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Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all... Stan the Statistician

Stan # 82: Some things you may have missed… December 2004

Some stories you may have missed in the papers.

Mrs Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, England, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled. "He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out "Heil Hitler". (Bournemouth Evening Echo)

Commenting on a complaint from a Mr Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said "We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that blew his house to pieces." (Bangkok Post)

Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle, and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian, London, England).

More dangers:

3 Brits die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.

142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.

58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers.

31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in.

9 Brits have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolates.

British Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling accidents.

101 people since 1999 have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet.

18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.

A massive 543 Brits were admitted to A&E in the last two years after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.

5 Brits were injured last year in accidents involving out of control Scalextric cars.

In 2000, eight Brits cracked their skull whilst throwing up into the toilet............................

Life is full of hidden dangers.

Here are some genuine complaints received by holiday companies:

The beach was too sandy.

I bought a snorkel and swimming mask for my 6 year old son, but he was too upset to use them as the fish frightened him.

It rained on my birthday.

Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.

I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.

It's lazy of the shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things in the 'siesta time'. This should be banned.

We bought Ray Ban sunglasses for five euros (£3.50) from a street trader only to find they were fake.

None of the hotel staff spoke English, and the tea didn't taste the same as at home.

I would like to complain about the price of alcohol in the resort. It was too cheap and I woke up with a hangover every day.

On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all.

I'm not sure that we should allow people like this to travel outside the UK or vote. Maybe this is why we have the Governments we do.

Let us hope for peace and prosperity for ourselves and that the rest of humanity continues to behave like complete lunatics so that I have something to write about in 2005. I think it is safe to make the prediction that this latter point is precisely what will happen.

Check in again at my desk soon!

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