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European Threat Levels

By: John Cleese

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated,” or even “A Bit Cross.”

The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since “The Blitz” in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

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Flora Aphrodite

Named for beauty and for love You are ugly and loathed Notorious for eating flies You feed on ants Your spiny-edged leaves Are split like half-truths Tickled by tiny feet They clutch and seize their prey From a bright, unsullied dynasty Whose name itself is Sundew You practice your deceit In shaded swamps and dim-lit bogs Dionaea muscipula The scientists call you But to me you are love’s promise Beautiful, inscrutable, deadly

My Office

Like many male writers of my vintage, one of my literary heroes is Ernest Hemingway. Not just because I loved his stories and admired his prose but also because of the large, masculine way he lived his life. I liked the skiing and the sailing and the fishing and the boxing and the hunting and the bullfighting and the drinking and I even liked the fact that he shot himself when his end was inevitable.

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Your Lesson for This Morning

Study the lifelines of a leaf Measure them against those of your palm Subtract the lovers and friends you have forgotten Add the kindnesses you have given today Divide by the Saturdays you have left Go to the nearest tattoo parlor Have the number inked on to your pinky finger Chop it off and start again