Catch 22 or – “A day in the life of a refugee”

In Joseph Heller’s novel, people who were crazy were not obliged to fly missions; but anyone who applied to stop flying was showing a rational concern for his safety and, therefore, was sane.

Catch 22, a type of unsolvable logic puzzle sometimes called a double bind.

We have a number of Syrian refugees in our village.

This is the story of one of them, a Kurdish girl, aged 10

The German she’s learned in her time at various reception centres before arriving here with her family  is very basic, but good enough to translate at the German lesson classes and clothing exchange that volunteers run and at the refugee coffee afternoons.

It’s good enough for her to attend school, but the local one can’t fit her in, so she catches the train every morning to a town 25km distant.

Of course, the refugee welfare people won’t pay her fare, because she’s supposed to attend the closest school.

Which can’t take her.

Catch 22

So she takes the train.

Volunteers took her down there on her first 2 days, showing her how to operate the machine and the way to the school and then back again.

Paid for everything themselves

Yesterday, the ticket machine (we don’t have a station, let alone a ticket counter) didn’t accept coins and didn’t make change for notes (which she didn’t have) and she sure doesn’t have a credit card.

So – seeing that getting to school was important – she got on the train with her money to pay the conductor.

No conductor, but a guy checking tickets to whom she tries to explain the situation, but he’s not having a bar of it.

That’ll be a €60 fine for not having a ticket.

Catch 22

Which our neighbour – one of the volunteers  – is paying for her.

These are the nuts and bolts of being a refugee in Germany

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Running out of heroes….

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A bet

From Clement Freud

“The Inland Revenue decide to audit Cyril, summon him to their office for an appointment with their most thorough auditor, who is not surprised when Cyril arrives with his solicitor. The auditor says: ‘Sir, you cannot deny that you have an extravagant lifestyle, no full-time employment, and pay no taxes on the grounds of your contention that you win money gambling. I have to tell you that Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise finds that explanation difficult to believe.’

“‘I am a great gambler and can prove it,’ says Cyril. ‘Would you like a demonstration?’

“The auditor considers this for a moment and agrees. Cyril says: ‘I bet you a thousand pounds I can bite my own eye.’ The auditor thinks for a while, finally says: ‘It’s a bet.’

“Cyril removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor looks sick.

“‘I’ll bet you two thousand pounds that I can bite my other eye,’ says Cyril. The auditor can tell Cyril isn’t blind, so he accepts the bet. Cyril removes his false teeth and bites the good eye.

“The stunned auditor now realises he has bet and lost £3,000, with Cyril’s solicitor as a witness; he gets very nervous. ‘Double or nothing?’ Cyril says. ‘I’ll bet you six thousand pounds that I can stand on the righthand side of your desk and piss into the bin on the far side without getting one drop anywhere between.’

“The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now but examines the proposal carefully. Cyril is not a tall man, the desk is eight foot wide; he decides there is simply no way Cyril could do that, so he agrees again.

“Cyril stands at the side of the desk, unzips his trousers, strains for all he is worth but cannot make the stream reach the bin on the far side, and finishes up having urinated pretty well all over the auditor’s desk. The auditor leaps with joy, realising that he has just turned a major loss into a sizeable win, then notices that Cyril’s solicitor is moaning, with his head in his hands. ‘Are you okay?’ asks the auditor.

“‘Not really,’ says the solicitor. ‘This morning, when Cyril told me he had been summoned to this audit, he bet me £20,000 that he could come in here, piss all over your desk and you would be happy about it . . . and I took the bet.'”


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Reasons people pulled the trigger in April 2016

• I had been carrying a concealed gun all day (for which I have a permit), but then when I got home and picked up a toddler the gun was uncomfortable in my waistband, so I tried to remove it. That’s when I unintentionally shot the 3-year-old through both legs.
• I was unhappy with my taco, so I opened fire on the taco truck that sold it to me.
• After I got robbed, I went and bought a gun for self-defence. Then I was showing it to my buddy two weeks later and as we were passing it back and forth it went off and killed him.
• I hired a band to play in my bar for two hours, but they finished in one hour and tried to leave, so I shot the lead singer.
• Some teenagers were vandalising my neighbour’s house with toilet paper, so I came out and shot one of them as they fled.
• A parishioner sat in a reserved pew at my church. People told him to move and he argued, so I ordered him to move and flashed my concealed carry badge at him (a vanity badge not issued by any law enforcement agency). He punched me, so I shot him dead.
• At a fast food restaurant, where guns are welcome, I unintentionally shot myself in the leg when I tried to pull up my pants in the bathroom.
(From the Parents Against Gun Violence Facebook page.)

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Wait until 3:29




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Nico Rosberg

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That Joan Miro was a really good painter. For a woman…

 Seen @ the Schirn art museum, Frankfurt  

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