After Keats and Chapman (“F. Huehl and his Monet are soon parted”) and some fine successors here and here, recently I’ve also spotted online:
A Tale of two cities was originally serialised in two Midlands local papers.
It was the Bicester Times, it was the Worcester Times.*
That one may go back to Frank Muir and Denis Norden in My word!. This is harder to date:
Why did the anarchist philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon only drink herbal tea?
Because he believed that proper tea is theft.
Which leads us to this story:
A tourist visiting Liverpool goes down the pub for a pint. The barman notices he’s underwhelmed by the beer, so he tells him,
“Y’ know, mate, you really should try our most distinctive local bevvy.”
“Oh really—so what’s that then?”
“Well, there’s this tea made from koala bears, like—used to be dead popular round ‘ere, it did! I only know one place you can find it These Days,** though.”
The barman directs him to a tiny hovel down by the riverbank. So he knocks and goes in. Inside he makes out an old crone stirring a boiling cauldron.
“Um, hello,” he asks her, “I’m told your tea is highly unusual—might I possibly have a tasting?”
Cackling, she starts to ladle him out a helping of the steaming broth. As he takes a look in the cauldron, he sees it’s full of hair, sinews, and an eyeball floating at the top.
“Um, do you have a strainer?”
Offended, she retorts haughtily,
“I’ll have you know, The Koala Tea of Mersey*** is not Strained!”
For more Shakespeare, see here; for a host of Chinese puns, here.
* If any laowai or non-nationals find this difficult, then try Alan Watts’s limerick in n.2 here.
** “These Days”: to be enunciated in such as way as to allude to “Just Can’t Get the Staff, Nowadays”.
*** Most online versions use the (notional) Australian town of Mercy, but this one (which I heard as early as the 1970s) is more surreal.
4 thoughts on “More heirs to Keats and Chapman”
Pingback: A Shakespeare mélange | Stephen Jones: a blog
Pingback: A sequel to Keats and Chapman | Stephen Jones: a blog
Pingback: Lost in translation | Stephen Jones: a blog
Pingback: This calls for a song, or two | Stephen Jones: a blog