Someone wise once said that life is not only stranger than you imagine, it is stranger than you can imagine.
My friend George Machun, trapped in the deadening toils of academe at San Francisco State University, recently put up some photographs of stupid things done by idiots. One of them was a picture of a gas stove on which some fool had put an electric kettle.
Well, I actually did that in his house in San Francisco and nearly burnt the place down. George and I worked together for years in Hong Kong, Portugal, California and various places in South America. He is a splendid chap, but has to be corrected occasionally
For instance, he recently put up this quotation: A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease." "That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
I had to point out to him that it was actually John Wilkes who made the remark, and he didn't say "an unspeakable disease" - he said "the pox". By Disraeli's time they had mistresses but didn't talk about them.
I think it was to Lord Sandwich - a famous lecher - that Wilkes addressed the remark.
Wilkes was famously ugly, with a squint, famously funny and famously successful with women. When someone asked him how he did it, he replied, "It takes me ten minutes to talk away my face."