Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A moment on a train in London

 Unless you don't know that canaries in cages were used to detect poisonous gases in the mines years ago this joke might go past you.

An assistant in a pet shop says to the lady who just came in. Madam I am not saying that your perfume is strong. But all the canaries in the cage were alive before you came in.

A moment from years ago came back to me.

We were on the train which was packed into London from Heathrow and there was a Russian girl standing beside me. Now I am the kind of person who will talk to a drop dead girl. I asked her if she was a model, she said no and asked me what made me say that. Her blue eyes were fascinating and she carried herself very well.

"Well no. I have just graduated from the London school of fashion" and she was starting her own clothing company to sell clothes on line. Wow that is so different. What is the name of the company. ??

Boohoo ! After a few minutes I said Fashion without tears. I will use that. You're welcome.

We talked on and soon. her station came up and I gave her a lift out with her bags. I put my hand out to touch her shoulder and she just slid into my arms and gave me a kiss on the lips. And she was gone.

Her company went from strength to strength.   Then the press got involved and said that her clothes were being made in third world countries with slave labour.

You know this is happening all over. Iphones are being assembled for 50c

She was one of these Russian billionaire families and her brother is now running the company.

I hope that those fantastic blue eyes are still smiling.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Spring Forward Fall Back (Clocks)

Oh Boy. I am sure that there are a few people going around wondering why their mobile phone had the wrong time this morning. Truth be told the phone was right.
As usual a politician was on saying that the winter/summer time difference should end. It was changed a few years ago and kids were killed walking to school in the dark mornings.
America (USA) has 3 time zones from side to side. Sometimes I wonder if you have to change your watch to go from one side of the road to the other. Our phones keep us right to the millisecond.
I have around 6 watches, I don't even know where the 2 most expensive ones are, but the other 4 only cost me around €10 each !! I bought a watch in a market for £10 and after a while the battery went and I brought it to a jeweller. as he was fitting the battery I asked him if it was a good watch. No its only a cheap Chinese movement he said. Worthless. So 18 months later it stopped again and I went to the late great Tommy Cummins in Fairview.
He opened it up and told me that it had got a blow and that one of the teeth on a cog was broken. I told him to dump it so......."Are you mad? "I could repair and service that watch,  then I will issue you with a certificate of authency any if you brought it to a collector you would make in excess of £!,000. So I told him what the other guy said.    He needs to go back to watch school said Tommy. Tommy was a good man he died of Cancer RIP.

The most celebrated client I ever met was the multi billionaire Chuck Feeney (He is in my book The steering wheel university) 
Chuck invented duty free shopping and became a rich man. He wore a cheap $10 Casio watch though he gave away more than 8 billion dollars. Why would I wear an expensive watch when I could do so much more with the money.
I stayed in touch with him for more than 10 years and the contact was great, he was as wise as a fox.

He died in Jan. The world will miss him.

Thanks to him I know how to invest my future lottery winnings.

I may have told you this before. .BUT
I checked my Lottery ticket before I went to bed.
"Its a winner!" First prize €33 million.
I got ready for bed and checked it again....Its a winner....WOW
So I went to bed and at 7.30 I checked it again Still a winner.
I got the bus into the Lottery HQ and handed in my ticket and I got the biggest kick on the arse that I ever got in my life.
 "Yes you've won a ticket into the Millionaire raffle."
You see the system has to calculate the prize and we do not know until 8.00am what the prize will be.
"Could you not just say, you have won a prize?
I wrote in as I felt so badly about it to no avail.
A couple of years later I had the solution and wrote again.

Dear Sir
I am writing to you requesting that you change the wording on your website from "Its A Winner" to "You have won a prize"
I am employed with the Garda and the fire service and I try and talk down suicide victims who are about to kill themselves. I spent 3 hours with a young man on the cliffs at Howth last week, when we got him to come back it transpired that he thought that his financial problems had been sorted and he could not face life any longer when he found out that his ticket was useless.
Please Please change the wording to "YOU HAVE WON A PRIZE"

And they did it

My cousin Gordon had the best opinion about the Lottery.
This is the best thing I ever saw. 
A tax on stupidity.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Happy St. Patricks Day

Well tomorrow will be St.Patricks day. A day to be celebrated all over the world.
There is a wealth of stories of how the Irish were sent there as slaves to work in the sugar plantations. Slavery was widespread. The singer Riana is of that stock.
I see that the Black Irish was downloaded and that song of the migrant.
The song was written by a Garda who was travelling on a bus when the song came to hin. He had a pen and note book, so he wrote it down. Bing Crosbie the famous American singer had an international hit. The royalties paid for his house. Then it features in the Quiet man movie the income put his kids through collage, then it appeared again in Stephen Spielberg's movie ET. Which paid for his retirement home in Spain.
One interesting point is that he wrote this fantastic hit song. It came just like that and he never wrote another one.
I found out that they are going to knock down an iconic Dublin pub The Brian Boru on Prospect Ave to make way for the construction of the new metro railway.
The story about this pub that is stuck in my mind concerns a pub across the way The Gravediggers. Just at the back of the cemetery. Well the story goes that one of the Dubliners folk group had died and all the best of Irish talent had gathered in the pub to celebrate his life.
The owner of the pub was (I forget his first name ) Kavanagh and he was very fixed in his ways. After a while a banjo came and when the first chord sounded the owner shouted.
"There is no music in this pub, if I let you sing today that lot over there will be singing tomorrow. And they can't sing a note" 
Everyone to a man finished up their drinks and walked over to the Brian Boru where they sang all night and nearly drank the pub dry.
By the way The Gravediggers is one of Dublin's best pubs.

The Isle Of Innisfree

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

As darkness falls good night

 As most of you know I have retired and my son David has taken over the job. He is very nervous about it but I suppose we all were at the start. He has people to meet and places to go for sure.

So the main reason that things came to such a sudden stop was my wife's illness. It is nothing fatal like Cancer thank God, but I have to be htre.

So here is a story which hinges on a remark made by a passenger.(Chuck Feeney)I would love to be a taxi driver if I was starting my life again, you hear so much. It only takes one idea to turn you into a millionaire. Chuck invented duty free shopping and became a billionaire. But unlike most people becoming rich he gave it all away.

Look up the book about him "The billionaire who wasn't by Conor O'Cleary. I stayed in touch with Chuck for more than 10 years after we met. Such a great guy.

So on with the story.

Outside London there was a railway station with a car park. People used to commute to London from there. It was busy enough.

If it was raining there was potholes and with the bad lighting people would walk through the puddles. So one day signs went up giving notice about work starting over the next 4 weekends.

Lighting went in, followed by1/2 the car park having drainage done and a fine tarmac top. The following week the other side was done and lines were painted, so People knew where to park. Then came the parking ticket machines. Cheap enough at the beginning, offenders were clamped but things settled down through the years.

One day when the commuters came they found that the ticket machines were all full, they went into the station master who rang the contact number, no reply. He rang the railway company who rang back to say that they had no record of the car park. Locksmiths were called and the parking meters were drilled out, emptied and new locks fitted. 

Some guy had spotted the situation and took it over for more than 20 years. He bought his house, sent his kids to university, he probably bought a house in Spain as well before walking away.

He did no harm to anyone.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Happy St. Valentines day

Did you know that there is a relic to St.Valentine .

It can be found in the Carmelite church on Whitefriar St.

There is a post box inside where you can drop in a note to tell him exactly what you want. "That last fella you sent was no good, he didn't want to work at all"

Anyhoo I should be on my way to Blackpool tomorrow morning, but I have to stay here to take care of my wife. Nothing too severe sciatica.

It has been going on for more than 12 weeks now. All that time with no taxi work. I passed to taxi to my son. But I really do miss the outing every day.

To get back to Blackpool. What's on. 

The Worlds biggest magic convention, thats what's on.

100 +magic dealers selling things to preform the smallest magic trick in your hand to something to make a car vanish and everything in between. Then there are lectures where great magicians share their secrets with keen listeners.

Some magicians are really friendly and Paul Daniels was a great example. I met him a few times and I went to a few of his lectures.

He was coming to Belfast and I sent him an email telling him that I was coming. On arrival Paul was talking to a group of magicians in a corner of the hall. I walked in and Paul shouted over.

"Gentlemen take a look at this fine man who has just come in. Take a good look and you can plainly see that he is very wealthy. After all he won't spend money on good clothes." I don't know where it came from, but I said "Or wigs Paul" to which he replied "Touché". Then I came back with "Toupee"

He ran across and gave me a big hug.

Debbie McGee was at some function as a special guest and she spoke of Pauls death. No matter where we were we drove back home if we did not have another show in the area. Paul would drive and then one day he asked Debbie to drive, then there was headaches, when he finally went into hospital he had a massive brain tumour. But he passed away with no pain.

Magic is so accessible now with the internet.

Look for

Bill Malone. Harry Cardines Santos, Harry Lorayne, Eugene Burger.

All of them do DVDs and soon you will have your party piece.

My favourite one is to take a €5 note and in full view fold it once, twice, three times and then blow on it and it has turned into a €50.

I have a deck of cards and all the faces are different but the backs are the same. A prediction card in an envelope is placed on the table.

I deal face down cards until the person says stop.

Then I deal the other cards from the bottom face up.

There is a prediction in this envelope, I know that it is right.

You open up the envelope and it doesn't match. Front or back.

After a pause you turn the chosen cards over and they match. Front and back.

Rene Levant was in Blackpool and after the show I saw him with a group of people. He was standing at the top of a small curved staircase, near the edge. I went over to congratulate him on his performance. I was waiting for my moment when someone came over from the other side. He stepped back and came tumbling down the stairs. (He only had one arm)I remembered that before I grabbed him in a bear hug and shot back down the stairs backwards with him in my arms.

Was he grateful ? He roared at me in Spanish and he and they all thought that I had pushed him down the stairs. In many ways looking back there is a saying.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Perhaps next year

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Romeo and Juliet

 Love and passion hit the paper on Tuesday.

Constance Marten a British aristocrat had a baby and fled from their folks in freezing weather with their new born baby Victoria. Her lover is coloured, so perhaps this is the reason why they panicked. The police found them sleeping in a tent that they bought from Argos in the freezing weather,

A couple of days later they found the babys body in a plastic bag under a pile of branches.

A situation of unbearable pain for everyone.

Today near Boston a lady sleeping in a wheelie bin was tipped into the bin lorry and crushed by the compactor.

The poor are always with us but when you see that Elon Musk wanted to pay himself over 50 billion, but it has been blocked on behalf of his shareholders.

A great bumper sticker seen on a Tesla.

I bought this car before I knew Elon Musk was mad

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The worst thing ever

Like many people we do not buy the paper, on line is so much cheaper and quicker. Today in the London Times there was a story of a father and infant son found dead in a house. 

The dad was 20 and the child was 2. 

The father had died of a heart attack and the child died from starvation and dehydration.

Social services were on the case and they went to the house on the 2nd of Jan and got no reply. They reported it to the police who gained access to the house on the 8th and found the bodies.

When I went back to check on the facts the story has been removed.

I have no faith in the police whatever. I tried to report a guy who was sexually molesting a mentally handclapped girl.

"Unless we saw him doing it there is nothing we can do."

That letter went to the Garda commissioner.

I wrote to 4 care homes in the area, none of them would reply.


Another time I had 2 guys who were looking for a guy to shoot him.

Honestly (Its in the book)

The Garda station in Tallagh told me "Don't come in here telling us fairy stories"

One last story from my past. There was a ram raid on an off licence beside the International telephone exchange on Marlborough St. One of the lads called the boys in blue. But they had skidalled before the Garda arrived. A police car waited for the owner to come.

"Thank God I have CCTV said the owner"

So long ago that they didn't know what CCTV was.

When the tape was played back the Garda car was shown to have stolen more than the robbers. 

But we all know he was just holding it for safe keeping.