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Tough Interview Questions

Job review company Glassdoor have compiled a list of the toughest interview questions by country. Here are the toughest from the UK for 20...

Farewell 2009

Happy New Year

Hallelujah for Chartusian monks

Recession Proof Christmas

Today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for
better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy
measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:

1. The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be
the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant,
providing considerable savings in maintenance.
2. The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost
effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be
condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated.
3. The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the
4. The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system,
with a call waiting option. An analysis is under way to determine who the birds
have been calling, how often and how long they talked for.
5. The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors.
Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications
for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well
as a mix of government bonds and high technology stocks appear to be in order.
6. The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be
afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose
per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let
go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure
management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.
7. The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times.
Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The
current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance
their outplacement.
8. As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy
scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought.
The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility.
Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or
9. Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be
phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.
10. Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of
international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest
replacing this group with ten out-of-work politicians. While leaping ability
may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an
oversupply of unemployed politicians this year.
11. Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the
band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cut back on new
music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the
bottom line.
12. We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and
other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries
over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels
will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion
to include the legal profession (”thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), action is

Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in
the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request
management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the
right number.

The WC

An English teacher was going to visit Switzerland and was having difficulty finding a room, so she asked the local schoolmaster to help her. After a satisfactory hotel with a room had been found she started packing. Suddenly, it occurred to her that she hadn't asked whether the room had its own loo, so she wrote to the schoolmaster asking whether there was a W.C.

The schoolmaster, not knowing the meaning, asked the parish priest and together they decided that it must mean "Wayside Chapel." He wrote the following email:

Dear Madam,

It is my pleasure to inform you that there is a W.C. just 9 miles from your home, in the center of a grove of pine trees. It seats 229 people, and it is open on Thursdays and Sundays. This is an unfortunate situation if you are in the habit of going regularly, but you will be glad to hear that some people bring their lunches and make a day of it.

I would especially recommend Thursdays, for then there is an Organ accompaniment. The acoustics in the W.C. are excellent; even the most delicate sound can be heard.

My son was married in the W.C. and there was such a rush for seats that 10 people had to sit on the same seat. The look on their faces was very interesting.

My wife is sickly but dedicated, so she doesn't go regularly, in fact she hasn't gone for nearly a year.

I will be glad to reserve a seat in the W.C. for you, where you will be seen and heard by everyone.

Hoping I have been of some assistance.

Sincerely yours,
The Schoolmaster

Probably the Most Stupid Quotes in the World

Miss Alabama when asked: "If you could live forever, would you want to, and why?" answered, "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." Brooke Shields

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." Winston Bennett

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country." Marion Barry

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president" Hillary Clinton

"That low-down scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it." Congressional candidate in Texas

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." John Wayne

"Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical." Lawrence Peter Berra

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's The impurities in our air and water that are doing it." Al Gore

"I think that the undecided could go one way or the other." George Bush

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." Bill Clinton

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." Department of Social Services

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there will be a record." Mark S Fowler

A Festive Offering

Poor old Santa is feeling the pinch in this video from Jib Jab. (It cuts close to being tasteless, but is generally harmless).

History of the English Language

In the beginning there was an island off the coast of Europe. It had no name, for the natives had no language, only a collection of grunts and gestures that roughly translated to "Hey!" " Gimme!" and "Pardon me, but would you happen to have any woad?"

Then the Romans invaded it and called it Britain, because the natives were "blue, nasty, br(u- i)tish and short." This was the start of the importance of u (and its mispronounciation) to the language. After building some roads, killing off some of the nasty little blue people and walling up the rest, the Romans left, taking the language instruction manual with them.

The British were bored so they invited the barbarians to come over (under Hengist) and "Horsa" 'round a bit. The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes brought slightly more refined vocal noises.

All of the vocal sounds of this primitive language were onomatapoeic, being derived from the sounds of battle. Consonants were derived from the sounds of weapons striking a foe. "Sss" and "th" for example are the sounds of a draw cut, "k" is the sound of a solidly landed axe blow, "b", "d", are the sounds of a head dropping onto rock and sod respectively, and "gl" is the sound of a body splashing into a bog. Vowels (which were either gargles in the back of the throat or sharp exhalations) were derived from the sounds the foe himself made when struck.

The barbarians had so much fun that decided to stay for post-revel. The British, finding that they had lost future use of the site, moved into the hills to the west and called themselves Welsh.

The Irish, having heard about language from Patrick, came over to investigate. When they saw the shiny vowels, they pried them loose and took them home. They then raided Wales and stole both their cattle and their vowels, so the poor Welsh had to make do with sheep and consonants. ("Old Ap Ivor hadde a farm, L Y L Y W! And on that farm he hadde somme gees. With a dd dd here and a dd dd there...")

To prevent future raids, the Welsh started calling themselves "Cymry" and gave even longer names to their villages. They figured if no one could pronounce the name of their people or the names of their towns, then no one would visit them. (The success of the tactic is demonstrated still today. How many travel agents have YOU heard suggest a visit to scenic Llyddumlmunnyddthllywddu?)

Meantime, the Irish brought all the shiny new vowels home to Erin. But of course they didn't know that there was once an instruction manual for them, so they scattered the vowels throughout the language purely as ornaments. Most of the new vowels were not pronounced, and those that were were pronounced differently depending on which kind of consonant they were either preceding or following.

The Danes came over and saw the pretty vowels bedecking all the Irish words. "Ooooh!" they said. They raided Ireland and brought the vowels back home with them. But the Vikings couldn't keep track of all the Irish rules so they simply pronounced all the vowels "oouuoo."

In the meantime, the French had invaded Britain, which was populated by descendants of the Germanic Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. After a generation or two, the people were speaking German with a French accent and calling it English. Then the Danes invaded again, crying "Oouuoo! Oouuoo!" burning abbeys, and trading with the townspeople.

The Britons that the Romans hadn't killed intermarried with visiting Irish and became Scots. Against the advice of their travel agents, they decided to visit Wales. (The Scots couldn't read the signposts that said, "This way to Lyddyllwwyddymmllwylldd," but they could smell sheep a league away.) The Scots took the sheep home with them and made some of them into haggis. What they made with the others we won't say, but Scots are known to this day for having hairy legs.

The former Welsh, being totally bereft, moved down out of the hills and into London. Because they were the only people in the Islands who played flutes instead of bagpipes, they were called Tooters. This made them very popular. In short order, Henry Tooter got elected King and begin popularizing ornate, unflattering clothing.

Soon, everybody was wearing ornate, unflattering clothing, playing the flute, speaking German with a French accent, pronouncing all their vowels "oouuoo" (which was fairly easy given the French accent), and making lots of money in the wool trade. Because they were rich, people smiled more (remember, at this time, "Beowulf" and "Canterbury Tales" were the only tabloids, and gave generally favorable reviews even to Danes). And since it is next to impossible to keep your vowels in the back of your throat (even if you do speak German with a French accent) while smiling and saying "oouuoo" (try it, you'll see what I mean), the Great Vowel Shift came about and transformed the English language.

The very richest had their vowels shifted right out in front of their teeth. They settled in Manchester and later in Boston.

There were a few poor souls who, cut off from the economic prosperity of the wool trade, continued to swallow their vowels. They wandered the countryside in misery and despair until they came to the docks of London, where their dialect devolved into the incomprehensible language known as Cockney. Later, it was taken overseas and further brutalized by merging it with Dutch and Italian to create Brooklynese.

Paranoid Office Worker

There's one in every office.

Man: Who did this to me? Who *did* this to me?

Ah. It musta (must have) been him - the new guy. Yes, of course it was the new guy. He knows I'm number one and he's playing mind games with me. So, he moved the desk away from the outlet. Very clever, new guy. Very, very clever. It's exactly what I would have done. Yes, it seems that I'm dealing with a very cool customer. It will be a pleasure doing battle with you, new guy. If in fact you are a new guy. I'll just put him on my list.

Wait a second, I sharpened this pencil yesterday. Someone is dulling my pencils!

Of course it's her. She deals with pencils all day long. She would know exactly what to do. She's not even looking at me; what a *poker* face she has. She may be against me, but she's a very, very smooth operator and I like her for that. Yes, receptionist, you've earned my grudging respect. You are my enemy, but you fight a good fight. I look forward to meeting you on the field of battle. Wait a second, everyone's on my list. They're *all* against me. I don't know who their ringleader is, but I like their sense of teamwork. My hats off to them. They've done their research well. They know my weaknesses and they know the best time to strike. One of them could be a genius, maybe all of them. I've got my work cut out for me.

Man: All right. All right. Okay. The game is up. I know what each and every one of you is thinking and what each and every one of you is about to do. Oh, you're good. You're all very good; I'll give you that. But you've met your match today, my friends. You're dealing with a master now.

The boss: Sit down, you loser.

Man: Okay.

The Real North Pole

I don't often post links, and this one is a teeny bit rude, but very funny.

Just make sure you type your real name when asked:-


It's not just English you can have fun with

The following are some of the winners in a New York magazine contest, in which the rules were: take ANY well-known phrase in ANY foreign language, change JUST ONE SINGLE LETTER, and then provide a definition for the new expression.

HARLEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS? - Can you drive a French motorcycle?

EX POST FUCTO - Lost in the mail

IDIOS AMIGOS - We're wild and crazy guys

VENI, VIPI, VICI - I came, I'm a very important person, I conquered

COGITO, EGGO SUM - I think, therefore I waffle

RIGOR MORRIS - The cat is dead

RESPONDEZ S'IL VOUS PLAID - Honk if you're Scottish

QUE SERA SERF - Life is feudal

LE ROI EST MORT, JIVE LE ROI - The king is dead. No kidding

POSH MORTEM - Death styles of the rich and famous

PRO BOZO PUBLICO - Support your local clown

MONAGE A TROIS - I am three years old

FELIX NAVIDAD - Our cat has a boat

HASTE CUISINE - Fast French food

VENI, VIDI, VICE - I came, I saw, I partied

QUIP PRO QUO - A fast retort

ALOHA OY - Love; greetings, farewell; from such a pain you should never know

MAZEL TON - Tons of good luck

APRES MOE LE DELUGE - Curly and Larry got wet

PORT-KOCHERE - Sacramental wine

ICH LIEBE RICH - I'm really crazy about having dough

FUI GENERIS - What's mine is mine

VISA LA FRANCE - Don't leave your chateau without it

CA VA SANS DIRT - And that's not gossip

MERCI RIEN - Thanks for nothin'

AMICUS PURIAE - Platonic friend

Thanks to Cheri for this one!

I speak no English

The real danger of learning English by rote.


Dave: We're closed.

Scott: Hello? I just want you to tell me where a shoe store is because I want to look for a pair of shoes and buy 'em, mayhap.

Dave: I'm sorry. I'd love to be of assistance to you, but I'm afraid I speak no English.

Scott: Pardon?

Dave: Ah. I see by the expression on your face that you are confused by my statement. Perhaps you doubt its veracity, but let me assure you, I speak not a word of English.

Scott: What are you talking about, huh?

Dave: You see, everything that I am saying to you I have learned to speak phonetically. As to the meanings of the individual words or the percumbant rules of syntax, I haven't a clue.

Scott: Why don't you just shut up and tell me where the shoe store is, huh, you jerk?

Dave: Allow me to reiterate, I speak no English. Perhaps this will wash the confusion from your face, my friend. My apparent fluency is the result of constant repetition. As you can imagine, I have been through this speech many times before, in fact, I could repeat it for you in any one of seven different languages. Yet oddly enough, I've never learned to speak it in my own, which is fine since over the years I have forgotten how to speak my own language.

Scott: Just shut up and tell me where the shoe store is, huh?

Dave: Thank you, would you like to fight me now or are you a coward?

Scott: Don't die.

Dave: I don't know what you're saying.

Scott: I just wanted to buy a pair of shoes, huh?

Dave: No habla espanol, senor.

Scott: Just got feet, don't got shoes.

Dave: Nein. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

That's right Einstein

If someone calls you "Einstein", it's probably not meant as a compliment, it's sarcasm. It's like calling you a clever clogs, or smart ass.


[A guy is in the middle of painting a front porch and someone walks up to him.]

Unknown guy: So, you're doing a little painting huh?

Painter: That's right Einstein. What tipped you off? I mean, I've been trying so hard to keep it a secret here. Hey Einstein?

Einstein: Look, not everything that comes out of my mouth is the theory of relativity. So can the sarcasm!

Painter: Sorry, did I hurt your genius feelings?

Einstein: Walk away, walk away... you're the genius, he's the painter. You figure things out, he paints things up. You're clearly the winner here.

A tough nut to crack

We use the idiom "a tough nut to crack" to talk about problems that are difficult to solve, or to talk about people who won't do what you want them to.

However, this video is about a nut that is really tough to crack.

Cat Laws - For Spooky 1995 - 2009

  • Always give generously. A small bird or rodent left on the bed tells them, I care.
  • Climb your way to the top. That's why the curtains are there.
  • Curiosity never killed anything except maybe a few hours.
  • Find your place in the sun. Especially if it happens to be on that nice pile of warm, clean laundry.
  • If you're not receiving enough attention, try knocking over several expensive antique vases.
  • Life is hard, then you nap.
  • Make your mark in the world. Or at least spray in each corner.
  • Never sleep alone when you can sleep on someone's face.
  • Variety is the spice of life. One day ignore people, the next day annoy them.
  • When eating out, think nothing of sending back your meal twenty or thirty times.
  • When in doubt, cop an attitude.

Lexophile Fun with English - Part 6

I couldn't manage 10 this time:-

  1. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  2. When the cannibals ate the missionary, they got a taste of religion.
  3. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.
  4. Relief - What trees do in the spring. 

Thoughts on weight loss and exercise

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at £7000 a month.

My granddad started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a gym last year, it costs £700 a year, but I haven't lost any weight. Apparently you have to actually go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she looks good, doesn't she?'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

I know that I took a lot of exercise over the last few years,...... just getting over the hill.

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads.

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a pub with Happy Hour and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

Duck House Scandal

The recent scandals involving British politicians and their expenses included one who claimed to have a duck house built in his moat (not something the average semi in the UK has). This video is a lovely bit of mockery:-

What's Up by F. S. Endicott

We've got a two-letter word we use constantly that may have more meaning than any other. The word is up.

It is easy to understand up meaning toward the sky or toward the top of a list. But when we waken, why do we wake up? At a meeting, why does a topic come up, why do participants speak up, and why are the officers up for election? And is it up to the secretary to write up a report?

Often the little word isn't needed, but we use it anyway. We brighten up a room, fix up the old car and polish up the silver. At other times, it has special meanings. People stir up trouble, work up an appetite, get tied up in traffic. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed up is special. It may be confusing, but a drain must be opened up because it is stopped up. We open up a store in the morning and close it up at night. We seem to me mixed up about up.

To be up on the proper use of up look up the word in your dictionary. In one desk-size dictionary up takes up half a page, and listed definitions add up to about 40. If you are up to it, you might try building up a list of the many ways in which up is used. It will take up a lot of your time but, if you don't give up, you may wind up with a thousand.

Green Fingers

If you have green-fingers (or green thumbs) it means you have a seemingly natural ability for gardening and / or growing plants.

More idioms to do with the body here.

It's good in theory

If you can understand and can prove your theory, then send it to a mathematics journal.
If you can understand the theory but you can't prove it, then send it to a physics journal.
If you can't understand the theory but can prove it in some way, send it to a journal of economics.
If you can neither understand nor prove your theory, then send it to a psychology journal.

Lexophile Fun with English - Part 5

Even more puns for all you lexophiles.

  1. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
  2. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
  3. Anyone who gets too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  4. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
  5. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was fined for littering.
  6. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
  7. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  8. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
  9. I wondered why the cricket ball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  10. Every calendar's days are numbered.

    Good writing advice

    In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.

    Let your conversational communications possess a compacted conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a coalescent cogency and a concatenated consistency.

    Eschew obfuscation and all conglomeration of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement and asinine affectations.

    Let your extemporaneous descants and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and voracious vivacity without rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.

    Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy and vain vapid verbosity.

    If you are really interested, the above means: "Be brief and don't use long words."

    The Ig Noble awards 2009

    Every year I have a giggle at what scientists get paid to research. The Ig Nobel awards are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think". Organized by the scientific humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), they are presented by a group that includes genuine Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre.

    This year's prizes were awarded to the following research:-

    Public Health: Elena N Bodnar, Raphael C Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, US, for inventing a bra that can be quickly converted into a pair of gas masks - one for the wearer and one to be given to a needy bystander.

    Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

    Veterinary medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, UK, for showing that cows with names give more milk than cows that are nameless.

    Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the faeces of giant pandas.

    Medicine: Donald L Unger of Thousand Oaks, California, US, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand but not his right hand every day for more than 60 years.

    Economics: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa (and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy).

    Physics: Katherine K Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, Daniel E Lieberman of Harvard University and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, all in the US, for analytically determining why pregnant women do not tip over.

    Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor M Castano of Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for creating diamonds from tequila.

    Literature: Ireland's police service for writing and presenting more than 50 traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country - Prawo Jazdy - whose name in Polish means "Driving Licence".

    Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.

    T' North South Divide

    It is true that the further north you go in the UK, the more likely you are to think you never learnt "proper" English at all.

    The proper pronunciation for angle-bracket characters

    The following poem appeared in INFOCUS magazine. The original authors were Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese of Calvin College & Seminary of Grand Rapids, MI.

    A poll conducted among INFOCUS readers had established "waka" as the proper pronunciation for the angle-bracket characters <> and, though some readers held out resolutely for "norkies."
    The text of the poem follows:

    < > ! * ' ' #
    ^ " ` $ $ -
    ! * = @ $ _
    % * < > ~ #4
    & [ ] . . /
    | { , , SYSTEM HALTED

    The poem can only be appreciated by reading it aloud, to wit:

    Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
    Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
    Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
    Percent splat waka waka tilde number four,
    Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
    Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH.

    Toilet Humour

    Toilet humour is a type of off-colour humour usually dealing with bodily functions. Public reference to bodily functions is taboo in many cultures. This is pretty mild, but if you're sensitive - "Look away now!"

    Proof That Girls Are Evil

    Girls take up time and money, so:-

    Girls = Time x Money

    We all know that time is money, so:-

    Time = Money


    Girls = Money x Money = Money2

    Money is the root of all evil, so:-

    Money = √Evil


    Girls = √Evil2

    Therefore the only logical conclusion is:-

    Girls = Evil

    Film subtitles

    According to Kim the following sentences are actual subtitles used in films from Hong Kong:-

    I am darn unsatisfied to be killed in this way.

    Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep.

    Gun wounds again?

    Same old rules: no eyes, no groin.

    A normal person wouldn't steal pituitaries.

    Darn, I'll burn you into a BBQ chicken

    Take my advice, or I'll spank you a lot.

    Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?

    This will be of fine service for you, you bag of the scum. I am sure you will not mind that I remove your toenails and leave them out on the dessert floor for ants to eat.

    Quiet or I'll blow your throat up.

    I'll fire aimlessly if you don't come out!

    You daring lousy guy.

    Beat him out of recognizable shape!

    Yah-hah, evil spider woman! I have captured you by the short rabbits and can now deliver you violently to your doctor for a thorough extermination.

    I have been scared silly too much lately.

    I got knife scars more than the number of your leg's hair!

    Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected.

    The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold?

    How can you use my intestines as a gift?

    Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team up together and go into the country to inflict the pain of our karate feats on some but of the giant lizard person.

    You always use violence. I should've ordered glutinous rice chicken.

    (I'm not sure how true these are, but I do feel inspired to get some Kung Fu movies out of the video shop to find out!)

    Greetings Revisited

    I often get asked about the correct way to greet someone in English. Of course it depends on the situation, and I wouldn't recommend this method:-

    Life in the Australian Army

    This is the text of a letter from a kid from Eromanga to Mum and Dad. (For Those of you not in the know, Eromanga is a small town, west of Quilpie in the far south west of Queensland, Australia.)

    Dear Mum & Dad,

    I am well. Hope youse are too. Tell me big brothers Doug and Phil that the Army is better than workin' on the farm - tell them to get in bloody quick smart before the jobs are all gone! I wuz a bit slow in settling down at first, because ya don't hafta get outta bed until 6am. But I like sleeping in now, cuz all ya gotta do before brekky is make ya bed and shine ya boots and clean ya uniform. No bloody cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack - nothin'!! Ya haz gotta shower though, but its not so bad, coz there's lotsa hot water and even a light to see what ya doing!

    At brekky ya get cereal, fruit and eggs but there's no kangaroo steaks or possum stew like wot Mum makes. You don't get fed again until noon and by that time all the city boys are buggered because we've been on a 'route march' - geez its only just like walking to the windmill in the back paddock!!

    This one will kill me brothers Doug and Phil with laughter. I keep getting medals for shootin' - dunno why. The bullseye is as big as a bloody possum's bum and it don't move and it's not firing back at ya like the Johnsons did when our big scrubber bull got into their prize cows before the Ekka last year! All ya gotta do is make yourself comfortable and hit the target - it's a piece of piss!! You don't even load your own cartridges, they comes in little boxes, and ya don't have to steady yourself against the rollbar of the roo shooting truck when you reload!

    Sometimes ya gotta wrestle with the city boys and I gotta be real careful coz they break easy - it's not like fighting with Doug and Phil and Jack and Boori and Steve and Muzza all at once like we do at home after the muster.
    Turns out I'm not a bad boxer either and it looks like I'm the best the platoon's got, and I've only been beaten by this one bloke from the Engineers - he's 6 foot 5 and 15 stone and three pick handles across the shoulders and as ya know I'm only 5 foot 7 and eight stone wringin' wet, but I fought him till the other blokes carried me off to the boozer.

    I can't complain about the Army - tell the boys to get in quick before word gets around how bloody good it is.

    Your loving daughter,


    The importance of using the definite article

    When you're speaking or writing English, it's very important to use the definite article (the), correctly. But you might not recognise it if you go "up north".

    Pilots and control towers

    Here are some real (allegedly) conversations from pilots and the flight tower:-

    Tower : 'Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!'

    Delta 351 : 'Give us another hint! We have digital watches!'


    Tower : 'TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees.'

    TWA 2341 : 'Center, we are at 35,000 feet! How much noise can we make up here?'

    Tower : 'Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?'


    From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: 'I'm effing bored!'

    Ground Traffic Control : 'Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!'

    Unknown aircraft : 'I said I was effing bored, not effing stupid!'


    O'Hare Approach Control to a 747 : 'United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound.'

    United 329 : 'Approach, I've always wanted to say this..I've got the little Fokker in sight.'


    A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked , 'What was your last known position?'

    Student : 'When I was number one for takeoff.'


    A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.

    San Jose Tower Noted : 'American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadeloupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport.'


    A Pan Am 727 flight, waiting for start clearance in Munich , overheard the following:

    Lufthansa (in German): ' Ground, what is our start clearance time?'

    Ground (in English): 'If you want an answer you must speak in English.'

    Lufthansa (in English): 'I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany . Why must I speak English?'

    Unknown voice from another plane (in a British accent): 'Because you lost the bloody war!'


    Tower : 'Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7'

    Eastern 702 : 'Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway.'

    Tower : 'Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?'

    BR Continental 635 : 'Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern... we've already notified our caterers.'


    One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, 'What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?'

    The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: 'I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one.'


    The German air controllers at FrankfurtAirport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.

    Speedbird 206 : ' Frankfurt , Speedbird 206! Clear off active runway.'

    Ground : 'Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven.'

    The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

    Ground : 'Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?'

    Speedbird 206 : 'Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now.' !

    Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): 'Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?'

    Speedbird 206 (coolly): 'Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- And I didn't land.'


    While taxiing at London 's GatwickAirport , the crew of a US Air flight departing Fort Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming:

    'US Air 2771, where the hell are you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!'

    Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically:

    'God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour, and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?'

    'Yes, ma'am,' the humbled crew responded. Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: 'Wasn't I married to you once?'

    Thanks to James

    Dragons' Den Spoof from Harry and Paul

    Dragons' Den is a venture-capitalist TV programme on the BBC. Entrepreneurs pitch their money-making ideas in order to secure investment finance from business experts — the "Dragons".

    This is a spoof version from the British comedy duo Harry and Paul, where two entrepreneurs pitch the idea of a new month - Augcember:-

    The importance of correct pronunciation - Podcast

    You might find this more useful if you listen to it whilst reading it:-

    powered by ODEO

    1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
    2. The farm was used to produce produce.
    3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
    4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
    5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
    6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
    8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
    9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
    10. I did not object to the object.
    11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
    12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
    13. They were too close to the door to close it.
    14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
    15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into the sewer.
    16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
    17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
    18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
    19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
    20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
    21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
    22. A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.

    (This sentence contains every pronunciation of "ough", which can be pronounced in nine different ways. I do hope you're having fun with English.)

    Who's On First? - Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Sketch

    Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bucky Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.

    Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.

    Abbott: I certainly do.

    Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

    Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

    Costello: You mean funny names?

    Abbott: Strange names, pet names...like Dizzy Dean...

    Costello: His brother Daffy.

    Abbott: Daffy Dean...

    Costello: And their French cousin.

    Abbott: French?

    Costello: Goofè.

    Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...

    Costello: That's what I want to find out.

    Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.

    Costello: Are you the manager?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?

    Abbott: Well I should.

    Costello: Well then who's on first?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: I mean the fellow's name.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy on first.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The first baseman.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy playing...

    Abbott: Who is on first!

    Costello: I'm asking YOU who's on first.

    Abbott: That's the man's name.

    Costello: That's who's name?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: That's who?

    Abbott: Yes.


    Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?

    Abbott: Certainly.

    Costello: Who's playing first?

    Abbott: That's right.

    Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

    Abbott: Every dollar of it.

    Costello: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name on first base.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy that gets...

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: Who gets the money...

    Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

    Costello: Whose wife?

    Abbott: Yes.


    Abbott: What's wrong with that?

    Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: How does he sign...

    Abbott: That's how he signs it.

    Costello: Who?

    Abbott: Yes.


    Costello: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name on first base.

    Abbott: No. What is on second base.

    Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

    Abbott: Who's on first.

    Costello: One base at a time!

    Abbott: Well, don't change the players around.

    Costello: I'm not changing nobody!

    Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.

    Costello: I'm only asking you, who's the guy on first base?

    Abbott: That's right.

    Costello: Ok.

    Abbott: All right.


    Costello: What's the guy's name on first base?

    Abbott: No. What is on second.

    Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

    Abbott: Who's on first.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott: He's on third, we're not talking about him.

    Costello: Now how did I get on third base?

    Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.

    Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third?

    Abbott: No. Who's playing first.

    Costello: What's on first?

    Abbott: What's on second.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott: He's on third.

    Costello: There I go, back on third again!


    Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don't go off it.

    Abbott: All right, what do you want to know?

    Costello: Now who's playing third base?

    Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?

    Costello: What am I putting on third.

    Abbott: No. What is on second.

    Costello: You don't want who on second?

    Abbott: Who is on first.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott & Costello Together:Third base!


    Costello: Look, you gotta outfield?

    Abbott: Sure.

    Costello: The left fielder's name?

    Abbott: Why.

    Costello: I just thought I'd ask you.

    Abbott: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.

    Costello: Then tell me who's playing left field.

    Abbott: Who's playing first.

    Costello: I'm not... stay out of the infield! I want to know what's the guy's name in left field?

    Abbott: No, What is on second.

    Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

    Abbott: Who's on first!

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!


    Costello: And the left fielder's name?

    Abbott: Why.

    Costello: Because!

    Abbott: Oh, he's centerfield.


    Costello: Look, look look. You gotta pitcher on the team?

    Abbott: Sure.

    Costello: The pitcher's name?

    Abbott: Tomorrow.

    Costello: You don't want to tell me today?

    Abbott: I'm telling you now.

    Costello: Then go ahead.

    Abbott: Tomorrow!

    Costello: What time?

    Abbott: What time what?

    Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching?

    Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching.

    Costello: I'll break your arm, you say who's on first! I want to know what's the pitcher's name?

    Abbott: What's on second.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!


    Costello: Gotta a catcher?

    Abbott: Certainly.

    Costello: The catcher's name?

    Abbott: Today.

    Costello: Today, and tomorrow's pitching.

    Abbott: Now you've got it.

    Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team.


    Costello: You know I'm a catcher too.

    Abbott: So they tell me.

    Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

    Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

    Costello: I don't even know what I'm talking about!


    Abbott: That's all you have to do.

    Costello: Is to throw the ball to first base.

    Abbott: Yes!

    Costello: Now who's got it?

    Abbott: Naturally.


    Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get it. Now who has it?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Who?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Naturally?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

    Abbott: No you don't, you throw the ball to Who.

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That's different.

    Costello: That's what I said.

    Abbott: You're not saying it...

    Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

    Abbott: You throw it to Who.

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: That's what I said!

    Abbott: You ask me.

    Costello: I throw the ball to who?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Now you ask me.

    Abbott: You throw the ball to Who?

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!

    Abbott: What?

    Costello: I said I don't give a darn!

    Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop.

    Lexophile Fun with English - Part 4

    Another set of fun pun phrases for all you lexophiles:-

    1. A spud gun was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
    2. When you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.
    3. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
    4. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
    5. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
    6. A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired.
    7. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
    8. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
    9. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France and resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
    10. When an actress saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she'd dye.

      Holiday Complaints

      This list was allegedly compiled by Thomas Cook Holidays, listing complaints they had received. "Some people should not go out of the house!"

      (Survey by Thomas Cook and ABTA)

      "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

      "The beach was too sandy."

      "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."

      "Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."

      "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned."

      "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."

      "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

      A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".

      A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she'd been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the "do not disturb" sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.

      A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

      "We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five Euros (£3.50) from a street trader, only to find out they were fake."

      "No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

      "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home."

      "I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller."

      "The brochure states: 'No hairdressers at the accommodation'. We're trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying here?"

      "There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners."

      "We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."

      "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

      "I was bitten by a mosquito - no-one said they could bite."

      "My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

      Learn the 50 states and capitals of America

      Oh and don't forget, London, England. ;-)

      My Living Will

      Last night, my wife and I were sitting in the living room.

      I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

      So, she stood up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my beer.

      Brain Vocabulary

      If you need to learn vocabulary for the different parts of the brain, this is as good a way as any:-

      Pinky: And now, the parts of the brain, performed by The Brain!
      Brain: Ye-e-s!

      Brain: Neo-cortex, frontal lobe
      Pinky: Brainstem! Brainstem!
      Brain: Hippocampus, neural node. Right hemisphere.

      Brain: Pons and cortex visual
      Pinky: Brainstem! Brainstem!
      Brain: Sylvian fissure, pineal. Left hemisphere.

      Brain: Cerebellum left! Cerebellum right! Synapse, hypothalamus. Striatum, dendrite.

      Brain: Axon fibers, matter grey.
      Pinky: Brainstem! Brainstem!
      Brain: Central tegmental pathway. Temporal lobe.

      Brain: White core matter, forebrain, skull
      Pinky: Brainstem! Brainstem!
      Brain: Central fissure, cord spinal. Parietal.

      Brain: Pia mater. Menengeal vein. Medulla oblongata and lobe limbic. Micro-electrodes.
      Pinky: Naaarf.
      P+B : THE BRAIN!

      Brain: That ought to keep the little squirts happy. Ye-e-s!

      Thanks to Xeb

      Lexophile Fun with English - Part 3

      More fun for all you lexophiles:-

      1. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
      2. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
      3. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
      4. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
      5. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
      6. A lot of money is tainted - 'taint yours and 'taint mine.
      7. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
      8. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
      9. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
      10. A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.

        Computing Today

        1. When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.

        2. When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete.

        3. The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you'd least expect to find it.

        4. When the going gets tough, upgrade.

        5. For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.

        6. To err is human...to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human, its downright natural.

        7. He who laughs last, probably has a back-up.

        8. The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.

        9. A complex system that doesn't work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.

        10. A computer program will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want it to do.

        Thanks to Chewks

        100% Unnatural food

        A fast food chain has worked out a menu that takes nothing from nature.

        Just remember it's a joke. :)

        From the diary of a Pre- School Teacher

        My five-year old students are learning to read. Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"

        I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"
        "It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"

        And so it did:-

        "A f r i c a n Elephant"

        (Thanks to James for this.)

        How not to learn a language...

        I love Friends and this is particularly funny for anyone learning a language:-

        Win any argument

        As any experienced conversationalist can tell you, ambiguity is the key to winning any argument. Here are a few popular proverbs and counter-proverbs that will allow you to turn a conversation in any direction you want. Who can argue with the wit and wisdom of our forefathers, or even our five fathers?

        Actions speak louder than words.
        The pen is mightier than the sword.

        Look before you leap.
        He who hesitates is lost.

        Many hands make light work.
        Too many cooks spoil the broth.

        Clothes make the man.
        Don't judge a book by its cover.

        Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
        Better safe than sorry.

        The bigger, the better.
        The best things come in small packages.

        Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
        Out of sight, out of mind.

        What will be, will be.
        Life is what you make it.

        Cross your bridges when you come to them.
        Forewarned is forearmed.

        What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
        One man's meat is another man's poison.

        With age comes wisdom.
        Out of the mouths of babes come all wise sayings.

        The more, the merrier.
        Two's company; three's a crowd.

        Thanks to Chewks.

        Viewer discretion required

        Gymnast Put Down After Breaking her Leg:-

        (It's a spoof, but the way some people train gymnasts, it has an uncomfortable ring to it!)

        Fish licence - Monty Python Sketch

        A man goes into the post office to buy a licence for his pet halibut, Eric.

        (You no longer need a licence for any pet in the UK, but you do need a TV licence.)

        Cast of thousands - well two -

        John Cleese
        Michael Palin

        Post Office Worker: Five pence please.

        Praline: Excuse me, I would like to buy a fish licence, please. ... The man's sign must be wrong. I have in the past noticed a marked discrepancy between these post office signs and the activities carried out beneath. But soft, let us see how Dame Fortune smiles upon my next postal adventure! Hello, I would like to buy a fish licence, please.

        Postal clerk: A what?

        Praline: A licence for my pet fish, Eric.

        Clerk: How do you know my name is Eric?

        Praline: No, no, no! My fish's name is Eric. Eric fish. He's an halibut.

        Clerk: He's a what?

        Praline: He is an halibut.

        Clerk: You've got a pet halibut?

        Praline: Yes, I chose him out of thousands. I didn't like the others, they were all too flat.

        Clerk: You're a loony.

        Praline: I am not a loony! Why should I be tarred with the epithet 'loony' merely because I have a pet halibut? I've heard tell that Sir Gerald Nabarro has a pet prawn called Simon - and you wouldn't call Sir Gerald a loony, would you? Furthermore Dawn Palethorpe, the lady show jumper, had a clam called Sir Stafford, after the late chancellor. Alan Bullock has two pikes, both called Norman, and the late, great Marcel Proust had an 'addock! Uf you're calling the author of 'A la recherche de temps perdu' a loony, I shall have to ask you to step outside!

        Clerk: All right, all right, all right. You want a licence?

        Praline: Yes!

        Clerk: For a fish?

        Praline: Yes!

        Clerk: You *are* a loony.

        Praline: Look, it's a bleeding pet, isn't it? I've got a licence for me pet dog Eric, and I've got a licence for me pet cat Eric.

        Clerk: You don't need a licence for a cat.

        Praline: You bleedin' well do and I've got one! You're not catching me out there!

        Clerk: There is no such thing as a bloody cat licence.

        Praline: Yes there is.

        Clerk: No there isn't.

        Praline: Is.

        Clerk: Isn't.

        Praline: Is.

        Clerk: Isn't.

        Praline: Is.

        Clerk: Isn't.

        Praline: Is.

        Clerk: Isn't.

        Praline: Is.

        Clerk: Isn't.

        Praline: Is!

        Clerk: Isn't.

        Praline: What's that then?

        Clerk: That is a dog licence with the word 'dog' crossed out and the word 'cat' written in, in crayon.

        Praline: Well the man didn't have the proper form.

        Clerk: What man?

        Praline: The man from the cat detector van.

        Clerk: The loony detector van, you mean.

        Praline: Look, it's people like you what causes unrest.

        Clerk: Alright, what cat detector van?

        Praline: The cat detector van from the Ministry of Housinge.

        Clerk: Housinge?

        Praline: Yes, it was spelt like that on the van. I'm very observant. I've never seen so many aerials. The man told me their equipment could pinpoint a purr at four hundred yards, and Eric being such a happy cat was a piece of cake.

        Clerk: How much did this cost?

        Praline: Sixty quid and eight guineas for the fruit-bat.

        Clerk: What fruit-bat?

        Praline: Eric the fruit-bat.

        Clerk: Are all your pets called Eric?

        Praline: There's nothing so odd about that. Kemel Attaturk had an entire menagerie all called Abdul.

        Clerk: No he didn't.

        Praline: Did, did, did, did, did, did and did! There you are. 'Kemal Ataturk, the Man' by E. W. Swanton with a foreword by Paul Anka. Page 91, please.

        Clerk: I owe you an apology sir.

        Praline: Spoken like a gentleman. Now, are you going to give me this fish licence?

        Clerk: I promise you that there is no such thing. You don't need one.

        Praline: Then I would like a statement to that effect signed by the Lord Mayor.

        Parent's Evening

        Parent Evenings in the UK involve parents meeting their children's teacher and discussing their progress. Here it's Kevin, who has a crush on his English teacher.

        A crush is also called puppy love, the temporary love of an adolescent.

        6 weeks , 6 months, 6 years . . .



        6 weeks : I love you, I love you, I love you.
        6 months : Of course I love you.
        6 years : GOD! If I didn't love you, then why did I marry you?


        Back from Work:

        6 weeks: Honey, I'm home!
        6 months: I'm back!
        6 years: What's for dinner?



        6 weeks: Honey, I really hope you like the ring.
        6 months: I bought a new painting for the living room.
        6 years: Here's the money. Buy yourself something.


        Phone Ringing:

        6 weeks: Baby, somebody wants you on the phone.
        6 months: Here, it's for you.
        6 years : PHONE: ring ring, ring ring.



        6 weeks: I never knew food could taste so good!
        6 months: What are we having for dinner tonight?
        6 years: AGAIN!



        6 weeks: Honey muffin, don't worry, Ill never hold it against you.
        6 months: Don't do it again.
        6 years: What's not to understand about what I just said?


        New Dress:

        6 weeks: Oh my God, you look like an angel in that dress.
        6 months: You bought a new dress.
        6 years: How much did THAT cost?


        Planning for Vacations:

        6 weeks: How does 2 weeks in Vienna or anywhere you want sound?
        6 months: What's so bad about visiting my mum and dad?
        6 years: Travel? What's so bad about staying home?



        6 weeks: Baby, what would you like us to watch tonight?
        6 months: I like this movie.
        6 years: I'm going to watch Eurosport, if you're not in the mood, go to bed, I can stay up by myself . . .


        Are you ready for children?

        If you are thinking about having children you might want to try the following simple tests...

        The mess test:

        Smear peanut butter on the settee and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub them on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish finger behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

        The toy test:

        Get a huge box of Lego. (If Lego is not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake your child at night).

        The shopping test:

        Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the supermarket. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

        The dressing test:

        Try to get hold of a large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff it into a small net bag making sure that all its arms stay inside.

        The feeding test:

        Find a large plastic milk jug. Fill it halfway with water. Suspend it from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy Weetabix into the jug whilst pretending to be an airplane or choo choo train. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

        The physical test (for women):

        Get a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Finally remove 10% of the beans.

        The physical test (for men):

        Go to the nearest chemists and put your wallet on the counter. Ask the pharmacist to help him/herself. Now proceed to the nearest supermarket. Go to customer services and arrange for your pay to be directly deposited there. Buy a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

        The final exam:

        Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child's table manners. Emphasize how they should never allow their children to run riot.

        Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.

        Virgin on the ridiculous

        This is a play on the phrase "verging on the ridiculous", which means it's almost laughable. The plane is from the Virgin airlines, and let's face it it's ridiculous that people have to put up with the noise and pollution.

        A week off work?

        All you bosses out there probably get asked for an extra week off work quite regularly. Here's a response you can use:-

        So, you want a week off?

        Well, let's take a look at what you are asking for.

        There are 365 days in a year, and 7 days in a week, which makes 52 weeks. You already have 2 days off per week, which is 104 days.

        You spend 8 hours a day at work, which means you spend 16 hours each day away from work, a further 174 days lost.

        You spend an hour each day on tea breaks and comfort breaks which accounts for 15 days.

        With an hour for lunch each day, you use up another 15 days.

        You normally have 2 weeks a year on sick leave.

        On average there are 8 bank holidays a year and we generously give you 4 weeks paid holiday a year, so that's a further 36 days.

        So you have 1 week actually available for work and I'll be damned if you are going to take it off!

        Legal Loopholes

        This Political Talk Show Host seems unhealthily interested in manslaughter law loopholes.

        Rapping Flight

        I'm not sure how I'd react to this, I'm so nervous when I'm about to fly, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

        A to Z of Medical Terminology for the Layman

        Artery: The study of fine paintings.

        Bacteria: Back door to the cafeteria.

        Barium: What to do if CPR fails.

        Benign: What you are after you be 8.

        Cesarean Section: Some place in Rome.

        CATscan: Looking for kitty.

        Cauterize: Got that pretty girl to look at you.

        Colic: A sheep dog.

        Coma: A punctuation mark.

        D & C: Where Washington is.

        Dilate: To live long.

        Enema: Not your friend.

        Fester: Quicker.

        Fibula: A small lie.

        G.I. Series: Baseball games between teams of soldiers.

        Hangnail: What you hang your coat on.

        Impotent: Distinguished, well known

        Labour Pain: Getting hurt at work.

        Medical Staff: A Doctor's walking stick.

        Morbid: A higher offer on eBay.

        Nitrates: Lower than day rates.

        Node: Was aware of.

        Outpatient: A person who has fainted.

        Pap Smear: A lie about someone's father.

        Pelvis: Second cousin to Elvis.

        Post Operative: A postman.

        Recovery Room: Place to do upholstery.

        Rectum: Nearly killed them.

        Secretion: Hiding something.

        Seizure: Roman emperor.

        Tablet: A small table.

        Terminal Illness: A sick computer.

        Tumour: More than one.

        Urine: Opposite of you're out.

        Varicose Vein: Veins that are very close together.

        Thanks to James

        Bring your child to work day

        I think there would be more childcare facilities if all the dads had to look after the kids.

        The Middle Wife

        Thanks to Sis for sending me this, written by a 2nd grade teacher, who unfortunately is anonymous:-

        "I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few years back.

        When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

        Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

        She holds up a snapshot of an infant. "This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday."

        "First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."

        She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

        "Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going , 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh! ' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. "She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.

        "My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this." Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.

        "And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!"

        This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away.

        It was too much!

        "Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe’.

        They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-centre, so there must be a lot of toys inside there."

        Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

        I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along."

        Turn your Sat Nav to Romanian

        James May and Oz Clark almost crash the Rolls Royce. Can you figure out why? A typical bit of British humour - puerile and childish, but it made me laugh my socks off.

        New Banking Procedures

        Please note that this Bank is installing new "Drive-through" cashier machines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. Customers using this new
        facility are requested to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts. After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE procedures have been developed. Please follow the appropriate steps for your gender:-


        1. Drive up to the cash machine.

        2. Put down your car window.

        3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.

        4. Enter amount of cash required.

        5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.

        6. Put window up.

        7. Drive off.


        1. Drive up to cash machine.

        2. Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with the machine.

        3. Set parking brake, wind the window down.

        4. Find handbag, empty all contents onto passenger seat to locate card.

        5. Tell the person on your mobile phone you will call them back and hang up.

        6. Attempt to insert card into machine.

        7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.

        8. Insert card.

        9. Re-insert card the right way.

        10. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.

        11. Enter PIN.

        12. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.

        13. Enter amount of cash required.

        14. Check makeup in rear view mirror.

        15. Retrieve cash and receipt.

        16. Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside.

        17. Write deposit amount in check book and place receipt in back of checkbook.

        18. Re-check makeup.

        19. Drive forward 2 feet.

        20. Reverse back to cash machine.

        21. Retrieve card.

        22. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided.

        23. Give appropriate one-fingered hand signal to irate male driver waiting behind you.

        24. Restart stalled engine and pull off.

        25. Redial person on mobile phone.

        26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.

        27. Release hand brake.

        Business English - Outsourcing

        Outsourcing is subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company. The decision to outsource is often made in the interest of lowering cost or making better use of time and energy costs, redirecting or conserving energy directed at the competencies of a particular business, or to make more efficient use of land, labour, capital, (information) technology and resources. Outsourcing became part of the business lexicon during the 1980s. It is essentially a division of labour.

        So, could this happen?

        Pythagoras # 1

        There were three Medieval kingdoms on the shores of a lake. There was an island in the middle of the lake, which the kingdoms had been fighting over for years. Finally, the three kings decided that they would send their knights out to do battle, and the winner would take the island.

        The night before the battle, the knights and their squires pitched camp and readied themselves for the fight. The first kingdom had 12 knights, and each knight had 5 squires, all of whom were busily polishing armor, brushing horses, and cooking food. The second kingdom had 20 knights, and each knight had 10 squires. Everyone at that camp was also busy preparing for battle. At the camp of the third kingdom, there was only one knight, with his squire.

        This squire took a large pot and hung it from a looped rope in a tall tree. He busied himself preparing the meal, while the knight polished his own armor. When the hour of the battle came, the three kingdoms sent their squires out to fight (this was too trivial a matter for the knights to join in).

        The battle raged, and when the dust cleared, the only person left was the lone squire from the third kingdom, having defeated the squires from the other two kingdoms.

        I guess this just proves that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.

        Attributed to Seth Yoshioka-Maxwell