There comes a time, usually about three days before the end of term, when the energy levels finally dip and the creative juices begin to dry up. In such circumstances, I usually find solace in the talents of others, so for this week’s blog I offer a selection of the best one-liners from the comedian Tim Vine. He held the world record for over ten years for telling the most number of jokes in an hour – 499, apparently – and I think he is a genuine comic genius. I can’t remember more than about two jokes at any one time, so quite how he manages it, I don’t know; but I’m very glad he does.

At today’s celebration assemblies, I gave the children a clear example of why the world of stand-up comedy has been blessed by my perpetual absence, when I gave them forty of my favourite of his jokes as my parting gift for the festive season.  Some may be remembered for the Christmas dinner table, but I’m guessing many will not; so with due acknowledgement to Mr Vine, I hope these cheer you up amidst all the uncertainty and confusion swirling around us just now.

  • I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.  I’ll tell you what — never again.
  • I had a dream last night that I was cutting carrots with the Grim Reaper... dicing with death.
  • I rang up my local swimming baths.  I said, “Is that the local swimming baths?” He said, “It depends where you’re calling from.”
  • So I said to the gym instructor, “Can you teach me to do the splits?”  He said, “How flexible are you?”  I said, “I can’t do Tuesdays.”
  • When I left home, my mum said, “Don’t forget to write.”  I thought, that’s unlikely – it’s a basic skill, isn’t it?
  • Velcro... what a rip-off.
  • So I said to this train driver, “I want to go to Paris.” He said, “Eurostar?” I said, “I’ve been on telly but I’m no Dean Martin.”
  • I got rid of my old hoover last week; it was just collecting dust.
  • Dot, dot, dot.  Dash, dash, dash.  I really regret that – remorse code.
  • This bloke said to me, he said, “I live in the sky with a Swiss clock.”  I said, “You’re in cloud cuckoo land.”
  • Exit signs, they’re on the way out.
  • So I went to my GP and said, “I feel like I’ve been hit on the head by a set of bongos.”  He said, “You’ve probably got a slight percussion.”
  • I went to the head office of the RSPCA today.  It’s absolutely tiny – you couldn’t swing a cat in there.
  • I refuse to work in a coal mine – it’s beneath me.
  • I went on holiday with my horse – it was self-cantering.
  • Conjuring – that should do the trick.
  • McDonald’s was broken into twice today.  It was a double cheese burglary.
  • I can’t remember my homing pigeon’s name, but I’m sure it will come back to me.
  • This bloke said to me, he said, “You look like a medieval string instrument.”  I said, “Are you calling me a lyre?”
  • I fell in love with a clumsy cleaner.  She swept me off my feet.
  • I’ll tell you what often gets overlooked – garden fences.
  • She said, “I’m going to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water.”  I thought, she means well.
  • I took my mum to the hospital.  The doctor said, “What happened?”  I said, “A row of books fell off the wall and landed on her head.”  He said, “You’ve only got your shelf to blame.”
  • So this cowboy walked into a German car showroom.  He said, “Audi.”
  • I don’t do jokes about graphic designers.  I draw a line at that.
  • I don’t do jokes about an elephant that’s packed its trunk and said goodbye to the circus.  Not on your Nelly.
  • I don’t do jokes about a wooden step in the corner of a field that doesn’t belong to me.  That’s not my style.
  • So I went down to the local casino.  I said, “My girlfriend has just fallen asleep in the middle of a game of cards.”  He said, “Poker?”  I said, “Good idea.”
  • My dog always misinterprets things I say to him.  I say ‘heel’ and he goes down to the local hospital and does what he can.
  • So I went down the local shop.  I said, “I’m looking for a sailor with one arm.”  He said, “It’s not me – I’m a wholesaler.”
  • At least Eurostar is comfortable – it’s murder on the Orient Express.
  • I see the moving staircase debate is escalating.
  • Sherlock Holmes kept following me, so I wrote him a letter: “Dear Stalker...”
  • I saw this man acting suspiciously next to Mount Everest.  I said, “What have you been up to?”  He said, “8,000 feet.”
  • I saw this bloke and he was shouting out, “Lambs for sale – were £10, now £5.”  I thought, that’s sheep at half the price.
  • So I said to this bloke, “Did you know that Marie Osmond is about to appear in the world’s worst film?”  He said, “Warner Brothers?”  I said, “I already have.”
  • This Roman emperor said to me, he said, “What’s the weather like?”  I said, “Hail, Caesar.”
  • The school I went to was a picture made of coloured paper and seashells stuck on with glue.  It was a sixth form collage.
  • Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many levels.
  • This bloke said to me, he said, “I’m a herald angel.”  I thought, ooh, hark at him.