John Docker: Christmas is all behind you now so it’s time for a look back over last year - and a laugh
With festive memories fading fast and the inevitable raft of seasonal disaster stories in full flow, it’s tempting to think the jollifications are over and - the preponderance of pantomimes not withstanding, one might say it’s all “behind you.” But a trawl through the tail-end Charley stories of last year reveals many a giggle to be found to kick off the new year with a chuckle or two.
First off inmates from HM Prison High Down in Surrey - which has a public restaurant in Banstead staffed by prisoners (dishing out beefy burgers perhaps?) , are cold-calling members of the public on behalf of a market research company. They have somewhat worrying access to names and e.mail addresses apparently but according to the governor, there’s no cause for concern because the initiative will prevent re-offending and help inmates “to develop vital skills”.
Yeah, but which ones I wonder, bangers n’ mash or cooking the books?
Then there was the story of the lady who brought a Korean Air jumbo to a halt as it was taxiing for take off from John F Kennedy Airport in New York, insisting it returned to the gate. A terrorist threat ? No just the nepotistic tantrums of the Chairman’s daughter - who also happens to be the airline’s vice president, after a row about how a packet of macadamia nuts had been served. You really couldn’t make it up could you? But the caption to the story said it all – “Korean Air flight delayed by loose nuts in first class.”
And doubtless you saw the pre-Christmas photo of the brand new patrol car with the 12” high letters POLCE emblazoned on the side, even though the correct spelling was located a few inches away. Apparently there is no truth in the rumour the flaw was spotted by an automated number plate recognition device which came up with - “I, I, I, what’s all this then?”
Fellow OAP’s may be amused - or not depending how you feel this morning, to learn that if they struggle to stand on one leg for 20 seconds they are more likely to have a stroke and are therefore “in need of extra support” according to researchers at Kyoto University in Japan. Personally I’ve had problems standing on one leg for years but can’t say I recall too much need for it, but I guess an extra leg would be helpful – if only to bring about a whole new ability to Nippon a bus. (Sorry!)
Finally, I wonder if Cliff Richard has seen the story about the Brighton man who complained to the police that a neighbour had put a cut-out of him in a window over-looking his dining room.
He said the grinning image was creepy – no doubt it was putting him off his Mistletoe and Wine, but it could be worse.
With all those election posters sprouting up, just think of the politician you’d least like to have peering into your dining room!