Peter Rhodes on World Cup coincidences, using Jesus in advertising and too many trowels for Monty
GOOD old Auntie Beeb.
England beat Colombia, the nation rejoiced and The World Tonight (Radio 4) took the view that the big story of the evening was the retirement age of judges in Poland being lowered from 70 to 65. Finger on the pulse, eh?
MEANWHILE, a reader sends me an email doing the rounds which says that in 1966 Manchester City won the League, Burnley qualified for Europe, Chelsea finished fifth in the League , Real Madrid won the European Cup - and England won the World Cup. As the same results line up this year, does it mean England will go on to glory? Well, we all hope so. But this email is a prime example of the art of exaggerating some facts and ignoring others to make a point. It's like shooting your six-gun at a barn door and then drawing the target to suit you - which is why it's called the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.
HERE is another common fallacy. It is the belief that when the authorities say the risk of nerve-agent poisoning in the Salisbury area is very low, they know what they are talking about.
STILL on guns, in one Damon Runyon short story, the cops raid a bar and the gangsters hide all their guns in the pockets of an innocent customer, Tobias Tweeney. He is hauled before the court and becomes an instant Underworld hero, Twelve-Guns Tweeney. I am reminded of Tobias every time I see Monty Don in his potting shed in Gardener's World (BBC1). Count the trowels hanging on the wall. There are nine of them. Nobody needs that many. Who do ya think you're kidding, Nine-Trowels Monty?
THE RSPCA is among organisations which called for a sky-lantern festival in the tinder-dry Peak District to be cancelled. While they are at it, they might ask the organisers to tone down the advertising. In its publicity bumf, The Lights Fest invokes the words of Martin Luther King: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that." I'm not entirely sure the US civil-rights legend was talking about flying naked flames over moorland in high summer.
BUT, hey, why stop the advertising slogans at Dr King? Jesus said all sorts of stuff about light. Get Him on the posters, too.
"KEEP your bill and account number safe from fraudsters," is the latest warning from BT. Pot, kettle, black. You are more likely to get a bogus email claiming to be from BT than just about any other source. Their logo is so pirated that I rarely open anything marked BT. I keep my end safe, BT - what about yours?
AFTER this week's item on the obesity issue in Tredegar, home town of the NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, a reader suggests the NHS could launch fight-the-flab walking classes, to be named Tread Eager.
FANS of Bevan will not be surprised that my computer spell-check for "Aneurin" suggests "unerring."