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This is a hotchpotch blog; a short list of things that caught my attention recently.

Ant and Dec.  Ant’s the one on the, er, left, er, or right?
© Microsoft Clipart Library

First, I don’t understand the adulation afforded to television presenters.  Ant McPartlin, a presenter of various so-called light entertainment television shows (for light read dumbed-down) was convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol and fined £86,000.  £86,000!  But that wasn’t really what shocked me.  No; what shocked me was the revelation that he earns £130,000 a week.  Why?  Why is he worth this much?  I don’t watch any shows hosted by Ant and Dec although I am, of course, aware of their existence.  Just like the Kardashians and the Beckhams, you cannot avoid knowing who these people are but, even so, why is McPartlin worth such a vast amount of money?  Is it because he is genuinely talented as an impromptu presenter/anchor?  Is it because he has a Stephen-Hawking-like intellect and has contributed significantly to our knowledge of how the world and its universe ticks? Or is it simply because people watch his shows and thus the advertisements during the break?  I don’t understand why he’s paid this sort of money but at least one good thing has come out of all the publicity about Ant McPartlin: I can now tell which one is Ant and which one is Dec!  (He’s on the left in the photo above… I think!)

Second, I was amused by a recent article in The Times, and elsewhere, in which a Lancashire free-range chicken farmer, Stephen Nolan, came under attack from a neighbour who complained about the noise and smells coming from the chickens.  Apparently, this same neighbour has also complained about geese droppings clogging up the tyres on his car, cockerels crowing in the early morning, and pigs rutting in a field adjacent to his property.   In desperation, the farmer has put up a notice outside his farm which says, “This property is a farm. Farms have animals! Animals make funny sounds, smell bad and have sex outdoors. Unless you can tolerate the above, don’t buy a property next to a farm.”  The farmer gets my support!

Third, the upcoming Royal Wedding between Henry Charles Albert David Windsor, commonly known as “Prince Harry”, and Rachel Meghan Markle, listed as a humanitarian (someone concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare!) and actress by Wikipedia, is descending into farce.  The rot started when the oh-so-much-in-love/lust couple announced they would marry on the same day as the FA Cup Final, thus testing the loyalty of all UK males, and quite a few females, between the ages of six and seventy – should I watch the football match or the Royal Wedding?  Actually, not all.  I don’t follow football, nor do many of my acquaintances.  I can’t stand the boredom of the game nor the histrionics of the players and, as in the case with Ant McPartlin, I don’t understand why the players are paid the ridiculously high salaries they receive, but that’s another story.

Back to the Windsor-Markle troth-plighting.  It is now revealed that virtually none of the Markle clan has been invited to the wedding; not her father, half-sister, half-brother, or wayward uncle.  Only her free-spirited mother will attend.  (I wonder how she will get on with the Queen?)  It would seem Markle’s immediate family has been torn apart by what is perceived to be a magnificent snub.  My heart bleeds and I give the marriage five years at the most.

Seven months ago, I wrote about swear words and the undisputed fact that we are running out of them especially now that the c-word was becoming accepted in movies.  Since then, I have been keeping track of movies and television shows I’ve watched that include at least one instance of the c-word.  Here’s my list: Wheelman (2017, mystery, crime), Six Shooter (2004, drama), Scare Campaign (2016, horror), Sweet Virginia (2017, drama, thriller), Tin Star (2017, drama series), Lucky (2017, drama, comedy), and The Accident Man (2018, action, comedy).  It would appear that, unfortunately, I was right in my premise.  The c-word is now common parlance.

Finally, a comment about stupidity.  When I buy unfamiliar items from Amazon, I usually check the customer reviews and, if necessary, the answered questions.  Occasionally, I post my own question and hope for a sensible informative answer.  I did this recently in connection with my purchase of a Doro 8030 smartphone.  I was interested to know whether the modified Android operating system on the phone would allow me to download and use the Life360 family locator app.  Here’s the response I received:

“Sorry, no idea.”  What motivated the customer to reply like this?  Subsequently, I was asked if this answer had been useful to me:

My reply was, “No! This is probably the most stupid answer I have ever received!”

Have a nice day!