To start you chuckling
At the celebrated Wexford Opera Festival performance of Spontini’s La Vestale in 1979, the exciting decision was taken to cover the floor of the vestal virgin’s temple with Formica, which not only looked like marble but was also very shiny. The plan was to cover the stage with lemon juice so that the cast’s feet would stick to the floor.
However, a cleaning lady was so affronted by the sticky state of the stage that she washed and polished it that afternoon. When the curtain rose for the performance, the Roman general Licinio strode onto the stage, fell flat on his back and slithered towards the footlights. Singing throughout, he got to his feet. But after several plucky attempts to walk back up stage, he decided to stay where he was, no doubt calculating that the next actor to enter, Cinna, would shortly be joining him near the footlights anyway.
On came Cinna, arms waving. He hurtled down the stage and crashed into his chum at speed, propelling them both towards the orchestra pit. Averting disaster at the last second, they worked their way gingerly along the edge of the stage “like mountaineers seeking a route around an unbridgeable crevasse” according to the critic Bernard Levin, who looked on with growing delight.
Still singing and clutching onto each other, the pair decided to make for a pillar bearing the sacred flame that was three feet further up and embedded firmly in the stage floor. At this point, matters were considerably enlivened by the entrance of the chorus. They also decided to make for the pillar, which was now becoming quite crowded.
Happily, this chorus of centurions, gladiators and vestal virgins decided to form a daisy chain of mutual support across the stage, with everyone clutching onto each other until all were accommodated. The audience was so moved by this performance that most were weeping and some struggled for breath.
An i for an i
March was when our son celebrated his 17th birthday and we bought him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn’t? I celebrated my birthday in July and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an iPad. Our daughter’s birthday was in August and we got her an iPod Touch.
My wife celebrated her birthday in September, so I got her an iRon. What my wife failed to recognise is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This inevitably activated the iNag reminder service.
I should be out of hospital next week.
Collected WIT 2011
Signs of the times (1)
Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.
In a Laundromat: Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
In a London department store: Bargain basement upstairs.
Outside a secondhand shop: We exchange anything: bicycles, washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?
Notice in health-food shop window: Closed due to illness.
Notice at a conference: For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the 1st floor.
Notice in a farmer’s field: The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.
Message on a council leaflet: If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons.
On the door of a repair shop: We can repair anything. (Please knock hard on the door. The bell doesn’t work).
Notice on restaurant door: Kitchen assistant required. Good English essencial. Apply within.
Notice to staff in a Scottish hotel: Will ladies please rinse out teapots and then stand upside down in the sink. On no account must bottoms be placed on the worktops.
Kids’ stuff (1)
No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. (Kristen, 10)
Twenty-three is the best age to get married because you know the person FOREVER by then. (Camille, 10)
Qu: How can a stranger tell if two people are married?).
A: You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. (Derrick, 8)
Qu. What do you think your Mom and Dad have in common?
A: Both don’t want any more kids. (Lori, 8)
Qu. What do most people do on a date?
A: Dates are for having fun, and people use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. (Lynette, 8)
Qu. When is it OK to kiss someone?.
A: When they’re rich. (Pam, 7)
Qu. Is it better to be single or married?.
A: It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. (Anita, 9)
Qu. How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?
A: There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there? (Kelvin, 8)
Qu. How would you make a marriage work?.
A: Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck. (Ricky, 10)
Older kids’ stuff
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
The main reason that Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "where's the self- help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
If a deaf child signs swear words, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
Is there another word for synonym?
Where do forest rangers go to ‘get away from it all?’
What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will break in and clean them?
Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
If the police arrest a mute, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
Why do they put braille on the drive-through bank machines?
How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.
How is it possible to have a civil war?
If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too?
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
Whose cruel idea was it for the word 'lisp' to have 's' in it?
Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
If you spin an oriental man in a circle three times, does he become disoriented?
Can an atheist get insurance against acts of god?
To the citizens of the United States of North America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and therefore your inability to govern yourselves, We hereby give notice of the revocation of your declaration of independence, effective immediately.
Your Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchial duties over all states, commonwealths and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Your Congress and the Senate will be disbanded, and a questionnaire will be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you had noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect.
The letter ‘u’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour’, ‘labour’, etc. Likewise, you will spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters.
There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will instruct Microsoft to adjust the spell-checker to reinstate the letter ‘u’ and eliminate ‘-ize’.
You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, you are not ready to shoot grouse.
All intersections will be replaced by roundabouts, and you will drive on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric, without the help of conversion tables. This will help you understand the British sense of humour.
You will learn to make real chips. Those things that you call French fries are not real chips, and those things that you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, dressed with vinegar (not catsup) and eaten out of a newspaper.
You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of football: one you call soccer; and rugby (dominated by New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby, but without stopping for a rest every twenty seconds and wearing full kelvar body armour and space helmets.
Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game that is not played outside North America (except in English girls’ schools). You will learn to play cricket, and we will let you face the Australians first to take the sting out of their deliveries before they come to England.
You will tell us who killed John F. Kennedy. It has been driving us mad.
Daily Tea Time will begin promptly at 4 p.m., with proper cups and saucers (not mugs), and with high quality biscuits (not cookies) and cakes, plus strawberries with cream when in season.
Finally, an Internal Revenue agent (i.e., tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will arrive shortly to ensure the collection of all monies due (back-dated to 1776).
Insults Master Class
Member of Parliament to Benjamin Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease”.
“That depends, Sir” replied Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”
Clarence Darrow: “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”
William Faulkner (of Ernest Hemingway): “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to a dictionary.”
Moses Hadas: “Thankyou for sending me a copy of your book: I’ll waste no time reading it.”
Mark Twain: “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play: bring a friend, if you have one.”
Winston Churchill, in response: “Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second … if there is one.”