Tag Archives: humor

Long Distance Communication

This week Eliud Kipchoge ran the first sub-two hour marathon. It wasn’t that easy the very first time….

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The last of the Persians scrambled onto the last of their ships, the last anchor was raised, and the fleet fled.

The Battle of Marathon was over.

A cheer went up from the Athenian army, but not a great, triumphant roar, more a ragged, weary “yay”, the kind that comes from men who have been fighting for many hours, men who are not so much elated at having won as grateful at being alive.

Their commander, Militades, saw it differently. As commander he had been far from the fighting, doing the important stuff like supervising and delegating, and had been in no real danger, so his overriding concern had been about his career. So now that he had won, the sooner people found out the better.

He had a look around. A young soldier was sitting on a rock, head down. Militades walked over and stood in front of him, and the soldier’s head raised. Their eyes met, yet didn’t, because the stare of the young man went through Militades and far, far beyond him, as if seeking a place somewhere, anywhere, in the vast expanse of existence where his eyes could unsee the preceding hours.

Militades, to his surprise, found himself having to steel himself before going on.

“Soldier,” he said, “what is your name?”

“Pheidippides,” said the young man.

“Seriously?” said Militades. “Well, Pheidip- er, my good man, I have a mission for you.”

“Yes, sir?”

“It is a great and glorious mission,”  said Militades. “I want you to tell the authorities in Athens about our victory -”

“Me, sir?” said Pheidippides. “If you wish, but I think it should be you who tells them, when you lead in our army or-” he looked around, “- what’s left of it, back into the city.”

“But we shall not return to Athens until tomorrow,” said Militades. “I want them to know now. The news will bring great joy, so should be conveyed as quickly as possible.”

So they can organise a hero’s welcome for you, thought Pheidippides. He looked around enviously at the other men, who were starting to break out the ouzo and restina, sighed internally, and got to his feet.  “Very well, sir,” he said. “If I could have a horse -”

“We don’t have any,” said Militades.

“Wow,” said Pheidippides, “and I thought the Spartans had things, well, spartan. Well, in that case there’s no point,” he went on. “Even if I set out now, I won’t get there before night. The rulers will be asleep.”

“Not if you run,” said Militades.

“Run?” said Pheidippides. “It’s twenty-six miles.”

“No trouble to a fit young man like you,” said Militades, clapping him on the back. “It should only take a couple of hours.”

-oo0oo-

It took more than a couple of hours.

Pheidippides had just fought a long battle. He did not have pacemakers running alongside him. He did not have people regularly handing him cups of water. He was not running on tarmacked roads, nor in super-cushioned trainers. He was running across rugged, rock-strewn terrain. Wearing sandals.

It is true that people did cheer and whoop as he ran by, but that was only because, as was customary among runners at the time, he was naked.

But on and on he ran. First one sandal broke, then the other, forcing him to run barefoot, yet on and on he ran. The sun beat down continually upon him, yet still on and on he ran.

Then after twenty miles he hit the wall.

This was because he was by now running head down in exhaustion, and didn’t see it until he ran into it.

He climbed it, scraping both knees and a nipple, and solved the problem of getting down the other side by simply tumbling off onto the ground. He picked himself up, and on and on, again, he ran.

Hours later, many hours later, he arrived in Athens. He hailed a passer-by. “Where do the rulers meet?” he asked.

The passer-by pointed up at the Acropolis. “Up there,” he said.

“Of course they do,” muttered Pheidippides.

He climbed wearily to the top of the great hill. An attendant offered him a robe, or demisroussos, but he shrugged him off and lurched past him and into the courtyard of the philosopher rulers.

He stood, swaying and breathing heavily. Several of the philosophers glared at him.

“Hush!” whispered one. “Plato is speaking.”

“How can you know whether at this moment we are sleeping,” Plato was saying, “and all our thoughts are a dream, or whether we are awake and talking to one another in the waking state?”

You could try running full-belt into a stone wall, thought Pheidippides. He moved forward a few steps.

“Well I know that I am the wisest man alive,” replied Socrates, ignoring him, ” because I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

“μαλακίες,” thought Pheidippides. He plucked a Grecian urn from a plinth and dropped it onto the ground. Everyone turned in shock at the crash, then parted as he staggered to stand before them.

“Know this then,” he panted. “We’ve beaten the Persians.”

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than who conquers his enemies -” began Aristotle.

“Oh, shut up,” said Pheidippides, falling forward onto his face.

The philosophers gathered anxiously around him. “You poor man,” said Homer. “Is there anything we can do for you?”

Pheidippides summoned all his will to lift his head one last time.

“Teach a pigeon or something to carry messages in future,” he said. “You can call it after yourself if you like.”

Le soldat de Marathon (Luc Oliver Merson, 1869)

Le soldat de Marathon (Luc Oliver Merson, 1869)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Babe

It was Miranda’s birthday, and she was buying herself a present.

What would she buy? Shoes? A hat? Make-up? No, none of these stereotypically girly presents would do for Miranda, and for a very good reason.

Miranda was a mermaid.

The fact that she lived beneath the sea also ruled out books, clothes and kites. Not that she wanted a kite, mind, it’s just that it wouldn’t have been an option if she did.

She wandered into the local gift shop, Davy Jones’s Locker. Once Davy Jones had gotten over the shock of being (a) dead and (b) not dead he had opened a store which sold what is known across the universe as bric-à-brac, a French phrase meaning “overpriced crap”.

Miranda opened the door, and a tiny bell rang. Davy swam out from the back of the shop.

“I’m looking for a birthday present,” she said.

“I see,” said Davy. “For your young gentleman, perhaps?”

“For myself,” said Miranda. “I don’t have a ‘young gentleman’, as you put it.”

“Seriously?” said Davy. “Are the mermen around here mad? I mean look at you, you’re incredibly beautiful, not to mention the fact that you’re naked from the waist up. I’d have thought you’d have to beat them off with a frond.”

“There’s no such thing as mermen,” said Miranda, “so basically if I want a boyfriend it’d be a choice between Poseidon, who’s like a billion years old, or one of the Aquaphibians from Stingray.”

She wandered around the shop. There were tridents. There were stones, with “ a present from the sea-bed” written on them. There was also a lot of garden furniture. There were little stone bridges. There were tiny castles, with a hole to swim through. There was a rather frightening statue of a deep-sea diver, looking like a spacemen, or perhaps it was a statue of a spaceman looking like a deep-sea diver.

“See anything you like?” asked Davy.

“No,” said Miranda, “because I’m not a goldfish.” She pointed to a big wooden box. “What’s that?” she asked.

“A dead man’s chest,” said Davy. “Which reminds me, I also have a yo-yo and a bottle of rum.”

“It’s all a bit old-fashioned, isn’t it?”

“Well, I did try modernising. I got in a stock of iPods -”

“Really? From where?”

“They fell off the back of a ship. I did used to be a pirate, remember. Anyway, when I turned one on it played whale-song for five seconds and then blew up.”

In the end Miranda, as she did every year, bought herself a nice conch shell. It wasn’t the worst of presents, she told herself as she swam home. If you held it up to your ear you could hear land.

That’s when she saw coming towards her a creature just like herself. But male. He was staring at her in open-mouthed admiration, which was not a good idea, he swallowed a lot of water and she had to pat him vigorously on the back.

“My name’s Miranda,” she said.

“I’m Ythyl,” said the male. “Ythyl Merman.”

“I thought mermen didn’t exist.”

“Whereas mermaids do? Don’t be daft, how would the species keep going?”

That’s actually a very good question, she thought, with many layers to it, but she decided it wasn’t the sort of thing to say on a first date.

For a date is what it became. They went to dinner (she had the fish), they danced, and eventually they kissed demurely.

And, just when she thought the day couldn’t get any better, a necklace with a huge blue stone drifted down toward them. Some people throw the strangest things off boats.

Ythyl placed it gently around her neck. “You look beautiful,” he said.

It was her best birthday present ever.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

In which a man with no camera takes on the WordPress Photo Challenge anyway….

It is a well-known fact that all believers in re-incarnation, no matter how mundane their current lives, were persons of note in previous existences. All of them seem to have been a Knight of the Round Table, or Cleopatra, or the guy who played drums for Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. None of then were ever Fred Potts, a tanner from Lancashire.
But of course if re-incarnation really does happen then somewhere out there must indeed be Cleopatra…
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Her mother had been going to call her Rihanna, but on the day that the baby was born she looked deep into her eyes and something told her that she was to name her after Cleo Laine. This was odd because she hated jazz, and because until that second she had never heard of Cleo Laine.

Young Cleo grew up (in Sallynoggin, County Dublin) knowing in some way that she was special. She quickly found that people did her bidding and brought her treats, especially if she lay down screaming on the floor of the supermarket. Her mother (she could not bring herself to call her Mummy, for some reason) bathed, dressed and fed her, like a handmaiden. Her Daddy called her his Princess.

And then she reached the age of five, and went to school.

All of the girls there had daddies who called them Princess. None of the teachers would bow to her command. And then there were the boys.

They mocked her school-bag with the pictures of Tommy Cooper in a fez on it. They made fun of her rather peculiar, sideways-on walk. They looked at the style in which she wore her jet-black hair and nicknamed her Dora the Explorer.

Then they discovered that she had a morbid fear of worms.

One day one of them thought it would be terribly funny to drop a worm down the back of her dress. She freaked out, screaming and racing around the schoolyard until someone took her arm and shook her gently until the worm dropped onto the ground. The laughing boy found himself punched in the face as a voice, as deep and forceful as a five-year-old boy’s can be, said “leave her alone”.

Her rescuer, a small quiet boy, offered her some of his Toblerone. She loved Toblerone, perhaps because of its pyramid shape, or perhaps simply because she was a girl and it was chocolate. Anyway, instead of grabbing the whole bar as if it was hers by right, she took one piece and quietly, shyly, said “thanks”.

From that day on Anthony was her best friend.

Talking Of Michelangelo

I was on a work-related course on Friday, and while the lecturer was going from desk to desk, checking our exercises as if we were still at school, I overheard her tell one of the others that “Michelangelo was left-handed, but of course he fiddled his taxes”….

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The door of the office deep inside the Vatican opened, and in stepped the Pope, with a small man who had “Government Official” written all over him, or at least all over his Government Official uniform.

Michelangelo was seated at a table, and the two sat down opposite him.

“Ah, Michelangelo,” said the Pope. “I’ve called you here to discuss a rather delicate matter. As you know Vatican City is a small statelet with a tiny population, so small that indeed we can barely field a soccer team. In fact, we had to play two of the nuns in our last World Cup game, and so could only manage a one-all draw with Scotland.”

“So I heard,” said Michelangelo.

“With so few people we need to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes, which is why we’d like to discuss your return for the year MDXI.”

“Yes?” said Michelangelo.

“You are now a huge success. Indeed much of your work is for us, here in the Vatican, so we are well aware that you were paid 20 thousand quid (no, really, it’s a Latin word, this is where it comes from) for painting the Sistine Chapel that year. Yet your return gives your taxable income as 5 quid and 27 centum.”

“That’s my net income, after expenses,” said Michelangelo.

“Yes, well, I am not an expert in tax fraud,” said the Pope (Michelangelo noticed the small man’s eyes raise ever so slightly towards Heaven), “so I have brought along my assistant, Revenus, who will go through some of the items on your return with you.”

Revenus opened a folder in front of him. “The first item you have claimed,” he said, “is three thousand quid for paint. I believe that a large tin of emulsion costs three quid, so you appear to be claiming for 1,000 tins, which I calculate would paint every house from here to Worms.”

“Where?” asked Michelangelo.

“It’s some sort of health resort in Germany,” said the Pope. “Apparently they have a special diet.”

“I see,” said Michelangelo. “Well, for your information it’s three quid for a tin of white emulsion. Flesh-colour needs special pigment, and costs 50 quid a tin. Plus, I have to sign ‘Michelangelo’ on all of my paintings. It would be a lot cheaper if my name was Raphael.”

(And the story would be a lot easier to write, thought a historian who would later chronicle this event).

“You have in two hundred quid for, um, adult magazines,” said Revenus.

“Research,” said Michelangelo. “I have to know exactly what the naked human form looks like, in many different positions.”

“Do you still have these magazines?” asked the Pope. The other two looked at him. “I’d like to form my own opinion about their relevance,” he said, blushing slightly.

“Moving on,” said Revenus, after a short silence, “you have claimed five hundred quid for brushes.”

“Left-handed brushes,” said Michelangelo. “They’re a lot more expensive.”

Revenus gave him a withering look. Michelangelo remained unwithered.

“You’ve put in a hundred quid for a chisel,” said Revenus, “but in fact you did no sculpting that year.”

“No, I didn’t,” agreed Michelangelo. “The chisel was to put the cracks in the painting of The Creation of Adam.”

“I thought they were caused by age,” said the Pope.

“How could they be?” said Michelangelo. “The painting’s only just been finished.”

Revenus sighed, but had one card left to play. “Finally, you have a figure in for five thousand quid that just says ‘God’.”

“That’s what He charged for modelling for the painting,” said Michelangelo. “He had to stay in the same position for seven months.”

“You’re seriously claiming,” said Revenus, “that you got God to model for you?”

“Of course,” said Michelangelo. “I could hardly paint him from memory.”

Revenus stared hard at Michelangelo. It was the stare which had broken the spirit of many a tax defaulter, making them admit to second bank accounts, to not declaring company chariots as benefit-in-kind, to running shell companies (it’s where Botticelli hid his royalties from The Birth Of Venus).

To his surprise, Michelangelo stared calmly back. The two locked gazes, like antelopes locking antlers, for over two hours. Eventually Michelangelo spoke.

“I watch paint dry for a living,” he said. “You’re out of your league this time.”

Mum Knows Best

The prompt at this week’s Inkslingers Workshop in the Irish Writers Centre was “advice”…
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She sighed. She hated it when Mum has these “little chats” with her. Usually it was to do with the state of her room, or playing music too loud, or how she should be nicer to her little brother. Today, though, after the day that she’d had, would be different.

“I’d just like to offer some advice,” said Goldilocks’s Mum. “Firstly, never walk through the woods alone.”

“Little Red Riding Hood walks through the woods on her own,” said Goldilocks sulkily.

“I see,” said Goldilocks’s Mum. “And if Red Riding Hood stuck her hand into the fire would you do it too?”

“Why would she stick her hand into the fire?” asked Goldilocks.

Her Mum was secretly horrified at herself. She had sworn to herself that she would never pose this ludicrous question to her own children. The fact that she had done so proved that she was turning into her mother, and since this is a fairy-tale that might not just be a turn of phrase.

“Secondly,” she went on hurriedly, “what you call ’going into a cottage because there was no-one there’ is what the police call ’breaking and entering’.

“Thirdly, if you do find yourself in a cottage where one of the chairs is too large, the chances are that that is because someone or something very big lives there. This is rarely a good thing. The Scream movies should have taught you that.

“Fifthly -”

“Fourthly,” said Goldilocks.

“Fourthly, then,” said her Mum, “three bowls of porridge sitting on a table, two of them still at least partly hot, is a fairly big hint that the residents have not gone far. It is not a good idea, therefore, to eat one of the bowls, after presumably having spat the mouthfuls you didn’t like back into the other two. The residents whose return is so obviously imminent are unlikely to be pleased.

“Sixth, er, fifth, er, whateverly, if you have actually done all of the above then Housebreaking for Dummies, and you can be pretty sure that such a book exists, would probably advise a getaway at this point. It is unlikely to suggest going upstairs for a snooze.”

“I’m grounded, aren’t I?” said Goldilocks.

“You are indeed,” said her Mum. “You can go to your room, and just be thankful that Mr and Mrs Bear were so good about the whole thing. And leave your mobile here, I don’t want you to spend the whole time texting your friends, you can tidy your room.”

Goldilocks gave that deep sigh that only young girls can give when dealing with their mother, slammed her mobile onto the kitchen table and stomped upstairs to her room. Once there she started to text her friends.

One of the mobile phones in the cottage had been too big, one had been too small, but the one that she had now was just right.

Hanging On The Telephone

“You have a visitor,” said the guard. “It’s a woman.”

Silvio Berlusconi perked up at once. He was not enjoying his time in jail. The suits were distinctly unflattering to a man with his oily good looks, the shampoo was not oily enough for his Dracula-like hair and he hadn’t had the chance to slap a woman gratuitously on the bum for weeks.

He had been to a lot of Bunga Bunga parties, though not always by choice.

But now a woman was coming to visit him. They would, of course, be separated by a plastic screen and have to talk to each other by telephone, but this would be little obstacle to Silvio, who had one managed to get off with a woman who was passing him on a train going in the opposite direction.

He was led to the visiting room, sat down on his side of the screen, and looked up.

Angela Merkel was sitting on the other side.

His heart sank, but only for a second. She would certainly be a challenge, but a quick flash of his brilliant smile, a risqué remark and a quick flash of his – oh, I’ve said that already – and she would surely succumb to his charms, as dozens of women had before her.

Besides, he thought, it showed that he was still a vital cog in Europe. She had probably come asking his advice about the recession, or the Euro, or the Irish, or some other problem that she shouldn’t have had to worry her pretty little head about. He picked up the telephone on his side of the screen.

“Ciao bella,” he purred.

Angela picked up the phone on her side, then paused, frowned and took her mobile from her pocket. She looked at it and said “sorry, Silvio, I have to take this.”

She pressed the “Accept Call” button on her mobile. “Hi, sis,” she said. “No, nothing much, I’m just visiting Silvio Berlusconi in prison. I know, me too, so hard I got a stitch in my side. No, he looks good, he’s in a kind of orange jumpsuit, it matches his complexion. Oh,you’re right, he is, with a capital P. Anyway, how’s my lovely little niece? Really? A school play? Playing a daffodil? Oh, she must have looked so cute. Actually, put her on and let her tell me all about it. No, that’s fine, I’ll hang on till her Dad’s finished reading her bedtime story…”

Angela looked through the screen “Sorry you’re being kept waiting, Silvio”, she said sweetly. “It’s bloody annoying, isn’t it?”

Celebration Day

WordPress asks us to “invent a holiday, and explain how and why everyone should celebrate”…

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International Tinday is a celebration of the wonder that is Tinman’s blog, the wonder being how he gets away with writing the stuff he does. It is a fun-filled day guaranteed to quicken hearts, mimicking what Tinman’s pacemaker is doing to his.

It is celebrated on April 29th, partly because that is the anniversary of the day on which the blog first appeared, and partly because it is nowhere near Christmas, so there is no risk of getting just one present to cover the two events.

The fun begins the evening before, when families gather around while their father reads “The Night Before Tinday”.

In the story the father has just settled his brain for a long winter’s nap (surely the words “long” and “nap” are contradictory?) when there arises such a clatter, of fingers on a keyboard, and down the internet comes Tinman. Traditionalists will be disappointed to hear that since he has given up beer he no longer has a little round belly that shakes, when he laughs, like a bowlful of jelly, but his dimples are probably still merry, whatever that means.

The evening ends with someone saying the traditional sentence “this time tomorrow it’ll be all over”.

On Tinday itself gifts are exchanged, mainly large tins of shortbread biscuits or large tins of Cadburys Roses, including the sweets with the ghastly pink goo in the centre. Some people think it’s amusing to give Tin-openers, though I have to say I don’t find that at all funny. Men are given socks.

Then there is the traditional Tinday dinner, consisting of tinned foods. Tins of Spam are frowned upon, because that casts aspersions on his blog, but tins of peaches are served because Tinman is a real peach, tins of baked beans because he is great gas, and tins of prunes because he is full of, well, let’s leave it at that.

In Australia they drink a lot of tinnies. Sorry, that has nothing to do with Tinday, I just thought I’d point it out.

After dinner families gather around the computer to listen the traditional Tinday messages from the Pope, the Queen and, for some reason, Wolverine from the X-Men. These are given via comments on Tinman’s blog (to which he usually doesn’t respond, so it’s not just you). The families then turn on the TV and watch the Great Escape, the Sound of Music or ET (apparently there is some EU law that these are the only films allowed on such days). The BBC will show an especially depressing episode of EastEnders, in which one of the cast will beat one of the others with a tin dustbin lid.

The night ends with another traditional sentence, “well, that’s it over for another year”.

Shameless attempts have been made to commercialise the day, as has happened with Christmas, marketing “Happy Tinday” Cards, Tinday crackers, and even Tinday novelty jumpers (it has a picture of Tinman‘s face on it, and if you press his nose he tells you to stop doing it).

These attempts have so far been unsuccessful, but I fully intend to keep trying.

Winging It

Tonight’s Writers Group prompt, overheard on a train by one of us, was “we’re going to hear about the angel thing later”…
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“We’re going to hear about the angel thing later,” said Gabriel.

“What’s the angel thing?” asked St Patrick.

“It’s an idea Gabriel has,” said St Peter. “It would mean we wouldn’t have to hang around like this.”

The three of them were, indeed, hanging around. Each of them was dangling from a cloud by the kind of apparatus later made famous by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

This was the one big flaw about Heaven – it was up in the sky.

Not every one went for their approach. Some had attached wicker-baskets below the clouds. Some tethered themselves to the pearly gates, and went about their heavenly business in small circles. Some hung from a cloud by a long piece of string, like a child bought too many balloons at a fair. Some, mainly the young cool ones, rode the air-currents, the ultimate in wind-surfing.

Every now and then someone would make a mistake. Just the previous week St Felixbaumgartner had slipped and plummeted at astonishing speed to earth, in the process breaking the sound barrier and four-hundred and thirty-seven bones. Since he was a celestial being this didn’t matter, of course, and he was back hanging from his cloud thirty seconds later.

“Gabriel’s idea,” said Peter, “is that we become something called an angel.”

“Where does that name come from?” asked Patrick.

“From the Angelus,” said Gabriel. “It’s a kind of church version of a cuckoo clock, which is where I got the idea – we could have wings, like a cuckoo. We’d be able to hover in the clouds, instead of dangling from them.”

“That’d be great,” said Patrick. “It’d mean we’d be able to use our hands to play our harps, instead of plucking at them with our toes.”

“Gabriel’s done up a proposal,” said Peter, “and he’s sent it to God. We should hear about it later.”

The three hung around for what seemed like an eternity, and indeed might well have been, before Gabriel’s iPhone7 (this is Heaven, remember) rang. Gabriel listened, then turned to the others.

“He says yes,” he said.

“Thank God,” said Peter.

“Peter says thanks,” said Gabriel into his phone.

“Listen,” said Patrick, “while you have him on, tell him I have this idea for something called ‘trousers’. The wind up here is hellish sometimes.”

Shoe-In

The glass slipper fit. Perfectly. She stood and walked about the room in perfect comfort, or at least as much comfort as it is possible to walk in while wearing one high-heeled glass slipper and one mule with a picture of Bart Simpson saying “Eat My Shorts” on it. She turned in joy to the prince.

“It fits!” she said. The Prince was speechless, stunned into silence by her unruly hair, her unibrow and her impressive collection of warts.

The slipper had fit one of the Ugly Sisters.

A brighter Prince would, of course, have seen this coming, or at least something like it. Our feet tend to fall within a range of uniform sizes, otherwise we would all have to get our shoes individually made. The idea that in a whole kingdom there was one person with uniquely-sized feet, and that this happened to be the one person who had left her shoe behind is ludicrous.

(The awkward and therefore never-mentioned fact in all of this, of course, is that the shoe did fall off Cinderella’s foot. This raises the question of how well the shoes fit her in the first place).

Having made his way through the kingdom, however, with no luck, he had fetched up at Cinderella’s house, the very last one. Here he met Cinderella’s two sisters, who surely must have been like Cinderella at least in size, though not apparently in looks. Few families of only three girls have shoe-sizes that vary from dainty to circus clown. The odds were that one of her sisters would have the same size feet as her, and since she had decided to go last for the sake of maximum dramatic impact she had set herself up for disappointment.

The Prince, of course, had been labouring under a huge misunderstanding. He hadn’t realized that the expression “size matters” usually has nothing to do with feet.

With Knitted Brow

My Tuesday Writers Group have started bringing along objects to act as prompts. Last week a girl brought these samples of her knitting and sewing, to prompt pieces about art and about craft.
I wasn’t there, but on looking at our private website the following day I saw that one of us had removed the piece he had written, saying that he had taken it down having been told that it might be slanderous. I put a comment under his now blank post (surely a piece of art in itself) asking how it is possible to slander knitting, but even as I typed those words I knew that I was going to try…

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Purl’s a singer. That’s what the song says, but that’s just embroidering the facts. Look for a thread of truth and the whole yarn soon unravels. She sometimes uses a Singer sewing machine, but that’s it.

It would be easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle, (though I can think of no reason why you’d want to) than to get that sew-and-sew into the kingdom of heaven.

Because she does indeed work in a nightclub, and her job is indeed entertaining folks. The kind of folks, though, are seedy old men who sit eagerly in front of the stage (sweaters, we call them) while she drops her stitches. By the end of her act she hasn’t got a stitch on.

You can see her bobbins and everything.