Competition - Win a bottle of champagne

No 3613 Set by Leonora Casement

You were asked for modern proverbs.

Report by Ms de Meaner

As usual with this kind of comp, I had to decide what to do with the same proverbs that were sent more than once. In fact, it was far easier than usual, with a double dose of only two winning proverbs. Gino Drew sent something similar to Watson Weeks's entry (about Delia Smith), although not expressed quite so amusingly; and the Hughes family sent in a second version of "A stitch in time . . . ", although their punchline was " . . . saves nine months on an NHS waiting-list"), again not, I felt, quite so good as Michael Cregan's. A £5 book token for all winners, except Watson Weeks and Katie Mallett, who can each have £10. The bottle goes to Mallett.

A good name is a challenge to the tabloids.

Spare the rod and avoid prosecution for assaulting your children.

To err is human; to forgive does not come within the parameters of best management practice.

It's an unusual lane that has no dog turds in it.

You can't make an omelette without first consulting Delia Smith.

Watson Weeks

The Dome was not built in a day.

Many are called to be mayor, but few are chosen.

Red Ken in sight, Tony takes fright.

It's a wise hacker that knows his victim's password.

Publish and be remaindered.

Katie Mallett

A problem solved means enemies for life.

Robin Oakley-Hill

A fool and his money are soon partnered.

Spare the whip and spoil the backbencher.

J R Till

If at first you don't succeed, change the voting system.

Many hands make a good argument for genetic mutation.

Ian Birchall

He who hesitates is lambasted by the driver behind.

Let sleeping teenagers lie.

The other man's cappuccino is always more frothy.

Brian, Dill, Jenni and Kate Hughes

One good turn leads to a demand for another.

Margaret Rogers

A good mayor has no past.

A friend in need is an acquaintance.

Nick Butler

If at first you don't succeed, reboot.

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for an ordinary person to assemble an Ikea wardrobe.

Julian Baggini

The grass is always greener when you break a hosepipe ban.

Adrian Fry

Better to phone a friend than ask the audience.

It is never too late for a Tremaloes revival.

Will Bellenger

A virtuous woman should get out more.

He that is slow to anger should try listening to Jack Straw.

Steve Walters

Every woman without a bra may not have green fingers.

Not everyone who talks to themselves is on a mobile phone.

M E Ault

A bird in the hand is probably sexual harassment.

Norma Haemmerle

A stitch in time saves a three-year wait on the NHS.

Michael Cregan

Strike while the irony is hot.

David Silverman

Virtue is its own reward, so long as everyone else knows about it.

Never put in brown envelopes what is best kept hidden.

Tony Joseph

It's a long road that has no McDonald's.

John O'Byrne

Pesto covers a multitude of sins.

You're never alone with a remote.

Vincent McLoughlin

Beggars can't be tolerated.

Gino Drew

A phone is only as mobile as its user.

Eric Swainson

When the mat's away, the mouse has problems.

D A Prince

He who would spin must not lose the thread.

Sid Field

When the shopping-bag falls, it is the Perrier which survives and the Kalamata extra virgin olive oil which smashes.

When the husband shops, the tomatoes are soft.

Anne Du Croz

More waste, less need.

Andrew Gibbons

No 3616 Set by Ms de Meaner

"I've met serial killers and professional assassins and nobody scared me as much as Mrs T," opined Ken Livingstone. Could we have rewrites of a famous thriller of your choice in which this frightening figure makes an appearance. Two-hundred words maximum and in by 17 February.


This article first appeared in the 07 February 2000 issue of the New Statesman, The Prime Minister loses control