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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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69 Responses to 446

  1. Tamara says:

    Aren’t those red herrings aware of the church dress code? :P

  2. Slowburn says:

    Are you sure thier Herrings and not Man Utd supporters? (cryptic)

  3. Hayley says:

    All I’ve got in my head now is that song: ‘Sharkie and George, crime busters of the sea’



    Just me then.

  4. and people without eyes in their heads

  5. ben says:

    foolish Galatians?

  6. Elyong says:

    Why it has to be red? :D

  7. Carole says:

    I’ve just got out of me bath and you’re back to the smelly stuff again!!

    Jesus to apostles: Look, I said I would make you fishers of MEN. You just can’t quit the old habits, can you?

    The bloke in the yellow jumper lost his olfactory sense following an accident, presumably (he’s the only one smiling).

    Church notices: Tea and coffee will be served after today’s service. Everyone is welcome. Help yourself to biscuits and plankton.

    They all look very angry red herrings…

  8. maggi says:

    imagine what might happen if all those people talked to EACH OTHER instead…

  9. Dave says:

    overheard comment from one of the congregation (or was that codregation!!) – so long and thanks for all the people!

  10. amywatson says:

    *starts singing SPAMALOT*
    ‘with traditional fish slapping song…. schlip,schlap…’

  11. flayedhypatia says:


    I don’t know, but I think you hit it on the head. Imagine if people started talking to, or better, with each other instead of about or at each other?

  12. Peta says:

    Am also singing Sharky and George…..ah the nostalgia!! ;-)

  13. Robb says:

    They’re all debating the exact implications of what CS Lewis was meaning when he talked about the nature of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  14. Stephanie says:

    LOL! LOL!

    Good one Jon!

  15. I loved sharky and george too. They ‘clear up any mystery’.

    Is this related to 441? https://asbojesus.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/redh.jpg

  16. DrNick says:

    Hmmm sometimes I wonder if some are so afraid of being seen as fundamentalists that they label sharks as herrings…

  17. Dave says:

    thanks for putting the fun back into fundamentalist Jon! dave

  18. krislinatin says:

    i dont get what the red herring thing means?
    is it becuz i’m american?
    is it like when people say there is a big elephant in the room and they mean they is something really obvious and awkward in the room that we are all ignoring?
    thanks for the help

  19. Carole says:

    Hi Kristina. A ‘red herring’ is something which throws you off the scent of what you are really looking for. It is most commonly used in connection with detective stories/whodunnits.


  20. amywatson says:

    I’d firstly just like to make you all jealous by saying that I own a Sharky and George video. Oh yes.

    I tend to find these red herrings crop up over seemingly innocent conversations over tea and coffee…

  21. k-h-s says:

    People hated it when the herrings played the
    pull my fin….(ger) game.


  22. ……..and they should performing the Fish Slapping Dance at any moment…..

  23. Carole says:

    Have the herrings been on the ‘Action Leaning’ course?

  24. k-h-s says:

    the herrings gave a lecture to each of the congregation about the danger of cod theology.


  25. Carole says:

    Nah, k-h-s – They are waiting for a talk by guest speaker Richard Dawkins on the Cod Delusion…

    It could just be a cod-spiracy theory…

    This is bound to be popular so arrive early to ensure you get a plaice…

    You might be advised to sit near the front if you are hard of herring…

  26. Dave says:

    Perhaps they are prawn again Christians! Carole your humour meets my seal of approval! Nice to laugh as was feeling a bit of a wreck! nite nite! dave

  27. Carole says:

    Nite, nite and God Bless, Dave…sweet dreams….

  28. jonbirch says:

    dear oh dear… asbo’s turned into ‘the waltons!’ “goodnight johnboy!” :-)

  29. shelly says:

    Think about the guppies!

  30. Carole says:

    Er…shouldn’t that be Jonboy?

  31. Jason says:

    I may be reading into your comic with my own experiences, but are you representing a church where people are adamant about shaking hands and saying “Good to see you!” or “It’s so good to have you!” but rarely get involved with you beyond those social conventions–in a sense, serving as red herrings when all we want sometimes is a nice handshake (hell, I’d take a hug or a kiss on the cheek) from someone whose toilet I’ve actually sat upon in the last few weeks?

  32. Robb says:

    …..Or a <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMKCLyhBBwI”fish slapping dance?

  33. Robb says:

    Shouldn’t get distracted half way through my html….

    …..Or a fish slapping dance?

  34. Robb says:

    That’s it, I’m off to the pub…

    …or a fish slapping dance?

  35. Carole says:

    It’s OK Robb, don’t get yourself all worked up, we have mastered the art of cut and paste…but you wanted to go to the pub anyway, didn’t you?

  36. inge says:

    @19 Carole. thanks for the kind explanation. there is always something to learn on this blog.

  37. Carole says:

    It’s a pleasure, Inge.

  38. Chris F says:

    In a church once I met a red herring

    Who confessed he’d lost his berring

    Now which way to turn?

    One slip and I’ll burn!

    Which way pleae to be more God-ferring?

  39. Chris F says:


    … trouble is, once you’ve clicked, there’s no way back…

  40. krislinatin says:

    Thank you Carole!

  41. Carole says:

    You’re welcome :)

  42. jonbirch says:

    in answer to jason (hi!) and others… i was just wondering what the other red herrings are that churches get bogged down with. we’ve touched on sexuality a few times… but what other things distract us from loving our neighbour?

    krislinatin… is that a dog in your photo… if so, what kind? looks kinda cute. :-)

    enjoy the pint robb… just had a couple, am back now. :-) looking forward to having a beer with you and carole and dave and aaswabas and khs at greenbelt. anyone else joining us for a beer? :-)

  43. Chris F says:

    Neighbour? I haven’t got time for neighbours, I’m far too busy at church/home group/music practice/etc

  44. Robb says:

    In the end we watched all of the TV I have recorded whilst dissertating and drank some cans. Good times….

  45. krislinatin says:

    she is my pound puppy, we think she is a cocker spaniel/poodle mix a cockapoo.
    here is the full size pic

    She is the sweetest thing ever!

  46. Raising funds to keep the building from falling down after God already vacated the premises.

  47. jonbirch says:

    hahahahaha! nicely put botticelliwoman. very funny. :-)

    good times indeed robb. does that mean dissertating is done?

    chrisf… yup that’s exactly what i meant. :-)

    oh yeh kristina… that’s one cool dog… and i bet she doesn’t shed fur either. not like our mutt… brilliant dog but creates one bunny sized fur ball a day. :-)

  48. Robb says:

    Dissertating is sooooooo done!!!! Completely complete!!

  49. Laura says:

    woooooooooo hoooooooooo Rob!!!

  50. jonbirch says:

    congratulations robb! good news! :-)

  51. Robb says:

    Cheers guys. Tonight I’m going to watch shallow hal. If the delivery I am expecting arrives early enough I may go for a ride on my bike. ;)

    I may surf the internet for a while. Maybe read a book or a magazine…..

  52. Hayley says:

    I hand my dissertation in tomorrow, but then the revision begins…

  53. Robb says:

    I can sympathise Hayley. But on the other hand let the good times roll. Where’s the keys to the harley? It just got warm!!

  54. jonbirch says:

    what’re y’studyin’ hayley?

  55. Robb says:

    That’s what I meant to ask!!

    Now I’m watching The Crow. I could get used to this free time malarky!!

  56. Hayley says:

    History of Art. It’s probably one of the most useless subjects EVER but there you go. I do all contemporary theory, so there’s not much looking at pictures for me, all aesthetics and globalisation theory, consumerism etc. Sometimes I think I’m studying sociology…

    I’ve been accepted onto a Masters course to study film but I’ll probably only do it if I get funding, not sure otherwise. Am waiting for God to point me in the right direction – I would love to do something involved with counselling but I’m not sure I could bear to start a degree again!

    Robb, enjoy your free time! If I don’t get the degree class I need I’m going to blame it on BBC iPlayer and 4OD.


  57. jonbirch says:

    that’s cool hayley… i don’t think history of art is useless at all. being a bit of an art fan and being fascinated by the societies from which different individuals and schools of art grow out of i would love to chat about it. already, you see, i know you to be someone who’s interesting and interested… and that’s good. all the best with the revision… it’s cool to watch tv to relax… that’s what i do.:-)

    the crow… dark, moving and ultimately quite poignant i thought robb.

  58. Robb says:

    Who am I to talk. I once went to a seminar on “we as Christicans can’t condone the teaching of fashipon in our schools. Fashion is a pointeless subject that teaches people how to throw perfectly good things away.” I had to stand up and point out to all the well thought out accademics that their policy put me out of a job as an RE teacher. If you are saying that we should put people out of accademia because *we* deem it worthless then *we* have to be subject to the same process of voting. Secular society puts my degree, my job and my masters in the ‘useless’ category.

    History of Art is as good as anything else!!

    The Crow? I put it on after typing that message and then fell assleep before Brandon was in it other than in a photograph :lol:

    In my experience free time is a fleeting experience. I’m sure that after one more day I will be snowed under with something else.

  59. Carole says:

    Don’t get me on my favourite hobby horse about education. I have a theory that the working classes are encouraged to undergo just enough education to work in a call centre. Just as in the days when we had real industry (not just a service industry on the verge of leaving the country) you got just enough education to work in a factory, down a mine, in the steelworks, whatever. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to study medieval French and Spanish and in my home town, too. They are of no practical use to me but they are deeply symbolic of being freed in the mind. If I come from a council estate on the edge of one of our big cities, why shouldn’t I study Byzantine Art, if that’s what I want to (and that is Single Honours Byzantine Art, not joint with Information effing Technology). It shouldn’t be hidden away in some cloistered Oxbridge college, well out of the reach of ‘Northern oiks’! Surely the study of the Arts enriches us as a nation?

    There, rant over. Enjoy your degree, Hayley. It will probably be one of the most fulfilling things you ever do. So much better than Business Studies, though doubtless some will actually enjoy that, too.

  60. Robb says:

    Speaking as someone who comes from a mining family from a council estate, I wholeheartedly agree. However, many of the ‘Northern Oiks’ I teach have no idea how privilaged they are to have a free education. In many ways I would rather leave them to eat dung for dinner and give it to someone who would die for one.

    Did you read the prayer on my Blog? That is a real one from a real pupil last week.

    What winds me up most is school refusers – not the ones who don’t come to school and their parents pull their hair out. The ones who don’t come to school and their parents wont do anything about it. The ones who shout and swear at social workers “Why should I have to send my kid to school”.

    Sorry, ‘you don’t have to go to school – I’ve bought you a playstation’ isn’t any good to a child who is malnourished, has no social skills and little life prospect. This sort of child abuse shouldn’t be happening in the UK!

  61. Carole says:

    I know what you mean, Robb. It seems that in places where, literally, you are on the bones of your backside, they appreciate education as a potential way out of their poverty.

    We don’t do our kids any favours in the UK. I can’t get the concept of money through to my youngest. “I have to work ‘n’ hours in order for you to have whatever”, doesn’t register. Obviously I’ve cocked up somewhere along the way but nevertheless, that is tame. Where I live, I am 5 mins away from one of the more affluent districts in the country, home to numerous premiership football stars (please note, where I live is VERY modest by comparison). 10-15 mins in the opposite direction, we have the ward with the highest child poverty levels in the UK. There is also the highest proportion of single, schoolgirl mums there. These children are often seen with the latest, most expensive prams, but 9 times out of 10 the babies really don’t stand a chance. How could they, the poor things are apparently fatherless and mum is no more than a child herself, perhaps the product of an abusive family set up. My friend is a foster carer and tells me there is a huge shortage of foster carers in the area, which often leads to carers having to accommodate more children than they signed for. The stroppy school refuser and equally stroppy parents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to society’s problems.

  62. Robb says:

    Tell me about it. But when you are doing your best to help people and all they can do is abuse you* it makes the milk of human kindness start to run out sometimes…

    *In my experience of teaching this has been verbal, emotional and physical abuse BTW.

  63. Robb says:

    Old people don’t go to heaven. Old people must come back because of the mistakes they’ve made throughout their lives. It’s the children who have the opportunity to go to “heaven”.

    I must mention this to my dying Grandmother.

  64. jonbirch says:

    i’m gonna get rid of comment 63… i think it’s spam.

  65. jonbirch says:

    haha! :-) now your comment looks ridiculous robb! :-)

  66. Robb says:

    Oh no. More public ridicule abounds :lol:

    Why would someone choose to spam my grandparents into hell?

  67. jonbirch says:

    spam and hell are synonymous in my view. my dad likes spam. maybe he’s a heretic. maybe that’s where i get it from. :-)

    the post i deleted was from a mail address f***yougod… not that i mind, but it was a very very very long post with no relevance to what was going on here. i decided not to encourage it. never done that before, i don’t like censoring. :-(

  68. Robb says:

    But essentially you cut out a big ass post with giberish in it…

  69. jonbirch says:

    put like that… :-)

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