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Potato chips. In the 1800s in New York, a customer at a restaurant sent back French fries because they were too thick. The cook made thinner ones that the customer still thought were too thick. Exasperated, the chef made ones that were exceedingly thin to piss off the customer... who loved them.

Viagra limits are `indefensible'

THE GOVERNMENT'S original decision to restrict the availability of the anti-impotence drug Viagra on the National Health Service was "legally indefensible", the High Court was told yesterday.

Health: Viagra's fall-out

Health Check

Limit of one Viagra a week for patients

FAMILY DOCTORS will be able to prescribe Viagra on the NHS to a limited number of impotent men from July, Health Secretary Frank Dobson said yesterday. Those who qualify, slightly more than originally proposed but fewer than one in five of all impotent men, will be limited to one pill a week "reflecting research evidence on this point," he said.

Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry is a stranger to the concept of volume control - in his clothes as much as in his voice. It is no coincidence that two of his previous live shows have gone by the unambiguous titles of Loud! and Larger than Life, and that his current tour (his largest yet) is entitled Large!. On stage, he displays all the excess energy of Don Juan on Viagra. Audiences tend to get swept along by his boundless enthusiasm.

Go-ahead for Viagra on NHS

DOCTORS ARE to be given the go-ahead tomorrow to prescribe Viagra on the NHS for the first time since it was licensed eight months ago.

The delicate task of keeping obscenities off our roads

THE DVLC has apparently decreed this week that they will not let anyone have the car number plate V14 GRA. This is because whoever gets it will be able to alter the 4 to looks like a capital A, and the number plate will then read VIAGRA. Which will be naughty. And the DVLC (which stands for Dirty Vocabulary Licensing Council) doesn't think we ought to have naughtiness on the roads. Five thousand deaths a year, yes. Naughty words on number plates, no.

FLATTERY, DOGGEREL, INSPIRATION

"LAUREATE" MEANS "crowned with laurel". In ancient Greece, the victor in the Pythian games was awarded a laurel wreath. Laurel itself was believed to carry the spirit of prophecy and poetry. Subsequently, laurel wreaths were used to honour graduates in rhetoric and poetry in medieval universities.

Of worms, weapons and beautiful women

THE DIARY

My brief cyber-affair with Cutie

A couple engaged in oafish flirtation - `Hey, babe, wanna get 2gether & make sweet music?'

Viagra demand less than predicted

GOVERNMENT FORECASTS that doctors would be swamped with demands for Viagra prescriptions for recreational use rather than for impotency treatment have been challenged by research.

Design: Oh TV, I worship thee

Your sitting-room may end up looking like a small branch of Dixons, but if you're a sensorama sound freak, who cares? By Philip Kerr

Health: A Question of Health: I've lost all my sex drive

I AM delighted for all those relationships that have been helped by the arrival of Viagra. What, however, is being done for women? I am 47, and over the past five years I have gone off sex. This is having a lousy effect on a relationship which otherwise has a lot going for it. A brief course of counselling led nowhere. I have told my partner that screaming at me is no answer. I've heard that at my age this is not unusual and I could just try putting up with it. I can do that, but my partner can't. I think the cause may be hormonal. Where do I go for help and what should I ask?

Viagra Corner

Dispatches from the Frontiers of Medicine

MPs prescribed Viagra by doctor in the House

A LABOUR MP who is also a GP has been bombarded, discreetly of course, with requests from colleagues wanting to get their hands on the anti-impotence drug, Viagra.

Comedy - preview: Fascinating Aida

Musical comedy can seem a vague genre, but in the capable hands of Fascinating Aida (left, Dillie Keane, Issy Van Randwyck and Adele Anderson), it is a crafted artform, capable of pleasing fans of both music and comedy. They subvert traditional forms to make comic points; in the past, they have sung a tango about herpes simplex and a Piaf-esque ballad dedicated to the homeless. For their latest show, Barefaced Chic, they promise ditties on an eclectic range of subjects from Viagra and the genetic modification of beetroot to the fad for all things oriental and Jerry Springer.
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