4 March 2012


Jokes can sometimes miss their mark - especially across cultures. We English find some lauded American comedians exceedingly unfunny and I am sure that some of our best comedy exports have been equally disastrous over there. Jokes will sometimes walk the wire between humour and offence.

Last week, in a photo-sharing website also governed by Planet Google's web empire, I spotted a lovely picture of the Greek island of Santorini. It is a place I have visited myself - a rather unique volcanic  island basking in bright Aegean sunshine. I was in this Greek contributor's album because he'd left some encouraging comments beside some of my own pictures.

I commented that it was a wonderful picture of Santorini and to help out the country's dire economic situation, the Greek government should consider selling Santorini to a Russian billionaire! With hindsight I guess I was walking the wire.

The Greek chap - let's call him Adonis - replied in this aggressive manner: "You come from a country of killers! How dare you advise us about our economic situation!"

So I replied: "Country of kilers? What are you talking about? I have never killed anybody and neither have any members of my family or any of my friends. Are you racist? My first comment was meant to be a JOKE! I assume you have jokes in Greece?"

Then there followed a lengthy tirade in Greek filled with angry exclamation marks but I couldn't be bothered to translate it so I just deleted it along with any other comments I had received from Adonis.

Afterwards, I pondered upon that label "country of killers". I wondered if that might be how citizens of some other less fortunate nations might view the British given our involvement in Iraq, The Falkland Islands, Libya and Afghanistan for example. For decades, Britain has been America's number one ally in "policing" many of the world's trouble-spots. Adonis's insult made me wonder how many others stand on the sidelines of world affairs and think of Great Britain as a "country of  killers". 

Perhaps I should visit Adonis with a cricket bat to prove his point!


  1. pud
    bet it was a joke! it couldn't be hippo Tom by any chance?

  2. EARL GRAY It wasn't a joke.

  3. well at least a greek nutter is fairly rare!

  4. EARL GRAY Hell, it's all Greek to me!

  5. We have noticed the difference in people's sense of humour too. We love the English sense of humour and get the American jokes too. As in most things I think Aussies have a blend of several different influences. Pity your Greek reader only understands Greek. Perhaps his sense of humour went the way of his country's finances. A bit too touchy eh?

  6. Have you checked that Greece hasn't entered negotions with a Russian oligarach to sell Santorini? It might explain his anger.

    I agree with you that it is the most beautiful island. I used to harbour a dream of living in Ia some day.

    As for his comment about being a country of killers, perhaps he thinks we're all fans of the American rock group.

  7. Oh dear - 'negotions' and 'oligarach'. I haven't properly woken up .

  8. I'm afraid that in some parts of the world, and among some folk, we (i.e. the English) do have this reputation. Be it true or not, many "left-wing-thinking" people in the area I live in (Catalonia) believe England is too eager to rush around the world imposing law order peace and harmony, and more often than not the results seem to show that this was not achieved.
    Luckily there are some ambassadors, such as yours truly, showing the peaceful beach-lying sun-soaking side to the English :)

  9. If people in that whole part of the world would just behave better towards each other, no one would have to go around and slap their hands once in a while. As an alternative, we could all just stop caring when they kill each other. And stop sending them food when they're starving, and stop offering them asylum. Not that I approve of practically anything our militaries have done, but I sure get tired of people who won't take care of their own business bitching about it when someone else tries.

  10. HELEN Thanks for your understanding about this. By the way I adore Rolf Harris!
    SHOOTING PARROTS I think your errors may be evidence of the early onset of senility. Greece has many islands. Surely they could afford to sell a bunch - including some they pinched from Turkey.
    BRIAN After we have straightened out Greece our troops will be landing at Salou. We shall fight them on the beaches...
    JAN BLAWAT I am a pacifist when it comes to world affairs. Jaw jaw is surely better than was war.However, like yo,u my hackles rise when I hear bystanders who are not involved on the field of play knocking the players. It's always easy to knock. It's less easy to be involved.

  11. I'm hoping Adonis doesn't come back and read the comments. I don't think he will be laughing.

    Conveying humour in print is difficult and as you say it's a tightrope walk sometimes.

    However I found your post and the comments amusing and it was interesting to see the different directions the commenters (?) took.

    Ms Soup

  12. MS SOUP Thanks for dropping by again. Soup goes very nicely with Yorkshire pudding but what flavour are you?


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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