Over the years I have had a number of criticisms of my blog; too political, too opinionated, too little about the RSA, too much about the RSA, much too much about me. But one of the first was a Fellow who included in a lengthy list of my misdemeanours the allegation that I had ‘used the Society’s website to make jokes’. This was a reference, I think, to an early post in which I proudly clamed to have made up my own witticism.
Anyway, time has passed; it is a Friday, the sun is shining and we need something to take our minds off a failing economy, the collapse of Westminster democracy and the threat of an attack by North Korea.
The prompt was my father ringing me, as he often does on a Wednesday, for a joke to use in his Radio 4 programme ‘Thinking Allowed’. The subject was gambling and although he ended up using a different gag, his request led me to discover the following:
I visited the Dalai Lama’s country to go greyhound racing
No, I just like dogs
This is a variance on the classic
My wife’s gone to the West Indies
No, she went of her own accord
When I worked at ippr a few years ago, between renewing the democratic left and finding innovative paths to social justice, we spent an afternoon inventing our own versions:
My sister’s gone to the capital of Indonesia
No, she took the plane
Gradually these became more elaborate:
My brother sells electrical accessories in the largest city in Yorkshire
Yes, and plugs and chargers
My wife’s testing a new product in Poole
Yes, she thinks it’s great
So, here’s a weekend challenge to my reader (happy birthday for yesterday, mum); invent your own ‘wife's gone to the West Indies’ joke. The best one gets free Fellowship of the Society (but, not really).
Learn about the twelve-month journey of The Good Work Guild and the recommendations its global network of Fellows and work practitioners have made.
Our healthcare system needs transformational change that creates the space for a new paradigm to emerge. Read about how our public entrepreneurship project can support this.
Ruth Hannah is inspiring you to submit your creative and courageous political project to the Innovation in Politics Awards 2022.