Mr Puddlecote senior was always a whizz at maths. He picked it up from his father, and in turn, passed it on to me. Whilst Gramps Puddlecote could work out returns from a full house 50p each way Yankee in about 20 seconds, could 'see' exactly what was in your hand at dominoes or cribbage in a startingly short space of time, and could assess that it was exactly 12p cheaper pro rata buying 20 cigarettes over the road instead of 17 (prime number, remember) in the vending machine, all off the top of his head, my modest grasp of mental arithmetic isn't so outstanding. But still acute thanks to a few simple rules.
One of them is that to understand a big number, bring the sum down to something more manageable. Preferably something that relates in a ratio with the number 1.
The same principle applies to understanding the methods of the righteous. Flaws in reasoning are more obvious on a local level, rather than jumping straight into the deep end and challenging the big lie of national, or even international, bansturbators.
For example, here is a microcosm of how stifling authoritarian nannyism works.
A group of pensioners have been banned from holding a coffee morning at a public library for health and safety reasons - in case they spill hot drinks on children.
The seven members of the Over 50s coffee morning have been meeting every Tuesday for the past four years without incident at the Eye Library in Eye, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
But council officials have now axed the meetings claiming that toddlers from a nearby nursery who use the library at the same time could be injured if hot coffee spilt on them.
Here we go again, you say, health and safety gone mad. Not so, actually. It's merely the use of H&S as an excuse for something else.
'However, we understand that is not the case at all, because we have always finished our drinks before the children even arrive, and that it is the case that the librarian doesn't want to wash up extra cups.'
As we know from wider 'bans', the excuse for implementation is never anything to do with the motivation of those promoting it. It's just that they have to sell it somehow. And in a way which cannot be argued against.
The great thing about a Labour government is that there are now so many minor petty rules and guidelines that can be called upon, the job of stopping something that an individual is irked by is very simple. And irreversible.
In this particular case, RoSPA agree that it is bloody stupid, but stop short of over-ruling. After all, they are on the same side and even perpetuate the myth a little further.
'While the last thing anyone would want is a toddler getting scalded, risk assessments shouldn't only be based on hazards,' said the group's spokesman Carl Christopher.
'They should also be based on the probability of these hazards occurring.
'This would seem to be a disproportionate reaction to risk. I'm sure a sensible compromise could be found that does not leave these pensioners on the streets.'
Firstly, no. The last thing anyone would want is not that a toddler might get scalded. This is a library remember. Pensioners don't tend to run around having 'water' fights with scalding hot coffee. If a child got scalded, it would suggest that their ickle bubble-wrapped selves were running around and bumping into people minding their own business. Yes, it's what kids do, but are they not supervised on these visits? If so, surely the blame would lie not with the pensioners but with the parents or carers.
It might be unfashionable to say so, but if one of them got a mug of hot coffee on its bonce it might be a valuable lesson for the future not to fucking run around in a fucking library!
And then the unquestionable presumption. A 'compromise' must be found.
No, no, no. A compromise does not need to be found. The pensioners were there first. They are in a library having a quiet cup of coffee. Times should not be changed to suit the kids. Either the kids are told that if they run around and annoy other users of the facility (ie the ones who actually paid for the bloody thing, unlike kids), they won't be able to use it anymore, or, if there is a danger, perhaps the kids shouldn't be allowed in there at all.
Why should everyone bend to poor supervision or unruly kids? On a side note, cafés don't ban kids from entering, nor do Starbucks tell everyone who uses their stores that should a toddler walk in, they must all leave. No. Tell the kids they must behave or fuck off, quite simple.
Harsh? Not really. It should be the way life works. Unfortunately, the righteous have everything skewed to buggery. And in their odd, utopian world, it's always someone else's fault.
This opens the way quite favourably for the lazy, state-paid shit who can't be arsed to clean a few coffee cups. Simply quote H&S and you have an immovable ally, especially where chiiildren are involved.
Now let's move this onto something less parochial. As The Filthy Smoker mentions at The Kitchen, a Professor who hates alcohol, named Ian Gilmour, is a proper cunt, and is using every lie in his armoury to convince us that just imbibing a Sambuca after a meal is going to lead to a slow, lingering death.
"The big message is treat alcohol like tobacco ... not as a substance that is relatively benign except for those bad alcoholics. That is not true."
Remember that they have already set up the gullible British public into believing that there is no such thing as 'benign' smoking. You smoke, you will die - that's it. So, by extension, Gilmour is advocating not just moderation, but total abstention.
It's also worth mentioning that the 'Framework' he mentions in the piece is the World Health Organisation's 'Framework for Tobacco Control'. This is a document produced by an unelected body which is being adopted to excess by another unelected body, the EU Commission.
The European Commission says the current bar on smoking in enclosed public places does not go far enough. It says non-smokers in outdoor areas are still in danger from passive smoking.
It comes after a World Health Organisation report said ...
Did you vote for any of these people who like to interfere with your life? Nope, nor did I.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. That cunt Gilmour.
The lie is that he cares about people. He doesn't. He just wants what he wants. And what he wants is more money from government.
Now, a quick search of fakecharities.org for "Alcohol Health Alliance" throws up such definitely fake charities as Sustain, the Institute for Alcohol Studies and the Alliance House Foundation (formerly the UK Alliance for the Suppression of the Traffic in All Intoxicating Liquors); all of these organisations are heavily funded by the state which means, of course, that the Alcohol Health Alliance is also heavily funded by the state.
As such, Professor Ian Gilmore is a mouthpiece for the government and should probably have his tongue ripped from his lying head before being hanged by his testicles in a tank full of ravenous piranas. The cunt.
Then we have the presumptions, the use of dodgy stats, and the implication that alcohol costs us all money.
Minimum alcohol price 'could halve hospital admissions for drinking'
Prof Gilmore, the president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the move could reduce the numbers admitted for alcohol problems by around 100,000.
In 2007, just over 207,000 people were taken into hospital because of the effects of drinking.
Much like the local lazy librarian doesn't want to wash coffee cups and invokes H&S to achieve their goal, so does the high-profile bansturbator tap into the minds of the weak-willed to stimulate the previously-deposited, press-released lie that drinking doesn't just harm the individual.
So how is Gilmour able to peddle such bollocks? Why, it's cos we are all drinking too much of course. Except that isn't really the case, as recent figures, kindly analysed by the excellent Costigan Quist, prove.
Are we drinking more now than a decade ago?
No. You can look at all the data and see that pretty much everyone, men and women, all age groups, are drinking about the same as we were in 1992 and in 1996.
Has binge drinking for women doubled?
The shock headline is that twice as many women are binge drinking, but that appears to be utter rubbish.
It relies on this new units system. Funnily enough, if you count a glass of wine as 1.5 units instead of 1, the number of women drinking more that six units in any day suddenly rises. What a shock!
Does it matter?
For the majority of people who are moderate drinkers, even if we might "binge" on occasion, there's no real evidence to say that drinking a bit more is bad and a bit less is good. There's some evidence that drinking in moderation is healthier than being teetotal, and that being a consistent heavy drinker over many years is bad for your health.
So, Gilmour's raison d'etre is bollocks then? Ya don't say. Not that the new clergy of the doctorate will ever see it. Nor will the pleblic once it is widely disseminated via NHS surgeries up and down the country.
They have worked out exactly which buttons to press, and even when crazy situations like the one in Peterborough are highlighted, the subtle implication is rolled out to ensure that no-one complains too much.
After all, if they do, they must agree with kids being horrifically burned. And if you disagree with restrictions on alcohol, you must be in favour of wholesale deaths and unsustainable cost to the NHS.
Neither of these are the original motivation for illiberal bullshit, and they are fully aware of that. All they need is for a few more to believe it every time and you end up with the apology for a perfectly acceptable pastime ... or the compromise.
When, in reality, no compromise but the head of the cunt who came up with the idea should be on the agenda.
Clever fuckers, aren't they?