No 17-year-olds were harmed

If someone gave me a choice between 101 Dalmatians and one smart Siamese, I’m afraid I would have to grab the latter. Even if it didn’t mean being spared having to slog through acres of minuscule type to find the couple of grains of spelt in a mountain of chaff (unfortunately, I lack that Reaganesque ability to look at a barnful of manure and think there must be a pony in there somewhere). It all did make me wonder when a byline stopped meaning anything, though — or when exactly the elves were allowed to take over for Mr. Claus. You also gotta wonder about the systemic breakdown when obvious free rides on the truffle train are written up in advertising brochures by columnists at the most holier-than-thou publication on the planet. But the funniest find lately was the comment in the FT by Gordon Ramsay, confirming he had once tricked an American “journalist” shaking him down for a free meal by sending her to his restaurant for lunch on a day when it was closed. To quote a master of the fine phrase:  “The amount of bullshit in this industry really is extraordinary.”