’s table, and then complains, ‘All the money we paid for this holiday and we were forced to eat with the crew.’ Or they will go up to the person and ask, ‘What time is the midnight buffet darling?’

Al Morton  20:57  

What time is the midnight buffet?

Al Morton  21:01

[echoing ghostly voice]  

What time is the midnight buffet?

[Crusie Horn Sound] 

Al Morton  21:07 

Happy cruising.

[Cruising sketch ends]

Al Morton  21:10  

Right before I move on, I just want to say one other little thing about the cruise industry, which I observed from being fortunate enough to spend a little bit of time, my family and I, over 20 years ago now. We went to the island of St Lucia, a former British colony in the Caribbean, on one of these all-inclusive holiday deals. And it was quite a scary experience really. I got very sick there. Actually, that’s another matter but my wife decided along with me that it would be a really good idea to go to the local market in Castries, meet some of the local people, try some of the local produce. It just seemed like a nice thing to do. And when we told the people at the place where we were staying that we were going to do that, they looked at us in absolute disbelief. But the penny didn’t really drop, and we got this taxi. And there were these dire warnings about make sure that if the taxi is alright that you book the same taxi to come back. We went to Castries market and I can honestly say it was quite a terrifying experience, especially with two young children, not because the local people were unfriendly (they were friendly) but because we stood out so much because the poverty in St Lucia is really quite extreme really. We passed these massive cruise ships on the way in and I looked at these cruise ships, and thought: What are these people doing on St Lucia?.. because I didn’t see any of them in Castries. I didn’t see any of them in the local market and actually, it didn’t feel like an incredibly safe place to be. And then I realised that the one thing that these companies are brilliant at, and that is exploiting the local economy, making sure –  there’s this idea – I’ve heard people say to me, ‘You should go and visit. You know, these cruises do the islands good. That money trickles down to the local economy.’ Let me tell you, it does not. It doesn’t – I didn’t see any local money going – I didn’t see any money coming off of these cruises, any dollars ending up in the pockets of ordinary local people. There were massive cruise ships, where people were living the life of utter luxury, and they were moored next to children who didn’t have any shoes, who absolutely had nothing – had terrible diseases. And it really brought it home to me. And then I did get very, very sick there and got bundled into a taxi. And the taxi driver just took me to the hospital that everyone goes to. And when he saw how sick I was, he doubled the fare. That was another experience I can tell you, because before anyone would see me, my wife had to pay cash to the cashier. There’s malaria on the island. They brought a stretcher out for me. It had a sheet, which was covered in blood and had blood all up the wall. And she stuck an IV in me because I was seriously dehydrated, but I’m thinking, what the hell is in this IV? Is it even a clean needle? So I’m eternally grateful to these people. I mean, they saved my life. But the conditions they had to work in were terrible. My IV was hung upon… you know, those old-fashioned Victorian hat stands that you see in old Sherlock Holmes movies. It was one of those. And my wife, who’s a nurse told me that there was a man in the reception who looked to her as if he was having a heart attack, and no one was paying any attention whatsoever. So after about, I don’t know, an hour or so, goodness knows how long it was – on this stretcher, the matron, she came out to me and she said, ‘Are you feeling any better sonny?’ and I said, ‘You know what? I think I am starting to feel a bit better.’

Al Morton – in Jamaican accent  25:26  

She said, ‘Good. Get off the bed because we need it for someone else.’

Al Morton  25:31  

You have to forgive my poor Jamaican accent.

[Underscored guitar reprise of a theme loosely based on Beyond the Sea.]

Al Morton  25:36  

One of the reasons I might have a slight down about the cruises – maybe is because of that. Because if you want to see how the third world lives next to the first world, and how virtually none of the money trickles down, just pay a visit to Castries in St Lucia – if you can afford it…

[End cruises commentary]

Al Morton  26:06  

Time to move on. Talking of which, I experienced a driver shortage with my own production company. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the music touring industry requires a special kind of driver, one who understands the loading of fragile but often heavy equipment. These people need to be well-motivated, strong, and willing to work all hours. It’s a tough job. Our sound company had won a contract for part of a tour with a band called The Proclaimers. It tied in neatly with Glastonbury, and we were all geared up for the sound, lighting, and transportation. The show was due to go out in just over a month, when the trucking company called and said they didn’t have a driver, and would have to cancel. There were only a few companies suitable for this kind of work, but everyone was already engaged. I decided rather late in the day, that it might be a good idea to take an intense HGV training course, and once I passed the test, I would drive the damned truck myself! To cut a long story short, I failed the test. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was – and terrifying.

Al Morton  27:18  

In the end, the problem was resolved by tracking down my rogue driver and confessing I had taken and failed the test. Days later, he took pity on me and agreed to do the job, provided I gave him a significant pay rise. So when you hear that driver shortages are a new thing, they’re not really, they’ve always been with us. It takes a lot of skill to drive these trucks, and I think there’s a feeling in the industry that drivers have been undervalued for too long. Brexit has only served to make a bad situation worse.

Al Morton  27:59  

With this in mind, I was somewhat surprised to hear a government spokesman doing the rounds and saying that the driver shortage was in the process of being resolved, not by encouraging drivers driven out of the UK by Brexit, but by increasing drivers’ hours and making the current driving test easier. It is not clear if these new dumbo driving licences will be accepted in the EU, because surely, they would want to avoid having low-skilled lunatics dashing around Europe, behind the wheel of 44-ton trucks. I know I would. It does rather sound like a recipe for disaster, but it did have me wondering what the new test would be like. How easy would it be and what kind of person would be drawn to the industry? I am sure that there are some promising candidates for the new not-so-challenging HGV test, but I suspect that some of them may be a little more borderline…

Narrator 28:58  

This dashboard recording was recorded by one of our ministry’s finest inspectors, who now appears to be in full-time therapy…

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix  29:14  

Hello, are you the examiner blokey? I love these new Scania trucks don’t you? They’ve got a decent-sized cup holder and everything.

[Truck horn sounds]

Oopsie!  – Oh these? They’re just me fluffy dice.

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix  29:28  

Oh f**k! There’s no rearview mirror!  

Is it okay if I put some music on?

[Loud Heavy Metal music blares from the speakers]

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix   29:33  

Okay, okay! I can see it’s not your cup of tea. Anyway, what’s your favourite band? I’m really into White Sabbath at the moment. My Mrs. is more your Abba type.  Yeah, I know. It sounds much better when you’re shitfaced.

Narrator  29:47  

Our perspective driver, aka Noddy Cupholder, hasn’t noticed that the examiner isn’t allowed to engage with him in casual conversation, but at this point, his patience is starting to wear.

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix  30:00  

Do you watch Jeremy Clarkson? He would f******  love this truck! It would really get his freak on. 

[Truck starting up, engine and driving noises accompanied by more thrash metal music]

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix

Okay, let’s see what this baby can do.

[Screeching of brakes – crashing sounds – truck pulls up to a halt]

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix  30:24  

Oooh, that was a bit close! Don’t worry though; we’re quite safe here on the pavement. 

Is it okay if I eat my sandwiches? It’s cheese and pickle. I haven’t put too much pickle on because the Mrs. says it gives me gas. Now I hope you’re not one of them weird-ass vegetarians; although, some people are a bit allergic to cheese – oh, or is it peanuts? 

Now look: Before you tell me I’ve bloody well failed, I just want to say that I did see that tram; it is just that it was travelling a bit fast like!

HGV Driving Examiner  30:58  

Right then, Mr Noddy Cupholder Hendrix, let’s take a closer look at these results: You failed to stop at several pedestrian crossings. 

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix

Look, I already told you: I don’t think there was a baby in that pram. 

HGV Driving Examiner

You’ve curbed at least three roundabouts and nearly hit a tram, for heaven’s sake! Also, probably not a good idea to eat while you’re driving, or to wind the window down to call out to your mates. 

Right. What else is there… fails to successfully uncouple trailer; hit a fire escape instead of backing correctly into the loading dock (note only minor damage to the vehicle). Health and safety loading procedures: Let’s just call it a little bit sketchy, shall we? Right. I have a couple more questions for you: Where were you born? And do you hold a current British passport?

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix

I was born in Dudley. I don’t have a passport right at this minute, but I suppose I could get one.

HGV Driving Examiner

Have you ever driven anywhere on mainland continental Europe? 

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix

Actually, no. I’ve never been outside of Dudley. Oh, I tell a lie; I once went to a Bananarama concert in Wolverhampton. They were bloody rubbish!

HGV Driving Examiner  32:08  

Okay, well it is with great regret that I have to inform you that – you passed! Congratulations. Normally, lunatics like you wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a commercial truck, but with Christmas coming up and the Ministry so desperate for truck drivers, well, everyone is a pass at the moment, even you, God help us. You may want to stay away from the Edgbaston road though. 

Noddy Cupholder Hendrix

Is that because it’s a bit narrow? 

HGV Driving Examiner

No. It’s because I live near there, and I don’t want my front lawn ploughed up. Good day!

[Truck door slams – sketch ends]

AL Morton  32:46  

It’s nearly time for me to go, and I hope this podcast hasn’t been too political. I’ve been told by people in the UK that they don’t really like my podcasts, because most British people think that Boris is doing a pretty good job, and if the Westminster voting-intention polls are any guide, they are right. I hope Boris fans (that’s what they call him) will at least admire the way I stayed away from the fuel crisis and scenes of Brits fighting on service station forecourts. It wouldn’t do to mention that, certainly not. And I hope that they will also marvel at the way I don’t also mention:

[Super-spy Bond-style music underscores narrative]  

Food shortages; driver shortages; crops rotting in fields; food processors shortages; the doomed fishing industry; doomed farmers; red tape up the Yin-Yang; lower food standards, and employment rights; European regional development funds not to replace freedom of movement, gone.  

Mobile phone roaming charges; CO2 shortages; raw sewage being tipped into rivers; off-the-scale price inflation; useless trade deals; 150,000 dead; rampant corruption; destruction of the NHS and the abandonment of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Al Morton  34:17  

But this has nothing to do with Brexit and is completely down to the pandemic, and I’m not going to mention it at all.

Football Hooligan  34:29  

I think it’s all down to immigrants!

Al Morton  34:37  

So that’s it from me for now. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and that you can find time to subscribe for more. As always, you can read further details, including a full transcript and credits on: almorton.com/takeout

Show ends – 35:03  

This podcast was written, performed, and produced by Al Morton

Episode 11 Credits

The Al Morton Takeout was written, performed and produced by Al Morton. Production Editor; Heather Margaret. Podcast artwork by Elliot Morton.

Intro and outro music: 

Super Spy Detective – provided by SNC

Raab Greek Holiday sketch:

No copyright music by sfxvalley

Channel link: https://www.youtube.com/sfxvalley

Track link : https://youtu.be/2MEEBRoacyU

FREE AUDIO DOWNLOAD (wav. 44.1kHz/24bit ):

Raab Commentary

Incidental guitar music was adapted from a John Barry theme and performed by Al Morton.

Operation Warm Welcome Goodie Bag

TV Game show style music (the winner) 2015 FREE TO USE

Music by Colin Thompson. 

Twitter Tweets

Latin Jungle – Caribbean Flavors – Produced by Vasquez / Vodovoz. 

President Biden’s nuisance caller at the White House

Hail to the Chief is the official Presidential Anthem of the United States. The song’s playing accompanies the appearance of the President of the United States at many public events.

Breaking News

No Copyright Music For News TV and Radio – Breaking News Background Music by Free Music.

COVID Quarantine Cruises

Incidental guitar music arrange and performed by Al Morton. Improvisations on nylon-strung acoustic guitar and loosely based on a theme similar to Beyond The Sea; but not in any copyright-infringing kind of way.

The Fabulous Pandemics

‘Salty Nutz’ – based on a play-along for Sax players who want to learn how to improvise over the tune  Las Maniseras details: Pista para Saxofon – El Manicero (The Peanut Vendor) (Backing Track)

The ‘you are listening to’ interval section …

Song: LA CALLE ESTÁ CALIENTE Artist: Azabache (ft. Pacheco)

Artista: Kolektivo Título: Cumbia del Gato Género: Cumbia

British HGV Test for Dummies sketch

Song: Moonshine Town by JR Tundra Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Music provided by FreeMusic109 https://youtube.com/FreeMusic109


Thrash Metal Instrumental – Death Sentence by Karl Casey @ White Bat Audio.