SILLY QUESTION / The many shades of greyhound

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The Independent Culture
THE lack of greyness of greyhounds, which we asked about last week, has elicited some colourful explanations, writes William Hartston. It is, says Len Clarke, 'to avoid confusion with our wonderful prime minister'. But Rachel Wilson says it is 'for the same reason that greenhouses are not green, blueprints are not blue and black magic has no colour'.

All of which would appear to rule John Major out of being a greyhound, even if he does, as Angus Blackhall claims, 'have the same habit of aimlessly running around in circles, chasing items bereft of substance'. Otto Black explains: 'The cranial bone of the greyhound, having adapted to a suitably streamlined shape, is ill-suited to contain much cerebral matter; consequently greyhounds are dim'. So the original grey greyhounds, instead of chasing grey hares, dimly chased each other. 'Attempts were made to introduce dyed hares, but the self-conscious hare, preferred to fling itself to the hounds rather than live with the embarrassment.' The only solution was to breed non-grey hounds.

Why do the police do not seal off an area before the crime is committed, rather than after? Dave Byrden thinks it is to prevent their fencing and tape being stolen by the criminals. Beverley Atkins Smart suggests it is because crime prevention would create redundancies in the police force. She also suggests the police are in league with BBC TV and have an interest in creating material for Crimewatch. B O'Byrne thinks it is connected to the fact that the 'so-called anti-terrorist squad always arrive anywhere after the terrorists, and should more properly be called the post-terrorist squad'.

This week we should like to know: Why can't you have your cake and eat it? What's the point in having a cake if you can't eat it? (Corinna Gallop) Why did the fourth little piggy get none? (Jasper Fforde) And why is it, that whenever someone wants to describe a large expanse of land, it is always 'roughly the size of Wales' (Robert Love).

Answers and silly questions please, to: Silly Question, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.