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Showing posts from August, 2010
Lapping it up: The Independent likes my take on their recent report on exotic dancing

They missed a trick

Saw someone with a Ben Nevis t-shirt at Euston station earlier today. The message was 'Been there, done that...' While I admire the adventurous spirit and mountaineering prowess of the owner, I can't help feeling that the author of the slogan was a little slow. Surely it should read ' Ben there'?

Time to jack it in?

If the copywriter responsible for putting poetry on the back of Fairy washing powder is in town, here's my message: Non Bio Creek ain't big enough for the two of us. You have until sundown tomorrow to make tracks or I'll be spinning you out and hanging you up to dry. The latest effort: Jack and Jill went up the hill, For nap time after nursery, Tucked softly in, Mum did begin, A free Timmy Time book from Fairy. Jesus H Christ. My nine-year-old could do better than that. Just as well I don't choose my fast-moving consumer goods on the basis of packaging verse.

Dental or mental?

I had a truly bizarre dream last night in which I was being paid on a part-time basis to undertake dental work. All procedures took place in a large hall - a bit like some kind of field hospital - where maybe a dozen people were being treated simultaneously by different teams of dentists and assistants. I knew that I was not very well qualified for dentistry, but felt that if they were happy to employ me, I should just go with the flow. The problem was that none of the patients appeared to need straightforward work on their gnashers. Most had life-threatening conditions that really required urgent medical intervention by an ER crash team. The chief dentist was expecting me to extract fluid from someone's lungs, say, and would guide me through the process. (I think this relates back to a film called Ladder 49 which I'd started to watch before I went to bed. In the movie, a rookie firefighter is coaxed through his early shifts by his station captain, John Travolta.) I did eat bl

Fight the battle or concede defeat. But for God's sake, don't enter into talks.

Difficult to know whether to laugh or cry over the proposal from the Taliban for a joint commission with NATO to investigate civilian deaths in Afghanistan. Would this be the same Taliban which recently stoned a couple to death for alleged adultery? The same bunch of fundamentalist extremists who deny education to girls, stop people listening to music and who previously acted as minders for Osama bin Laden? Unbelievably, The Guardian reports that the cynical propaganda ploy is actually being taken seriously by the western military forces in the region. What a pathetic and contemptible concession. Perhaps we should have teamed up with the Nazis in World War II to see whether we'd bombed some of their cities a little bit too hard? When will we ever learn? We get nowhere by appeasing people who have a complete disregard for human rights. If we don't think we can beat the Taliban and want to concede defeat, by all means let's bring our troops home. But let's not shame ours

Great thinking, Dr Miriam

Sign in the restaurant at Debenhams, Eastbourne: 'We retain Dr Miriam Stoppard as a nutritional advisor on all our children's meals and every meal comes with a free piece of fruit...' I wonder how much this retainer is worth? Dr Miriam also seems happy for the kids' meals to contain jam sandwiches on white bread, Quavers and KitKats. But these concessions to children's tastes don't appear to be trumpeted on the poster though. Strange, that.

Why stop at speed cameras?

I greatly enjoyed the comments of Julie Spence - the outgoing Chief Constable of the Cambridgeshire police force - who claimed that 'speeding is middle class anti-social behaviour'. Too bloody right. Her intervention was prompted by the current trend towards turning off speed cameras on our roads, which is driven by the desire to save money and a crazy ideological objection to the idea of 'snooping'. One of my favourite journalists, David Aaronovitch of The Times, pulled this nonsense apart the other day in his column. If these cameras are so expensive, how come their opponents have always criticised them for being a money-making venture? The 'cost' is a complete and utter red herring. What the pro-speed lobby actually wants is the ability to break the law with impunity. Supporters believe, in their arrogance, that once they are behind the wheel of their car, they should be free to drive at whatever speed they wish, regardless of the consequence to wider societ

Keep it simple

The State of Kuwait advertised in The Times today for specialists to work in a new department of paediatric surgery. The copy reads: 'Successful candidates will be expected to provide up-to-date service and manage all problems in their field including the complicated ones...' Being a specialist just gets harder and harder, doesn't it?