I saw a couple of headlines on the front page of a newspaper the other day. One said that the secret services of both the USA and the UK had failed to trace Charlie Chaplin's birth certificate and there was a possibility he'd been born in France. The second headline said that Hitler had fathered a love child [equals 'bastard'] with a French teenager. So I got to wondering whether Charlie was the son of Adolf and that's why no one could find his birth certificate. The dates are probably wrong but funnier things have happened. Though not many.
The English football team, Manchester City, played a match in Porto/Oporto last week. Two of their players - both black - were treated to a chorus of monkey chants from the home supporters, just as English players were the last time the national team played in Madrid. Simultaneously stretching credulity beyond breaking point and insulting everyone's intelligence, the official line from the management of the Portuguese team was that the chanting was really the name and nickname of two of their players - Hulk and Kun. Hulk, Hulk, Hulk, Kun, Kun, Kun. This might have been fractionally more convincing if Kun had been on the field at the time of the chanting.
Britain today: I received a letter from the National Health Service (NHS) yesterday. On the back of it was a message in fifteen languages (yes, fifteen) advising you to get an English-speaking friend to call a given number if you didn't understand the letter. I had difficulty deciding whether this was ridiculous or impressively multicultural. In the end I went with the latter.
Britain today 2: In the café I patronise, the newspaper I wanted today was in a rack behind the head of one of five women taking tea together. As I excused myself for leaning over her head to get the paper, all five of the women apologised to me. Which I thought a tad excessive.
Finally . . . Some genius has finally re-designed the bulky three-pin British electrical plug. The first change in more than 50 years. Click here for details