The Corfu incident concerning this column

YET another alternative use has been found for the versatile Perspective column. The happy, handy discovery was made on the Greek holiday island of Corfu where I and my better half have recently sojourned and sizzled. Let me explain. But first, to set the

YET another alternative use has been found for the versatile Perspective column.

The happy, handy discovery was made on the Greek holiday island of Corfu where I and my better half have recently sojourned and sizzled.

Let me explain. But first, to set the scene, I would remind you of the tale I told a while ago of the time I went to test drive a car my youngest was thinking of buying.

The dealer recognised me from the picture atop this page and professed himself to be a keen fan of the column


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It was as I got into the car that I realised what he did with the Comet after reading it. There staring up at me from beneath my foot was my own picture on the page which had been laid there as a makeshift floor mat.

Another use is clearing up (other people's) cat debris from the garden but I have found that by far and away the best newspaper for that unsavoury task is the broadsheet Daily Telegraph.

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And so to Corfu. We went early on a Friday morning and what with all the packing and last minute preparations, my wife had not managed to read that week's Perspective and, as she is my number one fan (and critic), I did not want her to miss out so I ripped it out of the paper and took it with us.

Duly read in our hotel room, it was put to one side. It was that first night that it was put to a new use.

The mosquitoes came not as a plague but certainly in sufficient numbers and hungry enough to be an annoyance.

So the Perspective page was rolled up and became an effective swatter, ever ready at the bedside to go into action.

Well into the holiday in the hotel lounge one night we were enjoying a cooling pint or two, while perched on a barstool pontificating on all manner of subjects while puffing away on cigarettes was an American woman who was not a guest.

The platinum blonde well past her best Southern Belle years had the sort of drawling voice which one had difficulty in ignoring despite one's best efforts.

I tried, but my ears pricked up when I heard her talking about when she majored in journalism, suggesting that she was a top student.

Then she launched into her opinion of newspapers, saying she did not much care about the news side but she did like columns.

Not the straightforward ones, she emphasised, but ones by writers taking a quirky look at life. That's me, I thought.

Spelling out exactly the sort of columnists she likes, she said they were the ones who took an "an upside down look at life".

I thought of going over and pointing out that she really meant a sideways look at life, but considered that may not be welcomed.

I could pop upstairs and get the crumpled copy of Perspective to show her, but as she regaled her listeners on an altogether different subject, I thought, no, it would be much better to keep it as a swatter for smaller annoying creatures.

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