The midwife's view

No 4087
Set by Hank T Romein

While Norwegians are said to be born on skis and aristocrats with silver spoons in their mouths, this can only lead us to wonder what birth abnormalities might identify a baby as American, Australian, a future MP or police chief, or member of another
category of your choice. This competition was set by Hank T Romein before his recent sad death

Report by Ms de Meaner
I have been pleasantly surprised by this week's entries, as I wasn't sure what to expect. But they were great. Well done! £20 to the biggies, £15 to the threes and twos, and as for the singletons, they can make do with £5 book tokens. The Tesco vouchers go in addition to Mr Fry, naturally.

Terror suspects aren't so much born as extraordinarily rendered.
Drug runners are born with inside pockets.
Government watchdogs are born with false teeth.
Cannibals are born sucking somebody else's thumb.
Call-centre operatives are born only after you've screamed through 20 minutes of the same four tinny bars of Vivaldi interspersed with tritely placatory recorded apologies.
Quantum physicists are born in several places (and times) at once.
Celebrity chefs are born chomping the placenta and declaring it the new superfood.
Adrian Fry

NS comp entrants are born with an entire brain full of stereotypes.
Scousers are born with a set of silver spoons in their mouths, nicked from the consultant obstetricians' staff restaurant.
British sportsmen are born with the hopes of the nation on their shoulders and would have been born sooner, but for the temperature in the labour ward, the speed of the midwife, the mixture of gas and air, the distance to the nurses' station, the quality of the NCT classes, the time of year, the . . .Manchester United fans are born in Surrey.
David Silverman

Male actuaries are born with a 94.6 per cent chance of surviving infancy.
Conspiracy theorists are born . . . at least that's what the Establishment wants you to believe.
Hippies are born, like, letting it all hang out, man.
Civil engineers are born with tunnel vision.
Basil Ransome-Davies
Bus drivers wait to be born until three midwives come along at once.
Head waiters are born looking the other way.
Lawyers are born wearing briefs.
M E Ault

Evangelicals are born needing to be born again.
Nudists are born as they mean to go on.
G M Davis

Swedish babies are born in sections (for self-assembly).
Siân Cleaver

MPs are born with their spouses standing by them.
John Griffiths-Colby

Surgeons are born with their umbilical cord already cut.
Michael Cregan

Old Etonians are born with fags in their mouths.
Steve Morley

No 4090 The facts of the matter
Set by Leonora Casement
An oldie from the Seventies, but because the amount of information that's out there has grown astronomically since then, we felt we could set it again. We want an extract from a thriller, romance or children's story that contains at least three items of boring information which fit neatly
into the plot and don't destroythe flow.
Max 125 words by 20 August

* * *

This England

Each printed entry will receive
a £5 book token. Entries on a POSTCARD, please, to This England, NS, address on page 3

Come and relax over tea
A promotional video invites partygoers to a "temple of lust" in the British countryside and claims it is the first time that Little Sins has come to Britain. The footage, taken from a previous party in a German castle, shows naked and masked couples cavorting to the sounds of thumping club music. Mr Bond, the hotel's owner, said: "The chap who organised it told me that in Holland they are all
used to these things, but as this doesn't happen much in Britain he said the guests really went for it. He certainly wasn't wrong."
He insisted, however, that he had no inkling that an orgy had been planned. "We were terribly naive," he said. "The organisers were very polite and well-spoken. Perhaps the alarm bells should have rung when they asked for a chill-out room filled with beds and silk sheets, but we thought they were going for a Moroccan feel and might want mint tea or something."
Independent (Linda Calvey)

Happy Halloween
Police chiefs who indulge in witchcraft have been given the right to take Halloween and the summer solstice off as religious holidays.
Metro (Imogen Forster)

This article first appeared in the 10 August 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Red Reads