The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Your morning idiocy round up

Good morning. And now the idiocy round up for Wednesday, May 21st.

The Guardian reports that the French government has a wee bit of a problem with an incompatibility between new high-speed trains it has on order and some of its older stations. A size problem. With somewhere between 340 and 1800 of the new trains. And 1300 stations.

It's as if you have bought a Ferrari that you want to park in your garage, and you realize that your garage isn't exactly the right size to fit a Ferrari because you didn't have a Ferrari before. We discovered the problem a little late …

By "trains", we assume they mean "engines and cars", by the way. The upshot is that they'll be fixing the stations, not the new trains. And of course, the existing administration is blaming the previous administration. For some reason, they (the previous administration) decided to split the administration of the national railroads in two, with one organization responsible for the rail network and another one moving trains around on it.  One group gave the other one measurements for its stations, but only the more recently built ones. The other group -- the one buying the new rolling stock -- took that information at face value, and ... voila! Une vĂ©ritable grappe (Grappe appears to be how Google Translate renders "cluster".)

Moving to the world of politics, it is reported that Russian Premier Vladimir Putin's "Palace" on the Black Sea was paid for with money from a vast healthcare fraud  "... in which medical suppliers were making millions by gouging hospitals as part of a health-care improvement program set up by Putin."  Putin says he didn't do anything wrong. I swear, Officer, those aren't my rubles!

In an apparently unrelated incident, Britain's Prince Charles, during a private conversation with a Jewish person whose family fled from Poland to Canada in 1939, is claimed to have said that now Putin is doing "the same thing".  Whether he meant forcing people to flee to escape horrific persecution or whether he believes that the Russian leader himself is preparing to flee to Canada was not clear. However, everyone and his serf are objecting strongly to the gaffe. Even neo-Nazis are upset, insisting that the comparison is an insult to Hitler.

And finally, Italy's former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, told an interviewer that as far as he's concerned, Germany's Angela Merkel isn't a lard-arse.  (He actually tacked an adjective onto the phrase, but the Wood-Charles policy on naughty words prevents us from repeating it; however, if you run it through Google Translate, it would probably give you "infoutrable".) 

To be clear, Berlusconi was adamantly denying that he ever said such a thing. Instead, he did admit "... jump[ing] out at her from behind a pillar in 2008 and yell[ing] “cuckoo”".  Berlusconi claimed that she found the prank funny, and said he got the idea from Vladimir Putin. (Note: we did not make that up. He is reported as saying that.)

This has been the idiocy round up.  We will not be bringing you the World Violence and General Mayhem Round Up today because no one here could stand to think about it, let alone attempt to mock it.

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