Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Wikileaks Wikiweeps

What is the FMC position on BBC allegations of corruption made against FIFA's vice-presidents just as we're bidding to host the 2018 World Cup? This bid, by the way, having produced a 'dream' team of Prince Charming, Beckers, and someone the Governor of the Bank of England says is 'inexperienced' - our PM, according to Wikileaks. And where do we stand on the Wikileaks question? Do we say the truth was always inconvenient, and that exposing corruption and wrong-doing should not wait, or do we say embarrassing diplomats and their governments is one thing, but endangering British soldiers' lives is another? As Pakistan's Ambassador to the UK might say, it's a can of words.

One place to stand with respect to leaks is alongside Pete the boiler man. Faithful readers of these electric paragraphs will remember him from sometime in August or September. This morning I was clearing a path for Pete to get at the boiler, which is losing pressure at an awkward time, while listening to the BBC's Today programme. The Pakistani Ambassador was reassuring us that his government was well able to keep nuclear material out of terrorist hands. Pressed to explain fears to the contrary raised by Wikileaks, he rumbled in reply, rather wonderfully, that "You can make a whole mountain out of a mole." Well, here at Fruitcake Miniature College we certainly intend to try.

So I can now announce the grand Fruitcake Malaprop Competion. There will be two sections: one for idioms and proverbs (that is to say for malapropisms proper), and the other for redundant copy on packaging and the like (such as packets of nuts that may contain nuts). Submissions for the first section may be invented but authentic usage will obviously score over smartypantsness. Submissions for the second section will need to be genuine. Here a few examples to start you off:

Idioms and proverbs
*You can take a horse to Waterstones ...
* Many slip a Twix between cup and lip.
* Not enough room to swing a dog (with thanks to Fruitcake the cat)
* There's more than one way to skin a dog, or a fox for that matter (thanks, that's plenty)

Nuts nuts
* This product contains magnets (label on Dracula fridge magnet adorning FMC boiler)
* Solutions Solutions (company offering help with crosswords )
* This boiler contains nuts (OK, I made the last two up)

Anyway, Pete says the problem is basically a crap boiler installed by British Gas on one of their special deals, and there are one or two 'weeps', which are very slight, possibly undetectable leaks (you can see where this is going) causing a drop in pressure. He tightened some nuts, showed us how to boost the pressure if need be, finished his tea, and didn't charge. Leaders of the world, learn from this plumber.

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