Captain Moonlight: Have you heard about the hard-boiled egg that weighs 10 tons?

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The Independent Online

And, you know, it seems to me that, at times like these, you are more in need than ever of the clear voice, incisive comment, cutting-edge analysis, provocative thinking and confident sense of what really matters in life that this column prides itself upon. You are. Now then, I say, I say, have you heard about the hard-boiled egg that weighs 10 tons? Sorry? You don't believe that an egg like that can possibly weigh 10 tons? Well, it is pretty hard to swallow. Oi! Forward!

And, you know, it seems to me that, at times like these, you are more in need than ever of the clear voice, incisive comment, cutting-edge analysis, provocative thinking and confident sense of what really matters in life that this column prides itself upon. You are. Now then, I say, I say, have you heard about the hard-boiled egg (pictured, down there, right) that weighs 10 tons? Sorry? You don't believe that an egg like that can possibly weigh 10 tons? Well, it is pretty hard to swallow. Oi! Forward!

Basket!

Gripping news, wasn't it, about the "shopping basket" of 650 items used by the Office for National Statistics to measure inflation? They change the items, you know, every so often, to reflect changes in taste so as to keep the most accurate and sensitive eye on things. And, I have to say, the ones they've dropped and the ones they've brought in make poignant reading for an old officer. Out, for example, brown ale, to be replaced by caffe latte. Out, frozen fish in sauce, to be replaced by what is referred to, scrupulously, as a "dried potted snack". Gone, too, tinned spaghetti and lino. Elsewhere in the list, I note that the baseball cap has already arrived, along with the duvet, frozen chips and the price of a full leg wax. Ah, well. But the most puzzling removal was that of the men's belt. The ONS can't help beyond saying "sales must have dropped off". The Captain has been thinking about this, and proffers the most likely explanations: 1. Rubber bands are getting bigger. 2. Magnets. 3. Walking on hands more? 4. Belt tightening? 5. Starch? 6. Piece of string attached to umbrella? 7. Benevolent alien anti-gravity force field? What's more, purely in the interests of research, I shall be travelling beltless this week. No, I shall. And if I'm not here next week, could someone please make some enquiries down West End Central? Next!

Actually, though, that's reminded me of something extremely pertinent: does anybody else remember that affecting chronicle of sudden decline which had such a vogue a few years back, Falling Down, by Lucy Lastic? I have it on my shelves very close to Percy Vere's classic, Never Give Up. Next!

Light bulb!

And last week, wearied, inexcusably, by another story about a lightbulb that had lasted a long time, I appealed for other old friends around your homes that deserved a turn. And thanks to Mr Revell of Little Eversden, who nominates his double bed, now 49 years old. Next, Mr Brittain of Tonbridge has an electric clock still going strong after 67 years! He has! "The secret of its longevity," writes Mr Brittain, "every five years, or, at the age of 93, when I remember, is the merest drop of olive oil in the tiny cup in which the main spindle twizzles. Virgin, of course. My family has kept it secret for three generations because we don't want to get someone in trouble for failing to build in an obsolescence wotsit." Thank you so much, gentlemen: please add to your impressive objets one of the Captain's highly wrought and sought black and silver enamel effect Moonlight Badges! Meanwhile, catering for all tastes as ever, I've put an old lightbulb over there. Next!

Transport!

Did you see that one of the big coach companies is looking to improve the image of its conveyances? The Captain can help! My suggestions: 1. Butler. 2. Driver in knee-length boots, cap and monocle. 3. "Down at the old Bull and Bush" banned. 4. No pulling faces out of the back window. 5. Optional upgrade motorcycle outriders. 6. Some nice curtains. 7. Bare boards. 8. Wet room. 9. Dado rail. 10. Trouser press. All right, all right, next!

Important!

Mr Hurdle of Redhill, meanwhile, has another pressing matter to discuss: "Captain! Have you noticed hotels' increasing tendency to cut toast diagonally? How can you spread your butter and jam into such tiny corners? Messy and totally unnecessary. Can't you get a readers' survey launched quick, and help reverse this ugly trend!" Indeed, Mr Hurdle. Reports please! Next!

Actually, while we're in this area, is anyone going to Baildon, near Bradford, in the near future? Do you know Whitehouse's Pizza Parlour, on Cliff Avenue, off Baildon Road? The Captain is most anxious to know what these Yorkshire Pizzas, complete with roast beef, potatoes and gravy, taste like. Readers: to your duty! Next!

Sorry?

Goodness me, you're right! I haven't sorted out the pressing query about the excellent treatment for burns that the Captain's mum got off her Greek physiotherapist. You must remember: all very well recommending toothpaste, but should it have fluoride or not? Just hang on, would you, while I have a word? Shouldn't take too long. Mum! Mum!

Important (2)!

And Mr Dann of Colchester has been in touch with another pressing matter! Mr Dann? Captain! Weather forecasts! In this paper – towards the back, near your column. You must have seen it. It gives a list of towns in the UK and the weather they were enjoying the previous day. As my home town is not given, I always look at the nearest towns, viz. Norwich & Ipswich; they are always different. I also look at Folkestone, as two of my daughters live in that Kentish town, but although its name is given, the weather they're having there is never given – just "n/a". Always. How come? Can you solve this mystery? "Well. I've been in touch with our Mr Howitt, the production editor here, and he promises to reveal all next week! Exciting! What's it say today? Next!

Wobble Wedge!

Look, just up there! Mrs Gooch of Halesworth sent it. Guaranteed to cure the wobbliest table! And now Mr Walkley of Cardiff has been in touch. Mr Walkley? "Captain! I am currently working at the National Assembly for Wales. And I'm English! How did that happen?! I don't know. But to get to the point: every single table in the cafeteria wobbles like a tipsy mallard! So I write to you, Captain, as you appear to hold in your hands the opportunity to stabilise this fledgling Assembly. How could you turn it down? I already have the necessary string to attach to the wedge! Yours in anticipation of being able to drink an entire cup of tea without licking spills off the table." Done, Mr Walkley: proud to be of service. Next!

Fluoride!

That's the ticket. Get smearing! Forward!

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