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Here are some extracts from my columns in the Hertfordshire Mercury’s: 'Keeping up with Jones' & Our Time magazine. They are copyright Bob Harding-Jones 2016 & cannot be reproduced without permission.

Just a little explanation: Hertfordshire is a county bordering London, United Kingdom, with all the urban pressures it brings.

I'm based in Hertford which is the slightly sleepy, but historic county town. So, at times, my column can be slightly parochial.

It's meant to be entertainment. Read on:


Where am I coming from?

I'm being asked all the time: Do I deal with serious social issues, pull people's plonkers, or take the Michael? Am I a satirist or humorist? Do I play safe or take a risk? Am I middle-of-the-road or on-the-edge? Tongue-in-cheek or in-your-face? Do I entertain or am I a bane? The answer is: I wish I knew. Can't a guy have a good time without all these interruptions? So read on . . . 

I am the Alpha Male I am!

I am the Alpha Male in my house – no doubt in my mind about it. As I am the oldest, support the largest belly and have the highest fat-muscle ratio, I am well qualified to be the dominant Silverback. But it ain’t easy: the competition is tough. Two sons constantly challenge my superiority and I have to be on my toes. My harem is minimal - just the one wife - and I have a daughter, still under my protection; but they both join with the boys to challenge my dominance with feminine gusto.


Should I abdicate my position? No way. I am the Alpha male. I enjoy lounging on the couch, beating my chest - the pounding of which can be heard as far away as the kitchen - and then dozing off for a well-earned kip while my family group generally keep things tidy, do odd jobs and bring me food. Who could want more? It’s a good life. In return, all I have to do is to clean the lavatory and change the toilet rolls, not a job that anyone else is prepared to do. And, in addition, it is my duty to make myself available on call 24/7 to spring into action, leap off the sofa and speedily mop things up when the dog throws up in the house. Not a bad deal is it?


I am the Alpha male. But I could be one of the very last. They might be an endangered species. However, they can still be quietly observed in television sketch shows and Channel 4 documentaries.  Alpha males are now politically incorrect it seems. A relationship between a man and woman ought to be alpha equal so the women’s glossies say: cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, raising a family should be shared and all decisions finalised after discussions, negotiations, concessions and a no-litigation contract signed. That’s all fuddy-duddy nonsense of course. A real Alpha male knows he’s in charge: what he says goes; he is the family figurehead and is confident enough to sit back and do nothing. He is happy and relaxed with his ultra-hetero sexuality and macho personal hygiene: no fragrant shower gel and after shave lotions for him. They are not required. He doesn’t need to shower or shave – nobody else in his group possesses this natural ability.


 I’m thinking of starting an academy for would-be Alpha males: a learning centre to pass down my experience and knowledge. I would lecture students with my linguistic grunts. Why grunts? Not because I am the Alpha Silverback Male, but because my tongue, of course, will remain firmly in my cheek.


·      My wife and I both think that we are always right – what’s wrong with that? For my part I don’t like to admit that I am ever wrong and my wife is ever right. My tactics are to firstly insist loudly and indignantly that I am right. Then, if she persists that she is right, stubbornly ignore the possibility. Then, if circumstances prove that she is right, and there are witnesses, and if there is no other possible course of action but to admit the she is indeed right, I finally, through gritted teeth, deny that that she was. My wife, for her part, knows that she is always right – and that’s that!


Sixth Form Choice

I spoke with sixth formers about comedy and language, and went armed to their college with my special Bob Jones name-dropping list of ‘with it’ comedians I’ve met. Eddie Izzard might only have said ‘Hello’ to me before he was famous, but in my book that’s a conversation, and this might have been the turning point in Eddie’s career – you never know. The sixth formers would be impressed - wouldn’t they?

I asked who were their favourite comics, my list at the ready in preparation to strike off the names, one by one. A student contemplated for a moment, then caught me completely off guard with Charlie Drake. Then another followed up with Tommy Cooper!

I hesitated. ‘I used to watch them on the Tele’ I said, screwing up my list into a paper ball.