Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 87 - December 2007

I remember being told by my mum and dad, when I was a lad some 55 years ago, that the British Police Force was the best in the world. The chances are they were at that time correct, and when I look around the world at the corruption, race hatred, and other forms of misdemeanors that occur in such countries as Burma, Africa, South America, the southern United States etc I’m inclined to believe we are still in the top three or four. The Met is supposed to be the best police force in the world. This must be true – it was stated recently on BBC news! So it makes you wonder just how corrupt and useless other forces around the world actually are.

Now I’m not saying that being a policeman is an easy job. It was never an easy job not even in the sixties and seventies when fitting someone up to fit a crime was a relatively simple thing to do. I don’t have to list the names, although I could mention one or two. The list is almost endless and there will be many people who will have served time that were never freed on appeal, people and names who were never made known to the public. Worse still of course, there are some who have been executed. The jails in Texas are crammed with guys (mainly black of course) facing the death penalty who are completely innocent. It goes on in every country; although less so today thankfully now that DNA has come to our aid.

I suppose one could write a book on the subject.

My old pal Derek Jones, who incidentally lives in New Zealand and has not been seen as being definitely alive since 1963, sent me the following article which apparently appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News, it came to me a day later too from a source in Bolton; so I guess it is going the rounds. So read this first if you’ve not already seen it, and then I’ll come back to the subject in a page or two.

Dear Sir/madam/automated telephone answering service
Having spent the past twenty minutes waiting for someone at Leith police station to pick up a telephone I have decided to abandon the idea and try e-mailing you instead. Perhaps you would be so kind as to pass this message on to your colleagues in Leith by means of smoke signal, carrier pigeon or Ouija board.
As I’m writing this e-mail there are eleven failed medical experiments (I think you call them youths) in West Cromwell Street which is just off Commercial Street in Leith. Six of them seem happy enough to play a game which involves kicking a football against an iron gate with the force of a meteorite. This causes an earth shattering CLANG! which rings throughout the entire building. This game is now in its third week and as I am unsure how the scoring system works, I have no idea if it will end any time soon. The remaining five walking abortions are happily rummaging through several bags of rubbish and items of furniture that someone has so thoughtfully dumped beside the wheelie bins. One of them has found a saw and is setting about a discarded chair like a beaver on speed. I fear that it’s only a matter of time before they turn their limited attention to the bottle of calor gas that is lying on its side between the two bins. If they could be relied on to only blow their own arms and legs off then I would happily leave them to it. I would even go so far as to lend them the matches. Unfortunately they are far more likely to blow up half the street with them and I’ve just finished decorating the kitchen.
What I suggest is this. After replying to this e-mail with worthless assurances that the matter is being looked into and will be dealt with, why not leave it until the one night of the year (probably bath night) when there are no mutants around then drive up the street in a panda car before doing a three point turn and disappearing again. This will of course serve no other purpose than to remind us what policemen actually look like. I trust that when I take a claw hammer to the skull of one of these throwbacks you’ll do me the same courtesy of giving me a four month head start before coming to arrest me.
I remain sir,
Your obedient servant
?????????
C o m p t
Mr ??????
I have read your e-mail and understand you frustration at the problems caused by youth playing in the area and the problems you have encountered in trying to contact the police.
As the Community Beat Officer for your street I would like to extend an offer of discussing the matter fully with you.
Should you wish to discuss the matter, please provide contact details (address / telephone number) and when may be suitable.
Regards
PC ???
?????????????
Community Beat Officer

Dear PC ?????
First of all I would like to thank you for the speedy response to my original e-mail. 16 hours and 38 minutes must be a personal record for Leith Police station and rest assured that I will forward these details to Norris McWhirter for inclusion in his next book.
Secondly I was delighted to hear that our street has its own community beat officer. May I be the first to congratulate you on your covert skills. In the five or so years I have lived in West Cromwell Street, I have never seen you.
Do you hide up a tree or have you gone deep undercover and infiltrated the gang itself? Are you the one with the acne and the moustache on his forehead or the one with a chin like a wash hand basin? It’s surely only a matter of time before you are headhunted by MI5.
Whilst I realise that there may be far more serious crimes taking place in Leith such as smoking in a public place or being Muslim without due care and attention, is it too much to ask for a policeman to explain (using words of no more than two syllables at a time) to these twats that they might want to play their strange football game elsewhere.
The pitch behind the Citadel or the one at DK’s are both within spitting distance as is the bottom of the Albert Dock. Should you wish to discuss these matters further you should feel free to contact me on ??? ????. If after 25 minutes I have still failed to answer, I’ll buy you a large one in the Compass Bar.
R e g a r d s
???????
P.S If you think that this is sarcasm, think yourself lucky that you don’t work for the cleansing department.

It really sums it all up doesn’t it? We have a community policeman here in Sowerby Bridge. Very occasionally I see two of them roaming our streets together. They are completely useless. We also have a lady called Dot, aged about 65, who is our ‘community watch lady’ who walks the streets with her dog about seven times a day. She has more clout with the local yobs than the community police do. But the local lads and lassies still sit on the ‘white wall’ smoking pot behind my house. The pot smoking doesn’t worry me actually (I know a lot of you will be tempted to write to me and tell me it should), but the rubbish they leave behind does. Crisp packets, beer bottles, roaches the lot. I showed the rubbish to our community policemen (who incidentally speaks English with such a distorted Italian accent I have most times to guess what he’s saying) and he completely failed to notice the roaches! I didn’t bother to point them out, it would only have involved a longer conversation that I would not have understood. Anyway, he might not have known what they were. I guess he’ll never make detective! I’ve given up clearing the mess away. I’ve chatted with them on a friendly basis. One of the girls has sung with me in a ‘Valparaiso’ concert and I think they all look on me as some kind of friendly old weirdo actor who occasionally pops up on their television screens. At least that’s how I hope they see me. I’ve asked them to take their rubbish with them and they tell me they will. But they seem to forget at the last moment; perhaps it’s the effect of the dope. Anyway at the end of the day I don’t want my car vandalized. They have already driven one couple across the road to move away, whilst another local has had her car written off. So now I simply sweep the mess into the gutter and leave Calderdale MBC to pick it up on their fortnightly road sweeping roster. It’s the easiest way to keep the peace and as it’s behind the house I don’t have to look at it. You would think that the community policeman seeing the pile of bottles etc piled in the gutter with roaches sticking out of the top would make a connection. Although on second thoughts; perhaps you wouldn’t. (For my American readers – a fortnight is two weeks – a shortening of fourteen nights)

But on a nationwide scale like you, I suspect, I’m very relieved to know that there was no “systemic failure” within the Metropolitan Police which led to the death of Jean Charles de Menzies being shot dead on the tube train in Stockwell Station. Remember the Met? “The best police force in the world” – BBC News. Apparently if things didn’t go tickety-boo that day it was down to bad luck or acts of God says Sir Ian Blair, the Met commissioner. So he won’t be resigning despite the criminal conviction of his force for having endangered public safety, a vote of no confidence in him by the London Assembly and an Independent Police Complaints Commission report which catalogued 19 catastrophic errors on that day alone which led to the death of a completely innocent man. And Cressida Dick who was in charge of the fateful operation, the same one who failed to attend a crucial briefing meeting because she turned up at the wrong venue; well she’s recently been promoted to assistant commissioner. And remember it was Sir Ian Blair who earlier confessed he couldn’t understand why everyone was getting so worked up about the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham. It was him too who suggested that the Islamic threat to Great Britain was greater than the Second World War and then said that the July 7 attacks on London were “nothing to do with Islam”. It has now been established without any doubt that this man is incompetent. He clings to his job because of the support from Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary and Ken Livingstone the London mayor. And he’s head of the greatest police force in the world! Thank God I don’t live in Rio.

I wrote a song about the police once. If you don’t have it on a shelf in your library you can hear it for yourselves at> www.joestead.com . Simply click my picture, click the recording button and mosey the old mouse down to Excuse me Mr Boys in Blue. The song is not aimed at the many good and honest hard working policemen who genuinely try to help the public, because despite all the vile rumours, I really do believe there are some. This song however is aimed at a very large percentage of men who, paid out of our taxes, should be working in the public interest, but who in truth are simply feathering their own nests at our expense. It is not an anti-police song, it is an anti corrupt police song and it’s called “Excuse me Mr Boys in blue”

1. I think about the Guildford Five, though only four of them survived,
Lucky just to be alive,
They wished that they weren't born.
You put 'em down and you didn't care, for fifteen years they rotted there,
That's so much for the oaths you swear,
When you don that uniform.

Chorus
Excuse me Mr Boys in Blue, can you tell me is it true,
All those things they say you do,
And the games you play?
Tell me do you feel alright, when you switch off that bedroom light,
I ask you can you sleep at night,
And does your conscience say?
I'm alright Jack! I'm alright Jack! I'm alright Jack! I'm alright Jack! I'm all right!!

2. Do you recall the miner’s strike, when you came like a bad dream in the night,
Just one side looking for a fight,
It was Nineteen eighty four.
To go on strike is not a crime, all they wanted was their mine,
But I bet you dug your overtime,
As you waged a bloody war.

3. I guess you know what's coming next, yes it is the fairer sex,
The ones who have to pass the test,
By sitting on your knees.
I bet that they're in little doubt, what The Job is all about,
Once you've got your truncheon out,
And they've given it a squeeze.

4. Now I don't want to make you curse, I know that things can't get much worse,
But now we come to the final verse,
About the humans who.
For some strange reason seem to die, when they're locked up in your pigsty
They're always black and I ask you why,
It's never down to you?
© Joe Stead Fore Lane Music May 1997

I remember having a somewhat heated discussion after singing this song in a Manchester folk club a few years ago with a woman who was the mother of a policeman. According to her all policemen were wonderful people who never ever did anything wrong and I should be ashamed of myself.

Take a look at the following web page
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFKJvTOYu0A
You probably won’t know who he is unless you frequented Llanfair Caereinion frequently in the 1980’s when he was a very young school boy. His name is Dean Jones, he didn’t get that wonderful voice from me; but I do take a small credit for inspiring him along his road to stardom. And I’m proud of that. It’s worth a look for the voice alone.

Incidentally visitors to the Joe Stead/Kimber’s Men joint web page has this last month topped 12,000. Thank you!

I’m off to Ireland in a couple of days with Nora, and we are both looking forward to it. Kimber’s Men were in Sixmilebridge in January and it’s a follow up from that. I’ve never played an Irish folk club, so it will be a first for me. We are going to spend a few days their just moseying around south west Ireland.

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

2007
Dec 8th (Joe) Sixmilebridge Folk Club, Sixmilebridge, County Clare, Eire.
2008
Jan 10th (KM) Topic Folk Club, The Cock and Bottle, Bradford.
Feb 2nd (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Matinee and evening).
Feb 6th (Joe) Menston Men’s Forum, Main St, Menston. (Valparaiso).
Feb 24th (KM) Southport Folk Club.
Feb 25th (Joe) Rossett School, Harrogate – Valparaiso round the Horn
Feb 29th (Joe) Ripon Heritage Centre – Life + Times Paul Robeson
Mar 6th (KM) The Railway Tavern, Huddersfield
Apr 3rd (Joe) Bishop Stortford Folk Club, All Saints Church Hall, Bishop Stortford.
Apr 6th (Joe) Walthamstow Folk Club, The Plough Inn, Walthamstow. (Robeson lecture)
Apr 17th (Joe) Lee Mount Primary School, Halifax.
Apr 20th (KM) The Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge. 5pm
Apr 26th (KM) Halifax Playhouse Theatre – recording ‘live’ album.
May 9th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 10th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 11th (KM) Clennell Hall Folk Festival, Alwinton, Northumberland.
May 14th (Joe) North Bradford Retired Men’s Forum - Life + Times Paul Robeson
Jul 4th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 5th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 6th (KM) Cleckheaton Folk Festival
Jul 10th (KM) Darlington Arts Centre
Jul 17th (KM) Gregson Lane Folk Club, Village of Gregson Lane, Preston.
Sep 5th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 6th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (Joe) Leeds North East Probus Club, Oakwood – Valparaiso round the Horn
2009
Jan 11th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare - Provisional
Jan 12th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Festival, County Clare – Provisional
Feb 7th (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax.
Feb 26th (Joe) Chapel Hill, North Carolina. US
Feb 27th (Joe) Pickers Supply Concert Hall, Fredericksburg, Virginia, US.
Feb 28th (Joe) Washington Folk Song Society. US
Oct 25th (KM) Scrag End Folk Club, Shoulder of Mutton, Oakthorpe, Leicestershire


Letters

Dear Joe,
News from Taplas, the all-Wales folk magazine which has been celebrating its 25th birthday: Keith Hudson has resigned as editor, and his place has been taken by Lucy Whitfield, ex-Western Mail journalist, who has made me deputy editor. Lucy is busy working on Taplas 145 (December 2007 to January 2008, the Christmas edition) and is determined to bring out the Taplas editions right on time in future. Both Lucy and I are looking forward to bringing out the best in the magazine, so that we can make Taplas a force with which to be reckoned.
Mick Tems


Dear Joe,
Like you I am amazed that Blair should be appointed Peace Envoy to the Middle East. Who was mad enough to support this? Most Arabs hate his guts because of Iraq. Secondly, Blair's own Special' Envoy to the Middle East was Lord Levy, a well known Jewish red hot Zionist and therefore utterly distrusted by Palestinians and indeed most Muslims. Great Diplomacy? Did you know that Blair has taken a huge block in an Israeli Hotel (several floors) as his base and has hired huge office space in London for his HQ and apparently more than 100 staff?. What is it all for? What will they all do? Why will they be doing it other than mischief? What kind of crooks work for him? Does the British taxpayer pick up the bills? Do we pay for the security? I tremble inwardly at the idea that this poseur, this actor, this proven liar may become President of the EU. I have a nagging idea that the US may give him Hon. US Citizenship. He might then think he is eligible to be President of the US of A.
Today's Telegraph notes that 850 troops are on standby to fly to Iraq over Christmas. During the height of the election speculation Gordon Brown announced that 1,000 troops would be home by the festive period. Yesterday's newspaper reported that 250 paratroopers from the Special Forces Support Group have been warned that they could fly out to Basra. They may be joined by 600 soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Regiments. If they are sent it means a net increase in the number of British troops in Iraq for the festive season. So we have had yet another lie over Iraq from No 10 and a New Labour Prime Minister. Is there no end to the duplicity? Why are the British public not screaming "liars" from the rooftops.
Last Saturday I was in London for the annual Mariners International Club's dinner. One of my guests, a retired Merchant Navy Captain, Falklands medal winner and senior brother at Trinity House, was walking to the dinner venue in the Victory Services Club in The West End. Wearing his mariner's navy coat he was stopped by armed police who demanded to know where he was going and why. Bill asked them why they were armed and stopping innocent Brits going about their business. He was informed that they were protecting Tony Blair's Residence. Bill noted that the police were not entirely polite.
As a member of Victory Services Club I was lucky to have a room there after the Dinner. This West End Club membership is open to serving and ex members of the British and Commonwealth armed services of any rank, even me, I was an AB in the RNVR. The Club has a proud history. I was astonished to find that the staff in the club are now almost entirely not British citizens. They came from Portugal, Brazil, Ghana, The Ivory Coast, Poland etc. Going to reception was like stepping into an overseas hotel.
Next day on my way home I was in London's Liverpool Street Station, it was crowded. I was surrounded by people who were speaking a cacophony of foreign languages, hardly anyone speaking English. I went for some fish and chips for lunch. The man serving was Italian, the girl who served coffee was from Ethiopia, the girl who brought my fish and chips did not speak English. To add insult to injury my fish was decidedly off and I could not face eating it. I felt like a stranger in a foreign land. I do not think that I am prejudiced, my best man at my wedding was from St Vincent, I have worked in some 31 countries around the world and have friends in 4 continents. I do not however, feel happy about today's Britain. A lying government, little immigration control, our language being daily violated and British Servicemen fighting in a war which should never have been initiated. Now Scotland's so called Government plots separation from UK, an attitude assisted by Tony Blair 's ill considered devolution. MP Tam Dayell warned us that it would destabilize Britain. He was also incidentally vociferous in his opposal of the current conflict in Iraq. Thought for the day. An old Greek proverb states that "It matters not to the egg whether the stone falls upon the egg or the egg falls upon the stone". Whatever, Britain as I knew it is slowly being smashed through a curious political mix of ignorance, arrogance, indolence and ineptitude. I am glad that I am 73.
Sincerely,
Eric Cowell.

Hi Joe,
Most of my work is done from home. A very small part is done at various colleges. When actually working from home I always find something to distract me from the task in hand for 10 mins, your jokes and especially the chilly tasting have safely delayed my progress towards real work for a good half hour. Whoever said you were a rambling old fool with no point in life, I disagree, I tell them that I knew the forty year old version, then you could ramble!!!
Fond regards
Tim Justice


Obituary
Mr. Common Sense (From London Times)

'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the
worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; along with his daughter and son, Responsibility and Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.'


Funnies
Some more anagrams for you

DORMITORY:DIRTY ROOM
PRESBYTERIAN:BEST IN PRAYER
ASTRONOMER:MOON STARER
DESPERATION:A ROPE ENDS IT !
THE EYES:THEY SEE
GEORGE BUSH:HE BUGS GORE
THE MORSE CODE:HERE COME DOTS
SLOT MACHINES:CASH LOST IN ME
ANIMOSITY:IS NO AMITY
ELECTION RESULTS:LIES - LET'S RECOUNT
SNOOZE ALARMS:ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S
A DECIMAL POINT:I’M A DOT IN PLACE
THE EARTHQUAKES:THAT QUEER SHAKE
ELEVEN PLUS TWO:TWELVE PLUS ONE
MOTHER-IN-LAW:WOMAN HITLER

££££££££££££££


POLITICAL PACKAGING 1

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: 'Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times.
Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’
Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments.
Hillary's staff of professional image adjusters sent back the following biographical sketch:
'Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his
honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.'


POLITICAL PACKAGING 2.


While out on his morning walk, Ex Prime Minister Tony Blair falls over, has a heart attack and dies. The accident and emergency ward at his nearest hospital has just been closed. So his soul arrives in Heaven and he is met by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates.
"Welcome to Heaven," says Saint Peter, "But before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a politician around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in,” says Blair. “I'm a good Christian; a believer."
"I'd like to just let you in, but I have orders from God Himself. God says that since the implementation of his new HEAVEN CHOICES policy, you have to spend one day in Hell and one day in Heaven. Then you must choose where you'll be for eternity."
"But I've already made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven," replies Blair.
"I'm very sorry ... but we have our rules and bureaucracy." Peter interjects. And, with that, St. Peter escorts him to an elevator and he goes down, down, down ... all the way to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a lush golf course. The sun is shining in a cloudless sky. The temperature is a perfect 21degrees. In the distance is a beautiful club-house. Standing in front of it are MPs from all the years of the Great British democracy. There are luminaries who had helped Blair over the years. The whole set of the Party leaders from the past are there, everyone laughing, happy, and casually, but expensively, dressed. They run to greet him, to hug him and to reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at the expense of the electorate suckers and peasants. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on caviar and lobster.
The Devil himself comes to Blair with a frosty drink, "Have a tequila and relax, Tony!"
"Uh, I can't drink any more, I took a pledge," says Blair, dejectedly.
"This is Hell, son. You can drink and eat all you want and not worry and it just gets better and better from there on in!"
So Blair takes the drink and finds himself liking the Devil, who he thinks is a really very friendly bloke who tells funny jokes like himself and pulls hilarious pranks, like the ones he and Hewitt pulled with the NHS and that hysterical one with Kelly on Education. They are having such a great time that, before he realises, it's time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves as Blair steps into the lift and heads upward. When the lift door opens, he is in Heaven again and Saint Peter is waiting for him.
"Now it's time to visit Heaven," he says, opening the gate.
So for 24 hours Blair is made to hang out with a bunch of honest, good-natured people, who enjoy each other's company, talk about things other than money, and treat each other decently. Not a nasty prank or egotistical remark among them. No fancy country clubs here and, while the food tastes great, it's not caviar or lobster. Surprisingly these people are all poor. He doesn't see anybody he knows, and he isn't even treated like someone special!
"Whoa," he says uncomfortably to himself. "Mandy never prepared me for this!"
The day done, Saint Peter returns and says, "Well, you've spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. You must choose where you want to spend eternity. With the 'Deal or No Deal' theme tune playing softly in the background, Blair reflects for a minute ... then answers:
"Well, I would never have thought I'd say this - I mean, honestly, Heaven has been delightful and all - but I really think I’d be more at home in Hell with my friends. I think that’s where I really belong."
So Saint Peter escorts him to the lift and he goes down, down, down, all the way to Hell. The doors of the lift open and he is in the middle of a concrete jungle covered with garbage and toxic industrial waste, somewhat akin to the eroded, infested areas that Prescott created in the South East housing blight. He is horrified to see all of his friends, dressed in rags and chained together, picking up the roadside rubbish and putting it into black plastic bags. They are groaning and moaning in pain, faces and hands black with grime.
The Devil comes over to Blair and puts an arm around his shoulder.
"I don't understand," stammers a shocked Blair, "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a club-house and we ate lobster and caviar and drank tequila. We lazed around and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and everybody looks miserable!"
The Devil looks at him, smiles slyly and slurs,
"Yesterday we were campaigning; today we've got your vote!"

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

A dad is on his way home a bit late from the office when he realizes that it's his daughter's birthday and he has not bought her a gift. So, he stops at a toy store to buy his daughter a Barbie.
Inside he sees a Barbie display and asks the salesgirl how much the Barbie's are.
The girl responds: 'Which one?
We have:
Gymnasium Barbie: 19.95;
Volleyball Barbie: 19.95;
Shopping Barbie: 19.95;
Surfer Barbie: 19.95;
Disco Barbie: 19.95; and
Divorced Barbie: 299.95
Shocked, the man asks, 'Why is Divorced Barbie 299.95 when all the other Barbie's are 19.95?'
Exasperated, the girl responds:
'Sir, Divorced Barbie comes with':
Ken's Car
Ken's House
Ken's Boat
Ken's furniture
Ken's jewellery
Ken's money
Ken's computer, and ...
Ken's best friend.

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

Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, "We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house." (The Daily Telegraph)

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Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian)

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A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, "This sort of thing is all too common". (The Times)

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At the height of the gale, the harbourmaster radioed a coastguard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. (Aberdeen Evening Express)

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Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue , Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. 'He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.'" (Bournemouth Evening Echo)

Keep smiling, keep singing.


Joe Stead