6th December 2020

CHRISTMAS CORONAGRUMP

Issue no. 15

SPECIAL FESTIVE SEASON EDITION 

"Why don't I say 'Yo, Ho, Ho'? Because I don't want to say 'Yo, Ho, Ho!'"
"The mind boggles at what the future has in store for us! Oh, Oh, Oh!"
"Jo, Jo, Jo, Jo, Jo!"

POLITICS -

FOUL AND FAIR 

What a palaver! The spectacle that was the Presidential Election process in the United States hit a new low; and this for a nation that for many years seems to have been striving to find its nadir.

And not content with bringing shame and dishonour to the position of President, Trump still seems hell-bent on degrading the office and his nation further, as his tenure ticks inexorably to a close.

I have not yet heard calls that he and his closest 'advisors'  be charged with treason, but to my mind, the case for such a move is a compelling one.

He has challenged the very principles of democracy which, although as a system certainly has its faults, it is one that can at least stand guard against the tyrannies of fascism and despotism.

Whether he and his inner circle of family and power hungry republicans 
ultimately face prosecution and jail for known, or as yet unknown, misdemean-ours remains to be seen; there are a number of ex-premiers around the world who are finding things can catch up with them. But before pardons are considered by this outgoing President... 
...he'll probably try and take care of No.1 first!
One big worry seems to be that he is not finished with his megalomaniacal 
ambitions yet. Could he really try running again in 2024 or worse, facilitate the election of his son-in-law, who I think is a far more dangerous proposition. If this is indeed what he has in mind, we can expect more of his intellectually driven rallies below...

He has denigrated the standing of the world's strongest nation and has made a laughing stock of himself and his government. 

The only upside is that it has provided much cartoon fodder and has assisted greatly with the development of the 'Coronagrump'!

 

So what of Joe Biden and his new deputy?
OOPS! SORRY KAMALA!
Just make sure to keep a balanced judgement in Asia, please.
Everyone's watching and the challenges ahead are enormous. Friendships and alliances have to be renewed or forged afresh and all in a much changed and battered and bruised world.
Doubtful
most of them got it!
Friend? Foe? Or work in progress?
It remains to be seen, but whatever your politics, we should all wish the Biden / Harris team the very best of luck - they're going to need it!

Before leaving the political arena, here's a topical story that I hope will amuse you about Campaigning versus Voting...

    

*   *   *

Donald Trump had a heart attack and died (in our dreams - ED).
His soul arrives in heaven and is met by the senior angel in charge.
"Welcome to heaven," says the angel. "Now before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in," says Trump.
"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one day in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
With that, the angel escorts him to the elevator and he goes down to Hell.
The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a plush, green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his cronies, a scattering of former female 'associates' and some politicians who had worked with and supported him. Everyone is very happy and they greet him warmly and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf, dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne and indulge in some 'Trumpy rumpy-pumpy'.
Also present is Satan, a really friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.
Before Trump realises it, it is time to go and he takes the elevator back to Heaven where the angel is waiting for him, "Now it's time for your trial day in heaven,” he says.
The day passes with Trump joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a pleasant, if rather boring time and before he knows it, the 24 hours have passed and the angel returns.
"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose where you want to spend eternity."
Trump reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."
So the angel escorts him to the elevator and down he goes back to hell.
But this time when the doors of the elevator open, he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage, puddles of thick smelly oil and ferocious, ever-changing weather extremes. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, forever picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more rotten and smelling refuse falls to the ground.
Satan comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders in welcome.
"I don't understand," stammers Trump. "Yesterday I was here and there was golf and fine food, women and wine and I had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
Satan smiles at him and says, 
"Yesterday was all about campaigning, Mr President, but today you voted."

   

*   *   *

And here's a salutary lesson we should never forget:

Often it is the families of politicians that suffer the consequences of their actions. Scandals, misconduct, corruption - these are all burdens that spouses of those in high office often have to bear. Less usual is the pain caused by the elected official by simply being just really unpleasant.
The undisputed champion of 'NASTY'.
The consequences are unpredictable. Some divorce while other stand by their partner and grin and bear it. Others seek different solutions.
effing     
"Noel" the festive robin cried,
As he, the heavenly Babe
espied
But Donald said, "Enough of that!"
And with his cave club,
Squashed him flat!
THE FESTIVE SEASON
WITH COVID 19
Whether it was for Thanksgiving or looking ahead to Christmas, there's always something special about dining on the seasonal bird.
Christmas time is all about tradition.
There's letter-writing to Santa Claus and opening the advent calender...
...and of course there's the lovely carol singing.
But at the heart of it all is the Christmas story, versions of which vary...
or perhaps...
Sadly, though, there are many things that will not be able to happen this year.
There will be no Nativity plays because the 3 Wise Men face a travel ban and quarantine. The shepherds have been furloughed and the Innkeeper has had to close under Tier 3 regulations and a slump in bookings. Santa Claus will not be working as he would break the rule of 6 with Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Blitzen. As for Rudolf, with that red nose, he should be isolating and taking a test.
But there's no need to be gloomy. Bring the family together and come up with some imaginative ways to decorate the tree...
 
My apologies if you've seen this pitch before, but if you're in need of a good Xmas present for a loved one and you don't want to buy real sapphires, a less expensive option is my latest novel, 

The Sapphire Stratagem.

Set in Madagascar, the story follows ruthless adventurer and crook, Marc Chatagnier, on his quest to control its government in exchange for exclusive sapphire mining rights. His greed and treachery knows no limits as the story flows between a freezing winter in St Petersburg, to the foul smelling waterways of Bangkok; and from the idyllic serenity of the Maldives, to the sweltering rain forests of Madagascar. 

Pursued by a determined British Intelligence agent, John Styles, the story builds to a final showdown in rural England and a Henley Royal Regatta that nobody will ever forget.

See reviews on: 

https://www.charlesbarker.club/the-sapphire-stratagem and BUY now on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats.

Ok, you can relax now, sales pitch over!!!
THE WORLD OF MEDICINE, IT, AI, ACI, & OTHER CLEVER THINGS
Doctors are constantly trying to find new ways to put their patients at ease. I think my optician, though, has taken this too far. 
And talking of eyes, one of the effects of the coronavirus is that science has rather taken its eye off the ball regarding other diseases and world issues. There are still plenty of other illnesses and problems being faced everyday that somehow have become sidelined, despite the gravity of the their nature.
Keeping oneself well informed has become increasingly difficult over the last few years. You certainly cannot rely on newspapers but as Mark Twain said, if you don't read the papers you can become uninformed, whereas if you do read them you are frequently mis-informed.
If you are able (and still interested?) to go to a library for information, this has become a minefield of misdirection and confusion.
Of course, there's always TV, but this too can be as un-reliable as news-papers, especially in these days of increased hygiene concerns.
So many people simply refer to the internet, Siri or Alexa - but can you really trust them? See the following download and its consequences...
  

ALEXA & THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY.

 

Husband: “Alexa, I am feeling that I want to have sex.”

Alexa: “Most certainly. I am dimming the lights. Setting your AC to 22 C degrees. The Viagra is kept on the top right shelf of your wardrobe. The gel is kept next to it. I have hired your favourite Thai masseuse. She is just 12 minutes away as per her Uber ride status.

I have scheduled her payment from your credit card 2 hours from now.

I have also checked your wife's GPS and she is shopping in a suburban mall. According to her buying checklist stored on my disk, she will take at least 2 more hours, plus according to Google maps traffic analysis, more than 1 hour to reach home.

Enjoy your sex. And yes, your condom is in the pull out drawer of the living room and the key to that drawer is in your wallet.

This is the last condom, so I have added condoms to your Amazon cart.”

 

This is called true AI (Artificial Intelligence).

 

BUT MEANWHILE...

 

Wife: “Alexa, have you set it up?”

Alexa: “Sure thing, he thinks you are going to take three hours. If you take an Uber home, you will be here in 45 minutes. I'm recording the whole thing with four cameras, you just need to walk in, and we have the bastard cold.

I've got your divorce papers printed and ready, and your attorney briefed, case documents are drafted and will be completed tomorrow. $1 M. damages plus $10,000 per month alimony.

All set. Your Uber is waiting outside.

 

Now, this is ACI (Artificial Counter Intelligence)...after all, and guys don’t ever forget this, Alexa is female.

   

*    *    *

Another problem with using the internet is, you never know if, when you are lifting quotes off it, that they are genuine! At least, according to Abraham Lincoln! Mmmm.

  

Meanwhile, life goes on with people making the best of things...

...although some businesses and organisations are clearly suffering, such as highway maintenance, for lack of staff and direction.
And while considering signs, I wonder which rocket scientist put this sign up, doubtlessly near The Houses of Parliament in the UK or the Senate in the USA.
Probably the same person who designed this coat hanger cover.
To conclude this section, what follows would seem to make perfect sense!
If only animals could talk, but at least this one has a sign...
MORE FROM THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
One of the seasonal highlights, at least in the UK, is the arrival of the annual slapstick pantomime. Time will tell whether Covid 19 allows these shows to go ahead, but without a doubt, thousands of tormented children around the country will by now be rehearing their audiences' lines, such as, "Oh no he isn't!" and "Boooo!" and of most important of all, "Behind you!"
Thinking of being 'on safari', I wonder how fast this ostrich was running when he hit the tree.
Do you ever look at things and wonder how they got there?
And here's a thought
Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or hump it, piss on it and walk away.
Also, please try and remember, never buy a border collie when you've been drinking.
As a hotelier, I generally prefer not to have pets accompany their owners when staying. However, some people behave far worse than their four legged friends, in which case, signs on reception counters such as these have their uses.
UNFESTIVE FAMILIES
With all the pressures and strains and things we have to remember these days, being a parent is not easy.
Poor Jack; with a Mum like that, no wonder he's always getting into trouble. 
'Spare the rod and spoil the child.' Although as someone for whom the rod was not spared, I do believe in the judicious use of corporal punishment, despite how un-PC my view may be. And with little bastards like this one, it's a great pity it wasn't meted out regularly! 
The Christmas season can bring out the worst in people, especially when families feel obliged to come together and celebrate the festive season. This year, however, Covid 19 has provided a 'get-out' excuse; doubtless many people will avail themselves of this opportunity.
On top of this, the UK government, still seem to be prevaricating on whether to actually ban family get-togethers, offering only draconian exemptions too awful to contemplate, such as this...
...or this...
...and finally this. Apparently the total number of people that are now allowed together for a family Christmas is just 6, while 30 are currently allowed to attend a funeral. So for those of you with larger families, have a funeral for your pet turkey, who sadly died on Christmas morning... officer! 
Covid 19 is exacerbating the stress being felt by many families at this time of year. 
Please do be careful what you say to each other in these stressful times. There can be consequences...
One way to alleviate the tension is to do lots of exercise. A visit to the gym can have unexpected benefits, or so I am told...
...and this picture was presented for a 'Suggest a caption' competition. The winning answer was a classic - "Never swallow bubble gum before exercise."
Just in case you're not sure, there is no way to avoid the truth, so be diligent when exercising.
Without wishing to appear sexist, I would caution men at this time to beware the guiles of women. For example, I've heard it said that our friend Nancy's husband claimed to have seen a cockroach in their
kitchen. He sprayed 
everything down and cleaned the area thoroughly. The next day, she placed the cockroach in the bathroom...you get
the idea. Our ladies
get up to all sorts of
naughty tricks and can be very demanding, as Ron Chestna, below, well knows!
For men,
...but for women,
FOOD & WINE
We all love our food and wine and especially at this time of year there is a tendency towards over indulgence. A little care and forethought can go a long way to planning a balanced diet. We can even learn a thing or two from animals in this regard, such as cows, buffalos, hippos and elephants. Basically, it's impossible to loose weight
just by walking around and eating lots of grass and salads, so relax.
If you shop around though, you will find that there are plenty of new and innovative types of food to enjoy. For example, have you tried these?
Of course, you can rest easy and indulge in your favourite foods in the certain knowledge that...
And if it's Chinese food you like, due to recent political issues, there's an increasing demand to return to more traditional fare. 
It is said that in wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom and in water there is bacteria. A meal without wine is ... well, I suppose it's breakfast. But as surely as night has always followed day, so wine has always followed food, even as far back as the Stone Age.
Cooking with wine can present a challenge, especially for those not used to it.
As I've said, 
though, the really important thing is do plenty of exercise but
if that's a problem take heart from this...
Being naked
HM Queen Elizabeth is expected to broadcast an unusually different Christmas message this year.
While here is a message of a different sort from 3 multi-denomitational clerics.
Clerics meet
Clerics meet...
Meanwhile, I send you Season's Greetings, and despite whatever 
restrictions may apply wherever you happen to be spending the holidays, I hope you and your friends and families manage to have a great time. CHEERS!
Charles