Sunday, 10 May 2020


"The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." - Socrates

During the current inconveniences there appear to be a lot of remote quizzes taking place. I haven't done any myself - my innate miserable git overcoming my love of showing off how much I know - but people have taken to using me as their "phone a friend" option. Presumably they are using the term 'friend' loosely, but I am happy to oblige if I can. Obviously some questions are more in my sphere than others. It's one thing asking me in which Shakespeare play a certain character appeared, but quite another asking what number was painted on Herbie the Love Bug. (Having said that, now I know it's 53 I don't suppose I'll ever forget.) My good nature in this has, I'm sorry to say, been abused. One lady started to ask me answers to her crossword puzzles. And I don't mean the worthwhile, cryptic kind, I mean the what's another word for 'house' kind. I began to suspect that she wasn't putting a huge amount of mental effort in herself, which was rather confirmed when she asked me for another word for 'stick', three letters 'R', something, 'D'.

"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know." - Mark Twain

Which brings me to a little quiz of my own. In a comment to yesterday's post Mr nundanket (and the lack of capital letter still bothers me) posits that the British have never won a war against a significant foe without having allies. The question that I have subsequently asked myself and to which I have not yet come up with a satisfactory answer is: when was the last time that any nation apart from Israel won a war against a significant foe unaided? Any suggestions?

Let's finish with a joke, followed by some Little Richard (with Jimi Hendrix in the backing band):

A suspected Covid-19 male patient is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. A young student female nurse appears and gives him a partial sponge bath.
"Nurse,"' he mumbles from behind the mask, "are my testicles black?"
Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, "I don't know, Sir. I'm only here to wash your upper body and feet."
He struggles to ask again, "Nurse, please check for me. Are my testicles black?"
Concerned that he might elevate his blood pressure and heart rate from worrying about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and pulls back the covers.

She raises his gown, holds his manhood in one hand and his testicles gently in the other.
She looks very closely and says, "There's nothing wrong with them, Sir. They look fine."
The man slowly pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her, and says very slowly,
"Thank you very much. That was wonderful. Now listen very, very, closely:
"Are - my - test - results - back?"


  1. It’s all about the branding aligning with the business values so my design consultant tells me. The business values in question being half-arsed inattention to detail.

    Good question by the way. The French in the Revolutionary Wars? Plus the French in 1805/6/7 (not counting conquered territories like Italy and Belgium as allies)?

    Initially I thought of Germany in the Franco-Prussian War but it was the North German Confederation so in practice it was an alliance. If they’d waited a year they could have claimed the titile ;-)