The column which reminds you that when you look in the mirror you’re the wrong way round
READER: I hear you won the lottery, how much?
MYSELF: I’d rather not say. I ticked the “no publicity” box, so only The Mail, The Sun, The Daily Sport, and Hello Magazine know about it. And El Mondo Saucio, Spain’s version of The Spectator.
READER: Congratulations, I’m assuming Hello will be doing a photo feature?
MYSELF: Of course. They wanted to fly me out to Las Vegas and take nude pics of me and some aspiring film actress getting hitched at the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel. They offered me a lot of money and a free 12 month subscription.
READER: Wow. What did you say?
MYSELF: I refused of course.
READER: What? Too demeaning? Not enough cash?
MYSELF: I was holding out for a longer subscription
Professor Thinktank has objected to a recent exhibition by the installation artist Bandy Sponk, featuring his controversial piece A Hand’s Best Friend, which consists of a stuffed dog sitting with its tongue out. The Hastings inventor claims that Sponk wilfully contravened the copyright on his patent no. 83376799a, The Panting Dog Hand Dryer, which won the 2014 Green Ecology Peace Prize for innovative nonsense, and furthermore is suing the artist for gross sarcasm and defamation of character.
“Sponk is a philistine.” the professor told us,”The Panting Dog Hand Dryer was environmentally sound, having no energy source apart from dog food, which, compared to fossil fuels, is both cheap and plentiful. It’s not rocket science. Take the dog for a walk. Wash your hands. Dry them in front of the panting dog. Its symbiotic, like nature itself.”
Asked about the invention’s total failure to attract funds, he replied, “As many people have pointed out, the one minor disadvantage of using The Panting Dog Hand Dryer, was the time factor. A pair of wet hands could take up to three hours to dry, provided the dog could be persuaded to stand still long enough. Unfortunately, in this time-dependent era people have come to expect things like hand drying to be easy, convenient and quick, an attitude which I have consistently warned will result in the decline of all life on earth as we know it, and the eventual domination of its ecosystem by deadly microscopic tadpoles by the year 2537. Mark my words”.
Wendy, our regular agony aunt awaits your queries on matters of the heart, gardening, equestrian golf, fancy goldfish and all things spiritual.
Mrs Caroline Spatchcock of Mildew-on-the-Hoof writes,
could you please settle an argument? My husband says that the longest English word is floccinaucinihilipilification, whereas I maintain it is antidisestablishmentarianism, who is right?
Dear Mrs Spatchcock,
a simple character count would have quickly determined that your husband’s example contains 29 letters, whereas yours contains only 28. However, you are both wrong viz a viz the English language’s most protracted word. That honour belongs, at a stunning 45 letters, to (takes deep breath): Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a respiratory disease affectionately dubbed black lung which afflicted miners exposed to the inhalation of coal dust. Tragically, in many cases, by the time the doctor had finished telling them what they had, they were dead.
Having observed the extreme clothing shortages caused by this pandemic, I decided to drag my sewing machine out of the loft and have a crack at garment manufacture. I started off making gloves for key NHS workers, but because I am mathematically challenged I couldn’t seem to get the number of fingers right and began to lose orders. I soon observed that most joggers have two legs, a number which requires only minimal mathematical knowledge, and after a lot of research I decided to re-tool and switch to made-to-measure lower-body leisure wear. I would appreciate any advice you could give me about manufacturing this type of garment at home, particularly regarding the type of leisure pants suitable for going shopping or drinking.
Arnold Fluggenspeiler, name & address supplied
I made some enquiries on your behalf. According to the latest government advice, should the oil-based man-made fibres essential for the manufacture of this type of lower-body leisurewear become difficult to source, it is perfectly acceptable to sew PPL face masks together. I can heartily recommend my cousin Loulou de Lyons who, as well as PPL, also supplies lawn mower spares and pizza delivery solutions. You will need between 50 and 100 masks for each pair of leisure pants, depending on the width of your customer’s arse.
Illegal (n) predatory bird of prey which is not feeling very well
Shnapps, an octogenarian alligator from Mississippi which once belonged to Adolf Hitler, has died in a Moscow zoo. The totalitarian despot was known to be a devoted animal lover and as well as Shnapps, kept a variety of pets including giant squid, poisonous spiders and Beryl, his beloved Australian cockatoo who could recite Shakespeare and play accomplished soprano saxophone.
The 3 metre-long reptile, much like his former owner, was a picky eater, according to Moscow Zoo spokesman Ivan Gorky, “Shnapps would happily munch his way through 200 Big Macs at one sitting, but woe betide the keeper who forgot to take out the gherkin!”
Rumor had it that Hitler would often conceal peas or broccoli in his napkin, and with no regard for the feelings of his host would pour gravy into a potted plant when it failed to come up to his exacting standards.
This was confirmed after his 1945 suicide in a Berlin bunker, when allied investigators discovered a secret cache which the fussy führer had amassed and hidden under his mattress during mealtimes, items which included artichoke hearts, brussels sprouts and oddly, moisturising lotion.
Hitler’s favourite reptile also loved a Turkish massage according to Moscow zoo records. Vladimir Rasputin, his one-armed, one-legged former keeper told us: “Even though he never wore a watch, Shnapps was a stickler for punctuality and liked to have a vigorous Turkish massage at precisely 2:30 every afternoon. If something was not to his liking he would bite it in half, much like he did to Ahmet, his Turkish masseur.” A tiny tear trickled down Vlad’s scarred cheek as he reminisced: “Shnapps was like a son to me, only with leathery skin and enormous flesh-tearing teeth. Many visitors to the zoo were terrified of his evil gaze, but apart from the arm and leg incident, he and I got along famously.”
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