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Fishing

While on holidays, Jimmy was walking along a pier, when he notices an old man smoking an imaginary pipe, with his bare feet in the sea and fishing with an imaginary fishing rod.

Puzzled, Jimmy walks towards the old man. ‘What are you doing?’

‘Fishing for cunts,’ the old man replied.

‘Sounds good. Can I join you?’

‘Sure. Sit down, son.’

Jimmy sits down, puts his feet in the sea water and casts his imaginary fishing rod. ‘So how many cunts have you caught today?’

‘You’re the third one this morning,’ the old man replied.

Banned For Life

‘English is a crazy language, isn’t it?’ I said. ‘I mean, there is neither egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down.’

‘Don’t fucking go there,’ Jimmy sighed. ‘That is what me got banned from the local swimming pool for life.’

‘The vagaries of the English language?’ I asked.

‘Let’s just say the breaststroke is not what it sounds like.’

The Imitation Game

 

I hope the new film based on the life of Alan Turning, a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, called The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Kinightley is successful and faithful to the life of Turing, given how badly he was treated after the war he helped to win.

During World War Two, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain’s codebreaking centre. and devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany. Turing’s pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles.

After the war Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, when such acts were still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with estrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning.

An inquest determined his death a suicide; his mother and some others believed it was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated.”

The Queen of England, in a homage to the too little too late cliché, granted him a posthumous pardon on 24 December 2013.