Ever been chewed by the wildlife? You have? Then I'm afraid I've got some bad news

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Yesterday I listed some of the ways in which we can usefully distinguish first-, second- and third-rate nations, and sat back, waiting for my erudite readership to supply me with enough further examples to form today's article. Not a single soul has volunteered to help. I realise, belatedly, that this is because their letters will not have reached me yet, so I will for the moment have to go on with the good work myself.

Here we go!

A first-class nation issues small, dingy postage stamps.

A second-class nation issues colourful postage stamps depicting scenes from its own history.

A third-class nation issues flamboyant postage stamps depicting scenes from other people's history.

A first-class nation enters the Eurovision Song Contest fearfully, knowing that it might win.

A second-class nation enters the Eurovision Song Contest fearfully, knowing that it might win yet again for the fourth year in a row.

A third-class nation enters the Eurovision Song Contest joyfully, knowing that, although it will not win, at least its judges (who are more glamorous than its singers) will be seen to vote.

A first-class nation produces coins which are heavy enough to toss without being blown away.

A second-class nation produces coins whose chief value is to be taken away by tourists to operate public telephones and coffee dispensers in their own countries.

A third-class nation produces coins which are so low in value that they are rejected by shopkeepers even in the country of origin.

A first-class nation has a national anthem which sounds like a hymn.

A second-class nation has a national anthem which sounds like a march.

A third-class nation has a national anthem which sounds like a folk dance.

A first-class nation has always contrived to eliminate all its most interesting wildlife some hundred years previously.

A second-class nation has tried but failed to eliminate its wildlife, and is now turning it into a tourist attraction.

People in a third-class nation are from time to time eaten by their wildlife, and are very surprised when zoologists come along and stop them taking retaliatory measures.

A first-class nation does not fear the possibility of a military take- over.

A second-class nation has had military take-overs in the past, but does not believe they will ever happen again.

A third-class nation does not fear the possibility of a civilian take- over.

In a first-class nation a state of thinness is known as anorexia.

In a second-class nation a state of thinness is known as chic.

In a third-class nation a state of thinness is known as malnutrition.

All first-class nations claim to have invented television, the telephone, submarines, the photograph, etc.

All second-class nations claim to have a perfectly adequate television, telephone service, etc, operating for at least 12 hours a day.

The communications systems of all third-class nations operate on gossip and rumour.

When a traffic light turns red and stays red in a first-class nation, motorists will wait for it to turn green for at least 10 minutes before realising it may have broken down and then very cautiously edge forward to see if anything is coming, and then even more cautiously cross against the lights.

When a traffic light turns red in a second-class nation, motorists will normally slow down out of respect and then cross without stopping.

There are no traffic lights in third-class countries except outside the presidential palace.

There are no presidential palaces in first-class nations except in Washington DC.

Only second-class nations still retain monarchies.

Only third-class nations name streets after days in history.

All first-class nations play games which are played by no other nation in the world, except their former colonies.

All second-class nations have at least one boxing world title hopeful.

All third-class nations enter teams for the Olympics, no matter how hopeless, because they once won a weight-lifting medal.

In first-class nations, punctuality is a virtue.

In second-class nations, it is an affectation.

In third-class nations, it is a waste of time.

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