Object of the exercise No 4046

We asked for the facts of life as explained by a historical person of your choice, real or fictional

Set by Leonora Casement

Hmm. I'm not sure whether Alan Titchmarsh would appreciate being thought of as "historical", given that he's only 59. But maybe Cliff counts, as he'll be 68 on 14 October. I had sort of thought your sex tutors would be dead, at the very least! But who am I to quibble? So, well done, Basil Ransome-Davies, for Frankie Howerd's "Titter ye not, madam" (died 1992), and Katie Mallett for Winston Churchill's "The woman, otherwise known as the territory, must be invaded . . . before the mood changes" (died 1965). £20 to each of the three winners, the best of whom (David Silverman) also gets the Tesco vouchers.

Karl Marx

Sex is the opiate of the masses. Birds and bees provide us with the classical socioeconomic dialectic metaphor. Fact: worker bees spend their entire lives fertilising flowers to service the honey-manufacturing industry, or gathering round the queen, fanning her with their wings to keep her the right temperature. This is nothing short of slavery. So it is with humans. Fact: sex was invented to maintain a supply of factory fodder and keep the masses amused until television and then Big Brother were invented, to distract them from the class struggle. For who debates dialectical materialism and the fate of the lumpenproletariat while making love? (Don't answer that, Mrs Flett.) Workers of the world, abstain. You have nothing to lose but your hives.

David Silverman

Harry Roger Webb

Move It. We Should Be Together. Please Don't Tease. Lucky Lips (Are Made for Kissing). I Love You. Somethin' Is Goin' On. Where Do We Go from Here? We Don't Talk Any More. It's All in the Game. I Got a Feeling. Wind Me Up. Don't Forget to Catch Me. Give a Little Bit More. Stronger Than That. Help It Along. Constantly. Time Drags By. I Ain't Got Time Any More. Can't Keep This Feeling In. A Matter of Moments. It's All Over. Suddenly. Daddy's Home. The Miracle. Congratulations. Yes, He Lives! Got myself a crying, talking, sleeping, walking living doll.

Bill Greenwell

Alan Titchmarsh

Right, let's get down to basics. The essential thing is to get a good bed. A good bed means a good crop. It should be a decent size and a decent depth. Dig lots of well-rotted manure in to produce a fertile growing medium. Insert the stock in late September. Try "Golden Drop" - he's a good goer and a good cropper. After a dormant winter, spring shows things are developing. Nine months on, things should be ready, fully swollen and ripe. Then, after twilight on a mid-June evening, shake the bushes vigorously. You'll get at least one good baby. You may be lucky and get two, possibly three. Your wife will be very happy. Yes, the gooseberry bush always works for me!

Sid Field

No 4049 Credit crunch bites

Set by Hank T Romein

A sharp downturn is reported in the sums paid out by the Tooth Fairy. Economic conditions must even raise doubts as to the future viability of the operation. Brown, Blair, Cameron and other political figures have young children. How will they explain this cutback?

Max 120 words by 16 October

Email: comp@newstatesman.co.uk

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This article first appeared in the 06 October 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Perils of power