Peter Rhodes on wandering contact lenses, hammering drivers and finding a safe space for the Kaiser

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Brilliant at quantum physics, not so good at finding Leeds.

Asylum seeker, 1918

A NEW treatment for enlarged prostate glands takes only five minutes and will soon be available on the NHS. This miracle cure involves aiming jets of steam at the affected area. It goes without saying, in these cash-strapped times, that there will be long queues at the prostate-zapping clinics. Even so, chaps, do not try this at home.

INTERESTING to see that among the undoubted brilliance of University Challenge (BBC2), the youngsters did not know where the M1 motorway goes and thought the nation which provided sanctuary for the defeated Kaiser in 1918 was the UK. Brilliant at quantum physics, not so good at finding Leeds. Or Kaisers.

GMAIL has launched a new format which must be very impressive if you have superfast broadband and the service loads up at the speed of light. For those of us struggling with the BT Tortoise & Snail tariff, it is like wading through treacle with a cannon ball on each foot. Thankfully, GMail offers the option of switching back to the old (i.e. faster) format. Progress, eh?

BY some terrible mishap in February of this year, people got the idea that the Chief Constable of West Mercia, Anthony Bangham, was in favour of nicking speeders at just 1mph over the limit. It led to this statement from him: "Comments I made last week have led to a perception that the police are going to be pursuing and prosecuting drivers just one mph over the speed limit. That is not the case and was never advocated – and I now need to clear up the misunderstanding." Six months on, incredibly, Mr Bangham has again created the impression that he favours zero-tolerance policy. As Oscar Wilde might have put it: To be misunderstood once may be considered unfortunate. To be misunderstood twice looks like carelessness.

MY eye was caught by the tale of the woman who lost a contact lens and assumed it had fallen out. Twenty-eight years later it was discovered by a surgeon removing a cyst from her eye. I bet there can't be many of us contact-lens wearers who do not lose one from time to time, usually for a few minutes. But I had a colleague who realised his rigid gas-permeable lens (the little hard-glass sort) had slipped into the space between eyeball and socket. He thought no more about it. Later, sitting in a bar on holiday, he felt something and assumed it was an insect on his cheek. Turned out to be the missing lens. And when I say "later," I mean 18 months later.

IN some versions of this blog on Tuesday, the Colosseum in Rome appeared as the Coliseum. Traditionally, "coliseum" refers to any big outdoor arena while the one in Rome is "Colosseum." However, some of the new online dictionaries suggest that "coliseum" is gradually taking over. So while I admit to a mistake, it was possibly not a colisal mistake.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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