On the basis that there's nothing quite as life-affirming as complete strangers getting things seriously wrong, a quick story from some colleagues of mine.
They'd gone to a local awards ceremony at lunchtime as we were supporting some good causes. By all accounts, everything went very well and there was the succession of suitably inspiring stories about individuals and organisations that had done their bit to improve the life of others.
One recipient had spent a year in Africa, helping set up schools in remote villages. On stage, the Master of Ceremonies addressed him as follows: "Well, you don't look like you've spent a year in Ethiopia."
Ears were already pricking up around the room, by all accounts.
"What do you mean?" asked the award winning educator.
"Well," replied the MC, blissfully unaware of the potential yawning chasm, "you don't look thin enough."
There was a silence. I suspect had tumbleweed been appropriate for an awards ceremony, some would have chosen that moment to blow by. The MC picked up on this but, perhaps missing the point somewhat, only opened his mouth once more to change feet.
"No, sorry, I didn't mean to say you were fat or anything, good heavens! I just thought, what with the drought and everything...."
As if spending a year in a country that has tragically become the watchword for famine would somehow be a fair alternative to the Atkins diet.
At this point a metallic tapping was probably apparent. The noise of a spade hitting bedrock. OK, a virtual spade and imaginary bedrock, but you get the point. I'd have loved to have seen it first hand.