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Despite the misery of watching England rugby team capitulate in the World Cup Final against South Africa, for a brief period during the game I’d a wry grin on my face. This smirk a consequence of a ferocious clash between opposing prop forwards which evoked memories of a favourite anecdote relayed to me in the 1980’s I’ve heard. A yarn recounted by a team mate in the dressing room of Gateshead Fell cricket club.

The storyteller a lad who also played for the rugby section of the club. A raconteur of note who’d a wealth of whimsical tales from a colourful sporting career. This particular anecdote surrounding the pretty lame joke ‘Why are there no aspirins in the jungle? ….. Because the parrots ate em all!’

As told in the story, this quip was aired during a post-match drink in the rugby club bar. A submission leading to everyone in the congregated group tutted and sighed at the joke’s ineptness. All, that is, apart from one rather dim prop forward who to everyone’s amazement laughed uncontrollably at the lame gag.

The cricketer/rugby player moving on to recall later that evening, while still rugby club bar in situ, the same prop forward was heard retelling the joke to a different group of players.

However, showing a remarkable understanding of the punchline, the idiosyncratic guy’s version of the joke got retold as :- “Why are there no aspirins in the jungle? ….. Because the parrots ate all the f***ers!!”

Anecdotally, there followed a period of silence, prior to the group of bemused group in the prop’s audience dispersed to other parts of the club lounge. Apparently, after the players scattered the prop forward stood at the bar and, while ordering another beer, disgruntledly informed an elderly club member that his team mates were a bunch of humourless t*ssers!!


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