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).
Fabian Wallace-Stephens Emma Morgante
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