washing line

It is reported that one fifth of Frenchmen change their underwear twice a week … at most.

We thought we could a Frenchman tell,
Because of that strong garlic smell,
But now, it seems, we were quite wrong,
About the nature of that pong.

It’s origin, we are now told,
Is maybe not so well controlled,
And it’s now thought it might be due,
To something none of us quite knew.

For many Frenchmen do not care,
And, seemingly, they like to wear,
Their underwear for half a week,
By which time they most likely reek.

How true this is, I do not know,
To be sure one would have to go,
And smell the air around these hommes,
Detecting thus suspicious pongs!

Some might think this is an affront,
Or possibly some Brexit stunt,
But to correct there is a way –
Wear underpants for just a day!

A Frenchman’s wife might say, “Oh gosh!
Then I will have more clothes to wash.”
Yes, but you need not fear the worst,
The smell, Madame, will be dispersed.


Sledging hill

It is reported that £90,000 in European Union ‘cohesion’ funds has been spent on building a sledging hill in Hungary in the hamlet of Jakabszállás where it hardly ever snows.

If you would like to … yes you will!
Build some sort of a sledging hill,
Then my advice to you today,
Is get the kind EU to pay.

They have the cash, that’s not in doubt,
And they so like to dole it out;
They like to give it out so fast,
And do it with few questions asked.

There might be some, like, “What’s your name?”
Or, “Who will be the best to blame,
If it goes wrong and people say,
It shouldn’t have been done that way?”

But that aside, the money’s there,
So you might as well have your share;
It will look good, at least a bit,
Even if no-one uses it.

The Magyars did as they were told,
They built the hill for young and old,
But when all done they had to say,
There wouldn’t be much snow that day.

And not the next nor after that,
But if you thought you’d smelled a rat,
Don’t worry there might be a loss –
The EU couldn’t give a toss.

The project’s finished, money spent,
They can account for where it went,
So now they’ve gone, gone off in haste.
To see what more cash they can waste!


construction workers

It is reported that the Chinese are building a new hospital with one thousand beds to deal with the coronavirus outbreak; it will take just ten days.

“I know that you’re not feeling well,
You’ve got the symptoms I can tell,
But really, we’ve no beds to spare,
And we’ve been searching everywhere.

But in your case not all is lost,
Because, and never mind the cost,
A hospital is under way,
And right now that’s all I can say.

If you’ll come back in ten days time,
The Champagne or the sparkling wine,
Will have been opened for a toast,
To Chairman Xi who will then boast,
That it was built in record time,
Perhaps by reading out a rhyme.

It will be built in just ten days,
How do we do it? We have ways.
And even if one day is missed,
It’s shorter than your waiting lists!”


Big Ben

It is reported that Big Ben will not ring in Brexit on 31 January 2020 as it will be too costly to arrange.

Last year some MPs did propose,
In poetry – or was it prose ?–
That Big Ben should be set to chime,
As I’m explaining in this rhyme,
To mark our leaving the EU,
And after that it would strike too.

But Speaker Bercow, he said, “No!
I do not like Brexit and so,
To mark the day I’ll not agree,
And will not issue such decree.”

And that was it till Bercow went,
And his replacement’s new intent,
Was that MPs should have a vote,
Result of which he’d duly note.

But ere the vote could be arranged,
The basis of the costs had changed,
And somebody would have to pay,
A total of five hundred k.

Most MPs then thought it unwise,
To foot a bill of such a size,
And so the old clock’s chimes won’t play,
In January on Brexit day.



It is reported that Carlos Ghosn, the former head of Nissan and Renault accused of fraud, has escaped from house arrest in Tokyo by hiding in a musical instrument case.

A spark of genius, I’d say,
When Ghosn asked a band to play,
A Christmas concert in his flat,
For him, a few friends and the cat.

The band came round with cases large,
They knew for sure who was in charge,
And once the music had been played,
Then Mr Ghosn with their aid,
Climbed right inside the largest case,
Which did have just sufficient space,
To seat him in there but, alas,
Not quite what you’d call business class.

The flat door, luckily, was wide,
So they took all their bags outside,
And hastened off, no more to play,
For now ’twas downhill all the way.

They went on to the airport where,
A private jet was waiting there,
With spaces, for it wasn’t full,
Then it took off for Istanbul.

And that was it, the man was free,
And I think I can guarantee,
It will, to Japanese dismay,
Be made into a film one day.

As for the guards at Ghosn’s flat,
They found inside there just the cat,
But with the cat a double bass,
Which didn’t seem to have a case!


Moscow snow

It is reported that fake snow is being dumped in Moscow to try to cheer up the Moscovites.

In Moscow this year there’s no snow,
So Mr Putin said, “Oh blow!
We’ve lots of snow, and drifts we face,
But it’s all in some other place.

I think that it might be quite wise,
If people could see with their eyes,
Some snow but not from whence it came,
For all snow does look much the same.

They’ll rub their eyes, say, ‘This looks odd.
It must have been sent here by God.’
And so as sure as snow is white,
These people – please take note – are right!



It is reported that Chinese police have arrested over one hundred people involved in producing and selling fake Loctite glue.

If you want glue to do it right*,
One brand you might try’s called Loctite;
It’s sticky; it sticks like … well … glue,
And there’s no end that it can do.

But Chinese copies have been seen,
Have caused police to intervene,
And those who had the glue possessed,
Were all then subject to arrest.
The glue was seized, they checked it out,
That it was fake was not in doubt;
The glue was really just too thin,
And would not do as said on tin**.

And so these men who have been caught,
Will likely find themselves in court,
Where they’ll be dealt with pretty quick,
If they can make the charges stick!

* With apologies to the makers of Polycell
** And to the makers of Ronseal