Friday Funnies

Fellow Shooter Stuart sent over these stories sourced from various newspapers.   Who knows whether or not they are true… and frankly, who cares?  I particluarly liked number 4.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday Shivs

In all the hoo-hah over the last week and a half I have somewhat lost track of what day it is.   Or was.   Or at least what it was yesterday.   Yes, after 11 years of marriage and for the first time (better be the last) I forgot my wife’s birthday.

My attempt to suggest the flowers purchased for Mothers Day were an advance Birthday pressie, were not well recieved.   Hope these are better…

Tax Freedom Day

I must credit Mr FM for originally posting this item a few days ago – but I did want to share it with you lot…

What is tax freedom day?  It is the day of the year from which we become free of working to pay tax… so how long do we have to spend working for the government, rather than ourselves? The answer is nearly half the year:

The March 2005 Budget moved Tax Freedom Day later by 3 days. The March 2006 Budget means that this year we will have to work yet another three days for the government. These are both historically very large increases in the tax burden. And 3 June is the latest that Tax Freedom Day has been since 1988!

Cue a complete lack of surprise….Tax and Waste Brown continues on his merry way.

I did a rough calculation to try and figure out the equivalent Tax Freedom day for Hong Kong.   The answer: Feb 14th.

Last Nights Television

Not usually drawn to watch The Apprentice, I did so for a few minutes this evening.

What a load of tosh.   A collection of squabbling sour faced egotistical self important arrogant little toads trying – and miserably failing – to work together to shoe shine the boss in the hope one of them may win the ‘prize’ of a years work as his ‘apprentice’.

I work in a fairly stressful and pressured environment and I get to see my fair share of some of these characteristics from time to time – but I wouldn’t give any one of them on the TV show a job.  No way.

The best thing they could learn is that working together and being a whole lot less confrontational will achieve so much more.   They might even learn to enjoy it too.

Hospitals #2

The lack of posts for the last week is entirely my Mums’ fault.    But I’m happy to take the blame this time.    Her op went very well and she is recovering well too – with an even chance she may be out at the weekend.

A very large collective sigh of relief from all of us down on the farm.   I’ve been up and down to Brum to visit as they only allow relatives in ICU and what an ICU.    Forget the stuff on the telly.   You have never seen so much kit / drips / monitors and attention.   One nurse per patient – at least for the first couple of days.

We can all moan about the state of the health service – and we will see what things are like on a regular ward this week – but at the sharp end when intensive care is needed, what I saw was deeply impressive.

I suspect it is the commitment of the people that work there who make the difference and to whom I am very grateful for the care they are giving my Mum.   None of them will read this – but that doesn’t stop me saying THANKS.

Hospitals #1

A difficult week with no time to post and no appetite for being particularly creative…Mum is in hospital as I type having a big op.. I’m off to visit again soonish.. fingers firmly crossed.

On check in yesterday we marvelled at the level of disorganisation – it was so palpable all the other patients were talking about it too.   And I don’t mean the medical staff – they were fabulous.   No, it’s the administration.   The car park is 400 yards from the entrance and the ward is another 200 yards… this is of course fine, provided you are not unwell…

You then have to navigate the chaos of incoherent signage – and considering half the patients seem to have english as a second language, I could really sympathise with them.   At one point we were heading to the Psychiatric Wing by mistake and I was seriously considering checking myself in…

New Parent Congratulations

Many congratulations to our friends The Fisherman, Fishwife and new arrival, Fishbaby Boy (these pseudonyms do need some work..)   Born at 2.53am today in Wiltshire, after a pit of a palaver, all are doing very well indeed.

Friends eagerly anticipating a serious headwetting party down these yerrr parrrts in the very near future!

Asbo – the best sense of victimhood

Pauline Smith, 37, of Everton, was interviewed by the Liverpool Echo after her son, Calum, 13, along with a cousin, received an Asbo in March that related to complaints of intimidating schoolchildren, chasing neighbours with iron bars, setting fire to bins, throwing stones at people and property, verbal abuse, making sexual gestures, and threats concerning petrol bombs. Her response: “They’ve been victimised because we are single parents.”

Le French CNN – or not

Stung by the global popularity of CNN and BBC television chanels in english, France’s President Chirac (remember, the chap that singlehandedly convinced the IOC not to award the games to Paris?) promised a “CNN à la française” in the 2002 election campaign

However, the dream of mounting a challenge to CNN and the BBC has suffered an embarrassing setback after it emerged that the new channel would broadcast mostly in English.

It was always known that part of the channel’s output would be in English and Arabic but champions of the French language were appalled at suggestions that its output in the language be less than four hours a day.

President Jacques Chirac promised a station that will “spread the values of France and its global vision throughout the world”.

What value would that be then?   A work ethic that only manages to produce about 4 hours of native language telly per day?   Or a global vision of a predominantly english media with a bit of francais for light relief?   Or a vision of a pompous and arrogant twit who addresses the very neighbours who provided salvation in two wars, with a condescenidng “Nos amis anglais….”

A spokesman for the channel was reported to have defended the proposal on the grounds that English was a universal language, adding: “We are hardly committing an act of high treason.”

Ooooh.   I doubt your President agrees mon ami.

Tee Hee.