by the Rambler 30/11/2001
ARE you reading that paper that you're sitting on?
If not, let me regale you with a few lighthearted pieces that come to mind. It's great weather for collecting yarns.
Big Joe, a local farm labourer once confided in me that he loved to see the hens going to roost about three o'clock
There wasn't much hard work done on the farm where he wrought once darkness fell and he got quitting early.
Joe liked to talk about 'his mate', i.e., his grub. One day he chortled about a big pot of soup that his employer's wife had cooked.
He was succinct. "I supped and Margit carried," said it all.
Two old boys who lived alone in our part of the country always stayed on the old time, summer and winter.
They had only one vintage clock, and when it stopped there was a crisis.
Sammy, the elder, had good hands and he eventually took the clock to pieces.
In time, in a long time, he got it reassembled and going - perfectly it seemed.
Then brother Joe spotted a wheel still on the floor. He picked it up. Sammy scrutinised it closely.
"Dammit," he remarked, "I'll bet you that is the yoke that caused all the trouble."
Big Joe was the clever boy (sic) who did exactly what he was told.
When his employer said: "Hey boy! take that five-gallon drum of petrol and throw it into the sheugh at the bottom of the sand field, among the briars, to the right o the wee hill gap," Joe was soon back whistling. (He was a grand whistler).
The employer didn't whistle when he saw Joe swinging an empty five-gallon drum.
Petrol was rationed and the farmer wisely stowed surplus fuel in a field ditch for safety.
He didn't want it in the barn as a fire hazard. (Joe sat on his brains). Petrol coupons were issued monthly, and had to be used by the end of the month or they were useless.
Now, what about this one? Wee Johnny's Mum had to leave him on his own one day while she fed the hens.
She kept an eye on him through the window and watched him playing happily with his toys. As soon as she stepped back into the kitchen, Johnny started bawling. "What ails you Johnny?" she said. (Sob, sob, sniff, sniff). "You went away and left me by myself?" "But you didn't cry when I was outside Johnny. What ails ye now?" (Sniff, sniff). "Sure you couldn't have heard me!" (logical).
You'll have heard about the woman who said: "When I took that than of mine for better or for worse, I didn't realise that he was far worse then I took him for."
Then there was the bus inspector who 'checked' a driver for being ten minutes later.
The driver blamed a bin-lorry. The inspector remained aggressive. "Yesterday I checked you and you were a quarter of an hour early, how come?"
"Oh! yesterday! I got stuck behind an eejit in a Porsche! That was different!"
It's wonderful what you hear on a dark November afternoon.