In the old town of Hull, not far from The Land of Green Ginger and The Old Bluebell Inn, there is a Victorian shopping arcade called Hepworth's Arcade. When I was a young lad, I loved that arcade because of its Hi-Fi shop, its bookshop, the amazingly cheap workers' cafe that sold substantial meals for next to nothing and above all its joke shop - the world famous Dinsdales! Never heard of it? Well isn't that usually the case with world famous things?
I would press my nose up at the window and marvel at the display - itching powder, fart cushions, rubber masks, rubber dog turds, rubber bacon and fried eggs, eyepatches, vampire teeth, stage blood, luminous paint, fake cigars, exploding cigarettes, plastic flick knives that retracted when you stabbed people with them, indoor fireworks, wigs, false beards and moustaches, lifelike bluebottles and snakes, hands that pulled off and bloody bandages you could put over uninjured digits. Above the door it said "We Sell Laughter".
In this ever-changing world, things have a tendency to disappear - old haunts, old pubs, fields you used to play in, people you used to know - but Dinsdales never seems to change. Perhaps if I win the Lottery I will buy out that joke shop and become the new Mr Dinsdale. What could be better? Running a shop that is all about making people laugh, mischief, silliness. I might even introduce some new joke products - such as:-
The computer that continuously loses its Internet connection - Ha! Ha!
The TV set that shows programmes that are worth watching - No way!
Official letters you can post to your worst enemies telling them they are HIV positive or landing them with enormous utility bills. Hilarious!
The mobile phone that gives you cancer of the inner ear! Haw! Haw! The possibilities are endless for the next Mr Dinsdale!