Are you trying to ’ave a cado?

I don’t know why I seem to be the only person who has bizarre experiences, but this week, the campus Co-op store asked me for proof-of-age when I was trying to buy an avocado. The barcode flagged it up as an age-restricted product, and the checkout girl asked her colleague to explain this absurdity, but his response was to say, “Well they must have alcohol in them, or something,” and he spent a couple of minutes scrutinising the packet.

But fortunately, there was a happy ending (see below).

“Tomato or not tomato, that is the question.” — Bill Samic-Vinegar, 2003

From Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss has made a brief return from the dead to offer up his opinion on the proposal to ban smoking in cars. It’s entitled If I Ran the NHS and there is a handy recording available below:

We have banned smoking in our bars.
Now let’s ban smoking in our cars.
’Cos instead of being nice and clean,
Our teeth are black with nicotine.

“In this chest are two things I will show to you now,
You won’t like these two things,” said the Doc with a bow.
“I will X-ray the skin, you will see something new.
Two things, and I call them Lung 1 and Lung 2!”
“But they’re black and diseased!” we both said to the Doc.
“Well yes,” quoth the Doc, “But in your car you did smok’!”

Fags deposit nasty tars,
So let’s ban smoking in our cars.

Smug people throughout the ages

I came across this intriguingly-titled and ancient-looking 1876 book in the library while doing research for my essay on the Eastern Question. It looked rather 19th-century and fun, and it was by an MP, so I picked it up to have a read.

Below is an excerpt from as far as I managed to get; it starts off (just about) reasonably enough, but soon enough, I noticed that the writer was unbearably smug, pretty racist-sounding and basically unreadable. So I  unread.

Weekly Report from the Amateur Branch of the Press Complaints Commission

The Independent is now in receipt of the George Papandreou Order of Merit for Financial Advice, in recognition of the following student-money-saving tip:


The Rt Hon David Cameron MP easily wins this week’s Impersonation of a Convict Award, not just because of the fact that he’s a pretty shady person, but due to his hysterical impersonation of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s accent during a speech in London.

From the last few seconds of that video, I’m also able to award The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP the Prize for Sycophantic Laughter While Wearing Silly Robes of State, although to be fair, there was very little competition for this honour!

Sussexballs: £9000 per annum paid for contributions

[seminar tutor, a PhD student, says…] “You just have to be clear but stupid and you can walk away with a PhD.”

“Your essays need to be as straightforward as British fish. You know what I mean?”

“Compared to America’s arsenal, Britain’s nuclear weapons are just a drop in the ocean!”

“The fall of the Berlin Wall, 9th November 2009.”

[helpful Oxford English Dictionary entry for the word ‘smoch’] “Adj. Meaning uncertain.”

Mum: [at the very start of a Skype call] Oh, sorry to be coughing. But I’ve just eaten a mango.

[The year is 1969; Britain has declined to get involved in the Vietnam War, so the US Secretary of State announces…] “Don’t expect us to save you again. They can invade Sussex and we wouldn’t do a damn thing about it!”

[Porter takes delivery of a registered package for a student] “Oh, T____  S____? I’ve never met her and I f*ckin’ hate her… She’s had nine parcels so far this term, all from different carriers!”

And finally, as Sussex’s tireless staff of hard-working lecturers prepares to go on strike in defence of its pensions; as public-sector workers across the country protest at unfair conditions; as England sleeps…

If anyone feels like reading my gripes, as featured in The Badger, about the European Convention on Human Rights: today’s your lucky day!


  1. Keep these coming Gabriel we are all enjoying them here in KT2. Your blog is blocked for me at work so this evening found myself rushing home to get the rest of the avocado story. Well done on the salad btw – thought you all lived on chips.

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