Who Ya Gonna Call?

Who you gonna call when things go bump in the night? Except that Ghostbusters is a fantasy and the only thing instead is a well-meaning individual who responds as best he can to the real troubles in the world. Robert Preston isn’t actually going to come and recruit him to be the Last Starfighter to go and save the galaxy.

They talk about the US President as if he was the only one who ever had to make a tough decision. Oh, sure, but no one has to make bigger or better decisions than the Americans. The world knows that.

So who you gonna call? Ghost busting now is big business, with courses and certificates and all sorts. Still only window dressing.

His mother would have understood. But all of a sudden there was a big hole in his life where she used to be.Now there was no one to share an anecdote that evoked a memory from childhood or to consult about what a particular plant was or who starred in which film.

He sighed as he stood up and blew his nose. Enough! Time he grew up.

He straightened his shoulders and hobbled back into the Retirement Home.

Joyce with Phil and Steve

In loving memory of Joyce Lillian Pimentil nee Thomas (13th October 1922-1th May 2013.) A life well lived.

The Last Pirate In Peng Chau

This is an extract from the forth-coming novel. The Last Pirate In Peng Chau. The intention is to publish in digital format on Kindle, and your feedback would be most welcome. Would this work better as straight text or more like a blog post with links and photos? What do you think?

Map of the South China Sea
Map of the South China Sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In another time, In another place,

A young ghost fellow

Met a young woman.

So much happened.

So many involved.


So whose story is this?

Who is the star

Who outshines the rest?

Who is content

To play the support?

Each has their own tale to tell.

Greed and corruption,

Science and stone-age superstition

Side by side in the

Sophisticated City of Sin.

A duel of magic,

Finding a treasure

Losing an opportunity ……

All this to show,

Or is it really so?

Did these things happen?

Or is it yet to be?

My humble name is Wong,

(Meaning ‘king’,

Not the colour yellow,)

My given name is


And I have the honour

To be the last pirate

In Peng Chow.

He could tell that the engines of the specially adapted junkChinese junk were straining now, as they rounded the headland and saw the bay with its sandy beach stretching between the hills like the arm of a dumbbell. Although this was home, there would be no point trying to make for the harbour. The 2 police launches were not so far behind, and he couldn’t see if either of them was showing the agreed signal.

“Which way now, Dai Lo?” shouted the oldest of the Hakka crew, planted firmly behind the helm.

“Head for The Oysters, and we’ll see if these Gwai Lo have the stomach for proper sailing!”

The 2 younger men laughed aloud as the helmsman adjusted his course.

Not for the first time, the big Chinese thanked his joss for having been born into a sea-faring tribe with much stronger ties than any amount of blood-thirsty Triad oaths could command. His father had been a Shanghainese from Putow province, which was why he stood head and shoulders above all his mother’s kin, but perhaps his very size added to the mystique that already shrouded his reputation as the most successful pirate in the South China Seas.

The cargo currently secured in the junk’s hold would bring a huge price once he could get it to safety and arrange for its subsequent passage to the mainland. It was a god-cursed misfortune that he had stumbled upon a pair of Police launches with nothing better to do than amuse themselves by stopping an honest-seeming fishing junk for a routine inspection. Had there been any way of concealing his cargo, he would have taken a chance and let them board, especially if he could have seen if a red port navigation light was blinking. But the nature of his cargo meant that even the fish-reeking hold would not mask the smell, and so he had turned away, pretending he had not heard the police loud-hailer.

Now they would know that something was amiss, and his only chance was to try and lure them into the shallows round The Oysters and make good his escape.

On board Royal Hong Kong Police Launch TST1, Thompson, the sandy-haired Marine Police officer glanced nervously across to the other launch, which was now beginning to speed away in pursuit of the junk. By rights, being the senior of the 2 launch commanders, he should be directing this operation, but he somehow always felt intimidated by the older man because of his experience gained in other Police Forces.

Of course, rank is rank, and he was the Acting Superintendent, but that cut no ice with the swarthy tattooed inspector who had recently transferred to Hong Kong from Borneo.

And what were those tattoos about anyway? Only squaddies form the ranks or your common-or-garden jack tar would allow themselves to be painted in such a way. No gentleman would ever dream of such a thing. But that is the way the Force was going. Before you knew it, they would be promoting Chinese officers to senior ranks!

Not but what they were extremely capable, of course, and what Station Sergeant Tsang – universally known as The Major because his badge of office resembled that of a Regimental Sergeant Major – didn’t know about the shadowy world of triad gangsters and their various enterprises wasn’t worth knowing.

Actually, he wished Station Sergeant Tsang was on board as his own cox’n instead of the dark skinned Hakka sergeant, Ng. He didn’t really trust Ng, coming as he did from the same background as half the villains they were supposed to be investigating. Tsang, on the other hand, was Cantonese, and much easier to get on with.

However, he was thick as thieves with Godwinson, and had been as soon as Godwinson had arrived at Marine HQ. It was almost as if the two of them had a history, although that was hard to understand, since , as far as he knew, Tsang had lived all his life in Hong Kong, whereas this was Godwinson’s first tour there, no matter how many other Colonial postings he might boast of.

But then, even Acting Superintendents don’t know everything.

Word For Today

Explanation about sentence structure in Englis...
Explanation about sentence structure in English, which mainly has usage on the Icelandic Wikibooks for the Lærðu Ensku 1: Grunnensku fyrir byrjendur book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Todays word is ‘place‘.

Here is how to use it in a sentence;

Mother wishes Jack would place his porn in a more accessible place.

She wishes that he wouldn’t put it under his bed.
Her back isn’t what it used to be.

11 Free Tips To Find The 5 Principles Of The Secret Tao Of 7 Steps To Success Of Facebook Marketing. Free. Part I

Catchy title, no? As any SEO expert, or journalism undergraduate will tell you, for free, the secret of writing free tips is to get as many free keyword numbers in as possible. Preferably for free.

Unless I’ve misunderstood.

Although in our search for the 7 Steps towards Marketing Successs on Facebook, the Secret Tao must remain secret – at least until Part II – the 5 Principles can be named. They are, in fact Yat, Dva, Tres, Vier and Eneuf.

One may find Oneself wondering where Wordsworth wandered.

Recent statistcs show that Google has more than 109 visitors every day, although this figure may be open to dispute.
Based on  my own extensive research witn Facebook friends I have virtually met, what actually happens to Google visitors is that they  spend at least 5 minutes logging on, and then scan at least 1 page for 20 seconds after it has loaded.

OK, here it is then;

The Simple 7 Step Approach to Prospecting on Facebook and Skype

1. Switch on.
2. Wait for connection to the Internet
3. Make coffee
4. Scan web page for 20 secs.
5. Navigate to new page
6. Wait for it to load
7. Make coffee

For advanced Entrepreneurs;
8. GOTO 4
9. Stay in the loop

I can’t reveal any more at this stage for reasons of economy. Although, unlike the Bard, I have world enough and time, I do not yet have your e-mail address.

Shit. That’s given the game away, hasn’t it?

Thus does Google make geeks of us all.

As Baroness Orzcy almost said,;
“They Google him here,
They Google him there

What is Spam to one person, is just luncheon meat to another. Mmmm. Tasty.

If this makes sense, tell 5 friends. If it doesn’t my name has  been  MXYZPTLK.

Laws for Life


Lion and Thomson's Gazelles
Image by Stig Nygaard via Flickr


Throughout recorded history, societies and individuals have compiled laws and philosophies to guide us in our day-to-day activities and relationships. They range in form from the rather prosaic, such as The Ten Commandments, to the more poetic, such as this African proverb;

Every morning in Africa a gazelle awakens knowing it must today run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It matters not whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun rises you had better be running.

Sometimes, the advice proffered is so straight-laced and serious that we cannot help making fun of it.

“… and so, Simba, the gazelles eat the grass, and then we eat the gazelles, and thenlion and cub we poop out the gazelles and they go back into the grass. And then a baboon smears Welch’s Grape Jelly on your forehead and that’s how you become king…






But the ultimate rule for survival, whether you are the hunter,

Jack Russell terrier, Rosie, on the alert
By the pricking of my thumbs, something foxy this way comes






or the hunted,

You looking at me?






is something that everyone who has ever served in the Armed Forces , or any disciplined service knows…


The Funniest Gag at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe was this one-liner from Tim Vine;

Tommy Cooper
Tommy Cooper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Tell you what – never again!”

These others are from a recently-published survey.You’ll probably know some of them, but they are all timeless. Many of them come from Tommy Cooper‘s act.

It’s interesting to see how few of them are of the put-down variety so common in American humour, which just shows how tastes differ according to culture. The real test is to see if they’re still funny when translated into another language.

1. The Ugliest Baby

A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The driver says, “Ugh! That’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen.”

The woman stalks off to the rear of the bus and sits down. She turns to the man sitting next to her and says, “The driver just insulted me!”

The man says, “You go and give him a telling off. I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

2. The Zoo

”I went to the zoo the other day, there was only one dog in it, it was a shitzu.”

3. Bar Stories (1)

”Dyslexic man walks into a bra”

4 Blondes

A young blonde woman is distraught because she fears her husband is having an affair, so she goes to a gun shop and buys a handgun. The next day she comes home to find her husband in bed with a beautiful redhead. She grabs the gun and holds it to her own head. The husband jumps out of bed, begging and pleading with her not to shoot herself. Hysterically the blonde responds to the husband, ”Shut up…you’re next!”

5.  A classic Tommy Cooper gag

”I said to the Gym instructor “Can you teach me to do the splits?” He said, ”How flexible are you?” I said, ”I can’t make Tuesdays”


Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one – and let the other one off.

7.Love is in the Air

Two aerials meet on a roof – fall in love – get married.  The ceremony was rubbish – but the reception was brilliant.

8.  Doctor, Doctor (1)

Doc, I can’t stop singing the ‘Green Green Grass of Home‘. He said: ‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome’. ‘Is it common?’I asked.  ‘It’s not unusual’ he replied.

9.Diet drinks

I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already.

10. Bar Stories(2)

A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says: ”Pint please, and one for the road.”

11. Doctor, Doctor (2)

I went to the doctors the other day and I said, ‘Have you got anything for wind?’ So he gave me a kite.

12. Mother-in-law

My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed, I never knew they worked.

13.Chat Lines

I saw this bloke chatting up a cheetah; I thought, ”He’s trying to pull a fast one”.


A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named ‘Amal.’ The other goes to a family in Spain, they name him Juan’. Years later; Juan sends a picture of himself to his mum. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, ”But they are twins. If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

15 Goldfish.

There’s two fish in a tank, and one says ”How do you drive this thing?”

16.Shopping (1)

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.


When Susan’s boyfriend proposed marriage to her she said: ”I love the simple things in life, but I don’t want one of them for my husband”.

18.Doctor, Doctor (3)

”My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.”

19. Phone-in (1)

I rang up British Telecom, I said, ”I want to report a nuisance caller”, he said ”Not you again”.

20 Phone-in (2).

I met a Dutch girl with inflatable shoes last week, phoned her up to arrange a date but unfortunately she’d popped her clogs.

21.Bar Stories (3)

A jump-lead walks into a bar. The barman says ”I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything”


Slept like a log last night…….. Woke up in the fireplace.

23. Bar Stories (4)

A priest, a rabbi and a vicar walk into a bar. The barman says, “Is this some kind of joke?”

24. Bar Stories (5)

A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says ”Sorry we don’t serve food in here”

25.Phone-in (3)

The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow. I rang her up, I said ”Did you get my drift?”

26. Cleaning Up

I cleaned out the attic with the wife the other day. Now I can’t get the cobwebs out of her hair.

27.Shopping (2)

Went to the paper shop – it had blown away.

28 Chess (1)

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. ”But why?” they asked, as they moved off. ”because,” he said ”I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

29. Shopping (3)

I was in Tesco the other day and I saw this man and a woman wrapped up in a barcode. I said. “Are you two an item?”

30. Marmite

I’m feeling great becaiuse I entered a competition and won a year’s free supply of Marmite…one jar.

31Chinese restaurant.

So I went to the Chinese restaurant and this duck came up to me with a red rose and says ”Your eyes sparkle like diamonds”. I said, ”Waiter, I asked for a-ROMATIC duck”.

32.Bar Stories (6)

Four fonts walk into a bar the barman says ”Oi – get out! We don’t want your type in here”

33 Chess (2).

I was having dinner with Garry Kasporov (world chess champion) and there was a check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.


There was a man who entered a local paper’s pun contest.. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

35 Shopping (4)

I went down the local supermarket, I said, ”I want to make a complaint, this vinegar’s got lumps in it”, he said, “Those are pickled onions”.

36 Betting

I backed a horse last week at ten to one.  It came in at quarter past four.

37.Shopping (5)

I swear, the other day I bought a packet of peanuts, and on the packet it said ”may contain nuts.” Well, YES! That’s what I bought the buggers for! You’d be annoyed if you opened it and a socket set fell out!”

38. Tortoises

A lorry-load of tortoises crashed into a trainload of terrapins, What a turtle disaster

39. Phone-in (4).

My phone will ring at 2 in the morning, and my wife’ll look at me and go, ”Who’s that calling at this time?’ ”I don’t know! If I knew that we wouldn’t need the bloody phone!”


I said to this train driver ”I want to go to Paris”. He said ”Eurostar?” I said, ”I’ve been on telly but I’m no Dean Martin”.

41 Eskimos.

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. But when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

42 Friends

I’ve got a friend who’s fallen in love with two school bags, he’s bisatchel.


You see my next-door neighbour worships exhaust pipes, he’s a catholic converter.

44.Bar Stories (7)

A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: ”I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”

45. Water Polo

I tried water polo but my horse drowned.


I’ll tell you what I love doing more than anything: trying to pack myself in a small suitcase. I can hardly contain myself.

47. Gangsters

So I met this gangster who pulls up the back of people’s pants, it was Wedgie Kray.

48. Shopping (6)

Went to the corner shop – bought 4 corners.

49 Greenpeace

A seal walks into a club…

50.Doctor, Doctor (4)

I went to the Doctors the other day, and he said, ‘Go to Bournemouth, it’s great for flu’. So I went  –  and I got it.

The Wild Colonial Boys

These days, of course, the United States weilds the big stick as the self-appointed Guardian of World Democracy.Yes, children, but there was a time when Britain was truly Great and sending a gunboat actuallyGunboat diplomacy stopped almost as many wars as they started.

The legacy of those times lives on for better or, mostly, worse all around the globe, but perhaps nowhere more poignantly than in London itself, once the centre of the universe, and now…

As jaded relics of former glory go, the clubland of Britain’s capital has gone further than most. Let us take a look through the windows of this fine old Victorian edifice. What do we find inside the hallowed portals of the Colonial Club?

Behold the visitors – 3 stalwart representatives of America’s law enforcement agencies. First up, an NYPD Blue, in dubious civilian clothing, apparently trying to impersonate Al Pacino as Serpico.

Next to him, doing his best not to fall off his barstool while riding it like a motorbike (how droll) is a ChiP.

Delicately distancing himself fom tthe other two is the only occupant of the room to wear a suit. Royalty? No, far superior, it is a Chief Special Agent In Charge Of Chiefly Special Agents for the FBI. Slumming.

Their hosts for the evening are 2 pukka sahib types, as alike as peas in a pod. Perkins and Thompson, or possibly Thomkins and Person. They are doing their best to ignore the gin-fuelled mutterings of another Englishman, slumped in the corner of the bar. We will come to him later.

Meanwhile, let us listen to these Colonial Police Officers, for such is what they are, as they entertain their American cousins.

“Well,of course,” says Thompson (or Perkins), “there’s no question that you chaps do a wonderful job where you come from, but I doubt if you have any officers who could match Carruthers (or possibly Carstairs).

Askari soldierHe was a sub-Inspector in my old outfit, the Kenyan Police, during the Mau Mau uprisings. He was in his Landrover with an Askari driver when they came to a native settlement where 50 Mau Mau terrorists were rioting and generally misbehaving.

Well, the driver braked so hard, the Landrover swerved into a ditch and before you could say , er, anything at all, the Askari was offski.

Carstairs was just about to write him a ticket for leaving the scene of an accident when the Mau Mau boys saw him, and one of them threw an assegai that ripped through his stomach and left his entrails spilling out on to the floor.

Did that worry Carrutherstairs? Not at all! He bent down, picked up his intestines, shoved them back in his stomach, drew his revolver and shouted, ‘Disperse, in the Queen’s name’

The Mau Mau were so stunned by his bravery that they all fled. That man’s a Superintendent in our Force now.”

Murmurs of appreciation from the visiting Americans, and loud belchings from the johnny in the corner.

“Pish and tush and similar,” cries Parkinsims. “Our Force has better men than that. Back in The Emergency we had a chappie in the Malay Police,


Malay Police during the Emergency
"Are you a terrorist?"


Probationary Inspector Saunders, who was on river patrol with a couple of Dayak lascars when he came upon 100 Communist Terrorists pillaging and raping a rubber plantation.(can this be right? Ed.)

The native constables lost control and crashed the boat into the jetty so hard that they both went head first through the windows of the estate-manager’s bungalow.

Saunders immediately cited the lascar for breaking and entering, and was about to do the same for the Dayak (nothing queer about Saunders!), when the terrorists opened fire on him with sub-machine guns.

What do you think happened? They blew the top of his head off, and his cranium fell out on to the ground.

Was he bothered? No, sir!. Plucky young Saunders picked up the grey matter, dropped it into his skull, drew his pistol and shouted, ‘Disperse, in the Queen’s name’.

The terrorists were so afraid of this indestructible superman that they fled. Saunders is a Senior Superintendent in our Force now.”

Luckily for our sanity, we will never know what stories the Americans would have invented to match these heroic tales, because, just as they open their collective mouths, the drunk in the corner (remember him?) waves his glass at the others and says,

“You guys think you’re something special, don’t you? Well, let me tellRoyal Hong Kong Police you, I’m from the Royal Hong Kong Police, the finest force that money can buy, and we’ve got more than 100 guys in our Force with no guts, no brains, and they’re ALL fucking Superintendents.”