At least they didn't cut Papandreou's line of credit . . .


SPARE A thought for the poor Greek prime minister, George Papandreou (he’ll happily take your spare anything these days, especially any spare change lying about the place).

As if he didn’t have enough problems to make him choke on his ouzo, the fellow has just had his phone cut off by engineers breathing down the neck of a non-paying customer. Not the PM, as it turns out (Phew! Does that mean our €1.3 billion bung is safe? Wouldn’t go that far, old boy . . .)

What happened is this. Greek telecom engineers cut the line to Papandreou’s house while attempting to disconnect a customer in arrears who had the same number as the PM, save for one digit.

The phone company, OTE, is 20 per cent owned by the state. Its chairman wrote a letter to Papandreou to explain the mistake and engineers went to the prime minister’s house immediately after they were informed of the problem.


HAD THEY been in Japan, a suitable punishment might have been to dispatch them to the latest weird Michael Jackson show. Fancy, eh, spending a night with Michael Jackson’s possessions? Well, the Japanese promoter of a collection of his belongings on display in Tokyo is offering fans a dream come true on the first anniversary of his death.

In return for a trifling $1,000, 50 fans are to be allowed spend one night inside the Neverland Collection at the Tokyo Tower, which to many is a shrine to the sacred memory of their idol.

“The idea may sound a bit odd to western cultures [Not at all! Whatever turns you on] but in Japan the tradition of being with the remains and possessions of passed loved ones on the anniversary of their passing is an important ritual,” said Hiroyuki Takamura of the Tokyo Tower.

“The chance to spend the anniversary of Michael’s passing together with things like clothes he wore, things from his home, countless awards and iconic video and stage sets will be an unforgettable experience,” said Michael Jackson fan Mamiko Morii, who expects to be in line on Sunday.

“I have been to this exhibition more than eight times already and each time I feel more connected to Michael’s legacy.”


THEY HAVE much more normal fun in China, you know, albeit at a price . . . It seems that a university professor there has been jailed for running a sex club, whose members were the first to be convicted of “group licentiousness” in 20 years.

Ma Yaohai, a 53-year-old computer science professor, was jailed for 3½ years after pleading not guilty to holding orgies and said he would appeal against his sentence.

“What we did, we did for our own happiness,” Ma told media at a news conference in April at his home, where 14 of his 18 orgies, or “swinging games” as he called them, were held.

“People chose to do it of their own free will and they knew they could stop at any time. We disturbed no one. Marriage is like water. You have to drink it. Swinging is like a cup of wine. You can drink it if you like. If you don’t like it, don’t drink it.”


AND FINALLY, an Australian kitten has survived after going for a spin in a washing machine. Four-month-old Kimba climbed into the front-loader machine when the door was open and curled up on the dirty clothes – unbeknownst to its owner who turned the machine on for a cold wash. Despite being inside for a full cycle, including a high level spin, the bedraggled puss emerged looking like a drowned rat – but alive. (Kids: don’t even think about it.)