Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 54– March 2005

Buses always come in pairs, sometimes in three and fours. We all know this and we know too that we never quite know what to expect around the corner.

The year 2005 has started in a rather bad way, my own son Mark joined the ranks in January. He fell asleep for a split second last March at 3.30am one Friday morning returning to London in his wagon. Something most of us have done at some time or another in our lives if we are honest, unfortunately for him there was a stationary car parked at traffic lights and he ran into the back of it. Two lads had picked up a couple of girls at a night club and were driving home. Nobody in the car had their seat belts on and the girl in the front seat went through the windscreen. The car was uninsured, had no tax, no MOT and was indeed a bit of a mystery to the driver as he couldn’t remember exactly where, when or how he bought it. The driver ran away when the crash happened, but came back with a friend having taken a passengers telephone. So I don’t think the police know who of the two who came back, had actually been driving.

A little ironic perhaps, however certainly incidental to the fact that an innocent life was to later die in hospital from the injuries. Mark was responsible and will spend the next year in jail with a second on probation. A light sentence considering a death has occurred. The judge took into account however his clean license and that there was no sign of either alcohol or drugs in his body. His tachometer also showed that he had stopped at the correct time for a rest. So at the end of the day Mark will walk free from prison with a heavy heart, the dead boy will not. I sympathise deeply with his family, especially his mother.

And what of the world? Can we look with any hope into the future? Can we guess what’s coming around the bend as 2005 rolls into 2006? President Bush has another four whole years to wreak devastation and destruction on weaker countries under the banner of “Peace, Freedom, Independence and Democracy.” Rather odd don’t you think? But then again he is a Republican!

Perhaps the whole thing is best summed up in a script I got from Richard Tweed.
February 2nd was Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address was also given. As Air America Radio pointed out, "It is an ironic juxtaposition of activities: one of which involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication and the other involves a groundhog."

Of course the international laws state that it is ok for America to have nuclear weapons, but the smaller countries, who presently do not have the luxury, may not. So, to make sure they don’t, it seems pretty reasonable to me that America should seriously consider attacking countries who don’t toe the American line. Why it’s all for Peace, Freedom, Independence and Democracy. We know that.

Forty-one years ago Karl Dallas wrote the following:-
The earth it is a pleasant place, though sometimes cruel and wild.
The earthquake and the hurricane can slaughter man and child.
We should devote our greater gifts to problems such as these.
And not to murdering millions, but to building up the peace.
The Hamburg Floods, 1963. (Tune: The Buffalo Skinners, American traditional)

And Charlie is going to marry his Camilla in the local town hall, well that’s unless they decide to move it to a Nissan hut in Scotland. There’s posh for you! And do we really care anymore? Frankly I don’t. The Kingdom is falling apart at the seams, I care about that, but Camilla is of no interest to me at all. Meanwhile Charlie laments that the British public are being heartless towards him. Well what does he expect? He is so pompous he simply does not understand that the future king of England should not take a virgin teenage bride simply to have his heirs whist he’s cuckolding in another nest. Especially if the cuckolding is to continue for another 20 years. Woe betide Camilla if she has an argument and he sends her off to Paris for the weekend with a Mercedes car for company. The FBI tried three times to kill Paul Robeson in traffic accidents, but we know from experience that science has improved a lot in the last 50 years.

Good God – You think I’m implying that Dianna was murdered? Of course not!

Poor old Ken Livingstone is going to get the blame for London not getting the 2012 Olympics. First question should be – Does London deserve to get the Olympics? Does New York or Madrid deserve to get the Olympics? I don’t know, we have to believe in forgiveness at some time of course. But it’s not up to us to forgive Iraq; surely it’s the other way around. The Olympic symbol is five loops entwined together indicating the bringing of five continents together in peace and harmony to celebrate sport. How much peace and harmony has Britain and America given the world in recent years? Precious little is the answer if you think about it. I would just love London to get the Olympics, but if we don’t you can safely omit Ken Livingstone from the equation. The reason will go deeper than him, and you know what he said was not as terrible as some people tried to say. Imagine if I was constantly harassing a girl for a date, everywhere she went Joe Stead was there, never to go away. Would this country take any insult thrown at me as a slight on the whole nation? Of course his use of words was unfortunate, but come on!

Nearer home, still not knowing just what is around the corner, the local children (of whom I lamented a couple of years ago were vandalising our garden) have grown up just a wee bit. The thirteen year olds now stand around on the corner drinking alcohol; even on nights when the temperature is freezing. It comes from the local shop owned by Mr Chatta, a gentleman who is apparently in the top ten of the richest Asians in Britain. He cannot be blamed directly. I’m not making racist slurs here. The brothers and sisters who think it’s funny to have drunken younger siblings do the purchasing for them. The police stand idly by and do nothing. I say this with some authority as the local neighbourhood watch have advised the police that school children are drinking alcohol on street corners at night. Perhaps the police take no action as they did it themselves when at school. Meanwhile however the same children who delighted in vandalising our garden have now taken to vandalising cars. My own vehicle had both the front headlights smashed this last weekend. Another gentleman down the road had all the back lights on his company van smashed the same evening. My neighbour saw the children running away, sticks in hand. Cost including fixing (and this is just the front glass – not the whole unit) £140. Will it happen again next week? If I could see around the corner I would tell you. Of course when they are not vandalising they are intimidating people. We have a row of bungalows near us occupied mainly by people even older than I. The gardens are interconnected. Recently up to ten children ran amok running from one garden into the next banging loudly on the windows as they charged through. The police know its going on, our local residential watch person has reported it and the police know who the ring leaders are. A couple of years ago the council took delivery of a particularly nasty family from Leeds. The father has already declared that he’s given up housebreaking and will now spend his time stealing from shops. Well there’s a beacon for his children to follow! Meanwhile his children are enjoying their new found freedom and are happily proving my argument that if you take the malevolent and inter –mix them with the good, it is the malevolent who bring the standard down. It does not work the other way around. It never has and it never will. It’s just the same in schools and it’s a pity that governments have consistently ignored this. The downward trend in children’s behaviour started in the 1960’s and it’s still in a downward spiral. OK. Some of us used to knock on people’s doors and run away. Why my old grandma used to put horse manure through people’s doors and that was in the eighteen hundreds. But we never dreamt of wanton vandalism. Good natured fun has turned spiteful. If they always catch their man in ‘The Bill’ why can’t they do it in real life?

Well my friend Frank Embleton always told me that the only real Copper’s were in the Met! All the rest according to Frank are cowboys!

Talking of ‘real life’ I watched the BBC Folk Awards last night (Feb 25th) on a tape a friend had sent me. I had missed it the week before when it was live on the TV because I was visiting my mother in London. It’s the fist time I’ve seen it on television and I have to say it looks like a grand old party, one that I’m never (understandably) likely to be invited to. I know my limitations and an award winner I certainly am not and never will be. It looks like a real good do though, and it must give singers and musicians a chance to meet other professionals they’ve not had a chance to see since the last awards. I suppose the Hollywood Oscars are the same insofar as it seems to me to be the same people who get invited each year. To an extent of course that is entirely understandable. Martin Carthy, Steeleye Span and Kathryn Tickell to name but three stand out as leading exponents of their art and they deserve all the credit they get. Carthy especially so.

The awards were presented by an odd assortment of people. For example The Good Traditions Award (Steeleye Span were the winners) was presented by a pretentious hat belonging to a novelist who has followed the group for 33 years, but read everything from notes he had prepared earlier; and this proffers the question “Why if he is a fan of the group was it necessary for him to read notes?” Others who also read notes were Chris While and Julie Matthews who presented the Best Folk Club Award to Hitchin Folk Club and, whilst Hitchin Folk Club thoroughly deserve an award that has in the past been given to clubs with only a fleeting connection with what I consider is a traditional folk club, they again read everything word for word praising the club with about as much sugary prose as they could muster. Frankly it sounded completely insincere. Possibly they meant every word they said, but I tell you this girls – You would have sounded much more sincere had you not read it out in such a stilted fashion. Another who chose to read, instead of simply announcing, was surprisingly Ralph McTell who gave The Lifetime Contribution to Song Writing award to Tom Paxton. At least Ralph sounded sincere if again a little stilted. But the worst award speaker of all to my amazement was Bob Harris who read every word in giving the Lifetime Achievement Award to Jack Elliot. Apparently (reads Bob) Jack was the main inspiration for the Skiffle Craze in England in the 1950’s and he was a huge influence on Pete Seeger in the 1960’s. Well excuse me, but Pete is some 13 years Jack’s senior and had already topped the American music charts before Jack had hardly picked up a guitar. I remember seeing Jack and idolising him in the late 1950’s in many a Soho folk club, Cecil Sharp House too, and he was a real hero. But if there was any influencing done between the two of them, then it was the other way around. I leave it to you to decide if Jack Elliot had any major influence on the skiffle scene in Britain. Bob Harris had his facts wrong and obviously knew little about the folk scene.

So it seemed a pity that some of the other award presenters also knew nothing or next to little about the media they were presenting within. But to their credit some of those in this list were actually very good at it. Bernard Hill, who admitted with a degree of modesty and shame that he had not been involved in the folk music scene since going to Mike Harding’s Folk Club in the 1960’s, gave the Folk Singer of the Year Award to Martin Carthy and did so without reading anything. He sounded sincere and did a damn good job. So did the Landlady of the Pub in The Archers who gave The Best Live Act award to Bellowhead. Likewise Bruce Dickinson who gave the Best Group Act to The Oyster Band – Big Session, and Sir Gerald Kaufman who presented Martin Carthy with an award for The Best Traditional Track. Others included Charles Kennedy (MP) whose fragile connection to folk music was his father who had apparently played Highland Fiddle. Charles at least learnt his lines and without any script awarded Karine Polwart an award for The Best Album. Good on you Charles a busy politician taking the time to prove he is a true professional. I suppose having the leader of the only party to stand out against the war in Iraq was most fitting as all folk singers worth their salt would have been behind him on that one. Not a word was read, they had all memorized their script. John McKusker however knew everything about Kathryn Tickell and was able to give the wittiest and longest introductions of the lot when he presented her with The Folk Musician of the Year award. So too Noddy Holder, with whom I remember having a drinking session one lunch time in a West End pub. (I’d forgotten about that). Noddy presented Karine Polwart with an award for The Best Original Song – The sun’s comin over the hill.

Karine Polwart (and The Sun’s comin over the Hill) leads me to my next and biggest criticism. The sound and the general production. The producer as expected was Jon Lennard and whether he has had sleepless nights over the sound is anybodies guess. In charge of sound were Paul and Kevan Long (they might have been better if they had built Sydney Harbour Bridge) and I name them because the sound mix throughout was absolutely abysmal. In almost every live song the vocals had been mixed so far back into the accompanying musicians that it was difficult to hear what anybody was singing about – unless of course you knew the song. Jack Elliot was about the only exception, and strangely enough of course I knew the song he was singing. But even Tom Paxton (Last thing on my mind) was too far back in the general mix, although the sound men might be able to claim some excuse from the fact that Tom looked to be standing about a yard off his mike whilst Ralph McTell was the regulation one inch.

Why on earth did the BBC allow sound men to be in charge of a medium where the story line is the most important thing to the song if they can’t get the words far up enough in the mix so that you can follow them? The sun’s coming over the hill had a lovely melody and I can understand from that small fact alone why the song is so popular; but I have to confess I don’t know what the sun did before it came over the hill, or what it did after it came over the hill. Karine’s accent along with the dreadful sound mix completely obliterated the rest of the plot. What is the point of having an award for the best song but presenting it in such a fashion that it’s almost impossible to hear the words?

Praise should go to the BBC for at least supporting folk music which is ignored by all the other channels and I have in this column before singularly picked out Jon Lennard for the wonderful work he has done in this medium. Perhaps it was a dreadful room, perhaps the singers didn’t arrive in time to give the sound men a chance to perfect their art. But it is a pity to have this huge hiccup for such an important occasion.

I enjoyed the chance to look around the audience to see faces I know and there were quite a few. I just hope the likes of Stanley Accrington, Paul Downes, Jim Mageean, The Wilson Family, Johnny Collins, George Papavgeris, Shep Woolley, Pete Coe, Eddie Walker, Jon Harvison, Keith Kendrick, Gina Le Faux, Kieron Means, Sarah Grey, Mick Peat, Jeremy Taylor, Dave Webber, Anni Fentiman, Bram Taylor, Mick Harris to name just a few, were invited there as well. They are the true stalwarts of the folk scene and by jove they deserve recognition.

Folk Music continues to flourish at The Puzzle Hall Inn where the sound is good! Last month we had George Papavgeris who was just wonderful and pulled a very big crowd.

The future folk nights look like a who’s who of folk music:-
March 4th Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman
April1st Kimber’s Men
May 6th Wilson Family
June 3rd John Kirkpatrick
June 17-19 Folk Festival
July 1st Chris Manners
August 5th Stanley Accrington
September 2nd The Gina Le Faux Band
October 7th Flossie Malavialle
November 4th Eddie Walker

Remember it’s all free of charge. You are simply requested to put a payment into a hat. As much as you can reasonably afford is all we ask. The summer gigs from hopefully: Wilson Family through to the Rushbearing Weekend on September 2nd will be outside in the courtyard with a large covered area. The May date might be inside if we have inclement weather.

The Folk Festival June 17/19 will include the following (in alphabetical order) and should not be missed. Friday will be a singaround, so bring your guitars, banjos, fiddles and voices.
Adrian Nation
Gina le Faux
Hot Rats
Joe Stead
Kimber’s Men
Monkey’s Fist
Nigel Mazlyn Jones
Paul Downes
Shep Woolley
The Amazing Mr Smith
Tim Broadbent
FREE ENTRY
ENQUIRIES TELEPHONE 01422-835547

Joint Fixture List for Kimber’s Men and Joe Stead.
2005
Mar 6th (KM) Failsworth Folk Festival
Apr 1st (KM) The Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge
Apr 12th (KM) The Old Kings Head, Belper.
May 14th (KM) Recording second CD at The Foel Studios, Llanfair Caereinion.
May 15th (KM) Recording second CD at The Foel Studios, Llanfair Caereinion.
May 28th (Joe) Captain Cook Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration in Whitby.
May 29th (Joe) Captain Cook Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration in Whitby.
Jun 1st (Joe) Sowerby Bridge Concert Hall – Valparaiso round the Horn 10am!
Jun 17th (KM) Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (Evening) Free
Jun 18th (KM) Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (All day) Free
Jun 19th (KM) Joe’s Birthday Party, Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge (All day) Free
Jun 25th (KM) Jersey Festival of the Sea
Jun 26th (KM) Jersey Festival of the Sea
Jun 29th (KM) The Cross Keys, Uppermill.
Jul 1st (KM) International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth. (To be confirmed)
Jul 2nd (KM) International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth. (To be confirmed)
Jul 3rd (KM) International Festival of the Sea, Portsmouth. (To be confirmed)
Jul 9th (KM) Priddy Folk Fayre
Jul 10th (KM) Priddy Folk Fayre
Jul 22nd (KM) Festival of the Sea – Scarborough
Jul 23rd (KM) Festival of the Sea – Scarborough
Jul 24th (KM) Festival of the Sea – Scarborough
Jul 26th (Joe) New Mill Probus Club – Valparaiso. 10am
Aug 26th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Aug 27th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Aug 28th (KM) Bridgnorth Folk Festival
Sep 2nd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 3rd (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 4th (KM) Hull Sea Fever Festival
Sep 24th (KM) Halifax Traditions – All day
Oct 10th (Joe) Harden WI., St Saviour’s, Harden, Bradford – Valparaiso round the Horn
Oct 13th (Joe) Notton W.I. – The life and times of Paul Robeson
Nov 18th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 19th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 20th (KM) Walton on the Naze Festival of the Sea
Nov 23rd (Joe) Whitkirk Probus Club, Leeds (10.30am) – Valparaiso round the Horn
Dec 3rd (KM) The Square Chapel Halifax
2006
Apr 29th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
Apr 30th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester


OBITUARY
I was deeply saddened to read of the death of my old mate Malcolm Hardee. I joined The Greatest Show on Legs briefly during the early 1980’s and we did about a dozen gigs together in colleges and in army and navy and airforce clubs where the ‘new’ alternative comedy was completely unheard of. The show involved a number of very quick sketches and I would pop on and off stage doing comedy songs and act with him and Martin Soan, another founder member of the group. With the infamous balloon dance, and the Scottish sketch where Malcolm laid his genitals on my face, we were quite outrageous. Frankly I don’t quite know how I stuck it. It must have been for the money and to be honest there was little much of that back in those days. The naval club paid us off at half time and one of the colleges somewhere near Worcester was furious that we not only started late because one member of the band (not me) was screwing a student, but one of the few fans who infiltrated the audience from town threw an object from the balcony completely smashing a beautiful chandelier. Because I had arranged the gig I was hauled up before the student union committee and we were dismissed into the early June morning at about 3am just as the sun was rising without any fee at all. Taking The Greatest Show on Legs to Mid-Summer Balls was not a good idea!
But this, for Malcolm, was simply a way of life. He had been jailed before I met him for a number of offences including arson, break-ins, checque fraud and escaping custody. His exploits are now a legend in the alternative comedy circuit. He took to comedy after a number of run-ins with the law, including stealing a Cabinet Minister's Rolls-Royce. He became involved at school in petty criminality, stole Coke from the local bottling plant, burgled a pawnbrokers and set fire to a Sunday school piano because he wanted to see 'Holy smoke'. In the late Sixties he was a mobile DJ, going by the name of Wolf G Hardee, in between stints at various detention centres.
After I left them the Greatest Show on Legs had their big break on Channel 4 television where the balloon dance (everyone is naked doing a cha-cha-cha whist balloons mysteriously disappear of burst) caused uproar with the censors.
In later years he opened the Tunnel club at the entrance to Blackwall Tunnel. I went a few times but never performed! It was actually a mysterious night out insofar as 4 or 5 comedians were booked to do the whole night, but nearly all of them were booed off minutes after they got onto stage. This meant that the audience of hundreds paid £5 each sometimes for an evening that lasted for less than 45 minutes. I was always curious to understand why the place was always full. Some acts obviously lasted their spot out and I remember seeing The Amazing Mr Smith once hold the crowd at bay to the very end. Of course, you never quite knew what Malcolm would do. One night, when I wasn’t at the club, he urinated on someone on the front row who had either genuinely fallen asleep or who was pretending to snore whilst Malcolm was himself on stage. The club however weaned Paul Merton, Harry Enfield and Jo Brand with whom he had a two year affair. When the Tunnel Club became even too filthy for Malcolm it eventually closed down and he moved to a venue close to the Cutty Sark, which he called ‘Up the Creek’.
He once stole a huge birthday cake from Freddie Mercury, when the party organizers refused to allow him to perform and gave it to a nearby residential home. He was one of the best loved scoundrels on the music and comedy scene and he will be sorely missed.
It was therefore not a surprise to learn that he died the way he lived. He had a house boat on the Thames and a pub on the Thames called ‘The Wibbly Wobbly’. He would row his dinghy across to the pub sober and often leave the pub very much the worse for wear. His drowning was I suppose an accident waiting to happen. Some would say his whole life was an accident waiting to happen. I guess it was. But I tell you this. He was great fun.


LETTERS

Joe,
You remain a wicked old devil, but one I am glad to have booked at the Rring o'bells, Bath. You were old and wicked when I was still young, I can’t stop the age difference, I will never try to stop the wicked bit!
Tim Justice

FUNNIES

The Daughter’s Letter
Source unknown
Transcribed by Paul Barnetson

A single father (also a football fanatic) was worrying about bringing up his only daughter. Now she had become a teenager things were not going well and he was concerned about her future. One evening, looking for his daughter, he entered her bedroom, and saw a letter addressed to him on the bed. With the worst possible premonitions, he opened it with trembling hands and read ......
Dear Dad,
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm telling you I've eloped with my new boyfriend. I've found real love and he is so nice, especially with all his piercings, his scars, his tattoos, his jewellery, his smelly black leathers, and his big motorcycle.
But it's not only that, I'm pregnant, and Ahmed says that we will be very happy in his caravan in the woods. He wants to have many more children with me, and that's one of my dreams.
I've now learned that marijuana doesn't hurt anyone, so we'll be growing it for us and his friends. In return, they're providing us with all the cocaine and ecstasy we could ever want.
In the meantime, we'll pray for science to find a cure for AIDS, so Ahmed will get better. He deserves it.
Don't worry about money. Ahmed has arranged for me to be in films that his friends Leroy and Jamal make in their basement. Apparently I can earn £100 a scene. I get a £100 bonus if there are more than three men in the scene with me. Don't worry, Dad. Now I'm 16 years old, I know how to take care of myself.
Someday I'll visit you, Dad, so that you can meet your grandchildren.
Your loving daughter
Aimee
With shaking knees, the father collapsed on the bed. What should he do now? Then he noticed a final line of writing on the bottom of the letter …..

P.S. Dad, it's not true. I'm actually watching TV at Jane’s next door. I just wanted to show you that there are worse things in life than hearing that Portsmouth has lost again.

MEN’S RULES.
These are our rules!
Please note... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!
1. Men are not mind readers.
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
1. Sunday sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. What's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.
1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.
1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.
1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know how to do it best, please do it yourself.
1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.
1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong.
1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.
1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.
1. I am in shape. Round is a shape!
1. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight. But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.


TALL STORY ONE
Zebediah was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young pullets, and eight or ten roosters, whose job was tofertilize the eggs.
Zeb kept records, and any rooster that didn't perform well went into thesoup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of Zeb's time; so, Zeb got a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters.
Each bell had a different tone so that Zeb could tell, from a distance, which rooster was performing.
Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.
Zeb's favorite rooster was old Brewster. A very fine specimen he was, too.
But on this particular morning, Zeb noticed that Brewster's bell had not rung at all!!
Zeb went to investigate.
The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells a- ringing! The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.
BUT, to Zeb's amazement, Brewster had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.
Zeb was so proud of Brewster that he entered him in the county fair.
Brewster was an overnight sensation.
The judges not only awarded him the No Bell Piece Prize but also the Pulletsurprise.


TALL STORY TWO
There are two Quebecois hunters who have been lost in the woods for weeks and they're at death's door.
As they stumble on, hoping for some form of salvation or something similar, they suddenly spot, through the brush, a peculiar looking tree off in the distance.
As they get closer they can see that the tree is draped with rasher upon rasher of bacon. There's smoked bacon, crispy bacon, life giving juicy nearly- raw bacon, all sorts.
"Hey, Jacques" says the first hunter "Dat's a bacon tree!!! We're saved!!!"
"You're right, mon ami!" says Henri.
So Jacques goes on ahead and runs up to the tree salivating at the prospect of food.
But as he gets to within five feet of the tree, there's the sound of machine gun fire, and he is shot down in a hail of bullets.
His friend quickly drops down on the forest floor and calls across to the wounded Jacques.
"Jacques!! Jacques!! Que ce qui se passe?" (Jacques!! What is happening??)
With his dying breath Jacques calls out... "Ugh, run mon ami, run!
Dat's not a Bacon Tree!"

"Dat's......"

"Dat's......

(You're not going to like this)

"Dat's......... a.... Ham bush!!


WALKING EAGLE
President Bush was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation last weekend in Arizona. He spoke for almost an hour on his future plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living. He referred to his career as Governor of Texas, how he had signed "YES" - 1,237 times - for every Indian issue that came to his desk for approval.
Although the President was vague on the details of his plan, he seemed most enthusiastic about his future 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". The proud President then departed in his motorcade, waving to the crowds.
A news reporter later inquired of 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.

Oh by the way. Sydney Harbour Bridge was built by Dorman Long.


Keep smiling, keep singing


Joe Stead