Walkies in a Whimper Wonderland

Jen and I have a house-guest over Christmas: Jen's mum's old-but-spritely cocker spaniel, the seasonally named Holly.

Holly likes visiting our place: there are nice new walks to go on, there are cats to chase in the garden, there are interesting smells to explore (sorry about that, it must be all the apricot stuffing), there are turkey leftovers, and the fat bearded man's idea of what constitutes two handfuls of dog food supplement is considerably more generous than the usual waiter's.

Oh, yes, and if you whimper like a poor, lost puppy, the people here give you lots of attention.

The only thing Holly doesn't like about staying here is the plate glass patio door, which she sometimes thinks is open when it's shut, and tries to leap through to great comic effect.

It's good having a dog around the house, but, with the amount of time Jen and I are away from home, there is no prospect of our having a dog of our own until we win the Big One on the lottery.

In our house, a dog is just for Christmas.

Ooh! There's a novelty!

On the reverse of a joke found in a cracker yesterday:

Safety Warning
These crackers are for adult use only and not suitable for children under 5 years of age as they may contain a functional sharp point of edge, or small parts, which may constitute a choking hazard.

It seems to me as if they haven't really thought this one through. The logic of placing the warning against using a cracker inside the actual cracker itself quite escapes me. Were a child of four, say, to use the cracker and injure themself on a functional sharp point of edge, or small parts, the cracker manufacturers have left themselves wide open to a major law suit.

But enough of this legal nonsense. The joke:

Q: What's a hedgehog's favourite food?
A: Prickled onions.

(Not bad for a cracker, actually.)

What do you get if you guzzle down sweets, eating as much as an elephant eats?

BBC: Bogus Oompa Loompa admits lying

A 4ft-tall Nevada man has admitted he lied about playing an Oompa Loompa in the original 1971 Willy Wonka film.

Actor and hairdresser Ezzy Dame said he first made the false claim 20 years ago when his agent advised him to "pad" his resume with the bogus acting credit.

OK, I know I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I have also played an Oompa Loompa. Not in the 1971 film, but in the 1974 Christmas concert at my old primary school. Anyone who was in the audience is bound to remember my performance: I was the only Oompa Loompa wearing a hat.

I was also the only Oompa Loompa who didn't need padding.

Unlike Ezzy Dame, I have proof of my Oompa Loompa role: my mum still has the photo on display in her living room. No, you can't see it. Fortunately, she has lost the clipping from the local newspaper.

I'm not into any of that Sigmund Fraud bullshit, but I'm beginning to realise why I turned out the way I did.

See also: Note for my future biographers

Note for my future biographers

From an email to Carolyn:

Do you remember that 'First World War Songs' Christmas concert in 1975, when eight of us boys had to kneel down beseechingly on one knee in front of eight of you girls and sing, 'You Are My Honeysuckle'? And, wouldn't you just know it, I had to kneel down in front of you! Why on earth would anyone do that to a shy, ten-year-old boy? I was SO embarrassed (especially as my mum was in the audience, and she kept teasing me that I would marry you one day and become a vicar or a farmer).

And, after the song, the parents gave us a standing ovation, and yelled for an encore, so Mrs Coates made us do it all over again! (Still, it was a lot less embarassing than being an oompa-loompa the year before.)

Earlier in the concert, while we were singing 'Good-bye-ee', Colin Fletcher made stuff come out of my nose by singing, "...though it's hard to fart, I know" instead of "...though it's hard to part, I know". My sense of humour was pretty highly developed even then.

Actually, come to think of it, that's why Colin Fletcher and I were chosen to kneel down beseechingly on one knee in front of you girls in the first place - because he sang "fart" during the rehearsal too, and Mrs Coates saw the two of us snotting ourselves and decided to teach us a lesson.

Do you remember Mrs Coates, the music teacher? She told us that John Lennon had been a school-friend of her son, and that she had taught him music too - and Cilla Black (or Pricilla White, as she said she knew her). I didn't believe Mrs Coates even then.

See also: What do you get if you guzzle down sweets, eating as much as an elephant eats?