John Walsh: btw

Share
Related Topics

Fans of Miss World have a conundrum to puzzle over. The holder of the title, 20-year-old Peruvian dreamboat Maria Julia Mantilla, is threatening to sue a plastic surgeon called Cesar Morillas. Why? Because he claims to have operated on her, giving her buttock implants and sorting out her unfeasibly large ears. Well, you'd sue, wouldn't you, if you were a beauty queen and someone suggested that you'd had (as they say) "work" done. But here's the twist. Maria says that Cesar did operate on her, but not on her ears and rear end - only on her nose and bosom. She's annoyed that the surgeon should claim to have artificially adjusted her (apart from those regions, of course). "I'm not the creation of a surgeon," she said indignantly, "he just did my bust and my nose." But when were these operations? If they were before the contest, wouldn't that disqualify her from winning? If after it, why would the new Miss World feel she needed them?

Evidence is piling up that speed cameras, as well as being the most hated item of technology seen in the UK since the last Yes LP, are just not working. In east London, they found that a 20mph camera had been installed outside the 20mph zone. Nearly 5,600 fined motorists were given refunds of £335,800 by the hapless Transport for London. Meanwhile, 10 cameras in the West Midlands were found to break government rules - they're not visible from 60 yards away, and cause motorists to brake sharply. And there's a road in Birmingham which had a crash-free record until a camera was installed; since it was, seven people have been killed or injured. We say: get rid of the malfunctioning robots now, before they start dreaming of world domination.

Inspired phrase-making in the papers about the blue-white Chinese-porcelain dress Victoria Beckham wore to Elton John's party. The Sun headlined it "Becks' bone china" (Geddit? China plate = mate), then explained with the words: "Posh dress like plates," even supplying, for the slow-witted, a picture of a willow-pattern dish. The Daily Mirror, not to be outdone, carried the shout-line: "Posh is a minger!" before hurriedly explaining: "Victoria Beckham looked like a giant Ming vase as she stepped out with husband David..." Ah, the tabloid sub-editor's art. It's practically metaphysical poetry.

A frighteningly well-informed reader, Jonathan Sharp, has written to mock my ignorance of 1950s New York dry-cleaning methods. I was puzzled by the word "Hollanderize" in Guys and Dolls (still at the Piccadilly Theatre) and had been misinformed about its meaning by media know-alls. "It's a fur-cleaning process," says Mr Sharp, "called by the same name today, possibly deriving from the firm of A Hollander & Sons, dyers and dressers of furs, founded in Newark in 1889" and would have been as familiar to 1950s audiences as "Vitalis and Barbasol" in the Guys and Dolls title song. Well done, Mr Sharp. "And yes," he charmingly concludes, "probably I do need to get out more."

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: HR Assistant

£17447 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is a leading centre fo...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Sales Apprentice

£15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £20,000 - £60,000

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Voices in Danger: How can we prevent journalists from being sexually assaulted in conflict zones?

Heather Blake
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would ramp up Britain's spending on science

Paul Nurse
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence