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10:00

How Hitler could solve our housing crisis | David Mitchell

Thanks to the unhappy residents of Bell End, I’ve come up with a foolproof way to stop house prices soaring

The residents of Bell End, like many of us, hope 2018 will bring a fresh start. To be clear, I mean the residents of Bell End, the street in Rowley Regis, not Bell End, the village in Worcestershire. The latter Bell Enders probably hope it’ll be a fresh start too, but not in the same way as the Rowley Regis ones.

The English grammatical convention that names of places seldom take a definite or indefinite article is what prevents me from humorously clarifying that I also don’t mean the residents of a bell end – the microbes presaging a venereal disease, perhaps. But, let’s face facts: there’s no way that’s what anyone would really think the phrase “the residents of Bell End” could possibly mean. That double entendre simply will not hold together. Not even in a desperate last-minute script gagging-up session for a Carry On film would they get away with that.

For most people, the housing ladder is dangling above their heads from an oligarch's money-laundering zeppelin

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