Really, like, smart: Peter Rhodes on a president's epitaph, the Honours list and the Battle of Bell End
A READER, underwhelmed by the Honours list, writes: "Judging by some of the names, I reckon my old school prefect's badge must be worth at least the equivalent of a CBE."
He has a point. What am I bid for my Cycling Proficiency badge? A knighthood, surely?
TWO rival campaigns have sprung up in the street called Bell End in Rowley Regis. Some want the name to be dropped. Others are proud to live in what could be the most embarrassing address in England, and want the name preserving. Inevitably, this little spat has attracted rivals in the embarrassment stakes. A Daily Telegraph reader says developers in West Yorkshire had no problem selling houses in a place called Dog Bottom.
AND I recall that many years ago the Birmingham Post property supplement carried the following announcement about a property near Bromsgrove: "Unexpectedly back on the market - Twatling House, Lickey End."
WHEN the time comes to bury ex- President Trump and the Yanks are scratching around for something suitable to put on his gravestone, let us hope they use his self-assessment, tweeted just a few days ago: "Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart." Not exactly the Gettysburg Address but still, like, y'know, relevant. And who will pay for the tomb? The Mexicans, maybe.
THE Government wants new restrictions on the sale and carrying of acids and other corrosive liquids. This would make the point that such a substance is a weapon, like a knife. But there is a crucial difference. When someone carries a knife, it may well be for his own protection. As one lad put it in a radio interview last week: "I'd rather be in prison than dead." But no-one ever used a bottle of battery acid in self-defence. It is an offensive weapon, designed to maim, blind and terrorise. The courts should take an even sterner line on the possession of acid than they do with knives. And defence barristers seriously claiming that m'client was on his way to top up his old granny's car battery should examine their consciences. Assuming they have one.
A FRIEND was suddenly reminded that the word "digital," applied to just about every gizmo of the computer age, has a much older meaning. He was invited for a digital examination and there was not a computer in sight. A digital prostate examination.
MICROCHIPS were also entirely absent from the game that kept the kids occupied at Chateau Rhodes over the New Year's break. It is a low-tech, unelectronic quiz game fought out with two tiny ballistas. You rest your chin in the firing line and, if you get a question wrong, a dollop of whipped cream is hurled in your face. Ah, simple pleasures.
THE ballista game is a reminder of the origins of humour. From banana skins to pies in the face, there is absolutely nothing quite so funny as somebody else's misfortune.