Post #431

Barbequing with the rich and famous

6th July 2004, late at night | Comments (55)

At the Saturday barbeque

Guy 1
So, you’re from England, right?
Yup, from the south-west, in the countryside
Guy 2
Hey, here’s something I always wanted to know about England; do you guys have ice cream over there?
Yes we do; we have things like Haagendaas, and Ben and Jerry’s, and we have supermarket-own brands, and then we have our local UK brands.
Guy 1
Guy 2
Guy 1
What, what about watermelons? Do you have watermelons?
Yes we have watermelons. And bananas as well.
Guy 1
Do y’all have barbeques? With condiments and things?
Guy 2
Yeah, is it possible to do that outside in England? Or does it rain all the time?
No, it doesn’t rain all the time, in fact we can have beautiful summers. So, yes, we have barbeques outside.
Guy 1
That’s awesome, man.
Guy 2
I tell you one thing they don’t have in England; guns. I read in my NRA newsletter that it’s illegal to own a gun over there.
Guy 1
No fuckin’ way?!
Guy 2
That’s the truth, ain’t that right?
Guy 1
Guys 1 and 2
*Stand in silent wonder and the idea of living in a country where you can’t own a machine gun*

At the Sunday barbeque

The GF
So, this couple I’ve just been speaking to, have seven kids.
The GF
She had a kid with the first guy she married, then she had an affair with another guy, divorced the first one, married the second guy, had a kid with him, and then divorced him and married the brother of the first guy she’d married, and then had a kid with him as well. And he already had four kids.
*Silently reflect on the people we’ve met over the last two days*
…Honey, we’ve got to start screening our barbeque invitations. Who the hell are these people?

Jump up to the start of the post

Comments (55)

Jump down to the comment form ↓

  1. Mearso:

    Entertaining as ever, Dunstan.

    One thing that has just occured to me is the fact that you seem to have a great memory for dialogue. Or do you surreptiously scribble, or record every conversation you have to be sure you don't miss gems like these?

    I'd pay to see a film with the collected conversations of Dunstan in!

    Posted 1 hour, 10 minutes after the fact
  2. Faruk Ates:

    Dunstan, you have a knack for meeting odd, odd people, doncha?

    What cologne do you use? *peers quizzically at you*


    Posted 1 hour, 13 minutes after the fact
  3. Rob Mientjes:

    You're lucky those two guys weren't gay. Cuz Gaynip is still in town!

    They weren't gay, were they?

    But why do Americans think Europe is a third world country (yes, they probably think England is a district)?

    Posted 1 hour, 29 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Ryan Parman
  4. Stephan:


    After a while, I always started telling these people at those Californian Barbeques what they obviously really wanted to know:

    At a Berkely BBQ, at a house of some obviously rich Lady who made her money with something esoteric/organic/martial, I do not know that lady as she is friends of some friends of some friends who brought me along. I am in a huge white kitchen, the BBQ goes on outside, I talk to a guy, a total stranger, I met in that kitchen.

    Guy: So, this house is great house!
    Steph: Oh yeah!
    Guy: They say you're from Germany?!
    Steph: Yup. South of Germany. Munich. Olympic Summer Games 1972?
    Guy: FAR OUT!

    We stand in silence for a minute or so. He keeps on grinning at me rather obnoxiously.

    Guy: I wonder, have you got houses like this over there in Germany?
    Steph: Oh yes. In fact, my parents live in an area where there are lots of rich people...
    Guy (dropping in my word): REALLY! FAR OUT!

    He still stands there grinning sheepishly staring me down. Is he gay? Does he want my picture? I don't get it. I start getting slightly uncomfotable.

    He looks around him.
    Guy: So you got Microwave Ovens?

    I am startled. I nearly choked on my drink. I am a little bit in shock before I can say anything but then I change my tactics and tell him what he obviously wanted to hear all the time. I put my arm on his sholder, look deep into his eyes and tell him my story:

    Steph: Well, you see, no, not really. I was always fascinated of all this high tech stuff you got here in the States. You are SO technically ahead of us. You know, at home, we don't even have electricity, and in the winter, it gets really really cold. And, oh yeah, we don't have bathrooms either, in fact, when I need to shit at night, I have to go outside, no matter how cold it is, where we've got a little shit hut. There's no light, and it is fucking cold, and you are all alone out there in the little hut and the wolfs are howling...

    He turns totally pale now. Tries to get free of my grip. Tries to escape. That must have been a little too much for his poor soul.

    And yes, now I do understand Grace Jones why when in America she kept saying "Fuck you" to everyone and everything she encountered!

    And I smile at the guy, patting that poor American dude on his belly while still holding his shoulder with the other hand. (Americans are definitively touchy - but never touch things like their bellies during social conversation!).

    He's got terror in his eyes now. Obviously he's not gay, ah, well, wouldn't have been my type anyway!

    And I feel like an incarnation (good word in Berkely!) of Grace Jones.

    Have I been to extreme just right now? Why are Americans not tought in school that there are worlds just like theirs off their coasts? What is this phenomenon of strange BBQ guests anyway?! Does it have to do with some bozon rays or so, emitting from the instable earth crust of Northern California below them?

    Posted 1 hour, 36 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Adrian, ↓ Rob Mientjes
  5. Adrian:

    Haha... something of a similar note:

    When we mention "where/what/how is Canada" to our fellow friends south of the border (US), those who 'know of' us will probably say that we're friendly people. However, those who do NOT, will ask usually one of these few things.

    1. Do you really live in igloos?!
    2. Isn't that like another state?
    3. Uh... where is it again?
    4. So you ALL say "eh" and "a-boot", don't ya!
    5. Doesn't it snow like all the time up there?

    #5 is much rarer but still existent. Can become quite annoying when they are persistent...

    Posted 1 hour, 50 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Stephan
    Inspired: ↓ Rob Mientjes
  6. Rob Mientjes:

    Stephan: Exactly what I was thinking of what Americans are thinking.
    Adrian: That joke always works. I always make jokes of the French. And I should. Check this out: Yes, they really talk like that. Or they 'can't speak English'.

    Why French? I live in Holland. So Belgium, Germany and France are our main targets :P

    Posted 2 hours, 7 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Stephan, ↑ Adrian
  7. Seth:

    I have visited France, Italy, Canada and the UK. I encountered people in each of those countries who asked me ridiculous questions about America.

    There are stupid people everywhere.

    Posted 3 hours, 51 minutes after the fact
  8. Ross Parker:

    I once went on holiday with my parents to the States. One stop was a waterpark in Vegas - I was too young to do any of the really fun stuff. My dad and I queued behind an American dad with his son.

    American dad (AD): [listens to us speak] Wow! You guys have a great accent!

    My Dad: Thanks.

    Me: [smiles politely]

    AD: Are you from Australia?

    Me: No.

    AD: Scotland?

    Me & Dad: No.

    AD: Ireland?

    Me: No. [giggle]

    AD (annoyed): So where are ya from then?

    Me: Erm, England.

    American kid: That ain't a country, dad, that's a language.

    American Dad: I think he's joking Todd, they must be Australians!

    Thankfully, at this point it was the American's turn on the flume. I had to let three other groups in front of me because I couldn't have gone down a shute laughing so hard.

    Posted 4 hours, 13 minutes after the fact
  9. Andy Budd:

    Man, you should books guests for Jerry Springer.

    Posted 4 hours, 57 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Lee
  10. Lee:

    Now we know how they book guests for Jerry Springer - BBQs.

    I have to say that most people outside of Europe (not just the US) seem to think that it rains all the time in England (even the Canadians, Adrian). I wrote a post on it a while back. Strange.

    So she's officially referred to as the girlfriend now then? Must be serious.

    Great material, I think you should attend as many BBQs as possible and post the results up, we'll be laughing all summer.

    Posted 5 hours, 13 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Andy Budd
    Inspired: ↓ David Barrett
  11. David Barrett:

    Ireland is where it rains all the time. If you can figure out how to attract the rain to your country, you English are welcome to it.

    Posted 8 hours, 9 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Lee
  12. Hans:

    Sometimes I really do hope you're kidding, Dunstan. The second tale was most worrying. ;)
    You should write a book: *Across the Pond: We Ain't Got No Guns*

    Posted 8 hours, 33 minutes after the fact
  13. Karen:

    "Have I been to extreme just right now? Why are Americans not tought in school that there are worlds just like theirs off their coasts?"

    Spelling issues aside, these kinds of blanket statements are not useful. Yes, plenty of Americans have said and done stupid things. But generalizations are what make xenophobia possible in the first place, so it's a little hypocritical to say that *all* Americans are oblivious about the outside world.

    Posted 8 hours, 40 minutes after the fact
  14. Dougal Campbell:

    Of course, not all of us Americans are so !world-savvy. Many of us settle for amusement over differences in idioms. Like how you Brits will say things like, "I'm going to go knock up my girlfriend." In the UK, that just means you're going for a visit. In the US, that phrase is a bit more titillating, since "knocked up" is vernacular for "pregnant". And then there's the whole mixup of exactly what is a "biscuit", "cookie", or "chip".

    And I'm sure that there are British rubes who assume that every American is a gun-toting redneck, ready to blast away at anybody or anything that trespasses on their land. Personally, I don't think I've touched any firearm more dangerous than a Super Soaker in at least twenty years (though, I did use a .22 loaded with shot to scare crows away from my grandfather's garden when I was a kid).

    Still... I'm surprised those guys weren't gay. ;)

    Posted 8 hours, 49 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Gordon
  15. Sergio:

    Aahh... most Americans aren't so badly educated. But the others are the ones that stick in your memory. I was asked once if we had roads here in México. Which is quite eery, given we're neighbors and all.

    In all fairness, I did that same thing to an Australian girl (although it was for fun) when I asked her to show me her huge knife and if she wore it at the ostrich races. Which was just a joke, of course (we all know they are alligator-wrestling matches, not ostrich races).

    Posted 9 hours, 9 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Cam, ↓ Cam
  16. Phil Wilson:

    "In the UK, that just means you're going for a visit."

    It does? I'm English, and I didn't know that!

    Posted 9 hours, 12 minutes after the fact
  17. Karl:

    Well, just remember, there are stupid folks everywhere. You have no idea how many folks I've met in Asia that think I must live in frickin' Beverly Hills.

    So, let's avoid the generalizations, but on the other hand, do continue to regale us with the escapades of the idiots.

    Posted 9 hours, 38 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Rob Mientjes
  18. Rob Mientjes:

    That looks like a perfect ending for this discussion.

    Need a moral, just for the feeling? :P

    Posted 10 hours, 12 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Karl
    Inspired: ↓ Adrian
  19. Kitta:

    Dunstan you should start playing along, whenever I get asked a silly aussie question I always mess with the person asking it. "No, we don't go near the kangaroos, they're poisonous you know." Stephan has the right idea. ;o)

    Posted 11 hours, 9 minutes after the fact
  20. Robert Lofthouse:

    Dougal: I may be Irish, but "i'm going to knock up my girlfriend" means exactly the same thing in the UK, so next time you're in England - don't tell us Brits that you're going to knock up Dunstan (or your mum for that matter).

    My views on America (the american government) are dictated by Michael Moore - how I love that man.

    Posted 12 hours, 41 minutes after the fact
  21. Tom:

    When I meet someone from a foreign country, I make it a point to ask them stupid questions to which I already know the answers. I've found that their reactions to my feined ignorance is much better than any actual conversation that could take place with them about their native country.

    Posted 14 hours, 3 minutes after the fact
  22. Adrian:

    May those who feel ignorance continue to be blissful? (kinda hokey)

    or, or..

    All who read this blog are great and fun people! (uh... Does that sound a tad reflective?) Yah, you who is on the other side of this monitor! (No sucking up intended... Fine, maybe a teeny bit. Just a bit! =P)

    Posted 14 hours, 49 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Rob Mientjes
  23. [m]:

    Rob Mientjes,

    ever got a question about drugs, Amsterdam or Clogs from those, oprah-following sue-MacDonalds-for-making-me-fat American types?

    I never have, and I do hope never to meet them. Ever.

    There should be an international law against stupid people everywhere.

    Posted 15 hours, 57 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Rob Mientjes
  24. Rob Mientjes:

    I hate stupid people, but well, they are around, you know. So technically, I'll just have to live with it. Then again, I could try and invent some sort of general knowledge tester to access me, so only smart people can talk to me. Won't look too welcoming, though.

    And no, I've never had the question. Luckily. If you ever see someone hide when a Dodge, Cadillac or Chevrolet drives by, you'll know it's me. Just. Don't. Call me. Maybe they actually like to ask dumb question to people like me.

    Posted 16 hours, 13 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ [m]
    Inspired: ↓ [m]
  25. Ryan Parman:

    The hardest part is calling the island "England" and getting yelled at by Brit friends of mine.

    At the same time, I can see Mexicans getting mad at people who say that all of this is "America".

    Posted 16 hours, 31 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Rob Mientjes
    Inspired: ↓ [m]
  26. [m]:

    Maybe you should try looking or smelling like something gross, that would scare off alot of "not so einstein"-grade people.




    Come to think of it, you would probably be scaring off all the people. Not the best of idea's.

    I would go down the funny route, and talk nonsense. Like we actually didn't invent cheese, or that we once were the most powerful nation in the good 'ol V.O.C. days. That would be a hoot!

    Next step in complete Globalisation of Self,try to remember that there are more than one island in the whole of brittain. ;)

    Posted 17 hours, 34 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Rob Mientjes, ↑ Ryan Parman
  27. Cam:

    Sergio - We have crocodiles down here, not aligators! :)

    Posted 21 hours, 29 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sergio
    Inspired: ↓ Cam
  28. Cam:

    ... or alligators, even.

    And we have emus rather than ostriches, too.

    Posted 21 hours, 33 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sergio, ↑ Cam
    Inspired: ↓ Sergio
  29. Sergio:

    Are you sure?? My sources were so wrong... soo wrong...

    What next, will you tell me that platipii aren't the true rulers of Australia??!!

    The mind boggles.

    Posted 21 hours, 36 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Cam
  30. James:

    I was in Australia a few years ago sitting on a bench outside a backpackers hostel with two Irish girls and three Japanese students.

    When I told them I was from Wales the Japanese students looked puzzled, "Wales?"

    At that point one of the Irish girls jumped in:

    Irish girl: "You know where England is?" (draws a circle on the bench)

    Japanese: "Ok"

    Irish girl: "You know where Scotland is?" (draws a circle above the England circle)

    Japanese: "OK"

    Irish girl: "Well, (completely serious) Wales is the bit in the middle"

    I almost fell off the bench I laughed so hard! What hope do Americans have, if people in Ireland don't where their neighbours are?

    (for those that don't know...

    Posted 1 day, 3 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Rob Mientjes
  31. Rob Mientjes:

    Good god! Even I know it, and I'm from Holland. Welsch is a great language, by the way.

    But Irish people not knowing the location of Wales is disturbing. You should get your own island. Feature the news bulletins. _Then_ people will remember your location. Or not, and they think Wales is a province of, say, England.

    Posted 1 day, 5 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ James
  32. Andy:

    Wait just a minute.

    'The girlfriend'?! When were we informed about this?


    Posted 1 day, 6 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  33. Subzero Blue:

    Simply hilarious.
    Man, the people you encounter are weird.
    How do you find them?

    Posted 1 day, 7 hours after the fact
  34. Dru:

    This kind of stuff even happens inside the US. Once while in California I was asked if Kansans still rode horses and fought Indians. I wanted to play along with the guy but my wit was in short supply, as always.

    Posted 1 day, 9 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Ron, ↓ Nicole
  35. Ron:

    I think I can top that.

    When I was living in southern Nevada, I went to the local post office to mail a package to Anchorage, only to have the USPS employee try to charge me international shipping rates.

    I politely informed him that Alaska was a state, thinking he'd say "Oops! Of course." Instead he stared at me for a moment and said "Sir, Alaska IS international." Again, I informed him it was a state. Then he said, "No, it's a territory. That's why it costs more."

    I asked him what the 49th state was. He said Hawaii. I replied, "Okay, what's the 50th state, then?" He said he didn't know, but Alaska was definitely not a state, and did I want to ship this package or not?

    Whoever said there were stupid people everywhere was right on the money. It's not limited to those of us here in California, or the United States, or the western hemisphere. They're everywhere.

    Posted 1 day, 17 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dru
  36. Joe Geldart:

    Well, I can attest that we English are appalling at geography. I can't count the number of times I have to explain to my friends in the North East that Buckinghamshire (where I was born and bred) is, in fact, a real county and that its just north-west of London. Yes, that's right, I live just north of Slough although being in the Chilterns kind of makes up for that.

    The most amusing case of this was when, once, someone from Harrow (which is five miles away from my home town) had to have the relationship of London and my county explained to them patiently. I think this may say something more about the insular nature of Londoners than anything about their intelligence. This man is at the University of Durham after all, but in my time at that illustrious alcoholic place I've learnt that this really doesn't say much :)

    Posted 1 day, 17 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Anna Goss
  37. Gordon:

    Depends i think where you live in the states, as a brit who lives in Kentucky, i find that 90% own and use guns. Maybe i only know the rednecks in the state. But talking to people from all types of backgrounds the feeling i get is apart from their own state they know very little about the rest of the big wide world. Kinda worrying.

    Posted 2 days, 12 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dougal Campbell
  38. Somewhat:

    Joe (#36) is sadly correct. I have a friend from Brighton (south coast of England, for those who don't know) who is convinced that my parents, who live in Derbyshire, are practically Scottish.

    Posted 3 days, 4 hours after the fact
  39. Martin:

    Since the international flavour seems to be cooking, I thought a comment from down here in South Africa would be apt.. Cell C (one of our 3 cellular providers) recently flighted an ad where a large dummy American corporate is informed of a breakthrough Cell C package :

    VP of something to Big Boss : Sir, Cell C from South Africa has just released a competing product cheaper than ours!
    BB (fake American accent) : Where the hell is South Africa?
    VP : Somewhere in Mexico, sir.

    Posted 3 days, 6 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  40. Dunstan:

    I like that advert, Martin :op

    Posted 3 days, 10 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Martin
  41. JH:

    Hang on a mo. I was paying too much attention to the first line of the post.


    Posted 3 days, 18 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan, ↓ Dunstan
  42. Sabrina:

    Well, THAT is going to make it harder for me to set you up with people, now isn't it?

    Gah, some people are so SELFISH when mating. "I know this adorable eligible bachelor living in the cutest place in the countryside" is the only reason I have *any* girlfriends at all.

    Posted 3 days, 18 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  43. Dunstan:

    Yes, 'girlfriend' :o)

    I haven't written much about her, because she's not an on-line kind of gal, but I'm sure she'll make appearences here every now and then :o)

    Her first mention was back in June:

    Posted 3 days, 19 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Andy, ↑ JH
  44. Dunstan:

    Hey Sabrina! Nice to see you back :o)

    Crumbs, I'm sorry, what can I say... I was waiting for you, but you seem to have gone and got engaged, and... wait a minute! You're engaged to John Handelaar? What the hell? So that's who that Big Giddy character was? Amazing... Did everyone else know that?

    Well, well... how lovely :o)

    Anyway, as I say, I was waiting for you, but since John wooed you with backstage passes for Glastonbury (Damn Michael Eavis and his musical friends!), I've had to look further afield. That's how things go...

    Anyway, well done both of you xxx

    *goes off to listen to your audio post*

    Posted 3 days, 19 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ JH, ↑ Sabrina
  45. Kevin Francis:

    Dunstan, I quite look forward to these stories of yours -- they're ever so entertaining, and you _do_ tend to pick up a lot of gay attention along the way. Also, half the time the people you converse with appear to be drugged ...

    Posted 3 days, 22 hours after the fact
  46. Nicole:

    Agreed, Dru. Being originally from a middle state of the US (South Dakota), I've been asked if we have running water, if we ride horses to school, etc. Today, on a flight from LA to Seattle, I told my seat neighbor I lived in Helena (Montana, US), and he stared at me blankly (it's the friggin' capital of the state -- Americans should know this stuff!). He said he almost asked if it was a foreign country. *sigh*

    And, yes, Dunstan, I do believe you should screen BBQ invites more strictly. However, the odds are most likely against you. A crazy one is always going to manage to slip into the bunch.

    Posted 4 days, 20 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dru
  47. Lou:

    people love to think that all Australians ride kangaroos to school and work.
    and that we speak like South Africans/Cockneys.

    but i remember listening to an Irish comedian who worked in an American airport. he was constantly being asked by Americans if he was English (not the best thing to ask an Irishman...?), so one day he just said "No, no. I'm Irish. But that's okay, you Mexicans all sound the same to me too".

    Posted 5 days after the fact
  48. Ms. Jen:

    If you live in a place with pesky summer rain, please tell it:

    "Rain, rain,
    Go away,
    Don't come again another day.
    Rain, rain,
    Go away,
    Go drench the dry hills of SoCal."

    Those of us who reside in Southern California do need your excess, please tell all rain clouds to come on holiday to Disneyland. We promise to leave the guns and bad BBQ guests at home...

    smiles, jen ;o)

    Posted 5 days, 1 hour after the fact
  49. Mattymcg:

    Hmm, thought I posted this but must have only previewed.

    Dunstan why is it that when you write about something like this, your comments are filled with laughs and similar anecdotes, but when I try something similar I just get crazy right wing nutters abusing me??

    Posted 5 days, 16 hours after the fact
  50. John Doe:

    is this where the stupid people meet???


    Posted 5 days, 17 hours after the fact
  51. Michael:

    Just too funny. Look, most of those guys were born in families that came from Europe. ;-)

    Posted 6 days, 14 hours after the fact
  52. Anna Goss:


    Londoner here, and people from Harrow tend to be categorised round here for their stupidity - 'Harrow girls' and 'Harrow boys' stereotypically wear lots of 'bling' and talk some kind of language that I *think* is derived from English ;) We're not all so absorbed in London to not know where places are! - though I did once ask a friend in Bedford which county Bedford was in, only to get the answer "Er, Bedfordshire." "Ah. Yes. I remember."

    Posted 1 week after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Joe Geldart
  53. Robert Lofthouse:

    I spend most of my time in London, due to moving down there and getting married soon :P I never do get why people get a bus or the tube, just to go half a mile down the road. I'm a country boy, thus i'm used to walking 10 miles for the fun of it - taking in scenery etc.

    I think I know my way around it now, pretty much :P

    I used to be good at geography when i was in school. However, after years of neglect i'm quite crap at locating anything.

    Posted 1 week, 1 day after the fact
  54. Wookie:

    You can have a lot of fun at parties observing American's reactions to simple questions like 'Hi, do you mind if I bum a fag?'


    I used to frequently criticise Americans for not knowing the counties that make up Europe, until I realised there's no way I could name all the states that make up America. So I shut up about that one and just bang on about republicans, the scary level of credence given to religion, and foreign policy instead, it's not as though I need any more ammo! ;o)

    btw, 'can I bum a fag' = 'can I take a cigarette from you'

    ...the other thing that irritates is consistently being prompted to spell a correctly spelt word in some perverted american version... like the (rather nifty) spell checker on this 'ere preview page which flagged 'criticise' and 'realised' - grrrr ;o) ...why Tim Berners Lee chose to spell colour wrong when he put HTML together I don't know, I've just about grown used to it, but damn it's irritating!

    Posted 3 weeks after the fact
  55. Krzysztof:

    Funny and scary thing: Fool's World Map -

    Posted 1 month after the fact

Jump up to the start of the post

Add your comment

I'm sorry, but comments can no longer be posted to this blog.