I'm fully convinced that Birmingham City Council do, in fact, employ idiots. Ok, that's a little controversial. Not all of the Council employees are having difficulty with backside-and-elbow comparisons, I accept. My eldest brother and his wife-to-be work for the Council, for instance, and they're both very intelligent.
But the people who work in the Environmental Services department, particularly those responsible for recycling, should really never be allowed to organise parties, even in licensed alcohol production facilities.
I'm not exactly green; to be honest I struggle with the whole Earth Mother thing. But I accept that recycling should probably be filed under 'Really Good Idea'. So I was pleased when a blue sack appeared on my doorstep, marked 'Recycling Bag', a gift from the afore-mentioned geniuses at my local authority.
Note that description. 'Recycling Bag'. Nothing to say what I can actually recycle in it. Paper? Plastic? Tins? Glass? Left over pie crusts, maybe?
Or all of the above in one go, perhaps? (I say this because that's exactly what we were able to do in a rural backwater in France earlier this year). But no-one had thought to tell me what to do. How many residents just won't bother?
But have no fear, because yesterday they sent us some leaflets. Nice, glossy, four-colour print leaflets telling us, well, pretty much nothing at all.
Oh yes. Leaflets. Plural. Four of them, in fact. Three of which were exactly the same. Brilliant. Quite brilliant. There are several hundred thousand households in the central Birmingham area alone. The wastage in materials alone would give Al Gore nightmares.
Not only do these people not have a clue, they couldn't even get a clue. Not even if they dressed up as a female clue and stood in the centre of a clue field, in the midst of the clue mating season, drenched in clue pheromones.
Somewhere a polar bear is crying. Or something.
In completely unrelated news, the house smells of cake at the moment. I have a well-developed sense of smell where food is concerned, funnily enough. I'm a bit like a shark detecting prey in the sea, although I suspect your average Great White doesn't go hunting Ginsters Pasties. But this time it's because Katie has become a one-woman production line, making the wedding cake for Mike and Emma. It's quite a project, with chocolate, lemon sponge and fruit cake layers.
The trouble is, great cook that she is, Katie uses most of the implements at her disposal even for straightforward stuff. Unfortunately, it's me that has to deal with the aftermath in the kitchen. I swear it's like the Somme in there - I'm tempted to brick up the doorway and build a new kitchen elsewhere.
It's putting me off cake better than any aversion therapy, I can tell you.