One Year Ago… Week 14, 2020

30 March-5 April

MONDAY The Poke has put out its list of 69 funniest jokes. They have the last laugh by actually publishing 70, then add an extra one by Bob Monkhouse to finish, making it 71. I expected to have heard some of them, but no, not a single repeat. This was my favourite:

“If you don’t know what introspection is – you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.”

📌 An astrophysicist in Australia is clogging up a hospital bed. He stuck some magnets up his nose trying to invent a Coronavirus safety device. He was “trying to liven up the boredom of self-isolation with the four powerful neodymium magnets.”

The story just gets funnier and funnier with every sentence. His partner helpfully laughed at him, which only caused him to do more stupid things: “I was trying to pull them [the magnets] out, but there is a ridge at the bottom of my nose you can’t get past.”

Then he moved on to Google for a solution, and miraculously found an identical situation in which an 11-year-old boy solved the problem by using more magnets to magnetically coax the stubborn magnets from his nose.

Then he tried pliers, “but they became magnetised by the magnets inside my nose.”

He must have been relieved to be offered a ride to the hospital. “My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me.” Even the doctors who finally removed the magnets thought it was funny.

 📌 My temperature is 36.84.

TUESDAY My personal failings are being exposed daily. For just over a week my wife has been feeling unwell: cough, headache, chest congestion, fatigue and muscular aching.

The arsehole in me says ride it out. You don’t have a fever. Rest, get hydrated and don’t do anything stupid in the meantime. Enjoy that big jigsaw and ‘Homes Under the Hammer’. Cup of tea, darling?

The ineffectiveness of this method is magnified when I try to persuade The Patient that what would really help is if she put her head in a bucket of steam. This is actually on the nhs website under “home treatment” for chest problems. What’s not to like?

📌 Maybe another Joke from The Poke might help. Here’s one by Steve Martin: “First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.”

📌 I’m following the satirists. Mark Steel has posted this: “I’ve just got Zoom to work, and feel so excited I want to tell everyone. It’s a similar feeling to when my kids were born, or when I was 16, and snogged Kim Norwood at my mate’s party (turned out she was so drunk she thought I was Alan Buckingham).” 

Then John O’Farrell remarked that now that ‘The Archers’ will finally be introducing Coronavirus to Ambridge IN MAY, he suspects the virus will be over by then. My wife tells me The Archers is notoriously bad at keeping up with current events.

WEDNESDAY We did a Zoom pub quiz last night, then this morning I spotted in my newsfeed an item about Zoom’s sloppy privacy protocols. The list of Zoom’s alleged crimes include sneakily sending data to Facebook, tracking those who attend “meetings” once they have left the “room”, and something called Zoombombing, where trolls parachute into unprotected meetings and take over, showing porn and “other explicit material”.

📌 I don’t think we were Zoombombed during last night’s quiz, but it’s possible because I was distracted briefly by the distant, silent vision on the TV of Celebrity Great British Bake Off. Contestant Alex Jones had “innocently” crafted a fondant vulva.

Alex Jones’s fondant fancy…

📌 Parlaying the “missed call” has become an illusionist art form.

📌 Paul posted this picture from Brighton, a rare statement of a view commonly hinted at.

THURSDAY I dug out one of my old pictures.

It’s an early attempt at collaborative art called ‘All The Boys I Ever Kissed’. I randomly asked women to write onto a pair of red clipart lips the names of boys they remember kissing. Each name tells a story that is totally owned by the woman who wrote it.

📌 Someone on Quora is asking what’s the point of the little hole in aircraft windows. It’s there, apparently, to stop the window steaming up and passengers drawing obscene body parts in the mist.

The hole truth…

FRIDAY The Morning Star has a column saying Corbyn can comfort himself in the fact that the current government has been forced by circumstances down the road of Big State politics. The new Labour leader will be announced tomorrow.

📌 I’m getting all my news from Mark Steel from now on.

Head case Hancock…

📌 Just heard that the Queen will speak to the nation on Sunday. The joke is that she will make all frontline nhs workers honorary members of the Royal Family so they can get the Covid test.

SATURDAY My wife will protest innocence, but whenever we do a joint Zoom, she hogs the screen, placing herself centrally so that I’m forced to lurch into view every so often with one of my pithy contributions.

📌 The Mona Lisa’s scarf/wrap is finished. Next comes her dress, but I await an Amazon delivery of some suitably exotic thread for that.

📌 Keir Starmer won the leadership of the Labour Party. Angela Rayner got the Deputy’s job. I am pleased about the results, if not ecstatic. Let’s watch for shadow chancellor Long Bailey. Unlikely, but it would be a deft move. Here is what the Morning Star said about the results.

SUNDAY My sister is asking what “furlough” means. I said “laid off”.

📌 Shirley posted this on WhatsApp.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…

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