18 AUGUST 1990, Page 52


Dirty dozen

J aspistos 0,111AS R EGA


LI SCOTCH WHISKS' LI In Competition No. 1638 you were in- vited to incorporate, in any order, the following words into a piece of prose: scram, anagram, Vietnam, pram, sham, lamb, flimflam, jam, milligramme, exam, diaphragm, am.

Arthur P. Cox fairly shot out of the trap, covering seven of the words in less than thirty:

'Am Flimflam — that's a curious name for a child,' I said, looking into the pram.

'It's no sham. My lamb was born in Vietnam,' replied her foster-mother, wiping a small daub of jam from the infant's cheek

Another good, quick starter was Frank Price:

I am not the first woman to be duped by the sham claims of cynical drug companies, but having passed my pharmacy exam, I should have known better than to believe the flimflam about their so-called oral con- traceptive Negsign (an anagram of 'ginseng') Honourable mentions go to Rosina Wil- liamson and David Oliver. The winners, printed below, get a hard-earned £15 each, and the bonus bottle of Chivas Regal 12-year-old de luxe blended whisky is carried off by Chris Tingley.

am,' said Mary, 'getting sick of this lamb following me everywhere.' Her diaphragm tight- ened as she saw her friend's unsympathetic face.

'Count your blessings!' snarled Bo-Peep. 'I lost my lot again today. Walked halfway to Vietnam looking for them, then found them back at the fold.'

'Why are we shepherdesses?' Mary sighed. 'If

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we had a milligramme of sense, we'd sell things like Jack Horner. Look at him — hardly out of his pram, never passed an exam in his life, couldn't tell an anagram from a kissogram, and coining money with his home-made plum jam.' 'Sickening little creep!' said Bo-Peep spiteful- ly. 'Strutting around with this flimflam about what a good boy he is. It's all a sham.'

'Let him strut,' said Mary, 'as long as it's not behind me. Will you scram!' she yelled hyster- ically, as her woolly companion buried its moist nose in the back of her leg.

(Chris Tingley

Riffling through the neglected drawer, Serena disturbed a whole decade's detritus: an A-level exam paper in Chemistry; a handbill for that notorious anti-Vietnam War demo in Grosvenor Square with `LBJ — Scram!' in bold black caps at the bottom; a dog-eared copy of The Dharma Bums that Jules had given her at that wonderful jam session at Ronnie Scott's; a diaphragm such as she'd started wearing shortly thereafter, and whose use had obviously ended by the time of the receipted bill for Tarquin's pram (what a lamb he'd been as a tot and what a monster in his teens!): some Ativan tablets — the yellow, 21/2-milligramme ones . . .

Had it been one big sham, the Sixties — one long frenetic flimflam? The Age not so much of Aquarius as of the Ego, the shrill solipsistic `I am' of the turned-on? All that appalling instant wisdom! '0 guru!' wasn't quite an anagram of 'rogue' — but it should have been.

(Jonathan Fernside)

The worst of doing business in Warsaw is that every word looks like an anagram. I have to rise at six am just to practise my destination for the taxi, and if I can find one it's like doing a bloody exam telling it where to go. (Yesterday I rasped out an attempt till my diaphragm hurt, gave up, muttered 'Scram' and gesticulated wildly till we got there. '1 would have arrived sooner if I'd hailed a young mother and taken a ride in a pram.) The food's terrible — no, worse, it's a sham: dinner last night was a milligramme of thin gruel which they told me was lamb. Great luxury this morning, though — a whole teaspoon of jam with what passes for bread. Head office says this will be an important market, but I feel that's all flimflam. Next time I'm going to request somewhere easy, like, say, Vietnam.

(Ted Marr)

'Heavens! You back already? How did it go — the exam?"Awful! D'you want to — "Don't sit there!' Why not?' Your elbow'll catch the pram and upset the baby.' Tell the baby to scram, then, if she doesn't like it. God — am I starving! Feel my diaphragm — here — totally empty. What's to eat? Beef? Lamb?' No — bread and jam — oh, and a milligramme of butter.' Just bread and jam? You're kidding."Look, I told you — I've decided to make today a charity lunch' Oh — who for this time?"Vietnam, Cambodia and Wakefield."Wakefield? Why Wakefield?' Because there are a lot of people hungry up there . . . And stop crumpling that paper, I'm trying to do the prize anagram.' 'There are a lot of hungry people down here in Basingstoke too.' So?"So that shows your charity's just a sham. Sheer flimflam. You wouldn't do it if nobody knew about it, would you?'

(Tony Joseph)

Hardest exam for years, I bet. Get through this and they call you 'Doctor'. One last question and then I can scram.

Question 14: 'What is a Hagma drip? Explain its principal uses.'

Well, I'll tell you one thing. Ignorant of Hagma is what I am. Decidedly. And his lousy drip. Could be anything. An intravenous feed developed for use in Vietnam? How about an apparatus for distilling slivovitz from plum jam? More likely a dispenser in the students' cafeteria for measuring custard portions to the nearest milligramme. Concentrate. Get plausible. I'd settle for a Victorian baby-pacifier — a breast surrogate easily attached to cot or pram. Now obsolete. Could it possibly be a sham question to lure the innocent lamb into writing pages of flimflam? Crafty sods. That's it!

'"A Hagma drip" is an anagram of "a diaphragm." This is its only known use. The diaphragm, however . .

(W. R. Elgie)