Peter Rhodes: Anyone for dust?

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Rhodes on dusty diets, flat-roof pubs and gender-neutral forms of address.

Anyone for dust?

RESEARCHERS in North Carolina claim that living in a dusty home could make you fat because dust is capable of carrying chemicals that prompt the body to accumulate fat. Dust? Obesity? Is any of this ringing a bell? In the first series of Little Britain in 2010 Marjorie Dawes (Matt Lucas) promoted her FatFighters weight-loss method with suggestions for low-fat alternatives based on dust: dustburger, pain au dust, full English dust, and so on. Seven years on, dust is once again a fat issue. Life imitates art. Sort of.

AND while the dusty-house theory may bring some comfort to lardy America (“It’s not my fault, it’s the dust”), all it really tells the world is that you’re not only fat, but untidy, too.

MARJORIE Dawes also invented the Half-the-Calorie diet which involves cutting something in half, so it has half the calories – and what that means is that you can eat twice as much. Looking around Britain today, I suspect it may have caught on.

ONE of my sterner regular critics says the flight attendant who used a bottle of wine to brain a passenger who was trying to open an airliner door was not a hero, as I may have implied. Indeed, he suggests that the door-botherer may have been suffering a psychotic episode and the attack on him may constitute assault. I suppose he has a point. So remember, if you’re on an airliner and someone goes berserk with the fire axe or tries to throttle a stewardess, offer him a nice cup of tea and see if there’s a counsellor on board.

MY eye was caught by an online discussion which began with what someone described as ‘the old saying’. It goes: ‘Never go drinking in a flat-roofed pub’. This is yet another ‘old saying’ that had entirely passed me by. It turns out, on further investigation, that it refers to 1960s and 1970s pubs, usually built on the fringes of housing estates, which have little charm, zero character and tend to be rough. You’ve never heard this ‘old saying’ either? That’s a relief.

ANYWAY, the flat-roof pub discussion continued with many joyless anecdotes about folk innocently wandering into public houses which are regarded by their thuggish regulars as private territory, to be defended at all costs. One helpful drinker offered the following advice if you find yourself in a really threatening pub: “Inquire if the olives are organic and order a small glass of rosé.” Good luck with that.

STAFF on London Underground have been instructed not to use the phrase ‘ladies and gentlemen’ over public-address systems for fear of offending anyone who doesn’t feel at home with either term. Instead, they will use gender-neutral forms of address such as “Hello, everyone”. Hang on. They clearly haven’t thought this through. While ‘everyone’ may suit the LGBTQI++ETC community, what about those of us with multiple-personality syndrome who cannot identify as ones? Frankly, I find ‘everyone’ deeply one-istic and duophobic, and my other personality, the Cossack circus bareback rider Ingrid, feels the same way. The campaign for gender-neutral but non-unitary Tube announcements starts here and now.

PS: Ingrid and I quite fancy “Evening, all”.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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