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Issue 4

Brought to you by Charles Barker,

still locked up after 4 weeks  in Islamabad - reminds me of school

Haven't done

this for a while

22 April 2020

The Scots have

offered to assist with the

enforcement of social distancing 


 I have to say that it is becoming harder to keep on being grumpy. All of social media is ablaze with jokes and funny stories; it's becoming hard to find fresh material that you haven't seen.


What's more, there are measurably a number of things getting better, such as improved air quality, people being more solicitous for the welfare of others, reductions in ambient noise, and so on. I saw a comment with this photograph taken in Italy about it being the first plane to fly over her home in a month.


I wonder if it was the same plane in which the passengers were alarmed by an announcement shortly after take-off by the captain, that he was working from home!

And, of course, we've just had Easter where many families have been creating innovative ways to entertain their children. Needless to say, the cartoon below wasn't one of them! 


A reduction in grumpiness might also be to the fact that I have just discovered that the area I live in has masses of cannabis growing wild all over the place! I only realised this when I passed an elderly neighbour (six feet away, of course) who had a large handful of the stuff and felt it necessary to explain that it was strictly for medicinal purposes only! Well, I can be as sick as the next person, so I've been out a lot doing some community gardening, tidying the area up, you know, that sort of thing. 

NB: Bookings for reservations to come and stay here will open when the lockdown is lifted - special terms available for those in the medical profession.

Actually, before we head to the news, there is one thing that really is making me grumpy; the over-use of the word 'unprecedented'. Sure, there's a lot of things these days that are, but how about 'unparalleled' occasionally or simply 'extraordinary'. There's 'first-time, unique, exceptional, unmatched' ... so come on those in the media, use the language more please.


🦠 Professional bodies the world over are advising that the worst effects of the Corona virus are yet to come. It is understood that the Jehovah's Witnesses are about to roll out a massive enrolment campaign based on everybody being stuck at home. DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOORS TO STRANGERS! 


🦠 China is now reported to be returning to normal, with travel restrictions lifted.


🦠 Supermarkets everywhere are reporting that hoarding is still going on, especially where lockdown rules have been relaxed. To this end, a  special, new, hoarding edition trolley cart has been produced, ideal for stockpiling supplies.  


🦠  Increasing numbers of men who are stuck at home have been reporting that they are no longer able to justify avoiding performing certain tasks and jobs around the house with the traditional bail out expression, "I'll do it when I have time."

ED: Your time has, Gentlemen.


🦠 There have been reports by police forces all over the world who've been responding to a huge increase in the number of emergency calls to banks, concerned that they were being held up. Police are now actively engaged in training bank staff to recognise the difference between the new brand of so-called 'corona crime' and regular customers wearing masks and gloves. 


🦠  The American President has been in the news again for his relentless pursuit of finding people to blame for the problems in the United States, caused largely by the Corona virus.


🦠 We are glad to report that the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is said to be recovering from his fight with Covid 19 in the comfort and splendid isolation of his country residence, Chequers. From here he issued the following brief statement:


But good words from the real Mr Churchill, who proclaimed that, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”


🦠 At the daily press briefing at the White House on 17th March, it was announced that the Corona virus Task Force proposed that gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided. ED: I count 16!


The other day I went to the supermarket and there was a shortage of just about everything; row upon row of empty shelves wherever I looked. So I decided to improvise.


I walked back home through the woods and managed to collect a large quantity of big, plump mushrooms. Though I say so myself, I produced a really good risotto for dinner that night.

Not only was it delicious, but soon after a Welsh male voice choir of pink elephants showed up and sang the whole of Meatloaf's 'Bat Out of Hell' album, accompanied by some excellent ballet by a brace of mermaids...I then thought it would be prudent to freeze my hoard of loo paper in the freezer so it wouldn't go off and then...and then...and th...


...ah yes, I remember, I found a magic lantern, and remembering my training as a small boy, I gave it a good rub and a genie appeared...

Picture 1.png

But where does the time go? I can still remember the 1950s, when our use and knowledge of food was very different than it is today.

  • Pasta had not been heard of; it was just macaroni or spaghetti.

  • Curry was a surname.

  • A take-away was something to do with maths.

  • Pizza was a leaning tower somewhere and Kebab was not even a word, never mind a food.

  • Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmastime and all chips were plain.

  • Oil was for lubricating and fat was for cooking and cube sugar was regarded as posh.

  • None of us had heard of yoghurt and prunes were medicinal.

  • Chickens didn’t have fingers then and seaweed was certainly not a food.

  • Cooking outside was called camping and healthy food was anything edible.

  • Tea was made in a pot using leaves and pineapples came in chunks in a tin.

  • Water came out of a tap and if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it, they’d have been certified.

  • Surprisingly muesli was available but it was called cattle fed.

  • Among other things that we never had on the table, were elbows or cell phones!

  • And we always, always washed our hands before a meal.



Before the Corona virus took over our lives, President Obama stated that if more women were running countries, the world would be a great deal better off. How prophetic, for an analysis last week by the European Centre for Disease Control of how various countries are managing with the crisis best, the top seven are all led by women. So, congratulations to Mette Frederiksen of Denmark, Katrin Jacobsdottir of Iceland, Sanna Marin of Finland, Angela Merkel of Germany, Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Erna Solberg of Norway and Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan.


Among the leadership traits identified for their success were Truthfulness, Decisiveness, inspiring use of technology and simple love and compassion. Erna Solberg even held a town hall meeting for children – no adults allowed – giving them a chance to ask questions and calm their fears.


How about that Mr Trump? They’d shred you!

* * * 

Returning to my more usual flippancy, some women are creating all sorts of clever ways to pass the time                                             >>>


Others, however, are taking a more authoritative role...


...while this young lady has a face mask decorated with penises. When anyone comments on the design, she is able to tell them that if they can see the detail, they are too close, so back off!                  >>>

Penis pants.png


I refer here to personal presentation and, in particular, the effect that the lockdowns around the world are or will be having on people's hair. Without being able to go to one's regular hairdresser, all sorts of things are beginning to go wrong.


I think we are very close to the time when everyone's true hair colour will be revealed. And, more bizarrely, some people have been going to extraordinary lengths to get their hair done. 



I suppose we are all getting to know each other better, including our pets, who seem to be suffering just as much as humans.


Then of course our thoughts turn inevitably to Donald Trump, who so far in this bulletin has been let off quite lightly - but not for long!

Given how masterfully he has been handling the crisis in the USA, one wonders how he might have managed other such disasters and one is reminded of the sinking of the Titanic.


And finally, here's a tricky brain teaser question for you:

Mind 1.png

If you could eliminate Covid 19 by sacrificing one human being, who would it be and why would you chose Donald Trump?

Now please try and stay healthy everyone and for those needing a tip, I leave you with this. 


That's it for now. If you enjoy this bulletin, please tell all your friends and share it with them. If you don't like it, please lie.

There's also a short selection of highlights from Issues 2 & 3 available on YouTube, so if you want to go back in time click on the virus 🦠


All the best and keep safe and well

  1. There is no iceberg.

  2. We won’t hit an iceberg.

  3. I knew it was an iceberg before anyone else knew.

  4. Noone knows icebergs better than I do.

  5. The Chinese brought the iceberg here.

  6. Noone could have predicted the iceberg.

  7. We will not allow an iceberg to stop our ship.

  8. The crew have been spreading fake news about the iceberg.

  9. Some of you will have to drown.

  10. I am the best captain, ask anyone.

Well, I suppose we've always known how clever he is because he keeps telling us!

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