Deborah Ross: Our Woman in Crouch End

The Debopedia: Facts and Figures of Modern Life Part II: J-M
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The Independent Online

JOHN (PRESCOTT)

Percentage of women who say they would rather be punched, if it is all the same to you: 98; percentage of remaining women who say they would rather be punched, if it is all the same to you: 2; number of women who regularly fantasise about someone else during sex with their partner: 4 out of 5; number of women who fantasise about John Prescott during sex with their partner: 0 out of 4; average age of women who still fantasise about Captain Poldark: 44; number of people who wouldn't mind earning £133,000 a year without a Whitehall department to look after and only a responsibility for "improving relations with China": everyone you can think of; percentage of women who think that once you get over the human rights issues, China is going to be just so, so great for shopping: 100; identity of 44-year-old woman who still fantasises about Captain Poldark: entirely unknown; percentage of women who are regularly punched anyway, but still: 100; number of women who give themselves away by shouting: "I don't know what you see in that bitch Demelza" during sex: 1 (of unknown identity).

KIDDIES

Top ten questions asked by kiddies, usually while you are on the phone and want them to shut the hell up:

1) Mummy, will you play with me?

2) Mummy, who is God?

3) Mummy, can God see everything?

4) Mummy, is it true there are proper mummies who do things like baking and filling the fridge with things to eat?

5) Mummy, what does "sex" mean?

6) Mummy, where do babies come from?

7) Mummy, am I adopted?

8) Mummy, are you sure you won't play with me?

9) Mummy, why did Grandma have to die?

10) Mummy, where did Grandma go after she died?

Top ten suggested answers as never advised by parenting experts but which are most effective nonetheless:

1) No

2) Your father

3) I thought not, but the other evening I turned the telly channel over when I thought he was asleep and he said: "Hey, I saw that. Turn back."

4) Who is putting this nonsense in your head?

5) Not a great deal, when you get to our age

6) TK Maxx (although you have to really rummage for a good one)

7) In your dreams, pal!

8) I've never been more certain of anything in my life

9) Because the silly cow kept trying to talk to me while I was on the phone!

10) Under the patio, but that's our little fun secret, OK?

LAVATORIES

Top five methods of locomotion used by non-disabled women when entering disabled facilities so as to avoid the queue for the regular toilets:

1) The limp

2) The foot-drag

3) Putting your shoes on your knees

4) Hiding one leg behind

5) The polio boot

Chances of forgetting your chosen method of locomotion on exiting disabled toilet: high; chances of everyone in regular queue now looking at you daggers - daggers! - even though the disabled toilet is vacant: extremely high; most common response from males who go for a pee after chopping a chilli: "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!"; the most important lesson learnt by males who go for a pee after chopping chilli: always wash your hands after chopping a chilli and before going for a pee; most common response from females who go for a pee after chopping a chilli just after a male has been for a pee after chopping a chilli: "This is a walk in the park for us girls. Are you still in the throes of that agonising burning sensation, dear?"; other most common response from females after the male has gone for a pee after chopping a chilli: "Captain Poldark would neverhave been so dumb."; the one thing every woman should carry in her handbag: a polio boot.

MARS

Number of men who claim to come from it when they can't be bothered to change a lightbulb: all; number of men who don't really come from it but are just lazy and annoying: all; the budgeted expenditure on "new generation" of lunar missions by Nasa that could otherwise be spent on assassinating that silly man John Gray: £55bn; the best thing to say to a man who says he is from Mars: "You're not. Now, get out of that 'cave' and change this lightbulb before Venus hits you over the head with her polio boot."; the one advantage of men being so useless: they are unlikely to ever dig up the patio.

d.ross@independent.co.uk (temptation to return next week due to no popular demand whatsoever: overwhelming, naturally)

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