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Covid times are bad enough. But I was deeply disturbed to read that Prince Charles’ Aston Martin DB6 is powered by cheese and white wine.
Wary of fake news, I checked for the information source and discovered it was indeed the Prince of Daftness himself. He has found an alternative fuel maker in Gloucester and given them a Royal Warrant. They make him — and anybody else interested — fuel brewed from cheese’s whey and poorer-quality English white wines.
As any cheese-head knows, the finest whey-based cheese is ricotta — a favourite of the poncy classes. And as all petrolheads realise, the Aston Martin is James Bond’s car of choice.
I was planning to see No Time to Die but now I may not. I am cheesed off by the thought of 007, pursued by the villain, screeching into a delicatessen to fill up his tank.
It’s no way to save the world.
Mike (Muscles) McQuirk.
I presume you’d be happier if he tanked up with Whitestone Blue?
However, your fears are baseless. It seems 007 wouldn’t be seen dead in the DB6 favoured by Charles. 007 drove DB5s in seven James Bond movies, starting with Goldfinger in 1964. In the latest Bond thriller, he drives four Aston Martins (but never a DB6) as a tribute to the marque.
Before you decide an Aston Martin is essential to your happiness, remember that 007 has also managed to escape the villain in a yellow Citroen 2CV. This beauty can achieve 65kmh whenever the downhill straight is long enough.
You’ll need to check if its 9bhp powerhouse can run on beaujolais and chevre.
Dear Uncle Norm,
A year ago I started a partnership with a tiler who seemed very good at his job — which he is, but it turns out his brain functions only when tiling.
He is incredibly bad with business and customers, and seems unable to learn. When facts stare him in the face, he ignores them or invents reasons they don’t apply.
When I try and reason with him, logic disappears down a drainpipe of complicated dis-logic.
Is there anything I can do?
Yes, there is. Run as far and fast as possible. Your partner suffers from a dangerous disease called stupidity.
Stupidity can’t be cured. Stupidity won’t be managed. And dealing with the stupid is even more hazardous than encountering the bad. With the bad you can understand their methods and motives and may (conceivably) construct a logical, short-term, win-win situation. Our Government’s enlisting of street-smart gang leaders in the Covid vaccination fight is a classic illustration.
None of this is possible with the stupid. Stupidity is complacent. The stupid will make dog’s meat of indisputable facts and invent themselves other ones. It is impossible to persuade the stupid, and you must be learning that it is senseless to try.
Flee. You are in peril.
Dear Uncle Norm,
I try to read the ODT’s Saturday poems but find most of them incomprehensible.
What is the point of writing that is “feely” but can’t be understood by any soul except its author?
I say bring back poets like Banjo Patterson and Alfred Lord Tennyson with his Charge of the Light Brigade. Heck, even Chaucer and Homer wrote poetry their audiences understood.
Anonymous. Snowy River.
I suggest you read this explanation to Ottawa schoolkids which was written by e.e.cummings — one of modern poetry’s finest:
“A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.
This may sound easy. It isn’t.
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people; but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.
To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isn’t a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we’re not poets.
If, at the end of your first 10 or 15 years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.
And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: ‘‘Do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world.”
- John Lapsley is an Arrowtown writer.