Lets start with the idiots, they never seem to go away. Our so called 'rulers' get no better. I am less than impressed that Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan has got back the £4.47 pence that she claimed for dog food during the expenses scandal. Equally pathetic, new MP Yasmin Qureshi, banned for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Not a first offence I might add. Plus she had no insurance. Add Rory Stewart's (MP for Penrith) pathetic comments that his constituents are pretty primitive people who walk around with trousers held up by baling twine and you realise, regarding parliament, nothing changes. Gruesome, greedy people out of touch with the real world.
Councils didn't let us down when it came to waste and stupidity. Brighton purchased a machine to count bicycles, cost £25,000. Only it can't tell the difference between a bike and a car. Brighton and Hove council paid consultants £300,000 to teach it 'value for money'. Binmen in Gloucester have had to have police protection from angry householders. The binmen have been ordered to leave bins where the lid won't close; it is alleged in one case the lid was only a centimetre from being fully closed. And a seventy four year old in Plymouth was banned from taking his two pet owls on the streets as 'they might attack someone'. A decision later rescinded.
I think the country of the month was undoubtedly France. Taxi drivers in Paris were voted worst in the world in an internet poll. Frederique Messmer, a Paris taxi driver's response said it all. 'I'm unpleasant and so what' was his answer as he enjoyed his cigarette in his taxi. (London's black cabs came out top.) Plus the French police had a busy month. They had to warn the public concerning holiday makers being being attacked by cows near Font- Romeu in the Pyrenees. They also had to deal with a woman in Lyons who put the body of her partner, still dressed in his pyjamas amongst the frozen peas in the deep freeze. And they are still looking for two nuns in their eighties who are on the run after refusing to move to a nursing home two hundred and fifty miles from the school where they worked. They sound hard pressed, the French police. No wonder they have abolished the height restriction of 5ft 3in (1.6m). Damn, I could have joined (I'm 5.4in). Any age restrictions chaps, I'm seventy? It's not that old, honest, even if British judges have suggested no-one should be allowed to sit on a jury after becoming seventy. Come on, we're not done for yet, Rod Stewart's wife is expecting and he's sixty six! (It will be his seventh.)
I notice animals were used by drug traffickers as guards thousands of miles apart; bears in the mountains of British Columbia and an albino python in Rome. I noticed also they are trying to get the two-toed sloth in London Zoo to breed. Mind you, its last partner they chose was also male. There's been no sloth born at the zoo for more than one hundred years, so don't hold your breath. But the animal story of the month was undoubtedly the women who put the cat in the bin in Coventry. Forty five years of age, a church going spinster who works in a bank, how ordinary is that. So she puts a cat in a wheelie bin in full view of a surveillance camera. How extraordinary is that. Something she will never forget, or be allowed to forget. A life changing experience in a split second. I wonder why.
Two mind bending morbid incidents from the month. A groom in Turkey lost control of a AK-57 as he fired it in celebration at the wedding, killing three and wounding eight others. And one of the only two competitors left in the World Sauna Championships in Helsinki died after suffering severe burns. Contestants had to sit in 110c (230F). Surprise, surprise, they are not going to hold the competition any more.
That's about it. But not wishing to end on a sombre note, two items that probably shouldn't, but made me smile. A woman is suing Walt Disney World, claiming that she was 'groped' by 'Donald Duck' at the Epcot theme park. Now I know its not funny if it did in fact happen. But surely there's a problem here. How on earth is she going to positively identify her assailant!
Finally, did you see the 'one liners', jokes submitted for the prize of 'best joke award' at the Fringe, Edinburgh Festival.
As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn't afford a dog.
Dave drowned. So at the funeral we got him a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt. Well it's what he would have wanted. Both Gary Delaney.
I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say 'bought'- I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid. Jack Whitehall.
I picked up a hitchhiker. You gotta when you hit them. Emo Philips
And finally, the winner.
I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again. Tim Vine