The Befouled Weakly News

29 October 2006

Good morning on what must be one of the finest weekends of the year – British Summer Time (the grand title given to our daylight “savings” scheme) finally ended last night and this morning we have finally recovered that hour which was stolen from us in the Spring. I know I have ranted on this topic on numerous previous occasions but I just don’t get it. Admittedly, I do enjoy sitting out on a pleasant summer’s evening working my way through a decent bottle of wine until it gets dark at about 10.30 but would I enjoy it any less if it got dark as early as 9.30? I don’t think so but I guess I might have to drink faster? Still, I don’t imagine the system is going to change anytime soon so I suppose we shall just have to continue to put up with it.

Autumn is definitely here and I have to say our fall colours have been disappointing. Is this universally true this year or is it just us? Mind you, we never get the sorts of colours those of you in New England enjoy but we generally get a bit of brightness. This year, however, it’s mainly just a bit of yellow and then brown and then all the leaves fall off in a vengeance. Interestingly, the one place which always does do a decent show of colour is the car park of Sainsbury’s supermarket in Banbury. The Acers they have in the parking lot always produce decent reds and oranges along with the widely available yellows. Don’t know what they do to generate their colours or whether it’s simply the particular variety of trees they have planted but it’s as good as it gets around here. Not quite the rolling hillsides aflame with colour but a nice splash all the same.

As you can imagine, I thoroughly enjoyed the World Series even if I had no real interest in the outcome. Certainly not one of the classic World Series encounters but enjoyable nevertheless. Even Ms Playchute took an interest this year (mainly because she was increasingly fed up with my watching it day after day after day). Trying to generate a bit of enthusiasm on her part I suggested we have a wager on the outcome. Naturally, she chose the Cardinals and now I am on the hook for dinner out at one of the more salubrious restaurants in the vicinity. She did suggest Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Great Milton but I regretfully had to remind her that Le Manoir makes Hemingway’s prices seem like MacDonald’s so she is re-thinking her destination – we’ll let you know.

As I mentioned last time, Ms Playchute and I are off for a short break next week so next Sunday you will have to do without your Weakly News, I am afraid. I think I explained but we are off to Seville, Cordoba and Granada in Andalusia from Thursday for a week and then to Lyon for a meeting with SeamStress’s new fabric supplier. So, apologies for the disruption to your normal service but I did think that this would provide an excellent opportunity for everyone else to make a contribution. Sallie could provide an account of the recent nuptials of Karin and Zac for those of us who were unable to attend and then Susie could provide the account from an alternative perspective – it could be fun to see if we can guess that they are describing the same event. Pam and Sandy, Steph and Hope could provide a description of the fall foliage in New England, perhaps, and Sarah could comment on the visit from Nick and Lucy they recently endured. Nick could even share an account of their expedition to Yosemite which, to judge by the photographs, was stunning and Ben could post some of his photos of the wedding online and share the URL with everyone. Adam, no doubt, can also find something of interest to share with the rest of us. (On the other hand, who said it had to be interesting?).

So, think of next weekend as an opportunity, rather than an obligation. An opportunity to share a bit of your news rather than wading through the dross which afflicts your inbox most Sundays.

I was saving the following for next weekend but, as we shall be away, I’ve had to bring them forward a week. We’ve had a fair bit of coverage of the “attack” ads which have become such a dominant feature of US politics, it seems. What a way to inform the electorate.

Love to you all,


A busload of politicians were driving down a country road when, all of a sudden, the bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer's field. The old farmer, after seeing what happened, went over to investigate.

He then proceeded to dig a hole and bury the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The old farmer said, "I buried 'em."

The sheriff asked the old farmer, "They were ALL dead?"

The old farmer replied, "Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them politicians lie."

A neurobiology graduate student was working on his dissertation, and went to a brain store to get some brains to complete his lab study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brains offered at this particular store, and questions the proprietor about the cost of these brains.

"How much does it cost for engineer brain?" he asks.

"$3 an ounce," the shopkeeper says.

"That's not too bad," the biology student says, considering his budget. "How much does it cost for programmer brain?"

"$12 an ounce," the man says.

The student thinks about the cross-section he needs to make his study rigorous and asks, "OK, how much for a fundamentalist right-wing politician's brain?"

The proprietor lifts an eyebrow and proclaims, "$1,800 an ounce."

"Why is that kind of brain so much more?" the shocked student asks.

"Listen, pal," the busy shopkeeper says. "Do you have any idea how many fundamentalist right-wing politicians we have to harvest to get one ounce of brain?!"

While walking down the street one day a U.S. senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator 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 St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. His face falls, he begins to cry . . .

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were shooting the TV campaign ads. And this morning you voted!"

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