Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to more than 3400 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at:
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Greetings & Blessings to all,

Welcome to a special July 4th issue in honour oof our readers in the USA. We hope you are enjoying all of the festivities which, for many people, began last Friday! It was like that for us as we spent the better part of the last few days preparing for our first July 4th picnic in years. Sunday was a sizzling steambath of a day but we had plenty of water balloons to cool off with - and clean up with after the egg toss games!

We had a great turnout and the day ended with a spectacular fireworks display. We are now going through a massive cleanup which reminds us of why we decided to let someone else take over the madness. No wonder they were so willing to let us do it again. Mind you, we're not complaining. it was great to see everyone - especially the kids who all of a sudden have turned into teenagers. Of course, we haven't changed a bit.

The fireworks continue - but it's now Mother Nature doing the bombs bursting in air. Fingers crossed that the predicted severe storms won't totally washout the picnics and parades yet to come before the fourth is finally finished for another year. We also hope and pray that all of the floods north of us and toward the eastern seaboard last week didn't harm you and yours, or spoil your holiday plans.

Enough of the blather about the weather - on with the update. But wait - one more thing before we forget. If you just signed up, many thanks for joining us and please feel free to forward our musings and meanderings on to family and friends. Or your enemies if you think they wouldn't like us.
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SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox and visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
It's business as usual despite all of the flooding which has caused so much damage to property in the region where Lollysmith is located. They are still cleaning up and while most hands are on deck swabbing and mopping, staff is still available to take your orders. They have an amazing variety of products and make it very easy to shop by theme and occasion. From Shamrock and Claddagh motifs to Irish Weddings, Blessings and inspirational items, you'll find a huge array throughout their web site. Visit them on line today today and tell them Russ and Bridget said we wish we could be there to help with the clean up!
http://www.lollysmith.com/
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IN THIS ISSUE:
News
From the Mailbag
Links
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
Riddle
The week that was
The week that will be, God willing
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'em Laughing
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NEWS
ED NOTE: Did you know that we keep two week's of links to the latest news from ireland on the web site? What follows are the tidbits that don't usually make tthe national papers. For those, read on. For the major stories, click here:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html

GENERAL:
Save Rattlebag!
An on-line petition has been launched to force RTÉ to keep arts programme Rattlebag on air. Almost 1,000 people have signed the petition. Well-known figures who put their name to the campaign include actress Ruth Negga, musician Donal Lunny and TD Ruairi Quinn. The petition can be accessed online at www.petitiononline.com/rattlebg/.

FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Clare: Craggaunowen reopens after fire
The Craggaunowen visitor attraction near Quin has reopened two years after it was destroyed by fire. The reconstructed crannóg or lake dwelling is located on land donated to the people of Ireland by the late John Hunt and the two dwellings have been built using only materials and methods available in the Bronze Age.

Dublin: Sculptor doesn't let the hare sit
The latest piece of sculpture created by Barry Flanagan was unveiled during the week by Dublin's new Lord Mayor, Vincent Jackson. The latest in a series of ten outdoor bronze sculptures, the Large Leaping Hare is located on the forecourt of Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. The sculptor's other works in this series include eight other hares and a dual work of an elephant and a cougar, and all are located on the capital's O'Connell Street.

Fermanagh: Mummers entertain on Knockninny
They came on foot and by tractor, the crowds who gathered at the summit of Knockninny to witness the Summer Solstice celebrations last weekend organised by the Aughakillymaude Mummers. On top of the mountain they built a bonfire as the focal point of a series of traditions associated with the date and this was lit as the sun was setting, to the wail of bagpipes. The straw-clad mummers, each holding a flaming torch, processed towards the bonfire, encircled it four times and then held up straw wreaths. Damien McKenna then offered bread to the gathering and Michael McBarron, the Captain Mummer, undertook the leaping of the fire for strength and luck.

Galway: Another Shop Street landmark on the move
It can hardly be classed as one of the old Galway businesses but the long established Royal Villa Restaurant on Shop Street has become a firm favourite with generations of Galwegians and with visitors in the fifteen years of its existence. For many years the only restaurant in Galway that opened on St Stephen's Day, the Royal Villa is now on the move, out to the centre of Oranmore village where proprietor Charlie Chan is opening an Asian Fusion restaurant. Last weekend he and his wife Angela threw a farewell party for all their patrons, complete with jazz band and plenty of food.

Kerry: Seán dances his way back home
Despite being a native of Australia Seán Kelliher, the lead role in "Riverdance" showing in Killarney, had plenty of relatives in the audience to cheer him, for his father John emigrated from Beaufort some forty years ago. John and his wife Jane had travelled from Australia to see the show and they were joined in the audience by members of John's family from Kilgobnet, Mossie, Tom, Pat and Eileen. Seán is the youngest of four children, all of whom have been involved in Irish dancing, and John is the football coach for the Brisbane GAA team.

Longford: Priest comes home to celebrate jubilee
Father Jim Smyth, possibly the only Irish priest who is a fully-trained cooper, came home from America to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of his ordination. The son of Andrew Smyth, a well-known cooper in Granard, Father Jim has already celebrated the jubilee in his New York parish and last Saturday further marked the occasion in St Mary's Church in the town. In New York he was joined by his sisters Rosie, Florence and Sarah, his brothers Frank and Philip and Kathleen, widow of his late brother Paddy. Before going to the US he spent a number of years in Nigeria, before an accident forced a return home.

Louth: Unusual sale ahead in Dundalk
An auctioneering firm in Dundalk has an unusual item up for sale next month - the freehold of the town. At present in the ownership of Galway-based Lord and Lady Roden, the freehold includes the rights to a number of ground rents, the market rights, and the ownership of an eighteenth century estate map. In addition, there are a number of small parcels of land around the town included in the manor of Dundalk which have never been leased. However prospective purchasers - and expressions of interest have been received from experts in history and archaeology - have been urged to examine all documents to ensure they know exactly what they are paying for.

Offaly: Saying thank you to Joey
A tribute evening was organised last week in Finbarr Cullen's Lounge in Edenderry to say thank you to a ballad singer who has spent many years entertaining people in the midlands. The Edenderry Entertainers Commemorative Committee staged the Joey Ryan Appreciation Concert as a way of thanking the ballad singer, who is now in ill-health, for thirty years of enjoyment and for all the charity work he has carried out in that time. Sean Norman and his band, with whom Joey both sang and recorded, were the main act on the night and they were joined by Pauric Browne and a range of local artists.

Sligo: Demystifying the mystery of the disappearing lake
A lake in Sligo which has totally disappeared on four previous occasions is probably not the mystery it appeared to be, according to Dr Richard Thorn, director of Sligo Institute of Technology. Lough na Súil in the townland of Ballinphuill between Geevagh and Riverstown emptied overnight in 1833, 1933, 1965 and 1985, and now it has disappeared again, though locals have reported a gradual drop in the water levels over the past few months. Dr Thorn believes the lakewater drains away through a system of channels and caves which become unblocked.

Wexford: A century of trading comes to an end in Gorey
John Webb is closing the newsagents, sports and toy shop in Main Street, Gorey, more than one hundred years after the premises was first opened by his grandfather, also John. Originally the shop was both a butcher's and undertakers, with John's father Matthew running the undertaking business until his retirement in 1954. For a while the premises also housed a restaurant before the newsagency was established. While the latter is now closing, the sports and toy departments are moving to new premises on St Michael's Road and hope to re-open by the end of August.

ED NOTE: Many of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not allow us to print them all. To read every item, please click
http://www.emigrant.ie/summary.asp?iCategoryID=18
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Sponsor: Please help us keep our newsletter free and visit the web site of Cindy Thomson , author of Brigid of Ireland - an historical novel based on the slave who became a saint.
In 5th century pagan-dominated Ireland, Brigid is born a slave to her own brutal father. Torn from her mother's arms, and desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid converts to Christianity - and the miracles begin. But so does the opposition from rulers and the Druids opposed to her faith and her growing popularity. To read an excerpt, place an order or learn how the book cover was created, and to download a T-shirt transfer, visit:
http://www.brigidofireland.com
To sign up for a free newsletter, or place an order, please click
http://www.cindyswriting.com
Brigid of Ireland
The book is also available on amazon, from the publishers and wherever fine books are sold:
http://www.kregel.com
http://www.lionhudson.com
and everywhere books are sold. (ISBN: 082546112X)
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FROM THE MAILBAG
Francis writes: My Mom spoke fluent Tir Connel gaelic, as a young woman in Ireland. She told me she wore a faine (with a fada or long stroke over the a). I believe the faine signified one spoke fluent gaelic. Do you have any information on this?

Save the Irish Language
The IH sponsored raffle for the Belfast Irish school, Gaelscoil an Lonnain continues. Tickets are just $3.00 each. Please make your check out to the Irish Heritage E-mail Group. Send to
George Trainor
548 Locust Ave.
Manteca, CA.
95337 - 5412
Drawing is on September 2nd, 2006.
ED. NOTE: A new web page with details about the school and the raffle is under construction. Take a look:
http://hometown.aol.com/steeler059/Page5.html

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LINKS

Patriotic American music and more!
Great site with links to July 4th favorite anthems, historic documents and lots of other Independence Day diversions
http://wilstar.com/holidays/july4.htm

Classic July 4th celebration from Boston
Years ago, when Beantown was home, we attended one of these concerts; it was a truly remarkable experience. Here are just a few excerpts taped by an MITstudent .
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5664981248145267948&q=July+4th

Patriotic Popeye - a classic for the fourth
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6287034213304564015&q=type%3Agpick
%3Agpick

Epcot Fireworks Show
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5479127951038395430&q=July+4th

Another excellent fireworks display!
Not just your ordinary backyard barbecue!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7189506423042194925&q=July+4th

July 4th message
We're still not really sure what the message is! But some of this is pretty funny.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7833594282435723522&q=July+4th

Independence Day music video excerpt
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3366396993388888099&q=type%3Amusic_video

Free mammograms
Do you know of a woman who can't afford a mammogram? Here's how you can help. Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if they get enough clicks , they'll be able to donate at least one free mammogram a day to underprivileged women. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

Last but certainly not least - our on-going gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/CTDSites.woa

It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
http://www.thehungersite.com

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QUIPS, QUOTES , PROVERBS & TOASTS
While John Travolta is half Irish on his mother's side and he grew up in a predominantly Irish neighbourhood in New Jersey, it's the Italian side of his lineage that he is most recognised for. However, Travolta himself sees it differently. "The emotional, romantic, whimsical part of me is Irish. Spiritually, I probably feel more like an Irishman - that's where my heart is."
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A BIT OF THE WIT
Mr. President, how did you become a war hero?
It was absolutely involuntary. They sank my boat.
John F. Kennedy
Source:The Kennedy Wit
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JOKE OF THE WEEK
Murphy won the Irish Lottery and was on a long holiday in America. He took a bus tour and traveled for hours and hours through desert country and oil fields. Murphy said, "Where are we now?" The guide said, "We're in the great state of Texas." "It's a big place," said Murphy. The guide said, "It's so big, that your County Kerry would fit into the smallest corner of it." And Murphy said, "Ah yes, and wouldn't it do it wonders!"
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Sponsor: Help us keep our newsletter free by visiting our good friends at The Irish
Lottery:
NO WINNER ON SATURDAY NIGHT ! That means the jackpot for next Wednesday' s draw will be about € 2 Million Euro. But you have to be in it to win it. So enter now - you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Please click her for full details:
http://www.irishlotto.net
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DID YOU KNOW

1. More than 40% of US presidents had Irish ancestors?

2. Mike Quill from county Kerry was the founding president of the Transport Workers Union of America?

3. Eamon De Valera, the first President of the Irish Republic,
was born in New York City?
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DO YOU KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS?
(Or books on Irish-related topics?)

Is everyone too busy watching the World Cup or Wimbledon? There are so few entries to our last quiz that we are running it for another week. Why not give it a go - rest assured, it's really easy!

Who wrote:
1. Ireland: the Quest for the World Cup: A Complete Record
2. Football Captains: The All-Ireland Winners
3. Goal! World Cup 2002: The Essential Guide to Ireland's World Cup Campaign

Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter. In the meantime, here are the answers to our last quiz:

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SPONSOR: Help us keep our newsletter coming; please visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
What better time than midsummer to give the house a Celtic twist, inside and out. Take a look at our wide range of chimes, sun-catchers, and other decorative items, including our newest novelty - a shamrock toilet seat cover! We are also offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $75.00 and we are including a FREE GIFT with each order from now until the end of summer . Also, don't forget to enter our Monthly Giveaways. You could win a Summer's Day Basket or a delicate Celtic cross.
http://www.celticattic.com/main.htm
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RIDDLE
To start off, the answer to our last mind mangler:
Q: What letter is next in this sequence?
ADTCCSSON
Here's a clue: OTTFFSSENT
A: D
Well done to Barbara from Toronto who figured out that what we were looking for was the numeral ten in Irish: djeh

And now for next skull scrambler:
I have 10 red socks and 10 blue socks in a drawer. How many socks must I take out to ensure that I have at least one matching pair and how many to ensure I have at least a pair of red and a pair of blue?

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THE WEEK THAT WAS
1. Article - Lords of the Curragh Ring
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/CuraghRing.html
2. Article - From our Front Porch
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMisc/FromFrontPorch.html
3. Article - A Dandy of an irish Yankee
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMusic/GMCohan.html
4. Article - A Taste of ireland - Irish Coffee
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/aCoffee.html
5. Kids' Ireland: The Children of Lir
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/1Kids/1Home.html
6. The Jokes Department - seven pages worth!
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Jokes/Jokes1.html
7. The irish Kitchen - Mussels in Garlic & Guinness Appetizer
8. Basic Irish - Happy Birthday
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/1Home.html
9. Circle of Prayer: Our fourth Novena in this cycle began on July 3rd and continues through July 11th. In your daily prayers and meditations, we ask that you remember the family and staff of Lollysmith and all the victims of the recent flooding in the USA, Clara Byrne's husband who is in the hospital, and the family of malley Keelan who have endured much pain and suffering during the past two years. We also ask that you include the following in your prayers or meditations: Pauline, Jane, Mieke, Barbara, Mickey, and Scott H. Whatever your spiritual leanings, count your blessings and please ask God to hear your prayers and intercessions for those less fortunate. And, especially on a day like July 4th when Americans celebrate their independence, don't forget to ask Him to watch over our men and women in the military all over the world.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
10. In the margin: Again in honour of July 4th, the offerings include a book "The irish in America" and two videos: "In America" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy." For complete details, click through the hot links in the right margin on the home page:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com
11. The New Trivia Quiz. We're sorry for the delay in posting the quiz for July. We hope to have it up asap.
12. Ditto the Letter of the Month and the Culture Corner.

THE WEEK THAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
We are way behind our first of the month features but will do our best to catch up on as much as we can before we leave for a family reunion this weekend. We will be gone from Friday morning on, so we will not be posting news and history updates until we are back at out desks next Tuesday. That said, we posted a new blessing this past Sunday, we'll have a new quote on Wednesday and a new recipe on Thursday. We will also be re-doing the home page tomorrow. We're not sure yet what we're about. You'll just have to stop by - which will be a huge help to our sagging site stats. That old Irish bit of lore about "hungry July" can certainly be said of visits to the site. They are as in short supply as many an Irish larder was at this time of year in the old days.

So there you have it until we write again. Meanwhile, since so many of us are either going on holiday or returning, safe journey safe home in all your comings and goings; may God grant you and yours the blessings of good health, good spirits and good company; and, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!

Slan agus beannacht,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet!
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WHEN MANY GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
We are delighted to announce ANOTHER nice donation from Colleen Dobbs who continues to send us what she makes doing on-line surveys, God bless her. Once again, Go raibh maith agat, Colleen!

Every penny does make a difference, so please send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty.
Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is
http://www.paypal.com
and our email address is this one:
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate our efforts - or theirs.
http://thewildgeese.com
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.

Dublin, Ireland, July 12
The first solo exhibition in Ireland by the internationally-renowned German artist Candida Höfer will open to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 12 July. Featured are 11 works made while visiting Dublin in 2004, including photographs taken at the National Library of Ireland, Marsh's Library, the Long Room in Trinity College and the Merrion Hotel, along with the Great Hall, Chapel and Johnston Room of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. For more details, please visit
http://www.modernart.ie/

Marabella, Spain - From now until July 15
Gallery Van Gestel presents an Art Exhibition by the
Andalusian International Artists Group, Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) 11, Marbella
18 artists from 9 countries including our very own generous Trivia Contest sponsor, Roger Cummiskey from Dublin, Ireland.
For more details, please click
http://www.aia-group.net
Tel: 952 774 819

Dublin City, Co. Dublin, Ireland - June 13 & July 22,
Bewleys Café Theatre, Grafton Street Dublin
Tall Tales Theatre Company presents
MELODY: A theatrical lunchtime treat
Previews 12 June | 1.10pm
For more details, please visit
http://wwwbewleyscafetheatre.com

Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park - June 16-July 9
Art from State Buildings: Ten Years in the making! For more details, please click
http://www.farmleighgallery.ie

Dublin, Ireland - July 20
Focus Theatre presents the Irish Premiere of Two Rooms by Lee Blessing,
Andrews Lane Studio, Dublin. For more details, please visit
http://www.andrewslane.com

Chicago - July 23
A fund-raising concert will be held at the Irish American Heritage Center on behalf of the Irish Music School of Chicago to help cover the costs of competing at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in August. Fore more details, please visit our websites:
http://ww.irishharpchicago@bravehost.com
http://www.irishmusicschool.com.
ED. NOTE: One of our readers, Megan FitzPatrick Reasor, shared this info with us. She is very proud that her daughter lillian is one of the harpists who will be competing in Ireland. She will also be performing at the Bristol Renaissance Faire on July 22nd.

Michigan - August 3
Put on your dancing shoes and join the fun as world-renown Irish band Gaelic Storm performs their Michigan CD-release party as a benefit for Hospice of Michigan on Thursday, August 3, at The Ark, 316 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor, Tickets include a copy of the group's new CD "Bring Yer Wellies." For more details, please visit
http://www.theark.org

Dun Laoghaire, Ireland - August 25, 26, 27
Festival of World Cultures
Anyone who still believes that Ireland is mono cultural needs look no farther than Dun Laoghaire at the end of summer to see how global the country has become. For those that cannot make it to Dun Laoghaire, highlights of the Festival will be broadcast on RTÉ Two sometime in September.The full programme will be announced in July 2006. For further information visit
http://www.festivalofworldcultures.com

Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland - September 8, 9, 10
Are you a fan of Fidelma? Ireland's international best selling fictional detective will be celebrated at a weekend convention in her "hometown." For complete details, please click
http://www.sisterfidelma.com/feilefidelma.htm
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LEAVE THEM LAUGHING

More likely leave 'em groaning! Truth is, these are really targeted at the kids, But we hope will enjoy them anyway.

What happened as a result of the Stamp Act?
The Americans licked the British!

Why did Paul Revere ride his horse from Boston to Lexington?
Because the horse was too heavy to carry!

What would you get if you crossed a patriot with a small curly-haired dog?
Yankee Poodle!

Did you hear the one about the Liberty Bell?
Yeah, it cracked me up!

What would you get if you crossed George Washington with cattle feed?
The Fodder of Our Country!

What was Thomas Jefferson's favourite dessert?
Monti jello!

Teacher: "Which son of old Virginia wrote the Declaration of Independence?"
Student: "I think it was Thomas Jeffer's son."

What did King George think of the American colonists?
He thought they were revolting!

Why were the early American settlers like ants?
Because they lived in colonies.

What famous pig signed the Declaration of Independence?
John Hamcock!

What would you get if you crossed the American national bird with Snoopy?
A bald beagle!

What did one flag say to the other flag?
Nothing. It just waved!

What's red, white, black and blue?
Uncle Sam falling down the steps!

Where did George Washington buy his hatchet?
At the chopping mall!

Which colonists told the most jokes?
Punsylvanians!

Which one of Washington's officers had the best sense of humour?
Laughayette!


"How was the food at the Fourth of July picnic?
"The hot dogs were bad and the brats were wurst!"

Teacher: "Why did Washington chop down the cherry tree with his hatchet?"
Student: "Because his mom wouldn't let him play with the chain saw!"

What has four legs, a shiny nose, and fought for England?
Rudolph the Redcoat Reindeer! (Bridget's favourite!)

Why did the British soldiers wear red coats?
So they could hide in the tomatoes.

How is a healthy person like the United States?
They both have good constitutions!

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