Is it possible to dip a toe into the news these days and not drown in sorrow? It is. I’ve been exploring the shallows of the (mostly) British news. Come on in. The water’s silly.
One of our local papers, the Western Morning News, reports that a driver passed PC Mark Freshwater on Tavistock Road while eating pasta “off his lap with a fork.” PC Freshwater gave him “words of advice which he took on board.”
But what really matters here—and you can trust the Westie to focus right in on this—is that “the container appeared to be Tupperware.”
The Westie is a true model of local journalism. No article about a murder, explosion, or other form of violence is complete without a quote from a neighbor, who’s either shocked or horrified or both shocked and horrified. PC Freshwater doesn’t seem to have expressed either emotion, but then this wasn’t a violent crime, and he’s a professional, not a neighbor, so he was able to focus on what mattered, which was the Tupperware. And, I guess, the fork, although it was the Tupperware that sent me over the edge.
That’s the kind of training a cop gets here in Britain. By the time they’re turned loose on the street, they know what matters.
As an aside, I might as well say that I’m both shocked and horrified that the driver was using only a fork, not a knife and fork, as any proper British eater will. And no, anonymous driver, driving is no excuse for bad table manners. Neither is not being at a table. I may be American, and I may have bad table manners, but I do know that much.
I’d give you a link but I couldn’t find the article online. I read my newspapers in print. Screw it, I’m old. If I want to be old fashioned, I’ve earned the right. And if I read all my news online, I’d have missed this and we’d all have been the poorer. I did google “driver eating pasta” and was offered several articles about drivers eating cereal and one about a driver eating pasta, but that was in a different city and a different year. Plus the driver was a different sex. And wasn’t using Tupperware.
It is with regret that we now leave PC Freshwater and wade on over to see what’s happening in government security. In December, an article reported that least 1,000 government laptops, computers, and data sticks had been reported missing or stolen since the general election in May of 2015. From the Ministry of Defense alone, the average loss was one item a day. And that’s just from the departments that actually reported their losses. Many managed not to.
When Wild Thing and I first moved to Britain, we regularly saw news stories about secret government documents and computer disks being left on trains. Why did other countries waste their money on spies? we asked each other, when all they needed to do was have their people ride the trains and see what fell into their hands–free and legally.
Then at some point the articles stopped. We missed them but thought maybe the government had gotten better at this stuff. I’m heartened to know that the incompetence continues.
What’s the news from the war on drugs? Antwerp has overtaken London to become the cocaine capital of Europe. But only on weekends. On weekdays, London leads the list.
How does anyone know? You have to test the concentration of cocaine in the sewers. Then you account for how long cocaine takes to work its way through the system and you count backward.
Who’s using all that cocaine? A separate study identifies them as people with household incomes of £50,000 or more.
What’s happening in international relations? In December, in a live TV interview, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was asked to name France’s foreign minister and happily identified him as “mon ami” whatever his name is. Then he was asked to name South Korea’s foreign minister and stormed off in a huff. The game was more fun, apparently, when he knew the answers.
The huff was drawn by four milk-white steeds wearing bells.
Does it mean anything that this item follows the cocaine report? Absolutely not. But PC Pasta recommends Tupperware for all your storage needs.
But let’s move now to the U.S., where unnamed White House sources report that Trump believes female staffers should “dress like women.” Sounds simple, doesn’t i?
I am, or so I’ve been told all my life, a woman, and I’ve never had any reason to question that. As I type this, I’m wearing jeans, a turtleneck, a fuzzy pullover-type thing that probably has a name but I have fashion dyslexia and don’t know it. I’m also wearing slippers. And–forgive me if I shock you–a variety of undergarments and two socks, one on each foot.
Am I dressed like a woman? It’s not a trick question, but it’s not a simple one either.
Predictably, people of various sexes (but mostly women) have cut loose on Twitter, using the hashtag #DressLikeAWoman.
Enough confusion. Let’s check in on the religious front, because that’s where you find eternal truths, right? A theological college connected to the Church of England held a GLBT (that’s gay, lesbian, bacon, and tomato, in case you’re not in the know) service where people had entirely too much fun and everybody involved has had to explain that they’re very, very sorry and that when they referred to god as “the Duchess” it was–they really are so very sorry–a typo. And when Psalm 19’s line “Oh Lord, my strength” appeared as “O Duchess, my butchness,” it was an extended typo.
Guys, it could happen to any of us. And in case I haven’t mentioned it, they really are very, very sorry.
And finally, former British chancellor George Osborne has explained that yes, he did earn something in the neighborhood of £600,000 from speaking fees and work as an advisor to a fund management company while he was a Member of Parliament, but it was only because he was sure it would improve the country. By, um, well, you know. When money moves from one bank account to another, the GDP goes up. And computers are employed to make the transfers, which helps keep their little silicon families in fed and clothed.
Thanks, George. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say we appreciate what you’re doing for us.