Mind Your Manors


By Lord Bingo

My Favourite Royal

ONE had to admit to a frisson of apprehension one day last summer when one heard gunfire from Hyde Park.

Had someone taken a trifle too seriously my jocular assertion that today marked the start of the Queen Mother shooting season?

Doubts mounted as I peered through my lorgnettes from my sedan chair outside Clarence House en route to The Athenaeum. Alarmingly, I spotted a posse from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery parading past with their cannon still smoking.

As it turned out, one's worst fears were proved unfounded. A few seconds later an unmistakable olio filled the air and all of a sudden, in a flurry of athlete's foot powder, the dear lady appeared at the gates all smiles, chiffon and cholostomy bags.

What a charming and gracious lady she is despite the Marmite stains round her mouth; and at 95 she still has the badger-like good looks of Mr Norman Lamont. I wonder if she smokes Raffles cigarettes and drinks Bricard champagne?

No, she is far too majestic to do anything so inelegant. She is so polite.

I have it on good authority that when Her Majesty wishes to ease what, in the interests of delicacy, we must describe here as elements of abdominal discomfiture she has a footman wheel her to the nearest Vent-Axia.

I recall some years ago my colleague Professor Pliffploff handcrafting a system of pipes, pulleys, chains and top hats to remove the noxious zephyrs from her stately personage.

But he forgot to incorporate a fan in the device. As luck would have it, brown ale, curried eggs and sprouts were on the menu at Clarence House that evening and an unfortunate explosion occurred when the Raffles were lit during the petit fours.

Say what you like about the Queen Mother, but she's a survivor. And how we all love the old goat!

Dog's Dinner

ONE hears extraordinary things on the wireless these days. Some pedigree chump rang a phone-in the other day with a so-called solution to the problem of stray dogs.

He suggested they should be eaten a la Chinoise.

Warming to his theme, if not to his dogburger, he advocated the breeding of dogs for food. And if the population of Blighty refused to tuck into this treat, the carcases could be shipped frozen to the Third World.

Well honestly! What has the Third World done to upset him, one wonders?

My colleague Barmy Brainstorm, to whom this sort of thing appeals, has come up with a suitable menu.


Scampari and Sofa


(pronounced horse's doofers)

Chicken Poodle Soup

Jack Russell Terrine


(a la cartehorse)

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Terrier Pudding

Chow Mein

Beef Bedlington

Collieflower Cheese

Hot Dogs


A selection from the Sweet Collie

Walnut Whippets, Yorkie Bars, Waggon Wheels

Doggie Bags will be provided.

(So will sick bags - Ed.)

Thought for the day: Could you eat a horse? Well bugger off to France then.


Glass of Shampoo, Anyone?

I see that supplies of a beer shampoo called Short 'n' Curlies or whatever have been recalled for some reason or the other.

This is to be encouraged. Beer is intended for the throat, not the tonsure, unless the hair is of the dog's variety.

The logical conclusion to all this nonsense is that if we are to place beer upon our heads we will be expected to drink shampoo (and I don't mean bloody Moet).

A chap will soon be compelled to cut along to the salon bar and order a large Head and Shoulders on the rocks or a Silvikrin and tonic. Well, I mean to say, "A pint of  Pantene please, landlord" doesn't have much of a ring to it, do it?

Then I suppose, just like hair, we will end up being cut.

Imagine being stopped in one's sedan chair on one's way home and being asked by PC Plod: "Excuse me sir, but have you been at the Alberto Balsam again?" Well, honestly.

The sun being over the yardarm here at Steeple Cholmondeley, it is time once more to wash one's hair and go.

I offer you, dear reader, a permanent wave.

Thought for the day: A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke. (Kipling)

I thank you.

First published in 1995

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre