Donald MacInnes: I may be a slob, but I would never jump on the Queen's head

In The Red

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The Independent Online

My other half is currently in the Far East on business. Of course, by "my", I don't mean to imply that the woman in question is some sort of possession of mine, in a fashion similar to my 50-inch television set with its enormous home cinema system (which is sometimes borrowed by oil companies for fracking purposes).

However, by "other half", I certainly DO mean the 50 per cent of the collective "we" which actually collects her snipped toenails and puts them all the way into the bin, rather than lobbing them over her shoulder into the void behind the couch... like my 50 per cent of the collective does.

And while it pains me to admit to being a slob in an actual newspaper, what pains me far, far worse is biting my tongue (euphemistically and actually), so I will try to avoid doing both.

So what, I sense you asking, does proper toenail disposal have to do with the world of personal finance?

Well, aside from toenail clippings being a very real currency in selected Scottish penitentiaries, it's illustrative of the differences between ourselves and our cousins in the aforementioned Far East.

Did you know that in Thailand, for example, feet are the lowest of the low; something to be despised? Not like heads. Heads are, well, the highest of the high.

Therefore, If you drop some of your "personal finance", ie one of your baht banknotes (left), on the street, even if it is a very windy day and you are in imminent danger of losing your note to a gust of wind, you mustn't ever stand on your money to stop it blowing away. And by "ever", I of course mean EVER. That's because in Thailand, the Royal Family is a VBDI (very big deal indeed), so to place the sole of your grotty foot on a picture of the King's head on a banknote is akin to us stepping on our Queen's actual head. And maybe jumping up and down four or five times.

I suspect there are better ways of celebrating her Diamond Jubilee than that.

Anyway, unusual legislation can exist closer to home. In France, it remains illegal to name a pig Napoleon. Slugs, weasels, rats and other pejoratively named creatures are fine. Just not a pig.

And to me this doesn't seem fair. But what do I know? I throw my toenails behind the couch.

d.macinnes@independent.co.uk

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