Saturday, 4 July 2020

American Trilogy


Thursday, 2 July 2020

Camelot - La French Cuisine

It was a beautiful sunny day when the French Nobleman Coeur de Fer arrived in Camelot with his entourage. That’s a French word meaning large waist, for he was indeed big and rotund. Just as well he was met by Sir Cumference, the Camelot Foreign Affairs ambassador and gourmet, who was also of similar perimeter in girth.

The French guest was taken to the chamber housing the Round Table where King Arthur was in attendance with his Knights. They were offered tea by Earl Grey or coffee if they preferred by Arabica Bean. Freshly baked biscuits were also brought in by the palace’s master chef Ivor Crumbs.

“Now then …” said young King Arthur, “I understand Monsieur Coeur de Fer that your King Louis-le-Fier of France wishes me to marry one or both of his daughters. Namely Marge A’ Reen or Marm A’Laid!”

“Oh non, pas du tout, Majesté,” declared the French Nobleman, “whatever ‘az given you zat idea? Zee two lovelly Princesses zey ‘ave all readee been married yesterday.

“One az married zee Prince of Italy, Ravioli della Sauce, zee son of Emperor Mc Arony.

“And zee ozer Princess az married Herr Mitt, zee iron-fisted Chancellor of Germany who always lived alone on zee mountain. He is now no longer a Herr Mitt and will be known as Herr Exhausted instead!”

“I see …” said a relieved King Arthur “so … if the purpose of your visit is not to seek my marriage with either Princess of France, what exactly is your purpose here?”

Before the French Nobleman could reply, King Arthur went on.

“And one more thing … what made him and his daughters change their minds?”

“Well … eet eez a delicate matter …” hesitated the French Nobleman noticing that Sir Galahad, one of the Knights of the Round Table, was cleaning his toe nails with a sharp cutlass.

“Don’t worry about him,” said King Arthur, “he is sulking because I will not pay for his pedicure!”

“Zee reason zee Princesses chose to marry an Italian and a German is because of zeir cuisine, Majesté,” said Coeur de Fer.

“Both countries zey use plentee of zee garlic, which we love in la belle France.

“But if zee Princesses ‘ad married you, zey would ‘ave ‘ad to endure a lifetime of boiled potatoes, boiled carrots, boiled parsnips, boiled turnips, boiled swedes, boiled cabbage … even zee meat is boiled in Camelot. No garlic or onions whatsoever!”

“All right … I get it,” interrupted the angry King of Camelot, “so they don’t like our cooking. Well they can go and boil their heads as far as I’m concerned. And the same with you!”

“But please, s’il vous plait, Majesté! Wee need your ‘elp,” pleaded Coeur de Fer.

This made King Arthur sit up.

“My help? How so?” he asked.

“Wee ‘ave in France a plague of zee frogs. Zey are everee where,” explained the Frenchman, “Zey jump and zey hop all over zee place. Sometimes zey jump up zee ladies skirts as far as possible. Sometimes zey even reach possible.

“Wee do not know what to do. Zee frogs zey eat everee thing. All zee fields are barren because zee frogs ‘ave eaten all the vegetation. I ‘ave come to ask you what wee should do!”

“Can’t you catch them?” asked King Arthur.

“Zey are veree fast,” said Coeur de Fer, “zey do zee running all over zee place!”

“Well, cut their legs off,” laughed King Arthur finishing his goblet of wine. 

 And that’s how the French added another delicacy to their cuisine.

And the moral of this story, (so far), is: I once took a young lady to a French restaurant. She had frogs’ legs. But the rest of her body was beautiful.

Historical fact: It was at the time of Camelot that garlic and onions entered the British cuisine, (we think). But not yet frogs' legs and snails. Unless you go to a posh restaurant that is. These days in the UK we eat toad in the hole. Do you know what it is?


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Thy will be (not) done



When we pray the Lord's Prayer we recite the words, "Thy will be done". But do we really meant it?

Or do we mean "Thy will be done, as long as it is what I want"?

Let us consider whether it is God's will what is happening in the world today.

The world is in chaos. There's poverty in many countries, as well as wars, and persecutions, false imprisonments, injustice and illnesses and diseases.

Is this really God's will? That we should suffer all this?

There's also more evil at local and at the individual level too. People lying, cheating, stealing, being violent and murdering others.

A number of the examples above, (if not all), are specifically mentioned in the Ten Commandments.

But this does not stop people cheating on their spouses, or stealing from their employers, or committing bigger crimes.

Surely it cannot be said that all this is God's will being done on earth. Surely it is done against His will.

Let's consider what is God's will. Of course, we can only guess or presume, but let us see what we understand His will to be from what we have learnt from the Bible.

He is our Creator. He loves us. And He would wish us to lead a happy life on earth, in peace with each other, caring for each other, obeying His commandments, in preparation for the day when we return to meet Him again in Heaven.

I think that pretty much sums it up. His wish is that we love Him back in return and to spend eternity with Him.

But then, there are many who will not return to Him in Heaven. They don't even believe in Him, and, by their behaviour, would gladly, with impertinence perhaps, spend eternity away from Him.

Is that really God's will?

The answer is surely "No". It is not God's will that many of His creations turn their back on Him, mock Him and despise Him. It is not His will either that terrible things happen all around the world and so many people suffer.

He allows it to happen because He is not a controlling magician or superman at our beck and call ready to fix everything and anything that goes wrong in our lives.

He allows things to happen because in a lot of cases we have asked Him to keep out of our lives.

He allows them to happen because we want to enjoy and use the freedom and liberty which He has gifted us. He didn't make us robots. So we want to rebel, and do it our way. Why should He now stop us?

He also allows things to happen to give us the opportunity to be charitable, caring and loving towards those less fortunate than ourselves.

So, if at first glance, we assume that God's will is not being done; it is partly true.

His will is that of a loving Father who wants the best for His children.

Our will is that of the rebellious child who thinks he knows best and will do it his way after all.

It is man's will, and Evil's will, that has resulted in the chaos the world is in today.

Evil is a powerful force in our world, seemingly present everywhere, and is so difficult to eradicate.

God permits it within clearly defined limitations and parameters.

As Jesus prevails against it, we ask for his help never to give up in our struggle against the evil around us.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

No one said it would be easy, cobber.


We were watching a Christian program on TV and I made an off the cuff comment that sometimes it is very difficult being a Christian considering all the world’s temptations and how many non-believers seem to have it so good.

My Australian Aunt Gertrude who is staying with us for a (long) while, stopped knitting and said “No one said it would be easy, cobber! Jesus never said "you'll all get into Heaven no worries mate!" ”

I smiled and she continued.

“If the Good Lord meant us all to return to Him in Heaven He would have created a load of senseless boomerangs! We'd live our life here with smiles all round and then boomerang back to paradise. Well, it ain't like that I tell ye ... just take it from me!”

I smiled again at her interpretation of Scripture and before I could say anything she went on.

“But the Good Lord is wise and kind you see. He gave us the choice to choose between going to Him in Heaven or spending eternity in a hell hole hotter than the outback! We must make that choice, it just ain't automatic fair dinkum and all that!”

I must say I never realized she had such opinions. She is Christian all right but she never talks religion … until now.

“It is not compulsory to go to Heaven!” she announced as if she’d discovered a newly found secret, “we have a choice to make between Heaven or roasting our backsides for ever in the outback!

“And for us to make the choice between good and evil, God had to allow evil in the world.

“If evil didn’t exist then we’d have no choice to make; and with no choice we’d all do good and we’d boomerang back to Heaven.

"What I'm sayin fella ... is that we'd be like robots with no brains to make a choice with. But as I said, if you were listening, God being kind and all that, gave us the freedom to choose ... that's a great gift which we often take for granted mate!”

I stifled a laugh at her colourful explanation of Free Will and imagined her as a preacher in her native Australia.

“So as I was saying before you interrupt me fella …” she continued, “God allowed evil to happen in the shape of the devil. He allowed him to exist and gave him the freedom to tempt us into his evil ways.

“His temptations come in many shapes and sizes … from the tiny piece of chocolate to a cigarette, a bottle of drink or spending a lifetime bonking someone we’re not married to!”

At this I had to let out a laugh. She frowned like an old school teacher chastising a little naughty child.

“I’m sorry Auntie,” I said, “I am not laughing at you, I’m laughing at your way of expressing yourself.”

“That’s OK fella …” she smiled, “it's just that I feel there are so many Christians in name only. But they aren't fooling God ye know ... They may think they are holy and do-gooders but the Lord isn't easily fooled by their false piety and hideous sins.

"I know it isn’t easy being a Christian. What, with life being as difficult as it is and we're all rushing around like our derrière is on fire. But Christianity is a way of life my friend. It's not a badge one wears on one’s lapel. And when life gets difficult the Good Lord and His Mother Mary will help if we ask them.”

“Are there any Australian Saints?” I asked for no apparent reason.

“I don’t know cobber,” she replied, “but if there are they’d be quietly spoken, shy and demure; like most Australians are!” she smiled.

PAPERBACK & KINDLE 


Monday, 29 June 2020

I believe



I wonder ... if you were to go out in the streets and ask people at random to finish this phrase, what would they say:

I believe ... ... ...

I guess some would say I believe the world is in a bad state right now.

Others might hope for better times and believe that all will be well soon.

Some might believe that there's too much fake news in the world and we don't know what to believe as true or lies.

Maybe people believe that they should keep their heads down, work hard and look after their families.

The pessimists may believe that the economy will get worse and people may lose their jobs and homes. This may lead to further problems ahead.

The optimists may believe that all will be well, they'll do well in life and get what they hope for - be it a good job, home, car or whatever.

The conspiracy theorists will believe whatever conspiracy theorists always believe at any moment in time regarding whatever subject we're discussing.

I wonder ... ... ...

How many people would say - I believe in one living God. The Creator of all things. Who is in control of all things no matter what mess we make of this world.

It seems to me, (correct me if I'm wrong), that people these days are distancing themselves from God. You know ... just like when a politician, or a celebrity, a well known personality, does or says something we don't approve of, and his friends and colleagues distance themselves from the statement or the person.

People are distancing themselves from God.

It is not fashionable these days to say we believe in God. It's not the done thing. We keep our beliefs and religion to ourselves. We don't discuss them openly, in public, at work, or in the pub, the gym or elsewhere. Some of us don't even discuss religion at home.

There was a time when people prayed as a family at home. There was a time when people prayed in schools before lessons began. There was a time when people made the Sign of the Cross before meals, or said Grace.

What? Say Grace before meals in a restaurant? You must be joking. People will think I am weird.

People will think I am weird.

That is why we distance ourselves from God. That is why we don't openly talk about Him. That is why we don't pray so often. Or teach our children about God. It's the school's job to teach about God - but - the school does not, because it sees this as the parents' job. And the children grow up not knowing God.

You cannot distance yourself from Someone you do not know.

And generations grow up not knowing God breeding more generations not knowing God even more.

And a world without God is chaos.
That's what I believe.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Time for Reflections


Another short recording (9 minutes) from my time on the radio.


Saturday, 27 June 2020

I am not worthy



We know we are loved by Jesus. We are told so many times in the Bible. By Jesus Himself.

But do we trust these words? Do we believe them? And are we truly worthy of that love? Do we trust Him enough to be by our side at all times of our lives; especially when things are difficult ... very difficult?

Thank you Lord. I am a sinner. I am not worthy ... thank you ...

This "must-see" short video (3 minutes) shows us an example of someone who thought he was not worthy. Do we have as much faith as him? Do we pray and believe Jesus will respond?

Friday, 26 June 2020

Perception is truth


I used to have a notice on the wall in my office which read: Perception is Truth.

It helped my team focus on the fact that how they are perceived by our customers, (efficient, knowledgeable, professional and so on), will implant in the customers' mind a positive image of the whole team and organisation.

It also signified that there was a notice on my wall and if you have perceived it then it is in fact there.

And that's the problem with perception.

What you see, or imagine you have seen, is implanted in your mind as something that exists or has happened.

The same applies with sounds. You may have heard something, a conversation in a pub or on the bus, or half-heard it, and then it plays on your mind as to whether you heard and understood it correctly or not. Especially if what you have seen or heard is so astounding and "out-of-this-world" that it challenges your own beliefs and realities.

Let's take this Blog as an example. I've been writing it for some years now and I've had many readers come and go over the years. I'm grateful to the loyal ones who continue to visit me and support my writings. But then I ask you. Do you believe everything you read here?

At the end of the day, who are you going to believe? Your common sense or me?

The other day I checked something or other on Google and it said "This is a falsehood invented by Victor S E Moubarak on his Blog". Talk about my own words coming back to bite me in the backside!

And that's the problem with perceptions. People see something and it is implanted in their minds.

The advertising industry and the fashion and beauty industry have been capitalising on perception for years. They tell you what is glamourous, fashionable, beautiful and something to aspire to.

Many a photo has been touched and re-touched to smooth away any wrinkles or body fat which should not be there in real life.

And society copies what they perceive as the norm. Whenever people describe themselves in Dating or Match-Making websites they often gloss over the unflattering truth and describe themselves better than they really are.

As a young man I sent a dating agency one of my real life photos (untouched and not changed in any way). They returned it with a note saying: "We're not that desperate!"

Eventually I managed to get a date with a young lady through another agency. When I met the lady in question she said I did not look like the photo on the dating website. She said the photo looked as if it had been  drawn by Picasso, and added, "I thought you had a cricked neck. And why in the photo do you have an ear on your forehead?"

I told her that as a fan of Star Trek this was the Final Front Ear!

She then commented that I was much shorter than I had claimed on the website. I replied that I was not that short really, but I was still far away.

It was a question of perception.

She left without even offering to pay for half of the meal we had shared together. A hamburger and a bun can be quite expensive you know!

So you see, "Perception is Truth". She had read something about me on the dating website and I was not as described in real life. Perhaps it was my fault for dating her at a badly lit restaurant ... in a back alley somewhere ... in the poor side of town.

Mind you, she was no picture of beauty herself. In fact she was so ugly that I guess Peeping Toms would ring her door bell and tell her to draw the curtains shut.

And that's perception, be it in a badly lit fast food outlet or in the bright light of day.

How about you? How do your family and friends perceive you?

More important. How does God perceive you? You can't fool Him you know.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Camelot - Long Live The King Arthur

EPISODE ONE HERE

EPISODE TWO HERE

As young Prince Arthur became King of Camelot he needed a lot of guidance from the elderly warlock named Gaius; and more than a little amount of protection from the young wizard Merlin.

Gaius and Merlin dabbled a little in magic, even though Uther Pendragon, the previous King and father of Arthur, had expressly forbidden anyone from practicing magic in Camelot.

Gaius used his wisdom to advise King Arthur on matters of state; whilst Merlin, as instructed by the flying great dragon named Kilgharrah, had the task of protecting Arthur from his many enemies who wanted to kill him and take over Camelot.

Kilgharrah had told Merlin that his destiny was to protect Arthur and to save Camelot from falling in the wrong hands; but also he had warned him not to over-use his magical powers in doing so as there may well be unfortunate repercussions.

One day Gaius the old warlock had informed King Arthur to expect a visit from a French nobleman called Coeur de Fer, (or Iron Heart as translated in English). This is not to be confused with Lion Heart which is the name given to King Richard the Lion Heart; a totally different person altogether.

To continue, Arthur asked Gaius, “what does this Frenchman want from us anyway?”

“A union, Sire,” replied Gaius quietly.

“A Union?” cried Arthur, “we don’t have Unions in this Kingdom. There’s me as King, then the Noblemen and Knights and then the serfs; you know … the agricultural labourers who work in my fields. We can’t have Unions negotiating salaries and conditions of work. They’d be asking for holidays and sick-pay next!”

“It’s not that kind of Union,” continued Gaius quietly.

“What other Union is there,” cried the young petulant Arthur, “and why are you whispering man? Come on speak up!”

“I do not want to wake up the hounds,” said Gaius, “we should let sleeping dogs lie!”

“The hounds … the hounds … you’re always worried about the hounds, Gaius. Have you never heard of giving a dog a bone and it will keep him content for ages?” said Arthur.

“As I was saying,” continued Gaius patiently, “the French nobleman Coeur de Fer wishes to negotiate a union between Camelot and the Kingdom of France as led by King Louis-le-Fier!”

“What union does he have in mind?” asked Arthur.

“King Louis-le-Fier wishes you to accept his daughter’s hand, Sire!” explained Gaius.

“What? How cruel. Is the man mad? What am I to do with his daughter’s hand? Is he seriously considering cutting her hand off and sending it to me?” said the stupid Arthur.

“No Sire,” said Gaius patiently, “he wishes his daughter to have your name!”

“He wants to call her Arthur, and cut her hand off?” continued the stupid King.

At this point Merlin enters the King’s chambers and motions to Gaius not to respond.

“Let me explain,” he said to young and stupid King Arthur, “King Louis-le-Fier, has two daughters named Marge A’Reen and Marm A’Laid of whom he is very proud. Unless either of these twin sisters is married before he dies the Kingdom of France would then go to his evil cousin Pierre Péter, which translated in English means Peter the Farter.

“It is imperative under the rules of French succession to the throne that a monarch’s daughter must be married to inherit the throne.

“The King Louis-le-Fier, not having any male heirs, hence his wearing of a wig at all times, is keen to have either of his daughters wed before he dies.

“If Peter the Farter takes over as King of France there would be quite a stink all over the land; so much so that France may well have to go to war with its neighbours in Spain, Germany and Italy who do not get on with Peter the Farter.

“The Ruler of Spain, Senior Manuel Concertina and his beautiful wife Harmonica Melodica are already beating the war drums. They have had secret talks with the leader of Germany, a successful hairdresser turned politician called Herr Kutt; and his Chancellor the iron-fisted Herr Mitt, and the historian Herr Loom.

“They have agreed that should Peter the Farter become King of France they would ask the Emperor Mc Arony of Italy, and his trusted advisor Pasta-de-Vino to join them to war against France.

“So it is imperative, Sire,” continued Merlin whilst the old warlock Gaius had fallen asleep, “it is imperative that King Louis-le-Fier of France has either or both of his twin daughters marry an ally from Camelot.

“Namely you, Sire. In order to avoid Peter the Farter becoming King! And in order to avoid a possible war between France and its neighbours.”

“Ooooew!!!” said King Arthur trying to fathom out what he’d just been told.

“So … I have to marry both Marge A’Reen and Marm A’Laid. That’s bigamy surely!” said Arthur.

“It’s big of you and big of me too, were I to marry both women,” replied Merlin, “but I can handle them better than you!” then adding sotto voce “you thick flaming idiot!”

“What’s that you said?” asked Arthur.

“Oh nothing …” lied Merlin, “just imagine Sire. We’ll have a wonderful wedding celebration and after the party you’ll take Princess Marge A’Reen or Princess Marm A’Laid to your private chambers and have a lot of fun together!”

“Well, I hope either of them likes to play chess,” said Arthur, “It is not a game you can play alone is it?”

“Yes Sire,” said Merlin, “whatever games you play with your newly wedded wife is your affair.”

“There’s a problem though,” interrupted King Arthur, “this is a secret Merlin. Don’t tell anyone. In all truth I love Guinevere, and I’d rather marry her!”

“Oh …” hesitated the young wizard, “and have you seen her father?”

“Yes, but I’d still prefer to marry her,” replied the King.

Merlin sighed and then sotto voce again, “may the Lord preserve us and save Camelot from this idiot.”

And the moral of this story, (so far), is: Be ready to play games with your bride on your wedding night like chess, draughts or backgammon …but whatever you play is up to you and her.

Also as an additional moral: Beware. The penalty for bigamy is having two mothers-in-law.

APOLOGIES TO EVERYONE WHO HAD DIFFICULTY WITH THE ORIGINAL FONT

As young Prince Arthur became King of Camelot he needed a lot of guidance from the elderly warlock named Gaius; and more than a little amount of protection from the young wizard Merlin.

Gaius and Merlin dabbled a little in magic, even though Uther Pendragon, the previous King and father of Arthur, had expressly forbidden anyone from practicing magic in Camelot.

Gaius used his wisdom to advise King Arthur on matters of state; whilst Merlin, as instructed by the flying great dragon named Kilgharrah, had the task of protecting Arthur from his many enemies who wanted to kill him and take over Camelot.

Kilgharrah had told Merlin that his destiny was to protect Arthur and to save Camelot from falling in the wrong hands; but also he had warned him not to over-use his magical powers in doing so as there may well be unfortunate repercussions.

One day Gaius the old warlock had informed King Arthur to expect a visit from a French nobleman called Coeur de Fer, (or Iron Heart as translated in English). This is not to be confused with Lion Heart which is the name given to King Richard the Lion Heart; a totally different person altogether.

To continue, Arthur asked Gaius, “what does this Frenchman want from us anyway?”

“A union, Sire,” replied Gaius quietly.

“A Union?” cried Arthur, “we don’t have Unions in this Kingdom. There’s me as King, then the Noblemen and Knights and then the serfs; you know … the agricultural labourers who work in my fields. We can’t have Unions negotiating salaries and conditions of work. They’d be asking for holidays and sick-pay next!”

“It’s not that kind of Union,” continued Gaius quietly.

“What other Union is there,” cried the young petulant Arthur, “and why are you whispering man? Come on speak up!”

“I do not want to wake up the hounds,” said Gaius, “we should let sleeping dogs lie!”

“The hounds … the hounds … you’re always worried about the hounds, Gaius. Have you never heard of giving a dog a bone and it will keep him content for ages?” said Arthur.

“As I was saying,” continued Gaius patiently, “the French nobleman Coeur de Fer wishes to negotiate a union between Camelot and the Kingdom of France as led by King Louis-le-Fier!”

“What union does he have in mind?” asked Arthur.

“King Louis-le-Fier wishes you to accept his daughter’s hand, Sire!” explained Gaius.

“What? How cruel. Is the man mad? What am I to do with his daughter’s hand? Is he seriously considering cutting her hand off and sending it to me?” said the stupid Arthur.

“No Sire,” said Gaius patiently, “he wishes his daughter to have your name!”

“He wants to call her Arthur, and cut her hand off?” continued the stupid King.

At this point Merlin enters the King’s chambers and motions to Gaius not to respond.

“Let me explain,” he said to young and stupid King Arthur, “King Louis-le-Fier, has two daughters named Marge A’Reen and Marm A’Laid of whom he is very proud. Unless either of these twin sisters is married before he dies the Kingdom of France would then go to his evil cousin Pierre Péter, which translated in English means Peter the Farter.

“It is imperative under the rules of French succession to the throne that a monarch’s daughter must be married to inherit the throne.

“The King Louis-le-Fier, not having any male heirs, hence his wearing of a wig at all times, is keen to have either of his daughters wed before he dies.

“If Peter the Farter takes over as King of France there would be quite a stink all over the land; so much so that France may well have to go to war with its neighbours in Spain, Germany and Italy who do not get on with Peter the Farter.

“The Ruler of Spain, Senior Manuel Concertina and his beautiful wife Harmonica Melodica are already beating the war drums. They have had secret talks with the leader of Germany, a successful hairdresser turned politician called Herr Kutt; and his Chancellor the iron-fisted Herr Mitt, and the historian Herr Loom.

“They have agreed that should Peter the Farter become King of France they would ask the Emperor Mc Arony of Italy, and his trusted advisor Pasta-de-Vino to join them to war against France.

“So it is imperative, Sire,” continued Merlin whilst the old warlock Gaius had fallen asleep, “it is imperative that King Louis-le-Fier of France has either or both of his twin daughters marry an ally from Camelot.

“Namely you, Sire. In order to avoid Peter the Farter becoming King! And in order to avoid a possible war between France and its neighbours.”

“Ooooew!!!” said King Arthur trying to fathom out what he’d just been told.

“So … I have to marry both Marge A’Reen and Marm A’Laid. That’s bigamy surely!” said Arthur.

“It’s big of you and big of me too, were I to marry both women,” replied Merlin, “but I can handle them better than you!” then adding sotto voce “you thick flaming idiot!”

“What’s that you said?” asked Arthur.

“Oh nothing …” lied Merlin, “just imagine Sire. We’ll have a wonderful wedding celebration and after the party you’ll take Princess Marge A’Reen or Princess Marm A’Laid to your private chambers and have a lot of fun together!”

“Well, I hope either of them likes to play chess,” said Arthur, “It is not a game you can play alone is it?”

“Yes Sire,” said Merlin, “whatever games you play with your newly wedded wife is your affair.”

“There’s a problem though,” interrupted King Arthur, “this is a secret Merlin. Don’t tell anyone. In all truth I love Guinevere, and I’d rather marry her!”

“Oh …” hesitated the young wizard, “and have you seen her father?”

“Yes, but I’d still prefer to marry her,” replied the King.

Merlin sighed and then sotto voce again, “may the Lord preserve us and save Camelot from this idiot.”

And the moral of this story, (so far), is: Be ready to play games with your bride on your wedding night like chess, draughts or backgammon …but whatever you play is up to you and her.

Also as an additional moral: Beware. The penalty for bigamy is having two mothers-in-law.


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Not so close encounter of the priestly kind



I was home alone, working in the front garden. One of the priests I know drove by and stopped to say "hello". He did not get out of the car but chatted for a while from his driving seat.

I did not invite him in. Not with a houseful of pole dancers in the front room!

No ... seriously ... I did not invite him in because he said he was in a hurry about an appointment he had to go to.

He said, "I have not seen you at Confession lately!"
I replied, "Just as well, I thought the purpose of those wooden confessionals is that you don't see us!"

I could see his brain thinking for a while and then he said, "You should go to Confession regularly, either in our church or another one. But you should go regularly!"

"But I don't sin, Father," I said, "my wife sees to that!"

Again, the cogs and wheels in his brain turned slowly and he said nothing. So I had to continue with, "living with her is like being in Purgatory!"

His eyebrows rose suddenly. Obviously, he knew a thing or two about Purgatory. "Is everything all right ... with your marriage?" he asked.

"Oh yes ... yes ..." I said, "all's well, Father ... in fact it was my wife who introduced me to religion ..." I added to re-assure him.

He smiled.

So I continued, "I did not know what hell was until I met her!"

The smile was wiped off his face quicker than you can say anything you care to say at a moment like this. My sense of humour had gone too far this time. I could see he was worried.

I tried to re-assure him but made things even worse by saying, "Oh, it's not her, Father. It's the mother-in-law ... she keeps leaving her broomstick in the lounge whenever she lands unannounced!"

He stepped back in his car and said, "just as well I am in a hurry for my next appointment. Otherwise you would have got a special sermon for one!"

He waved good-bye and left. I did not know whether to feel sorry for him, or for myself.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The Truth about Aliens from Outer Space



The other day I saw an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO). I know you will not believe me, and that is sad, because this time I am telling the truth.

I was out in the park walking the dog when I saw this white spherical item flying high in the sky. By the time I identified it, the golf ball hit me straight on the forehead.

When I came to, this man said, "Did you not hear me shout fore?"

"Good Lord," I said, "are there three others on their way to hit me?"

"No ..." he replied, "fore is a term we golfers use to warn people when a golf ball is about to hit them. It's like lumberjacks shouting timber before they bring a tree down!"

"You're not going to fell a tree on me now, are you?" I asked him.

"Of course not," he said rather worried, "tell me ... do you know where you are ... and who I am ... and what we're doing here?"

It was obvious he was trying to check whether I had concussion.

I replied, "We are at the Municipal Golf Club, or to be precise the park near it, you are James Fordisque, and we are here because God created us and gave us this earth on which to live and enjoy its beauty and plenty!"

"Good Heavens," he said, "how did you know my name? We've never met."

"It is written on your Golf Club badge which you are wearing!" I replied.

He looked at his badge and appeared relieved that I was OK. He offered to drive me to the hospital for a check-up but I refused.

Before he left, I asked him, "You mentioned trees being felled. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to see it fall, does it remain upright?"

He asked me if I was sure I did not want to go to hospital. I assured him and he left.

On my way home with the dog I started thinking about Unidentified Flying Objects, (UFOs). Surely, they are unidentified until you identify them. Once you've identified them they are no longer UFOs. At first I did not identify the golf ball. It remained a UFO until it hit me ... or shortly afterwards when I came to.

Yet a lot of people see UFOs and identify them as UFOs. They say it was a UFO. They even describe it as a UFO. Sometimes it is shaped like a saucer, sometimes like a cigar, or a bright light or whatever. But it is always identified as a UFO. Maybe we should call them as such: Identified Unidentified Flying Objects (IUFOs).

And why are they always flying when they are seen by people? Why are they never parked in the supermarket car park in one of the Disabled Spaces, or the Mothers and Toddlers spaces, or such like? Maybe supermarkets should have spaces marked for IUFOs. That way UFOs could park there and people would identify them as such.

Have there ever been UFOs seen on the ground as if they have landed? Or floating in the sea, perhaps? Then they would be called Identified And Landed Unidentified Flying Objects, (IALUFOs). Or Identified And Floating Unidentified Flying Objects, (IAFUFOs). 

And why is it people sometimes say they have been abducted by aliens in UFOs and then lived to tell the tale?

They say they have been taken up in the spaceship and dissected on a laboratory table by aliens to see how we humans work, and then they have been put together again.

If an alien is going to cut somebody up like a worm or a rat on the table at biology lesson in school; then why bother put it back together again? Why not throw the bits away? Or use them in some meat pie or in a vegetable and meat dish? Is it because they have no vegetables in the spaceship?

And why is it when they've put the people they've abducted back together again; why is it they give them a tour of the spaceship? And get them to meet their leader and the crew? Why not wipe their minds clean so they cannot tell anyone else that the aliens have landed and they have abducted them? That would be the logical thing to do if I were an alien. I would wipe their minds so they could not tell anyone about me.

And why is it aliens always speak in perfect English to their abductees? You know ... the people they abduct!

Why not speak to them in Klingon, or French, or Italian, or German or any other language? Is it perhaps that they are speaking in Klingon but by some magical stroke of luck it sounds like perfect English?

And one more thing ... do aliens from outer space play golf?

Maybe I should have my head checked at the hospital!