Welcome to the world of the absolute certainty

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The Independent Online

There are some things so certain in this world that it would be crazy to bet against them. Here are 50 of these betting certainties:

There are some things so certain in this world that it would be crazy to bet against them. Here are 50 of these betting certainties:

1. That all guests on Desert Island Discs will assume their desert island to be warm, sunny and fruitful, not anything like the Rockall it is more likely to be.

2. That almost all items on Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent will be depressing - a portrait of the mother of a condemned terrorist, say, rather than of someone who has just won the Spanish National Lottery.

3. That all unpleasant, vicious and disruptive children will not be thought so by their parents.

4. That nothing is ever as funny as a TV audience thinks it is.

5. That no wine brought back from holiday will ever taste as nice as it did that day on the terrace overlooking the Med.

6. That when one glove of a pair is irretrievably lost, the other glove will still be kept, "just in case".

7. That the people who make Pimm's would give their eye-teeth to have a drink which sold well in winter.

8. That there is no woman in the country secretly sleeping with her husband's brother who has not gone on a TV show to talk openly about it.

9. That when there is a motorway pile-up the police will say "they were driving like maniacs", that when it rains hard someone will say "the heavens opened" and that when they discover the proceeds of a bank raid, we will be told that it was "like an Aladdin's cave".

10. That out of every 100 who think that a law is draconian, 99 people will neither know or care who Draco was.

11. That people will always take more care over writing the letter than the envelope, even though it is more important that the envelope be written clearly than the letter.

12. That no one has ever designed a flag which looks good on a T-shirt.

13. That the only thing which apple tea, mint tea and camomile tea have in common is that none of them contains any tea.

14. That if a woman offers you her hand, she will be secretly pleased if you kiss it, but if she offers you her cheek, she will be upset if you put your hand to it.

15. That there are many insulting words for a country-dweller - he may be called a hayseed, a yokel, a bumpkin, a peasant, etc - but no adequate insults for a city-dweller.

16. That the cherry is the only fruit which has thoughtfully developed a pip ideal for spitting.

17. That nobody ever sings their national anthem except when they have to.

18. That when people use the word "ethnic", it is never white culture they are referring to.

19. That if the lost world of Atlantis turned up one day, or a UFO was captured, or the secret of crop circles was revealed, there would be a general feeling of complete disillusionment, for some things are far better kept as mysteries.

20. That it is impossible to fill up a car at a garage without spilling some petrol on the floor.

21. That the faster and more menacing a bicycle is, the less likely it is to have a bell, hooter or any other method of warning of its approach.

22. That when a woman thinks that a man has acquired "wisdom", she means he has acquired the ability to see things through a woman's eyes.

23. That the first time a gay Cabinet minister resigns to spend more time with his family, he will probably have to think of a better phrase than "spend more time with my family".

24. That a "supermodel" is merely a model you have heard of.

25. That when someone promises to give you 50 examples of something, he will run out of space and ideas after 25.