Pet Of The Week (2)

Here’s a cautionary tale.

American woman, Tina Springer, was travelling in a car as a passenger with her seven-month-old Labrador Retriever by the name of Molly. The puppy was a bit frisky on the journey and managed to land on a .22-caliber pistol, which happened to be in the car.

Unfortunately, the pistol was loaded and went off, injuring Tina in the thigh. She is expected to recover from her injuries.

There is a moral in this story somewhere, either don’t have a pet or don’t leave a loaded pistol lying around. I will leave it to you to decide which.   


Surgical News Of The Week (2)

When I feel a bit down, I find a story about a medical disaster peps me up no end.

At the recent Cheltenham Literary Festival, Samer Nashef, a cardiac surgeon at Cambridge’s Papworth Hospital was regaling his audience with details of what should have been a perfectly straightforward coronary bypass. Unfortunately, the aorta ruptured.

Needing access to another artery, he settled on the patient’s groin and with an assistant pushing on the damaged aorta to stem the blood loss, cut the skin. There was some blood loss from that area and so to patch things up down there, Nashef decided to cauterise the spot.

To his dismay, the solution used to prepare the area hadn’t dried and the application of a flame meant that the patient’s private area went up in flames. They were able to extinguish the fire using drapes.

Mercifully, the patient, an 80-year-old man, was none the worse for his ordeal but he did wonder why, as well as a repaired heart, he had come out of the theatre with a full Brazilian.       

Drug Smugglers Of The Week

It’s hard to have much sympathy for drug smugglers and these stories, if they show anything, reveal that there is no such thing as easy money.

Three men were sailing off the Colombian coast near Tumaco when their vessel capsized. Thrown into the Pacific Ocean, all they could do was hang on for dear life to their cargo which, conveniently, floated and acted as lifejackets.

They were spotted by the Colombian army and rescued none the worse for their ordeal. Unfortunately, their impromptu lifejackets attracted some interest and on closer inspection were found to contain cocaine hydrochloride. In total, they had 1,265 kg of the drug which they were attempting to smuggle across the high seas.

They have been charged with drug trafficking and manufacturing narcotics.

Police were chasing four suspected drug smugglers off the coast of Spain when their boats collided, the police launch span out of control and threw four of the officers into the sea. Instead of making good their escape, the suspects nobly responded to appeals to rescue the officers.

A fat lot of good that did them.

The drenched police could not fail to notice that there were some eighty bundles bobbing around on the water. Closer inspection revealed that they contained around 3,000kg of hashish and the foursome had their collars felt for drug trafficking. From heroes to zeroes in a few minutes.

If you are going to do a bit of drug running, make sure you don’t commit any traffic offences and that you have a string of outstanding warrants against you. These words of wisdom were something Jessica Bernice Kropp chose to ignore as she drove in Arkansas. She was stopped by Officer Kenneth Looney (great name) who, as he was taking down her particulars, couldn’t help noticing a rather intriguing hair bow on Jessica’s head.

On closer inspection, he realised that it was a bundle of meth, cunningly disguised. A work of genius if Jessica hadn’t overlooked her other misdemeanours. She is now charged with drug offences and on bail.

It’s a cruel world.

Coincidence Of The Week

Kyler Bourgeous had the misfortune to be gored and trampled by a bison at the Antelope Island State Park in Utah in June, picking up a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and internal injuries for his troubles. Happily, now recovered he has begun dating a young lady by the name of Kayleigh Davis.

Kyler thought it would be fun to show his new squeeze the spot where he met his unfortunate accident. Distracted by a group of bikers, Kayleigh suddenly realised that a bison was coming her way at a rate of knots. She tried to outrun the animal to the nearby lake but it flipped her up into the air, goring her in the thigh and causing her to break her ankle when she hit the ground.

Kayleigh, fearing a second attack, stayed still, the bison soon lost interest and Kyler was able to summon help.

Apparently, if you are charged by an angry bison, the recommendation is to stay still. Sounds good in theory.

If the couple are still dating, my suggestion to Kyler is to play safe, go for a pizza or a drink. There are forces out there beyond our ken.

Eco-Friendly Idea Of The Week

We all like to think we are doing our bit for the environment and here’s an idea I came across this week that is beginning to grow on me.

Instead of cutting down a mature tree and wastefully chopping it up into smaller pieces to get the size of wood you need to make a stick of furniture, how about training a tree to grow into the furniture shape you want? This is the brainwave of Gavin and Alice Munro who run a furniture farm in Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

At the moment, they are growing 250 chairs, 100 lamps and 50 tables, carefully guiding shoots to grow in the direction and into the shape they require. They liken the process to a “kind of zen 3D printing”.

If you are intrigued, don’t expect to get your furniture in a hurry. A chair can take between six to nine years to grow and then you have to wait a year for the wood to dry out before you can get your hands on it. And the mainstream furniture companies will not have to worry on price, either. A chair goes for £10,000, lamps from between £900 and £2,300 and tables fetch around £2,500 to £12,500.

However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. An early attempt at growing trees came to naught when those methane producing, ozone layer destroying, eco-terrorists aka a herd of cows trampled over them and the remnants were nibbled by rabbits. These teething problems, I’m assured, have now been overcome and the Munros are in full swing.

As a money-making idea, though, I can’t help thinking that they are barking up the wrong tree.

Niggle Of The Week

Perhaps this was the first sign of an anti-Brexit revolt and we all missed it. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2016, the year of the referendum, no babies were named Nigel in the UK.

Shocked by this revelation, the landlord of the Fleece Inn in the Worcestershire village of Bretforton, Nigel Smith, decided that the only response was to raise the nation’s consciousness to all that was good about the name by celebrating Nigelness. After a couple of years of planning he was able to hold his Nigel Night party, proceeds from which went to charity.

Some 433 Nigels attended, the largest gathering of Nigels in one pub at one time in recorded history. It is a good job the catering wasn’t done by Starbuck’s. Around a thousand non-Nigels also attended but in a defiant show of Nigelness, they had to wear badges with the motif, “I’m not Nigel”.

Inevitably, Nigels, a singer, a busker, and a comedian, provided the entertainment and Nigel awards were presented to the youngest (a seven-month old baby) and oldest Nigels and the Nigel who had travelled the furthest to attend (a man from Denver, Colorado).

And if you are wondering about the title of this post, a niggle is the collective noun the party goers came up with for a group of Nigels.