Nero and other Dum-asses got up the Bard’s nose like a Goethe ...

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GARLIC IN THE HAND

Nero and other Dum-asses got up the Bard’s nose like a Goethe bedbug

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Journalist

The Romans have a lot to answer for. They were the ones who spread garlic around the so-called civilised world, an act of gastronomic sabotage unrivalled since the invention of chewing gum – which according to the History Channel was masticated by ancient Mayans long before garlic dressing or even Caesar salad entered anyone’s culinary vocabulary.

Chewing gum survives thanks to Hollywood stars such as Eva Green, who memorably handed her spit-flecked lump of gum to an assistant on the red carpet at the premiere of Dumbo in 2019. No doubt the assistant kept it warm and soft and stretchy and gave it back to Ms Green in good shape after the screening.

The reason garlic has survived for so long is more flummoxing. It must be due to the extraordinary optimism of the human spirit – no other species has the same capacity to bear unpleasantness in the continued hope that some good may come of it...

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