Peter Rhodes: Horror at the pie factory?
ON a sentimental trip to childhood haunts, I noticed the old meat-pie factory had vanished. I recall that someone in school knew somebody who worked in the pie factory whose thumb was chopped off in the mincing machine - and they never found it. And the strange thing was that, when you repeated this story, you always found that someone else knew someone who worked in another pie factory and he lost a thumb - and it was never found. In the entire history of pie factories, has there ever been one which didn't have its own severed-thumb yarn?
IN an interview yesterday, Hollywood legend Mel Brooks, 91, was asked how he'd like to be remembered. "Taller, if possible," he replied.
BROOKS laments the fact that a movie such as his 1974 Western spoof, Blazing Saddles, liberally littered with Jewish jokes and the N-word, could not be made today. He says political correctness is the death of comedy. Actually, it's worse than that. Blazing Saddles was not just a comedy. It was a sharp satire on racist attitudes in small-town America and it shone a light in dark places. PC is the enemy not only of comedy but of satire, comment, discussion and progress.
THE Advertising Standards Agency has banned Aviva's safe-driving TV advert starring David Coulthard on the grounds that it may encourage dangerous driving. Here's another good reason for banning it: it doesn't work. The celebrity-in-disguise gambit works only if the celeb in question is so well known that he is instantly recognised by everybody. Coulthard's Formula One career ended nearly 10 years ago and he's hardly hot news. When he removed his false beard in the Aviva ad did anyone, apart from F1 geeks, know who it was?
A READER has had what he clearly considers to be a "Gotcha!" moment. I suggested a few days ago that Britain could get rid of some of its inconvenient and unwanted possessions in far-off places. "Time to ditch the Falklands Islands then, Mr Rhodes?" asks my correspondent, waspishly. I do wish you would all pay attention. I am a long-term advocate of a new settlement for the Falklands. Back in January 2016 I wrote: "Jeremy Corbyn is right to call for talks with Argentina over the Falklands, which is another war simply waiting to happen . . .what sort of democracy is it that gives 1,600 voters 8,000 miles away the right to dictate the defence policy of 60 million Brits?" Believe it or not, this column has sometimes been popular with Corbynistas but rather unpopular in the Upland Goose.
THE Upland Goose? It's the former pub in the Falklands capital, Stanley. I remember it vividly from a trip in 1986. We stepped from the Goose's cheery, beery glow into a crystal-clear night with the stars blazing like a laser show and the Milky Way looking like a billion-gallon dairy spillage. It is only when you see the night sky free of all pollution, as it is in the South Atlantic, that you understand why the ancients and their astrologers took it so seriously.
SADLY, since then the Upland Goose has been closed and converted into flats. Just like England.