Fence jumpers boost flower business


Illicit encounters aren’t the sort of topic normally raised on Phil Clarke’s Business blog, but a recent post  reveals that people who have extra-marital affairs in the UK spend about 60 million pounds on cut flowers.

Apparently that amounts to over 2.5% of the £2.2bn fresh cut flower market, with men who take mistresses spending an average £120 a year on flowers. That compares with just £41 for those who are not having affairs.

He doesn’t say whether the flowers are for the wives or the mistresses, or both.

But he reckons the fact that the flower buying fence jumpers are typically “high-powered businessmen with a great deal of expendable income” rules out most farmers.

Did you see the one about . . .


What to do when you suspect adultery at Monkey with typewriter.

Sceptical housewifery at In A Strange Land.

In praise of the eloquent insult at Not PC.

Spider du jour at Half-Pie (anachrophobics shouldn’t follow the link).

TVNZ. . .  What to do at Watching Brief (sound like a good idea to me).

You have to be joking at Frenemy.

Sentence of the day at Quote Unquote.

Joining the language police


One of the benefits of learning a foreign language is that it helps you understand more about your own.

But some things can’t be understood, they just have to be learned by rote. Then there are others which have a rule which is easy to understand but seem to make distinctions without making a difference and the requirement to diffentiate between less and few comes into that category.

I know this headline, Less kiwis making the move to Australia , is using the wrong word because it refers to a number not an amount so should have used fewer.

But how do you explain how to remember the difference to someone who doesn’t make the distinction or doesn’t care about it when the sentence still makes sense?

And does it matter or are the language police who defend the distinction between less and few just being pedantic?

Not who pays but what we pay for


Jim Hopkins is on the right track:

And we all missed the point. What matters is not who pays for stuff but the stuff we’re paying for.

Like trains, for crying out loud. Apparently, much of this new post-regional, national fuel tax will fund the electrification of Auckland’s railways.

Well, electrify them, by all means – assuming we can persuade ourselves to build another dam (or let the Russians sell us a surplus nuclear sub we can moor off Waiheke) but don’t pretend trains are the answer.

If they are, you’re asking the wrong question.

Expecting trains to solve Auckland’s transport woes makes as much sense as lassoing rogue elephants with spaghetti or telling Phil Goff he can win our hearts and minds by being himself.

Cities are created by the best available means we have to get around them. When that was feet, cities were small and compact. When it was trams and trains, they got bigger. Now it’s cars they sprawl, like concrete amoebas, all over the place.

And people move randomly about them – from Howick to Devonport to Sylvia Park, something trains can’t easily handle.

That’s just how it is. Some cities were created BA (Before Automobiles) and trains make sense.

Others grew AA (After Automobiles) and they don’t.

Build a motorway and get over it.

Being relegated to fortnightly offerings hasn’t dimmed his wit.

Saturday’s smiles


Two Mexicans are stuck in the desert, wandering aimlessly and close to
death. They are close to just lying down and waiting for the inevitable,
when all of a sudden…

“Hey Pepe, do you smell what I smell. Ees bacon, I is sure of eet”.

, Luis, eet smells like bacon to meee”.

So, with renewed strength, they struggle off up the next sand dune, and
there, in the distance, is a tree, just loaded with bacon.

There’s raw bacon, dripping with moisture, there’s fried bacon, back bacon,
double smoked bacon…every imaginable kind of cured pig meat you can

“Pepe, Pepe, we ees saved. Eees a bacon tree”.

“Luis, are sure ees not a meerage? We ees in the desert, don’ forget”.

“Pepe, when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smell of bacon…ees no
meerage, ees a bacon tree”.

And with that…Luis races towards the tree. He gets to within 5 metres,
Pepe following closely behind, when all of a sudden, a machine gun opens up,
and Luis is cut down is his tracks.


It is clear he is mortally wounded but, true friend that he is, he manages to warn Pepe with his dying breath.

“Pepe…go back man, you was right, ees not a bacon tree”

“Luis, Luis mi amigo…what ees eet?”

“Pepe…ees not a bacon tree..


“Ees, a Ham Bush”   


(This is even funnier if you know that in Spanish the h is always silent).

%d bloggers like this: