news monkey

Click to follow
The Independent Online
t VIAGRAPHOBIA. Sales of the once popular impotency drug have fallen to a third of their highest levels in the US, which, let's face it, is still pretty popular. Medical fears are blamed for the slump, although it's more likely that the newly potent men of America have decided that with Viagra costing $10 a time, pay-per-view cable sport is simply a more economical option.

t LORDS REFORM. This remains a politically charged, emotional and delicate issue for anyone who is a lord, but for the rest of us all this bickering among themselves just looks like more of what they do all the time. Much is made of the Upper House's unrepresentative make-up, because almost half of the 600-odd hereditary peers went to Eton, but it's worth remembering that many other Etonians go on to live normal, productive lives.

t CLINTON BACKLASH. The latest polls show that the American public thinks the Congress is being absolutely beastly to Mr Clinton. Republicans, fearful that the backlash could adversely affect mid-term elections, have changed tactics and now seek a kinder, gentler impeachment. American public opinion has become so mercurial, contradictory and unpredictable that the people are actually using their views to wrong- foot politicians and trick them into doing their will. It's certainly not why polls were invented, and no good can come of it.

t KILLER DOGS. A brace of conversation starters from the United States, where tragic news always seems to be just that little bit funnier. This week, not one but two fellow Americans were murdered by their own dogs. Killer dogs are fairly common in the rabies capital of the free world, but here it's the method, rather than the madness, that's news: one dog shot his owner through the heart with a .45 and the other one ran his master over with a pick-up truck.

t LAMB COLLAPSE. With lamb prices falling so sharply that farmers are shooting them to save money, reports that supermarkets fail to pass on the savings to consumers score high on the naked self-interest scale. "Why aren't I benefiting from the collapse of farming?" we ask ourselves, knowing full well that if a leg of lamb were priced to reflect its true current value, no one would want to eat it. Meanwhile lambs themselves are in desperate need of re-branding - perhaps as "the pet that won't murder you".

t HOUSE COLLAPSE. The burbling classes, who mostly worry about prices, mortgage rates and neighbourhoods coming up or going down, are not going to like the news that one's pounds 750,000 Grade II

listed three-bed terrace in London's leafy W2 could just fall down. This is exactly what happened to the Willis family of Westbourne Park Road. Afterwards other Notting Hill residents spent several nights combing through the rubble, at considerable risk to themselves, in order to loot the furnishings.

t BRAIN CHIP. Thought control has arrived, as scientists reveal that little glass cones driven into the brain can enable people to move a cursor around a screen, without a mouse! The danger of using the invention for evil is obviously something to watch out for, especially when employed in conjunction with Sky Digital, but we're probably safe until they figure out how to implant them while we're asleep.

t CRICKET TO C4. Normally sport ain't news - that's why they have a separate section - but Channel 4's snapping up the rights to screen home Test Matches will be a big disappointment to non-fans who by now had expected all televised sport to be safely tucked away in the wasteland of cable and satellite. Cricket fans, on the other hand, can hardly be expected to get sentimental about having to push 4 instead of 1 in order to watch the match, especially when you can do it with your brain.

Comments