A myopic triangle that had gone to university to study economics became friendly with a segment and one day said, “Will you come dancing with me tonight? Then maybe we could go for a walk in the moonlight. I like you very much, to be perfectly candid.”

The segment blushed. “I must reject your amorous proposal for the simple reason that we're not compatible.”

“What do you mean? We are both young triangles.”

The segment shook its head. “I'm not. You must be very shortsighted indeed. One of my sides is curved. I'm a segment, part of a circle. In fact I came to university in the first place to graduate as a complete circle, but it's taking a very long time, I'm afraid.”

“Pardon my mistake!” cried the mortified triangle.

“I have been at this university for a hundred years already,” sighed the segment, “and I probably won't leave for another century or two. I have studied so many subjects I feel sick!”

“But why can't you graduate sooner than that?”

The segment answered sadly, “Because to become a proper accredited circle I require exactly 360 degrees.”

¶ An uneducated circle only turns stomachs.


An astronaut was about to enter the capsule of his spaceship when a man rushed up with an autograph book. “I'm a big fan of interplanetary heroes. Will you please sign your name for me?”

The astronaut obliged. “Certainly. Here you are.”

But the fan grew even more excited. “It must be superb to be launched in a rocket and see the amazing sights of the universe. What wonders did you observe the last time you took off?”

The astronaut answered, “I saw you having vigorous sex with a buxom freckled redhead in a clearing in the woods.”

“Really?” cried the autograph hunter, much embarrassed.

“Of course. Why else do you think we travel so far and put telescopes into orbit? It isn't to gaze at boring stars!”

“You mean to say that the whole point of the space program is to spy on frisky couples having sex outdoors?”

The astronaut nodded. “From a space station or from the surface of the moon, we can see nearly everything that happens. People just assume we are looking outwards into deep space. In fact our eyes and instruments are trained downwards on people like you.”

“But what would happen if you were caught peeping?”

“I'd say I was walking the dog.”

“Surely that's impossible!” objected the fan.

The astronaut shook his head and laughed. “Don't you know anything about the history of space flight? Why do you think a dog was sent up before humans? Yes, it's true. A dog called Laika was launched into orbit aboard Sputnik 2 in 1957. There's a clue in the name 'Sputnik', don't you think? We're all voyeurs. Woof woof.”

¶ This is Ground Control to Major Peeping Tom.


“I really fancy a walnut whip,” said a man to his wife one evening. So she opened a cupboard door, took one out and started lashing him with it. The man cowered beneath the blows. “What are you doing?” he wailed, as his clothes were torn to shreds. “Stop it!”

“I'm giving you what you asked for,” said his wife.

“That's more of a cat o' nine nuts than a normal walnut whip!” gasped the man, “but I suppose you're right.”

¶ Some wives are always right and it can be painful.

(Image by Rhys Hughes)


A rock that was friends with a scissors and a piece of paper said, “Shall we play another game of ourselves?”

“Tell us the rules again. We've forgotten,” came the answer.

The rock tumbled itself in exasperation, because it didn't have eyes to roll, and stated, “The rock blunts the scissors, the scissors cuts the paper and the paper smothers the rock.”

“Sure, why not?” said the paper.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I cut a Möbius Strip in half?” the scissors asked, as they all prepared to begin the game. The rock and the paper were about to reply in the affirmative when a stick of dynamite and a raincloud happened to approach.

“Good morning!” they called. “May we join in?”

“I suppose so,” said the rock, “but it'll make the game more complex. I do have an idea how it might work…”

“Tell us!” they chorused and the rock explained:

“The rock still blunts the scissors but it also smashes the raincloud; the scissors still cuts paper but it also severs the fuse of the stick of dynamite; the dynamite blows the rock to pieces but it also disperses the raincloud with shockwaves; the raincloud rusts the scissors but it also makes the paper soggy; and the paper still smothers the rock but now also becomes a letter of complaint to the authorities about the owner of the dynamite, who is subsequently arrested.”

¶ This improved version really does work.

(Image by Anthony Lewis)


A tapeworm called Neil decided that just living inside an intestine wasn't profitable enough and that it might be worthwhile to go into publishing as a sideline. It occurred to him that there might be a demand for overpriced pamphlets of ghost and horror stories.

He advertised for submissions and when he started receiving them he told the authors that their work had been accepted and asked them to sign contracts that gave him all the rights to their work. He was only interested in selling on these rights to bigger publishing companies; but to make his swindle plausible he had to create an illusion that a product was available, so he stole images to serve as artwork for the covers and printed off just a handful of authors' copies of each work.

This stratagem kept the authors off his back for a time, but the readers who ordered and paid for pamphlets never received any. Nor did Neil the tapeworm ever pay any advances or royalties to his authors. When he was rumbled, he took his profits, moved to another intestine and started up an identical business with a different name.

One day the owner of this new intestine accidentally swallowed a car jack. When the jack reached the gut and saw the tapeworm it cried, “You are my son!” But Neil the jack's son shook his head and said, “Hush dad, you fool! I've changed my surname too!”

¶ He's still out there somewhere. Beware…


A ghost once used its entire deathtime's savings to purchase a mainframe computer, to make possible the calculation of some of the parameters of the afterlife, I don't know which ones. But after operating for many hours at a frantic pace, the device froze.

“Bother!” exclaimed the ghost. “It must be jammed on the inside. I had better find out what the trouble is.”

The ghost was the romantic partner of a skeleton and didn't want to be the victim of sarcasm when it became obvious what a waste of money the machine had been. “I ought to try and fix it before 'Bones' gets back,” the ghost said to itself in desperation.

So it floated through the computer and ended up on the inside, but one of its wisps got snagged on a diode and it couldn't get back out. When the skeleton returned from work and heard the cries for help emanating from within the mainframe, it was astonished and thought there was some deep symbolic meaning in this incident.

“I didn't know computers had souls!” it gasped.

¶ They don't yet; but one day they might.


In an old monastery deep in the mountains in a fair country, a community of religious men grew their own food, and because the climate was warm, unlike that of Wales, they were able to harvest bananas and other tropical fruit. But the monks' regime was very strict and they were obliged to lock themselves in their cells every evening at sunset. One of the monks was a pervert and late one evening he lost his key and couldn't lock his door. He went searching for it on tiptoes and explored all the deserted passages and halls but he couldn't find it anywhere.

The following morning the community was mortified to learn that the bananas on all the trees had been eaten.

“This is the work of a monk key!” cried the abbot, “and it must belong to someone here. I will find out who!”

The pervert decided he might as well confess his guilt.

“Yes, it was entirely my fault,” he said. “I liked to spank my monk key and it escaped last night and obviously went on an eating rampage. But in my defence, the pun doesn't really work. If you try too hard to force a pun it'll simply go on strike, like a miner.”

“You're right about that. You're absolved,” said the abbot.

¶ Puns only work for themselves.