I am convinced of two things:
1. We have to die of something
2. The world is going slightly mad
If we set aside the first of those two (though in passing, did I tell you that I do a mean funeral), I wish to focus on the latter for focus is good. And what might be the target of my ire this time? You may well ask (though suspect that you aren't). The first is "Since Records Began" and the second is ... well, you'll see.
When I was quite young, like last year and that, I would hear news reports that would speak of this or that being some superlative since "records began". I would often revel in this new-found knowledge as a man with something of an autism for statistics. It is good to know that last July was the most wasp-infested since the day before they buried that King under a Leicester car-park. Yippee-doo - the cup of life runneth over. My life is enhanced by that stuff - although this tendency in reporting seems to be the sole preserve of the doom-mongers.
The thing is, even that has changes and not for the better let me tell you. It is true to say that in our Great Britain it has, of late, drizzled a little, been a little chilly - you know, like it often is in winter. In fact, there are many people in their homes that were built on the flood-plains that have, rather less than unexpectedly, been - well, flooded. Them and Tewkesbury whose carpeting bills are somewhat higher of late. Actually, to do people a measure of justice, it has in fact widdled down for weeks on end and places that were once flower-bejewelled meadows are now new lakes and some 'B' roads the new tributaries of the River Severn, so fairs fair, it has been bloody nasty down west.
Then the stattoes start. The numbers-folk start their analyses and present the damning evidence of a generation. It has been the wettest winter since ... wait for it ... 2011 (actually, this is an invented number for sake of effect). But it happened elsewhere too - that November was the, I don't know, most face-furnished since 1998. It's ridiculous. I really am not that old, so to cite "since ..." dates that are within my own lifetime are just meaningless and speak of the crisis in the world of statistics. The fact is, I await a news report that will appoint today as the most Thursday-like Thursday since last Thursday, and that was a hum-dinger in its own right. Tell me that today is the most manky depressed grey day since before the time of Christ, and you have my attention, but don't be telling me that it is just a bit wetter than yesterday.
Then there is the other thing, and in this I speak the God's-honest truth. In Great Britain, we ask our ambulance crews to prove that they were out on an emergency call so that they might appeal against - you guessed it - a speeding ticket. If my giblets were protruding through my soft-palate, I would be rather keen to see an ambulance crew a minute sooner, and not worrying why they were taking so long. But to discover that our green-clad heroes and heroines are subject to the same speed regulations as the rest of us is just, well, silly. It won't end well, either. Reason for appeal: we were attending an inter-cranial bleed on the High Street. Did he survive? No - he had passed into paradise before we arrived, poor soul. Verdict: That'll be sixty quid and three points!