As different as England and America may be--right-hand drive vs. left-hand drive, "colour" vs. "color," Robbie Williams vs. Robin Williams--it's nice to know that we share some basic traits. One of those is the genetic makeup of the women who ladle out school food. In the States we call them "cafeteria ladies." Here they're known as "dinner ladies." Whatever you call them, they appear to be hewn from the same rock: tough, hatchet-faced, hairnetted broads who don't take any guff. Just look at the picture accompanying this story from the Oxford Mail: "Dinner Ladies Hurt in Brawl." I'm sure I recognize them from Rockville High School. Oh, and do read the story. My favorite quote: "There was quite a lot of blood, it has ruined my coat, T-shirt and underwear."
Well, what do you expect? The Britons are a warlike people. Violence burbles under the surface everywhere here, occasionally surfacing in societally-approved ways, like soccer hooliganism and shin kicking. What's shin kicking? A sport that dates back to the 17th century and was celebrated recently in Gloucestershire at the British Shin Kicking Championship. It makes the rituals I saw yesterday in the 1973 movie "The Wicker Man" seem downright quaint.
It used to be that you knew you were at a good wedding if it had shrimp and an open bar. Rolling Stone Ron Wood is upping the ante. According to the Daily Telegraph, he wants dwarfs at his daughter Leah's nuptials: "The rock star, 61, wants actors dressed as 'mischievous, giggling little imps' to play pranks on guests such as snatching the women's hats." If Ron Wood wants a mischievous, giggling little imp why doesn't he just get Charlie Watts?
This just in, courtesy of the Daily Mail: Catherine Zeta-Jones has lost her curves. Says the Mail: "She's a poster-girl for gorgeous curves, but Catherine Zeta-Jones appears to be in danger of losing her bombshell status." It's unclear what organization bestows "bombshell status." It may be English Heritage or the National Trust. It's probably a process akin to getting a historic building "listed." Once a starlet achieves Grade II Listed bombshell status the owner must have permission before making any alterations.
It was only last month that the Daily Mail's eagle-eyed photographers noticed that quiz show hostess Anne Robinson didn't shave her armpits. Robinson's defiant act has started us on the slippery--well, not slippery, I guess--slope towards hirsute underarms. How else to explain former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, who, to quote the Mail, "gave onlookers more than they bargained for as she flashed her hairy armpits after a night out at Cipriani."
One wonders what exactly it is that onlookers "bargain for" as they stand outside a club late at night. A bit of chive on a celebrity's teeth? Some toilet paper stuck to a heel? Nice, yes, but not as memorable--and remunerative, if you're a paparazzo--as an unshaven pit. I suppose the jackpot is a lack of underwear, a tumble getting in the limo, and a sudden loss of bladder control.
Video Gargoyle of the Week
That's right, this week we have a special treat: Gargoyles captured on tape, doing their jobs in their native habitat. On Tuesday we toured the Hook Norton Brewery (details next week) and afterwards walked into the village for lunch. St. Peter's Church is adorned with several of our lithic friends. Here they are in action:
My paper's finished so I should be back next week with a full serving of pent-up blogitude. Until then, thanks for reading and have a great weekend.