The Edmondson Blog

Idle Thoughts

My neighbour knocked on my door at 2:30am this morning! Can you believe that, 2:30am?! Luckily for him I was still up playing my Bagpipes.

The Grim Reaper came for me last night, and I beat him off with a vacuum cleaner. Bloody hell, talk about Dyson with death!

Paddy says "Mick, I'm thinking of buying a labrador."
"Strewth" says Mick "have you seen how many of their owners go blind"

I've just had a letter back from Screwfix. They said they regretted to inform me that they're not actually a dating agency.

I went for my routine check up today and everything seemed to be going fine until he stuck his index finger up my bum! - Do you think I should change dentists?

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A man walks into a Welsh pub and orders a white wine spritzer.

The bar goes silent as everyone stares at him..."Where are you from, you sound English?"

"I'm from across the Severn," replies the man nervously.

"What do you do, just across the Severn?"

"I'm a taxidermist."

"What on earth is one of those?"

"I mount animals."

"It 's alright boys," shouts the barman, He's one of us."

Royal Wedding Preview

Puns For Educated Minds

  • The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
  • I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  • She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
  • A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of maths disruption.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was prosecuted for littering.
  • A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
  • I wondered why the football kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
  • The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  • A backward poet writes inverse.
  • In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
  • When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it.
  • Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'
  • Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
  • There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Why The Date Of Easter Varies

Easter is a movable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar, but is, in fact, linked to the Jewish Passover as the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus occurred at the time of those observances.

Early Christians relied on the Jewish community to determine the date, but by the late 3rd century some Christians began to express dissatisfaction with what they took to be the disorderly state of the Jewish calendar.

Eventually, the method of setting the date of Easter was established by the First Council of Nicaea, a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia (present-day İznik in Turkey) by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in A.D. 325. This Council is historically significant as the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

The Council established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.

The Paschal Full Moon refers to the first ecclesiastical full moon after the northern spring equinox. The name Paschal is derived from the Greek word Pascha which is itself derived from the Hebrew pesach, both words meaning Passover, the Jewish feast.

Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21 regardless of the astronomically correct date, and therefore the Paschal Full Moon is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. Consequently, the date of Easter varies between 22nd March and 25th April. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose 21st March corresponds, during the twenty-first century, to 3rd April in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between 4th April and 8th May.

Great Balls Of Fire! (Known Syphilitics)

King Henry VIII of England
King George I of Great Britain
King Francis I of France
King Frederick the Great of Prussia
King Herod of Judea
Czar Ivan "the Terrible"
Czar Paul I
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Leo X
Emperor Commodus
Emperor Tiberius
Adolf Hitler
Julius Caesar
Benito Mussolini
Thomas Aquinas
Johann Sebastian Bach
Charles Bandelaire
Al Capone
Randolph Churchill
Captain James Cook
Hernan Cortez
Frederick Delius
Albrecht Durer
Desiderius Erasmus
Paul Gauguin
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Francisco Goya
Heinrich Heine
John Keats
Ferdinand Magellan
Guy de Maupassant
John Milton
Edonard Monet
Friedrich Nietzsche
Arthur Schopenhauer
Franz Schubert
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
Jonathan Swift
Oscar Wilde

Syphilis was long thought to have originated in the Americas and to have begun its spread around the world after Columbus's voyage in 1492. The disease may have been in Europe before Columbus, but it became commonplace after the arrival of new strains from the New World. The first European epidemic broke out in 1494, spread in part by retreating French troops after the siege of Naples.

Whatever its origins, the disease swept through the European population in the sixteenth century At its peak in the nineteenth century syphilis affected as much as 15 percent of the adult population of Europe and North America, but it has largely died out since the development of penicillin in the 1940s. While it is impossible to retrospectively diagnose with complete accuracy there is evidence that syphilis afflicted everyone on this list.


Great Moments In Sporting History (1)

Supervision of the early Olympic marathons was a trifle lax. The winner of the 1900 event in Paris, an enterprising local baker's delivery boy named Michel Theato, used his knowledge of the city geography to take advantage of a few shortcuts down back alleys and side streets.

Four years later at the St. Louis Olympics, the marathon was held on a grueling course on a hot afternoon, and only fourteen of the original thirty-two starters made it to the finish, led by an uncannily fresh-looking American, Fred Lorz. He was just about to accept his gold medal on the winner's podium when word got around that he had hitched a lift from a passing motorist who had dropped him just outside the stadium after conveying him the last eleven miles. Controversially, his gold medal went to Thomas Hicks, whose trainers had given him a mixture of brandy and strychnine keep him going.

Great Moments In Sporting History (2)

In 1902, the Tour de France reached an all-time low amid widespread skullduggery and outright cheating. Spectators left nails in the road in front of their favorites' rivals, while riders took car trips and even train rides. The first four riders were disqualified, including one who had been pulled along by the car in front by means of a wire attached to a cork in his mouth.

Although he finished three hours behind the first-place rider and with two flat tires, race officials declared Henri Cornet the winner.

Great Moments In Sporting History (3)

Stella Walsh dominated the 1932 Olympic 100-metre sprint, confirming her status as the top female sprinter of the 1930s.

Forty-three years later, after becoming an American citizen and being inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame, she was killed by a stray bullet in a robbery.

The post mortem revealed that "she" was a he. Ironically, when Walsh lost the title in Berlin in 1936 to her bitter rival Helen Stephens, team mates hinted that Stephens was too fast be a woman and doctors were called to examine the new champion and confirmed that she was female.

Four years later, another Olympic gender-bender, Hitler Youth member Hermann Ratjen, dreams of glory for the Fatherland when he taped up his genitalia and entered the Berlin Olympics as "Dora." Disappointingly, he just misses out on the medals when he finishes in fourth place in the women's high jump.

Great Moments In Sporting History (4)

Sports' most inventive cheat may have been Boris Onischenko, a Red Army major from Ukraine. A veteran at the modern pentathlon — a five-discipline event including fencing — Onischenko arrived at the Montreal Olympics in 1972 as a hot favorite for the gold, having won two silvers and a bronze in three previous Olympiads.

Britain's epee No. 1, Sergeant Jim Fox, was outclassed and easily outpointed by Onischenko, but complained that his opponent had been scoring without actually hitting anyone. Upon examination of the Soviet athlete's sword, it was revealed to be wired up so he could trigger the electronic scoring system with his hand and register a hit at will. "Boris the Cheat" exited the Olympics in disgrace as a new career in the Siberian salt mines beckoned.

Stupid (But Clever) Joke

An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard and a German are all standing watching a street performer do some excellent juggling. The juggler notices that the four gentlemen have a very poor view, so he stands up on a large wooden box and calls out, "Can you all see me now?"

Dear Mr.Addison

This is one of those emails that has gone viral - people receive it, have a good laugh and send it on to all their friends, who then do the same and send it on to more and more friends. You may already have received it. The email goes something like:

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A real reply from the Inland Revenue. The Guardian newspaper had to ask for special permission to print it. The funniest part of this is imagining the content of the letter sent to the Tax Office which prompted this reply!

Dear Mr Addison,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.

Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand". This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the "endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat" has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from "pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers" might indicate that your decision to "file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies" is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a "lackwit bumpkin" or, come to that, a "sodding charity". More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay "go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services", a moment's rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to "stump up for the whole damned party" yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor's disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on "junkets for Bunterish lickspittles" and "dancing whores" whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, "that box-ticking facade of a university system."

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:
  1. The reason we don't simply write "Muggins" on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;
  2. You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrow of those with nothing else to give" has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.
I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to "give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India" you would still owe us the money.

Please send it to us by Friday.

Yours sincerely,

H J Lee
Customer Relations
Inland Revenue

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The reality is even more funny. If you seach H J Lee (the supposed signatory to the letter) on Google you will find this piece from The Guardian from Saturday 31 January 2004:

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How Jobs & Money fooled the world

A spoof letter, supposedly written to columnist Chris Addison by an Inland Revenue official, went further than we anticipated, writes Patrick Collinson.

It began as a spoof letter from the Inland Revenue written for Jobs & Money by back-page columnist, comedian Chris Addison. But, plucked (unauthorised, we'd add) from The Guardian's website, it has found its way into countless emails and websites across the world. You've may even have seen it in your own email box, telling you it's a "real" letter from the taxman.

The letter has spun its way on to websites from Finland to New Zealand, been reprinted in newspapers and featured in internet forums. Chat rooms in the US bemoan the fact their own Internal Revenue Service does not have the same sense of humo(u)r as those whacky Brits. One talked of the "deliciously understated" civil servant and the equally over-stated writer.

In its oddest manifestation, it even found its way back via email to Addison himself.

"It had evidently been forwarded through a number of people, each of whom had blunderbussed the thing to their entire address book. Several of my friends also received it from different sources," he says.

"I don't know what's weirder - the coincidence of somebody sending you your own writing without realising it, or the sheer stupidity of the person who originally started sending it about in the belief that it was a real letter. I can only hope nobody took up the advice on starting a small business that I doled out."

That the fake letter has found so many believers suggests we'd rather prefer it if the Inland Revenue wrote to us in this way. Even the Adam Smith Institute, bastion of right-wing economics, fell for the letter. On the think-tank's website, its president, Dr Madsen Pirie, called it a "model of manners", adding that "courtesy costs little, but it can act as a soothing oil to lubricate some of the rougher edges of modern life - even tax demands. I think its politeness is commendable."

The Mail on Sunday liked it too. We will spare the blushes of the reporter from that newspaper who rang us at Jobs & Money to ask for a contact number for Mr HJ Lee - the entirely fictitious Inland Revenue employee created by Mr Addison.

On a website called Commonsense & Wonder based (we believe) in the US, the Addison letter reappears with the comment: "You have to credit the British sense of humor, the IRS would probably knock down your door and haul you off in response to the same. Anyway, this is the funniest letter I have ever seen from a government bureaucrat."

In case you didn't see the column first time round, you can read it here. And remember, if you filed your genuine correspondence from the taxman next to the toilet in case of emergencies, this weekend is the final deadline for filling in self-assessment tax forms.

Bad Hair Day

True Nuts

Nuts are defined as a simple, dry fruit with one seed (very occasionally two) in which the seed case wall becomes very hard at maturity. True nuts include pecan, sweet chestnut, beech, acorns, hale, hornbeam and alder.


Peanuts aren't nuts. They are a type of pea which grows underground. They are native to South America but now widely cultivated, notably in Georgia, in the United States. They are also known as groundnuts, earthnuts, goobers, pinders, Manila nuts and monkey nuts. Some people are so severely allergic to peanuts that eating a tiny amount can be fatal; but these people may not be allergic to true nuts. So the health warning on a packet of peanuts ("may contain nuts") is, strictly speaking, untrue.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts aren't nuts. Like horse chestnuts, they are seeds contained in a capsule or pod, which splits apart. True nuts don't split - the sped and the fruit are one and the same. Brazil nuts mostly come from Bolivia (in Brazil, they are called castanhas, or chestnuts). They grow at the very top of enormously tall trees, in round wooden capsules packed with between eight and two dozen seeds. When the pods fall the seeds are released.

A Brazil nut is 65 per cent oil. In a packet of muesli full of seeds, nuts and cereal, Brazil nuts always end up on top if you shake the packet; this is called the Brazil nut effect.


Coconuts aren't nuts. They are drupes (from the Greek dryppa, meaning "tree- ripened"). Drupes are fruit with a fleshy outer coating enclosing a hard shell containing a seed: almonds, walnuts, olives, dates and coffee. The word "coconut" comes from the Spanish and Portuguese word coco, which means "monkey face". Explorers found a resemblance to a monkey's face in the three round indented markings found at the base of the coconut.

Coconuts contain coconut water, not coconut milk. The milk is made by grating the flesh into the water and straining it. Fresh coconut water is an excellent hangover cure. It is completely sterile, full of vitamins and minerals and is isotonic (it has the same balance of salts as human blood). You could survive on a desert island eating and thinking only coconut.


Walnuts aren't nuts. They are also drupes. Their name in Old English, walhnutu, meant "foreign nut", from wealh, "foreign" (also the root for Wales). This was because they were introduced from Gaul and needed to be distinguished from the native hazelnut.

Because walnuts resemble the brain, they were believed in medieval times to be able to cure headaches. More recently, Nasa has used pulverised walnut shells as thermal insulation in the nose cones of its rockets.

Cashew nuts

Cashews aren't nuts. They are the seeds of the cashew drupe, a member of the poison-ivy family. The cashew's seed lining contains a powerful irritant called anacanlic acid (which is why they are never served or sold in their skins).

The botanical name Anacardium refers to the shape of the fruit, which looks like an inverted heart (ana "upwards" + kardion "heart").

Unlike Brazil nuts, cashews really do come from Brazil.

The Portuguese planted them in Goa in the late 1500s and from there they spread through Asia and Africa.

Whiskey In The Jar

(Sean makes a mistake in the first verse.)

As I was a goin' over the far famed Kerry mountains
I met with Captain Farrell and his money he was counting
I first produced my pistol and I then produced my rapier
Saying "Stand and deliver" for he were a bold deceiver

musha ring dumma do damma da
whack for the daddy 'ol
whack for the daddy 'ol
there's whiskey in the jar

I counted out his money and it made a pretty penny
I put it in me pocket and I took it home to Jenny
She sighed and she swore that she never would deceive me
But the devil take the women for they never can be easy


I went up to my chamber, all for to take a slumber
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure 't was no wonder
But Jenny drew me charges and she filled them up with water
Then sent for Captain Farrell to be ready for the slaughter


't was early in the morning, just before I rose to travel
Up comes a band of footmen and likewise Captain Farrell
I first produced me pistol for she stole away me rapier
I couldn't shoot the water, so a prisoner I was taken


Now there's some take delight in the carriages a rolling
and others take delight in the hurling and the bowling
but I take delight in the juice of the barley
and courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early


If anyone can aid me 't is my brother in the army
If I can find his station in Cork or in Killarney
And if he'll go with me, we'll go rovin' through Killkenny
And I'm sure he'll treat me better than my own a-sporting Jenny


Why Dogs Bite People

Letters To Your Editor

I was disappointed to fall behind with checking your blog.
Bet R. Latethannerver

You look neat, talk about a treat! You look dapper from your napper to your feet.
N.E. Oldhyon
N.E. Oldhyon
N.E.N.E. Oldhyon

I utterly deplore the axing of the Light Brigade in the latest defence spending review.
Arthur Leigh Gonward

Given last month’s inclement weather, are the global warmers sure they are not barking up the wrong tree?
I. Sage

Votre blog est magnifique. J’adore reading it quand je suis sur la plage.
Philippe Faloppe

All this sibling rivalry stuff with the Milibands is surely rather overdone. After all, we have always enjoyed a wonderful relationship as brother and sister, despite our radically different views on how society should be organised.
Anna Key
Oleg R. Key

Does that great American thesbian Bruce Willis read your blog?
Di Hard

Bruce Willis an American thespian? Having recently watched the sequel, I could have sworn he was from the valleys.
Dai Harder

I was gratified to read the response to my letter regarding the great thespian Bruce Willis. I have checked with my friend and can confirm he is of American nationality.
Di Hard with
A. Vengance

Dai Harder mentions the American thespian Bruce Willis. The immediate past Governor of California is of course a far superior thespian.
Albie Bach

With the terror threat recently raised, is it just me that’s worried about a possible attempt on the Editor’s life?
Dave (The Jackal)

We wish to complain about there being very few Shakespearean articles on your blog.
Mike Ing
Dom Farrer-Hawse

I fully agree that there are too few Shakespearean articles on your blog.
Elsie Knorr

I agree with your previous correspondents that your blog needs more Shakespearean references
Toby Arnott OBE

Though I write as a chap, I can confirm on behalf of the married womenfolk of our little Berkshire town that they believe your blog should have more Shakespearean references.
Murray Wives (of Windsor)

Cry God! For Harry! And St George!
Wayne Smoruntu
D. Breech (dear friends)

We agree about the lack of Shakespearean contributions. This is a grave lack, and we will have to dig deep.
Alice Poryorik
I. Newimwell

Shakespeare? What about Dickens?
(Mr.) Mick Orber

I would like to see more coverage in your blog of Irish refuse collectors during the French Revolution.
Jack O’Bins

I agree with Jack O'Bins reference to the French Revolution.
Marian Twinette

With reference to the Irish bin men contribution to the French Revolution, even I could claim to be closer to the cutting edge of events than Jack O’Bins.
Gill O'Teen

We read your blog in Ireland.
Topol de Marnun
Toby Shaw
Toby Shaw

Your blog has reached Japan.
Harry Kirry

As a Chinese man with a Yorkshire parent, I can confirm that your blog is read in Hong Kong.
Foo Kinnell

We read your blog in Oz.
Walt Zing
Matt Ilder

I can confirm your blog is read in Oz.
Dan Under

Your blog has now reached the extremes of the galaxy.
O.B. Wonk
Hen Obee

We can confirm that your blog has reached the extremes of the galaxy
Sue Pernova
O. Ryan Spelt

Seeing Red

(Now that's really scarey!)

Meanwhile, Down On The Farm ...

"There is a long history of David Truscott visiting this particular farm, and seeking sexual gratification while immersed in cow dung and mud," prosecuting counsel Jill Wilson told magistrates in Truro. "This farm appears to be the only place where he seeks to gratify himself in this particular manner. For years, the farmer has had to check his livestock and equipment regularly, because Truscott has repeatedly masturbated in his muck spreader, and set fire to outbuildings when farm equipment was cleared out, in an attempt to stop him from committing this lewd and obscene act. This has been going on for seven years."

Truscott had earlier pleaded guilty to breaking a restraining order, imposed after previous misconduct at the farm.

"On this occasion he was spotted naked in a field, sexually pleasuring himself amongst the mud and cow dung," Wilson continued. "When police officers arrived, they found him covered in a large amount of slurry and mud, in a quagmire, surrounded by tissues. The restraining order was made in 2009, prohibiting him from entering the farm for any reason. He seems to be in the grip of a compulsion."

Truscott was remanded in custody.
From The Falmouth Packet, 2 March 2011.

How Did They Get In There???

Blague Français

Frappe, frappe!

Qui est la?


Loozy qui?


Gifts From Strangers

When you were young, did your parents ever warn you about accepting gifts from strangers? Well, if they did, these may well have been the sort of people they were talking about. Hmmm. Pretty strange!

Meanwhile, Down At The Golden Arches ...

"McWeddings were devised in line with local customs," Managing Director Shirley Chang told reporters at a branch of McDonalds in Hong Kong, "particularly Chinese numerology. On arrival, our employees greet each guest with a Big Mac and fries, and there is an apple pie wedding cake, with a single fry on top instead of the traditional cherry. After the ceremony, each guest receives a Happy Meal toy as a gift, while the bride and groom are given a photo frame shaped like Ronald McDonald, marked Limited Edition Number 138, an auspicious figure."

"No alcohol is served at McDonalds, so instead the guests toast the couple with milk shakes and sundaes. You can have a lot of fun with a soft drink and a balloon."

Three Hong Kong branches of McDonalds introduced cut-price McWeddings in January, and the public response has been enthusiastic. "A typical Chinese wedding costs about £20,000," anthropologist Gordon Matthews explained, "And it can take the groom's family many years to save such a sum. By contrast, a McWedding starts at £800 including invitation cards, food, drink, gifts and wedding photos for fifty guests."

"In the US and Europe, middle-class people look down on McDonalds, but Hong Kong is different. A McDonalds wedding isn't seen as tacky here. The chief concern here is being able to book your McWedding on the most auspicious date on the lunar calendar."
From the New York Times, 27 February 2011.

Professor Stanley Unwin On BBC "Mastermind"

Classic Visual Gag



Our 17-year-old daughter acquired a collie cross puppy and named him Woof.

Some months later Woof escaped from the garden to chase two Lycra-clad cyclists on a tandem who were passing by.

My husband David gave chase and I will never forget the look of horror and disbelief of the rear cyclist as he and his friend peddled away from both the barking puppy and a man shouting "Woof, Woof, Woof."

Later that day, after a bried discussion, Woof became Wilf.
Letter in The Daily Mail, 4th April 2011.

Gunga Din

By Rudyard Kipling

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao!
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Gunga Din, written in 1892, is one of Rudyard Kipling's most famous poems, perhaps best known for its often-quoted last stanza.

The poem is a rhyming narrative from the point of view of a British soldier, about a native water-bearer, a bhisti, who saves the soldier's life but dies himself. Like several others among Kipling's poems, it celebrates the virtues of a non-European while revealing the racism of a colonial infantryman who views such people as being of a lower order. But the last line in particular suggests a deep-down unease of conscience about these racial feelings, both in the depicted soldier and in Kipling himself.

The poem was published as one of the set of martial poems called the Barrack-Room Ballads.

Din is frequently pronounced to rhyme with bin although the rhymes within the poem make it clear that it should be pronounced to rhyme with green.

Some More Snaps From The Family Album

Oliver Cromwell's Head

Oliver Cromwell's skull has changed hands many times since the Lord Protector lost exclusive use of it in 1658.

After the restoration of the monarchy, Cromwell's corpse was exhumed from Westminster Abbey and hanged at Tyburn. It was then taken down from the scaffold and decapitated. The body was thrown into a pit beneath the gallows and the head set on a spike above Westminster Hall.

The head remained there for forty-three years until it was dislodged in a violent storm and was found lying on the ground by a sentry. He took it home and kept it hidden in his chimney and on his death he left it to his daughter.

In 1710 the head reappeared, this time in a freak show. By 1775 it had been sold to an actor named Russell, who in turn sold it in 1787 to James Fox, an antique dealer. Fox sold it for £230 to three men who put it on display in Old Bond Street, London, and charged half-a-crown per viewing.

By 1865, it had passed into the possession of a Mr. Williamson of Beckenham. His family donated it to Sydney Sussex College in the 1960s.

At one time there were even two "authentic" Cromwell skulls on sale in London simultaneously. The owner of he second, smaller skull explained that his version was obviously that of Cromwell when he was a boy.


The tomb of King Richard I at Westminster Abbey once had a hole in it, through which visitors could actually touch his skull. In 1776, a schoolboy stole the king's jawbone; it was kept as a family heirloom until it was finally returned to the abbey in 1906.

Last Night Around Our House

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