Peter Rhodes on first-class refugees, Felicity's firestorm and the Tardis turtle choker

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

MEDICAL conditions of our time. After mixing booze and pills, Wayne Rooney allegedly landed in the United States "disorientated on arrival." Unlike the barmy army of British tourists who tend to be disorientated on departure.

Felicity Kendal

"SPEEDBOAT Fugitive Police: We Haven't Got a Clue" was the headline on one report about the missing defendant who, having been convicted of manslaughter, is now launching an appeal, despite being on the run. It reminded me of a tip from an old hack many years ago that, for journalistic purposes, there are only two sorts of police officers. By hallowed tradition, cops are either burly or baffled.

I REFERRED some weeks ago to the curious fact that while the BBC was, quite rightly, waging war against plastic pollution, its own merchandising arm, BBC Shop, was stuffed with plastic tat. So have they had a post Blue Planet change of heart? Not exactly. This week's best-selling items from the Doctor Who range include the Doctor's trench coat (75 per cent polyester), the Tardis hoodie dress (100 per cent polyester) and, of course, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver which, judging from the website, not only looks suspiciously like plastic but is about the right size and shape to choke a turtle.

WE rarely see all sides of any story. So don't assume that the pitiful refugees washed up on the beaches in clapped-out rubber dinghies are the only sort of cross-channel arrivals. There is a thriving market in people smuggling and you get what you pay for. We see the washed-up inflatables but we don't see the warm, dry, better-heeled customers who arrive unseen in yachts at English marinas and comfortably make their way inland by taxis. In every aspect of life, some will always travel first class.

I DARE say Felicity Kendal will be thoroughly denounced for daring to suggest that having stalkers "goes with the territory, to an extent" of being an actress. In today's gender wars there is no mercy for offenders, no room for dissent and no place for people like Kendall who try to inject gentleness, balance, life-experience, humour and thresholds into an angry debate in which everything must be black and white, with no shades of grey.

STALKING aside, are we not all a wee bit fed up of the moaning from highly-paid celebrities who devote their lives to becoming famous, and then complain about fame?

I SUGGESTED recently that if people look into an empty sky for UFOs, it is human nature that some of them will swear they see something. A reader recalls a school trip in the 1960s when the coach stopped at a motorway services: "One of us had the bright idea of looking intently into the sky and pointing. As the rest of the coach load caught on we all did it. Soon, many passers-by joined us. As we sloped off, we left a sizeable crowd gawping at the sky and pointing, creating much amusement for departing teenagers."

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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