This week's Hootoo Home of Today nearly didn't get written at all.
Don't blame me, blame a certain Mr Spimcoot since he was making me laugh so much I couldn't concentrate! Don't even think about asking what we were laughing about, it would undoubtedly fall into the category of Slightly Sophisticated Schoolboy Smut. He has now been despatched to the world of cartoons.
Funny old thing, laughter. There seems to be some research going on:
Mysteries of laughter revealed. Scientists in America claim to have uncovered the mysteries behind how
different people laugh.
...but I doubt they will discover all the secrets. For instance, the jury who laughed so much at a chap who broke into a Police Station to give himself up since he hadn't paid his taxi fare after a drunken night out. Failing to find any handy policeman, he donned a spare uniform and waited till one appeared. He then proceeded to do a perfect Dixon of Dock Green impersonation 'Evenin' all1!'
Bob Hope died this week aged 100. He seems to have kept his sense of humour right until the end; when his wife, Dolores, asked him where he'd like to be buried, he replied 'Surprise me2!'
Another comedian who probably won't be so well known outside Bollywood also died. He had the improbable name of Johnny Walker3.
- which leads me neatly to our good friend Mr Boothby4. He believes that good grog makes for a fun time, as does William Shakespeare who feels the best attitude is:
'Let me play the fool;
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;
And let my liver rather heat with wine
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans'.
Jolly good, none of this 'in moderation' nonsense! Mr Boothby suggests this delightfully named combination is peculiarly English; he may well be right:
'A mug or glass of stout with a dash of gin added.'
Certainly a distinctly English sense of humour seems to exist. When attempting to describe the mysteries of the English character to the French, Meet Britain5 notes that:
'A tender-hearted fellow, such is the Englishman in a manner which is quite naïve and childish, this youthfulness of heart and spirit is one of his charms'.
They quote both Lewis Caroll and Edward Lear as being fine examples of English nonsensical humour. I liked this new twist on 'The Owl and the Pussycat' I found in a cartoon the other day. Says the owl to the pussycat:
'On the internet you said you were an owl.'
tee-hee, tee-hee; sorry, but I like it!
Speaking of animals, apparently some of them have a sense of humour, a fact I have never questioned since sharing my life with a ferret. Rats, too, seem game for a laugh: Rats 'like a laugh'. Giggling, ticklish rats have provided scientists with the first credible evidence that animals unrelated to humans can laugh.
Oh, it's no good, I shall have to give you some classic headers from The Home of Today6. I defy you not to have a teeny-weeny snigger at this sequence of events:
Oh tee-hee, tee-hee! Very sorry if I have caused offence. Do slap a warning smiley upon me.
Enid shall have the last word, since you were all deprived of her last week. After looking back at the above, I was tempted to quote from her 'Humorous short Play: Mr. Stick-it-Up7' - but managed to resist the temptation; instead I shall leave you with some lovely new puzzles. The solutions to these are totally dependent on whether I type them in properly; you have to supply missing letters to each sentence to make any sort of sense out of them. If you succeed, you can proceed to Attainment Target Key Stage 37.
As Enid says,
'Is anyone clever enough to do them all? They will keep you busy, I think!'