Wednesday, March 26, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Fw: Faux Pas

Young Jeeves had just finished his course on being a gentleman's
gentleman when his instructor asked him whether there was anything that
he didn't understand or any questions he had to ask.

Well there is one thing that I don't quite understand. A lot has been
said about faux pas and savoir-faire and I don't quite know what the
difference is.

The easiest way to explain is to relate a story, replied the instructor.
As you will probably know Winston Churchill and Lady Aster both had a
passion for roses. One afternoon they were in the garden picking roses
when Winston pricked his finger on a rose thorn. It bled quite a bit and
they then went back to the house and bandaged it up. Later that evening
you are serving dinner, Lady Aster asks Winston, how's your prick? and
you carry on serving as if nothing has happened, well that is
savoir-faire. But when Winston replies It's still throbbing but it has
gone down a bit and you drop a bowl of soup in Lady Aster's lap, that is
what we call a faux pas.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Fwd: Fw: Easter Act 1928

Easter Act 1928
Today (22 March) is the earliest date on which Easter Sunday can
occur, though that will never happen in our lifetimes. [The last
time was 1818 and the next will not be until 2285.] So tomorrow is
the earliest Easter any of us will see. The latest Easter date is
25 April, which some of us saw in 1943 and some will see in 2038

In 1926, the League of Nations endorsed the keeping of Easter on the
Sunday after the second Saturday in April - i.e. between April 9th
and the 15th. A couple of years later the UK Parliament passed the
/Easter Act 1928/, the main provisions of which are quoted below
[see ]. That act has never been brought
into force as it depends on general agreement between the Christian
churches. That seems unlikely. As recently (in its terms) as 1962
the Vatican restated its position that such a change should not be
made without urgent need. Discussions still continue - see the
World Council of Churches paper at

For Easter dates by year see

Lots of algorithms for calculating Easter dates are on the web: e.g.

*An Act to regulate the date of Easter Day and days or other*
*periods and occasions depending thereon*

[3rd August 1928]

1. *Date of Easter-day*

Easter-day shall, in the calendar year next but one after the
commencement of this Act and in all subsequent years, be the first
Sunday after the second Saturday in April, and section three of the
Calendar (New Style) Act 1750, the new calendar, tables and rules
annexed to that Act, and section two of the Calendar Act 1751, are
hereby amended and shall be read and construed accordingly, . . .

2. *Short title, commencement, and extent*

(1) This Act may be cited as the Easter Act 1928.

(2) This Act shall commence and come into operation on such date as
may be fixed by Order of His Majesty in Council, provided that,
before any such Order in Council is made, a draft thereof shall be
laid before both Houses of Parliament, and the Order shall not be
made unless both Houses by resolution approve the draft either
without modification or with modifications to which both Houses
agree, but upon such approval being given the order may be made in
the form in which it has been so approved: Provided further that,
before making such draft order, regard shall be had to any opinion
officially expressed by any Church or other Christian body.


/Eric/ - *not* a lawyer -

---- End Forwarded Message ----

[nilesfunnies] Fw: My collection (with apologies for length and possible duplications):-

My collection (with apologies for length and possible duplications):-

(I've had this collection for so long I don't know where they originate.)

Hedonist feminist
Sappho the Poetess
Wrote double-dactyls each
Day by the ton.

Ain't it a pity her
Doggerel's done?

Politics! Shmolitics!
Dole the Republican's
Balancing budgets while
Cutting your tax.

This only tells us his
Fiscal perception is
Short on the facts.

Pitter pat, pitter pat.
Noah of Ararat
Heard the rain cease on the
Fortieth night.

Shem, Ham, and Japheth said
Called it just right.

Rubaiyat, rubaiyat.
Omar the Tentmaker
Lived on a diet of
Bread and white wine.

His moving finger wrote
Not even cancelling
Half of a line!

Dramatis Personae.
Laurence Olivier
Acting in Hamlet and
Richard the Third

Strutting and fretting like
No other thespian
Every word.

Woe is me! Woe is me!
Printfest Diana cried,
"Charles and Camilla had
Shared the same bed

So I took a lover
And whispered sweet nothings
Is my face red!"

Higgledy jiggledy.
Strippers who bare it all;
Bellies and bosoms as
Tight as a drum.

Double dactyl has the
Rhythm that complements;

Three little piggledy
Little Red Riding Hood
Skipped through the forest to
Visit her Gran.

A wolf who had got to
Her Grannie's before her
Little Red's clan.

Fairy tale, furry tail.
Crockett of Tennessee.
He put the coonskin in

Spooner thought Davy had
Predated Henry Ford
And "built him a car" when
He was just three.

Halloween. Halloween.
Witches and skeletons,
Goblins and ghosties all
Wearing white sheets.

Magical evening when
All of our children will
Scurry for treats.

Mac attack! Mac attack!
Mr. and Mrs. Spratt;
He never once ate fat.
She abhorred lean.

So, without cutlery,
Both of them (she and he)
Licked their plate clean.

Tragedy! Tragedy!
Romeo Montagu
By Julie Capulet
Once was possessed.

Families hated this
And our protagonists
Went to their rest.

Scalene. Isosceles
Math whiz Pythagoras
Thought transmigration was
Good for the mind.

He's better known for his
Infernal triangles;
Of the worst kind.

Warp factor. Warp factor.
Kirk of the "Enterprise".
He's boldly going where
No man has been.

Dressed up in drag he'll beam
Into the ladies' room
Checking the scene.

What a calamity!
Poor Alex Chaffee has
Made the worst error that
He (or she?) can!

Unless I've switched sexes
Since I checked this morning
I'm still a man!

Absolute monarchist
Machiavelli wrote
Practical pointers on
Being a prince.

Thus, we've described all his
Theory's proponents as
Every day since.

Shish kebab. Shish kebab.
Vlad the Impaler had
All of his enemies
Served "en brochette".

This sharp reminder quite
Drove a point home that they'd
Never forget.

Immelman? Himmel, man!
Manfred von Richthofen
(Scourge of the sky in the
"War to end war")

Flew a red triplane and
This little Fokker was
Quick on the draw.

Alice in Wonderland's
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson tried
Taking her photograph
Au naturel!

Somewhat suspicious, her
Mother told Dodgson, "She's
Unphotographable -
You go to hell!!"

Missioner. Missioner
Good Doctor Livingstone
"Missing" in Africa's
Dark trackless waste

When Stanley "found" him the
Doc thought his greeting was
And in poor taste.

Pattycake. Watergate.
Tricky Dick Nixon was
Taping (for history)
His own demise.

Played back, it seems the tapes
Range from just stonewalls to
*xpl*t*ve lies.

Chugalug. Chugalug.
Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Pres. 32 of the
U.S. of A.,

Legalized alcohol
And is revered as a
Since that great day!

Cherry tree. Cherry tree.
Baron von Munchhausen
Mangled the truth with his
Every remark.

All of his narratives
Lacked in veracity
Wide of the mark!)

[nilesfunnies] Fw: Double dactyls

Double dactyls
Forget the limerick and the haiku, I have been reading today about double
dactyls, an extremely structured comical verse form. A dactyl is three
syllable word with the stress on the first syllable, like "blankety".

The double dactyl verse form is 8 lines

Blankety blankety
Blankety blankety
Blankety blankety
Blankety blank

Blankety blankety
Blankety blankety
Blankety blankety
Blankety blank

But there's more rules than that!

* The first line has to be nonsense - hickory dickery and higgledy
piggledy seem to be favourite;
* The second line has to be someone's name
* One of the lines in the second stanza has to be a single word
* The last lines of the stanzas rhyme.

The example given in UMRA, where I've been reading about this, was by
Wendy Cope:

Emily Dickinson
Liked to use dashes
Instead of full stops.

Nowadays, faced with such
Critics and editors
Send for the cops.

A quick google finds a page for the form on Wikipedia, with a few elegant
examples - I liked Brian Flanagan's:

Hey-nonny, ho-nonny,
Penis Van Lesbian
Entered the bus'ness that
no biz is like.

Keen on increasing his
he took on the stage name
of Dick Van Dyke

Further googling finds the Braden Files, with three pages of double
dactyls starting at, including:

Pitter pat, pitter pat.
Noah of Ararat
Heard the rain cease on the
Fortieth night.

Shem, Ham, and Japheth said
Called it just right.


Higgledy Piggeldy
Baron von Frankenstein,
"Don't you get lonely?"
"Well, sir, that depends.

Through my experiments
I've found a marvelous
Way to make friends!"


Drippity Droppity
Madame du Pompadour
Heedless of thunderclouds,
Dabbed at her rouge.

Louis, who suffered from
Hollered, "Allons! Avant
Nous le deluge."


Cardinal Richelieu
Statesman and diplomat
Nobody's stooge.

Helena Rubinstein
Honored le Duc with her
Eminence rouge.


Higgledy Piggledy
Ivan the Terrible
Brought to his bedroom a
Girl in her teens.

Later she said to this
"So that's what 'Ivan the
Terrible' means!"


Herr Docktor Schrodinger,
Looked at his cat and thus
Killed it quite dead.

Shrugging his shoulders, he
Pronounced that it now had
Eight lives instead.


Higglety, pigglety
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Met in the garden a
Maiden named Maud.

There he behaved to her
Proving conclusively
Poets are odd.


Higgledy Piggledy
Pamela Anderson
Draws from men's hearts all the
Evil that lurks,

Showing appendages
Proving conclusively,
Silicon works.


Bankapile Francopohile
Catherine de Medici
Slaughtered the Huguenots
As was her wont.

Authorized tortures like
"They had some nerve," she said,
"Now they sure don't."


Reximus seximus
Charles Philip Arthur George
Rogered Camilla with
Regal aplomb.

Said "I can't marry you
Go ask my Mom."

It's an extremely dense format, and the challenge in writing them for
yourself is the dual problems of finding a double dactyl name, and a
single dactyl word, and then putting the lot together with enough other
stuff to make sense. Limericks and haiku are trivially simple by

Lots more here:

Midway down the thread is a huge list of double dactyl words, culminating
in the quite possibly solitary quadruple dactyl word

Finally, the thread is taken over in style by Chris Doyle, who has had
numerous verses published under various names:

Jiggery pokery
Clifford, Lord Chatterley.
Cuckold and invalid,
Easy to con.

Nightly his lady's with
Mellors the gamekeeper
Getting it on.

Debbie Bennett, NYC 1989 New York Magazine

Higgledy piggledy
Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Offers these sexual
Words to the wise:

"Men must remember that
Isn't as matter of
Genital size."

Inger Pettygrove, Charlottesville, VA 1997 New York Magazine

Higgledy piggledy
Little Red Riding Hood
Skips to a fate that she
Doesn't deserve.

Lying ahead is an
Wolf for whom Grandma was
Just an hors d'oeuvre.

Louise Jackson, Fall River, MA 1989 New York Magazine

Tippeca grippeca
William H. Harrison
White House inhabitant,
Briefest to date.

Sworn into office with
Thirty days later was
Lying in state.

Joan Ruttenberg, Rockville, MD 1997 New York Magazine

My own attempt:

Christopher Ecclestone
Famously portrayed a
Doctor named Who

Flying about with a
Capable copper box
Without a loo.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Fw: sadly car parking in Brighton has become so horrendous that they're

sadly car parking in Brighton has become so horrendous that they're
looking at turning all the fields as far away as Lewes into carparks,
covering fields currently growing foodcrops with tarmac. So in the future people will (probably not) say that tarmacadam is the Lewes form of wheat

Friday, March 21, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Fwd: Good Friday

What do you get if you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?

Hot cross bunnies

Thursday, March 20, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Yorkshire nostalgia, and the stonemason...

Yorkshire nostalgia, and the stonemason...
A Yorkshireman was burying his deeply religious wife, and asked the mason
for a headstone reading:
"She were Thine"

But when he went to look at it in the yard, it read:

"She were Thin."

"Sorry, Alf" said the widower, "but you'll have to do it again You've left
the 'e' off." "Bugger me, so I have!" said the mason. "Don't worry, I'll
work all night and you'll have it for the funeral."

And so it was. It now read:

"Ee, she were Thin" ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Fw: What's the difference?

What's the difference?
...between Heather Mills and Northern Rock?

One has got 25 million quid, is a bit wobbly and screws old people out
of their savings.

The other one's a building society.

Friday, March 14, 2008

[nilesfunnies] OT- Jewish Haikus


Lacking fins or tail
the gefilte fish swims with
great difficulty.

Beyond Valium,
peace is knowing one's child
is an internist.

On Passover we
opened the door for Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

After the warm rain
the sweet smell of camellias.
Did you wipe your feet?

Her lips near my ear,
Aunt Sadie whispers the name
of her friend's disease.

Today I am a man.
Tomorrow I will return
to the seventh grade.

Testing the warm milk
on her wrist, she sighs softly.
But her son is forty.

The sparkling blue sea
reminds me to wait an hour
after my sandwich.

Like a bonsai tree,
is your terrible posture
at my dinner table.

Jews on safari --
map, compass, elephant gun,
hard sucking candies.

The same kimono
the top geishas are wearing:
I got it at Loehmann's.

The shivah visit:
so sorry about your loss.
Now back to my problems.

Mom, please! There is no
need to put that dinner roll
in your pocketbook.

Sorry I'm not home
to take your call. At the tone
please state your bad news.

Is one Nobel Prize
so much to ask from a child
after all I've done?

Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz.
Five-day forecast: feh

Yenta. Shmeer. Gevalt.
Shlemiel. Shlimazl. Meshuganah
Oy! To be fluent!

Quietly murmured
at Saturday Synagogue services,
Yanks 5, Red Sox 3.

A lovely nose ring,
excuse me while I put my
head in the oven.

Hard to tell under the lights.
White Yarmulke or
male-pattern baldness.

And since we're in an Eastern mode, here's some
Jewish Buddhism for you:

If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

Be here now.
Be someplace else later.
Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life;
with the first sip, joy;
with the second sip, satisfaction;
with the third sip, peace;
with the fourth, a Danish.

Wherever you go, there you are.
Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing.
Do not wish for perfect health, or a life without
What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a
single Oy.

There is no escaping karma.
In a previous life,
you never called,
you never wrote,
you never visited.
And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?

The Tao does not speak.
The Tao does not blame.
The Tao does not take sides.
The Tao has no expectations.
TheTao demands nothing of others.
The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the
least of your problems.

Let your mind be as a floating cloud.
Let your stillness be as a wooded glen.
And sit up straight.
You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded

Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You might want to see a specialist.

Be aware of your body.
Be aware of your perceptions.
Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a
symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says,
Love your neighbor as yourself.
The Buddha says,
There is no self.
So, maybe we're off the hook.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

[nilesfunnies] Fwd: Salesman

A salesman checked into a futuristic hotel. Realizing he Needed a
Haircut before the next day's meeting, he called the desk Clerk to ask
if there was a barber on the premises.

I'm afraid not, sir," the clerk told him apologetically, "but Down the
hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your

Skeptical but intrigued, the salesman located the machine, Inserted
$15.00, and stuck his head into the opening, at which Time the machine
started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later the Salesman pulled
out his head and surveyed his reflection, which showed the best
haircut of his life.

Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, Manicures, $20.00.'

"Why not?" thought the salesman. He paid the money, inserted His hands
into the slot, and the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen
seconds later he pulled out his
hands and they were e perfectly Manicured.

The next machine had a sign that read, 'This Machine Provides a
Service Men Need When Away from Their Wives, 50 Cents.'

The salesman looked both ways, put fifty cents in the machine,
Unzipped his fly, and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into
the Opening. When the machine started buzzing, the guy let out a
shriek of Agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut
off. With Trembling hands, the salesman was able to withdraw his
tender unit.
Which now had a button sewn on the end