D’ya hear yer man

Dear smokes

In last week’s column I wrote about cigarettes and they went up in price by 37p the same day.

As you know I’m not a smoker myself but I recognise this could be the most significant price rise in newsagents since 10p mix ups went up to 20p.

Given this column’s track record for prompting instantaneous price rises Liverpool FC have asked if I’ll mention Andy Carroll this week.

Dear Zoo

I was reading Lucy a children’s book the other day and quickly realised that when it comes to animals it’s okay to use racial stereotypes.

The book is called Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. It’s about a kid who considers adopting a number of animals from the zoo. However, all the zoo animals have various drawbacks and the child eventually decides a puppy would be the best option for all concerned.

Oops, I should probably have pre-warned you with a spoiler alert before revealing the ending. Hope I haven’t ruined Dear Zoo for anyone thinking of reading it.

Now I’ll get to the point. When discussing the merits of each animal the creatures are dismissed in terms of their overriding characteristic.

The monkey is unsuitable because it’s too naughty. That’s a bit of a slight on an entire race of primates. I’d say the monkey with the typewriter who rattled out the complete works of Shakespeare would have a case for defamation.

The lion is inappropriate as it’s too fierce. Those are just the sort of irresponsible comments which undo the sweat and toil of the many hard-working pro-lion groups and set lion’s rights back a few hundred centuries.

Ditto for the poor, old snake who is deemed too scary.

After a while I think Rod began clutching at straws. We’re told the kid is thinking about getting a camel. So what reason do you think the book gave as to why the camel is unsuitable?

My first thought was its fluid retention could exacerbate any existing rising damp problems.

But no, the reason for dismissing the camel is because it’s too grumpy.

I’ve only ever known two camels. One gave me a lift up a sand dune in Lanzarote and the other frequented my local pub and had a penchant for pints of Harp and packets of dates. Both seemed pretty easy going beasts, though I’d say in the case of the latter the copious amount of beer it drank was responsible for its buoyant mood.

So what led the author of Dear Zoo to thinking a camel is a grumpy animal? The only thing I can think of is because it’s always got the hump.

Dear me

I way lying in my bed last night when I heard this reverberating thud coming from downstairs.

I went down and discovered someone had thrown an egg at the front window.

I went outside to see if I could catch the culprit and saw a Frenchman with a basket of eggs on the other side of the road. The reason I knew he was French was because he was a fictional character I’d made up to provide a punchline to this story.

Anyway, I saw him draw back to throw another egg at the house, at which point I ran across the street, grabbed him by his blue and white-striped jumper and yelled, ‘Un oeuf is un oeuf.’ (Couldn’t agree more - ED).

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: none, any Scottish athletes at the Olympics will be representing Team Great Britain.

Here’s this week’s teaser: Two men and a woman were stuck in a lift during a heatwave. One of the men had three 500ml bottles of water with him and the other had five 500ml bottles. They shared the eight bottles equally between the three of them.

Once they had been freed from the lift, the woman gave the men eight pound coins as payment. What is the fairest way to divide the eight coins?