Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 61 – October 2005.

I’ve had a most fulfilling summer, insofar as I’ve not been so busy in twenty years. It started with a solo gig at the Maryport Festival of the Sea in Cumbria in late May, terminating with the Halifax Traditions Festival with Kimber’s Men in late September. In between I’ve enjoyed two separate trips to both Jersey and Guernsey, where the sun shone and the singing was excellent. I especially enjoyed Guernsey as I had not been there for 19 years and despite singing solo without Kimber’s Men I had a most enjoyable evening concert when both Jenkins Ear and Monkey’s Orphan accompanied me on stage to do ‘Valparaiso round the Horn’. The 30 minute spot on BBC Radio Guernsey was satisfying too as I had not done any radio work of any significance since times way back in Philadelphia on WXPN. Two folk festivals stand out. Priddy where we (Kimber’s Men) were decidedly under-worked but given the honour of a main stage spot and Bridgnorth (the last Bridgnorth actually as they move to Shrewsbury next year) where we were decidedly not under-worked but had a wonderful time singing on trains and doing sea shanties all around town in pubs and small concert rooms.

Of course the weather this summer when the sun seemed to shine non-stop was brilliant although it did manage to rain on my Birthday party concert in Sowerby Bridge, which I labeled ‘The First Sowerby Bridge Folk Festival’. But this did not destroy the atmosphere; and why should it with a line up that included Hot Rats, Paul Downes, Shep Woolley, The Amazing Mr Smith, Nigel Mazlyn Jones, Gina le Faux and many others.

I had an amazing day on a fort in the Solent in June with Pete Watkinson and George Wilson the day the Queen reviewed The Fleet – well what’s left of it anyway. Whilst 100 or more folk paid £695 for the privilege I performed 3 half hour spots, drank champagne and dined on the best food for free. I was less than 100 yards from the firework display too, which was considerably closer than the rich people who had paid over £1,000 to be on the Queen Mary moored some two miles away in mist, rain and fog. I understand they weren’t too happy. Later in the week when Kimber’s Men joined me we sang at The International Festival of the Sea in Portsmouth. Scarborough and Hull Sea Fests were also on the bill this summer and I was able to meet up with Billy Connolly again whilst filming Garfield Two the Movie. I didn’t think he would remember me; but he did.

So perhaps I could say a big thank you to Shep Woolley, Nice Nigel, Doug Ford, Shanty Jack, Pete at Priddy, Richard Grainger, Sandra Surtees and Rob McGhee, not to mention all the other performers and friends who have made this summer something special.

On the filming/TV side, apart from ‘Garfield Two the Movie’, I’ve managed to get my face on the screen in Hollyoaks, Heart Beat, The Marchioness Disaster, Vincent, The Magnificent Seven and Ghost Squad; all of which will be screened later in the year. Billy Connolly, who now lives in Los Angeles, is starring in Garfield Two the Movie and whilst back at ‘base’ during filming I was fortunate to bump into him; although I hardly expected him to remember me. Remember me he did though and we spent a good ten minutes or more chatting about the folk scene in the seventies. He particularly wanted to be remembered to Shep Woolley and Fred Wedlock and to any other old compatriots with whom he has lost touch.

All in all a busy summer; indeed the busiest summer in 20 years. Of course it would never have happened had we not formed Kimber’s Men so in part I must thank my compatriots Neil Kimber and John Bromley as well; and at the same time I think too of Roger (our cabin boy) who so tragically passed away in April from cancer. Kimber’s Men foundations were built as a quartet and we appear to be forming quite a large fan base. There are rumours that our CD is now being sold on the black market through EBay! I find this a great honour if true and my attitude (should the rumour be correct) is not one of horror. I don’t really care about the loss of a few CD’s we wouldn’t have sold anyway if the name and sound of Kimber’s Men is reaching more ears. The more people who find our music appealing the larger our audience is likely to be. My wife recently overheard a family hurrying into Piece Hall in Halifax “to ensure they were in the arena in time to hear Kimber’s Men and their fantastic harmonies!”

We hope to go into the studio later this year to complete the CD we started some 18 months ago whilst Roger was still alive. His sad demise has put a hold on proceedings whilst we’ve recovered and considered whether to remain as a trio or look for somebody else capable of singing top harmonies whilst playing fantastic guitar. That person does not exist, at least not in the perimeters of our rehearsing area, so we’ll probably stay a trio for now.

For those of you worried about the health of Neil by the way, who was so incredibly sick at Hull, the news is good long term. Neil contrived to catch a very virulent and nasty form of gastro-enteritis to which there is no anti-biotic and as a result was very unwell for a period of 21 days. Well at least he lost some weight! Sympathy? Bosuns don’t deserve sympathy! Strangely enough however Neil’s absence coincided with one of the most memorable moments of the summer. A couple of years ago we met a member of the Whitby Lifeboat crew who took part in the reconstruction of the remarkable incident in 1881 when the Whitby lifeboat was hauled six miles across the moors of North Yorkshire through massive snow drifts to Robin Hood’s Bay to save the lives of ‘The Visitor’. An event that Neil and Roz Kimber transferred to song – ‘The Robert Whitworth’.

At 10.30 am on the 19th January 1881 Captain Robert Gibson, the harbour master at Whitby, received a telegram that the Whitby brig ‘The Visitor’, had sunk off Robin Hoods Bay. Six men had taken to the ship’s boat and were in dire peril. A change in wind direction brought exceptionally heavy seas and blizzards had blown for days. It was impossible to launch at Whitby. Thus began the most dramatic historic rescue. The Robert Whitworth lifeboat was hauled over the Yorkshire Moors to Robin Hoods Bay, reaching up to 500 feet above sea level and through snow drifts up to seven feet high. Folk came out of their homes to help with the digging and the hauling. The first attempt to get to the stricken sailors was thwarted by the heavy seas which broke the oars and damaged the steering. Nonetheless they tried again with fresh men and eventually reached the drowning sailors bringing them all safely to shore. The song highlights the lengths the RNLI will go to save lives at sea and is a tribute to the many sailors of the RNLI who have lost their lives in the service.

In the two years that have passed since we last met this young fella has learnt the song, which he apparently sings to other members of the crew. So John and myself had the privilege of getting him to join us on stage to lead it. We did it without rehearsal, he just joined us on stage, a complete stranger stood there between us. Would he be capable of singing in tune? Would he remember the words especially standing on stage facing an audience? A remarkable moment that will live with me for a very long time. I guess anyone who has the guts to go to sea in huge storms has a calmness about them – he handled the situation with great aplomb.

I found the Bob Dylan ‘Arena’ documentary on BBC2 compelling viewing. Sinner or Saint there is no denying the man had (and probably still has) a talent of riding rough shod over anybody he meets. Born in Minnesota in 1941 just a few days before I was he has written some wonderful songs some of which seemed to be nonsense at the time, but which have subsequently been proven to be prophetical. Considered by his early contemporaries to be politically naive in retrospect he appears to have been more clued in than we thought. However he thought nothing of stealing 25 records from a friend to learn a songs and study certain singers, he traveled uninvited to visit Woody Guthrie, he stole other people’s arrangements of songs without asking them, he saw Joan Baez on television befriended and used her till she had served her purpose whereupon he cast her aside. If he wanted something Dylan simply reached out and took it without the slightest feeling of remorse or embarrassment. The first performer of folk music to introduce an electric backing band (although somebody else would surely have done it eventually had he not) he spawned all the dreadful electric bands that have followed in his wake. A terrific opportunist who grabbed every opportunity to climb the ladder of success, a man who in his time caused considerable controversy, a dynamic performer, a genius, who cared little – indeed cared not at all – who he upset, he was in all honesty nothing but a selfish brat who made good! Yet he has subsequently given thousands of dollars to charities, without his financial help the wonderful magazine Sing Out might have sunk without trace, he fought tooth and nail to free a black boxer wrongfully imprisoned for a murder he did not commit. Sinner or saint? You tell me.

I find the furor surrounding Kate Moss somewhat amusing. I would have thought that if the media wanted to find some outrageous news from the fashion industry they would be better served finding a model that did not take cocaine, rather than persecute one who does simply because she is the best at her job. Of course making an example of someone who does not take cocaine would hardly find room at the bottom of page 6 of the Sun. Not newsworthy at all. So they turn something mundane in the industry into news because the majority of the population like myself know little about coke sniffing and even less about the fashion industry. A lot of people will throw their arms in the air and start muttering about ‘bad example to children’ and utter other disparaging remarks. But it is the media who are making the bad example, if they left Kate Moss alone she could get on with her job of earning millions of pound a year, the kids wouldn’t know about her drug requirements and everyone would be happy. Except of course the media who just love to see someone suffer providing it’s not them.

In America Bush is continuing to lose support. It would appear that his strategy in New Orleans was just about as good as his foreign policy in Iraq – or in other words a disaster. But perhaps I’m searching for reasons to distrust him. To be fair like most Brits I know little of internal American politics, but he did appear to be a few days short of a week when it came to sending in help. But what I really fail to understand is how the man got the position of president in the first place. He always looks and comes over as a complete fool. He says stupid things, he looks stupid and he has stupid ideas. Yet the American public not only voted him into power once they did it again four years later! This may not tell us a lot about American politics, but it sure enough tells us a lot about the American people.

However not all Americans are completely loopy. My Good friend (actually I’ve never met him – but he seems like a friend to me) Richard Weed sent me the following article that ran on Thursday, September 15, 2005 as an editorial in the Wiscasset Newspaper (Maine). Richard says “A growing majority must already sense this (I hope)”.

Sugar for Sugar, Salt for Salt, Go Down in the Flood, Gonna Be Your Own Fault
by Christopher Cooper

This won't take long. And it won't be much fun. But duty and decency demand that we do it.

Sometimes you buy a cantaloupe because it looks good and you have enjoyed some fine ripe cantaloupes in your time, even though a buck and a half for a little melon that went three for a dollar within living memory seems pretty pricey. And you leave it on the kitchen counter for a few days, because it's a little green, but it softens and gets a better color so you slice it open, but it's mushy and rotten and smells like feet and tastes like vomit and you remember other, similar, corporate grocery chain cantaloupe experiences and vow as you heave the mess into the compost not to get fooled again.

Maybe you've bought a car. Reasonable mileage, no rust, convincing salesman who chatted you up about your hobbies, agreed with your prejudices, and made you feel you were a pretty clever guy for choosing this vehicle from his selection. But you couldn't keep it aligned, it ate tires, the brakes, exhaust system and radiator didn't survive the life of the payment book, and when you tried to sell it three years later every seventeen-year-old who looked at it was astute enough to reference the oil blown past the rear main seals as his reason for declining your "Best Offer Over $500 Dollars" prayer.

Some of you lady readers married men whose virtues are now no more apparent to you than they were pre-nuptually to your mothers, friends or even relatives of the groom himself. True, he was a successful inseminator but, sadly, the children look disturbingly like him. Of you, people say, "She could have done so much better." What were you thinking? What can you do?

Or let's say a whole country was riding a foaming crest of good times, new cars, low interest rates, affordable gas, electronic gadgets and a We're Number One world view that was maybe weak on history, geography and empathy, but sure did by God show the big stick to the heathen foreigners.

Such a people might toss a coin in a contest between a dorky, dull Democrat and an insipid dry drunk Texas frat boy Republican whose every and many failures had been rendered moot by family money and connections. They might not be paying much attention.

Then, let's say, some really nasty guys from a country larded up with ugly, corrupt fat cats blew a great big hole in a part of that country. Suppose the new president "rose to the occasion" by starting a war with another country in the same part of the world as the one where the bad guys came from, but which, for political and personal reasons and reasons having very much indeed to do with very valuable mineral resources and very profitable corporations and some other complicated considerations having to do with weapons sales, it was not convenient to invade because those particular rich foreigners were personal friends and business partners of that new chief executive.

And further (stay with me; I know it's a weird trip), imagine that just as it was made startlingly clear that pretty much everything this president had advanced as a reason for that war was a fabrication, a misdirection, a deliberate under- or over-statement (well, hell, yes, I guess just a pile of tremendous lies, really, if we need to use such an ugly word), imagine that he got re-elected despite his manifest incompetence and venality and smugness because the same Democrats who had advanced the very dull, unappealing candidate four years previously selected this time a cipher who ran against his own finest, most decent history and tried to seem more and more like the dull incumbent until, finally, some voters stuck with the dummy they knew, and some voted against the sad-sack they'd come to not respect, and the rigged Republican voting machines in two critical states made up the shortfall.

Now what if the best-studied, most carefully-observed, best-tracked, most predictable-coursed hurricane ever seen, and one of the biggest, wiped out a major coastal city that, had the president in question not been so intent upon "drowning government in a bathtub" and reducing the unwelcome sting of taxation upon the richest people and corporations he knew (outside of his friends in Saudi Arabia, I mean), might have received enough money to fortify its dikes and seawalls in the true spirit of "Homeland Security", and maybe every old lady trying to board an airplane could have been spared the burden of taking off her shoes. (OK, I know it doesn't cost much to humiliate old ladies, and I know the money saved wouldn't have been diverted to New Orleans, but great craziness must be recognized and ridiculed and, when it is public policy, repudiated, and that's what they pay me to do here.)

You've seen the pictures. Twenty per cent of the residents of New Orleans lacked the resources, the vehicles, the health, the money to evacuate ahead of the storm. Too old, too sick, too poor to save themselves, and mostly, given America's great secret still, all these
years after we thought we'd equalized these things, even after the token Scalia wannabe on the Supreme Court and the sad yes-man who abandoned the Secretary of State job after the lies he told finally began to curdle on his lips, mostly black. Poor blacks. Indeed.

You've seen the Superdome, the convention center footage. You've heard the first-person accounts of scores of hurting, hungry homeless (poor, black) persons trying to cross a bridge to dry ground but ordered back by white officials with guns. You've seen the misery, the neglect, the abuse. So has the rest of the world. We're Number One! Say it loud.

Is it time yet? Can we all just admit we made a stupid mistake? We weren't paying attention? We heard what we wanted to hear? We succumbed to slick advertising? The fruit was rotten; the car was a lemon; that bum was just piss-poor husband and father material and your momma was right. Stay the course? What course? Our country, its citizens, its principles have been reduced, abused, worked-over, bled-out, violated and humiliated. Not by terrorists or foreign enemies or tsunamis or tornadoes or an angry god. We have rotted from within.

Blame the Republicans? Nah, they're just "protecting their base." Like helping like. It is the party of wealth and privilege. Blame the Democrats? Sure, if you can distinguish 'em from the Republicans. It sure ain't the party of FDR any more. Or even Jack Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter. I'll see your Tom DeLay and your Bill Frist and raise you a Joe Biden and a Joe Lieberman. Blame the press for avoiding or killing any story that wasn't a press release from the Pentagon, the White House or the American Association of Yellow Ribbon Manufacturers. Blame our stars. Blame ourselves; we weren't paying attention; we didn't do the work democracy demands.

Do I exaggerate our desperate straits? The man at the top in his own words and by his own actions. Add the smirk and swagger yourself; you've seen it often enough.

First response? Fly over on Air Force One; go play golf. Condi Rice shopped shoe boutiques. Dick Cheney bought a three million dollar vacation home.

While you and I watched the Superdome and convention center fiascoes? Lunch with Al Greenspan. "Hurricane Katrina will represent a temporary setback for the U.S. Economy and the energy sector."

As WalMart water trucks, Red Cross workers, TV reporters and Canadian Mounted Police forces tended the stricken city while FEMA and the National Guard waited for orders that didn't come? "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job."

Days after we'd all heard testimony from the engineers and planners who'd repeatedly sounded the alarm about Category Five storms and Cat.
Three levees: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

With hundred of thousands homeless, uncounted dead, the poorest among us hit the hardest: "Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- the guy lost his entire house -- there's going to be fantastic house. I look forward to sitting on the porch." [Yes, rubbles, plural. I know it sounds stupid, but I got it right off the White House website. He's proud of it, for Christ's sake!]

There's more. You've seen it, heard it, been repulsed by it. But did you get this from his mom, the husband of one bad president, the mother of the worst one yet, a woman who you'll remember said she couldn't find the time to trouble her "beautiful mind" about Iraqi civilians we'd bombed to death by the tens of thousands? Of those who'd lost all they owned, including, in many cases, loved ones, to the flood and were now enjoying the hospitality of Texas shelters: "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this—this [chuckle] is working very well for them."

Oh, those lucky, lucky homeless, sick people! What happy niggras we have here on our grand plantation. It makes a person feel dirty and disgusted and sick to his stomach. Don't you suppose a couple billion other people all over the world heard that chortle, you bloated, ignorant, over privileged mother of a moron?

Hey, folks, things have gotten so bad that even the press is beginning to pay attention. Presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan said at least fourteen times during two press briefings last week that now is not the time to "play the blame game." I say it's an excellent time, while the dead are still floating on the polluted tides and we are not yet distracted by the World's Series or the run-up to Christmas or another newly-discovered "Axis of Terror" triumvirate.

Now, for pure, wholesome, refreshing local idiocy we have the Maine Republicans' brilliant plan to make us forget the screwing we're getting from Exxon by canceling the state gasoline tax for a few months and (this is really too perfect for me to have made up) forgiving the sales tax on home heating oil (struggling, low wage, two-job homeowners get ready for this!) for business use.

OK. I'm done. Gotta go wax the yacht and wind my Rolex. Jesus, I wish I could be homeless and eat some donated food in Texas while my wife rots in a drainage canal and my dogs starve to death on the balcony of our ruined home.

Chris Cooper writes an editorial page column, Fixtures And Forces And Friends for the Wiscasset [Maine] Newspaper. He lives in Alna, Maine; contact him at (c) 2005 Wiscasset Newspaper

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

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
Oct 21st (KM) Minstead Village Hall, New Forest, Hampshire.
Oct 22nd (KM) Royal Southampton Yacht Club.
Nov 23rd (Joe) Whitkirk Probus Club, Leeds (10.30am) – Valparaiso round the Horn
Dec 3rd (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. – Valparaiso round the Horn.
Apr 29th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester
Apr 30th (KM) Sweeps Festival, Rochester

Hi, Joe
Firstly, I'm glad to see that the Hampshire Village Hall people were as good as their word and did book you. Hope you have a great night there!
I haven't got all the 'Ramblings' saved, but I do read them all. Often something tempts me to write back, particularly some of the people who cannot seem to accept someone else's view and consider it with wisdom, even if their immediate reaction is to reject it out of hand because it clashes with theirs. Particularly also, when those people reside in the Most Powerful Nation on the Planet.
So, now, I've got to put fingers to keyboard, having read the two letters asking not to be included in further postings. ... 'I am rather surprised by your conceited assumption that your half-baked left-wing views would be of any interest to me' writes one and 'We don't see why we should be subjected any more to your rather silly political views' writes the other.
Isn't it strange that politics are only derided when they are left wing/humanitarian/uncomfortable? I am reminded of the time when I was a teacher in a Sussex secondary school and wore a small, discreet CND badge in my jacket buttonhole. The Head called me in and asked me to take it out. I replied that I would do so if he likewise removed his Rotary Club badge. He couldn't see the parallel. (I bet some others can't either).
So, to the present day. I am truly sad for every one who has suffered loss and grief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's devastation. I hope that someday, their lives are restored to some kind of order. It's hard to imagine from a distance how people can cope. ...... And here's my wish and hope: that they take a little time to ponder that it must feel very much the same to be an Iraqi citizen, lamenting the death of your child and cowering in fear for the arrival of the next US bomb on your town, or a Palestinian family, weeping among the ruins of your home which has just been flattened by a US-financed Israeli bulldozer. True peace will only come if there is common feeling between ordinary people; the power freaks will never achieve it. The citizens of those drowned states and their relatives and friends have a chance to make that connection. 'Louisiana - they're trying to wash us away ......'
Keep on with your Ramblings, Joe, stir up a bit of dust, play Devil's Advocate, do what you will, but don't let go of what you believe in! Here's to the next 60!
Best wishes
Roger Watson

You go ahead and ramble all you want. Do not be deterred. In fact, you can even join The Ramblers (, or and ramble while you ramble. Ramblin' Jack rambles, why not you? Author Cray refers to Woody Guthrie as 'rambling man.' Good company, I'd say. And if you come up just short of ranting & raving and stay within the confines of rambling, the world will ramble right up to your door to deliver kudos, and other small, delicious tidbits, such as kumquats, in syrup. Yum.
Remember, rambling didn't stay put. Rambling Rose!
Yer pal, Fishken. (Boston, USA).

Thanks for the morning lift of spirits. Your sense of humor is rare. My favorites today? ...The one about the guy with the crosseyed dog and the "Mastercard wedding". Just too funny. I can't stop laughing, even as I type this reply. Congrats on your 60th edition. Keep em' comming.
Dolan Ellis (Arizona's Official State Balladeer).

Dear Joe,
Thanks for sending the latest "Rambings." Margaret, Kate and I have had some gigs result from the oddest events as well. Never been brought to Valparaiso, but we did get asked to Thunder Bay, Ontario two years in a row. That came about because someone asked Margaret to sing something Scottish while she was busking at a farmer's market. She asked, How Scottish? And then sang Will Ye No Come Back Again. That led to a gig at Chicago's highland games, where we got paid a mere honorarium. But someone from the Thunder Bay pipe band heard us and invited us to their highland games two years running. We got paid fairly well for both of those gigs. The second year I got us booked the same weekend for London, Ontario's Home County Folk Festival the same weekend (they were both in Ontario after all). It was only later that I discovered they were 918 miles apart. Lesson is: It pays to look at a map once in awhile. We did make both gigs.
Phil Cooper (Illinois. USA).

Thanks as ever for a fine read.
Very interesting to find Don Shepherd's e-address via it. And here is for why:
There is a remarkable man living up in New Hampshire who has the noblest of charitable causes. His name is Michael Whitman and his cause is to be found at
Now when Michael was deciding the play list for his astonishing volume 3, he was really taken by Don's version of The Sun and the Moon (from his album of the same name) which he had heard from a compilation tape of possible candidates I had sent to him. But we could not find Don, despite my approaching several UK folk pros for news as to his whereabouts.
Of course, I should have guessed that you would know, with all your contacts and your capacity for friendship.
Well, all that is history now. And I don't think that there will be a volume 4... (if you were to hear volume 3, you'd realise it would be nigh-on impossible to top it).
Will copy-in my pal Michael, and also Don. I may have been a Greene King man rather than an Adnams aficionado, but I always was a fan of his!
Dai Woosnam

Hi Joe
I don’t keep them but I do read them ..they really are good reading !!! The jokes at the end were excellent
All the Best
Bob Mortimer

A world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps is walking down the High Street one day when he spots an advert in his local record shop for "Wasp sounds from around the Globe".
On further enquiry he discovers that a vinyl recording of this subject has just been released and a few copies are available in store there and then.
Naturally, being a world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps he is curious and asks the young chap behind the counter if he can have a listen to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe"
A few seconds later the world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps is standing at one of those little sound stations with his headphones on and a puzzled expression on his face.
He removes the headphones, walks back to the counter and catches the young sales person's attention.
"Excuse me" he says, "I'm a world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps and I've just been listening to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe", and I must say, there appears to be some mistake. Those are no wasp sounds with which I am familiar".
The young man dutifully checks the recording in question and assures the world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps that he is indeed listening to
"Wasp sounds from around the Globe".
Puzzled, the world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps returns to the headphones and once again begins to listen. After a few seconds he returns to the counter and accosts the young fellow there.
"Excuse me" he says, "As I mentioned before, I am a world renowned expert in the sounds of European wasps and I've just been listening to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe" and I have to say again, those are no wasp sounds with which I am familiar. Are you certain I have been listening to the correct recording?"
Slightly exasperated by now, the young man checks the disc currently playing and
with a slightly sheepish grin confesses:-
"Oops, sorry Sir, I seem to have played you the Bee side"


According to a news report, a certain private school in Victoria recently was faced with a unique problem.
A number of year 12 girls were beginning to use lipstick and put it on in the bathroom.
That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.
Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.
Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.
She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man.
She explained that all of these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night.
To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.
He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.
Since them there has been no lip prints on the mirror.


Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian. The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that inhabited the area.
Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm fed up with being a prawn, I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten."
A large mysterious cod appeared and said, "Your wish is granted" and Lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark.
Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.
Time passed (as it invariably does) and Justin found life as a shark boring and lonely. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realise that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight.
While swimming alone one day he saw the mysterious cod again and he thought perhaps the mysterious fish could change him back into a prawn. He approached the cod and begged to be changed back, and, lo and behold, he found himself turned back into a prawn.
With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes Justin swam back to his friends and bought them all a cocktail.
Looking around the gathering at the reef he realised he couldn't see his old pal.
"Where's Christian?" he asked.
"He's at home, still distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy & became a shark", came the reply.
Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's abode. As he opened the coral gate memories came flooding back.
He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again."
Christian replied, "No way man, you'll eat me. You're now a shark, the enemy, and I'll not be tricked into being your dinner."
Justin cried back
"No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed.................I've found Cod. I'm a Prawn again Christian"


One day two Sperms were swimming vigorously and one Sperm asks the other: "How much further do we have until we reach the egg??"
The other Sperm replys: "I dunno, but I think we just passed the tonsils!!


Gender Math

Smart man + smart woman = romance
Smart man + dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy

Smart boss + smart employee = profit
Smart boss + dumb employee = production
Dumb boss + smart employee = promotion
Dumb boss + dumb employee = overtime

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

Married men live longer than single men, but married men are a lot more willing to die.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she always does.


The Dangers of Thinking

It started out innocently enough.
I began to think at parties now and then – to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home.
One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.
Then, I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment didn’t mix, but I couldn’t stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”
This gave me a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking...”
“I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
“But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.”
“It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors, and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”
“That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently.
She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors ... They didn’t open. The library was closed.
To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.
You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker’s Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.
Today, I registered to vote as a Republican.

Dying wish

A woman went to the undertakers to have one last look at her dearly departed husband. The instant she saw him she starts crying. One of the undertakers strides up to provide comfort in this sombre moment.
Through her tears she explains that she is upset because her dearest Albert was wearing a black suit, and it was his dying wish to be buried in a blue suit. The undertaker apologizes and explains that traditionally, they always put the bodies in a black suit, but he’d see what he could arrange.
The next day she returned to the undertakers to have one last moment with Albert before his funeral the following day. When the undertaker pulls back the curtain, she manages to smile through her tears, as Albert is resplendent in a smart blue suit.
She says to the undertaker “Wonderful, wonderful, but where did you get that beautiful blue suit?” “Well, yesterday afternoon after you left, a man about your husband’s size was brought in & he was wearing a blue suit. His wife explained that she was very upset as he had always wanted to be buried in a black suit,” the undertaker replied. The wife smiled at the man. He continued, “After that, it was simply a matter of swapping the heads.”


70-year-old George went for his annual check-up. All his tests came back with normal results.
Dr. Smith said: "George, everything looks great physically. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you at peace with yourself, and do you have a good relationship with your God?"
George replied: "God and me are very close. He knows that I have poor eyesight, so he has fixed it so that when I get up in the middle of the night to relieve myself *poof!* the light goes on when I pee, and then *poof!* the light goes out when I'm done."
"My goodness” said Dr. Smith. "That's incredible."
Later on in the day Dr. Smith called George's wife: "Hello, Thelma, George is just fine. Physically he is great, but I had to call because I am in awe with his relationship with God. Is it true that when he gets up in the night to relieve himself, *poof!* the light goes on ... and then *poof!* the light goes out when he's finished?"
Thelma exclaimed: "That bloody old fool ... He's been pissing in the fridge again!"


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked,

Keep smiling, keep singing.

Joe Stead