Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 138 – March 2012

Many moons before I was born there was a land known as Great Britain. I suppose it was a self appointed name because there was a time when Britain ruled a large percentage of the world. Now we are no more than the lap dog of the United States. We’ve been the lap dog for many years, certainly for as long as I can remember. To be fair we’ve never been a very nice race of people, which is probably why we attained ‘Great’ as a part of our name. At least the Americans appear to be nice; I have many genuine American friends; but I do ‘worry’ about their legal system. (I suppose ‘worry’ isn’t quite the right word – I don’t actually lie awake at night – but I can’t think of a better one right now). But I do know there are a lot of innocent people languishing in American jails, a high percentage of whom will be black skinned, and I can’t help but think we’ve just added another to the number this week by allowing Christopher Tappin to join them. He has a point when he claims that Abu Qatada has more rights than he does. We can’t send Abu Qatada back to Jordan because evidence against him might have been gained through the torture of other prisoners, but we can send a true Englishman, who may very well be innocent of any crime, to a country where they execute innocent people. Strange set of rules these.

The Americans have accused Mr Tappin, a former importer and exporter, of trying to sell missile parts to Iran. He claims he is the victim of entrapment. He is accused of attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles that were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands. He was entrapped by US agents who set up a fictitious company to ensnare importers. He claims (and I believe him) he had no idea what the batteries were to be used for. Indeed I don’t think he even knew the final destination was to be Iran. But Mr Tappin will now find himself in an American prison somewhere (probably in Texas) in a country where 85% of the population really did originally believe that Iraq was responsible for 9/11. What chance does the poor man have of surviving in an environment like that? Remember he is 65 years old. Americans have been brain washed by their respective governments for decades upon decades, and it’s not because the Americans are stupid, it’s because most of them genuinely don’t know what is going on outside their borders and are consequently open to the lies they are fed. ‘America the Great’ and all that crap. ‘God bless America’ they sing. Well somebody certainly needs to do so.

If we go back 50 years we can take Paul Robeson as an example of an innocent man being hounded by the FBI who between 1947 and 1956 tried three times to kill him when wheels came off cars in which he was travelling. How many times have you had a wheel actually come off a car in which you’ve been travelling? It’s never happened to me, but it happened to Robeson on three separate occasions. The CIA eventually managed to poison him in Moscow of all places with drugs they were experimenting on for prisoners of war. He ended up in a Russian hospital where doctors found him suffering from ‘depressive paranoiac psychosis’. Shipped back to Britain he was admitted to The Priory, the best psychiatric hospital in England. Here he was given massive ECT shock treatment and the decline continued. (Some of you probably wonder where I’m going with all this – but believe me I’m getting there). It was 1961; and in 1961 we gave Robeson 54 sessions of ECT thus frying his brain. Robeson never recovered, at least not properly. What on Earth were the British medical authorities doing giving Robeson 54 ECT shock treatments? Being the lapdog of the American government, that’s what they were doing. We were the lap dog of the American government in 1961 and we are still the lap dog 50 years later. The FBI and CIA used despicable methods of entrapping people 50 years ago and they appear to be doing the same thing today. How can anybody justify setting up a fictitious company to ensnare importers and exporters if the clients are unaware of the final destination of the goods, and if the clients are unaware of the usage for the items being imported or exported? Seems to me that somebody in the CIA needed some figures to justify their job description. All highly irregular and improper if you ask me.

Mr Tappin I fear for your safety. You are now sitting in a hostile environment where at least 85% of your neighbours will see you as somebody who has deliberately tried to endanger the USA, whilst a lot of their boys are dying in foreign parts chasing a terrorist enemy who incidentally their own country (along with ours) has helped to enlarge. Meanwhile we have a terrorist called Abu Qatada sitting in a house somewhere who, having been released from prison, can’t be shipped back to Jordan because of his civil and human rights. He’s costing you, me and the dog next door £100,000 a week, which is 100 times more than it cost to keep him in the high security cell from which he has just been released. What about our human rights? You and me and the dog next door? Do we have civil rights to be saved from terrorist thugs? Apparently not. But not many people are going to worry overlong about Mr Tappin are they? So lets keep sweet with those nice Americans – and don’t get me wrong here - Fred, George, Bert and Sam whom you meet in Walmart are all lovely people, as are Harry, Bill, Pete and Joe who welcome you into their homes. They are all lovely genuine people. So what happens to them when they get into government?

So Mr. Capello took his bat home. And quite frankly I don’t really blame him. Wherever you might stand on the race row that has been emanating from English soccer this last month, and months before, concerning Mr. Ferdinand and Mr. Terry I’m convinced that a manager’s job should not be undermined by his employers however completely daft or sensible he/she might appear to be. If you are going to undermine the manager then expect a resignation at the very least. Perhaps that is what the FA wanted, although something tells me they didn’t expect it. The hierarchy at the Football association are a bunch of idiots. They’ve been a bunch of idiots for as long as I can remember. Long, long before Mr. Terry did or did not make racist remarks to Mr. Ferdinand whilst running around on a patch of grass in West London. The first big mistake I remember them making was to ignore Brian Clough; let’s hope they don’t ignore our ‘Arry this time around.

Perhaps I should extend my apologies to Mr Broadbent for being anti British and that there is nothing really anti-French in this issue. So to keep the status-quo as it were I will change all Irish jokes to French jokes for the foreseeable future. I’m sure the Irish won’t mind and 99.999999999999999% of the French population won’t know. Finally if you are either Welsh or Scottish please don’t feel ignored; I’m sure you’ll do something really silly soon. We all do.

Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead

Mar 3rd (KM) Recording new compact disc at Foel Studios
Mar 4th (KM) Recording new compact disc at Foel Studios
Mar 8th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Chris Woods
Mar 10th (KM) Oxenhope Primary School, Oxenhope, West Yorkshire.
Mar 17th (KM) Recording new compact disc at Foel Studios
Mar 18th (KM) Recording new compact disc at Foel Studios
Apr 11th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Sam Carter
Apr 20th (KM) Clee St Margaret Village Hall, Near Ludlow, Shropshire.
Apr 21st (KM) Perranporth Memorial Hall, Wheal Leisure, Perranporth, Cornwall
Apr 22nd (KM) Perranporth Shanty Fest 2012 – Cornwall
May 4th (KM) Sheepscombe Village Hall, Gloucestershire.
May 5th (KM) Minstead Village Hall, Hampshire.
May 9th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Martyn Joseph
May 19th (KM) Deal Royal Marine’s Association.
Jun 13th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Flossie Malavialle, Bram Taylor, Will Kaufmann in a special charity concert for Eve Williams.
Jun 22nd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jun 23rd (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jun 24th (KM) Teignmouth Folk Festival, Devon.
Jul 21st (KM) Music on the Marr, Town Foot Farm, Castle Carrock, Cumbria.
Jul 27th (KM) Port Isaac with Fishermen’s Friends – To be confirmed
Jul 28th (KM) Beer, South Devon – To be confirmed
Aug 3rd (KM) Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews, Fife. KY16 9LA.
Aug 4th (KM) Arbroath Sea Festival
Aug 5th (KM) Arbroath Sea Festival
Aug 17th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 18th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 19th (KM) Fano Festival of the Sea – Denmark.
Aug 24th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 25th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 26th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Aug 27th (KM) Shrewsbury Folk Festival
Sep 12th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Brdg - Chris Newman & Máire Ní Chathasaigh
Oct 10th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with Peggy Seeger
Nov 14th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge with The Wilson Family

Sep 6th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival


Good morning Joe
It was not only a great pleasure to hear you deliver the talk on Paul Robeson - it was indeed an honour to be in the presence of someone what had met with him and sung with him, and also with one of my all time hero's Pete Seeger!
I have met up a couple of times with another of my personal hero's Tom Paxton.
Your presentation at Brighouse yesterday was very moving and whilst I have been a fan of Paul Robeson as a singer and an actor I had no idea of the enormous extent of his continuing struggle for Civil Liberties - it was one helluva story Joe - thank you!
It was splendid to pick my way through your website in the early hours of this morning following you giving me your card yesterday
Loved the Kimbers Men songs and thanks once again - please be kind enough to include me in your Ramblings !!
Kindest regards to you
Noel Moroney
Speaker Finder
Brighouse Probus Club

Many thanks for adding me to the mailing list. I had a quick E-mail exchange with David Buckley yesterday, it was lovely having you guys here at the Rose Theatre in Ormskirk. I've just posted a quick note to your facebook, toi toi toi for all forthcoming shows.
Keep me in the loop on forthcoming shows - especially the Liverpool stuff in the summer! As I said to David, I still work in the 'real world' as a freelance sound engineer, so please feel free to keep me in mind for anything you have requirement for.
All the best,
Thom Harrison.

Great audio you attached...
...I'm surprised at you and the breast implant info. I would've thought that, by now, you would've run off an authentic looking certificate of a qualification and gone round volunteering free assessments whether implants were genuine by a fully hands on approach.
Has this opportunity passed you by, Joe? If it has, you're too old, man...
Lee Smith

Hi Joe
My comment on your bit about penis enlargement is 'it aint what you got, it's the way that you use it', "Simple".
I think that anyone who has unnecessary surgery, for anything, probably needs a brain implant anyway!
Hilary Warboys

Hello Joe,
Just can't wait to see the responses in the March Ramblings!
I think this is spot on:- " ...women are much more likely to be bemused by men's anxieties surrounding penis size, than amused by its actual size."
Although I might change the word bemused and insert amused!
I doubt many women give a fig leaf about sizes of penises. I'd suggest it's more about what one does with it than how much one has got of it and most importantly, I think, who is on the other end!
Rhonda Tauman

Dear Joe,
You might not realise it, but the French really respect us Brits as illustrated by this little story.

A young married couple went to Paris for a weekend. Unfortunately, the wife died suddenly of a completely unexpected heart attack.
The husband was, as you might expect, bereft. But as he and his wife had planned and dreamed of this trip for many years, he decided to have his wife buried in France. He had all the dark clothes already for the funeral, but he didn't have a hat, so decided to buy one.
Unfortunately, his French wasn't all that good and he mistook capot (condom) for chapeau (hat.) He asked the concierge of the hotel where he could buy his requirements. The conversation went thus:
Husband: Je veux acheter un capot noir.
Concierge: Pourquoi avez-vous besoin?
Husband: Parce que ma femme est morte.
Concierge: Alors, les anglais. Quelle finesse.

There is also the story of the lady who confused the French words for mattress and sailor and asked in her hotel:
J'ai besoin d'une chambre avec un grand lit et deux matelots.
Seymour Sunshine

Congratulations to Tim Broadbent for his great letter in support of the French. I can’t understand why you Brits are so anti-French? Maybe it goes back to 1066 when they trampled all over you!
Rudy Sunde – New Zealand.

Dear Joe,
My wife was mortified when her PIP breast implant ruptured and began slowly leaking industrial-grade silicone. However, she's now had her nipple pierced and we've been able to seal around the bath and shower tray.
Keith Burge

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year, while a different study revealed that Americans drink an average of 22 gallons of alcohol annually. I regret to report that I am below average on both of these indices, but if you do the math you will see that Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon. Just an average, mind you, actual results may vary, but I thought you should know.
Dan Arcaini (Audubon, NJ. USA.)

Hi Joe
Thanks so much for your ramblings they never fail to tickle the brain or make me think
pleas keep sending.
Love and peace
Charles no longer "Travelling " Fyson


An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, several Americans (including a Southerner, a New Englander, and a Californian) an Argentinean, a Dane, an Australian, a Slovakian, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a New Zealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, a Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, a Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian, a Brazilian, a Portuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Georgian, a Bahaman, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Qatari, an Azerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Kyrgyzstani, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian, a Dutchman, an Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Canadian, a French Canadian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian and 47 Africans all from different African countries all walk into a fine restaurant...
The maître d' scrutinizes the group one by one, and bars their entrance saying, "Sorry, you can't come in here without a Thai."


At a wine merchants, the regular taster died and the director advertised for a new one to hire.
A drunkard with a ragged dirty look came to apply for the position.
The director of the warehouse wondered how to send him away.
They gave him a glass to drink.
He tried it and said, "It's a Muscat, three years old, grown on a north slope, matured in steel containers. Low grade but acceptable".
Another glass.... "It's a cabernet, eight years old, a south-western slope, oak barrels, matured at 8 degrees. Requires three more years for finest results."
A third glass..."It's a pinot blanc champagne, high grade and exclusive" calmly said the drunk.
The director was astonished. He winked at his secretary to suggest something.
She left the room, and came back in with a glass of urine.
The alcoholic tried it.
"It's a blonde, 26 years old, three months pregnant and if you don't give me the bloody job, I'll name the father."


A doctor in Paris wanted to get off work and go fishing, so he approached his assistant.
'Philippe, I am going fishing tomorrow and don't want to close the clinic. I want you to take care of the clinic and take care of all me patients'.
'Yes, sir!' answers Philippe.
The doctor goes fishing and returns the following day and asks:
'So, Philippe, how was your day?'
Philippe told him that he took care of three patients.
'The first one had a headache so he did, so I gave him Paracetamol..'
'Bravo Philippe lad, and the second one?' asks the doctor.
'The second one had indigestion and I gave him Gaviscon, so I did sir' says Phillipe.
'Bravo, bravo! You're good at this and what about the third one?' asks the doctor.
'Sir, I was sitting here and suddenly the door flies open and a young gorgeous woman borsts in so she does. Like bolt outta the blue, she tears off her clothes, taking off everyting including her bra and her panties and lies down on the table, spreading her legs and shouts: 'HELP ME for the love of St Patrick! For five years I have not seen any man!''
'Tunderin' lard Jesus Philippe, what did you do?' asks the doctor.
'I put drops in her eyes.


Why are there no agony aunts for men?

Dear Aunty Nigel, Yesterday I was driving to work when my car broke down. I walked back home and found my wife and a very young man, both naked in bed and in a very uncompromising position. I am really worried. What am I to do?

Dear Gavin, I can understand how upset you must feel. But I expect it's only your carburetor. If you book your car in for a full service you shouldn't get any more problems.


A woman stopped by, unannounced, at her son's house on Valentine’s day. She knocked on the door then immediately walked in. She was shocked to see her daughter-in-law lying on the couch, totally naked. Soft music was playing, and the aroma of perfume filled the room. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"I'm waiting for Mike to come home from work," the daughter-in-law answered.
"But you're naked!" the mother-in-law exclaimed.
"This is my love dress," the daughter-in-law explained.
"Love dress? But you're naked!"
"Mike loves me and wants me to wear this dress," she explained." It excites him to no end. Every time he sees me in this dress, he instantly becomes romantic and makes love to me for hours on end. He can't get enough of me."
The mother-in-law left.
When she got home, she undressed, showered, put on
her best perfume, dimmed the lights, put on a romantic CD, and lay on the couch, waiting for her husband to arrive.

Finally, her husband came home. He walked in and saw her lying there so provocatively. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"This is my love dress," she whispered sensually.
"Needs ironing," he said. "What's for dinner?”
He never heard the gunshot.


It was entertainment night at the Senior Citizens Centre. Claude the hypnotist explained: "I'm here to put you into a trance. I intend to hypnotise each and every member of the audience."
The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful antique pocket watch from his coat.
"I want each of you to keep your eyes on this antique watch. It's a very special watch.
It's been in my family for six generations."
He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting, "Watch the watch, watch the watch, watch the watch..."The crowd became mesmerised as the watch swayed back and forth, light gleaming off its polished surface.A hundred pairs of eyes followed the swaying watch until, suddenly, the chain broke; it slipped from the hypnotist's fingers and fell to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces.
"SHIT!" said the hypnotist.
Claude was never invited back...


One morning a blind bunny was hopping down the bunny trail and tripped over a large snake and fell, kerplop right on his twitchy little nose. 'Oh please excuse me,' said the bunny. 'I didn't mean to trip over you, but I'm blind and can't see.'
'That's perfectly all right,' replied the snake. 'To be sure, it was my fault. I didn't mean to trip you, but I'm blind too, and I didn't see you coming. By the way, what kind of animal are you?'
'Well, I really don't know,' said the bunny.. 'I'm blind, and I've never seen myself. Maybe you could examine me and find out.'
So the snake felt the bunny all over, and he said, 'Well, you're soft, and cuddly, and you have long silky ears, and a little fluffy tail and a dear twitchy little nose. You must be a bunny rabbit!'
The bunny said, 'I can't thank you enough. But by the way, what kind of animal are you?'
The snake replied that he didn't know either, and the bunny agreed to examine him, and when the bunny was finished, the snake asked, 'Well, what kind of an animal am I?'
The bunny had felt the snake all over, and he replied, 'You're cold, you're slippery, and you have no balls...You must be a POLITICIAN'


Three sisters ages 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together.
One night the 96 year old draws a bath.. She puts her foot in and pauses...
She yells to the other sisters, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?"
The 94 year old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see."
She starts up the stairs and pauses "Was I going up the stairs or down?"
The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening toher sisters.
She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful," and superstitiously she knocked on wood.
She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's
at the door."


An elderly Lady called 999 on her mobile phone to report that her car has been broken into.
She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the operator: "They've stolen the stereo, the steering wheel, the brake pedal and even the accelerator!" she cried.
The operator said, "Stay calm An officer is on the way."
A few minutes later, the Officer radios in. "Disregard.." He says, "She got in the back-seat by mistake."

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day.
One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?"
"No," the second man replied, "it's Thursday..."
And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."

A little old lady who had lost her marbles was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say "Supersex.." She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair Flipping her gown at him, she
Said, "Supersex."
He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, "I'll take the soup.

An older couple were lying in bed one night. The husband was falling asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She said: "You used to hold my hand when we were courting." Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to sleep.. A few moments later she said: "Then you used to kiss me." Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and settled down to sleep.
Thirty seconds later she said: "Then you used to bite my Neck..." Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed. "Where are you going?" she asked..
"To get my teeth!"

80-year old Bessie bursts into the rec room at the retirement home. She holds her clenched fist in the air and announces," Anyone who can guess what's in my hand can have sex with me tonight!!" An elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, "An elephant?" Bessie thinks a minute and says, "Close enough."

Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards. One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, "Now don't get mad at me.. I know we've been friends for a long time but I just can't think of your name.. I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it.
Please tell me what your name is." Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her.
Finally she said, "How soon do you need to know?"

As a senior citizen was driving down the motorway, his car phone rang.
Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, " Vernon , I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on M25. Please be careful!"
"Hell," said Vernon , "It's not just one car.. It's hundreds of them!"

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising along, they came to major crossroad. The stop light was red, but they just went on through.
The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself "I must be losing it. I could have sworn we just went through a red light." After a few more minutes, they came to another major junction and the light was red again.
Again, they went right through. The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it. She was getting nervous. At the next junction, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through. So, she turned to the other woman and said, "Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us both!"
Mildred turned to her and said, "Oh! Am I driving?"


The Haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you; I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen doughnuts waiting for him at his door.
Then an MP came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The MP was very happy and left the shop.
The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen MPs lined up waiting for a free haircut.
And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead