Tag Archives: United States

Joke 925

4 Oct

This joke is from Viv’s Jock and was originally British in nature; but I thought, given the current situation, my American readers might appreciate it more.

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you took all the politicians and bureaucrats and laid them end to end down Pennsylvania Avenue…

…it might be a damned good idea.


It reminds me of that old quote attributed variously to Bette Davis and Dorothy Parker:

If all the girls at that party were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.


Joke 7413

4 Jul
Thor, Cool Cat Patriot 7-4-2012

Thor, Cool Cat Patriot 7-4-2012 (Photo credit: inkknife_2000)

Teacher: True or False?  The Declaration of Independence was written in Philadelphia.
Student: False. It was written in ink.


Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
On the bottom.


Why did the British soldiers wear red coats?
So they could hide in the tomatoes.


Why did Paul Revere ride from Boston to Lexington?

Because the horse was too heavy to carry.


What was General Washington’s favorite tree?
The infantry.


What happened as a result of the Stamp Act?
The Americans licked the British.

[It hurt to post that one]


What kind of tea did the American colonists thirst for?


What did King George think of the American colonists?
He thought they were revolting.


Where did the colonists’ dogs protest against England?
At the Boston Flea Party.


What do you call an American revolutionary who draws cartoons?
Yankee Doodler.


Father William, the old priest, made it a practice to visit the parish school one day a week. He walked into the 4th grade class, where the children were studying the states, and asked them how many states they could name. They came up with about 40 names.

Father William jokingly told them that in his day students knew the names of all the states. One lad raised his hand and said, Yes sir, but in those days there were only 13 states.


Happy Fourth of July to my American rebels readers!


From academictips.

Joke 823

24 Jun

An old joke from America.

Never, ever, think outside the box

Never, ever, think outside the box (Photo credit: Mrs eNil)

For a couple years I’ve been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason: I’m tired because I’m overworked.

The population of this country is 237 million.

104 million are retired.

That leaves 133 million to do the work.

There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.

Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.

2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.

At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.

That leaves just two people to do the work. You and me.

And you’re sitting at your computer reading jokes.


From ajokeaday.com


Thinking Of You

28 Aug


Hurricane Carlotta Stands Out in Earth View

Hurricane Carlotta Stands Out in Earth View (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)


Two years and one day ago, I wrote this:

Thinking of my American readers today.  Stay safe.

Thankfully, you did. 

I can’t believe I have to say it again.

Stay safe, dear readers.


Put The Kettle On, America

10 Feb

Another reblog, I’m afraid.  It raises a question that was never answered to my satisfaction.  I have a few more readers now, more than half of you American, so perhaps the answer will be forthcoming this time.

Electric kettle

Image via Wikipedia

This is something that has puzzled me for years: are there no electric kettles in the USA?

Watch American movies and tv carefully: whenever a cup of tea or coffee is made, the character fills a kettle and puts it on the stove.  No-one ever plugs a kettle into the wall.  Why is this?  Is there a ban on their use in the media, like there is for cigarettes?  Does the American Government know and is not telling us that electric kettles cause cancer? 

There is also the question of tea: why do Americans drink tea with the bag still in the cup?  I know this is so because the string and label always hang over the side on telly.  The tea must be stewed by the time they get to the bottom of the cup.  No wonder there are so many hairy people in the States.  And don’t get me started on how they drink it the minute the boiling water is poured in – do they all have asbestos lips? 

My own theory is that America has traditionally been a nation of coffee drinkers and directors want to show their characters’ individuality by making it obvious that they are tea drinkers: maverick detective with hirsute trout pout clears name by killing seventy-three queuing assailants with six bullets, and rounds off the day with a nice cup of Earl Grey. Or it could just be a matter of product placement.  But that still doesn’t explain the weird absence of electric kettles.

‘Queuing assailants’ came from a writing class, where we discussed the fact that there are no new stories, then segued into movie clichés: the baddies always take turns fighting the hero instead of rushing him en masse.  It’s usually a him.  He might have – in fact, he will have – a gorgeous female sidekick and she will have a fabulous name and these days can kick butt as well as him, but she will inevitably be captured and be reduced to ‘the girl’: Let the girl go/just give me the girl/blow up the Isle of Man or the girl gets it.  If I am ever captured and the Hub rescues me and I hear him say, ‘Let the girl go,’ the first thing I will do after my grateful smooch will be to kick his butt and leave him for a dentist.  It annoys me.

Then there is the matter of coffee drinkers: we see them in their homes, loading their stove-top kettles or their coffee machines.  Next scene: a cardboard cup of coffee in their hands, bought from Starbucks on the way to fight crime.  What’s that about?  Are the stove-top kettles decoys?  Or a subliminal message…if it ain’t from a street vendor you’re killing the planet?

One final question: do I spend too much time watching tv and worrying about inanities?

A Short History Of Tilly Bud In Arcanian

15 Sep
Marc Bolan
Image via Wikipedia

ar·cane  /ɑrˈkeɪn/ adjective

known or understood by very few

Write a power sentence for every year of your life.

This is a surprisingly good prompt so I’m going to take it seriously. 

If you believe that, you must be new here.







1963: I am born in Liverpool, England; President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, America.  I’m not saying there’s a connection, but…

1964: I am one year old.  The Hub is born.  My life as a cougar is pre-destined.

1965: My younger brother is born; I learn to wet my pants for attention.

1966: England win the World Cup.  I’m three. I don’t even know what England is, never mind the World Cup; but I am English, and no one can mention 1966 without reminding everyone that England won the World Cup.  It’s the law.  I have started to read.  Star Trek is broadcast for the first time. My geekness is assured.

1967: The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified.  I will know nothing of this until President Bartlet’s daughter Zoe is kidnapped and he steps down from office to ensure America cannot be held to ransom.  I have not yet learned to separate fact from fiction.

1968: Something about The Beatles creating Apple; my lifelong abhorrence of insects in fruit is born.

1969: My parents move over the water to Wallasey and open a little grocery shop.

1970: They remember to come back for us.  Our massive Bakelite phone in the stockroom rings; it is a call from Father Christmas.  I have never forgotten it. He has.  Last time I took the boys to see him, I mentioned it and how happy he made me that day, and he looked baffled.

1971: KwikSave open a store just up the road; my parents think about selling up. Profits are down.  I don’t tell them it’s not the supermarket competition, it’s because I send my younger brother into the stock room every night to steal crisps for me.  Laura Ingalls models the character of Nellie Olsen on my younger brother’s big sister.

1972: My family moves to Runcorn.  I have a black & white Runcorn Weekly News photograph to prove it.  Not a lot happens in Runcorn.

1973: I am still living in Runcorn.  Marc Bolan dies.  You join the dots.  I have no sense of time.

1974: Abba win the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo and I love it; I have taken my first step on the road to being the uncoolest girl in school.

1975: Unemployment exceeds one million in Britain. Happy days.  The first public performance by The Sex Pistols.  An unknown Hub takes the first step on the road to being the coolest boy in school.  David Beckham is born.

1976: UK drought.  Midges everywhere.  Plagues of ladybirds.  The hottest summer in living memory.  I store the memories because it hasn’t stopped raining since. I have an Abba poster on my bedroom wall.  I am not embarrassed to tell people this.

1977: The Queen’s Silver Jubilee.  The women in our street work for a year playing bingo to raise funds for a street party.  I attend each weekly bingo session with my Mum, who pays all my fees.  When I win a bread board and give it to the first of my elder brother’s many wives, my Mum is a little miffed.  Clearly, she could see into the future and knew that bread board was going to have a temporary home at best.  Marc Bolan dies for real this time.  No one finds that suspicious.

1978: Ethiopia declares the West German Ambassador persona non grata.  Everyone is surprised to learn the Ethiopians speak Latin.

1979:  I am sixteen.  I am sweet.  Literally: my father slices me open and finds I have a malt centre covered in milk chocolate where my stomach used to be.

1980: I become politically aware, rather like SkyNet (or was that self-aware?).  This is not a good thing.  Rather like SkyNet.  The Empire Strikes Back is released.  John Lennon is assassinated. Coincidence…?

1981:  I turn eighteen.  My parents throw me the best party of my generation, all booze supplied free of charge.  To my eighteen year old friends, that’s all that’s needed to qualify for the best party of my generation.  I don’t drink a drop of it, being a good Christian girl.  I finally get tipsy for the first time, three months later, on Christmas Eve.  I fall over a wall and into my house and can’t stop giggling for a week.  I finally see The Empire Strikes Back.  With my Dad, who isn’t talking to my Mum and needs an excuse to get out of the house.

1982: I emigrate to South Africa with my parents and younger brother, much against my will. I sulk.  I meet the Hub on my second day in my new country.  We row a lot.  I could end the story of my life there, because not much has changed.

I Mean It

27 Aug

Thinking of my American readers today.

Stay safe.  Stay safe.  Stay safe.

Star Trekking Across The Universe (Not)

21 Jul
Atlantis deploys the landing gear before landi...

Image via Wikipedia

Are you happy or sad the Space Shuttle has been retired?

This is the second time we’ve been asked this question, and Nancy suggested I re-post my first answer.  Given the state of the economy, and in a bid to save the world, I’ve taken her advice, because it’s good to recycle and re-use things; so don’t go thinking it’s laziness on my part that brought you here.

I waited for today to answer this question (again), because today, Thursday, 21 July 2011, sees the return to earth of the last Space Shuttle; the last flight any shuttle will ever make.  I could cry. 

We should be out there, crossing the final frontier.  And by ‘we’ I mean, of course, ‘the Americans’, because, well, that’s what they do.  I’ll settle for the Russians, the Chinese, the Fijians if necessary; but I don’t read or speak Russian, Chinese or Fijian, so following a space programme on their websites – assuming they have websites; you know how secretive the Fijians are – is going to be difficult.

That’s the mushy bit over with; here’s the original post, complete with the WordPress prompter’s then-factually incorrect question:

Tomorrow is the last Space Shuttle mission. Does this make you, happy, sad, or indifferent? Why?

Okay, it might not be tomorrow; it might already have happened because I’m writing this yesterday but in the future of the moment the prompt was given. So it might be tomorrow, or not: Space Shuttles are notoriously unreliable. I guess any plane that needs a parachute to land is going to have glitches, however, so I don’t hold that against them.

I am truly sad that the era of the Shuttle has come to an end. We should be out there in space, doing stuff.*

*Bear with me: I’m an enthusiast but not so hot on the technical jargon.

Stuff is what we do: search out new lives and new civilisations. Boldly go where no split infinitives have gone before.

It started with the bloke who thought, ‘This village is all right but there must be more than just us out there,’ and went to see for himself, dragging his missus and kids along so there was always supper on the table and someone to haul the water.

Having found he wasn’t alone in his universe and there was, in fact, another village over yonder (with his missus sighing, ‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it: they eat their bread butter side down. I blame that Seuss fella’), he felt the urge to search out more villages, maybe one with a posh hotel and a shower: ‘Clean me up, snotty. I’ve travelled five miles to get here.’

And so he (it’s always a he because paternalistic attitudes prevail even in these enlightened times when a woman can’t get elected President because she doesn’t cry and people don’t like it because she’s hard and then she does cry and people don’t like it because who wants a cry baby as leader of the free world?) conquers the villages he visits and moves on to the next. On to towns, cities, shires, countries, new worlds across the sea, taking care not to fall off the edge on the way.

Finally, he thinks that space might be a good idea because those pesky communists wanted it first. Illogical, yes, but great motivation.

In 1969 he makes one giant leap for mankind (have you tried walking daintily in those huge suits?) and celebrates with a game of golf and a growth industry of conspiracy theorists who claim there was no way he got a hole in one with no shadows to prove it.

Some of his mates follow in his moon boots then bam! 1972 passes and nothing…no more moon walks that don’t involve a single white glove.

How did that happen? It’s like someone decided: been there, done that, got the space shirt; now we have a parking garage and huge garbage dump and we can live happily ever after.

Maybe they have a point: despite all the movies, we haven’t been invaded yet. What self-respecting alien wants to live in a world that uses space trash instead of ozone to keep the temperature ambient? A world that doesn’t want a follow-up to velcro?

Clearly, our prime directive is to save money and stay at home, avoiding the neighbours.

Of course I’m sad.

Happy 4th Of July

4 Jul

What does freedom mean?

It seems apposite to answer this prompt on this day.  A history of America, to illustrate:

  • England is boss
  • Taxes are high
  • Representation is zero
  • George Washington and something about a cherry tree…?
  • Paul Revere buys a horse
  • The British invitation to tea is politely rescinded; the event is a wash
  • George III succumbs to porphyria and not madness, as everyone believes; he begins to write poetry: I’m not insane, me/The proof’s in my blue wee
  • Team GB gets the hump
  • The Colonies get humpier
  • A slight disagreement occurs (relations are frosty until the Cold War, when everyone is united against a common foe because the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Does that mean the friend of my friend is my enemy?)
  • GIII talks to a tree
  • Fireworks are the new black
  • The television series Centennial comes out in the Seventies, shown on Sunday afternoons while my mother is chained to her ironing board
  • The British suddenly get it, and forgive the Americans for not wishing to be yoked to their particular tyranny
  • Paul Giamatti is John Adams
  • Everyone eats hot dogs and gets fat
  • Representation with taxation is universal: We, the People, pay you, the Government, to screw us over.  Hooray for democracy; you can’t buy that kind of freedom
  • The day is rounded off with a nice cup of tea

Now I’m off to celebrate by watching Will Smith in Independence Day.

To My American Readers: Happy 4th of July! 

Okay, joke’s over: can we have our country back?

And by the way, it was us who invented apple pie.



How Would I Know?

27 Apr
The United States

Image via Wikipedia

Is Nuclear energy a menace? or the future?

Let me just check my English degree and get back to you.

What percentage of Americans believe in the devil?

Let me see…there are 300,000,000 Americans…so that’s one, two, no, no, not sure, three…

Do you think Donald Trump would make a good U.S. president?

How would I know?  Do I think questions like these exclude every non-American WordPress blogger?  Yes.

Joke 22

15 Apr

An atheist was walking through the woods, thinking to himself.  As he walked along the river, he heard rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned and saw an 8-foot grizzly bear charging towards him. He ran along the path as fast as he could, but when he looked over his shoulder, he saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He kept running, but when he looked over his shoulder again, the bear was even closer. Then he tripped and fell on the ground. The bear was right on top of him with his right paw raised to strike him. At that instant, the atheist cried, “God help me!”

Time stopped.

The bear froze.

The forest was silent.

A bright light shone upon the man and a voice from the sky said, “You’ve denied my existence for all these years and have taught others that I don’t exist. You’ve even credited creation to a cosmic accident. Why would you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Are you now a believer?”

The atheist looked into the light and said, “Well, I would be hypocrite to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian now, but could You, maybe, make the BEAR a Christian?”

“Very well,” said the voice.

The light went out.

The sounds of the forest resumed.

The bear lowered his right paw and brought both paws together. He bowed his head, and said: “For what I am about to receive, I am truly thankful.  Amen.”

Did You Hear About This?

29 Jan

A piano is shown sitting on a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay. It was supposedly placed their by Nicholas Harrington.  A grand piano appeared on a sandbank in Biscayne Bay, Miami (go here for a better picture).  It was believed to have washed up until a student confessed that he and his father had placed it there in a bid to help his application to art school.

I admire his lateral thinking but what really tickled me was the official response:

Officials said they acknowledged the teen was trying to express his artistic side, but that he should have obtained the correct permits to do it.

                                                                                                                    Sky News

I think they’re kind of missing the point, don’t you?


11 Jan
Exclamation mark

Image via Wikipedia



Another exciting date!  Two in one month!  I’m having an exclamation mark overload!!  I could write the date with exclamation marks!   !!/!/!!

I had a look back at what happened on this date because I had nothing interesting to say about it. 

  • 1569 England: first state lottery was held.  And I bet if we’d started buying tickets back then we still wouldn’t have won more than a tenner.
  • 1770 USA (not quite): sent the first shipment of rhubarb to London.  Thank you America; I love you.
  • 1902: Popular Mechanics first published.  I threw that one in for the boys.
  • 1922 Canada: first person treated successfully with insulin.  Diabetes becomes Diabeaten.
  • 1942: Japan declared war against the Netherlands.  That struck me as peculiar: how did the Dutch upset Japan? 
  • 1949 USA: Dennis (Frederick) Greene was born.  What?  You’ve never heard of Sha-Na-Na?
  • 1973 UK: first Open University degrees awarded.  Yay, forerunners of mine.

Happy Eleven-One-Eleven, everyone!

Discussion Time

30 Nov
Wikileaks: History Is The Only Guidebook Civil...

I wrote this poem for Poetic Asides:


Let’s talk about our friends
Let’s insult our friends
Let’s spy on our friends

Let’s offend every citizen
Offend every government
Of every ally we have

Let’s talk one way to this side
Another way to that side
So we can see off the side we don’t like

Let’s help China lose face
Muddy the Mid-East
Make the world a more dangerous place

Let’s forego the need to know
For the right to know all
While we’re at it
Let’s start the next war


I’d better ‘fess up front that, as well as being a Tory Royalist who loves the X Factor, I am also a Yankophile, though not to the extent that I think President Obama has any respect at all for this country: I still haven’t forgiven him for presenting our then-Prime Minister with a box of dvds on his official visit. 

What I love about America is the way Americans of every type will say ‘This is what I am, and I don’t care what you think about it.’  That, and The West Wing.

The whole Wikileaks episode has me worried.  I have no problem with the merely embarrassing stuff, like Prince Andrew’s rudeness and what certain members of the US government think of certain members of other governments; but I think such revelations must strain international relations, no matter what the official line.  Only a fool would think that no other government is critical behind closed doors of the American government, but, like sausages and laws, I don’t really want to know details.

I do believe there are some things that the public don’t need to know, and what Saudi Arabia said to the States about Iran is one of them.  It’s already a mess out there; let’s not make it worse.  With freedom of speech comes responsibility, and I think the Wikileaks are, on the whole, irresponsible.

What do you think?


31 Oct

The boys get their good looks from their mother

Common Sense, R.I.P.

Don’t talk to strange women.
No sweets from strange men.
Those are the rules, three-sixty-four.


when the dead come alive
on day three-sixty-five,
it’s fine to knock on a stranger’s door?











We never let our kids go trick-or-treating.  For one thing, we’re not American.  For another, it seemed hypocritical to warn them not to take sweets from strangers, and then send them out into the night to do just that.

We did let them dress up to frighten the children who came to our door.  There were never many because it is not a real English tradition, but an American import by British retailers.  The boys usually went to parties organised by the church (but not dressed as zombies and axe murderers).

I don’t know if we deprived them of an important childhood ritual, but it occurs to me that the retailers are the ones who enjoy Halloween the most; the boys were always happy to play duck apple at home, and eat the leftover treats.

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