Bananarama

Wish I’d be around to see this. When I spent a very long and boring day at Mar-a-Lago in December as part of the official White House press pool (oh yes, I’m going up in the world!), the most interesting thing that happened was an appearance by the former Texas commissioner of agriculture, whose name, unfortunately, has escaped me.

 

 

nana

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Elephant in the room

On August 31st CNN reported the results of the Great Elephant Census, which chronicled a catastrophic decline in the number of African elephants and made dire predictions for their survival.

Fast forward three weeks and, well, apparently, there are plenty of elephants according to Sky News and, because numbers are “growing”, it’s time to lift the global ban on ivory trading (says Zimbabwe, headed by the cash-hungry, murderous despot Robert Mugabe, who will quite happily steal the $35 million that would be raised by the sale of a 70-tonne ivory “stockpile” Zimbabwe just happens to have lying around).

Mugabe, it should be noted, likes to eat baby elephants as a birthday treat and has already cashed in big-time from illegal poaching. The lifting of the ivory-trade ban would just further enrich him legally. We can only hope that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) makes the right call when it meets in Johannesburg later this week.

phant

 

Sugar rush

From the annals of the “some people have too much time on their hands” collection comes an email (two, actually, including the chase-up) from a public relations type who thinks I might be able to help publicise their latest venture.

It goes something like this: American Football’s college season starts tomorrow so what better way to celebrate than stunting up a model of a match between two teams using Gummy Bears for the players, spectators etc.

And then emailing journalists to see if they want to write an article about it. Well, I guess in a way I just did…

footy

Talk of the town

Sad news from the canine world, where the last-surviving 9/11 search dog was put to sleep in Texas. Golden retriever Bretagne was 2 when she spent two weeks searching the rubble of the Twin Towers with her handler Denise Corliss in September 2001.

Her greatest achievement, however, was yet to come. Looks like she spent a fruitful retirement and learned to speak human in her golden years:

dog

 

A question of taste

A lifetime ago, back in journalism college (yes, we learned on typewriters), our lecturers warned us that being reporters meant we would sometimes be exposed to the seedier side of humanity and would have to dig into the harsher climes of society’s underworld, revealing hidden secrets and exposing ourselves to risks as we raked through layers of muck in a quest for the truth.

Then this week I get this commission. Three decades of journalistic endeavour have led me to this point. I am pleased to confirm my appointment as The Guardian’s first (and only) Donald Trump cocktails correspondent, all expenses paid naturally. Unfortunately, the contract was for three hours only.

Not everyone appreciated my hard work, however. One commentator on my story suggested that: “Everyone involved in bringing this article to press should be required to clean lavatories in a refugee camp for six months.” Which is preferable to four years of a Trump presidency, I guess.

groan

trump

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