Saturday, 26 September 2020

Quentin Ravioli

 

SPECIAL NOTICE: My heart gladdens when you, my kind and loyal readers, comment below that you have enjoyed and laughed at my posts. It is your support and encouragement that keeps me writing every day; (except on days when I do not write on account of that I have nothing in my head to write about).

Anyway ... if you enjoy what you read here, why not tell others too so that they might visit here and laugh or giggle too. Do you realise that if each one of you encouraged just one person to visit here regularly we would have ... more persons visiting here regularly. 

Thank you. God bless. 
 
Years ago, Quentin generously paid for my dog to be put down, and then he helped me bury him.

He was an Alsatian. The dog, not Quentin. I believe that Quentin was from Scotland. 

He was seventeen at the time. The dog, not Quentin. Quentin was about twenty five, I believe.

He used to follow me everywhere. The dog that is, not Quentin. He used to follow me to the fishmongers were I used to buy crabs and lobsters.

He was very intelligent and quick witted. Quentin, not the dog. The dog has been long dead. One day I asked Quentin "Why do Scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?" To which he promptly replied, "They have to go backwards. If they fell forwards, they'd still be in the boat."

Quentin was good at languages. One year he went to France on holiday and saw an old lady in  Montmartre in Paris sitting on the sidewalk knitting. He asked her, “Voulez vous crochet avec moi?”

On another occasion he impressed his friends at a restaurant by ordering the whole meal in Italian. The waiter did not understand a word though. It was a Greek restaurant.

He once bought a book on-line entitled  “How to get your own back on your neighbour”. Unfortunately he was out when it was delivered and the postman left the book next door.

His next door neighbours never got out of the house. They were agoraphobic anorexics. Bet they had some skeletons in the cupboard.

Quentin was a keen gardener. Always in his garden planting something or other. He was a bit OCD and he told me once that he always plants his herbs in alphabetical order. I asked him "where do you find the time?" He replied, "It’s there next to the sage."

A kind hearted person, Quentin was. Once at a pub he noticed a guy had passed out at a table nearby. The bartender told him the man is Mr. Peters, and asked Quentin if he could drive him home. Quentin agreed and the bartender wrote down the address and gave it to him.

Quentin tried to wake Peters, but Peters was groggy and quite drunk. Quentin helped him to his feet, but Peters fell to the floor in a crashing heap.

He took him by the arm and practically dragged him out to the car. Once there, he leant him against the side of his car while he looked for his keys. The man slid down to the ground again.

Eventually Quentin drove the man to the address the bartender gave him. He opened the passenger door and helped Peters out and he fell to the ground again!

He got him to his door and said to Peters' wife, "Hi, your husband had a little too much to drink tonight so I gave him a ride home."

"That was nice of you," she replied looking around ... "But where's his wheelchair?"

And that's Quentin Ravioli for you. A man of many parts ... none of which worked properly. We shall miss him sorely. Because he keeps moving!
PLEASE CLICK HERE


Friday, 25 September 2020

Star Trick

 

As I woke up I discovered I was in bed in what appeared to be a hospital room or theatre. Standing next to me was a tall man with a thick moustache smoking a cigarette. 

I was about to rise when he said, "Don't get up ... the human skin adhesive needs a few seconds to set ..."

"Where am I?" I asked, noting other people around me dressed in some sort of uniform.

"You are on the inter-galactic space ship Aurora from the planet Zorzo!" replied the man with the moustache, dropping his cigarette on the floor and standing on it. He then immediately lit another one!

My mind was all a blur. "What?" I asked, "what am I doing here?"

"Do not be concerned," he said with a grin pretending to be a smile. He took a long drag on his cigarette and continued, "you are on our spaceship, as I said. We borrowed you for a short while from earth to study you. We have dissected every bit of you under the microscope and have stuck you together again!"

I looked under the bed covers to check all was still there. 

"What do you want from me?" I asked.

"Nothing else now ..." he replied, "care for a cigarette?" he motioned offering me his packet.

"No ... I don't smoke ..." I heard myself say.

"Pity you don't smoke. I must say, you earthlings make very nice cigarettes," he continued, "I prefer the American ones. Gorgo over there likes the French Gauloises and Gitanes!"

"Is this a joke?" I asked getting a little irritable.

"What? The fact that he likes French cigarettes?" he asked putting the packet in his pocket.

"No ..." I cut in, " the fact that I'm on a spaceship ..."

"Get up," he said, "the adhesive has set by now. Your innards will not fall all over the floor. Here ... come to the window ... can you see all the planets out there? Far away ... on the left ... that's earth. We'll return you there soon!"

I looked out of the window. It was very dark out there with many spherical objects floating in mid air.

"This could be a trick," I said, "this could be a film out there being run on a screen or monitor ..."

"This is one thing we have noticed," he said, "you earthlings are very sceptical about everything. You think you know everything yet you know nothing. You have the intelligence of the average fish on our planet Zorzo. Although I'll admit you make great cigarettes. 

"If you don't believe me you're in space, poke your head out of the window. See how long you'll last. No atmosphere out there. A bit like Mars. Not like Zorzo ... plenty of atmosphere there with nightclubs, bars, pubs, dancing halls and restaurants. Just like your decadence on Earth but we do it much better. Pleasure yes ... violence and evil no. That's our only rule and those who break it regret it instantly! On your planet earth, however, you still resolve your differences with violence. And it gets you nowhere except heartbreak."

"What do you intend to do with me?" I asked.

"The original intention was to populate a planet near us we've called Earth.2 with people from your world. We know you lot will soon ruin your world to oblivion and nothingness with your violence, pollution, and your selfishness. So we thought if we select a number of the best brains from your world we could populate a new planet when yours has gone, and so save the human race.

"But on reflection, we've discovered that most of your people have no intellect or brain power worth talking about. Yours is equivalent to our fish, as I said."

"You said most of us," I interrupted, "that means some of us are worth saving, don't you think? What if you were to find one hundred or so people worth saving. Or fifty maybe. Is that not worth saving the human race in another planet?

"Even if we found as few as twenty, or even ten, good people on earth with the right intelligence and outlook, then maybe ... maybe ... we would consider saving your race. But your people are so full of evil and negativity that ... anyway ...

"Look, we'll put you back where you came from and you won't remember a thing about all this! Maybe one day you earthlings will learn to live in peace."  

*******

Hi everyone. I can't remember a thing right now. Sorry I did not publish a post here today.

*******

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Am I Sexist?

 

I've been wondering ... Am I sexist, do you think?
 
I said sexist, not sexy. I already know I am sexy. An Adonis no less. Women are always looking at me with wistful eyes and giggling with each other. I heard one of them say I am a sex idol for women who do not care.
 
Why only yesterday a blonde woman stopped me in the street and said, "Hello handsome ... could you direct me to an optician please? I've lost my contact lens!"
 
And last week, whilst in London, another woman stopped me and said, "Hi hunk ... would you like a good time?"
 
Looking at my watch I said, "It's half-past three ..."
 
I probably misunderstood her because she walked away rather disappointed and did not say a word. I wonder what all that was about! But she did call me hunk ... which proves I'm attractive.
 
Anyway ... back to my original question. Do you think I am sexist?
 
There I was on the bus the other day, sitting there minding my own business, I took out of my pocket a glass jar of pickled onions and started eating them quietly. I stabbed the onions with a pencil which I sharpened the point very thin like a pin. Better than carrying a fork. Sometimes I have with me pickled gherkins, or cucumber slices; this time it was pickled onions. Have you tried Piccalilli? I usually need a spoon when I'm eating that on the bus. Can't eat Piccalilli with a pencil. Doesn't taste right!
 
I noticed that some people moved a few seats away from me and said nothing. Others were eyeing me suspiciously. I could feel their gaze digging into me.
 
But it is not me they should have been looking at. It's the man sitting opposite me. He had a long beard coming down to his navel. He had a bag on his lap out of which came two threads of cotton wool, red and blue, and he was there knitting. In plain sight of everyone, he sat there quietly knitting with knitting needles.
 
And no one was looking at him or being bothered by him. They were looking at me eating quietly pickled onions.
 
Then it occurred to me. Maybe there is something wrong with me. Perhaps I was sexist.
 
Maybe I had judged the man sitting opposite because he was knitting. Something which I usually associate with women to do. Like smoking a pipe ... I mean ... women don't do it but men sometimes do ... although fewer and fewer men smoke a pipe these days. Perhaps they are taking up knitting instead. 
 
There must be something wrong with my brain because I could not understand this man knitting. He noticed me looking at him. So I offered him a pickled onion at the tip of my pencil. He smiled and shook his head without saying a word.
 
It was an uncomfortable journey until I reached my destination and finished the jar of  pickled onions. Great coincidence.
 
I wonder ... if it had been a woman sitting opposite me eating from a jar of pickled onions, would I have been that bothered?
 
Have you ever eaten pickled onions on a bus? Especially you ladies reading this? Has it ever bothered anyone when you did?

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Return To Sender ...

 

We have received a letter from aunt Elma. She writes from time to time, as well as phone. Maybe I should send the letter back with the inscription: Return to sender.  

Anyway ... here is the letter:

Dear Nephew and Niece and little ones.

I tried to phone you the other day but then I thought twice about it. In fact I thought more than twice. I just could not face that woman’s voice on your answer thing you have on your phone. She sounds so pompous and full of herself. I know it is only a voice, as Vic explained, but I imagine her with big bosoms full of herself in her posh accent.

I spoke to Jim about it, and he said I should write instead. I keep thinking she will open the letter and read it first before you do. It reminds me when our Quentin was young and still living at home. He often said he hates it when I invade his privacy. I’d read it in his diary.

Our Jim had quite a week lately. This week like. On Wednesday he was stopped by the police at 10 at night as he was coming home from the pub. A bit early for him I must say. The Police Officer asked him, "Where were you between 4 and 6?" Jim replied, "Kindergarten."

He was nearly arrested for being drunk in charge of stupidity. But they let him go.

It was sunny yesterday and they said on the TV it would be a lovely day for this time of year in Glasgow. When I went out I took my umbrella. I am an optimist. But I'm an optimist who takes her raincoat as well. But when I got to the shop I discovered I forgot my purse. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded.

I remember when I was young. I started out with nothing ... I still have most of it. That’s life, isn’t it? It was all so different before everything changed. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. It's hard to make a comeback in life when you haven't been anywhere.

Our Jim took up a new hobby at his old age. He and Fred from down the road have taken up bird watching. I mean the feathered ones; not women. After pub the other night they went through the park on the way home and heard an owl cry. They decided to find where it was so they separated. Fred went by the cemetery whilst my Jim went by the water fountain and hid behind the bushes. He hooted once or twice to see what would happen. The owl hooted back. Jim hooted again. This went on for some twenty minutes until both of them realised they were hooting at each other.

When Jim told me about it and he came home all his clothes dirty from him lying behind the bushes I could have hit him with the frying pan, but I did not want to damage it. It cost £4 ten years ago when I bought it. 

Instead I went to my room and prayed to God. I said:  Lead me not into temptation - I can find the way myself.

Good bye for now. I was going to send you a photo of me and Jim but I have already sealed the envelope.

Love XXXX

Elma and Jim


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

A Micro Call

 

 
Phone rings. Telephone-answering machine. Female voice.
 
Your call cannot be taken at the moment. Please leave your name and number after the tone. BEEEP ...
 
Damn ... it's that stupid female machine again ... hello ... hello ... hello Vic ... this is aunt Elma here ... I am phoning you from Glasgow ... I am leaving my name on your female answering-machine as you told me to ... it is ... E ... L ... M ... A ... aunt Elma.
 
I am ringing to thank you all for the lovely gift you sent us. It arrived a few days ago but we did not ring to thank you then for reasons which you will understand later on in this telephone call ...
 
The package came in a big box delivered by a man in a van ... it was white I think ... the van ... He said he worked for an Internet Shopping Website ... whatever that is ... and that you sent us this package ...
 
Inside there was another box with a micro something oven written on it ... wait ... I'll ask Jim ...
 
(Pause)
 
Jim said it was a microwave oven. There was also a note saying it was a gift from you ...
 
There was also a big booklet with instructions to make the oven work ... it was written in many languages ... French ... Italian ... German ... Dutch I think ... and lots of other languages ... It was a waste of time, Jim said, seeing we only speak English.

He sat down and read the book ... and soon fell asleep in front of the TV ...

Why did you send us a micro something oven Vic? Our oven here works OK ... we've had it twenty years if not a day less. 

Anyways ... thank you ... we put the oven on top of the TV ... there's a shelf there as you recall ... we moved away all the pictures on the shelf ... good time too ... I hated so much that photo of Uncle Ebeneezer ... with his stupid moustache ... so your oven was a good reason to get rid of the photos and put the oven on the shelf ...

We tried something simple on the oven for a start ... we thought we would warm a cup of milk before going to bed ... we put the cup on that round thing that goes round and round and your uncle Jim punched the password on the panel on the oven with all them numbers ...

We could not find the password in the booklet ... in any language ... but Jim must have got it right because the light came on and the plate inside started going round and round.

It was fun watching it ... better than the TV which had a boring program on at the time ...

Anyways ... the micro thing kept going round and round ... for quite some time and inside we saw the milk in the cup boiling over and pouring all over the place ... we did not know how to make it stop ...

Then the milk started coming out of the oven door ... all over the shelf it was ... and it started dripping on the TV below ... 

Luckily I managed to get Jim out of the armchair ... he suffers badly with his back and is not as fast as he used to be ... Oh ... he used to be so agile and supple when young ... but now he's as stiff as a dead body ...
 
So he pulled the electric plug out of the socket and we spent the evening cleaning up the burnt milk everywhere ...
 
But that's not the end of it ... Vic. I told Jim not to use the microbe oven ... told him to put it in the garage. Did he listen? Did he heck?
 
I was out the other day shopping at the shops ... the ones down the road. Jim tried to be helpful and did some washing. You know ... vests and underwear and other unmentionables. My pink satin underpants where not totally dry ... a bit damp he said ... so to dry them he thought he'd warm them up in the microbe oven .
 
He put in a password ... he said he can't remember what it was ... and kept a look out in case something went wrong. Well, it did again ... He said my satin undergarments suddenly lit up on fire inside the microbe oven and the flames got out and started spreading on the shelf above the TV. 
 
Jim was standing at the time, rather than sitting in the armchair ... good job too ... he quickly threw the cup of tea on the microbe oven and there were sparks everywhere ... so he said ... nearly got the house on fire ...
 
I came in just then thankfully ... I saw the smoke everywhere and I beat the oven and the shelf with my coat which I took off quickly. The fire went out ... could have burnt the house down if I did not come in on time ...
 
Anyways ... I'm ringing to thank you for your gift Vic. 

Monday, 21 September 2020

Hello ... I just called to say ...

Hello aunt Elma ... this is Vic. How are you?

I noticed you phoned me yesterday ... Yes I know ... you did not leave a message but the machine here recorded your telephone number so I knew it was you.

Yes it is clever ... ... ... look auntie, you need not be afraid to leave a message. When you hear the voice on the answering machine, just wait till you hear the tone ... you know ... a long BEEEEP ... then just leave you name. Just say it's aunt Elma and I'll know it's you and I'll phone you back when I get home.

I'm glad you're all OK now about the misunderstanding about the phone machine and the female voice that spoke to you.

Yes we're all OK here ... I've been asked to phone you to see if mom-in-law got to you all right. We knew she was coming over to see you in Glasgow and Mary asked me to phone you. She's taking the kids to school. She'll ring you later ...

It must be great to see your sister again ... yes ... Sonia ... I don't call her Sonia because she prefers me to call her mom ... or mom-in-law ...

Well ... to be honest ... I just called to say that your sister ... Sonia ... well ... she forgot her false teeth behind.

Yes ... her false teeth ... we found the dentures on the dressing table in the dining room. The children were traumatised by it all ... they'd never seen teeth without a mouth around them!

I told them the Tooth Fairy must have dropped them when she came round to collect Eric's tooth which he put under his pillow.  

Yes ... I left him some money under the pillow. I left him £2. He thought the Tooth Fairy would leave him £5 but I said it would probably be £2. He was surprised how I had guessed it correctly.

Yes they believe anything at that age ... He hopes that Father Christmas will get him the latest computer game machine for Christmas. And Helen hopes to get a doll with all the assorted dresses in her wardrobe ...

I know ... toys cost a fortune these days ... not like in our days. We were lucky to get an orange for Christmas or a clip round the ears.

I'll have to tell them that Father Christmas was mugged and their toys were stolen from him. Either that or that he has been arrested for flying well over the speed limit. Anything to avoid me buying those presents ...

No ... no ... aunt Elma ... don't buy them the presents yourself ... no please don't ... well, if you must. Thanks ... how kind of you.

Now about these teeth ... shall I send them to you by post? Mom-in-law must be feeding through a straw I guess ... Difficult to suck lentil broth through straw ... too thick ... the broth of course ...

Yes I'll wait till you speak to her ... ... ...

(Pause)

Hello ... I'm still here ... she doesn't want them? She has another pair?

She has a pair of false teeth for indoors and another pair for outdoors? That's novel.

You mean like sunglasses? A pair of ordinary bifocals for everyday seeing and a pair for seeing outside when sunny!

So she has two pairs of dentures? One for ordinary days and one for meeting important people? Well you should consider yourself honoured aunt Elma you have the good set of teeth. Or are the ones we have here the good ones? Don't ask her ...

I'll be honest auntie ... your sister sometimes makes me wonder. Once when I went to see her at her house she was looking a bit puzzled and could not hear me well ... I noticed she had a suppository in her ear. It was stuck there.

When I pointed it out she wondered where she'd put her hearing aid.

We searched everywhere and I was the one who found it ... it was on the small table next to the TV ... where did you think it was?

No ... not there ... ... ...

Anyway ... goodbye aunt Elma ... Mary will phone you as soon as she's home.


Sunday, 20 September 2020

Stark Reality

 



John and Fiona were very distraught parents. They stayed behind in church after Mass and asked to see Father Ignatius.

He suggested they wait until everyone had gone, and eventually he came back in the church from the car park, having seen the last of the parishioners leave.

The couple were sitting up front next to the statue of Our Lord. Father Ignatius joined them and said jovially, “how are you both? And where is Lea today?”

“It’s about Lea that we want to talk about Father,” said Fiona.

“She doesn’t want to come to church any more,” added John, “she’s met some new friends and they’re leading her astray. She says church is boring … and she wants to do her own thing.”

“And you feel there’s nothing you can do about it …” continued the priest.

“That’s right Father, the more we argue with her the more she becomes stubborn.”

“That’s understandable,” said Father Ignatius gently, “parenting is not that easy despite what many people might think; and despite what the experts would tell you to do.

“In reality, there’s nothing you can do about it. Your daughter is old enough to do what she wants.

“As they grow up, children want their independence. Lea may get in with bad company, as you say; she may go totally off the rails, get into real trouble, and there’s very little a parent can do.

“I don’t mean to sound harsh, and I sympathize with you and what you must feel; but in reality we can only live our lives and not the lives of others.

“We may try to control other peoples’ behavior, through persuasion, pleading or downright force. But success depends on a number of factors and to a large extent the other person should be willing to alter their behavior to what you wish it to be.

“This isn’t helping much is it?” asked the priest quietly as he prepared them to understand the situation.

“Do you mean we do nothing?” asked Fiona holding back her tears.

“I didn’t say that …” continued Father Ignatius.

“I wonder how Mary and Joseph felt when they lost Jesus when He was twelve. They looked everywhere and were concerned about their young teenager.

“But in reality, they had no need to worry did they? Perhaps they should have trusted God a little more. Maybe they did, and I’m judging them too harshly …”

“What exactly are you saying Father?” asked John.

“Do you trust God?” was the direct reply from the gentle priest.

“Eh … yes, of course …” mumbled John.

“OK … let’s consider the facts … you say she met some new friends.”

“Yes … she’s left school now and she is at college. She’s made new friends there … they’re OK I suppose. But they’re not Christian and she feels she’s becoming independent by not going to church.”

“And does God know about this?” asked Father Ignatius.

The couple were stumped and said nothing. The priest continued.

“I suggest you let her be. If she doesn’t want to go to church, don’t make an issue of it!”

“But … it’s a mortal sin!” exclaimed Fiona.

“It’s her mortal sin … not yours,” said the priest, “Besides, let’s assume you can force her to get to church every Sunday, and she does attend against her wishes, and sits there fuming and cursing under her breath. Would that make you feel better? Would it be a bigger sin do you think, than not attending church at all?”

“So you’re advocating we do nothing? I’m surprised at you Father” said John getting a little angry.

Father Ignatius smiled.

“That’s the second time I’ve been asked whether I’m suggesting you do nothing; and I repeat, I did not say that.

“I suggest first of all that you trust God, and I mean really trust Him that He has a hold on this situation and He is in full control. Can you do that?”

They nodded silently.

“Good, then I suggest you don’t force her to come to church on Sunday. Or even mention it. Just come by yourselves as you always do.

“If you do so already, continue with your family prayers. Before meals, evening prayers or whatever prayers you say together as a family.

“She may or may not join you; leave it to her to decide.

“Lead by example. If you really trust in God you will hand over your daughter to His care. If you stumble and wobble and if your Faith falters you will set her a bad example; and you’ll give her proof that your own Faith is only skin deep.

“She is free to decide what she wants in her life. It’s a gift given to all of us by God. Not to be restricted or controlled by any one else; this is what you’d be doing, albeit with good intentions, if you force her to go to church.

“Pray for her, like you’ve never prayed before. Ask God to protect her, to guide her and to bless her.

“Praying is not doing nothing; it is the most positive action we can take.

“She may well return to God in due course, or she may never do so. It’s a risk we all have to take with our loved ones. But it is their choice to make, no matter how hard or how painful it is for us to watch and to accept.

“We can only live our lives, not that of others. Let us be a living example to others rather than pay lip service to it.

“I’ll visit your home perhaps a little more often than I usually do, and let us pray that God will one day soon welcome her back as He does any prodigal child.”

Saturday, 19 September 2020

I called her back ... what a back!

 

Hello aunt Elma ... this is Vic ... I just got your two calls yesterday and the day before ... I've been very busy at work and got home very late to phone you back ... ... ...

No auntie ... it was not a woman who answered the phone ... it was a machine ... 

Yes a machine ... no ... not a female doll ... ... ... an answering machine with a woman's voice ... Have you never seen a telephone-answering machine?

No auntie ... I did not insinuate you are backwards or old fashioned ... I know you don't like gadgets and modern things at home ... auntie ... auntie ... just listen ... you were speaking to a machine ... you know ... like that CD player I bought you for Christmas to listen to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra ... 
 
It is a bit like the old wound-up record player you used to have. Remember? You wound it with a handle and it had a big cone like thing for the sound to come out? Well ... the CD player is the same but more modern.

What do you mean you never used it? What do you mean it doesn't work ... ... ...

No auntie ... you got it wrong ... for the machine to work you have to put a CD in the machine ... a Bing Crosby or Sinatra CD or whatever ...

I don't know what a CD stands for ... it's a disc ... you know, those two boxes I gave you with the photos of Bing Crosby and Sinatra on them. Yes ... the one where he is wearing a Christmas hat ... that's the one.

What do you mean you never used them? How do you expect the CD player to play Sinatra if you've not put the CD in it? 

What? Of course the box is wrapped in very tight cellophane material. It's for security reasons. Yes it can be difficult to unwrap ... I see ... so you ignored both boxes of CDs and expected the CD player to play you the music just by reading your thoughts? ... Or perhaps by you asking it to play your songs for you ... thank Heavens I didn't get you one of those ... the machine would not have understood a word you're saying and would have probably committed suicide!

(Pause)

Look aunt ... Listen ... Forget about the answering machine and the CD player ... 
 
Listen ... aunt Elma ... you have nothing to worry about ...

Of course I love my wife ... and the children too ... yes we are happy and our marriage is very happy ... 
 
You don't understand auntie ... we've just bought an answering machine to answer the phone for us when we are out ... You must have seen the adverts on TV ... some modern phones have an in-built answering machine service ... and she has a woman's voice ...

Yes ... I can assure you we are very happily married and have a very healthy marriage relationship ... yes ... healthy in every respect ...
 
Well ... apart from your sister ...

Sorry ... perhaps I shouldn't have said that ... your sister ... my mother-in-law ... well she worries too much ... a bit like you really ...  Only with her living so close to us she is here worrying all the time ... I wish she was more like you aunt Elma ... worrying from afar!

Well ... you know what she's like ... always finding fault and suggesting things we don't need suggesting at ... 

Like I drink too much ... I only have a can or a bottle of Guinness a day ... or every other day ... apparently that is too much. I should have half the bottle and leave the rest to go flat and tasteless for a day or two ... 

I know she means well ... but perhaps she means too much too well ... she should hold back a little. 
 
Always suggesting things we should do better ... like the kind of toilet disinfectant we should use ... we are happy with the brand we are using ... It kills 99.99% of all household germs leaving the rest a chance to survive and breed again so we buy more disinfectant ...

Yes of course I love my mother-in-law ... yes I know Jesus said we should love everybody ... but He did not have my family did He?

Sorry ... I did not mean that ... it was a joke ... an aside joke I made to myself. No ... I was not taking the Lord's name in vain ... yes, I'll confess it to Father Barnaby if I must. I'll ask him first if it is worth confessing.

Of course I go to confession regularly ... I can't remember the last time I went ... Father Smithson was the priest then ... twenty years ago? Is it that long? Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself and not confessing it ...

Sorry auntie ... another joke. No I am not being facetious. Or flippant. Yes I am still a Christian ... yes I love the Good Lord ... I am not a heathen, aunt Elma ... aunt Elma ... stop crying ... aunt Elma ...

Don't be upset aunt Elma ... yes ... I'll speak to uncle Jim ... he'll put me right ... yes ...

(Pause)

Hello uncle Jim ... yes I'm keeping well ... did you see the football match last night on TV? Didn't Henderson do well ... it was a good match ... Saunders is settling in and playing well too ... ... ... 


Friday, 18 September 2020

She's phoning again ...

 

Phone rings. Telephone-answering machine. Female voice.
 
Your call cannot be taken at the moment. Please leave your name and number after the tone. BEEEP ...

Hello ... it is aunt Elma again ... are you still there? I phoned Vic yesterday and you answered the phone ... what are you doing in his house? Just because his wife and children have gone to London for a few days, you have no business being there. I bet you never told him I rang ... you're a hooor ... that's what you are ... a street-walker ... leave him alone ...

Jim ... Jim ... answer me you daft bat ... I'm calling you ... I phoned Vic again and he's got this woman with him ... she's answered the phone again ... she's keeping quiet now ... but she's listening all right ...

Come here Jim ... speak to her and give her a piece of my mind ...

What do you mean you don't want to? Of course I'm not interfering ... it is my duty to tell her she is a hooor ... she should not be there at all ...

Can you hear me you brazen hussy? Yes you ... I am talking to you ... I know you're pretending not to hear me ...

Leave Vic alone ... he's a nice little boy ... I have known him ever since he was a baby ... I used to change his diapers when they visited us here in Glasgow ... nice family they are ... all of them ... 

Leave him alone you family breaker ... with your posh fancy voice saying you can't take my calls ... who do you think you are you common hooor ...

What are you doing there in his house anyway? ... Don't tell me ... don't tell me ... I can only imagine ... Heaven help us ... oh the vision of it all on my mind ... it will be with me for ever ... 

He always had a weakness for dumb blondes, Vic did ... I bet you're a dumb blonde with large bosoms and red lipsticks ... Oh I feel so weak just thinking about it ... you and Vic together.

Jim ... Jim ... come here I tell you ... come here or you'll regret it for the rest of your days ... which will not be many I promise you ...

Tell her ... tell her Jim to leave our Vic alone ... what is she doing there answering his phone?

TELL HER or I'll hit you with this phone ...

(Pause)

Hello Miss ... this is Jim ... Vic calls me uncle Jim ... I am aunt Elma's husband ... she is very worried about Vic you know ...

She phoned him yesterday and you answered the phone ... she's been up all night worrying about it ... 

She kept me up as well ... she asked me to worry with her ... we both worried all night although I am not sure what we're supposed to worry about ...

Tell me there is nothing to worry about so I can get a good night's sleep ... tell me ...

(Pause)

OK ... if you can't tell me ... at least tell Vic to phone us soon ... thank you dear ...

Elma ... Elma ... stop crying ... I told her to get Vic to phone us soon!


Thursday, 17 September 2020

Hello ... Hello ...

 

Phone rings. Telephone-answering machine. Female voice.
 
Your call cannot be taken at the moment. Please leave your name and number after the tone. BEEEP ...
 
Hello ... hello ... is that you Vic? It sounded like a woman ... Hello ... Hey Jim ... I've just phoned Vic and a woman answered. You don't think he's got some woman now the family are on holiday in London? Hello ... can you hear me Vic? 

There's no answer ... I bet she hasn't told him I phoned ... I'll ring him again.

Phone line goes dead. Phone rings again. Telephone-answering machine. Female voice.
 
Your call cannot be taken at the moment. Please leave your name and number after the tone. BEEEP ...
 
Hello Vic ... I know you got a woman with you ... this is auntie Elma ... my phone number is ... wait a minute ... I'll get it for you ... have you got a pen and paper ready? Jim ... Jim ... what is our phone number? 
 
(Pause) 
 
Of course I don't know it ... I don't usually phone myself do I? Hold on Vic ... I'll get you my phone number ... here it is ... write it down now ... it's 0987 23 76 12 ...
 
This is aunt Elma ... that's E ... L ... M ... A ... Jim and I are ringing to see you and the family are all right. We haven't seen you since last Thanksgiving. 
 
We are all well here in Scotland ... your uncle Jim was in pain with his carbuncle ... your little nephew called him uncle carbuncle ... what a hoot ... but he was in pain poor soul ... he's a martyr to his carbuncle ... he went to the hospital ... one day like ... and now he's OK. He can sit down all right and no longer needs the inflatable ring.
 
I had some difficulties too you know ... women things ... best not to talk about it ...
 
That and my feet ... I've always had problems with my feet Vic ... they are far too small for my body ... I look like a penguin I do ... when I stand up and look down I cannot see my feet ... 
 
It's the same with your uncle Jim now he's put on some weight ... when he stands up it's something else he cannot see too ... he makes me laugh he does ... can't reach it either I guess ...
 
Hey ... You'll never guess who has died ... I bet you can't guess ... died suddenly ... any ideas?
 
(Pause)
 
It's poor Mr Mac Merton ... remember him? He lived down the road from us ... just by the bakery ... you know ... Ivor Bun Bakery ... where we got the crumpets ... next to I Pullem the dentist ...
 
Poor Mac Merton died suddenly this morning. I saw him yesterday ... he was as fit as a fiddle ... always healthy and never a day ill ... he was 83 he was ... and very healthy ... died suddenly ... hit by a bus in town ... just by Doug M Deep the funeral undertaker it was ... at least they didn't have to go far to collect him ...
 
I'll phone you again later Vic ... here's your uncle Jim ...
 
(Pause)
 
Hello Vic ... you OK mate? Whilst the cat's away is it? Your secret is safe with me ... see you soon!

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

The Haunted

 

IMPORTANT NOTE
 
 You may wish to click on the video below first. 
BEFORE reading this article.
 
THERE IS NO NEED TO WATCH THE VIDEO  
JUST LISTEN
 

THE HAUNTING
 
As she approached the haunted castle in Scotland at three minutes past midnight, the door creaked loudly as she pushed it open and got in.
 
She stood at the doorway for a while until her eyes adjusted to the darkness therein, (therein meaning the castle, not her eyes). She noticed that all the curtains were drawn. But everything else was real.
 
It was then she heard the ominous music. The haunting frightening music which accompanies every ghost story, or when Dracula or some frightening creature lurks in the darkness. 
 
She felt a cold go up and down her spine. One would have called it a frisson, save for the fact that she was in Scotland and not in a neglected old château in France.

She turned to her left and saw the orchestra playing this haunting Bach Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
 
She was about to say something when the conductor, no lesser a figure than Bach himself, or his ghost, motioned her to keep quiet and move on.
 
She moved a few steps forward as the gloomy, portentous, menacing music continued. She put away her dictionary for a minute and stopped searching for synonyms to ominous music. She could have said ill-omened music, or melody, but she chose not to.
 
She picked up a lit candle and moved forward. Who had lit it? she wondered. Perhaps it was Bach, or one of the orchestra. 
 
She went up the dark creaky stairs. Slowly. Fearful. Trembling. Awaiting at any moment for the sudden suspense and shock that would make anyone jump out of their skin and needing a change of underwear. 
 
The sort of sudden shock just like you get in Alfred Hitchcock films. You know ... like in that shower scene in Psycho with the music building up to the suspense ... or is it suspenders? 
 
Only this time she was not in the shower. She was going up the stairs, as I said. Maybe she'd go to the bathroom later. Just pay attention and sit on the edge of your seat. Let's see what happens next.

As she went up one step at a time she noticed the whole orchestra following her. Led by Bach and followed by his massive organ being carried by several people whilst the organist was still playing it. Then came all the other musicians with their various instruments too.

She stopped.

All the musicians stopped moving but continued playing.

Bach motioned her to go on up the stairs.

Had there been a film crew there, they too would have walked behind her. The camera men. Sound engineers. Lights engineers. Producer, director, wardrobe mistress, hair stylist, make-up lady, and the plethora of other people who follow every scene as it is filmed.

But there were no film crew there. 

Just the orchestra and me, standing behind her, writing this for you on my notebook, to be typed on my laptop later.

And now there is also all of you here following me. Reading this. And wondering what will happen next.

Well ... she got upset and moody all of a sudden, as actors often do ... and for no reason at all she got out of the castle and drove home.

We might as well listen to the end of this music.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

It was an accident ... honest!

 

You know how it was. It all happened suddenly. Almost an accident you would say. A sort of big bang and then it all happened. Perhaps some planets collided together. Or something collided with something else. I don't know ... but as a result of that collision it all happened. It all started and planets were created, and they somehow moved around each other and spinned round as well; as they circled the sun.

And that's how life on earth started. A slimy jelly like creature slithered out of a pool of mud somewhere and somehow it was alive and it evolved ... that's right ... it evolved ... it turned into something else, then something else again, and eventually it became man. It became you and me. Although it may have been a monkey before that ... I don't know. But that's how it happened. Scientists tell us so.

Or it could be a different way. Maybe Someone made it all. Some person or some being made it all happen. He'd have to be really clever and powerful to make it all happen. You know ... the planets spinning round and moving about. Life on earth. People, plants, animals and all that. 

Let us stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Let's consider the science.

Let us look at a tree nearby. What do you see? A trunk, branches and leaves ... perhaps some flowers or even fruit.

Let us look a little closer, much closer. Did you know that on every leaf there is a multitude of small magnesium atoms? So small you can't see them ... not even with your bifocals. Did you know that as photons from the sunlight hits the electrons in these magnesium atoms that's how photosynthesis starts? That's the process by which green plants and certain other organisms transform light energy into chemical energy. During photosynthesis in green plants, light energy is captured and used to convert water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into oxygen and energy-rich organic compounds. And that's how the plant grows, and bears fruit and food for us to eat.

Let's look at something else. The human brain ... yeeak!!! Did you know that the human brain has many many connectors. These are like switches or connection boxes that relay, (receive and send), information to various parts of the brain and body. Did you know that the human brain has more connectors than all the connectors in all the computers in the world? Fantastic don't you think?

Yet, despite all these brain connectors we still manage to breed idiotic morons in the world. But that's another debate for another day.

Concentrate now ... pay attention. Let us look at something else. Have you ever wondered about the reproduction system? How a man and a woman get together and somehow they create a new life? How marvellous and un-believable the whole system is. How it happens and how it works. 

Yet we take it all for granted. We have done it billions and trillions of times and we no longer think about it. Not me of course ... I haven't done it trillions of times, or else I'd be a little tired. But people in general. They don't think any more about the marvellousness of it all. 

Let us look at something else. A long treadmill with washing machines coming off a production line. Or it could be microwave ovens, or television sets, or cars. You imagine what you want coming off the production line. I'm not going to do it all for you.

Now think ... whatever is coming off the production line must have been designed by somebody. Plans written and diagrams drawn. Someone collected together all the components needed ... metals, plastics, glass. wires and so on ... Then someone else put all the components together. Welded them, stuck them, screwed them together or whatever. And hey presto ... we have a washing machine ... or whatever it is you are imagining. I'm not in your head you know!

Now isn't it odd that the washing machine did not just happen to be from a slimy jelly like thing that slithered out of a pool of mud and onto the conveyor belt?

Someone made the washing machine. We have the instruction manual to prove it. Here it is. Written in several languages. Which is a waste of time since I cannot read several languages. Only English.

Maybe ... maybe ... Someone made us all. Maybe He made the planets, the universe and all that is in it. We have the instruction manual to prove it. It's called the Bible. Mine is written in English. Maybe God is English!