Friday, 23 May 2008

Friday Grab Bag: BritNews RoundUp

Is Bella the mongrel the world's oldest living dog? The Daily Mail says she may be 169 years old "in doggie years." But what's this: The Daily Telegraph says Bella is "more than 200 years in canine years." 169? 200? Which one is correct? British owner David Richardson said he's had the Labrador mix for 26 years and she was about three when he got her, making her 29. And anyway, shouldn't that be in human years, not dog years? This Purina dog year calculator only goes up to 19. And poo-poos the very idea that an easy conversion from dog to human is possible.

According to the Mail Richardson thought he was going to lose Bella recently, and "with a heavy heart" he made an appointment with the vet to put her down and dug a grave in her favourite spot in the garden of his home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. "However, after a sleepless and tearful night Mr Richardson decided he couldn't go through with it. He cancelled the vet's appointment and as if by magic Bella appeared as good as new as he filled in the grave."

Yeah, nothing inspires a dog's miraculous recover than watching its master dig its grave. As David Richardson has no documentation on Bella, she will not be officially recognized as the world's oldest dog.

While we're on the subject of dogs, police in Buckinghamshire had to rescue two women who went into a river to rescue a dog. One of the women was visually impaired. The dog was her guide dog. Perhaps it should consider a change of career.

"For reasons that remain somewhat unclear" the Jackson 5 appears to be moving to Devon. They've rented a house there anyway, apparently for a reality TV show. Jackie and Tito are already there. The rest of the clan, including the King of Pop himself, are said to be on the way. Perhaps Michael can teach the local Morris dancers some new moves.

It's been a while since we've had a story of a man having intercourse with an inanimate object. The drought is over. Edward Smith is the subject of a Channel Five documentary on "mechaphilia": people who love, and I mean really love, cars. According to the Telegraph, Smith "who lives with his current 'girlfriend' – a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, insisted that he was not 'sick' and had no desire to change his ways. 'I appreciate beauty and I go a little bit beyond appreciating the beauty of a car only to the point of what I feel is an expression of love,' he said."

It does make you think twice about Herbie the Love Bug.

Oh, in case you wondered: According to the Sun, Christina Aguilera has big breasts. I love how the Sun calls her "Xtina"--just like "Xmas"--but shouldn't that really be "Xina"?

Gargoyle of the Week

What's that you say? That's not a gargoyle, it's a planter or a birdbath or something? Well, sure, it is now, but the person who e-mailed me this picture said it has lead piping through it, suggesting it once performed a gargoylish function: sluicing rainwater away from a building. For reasons that will soon be clear, my source will remain anonymous. Let's just call him T.B. Player of Wolvercote. He explains how he came to possess it: "In '60s I worked for a uni science department out of an old converted house in South Parks Road (next to Rhodes House). This thing just lay in the garden with weeds over it. I asked various important people if I could have it but they were too busy. So one night I went down in my trusty Morris Minor and stole it. She's been with me ever since and now resides in the back garden of my current abode."

I wouldn't mind taking a gargoyle home with me when we return to the United States--which isexactly a month from today, as it happens. But we're already over our baggage allowance.

Blogging will probably be a little light next week. I really must finish my research paper. Have a great (holiday) weekend and thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Only a month more of your marvelous blog -- a sad thought. Surely hope you keep it up when you get back...or have your frequent column in the Post again. Thanks for all these bloggings - and links to others. Now forget about us and write that paper.

Candadai Tirumalai said...

Some airlines in the United States are apparently going to start charging passengers even for the first piece of checked-in luggage. I am sure international flights are different.
I know you have lived abroad before. Even so many who return to America after a year in England (and Europe) see it with new eyes.

Charlie Beckett said...

Surely a small calfskin-bound volume beckons - Gargoyles of Olde Oxford by Ye Yankee Blogger?
Please make sure I get an invite to your leaving party...

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

This blog has gone to the dogs. Good luck finishing that paper. It's meant to rain all week so you won't be missing much.

Henry said...


I bet you could take a gargoyle on the plane if you carried it in a sling and pretended it was a baby. No British security guy's going to tell you "that baby looks like a gargoyle". We're not rude like that, we ALWAYS say something nice about a baby, even if it's ugly as sin. You'd probably get a special meal for it.

We're going to N Devon next week and will keep an eye out for Jacko and the boys. I prefer "Want you Back" to "ABC" but not by much.

mark from Alexandria (usually) said...


This is a late posting for the morning man, but I am back in London for the Memorial DAy "Bank Holiday". Buckle down and get that paper done! We'll talk among ourselves while you are crunching

B@B said...

No!! I'm totally with anonymous - what will we do without this blog?? don't forget about us when you're back in DC - (also echo Charlie on requirement for a valedictory party..)
good luck with the paper in this rain!
bestest - dominique
(PS my young crew got 2 bumps & they were v. proud - as was this sad old coach...)

MEB said...

" poo-poos" -- did you leave out those two H's on purpose? Good pun anyway.

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