Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I shouldn't laugh.

Many years ago, after a prolonged period of happy unemployment, the government prodded me with a financially pointed stick and made me a filing clerk with the NHS for a while. I spent my days microfilming the medical records of everyone in Hull who hadn't been to hospital for ten years and shoving the microfiche of people's freshly miniaturised medical records around in very small draws. It was a very dull job only occasionally livened up by the discovery of a real cracker of an odd name among the files: 'Robert Gentleman Sword Small' and 'Tina Salmon' being the only ones I remember after all these years.

Tina Salmon, I don't know who you are, or anything about you and I hope you have had a long, fruitful, and happy life but if you ever read this then I'd just like you to know your name has, from time to time over the last twenty plus years, kept me mildly amused.

But you have been replaced in my affections...

A few weeks ago I was starting to read an article on symmetry in the New Scientist when I discovered that King Harold of Norway had just presented a prize to a noted French mathematician who gloried in the name of - Jacques Tits.

I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't. It's puerile and stupid but the thought that there is someone in the world called 'Jacques Tits' cheers me up no end.

Try this for size: Stand confidently before a full length mirror, imagine yourself dressed in black tie and tux, look suavely into the mirror with come-to-bed eyes, smooth an eyebrow with a dampened finger tip and then, in your best Charles Boyer voice, murmur: "Je m'appel Tits - Jacques Tits."

I know I shouldn't laugh but I do - every time.

1 comment:

gil said...

Chuckle

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