Yesterday, borrowing from an old TV commercial for margarine, the punchline ‘I can’t believe it’s not Buddha’ appeared randomly in my capricious mind. This quip to a yet unwritten preface consequential from being at an abode with several ornaments which pay deference to the founder of Buddhism.

I realised the punchline wouldn’t work by the crafting the gag along the lines of pointing at the mini statue of the fat, bald figure and positing to my friend “I can’t believe it’s not Buddha!” After all, it quite clearly was Siddhattha Gotama, rendering the joke….. well, not a joke.

I managed to create one or two scenarios where the whimsical finale may work, such as:-

Me to friend – “I like your statue of Buddha. Where did you procure that?”

Friend to me – “It’s not Buddha, it’s a likeness of comedian Matt Lucas (a portly, bald UK entertainer).”

Me – “Really?!…. I can’t believe that’s not Buddha!”


Not the most creative, humorous or innovative flight of whimsy you’ll ever hear. Also evidence which goes some way to explain why I don’t make a livelihood writing jokes. I quite like it though, so it’s staying in this prose…… Blimey, tough audience!

Another quip to add to the rap sheet of ‘It might eventually grow on you, but possibly not’ manifested from a conversation with the same friend. This brief exchange evolving along the lines of:-

Friend – “Blimey, it says online that globally mental health illness sufferers have risen from 416 million in 1990 to 615 million in 2013!”

Me – “My god, that is a surprise!….. I didn’t know Karen (my estranged wife) knew that many people!”

Not a very kind putdown, but hey, you reap what you sow. Such mischief paling into insignificance compared to stamping on your husband’s shin when he’s saying goodbye to his moribund dad in his hospice bed. Or, indeed, deliberately antagonising the same husband after suffering a heart attack at 55 years old. A man who worked shifts for 30 years in a roles he didn’t like so she didn’t have to seek full-time employment.

No my Les Dawson-esque spousal jibe is more than deserved. If anything it’s not severe enough for the ingratitude and toxicity I endured for decades; me refusing to move on as I wanted to be there for my kids.

Ultimately, my offspring turning into decent, loving and caring adults making the sacrifice worthwhile….. Although, not completely negating my bitterness towards this woman who’s utterly incapable of showing displays of love and affection to her partner.

Karen a splendid mother to my kids, but a dreadful wife who wouldn’t allow me to grieve my father’s passing, or even provide support post-heart attack. This despite the years I’ve supported her during her cancer fight, spending hundreds of hours in oncology and neurology units.

My time awaiting her appointments not appreciated by my spouse because, apparently, I looked fed up while sitting there. Of course I was f***ing fed up, I was sat in a waiting room of an oncology unit!!….. Who is happy under those circumstances?!

The fact I never once complained at being hospital in situ utterly swept under the carpet during her re-write of our familial history. I can hold my head up and say at least I was there during her chemo and subsequent battle for 8 years; unlike some people who’ve been given a free pass despite for their minimal support.

I’m terribly conflicted by leaving a wife with incurable cancer and deeply sad it had to come to me leaving my marital home. However, after my heart attack I knew if I didn’t get out a second cardiac arrest was just around the corner…… After all, you only get one crack at this life!

“I can’t believe it’s not Buddha!” ….. ha ha, get it?!….. I’ll get me coat!

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