A week in mild amusement

Gnome country for old men

Scottish police have appealed to the public after someone stole 37 garden gnomes from a front garden in Angus. Against all odds, this doesn’t even appear to be guerrilla marketing for that Sherlock Gnomes movie that’s, for some reason, coming out. Police describe the kidnapped collectables as the ‘usual gardening type’. In other words, common or garden garden gnomes. The gnomes disappeared over seven days. You know, like the bit of police wisdom: ‘Criminals always return to the scene of the crime… and then commit the crime repeatedly over the course of the week’. The last bit’s usually left out. Less pithy. Has anyone considered the possibility that the little imps ran off on their own accord? One garden gnome is enough to make me wary of a person’s mindset. After 37, I reckon even the gnomes themselves would start to wonder too.

Political Imflotus

US First Lady Melania Trump has announced her ‘Be Best’ campaign for children. Honest of her to include her accent in the title by omitting the definite article. The initiative aims to promote healthy living, combat opioid abuse and encourage using social media in responsible ways. You know, responsible ways such as threatening nuclear war or egregious and repeated capitalisation of the word ‘sad’. Mrs Trump declared it this generation’s ‘moral imperative to take responsibility and help our children’. Unless, of course, they’re being shot in classrooms, in which case, they’re very much on their own.

Angry Blonde

A teenager has demanded an apology after tory MP Michael Fabricant, a man that looks like the toothbrush used to clean out Donald Trump’s plughole, called her an offensive name on Twitter. The word in question is a slang word for female genitalia which Fabricant said he didn’t understand and thought was a synonym of the word ‘twit’. I’m sure he won’t mind then, when I say I use his name as synonym for a similar slur. Just with a slight vowel change. Also his hairstyle is absolutely ‘shot’. Fabricant did, though, say something potentially enlightening in the exchange. He raised the possibility that Ms Darcy, the victim of his abuse, was a ‘Russian troll in St. Petersburg’. This made me think. Have the Scottish police tried looking there? If there are trolls in Russia maybe the gnomes fled to join them?

Herr-ing test

German teens have condemned an ‘unfair’ English exam in a petition. The exam asked the school students to comprehend concepts related to Brexit which, in all fairness, even the people in charge of Brexit can’t really do. For me, this highlights the multilingual discrepancy between us and the continent. While German students are answering questions on satirical Brexit cartoons and the symbolism of liberty, I can just about translate ‘The man, the boy and the woman’ on Duolingo. The students also complained about a section involving a 1934 Henry Roth novel that used ‘antiquated English’ which, as someone with a Linguistics degree, I don’t see the issue with. After all, antiquated English is basically German. It’s better than the Queen’s English at least. Although, thinking about it, that’s also German.

The Brummie Returns

Steven Knight, creator of gangster hit Peaky Blinders has revealed plans for a ballet version of the TV show. Someone tell me what the French is for ‘Tommy f***ing Shelby’. I’m well up for this. Mostly because I really want to hear what an orchestral version of the Red Right Hand song sounds like. I’ll admit my knowledge of ballet is limited but my understanding is that it involves more graceful pirouettes than it does back-alley stabbings and racial slurs. My hope is that this will open the door for similar TV project adaptations. Perhaps a Game of Thrones panto with a cross-dressing Brienne and a tragically insensitive Roose Bolton ‘he’s behind you segment’.

For last week’s roundup, as well as a podcast featuring my own stupid voice, click here.