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I was served in a shop by a young man called Rodney. This is not a complaint. He didn’t poke me in the eye or anything.

But I came to wonder how it was that this young man came to be known as Rodney. He was around 19 to 20 years old, which places his birth firmly in the period when Only Fools And Horses was the biggest show on British television. One would have expected the name Rodney, associated at that time very much with plonkerdom, to have been declared off-limits, in much the same way as Adolf lost a lot of its popularity around 1940.

I can just about accept Rodney being foisted on the child as a middle name to honour a dead relative, but as a first name? That’s cruelty beyond measure. Why not go the whole hog and call him Marigold, Smelly or Gaylord? I find it difficult to imagine the circumstances which would lead to somebody in 1990 naming their son Rodney.

EXT. STREET – DAY

SARKY KAREN PUSHES A PRAM DOWN THE ROAD, ITS PRECIOUS CARGO GURGLING WITH DELIGHT AT BEING ALIVE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL.

SHE IS MET BY AUDREY, AN OLD FRIEND OF HER MOTHER.

AUDREY
Goodness me, it’s Sarky Karen. I’m an old friend of your mother.

KAREN
Are you really, Audrey? Gosh, because it’s not like we’ve met on many occasions. Often accompanied by my mother.

AUDREY
And, oh, you’ve got a little baby.

KAREN
You’ve noticed the pram? Well done, you.

AUDREY
Ooh, and what have you called your lovely new baby?

KAREN
“Ooh, and what have you called your lovely new baby?” We’ve called our lovely new baby Rodney.

AUDREY
Rodney?

KAREN
Let me just check.

SHE LOOKS IN THE PRAM.

KAREN
Yes, it’s definitely Rodney.

AUDREY
Oh, Karen, you are a one, with your sarcasm. It’s a good job I don’t take it to heart.

KAREN
What do you mean?

AUDREY
What’s his real name?

KAREN
Rodney.

AUDREY
Go on.

KAREN
His bloody name is Rodney.

AUDREY
Sarky Karen, have you ever heard of a TV programme called Only Fools And Horses?

KAREN
Durr, no. I’m only the life president of the Nicholas Lyndhurst Fan Club, established 1978 in the wake of his regular appearances of Butterflies, and surviving even through “The Two Of Us,” which was rubbish. I’ve got posters, mugs, VHS video tapes – and, by the way, if only somebody would invent a type of compact disc you can put video on. In short, I bloody love the man. Look!

SHE PULLS OPEN HER JACKET TO REVEAL A T-SHIRT SPORTING THE FACE OF TV’S NICHOLAS LYNDHURST.

AUDREY
But everybody will call him a plonker, for the rest of his life.

KAREN
Look! I wanted to name my son after my hero. Is that so wrong?

AUDREY
Why didn’t you call him Nicholas?

KAREN
Bugger.

END.

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THE devil has been elected to the European Parliament.

B. Elzebub, 7,685, was returned as one of the North West’s representatives in last Thursday’s poll, after a collapse in the Labour vote.

Mr Elzebub, of the BNP (Burn Negroes Party), has reinvented himself in recent years, losing the cloven-hoofed look and toning down his ruddy complexion. And he has repositioned the party, too, in an attempt to make it more electable.

In 2006, he told the Daily Telegraph: “There’s been a lot of nonsense spoken about the BNP, as if all we’re interested in is burning negroes. And, I have to admit, in the past some of our more zealous members have been a little enthusiastic.

“But we have many other policies – about recycling, taxation, national service – all aimed at bringing respect back to British streets.

“And it’s not just negroes we’re interested in burning in the very flames of Hell these days. It’s all sinners, especially the pikeys, Jews and Muslims. And the sodomites.”

Voters in Milltown and Piechester explained to reporters why they turned to the BNP in the Euro poll.

One man, who did not want to be named, said: “I wanted to make a protest vote to scare the Government and I’m exceptionally stupid.”

A woman, who did not want to be named, found it difficult to believe that Mr Elzebub was the devil, Satan, Lord of the Flies, and Lucifer, cast out of heaven by God for refusal to serve.

She said: “I don’t think so, love. The devil’s got cloven hooves, and red skin. This fella’s in a suit.”

Another woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I don’t really agree with the BNP, but I do like the policies on recycling. And burning negroes.”

Mr Elzebub’s biggest problem when he arrives in Brussels is where he and his reanimated corpse colleague, Adolf Hitler, who was elected in Yorkshire, are going to sit.

He said: “Ideally, we’d sit with our colleagues in the other nationalist/Jew-hating parties. Although obviously we wouldn’t talk to them as foreigners are stinky.

“Unfortunately, the Conservatives are already sitting with them.”

Gordon Brown is still Prime Minister.

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Star Man

I was vaguely interested in the news that the British government hired an astrologer because they thought Hitler was getting advice from the stars.

That’s a lovely image, isn’t it? All the Nazis sitting around in their Evil Nazi HQ office, bored. Then Goebbels picks up his copy of Heat and starts flicking through . . .

Goebbels: “Ooh, I didn’t know Marlene Dietrich was a lesbian. Didn’t we ban those?”
Himmler: “I hope not. I think it was just the butch ones.”
Hitler: “I knew that. I knew she was a lesbian. Leni Riefenstahl told me. I wouldn’t leave her alone with my Eva. Or maybe I would, hur, hur. Ooh, let’s see. Is that Greta Garbo? Blimey, she looks rough. Huh, mashed Swede.”
(laughter)
Goebbels: “Oi, give that back. That’s mine.”
Hitler: “Who died and made you Fuhrer? Watch it, Herm, or it’s the death camps for you.”
(laughter, then silence)
Goebbels: “According to this I’m going to meet a dark stranger . . .”
Himmler: “. . . Then kill him. Death to all non-Aryans . . . apart from you, boss.”
(laughter)
Hitler: “Cheeky! I am Aryan. Actually, I’m Taurean. What does it say for me?”
Goebbels: “A situation in your personal life is beginning to spiral out of control. In fact, if you are not careful it’s going to affect your work soon, Taurus. Decide on a path and take it but don’t allow others to dictate to you. Invade Poland.”

I bet that’s exactly how it happened.

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