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.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
Beyonce angers fans by pouring expensive champagne into hot tub in Nicki Minaj 'Feeling Myself' video
Eurovision 2015: The best moments from Australia's random entry to Lithuania's gay kiss
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland