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Fashion Arts Culture Entertainment

Featuring cele b r a t io n o f t h e shoe KANG - THE B U SINESS OF SEXY Alic e p a sq u i n i - u r ban vigilante ROB ELFOR D - PIX EL POWER


ISS U E - 1 0

Tim Cruickshank

LAISSEZ FAIRE -issue 10-

Before I go into gratitude overload; faithful followers of this magazine will realise Laissez Faire London is now just over a year old. The true hero’s are the platoon of journalists that continue to churn out scintillating features and columns on London’s finest talents. So here’s a big THANK YOU to ‘You Know Who You Are’.





As the weather turns as cold as liquid nitrogen with blinding speed and utterly no warning, it was all hands on deck to produce this blinder before you. Issue 10 promises to be a monumental monstrosity of a publication. It sets a bar, a touchstone for others to follow. It took us a while to say: “That’s it. We’re done. The Sistine Chapel is finished. No further brush-stroke will improve it. Any further effort will produce an ordinary result”.


As always, be inspired and creative. Amuse yourself in these pages before you and watch out for Laissez Faire London appearing on street corners like an oasis in the desert. Your muckraking editor, Maximus Jo Kerr McGuire

INSIDE: CELEBRATING THE SHOE - Standing Out From The Crowd THAESOK KANG - The Business Of Sexy ALICE PASQUINI - Street Artist MUSIC - Florence Maskell; Diamond In The Rough CULTURE - Go Green With Eco-Hotels LITERARY REVIEW -

The Nutmeg

STEALING THE SHOW - Sleeping With Straight Men / New Comedy Acts of the Year FEELING GOOD ABOUT FILMS - Gambling On Polish Humour ROB ELFORD - Pixel Power

LAISSEZ FAIRE LONDON is published by Richmond Media Ltd H.Q: 6 Powder Mill House , 6 Greens Court , Soho , London W1F 0HG 020 7439 0612 -- 077 7923 8527



Celebrating The Shoe

What on earth streams through the consciousness that stretches the imagination of designers in today’s fashion World? Putting flesh and bones onto elegant evolutionary theology can alWays cause some rabble rousing, esPecially When imaginations runs Wild. let us foray into the World of shoes; Women’s shoes to be Precise. some of these go beyond the old folksy nuggets of Wisdom about comfort and safety, but Who cares When attention is required like a heat-seeking missile that caPtures the sPirit of the times on the soles of your feet. Wear these and you’ll get the croWd starring Wide-eyed. unfortunately you Won’t be going on any suPer-jinking run With these on!

Designs by: Cat Potter

Designs by: Cherry Yuan

Designs by: Laura Gostling


The Business Of Sexy

Before we boggle into trouble with our next piece, please make sure you are over 18 or just cover your eyes! If you were ever asked how you felt about fashion and your answer was something like: “I feel like an oversexed man in a harem”, then read on. Taeseok Kang is a designer from South Korea, and his mission is to send a heady mist of testosterone drifting above the stodgy section where the humdrum retail outlets hang their bags. A tasteful play on nudity; sexual yet not sleazy; classy and ultimately envy-inducing, but just as provocative, Taeseok, in his designs, explores human sexuality based on his Korean background where Confusion ideology dominates and human sexuality is socially shunned. Need I say more…

Bag Designs: Taeseok Kang Model: Jemma X Photographer: Jung Won Park Make-Up Artist: Eunjin Yoo


Urban Vigilante

Vicenza, Italy

Here at LF, our speciaL cause are artists. tHose unsung creative types wHose taLents we want to sHout about. However, trying to Find a street-artist to interview is Like trying to Find a Fart in a windstorm. so wHen aLicè (aka aLicè pasquini) responded to our smoke signaLs, we Fired emaiLs back and FortH as Fast as bandwidtH couLd suppLy. Alicè is a hell-raiser. The Spaniard’s energy pours from her in such a whirlwind way that we’ve nicknamed her the ‘Tornado’. The walls from Berlin to Brixton once regarded as safe turned out to be as secure as the tenements of Troy. Whilst others recoil at her creative outbursts as unspeakably wicked vandalism; others think her work is alarmingly beautiful rising, phonixlike from the ashes, in unsuspecting neighbourhoods. Tortured metaphors aside, Alicè spoke to us with candid honesty…

Roma, Italy

Vitry, France

Frankly speaking, I don’t like the definition ‘street-art’ at all, I prefer to call it contextual art.

What’s the distinction between graffiti and street art?

How did you get into this kind of contextual art?

Frankly speaking, I don’t like the definition ‘street art’ at all, I prefer to call it contextual art.

When I was nine years old I was into break-dancing and comics. My hero was a graffiti girl in the Italian comics named ‘Sprayliz’. She was doing beautiful meaningful graffiti, but I never was able to do good lettering. I have always been figurative. Later on I discovered poster art and helped ‘Sten and Lex’ to organize the international poster art festival in 2006. It feels very good to leave something quickly on the streets, but I was not initially comfortable designing on walls. Later my friend ‘C215’ encouraged me to paint directly on the walls. Now we paint together and exhibit around Europe and I have come to enjoy my time on the streets a lot.

I suppose that Graffiti comes from hip-hop culture and has evolved alongside rap, scratch, and breakdancing. The post-graffiti generation come from different background: illustration, photography, graphic comics, contemporary art, etc. Most street-artists travel and work alone (or in a couple). Street art uses images that are easy for passers-by to understand. Graffiti art comes mainly from spray cans but street-art uses a lot of different mediums. Graffiti artist paint trains to show their names, but street artists often use the internet to show their work.

Brest, France


Vitry, France

What type of equipment does one need to be a contextual artist?

Fantasy and passion. There seems to be more street-art in other parts of Europe than in London –

It has evolved even further in the direction of greater integration with the surrounding space. A search that comes from landscape, which mixes with, complements or critiques the things happening in that environment. Isn’t it a bit naughty to spray on walls?

why’s that?

This seems to be a great disappointment in the UK. Maybe there’s too much money around? Too much speculation? I do not know. Perhaps the romance is lost. How do you feel knowing that one of your masterpieces might be cleaned off by the authorities any day?

…or that someone will steal it or make a tag above, or add a moustache, or the wall be torn down, or rub off? This is the fate of ephemeral art that will survive only in videos. How has street art evolved over the decades?

That's way we like it. Do you do any other form of art?

Comics, animations, singing in the rain (and shower), oh and I make sand castles. What are you’re other hobbies?

I like antiques markets on Sundays, but I never have time to go. Alicè, aka ‘Alice Pasquini’

Sydney, Australia

This beautiful world combines ideas of fashion and idyllic settings with high-tech, digital themes.


Bag Designs: Rob Elford

Pixel Power Rob ElfoRd is a dab hand at digital fashion dEsign spEcializing in fashion gRaphics and statE of thE aRt 3d animation. his latEst instalmEnt is basEd on a luminous and philosophical vision callEd ‘hEavEn is a placE onlinE’ is tRuly quitE ExquisitE. tEchnology titans likE adobE havE EnablEd mEdia howlERs to gEnERatE EvEn moRE fanciful ways of cREating lifE on diffEREnt planEs. Rationalizing all this and combining thE laws of thE cosmos with cREativE pixEl clicking idEas, Rob adapts thEoRiEs spRoutEd by thE lEgEndaRy stEphEn hawking’s, laws on timE, univERsE and thE ExistEncE of god to cREatE thEsE magical viRtual woRlds.


FEELING GOOD ABOUT FILMS Words by: Brian Mills /

Gambling On Polish Humour An invitation to attend a media screening of a new Polish film, Polish Roulette, and interview its star Cezary Pazura was an opportunity not to be missed, so on a Thursday morning at 10.30 I found myself in the Cineworld Haymarket to view the world premiere of Polish Roulette, directed by Olaf Lubaszenko, and starring Cezary Pazura, Boris Szyc and Boguslaw Linda. This madcap comedy is set in 1981 when Poland was gripped in communism and martial law. A couple of seasoned tricksters, Syneck and Janek, embark on a series of money-changing ruses: bluffing a top secret service agent during a vodka-fuelled poker game, outsmarting corrupt cops and even tricking the Russian guards on the border check points. Their escapades increase when they are persuaded by a friend to smuggle a Solidarity supporter into Warsaw culminating in an explosive encounter that neither expected. When a plan is offered to them that brings them into the clutches of Krolik, an agent from ZOMO, the notorious para-military police, who is sitting on a huge bag of cash that is just begging to be liberated... it is just too tempting to resist.

To really enjoy this comedy it would have helped to have had some knowledge of Polish history as well as being able to recognise their sporting heroes: the skier in the opening sequence and two thugs in the film who were in reality ex-champion boxers. The film was filled with political in-jokes that failed to register with me and I found myself thinking about the delicious Polish doughnuts (paczki) that awaited patrons in the foyer. The film’s funniest moments were when Janek gets nervous when questioned by security guards and the police, results in him losing his ability to speak, and also when our loveable rogues get drunk and sashay across the dance floor on their backs. Polish Roulette is one of the swiftest and widest releases in the UK of any foreign-language film being screened at over 40 Cineworld sites, so will it be successful? It has one major plus in its favour, the current economic climate. The confidence tricksters whom Syneck and Janek expertly play against authorities and fellow criminals will resonate with most people and for that alone this film needs no translation and should find a following.

My interview with the star of Polish Roulette, Cezary Pazura, took place in the foyer of the Melia White House Hotel in London. I was keen to meet this multi-talented comedy actor and director and owner of his own production company in Warsaw. Although Cezary could speak English he had his own interpreter.

Left: Brian Mills Right: Cezary Pazura Photographer: Mickael Ankri LF: What are your memories of the political unrest in your country in 1981 the period depicted in the


CP: I was 18 and was of course aware of the political uprising but I was at *Lodtz Film School so was concerned with my studies. *Former students of this school have been some of Poland’s greatest directors, Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Skolimowski, Krzysztof Kleslowski and Roman Polanski. LF:In the film most of the humour is generated by the relationship between you and your fellow trickster

Janek, played by Boris Szyc. Can you tell me a little about what it was like working with Boris?

CP: Boris is an upcoming actor in Poland and Olaf (the director) and I were his mentors. He looked up to us for our advice and help which we happily gave him. LF:The scenes where his character cannot speak because of fear were very funny. Was that something

that the director suggested to him or did he come up with the idea?

CP: No, all of that was in the script. LF: You are a popular comedian and actor in Poland and you have directed your first feature film, Weekend, which meant directing Olaf. Would you like to direct more films? CP: Maybe.. but I like to mix it up. It is hard to get films financed in Poland, which is why I have my own production company. LF: Who are your favourite actors?

CP: Robert De Niro... Johnny Depp... and Brad Pitt. His interpreter quickly reminded him of the time and we quickly said our goodbyes, but before Cezary was rushed away to his next interview, he scribbled down something on my notepaper – “That is the title of my next film,” he said with a broad smile. He had written 6/9. The 10th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival

numerous venues across London.

opens on the 8th March until 22nd March. It will take place at


Music maestro Stephen James Miller gives us the latest instalment in his search for truly great music in London. If you think you’re the next big music thing in London then get in touch with Stephen at:

Florence Maskell A Very Promising Talent Trawling through numerous unsigned band sites on the internet, or sacrificing your evenings to watch live bands can be a pretty unrewarding experience. In fact, it is nearly always an unrewarding experience and annoying to boot. I have a tendency to think “Yeah, go on, impress me...” with a bit of a sneering prejudice, but that’s not surprising considering how much dross there is out there. Not that most of the artists I hear are plain awful; just mediocre or predictable. As I wade through this thick swamp of musical misery, rarely do I discover anything remarkable, but I make a habit of ‘giving people a chance’. In my own way, I put them to one side, as if to hope that they may somehow grow on me or make me reevaluate their worth. There are some singers with great voices but poor material, composers who write good tunes but sound pastiche and unoriginal, and there are times when I may discern the seeds of potential without noticing the full bloom. I was half-expecting the one act that may grab my attention would be a virtuoso young rock band, just what all my fave bands were ‘when they whut lads’. Well, that didn’t happen. Near the end of 2011 I bookmarked a solo female singer-songwriter without really taking much notice of her stuff. However, after one whole week after having her tunes stuck in my head I had to return to my ‘maybe’ list and work out who was responsible. I was surprised to discover that the artist in question was Florence Maskell; who composed and sang her own material. Where I would usually have an Iron Maiden riff galloping through my brain I found I was humming an octave-jumping melody sang by a pleasant young female voice; where I would normally alleviate the boredom of a tube journey by reciting a Bach melody in my mind, I found it was usurped by a couple of contemplative piano accompaniments to a song I couldn’t quite recognise. I was even more surprised to discover that Florence was 14 years old when she wrote some of these tracks. 16 now, she is obviously still a precocious talent; surely one to watch for the future, but then she seems to have accomplished something already that most acts cannot. I have to concede: it takes a strong tune indeed to take over my conscience, but that’s exactly what she did. These things speak for themselves; a strong melody with a strong harmony is the foundation for a memorable song. The ability to achieve this is not usually accomplished until maturity allows it, but Florence Maskell seems to have ignored this maxim. Of all the countless acts in ‘unsigned band world’, with all their expensive equipment and polished demos, it took a 14-year-old girl with a keyboard and simple recordings to put them in place, and for one reason alone: good songs. There are four demo songs I point to, songs that I urge you to listen to - and more than once. I defy you to tell me they won’t get stuck in your brain. Over the Sea and Far Away and Summertimes are like raw honey: Florence’s lilting melodies and elevated vocal lines over simple but dynamic piano motifs. In My Song Florence is accompanied by acoustic guitars; the harmonies and accompaniments suggesting suspension rather than resolution, leaving you with a sense of bittersweet reflection. Anne Anecdote takes you on a misleading journey from a conventional opening cadence to a repeating verse based on a root note rising semitone by semitone; the chord progression tinged with just a little darkness. Look, never mind my pretentious, high-falutin, flowery effusion; just listen to her songs at (www. laissezfairelondon/download.html). I tell you, she’s the most promising talent I’ve heard in years.


Britt Pflüger is a literary scout and agent. She also runs literary consultancy Hardy & Knox:

I think life is a mass of lines that are always being crossed. A patchwork of shapes that are constantly shifting. There are so many different ways of seeing the world. How can we say where fiction ends and reality begins, who’s right and who’s wrong?

Nutmeg ... by Maria Goodin Legend Press 1st April 2012 304 pages £7.99

Twenty-one year old science graduate Meg May has long prided herself on being a rational being, unlike her mother Valerie. Val, a passionate cook, has told her for as long as Meg can remember that her father was a French chef (since killed in a freak pastry accident) with whom she fell in love at the age of sixteen. According to Val, Meg, on being born, was caught in a frying pan by the visiting gas man, and left on the window sill to grow. She also insists that she was once caught in a bubble when over-whisking egg whites resulted in filling their council flat kitchen in Tottenham with white foam. And then there was the time when, according to Val, she held little Meg upside down out of the window to pluck spaghetti from their neighbour’s pasta plant. Growing up, Meg loved her mother’s fairytales – until a cruel mocking by her classmates made her swear off all fantasies and stick to reality instead. So now Meg is a serious, no-nonsense research student in Leeds with an even more serious boyfriend, lecturer Mark. But when she discovers that her mother is dying of cancer, she decides to move in and spend her last months with her in her late grandparents’ cottage in Cambridge.

Just when she thinks she may never discover the truth, she stumbles across a twenty-one year old flier for a band and an address in London and decides to investigate... Over the following weeks, as summer fades into autumn and Val becomes increasingly frail, Meg, despite herself, becomes closer to Ewan and more and more resentful of her ever pragmatic boyfriend Mark. Trips to London reveal that as a baby, she, Val and her friend Gwennie lived with a rock band near King’s Cross. Gwennie, faced with her former best friend’s imminent death, eventually comes out with the truth – which is far darker than Meg could have imagined...

Nutmeg is a charming, moving, heart warming and darkly funny novel about secrets, survival, love and cooking. Although at times it reads very much like the first novel it is (Mark’s characterisation for instance is rather more two-dimensional and less believable than it could have been, and some scenes appear a little naive in their portrayal), it is a remarkable debut about maternal love. Overall, the characters are convincing and likable, there are evocative settings and plenty of twists and turns, not least Meg’s own conflicting emotions towards her stubborn It does not take long for Meg to become exasperated by Val’s denial of her illness mother as her emotions veer from resentment to indulgence. This is all powerfully and her continued fairytales about Meg’s conception and childhood. To make underscored by the thought-provoking (albeit not entirely original) exploration of matters worse, Val has hired the utterly annoying Ewan, a scruffy tree-hugger the themes of reality versus fiction, and of life as a narrative. and fantasist, to help her with her vast vegetable and flower garden. At Mark’s insistence, Meg tries to get her mother to face both her past and present, only to A beautifully quirky gem of a novel. hit a brick wall.


Words by Ricci Bryson / Tweet: / Website:

Go Green With Eco-Hotels

We are in the age of the ‘eco-consumerism’. An age in which everyone is striving to be a lean green consumer machine by making ethical purchasing choices. Nowadays you can buy everything from fair trade coffee to environmentally sustainable washing-up liquid. I’ve even discovered that some consumers are not only making the switch to environmentally friendly products, they are taking this into a whole new lifestyle choice, even changing the way they holiday. As we all know, the energy we use going on holidays (yes, even mini breaks) has an impact that can negate the best of intentions at home – from jetting across to New York to staying in an energy-guzzling hotel. The papers call it our ‘Carbon Footprint’. For some time now, however, we have been able to minimise the impact our travel has on the environment. We can enter the staycation buzz, travel by train to those easily-reached destinations across the UK and Europe and if we have to go by air, we can counter the carbon used during flights by signing up to an airline’s carbon offsetting scheme. But did you know it doesn’t stop there. Hotels across the world are now embracing this green get-a-way revolution and are saving energy and the environment without saving on style. With sustainable hotel design and new energy-efficient technologies, hotels profess to produce less carbon emissions, making them a viable green option. Regular hotel dwellers may have noticed the quick uptake of movement-activated lighting and water-saving devices in their rooms.

One organisation that has truly embraced this greener way of business is the Apex Hotel group. While others talk about creating sustainable eco strategies. Apex Hotels have not only ensured that their hotels are greener by incorporating many energy saving measures, but they have also used existing buildings and upgraded them to the highest levels of energy-efficiency possible. I decided to test the virtuous group and set off for an eco-hotel break at the Apex Hotel London Wall. They boast a plethora of energy-saving measures such as efficient boilers, shower flow restrictors, LED lighting across the building and high specification glazing to help minimise heat loss, to name but a few. My stay at the Apex Hotel London Wall was not only sumptuous and relaxing, but I also felt comfortable in the knowledge that this hotel actually cares about the environment and the impact that it may have upon it. But don’t fear, you don’t have to stay in London to enjoy eco-hotels, there are loads in and around the UK to tempt you though their environmentally sourced doors. The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall has pulled out all the stops with electric car charging points, biomass burners, and solar panels to keep the pool toasty. Further a field, and if you can travel there in the most carbon efficient way possible then you can get off the beaten track and visit more of these less conventional hotels. Find out more by visiting the Green Tourism Business Scheme website. Of course there are some occasions where you just simply need to travel to far off global destinations. Ultimately, and after my experience, I’m not saying people should stay exactly where they are in pursuit of living the green dream – it’s just that heightened consciousness about the impact of our actions doesn’t really hurt, especially when you look at the eco-hotel treasures on offer.

Stealing The Show

Our resident literary buff and general theatre/ cOmedy enthusiast JOn madge lets rip On twO very different vOyeuristic experiences…


SLEEPING WITH STRAIGHT MEN Plays should be more like opticians. We’ve all been thinking about it for years and I’ll be the first to stand up and say it. Not disturbingly vacant yet somehow cramped at the same time, or full of people who you suspect have ended up in their second choice of career and are dangerously capable of taking it out on your eyes. No, what plays should have is the “is it better with A or with B?” bit. “Is it better with farce or gritty realism?”; “Songs or complex character development?”; “Andrew Lloyd Webber or depth?” Often theatre does such a good job of pigeonholing itself that this options system would be a perfectly good way of deciding what to see. Luckily, sometimes a show comes along that tries to make theatre a little more complicated than ophthalmic medicine and the latest offering from Ronnie Larsen at Above with no real action until Stanley and Lee get to the TV show. From then on the show picks up an Olympic the Stag does just that. pace. Sleeping with Straight Men bills itself as being about the effect TV and the lure of fame have on people’s In someone else’s hands the plot could be staunchly one-dimensional, but Larsen is a talented writer. He lives. I’d say it fails at that, but manages to say so much more in the process. wrings a lot of interest out of the relationship between and the sexual attitudes of the main characters. th On March 6 1995, a gay guest on the Jenny Jones chat show revealed he has a secret crush on his straight An openly and actively gay character, rather than a disgraced Tory MP, saying that two men can have best friend. The friend laughed about it on air, bought a shotgun and, three days later, shot his friend in oral sex without being gay sets the tone for a play that has a lot of fun challenging prejudices and the chest. This true story is the inspiration for the play and, spoiler alert, is also a rough summary of its preconceptions. plot. The show is undoubtedly stolen by Martin Milnes. Playing Stanley’s best friend, a small town drag Art departs from real life in that the two main characters of Sleeping With Straight Men don’t know each queen, Milnes switches between jokes with the audience, scene-setting show tunes and one genuinely other. The object of affection is Lee (played by Adam Isdale), a waiter, his admirer Stanley (Wesley Dow) heart-breaking monologue. is a customer at the restaurant he works at. Whatever its intentions in commenting on our obsession with the media, this is a play about relationships The performance takes some time to start. Much of the first half is scene-setting and character development and different kinds of love. And it does that very well. DO YOU LIKE COMEDY? ‘I like comedy’ is one of those things that shouldn’t need to be said. Much like when lonely heart adverts Second place went to Mark Stephenson, who may well be the natural successor to Stewart Lee. Stephenson include phrases like ‘I enjoy good food’, specifically pointing it out either highlights a lack of anything takes deadpan to its logical extreme but balances it with the kind of everyday references that keep even else in your life or that you enjoy it far too much. the drunkest audience paying attention. Strangely, his comedy is all the more surreal for mentioning tangible objects like Alan Sugar or desks. So when people say they ‘like comedy’ it’s important to find out quickly what they mean. If they’re simply explaining that they find laughing pleasurable then they’re likely a danger to themselves and others. Spill The night’s winner was Patrick Cahill, an act that instantly won favour with a homemade hands-free mic your drink, on them if needs be, and leave. If, on the other hand, they mean they stray outside the TV stand. With props, gags and deep-seated self-loathing, Cahill really does offer something for everyone. panel show compound of comedians when seeking out their mirth, then quote the rest of this article to them and be considered a man of great knowledge. Also featuring on the night’s line-up, and equally worthy of a prize, a radio series or a bag of cash, were Bobby Mair and Mae Martin. Both Canadian, but not a double act. Mair did a good job of bucking his The New Act of the Year, previously the New Variety Act of the Year, has been the stomping ground nation’s friendly stereotypes with a dark humour that should have terrified anyone in the audience with of many a well-known and time-tested comedian. Russel Brand, Andi Osho and Harry Hill all started children. Martin, meanwhile, co-opted a 90s alt-rock classic into a song of her love for the actor Don Cheadle. out there. Despite dropping the ‘variety’ from their name, the NATYs are the best place to see a genuinely diverse Mister Meredith performed a musically accomplished and hilarious set. His combination of Tom Lehrergroup of up and coming comedians. This year’s shortlist reads as an almost unblemished list of acts to go esque lyrical game-playing and flirtatious audience interaction mean he’ll be a staple on the cabaret circuit for years to come. and see very soon, before it costs you thirty quid a ticket. Fans of musical comedy will love Adams and Rea, the holders of this year’s third place. For anyone old In the past the NATYs have served as a good measure of the direction UK comedy’s taking. If that’s still enough to remember Mel and Sue, they’re like a musical version of them. For anyone young enough true expect tight one-liners, accomplished musicians and some of the bleakest punchlines for years to to like Russell Howard, you just need to know they followed up a song about a library fine without a come. delightfully tune made up of quotes from Silence of the Lambs.

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Illustrated by: Alvaro Arteaga

LAUGHTER TO THE BRAIN IS LIKE EXERCISE TO THE BODY# Thanks for all The jokes you have senT in. you loT clearly love This page! Try To keep Them clean Though london, some of These are really pushing iT. sorry for any offence caused. Send in your top jokes to:

A little old lady went to the Bank of England carrying a bag of money, insisting to speak with the bank manager to open a savings account because: "It's a lot of money!" After pontificating, the bank staff finally allowed her into the manager’s office. The manager then asked her how much she would like to deposit. She replied: "£165,000!" then dumped the cash out of her bag onto his desk. Curious as to where she got all this cash, he asked: "Madam, I'm surprised you're carrying so much cash around. Where did you get all this money?" The old lady replied: "I make bets." Manager: "Bets? What kind of bets?" The old woman said, "Well, for example, I'll bet you £25,000 that your balls are square." The Manager laughs, "That's a stupid bet. You can never win that kind of bet!" The old lady challenged: "So, would you like to take my bet?" Manager agrees: "Sure, I'll bet £25,000 that my balls aren't square!" The little old lady then said: "Okay, but since there’s a lot of money involved, may I bring my lawyer with me tomorrow at 10am as a witness?" "Sure!" replied the confident manager.

Here are a few great reasons to allow drinking in the workplace...

1. It’s an incentive to show up 2. It reduces stress

3. It leads to more honest communications 4. It reduces complaints about low pay

Little Johnny, who had just opened his book, closed it slowly, and replies: "What would you like to discuss?"

6. Employees tell management what they think, not what

"Oh, I don't know… how about nuclear power?"

5. It cuts down on time off because you can work with a hangover

management wants to hear 7. It helps save on heating costs in the winter 8. It encourages carpooling 9. Increases job satisfaction because if you have a bad job you don't care 10. It eliminates vacations because people would rather come to work 11. It makes fellow employees look better 12. It makes the cafeteria food taste better 13. Bosses are more likely to hand out raises when they have had a couple of drinks That night, the manager got very nervous about the bet and spent a 14. Salary negotiations are a lot more profitable long time in front of a mirror checking his balls, turning from side to A taxi passenger taps the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question. side, again and again. He thoroughly checked them until he was sure The driver screams; loses control of the taxi; nearly hits a bus; goes up that there was absolutely no way his balls were square and that he on the footpath; and stops centimetres from a shop window. would win the bet. The next morning, at precisely 10am, the little old lady appeared with his lawyer at the manager’s office: After a moment’s silence, the cabbie said, “Look mate, don’t ever do "£25,000 says the president's balls are square!" The manager agreed with the bet again and the old lady asked him to drop his pants so they could all see. The president complied. The little old lady peered closely at his balls and then asked if he could feel them. "Well, Okay, £25,000 is a lot of money, so I guess you should be absolutely sure." Just then, he noticed that the lawyer was quietly banging his head against the wall. The president asked the old lady, "What the hell's the matter with your lawyer?" She replied, "Nothing, except I bet him £100,000 that at 10am today I'd have The Bank of England’s manager’s balls in my hand.

Little Johnny sat next to a stranger on the plane when the stranger turned to the Little Johnny and said: "Hi there, let's talk. Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

"OK," said Little Johnny. "That could be an interesting topic, but let me ask you a question first; a horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass; the same stuff. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?" "Jeez," said the stranger. "I have no idea." "Well, then," said Little Johnny, "How is it that you feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?"

Little Johnny’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures, tacked to a bulletin board, of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. “Yes,” said the policeman. “The detectives want very badly to capture him.” Little Johnny asked, “Why didn’t you keep him when you took his that again. You scared the living daylights out of me!” The passenger picture?” apologised and said: “I didn’t realize that a little tap would scare you so much.” Cabbies replies: “Sorry, it’s not really your fault. Today A man in his 40s buys a new BMW and takes it for a spin on the is my first day as a cab driver. I’ve been driving a funeral van for the motorway. The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair, and he decided to rev her up. As the needle jumped last 25 years.” to 80, flashing red and blue lights appear behind him. “There’s no Q. Did you hear about the man who was tap dancing? way they can catch a BMW,” he thought to himself and opened her A. He broke his ankle when he fell into the sink. up further. The needle hit 90, 100.... Then the reality of the situation hit him. “What the heck am I doing?” he thought and pulled over. Q. What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches? A. A nervous wreck. The cop came up to him, took his license without a word, and

Q. Why do bagpipers walk when they play? Q. Did you hear about the guy who lost his left arm and leg in a car A. They’re trying to get away from the noise. crash? Q. What does Star Trek and toilet paper have in common? A. He’s all right now. A. They both circle Uranus looking for Black Holes.

examined it and the car. “It’s been a long day, this is the end of my shift, and it’s Friday the 13th. I don’t feel like more paperwork, so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven’t heard before, you can go.” The guy thinks for a second and says, “Last week my wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back.” “Have a nice weekend,” said the officer.

Artist: Sasha Helim

HUMOUR-SCOPES As Venus juxtApositions itself into MArs, the heAt is turned up full throttle in AreAs of roMAnce And finAnce! reAd below to see if you wAllet is As eMpty As you presuMe or if the flAMe in your loVe life is About to be snubbed out… As usuAl, A disclAiMer is needed As these Are only the preMonitions of our gruMpy stAr gAzer And not the Views of lf.


A ram in sheep’s clothing is not going to make a difference this quarter, as your horns will stick out like sore, inflamed acne. When it comes to romance, you should avoid silly dance moves in clubs and chat-up lines straight out of the comic books. Try planning ahead a little and don’t do anything too rashly – this may be difficult to do, as taking risks is a part of your ram-like DNA.


Your sharp intellect and attention to detail will have others pulling out their hair. Loosen up and play stupid from time to time. Let others take the credit and you’ll win over someone whom can return a generous favour to you. Because of your prudence, you’ll have nothing to worry about in these financially hard times. With zero balance on your credit cards, its time to start helping out the economy and splash out on something you don’t really need.


After long and hard deliberation, I found it difficult to find anything that may influence you for fear of tipping that emotionally, sensitive procrastinator into the realms of no return. The sky is a bit blurry and snow-filled and I can’t see the stars, Just relax, enjoy reading other’s star signs and use whatever inspiration conjures your mind to do the right thing. Once Venus is out of Mars we promise to search out something specific for Taurus.


Down but not out. The financial markets are flat and it’s finally time to get savvy. Try exercising that anatomical part and deliver the sting of the century. Don’t forget the shelves are loaded with ‘buy one get one free.’


Change and versatility are on the cards this quarter. The dominance of duality in your astrological nature can help or hinder the effects of the economy this month, quarter and even year! (Yes - that’s you Georege Osborne) Apart from that, all Gemini’s should look across the Channel for Lady Luck to appear in the form of a golden goose.


We all need a Sagittarius around to liven up the day. So whether you’re busking on the tubes or playing the jester at work, we want you to know that all of us appreciate it. However, your love life will be up in the air and no amount of roses will win the heart of someone you fancy. Wise up, please.


Intuition not logic and that’s our advice for all you crabby personalities this month. The threat of a double-dip recession means that all you Cancers should climb out of your shell and start digging around for new opportunities. Romance will be great as long as you can keep those claws attached to those you truly love and keep flings at bay, which can be hard as you walk around with eight legs but only have two eyes.


There are going to be some major stirrings on the home front for these terrestrial goats as Venus and Mars combine energies. You have probably been feeling very restless for some time, but from this point on, the urge to move or travel will grow even more insistent. Thoughts of owning a place somewhere exotic may fill your mind. You need adventure and plenty of it.


A possibility of travel looms on the horizon. This could be tied into a long distance relationship or a new job opportunity abroad. Your outwardly expressive and extrovert style will win you many allies this quarter, so be as arrogant, as narcissist and immodest as you like. It will act like a magnet!


Big changes are coming to your personal financial zone. As Venus and Mars merge energies you’re on the verge of exciting times. You could find yourself much better off as a result of a career change and you’ll feel increasingly liberated the more you work at reforming and transforming your core values


The juxtaposition of Venus and Mars puts you firmly into that joint financial power-zone, meaning that if money comes your way, it will be the result of business ideas or deals, an inheritance, or a lottery win. With the HMRC employees striking you could even get a tax rebate due to some unforeseen admin error. Mars in your sign after a long period in the Twelfth House means you’re bursting with energy and ready to go.


Being the twelfth sign of the Zodiac, you’ve probably worked it out that whatever advice given on this page is a load of baloney. In fact, being last on the list is always an advantage as you seldom make the mistakes of other foolish star signs placed before you.

The Business of Sexy  


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