Wednesday 31 August 2022

In memory of Father A


Years ago I knew a priest called Father A. He died a couple of years ago and I am certain he is now in Heaven. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, always calm and serene and helpful to everyone. A holy man indeed; and I have based a number of my Father Ignatius stories on this priest.

As a priest, he had contacts with many local charitable organisations and helped wherever he could. At the time, I used to lead a small Christian group at his church consisting of a dozen or so youngsters aged 18 to 21/22 who used to meet weekly for prayer meetings, discussions, sharing meals together and so on. Basically it was a meeting place for young people in a Christian environment.

One day, Father A told me about a small hostel in town for single women, victims of marital abuse, or the homeless or for some reason women going through some difficulties or other. He said there was a woman from that hostel who was currently in prison but was due to be released in three weeks' time. It would be a nice gesture if my group of youngsters would decorate her room. He had discussed it with the hostel manager who agreed the idea.

I told my weekly group and they enthusiastically agreed. One evening we turned up at the hostel and were shown the room in question. In brief, it was very shabby and dirty.

The youngsters decided the room needed new wall paper or perhaps the walls repainted. The wooden window frames too. They said the carpets needed to be taken away and cleaned. Also the curtains. And a new lampshade would be in order. And ... and ... and ...

The first week they quickly got to work stripping away the wall paper and the old paint from the window frames. They turned up every evening or so after their daily jobs and worked for a couple of hours in this woman's room. As time went by the number attending dwindled to a few. Those attending were disheartened to be the only ones there, they chatted for a while whilst doing nothing and left. I was there at all times and was concerned we would not meet the deadline.

The room was now in a worst state than before with walls mostly stripped of wall paper, bits of wall paper and old paint from the window frames on the floor, dust and dirt everywhere, no curtains or carpets or lampshade and so on. 

I went to see Father A and told him of lack of progress and said that I was prepared to hire a professional painter/decorator and would pay him to do the job properly. Father A said No; he forbade me to hire anyone. He told me to let the youngsters get on with the project and if they did not finish it on time at least they would know that they took on a job voluntarily and did not complete it. I reluctantly agreed. Father A told me that if the job is not done in time one of the parishioners would complete it after the woman was released from prison.

As the due date got nearer the youngsters realised they had to work faster. More of them turned up, at times all of them, and together they worked well into the evening. In the corner of the room there was a handbasin and mirror on the wall. The basin was cracked although still functional. There was nothing the youngsters could do about that. I got a friend of mine who was a plumber to take the basin out and replaced with a new one and the area was nicely redecorated by the young people.

The job was completed in time. We never got to meet the woman living in that room; which is right and proper.

The young people, perhaps for the first time in their lives, had done something kind and charitable for someone they did not even know. I'm sure they will always remember that experience. They grew up to be good citizens and parents.

And I learnt from Father A that the best way to teach people to be responsible is by giving them responsibility.

May he rest in peace and pray for us.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Sir Laugh-A-Lot


There was a knock on the door this past Sunday morning. I opened it to find a young, well-dressed man standing there who said:  "Good morning, I'm a Jehovah's Witness." So I said "Come in and sit down." I offered him a fresh cup of coffee and asked "What do you want to talk about?"

He said, "Beats the hell out of me, I've never gotten this far before."


Ron was stopped by the police at 2 a.m. and was asked where he was going at that time of night. Ron replied, "I'm on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late."

The officer asked, "Really? Who's giving that lecture at this time of night?”

Ron replied, "That would be my wife."


Last Wednesday a passenger in a taxi heading for the railway station leaned over to ask the driver a question and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb and stopped just inches from a large plate window.

For a few moments, everything was silent in the cab. Then, the shaking driver said "are you OK? I'm so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me."

The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said, "I didn't realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle someone so badly."

The driver replied, "No, no, I'm the one who is sorry, it's entirely my fault. Today is my very first day driving a cab. I've been driving a hearse for 25 years."


A woman was arrested for shop lifting. When she went before the judge he asked her, "What did you steal?" She replied, "A can of peaches." The judge then asked her why she had stolen the can of peaches and she replied that she was hungry. The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can. She replied six.

The judge then said, "I will then give you six days in jail then."

Before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment, the woman's husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something.

The judge said, "What is it?"

The husband said, "She also stole a can of peas."


I was driving this morning when I saw an Auto Rescue van parked up. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable. I thought to myself ‘that guy’s heading for a breakdown’.


The room was full of pregnant women with their husbands. The instructor said, "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier. Just pace yourself, make plenty of stops and try to stay on a soft surface like grass or a path. Gentlemen, remember -- you're in this together. It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with her. In fact, that shared experience would be good for you both."

The room suddenly became very quiet as the men absorbed this information. After a few moments, a man at the back of the room, slowly raised his hand.

"Yes?" said the Instructor.

"I was just wondering if it would be all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk?"

Monday 29 August 2022

I am very worried ...

Because I tend to worry a lot, I have devised a system to stop me worrying which unfortunately has caused me more worry than before.

I worry about many things which the rest of you may consider inconsequential and not worth worrying about. For example, have I remembered to put a piece of cheese in the mouse trap? Have I bought enough apples to make an apple pie? Is wearing a brown tie too ostentatious for attending the church committee meeting? These kind of thoughts cause me no end of sleepless nights especially when I have to do something important.

For example, if I have to go somewhere I've never been before, say another town. I usually go there the day before to check how to get there. Which route to drive, where is the car park, or which bus or train to take. That sort of thing. I check the day before having to go to the place in question. It's a common malady, I understand. Once I booked for a group therapy session with other like-minded people. I went to the meeting place the day before and everyone in the group was also there checking where the place was.

For a while I also visited a hypnotist because I was terrified of heights. The slightest height made me panic; like walking on the side-walk rather than on the road itself. The hypnotist would put me in a trance and when I woke up I was on something high. Like the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, the leaning Tower of Pisa and such like. I had to give up the treatment because of the costs involved. Not once did he put me on top of a cupboard or a tree in his garden. 

Anyway, I digress, as I am liable to do to add amusement to my otherwise tedious stories.

As I was saying before I interrupted myself; I have devised a system to stop me from worrying, or at least to curtail a little my tendency towards despondency and despair. 

I have designated a room in our house as the "Worry Room". I have promised myself that I am not allowed to worry about anything ever unless I am in the Worry Room. If a negative thought crosses my mind as I am nonchalantly crossing the road, or otherwise engaged in non-worrying activities, I quickly dismiss it out of my mind and leave it until I am at home and in the Worry Room whereupon I consider its anxiety levels.

This system has worked for about a week or so. I purposely concentrate on dismissing any worrying thoughts until I am in the Worry Room when I deal with them in order of seriousness and impending doom. 

I have made a little notice saying "DO NOT DISTURB" which I hang with a piece of string to the door handle and it stops the family coming into the Worry Room when I'm inside worrying about the price of carrots, and how will we feed our pet rabbit, and will it affect his eyesight and we'll have to take him to the optician. Does an optician cost more than the carrots anyway?

One day, in a state of extreme worry, I absent-mindedly took the notice with me in the room and hanged it on the inside door handle. I could not get out of the room because I did not want to disobey my own edict not to open the door and disturb whoever is on the other side. I had to shout for a family member outside the Worry Room to open the door and let me out.

However, the worrying problem is now worse because I have now lost the key to the Worry Room. I just cannot remember where I last put it and where it could possibly be. I have searched all over the place with no success. I'll admit I am worried about the situation but I cannot worry about it properly because I cannot enter the Worry Room in order to deal with this particular worry.

I'm sure you can understand my dilemma. How can I worry about the lost key when I am not in the Worry Room to worry about it?

I can't climb through the window because of my latent fear of heights. The last thing I need now is another course of hypnotism which will take me all over the world. 

Any suggestions?

Sunday 28 August 2022

Where there is Faith ...


Mark 9:16 onwards.

I recommend you read this Bible passage as it has a lot for us to learn. Here's a summary:

There was a man with a son possessed with an evil spirit. He said to Jesus, "I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit but they could not!"

The child was brought to Jesus and having explained about his condition since childhood the man said, "If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us!" 

"If You can?" echoed Jesus. "All things are possible to him who believes!"

To which the man responds the immortal words, "I do believe; help my unbelief!"

These words were spoken as a prayer for us. How often do we get into a situation where our faith falters and we're not sure what to believe any more? There is no shame in turning to God and saying honestly, "Help me God ... I don't know what to believe!"

Jesus was impressed by the man's honesty and He healed his son.

But the story does not end there. Later, the disciples asked Jesus, "Why could we not drive out the evil spirit?" 

Jesus answered, "This kind cannot come out, except by prayer."

I think what Jesus is teaching us here is true faith. We may pray and pray, but are our prayers accompanied by faith? Do we truly believe that God will answer them positively?

Whilst the disciples of Jesus could not at the time drive out the evil spirit, later on we learn that they too performed many miracles.

In the book of Acts Chapter 3 we read that as Peter and John went into the Temple to pray they met a man at The Beautiful Gate who had been lame all his life. The beggar expected money from the two apostles. Peter turned to him and said, ‘I don’t have silver or gold. But what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth get up and walk!’ and the man was healed.

The important thing to note here is that Peter said ‘in the name of Jesus Christ get up and walk.’

It is God, through Christ, who performs miracles and not the disciples or the apostles or any of us.

Later on in Acts 5 Verse 12 we read that many miracles were performed by the apostles. Sick people lay in the streets so that Peter’s shadow would fall upon them and heal them. And indeed many were healed.

Even today, miracles happen in the name of God through Christ.

All we have to do is believe in an unbelieving world.

Saturday 27 August 2022

Help me ... I'm irresponsible


Yes ... help me ... I am irresponsible ...

How many people would own up to that? We seem to be living in a society that blames everyone else for our failings and do not accept responsibility for our actions.

The other day on TV an overweight person was blaming her parents for feeding her well when she was a child and that's why she developed a habit of overeating.

Do you remember in old black and white films when a guy has had too much to drink the barman would say, "look pal, I think you've had one too many"? I wonder if this really happens in real life. Has a barman ever told a client to stop drinking? Has he the moral (or legal) duty to do so? Any ideas?

How about extending this to other trades? If an overweight person goes to a fast food restaurant for a hamburger and French fries, or for a pizza; should the shop assistant say, "look fathead, I think you've had too many fattening foods. Go on a diet!"

Or if someone goes to a shop to try on a dress or a pair of trousers, should the assistant say, "you're well and truly oversized, have you tried the tent maker next door?"

Or, "clearly you have elephant sized feet, why do you want to wear a Size 3 pair of shoes just because you like the colour?"

"No Sir, this tie makes you look like an idiot and does not match the shirt you intend to buy! You have the sartorial elegance of an ostrich in a tornado."

"Why at your age do you want to buy such a fast sports car? It will not attract the ladies because you're ugly anyway and the only thing you'll attract at this speed is an appointment with a hospital or undertaker."

I'm sure you can all think of other examples where people need some advice or assistance because they cannot possibly decide for themselves.

Over to you for suggestions ... ... ...

Friday 26 August 2022

Radio Talk-In


Radio Presenter: Hello and welcome to Blah Blah your favourite program. We have on line one Bernard from Bournemouth ... you're on the air ...

Bernard: It's about all those wind turbines all over the place. They don't go round fast. How much electricity is being wasted making them go round slowly and they make no air whatsoever in hot days like today.

Presenter: That's right Bernard. They're a complete waste. I get more air here in the studio from a small electric fan. Battery operated too. We have Cheryl from Chesterfield.

Cheryl: I agree with Bernard. Those turbines are also dangerous to birds who bump into them and die. Why can't they make them in colour like red, and pink and violet so they could be seen?

Presenter: What a brilliant idea Cheryl. And at night they could have lights on them so bats and owls can see them. Brilliant. We have Donald from Doncaster.

Donald: It's about driver-less cars. What is the point of having cars with no one in them? If there's going to be someone in them he might as well drive the thing.

Presenter: Good point well made, Donald. The only reason to make a car is to have someone in it. I don't see the point of cars driving around with no one in them. We have Evelyn on the line from Exeter.

Evelyn: Why is it when I used tomato ketchup there's always a bit stuck at the end which will not come out? What's that about?

Presenter: Yes, that annoys me too. I think we should get a refund from the manufacturer. After all, we pay for a full bottle of ketchup and there's a couple of ounces at the end that never comes out. Fred from Farnborough is on the line ...

Fred: Is Sue there?

Presenter: Sue who?

Fred: Not Sue Who ... Sue Dennis ... Is she there?  

Presenter: There's no one here of that name.

Fred: Are you sure?

Presenter: Sure I'm sure ... look ... I'll turn the microphone all the way round ... 360 degrees ... you can see there's no Sue Dennis here. Maybe you got the wrong number.

Fred: No I haven't. Sue does not have a phone ... she left me. She says she doesn't love me any more.

Presenter: I can't see why, Fred. You seem a sensible young man. Intelligent and all. Ringing a radio station and expecting your girl-friend to be there. That's the first thing I would have done had my wife left me. But then, she works as a radio producer ... my wife. We have George from Grantham on the line.

George: Hello ... can you help me with my one word crossword? One across - first letter of the alphabet. One down the indefinite article.

Presenter: Sorry George. That's all the time we've got this week. See you next week on Talk-In Radio folks. Byeeeee ....

Thursday 25 August 2022

Dystopian Future World


There are a lot of films on TV about a dystopian future world. I had to look up the word dystopian:

relating to or denoting to an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice - the dystopian future of a society bereft of reason.

Basically it describes a world after we have blown each other up with nuclear weapons, or after a major disaster like global warming or total lack of ice cream or something terrible like that. In that world, few people survive and, according to the films, they live in wild small gangs fighting each other like wolves and scrapping for every bit of food or clean water to drink. 
I would hate to live in such a world, wouldn't you?
If I were that unfortunate to be there I would try to earn a living by making ladies razors because, according to the films, the women all have their under-arms shaved. Their clothes may be dirty, and their hair unkempt, but their underarms are always shaved. Their legs too. The men invariably grow beards over time, and wear indestructible trousers that do not rip or tear at the back, and with unbreakable zips; yet the women always have shaved underarms. How do they do that? 

I think I'd either make ladies' razor blades or men's trousers. Blades are easier, all you have to do is sharpen a piece of metal.

What would you do to make a living in such a world? Make toothpaste perhaps? The people in the films may be ragged and dirty but they all have bright clean teeth.

Wednesday 24 August 2022

The One-Liner Cruise


My poor knowledge of Greek mythology has always been my Achilles elbow.

My fear of moving stairs is escalating.

Singing in the shower is fun until you get soap in your mouth. Then it’s a soap opera.

The inventor of the throat lozenge died last month. There was no coffin at his funeral.

My friend worships exhaust pipes, he’s a catholic converter.

Yesterday I went to the corner shop – bought 4 corners.

I told my wife that what she is wearing is inappropriate for gardening. But she’s digging in her heels.

My boss calls me "the computer". Nothing to do with intelligence, I go to sleep if left unattended for 15 minutes

What is the most important thing to learn in chemistry? Never lick the spoon.

Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?

When life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.

Light travels faster than sound, which is the reason that some people appear bright before you hear them speak.

Maybe if we start telling people their brain is an app, they’ll want to use it.

It was an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.

My boss told me to have a good day, so I went home.

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got fired. I just couldn’t concentrate.

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.

I decided to sell my vacuum cleaner. It was gathering dust.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Casual Conversation



Sophie: I see you met Bernard, our new computer programmer ...

George: Yes ... I gave him a ride home in my car yesterday. He invited me in for a coffee ... remarkable man.

Sophie: I hope he settles in quickly, it's going to be a busy few weeks with the project he's on.

George: He's got a young family, you know.

Sophie: You met them?

George: Yes, I met his wife and three children ... two are theirs actually. What I mean is that they have a boy and a girl aged ten and eight. And they have also adopted a young girl aged six.

Sophie: That's unusual ... adopting when they already have children. 

George: That's what I thought. The young girl is very disabled. She is in a wheelchair and has difficulty speaking and hearing properly. They are devoted to her. She needs constant attention and Bernard's wife has given up work to look after her. The children help too ...

Sophie: That's amazing. 

George: That's what I thought ... what a remarkable couple. I felt so humbled by being there. I hardly know them but they've gone up in my estimation ...

Sophie: Did you tell Bernard how you felt?

George: Of course not ... you don't talk like that to a man. I just smiled benignly and said 'hello' to the young girl ... and then I left.

Sophie: Perhaps you should mention it to him sometimes ...

George: Not a chance ... men talk about football, or cars or such things ... I just felt humbled as I said ... and such a fraud.

Sophie: What do you mean?

George: Well ... here I am ... everyone here knows I am a practising Christian ... I'm on the church committee and all that ... but I could not do something like that. Adopting a disabled child and devoting my life to her. And my wife giving up work to look after her.

Sophie: That does not make you bad ... each one of us does whatever we can in life. I'm not religious, but I don't consider you bad because you're different from Bernard ... 

George: Well ... I don't know ... ...

Monday 22 August 2022

Presents and Gifts


Buying a gift for someone is such a personal thing that we should be careful that the recipient really appreciates what we have bought for them. My books for instance have boomerang qualities in that they can be passed on to others when bought and enjoyed; although most people tend to keep them for themselves. Especially the FREE ones.

Some years ago, after visiting us and enjoying many a rest by the pond in our back garden, when he left Uncle Eric sent us a fish for our pond. It arrived special delivery. It was a frozen salmon. 

In his haste to thank us for a nice holiday he went to the wrong website and ordered a fish from a high class specialist fishmonger. We enjoyed the fish, but never told him the truth. We said his fish was flourishing in the pond.

That same uncle was invited one year for Christmas. In early November he sent us a turkey. Well, not a turkey as such. It was a coupon whereby we go to a nearby farm, choose a live turkey, and nearer Christmas they slaughter it and prepare it and send it to us special delivery ready for the oven. Thankfully, I did not have the children with me. I did not have the heart to point at a bird and condemn it to death. I signed the relevant papers and told them to send me any turkey.

One week before Christmas a parcel came special express delivery. I opened it and it was a leg of lamb. I looked at it once or twice and it was still a leg of lamb. I went out of the kitchen and back in again; it was still a leg of lamb.

I rang the farm. They said they sent a turkey; "are you sure Sir?" she said to me. I went to the kitchen and checked again. Yes, I was sure it was a leg of lamb because it looked like a leg of lamb rather than a turkey which is altogether a different shape.

I then spoke to the manager, he informed me that my turkey had escaped the farm and had an argument with a combine harvester and became ground meat. So they decided to send me a leg of lamb costing more than the turkey as compensation. 

I explained that technically I had not chosen a turkey, so "my" turkey could not have escaped and met his demise against a mightier opponent. 

To save further headache, we accepted the leg of lamb and we quickly bought a turkey from the supermarket. When Uncle Eric came for Christmas we told him this was his turkey on the table.

Another gift I received from someone was a day at a health farm. You start with a sauna where you are boiled alive like a lobster. Then the brochure showed a whole body massage with a photo of a young man lying naked on a table with a tiny towel on his backside and a beautiful masseuse rubbing his shoulders. Knowing my luck the masseuse will be a heavyweight wrestler with a grudge against society. What is it with this fashion of lying naked in-front of someone you never met and have them touch you all over? You don't know where they've been. The brochure also offered a mud bath, or putting your feet in a pool of water and having fish nibble at your toes. I gave that gift coupon to someone else.

And yet another strange gift I won in a competition is a flight on a hot-air balloon. You know the one ... hanging there in mid-air in a wicker basket with a gas cylinder above your head blowing air into a flammable canvass flying just anywhere without a rudder or compass or any means of direction. A modern image of society, I guess.

What if the wicker bottom gave way because of the weight of the people and we all fall down without a parachute? Or if the balloon loses its air ... You know, when you have a party balloon which you blow up and then let go ... and it flies all over the place left and right as it deflates going bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz as it loses air. Does this happen to a hot-air balloon? Can you imagine it flying all over the sky left and right as it deflates dragging people hanging for their lives in a picnic basket? Not for me, I tell you.

I prefer my gifts of the edible kind. Even if it is a leg of lamb pretending to be a turkey.

Sunday 21 August 2022

Does God bless anyone when you ask Him?


Father Ignatius went to the doctor's for his usual check-up. His doctor was not there as he was on holiday, so he was seen by a new young doctor who was there as a substitute.

After the check-up was over and all was well, as he was leaving, the priest thanked the doctor and said the usual "God bless!"

To his surprise, the doctor replied, "God does not exist!"

Father Ignatius hesitated for a split-second and then said, "May He bless you all the same!"

The doctor would not let go, he said calmly, "How can He bless me if He does not exist?"

The priest smiled and walked away without saying a word.

As he walked home to Parish House, Father Ignatius pondered that sometimes in life we meet up with an immovable object. There is no point in exerting ourselves trying to move it. It is wasted effort if it is immovable.

It was obvious that the young doctor was set in his ways. He was sure that God did not exist and would not waste an opportunity to prove his point. The mere words "God bless" to him were just like waving a red rag to a bull. It was a challenge not to be missed. It was pointless debating the issue.

As he approached St Vincent Church and his house, Father Ignatius wondered, "Does God bless anyone when we ask Him? What is a blessing anyway?" he asked himself.

"It is to ask God to look favourably on someone," he concluded. And in this particular case, it is also asking God to have mercy on this young misguided man. Praying that he might, perhaps, with God's grace, meet up with an opportunity to change his mind.

"Our greatest gift to such people is to pray for them," he remarked silently as he entered home.


Saturday 20 August 2022

I don't know how to thank Him


There are times in life when we virtually see the hand of God at work. Perhaps we undergo an extraordinary experience, a major life-threatening illness, or a terrible event for us or a loved one, and we suddenly see God at work. We see clearly things get better, and we relax and take a deep breath of relief.

How can we possibly thank God when something like that happens? When He saves us from the very edge of danger and despair. 

There is nothing we can do to thank God and repay Him for what He has done, and continues to do, for us. No amount of prayers, lit candles or good deeds would serve as a thanksgiving. 

I often think back to the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus. (Luke 17:12 onwards). Only one man returned to thank Him. Let's imagine the scene. Here is a man at the edge of society. Ostracised, excluded for fear of contagion, with no work, no family and friends, and left to starve and die a horrible lonely death. Jesus heals him. 

What can he possibly do to thank Jesus for his healing? No amount of money would be enough to get his life back. No amount of good deeds or prayers or anything else.

And it's the same with us when we see God working in our lives and saving us from horrendous circumstances.

I believe the best way to thank God is to go on living. I'd like to think that the grateful leper spent the rest of his life telling people what Jesus had done for him.

Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness." (John 10:10).

When God saves us from very difficult situations, I believe He expects us to thank Him and go on living a full fruitful life. To be a good example to others, and to live as Christ would want us to. That's the best way to thank God for His love and protection.

It will not fully repay Him; but it will do.

Friday 19 August 2022



Happiness is a song written by American Country singer whispering Bill Anderson. I don't think it was a success in the US; but British comedian Ken Dodd made it famous in the UK as his signature tune and always ended his shows with it.

Here you will see Bill Anderson talking about the song and Ken Dodd singing it. Enjoy.


Thursday 18 August 2022

Vital statistics revealed


I love statisticians. They have a certain way of looking at life and jumping at all sorts of conclusions. I remember a statistician friend of mine visiting our home and within minutes he was explaining what percentage of doors in houses open outwards and inwards, the average number of windows per house, and the size of gardens in relation to the size of the house.

He told me, "Did you know that 50% of people in Britain, that's almost half," he said, "do not care much for statistics!"

I counted myself with the other half.

When I worked in London I had to go to a statisticians' conference. It was for business and we discussed important things like inflation, deflation, and all sorts of sleep-inducing subjects. As we got in the conference centre we were given a fact-sheet detailing how many of the people there were male and female. The percentage of us which came from the finance sector as opposed to construction, manufacture, import/export, from the North or South, from the private sector or working for other industries and so on. It was illuminating if you put it on a bonfire. It's a pity they did not tell us what percentage of women there were blonde, and the name and telephone number of that pretty young lady sitting a few seats away from me.

What is it with statisticians always quoting figures on TV and radio which are of no real importance and can be disputed by another statistician anyway?

Did you know, for instance, that in the UK 13% of babies are conceived in IKEA beds? A figure I cannot believe since those shops are usually well-lit anyway.

Did you also know for example that 9 out of 5 people cannot do fractions?

Statisticians have discovered there's a direct relationship between the number of heartbeats a mouse has in a lifetime and its its size and weight. They then did the same with an elephant and found the relationship/ratio between the number of heartbeats and the size of the elephant to be the same as that of a mouse.

A mouse being small and fast-running has a very fast heart beat. He therefore uses his allotted number of heartbeats quickly and dies in a matter of a few months. The elephant on the other hand has a slower heartbeat per minute and lives much longer. The faster we use our heartbeats the shorter our life would be.

That's why it is good to be overweight and sit in front of a TV with a large pizza and a beer rather than waste our life in doing exercises.
And another important statistics: 70% of visitors to this Blog are new one's who have never been here before. That's good news, but also thanks to all you loyal readers who keep visiting me. Did you know if you all invited new people we'd have more people visiting here? Thanx.

Wednesday 17 August 2022



Sit down and relax. I am about to vent my anger and you're the receiving end of my frustrations.

We hear a lot of moaning and groaning these days about global warming, and the planet overheating, and the melting of the Polar ice cream, and all other dire warnings leading to mass diarrhoea and the sewers cannot cope.

There is an obvious cause staring us in the face and we ignore it.

I don't know how it is where you live, but for many years I have commuted by train on a daily basis to London for work. There are millions doing this journey backwards and forwards each day. Not only to and from London, but I guess also Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and other cities everywhere.

What a waste. Millions of cars, buses and trains going backwards and forwards. Can you imagine how much petrol/gas could be saved if we did not need these vehicle journeys? And how much electricity would be saved if we did not need all those trains?

And let's not forget the cost of heating two premises in winter. Your office, and your home for when you return.

And how about the human cost? Often my train used to arrive at a major London station and I had to run from one train to another platform to catch another train for an onwards journey. We would all get ready for the train doors to open and we'd run like ants to the next platform before the other train left. What does that do to your health every day? Especially if you are elderly and not well. On one occasion I saw a man collapse with a heart attack. Was it worth it?

When I worked in London, in my office there was a desk, a cabinet or two, a computer and a telephone. Oh ... and a chair in case I got tired working standing up. I could have had the same at home and worked just as effectively. In fact for a short period I tried it successfully.

The people working for me had the same equipment. They too worked in small teams but had no reason to be in a London office together. There was no reason for me to be with them or they near me. The work I gave them was project based. They had to do certain things by a certain time at a certain budget. To do this they used computers and telephones. They could have done it from home. There was no need for them to come to London daily. And we could all meet face-to-face once a month or so as long as they bought the beer. 

Come to think of it, there were other people too who could have worked in groups and individually from home. 

The only one who had to come in was the door-keeper. But then, with an empty buiding we would not need a doorkeeper.

If we're serious about global warming and the environment, let us think of obvious and easy solutions which we can implement quickly for the benefit of all.

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Let us have a sober conversation

I'm often (sometimes) asked where I get all my ideas for humourous items from. The thing is, there are various triggering points that happen out of nowhere. For example, I could be in the garden picking apples from the tree, and I see some apples on the ground, and I think of the apple that fell on Newton's head and think:

What if the apple did not fall? What if instead he was sitting under the tree and he was suddenly raised up and his head hit the apple on a branch? Would he have discovered gravy then? What the world would be like without gravy? Eating dried meat or pies. What would an apple pie taste like without cream or ice cream ... ... ...

And so it goes. My mind wanders from one thought to another, and there's no stopping it. Sometimes it happens in my dreams and I wake up and write it down in a notepad.

For example, a young man asks his friend, "Is it all right to talk to my wife when making love?"

His friend replies, "I don't see why not, if there's a cell-phone to hand!"

Meanwhile, whilst I enjoy another single-malt whisky ... ... ... 
-    This is a fine whisky ... burp ... pardon moi!

-    Hic ... yes it is ... made in Scotland you know ...

-    Really? I thought it was made in vats ...

-    Where's that?

-    Vats ... big metal containers. You fill them with water and it turns into whisky.

-    I didn't know that. I always thought it was made in Scotland. Have you been?   

-     To Scotland? Yes ... once or twice ...

-    No ... I meant have you been to Vats? I tried going to Woven once. I couldn't find it.

-    Where's that?

-    It's in Scotland. I had a woollen garment and it said on the label Woven in Scotland. But there's no such place ... burp ...  very canny the Scots. They hide their towns if they don't want you to find them. Like they do with the Loch Ness monster ...

-    Is he in a vat? The Loch Ness thingamajig thing? 

-    I shouldn't wonder ... hic ... here have another drink ... like my aunt Thelma used to say, "never test the depth of the water with both feet".

-    Is that what happened to the monster? And that's how he vanished? Burp ...

-    How should I know? She was very caustic, she was ... Aunt Thelma ... 

-    Thelma? That's a disinfectant or a toilet cleaner isn't it? Good whisky this ...  

-    She died penniless. We had to pay for her funeral you know ... very expensive ... we couldn't afford to pay it all at once, so we paid in monthly instalments. The undertaker said if we miss a payment they'd repossess the body ... up she comes ...

-    I never had an aunt Thelma ... burp ... pardon me again.

-    She used to take offence at everything ... she did ...  

-    I like fences ... they separate people. Keeps them apart. You build a fence and you say ... this side is mine and this is yours. Keep off my side or else ... or else ... There are wooden fences you know, and metal ones, and plastic ones too ... I've seen them in garden centres. All sorts of fences. You can even build a fence between your garden and your neighbours made of bricks.

-    Bricks? If a fence is made of bricks, is it a fence or is it a wall?

-    I dunno ... let's ask them people on the Internet thing and see what they say. I hope they don't take offence ...

Monday 15 August 2022

Come on ... smile a little


I was alone at home with my mother-in-law. While she was in the kitchen cooking me breakfast, I suddenly heard a loud thud. Running in I found her dead on the floor. In a panic, I had no idea what to do. Then I remembered. McDonald's do an all-day breakfast.

(OK folks ... I can hear you moan and say this is not funny. It's just a juxtaposition of the word breakfast. Give me a break. How about this next one ...)

A man left for work one Friday morning. Instead of going home after work, he stayed out the entire weekend drinking with the boys and spending all his wages. 

When he finally got home on Sunday night, he was confronted by his very angry wife. After a while she stopped nagging and said, “how would you like it if you didn’t see me for two or three days?”

“That would be fine with me,” he replied.

Monday went by and he didn’t see his wife. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same result. 

By Thursday, the swelling went down just enough for him to see her a little out of the corner of his left eye.

(Aha ... this one made you smile ... admit it. OK let me try again ...)

A farmer lived alone in the countryside except for his pet dog that he had for a long time.

The dog finally died and the farmer went to the parish priest saying, "Father, my dog is dead. Could you possibly be saying a Mass for the poor creature?"

Father Frederick told the farmer "No, we can't have services for an animal in the Church, but I'll tell you what, there's a new denominational Church down the road, and no telling what they believe in, but maybe they'll do something for the animal."

The farmer said, "I'll go right now. By the way, do you think £500 is enough to donate for the service?"

Father Frederick replied, "Why didn't you tell me the dog was Catholic?"

(OK ... a Catholic joke. I often wonder when in church for Mass why they have two collections. Often a collection during Mass and another at the door as you leave. Once they had three in the same Mass. In our church you can donate weekly by Bank standing order. You tell the bank and they transfer the money in the church account. The church then tells the Inland Revenue how much you donated and the Inland Revenue refunds the church whatever tax you have paid on the donation.)

As the Titanic sank, people scrambled on boats and tried to save themselves. On one of the lifeboats, as it was sailing away, someone suggested they do something religious. So the priest took a collection.

A friend of mine asked our Parish priest, "Father, is it wrong for someone to take money for something he has done which he should not have done?"

Our priest relied, "Yes, certainly it seems so."

My friend then said, "Father, can I have the money back that I gave you when you married us three years ago?" 

(I can hear you think this was terrible. Marriage is wonderful after all, a blissful union between two people without ever a cross word blah blah blah ...

In all honesty, since we got married my wife and I have only had one argument on our honeymoon. Never another. I did not want to interrupt.

Here's a story about blissful married life ...)

A military establishment was testing the resolve and loyalty of its would-be James Bond 007 agents. 

There were three finalists:  two men and a woman.

They took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun. 

"We must know that you will follow your instructions no matter what the circumstances.   Inside the room you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Kill her."

The man said, "You can't be serious. I could never shoot my wife."

They said, "Then you are not the right man for this job. Take your wife and go home."

The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. Everything was quiet for about five minutes. The man came out with tears in his eyes.  "I tried, but I can't kill my wife."

They said, "You don't have what it takes, so take your wife and go home."

Finally, it was the woman's turn. She was given the same instructions to kill her husband.  

She took the gun and went into the room. Shots were heard, one after another, then screaming, crashing, and banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. 

The door opened slowly and there stood the woman, wiping sweat from her brow.

"The gun was loaded with blanks," she said, "I had to kill him with the chair.”

(Come on ladies ... are you telling me you didn't smile? You're a tough crowd today!)

A man constructs a robot that is very human like with all the positive human attributes only better. He is super fast, super strong, intellectual, loyal intelligent, honest etc ... etc ... Basically a human only much better.

The scientists are impressed; but they want to know whether the robot is sentient. Does he know he is a machine, or is he a machine just like any other machine; like a car or a microwave oven?

So they ask him a question the answer to which would identify if he is sentient or not. They ask him, "What makes you different from a human?"

He replies, "I feel the desire to break wind but there's nothing there!"

Make of that what you will. Meanwhile, like Clark Gable, I'm Gone With The Wind.