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Another Innocent Victim of Ignorance

1 Dec

I made the mistake this weekend of venturing into the city to pick up a few bits and bobs for the upcoming Christmas party season (I always feel it’s polite to arrive at a do with a dish, gift or floral arrangement that is equal to if not better than anything the hostess has prepared). I cannot say I enjoyed my trip out. I’m not going to bang on about the commercialism of the holiday season, for this has been done ad nauseam elsewhere by people more qualified than I to pass such judgments. Suffice it to say that I agree we should all be less materialistic. However, I also know that people will indeed continue to spend money at the holiday season so instead I would like to speak for a moment on what I see as a terrible injustice. And this is the unfair marketing of other precious stones over the beautiful emerald.

EmeraldNow this may seem a small example of villainy in a time when wars abound and bad people are continually doing bad things. And I suppose it is. But I have always believed that inequality at any level should be challenged and therefore I have nominated myself to this role of advocate for a jewel that cannot (and should not have to) speak for itself.

I cannot comprehend why emeralds are so often overlooked when one is shopping for jewellery. Rubies, of course, are red which we all know is the colour of whores, so why anyone would buy one of those is beyond my comprehension. Sapphires are a dime a dozen. Amethysts are pretty but I’m afraid have just too many new age connotations. Pearls are disgusting—do you know how they are created? I am not going to even pretend that an opal is precious, now that’s just silly talk. And I bet you’ve never even heard of a spinel, have you? Diamonds get serious press coverage, what with their inclusion into a deck of cards and their support from Miss Elizabeth Taylor. However, need I remind you that having violet eyes does not automatically qualify one as an expert in gems? Surely, something as important as a jewellery purchase should not be influenced by some celebrity’s opinion. Besides Leonardo DiCaprio once told me that there are some pretty dodgy dealings behind the diamond trade. What’s the worst that could happen when purchasing an emerald—a leprechaun might get his wings?

This leads me to what I think is behind this exclusion. Racism. Pure and simple. When people think of emeralds, they don’t think of their exquisite colour, their glorious clarity or the lovely way they set off a woman’s décolletage. They think of the Emerald Isle, and they want no part of it. Now it is not for me to judge whether theIrish are bastards, what with their ginger hair and penchant for overindulgence. That is for God alone to judge. As you know, I am an open-minded woman who abhors bigotry. This is why I beg those of you who are considering purchasing a piece of jewellery for a special lady this holiday season to put your petty prejudices aside and consider the emerald.  And to remember that my ring size is 4.5.

Please don’t let hatred spoil my Christmas morning. Is that too much to ask during the season of peace?

The Forgotten Victims of the US Government Shutdown

4 Oct

404 ShutdownWe’re a few days into the US Government shutdown, and quite frankly it’s a wonder there are any Americans still alive at this point.

The shutdown is no joke, people. It’s not for me to say who is to blame for the situation (it’s the Republicans), but every day that it continues, the more bad shit that’s coming America’s way. NBC estimates that the shutdown costs $12.5 million an hour. That’s a brilliant way to solve budget disputes, isn’t it? No wonder the rest of the world thinks Americans don’t understand irony!

It’s not just a vague disgrace that’s going on — it’s one that affects many Americans in very real ways. Hundreds of thousands of government employees have been furloughed and are not receiving paychecks. Services like food programs for low income pregnant women and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention flu program aren’t running. National parks are closed; even the National Zoo is affected. Animals can’t even vote yet they’re feeling the pain of the GOP’s childish behaviour.

However, when talking about groups of people (or pandas) affected by the shutdown, we can’t ignore the individuals — the ones who don’t get mentioned in the papers — whose lives are being tragically altered forever.

I’m talking about the children who just a few short days ago saw politics as a high calling, a career path for those who care about and want to help others. Who will explain to the little ones how terribly, terribly American politics has gone wrong?

I’m also talking about the nail technicians, telemarketers and tabloid journalists around the country. They wake up in the morning eager to get started on their life’s work and read that the government has deemed so many of its employees “non-essential.” If working for education or the environment isn’t seen as an essential task, well, that really puts other jobs into perspective, doesn’t it? It wouldn’t surprise me if people started topping themselves left and right. Sadly, this will only lead to more problems since the Federal Department of Suicide Clean Up is currently running on a skeleton staff.

And, of course, I’m talking about all those Americans out there who were taught in elementary school to look towards elected officials as models of responsibility. Those models of responsibility have decided that if they don’t get to play their way, they’re shutting the whole operation down (while still collecting their pay, natch). Why should Lenny over at the liquor store have to pull three late night shifts in a row; why shouldn’t he just lock up early and head home? Steve in an accounting might just up and say screw it and his company will be powerless to conduct business. Who will sponsor the t-shirts for Jerry’s daughter’s softball team then, I ask you? All of these little effects have roll on effects which could, quite frankly, bring the world’s most powerful nation to its knees.

Which would be a shame. Because I’m American and I hate to see this happening to my country.

My Apologies

23 Aug

wish-you-were-here-east-of-india-postcardI am so sorry, my dears, for neglecting you. I have been off on my jollies , but was unexpectedly delayed. Unfortunately, I had the bad luck of choosing the same guesthouse as a formerly famous American rock god who caused a disruption to my rest and/or relaxation. I don’t want to give him the publicity by mentioning of name as his antics clearly indicate a desperate need to be back in the spotlight. Why exactly he released what he released into the pool, I do not know, but the quarantine meant that I missed my flight home and had to reschedule a number of appointments, which might not have been important to one Axl Rose, but which really mattered to me, thank you very much.

It might take a few days for me to get back to my normal schedule, but know I’ve missed you more than I can say because, I swear on a stack of bibles, it is you — and your love — that sustains me.

Harm Prevention

4 Aug

The other day I was in the library and was confronted with a rather unsavoury situation. Now I greatly admire the staff at our local branch: they have always been polite —  in fact as a show of respect for my frequent custom, they often allow me to take home books for free as long as I show my loyalty card. However, my experience this week was quite shocking: inside the library was a large and perpetually annoying fly.

fliesNow as a rule, I cherish all sentient beings, even disgusting ones, and I’ve got no problems with flies when they are out in nature or buzzing around someone other than myself. But I am sorry: I just cannot tolerate them near my face. Call me a Nazi, I don’t care. Flies in my face are simply unacceptable.

Obviously, my first strategy was to move away. I left the periodicals and moved to a more central location, hoping that if he were to follow, at least there would be other people present for him to annoy. However, the fly did not take the bait. Fine, I thought, I am free from torment, and I sat quietly, reflecting.

Shortly thereafter, the library began to empty and I soon found myself alone in the big, book-filled room. Lo and behold, who shows up? That’s right, it was the fly. The dastardly little devil obviously just wanted to avoid having witnesses to his harassment. A war was now on.

I grabbed the first book I could and prepared to send the fly to his maker. I won’t detail the delicate dance of battle, but I can assure you that only one of us walked away still breathing.

As I sat down to wait for Christopher’s play group to come to a close, I found myself skimming through the book-cum-murder-weapon. It turned out to be Careful Now! The History of Health and Safety Laws. And I must say, I found it surprisingly interesting.

Buttloads of people currently find Health and Safety laws oppressively restrictive and generally stupid, and, quite frankly, they frequently are. I now know, though, that it’s incorrect to assume these rules are evidence of today’s Nanny State. Actually, H&S has been around for a long time and it used to be much worse than it is now.

NOW: East Riding Council restricts kite-flying on beaches because it is a risk to others.

THEN: In the early twentieth century, word went round about an old woman who had died after swallowing a fly, a spider, a bird, a cat, a dog, a goat, a cow, and a horse, so a small Cornish village ordered all farmers to slaughter their animals to ensure such a circumstance did not reoccur.

NOW: A school bans triangle-shaped flapjacks because they could thrown at children.

THEN: For almost a month in 1923, children were not allowed to eat any solid food as the chewing motion was deemed “potentially threatening to others.” Parents were only permitted to serve soup and applesauce for twenty-six days before the law was reversed.

NOW: The Royal British Legion stops supplying pins with its poppies to avoid being sued by those who prick themselves.

THEN: Although the most famous of these cases is the American woman who sued McDonalds because her coffee was hot, it was not the first example of this type of litigation. In Victorian times, Lord Stephens of Stephanie brought a case against a five-year-old child who was playing with a stick in the street. Lord Stephens’ argument was that the stick could have flown from the child’s hand, turned the corner and continued into the window of a building where the good man was purchasing a piece of jewellery for his mother. The Court agreed that Lord was assuredly more important as a human being than any dirty child could ever be and awarded him the boy’s newborn sister (who was quickly deposited at the nearest poorhouse).

I am hoping, of course, that the fly’s family does not press charges against me. It’d be a bitter irony to have the book thrown at me for throwing the book at the fly. Bitter, but admittedly poetic.

Something I Just Felt You Should Know

7 Jun

You know I prefer to bring you cheer: exciting episodes from my usually fun-filled life, presented as a counterbalance to the depression-inducing reality that fills the pages of the mainstream media. However, I’m about to tell you of an experience so alarming I genuinely suggest that, before reading it, you sit down. Or if you’re already sitting, stand up and then sit down. Now read on.

With the recent publication of my book (you have already ordered your copy, yes?), the Council—never one to ignore a chance to get their grubby hands on someone else’s triumph—rang to invite me to open this summer’s village fete. Naturally, I was flattered, and naturally, I agreed to take part.

TedsTeesYesterday was the first meeting of the Fete Committee, and I was asked to attend, meet the group’s members and get a feel for the festivities planned. In all honesty, I don’t give a rat’s patooie about what exactly is going to go on; I’m the type of gal who can enjoy herself whether moles get whacked or not. But what I saw at that meeting has me very worried about the event’s success and, in some ways, the future of our entire nation.

Apparently, there’s a rumour going round that a minor royal—I won’t mention names but I can tell you it’s not her, or him, or the other two—might be in the village that weekend, and the committee spent more than fifty minutes (I counted) debating about what to do with this person: should they hold a parade? should they make him a judge of some contest? and yes, should he open the fete?

Now I remained silent throughout. I understand the importance of a visit like this: it could be a real coup for shops that sell royal-themed junk, our community foundation might get a boost, we might get mentioned in the national press, etc. My own self esteem does not rely on the village’s adoration (and if it did, I still wouldn’t be troubled since my book’s been at the top of the Village News’ Bestsellers List every day since its debut). I’m not even worried that the meeting ended before any decisions were made. I am happy to pencil in the day on my calendar and rub it out if the Committee decides to go in favour of Sir Blueblood.

What blew my effing mind, though, was the fact that the name of the village—the village in which all of us present at the meeting live—was misspelled on the agenda. And not one single person commented on it.

Whether they noticed and were just shy, I cannot say.  But what I can say is that this kind of outrage cannot go by unremarked upon. Needless to say, I wrote up a quick but shaming note which I left in the Council’s suggestion box as I left.

Please know that I am out there, fighting for all of you who care about civic pride and precise spelling. When we refuse to speak out against ignorance like this, it can lead healthy people to suicide, religious people to corruption and friendly nations to world wars (read your history books, if you don’t believe me).

What you’ve just read here is shocking I know, but sometimes the truth is. I just felt it was important to tell you what occurred. That way, if you happen to hear that the police were at my house this morning to arrest me for making terrorist threats, you won’t be confused. I mean they didn’t even issue an official caution, so why this is even an issue I cannot comprehend.

How You, Yes You, Can Help The Economy

20 Mar

Osborne BudgetAnd by you, I mean George Osborne.

Now I’m not an expert on the economy, but the thing is George, neither are you. You are an expert at being rich. This qualifies you for being the president of a yacht club. Yet through the most wicked twists of fate, you have become the Chancellor of the Exchequer and get to make life and death decisions (for that is what they are) that will affect millions of people.

Let’s just stop and think about that for a minute.

. . .

Now, George, I’ve noticed that you’re reading on, implying that you did in fact stop to think. But I don’t believe that you did. In fact, I don’t believe that you ever think about the people your ideas are affecting.

I do believe that you think a lot about David Cameron (maybe too much, but who am I to judge anyone’s heart)? I do believe you think about the people you see in meetings: Tory politicians (they make you feel good), Liberal Democrat politicians (they make you feel kind of cross), Labour politicians (when someone reminds you that the Labour party still exists). You think about the Royal Family. I’d like to believe you think about your own family.

And I know you know there are “people” out there in the world. For example, when you appear on television, you can sense a human-shaped creature standing before you asking questions. You know enough about science to assume that it’s probably people—and not budgies or racks of lamb or desk lamps—who are driving cars on the street, who are doing surgeries or having surgeries done to them, who are teaching or being taught.

Understand that I’m not questioning your knowledge of reality, just your perception of it.  You work for the country yet I’m not convinced you care about the country. You care about those who are like you. And that’s a bit of a problem.

So how can you, yes you, help the economy? Two things: shut up and stop being a greedy bastard.

The same goes for all of that lot and not even just the ones in Westminster. I’m talking to any rich twat who pontificates about helping countries and people who are struggling. Don’t hold a glittery benefit with fancy pants food and cutlery or star-studded galas where you go on television asking people who are poorer than you to not be so selfish. Don’t fuck with a country’s social services just because you were once in the Bullingdon Club or because the president is black and you think you can capitalize on the country’s inherent racism.

Just because one is rich doesn’t mean one has to be a twat. I am what we sweetly used to refer to as “well off,” but I don’t spend my time pontificating about how other people should live or spend their money (note: making helpful suggestions is not the same as pontificating). But I do lead by example: I give time, effort and yes, money to help those who need it.

Why don’t you give that a try?

The Good are Good—The Bad, Frightfully Ugly

26 Feb

As I was born with a charitable nature, all my life I have sought to help those in need. I unselfishly give away the many unwanted gifts I receive each year to local charity shops to help increase their revenue.  I have donated my time to teach underprivileged children to read, offering up copies of my own books to them at an extremely generously reduced cost. I have traveled to faraway countries to help literally build new communities, and I can tell you there is nothing more rewarding than being present while someone christens a new sewer system. I buy a new poppy every single year, and I have no qualms about telling other shoppers in the queue at Sainsbury’s to shut the hell up if we happen to be waiting together  at eleven on Remembrance Day. I do these things not so I can then brag about them during lectures to the WI or on this very website. I do them because frankly that is just my nature: there’s no two ways about it, I am a good person.

Alas, we good people are becoming few and far between these days.  I don’t want to seem overly moralistic here, because I am aware that good people sometimes do bad things and that being bad once doesn’t necessarily make one a bad person. I do not believe in unfairly judging people.

At the same time, though, people seem to be up to some real evil-doing these days.  I’m dismayed by the crimes of all natures which I read about in the papers and the stupid choices politicians around the world seem to be making. Even in my own village, I witness my neighbour leaving his dog in his back garden all night, despite the cold and horrendous noises the creature makes and let’s not forget about the dressmaker who not only delayed the delivery of a dress by six days but when said dress was delivered, it clearly fell three inches below the owner’s knee as opposed to the two inches that had been requested.

bad peopleCan we really say that these are simply “bad acts” and not “bad people”? No. I think it’s high time we stand up and call a spade a shovel.

It used to be that those of us who were good were the norm; the bad people were a minority group easily identified by that evil little glint in their eye (and their tendency to drink publicly from bottles in paper bags). Those simple times are no more. Therefore, I have devised a quick test to determine where each of us stands.

Firstly, readers, I ask that you yourselves complete this straight forward assessment; you never know, you might actually be a bad person who is just so good at being bad that you have in fact fooled even yourself. You may then want to pass this out to those you come into contact with (especially those with whom you do financial or sexual trade). It is a simple way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

1. If you were angry with the woman who lived next door to you, would you:

a. Beat her with a shovel and bury her behind the shed before you went through her home, snatching anything that looked like it might be of value on the black market.

b. Complain about her loudly to both the postman and the woman who lives across the lane.

c. Paint a rude symbol on the pavement in front of her house.

d. Think to yourself, seeing as how she is an internationally famous writer and the highlight of your life is watching Countdown each day, perhaps she was right about it being your responsibility to maintain the creosote on the fence.

2. If you worked at a bank and a woman came in wanting to exchange her collection of two pound coins for newer, shinier two pound coins, would you:

a. Throw the bag of coins in her face, bruising her delicately rouged cheeks.

b. Point out to her that it is midday and the bank is very full of customers whose needs are apparently more important than hers.

c. Close your window.

d. Meet her request because it is nice to see someone who appreciates the aesthetic as well as monetary value of Her Royal Majesty’s mint.

3. If you lived in a small village and had a son or daughter under the age of sixteen, would you:

a. Feel comfortable allowing your child to enter the local shop without your own personal supervision.

b. Grant your child the privilege of riding a scooter, skateboard or public transport through the village.

c. Permit your child to call any adult by their Christian name.

d. Teach the kid to mind their manners and keep the hell away from my hydrangea.

Clearly, if you answered anything other than d, you are a bad person. The facts speak for themselves. Do some soul-searching and if you can’t manage to be rehabilitated and come over to the good side, please book into a prison immediately and get yourself the help you need.

Going Postal

6 Feb

You may be aware of the brouhaha regarding the United States Postal Services. They, like so many of you, are in a spot of bother, money-wise. Apparently, more people are not sending post more often than they used to not to, and now the poor postmaster is wringing his hands in despair. I sympathise, I do.  However, I was more than alarmed when I read of his plan to remedy this situation.

No Saturday deliveries.

Did your heart miss a beat when you read that? Mine surely did (when I watched Christopher type it.) It’s clearly a decision that reeks of bigotry (there’s so little Jews can do on the Sabbath, why deny them the pleasure of receiving some post?). Even more disturbing is the plain fact that eliminating Saturday mail delivery goes against everything that great nation stands for.  Postmaster General Donahoe might as well have said he planned to set alight the old Stars and Stripes, because both acts are identical in terms of their anti-American sentiment.

The reason the Post Office is so symbolic of the very nature of American goodness is because of the way it benefits all Americans, even those poor unfortunates. In fact, Benjamin Franklin first laid out the concept of a United States Post Office in 1775 as part of the country’s first truly social service. In his initial proposal, he wrote:

While we hope that starting this war with England will cut down on some of our population declared of unsound mind, I am concerned that we will still be left with some undesirables, loitering the streets and distressing our womenfolk. Let us invent an institution where they can stay busy doing something productive, without us having to engage in any prolonged interaction with them.

And so the Postal Office was born and has been providing work for mentals for well over 200 years. All people, whether rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate, could share in the joy of relaxing on a Saturday afternoon while reading one’s post (though admittedly the illiterate probably found it slightly less satisfying).  Saturday delivery told the average American that the government cares about him as an individual; it was if US Mail were saying, “Just because the work week is over, pal, don’t think we’ve forgotten how important your Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is to you, ol’ buddy.” And now not only is the Postmaster going to denying that individual his early Saturday afternoon wank, but he’s also rubbing salt in it by effectively spitting in his eye. Disgusting.

Of course my greatest personal concern about this shocking business is my American fans. As hard as it may be for some of you to imagine, I have a rather colossal following among non-Internet users, including but not limited to geriatrics. Each Tuesday, I send Christopher to the post office to mail off the previous week’s updates in paper form. This allows said fans to receive said paper updates on Saturday afternoons, so that they can peruse them while they are at home waiting for that phone call from the grandchildren that will never come. When the USPS desists Saturday delivery this August, I may have to start sending Christopher out on Mondays, which is the day that he drives me to my Jazzercise class. I can’t believe that I will be required to rearrange my entire life because one selfish government service cannot keep its books in order.

It surprises me that the PO has missed the blaringly obvious solution to this dilemma: eliminate all restrictions on what can be sent through the post BUT add a hefty surcharge to such packages. Think of all the potential revenue. A wedding guest unable to attend would gladly pay a little extra to send a bottle of intoxicating liquor (or a bag of hashish, if that’s their thang) to the bride and groom. An absentee dad in Cali who’d like to send his east coast son a hamster would find no trouble accepting the higher cost to be able to bring a smile to his little boy’s face.  Someone who is really into knives might want to send some knives to someone else who is really into knives. The possibilities are endless.

I don’t doubt this suggestion will be ignored by Patrick R Donohoe, because I hear he likes nothing better than watching fatherless children cry. But I hope he knows just how really, really cross I am with him.

The Year in Flags: A Review of 2012

30 Dec

Old GloriesSadly, this year, the American flag seems to have spent quite a lot of time at half-mast. In July, it was lowered for the victims of the Aurora shooting; in August, for the victims of the Oak Creek shooting; in September, for the victims of the attack in Libya; and now for the victims in Newtown. Flying the flag at half-mast symbolically honours those who died, but I can’t help thinking that preventing future tragedies might be a more meaningful tribute. Unfortunately, that would require big picture thinking—not always a popular choice as evidenced by this year’s Presidential election. Thankfully, the right man won, but enough voted for Romney to show that many Americans are confused by issues of class. “Middle class” seems to be interpreted as “not homeless” and ultra-rich means “me, not at the moment, of course, but any day now.” One’s actual lifestyle and the reality of how it and the country would be affected were inconsequential. A bit like what’s happening with the current debates on gun control. And on mental health care. And on who should have won The Voice.

Surely, there’s got to have been something positive in America over the last twelve months . . . let me think . . . oh yeah, more states and even the President spoke up in support of marriage equality. Oops, I forgot, it was that which directly led to shooting in Sandy Hook, right, Rev. James Dobson?

Union JacksCloser to home, though, things looked much cheerier: the Union Jack was flying all over the damn place. We waved the flag for the Queen’s Jubilee, for a successful London Olympics and for William’s good work in promptly impregnating the wife. Well done to us all!

Of course, the Tories still want to continue with their obviously-successful-so-far austerity cuts (after all, those Jubilee and Olympic celebrations don’t come cheap, you know), but luckily, this year the BBC taught us that if you close your eyes to the bad stuff, it goes away—never to return. So as long as you’re not young, old, unemployed, working or a Christian woman who wants to serve her church, 2012’s been champion for you!

Now, my dears, I know this sounds quite gloomy and doomy. (Perhaps I should have warned you in advance to delay reading until you’re sober, I apologise.) If you were expecting a bit of harmless fun, I’m afraid you may have confused me with black tar heroin. I’m all about the harsh truth, you know that, so put your seatbelt on, baby, because you’re about to get hit with the harshest truth of all: I’ve still got faith in humanity. You, yes, you, the one sitting on the chair, your continued commitment to keeping my books in circulation bettering yourselves and our world is proof that, despite the bad news, there is goodness out there, my friends.

So together let’s make next year a better one, yeah?

flag

Advice For Those Who Have Temporarily Given Up Menstruation

3 Dec

Many a woman might feel bitter when the young thing who stole away her prince (literally) comes out in the press as up the duff. Luckily, I’m not like that. I have come to accept that the relationship between Wills and me never would have lasted, and I bear no grudge against Catherine for her choices: having what can only be described as a relatively showy ceremony, becoming impregnated before we all are sure that the world in fact is not ending in 2012—it’s not my place to judge her. In fact, given my wonderfully generous nature, I have instead chosen to offer her a lesson that will also benefit any woman who finds herself in a family way.

It is, simply, get a grip.

PE BabyYou’ve chosen to bring another human being into this world and while it’s a morally questionable decision, it’s a done deal now. You may feel that the changes a child will bring are all going to be sweet and lovely, but stop relying on Christmas adverts for your information. Of course, there’s bound to be some nice things, but you need to be prepared for lots and lots of hassle and grief that basically will never ever ever go away. By the way, congratulations!

Let’s look at an analogy: when you were younger, you may have had a pet gerbil. If so, you know that gerbils need to be fed, watered and tidied on a pretty regular basis. If you wanted to sleep over at a friend’s house or go on holiday, you had to make arrangements to ensure the gerbil was taken care of. That’s pretty much what a baby is: a very large, hairless gerbil that lives inside your body until it is expelled down your lady chute and becomes completely dependent on you for (at least) the next sixteen to eighteen years.

Of course, if you neglected your gerbil, the worst thing that could have happened was that your parents grounded you for a weekend and you had to chuck the carcass out in the bin. If you mess about with your baby’s care, though, I’m afraid the consequences are a bit grander.

If you don’t take care of your offspring, you can seriously eff up its body and/or mind. We already have enough unhealthy and unhappy people in the world; no more are currently required, thank you. Additionally, the effects of any kind of neglect or abuse stay with a little person after they become a big person, and this is rarely good news for anyone. He or she may be unable to find love, may turn to criminal activities or, most worryingly of all, could gain a position of power in government and then we’ll all be buggered.

So buck up and grow up. Take care of yourself while you’re preggers—even if this means giving up certain foods, drinks or official tours of Commonwealth realms. The sprog’s well-being needs to be your priority now. Once the kid’s born, you’ll have even more responsibilities—ranging from preparing healthy foods and cleaning poo to showing love and teaching life skills. Basically, get yourself sorted.

Those of you who are non-breeders may assume that this advice is so incredibly obvious that I needn’t have sullied the pages of Everyone Needs An Algonquin discussing it. Alas, common sense is not as common as it should be. If you spend the next day counting all the people you meet whom you would describe as twattish, the number, I fear, will be quite large. Those people weren’t born twats, you know—they became twats and many did so because of poor behaviour on their parents’ parts.

39weeksBut also consider this: the American charity the March of Dimes is running a campaign whose sole purpose is to convince pregnant women to let their feotuses brew for the whole nine months. Now it seems pretty obvious to me that, unless there were an emergency, we’d just pretty much all agree to let the baby be born when he or she is ready to be born. But charities don’t spend money on campaigns that don’t have target audiences. Apparently there are women who need to be told not to muck about with their baby’s due date just because they’re sick of being pregnant. My beef’s not with the charity itself (dimes are actually one of my favourite coins and I strongly support anyone prepared to march for them). I just think its campaign indicates a pretty sad state of affairs.

So to the Duchess and anyone else whose rabbit has recently died, I say good luck on the adventure that is pregnancy and parenthood. Just be sure to make responsible choices from here on in. It might be helpful to remember  while you’re looking forward to the arrival of your little bundle of joy, that Klara Hitler was probably pretty excited about hers as well.

PS: Kate, do you mind if I call you Kate, I hope you are feeling better soon and the rest of your pregnancy is without pain or illness. Follow your doctors’ advice, get some rest and, despite what one semen-obsessed psychologist at SUNY-Albany says, don’t fall for that old ‘hair of the dog that bit you’ remedy for morning sickness.