Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 26 September 2013
The true meaning of 'sinister'
Would this image make you want to own a Citroen van? How much money would you want to drive around with it stuck to the side of the van you have just bought? For a start, she's saluting with her left hand, which - unless they have reversed the photo - doesn't inspire much confidence in the TomTom instructions.
I used to have a couple of middle-aged Jewish friends - very Jewish - who have since moved to Israel to live and work. I went to visit them one evening, and it happened to be the same day that she had - for the 8th time - failed her driving test.
By way of mitigation, she said, "The trouble is, I am not right-handed".
He said said to me with a crooked smile on his face, "She's not left-handed, either!"
He returned to Bath a few years ago, to sort out some property he had left behind when emigrating, and we sat in the pub as he told me how life was going back in the Promised Land.
He had been through a massive argument with the authorities, because he refused to have a semi-automatic rifle in the house. It seems that if you are a male, Israeli citizen who is beyond national service age, the government issues you with a rifle with which to defend the nation or Kibbutz, should those pesky Arabs get all uppity over losing yet more of their meagre pastureland to the homesteaders. It is (or was) actually illegal to refuse this gift.
After much heated communication with the local police, they finally allowed him to live unarmed in his own house, but I don't know if he was further punished for his pacifism.
In this country, it's the reverse. I have to go through quite a few hoops to keep sporting guns on the premises, and I have just jumped these hoops for the third time in 10 years - almost.
I am one of those men who refuse to go to the doctor on the grounds that most non-fatal diseases usually go of their own accord in a period of time, and most of the ones which don't can be self-medicated for. The last time I went to a G.P. was in 1975, and that was for an unimportant sexually transmitted irritation caught from my then American girlfriend who had carefully brought it back from the USA.
I used her father's doctor, and was horrified when I went round to his huge house for dinner about two nights after the consultation, to find the G.P. seated opposite me at the table, studiously avoiding the subject of venereal warts throughout the entire evening. As it turned out, there were two people at the dinner party who had recently handled my private parts.
Anyway, this doctor moved addresses several times over the next 35 years, but carried on practicing well into old age and right up to when I first applied for a shotgun certificate. Rather inconveniently, he has recently died and the police have nobody to ask about my mental state, and whether I am likely to go completely mad and run rampage with a 12 bore.
The trouble is that I cannot remember even his name, let alone his old address, and the police are becoming a little impatient with me about my medical records. They renewed my licence before checking him up, though, so I am still legal.
I'll just have to go back to my old girlfriend's father, who still lives here and is now about 85 years old. I hope he can remember, otherwise I might have to emigrate to Israel.