Miles Kington remembered: A decimal guide to life's oddities and absurdities

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The Independent Online

Ten writers who sounded as if they were men but turned out to be women...

Richmal Crompton

George Eliot

Radclyffe Hall

A S Byatt

George Sand

Frances Parkinson Keyes

Jean Plaidy

P D James

Evelyn's Diary

Aubrey's Brief Lives

(NB. The management would like to apologise for the last two, who are apparently men with girls' names ...)

Ten things commonly found down the back of sofas...

Cocktail sticks

An unfinished paperback that you will have to start again now, because you can't remember a thing that happened in it

Pencils

Christmas cards

Invitations to parties that happened last week

Dinosaurs (small scale)

Small change, often no longer legal tender or simply foreign

Pieces of sticking plaster that have fallen off presumably now unprotected wounds

More dinosaurs

Pieces of sticking plaster used to join broken dinosaurs together, still with brachiosaurus leg attached

Ten things which children can put individual names to quicker than adults can...

Dinosaurs

Cars

Lorries

Trains

Pop stars

Insects

Tractor manufactures

Obscure cartoon characters of the 40s

Unpleasant, possibly poisonous items of food not to be eaten at any cost

Jungle animals

Pirates

Ten unusual ways of being out at cricket...

Stolen ball

Head before wicket

Nervous breakdown

Retired, drunk

Doubtful nationality

Ball repossessed by bank

Caught, umpire

Ball split in two halves, one of which hit stumps, other being caught in the slips

Appeal granted by accident

Walked out

Ten terms used in advertising that do not promote trust...

Rain-proof

Farm fresh

Personalised

Shower-proof

Unique

Pedigree

Environment-friendly

Shower-resistant

Simply the best

Excellent

Ten things which fall apart much faster than the law of probability allows for...

Pencils with little erasers stuck on the end

Telephone answering machines

Paperbacks

Sandwiches carried in a paper bag

Dinosaurs

Name-and-address books

Boxes containing garden games for the summer

Matchboxes carried in the pocket

Cameras

Houses

Ten books named not after people but after houses, or even parts of houses...

Jamaica Inn

Bleak House

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

10 Rillington Place

Northanger Abbey

Brideshead Revisited

The L-Shaped Room

A Room With A View

Howard's End

The House at Pooh Corner

Ten books that have never been turned into musicals...

Lord Baden-Powell's Scouting For Boys

Robinson Crusoe

Burke's Landed Gentry

Mrs Beeton's Household

Management

The Book of Genesis

Wisden

Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu

Birds of the West Indies by James Bond

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Brideshead Revisited

Ten composers who sound as if they were really small railway stations somewhere in the north of England...

Sterndale Bennett

Rawsthorne

Swinstead

Percy Grainger

Stanford

Birtwhistle

Hamilton Harty

Arnold

Hely-Hutchinson

Granville Bantock

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