Pembroke: Stuck on the phone

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The Independent Online
To Harley Street and the orthodontist for a realignment of the ivories. Shivering involuntarily in the chair, one is regaled with the events of the morning.

It turns out that a female high flyer had been in earlier for similar treatment. Unable to stay out of touch for a moment, she saw fit to go to the chair with her mobile phone clasped to her side.

No sooner had the minty-smelling cement (used to make a model of the teeth) been inserted into her mouth than - you've guessed it - the infernal contraption sprang to life.

The conversation, says the orthodontist, was strained to say the least. God knows what the brace will look like when it is finally fashioned.

Here's one for followers of the Italian corruption saga. Q: Why do Fiats have such small steering wheels? A: So they can be driven wearing handcuffs.

They have been hugely impressed with defector Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua at the European management conference in St Gallen, Switzerland. Having seen the joke from our own Douglas Hogg go down faster than the German economy, the Volkswagen production chief (still fondly remembered at his former employer, General Motors) wooed the surly bunch with the joke about Einstein and his driver.

You know. The one where the scientist's driver reckons even he can expound on the theory of relativity. 'Be my guest,' retorts Einstein and dons the chauffeur's uniform while his driver delivers an important lecture.

All goes well until a punishing question on quantum mechanics from the floor. The driver pauses. 'That question is so easy that even my chauffeur could answer it.'

Roars of euroapproval.

The Foreign Office minister's joke? Ah yes. Mr Hogg claims that it is no use relying on management theory when trying to run a company.

'It's a bit like trying to make love while using a sex manual,' he quips. There follows a stony silence. But this may have had something to do with the 1,500 litres of sponsored beer available.