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A man went into the pet shop. "I am playing Long John Silver in

the local amateur dramatic society's version of Treasure Island

and need a parrot to sit on my shoulder," he said.

"I don't have any parrots at the moment, but you wouldn't want a

real parrot for that. It would squawk in all the wrong places,

shit on your shoulder and generally be a nuisance. What you need

is a stuffed parrot. Just as realistic and no problem controlling it."

"You may be right, but I'm trying to make this performance as realistic as possible. A stuffed parrot would ruin the effect," said the customer.

"You really don't know how noisy and distracting a real parrot would be," argued the pet shop owner. "He would kill your performance. I guarantee you a stuffed parrot would be fine."

"I do want it all to be authentic, though," complained the customer.

"Look, I have a stuffed one at home. I'll bring it in and you can see it for yourself. Come back on Thursday and you can check it out."

"Sorry," said the customer, "I can't make it on Thursday. That's the day I'm having my leg cut off."

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Use of the English language....

His Lordship was in the study at Downton Abbey when the butler approached and coughed discreetly.

"May I ask you a question my Lord?"

"Go ahead Carson" said his Lordship.

"I am doing the crossword in The Times and I have found a word I am not too clear on."

"What word is that?" said his Lordship.

"Aplomb" my Lord.

"Now that's a difficult one to explain. I would say it is self assurance or complete composure."

"Thank you my Lord, but I'm still a little confused."

"Let me give you an example to make it clearer. Do you remember a few months ago the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to spend a weekend with us?"

"I remember the occasion very well, my Lord. It gave the staff and myself much pleasure to look after them."

"Also", continued the Earl of Grantham, "do you remember Will plucked a rose for Kate in the rose garden?"

"I was present on that occasion, my Lord, ministering to their needs."

"While plucking the rose a thorn embedded itself in his thumb very deeply."

Carson replied, "I witnessed the incident my Lord and saw the Duchess herself remove the thorn and bandage his thumb with her own dainty handkerchief."

"That evening the prick on his thumb was so sore, Kate had to cut up his venison from our own estate, even though it was extremely tender."

"Yes my Lord, I did see everything that transpired that evening."

"The next morning while you were pouring coffee for Her Ladyship, Kate enquired of Will with a loud voice, 'Darling does your prick still throb?'"

And you, Carson, did not spill one drop of coffee!

Now that is aplomb!


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