Help! My husband knits!

THEY’RE ROUGH. They’re tough. They’re Real Men. And they secretly do needlework when no one is looking.

A female reader from Penang, Malaysia, recently wrote me a sad letter: “My husband knits. What shall I do?”

I replied: “If he’s not too ugly, hang on to him. You might at least get a half-decent scarf out of it.”

She wrote back to tell me that he was kind of ugly but not as hideous as the scarf he’d produced.

More interestingly, she said her husband, who did not want his name mentioned, claimed to be part of a massive network of Real Men doing embroidery around the world. I found this hard to believe.

But lo and behold, last week it was revealed that tough Wall Street financier Charles Zion, who died at the World Trade Center, was a secret knitter, and his knitting is to be featured in the 9/11 museum.

Also last week, the UK press revealed the story of Cross-Stitch Man, who battled Hitler using embroidery skills. This is not a joke.

Major Alexis Casdagli was caught by the Nazis in World War II. In prison, he took up embroidery and made a cross-stitch sampler featuring the words “F*** Hitler” in Morse code. Nazis displayed it for four years as evidence of how happy their prisoners were, never once realizing that it grossly insulted the Fuhrer.

“The Red Cross saved his life, but embroidery saved his sanity,” his son Tony told the Guardian newspaper last week.

I can’t wait for the movie.

***

AFTER HIS brakes stopped working, a 24-year-old motorist in the US state of Michigan kept using his car, sticking his foot out of the door whenever he wanted to come to a halt. Police charged him with dangerous driving. Surely the right charge should have “Willfully believing in The Flintstones”?

***

BACK TO Malaysia. A bizarre giant frog the size of a human child was found by a river in that country, the Sin Chew Jit Poh newspaper reported last week. Scientists were unable to examine the 20 kilo creature as the finder ATE IT it before they could get there. That is SO Asian. If someone found the missing link in Asia, it would be char-grilled on a tray with a side of rice. Come to think of it, I may well have eaten it at the canteen opposite my office last night.

***

IT’S A BAD year for Japan’s top carmaker. A bear drove off in a man’s Toyota Prius last week. The beast got into the unlocked car in Lake Tahoe, US, and managed to release the handbrake. The car was found wrecked but the bear escaped, the Contra Costa Times reported. I expect the bear is in some lawyer’s office trying to join the anti-Toyota class action lawsuit for “mystery acceleration”.

***

SIGN SPOTTED by a reader at Narita Airport in Japan: “Room for the Sick and Invalid Person." Actually, this makes sense to me. Some days I feel like a valid human being. Other days...

***

YOUR HUMBLE narrator talked to Chinese children about how to solve a land dispute and was given some great ideas. The result is this video--click on this link to see it on YouTube. Share it with your friends and let's get the mindset about the Middle East crisis changed.

***

Have a great weekend, let's talk Monday.