Peter Rhodes on delayed honours, a fine politician and a misprint that won't go away

It's the timing of Honours that I can't understand. Emma Raducanu, 19, gets an MBE just three months after winning a tennis tournament. Yet William Roache, in his 90th year, gets his OBE in the same Honours List, more than 60 years since he first popped up in Coronation Street. Bizarre.

Dracula – still coffin?
Dracula – still coffin?

In the final chapter of his life, the terminally ill former Labour MP Lord Field is admitted to that hugely exclusive club, the Order of the Companions of Honour. No-one should begrudge him the honour. Whether the issue was pensions, poverty or modern slavery, he was usually on the right side of history. Frank Field is a member of the most exclusive club in politics. He is, and always was, one of the good guys.

One of the seasonal quiz shows, Celebrity I Literally Just Told You (C4) gave us the joke about a tourist asking the way to St Reatham. He was looking for Streatham.

This called to mind the old yarn of a visitor asking the way to Luger-Barooga which turned out to be Loughborough. Then there's the true story, from one of my former colleagues who was stopped by a tripper in Kidderminster asking for “Riffley-Rangee Road.” Rifle Range Road, as it's better known.

Fresh from all that festive partying, I have to report that a weird, old and deeply puzzling cracker joke is still doing the rounds. We came across it in a box of Sainsbury crackers. Here it is: “What kind of cough medicine does Dracula take? Con medicine.” It doesn't make any sort of sense and it's not even funny. It has been reported by puzzled partygoers on social media for at least seven years. Turns out to be a misprint, possibly caused by a computer program being unable to process “ffi” in a certain font. The answer to Dracula's cough remedy should read: “Coffin medicine,” which at least makes a certain sense even though it's still not funny.

Still on partying, researchers at King's College, London, on the eternal hunt for a cure for hangovers, reckon that extract of cloves is one of the most effective and reliable remedies. Which reminded me of an old chap whose opinions I valued who once told me the only cure for a hangover was thyme. It was a while before I realised he'd actually said “time.”

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