Favorite Authors – John Cleese # 4


Favorite Authors – John Cleese # 4

I think this summarizes nicely the English sense of humor, couldn’t have said it better myself…..

Many of my friends on this side of the pond ask me about growing up in the UK. By John Cleese

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The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada. The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years. The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability. Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.” The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.” Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels . The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy. Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level. A final thought – ” Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC”. Read This Before You Buy Your Next Book!

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For your reading pleasure I present,

“Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls – Revealed”

A fictional story of what might have happened.

Barnabus nodded excitedly. "If your life is in danger, we must go. Let's make for Seulecia. It's a Mediterranean port at the mouth of the Orontes River. From there, it is an easy day's sail to Salamis on the east coast of Cyprus."

Lazarus did not think it was going to be that easy to get out of Bethany, let alone make a long road trip to Seulecia with the Sadducee's spies everywhere.

"Barnabus, how are we going to get to Seulecia?” he asked. “Romans maintain some semblance of law and order in cities they occupy, but in the wilderness?" He let the question hang in the air.

"I think we can make it. If we dress as filthy, dirty, penniless vermin, they are sure to leave us alone. When we get to Mount Cassius, we will camp at the base of the mountain overlooking the harbor and await our opportunity to get a boat."



The Temple Scribe Gavrel wrapped the Torah in linen to protect it from prying eyes more than anything else as he carried it home.

As he walked home, he watched constantly over his shoulder, peering into every dark corner. The Romans had spies everywhere and the Roman occupation, as well all the taxes and assessments levied by both Caesar and the priests, were leaving many people destitute. Hunger and desperation caused many to betray confidences, friendships and family for a loaf of bread or a few shekels.

Gavrel hid the Torah and, after his evening prayers, tried to sleep, but he was restless. He tossed and turned on his mat, feeling as if someone was trying to tell him something. In his dream, he saw the peak of a mountain. At the base, two souls watched over a port in the distance. He recognized Seulecia then saw two men – Lazarus and Barnabus – camped under Mount Cassius.

A voice kept repeating, "Go to them. Lazarus will take Moses' Torah out of the Promised Land."


Gavrel awoke the next morning after his restless night. He vividly remembered his dream, and, for some reason, he felt compunction to follow the vision. He decided to take the safer and more scenic route from Jerusalem, walking over to the Via Maris or Coastal Road.

Days into the journey, he was heartened to see Mount Cassius in the distance. Following the sweltering heat of the Coastal Road and the inland plains, it was a welcome sight to see the peak of Mount Cassius at about 4,000 feet above sea level in the middle of a dense coniferous Mediterranean forest.

After so long on the trail alone, he found he often spoke aloud to his donkey, Samuel, who simply trudged along seemingly unaware of their hardships.

“Do you smell the pine, Samuel?” he said now as the mountain came into view. “So sweet!

And see how the silly goats are startled as we pass? Even the locusts berate us for our intrusion, but they are nothing to be afraid of. See how easily you are startled!”

He led his team on, keeping a very tight rein on them, single file, through the well-worn, rocky game trails. Ravens flew erratically overhead, annoyed that their daily routine had been disturbed by his passage. They crossed the trail, gliding low and close, noisily letting Gavrel know they didn't approve of his presence.

“Be silent and be still, you foolish birds!” he bellowed at the offending ravens, as he traveled on through thick evergreen bushes into a rocky crevice flanked by tall conifer trees.

Although his demeanor seemed relaxed, he was secretly on full alert, looking for any sign of Lazarus and Barnabus. They didn't know he was coming to help them, so their reception might be frosty if he stumbled upon them unaware. The pair was fleeing from assassins sent by the High Priests, so they would be well hidden and scared.

Gavrel looked for any sign of human presence, a campsite or a fire. Suddenly, his keen senses picked up the faint odor of charcoal, but he kept going as if he had not noticed.

When the smell was strong enough that he was sure, he decided the camp must be close by, so he stopped to make his own.

He was a careful man, more from his training in pankration than by natural inclination. He positioned himself so that the twisted branches of a thorn bush were directly to his back, making an ambush from the rear difficult. Next, he secured his animals, hobbled them and left them with plenty of food before sitting down to build a fire. There was plenty of dry kindling around, so the fire was started with little difficulty.

He was sitting on a log admiring his handy work when he felt the presence of someone approaching stealthily through the thorn bush.

“AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!” Someone rushed at him from each side, one throwing rocks, the other with a knife drawn, both yelling like madmen, incomprehensible screams of adrenalin-fused fury.

Gavrel had no idea what they were shouting, but it sure got his attention. He didn't even think; his reaction was automatic and the result of years of training. His first move was to minimize his size, making himself as small a target as he could. He crouched low to the ground, catlike, assessing which attacker was the more immediate danger.

As rocks were landing all around him, he was a little off guard. He rose defensively with two hands on the ground for support and kicked out in a circular fashion to take the legs out from underneath the rock thrower. Gavrel didn't have time to notice, but the look of utter surprise on the man’s face was priceless.

Next he turned his attention to the second intruder, who was further back. A moving target, he held the knife back ready to throw. Gavrel judged it well, and as the attacker’s forearm started its forward motion, Gavrel moved lightning fast. He rolled away just as the knife landed in the log where moments earlier he had been sitting.

He grabbed the knife, and, turning to face his attacker, he pivoted preparing his arm to throw the knife back. The rock thrower, just recovering from his unceremonious dumping on the ground, saw what was about to happen. He screamed out, "Barnabus, he has your...."

Gavrel's reaction was instantaneous; his throwing arm stopped in mid-air. He had realized these two must be who he was seeking. He called out, "Lazarus, Barnabus, is that you?"

He could almost feel the surprise roll off the two frightened men, obviously flabbergasted to hear their names being called out by a man making camp close to their hideout. They were still very suspicious, but stopped their movements.

Gavrel continued to try to reassure them, "Lazarus, Barnabus, I am not a Sadducee spy; I have been sent to help you." He wiped the sweat from his brow. "Dear Lord be praised,” he said in an earnest prayer. “I nearly killed you!"

Lazarus was not convinced yet, he wanted more information. "Who sent you to help us?" "God."

Lazarus and Barnabus cautiously got up and looked at one another for guidance or direction.

Barnabus decided to ask a question. "Where did you learn to fight like that? You could have easily killed us both."

Gavrel was trying to control his breathing, letting his adrenalin return to normal levels. “As a young recruit to scribe school in Jerusalem, I was ordered to take classes in the ancient fighting skill of pankration,” he answered quietly. “I have been training for more than twenty years now.”

Lazarus had heard of the ancient art, but Barnabus had not. Lazarus asked, "Isn't that what Hercules used in the first Olympic Games?"

"Yes, precisely," Gavrel replied.





“The Forgotten by Spencer Hawke”

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