As usual, the animal kingdom was in the news. A rare shrew was returned home to the Isles of Scilly after stowing away on the ferry to Cornwell. And a chihuahua called Conchita is at the centre of a law suite in Miami. Its owner, Gail Posner left it £10,000 a month in her will, to include, amongst other things, manicures, pedicures and cashmere pyjamas. Ms Posner's son is not amused. Plus zoo workers in charge of pregnant pandas sent back to the Research Centre in Sichuan, China to breed are really taking the job seriously. Those involved will disguise themselves as pandas 'By donning a black and white fur coat and crawling on the ground.' The mind boggles. Nevertheless they are luckier than the eight foxes and fifty chameleons found in extremely large suitcases of a passenger at Cairo Airport bound for Thailand. At least they were alive, which was more than could be said for the the tiger, rare birds and lemurs found in the freezer of a man in Coventry. Some of which, incidentally, were bought on eBay. They reckon Knut the polar bear at Berlin Zoo has psychological problems, minor compared with the two idiots just mentioned. To end this section on a more hopeful note, how about Oscar the two year old cat who has been fitted with bionic legs after a combine harvester accident in Jersey. Good luck, Oscar, I hope you go from strength to strength.
I see Lord Freud, the minister for social reform has come up with a scheme whereby grandparents mentor teenagers and help them 'Navigate the adult world', a policy now officially adopted in David Cameron's 'Big Society' strategy. Are these people real. What do they think grandparents do all their lives, drink tea and watch Jeremy Kyle! Did you notice, by the way, a US study suggests drinking more than four cups of tea a day increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Mind you, even they, Georgetown University suggest more studies are needed.
Talking of oldies, did you know 'Tears' by Ken Dodd was the biggest selling record of the sixties after 'She Loves You' and 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'. Eat your heart out, Tom Jones, Cliff and The Rolling Stones. Plus Doddy is still touring at the age of eighty two with his Happiness Show.
On a macabre note, do you fancy your body going on display, courtesy of Dr von Hagens who has become infamous for displaying treated corpses on public display in tableau's depicting corpses running, playing chess and other less mentionable occupations. Plus his attached supermarket has body parts for sale: a smoker's lung, £3,600, a head and brain slice, £1,500 0r a testicle for a mere £360. Ideal presents for those who have everything. Or perhaps for someone you don't like!
June had so much to offer I will do a follow up concerning ten things that made me smile. But I'll leave you with one or two 'shorties' that caught the eye.
I noticed that Sir Randulph Fiennes, the explorer is regularly mixed up, where officialdom is concerned, ie speeding tickets with Hollywood actor Ralph Fiennes. On a par with the Australian Parliament House gift shop that was selling mugs marked 'Barrack' Obama. Get it right lads. (Barack of course.)
I noticed the American military have ditched Velcro and returned to the humble button. Evidently the fine sand in Iraq and Afghanistan plays havoc with Velcro. So much for the 21st century progress.
And finally one for the ladies. How much do you spend on shoes, my dears. The website Gocompare.com reckons girls purchase their first pair at fourteen and buy seven pairs a year for the rest of their lives. It is suggested the average woman has nineteen pairs of shoes, worth £664.81 in her wardrobe. And the cost over a lifetime? £16,000! No wonder many a man wears clothes reminiscent of Worzel Gummidge. It's all he can afford!