Category: humour


I’ve been damned by some as an unbeliever, an anti-christ. It pleases me, therefore, and reinforces my self esteem, to know that to others I’m the cool atheist across the street.

My youngest daughter calls me daddy and my mother insists that I was brought up a good catholic kid and on the right track.

So I drink a lot of whisky. So did my grandfather. Who doesn’t? It’s a family thing. At the age of fifteen I was a good father to three kids, and I always went to confession.

Now, suddenly, I’m an apostate Jew. I wake up one morning and that’s it.

Corner shop proprietor Anita Devi — I knew her father, he was like a Rabbi to me, although he was an apostate Sikh — told local reporters: ‘I’m sorting the papers for the delivery wallahs, you know, like it’s 5am, and in walks Dustin Hoffman. “It’s not safe,” he says, “but I’m a very good driver, Mrs Robinson.” I ask you, do I look like a Nazi dentist?’

No comment, no jazz.

However, Kafka told me this sort of thing was a possibility and, hey, Anita, he gave me a couple of other clues too: like, until this beard grew overnight I was Al Pacino a la Godfather 2, like an old dead uncle always insisted I should be. And Bukowski told me once that when I realised I’d failed as a writer I could maybe scratch a living as an Ernesto Guevara lookalike. Now I’m a 55 year old Ratso Rizzo.

Life’s a bitch. Forget about it. Just learn the lesson: never judge a close relative by his cover.

‘We will all go together when we go’

Tom Lehrer knew a guy called Henry, who spelled his name H-E-N-3-R-Y. The 3 was silent.

Like the main character of my novel, Weird Metropolitan (to be published soon, keep checking this space for details), he was financially independent, having inherited his father’s tar-and-feather business, and so was able to devote his time to writing and philosophising and giving ‘helpful’ advice to people who were happier than himself.

In otherwords he was a kibitzer.

Anyway, inspired by Hen3ry, Tom wrote this song, in the tradition of the great old revival hymns. It might more accurately be described, he said, as ‘a survival hymn’.

So, it’s been another slow year.

You know that feeling, when you’re the only one (I mean one, get it?) in a crowd to see a single magpie? Man, that’s a f**ker.

One for sorrow…

But why me. I mean, I’m in a crowd, you know? And it’s just me that gets the sorrow-vision?

It’s because I’m an atheist, isn’t it? It’s because I’m not quite black, isn’t it? Because I’m half a Jew?

I’m a f**king gypsy. That’s why. Don’t try to tell me I’m wrong.

I blame it on slow jazz and bottled water. If I believed in God or Rock and Roll I’d have no problem.

But I don’t, so it’s got to be that I listen to too much vacuum-cleaner-bass-jazz and drink too much Evian.

No-one told me it’s a sin.

Last week I go to London. I’m attending this party at the Porchester Rooms, thrown by a very good friend of mine who’s extremely talented, has had a lot of luck and has won this extremely prestigious award.

Anyway, we have a drink back-stage, I tell her I love her dearly and, though I’m dying of a tumour in my heart, she shouldn’t let that ruin her night.

It won’t.

So I leave her and visit the cloakroom, blow my nose. Then I take my place at a table reserved for me up front of the stage. The waiter brings a bottle of something French. I tell him to take it away.

‘Get me a bottle of Tequila and some olives,’ I tell him.

Suddenly I’m surrounded by these very serious, very legit looking guys with press badges. Seems they want to interview me.

‘So, what have you done since **** **** ****?’ asks one.

‘Nothing that would interest you,’ I tell him, thinking naively that now they’ll all go off and leave me alone. I’ve been out of the public eye too long.

‘Did you re-marry, after ****** died?’

The Tequila arrives. I do the salt and lime thing.

‘Yup!’

He pulls out a notebook and starts scribbling. Some of the others take Dictaphones and MP3s out of their breast pockets and place them in the middle of the table.

‘And what happened to that one?’ asks the scribbler.

‘Are you still trying to write comedy?’ asks a Dictaphone guy.

‘They say you’re not funny anymore,’ says a young MP3 guy with a cold-sore on his upper lip.

So, I have a long drink and think I’ll throw in a stock comic cliche line and they’ll know it’s a put-on:

‘My second marriage was broken up by my mother-in-law.’

‘Oh-oh! Mother-in-law jokes,’ says the waiter beneath his breath.

The scribbler scribbles, a couple of the Dictaphone guys adjust volumes, there’s a general surge of activity.

‘That’s funny… mother-in-law jokes. What happened?’ ask the hacks as one voice.

‘Well, let’s see. My mother-in-law broke up our marriage. One day wife number two comes home early from work and finds us in bed together.’

‘What? Your mother-in-law in bed with you?’

‘Yeah, that’s right.”

‘Well, that’s disgusting!’

‘Oh, well, she was horny and she came on to me…’

‘With your mother? Well, that’s psychotic!’

‘Why? It was her mother, not mine.’

Then the lights dim, the band starts up, my friend stumbles on stage and the audience applauds.

A guy closely resembling myself leaves by an alley exit.

Soon it will be summer.

Fun with Yiddish #1: Kibitzer

A very wise man once told me: ‘You know, boychik, this world is full of kibitzers. All you can do is out-kibitz them.’

You don’t know what the Yiddish kibitzer means? I’ll tell you.

The word itself is derived from the German name for a bird, the kiebitz, a lapwing or peewit. These birds are by reputation noisy and inquisitive and are known, colloquially, as Kibitzer.

However, in German, the verb kiebitzen means to spy over the shoulder of a card player.

So, a kibitzer is someone who kibitzes — that is, gives unsolicited advice or suggestions, in particular as a bystander/observer at a game; a ‘buttinski’; someone who’s always sticking his two cents into the affairs of others; a josher, a teaser, a flatterer; someone who patronisingly humours someone else along; a wise-guy who offers easy advice but doesn’t participate in the action; a second guesser; a… pain in the ass.

Literary criticism is something I used to do at college. Some people do it for a job: they’re all kibitzers; critics are kibitzers. Political commentators are mostly kibitzers; a minority of people who post comments on blogs are kibitzers.

My mother is a great kibitzer. In the car with my father she would always be back-seat driving. You know: ‘Watch out for the cyclist’, ‘There’s a red light coming up’, ‘You’re driving too fast’… She was once the subject of an article in our local paper because she took and failed her driving test fourteen times.

There are many kibitzers who frequent my local bar.

Recently, a Jewish friend of mine comes in. He tells me he’s won the lottery. All six numbers plus the bonus ball. The prize is in millions. This kibitzer overhears our conversation and asks my friend how he chose his numbers.

‘Well,’ he says, ‘5 is my grandson’s age. 64 is from the first two digits of my telephone number. 46 is the year I was born. 3 the number of years I’ve been divorced. 15 is my house number and 21 the age I’ll never be again.’

‘And the bonus ball?’

’63,’ the winner tells him, ‘it came to me in a dream. I dreamed I was in a theatre and on the stage was a chorus of sevens — eight dancers, each with the number 7 printed on the back of her costume. So I chose 63.’

‘But eight times seven is 56, not 63!’ cries the kibitzer.

‘So I’ve never been any good with numbers,’ chortles the millionaire. ‘Hey, bartender, get the mathematician a drink.’

What a kibitzer.

Japanese Flashmob video

This is a clip from a Japanese comedy/prank show called Troop of One Hundred, where a 100-strong flashmob chases after random strangers. The victims’ reactions are priceless.

Translation of what the mobsters are shouting:

– For the 1st and 2nd scenes: “There’s a tsunami!” (tsunami da!)
– For the 3rd: “That’s the guy!!” (koitsu da!)
– Nothing for the 4th
– Last scene: “Watch out!” (abunai!)

Death by schism

There’s a guy on the penthouse balcony of a high-rise about to kill himself. A negotiator with a loud hailer is trying to convince him he shouldn’t jump:

“Stop, stop, don’t do it.”

The guy looks down and asks:

“Why not?”

“Well… there’s so much to live for.”

“What’s that then? My kids are on crack and my wife just eloped with their dealer.”

“Well, there’s your faith. Your religion.”

“Yes?”

“Are you religious?”

“Yes.”

“Me, too. Christian, Muslim or Jew?”

“Christian.”

“Me, too. Catholic or Protestant?”

“Protestant.”

“Hey, far out. Me too. Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian?”

“Baptist.”

“Right on. Listen, are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Saviour?”

“Baptist Church of God.”

“Praise the Lord, we’re brothers. Tell me, are you Original Baptist Church of God or Reformed Baptist Church of God?”

“Reformed Baptist Church of God.”

“Reformed Baptist Church of God Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God Reformation of 1917?”

“1917.”

“Hey, you know what, Jump, you filthy heathen heretic scum.”

American bankers’ U2 cover

Thought this was an out-take from The Office at first, couldn’t actually believe it. But people who were there say it really happened.

Changes

David Cameron’s first conference speech as Tory leader held few surprises. It was light on policy, with no mention of Europe, immigration or the Middle East. He was, however, full of praise for several of the Blair government’s achievements, pledging to uphold those labour-instigated measures that worked. Indeed, last night some senior politicians compared his performance to early Blair conference addresses (his pitch to his party that it has to come to terms with new realities). His “best is yet to come” punchline did come suspiciously close to Labour’s 1997 “things can only get better” handle.

Click here to watch Tony Blair and David Cameron, skilfully edited on Time Trumpet, singing David Bowie’s Changes.

Thank you Mask Man

Weird Al Yankovic – Smells Like Nirvana

[grouper=mtg/mtgPlayer.swf?gvars=vurl~http%3a%2f%2fgrouper.com%2frss%2fflv.ashx%3fid%3d688124_rf%7e736137_vfver~8_ap~0_extid~-1;321;265]

View on Grouper.com Add to WordPress Blog

Add a video comment to this video

%d bloggers like this: