Miles Kington: Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It's a practice fire alarm

Celibacy is nothing. We are all totally celibate almost all of the time
Click to follow
The Independent Online

It's been a long time since I brought you a selection of Albanian proverbs. Perhaps you don't remember what Albanian proverbs are like? Well, they are the complete opposite of the ones we are used to. Ours are awfully practical and useful - a stitch in time, a bird in the hand and all that - whereas Albanian proverbs are rather airy-fairy and poetic, and don't seem to mean much at first sight. They don't seem to mean much later on either, but they still linger in the brain longer than ours. See what you think.

We never know ourselves in profile.

We never know ourselves from behind.

We never know ourselves.

Black dogs are the first to get grey whiskers.

When one footpath crosses another, which one has priority?

A man who is having an affair with Marilyn Monroe is unlikely to press the nuclear button.

All the famous detectives are fictional, but almost all the famous criminals really existed.

Two great fantasy figures who dress up in cloaks, and set out to cure the ills of the world: Batman, and the Pope.

When we come to use the return half of our ticket, we are always older and wiser than when we set out.

A man who stands for the national anthem will stand for anything.

The difference between a sculpture and a statue is the difference between The Spirit of Eternal Hope and Alderman Fred Rowbotham.

A mixed fruit salad is an act of defiance. As with all attempts to improve on nature, we are telling God that we could have got it better.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It is a practice fire alarm.

A country where they use tooth picks is a country where they like food.

Celibacy is nothing. We are all totally celibate almost all of the time.

Boxing Day, and the mistletoe breathes easier for another year.

Tea in first ? Or milk in first ? It is all the same to the teaspoon.

If moles needed planning permission, they would be extinct by now.

Three people to steer clear of: a man who wants to tell you all about his title, a woman who wants to tell you about her problems and a boy who wants to tell you all about his latest X Box game.

A man whose eardrums have been damaged by the unbearable noise of ambulances would be well advised to walk to hospital for treatment.

There are no great Dutch skiing champions.

And no famous Swiss runners or swimmers.

Three people who do not encourage trust: a fat undertaker, a thin midwife and a one-armed tree surgeon.

A dog's life ... dirty dog ... dog eat dog ... dog-ends ... how stupid do you have to be to be man's best friend?

Two of the greatest challenges a poet can ever face; to write a beautiful limerick, and to write a filthy haiku.

There are no scarecrows in the desert.

All domestic objects in a house tend to rise. After a hundred years the attics are all full, and the hall is empty.

Correction: The novel by Harper Lee referred to yesterday should, of course, have been To Kill A Mocking Bird and not Tequila Mocking Bird.