THE BRAIN IS a very strange thing. A hungry reader told me he carefully separated his burger from the wrapping paper, and then threw the burger into litter bin. It was not a good day.
Another reader, Janakan Arulkumarasan, told me he was at Cambridge University when he hurried to the postbox with an important letter—which he “posted” into the litter bin next to the mailbox.
“Filled with horror, I stuck my arm in the bin, covering my sleeves with abandoned spaghetti and suchlike, desperately fishing for the letter,” he said. “Moral of the story: going to Cambridge doesn't make you smart.”
I asked regular contributors for similar tales, and the saddest recent true story concerned Alf Spence, 91, who posted letters and parcels for TWO YEARS into a receptacle for dog poop.
Eventually a passerby saw him putting an envelope in the dog poop receptacle and stopped him.
The elderly man from North Yorkshire complained that the box looked like a mailbox, was the same color, and was near a regular letter box.
He sadly wrote to the Royal Mail to tell them that they could stop the hundreds of “missing mail” searches he had instigated over the past two years.
I just hope someone else posted THAT letter for him.
IN OTHER NEWS…
SAD TWEET from a female reader: “They say everyone has a superpower. I think mine is to be able to make any piece of technology stop working.”
THE FIRST TIME I tried Vegemite, a black, oily paste, the conversation went like this.
TOURIST: “Do you have this in Asia?”
ME: “Yes, Asia has large amounts of highly toxic engine sump oil, which we keep conveniently stored in puddles around the region.”
TOURIST: “In my country, it’s a popular foodstuff. Try it.”
I tried it.
Verdict: Although Vegemite looks like highly toxic engine sump oil, the taste is actually much, much worse.
This Western addiction (also known as Marmite or Bovril), is trending in Asia-Pacific.
A few days ago, a panicked reader named Mark Pinkstone (above) wrote to me to complain that supplies had vanished from shops in his home town of Hong Kong.
A reader from New Zealand reported that a trade war stopped the British variety being imported.
Australian trade minister Malcolm Rudd revealed that he carries Vegemite with him when he travels, and airport authorities try to confiscate it.
Anyway, now we know what to get our Western expat friends for Christmas. Engine sump oil.
A MAN AGED 96 has just had a child.
(No, it’s not me or Grandpa. We just FEEL 96 sometimes.)
“I didn't take any performance enhancers,” Ramajit Raghav boasted to the Times of India.
The old fella says he is going to have his wife Shakuntala Devi (a mere child of 52) sterilized.
Wise move: otherwise they’d have multiple kids to put through college, and a guy’s earning power drops off after 120, with the exception of Rupert Murdoch, still going strong although he looks about 200.
HONG KONG READERS: See you tomorrow (Saturday Nov 17) at 1pm to 3pm at Bookazine, 3rd floor, Prince’s Building, Central, for my book launch.