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Right answer. Wrong answer.

9 November 2000
James lies back and thinks of inklings.

You are in a pub. There are three questions, with accompanying answers, below. Please, which are Right, and which are Wrong? Answers please on the back of a self-addressed postcard (stamp required), or send an email.

If you had to have sex with all of the Corrs (including the bloke), in which order would you do them?

I apologise in advance for the clear egocentrism inherent in the question. As a practising heterosexual member of the "grosser and browner sex", I have selected an example that has the most meaning to me. If you wish to suggest a better and less exclusive example, please feel free to do so (see postcard and email instruction above).

The answer to this depends on a few things, but basically, you stick the bloke in the middle (i.e. either second or third). It's like having a roast dinner. You don't have either the best bit or the worst bit right at the beginning or right at the end. You leave the extremes to the middle, where they can be either countered by, or enjoyed directly relative to, each other or the remaining plateful of potatoes (and others such examples of mediocrity).

Or then again, if you're like me, you never have one forkful of just one thing. Which I guess means taking one of the Corrs from behind while having the bloke Corr rub oil onto my nipples, or something. And a nice use of the phrase "meat and two veg".

Wouldn't it be great if all your possessions were attached to very long pieces of string, so that if you forgot to take one somewhere (i.e. keys, wallet, mobile phone), you could just pull on the piece of string, and you would have it?

And this would be even better if you are constantly losing things. It would just be a matter of remembering which piece of string it was attached to. This may become difficult, given that most people have quite a few possessions, and it would be a pain if, thinking you were retrieving your keys to unlock your bike, you actually drag your stereo out to the garage through lots of puddles.

In order to avoid this, you would need to label or colour-code each string depending on what type of item it is (although with the latter option, you would still need a chart showing which colour means what. And then what happens if you accidentally leave your chart on the sofa - it would have to be attached to a piece of string, presumably coloured luminous yellow or something. But that might clash with your socks or something. So, labels it is then).

And it probably wouldn't work if one of your possessions was an anchor. It would get stuck, and the string might break.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Queen and I think she's great. But is there a way that we can retain the monarchy, but ensure that it uses resources both more efficiently and effectively?

Clearly, the Queen provides an essential public service, and is equally obviously a natural regional monopoly. So, why don't we set up regulation for the Queen along the lines of all the other utilities (i.e. water, electricity, gas, etc.) in the UK. Two issues must be considered: efficiency incentives, and the removal of barriers to entry.

Efficiency is where the maximum output is created from the minimum input. What is the output of the monarchy? It is the pomp and ceremony, the visibility of the individuals, the grandeur of the buildings and institutions. First, a level of performance must be set, based in part on historic demand for the Royal product, and in part by a comparison of the costs faced by celebrities from more competitive markets (i.e. Britney, Westlife, Wogan, Beckham etc). In this way, a benchmark for service performance can be set. How are incentives retained, I hear you cry. I'm just getting to that.

It is difficult to conceive of how you can, without contradiction, remove barriers to becoming the monarch. First, the law prohibiting the monarch to be married to a Catholic must be repealed. This has already happened in Scotland. But this does not go far enough. There must be more competition between siblings to attain the throne. This is what I propose (and please bear with me):

First, convert Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle into two huge Big Brother sets, every area under constant surveillance. Then ensure that any crime perpetrated inside either of the areas can not be prosecuted through the normal courts system. All of the members of the Royal Household must then live for the majority of their lives (until becoming the monarch or quitting the House, but with breaks outside for minor Royal functions, and opportunities to find wives/husbands etc) inside the two sets. Then we allow them to plot, conspire against, even murder those higher up the succession list in order to attain the throne. That ensures there is strong competition for the throne, while retaining the tradition of right of passage of the eldest male child.

Not only does the Big Brother scenario encourage competition among the family members, but this is how the Queen's efficiency incentives are retained. Clearly, the situation and behaviour of her family in the Big Brother sets determines the success of and public opinion towards the monarchy. Therefore, the Royal Regulator (or OFQUEEN), can alter the situation in the Royal Household according to how the Queen's performance compares with the targets she was set.

Trust me. I'm an economist.

And remember, answers please. Which are Right, which are Wrong (with reasons). The next round's yours, mate.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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