Friday, January 23, 2009


This is a sign either that I should drop my subscription to the New York Times now, in order to go out on a high note, or continue it indefinitely: This morning’s paper carries not only the news that President Obama (I love typing that) has already started to close down Guantánamo and make the United States a nation that doesn’t torture but a feature by Sarah Lyall, datelined Crapstone, on dirty-sounding place-names in England. She quotes one Ed Hurst, co-author of "Rude Britain," on the plight of a couple who bought a house on Butt Hole Road:

"'If they ordered a pizza, the pizza company wouldn't deliver it, because they thought it was a made-up name,' Mr. Hurst said. ‘People would stand in front of the sign, pull down their trousers and take pictures of each other's naked buttocks.’

“The couple moved away.”

The piece has a lovely map highlighting all the rude place-names.

The same page (A6) also has a piece on the misattribution of the Prayer of St. Francis (“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,” etc.) to St. Francis of Assisi. Turns out that he didn’t write it at all—some French guy did. One priest brushes it off, as if to say, Oh, Catholics will swallow anything.

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