Charles Nevin: How many peas to fill the town hall?

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The Independent Online

Happy Monday. Today is the 82nd anniversary of the start of the Wall Street Crash. Don't mention it. Tomorrow has yet more significant anniversaries: Agincourt, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Cliff Richard receiving his knighthood in 1995.

I wonder what the headline writers made of that last one? Wednesday, 1803, saw the birth of Joseph Hansom, inventor of the cab of the same name, forerunner of the taxi. Hansom made a total of £300 from his inspiration. I'd take the bus back, if I were you. He also designed many churches, and Birmingham Town Hall, which, I was once told, could be filled by the peas that Britons leave each year on their plate. Don't mention it.

The clocks go back on Sunday, and you will be wondering about ways of filling that extra hour. 1. Handwash and iron your high-visibility jacket. 2. Disassemble your flashlight and oil the O-rings. 3. Go for a lie down. 4. Work out how many peas it would take to fill Birmingham Town Hall. 5. Go for another lie down. 6. List, with glosses, more than 30 ways to calculate net figures for EU budget contributions . 7. Say Tempus fugit 3,600 times. 8. Have a look for Adam Werritty. 9. Travel to Bexhill-on-Sea from Sidcup. 10. Cook ten successive jacket potatoes in the microwave, which, by a fine coincidence, was introduced 56 years ago today.

Sheridan, the great playwright, politician and serial debtor, was born 30 October, 1751. If you find present parliamentary exchanges plodding, try this routine inspiration of R B Sheridan, MP: "Mr Speaker, I said the honourable gentleman was a liar it is true and I am sorry for it. The honourable gentleman may place the punctuation where he pleases."

Ever mindful of your health and safety, and having read that report about genetic engineering and transplants vis-à-vis humans and pigs, I thought it might be a prudent precaution to mention that one of the male pig's many distinctions is its penis, which operates likes a corkscrew, left-hand thread. They also have very large testicles, with the consistency of a rubber ball. Happy Monday.