Nominative determinism


"I used to do medical Urinary research — there were a couple of researchers who published together in the same field called Jean Smellie and Anne Leaky."

2. "I remember Mr Gotobed in Little Snoring in Norfolk when I was a child. Have a feeling that the fishmonger in Holt was C Breeze."

3. "All real ... Mr Lens, the photographer, Mr Payne, the dentist, Mr Hopping, the rabbit breeder, Canon Ball, an Anglican clergyman, Mary Death, who worked in a NZ hospice and Father Christmas, a Catholic priest."


4. "When I was young the health department man in Whanganui was Mr Bugg."

5. " I was a witness in a violent crime case and the policeman who interviewed me was called Detective Bashim."

6. "Back in the mid 80s, while attending Catholic school, we had a teacher named Brother English. He taught French. We had a Brother French but he didn't teach English, he taught Social Studies, so I guess the name thing doesn't always work."

Vacuous vocations

A list of occupations which respondents gave to census-takers in Britain's 1881 census. (But remember, comedy answers to officials is a longstanding British tradition, so may be gags. Also, "Knocker-upper" was a genuine job waking people up by knocking on their windows in the days before alarm clocks!)

Unreal, real government departments

The Office of Planetary Protection is part of Nasa and is responsible for preventing space organisms contaminating Earth and, simultaneously, stopping Earth-based organisms contaminating space.

According to its officers help create sterile (or almost sterile) spacecraft and plan flight paths. "Nations with active space programs usually have planetary protection offices.

"However, their officers are often employed on a temporary basis. Only Nasa and the European Space Agency (ESA) currently hire permanent planetary protection officers.

"Nasa has been employing a planetary protection officer since the Outer Space Treaty was signed in 1967. The officer earns up to $187,000 annually."

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