Pooh Bear

It is reported that a street performer in Madrid who dresses up as Winnie the Pooh was asked to stay out of sight as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s motorcade passed so as not to offend the President who some claim bears a close resemblance to the storybook bear.

I’ve talked about this one before,
So some of you should know the score,
And that our old friend Mr Xi,
Thinks that the Pooh Bear looks like he.

In China, therefore, Pooh is banned,
Throughout that quite enormous land,
So Chinese who would read in bed,
Must try with Paddington instead.

But recently Xi went to Spain,
Where most people do not refrain,
From reading Pooh and playing sticks,
Which might well get on Chinese wicks.

One problem they discovered, though,
Was that Xi Jinping planned to go,
Across the square where he could be,
Upset by something he might see.

The sight in question was a man,
There making money if he can,
By dressing up just like Pooh Bear,
And being snapped with tourists there.

And though you might think it absurd,
The police just simply had a word,
And asked if he saw Mr Xi,
Perhaps he might then go for tea.

And so he did, no-one was sad,
For tourists it was not too bad,
And he avoided, absent thus,
A right old diplomatic fuss.


School report

It is reported that a review of school reports has concluded that they have become too long and time-consuming.

The school reports we know of old,
We’re written so they briefly told,
Our parents what their brat had done,
Be it a daughter or a son.

The words used then were rather terse,
And seldom was there any verse,
But set concisely to the letter:
Was ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ or ‘Could do better’.

But now, as with most things, they’ve grown,
So teachers must write them at home,
Because it takes up too much time,
And even then they’re not in rhyme.

So how to improve on this mess?
It isn’t hard, as you might guess,
To report work of girl or son:
Just ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ or maybe ‘None’.


Blackboard math-teacher-2004081_960_720

It is reported that schools have been excluding poorly performing pupils in order to improve their exam results.

The headteacher was in a mood,
When head of maths sought to intrude,
He asked what might the matter be,
Which seemed to be upsetting he.

The answer that he got was strange:
Results, he said, were out of range,
And exam averages were now,
Much less than they should be somehow.

He wondered now what things he might,
Bring in or change to put things right,
And so as to allay his fears,
He was open to all ideas.

The maths man said, “It is quite clear,
That averages are low, I fear,
Because some students aren’t too bright,
And don’t get many questions right.

So if you try to calculate,
The averages as they relate,
To maths and other subjects too,
You’ll find the digits rather few.

The calculation’s quite precise,
It doesn’t need to be done twice,
But averages increase if you,
Exclude from the exams a few,
Of those who mess about and fight,
And never get the answers right.”

The head man said, “Well bless my soul.
I understand that on the whole.
I’ll set about it right away,
And thank you for you’ve made my day.

It won’t take much more than a tick,
To search out now those who are thick,
And them from the school roll remove,
So averages will then improve.

But tell me, if you wouldn’t mind,
If maths can do some other kind,
Of calculation which might be,
Of benefit to you, not me?

Particularly, I would ask,
If it is equal to the task,
Of working out the bonus I,
Expect quite soon might be sky-high!”



It is reported that President Macron’s initiative to reintroduce national service is really just an unhelpful publicity stunt.

That Macron guy with the blonde wife,
Does anything to save his life,
And recently he has decreed,
That teenagers who are in need,
Should spend some time and learn to stamp,
In some armed forces training camp.

And so all the teenagers shall,
Engage in Service National,
For several weeks, perhaps no more,
Than maximum, I think, of four.

He thinks that this will go down well,
With those in Rally National,
And so with this he really hopes,
That he will get a lot more votes.

The generals, though, say, “This is daft.
They’ll not learn any army craft.

For just four weeks is far too short,
And there are other things we ought,
To be engaged in in our trade,
In case the Russians might invade.

So all this is a waste of time,
No matter it’s in prose or rhyme;
The President has lost his wits,
And just wants us to babysit!


Blackboard turn-on-3064510_960_720

It is reported that staff at Buckingham University are being trained to treat students for mental health disorders if they should nod off during lectures.

This is a rather strange affair;
A university says where,
A student in a lecture sleeps,
Which may be shallow, might be deep,
It might be ’cos he is quite ill,
And possibly should take a pill.

His mental health might be at stake,
Which makes it hard to stay wake,
And teachers should know what to do,
In case of these they get a few.

The first step is to recognise,
At least by teachers who are wise,
If he was out the night before,
Or if the lecture’s just a bore.

For these the answer, as a rule,
Is flick some chalk, which can be cruel,
For if it hits him on the head,
There’s a small chance he’ll end up dead.

The teacher’s then in some distress,

To flinging chalk he must confess,
And since this is beyond the pale,
He might just find himself in jail.

And so the uni says ’twill train,
Its lecturers so they refrain,
From flicking chalk around the place,
Aimed at one of the human race.

So teachers go on day release,
They’re told that flicking chalk’s to cease,
And they can postulate instead,
That he is going off his head.

So over to the NHS,
Assigned to cure him, more or less,
And now if someone drifts away,
This is by far the safest way.

So everybody’s pretty pleased,
The lecturers’ hard task is eased,
And students who’ve been on the beer,
Can make out they’re just feeling queer!



It is reported that the French Word Police (the Commission for the Enrichment of the French Language or CELF) are, as always, trying to come up with alternatives to English words that are popular in France; in particular they don’t like ‘fake news’.

The French are pompous, there’s no doubt,
They like to talk and strut about,
And nothing much gets up their nose,
Like people speaking English prose.

Their language, they say, is so good,
All men would speak it if they could,
And one thing that they cannot bear,
Is English words included there.

The latest they don’t like’s fake news,
Or information fallacieuse,
But this is so long-winded that,
Campaigns to use it will fall flat.

Courriel – that’s email to you,
Might have a better chance, it’s true,
But even though the word is short,
It’s harder to say than you thought.

And that’s just two, there’s many more,
Some that you won’t have heard before,
Like for a smartphone from today,
Please mobile multifonction say.

And finally, the worst of all,
(They’re banging heads now on brick wall)
To have within French etiquette:
L’acèss sans fil à l’internet. Accent grave ..ess. a

You likely know fil is a wire,
(That’s from French ‘O’level or higher)
And so this snappy turn of phrase,
Describes a current modern craze,
Which, if you’re wond’ring what or why,
Is French shorthand and means Wi-fi.

Image – Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com


Duodecimal table

It is reported that the Dozenal Society of Great Britain wants everybody to count to a base of twelve, not ten; the dozenal system not the metric system.

Now everybody counts in tens:
There’s farmers with their sheep and hens,
The bankers who count all the cash,
And binmen who collect the trash.

All these folk have ten fingers so,
It’s pretty logical to go,
And use a number system that,
Will work for counting this and that.

But others say that twelve is best,
Because, compared to all the rest,
This number’s lots of factors so,
Can be divided as I’ll show.

To see all this you have to take,
Some sort of pudding, pie or cake,
Divide it into three or four,
And then see who might want some more.

If they do you might go for six,
Small pieces that won’t make them sick,
But if they’re pigs the thing to do,
Is simply cut the cake in two.

But if the base is different then,
You have to go for five or ten;
Of freedom you have less degrees,
To cut it for your guests to please.

So far, so good for eating cake,
But if most people try to make,
Some sense of numbers after nine,
They’ll get it wrong most every time.

For all our brains have been imbued,
With metric measures for our food,
And since our brains just cannot cope,
A change to twelve has little hope.

Computers work with base sixteen,
But ere we see it on the screen,
They check results and only then,
Convert it back to base of ten.

Image – RodrigoSampaioPrimo Binadot / Wikimedia commons