Thursday 30 September 2010

A Very Close Relationship

nne and Matthew are very close. In fact they barely speak.

One time, Anne said she wished their relationship was more open. Matthew nodded enthusiastically. Then he realised what she meant.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Oh no!

The toy Indian is secured to the roof of the toy car.

The car is at the top of a steep incline!

A finger approaches, clearly about to give the car a nudge ...

(Go figure.)

Saturday 18 September 2010

Crashaw’s Diary (part ix)

The story so far: Philip Crashaw is the Curate to the Rev. Arthur Jenkins in a Country Parish in Dorset. The year is 1871.

Friday 25th August
Today may be the most important day of my life, for today I invented a new kind of joke. It happened like this. This morning Mr and Mrs Jenkins and I, along with several of the young people from the village, set out for a picnic on Golden Cap. Mrs Jenkins had packed a large hamper for us, with plenty of meat and drink, cold chicken, ham and tongue, all the usual things, pies, salads, jam, gooseberry tarts, and bread and cheese.

After we had admired the view along the coast we spread out the feast on the rug. However, the large size of the company meant that we were all a little squeezed for space on the rug and I found myself squashed between Mrs Jenkins and the hamper. “Is the hamper a little in your way?” the lady asked kindly. Of course, I knew that there was a joke to be made, something about the hamper hampering me. But no! instead, I replied:

“Mrs Jenkins, the hamper is not restricting my movements at all!”

I made the joke, as it were, without actually making the joke at all. But, then, oh wonder! I felt that “sudden glory” that comes upon one when one has made a joke. And yet my comment had passed quite unnoticed! (And without censure!) How delighted I felt by my new discovery! What untold possibilities await!
Presently I heard Mr Jenkins say:
“Do you think Mr Crashaw is quite all right?”
To which Mrs Jenkins replied:
“It is hot. Perhaps he should loosen his coat a little.”

Saturday 26th August
I shall call my new kind of joke an “Under-Pun”
Because it is a Pun that underpins the sense of what is said, without ever coming up to the surface!

Monday 28th August
Oh, glory piled upon glory! Tonight I made another of my new kind of joke! At supper, Margaret brought in a large trifle for dessert (a particular favourite of mine). I immediately felt that electrical prickling on my skin, which is so familiar to me and which signifies that a joke can be made. However, I said nothing. When it came around my turn to be served, I declined. Mr Jenkins was most surprised, and asked if I was well. But, instead of replying “There is no cause for concern, it is a mere trifle,” I replied:

“There is no cause for concern, it is a thing of little importance!

Oh, how glorious I felt! (My joke, once again, went undetected!) In fact, the glorious sensation that I experienced quite made up for missing out on my favourite dessert, and having to sit and watch Mr and Mrs Jenkins enjoy theirs.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

News from Hawker's Pot

Our move to Gloucestershire has invigorated us. We follow a strict physical regime, rising early, doing press-ups and handstands, and making up several jokes before breakfast. It has stopped raining. Reverend Hawker spends much of his time alone, developing his electronic “Keyboard to All Mythologies” which, I have no doubt, will in time prove a very useful poetic tool.* I am busy editing the voluminous diaries of Philip Crashaw, which we have brought with us. (I forget: have I yet recounted the remarkable series of events that led to their discovery in an abandoned attic of our old abode?) We will continue to publish excerpts from this surprising relic of the Victorian age, and are currently approaching experts in the hope they might say: “One of the most extraordinary survivals of the Victorian Age,” “Kilvert and Woodforde and My Secret Life have nothing on this”, “Undoubtedly genuine”, and such like. Henry the Raven, meanwhile, prods the cheap patterned curtains aside and peers hesitantly through the window at the glassy world outside, where shadows creep down hillsides and the ash trees stir restlessly in the sunshine and wind. (As I mentioned before, it has stopped raining.) And it is into this glassy world that Algernon disappears for long hours, working on his new side project, available here, a countryside journal completely devoid of puns.

(*When it is finished Reverend Hawker says he is going to call it the Casio Casaubon, but I have no idea why.)

Thursday 9 September 2010

Wisdom of Hawker’s Pot #6

It is commonly held that lunacy is caused by changes in the moon, but a fixation with the moon is merely a side effect of the real cause: the worst lunatics are obsessed with the stars, and are, in fact, star-craving mad.

Thursday 2 September 2010

And St Francis preached a sermon to the wild creatures

... and one of his disciples asked him about it afterwards.
“The stern injunctions against laying up goods in this world,” (asked the disciple) “who were they intended for?”
“They were intended for the squirrels, of course,” said the saint.
“And the injunctions against stealing?”
“For the foxes.”
“Of course. And the exhortations to be cheerful always?”
“The badgers. They’re terribly disposed to gloom, you know.”
“I see. And what about all the little jokes you made throughout the sermon?”
“They were strictly for the birds,” said St Francis.

Wisdom of Hawker’s Pot #5

The fortunate man sings for his supper, while the less fortunate man can whistle for it.