Archive for category life/humour

Row Britannia!

The group behind proposals to build a replacement for the royal yacht Britannia  have been unveiling some of the ideas under consideration; these include a design based on a roman galley. In roman times these largely muscle-powered ships were manned by slave labour, but a group of tory back-bench MP’s are said to be very interested in a scheme which would see crews being drawn from amongst the unemployed, and in particular those receiving job seekers allowance.

‘It would give the unemployed a chance to serve their country and at the same time earn some of  their benefit. It would also be good for the environment, so it’s a win/win situation for everybody,’ the spokesperson gleefully declared.

It’s envisaged that each of the unemployed workers would be expected to spend at least one week a year rowing members of the royal family and visiting dignitaries up and down the Thames.

The unions have condemned the proposed scheme outright but when asked to comment, a labour spokesperson said, ‘We haven’t ruled anything in and we haven’t ruled anything out at this stage’. When it was pointed out that this sounded very like a rowing analogy, the spokesperson admitted that he had rowed for his college whilst at university but was somewhat rusty with an oar these days.

Anyone eager to be shackled to the royal rowlocks should e-mail their cv to:

Oarspersons will be required to sing work songs including:

Row, row, row Britannia gently up the stream,

Verily, verily, verily, verily forget the downturn, live the dream.

Pictured: Charlton Heston in a scene from the movie epic, Ben – Hur (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1959)


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Putin’s Cover Girl

In the year since she was deported from America in the biggest spy swap since the end of the Cold War, Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko: aka Anna Chapman, has gone from undercover spy to pin-up cover girl. On her return to Russia, she was toasted by Putin at a private gathering and invited to join a pro-Putin youth group; her job to provide leadership advice to Russian youth. So far, so good, but then she posed half-naked for a men’s magazine holding a gun. Somewhat surprisingly, this embarrassed the former KGB agent Mr. Putin who has not only posed topless with a gun, but with horses and  a fishing rod.

Then in an incident more reminiscent of a Carry On film than John Le Carre, the Bondski girl took to the catwalk during a fashion show brandishing a pistol, which, much to the delight of her detractors, she proceeded to drop in front of the attendant press corps. Now ‘the spy who came in from the cold’ could find herself back out in it. Given the scanty clothing she’s been wearing lately and with the harsh Moscow winter just around the corner, things could prove very cold indeed for the failed spy.

I don’t know if British Intelligence has someone like Anna working undercover in Moscow but I’m betting her choice of underwear will be far more sensible than Chapman’s: a nice warm thermal vest from M & S and some thick woolly tights. Let’s hope that like the Americans, would be Russian traitors will just love her English accent!

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The art of being an ‘Old Git’.

We were one man down this Tuesday in Housmans; Derek having taken the night train to Turin. No, it’s not another euphemism like; ‘he’s fallen off his perch’ or ‘he’s pushing up the daisies’ – he really had gone to Turin. He was on holiday.

Ordering our beers, we enquired if our absent friend had left money behind the bar for his round before departing for Italy. The barman has heard this ‘joke’ before; every time in fact one of us goes AWOL, and is immune to our pathetic attempts to obtain free beer and food. To his credit, he still managed an indulgent smile, though he was probably wondering why these old gits keep repeating the same old stuff. The answer is of course, that it’s the only way we remember anything!

Not that any of us is in our dotage or anywhere near it, you understand. No, being an ‘old git’ is more of an attitude than an age thing. We’re not angry old men exactly, just rather forthright in our views at times and yes, I admit it, a bit grumpy. This was brought home to me recently, when my daughter pointed out that – horror of horrors – I was sounding more like my father every day. All men have this charge levelled at them eventually, either by their wives or their children: my son lives in mortal fear of the day he finds himself plumping up the sofa cushions like his old man, but I still found it hard to accept. Not that my father was a bad man or anything, quite the opposite in fact, but in old age he could be very forthright in his views and well, how can I put it, just occasionally, I mean hardly ever really, just a wee bit grumpy.

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