Let's jump straight to the news that's been sweeping the United Kingdom this week:
You will recall that "The Weakest Link's" Anne Robinson was lampooned in the Daily Mail not long ago for having a "trout pout," the unfortunate byproduct of poor cosmetic surgery. The good news is that Robinson's trout pout is gone. The bad news is the Mail's long camera lenses have been trained on her armpits. The pit-arazzi snapped the gameshow hostess arriving last week at a party and the Mail announced she "had apparently overlooked a step in her preening routine, giving onlookers more than they bargained for with her unsightly hairy armpits."
I know what you're thinking: Well it's all well and good to zoom in on Anne Robinson's underarmular regions, but what about Sarah Jessica Parker's pits? Does she do the Gillette tango? Wisely, Parker decided not to expose her underarms to Fleet Street's ravenous photogs on a recent trip to England. But she forgot to wear oven mitts, prompting this headline in the Mail: "Veins and the City: Sarah Jessica Parker reveals her old woman's hands on a night out in London."
I'm sure it's just a matter of time before someone invents a hand-held CAT scan so we can be treated to: "Pirates of the Duodenum: Keira Knightley Can't Hide Her Polyp Heartbreak."
Sorry about that. Cleanse your mental palate with this sweet story about a golden retriever in Cheshire who is nursing her six puppies and six kittens. All together now: awwwwwwww. Don't like puppies and kittens? How about cygnets?
Okay, that's enough sugar. Who can explain the English affection for corporal punishment? Perhaps it has something to do with the boarding school culture. It's all a harmless bit of fun (well, not harmless) until it shades over into sexual predation. Which takes us to the trial of an Oxford man charged with asking teenage girls to kick him in the groin. "They each kicked him a number of times," said the prosecutor in the case against David Aston. "Eventually he asked them to stop because it was hurting." I'll bet.
Among the many great lines from Monty Python is the one that goes: "I fart in your general direction." I'm not an expert in gas dynamics, but "general direction" seems about as specific as you can get with a fart. Unless you're David Nye, a Kent office manager who regularly "lifted his right cheek" and broke wind at his employee Theresa Bailey, 43. Mother-of-three Bailey was awarded 5,000 pounds by an employment tribunal for the abuse she had to suffer at the firm. Nye is being scouted by Britain's Precision Farting Team.
I don't think I can really add anything to this headline from the Telegraph: "Lost cat spotted on webcam by woman in US," unless it's "Lost cat spotted on webcam by lonely, obsessive woman in US."
Finally, the expression "fat cat" isn't just a metaphor. Nor is "fat guinea pig" or "fat squirrel." Meet the world's most obese animals.
Gargoyle of the Week
According to its web site, Oxford's Merton College has "been on the cutting edge of teaching & research for over 700 years." Wow. I wonder what sort of research they were doing back then. "Advances in witch detection" "Cupping or leeches: Which is best for curing excesses of yellow bile?" "Lead into gold: We're nearly there."
Or maybe "Gargoyle Engineering 101." Writer and blogger Sarah Laurence toured Merton last week and sent me this example:
Is he giving the international symbol for the Heimlich maneuver?
Chew your food carefully, shave your underarms (or not; really, it's up to you) and have a good weekend.