Friday, October 22, 2004

Well, the pseudo-scandal of the under-dressed ball retrievers at the ATM Masters in Madrid made it to the front pages of the Daily Telegraph today. This once-upmarket journal managed to find an even more salacious photo to feature than the one used by El Mundo yesterday.

Not content with this, the Telegraph went on to display the same low professional standards as yesterday’s Sky News with a report that the Spectator magazine had claimed that the people of Liverpool were ‘hooked on grief’. It didn’t; it said that the entire country was hooked on grief and that the people of Liverpool had a victim complex. Quite a difference.

Another couple of surveys in today’s Spanish papers. One of them reported on the levels of trust in national institutions. Or lack of it, more accurately. Given that 74% of respondents identified themselves as Catholics, it was a tad surprising, perhaps, to see the Catholic Church coming in as the second worst performer, with a 63% distrust rate. Only the TV, at 68%, could beat this. Given what I have written [regularly!] about Spanish banks, I was less than astonished to see them next, with a 62% distrust rating. What a business opportunity there must be here for an efficient bank. The most trusted organisations in the country are the police and the armed forces. This must be why they merit capital letters in Spanish. I can’t imagine the British police being viewed with such favour these days. Perhaps when Dixon of Dock Green was trudging the beat. When there was a beat.

The second survey was the perennial favourite about Spanish sexual habits, particularly the frequency of activity and of orgasms achieved by participants. As ever, I will refrain from giving numbers but merely comment, once again, that an awful lot of women seem to be dissatisfied in this macho country. Another business opportunity?

Finally, back to the models retrieving the balls in the Madrid Masters. Imagine how most young women throw a ball. Now imagine how a group of fashion models would throw a ball. Perhaps you will now agree with me that we shouldn’t knock an attempt to inject some humour into the game of tennis. It has long needed it.

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