19 Feb 2009

People are forever saying to me ‘Garry, in these difficult times, what is there to laugh at?’

To which I reply:  ‘Skeletons’.

A skeleton goes into the bar. He asks for a pint and a mop.

Now, technically that joke should work for ghosts as well, but it doesn’t because ghosts aren’t funny whereas skeletons are.

Then there’s penguins. Penguins are always funny: bustling along in their pairs, as they do, like overly-married couples in late middle age rushing across the apron in the hope of getting seats beside each other on a mid February Ryanair flight to Malaga…

Watch closely...

As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, it seems to me that most black and white things which are small are also almost always quite funny.

For example: nuns. Little old nuns are always funny. The smaller and older they are, the funnier and funnier they are. They’re especially funny when they’re running across the main street of a busy town trying to avoid being run over by a HGV. I seem to remember that, once upon a time, there was a video game the very object of which was to see how many little old nuns with oversized wimpoles you could run over as they sprung out from between buildings and dashed across the road during rush hour. It was of course, rightfully, banned (but if anyone knows where to find it on the internet you might just let me know). 

In the meantime, we’ll just have to make do with this: Bowling for Nuns (click 'play').


If penguins or nuns don’t do it for you, then try camels, because camels almost always do it for me. There’s something so…  I don’t know, so very ‘local authority’ about them – all stubborn and obstinate and self obsessed and not nearly as consequential as they’d like to think they are.

If, like me, you find camels a hoot then you’re already a fan of camel racing. And if you’re a real connoisseur, then you already know that when it comes to camel racing there’s only one type worth watching: Niger Camel Racing – it’s the National Hunt of camel racing, as opposed to the Dubai form of the sport which is more sort of ‘2000 guineas’. (Sorry, I couldn't find a video, the photo will have to do.)

If camels don’t float your boat there are always meerkats. I love this guy.

And finally, when absolutely everything else fails, the one thing which always gives me a chortle is English People Overreacting To Something Which Isn’t Really A Crisis. Take, for example, the recent spell of cold weather. You’d swear snow had never fallen anywhere else, ever in the whole history of time.

I was in a hotel a couple of weeks back and woke up to some discussion on BBC breakfast TV about whether or not home owners should sweep the snow from the footpaths outside their house. It seems that, in England, if you clear the snow from the footpath in front of your house and someone slips you could be held responsible: on the other hand, if you don't, you might feel a little bit queer. How confusing it is to be in England when it snows! More Government guidance please! 

Keith, tell me this isn’t funny…   

(It's a classic from Bill Hicks so, if you're offended by bad language, don't hit 'play'.)

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