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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ayup! Got Wot it takes to be British?

Apparently, there's a book out for those aspiring to Brit citizenship - Life in the United Kingdom - and 24 questions to be answered before you get to tote one of Her Britannic Majesty's passports.

I'm just popping the kettle on for a nice cuppa, after which I shall deign to take this silly test and will report back how I fare ...

LATER ~ Two cups of PG Tips and a platter of Huntley & Palmer's shortbread later

Yes, well, I knew I'd prang on this silly test ... I mean, I haven't read this bally book so I don't know *what* nonsense it's peddling.

If you ask me, the authors are better occupied testing would-be citizens on their skill at tying a turban or deft wielding of chopsticks but let's not go there, as the spitfire fruit of my loins has taught me to say ....

Much of the rest was pure guesswork - I mean, I had no idea that marriages were timed. Doesn't that mean that, had Ms Spears committed matrimony #1 in the UK, she'd have been stymied? Not just her - large portion of the USA, as I can make out. I've just heard from some pals who've been living in sin since forever, named the day, ringed the fingers ... and promptly woke up and realised they couldn't stand each other.

Nowt as queer as folks.

Speaking of burglars, an old war-time buddy of my dad's had a splendid scheme worked out with his dogs that I wish I could repeat for mum in Corfu.

Rugged ex-commando type, stayed on in the colony after the war in a crumbling pile up round Blacks Link, no one else for miles around and no chance of summoning the Old Bill under 40 minutes.

His only company was a brace of utterly silent shambling alsatians who padded around after him and let all of us children buffet them around without complaint.

No pauper, Brigadier Hull was a collector and his spoils were all around, on the walls and tastefully arrayed on equally costly tables.

He also spent his evenings dining out and knocking back the pink gins in the Hong Kong Club, leaving Château Hull unattended.

The thing about his canny hounds was that they'd somehow been trained to let folks in, even gather their loot, and then when they came to hotfoot it out, would emerge with canines bared and that horrid way they have of making their neck fur stand up, and they simply made the blighters wait til master came home.

I wish I'd been there. I knew someone who'd once gone home with him for a nightcap and it sounded hilarious.

"So we get back to his place and Roddy unlocks his door and we go in and he says, "Hello? The help not been in?" It looks a little bare but I don't think anything of it.

We go into the living room and Rod goes over to the drinks cabinet.

"What's your poison, old boy"

"Er ... scotch please ..."

"Coming up, old fruit."

"Er ... Roderick ... there seem to be a couple of chaps in the middle of the room with rather a lot of your stuff in a sheet ..."

"Yes, noticed that. Soda?"

So he pours us the drinks and asks these types if *they'd* like a glass of water - all the meanwhile, these dogs are circling with that low rumbling noise they make.

Rod says, "Watch this - lots of fun" and he babbles some Chinese at the quaking chinks, apparently telling them that he's going to ask the dogs which of their throats they want to tear out. Then he says in English, "Good boys. Who wants to taste some asian claret?" and these bleeding dogs go into launch mode, at which the poor Chinese buggers set up one hell of a wail.

I'm now worried. We've knocked back a few at the Club and God knows what Roderick's capable of.

Then he says "At ease, lads - circle and retrench" at which they go back to mere sheepdog snarly herding. I tell you, I needed that drink, and thank God Roddie pours a decent measure.

Then, casual as anything, mine host gets on the blower, calls the local cop shop and explains the situation.

"Right, old boy - why don't we retire to the study? Picked up a smashing Charlie Kunz the other day, sound super thru the Wharfedales."

So out we walk, sans backward glance at the intruders, and sit chewing the breeze til the rozzers arrive, take a statement - Roddy doing it all in fluent Cantonese - and leave with chummie cuffed.

Hilarious thing is that, soon as the cops turn up, the dogs retreat behind the sofa as if butter wouldn't melt. The fuzz don't know what the *hell* the chinee are talking about, being rounded up and all."

Yon commenting Anonymosa wants my take on "local crime, murder, meyhem (sic)", etc.

I don't think so, darling.

I'll stick to churning out the rubbish I *know* about.


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