Shawshank Alumni

‘The Shawshank Redemption’ – (one of the best movies of recent decades and recently voted the best movie ever not to receive a single Oscar) was filmed at Ohio State Reformatory which also boasted the first certified High School in a U.S. prison.
Sadly they’re having difficulty in organising an alumni reunion and have had only 14 positive replies from a potential pool of 3,000 past pupils.
Organiser Donal Haynes expressed his disappointment and disbelief, and invited speculation as to the possible reasons for the reticence of the alumni.
I know it’s none of my business but I’d like to offer a few possibilities.
  • Have you considered Donal, whether you would boast on your CV that you are a graduate of Ohio Reformatory High School?
  • Have you considered the possibility that some alumni might now hold high office in a straight life, one they’d like to keep?
  • Have you thought of digging for bones on that distant grassy knoll in the Ohio prison grounds?  You know that smart alecs were never that popular in prison!

Clever Parrot


‘He was silent to begin with.  The pet-shop owner had promised the parrot would learn quickly but I had spent weeks trying to teach him to say simple things like ‘Hello’, ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Who’s a pretty boy, then?’

Not a word.  The dumbest parrot you ever heard.  I felt robbed.  In anger I expressed my feelings aloud.  Then it happened.  I know no one believes me, but I didn’t teach him those words.  I’m a committed Christian.  I don’t use words like that.  From his perch in the corner he poured a barrage of invective at me.  He seemed to understand the rules of grammar too.  If I shouted at him, ‘Silly b****g bird!’ he’d shout back, ‘Stupid bloody man!’

I know I shouldn’t have but I had to test him.  I went through my limited vocabulary of foul language.  I was on a hiding to nothing.  I learned a lot of words from him that I should never have heard.  Finally I lost the rag completely, grabbed him from his perch and strangled him.

It was only at that point that I realized I might have killed the goose that laid the golden egg!’ he remarked, rather mixing his metaphors.

Officials in Henan province confirmed that no action would be taken against Li Yong.

All of which put me in mind of the fellow who, somehow or other, managed to bring his dog with him into the cinema.  A few seats behind, a friend watched in amazement as the pet reacted to the action on the silver screen, apparantly laughing at the funny parts and crying at the sad bits.

Outside afterwards, he shared his astonishment with his friend. 

‘You’re surprised?’ he answered.  ‘I’m amazed myself.

He absolutely hated the book!’

Dick Shornoff

‘People always gotta be poking things where they don’t belong!’ Dick Shornoff griped.  ‘I just know he’s gonna sue.  His excuse might be worth the hearing, though.’
Shornoff ran a Gift Shop complex in a holiday village high in the Appalachians.  He explained that his entire complex was littered with memorabilia of the Old West, flintlock rifles, wooden-barrel washtubs, animal skins and even bear-traps.  He had mounted one of the latter on a rest-room wall. 


Read moreDick Shornoff

Silly Quiz Contestants


All of the following are real-life examples of answers given by contestants on British TV programmes such as ‘The Weakest Link‘ … 

First, a puzzle for you:  Just one number, written as a word, has its letters in alphabetic order: AND just one has its letters in reverse alphabetic order.  What are they?  Answers at the bottom of this page.  Don’t look yet!

Read moreSilly Quiz Contestants

Santa’s Elves Outsourced!

EveryBank Ltd
Hill Street
16 October 2004
Dear Valued Customer,
We have been requested by a valued client – and an acquaintance of yours, an esteemed old gentlemen who goes by the name of Mr Santa Claus – to make it generally known in the Newry area that, due to the current economic difficulties that he like everyone else is facing, he has recently had to move his industrial and administrative operations overseas.
Fortunately and co-incidentally for us, his industrial elves are now based in Bacca Beyon, The Keys, Dacca Peninsula, Punjab, where, you will recall, Everybank also has relocated.  He has requested – and we are delighted to comply – that we now handle much of his administrative work in this region.
This letter is designed to remind you to advise your children, when writing their letter to Santa this year, to address it to
Mr Santa Claus, c/o Everybank Commercial Desk (Overseas Division), Taj Mahal Industrial Park, Bacca Beyon, The Keys, Dacca, Punjab.
Mr Claus regrets if this employment opportunity outsourcing causes distress to his former local employees.  We would like to add our concerns but also to point out that if divine aid is applied for, our religious services desk is still operational.  For a short period only, discount rates will apply to former employees.
Looking forward in anticipation to your continued support.
May your god go with you
Fatcat Prophets  [Managing Director]
P.S.  You will, I know, appreciate that Christianity is very much a minority religion in India, so Mr Claus’s new elfin workforce may not be able to meet artificial deadlines like 25 December – certainly not their saviour’s birth day.  If children’s toys do not arrive until well into the New Year, we are confident you will show patience.

Call Centres Away


EveryBank Ltd
Hill Street
12 April 2004

Dear Valued Customer,

We are delighted to inform you of an exciting new improvement to our banking services which will take effect from 1 May 2004. 

As and from the above date all calls to your local branch will be re-directed to our fantastic new Call Centre recently opened in Bacca Beyon, The Keys, Dacca Peninsula, Punjab.  This is guaranteed to save our shareholders millions of pounds which naturally will eventually benefit you, our valued customer, by the process we like to refer to as the ‘trickle-down’ effect.

We anticipate no serious problems in the transfer process but would like to make the following observations, and perhaps appeal to your patience and understanding over what might be considered as early teething problems.  Please allow for a 20 second delay as your call is re-routed via satellite 26,000 miles above the Earth! 

Newry Journal