King Charles III – Guess Who’s Running the Royal Family?

The English import to Broadway, King Charles III, is an imagining of what happens when Elizabeth II finally dies.

Charles has his chance at last. Camilla is in about-to-be-Queen heaven. Unfortunately, Charles’ first act is to refuse to assent to a bill from Parliament that would restrict freedom of the press, which is funny in itself given the invasion of his family’s privacy over the years.

Charles, it turns out, is not only the bleeding heart liberal we all knew him to be, but is also stubborn beyond reason. The result is a constitutional crisis and an unexpected outcome.

The actors have the Royals spot on, all of them: the new King and his consort, William and Kate, even Prince Harry. But it turns out that the most capable one of the bunch is former commoner Kate Middleton. It is Kate who plots the downfall of her father-in-law and prods William to the climactic scene where William confronts his father and demands he abdicate.

Charles looks at his son in despair and says, “I’ve only seen eyes that burned with that much ambition once before. You have Diana’s eyes.”

And England gets its fairy tale King and Queen.




Dinner Party via Wikimedia Commons

A new website, Dilettantepedia, just launched. It provides the minimum amount of information about any subject that a dilettante needs to appear knowledgeable about that subject. Just enough, but certainly no more than the minimum quantity that will allow the user to demonstrate his far-reaching expertise.

Dilettantepedia is the polar opposite of Wikipedia, which provides such complete information about every subject that it is not useful to the dilettante. The overload of information is a source of much trouble in the world today, as dilettantes are being upstaged by people who claim more and more depth in a subject, more depth, in fact, than anyone else cares about. Those people are Info-zealots, extremists who do not tolerate a change of subject until every last crumb of information has been regurgitated from Wikipedia. This leads to excessive drinking by their dinner partners and has resulted in an increasing number of DWI arrests.

Dilettantepedia encourages a quick change of conversation topic, leaving the Wikipedia bore floundering with his cell phone while the dilettante races assuredly from one subject to another. A key feature of Dilettantepedia is a link to related subjects, which allows the user to change the topic while demonstrating to all the listeners that he is fully informed on almost everything.

The Dilettantepedia theme song is:

I know a little bit about a lot o’ things,

But I don’t know enough about you.

Just when I think you’re mine,

You try a different line,

And baby, what can I do?

The aspiring dilettante who accesses the new website will immediately find that the lyrics were written and recorded by Peggy Lee. He will not find that it was orchestrated by Dave Barbour, that it was recorded by the Mills Brothers or a mass of other useless information, for that matterGertie_dinner_party. It will provide a quick link to Peggy Lee’s movie career, where the only information will be that she almost won an Academy Award for Pete Kelly’s Blues and allow  several more changes of topic before his dinner partners know what hit them.

Dog Hater Closes Broadway Play


Munkustrap via Wikipedia |

We sat through on of the last performances of the Broadway play, Sylvia, starring Matthew Broderick, and have it on good authority that it closed because of a review in The New York Times written by critic who said he was a “cat person.” Sylvia is about a man and his dog. In the play, the dog is played by a very attractive young actress.

My authority sat in front of us at the performance. I was talking to the man beside me and told him how much we had enjoyed China Doll with Al Pacino, even though it was savaged by the Times reviewer. The man in front of us, a short, solidly built New Yorker in a leather jacket turned and said, “There’s the Cat Guy.”

“Who?” I asked.

“The Times critic. He said he was a cat person. He wrote a terrible review about this play too. Now both of them are closing.”


“If the Times critic doesn’t like you, you’re chopped liver. And I should know. I’m a producer of both shows.”

I have a description of the guy. If you’re planning on opening a Broadway play, I suggest you avoid him. Unless your play is about cats. Such as Cats.

Cornwall Council votes in favour of placing rubber rings around concrete posts

Source: Cornwall Council votes in favour of placing rubber rings around concrete posts


offline-525700_1280We were recently notified by management of the building where we live that guest parking and certain parts of the cafe would be “offline” during an event which would require those spaces. I was not familiar with that use of the term “offline” but I like it so much I have decided to adopt it. For example, I am notifying management that my monthly payments will be offline for the same period that my guests had to walk an extra two blocks, multiplied by the time that my favorite dining table was offline.
I am also warning the city that payment of the $2,000 drainage fee they mistakenly calculated for my property will be offline until they get their act together.
I am notifying the IRS that my delay in filing was caused by my being offline and therefore I require an extension.
Finally, Charlie Strong has said the reason for the UT football team’s recent loss to Iowa State was that the Longhorns were offline. 
That explains everything.


TXM-logo-2014-with-tag-olFollowing the example of its contract with Texas Mutual, in which the insurance company funds fraud prosecutions by its office, the Travis County district attorney’s office is now requiring that all victims of crime pay for the prosecution of the accused.

“Where else would we get the money?” a spokesman for the office asked. “The Texas legislature does not like this office.” Under the new rules, the victim of a house burglary, for example, will be required to pay for the cost of an investigator, a spreadsheet preparer, a crime lab technician, fifteen minutes of a trial lawyer’s time if a plea deal is made, and four weeks for the lawyer and other costs if the case goes to trial. “I know that seems like a lot,” the spokesman said, “but it may be covered by insurance. Or it may not be.”

Murder victims present a different problem, if the family is unwilling or unable to pay for an expensive investigation and trial. “People really should consider this eventuality in their estate planning,” the spokesman warned.


Brought to us by our pals at Wikipedia.

Brought to us by our pals at Wikipedia.

Austin carpenters, stone masons, plumbers  and electricians have demanded the same rights as Austin taxi companies. They argue that their rates should be protected against price cutting, that the number of new workers in their trades should be limited by the city and that persons wanting to become a plumber, for example, should be finger-printed and subjected to a background check.

A union spokesman said, “This system worked so well in the 12th and 13th Century, I don’t know why we ever got away from it. In Medieval times, no one within a town could practice a craft without belonging to the appropriate guild associations.The purpose of the guilds was to maintain a monopoly of a particular craft especially against outsiders. For example, the harness makers would get together and figure out what the owners of business needed from that trade then allow as many masters to set up shop as the business could support.”

“Back then regulations prevented poor workmanship. Each article had to be stamped as approved. In Florence the number of dyers was specified by the guild. In one place it was forbidden to sell pigs fattened by a barber-surgeon lest the pig had been fattened on rich peoples’ blood. The City of Austin should have a similar rule. Price-cutting was strictly forbidden. This works so well for the taxis. It will work for the rest of us too.”

A city committee supports the changes. One member of the committee studying the changes bristled at the suggestion that Austin might lose craftsmen if the new regulations are put in place. “This is a matter of public safety. These people come into our homes. They could just be anybody. They all need to be finger-printed and their backgrounds checked. If that means some additional city workers, it will be worth it. Besides, no one ever leaves Austin. We know that.”

The committee also voted in favor of charging craftsmen an annual fee of either 1 percent of gross revenues or a per-craftsman permit fee of $450 per year for each craftsman. The fees will be added to the amount they must charge their customers. “Somebody has to pay for all that finger-printing.”

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Photo owned by

Photo owned by

In 1983  officials visiting from Adelaide, Australia, gifted Austin, its sister city, a large opal brooch now worth tens of thousands of dollars. In return, Austin gave a bronze longhorn valued at $1,200.

According to reports in the Austin American Statesman, the Adelaide City Council wants the opal back. “If it’s just being put away and not really valued, then we thought it would be a nice historical thing to put it back where it belonged,” Adelaide City Councillor Anne Moran said.

The Australian request has stirred up other countries wanting their gifts back. The French Cultural Heritage Commission has requested the return of the Statue of Liberty. “It just sits out on that island all alone. It needs to come back to the environment where it was made, Paris, the greatest city in the world,” a Commission spokesman said. The plan is to re-erect it  opposite the Eiffel Tower on the Trocadero. “You know the language on it, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’? We French have all these immigrants now and you are building a wall. It just works better here.”

The British have also filed a request. They are seeking the return of Cornwallis’ sword, surrendered at the Battle of Yorktown. There are various accounts of what became of the surrender sword after the battle: some claim General Washington kept it for a few years and then had it returned to Lord Cornwallis, while some believe the sword remains in America’s possession, perhaps in the White House. Other reports say it was last seen when Harry Truman wore it to a Knights of Columbus celebration and lost it in a poker game. “If you ain’t got it, you can’t give it back,” a State Department source said.


From a great blog

From a great blog

The former secretary of the Nobel Prize committee expressed disappointment in President Barack Obama yesterday, saying that he failed to live up to the committee’s expectations. The committee didn’t achieve what the committee had hoped for.” We thought giving him the Nobel Prize would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect.”

Even though the Obama experiment of rewarding potential rather than performance did not work in Obama’s case, the committee will not abandon the experiment. For example, a spokesman who could not be identified because he was not authorized to speak, spoke, saying “The committee is considering giving the prize to Bernie Sanders, who is running for U.S. president and could use the help.” Another politician the committee might like to boost is Britain’s new Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. “We like what they stand for and receiving the Nobel Prize would strengthen either of them.They have great potential. A joint prize might be in order.”

The spokesman denied there had been any discussion of asking Obama to return the 10 million Swedish krona prize. “He still has a year on his term. Maybe he will surprise us and do something prize-worthy. Of course, if he doesn’t, he could always follow in Jimmy Carter’s footsteps and do good works, build houses, watch elections, travel to North Korea, things like that. Maybe even go to Jerusalem and criticize Israel. We won’t ask for the money back as long as he shows any potential at all ”


Photo by our friends at

Photo by our friends at

The Association of Deeply Religious Public Officials has urged its members to follow the example of the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because to do so would betray her conscience and her god. ADPRO released a statement urging its thousands of members to be  “front-line soldiers” in the fight against sin and “root it out of our national life, the way the Founding Fathers and Jesus intended.”

Already, an Arkansas liquor board clerk stopped issuing liquor licenses because his religion forbids the use of alcohol.  “I refuse to further the drinking of spirits. If I have to go to jail because of my conscience, at least I’ll be in the company of men who are not drinking.”

A building department official in Chicago refused to issue a building permit to a drug store because it sold contraceptive devices, which “deeply offended” his Catholic teachings. “Just say no or risk your immortal soul,” the official implored young people.

A move theater occupancy permit in Atlanta was refused by an official when he learned the owners intended to screen “Gone With the Wind” without deleting Rhett Butler’s famous last words, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a d..n.” The clerk said, “I do not go to the motion pictures, so I cannot say for certain, but my pastor has told me that even worse swear works are being used in movies. I find that hard to believe.”

In Waco a permit to operate loudspeakers past eight o’clock at night was refused by a local official because they were to be used to play music for dancing. “Dancing is a sin, has always been a sin and will always be a sin, regardless what the president of Baylor University says,” the official said.