Office humour? Don’t make me laugh...

THERE S an empty space on The Comet newsdesk now that my young colleague Damion Roberts has departed for pastures new in Cambridgeshire. But before he left, the munificent Mancunian slipped out of the office for a short while on his last day this week and

THERE'S an empty space on The Comet newsdesk now that my young colleague Damion Roberts has departed for pastures new in Cambridgeshire.

But before he left, the munificent Mancunian slipped out of the office for a short while on his last day this week and returned with a stack of cakes.

As these were laid out on a desk top for our perusal, I happened to reach across the spread to get the office diary.

It was at that point that there was a general chorus of something on the lines of: "John's going for the cakes already."

This was patently untrue and I informed the heckling crowd of my real intention. To this came back the retort: "You can't eat a diary."

Cranking up the old brain with near lightning speed, I responded: "Yes you can - dates are great."

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There was a deathly silence, broken only by a solitary guffaw after a couple of seconds. I presumed that my brilliant wit had shocked the rest of my workmates into voiceless admiration but just in case I was wrong, I thanked the one person who had bothered to laugh.

Not so funny was the announcement yesterday from environment secretary Hilary Benn that we need to take the fight against climate change into our homes and living rooms.

In a clarion call he said none of us will be immune to dangerous climate change which is why we need to take steps now to prevent it happening.

Use less energy in our houses, save water, reduce waste and "green" our travel are among his suggestions.

I'm not so sure that these will tip the balance; I reckon it is the captains of industry and leaders of nations who can possibly make a real difference if they can only be persuaded to do so, which may be the hardest thing in the world.

Pleas to reduce our carbon footprints prompt me to say that we should avoid stepping in it in the first place.

What did catch my eye yesterday and made me think more about climate change than what the earnest Mr Benn was proclaiming was a press release from a company which makes flea and tick treatments.

This missive of doom warned that rising temperatures in the UK have created a hotbed of parasitic activity meaning that illnesses such as Lyme disease and other deadly infections are on the increase.

What is Lyme disease? The release sets out this scenario: "Imagine feeling unwell; you're suffering from muscle pains, joint swelling and stiffness, chronic fatigue; you have poor concentration and memory loss and in some cases this may even lead to blindness and paralysis." It can be easily contracted from a simple walk in the park or even from a furry family pet.

I don't know about you, but I am going to permanently switch off the central heating, get on the blower to the cavity wall insulation people and shun any dogs or cats which come my way.

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