Monday, August 06, 2007

Harry Potter and the Cat of Death

SO YOUR little moggie comes wandering along and settles down in your lap, purring away like Shirley Bassey on speed. Yeah, nice pussy. Unless the feline in question is Oscar, the Cat of Death.

Oscar inhabits a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island, where, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, he haunts the rooms of those about to die. So accurate is Oscar’s diagnosis of imminent death that staff now send for the patient’s family and their priest once he settles down at the foot of their bed.

Rumours that he was recently seen sneaking into Phil Drabble’s bedroom once the sheepdog was looking the other way can’t be refuted. But he was definitely spotted coughing up a fur ball outside Mike Reid’s Spanish villa.

WAHEY! Let’s play MoD Bingo, Iraq and Afghanistan style!

So it’s number one with a bullet, and you suffer a gunshot wound. That wins you £8,250 in compo on the Ministry of Defence tariff.

Man alive, it’s number five, you’re blinded in one eye. Kerching! That’ll be £28,750, thank you very much.

Three and two, buckle my shoe. Just the one mind, because you’ve lost a leg. That wins you a mere £57,000. And a free crutch.

It’s number 51, it’s a tweak of the thumb. Jackpot time. Collect £484,000 on your way out. No, really.

A woman in her twenties, a civilian working as a data input clerk for the RAF, developed a repetitive strain injury in her right thumb. She claimed that the injury left her unable to work and also caused her to become depressed. She sued the Ministry of Defence and has since been awarded a total of £484,000 in compensation and legal costs.

So the lads at the front put their lives on the line carrying out their orders and get comparative pennies if it all goes wrong, while the clerk typing out those self-same orders gets enough cash to retire on just because she’s got a poorly thumb? It really is enough to make a cat laugh. Except, perhaps, the Cat of Death.

THE GOOD old Currant Bun, the nation’s favourite newspaper (you buy it, don’t blame me) has developed a strange obsession with sharks this week. In particular, an alleged Great White shark that is allegedly lurking off the coast of Cornwall.

Now it’s a handy page-filler when everyone useful has buggered off on holiday, but was it worth three front pages in four days? Even if the story did give the marketing men the chance to sell Jaws ringtones and shark DVDs to gullible idiots?

Meanwhile the Mayor of St Ives, Mr Bill Fry, swears that he’s not had a single person saying that they’re worried about the alleged shark and also says, “After the weather we have had this summer, we badly need all the tourists we can get.”

Now hang on a minute. A man-eating shark is spotted off a popular tourist beach, but the local Mayor plays down the threat because it would be bad for business? That’s a great idea for a film, isn’t it?

THANKS TO a two-year-old weekend houseguest, I now know the words of Shrek 2 by heart. (Yes, it was quite good fun the first 37 times.)

But on the plus side, I also have a new entrant for the Wagon Wheel Hall of Shame, that roster of resized foodstuffs that are now nowhere as big as they used to be. (Most recent previous entrants, the pitifully proportioned purple Monster Munch and the incredible shrinking Kit Kat.)

Step forward, Dairylea Cheese Triangles. These childhood delicacies used to be a solid wedge of foil-wrapped fecundity; a veritable doorstop of creamy calcium. Now they are a pathetic parody of their previous proportions; a mere sliver of silver-wrapped spread that disintegrates by the time you’ve got it out of the wrapper. Quite scandalous. And don’t get me started on Milky Ways, shrinking so fast that they must soon surely disappear altogether.

before about the despicable Picture Loans television advert which I detest on so many grounds – not least for its hijacking of the music from Tony Hart’s Vision On Gallery.

Well now there’s a new one, called Dad’s Found Your Scooter. It is just as patronising, deceitful and dangerous as the first, only this time it features a woman chatting on the phone, rather than the fool with the football. The premise, though, is the same – that arranging a £25,000 loan is as simple, easy and friendly as gossiping to your best mate down the road.

The consequences aren’t as friendly. That £25,000, repaid over 180 months, will cost almost £45,000, and if you run into trouble with the payments, they’ll take your house off you. As I’ve said before, some effing friend.

MORE ANIMAL news. Scientists at the University of Baltimore claim to have created the world’s first schizophrenic mouse.

I have two questions. Why? And how do they know?

Does the confused rodent emerge from its little straw-filled bed dressed as Disney’s Mickey one day and as DangerMouse the next? Does it howl at the moon? Does it sit outside its cage drinking cheap cider from plastic bottles while abusing passing shoppers?

Either way, it’s just not right. Send for the Cat of Death.

news from Iraq at last, where the country’s football team has won the Asia Cup, the equivalent of the European championship, by beating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Jakarta. The important thing here is that the team is made up of Shias, Sunnis and Kurds, so it’s one sign of unity and solidarity in a divided nation.

What fascinates me is the thought of what their fans might sing at matches. “Get your face out for the lads” perhaps? “You’re Shiite and you know you are”? “I’m forever blowing up bubbles”? I don’t know, but I think we should be told.

THE HEAD of a school in Somerset shocked pupils by reading them an extract from the last page of the new Harry Potter book in their final assembly of the year. This was apparently because the theme of the day was “goodbye to friends”.

How thoughtless. So now scores of kids know that Harry perished horribly after the Cat of Death (aka Lord Voldemort) curled up in his lap. Hardly fair, is it?


Anonymous Al said...

I'd be more worried if the great white shark was spotted swimming up Tewksbury High Street.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

"Fuckin' scooter!" :(

Saw one of Picture's customers on the Beeb this morning: a busty blonde fortysomething chav complaining about Leicester Council's bin policy whilst wearing a garish pink t-shirt with the legend, "O-Naughty in 5 seconds flat!"


2:04 AM  
Anonymous Juan Saponatime said...

It's a "scoo-ha". Don't you know nuffin'?

5:58 AM  

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