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Peter Rhodes on gender-reveal parties, a black pudding dispute and hard pears for school kids

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

America today, Britain tomorrow.

Local - and awful

A WILDFIRE in Arizona destroyed 47,000 acres and cost about £7 million. A newly-released video shows the moment it started as a couple detonated an explosive device at their "gender-reveal celebration." A blue explosion would tell the breathless masses that the foetus was a boy while a pink explosion would indicate a girl. Be warned. What happens in America today happens in Britain tomorrow.

THE big question is whether anybody who marks the gender of their unborn child by setting fire to Arizona should be allowed to breed in the first place.

THE smaller question is about etiquette. How should we react as our friends hold their gender-reveal celebrations? If the patio erupts in pink smoke, how can you cheer and whoop at the news "it's gonna be a girl!" without somehow casting a slur on all males? And what if the master of ceremonies, like so many males, is colour blind, can't tell pink from blue and makes the wrong call? Not so much gender-reveal as idiot-reveal.

DARLING of the Left Polly Toynbee says this of Theresa May: "Had she appealed to remainers from the start, her deal could have met Labour’s six tests." Does anybody, including Toynbee, seriously believe that any Tory prime minister could have produced any Brexit deal that Jeremy Corbyn or Keir Starmer would have welcomed with open arms? Whatever May brought back from Brussels would have been "the worst deal possible" and (Corbyn's favourite word) "botched." This row isn't really about Brexit. It's about the next General Election.

WHEN a group of vegans invaded a steakhouse in Brighton, they clearly wanted to provoke these evil meat-eaters into some sort of retaliation. So they entered the restaurant and for half an hour played recordings of animals being slaughtered. One demonstrator circled a table, filming diners close-up and "getting in their faces" which is grossly provocative and probably illegal. You may think it surprising that none of the customers snapped, and punched those who were trying to wreck their evening. But they didn't. Instead, the customers sang songs and chanted: "Stand up if you love meat." A visitor from Mars studying Earthling nutrition would conclude that lentils make you bitter, aggressive and threatening but meat eaters are patient and good-humoured. Own goal, I fear.

THE Government's £40 million healthy-eating campaign limps on. Latest obstacle is a report complaining that fruit and veg given free to school kids includes hard pears and "sweating" carrots. The Soil Association says the answer is to ensure more of the food is "British, local and organic." Really? When buying food, one of the commonest mistakes is to assume "local" means "good." The last local, organic pears I bought were as hard as snooker balls.

WHICH reminds me of a falling-out I had with a hotelier in Wales. I said her black puddings were awful. She argued that they were local. I pointed out that it was possible to be both local and awful but she didn't seem to get it.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world

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