Some time ago I self-invented a genre of jokes [to annoy my family], none of which are remotely funny. They run along the lines of ” blah blah walked into a bar” and “there was an Irishman, a Kiwi and an Australian…” Remember those? My new genre asked: “What’s black and white and red all over”? The original from my primary school days, 50 years ago had the answer…. a newspaper [ which then was without colour, and was ‘read’ all over] See!, not funny!

Thus, I progressed my new genre with the same question: “What’s  black and white and red all over”?  The new answers had to be thought out by any interlocutor: example…”A Collingwood footballer shirt-fronted by John Worsfold” or “A sunburnt nun” or “A road-killed magpie” or even “Adam Goodes” [blackfella playing in red and white strip]. See, not funny!

Where do I come in?

I just moved into a new unit in Beeliar, a suburb of Perth, about 4 or 5 kms from Cockburn Cement works. When a sou-wester blows [which is most of the year] lots of white ash covers my car [and those of other tenants], while alternately on other days my front balcony gets a dose of soot-like paricles; sometimes these deposits happen at the same time! SO, yesterday I cleaned both house and car. This morning, on venturing outdoors, I find white flecks over the car and black flecks over the balcony…… I was red-faced with frustrated anger. Getting it? “What’s black and white and red all over”? New answer: ME.   Told you…..not funny!

Footnote: The cement works provides a free car wash facility 24/7. Nice of them.


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