Joe Stead – The Ramblings of an old Codger – Volume 73 – October 2006.

It is never wise, and considered rather churlish by most, to complain about a review when it highlights points the reviewer does not like. And I certainly don’t intend to so now. But the reader of the review expects at the very least to gain from reading the review whether the subject under review is interesting, enjoyable, nauseating etc. So, does simply listing some of the tracks and repeating the sleeve notes constitute a review? I think not.

Kimber’s Men have released two CD’s since the formation in 2001 and the reviews have varied from good to ecstatic. To our knowledge we have never had a ‘bad’ review and indeed we are one of the few British acts working the folk scene today to have had all our CD’s reviewed in Sing Out. This is quite an accolade to those who might be unaware that apart from being the world’s finest folk magazine SO (an American publication with a history of almost 60 years) is very selective. There are many fine traditional performers in Great Britain who have never had a review in SO. So Kimber’s Men are either lucky, very talented, or both! A copy of that review was printed in Issue 72.

In this issue of the Ramblings there are two reviews from folk magazines in the north of England and one from the south which show a clear example of the expertise and knowledge of the writers. Two clearly know what they are writing about and they highlight the important points. The other simply gives you the track listings and takes little pieces from the sleeve notes without giving the reader any indication whether the CD is enjoyable or not; and, as it is plainly obvious which writer falls in the second category, I would add that this particular reviewer is careless to the point that he even gets the name of the RNLI wrong. Now what is the point of reviewing a CD if you give the reader of the review no indication whatsoever whether the CD is good, indifferent or lousy? He might have thought our CD was lousy and if he thought so he should have said so. What is the point of reviewing a CD if you clearly do not understand the subject you are reviewing? To simply take pieces from the sleeve notes whilst adding “some songs are sad, some are jolly, some attempt to lighten hard labour, some are full of longing for home” etc, and then add the track listing and duration is not in my opinion a review and, I’m sorry to add, not good enough. So finally let me make it clear. I’m not complaining about the review, because it plainly isn’t one; I’m complaining that the reviewer is simply not up to muster. Listing facts is not reviewing, my eight year old grandson could do that. (And he could probably make you laugh at the same time).

So if you write reviews for a magazine please send the CD back to the editor if you simply don’t understand the subject, otherwise you are not doing your job properly.


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What should we do with murderers? Nobody can really argue with the abolition of the death penalty. I can’t remember the exact year, but I do remember being on day release at Woolwich Polytechnic when about 18 years of age finding it difficult to concentrate on my work one morning knowing that in a prison somewhere that Friday somebody was about to be executed. I believe it was the last execution to be carried out in Britain – so, if I was 18, that would date it at about 1959. I could be wrong by a year or two either way and it may not have been the last. The death penalty was wrong because sometimes innocent people were hung and anyway taking a life for a life is not really a humane way an educated society should behave. I cannot contemplate the agony a convicted prisoner must have gone through knowing that on a certain day at a certain time he/she was to be led to the gallows and hung. The death penalty is of course still practiced in some countries which puts America on the same footing as all the many other countries we despise for this despicable practice.

But what should we do when a convicted murderer wants to end his/her own life? Should we intervene? Murderers range through a spectrum from those who carelessly shot a shopkeeper whilst in the action of a robbery through to the likes of Ian Huntley who was/is clearly mentally disturbed. The former didn’t go out that morning determined to kill somebody; the latter of course decided it was the best action to take under the circumstances he found himself in. People who abuse children are ill! However much we may despise and vent fury upon them; they are sick. If I have arthritis in my knee; people feel sorry for me and a cure can be found. If I have ‘arthritis’ in my brain I am loathed and despised. Fortunately, like 95% of the population, I have no desire to abuse children. I suspect that those who do were abused themselves and as such their sexual desires and needs have been influenced beyond their control in very early formative years. So (to repeat myself) what should we do when the likes of Ian Huntley attempt to commit suicide in prison?

Well I believe we should let them. Actually I would go further. I believe when sentencing a man to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting and murdering two young girls the judge should add to the sentence that voluntary euthanasia should be granted at anytime during the sentence should the prisoner so wish. It would put an end to a troubled mind, it might actually give some form of relief to mourning relatives and it would certainly save the tax payer a whole load of money. It would also leave a bit extra room in prisons to keep careless boxers who drive like madmen maiming innocent people within the compounds of four hard walls just a little bit longer. Something our loathsome ex-world champion clearly needed.

I look forward to your letters!

In the meantime here’s a sea shanty believed to be about Jack Ketch a hangman who in the late eighteenth century worked in London. Apparently he loved his work. He was never happier than when he was executing some poor wretch be they male or female. The song has the somewhat appropriate, but doubtful, title of “Hanging Johnny”. You can find this version on my CD ‘Valparaiso round the Horn’ - (Never one to miss an opportunity you understand!)

Oh they calls I Hanging Johnny..........away boys away
Because I hangs for money.......so hang boys hang

They says I hangs for money..........away boys away
Because I finds it funny.......so hang boys hang

At first I hanged me daddy..........away boys away
An then I hanged me mammy.......so hang boys hang

Oh yes I hanged me mother..........away boys away
Me sister and me brother.......so hang boys hang

And then I hanged me granny..........away boys away
I hanged her up quite canny.......so hang boys hang

I’d hang the mate and skipper..........away boys away
I’d hang ‘em by their flipper.......so hang boys hang

I’d hang a ruddy copper..........away boys away
I’d give him the long dropper.......so hang boys hang

I’d hang a ruddy vicar……..away boys away
Send him to Hell mush quicker……..so hang boys hang

A rope a beam a ladder..........away boys away
I’d hang yiz all together.......so hang boys hang

I’d hang yiz all together.......away boys away
And I’d hang for better weather….so hang boys hang.


EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


I turn now briefly (well not too briefly) to the subject of terrorism. The American’s have now officially acknowledged that attacking Iraq has increased terror attacks worldwide. Well low and behold! The penny has dropped. The fact that I advised you of this fact even before the first bomb was dropped does not actually make me feel any more satisfied. Indeed, for once, I wish I had been wrong. Obviously I was not alone and I’m not claiming individual acclaim. But was it not obvious to Blair and Bush? Are they really so stupid? Are we forever to be governed by megalomaniacs? The British government has now acknowledged that there are over 1,000 British born Muslims who have already pledged themselves to becoming suicide bombers! Oh thank you Mr. Blair! Thank you, thank you, thank you? And what has become of Mr. Hutchinson’s letters? Mr Hutchinson is/was a Labour Councilor in Bristol. I guess he’s stopped reading this column. Two years ago he wrote monthly almost, pointing out that Mr. Blair was not a liar. Apparently he’s a right nice bloke. Well to be fair Mr. Hutchinson is a right nice bloke – I know I’ve met him, but Mr. Hutchinson does not tell blatant lies. Perhaps he’s stopped writing to me because he’s suddenly realized he cannot argue the point any more. Where are you Mr. Hutchinson? Please come back. I really enjoyed your letters. Sometimes I laughed almost as loudly as I laughed when I heard a Labour MP tell television viewers that our troops were necessary in Iraq because we were invited there by the Iraqi government. That’s one of the funniest lines of propaganda I’ve heard in years! It had escaped her miniscule brain that it was us (with the Americans of course) who installed this government in place in the first instance. We all now know that had Saddam Hussein stayed in power there would have been a lot less terrorists, a lot less deaths of innocent people both Christian and Muslim and a lot more chance of word wide peace. And if we want to hunt down the bastards who masterminded the dismantling of the twin towers then Afghanistan is the country to be hunting for them. Not Iraq. But no, no, no, we can’t be doing that. Let’s put our forces into Iraq and leave our troops in Afghanistan war weary, dejected and demoralized. And what did the British public do at the last General Election? Well we voted Mr. Blair back into power again; and the Americans did exactly the same with Mr. Bush. Christ! (Or should I say Mohammed?). We deserve every little bit of grief we get. We must (along with the Americans) be one of the stupidest countries in the world. The Americans can do what they like with Bush; frankly I would like to see Blair charged (and found guilty) of war crimes. That’s the very least I want. And it’s all such a huge pity – the Labour government was actually doing a good job before they walked us into Iraq. But then the rot set in and it’s been downhill ever since and most of their politicians were too blind and too greedy to do anything about it. Here in Halifax our Labour MP stood down. Alice Mahon had seen enough, ‘tis such a pity you can only bang your head against the wall for so long. Eventually you have to stop. And will the Labour government win the next election? Frankly I don’t give a toss. I don’t think any government can halt Bin Laden now. We’ve walked open eyed into the trap he set at 9/11 and we continue marching into the mire. I just cannot believe we were, and remain, so stupid.

And now Cherri informs us that Gordon is a liar. Well she should know one!

Ok. Take a look at this> http://www.care2.com/ecards/p/8020-3532-10346-2209


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

2006
Oct 3rd (Joe) Hove Edge 65 Club. 2pm – Valparaiso round the Horn
Oct 4th (Joe) Garforth Probus Club 10am – Valparaiso round the Horn
Oct 6th (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 7th (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 8th (KM) Tenterden Folk Festival
Oct 11th (KM) The Works, Sowerby Bridge.
Oct 13th (KM) Minstead Village Hall, New Forest, Hampshire.
Oct 14th (KM) Harwich Shanty Festival
Oct 15th (KM) Harwich Shanty Festival
Dec 2nd (KM) Square Chapel Theatre, Halifax. (Matinee and evening)
Dec 14th (Joe) St Paul’s Church, Harrogate Men’s Forum. – Valparaiso
2007
Jan 12th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare
Jan 13th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare
Jan 14th (KM) Sixmilebridge Winter Music Festival, County Clare
Mar 5th (Joe) Rossett School, Harrogate. (Life and times Paul Robeson)
Mar 7th (Joe) Morley Probus Club, Morley, Leeds. - Valparaiso
Apr 16th (KM) Bacup Folk Club, Conservative Club, Bacup
Apr 19th (KM) Black Swan Folk Club, York
May 5th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 6th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 7th (Joe) Sweeps Festival, Rochester. – Provisional
May 10th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 11th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
May 12th (KM) Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland National Park
Jun 15th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 16th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Jun 17th (KM) Alcester Folk Festival
Aug 11th KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 12th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Aug 13th (KM) Broadstairs Folk Festival
Sep 7th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 8th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 9th (KM) Swanage Folk Festival
Sep 15th (KM) Halifax Traditions Festival
Nov 18th (KM) The Open Door Folk Club, Oldham.


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Reviews

Kimber’s Men – Don’t take the heroes
Well, shiver me Kimbers the lads have released another fine recording and along with it one of that rare breed of songs one that will inevitably be re-christened in time with the immortal phrase ‘Trad Arr:’ But make no mistake, the title track “Don’t Take The Heroes” is written by the bosun Neil Kimber with his wife Roz and a fitting tribute to the RNLI who also support this album. The title could also refer to Roger The Cabinboy Hepworth who sadly passed away before the CD was completed. Roger was blessed with a beautiful rich tenor vocal that astounded all of us who can count ourselves lucky to have known him and he was great ‘craic’ at gigs. Each of the crew including Joe Stead (minus his infamous tutu) and John Bromley provide glorious harmonies or lead vocals when required and their interpretations of songs such as Stan Rogers “Northwest Passage” and Bill Meek’s “Harry Eddom” nestle comfortably alongside more standard shanties such as “South Australia” and “General Taylor”. Now, I must admit that I don’t enjoy the bellowing and blustering of many shanty singers who seem to take it upon themselves to bawl unrelentingly at their audience as if each person is in need of a hearing aid but I can heartily recommend Kimber’s Men to all of you who enjoy your sea-songs with a certain amount of refinement. In my personal view, this four-piece are without doubt the finest exponents of sea songs and shanties that Britain has to offer - it’s also rare to come across a product that is real value for money. In addition to the enjoyment of listening to some great singing (over 70 minutes of aural pleasure!) plus all of the words to the songs and copious sleeve notes you can also feel proud that you have donated a bit to the RNLI – what more could you ask for? More details can be found on Joe’s website at www.joestead.com
Pete Fyfe – Folk North West


Kimber’s Men – Don’t take the heroes
Kimber’s Men were Neil Kimber, Joe Stead, John Bromley and Roger Hepworth. The CD was recorded and mixed between March 2004 and January 2006. Sadly between those two sets of sessions, Roger Hepworth, a former Mayor of Luddenden (2000-2001), died of lung cancer. His harmony singing and guitar playing however can be heard on seven of the CD’s twenty five tracks.
The title track is one of three songs written by group members or associates, in this particular case Neil and Roz Kimber. It is dedicated to the volunteers who serve in the Royal National Lifeboat Association (sic), and it describes a tragedy that occurred on the 20th December 1981 in which both a ship and a lifeboat were lost. The rest of the songs are “trad arr”, all sea songs like Haul away Joe, Blow the man down, Lovely Nancy, Tom’s gone to Hilo, Rolling Home and The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite. Mostly this is unaccompanied harmony singing, or solo singing with harmony support, but there are three tracks with guitar accompaniment.
Seventy plus minutes of sea songs might be too much to take in at one session, but a wide range of maritime experience is encompassed-shanties and other songs about broken love tokens, ships sinking or not sinking, naval battles and heroes, flash girls on shore, challenging sea routes and whaling. Some songs are sad, some are jolly, some attempt to lighten hard labour, some are full of longing for home and an end of sailing. The singers all have adopted titles- Neil Kimber (ship’s bosun), John Bromley (ship’s cook), Joe Stead (ship’s doctor), and the late Roger Hepworth (ship’s cabin boy). The CD though was recorded well between two shores at Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire.
Dave Sissons – Stirrings.

Kimber’s Men – Don’t take the heroes
This CD bears the official logo of the RNLI who receive a percentage of every sale. Twenty five tracks of shanties and sea songs, mostly traditional.
The title track, written by Neil and Roz Kimber is a tribute to the men of Mousehole (Cornwall) who manned the lifeboat Solomon Browne and lost their lives trying to save ‘The Union Star’ in 1981. This CD would be worth buying for this track only – a special song set to a wonderful tune. Neil, Joe Stead and John Bromley all share lead vocals. The late Roger Hepworth sings on seven tracks. The power of the singing is exceptional, fine versions and brilliant choruses. Lyrics and detailed notes of each song provided.
Hear them at Tenterden.
Bob and Kathy Dragge – Around Kent Folk.

Letters

Thanks Joe, for your latest RoaOC. I was especially interested on your comments re Diana.
I am sure that you are absolutely right to assume that it was not a road accident. When I defied my wife Larissa's shouted warnings and took my life in my hands and walked down that tunnel when the traffic was very light early one Sunday morning in July 1998. I just knew there and then, that a big reinforced top-of-the-range Mercedes does not crumple into NOTHING like that, in a crash in such an inner-city area. What exactly happened? Who will ever know? But for sure, the Establishment wanted Diana and Dodi out of the way.
This has always been my possible scenario:
When that Mercedes entered the tunnel, I believe it came up behind TWO cars- just at the bend in the tunnel - which were stationary with hazard warning lights on. Plus three men were hiding behind the pillars. When the Merc stopped, two of the men dashed out and threw stun grenades which temporarily took out all four of the Merc's occupants, whilst the third man placed a major explosive device UNDER the car: all three then jumped into one of the cars while the other car sped off. The slower car then drove the 40 yards to the end of the tunnel and detonated the bomb by remote control.
And they knew there were no CCTV cameras in that mini-tunnel to record their nefarious deed.
Of course, the problem with my theory is the survival of al Fayed's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones! But I get around that by concluding that he was ALWAYS a double-agent from the start: and that he is now silent on the say-so of the UK Secret Services, MI6.
Ha! Mentioning “MI6” there, makes me recall of course that it is the sister service of MI5. And then I remember how I once heard Gore Vidal amusingly call it (on Ned Sherrin's radio programme) "M Fifteen", not realising it was "M - Eye - Five".
At a stroke, poor Gore Vidal (in some ways an admirable fellow) lost all credibility as a sage when it came to "things British"!
Hope you are in fine fettle.
Kindest,
Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, UK.


Joe
Reading vol 72 of your ramblings I see you are just another english racist bastard. While looking forward to a Scottish Independent Republic we are up here stuck with you for the time being. There is no king of england, indeed there is no country of england. It is called the united kingdom and until we come to our senses that is what the future king will be of.
Iain Hunter


Hello Joe,
Really enjoyed your Ramblings as usual. I am personally glad that you are only nearly famous. If you were famous I don't think I would ever have met you. Your Ramblings would have been the Ramblings of a Famous Old Codger and things just wouldn't be the same!
Must dash.
Love you to bits.
Rhonda Tauman (Tenerife)

Joe,
I do enjoy reading your ramblings and have passed them on to others up here in the Arctic. Keep em’ coming. Also know that there are a few of us who are not part of the red tide, as it were.
Hope you are doing well there and by the looks of it, you are a very busy nearly famous man.
Best of Health to You and Yours
Chris Berg


Joe
HOW TO SAVE THE AIRLINES
Dump the male flight attendants. No one wanted them in the first place.
Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers! What the hell -- They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss?
The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a "party atmosphere" going in the cabin. And, of course, every businessman would start flying again, hoping to see naked women.
Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn't need a salary, thus saving even more money. I suspect tips would be so good that we could charge the women for working the plane and have them kick back 20% of the tips, including lap dances and "special services."
Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women.
Hijackings would come to a screeching halt, and the airline industry would see record revenues. This is definitely a win-win situation if we handle it right -- a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an asset
Why didn't Bush think of this?! Why do I still have to do everything myself?
Sincerely,
Bill Clinton


Funnies

All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
1. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"
2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."
3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have.
4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"
5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."
8. From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. "
9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."
10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"
14. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."
15. Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
16. Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."
17. An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the Passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down? "
18. After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
19. Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."
20. Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and Gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
21. A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

In the year 2006, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now Living in England and said, "Once again, the earth has Become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all Flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."
He gave Noah the CAD drawings, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 Days and 40 nights."
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard
- but no Ark.
"Noah!" He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is The Ark?"
"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I Needed Building Regulations Approval. I've been arguing With the Fire Brigade about the need for a sprinkler System. My neighbours claim that I should have obtained Planning permission for building the Ark in my garden because it is development of the site even though in my view it is a temporary structure. We had to go to appeal to the Secretary of State for a decision. Then the Department of Transport demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem. All the decent trees Have Tree Preservation Orders on them and we live in a Site Of Special Scientific Interest set up in order to protect the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go! When I started gathering the animals, the RSPCA sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many Animals in a confined space. Then the County Council, the Environment Agency and the Rivers Authority ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your Proposed flood. I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission on how many BME’s I'm supposed to hire for my building team. The trade unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only CSCS accredited workers with Ark-building experience. To make matters worse, Customs and Excise seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species. So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark."
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a Rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the World?"
"No," said the Lord. "The government will beat me to it."


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A man goes to the doctors. The doc checks him over, and says "Sorry mate, but you have Yellow 24, a nasty virus, so called as it turns your blood yellow and you only have 24 hours to live. There's nothing I can do for you - just go home and enjoy your final precious moments on earth."
So the man trudges home to his wife, and breaks the news. Distraught, she asks him to accompany her to bingo that evening so he can experience her idea of a night out, as he's never been there before.
He gets his 1st card, and wins 4 corners - prize £350, and then gets any line and wins £3,200. He also calls for a full house - and wins a grand. The national grid comes up and he wins a further £380,000.
The Bingo Caller gets him on stage, and says "Son - I've never seen you in here in all my life, but you won 4 corners, any line, full house and the national grid - I've never met anyone so lucky."
"Lucky??" he screamed, "Lucky? I'll have you know I've got Yellow 24."
”Bugger me," says the bingo caller, "You've won the raffle as well"!


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Fifty-one years ago, Herman James, a North Carolina mountain man, was drafted by the Army.
On his first day in basic training, the Army issued him a comb. That afternoon the Army barber sheared off all his hair.
On his second day, the Army issued Herman a toothbrush. That afternoon the Army dentist yanked out seven of his teeth.
On the third day, the Army issued him a jock strap. The Army has been looking for Herman for 51 years.


JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ


An Israeli lands at Heathrow Airport. As he's going through customs, he's asked: "Occupation?"
He answers "No, no, just tourism!"

The first time I hitchhiked I got beat up. I used the wrong finger!

I saw my psychiatrist. I told him, "Doc, I keep thinking I'm a dog."
He said, "How long has this been going on?" I told him, "Since I was a puppy."

I worked a nightclub. The boss told me he'd pay me under the table.
I waited there for two hours but he never showed up.

I told my landlord I wanted to live in a more expensive apartment.
He raised the rent.

I saw a place with a sign: Topless, Bottomless.
I went inside.
There was no one there.

Keep smiling, keep singing.


Joe Stead