Tuesday, 15 February 2011


People used to contend that the Readers Digest was run by the CIA, its homely little aphorisms, wide-eyed nature appreciation, its spiritual revelations, trusty adventure fiction and wise, insighftul gags the very stuff of America, a global counterweight to the  EvilEmpire, a non-spiritual Gideons Bible for wayfaring strangers, torn between filthy communism and the free market.  I have been wondering if the CIA is behind all the hideously Readers Digestesque emails which appear almost daily in my inThing  and of which this, today's, is the worst. Maybe, it's Google, generates these ghastly things, their aim, after all, is to do our thinking for us....
This explains why I forward emails. 


A man and his dog were walking along a road.
The man was enjoying the scenery, 
when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years.
He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road.

It looked like fine marble..

At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?' 

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

'Of course, sir.. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'

The man gestured, and the gate began to open. 'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveller asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. 

There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book....


'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveller gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump,' said the man.

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveller filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

'What do you call this place?' the traveller asked. 

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveller said..

'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'

Soooo. Now you see, sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding stuff to us without writing a word. Maybe this will explain it.

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward emails.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.

When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how.... you forward stuff.

A 'forward' lets you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for.

So, next time if you get a 'forward', don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile.


You are welcome at my water bowl anytime !!

If I ever meet the smug, underlining  bastard at the other end of my computer  I'll shove his water bowl up his arse.


banned said...

Laughter, the best medicine.

btw, images on your post = red Xs Mr Ishmael.

a young anglo-irish catholic said...

What's the one about walking with Jesus and suddenly there's only one set of footprints.

You abandoned me says the ungrateful human. No, at that point i was carrying you says the son of God.

The Nuns used to give us that stuff when we were eight.

Dick the Prick said...

My mum's had an American pen friend ever since the 50's and they're bloody good people, Sunday schools, take disadvantaged kids on outings and summer schools, loads of charity stuff. She was a teacher all her days and he worked for GM in MotorCity (luckily retired early naughties). Anywho - the Christmas letters are an absolute laugh out loud fest of WTFuckery.

Geez, in their world God's involved in making a cup of tea (well, to be fair, He may be in that perfect cup of PG which frequency seems to be dropping to about 1 in 50 - whazzat about).

I'd love to visit them if & when I go to Yanksville but I fear my tolerance would be limited and an inadvertant belly laugh may give the game away. Ah, bless. Fffferreaks!

call me ishmael said...

Uncle probably wouldn't give you a visa, mr dtp, not if he knows you come here and other places. And he does.

call me ishmael said...

As to the impertinence of this email sending arsehole, I think he is entirely wrong. Much better that people generate a word or two of original correspondence than pollute cyberspace wth this meaningless sentimentality. The world's oceans and shores, mine included, are strewn with non-degradeable blue plastic fibres, they are non-digestible and seabirds and fish are stuffed with them, they come from the fishing nets and their impact, although definitely unsightly is not yet fully understood althougg it can only be harmful. This May-You shit, these recirculated essays in banality now substitute, among many, for communication; it is revolting. It is an aged friend who copies me into this shit-circle, I guess I will only know he's dead when they stop ccming.