Monday, 3 May 2010

April Showers. Grumpy's Alternative News.

Let's start with the animal kingdom. They seldom let us down. Did you read about the lovelorn snowy owl that has returned to the Outer Hebrides for the eighth consecutive year. Sadly it has never found a mate and was last seen sidling up to a polythene bag, the only white object on a brown moor.
The Open University reported that toads can sense impending earthquakes whilst the Monkton Conservation Commission awarded a £99,000 grant to build a tunnel to help salamanders cross the road. I thought £250 a month to insure a rabbit in Worcester was a bit steep, but it is the world's largest, 4ft 3in long and weighing 3st 7lbs. Evidently ducks and geese move more efficiently than humans. The former move in V-formations, humans walk abreast or in a U-formation. (Evidently an average of 1.2 metres per second. 2.7mph.) The average speed of a group of four shoppers is only 0.9 metres per second. As Michael Caine would no doubt say, 'Not a lot of people know that!)
The medical profession was in the news for all the wrong reasons. The doctor who removed a man's testicle when he was only supposed to remove a cyst made my eyes water. ( Don't go to Jordon, he's still practising there. I often wondered about the word 'practising, now I know.)
I had to smile at the doctor in Pakistan who used an ambulance to take home a cow he bought at market. I know it's not funny, but I can't get the picture out of my mind. Plus the man impersonating an American cosmetic surgeon who used a cooking pot to dispose of fat taken during liposuction. No wonder his customers were attracted by his low prices! The pensioner who left a fake bomb at his dentists after a dispute over overcharging has been banned from the surgery for life. Very naughty thing to do but how many of you would like to do the same?
The world still has it's share of idiots. Police checking commercial vehicles on the motorways have filmed drivers watching DVD's, playing video games and even cooking. Nothing seems to get through to people that such behaviour is unacceptable in the extreme. The female motorcycle instructor who fell off her machine and had to be helped back on was actually instructing a pupil whilst four times over the legal alcohol limit. The mind boggles. A man who put up a home made sign warning of potholes in Shadoxhurst in Kent was ordered to remove it, the police suggested it was 'a distraction'! Yet council workers in Birmingham renewing white lines continued their line through a three foot pothole. Again the mind boggles!
Another great month, but three stories in particular caught my eye. Number one, the family who tried to smuggle a dead relative in a wheelchair aboard an easyJet flight from Liverpool to Berlin. The relatives insisted he was merely sleeping, tests showed the man was in fact 'deceased'. Very reminiscent of the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot' sketch. I once wrote a short story concerning the problems associated with someone dying on you whilst 'out for the day'. How strange that fiction merely mirrors real life. (See post dated 29th April 2008 'Walter Mitty is Alive and Well.' Early days, only elicited one comment!)
Number two, the amazing former monk, Justo Gallego (Don Justo) aged eighty five. He has been building, by hand, single handed a cathedral on a plot of land outside Madrid. My words cannot do credit to this amazing man. Please, just type 'Justo Gallego' into Google etc. Irrespective of your religious convictions or otherwise, if you are not amazed by this man's efforts, you have no soul! (There are 650,000 references to this truly remarkable man.)
Finally April marked the death of Martin Elliot. Probably few will recognise the name. But how many will recognise his iconic photograph taken in 1976. How many walls of swooning young males did this photograph adorn I wonder. Thank you, Mr Elliot, and thank you Fiona Butler, aged eighteen at the time, now a married lady with children living in Stourport, Worcestershire.


rhymeswithplague said...

At last, an answer to the age-old question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" -- to get to the salamander on the other side, obviously!

Von said...

Some favourites here Ken.I too love the cow in the ambulance, but then I would wouldn't I? Yes, my geese tell me this piece of research is very old news in their neck of the woods and they just don't know how us humans get anything done efficiently.They probably also thoroughly approve of the salamanders' tunnel and would invite the owl home if he could fly this far as we think we have a lonely female who might approve.Speed dating for owls! Whatever next?

Daphne said...

Lots of fascinating titbits of information here - I feel particularly sorry for the owl!

Sueann said...

I am so sad for the owl. And that rabbit's size is amazing?! Loved this post! Good stuff here.
Putting dead people on planes and cows in ambulances? What's not to like?

Dumdad said...

That tennis girl poster brings back happy memories, gawd bless yer!

The Spiv said...

Absoluely blown away by the "One man and his Cathedral" link! I love bits of trivia like that, almost as much as I loved Miss Butler's bum in the 70's. That poster was on the inside of my locker when I was in the RAF and received many an affectionate pat when I had to get up at some ungodly hour to go work for HRH.

Kath said...

Always interesting to hear "what happened to..."
My husband (bless him) was a young pup when he clearly remembers Erica Roe, running topless onto the pitch during the England Vs Australia game at Twickers during the 80's. I wonder where she is now? Maybe you could do a post "what happened to...".

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Another great month Ken - I don't think I had heard any of these peices. Sorry to hear of Martin Elliot's death. As you suggested his name did not mean anthing but I do remember his photograph. Sorry too to hear about the poor little snowy owl - I expect his mother loved him though! A

Gill - That British Woman said...

what a super variety of news articles.

We don't build tunnels here, we do have traffic signs warning that turtles will be crossing the road between April and June though......wonder how long it takes a turtle to cross the road?

Gill in Canada

Eddie Bluelights said...

Had to laugh about the ambulance man transporting a cow. When I was in the ambulance service I once carried 4 bags of cow manure for my runner beans. My patient's husband was a farmer.

Love all of your post, Ken.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

rhymes with plague
Very good! Interesting what catches the eye.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

You obviously love your animals!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

life's sad, 'aint it!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Lie's strange, that's what makes it interesting.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

What would the modern equivalent photo be I wonder!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

The Spiv
Sounds like you did National Service. I was slightly too young and I'm just over seventy now!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Excellent idea of yours. I'll work on it.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

All of these nostalgia things show our ages. But life is still good in the main!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Turtle crossings, brilliant!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Now it's all coming out! The human side of the NHS!

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