Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Thinking with my mind

For some reason I sometimes think. I don't know how it happens. It just does. I just think.

I was thinking the other day. I remember when I worked in London my office was on the third floor. There was a ledge outside my window. For some reason best known to itself a duck from the park opposite built a nest on the ledge. I did not know ducks build nests so high. Maybe this one was stupid.

Anyway, eventually the eggs hatched and there were five little ducklings in the nest. I could see them out the window. At first they hardly moved in the nest, but slowly they grew a little at a time and became more mobile. One day they started getting out of the nest and walk on the ledge. I guess they wanted to fly. But ducklings don't fly, do they?

I did not know what to do. I hid behind the curtain watching them walk on the edge of the ledge. The phone rang. I ignored it. I kept watching wondering whether to open the window and try to catch them.

Suddenly, one of the stupid creatures jumped. I was horrified. Three storeys up and this idiot jumped. It was quickly followed by the four others.

I opened the window and leant right out to look what happened. To my surprise all five landed safely in the car park below and were happily walking together.

Then a car ran them over!
HA ... HA ... HA ... I'm so glad this is not a true story. But it made me laugh anyway. I had to write it quickly before I forgot it.

I often think something and then forget it. Like going upstairs for instance. I go up and forget why I went up in the first place. So I get down again. And I remember, so I get up once more and get distracted by something else; like a window is open which needs shutting, and I forget again why I got up a second time.

Now before I get upstairs I write on a piece of paper why I am going upstairs. Sometimes I forget to take the piece of paper up with me and go down again to look for it; but can't remember where I put it.

One day I will publish all these pieces of paper as a book. It will help people remember reasons to go upstairs.

Go to the toilet, take folded laundry upstairs, bring dirty clothing to be washed, take a shower, go to sleep, go to the toilet again ... and so on.

The problem is we live in a one-storey bungalow. So going upstairs takes me to the attic, or loft. No wonder I can't find the toilet there!
I'm on a roll here. That's the second funny story I just thought. I wonder what I'll think of next.

It was very hot the other day. We had the windows open and it attracted mosquitoes in the house. I could not find a newspaper to beat them senseless so I used the modern version - my wife's Kindle.

When she came in she asked, "What are you **** doing with my Kindle?"

"Swatting mosquitoes," I replied, "I killed three males and two females!"

Somehow, this distracted her from my using her Kindle, she asked, "How do you know their sex?"

"Easy," I said, "the three males were on my beer, the two females were on the phone!"

Oh come on ... that was a good one. I bet all my lady readers are upset with me now.

I visit an old peoples' home every now and then and keep the elderly entertained with a chat and a few jokes. The other day one of the visiting doctors was testing their acuity.

He asked Eddie, "what is five times five?"

Eddie replied "132!"

The doctor smiled and asked Peter, "what is five times five?"

"Thursday," replies Peter.

The doctor writes his notes and asks Martin, "what is five times five?"

Martin replies, "25!"

The doctor is encouraged and asked, "how did you get your answer, Martin?"

"Easy ..." says Martin, "just subtract 132 from Thursday!"
Keep smiling folks. God bless you all.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Vic on the radio

Another short recording from my time on the radio (6 minutes)

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Can't buy me love

Father Ignatius was in his office awaiting the arrival of James in order to prepare the annual financial accounts for St Vincent Church.

When James finally arrived, over an hour late, the pot of coffee prepared by Father Ignatius had already gone cold, and half the biscuits had been eaten by the impatient priest.

He said nothing as he noticed right away that James was very upset about something. His eyes were red as if he’d been crying, his hands were shaking and he was unusually silent compared to his normal jovial outgoing personality.

James sat in the large armchair next to the large window overlooking the town.

“Do we have to do this today?” he asked.

“No …” replied the priest, “the accounts can wait for another time.”

James hesitated at first then mumbled, “She left me Father …”

“Who … what do you mean?”

“Sophie … she left … we broke up. We had a row and she said we’re through … she prefers to be with another man at her work.”

The priest said nothing but silently prayed for a few seconds or so.

“I told her she was getting rather too interested with that guy at work. She said what if she was. We argued about it and she said she does not want to be with me again …

“I love her Father … more than I’ve loved anyone before … we were to get married … and now she’s gone …”

The priest poured a glass of water and gave it to James.

“Why do bad things happen to me? I’m a good person. Why does God allow this to happen to me? Why can’t He make her love me just as I love her? I’d do anything for her … I love her so … why doesn’t God make her love me?”

“I’m sure you don’t mean that,” said the priest calmly.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sure you don’t want God to make her love you. If for instance He were to do as you wish, would you really want that love?”

James looked puzzled as the priest continued.

“Love should be freely given and not forced in any way. You say you love her, and seeing the two of you together, I believe you do. You gave her your love and in doing so you became vulnerable, as we all do, when we give of ourselves to others. Your love was freely given. And if you love her as much as you say, you should allow her the freedom to return that love …”

“You mean let her go? Even though she’s making a mistake by being with that man?” asked James.

“I don’t know about letting her go … but she should decide for herself what to do.

“Let me tell you something …

“God would have saved Himself a lot of bother if He created a race of robots all pre-programmed to obey His commandments and do His will.

“But He loved us so much that He gave us the gift of choice. He set us free to either love Him back in return or to turn our back on Him.

“And as you know, many turn their backs on Him and choose to mock Him, not believe in Him and go the other way. His heart must hurt to breaking point when He sees this happening; but He allows it to happen because He loves us.

“He wants our love for Him to be freely given, without any pressure whatsoever. Christ the shepherd is forever seeking these lost sheep and encouraging them to return to the fold. His work is always hampered by the devil and his alternative agenda.

“The greatest gift we can give our Lord is to use our Free Will to love Him back. Use our Free Will to freely submit to His will.”

James said nothing, but seemed much calmer now.

“I don’t know whether the two of you are meant to be together …” continued Father Ignatius, “but give it time. Let her go freely … keep in touch every now and then. If you get the chance, apologise for your jealousy … seek her forgiveness for not trusting her enough … but leave her free to decide James.”

The accounts were never completed on that sad winter morning; but James left the priest’s office a little more composed and certainly calmer than before.

About thirteen months later Father Ignatius married James and Sophie at St Vincent Church. He is now due to baptize their first born son next week.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Bin There - Done That

Good morning, how may I help you?

Hello, it's about my trash bin ...

What trash bin is that Sir?

You know ... the wheelie bin we have to collect the trash ...

What does it look like, Sir?

Well ... it looks like a wheelie bin ... they all look the same. Do you want me to send you a photo?

That would help Sir. Send an attachment photo on our website. Type reference BIN 69. Thank you.

Good afternoon, how may I help you?

You're a woman!

Yes Sir, I am ...

It was a man before!

Ehm ... I have always been a woman ... how can I help you?

I have sent a photo reference BIN 69 ... the other man told me so ...

(Pause) Yes I can see it now ... what appears to be the problem?

I was about to tell the other man that the wheel is damaged and he asked me to send a photo.

Ehm ... (pause) there is no OTHER man, Sir. You have spoken to a male colleague and I am a woman. How was the wheel damaged?

Well ... you know ... wear and tear and that. Old age I suppose. Like all of us, when we get old things fall off. They hang more loosely than before and sag. I think the wheel is doing the same and might fall off.

Did you damage it, Sir?

No of course not ... if anything, it was your Refuse Collection Operatives ... is that what you call them these days?

Do you have a name?

No ... well ... yes ... I have my own name. But I don't know the name of the Refuse Collection Operative. I am not on speaking terms with him, although I've lived at this address for ten years or so. I'd guess over that period we have had a number of different Refuse Collection Operatives and I have hardly spoken to any of them.

I need to record here who was responsible for the damage, Sir.

Well, all of them I'd say. They seem to handle the wheelie bins without due care and attention. I make a point of leaving the bin on the edge of the side-walk; on the bit that slants downwards gently towards the road when we drive the car in and out. Yet the Refuse Collection Operatives ... all of them ... handle the bins roughly and pull them and push them off and on the side-walk itself ... so they fall down a few inches ... or up a few inches ... instead of wheeling them gently on the sliding bit of the path. It's like they are dancing with a drunken kangaroo!

Did the kangaroo damage the bin, Sir?

No ... of course not ... what kangaroo? I don't have one. Or any for that matter. It's the rough handling of the bin by the Operatives that did it. I suggest it would have been better if the refuse lorry drove on the side-walk itself, then you wouldn't have to get the bins up and down in such a rough manner.

I still need to record the person who damaged the bin, Sir.

It was old age ... you know ... Father Time!

Father Time ... is he a priest Sir?


Father Time ...

Eh ... (pause) ... yes ... yes ... he is a priest. He damaged the wheel on the bin. I saw him do it.

First name?

Yes ... he has one ... Reverend ... that's his first name.

Thank you Sir. We shall send you a replacement wheelie bin within three days. No charge. It is paid for by your Local Environmental Taxes.