Sexy onions and the Bayeux Tapestry: It’s the news from Britain

A Canadian seed company’s ad for Walla-Walla onions was banned from Facebook for being overtly sexual. 

Why? Well, you know how people say they can’t define pornography but know if when they see it? Well, the algorithm saw some onions dressed in their standard-issue papery brown jackets and one cut down the middle, showing every bit of oniony flesh it had. 

Personally, I don’t find things that’ve been cut in half particularly sexual, but there’s no accounting for what turns people on, and algorithms understand that. 

After a fair bit of glee on social media, the decision was reversed.

And yes, I do know Canada’s no longer British. I cheat. You’d be wise to keep your eye on that if you’re going to be here for long.


A new app allows people to construct their own Bayeux tapestries, suitable for online use or printing. You can move figures and scenery into place, change their sizes, and flip them so they face the other way. What you can’t do is reposition their arms and legs. You could make an entire comic book, but you can only work with the figures you’re given as they’re given. 

My very own Bayeux tapestry. I have no idea what’s happening here, but the donkey looks like Eeyore and the guy climbing the pole is in trouble.

The Bayeux Tapestry? It tells the tale of the 1066 Norman invasion of England. It was made in England but it ended up in Bayeux and carries its name because possession may be only nine-tenths of the law but it’s ten-tenths of the name.

Not only is the tapestry not originally from Bayeux, it’s also not a tapestry.To be a tapestry, you (or it, in this case) have to be made on a loom. Who knew? The Bayeux Tapestry is embroidered and was made in relatively small pieces, then joined together (none too well according to History Extra) and sewn onto a backing. 

It’s 68 meters long, which is roughly the width of a football field. Or a soccer field if you’re American inflected.   

A Victorian copy of the tapestry hangs in a museum Reading, which unlike Bayeux is in Britain. It’s the same as the original except for a border, the embroidered names of the women who made it, and itty bitty underpants on the men who were running around naked on the one in Bayeux. Because what’s a major historical battle without naked men?

Want to blame Victorian women’s modesty? Sorry, but we don’t get to do that. The undies were added by male staff who photographed the original for the women.

The final piece of the tapestry is missing. You can use the app to create your own. I  recommend it, especially if there’s another lockdown. 


If you’re of a sensitive nature, you might want to skip to the next asterisk, but this is bizarre enough that I had to include it. A company called Qiui sells a male chastity device, called Cellmate, as a sex toy. 

Yes. I know.

No, actually, I don’t know. See Walla-Walla onions, above. That’s my final word on the subject.

Cellmate’s also sold as an anti-cheating device, although the mechanics of wearing it for anything other than the short term–

Never mind.

Ah, but this isn’t just your everyday male chastity device, it’s a smart male chastity device. Not because it’s for smart males. The device itself is smart, and that’s where it ran into trouble. It’s controlled by Bluetooth, which means it can be hacked.

What happens when someone hacks a smart male chastity device is that it locks. Or not it: them. All of them, so anyone who happens to be inside one when the electronic switch flips stays inside. Or, to borrow an annoying saying from a TV show, What happens to be in Cellmate stays in Cellmate.

The makers recommend using a screwdriver to break it open. They’ve also updated the app. 

In case you’re interested, they cost £146. You didn’t hear it here and I don’t want to know about it.


Let’s move on.

Brexit’s looming and as I write this (Tuesday morning, October 20) I’ve read enough conflicting headlines that I feel like a pool ball bouncing off the bumpers. Or possibly a writer afflicted by an overworked metaphor. 

Can we move on again, please? 

Thank you.

The headlines tell me that the Brexit talks are over, that talks are not-so-over, that the UK is refusing to restart talks although the EU accepted its demands, and that the EU caved. Also the Britain and the EU are beginning to repair the rift and restart the talks. 

I’ll spare you the links for those, if you don’t mind. What we do know is that something is definitely happening.

Unless it isn’t.

I’ve said this before, but you can’t get too many warnings: Stock up on cat food.


By now, we (and by we, of course, I mean I) need something other that the onions to feel good about, so let’s cut to the tale of Kamal Singh, a seventeen-year-old ballet student from Delhi, who was offered a place at the English National Ballet school but couldn’t afford to take it. His father’s a rickshaw driver, and he was looking at fees and living expenses that would come to £20,000.

As a younger student, he’d already had trouble keeping up with the £37 monthly fees that his ballet school charged. His teacher recognized both his passion and his gift and told him to come back the next day, he wouldn’t charge him.

He later took him on as a full-time student and organized a scholarship.

A crowdfunding campaign, backed by some Bollywood stars, raised the money Singh needed to take up his place in the ENB and he started earlier in October. 

I dare you not to feel good about that. 


Late addition: The final panel of the Bayeux Tapestry has been discovered. All this time, it was on my computer.