On the Pious and Glorious Twelfth

Today is the Pious and Glorious Twelfth of July, on which the Laurel and Hardy Fan Club Orange Loyalists parade in their bowler hats to celebrate Good King Billy’s victory many years ago.

bowlers

To mark the occasion, I bought my mate from East Belfast a wee rubber ball. Every time it bounces on the ground, it goes, “Boyne! Boyne! Boyne!”

Have a bouncy day, won’t you!

 

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An old East Germany joke

A school teacher asks little Fritz : “Fritzchen, why are you always speaking of our Soviet brothers? It’s ‘Soviet friends.'”

Fritz responds: “Well, you can choose your friends.”

***

Have fraternal day, won’t you!

ddrFlag

 

Stalin and his pipe

They come, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin’s corridors.  Stalin starts looking for his pipe.  He can’t find it.  He calls in Beria, the dreaded head of his secret police.

“Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe,” he says.

Beria scuttles off down the corridor.

Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria:
“Look, I’ve found my pipe.”


“It’s too late,” Beria says, “half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning.”

***

Have a questionable day, won’t you!

stalinPipe

Let’s lighten things up…

I’ve recently been writing about death and dying an’ all that.  Today I’m going to lighten up the mood with a joke or two, albeit with a Soviet/DDR flavour.

Here comes number one.

***

Stalin reads his report to the Party Congress.

Suddenly someone sneezes. “Who sneezed?”

Silence.

“First row! On your feet! Shoot them!”

They are shot, and he asks again, “Who sneezed, Comrades?”

No answer.

“Second row! On your feet! Shoot them!”

They are shot too. “Well, who sneezed?”

At last a sobbing cry resounds in the Congress Hall, “It was me! Me!”

Stalin says, “Bless you, Comrade!”

***

Have a blessed day, won’t you!

Conrad Schumann

Do you like quizzes?

Q: What happened on 13 August 1961?

A: The Berlin Wall went up.  (Pretty much overnight.  German efficiency.)

Next question.

Q: Who was Conrad Schumann?

A: A picture describes a thousands words.

ConradSchuhmann

So, he managed to escape from East Berlin into the West.  Was it a happy ending?  No.  Yes, it was good news at first.  He had escaped to freedom.  But 37 years later, after difficulties with his family still living in Saxony, Eastern Germany, the iconic freedom icon committed suicide.  A very unhappy, tragic, ending.

Have an iconic day, won’t you!

 

America’s Remotest Phonebox

So, let’s wind back twenty years to the days of 56k modems and my first internet computer.  In those days I was still as much an anorak as I am these days.

  • Postboxes
  • Trains (especially DMU’s and EMU’s)
  • Obscure Slavonic languages
  • Fonts and typefaces: Helvetica, Arial, Times New Roman…
  • All the above… Not only, but also…
  • Payphones

Payphones a real rarity in the UK these days.  I miss the old red ones that always smelt musty of phone directory and other things.

My favourite payphone even featured extensively on the news back in the late 1990’s.  Here’s a link to the story.  It was the USA’s remotest payphone in the Mojave Desert.  I even rang it myself.  (But nobody answered.)

Wikipedia wasn’t round two decades ago.  It is now.

Have a deserted day, won’t you!

Mojave_Phone_Booth

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?