A man who had been battling a mental disorder for years finally seemed to have improved to the point where it was thought that he might be released. The head of the institution, in a fit of commendable caution, decided, however, to interview him first.

"Tell me," said he, "if we release you, as we are considering doing, what do you intend to do with your life?'

The inmate said, "It would be wonderful to get back to real life and if I do, I will certainly refrain from making any of my former mistakes. I was a genealogist, you know, and it was the stress of my work in fourteenth century research that helped put me in here. If I am released, I shall confine myself to present day research, which I trust will be less difficult and stressful."

"Marvellous," said the head of the institution.

"Or else," ruminated the inmate. "I might teach. There is something to be said for spending one's life in bringing up a new generation of family historians."

"Absolutely," agreed the head.

"Then again, I might write. There is considerable need for books on genealogy for the general public. Or I might even write an autobiography, including my experiences in this fine institution."

"An interesting possibility," said the head.

"And finally of course, if I find that these things no longer appeal to me, I can always continue to be a tree."




The following are real conversations that Directory Assistance operators had with callers, as revealed during interviews with some of the staff of the DQ Centre in Cardiff, Wales.

Caller : I'd like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff, please.

Operator : I'm sorry, there's no listing. Is the spelling correct?

Caller : Well, it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar but the B fell off.

* * *

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.

Operator : Woven? Are you sure?

Caller : Yes. That's what it says on the label - Woven in Scotland.

* * *

Caller : I'd like the RSPCA please.

Operator : Where are you calling from?

Caller : The living room.

* * *

Caller : The water board please.

Operator : Which department?

Caller : Tap water.

* * *

Operator : How are you spelling that?

Caller : With letters.

* * *

Caller : I'd like the number for a reverend in Cardiff, please.

Operator : Do you have his name?

Caller : No, but he has a dog named Ben.

* * *

Caller : The Union of Shopkeepers and Alligators please.

Operator : Do you mean the Amalgamated Union of Shopkeepers?

* * *

On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told the worried operator: "I haven't got a pen, so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on."




A man is flying a hot air balloon and realises he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts, "Excuse me. Can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man below says, "Yes, You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field. You are between 40 and 42 degrees N. Latitude, and between 58 and 60 degrees W. longitude".

"You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.

"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost."

The man below says, "You must be a manager."

"I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," says the man below, "you don't know where you are, or where you are going. You have made a promise that you have no idea how to keep and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is that you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now it is somehow my fault."





Q-How many men does it take to open a beer?

A-None. It should be opened by the time she brings it.

Q-Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman?

A-Because a woman who can't even afford a washing machine will never be able to support you.

Q-Why do women have smaller feet than men?

A-So they can stand closer to the kitchen sink.

Q-How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart?

A-When she starts her sentence with "A man once told me..."

Q-How do you fix a woman's watch?

A-You don't. There is a clock on the oven.

Q-If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first?

A-The dog of course. At least he'll shut up after you let him in.




A young man hired by a large supermarket chain reported for his first day of work.

Barry Goodison, the local manager, greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said; "Your first job will be to sweep out the store."

"But I'm a University graduate," the young man replied indignantly.

"Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't know that," said Barry. "Here, give me the broom and I'll show you how."




The Goodersons of Massachusetts were very proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors were reputed to have arrived in America aboard the Mayflower and descendants of these had included Senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to commission a book about their family history, as a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a professional author and genealogist to compile it. Only one problem arose, namely how to handle the delicate subject of great-uncle Clive Gooderson who had been executed in the electric chair.

The author claimed that he could handle the story tactfully and so he was given the job. The book duly appeared, containing the notes: "Clive Gooderson occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock."




Sheila Goodeson was working for a specialist photographic repair and re-touching company in Ireland when she received a process order for an old black-and-white photo of a man milking a cow. The man was sitting behind the cow, and all that was visible of him were his legs and feet. A note accompanying the order read: "This is the only picture I have of my great-grandfather. Please move the cow so that I can see what he looked like."




Colin Gooderson’s definition of a Genealogist:-


A full-time detective

A thorough historian

An inveterate snoop

A confirmed diplomat

A keen observer

A hardened sceptic

An apt biographer

A qualified linguist

A part-time lawyer

A studious sociologist

An accurate reporter

An hieroglyphics expert,


A complete nut!




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