Thursday, 31 March 2011

204. Garden Party, Buckingham Palace


Hilda and George have been faithful members of the Scout movement in Bristol for many years, rendering countless services to the association they so heartily believe in.  In recognition of their marvellous efforts they have been rewarded with an invitation from Her Majesty herself to attend one of her famous garden parties at Buckingham Palace.  There is great excitement, and new clothes are purchased for the great day.  They immediately reject the plan to take the car, in view of parking problems and the expense.  The train will be cheaper and less stressful anyway.

Timings are carefully rehearsed to ensure they do not arrive late, which in fact results in them leaving for Bristol Temple Meads railway station very early.  Despite their care they are both a little stressed, and unused to wearing such smart clothes in the morning.  They settle into their carriage, and a couple of stations flash by.  For want of anything better to do, Hilda gets the invitation out of her handbag…

Hilda (60):  …er…George…

George (65):  Oh what NOW.

Hilda:  Well, it says here that showing the invitation isn’t enough.  You have to show proof of identity, preferably passports.  Have you brought anything?

George:  …… you were hanging on to the invitation.  Didn’t you read it?

Hilda:  Not that bit…. What do we do?

With panic rising George thinks fast and rings his daughter back at home.  They alight at the next station – Reading – and leaving Hilda on a bench, George crosses the line and takes the train back to Bristol.  Their daughter is waiting for him on the platform with their passports, and he then races back across the line and takes the train back to Reading station.  He collects Hilda from the bench and they take the next train to London.

Although they have allowed plenty of time, they hadn’t envisaged this sort of problem, and they realise that there will not be enough time to get across London to Buckingham Palace by public transport.  Their stress levels overflowing, not to mention their tempers, they are therefore forced to go against their principles and take a taxi.

However they arrive in the nick of time, and all goes smoothly.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:  (stopping to speak to them briefly as she proceeds across the garden)  I see you’ve been members of the Scout Movement for many years.  How wonderful.  I imagine you’re terribly well organised.

George:  Oh yes Mam.

(With thanks to Karen)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

203. Welsh Idiosyncrasies. Nickname Series (3)

I’ve described recently how much I liked Welsh nicknames, and gave a few examples.  Since then I have found a website –
where historian Ralph Thomas from Blackwood describes how many of these nicknames came about.  Welsh contributors have added their own examples to the site, making it a valuable record and hilarious reading.  I will publish them here a little at a time, to stretch your enjoyment for as long as possible, and will always credit the contributor where known. 

Ralph Thomas described a small mining village which had six men by the name of Dai Williams.  Three of them were named thus:
      (1)   Dai Black Rabbit after a racehorse he used to place regular bets on;
(2)   Dai Good Cheese after his favourite lunch;
(3)   Dai Tut Tut because of his stutter.


Monday, 28 March 2011

201. Sophie at the Supermarket (2)

Scene:  As they walk up and down the aisles with the trolley, Sophie is chatting animatedly to her mother about a cartoon she had been watching before they came out.  Without drawing breath, she then says in her little treble voice:

Sophie, aged 7:  Mummy – about babies.

Mother: (warily and with some dread):   Yeeeees?

Sophie:  Well, you see I know how babies grow in your tummy, and I know how they get out.  But what I don’t know is how they get IN...

Mother (sighing before the inevitable, aware of the smiling faces around her):  Uh...

Sophie (without pausing):  Can I have a Kit Kat?

With thanks to Liz.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

200. Sophie at the Supermarket (1)

Scene:  Sophie’s mother has explained to her why Daddy was in hospital this week having a special operation and that she won’t be having any more brothers and sisters.  Sophie didn’t appear to be paying attention.  Later that day, at the crowded supermarket, they’re looking at the rows of packets of lentils...

Sophie aged 7, in a clear piping voice:  It’s such a shame that Daddy’s lost all his seeds.

With thanks to Liz


Saturday, 26 March 2011

199. All-time Favourite Jokes Series – Out of the mouths of babes… (5)

Scene:  A mother is six months pregnant with her third child.  Her three year-old comes into the room when she is just getting ready to get into the shower.
Three year old child (female):  Mummy, you’re getting fat!

Mother:  Yes, sweetheart, remember Mummy has a baby growing in her tummy.
Child:  Yes I know, but what's growing in your bum?


Thursday, 24 March 2011

197. Welsh Idiosyncrasies. Nickname Series (2)

More from Lynda of Penarth, who told me in post № 181 about the shopkeeper in Bargoed who had his own way of recording the accounts of the various neighbours – in this case, all people named Thomas:

A large lady:           Mrs Thomas Fat

A lady whose stockings were frequently at half mast: Mrs Thomas Gaiters

A good mnemonic:  Mrs Thomas ‘Thomas Street’


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

196. On a British Airways flight just before takeoff

Lady Passenger № 1 (28):  I hope we arrive on time in Bristol – my timings are bit tight…

Lady Passenger № 2 (40):  I’ve got bad news for you – this flight is going to Glasgow not Bristol.

Lady № 1:  Oh my God – no, this is a Bristol flight!

Lady № 2:  I think you’ll find we’re going to Glasgow – but let’s check with the stewardess.


Stewardess:  This is a flight to Bristol.  I’ll check with the Captain whether we can get you off the plane.

Lady № 2:  But I want to go to Glasgow, somebody checked me in, I want this plane to take me to Glasgow…

With thanks to Julie.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

193. All Time Favourite Joke Series – Call Centre conversations (2 of 11)

Samsung Electronics

Caller:  Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?

Operator:  I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about.

Caller:   (Impatiently) On page 1, section 5 of the User Guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning.  Now, can you give me the number for Jack?

Operator:  I think you mean the telephone point on the wall.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

192. Orchestra Blues (2)

Unfortunately Eric the horn player was struck down with mastoiditis after a few months, and it was touch and go whether he would have to give up his musical career, as his hearing was badly affected.  He certainly couldn’t tolerate playing the horn.  During his time away from work and feeling pretty low, he had reason to visit the headquarters of the Bournemouth Orchestra during one of their rehearsals, and bumped into Stan.

Stan:  Well hello then, how’s the mastoid?

Eric:  Not too good...

Stan:  I’ve heard you may have to give up playing altogether, so can I have your instrument?

With thanks to Eric.


Friday, 18 March 2011

191. Orchestra Blues (1)

Background:  Eric, a musician friend of mine, was a young horn player with the Bournemouth Orchestra in the 1950s.  Back then he was shy but very keen, always willing to put in extra hours and help his colleagues.  However there was a fellow horn player – Stan - he found very difficult to get on with, and on the occasions when they had to share a score Stan could be relied upon to complain about something – Eric sat too close, he turned the pages over at the wrong time, and so on. 

One day Eric overheard that Stan was being evicted by his landlord and was looking for an apartment to rent.  The ins and outs of flat-hunting and tenancy laws began to wear thin after a while, and eventually Eric asked him why he didn’t just go back to live locally with his parents.

Stan:  Oh no, it’s too far from the shops.

With thanks to Eric.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

189. Holiday Blues

Background:  She is a highly organised individual, listmaker supreme and the tidiest mind I know.  Some years ago she and her husband decided to cross hemispheres to have a long faraway holiday involving several mini breaks and stopovers within the holiday.  Unwilling to hand over the responsibility of its coordination to an agent, she planned it efficiently and meticulously, compiling numerous interrelated charts and lists.  Means of travel at every stage? Tick. Budget? Tick. Right clothes – and only what was strictly necessary to enable them to travel light? Tick. Medication ordered in advance?  Tick. Visas, overseas driving licences? Double tick.  All set, they departed for Heathrow airport, and once there headed for the correct check-in desk.

Check-in hostess:  Passports and tickets please....  excuse me, this passport does not agree with the name on the ticket.

A stressful conversation ensued.

What he didn't say:  For crying out loud, she’s brought her daughter’s passport by mistake!  Little Miss Perfect – I DON’T think... What do we do now?

What she didn’t say:  Why must I have to think of everything – he could have checked them...

Him:  (annoyed) Well I’ll have to go on ahead on my own, and you join me as soon as possible, say a day late...

Check-in hostess:  Ah, but just a moment Sir, you’ve brought an out of date passport – look, it’s got the edge clipped off by the Home Office.  So where’s your new one?  (Sees his flushed face) – ah... at home I take it?

What he and she said:  Censored

(PS:  There was a grumpy and recriminatory return home, and the holiday was eventually started three days late.  The travel charts had to be torn up...)


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

188. All Time Favourite Joke Series – Call Centre conversations (1 of 11)

Customer:  I've been ringing 08002100 for two days and can't get through to enquiries, can you help?

Operator at Travel Centre:  Where did you get that number from?

Customer:   It was on the door to the Travel Centre.

Operator:  That’ll be because they are our opening hours.


Monday, 14 March 2011

187. Ted said…

Cousin Caroline (57):  So you remember Granny then?

Cousin Ted (54):  You bet – I remember she made semolina for me once.  It was so much I didn’t know if I should eat it or swim across it.


Saturday, 12 March 2011

185. Cat Dictionary Series (27)

Scene:  The woman is stroking and nuzzling Banjo, and suddenly realises that she can smell engine oil on his fur.  Wrinkling her nose, she asks him why on earth he stinks of engine oil – where’s he been?

Translation:  Hello…? – it’s raining?  I was 2 doors up under the Merc, wouldn’t be seen dead under your manky old Skoda.


Friday, 11 March 2011

184. All-time Favourite Jokes Series - Sunday Wisdom

It was that time, during the Sunday morning service, for the children's sermon.  All the children were invited to come forward.

One little girl was wearing a particularly pretty dress and, as she sat down, the minister leaned over and said - 

“That is a very pretty dress.  Is it your Easter Dress?”

The little girl replied, directly into the minister's clip-on microphone –
“Yes, and my Mum says it's a bitch to iron.”


Thursday, 10 March 2011

183. In the Underground/Tube/Subway

Female traveller (39):  So I goes “What??”, and he goes “Yes, yes, I’m telling you”, and I goes “Aaah…”

Younger female traveller (19):  I didn’t quite catch the beginning…

Female traveller (39):  You mean about the vasectomy?

Younger female traveller (19):  Yeah, that.  What is it?

Female traveller (39):  It means he’s going to be castrated.

Younger female traveller (19):  Aaaah……

Gustavo’s comment:  Not so much “Aaaah” as “Ouch”…

Loosely translated from Blogudeces de la Vida Cotidiana, with thanks to Gustavo


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

182. Memorial Plaque Series (28). Clevedon Pier, Somerset

It says:

Heather Adlam 1921-2001
In memory of
my much loved and loving wife
who was also my
best friend and companion

I am so proud of you for
your dignity and great courage
to the very end



Tuesday, 8 March 2011

181. Welsh Idiosyncrasies. Nicknames Series (1)

Lynda is a pharmaceutical area manager who has been visiting us at the hospital for many years.  She’s Welsh, from Penarth, and has many a wonderfully quirky Welsh story to tell – I hope to extract from her as many as possible for this blog, for others to enjoy. 

It is well known that either there aren’t enough Welsh surnames to go round, or too many Evans, Williams, Lloyds, Davies’, Jones and Morgans etc populated this green and pleasant land, and in small villages it’s often not sufficient to give your full name, since there could be many others with the same name. 

Thus a David who was a baker would be known as “Dai Bread”, and Lynda tells me that in Bargoed, on a street full of people by the name of Beer, the shopkeeper who kept a ledger of locals who purchased on account, had noted down the milkman as “Beer the Milk”.

My favourite is of a man in the valleys who had lost all but one of his teeth – front middle - and was henceforth therefore known as “Dai Central Eating”.


Monday, 7 March 2011

180. All-time Favourite Jokes Series – At the check-out

Checkout Operator:  (folding items just purchased by customer)  Cash, cheque or charge?
(Notices as customer rummages in her handbag that there is a remote control for a television set inside).
So, do you always carry your TV remote?
Customer (female):  No, but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

179. Twin Story

Scene:  Brian and his twin have just celebrated their 32nd birthday

Brian (32):  My brother rang me at 1 in the morning last night to wish me a happy birthday.

Colleague:  Why so late?

Brian:  Because he’s in Mexico, and there’s a 6 hour time difference.  He wanted to wish me a happy birthday while he was still 31…


Saturday, 5 March 2011

178. Memorial Plaque Series (27). Clevedon Pier, Somerset

It says:

Our many thanks to
For their exploding contribution to the pier.


Friday, 4 March 2011

177. Word Wobble (16). Scrabble Trouble

Scene:  A tough scrabble battle is going on, being played by Elsie (75), Grace (65) and Sue (60).  Elsie decides to take remedial action…

Elsie (75):  Well, this is it folks, I’m going to pull a wanker…

Sue (60):  er…you mean a flanker?

Elsie (75):  Why?  What’s a wanker then? 

Sue (60):  It means someone who masturbates....

Grace (65):  And what does that mean?

With thanks to Sue, who has only just recovered from this exchange.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

176. Doctor’s Waiting Room, Buenos Aires

Receptionist (85!):  …yes, I’ve got 7 pins in my heel, they had to put them in last year…

Gustavo (37):  7 pins!!  I bet you make all the metal detectors go off…

Receptionist:  Oh yes, at Carrefour round the corner I used to have to take my X-Rays with me because it was always going off.  But they know me now.

Gustavo’s comment:  You’ve heard it here first – the new technique for hypermarket shoplifting is to take an X-ray with pins along with you.

Loosely translated from Blogudeces de la Vida Cotidiana, with thanks to Gustavo.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

175. All-time Favourite Jokes Series – Transcription of Air Traffic Control Chatter (12 of 12)

Background:  As told by a regular Easy Jet flyer – “I fly ‘queasy jet’ weekly, so I know the cabin crews quite well.  One day we landed very hard at Stansted airport and Stuart the Cabin Manager came over the tannoy as usual and said –

Stuart:  Ladies and Gentlemen, for those of you still conscious, welcome to London Stansted, on behalf of ‘Captain Bash’, once we drag the remains of the plane to the gate and prise off the door you can jump from the wreckage and sprint to the terminal before we explode.
It went down very well and Stuart is now a Base Commander I believe.”