Here are a few odds and ends from X Marks The Spot – an A-Z of all that’s wrong with British society. (But which, you’ll be pleased to learn, its author, Bernard Fling, intends to rectify the moment his government comes to power.)
You’ll see that, with the exception of the opening entry, ‘Aardvark’ (which appears in full, but is mercifully short), I’ve only reproduced extracts from some of the other entries. This is a cunning ploy to ‘lure you in’. I’ve conducted a survey, and 3 out of every 20 people polled said these were their favourite bits, after which they lost interest and fell asleep.
This is the first word you’ll come across in any English dictionary, however small and cheap. It has no meaning.
Dr Johnson, who compiled his famous lexicon in 1700-and-something, once remarked to his biographer Boswell that the task was ‘hard work’. Unfortunately, both were in their cups at the time and the word, misheard and miswritten, found its way into the English language. No one else knew how it should be spelt because no one else owned a dictionary.
By the time the error was spotted, it was too late. Rather than look foolish, someone had the bright idea of suggesting it was a posh name for the South African edentate, or ant-eater. However, the South African edentate does not eat ants, never has, and will sue anyone who claims otherwise.
No one will sue anyone when I come to power, least of all South African edentates. That would be ridiculous and bring my government into disrepute, which is not the best way to start a revolution.
And, of course, in any event, lawyers will be abolished [see Legal profession], which, by contrast, is an excellent way to start one.
So let’s get going!
In the old days, you could be hanged by the neck for stealing a gentleman’s sock. That, and setting fire to the Monarch’s beard. [Note to editor: I think this is right, but can it be checked? History isn’t my strong point. Possibly one of your ‘lady assistants’ has a degree and will know where to look. It would be foolish not to take advantage of her.] …
According to reliable statistics, cats in the UK kill almost 300 million animals a year. That’s a proud tally and something the French cat can only dream of.
If we were able to harness this murderous enthusiasm, we could draft them into the Army and conquer the world. It lays to rest the claim that cats are peaceful creatures who only want to lie around the house all day, curled up in front of the fire, licking themselves.
I’m keen to preserve a broad range of species, which won’t happen if we kill off the vole, so the cat is going on my list, along with lawyers and their ilk…
Your average family doctor is a surly brute, overpaid and with little grasp of the human condition.
His main concern these days is that we don’t beat him up the minute we walk through the door, hence the poster outside his room threatening us with legal action should we punch him (or any of his equally surly staff) on the nose in the event that we disagree with his diagnosis. (Which generally amounts to, ‘I’ve no idea. Take these tablets and come back if it doesn’t get any better’.)…
This is a subject that divides families up and down the country. Most of us, at some stage, have found ourselves at a party, or possibly just the bus stop (whether on the way to a party or not), asking a complete stranger, ‘Where do you stand on income tax? Are you for it or against it?’…
Kissing (in public)
A lot of people kiss in public. That’s not on in a democratic society. We need to convince everyone they’re equal if we’ve any chance of ensuring peaceful co-existence between the races, and kissing in public is not the way to go about it. Especially if, personally, you have no one to kiss…
This is the world’s laziest form of mathematics, bar none. It was introduced by the EU to make things easier for the French, who like a glass of wine in the afternoon, after which they become good for nothing and often fall asleep. Their traders, requiring a simple system of adding up, favoured multiples of ten as they were easier on the brain, unlike the multiplication tables used in more civilised countries.
Neanderthal man was first to use the metric system, being unable to count past ten (and only then if he retained the full complement of fingers and toes, which couldn’t always be guaranteed back in Neanderthal days). But is that a good enough reason for modern man, whose brain has grown a wee bit larger in the intervening three thousand years? [Note to editor: Can you have this checked? It may not be that long.]…
Opinion is divided on how long we’ve been in so-called ‘recession’. Some say 2008 – some earlier. Some say even later – which covers all our options.
One school of thought clings to the view that under the late Mr Brown, the country wasn’t in recession at all, and that we were actually making a handsome profit till Mr Dave came along and ran the ship of state aground in 2010. (The late Mr Blair often regarded himself as a handsome prophet, but he had something else in mind altogether.)…
In the old days, before television was discovered, the entire family would gather around Father’s feet (furniture being a luxury item before the War) while he read the news aloud, unless it involved a vicar and a chicken, in which case he moved swiftly on to reveal that the week ahead would have plenty of sunshine and scattered showers. Possibly a little snow, which always had the children running around, searching for sticks to build a sleigh.
My point is, the papers were full of wholesome news and photographs of youngsters skipping in the street. (Outlawed today, for fear of accident and a huge compensation claim.)
Villains were exposed, often through exciting investigative work, where a man would dress as a woman and live underground for a month, pretending to be a mole, or something of that nature. It was Boys’ Own stuff, and no mistake, with the occasional bullet involved, often missing our man’s jugular by no more than an inch [400 kilos in metric – see Metric]….
There are those who say the Union is dead; that it’s a thing of the past and we need to move on.
The Welsh like to make a song and dance, but are not really that keen as they fear we’ll call their bluff and set them adrift in the Irish Sea, where they’ll be picked up by a passing fishing boat and taken back to Dublin. The Welsh may not like the idea of being English very much, but they like the idea of being Irish even less…