Time for some Laffs – Ducks, Seniors and Boiled Eggs….Be Careful What you Wish For!


I have been clearing out the archives and I am sharing some of the most popular jokes from last year….plus some added pictorial reminders that some jobs are not all they are cracked up to be!

Watch out for ducks.

Three women die together in an accident and go to heaven. When they get there, St. Peter says, ‘We only have one rule here in heaven. Don’t step on the ducks!’

So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and, although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one.

Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw. St Peter chains them together and says, ‘Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!’

The next day, the second woman steps accidentally on a duck and along comes St. Peter, who doesn’t miss a thing. With him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment as for the first woman.

The third woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps. She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, but one day St. Peter comes up to her with the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on. Very tall with long eyelashes and very muscular.

St Peter chains them together without saying a word.

The happy woman says, ‘I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?’

The guy says, ‘I don’t know about you, but I stepped on a duck.



Be careful what you wish for!

It was entertainment night at the senior citizens’ centre.

After the community sing-song led by Alice at the piano, It was time for the Star of the Show – Claude the Hypnotist.

Claude explained that he was going to put the whole audience into a trance.

“Yes, each and every one of you and all at the same time.” said Claude.

The excited chatter dropped to silence as Claude carefully withdrew from his waistcoat pocket a beautiful antique gold pocket watch and chain.

“I want you to keep your eyes on this watch” said Claude, holding the watch high for all to see.

“It is a very special and valuable watch that has been in my family for six generations” Said Claude.

He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting “Watch the watch — Watch the watch —-Watch the watch”

The audience became mesmerised as the watch swayed back and forth.

The lights twinkling as they were reflected from its gleaming surfaces.

A hundred and fifty pairs of eyes followed the movements of the gently swaying watch.

And then, suddenly, the chain broke.

The beautiful watch fell to the stage and burst apart on impact

“S**T” said Claude.

It took them three days to clean the Senior Citizens’ Centre

And Claude was never invited to entertain again.

And on the subject of……

An Aussie Drover’s story

Whenever two drovers get together, there is the inevitable argument about who has the best kelpie sheep dog. So the merits of their respective dogs was the subject of the debate at the bar.

‘My dog’s so smart,’ said one, ‘ I can give him five instructions at the same time and he will carry them out to perfection.

‘That’s nothing,’ said his mate. ‘I only have to whistle and point and Bluey anticipates the whole exercise.

Finally they decided to put their dogs to the test. The first drover whistled his dog and told him to dash to the saleyards, select the oldest ram, bring him back into town and load it into the ute which was parked outside the pub.

The dog sped off in a cloud of dust and ten minutes later was seen bringing a large ram down the main street. He jumped into the ute, dropped the tail gate and hunted the ram in.

‘Well that’s not bad,’ conceded the second drover. ‘ But watch this.’

‘Bluey, what about some tucker?’

In a cloud of dust Bluey streaked down the main street to a farm five kilometres from town. The dog raced into the chook house, nudged a hen off the nest and gently picked up an egg.

The dog then sped back to town and gently placed the egg at his master’s feet. But without waiting for a pat on the head, the dog gathered a few sticks and lit a fire, grabbed a billy in his teeth and dashed to the creek. Returned and set the billy on the fire and gently dropped the egg into the simmering water.

After exactly three minutes, Bluey rolled the billy off the fire, laid the boiled egg at his master’s feet and stood on his head.

‘Well that beats all,’ conceded the first drover, ‘but why is he standing on his head?’

‘Well he knows I haven’t got an egg cup,’ said the proud owner.


Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Let’s walk a marathon, Shirley Bassey, Marc Bolan and magical writers

Welcome to the weekly round up and the links to the Smorgasbord posts you might have missed.

This week David has been swinging through the trees in the garden. Not doing a ‘Tarzan’ but wearing a hard hat and safety harness.  He is removing some old and dead trees and also some that have grown too tall and are causing severe cracks in the garden wall.  If you have read his father’s memoir Tales from the Garden earlier today you will know that Geoff was part of a logging team in his late teens and the skills that he learnt he passed on to David. He had plenty of practice in our home in Spain which had a lot of trees that needed regular attention and having heard the prices for removing a tree by a Tree Surgeon we are saving enough for a holiday later in the year.

We still have some palms and evergreens along with some cherry trees in full bloom but the jungle we inherited is now cut back revealing a lovely space. I have not been quite so energetic but have begun planting large pots at the front of the house to add some colour.

On the energy side, I gave myself a damn good talking to a few weeks ago because I was sitting too much and the weight was increasing as a consequence. There have been quite a few dry days but the weather is still unpredictable and so I now have replaced my old treadmill left behind in Spain with a new and more efficient model. I am back in my daily routine and have just completed my first marathon – 26 miles in 10 hours spread over 14 days.  I had to ease my dodgy knee into a regular exercise regimen again and now on my second marathon I have picked up the pace.

I have done several 5k and 10k charity walks over the years and would normally walk at least 40 minutes a day plus an hour of swimming.  I am 64 and have no intention to getting to 65 with my ass out of my trousers.. so I am pleased to be back in the zone. I have just started my next marathon challenge today with an increased distance in less time.

On Friday I introduced a fitness challenge for anyone to join me in walking a number of marathons over the next few months, gradually increasing the speed in the process. The aim is not just to fit into a smaller size and look better but to improve the internal health of our internal organs such as the heart.

We only see the external love handles and fatty deposits but it is the fat around the heart that is the most dangerous. Here is that post and tomorrow at midnight I have the second in the series with the preparation and planning to begin the challenge.


Thank you to my contributors William Price King and Paul Andruss for their wonderful work that brings music and legends to the blogs. Both are irreplaceable.

William Price King Meets some Legends. – Dame Shirley Bassey

Part two of the story and music of one of the music legends of the 20th century who still gives outstanding performances at 80 years old.


Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss – Bolan’s Millions

Finn Mac Cool

This week Paul looks behind the stories in the press about the flamboyant and talented Marc Bolan who was tragically killed in a car accident. Not only did he leave us music but also left millions in a trust fund. This was intended to protect his assets for his family but instead they had to fight for any share at all whilst those who administer the fund reap the benefits.


Serialisation of my father-in-law’s memoir – The Colour of Life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/the-colour-of-life-the-snipe-shoot-1939-by-geoff-cronin/  The Snipe Shoot

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/the-colour-of-life-work-on-a-timber-gang-1942-by-geoff-cronin/ Work on the Timber Gang

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Promotions.

Book Reading and Interviews.

Two lovely writers this week. Firstly the feisty and magical author Ailsa Abraham on Wednesday and then poet and humourist Judy E. Martin yesterday.



New on the Shelves




Cafe and Bookstore Update



Air Your Reviews



Book Marketing – Reviews

For any new books I will be putting a page at the end of the text inviting readers to review the book. I have also included some elements that I would like them to cover in their review to give me a better understanding of how they viewed the plot, characters, ending as well as the look and readability. The response to the post was terrific and I am delighted that so many writers will also include a more detailed request to review. We have to remember that whilst consider writing to be a gift and something to be embraced… some readers are intimidated about voicing their opinions.


A review for Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story by Brigid Gallagher


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily





Weekly Image and words.

Birds of Paradise

Vibrant red against the green

Suckle the nectar


Smorgasbord Short Stories – Shopping by Sally Cronin


Time for some Laffs and Afternoon Videos.




Smorgasbord Health

Smorgasbord Health 2017




Thank you for your contribution to the blog by dropping in and liking, sharing and commenting on the posts. Havea  great week ahead.. and if I can do anything to help you promote your work in anyway let me know.  Here are some options.



Thank you again for your contributions to the blog this week by dropping in, liking, commenting and sharing.. It is much appreciated. If I can help promote your work in any way please let me know. Thanks Sally



Time for some Laffs – Under the Influence! With a few cats thrown in…

Strange things happen in bars.. drinking too much can alter your persective in life and sometimes rearrange your facial features. Not something I recommend. However, bars can also be amusing places!

A cowboy walked into a bar and ordered a whiskey. When the bartender delivered the drink, the cowboy asked, “Where is everybody?” The bartender replied, “They’ve gone to the hanging.” “Hanging? Who are they hanging?” “Brown Paper Pete,” the bartender replied.

“What kind of a name is that?” the cowboy asked. “Well,” said the bartender, “he wears a brown paper hat, brown paper shirt, brown paper trousers and brown paper shoes.”

“Weird guy,” said the cowboy. “What are they hanging him for?”

“Rustling,” said the bartender

This guy walks into a bar and asks the bartender if he can show him something unbelievable, he gets a free beer? The bartender says alright. So the man puts a hamster and two frogs on the bar and all of a sudden the two frogs jump up and start into a Broadway medley.

Well, a man at the end of the bar said, “That’s amazing; I’ll give you $1,000 for the frogs.” The man agreed the guy took off. The bartender said to him, “You could have gotten more for the frogs.”

The man said, “Frogs are easy to come by, the hamster’s a ventriloquist.”

The other night I was invited out for a night with “the girls.” I told my husband that I would be home by midnight. “I promise!” Well, the hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easy. Around 3 a.m., a bit blitzed, I headed for home. Just as I got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed 3 times. Quickly realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another 9 times. I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution (even when totally smashed), in order to escape a possible conflict with him.

The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, and I told him midnight. He didn’t seem disturbed at all. (Whew! Got away with that one!). Then he said, “We need a new cuckoo clock.” When I asked him why, he said, “Well, last night our clock cuckooed 3 times, then said, “Oh, crap,” cuckooed 4 more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another 3 times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the cat and burped.”

So a guy walks into a bar one day and he can’t believe his eyes. There, in the corner, there’s this one-foot-tall man, in a little tuxedo, playing a tiny grand piano.

So the guy asks the bartender, “Where’d he come from?”

And the bartender’s, like, “There’s a genie in the men’s room who grants wishes.”

So the guy runs into the men’s room and, sure enough, there’s this genie. And the genie’s, like, “Your wish is my command.” So the guy’s, like, “O.K., I wish for world peace.” And there’s this big cloud of smoke—and then the room fills up with geese.

So the guy walks out of the men’s room and he’s, like, “Hey, bartender, I think your genie might be hard of hearing.”

And the bartender’s, like, “No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”

A guy sitting at an airport bar noticed a beautiful woman sitting next to him. He thought to himself, “Wow, she’s so gorgeous she must be a flight attendant; but which airline does she work for?” Hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and said,

“Love to fly and it shows?” She gave him a blank, confused stare and he immediately thought to himself, ooh well, she doesn’t work for Delta.

A few seconds later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again, “Something special in the air?

“She gave him the same confused look. He mentally kicked himself, and scratched American Airlines off the list.

Next he tried “I would really love to fly your friendly skies?”

This time the woman barked back at him “What the hell do you want?”

The man smiled, then slumped back in his chair, and said “Ahhh, United!”

(Sorry could not resist)

Smorgasbord Round Up – Dame Shirley Bassey, Easter Treats, Music Memories

Welcome to the round up and a Happy Easter Sunday. Easter for me holds a special significance as my father died on Good Friday 21 years ago. Although the date moves every year it is Good Friday when I think of him although not in religious terms as he was not a man who went to church. He had a very strict religious childhood but I believe he saw too much during the war to sustain his faith. For some people experiences that bring you close to death will turn towards God for others it can erode their beliefs.

He might have been a tad old fashioned as far as this wild child of the 1960s was concerned, but he was honest, fair, hard-working, took care of his family, tried to keep us on the straight and narrow (tough one that), told slightly smutty jokes and loved Morecombe and Wise, The Two Ronnies, Shirley Bassey, steamed treacle puddings, experimenting in the kitchen.

It is hard to believe that he has been gone 21 years and would now be 101. Of course it is not only at Easter that I think of him. He was a pudding man and everytime we are out for a meal and have a particularly good dessert I will think to myself ‘Eric would have liked this one.’  I hope that wherever he is that they serve good puds.

Anyway enough of the reminisces – time to get on with this week’s posts and as always my thanks to everyone who has contributed in any way. My blog is a collaborative effort and liking, sharing and commenting is a huge part of that. Thank you.

William Price King Meets Dame Shirley Bassey

The start of the new series and this time a powerhouse of a voice and a woman who significant challenges to overcome to become the worldwide star she is today. Dame Shirley Bassey has elegantly wowed generations of fans and in this first post William Price King explores her early years.


The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

Two more chapters from my father-in-law’s memoir set in Waterford Ireland from the 1930s through to the 1940s.



Guest Post Robbie Cheadle – recipe for Lemon Flavoured Cake and Homemade Lemon Curd.



Short Stories for Easter.

A story from Geoff Cronin’s second book The Black Bitch and Other Stories which I will be serialising after The Colour of Life.


And one from me…


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview

My first guest this week for the book reading was Paul Andruss our very own Writer in Residence.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andrusshttps://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview-paul-andruss/

And the second guest for yesterday’s post was the lovely D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) non-fiction and memoir author.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update


Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

A selection of posts from exceptional bloggers..





Five Day Music Challenge – Music that means something.

My thanks to Sue Vincent for nominating me for this challenge.. I certainly had a lot of fun and the tracks brought back some great memories..







Smorgasbord Health 2017






Weekly Image and Thoughts

Harbingers of Spring

Blossoms cluster for safety

From angry March winds.


Hope you are having an amazing Easter.. Thanks for taking the time to pop in… Sally

Smorgasbord Round Up – Irish History 1930s, Marmalade, The Boss and Brilliant Writers

Welcome to the round up and hope that you are enjoying your weekend. As always around here it has been a busy week thank goodness.  Neither of us are good about sitting around doing nothing and that business about idle hands usually means they are reaching for chocolate.

The terrific window guys came around yesterday morning and did a great job in the inside finish you would hardly know they had been here except that we can now see out of the windows without a layer of fog in the middle. Brilliant job and if you live along the East Coast between Waterford and Dublin and need double glazing or a ram proof front door we can highly recommend SK Windows ( http://www.skwindows.ie )  In fact I will be posting a couple of articles on the subject of doors and windows in the next couple of weeks written by the boss Shane Kavanagh. I had no idea about all the different types of windows and doors and which are the best in relation to energy or security.  So wherever you live you might find useful if you are planning on getting some replacements.

We have started back in the garden now we are having a spell of dry weather.. I use the the Royal We… as David does the back-breaking work and I stand around mostly offering my expert opinion!  I do however help at times with the mind-numbing job of chopping up the smaller twigs to go in the garden recycling bin that we have… thank goodness for Status Quo!  This week we are going off to the garden centre to find the fillings for some large planters and that I am looking forward to. I love buying all the ingredients and putting them together in a riot of colour.

During the winter months I was getting very frustrated with the fact that I was unable to do my daily walk four or five days a week. So one of our downstairs room now has a new treadmill. Now there is no excuse. Come rain or shine I can get my walking in and David has fixed up a monitor so I can watch my old movies we have downloaded over the years and I am one happy bunny.  In fact after I have posted this I am off for a little South Pacific which will keep me entertained for the next couple of days. Since I sing along the doors and windows are firmly shut!

As always I must start the week’s round up of posts with a huge thank you to my regular contributors William Price King and Paul Andruss. They are amazing and I know from the comments that you think so too.  I delighted too that so many of you are enjoying my father-in-law’s memoirs each weekend. He would be very chuffed.

On with the posts you might have missed.

First a reminder of the author and blog promotions here on Smorgasbord. Always FREE and they just require some participation from you before, during and after.  I like to build an ongoing relationship with those I promote which is why I established the Cafe and Bookstore last year. Once you are on the shelves you can enjoy regular updates every few weeks. I do check the authors every three to four weeks but it does help me if you let me know if you have an offer, a new release or a great review.


William Price King meets Bruce Springsteen

The last in the current series on the life and music of The Boss, Bruce Springsteen and it brings us right up to the present day.  Beginning next week another legend – Shirley Bassey.


Writer in Residence Extra – Paul Andruss

Paul  explores the origins of Marmalade and also the myths surrounding that apple that was so tempting!


The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

More stories from Waterford and Irish history from my father-in-law’s memoir. This week a frugal widow and devastating strikes and embargoes that ruin a thriving business.



Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview

Adele Marie Park talks about her childhood and the magic of Selkies along with her debut novel Wisp.


D. Wallace Peach on her inspirations and her latest series of books all released within a few weeks of each other The Rose Shield


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update



Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews

This promotion is open to all authors even if not in the bookstore and also to bloggers who review books and would like some additional exposure.



Smorgasbord Daily Blogger

These are blog posts that I have read and enjoyed this week. Just a small selection as there is neither the time nor the space to feature every talented writer I visit. Please help me out by letting me have the link to your latest post.






Smorgasbord Health 2017

Smorgasbord Health 2017



Personal Stuff

Short story – The Flying Officer




Weekly Image and thoughts


Time for some Laffs



Thank you very much for your contribution to the week every time you have popped in, liked, commented and shared. It is most gratefully received. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Thanks Sally

Time for some Laffs – Benefits of getting older courtesy of Mrs T. (Tina Frisco)

As always very grateful when my lovely friend Mrs. T. (Tina Frisco) sends me a post of laffs.. This week she was sent these and has forwarded them to us.  Check out her books at the end of the post.

Estate Planning
My buddy, Marv, was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. He knew he would inherit a fortune once his sickly father died. Marv wanted two things: to learn how to invest his inheritance and to find a wife to share his fortune. One evening at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. “I may look like just an ordinary man,” he said to her, “but in just a few years, my father will die, and I’ll inherit 20 million dollars.” Impressed, the woman obtained his business card. Two weeks later, she became his stepmother. Women are so much better at estate planning than men.

Find out more about Tina Frisco, her books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

Thank you for popping by and please feel free to share.. thanks Sally

Thank you Roland Phillips DDS for teaching me about work ethics.

Over the last few weeks I have been sharing the stories of some of the people that set me on the path that would lead me to where I am today. All of them provided me with valuable lessons about life and this week I wanted to say thank you to my first full-time boss.

Since the age of 14 I had been working along the seafront and had been given a great deal of responsibility for my age. But I was still a student and it was fairly relaxed and only part-time.

In June of 1970 I left Highbury Technical College with a diploma in secretarial studies. Whilst I worked the summer along the seafront in my role as taste controller for the whipped ice-cream machine… I was also occupied with finding my first full-time job. To be honest I was earning around £7 a week with tips and was slightly disheartened to see that my diploma only qualified me for jobs that paid £6.00 or less in some offices.

My mother felt that at least it would be a stepping stone to better things in the future and that selling ice-creams was not necessarily a career. I searched the job pages and  attended several interviews. One stands out in my mind as a watershed moment. The interview was conducted by a rather fossilised lady of a certain age who reminded me of my headmistress. The lady in question was a lovely human being I am sure, but her opening statement made me reconsider my application.

‘I have worked here for Gamble Your Money Away Solicitors since I was a gal myself you know, forty years and just coming up for retirement. I am looking for a worthy replacement that I can train into my job over the next year.’

The next day when the evening paper came out I decided to change tack and an advert leapt out of the page at me.

Secretary/Receptionist required for Dental Practice in Southsea. £9 per week.

Two days later I was interviewed by Roland Phillips. He too was on the elderly side and in fact was 67 years old, but was immaculately dressed in a suit and white jacket. I was only seventeen but we seemed to have plenty to talk about, and for some reason he saw my potential. I was hired to begin the following Monday.

Roland was an former army dental surgeon who had served in the desert during the Second World War and ran his practice as if he was still in uniform. My training was intensive and included learning the names and backgrounds of everyone of his 400 private patients. Each evening before I left I would retrieve the next day’s patient’s records and do a summary of their last treatment and what was expected at this new appointment. The files were presented on his desk for his arrival at 8.00am sharp for him to review with his coffee. There were no breaks in the day except for an hour for lunch when the surgery was closed. On Wednesday afternoons when Roland was out on the solent sailing his yacht, I was given the task of thoroughly cleaning every piece of equipment in the surgery, sometimes with the use of a toothbrush.

My job was to take phone calls and to ring patients a little tardy in making their own. I also would prepare accounts for the customers at the end of each month by going through the files, typing their treatment and the cost onto high quality paper. These were then despatched and if not paid within 14 days they had to be chased up with a phone call. I would then complete the banking and prepare monthly accounts for the incoming revenues and outgoing costs.

I wore a white coat and sensible shoes and I was always Miss Coleman to Roland and his patients. My hair was tied back and nails had to be kept short and very clean. I was not allowed to wear make-up of any kind including lipstick. (A little different from my outfits worn after work!) This was tough on a 17 year old but I loved the job…..

That was the September of 1970 but early in 1971 things evolved by accident. He was in the middle of a surgical procedure, removing a stubborn molar root, assisted by his long time dental nurse. I heard the thump as I was preparing the monthly accounts. I feared the worst. Had the patient fallen out of the chair during the procedure, or even worse had Mr. Phillips succumbed to his advanced years in the middle of surgery? It quickly became apparent that this was not the case.

‘Miss Coleman, please get in here immediately.’

I entered the surgery to find that his nurse was now sitting in a chair holding her head in her hands and looking very pale around the gills.

‘Ah Miss Coleman,’ he smiled at the patient who was looking a little discomforted at this point, mouth wide open and wide-eyed.

‘Could you be so kind to take over and continue with the suction.’

It turned out that the lovely nurse who had been with him for many years was unexpectedly pregnant and could no longer stand the sight of blood. Luckily I was not squeamish and I  found myself not just handling the suction, but handing over instruments and mopping up the patient.

The one clear personality trait that summed up Mr. Phillips, was his dislike of change… he had no wish to break-in another chairside assistant and considered me bright enough to learn the job fast. Unlike today where it is necessary to undergo a college course beforehand. Things were a little more basic in those days but I was expected to get up to speed very quickly. His current chairside assistant took my previous role on for a couple of months until she left to have her baby. I learned on the job as well as studied at home with books from Mr. Phillip’s library. He decided not to replace by predecessor and bumped up my wages by another £2 per week.

My role now included all of the reception and accounting duties as well as full chairside assistance 9 to 5 every day except Wednesdays. I worked through lunchtime to catch up on paperwork and we had an answer machine for appointments that I would deal with when my services were not needed in the surgery.

Roland Phillips was a consultant dental surgeon he would take referrals from other dentists for more complex procedures. I would assist him in operations such as multiple extractions with an anaesthetist who would come in one afternoon a week.

I was also responsible for developing the X-rays that were taken and I had a dark-room at the top of the stairs where I would retire with long rubber gloves and a mask. The X-rays were attached to a metal frame that held four pairs at a time. They were released from the clips by a centralised catch at the top of the frame for use after they had been dipped in two separate tanks.

On one memorable occasion I accidentally released this catch, depositing all the X-rays in to the second fixing tank.  I had rubber gloves up to my armpits, so I stuck my hand down and managed to retrieve them all. I then had to identify which was which and I consulted the patient records for those concerned.  I thought that I had got away with it until one day my boss requested my presence in the surgery.

In the chair was an elderly patient who wore dentures but had been experiencing pain under her lower ones. She smiled at me toothlessly whilst Roland held up the X-ray to the light.

‘We appear to be witnessing a miracle Miss Coleman.’ I waited with bated breath.

‘Miss Smith seems to be growing an entirely new set of teeth!.

Apparently I had swapped an 8 year old’s Xray for an 80 year old’s!!

Three days after my 18th birthday in February the lights went out. The miners’ strike was now into its sixth week. The blockades preventing coal reaching power stations meant that the government had to begin scheduled power cuts.

We now know so much more about the circumstances and the conditions that the miners were striking about and can empathise with their position. However, at the time it meant that households and businesses also faced hardship as they were switched off on a rota basis between 7 a.m. and midnight every day. Most were without power for up to nine or ten hours.

Many businesses failed to recover and certainly hundreds of thousands of men and women were laid off during those difficult days. Certain services though had to continue and we were considered one of those.

Dentistry relies heavily on electricity. Even back in 1972 we had the newest electric drill, suction machines and X-rays. Faced with no power and patients booked in for procedures we had to improvise. Out of Roland’s garage materialised two ancient but still functional pieces of equipment, last used in the African desert in 1945.

One was a drill that was powered by a pedal that the dentist pumped up and down with his foot; a little like the old treadle sewing machine. This was of course considerably slower and noisier than our modern electric drill, and also very tiring for my 68 year old boss.

When you drill you have to add water to the patient’s mouth to ensure that the drill does not overheat and burn the surrounding tissue. It is also necessary to suction this out to prevent the hapless patient from choking to death.

This is where my piece of equipment came in. Again pedal driven, it was a large wooded box that provided a stream of water through a hooked pipe into the patient’s mouth and another pipe sucked the excess and deposited into a bottle attached to the side.

Looking back it must have seemed to anyone watching that we were in the middle of a Monty Python sketch. Both of us pedalling like mad to a background of very percussive sounds; whilst the patient lay back in the chair in a state of abject terror.

By the time I left Roland Phillips at age 19 I was much better equipped to deal with the challenges of my working life ahead. I knew that I had to learn fast and well, and not to cut corners. I was used to working for someone who trusted me to do an important job and to work however many hours were needed to complete it. He taught me self-discipline and commitment, as well as customer service skills and punctuality. Because of his hand in developing my attitude to work, I was promoted into my first management role at age 22 and was running my own business by 24.

Even now after he is long gone, I still remember my time working for him and the lessons that were drummed into me. So thank you Roland Phillips for teaching me about work ethics and anytime I have writer’s block I can hear his voice in my ear.

‘Get on with it Miss Coleman, the patients cannot wait all day.’

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed meeting one of my favourite people who have helped me on my way.  Sally


Smorgasbord Short Stories – The Flying Officer by Sally Cronin


The first time Patrick Walsh saw her, was as he wended his way slowly down the hill between the slow moving trucks on his motorbike. The road was lined with women and old men who were handing out hastily cut sandwiches and mugs of tea to the men in the trucks, whose outstretched hands gratefully received these simple acts of kindness. It was clear from the their faces that they found the peaceful summer skies overhead, and clamour of women’s voices, a much needed reminder of home and safety.

He knew where they had come from, as for the last six days he had been flying over them as they had scrambled into small boats to be ferried out to the larger naval vessels waiting to take them to safety. He and his squadron were a part of the massive air defence operaton. Thousands of soldiers were pouring off the beaches having gathered over the last few days from the surrounding countryside; exposed and being attacked by superior German forces. On the last run today his spitfire had received a direct hit to the cockpit from a persistent Messerschmitt Me 109; luckily missing his head by inches apart from a cut over his eye, earning him a few hours respite. His plane would be ready to fly first thing in the morning. The ground crews at all fighter squadrons were working around the clock to get pilots back in the air until the evacuation from the French coast was complete.

As he carefully maneuvered between the trucks he responded to the shouts from the men above him with a small wave. He knew that their good natured jibes were aimed at his uniform and the wings that it displayed, and that their friendly ribbing was their way of showing gratitude. He decided that it would be easier to wait until the convoy had passed to continue into the village square. He dismounted, standing by the hedge to watch the villagers as they persisted in their need to comfort these dispirited men with tea and offerings of food.

She stood out from the crowd of women. Tall with long red hair tied back with an emerald green ribbon, she was dressed in overalls and wore heavy boots. She had a natural elegance as she darted between an older woman, holding a tea tray piled with jam sandwiches, and the trucks. Despite the men’s exhaustion, eager hands grasped the food, winking and flirting with the prettiest thing they had seen for a long while.

Patrick leaned back against the saddle of his bike and let himself enjoy this brief moment of humanity that was so rare today. He had been flying since the first weeks of the war and his squadron had suffered huge losses; particularly in the last few weeks as they had provided air cover for the retreating British forces. They had been warned that far worse was to come as the enemy amassed both fighters and bombers for an all-out offensive on the country. Having already lost many friends, Patrick knew that it was only a matter of time before he became a statistic.

Some of his fellow pilots and aircrew decided that they would live as hard as they fought. There were plenty of pretty girls around the station that were delighted to dance the night away and bring some laughter and sometimes love into the young men’s lives. He had seen the results of these whirlwind romances at the Saturday night dance in the village hall. As the airmen arrived in an ever changing group of young men, expectant faces would be watching the door and it was not unusual to see a girl being led away in tears by her friends.

Patrick loved to dance but gently refused the invitations to take to the floor and over the last few months he had become regarded as something of a misery. His friends gave up on their attempts to persuade him that he should live for the moment, and with a wry smile he listened to the chat up lines that were guaranteed to pull the heartstrings of a pretty girl.

But now as he watched the red head flying back and forth and smiling up at the men in the trucks, he felt an overwhelming urge to hold her in his arms and waltz around a dance floor. He shook his head and reminded himself that it would only lead to heartbreak for her, and he couldn’t bear the thought of those beautiful green eyes filling with tears.

An hour later the last truck in the convoy disappeared through the village square and out of sight. There would be more coming through from the coast, and Patrick watched as the crowd of villagers gathered up their cups and trays and disappeared back into their homes. They would prepare more from their meagre rations for the next wave of returning soldiers and be waiting for them by the roadside. He remained by the hedge until the red headed girl had linked arms with her mother and entered her house before riding down to the square.

‘Patrick, are you awake my friend?’ The voice of his Polish friend Jakub intruded into his daydream about dancing with his stunning red head.

‘Just about, do you want to go to the Black Swan for a beer? He sat up and rested his head in his hands and tried to bring his mind back to reality.

He looked around the Nissen hut that was their home, taking in the four empty cots that waited for the new arrivals. They would be mostly teenagers with only a few hours flying solo, and none of them in combat. He was only twenty-four, but he felt like an old man compared to the fresh faced and eager boys that would come through that door tomorrow.

It was now August and the skies were filled with formations of enemy bombers most nights. His plane was grounded again having the undercarriage repaired after a problem on his last landing. His mechanic said he had the ‘luck of the Irish’. Patrick was well aware that he was now one of only a handful of pilots remaining from the original group a year ago; he knew that his luck was bound to run out sooner or later. There was just one thing that he needed tonight, and that was the sight of Red, and she would be helping out her dad behind the bar at the Black Swan.

Two hours later he and Jakub sat quietly at a corner table with their glasses of beer. One beer was the limit as both of them would be back in the skies tomorrow; a cockpit was no place for lack of concentration. Jakub was married and expecting his first child and was happy to sit quietly in the warm and welcoming atmosphere thinking about his next leave in a week’s time. Patrick however spent his time watching Red as she served customers and laughed with the regulars. That laugh was in his head and was added to all the other pieces of her that he carried with him as he flew missions. The thought of those green eyes helped dispel the voice of the other constant companion that was by his side each time he buckled himself into the cockpit. Her presence in his heart and mind had helped him control his fear; bringing the realisation that he was in love for the first time in his life.

Over the weeks since that first day on the hill, there had been moments in the pub, when he would catch her eye and they would both smile then look away. By sitting at the bar when he popped in alone, he had gathered more information about her. She wasn’t called Red of course, but Georgina and Georgie to her friends. She didn’t seem to have a boyfriend amongst the regulars who frequented the pub, and one day he overheard that she had been engaged to a soldier who had been killed within weeks of the war starting.

He would watch as she gently refused all attempts by eager young warriors to take her on a date, realising that her heart had already been broken. This reinforced his resolve not to give in to the growing need to tell Georgie of his feelings; convinced it would only bring her further sorrow.

Through the rest of the summer months missions intensified, with both daylight and night bombing raids on the docks and major cities; almost bringing the country to its knees. In the October the tide began to turn, but not without the loss of thousands of fighter pilots and bomber air crews. It was then that Patrick’s luck ran out as he limped home with a badly damaged plane and shrapnel injuries in his chest and arm.

Patrick fought to stay conscious as the plane shuddered and bucked as he flew using his one good hand. Blood from a head wound almost blinded him, but as he saw the runway rushing up to meet him, he managed to bring the nose around and head for the grass to the side. The last thing that he thought about as the world went black was Georgie’s face and laugh.

A month later Patrick got one of the pilots to drop him off at the Black Swan and he walked into the early evening quiet of the bar. He had just received his new orders on his return from the hospital. From Monday he would be moving into an intelligence role where his experience in combat could be put to use. He was making a good recovery, but the extensive injuries to his arm meant the end of his flying career; now he would be ensuring that he kept others safe in the skies. In one way he felt that he was abandoning those that he regarded as family in their close knit squadron, but he also knew that it offered him the opportunity to fulfil a dream that was equally important.

Georgie was polishing glasses and looked up to greet the new customer with her usual smile but instead she took a deep breath. As he moved closer Patrick could see that there were tears in her glorious green eyes. Georgie stepped out from behind the bar and walked towards him, glancing at his arm in its sling and the scar that was etched into his forehead. She stood in front of him and neither spoke for a moment until he reached out his good arm to take her hand.

‘Is there any chance that you might let me take you to the dance tomorrow night?’

She smiled through her tears. ‘How are you going to be able to dance with only one free arm?’

He pulled her into him and looked down at the lips that he had imagined kissing so many times in the last few months.

‘Don’t worry Red… I’ll manage just fine.’


©sallycronin 2017

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you enjoyed the story. Thanks Sally

Time for Some Laffs – Blondes have more fun… I know from experience!

The beauty of being blonde and having a touch of the Irish is that there are many jokes you can tell without getting told off. As I am now well into my 60s I can also tell elderly jokes if I remember them.

I have rifled through my drawers (pardon the expression) an unearthed some jokes that have been sent to me.

Anyway… Have fun with this selection and pass them on as laughter is infectious and so much more healthier than the usual virus.

The connecting images have been kindly donated by the wonderful author Tina Frisco and details of how to buy her latest book is at the bottom of the post.

A natural Blonde!

A blonde in first class refuses to move when the ticket holder who paid for the seat boards, saying only, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to LA to be a star – and I’m not moving to the back of the plane.” Repeatedly. To anyone who tried to convince her otherwise.

The stewardess asks the advice of the captain. Since his wife happens to be blonde, he admits to some expertise in these matters and agrees to handle it. He whispers something in the budding starlet’s ear and she immediately scurries back to the cheap seats, saying only, “Well why didn’t they tell me THAT in the first place?”

The curious stewardess couldn’t wait to hear what the pilot had said to get her to change her mind so abruptly.

“I simply informed her that the front of the plane wasn’t going to Los Angeles.”

Men can have a blonde moment too!

Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?”

The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.”

The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.”

And a blonde cow!

The only cow in a small town in Northern Italy stopped giving milk. So the town folk found they could buy a cow in Sicily quite cheaply. So, they brought the cow over from Sicily. It was absolutely wonderful. It produced lots of milk every day and everyone was happy.

They bought a bull to mate with the cow to get more cows, so they’d never have to worry about their milk supply again. They put the bull in the pasture with the cow but whenever the bull tried to mount the cow, the cow would move away.

No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull, and he was never able to do the deed.

The people were very upset and decided to go to the local veterinarian, Dr. Santucchi, who was very wise, to tell him what was happening and to ask his advice.

“Whenever the bull tries to mount our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. If he attempts it from the one side, she walks away to the other side.”

The veterinarian rubbed his chin thoughtfully and pondered this before asking, “Did you by chance, buy this cow in Sicily?”

The people were dumbfounded, since no one had ever mentioned that they had brought the cow over from Sicily.

“You are truly a wise veterinarian,” they said. “How did you know that we got the cow from Sicily?”

The Vet replied with a distant look in his eyes and says, “My wife is from Sicily.”

A not so blonde student!

Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was, ‘Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk.’ The question was worth 70 points or none at all. One student was hard put to think of seven advantages. He wrote:

1) It is perfect formula for the child.
2) It provides immunity against several diseases.
3) It is always the right temperature.
4) It is inexpensive.
5) It bonds the child to mother and vice versa.
6) It is always available as needed.

And then the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the bell rang indicating the end of the test he wrote:

7) It comes in two attractive containers and it’s high enough off the ground where the cat can’t get it.

He got an A.

A not so blonde salesman

Sid was told if he did not sell more toothbrushes he would be fired. One month later his sales record had soared and his manager called him in to explain the dramatic turnaround.

Sid explained that he had got tired of calling at pharmacies and had set up a little stall at the main train station with some crackers and a new dip.

‘Try my dip,’ he would say, and a constant stream of people did so. When they enquired about the ingredients of the dip, Sid told them: ‘Garlic and Chicken poop!’

They would go ‘Aaaargh!’ and spit it out.

Then Sid would say: ‘Would you like to buy a toothbrush?’

and finally a blonde Irishman

A Scot, Irishman and an Englishman were dining together in a restaurant. When the waiter cleared away the coffee the Scot was heard to ask for the bill.

Next day the newspaper headlines declared: Irish Ventriloquist shot in restaurant.

And finally a blonde cat!  Bless.

I hope you have enjoyed and again thanks to Tina Frisco for contributing the funnies and aah moments.

Tina’s latest book, Vampyrie is receiving fantastic reviews and you can find out all about the book and read the reviews here: https://www.amazon.com/VAMPYRIE-Origin-Vampire-Tina-Frisco-ebook/dp/B01N2UYDG6

Please feel free to pass on – no cats were hurt during the making of this post!