D’ya hear yer man

The last degree

Did you hear that you can now study The A-Team as a recognised university degree?

If you pass you get a BA Honours.

Five Pounds and Eighteen Shillings Man

You’re very likely to have heard of the Six Million Dollar Man. Well this week I learnt of Lurgan’s equivalent - the Five Pounds and Eighteen Shillings Man.

It turns out that’s how much my dad cost. He was doing a bit of a tidy up the other day and came across a receipt for his birth.

Because my granny had gone private she was charged per day for her hospital stay when giving birth to my dad. She was in for eight days and upon leaving the hospital she was billed five pounds and eighteen shillings for the privilege of giving birth to George Arthur Clarke Cousins.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, but here’s my question... now that the receipt for my dad has been discovered, do you think it’s too late to bring him back and exchange him?

Guilty cravings

I’d been told to expect Karen to develop loads of obscure cravings during pregnancy. Things like gravy burgers and pizzas topped with popcorn.

Fortunately during the past eight months she’s only had one yearning for junk. Unfortunately that one yearning has been for the X Factor.

Like any good husband rather than deny my wife this guilty craving I’ve entered into the spirit of things. I must say, it really is a load of old doot.

But what just about makes it watchable is the over-the-top drama attached to this karaoke contest. You’ve got the good guys, the bad guys, the damsels in distress, the injustice, the heartbreak, and the possibility that Louis Walsh might get taken away by men in white coats at any moment. Every box on the trash TV proforma has been ticked.

What surprises me the most about the hopefuls is how they have the composure to sing in front of thousands of people in a live audience and millions of people watching on TV, yet as soon as they stop singing they turn into jibbering messes, in need of a box of mansize tissues or better still a slap in the bake.

I wouldn’t like to see one of the X Factor contestants trying to navigate the ‘10 Items Or Less’ queue in Tesco...

“Sorry love, but you have 15 items here. This is the ‘10 Items Or Less’ queue.”

“But I... sniff... some of these items are for my great aunt who suffers from asthma... sob.”

“What part of ‘10 Items Or Less’ do you not understand?”

“Oh, please... gulp.... you have to put me through... these 15 items are the only things that are important in my life right now. Please... sniff... please put me through.”

“Sorry, no can do.”

“What if I put three of the items back?”

“Try five and you’ve got a deal.”

“Seriously... sob... if I put five items back, you’ll put me through?”


“Oh my God. You don’t know how much this means to me. Hug... kiss... sob. I can’t believe you’re putting me through.”

“Well, can you hurry up then?”

“OK, but can I phone my sister first to tell her the good news?”

High spirits

A ghost walks into a bar.

The barman says, “Sorry, we don’t serve spirits in here.”

“That’s fine,” says the ghost, “I’m only after a pint of Harp.”

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was 59 minutes.

After one minute the single germ from the first example which took an hour to fill the jar will have become two germs. Therefore, if you start with two germs it will take one minute less to fill the jar, ie 59 minutes.

Here’s this week’s teaser: You are on a train with a father and his son.

The son tells you he is 22. His father is slightly more cryptic about his age. He says, “I’m as old as my son’s age, plus half of my own age?” Resisting the urge to throw him off the train for being so obtuse, can you work out what age the father is?