Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on reindeer, tomatoes and the curious case of an MP with noodles on his ears

A reader writes, describing himself as “a person in later middle-age”. This is a dangerous definition because the inevitable next step is the dreaded “elderly”.

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Due to be banned?

With a little care, plain “middle-aged” can last you all the way from 40 to the King's telegram. Pace yourself.

I'm not sure what's happened to the British stiff upper lip among some headline writers but, for the record, a shortage of tomatoes in winter is not a crisis and if you manage to cope without tomatoes you are not, strictly speaking, a survivor.

Mikhail Abdalkin, an MP in southern Russia, is in a spot of bother. He shared a video of himself watching Putin’s state of the nation address with noodles hanging over his ears. Apparently “hanging noodles on someone's ears” is a slang term in Russian meaning to tell lies or fool somebody.

I'm surprised that Putin has taken offence at the noodles affair. As the excellent documentary Putin vs The West (BBC2) explained, telling bare-faced lies is a recognised political gambit in Russian politics. They tell us lies. We know they are lying. They know we know they are lying. But they lie anyway. No, I can't see the logic in it either.

At some stage, presumably, Russia will try to end the Ukraine war at a conference and make all sorts of serious promises for the future. The rest of the world will recall that Putin has lied all this time so why should anyone believe him now? PS: you'll easily recognise Putin because he's the one with the noodles and the smouldering trousers.

Meanwhile, the WFH (working from home) phenomenon is getting mixed reviews. A survey among employees in London found a majority claiming that working from home can make finding a new job “difficult”. I bet. WFH may suit some sorts of jobs but if a company wants a receptionist, it presumably wants him/her in Reception, not in his/her front room 40 miles away.

The greetings company Moonpig is to stop selling cards featuring pictures of pugs and French bulldogs after criticism from animal lovers who believe such images promote breeds which sometimes have health issues. Meanwhile, how about banning all Rudolph-themed Xmas cards for 2023? All that flying can't do reindeers any good.