26 June, 2022


Dispelling Gloom

By Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

These are depressing times. COVID-19 is spreading and believed to have produced a strain that is even more virulent and dangerous. It has compelled a virtual shutdown in some places and curfews in some others. Socializing is discouraged and movement restricted to a bare minimum. Worst of all, nobody knows how long these restrictions may last – weeks, months or years!

To make matter worse, there is the needless creation of a crisis around the cremation or burial of Muslim victims of the Virus. All reasonable persons would see that there is no plausible evidence to suggest the feared contamination of water sources, the WHO and predominantly Moslem countries do not demand a right to burial and theoretical projections do not support the fears of burial. In our quest for racial and religious amity and elimination of any charge of discrimination, there is every reason to recognize and be magnanimous in allowing the minority to exercise their inherent right to follow the dictates of their faith or custom. This step certainly will not endanger anybody.

The Covid-19 pandemic compels us to grin and bear the inconveniences which will test our collective discipline and civic sense. We must all honour the prescribed sanitary behaviour. But we can still laugh without constraint. Appreciation of a joke being the best test of literacy. As a guy was told by his doctor after his routine check-up “You are doing fine, but to keep it up, no Wine, no Women,” and noting the misery on his face, “……..but you can sing as much as you like”.

1. Little Andy holds up his hand “Please Miss, may I go to the toilet?” “Yes, of course” Andy returns. Five minutes later, his hand goes up again “Please Miss, I couldn’t find it, may I go again?” Sure” says the puzzled Teacher. Andy’s back again. Five minutes and the hand goes up again. “Will someone help Andy?” Up comes “Forward Peter” Teacher: “Peter, take Andy to the toilet please”. Moments later they return. Peter (looking triumphant). “We found it alright. It’s that Andy’s mom had put his pants on back to front”!

2. An old gent goes to his favourite ice cream parlour and shakily and painfully drags himself on to a stool. “My usual Sundae, please.” While fixing his order, the girl asks, “Cracked nuts?” “No” he answers “Arthritis”.

3. Three old revelers were on the Underground, returning home from a hectic time in the City. It was a terrible cold and misty night. As the train grinds to a halt, one wipes the window, and peers through the fog. “Is it Wembley?” asks one “No, it’s Thursday” says the other. “So am I,” says the third,” let’s go get a Beer!”

4. Three old men (they always come in threes) were on a park bench, enjoying the sunshine and feeding the pigeons. As often happens, the conversation moved to a discussion on each ones ailment. Says one, “I am all aches and pains from the time I awake”. The other says, “Me too and my joints hurt with the slightest movement. And what about you, Bill?” “Oh, me? I feel like a baby.” “A baby? How do you mean?” “Well, no aches no pains, no hair, no teeth and I think I’ve just wet me pants!”

5. Two old school mates meet after a long time. One is obviously more affluent. Asks the poorer man “How come you are doing so well. What do you do for a living?” Readily comes the answer, “I sell rabbit pies”. Quite baffled, “Rabbit pies? Is it all rabbit meat?” “Well,” responds the other “say fifty-fifty.” “How so?” ”Well” confesses the one “one rabbit: one horse”.

6. The Englishman, wishing to impress with his knowledge of French, taking leave of his comrade, “Au reservoir!”. The Frenchman replies “Tanks!”.

Peter: “And what do you think about my argument?”

Paul: “Sound, most certainly sound!”

Peter: “And what else?”

Paul: “Nothing else, merely sound”.

7. Quick Takes to ponder:

“It pays to put yourself in the other man’s shoes”, said the tramp, as he quickly made the exchange.

“If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs – it’s just possible that you haven’t quite grasped the situation.”

“If two persons agree on everything, it is quite likely that only one is doing the thinking”.

“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels”.

“Work hard, play hard and die young – leaving behind a good-looking corpse”.

“A diplomat is a person who can tell a guy to go to hell, so nicely that he looks forward to the journey.”

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit”

“Candy may be dandy but liquor is quicker!”

“Familiarity breeds contempt, but a little bit of familiarity is necessary to breed anything”.

“The early bird may get the worm – but it is the second mouse that gets the cheese”.

“Economists spend half their time predicting what will happen, and the other half explaining why what they predicted did not happen”.

“Do not ever underestimate the power of English as a barrier to comprehension”

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