Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Anything for a laugh?

"One day, your sense of humour is going to get you into trouble". So said a university lecturer to me about 30 years ago, shortly after I had a one-night stand with his girlfriend, who was a headmistress to a girl's school. I cannot think what he could have meant, other than predicting that a larger man the he would - one day - take revenge.

Maybe it was because I laughed when he told me that he was a best-selling author, but then went on to explain that the book was on a subject so arcane and specialised that it had only been read by a handful of academics from a print-run in the lower hundreds. Of course - not being a best selling author myself these days - I would not be so cruel as to laugh out loud when I hear the truth about someone's literary boasts - especially if they were not lying.

My sense of humour gets me into trouble pretty much on a daily basis - the silly reactions to the joke disqualification of the winner of my .410 competition is still rumbling on. Even last night, I told the fool who took it seriously (even though he was in on the joke from the start) to 'fuck off' for a second time in two days, when I lost my sense of humour with him. He wanted to discuss the situation again, and I warned him what would happen if he did, so I have no regrets.

The ironic thing is that this man's lack of humour gets him into trouble constantly, but he never understands how. I am always telling him that just because something is true, that doesn't mean it has to be spoken. This is a lesson that took me many years to learn, but he is now in his late sixties and not showing any signs of increased social sensitivity.

He was at a dinner party with his girlfriend's ex-husband a few years ago, and I don't remember what he said to upset everyone (there have been so many incidents like this since), but the ex suddenly leapt to his feet, reached over the table and hit him in the face, giving him a black eye. End of dinner party.

I think my mate had forgotten that the ex was also ex-army, and not given to sitting back and taking insults lightly.

He continued to forget. A year or two later, the ex married a good-looking woman who had a pretty 13 year-old daughter, and the four of them were standing in the pub one day, when matey, pointing at the 13 year-old step-daughter, suddenly and without warning said, "It's girls like her that could turn me into a paedophile!" Another black eye.

I suppose what I specialise in is taking things one step further than they really ought to be taken, but the scope for good jokes in doing so is - so far - well worth the risk. That doesn't mean that I am so brave that I didn't wait for Mr Hamza to be deported before putting up the picture below, or putting it up on the top.


  1. Late sixties and still taking punches? Blimey. I am getting a bit past it but had that been a daughter of mine he was referring to he would not have got to his feet again without some serious medical intervention.

    Are we soon to read about a jihād against Tom Stephenson?

    1. He was in his early sixties at last punch. He's a big bloke, so don't worry about him.

      I'll keep you informed about the Jihad. (My real name's Salman Rushdie... ONLY KIDDING!!!!!)

  2. Some people just enjoy throwing grenades into a crowded room.....
    very funny to watch
    but sometimes painful if you are right next to the blast

  3. Abu Hamza
    Has no handsa
    Now they took
    Away his hook.

  4. Cro, that was an award winning stanza!

    1. The book will be out shortly!

    2. And it will be a true Bonanza,
      starring the great Tom Courtenay.