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Stocks were first used in England about 1359 A.D..

The Nelson Evening Mail, January 18 1907

Women leaders are more volatile than men.

The cause of alcoholism is unknown.

They’re selling hippy wigs in Woolworths.

In Togoloese, ‘fofo’ means ‘revered big brother’.

White people, lacking community, must make do with property.

If extortionate fares are demanded, as they often are, the Ceylonese rickshaw driver should be asked to produce the fare table, which he is bound to carry; though no one is likely, if well served, to object to an advance, by way of a pourboire, on the strictly legal fare.

Elvis Presley’s last words were: “I’m going to the bathroom to read.”

Nicodemus the sleepwalker is on his way.

The Devil claims the tenth scholar as his due.

In 1928 the Tate Gallery was drenched in mud.

A destitute is someone who will have sex for money.

It is unsafe to have one foot in the world of social media.

There are no heroes without wounds.


More than nine-tenths of the railway passengers in England travel third-class.

The Nelson Evening Mail, October 20 1906

‘The is cat washing dishes’ is an 18th-century expression for the reflection of water on the walls of a room.

A skate’s vagina is anatomically similar to a woman’s.

Just because a thing is true does not mean that it need have been.

A field marshal never retires.

By the time Tennessee Williams was 15 he’d lived in 16 different houses.

The code-word for the Egyptian seizure of Suez was ‘de Lesseps’.

One of the Fratellis is called Mince.

Some paper cups are five times stronger than steel.

In 1931 the Soviet Union published an erotic alphabet book to combat literacy. 

The next stop after Canterbury, heading east, is not Chatham.

Casey Affleck’s only recent cinema trip was to take his kids to brother Ben’s Batman v Superman.

Roy William Scranton’s poll has ended.

‘Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!’ is Italian for ‘Merry Christmas’.

A hero’s welcome


For The Oldie


Band instruments in use by the Salvation Army are worth £86,000.

The Nelson Evening Mail, July 17 1908

A transgender man has had a baby five years after having one as a woman.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, is known as ‘Fazza’.

‘Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer’ is an advertisement for Hitler or something. It says this under a picture of him.

Old corned-beef’s rusty armour spreads disease.

Nice things cost money.

1.5 people is the exact wrong number to do anything efficiently.

England batsman Alastair Cook has played in his 150th test match at the WACA.

Author Boris Starling’s career began aged eight, when he plagiarised a story from a Tintin novel.

Aristotle walked a lot.

John-Boy Walton’s first spouse was Almira Gonzales. They divorced in 1993.

A female spy was the last woman to be executed in Finland.

Homeopathy is based on the false claim of the benefit of super-diluted substances and the principle of ‘like cures like’. While it has been debunked by hundreds of studies, people still want to believe in magic cures.

Don’t forget, many West Malling shops are open today.

Fair tradesmen

Review of a Norwegian book on loft conversions. (Standard.)

For The Spectator

The Kings and I

A festive gripe about Cornelius’s lovely ‘Three Kings‘ – and the solo I have never got to sing in it.

For The Oldie


For use during military manoeuvres the Kaiser has a portable house, made of asbestos.

The Nelson Evening Mail, June 22 1909

A six-year-old has become a multimillionaire, reviewing toys on YouTube.

The US has the world’s 2nd highest prison population, with 693 prisoners per 100,000.

Icelandic sea cucumbers fetch £438 per kilogram.

‘Word up’ means ‘I comprehend what you are saying and verify that your statement is true, my good brother.’

Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.

Ms Reeva Steenkamp has never been a stripper or a ho.

The hearsomeness of the burger felicitates the whole of the polis.

Gary Ross Dahl invented the pet rock in 1975.

Necrophilia is legal if you don’t know it’s a corpse.

The Worshipful Company of Poulters host an annual inter-livery pancake race.

Matt ‘Toast’ Berry really does do voiceover work, for Absolute Radio.

Everyone is going to paint a portrait of Peter Hitchens, until he likes one.

We need to talk about the real problem with ‘unlikeable’ women.

Summoning Pearl Harbor

A commemoration of Pearl Harbor, through Alexander Nemerov’s ekphrastic explorations.

For The Oldie


One-fiftieth of the inhabitants of Spain are nobles.

The Nelson Evening Mail, October 4 1906

The beheading of the sperm whale is a scientific anatomical feat, upon which experienced whale surgeons very much pride themselves.

Great lips take hydration and balls.

Pease pudding has been flagged up by airport security on more than one occasion.

There is a place in China called Asbestos County.

At 35, 139, Labour MP Diane Abbott’s majority in 2017 was greater than the total number of General Election votes Nigel Farage has received in his entire career.

Zmas rushes towards us like a slavering one-eyed hell-hound.

A suspected thief in Mumbai has been fed 36 bananas in an attempt to recover stolen property.

The Celler can rock. Yes.

House, M.D. is the most popular TV show worldwide.

A young man from Torbay has, on a long boat trip to the Far East, found himself the object of the amorous intentions of a gorilla.

Richard II was a Free Brother.

The Swedish have no verb for ‘to bowl a cricket ball’.

Bognor’s ‘wrong Theresa May’ is awaiting an apology from Donald Trump.

This Is Just To [CIA]