The Edmondson Blog

Hallowe'en (Seriously Scary!)

Meanwhile, Down At Our Local Vet...

A woman brought a very limp duck into our local veterinary surgery. As she lay her pet on the table, the Vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, Cuddles has passed away."

The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," he replied.

"How can you be so sure," she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the Vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog and took it out, and returned a few moments later with a beautiful cat. The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the bird. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The Vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill.

"£150!", she cried, "£150 just to tell me my duck is dead?!!"

The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been only £20, but what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan ..."

Where The Hell Is Matt?

Mathematical Jokes

An analyst, a pure mathematician, and a statistician apply for a job. The interviewer asks each of them the question "What is 1/3 multiplied by 3?"

The analyst enters it into his calculator and replies that the answer is 0.9999999.

The pure mathematician replies that the answer is obviously 1.

Then, the statistician asks the interviewer "What do you want it to be?"

- - - - - - - -

A mathematician and his best friend, an engineer, attend a public lecture on geometry in thirteen-dimensional space.

"How did you like it?" the mathematician wants to know after the talk.

"My head's spinning," the engineer confesses. "How can you develop any intuition for thirteen-dimensional space?"

"Well, it's not even difficult. All I do is visualize the situation in n-dimensional space and then set n = 13."

- - - - - - - -

A physicist, a biologist and a mathematician are sitting in a street café watching people entering and leaving the house on the other side of the street. First they see two people entering the house. Time passes. After a while they notice three people leaving the house.

The physicist says, "The measurement wasn't accurate."

The biologist says, "They must have reproduced."

The mathematician says, "If one more person enters the house then it will be empty."

- - - - - - - -

A mathematician, an engineer and a chemist are at a conference. They are staying in adjoining rooms. One evening they are downstairs in the bar. The mathematician goes to bed first. The chemist goes next, followed a minute or two later by the engineer.

The chemist notices that in the corridor outside their rooms a rubbish bin is ablaze. There is a bucket of water nearby. The chemist starts concocting a means of generating carbon dioxide in order to create a makeshift extinguisher but before he can do so the engineer arrives, dumps the water on the fire and puts it out.

The next morning the chemist and engineer tell the mathematician about the fire. She admits she saw it. They ask her why she didn't put it out. She replies contemptuously "there was a fire and a bucket of water: a solution obviously existed."

- - - - - - - -

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar.

The first goes up to the bartender and says, "I'll have a pint of lager, please."

The next one says, "and I'll have half of what he's having."

The third says, "and I'll have half of what he's having."

The fourth is about to speak when the bartender says, "You're all idiots," and pulls two pints.

- - - - - - - -

An astronomer, a physicist and a mathematician are on a train in Scotland.

The astronomer looks out of the window, sees a black sheep standing in a field, and remarks, "How odd. Scottish sheep are black."

"No, no, no!" says the physicist. "Only some Scottish sheep are black."

The mathematician rolls his eyes at his companions' muddled thinking and says, "In Scotland, there is at least one sheep, at least one side of which looks black."

Mathematical Limerick

A dozen, a gross, and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five times eleven
Is nine squared and not a bit more.

Seen In A Back Garden In Westminster


A man went to his travel agent and tried to book a two-week cruise for himself and his lady friend. The travel agent said that all the ships were booked up and reservations were very tight at that moment, but that he would see what he could do.

A couple of days later, the travel agent phoned and said he could get them onto a three-day cruise. The man was disappointed that it was such a short cruise, but booked it and then went to the chemist's to buy some sea-sick pills and three condoms in preparation.

The next day, the agent called back and reported that he now could book a five-day cruise. The man said, "Great, I'll take it!"! and returned to the same chemist to buy some more sea-sick pills and two more condoms.

The following day, the travel agent called yet again, and said he was delighted that he could offer them bookings on an eight-day cruise. The man was elated and, and went back to the chemist's. He asked for some more sea-sick pills and three more condoms.

The pharmacist looked sympathetically at him and said, "Look, I'm not trying to pry, but, if it keeps making you sick, why do you keep doing it?"

- - - - - - - -

A lorry driver who has been out on the road for two weeks stops at a brothel.

He walks straight up to the Madam, drops down £500 and says, "I want your ugliest woman and a bag of chips!!"

The Madam is astonished. "But sir, for that kind of money you could have one of my finest ladies and a three-course meal."

The lorry driver replies, "Listen Darlin', I’m not feeling romantic, I'm homesick."

- - - - - - - - -

A man walked into a barber shop, sat on the barber's chair and said, "I'll have a shave and a shoe shine." The barber began to lather his face and sharpen the cut-throat razor while a woman with the biggest, firmest, most beautiful breasts that he had ever seen knelt down and began to shine his shoes.

The man said, "Young lady, you and I should go and spend some time in a hotel room."

She replied, "I'm married and my husband wouldn't like that.”

The man said, "Tell him you're working overtime and I'll pay you the difference."

She said, "You tell him. He is the one shaving you."

- - - - - - - - -

What did the dog get when he multiplied 88 x 7?

The wrong answer.

- - - - - - - - - -

A man walks into a bar, sits down and says to the landlord, “Quick pour me twelve double whiskies.”

So the landlord pours him twelve double scotches and the man starts gulping them down really fast, one after another. The landlord says to the man, “Wow, you are drinking those drinks really fast.”

The man says, “Well, you would be drinking really fast too if you had what I''ve got.”

The landlord says, “What've you got?”

The man says, “75 pence.”

- - - - - - - -

A man got pulled over by a cop because he was weaving in and out of the lanes. The cop got out of his car and asked the driver to blow in a breath-analyzer tube to check his alcohol level.

"Oh, no," the driver said. "I can't do that. If I do that, I'll have an asthma attack and die."

"OK," said the officer, "let's go down to the station and you can pee in a cup to check your alcohol level."

"Oh, no, I can't do that. I'm a diabetic and if I pee my blood sugar level will go down so low that I might die."

"Fine then. Let's go to the station and take a blood test to check your alcohol level."

"Oh, no, I can't do that. I'm a haemophiliac and I'll never stop bleeding if you draw my blood.”

"All right then, just step outside your car and walk this white line for me."

"Oh, no, I can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm drunk."

DIY Fireworks

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

I left my heart in San Francisco,
I left my knee in Timbuktu.
I left my little wooden leg
Hanging on a little wooden peg
In the cloakroom at Dublin Zoo.

I left my teeth on Table Mountain,
High on a hill they smile at me.
When I come home to San Francisco
There won’t be much of me to see.
As sung by Spike Milligan.

Royal Navy

In the Royal Navy, officers toast the Queen seated (but standing if there are non-Naval guests present). The Loyal Toast is then followed by a set of traditional additional toasts depending on the day of the week:
  • Monday: Our ships at sea.
  • Tuesday: Our men.
  • Wednesday: Ourselves. (As no-one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare.)
  • Thursday: A bloody war or a sickly season.
  • Friday: A willing foe and sea room.
  • Saturday: Sweethearts and wives. (May they never meet.)
  • Sunday: Absent friends.
The words in brackets are understood but unspoken as part of the proposal, though oftimes they will be spoken in response.

The Thursday toast, A bloody war or a sickly season, comes from olden times when a war or a sickly season, in which others died, was a quick way to promotion.

Traditional Royal Navy toast for the Ladies

“Oh, the goodness of their goodness when they are good,
“And the sadness of their sadness when they are sad,
“But the goodness of their goodness
“And the sadness of their sadness
“Is nothing to their badness when they’re bad.”

Cecil Rhodes

"Remember only this, that you are British,
and in the Lottery Of Life you have won first prize."

Mark Twain

"I admire him [Cecil Rhodes, above], I frankly confess it; and when
his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake."

Drinking Is Like Yoga (So Must Be Good For You)

Singular And Plural

The singular of dice is die.

The singular of data is datum.

The singular of sheep is sheep.

The singular of graffiti is graffito.

The singular of agenda is agendum.

The singular of candelabra is candelabrum.

The singular of pluralia tantum is plurale tantum.
(Some nouns and noun-phrases, such as measles, trousers, glad-rags, powers-that-be and odds-and-ends have no singular form; these are called plurale tantum. On the other hand, some nouns, such as dust and wealth have no plural; these are singulare tantum.)
The plural of singulare tantum is singularia tantum.

The plural of court martial is courts martial.

The plural of octopus is octopodes.

The plural of formula is formulae.

The plural of platypus is platypi.

The plural of index is indices.

The plural of sheep is sheep.

The plural of pizza is pizze.

The plural of Jesus is Jesi.

The March of The Emperors

Ten Things We Did Not Know This Time Last Year

  1. Mohammed is now one of the 20 most popular names for boys born in England and Wales.
  2. An average record shop needs to sell at least two copies of a CD per year to make it worth stocking.
  3. WD-40 dissolves cocaine - it has been used by a pub landlord to prevent drug-taking in his pub's toilets.
  4. Devout Orthodox Jews are three times as likely to jaywalk as other people, according to an Israeli survey reported in the New Scientist. The researchers say it's possibly because religious people have less fear of death.
  5. One in 10 Europeans is conceived in an Ikea bed.
  6. The London borough of Westminster has an average of 20 pieces of chewing gum for every square metre of pavement.
  7. Madame Tussauds spent £10,000 separating the models of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston when they separated. It was the first time the museum had two people's waxworks joined together.
  8. If all the Smarties eaten in one year were laid end to end it would equal almost 63,380 miles, more than two-and-a-half times around the Earth's equator.
  9. The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing is equal to in his equations. He chose the two lines because noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle.
  10. The Queen has never been on a computer, she told Bill Gates as she awarded him an honorary knighthood.

Funniest Joke In The World

Sunshine Skyway

The original bridge over the mouth of Tampa Bay in Florida was built in 1954 as a two-lane road bridge. In 1969 a similar bridge was build alongside to increase capacity. during a storm early on the morning of Friday 9th May 1980 the ship, The Summit Venture crashed into one of the support columns, bringing down one central span. 35 people, all in motor vehicles crossing the bridge, lost their lives. The experienced ship pilot was cleared of blame.

A new Sunshine Skyway was built alongside and opened in April 1987. The old bridge was demolished.

Above: The Summit Venture after the collision, with a section of the bridge across her bow.
Above: the car of the luckiest person you know - the driver skidded to a halt just 14" from the edge. The Summit Venture can be seen in the right background.


Finally, a definition of globalization that I can understand and to which I now can relate.

Consider Princess Diana's death:

An English princess
with an Egyptian boyfriend,
crashes in a French tunnel,
traveling in a German car,
with a Dutch engine,
driven by a Belgian
who was drunk on Scotch whisky,
(check the bottle before you change the spelling),
followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
on Japanese motorcycles;
treated by an American doctor,
using Brazilian medicines.
- - - - - - - - -
This is sent to you by your English editor
using American Bill Gates' technology,
and you're reading this on your computer,
that uses Taiwanese chips,
and a Korean monitor,
assembled by Bangladeshi workers
in a Singapore plant,
transported to the docks by Indian lorry drivers,
shipped in Greek ships,
siezed by Somali pirates,
ransom paid by London insurance companies,
(which is denied by the British Government)
unloaded by Sicilian dockers,
and delivered to you by illegal imigrants from all corners of the world.

That, you see, is Globalization

Useful Explanation For Application Of The F-Word


English is the widest spoken language in the world (more people speak Chinese, but they are nearly all in China). How did this come to pass? Partly, of course, because of the British Empire, the largest empire there has ever been, but that only explains part of he answer.

As a spoken language, English is remarkably easy to learn. At a beginner's level, it has very little grammar - masculine and feminine words, obscure variations in nouns and verbs, and it is very forgiving - words can be arranged in a number of ways in sentences and still be considered to be correct.

The problem with English is when you want to write it down. What a mess!

From the very beginning of English as we know it, there were no real standard spellings for words. Using the alphabet, it was acceptable to spell words in a way that made sense to you personally. Eventually, with the compilation of the first dictionaries, spelling became formalised. The problem was this formalisation process took part at a time when it was fashionable notion to write in what was considered to be an educated way, using deliberately complicated spellings.

So insted of nite we have night, instead of coff we have cough. And all the rest of the crazy difficulties.

Probably the worst abomination is the syllable -ough. Look at this list, all seven words have the same ending, all are pronounced differently:
  • cough
  • tough
  • though
  • through
  • thorough
  • bough
  • ought
It's pretty awful the other way round as well, with 10 different ways of spelling the sound ee:
  • paediatric
  • me
  • seat
  • seem
  • ceiling
  • people
  • chimney
  • machine
  • siege
  • phoenix
When Mr Webster compiled his American English dictionary he tried to correct some of the worst excesses, giving our American cousins nite, program, and the like (although he could not shift cough and tough). However, the emphisis of fashion had moved on and he tried to introduce a more genteel language. For example, he did not like the idea of ladies saying or hearing the word cock, so introcuced sunstitute words such as rooster for cockerel and roach for cockroach.

The Crow Dance From "Fritz The Cat"

For all you good folks who want to master the best cool moves on the dance floor, here is the classic Crow Dance scene from the 1972 animated film Fritz The Cat. Whooo! Get on down!

The film is based upon cartoon characters created by Robert Crumb and is set in a supercity of anthropomorphic animals. The strip focuses on Fritz, a smooth feline con artist, who frequently finds himself in wild adventures, often involving a variety of sexual experiences. It was the first animated feature film to receive an X-rating and the most successful independent animated feature of all time.

Clubbing It

I have started to think that dad's too old
For clubbing but he just will not be told.
He refuses even to listen to my chatter
And doesn't see why age should matter.
He says that he’s not as fit as in the past
But the baby seals don’t move that fast.

True Story (A Friend Was Telling Me)

Another Friday Night In Our Village


Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (literally, "fear of [the number] six hundred sixty-six") is the fear that originated from the Biblical verse Revelation 13:18 which indicates that the number 666 is the Number of the Beast, linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ:

Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the Beast ... and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

Outside the Christian faith, the phobia has been further popularized as a motif in various horror films. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobes will strongly avoid things related to the number 666. A prominent example was of Nancy and Ronald Reagan who, in 1989, when moving to their home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, had the address of 666 St. Cloud Road changed to 668 St. Cloud Road.

In 2006, the BBC listed Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia and its definition as fact Number 64 in its 100 things we didn't know this time last year list.

Car For Sale

For Sale. 1985 Blue Volkswagen. Only 50 miles. Only first gear and reverse ever used. Never driven hard. Original tyres. Original brakes. Original fuel and oil. Only 1 driver. Owner wishing to sell due to redundancy.

Real Names Of Real People


Joe Blobs, married Sarah Smith, Sedgley, Staffordshire, 11 September 1803.
Fanny Cucker, born Sutton, Surrey c. 1857 (1871 census)
Harry Punt Cunnington, born Lutterworth, Leicestershire, 1875
Mary Hinge, born Clutton, Somerset, 1846
Carrie Hunt, born Havant, Hampshire, 1879
Betty Swall, married Aukland, Co. Durham, 1860

Business Text For The Day

In the beginning was the Plan.

And then came the Assumptions.

And the Assumptions were without form.

And the Plan was without substance.

And darkness was upon the faces of the Hewers Of Wood and Drawers Of Water.

And they spoke among themselves, saying, “It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh.”

And the Hewers Of Wood and Drawers Of Water went unto the Supervisors and said, “It is a pail of crap and none may abide the odour thereof.”

And the Supervisors went unto the Managers, saying, “It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it.”

And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying, “It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.”

And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying unto one another, “It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong.”

And the Directors then went unto the Director-that-Manages saying unto him, “It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”

And the Director-that-Manages went up unto the Chairman-Sat-On-High, saying unto Him, “This new Plan will actively promote the growth and vigour of the company with powerful effects.

And the Chairman-Sat-On-High looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.

And the Plan became Policy.

And verily that is how shit happens.

Country Lore - Choosing Logs For Fires

Beech wood fires burn bright and clear,
If the logs are kept a year;
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new cut holly laid beside;
Chestnut's only good, they say,
If for years 'tis stored away.

Birch and fir-wood burn too fast,
Blaze too bright and do not last.
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
Dangerously the sparks will fly;
But ash wood green and ash-wood brown
Are fit for a queen with a golden crown.

Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winters cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold.

Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
So it is in Ireland said.
Apple-wood will scent the room;
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom,
But ash wood wet and ash wood dry
A king may warm his slippers by.


"All thse in favour, say Boom."

"Incidentally, its your job to pass the buck."

Meanwhile, Down At Our Local Chinese Restaurant...

Friday Night In Our Village

A Completely Meaningless (To Your Editor) Ode

Oh, limpid stream of Tyrus, now I hear
The pulsing wings of Armageddon's host,
Clear as a colcothar and yet more clear -
(Twin orbs, like those of which the Parsees boast;)

Down in thy pebbled deeps in early spring
The dimpled naiads sport, as in the time
When Ocidelus with untiring wing
Drave teams of prancing tigers, 'mid the chime

Of all the bells of Phicol. Scarcely one
Peristome veils its beauties now, but then -
Like nascent diamonds, sparkling in the sun,
Or sainfoin, circinate, or moss in marshy fen.

Loud as the blasts of Tubal, loud and strong,
Sweet as the songs of Sappho, aye more sweet;
Long as the spear of Arnon, twice as long,
What time he hurled it at King Pharaoh's feet.

Charles Battell Loomis

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog