Captain Moonlight

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The Independent Online

No, listen, don't worry about it. I know how it is. You'd love to settle down to the Captain's inimitable, or, more properly, unimitated, mix of quite topical discussion and reasonably current affairs, but you haven't got the time just at the moment. That's all right. It's a Bank Holiday tomorrow! Have a read then! Dum de dum dum, dum de da de da... Ah, there you are! I told you I'd wait. Ready? Good, let's go! With, naturally, a Doctor joke! Doctor, Doctor, I've swallowed a camera! Gracious me, let's hope nothing develops. Oi! Forward!


Questions With Captain Moonlight. Do you recall the old saying that if you stand in Piccadilly Circus long enough, you will meet everyone you know? Has anyone ever tried this? How long did it take? On!


Nothing much to report on roundabouts at the moment, but Mr Ankers of South Quay has been in touch about a shelter! He has! Not a bus shelter this time, but a train one, at Berney Arms on the Norfolk marshes! Wooden! Built to resemble a bird watching hide! Result, according to Anglia Railways' communications manager, Kerri Howard, of their building team "thinking outside the box". Splendid. Berney Arms, by the way, is East Anglia's most isolated station. But is it, do you think, significant idea coming up, the most isolated in Britain? Steady. Thank you very much, Mr Ankers: please accept, to mark, yes, English Wine Week, a bouteille of our ancien ami, New Wave Wines' English bubbly! On!


A bit of a blow last week, for the Captain, with the publication in the British Journal of Psychology of an exhaustive study establishing beyond reasonable doubt that there are no such things as ghosts. Well. And I was just about to get round to, at last, a fine book called Haunted Holidays, sent to me by one of its authors, Anne Bradford. Not much use now, though. Anybody?


And I have been in receipt of a fascinating communication from Mr Mills of Mortlake! Mr Mills? "Captain! An odd one this, but I thought you might like it. If you take the first letters of the 18 euro studies published by the Treasury, you get 'Mhntlautiftefptepo'. These are an anagram of 'Not the PM - a Left fit-up'. Maybe a secret message from someone in the Treasury, saying don't blame the Prime Minister?" Very likely, I'm sure, Mr Mills. Why don't you sit down and relax for a minute over a bottle of English bubbly? Next!


maestro, please! American "debriefers" in Baghdad, I note, are assisting their efforts by playing suspects songs from Sesame Street and Barney the Dinosaur. (Have you ever watched Barney the Dinosaur? Whatever you do, don't.) The Captain has sent over a list of other efforts which have had the junior moonlights coughing like canaries by the fourth straight repetition at the most. 1. "The Wheels on the Bus". 2. "In The Court of the Crimson King". 3. "My Boomerang Won't Come Back". 4. "The Lincolnshire Poacher" sung by Peter Pears. 5. "Didn't We Have A Lovely Time The Day We Went To Bangor". 6. "Ebony and Ivory". 7. "Hearts and Flowers". 8. "Suzanne", by L Cohen. 9. Actually, anything by L Cohen. If only he had covered "Puff The Magic Dragon", no secrets would be safe. Thank you. Next!


Missed It! And the Captain's ground-breaking post-event service can reveal that Noah Kelly, a magician, emerged safely quite some time ago now after spending two days in a giant wedge of mature Cheddar at a shopping centre in Weston-super-Mare armed only with a mobile phone and a jar of pickle in case he had to eat his way out! Praise Be! Next!


That reminds me. As it happens, I do have a hot one for your advance notice! I can't be too specific, but there's not long to go now before the Sea Fish Industry Authority launches its Fish & Chip Shop of The Year Competition. I notice, though, with some sadness, that Seafish (as it is known for short) has adopted the spelling, "frier", which prevents me from doing the chipmunk gag. Meanwhile, elsewhere in my wide-ranging review of the Brit gastro scene, the Redwood Wholefood Company have come up with a Cheatin' range of vegetarian food that looks like meat. The tasty Vegi-Deli gourmet sausages wrapped in award-winning Streaky-Style Vegetarian Rashers and mouthwatering turkey flavour gravy really do have to be seen to be believed. Anybody? On!


They are different, you know. Mr Brown of Emmer Green, for example, tells me that they have parking spaces for wheelchairs, while I, myself, passing through the City of Light only the other day, noticed a series of large advertisements asking this question: "Constipation occasionelle?". Formidable! Forward!

Mais, attendons!

What is this? A letter from M. Bérard, of France, English teacher, referring to my "great wisdom" and "immense talent". Merci, M. Bérard! M. Bérard refers to the recent prolonged discussion about the Arabs having a word for "to put one's finger up the bottom of a chicken to see if it is about to lay an egg". M. Bérard says that I should have called the chicken "she" rather than "it". M. Bérard: I stand corrected! Please accept in recompense a bottle of, how you say, English bubbly!

Transport (2)!

Exciting news from Windsor! A pink line on the road running all the way to Maidenhead! It's to mark a safe cycling route! The Council would, I understand, have preferred a "gentle burgundy" colour, but something went wrong. Well. As I always say, it's a challenging world, transport. Next!

Food (2)!

Why, someone demanded last week, are there no Scottish restaurants? Haven't these people ever tasted an Egg McMuffin with fries? On!


Fantastic, a viper joke, submitted by Mr Page of Stogursey! Mr Page? "Why couldn't the viper viper nose? "Cos the adder adder 'andkerchief!" Well. Where else could you get this sort of stuff? Forward, quickly!

Charles Nevin is Captain Moonlight

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