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British humour: funny even when you don't understand it. 
28th-Sep-2008 11:28 am
Hurrah, The News Quiz is back! I've been deeply disappointed that this show was off the air during the Democratic and Republican conventions and the latest round of Wall Street follies. These are times that desperately call for snark. But now they're back, and they didn't disappoint.

But there was a McCain-related line that got a huge laugh from the audience that just perplexed me. It was a little hard to make out, but I think it was, "He thinks the mercers have stolen his clothes."

Now, thinking that the textile merchants are stealing your clothes makes a nice metaphor for looking in the least likely place for the source of your problems. Which I suppose is applicable enough to McCain, or to certain Republican policies in general. But the line got such a laugh that I think it must refer to something more specific. Any clues?
28th-Sep-2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
It's "the NURSES have stolen my clothes". It refers back to many things (notably losing your mind whilst living in an old people's home and accusing the nurses of stealing your personal belongings) but, most potently for News Quiz listeners, its a line that Linda Smith was fond of and is the title of the book and CD of her work compiled by her partner after she died.

28th-Sep-2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's what I get for listening in a noisy environment. I wouldn't have recognized the catchphrase in any case, but it makes more sense in that context!
29th-Sep-2008 07:19 am (UTC)
I love The News Quiz. I find it interesting that you do too. It's on Radio4 so its quintissentially English in style. Is that one of the reasons you enjoy it?
29th-Sep-2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Probably. I like the improvisational feel of the show - the way you have several very funny people riffing off each other. I like the dry, deadpan quality of a lot of the humor. I also like the way the show doesn't talk down to the listeners - it might just reflect the demographics of the Radio 4 audience, but I'm often surprised by the degree of literacy the show assumes.
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