Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – – Volume 75 – December 2006.


John the Fish is a lovely man. Indeed I would go so far as to say that he always has been. Years ago, way back in the 1960’s and 70’s he sang with a lovely rotund lady from Cornwall called Brenda Wootton. Those of you who have been around the folk scene for a number of years will not need to be told that; but I have a lot of younger readers, together with Americans and others from distant climes, who will never have heard of either of them. Which is a great pity. Brenda died 12 years ago in 1994 and John became a humanist. I visited his web page recently; indeed I encourage you all to have a look > http://www.john-the-fish.co.uk Humanists don’t bite – it’s quite safe to go there.

Well, I discovered this poem hidden away, like as if he didn’t want me to find it or something. Well I found it; and I want (with his permission) to share it with you. It’s called “What am I?”

I was just thinking....
What am I?
When I encounter contentious law, I am an anarchist.
As I witness the waste of war, I am a pacifist.
When the needy knock at my door, I am a philanthropist.
And when the greedy take even more, I am a Marxist.

When disgusted by gross corporate greed, I am an anti-capitalist.
When I clash with the conflicts of creed, I am a secularist
When I subscribe to children in need, I am an altruist.
As I see our beautiful earth bleed, I am an ecologist.

If the charlatan shows no shame, I am a moralist.
As I hear proud patriots proclaim, I am an internationalist
When winning means more than the game, I am an idealist.
When flattered by fleeting fame, I am an egotist.

Until Kings cast off their crown, I am an anti-monarchist
When the loves of my life let me down, I am a pragmatist.
Faced with a forlorn frown, I am a therapist
When my sorrows I seek to drown, I go and get pissed.

As I have faith that, only by working together, will we solve the problems of the world without regard to the supernatural, I'm humanist.

But, as I have made so few plans in my life, (the best-laid plans... Robbie Burns) as I have just taken advantage of opportunities as they arise, I have concluded that I am a serendipitist.


Some of you might like to read the first line of the third verse again.

If you reproduce this, please remember to name the author as being John (The Fish) Langford.

This now brings me nicely onto the subject of re-producing cook books without the authors consent. The free distribution of the Jamie Oliver Cook Book brought a lot of response, as I very much expected it would. First of all I had a lot of people thanking me. From some sources however there was mild rebuking and from others downright indignation that I should be so irresponsible, un-thoughtful etc. I’ve had a couple of letters demanding immediate removal from my mailing list! They’ve both gone – I’ve said my goodbyes.

To the goody two shoes amongst you I have the following questions I would like answered.
1. Have you ever taped a television or radio programme?
2. Have you ever lent somebody an LP or a CD or a DVD?
3. Have you ever lent somebody a book you thought they ought to read?
4. Have you ever offered somebody a recipe that you’ve discovered?
5. Have you ever borrowed any of the above?

If the answer to all these questions is ‘No’ then please feel free to criticize me. Otherwise perhaps you ought to examine yourselves first!

Of course, you might be different. Perhaps there is one rule for you and another rule for the rest of mankind. I’d be interested to know what you think.

To those of you who unwittingly asked me what I would think of people stealing my stuff I can only say: “Take a look art the web site > www.joestead.com” All the songs are there in their entirety. People are free to plagiaries as much as they like. When told by a retail outlet that there was a gentleman in Grimsby who was selling stolen Kimber’s Men songs on E Bay I was to their amazement, actually delighted. If somebody thinks these songs are worth stealing it means we’re reaching super-star status. It means more fans and with it more gigs at better money. And our date sheet is proving this. So one or two people get our songs for free? Who cares? They probably wouldn’t have bought them from us; but now they know what we sound like. Next time we appear in their neck of the woods they might come to see us live. We have one wonderful song written by Neil Kimber ‘Don’t take the heroes’ that already other artists are covering; and soon this song will be available on compact discs by other singers other than Kimber’s Men. Great news! If you want to steal this song and sing it – feel free. It’s sat there waiting for you.

Meanwhile of course Jamie Oliver is a millionaire. I accept that his financial situation has no bearing on the matter. But we’ve all copied, borrowed and lent stuff that is the copyright of somebody else. Remember the borrower and copier of copyrighted material is just as guilty as the lender when he/she does it knowingly.

A couple of thousand years ago there was a man (whom some people actually still worship today) who suggested at a stoning of a young woman that the potential murderers should examine themselves and only throw a stone if they were without fault themselves.

One person without any faults of course is Tony Blair, a man worshipped by many people, whom I’ve often criticized for leading the nation into an illegal war. And I feel vindicated in criticizing him as it’s something I’ve never done; and I’m probably never going to lead a nation into even a legal war let alone an illegal one. So I feel exonerated in doing so.

Rod Little (Sunday Times) came out with a wonderful article in Mid-November and I’m going to re-produce it below. The Sunday Times is worth buying for Rod Little on his own. Of course you can write and tell me I shouldn’t be reproducing this piece; but please read it first as it brilliantly sums up our leader ‘The Right Honourable Tony Blair’.

This is what Rod Little had to say ……….


Blair to Britain; sorry and all that, but I’m a slippery little pleader.

Imagine this. You are standing at a bar having a quiet drink with a friend when suddenly, from the other side, an arm flails around and knocks the pint out of your hand. As you mop the beer from your trousers, you turn around to confront your assailant and, of course, acquire from him an apology and maybe a compensatory pint. Unexpectedly, the man standing before you, looking horribly sincere, is Tony Blair.
“Look, I’m a pretty straight kinda guy,” he says, his facial features transforming before your eyes into that of a grinning weasel.
“You what? Just say sorry mate”. You demand a little icily.
“Look, clearly a mistake was made. But, you know, in my line of work decisions have to be made about where to put my arm, almost every day. Someone’s got to make that decision about my arm. And y’know, I can’t stand here and tell you that I regret moving my arm in a rapid sideways swipe. I had to make that decision and at the time, you know, it was the right thing to do. It’s all very well to look back with hindsight and, you know…………..”
After you have made your way home, still soaked through, you congratulate yourself upon having received a personalized Tony Blair non-apology apology. They’re famous, something to be cherished.
The prime minister has just non-apologised for the war in Iraq. During an interview with Sir David Frost Blair admitted that Iraq was a “disaster”. But did he at any point accept any responsibility for that disaster? Did he regret having jointly instigated the disaster? Nope, not a bit of it. All the fault of insurgents, you see. Who let the insurgents in? Other people. Clearly, y’know, mistakes have been made.
The odd thing is that Blair is extraordinarily good at saying sorry when he is not remotely to blame. He is terribly sorry about the slave trade despite the fact that he has never, to my knowledge, owned an African slave, nor traded in them. (Peter Mandelson may have done, I suppose). He has apologized to the Irish for the potato famine, for which he bears no guilt, and to the Guildford Four, who were wrongly imprisoned on someone else’s watch. He even helped the Queen draft a letter of apology to the Pope for crimes perpetrated in the name of the Church of England – the burning of Catholics, and the like. But he has never set fire to a Catholic, so far as I am aware.
He will be profuse, sincere and groveling in his abasement when required to apologise for the crimes of someone else. And he will wriggle like a maggot on a hook when an apology is required of him for his own epic misjudgments.
There was a beautiful non-apology apology for the absence of WMD in Iraq. Not my fault guv, other people’s faulty information, no intention to mislead, look I’m a pretty straight kinda guy.
Never stand next to him in a pub.
ROD LITTLE – Sunday Times – 19th November 2006.


Meanwhile, I see the Dutch government immigration minister, Rita Verdonk, has been reading my Ramblings just a little closer than her British counterpart. Following last months edition of The Ramblings the Dutch have banned the burka in public places on security grounds. This has apparently outraged Muslim groups throughout the country. In a letter later in this edition Elliot Smaje advises me that “The burqa is what Afghan women were required to wear under the Taliban and which covers the entire body”. Well all I know is the Sunday Times refer to burka, whilst my pocket English dictionary defines Burka as “a long enveloping garment worn in public by Muslim women”. Perhaps Elliott is splitting hairs, but nonetheless his letter makes interesting reading; so don’t miss it. Apparently I should have called it ‘niqaab’ or ‘hijab’. As usual I sit corrected!

I was delighted, and I’m sure you were too, to see that our 36 year old Leeds ‘murderer’ was eventually released from a Pakistani jail after spending 18 years therein awaiting execution for a murder that he was acquitted more than once of doing. He was obviously guilty of course as we all understand there are no homosexuals in Muslim countries so his explanation that the taxi driver made sexual advances to him were obviously a fabrication on his part. How dare he insinuate that the taxi driver who drew a gun to his head wanted a little piece of bottom? Muslims don’t do that sort of thing.

Oh God! I’m being sarcastic again! It’s the lowest form of journalism.

Finally, if you have a pet dog, you might enjoy looking at this

http://www.flyaboveall.com/dogs.htm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.

2006
Dec 2nd (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Matinee and evening)
Dec 14th (Joe) St Paul’s Church, Harrogate Men’s Forum. – Valparaiso
2007
Jan 12th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare
Jan 13th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare
Jan 14th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare
Feb 15th (KM) Darlington Arts Centre, Vane Road, Darlington.
Feb 20th (Joe) St Aiden’s 50 Club, Mirfield, Huddersfield.
Mar 5th (Joe) Rossett School, Harrogate. (Life and times Paul Robeson)
Mar 7th (Joe) Morley Probus Club, Morley, Leeds. - Valparaiso
Apr 16th (KM) Bacup Folk Club, Conservative Club, Bacup
Apr 19th (KM) Black Swan Folk Club, York
May 5th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 6th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 7th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 11th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 12th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 13th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 16th (Joe) Maurice Jagger Centre, Winding Road, Halifax.
Jun 15th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 16th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 17th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jul 6th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 7th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Jul 8th (KM) Jersey Sea Festival
Aug 11th KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 12th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 13th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 9th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 15th (KM) Halifax Traditions Festival
Nov 18th (KM) The Open Door Folk Club, The Royal Oak, Werneth, Oldham.
2008
Feb 24th (KM) Southport Folk Club.


Letters
Hi Joe,
Another good epistle - I don't know what this government is all about - they have certainly given me thoughts about a British government that I never thought I would have - They ALL lie everyone of them - and no one does anything - people who question them on the TV, Radio or newspaper media are made to look like traitors to the country - with that old chestnut - ' that a questioning attitude is letting our forces down'. What a load of complete bollocks - Blair and his right hand man Campbell have let our forces down and sent them to their deaths - whilst Straw, Hoon Becket and 200 others stood by and let them do it.
Only today there is a request for a full enquiry and Blair and Becket have gone into another hand wringing session of "We've had numerous enquires, why do you want another one?"- BECAUSE THE OTHERS WERE FIXED; THATS WHY God knows how they sleep at night.
On the veil - side of things I wouldn't be at all surprised if the story wasn't a smoke screen (no pun intended) to deflect us from something else - You know me too well and you know the way I feel about these criminals who represent this country - what worries me all the time is that no one does, or wants to do anything - what a sad state of affairs it is, when I am banned from Arundel folk club - a club I have been playing for the past 30 years - because I said that because of his lies and this war - I hated Tony Blair - I thought the ban was because I had finished the set - by singing Summertime blues - maybe my Tony Blair statement was compounded when I sang "There aint no cure for the George Bush Blues."
Keep up the weely weely good work
Love sheppo (Woolley).

Hi Joe,
You keep referring to the burqa. I've yet to see a woman in a burqa in either Bradford or Halifax. What we do see here is women wearing niqaab, which are the face veils and hijab which is modest attire. The burqa is what Afghan women were required to wear under the Taliban and which covers the entire body. There are different levels of consequence of appearance and therefore different potential threats - although unlike you I do not feel threatened by this. It may or may not be the case that some women are forced into cover but when interviewed it is apparent that most Muslim women living in the UK choose to veil to whatever degree because of their belief system and values rather than by suppression. I find it difficult to judge an entire religion of millions by the actions of the extreme minority - what you are in danger of, is judging all by the vocal minority who get into the press, which as we should all be aware, has its own agenda.
I understand what you are referring to, but it is generally recognized that the burqa is that garment that the afghan women wear that covers absolutely everything including the whole face and eyes - a single tent like garment - and I have yet to see that anywhere. I think it is important to get this right as it is not just semantics. There seems no doubt that the burqa in Afghanistan has been used as a tool of social oppression for women. In this country that case is not so clear. Women who express their motivations in the media (who admittedly are not necessarily all Muslim women - you would not be able to stand up and say you were oppressed as easily if you were actually oppressed!) say that what they are doing is an open freely made decision to express their desire for modesty and the upholding of their beliefs. As they are often heard to say, westerners do not feel threatened by nuns, why should they be any different? I think it more valuable to learn from how the media is behaving in this situation than how Muslim women are. Daily Mail paranoia can be very infectious if you allow it to be so!
Having said all that, it only seems like common sense for a child to be able to have a full understanding of its teacher. I am sure that even in the strictest Muslim countries women do not cover in order to teach.
But again in the climate, the media make mountains out of molehills.
One need only see how the slightest comment on this issue has been presented as major headlines. As I get older, I find it more important to observe the media than the issue itself, as for me, they are increasingly the issue.
As to 'looking like a tent' - why have such a hang-up about it? Is it in some way worse than the appearance of drunken young people on a Saturday night in Halifax? Minus 10 and no clothes on! In times past some women were judged by some men as prostitutes by the way that they dressed (I recall this being an issue at the time of the Yorkshire Ripper) - which by modern standards was positively nun-like. Again shouldn't women be allowed to dress how they want, however daft I may think they look? I am sure they think the same about this long haired hippy! It's all relative. For me veiling does not project a threat of attack - military uniforms I find a little more obvious.
Glad I had something to rant about this month - I feel much better now!
Elliot Smaje
PS. Thinking on from what I wrote above, it occurs to me that what we witness as outsiders of Islam and indeed any other religion, is how they interact with those from outside their own beliefs. What we never witness, is why people choose their beliefs and how they enact them. It is to be hoped that the true foundations of most religions is something that provides love, beauty and wisdom as their basic tenets. I suspect that we would see more of this from within the Islamic world if it didn't feel so threatened by the power-brokers of the west.
I hope the irony of an atheist Jew defending religion is not lost on you! Isn't it odd that a Jewish atheist who has no belief in Islam at all finds himself defending aspects of it? The one thing I definitely do uphold is the right to free speech - something that elements of the Islamic faith could do well to learn. But again as a piece of analysis, isn't it interesting that now we have 24 hour global media, it is very easy for things to be misinterpreted en masse all around the world within minutes. We appear (and I use that phrase with caution) to be witnessing a homogenizing of Islamic thought and reaction to things as a result of a media invented and perpetuated by capitalist culture.
Even 10 years ago it would be impossible for the entire Islamic world to even hear about many things that happen. Now it has the capacity to over-react to the slightest thing that is said and done everywhere. Or is that a media perpetuated myth in its own right too!!
As I said, it is very easy to get paranoid. There is a conspiracy theory lurking behind every corner.


Joe,
Thank you for your latest ramblings; as always I agree with much of what you write. You always put it so eloquently too.
However, one word of warning if I may. Thanks to the attachments, your recent distributions have been rather larger than normal and - for primitives like me who don't have Broadband yet - they can take a long time to download.
May I suggest that instead of attaching large slide shows or similar, you could just have a pointer to them in your letter, and we can then look at them on the web if we want to?
I hope you don't mind the suggestion; keep up the good work.
Best wishes,
Paul Barnetson.

The following is an open letter from Michael Moore published on the day power moved away from Mr Bush

November 8th, 2006
Friends,
You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from control of the House of Representatives. And, sometime today perhaps, we may learn that the same miracle has happened in the Senate. Whatever the outcome, the American people have made two things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent shock waves throughout Washington -- and a note of hope around this troubled world.
Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw it up. Big Time.
They helped Bush start this war, and now they should make amends.
But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our side -- the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of other countries.
This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all the time you gave this week to get out the vote. Some of you have been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10-20% of the country agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful feeling.
A woman, for the first time in our history, will be Speaker of the House.
The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since... ever. And on and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to the majority.
If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter to both of your senators and your member of Congress <http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/>
and tell them, in no uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war
-- and don't let George W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.
Congratulations, again! Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do the job we've sent them there to do.
Yours in victory (for once!),
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com <http://www.michaelmoore.com/>
P.S. Thanks for all those photos you sent me of you with your brooms at your polling places. They're still coming in and we're posting them here <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmflint/> throughout the day. And for those of you who asked how "Sicko" is coming along, the answer is: better than we ever expected! We're hard at work in the edit room and it will be in theaters in June. Thanks again, everyone, for your support.

Funnies
An elderly man in Florida had owned a large farm for years. He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some orange and peach trees. The pond was ideal for swimming, although he rarely did that anymore.
One evening he decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five- gallon bucket with which to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a
bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.
He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.
One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"
The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or to make you get out of the pond naked."
Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."


Liverpool Love Story
A young woman in Liverpool was so depressed that she decided to end her life by throwing herself into the Mersey.
She went down to the docks and was about to leap into the freezing water when a handsome young sailor saw her tottering on the edge of the pier, crying.
He took pity on her and said, "Look, you have so much to live for. I'm off to America in the morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on my ship. I'll take good care of you and bring you food every day."
Moving closer, he slipped his arm round her shoulder and added, "I'll keep you happy, and you'll keep me happy." The girl nodded yes, after all, what did she have to lose? Perhaps a fresh start in America would give her life new meaning.
That night, the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in a lifeboat. From then on, every night he brought her three sandwiches and a piece of fruit, and they made passionate love until dawn.
Two weeks later, during a routine inspection, she was discovered by the captain.
"What are you doing here?" the captain asked.
"I have an arrangement with one of the sailors," she explained. "I get food and a trip to America, and he's screwing me."
He certainly is," the captain said. "This is the Birkenhead Ferry."


Walking Eagle
Invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation last weekend in Arizona, President Bush spoke for almost an hour of his future plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living. Though vague on the details of his plan, he appeared enthusiastic about his ideas for helping his "red brothers."
At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented the President with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name -- 'Walking Eagle'.
As the President departed waving to the crowd in his motorcade, a news reporter asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name given to the President. They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.


Brit humour alive and well
A tourist walked into a Brighton curio/antique shop. After looking around for a while, he noticed a very life-like bronze statue of a rat. It had no price tag, but it was so striking that he decided to have it anyway. So he took it to the owner and said: "How much is this bronze rat?"
The owner replied: "It is £12 for the rat, and £100 for the story."
Well the tourist gave the man his £12 and said: "I'll just take the rat - you can keep the story."
As he walked off down the street, he noticed that a few real rats had crawled out of the sewers and begun following him. This was a little disconcerting, so he started to walk a little faster, but within a couple of blocks the swarm of rats had grown to hundreds, and they were all squealing & screeching in a very menacing way. He increased his speed & ran on towards the beach, and as he ran, he looked behind him and saw the rats now numbered in their MILLIONS, and they were running faster & faster. By now very concerned, he ran to the edge of the sea and threw the bronze rat far out into the water. Amazingly, the millions of real rats jumped into the water after it and were all drowned.
The man walked back to relate all this to the shop owner, who said: "Ah, you've come back for the story then!"
"No," said the tourist - "I came back to see if you've got anything French!!"


One meal only
An elderly couple entered McDonalds yesterday. He ordered one hamburger, one order of French fries and one drink. The old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.
He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering. You could tell they were thinking, "That poor old couple-all they can afford is one meal for then two of them."
As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine-They were used to sharing everything.
The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.
Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."
As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked "What is it you are waiting for?"
She answered

*********
**********
***********
************


"THE TEETH."**


Garbage
A little old lady is walking down the street, dragging two plastic garbage bags, one in each hand. There's a hole in one of the bags, and every once in a while a $20 bill is flying out of it onto the pavement.
Noticing this, a policeman stops her...."Ma'am, there are $20 bills falling out of that bag."
"Damn!" says the little old lady...."I'd better go back and see if I can find some I may have lost. Thanks for the warning!"
"Well, now, not so fast," says the cop. "Where did you get all that money? Did you steal it?"
"Oh, no," says the little old lady. "You see, my backyard backs up to the parking lot of the football stadium. Each time there's a game a lot of fans come and pee in the bushes, right into my flower beds! So, I go and stand behind the bushes with a big hedge clipper, and each time someone sticks his little thingie through the bushes, I say: $20 or off it comes!"
"Hey, not a bad idea!" laughs the cop. "OK, good luck! By the way what's in the other bag?"
"Well", says the little old lady, "not all of them pay."

Tax matters
At the end of the tax year, the Tax Office sent an inspector to audit the books of a synagogue. While he was checking the books he turned to the Rabbi and said: "I notice you buy a lot of candles. What do you do with the candle drippings?"
"Good question," noted the Rabbi. "We save them up and send them back to the candle makers, and every now and then they send us a free box of candles."
"Oh," replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way: "What about all these biscuit purchases? What do you do with the crumbs?"
"Ah, yes," replied the Rabbi, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. "We collect them and send them back to the manufacturers, and every now and then they send a free box of holy biscuits."
"I see," replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all Rabbi. "Well, Rabbi," he went on, "what do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?"
"Here, too, we do not waste," answered the Rabbi. "What we do is save up all the foreskins and send them to the Tax Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick ".


Half a head
A man walked into the produce section of his local Tesco supermarket and asked to buy half a head of lettuce. The boy working in that department told him that they only sold whole heads of lettuce. The man was insistent that the boy ask his manager about the matter.
Walking into the back room, the boy said to his manager, "Some tosser wants to buy a half a head of lettuce."
As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him, so he added, "and this gentleman kindly offered to buy the other half."
The manager approved the deal and the man went on his way. Later the manager found the boy and said "I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We like people who think on their feet here. Where are you from, son?"
"Essex, sir," the boy replied.
"Well, why did you leave Essex?" the manager asked.
The boy said, "Sir, there's nothing but whores and football players there..
"Really?" said the manager, "My wife's from Essex."
The boy replied, "Really? Who does she play for?"


Keep smiling, Keep singing.

Joe Stead