At the End of the Day

A new phenomenon is born, Mountain Rage. Beating the previous altitude record for anger by 7,605 feet, a seething mob of Sherpas threw rocks and stuff at climbers, it seems. One of the victims was German, and the other Italian. Insiders suggest that the German wanted to give them all a haircut, and the Italian had been shagging their wives, but this is unconfirmed.

It could be, perhaps, that the German was trying to take their teeth out while they weren’t looking. And if that segue seems a trifle random, Der Spiegel reported this week that a German dentist extracted 20 teeth without the patient’s permission, and was found guilty on a charge of causing bodily harm. He got an eight-month suspended jail sentence, but wasn’t named. I bet his name was Schäuble.

It’s been that kind of day for news. Capturing most people’s imagination was the alleged discovery of a US Vietnam Vet, Sergeant John Hartley Robertson, living out his old age in Vietnam after having been shot down by the Vietcong in 1968. There was panic in the White House as Obama’s officials realised that his back pay would add up to more than the Paulson bailout, but it seems the old guy is content to stay where he is. Let’s hope we can say the same about a storm recently photographed at Saturn’s north Pole, because it’s 20 times larger than the average hurricane on Earth, and has winds four times as powerful.

Somewhere, the poor bloke in charge of the Saturnian Tourist Board is having a nightmare day, but fear not poor PR, because I can confirm that this really isn’t that big a storm at all: it may be 20 times bigger than Hurricane Hermione, but Saturn is 764 times bigger than the Earth. So the equivalent would be an Earthling fart. The logic of that doesn’t follow, but it is superior to some of today’s think tank output, so let’s not be picky. Let us instead turn swiftly to picking the winner of this Thursday’s UK County Council elections, which will without doubt be Labour. You won’t get odds from any bookie on that one, but you might on the turnout. It was 31% last year, and 35% the last comparable one before that: will it now fall below 30%, or will the UKippers get more people out there? The BNP are warning us all to “expect surprises” and so I’m crossing my fingers in the hope of getting a new shirt or perhaps some Czech & Speake after-shave.

No finger-crossing needed in the Knox household, however, as Amanda has trousered £2.45 million for her autobiography in which, unsurprisingly, she protests her innocence. She said she wished to be “reconsidered as a person” and I for one am happy to do that: I’d always thought of her before as a very lucky, ham-actor psychopath, but from here on I’m happy to think of her as a very rich, ham-actor psychopath.

I have one longstanding American friend with whom I can’t have a sensible conversation about Amanda Knox, because whereas she is convinced of the lady’s innocence, I am sure she is capable of the act for which she was first convicted, and then acquitted, and then unacquitted. It really isn’t so much to do with the evidence, or with Foxy Knoxy’s history of being somewhat chilling as a person. I just knew, from the moment that she started giving those looks to the cameras at the time, that little Amanda was capable of anything.

For all I know, she didn’t do it. But Ms Knox is not just a normal girl next door: and no matter how much she lays it on with a trowel, she never will be.

Earlier at The Slog: Full steam ahead for Lloyds bailout payback by 2078