By Gareth Edwards

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Earl Grey Trousers

Here are this week’s pebbles of “because” dropped into the ocean of “why?”

Why are people scared of clowns when there is so little clown-related crime?
We’re not frightened of clowns because of what they might do.  We fear their negligence, and rightly so.  Clown Health and Safety Training is non-existent. A clown is an accident waiting to happen. I once did some management consultancy for a Clown Custard Pie Factory and there were countless incidents of irresponsibility, poor teamwork and just plain stupidity every day. In the twenty-seven months I observed them at work not a single pie made it into their distributor’s vans.  The business survived for a time as the clowns were content to work for the smiles and laughter of children, but it was eventually bankrupted by massive consultancy fees.

How many is four?
There’s no correct answer to this as four isn’t really a number, but a letter of the alphabet that has by convention come to denote the un-named number between three and five. It is used in words like “Petit Fours”, “Lord Balfour”, and “Four”. Its proper place is actually in the alphabet, between the letters “” and “Bethany”.

Why doesn’t my son hear anything I say?
It’s possible your son may be French. Don’t be frightened by all the scare-stories on the internet about this – many French children grow up to lead wonderful and fulfilling lives. Don’t try talking to him in French though as he will pretend not to understand your accent, even if it’s actually perfectly fine.

What are the origins of the colour green?
There were originally only six colours in the spectrum, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet and carbonara. In Roman times Caesar Verdurus decreed that an additional colour, green, should be added to the spectrum to celebrate the addition of Greenland to the Roman Empire. Verdurus’s successor, Indigus, perhaps the most competitive of the Caesars and certainly the most apoplectic decreed that he too should have a colour to honour his achievements  and the range of visible light was extended to include indigo. As a footnote, it was only recently that advances in electro-spectrometry revealed carbonara not to be a true colour at all, so it is no longer included in the rainbow.

Which is best, Earl Grey or Normal?
It depends. Earl Grey was a British prime minister famous for liking the strong citrus aroma of Bergamot oil, which he added liberally to everything. This worked very well in tea, but history has been less kind to Earl Grey Mashed Potato; Earl Grey Trousers; and the infamous Earl Grey Elephant, which rampaged furiously through both Houses of Parliament dripping with strong-smelling unguent until it was finally put to sleep with a reading from one of Benjamin Disraeli’s early novels. The story of Thomas Normal who amassed a great fortune by not adding Bergamot to a range of every-day products is too well-known to need repeating here.

Are tomatoes really a fruit or are they lying to us?
Tomatoes are actually a verb. Generally though they are not to be trusted.

An infinite number of further questions are necessary to guarantee this blog can fulfil its aim of explaining everything in the universe, so do keep up the vital work…


  1. Why do people eat tooth gunk sauce on fish and chips?

  2. Do these trousers make me look fat?

  3. Is yogurt alive?

  4. Last night as I noticed the waxing crescent moon (you know, the kind Bugs Bunny hangs from by the seat of his pants) I wondered how carrots behave in a vacuum. Could you enlighten me?

  5. How can I tell left from right and remember which is which?