Nov 242011
 

I’m a very inquisitive Cat and so usually I like to find out a lot of interesting information about places, events and so on and so forth and then turn them into little jokes, you just have to read either ‘Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ or ‘The Cat’s Travelogue’ to know that; which is why I think I have failed the entire American Nation today and that makes me at the very least very downcast.

It seems a shame that there just isn’t much to say about Thanksgiving that is particularly interesting, weird or funny if, that is, you want to talk about odd traditions and practices and I do.

Yes I’ll admit there are some strange Thanksgiving Day notions such as the one that says you have to knock a few times on wood before putting the Turkey into the oven so that it will be tender and succulent, to say nothing of the fact that it’s best to first check the Turkey’s pulse! But that isn’t really an odd tradition like the ones that lurk around old Europe as Pres. George Bush once called us lot over here.

You know the sort of odd tradition I’m talking about like the one in Scotland where you must carry a bit of coal in your pocket as you go from dozens of strangers houses on New Year’s Eve and drink vast quantities of other people’s Scotch Whiskey, that’s called either ‘Firstfooting or ‘First Footing.’

I’m afraid I have no idea which is right ‘Firstfooting or ‘First Footing’ because both words are always said with a Scottish accent which as we all know is very close to incomprehensible nonsense at the best of times and totally alien on New Year’s Eve due to the vast amounts of Scotch Whiskey consumed by the speaker which has an effect not only on the amount of slur added to a Scots persons speech but also the number of ‘o’s’ added to words that not only contain ‘o’s’ normally but ones that have never been spelt with an ‘o’ before! To say nothing of the fact that if you look up ‘Firstfooting or ‘First Footing’on the internet all of the results are in American from the awful Wikipedia to the Websters Dictionary they use ‘First-Footing’ with a hyphen between the words and that in the main apart from where it has been used for centuries in the surnames by a few mad aristocratic English families and more recently by a lot of ethnic unmarried couples, is an American invention.

The only thing that is clear about ‘Firstfooting or ‘First Footing,’ as the picture below shows, is that you don’t have to be Scottish, look ridiculous and talk nonsense to join in the fun or indeed even wear a kilt!

Prince c in kilt

In fact it seems that the Scots didn’t invent the practice of ‘Firstfooting or ‘First Footing’ it gets its name from a Manx Gaelic word ‘Quaaltagh’ so it would seem that the Scots ‘borrowed’ the tradition from the Isle of Man.

‘Firstfooting or ‘First Footing’ is also practiced by the Serb nation who celebrate Polažajnik on New year’s Eve where they go to other people’s houses and get drunk. Even during the worst persecutions of their neighbours in the 1980’s the Serbs didn’t stop the custom.

The Greeks use a word similar to the Serb ‘Polažajnik’ when they go from house to house getting drunk on New Year’s Eve it is ‘Podariko’ for any of you who are vaguely interested and aren’t wondering what on Earth this all has to do with Thanksgiving like I have to say the writer!

So back to Thanksgiving! Happily (for me) I did discover one potential bombshell about Thanksgiving though and that is that if Thanksgiving has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26th 1863 it may not be a day of celebration for the whole country!

Abe Lincoln

I hear you ask what does that mad Cat mean?

Well if President (of the Union States only) Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving in the middle of the Civil War only the North would have observed it, I can’t imagine President Jefferson Davis and the rest of the Southern Nation embracing a Northern President’s ideas can you?

Not only that in 1861 President Jefferson Davis issued this proclamation about Thanksgiving Day which said it should be “a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer,” now that doesn’t sound like the sort of day that most Americans are going to have today does it? Although I expect it would make Turkeys all over the United States very happy indeed.

Jeff Davis

The reason why the Confederate States of America celebrated Thanksgiving Day for the first time in 1861 was not really Pilgrim related either. It was to celebrate a series of victories by Confederate forces in the east and west of the CSA and that’s probably not something that dear old Abe had in mind when he ‘invented’ Thanksgiving in 1863 is it.

Isn’t history wonderful?

So to lighten the mood and possibly to prevent a war between the south and north of America breaking out once again here are some Thanksgiving jokes.

Why did the Pilgrims eat Turkey at Thanksgiving?

Because they couldn’t fit a Moose in the oven!

What’s the best way to stuff a Turkey?

Get it to eat lots of pizza and ice cream!

If the Pilgrims were alive today what would they be most famous for?

Their age of course!

If you do want to hear loads of exciting, unusual and generally hilariously dotty traditions, practices and other mad things that humans get up to, let alone this Cat, then you could do no worse than read either, or better still both, of my wonderful works of feline literary genius which happily you can find either as paperback or ebooks here!

Paperback edition of Getting Out at Amazon.com

Kindle edition of Getting Out at Amazon.com

Paperback edition of The Cat’s Travelogue at Amazon.com

Kindle edition of The Cat’s Travelogue at Amazon.com

Lastly the really good news about Thanksgiving Day is that it was made in America (based on an English idea) and not made in China (copied from every nation’s original thought) and that means that it will last forever and not have been broken before it was taken out of the box, like all expensive rubbish that the hamfisted Chinese knock up over there!

I HOPE THAT YOU ALL HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND PURRS TO ALL MY CUDDLY READERS

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Nov 212011
 

The English language is a wonderful thing, it being the language of international business, used by airline pilots and ship’s captains of every nation and used in so many different ways.

The English language is also reasonably easy to use once you have learned a few rather odd idiosyncrasies such as the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ and just because the plural of Mouse is Mice don’t automatically expect House to do the same! All of which means that the English language like all good tools is easy to use.

However having said that the English language does seem to be a rather difficult brute to use if one wants to use it in translation, do check the example below a simple translation of Lao, the language of the country with almost the same name Laos, but then maybe learning English in a country that was once known as the kingdom of Lan Xang (or Million Elephants) is a problem, they certainly seem to have made it so!

Preventing Toilets In Laos From Doing What

If any dear cuddly reader can tell the poor confused cat what on earth preventing a toilet is then they may well win a copy of my latest unputdownable book ‘The Cat’s Travelogue.’

Travelogue by John Woodcock

About the Author

The Cat is one of the most successful feline authors in the history of Cat kind, his sharp elegant wit has produced the bestselling book ‘Getting Out – Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ and of course the much plagiarised gag of the same name which appears on all of the funniest joke sites on the internet.

Copies of the Cat’s masterpiece of feline literature ‘Getting Out – Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ and ‘The Cat’s Travelogue’ can be purchased at a bookstore near you or at Amazon.com and here for the Travelogue The Cat’s Travelogue Paperback Edition or at what The Cat calls his www – wickedly wonderful website here www.thecatsdiary.com where you can not only learn more about me the genius Cat but also play my games they are all paw picked by me and have been described as “exactly what free on-line games should be, fun, free and fantastic.”

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Oct 182011
 

Here is a small bottom joke for my Americans friends and readers who will be shocked, horrified and disgusted to know that in the UK the same word for ‘your’ fanny means the front botty of English ladies.

Small Bottom Joke For My Americans Friends

This message is brought to you by the incredibly intelligent and good looking Cat who could go on to tell you that the word botty in Czech (which is spelt with one ‘t’) means ‘shoes’ – all of which proves that the human world is a very odd place no matter what language you’re speaking!

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Sep 222011
 

The Summer is coming to an end, but here we in Europe and I understand the UK are having what is known in some circles as an ‘Indian Summer’ I don’t know why it is called that or indeed if a hot dry spell in the Autumn is called an ‘Indian Summer’ in India for that matter.

I expect the Indians have a different name for a brief sunny period at the end of their Summer mainly because I have a feeling that the English overlords in the time of the Raj would have used the phrase and these days it would seem that anything English in India is a little frowned upon – apart from the use of the English language of course, the Indians, bless them, think that they speak marvellous English – oh dear if only they knew the truth!

I’ll give you a real life example when Andy from Bedford comes on the phone in the early evening when you are tying to stop the Dog eating the children’s supper and encouraging the youngest to actually do what the Dog wants to do, while answering the door to another batch of Jehovah’s Witnesses and keeping the Cat off the kitchen work surfaces, Andy from ‘Bedford’ calls from his New Delhi call centre pretending to be only 40 miles up the road.

Now this pretence is not only doomed to failure because of his pronunciation of the English language it is made worse by the sound quality of the ‘Skype’ like phone system he is calling on and of course the mayhem going on all around the family home, and made even worse by the fact that Andy from Bedford wants to “confirm that you are Miecester. Woodcock,” even though you have a woman’s voice (because you are Mr. Woodcock’s far better half and he is late again with his supper heading towards the Dog’s bowl with ever passing quarter of an hour).

Andy from Bedford ignores any attempt to shut him up including sarcasm and eventually swearing and keeps asking you “to confirm your phone number,” which you would never in a million years give out to some odd sounding heavily accented stranger on the phone.

Reading from his script Andy from Bedford blithely continues “I just want to take a coupole minutes of your very valuable time to discuss.”

You eventually tell Andy from Bedford to FO, slam the phone down and then get ready for his retribution, twenty calls spread over the next hour.

Opps I seem to have veered right off the point of this little blog which is this; Summer is coming to an end but it is still nice and warm, in England we call that an Indian Summer but I expect the Indians don’t because they wouldn’t like to be reminded of the English except to sell them broadband, financial planning or insurance on the phone.

Now that I am back on track I can finish by saying I thought the sign below reminded me of a trip to Clearwater Beach in Florida where the Seagulls are so aggressive that they not only steal your food they shower it back at you when they have digested it. Sorry about the wait for the punchline.

Damn Seagulls

Sep 152011
 

Now here’s a new way to eat the good old English Chip or as Americans know it the French Fry just go to France and order ‘Chef’s Dick Confit’ and don’t be too surprised if (hopefully) you get chips.

Obviously the french who hate the idea of using ‘foreign’ words in their language decided that they couldn’t call a fried potato a ‘chip’ because the English use that and then they thought the damn Americans use french fry so they couldn’t call their chips “Frit Française” could they? And that meant that they had to come up with some ‘radical’ language and frankly you can’t get more radical than having a Chef’s Dick on your plate can you?

Chef s Dick Confit  French Cooking At Its Best

About the Author

The Cat is one of the most successful feline authors in the history of Cat kind, his sharp elegant wit has produced the bestselling book ‘Getting Out – Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ and of course the much plagiarised gag of the same name which appears on all of the funniest joke sites on the internet.

Copies of the Cat’s masterpiece of feline literature ‘Getting Out – Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ can be purchased at a bookstore near you or at Amazon.com or at what The Cat calls his www – wickedly wonderful website here www.thecatsdiary.com where you can not only learn more about me the genius Cat but also play my games they are all paw picked by me and have been described as “exactly what free on-line games should be, fun, free and fantastic.”

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Jul 182011
 

I love travelling, though it has to be said that I didn’t really enjoy the travelling I did while researching my forthcoming blockbusting, unputdownable bestselling book, which if you haven’t heard is a Travelogue, called rather cleverly I thought, ‘The Cat’s Travelogue.’

Not only didn’t I enjoy the travelling I was more or less forced to visit countries that I would never ever think of travelling to, such as oh Bangladesh, Pakistan and two or three African countries, where even the locals don’t want to live in if they can help it and are desperate to immigrate from.

One of the great things about travelling is that you get the opportunity to taste the local cuisine or if you go to France you get to taste recipes stolen from the world’s master cooks the Italians.

Sometimes when you travel to countries where, for reasons best known to themselves, they have yet to learn one’s language their attempts to translate a menu into English has me (and I hope everyone else or I am wasting my time here) rolling in the aisles.

Here is a wonderful menu from a rather quaint restaurant in Madrid, as I said I rather fancy the ‘Fried Big Holes’ mainly because they must be better than the ‘Calluses to the Madrilenian’ surely?

Mmh I Think I ll Have 2 Plates of Big Holes  Madrid

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Jul 042011
 

When you write a lot no matter how careful you are, in spite of spellcheckers, the occasional misspelling slips through the net and gets printed its just a fact of life, humans and sometimes Cats are not infallible.

However there is no excuse for a sign that has just six words on it and worse advertises an article in a newspaper about ‘education!’

Spelling Help Needed Immediately

I hope all of my wonderfully cuddly readers spot the misspelling tee hee. Actually the word ‘misspelling’ looks odd on the page but the spell checker or is that ‘spellchecker’ says it is spelt correctly but then that in itself is a worry because all spell checkers use the American language’s spellings by default which if you use proper English are all spelt wrongly!

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Jun 232011
 

In Turkey they know that the average human holidaymaker is um err, how can I put this? Oh yes, an idiot and so the instructions for using a toilet are posted for all to read in German, English.

Of course these instructions make a lot of sense, you should eat and then use the toilet but I am sure you will agree if you read just a few lines under the important announcement (section 2 especially) you will see that the person who wrote this sign was in fact a complete idiot!

I don’t think I recommend reading the instructions about the toilet paper though – ugh Turks are just plain disgusting, happily though now we know what the worst job in the world. It’s emptying the basket of used toilet paper at breakfast time!

It’s odd isn’t it when you see the ads on TV for holiday destinations like Turkey and the other places in the world where the word hygiene is probably use as a greeting rather than a word that refers to the set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living, that the colourful ads showing the heart and soul of the country don’t dwell on the important things like oh say for instance that if you go to Turkey you are likely to contract some exotic disease from the unemptied basket in your toilet.

Sorry this Cat can’t write anymore I feel sick!

Toilet Turkey

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Apr 222011
 

As you may or may not know I hate Google for so many reasons, but the main one apart from them pushing their noses into your business is the fact that the ‘make’ me have Google in the Czech language when I log on to Google.com.

Now that is all well and good if you are Czech! I am sure Czech is a fine language and just as good as any other human language although it does seem to be a little over endowed with odd shapes that sprout out of some of the letters in strange places.

Unfortunately I don’t speak Czech and so I expect when I type in Google.com to my web browser to get Google.com in English or something quite close like American which is as close as you can get to English these days although American is spelt badly.

It is a shame then that Google.com is automatically routed via my browser to the Czech language site Google.cz because my IP address is Czech. Even when I block the web address Google.cz in my browser’s privacy settings I still get ***king Google.cz and have to manually alter the mistake.

It’s not exactly freedom of expression because Google.cz blocks my desire to visit Google.com to say nothing about freedom of speech – I am sure that they are ripping up some sort of constitutional right here and so I need a clever, devious and not very scrouplous lawyer to sue them for damages because constantly having to type in Google.com after I have logged on to Google.com and got Google.cz is driving this cat bonkers oh and of course my usual no win no fee lawyer is apparently indisposed for 10 years conducting Penal research from the other side of the bars if you know what I mean!

Having said all of that I do like it when Google makes a balls up and I hope you enjoy this one, it is a cracker.

The first picture below is the Google.cz homepage and has some dreadful illustration on it, the significance of it, of course, is totally above my head – but hell after all I am just a Cat so what do you expect.

The second picture is what happened to the pretty twee little picture when I typed in Google.com – just proving that all of the great flash animators don’t work at Google.com. whatever.

Dreadful Google

OOPS!

Dreadful Google 2

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