Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A Stranger's London

DIY man divorced

An untidy handyman who rarely finished the jobs he started around the house has been divorced by his wife. For years Paul White's Do-It-Yourself projects left the kitchen in a mess. And he left his tools all over the house.

His wife Lucy, 40, also complained that the garden of their home in Lower Kingswood, Surrey, was littered with old cars, tyres and builders materials. He spent five of their 18 years together building an extension. It still isn't finished, the London Divorce Court was told.

The judge accepted Lucy's complaint and granted her a decree nisi because of her husband's unreasonable behaviour.

What's that again?

Readers of the Left-wing weekly, The New Statesman have been amusing themselves working out anagrams of their leaders' names. And quite natty they are too, reported Peter Tory's Diary in the Daily Mirror. Neil Kinnock becomes "I Knock Lenin" Roy Hattersley "The Tory Slayer" Gerald Kaufman "A U.K. red flagman". And poor old Michael Meacher ponderously becomes "Rich male, me ache". The one that still makes us all smile to this day was the anagram devised for Ted Heath. It was "Had Teeth" - a phrase that has splendidly stood the accuracy of time.

T.V.-AM's gaff

Millions of viewers watched four bulletins on TV-am a fortnight ago in which newsreader Jane Irvin earnestly explained that from November 1, new EEC rules would enforce a standard chip size 45-85mm long, no more than 15mm wide and at least 10mm deep.

No one at the television station had f bothered to check the story because it actually came from the imagination of a Mail on Sunday writer who had included it in a whole page of bogus stories last April 1.

The story might have run on and on if it had not been for a call to TV-am from the Daily Mirror which had rung the EEC to check on the detail.

Breath test invention catches daughter

Julie McArake has been banned from driving - after being breath-tested on a machine invented by her father.

Julia, 19, said "I feel really daft. Dad was not too pleased at first and he's having difficulty appreciating the irony."

The unemployed teenager was driving her 16 year-old van in the early hours when she was stopped by police and breath-tested. She had drunk four glasses of wine at a party, returned to her family's home in North Shield, then answered an S.O.S. from her boyfriend who had run out of petrol.

When she blew into the CAMIC electronic breath-test machine, invented by her father, it registered 46 points. The legal limit is 35.

Super status symbol

No, the famous Royal Albert Hall theatre isn't up for grabs; but a few prestigious seats are. The ultimate in status symbols is up for sale at £80,000 - Box 11 on the Grand Tier. The 10-seater box with a spectacular view, a touch of history and a convenient route to the bar, is one of only three still owned by families who originally bought them when the Royal Albert Hall was completed in 1864.

The sexy spud is a real dish

The humble potato leaves erotic aphrodisiacs like oysters and ginseng cold, a Dublin doctor has claimed Dr Cyril Daly, writing in the Irish Times, said that because potatoes could grow in poor Irish soil they were "a godsend to Irish sexuality and led to the population boom in the late 18th century."

Far from being "a simple culinary irrelevance" said Dr Daly, "the potato is a passionate and violent tuber carrying within its sightless eyes memories of violence, death and sexuality."

Love test could save heartbreak

Young couples should test each other in bed before they marry, the National Marriage Guidance Council has said. If the session is a failure, they must think twice about getting wed. Marriage counsellor Zelda West-Mead, the council's spokesman said "Love-making is the most intimate way of showing how deeply a couple feel about each other . . . sexual problems are one of the main reasons for people divorcing."

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