A wry view of life for the world-weary

Category Archives: Humour

Political Pundit Of The Week

So we are to have another general election.

In Isaac Asimov’s Franchise one person, Norman Muller, is selected to cast a vote that will decide who will be the next President of the United States will be. Perhaps we should give Brenda, a denizen of Bristol, this dubious honour on our behalf.

Animals Of The Week

Something is stirring in the undergrowth. The animal kingdom is getting a bit uppity as a rash of stories I came across this week shows.

Firstly, we had two brave bobbies chasing a pig through the mean streets of Redbridge in east London. The pig managed to evade the short arms of the law for a while but eventually captured and returned to the field from whence it had escaped.

Then on Easter Saturday a herd of 60 cows decided to take advantage of the group travel discounts offered by the benighted Southern Rail. They stood on the platform at Hever in Sussex only to find that because of their sudden arrival, the train company had decided to suspend services. They were moved on from the platform and services were restored. I wonder whether they left a deposit with the ticket office.

Then news reached me that April the giraffe seems to have let fame go to her head. You may recall that she gave birth live on webcam. Anyway, she is naturally quite protective of junior and when a vet had the audacity to get too close, she stretched out one of her long legs and gave him a sharp kick in the niagras.


Sign Of The Week

One of my greatest fears is to be trapped in a lift. Imagine being trapped in a lift with a group of competitors from the World Irish Dance Championships.

Belfast is the venue for this year’s competition which comes to a climax today at the Waterfront Hotel. It is a city which has been through a lot and the hotels are well used to having to take precautions to minimise threats and enhance the safety of their guests. The Dance Championships pose a particular problem because the participants will insist on perfecting their Michael Flatley moves in the lift.

The Premier Inn has chosen to take direct action by posting a sign warning guests not to dance in the lift. It points out, not unreasonably, “if you dance in the lifts they will stop moving and you will be stuck here until we can get an engineer to come and rescue you”.  That should do the trick.

Best to give the hotel a swerve followed by a pirouette and a double somersault until the terpsichoreans have disappeared and left the law-abiding, stationary, lift users to go up and down in peace.

Sporting Event Of The Week (3)

TOWT, aka my wife, and I occasionally spend a pleasant weekend in the environs of the beautiful village of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. I have noticed the locals walk with a strange gait and now I know the reason why. It is all down to the ancient sport of shin-kicking, the championship for which has been held on the adjacent Dover’s Hill since 1612.

The rules are quite simple. The contestants stick straw down their trouser legs and assault each other’s shins with gusto. The winner is the last person standing and it is thought to be a variant of Cotswold Wrestling.

Alas, I read this week, the 2017 games, scheduled for June 2nd, have just been cancelled. The organisers cite a number of reasons for the decision including dwindling attendances, a reduction in the number of contestants and increased ‘elf and safety requirements, all of which have contributed to a shortage of dosh to stage this year’s event. The organisers hope, however, that they will be able to stage the event again next year.

As the fates of all of us are in the hands of a group of Alpha males, I have a suggestion. They could all be invited to Chipping Campden and settle the world’s problems with a few bouts of shin-kicking. They could then retire to the excellent Eight Bells and sample some of Hook Norton’s finest. I offer this suggestion to you, Boris, free of charge. Let’s see if you can make a mess of that.

The world would be a safer place and one of England’s finest traditions would be restored. What’s not to like?

Bollards Of The Week

I can’t resist a story involving bollards and Trossachs, so here goes.

If you are a knitter, are you bored with making socks, scarves, jumpers and baby clothes? If so, here’s a novel idea for you – bollard covers.

A circle of 40 knitters have made an Easter-themed cover for each of the 20 traffic bollards to be found in the Scottish town of Callander on the border of the Trossachs, I learnt this week. It took the ladies some 8 weeks and 100 balls of wool to finish the job.

They have form because this is the third bollard related project they have worked on. Last summer they knitted some Minion covers and for the town’s winter festival some on an Olaf theme (me neither).

From the photos I’ve seen they look cute and at least it took their minds off agitating for independence. I just hope they haven’t asked Cadbury or the National Trust to sponsor them.

Graffiti Of The Week

It is gratifying to know that they still do things in Cambridge with a dash of panache. Six new houses which have been built on the site of a pub (shame) in Water Street in Chesterton and selling for around £1.25m a time, have been daubed with graffiti. What is so unusual about what is regrettably an everyday occurrence is that the slogans were in Latin: “loci populum” and “locus in domo”.

Mary Beard – does the media think she is the only one with a working knowledge of Latin? – was drafted in to translate the slogans for the benefit of those who drifted through their version of the groves of Academe without an acquaintance with the ancient tongue. Her take was that it was too lovely a place to be turned into homes.

With vandals like these, Cambridge doesn’t need the services of the self-proclaimed, and to date anonymous, grammar vigilante who has prowled around the streets of Bristol at night for the last 13 years, rectifying the most egregious examples of the blight that is the grocer’s apostrophe. More power to his elbow and step ladder.

Illegitimi non carborundum, I say.

Crime Of The Week

In an age dominated by cyber-crime it is gratifying to know there is still a place for good old fashioned criminal skills. Take the break in at Berlin’s Bode Museum last Monday night where thieves got away with a 21 inch, 221 pound coin worth some 4 million Euros, known as the Big Maple Leaf.

The police found a rope, a ladder, a wheelbarrow and a burning Mercedes in an underground car park and have been able to reconstruct the m.o of the two burglars.

In the three-hour or so window when S-Bahn trains were not running, the intrepid duo ran along some elevated train tracks, put a ladder up against an upper-level window and smashed the glass case in which the coin was housed. In a scene reminiscent of the bad old days of the Weimar Republic, they loaded the coin in a wheelbarrow, wheeling it back across the ladder and down the railway tracks, before making their escape using a rope to get down from the tracks and jumping into the waiting Merc.

Police found a deep gouge near the train tracks which suggests that the thieves dropped and, probably, damaged their haul. The coin many now resemble our new twelve-sided pound coin, the first of which I received in my change yesterday.

Clearly questions are being asked about the adequacy of security at the museum and there are suspicions that it may have been an inside job but whether they get away with it or not, it was a story that warmed the cockles of my heart.

I have it on good authority that the woman in the picture is not a suspect.

Bull Of The Week

Not being a fan of bull fighting, I always raise my montera when I hear of a bull getting its own back. A bull in Mexico City called Caporal certainly got its revenge and I’m sure it was sweet, if a  story I came across last week is true.

Matador, Antonio Romero, was in the ring with the bull, doing his stuff, annoying the hell out of the beast and trying to get it to turn around. Caporal decided enough was enough, caught the matador on the arm, knocking him off balance and proceeded to ram one of his eleven inch horns up Romero’s fundament. According to medics, the horn destroyed Romero’s anal sphincter and very seriously damaged his rectum.

Romero was rescued and is recovering in hospital. There is no truth in the rumour that he is considering giving up being a matador because he finds it a pain in the arse.

As for Caporal, he lives to fight another day.

Toilet Of The Week (9)

I’m back and so much to catch up on.

Excessive exertion is anathema to me so I was quite able to resist the siren call of the beautiful swimming pool in our hotel complex. It seems, though, from a report printed in the American Chemical Society journal that there is another compelling reason to give the pool a swerve – it is being used by swimmers as a makeshift carsey.

By measuring the concentration of acesulfame potassium, an artificial sweetener found in most processed foods and passes through the body unaltered, in the water of two public swimming pools over a three-week period, a team of Canadian scientists have found a significant amount of urine present. Extending their trials, they found evidence of urine in each of the 31 pools tested, with concentration some 570 times greater than in tap water.

Mind you, hot tubs had even higher concentrations, one at a hotel had three times the concentration of the worst offending swimming pool.

It may be that there is something in chlorine that makes people want to go but it gives a lie to the urban myth that there is a dye in the water which changes colour when you have a wazz. You have been warned!

When I do want to exert myself, there is nothing better than a leisurely stroll through an English wood. I have been somewhat surprised recently to see plastic bags laden with some putrefying substance hanging from the branches of the trees, rather like the vestiges of some satanic ritual. According to the Forestry Commission, there is an increasing trend of dog walkers – yes them again – scooping up the dog logs of their pooch, putting them in a bag and hanging them up on the nearest branch rather than taking them to the receptacle at the car park.

The Commission is determined to stamp out this practice and has issued the helpful advice that dog walkers should flick the steaming dog logs into the undergrowth with a stick, ideally, perhaps, into the undergrowth where a lepidopterist like Phillip Cullen is lurking. Cullen has just had his collar felt for unlawfully collecting and killing one of Britain’s rarest, and presumably now rarer still, butterflies, the large blue.

The dog poo wars continue.

Course Of The Week


With time on my hands, I’m always on the look-out for an interesting learning experience. An ad in the ever popular North Wales Weekly News came to my attention this week, offering fart classes. So confident were the organisers that it was going to be a rip-roaring success that they were putting on a repeat event and then a class a week. I was particularly intrigued to find out what the refreshments were – pickled onions or Brussels sprouts, perhaps?

Imagine my disappointment then when on making enquiries, I discovered it was an unfortunate typo. It would have been fun.

So upset am I that I have gone away on holiday. Thanks to the wonders of WordPress’ scheduler posts will appear as normal Mondays through to Friday, but the weekend Of The Week posts will not reappear until 25th March 2017. Contain your disappointment!