Friday March 16th, 2001
Goodness Gracious Me!'
A doctor In India has opened laugh clubs. He believes that laughter is a cure for many ills and strengthens the immune system.
The clubs are not clones of Tramp, Annabelle's or the original Peppermint Lounge. They don't play music, sell booze or restaurant food in the establishments, some of which are in the open air.
Perhaps, a little 'ganja' might be used occasionally to puff away the problems of a visitor or two, but anything more lethal is as rare as a cow steak on a Hindu dining table.
They are just basic meeting places where people gather together to laugh.
No, this is a not a 'Goodness Gracious Me!' joke by the later Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren, but is a treatment recommended by many worldwide practitioners in medicine, orthodox and complementary.
I can't speak from a medical point of view but I do believe there is merit in the diagnosis by the good doctor from India.
The fact that he now has 600 clubs throughout the continent of India speaks for itself.
So for this Viewpoint I thought I would dedicate it to, hopefully, bringing a smile to your faces - especially the faces of those behind those high, grim walls.
Shot Gun Wedding
Most people have heard of the phrase 'Shotgun Wedding', and that certainly includes the people that read my Viewpoints.
But the phrase took on a new meaning when a bride-to-be in Hobart, Indiana, USA went to a local bridal show and tried on several of the dresses.
She finally decided upon a beautiful Oleg Cassini designer off-the- shoulder creation with beads and sequins, but baulked at the price of nearly a thousand dollars. So the disappointed, betrothed lady left empty-handed.
Later in the day her husband-to-be went back to the store, pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, waved the gun at one of the employers, grabbed the expensive dress, and ran out.
I hope the wedding photos don't appear in the local newspaper or on local TV, because the Hobart police statement that the couple's bridal suite, where the occupants are be separated by bars, is being prepared - in the local jail - will soon have residents.
What puzzles me is how did the store know the gunman was the husband-to-be? I can't believe he gave them an invitation to the wedding, or did he?
'It Could Only Happen In America'
The favourite saying of Don King the famous boxing promoter is: 'It could only happen in America' meaning that a man with his background could only rise to his position, and become so wealthy, in America.
However, the meaning of that statement could be extended with the news that Sheriff Warren Hege hosts from the county's toughest, and pinkest, jail in the USA, one of the most popular TV prime time local shows in North Carolina, 'Inside Cell Block F',
The prison dress is striped uniforms and the inside walls are pink and feature teddy bears.
"We have a lot of muscle-bound tattooed guys in here that have done silly things. The pink walls and teddy bears bring them down a bit", explained Sheriff Hege who has to be N. Carolina's straight answer to Graham Norton, the Channel 4 chat-show host. Despite all of this the jail has a reputation for being tough on prisoners.
During daylight hours, the modern day Wyatt Earp supervises jail conditions that do not allow, pens, coffee or cigarettes, even for prisoners that are awaiting trial and, who by law, have to be considered innocent.
At night he features interviews with prisoners on his nightly show, and the commercials include sales promotions of a Sheriff Hege statuette, T-shirts, coffee cups, (coffee cups? Surely that's a question for the psychologist to answer), and other merchandise.
When you think about it could also happen, unofficially, in Broadmoor or any other mental hospital!
Bullitt Comes To Janesville
Main Street, in the sleepy little town of Janesville, Tennessee. USA became the streets of San Francisco when the local inhabitants were awakened from their slumbers, as local resident Carl Tuescher became the town's answer to Steve McQueen.
Crowds lined the streets as Mr. Tuescher led the town's police car on a wild chase. As the siren wailed, so Carl weaved from one side of the road to the other. It was gripping Formula 1, as the local Bullitt tried to desperately stop the runaway Tuescher driving antics.
Eventually the cops got their man, and as the fever of the crowd was stilled so the handcuffed daredevil Tuescher was led away to jail.
Later, after the facts were related in the hushed local court the Judge sentenced Tuescher, pronounced Schumacher, to 10 years, probation that is, for frightening this gentle community with wild and reckless driving of a tractor - at seven mph.
My thanks to Toby Moore of The Express for most of the above information.
The Wannabe Is Deported
The hardy folk of Bermondsey have become wise to 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney, and his claim to be a South London 'Bermondsey Boy'.
They have made it known in the most definite of terms that 'Dodgy' Dave never came from the borough, and that they don't take too kindly to that type of illegal immigrant
Realising the game was up the wannabe 'Bermondsey Boy' has replaced the boundaries, and now says he comes from South London's, Forest Hills.
Oh well, perhaps Pinocchio also believed his own tall stories.
The Dave Courtney Reply
FOR THE DAVE COURTNEY REPLY TO MY CHALLENGE TO NAME THE PEOPLE HE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE DONE HIS 'BIRD' WITH; THE NAMES OF THE POLICEMEN THAT HAVE 'NICKED' HIM; THE NAMES OF COUNSEL THAT HAVE REPRESENTED HIM ON HIS ALLEGED 'SERIOUS CRIMES CHARGES' AND THE NAMES OF RESPECTED' FACES' HE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE HAD A ROW WITH. please see below
Don't panic your computer hasn't crashed but I couldn't have a joke Viewpoint session without mentioning 'Dodgy' Dave, now could I?
As you can see the sum total of the 'Dodgy' Dave reply is a blank page.
This is a remarkable negative statement for someone who usually accepts any opportunity to generate publicity for himself.
I offered to put his replies onto this web site that is seen by people all over the world, but 'Dodgy' has chosen to keep quiet.
Can you imagine Max Clifford the London PR expert passing up on such a free opportunity for one of his clients?
The grandmother of a friend of mine had it right when she used to say, "The only reason a man goes out of the house without a raincoat is because he hasn't got one".
A shrewd cockney woman.
The words of the wise man who said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people, all of the time," are also very appropriate.
As my American friend might say, 'Do you get my drift'?
Waiting Room Only
To be fair I have to put the record straight and tell everyone that those people who are saying that 'Dodgy' Dave is waiting for a legal opinion from the late Sir Frederick Lawton QC before he goes ahead with his court action against the Metropolitan Police for alleged defamation, are wrong.
When I recently wrote that Fred 'The Liar' Lawton QC was now down below helping to stoke up the fires, or whatever they do there, and it became obvious that 'The Liar' could not be used as the reason for the delay in 'Dodgy Dave proceeding with the High Court action against the Metropolitan Police, the situation had to change.
Dodgy' is alleged to have first said he would change and brief Perry Mason, but that meant a medium would have to set-up a séance to conduct a legal conference with Perry.
Now, even for Dodgy that would be too far-fetched as an excuse for the delay in getting into the High Court, so I am told that it is now TV's 'Rumpole of the Bailey' for whom he is waiting to prepare the case against the Met.
However, according to 'her indoors', Rumpole's wife, we all have a long, long wait; Rumpole has only just opened his first bottle of a new claret.