Sunday, 20 September 2009

What a Carry On - Confessions of a Clay Hoarder

Now for the answer to yesterday’s question.

Words ending in ‘ing’ are a subset of the words having ‘n’ as the penultimate letter (‘ing’ itself having ‘n’ as the penultimate letter); ergo there are more words with ‘n’ as the penultimate letter than ones ending in ‘ing’.

If you thought the answer was words ending in ‘ing’, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people do not analyse the question and spontaneously think there are more words ending in ‘ing’ as you can append it to lots of words. We’re a highly irrational species.

Panic over the infection of a handful of kids in the UK from e-coli caused by petting farm animals has resulted in a swathe of petting farms closing down and hundreds of people being made jobless. I’m not sure of the statistics in the UK, but in the USA you are twice as likely to die from a road accident than die from e.coli, which kind of puts all the hysteria into perspective. Again, an example of pure irrationality.

Talking of irrationality; confession! Never heard of a more kack-handed and ridiculous ideology in my life. The idea that you can expiate your guilt by confessing your misdeeds to a disinterested 3rd party (and by disinterested I mean someone not involved in being ‘sinned’ against – or even mythical) is totally irrational and counter-intuitive. Having confessed your sins you’re free to go on your merry way free of all guilt while the victim of your actions is possibly still suffering the consequences. If you’re going to confess, then it should at the very least be to your victim.

Safari suits! Unless you’re off to the Serengeti or Umfolozi National Parks, what’s the point? My old man used to wear them ever since he returned from one of his voyages to South Africa in the 60s.

I was reading Charles Hawtrey’s wiki page yesterday and was amused by the following observation: “Hawtrey finally retired to Deal in Kent in the 1980s, where he devoted much time to the consumption of alcohol.” For foreign readers not of the British persuasion, Hawtrey was a regular on the Carry On series of film farces.

While we can all probably name half a dozen female supermodels, can any of you name a single male supermodel? Even if you can, are you able to name a single one that married a rich woman? I suppose it just goes to show how shallow men are when compared to women.

Anyone want to take 40 tonnes of excavation clay off me?


  1. I thought you were building a house not digging your way down under me old mate. Or as an inveterant drinker is this the wine celler to put away bottles for retirement when you will no longer be able afford your hobby?


  2. Nick: There's more to add to the pile yet - lots more!

  3. Thanks for the offer of the clay, but as I live on the Oxfordshire clay levels I find that I have more than enough for my purposes at the moment. When our house was built, the developers skimmed the garden area and then imported 6" of soil to put on top. It was fine until some years ago my better half decided that building a pond would keep me occupied. A weekends work lasted nearly 6 weeks!

    I once spent a week in Deal one day, and I can fully understand why Charles Hawtrey turned to drink!

    On a separate note, thanks for the advice. I thought I'd switched the word verifier off, but obviously not. If only I knew what I was doing! Now all I have to do is work out why the date/time is nearly 3 days out and why it keeps putting about 6 lines between paragraphs. I'll get there in the end....I hope!

  4. Now I just feel even more stupid than before.