Notes from Lapta, Cyprus – “Things Seen” by Ken Dunn

From time to time we all come across amusing and often bizarre articles in a range of newspapers. Here’s a few I’ve seen and found

1.  British Defence Ministry publication

In reference A, the cover letter at Reference B is an error. The additions at Annex B to Reference B are already incorporated in Annex A to Reference B, and are those additional items per pack that will be required if the complete schedule at Annex A to Reference B are approved.

2.  Lew Grade, later to become international film and TV magnate Lord Grade, once visited a London theatre and saw a double-act which he considered a winner. He rushed backstage after the show, congratulated the performers and promised to make them big stars if they would sign up with him as their agent. He promised to double the money they were then getting.

The two performers were most enthusiastic about the offer, so Grade asked them, ‘Who’s our agent at the moment?’ They replied, ‘Lew Grade.’

3.  Byelaw of Newquay Urban Council, Cornwall.

No person shall walk, run, stand, sit or lie on the grass in this pleasure ground.

4. The always-so-correct British Broadcasting Corporation were severely embarrassed when news leaked out that they had paid white film extras up to five times as much as black extras during African location shooting of a documentary film series. Its title, ‘The Fight Against Slavery.’

5.  The Meteorological Office at Bracknell, Berkshire, was asked by a governmental committee for the official ruling on when winter begins and when it ends. The committee expected an answer that would pin down the times to precise seconds. The answer given, however, was, ‘Winter begins when all the leaves have fallen off the trees and ends when the bulbs start coming up again.’

6. British publishers Ladybird Books were surprised to receive an order from the Ministry of Defence for a set of books for its staff explaining how computers work. The firm wrote back pointing out that the books were designed for children aged nine and upwards. The Defence Ministry replied confirming the order.

7.  From the Manchester Evening News.

‘Intersection Six is still being planned,’ said a spokesman for the Department of the Environment. Asked where it was going to be, the spokesman replied, ‘We aren’t quite sure but I imagine it would be between Intersection Five and Intersection Seven.’

8.  Motor Magazine.

Something no motorist should be without… The Self Grip Wench.

9.  A big-selling vodka firm decided to drop its advertising line, which went, ‘I thought the Karma Sutra was an Indian restaurant until I discovered Smirnoff.’ An executive of the firm said, ‘We conducted a survey and discovered that 60 per cent of people did think it was an Indian restaurant.’

10. Ad-men reckon that half the battle of launching a new car can be won by presenting the right image. But they do not always get it right…

Ford introduced a glamorous new model in Mexico and, after much name-searching, came up with the title, ‘Caliente.’ But they quickly changed it to the unromantic ‘S-22’ when dealers pointed out that Caliente in Mexican means, ‘Street Walker.’

11.  In 1928, Liberian President Charles King put himself up for re-election. He was returned with an officially stated majority of 600,000 votes. King’s opponent in the poll, Thomas Faulkner, later claimed that the election had been rigged. When asked to substantiate his allegations, Faulkner pointed out that it was difficult to win a 600,000 majority with an electorate of less than 15,000.

12.  Mrs Mary Wilson was entertaining friends at N0. 10 Downing Street while her husband, Harold, then Prime Minister, was working upstairs. The discussion turned to theology and one of the guests said, ‘Forunately, there is the one above who knows all the answers.’ ‘Yes,’ replied Mrs Wilson, not realising the significance of the remark, ‘Harold will be down in a few moments.’

13.  When ad-men for Pepsi-Cola had their slogan, ‘Come Alive with Pepsi’ translated into Mandarin Chinese, the translation turned out to mean, ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.’

14.  County Louth Newspaper, Eire.

The court was told that soon after the party came into Maloney’s Bar, Milligan spat at O’Flaherty and called him a ‘a stinking Ulsterman’. O’Flaherty punched Milligan, and Rouke hit him with a bottle. Milligan kicked O’Flaherty in the groin and threw a pint of beer in Rourke’s face. This led to ill-feeling, and they began to fight.

15.  Amendment to a British Parliamentary Act

In the Nuts (unground, other than ground nuts) Order, the expression nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than ground nuts, as would but for this amending Order not qualify as nuts (unground) (other than ground nuts) by reason of their being nuts (unground).

16. Firemen paraded proudly for the opening of their showpiece headquarters at Barnsley, Yorkshire. Then factory inspectors moved in and ordered a vital addition to the building – a fire escape.

17.  Yorkshire Newspaper.

The chairman reported that Bradford Council would not be able to repaint yellow ‘No Parking’ lines in the village until the man who did the job had used up all the white paint in his bucket.

18.  Daily Mirror Headline, 1944.


19.  Sunday People Newspaper.

The three things that make a good motorist are concentration and anticipation.

20.  Sign in a Somerset butcher’s shop.

All meat in this window is from local farmers killed on the premises.

So, keep looking. There are bound to be more out there!

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