… YAWN … sorry ‘bout that, folks … must have been all that wild partying over the weekend! (Note that I may define ‘wild partying’ differently than most!)
Glad to see you all survived the weekend and are ready to tackle another week, starting with this bright, cheery Jolly Monday morning! I think this Monday it may be even more important that we find some things to laugh about to start off the work-week on the right foot, so I tried extra hard to set the dial on my mind to “funny”. So, grab a cuppa coffee, tea, or whatever you can find, and let us have a laugh, a chuckle, or at least a smile!
A great deal …
The single biggest monthly expense for most of us is housing – whether you own or rent. Rental housing is particularly volatile in some areas. For example, in the city of Amsterdam, there is a housing shortage which has driven rental prices sky high. But consider this one …
This one is a 35 sq metre (377 sq. ft.) apartment, boasting its own “private kitchen”, for a mere €1,100 ($1,300 USD) per month! To put it into perspective, I have three times as much space and pay only $1,040 per month. But that is not even the kicker here. For there are just a couple of caveats: cooking is strictly prohibited and no more than two people are allowed into the flat at any one time! Now, I ask you … would you pay $1,300 per month for a home that is so tiny you have to step outside to turn around, and then not even be able to cook a meal? And … what if you wish to invite your good friends Tom & Gina over for … well, you can’t invite them for a meal, but perhaps for drinks? Nope. Either Tom or Gina, but if they both come, then you must step outside, where at least you can turn around! Perhaps you could talk to them through an open window?
An ancient jewel thief …
Doris Payne is 86 years old. Last month, poor Doris was arrested at a Wal-Mart in Chamblee, Georgia, for shoplifting. Awwww …. poor Doris probably needed a bit of food, right? Well, perhaps so, but … when Doris was arrested, it was found that she was wearing an ankle monitor from a previous arrest for shoplifting. In fact, ‘poor’ Doris is known as a ‘serial shoplifter’, with crimes dating back to the 1950s when she was only in her 20s!
Payne has served multiple jail terms for her crimes. She is thought to have stolen $2m in jewellery and was even profiled in a 2013 documentary titled The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne . She even has her own Wikipedia page. She is most noted as an international jewel thief and she had a winning tactic. She would enter a jewelry store, posing as a well-to-do woman, typically looking for a diamond ring. Using her charm, she would engage the clerk, asking to see an assortment of items. Eventually, she would “cause the clerk to forget” just how many items were outside the case; and, at some point, she would leave with one or two pieces.
Her biggest heist ever is believed to have been stealing a 10-carat diamond ring, valued at $500,000, from Monte Carlo in the 1970s. But this latest was quite a comedown, as she stole only $86 worth of food and medical supplies. Police say that in her sixty years as a jewel thief she has likely gotten away with more than she has been convicted of, so one might expect she would have sufficient funds for food, but perhaps she spent her ill-gotten gains on lawyers and bail!
Somehow, though, despite it all, I look at her picture and I cannot help feeling a little bit sorry for ol’ Doris.
Or was he pushed …
He was just doing his job – patrolling the streets of Washington, D.C., doing his part to ensure the public safety in a city that sees millions of tourists every year. And then … he was no more … a step-accident left him drowned in a fountain.
The article on the BBC’s website did not tell his name, so I am calling him “Steve” for the purpose of this article (after my friend Steve B.) because nobody should die alone, in a fountain, with no name. Oh, did I happen to mention that Steve is a … robot? You may have surmised that from the photo. He is … was … one of several patrolling robots produced by Knightscope, a company that produces fully autonomous robots, used to monitor crimes in schools, businesses, and neighborhoods.
Steve’s cohorts have had accidents also, though not quite as deadly. Last year, a 16-month-old toddler was run over by one of the autonomous devices in a Silicon Valley shopping center, and earlier this year, a Californian man was arrested after attacking a Knightscope robot. The man, who was drunk at the time of the incident, later said he wanted to “test” the machine. (The child, by the way, was running toward the robot and received only minor injuries, though she may grow up with a mistrust of robots!)
I have to wonder, though … surely Steve had built-in safeguards to keep him from tumbling down the steps and into the fountain … it makes one wonder if, perhaps, foul play was involved? R.I.P. Steve … you will be missed.
Any of my readers wear contact lenses? I wanted to when I was in my 20s, but was told my eyes were “not round” and that they would not work well. It’s probably just as well, as I tend to be careless and forgetful, so it likely would not have worked out well. In fact, perhaps I would have ended up like the woman who went to Solihull Hospital in the UK for cataract surgery. The opthamologist had previously noted a ‘bluish mass’ which turned out to be some 27 contact lenses fused together. I will spare you the gory details, but once they were removed, the woman said her eyes felt much more comfortable.
Now, this leaves some things unanswered for me, like how the sam heck does one forget to take out the old before putting in the new … 27 times!!! And … think about it … if I get a teesy-weensy speck of dust or makeup in my eye, it drives me crazy! Wouldn’t one think that having 27 contact lenses in one eye would be well beyond “uncomfortable”? I think perhaps this woman’s problems go deeper than her eyes …
A Smurf Village no more …
Júzcar, Spain, a bright blue cluster of buildings high in the Andalusian mountains. Delightful, yes? Not only are the houses all Smurf-blue, but there are mushroom-capped public kiosks, and Smurf-impersonators meander through the streets. You can even have a Smurf-themed wedding! But sadly, every Smurf village must have its Gargamel, and Júzcar is no exception.
In 2011, as the movie The Smurfs was about to make its debut, Sony Pictures marketers approached the people of Júzcar and offered the village a deal. The village could increase their tourism and put themselves on the map if they would allow Sony to paint all their houses, including churches and gravestones, Smurf-blue. After a bit of thought, the villagers agreed, and after 4,200 liters of blue paint, the village looked like this …
But now, Gargamel … er, rather Pierre Culliford, the Smurf’s original creator, has ordered the village to remove all Smurf-related items and cease Smurfie activities, such as the weddings. The village, which had 35% unemployment prior to 2011, had seen a surge of tourism … about 500%! No word on what bee got into Mr. Culliford’s bonnet, as the village was already paying him 12% of their profits on Smurf-related revenue. The village will remain blue, at least for the time being.
And so, sadly, concludes our time … oh wait … I think I have something else … a short joke …
Judge: “Why did you steal the car?”
Man: “I had to get to work.”
Judge: “Why didn’t you take the bus?”
Man: “I don’t have a driver’s license for the bus.”
Just one more …
The Judge asks the defendant, “When is your birthday Mr McKenzie?“
-“February 20th, Your Honor.”
-“And what year?”
“Every year, Your Honor.”
Okay … now we really need to get busy … just look at the time! Please, dear friends, keep safe this week and remember to smile and share your smile. We all need to remember to care for one another these days and a smile is the simplest, most basic way of saying “I care”. Love and hugs from me to you all!
*Note to readers: In light of Saturday’s horrific tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, I debated the appropriateness of doing my regular Jolly Monday post, but decided that we all needed a reason to step back and breathe for a minute. I hope that humour at this time is not inappropriate or offensive. In no way do I intend to diminish the seriousness of the event. Please forgive me if I have offended anyone.