Keep your elbows off the table . . .  “For those of you who like this sort of place this is the sort of place you like,” read the…

Keep your elbows off the table . . .

 “For those of you who like this sort of place this is the sort of place you like,” read the original old sign from the Teapot Café in an Irish pub that’s probably older than Canada.

Imagine pubs older than your country! Anyway the pub’s age is revealed in the sign beneath the first one, which added: “All straps, whips and staffs forbidden.”

Seamus, perhaps a patron, came before the magistrate. Charge: lifting too many jars.

The magistrate pronounced, “Seamus, you’re sentenced to 40 days in jail. Is there anything you would like to say on your behalf?”

 “Yes, your Lordship,” responded Seamus. “What if I called you an s.o.b.?”

 “I’d be forced to add a substantial fine and more time in jail,” was the reply.

 “Your Lordship, what if I think the same instead?” Seamus asked.

 “There are no laws in this country governing what a man thinks,” came from the bench.

 “I am pleased to hear that your Lordship. I think you are an s.o.b.”

Seamus, flush with thinking time, and nary a pint at hand, puffed happily away. Banished from every room in the land except his own, he took solace in having found one room where such banishment would become a quandary for the righteous ones.

For, if  banished from the crowbar hotel for smoking he’d be free to sin again, only onto the newest sin, girth. His beer belly would cause a new charge, lack of girth control.

His ace-in-the-hole: the BBC’s report that,  “Researchers in Britain and the Czech Republic surveyed almost 2,000 Czechs, who are generally regarded as the world’s biggest beer drinkers. They found no link between the amount of beer they drink and the size of their stomachs.”

Aside from losing the title of the world’s beer quaffing champions, Seamus, and his Canadian kin, will sip and think, while  “waist management” musters its forces.

Around Grandpa’s time, a man named John Gardner may have launched waist management, observing, “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.”

Grandma used to tell us that too. Maybe Grandpa’s two-handed diet will enjoy a revival too. “Put both hands on the table when seconds come to mind, and push yourself away.”

It’s an easy, open, honest, hard-headed, no-pills diet solution, but I suppose it’s like honest work as business guru Peter Drucker put it when asked where has the work ethic gone. “The honest work of yesterday has lost its social status,” he replied.

Grandma also used to tell us, “Do it yourself, no one else will,” and it worked.

A closed mind is a good thing to lose. (Anonymous)

The world’s best joke . . .

Studies are old hat, so is this one. Scientists went seeking the world’s best joke in 2002. They tracked the reaction of visitors to an endless number of jokes posted on their website, www.laughlab.com. (The website is current by the way.)

The survey not only revealed the world’s funniest joke, they said, somewhat tongue in cheek, but also revealed some observations about which nationalities are pushovers for jokes.

Germans proved to be the most easily tickled, rating 35 per cent of the jokes tested as “very funny.” Canadians were the toughest audience, rating only 26 per cent of the jokes as “very funny.” Americans proved to be a pretty jaded crowd, too, rating only 29 per cent of the jokes as “very funny.”

Men and women held different ideas of what’s funny, as well. For men, a really good joke often has something to do with aggression, putting down women, or sex.

“Males use humour to appear superior to others,” the scientists said, “whilst women are more linguistically skilled and prefer word puns.”

The world’s best joke in 2002 we’ve shared with you, the top joke in Canada was the one about NASA spending $12 billion to develop a pen to work in zero gravity, upside down and so on.

The Russians didn’t study anything. They used pencils.

The top joke in Germany brings Klinger back from MASH: “A commanding officer noticed a soldier behaving oddly. He’d pick up every piece of paper he found, frown, say “That’s not it,” and throw it away.

His paper chase never stopped. The C.O. finally arranged a psychological test, and you guessed it, he failed. The C.O. called him in, and handed him his discharge papers.

The soldier picked it up, smiled, and said, “That’s it!”

There are those who subscribe to the belief that Canada’s best joke is our political process and those involved in it, which is unfair, although you have to admit there seems to be a concerted attempt to make it come true.

A tip of the hat to you. Keep well, enjoy September.