Letter from Simon Kelner

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The Independent Online

It's a tough job, writing a column every day. Not a tough job like coal mining, or nursing, or being a soldier. And it's not tough like my friend Disco Dave has it, driving a lorry full of dangerous material around the country for the MoD while checking newsagents' shops up and down the land to ensure they have stocks of i. (Surely, a case for military honours!)

Nevertheless, it's difficult to have an opinion every day that withstands exploration over a dozen or so column inches. Sometimes, I have little more than a tiny observation (140 characters will do for that one, I think), while at other times I find myself dangerously close to confecting outrage in order to fulfil my obligation to you.

I know you can spot a phony, and I don't want to be a bore – too late for that one, I hear you say – but there are a number of things over the course of a week that interest, entertain or incense me that don't merit a whole column in their own right. So as a soon-to-be regular feature on a Friday, I'd like to give you a week of passing thoughts. First up ... I was deeply interested in the study which revealed that wine bottles lie about their alcohol content: some say 13 per cent whereas the truth is 13.4 per cent. So that explains what happened to me at the party last Saturday night ...

On the subject of percentages, I really hope the weather forecasters don't adopt the American practice of referring to the prospect of rain in this way. What's the difference between a 40 per cent chance of rain and a 50 per cent chance? Just tell us whether to take an umbrella... Have you noticed, btw, that some politicians refer to Rebekah Brooks, below, as "Rebekah", thereby exposing themselves as compromised. I don't recall anyone, at the height of the BP crisis, calling Tony Hayward "Tony"... and, for those without young children, don't worry: the whole Harry Potter thing will soon be over. That's it from me for the week – how many more opinions can a man have? See you on Monday!

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