Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Magazine article The Spectator

Dear Mary

Article excerpt

More of Mary's favourite celebrities have responded to her invitation to submit queries.

From: Sir Christopher Bland, BBC Headquarters

Q. Our young son has a large and extremely ugly teddy bear made out of brown and white synthetic fur, dressed in tartan dungarees, with a red protruding tongue and staring eyes. The bear was won in a competition to find his most appropriate name. He is called Sir Grumbleweed. Attempts to point out Sir G's physical deficiencies, or to suggest that the other hedgehogs, rabbits, frogs, etc. dislike him, have been met with the reply, `You're hurting his feelings.' How can we get rid of the bear (we draw the line at abdication or assassination)?

A. A letter must come through the post advising that all bears of the marque in question must be recalled for safety reasons, since wire prongs, hidden within the bears for stabilising purposes, have in one or two cases worked themselves loose and poked their way out of the body. Soften the blow by announcing that, following highlevel intervention with the manufacturers, you have come to an arrangement that in your own case the bear may be kept - but. only on condition he is stored in an attic out of harm's way.

From: Jools Holland, Greenwich

Q. Frequently, when staying in hotel rooms and making telephone calls, I ask my interlocutor to call me back. `What's the number?' they ask. But I cannot tell them because the hotels have cunningly failed to display it on the dial. …

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