The Edmondson Blog

Economic Theory

An occasional explanation of modern Economic Theory, Part 94A - Ireland, the view from a man in the street

An Oldy But A Goody ...

There have been over 30 million viewings of Matt dancing his way around the world.

Meanwhile, Around One Of Our Neighbours ...

A mother passing her son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything picked up off the floor. Then she saw an envelope propped up on the pillow addressed to ‘Mum.’

Feeling a terrible premonition, she opened it and read with trembling hands:

Dear Mum,

It is with deep regret and sorrow that I’m writing to you. I have had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and Dad. I have been feeling real passion with Stacy and she is so nice, but I know you would not approve of her because of all her skin piercings, tattoos, her tight motor bike clothes, and also because she is so much older than I am.

But it’s not just the passion, Mum. She’s also pregnant. But Stacy is certain we will be very happy. She owns a caravan on a pitch by a layby on the Tonbridge Bypass and has a whole pile of firewood to see us through the winter. We share a dream of having many more children. She is wonderful and has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with other people in the commune for all the cocaine and ecstasy that we need. In the meantime we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better because she certainly deserves it. Please don’t worry. Mum. I’m fifteen and I know how to take care of myself. Some day I’m sure we’ll be back to visit you and Dad so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Your son Nicholas.

P.S. Mum, none of the above is true. I’m over at Jason’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are far worse things in life than the school report that’s on Dad's desk.

Please call when it is safe for me to come home.

Useful Phrases For The Office

Things You Sometimes Wish You Could Say:

Ahhh...I see the fuck-up fairy has visited us again...

I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

How about never? Is never good for you?

I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.

I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

I don't work here. I'm a consultant.

It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.

I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.

I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.

You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a damn.

I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.

It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.

Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

No, my powers can only be used for good.

You sound reasonable... Time to up the medication.

Who me? I just wander from room to room

And your crybaby whiny-butt opinion would be...?

Do I look like a people person?

This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.

You!... Off my planet!

Does your train of thought have a caboose?

Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

A BBC2 mind in an MTV world.

Allow me to introduce my selves.

Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.

Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.

Not all men are annoying. Some are dead.

I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.

A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

Stress is when you wake up screaming & you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.

Can I trade this job for what's behind door 1?

Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?

Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.

How do I set a laser printer to stun?

I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted the paychecks.

If I throw a stick, will you leave?

Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

Economic Theory

An occasional explanation of modern Economic Theory, Part 72 - England.

It is April. In a small pretty tourist town out in the shires the holiday season is in full swing, but it is drizzling so there is not too much business happening.

Everyone is heavily in debt.

Luckily, a rich Russian tourist arrives in the foyer of the small local hotel. He asks for a room and puts £100 in banknotes on the reception counter, takes a key and goes to inspect the room located up the stairs on the third floor.

The hotel owner grabs the banknotes and rushes to his meat supplier to whom he owes £100.

The butcher takes the money and races to his wholesaler to pay his debt.

The wholesaler rushes to the farmer to pay the £100 owed for pigs he purchased some time ago.

The farmer triumphantly gives the £100 to a "lady" who gave him her services on credit.

The "lady" goes quickly to the hotel, to pay what she was owing for her room she rents by the hour to entertain clients.

At that moment, the rich Russian comes down to reception. He informs the hotel owner that the proposed room is unsatisfactory. He takes back his £100 and departs.

There was no profit or income. But everyone no longer has any debt and the small townspeople look optimistically towards their future.

Signs Of Our Times


by John Agard

Excuse me
standing on one leg
I'm half-caste

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather/
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass
ah rass/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony/

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen
half of mih ear
Ah lookin at yu wid de keen
half of mih eye
and when I'm introduced to yu
I'm sure you'll
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu must come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
an de whole of yu mind

an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story

The Good Old Days

"When I was a boy, my mum would send me down the shops with a shilling, and I'd come back with ten pounds of potatoes, two loaves of bread, three pints of milk, a half-pound of cheese, a packet of tea and six eggs.

"You can't do that now.

"Too many fuckin' security cameras."

Economic Theory

An occasional explanation of modern Economic Theory, Part 94 - Ireland

O'Mara is the proprietor of a bar in Borrisokane, County Limerick. He realizes that virtually all of his customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize his bar. To solve this problem, he comes up with a new marketing plan that allows his customers to drink now, but pay later. He keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about O'Mara’s drink now, pay later marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into O'Mara’s bar. Soon he has the largest sales volume for any bar in County Limerick.

By providing his customers' freedom from immediate payment demands, O'Mara gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, he substantially increases his prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, O'Mara's gross sales volume and profitability increases massively.

A young and dynamic Customer Relationship Manager at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases O'Mara's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the regular customers (the unemployed alcoholics) as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into financial bonds. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, while the bond prices are still climbing, one of O'Mara's unemployed alcoholic clients drops down dead from consuming just too much of O'Mara's booze. This is a bit of a problem as his personal assets (principally made up of 150 empty Guinness cans and his flat hat) do not come anywhere close to covering his tab. This attracts the attention of a credit risk manager at the original local bank who decides that the time has come to demand some payment on account of the debts run up by the other unemployed alcoholic clients of O'Mara. He so informs O'Mara. O'Mara then demands payment from his alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since O'Mara cannot fulfill his loan obligations he is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, the bonds drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of O'Mara’s bar had granted him generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various bond securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off his bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. O'Mara's wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations. His beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion Euro no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in O'Mara’s bar, or even live in Ireland.

Such is the development of Economic Theory.

How To Organise Your Cats

Fairy Tale Of New York

Fairytale of New York is a Christmas song by Anglo-Irish folk-rock group The Pogues, and featuring the late English singer Kirsty MacColl. It was released in 1987. The song is an Irish folk style ballad, written by Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan, and featured on The Pogues' album If I Should Fall from Grace with God.

Kirsty MacColl was not originally intended to appear in the song. Instead, the female vocal was meant for the band's bassist, Cait O'Riordan but she left the band in 1986, before the song was completed. The Pogues were at the time being produced by Kirsty MacColl's then-husband, Steve Lillywhite, who asked his wife to provide a guide vocal of the female part for a demo version of the song. The Pogues liked MacColl's contribution so much that they asked her to sing the part on the actual recording.

The song takes the form of a drunken man's Christmas Eve reverie about holidays past while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank. After an inebriated old man also incarcerated in the jail cell sings a passage from the Irish drinking ballad The Rare Old Mountain Dew, the drunken man (MacGowan) begins to dream about a failed relationship.

The remainder of the song takes the form of a call and response between two Irish immigrants, lovers or ex-lovers, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, reminiscing and bickering on Christmas Eve in New York City. MacColl's melodious singing contrasts with the harsh sound of MacGowan's voice and the lyrics are sometimes bittersweet, sometimes plain bitter:
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last.
The song title is taken from J. P. Donleavy's novel A Fairy Tale of New York, and was chosen after the song had been written and recorded.

Despite the line from the lyrics "The boys of the NYPD choir still singing Galway Bay", the New York Police Department does not have a choir, but it does have a Pipes and Drums unit that is featured in the video for the song. The Pipes and Drums unit did not know Galway Bay and so played a different song for the music video, and the editor put it in slow motion to fit the beat.

In the video, the police officer arresting the intoxicated MacGowan is played by well-known actor, Matt Dillon. Also, in the video, because MacGowan cannot play the piano, at the urging of record company executives, James Fearnley reluctantly wore MacGowan's jacket and rings.

Memories Of My School Days

I baked some mincemeat wrapped in pastry and then took it to Grimsby, Warrington and Dudley as I always recall my teacher saying you should take pie to three dismal places.

Very First Christmas Card

The first ever commercially printed Christmas Card was printed in London in 1843. Sir Henry Cole, a senior civil servant in the Post Office decided he was too busy to write individual Christmas greetings to his family, friends and business colleagues, so he asked his friend, the painter John Callcott Horsley, to design a card with an image and brief greeting that he could send instead.

Horsley designed a triptych, with the two side panels depicting good deeds (clothing the naked and feeding the hungry) and the centre panel showing a family Christmas party. A thousand were printed and hand coloured, and sold for a shilling each. Twelve cards survive including the one Cole sent to his grandmother.

The inclusion of booze got Cole and Horsley in trouble from the British Temperance Movement, especially the child having a sip of wine.

Best One-Liner Of The Week

So what if I can't spell Armageddon? It's not the end of the world!

First Irish Rocket To The Moon

What The Papers Say

Tabloids In Compete Agreement

Modern Man

Let's Celebrate With A Cake!

And, of course, your Editor's birthday cake!

Classic Whitbread Advert

The classic Whitbread advert from 1982 with Stephen Fry.

Meanwhile, In The Village School ...

Why Men Need Adult Female Supervision

Further Explanation Required!

Meanwhile, As Part Of The Pub Quiz ...

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?
[116 years]
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get cat gut?
[Sheep and horses]
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?
[Squirrel fur]
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI's first name?
8) What color is a purple finch ?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
[New Zealand]
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?
[Orange (of course)]

What A Real Woman Does

A real woman is truly a man's best friend. She will never stand him up and never let him down. She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day.

She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to live without fear and forget regret. She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to his most intimate desires.

She will make sure he always feels as though he's the most handsome man in the room and will enable him to be the most confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible ...

No wait ... Sorry ... I'm thinking of beer. That's what beer does ... Never mind.

Meanwhile, Over At Bluewater ...

Messing About On The River

These are real pictures of an incident that took place at Rooster Bridge on the Tombigbee River in Alabama, USA, in 1979.

The barge is the CAHABA. On 28th April, 1979, the captain underestimated the current and got too close to the bridge. The current laid the CAHABA onto the bridge, where the vessel rolled under the span and came out the other side. The captain remained at the controls and was not physically hurt, but was pretty shaken up!

The photographer was from a local paper and just happened to be passing by (every news photographer's dream!). It is believed locally that the owners of the CAHABA bought the negatives immediately after they were published in the paper to supress the story.

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog