Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Lion on the Cheesegrater

Reading James Davidson's splendid book, "Courtesans and Fishcakes: the consuming passions of classical Athens", I discover that the Athenian brothels offered a service called, "The lion on the cheesegrater". What on earth might this have been? Nobody seems to know. Imagination boggles!

Friday, 5 April 2019


My father used to enjoy conjugating certain ideas in the manner of the Latin verbs we had to learn at school (Amo - amas - amat: I love, you (singular) love, he loves, etc). This one sounds particularly apposite to the current disputes about Brexit:-

I am firm
You are obstinate
He (or she!) is a pig-headed idiot
We stick to our principles
You are doctrinaire
They are utterly blind to the true state of affairs

Here's one about going on holiday:-

I am a traveller
You are a tourist
He goes on coach trips
We have discovered a marvellous Greek island
You have pushed the prices up alarmingly
They have ruined the place completely

This one, about racist feelings, is best done back to front:-

They are Nazis
You are bigots
We only want to stay with the sort of society we're used to
He is a racist
You are prejudiced
I have plenty of black friends, but ....

No doubt readers can think of other examples 

Postscript: Matthew Parris produced a new one the other day in the "Times", concerning freedom of speech:-

I am fearlessly outspoken
You had better watch what you say
He should be no-platformed

he didn't suggest a plural.