On the eve of All Souls Day, two boys ventured into one of the orange orchards in the village. They saw two bags of freshly plucked oranges lying unattended. Grabbing a bag each, they left the orchard unobserved. They then decided to go to a quiet place to share the lot equally.
While they jumped over the parapet wall of the village cemetery two oranges fell out of one of the bags but they did not bother to pick them at that time.
A few minutes later, the village drunkard Carolis Appuhamy, who looked after the churchyard and the cemetery was returning inebriated from the tavern. While passing the cemetery he heard a monotonous mumbling: “One for me, one for you, one for me, one for you, one for me, …“
Frightened Carolis Appu ran as fast as he could to the church. When he saw Father Augustine he blurted “Anéy father, please come, come. I heard Satan and Saint Peduru sharing the dead at the cemetery.“
Curiosity taking the upper hand, Fr Augustine followed Carolis Appu to the cemetery. The crouched near the parapet wall and heard the voice muttering, “One for me, one for you, one for me, one for you, one for me, …“
Suddenly, the voice stopped counting and said: “Finished. What about those two outside the parapet wall?“
Fr Augustine and Carolis Appu immediately took to flight. They ran towards the Church shouting madly in unison: “We are not dead, we are not dead…“
Donald Trump, the current nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in 2016 had thought of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter any of those races. In 1988, Trump was considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush but lost out to Vice President Dan Quayle.
Trump, who wants to be the next president of the United States has voiced whatever caustic thoughts he has. To him, the Mexicans were “rapists” and “anchor babies“, he has used adjectives such as “bimbo” and “fat pig” to describe women. For months he has preoccupied himself with mocking Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, by calling her “the Indian” and “Pocahontas“, and insisted that she was a racist for having listed her heritage while on the faculty of Harvard Law School.
I was surprised when I was told that Donald Trump was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation. At the meeting, he spoke about his plans for increasing every Native American’s standard of living. Although Trump was vague about his plans, he spoke eloquently about helping his “Red sisters and brothers“.
When he concluded his speech, the Chiefs of the American Indian Tribes presented him with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle” which a proud Trump accepted pompously.
After he left the venue, a reporter asked the group of chiefs how they came to select the new name for Trump. They explained that “Walking Eagle” is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longerﬂy.
Today, I received a copy of a clipping of the poem titled “Human Anatomy” from my dear niece Fiona Devotta Vazirani.
I remember having first read this humoristic poem in the mid-1990s. Since then it had appeared in many newspapers and clippings – sometimes with long titles such as “Let’s call it, unsolved mysteries of anatomy” and at times without any title at all.
The author was William Rossa Cole.
Here is that poem appearing under the title “Foolish Questions” (adapted) from “Oh, Such Foolishness” (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1978) as found in Kids Pick the Funniest Poems, edited by Bruce Lansky (Meadowbrook Press, 1991).
by William Cole
Where can a man buy a cap for his knee? Or a key for the lock of his hair?
And can his eyes be called a school? I would think there are pupils there!
What jewels are found in the crown of his head, And who walks on the bridge of his nose?
Can he use, in building the roof of his mouth, the nails on the ends of his toes?
Can the crook of his elbow be sent to jail? If it can, well, then, what did it do?
And how does he sharpen his shoulder blades? I’ll be hanged if I know – do you?
Can he sit in the shade of the palm of his hand, and beat time with the drum in his ear?
Can the calf of his leg eat the corn on his toe?
There’s somethin’ pretty strange around here!
William Rossa Cole, an American editor, anthologist, columnist, author, and writer of light verse was born on November 20, 1919, to William Harrison Cole and Margaret O’Donovan-Rossa of Staten Island, New York. He was the grandson of the Irish national hero, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.
William Cole served in the infantry in Europe in World War II, rising to sergeant and receiving the Purple Heart. After military service, he entered the publishing industry. He served as publicity director at Alfred A. Knopf, publicity director and editor at Simon & Schuster, and publisher of William Cole Books at Viking Press. He was a columnist for The Saturday Review, a vice president of PEN American Center and a member of the governing board of the Poetry Society of America and the executive board of Poets and Writers.
William Cole wrote children’s books and light verse. His whimsical poetry appeared often in Light Quarterly and was widely anthologized, He was an author, co-author, editor, and co-editor, of about 75 books of which 50 were anthologies. The American Library Association were honoured three of his books:
In 1958, “I Went to the Animal Fair: A Book of Animal Poems” which was on the List of Notable Children’s Books of 1940–1959.
In 1964, “Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls: Poems“.
In 1965, “The Birds and Beasts Were There: Animal Poems” .
His marriage to Peggy Bennett in 1947 and his marriage to Galen Williams in 1967 both ended in divorce.
William Cole died on August 2, 2000, in his Manhattan home, aged 80.
Seamus Heaney, Member of the Royal Irish Academy and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 memorialized William Cole in a poem.
In the ancient days to convey their viewpoint across to their listeners orators used metaphors, similes, and analogies. Now, to explain complex ideas we use simple and humorous images and share them using the internet.
The various anecdotes that start with the saying “You have two cows …” refer to a form of political satire. They involve variations of a scenario, where eponymous cows are used to demonstrate the functioning of some political systems.
A column titled “The Class in Political Isms” in The Chicago Daily Tribune of December 3, 1938, attributes a version involving socialism, communism, fascism and New Dealism to an address by Silas Strawn to the Economic Club of Chicago on November 29, 1935.
A Canadian writer and journalist Bill Sherk mentions that such satirical snippets circulated throughout the United States since around 1936 under the title “Parable of the Isms”.
In the collection of humour in “Vox Lycei 1939-1940” compiled by the Lisgar Alumni Association the following snippet appears on page 71 :
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
Socialism: You have two cows. You give one to your neighbour.
Communism: You have two cows. You give both cows to the Government which lets you buy part of it back.
American New Deal: You have two cows. The Government shoots one cow, buys the milk from the other cow and pours it down the sewer.
Nazism: You have two cows. The Government shoots you and takes the cows and sells the milk.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Social Credit: You ‘shoot the bull’.
As early as 1944, the humour of this type attracted the attention of scholars in the United States. An article in The Modern Language Journal lists the following classical ones some of which are similar to those in “Vox Lycei 1939-1940” :
Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbour.
Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
In the late 1960s, comedian Pat Paulsen on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour appended this comment to capitalism: “…Then put both of them in your wife’s name and declare bankruptcy.” Later on, he used this material as an element of his satirical US presidential campaign in 1968 and was included it on his 1968 comedy album “Pat Paulsen for President“.
Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
Grownups can sometimes be so thick, it is not easy to explain some facts to them.
In this video, this little girl Olivia Kendall (played by Raven-Symoné) is having a hard time trying to explain to the doctor for women (Bill Cosby) how babies are born.
This is How Babies are Born!
Doctor: And this is my office
Olivia: What do you do?
Doctor: I am a doctor for women.
Olivia: What do you do with them?
Doctor: I deliver their babies.
Doctor: When the woman has the baby inside of her, then I go in and I take it out.
Olivia: No you don’t. Everybody knows that the stork brings the baby.
Doctor: Who, who told you that?
Olivia: My daddy.
Doctor: Okay. Well, the stork puts the baby inside of the mother… and then I go in and I take it out.
Olivia: Ah, aah. The stork brings the baby to the hospital, drops it in the bassinet.
Doctor: So you’re saying that the baby is not inside the mummy? Then why is it that the mother gets real big?
Olivia: Because she eats a lot of food.
Doctor: Now let me get this straight. You say that the stork carries over, puts the baby in the bassinet, and the mother is real big because she eats a lot of food?
Olivia: You got it!
Doctor: I see. Well, then why is it that the mother has to go to the hospital?
Olivia: The stork brings the baby to the hospital, drops it in the bassinet. The mummy goes to the hospital and gets it.
Doctor: If the stork does all that, why doesn’t the stork just bring it to the mummy’s house?
Olivia: Because it’s too far. His wings will get tired.
Doctor: Where does the stork get the babies from?
Doctor: Okay. There is a zillion skillion babies in Heaven. How does the stork know what baby goes with what mother?
Olivia: They are in a line. You know, like you go to the baker and get a number.
Doctor: Why when I put my hand on the mother I can feel things moving all around?
Olivia: That’s not a baby.
Doctor: What is it?
Doctor: Well, thank you for explaining it to me.
Olivia: You’re welcome, but you still didn’t tell me what you do.
Doctor: I’m in charge of gas.
William Henry “Bill” Cosby Jr. (born July 12, 1937) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and activist. Cosby’s start in stand-up comedy began at the hungry i, originally a nightclub in North Beach, San Francisco. It was followed by a starring role in the 1960s television show I Spy. Beginning in the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in The Cosby Show, a television sitcom, which aired from 1984 to 1992. It was rated as the number one show in America for five years, 1984 through 1989. The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an affluent African-American family.
Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman (born December 10, 1985) is an American actress, comedian, model, singer, songwriter, dancer, television producer and a talk-show host. She first appeared on television in 1989 on The Cosby Show as Olivia Kendall.
Mumbai: The Indian cricket board on Thursday denied the reports that they had restricted the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) of Indian cricketer during the away tours, according to reports.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India were contemplating to ban the players’ partners during the foreign tours. The rationale was that the Indian cricketers’ performance was getting affected by the presence of WAGs.
While the BCCI had allowed the wives of Ashwin, Vijay, Pujara, Binny and Gambhir to travel with them, the Indian cricket board had approved Virat Kohli’s request to allow Anushka Sharma to travel with him, reports.
Youngsters, including my grandson, label me old fashioned when I sneer at them using their smartphones. I welcome technology. Way back in 1983, I was the first person to teach computer science with my Apple IIe in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin Districts in Tamilnadu, India. Since then technology has travelled a long way and improved a million times, but not all is that good.
Technology is radically changing the way we interact with each other. While connecting us in many ways, smartphones are also disconnecting every one of us, even family members. From the time my college-going grandson enters the house, he never talks with me, but jabbers with people using his smartphone, or indulges in texting. He always dines alone while jabbering or texting using his phone.
Smartphones have brought on the phenomenon of causing “death of conversation”. The smartphone technology is affecting social cohesion in the younger generation. They do not know when to switch off their instruments and start conversing directly with those seated just next to them. Due to the rapid rise of the smartphone, our younger generation does not know what social etiquette or interpersonal relationship is.
Young filmmaker Matthew Abeler perfectly depicts the overuse of technology in his short film titled: “Pass The Salt”. While the father and mother are having dinner with their two sons, one son’s phone beeps. Then, both sons start texting. Father says, “pass the salt” and one of the texting sons passes him the pepper. The hilarious ending with the sons dumbfounded should make everyone think twice before they pull out their phone the next time in the middle of dinner.
By the way, it is good etiquette to always pass salt and pepper together. If a person asks for just one, pass both anyway.