The Edmondson Blog

Hallowe'en (Seriously Scary!)

(This somehow looked better in the catalogue.)

Don't Ever Complain About Your Builders Again!

This 13 storey block of flats in Minhang district of Shanghai, China, fell over on 27th June 2009, killing a construction worker. A 10m high mound of soil had been placed on one side as builders dug to make an underground car park on the other. The pressure from the mound of soil moved the foundations horizontally and they were unable to support the building.

A member of the team investigating the collapse, which angered some 500 homeowners of the still unoccupied complex, said: "No builder with basic construction knowledge should have made that error."

The Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court convicted 52-year-old Que Jingde, the second largest shareholder of the Shanghai Meidu Real Estate, on one charge of graft, while finding Zhang Zhiqin, 51, the largest shareholder in the firm, guilty on counts of graft, embezzlement of corporate funds and causing a serious accident. They were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Genteel Advice

Don't over-trim your gowns or other articles of apparel. The excess in trimmings on women’s garments, now so common, is a taste little less than barbaric, and evinces ignorance of the first principles of beauty, which always involve simplicity as a cardinal virtue. Apparel piled with furbelows or similar adjuncts, covered with ornaments, and garnished up and down with ribbons is simply made monstrous thereby, and is not of a nature to please the eyes of gods or men. Leave all excesses of all kinds to the vulgar.
From A Manual of Mistakes and Improprieties, 1880.

Be sure to be at the station several minutes before the time for departure of the train by which you propose to travel. Hurried excitement and bustle will throw you into a perspiration, which will be fatal to all comfort during your ride, and will expose you to the danger of catching cold.
From The ABC Railway Guide, April 1859.

Can You See Jesus?

Child Support Agency

The following are all (supposedly) replies that have been included on Child Support Agency forms in the section for listing father's details.
  • Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, child A was fathered by [name given]. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of child B, but I believe that he was conceived on the same night.
  • I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.
  • I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party [address and date given] where I had unprotected sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father can you send me his phone number? Thanks
  • I don't know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he's had it replaced.
  • I have never had sex with a man. I am awaiting a letter from Pope confirming that my son's conception was immaculate and that he is Christ risen again.
  • I cannot tell you the name of child A's dad as he informs me that to do so would blow his cover and that would have cataclysmic implications for the British economy. I am torn between doing right by you and right by my country please advise.
  • I do not know who the father of my child was as all squadies look the same to me. I can confirm that he was a Royal Green Jacket.
  • [Name given] is the father of child A. If you do catch up with him can you ask him what he did with my AC/DC CDs ?
  • From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Euro Disney maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom.
  • So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is Delia Smith did a programme about eggs earlier in the evening. If I'd have stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at [address given] mine might have remained unfertilised.

Far Too Much Time On His Hands

These photographs of tiny sculptures carved into the tips of pencils are real, they have not been "photoshopped".

The photographs depict the work of Connecticut based artist Dalton Ghetti. He is a 49-year-old carpenter who has been carving utterly stunning miniature sculptures for more than a quarter of a century. Every amazing piece is carved from the tip of a lead pencil. As a child, he began by carving tree bark, but moved on to other things, like soap to chalk before deciding that graphite was his preferred medium.

He refuses to work with a magnifying glass, and only uses three tools – a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife. He explains his process: “I use the sewing needle to make holes or dig into the graphite. I scratch and create lines and turn the graphite around slowly in my hand.”


In July 1900, Kaiser Wilhelm II delivered a speech to troops leaving to suppress the Boxer Rebellion, an effort by Chinese forces to stave off foreign influence and the dismemberment of their country by the Great Powers.

Addressing his forces, the impulsive Kaiser stated:
“When you come upon the enemy, smite him. Pardon will not be given. Prisoners will not be taken. Whoever falls into your hands is forfeit. Once, a thousand years ago, the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one still potent in legend and tradition.

“May you in this way make the name German remembered in China for a thousand years, so that no Chinaman will ever again dare to even squint at a German!”
This speech, invoking the memory of the 5th-century Huns, coupled with the Pickelhaube, or spiked helmet, worn by German forces until 1916 – reminiscent of ancient Hun helmets – was seized upon by enemy propagandists during the Great War. The Germans quickly became associated with the barbaric Hun.

Meanwhile, Out Along The Highway ...

The Bee Gees From 1963

Huckleberry Finn

Shortly, Tom [Sawyer] came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry Finn, son of the town drunkard. Huckleberry was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and lawless and vulgar and bad – and because all their children admired him so, and delighted in his forbidden society, and wished they dared to be like him. Tom was like the rest of the respectable boys, in that he envied Huckleberry his gaudy outcast condition, and was under strict orders not to play with him. So he played with him every time he got a chance. Huckleberry was always dressed in the cast-off clothes of full-grown men, and they were in perennial bloom and fluttering with rags. His hat was a vast ruin with a wide crescent lopped out of its brim; his coat, when he wore one, hung nearly to his heels and had the rearward buttons far down the back; but one suspender supported his trousers; the seat of the trousers bagged low and contained nothing, the fringed legs dragged in the dirt when not rolled up.

Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; he did not have to go to school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody; he could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him; nobody forbade him to fight; he could sit up as late as he pleased; he was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring and the last to resume leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor put on clean clothes; he could swear wonderfully. In a word, everything that goes to make life precious that boy had. So thought every harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg.

Tom hailed the romantic outcast: “Hello, Huckleberry!”

“Hello yourself, and see how you like it.”

“What's that you got?”

“Dead cat.”

“Lemme see him, Huck. My, he’s pretty stiff. Where’d you get him?”

“Bought him off’n a boy.”

“What did you give?”

“I give a hoop-stick and a bladder that I got at the slaughter-house.”

“Say – what is dead cats good for, Huck?”

“Good for? Cure warts with.”
From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Trunk Roads Into London

The route of the A1

The Great North Road runs from London to Edinburgh. It enters from the North, along Falloden Way, Lyttleton Road, Aylmer Road, Archway Road, Holloway Road, Upper Street, Goswell Road, Aldersgate Street to end infront of St Paul's Cathedral on Newgate Street, which is A40 to the west and unclassified to the east.

The route of the A2

Enters along Shooters Hill Road, Blackheath Hill, Blackheath Road, New Cross Road, Old Kent Road and Great Dover Street to end on the A3 Borough High Street

The route of the A3

Common North Side, Long Road, Clapham High Street, Clapham Road, Kennington Park Road, Borough High Street, London Bridge to end at Monument. North of this point, the road is the A10.

The route of the A4

Cedars Road, Ellesmere Road, Hogarth Lane, Great West Road, Talgarth Road, West Cromwell Road, Cromwell Road, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, Piccadilly, Pall Mall, Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Cannon Street to end at Monument with the A3 and A10.

The route of the A5

Edgware Road, Cricklewood Broadway, Shoot Up Hill, Kilburn High Road, Maida Vale, and Edgware Road to end on the A40 Bayswater Road at Marble Arch.

The route of the A6

The A6 doesn't, and never has, actually reached London. Historically it started on the A1 at High Barnet, where the A1081 forks off the A1000 today. The construction of the M25 meant that it was cropped short and now starts even further north at Luton.

Hat tip to Chris's British Road Directory,

Seven Kinds Of Sex

The first kind of sex is called: Smurf Sex.
  • This kind of sex happens when you first meet someone and you both have sex until you are blue in the face.
The second kind of sex is called: Kitchen Sex.
  • This is when you have been with your partner for a short time and you are so needy you will have sex anywhere, even in the kitchen.
The third kind of sex is called: Bedroom Sex.
  • This is when you have been with your partner for a long time. Your sex has gotten routine and you usually have sex only in your bedroom.
The forth kind of sex is called: Landing Sex.
  • This is when you have been with your partner for too long. When you pass each other on the landing you both say, "Screw you."
The fifth kind of sex is called: Religious Sex.
  • Which means you get Nun in the morning, Nun in the afternoon and Nun at night. (Very common.)
The sixth kind of sex is called Courtroom Sex.
  • This is when you cannot stand your wife any more. She takes you to court and screws you in front of everyone.
And; Last, but not least, the seventh kind of sex is called: Social Security Sex.
  • You get a little each month, but not enough to enjoy yourself and everybody else complains you are getting far too much.

Telling The Time From The Stars

Did you ever read Far From The Madding Crowd? Do you recall how Gabriel Oak was able to tell the time from the stars?

Well, telling the time from the stars is quite straight forward as long as you can recognise the Big Dipper and can find Polaris, the North Star.

Imagine a 24 hour clockface centred on Polaris (its a 24 hour clock face as the Earth rotates once every 24 hours) and because of the direction of rotation of the Earth it runs anti-clockwise. Now, at midnight on March 8th each year the pointer stars of the Big Dipper are at the midnight position, vertically above Polaris, the North Star.

There is a slight problem in that this celestial clock runs fast. Because the Earth makes one trip around the Sun in 365 days, and a circle has 360 degrees, the Earth moves ahead about 1 degree in its orbit every day, which in turn, makes the hour hand of our clock move fast anti-clockwise about 1 degree every day. That may sound confusing, but all it really means is that our celestial clock runs about a half hour fast per week, two hours per month.

So, to tell the time by the Big Dipper, face north and imagine our clock face. Find the Big Dipper and draw the imaginary hour hand, from Polaris to the Big Dipper's pointer stars. Figure out what time this reads on our celestial clock, now all compensate for our clock's faster running time. Subtract two hours for each month from March 8th. Subtract 30 minutes for each week, and, if you want to be more accurate, subtract 4 minutes per remaining day. Oh, and don't forget to ADD one hour for British Summer Time. Your answer will be local real time, accurate to within 30 minutes!

Topless Strippers

(So, what did you expect?)

Ibexes On A Dam

You would think that this dam, the Diga del Cingino in Piedmont, Italy, was pretty unclimbable. Well you would be wrong - here are some ibexes minding their own business.

Uncle Sam Wilson

Samuel Wilson was born in 1766 in Massachusetts to Scottish parents. At the age of 23 he and his brother Ebeneezer started a business as meat packers. They were reasonably successful and age 31 he married Betsy Mann. They settled down to a quietly prosperous life and had four children. That would have been the end of it and we would never have heard of him.

However, when the Brits and Americans fought the War of 1812, Samuel negotiated a contract to supply beef to the US Army. The meat was shipped in barrels that were property of the US government and so were branded with the initials U.S. It became a standing joke with the carters and soldiers that the initials actually referred to "Uncle Sam" Wilson.

Over time the joke spread so that anything marked with the same initials (as much US Army property was) also became linked with his name.

In 1961 the United States Congress resolved that "... the Congress salutes Uncle Sam Wilson ... as the progenitor of America's National symbol of Uncle Sam."

Durex Advert


We all know those cute little computer symbols called emoticons, where:

:) means a smile and

:( is a frown.

Sometimes these are represented by

:-) and :-(

or even winking ;-)

Well, how about some ARSICONS?

Here goes:

(_!_) a regular arse

(__!__) a fat arse

(!) a tight arse

(_*_) an arsehole

{_!_} a swishy arse

(_o_) an arse that's been around

(_x_) kiss my arse

(_X_) leave my arse alone

(_zzz_) a tired arse

(_E=mc2_) a smart arse

(_£_) Money coming out of his arse

(_?_) Dumb Arse

Meanwhile, Over At The German Road Reseach Institute ...

More Paraprosdokinalia

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 (from Greek para-, meaning beyond and prosdokia, meaning expectation).

I was going to ask God for a bike but I know He doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station...

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay cheques.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

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.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

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

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

There's a fine line between cuddling, and holding someone down so they can't get away.

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

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

Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Meanwhile, Another Careful Delivery By You-Know-Who ...

(Especially published today at (10.10am on the 10th of October, 2010. Thought you would like to know.)

Cleverly Rude Virgin Advert

Meanwhile, Back In Knockholt ...

So, what do you reckon?

Looking good, yeah?

Can't you see it?!


What The Papers Say

Beer Advert

Slow Motion

Unfunny Jokes

Food Joke (only felt funny by your Editor).

Youth 1: “Do your parents still have sex?”
Youth 2: “No”
Youth 1: “Might they in the future?”
Youth 2: “If parsnips, Marmite.”

Morning Joke (again, only felt funny by your Editor).

Editor’s wife: “Did you sleep well?”
Editor: “No, I make some mistakes.”

Theatre Joke (only considered funny by Malcolm, your Editor’s brother-in-law).

Malcolm: “I’m opening a theatre.”
Vera, Malcolm’s mum: “Are you having me on?”
Malcolm: “You’ll have to audition along with everybody else.”

Psychiatrist Joke (not considered funny at all by psychiatrists who take all such answers from patients very seriously).

Psychiatrist: “How long have you believed in reincarnation?”
Patient: “Ever since I was a puppy.”

Scottish Joke

The Queen is being shown around an Edinburgh hospital. Towards the end of her visit, she is shown into a ward of people with no obvious signs of injury. She greets the first patient and the chap replies:

Fair fa' your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain e' the puddin' race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm,
Weel are ye Wordy o'a grace,
As lang's my arm.

HMQ, being somewhat confused, grins and moves on to the next patient and greets him. He replies:

Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

The third starts rattling off:

Wee sleek it, cow' in, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle!

HMQ turns to the doctor accompanying her and asks, "What sort of ward is this, a mental ward?"

"No," replies the doctor, "It's the serious Burns unit."

John Hewet and Sarah Drew

On 31st July, 1718, John Hewet and Sarah Drew were in a field near Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire. They were rustic lovers; he about twenty-five years of age, and she a comely maiden a little younger. They were betrothed, and had, on that very morning, obtained the consent of the parents on both sides to their marriage, which was to take place on the following week. The poet, Alexander Pope, was a guest at Stanton Harcourt at the time; and he recorded the tragic incident of the day in the following words:
Between two and three o’clock in the afternoon, the clouds grew black, and such a storm of thunder and lightning ensued that all the labourers made the best of their way to what shelter the trees and hedges afforded. Sarah was frightened, and fell down in a swoon on a heap of barley; John, who never separated from her, having raked together two or three heaps the better to secure her from the storm.

Immediately after was heard so loud a crash as if the heavens had split asunder. Every one was now solicitous for his neighbour, and they called to one another throughout the field. No answer being returned to those who called to the lovers, they stepped to the place where they lay.

They perceived the barley all in a smoke, and then spied the faithful pair; John with one arm about Sarah’s neck, and the other held over her, as if to screen her from the lightning. They were struck dead, and stiffened in this tender posture. Sarah’s left eye was injured, and there appeared a black spot on her breast. Her lover was blackened all over; not the least sign of life was found in either.

Attended by their melancholy companions, they were conveyed to the town, and next day were interred in Stanton Harcourt churchyard.

Pope wrote the following epitaph which was engraved on a stone in the parish church of Stanton Harcourt:

Near this place lie the bodies of
An industrious young man
And virtuous young maiden of this parish;
Who being with many others at harvest
Work were in one instant killed
By lightning on the last day of July, 1718.
Think not by rigorous judgment seized
A pair so faithful could expire;
Victims so pure, Heaven saw well pleased.
And snatched them in eternal fire.
Live well, and fear no sudden fate;
When God calls victims to the grave,
Alike ’tis justice soon or late,
Mercy alike to kill or save.
Virtue unmoved can hear the call,
And face the flash that melts the ball.

Another guest at Stanton Harcourt was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who recorded in her diary that Pope had joked with her that he had also composed a somewhat less respectful epitaph:

Here lye two poor Lovers
Who had the mishap,
Tho very chaste people
Died of the Clap.

Meanwhile, In A Land Down Under ...

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