Le Jour D’Action Est Arrivé

by Alan Coren

Twenty years ago, this was dream: Am living in most picturesquely unsalubrious quartier in ail Paree-old men ail have four days growtb of rusty wine-dark stubble in which brown teeth dangle and clack , old women wear mildewed black bombazine and shriek down offâl-guttered alleyways, young men, gaunt and sullen, hang around street corners in fours, picking teeth , sliding car radios under theadbare overcoats and dodging Algerian draft , young girls straighten seams in windows of filthy epicerie, pull shrunken angora woollies straight over eye-glazing embonpoint, make succulent moues at passing English novelists...

Inaction Man

by Keith Waterhouse

Wish now l'd written that let.ter to the Daily Telegraph. Sir, I should have written, if May 14 be a "day of action", could one pray be enlightened as to what a day of inaction may be?

Clean up the suburbs

by Mahood

MAHOOD points out a few things he would rather see banned than brothels.

Pictures ID the Morning

by Basil Boothroyd

In a Lunchtime Situation

by Helen Harris

WHEN Harry Spinner took Myrtle Greensmith to lunch at The Dog and Duck, it was not purely from generous motives. She had a most extraordinary way of eating. On their first visit, out of reprehensible curiosity, he had encouraged her to eat the· most awkward dishes, like tangled spaghetti and mackerel with sheafs of bones, to watch how she coped with her misshapen mouth. Of course, he had no idea that was why he had asked her. He was genuinely convinced that his luncheon invitations threw a grander interlude into her humdrum day . The light in her eyes and the subdued contortion of her mouth left him in little doubt, when he paused by her desk at noon. Impromptu invitations are made at noon and he suspected that Myrtle Greensmith would not take gracefully to premeditation.

Having the Last Word

by Jonathan Sale

AT last, evidence of life after death, or. at least, lectures after death! You will have heard, if only while twiddling the radio dia! for the News, the vaguely loopy theologians and totally incomprehensible sociologists who tend to give Reith Lectures. You may have caught moments of the Dimbleby Lecture on television, in which Lord Goodman, Lord Hailsham and others have added to the sum total of human arguments; in the latest, Roy Jenkins gave a party political broadcast for a non-existent organisation; the Centre Party. But how about AlfKillick Lives.'?

Fear of flying

by James Watson

SCHOENBERG wrote his violin concerto while waiting for his Lufthansa ftight to New York. The aeroplane never took off because of fog at Dusseldorf. This is perhaps just as well, as, if it had, we would have been deprived of one of his most limpid and evocative works, atonally describing as it does the emotions of one who has been injudicious enough to travel by the wrong airline. The nervous tension so dramatically presented in the strings, the irregular beat of the timpani-said to be Arnold's own decaying heart striving to cope with the prospect of possible death-and the triplets of the bassoon which shows his pulse rate steadily rising, ail testify to the fact that he was aware that British Airways would have taken good care of him, if only he had had the good sense to fly the flag.