SOFA and No Further


The media are full of "Sofa"- not rare, when nobody knows what they are talking about. The unicorn, the Mermaid and the "Loch Ness Monster" have drawn reams of speculation.

As often happens to me, this news item invites recall of related jokes and anecdotes; maybe signs of senility. Unfortunately, they are mostly "dark blue", and could offend your genteel readership.

But, here are one or two, that are of a lighter hue, acceptable even to Victorian relics.

Our guy sees a rather good looker on the dance floor and asks, tentatively, whether she would like to adorn his hotel room and how much it would cost him. $1000 was the quote. Too much, and he drifted away. After a few minutes and a Scotch, he comes back. "How about $ 500?" "Yes" was the soft whisper. After all, 500 was still good money and not to be sniffed at. Another bar visit, he comes back, with a mild stagger and a sweet smile. How about a $ 100? "Hmm," she thought for a moment, after all, this was still good money. "OK" she replies, rather hesitantly. After all 100 bucks is not too bad. But our hero takes another walk around the Dance Floor, comes back fortified by yet another peg, and whispers, "how about 10 dollars"? Indignation shows. "Ten dollars! - what do you think I am?" was the growled reply. "I thought this was already cleared. We are now talking about the price"!

This story seeks to introduce the techniques and styles of negotiation to our big wigs, who loaf the World, signing various things.

There was this Lion who had terrorized all the jungle animals – except an elephant, who was calmly browsing a few metres away. Mr Lion puffed up his chest, strutted up to the Jumbo, and disturbing his feeding, asked "Do you know who I am - the Lord of the Forest?" The elephant looked down at this intruder, picked him up in his trunk and flung him into the scrub. The Lion got up, brushed off the dust and said "You did not have to do that. If you did not know, you could have just asked".

The moral of the story: To be your size – a puny, poor, incompetently run nation, trying to look big, with an inferiority complex larger than the 2,500 years of a great history and culture.

After a bitterly fought divorce action, the common question comes up about the custody of the little daughter. The kindly judge beckoned to the sweet little girl, smiled benignly "Now little one, your Mum and Dad cannot be with you. So, would you like to go with your Mum?" "No" she says. "Why?" asks the judge. "Because she beats me". "Then will you go to your Dad?" "No". "Why?" "He also beats me ". The judge puzzled. "Then where do you want to go?" "To the Sri Lanka Team, because they don’t beat anyone"! With apologies to our just returning warriors!

Moral of this story: Know your strengths and weaknesses.

At the conclusion of World War Two, the Allied forces left barracks to protect their interests. The US troops in Germany were roundly hated. A US soldier approached an older lady. "Frau, tell me why do you people hate us so much"? "Well", she says "You guys are over- paid, over-sexed and over here – that’s why".

The Moral? We fear invading foreigners, but they are not in for a "Cake Walk" either!


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