In a week when the Virgin Birth is celebrated it was chastening to hear a scientist extolling the sea urchin to which virgin births are commonplace. Many things can replace sperm in the love life of this aquatic Marilyn Munroe, even soap powder, biologists insist.
I am never brimming over with the illusory Spirit of Christmas but the realisation, as a retired stud, that I could have been replaced in a welcoming bed by a packet of Persil did little for my ego.
Then there was my continued transformation into 20th Century Fox as doctors intensified the Great Cancer Hunt. This week I was required to swallow a tiny camera which then ran amok in my small bowel, frantically taking 10,000 happy snaps. So far the combined safaris have not found their prey but a preview of the latest epic held a surprise. My small bowel is a dead ringer, even down to the fringes, of the God Particle, or the Higgs Boson as we hunters prefer to call it. One is quietly proud that not only am I A Camera: I am a fully portable Hadron Collider. Quite an achievement when you think the one in Switzerland is 18 miles long whilst my team of doctors only has one mile of intestines to go at. The next time someone is rude about my 58-inch waist I shall point out with becoming hauteur that the space is needed for the Big Bang which happened there. I am the parent of the Universe.
Long serving husbands will know that in order to get a wife to pursue a given action one has only to suggest she does the opposite. So when the Head Ferret borrowed a Sat Nav I looked forward to an interesting clash of wills. I was not disappointed. When she was switched on, the lady in the Sat Nav suggested we turn left at the end of our road: my wife turned right. With commendable restraint the lady in the Sat Nav said she would recalculate but when she suggested we go on for 1.2 of a mile to turn right at the T Junction my wife perversely turned left. Again, without a trace o impatience, the lady in the Sat Nav offered to recalculate. She repeated the offer five times in the fifty mile journey to the hospital, usually because the two of them had different views on which outlet from roundabouts the car should take.
“Well,” I said, “you won’t want to waste money on one of them!”
It had the desired effect. We are going out on Monday to buy a Sat Nav.
It being Christmas, this column is happy to extend its hospitality to my chum, the gifted writer Colin Dunne. Another chum John Julius Norwich publishes a “Christmas Cracker”, an annual collection of amusing apercus and cuttings in which I have managed to make two appearances over the years.
Colin sends me this gem which I have put up as a Cracker:
A nice Christmas story for you from Mike Flynn:
An elderly wheelchair-bound woman and two female accomplices are being chased by police over the theft of a Christmas elf named 'Chippy' from a garden centre.
The two-foot-high, lucky mascot with an emerald green outfit and rosy-cheeked smile, was part of a 'Santa's grotto' display at Woodcote Green Garden Centre in Wallington, south London.
The 'elf-nappers', caught in the act on CCTV, left the garden centre's chiefs stunned that 'anyone would stoop so low'.
Meanwhile the good news is that young criminals are being given party bags of sweets on their first night behind bars. Ashfield Young Offenders’ Institution, in Gloucestershire, believes it helps them settle in to their new surroundings.
The bags contain fudge, Refreshers and Polos.