Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Year Resolutions


Happy New Year to one and all. I hope and pray that for you it will be a peaceful one filled with joy, hope and good health.

Have you made a New Year Resolution yet? Have you broken it already? And start again tomorrow?

A lot of people make New Year resolutions; and that's a good thing. They see the start of a new year as a new beginning for them to look at themselves and improve themselves and their lives.

Apparently, most new year resolutions involve losing weight. People resolve to eat less, exercise more, go to the gym more often, go out for a run and so on. But sadly, they soon give up their will-power and go back to the old ways as before. But then, that's human nature I suppose.

This year, whether you have made a new year resolution or not, may I suggest that you consider seriously taking on my suggestion as a resolution.

Make a resolution to laugh more often this year.

Yes ... to laugh more often. Every day find a reason to laugh. Look at situations in a different way and see the funny side in everything. Buy a humourous book, (I've written a few), and every day read at least one joke or funny story to make you laugh; or at least smile.

You'll feel good for it. It will make you feel younger. You will look younger because a smile radiates a certain joy and happiness in one's face.

Let me tell you of a new year's resolution I made years ago when I was young. I resolved to write in my diary one joke every day. I kept that resolution for a year, or even more, and by the end of the first year I had 365 jokes in my diary. Not any jokes, mind you.They had to be jokes that made me laugh. I went to the library and borrowed many funny books and read them from cover to cover. And there were times when for a week or ten days I had written nothing in my diary, because none of the jokes or stories I read made me laugh and therefore were not worthy for an entry in my diary. So I had a lot of catching up to do. I read even more, and also started making up my own jokes to make me laugh.

And that's when I noticed something strange. I started to develop a sense of humour. I had in my head a little dictionary of jokes and one-liners on a variety of subjects. Whenever the occasion arose I said what was on my mind. Like:

She has a magnetic personality. Just don't take her to the kitchen or else the cutlery will stick to her.

He is such a hypochondriac that when he dies they will bury him next to a doctor.

He was so old that his teeth were like the Ten Commandments - all broken.

Such jokes stood me well when I compered a vaudeville type show to raise money for various charities. And I must say, they diffused many a tense situation at work with colleagues and clients.

And now, years later, I find that humour seems to be part of my life. It's not a carefree life by any means and, like many people, I do have my fair share of problems. But I find that humour seems to be at the back of my mind most of the time. I could be discussing or listening to a serious matter with friends and yet trying to suppress a smile because my mind is working out a funny side to what is a sad, or tragic, situation.

That's how most of my funny blogs get written. Out of the blue, at any time, a thought comes to mind which I have to put on paper as quickly as I can before I forget it. Most inconvenient at certain times which I will leave to your imagination!

Anyway ... please, at least consider taking up my suggestion. Try to laugh and smile more often this year.

Have a splendid year and don't  forget to pray for me. The more people who do the more chance God is likely to listen.

Friday, 29 December 2017

If ... ... ...


If I could rid my life
Of trash that I have gathered
How light my footsteps would be

If I could clear my mind
Of dreams that have been shattered
How hopeful tomorrow would be

If I could just forgive
Past hurts that did not matter
Forgiven my sins would also be

If I could only count
The pains that I have scattered
Repentance would set me free

If my past could just let go
Of a present so torn and tattered
A joyful future for ever will be

If ... ... ...

If I could keep my head
When all around me 
Are losing theirs
And blaming it on me ... ... ...

I'd be the only one needing a haircut.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas Presents

Hello everyone. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas with your family and have enjoyed every minute of it. Christmas is such a wonderful time, isn't it? And it has so many treasured memories which we can draw on in years to come when we feel a little run down, or if we've sat on a hedgehog by mistake.

Personally, I think the best thing about Christmas is receiving presents. It's always the same each year. We all agree beforehand not to give each other presents, and every year, we all break the pact and give each other presents anyway.

This year, whilst making the usual pact with family members, I told them that, if they have to break the pact, at least get me edible presents. My motto in life is: If it is not edible it is not worth having.

So this year someone got me three potatoes, and someone else got me some broccoli. Funny thing the broccoli. Is it a small tree or is it a cauliflower without the leaves all around it?

I have never understood why God created broccoli. That, and wasps. Why did He create broccoli and wasps? And sneezing? Broccoli, wasps and sneezing. Why did God create them?

Do you know? If God instead of telling Adam and Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit, and instead told them not to eat broccoli; they would not have been tempted and there would have been no sin at all.

Can you imagine the snake telling them to eat broccoli?

And that's another thing. The story about the snake. What is that all about?

If I was naked in Paradise and suddenly met a snake I would immediately cover my tender parts in case he had a bite. And if the snake spoke to me I would most probably poop in my non-existing pants, rather than engage in conversation with him.

And one more thing. How did Adam and Eve know which bits to cover after they had sinned? Why did they not cover their elbows? Or feet or their heads?

Can you imagine if they had covered their heads, today we would all be going around naked with our underpants on our heads.

But let's get back to the subject of Christmas presents. I hope you got something you wished for. Share your gift stories with us.

This year, for some unknown reason, three people gave me exactly the same present.


 A book on how to keep silverfish as pets. Why three people had the same idea about gifting me this book I shall never know. And it is difficult to take away the wrapper and look surprised and gleeful saying: "How wonderful. Just what I've always wanted." when you've just opened a similar gift moments earlier.

Did you know that silverfish eat sugar and starch? Do you think I can feed them potatoes? I got some for Christmas you know.

Also, did you know that silverfish can be taught to walk in a single file if you play military music to them?

They live for two to eight years unless you hit them hard with your shoe.

Before silverfish reproduce, they carry out a complicated ritual which may last over half an hour without the need of a relaxing drink beforehand or soft music and lights in the background. First the male and female stand face to face, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. Imagine here Frank Sinatra singing "Strangers in the night ..."

 Strangers in the night
Exchanging glances
Wondering in the night
What were the chances
We'd be sharing love

In the second phase, the male runs away and the female chases him. Well that makes a change, I suppose.

In the third phase, Frank Sinatra stops singing and leaves the silverfish in some privacy together.

It's all true, I tell you. I have it all in triplicate in the books I received as Christmas presents. They are also heavy enough to drop on a silverfish from a height!

Now the next Christmas present I received is a bit of a delicate matter. If you are of a nervous disposition please stop reading now. You have been warned.

Some friends of ours thought it a good idea to get me for Christmas a container of V.I.Poo.

Now I don't know whether you have such a product available where you live, but it shows how sophisticated and vain we have become here in the UK. The product is advertised on TV and the magazines.

It is a container of some scented oil or liquid which you take with you when you go to the toilet. You spray a little on the surface of the water BEFORE you drop your solids in the toilet. The idea is that the bad smells will be trapped under the floating layer you have sprayed on the water and will be flushed away.

What made these demented friends buy me such a festive present? What kind of message are they sending me with their gift?

"Hi there. We saw this in the shops and thought of you, because you stink like a skunk. The last time you came to our house and went to the toilet your bad smell was such that it decimated the whole bird population in our garden and our tortoise has gone missing!"

I mean ... what would you expect my reaction to be as I unwrapped this present?

"How lovely. Just what I always wanted. I'll use it instead of my aftershave."

Actually, I shall use my spray as a mouth-freshener. This way my breath will smell good and it will take care of my poo odour from the inside!

So there you have it. My Christmas gifts from my so called friends and family.

Tell us ... what Christmas presents did you get?

Friday, 22 December 2017

Merry Christmas

WISHING YOU ALL
A MERRY CHRISTMAS
AND MAY YOUR SOCKS
BE ALWAYS BRIGHT AND CLEAN
DANCE AND BE HAPPY
USE YOUR TEETH TO SMILE
 AND DON'T SIT ON THE FIRE

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas Confession


Today I went for my annual Christmas confession. I don't sin that much so I have limited my confessions to once a year. As I got to church the car park was full and there were cars parked in the street. I did not know there were that many sinners in town.
 
Father Frederic, our Parish priest, is away for two weeks and has been replaced by Father Gaston, a priest of French origin, until our regular priest returns.

Father Gaston doesn’t say much, maybe because he hasn’t much to say to us. Who knows! He is tall and thin and looks very severe. He has one of those unfortunate white skinny faces which look like a skull. A long oval shape with sunken eyes and bony features revealing the contours of his jaws as he grins benignly rather than smile. I bet he could turn someone into a pillar of salt by just thinking it.

I don’t mean that he is nasty or evil in any way; he just looks that way and would frighten any cat out of its nine lives. Maybe I should introduce him to mine.

Anyway, as I was saying, I went to confession. Father Gaston was in attendance.

We have one of those wooden confessionals which consists of a compartment in the middle which the priest enters and sits on a bench, and we genuflect on either side, pulling the curtain behind us so no one sees us, and tell him all our wrong-doings. We have to whisper, of course; otherwise everyone in church would hear our sins. If they were to hear mine they would no doubt be in hysterics of laughter!

I knelt down and whispered closely to the opening in the confessional: “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned …”

“I cannot hear you!” said Father Gaston in his strong French accent loud enough to be heard in Paris.

“Ehmmm…” I cleared my throat as I got nearer still to the little window opening in the confessional. At that point my knee slipped off the kneeler on the floor and I crashed forward hitting my face hard against the panel behind which the priest was sitting.

He must have jumped out of his tightly stretched skin dropping his jaw to the floor in the process. I know that the rest of the penitents in church must have been startled out of their meditations too as I heard murmurs echoing behind the confessional curtain.

I straightened myself and soon realized that the knock to my face had started a nose bleed. I took out a handkerchief quickly and said in a loud enough voice to be heard by everyone “We’ll have to continue this conversation at another time …”

I got out of the confessional holding my head back and covering my face with the now red handkerchief.

As I made my way to the exit I heard a lady say to another: “I’m not going to confession today. This new French priest is rather violent with his penance!”

Monday, 18 December 2017

A Librarian Argument

A strange thing happened at the library some years ago. I was sitting at a table reading silently, as one is wont to do in a library, when suddenly I felt a sneeze coming on. Must have been the dust from the book I was reading. I quickly took out my handkerchief and stifled the sneeze semi-silently.

The man sitting next to me wrote "Bless you!" on a piece of paper and passed it to me. I wrote, "thank you" underneath it and passed the paper back.

The woman at the table with us wrote on a piece of paper, "Can you write silently. This is a library you know!" and passed it to me.

I wrote, "Sorry, I was writing as quietly as possible!"

She wrote back, "And if you're going to sneeze, do it outside!"

I wrote, "Sneezes do not give one advance notice they are about to happen. They just SPONTANEOUSLY happen!"

She wrote, "Do NOT use capital letters. This is shouting. I remind you, you are in a library!"

I wrote, "You just shouted the word not!"

She wrote, "I did not. I just raised my voice a little, that's why it was in italics!"

I wrote, "Raising one's voice in writing is just as bad as talking in a library, or sneezing spontaneously for that matter!"

She got up from the table, went to the librarian and asked for more paper. She came back with a full new notepad.

I hasten to add that, whilst all this was going on, the man at the table who started it all by writing "Bless you" had not reacted whatsoever. He was too short-sighted to see the argument between us.

Before she could use the notepad with another message I wrote her a note saying, "It would be quicker and easier to continue this argument by text. What's your cell-phone number?"

She wrote her number and gave it to me.

I sent her a text saying she is somewhat officious and perhaps she is taking this matter too seriously.

She texted back that she was not officious at all, but she believed that we should all abide by rules and regulations put there in place by those in authority for the benefit of society in general; and without such rules and regulations society would soon break down into utter and total chaos.

Admittedly, she took three texts to say all that.

So I texted back, "Perhaps we should continue this argument verbally over a coffee, because my fingers are getting tired."

So we went out for a coffee.

And that's how I met my wife.

Now ... many years later, whenever we have an argument it is always in writing. And in triplicate too. One copy for her, one for me, and one for the solicitors.

We have files and files of arguments on paper all dated and titled on the cover. Titles like:

Whether the UK should leave the European Community or not.

What we should do to bring inflation under control.

Where in the garden we should place the bird feeding table.

What we should call the new dog.

As an example, using the latter file. When we got a new dog a year ago we could not decide what to call him. Names like "Sit" and "Fetch" had already been used and we wanted something new, spontaneous, and fresh. So we decided that I should take the dog for a walk in the cemetery, and the first gravestone that the dog showed an interest in by raising his leg, the name on that grave stone would be the name of the dog.

We called him "Fire Hydrant".

PLEASE CLICK HERE

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Saints' Legacies

A man wandering in the desert, dressed in clothes made of camel hair, and eating locusts and wild honey. (Mark 1:4-8).

Not exactly sartorial elegance. More of an eccentric if you ask me.

Yet this was a man with a mission.

His mission – to tell everyone about Jesus. To prepare them for His arrival.

His name – John, the Baptist. In case you confuse him with another John.

An outspoken man who feared no one in his quest to do what God had asked him. He even dared to criticize the king, and paid dearly with his life for doing so. (Mark 6:14-29).

His legacy to us?

Courage and Obedience.

Despite living in dangerous times, this man had courage to speak out and tell the world about Jesus; and dared tell the King that he was wrong.

How often are we presented with the opportunity to speak about God, about our religion and our Christianity. Do we shy away and miss a good opportunity to witness for our Lord? Or have we got a tiny fraction of John’s courage? And obedience?
When Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel all those years ago, times were very different.

It would have been a great scandal for an unmarried woman to become pregnant. Her family would be shamed and she would most probably have been shunned by everyone. It was even more outrageous to claim that the baby is the Son of God. That would have been blasphemy surely!

Yet despite her fears of shame, rejection and ridicule, not to mention fear for her own safety, Mary trusted God and said "Yes".

She agreed to be the Mother of Jesus.

So, what is her legacy to us?

Obedience and trust.

Obedience and trust in God despite what must have been a very dangerous situation for her, and her family.

Are we that obedient and trusting when God speaks to us?
Joseph is not mentioned often in the Bible. We read about him before the birth of Jesus when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him to take Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:18).

Imagine his dilemma. He was engaged to Mary when she found out she was due to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. At first he considered doing what many men with a pregnant girl friend whose baby is not theirs would have done - run a mile in the opposite direction.

Being an honourable man he decided to break the engagement privately so as not to disgrace her.

Then the angel appeared to him in a dream; and based on that dream alone he decided to marry Mary and raise her son as if He were his own.

He was there when Jesus was born in Bethlehem and we read about him when he took Jesus and Mary to Egypt to escape from Herod (Matthew 2:13) and then when they returned to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19).

He is also mentioned when the boy Jesus was twelve years old and found in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41).

So as Jesus' foster father he was there during His early years protecting Him from Herod and providing a loving family for the Son of God.

What a wonderful man he must have been. Working quietly in the background, without much recognition, doing God's will in raising His Son on earth.

So, what is his legacy to us?

Obedience and trust.

Despite what his common sense told him to do, he did not walk away from Mary. He trusted God and decided to stay with Mary. He decided to provide for her and a child Who was not his. He taught the child carpentry and raised Him up as his own.

May his obedience and trust be an example to us all.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

How much is that piggy in the window?

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!

IF YOU LIKE MY KIND OF HUMOUR
WHY NOT TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT ON YOUR BLOG?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Agony Uncle Vic

Dear Agony Uncle,

This is the first time I write in to your Newspaper Column. I am a woman over 35 years old and, not to put too fine a point on it, I find that with age certain parts of one's body travel South. I fear I am not as attractive as I once was when I go on a date. Any advice?

Dear Anonymous First-time Writer,

Fear not. They say the sands of times in an hour glass go down not up. Whatever that means. Rest assured that your problem happens to most of us, men and women, and short of spending the rest of your life walking upside down on your hands there is nothing much you can do. Even that would be embarrassing when wearing a dress or a skirt. They also say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so dating someone short-sighted might help. They also say that beauty is skin deep. So you may want to try wearing many layers of clothing so your date will take longer looking at you.

Whatever you decide to do, do not go for the option my friend did. When he went on a strict diet to lose weight he ended up with a lot of loose skin hanging about his body in the chest and lower area. So he went for a new treatment where they "pull up" the loose skin up his body a bit at a time, and they stretch the skin upwards so much that any extra skin is then somehow tied up and hidden behind the back of his neck. It worked so well that now he looks twenty years younger. Unfortunately, his bellybutton (navel) is on his forehead. He also has a new unusual tie too.

Dear Uncle Vic,

As a newly married man, I get embarrassed when I go to the rest room and break wind noisily. My wife could hear me. What do you suggest I do?

Dear Thunderblast,

Such foods like beans, sprouts and cabbage, nice as they are, tend to create gaseous substances therein which need to come thereout, sometimes accompanied with heightened decibels. Short of avoiding such foods, I suggest you do like me and take a radio with you to the rest room and play it loudly to cover up other unwanted sounds. I suggest playing "Blowing in the wind" by Bob Dylan is very effective in this respect.

Dear Agony,

I have joined a new Dating Site on-line and gave them all my details. Unfortunately, instead of posting my picture I accidentally sent a photo of my dog instead. What do you suggest I do?

Dear dog lover,

Yours is a relatively minor problem easily solved by writing to the Dating Agency. I once sent in my real photo to such an agency and they returned it back with a note saying; "We're not that desperate!"

Dear Agony Vic,

I live in an apartment block and the walls here are too thin. To get straight to the point - I cannot sleep at night because I hear the young couple living next door making very personal noises from their bedroom. I have tried sleeping with my head under the pillow to no effect. What do you suggest?

Dear Sleepless Nights,

What you are doing is very dangerous. I knew a man who slept with his head under the pillow and the Tooth Fairy took out all his teeth.

Dear Agony Uncle,

I am writing to you from hospital. The instructions on the Quick Cook Rice packet said: "Take one sachet from the packet and stand in boiling water for 5 minutes." I did just that and burnt my feet.

Dear Master Cook,

I sympathise with you. I think instructions on food packets should be clear for any idiot to understand.

Dear Uncle Vic,

Our dog keeps biting the postman.  He also chewed the postman's hat. What shall I do?

Dear Careless Dog Owner,

First of all you should keep your dog under control and take responsibility for your dog's and your actions - or inactions. Secondly, buy him Woof Woof Dog Food. It is the only dog food that tastes of a postman's leg. That should deter him from doing it again.

Dear Know-it-all Agony Column Idiot,

I did not like the way you responded to my last letter about my dog's behaviour. In fact I do not like your attitude!

Dear Dog Owner,

It is not my 'at he chewed; it's the postman's at he chewed!

Dear Agony Uncle,

I am caught in a heart-breaking situation. Do you remember the song "Torn between two lovers" by Mary MacGregor in 1976? Well, I am in this very situation. I have fallen in love with two men. One of them is young, my age really, he is a multi-millionaire, drives a Lamborghini, lives in a palace and adores me very much. The other one is a little older, he is not that wealthy, poor even, he is an archaeologist, and says he loves me very much. I love them both, but do not know who I should marry. What do you think?

Dear Lover,

I think you should marry the archaeologist because the older you get the more interested he will be in you.

Dear Vic,

We have ants in our house and cannot get rid of them. We have tried everything. Can you help?

Dear Ant Invasion,

Indeed I can help. Get a flat stone. Place on it a mixture of sugar and pepper. The ants will be attracted by the sugar, breathe in the pepper, sneeze, and knock themselves dead against the stone. Simples!!!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Divine Detour



It was Christmas Eve, early evening, and it was already dark. It was freezing cold with blinding snow still falling and winds making driving conditions perilous to say the least. Weather warnings on the radio advised people to stay at home.

Yet Father Ignatius was on the road. Driving back slowly towards St Vincent Church determined to be there to celebrate Midnight Mass.



He had been away the previous few days and had planned to return home early on Christmas Eve; but the bad weather held him back. Missing Midnight Mass was out of the question for the determined priest, and as he set off on his journey home the skies were dark and the roads were clear; until suddenly he was caught in a snow storm and had no alternative but to proceed onwards towards his Parish church.



The shortest way home was through treacherous country roads, which he knew well, yet never drove on in such conditions. As he turned a sharp bend on the road he noticed just in time a fallen tree blocking his way. He managed to brake in time and avoided hitting it or sliding out of control into a ditch.



He had no option but to reverse carefully and take another way home.

A few miles further on, just before entering a village he saw a car crashed against a tree. He stopped to help.

He’ll never forget the sight that greeted him.

There in the driving seat was a man covered in blood. He was breathing heavily and still conscious.

“Can you move?” asked the priest, fumbling for something to say.

The man shook his head, then slowly mumbled “my leg … trapped …”

“I’ll go for help …” said Father Ignatius.

“No … my wife … she’s gone to the village …”

The priest decided to wait with the injured man until help arrived. He got a blanket from his car and covered him to keep him warm. He tried as best he could to place another blanket on the man’s chest to stop any bleeding from a wound which, although not clearly visible in the dark, was obvious by the bleeding.



It was still snowing and Father Ignatius was freezing. Yet he stood outside the crashed car leaning through the broken driver’s window, trying his best to comfort the driver.

In between heavy sometimes gasping breaths, the man noticed Father Ignatius white collar and asked, “Are you a church minister?”

“I’m a priest,” said Father Ignatius.

“I’ve never had time for people like you …” said the man, “I suppose I’ve never been able to believe … I tried mind you … but just couldn’t believe in God … Jesus …”

Father Ignatius said nothing but prayed silently.

“Do you think it’s too late … you know … can I believe now … or at least try …”

“It is never too late to put your trust in God. Just accept Him in your heart, right now, as best you can. Tell Him you believe in Him.”

The man breathed deeply once or twice. “Yes … I do want to believe, if He’ll help me do it …”

“Can I baptize you?” asked the priest daringly.

“Ah … it hurts more now … yes  … do as you say … tell your God I’m sorry … tell Him to forgive me for any wrong I've done Him by not believing ...”

Father Ignatius quickly prayed with the man consciously sitting there and baptized him.

As he made the sign of the Cross on the man’s forehead he heard him say “Is that it? … that was painless …” as he forced a smile.

Father Ignatius held his hand and waited for a further twenty minutes or so, praying all the time, and speaking with him until an ambulance and a police car arrived almost simultaneously. He remained conscious throughout, breathing ever so heavily and obviously in great pain.

Father Ignatius eventually drove to the village and phoned a worried Father Donald from a small shop which was still open. He stayed there for an hour or so by the fire to warm up a little and, determined as ever, decided to continue on his way home.

He made it for Midnight Mass all right, but he was too tired and almost frost bitten to celebrate Mass. He sat at the front pew, by Our Lady’s statue, praying for the crash victim.

He learnt a few days later, from the man’s wife, that he never made it to the hospital. He died in the ambulance on the way there. It was then that Father Ignatius remembered that had it not been for the fallen tree blocking his way, he would have got home much earlier and avoided the accident altogether. Obviously, God wanted him to go to the man’s aid.

A tragic Christmas in human terms, perhaps. But a joyous one in Heaven, welcoming a new soul.

FATHER IGNATIUS BOOKS HERE

Friday, 8 December 2017

Meditation


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Sandwich Short of a Picnic


Have you ever dreamt you are a sandwich?

If so, what sandwich were you?

If it was a dainty triangular cheese and cucumber sandwich then you are probably from the English aristocracy and well-to-do; or aspire to such a position. You probably drink tea with your little finger sticking out whilst holding the cup.

According to an article I read, you can tell what sort of person you are by the kind of sandwich you dream.

If you dream you're a cheese and pickle sandwich you're probably not so aristocratic in Britain, and maybe you drink your tea from a mug.

If you dream you're a peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwich then you are probably American and proud of it.

If you're a burger sandwich/bun with lettuce and cheese and other relish, you're probably too busy in life and eat on-the-go.

If you're a ham, sausage, chorizo, salami, mortadella, luncheon meat or other such type of sandwich then you are a strong no-nonsense carnivore.

If you are a boiled egg with mayonnaise sandwich, (possibly with cress or salad), then you aspire to greatness but can at times be self-opinionated.

If you are a chocolate spread sandwich then you are good natured and kind with an optimistic outlook on life.

If you're a bacon sandwich, with ketchup or brown sauce, you are probably British. Bacon, cheese and egg is the American version. Also bacon, lettuce and tomato.

There are many other varieties and variations of sandwiches.

So ... what sandwich do you dream you are? Let us know what you are, and we'll check on your personality.

Personally, I like peanut butter and raisins sandwich. I spread the peanut butter on the slice of bread then carefully place, one by one, enough raisins in straight rows; they should be equidistant from each other, (I use a ruler for this), before covering it with another slice of bread. Then I cut it in four squares of exactly the same size.

I suppose that makes me a fruity nut!

Monday, 4 December 2017

AS I QUOTE MYSELF



... ... after the evening meal, my boss, a woman in her early thirties, went up to her room. Before she left the table she asked me discretely to follow her a few minutes later. She gave me a duplicate plastic card to use in that contraption which opens the hotel room door. She said she wanted to discuss my annual appraisal report.

I was hesitant at first. I sipped my coffee slowly to waste time and to gather enough courage to decide what to do. My boss was not one to argue with. When she said, “Jump” we replied, “How high”, rather than question her request – or should I say her command.

A few minutes later I entered her room and it was empty. I said loudly, "Hello ... anyone here?"

Her voice replied from the bathroom, "I'm in the shower. Come in!"

I was astounded and frightened at this request which, as I said earlier, sounded more like a command.

My boss had a certain reputation amongst the office gossip grapevine but I never quite believed it. It seemed that now was the time for me to sample such a reputation.

I did not know what to do, especially since my future career at this firm depended so much on her and her appraisal of me. I hesitated for a while.

"Get a move on," she cried impatiently from the bathroom, "I'm not going to wait all night!"

Those were her exact words; I still remember them clearly. She obviously meant business and my future life flashed in front of my eyes.

I was totally confused. I sought guidance from my abbreviated Catechism which I carried in my pocket but I could not find an answer in a hurry. They really should have a better index in those books.

I took off my jacket and put it on the back of the chair. Then I took off my shoes. I had a big hole in one of my socks!

Before I could go on any further she came out of the bathroom fully clothed and speaking on her cell-phone. Apparently you get a better reception in the shower than anywhere else in her hotel room.

"Why have you taken your shoes off?" she asked.

"I did not want to dirty the carpet!" I replied unconvincingly.

I wonder if she believed me. Fortunately I got a good annual appraisal although she did say I often get the wrong end of the stick.
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AS I QUOTE MYSELF is not a biography of a famous celebrity, or other well known personality telling you how they made it good from extreme poverty to being as successful as they are today. Instead, these are the memoirs of someone you’ve probably never heard of, (unless you’re related to him), but yet with a story to tell.

A series of calamities and misfortunes with humourous outcomes which are sure to make you smile, if not laugh out loud. At least that’s what he hopes! AS I QUOTE MYSELF are the memoirs of no one in particular except the one from whose memories they originate.
*******
FOR MORE HUMOUROUS MISS-ADVENTURES 
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AS I QUOTE MYSELF


Friday, 1 December 2017

The Sound Of Laughter


My regular readers will know that I sometimes post humourous stories here as well as my more serious Christian articles.

There are two reasons for this:

First, I have discovered by studying the statistics that about 80% of my readers are first time visitors. They come here looking for funny stories or jokes, (probably through search engines), and then hopefully, they might be interested in reading my Christian articles.

Secondly, it is because I have been blessed from an early age, (I was born as a baby you know), with a sense of humour. I have always found the funny side in most situations. For example, I remember well, when I was born in hospital in Ward 2, 3 and 4, (I was a big baby), the nurse gave me a slap on my bottom, looked at my face and punched my dad.

Laughter is the best sound you can ever hear in your life. It tells you that someone else is happy and for a while he or she has forgotten all the worries and problems that life throws at us and is enjoying a moment of release.

We humans are the only creatures on earth who laugh. No other animals, insect or fish does it. Imagine for example you are having a shower and your pet dog or cat comes in the bathroom. Chances are he will not laugh; and just as well, I say. The last thing you want when standing in the shower is your pet smirking at you.

What is laughter? I asked myself the other day and did not get a reply.

Laughter is like a pressure valve lodged there deep within you, just close to your stomach and your asparagus. When you hear or see something which you think is funny, the pressure valve gives way and releases a very loud sound out of your mouth. From anywhere else and you are in trouble.

As a young man I used to compare variety shows touring round from village to village and raising money for charity; or playing in old peoples' homes to entertain the pensioners. We used to have singers, musicians, dancers and so on and I used to introduce the acts and tell a few jokes.

I discovered then that jokes can be quite territorial. For example, I could tell a joke in one village hall and they would all laugh. But the people in the next village would not even raise a smile because they were too far away to hear me.

I'd say - Have you heard the one about the two flies walking up a mirror? One says to the other, "That's another way of looking at it!"

Or the one about the skunk running down the forest. Suddenly the wind direction changes, and he stops and says, "Ah ... it's all coming back to me now!"

Quick one-liners usually go down well with an audience about to fall asleep. Which usually happened when I was on stage.

My grand-father used to say to me, "Always fight fire with fire!" That's why he lost his job in the fire brigade.

Whereas my other grand-father told me, "Always take everything with a pinch of salt!" Mind you, he made a terrible cup of tea.

My other grand-father, on the other hand, was very wise and often gave me good advice. He said to me once, "Remember son, if you walk a mile or two in someone else's shoes you'll be arrested for stealing them!"

Then another grand-father I had was a clown by trade and profession. He always looked like himself. I remember sadly going to his funeral which we had arranged previously at a great cost to the family. Unfortunately he did not turn up as he was on holiday at the time.

Eventually he died at the age of 96 of tiredness. What a day the funeral was. All his colleagues turned up playing music and singing and juggling and dancing as he would have wanted.

The hearse he was brought in kept honking every few minutes, the doors fell out and the steering wheel came off in the driver's hands. He was laid in his coffin in full clown's costume with his face painted and wearing a red wig. Unfortunately they could not put the lid on because his big feet protruded from the coffin.
I find that humour comes to me at the most inopportune times and sometimes I have to be careful not to speak too soon before engaging my brain. Like the time I was at a management convention and there were people there from every walk of life. Accountants, (they did not walk, they were so rich they came by car), lawyers, (they were rich too and shook hands one finger at a time to charge you more later),  doctors, (you could tell by the rectal thermometers behind their ears and their pencils ... in their top pocket), and many other professionals. Anyway, I mingled amongst these elite people and one of them introduced himself as a Funeral Services Undertaker. Without thinking I said, "I bet people are dying to meet you!"

Talking of accountants ... I went to a good fee paying school when I was young. The sort of school where they welcome you with a calculator in hand. All the children there came from good families with professional parents. You could tell the children of accountants because they had an electronic abacus. On one occasion the maths teacher asked the son of a lawyer, "If you have 10 apples and I take half of them, what will I have?" The lad replied, "You'll have a law suit on your hands for stealing you thieving ..."

The Religious Instructions teacher once asked me in class, "Who broke the Walls of Jericho?" I replied, "It wasn't me. I was at Music lessons playing the trumpet at the time!" The teacher phoned my father and told him what I said. Luckily, he vouched for me because he had driven me to Music class that day. The teacher told the headmaster what had happened and the headmaster agreed to pay for the damage from the buildings maintenance budget.

So there you have it. Humour and laughter seem to be a part of my life from an early age. That and singing too. We were all good singers in our family. We had to be because the toilet door had no lock on it. Sometimes I used to sit in the toilet with my leg outstretched behind the door. Unfortunately, it opened outwards.

As I write these few words here I imagine you reading them, and raising a smile, or a titter, and it makes me feel good that someone, somewhere, has enjoyed a few moments of valve release because of me. I may not hear you laugh out loud, but then that's probably because you live too far away from me.

Whatever else you do today, go around with a smile on your face and cheer up as many people as you can. Sooner or later someone is bound to ask you: "OK wise guy; what's so funny on such a miserable day like today?"

MORE FUNNIES HERE
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