Category Archives: Humour

The Opposite of a Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 Feb 2021

The Global Online-Traders’ and Community-Hosters’ Association

CAMBRIDGE, UK — Today sees the launch of a new industry body for major technology companies in the online-shopping, social-networking and other related fields. The Global Online-Traders’ and Community-Hosters’ Association (GOTCHA) exists to protect the value of news stories about its members, and ensure fair compensation of those whose activities actually generate the news.

“This is a problem which dates back to the dawn of the industrial revolution”, said William Boot, the organisation’s chairman and CEO. “Newspapers and other media have always been fascinated by the activities of large companies and the personalities who lead them. It is fair to say, in fact, that a significant proportion of their revenues are derived from such stories, and today you can barely open a newspaper or visit a news website without reading about the wealth of an Amazon chairman, the activities of a Facebook CEO, or the supposed iniquities of a Google algorithm.”

Boot, a low-paid former journalist himself, says that he gradually became persuaded of the lack of fairness in the current system and determined to do something about it by joining the other side and forming a campaigning organisation on behalf of those who actually feature in the news.

“Nobody is saying that articles shouldn’t be written about these organisations and entrepreneurs”, he explained. “However, we are clearly living in an unbalanced world when media organisations can make significant amounts of money simply by writing a few words about those who do the hard productive work. These technologists give up years of their life creating services that provide value, products that enrich people’s lives, and platforms that dramatically reduce the friction of global trading. It seems only fair that, when an article is written about a major technology corporation or one of its officers or investors, some portion of the revenue derived from that story should go to the company or individual concerned, since, without their success, there would be no story to write. GOTCHA will be campaigning tirelessly on behalf of its members and will be facilitating the resulting payments made by the traditional media outlets.”

GOTCHA, though founded in Cambridge, England, has yet to announce the final location of its headquarters, though the association has made it clear it won’t be based in Australia.

Observation of the day

During lockdown, the frequency with which one needs to shave is inversely proportional to the quality of one’s webcam.

Squelching in the Rain

After Rose and our fluffy-pawed spaniel Tilly came back from their walk across the muddy fields this morning, Tilly composed the following and asked me to share it, because it might help other canine readers to know they are not alone.

A Muddy Spaniel’s Lament

Rose’s supposing my toeses need hosing
Shows Rose is supposing erroneously.
‘Cause nobody’s toes can need quite as much hosing
As Rose is supposing my toeses to need!

The New Year Beckons?

This is the best cartoon I’ve seen over the last few days.

It was one of those shared-on-WhatsApp things, so I’m afraid I don’t know whom to credit.

Ass-onance

Rose suggested a better rhyme for the old carol:

    Oh, the holly bears a berry as green as the grass
    And Mary fled to Egypt on the back of an ass!

It works better if you pronounce ‘grass’ the way she does, rather than the way I do!

Untested?

I’m somewhat confused by one of our recent purchases, which proudly proclaims on its packaging that it hasn’t been tested on animals.

Jolly good, I thought. Always keen to do the right thing if I can.

There’s just one problem.

It’s dog food!

What’s more, it’s made of chicken! So it’s made of animals, and fed to animals… but at least you can rest assured that it’s not tested on them. What sort of a daft marketing department…?

Ah well, never mind.

Well, Arden Grange, I can report that Tilly, on being given it, wagged her tail enthusiastically and wanted more. So that’s good news for your marketing.

But I’m afraid this means that it has now been tested on animals, so you’ll need to remove the label.

Holiday wisdom

My friend Richard Morrison doesn’t write on his blog very often, so when he does two posts in one day, I realise that the holiday from which he’s just returned must have been a good one!

Still, one of them is this brilliantly simple observation about the total amount of relaxation one actually gets from a typical holiday:

Lovely.

The other is a recipe for a new cheese he’s invented: Le Condimentâle.

To produce authentic, Condimentâle cheese (appellation d’origine contrôlée) you need a nice warm vehicle and about two months…

I’ll let you read the rest for yourselves

Go download, Moses

I received a rather nice gift from my in-laws today:

Leaping Tilly 3

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that, as she approaches her 11th birthday, Tilly is still enjoying her favourite pastime.

She was doing much the same thing 9 years ago and 6 years ago. Different fields, different crops, but clearly intended for the same activity.

Matthew 5:45

Looking out of the window at present, I am reminded of a verse I learned in my childhood:

The rain, it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella.
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust’s pinched the just’s umbrella.

It’s rather pleasing to discover, investigating it now, that the verse comes from Lord Bowen, a notable lawyer of the mid-19th century. (There are a few variations on the precise wording of the last line, but I still like my mother’s version above.)

Bowen had many achievements in his life, both professional and literary, and I hope he won’t mind that I remember him for this rather than his translations of Virgil.

Small Superheroes

I’m so impressed with spiders. How can it be that, after I’ve used a high-power pressure-washer to blast away the grime from the car — removing dirt, bird poop, tar, and grease — foaming, jetting, brushing and hosing — the thing I always notice as I drive away is the delicate spider’s web still attached to the wing mirror?

Anyway, thinking about spiders puts me in mind of the Iron Man song that was circulating on Twitter a while ago. Sorry, I don’t know the originator, but you will know the tune.

Iron Man, Iron Man,
Does whatever an iron can!
Takes your clothes, makes them flat
Rubs out creases just like that!
Look out! Here comes the Iron Man!

Concerning Hobbits…

You can learn a lot from the wisdom of Hobbits.

I’ve discovered, for example, that it’s important not to neglect Second Breakfast, because to do so can lead to increased snacking between meals.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser