Tuesday, 26 May 2020

I don't understand the movies any more!

I've been watching a lot of TV lately. Mostly various movies and reality shows. Better than watching the dust settle on the screen I suppose. Why doesn't someone clean around here? Is there a button on the remote control that clears away the dust from the TV screen?
I've learnt a lot from watching TV.

For example, in a fight the enemies will always wait patiently to attack the hero one by one, dancing around in a threatening manner until the hero has knocked out their predecessors. The hero must never show pain whilst fighting but he must always wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

In bedroom scenes it is important to have a special L-shaped sheet that reach the armpit level of the woman, but only the waist level of the man lying beside her. If staying in a haunted house, women should always investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear. Even if it is freezing outside and the wind is howling through the open windows.

In Apocalypse type movies, or Doomsday films, when all is destroyed and only a few people remain alive; I have noticed that the first shortage of items will be razor blades. Because immediately the men have stubble or beards growing on their faces.

Women, however, always seem to have a hidden supply of razor blades or electric shavers, because they do not have armpit hair or hair growing on their legs. They somehow remain beautiful throughout. Even if their clothes get dirty and torn; they're still good to wear to cover their modesty.

The peoples' ordeal in such dire situations as the end of civilisation may go on for days; but their clothes remain fit to wear. Men might lose their shirts, but definitely not their trousers. For they are made of different hard-wearing material which remains intact right through Doomsday and beyond!

I've also noticed a new reality type program on TV called "Naked and Afraid". The idea is to put two individuals, (1 man 1 woman), who never met before, naked in some kind of wild environment. It could be a forest, a jungle or whatever. And they have to survive, naked, for 21 days. I said naked, not baked; although in that heat some parts would be well baked all right!!!

To be honest, I am not sure I understand the purpose of this program. We are shown two naked people in the jungle. The title of the program would no doubt attract people who want to see their nakedness. Yet their private parts are hidden from the viewers at home.

Although the contestants are naked at the time of filming, the interesting bits are always covered in pixelations. You know, those blurred areas on the TV screen that cover the person's naughty parts.

I looked closely to see where those blurred areas were hanging from. Perhaps there's a thin invisible string that hangs the blurred square on the body like a photo hanging on the wall.

Whenever the people moved, that annoying blurred square moved with them covering the whole purpose of the program.

Let's imagine for instance that they meet a wild animal, like a lion; is their nakedness a relevant factor in the danger the situation presents? Surely if you meet a lion, or a bear, the danger is the same whether you're naked or not. If they were attacked, would the film crew continue filming until they die and then say, "Oooops ... perhaps we should have helped them instead"?

I am told that the blurred squares, or pixelations, are put electronically on the film afterwards by the computer.

The people are really naked throughout when filming them!


Now I remember years ago I made some training films for an organisation I worked for. I didn't actually operate the camera, but I hired a film crew. I was the producer I guess. The person who pays for the whole thing.

The film crew consisted of the camera man and his team, the sound engineer and his team, the lights engineer, the director shouting "cut" every now and then, the director's assistant and so on. You get the idea. About a dozen people or so including actors. And they all often interrupted the filming because the light is not OK, or the sound is not clear enough, or the actors forget their lines and so on. I recall a half-hour film used to take all day to shoot with umpteen stops and restarts and edits.

I presume that a similar number of crew are also in the jungle with these two naked people. They are not on their own, otherwise there would be no one to make the film. 

There's also a whole orchestra there with them to play the incidental music when required. How many people do they need to carry and move the grand piano to different parts of the jungle, I wonder? There's at least another 50 people or so in an orchestra. All out in the jungle with their various organs - musical ones.

And are all these film crew totally naked as well? Or are they clothed?

It would be unfair if they are all dressed and the only naked people are the two contestants airing their differences for all to see.

What if a mosquito bites their backside? Do they have a special ointment to put on in between filming?

And is it fair that we, the audiences watching them on TV at home, are fully clothed whilst those two in the jungle are not?

In honour of those two in the jungle, and as a sign of respect, I too shall join in and watch them naked.

Now then ... where's my pixelation gone?

Monday, 25 May 2020

The Reindeer has landed

TV ANNOUNCER: We interrupt this episode of Downton Abbey to bring you a very important breaking news story. Let me introduce Mr Ivor Sorebottom, a senior top Government Spokesman ... Spokesperson!

IVOR SOREBOTTOM: Hello. I have been asked to advise you that creatures from outer space have landed on earth. There is no need to panic ... don't panic ... DON'T PANIIIIC!!! Remain seated where you are and listen carefully. Creatures from outer-space have landed and have made contact with us.

TV ANNOUNCER: You ... you mean you spoke to them?

IVOR: Yes we have. We met in a secret Government location. We shared a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches. And it was agreed that we should allow them an opportunity to address the nation and the world. Let me introduce you to Mr ... ehm ... I mean Ambassador Ivan Itch from the planet Scratchit in the beyond our solar system.

Ivan Itch enters and sits next to Ivor Sorebottom.

TV ANNOUNCER: Ehm ... hello Mr Itch ... I mean Ambassador Itch. You are from the planet Scratchit are you?

IVAN: That is correct.

TV ANNOUNCER: But ... but you look very much like us. You look human. Apart from the fact that you have antlers on your head and hooves instead of hands.

IVAN: That is part of our disguise. We landed on earth several years ago and have been observing and studying you and your human behaviours. We landed in Scotland and we thought the best disguise is to appear like reindeer and blend with the surroundings. We are shape-shifters you know.

TV ANNOUNCER: Not much of a shape-shifter if you've now shifted into a human form but you still have antlers. Somewhere to hang your hat, I suppose!

IVAN: Are you mocking me?

TV ANNOUNCER: No, of course not. This would be above my pay grade ... I notice that you speak in perfect English. I would have thought you'd be speaking in some Klingon type language that we would not understand. You know ... like in Star Trek.

IVAN: Och aye ... ye ken. When we landed, at first our ack cent was a lot more Sco'ish ye understand? But then we couldna understand each other, ye see?

TV ANNOUNCER: So you adapted to the proper English accent?

IVAN: No ... I am speaking to you now in my native language which is Scratchitian ... Fortunately for you humans it sounds very much like English. We waited for years hoping you'd learn our language. Then we decided it would be quicker if we learnt yours. So we borrowed a dictionary from the local library and learnt how to speak in your language.

TV ANNOUNCER: Normally on TV programs when aliens land on earth they abduct one of our species and dissect them to see how they work. Then they put them back together again and give them a tour of the space ship? Will you be doing that to us humans?

IVAN: My ... my what an intellect you have. It is as deep as the shallow end of a swimming pool!

TV ANNOUNCER: Are you mocking me?

IVAN: No ... merely observing a fact within my pay grade!

TV ANNOUNCER: Anyway, what do you want here on earth? Why don't you go back to your own planet?

IVAN: We want peaceful coexistence.

TV ANNOUNCER: What if we refuse?

IVAN: We have special powers of persuasion known as telekinetic.

TV ANNOUNCER: Telekinetic? What's that? Another TV Reality Show?

IVAN: It is the ability to move objects using only the power of the mind.

TV ANNOUNCER: What nonsense. I've a good mind to move you out of the studio. How did you develop such powers anyway?

IVAN: We started by sitting round in a circle and staring at a small feather on a table. In time, it moved by itself a couple of inches.

TV ANNOUNCER: Yeh? Total BS ... someone could have blown on it! By the way ... BS is an English abbreviation for ...

IVAN: I know what your abbreviation means ... and this had nothing to do with bovine output ... No one blew on the feather. We tried again with a dead dry leaf, then an empty potato chips packet. And they moved too. Now we have the power to move anything by just thinking about it. Including people.

TV ANNOUNCER: Oh yeh? BS to that ... I bet you could not move me from this chair. I'll hold tight to it; now try to move me.

IVAN: Let's think hard about this. Are you comfortable? Or do you feel a slight pain in your tummy? Getting stronger ... stronger ... even more so ... you need to go to the toilet ... no use fighting it ... you'd better go ... come on ... move!

TV ANNOUNCER: ALL RIGHT ... ALL RIGHT ... You've convinced me ... now stop it.

IVAN: It is stopped. But you see, it is a very persuasive ability of ours. Ask Mr Ivor Sorebottom here. He tried to resist us. Unsuccessfully I might add. And if you humans will resist us we will make you all go to the toilet. There just aren't enough toilets in the world for all of you. You'd be up to your necks in ...

TV ANNOUNCER: OK ... OK ... I get it ... this is still a family show, you know! What have world leaders decided about this? About you and your fellow Scratchit type reindeers being amongst us?

IVAN: They have decided that we can live peacefully together as long as you lot stop eating venison ... that is reindeer meat ... Oooops ... what a give-away ... I shouldn't have said that ... forget I said this last thing ... scratch it from your live TV program ... I never said it ... I ... I ... I have just received a telepathetic message from from our leader ... It seems we are to leave your planet quickly and go home never to return again ... ... ... ... ...

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Live For Today

Difficult as it might be; living one day at a time is a wholesome self-control mechanism which teaches us patience and genuine reliance on our Lord.

Of course, we all like to plan ahead, to be in control of our future, and to prepare for all eventualities. There’s nothing wrong in that, and it would be foolhardy to leave all to chance and do nothing.

Yet, at the same time, we should balance our every plan with the reality of what is now. We should live each day in gratitude for what God has given us today, rather than look ahead to what is yet to come.

They say, “You never know what’s round the next corner”. How true. All it takes is a sudden event, an illness, an accident, something out of our control, to put all our plans into disarray.

Thank you Lord for another today. Please teach me to walk closer beside you step by step every day.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Guinea Pig Story

Man enters pet shop and looks around. Shop assistant approaches him.

Man: I would like to buy this Guinea pig please?

Shop Assistant: Certainly sir, let me get him for you.

Assistant picks up Guinea pig and puts him in a small box with holes on cover for it to breathe. Buyer looks at animal which instantly rolls over with feet pointing upwards.

Man: Hey ... this Guinea pig is dead. He is as stiff as a board. Look how he rolled over.

Shop Assistant: He is not dead, sir. He is hibernating.

Man: Hibernating? It is the middle of June!

Shop Assistant: Yes sir, he is from South America. They hibernate in summer in South America. If he was from Northern Europe he would hibernate in winter.

Man: So he will remain stiff until winter?

Shop Assistant: Not necessarily. A quick ten seconds in the microwave oven will soon revive him.

Man: I don't believe you. He seems dead to me. Look, his eyes are wide open, and his fur is beginning to fall off.

Shop Assistant: All right. I'll let you have it for half-price.

Man: Half-price? I'd expect a bigger discount for a dead hamster.

Shop Assistant: Guinea pig ...

Man: All right. A dead Guinea pig ...

Shop Assistant: I tell you what ... I'll let you have it for free if you buy another Guinea pig as well.

Man: OK ... I'll have that one too.

Shop Assistant places another Guinea pig in the box.

Man: He seems rather slow moving to me ...

Shop Assistant: That's because he has a bit of a migraine. He was at a party last night. You know ... all that dancing and singing ... and the drinks and the girls ... He must have a bit of a hangover this morning.

Man: A party? He was at a party?

Shop Assistant: A funeral actually. And a get-together afterwards to celebrate the deceased's life.

Man: Who died?

Shop Assistant: This other Guinea pig. But he did not turn up to his own funeral.

Man: Why not?

Shop Assistant: He was up for sale at a reduced price!


Friday, 22 May 2020

How not to carry fruit and vegetables.

Yes ... I know that some of you, my dear readers, do not believe every thing I write here. But I don't blame you really. There are times when I don't believe what I write either.

They say that truth will out. And honesty is the best policy.

But then ... "what is truth?" as Pontius Pilate said.

Or ... "you can't handle the truth!" as Jack Nicholson said.

So, I'll tell you the story and leave you to decide whether it is true or not; and whether you can handle it once you've decided on its veracity.

I had gone to the green grocers about half a mile or so from our house. I bought some apples, some pears, some potatoes and some carrots. They were quite heavy. About two kilos each of apples, pears and carrots and three kilos of potatoes.

The green grocer put them in a plastic bag which I carried back home. It was a long walk with all that weight.

Then suddenly the bag burst under all this weight and there were apples, pears, potatoes and carrots all over the ground.

How do I carry them home, I thought. Then genius struck.

I took off the shoe laces from my boots and tied them very tight round the legs of my trousers; just above the ankles.

Then I put the fruits and vegetables down my trousers. I put them in from the waist ... I can read your minds, you know.

When they were all tucked in my trouser legs I tightened my belt even more so as not to lose my trousers and held on to them by putting my hands in my pockets.

My legs were swollen by the weight of the fruits and vegetables therein.

I started my walk back home. It was like walking in the sea with water up to my waist. Very slow and very tiring.

Because I had no shoe laces I risked losing my boots if I lifted my feet up.

So I slid one foot a few inches forward; then slid the other foot next to it, then slid my foot a little further forward again, and slid my other foot near it.

Because my legs were swollen to more than twice their original size; the sliding forward was done in a semi-circle fashion rather than straight ahead as you would expect.

This walking, or sliding forward a few inches at a time, with my hands in my pockets was quite tiring, I tell you.

Everyone was watching me and wondering what was wrong with me. People coming up ahead towards me, suddenly stopped and crossed the road on the other side. They did not want to meet me in case my swollen legs syndrome was catching.

Others wondered why I had my hands in my pockets and shouted obscenities at me.

Cars nearly bumped into each other as they stopped to look at me rather than the way ahead.

Some drivers wound their windows down and shouted something unrepeatable here.

I eventually got home. My wife was not impressed by my ingenuity at carrying the fruits and vegetables home.

So what do you think? Truth or lies?

Whilst you're thinking about it ... why not just smile and let's sing this song together.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Car Wash In Heaven

I like it when my readers engage in conversation about the posts I publish here. Sometimes I am questioned in the comments box, and sometimes readers prefer to write me privately by e-mail; in which case I respond privately.

Yesterday, JoeH asked an interesting question. He said: "So, is it either Heaven or Hell? Punishment is not commensurate with the sin?"

This train of thought has been debated amongst theologians and intellectuals for years. If someone dies with small sins, like me, having a penchant for chocolates and being a little too greedy. Does that mean going down fast without a parachute? No redemption or forgiveness?

Enter the Catholics with their invention.


Many Catholics and non-Catholics have wondered about Purgatory. Does it exist? There's no mention of it in the Bible. Is it just a Catholic invention to make money by asking people to pay for prayers and Masses to be celebrated for the repose of dead family members and friends?

How long do souls stay in Purgatory? Is it a day for every venial sin? A week? A month? Longer?

How many days off do they gain when we pray for these souls or celebrate Mass for them?

What does Purgatory look like? Does it have a fire like hell? Is it hot or cold there? Or is it perhaps just warm so you feel uncomfortable but you don’t burn?

Does it have devils looking after all the inmates; like in hell, or are they a little kinder perhaps?

Are we in pain when in Purgatory? Like the fire in hell?

The notion that Purgatory is some sort of Purification Centre or Car Wash where all souls with venial sins go to be made clean before entering Heaven has long vexed many wise minds.

The Catholic Church bases its teaching from Scripture. In Revelation Chapter 21 Verse 27 it says ‘Nothing unclean shall enter Heaven.’ So, strictly speaking, if we die with venial sins on our conscience we’re not spiritually cleaned; and that’s why we go to Purgatory.

The belief in the existence of Purgatory goes back to the early Christians; and other Christian denominations also believe in such a place where souls go before they are ready to enter Heaven.

Given that very few of us will die with no sins whatsoever on our conscience, the Church teaches that there must exist a place, or a state of being, or a state of purification, where we are cleansed of our sins and we can enter Heaven. This place, or state of being, is known as Purgatory.

Jesus did describe Heaven at one time as a mansion with many rooms. So it follows, perhaps, that in our imagination we visualize Purgatory as a physical place too.

The pertinent point, however, is that the Church teaches that there is a stage where souls destined for Heaven undergo a period of purification. 

St. Therese of Lisieux, who is a doctor of the church, has her own view of Purgatory.  She maintains that one does not need to go to Purgatory. While still only a novice, she spoke to Sister Maria Philomena, who believed in the near impossibility of going to Heaven without passing through Purgatory.

Therese’s response was, “You do not have enough trust.  You have too much fear before the good God.  I can assure you that He is grieved over this. You should not fear Purgatory because of the suffering there, but should instead ask God to take you straight to Heaven. As soon as you try to please Him in everything and have an unshakable trust He purifies you every moment in His love and He lets no sin remain. It is then you can be sure that you will not have to go to Purgatory.”

So, as you can see, even Catholics had their different views and disagreements about Purgatory.

May I add that when Jesus was hanging on the Cross He turned to Dismas, the Repentant Thief and said, "I promise you this very day you will be with me in Paradise!"

He didn't say, "But you'll have to spend some time in Purgatory first!" 

I don't know if this answers JoeH's or your questions. Does Purgatory exist? Do people with minor sins go straight to hell? Or do they go somewhere to be made clean first before entering Heaven? Is it either Heaven or hell. Or is punishment, (if punishment it is), not commensurate with the sin?"

NOTE: I am grateful to Father Francis Maple for the information this post contains. Father Francis publishes a daily homily - Please click HERE.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Hello Sinners !!!

Hello Sinners ... how are you?

I've often wondered. If I were to hold a Sinners Convention, how many people would turn up?

I guess not many, and I'd lose a lot of money hiring the venue and having refreshments ready.

The reason I suppose is because most of us don't consider ourselves to be sinners. Not big ones anyway.

For the most part, we all believe we're good people really. Deep down we're OK and we will eventually go to Heaven. It's all a matter of time really. As long as we go on the way we always do, we will eventually get to Heaven. Those of us who believe in Heaven anyway.

The rest can go to hell. What do we care about them?

But most of us are OK. We'll get to Heaven one day. We're not big sinners.

I mean ... when is the last time you killed someone?

Or robbed a bank?

Or embezzled from your employer or business?

Or coveted your neighbour's wife/husband, or ass?

(I must admit I'm very envious of my neighbour's roses. Why does he grow better flowers than me?)

OK ... I know ... I know ... some people do partake in that coveting sin. They cheat on their partners and think nothing of it. Well ... you know how it is? It could be just a one off ... or sometimes because they are not happy at home anyway. I mean ... It's their right to be happy in life is it not? (Or so they think!)

And that's where the problem lies ... "or so they think".

They believe that a slight flirtation is OK.

They think that having a fixation on materialism is harmless really. What's wrong with having a big house, car, plenty of jewellery or whatever? I worked hard for it. I earned it. Why should I care about those less well off? They should work harder.

What's wrong with gossiping and telling tales about other people? It's harmless fun.

So what if they don't have time to look after elderly parents living alone? They live too far anyway, and life is busy these days with work, looking after the kids and so on.

And don't tell me that taking the odd bit of stationery home from work is wrong. Or some other bits and pieces from our employers. It's not stealing is it? Not like robbing a bank.

And what's wrong with having a long lunch hour? Or getting to work late or leaving early? Really! Everyone else does it. Even the boss.

And anyway ... all these are all small sins, if sins at all. Not like killing and really stealing from a bank which are mentioned in the Ten Commandments.

On reflection, no wonder not many people would attend my Sinners Convention ... there aren't that many sinners in the world today.

Perhaps some people are sleep-walking their way into hell.