SHEEP IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

Shaun the sheep 1

It is reported that farmers near Lyon have been parading their sheep through the city in protest at the number being killed by wolves which were re-introduced to south-eastern France in the 1990s.

The French know well how to protest,
And farmers there are quite the best;
They know just how to get their way,
On this or any other day.

So when wolves started eating sheep,
Instead of counting them to sleep,
The farmers started to get tough,
Because by now they’d had enough.

So they took over Central Square,
To consternation of the Mayor,
And filled it up with many sheep,
In rows that were a hundred deep.

The wolves, however, kept away,
Although the square was full of prey,
For though the wolves had lots of pluck,
They didn’t want to push their luck.

So they kept themselves out of sight,
Lest they should give the folk a fright,
For with the sheep and some to spare,
The wolves were all outnumbered there.

They knew that if they stayed away,
They’d live to fight another day,
And in the hills they could all keep,
Still feasting on the farmers’ sheep.

Image – Elliott Brown / Flickr

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THE BELLS! THE BELLS!

Church

It is reported that the local council on the Cumbrian village of Coniston has ordered the bells of the parish church to be silenced during the night following complaints by the new owners of the village pub and its guests.

You’d think that if you went away,
Such as, perhaps, on holiday,
You’d want to take in sights and sounds,
Because that’s why you’ve paid your pounds.

And if you’re in a village small,
One thing that’s free for one and all,
Is church bells tolling day and night,
Which some folk say just isn’t right.

“At night,” they say, “we want to sleep,
But even if we count the sheep,
We find it isn’t very long,
Until the clock once more goes ‘bong’.

It’s every hour and without fail,
And really is beyond the pale,
So we now want the noise to stop,
So that we won’t be in a strop.”

But local residents say, “No!
If they don’t like it they can go.
We’ve had the chimes a hundred years,
And folk including lords and sirs,
Have found that they are quite all right,
Including in the dead of night.”

The Council steps into the fray,
“Bells can be all right in the day,
But in the night they make no sense,
In present, past or future tense.

So from tonight they’ll be turned off,
Because our guests have had enough;
We don’t want them to stay away,
So they’ll just in the daytime play.

We’re sure this outcome is the best,
The logic will pass any test,
And though a few folk may be glum,
The bells at night will be kept schtum!”

E-TYPE JAG

Jag_E-Type

It is reported that Jaguar has made an electric version of the iconic E-Type which would seem to show incredible foresight in whoever named it all those years ago.

We’ve all heard of the Jag Type E,
Which often is held out to be,
The whole world’s most attractive car,
And better than the rest by far.

In sixties, seventies it was made,
About one and a half decade,
And then, sadly, production ceased –
The end of that great masterpiece.

But now they’re making them again,
Though with a different power train;
Instead of pistons one plus five,
They’ve given it electric drive.

So where the engine used to sit,
The space is filled up – every bit –
With boring-looking battery packs,
That won’t appeal to anoraks,
But do, in fact, at any rate,
Allow it to accelerate,
One second faster than before,
With pedal pressed down to the floor.

So could this car turn out to be,
What everybody wants to see,
As cars move on electrically,
Abandoning the ICE*.

I s’pose that only time will tell,
But maybe if you are heeled well,
You could afford three hundred thou,
And make do with this one for now!

* Internal combustion engine

WATTS UP?

Cleaner cartoon

It is reported that the European Union has banned the sale of vacuum cleaners with a power of more than 900 Watts as of 1 September 2017.

A hoover helps to clean the room,
Does not portend impending doom,
So the EU, without a doubt,
Should really keep its fingers out.

The best ones have a lot of suck,
Which helps them quickly clean the muck,
And whether bag or cyclone type,
Though there can be a lot of hype,
It’s those that have the highest power,
That better can the work devour.

So hoovering should be a breeze,
All done and with consummate ease;
You really just have to make sure,
The watts you get are more, not fewer.

But now the EU sticks its nose,
Into the hoover, just in prose,
And they say that a hoover green,
Can still produce a house that’s clean,
And since the watts are rather few,
It’s likely to be quiet too.

So they have banned from yesterday,
Machines which on the label say,
That they’re more than nine hundred watt,
Which, although it might sound a lot,
Is not so much and rather mean,
When you want to your carpet clean.

So from now on you might expect,
Because of your great intellect,
To keep your carpets clean and bright,
You’ll have to hoover through the night.

Nocturnal hoovering is bad,
But could it now become a fad?
Because the EU folk are dense,
Or at least short on common sense.

But rules as bad as ones like this,
Can often be a nemesis;
So in this case might they portend,
Some misfortune, perhaps the end,
Of the EU that some can’t stand –
Should we give it a helping hand?

BLEACHY HEAD

SONY DSC

It is reported that a mysterious chemical haze drifted from the English Channel onto the Sussex coast at Beachy Head at the weekend causing many people to suffer stinging eyes and breathing difficulties.

Now Beachy Head is quite well-known,
With cliffs of sparkling white chalk stone,
And on a weekend, when it’s hot,
The local people, quite a lot,
Arrive in droves to take the air,
And some will spend the weekend there.

And so this weekend it was thus,
With the bank holiday a plus,
When suddenly, far out at sea,
A looming cloud there seemed to be.

The cloud was sinister and dark,
And looked like more than just a lark;
Then as it reached the golden sand,
It enveloped the people and,
Most of them found to their surprise,
That they had badly smarting eyes.

As well as that, they couldn’t breathe,
Something they should try to relieve,
’Cos lest they do and do it fast,
Their present breath might be their last.

So off to hospital they went,
To get a cure was their intent,
And, happily, with no delay,
They were all fixed within a day.

But where the cloud’s from, we don’t know,
Though it was right there de facto,
And maybe some will speculate:
Could it have been a foreign state?

It’s possible, I do suppose,
Or maybe it was one of those
Ships that was cleaning out its tank,
With something that turned out it stank.

Or maybe it had come from France,
Where somebody just took a chance,
And got some waste out of the way,
While people were on holiday.

If one of these is right, who knows?
But I expect that on their toes,
Are government inspectors who,
Will find what Mr X did do.

So let us wait for next week’s news,
By which time we will have more views,
And see who gets accused and why,
Of pumping toxins in the sky.

But if it is a secret op,
Which, once begun, they could not stop,
They’d want or keep that quiet so,
Perhaps then we will never know.

Image – Ian Stannard, Southsea / Wikimedia commons

FOSSIL DEATH!

Nissan LEAF

It is reported that the Government proposes to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

If you have got a diesel car,
You really don’t know where you are,
One time they were so very clean,
And now they’re better off unseen.

In ten short years the view has changed,
Priorities been rearranged,
And whereas once low CO2,
Was quite the wisest thing to do,
The view that is now orthodox,
Is that it’s best to have less NOx.

So up steps the electric car,
They may not go so very far,
But they are really so discreet,
While driving down the city street.

That is because, as you well know,
There’s no emissions on the go,
But still there is some CO2 –
It’s just it’s nowhere near you.

Then in just over twenty years,
The Government says it prefers,
Electric only to be sold,
The cleaner to the air behold.

No longer will we cough and wheeze,
Risk extinction of the species,
And with such wonderful foresight,
Then everything should be all right.

But wait! Perhaps things are amiss,
The Government is behind this,
And when HMG gets involved,
It rarely is a problem solved.

So watch this column if you would,
’Twill say if things are bad or good;
We pray that all will not be lost,
But do please keep your fingers crossed!

Image – Richard Kelly / Flickr

MONKEY BUSINESS

Monkey Macaque

It is reported that a wildlife photographer who taught a macaque monkey to press the camera button and take a selfie is being sued by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who are claiming that since the monkey took the photograph it owns the copyright. So far Wikipedia has claimed that the monkey owns the copyright whereas the US Copyright Office says that an animal cannot own a copyright. The case continues. To avoid complications this blog will not feature the photograph in question.

The cameraman was really pleased,
He’d taught a monkey to say ‘Cheese’,
And then to press the button too,
And take a selfie – just like you.

The photograph was really cute,
The best one in his photo shoot,
And so he posted it on line,
Quite sure that he could say, “It’s mine!”

The Wiki book then published it,
For it was now a world-wide hit;
They said to do so was all right,
For monkey owned the copyright.

But PETA then came on the scene,
The cameraman, they said, was mean,
His making money did them irk,
When monkey had done all the work.

And so they took the man to court,
Accused him of a civil tort,
Against the monkey, now their friend,
Whose rights they now sought to defend.

The lawyers said this was absurd,
The daftest thing they’d ever heard;
A monkey can’t own copyright,
And even if he was quite bright,
If he was questioned in a quiz,
He’d likely not know what it is.

The judge is sure to throw it out,
Of that there can be little doubt,
And also he might say in rhyme,
It has all been a waste of time.

But wait! It now occurs to me,
It would be interesting to see,
What PETA has on its website,
And check that they’re behaving right.

So I checked peta.org.uk,
To see what they might have to say,
And there I saw to my surprise,
And just could not believe my eyes,
For what was I then looking at?
A picture of a fox and cat!

It may be everything’s all right,
And PETA owns the copyright,
But they should happily explain,
How they have managed to obtain,
A model release for the fox,
Which would be quite unorthodox.

And if they didn’t they should say,
How much the fox they have to pay,
That is how much they did agree,
To cover his modelling fee!

Image – Richard Fisher / Flickr