15 February 2015 – Amusements

In the great days of the British Empire , a new commanding officer was sent to a jungle outpost to relieve the retiring colonel. After welcoming his replacement and showing the usual courtesies (gin and tonic, cucumber sandwiches etc.) that protocol decrees, the retiring colonel said, “You must meet my Adjutant, Captain Smithers, he’s my right-hand man, he’s really the strength of this office. His talent is simply boundless.”

Smithers was summoned and introduced to the new CO, who was surprised to meet a humpbacked, one eyed, toothless, hairless, scabbed and pockmarked specimen of humanity, a particularly unattractive man less than three feet tall. “Smithers, old man, tell your new CO about yourself.”

“Well, sir, I graduated with honours from Sandhurst, joined the regiment and won the Military Cross and Bar after three expeditions behind enemy lines. I’ve represented Great Britain in equestrian events, and won a Silver Medal in the middleweight division of the Olympics. I have researched the history of…..”

Here the colonel interrupted, “Yes, yes, never mind that Smithers, he can find all that in your file. Tell him about the day you told the witch doctor to fuck off.”

The Board of the prominent town charity had always hoped for a donation from the city’s most successful lawyer. So when the charity’s new Director was hired, she thought she would impress the Board by getting a big check out of him.

She made an appointment with the lawyer and visited him in his lavish office. She opened the meeting by saying, “Our research shows that even though your annual income is over ten million dollars, you don’t give a penny to charity. Wouldn’t you like to give something back to your community through the town charity?”

The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, “First, did your research also show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?”

Embarrassed, the new Director mumbles, “Uh… no, I didn’t know that.”

“Secondly,” says the lawyer, “my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children.”

The stricken charity representative begins to stammer an apology, but is cut off again.

“Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister’s husband died in a dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a big mortgage and three children, one of whom is disabled, and another has learning disabilities requiring an array of private tutors?”

The humiliated Director, completely beaten, says, “I’m sorry, I had no idea.”

“So,” the lawyer concludes, “if I don’t give them any money, what makes you think I’d ever give any to you?

I think we’ve had this before (like so many others!)

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death’s agony, he suddenly smells the aroma of his favourite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathers his remaining strength and lifts himself from the bed.

Leaning against the wall, he slowly makes his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forces himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.

With labored breath, he leans against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen.

Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out upon racks on the kitchen table, were literally hundreds of his favourite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he throws himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips part; the wondrous taste of the cookie was nearly in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life.

The aged and withered hand, shaking, makes its way to a cookie at the edge of the table — where it is suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. “Stay out of those!” she said. “They’re for the funeral.”