Things I've Learned This Week.......
............all animals have the same lifespan if measured by the number of heartbeats rather than years - approximately one and a half billion heartbeats.
In case you can't be bothered to work it out, it's because the hearts of small animals with a short life in years beat at a much faster rate than those of large animals.
Quick, pass my beta-blockers.
............if readers of my age wonder why the name Wally Stott is familiar, here's a clue:
a tuba going Da da da da, da da....have you got it yet...........followed by a breathless H..h..h..h...
Yes, he wrote one of the most famous signature tunes in radio and TV history, for Hancock's Half Hour.
I discovered this week that the composer formerly known as Wally Stott is now Angela Morley and she is living happily in Arizona.
Tony Hancock dreamed of being the world's greatest comedy actor and, believing this had eluded him, committed suicide. Wally Stott's dream was, one might think, even more unrealisable, especially in the 1950s, yet eventually came true.
.............the playwright Terence Rattigan employed highly eccentric and sometimes rather camp butlers and other domestic servants.
Grande dames of the English theatre like Margaret Leighton and Edith Evans invited to dinner would find a volley of brussels sprouts and potatoes being hurled over their shoulders in the general direction of their plates followed by the comment "Munch it up, dear, you're all skin and bone."
Talking of butlers, one of the few I've encountered was the one who opened the door at the house of Robert Stigwood, the impressario. "Will you be staying, Sir?" he said to me. I didn't know this was butler-speak for 'Do you want to leave your coat?' and I replied "Only if I get lucky." Not even Jeeves himself could have given me a more withering and icy look.
CORRECTIONS TO CORRECTIONS
Yesterday we printed a correction about calling Harry Nilsson 'Neilson', the name of the serial killer. We are now advised that the serial killer's surname is in fact 'Nilson'. Wish you'd told us before, Rex, because the original 'joke' would have worked much better. Once again we had made the stupid mistake of checking the name on Google, forgetting that there are always 10,000 websites that spell people's names incorrectly.
Rex also warns me that Dennis Nilson is very litigious. It's bad enough that I occasionally went in the pub where he selected his victims but the thought that he might be reading my blog is rather chilling. But I can't quite understand how one of the biggest mass murderers in British history could sue me for confusing his name with that of another less ambitious killer called Donald Neilson. I'll put my legal team on standby just in case.
With Lee earning money again he decided to take Carlo to a nightclub or discothèque, or whatever thay call those places, in the neighbouring town. I wasn't very happy about this. One hears so much about binge drinking, drugs and street fights these days. More importantly, Carlo was so busy choosing the right shirt and jeans that he only had time to cook me a hastily prepared Haddock Monte Carlo, the egg over-poached and rubbery.
Lee arrived at 8pm, saying that if they went before 9.30 with the flyers he had obtained they would get free admission, thus having enough money left to get totally rat-arsed. This infelicitous phrase reminded me of something in the paper this week about humans and rats sharing 88% of their genes. Looking at Lee, this wasn't difficult to believe.
Lee then made some sarcastic remarks about Carlo having ironed his jeans to within an inch of their life and called him a big girl's blouse. Before I could point out that Lee's jeans had clearly never been within spitting distance of a steam iron and seemed to be several sizes too big, his mobile phone rang. "Shit, not again!" we heard him saying.
Lee told us his younger brother had set fire to the Pupil Referral Unit and the police needed a 'responsible adult' to come and collect him.
"That lets you out then" I said.
Unfortunately it didn't. Lee said Carlo would have to make his own way to town and meet him in the club, throwing a multi-coloured flyer on to the table.
"Hang on, this is a flyer for the garage", I said.
"Nice one, bruv!", Lee replied "it's Garage night at the club on Fridays.......you kill me, man.....catch you later."
I was left to ruminate on the strange idea that the nightclub held a social evening for local car mechanics but perhaps old Arthur and his wife Sheila would be there and could keep an eye on Carlo. I resolved to drive Carlo to town myself. I might even stop for a quick Dry Martini before returning home for Newsnight.
Coming up: I am humiliated by Bruno the Bouncer