Posts Tagged ‘Life’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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As if you didn’t know from the title – it’s pun day again!

More word play jokes to be enjoyed or endured depending on your taste.

Try them out.

And enjoy!

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rofl

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My wife and I were happy for 25 years.

Then we met.

wife-husband-cartoon(3)

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I went for an audition the other day.

They were casting 13 people to be clouds.

14 showed up.

It was overcast.

films-standing_in_line-stands-queues-audition-auditioning-tzun414l

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Billy: “Did you that movie yesterday where

the actress that was stabbed by a psycho?

Reese…what’s her name?”

Tommy: “Witherspoon?”

Billy: “No with a knife.”

Reese Witherspoon

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Have you ever had an accident at work?

Yes, my secretary is pregnant.

secretary pregnant

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Rats are under rated.

Just check your dictionary.

dictionary rat

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I woke up this morning and there was a bloke stealing my gate.

I didn’t want to say anything in case he took a fence.

Fence Main

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The fattest man in Britain has recently relocated

from Bath to Poole as he ‘needs more living space’.

bath

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Some terms are really misleading.

I went into the changing room several times.

It was still the same.

Changing-Room-Door

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I used to feed gorillas at the Zoo from a distance using a golf club.

I’d drive them bananas.

monkey_likes_banana_golf_ball

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I was asked to describe my life in a nut shell.

“Very dark and cramped,” I replied.

Nutshell

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I lost my watch earlier.

I would have looked for it but I didn’t have the time.

Watch

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My friend Daniel wouldn’t believe me when

I told him that his name was an anagram.

He’s in denial.

denial

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I was going to start taking self defense lessons

but I decided on a math class instead.

I’m a firm believer there’s safety in numbers.

sums25eq

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I saw a billboard on the way to work this

morning that read “Future Events.”

Well, that’s a sign of things to come.

Future_Events

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A Zulu walking through the jungle comes across a pygmy standing over a dead lion.

“Did you kill that lion?” asks the Zulu.

“Yeah, I beat it to death with my club,” the pygmy replies.

“Wow, you must have a big club,” says the Zulu.

“Yes,” replies the pygmy. “There’s about thirty of us.” 

pygmy

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

So there are more difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Now there’s a shocker folks!

I’ve already highlighted the mess that the government has made in trying to bring it’s computer systems online to enable enrollment in the new program. (See “What Am I” post from about a month ago)

obamacare-cartoon

Now people who thought they were already adequately insured are finding that this may not be the case, at least not for much longer. The private insurance issue is affecting lots and lots of people all over America, particularly those who were trying to be responsible and had adequate insurance for themselves and their families.

Most of them bought their insurance on the open market. Obama promised that would still be secure after his new Affordable Care Act was implemented.

He said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

He lied.

Obama’s new law actually outlaws all but a small percentage of “grandfathered” individual insurance policies and requires carriers to instead offer coverage that is more comprehensive.

And there’s more trouble ahead. In 2018, an Obamacare tax on high-cost insurance plans kicks in and could cause upheaval in that part of the market as well.

The truth is that the law was designed to gradually eliminate the old system altogether.

The result?

All across the country those who thought they had adequate insurance are being issued with notices from insurers explaining that their plans are ending. Ending thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

It has understandably caused confusion, fear, anxiety and a great deal of anger.

Obamacare cartoon

Losing health insurance can be a terrifying possibility in America. Particularly as one gets older and policies are more difficult and expensive to replace.  

So is this the last of the Obamacare problems?

I think it would be a very safe bet to say no it won’t.

Affordable Health Care is a laudable goal. I’ve always said that. But the way to tackle it is to make the existing system more affordable by curbing the excessive profiteering of drug companies and medics, not burdening this and future generations of ordinary Americans with another government white elephant that the country can’t afford.

Unfortunately the government just doesn’t get it – “affordable” means you can actually afford it!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A slight break from the usual today.

Never one to hide from controversy, I want to open up a discussion on a subject that has over the years been debated intensely but never proved conclusively.

Let me set the scene.

Peter Falk as Columbo

One of the most enduring characters on television has to be Lieut. Columbo, the short, disheveled, cheap cigar smoking, eccentric detective of that name, who by persistence, dogged investigation of the clues and a deceptive intelligence, always managed to get his man, or his woman.

Now I know you could have driven Columbo’s beat up Peugeot through some of the holes in the plot lines, but that aside, Peter Falk’s unique interpretation and portrayal of the character always made for enjoyable TV watching. Even the repeats, of which there have been many over the past three decades or so.

Columbo's old battered Peugeot cabriolet

There’s no argument, or there shouldn’t be, as to Falk’s acting ability. Although known by a lot of people only as Columbo, he also played many other roles both on the big screen and on television.

But Falk also had a disability. He lost an eye due to a childhood disease and as a result for most of his life he wore a glass eye.

And that gets us to the great debate I was telling you about in the intro to this post.

In the Columbo series, there is nothing in the scripts that indicates that Lieut. Columbo had been injured as a policeman or in an accident.

So the big question is, as Lieut. Columbo, was Falk’s glass eye a glass eye, or was it a glass eye playing the part of a real eye?

glass eye

I used to think that we were the only people whose minds were warped enough to think up a question like this, but apparently others have been asking the same question and I have even on one occasion heard the subject mentioned on TV.

So what is the answer?

Do you know, or do you have an opinion one way or the other?

If you have, please let me know. There are already far too many uncertainties in the world at the moment. One less would help things along greatly!

Thanks.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another selection of fascinating facts. How you use these is up to you, but some of them may well come in handy sometime.

Enjoy.

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did you know

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Every year Alaska has about 5,000 earthquakes,

1,000 of which measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale

 Alaska_earthquakes.

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There are approximately 7,000 feathers on an eagle

– even a bald one!

bald_eagle

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The average person changes their career every 13 years

career change

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The total mileage driven by all U-Haul trucks in a year

is enough to move a person from the Earth to the moon

five times a day for an entire year

U-Haul Truck

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Scientists with high-speed cameras have discovered

that rain drops are not tear shaped

but rather look like hamburger buns.

rain-drop-shape-diagram

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570 gallons of paint would be needed to paint the outside of the White House

– make that 570 gallons of white paint

Whitehouse South Facade

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Tiger Woods is the first athlete to has been named

“Sportsman of the Year”

by magazine Sports Illustrated two times

Tiger-Woods

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In 1996, toy company Mattel released a “Harley Davidson” Barbie.

This dolls distinctive feature is a birth mark on her face

that changes position with every new release of the doll

barbie_harley

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In the Sahara Desert there is a town named Tidikelt,

which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years

Tidikelt_map

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The most senior crayon maker Emerson Moser

retired after making 1.4 billion crayons for Crayola.

It was then that he revealed that he was actually colorblind

Emerson Moser

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There are mirrors on the moon.

Astronauts left them so that laser beams could be bounced off of them from Earth.

These beams help give us the distance to the moon give or take a few meters.

lunar mirror

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Tobacco kills more Americans each year

than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide,

suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined

tobacco-kills-more-americans-each-year-than-alcohol

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The oldest bird on record was Cocky, a cockatoo, who lived in London Zoo.

He ceased being Cocky at the age of 82.

 Cockatoo_Moluccan

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There were 13 couples celebrating their honeymoon on the Titanic

titanic

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In July 1874, a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts flew over Nebraska

covering an area estimated at 198,600 square miles.

It is estimated that the swarm contained about 12.5 trillion insects.

These insects became extinct thirty years later

In-July-1874-2C-a-swarm-of-Rocky-Mountain-locusts-flew-over-Nebraska-covering-an-area-estimated-at-198-2C600-square-miles.-It-is-estimated-that-the-swarm-contained-about-12.5-trillion-insects

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Honorificabilitudinitatibus

is the longest English word that consists strictly

of alternating consonants and vowels

Honorificabilitudinitatibus

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In Haiti, only 1 out of every 200 people own a car which is ironic

considering approximately 33% of the country’s budget on imports

is spent on equipment for fuel and transportation.

streets-of-port-au-prince-port-au-prince-haiti

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The largest diamond found in the United States was a 40.23 carat white diamond.

It was found in 1924 at Murfreesboro, Arkansas at the Prairie Creek pipe mine,

which later became known as the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

The diamond was named “Uncle Sam” after the nickname of its finder,

Wesley Oley Basham, a worker at the Arkansas Diamond Corporation.

uncle sam diamond

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In 1903 Mary Anderson invented the windshield wipers

mary_anderson

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The song with the longest title is

“I’m a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank

on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama

Doin’ Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o,

Hirohito Blues”

written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1945.

He later claimed the song title ended with ‘Yank’ and the rest was a joke


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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The original title of this post was “Farting On Airplanes” because it is really about farting on airplanes, but I thought it might be better just to call it “It’s An Ill Wind”.

No, come on, now you know don’t turn your noses up, or pretend this is something that (a) you’ve never thought about, or (b) never done. Farting on airplanes is an international phenomenon that transcends all nationalities, religions, ages, creeds, classes and colors.

It is in fact the common bond of all the world’s travelers.

Whether it can ever bring us closer together, however, is another thing (Phew!)

longer larger fart plane

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This is a quite embarrassing story. Not something one would normally admit to, but people write unusual things on blogs.

It concerns one of the first long haul flights that I was ever on.

Nowadays, as a seasoned flyer, I always have a good meal before the flight. I don’t suffer from air sickness of any kind and I don’t care for the stuff they call airline food. Back then, however, I was a novice and ended up on board without any breakfast other than a cup of coffee. My stomach was empty – of food anyhow.

All was well for about twenty or thirty minutes and then it started.

The obvious solution would have been to get up and go to the toilet. But easy options aren’t the way I have gone through life so far.

Also it was a big plane, a 747, and the toilets were quite a bit away from my seat. I would face a long walk down the narrow aisle.

Not that the walk itself was the problem. It was just that whoever designs airline seats has arranged things so that the nose and ears of the person sitting down is just about at the same height as the bottom of the person walking casually past.

You see the predicament?

In any case, I found myself in a window seat with two other seats to negotiate before I got to the aisle. Such was the pressure building up that I feared the exertion of hopping over the additional seats would make the whole purpose of the journey somewhat redundant.

There was nothing for it but to stay where I was, with the unfortunate choice being either bursting or releasing some of the pressure. Not unnaturally I chose to do the latter option.

As these things go it was a substantial outcome. But the drone of the plane engines (they were a lot louder in those days, I think, I hope, weren’t they?) seemed to drown out any other background noises.

I didn’t hear a thing.

I double checked by having a quick look at the person unfortunate enough to be sitting beside me, but there was no sign in the expression on his face that anything untoward had happened. Either that or he was a professional poker player with a practiced deadpan expression – or in a state of semi consciousness as a result of the concussive force emanating from the seat beside him.

My confidence grew. I thought of the famous campfire scene from Blazing Saddles and let a few more go in tribute.

Farting Mid Flight

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I was so happy at the relief and at the fact that all was undetected that I allowed myself a triumphant smile, and then even a laugh. The movie I was watching was a comedy so my laughter didn’t look out of place either.

It was all good.

Hang on a minute.

All was not as good as it seemed.

Cut the laughter and cue serious worried face.

I suddenly realized that all this time I had been wearing the headphones the flight attendant had given us for the movies they were showing. No wonder I had heard nothing!

Oh dear me! What had I done?

Well, I knew what I had done, of course. The big question now was, did anyone else know? Had they heard me doing it?

I looked again at the man in the seat beside me. Again no perceivable reaction on his face that indicated that anything out of the ordinary had happened, although now I was aware of them I saw that he too was wearing the headphones.   

I was relieved a bit, but still very curious. And when I get curious about something I have to try to find an answer.

So there was nothing for it but let rip again, this time with my headphones off.

And that’s what I did.

Thankfully, in the interests of the scientific experiment now under way, the quality of the offending item had not diminished in force. A guy knows about these things even without any audio feedback.

To my great relief, in every meaning of the word, I still didn’t hear a thing. The drone of the airplane engines had indeed drowned out any other sounds.

It was a magnificently liberating experience and from that day on I have never looked back, as it were.

Further experimentation revealed that the same undetectable result could be achieved even on much smaller airplanes. Commercial jets I’m talking about, of course, this is not a sport to indulge in on a single engined Cesna or something like that.

I also found out that it is possible I have been saving the airlines lucky enough to win my custom a small fortune. As you know the air in airplanes these days is all re-circulated and, as the methane content of a fart is lighter than air, the captured gas therefore contributes to keeping the airplane airborne with a consequent saving on fuel. That’s my story anyhow.

farting in airplanes

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And the good news just keeps on coming.

Independent research confirms that a person’s sense of smell is greatly suppressed in the reduced cabin air pressure, which incidentally is also why airplane food tastes so bad. 

So now if you are on an airplane and sitting beside someone who is chuckling to himself – or herself, yes ladies your secret is out – you’ll know the real reason why!

One day it might even be me!!!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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How about a short story of love, betrayal, and revenge to end the week?

Enjoy.

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The divorce had just become final and she was preparing to remove all her remaining belongings from what had been “their” house.

On the first day, she sadly packed her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases.

On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining-room table, by candle-light. She put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of spring-water.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimps dipped in caviar into the hollow centre of the curtain rods.

Then she cleaned up the kitchen and left.

On the fourth day, her ex-husband came back to the house with his new girlfriend, and at first all was bliss.

Then, slowly, the house began to smell.

They tried everything; cleaning, mopping, and airing-out the place.

smellyhouse2

Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam cleaned.

Air fresheners were hung everywhere.

Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which time the two had to move out for a few days.

In the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked!

People stopped coming over to visit.

Repairmen refused to work in the house.

The maid quit.

smellyhouse1

Finally, the ex and his new girl couldn’t take the stench any longer, and decided they had to move.

But a month later – even though they’d cut their price in half – they couldn’t find a buyer for such a stinky house.

Word got out, and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls.

Finally, unable to wait any longer for a purchaser, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to buy a new place.

It was then that she called her ex-husband and asked how things were going.

He told her the saga of the rotting house.

She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for having the house.

He was so desperate to get rid of the unsaleable house, that he agreed on a price that was only 1/10 th of what the house had been worth.

And because he knew she could have no idea how bad the smell really was, he wasn’t going to give her any time to visit the place again.

The deal was good only if she would sign the papers that very day!

She agreed.

Within two hours his lawyers delivered the completed paperwork which she duly signed.

A week later her ex-husband and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home…….

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……and to spite the ex-wife, they even took the curtain rods too!

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Aren’t happy endings just great?

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Blunt knives may be pointless, but let’s hope these puns aren’t.

Here we go with another selection of the word play bad jokes.

Enjoy.

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He drove his expensive car into a tree

and found out how the Mercedes bends.

merc crash

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When two egotists meet,

it’s an I for an I.

egotists

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I don’t know why the chicken did it

but crossing the road was poultry in motion.

why did the chicken cross the road

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I was walking down the street today when this hippie jumped

out of nowhere and shoved a joss stick in my face.

I was incensed!

Incense_Sticks

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When I was a kid I wanted to be a history teacher

but when I got older I realized there was no future in it.

History teacher

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One of the girls at the local S&M club had a birthday last week.

We had a whip round for her.

sales_and_marketing

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73% of women buy clothes but never wear them.

I’d like to meet those women.

naked_woman_cartoon

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The other week I made a joke about Alzheimer’s live on TV.

You should have seen the envelopes I got.

empty envelope

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I hate germ warfare.

It gets right on my nerves.

germ_warfare

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The President says that terrorism poses a threat to every single person in the USA.

That doesn’t bother me – I got married last week.

wedding-couple-cartoon

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A jumper cable walks into a bar.

The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

jumper cables

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I used to hunt seals in my youth.
I’m getting a bit old for the club scene now.

Baby  seal

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Old McDonald had a farm.

Sang the cheery repossession man

Foreclosure Notice

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Don’t take life too seriously;

No one gets out alive.

Dont-Take-Life-Too-Seriously

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Something that has always annoyed me is the deference most people pay to scientists and scientific research, for no other good reasons than they don’t understand what is being said or they imagine because something or other is being stated by a scientist it is beyond reproach.

How this stupid thinking has come about I really don’t know, because if science has proven anything, it has proven that nothing is set in stone. What we know today, we may find out is nonsense tomorrow, as more scientific research is done and new discoveries are made. Flat earthers take note.

But people being what they are – and scientists are people too – within the scientific community, as well as the really intelligent,  there are also idiots, deluded souls incapable of setting aside their own bias and belief in their own infallibility, and downright crooks who play on the public’s misplaced faith in them to promote themselves reap their rewards.

What this all boils down to is that when we hear a scientist pronouncing on some great new discovery we don’t know whether it is a breakthrough or just more bollocks.  

Nowhere is this better seen than within medical research.

Here greedy scientists and big business combine to feed us with information that not only does not stand up to proper scrutiny, but that has been deliberately selective in the results it publicizes to back up its claims.

Why is this important?

Because people die as a result, that’s why. And not in small numbers either.

For example, over 100,000 people in America died unnecessarily because of they took anti arrhythmic drugs that doctors prescribed because they relied on deeply flawed scientific studies.

Imagine what the government would have done if Bin Laden had killed more than 100,000 Americans?

But enough from me. I’ll hand you over to a doctor to tell more of the story. It’s interesting and you never know, after you listen to it you might view the next big scientific discovery with the skepticism it probably deserves.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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“You should always go to everyone’s funeral,

otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

Yogi Berra

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When I sat down at my laptop this morning I was going to do another selection of obituaries, many of which I find very amusing whether that was the originators’ intention or not.

But then one thought led to another and I remembered little Jimmy, so now this post is about him.

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Little Jimmy lived in the town where I was born. He was small, about five feet tall or possibly 5 foot 1, no more than that. He wasn’t what you would call stupid, but he was definitely a bit odd – a few cents short of a dollar you might say. Clinically I think he probably had a mild case of autism. He was our own little Rain Man, you could say.

When I was a kid Jimmy would have been in his late 50s, but he acted more like a kid than a grown up. And as I grew up Jimmy didn’t. When he was in his 70s he was just the same and acted just the same. He always wore a big pair of leather army boots and a Crombie type overcoat, even in the summer. Both were slightly too big for him. I think someone had probably given them to him.

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To earn himself some cash little Jimmy would do odd jobs and errands for people around the town. He was honest and reliable. And people were generally good enough to him, letting him do things they could easily have done themselves. Sometimes they would get a bit of harmless entertainment out of it too.

I remember one occasion a friend of my Dad’s had a bicycle with a puncture. Rather than wheeling it all the way to the bicycle store, or fixing the puncture himself, he called little Jimmy over.

“Jimmy, I need you to take my bicycle to Joe,” he instructed, Joe being the bike shop owner. ”And tell him,” he went on, “that the puncture is either on the back tire or the handlebars.”

He also handed him a couple of dollars and away little Jimmy went with the bike.

Sure enough we found out later from Joe that little Jimmy had arrived with the bike and duly announced to the shop and its customers that, “You’re to fix Billy Simpson’s bike and he doesn’t know if the puncture is on the back tire or the handlebars.”     

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But apart from his odd jobs, little Jimmy had three real passions in his life, delivering newspapers, collecting lost golf balls and attending funerals.

My Dad used to say that Jimmy was the oldest paperboy in the world and we should write to the Guinness Book of World Records. Of course we never did, but we enjoyed the joke all the same. And we enjoyed watching him collect his newspapers.

The scene never changed.

When the newspaper delivery van arrived at the newsagents the guy would open the back doors of the van and lift a bundle of papers to take into the shop. That was the cue for little Jimmy to make his way into the shop in front of him.

“Let the man through, let the man through,” he would shout with great urgency, at the same time pushing his way to the shop counter and scattering all the real kid newspaper boys out of the way as he did so.

It was chaos. But, as if by magic, this always got little Jimmy to the counter first and meant that he got the first lot of newspapers all to himself. Like I said, you couldn’t really call him stupid, just a little bit odd!

However, these semi-violent outbursts aside, when he wasn’t collecting his papers Jimmy was a gentle soul and everybody liked him. He was a fixture of the town, a real character, the type of people that don’t seem to be around any more, mores’ the pity.

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He made some extra money for himself with his second passion, collecting used golf balls. In fact he had quite a successful business going. As soon as it was daybreak little Jimmy was on the golf course and searching in the rough and long grass for lost balls. Luckily for him the local golfers mustn’t have been much good, except at slicing, because there seemed to always be an endless supply of wayward balls.

Little Jimmy collected thousands of them, cleaned them up and then sold them back to the golfers, all of whom knew Jimmy and were happy to pay him. His price was substantially below new cost so everybody got a good deal.

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However, little Jimmy must have taken Yogi Berra’s advice literally (see opening quote of this post) because his main passion became attending funerals. He went to every funeral in the town, whether he knew the person or not.

Not only that, but he kept a journal and logged the date, the time, possibly the number of people attending and so forth. It was one of those overly excessive obsessive qualities that makes me think now that he was probably autistic.  

For bigger funerals, and although he couldn’t drive and never had a car, he also took it upon himself to direct traffic into and out of the cemetery. And he could be quite cross and demanding with the drivers as he was doing it.   

It was thinking about the obituaries and funerals and such that led me to write this post because it was at the funeral of one of the town’s ‘big-wigs’ that my best and everlasting memory of little Jimmy occurred.

A lot of people had gathered up for this particular funeral. The guy had been a prominent businessman in the town for many years. Everyone knew him and respected him and therefore naturally wanted to pay their final respects by attending his funeral. There were probably also one or two who were there just to be seen to be there. No matter, it was a big turnout.

Eventually the mourners, including me and my Dad, made our way to the cemetery and sure enough little Jimmy was there, directing and organizing the cars. And there were a lot of them, not only because of the number of people but because it was a wet autumn morning.

Everything was wet including the ground around the graveside. Muddy and very slippery too. Luckily we hadn’t far to go, the open grave was just at the edge of the car park.

Little Jimmy was still directing the traffic. The more cars the more frustrated he seemed to become, anxious for the whole thing to start so that he could make the relevant entries in his journal.

“Come on, come on,” we could all hear him shouting impatiently at the drivers, as he waved them left and right and forwards into the few remaining parking spaces.

And then it happened.

As almost the last parking space was being filled, and little Jimmy was hurrying things along as best he could, he was walking backwards signing with his hands at a car in front of him to guide it. His concentration was focused solely on the car in front of him. He had no idea what was behind him and what was behind him was the curb at the edge of the car park. Just beyond that was about two feet of wet muddy grass that marked one end of the open grave around which we were all gathering for the interment.

No, little Jimmy didn’t see the curb behind him. Nor did he realize what it was when he tried to take another step backwards but found he couldn’t.

I watched the whole thing take place, knowing what was going to happen yet thinking somehow that really it wouldn’t. But it did.

Little Jimmy’s momentum backwards knocked him off balance, his feet left him and he sat down rather fast and very hard on to the muddy patch of grass.

If he had left it at that he would have been okay I think, but of course he didn’t. Shocked by what had just happened and trying to get up again as quickly as he could – the way we all try to do as if nothing has happened – he put his hands out behind him to push himself up on to his feet again.

The trouble was there was nothing for his hands to lean against, just the space of the open grave.

I never will forget the look of complete bewilderment on his face as his hands disappeared from view and then, pivoting on his backside, his head and shoulders disappeared too. In part of the same not so graceful movement his legs shot up into the air momentarily and then quickly slid down out of sight into the open grave to join the rest of him. The last that was seen were the big army boots which somehow added to the comedy.  

It was truly one of the funniest things I had ever seen in my life and despite the solemn occasion I found it impossible to hold back the laughter. Thankfully several others were similarly afflicted which helped to take the bad look off me.   

Jimmy was so short that he had no chance of ever getting out of the grave on his own. It would have been near impossible even for a much taller person because of the conditions. And so the fiasco continued.

Concerned citizens realizing what had just happened went to assist little Jimmy. A few of them almost meeting the same fate as their dress shoes were no match for the mud and they slithered dangerously close to the chasm in front of them. There were a few flailing arms and funny dance steps and ‘Ali Shuffles’ as they tried to retain their balance, all of which didn’t help me regain my composure.

Eventually little Jimmy was hauled out of the open grave, a bit wet and dirty  – like a drowned rat, my Dad said later – but apart from a bruised ego, not much the worse for wear.

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The whole debacle didn’t put him off. The next funeral little Jimmy was back with his book making notes. He didn’t have the same enthusiasm for traffic duty though.

Not too many years after that little Jimmy attended his last funeral – his own. No body bothered to log it into a journal, but for an ordinary little guy a surprising number of people made the effort to be there. And some of them, like me, had smiles on their faces. 

Maybe Yogi Berra was on to something after all!

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yogi berra

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We all happen to be living during a time when there are great advances and changes being made in the way we live our lives. Some of them are to our benefit, other not so much so.

Politically and financially the world is in turmoil. There is an accelerating and inevitable shift of power and influence towards the east, with former great powers like Britain and America declining in their influence and their economic might.

Perhaps that is a natural phenomenon, after all as they say “every dog has its day”, but I happen to believe that a lot of it is due to stupidity and mismanagement allied with a self-defeating philosophy that the west somehow has a duty to police the world and to create nanny states for its citizens where they will neither have to work nor want.

Technologically there have also been many changes and many more to come. During the past twenty years with the advent and growth of the internet everything has changed, from the way we interact socially, to how and where we work, and how we manage our affairs whether that be banking, shopping or whatever.

What a lot of these changes mean is that future generations will have no idea of how our lives used to be. Already many of us who have lived through the changes have forgotten how we used to have to do things. What would it be like trying to explain the ‘old days’ to a generation with absolutely no point of reference to the world we were born into?

To remind you of how it used to be here is a list of some of things we have known and lost, consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Feel free to add your own items to this list of things that your grand-kids will probably never know.

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Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.

Dewey Decimal System

Finding books in a card catalog at the library.

A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.

Reference books such as phone books, encyclopaedias

Finding out information from an encyclopedia.

library_cartoon

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Having to manually unlock a car door.

Looking out the window during a long drive.

Using a road atlas to get from A to B.

Getting lost in a world without GPS.

gps_cartoon

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Being able to add and subtract without a calculator

Long division and multiplication

Trig tables and log tables.

Slide rules

Slide Rule

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House phones

Phone books and Yellow Pages.

Rotary-dial telephones.

Pay phones.

Phones with actual bells in them.

Answering machines.

Fax machines.

Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.

rotary_ringing_telephone

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Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.

Betamax tapes.

Video tapes and renting movies

Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.

Laserdiscs.

8-track cartridges.

8-Track-tape-Player

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Casette Tapes

Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.

CDs and DVDs

Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo.

Taping songs off the radio

A Walkman.

cassette tape

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Rotary tuners that scanned the radio dial and hearing static between stations as you went through the ether.

Shortwave radio.

CB radios.

Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.

Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.

old_radio

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DOS.

The buzz of a dot-matrix printer

5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.

Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.

Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.

Counting in kilobytes.

Joysticks.

Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.

Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.

When a ‘geek’ and a ‘nerd’ were one and the same.

NCSA Mosaic.

Netscape

Alta Vista

Being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.

floppy disk

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Cash.

Writing a check.

Doing bank business only when the bank is open.

Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.

Being able to buy something in Walmart that isn’t made in China

cash

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Privacy.

Being able to take a drive or walk down the street without being surveilled on numerous cameras

Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.

big-brother-thought-police-cjmadden

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Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.

Neat handwriting.

Spelling

Grammar

The fact that words generally don’t have num8er5 in them.

Typewriters.

typewriter

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Putting film in your camera

Sending that film away to be processed.

Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.

Film_Strip

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Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.

Ashtrays

Roller skates, as opposed to blades.

Ashtray

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