Rhodes on a rush for Rollers, benefits of vaping and something strange about Partygate

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

One for the bucket list
One for the bucket list

Scientists in California report that young people exposed to fumes from someone vaping are twice as likely to develop wheezing and shortness of breath. The inevitable headlines were on the lines of: “Second-hand vaping is bad for your health.” Which may be true. But in one respect, vaping is a great aid to health.

For when you see someone vaping, especially on a cold morning, you can actually see how far human breath travels. There's nothing like the sight of that huge, ballooning cloud to make you keep your distance and adjust your Covid mask.

The boss of Rolls-Royce cars suggests Covid-19 may be responsible for his firm's record 5,586 car sales last year. “It made them think life can be short and you'd better live now,” says Torston Muller-Otvos. It's a lyrical and rather moving notion and only old cynics like me will suggest that Rolls-Royce may have deliberately planted the idea of mortality in customers' minds with the name of its latest model. Ghost.

By coincidence, shortly after digesting the R-R sales figures, I spotted a funeral passing by with the coffin and mourners carried in a procession of massive limousines. It is a strange thing about life that the best car most of us ever travel in is the one the undertaker sends when we're dead.

As night follows day, the energy firm Ovo was condemned and forced to apologise for its blog suggesting people might keep warm by cuddling pets and doing star jumps (although not at the same time, obviously). We are becoming a sanctimonious society. Instead of condemning Ovo we should thank it for bringing a smile to our pale and frozen lips.

Boris Johnson's “Partygate” blunder happened in May 2020. The event was attended by about 30 civil servants. Two-thirds of the 100 staff who were invited chose to stay away. In Whitehall's febrile culture of jealousy, ambition and leaks, hundreds of people in Whitehall, including political correspondents and Labour MPs, must have known within hours what was going on. So why did this scandal take more than 600 days to burst into life? What are we not being told?

Useful phrases in dentistry. I am fresh back from the dental hygienist who, before measuring my gums with a sharp instrument, explained: “It won't cause more discomfort than anything else we do.” And it didn't.

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