Random Jottings

The girl had style. She once went to a Fancy Dress Party as a small plastic container of shampoo. You should have seen the way she sashayed into the room.

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The heavy got heavy. He needed information. He grabbed the man by the lapels and threw him down on to a bean-bag, which burst. The man spilled the beans.

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MISPRINT IN MILITARY BULLETIN: The camp was erected with commendable speed, though the latrines inevitably remained something of a makeshit arrangement.

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A double bed is one in which
Every time you move a-
Bout you feel an angry twitch
And lose a bit more duvet.

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I love it when in an old book you come across a phrase to which the passage of time has added a new meaning. It’s like all those Jane Austen characters who keep ‘exposing themselves’. Recently, in Allan Quatermaine by Rider Haggard, I found this comment on the benefits of a good night’s sleep: ‘It’s like going to bed one man and getting up another.’

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Newspaper ad: COSMETIC SURGERY SPECIAL ON CHINS − TWO FOR ONE OFFER.

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We prepared the Greek salad earlier. By the time our guests arrived, it was a feta compli.

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Cast your bread upon the waters, and it will come back soggy.

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No one but a fool ever crossed Enid Blyton. She knew where the Noddies were buried.

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ACTOR: I’ve just been cast as William Tell. It is a Swiss role.

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He had been meek all his life, and went on waiting quietly for the day when he would inherit the earth.

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I’ve suddenly realised that ‘hutzpah’ rhymes with ‘footspa’. Is it worth writing a whole musical to get in that one rhyme?

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It‘s a bit like my idea for an alcoholic‘s version of Through The Looking Glass. I couldn’t get any further than ‘“Curaçao and Curaçao,” said Alice.’

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Then there’s the fact that the hotel chain ‘Mövenpick’ sounds uncannily like the name of the English author of Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake. But opportunities for the right context to arrive in which one could dazzle people with that particular pun could be few and far between.

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Depression is like picking at your own scabs and then chewing what you’ve picked off.

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For no very good reason, I was trying to think of a fictional name for one of the new wave of Scandinavian Noir crime writers. I came up with Turgid Glümsdottir.

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EPITAPH ON AN AIR HOSTESS

Here lies a girl whose duties were
(Before Death’s Pilot summoned her)
Sidling up and down the aisle
With plastic trays and plastic smile
And serving, with each plastic meal,
Her plastic-packaged sex appeal.
But now her final flight’s begun.
Her eternal safety belt’s undone
And, as her drinks were, so is she.
Now, forever, duty free.

Seriously Funny… and Other Oxymorons

My 100th publication is a modern book of oxymorons, from 'alcohol-free wine' to 'compassionate Conservatism'

The oxymoron is one of the great beauties of the English language - 'a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that appear to be contradictory'. Some are so common that they are part of everyday language: when we speak of acting naturally... or a victimless crime... or buy a one-size-fits-all garment... the oxymoron is there, hiding in plain sight.

From Popular Culture, to Political Principles and Business Ethics, this book (sure to be a new classic) contains a seriously funny collection of the most brilliantly silly oxymorons, accompanied by amusing illustrations by Paul Thomas. For example...

Numb Feeling: This can be prompted by many domestic events, such opening a spouse's credit card statement, picking up the telephone bill for a teenager in love, or simply standing on the bathroom scales.

Open Secret: There are many of these in relationships, the most common being a husband having an affair that everyone knows about (except his wife).

Useful FAQ: FAQ is an abbreviation for 'Frequently Asked Questions'. Lists of FAQs are guaranteed to list the answer to every question except the one you want the answer to.

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