Tuesday, August 31, 2021





Friend and colleague John F emailed me a poem, Fifty Shades of Grey, that was attributed to Pam Ayres.

Pam Ayres (1947 - ) is an English poet, comedian, songwriter and presenter of radio and television programs.

My reading up on the poem led to the realisation that she has denied writing it, the true author apparently being one John Summer, see:

Nonetheless thanks John for sending it.

Here is Fifty Shades of Grey, by whoever has written it . . .

The missus bought a Paperback,
Down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;
T'was "Fifty Shades of Grey".

Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread...
In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.
Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Ethel hasn't weathered well;
She's eighty four next week!!

Watching Ethel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!

She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
I am a dominator !!

Now if you knew our Ethel,
You'd see just why I spluttered,
I'd spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I'd uttered.

She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like
And stood on her left tit!

Ethel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My God what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
"Step on the other one!!

Well readers, I can tell no more;
Of what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey.


As a bonus, here is a poem that is by Pam Ayres, made all the more meaningful by each verse having been written in limerick format . . .

Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth!

Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My mother, she told me no end,
‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!

If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’

How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.


Monday, August 30, 2021




Watching some of the events in the Paralympic Games on the Teev I was reminded of a couple of items that had originally appeared in Bytes in 2010 and then had been reposted in 2019.

Being short on time to prepare a new item, I am reposting those items, feats worthy of a gold in the Paralympics . . .

The jockey:

By age 35, jockey Frank Hayes (1888-1923) had still never won a race. Truth be, he was a jockey second. a horse trainer and stableman first. In 1923 he agreed to ride a horse, Sweet Kiss, a 20 to 1 outsider, in a steeplechase at Belmont Park. Somewhere around the halfway mark, Hayes had a heart attack and died in the saddle. What is amazing, is that he didn’t fall off. Sweet Kiss kept running and Hayes kept riding, eventually crossing the finishing line and winning by a head. Hayes, still astride his mount, is the only jockey known to have won a race after death. It was only after the horse’s owners and race officials came up to Hayes, still sitting in the saddle, to congratulate him that they found out that he was dead. His first win and he didn’t know it. The horse never raced again and was nicknamed "Sweet Kiss of Death" for the rest of her life.

The poem:

The Blind Rower

- Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

And since he rowed his father home,
His hand has never touched an oar.
All day he wanders on the shore,
And hearkens to the swishing foam.
Though blind from birth, he still could row
As well as any lad with sight;
And knew strange things that none may know
Save those who live without the light.

When they put out that Summer eve
To sink the lobster-pots at sea,
The sun was crimson in the sky;
And not a breath was in the sky;
The brooding, thunder-laden sky,
That, heavily and wearily,
Weighed down upon the waveless sea
That scarcely seamed to heave.

The pots were safely sunk; and then
The father gave the word for home:
He took the tiller in his hand,
And, in his heart already home,
He brought her nose round towards the land,
To steer her straight for home.

He never spoke,
Nor stirred again:
A sudden stroke,
And he lay dead,
With staring eyes, and lips of lead.

The son rowed on, and nothing feared:
And sometimes, merrily,
He lifted up his voice, and sang,
Both high and low,
And loud and sweet:
For he was ever gay at sea,
And ever glad to row,
And rowed as only blind men row:
And little did the blind lad know
That death was at his feet:
For still he thought his father steered;
Nor knew that he was all alone
With death upon the open sea.
So merrily, he rowed, and sang:
And, strangely on the silence rang
That lonely melody,
As, through the livid, brooding gloam,
By rock and reef, he rowed for home--
The blind man rowed the dead man home.

But, as they neared the shore,
He rested on his oar:
And, wondering that his father kept
So very quiet in the stern,
He laughed, and asked him if he slept;
And vowed he heard him snore just now.
Though, when his father spoke no word,
A sudden fear upon him came:
And, crying on his father's name,
With flinching heart, he heard
The water lapping on the shore;
And all his blood ran cold, to feel
The shingle grate beneath the keel:
And stretching over towards the stern,
His knuckle touched the dead man's brow.

But help was near at hand;
And safe he came to land:
Though none has ever known
How he rowed in, alone,
And never touched a reef.
Some say they saw the dead man steer--
The dead man steer the blind man home--
Though, when they found him dead,
His hand was cold as lead.

So, ever restless, to and fro,
In every sort of weather,
The blind lad wanders on the shore,
And hearkens to the foam.
His hand has never touched an oar,
Since they came home together--
The blind, who rowed his father home--
The dead who steered his blind son home.

Sunday, August 29, 2021




I relate to this . . .

Ballade of Indignation

I'm driving through New Mexico, let's say,
facing the glories of the setting sun.
But just before I get to Santa Fe,
there you are, stranger, with your ganglion
sized brain and SUV that weighs a ton,
paying no mind to sunset's golden crown,
but nitter-nattering ninety-nine to one …
so would you kindly put your cell phone down?

I’m dining out, which is the perfect way
to make the brain cells sing in unison,
relaxing with my Merlot and filet,
when there you are with that damned cell phone on
your ear, discussing how some game's been won
and whether stocks are up or upside-down.
You’re sharing all your life with everyone,
so would you kindly put your cell phone down?

Haven't you noticed it's a lovely day?
The kind that makes you want to jump and run?
But even jogging, you can't throw away
that cell phone, can you? Why, you've just begun
to give your boss a sales plan that will stun
competitors and make your rivals drown.
Look out, you fool! You're running down a nun,
so would you kindly put your cell phone down?


Friend, I'm no longer saying this for fun.
Road rage has made me rampage through the town.
I’m out of Prozac, and I have a gun.
So would you kindly put your cell phone down?

Gait White

Saturday, August 28, 2021




Continuing 5 facts about 5 songs about prostitutes . . .



Bing Crosby




Link to Louis Armstrong version:

Link to Marlene Dietrich version:

(From the film Just a Gigolo. That’s David Bowie in the tux).

Link to Village People version:


Was in a Paris cafe that first I found him
He was a Frenchman, a hero of the war
But war was over
And here's how peace had crowned him
A few cheap medals to wear and nothing more
Now every night in the same cafe he shows up
And as he strolls by ladies hear him say
If you admire me, hire me
A gigolo who knew a better day

Just a gigolo, everywhere I go
People know the part I'm playing
Paid for every dance
Selling each romance
Every night some heart betraying
There will come a day
Youth will pass away
Then what will they say about me
When the end comes I know
They'll say just a gigolo
As life goes on without me

Just a gigolo, everywhere I go
People know the part I'm playing
Paid for every dance
Selling each romance
Every night some heart betraying
There will come a day
Youth will pass away
Then what will they say about me
When the end comes I know
They'll say just a gigolo
As life goes on without me


"Just a Gigolo" is a popular song, adapted by Irving Caesar into English in 1929 from the Austrian tango "SchΓΆner Gigolo, armer Gigolo", composed in 1928 in Vienna by Leonello Casucci to lyrics written in 1924 by Julius Brammer.

The original version is a poetic vision of the social collapse experienced in Austria after World War I, represented by the figure of a former hussar who remembers himself parading in his uniform, while now he has to get by as a lonely hired dancer.

The success of the song prompted publishers Chappell & Co. to buy the rights and order an English version from Irving Caesar, a very popular lyricist of the time. Caesar eliminated the specific Austrian references and, in the often-omitted verse (but included in the 1931 recording by Bing Crosby), set the action in a Paris cafe, where a local character tells his sad story. Thus, the lyrics retained their sentimental side but lost their historic value.

"Just a Gigolo" appeared in a 1931 film, a 1932 Betty Boop cartoon and a 1993 TV series, all titled after the song. The song was recorded by many musicians of the time, including Louis Armstrong and (in German) Richard Tauber.

The film SchΓΆner Gigolo, armer Gigolo, directed by David Hemmings in 1979, was titled after the first verse of the original lyrics, but the Just a Gigolo title was used for US distribution. In this film, the song was performed by Marlene Dietrich, in her last film appearance.

"Just a Gigolo" is best known in a form recorded by Louis Prima in 1956, where it was paired in a medley with another old standard, "I Ain't Got Nobody". This pairing links the life of a gigolo ("people know the part I'm playing, paid for every dance.."), to the outcome for singer ending up alone ("I ain't got nobody"). The popularity of Prima's combination, and of Village People's 1978 and David Lee Roth's 1985 cover versions of the medley, has led to the mistaken perception by some that the songs are two parts of a single original composition.




Melina Mercouri





Oh, you can kiss me on a Monday, a Monday,
a Monday is very, very good,
or you can kiss me on a Tuesday, a Tuesday
a Tuesday in fact I wish you would.

Or you can kiss me on a Wednesday, a Thursday a Friday,
and Saturday is best,
but never ever on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday,
cause that’s my day of rest.

Come any day, and you’ll be my guest,
Any day you say but my day of rest.
Just name the day that you like the best,
only stay away on my day of rest.

Oh, you can kiss me on a cool day, a hot day, a wet day,
whichever one you choose,
or try to kiss me on a gray day a May day, a pay day,
and see if I refuse.

And you can make it on a bleak day, a freak day, or a week day,
be my guest,
but never, never on a Sunday, a Sunday, the one day
I need a little rest.

Never on a Sunday when the church is full of people and
bells are ringing in the steeple, la la la la, la la la la, la.
Oh, you can kiss me on a Monday, a Monday, a Monday
is very, very good,

or you can kiss me on a Tuesday, a Tuesday, a Tuesday
in fact I wish you would.
Or you can kiss me on a Wednesday, a Thursday a Friday,
and Saturday is best,
but never ever on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday,
cause that’s my day of rest.


Never on Sunday" was first sung by Melina Mercouri in the film of the same name, starring Mercouri.

The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960, a first for a foreign-language picture.

"Never on Sunday"’s original Greek lyrics, along with the foreign translations in German, French, Italian and Spanish do not mention "Never on Sunday" (as found in the English lyrics), but rather tell the story of the main female character of the film, Illya (Mercouri).

Ilya, a self-employed, free-spirited prostitute who lives in the port of Piraeus in Greece, meets Homer, an American tourist and classical scholar who is enamored of all things Greek. Homer feels Ilya's lifestyle typifies the degradation of Greek classical culture, and attempts to steer her onto the path of morality, while, at the same time, Ilya attempts to loosen Homer up.

As a politician, Mercouri was a member of the PASOK and the Hellenic Parliament. In October 1981, Mercouri became the first female Minister of Culture and Sports. She was the longest-lived Minister of Culture in Greece - serving during the years 1981-89 and 1993 till her death in 1994, in all PASOK governments.

Every recent prostitute film from 'Irma la Duce' to 'Pretty Woman' owes a lot to this work. It was one of the first films that shed light on the idea that prostitution was a respectable and acceptable way to make a living.

The underlying theme of the film is that one should strive to be happy in what you do and more importantly, who you know. There is an interconnection between people in a small town, and disrupting those connections may lift some people up, but is not good for the whole of society. Regardless of his meddling, the towns people never turn on Homer, or blame him for anything. At their core, they know that life is to be enjoyed and blaming people for your troubles is just not part of the mix.




Brother Bones and His Shadows




Brother Bones version:


The Beatles, with Roy Young, as a backup band recorded it again for Tony Sheridan on May 24, 1962, in Hamburg, Germany, using the original lyrics. This was released in Germany, on Sheridan's EP Ya Ya in 1962 [7] and in Greece as the b-side of the single Skinny Minny. This recording was rereleased as a single in 1964 during the wave of Beatlemania with Sheridan having re-recorded the vocals with tamer lyrics and the additional verse: "In Liverpool she even dares/to criticize the Beatles' hair/With their whole fan-club standing there/oh Sweet Georgia Brown". This version can be heard on the German compilation album The Beatles' First! and it's numerous reissues. The song was edited as a single for the American market with added guitar and drum parts.


Original 1925 lyrics:

She just got here yesterday
Things are hot here
Now they say there's a big change in town
Gals are jealous there's no doubt
Still the fellows rave about
Sweet, sweet Georgia Brown
And ever since she came
The colored folks all claim, say

No gal made has got a shade on sweet Georgia Brown
Two left feet but oh so neat has sweet Georgia Brown
They all sigh and wanna die for sweet Georgia Brown
I'll tell you just why, you know I don't lie
Not much

It's been said she knocks 'em dead
When she lands in town
Since she came why it's a shame how she cools 'em down
Fellers she can't get are fellers she ain't met
Georgia claimed her
Georgia named her sweet Georgia Brown

Brown skin gals you'll get the blues
Brown skin pals you'll surely lose
And there's but one excuse
Now I've told you who she was
And I've told you what she does
Hand this gal her dues
This color'd maiden's prayer is answered anywhere


No gal made has got a shade on sweet Georgia Brown
Two left feet but oh so neat has sweet Georgia Brown
They all sigh and wanna die for sweet Georgia Brown
I'll tell you just why, you know I don't lie
Not much

All those tips the porter slips to sweet Georgia Brown
They buy clothes at fashion shows with one dollar down
Oh boy, tip your hats, oh joy, she's the cat's
Who's that mister? 'Tain't her sister.
Sweet Georgia Brown


This is famous as the theme song of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, who officially adopted it in 1952. They use it for their "Magic Circles" when the players stand in a circle and pass around the ball, displaying their impressive techniques and dexterity.

This was written in the 1920s by Maceo Pinkard and Ken Casey. It was popularized by the big bandleader Ben Bernie in the 1920s, and he was given a co-writer credit for recording it.

The most famous version, with whistling and bone-cracking, was a 1949 instrumental recorded by Brother Bones & His Shadows. This is the version used by the Harlem Globetrotters.

The original version had lyrics that were about a black prostitute. Many people and groups have covered this with lyrics, including Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles, and The Grateful Dead, and the lyrics seem to vary by cover. The Beatles' version contains the line "In Liverpool she even dared to criticize the Beatles' hair with their whole fan club standing there." The Grateful Dead only performed their version live.

Reportedly, Ben Bernie came up with the concept for the song's lyrics – although he is not the credited lyricist – after meeting Dr. George Thaddeus Brown in New York City. Dr. Brown, a longtime member of the Georgia State House of Representatives, told Bernie about his daughter, Georgia Brown, and how subsequent to the baby girl's birth on August 11, 1911, the Georgia General Assembly had issued a declaration that she was to be named Georgia after the state. This anecdote would be directly referenced by the song's lyric: "Georgia claimed her – Georgia named her."


Friday, August 27, 2021


Now, now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies."

(Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan.)”


It’s that time of the week again, dear readers.

Funny Friday.

A mixed bag of humour today that hopefully will lift spirits.

Enjoy and stay safe.

Oh, the usual warning that risque content follows . . . 



Just one joke today, a long one . . .

A guy has spent five years traveling all around the world making a documentary on Native dances. At the end of this time, he has every single native dance of every indigenous culture in the world on film. He winds up in Australia, in Alice Springs, so he pops into a pub for a well earned beer. He gets talking to one of the local Aborigines and tells him about his project.

The Aborigine asks the guy what he thought of the "Butcher Dance."

The guy's a bit confused and says, "Butcher Dance? What's that?"

"What? You no see Butcher Dance?"

"No, I've never heard of it."

"Oh mate. You crazy. How you say you film every native dance if you no see Butcher Dance?"

"UmmSUM. I got a corroborree on film just the other week. Is that what you mean?"

"No no, not corroborree. Butcher Dance much more important than corroborree."

"Oh, well how can I see this Butcher Dance then?"

"Mate, Butcher Dance right out bush. Many days travel to go see Butcher Dance."

"Look, I've been everywhere from the forests of the Amazon, to deepest darkest Africa, to the frozen wastes of the Arctic filming these dances. Nothing will prevent me from recording this one last dance."

"OK, mate. You drive north along highway towards Darwin. After you drive 197 miles, you see dirt track veer off to left. Follow dirt track for 126 miles 'til you see big huge dead gum tree - biggest tree you ever see. Here you gotta leave the car, because much too rough for driving.

You strike out due west into setting sun. You walk 3 days 'til you hit creek. You follow this creek to Northwest. After 2 days you find where creek flows out of rocky mountains. Much too difficult to cross mountains here though. You now head south for half day 'til you see pass through mountains.

Pass very difficult and very dangerous. Take 2, maybe 3 days to get through rocky pass. When through, head northwest for 4 days 'til reach big huge rock - 20 ft high and shaped like man's head. From rock, walk due west for 2 days and you find village. Here you see Butcher Dance."

So the guy grabs his camera crew and equipment and heads out. After a couple of hours he finds the dirt track. The track is in a shocking state and he's forced to crawl along at a snails pace and so he doesn't reach the tree until dusk and he's forced to set up camp for the night.

He sets out bright and early the following morning. His spirits are high and he's excited about the prospect of capturing on film this mysterious dance which he had never heard mention of before.

True to the directions he has been given, he reaches the creek after three days and follows it for another two until they reach the rocky mountains. The merciless sun is starting to take its toll by this time and his spirits are starting to flag, but wearily he trudges on until he finds the pass through the hills - nothing will prevent him from completing his life's dream.

The mountains prove to be every bit as treacherous as their guide said and at times they almost despair of getting their bulky equipment through. But after three and a half days of back breaking effort they finally force their way clear and continue their long trek.

When they reach the huge rock, four days later, their water is running low and their feet are covered with blisters. Yet they steel themselves and head out on the last leg of their journey.

Two days later they virtually stagger into the village where the natives feed them and give them fresh water. They begin to feel like new men.

Once he's recovered enough, the guy goes before the village chief and tells him that he has come to film there Butcher Dance.

"Oh mate. Very bad you come today. Butcher Dance last night. You too late. You miss dance."

"Well, when do you hold the next dance?"

"Not 'til next year."

"Well, I've come all this way. Couldn't you just hold an extra dance for me, tonight?"

"No, no, no! Butcher Dance very holy. Only hold once a year. If hold more, gods get very angry and destroy village! You want see Butcher Dance you come back next year."

The guy is devastated, but he has no other option but to head back to civilization and back home.

The following year, he heads back to Australia and, determined not to miss out again, sets out a week earlier than last time. He is quite willing to spend a week in the village before the dance is performed in order to ensure he is present to witness it. However, right from the start things go wrong.

Heavy rains that year have turned the dirt track to mud and the car gets bogged every few miles, finally forcing them to abandon their vehicles and slog through the mud on foot almost half the distance to the tree.

They reach the creek and the mountains without any further hitch, but halfway through the ascent of the mountain they are struck by a fierce storm which rages for several days, during which they are forced to cling forlornly to the mountainside until it subsides. It would be suicide to attempt to scale the treacherous paths in the face of such savage elements.

Then, before they have travelled a mile out from the mountains, one of the crew sprains his ankle badly which slows down the rest of their journey enormously, to the rock and then the village.

Eventually, having lost all sense of how long they have been travelling, they stagger into the village at about 12:00 noon.

"The Butcher Dance!" gasps the guy. "Please don't tell me I'm too late!"

The chief recognizes him and says "No, white fella. Butcher Dance performed tonight. You come just in time."

Relieved beyond measure, the crew spends the rest of the afternoon setting up their equipment - preparing to capture the night's ritual on celluloid as dusk falls, the natives start to cover there bodies in white paint and adorn themselves in all manner of bird's feathers and animal skins.

Once darkness has settled fully over the land, the natives form a circle around a huge roaring fire.

A deathly hush descends over performers and spectators alike as a wizened old figure with elaborate swirling designs covering his entire body enters the circle and begins to chant. Some sort of witch doctor or medicine man, figures the guy and he whispers to the chief, "What's he doing?"

"Hush," whispers the chief. "You first white man ever to see most sacred of our rituals. Must remain silent. Holy man, he asks that the spirits of the dream world watch as we demonstrate our devotion to them through our dance and, if they like our dancing, will they be so gracious as to watch over us and protect us for another year."

The chanting of the Holy man reaches a stunning crescendo before he moves himself from the circle. From somewhere the rhythmic pounding of drums booms out across the land and the natives begin to sway to the stirring rhythm.

The guy is becoming caught up in the fervour of the moment himself. This is it. He now realizes beyond all doubt that his wait has not been in vain. He is about to witness the ultimate performance of rhythm and movement ever conceived by mankind.

The chief strides to his position in the circle and, in a big booming voice, starts to sing,

He says, "You butch yer right arm in. You butch yer right arm out. You butch yer right arm in and you shake it all about"


A couple wants to have sex but their son is in the house.

The only way to pull off a Sunday afternoon "quickie " with their 8-year-old son in the apartment was to send him out on the balcony with a Popsicle and tell him to report on all the neighbourhood activities...

"There's a car being towed from the parking lot," he shouted. He began his commentary as his parents put their plan into operation.

"An ambulance just drove by!"

"Looks like the Andersons have company," he called out.

"Matt's riding a new bike!"

"Looks like the Sanders are moving!"

"Jason is on his skate board!"

After a few moments he announced... "The Coopers are having sex. Startled, his mother and dad shot up in bed.

Dad cautiously called out..."How do you know they're having sex?"

"Jimmy Cooper is standing on his balcony with a Popsicle."


A farmer named Paddy had a car accident. He was hit by a truck owned by the Eversweet Company. In court, the Eversweet Company's hot-shot solicitor was questioning Paddy.

'Didn't you say to the police at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?' asked the solicitor? Paddy responded: 'Well, I'll tell you what happened. I'd just loaded my fav'rit cow, Bessie, into da... '

'I didn't ask for any details', the solicitor interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?'

Paddy said, 'Well, I'd just got Bessie into da trailer and I was drivin' down da road.... '

The solicitor interrupted again and said, ‘Your Honour, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question. '

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Paddy's answer and said to the solicitor: 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favourite cow, Bessie'. Paddy thanked the Judge and proceeded.’ Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my fav'rit cow, into de trailer and was drivin' her down de road when this huge Eversweet truck and trailer came tundering tru a stop sign and hit me trailer right in da side. I was trown into one ditch and Bessie was trown into da udder. By Jaysus I was hurt, very bad like, and didn't want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moanin' and groanin'. I knew she was in terrible pain just by her groans.

Shortly after da accident, a policeman on a motorbike turned up. He could hear Bessie moanin' and groanin' too, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.

Den da policeman came across de road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, 'How are you feelin'?'

'Now wot da fock would you say?'



A crossword compiler named Moss,
Who found himself quite at a loss.
When asked, Why so blue?
Said, I haven’t a clue,
I’m 2 Down to put 1 Across.




There once was a religious young woman who went to Confession.

Upon entering the confessional, she said, 'Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.'

The priest said, 'Confess your sins and be forgiven.' ......

The young woman said, 'Last night my boyfriend made mad passionate love to me seven times.'

The priest thought long and hard and then said, 'Squeeze seven lemons into a glass and then drink the juice.'

The young woman asked, 'Will this cleanse me of my sins?'

The priest said, 'No, but it will wipe that smile off of your face.



What do you call the wife of a hippie?

A Mississippi.

Some items for Bunny Friday . . .

Tonight we’re having Himalayan rabbit stew for dinner.
We found himalayan in the road.

Elton John got a treadmill for his pet rabbit.
It’s a little fit bunny.

The first four letters of the alphabet are the hardest.

The rest are e-z.


Thursday, August 26, 2021




Posted in Bytes on December 17, 2011

5 Minutes of Art: Rembrandt's Night Watch and Crotch Grabbing

Commonly called De Nachtwacht - The Night Watch, - the painting’s correct title is The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch.


Painted by Rembrandt (1606-1669) in 1642, it is considered to be one of his masterpieces.

This painting has been listed as the fourth most famous in the Western world, after the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The painting is renowned for 3 elements:

- its size (363 x 437 cm ~ 11ft 10in x 14ft 4in);

- the effective use of light and shadow;

- its depiction of a moment using movement that would ordinarily have been a static pose.


The painting depicts a militia company moving out, possibly on a shooting expedition.

Militia paintings at the time were common, whereby militia companies were painted for record and display purposes. The militia members paid the artist concerned. In the case of The Night Watch, the painting is believed to have been commissioned by the Captain and 17 members of his civic militia guards, whose names appear on the shield in the centre right background. The names were added to the shield by another hand after the painting was completed. The drummer was hired and was allowed in for free. Each person paid 100 guilders to be in the painting, a large sum at the time.


The title The Night Watch is incorrect insofar as it was neither “Night” nor “Watch”.

For most of its existence the painting was coated with layers of heavy, dark varnish. In addition it was coated with soot and grime from being hung above an open fireplace. The resulting dark look of the work led people to be believe that the light in the painting was moonlight, hence the tern The Night Watch, the assumption being that the militia company was departing on watch duty. The varnish was removed in the 1940’s, revealing the brighter colours originally used by Rembrandt and also that the light is from sunlight, indicating a daytime scene.


By the time of the creation of Rembrandt’s painting, there was no longer any need for the militia guardsmen depicted to defend the city ramparts or to go out on watch. The meetings of the militia companies had become largely social and sporting affairs, so that the company depicted in The Night Watch was probably heading out to the fields for a shooting contest or to take part in a parade.


Most militia paintings at the time showed the company members in formal static poses, often standing in rows or seated at a banquet. Rembrandt’s depiction was revolutionary in turning the traditional group portrait into a blaze of colour, light and motion. His work not only depicts the various subjects in various action poses, it integrates each such individual figures and scenes into an overall, unified whole.


The three major characters in the painting, the Captain, the Lieutenant and the little girl, are superbly illuminated in the sunlight coming into the inside of the building. The use of light and shadow draws the eyes to the central characters, emphasising and subduing as needed.


In 1715 the painting was moved to the Amsterdam Town Hall and was cut down on all 4 sides to fit the painting between two columns, a common practice in the 19th century. Some of the figures removed thereby had been used by Rembrandt to indicate forward motion. . A 17th century copy of the painting by Gerrit Lundens at the National Gallery, London shows how it looked originally:


In September 1939, just before the outbreak of WW2, the canvas was detached from its frame, rolled around a cylinder and stored in a castle in Medemblik, north of Amsterdam.


In 1975 unemployed school teacher, Wilhelmus de Rijk, slashed the painting with a bread knife, resulting in large zig-zag slashes, whilst shouting “I have been sent by the Lord!” It was successfully restored but some damage is still observable close-up. De Rijk committed suicide in April 1976.

In 1990 it was sprayed with acid from a concealed pump bottle by an escaped psychiatric patient. Security guards immediately sprayed water onto the painting and the acid penetrated only the varnish layer. Released nine years later, the same man cut a circular hole in Picasso’s Femme Nue Devant Le Jardin.


Bonus Trivia:

The painting shows Captain Frans Banning Cocq as the central figure, hand outstretched in front of his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenhurch.

What is of interest is the positioning and shape of the lieutenant’s phallic lance and the shadow of the Captain’s hand seemingly grabbing at his lieutenant’s crotch:

Accidental? It can hardly have escaped Rembrandt’s notice, the details of everything else having been so carefully painted and the figures being so prominent. A joke? A subtle statement or disclosure? Nothing is known.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021





I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough and through.
Well done! And now you wish perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead, is said like bed, not bead -
for goodness' sake don't call it 'deed'!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(they rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, or broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's doze and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, I've hardly made a start!

A dreadful language? Man alive!
I learned to speak it when I was five!
And yet to write it, the more I sigh,
I'll not learn how 'til the day I die.