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31 May 2023

This England: Pet hates

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

A barking 67 per cent of pet owners admit they dumped a partner or passed on a second date because their dog or cat didn’t like them.

A Pets at Home poll found 48 per cent also believe their pets are a good judge of character.
Mail on Sunday
(Ron Grant)

Spice gulls

Seagulls have developed an appetite for more than unguarded chips. The seaside pests are said to be swiping “spice” from spaced-out drug users.

Birds are swooping to grab the synthetic cannabinoid in south-coast seaside resorts and cities including London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Spice in humans can cause paranoia and mood swings or acute sedation that turns users into “zombies”.

Former drug user Azad, of Leeds, said: “A seagull and spice is not a good combo. It turns them into psycho gulls.”
(Jenny Woodhouse)

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Misreading the signs

An IT worker sued for sexual harassment after her “rich and powerful” male boss marked parts of an email where he wanted more information with “XX” – which she thought were kisses.

Karina Gasparova, a project manager, also claimed Aleksander Goulandris’s use of question marks was code for asking when she would “be ready to engage in sexual acts”, and she thought a file renamed with his initials, AJG, stood for “A Jumbo Genital”.

Ms Gasparova took her employer to the tribunal, but a judge threw out her case, ruling she had a “skewed perception of everyday events” and regularly misinterpreted “innocuous” interactions.
The Telegraph
(Richard Fearn)

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[See also: Why we need to talk about dogs]

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This article appears in the 31 May 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The Rise of Greedflation