My Funny, Filmic and Phonographic Valentines


Bill Keeth with three gags, three films and a ballad for 14 February

GAG No. 1: A married couple of retirement age are celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary on Valentine’s Day, 2010, in the Carters Arms, Rhodes Village when a fairy appears at their table, magic wand at the ready.

‘For being an exemplary married couple,’ says the fairy, ‘ever-loving, ever faithful, ’tis my intention to grant you one wish each. So ask away – for anything your heart desires.’

Mrs Retirement Age/Ruby Wedding goes first: ‘I want to take a world cruise with my husband of 40 years standing,’ she gushes. And, no sooner has she said this than the fairy waves her magic wand. Whereupon – POOF! – two tickets for the Queen Mary II appear in the woman’s hand.

The husband considers the situation for a moment or two. Then, acting on the premise that you can take the boy out of Middleton but you can’t take Middleton out of the boy, he speaks as follows: ‘Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. So, my wish is to have a wife who is 40 years younger than myself.’

On hearing this, his wife and the fairy are somewhat disgruntled. But a wish is a wish and a promise is a promise. So, the fairy waves her magic wand without demurring, and – POOF! – the husband is transformed into a shadow of a man, 105 years old.

MORAL: Man is an ungrateful beast at best, so he would do well to remember that fairies are themselves female and, as such, are adept at serving revenge up on the coldest of platters.

GAG No. 2: A guy from Alkrington is enjoying a drink with his wife in the Old David’s public house one night, when he happens to notice her looking at herself a bit glumly in the mirror behind the optics. So, with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, he asks her what she would most like to have in all the world, whereupon, with no more ado, she comes straight back at him with: ‘I’d really love to be 10 again.’

So, come the 14th of February, he’s up at the crack of dawn and serves her a bowl of Coco Pops, a runny boiled egg with toasted soldiers and a glass of raspberryade. Then he rushes her off to Alton Towers for the day where he takes her on every ride that’s going, stuffing toffee apples and candy floss down her neck all the while. Eight hours later they stagger out of Alton Towers and drive back home to Middleton where her husband drags her into Macdonalds where he orders her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake. Then it’s off to watch a movie at the Pilsworth cinema complex, with popcorn, a soda pop and her favourite Cadbury’s Mini Eggs to go.

Finally, the giddy pair wobble home together and collapse into bed exhausted. Whereupon, grinning from ear to ear, the husband turns to his wife and asks: ‘Well, how did you enjoy being 10 again?’

Ah, the ingratitude of the species!

‘I meant my dress size, dummy!’ says she.

MORAL: On the rare occasion that a man is actually listening to anything other than the football results, he’s still going to get it wrong.

GAG No. 3: Fellas, where would you be if, on Valentine’s Day, 2010, with nary a care in the world, you roll home from The Church Inn, Chadderton, in the early evening somewhat the worse for wear, coming in to find a slap-up Cordon Bleu meal being prepared in the kitchen, a hot bath being run for you, a pair of carpet slippers warming by the fire, the kids only too delighted to place themselves at your beck and call for the evening, and the lady of the house awaiting you with open arms?

Where would you be?

At the wrong address, more likely than not!

Moral: These gags come to you courtesy of a Middleton magistrate of jovial mien. All he asks  is that readers should accept them in the spirit in which they are offered. That is to say (as I understand it), judge not that ye be not judged!


[available from Amazon or eBay]

Blind Date (Bruce Willis, Kim Bassinger)

Laugh a minute romp in which the gal gets drunk and wrecks the guys wardrobe, car

. . . life!

Overboard (Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn)

Guy from the boondocks, creditor of high society gal, convinces her in amnesiac state that she’s his wife and mother to his unruly progeny.

Green Card (Gerard Despardieu, Andie MacDowell)

French guy seeking to stay in the USA & American gal seeking to rent apartment available only to couples enter into an arranged marriage

Great gear, these three films. Bit dated maybe – 15 to 20 years or so; but so what? Blake Edwards directed Blind Date; Peter Weir (Witness) directed Green Card. Better still, Halliwell’s Film Guide doesn’t care for any of them very much – which, to my mind, is as good as a recommendation. Because Halliwell’s much prefers photographic skill and wonderful scenery to the action and dialogue that suit me.


‘Baby Ride Easy’, Carlene Carter with Dave Edmunds

Okay, so Dave Edmunds is one of my guitar heroes, ‘Baby Ride Easy’ being just another side of his talents. (Nowadays the guy is quadruple bi-passed in the heart department, would you believe it?) On this occasion, though, Dave Edmunds is harmonising with June Carter’s (that is to say, with Mrs Johnny Cash’s) daughter, Carlene (the erstwhile Mrs Nick Lowe).

What complicated lives they all lead!

But not in this present instance, which is a country & western ballad of an ‘If I Were a Carpenter’ ilk. So get thee hence, Young Lovers (and Old) to the YouTube rendition thereof.

Psst! Maybe check out a bit of rock ’n’ roll with Dave Edmunds’ ‘The Promised Land’ while Milady’s doing the washing up.

[Rendition identified thus: “Welsh band Henry Pant-Side.] It features a great piano accordion solo where you’re expecting lead guitar!


February 2010

© Bill Keeth

Bill Keeth’s books, Every Street in Manchester ISBN 1859880649 & Write It Self-Publish It Sell It ISBN 97809558863 are available from Amazon and all good book shops. Bill can also be contacted via his website,

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