My son-in-law, deputy headmaster of a school in Yorkshire, was waiting nervously for a coach-party of Russian educationalists, to whom he had to give a speech of welcome in Russian. When the party arrived, he singled out the most amiable-looking fellow and approached him. He had just launched into his address when the mild little man he had chosen interrupted him : “It’s no use tha’ talking to me, lad, Um only t’bus driver.”
—S. Richardson, Bradford, West Yorkshire
SITTING in London’s Hyde Park one summer’s day, I watched a young policeman’s efforts to round up a duck which had strayed from the Serpentine. He eventually caught it, tied a piece of string loosely round its neck, and began leading it back to the water. At that moment, two young men walked past, and I overheard one say with amusement : “They must have run out of police dogs.”
—W. Hollock, Northampton
AN elderly customer went up to my uncle’s stall in a Midlands market and asked for some yards of dress material. He explained to her that all fabric was now sold by the metre. The lady frowned : “Would a kilometre be the right amount for a dress?”
“That depends,” replied my uncle, “on whether you’re thinking of having long sleeves.”
—B. Hurst, Reading, Berkshire
DURING MY first day at work as a dental receptionist, a woman came in and asked for a 2.30 appointment. “I always see the dentist at 2.3o,” she said. “It makes the appointment so easy to remember.”
“Two-thirty?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied. “Tooth-hurty.”
WE SAT glued to the television set during a space mission, listening eagerly to the exchange between ground control and the spacecraft, each message ending with the customary “bleep-bleep.”
My seven-year-old sister suddenly shattered the intense atmosphere. “They’re awfully brave,” she commented. “But I don’t see why they have to swear so much.”
-I’.Thirling, Bishop Auckland, County Durham
GETTING out my knitting on a crowded tube train, I discovered that the wool was no longer impaled on the needles. Red-faced, I fought my way along the carriage, gathering wool as I went. At the far end, the trail continued—through the crack between the doors.
As I hesitated, wondering how I could buy marlboro cigarettes online, a near-by passenger produced some scissors and said : “Impossible situations demand a clean break.”
—Mrs B. M. Gibb, Barnet, Hertforddlire
IN ouR party during a recent tour of Greece was a student who boasted an “A” level in classical Greek. He became our spokesman.
As classical Greek bears little relation to the modern language, his efforts were not always successful. When he asked some men at the port of Piraeus about ferry sailing times, they burst out laughing. Eventually one of them gave us a literal translation, in faultless English, of his question: “When do the galleys sail for the Isle of Aegina, sailors?”
—Merfyn Davies, Radcliffe-on-Trent,
FOLLOWING a rear-end collision; my friend’s car went into the garage for repair. Unfortunately, very soon after collecting it she managed to smash a headlamp, which meant another trip to the same garage. She had just picked up the car a second time when, to her dismay, she had to change a wheel because of a puncture.
Back she went to the garage yet again. Parking in the forecourt, she lifted the flat tyre out of the boot and trundled it into the garage. The mechanic greeted her with comic disbelief. “Blimey,” he exclaimed. “Is that all you’ve got left?”
—Mrs J. E. Britain, Harrogate, York hire
I timi asked a friend, a meter reader, if dogs were a problem for him. No, he said. His predecessor had thoughtfully indicated those homes having unfriendly dogs by adding this notation in his record book : “Meter Reader
Eater.” —Louise west
As AN architect, my husband frequently inspects churches to check their condition.
One day he was using binoculars to examine the stonework of an old clock tower in London’s Bethnal Green when a woman paused to watch him.
After a moment, she said helpfully: “It’s nearly eleven o’clock,