A man asked his son what he would like for his forthcoming sixth birthday. The son said he wanted a hamster so the man visited the local pet shop. There he found the perfect hamster who was in the peak of health so he bought it. He also bought a cage with a wheel and a water bottle.
As he was leaving the store owner said “Any problems what-so-ever, just come back here. I live right above the shop and I’ll help you out any time you want.”
The man put the hamster and cage in his car and drove home. He left them in there until his son had gone to bed so that he wouldn’t see them when he brought them in.
Next morning is the son’s birthday so the man gets up early to wrap the other presents and to check on the hamster. He is horrified to see that the hamster is lying dead in the bottom of the cage with it’s legs in the air! He realises that his son will be distraught as he’s talked about nothing else for weeks! Quickly he pulled on his coat and drove round to the pet shop and knocked on the owner’s door.
He explains the problem and the owner is quite understanding and gives the man a new hamster, refusing to take any payment for it. The man then says “What can I do with the old one? I don’t want to bury it as the cat may dig it up and I don’t want to throw it away in case my son sees it in the bin”.
The pet-shop owner replies “What I do is mix up a strong sugar solution – about 1.5kg of sugar and 2 litres of water, bring it to the boil and then add the hamster and simmer for about two hours, stirring periodically. It makes quite a nice jam.”
The man says thank you and that he will try the rather strange recipe and then dashes home with the new hamster. He gives the new hamster to his son who is thrilled with it and promptly goes off to play with it. The man then decides to try the pet-shop owner’s recipe so goes to the supermarket to get some sugar, then gets the largest saucepan he has and starts cooking. After two hours, the mixture has become jam-like so the man decides to try it. He gets a slice of bread and smears a layer on and takes a bite. And it is (not unsuprisingly) absolutely revolting! In disgust he throws the rest of the mixture out of the window, all over his garden, and does his best to forget about the whole thing. But after a few days he notices that daffodils are springing up all over his lawn. He is at a loss to explain it as he’s never had any in his garden before!
Next day, his son asks him to take him to the pet-shop as he wants to get some more food for the hamster so the man agrees. Whilst his son is looking around at the other animals, the pet-shop owner, recognising the man, comes over to talk to him. “So”, he said, “did you try that recipe I gave you?”
“Yes, but it tasted disgusting so I threw it out the window. Odd thing is, where it landed I’ve got daffodils growing!”
“Daffodils?” asked the store owner, “Are you sure? You usually get tulips from hamster-jam”
On a distant planet, the dominant population was obsessed with dental hygiene due to the fact that they had three complete receding sets of mandibles. They were so concerned with maintaining their teeth, hat the custom was to floss several times a day.
To achieve this goal, they grew a floss plant from which the fibers were extracted to make the necessary product.
Being a scientifically advanced species especially in the area of genetics, they developed a sub-species of workers by using their own genetic print as a starting point.
These clones were specifically designed to harvest the plants, but were deficient in other areas such as intelligence. As long as they were supervised, they did a good job. However, if left untended, they would usually wander aimlessly off.
From whence comes their expression: A strolling clone gathers no floss.
For decades it had been just a small village at a ford across a small river.
As the area became more closely settled a dam was built upstream.
Unnoticed by the dam builders, a vein of valuable gemstones was amongst the material used to create the wall.
It didn’t take some of the locals long to find this source of wealth and a gemstone marketplace was set up in the now-dry riverbed.
It was a challenge to dig the stones out of the dam, but it provided a good living.
A new and inexperienced gemstone hunter wanted to gather all the stones at once and sell them in one huge batch at the riverbed market.
However wiser heads prevailed after they told him, “You don’t want to dig out all the stones at one time. You’ll flood the market.”
From the annals of the notorious Callanan’s Bar, where time and space have become confused by the punteen, comes this tale of derring-do.
Wondering when Sir Hillary Throckmorton-Shillingsworth III and the First Mate would return from their secret mission to Mecca, Captain Quid leafed idly through his backlog of old dispatches:
From: The Lord High Admiral
To: The Privy Council
… The next morning, being Sunday 21 July 1588, all the English ships that were then come out of Plymouth had recovered the wind off Idye Stone, and about 9 of the clock in the morning, the Lord Admiral sent his pinnace, named The Disdain, to give the Duke of Medina defiance …(Stephen Underwood, “The Great Enterprise)
Quite a daring gesture of defiance, Quid thought; and no wonder that it is emulated to this day, though abbreviated by time to a simple hand-gesture! He wondered whether the Lord Admiral had named his pinnace especially for the occasion, and whether Mrs. Admiral had christened his pinnace, and how she christened it. And this train of thought begat a second, funeral train of thought regarding his own pinnace — stolen on the North Sea by Cilantro the spy. The sound of musket fire interrupted his reverie; he hurried up to the quarter-deck.
The Boatswain had just ordered nets stretched from the rails up to the lower yards to intercept boarders. And not a moment too soon! A mob in which swords and daggers glittered was pouring out of Jidda’s narrow streets, chasing a tired-looking camel whose two riders urged it wildly on. The beast clattered out onto the pier; the riders leaped for the gangplank! Scrambling through the inter-net, they reached the main deck at last. Only then did Quid realize that the half-naked men were Sir Hillary and the First Mate. They quickly briefed him.
“You know, I’ve always put these on first,” Quid observed. “Are you sure inside-out is the style here?”
“We only barely escaped, sir,” the First Mate exclaimed.
“So I see, “Quid noted. Nervously, he eyed the enraged crowd of Arabs which had gathered on the pier and were making gestures of defiance. “How?” he asked distractedly.
“We’d made our robes into sarongs. We didn’t need the rest of our clothes after that, so …
…”We gave them the slip!”