On the day before tomorrow, some tender thoughts from little Ginger far away

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The Independent Online
My thanks to all those good and great who have taken space in the column this year to send their Valentine's Day messages. Not only does it bring me a tidy bit of income (and all tax-free!), it also saves me from having to write anything today. So here we go with our Grand St Valentine's Day Parade!

To Tonytumps - Bombs Awa y! You can come back to our little White House as often as you like! - his little Billikins.

LITTLE Tonykins - my very best wishes for doing everything I asked you to, and more! all my love, as long as you keep doing it! May the Sun keep provisionally shining on you ... Rupe

Salman ... we will meet again ... I am looking for you the whole time ... I am on your trail ... my aim is true ... from you know who ...

Darling -Though I am only five foot two, And wear a ginger beard, Although I'm very serious And look a trifle weird, Although I'm going bald on top And wear thick horny specs, It's lots of love from me to you, Your Ginger Foreign Sex ...

A reader writes: Dear Mr Kington, Don't tell me you're going to fill the whole column with these pathetic mock-political Valentines! Everyone does this, for heaven's sake! Can't you do something else.

Miles Kington writes: Like what?

A reader writes: Well, like turn your attention to some of the serious issues of the day!

Miles Kington writes: Like which?

A reader writes: Like the impending war with Saddam Hussein. Can you tell us what's going to happen?

Miles Kington writes: Sure. They can't declare military action against Saddam Hussein until they've decided on a name for the War.

A reader writes: A name?

Miles Kington writes: That's right. A war fought by the Americans has to be packaged first - all the press rights sold, all the advertising sewn up, film rights auctioned off in Hollywood, all the big dealers signed up. And the biggest problem is how to brand-name a war. Great War was a brilliant name for a war. So was World War, even though a lot of the world wasn't involved in any world war. Cold War was a brilliant name for a peace, too. The trouble is, they've been through all this before when they liberated Kuwait, and so this time all the good names like Gulf War and Desert Storm have already been used up. They can't call it Gulf War II or Son of Gulf War, because they know that sequels never do as well. So it's not Robin Cook they're waiting for - they can't start bombarding Iraq till they have got the name they need.

A reader writes: Hmmm ... Talking of Robin Cook, Gaynor is a funny kind of name, isn't it? Have you ever come across a woman called Gaynor?

Miles Kington writes: Yes. The film actress, Mitzi Gaynor.

A reader writes: Oh, right ...! Funny kind of name, Mitzi. Ever come across another woman ...?

Miles Kington writes: Look, if you haven't got any intelligent questions, can I get back to my Valentine's Day messages ?

A reader writes: Yes, just one more question. What kind of a name was Dodi ? Was there any Englishman who ever had a name like that ?

Miles Kington: Yes. Ken Dodd.

A reader writes: Ken Dodd isn't much like Dodi.

Miles Kington writes: No, but Dodd is known familiarly up North as Doddy, and in fact when Diana first started going out with Dodi, most of the North of England thought she was going out with Ken Dodd. Some still do, as a matter of fact, and that headline the other day, "I had Dodi's baby", caused a great fuss in parts of Lancashire. Any more questions ?

A reader writes: No. You can get back to your tired old Valentine Day parodies now.

Miles Kington writes: Thanks ... Queen Mumski ... Cheers! Bottoms up! Let's drink to it ... Whoops! ... love from Boriskins ... RICHARD BRANSON I love you I love you I love you! ! from Richard Branson ...

Continued next year