Captain Moonlight

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You made it! We can get started now. What, I wonder, this week? Revelation? Chuckles? Revelations that make you chuckle? All right, all right. Do you know what Dick Turpin said when he arrived in York? Whoa! No? Right then, what's the difference between Tarka and taka dal? One's a little otter. Oi! Come on, a little 'otter! Curry. Oh, never mind. Oi! Forward!


Forget June 9. The Captain has the inside track. The trollies at Safeway on the Walworth Road in south London have been fitted with a euro slot. Enough said. Pass it on. Next!


I'll Go To The Foot Of Our Stairs! Did you know that there is a theme park in Japan called Shakespeare's Village? There is. One of the attractions is "Anne Boleyn's Blast Chute". It is. You know, that's the sort of thing which quite cheers me up. Next!


If like me, you cannot really relax on holiday without something to worry about, I've got a good one: a new species of jellyfish with a yard-wide fleshy red belly and a cluster of wrinkled, thick arms has been found in the Pacific. Next!

At Your Service

With Captain Moonlight. Recently, I received this urgent message from a regular reader, Ms Maw of Kent: "Captain! I have had to spend quite a few nights in a West Bromwich hotel and can no longer accept such an unfair situation. The hotel is always proud to present a selection of jams in those pathetic little plastic tubs and can even stir themselves to include a sickly marmalade. Why then, no Marmite? Surely it isn't beyond the wit of man to dribble a little brown slop into a container?" Well, as you might imagine, as the columnist who really cares, I was rather affected by Ms Maw's plight. Imagine, then, my delight, when, breaking my fast last Sunday in a small hotel just outside Trowbridge, my gimlet eye fell upon, there in the little raffia basket with the little, ahem, glass jam jars, yes, a small plastic tub of ... Marmite! Ms Maw, it's on the way! The rest of you: just tell me another column where you can get this kind of service! Next!

Public Service

Announcement By Captain Moonlight. Thank you. And can I just point out that the use of the noun and verb, "quip", in any declension or conjugation, is a firm guarantee that the remark which accompanies it will not be funny. See also, "wag", as in "a wag quipped." Thank you. Next!


And the Captain's campaign to rescue the reputation of librarians from condescending cliché and silly stereotype continues apace. Silence, please! Already, you have learned that Casanova, John Major's mum and Anthea Turner have done their time with the stamp and the look that reproves. Now, let me present to you Ms Hilliard, assistant librarian of St John's College, Oxford, who has written following my reference to one of Sir Cliff's finest, Expresso Bongo: "Captain! I was delighted to see you mention this yesterday. It proves that others have fond memories of Paul Schofield, Cliff Richard, Charles Gray and Millicent Martin. Am I the only person who sings 'Seriously', and 'She saw it, she liked it, she bought it', in my bath?" I cannot believe you are, Ms Hilliard, even if I myself am more of a 'Bachelor Boy' and 'Mistletoe and Wine' man at steam and loofah time. But there must be some of you out there: Contact The Captain now!


An occasional series in which the Captain laments the passing of those who have made a unique contribution to the business of living. Today: Michaela Denis, who, with her husband, Armand, was Britain's first wildlife television star. Michaela, who wrote Leopard in my Lap and Ride a Rhino, once spotted a blue spaceship over the Masai Reserve, and prompted her husband, who was a Belgian, to declare: "The finest creature in the world is a woman." The Captain salutes Michaela and her husband for selflessly providing, " ... and Armand and Michaela Dennis", as an infallible punchline and prop for the desperate humorist, sharing that honour with a select gallery which also includes Des O'Connor, Dale Winton, Lionel Blair, Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, Alan Titchmarsh, Anthea Turner, Mr Pastry, Buck's Fizz, Jordan, The Nolan Sisters, Mrs Mills, Sooty, and Roy Rogers and Trigger. On!


The Government, you must have noticed, is urging us to reclaim our parks from muggers and vandals. Excellent. Here are some measures that might help: 1. Organise a treasure hunt; that should keep them busy. 2. Place muggers and vandals between 20 seven-year-olds and the ice cream van. 3. Put someone doing their T'ai Chi exercises at every entrance. 4. Remote control model car patrols; you don't want to mess with those people. 5. Everyone using swings to be issued with binoculars. 6. Dummy ducks with concealed CCTV cameras. 7. Joggers roped together. 8. Exploding balloons filled with aniseed. 9. A pooper-scooper strike. That should keep them out! Next!


Yes, it's the return, by near acclaim, of the Captain's innovatory feature where, dispensing with the usual clichéd visual aids, I invite you to share my amazement at the uncanny similarity between two well-known players on the domestic and international stages! And today, just try Robert Zoellick, the United States Trade Representative, and Dr Niles Crane, one of Seattle's two foremost practitioners in the field of psychology. No? Then how about Charlie Slater, the well-known EastEnders cabbie, and Charlie Kennedy, the slightly less well-known leader of the Liberal Democrats? No? OK, then, the big one: Jean-David Levitte, French ambassador to the United States, and Clive Dunn. Amazing, isn't it? Don't panic! On!


And, last week, you were asked if you were at all interested in learning the Arabic for "to put one's finger up the bottom of a chicken to see if it is about to lay an egg". It was one of the closest telephone votes we've had yet; but the vote, narrowly, was, "No!". Forward!

Charles Nevin is Captain Moonlight

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