I LOVE newspapers, although I am aware that on occasions they can drop the occasional ricket.
So I was amused when a reader sent me the following headlines taken from American newspapers:
Panda Mating Fails, Vet Takes Over (which must be above and beyond the call of duty).
Miners Refuse to Work after Death (so that’s no overtime for them, then).
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant (which should bring crime figures down in the long run).
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures (No? Really? Who would have thought it?).
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge (I believe it).
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks (maybe so, but I couldn’t eat a whole one).
That’s America, for you.
Here in Britain, we have a much drier sense of humour and in support of that thesis, I offer the following true news stories, also submitted by a reader:
Commenting on a complaint from a Mr Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, “We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It’s possible Mr Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house.” (The Daily Telegraph).
A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coastguard spokesman commented, “This sort of thing is all too common”. (The Times).
At the height of the gale, the harbourmaster radioed a coastguard on the spot and asked him to estimate the windspeed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn’t have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. (Aberdeen Evening Express).
Mrs Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945. “He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out ‘Heil Hitler.’” (Bournemouth Evening Echo).
Call in the army!
CHILDREN regard an anti-social behaviour order as a badge of honour, a report found.
“Me? I’ve got an Asbo with bar, a conditional discharge, AND I’ve been bound over to keep the peace. Twice.”
The Institute for Public Policy Research says, “Asbos are not sending a message to young people that their behaviour is inappropriate; rather, in some of the most-at-risk groups, they are becoming a symbol of cool rebellion.”
Then I read another report that suggested former soldiers should be retrained as teachers and sent into the nation’s tougher schools.
Bring it on, I say, in the vernacular of today’s yoof.
A couple of ex-Paras would soon teach classroom discipline.
“You. You ‘orrible little scrote. Outside now and do 100 press ups.
“What? You’ll get your clothes wet in the rain? Easily solved. Take ’em off and do 200 press ups in your boxers then 20 circuits of the school yard in your bare feet.”
Ah, what a lovely dream.