The Befouled Weakly News

1 February 2009

And so, here we are – Superbowl Sunday and Ms Playchute and I have decided, in the end, to go with the Arizona Cardinals. Let’s face it, Penelope is on a roll and a number of the “pundits” I’ve been hearing or reading have increasingly talked up their chances so we’ll see. Don’t know whether I’ll have the stamina to stay up all night watching it and I have to confess I do find the advertisements every thirty seconds somewhat tedious but I don’t have to be anywhere tomorrow until after lunch so it might happen – we’ll see.

You will be delighted to know that the weather has been variable and changeable this week – cold, frosty mornings, rain, freezing and non-freezing fog – and now the weather people say that winter will be back either later today or tomorrow. The usual foreboding predictions of huge snowfalls and sub-arctic temperatures – hmm, perhaps I won’t be able to get anywhere tomorrow anyway?

Yesterday Ms Playchute and I did our civic duty and made our regular donation of an arm-full of blood to the NHS. We both had a “novice” blood taker who was obliged to inform us that she had not yet completed her training and, if we were uncomfortable, we could request a “more experienced” blood taker to pierce our arms. She did say that she had already completed more than 300 donations but that she had not yet been “observed” by an examiner who could certify her competence. We both told her to “go for it” and she did a fine job although to judge by the significantly-sized bruise on my arm she could improve her technique somewhat.

Regrettably, I won’t be able to participate in the next blood letting session in May as I shall be going under the knife again to hopefully resolve the ongoing difficulties with my neck. I think I wrote that the previous operation had not really alleviated the pain and discomfort so I was back in for another MRI and some x-rays. There is still some compression on the spinal cord so they think this time they will need to go in through the back and try to address the issue from that direction – let’s hope the weather is fine again for all that sitting out in the back garden.

I noticed the following article on the BBC web site this past week which I am sure the Rinderkinders will wish to take note of.

Naked ramblers face Swiss fines Naked ramblers
A local Swiss government plans to take action against a sudden and apparently unwelcome phenomenon - naked hikers.

Authorities in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden plan to introduce fines for anyone found walking in the picturesque mountain region without any clothes.

They decided to act before this year's hiking season began, after noticing a sudden influx of nudists last year - many of them from Germany.

"FKK", or "free body culture", is a popular pastime in Germany. But Appenzell Innerrhoden is not keen to encourage its spread.

"We were forced to introduce the legislation against this indecent practice before the warm weather starts," said Melchior Looser, justice minister in the canton in north-eastern Switzerland.

"The point is many children visit our mountains in the summer," he told he Guardian newspaper.

A naked hiker was detained last autumn, but could not be fined as naked rambling was not outlawed, he said - hence the need for a new law.

All of which reminded me of the case of Stephen Gough or the so-called British “Naked Rambler.” I vaguely remembered this story about a man who attempted to walk from Land’s End to John O’ Groats wearing nothing but his boots, socks and rucksack. I seem to remember that he was arrested several times along the way but I couldn’t remember whether he actually ever managed to finish the journey so I did a bit of research and found the following:

Stephen GoughStephen Gough, also known as Steve Gough and the Naked Rambler, is a former Royal Marine turned activist from Eastleigh, Hampshire, famous for walking the length of Great Britain from Land's End to John o' Groats in 2003–2004 with nothing on except boots, socks, rucksack and sometimes a hat. He has been arrested several times and put in prison in the course of his ramble.

His second Land's End to John o' Groats ramble was in 2005–2006, accompanied by his girlfriend Melanie Roberts. He was arrested twice in England but almost immediately released. The legal system and many laws are different in Scotland and after crossing the border there were further arrests — the current total being over 20, the most recent of which for being in contempt of court as he appeared naked before a judge. He served a three month sentence in HMP Edinburgh. The walk was resumed on Sunday 12 February 2006, and completed shortly after on Monday 20 February the same year.

His website claims that ordering him to wear clothes for his court appearance "breached Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights - Right to a Fair Trial. He claimed that Articles 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 have been repeatedly breached by the authorities since he and Melanie arrived in Scotland.

Gough was arrested again on Thursday 19 May 2006 at Edinburgh airport after removing his clothes during a flight from Southampton to Edinburgh and refusing to get dressed. On 25 August 2006 he was given a seven month jail sentence.

On 9 April 2007 Gough was cleared of charges related to his refusing to dress upon being released into Saughton Prison car park in Edinburgh. The ruling judge, Isobel Poole, found that there was no evidence of "actual alarm or disturbance", adding "I can understand this conduct could be considered unpleasant to passers-by had there been any but there is a lack of evidence to that effect." Gough lost his appeal against contempt of court convictions for refusing to wear clothes during his trial.

On 18 December 2008 he was convicted of a breach of the peace and jailed for 12 months.

So, I guess he is in jail as we speak! Let that be a lesson to all the Rinderkinders when they next visit Switzerland – no naked rambling (or, at least not in the Appenzell Innerrhoden canton)!

I was also going to include the letter of complaint to Richard Branson which has been doing the rounds on the Internet just recently but, with the naked rambling, I already had too much for you to wade through. Still, the letter is very good and, if you’ve not seen it, you can catch it here.

Love to you all,


Penny forwarded this on to me - I think we've had it before but that's never stopped us in the past!

The sharing of marriage....

The old man placed an order for one hamburger, French fries and a drink. He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them . As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering.

Obviously they were thinking, 'That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.'

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said, they were just fine - they were used to sharing everything.

People closer to the table noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again, the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the o ld woman said 'No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.'

Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked 'What is it you are waiting for?'

She answered….


An airline captain was helping a new blonde flight attendant prepare for her first overnight trip. Upon their arrival, the captain showed the flight attendant the best place for airline personnel to eat, shop, and stay overnight.

The next morning as the pilot was preparing the crew for the day's route, he noticed the new stewardess was missing. He knew which room she was in at the hotel and called her up to ask what happened to her.

She answered the phone, crying, and said, "I can't get out of the room!"

"You can't get out of your room?"; the captain asked. "Why not?"

She replied, "There are only three doors in here," she sobbed, "one is the bathroom, one is the closet, and one has a sign on it that says 'Do Not Disturb'!"

And this is NOT a joke – from the Lancashire Evening Post (amongst others):

"We are deeply sorry," said Joe Rafferty, chief executive of Britain's National Health Service for the Central  Lancashire region. "This should never have happened."

An NHS employee  lost a computer memory stick containing the health information of as  many as 6,360 patients. But the good news is, the clerk who lost the  memory stick made sure the data on the removable device had been  encrypted for privacy.

On the other hand, when he lost the device,  there was a sticky note attached to it with the encryption password  written on it.

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