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CABINET OF CURIOSITIES (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Mick Harper
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I went back to my old school yesterday as one does after fifty years and was quite shocked. When I was there it was a medium level state grammar school with a clear purpose: to take relatively poor but relatively gifted children and elevate them into the professional classes. Then Shirley Williams ordained it must become a comprehensive so it went private. Now it has no purpose other than to conduct relatively rich kids seamlessly into the professional classes to which they would have gone anyway. And by God it showed. The smugness was overwhelming.

Quite enjoyable, all in all, but I'll probably leave it another fifty years.
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Mick Harper
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One sign of the times though. We were being given a conducted tour by a beauteous and self assured (and black) head girl -- it has gone mixed, natch -- who asked us what houses we had been in. "Oh," she said, "I'm in one that probably wasn't around in your time, McCullough House," naming the charismatic headmaster of my era and responsible for the privatisation. She simply didn't believe me when I told her he used to beat me savagely at fairly regular intervals. I let it lie.

And when they asked us,
How dangerous it was.
Oh! We'll never tell them,
No, we'll never tell them...
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Mick Harper
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My brother left me a jar of chutney in lieu of payment for staying the night but I'm not sure. You read those stories, don't you? 'Family of four hospitalised after visit from granny.' I'm not pointing any fingers but you know where you are with Branston. One for the foodbank, I think.
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Mick Harper
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This retro business among the London glitterati is getting out of hand. The latest craze, would you believe, is chutney. Nobody can get enough of it. The big problem is resupply, getting hold of jars without the gingham. We won't go back as far as Laura Ashley.
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Mick Harper
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My Yodel driver has reached my street but has twenty-eight stops to make before reaching me. One of the penalties of living on the North Circular.
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Mick Harper
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I employ this call-girl service from time to to time and this morning received an email from them requesting I rate the ‘girl’ – actually a matronly type as per specification – in various categories. I rang them to protest at this ingress into my quite valuable time but they told me they don't actually read the ratings, which are in fact quite unreliable, it was just that younger clients liked it as part of the ‘whole immersive experience’.
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Mick Harper
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And now Yodel are at it. How do you rate somebody handing over a large box of assorted coffee capsules? He did/ didn't drop it on my foot. It wouldn't surprise me if they are not all part of one giant 'all-your-needs' multinational. Come on, Corbyn, take it into public ownership and let's have some real, old-fashioned inefficiency.
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Mick Harper
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Have you noticed you can never lay your hands on a plastic bag anymore when you need one? I blame the planet.
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Mick Harper
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Like most intellectuals I don't worry much about my teeth but my dentist does

6.03 pm 4th December 2019
First Reminder. Your check-up is overdue. Please click here to make an appointment

6.37 pm 4th December 2019
Second Reminder. Your check-up is overdue. Please click here to make an appointment
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Mick Harper
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Someone explain this to me. Samsung make a phone charger thingy, sells for £35. Knock-offs start appearing for £15. They're quite dangerous, lacking safety features, phone melts, house burns down etc etc. Samsung are presumably losing bundles of money so why don't they do anything about it? Fake electronic consumer goods, by their nature, have to be publicised all over the internet, they have to be produced in real factories, they have to be paid for by real people sending real money to real bank accounts.

Now Samsung are a gynormous company, they are backed by a gynormous country (South Korea, plus wherever the chargers are made), every other country in the world has a vague interest in not having dangerous knock-offs coming into their country. Nobody seems able to do anything about it. Is that weird or what?.
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Mick Harper
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The Musk 'pedo' case has had an unexpected outcome. I was dependent on the scant Channel 4 coverage and had been told that the Good Brit had rescued the Thai boys by derring do, had criticised the Bad Billionaire's rescue sub, had been called a paedophile by the BB for his pains, and that GB was suing BB for a thoroughly restrained seventy-five thousand dollars. I was steaming with patriotic outrage when a bunch of Californians threw the case out.

It turns out that GB had urged BB to stick his submersible up his arse and was suing for a hundred and seventy-five million. But my taking the wrong side wasn't the issue. It was, apparently, the first case of defamation-by-tweet to come to court and therefore it is to be applauded on the grounds of free speech even though me and Hatty get defamed-by-tweet fairly regularly. One has to get some to bet some.
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Mick Harper
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I got my first Christmas card today. The first of three (in a good year). It's a bloke who sends me one every Christmas and whom I have been anxious to contact for some little time now. Alas he moved and changed his email address between Christmases a long time ago and nobody thinks to put these things on cards. I expect he thinks I'm a mean bastard, never sending one back, and he's right there, I haven't been sending cards (or presents) going back to that day in Woolworths when my brother and me made our fateful pact. I didn't mean him to stick to it.

I like Christmas, it brings people together.
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Mick Harper
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An email arrives saying I can pick up a book I've been waiting for at my local library practically opposite me. I'm just putting my galoshes on when a thought occurs: is it being used as a polling station and hence closed qua a library? I ought to know after fifty years, I can even picture the black writing on a white card 'Polling Station' and (I think) a hand pointing, but I can't for the life of me remember whether it's attached to the library or not. Maybe do it tomorrow.
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