CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT: More laughs than the Chuckle Brothers

Related Topics
BELAY there! Today, I want to have a serious word with you about trivia. For it is now time to get really cracking with my ultimate millennial list, Captain Moonlight's Triumphs of The Millennium, a celebration of innovations that have had a major minor effect on the quality of all our lives. It will be a list building inexorably, interestingly and excitingly to a comprehensively remarkable conclusion in the heady days ahead. I am even offering that ultimate yet discreet black and silver enamel-effect symbol of discernment and exclusivity, the Moonlight Badge, for assistance in its compilation. Here follow the first 10: 1) The toothbrush (1498). 2) The collapsible silk opera hat (1832). 3) Hanging, drawing and quartering (1241). 4) Margarine (1869). 5) Logarithms (1614). 6) Bread and butter pudding (c1700). 7) The Venetian blind (1769) . 8) Robinson's Barley Water (1823). 9) The indoor swimming pool (1742). 10) The vaulting horse (1761). Just try to imagine life without any of that lot, then, fired, send me your suggestions. And remember, it's not every day you get a chance to participate in history. Or, for that matter, to get a Moonlight Badge. Next!

BBRRNNGG! Ah, yes, the harsh harbinger of fresh intelligence; or, as a colleague earlier in my distinguished career (he was a bit of a card) used to say, "Answer that, it might be the phone!" Great days. Anyway, it's none other than my lively showbiz correspondent, Ms Britt Bafter, who has this: "Captain, Summer Shows! Britt's Tips this time round include Gordon and Bunny Jay in Summer Spectacular 99 at the Spa Theatre, Bridlington; Trouble at Sea! starring the Chuckle Brothers at the Britannia Pier Theatre, Great Yarmouth; Freddie Starr, Johnnie Laff and Amethyst, at the Princess Theatre, Torquay; and, on the North Pier, Blackpool, Legends, tributes to Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Elvis, Tina Turner and Roy Orbison!" I thank Ms Bafter for these diverting prospects and wonder if anything else is "hot" in her world. "Funny you should ask, Captain. Do you remember the Sixties pop star, Heinz, key member of the Tornados, whose tune "Telstar" was once named by Lady Thatcher as one of her favourite records?" Indeed I do, I say: who could forget "Just Like Eddie"? "Well, wait for it, Captain, Heinz is 57 next month! Oh, and by the way, did you know Elvis had a collection of stuffed toy animals?" Remarkable. Some business, show business. Next!

BALLS. The little silver ones you use on cakes. We in the Moonlight family have noticed a distinct dearth of the little fellows in the shops recently. Fearing some EU directive concerned about choking, or vulnerable dental work, or metal fatigue, I got in touch with the silver-ball market leaders, Supercook, who operate from Leeds, the Monte Carlo of the West Riding. Thankfully, after consulting with a spokeswoman, I am able to confirm that the lack of balls is purely a temporary difficulty confined to the choicer parts of south London. In fact, the spokeswoman was able to point out a buoyancy in the market not only for Silver Balls but for Hundreds and Thousands, Sugar Stars, and Marzipan Fruits as well, due to a recent increase, which she was somewhat at a loss to explain, in the creation and consumption of fairy cakes. Thank you.

BBRRNNGG! Heavens above, it's my food and drink editor, the great RAC Quart! "Captain! Marco Pierre White, Yorkshireman, cook and angler! Spot of trouble down at Marlow Weir, in leafy Bucks, former favourite waters of MPW when he's in the mood to murder a few pike. Sorry? Yes, he's a coarse fisherman, all right, Captain! Yes, very funny. Anyway, he's been wading about in the weir with that Gordon Ramsay fellow in tow, and apparently that's very bad form in the coarse business. And then there was an expert coarse competition he wanted to take part in but they told him to get back to the kitchen, so it's all turned nasty and he doesn't go any more. Interested?" Hmmm. This seems pretty run of the mill (!) for White. I ask Quart to turn to a more pressing matter. But he is also at a loss to explain the fairy cake increase. Next!

KERRPPLLOPP! Yes, that's the sound of incoming e-mail responding in formidable numbers to my competition to discover the two most popular phrases among mobile phone users, not including "I'm on the train", which would be a runaway winner. And our runaway winner is Ms Swann of Newhaven, who e-mails: "Dear Captain, Based on my own journeys (between Newhaven Town and London Victoria via Lewes - and incidentally when are we going to see the famous bus stop photo?) the second to fifth commonest utterances of mobile users are: 'Hello, it's me.' 'I'm on the mobile.' 'Is Mummy there?' 'Signalling difficulties in the Purley area, apparently'." Well done, Ms Swann: Badge! Sorry? Ah, yes, Ms Swann's reference to the "famous bus stop photo". This is a photograph I have long promised to display, should anyone be interested, of what is claimed to be the least-used bus stop in Britain, near Lewes. Imagine, then, my feelings on receipt of Ms Swann's request. Imagine, too, my anguish, when I found I had lost the photo. That's why, instead, down there, I am showing you this week's mystery object. Identify it and a Moonlight Badge could be yours!

BBRRNNGG! Yes, it's my political correspondent, Ms Una Tributable, reporting from Westminster after a historic week of peace and elections. "Captain! The spoons in the House of Commons gift shop have been reduced to pounds 4.50! And I also understand, exclusively, that they are about to introduce a new range of toiletries specifically designed to appeal to Blair's Babes, including compacts engraved with the famous portcullis, lockets and silver frames for his photo, and holy medals commemorating his healing of a stutterer from Devon. Actually, I made the last three up, Captain. By the way, have you read about all these Frenchies taking over the London buses? Well, you might be interested to know that most of the people working in the gift shop are Spanish. Oh, and some bloke called Howard Davies is going to be the next Director-General of the BBC. Bye!" I replace the receiver, comforted to know that, as long as we have such watchdogs about, democracy is safe. Next!

BBRRNNGG! Blimey, enough! It is, though, my literary correspondent, Hugh Advance, with some thoughts on the passing of Christina Foyle: "Captain, do you think that when Miss Foyle arrives at the pearly gates she will have to get a chit from an assistant of St Peter which she will then have to take to another assistant of St Peter who will process it before she takes it back to the original assistant who will then let her in? And there was something else I was going to tell you. Now what was it? Oh, yes, Pearsons are about to buy Harper Collins. Bye!" Bye, Hugh.

PULVERISE, shred and shed those stereotypes with Captain Moonlight. You thought the Lib Dems were nice and earnest, well-intentioned, but woefully short on some decent bad habits? Pah! You can't get into the Westminster William Hill's for the ponies and even monkeys going on the leadership race. Pick the chunky knitwear out of that! Next: reinforce, buttress and bolster those stereotypes with Captain Moonlight. Ken Clarke, tubby-rumpled man of the people, spotted on the Tube, again! What? No, just the two stops, from Westminster to Temple. What? Walk? Do that tummy a favour, it must be almost a mile. Next!

WOW! Not an uncommon reaction to my acclaimed Moonlight Miscellany, a great gallimaufry of good things, snippets and asides. First, Nature Notes. And bad news from Abadan, where it's reported that liberal dosings of poison have made the mice so big and strong that they're now eating cats. Well, that's what it says in the Tehran Times, even if it is only June. Good news, though, from Notting Hill, where the gum trees Elisabeth Murdoch has planted outside her beautiful home are doing very well. As are the Captain's tropical fish: see for yourself over there in the world's first virtual internet site (steady, Marco Pierre)! Pigeons are now living longer, too, you know. And the duck's quack does echo. Next, Moonlight Crime Watch, and on Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, policemen are being rewarded with giant lollipops if they use the new breathalyser kits; while in Bonn, a thief who broke into a truck marked "Whiskey" fainted when he found Whiskey the circus tiger; similarly, in Croydon, the shoe box stolen from a local doorstep contained nothing but the remains of Chippie, a former chipmunk; and in Letchworth, Mrs Davis of Baldock writes to tell me, a road rage victim who claims to have been attacked by a knife-wielding maniac may have only been assaulted with a half-baked baguette. Thank you, Mrs Davis: Badge! And, finally, I have had news of the Marquess of Cholmondeley. Bye!

VOTE for us or the little bear gets it: a typically uncompromising message from the shadow health secretary last week. Sorry? What big bear? Rough night, was it? All right, sorry. It is, in fact, vote for us and we'll give you a bear. No? The health shadow announcing a successful private inbeartility treatment programme? All right, it was an Action Research photocall. NEIL MUNNS/PA

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Lord Lawson has been 'banned' from the BBC  

Don't let balance get in the way of truth

Katy Guest
A new election forecast indicates Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats may hold the power in deciding who forms the next government  

General election latest: computer model predicts the Lib Dems might have even more of an influence than they do now

John Rentoul
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?