Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Advice on a First Date

A young friend of mine surprised me the other day by asking me for advice on a first date. Why he chose me for advice I do not know. He is in his early twenties and I would have thought it more appropriate to ask someone his own age; but there you are. For some reason he asked me. Maybe he was testing me to see whether I was modern and sophisticated, as one should be in this day and age; or perhaps he was genuinely seeking help and advice on matters of the heart.

Anyway, his reasons aside, I decided to take his request seriously and give him the benefit of my experience. We went out to a quiet pub where we will not be disturbed and told him all I know. In case any of you readers may benefit from what I had to say, I record my thoughts here:

First of all you must remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression. The way you appear when another person first sees you is what will stick in their mind as a first impression. Any subsequent meetings will be a second, third or more impressions. That is if you are fortunate enough to go on another date with that person.

So bearing this in mind, make sure that the first impression is what the other person will remember. A flamboyant tie, a handkerchief in the top pocket of your jacket, or a cravat round your neck are all examples of a first impression. Personally, I have found that wearing underpants on my head really hit the mark when I used to date.

Making conversation is also important to get to know the person you are dating. Ask the lady you are with questions and show interest in her answers. Women generally like to talk about themselves. No woman has ever said, "What a bad date that was. All I did is talk about myself!"

Ask deep meaningful questions, this will make you know your date better and, should you be fortunate enough to have another date you can use that information to good effect.

Questions which in the past I have found effective are:

What is your favourite colour?

Do you like ants?

What is your opinion about investing in the automotive industry as opposed to banking or insurance?

If the person you are with happens to be Catholic; ask her what she thinks of Vatican II. Otherwise, ask her if she believes there are animals in Heaven; and if so, what would she say when she came face to face with the Sunday roast admonishing her for having eaten it.

I once asked a lady whether she liked ants, and used that information when we subsequently went on a picnic in the park by taking with me a can of ant spray. Unfortunately some spray went in her face and I had to rush her to hospital. I never saw her again after that.

Another lady told me her favourite colour was red. On a later date I met her wearing a red nose like a clown. This is because our local gas station shop did not have any red roses; so I thought a red nose would do. I never saw this lady either after that.

Always be careful about what you order during the meal. Some foods are a real no no on a first date. Spaghetti is a good example because as you slurp the long snake like pasta you risk showering her with splatters of tomato sauce. Also, be careful not to order a whole poussin (small chicken), or half a chicken. They are notoriously difficult to cut, especially if you have a blunt knife, and they are likely to slide all over the plate or even fly off the table. This happened to me once when the chicken flew right onto the floor and a passing waiter got his foot caught in the large aperture at the bottom of the bird. He walked away with my meal in his foot, and the lady I was with thought I had already eaten the whole bird bones and all.

Also, be very careful not to order foods that have a special connotation in peoples' mind. Venison for instance reminds people of Bambi; or at Christmas of Rudolph and his companions. Rabbit remind them of a pet rabbit they may have had as a child, or some cartoon character or other like Bugs Bunny; or in the case of duck, of Daffy Duck or Donald Duck.

Ordering of food is such a delicate subject full of elephant traps and you can so easily get it wrong and upset the young lady you are dating. That is why I always take my dates to a fast food outlet where they can have a hamburger and French fries, or if she is a vegetarian she can have a fish cake in a bun or a salad sandwich. It is cheaper too than a proper restaurant and you can flamboyantly pick up the whole cost of the meal.

Ordering drinks on a first date can also be tricky. These days there are so many different cocktails with confusing names that you can easily order the wrong thing without meaning to. And then there's the wine list with just as confusing names like Chateau Expensive or Chateau Exorbitant; which to be honest all taste exactly the same and the only difference is the label on the bottle and the price thereof. That's why I always go to a fast food outlet where the milk shake, or the fizzy drinks prices are reasonable. Be careful, however, not to drink too many fizzy drinks as you'll need to go to the bathroom during the meal  giving your date an opportunity to escape.

Finally, be a gentleman and after the date never let the young lady go home alone. That's why I always go on first dates with a bicycle meant for two.

Hence the song:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I’m half crazy over the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet
Upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Fred's Fertile Fish

Years ago, when I lived in London, I rented a room in a large house in a well-to-do part of this Capital city.

My landlord lived with his wife upstairs, and I had a room and small area comprising of a kitchen and bathroom downstairs.

My Landlord, Fred by name, (to protect his true identity of Frederic Banksworthy), was something important in the City. Finance I believe it was. I never quite understood what he did, but he mentioned things like debentures and loans and so on. At first I thought he meant dentures and he was some sort of dentist. But he looked down at me from on top of his spectacles and said, "No young man ... I am talking finance here, not false teeth!"

Anyway, Fred was a posh sort of man and everything he had was top quality and of the best. I recall once he and his wife invited me upstairs to their part of the house for Sunday lunch. There were so many bits of cutlery, (all real silver), on the table that I did not know which to use first. I am very common you understand, and had never heard of asparagus or  Lobster Thermidor, whoever he is.

One Saturday morning a group of workers turned up at the house with a huge digger and started making a big hole in Fred's front garden. He was there, supervising the work like a proud Roman Emperor building his latest mansion. I asked him what was going on and he said, "Wait and see!" as he touched the tip of his nose with his index finger.

Eventually, the workers had built a large pool in the front garden. Not the sort of pool you would swim in - it was about five metres in length and say four in width but only two metres deep.

The intention was that he would put in it some fish which would swim serenely and make him happy every morning and evening as he went and returned from work.

"It will raise the tone of the neighbourhood!" he said to me as he stood next to his wife with a proud smile as a new parent welcoming his new born child.

Once the fish where in, he covered the pool with a thin yet sturdy wire net to keep away prowling birds. I am not sure what he expected to find in London. The last time I checked we had a shortage of sea eagles, cormorants, seagulls, herons, or any kind of fish-eating birds. The best we had were sparrows, robins and wrens; all of whom would need the help of a crane to lift a goldfish from the pool considering the birds' size.

Anyway, Fred and wife were proud of their dozen swimming offspring and did not miss an opportunity to tell everyone about them. I saw them many times talking to neighbours, and when friends visited them, proudly showing off the pool and goldfish to all and sundry.

And that's when I had this silly idea. Let me explain that the goldfish were ordinary fish. Nothing special. The sort of fish which you can buy at any pet shop for a few pennies ... which is what I did!

At first I bought just three. I got them home without anyone noticing me; and at night, when everyone was asleep I got out and put the three fish in the pool.

Imagine Fred's surprise when he set off to work the next morning. I hid behind the curtain and watched him. He stood by the pool as always, then suddenly the wheels started turning in his brain. He stuck out his index finger towards the pool and counted the fish. There were now fifteen. Three more than the previous day. He counted them again. Then he went in upstairs and I heard him telling his wife. They thought their original fish had new babies. They were elated by the good news.

As he came down again I pretended to go to my kitchen. He told me all about his new babies. I congratulated him on being a parent once more.

That night, I added another three similar goldfish to the pool.

Fred was over the moon at the fertility of his children.

The next night I added three more. He could not believe his eyes having counted the twenty-one fish over and again.

That's when I stopped playing my silly game. His fish all lived happily together for a long time.

And I never told him what I had done.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

More Questions Than Answers

In life, there are often more questions than answers. And that's what keeps me awake at night. I lie there pondering and wondering the answers to so many questions on my mind. Perhaps you can help me solve some of them.
Why is it when you pour yourself a cup of coffee and stir it sometimes the bubbles of air gather in the middle of the cup, and sometimes they go on the edge of the cup?
When you open the window in your house in winter, does the cold air come in the house, or does the warmth escape outside?
Do fish ever get thirsty and need to drink?
Does the earth rotating round slows down the bigger the world population? Over the years many people have been born, died, and buried. Surely this must add weight to the earth.

(Men only)
Is it better to sleep with your beard above or below the bed covers?
Every time we have the Olympic Games athletes get better and better and break new world records at running. Does this also apply in the animal world? Do animals get faster year on year compared to animals in years gone by?
Do animals and birds have different accents depending on where they are from?
Is the zebra white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?
Do zebras need/have horse shoes?
Domesticated horses are fitted with horse shoes for protection.
How about wild horses? Don't they need protection too?

Why is abbreviation such a long word?

If a tree falls in the forest
and there is no one there
to see it.
Does it still remain upright?
At what time do you have to leave home
to get to the forest
before the trees get there?

Who first thought of,
in video cartoons,
having a character run at speed off a cliff,

hanging there in mid-air for a few seconds,

moving his legs fast, and then,
fall when gravity does its thing?

I've tried this several times
ended up with great pain and bruises.

What is the point
of burying a time-capsule
so that future generations might learn about us; 
if it contains a video on Betamax tape?


You are on a luxury cruise in the 

A passenger falls overboard and
is drowning.

Do you:

A: Make a video with your cell-phone?


B: Take better quality photos with your camera?

Can you please help answer some of these questions?

Saturday, 18 May 2019

They mean something to me

As an ex radio DJ from many centuries ago, there are some songs that stick in my mind, and every now and then they come to life as I hear them on the car radio, or on TV and they bring back memories. It is mostly the lyrics that have meaning rather than the music or the song itself.

I sometimes feature videos on this Blog, some which I have made myself, others from the internet. What I don't know is how do you, my loyal readers, feel about such videos. Do you just pass them by and leave a nice comment, (or not), or would you welcome more such posts - say once a week?

Normally, I choose songs where the lyrics will have a special meaning to the listener. Two such examples are here below.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Laugh N Pray


A unique book combining both the author's sense of humour with his devout beliefs as a Christian.

A leisurely read whenever you need cheering up or just for inspiration at times of prayers.

Share in the author's zany, peculiar, sense of humour, as he makes you smile, giggle or laugh.

But more important, consider the more serious Christian articles which will hopefully make you think about your personal relationship with God your Creator.

The Christian articles ask serious questions like: Why did Jesus have to die and suffer for our sins to be forgiven? Could God not have forgiven us without the need for this cruelty and sacrifice?

How did man get to believe in God in the first place? What led humanity to the conclusion that God exists? Is Jesus God? 

Why does God test us if He already knows how we will react and respond to temptations and difficult situations?

What is true forgiveness? What if the other person does not want to be forgiven? 

The mix of funny and serious will keep you guessing what's coming next as you turn each page.

Modestly priced. Buy two copies and read them in stereo.

This book has been written slowly and carefully to cater for those readers who cannot read fast.

Contains words from the English dictionary placed in a particular order to make sense - or not.

Can be read by daylight or with the aid of artificial light where available.

Kindle version available for those who would rather not throw the book away after use.

This book is suitable for Christians and non-Christians. God will see it gets in the right hands.

Available from Amazon or from Amazon as well as from Amazon.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Heavenly Verdict

A man dies and goes to Heaven.

He is surprised to be lead into a well-furnished room where St Peter is sitting at a large desk in front of a computer.

St Peter invites him to sit down and taps his details into the computer.

“I’m surprised to see a computer here,” says the man hesitantly, trying to make polite conversation, “I thought you’d have a big book with parchment paper and all our names written there …”

“Oh … that’s a common misconception,” replies St Peter, “we replaced the big books years ago … they were a bit unwieldy and heavy … and they were a bit slow to use … you know what it’s like … searching pages after pages for someone’s name …”

“Yes …” says the man nervously, “computers are much faster …”

“They sure are …” smiles St Peter clicking away on the keyboard, “a few key strokes here and there and we have all the information we need on view … the whole of one’s life is here for me to read …”

“Does the computer ever go wrong?” asks the man, sweating a little with concern about his prospects of entry, “I know they often went wrong on earth …”

“Oh yes …” replies the Saint chuckling quietly, “computers are computers whether on earth or here in Heaven … it’s just a machine … and all machines go wrong now and then … not like a book … what is written there remains there … unless it is altered or the page is torn away … which is obvious to the eye … you can easily see an alteration in a book …

“But computers sometimes freeze up … or play up every now and then and you can’t move forward to the next screen …

“Thumping the computer on the side doesn’t always work … I find that Control Alt and Delete does the trick. Either that, or I just switch it off and on again … ha ha ha … that sorts it all right!”

St Peter stops for a while chuckling to himself and scratching his long white beard before deciding what to input next on his computer.

“But … but … what if the database is wrong … an input error somewhere in the system …” splutters the man in a panic, “you could send a poor soul in the wrong place by mistake …”

“No one goes to hell by mistake … that never happens,” said the Saint confidently, “we have a fail safe system for that …

“God is supervising every transaction in another room. He has a monitor on His desk and He automatically checks every decision I make here on my computer. He is good that way … and he NEVER makes mistakes …

“The other day I had a guy here who had been a good man all his life. Never broke the law, was faithful to his wife, loved his children, worked hard … that sort of thing … he even went to church now and then.

“But he’d only done one good thing in his entire life … he once gave ten cents to a beggar in the street.

“I didn’t know what to decide … so I emailed God. A few seconds later He replied:

“ ‘Give him his ten cents back and tell him to go to hell!’ ”

Moral of the story:

"Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do." Matthew 7:21

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

It's not fair

It’s not fair. Just because I hate my greens I cannot leave the table until I’ve eaten all my vegetables.

It’s not fair. Just because some children did something bad at school the whole class had to stay late and miss a break.

It’s not fair. I can’t watch TV until I’ve finished my homework.

It’s not fair. I have to be back at home by 11 o’clock.

It’s not fair. Just because other youngsters drink and drive, dad will not let me borrow the car in case I have an accident.

It’s not fair. Just because some people went on strike, the company is in financial difficulties and many of us will lose our jobs.

It’s not fair. They’ve arrested a man in the park. They’ve brought Him to court under false charges. They brought forward lying witnesses who made unsubstantiated claims against Him. They then beat Him up, spat on Him, placed thorns on His head, tortured Him, nailed Him to a Cross and killed Him.

It’s just not fair.
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