Clot of the week
Dame Sally Davies (yet again). The chief medical officer for England and Wales advised MPs: 'Do as I do when I reach for wine. Think, do I want to raise my risk of breast cancer? I make a decision each time I raise a glass'.
If Dame Sally thinks even one glass of wine is dangerous, why doesn't she do the logical thing and campaign to have it banned?
When she recommended a cut in the male consumption of booze from 21 to 14 units a week, the professor of the public understanding of risk at Cambridge University – how the Midgie would love to be a professor of the public understanding of risk – responded with his expert opinion that drinking the maximum weekly allowance set by the chief nanny would be 'no more dangerous than watching a film or eating a bacon sandwich'.
Dame Sally once told the BBC that there was a male chromosome carrying 'a bullshit gene that allows some men to blag their way into top jobs'. Apparently it was her idea of a joke. Could it be that there is a female chromosome carrying a worryingly similar gene? The Midgie merely asks.
Bargains of the week
An outfit called Roxburgh is advertising dozens of properties for rent during the week of the Open Golf Championship at 'Royal' Troon this summer.
The Midgie is particularly attracted to the 'featured properties', which include:
A 13-bedroom castle on the Sorn Castle estate (18 miles from the first tee). According to Roxburgh's blurb, 'the breath taking [sic] River Ayr gently runs endlessly past the castle's parapets that proudly stand above it'. Interested parties may find the price tag for the experience equally breath taking. £45,000.
If that is a little beyond your purse, The Midgie recommends the 11-bedroom House of Craigie, a 'beautiful relaxed mansion' available for the gowf at the knockdown rate of £30,000. The only slight mystery is what a relaxed mansion looks like when it's at home. The Midgie may ask his old friend Bob Smith to draw a mansion looking suitably relaxed.
Also released for the week is a 7-bedroom country house in the village of Kilmaurs – only 17 miles from Troon – which offers widescreen TV (for watching it on Sky if you don't fancy the trek to the actual tournament) and an open fire (often necessary in these parts even in the middle of July). Only £18,000.
Headline of the week
'Knicker nicker nicked'
It's from the Daily Mail and is the perfect example of three words that tell you most of what you need to know. 'Knicker nicker nicked' is a model of brevity and clarity that the Midgie recommends to aspiring young journalists, assuming any exist.
But after that, it's downhill all the way. A female householder in a Scottish village kept her tumble drier in the garage and was mystified when items of her underwear were no longer there in the morning. She installed a secret camera. The footage revealed that a fellow villager – a young man – was raiding the tumble drier by night and removing the said knickers, stuffing them in his pocket. So far, so clear.
The case, however, goes to 'Ayrshire Sheriff Court' – a place of judiciary that does not exist – where the sheriff either jails the offender (first paragraph) or sentences him to 200 hours of community service (subsequent paragraph). Either the first paragraph is correct or the subequent paragraph is correct. They cannot both be correct.
There was a simple way of avoiding the inconsistencies in this confusing account of the knicker nicker nicked. The Daily Mail should have published the headline alone and left the rest to the reader's imagination.