Tuesday 06 October 1998
Sorry. My soft parts are stinging from the self-administered spanking. I'll be going forthwith on the course advertised in Bill Moore's copy of the Galaxy Gazette, published by frequency modulation of the Sun's UV Radiation, intended primarily for Advanced Celestial Beings: "Get through to planet earth. Revise those ancient e-mail techniques (yes, they still use e-mail). Communicate with your own pre-enlightened forefathers! Join our pre-eclipse Revisionary Communication classes and learn how to go back in time (but early landings should be avoided: Planet Earth is still largely bisexual and ACB visitors are likely to be felt, fondled, prodded and poked...).
I had been wondering if I had been receiving communication from outer space cunningly disguised by the "ancient manual" typeface. It's a relief to know it's true. Mary Flavin suggests a course more practical for harried parents: dental care for gerbils - gerbil gingivitis, flossing, brushing, root canal fillings (risks of performing) and fitting braces for prominent teeth. Nigel Plevin is particularly concerned to help out the Prime Minister: as well as sending Ofsted inspectors on a course entitled "Humility explained" and one teaching the unemployed how to "macrame those loose ends"; he suggests that Tone himself attend the intriguing "Zen and the art of unarmed table-tennis gestures".
Martin Brown wins a dictionary for the most insane (and detailed) suggestion, a year-long course in gargling, including modules on the Politics of Gargling, Gargling - a Feminist Perspective, Gargling and the Third Reich, Group Gargling for Health, Wealth and Inner Happiness and Teaching Your Dog to Gargle. P Bill would like to see an early retirement course for English Batsmen. Mike Gifford suggests Rung-Making for Social Climbers, How to Massage Figures for accountants with a hands-on approach and Fillings, for dental students requiring a sandwich course. But Andrew P F Duncan scores the other Chambers Dictionary for "Telephone boxes - Small Card Advertising, for part-time workers (female/male). Small groups or individuals. Single session pounds 25, group of six, pounds 100". All entries to be forwarded to the D of E in time for planning curricula for 2003; sadly we've missed the deadline for earlier years.
This week's problem: Luela Palmer would like original uses for empty plastic milk bottles. Suggestions, please, to Creativity, The Independent, Features, 18th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. The top two, or three if anyone has won one for suggesting the week's theme, will win a Chambers Dictionary. Results two weeks from today.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This is what happens when you tattoo Charmander on yourself, drunk, and with no experience
- 2 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'