Friday 31 May 2019

Why is the fish the symbol of Christianity?

Before I answer this question let me say that I've always wished to swim with dolphins. But I couldn't afford such a holiday so I went swimming with sardines instead.

Now sardines are not as clever as dolphins. Why else would they get into a tin and leave the key on the outside?

Every other canned fish you buy, tuna, salmon, pilchard and so on, you have to open with a can opener. But sardines ... they have a key on the outside. Why?

Unless of course you buy those tins with a ring pull. Again, on the outside ... so the sardines can't pull the ring and get out.

Anchovies thought they'd be clever by being so salty that no one would eat them. They were wrong. They've now become a delicacy much sought after and more fished than before.

And now about the original question ...

The symbol of a fish was found on ancient Christian monuments and buildings. It represents Christ.

The Greek word for "fish" is ICHTHUS.

If we take the letters of that word they provide the first letters of other Greek words.

Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour

So the symbol of the fish suggests all this to a Christian. It may well have been a secret sign used by early Christians to identify each other.

Thursday 30 May 2019

When life was simple

Wednesday 29 May 2019

The Wall of Jericho

Once upon a time a newly appointed Religious Instructions teacher at a school asked her class "Who broke down the wall of Jericho?"

Tom sitting up front said "It was not me, Miss!"

The teacher was so appalled at the level of ignorance of her new class, that she reported the incident to the Head Teacher.

The Head Teacher took the matter seriously and asked Tom's parents to attend the school for an explanation. He told them what Tom had said and asked them if they had anything to add. Tom's mother burst out crying and said "My Tom is a good boy. He never lies. If he said he never did it then I believe him!"

The Head Teacher was furious and turned to Tom's father.

Tom's father was more pragmatic about it all. He said "Let's treat this whole thing like grown-ups shall we? You get the wall fixed and I shall pay the costs involved."

When the parents had left, the Head Teacher called the Religious Instructions teacher, to explain what had happened.

She said "Really? Is that what Tom's father suggested?"

"Yes," replied the Head Teacher, "let's get a builder in to fix the wall quickly before he changes his mind!"

Personally ... I think the father was too hasty to offer to pay the costs without knowing how much it would be.

What do you think?

Tuesday 28 May 2019

A Whale Of A Time

Something very strange happened in our home a few days ago which I am sure you will not believe; no matter how much I tell you it is true. Anyway, I'll tell you the story and you make up your minds.

I got out a few days ago and found a whale in our back garden. Yes, a whale. There it was swimming amongst the goldfish in the pond at the back of the garden.

I don't know how it got there but there it was. I could not believe my eyes. Let me explain that it was the size of a very large dog, so it was not a fully grown up blue whale as you may have thought. But all the same, a whale the size of two Alsatian sheep dogs suddenly appearing in one's pond is quite something; I tell you. Maybe it had been dropped by a passing sea gull which picked it up from the sea. Although, judging from its size it must have been a very strong sea gull; unless it was a whole flock of them.

Anyway, there it was in my garden and I had to get rid of it. I did not have enough plankton in the fridge with which to feed it. And I was afraid that if it died of hunger I would not be able to flush it down the toilet because of its size.

So I called the authorities to come and help. The Pest Control Department would not believe that I had a whale in my garden. They told me a whale is not a pest so they could not come out to help. I asked them if they could bring someone with a net to take it back to sea. They transferred my phone call to Annette in the Wales Department.

Annette was very kind and explained that she was from the Wales Department. Wales, the country; not Whales the fish department. She said there was no such thing as a fish department at our Local Authority. Whether it is whales or any other fish. She did not believe my story and said it was all a red herring to confuse the Local Authority. Which is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Eventually, I got someone from the Local Authority to come out and investigate. He confirmed it was a whale and suggested we entice it out by playing whale songs. He brought a CD player from his van and played a whales' songs CD. You know the kind; relaxing whales singing songs with sounds of waves and all that.

"Oooohh Ooooohh" went the CD. You know how whale songs sound, don't you? "Oooooh Ooooooh". Long and soft sounds like someone exhaling with laryngitis.

And the whale in our pond responded "Oooooh Oooooh" back but did not budge from the pond.

For at least an hour we had this duet playing "Ooooh Ooooh" to each other.

All the neighbours came round to look at what was going on.

The guy from the Local Authority called in a helicopter with a view to lifting the whale up in a net and then taking it out to sea. That's a net made of ropes tied together and not Annette from the Wales Department - Wales the country not whales the fish. Are you paying attention?

The noise of the helicopter stopped the whale singing and it tried to hide behind the pond flowers and plants.

The man from the Local Authority then changed the CD and played "Nessun Dorma" very loud sung by an overfed tenor.

And that's when I woke up with a start because the radio/clock alarm had gone off.

Monday 27 May 2019

A Tail Of Two Fishes

This is a true story.

Years ago we had two fishes in a tank in the living room. They were of the goldfish variety. They swam to and fro happily in their tank and all was well.

Well ... not that well really. Because every week I had to empty the tank, clean it, re-fill it with fresh clean water and put in all the necessary tablets that fish require in a tank to live happily and swim to and fro.

After a long period of this weekly tank cleaning I'd had enough. So I put the two fishes in our newly dug pond at the end of our back garden and left them to it. They had to swim or sink as it were!

It's a lovely pond. Much larger than the tank they were in previously, with freshly planted pond weeds and floating flowers of various varieties which I could not name. I guess the pond is no bigger in volume than a couple of bath tubs; (depending on the size of bath tub you have in your bathroom of course; but then you wouldn't admit it here would you?)

Anyway, I left the fish there and every so often we threw in a few fish-feeding pellets which you can get from the pet shop in case the fish survived and were waiting there at their dinner table to be fed. This went on for about a year.

One day I was sitting there by the pond and noticed little one-inch sized silver-coloured fishes floating around in the pond. I looked carefully and yes ... they were small fishes all right. The original two gold-fishes which were about five inches or so big, were also there. I'd recognised them by their large almost transparent tails. The small fishes were swimming around very fast. There were between 6 and 6000 fishes, depending on how quickly you can count moving fishes.

The whole family was over-excited that the two goldfish had survived and now had a family of babies. Over time, the babies grew up to become lovely goldfishes which we can now count easily. There are now exactly eleven fishes in the pond, including the original two; depending of course on how good you are at counting moving fishes.

All this happened some ten or so years ago; and the eleven fishes are still there.

One thing I've often wondered though. Are the original two fishes still there, or have they died and been replaced by new fishes?

I really don't know. But I can tell you this. And this is the honest truth, my friends; believe me!

When I sit by the pond and call the fishes, as I used to when they were in the tank in our living room. I call them saying: "Hey fishy fishy ... hey fishy fishy fishy ..."

Believe me it's true. The fishes totally ignore me just like the original two did when in the fish tank!

Sunday 26 May 2019

Another Day In Paradise

Let me invite you to come with me to Heaven. Let's go right now and see what we'll find there.

I often wonder; most people perhaps want to go to Heaven for fear of the other place where the devil pokes your backside with a big fork and the heat is unbearable.

Jesus described Heaven as a place with many rooms. This is because it was the only imagery that the people of the time could understand. They had seen many mansions and palaces so to describe Heaven in such terms would engender an image and a place that they would all long for. Certainly better than the place with acrid smell and burning flesh and gnashing of teeth.

But what do you expect to find in Heaven? Yes you. What is your idea of Heaven?

Some people see Heaven as a place where they will come face to face with God. They will know God, and experience His love more than they have experienced it here on earth.

OK ... let's grant you that. But what else is there in Heaven? What will we do for eternity? Sit there singing hymns of praise or playing the harp? What if we do not like the harp and prefer rock and roll, or jazz or other music?

Some people imagine Heaven as a pleasant place with beautiful green meadows and sunshine everywhere. Personally, I fear hearing my wife telling me it is time to mow the lawn ... again. How about those people who don't like permanent sunshine? Who enjoy the rain, or to hear and see thunder and lightning?

Some people imagine Heaven as a nice place where we all love and care for each other and help each other. But then, I wonder, why can't we do that right now right here? Why can't we care for each other, the old, the poor, the sick and the destitute right here? Why wait for another day in Paradise to do what can be Heaven right now?

Maybe I am missing the point. Maybe Heaven will be the place where I finally find the missing jigsaw piece of life.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Not Waltzing Matilda

I’ve met some very strange people in my life. Some don’t even live on this planet and are lost in their own little world. But none come stranger than Matilda. 

She’s Australian and no, she does not waltz. In fact she’s as bad a dancer as I am.

The fact that I mention she’s Australian will become apparent a little later on.

Matilda is about sixty-four years old and is an old friend of the family. She lives alone in a secluded farm deep in the countryside in Northern England. She’s self-sufficient with a few chickens, ducks, pigs, a cow, a goat and an old horse which takes her and her cart to a nearby town whenever she needs to buy anything; and let's not forget her many cats and dogs. She lives on her pension and is happy in her own world.

Much happier than the rest of us I suppose working all hours to make ends meet.

We don’t visit Matilda often, but we correspond from time to time.

A few months ago I had reason to make a business trip to a city not far from where Matilda lives. It was on a Friday so I decided to call on Matilda and spend the weekend with the old lady.

I arrived at about five in the evening and after a nice cup of tea she asked me to help her feed her animals.

We started with the chickens, and then the ducks and whilst reminiscing happily whilst feeding the cow Matilda realized that time was getting on and she had to go to town for her weekly game of poker with other old folks in the Church club she attended.

She gave me her cell-phone number, just in case, and asked me to make myself at home until her return.

“Don’t forget to feed the pigs!” she yelled, as she galloped away on her cart out of the farm drive.

The pigs were a recent addition to her menagerie; all six of them. I got some feed and gingerly entered their enclosure and started spreading the food for them to eat. One of the pigs came eagerly at me to feed and managed to trip me head over heels into the mud. My immaculate work suit was totally ruined and I was soaking wet with dripping black liquid all over me. I suppose it was my fault being with animals in my best work suit, but Matilda had asked me to help and I didn’t have time to get changed. Luckily, my feathered cowboy hat survived the muddy onslaught and was not damaged in any way. That at least cheered me up no end.

I left the pigs to their devices and entered the house, leaving my dirty shoes at the door, and headed for the bathroom.

I ran a hot bath and settled in for a long soak whilst contemplating what to do with the ruined suit. Best to throw it away, I thought.

I was there for a few minutes thinking what color suit I would buy when it happened …

Oh … the memory keeps coming back like a recurring nightmare …

I’ve had sleepless nights about this, I tell you.

There I was in the bath soaking away my relatively minor worries about a ruined suit when …

You’ll never believe this … I assure you.

You too would have nightmares all your life if it happened to you.

The door slowly opened.

I could see the door handle move ever so slowly and then the door was pushed open with an ominous creaking sound as you get in horror movies.

My blood ran cold down my spine in a hot bath!

And then … a kangaroo got in and walked casually towards me and jumped in the bath with me splashing water all over the place.

I was terrified.

Can you imagine?

There I was sharing a bath with an animal native of Australia. Matilda had never mentioned a kangaroo as part of her farm cum zoo.

What else has she got in this house? A koala bear, or a platypus?

What was I to do? I did not dare make any sudden movement in case … I don’t know … in case the kangaroo did something which I’d regret.

I became somewhat protective all of a sudden.

He looked at me suspiciously and made un-approving tutting noises like kangaroos make.

I slowly reached for my cell-phone and managed to find Matilda’s number and phoned her.

“Matilda …” I said in a semi-whisper so as not to alarm my bathing companion, “there’s a kangaroo in the bath with me!”

Now there’s a sentence I never dreamed I would ever say.

She laughed raucously down the phone.

“That’s not a kangaroo sport!” she said in her distinct Australian accent which she has not lost despite her years in the UK, “it’s a wallaby. He’s Joey, my recently acquired pet! Do you like him?”

Well, it was not a question of liking him or not; and the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby did not particularly concern me that much at the time.

It was more a matter of sharing a private moment with a wild animal which showed signs of becoming suddenly agitated; much to my detriment, may I add!

“Oh, he’s being playful,” Matilda re-assured me, “he probably thinks it’s me in the bath. He often has a bath with me!”

I must admit I didn’t know what to make of that.

Am I in such a physical state in my prime of life to be mistaken for a woman in her sixties?

Can this Joey creature really not tell the difference between Matilda and I?

I mean … the difference between me and her is so obvious and plain to see.

How could he miss that?

I’m wearing my cowboy hat with the feather on. When’s the last time this stupid animal saw Matilda wearing such a hat?

“Are you all-right?” said the jovial voice down the phone interrupting my concentration, “are you playing with Joey?”

“I certainly am not!” I replied as masculinely as I could. I put the phone down and slowly, very slowly, got out of the bath and out of the room as quickly … but slowly … as I could, so as not to disturb Joey who followed my every movement with his eyes and smiled as he tutt tutted his disapproval of me!

Friday 24 May 2019

The curse of the Golden Shrimp

I want to tell you a story. The fact that you will not believe it is a matter for your conscience and your ability to weigh up facts and discern what is true or not.

You know how sometimes we can be influenced by other people without realising it. Advertising works on that principle. They tell you something subtly and leave it to you to decide. And more often than not we may change our behaviour according to what others tells us.

Many years ago there was an anthropologist who studied all things relating to humanity, society, how people think and what influences them. He was particularly interested in suggestive thoughts whereby someone would behave in a way that has been subconsciously implanted in his mind. For example, a subject he had researched intensively, was putting a curse on someone. If someone puts a curse on somebody, does the effect of this curse come true or not? Is it possible to curse somebody? Or is the victim's behaviour changed to such an extent that he makes whatever fear he has come true?

His studies took this anthropologist to far away countries all over the world and he met various peoples and cultures and beliefs. He researched how some susceptible people can be influenced by others' threats like putting a curse on them.

One day, whilst he was in the jungle, he had heard stories about a river deep in the forest which had golden shrimps breeding on its shores. These shrimps were believed to be made of gold, albeit they were alive and living creatures like other fishes which inhabited that river. Legend has it that one day King Midas himself went by that river and bent down to drink. As he did so his hand touched a shrimp for a split second and turned the shrimp into gold; but the shrimp did not die. It swam away and started breeding a whole generation of golden shrimps only to be found in that river deep in the forest.

Also legend has it that King Midas put a curse on the shrimp and since that day anyone who catches or eats these golden shrimps will also be cursed and will die.

The anthropologist was intrigued that people of the forest believed such a story, and despite there being little food in the village, and people ate mostly plants, no one dared go fishing in the plentiful river in case they caught a shrimp accidentally and died.

In order to convince the villagers that this was only a fable, passed on to people from one generation to the next, with little truth in it, the anthropologist suggested that they accompany him to the river where he will fish for these shrimps. But none dared to go with him. They were all afraid of the curse of the golden shrimp.

Early one morning he left the village accompanied only by his guide and went in search for that river deep in the forest.

When they eventually got there he asked the guide to sit away from the river to appease his fears. The anthropologist then went to the shore and to his surprise found that the river was plentiful with millions of the golden shrimps. There were enough there to feed the villagers for many years and more.

It was such a shame that the villagers' belief in the curse prevented them from eating such a plentiful supply of shrimps and fish.

In order to convince them that all is safe the anthropologist put his hand in the river and picked up a shrimp. He showed it to the guide, and then slowly peeled the shrimp, and ate it.

The guide was petrified with fear. He stood up and shouted, "There is a curse on you! You have eaten a golden shrimp and now you will die!"

He then ran away back to the village to tell everyone what had happened and left the anthropologist all alone. The villagers kept well away from the river from that day onwards regardless of how hungry they were.

And now for the bit which I suspect you will find very hard to believe.

What did happen to the anthropologist? Was he affected by the curse of the golden shrimp?

Well sadly - YES he was. He died last year aged about 89. Apparently he was allergic to shell-fish and the shrimp he ate 60 years previously eventually finished him. The curse had finally killed him.

Thursday 23 May 2019

More Scientific Facts

We all have DNA in us. Apparently it is a spring like thing that goes round and round like a slide and helps us bounce when we are healthy and happy.

In Australia people have their DNA go round in the opposite direction to people in the Northern hemisphere. Also, over there it is spelled AND.

Laughter is part of our DNA or AND. Laughter is a build up of pressure deep within us somewhere near the stomach. Then it goes up the asparagus and comes out as a loud noise from a hole in our head. From anywhere else and you're in deep trouble.

This is a little well un-known fact which you did not know. This is why it is an un-known fact. Here are other un-known facts which you should know so that they may become known facts.

For example; did you know that the majority of men with beards (about 68%) sleep with their beards tucked under the bed covers rather than over the bed covers?

And that beards grow faster and longer than hair on men's heads?

Did you know that you should not sleep with your head under the pillow otherwise the tooth fairy will take all your teeth away?

Human ears grow bigger in proportion to the rest of our bodies as we grow older? I knew an old man once with very large ears sticking out quite a bit. He looked like a car with its doors open. When he was outdoors, at the slightest gust of wind he would pirouette round like a hotel revolving door.

Did you know that if you had a meal in a restaurant that is totally dark you would not be able to tell the difference between steak and a beefburger?

Did you also know that if you're in a vacuum and you shout loud no one would hear you? And it would make no difference whether the vacuum cleaner is switched on or off, or whether the bag is full of dirt and dust or whether it is empty?

Do you realise that if you had a small bird in a cage, and as you happen to weigh the cage, if the bird jumped up from its perch then its weight would not register on the scale? Also, if you were to weigh the cage under water the small bird would drown?

Did you know that crickets chirp less at night as it gets colder? In a warm night they would chirp about twenty times a minute. In a slightly colder night they would probably chirp ten or less times a minute. Whereas in cold temperatures they do not chirp at all because they are frozen out of their tiny minds.

Do you realise that there are viruses everywhere and they spread diseases; for example when we sneeze or even when we shake hands. Scientists recommend that we wash our hands before we shake hands with someone and also after we shake hands with them. This way we do not pass on our viruses or even get viruses from them. It is suggested you carry small disinfectant sprays or paper handkerchiefs for this purpose.

Did you know that most viruses are spread from people who go to the bathroom and do not wash their hands afterwards. You go to the bathroom and wash your hands, then you touch the door handle to get out and ... hey presto ... you have the viruses from the previous person who did not bother to wash his hands.

In fact, there are more viruses on door handles ... any door handles ... than there are on peoples' hands.

It is recommended that people no longer shake hands but shake door handles. Ideally, everyone should carry a door handle in their pocket and when they meet someone new they take out their door handle and gently shake it with the other person's door handle. That way no viruses would get on your or their hands.

This advice is sponsored by a well known local door handle manufacturer.

So there you have it. Tuck your beard under the bed covers, carry a door handle in your vacuum cleaner and mind your own DNA.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Scientific Facts

Did you know that Absolute Zero is the lowest possible temperature you can ever get to? You just cannot get any lower than Absolute Zero.

It is in fact -273.15° on the Celsius scale and −459.67° on the Fahrenheit scale. It is over 100 kilos on the bathroom scale if you have been over-eating lately.

At Absolute Zero nothing really happens. The buses will not run so it is pointless waiting for them at the bus stop. And don’t even be tempted to lick the bus stop sign whilst you're there because there may be all sort of germs on it.

Absolute Zero is also what most men get from their wives when they've said something that upsets them. 

Moving up from Absolute Zero, the highest temperature that has ever been recorded is on a ladder 35 feet tall. It was when an amorous young knight in Olde England attempted to deliver a plate of spaghetti to his paramour who was trapped in a tower because the door was frozen solid and he couldn't turn the key in the lock.

Which reminds me … I once saw a ghost with an eye-patch! He said he was going through the keyhole when someone put the key in.

Hot temperatures can be very hazardous to health, especially in the kitchen whilst cooking. Most accidents in the home happen in the kitchen. Scientists believe this would not be the case if people cooked their meals in the bedroom instead. But unfortunately people rarely follow scientific instructions.

The instructions on the packet of quick cook rice said “Take sachet out of packet and stand in boiling water for 10 minutes”. I did that and burnt my feet.

I also read in my Cooking Instruction Manual that to avoid tears whilst peeling and cutting onions you should do it under water. It works, but you have to come up for air every few seconds.

An elaborate meal is a bird within a bird within a bird. Basically you stuff and cook a small bird in a bigger one, say a baby partridge inside a chicken, and the chicken inside a large goose. Do not use a grouse for this because people with a grouse are not very cheerful.

To prepare a bird within a bird is very easy. Basically you have the chicken swallow the baby partridge and then the goose swallows the chicken. Whenever the goose opens its mouth the chicken’s head comes out and says “Cockledeedledoo !!!” and as it does so the partridge looks out of the chicken’s mouth and smiles. And swallows fly all over your kitchen.

If you want a cheap meal why not try road-kill. These are animals that have been killed on the road by passing cars. You're allowed to pick them up and take them home to eat. You can pick up dead pigeons, partridges, grouse, rabbits and many other creatures good to eat. A friend of mine had  a restaurant specialising in road-kill. It was called "From our grill to your plate!"

The other day I found and ate a road-kill. It was a half-eaten pizza someone dropped on the road.

Care for another glass of whisky?

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Advice on a First Date

A young friend of mine surprised me the other day by asking me for advice on a first date. Why he chose me for advice I do not know. He is in his early twenties and I would have thought it more appropriate to ask someone his own age; but there you are. For some reason he asked me. Maybe he was testing me to see whether I was modern and sophisticated, as one should be in this day and age; or perhaps he was genuinely seeking help and advice on matters of the heart.

Anyway, his reasons aside, I decided to take his request seriously and give him the benefit of my experience. We went out to a quiet pub where we will not be disturbed and told him all I know. In case any of you readers may benefit from what I had to say, I record my thoughts here:

First of all you must remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression. The way you appear when another person first sees you is what will stick in their mind as a first impression. Any subsequent meetings will be a second, third or more impressions. That is if you are fortunate enough to go on another date with that person.

So bearing this in mind, make sure that the first impression is what the other person will remember. A flamboyant tie, a handkerchief in the top pocket of your jacket, or a cravat round your neck are all examples of a first impression. Personally, I have found that wearing underpants on my head really hit the mark when I used to date.

Making conversation is also important to get to know the person you are dating. Ask the lady you are with questions and show interest in her answers. Women generally like to talk about themselves. No woman has ever said, "What a bad date that was. All I did is talk about myself!"

Ask deep meaningful questions, this will make you know your date better and, should you be fortunate enough to have another date you can use that information to good effect.

Questions which in the past I have found effective are:

What is your favourite colour?

Do you like ants?

What is your opinion about investing in the automotive industry as opposed to banking or insurance?

If the person you are with happens to be Catholic; ask her what she thinks of Vatican II. Otherwise, ask her if she believes there are animals in Heaven; and if so, what would she say when she came face to face with the Sunday roast admonishing her for having eaten it.

I once asked a lady whether she liked ants, and used that information when we subsequently went on a picnic in the park by taking with me a can of ant spray. Unfortunately some spray went in her face and I had to rush her to hospital. I never saw her again after that.

Another lady told me her favourite colour was red. On a later date I met her wearing a red nose like a clown. This is because our local gas station shop did not have any red roses; so I thought a red nose would do. I never saw this lady either after that.

Always be careful about what you order during the meal. Some foods are a real no no on a first date. Spaghetti is a good example because as you slurp the long snake like pasta you risk showering her with splatters of tomato sauce. Also, be careful not to order a whole poussin (small chicken), or half a chicken. They are notoriously difficult to cut, especially if you have a blunt knife, and they are likely to slide all over the plate or even fly off the table. This happened to me once when the chicken flew right onto the floor and a passing waiter got his foot caught in the large aperture at the bottom of the bird. He walked away with my meal in his foot, and the lady I was with thought I had already eaten the whole bird bones and all.

Also, be very careful not to order foods that have a special connotation in peoples' mind. Venison for instance reminds people of Bambi; or at Christmas of Rudolph and his companions. Rabbit remind them of a pet rabbit they may have had as a child, or some cartoon character or other like Bugs Bunny; or in the case of duck, of Daffy Duck or Donald Duck.

Ordering of food is such a delicate subject full of elephant traps and you can so easily get it wrong and upset the young lady you are dating. That is why I always take my dates to a fast food outlet where they can have a hamburger and French fries, or if she is a vegetarian she can have a fish cake in a bun or a salad sandwich. It is cheaper too than a proper restaurant and you can flamboyantly pick up the whole cost of the meal.

Ordering drinks on a first date can also be tricky. These days there are so many different cocktails with confusing names that you can easily order the wrong thing without meaning to. And then there's the wine list with just as confusing names like Chateau Expensive or Chateau Exorbitant; which to be honest all taste exactly the same and the only difference is the label on the bottle and the price thereof. That's why I always go to a fast food outlet where the milk shake, or the fizzy drinks prices are reasonable. Be careful, however, not to drink too many fizzy drinks as you'll need to go to the bathroom during the meal  giving your date an opportunity to escape.

Finally, be a gentleman and after the date never let the young lady go home alone. That's why I always go on first dates with a bicycle meant for two.

Hence the song:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do
I’m half crazy over the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet
Upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

Monday 20 May 2019

Fred's Fertile Fish

Years ago, when I lived in London, I rented a room in a large house in a well-to-do part of this Capital city.

My landlord lived with his wife upstairs, and I had a room and small area comprising of a kitchen and bathroom downstairs.

My Landlord, Fred by name, (to protect his true identity of Frederic Banksworthy), was something important in the City. Finance I believe it was. I never quite understood what he did, but he mentioned things like debentures and loans and so on. At first I thought he meant dentures and he was some sort of dentist. But he looked down at me from on top of his spectacles and said, "No young man ... I am talking finance here, not false teeth!"

Anyway, Fred was a posh sort of man and everything he had was top quality and of the best. I recall once he and his wife invited me upstairs to their part of the house for Sunday lunch. There were so many bits of cutlery, (all real silver), on the table that I did not know which to use first. I am very common you understand, and had never heard of asparagus or  Lobster Thermidor, whoever he is.

One Saturday morning a group of workers turned up at the house with a huge digger and started making a big hole in Fred's front garden. He was there, supervising the work like a proud Roman Emperor building his latest mansion. I asked him what was going on and he said, "Wait and see!" as he touched the tip of his nose with his index finger.

Eventually, the workers had built a large pool in the front garden. Not the sort of pool you would swim in - it was about five metres in length and say four in width but only two metres deep.

The intention was that he would put in it some fish which would swim serenely and make him happy every morning and evening as he went and returned from work.

"It will raise the tone of the neighbourhood!" he said to me as he stood next to his wife with a proud smile as a new parent welcoming his new born child.

Once the fish where in, he covered the pool with a thin yet sturdy wire net to keep away prowling birds. I am not sure what he expected to find in London. The last time I checked we had a shortage of sea eagles, cormorants, seagulls, herons, or any kind of fish-eating birds. The best we had were sparrows, robins and wrens; all of whom would need the help of a crane to lift a goldfish from the pool considering the birds' size.

Anyway, Fred and wife were proud of their dozen swimming offspring and did not miss an opportunity to tell everyone about them. I saw them many times talking to neighbours, and when friends visited them, proudly showing off the pool and goldfish to all and sundry.

And that's when I had this silly idea. Let me explain that the goldfish were ordinary fish. Nothing special. The sort of fish which you can buy at any pet shop for a few pennies ... which is what I did!

At first I bought just three. I got them home without anyone noticing me; and at night, when everyone was asleep I got out and put the three fish in the pool.

Imagine Fred's surprise when he set off to work the next morning. I hid behind the curtain and watched him. He stood by the pool as always, then suddenly the wheels started turning in his brain. He stuck out his index finger towards the pool and counted the fish. There were now fifteen. Three more than the previous day. He counted them again. Then he went in upstairs and I heard him telling his wife. They thought their original fish had new babies. They were elated by the good news.

As he came down again I pretended to go to my kitchen. He told me all about his new babies. I congratulated him on being a parent once more.

That night, I added another three similar goldfish to the pool.

Fred was over the moon at the fertility of his children.

The next night I added three more. He could not believe his eyes having counted the twenty-one fish over and again.

That's when I stopped playing my silly game. His fish all lived happily together for a long time.

And I never told him what I had done.

Sunday 19 May 2019

More Questions Than Answers

In life, there are often more questions than answers. And that's what keeps me awake at night. I lie there pondering and wondering the answers to so many questions on my mind. Perhaps you can help me solve some of them.
Why is it when you pour yourself a cup of coffee and stir it sometimes the bubbles of air gather in the middle of the cup, and sometimes they go on the edge of the cup?
When you open the window in your house in winter, does the cold air come in the house, or does the warmth escape outside?
Do fish ever get thirsty and need to drink?
Does the earth rotating round slows down the bigger the world population? Over the years many people have been born, died, and buried. Surely this must add weight to the earth.

(Men only)
Is it better to sleep with your beard above or below the bed covers?
Every time we have the Olympic Games athletes get better and better and break new world records at running. Does this also apply in the animal world? Do animals get faster year on year compared to animals in years gone by?
Do animals and birds have different accents depending on where they are from?
Is the zebra white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?
Do zebras need/have horse shoes?
Domesticated horses are fitted with horse shoes for protection.
How about wild horses? Don't they need protection too?

Why is abbreviation such a long word?

If a tree falls in the forest
and there is no one there
to see it.
Does it still remain upright?
At what time do you have to leave home
to get to the forest
before the trees get there?

Who first thought of,
in video cartoons,
having a character run at speed off a cliff,

hanging there in mid-air for a few seconds,

moving his legs fast, and then,
fall when gravity does its thing?

I've tried this several times
ended up with great pain and bruises.

What is the point
of burying a time-capsule
so that future generations might learn about us; 
if it contains a video on Betamax tape?


You are on a luxury cruise in the 

A passenger falls overboard and
is drowning.

Do you:

A: Make a video with your cell-phone?


B: Take better quality photos with your camera?

Can you please help answer some of these questions?

Thursday 16 May 2019

Laugh N Pray


A unique book combining both the author's sense of humour with his devout beliefs as a Christian.

A leisurely read whenever you need cheering up or just for inspiration at times of prayers.

Share in the author's zany, peculiar, sense of humour, as he makes you smile, giggle or laugh.

But more important, consider the more serious Christian articles which will hopefully make you think about your personal relationship with God your Creator.

The Christian articles ask serious questions like: Why did Jesus have to die and suffer for our sins to be forgiven? Could God not have forgiven us without the need for this cruelty and sacrifice?

How did man get to believe in God in the first place? What led humanity to the conclusion that God exists? Is Jesus God? 

Why does God test us if He already knows how we will react and respond to temptations and difficult situations?

What is true forgiveness? What if the other person does not want to be forgiven? 

The mix of funny and serious will keep you guessing what's coming next as you turn each page.

Modestly priced. Buy two copies and read them in stereo.

This book has been written slowly and carefully to cater for those readers who cannot read fast.

Contains words from the English dictionary placed in a particular order to make sense - or not.

Can be read by daylight or with the aid of artificial light where available.

Kindle version available for those who would rather not throw the book away after use.

This book is suitable for Christians and non-Christians. God will see it gets in the right hands.

Available from Amazon or from Amazon as well as from Amazon.


Wednesday 15 May 2019

Heavenly Verdict

A man dies and goes to Heaven.

He is surprised to be lead into a well-furnished room where St Peter is sitting at a large desk in front of a computer.

St Peter invites him to sit down and taps his details into the computer.

“I’m surprised to see a computer here,” says the man hesitantly, trying to make polite conversation, “I thought you’d have a big book with parchment paper and all our names written there …”

“Oh … that’s a common misconception,” replies St Peter, “we replaced the big books years ago … they were a bit unwieldy and heavy … and they were a bit slow to use … you know what it’s like … searching pages after pages for someone’s name …”

“Yes …” says the man nervously, “computers are much faster …”

“They sure are …” smiles St Peter clicking away on the keyboard, “a few key strokes here and there and we have all the information we need on view … the whole of one’s life is here for me to read …”

“Does the computer ever go wrong?” asks the man, sweating a little with concern about his prospects of entry, “I know they often went wrong on earth …”

“Oh yes …” replies the Saint chuckling quietly, “computers are computers whether on earth or here in Heaven … it’s just a machine … and all machines go wrong now and then … not like a book … what is written there remains there … unless it is altered or the page is torn away … which is obvious to the eye … you can easily see an alteration in a book …

“But computers sometimes freeze up … or play up every now and then and you can’t move forward to the next screen …

“Thumping the computer on the side doesn’t always work … I find that Control Alt and Delete does the trick. Either that, or I just switch it off and on again … ha ha ha … that sorts it all right!”

St Peter stops for a while chuckling to himself and scratching his long white beard before deciding what to input next on his computer.

“But … but … what if the database is wrong … an input error somewhere in the system …” splutters the man in a panic, “you could send a poor soul in the wrong place by mistake …”

“No one goes to hell by mistake … that never happens,” said the Saint confidently, “we have a fail safe system for that …

“God is supervising every transaction in another room. He has a monitor on His desk and He automatically checks every decision I make here on my computer. He is good that way … and he NEVER makes mistakes …

“The other day I had a guy here who had been a good man all his life. Never broke the law, was faithful to his wife, loved his children, worked hard … that sort of thing … he even went to church now and then.

“But he’d only done one good thing in his entire life … he once gave ten cents to a beggar in the street.

“I didn’t know what to decide … so I emailed God. A few seconds later He replied:

“ ‘Give him his ten cents back and tell him to go to hell!’ ”

Moral of the story:

"Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do." Matthew 7:21

Tuesday 14 May 2019

It's not fair

It’s not fair. Just because I hate my greens I cannot leave the table until I’ve eaten all my vegetables.

It’s not fair. Just because some children did something bad at school the whole class had to stay late and miss a break.

It’s not fair. I can’t watch TV until I’ve finished my homework.

It’s not fair. I have to be back at home by 11 o’clock.

It’s not fair. Just because other youngsters drink and drive, dad will not let me borrow the car in case I have an accident.

It’s not fair. Just because some people went on strike, the company is in financial difficulties and many of us will lose our jobs.

It’s not fair. They’ve arrested a man in the park. They’ve brought Him to court under false charges. They brought forward lying witnesses who made unsubstantiated claims against Him. They then beat Him up, spat on Him, placed thorns on His head, tortured Him, nailed Him to a Cross and killed Him.

It’s just not fair.