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!