John Walsh: Naked hitmen in a bathtub? Get a life


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It's just been revealed that the lovely Kate Middleton was recently confirmed in the Church of England. There's not much to say about this – confirmation just means you're happy to re-affirm the Christian vows your parents made at your baptism – except that people usually get confirmed at 10 or 11, rather than being steered into it at 29. But did you know that those who seek confirmation in the C of E are offered a course called Get A Life!? I can't help thinking this is a double-edged injunction. But Kate is certainly responding to it wholeheartedly, isn't she?

* All Russian government "procurements" have, by law, to be published on the internet. Which is how we learned that President Dmitry Medvedev's minders have been enjoying bath nights in a new cast-iron tub costing 336,000 roubles, or £6,500. It's not even a communal one; it could accommodate only two burly naked hitmen (plus loofahs, gel and shampoo) at any time. The president's spokesmen have defended the purchase. How? By saying the bathing bodyguards are torpedos? That they're working "undercover"?

* Tactful remark of the week: Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter magazine, on being informed that "members of the public" struggled to differentiate cheap from expensive wines said: "Expensive wines... may not have the bold fruity flavours of cheaper wines – they will be more nuanced and may not be as sweet." Translation: "Expensive wines may not taste like cider vinegar or undiluted Ribena, so you may struggle to taste anything in them at all..."

* How does one deal with paparazzi in California? Robert Pattinson, the British-born actor who plays Edward the vampire in the Twilight movies, has a strategy. "A bunch of paparazzi were following me," he said, "and I thought the best way to deal with it was to stop my car in the middle of the street and say, 'I'm not leaving, and I'm not going to speak to you anymore'." Naturally his car was soon entirely surrounded by flashing cameras, drug dealers and assorted scary lowlife. Only an English public schoolboy could have imagined it was a good idea. I urge him not to try the same approach when chased by muggers in Brooklyn.

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