Thursday, 14 May 2009

May Miscellany (Grumpy's Alternative News)

Last month I devoted this space to the animal kingdom. Not surprising when one considers the sheer stupidity and crass bigotry of the human race. For instance, The Trinity Cross of the Order of Trinity, awarded by the Queen in Trinidad (now forty years old) has been declared unlawful as some Muslims and Hindus find the Christian name and cross insignia offensive. Recipients in the past include Garfield Sobers, Brian Lara and the novelist V.S. Naipaul. Add this to the news that a judge at a seminar on domestic violence in Saudi Arabia deemed it OK to slap a wife for lavish spending. 'If her husband slaps her she deserves that punishment.' Normally I tend to avoid contentious issues but surely such cases are fodder for any insidious far right group.
Fortunately there were good stories around. For instance Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore will become the first woman pilot to join the Red Arrows when she starts her training in September.
Well done, as a sexagenarian who has never flown in an aeroplane, I salute you.
I'm not so sure about the lady from Brighton fighting Marks and Spencer over its refusal to scrap a £2 surcharge on bras larger than a DD cup. Maybe that's just my male ignorance of the matter, if you wish to 'support' the young lady in question, the campaign is called Busts 4 Justice.
I have sympathy for the 22 stone grandmother who got stuck on the bath for five hours in County Durham, but very little for Tom Riall, aged forty nine. He was banned for doing 102.92mph on the A14 near Newmarket. He is after all a chief executive with Serco, the company that has installed and managed over four thousand speed cameras in Britain since 1992. Plus it was his third speeding offence in two years.
Safety issues seem seldom out of the news. Irish troops serving in Chad have been banned from playing football because of health and safety issues. Evidently the ground is far harder than the ground in Ireland. Now there's a surprise. Soldiering and fighting, fine, no danger, but football, no chance.
Also on safety grounds, Ealing Borough is placing bags on traffic lights at seven junctions. The idea is that motorists and pedestrians will negotiate these junctions using 'eye contact'. (Traffic evidently flowed better the day the lights failed.) Evidently another Boris initiative. Last time it was speeding up the crossing time allowed via the new digital system. I await the results with bated breath.
But once again the animal kingdom excelled when smiles were the order of the day. Urjan, an orang-utan in Heidelberg Zoo has learnt to whistle. (Record coming out in June.) I know plenty of humans who have not mastered the art of whistling. His companion orangs, Gisella and Pujan can't whistle, but they are also talented, both being finger painters. Though probably not as talented as twenty seven year old orang Karta of Adelaide Zoo who used a branch to scale an electric fence and escape.
Contrast these talented animals with Chaddy the Owl, Oldham Athletic's football mascot. He decided to do wheelies on a bicycle before the match at Carlisle. Only he fell off and had to be taken to hospital.
Finally a plea to my reader or readers. Anyone recommend an above average strimmer. We seem to get through more than our fair share. Evidently we are doing it all wrong. The trend now is to go for a wallaby in order to keep your grass down. All you need is around half an acre and a large fence. Cost, male £150, female £600, (albinos are more expensive) and you need one of each as they are social animals. Job done, plus one hell of a talking point at your next cocktail party.
Finally, finally this piece is I hope free from spelling errors. (There are two ways to spell sexagenarian.) Morrisons have withdrawn alphabet building blocks imported from China. Evidently the words 'umbella' and 'yatch' were included in the alphabets words. Only two in twenty six, could be worse!


Robert said...

Another amusing post, Ken. I don't know where you get all that info from, but keep on getting it & publishing it here!

Eddie Bluelights said...

A wealth of imformation Ken. Where do you get it all? Fascinating.
btw do you jbow you've just run in a Grand National horse race - pop over and see! Nice to see you and enjoyed the post very much ~ Eddie

Carah Boden said...

I can recommend sheep - cheaper than wallabies! (tho less of a talking point, to be sure). The down side is they eat all your prize plants too....

Interested in the Ealing traffic light initiative - I think we have far too complicated road systems and overly distracting amounts of 'street furniture' in this safety obsessed country of ours. It's about time we were allowed to use our initiative and our own eyes and ears. Otherwise they might become vestigial and we'll all end up looking like those funny white slimy sightless fishy things which swim around in deepest darkest caves in Yugoslavia or wherever (sorry, showing my age now! - strong memories, tho, of these creatures from a childhood trip to Lake Bled).

dabrah said...

Strimmers don't seem to last more than week or two here as well. But wallabies?...I don't know.

Mean Mom said...

Interesting news! I did think that the surcharge on larger bras was a bit odd. Nobody pays more for larger clothes, after all.

I didn't hear about Tom Riall. What a twit. I did see the orang-utan whistling, though. He made me laugh, because he was so laid back about it all!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I always find these posts fascinating and amusing Ken. I had heard about the whistling orangutan but was amazed to read about the orangutan escaping from Adelaide Zoo. I have visited there and seen the orang enclosure. Next time I speak to son I must ask about it. All great stuff - thanks for keeping us so entertained. A

Shammickite said...

Love that post... not sure how I got here, but love the stuff you write. The world's a funny place isn't it. I'll have to check in more often. Love to keep up with the British news.
BTW I live in Canada but was born in UK....

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Surprisingly enough they are all from The Times!

See above. Enjoyed your 'race', very different.

Her on the Hill
Are there still some wallabies alive from the original 'escapees'. Agree with you re traffic sanctions.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I have NEVER EVER found a strimmer that works for me more than a week.

Mean Mom

I think M & S backed down, didn't they?
Tom Riall must be a complete fool, its not even his first offence!

Strawberry Jam
Evidently the orange had just lost its partner. Very sad!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Welcome to my world!
Come again. (Have visited your blog and enjoyed it.

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