The Edmondson Blog

About Money

£20 = score
£25 = pony
£50 = bull’s eye
£100 = ton
£500 = monkey
£1,000 = gorilla or grand

All sorts of things, places and creatures that we believed would last for ever, have vanished – trams, tosheroons* and Constantinople.
From The Daily Mirror 18 February 1979.

*tosheroon = half a crown coin = 2/6 = 12½pence.

“’Ere, Dad, bung us a pony.”
Conversation overheard some years ago by the Editor between an 11 year old inner-city girl and her doting father. At the time the Editor thought it was a request for a small horse, but now thinks it may have been a demand for that week’s pocket money.

British coins have always had a series of traditional inscriptions, or legends, upon them, either surrounding the monarch’s head or on the obverse.

The present legend is: ELIZABETH II D.G. REG F.D.

ELIZABETH II, of course, refers to Her Majesty, the Queen.
D.G. stands for Dei Gratia, By the Grace of God.
REG is an abbreviation of Regina, Queen. (A king will have REX.)
F.D. stands for Fidei Defensor, Defender of the Faith. Henry VIII had originally been a very devout Catholic and had written a book, The Defence of the Seven Sacraments to counter the accusations of heresy against the Catholic Church by Martin Luther. For this Pope Leo X bestowed on Henry the title of Fidei Defensor. The English church eventually broke away from Rome, partly in an attempt to counter false doctrines and malpractices, and so considered itself to be the true church. Consequently, Henry VIII continued with the title.

The legends have changed over the years. For example, the legend on a 1918 penny was: GEORGIUS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP.

GEORGIUS V refers to the monarch at the time, George V.
DEI GRA stands for Dei Gratia, By the Grace of God.
BRITT OMN stands for Britanniarum Omnium, King of all the Britons.
REX proclaims him King.
FID DEF again proclaims him Fidei Defensor, Defender of the Faith.
IND IMP stands for Indiae Imperator, Emperor of India.


Of course its not English! The Italian singer and comedian, Adriano Celentano, invented this language, made of words with no sense or meaning - complete gibberish - but sounding like English* as a leg-pull about non-English speaking people singing along to English pop songs. He was mocking the increasing amount of English songs being played in Italy back in the 1970s when very few Italians spoke or understood English yet they listened to the songs and sang along.

*Hmmm. Sounds like some politicians we all know!

Lady Mondegreen

Over fifty years ago, the writer Sylvia Wright proposed that a series of misheard words of a statement or song lyric should be called a mondegreen, after Lady Mondegreen, the tragic heroine from the well known Scottish folk ballad, The Bonny Earl of Murray. Sylvia had learnt the song as a child and recalled the first verse told:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh! Where ha’e ye been:

They ha’e slain the Earl of Murray,

And the Lady Mondegreen.

Sylvia had often wondered about this poor lady who is not mentioned elsewhere in Scottish history. She discovered years later that the last two lines went:

They ha'e slain the Earl of Murray,
And they laid him on the green.

Other notable mondegreens

Good King Wences’ car backed out
On the feet of heathens.

Olive, the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names.

Wider still and wider
May thy bones be set.

The train will run over us,
God Save The Queen!
(Ray Edmondson, age 7, bless him!)
Somewhere, over the rainbow, weigh a pie.

Don’t cry for me, Sergeant Tina.

Just a come-on from the horse on Seventh Avenue.

Money for nothing and the chips are free.

The ants are my friends, blowing in the wind.

Excuse me while I kiss this guy.

Doughnuts make your brown eyes blue.

Spare him his life from these pork sausages.

Somebody calls you,
You answer quite slowly,
A girl with colitis goes by.

Round yon Virgin Mother and Child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Asleep in heavenly peas.

Be Careful Pulling Out

Alec Guinness In Star Wars

Sir Alec took a percentage rather than a flat fee for his role in Star Wars and his estate still rakes in stupendous royalties from a movie first released in 1977. The deal has assumed legendary status in Hollywood and has been used as a blueprint by top-earning stars. But it was a gamble at the time, as few predicted that Star Wars would prove such a box-office winner.

Sir Alec's canniness made him one of the highest-paid British actors. But he discounted industry gossip that the re-release in 1997 clinched him the highest fee to have been paid for a single movie. "Some have said that I have already earned £120 million - divide that by 20 and you might be nearer the mark," Sir Alec said. "But the sums keep changing."

He said the re-release of the film would earn him more money. Star Wars was re-released in Britain on March 21 1997. "I still have a contract which says that I earn a percentage cut from the film and, of course, I'm very pleased about it," Sir Alec said. One of Britain's most distinguished actors, he retired in 1995 after 60 years of stage and screen roles.

His agent at the time of Star Wars, Dennis van Thal, is understood to have struck a deal in which Sir Alec would receive two per cent of the gross royalties paid to the director, George Lucas. The director received a fifth of the box-office takings. Star Wars grossed $560 million (£373 million) worldwide. Sir Alec would also have received royalties for the video release and the film's two original sequels, in which his character returned in spiritual form.

His role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, and in the sequels - The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980, and Return of the Jedi which followed in 1984 - will have earned him more than his combined earnings from his 40 other film roles. These include Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won an Oscar.

"My cut for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi was less than one per cent," he said. "But when you're talking about millions and millions of dollars, it gets very lucrative. I haven't got a clue how much I made from it. I haven't bothered to count it all up, but I did very well out of it, and bought a house and a Mercedes."

Many of the technicians who worked on Star Wars at Elstree studios in Hertfordshire were offered percentages but turned them down. It was a decision they would come to regret. When George Lucas made the first film, few people had an inkling of its future success. His script, for which he was paid £15,000, was turned down by two studios before Twentieth Century Fox agreed to finance it.

Fox was delighted to accept Lucas's offer to swap his director's fee of £250,000 for the serialisation and licensing rights. This was to prove to be the basis of his £1.2 billion fortune.

Engrish As They Are Spoke

What Is A Bastard, Exactly?

In life's journey we occasionally come upon philosophical questions.

Quite a hard question to answer is, "What is a bastard, exactly?"

To give some insight, in this photo below, the guy on the right is a member of a bomb squad in the middle of a de-activation.

The guy behind him, well, he's a bastard.


Scottish Modern Mathematics GCSE Paper 2011
Glasgow Region

  1. Shuggie paid two grand for half a kilo of cocaine to sell. He wants to make 300% on the deal and still pay Mad Malky his 10% protection money. How much must he charge for a gram?

  2. Wee Davie reckons he'll get £42.50 extra Marriage Allowance a week if he ties the knot with Fat Alice. Even if he steals the ring, the wedding will cost him £587 and he'll have to start buying two fish suppers at £3.95 each every night instead of one. How long will it be before Davie wishes he'd stayed single?

  3. When Rangers play Celtic their fans sing The Sash every 10 minutes when they're winning and every 15 minutes when they're losing. How many times did they sing it at last season's Cup Final?

  4. Joey and Davie stole a 1999 green Toyota 1600GL with 35,000 on the clock and got a grand for it. How much more would they have got if it had been metallic silver, done 29,000 miles and had low profile tyres?

  5. Jake the Flake and Fingers got grassed up for dealing speed. The Flake got 18 months but Fingers got 3 years. How many more previous convictions did Fingers have? EXTRA CREDIT: Who was Fingers' Brief?

Don't Judge Too Quickly ...

Engrish As She Is Writing

The Bulwer-Lytton Competition

Probably the worst opening line ever from a novel is:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
From Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1830.

Every year the English Department at San Jose State University have sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. Here are a few winners:
As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual. (2005 Winner)

Gerald began — but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them permanently meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash — to pee. (2007 Winner)

Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blown’ off Nantucket Sound from nor’ east and the dogs are howlin’ for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the “Ellie May,” a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin’ and, Davey Jonesw be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests. (2009 Winner)

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss - a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil. (2010 Winner)

Making The Best Of What You Have

It's A Dog's Life


A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect so is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Evening news is where they begin with "Good evening", and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Why do we choose between just two people to be Prime Minister and 50 for Miss England?

Behind the rise of every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Brigade usually uses water.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

About Paraprosdokian

Paraprosdokian was originally a legendary hero. He was not a citizen of any organized nation - he was Greek.

As a school youth he was very skilled with the girls, though his teachers did encourage him to participate in boys' athletics instead, but on the other hand, he had different fingers. The face of this young child could say it all, especially the mouth part of that face. Eventually, he grew tired of following his dreams, so he decided to ask where they were going, and catch up with them later. As a young lad, he fought and killed an elephant using nothing but an oak branch. But this deed remains dubious - an elephant using an oak branch is no match for a warrior using sword and shield.

His battlefield exploits

He never went into a battle without his father's trusty sword. Or with it, for that matter. It was well known that on the battlefield he wouldn't sleep for three days, because that would be far too long. If he ever gave an order on the battlefield, his men didn't know it. But despite the hell of war, he pictured in his mind a land without war, a land without hate. And he pictured his army attacking that land, because they would never expect it.

His reputation for brutality was exceeded only by his brutality. He would tear his enemies to shreds alive, saying that he certainly could not do it dead. If the area of the nations he conquered were stretched end-to-end in a two-mile wide strip, the people from those nations would be very upset.

His love life

He was a skilled archer, though he did occasionally miss his wife.

In his early days, he would bring a new woman to his bed each night. But it got to be too crowded, so he sent them all away. Everywhere he went he sought the woman of his dreams; at one point, a different woman would steal his heart every week. After years of this, he finally had to send her away - she was just too different. He felt guilty once, but she woke up halfway through. Eventually he was married, with one child. But that didn't work out, so he married an adult. If you are curious, her name was Agatha. If you're not, it was Diana.

It is well known that ancient Greek warriors would not have sex before going into battle - no matter how much they might fancy each other. One morning as he was going off to battle, bow slung across his back, his wife asked him, "Will you miss me?" He replied, "I might. But I have a lot of arrows, so I'll just keep trying."

He was crushed the day he discovered that his wife was in bed with another man, and he asked them kindly to get off of him.

Silly Cats

Getting It Wrong

Getting a tan - WRONG

Smoking - WRONG

Showing your sixpack - WRONG

Showing your melons - WRONG

Facebook - WRONG

Sniffing coke - WRONG

Going boating - WRONG

Beer - WRONG

Meanwhile, Down The Other End Of The Village ...

Funny Old World (1)

A Bosnian man whose home has been hit an incredible five times by meteorites believes he is being targeted by aliens. Experts at Belgrade University have confirmed that all the rocks Radivoje Lajic has handed over were meteorites. They are now investigating local magnetic fields to try and work out what makes the property so attractive to the heavenly bodies. But Mr Lajic, who has had a steel girder reinforced roof put on the house he owns in the northern village of Gornja Lamovite, has an alternative explanation.

He said: "I am obviously being targeted by extraterrestrials. I don't know what I have done to annoy them but there is no other explanation that makes sense. The chance of being hit by a meteorite is so small that getting hit five times has to be deliberate."

The first meteorite fell on his house in November last year and since then a further four have smashed into his home. The strikes always happen when it is raining heavily, never when there are clear skies.

He said: "I did not know what the strange-looking stones were at first but I have since had them all confirmed as meteorites by experts at Belgrade University. I am being targeted by aliens. They are playing games with me. I don't know why they are doing this. When it rains I can't sleep for worrying about another strike."
From The Daily Mail, UK, 19 July 2010

Funny Old World (2)

"This incident was regrettable and unpleasant, "admitted a spokesman from Genesis Energy, "But we feel we have acted properly throughout. As soon as we received the complaint from Mr. Anderson we spoke to the meter reader in question and asked him about the incident. He was very embarrased but confessed that he had felt an urgent call of nature at Mr. Anderson's apartment, but with no toilet available, he defecated into a plastic bag, and then forgot and left it there. We are satisfied that the $800 we have paid Mr. Anderson is reasonable, and can confirm that the meter reader has been sacked as a result."

However, Errol Anderson later declared that the compensation was insufficient. "My family do not want to stay in the apartment for at least a year, until the memory of this disusting act has faded. And I can't even rent the apartment out until the stench and the stigma of what happened has passed."

"As soon as I fount it I knew it must have been the meter reader who'd done it because he'd taken his dump in a locked area. And when I complained, all Genesis Engery offered was a $125 gift basket. So I complained to the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner to award me $200,000 compensation but she says that $800 is sufficient. It is not. I've still got this mental image of the guy squatting in my apartment and ... you know, I just can't get it out of my head."
From The Dominion Post, Wellington, New Zealand, 22 July 2010.

Meanwhile, Down The Sleazy End Of The Village ...

An illegal immigrant picks up a "working lady".

"Hey, how much you charge for sex?" he asks.

"£50," she replies.

In broken English, he says, "Do you do illegal immigrant style?"

"No," she says.

"I pay you £100 to do it illegal immigrant style."

"No," she says, not knowing what illegal immigrant style is.

"I pay you £200."


"I pay you £400."


So finally he says, "OK, I pay £1,000 to do it illegal immigrant style."

She thinks, "Well, I've been in the game for over ten years now. I've had every kind of request from weirdoes from every part of the world. How bad can illegal immigrant style be?"

So she agrees and has sex with him.

Finally, after several hours, they finish.

Exhausted, the prostitute turns to him and says, "Hey, I was expecting something perverted and disgusting. But that was good. So, what exactly is illegal immigrant style?"

The illegal immigrant replies, "You now send bill to Government."

Mis-Thought Play Time

If We Don't Learn The Lessons Of History....

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.

Marcus Tullius Cicero
106 BC – 43 BC. Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher and constitutionalist.


Hovis Adverts

The adverts for Hovis bread have always been carefully crafted to emphasise the special nature of the product. This one at 2 minutes 2 seconds (=122 seconds: a second for every year of the brand) is the longest TV advert ever produced in the UK and is clearly meant for both TV and internet viewing.

The nation's favourite advert is the Hovis advert from 1973, directed by Ridley Scott before he was famous. It shows a small boy pushing his bike, laden with loaves of bread, up a steep cobbled street to the strains of Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, arranged for brass band. Interestingly, the inference in the advert is that the street is somewhere in the north of England, when actually it is Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset, which has consequently become something of a tourist attraction.

Spike Milligan

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog